Brush with airborne greatness

Made it home. House intact. Losses: One Tupperware container, easily replaced.

I am the Queen of Packing, I have to say: In one medium-sized rolly cart, one smallish backpack and a handled-paper sack I managed to transport all of my clothes and living materials for five days, plus a sleeping bag and sleeping bag pad, some specialty items I bought cheap at Costcos and half-price Easter Candy. I did not have to check any baggage. I pretty much had to sit on everything to get it to zip closed, but it all held out. So hurrah to me, and hurrah to Timberland rolly-cart/backpack combos, which do the job and then some.

Delta also managed to get us aloft on time and in the gate by the expected landing schedule, so they also get a gold star for doing their job. For once. On the way to the plane Mom said, "Well, at least the weather's okay, so you should be able to take off on time." Since we've had security scares and spilled gas all over the tarmac that delayed/canceled me before, good weather clearly is a guarantee of nothing.

That said, Delta does have interesting people flying. The return flight from SXSW in early March was super-delayed, but I knew we were on the way solid once a limo pulled up outside the parked plane and Someone Important got on. We all boarded shortly thereafter, filing past Gov. Rick Perry. Yes, he flies in first class, but hey, it's a commercial airliner, so I give him some credit for that.

Today — though I didn't realize it until we were nearly there and he made a Blackberry call introducing himself — I sat next to Someone Else Important. I'd seen him in the terminal and thought he was familiar, but I had no idea where from and besides, I was concentrating on the interesting-looking musicians carrying guitars (unidentifiable, the guitars or the musicians). So my future seatmate was in the terminal wearing thin white gloves and thought, "Well, that's either a guy with germ issues or a crossing guard who forgot to take off all of the uniform." Turned out he wore them to keep the ink from his New York Times from getting on his fingers. Which is both practical and dorky, but I respect a guy who's prepared. He read the paper and worked on his laptop the whole time (the latter while listening to an iPod through Bose headphones, occasionally conducting at what I assume were the good parts). Anyway, he was very nice as a seatmate. Once I found out he was Barry Scheck, I got all pissed at myself for not trying to find that out earlier. Not that I have a lot to talk about when it comes to The Innocence Project, but cheez, I'd like to have at least told him to keep up the good work. (He needs to get as many karmic brownie points as possible after the whole O.J. thing.) But opportunity didn't arise and then we were in the terminal and the chance was lost.

So, Delta does keep the interesting folks shuttled. I, however, will opt out for now: It's Jet Blue next time for me, baby.