` First, this post, because I was supposed to finish this last week and found things other than sitting in front of my computer more important. Since it's been so long, my memory isn't the greatest, and so the epic photos from the plane will have to tell most of the story:
Monday, July 16, 2012:
It was only the previous day that I had learned of the hotel's free shuttle to the airport, so I packed up my stuff, said goodbye to Leonard, checked out of the hotel, and found myself waiting side-by-side with Rich, one of the TAM-goers I'd had huge amounts of conversation.
` We were talking about this and that, and wondering if we'd missed the last shuttle, when Hyunwoo, which I recall from the Cards Against Humanity game, pulled up in a rental mustang and offered us a ride. Lucky us!I crammed myself into the tiny backseat quite nicely.
And my crazy dad never knew I was anywhere near his house!
I was sitting between a guy from Germany and another guy who I think was from some Asian country. (Which one, not sure -- all Asian countries look so alike!) I kept peeking at the German guy's screen, trying to read the news in German and finding most of the words familiar.
` As I recall, I didn't do much listening to podcasts, either, but instead focused most of my attention on the cloud-splotched desert:
Once at the Phoenix airport, I thought to get a photo of myself with my pack on my back and my laptop bag in front:
` I was also somewhat dehydrated and hungry, especially since I had barely had a sizeable meal in Vegas (on account of my innards being annoying), so I stopped at this bar that served fairly nice Mexican food for some soup and sangria -- also, I recorded a secret video, but it's too weird to show you here. Maybe YouTube.
` Once on the plane, I thought that perhaps I would be the only person in my row until a woman sat down in the window seat. She looked nervous, so I asked her if she wanted to trade seats with me, but she said she didn't.
` When everyone was finally on the plane, still no one sitting between us in the row, I struck up a conversation and she told me that she hated flying, especially takeoff, so I offered to trade seats again and this time she agreed.
` I was able to keep up my boisterous conversation and encouraged her to not freak out upon the plane's ascent.
` I made sure that she knew my name and blog title, and all about TAM as well, for future reference. I also babbled on about stupid stuff as well, as I was tired. Tired and also occasionally scanning the desert for small towns:
We continue to get farther away as we pass over the foothills of Mount Rainier:
` Since I'd had probably all of eight hours of sleep during my five-night stay in Vegas, I kept drifting off into TAMDreams. I'd be sitting in the car, and then would see James Randi, or Joshie Berger, or Eugenie Scott, and then Lou Ryan's voice would wake me up again.
Once I got home, I greeted my cat, Vada, and my kitten, Dilly, who was noticeably larger than last time, and talked to the neighbors across the fence (while Dilly climbed the screen). As I recall, I also talked to Brianade about how cool TAM was.
` Dilly could not keep herself away from me, though -- here she is behind the sheet that blocks out the hot sun from my office window:
My life changed even more, however, once I got back! To be continued...