Chef Muré wasn't in, as he was scheduled to be on a 14-day training cruise and had to leave today to get to the boat -- but he had informed the substitute Chef that I was more than likely going to be absent from class, so I didn't need to worry about that while I went through the paperwork and running around to have my Leave authorized. Alas, the Dean of Students was unavailable, so I had to set up an appointment for next week to see her and have this last class taken care of. Chef had informed me yesterday that he would approve a withdrawl from Lunch Cookery so that I wouldn't be penalized when I returned. Normally, a failure in a class would result in paying the full tuition to retake the course (which is about $2000), but under special conditions (like health, personal emergencies, and teacher approval) the class cost would only be $50. Since that task could not be dealt with today, the rest of the paperwork was swiftly completed. Mailroom key and special "Medical" parking plaque returned, I could leave directly from school and head home in time to get packed and off to the airport.
In my typical last-minute panic, I forgot two very important things: I didn't take all my sharp-pointy-objects out of my purse and stick them in my check-in luggage, and I left my laptop at home... which contained the master images for the CDs I was going to sell at the con. Doh! The later disaster had a Plan B solution, which was for my coug'r to email the disk images to my buddies in Cali and I just burned the CDs there. The former issue, however, didn't occur to me until we were already at the airport and I was in the Security line... talk about not needing the added stress. *sigh* Finally, after a less than helpful staff, we resolved the situation by having the coug'r take all my sharp-pointies home with him (after I had to coerse the security guards to give me back my scissors so I *could* hand them off, then I had to get escorted all the way around the 100-foot-long Security area with all my luggage as they wouldn't allow it to stay behind even if they were there to observe it, then given the sharp-pointies after reaching the end of the Security area and told I had to walk up to Ken, hand him my contraband, then get back into the waiting line to have my bags checked again). This wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't spent so much time 'seeing things' in my stuff, rifling through it, finding something, then putting the bags back through again. See, I'm an artist, and I'm a gadgetgeek -- I've got a Gerber Multitool and a Victorinox Swiss Blade in belt pouches that are usually stashed in my courier-purse, along with a clear plastic toolbox of artsupplies which had a pair of Fiskar Scissors (with plastic sheath for safety) and an Xacto-knife (pen-style barrel with cap for safety). Having completely forgotten I left all that in the bag, the last thing I needed was to be detained 3 times as they slowly re-ran my stuff through the machine. Eventually, though, I did manage to get onto the plane and head off.
The next frustration was discovering that FurtherConfusion was the same weekend as the Super Bowl. While normally this information wouldn't impact my life, as the Super Bowl was in San Diego this year, the flight I was taking to Chicago was packed with people going to California for the game. At least the Super Bowl crowd would be getting off in Chicago to change planes, so I dealt with the situation as best as I could. I managed to get a few winks on the flight to Chicago in my usual head-against-the-window position, then sprawled out on all three seats during the stopover. A bit of humor occured then: while I was burrowed under my jacket and blankets (with the seatbelt strapped around the outside), the flightcrew changed and maintanance crew came in for a quick cleanup. One of the flight attendants started doing standup comedy on the PA system, until someone apparently pointed out that the plane was not empty. When I heard "Oh? There's a customer on board?" I lifted up a hand and waved. This illicited several giggles from the attendants behind me (I was camped out on the last row of seats) and an apologetic "Oh my, I'm sorry!" over the speakers. My observation of "Someone likes the mic a bit too much" got a few more giggles, and then the quiet returned and I slept a bit more. I don't even remember takeoff, although I did hear a "Aren't you supposed to wake her for take off?" "Usually, but she was strapped in, and it's a light flight." Outside of waking for drinks and snacks, I slept the rest of the way to San Jose.
My friends actually remembered my warning about luggage and the time my flight was comming in.... I only had one piece of check-in, but it was a doozy. 120 pounds of button machines, parts, art supplies, clothes and toiletries all tucked into the biggest frelling rolling-bag that I've ever seen (coug'r got it as a rolling wardrobe case to minimize luggage). My heart eased the moment I was outside and back in my beloved Northern California weather, which at 11:00pm was a wonderful 60 degrees instead of the 20 I had left behind in Jersey. Hopefully, tomarrow will be better.