November 2007

Long Way Home

 I’ve been working on a 2007 playlist recently, it’s coming a long well and it’s full og great stuff even if it is depressing as all hell. “Long Way Home” by Tom Waits (go listen to it here) is a recent addition, maybe because I’m out traveling again but for whatever reason I’ve been listening to it pretty repeatedly the last few days, and suspect that’ll continue through this trip. This was actually the song that sold me on Mr. Waits. Anyway, here’s the words to mull over…

Well I stumbled in the darkness, I’m lost and alone
Though I said I’d go before us, And show the way back home
There a light up ahead, I can’t hold onto her arm
Forgive me pretty baby but I always take the long way home

Money’s just something you throw, Off the back of a train
Got a head full of lightning, A hat full of rain
And I know that I said, I’d never do it again
And I love you pretty baby but I always take the long way home

I put food on the table, And roof overhead
But I’d trade it all tomorrow, For the highway instead
Watch your back if I should tell you, Love’s the only thing I’ve ever known
One thing for sure pretty baby I always take the long way home

You know I love you baby, More than the whole wide world
You are my woman, I know you are my pearl
Let’s go out past the party lights, Where we can finally be alone
Come with me and we can take the long way home
Come with me, together we can take the long way home
Come with me, together we can take the long way home

AAdvantage Miles vs. Points

I’ve looked all over and can’t find an explanation about this anywhere, but I’m trying to find out the difference between AA Elite Qualifying Miles and AA Elite qualifying points. Reason I’m asking is that I’m been flying so much recently that I was wondering when I was going to hit one of their status levels and when I looked at my account I saw that I had the following:

YTD Elite Qualifying Points: 18,100
YTD Elite Qualifying Miles: 22,737

I need 25,000 Miles OR Points to get to the Gold level, but I can’t find out the difference between the two. Also, what counts towards those? I can find single examples of something that does not count, but not a solid list or examples of how to add to either of those. I’m going to be super bummed if I miss the super awesome rewards by like 50 miles or something. I’ve got an AAdvantage credit card, but not sure at this point what those miles/points earned with that even go to. What about AA plane tickets bought with that card? Are mile/points earned when the tickets are bought, or when you actually fly on the flight? What about shit like when they say “sign up for X and get 10,000 bonus miles!” do those count for either of the above? Ack!!!

Oh, this is going to be fun

Since I’m leaving in just about 48 hours I figured I should go ahead and put my travel schedule in order, and upon doing that I realized it’s going to suck. We’ll, sort of, it’s not easy anyway. This is kinda what I’m in for in the next few days:

Day one:
3:30 ish I fly from BURBANK to DALLAS and arrive a little after 8PM with about an hour and a half to the next flight. This is the easiest transition of the trip. Closer to 10 PM (8 LA time) I jump on a flight from DALLAS to CHICAGO. I Arrive around midnight (that’s 10 pm LA time) with about 9 hours to next flight. Since I’m not so stoked on the idea of hanging out at the airport for 9 hours, especially that specific chunk of 9 hours, and I’ve got friends in Chicago I’m making a break for it. With any luck I’ll find a place to store my carry on luggage so I don’t have to lug that around the city. I’ll then catch train into town, meet up for foods and coffees and chaos and then bust ass to get back to the airport. I need to get there a few hours early to clear customs and hang out in the Admirals Club, and maybe try and sleep.

Day two
9 AM flight from CHICAGO to LONDON HEATHROW. This one arrives around 10 PM (and now time really gets fucked up – that’s 2 pm LA time, 4 pm Chicago time) with about 12 hours to next flight. Oh yeah, and next flight is out of a different airport, so I’m definitely getting out of there ASAP. With any luck I’ll clear customs within an hour and catch the shuttle to the hotel I’ve got booked. If it takes longer, the shuttle will stop running and I’ll have to throw down for a taxi. Once I get there I’ll hopefully get some sleep, more likely find coffee and an internet connection. Sleep would be good to help get on the right time schedule for sure.

Day three:
Early on wake up, talk to hotel people and find best (cheep & fast) way from there to London Lutton airport. Get there in time for a 10:45 AM (that would be approx 3 am LA time, 5 am Chicago time) flight to VIENNA. Get in around 2 PM Vienna time (5 am LA time, 7 am Chicago time). One more time clear customs and meet Johannes at the airport then go back to monochrom HQ and crash.

Oh and did I mention I’ll be doing all of that is a totally awesome sinus infection? The trade off is I cashed in frequent flier miles and everything except that last short flight to Vienna is in first class. Hell yes. But don’t worry, I’ve got a ton of meds to keep the death and suffering out of my head for the flights. If nothing else it’ll make a good story.

Wolfpack. Done.

Me, post-WolfpackA month ago I took the photo on the right after attempting my first Wolfpack Hustle ride. I wrote about it that night, about how friends told me I was insane for even considering trying it, and about how it was definitely far beyond my capabilities, but not completely out of reach. The Wolfpack rides every Monday, and in the last month I’ve gone on every one of them, including the All City Century (a 100 mile ride of which I completed about 30 miles of). I haven’t finished one of the rides, usually getting dropped after the second stop or so.

Until tonight. I and about 5 other people took a minor shortcut at the very beginning after getting caught at a light and caught up with the pack right away. We made it from Sunset and Fountain (in Silver Lake) to Washington and La Cienega in 30 minutes flat. Another rider getting a flat between there and the Staples Center gave me a few extra minutes to catch up, and catch my breath. Just north of Chinatown my luck went the other way, I’d fallen behind and lost sight of the pack, I missed a turn and rode several miles before consulting my GPS and seeing my error, and then turning around and getting back on track. At this point I was definitely dead last, cruising up Riverside all by myself when I got hit by a car. I had a green light, there was a woman in a car stopped at the red light, she looked right at me, and pulled out right into me. Luckily she was coming from a complete stop and only hit me at about 5mph, but still. She had no license plate, and hauled ass the moment she realized what she’d done. Shortly there after I called a friend who I knew was still with the bulk of the pack and he reported they were just nearing the finish now. Getting hit by a car gave me the extra shot of adrenalin I needed to book it the rest of the way back to Tang’s. If that hadn’t happened I probably would have broken off as I rode past my house. Instead I finished the ride. I came in dead last, about 20 minutes after everyone else, but I finished it. Doorstep to doorstep, total for the night looks to be 43 miles. Oh, and I did that on a fixed gear.

I’m in so much pain right now, and I couldn’t be happier.