March 2008 Archives

One Step Closer

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Well, I am back from Scottsdale, one step closer to having surgery and a bit sunburned for my trouble.  Overall, it was a good trip and I feel a lot better in general, but especially about the whole prospect of having surgery, which I admit is a bit nerve-wracking to think about.  Arizona is surprisingly nice, even when it's 85 degrees in the middle of March; for someone who comes from the Midwest, the thought of it being 85 degrees and pretty damn comfortable was a bit hard to believe.

We flew out Saturday, and everything went pretty well; I don't think we had any major delays, surprisingly.  O'Hare was packed though; it looks like the snow on Friday had socked a lot of people in overnight.  When we were waiting to board the flight to Phoenix, the people waiting for the Miami flight at the next gate actually cheered when the boarding announcement was made, so I'm guessing that they were stuck there for quite a while.  Our flights weren't too bad, but once again I am annoyed by the fact that American can't even show you a damn movie on a 4 hour flight -- one of the reasons I prefer to fly United when I can.  Dad got the tickets with his frequent flyer miles though, so I can't really complain too much.

I do find myself getting increasingly annoyed with the nickel-and-diming of the airlines these days, though.  When I flew out to LA to visit my grandfather in '92-'93, I remember I got a meal on both my trip there and back, and it was actually pretty good -- Uno's pizza (and even a reasonable facsimile) on the way there and shrimp pesto pasta on the way back -- and there was at least one movie on the flight, possibly two.  This flight, which was slightly shorter but not significantly so, had beverage service, but no movie, a sandwich ran you something like 5-6 bucks, and if you wanted a "snack" (not sure how big that was, but it didn't sound like much), that was 3 bucks.  I am hoping this was just an American thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were all doing it.  Definitely going to have to start bringing something to munch on when I fly from now on, because by the time we got off the plane I was starving.

Anyway, so we got to Phoenix all right, but my dad's map for the route to the hotel was....well, it wasn't very clear, and the fact that the interstates and state routes there are a bit confusing didn't help matters; lots of loops and merging and splitting roads made things a bit confusing, but even with a bit of backtracking we eventually got to the place we were staying, the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, after about 45 minutes.  It's on the north end of Scottsdale, a few miles north of the Old Town area, past about 27 other resorts, and it was pretty nice.  I have to admit I was a bit nervous when I saw some of the reviews online, and the place is not really what I would call a four-star resort (at least, our room, which was one of the cheaper ones), but it was clean, fairly well appointed, and looked like it had been remodeled at least somewhat recently.  The grounds were gorgeous, and it was conveniently right across the street from Dr. Meltzer's office, so that was good.

Sunday, we went to see a Cubs game at the Peoria Sports Complex, the spring training field of the Padres and the Mariners.  It was a bit anticlimactic though, with the Cubs going ahead 6-3 after the end of the first (very long) inning, but a good game nonetheless, with Maddux on the mound for the Padres' first four innings and Wood pitching for an inning for the Cubs.  The park was very nice, and we had great seats -- furthest back from the field, but still within spitting distance of the Padres' dugout, and in the shade (though that didn't help keep me from getting sunburned -- ouch).  I think probably the most memorable moment of the game was when Maddux left the field after the fourth inning, and had half the crowd (including many of the Cubs fans, who had earlier not been too happy to see him and Barrett, another ex-Cub, on the field) stood to give him a standing ovation.  Whether it was because he'd let the Cubs have six runs in his first inning (and bat around), or just because he's one of the best (or was one of the best) pitchers in the game, I'm not sure, but I don't think I've ever seen anything like that when I've seen a game at Wrigley.  Granted, attendance at the game was pretty small compared to Chicago (the total attendance was about 12,000 people, with a packed house), but still, it was a nice touch.

Monday was the main event, and after my dad and I had breakfast we wandered over to Dr. Meltzer's office for my appointment.  I won't delve into the details that much, but I did fill out a bunch of paperwork and had a good consultation with Dr. Meltzer and his staff.  I didn't feel like I was getting talked down to, which was good, and he seemed to expect that people came to him already being fairly familiar with most of the process.  My questions were answered and I felt pretty reassured; I had seen Dr. Meltzer speak in Chicago before, so I was at least somewhat familiar with him, but that was almost six years ago now.  He seemed to think everything should be smooth for me, and that I'd done well with most of the prep work I'd had done so far, so that was good to hear.  My dad seemed suitably impressed, which I was glad to hear.  Even as a grown adult now, I still feel a bit overwhelmed by this stuff sometimes, and I'm half worried I am going into things a bit less critical than I should be sometimes, so it was good to have him there to check me.  I can't imagine doing this without the support of my parents -- for as long as I've lived and been going through this, as frustrating as they have been sometimes, I owe them a great debt for instilling the values of critical thinking, cautious planning, and careful examination in me at a young age.  I think a lot of the reason my transition has been so smooth is due to the way they raised me, and I am forever grateful for that.

After that, we drove down to Mesa because my dad wanted to see Ho Ho Kam Park, the Cubs' spring training field, which was a bit of an adventure; thanks to the same street having three different names, it took us a while to find the place, and then it turned out there was a game that day, so we couldn't really go look around, at least without paying crazy scalper's prices for games.  After that, we went back to the hotel and just took it easy for the rest of the day, though I did get my dad to watch some of the stuff from the Eve FanFest this year, which I hope he found interesting -- otherwise, I feel bad for talking his ear off about Eve all weekend. :)

Yesterday we flew back, and this time things were not quite as smooth.  High winds in Chicago delayed our flight from Phoenix (though thankfully, we didn't run into the horrible traffic on the way to the airport Phoenix is supposed to have) and then our flight from Chicago to Champaign as well.  We ended up making it home only about a half hour late though, so all in all not too bad except for the turbulence on landing in Chicago and Champaign.  Had a bit of a scare when I didn't see my bag at the airport in Champaign, but it ended up being the last one to come off the plane, to my relief.  A productive weekend, especially because I got to do a fair bit of brainstorming and writing for both Eve stuff and Cthulhu Rising stuff, so I'm feeling pretty good about the whole thing.  Now, I just need to get everything else done in the next five or six months to get this all sorted out by the time I have surgery, and it'll be golden....

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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