Thursday, December 31, 2009

Giant Rat!

It was odd walking out of my building yesterday and suddenly seeing a giant rat. I mean, a GIANT rat, taller than us. It turns out that the giant rat is a Chicago union tradition, signaling a strike, and perhaps in particular a strike where there are or may be scabs involved.

As an object and a symbol, it is really effectively threatening looking, I think. It was a pretty quiet day yesterday. Had breakfast in the Caribou coffeeshop downstairs because we were too low on supplies and too tired to get to the grocery store. Then went to the grocery store. Later we ventured to Target to spend our holiday gift cards on various small stuff. In the evening I worked on dissertation revisions and such. For some reason I couldn't get to sleep until very late. Jet-lag plus traditional winter break worrying.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Castle Gate

Seattle (Sea-Tac) Airport. We arrive at our gate for the flight to Chicago. And the gate is a castle. I have no idea why. There was a long explanation in small print, but it was located right at the jet-way door, a place where they don't tend to let you loiter. So... whatever the point of the display was, it was lost on me. But I will say, it sure was different. The airline people working the flight kept having to duck behind the banner/curtain thing on the right to get... "back-stage". What was back-stage? I have no idea.

Unlike flight out, where we got got stuck in Salt Lake City for 10 hours, the way back went very smoothly. On the Seattle-Chicago flight, we were seated in the "nursery" section of the plane. Quite literally, there was a child under three in every row, diagonals included. Clearly my bio-clock is going, because I thought that they were all really cute, even when they were fussing about the pressure, boredom, etc. When I was coming back from the bathroom and about to climb back into my row, the little boy (about a year old I think?) in the row across from us grabbed my elbow. I looked down at him and he gave me a thousand watt grin. Awwww.....