My second home

Right now I’m hanging out on the “couch” in my second living room — gate K13 in O’Hare.

I’m in O’Hare at least 4 times a month, some visits more pleasant than others. My typical m.o. is to frantically rush around my place (with my hair in a towel and a toothbrush in my mouth), tearing up my bed trying to find my phone at the very last second, with the cab outside calling me to tell me it’s leaving without me. Then get stuck in the back of the cab in traffic (we all know what happens in that situation). Then get to the airport with 35 minutes to spare, but find myself in a 30-minute security line. Then sprint from the x-ray machine to the gate with my noisy rolling bag in tow, to find out they’ve just given up my seat.

For whatever reason, today was crazy. You’d think I would’ve had a nice relaxing day, given that our office was closed for Presidents Day. But no, I was up until 2 a.m. writing one of the six presentations on my to-do list, then started in again at 9 this morning.

I had a strategic planning meeting for an arts organization that I’m working with on a volunteer basis from 4:30-6:30, which was going to put me down to the wire on getting to the airport in time for my 8:05 flight to Dallas. The mound of work and errands I needed to accomplish before heading to the meeting just kept piling up, so at 4:05, when I should’ve been on my way downtown, I was standing naked in front of my dresser, alternately throwing something on myself and in my suitcase.

I flagged down a cab at 4:15, turned on my computer in the backseat (it’s astounding I didn’t barf), and spent the next ten minutes preparing for the sections I was responsible for on the agenda.

And at 6:30, after a successful meeting, I headed out the door and jumped in a cab to the airport.

Despite all the craziness today, the fact that it’s a holiday has been a treat this evening. First, there was no traffic, so I actually got to the airport and hour and fifteen minutes before my flight. There was no security line. And I’ve had time to enjoy my three favorite things in Terminal 3:

  1. McDonald’s (YUM!)
  2. Getting US Weekly at the magazine shop
  3. Perusing the bookstore, which is really quite a good one, even though it’s in the airport

And write, of course.

I’ve encountered the same cashier at the bookstore on three different occasions. He always chats me up with book recommendations.

Lately I’ve been on a historical non-fiction kick, and today was no exception. I immediately gravitated to Manhunt, The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson.

Apparently I had Presidents Day in the back of my mind.

But the store had an inordinate amount of great finds! Here are the other ones I intend to cajole the library to purchase:

The Ghost Map, by Steven Johnson. It’s about London’s cholera epidemic and how it changed science, cities and the modern world.

Rats, by Robert Sullivan. He spent a year in an alley behind Wall Street observing those nasty creatures and the people who deal with them.

Where God Was Born, by Bruce Feiler. He’s the guy who does “Walking Through The Bible” on PBS.

And finally, a juicy fiction selection: Ten Days in the Hills by Jane Smiley. It chronicles a romantic romp starting at the Oscars and lasting ten days.

Jane Smiley is always fun — especially her book Moo, which is about Moo U, a land grant university with crazy county agents and very large prize pigs.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Ann said,

    Hey, I finally have made it to the Blog. It has been fun reading your blog and I am all caught up. FYI one spring break I had a girl friend who lived in Dallas and I toured it with a friend( Janelle Hughbanks Pollom). It is much smaller than it looks on TV and it is a very pretty ranch. We were not allowed to go inside as at the time Dallas was still on TV. I am guessing it was my senior spring break. It would have been March 1985!! Whew!!! And another trivia Mark ask me to marry him while I was watching Dallas Feb 13, 1987 or Feb 15 it has been along time not sure of the exact date. Funny hugh! Have a great day!

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