Archive for April 16th, 2019

Diary #459

Though my Bay Area screening was a success, several things definitely did not go smoothly.  The screening audience was very engaged and I was joined in a Q&A afterward by veteran activist Kristen DiAngelo (American Courtesans); before the show I also recorded a podcast interview for my hosts, the Prostasia Foundation.  The next day I met one of my regular readers for a coffee date, then had a lovely overnight with one of my favorite gentlemen.  Also, the problem with my fundraiser was resolved, so at least I didn’t have to use personal money to pay my hotel and all (if you’d like to help me in future travels, please donate).  Those are the parts that went well; it was all the nonhuman factors which gave me trouble!  As regular readers know, I fly for free thanks to Ghost Rider, but that means flying standby and sometimes getting bumped to steerage, and if things are really overbooked it can mean getting bumped off of a flight entirely.  Well, last Monday I flew first class to LAX, but it looked like I was going to be bumped off of my flight to SFO until the very last minute (when they managed to get me onto the flight, apparently due to someone else’s missed connection).  At the screening Tuesday, we had some kind of glitch wherein the sound got about a second out of synch with the picture and the projectionist apparently could not resolve it; the theater made up to us by refunding part of our fees, and if you were in the audience and felt distracted, we will give you a free download (just email me for details).  Then on Wednesday afternoon, Ghost Rider (who keeps an eye on flight loads when he knows I’ll be traveling) let me know that it didn’t look good for the next day; we decided the best bet was for me to try to follow through with my original itinerary, but to understand it might not work out.  That turned out to be an understatement; by the time I got to the airport, my standby position for the flight had dropped from one to nine, on an already-overbooked plane.  Consulting with the gate agent revealed that, partly due to spring break traffic and partly to the genius who decided to repair a runway during the day (thus resulting in dozens of cancelled flights), there was no way to get a seat out of San Francisco for love or money.  Every flight on every airline out of SFO, San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento, flying to Seattle, Portland and even Everett (on Alaska Air) through every hub in the US was overbooked for both Thursday and Friday.  But I was in a good mood and mentally prepared for the eventuality; Priceline gave me a one-way car rental, SFO to Seattle, for only $130; I booked it, drove out of the parking garage about 2 pm, and I pulled into my driveway in Seattle at 12:45 (that included two refueling stops).  Definitely not an ideal situation, but in the days before I learned how to control my vertigo I did a lot of long-distance driving; the worst part about it was losing a whole day of writing time.  And it takes more than stupid bureacrats & drunk students to stop me from getting where I need to go!

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