Sunday, March 20th, 2011

radiumgirl: (kobra kid)
Five hours. That's how long I spent looking for decent air fare to see Owen. We decided on a June date because the school year would be over, and with it, the bulk of his job-duties. I decided on June 2-6...because, like we've established, I'm impatient.

When Owen first got the job in Kalamazoo, I jumped on the chance to fly for a visit. This was back in February, and I geeked out and stalked for every combination of tickets, and I remember, back in February, finding round-trip fares in the $150-175 range depending on which airport I flew into. Assuming that gas prices don't leap (which is a pretty big and faulty assumption) it would take about $160 to fuel Lucy the Staypuft Marshmallow Car for a round trip roadtrip to Kalamazoo and back. So I didn't feel bad about splurging on air fare.

Back to those five hours of my life that are gone and missing and never to be seen again.

Fares have jumped in the month since I last looked. The cheapest I can find is $225 if I fly into Chicago at six in the morning. I called Owen and whined because at this point, it'll be cheaper to drive. But I don't want to drive. Not for this first time out. I'm going to have to drive every other time I visit because I won't have the (small) surplus of cash that my tax return afforded me and I'll be moving my stuff into his our apartment.

I just really enjoy flying, okay? Airline stewardess is actually one of my back-up career plans if the get-PhD-and-be-awesome track doesn't work out . I check job postings regularly.

The other day at the lunch table, the big topic of the day was air travel and how horrible it is. I brought it on myself by mentioning the upcoming visit with Owen, but I wasn't dumb enough to wax poetic in front of my co-workers, especially when the conversation turned into a massive bitch-fest. I just kinda smiled and nodded and played the "I'm-a-silly-noob-who-has-no-concept-of-what-air-travel-really-is." And okay, I don't. In all of my 24 years on Earth (as opposed to Mars) I've flown a handful of times. When I was 15, the marching band went to Disney World and we flew from Pittsburgh to Tampa. When I was a junior in college, I presented at a conference in Minneapolis, and last year I presented at a conference in St. Louis, so I'm fully aware that my mindset is still probably stuck in the "OOOH SHINY" mentality when it comes to flying.

There are also probably some unresolved daddy issues in there too. My dad was a pilot in the air force, then a mechanic when he got discharged. One of my most prized possessions is a model of a Lockheed C-141 in air force livery that his squadron gave me at his funeral. He loved flying. We lived close to the base that he worked at when I was a kid, close enough to watch the air shows from our front yard whenever they were held. On 9/11, we stood in the yard in the middle of the night watching planes and helicopters land. They flew low to avoid radar, and we could read the numbers off of their bellies, and my dad would tell me what kind of plane it was, what (or who) it was probably carrying. I feel like a slightly fucked up person to have a fond memory of 9/11, but he was dead three months later, so that was one of the last of the good ones. It's unfortunate that it was brought about by something so horrible, but it is what it is.

ANYWAY. I'm one of those irritating people that stares out the window the entire flight, wondering what all those little people downstairs are doing. I wonder if my dad did that. I take notes on what planes I like and what ones I don't and I wonder if he had a favorite. I have a mad love affair with United Airlines and their in-flight Starbucks. I wonder how he felt about United. I remember that he liked Pan Am.

So. I don't know what I'm going to do about booking a flight. I've tied myself up in so many mental knots in a vain attempt to find sweet fares, but they just aren't there anymore. Owen is willing to drive two-hours in any direction to pick me up. Flying directly into Kalamazoo was nixed from the beginning because the airport is being renovated, so fares are appalling from the get-go. We decided on a two-hour radius because anything further than that, we feel defeats the purpose of flying. I've looked at landing at Chicago, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Lansing, South Bend, and Manistee. I've tried leaving in the middle of the week. I've even looked into the scary discount carriers.

$225. I can't get any lower. And yeah, with my tax return, I can afford it, but I feel like, at that point, I'm being wasteful and stubborn and indulgent.

I can fly to San Diego and back for $120 and that's on the other side of the fucking country. I'm a little bitter over that, actually. Michigan needs more love, people.

TL:DR Air fare is stupidly expensive, so Radium Girl is probably going to drive. She is displeased by this.
radiumgirl: (brothers)
Title: Ghost in the Machine
Spoilers: None
Genre: AU, For Keeps 'verse
Summary: A few years after the events of Thursday, Castiel drops in for a friendly visit interrogation.
Warnings: damaged!Sam, life-after-the-wall
Disclaimer: Not my sandbox.
Author’s Note: This takes place after A Lullaby for the Boys We Used to Be. but it's not essential that you read it first as long as you have a basic understanding of how this 'verse works. If nothing else, I would at least read Thursday first.

Sometimes it just takes a few minutes for the words to sink in... )

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