Saturday, January 16, 2010


Not that homecoming. Or that one.

For the past few weeks, I've been in Texas, with my mother. In fact, I helped her move there, in a harrowing three-day journey that I will elaborate upon in Silver Sucks later. It's been snowy and icy, but overall nice.

But time marches on, and, alas, I'm a college student. So the time came when I had to inevitably make my way back to the frigid realm of Grand Forks.

On Saturday, the night of which we had to head to a town around Oklahoma City, I was supposed to pack. So, of course, I spent the entire time playing Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and packed at the last minute.

After eating dinner, laughing at four guys trying to play Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 (emphasis on trying - the quote at the top of the Sonic 2006 article is from what I was watching), getting the stuff in the car, and walking the dogs, Mom and I began the first leg of our journey: getting coffee at the local convenience store. Mom took advantage of this to get $15 in cash for my cab ride, despite my insistence that it's simply not going to be enough for the cab ride from Grand Forks International to my dorm, as the airport is a good five miles or so outside of the outskirts of the town.

After she got her coffee and my cash, our real journey began: that of driving to Shawnee, Oklahoma, late at night. We passed the time by talking about random things and mocking the MORON behind us who was blinding us with his headlights. This bozo was clearly overcompensating for something, because he had FOUR headlights on the front of his car. Combined, this made him easily as blinding as a truck with his brights on. We had to duck our heads so that his lights wouldn't blind us via our mirrors. Even worse was the fact that the guy couldn't decide whether to go faster or slower than us - he'd pass us, only for us to pass him again five minutes later. Needless to say, his blinding lights were becoming old hat, very fast. We were thankful when the guy exited somewhere before Oklahoma City.

I was very thankful when we reached Oklahoma City, because the numerous amount of up the road was comforting. Unfortunately, the last part of our journey involved leaving Oklahoma City and driving, yet again, in complete darkness. It was very eerie, and as we passed the occasional house, signified by a single glowing light, I wondered how the HELL anyone could live out in the boonies like that. Granted, you were maybe half an hour away from Oklahoma City, but still, out in the middle of nowhere. Creeeepy.

After we got to Shawnee, Mom and I put our stuff down and promptly collapsed for three hours, before the awesome Friend of the Family drove us to the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City for me to catch my flight to Minneapolis.

After a tearful goodbye, I went through airport security, which is as entertaining as getting a root canal (not that I've ever gotten one, mind you). I had all of my video game consoles with me, and I had to take them all out, plus my laptop, so they could be examined. This was a massive, time-consuming pain in the ass.

This was nothing, though, compared to what happened after boarding. At the last minute, I had to have my carry-on checked in as planeside baggage. The freaking attendant informed me that my bag was too large to be a carry-on (bullshit, because I've never had any problems with it on the numerous flights I've had in the past), and gave me a pink ticket, saying "Don't do it again". Excuse me?! My carry-on was definitely within the limits of the container they had at the check-in counter - aka, the same one that Southwest and Allegiant Air uses. Furthermore, every carry-on seemed to be checked in as planeside baggage for this flight, no lie. The family of four with the rolling backpacks? Planeside. The businessman with a small suitcase? Planeside. I was pissed off because my carry-on had nothing but video game stuff in it, including my consoles. Luckily, my consoles were in the laptop case lovingly given to me by the librarians at the Spring Valley Library, so I brought that with me instead, but it still didn't change the fact that my games, memory cards, and controllers were inside a suitcase that would most likely be harshly handled by people (which is why it wasn't checked luggage in the first place).

Well, as it turned out, the luggage containers for the plane were tiny. The plane was definitely not a full-sized plane, though it wasn't a prop plane, either. What was awesome was that the plane, with all people aboard, still had empty seats galore, so despite having an assigned seat that was not next to a window, I got to move to a window seat. What was even more awesome was that we were flying out in ridiculously early morning, so it was still dark outside, and I LOVE seeing the lights of the city from the air. It looks so pretty!

After spending time staring out the window, I figured that I needed to save my DS's battery power for the flight after this, so I took out my laptop and watched episodes of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex until my laptop almost ran out of juice.

We arrived in Minneapolis early, which made me ecstatic because I always love having time before boarding for my flight and because it gave me more time to eat something using the $10 Friend of the Family gave me for food. It also helped that I've been to this airport before, several months back, for my freshman orientation.

After figuring out where my gate was (as they changed the gate for my flight to Grand Forks), I went to the nearest food court and checked out the restaurants. The only two restaurants cheap enough for my $10 was A&W and Quizno's. Since there was an A&W at the Old Main Marketplace at the Memorial Union back at the University, I opted to go to Quizno's, since I haven't eaten there in at least a year. While thinking about what sub to get, I came across who looked like a businessman who was also thinking about what sub to get. We both found the situation funny. Eventually, I chose the Chicken Carbonara and asked for a cup of water (since the price of a bottle of water was insanely high and would've put the price of my meal over $10). The businessman then also chose a Chicken Carbonara, because I did. It was funny. The sub was a regular size, which I assume is a footlong. I downed it in twenty minutes, then went to the bathroom, washed my hands, and made my way to the gate, where my carry-on would be checked as planeside baggage AGAIN (except I was actually expecting this, because it happened in June).

This flight, which was using a prop plane, was totally packed, because it was filled with UND students and faculty. I was actually seated next to an instructor in the music department, who recognized me as a musician because of my band jacket, and I recognized one of the students seated ahead of me from Honors. Unlike the last flight, where I was totally awake, I conked out as we were waiting for them to get the plane ready for take-off (de-icing, all of that stuff). I woke up while we were taking off, and I fell back asleep and woke up again when we were almost there. When we passed over the college, I could actually see my dorm, which was pretty awesome.

Because of excess fuel or something, we actually didn't land right away. This added another 15 minutes to our flight. After landing, I went to our ONE baggage carousel and got BOTH of my suitcases, while at the same time hoping that nothing was broken (turns out, something was - the BASTARDS broke off one of the zipper tags of my carry-on bag!). The girl I recognized from Honors, whose name slips my mind at the moment, got on the same taxi as me.

As we got on campus in the taxi, I noticed something horrible - there were walls of snow along the sidewalks and buildings! The snowmobiles cut paths for the sidewalks in what looked like three feet of snow. I asked the taxi driver, and apparently, they got 25 inches of snow alone in the same storm we had in Texas on Christmas Eve (and, for them, Christmas Day). Once I got to my dorm, my assertion that the $15 wouldn't be enough for the ride turned out to be correct - it was $17. Luckily, I still had change from getting that sub in Minneapolis, and was able to pay for it, sans tip (which I apologized for). Getting to the door with my two suitcases in tow was a pain because of all of the snow around me, preventing me from taking any shortcuts. I noticed that it was actually pretty nice outside (later, I found out that I missed the forty-below temperatures Grand Forks had during break), nothing like the absolutely bitter cold I was expecting.

After getting everything into my unlocked (WTF?) room, unpacking (during which my roommate, G.I. Jane, showed up, aunt in tow, with her stuff, before leaving to go out to eat), and showering, I promptly collapsed in my bed and took a power nap for three and a half hours. When I expressed my worries about getting up early tomorrow to G.I. Jane, she said that we didn't have class tomorrow - a fact that I remembered because they did that last semester. This was good, because I still needed time to recover.

After I got up, I made my way to the computer and got online, now having to use this program called SafeConnect instead of Cisco Clean Access Agent (which was buggy and I hated it with a passion). At the moment, I didn't know whether I found it worse or better.

The next day was just me vegging out and playing some more Zelda while G.I. Jane's boyfriend (as opposed to his normal "battle buddy and friend" status of last semester), Rivers, came over and watched me beat Arbiter's Grounds. Not much to really blog about.

The next day, I had actual classes. This I will elaborate upon in my next post, which should be in a few hours from the posting of this one (yeah, right, I wanted to post this one on Monday!).

Also, it would be nice if my posts didn't keep being bombarded with comments with Russian spam or Babelfish-translated sentences. Seriously. I have a hard enough time writing posts, let alone going through all of them and deleting bogus comments.


Edward said...

I'm happy that you made it back to school safely, Silver.

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