Saturday, December 18, 2004

Sitting in the airport, wondering what I'm doing

Here I am, in Port Columbus International Airport, waiting to board my flight to Minneapolis, wondering what exactly I am doing with my life. In a break with tradition I had the foresight to write down the name, address and telephone number of the hotel I'll be staying at. Normally, I forget to do these simple things and just try and blag it when I arrive. (Probably the highlight of my lack of preparation came a couple of years ago when I was attending a conference in Pasadena. I realised, as I was on my second long flight of the day (from Newark to L.A.), that I had no idea of the name or address of the hotel I was staying in. I was meant to be met by someone at the airport but I neither had her number nor she mine. Fortunately she was standing there waiting for me as I came down the escalator into the baggage claim area, there are few people who I've been so pleased to see.)

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do in Minneapolis until Monday morning (it was several hundred dollars cheaper to fly out today than tomorrow). If I had a brain I would have tried to contact some of the people I know in Minnesota and see if they are still around, and haven't gone home for Christmas yet. But apparently I don't have a brain, because I didn't do that.

On the subject of a lack of brain. Which mental midget devised the US banking system, or at least which mental midget devised the legislature that keeps the US system several decades behind the UK or European system (particularly the Swiss). On Wednesday I tried to send some money to the UK to pay off this months student loans (lord knows what happened to my £100 Carey-Foster prize) and after I stopped weeping at the current exchange rate, my hatred of the US wire transfer system increased. I think I mentioned before how stupid the system is, in which I print out my UK bank details at work, walk to the bank on high street, watch them type my details into their computer, before printing out my details, phoning up the wire transfer people and telling them my details, where I can only imagine my details are entered into another computer. On Wednesday this smooth oiled machine went awry, because the forgot to do the call the wire transfer people part of the process. Fortunately, I noticed that the money hadn't been taken out of my account on Friday and went and checked up on them. Otherwise I'd be up in Minnesota and the UK student loans company, or whoever currently owns my debt, would get very annoyed when I couldn't give them this months dues.

Here I am sitting in the airport with approximately $25,000 worth of computers in my little rucksack. Listening to Man. Utd. repeatedly fuck up against Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace! If United don't manage to beat Palace then things have definitely gone to the dogs. It's 3-2 to United now, will they remember how to defend?

In better news it's good to see England doing so well against South Africa in the cricket. Particularly as everyone was a doom and gloom merchant about England's chances. (4-2 now, hat-trick for Scholes and 3 goals in the first five minutes of the second half).

Oh well, I should probably stop rambling now. (Maybe Scholes's second goal was actually an own goal... we'll have to wait and see).

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