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Bullet Sunday 75

Posted on Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Dave!Where did my vacation go? A week is much too short.

I need another vacation.

• Radio. Assuming I make it back home over the mountain passes in one piece, I will be a guest host on Hilly's Snackie Radio tonight at 3:00pm (Pacific), 6:00pm (Eastern). I guess that would be midnight Oslo time, which is where my head is still at, so hopefully I won't fall asleep on the air...

Snackie Radio

• Poverty. I took a quick look at my credit card statement online. As hideously expensive as I thought the trip was, it actually ended up being much worse. Bring on the peanut butter sandwiches for a month! Eh, but it was a treat for my birthday and I had fun, so what can you do?

• Flight. Have I mentioned how much sweet it is to have a media entertainment center for those long-ass flights? Well it is. The time just flies (heh heh) by when you've got something to do. I watched Elizabeth: The Golden Age (excellent, with an amazing performance by Cate Blanchett), Michael Clayton (okay, but a little Erin Brockovich to me), Eastern Promises (good, though a little inappropriate to be watching in mixed company with the nudity and violence), Enter The Dragon (awesome! haven't seen it in a decade), Bee Movie (suck-ass BORING, I fast-forwarded through it), and and episode of The Office (always good).

• Customs. When you come back from an international trip, you have to claim your luggage for possible inspection whether you are continuing on a connecting flight or not. This doesn't really bother me, but the third degree you get from the customs officers while you wait for your luggage does. I was interviewed twice. The second time was no big deal, but the first time was ridiculous. Not only did he want to know stuff that was none of his fucking business (what does my work matter when I just told you I was traveling on vacation?), but I didn't get the impression he was even listening to my answers. Some questions were duplicates, and others were asked as I was still speaking. I fail to see the point. Do they expect that random questioning is going to cause somebody to slip up and admit they're hauling contraband?

How long were you out of the country? Six days.
Why were you in Norway? On vacation to visit a friend.
Why did you go Sweden then? To visit another fr--
What do you do for work? I'm a graphic desi--
How long were you out of the country? Since Sunday... isn't that six da--
Are you bringing back any food items? Just some candies.
And why were you in Norway? Vaca--
Bringing back any agricultural products? Just some marijuana I picked up in Amsterdam.

• Parking. Usually, I just park at the airport because it's really convenient to have your car waiting for you when you get back. But I found a coupon for "MasterPark" so I gave it a try. It's cheaper than the airport, they valet park your car, their shuttles run constantly, and if you call ahead they'll have your car waiting for you when the shuttle arrives. Sweet! Except I went over my one week coupon rate by 5 hours and had to pay an entire extra day for the overage. That kind of sucks, but I don't know that I can give up this kind of pampering now that I've experienced it.

Well, it's 8:00am... I suppose I should get out of bed and try to get my life back to normal. It's always rough trying to adjust to reality after vacation... even if it was only a week.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2008, Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink


  1. karla says:

    Whenever they question me about why I was traveling, I tell them it was to drink beer. That usually gets either a smirk out of them or they just sort of shut up.

    I love doing that.

    Any chance that Hilly’s radio show will be a podcast I can download? don’t think I can stay up til midnight. School night.

    Now for vanilla oreos and cherry vodka.

  2. Hilly Sue says:

    I’m glad you had such a fun time and aren’t stressing about the money thing too much…yet ;).

    I need to look into a parking service like that here….every time I park at LAX, I get a ticket for not having a front license plate. Um, have they seen my car? There are no holes for that and I’m not dissecting the damned thing to make them!

  3. I hate going through customs and those stupid-ass questions! I always just want to say, “I’m an American! Here is my passport! Let me go! You have to let me back in!”

    And the grilling that you get driving BACK from Canada surprised me. Like at least 15 minutes of questioning and then a car search. Do I look like I’m smuggling in lumber or beavers or something? Geesh. Surprisingly, driving back over the border from Mexico just takes a flick of your photo ID and they wave you on. Weird.

  4. Avitable says:

    You liked the second Elizabeth? I’ve heard negative things, so I was hesitating to watch it. I really enjoyed the first one, though.

  5. Tori says:

    jet lag is one of the things in life I’ve learned to just accept… as much as it sucks, the trade off is amazingly worth it!

  6. Suzy says:

    Did you mean Michael Clayton? I called it Erin Brockovich without the boobs. Total snore. Haven’t seen the others. Don’t intend to.

  7. Göran says:

    Glad you got home alright.
    Hope the Hilly show will be online for a little longer. I´m falling asleep at the desk 🙁

  8. Dave2 says:

    Karla… The show is archived after it’s been aired, so you can just go here to listen.

    Hilly Sue… There’s always superglue! Or I suppose you could just duct-tape the license plate on the front.

    KG… I got the third degree coming back from Mexico last time. I guess “having lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe” wasn’t a plausible reason for visiting Tijuana?

    Avitable… Oh yeah, it follows the original “Elizabeth” film and has Geoffrey Rush in it again. I wouldn’t say that I like it as well as the first one, but it’s definitely worth a look to see what happens next.

    Tori… I don’t really get jet-lag because I’m such an insomniac anyway. Four hours sleep is four hours sleep no matter when I get it. But the time shift DOES affect my mind… mentally it’s hard to accept that just yesterday I was half-a-world away!

    Suzy… Argh! Yes! Thanks for that… I fixed it (Michael Collins was a pretty good film with Liam Neeson in it). At least with Erin Brockovich there was some investigating taking place… Michael Clayton just seemed “paint-by-numbers” to me.

    Göran… Yep, I think the archives are up there permanently… they don’t ever go away.

  9. Winter says:

    Supposedly all the borders are grilling people now. CNN had a thing where they showed people bitching on both sides of the Canadian border because no one told them the procedure had changed to the whole grilling thing. Me, I don’t worry about customs. I don’t travel, but I do get mysterious packages from a 23 year old Scottish lad with a penchant for sex toys and shower gel. BTW, peanut butter is good for you!

  10. Bec says:

    Oh holy hell. I am absolutely no good at converting times! BST starting has completely screwed up my head. Listening now… Damn.

  11. I don’t think your toon has ever looked better. Wait, I didn’t just say that.

    I’m looking forward to hearing the show; that sounds like one fun gig!

    Michael Clayton: I really dug the movie after watching it, but I realize now that it’s little more than every other film dealing with similar subjects. It actually reminded me of Travolta’s A CIVIL ACTION. Swinton made the movie with that complex performance; the ending left me wanting.

  12. Karl says:

    Dammit! Are you telling me they confiscated the weed?!

  13. Tracy says:

    Glad you made it home!

  14. Iron Fist says:

    I recommend a bunch of kick-ass books to you, and you WATCH MOVIES on the flight? I see how you are, Dave.

    /cue mock outrage

  15. whall says:

    I frequently need a vacation after a vacation. And I haven’t parked at the airport in years – AustinFastPark (I think is the name) is a great executive parking facility and they offer a frequent parkers club which is worthwhile.

    And maybe Eric Brockavich was a different movie than I thought – cuz Michael Clayton seemed nothing like it. Directing, twists, heck, the acting… They seem as different as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Matrix.

  16. Kyra Sutra says:

    Wait… where the hell are you??? I thought you were vacationing in Seattle… do you live there? If so…. can we hang out?

  17. Dustin says:

    Those customs agents are complete in their ownership of being failures. So one of them interview KJ and I together, and then while I’m snagging our bags off the rusty conveyor belt of death, KJ gets hassled three more times. When I finally turn around I see her surrounded by three of those loafs. Customs my ass, should call it how to give pimple faced losers a badge and let them use their job to hit on married women. Ya, they scattered when I came rolling over. They must have seen the “Samsonite” logo on my luggage and realized that with its life time warranty I wouldn’t think twice about denting them against their thick skulls.

    P.S. Welcome back!

  18. Lisa says:

    I feel as if I have vacationed vicariously through you without the expense or having left my couch. So will the peanut butter be chunky or smooth?

    I totally love the gates of the Pervy Museum but those statues? Wowza. Amazing art form…but conceptually mind blowing.

  19. SFChick74 says:

    There was an episode of Saturday Night Live with Mary Tyler Moore as a guest star and she played a customs agent who sweetly got the truth out of all the travelers breaking the law. Maybe they should try that technique instead.

  20. Naomi says:

    You just reminded me of another thing I miss about my now previous job… The hotel across the street from the airport was one of my properties, so I always just parked there when I had to fly out somewhere. Now what am I gonna do on vacations!? Guess I’ll start having to take cruises. (My new gig puts me at the cruise terminals, YEAH!)

  21. Sue says:

    Oh man, customs was funny in LAX when I got back from Australia. The entire return home was strange! We weren’t allowed to ‘congregate’ on the plane in line for the toilets, which I understand, but it was strange anyway, because there were a lot of passengers and only a few toilets. haha. I’m rambling. I do remember the interviews and OMG the very very very dirty look when I got lost between the first interview/passport stamp and the declarations queue.

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