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Marilee J. Layman

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April 20th, 2007

02:38 pm: Going Home from Minicon 42
I took a later plane from Mpls than usual to spare me the early rising, which worked well, even though we got stuck in rush hour traffic in NoVA.

I got up, had meds & BP, packed those and got dressed. Skimmed the room for anything left, then started out with both my bags -- they're light on the wheels and I can pull one with each hand. When I got near the foyer, one of the hotel staff insisted on taking them. I was early for the shuttle, so he told me to sit and wait a bit. I got on the shuttle without even nearly falling and we waited a bit because the other guy on the shuttle was waiting for someone to come to transfer some paper to. We still got going in plenty of time. I asked the shuttle driver to drop me off at the main Northwest incoming area rather than the normal shuttle stop because there's no carts at the normal stop. He did and I got the big suitcase checked and then headed for the TSA which is right there. I was able to get my shoes off by holding on to the end of the platform with the bins with one hand and taking them off with the other -- a very stable day. I remembered to tell the x-ray guy that I had meds in the carry-on and he stopped it under the machine and then let it go. I gathered all my stuff and moved just a few feet to the blue chairs with the wheelchair logo and by the time I had stuff back in my pockets and my shoes on my feet, the right cart had come. She took me to a transfer point where I got on another cart that delivered me to the gate. I read another Smithsonian while I waited.

The gate agent asked for people who needed extra time getting in, and I went. The plane was full again, although not nearly as noisy, and I was able to sit more comfortably. I put my coat up against the window and slept during takeoff and for all but the last hour. I started another Smithsonian. I hadn't asked for a wheelchair at the other end because I thought I might be able to walk it (Dulles has elevators to the baggage claim right next to the escalators), but after going up the ramp, it was clear I couldn't and I had the gate agent call for a wheelchair.

I don't think I've ever been ignored in a wheelchair more often than this traipse through the airport. When we got to doors that needed someone to hold them open, people just streamed through, ignoring us. Finally the pusher asked a woman to hold it and she did. We got my baggage and proceeded to the taxi line. When I got to the head of the line, people behind came up as if the pusher and I weren't there. The dispatcher told them to get back in line. I got the next cab and had an easy ride home. I got laundry done that night, but it took much longer to get caught up online and with the WashPost.

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02:50 pm: Mechanicals and Dream
When I got home from Minicon, the heat pump was dead. I had it replaced on Tuesday. The guys were very nice, but it's a big chunk of money. I headed off to the ATM after they left, and the driver's window went up and down irregularly and with no predictability. I took the van in to the shop that night and they called Wednesday to tell me I needed an entire new window sprocket and wiring set, bringing the week's repair expenses up to about $7K. They didn't get the part until Thursday morning and came to pick me up yesterday afternoon. I went to get my property tax exemption form notarized, but the only accessible entrance to City Hall had a big machine in front of it replacing the second-story-ish windows of the entrance atrium. I went on and did labs, bought cat stuff from PetSmart, had dinner at Chili's (southwestern eggrolls and a side salad), got gas, and came home and brought most of the PetSmart stuff in. I went back today and got the signature notarized and dropped the envelope off at the office of the Commissioner of the Revenue.

I dreamed that I was a teenager and there was a program for really good teens that we got a special cellphone and had to input the time every hour to check the cesium clock. Being a sensible teen, I knew the clock didn't need checking and the inputting the time was to make sure where the "special" teens were, so I turned down the program. They continued to press me to join, which made me wonder why they thought I needed to be tracked. On waking, I think this was from one of the Glorifying Terrorism stories and from one of TNH's comments on Making Light.

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