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September 27th, 2007

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10:21 pm - from the air
The Denver Airport with its Fat Tire on tap and sports bar with menu prices in scoreboard format (the cheeseburger was 8 to 95, apparently) captivated me just long enough to make my connecting flight, but not before stopping at the generic Ye Olde Candye Shoppe to buy a bit of fudge. Don't tell anyone but I have a little weakness for airport fudge. Penuche. I can't explain it, so don't ask me to. All I know is that some flights seem to go much better with a quarter pound of overpriced penuche which probably wasn't made anywhere near the premises. I let a little bite melt in my mouth until my teeth start yelling at me, at which point I put the fudge back in the bag and feel extremely guilty about having done so in the first place. But still, it's airport fudge; its mystical properties hold me in its sway. Like I said. Don't ask.

The landing and take-off from Denver was extremely bumpy. We hit every pothole, it seems. I sat near the front of the plane flying out of Denver, and felt all kinds of neat bumps and fishtails. I've had terrifying moments on planes before (ever had a plane drop 20 feet suddenly? Yeah, that's fun) but this was not one of them; primarily because I knew Denver's notorious for crummy take-offs and landings and also because I had faith in the pilots and stabilizers and if not, well, I just hope I'd find the hidden bunker with the Apple //e and the flipping countdown clock before anyone else.

certainly there's dharma initiative crap in the colorado mountains. surely you know this.

The way the land looks pre- and post-Denver is drastically different. I love window seats because I love watching the ground below. Today's flight was amazingly clear and beautiful from the Mississippi on west, so it was a very wonderful treat and you could even see the curvature of the Earth if you looked carefully enough. On our Denver approach I watched the patchwork quilt underneath; squares of mostly flat land separated by roads, bisected and quartered in some parts, each sculpted differently due to the crops they'd yield or the resources they'd support. Some small bits were cleared off and you could just make out the farmhouses and storehouses. Some of the plots had neat circular patterns in them that were most definitely not caused by aliens; some were tilled in a back-and-forth row and others looked like a ziggurat when viewed from above. All was in varying shades of brown and gray-brown. Every now and then two of the roads would converge and a little town would spring up. The landscape was also often punctuated by a winding swath of delta greenery and the faintest hint of a running water source.

After Denver, however, it was time for the Rockies, and the relief map below began green, with little arteries of roads running zig-zag up and around and large highways preferring to follow the natural valley contours. The bumps and ridges looked pinched here and furrowed there, the treelines beginning to show but the little brown arteries still zig-zagging along. Presently we passed Breckenridge and its reservoir, and then I believe I caught glimpse of Vail before we headed further out past the limits of my overhead map geographic knowledge. Sometimes I fly a flight path that follows a major highway and with a little bit of thinking I can figure out which one it is and which cities are approaching; I don't know much about I-70 west of Denver other than you take a left at Glenwood Springs to get to Aspen and good luck identifying Glenwood Springs from several thousand feet up. However, if your airline lets you listen to the radio transmissions, you can pick up which airports you're approaching and it can be fun, especially at night, to just listen to the messages from the aether with identifying callsigns and flight patterns.

My approach into Southern Freewaycopia first dispensed with the mountains; at one point I saw three different mountain ranges in the distance, each one further back and higher up than the other, just like a multi-plane shot. It was beautiful. That beauty was short-lived as we then descended and made our way over a SimCity game, with little squares of civic planning dedicated to Industrial, Commercial, or Residential areas, with sporadic parks and lumber yards and baseball fields and large power lines cutting their way through certain squares. The ground beneath them was not conveniently color-coded for easy recognition, but you could definitely tell which of the residential areas were better than others by the amount of turquoise squares and ovals in their developments. Unfortunately arcologies hadn't been developed yet, nor were there any giant spider robots attacking the place, but from what I saw of certain parts after I landed, a giant spider robot could probably help some if it trod on the right parts and ensured rebuilding.

Once on the ground I was a passenger in the vehicle maneuvering through the Freewaycopia maze and didn't mind that in the least; I was more than happy to not drive and instead view the art deco of some of the road architecture and tunnel portals all beautiful and rococo ("Hey! That's the tunnel to Toontown!") and the twisty overunderHOVlane spaghetti tangles that I did not have to navigate. I was equipped with proper directions to relay to the driver, however, and those directions paid off well for now I am here at Noah and Amanda's, having made fast friends with Fenway and Julian the cats and Lois the dog and enjoying the Office's season premiere.

Tomorrow I shall not vacate, because while the verb does share the same root as vacation, English has decided to stipulate that in this case, I have to have the noun instead of getting to do the verb. So I will, thank you kindly. I shall have the noun and cares shall I have none.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 28th, 2007 08:13 am (UTC)
How close does the plane have to be to the RKO tower for you to see it?
[User Picture]
Date:September 28th, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC)
You have to get pretty close to see it, but when you approach, you gotta watch out for angry blonde Adonises in gold lame shorts carrying transvestites of steel.
[User Picture]
Date:September 28th, 2007 09:06 am (UTC)
Email me if you've got time to meet up while you're in the southland.
[User Picture]
Date:September 28th, 2007 11:24 am (UTC)
I'm going to be in the Magic Kingdom today, it turns out. Perhaps I'll see you.
[User Picture]
Date:September 28th, 2007 12:55 pm (UTC)
I hope you're feeling better physically. This ought to help, in any event.
[User Picture]
Date:September 28th, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC)
Blue skies! Barfy burgers! Girls!

Frankly the sight of my office building off in the distance and then receding further into the distance as the SL-1 plunged into the Collapsing Artery Project was nearly all my spirits needed, but I admit the change of climate/scenery/colors of the curbs has definitely helped as well.

I admit I was a bit worried about what the plane and the depressurized cabin may do to certain gases, but y'know what? They make Gas-X in convenient melty melty strip form now. Science marches on (ta-ra ta-tum, ta-ra ta-tum!)
[User Picture]
Date:September 28th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
I love listening to the radio transmissions on late-night flights, especially if I've got a whole row to myself and I can stretch out across it under a blanket and just listen to the pilots chatter.

Then I usually try to figure out some way that the pilot and co-pilot could get in trouble without actually dying, but enough such that the flight crew has to ask the passengers if anyone knows how to fly a plane, and I say yes, and I save everyone's lives with an emergency landing, and the airline company is so impressed with me they decide to fund the remainder of me getting my pilot's license. Mmm. Dreams.
[User Picture]
Date:September 29th, 2007 07:47 am (UTC)

There's no reason to be alarmed. By the way, is there anybody onboard who knows how to fly a plane?

A handy tip, then: Never have the fish.
[User Picture]
Date:September 29th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC)
Are you changing in Denver on your way back? How much time do you have? I'd drive out to see you if you have a few minutes.

You probably saw my house on landing. We're right in the flight path. Not that you'd remember it. But if you saw six radar domes on your way in, my house is about 5 miles south of them. :)

Like this:

Anyway. Lemme know if you'll have time on your way back. I'd love to see you.

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