The Surrealism of Modern Life

You gotta love surrealism, especially when it's live! In person! Happening now! As in my past few days:

As you may know, we midwesterners just experienced a giganto-super-wallopy snow storm. The snow and wind started Tuesday afternoon and stayed with us until Wednesday afternoon (at least here in Iowa). Fourteen inches of snow, forty mile-per-hour winds, etc.

Which would have been okay, except that I was supposed to fly to Los Angeles on Thursday morning for a speaking engagement. When the airport shut down Wednesday morning, I got, um, a little worried? Would I make? Should I even try? And what to do if I can't make it? (*1)

To cut to the chase (because someone else's travel woes are about as interesting as someone else's home movies), I got up Thursday morning at 5 am and decided to give it a try. The temperature was  five degrees below zero, the streets had barely been plowed, the interstate was, as the weather people say, 100% snow and ice covered.

Took me 90 minutes to make a trek that usually take about 45 minutes (which, frankly, wasn't bad, given the circumstances). Made it to the airport without mishap. (Thank god. Because sliding off the road and into a ditch in sub-zero weather is not my idea of a good time.)

Boarded one airplane. Landed. Boarded a second plane.

Voila! Hours later I was gazing through the plane's window at --- palm trees, sun, warmth. And about an hour or so after that, I was in the hotel's rooftop, outdoor pool, swimming laps before my speaking gig. That, my friends, is the surrealism of modern life. (*2)


*1: Being the conscientious soul that I am, I rounded up a substitute in case I couldn't make it: My dear pal and all-round-fabulous-human-being Anat Baron, the producer and director of "Beer Wars," agreed to take my place if need be, short notice and all. How great is that?

*2: Said surrealism is, to be honest, a tad exhausting. By the time I got back to Iowa last night, I was wiped out, especially thanks to a serious interstate traffic snarl of indeterminate nature that turned my forty minute trip back from the airport into an hour and 45-minute nightmare. And then I had to get up this morning and drive back to Des Moines for a previously planned engagement.