Here's the short version, which has no pep or zazz. Massive ice storm, Dallas was shut down, and I was trapped in the airport. Eventually got out to LA, had no luggage, had only the things on my back, and had a red carpet event to attend. Had a great time at said red carpet event, was with the best friend ever who didn't mind our vacation turning into a shopping for toiletries and underwear trip, came home and my eventually found luggage fell apart in my driveway and some of my brand new skin care products exploded. But I honestly enjoyed myself, when I wasn't curled into a ball, contemplating rolling into traffic. I really love flaming_muse a lot, and I'm incredibly grateful for the RIDICULOUSLY FABULOUS tickets for Trevor Live that she was able to secure. Like, I was sitting IN FRONT OF celebrities, my seats were so much better than most. <3
Big ol' storm dropped four inches of solid ice on DFW. Roads were closed. Businesses closed. I still had a ticket, though, and we have four wheel drive. And then, as I was beginning to pack, I got the notification that my flight was canceled. To be fair, 1000 flights were canceled. I threw everything I could in my luggage (I had to check a bag because of liquids) and we "raced" to the airport on the one highway that wasn't shut down.
We managed to get me on another flight, my husband left me there to my fate, and then began the trauma. That flight was canceled, so I had to jury rig another flight by connecting to a small city out of the way. Just as they're about to announce boarding, I see that the ticket counter is empty and it reads "CANCELED." no announcement, just a big red flashing sign. I find a ticket counter for another flight (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and manage to weasel my way on another flight without connections. (They forgot to change my luggage tags, I'll soon find out.)
FUN THINGS: there were some girls from No. Carolina who had been on a study abroad program in Delhi, India for two months who were trapped there, and had been for 36 hours at that point. They made it into a huge slumber party, filling up on junk food and soda, things they hadn't been able to get in India. Cute. The airport at this point is resembling a refugee camp with hundreds (I mean hundreds) of cots everywhere. Most people I'm encountering are making the best of things, which is how I feel we should always deal with life. What, screaming is going to make the ice melt and the planes go? Come on.
By flight change #3, I began live tweeting the madness around me.
- There are hundreds of cots all over the place. Only 2 runways: one for incoming and one for not being my damn flight COME ON #cry
- Aaaaand third flight canceled. I guess my new home is Terminal C.
- More and more flights getting canceled- its getting ugly. This may be the time when I have to prove my survival skills. #DFWice
- 3000+ people stuck in the airport. Dummies are making a run on the TGIF. Hudson News is where I'll make my stand if it comes to it
- those personal fans could be used to generate power!
- I'm keeping my eyes peeled for drug sniffing dogs. If I'm stuck here, I want to enjoy it #DFWice #methwouldimprovethings #ithink
- Several succulent kids running around. Marinate them in the novelty pepper BBQ sauce in the duty free shop #ifitcomestothis #DFWice
- Planning on hollowing out a Pepsi machine, filling it with travel pillows and Red Cross blankets. #shelterneedsmet #DFWice
- Keeping my eyes peeled for an unchecked prosthetic. Always secure a weapon in the apocalypse. #DFWice
- People are starting to form alliances. I've got my eyes peeled on some military dudes to get me through Phase 1 #icemageddon #DFW
- airport staff's onto us. Gate changes every 15 min to keep us in our toes. Now we're all herded at one end of terminal C #icemageddon
- Vegas gate, LA gate, Paris gate and San Juan gate. Paris will fall first, Vegas'll go next I bet. I'll be ready. #icemageddon #DFW
- There's a run on travel pillows. The Starbucks has gone dark. Tell my family I loved them. #icemageddon #DFW
- A few men have come to sit near me. I believe they can sent my survivor musk and are seeking protection #icemageddon #DFW #suckers
- Some guy just successfully argued his way onto a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico. His home? Ontario. #sendmojitos #icemageddon
- (That really happened.)
- I'm hearing rumors that the Dallas Cowboys swag shop has a hidden panic room. #icemageddon #ijustwantaCoke #idontlikePepsi #dfw
- Some dude in a fedora tried to sit near me. I literally hissed at him. #youwillbethefirsttogo #icemageddon
- An entire basketball team just walked out into the ice storm thinking they could walk home. They're totally Wight Walkers now #icemageddon
- Fight broke out over Glen Beck book. Not to read, but because it makes excellent TP (too bad it's already full of shit HEY-O!) #icemageddon
- Just saw an old lady hold knitting needles to some dude's neck to get his Fun-Sized Teddy Grahams #icemageddon #gettingugly
- Vegas gate has fallen. San Juan made it out. Whichever remaining gate repurposes the Vegas people into slaves will win this #icemageddon
- OHO, American Airlines! You've added a flight to Orlando; they're descending upon us. If I don't make it out, Mozambique my corpse
- The ticket guy is on our side. He changed Orlando's gate to throw them in pandemonium. Now is our chance! #icemageddon #dfw #LAGate
- Pretty sure I can use Aunt Annie's pretzels to filter urine into portable water. #ifitcomestothis #icemageddon #DFW
- I've created a shelter out of paper sacks and Red Cross blankets #icemageddon
- Biting down my baby carrots into sharp points. Just in case. #shiv #icemageddon #gateParislooksshifty
- GD Orlando! They have an actual working plane and are boarding. It's down to LAGate and ParisGate. Vegas has fallen. #icemageddon
- Being moved to opposite end of terminal. Have to size up new groups, find the weak link #icemageddon #ParisGatewonbydefault
- New threat: Omaha. They have a show choir. I think one of them has already killed someone & is eating the corpse #icemageddon
- Oh, no, that's some raspberry yogurt and a sleeping choir director. #icemageddon #OmahaGate
- I have proven worthy and have now boarded the plane. God speed, Terminal Warriors. #icemageddon
- On the plane. For an hour. Waiting to be de-iced. Oh, Universe, I knew better than to trust you. #icemageddon #jfc
- This plane is not appreciating my rendition of Car Wash as we get de iced. #icemageddon JFC just let us crash and burn.
- Have just checked into my hotel in LA. No luggage. If you hear of a streaker at #TrevorLive it's probably me.
Whatever, I think I'm funny.
FUN THING #2: sat with a director/producer of some action movies that I truly love and had a great three hour conversation. He was such a sweetheart, stayed with me to get my luggage, and when SURPRISE! I had no luggage, he accompanied me to the help desk to file a report. Sweet, sweet guy.
Long story less long, no luggage. Clusterfuck of phone calls and ridiculous hold times. They actually had a recording saying, "Sorry, we can't take calls" and it would just hang up on you. I mean, what could they do? At this point there were about 2000 flights that had been canceled and they had luggage problems everywhere.
But. I had a big event to go to and literally only had chapstick and the (sweaty, wrinkled) clothes on my back. All of my outfit planning, makeup, etc., all for nothing. flaming_muse and I went shopping at a very strange mall east of where we were staying, managed to find the same dress I had originally intended on wearing, and her super organization skills made it so I had underwear, a bra, a HAIRBRUSH, jeez, etc. so I could not look like I rolled in from under a bridge.
Eventually got dressed and ready for something I had planned on taking my time for in 30 minutes, because I finally got off hold for my luggage! To be told by a recorded voice that they were putting me back on hold. WOW OH MY GOD WHAT IS MY LIFE. I had a shitty razor from the front desk, sliced open my ankle, had to get Muse out of the waiting car to run up to me with band aids so I could WALK without looking like the last twenty minutes of Carrie (LOL, she runs into my hotel room to find me sitting in my dress on the commode with one shoe on, holding a huge towel to my leg and trying not to cry), and we get there. To find we might not have seats.
JESUS LORD AND SAVIOR WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU, ASIDE FROM NOT BELIEVING IN YOU?! Okay, I guess that's enough.
Problem solved, the beautiful men at our table totally stood up for our honor and seats, and we were in. WHEW. And let me say this. While I think (personally) it's tacky to bother celebrities when they're having their evening (signing events at a Convention is something else. When they're having dinner with their family? LEAVE THEM THE FUCK ALONE, FANGIRLS. THEY OWE YOU NOTHING.) and I also think it's tacky to report on private conversations, I will say this:
The cast of Glee (who was directly behind me) is very pretty in person. :) I think Darren Criss bumped into my chair twice (saying "Oh, I'm sorry!" each time), Amber Riley bumped into me once as well, and several other members of the cast and I made accidental eye contact (I really don't want to bother people when they're having their own private time) and smiled at one another. They're sweet and were clearly enjoying being with each other, Darren's parents, significant others, etc. GOOD FOR THEM.
AS FOR TREVOR LIVE, LET ME SAY THIS: the very, very weird wank I'm seeing about cast members, people "missing," the show being only about LGBTQ allies... that's all 100% unfounded. Totally. That wank is being started by a) people who weren't there or b) people who were in the nosebleed section and couldn't see/hear anything. It's mind boggling.
Amber Riley sang "Ain't No Way" and brought me to tears (and many people to their feet a la "Preach on, Preacher!"). Her live performance was actually better than the one I just linked to, quite honestly. AND I WOULD STILL REALLY LOVE HER TO SING SOME GLADYS KNIGHT, SHOW. Shane Bitney Crone (of Bridegroom- documentary) and his mother brought me to tears to the point where I almost had to excuse myself. It was a fantastic night, the audience was filled with LGBTQ people who all happened to be the most beautiful people I've ever been around (wow, so much attractiveness in such a small space) and it was just amazing. AMAZING.
FUN THING #3: not really. I got to feel very decadent by sleeping in the buff. Because I was hand-washing my one white shirt and bra/undies in the sink and hanging them up in the shower to dry over night. I KNOW HOW TO SURVIVE, PEOPLE.
Muse and I were also able to go back to Ink, Michael Voltaggio's restaurant and had another fantastic dinner. Lamb Belly. If you can get it, GET IT. Succulent, delicate, delicious. And wow, do they have some of the best wait staff that I've ever encountered. Knowledgeable, aware of needs without being in the way, ever.
(We had: charred avocado - amazing. Cuttlefish - interesting, glad I tried, didn't love the hazelnuts in the end. Potato charcoal - freaking delicious. Lamb belly - best thing I've had there, period. Beef short rib - crazy delicious, tender, au jus/pho broth I wanted to swim in.)
One thing that's great about the place we stayed (Santa Monica) is that you can walk down the street and find scores of great eateries. HOORAY.
Great friends make for great trips, even when things don't turn out as planned. Oh, I eventually got my luggage on Tuesday. LOL.
Awesome: when I got out of the car at my house late yesterday, the whole top half of my suitcase fell off. AT LEAST IT HAPPENED WHEN I WAS HOME. (And hey, I ended up with new clothes and makeup, so...) I would like to state that I know I am very fortunate to be in a position in life where I CAN replace things from lost luggage. If I couldn't... I would have just flat out given up, walked into the ocean and taken a deep breath. Well, that would be the case if I also hadn't had my very own Miss Muse and her strong hand to hold onto. :)
And now I'm home, there's laundry and cleaning piled up, and I have story ideas to write. NOT TOO SHABBY. HEY GUYS HEY.