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Old 12-21-2001, 12:24 AM   #1
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Dec 13-Dec 31 SYD-LAX-EWR-ATL-IAH-SHV-IAH-EWR-LAX-MEL-SYD

Although this is, in theory, just a vacation, the timing makes it much more like Iím leaving for good. I recently lost my job here in Australia, and have been unable to find another, thus having to change my 4-year work visa into a 3-month tourist visa. The lease on my apartment also expired today, making me homeless. So, I leave Australia as a temporary resident and will return as a visitor.

Itís been a busy week, with the lease expiring, and me having to move out as well as pack for my trip. Making it slightly harder was that I wasnít sure where my cold weather clothes had gone to (you donít need sweaters during the worst of the winter in Sydney, and certainly not during the middle of summer). I got it all done, but I expect a call from the landlord saying that they are going to dock a good portion of my security deposit. Mark one up for caring more about my time than my money.

3:08pm AEDT Friday Dec 13 2001 Sydney airport

My first trip since 9/11 and things donít seem too much worse than they used to. A few more questions at check-in and the former random searches are now for everyone. The only things even mildly interesting are that the status monitors are still looking for their bootp servers, and it seems my shorts have metal somewhere that neither the security guard or I could find, but his magic wand could.

I managed to have enough time to pick up 6-packs of both VB and XXXX (no one drinks Fosters in Australia), as well as some kangaroo jerky and some chocolate covered peanuts marketed as ďroo-poo.Ē

7:21pm AEDT over Nadi (in Fiji) at 10058m

People were still up and moving during pushback. Can they do that in the US? I recall the airlines asking the FAA to be able to start taxiing while people are stowing their luggage, comparing it to standing on a subway.

Iím watching the in-flight display of our location, which is usually a whole lot of blue with a symbol of an airplane in the middle. The only exciting things about the display were when we crossed the International Date Line and the Equator. I also caught Zoolander and The Score before trying to sleep for several hours

Iím here in seat 71F Ė so far back that the plane body starts to narrow here. Fortunately, the only available seat happens to be next to me. After much thought, I decide to stay in the middle seat Iím in and forego being bumped as everyone goes by me.

We finally get to LAX (13 hours later), and Iím hoping that my friend Kerri will be there to pick me up, as I havenít been able to check my email for a couple of days. In one of the weird/cool things, I took off Friday afternoon, and landed Friday morning.

As we are de-planing, I notice that a guy a couple of rows in front of me is wearing a ďChuyísĒ t-shirt. I realize Iím wearing a ďHot Sauce Museum (6th St Austin)Ē t-shirt.

We get in line for customs, and I overhear the people behind me talking about their next gig and that itís with ďthe bosstones.Ē I figure this has to be The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and if these guys are playing with them, they must be at least somewhat known. After chatting with the sound guy for a bit, I ask who they are, and he says They Might Be Giants. Very cool. I was actually listening to their CD on the way to the airport. Iím sure they didnít believe it, but itís true.

So, yes, Kerri is there to pick me up (Thanks Kezza!), and we start the trip down to San Diego, where she lives. Driving along I realize that itís raining and cold. Isnít each of those rare as henís teeth in Southern California?

We tried to watch the sunset from a cliff top, but it was overcast, which Kerri assured me was extremely rare. Just my luck.

We went out for drinks that evening, and I pushed on through. At about 3am, I figured out that I had been up for about 39 hours straight, with only the 2 hour pseudo-nap on the plane. On the positive side, when I got up around 10am, at least I was close to being on the correct time.

Kerri drove me to LA (thanks again Kezza!), where I met up with my friend Bill. I went to high school with Bill, but hadnít seen him much since then, since he moved to LA after college, so it was good to see him again.

He had arranged for us to get tickets to The Royal Tannenbaums, which was, it seems, rather difficult to do, as it was the opening day.

We grabbed some dinner (best Mexican Iíve had in a year), and went out to a couple of parties. One of the neatest things (to me) was seeing Sarah Chalke, who played BeckyII on Roseanne. I was proud that I had figured out who she was by myself. I was surprised that, unlike you hear, she looked exactly like she did on TV. As a side note almost no one I met was originally from LA.

Got to LAX at 5:30 for 8am flight. Much thanks to Bill for getting up so early to take me to the airport at that hour (Thanks Bill!). I stood in line about 20 minutes waiting to check in, but the line was moving the whole time, so I canít complain too much. I must say that security was much more lax (no pun intended) at LAX than at Sydney. No one ever checked inside any of my bags and they barely looked at my ID.

The 5 hour trip to EWR was uneventful, except that I couldnít see the Grand Canyon from my side of the plane

The approach to EWR gave me a good view of the New York skyline Ė my first since 9/11. It was a bit eerie. For 22 years I had lived within sight of the WTC, and now it wasnít there.

Arrived home and crashed. Hopefully, Iíll have the energy to see all my friends before I go back.
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Old 12-21-2001, 12:24 AM   #2
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Dec 13-Dec 31 SYD-LAX-EWR-ATL-IAH-SHV-IAH-EWR-LAX-MEL-SYD

Although this is, in theory, just a vacation, the timing makes it much more like Iím leaving for good. I recently lost my job here in Australia, and have been unable to find another, thus having to change my 4-year work visa into a 3-month tourist visa. The lease on my apartment also expired today, making me homeless. So, I leave Australia as a temporary resident and will return as a visitor.

Itís been a busy week, with the lease expiring, and me having to move out as well as pack for my trip. Making it slightly harder was that I wasnít sure where my cold weather clothes had gone to (you donít need sweaters during the worst of the winter in Sydney, and certainly not during the middle of summer). I got it all done, but I expect a call from the landlord saying that they are going to dock a good portion of my security deposit. Mark one up for caring more about my time than my money.

3:08pm AEDT Friday Dec 13 2001 Sydney airport

My first trip since 9/11 and things donít seem too much worse than they used to. A few more questions at check-in and the former random searches are now for everyone. The only things even mildly interesting are that the status monitors are still looking for their bootp servers, and it seems my shorts have metal somewhere that neither the security guard or I could find, but his magic wand could.

I managed to have enough time to pick up 6-packs of both VB and XXXX (no one drinks Fosters in Australia), as well as some kangaroo jerky and some chocolate covered peanuts marketed as ďroo-poo.Ē

7:21pm AEDT over Nadi (in Fiji) at 10058m

People were still up and moving during pushback. Can they do that in the US? I recall the airlines asking the FAA to be able to start taxiing while people are stowing their luggage, comparing it to standing on a subway.

Iím watching the in-flight display of our location, which is usually a whole lot of blue with a symbol of an airplane in the middle. The only exciting things about the display were when we crossed the International Date Line and the Equator. I also caught Zoolander and The Score before trying to sleep for several hours

Iím here in seat 71F Ė so far back that the plane body starts to narrow here. Fortunately, the only available seat happens to be next to me. After much thought, I decide to stay in the middle seat Iím in and forego being bumped as everyone goes by me.

We finally get to LAX (13 hours later), and Iím hoping that my friend Kerri will be there to pick me up, as I havenít been able to check my email for a couple of days. In one of the weird/cool things, I took off Friday afternoon, and landed Friday morning.

As we are de-planing, I notice that a guy a couple of rows in front of me is wearing a ďChuyísĒ t-shirt. I realize Iím wearing a ďHot Sauce Museum (6th St Austin)Ē t-shirt.

We get in line for customs, and I overhear the people behind me talking about their next gig and that itís with ďthe bosstones.Ē I figure this has to be The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and if these guys are playing with them, they must be at least somewhat known. After chatting with the sound guy for a bit, I ask who they are, and he says They Might Be Giants. Very cool. I was actually listening to their CD on the way to the airport. Iím sure they didnít believe it, but itís true.

So, yes, Kerri is there to pick me up (Thanks Kezza!), and we start the trip down to San Diego, where she lives. Driving along I realize that itís raining and cold. Isnít each of those rare as henís teeth in Southern California?

We tried to watch the sunset from a cliff top, but it was overcast, which Kerri assured me was extremely rare. Just my luck.

We went out for drinks that evening, and I pushed on through. At about 3am, I figured out that I had been up for about 39 hours straight, with only the 2 hour pseudo-nap on the plane. On the positive side, when I got up around 10am, at least I was close to being on the correct time.

Kerri drove me to LA (thanks again Kezza!), where I met up with my friend Bill. I went to high school with Bill, but hadnít seen him much since then, since he moved to LA after college, so it was good to see him again.

He had arranged for us to get tickets to The Royal Tannenbaums, which was, it seems, rather difficult to do, as it was the opening day.

We grabbed some dinner (best Mexican Iíve had in a year), and went out to a couple of parties. One of the neatest things (to me) was seeing Sarah Chalke, who played BeckyII on Roseanne. I was proud that I had figured out who she was by myself. I was surprised that, unlike you hear, she looked exactly like she did on TV. As a side note almost no one I met was originally from LA.

Got to LAX at 5:30 for 8am flight. Much thanks to Bill for getting up so early to take me to the airport at that hour (Thanks Bill!). I stood in line about 20 minutes waiting to check in, but the line was moving the whole time, so I canít complain too much. I must say that security was much more lax (no pun intended) at LAX than at Sydney. No one ever checked inside any of my bags and they barely looked at my ID.

The 5 hour trip to EWR was uneventful, except that I couldnít see the Grand Canyon from my side of the plane

The approach to EWR gave me a good view of the New York skyline Ė my first since 9/11. It was a bit eerie. For 22 years I had lived within sight of the WTC, and now it wasnít there.

Arrived home and crashed. Hopefully, Iíll have the energy to see all my friends before I go back.
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Old 12-21-2001, 01:40 AM   #3
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I want some roo poo!
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Old 12-21-2001, 01:40 AM   #4
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I want some roo poo!
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Old 12-21-2001, 08:53 AM   #5
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roo jerky is actually really good, I'd have to say...

Well, you met TMBG on the plane you bastard. Of all the luck :P Those guys are so weird in their music, it would seem strange to me to meet them in person :)
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Old 12-21-2001, 08:53 AM   #6
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roo jerky is actually really good, I'd have to say...

Well, you met TMBG on the plane you bastard. Of all the luck :P Those guys are so weird in their music, it would seem strange to me to meet them in person :)
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Old 12-22-2001, 09:29 PM   #7
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Actually, since I met them at the end of the flight, I couldn't figure out what to say. 13 hours in coach class can to that to your mind.
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Old 12-22-2001, 09:29 PM   #8
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Actually, since I met them at the end of the flight, I couldn't figure out what to say. 13 hours in coach class can to that to your mind.
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