Monday, February 25, 2008

3 rotations and one gorgeous evening aloft

I'm a man! I have nothing more to prove. That fact may not be proven to the bulk of you, but that's not my problem.

That said, I want to talk about the last two acts of significance in the play that was my impromptu trip to the T.R.A.F.F.I.C conference in Las Vegas at The Venetian. I'll leave go chatting about The Venetian or Sin City in general. Many of us have been there. If not, there are pretty accurate descriptions all over the net. I will say one thing: it's not the same place I saw when last I was there in the early '90's. It has a theme park feel to it, replete with fake rocks, water shows, and 5 o'clock shadow having dwarves with mics looking like they drank too much the pevious night.

And of course, it's lost none of it's lunacy! When the call girls have illegals thrusting their cards into your hands as you walk by, you know you've arrived at someplace righteousness never intended.

But there was one good thing. The Streetmosphere shows in the Venetians Venice themed shopping plaza. It was awesome! And all the more too when I actually got a chance to sit down and enjoy the whole thing before catching the limo to the airport. During the days previous when I saw small bits as I walked past on my way to either the hotel room or conference rooms I hadn't seen the woman who would was a soloist. Thursday afternoon however, I noticed her the moment she walked up. She gave me the most beautiful smile and a slight nod as she stopped to let my wretched camera try it's best to do her justice.

Of course, the troop in it's entirety was composed of beautiful people (I'm not talking about physical appearance here), but she was special right from the gate and let you know by how she looked at you.


But the real magic came when she started singing. It was absolutely amazing. I've long been a fan of classical music but never so much for operatic performance. This however just ripped my guts out. Whatever that piece was she sung, it was the most amazing thing I've heard in some time. Her performance was just glorious and moved me like nothing else has for some time. It's been a long time since tears came to my eyes over someones singing and I suspect that it may be sometime yet. It was simply the most gorgeously emotive piece with an absolutely and amazingly emotive performance.

After the show, and after I composed myself, I took a close up picture and got a chance to say a couple of kind words. “Thank You!” primarily. She was so so kind, gracious, and approachable. I wish with everything in me that I had more time to chat with her, but the rest of the mooks in my company were making their way to the limo about this time and I needed to get on.

But come to think of it, I wish I had just stopped and thought about it. I could've chatted with her more and taken a separate cab. I suspect it's just as well tho as I was a wreck and too much honest squawking would've had me crying in her arms.

At least I made it to the airport without melting into goo and after an hour of sitting around made my way on the Southwest flight home. This is the start of the second act and it was no less wonderful.

Southwest has this retarded scheme of getting people onto planes. They claim they “listened” to us and the present system was the result of our collective noise. Well, it's dumb and the collective noise I heard while standing in line seemed to agree with me. OTOH, there may be some advantages. I suspect boarding goes faster, but it also has this mad way of splitting up parties. Let's put a more negative cast on this shall we? It also has this mad way of splitting up families.

I was in the first herd of people to board and I picked a window seat near a wing as usual. A gentleman chose the isle seat then quiped that we may get lucky and nobody would sit between us. Yeah right! When the last and least fortunate group of cattle moo'ed their way on the plane a mom with two kids was amongst the group. And guess what, she sat in a middle seat two rows up, one daughter behind her in a middle seat, and the final daughter next too me two rows back from mom. I think mom played it off pretty well having her 9 year old seated next to a largish black male. ROFL!!!!

Her name was Mia and she had no fear!

Now up to this point and for sometime afterward I had a set of headphones in and was doing some reading. I did notice that from time to time she would look up at me. I eventually just looked back and returned the smile I found waiting for me. And that was it. My acknowlegdement of her opened the door tho I kept my headsets on I had the volume low at this point as I was waiting for pushback and engine start.

And soon came the onslaught. After pushback and sitting on the tarmac, she started talking about how she liked the pattern of some of the flashing lights. I of course replied with a smile. What ensued was chat about her knitting, school, Zach (the boy her mom thinks she has a crush on), the house in Tahoe, the house in Tampa, her diet, her violin lessons, climbing trees, crochet needles, her nails, her sisters hat, ad infinitum. All I had to do was sit there and nod but I guess I contributed as well. I pointed out that the clouds looked so white because it was a full moon. We were also fortunate enough to fly over a large series of thunderstorms. Once I pointed those out, she got a huge kick out of watching the flashes. By this point, she was leaning over me trying to get a better view out. She even had her head on my shoulder at times!

All the while her mom was just mortified that her daughter was on such a tear.

I personally didn't mind one bit. She was absolutely adorable too me as most kids are. I have near infinite patience for kids and I will never ignore one that just wants to express him/her self as she did. Besides, I think there is a biological alarm clock going off somewhere inside. For the last couple of years i've not been able to shut it off. It's incescant buzzing is growing deafening and my meeting Mia didn't help to quell that one bit.

Now what's sad is that are so many people are either too selfish or too hard to allow themselves to be affected by these things. It really does seem that we are turning into a selfish, ignorant, and brutish society. There is much peril in the direction we seem to be going as a result of this. With each generation we create more people who come of age, have their own children, and in turn propagate callousness and insensitivity. There is also this whole “Language of Violence” thing that accompanies this. A HUGE topic that everyone that is remotely honest with themselves should spend time with.

Anyway, I'm not going to spend too much time pondering the bummer side of this. I want to remember the highlights of this trip. I want to remember the good people that I met on this unexpected escapade. People old and young that I will most likely never see again that have done me a world of good.

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