Yes, I have a new toy. I’m not going to talk about it much – just show you a picture. I only have one of them, but thanks to the magic of Photoshop, I am able to show you both sides at the same time. Love it. What I really love is going to meetings with a bunch of geek types. For quite awhile, now, I’ve been forced to watch them casually set their iPhones down on the conference table, carefully arranged to be in sight of everyone there. I kept my poor little PEBL in my pocket, so it wouldn’t feel inferior. The last week I’ve been casually setting my lovely, obviously gen 2 because it’s white, iPhone down on the table, carefully in sight of those with their gen 1 iPhones. It was noticed. I’m a geek grrl. I admit it.
And why did I make this little purchase? #1 Son’s birthday was a week ago last Friday, coincidentally the same day as the world wide launch of the iPhone 3G. I decided that I deserved a present for his birthday, what with all of his travels and the gray hairs I’ve gained (nicely covered up by Carla The Wonderstylist) and such. Don’t you agree?
At any rate, speaking of #1 Son, when last we spoke he had missed his plane from Germany on Wednesday, but we were hoping that he would be able to get on the plane the next day.
There was no 3:30 AM, I missed my flight, wake-up call on Thursday. So that gave me hope that at least he was actually on the plane. I had asked him to call me from Philadelphia, but no call came. When I checked online, however, I noted that there was probably just about enough time between his flights for him to get through customs/immigration and make it to the connection. Assuming that I would hear only if something went wrong, I hied myself to the airport at the appointed time. I had looked online to see what gate the airplane would be coming in at, and parked on that side of the airport. I remember his return from Brazil and the crazy heavy stuff he had to carry.
And then I went to the waiting area by the security for that concourse and I waited. And waited. And waited. I could see via my new toy that his plane had arrived. A stream of people came up the concourse, met their loved ones and headed off. And no #1 Son. I was beginning to feel a bit of panic, when I finally spotted him. I breathed a sigh of relief and gave him a big hug. Can’t begin to tell you how glad I was to have him in Portland!
We walked to the baggage area, hauling his carry-on bags. He had a small duffel, a tote bag full of records (remember how heavy those are?), and his guitar case. We marched to the side of the airport where his plane had arrived – the side of the airport where I had parked. An announcement came that baggage from his flight would be coming on a belt on the exact opposite side of the airport.
OK, I thought, it’s going to be that kind of evening.
We hauled his carry-on bags across the airport to the designated baggage carousel. And waited, and waited, and waited. And his bags did not come. What are we looking for? I asked.
#1 Son: A black, sort of Euro-style backpack and a cymbal case that I brought back for Drummer Boy. All of my clothes are in the backpack. And, uh, my wallet is sort of in the backpack, too, with all my ID and my driver’s license and money and stuff.
Mom: You should always carry your ID on you, not check it!
#1 Son: I’m traveling on a passport. I don’t really need my driver’s license.
Mom: You will need it to drive home from my house.
#1 Son: … that’s true.
We waited. Passengers picked up their luggage. The number of unclaimed bags became smaller and smaller. No new bags came out of the bowels of the airport. Eventually the belt stopped.
Well, I said. The good news is that, since we had to come over to this side of the airport, we’re right next to the lost baggage claim area! You go talk to them and I’ll sit here with your stuff.
Off he went, and I waited. After a bit, a goodly bit, he returned. The airlines didn’t have a clue where his bag was. But there was a second flight coming in at midnight, and his bags might be on that.
After some discussion, we decided to stay and wait, in the hope that the bags actually would be on the second flight, and thus he would have a few rather necessary things like clothing, a tooth brush, and his wallet. But there was no reason to schlep his heavy stuff all over the airport. Instead, we schlepped it to the parking structure across the airport, where I had thoughtfully parked, as you will remember gentle reader, to be close to his arrival. At the car, we had this conversation:
Mom: Did you managed to make it to a yarn shop?
#1 Son: I did! I had to go to two of them, because the first one was closed. But the second one had tons of yarn. The lady in there was really nice, but she was the only person I met in all of Germany who spoke absolutely no English. I had a hard time communicating what I wanted, but finally I pulled up my pant leg and pointed at my socks and said “socks” a couple of times. She pointed at some shelves in the back and I picked up a bunch of yarn and bought it for you. I’m pretty sure it’s sock yarn.
Mom: I suppose it’s in your backpack.
#1 Son: No! It’s in my guitar case! Made great padding.
He popped open his guitar case, and, sure enough, there were 5 balls of yarn. I picked up a ball. There was no ball band, but it looked sort of like maybe Trekking or Opal — that kind of ball and some sort of self-striping colorway.
Mom: This looks… OK. Where’s the ball band?
#1 Son: The what?
Mom: The ball band. You know. The label that goes around the ball of yarn to tell you the fiber content and the manufacturer and the color and all that stuff.
#1 Son: I don’t know. I don’t think there were any. Is it OK? I didn’t get any that was pink.
Mom: Yes, sweetie. I’m sure it’s fine. Thank you for avoiding the pink.
#1 Son: You’re going to blog this, aren’t you.
Mom: Yes, I am. I’m going to brag about how wonderful my son is, who brings me sock yarn all the way from Germany. And who managed to be understood in a yarn store outside his native country. And how wonderful is that?
#1 Son: Is the yarn OK?
Mom: Sweetie, it’s not quite what I expected. But it’s yarn, and it looks pretty, and it will be made into socks. I am so happy that you did this. Thank you very much! Now, let’s move the car over to the side of the airport where your bags will come (if they come) and get you something to eat.
#1 Son: I’m not really hungry, but OK.
He kept protesting that he wasn’t very hungry as he devoured a huge veggie sandwich, a carton of yogurt and a pint of orange juice. We had a nice chat as we waited for midnight and flight #2 to arrive.
#1 Son: Can you look on your phone thingy and see if they’ve found my bags yet? Here’s the claim number. Look how they described the cymbal case as a hatbox. I kept telling her that it wasn’t a hatbox, or even really the shape of a hatbox, and it would be better to use the other category and describe it. But she insisted on using hatbox. And not a clue where the bags were at all.
Mom: Hopefully they’re not looking for a hatbox, because according to the claim lookup online, they are still attempting to locate your bags and that will make them harder to find.
#1 Son: I can’t figure out why they don’t know where they are. Shouldn’t they scan them when they load them on a flight, or something?
Mom: I don’t know. If I’d designed the system they would. And most times when my bags didn’t arrive on the same flight as I did, they’ve been able to tell me what flight they were on. So I don’t know what’s going on with this airline. I’ve never flown it before.
#1 Son: I’m never flying them again.
At the appointed time, we stood next to the baggage carousel of doom. And waited. And waited. And passengers picked up their bags and left with smiling faces. And we waited. We were both sure that we were waiting in vain. All of a sudden, I spotted something…
Mom: Is that your backpack?
#1 Son: OMG! It is! [grabbing it off the belt]
Mom: Look! Look! There’s the hatbox… er, cymbal case.
#1 Son: Very funny. [grabbing it off the belt]
Mom: Is there anything else?
#1 Son: That’s all!
He dug around in his backpack for his wallet, and pulled out another skein of yarn.
Back we went to the car – now closer than last time. Mom, I’m really tired. I can’t begin to tell you how tired I am. Please just drop me off at your house, and I’ll come over tomorrow and pick up my car. OK?
So that’s what we did. And when he walked in his door, all of his friends and roommates – who had been waiting for his return – sent up a shout of joy that was probably heard all the way to Salem, and scared him half to death. And, what with all of the excitement, I left the yarn in his guitar case. And that’s why I have no pictures of it to show you. But he has promised to get it to me on Monday, and then, gentle reader, you can maybe help me figure out what it is.
P.S. On Friday he came over with his roommate E to pick up his car. When he opened its door, he said, Ah. You knit me a steering wheel cover. How cool is that!
Mom: Notice anything else different?
E: It’s clean! It’s really, really clean!
Mom: Yes, it is. It’s also full of gas and has brand new registration tags.
#1 Son: It does? Mom, you’re the best mother ever!
We’ll see how long that lasts, eh?