flying places, weddings

This is another treading water post, but so-be-it. I'm planning on climbing the high-dive into Marshall McLuhan later this week, so we'll hit some pool-grate content then. That'll be good for me too... it's funny how my brain feels right now... like I was hitting the gym five times a week and suddenly just stopped for the last month. No heavy reading, discussion, writing. It's been great, but I'm ready to start the lightweight Keep Those Mental Muscles Warm workout.

I just returned from a 4-day jaunt to Chicago to stand beside my friends Mark & Nicole as they got married. Both were in an I-Team/small group I led lots of years ago when they started dating, and I had lived with Mark in the DawgHaus for five years—my longest roommate outside my buddy Tim. These weddings are always the tears-kind of happy and have the habit of feeling like a short-term museum of relationships arranged nicely at banquet tables. I hugged many I-Life friends and alumni, although I was most warmly surprised to see my friends currently living in Germany: Abby (though no Jeff) and Nate and Steph.

There's something about the honor of having a had small effect on many people in the same place that made me take a couple seconds near the cheese and fruit table to shed a few tears and thank God for a good life. A gratitude of Now that hasn't always come quickly this year.

In random thought land:

  • United Airlines should be given an award for consistent awful service, and a real bonus should be given to the three total employees they hire to service hundreds of people at a time at large airports: the poor folks are set up to fail. I've always usually bought tickets mostly by price and itinerary, not by brand, because they've seemed mostly the same. But while a brand has never garnered a positive enough reputation to get my loyalty (possible exception: Southwest Airlines back when they were funny and felt different), United has now succeeded in gaining my negative respect. I'll be excluding them from future ticket searches, and will be willing to pay more to avoid them, sad to say. ps—as of last Friday, they'll be charging you any time you check a bag. Really.
  • In political poll world, Gallup's perception polls are interesting. Regardless of who people actually support, Obama leads significantly in who people think will win. The breakdowns are predictable (less Republicans think he will win), but Gallup seemed suprised that the 18-34 crowd—by far Obama's best demographic—was actually less likely to think he'll take the Presidency. But this fits the profile: the current post-mod gen is diverse and engaged, but typically cynical (read: roll-eyes despairing) about future goals actually happening, despite the enthusiasm.

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