Okay, last weekend's list. I shall make a valiant effort to unpack you.1) INT: Sunnydale Airport is NOT Long Beach. Plus, OMGBIRD!
The exterior of Sunnydale Airport is Long Beach Airport. The interior is not. Well, probably not. Because as much as I'm sure the airport has been remodeled/redecorated since season 6 of Buffy
was filmed, the ceilings are just too low to accommodate a film crew. The Giles-at-the-airport scene looked a little like LAX, though -- or at least, a specific gate of LAX that I remember from my youth.
The thing about having terminals that connect directly to Outside, though (because Long Beach airport doesn't have those tunnel things that attach the gate to the plane, you actually physically walk across the tarmac to the plane and climb stairs up to the door), is that birds sometimes get in. This was just one of those random little fat brown songbirds, and it was fluttering and hopping around the waiting area eating crumbs from the floor. It was cute.2) Midair: Animal Planet, sedimentary rock, SNOW EVERYWHERE
This was my first time flying JetBlue, and it does have its perks -- extra legroom, seatback TV screens with free DirecTV... I watched Animal Planet nearly the entire time, because it was having shows about kitties. Kitties! <3
I think we flew over the Southwest for a bit, I kept seeing these sedimentary rock structures that would start out a vibrant rusty red at ground level, then change to kind of a peachy-beige higher up (sometimes with snow on top. Eeeee!)
Also: There was snow EVERYWHERE. srsly.3) Chicago: The Family And Their Zoo
My flight was directly to O'Hare Airport in Chicago, and Cousin Bea picked me up in her car. We met everyone for dinner at an Indian restaurant -- a bit of a celebration, because it was her mum's birthday. "Everyone" was: Me, Bea, her husband, their 6-month-old baby Malia, Bea's older sister, Bea's younger sister, her boyfriend, and their mum, Teri. Excellent food, and somehow I didn't feel awkward or overwhelmed, despite only seeing this part of the family once every few years. Afterward, Bea's hubby and I went to a bakery near their house to pick up a cake for Lola Teri while everyone else caravanned to Bea's house. He told me a bit about their pets -- two cats and two dogs. ( CUE MUCH RAMBLING ABOUT THE PETS )
Anyway, back at their house (they own a brownstone -- they rent out the top floor and live in the bottom two), we all congregated in the living room downstairs and had cake and talked for ages
. It was super fun. And then I slept in the guest bedroom, which is on the bottom floor; the kitchen, office, and bedrooms are all on the middle floor, so I pretty much had the downstairs all to myself. I had meant to practise, but -- family time is important, too.!!! Pics will go here!!! You know, later. Sometime.4) Northwestern: The Audition
Okay, so as I said, the professor asked for scales, which was embarrassing. That was first thing, too... ugh. But everything after that I felt good about: my solos (even the Saint-Saëns), my excerpts (even The Marriage of Figaro
), the weird ear-training thing he did... We talked a little afterwards; he explained the structure of the studios, the other professor's schedule, I asked about a couple things, he asked about contrabassoon. Anyway, I wasn't holding out too much hope, since when I checked in I saw that there were a lot
of bassoon applicants auditioning that day (and there were plenty of other audition days, as well). But apparently I did something
right, because the professor who wasn't there wants to talk to me on the phone.... :D5) Evanston Is Pretty
After the audition, Bea and I went to get lunch at an awesome sandwich place
and then drove around campus and the town a bit, so I could see more of the area. And it is so
pretty. Evanston looks the way I imagine New England should look -- brick buildings, deciduous trees, big posh colonial-style houses... And the snow
*swoon* I like snow. It also has a bunch of shops, a mix of chains and boutiquey places, like Westwood and probably similarly overpriced... but it looks so much cleaner than Westwood.
Then we went back to Bea's house for a while, and Lola Teri had cooked a couple kinds of crab (to compare and figure out which one they like better). I tried to eat it, I really did, but -- between having to pick off the shell and recalling the lobster we dissected in 8th grade? 10th? and all the parts that I was actually seeing... Ugh. I couldn't. But then it was time to go back to the airport...6) ORD: All Airports Have Dinosaurs? How did CA miss this memo?
O'Hare has a Brachiosaurus. It's in the United terminal and it is HUUUUUUUUUUUGE. That makes DIA, PIT, and ORD with dinosaurs, but no dinosaurs at any of the California airports so far.... I'm disappointed in you, CA. Dinosaurs!!! I also stopped at the Field Museum booth and got a shot glass for my collection and a hematite necklace for mum.
OK TBC7) Midair: Chatty Portland Man, Cities At Night, The Invention of Lying, So Many Stars
8) The City: Historical Hotels Are Posh-Looking (but not actually that posh); LA is Glamorous
9) SFCM: The Audition
10) The City: Flipper's, BART
11) SFO: hella early, Ich grolle nicht, security, Ghirardelli, sourdough, gambling antiques, outlet bar
12) Midair: Parents who don't look after their children on airplanes, holy crap SFO is right on the bay, man I wish I'd had a drink during my airport hang, lights sketch the coastline (o hai hwy 1)
P.S. BAXTER PURRS IN HIS SLEEP <3 <3 <3