I'm really tired right now, so hopefully I get this chronology right.
Now: Lounging in the luxury of business class on a United 747 somewhere over the Pacific. Really enjoying the fact that I can open up my 15.4" laptop and use the in-seat power outlet.
4:30 PM: I'm in Indianapolis and the client meeting is over. It was a good and productive meeting, but I'm more focused on the 3.5 hour drive back to Chicago and the flight I need to catch tomorrow morning to China. Did I mention that I haven't packed anything yet?
5:30 PM: There is no hope for GM. My basis? The Chevrolet Uplander minivan I'm piloting is an insult to automotive design.
6:00 PM: We stop at a truck stop for gas and Evan locates a rack of marketing genious. James Axler, a "house name writer" of dubious note, has a big display of books on CD. The descriptions alone have us laughing in moments, with phrases like "inbred scientists" and "the tropical jungles of Minnesota". Steve and I have to convince Evan he cannot spend $200 buying all of them. He settles on two from the "Deathlands" series.
6:05 PM: I have difficulty staying in my lane as the narrator describes the book on CD as "A movie for your ears" 15 times in 2 minutes. Yes, there is foley. No, these works of fiction are not supposed to be comedic.
8:00 PM: We're back at the office and Evan and I organize our stuff at the office and formulate some sort of half-assed plan to meet back at the office around 3AM to finish packing the equipment and then share a cab to the airport at 6AM. This is foolish. Some hours later through a series of texts we agree to just meet at the airport
4:00 AM: I'm mostly finished doing laundry and getting things packed. I think I have too much crap if everything I'll need for 6 weeks fits in a large duffel bag. Yes, Dad, I used the 3M self-laminating luggage tags you gave me. I will later be glad of this. I must not go to sleep or I will probably miss the cab and the flight - this has never happened in the past.
6:45 AM: Get checked in on the wrong flight by a United ticket agent. Apparently Lee is a common name on tickets flying to Asia. Whatever, he had my bloody passport in his hand! I'm, unfortunately, 20 feet away by the time I realize my name is not Lee Sangdong. It has been a long time since I slept.
6:46 AM: Waiting desperately for the ticket agent from 2 minutes ago to finish with another customer, so I can get the right boarding pass. Hope is rapidly fading that my checked luggage will get on the correct flight. Fortunately, my two checked bags, one of which has probably $100K worth of mostly irreplaceable parts and equipment for my project, aren't that important.
6:50 AM: The agent assures me he has put a "priority" transfer on my bags and they will either arrive ahead of me (since bags sitting at the airport for hours are easy to find later) or they will be on my flight. Sigh, "priority" is a word used to assuage people - I imagine there is an entire chapter devoted to it in the customer service training manual.
7:30 AM: We booked too late for a direct flight to Shanghai, so I'm settling in for the flight to San Francisco. It's easier to not despise Business Class when you're sitting in it.
11:00 AM: I slept most of the way to San Francisco and am waiting in line to board for the next leg. A woman tries to push past me suggesting, "shouldn't I be in the economy class line?". Perhaps it is my unshaven face, gray hoodie sweatshirt and jeans. I dismiss her and proceed to discover what is upstairs on a 747.
Okay, we're all caught up now. See you in Shanghai!