Monday, June 16, 2008

O'Hare I Am

I have resigned myself to sitting and waiting. I am in Chicago’s O’Hare airport, where my gate-shifting flight to LaGuardia has been delayed five and a half hours and counting, supposedly because it is storming in New York (though I suspect the delay is actually a part of United Airlines’ policy of constant aggravation). I don’t usually unleash the full fury of KawallerBlog on corporations (out of six blog posts a year, I can only lead so many boycotts), but seriously—keep yourself away from United Airlines. I think my least favorite thing about United is that when a flight is delayed (and my lord, these people have trouble getting planes off the ground), they like to change the data on the departure screens as gradually as possible: first it’s delayed ten minutes; then an hour; then four hours; and then pretty soon you find you’re plastered at Chili’s waxing commiserative about gas prices with someone from St. Louis and trying to remember where you are.

So. I hate United Airlines. I refuse to attribute this to the weather; there is no catharsis in that.

As it has been a good long while since my last blog post (or Facebook note, if you are not a subscriber to the nearly-fictional KawallerBlog), I shall give a brief update on my life. Finished an eight-month stint as a menial laborer at New York magazine, where, if my current employment status is any indication, I failed to impress anyone. Still pretending to be a stand-up comedian sometimes. (Will be performing at Broadway Comedy Club on Thursday, if anyone is interested.) Spent the weekend in a Chicago suburb at my dear friend Sam’s house, where I met his mostly unobjectionable extended family. Spent last week in Iowa City, which may or may not still exist.

I was in Iowa for the Iowa Summer Writers Festival there, a summer program at the University of Iowa. I had been under the impression that the Festival was prestigious—this was, at least, how I sold it to my parents, who shelled out the cash for this egregious staving off of adulthood. However, it quickly became clear that I had been thinking of the Iowa Writers Conference, the University’s highly respected M.F.A. program; the Writers Festival is a collection of mild-mannered Midwesterners, several of whom know how to form a sentence that sounds nice.

Which is not to say that the Festival wasn’t delightful. I was in a personal-essay-writing class comprised of a warm and welcoming group of baby-boomers and senior citizens, most of them home-grown Iowans. I was expecting it to be monumental, presenting my personal essay about my years as the mostly apathetic and entirely self-celebrating president of my high-school gay-straight alliance to this crowd of gray-haired heartlanders, and I was somewhat disappointed by their resounding praise—only because it failed to confirm my prejudices against anyone who lives between New York and California. I resented immensely their lack of homophobia, which made me feel like a bigot.

Well, this has become rambling, and it is taking my mind off my frustration at United Airlines, which is an awful, stupid airline. I think I’ll go now and pace around, looking at departure screens, shaking my head, and scoffing audibly at people. Especially anyone who looks Midwestern. I can’t stand those gay-bashers.