Friday, May 05, 2006

Space, the Final Frontier

These are the voyages of the Starship Brendarprise...

So today (or tonight, I guess, depending on whose sleep schedule you're referring to), I began my "tour" of the Middle East. By which I mean the middle east of the United States of AMERICA! (Go team!)

Now, I know it seems that I may be trying to steal a bit of thunder from Gabe's Travelogue, but do not be so deceived. I have long chronicled my travels (Exhibit A: The Provincetown Chronicles) in pithy and sometimes excruciating detail. Plus there will be no audio component to this Journey, my friends. I am not yet that advanced. Plus it's hard enough for me to post consistently as is, let alone hemming and hawing over vocal tracks. I'll leave that for song recording.

Anyway... the Journey began with a quick cab ride up to Penn Station after lugging my umpteen billion pounds of luggage down the six flights of stairs that comprise my building. (A stairway to heaven it is not, although I would be flattered if you told me so, even if you really didn't mean it.) Upon arriving at Penn Station I quickly attacked the first QuikTrak ticket dispensing machine I saw, having already purchased my ridiculously cheap tickets via the Amtrak web site. However, success was not to be had by your intrepid traveler.

That's right, denied I was! The machine started to process my tickets and then jammed and told me to try another machine or see a desk clerk. I moved to the next machine. It asked me for my reservation number. I punched it in. Unable to process! See desk clerk!

Now, I don't know if you've ever been in Penn Station at 2:00 in the morning, but suffice it to say, if it wasn't the time of day that the man on the zamboni-like sweeper machine was doing his thing, there'd be tumbleweeds. Every ticket window read "Closed." After some sighing, I finally espied the Customer Service counter that, indeed, had a clerk behind it. Sensing victory, I dragged my shit over and after some inquiring, Anthony the Clerk went to said machine and fished out the first of my mangled tickets.

Unfortunately, I have a three-leg haul in front of me, and as far as the computer system was concerned I had all the legs I needed. But although Anthony himself could not reprint the tickets, he made a note on my reservation and advised me to have the people in DC do it.

That's correct, folks! Going to DC! Our nation's capital! Where Bush's rule! Oh, yeah, I forgot, I am NOT excited about that. And not related, thank whatever your personal higher power is for some small favors. Mine is a walrus. He doesn't get thanked a whole lot.

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