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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

These Are the Random Things You Think About When Your Flight is Delayed and You’re Stuck at the Phoenix Airport.

I am slowly wending my way from Seattle to Oxford, Mississippi, home of Faulkner and Ole Miss University, for what has become over the years an annual pilgrimage to the Oxford Film Festival, one of my favorite regional fests. And this year, for the first time, I’m not traveling alone to Oxford, because I’m bringing my husband Mike along for the fun.

I say “slowly wending” because our travel day started at the ass-crack of dawn so we could catch a 5:15AM flight out of Seattle. Which would have been great, except for the part where they waited until everyone was on the plane to figure out there was some (apparently serious) mechanical problem with the plane. Whatever. So they deplaned us all in a grumbling group (90% of the people on the flight had connections to catch, including us) and then we waited another half hour to board the new, hopefully not broken plane.

It was about this time that I decided to check our connection window and realized there was no way in hell, barring the flight to Memphis getting delayed, that we were going to make it. So I checked at the counter and they informed me cheerily, “Great news! You aren’t going to make your connection, heh, but we already bumped you to the next flight to Memphis.” Why, that’s nice of you, I said. And when does that leave? “It leaves Phoenix at (unintelligible mumbling) and gets you into Memphis at (more unintelligible mumbling).” Er, what was that? “ItleavesPhoenixat7PMandyougetintoMemphisjustaftermidnight … NEXT!”

Well, bloody hell.

I do not like sunny places, and have you ever been to Phoenix? They have sun there. A lot of sun. And many, many windows through which this bright, annoying sunlight is allowed to come through unfettered by clouds or dark blinds. And I hate, really hate being stuck at airports, unless it’s Denver and I’m smoking because they have a smoking lounge. But it’s not Denver, it’s Phoenix, and I quit smoking. So that leaves scrounging up something edible and then sitting around forever with other grumpy people and maybe falling asleep and missing my next flight too. Bah.

However! My Catholic grandmother always said to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst (my inner Jewish grandmother, OTOH, always counters with, “Eh. It can always get worse.”). Fortunately for me, we were not flying on either American or United, because many unpleasant experiences with those airlines have convinced me they are owned by the Devil, who has set a corporate policy of “let’s piss off more customers than any other airline.”

We, however, were on US Airways. And by the time we landed in Phoenix and were directed to the counter to find out how bad our new delay would be, they had already figured out ALL ON THEIR OWN that I did not want to wait until 7-freaking-PM for a flight out of there, and they had transferred us to a much earlier Delta flight, and we had two seats together on that flight. Holy crap! I would like to take credit for this myself — maybe the evil raised eyebrow I shot the US Airways chick back in Seattle paid off and they were terrified of me.

But I must say, it appeared they were doing their level best to get every single person who’d missed a connection on their way, and they were SUPER nice about it, and so were the Delta people. So now we are set to board a plane in an hour and then a few hours after that we will be in Oxford, which has become a bit like coming home for me every year at this point.

Mike’s beloved Sketchers boot fell apart, literally, here at the Phoenix airport, but fortunately for him, he had his Converse in his carry-on and so the boots went buh-bye, into the trash. I will kinda take credit for that because I loathed those shoes and had been thinking mean thoughts about them and muttering obscene words at them under my breath, and deliberately polishing my Docs with special leather preservative right in front of them without giving them a single swipe of the polish and giving them the stink-eye regularly for the last year, so clearly those efforts to destroy the hated boots by sheer force of will finally paid off. And now I can perhaps persuade him to upgrade to some sexy black Docs if we can find them on sale, because we have adopted a “cheapskate” mentality and we aren’t allowed to buy expensive shoes for full retail anymore. Unless there’s a really good reason like I NEED them.

We ate a couple of very meh burritos (but hey, it was something resembling food). And the wifi at this airport kinda blows, but we are keeping our chins up about the lousy wifi and refusing to fall into mood pockets over that.

Why? Because we are grown-ups, that’s why! And so we have back-up plans for when the wifi sucks — two of them, actually. I have my corporate wifi card courtesy of MCN, which is on Verizon, AND my handy-dandy AT&T-connected iPhone, through which I can tether to the Internets in case of wifi emergencies. And in a pinch, I have my very own mood pocket, hand-knitted for me by Oxford Film Fest co-director Michelle Emmanuel, in which to keep my mood safe and cozy-warm should I feel it slipping.

More from Oxford, and stuff about the actual festival, when we finally make it there. Expect to get there in time for most of the opening party proper, and all of the late night after party. And I heard a very sad rumor that there is no karaoke this year, which is a bummer because I am pretty sure everyone last year universally agreed that the karaoke party ROCKED and that Jen Yamato and I, who regaled the appreciative crowd with our stunning rendition of the Backstreet Boys “I Want it That Way” (complete with back-up dancers!), rocked particularly impressively. So I guess we will have to find a way to karaoke on regardless.

For now, though, I need to watch one last screener for the docs I’m jurying, so I will be responsible and sign off until later.

See you from the Oxford Film Festival ….

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One Response to “These Are the Random Things You Think About When Your Flight is Delayed and You’re Stuck at the Phoenix Airport.”

  1. Excellent sujet, merci pour ces infos. longue vie à ce blog!

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon