Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.


When you're blessed, you pass it on.

So, Cleveland.

Let's talk about my flight to Cleveland, the injustice of bad weather, the horror of other people's scary feet, and how I am *NEVER* flying American Fucking Airlines ever again.

First off, the sucky rain-drenched weather in Chicago delayed all kinds of flights, meaning everything was pushed back about two hours. So, I rushed from the Sunday afternoon show with the band straight to the airport, leaving my guitar in the hands of our bass player because I didn't have enough time to go home first...only to find out that I *did* have enough time to go home first, and it would've been more productive and entertaining than sitting on my ass in the airport.

Although, it was fun to pull out my mini-Tarot deck and get more funny looks than the streaky blond-haired chick who was traveling with her dog.

So, yeah, I get on the plane (finally!), ducking my head the entire way (apparently the ceiling is a mere six feet high on that particular piece of crap jet; since in my boots I'm about 6'1", I ducked...talk about suckage), get to my seat, stow my laptop in the overhead, shoehorn my ass into the miniature seat, shove my feet and carry-on under the seat in front of me so they could all fuse into a cramp-inducing pile of ouch-ness....and then we taxi for takeoff, whereon the jackass in front of me decides it would be good to recline for said takeoff. So, he got my knees in the middle of his back and basically had his head in my lap for the entire flight. Boy, good thing I'm not claustrophobic. Oh, wait, I am!

In flight, the lady across from me takes off her shoes and puts her feet up on the empty aisle seat beside her. Her feet are SCARY. She has the worst bunion I've ever seen, band-aids on several toes for who knows what reason, calluses that made *me* afraid (and considering the callus-covered feet I'm sporting, that says a great deal)....I spent the whole time admiring her chutzpah for having the ovaries to take off her shoes in public. I wouldn't have.

When we finally landed, I unfolded myself from the sardine can - I mean, airplane, and strolled into Cleveland's lovely (read: horrific and blech-inducing) airport at 12:30 at night. Gone were my hopes to take a lovely tour of the city via Cleveland's crack train system, as the last train was leaving at one, and the train that would take me to my hotel had already stopped running. However, I thought, I could grab the train downtown and take a cab from there, thereby saving a few bucks and also doing a bit of looking around.

No sooner did I put this plan in motion than Divine Providence took over. At the transit station in the airport, the very helpful counter guy asked me where I wanted to go when I asked him what I needed for a one way ride (there were kiosks to buy day passes and week passes, but no one way tokens or anything). I told him the suburb-ish part of town I was headed for, and he said that the train wasn't going to be running my way. I told him I knew, but figured I could save a few bucks by going downtown to catch a cab. He laughed and nodded that I was right. I paid my fare, got on the train - the last one of the evening.

About ten minutes later, when the counter guy came back with the train operator, he offered me a ride to the hotel. He said it was his way, anyway, and I could save myself a thirty dollar cab ride, not to mention it would be faster.

I know, I know, alarm bells should've been going off - how creepy was this guy for offering a total stranger - a chick travelling alone - a ride to her hotel??

I dunno what it was, but my gut said to trust the guy. So I did. I smilingly accepted his offer, I got in his minivan, and I listened to Kurt Franklin with him on the highway as he drove me to my hotel, talking about his wife and his comic book collection and his sojourn in Florida and the week he spent in Charlotte, NC on the charity of strangers. "I'm blessed," he kept saying, "and when you blessed, you pass it on."

I offered him a few bucks for gas when we got to the hotel, but he refused. I did, however, give him my card and tell him if he ever needed anything in Chicago to call me.

When I got in the hotel, I literally told the concierge my name and he handed me a room key.

At 1:30 a.m., I went to my hotel room and dropped my bags and took off my coat and sat on the bed grinning like an idiot for ten minutes.

Talk about being blessed.

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