Just after noon Sunday--Leave home for airport.
12:30pm--Pick up work colleague at his hotel.
1pm--Park and proceed to self-service check-in.
1:15pm--Put on first class upgrade wait list. D'oh!
2:20pm--Check boarding pass while waiting at gate and notice that I'm in seat E8. E? Hmmm, that sounds like a middle...
2:30pm--Board aircraft and confirm that E is indeed the MIDDLE seat.
2:32pm--Sit down and pray that flight is not full. Know in heart how vain that hope is.
2:35pm--Am now sitting between two fairly large gentlemen, silently cursing Continental Airlines with gusto knowing that there is no way in hell that I selected a middle seat.
2:37pm--Begin to feel like Steve Martin in "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" as "gentleman" on left completely hogs arm rest and gentleman on right removes shoes and leans head against my shoulder to better sleep.
2:39pm--Begin deep breathing exercises to calm mind and prevent complete meltdown knowing that I'll be spending the next three plus hours in this small circle of hell.
3 something pm--Plane FINALLY takes off bringing some relief as I know that miserable current state of affairs will eventually come to end.
3:45pm--Pull out IPod and noise reduction headphones. Turn headphones on and discover that battery is dead.
3:47pm--Pull out 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help by Benjamin Wiker (a very fine read by the way) from seat pocket in attempt to escape present reality. Discover that some F***wad has stashed his previously-chewed, powerfully-flavored mango gum in said seat pocket and said gum is now all over back jacket cover of book. Resist urge to unleash a torrent of profanities. Spend rest of flight reading and sleeping unfitfully, fruitlessly hoping to not wake until we land and the nightmare is over.
5:30 something pm--At last we land in Houston. Don't really feel the urge to thank flight attendant as I exit aircraft.
From there, everything was a piece a cake. The almost three-hour layover in Houston? Spent the time with pleasure. The flight to Chihuahua? A veritable two-hour paradise compared to the Minneapolis to Houston anxiety inducer. When I finally put head to pillow in the hotel in Chihuahua around midnight, one of the last thoughts rattling around the noggin before nodding off was, "Happy Father's Day."