Thursday, October 4
I had a quiet morning at Symanskys, catching up with myself, and packing for Rome and the Med. In the afternoon, I spent a couple of hours with Paul and Andrea, to give Peter a break, as he had a 14-hour shift. He needed to get out for a walk or something. He stayed for a while to snack with us, though. The treats are really good at Ternis. Paul was in good humour and we talked longer than ever. It’s kind of surreal, but he knows what he is doing is right, and he never wavers. His doctor called in around 4:30 pm, and I asked her if she wanted to speak to him. She did. His end of the conversation was “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.” When he hung up, I asked him for the other side of the conversation for notes. He was agreeing to the assisted suicide, the transport Friday morning to have the pick line put in, the timing of that, the final procedure and the timing of the final procedure. We had a laugh over the fact that they don’t take “yes” for an answer.
I stayed another hour and a half, until it was time to join Adam and Judy for dinner at their local “Touceh” at the corner of Prince Albert and de Maisonneuve, an easy walk from 63 Chesterfield. It was delicious, calf’s liver and caramelized onions, a treat I don’t get very often. There was a fabulous chocolate cake sitting on the counter, like you used to see in Woolworth’s, when it was good. Our waitress, an engineering student, was proud to tell us that she had made it herself, and it was excellent.
Friday, October 5
Paul Terni’s assisted suicide it will happen tomorrow morning at 11:00 am. He is in good spirits, no pain, and happy to be going this way. A brave, wonderful friend. His celebration of life will be October 19, at 5:00pm, in Montreal. I have duly changed my flights and will be stopping in Montreal, for a couple of days, on the way home. Expect me back in Santa Rosa, October 22. United Airlines were nicer to me this year than last, when I had to fly home early with Elvon. I told them it was a death in the family, which is true, to me. They waived the change fee and only charged me 12,500 points and about $30. It’s a nice non-stop flight, too. They even improved my flight to Rome tonight, reducing my time in Munich from nine hours to three hours. The nine hours did not look like much fun, so I was grateful.
The Lufthansa flight to Munich, however, was its own special hell. I couldn’t get it upgraded at check-in time, as I always hope, and the plane was a sardine can, in economy. I like to work, blog, whatever, on planes, but they are making it almost impossible to use a computer. The edge of it was up against my tits, and my hands had to come in around them. I could wish them smaller, but I kind of like them the way they are. They balance my pot.
Then there were the “travel socks” I had bought in Montreal. Judy warned me they were uncomfortable. I thought they were OK, wearing them around town, but on a seven-hour flight, she was only too right. I never got a wink of sleep for the discomfort I was in. At least I didn’t have to eat the food. I had had a very nice pulled-pork sandwich in the airport.
I took the socks off in the Munich airport, which helped for the next flight, but it was only an hour and a half, anyway. So I never got to sleep on it, either. I got to the hotel without further ado, did a little more work, and decided to eat in, as it was raining cats and dogs. The Crowne Plaza provided a passable lasagna, and I went to bed at ten thirty.
I woke up after a couple of hours, and couldn’t get back to sleep, thinking about Paul, so I got up, cleared email, and blogged for a couple of hours. It’s probably what he would have done. Then I slept like a log. One of the items in my email was very timely. It came from Flyers’ Rights; an organization I support with a small but monthly donation. I know they are for real. The organization was started by Kate Hanni, a Silverado Club member, ten or fifteen years ago. Here’s what they wrote:
Flyers are one step closer to minimum seat standards, but we need your continued help!
On Wednesday, the New York Times credited FlyersRights.org with leading the charge for seat size standards in both the courts and now in Congress. Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Bill, directing the FAA to reevaluate seat sizes and emergency evacuation standards.
On September 19, the New York Times reported on FlyersRights.org’s efforts to enact reasonable seat size regulation to protect passenger safety and health.
As soon as the President signs the bill into law, all three branches of government will have now ordered the FAA to reevaluate its current stance in light of increasing passenger size, shrinking seat sizes, and serious questions over the emergency evacuation testing process.
We have made this progress thanks to the contributions from passengers like you. We ask that you give again so that we can keep pushing the FAA to do its job to ensure passenger safety and health.
If the spirit moves you, you’ll be helping yourself and your fellow travelers. The pain is real, now, never mind the safety aspect.
Saturday, October 6
The Crowne Plaza, Rome St. Peter’s, is a spa hotel, which I had thought was a good idea. My room overlooked the fabulous swimming pool, that I never got to use.
For one thing, I had forgotten to pack a swimsuit, and for another, there was just too much work to do. I wasn’t done until after five. I lay down on the floor and exercised for an hour, then went out to dinner. I managed to miss the last shuttle to T rastevere, so I just walked out the front gates to the hotel’s local. My waiter was totally charming, and my Spaghetti a la Carbonara, was delicious, as was the Tartuffo, I had for dessert. I needed to be in Rome one more day to see anything. Next time.
For those of you who have been asking where I go next, that’s Buenos Aires to San Antonio, on Celebrity, December 23, with add-ons in BA and the Chilean Wine country.
If you want Asia, I don’t have one booked yet, but I have four exceptionally nice ladies from L.A. who are going, Shanghai to Singapore, also on Celebrity, in February. I have been working with these gals for a few months, and they are all lovely. They like to travel well, and they don’t quibble. I have some pretty nice stuff lined up for them. Read my own Asia blog from last February, to get the flavor. They’d be happy to have a couple more people along to share private tours, etc.
Email me about either of these, or anything else you want. I do work from at sea. I just booked a cruise for clients today.