Lisa promised to send me good thoughts - I'm truly frightened as to how things would be going if she wasn't. I locked my keys in my house upon leaving, thereby requiring me to hook up with someone who isn't answering his phone or email when I return on Friday. This also means that while I am in New York, the key to my luggage is in Seattle. One trip to the hardware store later, I now own a pair of shiny new green-handled bolt cutters and a new luggage lock. This is not really the type of shopping I was thinking of when I was chatting with MiKeK about "shopping in New York". I am really, REALLY glad that I was not randomly chosen for a luggage search on the way here, otherwise I would probably have watched helplessly as they carted my suspiciously un-openable bag off to blow it up in private.
Other than that, I'm fine. New York, of course, seems astonishingly flat - it is simply too strange to be able to look towards the horizon and not see mountains. And colorless - yes, there are proper Pine trees here, but they are a dull olive green color that literally pales in comparison with the mighty and vibrant Douglas Fir.
They sent a stretch limo (complete with a guy in a black wool trenchcoat as driver)to pick me up at the airport, of all things - now mind you, the people the organizers of the task force gave me the number of the company to call to get a ride out to the hotel, but I can hear the auditors rubbing their cold fingers together in anticipation. They raked me over the coals for taking a taxi in Oakland - I can't imagine what sort of hoopla taking a stretch limo is going to cause. It was cool (riding in a stretch limo in New York, how cool is that?)but I felt rather silly in the end.
Really, I think perhaps this entire trip is about making me feel silly - or perhaps it's merely about finding new and different ways to make me feel odd. It's easier to talk to people - I have to agree with Tony and others that PNW people are strangely reserved compared to the legendary "rude New Yorker" - but visually I stand out fairly strongly. My fashion sense is definitely somewhat athwart the norm here - everyone dresses more... it's not that they all dress up more, or really anything much I can immediately put my finger on, but there is a definite difference. Tailoring might account for some of it, but that seems less than adequate to explain. In any case, I feel far more funky than usual, and I'm not entirely certain it's in a good way.