Monday, March 26, 2012

New Music

I had a bunch of credit at the iTunes Music Store and finally decided that I should use some of it and purchased Florence + the Machine's Ceremonials and Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More. The very short report: Ceremonials is okay, although with all the Romantic with a big R allusions to heaven and hell, it's easy to start to wonder if you're listening to Christian pop. I've heard "Shake It Out" on one TV show and in one major movie ad campaign and expect that the song will hit total media saturation in 8 weeks (in time for May sweeps!). As for Mumford & Sons, I've been somewhat skeptical of their folk rock bona fides, since I don't really understand why they get mainstream success and not any other of the multitudes of bands out there working in the same vein. That said, the album is solid and good listening for a variety of occasions.


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

From Turkey to Boston

Where does the time go? I haven't posted since January and it's somehow already March! Well, it is finally, finally, time for my last story about our trip to Turkey. After Cappadocia, we were to return to Istanbul for one day before flying out to the US. But with Hurricane Irene headed up the East Coast, the specter of getting stuck for days on our European layover was freaking us out. We tried calling the airline, both in Cappadocia and back in Istanbul, (thank goodness for good internet!) but even when we got through, no one would change our flights unless our original flight got canceled. Which, eventually, it did. So we took the train to the airport (1 hr each way) where a nice man changed our flight for us, which gave us an extra day in Istanbul and routed our return flight through Paris instead of Germany.

We flew Turkish Air from Istanbul to Paris. New plane, very comfortable. The best part was the seatback entertainment system which had two cool features. One, you could use it to make a phone call to another seat on the plane (which was of limited utility with Sean sitting right next to me). Even better was one of the TV channel options which showed the feed from a camera mounted on the bottom of the plane. While you were in flight it pointed toward the ground below, but at the beginning and end of the flight it pivoted to front facing, showing you the view of takeoff and landing. 100% awesome.

We were supposed to have a 3 hour layover in Paris. We arrived one hour late. That still left 2 hours to get to our next flight. Unfortunately we had to change terminals and that meant sitting in a little room waiting for the shuttle bus to arrive and take us to our terminal. There was a monitor in the room counting down the time to the next shuttle. It started at 20 minutes. 20 minutes later it said 13 minutes. 20 minutes after that it said 1 minute. 5 minutes later it said 3 minutes. All this time, more passengers are arriving in the room, and everyone looks more and more flustered. There was an airport employee supervising the room. He knew nothing and I'm sure his only job was to be sure no one tried to inappropriately access the tarmac. The shuttle did finally arrive, but by the time we made it to our stop, our plane was already boarding. We had to stop (not yet at the gate) to be issued boarding passes. The woman at the counter tried to tell us "oh, it might be too late." I was having none of that. We made the flight.

Never fly through Paris.