.....and what seems like 3 days on a plane.
Hey blog readers. Just got back from a quick jaunt out to middle America where I had the distinct privilege of appearing before the State Board of Chiropractic. Indiana is one of the last states to require a personal appearance before they will license (even a student with as impeccable a record as mine). Really, it was just a glorified chance to stroke the ego's of a panel of appointed officials who have little power outside that small conference room once a month. I also had to take an examination on the laws that govern chiropractic in the state, a fact that probably made a personal appearance necessary in the old west, but not in this age of computers and testing centers. All of it was fine and I imagine I wouldn't be complaining about it if it wasn't for the great distances I had to travel on a Southwest airplane.
I stayed with Drew and Jamia Hoffman (one of my classmates from SCU) while there in town and got the grand tour of the city from Drew before and after our meeting, and I have to say I was quite impressed with Indy. Downtown was nothing crazy special. State capitol, various monuments, stadiums, and malls. But it was very clean all around. The most impressive part was driving around Carmel, a suburb north of downtown where Drew lives and practices. I have been a lot of places and few have impressed me as much as Carmel did. Beautiful wide streets lined by large professional buildings and incredible neighborhoods tucked in behind them. And I mean incredible. He took me to what in California would be a gated community (no gates...yet) where a number of the Colts players lived. This was like the Beverly Hills of Indianapolis. Huge, new, gorgeous homes in a planned community with local shops as well as close by major shopping. Then of course he hits me with the bomb shell...what these homes are selling for. I about cried when I realized that for the cost of a 3-4 bedroom condo in southern cal, I could have a palace on a huge piece of land in one of the best school districts in the country (yeah, did I mention the high school looks like a college and the academics and athletics are nationally renowned, a fact I knew before coming thanks to Sports Illustrated and Newsweek).......kinda tough to swallow. It didn't help that it was an uncharacteristically pleasant 75 degrees and the sky was littered with big puffy clouds. I couldn't even play the weather card. It gets worse.
After our tour and lunch (at a very nice very reasonably priced restaurant in walking distance from his condo- also very very nice and a mortgage of about 2/3 of what he was paying in rent while in school) we went to visit his practice. Now granted he is not opening up his own place just yet, the doctors he works for have been in town for years. But I noticed something. the entire time I was there i didn't see a single chiropractic office stuffed into a mini-mall. They were all housed in what I would describe as large professional buildings (probably with entire floors dedicated to their practice). Premier Sports Chiropractic was no exception and my jaw was getting sore from all the dropping it had done to this point in the day. It was the kind of space that would keep you up nights worrying about how you were going to pay for it all in SoCal. That was the final straw, I was officially twiterpatted (go watch Bambi, you'll figure it out) with Carmel. And with that it was back to the A, B, & C boarding lines for my two legged return flight.
Flying Southwest can be a challenge sometimes. Flying in general can bring out some of our worst character traits. When it includes multiple stops and boardings you can end up sitting next to a strange microcosm of airplane society. This trip alone had me next to "Overly Affectionate Couple", "Parents with Wiggly Baby", "Loud Foreign Language Conversation", "Laptop Consumed Window Seater" (you know working on their laptop the whole flight and every time you try to sneak a peak out the window they think you are looking at their work), "Bad B.O. Guy", "Too many carry-ons Lady", and of course "Over the Shoulder Movie Watcher". They all got me on my very best behavior. I have seen enough general conference talks to know that if you do something bad on a plane it is going to end up as a negative example in some general authorities talk on....really anything. I think its the only place they get their material. (Sorry Non-Mormons that last joke is gonna be confusing. But if you want to be able to get it I know a couple of guys you can talk to :-)
All of that in mind I had to dig deep on my last leg (God was testing me I think) when I sat next to "Overweight-Night reading-Blue Haired-Loud Talking-Armrest Hog". I mean this lady would not give an inch. I was consigned to leaning into the aisle where the fight attendants kept hitting me as they walked by (they probably have a blog complaining about "Huge-Aisle Blocking-Whole Can of Soda Guy", but who cares, I caught both of them turning off their cell phones 3/4 of the way through the flight).
By the time I landed I was glad to be home and left with a lot to think about..........Indiana is tempting. But California will always be home.