Get to the airport about 10. Deal with the usual TSA security theater. Use my new lifetime WorldClub membership card for the first time. Sit down, unpack computer at the last workstation that's open. Two rows over, at the first adjacent seating area, screaming kid starts up and doesn't shut up in the time I'm there.
Get over to the gate. Flying Delta, due to new corporate policy that says fare can be no more than $100 more than the lowest fare for the trip. Delta doesn't upgrade SkyTeam Elite Plus members ("Ask us again in August"). I'm stuck in coach. Screaming kid three rows in front of me won't shut up. iPhone in iPod mode only partially drowns him out.
Get to Atlanta. Park in Crown Room for a couple of hours. Crowded. Wind up listening to some lady ream her kid out (in more-sorrow-than-anger mode) over her cellphone about being irresponsible.
Get over to the gate. Sit by the door. Listen to two screaming kids, one toddler and one just older, whose parents are at least trying. Get on board. You guessed it: same family, including one baby I hadn't previously noticed, boards in the row immediately behind me. At least this time, the iPod does manage to drown out the kids. As we're deplaning, Mommy holds her oldest daughter in front of her, right where my roll-aboard is going to land when it comes out of the overhead. I tell the kid to be careful twice. Mommy holds her back. I manage not to drop it on her, but it's closer than I'd prefer.
Stand up on the rent car shuttle. Get a nice Toyota 4Runner. Discover that I forgot to pack the sandbag base for the GPS. Pull out my printed directions. Get to the hotel. Just as I'm getting off I-95, Molly Hatchett's Flirtin' With Disaster, the song I consider to be the archetype of southern rock, comes up on the radio. I give the volume knob a savage twist to the right and enjoy.
It ends right as I'm pulling into the hotel parking lot. I get out and discover that the hotel had just recovered from a power outage and couldn't check me in for 20 minutes or so. Argh.
I'm settled, finally. I'm also happy the day's over.