In the TSA precheck line this morning, an agent let a family of people in ahead of the line – all in wheelchairs. America. Everyone in a wheelchair boarding early so they can run to freedom the moment the plane touches down. Miracles are happening every day, people. They really are.
My first flight boarded at 530am, an inhospitable hour, as we know. CNN had been blaring overhead on the tvs for the 30 minutes I spent at the gate prior to lining up. How different would everyone be if we brought the zen instead?
I was on Long Island the week before last eating at this asian restaurant around 730pm, just me and the servers – the food was very good. They had the most majestic music piped into the dining area. A surprise to be inspired along with my pad thai.
So, this morning, everyone is stepping all over each other as usual. The plane boards. I sit as close to the front as possible to get the hell off that tin can when they open the front door. The guy across the aisle decides he is going to walk to the back of the plane and put his roller bag up down there. To get back to his seat he climbs over everyone still boarding all the way back to the front of the plane to me. A larger lady was standing next to me as he forced his way past her, forcing her onto me. She gritted her teeth at him and said: “FUCK DUDE!” That was 545am.
Change planes in Denver. Denver was beautiful this morning, the sun rising, the clouds and fog burning off and the mountains peeking from behind. Got a smoothie and a croissant. The woman asked me if I wanted it warmed up “just a little bit so it taste good.” I smiled at her. People can be so nice. 815am, boarding, the gate agent screwed up the boarding monitors and suddenly a hundred people tried to get on all at once. Sometimes I am so glad I am wearing my headphones and miss everything around me.
They untangled everyone and pushed them all back to begin the boarding order again. I finished my smoothie and my slightly warmed to perfection croissant. Three hours later, I finished the rest of the outline for Eddlin, which, even if it is not the greatest story ever written, it is my first entire outline – the first long story I have not just written from start to finish without a plan of some sort. A good use of time since the wifi was naff and I could not work.
Change planes in Seattle. There is a Sub Pop store at SEA-TAC. https://www.subpop.com/airport
It is brilliant. I loved my personal stereo when I was 13; it was tape player. My brother got one of the first CD players and that was even more amazing. The sound was perfect. I barely let him use it. They have tape players, CD players, they even have a tiny little synth in the shape of a tape, with little nobs for reverb. I resisted everything, even the vinyl. It was tough. Sub Pop has always been a pioneer label.
The last flight of the day is going to board on the tarmac, out there where the planes park. The tiny little prop is going to take me through the pass and into Redmond, and I’ll drive to Bend where I will spend the night.
I called my son as he said he was home, and I’m usually completely unsure of the local time when I travel so I checked. He has a half day today and a full day off Friday because of the parent teacher conferences. And that brings me to my next point. We went to his parent-teacher conferences last night, picked out the top 3 subjects he’s struggling with and sat down with the teachers. It makes sense to me that my son may be totally unable to find his ass with a flashlight when he gets home because he’s leaving it all on the field when he’s at school.
I know he’s capable, smart, bright, funny, able, thoughtful – but he is 14 and he is not self-aware. Our life talks have taken on epic proportions and this week, I told him I need a break from being his life coach. I was yelling a lot more than I was talking. Everyone has their limits. Then I listened to his teachers describe him. A brilliant writer. Not afraid to tackle a tough math problem. Adjusting to talking German 100% of the time in class. A person developing self-awareness. I stopped his German teacher when he said that. Really? Yes, really, he actually moves himself to a quieter desk some days when the kids are too rowdy and he needs to concentrate.
That will make a parent tear up. It is damn hard to raise people.
We dropped by his other house to discuss post-conference. He cares a lot about school. I still make him go to bed at 845pm. I don’t care – he says he’s not tired but he’s out cold by 9pm, so I think he needs the rest. He is 100% non-participating in social media; his biggest vice is playing Dragonvale. I can deal with that. And I’m taking a break from being his life coach. No one needs a good yelling at.
I am going to LA and Miami after this week and then I am calling it quits – no travel in December, not even if there’s an “or else.” I’m not going anywhere but home. I have started to research a trip either to Yosemite to do 6 days of hiking in the upper Sierras or to Italy, the homeland. Something like that. I haven’t ever done a week of hiking, to the tune of 9 miles per day anyway. The glacial cut mountains and waterfalls of Yosemite National Park are so breathtaking it may just be it.
But, as always, the Netherlands are calling, and I also want to go during tulip season and bike everywhere – something like this.
Work has been a mixed imbalanced throng of business and oddities. I made a training video with a coworker yesterday wearing LEGO movie heads. A little claustrophobic, but hilarious and why not be funny when you can – see below. That’s all the news worth talking about.