Procrastination (But I Digress)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Kid got on the plane

And that's the last I heard. I took Megan to the airport yesterday. I got us there two and a half hours early. I was very proud of myself. There was no place at the counter for us. All of the lines at the counter had identifications that did not fit us. There was domestic e-ticket, which I tried, but they said I was in the wrong line and they pointed over there. When I got "over there" the line was for international flights. There was first class, but it was very long and I was pretty sure we weren't first class. Finally I flagged down a frenzied attendant and she put us in a very long line. I could not tell what counter that line was going to, but she said to stand there so we did.

30 minutes passed. 30 more minutes passed. The line never moved an inch. I tried to call the airline and I told them what we were doing. They hung up on me. When it got to be 45 minutes before the flight was going to leave, I flagged down our frenzied attendant and she pulled us out of the line. We went to a closed position and a fellow very slowly wrote out a boarding pass by hand. Their computers were down. I assumed that meant the flight would be delayed, but no, it was still listed as on time.

With 20 minutes before the flight was supposed to TAKE OFF, we were finally headed to security. We got thru fairly easily, but of course, by this time Megan was starving. I tried to give her cookies and crackers, but she said she needed real food. Her idea of real food was Burger King. We got in line at Burger King. We waited and waited and waited. We got her food three minutes before her flight was scheduled TO TAKE OFF.

The door to the plane was magically not closed. Actually there was a long line of angry people waiting to get on the plane and when I jumped to the head to tell them I had an unaccompanied minor, more than one person rolled their eyes and swore under their breath. They let the long line of angry people get on ahead of Megan and then she seemed like the last person to get on the plane. Then they let three more people get on the plane. Then those three people got off the plane and they let two other people get on the plane. Then the door closed. The plane sat there and sat there and then they dragged it away from the gate and it sat a short distance away from the gate for a long time, then it wheeled out to the runway and sat in front of the runway for a long time, then it slowly wheeled out of sight. I have to assume that it took off, because no one called my cell phone to tell me to go back.

At the very beginning of this airport adventure, Megan was very concerned that we couldn't find where to check in and about the passage of time--what if she missed her flight? She was totally stressed. I tried to calm her down and said to the effect, "what's the worse that could happen--you miss your flight and you have to leave two days later. What have you got a date that you can't stay two extra days?" Big mistake. Megan was so excited about the prospect of staying two more days that I think she was actually pissed when she made the flight. I guess we should have beat her more, so she'd want to go home. I mean we do have record breaking heat--horrible oppressive heat, but we're just too much fun to want to leave.

For her last night on Monday, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe--I thought that would be a very touristy type of thing to do. They told us the wait was 30 minutes, so we waited. An hour later I was ready to leave. We were all starving by that time, but now we had invested an hour so everyone else wanted to keep waiting. Shortly they showed us to our table. Our server was really cool and he warned us that a 94 person party had just put their orders in, so he'd keep our sodas full, but we'd probably have a long wait for our meal. How long can it be, 30 minutes I thought. We've already waited this long. An hour and thirty minutes later we got our meal (except for Adam who waited another 10 minutes). The wait was awful, but our server was so nice and fun, and the food was excellant (to me--Mel wasn't impressed). It felt like being at Disneyland. I mean it was not space mountain, but pretty close.

Man, it's a good thing Megan came to visit, because I never would have waited otherwise and space mountain was really, really cool. Both times. Worth more then an hour's wait. Both times. The wait was only in the hot sun the first time. Isn't it great to remember the cool lights and the exileration of the roller coaster much better than the fleeting memory of waiting in the sun.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Smilily Baby

Megan is visiting and she said that she didn't know any secrets, so I told her one. It's something I've never told anyone. A few people who know me well might say, yes they could see that, if they knew the secret, but most people would say, that's not true. Maybe it's not true, but mostly it feels true. I hope she has fun keeping that secret. She's only keeping it until I die. I tried to talk her into keeping it until she died, but apparently that's not as much fun.

If it is possible for an eight month old to be jealous, that might account for all the smiles I've been getting from Caitlyn. It's as if she knows she has competition in the spoiling biz with Megan visiting. If I enter the room, she wants me. I am rewarded with huge smiles if I am any where in her sight line. I have only to wiggle my hands and she's mesmerized as if I have the most amazing toy in the world. This morning I finally accomplished making breakfast with Caitlyn in my arms--no small feat. So far she doesn't grab my diet coke. It's going to be a lot less fun when she starts doing that.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The things you learn

So I was going to pick up Megan at the airport, but there was a message on the answering machine at home from John at toastmasters, asking me to please come to the installation (the same night), because I was being honored and it would be really great if I was there. I did not want to go to the Installation, I wanted to pick Megan up at the airport, but Adrienne heard the message and said she would pick up Megan--I should go to toastmasters. The Installation was at China Inn, so I'm not eating there. I won the best speaker award six months ago. They tally up all the wins that people have during the meetings and the person with the most awards wins the six month award. I'm not exactly keeping tract, but I think I've won best speaker for every speech I've given in the last six months, so "being honored" was kind of no big secret--I probably won best speaker again. It's a volume thing. I speak a lot.

So the food wasn't as stinky as I thought it would be, but the table topics were a little weird. The first question was how have the skills you learn at toastmasters improved your love life. What's a love life? My question was have I ever gone over my time limit and said something I wish I hadn't said. As if. I love every word out of my mouth. Oh well. The evening was not starting off too well.

Then stinkier food arrived and I had to pass the platters of it around--yuck. During the break to eat, I figured I better carry the conversation at the table, since I wasn't eating, but my table mates had some pretty good topics. Beth had just been to Hawaii for the district conference--I'm jealous. Joan is a teacher and she was talking about the physiological mechanic of reading--large numbers of we humans have only been reading for a couple hundred years--our brains really don't have an efficient way of learning it yet. Very interesting. Then Lori was our key note speaker. Lori has been in toastmasters for 13 years, but her voice kept breaking while she was talking. It made it seem like she was nervous, but I don't think she was. Her speech was ok--the secret of happiness, but the ending was very cool. A chinese proverb. If you want to be happy for an hour, take a nap (I thought of you Mom). If you want to be happy for a day, go fishing (Jackson). If you want to be happy for a month, get married (everyone laughed). If you want to be happy for a year, inherit money. If you want to be happy for a lifetime, help someone else. Isn't that cool.

I won best speaker. My box is getting full. After the meeting, Janet took me aside to tell me how impressed she was with my class. She had been there for jury duty and heard some of the interviews afterwards. So I shared my horror story of my class's field trip. We went on a field trip to the courthouse downtown. They asked what did I want to see and I said I would love a tour of the file room. I think that their system is really inovative and neat. They told me I was the only person, ever, to ask for a tour of the file room. The kids were not nearly as impressed as I was. Next we went to a civil courtroom. They had an motion on an property question. It just went on and on and for me it was pretty boring. Afterwards the Judge offered to call the criminal court to get us into an interesting criminal case, but we were out of time. The kids had loved being in the court and listening to what to me was a boring motion. Our guide informed the judge (to my mortification) that we had used up all our time touring the file room. Live and learn.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Bringing History to Life

In toastmasters, I am in the storytelling manual. The last speech I gave was about the "moral" of the story and I went with a Jesus theme. I was clipping along with my favorite interpretation of the loaves and fishes story, when I was describing what it must have been like for Jesus to be speaking to multitudes. I mean how big is a multitude. Surely Jesus was bigger than Billy Graham and we know that guy can pack them in. But there were no microphones. That would reduce the audience size right there. But it was over many days, so he probably went from small group to small group, etc. Long story short (ha ha), one of the gals in the club told me afterwards that she'd never thought of Jesus as an accomplished public speaker.

I love getting into the details of what it must have been like in history. So the next speech I'm going to give it about bringing history to life. I was going to tell the story of the star spangled banner--very cool story. But NPR wakes me up on Saturday morning to a book review about a new book on FDR. What effect did being crippled with polio have on the politician FDR. The auther said in those days it would never even occur to anyone in Washington to come to the aid of New Orleans after the hurricane. Now it would never even occur to the most conservative person in Washington that we shouldn't. The author talked about how it must have made FDR feel to suddenly be judged by his handicape and how he probably looked at race differently because of it. Wow, I want to read that book. I've spent a lot of time on FDR, but I never made that leap to really put his life into that kind of perspective. I knew the new deal was revolutionary, but I just thought he was a really great guy. I didn't think about the dynamics in his life that brought him there.

They let me tell the 20 minute Cinderella story, but I better not get close to that line again. I think I'll stick with the story of the star spangled banner. I only remember part of it anyway.