Thursday, February 24, 2005

Every cloud does have a silver lining, but only when lit from below.

Traveling gives you the opportunity to see many normal things in new ways.

While waiting(again) onboard a plane preparing to depart, I got to witness the ordeal of a wheelchair bound individual getting off of a plane. First they brought out the individual. I didn't get to see much about the person. I only saw the top of his or her head. For the sake of clarity let's say "her". They were brought her out into the part of the gate that connects to the plane. She then had to wait while her chair was unloaded. This probably took another 10 minutes, and I'm sure that the chair saw some rough treatment in the process. It obviously wasn't light. Finally the chair was unloaded and wheeled up one of the baggage chutes into the gate. Next comes the part that made me grateful that I'm in possession of all of my physical faculties. This person had to endure another ten minutes of poking, prodding lifting, shifting, skootching, and all other sorts of indignities. Everybody seemed cheerful and good spirited, but the wheelchair bound person wasn't the lightest of individuals, so the people responsible for lifting and shifting her had to exert some force, and where jerking this person up into the chair. The number of indignities that she underwent were numerous and quite physical. I'm sure that after a while you'd get used to it, but I'm glad that I've never had to.

Next on the list of interesting things I've noticed was the cracks in the runway. Waiting to take off, I managed to see a patch of the runway illuminated by the plane's lights. There were numerous cracks running parallel down the runway. I then noticed that where a crack approached another crack, someone had added a third crack connecting the two. I'm sure the point is to turn two cracks into one by making a third crack. I was just amazed by the concept. I'm easily amazed.

Taking off from Houston I was treated to the marvelous site of the clouds below the plane illuminated from below by city lights and from above by the moon. You couldn't actually seen any of the detail of the city below, just the illumination of the clouds. I know I will never be able to do the scene justice with words, but it was an amazing sight.

Finally, I've learned that I enjoy turbulence, and was actually disappointed when the turbulence that the captain predicted failed to materialize. Twisted huh?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


I've found that there is always something interesting going on if you have your eyes open for it. The last couple of days are no different. Yesterday I left my warm bed and humble city at 4:30 in the morning to catch a 6:30 flight to Austin Texas. It turns out I could have just stayed in bed. The early flight that I'd arranged for, managed to get diverted in mid flight away from Houston to Dallas. Houston was fogged in. I didn't realize that Houston ever got fog. It probably doesn't, and the fog was just a punishment for my wicked ways. I just think that it was sad to punish the thousands of other people who were effect for my transgressions. Whoops sorry. I will get the ego under control. So anyway. Back to the story.

Once on the ground in Dallas, we were forced to sit on a plane with screaming children and a full toilet for 2 and a half hours. Eventually the skies over Houston clear and we are cleared to head back in that direction. We get back in the air and take a short jaunt to Houston. There we get another 45 minute wait in a hot plane full of even more screaming children and a toilet so full at this point that they lock the door. We were forced to wait 45 minutes because there were no gates available to park the plane. Eventually the plane starts to move, but not until a flight attendant has to threaten a man with being removed from the plane because he refuses to sit down until he can use the toilet. She didn't seem to see the irony of threatening to remove someone from a plane that he wants off of anyway. Come to think of it I don't think she knew what irony is anyway. Eventually we get off the plane and into the terminal. Having arrived 3 hours after my connection departed I expected that there would already have been arrangements made for a new connection. Nope. Then I'm told that I need to go to the ticket counter and make arrangements myself. I get there and there is a line a mile long. and there are only two people servicing it. I get in line and then promptly call my travel agent. After about an hour on the phone with her I'm able to get my connection change and leave the line. In that time the line had moved 4 or five people. My linemates didn't seem happy when I ran out of the line and shouting "see you later suckers". I don't think any of them made the flight. After about 12 hours traveling and 6 hours after I should have, I arrived in Austin.

The rest of the day and the evening a coworker and I finished up a few things and then had dinner and drinks. Downtown Austin is pretty cool, and I'd like the opportunity to visit it again sometime. The only thing of note is that the trees of downtown Austin appear to be infested with some sort of evil squacking bird. I never saw these birds, but I admit to being scared shitless several times while walking under a tree infested with them. They'd SQUACK something fierce, and there's no warning squack, its always full volume. That combined with the fact that for much of the time I walked around the area I was a little tipsy and I'm sure that I was a sight to see. From that point things are much less interesting. Last year on the same trip I managed to have a "religious experience". I don't think I will have the same opportunity on the way home. We will see.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hunter S Thompson

Wow. I just read the news. Hunter S. Thompson is dead, by his own hand. While I don't know a lot about the man, I certainly didn't expect this. I've read a couple of his books and he certainly seems to write in his own voice. Given that, in some ways I feel like I do know him, and this seems out of character to me. If anything I'd have thought that it would be an accidental cough syrup overdose or something ironic, certainly not a gun to the head.

I guess this brings up a good point. How much can you really know someone from their writing? A verbal conversation is so immdeiate, there fewer filters, and you get an impression that is much closer to what's going on in the head of the person you are conversing with. Writing on the other hand allows the author time to consider the words on the page. If not satisfied, there are infinite opportunities to revise and extend. In his writing, had he perfected his voice to an extent sufficent to hide the fact that he was capable of suicide? Inheirent in that last statement is the assumption that not everybody is capable of suicide. I believe this is the case, or at least under normal conditions. Given the alternative between a horrific death and a pain free suicide, many would pick the latter. I believe that under normal day to day preasures only small percentage of people are capable of comming to the conclusion that dying is better than living.

I guess now I might have to reconsider this notion.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Orange Underwear

Is it wrong to want to taunt another male that you know is wearing orange underwear? Probably. The toilet is one of the most socially weird places in our culture. Is it ok to talk or not? If it is ok, is it only while washing your hands, or is it ok to talk while taking a whiz. What about number two? I personally feel that if you are doing something that requires your pants to be around your ankles, then everybody else around is honor bound to leave you with the illusion of anonymity. That my friends is why I didn't taunt the guy whose feet, pants and orange underwear were visible under the bottom of the stall today as I walked into the toilet to run some water through the pipes.

Saturday, February 12, 2005


What a crazy word. I never knew what that meant. I always figured it was some French word for toilet. I guess I'm dumb like that.

Before you think I'm psycho or something please note that I came across the word on a blog when someone mentioned the latest Nick Cave album Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus .

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Mad, Bad, & Dangerous to Know

I recently heard that Lord Byron was described as "Mad, Bad & Dangerous to know". While I don't know much about him this seems, to me at least, like an interesting reputation to cultivate. I guess the problem lies in that I don't think I could maintain all three for more than a few hours at a time. I probably go through spells where I hit two of the three for a day or two at a time, and I can usually hit at least one on a daily basis, but all three on a consisten basis might be pushing it. Enough of dreaming of being James Dean. Maybe I should just aim for a nice even Marlon Brando... prior to him going crazy of course.

I've been listening to Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane over the Sea. I can't seem to get it out of my cd player. There's something about the singers voice that really calls to me. Add to that the lyrics. Poetry, pure poetry. I have to admit that some of the lyrics are beyond my ability to comprehend, but the way in which they are delivered is more than enough to make up for my lack of comprehension.

The King of Carrot Flowers
Part One

When you were young
You were the king of carrot flowers
And how you built a tower tumbling through the trees
In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your feet

And your mom would stick a fork right into daddy's shoulder
And your dad would throw the garbage all across the floor
As we would lay and learn what each other's bodies were for

And this is the room
One afternoon I knew I could love you
And from above you how I sank into your soul
Into that secret place where no one dares to go

And your mom would sink until she was no longer speaking
And dad would dream of all the different ways to die
Each one a little more than he could dare to try

Damn, the tragedy of a seriously f'd family and the sweet innocence of first love all in a couple lines. How can you not just love that. It kind of gives a sick hope that tragedy and happiness aren't mutually exclusive.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

keep the wrong hands off the biscuit fortune

bulletproof glass in the KFC
so keep the man safe in his paper hat
keep the wrong hands off the biscuit fortune