On my walk home last night I spotted this fine old chair waiting nobly outside to be shredded in the Waste barn and for some reason I felt spontaneously motivated to drag it on a sled out to Spoolhenge to sit on it. Maybe I wanted to give it one last spin, or maybe I just wanted to drag something around on a sled. But once I saw Spoolhenge I knew I had to drag it out there.
The flight today when a little girl was kicking the seat of woman sitting next to me, I offered to switch seats joking that I could use a back massage. The woman looked nice, she laughed out loud several times reading Shouts and Murmurs. She apologized for acting passive aggressively, kept smiling the whole time. The children did well despite long flight.
One of my favorite things about traveling via Amtrak is being seated with strangers in the dining car and hearing their stories. For lunch today my dining companion was Dee-Dee, a profoundly precocious 10 year-old from Austin who’s traveling with her grandparents. After telling her I was going to Texas just to see Boyhood she responded, “You’re traveling just to go see a movie? That’s AWESOME!” Dee-Dee totally gets it.
Dee-Dee wants to be a surgeon when she grows up and her nickname at school is “the chocolate girl.” (With her finger covered in chocolate syrup in the photo above, perhaps you can see why.) When I asked if she prefers traveling by train or plane she said the following: “Can you stretch out and lay down and go to sleep on a plane? No! Can you have a good dinner in a dining car on a plane? No! Can you look out the window and watch the country go by on a plane? No! So the answer is train, obviously.”
Dee-Dee has a black lab named “Prince” and two border collies named “Eli” and “Peyton.” Eli, she says, is “really, really dumb.”
Dee-Dee is my new best friend. (at Mermentau River)
The irony of the situation hit me all at once: After three years of talking at conferences, talking through trainings and speaking at meetings, I was being forced to do nothing but listen. That’s what happens when you find yourself on a bus through the Brazilian countryside with just a pack of…
Notes from Hotel Metropole, Belo Horizonte. Helicopters buzzing the city center at 1am. Both Belgium and Algeria national teams staying near, will get up for the early game having dreamt bleak dreams of Zero Dark Thirty. 5:30am, the walls are made of paper and the sounds of toilets flushing. Two women are having an intense, friendly, shouty conversation somewhere in the gloaming. A single voice calls out in perfect in accented American English: Shut. The. Fuck. Up. It worked. John Brooks may have been the hero of last night, but this unknown Yankee is the hero of the morning. Unfortunately, he is nowhere to be found when I am still trying to work at 6:30am and from all sides of me, Belgians wake up, brush their good teeth and yell into their mirrors: GO BELGIUM! GO BELGIUM! GO!
Flawless, as usual. DAMMIT YOU GUYS.
Love this feeling.
I really enjoyed this little story about a couple that hops around America in a small plane. I like hearing about the systems that exist - like these small airports and their operators and amenities - in areas of life I would never normally encounter.