25 December 2008

A funny thing happened...

So I left Saturday for Christmas break. One of my closest friends drove me to the airport like friends have done many times before. We pulled up to the United counter and I got out, hugged my friend and gathered myself and my belongings.
On time departure, I read. Outstanding!
In line I saw an attractive guy who was also becoming increasingly annoyed at the queuing up process. Eventually, I stepped up to the self check-in kiosk and he was beside me.
"Kayley had a little lamb?" he said with a smile.
"Yea, my friends and I exchanged gifts and I love it so I brought it and, yea...she's really soft."
I said good bye,not expecting to see him again. I went through security hoping no one would question why a grown woman was carrying a lamb. Instead all of them asked where I got it and her story. After re-dressing and gathering my belongings again I headed to find food. The only thing I had had that day was Nutella. Not bad,but not terribly filling.
I made my way down the concourse to Gate 5 reflecting on previous times I flew out of Will Rogers.
The last time someone drove me I was leaving for 5 months. Not 3 weeks.
I cried like a woman possessed,despite trying to control my tears.
This time, I was even more well-traveled and anticipating this trip.
I walked down to the gate and heard murmurings that our flight had been delayed until 9 because of weather. A year or so ago I would have been ticked off. But I already factored in the possibility of a delay so was a lot calmer.
I made my way to the bar,but before I did, I saw two exchange students.
There flight to Minneapolis had been cancelled. I offered them my cell, and continued to the bar.
I ordered my drink and watched whatever unimportant bowl game that was on.
The baby faced, blond bartender seemed eager to talk and I obliged by listening.
At the other end of the bar was a frazzled looking woman who I found out had been there since 4:00p.m.
It was 8:3oish by this time.
We exchanged small talk and I gathered that she was on her way to see her mom eventually. The bartender asked me what I was majoring in, if I was Greek and thanked me when I told him I wasn't. I listened to the day he had and tried to encourage him. Soon a girl my age sat down looking annoyed and sad. I gave her a smile and she took it, rightly,as an invitation.
I learned that she was on her way to Cali to surprise her father for his birthday. She was worried that any delay would cut into their time together and was trying not to freak out.
We became travel buddies of sorts.
After talking to the agents to make sure a flight was actually still leaving we headed for our gate.
There's been another delay. Flight ....will now depart at 10:30.
10:30 turned to 10:45 and then finally to 11:00, by this time I made the acquaintance of Amin the guy who made the little lamb quip earlier.
He was reading a book on Jerusalem. One of my favourite topics.
I'm not paying for a hotel, Amin said.
I agree, I chimed in.
We boarded, had a safe flight, and landed in Denver safely.
I didn't see Flight 1404 when we landed,but I saw the culprit. The ice on the tarmac was thick and glistened belying the slickness. I genuflected and thanked God that the worst that had happened was a missed connection. We disembarked and headed to customer service.
Made the acquaintance of a family from OKC who were going skiing. I had noticed the youngest son, he was probably 20, at the airport. His purple skinny jeans,black pea coat and vintage glasses made me smile.
After following his family to another customer service desk we got our vouchers for food and hotel accommodations. I stuck by my new friend and was reminded of Kurt Vonnegut's sons belief that we were meant to help each other through this whatever this might be.
I saw Amin again as we were leaving for the Renaissance.
Sam and I talked about her trip and I continually reassured of her how it would get better.
I hoped it would.
We boarded the shuttle to the Renaissance and met more interesting pilgrims.
Two teenagers on their way to Sioux City traveling for the first time by themselves. A Montanan working in the Netherlands who wanted to return back to Montana. And a woman who was his former classmate.
We were spirited 25 minutes away and deposited at the Renaissance where after wishes of good will towards men, we went to bed. Some to get up mere hours later to try the journey again.
As I went to sleep I couldn't help but be happy.
It wasn't the trip I wanted,but it's the trip I needed and that other people needed.
After heavenly sleep ,I awoke to the History Channel episode about angels and smiled.
I went down to breakfast and saw Amin and we chatted more. He told me about the crazy horse similar to the one in Norman and my heart smiled too.
After a firm handshake and smile, I left and he left to his final destination.
I wish we had exchanged information,because he was a really nice, insightful guy. But it's okay and perhaps better that we were able to converse in that isolated experience and that's it. Who knows.
All it took was a smile.

27 November 2008

What a difference a year makes...

It's Thanksgiving.
This is my first one away from my family and at first I was kind of sad,but then you know I got over it. It's been lovely spending it with one of my closest friends. Now I am full and angry watching UT being regular against AM but broadcasters still being on McCoy's...business.
Last year at this time I was in Omaha. With my family.
In two days I would be told by someone I was in a relationship that we were through and would spend Saturday night crying.
Then Sunday morning we were back together.
Fastforward to this year and I'm awed at what a difference a year makes.
I miss that person and almost wanted to send an annoying "Happy Thanksgiving" text,but decided against it.

I think a big par tof growing up is accepting the everchanging contexts of one's life and living in those.

I hate it sometimes.
That and Texas.

04 November 2008

Only in America...

I'm quite pleased with the results of this election. I won't get into all the emotions and thoughts I'm feeling.
No,racism is not dead,but perhaps it's on life support? I'm happy.
I'm thankful that I've seen the day where we have a) an intelligent president again b) and yes an African-American president.
I have NEVER been prouder to be an Americaine. Always proud, but never prouder.
All these dumbasses talking about leaving the country, where are you going?
But seriously.
Where are they going?
They're not going to Europe, maybe to Russia.
They're probably not going to Asia, sure as hell not going to Africa.
Where are they going?
They're staying in these here 50 and getting ready to drink a HUGE glass of Change.
Or shut the hell up...

27 August 2008


I'm back to blogging.
I was inspired by William Jefferson Clinton's, good ol' Slick Willy, speech. The difference between and Hillary's speech was absolutely mind boggling.
Hillary's was rubbish.
Bill's was enthusiastic, effective gold.
He has shown once and for all why he is considered one of the best orators of this time.
He explicitly recanted, with style and grace, previous Clinton campaign attacks on Barack's inexperience and inability to lead from day one. Something very simple that Hillary should have and could have said, her husband said with much more enthusiasm and (even if feigned) conviction.
Hot damn that man can talk!
Here's a link to the text of his speech:
The highlights, in my opinion:
"With Joe Biden's experience and wisdom, supporting Barack Obama's proven understanding, insight, and good instincts, America will have the national security leadership we need.
Sucks that John Kerry had to follow such a dynamic speech. Although his flipping the script on the "flip flop" theme was clever and for a split second showed a speck of personality and dare I say, humor?"
"Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. Ready to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Barack Obama is ready to be President of the United States. "
There you go.
He's basically said," forget what might have slipped out over the past 18 or 19 months, forget how we might have seemed, we were just kidding. That Barack, he's alright"
The above is really all Hillary needed to say. And she failed.Her husband, by far the cooler of the two, did not only his reasonable service to the DNC and to Barack, but went above and beyond.
While laying out a clear, logical argument to those who might still be pettily considering voting from a place of frustration and "hurt" Bill reinforced why Barack really is the only logical choice for Democrats.That's assuming voters are logical.
He closed with:
"Barack Obama will lead us away from division and fear of the last eight years back to unity and hope. If, like me, you still believe America must always be a place called Hope, then join Hillary, Chelsea and me in making Senator Barack Obama the next President of the United States."
His closing,while well written , belied the fact that Bill's service was not wholly altruistic.
However, he served with a smile.
A little bit went along way.
The olive branch that Bill extended not solely to Barack supporters, but I think especially to African-American voters , will go along way to securing his legacy.
A legacy he has realised ,and hopefully Hillary, is inextricably linked to Barack's.
Overall Bill hit it out of the park and showed that he was a baby and understood that the battle was over, but the war for the White House is still on.
The energy that Bill injected into a sometimes long, drawn out even buoyed Kerry.
That's some type of speech.

19 March 2008

Deciphering the French Nat'l Character

So, I've been thinking about what composes a nation's character. What are the ingredients to creating a person of any nationality? Certainly ingredients include such grand historical events like myths of independence and national sins such as slavery, genocide and the like. I would like to throw the education system in there as a crucial ingredient.
I'm sitting in a class, en Français, and a pair of students have a presentation to do. They have their handouts ready , crisp and clean, they pass them out, speak articulately,as far as ,y foreign ear is concerned and everything is lovely.
At the end of the presentation, or exposé, I'm ready to give these people a well-deserved clap. My hands draw together as if there's a magnet between them, then I stop and ascertain the situation.
I'm the only one moving at all.
Applause is not about to explode over the room and these students are not the least bit concerned.
My mind flies back to every presentation I've ever done stateside. People will clap, for the most part, whether you just gave a Nobel Prize winning oration or just got to the front of the room and started speaking in tongues.
We , American students and teachers,seem to reward the effort. I've even said to people before, " E" for effort.
Not so here in the land of France.
Not only does no one applaud, but then the professor proceeds to critique the two , in front of everyone and their mama. I'm looking around like WTF and ask a guy sitting next to me, "est-ce que c'est normale?" He looks back as if I asked what denomination the pope is or from which direction the sun rises and replies, "oui". This practice of calling people out begins in elementary school from what I've been told.
That's when it hit me and everything made sense.In my mind. My thesis is that the French indulge in PDA because they don't get enough,and this is a scientific term, "warm fuzzies" through out their education. To compensate for this as they get older they react in one of two ways-making out in public places and/or shooting people really judmental looks. Maybe this system is better to toughen kids up. But I'm going to go with a negative ghostrider.
This is just my first step in understanding the French as a national character.
You can't really blame them though.

31 January 2008

l'homme du bon bon

So this one time...
Sunday mornings are really nice in Bordeaux because everything is so extremely chill.oh and closed. I use the opportunity to go to church and then walk around. On my first sunday I discovered all of these candy vendors. They had the most delicious coma inducing varieties of goods I had seen in awhile. I bought some candied nuts from this one guy who somehow persuaded me to take the headphones out and walk toward him.
He was nice enough, but kept asking me if I had a boyfriend. I gave him an answer to the effect of I have someone pretty special,significant, etc. He was like oh cool, it was wonderful to meet you anyawy. I hope to see you soon. Okay; that's not bad considering he's always posted up selling his candy and nuts at the same place.
The next Sunday, my birthday, I buy some more candied nuts.( In fact I gorged myself on them and now never want to see them again.) I'm walking with 2 of my roommates and he asked how I was doing again and if I had met anybody. I'm good; but it had only been a week, sheesh.
He asks for my number and trying to be open to the possibilities out there, I oblige. He leaves his candy place and goes across the way to get a pen from churro vendors. I give it to him and go along my merry way stuffing my face.
The next day, homie calls and ask me for café, whatev, I'm down.
Oh I haven't described candy man.
I thought he was 40 when i first saw him. A good looking 40,but 40 all the same. Maybe 5'8...
And did I mention grey hair. Like straight up Storm from X-Man grey.
We're conversing in french over café and he slips in, real non-chalant, do you have a boyfriend, here? I say no and mention my....person haha stateside and he's like okay. Completely ignores the me in a something and is like do you think there's a possibility for me to be your boyfriend. I let a laugh out, look at him kind of crazy and ask him to repeat himself. He does and then says french guys are really direct.
I then told him (MISTAKE COMING) maybe we'll see, even while in my head I'm thinking:
*you're a decade older than me
*i'm in love with someone
*you're starting to creep me out/get on my nerves
So we part ways and I'm like okay; that's that.
The next day, homestar calls 4 times, not exaggerating, while I'm trying to nap.
I'm serious about my naps and I didn't appreciate the interruption so I didn't answer.
I hope this is the end of L'homme du bon bon. We are not going to have some sort of Josephine Baker/Lolita fantasy obession.
That's not cute.
I knoa everyone likes (hot) chocolate, but good gravy!