Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Call of the Wild, Flyaway Hair: Part III

Before the adventure, there's waiting.

Before the adventure, there’s waiting.

Friday–July 31. Gate 18.

“Your flight will be delayed 20 minutes,” the ticket agent announced over a microphone.

“And this won’t delay your connecting flights in Minneapolis,” she added.

My fellow passengers waiting at Gate 18 focused their eyes on books, like The Girl on the Train or a J.A. Jance detective novel.  Lit screens on phones hypnotized many others. The man across from me crunched potato chips. Ka-rrrrrunch! A lady chomped on gum. Chaaw-ommmppp! Some took dainty sips of bottled airport water as others gawked blankly into the vast chasm of the airport’s back and forth hustle of people towing luggage… read more

Part II: My Unpreparedness for Cheeky Still Waters

Let the journey begin...

Let the journey begin…

1. An alarm alerted the TSA agents when I stood in the body scanner at airport security. It told them I had, perhaps, a concealed weapon or narcotics in my pocket. I was ordered to step aside as security guards with guns flanked my position in all directions. A TSA lady, who could be anyone’s mom and probably puts sweet messages on Post-it notes under her kids’ pillows, told me to carefully remove the contents of my pocket. I pulled out Kleenex. She said, “Okay, you have tissue. What else?” (she’s thinks I’m stalling, hoping to not reveal the hand grenade I have hidden.) I explained I had chapstick in my pocket and that was it. “Remove the chapstick,” she said with much authority.  I pulled it out slowly and she instructed me to open it up.  Taking the cap off, I twisted the chapstick upward. As soon as the TSA lady saw the lip balm stick made of camphor and beeswax pop up, she jumped back.  She may have watched too many James Bond movies or Get Smart TV shows in her life as she believed my chapstick would certainly shoot bullets or spray some kind of poison gas. When no danger seemed evident, I got the go-ahead to continue on my journey. (I’m actually grateful for the TSA and their scrutiny, making travel more safe for us all.) read more

Secret to Happiness: Get Rid of Your Bucket List

Ireland's luminous green

Hello Ireland

If you have a bucket list, chuck it.

Perhaps you haven’t made your bucket list yet. But you have dreams of some day, some place, some time. Write those dreams down and throw the list out your window. If you have screens, this could be difficult, in which case your alternative is throw it in the rubbish bin. I don’t use the term ‘trash can’ after being chastised by an elderly English lady seated outside a wee deli in Edinburgh, Scotland.  I inquired of the deli’s server the whereabouts of the nearest trash can as the deli had served my soup in a paper cup. The English lady sat regally at one of the deli’s two outdoor tables. Hearing of my inquiry, she said to me, “For your future reference, we call it rubbish bin over here.” She smiled at me with kind eyes, giving me the sense she told me for my own good. Helping me avoid the faux pas of uttering the crass term ‘trash can’ ever again. I said to her, “Ah yes, I’m not in America. Over here you also don’t say ‘restroom’ but ‘toilets.'”

“Yes, we say it like it is,” she said. “And you Americans say ‘parking lot’ and we say ‘car park.’ It doesn’t make sense.” We both chuckled at our respective country’s different terminology. However, I do think ‘car park’ sounds backward. I also think the way the Brits drive is backward. They drive on the left side and riding in their cars is a complete harrowing experience. When you see cars on the opposite side of the road coming toward you, the scary feeling of an impending collision comes over you. read more