Sunday, August 20, 2006

Magical Thinking

I do not travel much. Home is a good place with gorgeous surroundings, a lot of fun activities to do, and a bed-pillow-cat combination that is unbeatable. Plus the bathrooms are always clean.

Growing up, I travelled extensively. I loved the tension in the pit of my stomach that only happened when taking off in an airplane. I revelled in the sensory rush of emerging into a different climate and culture than the one I left hours ago. I appreciated the order and organization behind the way that airports work. People love to complain about airports, but have you ever sat in traffic on the 405 and watched the choreography of one massive jet after another, lining up for miles across the Inland Empire, approaching the landing strips at LAX? Such precision! And then most of those people find their luggage on the carousels in baggage claim. From a teacher's point of view, it is nearly epiphanous to imagine thousands and thousands of people with assigned seats, most of whom have their supplies, following directions most of the time. . .

A couple of weeks ago, I got on a plane for the first time in ten years. Busyness, expense, spoiled pets, enjoyment of my real life had made travel less than essential, and before I knew it, a decade had gone by and I hadn't even left the state. But d and I decided to very uncharacteristically spend our retroactive raises on a trip to Hawaii. It was gorgeous. The water was warm. The coconut syrup was as delicious as I remembered. We went to the North Shore, hiked to Manoa Falls, drove around the island and hung out at every beach that caught our attention, and heard enough Hawaiian music that if someone plays a ukulele anytime in my near future, I will stab myself in the eyes with a plastic fork.

Then, the day we flew back to LAX, people in Great Britain discovered that terrorists have graduated from playing on monkey bars to watching reruns of MacGyver, and now know how to make bombs out of Axe body spray and lip gloss, apparently. So people in the airport shuttle were talking about bombs, and there were signs all over the airport about bombs, and I couldn't help thinking a little about bombs and planes exploding in midair. The guy in front of us in line to board the plane looked, how shall I say? Suspicious? A little shifty? A little preoccupied by thoughts of twenty-seven virgins in the afterlife, perhaps? His wedding ring didn't throw me off at all. What an easy prop! I took note of all the kids on board the plane as I walked to my seat. Surely a plane with this many little kids wouldn't blow up, right? The universe had to be more kind than that. . . I slept a little. The kids cried a lot. Then I got sucked into an inflight movie in which Antonio Banderas tries to teach kids from the 'hood to dance (who wins the competition? I don't think I can watch the entire movie again just to find that out). The movie was turned off early because we landed. As in, the plane did NOT blow up. Which is good.

So. Travel is good. It's nice to see other places. Skinny guys in line at the airport are not necessarily terrorists. And if enough kids are on board, you'll have a safe trip, I think. . . .

Friday, August 04, 2006


1. I'm so over physical therapy. Yeah, I still get luscious paraffin baths and ice wraps, but my progress is slower going than any of us expected, and that just smacks of failure to me. I want to bend my finger. And I want to voluntarily straighten it. Apparently, more is not better as far as my finger goes, so forcing more than it is willing to do is counterproductive. I'm going to Hawaii for a week, and have workouts to do while I am away. On the bright side, since I'll not be going into the physical therapy office, I will get to miss out on the exercises that feel suspiciously like thinly veiled opportunities to catch me doing dumb things on secret cameras. I am forced to clip multicolored clothes pins to a cutting board, lift pinto beans in my cupped hand, and roll playdough on the table. (Okay, it's not really playdough, and I was sent a tub of it on vacation, but it all feels like kindergarten centers to me.)

2. The baby room has changed color schemes yet again. Now it is light blue and red—still gender neutral and a little bolder than any previous ideas. We have new blinds, and the walls are getting painted light blue when we get back from vacation.

3. As it turns out, after all the tune ups and replacements of admittedly worn-out parts on my car, there wasn't anything wrong with it that was causing the overheating. It needed a new thermostat. Which is just like when the car thought it was stuck in second gear, but really it wasn't. Great. My car has Munchausens Syndrome! Or paranoia. . .

4. d has joined a soccer league. I am a soccer wife, which is seperated from soccer mom by the conspicuous absence of a mini van and snack schedule. And when they lose, they aren't collectively in tears, which is a plus. The team is comprised of mostly teachers who haven't played soccer in years, so they are getting better the more they play, but the next session will be when they really gel. I'm a little nervous about one of the teams they will be up against in a future Sunday, because they look good and more aggressive than the average C league team.

5. My teacher dreams have started up already. I had one dream in which I was merely hanging out with one of my favorite kids from last year, so I didn't immediately recognize the onset of end-of-summer dreams. It took me off guard the next night when sure enough, it was Wednesday of the first week of school and I still hadn't gotten it together enough to distribute the first day handouts with the syllabus, rules, supplies list, etc. The one school-related book I intended to read this summer is already in my carry on bag for the plane. . .
website statistics