Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The best laid plans...

or should I say worst late planes?

So, I'm not in London. If everything had gone according to schedule, I should be crawling into bed in my new flat after forcing myself to stay awake all day. Instead, I've been chillaxing at the airport in Atlanta for the past fourteen hours.

Apparently Atlanta almost became the new Atlantis last night and hundreds of flights were delayed or cancelled. After a four-hour wait in Cincinnati, I got into Atlanta at about 1:30 a.m. The ever-so-helpful customer service rep said that all the hotels were booked and the next flight out was at 10:25 p.m., a full twenty-four hours after my scheduled departure. "If only you had gotten here sooner," he continued, "you would have had a comfortable bed to sleep in."

So I found my way to a semi-quiet terminal, dragged two benches together, and snatched a few minutes here and there between bouts of shivering. Luckily I had my pillow, a jacket, an eye mask, and my "Serenity Now" mix on my iPod. I really wish I wasn't traveling alone so someone could have laughed at how ridiculous I looked. Around 4 o'clock, they started buffing the floors and even Josh Groban's pipes couldn't compete with the noise, so I woke up and wandered a bit. I found one shop open and bought a ridiculously overpriced fleece blanket, but was able to catch three more nearly uninterrupted hours of sleep so I'll count that as a draw.

Around 8 o'clock I got up and washed my face as well as I could in the cold bathroom water then wandered into a duty-free shop. The angel workers there cleaned me up with some Clinique samples then gave me a MAC makeover. I may not have felt like a million bucks afterwards, but I no longer looked like a twenty-dollar hooker (:

Thanks to some finagling by my dad, I was bumped up to a 5 o'clock flight and have spent the last eight hours in the Delta Crown room. The chairs are a lot more comfy, so I've gotten in a bit more sleep. And there's free Wi-Fi. Plus they keep plying me with water and limes (no carbonation for me when travelling). There's also these adorable little trifles in the cutest little individual cups that make me want to steal some -- just like I was tempted my the plastic sacrament cups when I was little. (Anyone else, or was that just me?)

Okay, I can by that last sentence that I'm getting delirious. Just like my plans, when I'm tired, I often go askew...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

mix 'n match

So, this one time I'm moving to London in five days. And I'm still struggling with that whole "packing" concept. Leaving all my books behind is bad enough, but narrowing down my clothing options is a close second on the masochistic packer scale.

My mom says I should employ the mix 'n match technique where at least a dozen different outfits can be created using only two pieces of material, five safety pins, and an upholstery stapler.

Well, ever since I and a note to my mother were stapled together by my first grade teacher, I've avoided that contraption as much as is humanly possible. And my current wardrobe isn't exactly London city streets appropriate either. And my process of elimination is somehow adding more clothes to my "must-have" pile.

So something like this is looking more and more appealing:

Lauren and I passed this store while joyriding in Iowa one night this summer. We thought it was so funny.

Now I'm wishing I'd had the sense to stock up while I had the chance.

After all, mixed polyester is at least one step up from sweats, right?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Flashback Friday - September 11th

I feel like I need to do something to commemorate the anniversary of September 11th, but I doubt I could find the language to do it adequate justice. Words come easy: terror, courage, faith, fear, love, pain, strength, sadness, disbelief, regret, patriotism, freedom, but combining them into a cohesive, fitting tribute escapes me.

There is a term in psychology called Flashbulb Memory. It defines a memory that is formed during a moment of extreme emotion. The memory takes on such preciseness that it resembles a photograph in quality. Personal events such as car accidents, the death of a loved one, or a wedding day can become flashbulb memories, but they often are the result of shocking or unbelievable events that carry significance for an entire nation or even the world. The most universal flashbulb memories are the assassinations of JFK and MLK and September 11th.

I can still vividly remember, as I sure most of you can, where I was, what I heard, and how I felt. Time, however, changes things. Facts later revealed, wars later fought, sites later seen, and stories later heard all have added weight and significance to my initial flashbulb memory.

I am a horrific journaler, but 2001 happens to be one of my more prolific chronicling phases, and it is interesting to go back and read what I wrote that day while I and the world were still in shock and, some might say, blissfully unaware of just how far and deep the shock waves would ripple and spread from the wreckage at Ground Zero:

September 11, 2001

Today America was attacked by terrorists.

I was doing my hair this morning when a lady called in [to the radio station] and said a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. I thought it was bad weather or something. I took Taylor to piano and while we were there a plane crashed into the other tower. They said it was terrorists.

Soon, a plane crashed into the Pentagon. Another plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Later, we learned a man called his wife on her cell phone, he knew they would die, so he said they were going to do something about it.

Osama Bin Laden is the suspect.

Both towers collapsed to the ground and thousands of lives, including those of rescuers, were lost.

I couldn't believe it. I cried on the way to school. It is the first ward of the new millennium. I can't understand how people can be so evil.

We watched the news all day at school and saw the events as they happened. It was horrible. You could see people jumping out of the towers.

Suddenly, I don't feel safe anymore. America has been attacked and I don't know what is next.

I had seminary last and we talked about the Second Coming and how this is one of the signs, but the end is not here yet.

Today is 9-11. It is a symbol.

I hope that we can forget our differences and band together against this threat.

Freedom suddenly has a whole new meaning to me. I can no longer take it for granted.

Flashback Friday - Flash Forward

I submit that this is one of, if not the best Jim Halpert/Dwight Shrute pranks:

I'm with Brad Paisley in thinking this would be one sweet trick (and pretty useful too), but I'm 99.9% sure a letter from Future Meagan isn't coming any time soon.

But thanks to this sweet site, I can write to Future Meagan. You should try it too!

It's also cool to read (with caution) some of the public entries.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

You're a Sly One, Mister M

So I was heading in from some errands this afternoon when my neighbor beckoned me over to the fence and offered me two perfectly luscious, just-picked tomatoes. I love tomatoes, so I eagerly accepted, charmed by the Home Improvement-ishness of it all.

I got into the house and pretty much immediately sliced one up to eat. When I was finished, I opened the fridge to put the other one in the vegetable crisper and this is what I saw:

It turns out that over the last few days, my generous neighbor has been targeting my family members one by one when we are alone and unarmed and gifting (a.k.a. foisting) a good percentage of his harvest to us.

Sneaky, Wilson, very sneaky...