Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dressing Up

(I'm on the left and my sister is on the right. Fairfax, CA)

Remember when you were a kid and you had all the energy and imagination in the world? Even after bathing in Mr. Bubble (and who couldn't resist creating a beard of soap with that amazing stuff!) and getting into your favorite pajamas, you could still play endlessly while watching The Wonderful World of Disney on a black and white TV.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Three-Quarters past the Hour

Who says that anymore!?

I ask: "Can you tell me what time it is?"
"Sure! It is three quarters past the hour."

And I freeze.

Three quarters? Three quarters past the hour? Which hour? And what are three-quarters.

A quarter is 25 cents. Three of them past the hour is 75 cents. And, because an hour has 60 minutes, I subtract 60 from 75 and get my 15 cents-- errr, minutes. Three of those quarters past the hour, must be 15 minutes before the hour!!


I know that's not how it really works.
I just want the time to be more simple. Like, for instance, when I ask someone: "Can you tell me what time it is?" I would love to be answered, "Sure. It is 5 minutes to 7:00".

Even 6:55 I understand. But speak to me in fractions and I'm completely lost.

And while I'm on this tangent, when it's Tuesday afternoon and you are inviting me for dinner next Thursday night, I think of it as a week from this coming Thursday. Not this Thursday, but next Thursday.

Can't you ask: "Can you come for dinner on Thursday?"

That all sounds easy. And I don't know why we complicate matters.
But then again. My dad used to call a quarter, two bits. So... I should be really grateful that no one is telling me that the time is six-bits past the hour, or I would really be lost....

Monday, August 20, 2007

thoughts aboard Flight 1415

(This post was written on a napkin last night while in flight. I snapped this picture without a flash over Nevada).

I am sitting here on American Airlines, flight 1415 flying home from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport into San Francisco. I have a window seat. For a while there, I used to sit on the aisle seats so I could get out faster. But now I like to look outside and enjoy the journey.

We're flying into the sunset 32,000 feet above the earth. The sky is a beautiful bright blue with gorgeous streaks of orange clouds that melts into a slate gray which is the earth.

It feels funny to say that you could cover every solid inch of this beautiful planet at this very moment and you wouldn't find me. I'm not on it.

I wonder how astronauts feel as they soar through our galaxy and our earth looks like the moon to them. Or Pluto. It must feel so lonely. I know I would feel afraid to experience that. But, I don't feel afraid up here. I feel connected.

My sister is flying today. Out of LAX. I wonder if we are flying at the exact same time. I forgot to ask her. We fly into separate airports tonight because she didn't know I was flying today as well. I know of at least four others who are also flying today. I wonder how many other people I know who are flying at this very moment.

I wonder who has sat in my seat. I wonder if I have ever been on this exact plane before. I know I have flown on this exact same flight. Maybe I should mark it somehow in a hidden secret place with my sharpie pen. And every time I fly on American Airlines, I will sit at 15F and look to see if it's the same plane I was on before. I wonder if I know anyone on the plane right now. Or if there is someone who knows someone I know.

I wonder if a lot of people pray just before take-off. One of those quick, "please God, keep us safe" sort of prayers.

I do.

Sometimes I look at people sitting in seats nearby and I always wonder when their eyes are closed if they are actually resting or praying.

I really enjoy flying and do not fear it. well. I do not fear flying. I fear crashing. I suppose we all do. I just overheard a guy behind me say that he jumps out of airplanes. And those few moments he's free falling before his paraschute releases he says it actually feels as though he is floating. floating! What a lovely feeling.
I feel I'm floating right now.

It is such a sweet, pleasant flight. I wish this flight for you the next time you fly. I wish this for everyone.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

losing skin but still saving it

While cleaning up over the weekend, I came across my old scrapbook packed-full of drawings, stories, letters, photos, newspaper articles and whatnots.

If you click on the photo, you can see my old skin taped to masking tape. Torn off by the ashcan in the car.

I remember that day.

I was riding in the backseat of my mom's green Ford Galaxy 500 to San Francisco with my mom and Nana in the front seat and my sister and brother in the backseat . While the two smoked cheerfully in the front seat, us kids would roll down the window for fresh air and Nana would turn around and say, "Now kids, roll up that window. With all that wind blowing in your ear, you might get an ear-ache".

So we'd roll our eyes and the window back up and hold our breaths for as long as we could before fainting.

"MOM! Kelly's touching me!" Wally tattled.
"Am not."
"Are, too!"
"No, I'm not!"

"You kids get along! Do not make me stop this car on this busy freeway!"

"Shawn's looking at me funny." Kelly squealed.
"I am not."
"Yes you are!"
"No I'm not!"
"Yes, you are! You just did it again!"
"Mom? Kelly's lying!" I'd protest.
"Oh! never mind!," she'd giggle. "I forgot. She didn't mean to look at me funny. She's just funny looking!"

"That's enough!" my mom would shout from the driver's seat. " I don't want to hear another peep from any of you the rest of the drive!"

"peeeep!" someone would whisper.

And then there was silence except for the beating of our hearts. And sheer panic.

"Okay! That's it! I'm pulling over!!!"

I nervously played with the ashcan in the arm of the door when it caught my skin.

"Now who's crying!? Is that you Shawn? If you don't stop crying, I'll really give you something to cry about!"

"But ... mom!" I'd sobbed. "The ... (sob) ashtray .. . just ... took ... the skin ... (sob) ... off my finger!!" I'd cry through blinding tears.

It was just a short ride to the City but it always seemed much longer when you're sitting in the backseat with the windows rolled up with your brother and sister squeezed in there beside you.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Monday, August 6, 2007

An old box.. like an old boxer

I spent the latter part of my afternoon in San Francisco today. I helped take down our tradeshow booth at Fort Mason at the Fabric Show. I kept staring at these old worn out, lopsided boxes we were loading valuable one-of-a-kind quilts and various curtains and fabrics and other elements into.

These boxes look as though they have traveled the world. And they probably have. Deb just kept taping it together with the packing tape to hold it all in. We'd tape a sheet of paper over an old address label and hand print our office address on it. Scratch out an old address (or two or three) with a permanent marker to make it easier for the UPS man to deliver it.

These tired, worn out boxes. Still carrying on. Not yet ready to retire. They seemed eager and willing to help. Almost proud.

I imagine them right now sitting in some dark UPS truck along interstate 80 heading for New York exchanging war stories.

"You shudda seen me back in my prime when I hauled 80 pounds of heavy hand held weights from Nashville to Biloxi in the heat of summer!"

"Oh yeahhh? Well, I once carried expensive china from Boston to Santa Barbara ... usin' muscles I didn't know I had ... to keep me from shaking so I wouldn't break the fragile glass!"

I haven't written anything in a long time. And then I ramble about worn-out boxes.

And. I'm worn out, too. So off to bed I go.