Monday, May 25, 2015

Wow, just wow

Today we are flying home from Miami—Miami to Atlanta to Kansas City to be precise. Right now I’m sitting in the Sky Club in Atlanta (Kent belongs, we pay for his membership because he flies every other week to Canada and it helps keep things a little more civilized) and I’m posting this because what I saw in Miami and just now in Atlanta is so bizarre I can hardly believe it.

I’m a huge people watcher, always have been and I guess that will never change. While in the boarding area in Miami, I noticed an old lady with a hell of a shiner and couldn’t decide if she’d (a) been in an awful accident or (b) gotten some plastic surgery. I also watched a tall, elegant middle aged man who had diamond status (Kent and I each have platinum, so that man flies a lot) and his son and wife (she sort of just wafted around, barely noticeable to be honest) and then this completely beautiful family of three: husband—very stylishly dressed, wife (also quite stylish and young, probably late 20s) and their daughter, equally beautiful and probably about eight. I remember thinking what a beautiful family they were; they weren’t American and I guessed that they were from somewhere in Latin America although I never heard them speak anything other than accented English.

Anyway, once we boarded things got ugly. The mother was immediately confrontational and lit into a man who was apparently sitting in her seat. I mean to say that she demanded to see his boarding pass and got really snotty with the flight attendant. Things don’t normally escalate like than on any plane but this situation did in a hurry, never mind that the man in the wrong seat was trying his best to ensure that she sat with her daughter. Sharp words were exchanged (all by her, not by the “offending” passenger who was the very soul of reasonableness) and finally everyone was in a seat. Kent and I exchanged eye rolls, I will confess, but hey not my circus, not my monkeys.

Until we were deplaning. 

I spoke to the passenger who’d been in the wrong seat to tell him what a great voice he has (truly great, very deep bass notes, kind of gravely, you’d love to hear that voice on the radio) and then I apparently committed my cardinal sin: I told him what he did was nice. Well, that just opened up a can of worms. On the jet bridge, the mother absolutely lit into me and went on and on about how judgmental I’d been, how it was HER seat and clearly I wasn’t a mother.

Wow. Seriously? I’m not a mother because I thought the other passenger did something nice? To be honest, I just started laughing at her (not nice I know but really??) and she just went off even more. Then her husband got into it and as we walked down the concourse, she said we were pieces of shit. I didn’t hear that bit but Kent did and he said, “Excuse me??” And finally I’d had enough and said well actually I have two sons and three grandchildren and good luck with your life, lady, you’re going to need it.

So now I’m still sitting here in the Sky Club just amazed. You know, she could have played that so differently when they got on the plane. I would bet you anything that the man with the cool voice, the one who ended up sitting directly in front of me, would have swapped with her husband so all three could sit together. But that family chose the nuclear option and now at least 10 people from our cabin, the ones who could hear the whole thing, think they’re jerks.

There’s a meme running around Facebook these days which I think fits here really well. It costs nothing to be a decent human being. Words to live by, don’t you think?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

No joy

These shoes do not bring me joy. Instead,  they've brought me blisters on the bottoms of my feet. Yes, blisters, plural and feet, plural.
The material changes from the toe box area to the rest of the area where your foot rests. It's always bothered my feet but last night's walk to dinner was a different story. We only walked half a mile there and back, but I think perhaps my feet were a little swollen because I have three discrete blisters and a couple of hot spots. 

These sandals won't be making the trip back home tomorrow. I'm just glad I have a pair of flip flops I can wear

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hope I'm not the only one

When I find a song I like, I tend to play it over and over and over. I dissect each line of harmony in my head and sing it until I get it completely. I did that with Super Strong by Max Sedgley (on the Jalapeno Funk Vol 2 CD) because the bass line absolutely enthralled me. I couldn’t and still can’t get enough of it. That bass line is amazingly good and addictive. Here’s an unofficial video so you can hear what I’m talking about.

My current obsession is—of all things—Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Marrs—and wow. I have just started that deconstruction process and there’s a ton in there. I just love this song and I hope you enjoy it too.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Snoozy kitty

But not one of ours. This is the one who stalks mice in our backyard (I'm a fan of that) and the same one that batted at our office window one day as if to say "Hey! Look at me!"

Monday, May 11, 2015

I joined the fad

And got a pair of Tom's shoes.

I've tried some other styles, the ones that have what Kent calls a mummy look to them. The fabric on those are folded differently plus they don't have the seam running diagonally across my foot or the tiny gusset of elastic at the top. Those two differences help this particular pair fit me better. I got them at Nordstrom's Rack so they were about 40% off, and I think they're pretty cute too.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Gravity is a bully

My sister and I were talking a couple of weeks ago. Seems she’s got a nagging hip issue, very similar to the one I struggled with and it’s taking a long time to resolve. She said that getting old was hell and I just laughed. “Sis,” I said, “that’s not from getting old. You did that one to yourself, just like I did!”

And a couple of years ago, my brother blamed his teeth nearly falling out of his head on age. Only he also happened to mention that he grinds his teeth horribly when he sleeps—and that’s actually why his teeth are trying to vacate the premises, it's not age at all!

I’ve been looking at my own changes and trying to be honest about which ones are age-related and which ones I just flat out did to myself. That way maybe I can mitigate some of these things. So in no particular order, here’s what I came up with:

Click for a larger view.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

On being present and engaged

I met Joel in grad school. He was in the class ahead of me but we were in the same group for a year and we became friends. Our friendship started when he helped me navigate dealing with a particularly abrasive woman in his class. I’d thought perhaps I’d done something to offend her but it turned out that she was an angry woman with everyone so it wasn’t personal.

Anyway, I’d offered to drive him from the Kansas City airport to his graduation in Manhattan, Kansas (he lives in Lexington) and he took me up on the offer. On the drive back to Kansas City, I was doing my normal thing of interacting with everyone I met and I’d asked the toll collector how her day was going. I think I said something about the bitter cold and I bet that her feet were tired. We chatted very briefly in the 20 seconds or so it took for me to pay the toll. As we drove away, Joel looked at me and said something curious. “You are 100% present with people.” I’d never thought of it either way to be honest but realized he was right.

In the nine years since he said that, I’ve paid attention to what I do. Kent likes to say I get everyone’s story and that’s true. Everyone has a story after all, and most people really want to share their story. So I ask, and I listen. Partly it’s because I’m very curious (or nosey depending on your perspective) but it’s mostly that I want to know, I want to share however briefly in that person’s life.

But what I’m not so good about doing is getting and staying engaged. Joel excels at this. We both attended SIOP a couple of weeks ago and I was able to catch up with him and just hang out. And what I realized is that I have something to learn from Joel—that getting and staying engaged is critical for me if I ever hope to establish roots anywhere.

Tomorrow I start a new job as a permanent employee. I’m leaving behind my consultant days. And how this all ties together is that being fully present will still be important in my new position. But getting and staying engaged will be even more crucial. I am making the shift from second person (“You might consider doing X”) to first person plural (“We will need to think about X”). That’s a big shift. I think I’m up for it. I hope I’m up for it.

Friday, May 1, 2015

I love Leawood in the spring time

Our house was owned by a family that apparently loved gardening. The parents bought the place in the mid-70s, I believe, and planted all sorts of trees and bushes and clearly had a vision when they did so. One of their daughters moved in to take care of the parents as they got elderly and feeble and she also had a big love of gardening. So that means we have a very lovely yard, even though we aren’t particularly good at gardening ourselves. The yard is one of the reasons we bought the place because it truly looks like a park.

And it’s prettiest in the spring. We’ve got all kinds of blooming bushes and trees so I thought I’d share a couple of pictures with you.