Tuesday, January 22, 2013

People watching

Thursday night I made my way to Minnesota to watch my kid compete. I arrived at LGA with two hours to spare, found the short security line, had no issue with my skates, and found myself inside the gate area within minutes. While I am trying to put myself back together in the limited seating space there is a woman, who had caused her own issues outside the gate over cans of hairspray that she refused to give up and refused to check, sitting there completely finished putting her slip on shoes, sweater and coat ensemble back on but was having a phone conversation with all her other gear splayed across the bench. People were stacked up like flies waiting for that bench space to open up, barefoot and balancing everything they own and she was just having a grand old time chatting away, completely oblivious. I decided to eat something before I got on the plane and was seated next to this off duty flight attendant who seemed a bit weary. He and I chatted up a storm while he encouraged me to people watch. I think he just wanted to comment on what he thought was an affluent woman's behavior on the plane. Basically he told me that she and her family were one hot mess, not able to deal with the broken fingernails of life. This got me thinking about watching the people around me. There was the flight attendant on my flight who was getting ready to retire, she had been in the air for 63 years, and while her immediate colleagues respected her, you could tell that she had a career and they had jobs. The pilot on this flight barely spoke a word, which I found a bit unnerving. I like to know what is going on a little bit and this was the bumpiest ride I have every experienced. I am guessing he was all business and no nurturing? Then there was the group of 20 somethings that were sitting behind me, four of them, who pretended they didn't understand English when the young female flight attendant spoke to them but when the male flight attendant spoke to them in Spanish, which is what they were speaking when she spoke to them they told him that English would be far better. The flight attendant made a comment in Castilian Spanish and they laughed and shut up. My assumption was that they knew he was on to them. It was just a game they were playing with them, but it got pretty old pretty fast. They were rude, very loud, and disruptive in a manner that they begged to be called on. If it had gotten out of hand and they were escorted off the plane I am sure they would cry the foul of discrimination despite being the ones to encourage it. I am not writing to talk about people watching, though this journey has been one in which people watching has come hand in hand with my explanation of purpose. It was a brutally cold weekend in MN. I managed 7 miles of walking on Friday and spent most of my day on the ice on Saturday and Sunday helping to officiate the AM Cup meet and watching Chris skate in the Jr. World Cup. Chris was skating well, though not as fast as his technique looked like it could carry him. Later we came to find out that his coach had been trying to tweak his technique and it was in the process of making a showing but the muscle memory has not caught up with it yet. He was ok with his performance. I am guessing that is the most important thing one could ask. I left MN yesterday tired and very cold. I haven't been warm since sometime mid-week (last week). I have invested in some new funky base layer clothing and have decided that despite its high price-tag and promises it fell far short of what I expected. It sounded like a good idea, make your own heat…but when you think about it, metal is a good conductor (PERIOD) that means of both heat and cold! It will conduct whichever is more dominant at the time. So if your body heat is surrounded by hell bending cold, the metal in the clothing will conduct the cold better than the measly heat of your body . This underwear needs a wind layer to work. Its too bad I fell for it! Today I ran a second set of tests, putting a silk layer between the metal and my skin, and a found that I was even colder than I was a few days ago when it was (neg)11 and windy. Where I had wind protection over the material I was slightly warmer. The point is though that I exercised. I did so despite the grumblings about the cold because I needed to get away from myself feeling like a landing pad. It is after-all the last week of the semester and there is this dog-pile effect that comes over people as they try to squeak out every possible drop of credit deserved or otherwise. Its hard at times to suck it all up and stay professional as one must. Exercise does wonders for the soul! Tonight I listened to The Story Podcast while I walked. It was an interesting choice as it featured two mothers, one from Palestine and one from Israel, discussing how they teach their kids about the war that they are so weary of. It was sentiment that I knew existed despite never being able to bring it up peacefully in my family. Then there was the interview with Robert MacFarlane about his new book about walking the Old Paths as a life journey. Of course I arrived home and immediately downloaded it onto my kindle and started reading. Heck it is after hours and the school work I need to do will be there tomorrow! Here is some more food for thought

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