When I was a little girl I was absolutely terrified of the fish tank aisle of any pet store or Wal Mart. (There were frequent trips to Wal Mart.) I would dare myself to walk down them and then just feel abject terror. So easy to picture the tanks simultaneously shattering and all those nasty little fish getting on me. At Sea World the shark encounter would give me nightmares. It was just so easy to envision the glass breaking, the hammerhead shark bursting forward and biting me in half as its last ask before suffocating.
So, I’m basically the last person you’d expect to go swimming around in the shark infested, fish-filled, coral reefs of Nassau, Bahamas.
But guess what, ya’ll? I DID IT.
And I loved it. Well, there was one huge, mean looking fish, that swam up to me and stared into my soul with his ugly fish eyes…
Besides that though, snorkeling is the best thing in the world. I could have stayed out there for hours. The experience was even cooler because I got to share it with my mom, in her first big one-armed snorkeling extravaganza.
Also, it’s extremely attractive:
All my photos from the trip are Polaroids because I’m THAT girl.
As a business traveler, I often have ample time stranded somewhere – an airport terminal, a 2-star motel in Oklahoma, actually physically trapped inside an airplane on a runway for 3 hours – to meditate on the circles of hell.
Chicago O’Hare is the first circle. Purgatory. The runway at JFK is worse. Probably like 5th circle of hell worthy. Philadelphia’s airport is even worse than JFK’s runway. It’s like middle-hell, 8th ring worthy.
I’m proud to say that I just discovered the 9th circle of hell for business travelers. May I present to you, the “gym” at Park Inn, Tulsa:
When my high school drama class performed a production of “No Exit” we should have staged it in a motel gym.
I’m not totally sure why I’m doing this to myself, but I’m taking a red eye to New York in a minute. I’m just hardcore like that.
I actually don’t mind the idea behind taking a red eye, but I do mind looking like crap in meetings the following day. (I’m just super-vain like that…)
Here’s how I at least attempt to pull it off:
- Headscarf. Keeps my hair curled the way I like it even while I’m trying to sleep in an airline seat for a few hours.
- Ny Quil. Helps with the above mentioned sleep attempts.
- Headphones or earplugs. Because when I’m tired – like I am right now – anyone in my general vicinity is automatically annoying.
- Moisturizer. So much moisturizer. And a giant water bottle.
- Wrinkle free fabric. Thank you to Ruth R. Benerito, the inventor of the wrinkle free fibers my dress is made out of. Thanks to her – and my headscarf – I’ll show up tomorrow looking presentable instead of like a horrible, wrinkly, mess.
Feeling ready to face this flight. As long as the loud mouthed lady next to me – who is bugged the crap out of everyone including her friends – isn’t seated anywhere near me…
I’m writing this from inside a metal tube, 30,000 feet in the air. And then, I’m going to hit “publish” and it will be online. That’s kind of insane right?
It fits though. I’m spending most of this week on airplanes which is cool because I get to scratch that never satisfied in one place itch that I’ve had since I was a kid. Nothing made me happier than sitting in the back of the station wagon, eating powdered donuts from Circle-K (my dad’s road-food of choice) knowing we were going somewhere. Usually Show Low, AZ. We Irwin’s aren’t a glamorous bunch, but I do have amazing family vacation memories. Many of the Clark Griswold variety.
Even though I like being on the road, something about airports and airplanes makes me a little sad. Not like I’m about to cry sad. Just, like, there’s a small ache in my chest and I don’t know why sad. Maybe it’s just the feeling of being in-between. Not quite anywhere. It’s the same feeling I get in hospital waiting rooms, even if I’m not there for a serious reason.
(It probably doesn’t help that I just finished reading “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” which I think is one of the saddest books I’ve read in a long time in that same ache-y, weird chest feeling way that airports are sad.)
Anyway, I made a list of my top 5 flying around in airplanes feeling mope-y songs and thought I’d share:
- Monsters of Folk – Ahead of the Curve. I’m a little embarrassed to love this song because, Connor Oberst. Really, Megan? Are you a sad 21 year old? Not anymore, but this song really does sound like it feels to travel for a living.
- Avett Brothers – November Blue. No real “why,” I just like the way this song sounds. I can’t fully make up my mind on the Avett Brothers. Like, sometimes they’re so great and sometimes, so … not great. Not bad, just not good. This is one of the good ones though.
- Mountain Goats – Broom People. Honestly, I could have made this entire list just of Mountain Goats songs because I think they’re perfect. I narrowed it down to this one because something about it sounds like the way I feel when I get home and get to see Oliver. I think it’s something to do with the fact that he’s the only person who just gets it. Gets why I stay so busy and gets it when I need a break. And never asks if I’m “ok” or tells me I work “too much.” My two biggest pet peeves.
- Sam Cooke – That’s Where It’s At. Another going-home-feels-so-great song. Sometimes I think I love leaving because it means I get to come home and I’m not sure anything feels better than coming home after a trip.
- The Shins – Simple Song. Again, slightly embarrassing due to the fact that I am not Zach Braff in 2004, but I still like The Shins. Sue me. This song just relaxes me when the plane I’m in goes through turbulence and it also reminds me of my friend Susan who I love and miss.
Me, up in the air. I look tired because – unfortunate fact – I can’t sleep through the night in hotel rooms.
Holy crap, April went fast – and May’s going even faster. I’ve been bouncing around the country more than usual the past few weeks. By June I will have traveled to DC, New York, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Tucson and back to NY. Oh and somewhere in there I’m running my first ultra marathon.
My schedule gets a little bit insane at times, but thank god I’m not bored very often. I feel sorry for people who have to do the same thing in the same place all of the time. It does lead to negligent blogging though. And negligent baking. And dull running (treadmills tell no interesting tales.)
So instead, I give you something I recently wrote in my regular old notebook:
Things to do on an airplane when your laptop dies (and you still have two hours to go)
- Freak out about the turbulence, try to pray the Rosary and ponder the Mysteries. (As an insurance policy against the bumpy ride.)
- Give up after the second Hail Mary.
- Read about hostile power grabs in chimpanzee colonies in captivity. Wonder how hard it would really be to become a primatologist.
- See how slowly you can eat your bag of peanuts. (Answer: pretty slowly.)
- Attempt the Soduku puzzle in the in flight magazine. Give up. Attempt the “easy” crossword. Give up. Resort to the “what’s different in these two pictures puzzle.” Own it.
- Seat dance to “Bette Davis Eyes.”
- Miss your best friend.
It’s 10 p.m. and I’m sitting here in a hotel room staring at my running shoes, craving a good run (and honestly, a good slice of pie) but I just worked a 14 hour day, am in a pretty dangerous city (so no outside runs, even during the day) and am so, so burned out on being in business traveler’s treadmill hell.
All that to say, I haven’t been blogging because my runs have been mostly inside and uninspiring and I’ve had zero time to bake. I’m just hoping that the fact that I can deal with the monotony of treadmill running means I won’t get bored during the marathon (or frankly, my 20 mile run this weekend) when I actually get to be outside.
Anyway, aside from not really enjoying running, here are some things I’ve been seeing and doing:
Enjoying this pumpkin/thinking about how I want to make pumpkin pie.
Buying farm raised gator for Oliver. (Bad vegan!)
Feeling nervous about all this hot sauce.
I’m excited to get home for more of this:
Snuggling with Nacho/watching Ally McBeal/pretending I AM Ally McBeal
Today I was in New Orleans for work. Right outside the building where my second meeting of the morning took place, someone was shot and murdered. At 8:30 a.m. On a Wednesday.
Later in the day I drove past a small shop on the side of the road. Outside was a sandwich board that read “Gun Sale. 25 Dollars.”
I don’t think the two things are directly connected. Just observing how different some parts of the country are from places where I grew up, comfortable and safe.
Work travel this week was rough. Time zone changes are not my friend. Yesterday was national running day and I didn’t even get to run because I woke up at 3:45 a.m. (Pacific) and was dead tired by the end of the day. Flying home now and loving the fact that this plane has both wifi and season 5 of Dexter on demand.
Some happy pictures to improve my mood — what I’m flying home to. My loves:
I did some good work today but nothing, nothing feels as good as coming home from the road. Oliver is listening to old-timey songs and cooking dinner. Everyone should have an Oliver to do that for them.
My office at home.
Filed under Family, Life, travel
I’m in Iowa for the first time bringing my tally of states visited to 20. I’m hoping to get to 25 by the end of this year. I’m also hoping that cuteness like this is par for the course here: