Dispatch from the Plane


In my other life, I get to sleep in my own bed.

One hour to go…

If like me, you easily gag at many aspects of the personal blog, stop right here. I do not stand by this post, even as its author. Come back in a few days for normal Gunmetal Geisha fare if you’re a regular, or if you’re new, read this high brow post, or this other frivolous-but-funny one.

“See what you can write in an hour,” said my blogger friend. “Just try it.”

My problem is not the exercise, but that I know I’ll fail at it.

I’ll have to stop writing in fifty-five minutes in order to stay faithful to the challenge. On average, I put in between five and ten hours for a blog post. No wonder I so vehemently shook my head when she first suggested it. No way, it’ll end up being worthless kvetching. At worst, a petty journal entry, at best, all about how the exercise itself isn’t going well.

Then again, I haven’t been writing at all and drastic measures might rev up the stalling brain engine. Allowing my cringey bullshit to pour into sentences in hopes of a breakthrough is, yeah, drastic.

47 minutes left…

Can you believe thirteen minutes have passed? I will see the exercise through, but do I feel inadequate. Thirteen minute of drivel. If I still allowed myself to use the word “retarded,” that’s what I’d be calling myself. Ahem, moving on. And “brain engine”? “Brain” or “engine” would have sufficed. Ridiculous. My vanity will not approve such exposure of my petty side, and how slow and uninspired I can be.

Guess I was wrong about where this would go — it’s going to be a self-bashing session.

Did I mention I’m on an airplane and generally miserable about it? It’s the stale air. And the time zone vortex that changes my phone back and forth to the same two hours for most of the flight. I always end up on the Wifi emailing someone for the actual time, then dismayed to discover I have three or more hours left of flying coffin wretchedness.

Dear — um — diary, I’m heading home to my man, which brought me tears of excitement in between all the tears of sorrow over leaving my father. I only got a day and a half with him. And the baby? I got twelve days with her and my other niece, the one who is my hero. That baby is addictive. She is a ball of candy melting in your arms. Her eyes are kind and her smile can eradicate the miserable grump in anyone.

35 minutes left…

No hope of a writing breakthrough. I could complain about the passengers around me and the noises they make, eating and shuffling around. I can complain about other human beings until I grow old. So I make a point not to. I don’t always succeed, but I’m learning my attitude is a choice (for the most part) and that I’m being masochistic when choosing a scroogey one.

Let me stomp out the scrooge. A few weeks ago, I was asked to join a year-end gratitude blog. The catch — we only had ten minutes to write it. I wanted to do it, but once I knew it would end up lackluster, I gave up. Lackluster not because I had too little to be grateful about in 2015, but because I didn’t have enough time to spin it all into something clever or interesting.

Now, I’ve got ten minutes left for this exercise and I’m resigned to my lack of inspiration. But rather than end on the many things that are irritating the fuck out of me, I’ll give my 2015 gratitude list a shot. The order is random.

9 minutes left…

1- My knees. I have good knees. Active people of all ages complain about their knees. I’ve thrashed mine many times during snowboarding and other activities, yet they’re ox-strong and pain-free. You damn well rock, knees.
2- Salad. It’s been my favorite food since I was a small child. This great love happens to come with a bounty of health benefits, so salad would make my gratitude list every year.

4 minutes left…

3- Meeting my man. Love never fails. People might fail us, but not love. I won’t ever give up on it.
4- The baby (my new niece). Oh my dear god.
5- The baby’s sister: we’ve picked each other as running mates should we run for office. Of course, I had to inform her that I’m an anarchist. Luckily, at the age of nine, she doesn’t know what it means.
6- My family.
7- My friends.
8- Travel, adventure, rain and snow. My city is in a drought, but I hear it’s raining. Rain in Los Angeles means snow in the mountains. Snow means travel and snowboarding.
9- My day job, because I look forward to it even though it’s only a day job. This is unheard of for me, and therefore, way worthy of gratitude.
10- The two good quality videos I directed last year, because with each project, I get better.
11- My stubborn good health, in spite of the refusal to see doctors, get insurance or take antibiotics on the occasions I’ve had a prolonged fever. (I do not recommend this behavior to anyone. If you don’t take prescribed antibiotics when you have a serious infection, you could die.)
12- The fact that I’ve accepted goal-setting as a required step towards goals.
13- The fact that I’ve learned not to leave room in my life for destructive people.
14- That hopeful breeze I sometimes wake up to, coming through the window. It makes me feel like there is no age limit for dreams or their realization. I may be delusional, but that breeze sure is delicious.

Times up.

Since I’ve admitted it, does it mean I can keep going? Maybe some clean-up above? Yes, the latter. I’ll tell you in the end how much I went over.

Forty-minutes over…

…after the proofreading, cutting and rephrasing. And adding the first paragraph about how this would be the sort of blog post I personally find unpalatable. I survived. Let’s call it an exercise in pushing my boundaries of comfort. Not sure what you or I gained, but maybe you could tell me.

The good news? I land in forty minutes! I like going back to my life.

“This is your life,” said my niece during my vacation.

“Yes, it definitely is one of them.” But in my other life, I get to sleep in my own bed.

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  1. Mandi · · Reply

    I love that I can *hear* your voice as I read your words. I’ve probably said that before, but it’s true, especially for a post like this because I felt like we were having coffee, and you were just telling me about your trip. Lovely to hear, even if you hate these kinds of posts.

    1. Well, you’re my friend and I love that you could hear my voice. I would want to hear all about your trip as well, so it’s hard for me to gauge what my friends write, because everything they write interests me, you know?

      1. Yes. I know.

  2. I can think of worse things to do on a plane, like try to sleep, other things. You did OK. Yes, treasure those knees as long as you can. Trust me on that, I know. This was fun and I suspect that maybe inspite of yourself you had some fun doing it.

    1. I guess after I edited it and took out the whiniest parts, you could say I had fun. Of course I did. And I’m glad you called me out on it!

  3. Damnit THRID!

    1. Haha! A new goal. To be thrid.

      1. I at least succeeded in THAT!

  4. I, too, loved hearing your voice as I read. And your irritation and the roll of your eyes as you wrote. I always like to hear about your plane rides ( πŸ˜‰ ) and I’m glad that 100 minutes of this one were – if not enjoyably, then at least – gainfully occupied.

    I think your Niece could grow up to save the world, From mine, most likely!

    I’m glad you wrote a little list of gratitudinals. You have some lovely things on there. Maybe you could even consider the gauche idea of entering this post into some kind of thankful blog hop, in the spirit of shaking the pieces and seeing what falls out.

    I’m glad you wrote, dear Gigi πŸ™‚

    1. For sure, there were 100 minutes gainfully occupied, no question.

      Yes, it’s true, you have a trove of plane stories from me, don’t you, haha?

      Our two nieces — hilarious!

      I would enter the piece into whatever gratitude blog you suggest, now that it’s done and published and visible anyway.

      1. Hehehe well the Ten Things of Thankful opens tomorrow evening at 10pm my time, so…er…*counts on fingers* 2pm yours?

        Our two nieces would be hysterical. I feel as though they embody such aspects of us, they’d get on like a house on fire but be SO different. Mine’s a rambunctious, in-yer-face little tyke who’s permanently in the way, will kiss anyone, and fights tooth and nail at the drop of a hat. (I promise I’m more like that when I’m not completely grief-stricken and traumatised and crying all over the place).

        I imagine yours to be like you – silly, giggly, and with eyes which view the world from a 1000-year old soul, and wonder about it, before dancing off to be with fairies or gather bright leaves or something πŸ˜‰

        And yes. I love my trove of your stories πŸ™‚

      2. Hey, hey, watch who you’re calling silly! πŸ˜‰ Everything else is spot on about my niece.

        Funny you mention your niece will kiss anyone, because mine will NOT kiss a soul other than her parents and sister. Not under any circumstance.

        How do I join Ten Things of Thankful?

        And what are you grief-stricken about, dear?!

      3. Hehehe you? Silly? NEVAH! *ahem* πŸ˜‰

        Your niece just sounds so much more self-contained, the way you write her. I’m not surprised at all to hear that she’s particular about who she kisses.

        Tomorrow night when the linkie’s open, I’ll message you, and if you come over to my blog post and click the little blue button there, it will take you to another page where you can add the URL of this post and see who else has posted there. It’s a lovely community and you’ll get lots of new people coming to visit you here πŸ™‚

        (And I was grief-stricken about losing Hasty and imminently losing Beth, and about the sad things which had occurred on my trip, and going home, and it all overwhelmed me that night and you all saw the puddley side of me, which is rubbish and STILL my biggest regret of the trip)

      4. Got it, you were talking about then.

      5. Yup.

        On my last day, though, I discovered that a blogger friend of mine had died, very suddenly, and I cried the entire plane journey home (well, whenever my mind slipped back into reality – of loss, and of leaving, and of returning) and then spent about 6 weeks shut in my bedroom, so, so sad.

        I hope you get to meet sparkly me sometime. I really CAN be rather fun…

      6. I’m sorry about your friend, that’s terrible. It’s the first I’m hearing of it.

      7. She was a poet and blogger who lived in Belize. I found out suddenly, through her friends posting RIP messages on her facebook wall. I’d messaged with her only the day before.

        Turned out that having her baby left her VERY sick, and the hospitals in Belize weren’t keen to treat her. She’d spent the last year and a bit realising her dream of becoming a policewoman. She was one of the most determined and wonderful people, and her soul just shone. We used to read each other bedtime stories over the voice bit of FB messenger.

        I was in Target with Sandy when I discovered what had happened and I nearly collapsed. My entire body went numb and I couldn’t breathe properly and Sandy had to lead me out. I just cried and cried. Poor Sandy…she was so, SO marvellous, and she, too, got the puddley version of me. Good grief I did a lot of crying.

        In fact…I think it’s fair to say I cried almost every day in Murica because of missing the person I’d just left behind…

  5. Kevin · · Reply

    Babies can do that. Eradicate the grump in everyone.

    Good post/blog. One man’s drivel….

    1. That’s super kind, thank you.

  6. Bravo to you! For: surviving another plane ride (I will have 20 hrs of plane ick to get back home, after this trip to Tel Aviv); I feel your plane! gah. For writing. I love your voice– spoken, but written as well, so it’s great to have you writing again. For doing the gratitude piece… you can still upload it if you want. It closes on the 15th (LA time, to be clear about time zones), so you still have a few hours… send me a link and email, and I’ll do it, if you have any trouble. It’s a wonderful list, of many things I too feel grateful for… especially a baby, who I am in Israel to be with. Oh, that smell and fele of sweet babyness! Add to the Gratitude list… the invitation stands (for a few more hours).

    I fear I am that “personal blog” that makes you gag… but we will at least always have jello shots. πŸ˜‰

    1. Oh my god, never are you that “personal blog.” Mine is a personal blog too, remember. I was referring to a specific kind of themeless rambling that can sometimes get whiney and repetitive. Your words are positive and heartwarming, and you are beyond wonderful. I would love to join that list and will email you — hope it’s not too late.

      1. *Sigh* I suppose I see my writing that way sometimes… not edgy or as interesting. But your compliment is beyond wonderful; thanks GG! xo

    2. Oh no, it appears I missed it. Next year for sure. But at least I’m enjoying everyone else’s lists through that link.

      1. For you… I made a little adjustment. wink wink, nod nod

      2. Very happy I could squeeze in there! I wanted to do it all along, as I mentioned in the post, but then second guessed myself out of it.

  7. This was a fun little ramble. I have a plane trip coming up next month – hopefully I can use my time as wisely.


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