Flying to Dallas last week, I had one of those flights where you pay for all of those lucky breaks enjoyed throughout the travel year, like vacant middle seats, random upgrades, and arriving early. The flight was delayed 45-minutes after we boarded because they had to take all of the cargo off and then out it back on. Also: I was (un)lucky enough to be completely surrounded by 50 or 60 girls from a middle school travel soccer team. It’s the sort of thing that would happen in a headache medicine commercial. Except it was five and a half hours long.
It would be difficult to pretend that it didn’t transport me back into the horrors of being 13. The cool girls all had a row to themselves. Then there was the one who was just on the edge of being in the cool group sitting one the row behind. She kept trying to talk to the cool girl in seat C one row up, who answered only with monosyllabic dismissal. I’m sure that uncool girl was trying to work out in her head why they always seemed nice to her when hanging out alone, but were completely awful when the whole clan got together. I’m sure she’ll be the one driving the others to parties in a few years.
I was struck by the sheer amount of painfully bad decisions and long years that lay ahead of them.
But I was also struck by the fact that I was in a middle seat with a 70-pound little girl sitting in the window seat and another in the aisle seat. They didn’t even take up the whole seat pad. It was like flying with really loud Smurfs. At least half of the group could’ve shared one seat. Meanwhile, my adult sized frequent-flyer self was stretched from armrest to armrest. Hardly seemed fair.
So at the risk of being called a fascist, I’d like to propose a new seating regulation: we need to start seating the smallest people in middle seats. Everyone would be more comfortable. Small people don’t touch the sides of their seats anyways. It’s just good, common, fascist, sense. It’s only a matter if time before they start stacking us like chords of wood, anyways, so we might as well enjoy the time we have left.
After missing every Account Planning conference (before it was put down like an injured horse), every Planning-ness (sorry Mark), and every SXSW (before advertising people ruined it), I finally have the chance to get to Austin this year. I’m incredibly excited … ready to dive into some burritos, inspiration and maybe a couple cold ones. Also, it’s almost been 10-years since the last time I pulled off a burrito-trifecta (breakfast, lunch and dinner), so It’s probably time to renew my vows. Although it sounds like a Taco Trifecta might be more appropriate for Austin.
Wanna meet up?
Any recommended talks or panels that are off the beaten path?
I’m all ears.
Also, I promise to never forget to say the southwest part of the name.
I downloaded and got into a suite of apps called Day One sometime last year. It’s a really great way to keep a journal. It looks nice and is somehow fun to write in. I used it for a little while before getting distracted by god knows what. Last week I got into it again when I realized that I was coming up on my 10-year anniversary of quitting smoking.
I just found this in my drafts from August. I think I connected with it as someone who is constantly on the lookout for what’s going to end us all. I can’t help it. It’s fascinating and terrifying to me. Sort of like fast food or the coffee creamer we have at the office that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Also, I really like the idea of using what you do for a living to be helpful. Advertising isn’t always the best career for that. But it does afford the occasional opportunity to do some good.
“It would be saying a lot to say that SF can save the world, but I do think that we’ve fallen into a habitual state of being depressed and pessimistic about the future. We are extremely conservative and fearful about how we deploy our resources. It contrasts pretty vividly with the way we worked in the first half of the 20th century. We are looking at a lot of challenges now that I do not think can be solved as long as we stay in that mindset. This is more of an ‘if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail’ kind of thing. My hammer is that I can write science fiction, so that’s the thing I’m going to try to do. If I had billions of dollars sitting around, I could try to put my money where my mouth is and invest it. If I did something else for a living, I would be using my skills – whatever they were – to solve this problem, but since I’m a science fiction writer, I’m going to try to address it through the medium of science fiction.”