Unlucky in Travel

I was at dinner with friends recently and, during the course of our mutual catching up, was told that I have the most spectacular stories. We’re all travelers in that group, both for work and for pleasure, so the fact that I seem to have the most unusual experiences of all of us is notable.

Here are the most memorable circumstances, occurrences, and happenstances from the past year or so:

  • I told a 20-something man to stop verbally berating an older woman who was struggling to lift her luggage. He looked as though he might strike me, and for a moment I was worried he would. He did not.
  • A ticketing agent argued with me about my name for 10 minutes. She called a “Joseph Haden Chomphosy” to the desk, and I was sure it was my name but had gotten cut-off. We resolved it with me saying “If you think that somewhere on the planet, there is both a Joseph AND a Josepha with my last name and they both just happen to be in this building at the same time, you have a lot more faith than I do.”
  • A passenger had a panic attack in the door of the aircraft and her service dog got loose and wandered around the cockpit.
  • I flew out of an airport that was so small it hadn’t started taking electronic tickets yet. To this day I am not sure how they managed to get me on the plane, because it wasn’t with a paper ticket.
  • I had a long conversation about the educational system and how it doesn’t properly account for populations that suffer from systemic inequality.
  • On an entirely different flight, I had a long conversation about racism, college application processes, and real estate.
  • Three times I have practiced an upcoming presentation on random strangers (because our flights were delayed).
  • I was sent through security three times in 15 minutes at the same airport. They tested the same bottle every time even though it had been marked by them already.
  • I have been transported by random, non-taxi cars by two separate travel companions and have lived to tell the tale.
  • Twice I have shown up to an airport, ticket in hand, and been told that I am not a ticketed passenger.

And I didn’t even travel that much last year.

I was recently told by an absolutely brilliant woman that the best place for observational research is an airport, because that’s when people are their most honest selves. But if I believed what airports have to say about me, you’d think I was the unluckiest traveler around. ūüôā

Sketchnotes and the Talent that Wasn’t

I Confess I’m¬†Envious

For years I’ve been slightly and openly envious of the people in my life who are¬†able to take notes with corresponding illustrations. To my mind, it is¬†an indicator of deeper understanding of a concept which implied a more complete learning/recollection of it.¬†A year or so ago I discovered Sketchnotes. It appeared to be a system for hybrid note taking so I set about trying to learn how to do it. For the life of me the reading of¬†the tools never lent itself to an understanding of the process.

Cue the long and thoughtful look at how this is a direct parallel to digital literacy and empowered access to the tools we work tirelessly to provide.

So when I heard that there was a workshop happening in my town I signed up immediately.

I’m Good at What I Do…

…mostly because I avoid what I know I’m not good at. It turns out that sketching on the fly is one of those things I’m not good at. It’s not like I didn’t have a hint that would be the case. I have a large drawing of my college campus on ¬†my wall that I did, though, so I certainly hoped I was wrong.

Apart from the fact that my taco sketch definitely looks like a hotdog, it’s not the worst I’ve ever done. I’m going to share the process photos a bit later, since that’s the part that makes all the difference, but I wanted to be sure to share my first attempts here.

Next Up?

Sketchnotes of my travels from the year. I’ve taken quite good notes, without ever even considering doing this, and I might as well make sure they are put to good use. In the weeks and months to come, prepare yourself for some mediocre and slowly progressing sketching and noting!

WordCamp Fayetteville 2015

IMG_0015This past weekend I headed south for a bit of quality community time in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The lovely folks there can teach a thing or two about WordPress just as easily as they teach you¬†about hospitality.¬†I didn’t take any pictures all weekend, so I have for you one picture of me with a banner and one picture of a merhog.

¬†In case you are unsure of what a merhog is…it’s a hog with a fish tail. It is mythical. Honestly, it’s probably the myth of a myth, but here it is in all its glory regardless. A glorious myth’s myth.
Thank you and good night.

Arkansas Air and Military Museum

For the first time since I was very young, we took a trek to the local air and military museum. As large as this place is for a museum, it was very recently still used as a regional airport… for which it would be woefully small. Here are a few of the sites we saw, including an airplane featuring a caricature of a snorting hog!

My Unfortunate Week

This past week I experienced a spectacular intersection of a number  of under-the-weather situations. In general, this isn’t a fun intersection to find yourself in, but I’m back and better than ever!

And if I’m not better than ever, at least I’m more coherent than I was last week which is a huge benefit.

Siteground notebook swag

Sightseeing in Brisbane

I had planned to make this a collection of sites and sounds of Brisbane, but I could not for the life of me figure out how to record video on my camera. So, here we have a collection of photos from my trip and WordCamp Brisbane.

Story Bridge in Brisbane

Things I Learned While Traveling to Brisbane

One of my favorite parts of traveling, other than checking out the local architecture, is how I get the chance to broaden my horizons. I recently told someone that you aren’t really an adult until you get out of your comfort zone, out of your country, and start learning about other cultures.

My short trip to Brisbane reminded me a little about international travel, but also taught me a little about the local history and flavor of Brisbane, QLD.

  • Asking people to politely deplane out of order doesn’t work.
  • Planes are huge.
  • LAX has shuttles that drive on the tarmac and thankfully obey signs that day “stop for planes”.
  • The Queensland University of Technology has this cool thing called The Cube.
  • Cab drivers drive crazy.
  • The art museums on the South Bank are jaw-droppingly wonderful.
  • Australia isn’t liberal with free public Wifi.
  • I had a wonderful chat with a fellow woman-in-STEMM at Super Whatnot¬†(what a¬†great name, amiright) after we failed to make it to Brew.
  • Australia is called… Oz. I can’t tell if that’s a local thing or not, so correct me if I’m wrong.
  • Aussies are very friendly.
  • The Emu War of 1932
  • Queen Street Mall gets millions of visitors a year.
  • When you embark on the way back, your next day is¬†both tomorrow and today.
  • Meat pies are amazing.
  • Brisbane uses the word “riparian,” which I’ve only ever heard in British comedies up until now, all along the river that snakes through the city.

Next up? Photos from the journey!

Road Trips with Large Dogs

Summer is starting which mostly means that my fridge will begin to feature pitchers of lemonade and tons of salad makings. It also means road trips.

I take a ton of road trips over the course of a year and I like to take Pepper when it’s possible. For any of you who have traveled with dogs you know there are a lot of difficulties inherent in that.

Over the years though, I’ve decided there are a handful of failsafe things you should do¬†when riding in the car with your canine.

  1. No food for at least four hours before the trip.
  2. Crack the windows a little to help with the pressure changes.
  3. If you have a seat that straps the dog in and immobilizes them, face it toward the front or back windows.
  4. Take the dog for a run first.

That last one might be cheating, but it works all the same.

Prairie Grove Battlefield Park 

We celebrated Memorial Day by visiting a local battlefield. The last time I was there I think I still was a single-digit age and they have made a driving tour since then. We took that driving tour and a ton of pictures while we did it.

But not while we were driving. No humans were harmed in the taking of these pictures.