Day: January 27, 2010

To Grandmother’s House we go

I don’t like flying very much. I like getting to go places, but the thought of climbing into a metal tube and hurtling through the air miles above anything solid is not particularly soothing. I’m not afraid, but I like to spend my flight time distracted by a good book so I don’t get too thinky about how things could go wrong.

My flight tactic do not work well when I am seated next to two small people for whom this is the Best Ride Ever.
“Hey Mom! When we go up, I feel heavy!”
“Why are they spraying that stuff on the wings?” (De-icer)
“So is that where the air masks come out?”
“Is there a life vest under my seat too?”
“Why is the plane bouncing?”
“What is that noise?”

There were moments during the trip when I looked over at my quietly occupied children and was really glad that I get to bring them on this trip. Their delight and fascination with the whole process helps me remember that modern flight is truly a wonder to behold. There were other times when I had to encourage them (yet again) to keep their voices down and not kick the seats in front of them. This was when I rummaged in my back pack to see if I had anything more interesting than the plane itself. (Not really, no.)

Patch has flown before, but he was a baby so he does not remember. Everything was amazing to him. Gleek was three the last time she flew. She has a few fragmented memories of the experience, but she waved those fragments high as the resident flight travel expert. Except she was as delighted and amazed as Patch was. They both charmed the flight attendants by exclaiming “Oh Wow!” as they entered the plane.

The thing they did not expect was the quantity of waiting which is involved with air travel. They had to wait for time to leave for the airport. Then wait during the drive. Then wait to board the plane. Then wait to land. Then wait on the drive home. Gleek burst into her Grandma’s house with utter relief. She took a deep breath. “Ah yes! This is right. That’s the smell I remember. It’s Grandma’s house. I like that smell.”

I breathed deep and agreed.

Seussian Rhyme

Per my usual birthday tradition, I am posting a short story. This is one I wrote last year, but hasn’t seen the light of day outside a small writing challenge contest. I was really trying to stretch myself in a new direction. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t, but it was fun to write.

Seussian Rhyme

The upload machine had uploaded my brain
into the computer, but now I’m in pain.
Five year old Suzy just wanted to look
Cause I was too busy to read her a book.
The AI was able to read it just fine
Now I’m trapped in a world made of Seussian rhyme.

The visual data has also gone strange
Full of bright flood fill without the full range
Of shades and tonations to which I’m accustomed.
The eyes I have work, but I hardly dare trust em.

I find I have feet, both a left and a right.
They’re pointed and furry, but even that sight
Gives me some hope I can find my way out.
So I start walking and send forth a shout.
I’ve no way of knowing the sound can be heard
Outside the edge of this virtual world.
How long have I been here? I really can’t tell.
Thinking in rhyme is like living in hell.

The wild wiggled roads lead me straight to a town
With houses and towers that all should fall down
Lopsided and curving, a construction nightmare
And all filled with people who don’t seem to care
their town is insane. So I turn to one chap
“can you direct me to an exit mayhap?”

He walks right on past me and says not a word
Neither will anyone on else. It’s absurd.
This town’s full of people and not one will talk
Hours go by on the rickety clock.
Would that this place had some food I could eat
That wasn’t wrong colors for eggs and for meat
The smells are just fine and they’re always served hot,
But they’re unappetizing cause Sam I am not.

I started to think about the things that define
A virtual world. This one had to rhyme
It also had rhythm laid out by the master
This meant I had power to get me free faster
I knew exactly what I had to do
The course I must follow, the path to pursue

I must find the right Seuss to get me loose

I needed a fox, but where should I look?
Wearing blue socks, he had his own book.
A book with few rhymes, where rhythm was sparse
Perhaps in those rules an exit would parse
As if he were summoned, the fox did appear
I spoke clear and loud to make sure he could hear.

“help me kind fox. I’m truly perplexed.
I need to find some way to exit this text.”
“close” smiled the fox, “but not quite right.
The perplexing text exit remains out of sight.
The easiest way to be done with our game
Is really quite simple, you must name a name.”

I puzzled again til my puzzler was sore
What tang toungled name could I use for a door?
Ah of course, what else should I use
The name of the man which created the whos.
I spent a long hour putting words into place
Then I spoke clear with a smile on my face.

“A man once wrote of snoozing juice mooses
And also of gooses a-guzzling juices
The juice guzzling gooses also wore shoeses
Which lead to attack from jealous mooses
For lack of moose shoeses some very sad gooses
Had to fight loose of some nasty nooses
Then shod mooses fled for fear of reprisal
Of such wrote the man Theodore Geisel.”

I end triumphant. The fox shook his head
“you’re clever, but you don’t get it” he said
The meaning and matching, the mixed up word play
Only matter when someone can hear what you say.
That someone is small and will hear with delight
The rhythms and words you read her at night.

Like Derwin of Didd I was fearful and shaking.
Stuck in a mess of my very own making
My little girl Suzy and her special book
She’d asked me and asked me to sit down and look.
I was too busy. “I’m working” I said
And so she asked the computer instead.

“Oh Suzy.” I said “I’m sorry as can be.”
With this last rhyme, I find myself free.