Twist and Shout
One often tends to find comfort (or at least amusement) in the smallest, and otherwise most insignificant things, to occupy one’s time and mind during downtime. Especially when sitting at the airport gate after arriving 3 or 4 hours too early.
People-watching is an old pastime but does tend to get less interesting and less effective the older and more jaded I get. Browsing the gift shops, spending money on over-priced gum, souvenir refrigerator magnets, or junk food. There’s always watching the captions on the nearby TV, and if one is at McCarren or Reno/Tahoe Int’l (as I am now), you’ll have a continuous soundtrack of slot machine music and coins dropping in the background to accompany the CNN talking heads. Window-hypnosis, as I call it, happens involuntarily after 8 days of near-sleepless days associated with the assignment.
Of course the most dependable form of unplanned time-consumption can be found in the untangling of the white earbud set that comes with the iPod/iPhone. I’m convinced that the wires move on their own when we’re not watching and weave some of the world’s most complex knots of white labyrinth. This endeavor, though relatively new in our history, is already a time-honored tradition that will last for years to come. As I write this entry, I am fresh off my most recent bout with the ever-twisted clump of wires. The good thing is that in my two-hour flight back home, I can be assured that when I sit in my seat and pull out the iPod again I’ll be good for another 10 minutes off the flight time, as I deal with today’s version of the Rubik’s Cube. And like the Rubik’s Cube of my childhood, I have yet to master the activity, but am confident of the many future opportunities I’ll have to practice.