One year for Thanksgiving, Uncle Eddie and Aunt Ann showed up a lot earlier than expected at my parents' house for Thanksgiving. They came down to visit with my grandmother first, or maybe it was Ann's parents. Maybe they went to my grandparents' house and my grandfather was in a mood and they decided to get out of there - who knows, really? Anyway, when I say earlier than expected, I mean early, like maybe 11am early. We usually didn't have dinner until 4 at the earliest, and people might show up at 2 or 3.
So they pulled in to the driveway and my father said "Eddie and Ann are here". My mom was still in her bathrobe. It was all fine, it's family, right?
But the next year, around 10AM my father called from the living room "Eddie and Ann are here!", scaring the crap out of Mom. They weren't really there, but got such a good laugh from us kids that it's a family tradition, my father would say it every year, usually earlier and earlier every year.
Chris was my favorite photographic subject when I got my first camera. Here he is, heading off to his construction job out in the yard. I think it involved moving that firewood around. Do people still have big wood piles like this? It's funny that we had one, and you can see one in the neighbor's yard. I guess everyone has gas fireplaces now. I just remember that Dad was always on the lookout for free firewood. It all seems so Little House on the Prairie now.
I had an experience tonight that I have had before, but had forgotten.
I was on the AirTrain shuttle from the SFO Airport to the rental car garage, when The World's Most Important Man got on the train. He was talking loudly on his cell phone, via BlueTooth headset, but like a lot of the World's Most Important People with BlueTooth headsets, he either hadn't figured out how to adjust the volume, or wasn't sure how well it compensated for background noise because HE WAS YELLING LIKE IT WAS A TIN CAN ON A STRING.
"SO WHAT COST BASIS DID SHE USE HERE FOR THE 5 MILL? WHAT IS THE INTEREST RATE? IS IT 5.6? 5.6? IS IT 5.6? OK, SO 130 TIMES 5 IS...6...6..675? NO, WAIT..."
Like a lot of important people, he couldn't do math for shit. Anyway, he's not the point. I couldn't stand to listen to his bad math anymore, so I put on my headphones and put some loud music on.
I like to travel with giant headphones. I don't bother with the little earbuds, they don't work very well for me, and noise canceling headsets make me feel like my brain is being sucked out through my ears. So I go with the big Bose Tri Port around the ear headphones. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Bose_TriPort.jpg
They are bulky, and don't fit in the bag particularly well, but I just wear them around my neck when I am not using them anyway - from the house, through the airport, onto the plane. They make me feel like a DJ.
The part that I had forgotten about though, is how much better it is to be out in public with isolation headphones on, playing music you like. I don't get to do that very often now, but I used to do it all the time. It makes you feel like you are in a movie.
When people reminisce about Asbury Park, NJ their memories seem to focus on Tilly and the Carousel. But my most vivid memory of Asbury is of these swan boats. They were magical. I think there were a few different kinds of boats you could get on, and they all ran on some sort of track I think. I always hoped to get a swan boat...