March 30, 2004
Mr. Karen advised me that my last entry could use some editing. I’m sure he’s right, but the whole point was that I was too stressed to see straight, so I’m leaving it. I’ve moved on. I’m feeling better now that I’m going to be home for a while. (Well, better mentally; physically I’ve got a cold that’s making me miserable.) In the week that ended Sunday, I spent only about twenty hours total at home and only half of those hours were waking ones. Most of my time away was for the work trip that had me freaking out the last time I wrote here. I flew to Tulsa on a Sunday, the day before Oral Roberts University students had to be back from spring break. One of them was sitting next to me and she was just the sweetest and friendliest person, sharing her life story before we even pushed back from the gate and wanting to know all about me, too. She was so nice I felt bad for wanting to read instead of talk to her and also thought maybe I should hide the copy of GQ I bought in the airport lest she be corrupted by accidentally seeing pictures of sex toys or the fashion spread with the half-naked surfer dude when she looked out the window next to me. She still talking to me at the end of the flight, so I guess she wasn’t too traumatized by my choice of reading material.
Coming back Thursday evening, I once again ran afoul of airport security. It wasn’t due to my footwear this time but because I had three bags. I had to put my belt bag in my carryon before I could enter the queue because I also had my laptop in its case and only two bags are allowed. Never mind that the combined volume of all three of my bags was less than the single giant one the guy in front of me was hoisting onto the x-ray belt as I was hiding my offending item. Never mind that one of my bags would be taken from me at the gate anyway because the flight was on one of the little regional jets that has almost no overhead space. Never mind that I had three bags (plus a rolling luggage cart) the last time I came through this very same airport and raised no eyebrows whatsoever. Never mind any of that; I was in violation of the capriciously enforced rules and had to put the tiny bag in the bigger bag before I could pass through. I hope my fellow passengers appreciated the enhanced safety and comfort that resulted.
When I got home that night, I had to pack to leave for Chicago the next morning so Erica and I could see the Spring International Quilt Festival. And see it we did. I was in a bigger hall in the convention center this year, which meant the crowds were much more bearable than last year. Once again there was far more space devoted to vendors than to quilt displays, but chatting with Mel about the big show this same company puts on in Houston leads me to believe that this is just how they do things. The biggest disappointment of the weekend was not seeing my giant potholder there, even though my name was listed in the program. None of the quilts in the Hoffman Challenge group my piece is in were hung; instead, there were signs in that part of the exhibit saying “due to customs delay at the Canadian border” the quilts listed in the program could not be presented. Bummer. This was my best chance to see it with its peers and it didn’t happen. The closest it’ll be between now and when it gets shipped back to me in the fall is Buckhorn, Ontario, which isn’t really that close, plus I’m wondering if the organizers will let the collection out of the country again given that it’s been delayed a whole month coming back this time. Maybe not being able to see my piece this year is the universe’s way of encouraging me to enter the 2004 challenge. I might be able to get a piece in that which I can see on the road. I’ve already got some ideas rolling around in my head; now I just need to find the time to play with them.