Tag Archives: travel

Barf Bag Throwdown: Delta Delivers, American Airlines Left on the Tarmac

A gracious traveler in the Minnesota airport allowed me to photograph his shirt for this article.

It’s election day, I’m traveling, and all of the sudden competition and sports metaphors are running through my head like Dez Bryant on an 84-yard tear to the end zone.  Here’s one of my favorite by Candy Crowley written about the 2008 presidential candidate, Fred Thompson:

Candy Crowley: “The bass haven’t been biting because Fred Thompson hasn’t been fishing with nightcrawlers. He’s been fishing with gummi worms, and the voters know it.”

Kudos to the Huff Post for putting a great list together about that particular competition.  And speaking of competitions, yesterday I walked into a doozy I didn’t even realize had commenced: the airline Barf Bag Throwdown.  Ever since my last flight to Atlanta, I guess air sickness bags have move up to a higher priority in my gray matter. Click here for 101 Uses for a Delta Airlines Barf-Bag, #93.

The contest made itself known when I decided to visit the “lavatory” (who SAYS that word?) somewhere in the air between Oklahoma City and Chicago yesterday afternoon.  Thankful I have learned to keep my camera with me WHEREVER I go, I spied this little compartment upon entering the “facilities.”

Hmmmm….an “Air Sickness Bag” compartment!

Well, all of the sudden I felt like one of those nosy people on a sitcom who begins trolling through the bathroom cabinets of the protagonist’s abode.  I had to look!  While I expected to be met with a box of bags, or a nice little neat stack of plastic-coated amenities, here’s what I found instead:

Feminine products? Check. Handi-Wipes? Check. Little bags for disposing of feminine products. Check. Barf bags? Nowhere to be found…

Well, first of all. Sympathies all around to any man who feels like he’s going to hurl, runs to the lavatory and finds THAT stack of supplies! Secondly, the air sickness bag subject had just moved to the tip-top of my gray matter and now I was curious.  I headed back to my seat and began digging.  And digging.  Then I removed the magazines and finally found my own personal barf bag in the very bottom of that oh-so-important seat-back compartment we travelers use for many more things than reading materials.  I pulled it out and heard a little deflating, “bummer-like” cartoon noise in my head: “Wah, wah, wahhhh.”

The bag was wrinkled, worn and the built-in twist-tie topper was tearing on both ends.  I thought back to my experience with Delta.  Their bags were visible, sturdy and in my distorted and biased view because I had been saved by them, the leading competitor in Kelly’s private in-her-head Barf Bag Throwdown.

I narrowed my eyes, wrinkled my nose and stuffed the offending bag back into the seat compartment making sure the tattered top was showing for someone who might need it.  Delta had fished with night crawlers, and American Airlines was just out there messing around with gummi worms.  Score one for the Atlanta-based airline, my clear winner in this unseemly battle.

My look of resolve and deep intrigue was not private, however, because as I settled back with into my seat I glanced around the cabin to find my seatmate looking at me with more than a slight air of concern.  I smiled at her, got out my book and began reading.

A Father-Son Moment on an Ethiopian Balcony

Editor’s note: Five and one-half months ago, Josh submitted this post as a dedication to a turning point in his life of Fatherhood.  Last week we submitted a post on “Five Questions to Ask Yourself” about adopting and/or fostering a child.  We’re re-submitting this piece as a human experience complement to those questions.  ~ RDK

by Josh Bottomly

Staring down at my adopted son’s new visa and passport for the first time, I did a double take when I noticed something very odd.  The bold print read:  Tesfamariam Josh.  I asked Tafesse, our Ethiopian driver, if there had been some kind of misprint or mistake.  Tefesse grinned and then explained:  “In Ethiopia, a child’s last name is his father’s first name,” Tefasse explained.  It’s our tradition.”  I looked over at Amy in confusion.  “So my name would be Josh Roc,” I asked Tafesse, “and Amy’s would be Amy Glen?” Tafesse nodded and said, “In our culture, naming one’s child is a sacred act.  It’s a blood ritual.  It denotes a very special bond.”

Later that night, I woke up around 4:30 a.m. to Silas’ whimper.  Since it was my turn to take the night shift, I gathered Silas up in my arms and took him out onto the hotel patio, the only “cry proof” place in the hotel.

As I scanned my eyes across the city streets hushed under a blanket of fog and mist, I rocked Silas in my arms and sang quietly over him.  Suddenly, an image surfaced and bobbed on the wake of my mind.  It was of a photograph of my father and I, now yellow and faded with time.  In the photo, I was scrunched up close to my dad like a koala bear.  I must have been no older than Silas.  Dad and I were at the beach, both wearing lemon-colored swim shorts.  The sun reflected against our pale white thighs, and because of the sunhat on my tiny head, it was hard to see my freckled face or any of the tufts of my reddish-blond hair.  Dad’s face unforgettably was contorting and howling like a wolf as ten pounds of squirmy flesh scratched up against his chest hairs, sending tickle bumps through his body. Continue reading A Father-Son Moment on an Ethiopian Balcony

Silent Sunday: 12/19/10 ~ Tulsa Town, by Vlad Railian

This morning our Silent Sunday post is completely focused on Tulsa.  Because quite a few of our contributors live in central Oklahoma, we want to make sure and let Tulsa know they are in our hearts as well.  All images have been provided by Vlad Railian, an amateur photographer from the Tulsa area.  We’re certainly glad you’re living in Tulsa Town, Vlad…and for showing us some of what your city has to offer.  One final note, the LED photos aren’t necessarily “Tulsa,” per se – I just liked them and thought they might be appreciated as Christmas lights with a twist. ~ RDK

Rhema Building

Continue reading Silent Sunday: 12/19/10 ~ Tulsa Town, by Vlad Railian

Forty Days in the UK Flashback: An All-In-One Guide

This past summer I left my beloved state and visited a foreign land.  The primary purpose was to take courses with a group of students from the University of Oklahoma School of Law in Oxford.  However, I combined other parts of the trip with my regular marital policy work at OSU, and took a few days vacation to visit distant relatives I had never met.  The trip was one of the best experiences of my life and greatly nurtured the Explorer within me.  I’ve been working on cleaning up all the photograph links that somehow deteriorated during our move to the new site.  During this process, I decided to put this guidepost up so if anyone would ever like to revisit the journey through my “40 Days in the UK,” they could do it all from one location.


Continue reading Forty Days in the UK Flashback: An All-In-One Guide