Skip to main content

Props to tha O dawg

I gotta give big ups to my main man, Owen. Today he completed his first 5 hour plane ride as a 2-year-old and he did better than most adults I know. We bought a separate ticket for him, which made all the difference, I think. We hooked up his car seat and rocked the flight. He cried twice, each time for about 10 seconds.

When was the last time you sat next to a 2-year-old that good? I defy you to find a better-behaved kid on an airplane.

The roughest part of the journey was about 2 hours in. I had everything planned out. I let him push all of the buttons for lights, volume, etc. Then I let him play with my cell phone and my iPod. Then we ate some food, read books and changed a dirty diaper (no thanks to the snooty flight attendant who acted like she had never seen/smelled a kid with a dirty diaper before). The next step in my plan was to pop the Baby E. into the Powerbook and feed him while he was nicely sedated by the moving colors and new words. When Owen gets tired and hungry, he's really hard to feed without a hit from the Baby E. needle. I asked Erin which bag the DVDs were in, and she said, "Uh oh, that's the one thing I didn't do. They're in the checked luggage."

You know that feeling you get when you slip in the shower? That split second filled with terror and adrenaline and shampoo? That's how I felt as I tried to come to grips with a hungry, tired, unfeedable Owen strapped into a tiny airplane seat at 30,000 feet. Oh holy hell in a handbasket, we are in for 3 hours of misery, I thought. But then I remembered that Owen had watched some DDD on my computer after we packed up the TV. Maybe, just maybe, Erin forgot to hit eject.

Fortunately, there's a happy ending to this story. Baby Einstein: Baby Neptune was still in the drive. Sweet merciful Jeebus we were saved. Owen learned about the ocean animals, rivers and whales while I fed him an Aloha Airlines complementary breakfast sammich. After his hit of BabyE and a fresh pacifier (baba) he passed out for 1.5 hours, I put on some tunes and enjoyed the ride.

As the plane descended into Honolulu, Owen said softly, "Down-down-down, Hawaii!"


karinms said…
You're like the best blogger ever. I finish commenting on one post and there's another waiting for me :-)
I think in that DDD situation I would have had something like ONG-BAK: Thai Warrior in the drive. O Dawg would have been kicking the other passengers in the shin somewhere over Cabo San Lucas.
JohnJohn said…
Thanks for the encouragement, Karin. You sure know the right things to say to keep me posting!
mquinn said…
Lesson learned: Always keep a ripped copy of a Baby Einstein DDD on the laptop. Of course, as a single guy, that may not be the best idea for my laptop.

Popular posts from this blog

An annual note to all the (NSF) haters

It's that time of year again: students have recently been notified about whether they received the prestigious NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship. Known in the STEM community as "The NSF," the fellowship provides a student with three years of graduate school tuition and stipend, with the latter typically 5-10% above the standard institutional support for first- and second-year students. It's a sweet deal, and a real accellerant for young students to get their research career humming along smoothly because they don't need to restrict themselves to only advisors who have funding: the students fund themselves!
This is also the time of year that many a white dude executes what I call the "academic soccer flop." It looks kinda like this:

It typically sounds like this: "Congrats! Of course it's easier for you to win the NSF because you're, you know, the right demographic." Or worse: "She only won because she's Hispanic."…

Culture: Made Fresh Daily

There are two inspirations for this essay worth noting. The first is an impromptu talk I gave to the board of trustees at Thatcher School while I was visiting in October as an Anacapa Fellow. Spending time on this remarkable campus interacting with the students, faculty and staff helped solidify my notions about how culture can be intentionally created. The second source is Beam Times and Lifetimes by Sharon Tarweek, an in-depth exploration of the culture of particle physics told by an anthropologist embedded at SLAC for two decades. It's a fascinating look at the strange practices and norms that scientists take for granted.
One of the stories that scientists tell themselves, whether implicitly or explicitly, is that science exists outside of and independent of society. A corollary of this notion is that if a scientific subfield has a culture, e.g. the culture of astronomy vs. the culture of chemistry, that culture is essential rather than constructed. That is to say, scientific c…

The subtle yet real racism of the Supreme Court

Judge Roberts, a member of the highest court in the land, which is currently hearing the sad story of mediocre college aspirant Abigail Fischer, recently asked, "What unique ­perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class? I’m just wondering what the benefits of diversity are in that situation?" 
Did you catch the white supremacy in this question? If not, don't feel bad because it's subtly hidden beneath the cloaking field of colorblind racism. (As for Scalia's ign'nt-ass statements, I'm not even...)
Try rephrasing the question: "What unique perspective does a white student bring to a physics classroom?" The answer is, of course, absolutely nothing! Why? Because race isn't biological, and is therefore not deterministic of cognitive abilities. Did you perhaps forget that you knew that when considering Roberts' question? If so, again, it's understandable. Our society and culture condition all of us to forget basic facts …