racial coding in the skies

On the way to a wonderful vacation this summer, I flew Delta RDU-ATL-SEA and SEA-MSP-RDU. The flights in and out of SEA showed Delta’s edgy new safety videos, a version of one of which is here:

(The versions I saw were slightly different, as I’ll describe below. One was on a 767-300, the other on a 757-200). WARNING: Spoiler alert below the break.

Continue reading “racial coding in the skies”

what a summer!

Gosh, it’s been quite a summer – five separate trips not including ASA, and major family transitions. We moved to a new house, my kids both started new schools, and I did a lot of policy-related work early in the summer alongside. With all that, I miss scatterplot and my scatterbrained colleagues! I’ve been trying to read when I can, but haven’t written in a long time.

Look for that to change soon. I’m planning a long post about the feedback on our study on the Tea Party Movement; another on plagiarism and UNC’s honor court; and some retrospective stuff on disappointment and anger at President Obama, among many others. See you soon!

kickass women

Back when blogs were young, we didn’t really know what they would do. I started blogging to keep in touch with my close friends from grad school, as we had all recently moved away from each other. I named my first blog Kickass Women, in their honor. I sent my friends invitataions to blog, and I started writing posts.

It turns out that there are bloggers, and then there is eveyone else. My friends, kickass as they are, are not bloggers, and they did not blog. Fail.

So I am extra excited to be sitting in the airport right now, waiting to fly out to meet up with two of these original kickass women. We have a great weekend ahead of us.

A lot has happened for the three of us since that first blog: three more blogs, two kids, two new jobs, several grants, a book, several articles, chapters and research reports, a major career change, and two marathons. It is hard to wrap my brain around it.

I think I am glad that my friends are not bloggers, so we have this reason to get together in person to catch up on everything.. With a glass of wine, in front of the fire. Like real people.

notes from montréal

The whole family is in Montréal, hanging out while Husband brings music to the people. The VIA One train ride from Toronto to Montréal is like its own little vacation. For $150 or so, you get six hours of beautiful people carrying your bags, serving you food and drink, and using silver tongs to hand you a lemon-scented hot towel. Continue reading “notes from montréal”

providence in portland.

My best friend, Laurie, lives in Portland, Oregon, worlds away from South Bend. We usually see each other during the summer, but this year there was a special treat – I’d be at the Pacific Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Portland – that would bring us together an extra time this year.

Laurie’s mom is dying. She has been for some time now. I haven’t been able to be there, physically, for Laurie at all and worried that I’d feel so far and helpless when her mom finally passed away. At Thanksgiving the doctors warned the end was near. Four weeks ago the hospice nurse gave her mom a week to live. She’s still holding on, but Laurie let me know this morning that her mom’s life is drawing to a close.

I leave tonight for Seattle and, after some family/friend time there, will take the train to Portland Thursday. Laurie and I were supposed to spend some time together before the meetings. We were supposed to hang out like we always do over coffee or Thai or wandering through the mall. We were supposed to walk together on the waterfront. For the first time in a long time, we’d have time alone, without our kids.

All our plans are now on hold, and likely out the window. I can’t help but feel like some other plan, though, is playing out just as intended.

the road to hell was actually a flight path.

Those red-eyes are so deceiving. Omar and I were at a meeting this week at USC. He chose to stay an extra night so as to avoid the red-eye but spend a day traveling. For a multitude of reasons (first and foremost getting home to relieve the babysitter), I chose to take the red-eye instead, thinking I’d get in, take a nap, and have an entire day to be productive while Omar was stuck in a middle-seat.

It didn’t matter that I upgraded to an exit row or that the baby behind me was actually really good for 99% of the flight or that everything went just as planned at my connection. I came home, took a nap, and am still absolutely exhausted. On the list of things I’ve accomplished – printing out work to do, grocery shopping, and paying bills. Not exactly the immense list of things I hoped to get done.

The really sad thing is, there was a time when red-eyes were all I flew and once I didn’t actually sleep, but stayed up all night talking to the person beside me (who seemed interested, of course). The fact that this flight derailed me is evidence of yet another valuable ability that has waned with age.

tipping point

I was in San Francisco this weekend for a conference. First night I went with some people for dinner at a great restaurant and the bill worked out to $50/person plus tip. Second night I went with many of the same people to this hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurant that had been recommended. The food was probably 80% as good and we had at least 90% as much fun, but the bill was only $11/person plus tip. We all marveled at what a great deal this was, and surely we would have been content to pay $20/person or more. As it was, I put in $15, as did others. But then the issue arose of starting to give people back money, because, after all, it works out to more than a 30% tip.

I can see the reasoning of taking money back, but I didn’t take any myself. It felt too much like, “Wow! Isn’t it wonderful this place gives you so much food for so cheap? So, now let me punish the server because he works for a restaurant that is such a great bargain!” Even if we would have given the guy a $4/person tip, it would have been less than half the tip we gave the night before. Continue reading “tipping point”