Sunday, March 30, 2014

Planes, Automobiles And The Bouncy Ball Project

Spring break finally got here.  Finally, finally. Finally!! I wrapped up my classes and turned in grades.  I'm a little afraid to check my work email because when you have 103 students, someone is going to be unhappy. Mostly, though, the students did a great job. I also finished up a round of prednisone to help my lungs recuperate after a three week bout of upper respiratory infections. I was pretty sure that after this, I'd be looking what might be called "un-slim" in my photographs.  What the hell. I'm more than my body. At least I was feeling better. That doesn't mean you're going to see a lot of pictures OF ME from this trip.

I had a plane to catch and some logistics to work out before our Monday flight out to Louisiana to visit my in-laws.  G and I watch a show called "The Walking Dead".  Last week was the penultimate episode. The last one is tonight and we knew that if we didn't see the episode, it would be likely that we'd come across a spoiler on social media. So we stayed up until midnight and watched it.  Totally worth it.

We hauled our luggage to the local stop, hopped a bus to Seattle, caught a plane to Dallas and then Shreveport, and then rented a car to get around.  All told, we spent from about 8 a.m. until about midnight in transport.  And yes, I agreed to go visit my in-laws. I like them. They are fun, including my husband's grandma, my mother and father in law, my sister in law, Stashia, and niece (who we call Ladybug on the 'net). We haven't seen them in 18 months and hadn't met Ladybug yet, and we had a week for break, so why not?
How you know you're in the south

My favorite photo from the trip

It was a great week. One of the highlights was participating in "The Bouncy Ball Project".  I have a friend, Leah Kayajanian, who is a stand up comic in LA. Straight up. If that doesn't make you fear/respect/lust after her, you should also know that I met her in grad school. She's a great writer. So when she asked if I'd like to participate in her Bouncy Ball Project, I agreed. Leah is one of those people you would be like if you had the guts to abandon everything you used to be to become the person you want to be. She's smart, funny (obvs), hard working and I imagine her as something close to Cobie Smulder's character Robin Scherbatsky, drinking whiskey and chasing wild men.  I would've driven to LA to get the bouncy ball, just to tell a good story and toss a ball out to the mercy of the universe.  She has her name on all of them, too.  I think that takes a certain amount of chutzpah, to say Yes, I'm littering in the technical sense, but I'm really just spreading good plastic vibes. Call me sometime.
I tore in to the package. This is why we can't have nice things.

So I got the ball in the mail and promptly stuck it in my pack. The trip for this ball looks like LA
So off we went.  Now, I just had to find the right moment to release the ball and make Leah proud. Actually, I needed to find the right moment, release the ball, photograph that puppy, remember details and write something really pithy about it later to make Leah proud.  Damn.
This would be a good spot

A good candidate for bouncy ball-ness

It happened that on our second day in Bossier City (next to Shreveport), we decided to take a family road trip.  All of those people I mentioned, plus G and me, all piled in a huge SUV. I think it was the luxury version of the Exxon Valdez. I LIKED it. Smooth ride and as a bonus, I got to sit next to the baby and be silly with her the whole way there and back. We went to Natchitoches, Louisiana, where they filmed the movie "Steel Magnolias".  Aha! Strong southern women overcoming obstacles and living in community with one another.  Perfect.
If we get arrested, I'm blaming her

It was a warm day for me, in the low 60s.  After Ellensburg with its snow still on the ground, that's a warm spring day.  I got Stashia and Debbie (my mother in-law) in on the plan, which seems appropriate.  Yes, my accomplices in creative littering were my sweet, thoughtful, church-going in laws.  You'd think that these traits would work against the bouncy ball project, but you would be wrong.  These women are sort of hardened criminals, prone to gleeful ball tossing at random intervals.

Nobody would suspect them.

We pulled around the side of the Steel Magnolia House and snapped a few pictures like normal tourists. I tucked the little yellow ball in a bed with a bunch of colorful petunias and hoped it blended in.  Then we took off, giggling.  Not having sirens and cops and handcuffs was a bit of a letdown, but you can't have it all.

Just regular tourists. Nothing to see here.

Look at the base of the sign

The rest of my adventure, including my first pedicure, Debbie's excellent taste in jewelry, gambling with the in-laws and taking 23 hours to get out of the damn Shreveport airport, will have to wait until I have a little more time and energy.  Right now, I have to go write that 25 page report that I was supposed to have finished last week.

Oh, and if anyone finds that ball, it wasn't me who put it there, despite photographic evidence.  It's got Leah Kayajanian's name all over it.

1 comment:

  1. Loved the "Yellow ball" thang. Your in-laws must be amazing. And, what great taste your gamblin' MIL has!