"I always thought of the existing label as one of the best pieces of government communication. The new one is even better."
-Stefan Sagmeister on the new nutrition label design.
How things have changed, from AL to CHI
I really like traveling, I’ve realized.
The lines, the order of it all. The rules, the simple expectations. The laws of travel that apply to everyone. As well as those special expensive inconsistencies that we know the richest folks can avoid, just like normal.
Everyone will be crammed into the same seats, we will all have to waste a lot of time waiting around.
I like to get there early. Not quite as early as my mom would; always two hours; but as early as I need to spend some time sitting around. I used to think that I was just erring on the side of caution, but now I know that I value this implicit downtime. There’s no avoiding it. I’m insulated from the world, most often without an internet connection, and my job is no longer to respond to deadlines. I just need to arrive and get processed and then my job is to wait in a corral before I stand in line and wait some more.
In line, I’m placid amidst the buzzing bees, those who can’t appreciate the value of inefficiency, who don’t realize their job has changed in this place. The gray and navy carpet tiles, the bric-a-brac pattern that shows no wear, the TVs with 24hr news channels’ latest dredging from the floor of their content pool… this is a place to turn off your expectations and exist.
On the plane, it’s even better.
A minimum one hour wait to get off the plane and walk to wherever I need to end up. The discomfort is implied, but the repetition is consistent, no matter the airline or destination. Maybe I should have paid another $38, $62, $113 for the extra six inches of legroom.
Wheelchairs and babies roll on first. Then arbitrarily we all get to go on in an order that has nothing to do with anything. We think it’s because some of us went online and checked in faster. But it’s no different than the real world here. Some folks just get a better draw, and that’s ok. Some folks want to stress out about that, and they can all they want. Doesn’t change shit. The way life works, you just get half-fucked on occasion.
In life, this might wear me down. In the airport, I know it’s coming.
The air hostess asks for everyone’s attention but gets only 40% of people at best who will even look up at her out of a simple human respect, much less pay attention. Ok, ok, we get it. You’ve got a card in the seat pocket in front of you. You’ll never read it, except if you are really that bored sometime later in the flight. This is how you buckle a seatbelt. If shit goes down and we’re lucky enough to make it through something unexpected, these yellow cup things will bounce in front of your face from their clear plastic tubes. They may work, they may not.
Ok, here we go. Put away your shit and turn off your electronics or at least fake it real good.
Time to wait, and then you’ll arive. It’s gonna be ok.
From Henry Miller on Writing, which also has what he calls his his Daily Program:
If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.
If in fine fettle, write.
Work on section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.
See friends. Read in cafés.
Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.
Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.
Paint if empty or tired.
Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.
Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.