Wednesday, May 28, 2008


This piece is entitled Turbulence. It is a fitting title.This piece is about a trip I took to Portland, Oregon in early November of 2006 with my best friend, Kandace. First, let me tell you about the trip. We had been planning the trip for several months and had all kinds of activities we wanted to do and places we wanted to go. We planned a nice hotel near the public rail system and had planned on taking that around town and walking everywhere. Well, from the get go, things weren't good. We had to take a taxi to the hotel, because there wasn't bus transit from the airport to the hotel as had been advertised. It was late when we got there and it was pouring down rain. So, we sleep soundly in our luxury beds, knowing that tomorrow would be loads of fun. We got up and ordered room service breakfast that turned out to be one of the best features of the entire trip (aside from the chocolate spoon cake we ordered later). Well it was windy and cloudy, but not raining, so we went to the outdoor market, which was really cool.

Then it did start to rain, so we decided to go to the Japanese Garden, which had a nice outdoor walk with lots of covered areas. It was really beautiful. So, in the mood, we decided we would go inside and have lunch in the Tea House. Well, the seats were these insanely hard benches, the prices were high, and we just wanted to eat in comfort. So we found a Japanese dive to eat at, and as we ate, the rain pourred harder and the wind got stronger.
Determined to have a good time, we got back on the sub system and tried to find other places to go. I hadn't brought an umbrella or rain hat, so I fashioned one out of a Walgreen's bag. As the days went on, and Portland was now experiencing the worst rain storms and flooding they had seen in 11 years, Kandace kept getting more and more pissed. She totally snapped when the rain got her bag of fresh baked goods so wet that they just fell out of the bottom onto the ground. It was at that point that my optimism ended and I finally had to agree with her that this was definitely shitty. I didn't really get to see any of Portland because the rain was so ridiculous, my view of anything was completely obscured.

And here is the grand finale of the trip. We get on the plane and sit down. We see about eight rows in front of us there is a hole in the roof of the plain and there is a stream of water dumping on the lady seated there. There was a random act of kindness of a guy offering to switch seats. Then we get the announcement that Maintenance is checking it out. Smartly, Kandace has her travel agent on the phone. And as she predicted, the flight was cancelled. So, she booked another flight for three hours later that would end up connecting at O'Hare instead of Dallas-Ft.Worth. So we get on this flight finally and we are seated right next to a not-been-cleaned-in-weeks lavatory. I thought I was going to die. It smelled like a kennel (one with dogs and cats and ferrets and mice...) So after loudly complaining several times, the attendant finally got someone to wipe it down a little.

Completely exasperated, I took the blanket they gave me and put it over my head, laid back and closed my eyes, tryng to block out the smells and noise.
Well about five minutes later Kandace is freaking out, so I pull the cover off my head. Some guy dropped his glasses between the seats and then cut the hell out of his hand on something while he was feeling around for them. The guy was spewing blood everywhere, all over the neighboring seats and the aisle carpet, and he doesn't even realize it until Kandace points it out, and gets a flight attendant to come deal with the guy. So, the attendant has the guy in the semi dirty lav, tring to figure out what to do, and a long line to the lav starts to form. We wanted to use the flashlight hanging in the galley to look under the seats for this guy's glasses, but the attendant says, "0h can't use that. It can only be used for emergencies." The stupidity of it all! So, then about twenty minutes in to the long line of people slowly using the one unoccupied lav, we see the 30(ish) year old gal standing in line with no shoes on, eating a bag of M&Ms, getting blood all over her feet. So, we tell her, and she goes back to her seat, uses a napkin to wipe off her feet and put shoes on. Nest thing we know, she is back in line eating her M&Ms, having not washed her hands. EWWWWW!

Finally we get to O'Hare and have an hour and forty-five minute layover there. We don't end up leaving until 11:30 PM. Now bear in mind, our original departure time was 7:10 AM. We finally get to leave the Kansas City Airport around 1AM and then have a 40 minute drive back to Kandace's house.
SO, this piece is dedicated to that trip.

The rain in the stone going one direction and the hurricane force winds (the wire) blowing the other. The framing imitates the many doorways and window openings we saw at the Japanese Garden. The slick charcoal gray delica beads represent the ferocious rain spewing clouds. Yet, as you can see, the piece is a beautiful work of art. The beautiful thing that happened on this trip was that I got to meet my birth father, Steve Pinkston, for the very first time. There were flooding rivers of tears coming from both of us that we had finally found each other. It was one of the happiest days of my life. So, this trip will always be remembered as the best and the worst. And so this piece, is also paradoxical.

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