News on the Plane

Are you like me – your appetite and interest in hobbies and the world outpaces your capacity to devour them?  In my salad days (before parenthood, before Big Corporate Job), I used to read three newspapers every day:  the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Post and the Wall Street Journal.  I’m dating myself here:  the Post was bought by the Chronicle in 1995 and Houston became a one-big-daily town, with some really great weeklies, like the Houston Press.

It was a sad day in Houston when we lost that competition between the daily papers, but I digress.

Getting my news from several print sources along with the radio and TV news I consumed ensured that I got a well-rounded perspective of the world.  Local, regional, global – it was all at my fingertips.  Biased, perhaps, but overlaying a mosaic of different biases gives you a pretty accurate lens on the truth.

Reminisce with me, if you would.  It’s 6:30 a.m. on a weekday in the mid-90’s, and three fat, lovely papers have arrived on the doorstep.  The whole world is waiting for me to absorb it.  The routine is established:  make the coffee, feed the cats, fetch the papers, and get down to business.  By 8:00 a.m., I’m feeling like the most educated person in the world and ready to take on the day.  (I was a Realtor at the time, and nobody looks at houses until at least 10:00 a.m.)  You could count on me for interesting conversation at a dinner party.

Years later, the news finds me only on the iPad via a gaggle of news feeds – if I have time to click them – or on the radio courtesy of NPR’s Morning Edition or All Things Considered during my half-hour commute to my challenging and fun corporate job.  I’m no longer the most up-to-date person in the world and my dinner-party conversation will most likely be about this blog, my garden, my job or my fantastic kid (all of which are fascinating to me, you understand).

Except for when I travel – I become the well-informed gal of yesteryear.

Travel holds so much promise – new cultures, customs and cuisine.  And the news!   I start out with a land-grab of all of the papers in the United Club before the flight.  They usually have the local, USA Today, the WSJ and the Financial Times.  Rejoice!  A 2-hour flight – great!  I’ll have time to skim them all.  A 4-hour flight – even better!  I can read and absorb almost everything, enough for months worth of dinner parties and cocktail conversation.

You won’t find me complaining about business travel.  Bring on the dailies!

I love to grab all of the papers from the United Club and gorge on news on the plane; a guilty pleasure I don't have time for in my everyday life
I love to grab all of the papers from the United Club and gorge on news on the plane; a guilty pleasure I don’t have time for in my everyday life

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