Thursday, December 30, 2010


My therapist (can I say that, if I've only seen her twice and do not currently have another appointment? well, why not.) asked me, the very first time I saw her, if I was feeling anxious, now. Worried that something else might go wrong, that I might lose someone or something else. I frowned and thought for a second and said no, no I wasn't thinking those things.

Well, as it turns out, that's because it was too early still. I had just finally finished all the funeral, visitation, burial ceremonies. I had just finally spent a couple of nights in a row in my own bed. I was still processing. I was still in utter and complete shock. So there was no room in my brain to be anxious, to be worried about everything else. I was still trying to pack up his apartment.

Now I am constantly worried. I remember driving in icy doom, and now I'm afraid of anyone else driving in any conditions. It rained all day today and now it's getting cold again; I don't want anyone I know to leave their houses. News reports about accidents and weather make me tense. The other day, my sister and I both left her apartment to go to our parents' house; Pam left about a minute and a half before me. I got home before she did, and when she still wasn't there after five minutes, my mind went dark places. Instead of assuming she stopped for gas (which she did) or took the long way home (which would have been plausible), I instead thought, simply, "Oh shit." Of course, she showed up, and all was fine, but this is what my brain does now.

I suppose I should schedule another appointment, eh?

Or I could just put everyone I know on house arrest. If no one drives, everyone is fine. If no one leaves the house, everyone is safe. Right?

(Please don't point out my faulty logic here. My delicate sensibilities can't take it.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Another week. It feels like a day; it feels like a year. Time seems so random right now, so arbitrary, so fluid. Complicated at the moment, of course, by the holidays.

Despite everything, I did manage to have a good Christmas. I baked many cookies, I hung out with family (and I actually love and get along well with my extended family), I smiled for pictures, I ate much foods, I got nice presents, my presents were well-received. I wore black. I made perhaps the best batch of meringues I have ever made. I got some good after-Christmas-clearance deals. Mostly the family, though; my cousins are terrific.

At one point, my grandma held my hand and said, "I'm sorry about Eric." Hugs, sad eyes, and the words 'I'm sorry' make me cry instantly. I nodded, trying to keep it together. She continued, "It always happens at the wrong time of year, doesn't it?" I whispered a 'yeah' and nodded, squeezed her hand, and walked away to breathe. But, really? Is there ever a good time of year for your boyfriend to kill himself? No. No there is not.

Eric and I had talked about what to get for his brother and sister-in-law for Christmas. He ordered some games online when they were having a big sale, with recipients to be decided when said games arrived. I don't know if he had decided on something for mem (he never says "mom," it's always mem, even written in texts.). But he had my gifts.

Over his birthday weekend, he gave me a couple of them, since they were there and we usually get too excited to wait to give each other things. I got a nerdy board game with 100 wooden camel pieces - very similar to my birthday present of a nerdy board game with plastic camel pieces. He gave it to me and said, "You have a new collection, that only I add to, apparently." The other gift he preceded with a warning: "This is just a toy. It cannot be used in gameplay. It's just for fun, a joke. Okay? It cannot be used in the game." Then he threw a blue plush Carcassonne meeple at me. (Standard game meeples are wooden, about a half inch tall. My plush meeple is, I don't know, eight inches? And plush. And adorable.)

The third present actually arrived in the mail on Friday the 3rd. He had the day off of work, and we were lounging about his apartment when his buzzer rang. He went down to grab the package, and immediately brought it into his room and out of my reach. Naturally, I hounded him about it. "What is it? Where's it from? Is it for me? Is it pretty? What is it?" I had told him previously to buy me something pretty, and pointed out some things in the Kohl's black Friday ad that I liked.

The first time I went back into his apartment, after, it was there. Sitting on the edge of the coffee table, edges of the box lined up with the edges of the table. It had a post-it note on it, "For Cindy," and a tiny, handmade Christmas card.

In the Kohl's ad, I showed him simple necklaces, some blue topaz, "diamond" stud earrings, dangly earrings. I showed him the topaz and said, "these are pretty, I like blue, but I prefer sapphires. Sapphires are my favorites." Mem eyed my finger and asked what my ring size was. I laughed and told her, "Four and three quarters, but yeah right!" He ignored that exchange, my sweet robot. He told me on black Friday that he was able to get some shopping done online that day, despite having to work. "I think I did good. I hope I listened to things right."

In the box was a pair of beautiful sapphire studs. I put them on the next morning, and haven't taken them off since. They are the best Christmas present, and I can't even thank him. He did good, though. He did good by me.

Monday, December 20, 2010


It's been two weeks.

I picked out a casket. I wrote a letter to be read at the funeral. I picked out clothes for him to wear. I proofed the memorial folder (apparently the little paper cards that are at every funeral ever have a name. I wish I didn't know that.) and made a couple of changes. I called pallbearers. I picked and printed pictures for photo boards.

I went to the apartment. (His apartment? Our apartment? It feels like home to me, anyway.) I packed boxes. I sorted through piles of mail and receipts. I took possession of all of his clothes, most of which are dirty. I took the sheets off of the bed, threw away our pillows, and left the bed by the dumpster, where its slantyness can hurt my back no more.

In a weird way, going through his apartment, sorting, packing, was like a girlfriend's dream. All of his stuff at my mercy, and it's not even called snooping, it's just something I had to do. I got to read his scribbled notes, throw away his melted utensils, fold his towels the right way. His clothes are mine to wear or throw away, the toothpaste cap will stay clean, the heat will no longer be a point of contention. I finally have a set of keys to his place.

It still doesn't seem real. I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that he's gone. I still talk about him in present tense. I planned his funeral, I emptied his apartment, I did all of these tasks and I still don't believe it.

I wish it were just a dream, instead of my living nightmare.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Right before Eric and I started dating, we were brought together by our mutual friend's birthday celebration. There's much to be told about that weekend, but let me start with this tidbit. There was construction happening on Leah's road, and when I arrived in the afternoon, I had to drive directly toward a huge pile of dirt. It looked like I was going to meet a dead end, but I found her road, and all was well.

Later that evening, Eric was driving a couple of us drunk ladies back to Leah's place. He saw the pile of dirt and panicked, wondering which way he should go instead. I assured him that he should, in fact, drive directly toward the huge pile of dirt, where he would find the road, and all would be well. It turns out, though, that construction changes throughout the course of a day, and the pile of dirt was in fact an obstacle.

While we dated, this little incident came up often. I'd tell him a piece of misinformation, or assure him I was right about something, and he'd just scoff and say, "Sure, drive right into the dirt. Trust me." This morphed into Rule Number Two of our relationship: Trust me always.

For the last twelve days, I have avoided the elevator in Eric's building. I have gone into the apartment, I have laid in his bed and cried, I have sorted through papers and cleaned out the fridge; but I have not gone into the elevator.

Until today. Today we moved furniture, we took out many loads of garbage, we emptied the fridge, we made sure every cabinet and closet was empty. Today I had to go into the elevator, because I just can't carry a bed down three stories, can't move most of an apartment's worth of stuff with only stairs. So I faced the elevator. And it was fine. But it did remind me of our Rule Number Three: Always kiss in the elevator.

When we first started dating, Eric still lived in Duluth. Our schedules happened to be such that we both had Thursdays and Fridays off. Given our living situations and the fact that I drove a fuel-efficient hybrid, I made the trek to and from every weekend so we could see each other. At the end of the visit, as we said goodbye, he'd tell me to drive safe, he'd kiss me, he'd nod awkwardly and say "yup," and he'd say two words that quickly become our Rule Number One: Don't die.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


internment - noun. 1) the state of being interned; confinement. 2) the act of interning or state of being interned, esp of enemy citizens in wartime or of terrorism suspects. 3) as modifier - an internment camp

interment - noun. 1) the act or ceremony of interring; burial.

Very close, and often confused. I myself had to look them both up, after seeing "interment" all over at the funeral home and figuring they of all people wouldn't spell that word wrong.

I'm not convinced the difference really matters anyway. They both seem like torture to me.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I'm feeling very selfish. I want every scrap of clothing. I want every dish I saw him eat out of, every mug he stirred his Swiss Miss in. I want to be the last one to touch his face, the last to look at his casket. I don't want anyone playing his beloved nerd games, for fear of losing even a single piece.

Today, in his memory, we were supposed to have a post-funeral luncheon with games. Yesterday we went to his apartment to gather a selection to play. We left with three boxes and a duffel bag full, and we didn't even take them all. Unfortunately, thanks to a massive snowstorm, most people ended up simply heading home after the funeral, and some of us came over to Chris and Alicia's, Eric's brother and sister-in-law. We did play a couple of games; some people played dominoes, four of us sat down to play Pandemic.

I have never played Pandemic without Eric. I didn't know how to set up the game. I didn't know the best move to make. I didn't know which character I should play as. And we couldn't even win the game, despite trying our best against it twice.

I sat with his family at the funeral. I was mentioned in the obituary, and multiple times during the service. There was a section where they read letters/thoughts from his immediate family members: Chris, his mom, his dad, and me.

This family has taken me in, claimed me, adopted me, turned me into the daughter-in-law they thought I would eventually be. It's amazing.

It's not enough. I need more. I need everything. I need Eric. His smile, his clear blue eyes, the face he makes after he makes a pun (hey guys, look at me, I'm funny!). The shirts that smell like him, the socks that are still dirty, the comforter I hated a week ago.

I stupidly, wrongly feel that other people's grief takes away from my own. Friends that I never got the chance to meet have stories from years, decades ago; I want them to be mine. People who barely knew him shed tears; my eyes go dry. Or maybe I just want to be strong in front of others? I barely cried at all yesterday, even during the hours-long visitation. Today was not so strong. Today I broke down, sobbed at the front of the chapel, had tears on my face the whole service (except during the part Eric would have hated). But again, when the crowd gathered at the house, my eyes ran dry. As soon as everyone but family left, I started crying again.

I still can't believe he's gone. It doesn't seem real. How can it be? How can the man I hugged and kissed a week ago be impossible to touch now, forever? It just doesn't make any sense. Does not compute.

Is it wrong for me to blog about this? It's therapeutic, anyway. I've been so lost, bearing my grief in silence, that it feels good to get some words out, any words. I can't talk to anyone. How can my grief compare to that of his mother? His mother, who lost her baby boy. His mother, who raised him and loved him and let him go to live his independent, adult life. And how can anyone else's grief compare to mine? (I know this is not true. I cannot know the depth of anyone's grief. I am positive he has friends that are hurting as much as I am, if not more. But these are my selfish thoughts.) So there is nothing left to say. (Also not true. I could talk to anyone, I could say anything, and they would listen. But this is my irrational grief.)

Things. I'm so fixated on things. I want to hold onto every piece of him I possibly can. Why? Why am I so fixated on things? What I really should be doing is recording memories. The time he looked down at me and said, "Oh, how do I not tell you you're beautiful?" The first time I saw him bowl. When we stumbled into his living room on October first, and he pulled me down onto the couch with him, and I suddenly got nervous and asked what other stories he had, and then he was kissing me for the first time. When he pulled me close and kissed me well, for the last time. When I came into his apartment and the pocket door was closed, and I walked around to find the table set, a candle lit, dinner cooked on the stove, and a fake mustache on his face. When I spent the day puking my brains out at his mom's house, and he came in, knelt by the bed, and brushed the hair off my forehead.

These are the things I should cling to. These are the moments that will comfort me.

For now, I'll wear my new sapphire earrings, cling to my plush meeple, and find a nice shirt to smell.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


There are no words, and yet I have so much to say.

My incredible boyfriend, Eric Kessler, passed away unexpectedly on Monday.

My heart hurts. More often than not, my whole body is shaking. It feels like my sternum is collapsing in, like there's a black hole inside of me. I stop breathing. For about an hour yesterday, I shut down. I reached the saturation point of my grief, and there was nothing. No words, no talking, no thoughts, no tears. Just staring into the pattern of the rug, with a sweet cat curled in my lap, licking my fingers, trying to help.

And then, after a few brief hours of numbness and anger, it all came flooding back.

Sometimes I go for hours, making decisions, contributing, crying, but plowing through. And then he pops into my head. I see his face. And I remember. This isn't some stranger I'm talking about, not some distant friend. This is Eric. My Eric.

And I break all over again.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

True story.

Scene: Team gingergirl and brunette versus team gingerboy and blondie. Gingergirl has pizza in one hand.

Brunette and blondie both have to take shots in course of game.

Gingerboy wants to high five gingergirl, for non-shot-taking-win-ing-ness. Gingergirl winds up for high five. Gingergirl sees pizza in other hand. Gingergirl withdraws proffered high five hand, knowing she cannot at this time double high five.

(Gingergirl has need of high fiving with both hands every time a high five is given.)

(Gingergirl is exceedingly ocd.)

Gingergirl falls to ground laughing at her own ridiculosity.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I am a huge nerd.

Guys, if you like Harry Potter (the books) at all, even just a little bit, do me a favor and read this: Mark Reads Harry Potter. He reads all seven books, chapter by chapter, and posts reviews. Of each chapter. And he is cracking me up.

Starting shortly into book two, he does a daily dose of "The Most Depressing Sentence(s) in the English Language," courtesy of J.K. Rowling, which I find tragically hilarious. Mostly I love his reactions to everything.

Apparently I just can't get enough of other people reading and reviewing books I love. He's also just started RE-reading the series, which I think will also be interesting to read about. Read read read read.

Well over a year ago, I learned how to knit. I started making a scarf out of some castaway yarn Jess had sitting around. I got a few inches in, decided the width was ridiculous, and started over. A couple of... er... weeks? months? I have no concept of time. An unspecified amount of relatively short time ago (does that even make SENSE?), I finished it. All that was left was to weave in the ends, which I naturally promptly did not do.

Today, I weaved in my ends. Today, I proudly wear my first ever fully completed knitted item. I feel proud.

Harry Potter and knitting.... I think Jess and I may veeeeery slowly be becoming the same person. Except opposites. But opposites that are the same. You know?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


November is drawing to a close, and with it, my personal blog-a-day challenge.

I failed, in that I did not actually blog every day.
I succeeded, in that at the end of November, I will have 30 posts.

I'm happy with this outcome. It's definitely an improvement over last year's late start and 20 posts. Maybe that means next year I'll do even better, and the year after that, I can attempt NaNoWriMo! ..... Maybe.

Now December is literally hours away. There's snow coating the world, Christmas is in the air, lights and decorations are multiplying. I love the holiday season. So much so that, just maybe, I'll continue to blog during it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday, Monday

It's been dark and dreary and rainy all day. Apparently when it's dark outside, I sleep until 1:30. And then eat breakfast at 4. That doesn't seem healthy.

I don't have much to blog about today, having slept through most of it. I did do some more shopping (why? why?!) (OH, have I told you all the great things I got on black Friday?! Oh man.), and then I went to see Morning Glory with Jess, and then we got ice cream. Because there's no better time to eat ice cream than on a cold, rainy day in late November.

I've known for many months now that Eric's birthday is in early December, having spent it with him last year. But today I realized his birthday is... this weekend. I suppose it's time to figure out what I'm getting him. (You're getting a card. I know how much you love cards.)

How can I be tired? Perhaps I should eat some lunch.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Is it seriously still November?

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I feel like November is, too. But it's not. So I must keep blogging on.

I studied abroad in college, during the 2004-5 school year. A hodgepodge group of 45 of us spent nine months in Birmingham, England. We ate questionable food (British cooking + cafeteria fare = extra bad), we traveled, we drank. And then we came back to the States, and we pretty much divided up. When there's 45 people in a crowd, they are not all going to be friends. The different groups that we formed abroad stayed friends with each other once we were all back home, and each group pretty much lost touch with everyone else.

Today, we had a reunion. It was held at an awesome little Irish pub in Minneapolis. About half of us showed up. It was... interesting. Two of our professors drove down from Duluth to say hi, which was awesome, and weird. There was a definite splitting up of different groups, which did not surprise our side of the room at all. The Irish breakfast and fish and chips were good, though, as was the conversation. I don't feel like I've missed a lot not seeing these people for five years, but it was fun to get together and catch up and reminisce a little bit.

Then I went to Harry Potter 7 with my parents and sister. It was my third time seeing it in the past nine days. I.. I think that might be too many. It is a long, long movie. Fantastic, but long. I think I will have to wait a couple of weeks before I attempt to sit through it again.

Maybe if I start now, I can get through all seven books by the next time I go see it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

That sounds like a title to me.

It's my third day off in a row today, and I can't even tell you how delightful that feels.

After shopping yesterday, I took my GPS for a drive to visit my dear friend Erin, whom I hadn't seen in far, far too long. She and her boyfriend have an awesome house down in Rochester, full of animals and instruments and other neat things. I sat down at a full drum set and beat on it for a few minutes, which was most certainly way more fun for me than the people that could hear me. We shopped, we ate, we watched movies, we drank. Today we went to a Festival of Trees, which is a display of like a hundred trees, each decorated with a theme. Let me tell you, there are some way more creative tree-decorators than me out there, and some toppers more awesome than I could have imagined.

It was nice way to spend a day and a half. Rochester is way closer than I always think, and I got to blast my country playlist all the way down and back, AND I got to spend time with an awesome lady I missed very much.

Tonight, I have discovered the most amazing drink: Baileys (well, Carolans) and milk on ice. It tastes like CANDY.

Please excuse me now, I need a refill, and I'm ignoring the sweet man who just kicked my ass at Carcassonne.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ohhhh, Black Friday.

My gps is awesome. And huge. And so pretty. So are all my new sweaters and dvds and tv seasons. Wooo black Friday!

Wait, are you supposed to shop for OTHER people on black Friday? Hm.

On the Target and Kohl's receipts (the only two places Pam and I went), they show you how much money you saved on that transaction. I saved more money than I spent today.

As we were coming through the front door this morning, we did a quick add up of all the money we spent, between the two of us and a bunch of stuff for Pam's work. Then we almost had heart attacks.

After Target and before Kohl's, we stopped at Panera for breakfast. The espresso machine wasn't warmed up yet, and they were about ten minutes out from making breakfast sandwiches. Luckily, Pam brought cards. She beat me in a spectacular upset in our first game, shouted for joy, and scared the crap out of the cashier. Said cashier later brought us two free cookies, for being awesome.

I need another nap. Or to get my eighth wind. I've had a lot of winds today.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy (actual) Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful day here at the Hendel household. Lots of food, desserts, turkey coloring, ad rifling. I made a game plan for tomorrow (getting a GPS, yo!), my parents met Eric's parents, and most of all there was much, much laughter.

I love Thanksgiving.

Coloring is serious business.


My giNORmous plate of food.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

I had another prisoner on a flight today! Only this one was handcuffed, and his accompanying guard was armed. I'm glad my jumpseat isn't in the back on the plane I was on today.

I got my schedule for next month, and it's highspeeds! This is both good and bad.

I work Christmas Eve night into Christmas morning.
I work Christmas night into the next day.
I work New Year's Eve into New Year's Day.
I have to drive to and from work every day instead of driving there and parking for 4 days.

I will be home SO MUCH.
I don't have to be on call.
I won't get a jarring, unexpected 4am wake-up call.
I can still probably go to most of my normal Christmas things, just not for as long.
I have so much time off it makes me want to jump for joy.

Overall, I am very, very pleased. I'd much rather have highspeeds with some terrible days on than another month of unknown reserve periods.

(Highspeeds are a whole different kind of line, where you leave home in the evening, spend a short night [five to eight hours on the ground] somewhere, and fly back very early in the morning. They are also called "CDOs" are you are considered "on-duty" all night - Continuous Duty Overnights. I love them, because I've realized that I HAVE to take a nap as soon as I get home in the morning for a couple of hours, and as long as I do that, everything is fine. Also, even a working day seems like a day off on highspeeds, since it's just nights and mornings and I'll be home every day.)

Did I mention how much time I'm going to have off? I can't even walk in my room right now, it's a problem. A problem that I will have time to fix, in December!

Now, it's time to fix a different problem: sleep deprivation.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Yesterday, for the first time in my two-year career, I had a prisoner on my plane. Prisoners have to sit in the back row. Luckily for me, my jumpseat on the 900 is, you guessed it, in the back row. He had two guards with him. He was very happy to get a glass of water when I went through the cabin. Exciting.

Today, I had two women on my plane who just looked... well, trashy. They were loud and stupid (which I know, because they were so loud), and they clearly wanted everyone's attention on them. They were traveling with an infant. They had on Jerry Springer t-shirts. They were a delight to have on board, mostly because I couldn't stop giggling about the whole situation. They were ridiculous. The best part was when we saw them waiting at the gate for their connecting flight... to Kentucky. Yeah, seemed about right.

I am so tired I think I could sleep forever.

Monday, November 22, 2010

That's how I roll.

I had two deadheads this morning, one on a very small plane, and one on a very large plane. I put my four-wheeled bag onto the luggage cart to be planeside checked in Knoxville. When I picked my bag up in Atlanta, it only had three wheels. Damnit.

The good news is my new bag rolls so smooth it's like I packed nothing but air.

The bad news is after I hurriedly looked at the bags, bought a bag, switched the contents of my luggage from one bag to the other, and all but ran to the gate for my next flight, we got mired in a two and a half hour delay.

The other good news is that, despite multiple delays, gate changes, and lacking an aircraft for hours, I got a very sweet compliment letter handed to me from one of my first class passengers.

So, win overall, I guess?

Now I just have to figure out how to properly Tetris all my crap into my new bag.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ice ice baby

I was on call yesterday, but by 4.30 I was still sitting at home uncalled, so I decided to go with my sister to a concert. Rocket Club (a country band whose big hit is One Thing Beautiful) was playing at the Cabooze in Minneapolis. My sister, her boss, and a friend of theirs were on the list at the door, because they know the main singer, Chris Hawkey. Lucky for me, they were all on the list with a plus one, so Pam got me in free, too. We sat in a special reserved seating area and everything!

The concert was fantastic. They have great songs, musicians, and singers, and so much energy it's unbelievable. Chris came over to say a quick hi before we left, so I got to meet him, and he warned us, "Be careful, it's really icy out there."

Every car in the lot was covered in ice. The ground was like a skating rink. And it was still precipitating.

We walked about three steps and Pam's boss fell (turns out cowboy boots have ZERO traction), conveniently running right into Pam's legs, who fell on top of her. I hadn't realized how slippery it was until they were both suddenly on the ground, because I happened to be wearing rubber shoes; lucky me. Pam got up, but her boss couldn't get a grip on the ice with her boots. A nice man saw her struggling (and saw Pam and I making no effort to help, because we already knew we'd just end up on the ground, too), walked confidently over to give her a hand, and promptly ended up on his ass.

It took about ten minutes for me, Pam, and my defrosters to clean the ice off my car. Our twenty-minute drive back to Pam's house took us over an hour. Traffic was STOPPED getting on to 394. There was a semi stopped in the middle lane. As we were passing on the left, we saw a mini van on the right slide right into the back corner of the truck. What do you do when that happens? What can you do? You're just stuck.

The exit for Pam's apartment is a sharp turn that I take slow even in the best of conditions. Last night I took it at about three miles per hour. A car came up next to me at the stoplight; fine, no big deal, we'll take the turn slowly and be fine. The other car let me take the lead, so I turned slooowly, slooooowly, up the hill.... and got stuck. I started sliding backwards, so I hit the brakes. Luckily there was enough room for the other car to get past me, which it managed just fine. I started backing down the hill so I could try again. Nothing. Back up more. No going forward, just sliding. More cars showed up at the light, so I backed all the way out of the way and put my hazards on. They left, I kept backing up. A car came up behind me, so i let it pass. It got to the top of the hill that was my nemesis, stopped, and the guy got out, walked back, and asked if he could help us at all. Sweet offer, but how the hell do you push a car when there's no traction to be had? We thanked him, sent him on his way, and kept trying.

Eventually I backed up enough to be able to get into the left lane, which seemed the better choice, as all the cars in that lane were getting through fine. I managed to start moving forward at a crawl. I told Pam the light better turn green, because I was going through it regardless. It turned green, no other cars showed up, and I made it up the hill and finally let out my breath.

I decided I was never leaving the house again.

(Of course, I got a call this afternoon for a flight this evening. But the roads seem to be much better, so I'm sure I'll be fine.)

When we finally got parked last night, we had to go up an icy flight of stairs; we felt like mountaineers, holding on to the railings for dear life. We had hot chocolate and toast when we came in to try to calm down. My hands were shaking, and my arms hurt from gripping the steering wheel.

I guess it's winter now.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I hit the 100 post mark (for real this time) and didn't even realize it! But here's the best part: my 100th post was on Harry Potter movie day. I think that's the best possible post it could have been, even if I had planned one.


I hate fall. I think it is the ugliest of the seasons. It’s schizophrenic in terms of weather; one day it’s 62, the next day I’m scraping frost off my windshield. On top of that, I’m not yet in the mindset for cold weather, so even 62 seems SO MUCH COLDER than it really is. It gets dark early, I have to go back to school (WAIT no not anymore! YES!), and my social life takes a hit. People just aren’t as willing to go out at 8 o’clock when it’s already so dark outside (myself included, let's be honest). The trees are pretty for about a second, and then everything just looks brown and dead and sad and dirty.

I think I'm in the minority with this opinion.

In early October, I decided to take advantage of a nice day and go for a walk at my park. I brought my camera, because I always bring my camera everywhere. That day, my camera helped me find the beauty in fall. I realized why people love it so much, with the crisp weather, clear skies, and rainbow of colors. And I do love sweaters.

As it turns out, I kind of love early fall. I love when things are still mostly green, the sky is brilliant blue, and a few trees are starting to change. I love a single maple leaf, green and red and orange and yellow all in one, like a miniature representation of the whole season. I love putting on a sweater for the first time and having a reason to pull out my exceptionally large collection of scarves. I love mittens.

A month later, though, and I am SO OVER IT. Everything is brown and dead and it's fucking COLD outside, and I don't even want to leave my house EVER and it gets dark so freaking early and the only place I can stay warm is in the shower or in front of my little space heater.

But I do love watching my breath.

I can't help it. I have to find the good in everything. It's my curse.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Seriously, OMG

It's 5:17 in the morning and I should be sleeping, but I have to tell you how much I loved Harry Potter. I laughed, I cried, I almost literally jumped out of my seat (my legs ended up folded up to my chin suddenly and without permission, even though I KNEW IT WAS COMING AUGH). I can't wait to go see it again.

Also, it was a great night in general, with lots of good food (green curry, pumpkin pasties, cauldron cakes, butterbeer), good friends (including Adam, who flew in from Florida for the occasion!!), and awesome/ridiculous costume-watching at the theater.

I am struck by the urge to re-read all seven books as soon as possible. I love everything about these stories.

Thursday, November 18, 2010



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pet peeve / Confessions

Pet Peeve:
I hate when people don't clean off their cars after a large amount of snow has fallen. A medium amount, even. I clean off every window, the entire roof. Not every snowflake, certainly, but I don't leave inches of piled snow on top to blow around once I get on the highway, worsening visibility for everyone around me. I think the owners of snow-ful cars are lazy and inconsiderate.

During my recent day of driving around while it was snowing profusely, I watched a van behind me come up a little too fast while I was slowing down, suddenly realize it was going too fast and slam on the brakes, at which point the mountain of snow on its roof went cascading down onto its windshield, at which point the driver panicked and slammed even harder on the brakes, making even more snow cascade down. I felt a smug satisfaction and thought, "See? That's what you get for not taking two minutes to clean off your damn car."

I often run late (often, sure, or all the time ever), and though I do brush off my car and scrape off the ice as necessary, I leave my driveway with a fogged-up windshield far more often than I should. I'm talking, I hunch over to see out of the right part of it, figuring the best/fastest way to clear it is to drive and get my air warmed up and moving instead of waiting ages for it to clear while I idle. I judge myself for doing this.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sleepy in Kansas City.

It is 6:43, and I am about to go to bed. For the night.

Last night was game night. Fun was had, snacks were consumed and shared, I kicked ass at Carcassonne TWICE. I got home sometime around midnight and, thinking I was safe from being called to work today, stayed up and interneted for a bit. I think I went to bed around one or so.

Of course, scheduling calls me at six this morning with a trip.

I take it as a sign that I wasn't supposed to go shopping. I had some city cash for NY&C that expired today, and while I do need some long-sleeved shirts and sweaters, I do not need to spend money. So instead I'm making some.

I am unsure, however, if I am making sense, or being in any way coherent or interesting. So, to bed!

Alas, down pillows. I hate down pillows. But I do love down blankets, especially after a long, cold day on an airplane.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Snow: Most mornings before I get out of bed, I check my email, facebook, and twitter on my phone. It helps me keep my eyes open between snoozes and convince myself it's time to get up. Yesterday, my facebook feed was full of "OMG SNOW!" I was like, come on guys, we live in Minnesota, you've never seen snow before? I know it's been a few months, but really.

And then I got out of bed and opened the blinds. And I was like, "OMG SNOW!"

Usually the first snow of the year is a dusting that melts within the day. It's a slow, gentle re-introduction to winter. This year, the first snow of the season was this:


And then I spent the day driving around, running errands. The good news is I'm now adjusted to driving in snow, even fresh, thick, and unplowed. The bad news is, I was unprepared for the day...

Inappropriate footwear: I got called in to work on Friday for a quick Duluth turn. I got dressed, slipped on my flats, and headed out the door. I realized I should probably grab a jacket, assuming I wouldn't come home after work but probably go to Jess or Eric's place. Thank goodness the closest coat was a long winter jacket and not the spring coat I was thinking of grabbing.

After work I went to Eric's and ended up spending the night; his is the window I discovered the OMG SNOW from. I had clothes to wear, a winter coat, gloves.... and flats. Somewhere between six and 12 inches of heavy, thick, wet snow (perfect for snowballs!), and I had flats. DOOM.

I left Eric's and headed to Jess's, with whom I spent the day driving around town (part of the excessive errand running was to find me a pair of cheap winter boots; alas, to no avail!), slushing through parking lots, and generally getting my feet soaking wet. My shoes are rubber (they're crocs, actually, which is weird), so they weren't getting ruined, and they stayed pretty warm, but by the time we ended up back at Jess's house, my feet were sopping. It didn't stop at my feet, though...

My pants habits: I've had this habit of wearing flats during the winter for years now. I just love flats. Generally, given the choice of my shoe closet, I would have chosen boots for a day like yesterday. But on a day with no snow in the forecast, and all the previous snow shoveled out of the way, why not wear flats for a day? Days that seem okay for non-boots can quickly turn into boot-necessary days, though.

I lived alone one year during college, and developed a habit. I would say a bad habit, but I see nothing bad about it, myself. I would come home from class with my feet and half my pant legs soaking wet, and as soon as I closed the door, I would take off my pants. Sometimes I would put on different pants; more often I would just wrap up in a blanket sans pants. Flats make the pant situation even worse, with no boots to tuck pants into, and no height to keep pants from dragging through the melty slush. (WHAT?! What do you mean melty isn't a word? Damn you and your red squiggle! Firefox, we are in a fight.)

Yesterday I had buckets of wet snow and flats. By the time we got back to Jess's, I also had very, very wet pants. Naturally, I wanted to take them off. It's apparently considered inappropriate to walk around someone else's house pantsless, though. Luckily, I am an ever-prepared flight attendant, and I had a pair of pajama pants (well, knee-length shorts) in my trunk. They were the same shade of orange as my sweater. They looked especially great with my black thigh-high socks.

Cylons: I've recently (finally) started watching Battlestar Galactica. I... I kind of love it. What's especially funny, though, is that I've been watching it with Jess, her youngest brother (who's 15, I think?), and her dad. We watched three episodes yesterday after running errands. We watched all of it that was on the netflix disc, so her dad hooked his computer up to the tv so we could watch the next episode on instant. We're... pretty nerdy. Also, while watching BSG, Jess and I were knitting furiously. She made a set of wrist warmers. I am a significantly slower knitter than she is (though I am pretty speedy for being new, if I do say so myself), but I accomplished this:

It's double-knit, so the pattern is the same on the back, but in opposite colors. Like so,

See that weird white thing in the upper left corner of the picture? That's my best friend space heater.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My fingers hurt.

Guys, I am really good at knitting. I may not be as fast as Jess (yet), but I can make patterns, and I can double-knit, and my stitches are really even. Now I just have to learn to make something that's not a scarf. Hm.

Coming tomorrow: snow, cylons, my pants habits, inappropriate footwear, and more!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Watch out, y'all.

Between staying in Dallas last night, flying with a Memphis crew for two days, and watching the CMAs, my drawl is in full force today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I'm on reserve this month. Now, I can't complain too much, because I bid to be on reserve instead of getting a line like normal. But... it's different. Interesting.

Pilots have specific reserve periods: am reserve, pm reserve, and high speed reserve. They are only contactable during certain times each day. Flight attendants are, apparently, not so important, so we are contactable 24 hours a day when we are on reserve.

I still have so many days off every month, so I know which days I'm at risk of being called and which days I'm free to go about my business, but on the on days, they could call me anytime from 4am to midnight. It makes life a bit difficult.

One of the requirements of my job is that I do not drink within 12 hours of starting a shift. Since we're on call 24 hours a day on reserve, this means that I can only drink before noon on a day off right before a reserve day. (I say they can call at 4am because Crew Scheduling is usually closed between midnight and 4. If there are delays or cancellations of some sort of shenanigans, though, they could technically call me at 1 in the morning. It's just not very likely. But it does mean that since I go on call at midnight, I do have to stop drinking at noon.) I generally am not up before noon. This means that I generally don't drink much when I'm on reserve.

I am on call Monday through Friday this week. I did not get called Monday or Tuesday; it was like having a couple of extra days off, with the only difference being I was checking my phone obsessively. Wait, scratch that; I'm pretty sure I do that anyway. This morning, though, I got a call at 10.30 saying they needed me at the airport at 12.15 for a flight to Dallas.

Here's the best part: the flight to DFW was my only flight today. We got in just before 4, and we don't work again until 5.35 in the morning. My overnight was scheduled at 13 hours and 26 minutes. That means there was one hour and 26 minutes available for drinking.

Now, I feel I should note that I am not actually a big drinker, not as much as this post makes it sound like I am. But when you are on reserve and you literally don't even have the OPTION of cracking open a beer, well, that's when you want one more than you've ever wanted one before.

So this afternoon I got into Dallas, changed clothes, and came back downstairs to have a couple of beers and some food with one of the pilots.

Ironic, that I had to wait until I was at work in order to have a drink.

Game night

Tonight I got trounced at Carcassonne (a very nerdy and awesome game we play often). I'm talking, I didn't even hit a hundred points, and SOME PEOPLE had over 250. TROUNCED.

(trounce - verb. 1. to beat severely; thrash. 2. to punish. 3. to defeat decisively.)

I was surrounded by friends, and cats. We had a delicious dinner, sweets for dessert, and water to drink. It was a night of good, clean, nerdy fun (punctuated by my swearing, fine). I couldn't tell you when I got this nerdy, or this sober, or grown-up enough to be having hosted game nights at a couple's apartment, but let me tell you, I love it.

Despite being defeated decisively, I could not have imagined a better way to spend my evening.

I just am so happy with life right now. And I thought you should know.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I have a huge sweet tooth. Cupcakes, muffins, candy, fruit, cookies, ice cream. I don't actually eat candy bars very often, though, mostly because there's something else I prefer.

Sometimes I eat sprinkles right out of the container.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Irrational fear #1: dinosaurs.

When I was four, we took a trip to the Witte Museum in San Antonio, where we lived at the time. They had (actually, have, still to this day) an exhibit called Dinosaurs Unearthed. It's a whole big display with plants, environments, and full-size dinosaur models. I was wandering along with my family, staring up at the huge dinosaurs from my tiny four-year-old vantage point, having a grand old time. I'm staring up at one of them -- a gentle brontosaurus, of all things -- when all of a sudden, it swiveled its long, life-sized neck, looked directly at me, and ROARED.

I climbed my mom.

I think that's probably when my fear of dinosaurs began.

When I was, I don't know, eight? Nine, maybe ten? Anyway, some time after we had moved back to Minnesota, my sister and I sat down after school one day and watched Jurassic Park. I had a little puppet on a stick, like this guy:

Mine was a white cat. You could make it turn around, or hide inside its little cone. For some reason, I had this with me while we watched the movie. I don't remember much of the movie (I've watched it since, and I still couldn't give you a good plot summary, and I definitely couldn't tell you how it ends; I think I block these things out), but I do remember what I was doing during the movie: peeking out from behind my cat, who I used to translate my fear. I made the cat stop watching during all the scary parts. I'd twist it away from the screen, or if things got really intense, make it hide in its cone, maybe let it peek out of the top a little. I spent most of the movie curled up tight to myself in my chair, peeking around my poor, terrified puppet. To this day, I can't watch Jurassic Park without getting ridiculously tense, and maybe hiding behind my hands a little.

There's a ride in one of the parks in Orlando called DINOSAUR. Even the name is intense. When we took our family vacation to the parks a couple of Augusts ago, Pam decided I needed to ride this terrifying contraption. (Actually, I had been on the ride a few years earlier, when I was in Orlando for orchestra tour, and I loved it. My dinosaur fear must have been in regression in high school.) The picture that resulted from the ride was so hilarious, we had to buy it. I wish you could see it better, but here you have it.

Let's discuss it a bit, shall we?

First, let me tell you that the picture is taken when some sort of raptor or something pops out of nowhere and roars. We think a better place to take it would be at the end of the ride, when a terrifying T-rex swoops down from above and threatens to eat everyone. Then everyone would have looks of terror and surprise. It's a little more hilarious this way, though, when I'm involved.

Note the kids in the back row, who are impressed, awed, and downright delighted.
The middle row has a small child who is hiding, but I think we'll give him a pass; he's young, after all.
The front row is Pam, me, and our dad. Pam and Dad look.... mildly interested. "Oh, look at that. A dinosaur. Huh." I am smiling, but also cowering. This was not a fake pose I thought would be funny; I didn't even know this is where the picture takes. I was actually trying to hide from the dinosaur, because dinosaurs, you see, are terrifying. (The ride is actually awesome, and Pam and I even went on it a second time. It's like scary movies: it made me tense, even as I enjoyed it.)

The moral of the story is, while I may occasionally enjoy them, I am irrationally afraid of dinosaurs. Now you know.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oh, the horror!

Eric's friend Ed was in town this weekend for some sort of horror convention. There were movies with Q&A sessions, bands, costume contests, all sorts of horrifying activities going on. Ed is, apparently, a huge horror fan.

I saw The Ring in high school, and it scared the shit out of me; I loved it. I've never been a huge horror fan, though. If I get to pick the movie, I can almost guarantee it's going to be a chick flick, maybe a comedy. Action, drama, sure, I guess those are fine occasionally. But horror was never even really on my list.

Then I spent some years with D, who was a horror freak. Zombies in particular, but any sort of horror was at the top of his movie list. I started getting used to watching it, maybe enjoying it. I even requested horror movies a couple of times.

Then I spent some time with no one (and obviously you can't watch horror movies by yourself), and now Eric, who is not a big horror fan. I can't even remember the last horror movie I watched. I am no longer desensitized to the scary.

Tonight, Eric and I were trying to figure out what to watch. The movie he wanted wasn't on netflix instant, we weren't thrilled with any of the options of actual available dvds, so we turned to his dvr. We settled on Walking Dead, the new series on AMC about zombies. About, oh, fifteen minutes in, I realized I was clenching every muscle I have. At the 30-minute mark of the hour and a half long show, I actually said, "Augh, there's still another hour of TENSE!"

See, I do actually like horror movies/shows, I just get so tense. I need to be clutching something: an arm, a blanket, a cat, a pillow. And maybe every once in a while just remind myself to relax. Watching a tv show was good for that; I could unclench during the commercials. Which, by the way, led back into the show with a warning that the following program could be TOO INTENSE for some people. (Does clenching everything you have during a scary movie count as a workout? I think it should.)

The show was good, though, and I actually look forward to watching more of it. Perhaps I need to start watching more horror in general so I once again get desensitized to it. Although, desensitized or not, I'm pretty sure I'll be screwed when the zombie apocalypse comes; I'm so not a survivor girl. Except that I did notice all the stupid mistakes the main guy made in the show, so maybe I'd have a fighting chance. Here's a hint: if there are broken down cars crammed on the road OUT of a big city during a zombie apocalypse, and the roads in are clear as a bell, you SHOULD NOT GO INTO THAT CITY.

But I digress.

The scariest movie of all time, in case you were wondering, is Jurassic Park.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Temperature regulation.

I don't know if this a problem all men have, or if I'm just lucky in my encounters lately, but it seems to me as though men have no concept of temperature regulation.

Eric's heating and a/c settings in his car are always either off or on high. "Oh," he thinks, "I'm cold." He blasts the heat. "Oh," he thinks, "it got hot." He turns the heat off. He never turns it DOWN. Just off.

I'm on a plane, and it's freezing in the cabin, so I call my pilots and ask them to turn the heat up. They oblige. Since I told them it's freezing, they blast the heat, for which I am grateful. Twenty minutes later, people are getting a little too warm, so I call the flight deck back and say hey it got warm, thank you, can you turn it down a little now? And they turn the heat off. Um, guys? We're still in a metal tube at 30,000 feet. You turn the heat OFF, and it's going to get cold again. This has been happening to me on every trip lately. "Hey guys, it's getting a little warm in the back now that people are boarding, but it's still cold in the front with the door open." Heat off. Um.. guys? I can't feel my toes.

Eric has the bonus problem of not recognizing when it's stifling hot in his apartment. All summer long, I'd show up, and go immediately to the door to get some fresh air in the place. I'm usually colder than most people around me, but I'm coming to learn that if most people are comfortable, Eric is apparently freezing. A few days ago, we had some weather in the area, namely a pressure system above us that was the same as a category 3 hurricane, and thus it was a bit windy. He doesn't have a cover for his a/c unit, so wind was charging through and making his apartment legitimately cold. We were buried in blankets, cowering from the wind. We determined that heat was necessary in this case. (Also, we rigged up a pretty sweet temporary cover out of a fitted sheet.)

Yesterday I show up, and it's a little warm, but I don't think much of it. He had the door to his room closed, but again, I don't think much of it. When it is eventually time for sleeping, I head into his bedroom, and am immediately stifling. Having previously been asleep on the couch, I don't have the available faculties to problem solve the heat, so I lay down and attempt to fall back to sleep. After about ten minutes, I cannot ignore how hot I am. I get up to check the thermostat, and he has it set at EIGHTY DEGREES. Eighty.

So I turn the heat off.

This morning we wake up, and it is freezing. "In hindsight, I should have probably just turned the heat down instead of off. I took your extreme approach." Turns out, the balcony door was cracked open, so not only was the heat off, but the outside was also getting in. We close the door, turn the heat back on (at a reasonable temperature), and all is well.

But I have to wonder why the door was open. Could it be that he realized it was too hot, and decided to let in some fresh air? Maybe he's learning. I, however, may be regressing.

Edited to add: Eric's friend Ed is in town this weekend, crashing at his place. This morning, when Eric and I were freezing, Ed was perfectly comfortable. "Guys, it's not even cold." What does it all mean?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oh no, I forgot to add a title!

I don't have a subject in mind to blog about tonight, but being November, I must blog nevertheless.

I bid reserve this month, because there were some specific days I wanted off, and I wanted a chance at actually getting them. The good news is I got every day I wanted off. The bad news is, well, I'm on reserve. Today was day one (I had a trip at the end of October that carried over into the first two days of November, and then I got one glorious day off), and naturally, I got called in. They didn't call me until noon, though, which is exceedingly preferable to a 4am wakeup call, and it's just a nice, easy two-day trip. Now I'm just hoping they'll let me have my Friday night off (I'm scheduled as of right now to get off at 5 tomorrow), and maybe even not find anything for me to do on Saturday. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

I've been getting a lot of questions lately about how, exactly, being a flight attendant works. And people are always surprised at my answers. Before becoming one myself, I certainly had no idea how the job and scheduled worked. So I ask you, do you have any questions for me? Anything you want to know? I think later this week I'll tell y'all a bit about how everything runs, answer my own frequently asked questions, as it were. If you have something you're dying to know about my job, ask, and I'll tell you! You probably already have a better idea than most people, though, given that I talk about my job on here from time to time, and some of you are actually my friends IRL. Even so, feel free to ask anything and give me some blog fodder!

So. Coming soon: your questions and my answers. In the meantime, good night, and good luck.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Posting posts post-postdate.... buffalo.

Guys, I lied to you. My November 1st entry was not, in fact, my 100th post. Apparently blogger counts drafts when it tells you how many posts you have. Far from 100, this post will be my 87th, which begs the question.... what are the other, hiding entries?

Some of them were just saved pieces of posts that I went back and finished and posted later, but which for some reason stuck around in draft form. Some of them were little tidbits to remind myself to post about something in particular. And a couple of them are unfinished entries that are actually worthy of being finished and posted.

If you'll forgive the timeline, I'd like to post a couple of these forgotten entries.

Of course, that means I have to finish them first...

Reading: Exercise for your brain.

I started a 4-day trip on Saturday, and it didn't take me long to realize I forgot to bring a book. We had one short flight, during which I finished my one and only magazine, and then a long sit up in Hibbing. We call them different things: sits, turn times, productivity breaks, airport appreciation times. Whatever you call them, they're unavoidable. I for one like to have time to eat lunch once in awhile, so if I have one nice hour-long break a day, I'm happy; any more than that is unnecessary, and I'd rather spend my time working or doing whatever it is I have time to do post-work at the hotel (coughdrinkingcough). The trip I finished this evening had a three-hour sit every single day. And I forgot to bring a book.

Usually our sit times are at a large hub airport, and on our smallest plane (which I was working on this trip), sits are almost always in Minneapolis. This is nice because I love my airport. There's a perfect loop to walk to get some exercise in, I know what's good and/or cheap to eat, and I know the good places to sit. As I mentioned, though, our first sit on this trip was in Hibbing, and it was three hours long. The bad news was it was a long, long sit in a tiny, tiny airport. But there was good news, too: Hibbing has a courtesy car at the airport for crews to use. So the three of us piled in the car and headed out in search of some lunch.

A short drive around town later, we ended up at Walmart, because it has a Subway inside. As much as I dislike Walmart, I like Subway even more. Mmmmm, vegetables. Anyway, Walmart. We finish eating and it occurs to me that I still lack reading material, and books will be much cheaper at Walmart than I could hope for at the airport, even with an employee discount. So I head off to the book section with nothing in particular in mind, just figuring I'll grab whatever looks interesting.

Lemme tell you, the book section at Walmart is not very impressive. Oh, I had my pick of romance novels, series romance novels, chick lit, cookbooks, puzzle books, and magazines. And as much as I respect romance novels for what they are, I knew my pilots would ask what I got, and I just couldn't go back to them with smut. (Did you know that one of my many secret ambitions in life is to write romance novels? I have a pen name picked out and everything.) I considered getting a paperback of Harry Potter 1 to see if I can reread them all before movie day (OMG HP7 IS ALMOST HERE, Y'ALL!), but the only book they had was, reasonably enough, seven.

I was running out of options as well as time to ponder, when I spotted a brightly-colored bargain that just might do the trick. Since it seems that no passengers are going to leave it behind for me to read any time soon, I decided it was time to pick up the book I see someone reading on almost every flight I have: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

When I started writing this entry earlier today, I was on page 112 of 644. I was already in love with this book. I'm currently on 153, and it just keeps getting better. And this coming from someone who doesn't even like crime novels! I just... I am hooked. And I'm even more drawn in because apparently, the author died before any of them were even published! Oh, intrigue!

The point is, I always always always try to resist hype, and I should just succumb to the peer pressure because people are right about books. I am reading this book, and you should too.

Also my other point is, sometimes I get nervous about buying books I've never heard of, because what if it sucks? I'm going to have to read the whole damn thing regardless, and if it sucks, it was just a waste of my time and money. So I fall back into re-reading my proven classics and never branching out, which is just not an exciting way to read. But I'm so glad I branched out into reading this book.

My OTHER other point is this: my captain was bored during one flight, so he called me to see how the temperature was and to see if I would entertain him (answer: always no. I am busy. Leave me alone.). I told him he should read a book, and he said he doesn't like to read, it hurts his brain. I said, "Reading is like exercise; it hurts at first, but it's good for you!" He had no comeback for that one.

So my final point is: read. This book in particular. But don't buy it at Walmart. And maybe eat some Subway.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Things I Thought About Using as Status Updates Today

Cindy has suffraged so. Hasn't she suffraged enough? Oh, end women's suffrage!

Voting takes too long when you have OCD and a ballot full of ovals.

I hope you appreciate my vote, only-person-in-this-section. It came from my heart.

I judge politicians based on the grammar on their shiny websites.

Well that's the first time I've ever left my elementary school and gone home and had a stiff drink. [Legally, anyway.] / [But not the first time I've wanted to. Rough years, elementary school.]

Monday, November 1, 2010

Let's try this again, shall we?

Dear readers, I must apologize. Updates around here are sorely lacking. I imagine you've been waiting on pins and needles for me to return. Might I suggest finding a different chair?

Anyway. It is once again November: National Novel Writing Month. Once again, I know myself well enough to know not to attempt it this year. Someday, when I'm more patient, more disciplined, less caffeinated. Instead, I think I'll give my personal blog-a-day challenge another go. The goal: at least one blog entry every day, regardless of length, wit, or subject. Just something to get me back into the habit of writing, which is actualy something I miss quite a bit. I think it can be done.

Incidentally, I do believe this is my 100th post. Coming soon: many, many more.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Today I bought a cheese that bore the instructions, "Refrigerate after purchase."

Apparently, the grocery store has some magic property that my house lacks.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Yearly Visitor

The ginger gene is strong in my family, bestowing red hair upon my grandma, my aunt, and my mother. Even so, I was the only grandchild of six to get red hair. Being also the youngest, I was set up to be adored and doted on at length. If only we hadn't moved to Texas when I was still so little and at my most precious, I could have been wonderfully spoiled. But I digress.

As a ginger, I have certain responsibilities.
One: I obviously need to be pale. Check.
Two: I should be Irish. Fail on that one; don't people know that the Irish have red hair in the first place thanks to the Vikings that invaded and raped their women? My ginger comes from Sweden, thank you very much, and though I do love potatoes, I lack even a drop of Irish blood (I am an eighth Welsh, though, which is awesome because their flag has a fucking dragon on it).
Three: I should probably have some freckles. Check.
Four: Fiery temper. Check.
Five: According to recent pop culture, no soul. Unknown.
Six: Blue or green eyes. Check; blue.
Seven: Firecrotch. Guess. The list could go on and on, but let's get to the point with...
Eight: Prone to sunburn even after very short forays into the sunshine. Check.

The good news is, I know that I burn easily, and I am prepared. The face lotion I use every morning has SPF built in. Sunscreen is at the top of my list whenever I'm going, well, anywhere, and it's always SPF Ginger (more commonly known as SPF50). I'm good at making sure I apply thoroughly and often, and I don't forget places like the backs of my hands, my ears, or the little keyhole-cutout in my swimsuit.

Inevitably, though, I get cocky. I think to myself, "Wow, I haven't gotten burnt all summer! All this sunscreen-applying must be superfluous. My skin has finally gotten used to the sun, and I will not, in fact, die if I stay in the sun without sunscreen for a few hours."

That's true, to a degree. I will not die. But, mere hours after thinking this, I will remember that the very reason I haven't gotten burnt all summer is because I haven't been a MORON who doesn't put on SUNSCREEN. SUNSCREEN, YOU IDIOT! It's as if I need this once-a-year reminder that SPF is necessary, and I do actually burn so bad it makes me sick.

This year's reminder came on my birthday weekend, which I spent up in Brainerd at our family cabin with an awesome group of friends. I spent almost all weekend sitting outside, and lots of it in water, which is a rarity for me. Most people went home Sunday afternoon/evening, and Jess and I stayed until Monday evening. We woke up, put on sunscreen, and went out to float on the lake for awhile. A couple hours later, we came back in for some lunch and re-application of sunscreen. But I got cocky. "I haven't even gotten a tinge of pink," I thought. "Surely, I don't need to reapply SPF50 when I've already put some one earlier today. I could use a little color, right?" So I smeared some sunscreen on my face, brushed the extra that stayed on my hands onto my legs and shoulders, and headed back to my floaty chair.

At 2:15pm. On a sunny day. On a lake, where water reflects and intensifies the sun.

At one point on the drive home, I made Jess feel my thigh. It was so hot you could feel the heat through my jeans.

Three weeks later, and I think I'm finally done peeling.


Until next summer.

Also, I'd really like to go to this: Redheadday. Donations welcome. Let's make it happen.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Dear Joseph Gordon-Levitt,

I think I love you. Let's have coffee sometime.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Deep thoughts, by not-Jack-Handey

Don't you think it's weird how cartoon characters always look juuuust a little bit like the actors who do their voices?

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Giggles.

When I was younger, I used to get hit by fits of the giggles. I never knew what might trigger a Laugh Attack, or how long it might last once started. A friend once clocked me in at eight minutes of uncontrollable giggling.

As I grew, The Giggles grew with me, into mere fits of silliness brought on by lack of sleep. I referred to this state as being Sleep Drunk, and it was often self-inflicted through Procrastination on Important Homeworks.

I've been mostly free of these diseases for some time now, with only a few instances of nearly-un-surpressable laughter bubbling up at inopportune moments. I was taken by surprise by a full relapse once, when my mind was under some sort of strange influence and I could not help but cackle at my pizza, but that's another story entirely.

My day was full of delays today, starting with our first flight out of Austin this morning. Also, the schedule was built with very little time between each of the four flights today, so there was no cushion time; each delay meant the next flight would also be delayed. The bad news is I did a lot of sitting around, fielding questions, and getting stared at angrily by passengers today, which makes me tired. The good news is our delays got so out of hand that they gave our last flight (and thus our overnight) to a different crew, and we got to come home instead of going to Appleton, WI for the night.

An unexpected Friday night off? Delightful! Especially delightful considering I start ANOTHER trip Saturday evening, after being scheduled to end this one Saturday morning. I was understandably in a good mood as I made my way home. Add to that the delicious, fruity dinner I had:

and you've got one happy ginger.

I sat in my room, mere hours ago, eating my fruit and reading the backlogs of a funny blog/comic I was recently directed to (Hyperbole and a Half - read it and love it) (also this one never fails to make me laugh. it's unrelated to everything else in this post, but it's so good it'll be worth it.)... uhhh, where was I? Ah yes, eating fruit and reading about bears and spaghetti noodles. I sat, eating and reading, and then I finished eating. I went upstairs to take care of my dish and locate my purse (which turned out to be directly next to where I had been sitting in my room), giggling slightly at one drawing or another I had just looked at. As I left my room, I saw a note I had written to remind myself to put the gel inserts into my new work shoes:

Put things in shoes.

I was struck by the image of piling things into my shoes -- marbles, twigs, matchbox cars, batteries -- until they were overflowing with flotsam and jetsam. Think about for a second, and (I hope) you'll see that it's a funny image, especially when left as an important item on a to-do list; it was even funnier to me, what with my not-working happiness and my sleepiness. I burst into laughter as I started walking up the stairs. It then occurred to me how ridiculous it was of me to be laughing while performing the simple task of putting my bowl into the dishwasher, and suddenly, I was unable to stop laughing. Every giggle only made me giggle more, until I could do nothing but shake my head and shrug when my roommate (can I call them roommates? I like it better that way.) asked me what was so funny.

The Fit has passed (unfortunately? fortunately?), but it reminded me of a simpler time. I hope I never grow out of getting the Giggles.

In other news, do you ever get an intense itch in a random but localized spot that, before you can even reach to scratch it, turns into a stabbing pain that makes your entire afflicted limb twitch? That's been happening in the center of my left shin ALL NIGHT. WHAT. THE FUCK.

In other other news, and contrary to what you may have inferred from both the subject and the distant date of my last post, I am not dead. The insects have not bested me yet. We are engaged in an ongoing war of wits. Or hand vacuums and wand dusters. You know, whichever.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

And that's how Cindy died.

I came home from work this afternoon to find a spider has taken up residence by my hamper. I stared at him for a minute, not wanting to let him out of my sight, but not wanting to have to get closer in order to kill him. Resigned, I grabbed a nearby shoe.... and the spider ran for cover.

Intelligent insects are invading. This cannot be good.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Please add to the previous List of Lost Things: my phone.

For 28 hours, I felt naked and scared. Now I'm back to my old phone, which sadly lacks the internets I've gotten so used to. Alas.

On the plus side, I found out you can text people from the internet, and my Razr not only allows me to be emo again, but also has TETRIS.

So there's that.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


So far in my time as a flight attendant, I have lost/hotels have gained:
- one watch (I later recovered it, though)
- one pillowcase
- one awesome razor
- one white t-shirt, slightly smelly

That's not much, really, considering I've been doing this for a year and a half. I always feel sad when I remember the things I've left behind, though.

I also often wonder how many hours I've exchanged. I often spend the night in different time zones, occasionally even three different time zones during one four-day trip! Am I losing hours of my life, or gaining? Or does it all manage to even out eventually?

These are the thoughts that plague me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


One of my favorite things to ask my pilots is how old they think I am. Last night, my captain told me he wasn't sure I'd be old enough to go out for a drink. My first officer guessed 23 or 24. I confirmed 24, and he nodded and told me, "You look young, but you carry yourself older."

I like it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I go to church every Wednesday and Sunday, when I'm not at work. I'm in both the choir and the bell choir. I used to be on the Board of Chritian Education, as did every other member of my family at one point or another. My dad used to be the church moderator. My sister used to be the Youth Director. My mom is the bell choir director.

We used to have two youth directors, Neil and Charlie, who took the youth on an MMT every year; that is, a Magical Mystery Tour. Our parents all knew where we were going, and the youth didn't know until we got there. Many good times were had, but those are stories for another day. The point here is that, out of all the youth that passed through my church while Neil and Charlie were there, I was the only one to attend every single MMT I was of an age to.

My family is kind of a big deal at my church, is what I'm saying.

And yet, I don't consider myself an ultra religious person. I dislike our minister, I zone out during the sermon, I don't read the Bible (and I certainly don't think of it as fact), sometimes I even skip out on the rest of the service after (bell) choir has (played) sung its piece. And, like everyone at some time or another, I have my doubts. Perhaps I'm some sort of church-going agnostic? I have faithful apathy?

But every year when Lent rolls around, I like to try to give something up. It's a nice practice of strength and resistance, regardless of the religious significance (which, if you were wondering, has something to do with Jesus wandering in the dessert for forty days/nights resisting the various temptations of the devil).

Last year, I gave up bacon and McDonald's, both of which I have also given up in previous years. One year I gave up (cheese)burgers as a whole. This year, I'm giving up something I've always avoided giving up in the past, something I always thought would be too difficult for me to succeed at: pop.

As a flight attendant, after a beverage service, I often have half-full cans of various beverages left. Not wanting to be wasteful, I generally drink all the ones I like: Coke, various juices, maybe a little Sprite mixed with cran-apple. My biggest fear in giving up pop this year is not the caffeine headache (no worries, I drink coffee now!), but rather that I'll simply forget and polish off my half cans on the plane.

I think it'll be my most challenging Lent yet, and my most hyper Easter.

Monday, February 8, 2010


The summer after I graduated high school, I started working for a woman from church. She worked from home, and she and her husband had just had a baby. She wanted someone to be at the house with him for anywhere from three to seven hours a day, depending on the day, while she got some work done. He was two months old.

I fell in love with him that summer. He'd cry and cry and cry, and I'd read to him and sing to him and walk with him. He'd fall asleep on my chest and sleep for hours while I just read and drank the chai his mom made for me every day. I memorized "The Cat in the Hat" that summer.

Then I went to college. I nannied again the next summer, and babysat whenever I was around. But the next year, I went to England. Slowly but surely I saw my sweet darling boy less and less. When I did see him, I was surprised by things like his ability to run and talk in full sentences. Full sentences! After summers of endless crying and not knowing what he wanted, here was this amazing boy talking to me in sentences!

Then I got engaged. I'm the youngest cousin, on both sides of my family; D had little cousins, including a perfect little flower girl, but the boys were all either too old or terrors, or both. Who better to bear our rings, I thought, than my Charlie?

The first week of July, I spent some time emailing his mom. She was nervous that he'd be too silly, but I assured her that he is too adorable, and no matter what happened, he could not wreck the day. She said she would consult with him and his dad.

Apparently, she asked him if he wanted to be in Cindy's wedding, and without hesitation, he said yes. Then they practiced. His parents took off their rings, put them on a pillow, and Charlie, my sweet little Charlie, walked around the house with them. She told him, now, you have to be serious. You can't be silly, because who's the center of attention that day? "The bride," he told her.

A couple of days later, when she told him that things happen sometimes, and it's okay, but Cindy's not getting married anymore, he sat down and cried.

I didn't have much regular interaction with Charlie for a long time after those first two summers. When I got the invitation to his sixth birthday party, I was blown away. How could he be SIX already?! Impossible. But there he was, eating cake and blowing out candles, loving Star Wars and Legos, and still speaking in full sentences. And the words he used! I babysat sometime around then, and he told me his mom smells good and is very pretty, and his dad is hilarious. Hilarious!

One night at choir a few months ago, his mom announced that she and Charlie's dad were going on a long-overdue vacation, and they would need someone to stay at their house and look after Charlie. Pam and I volunteered immediately.

L and B, you see, hadn't taken a single vacation together since Charlie was born, and they never even went on a honeymoon. So for two weeks, they were going to escape to Italy.

From January 24 through February 5, Pam and I stayed at Charlie's house and acted as moms to him. It was an amazing adventure, and a rather eye-opening experience. Charlie is perhaps one of the most well-behaved six-year-olds in existence. He is sweet and mannerly and smart and very self-aware and introspective and overall awesome. And yet, the two weeks I recently spent with him made me unsure if I ever want kids. See, my favorite thing about babysitting has always been the ability to give the kids back at the end of the night.

I did have a great time with him, though. Pam and I make a pretty great child-rearing team, actually. We took to him to school, bathed him, fed him, helped him make his bed every morning, read him stories every night. We took him and his friend to Chuck E. Cheese. We cleaned up after him, and tried fruitlessly to get him to use his napkin instead of the blanket as he ate his bedtime snack. We kept track of his mittens, which are always in a different place and never together. We smothered him with hugs (which he loved) and kisses (which he always wiped off) and tried to comfort him when he missed his parents. We learned how strange it is to brush someone else's teeth and cut someone else's finger- and toenails.

Regardless of what I decide in the future about having kids of my own, one thing is certain. I still love that little boy.