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.