Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shits and Giggles

Recently, I got a promotion at work and moved into my own little place. I'll fly for a few more months, but as this transition takes place in my life... I'm less forthcoming about sharing it with all you. Having just deleted all my exes off facebook (and one totally threw a hissy!), I'm a bit less inclined to share my shenanigans with random cyber strangers or people who I don't actually talk to in real life. Moreover, I keep getting corporate reminders that anything said online is like saying it in person. While I refuse to say negative things about my company (for the record, I never even mention my airline), in my new position (which I feel funny talking about) I don't want any info out there or things I say to be misread.

I do, however, have this little story to share.

I recently worked the two day domestic trip - its on our Boeing 777 and not all domestic flight attendants are qualified to work this particular aircraft. I made friends with the crew, most of which I'd never worked with before. The service manager and I started joking around, referring to the aisle as a catwalk/run way... and before I knew it, just prior to landing I was working that catwalk, did a spin and stuck the landing like the gymnast I never was. I know none of the passengers were paying attention to me, but my burst of laughter that followed was hard to miss. Its just fun to work with cool people who are in it - the job, LIFE - for the shits and giggles. Lord knows that's what I'm after.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Bathroom...

This is what my bathroom looks like when I refuse to wash my hose after a trip and keep buying new ones... For a month...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yay for Bon Qui Qui Juniority

Per the Federal Aviation Administration, flight attendants are required to carry a pen with them at all times. This is a federal law - I have to have a pen. So when passengers ask me for one, I usually just smile and tell them to make friends with their neighbors... like any good kindergarten teacher would.

So this particular flight, I was the door greeter. I personally said hello to just about every single passenger and created warm fuzzy feelings of happiness as the customers boarded the plane - all without my Costa ham & cheese toasty, small latte extra shot. There were a few memorable people who got on the plane, the elderly couples who I jokingly told the husbands to behave themselves, Penn State fans who I told had to go change their shirts. I just like to create a warm, friendly atmosphere as people enter my work space that will last all the way across the pond. So there was this one couple who I recalled having a jovial conversation with who were seated in the middle, rear of the aircraft. I poured a few of their cokes during the first round of service.

The section 8 cabin crew was pretty tight - we were all the same juniority, same age, similar backgrounds and stages in life. We worked really well together and had a blast sitting around talking to pass the time during our Atlantic crossing. At one point, close to when we were getting ready to set up for our pre-arrival service, I went for a walk and was unfortunately too slow making my way back to the aft galley and was stopped by some foreigner asking about forms for landing. As I was now running to the galley to retrieve them, this lady who I had pleasant report with earlier asked me if I had a pen for her to fill out her visa information with, and I quickly told her no, but to make friends with her neighbor. So I went back to the original passenger, handed him the form he needed, and as I was passing her seat I heard, "and there goes that rude bitch." Clear as day, loud enough for the surrounding 4 rows to hear.

I was floored.

I'm not one for confrontation, and I wish all of you could have met the other stews I was flying with because that title, while belonging to no one, most certainly wasn't mine. And aren't we all adults here? Who speaks like that about others in public??? I let it go immediately, I wasn't interested in lowering myself to her level. My co-workers felt differently and she was confronted in a professional way, to the effects of which I cannot quite relay. Something along the lines of is there a problem here? I'm not here to argue, but that behavior is not tolerated.


SO of course I posted this on MyFace.

Responses ranged from of course! to you're a sweetheart! to I had her on my flight last week.

Needless to say, I'm most certainly looking forward to my three day weekend, courtesy of scheduling granting my personal drop for tomorrow.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

En Fuego...

On Tuesday, I was good for one day. Request to fly, my call out line (that I forgot I even held this month!) started at 3 and because all the airport alerts had been assigned, I thought I was in the clear to go ahead and plan my weekend. Wrong.

Luckily, I was up and showered with my bag packed and a set of uniforms clean by 2:30 and when I logged into the crew communication system to see what was going on, low and behold there was an assignment! 777 LHR, BusinessFirst. I had 20 minutes to throw on the monkey suit and book it out the door to make it on time, which I did. I didn't have my usual hour in the crew room to run around and talk to everyone, but being on time, getting food and to the gate was far more important.

The trip was uneventful at best. Two of the other girls and I spent the day in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, as well as a quick stop in Harrods. Then it was off to Churchhill's Arms for Thai. Before we went to take our naps, I told the first officer where we had planned on going for dinner and he actually met up with us there on a whim! I had the punang curry and it wasn't nearly as good as the green. The pad Thai looked good; I might try that next time. After dinner we sat around and had a few beers, stopped at the grocery store and were back in the rooms by 9:30.

I was excited to be back so early because Ferris Bueller's Day Off was supposed to start at 10, which is perfect because I like to go to bed at midnight. I passed out even before the movie started! Lights on, tv blaring, contacts in, at the very least I had my pj's on. Unfortunately for me, I was rudely awoken at 2 am by the fire alarm, which was the loudest, most obnoxious noise I've ever heard in my life! It was so awful that I threw on my jacket, grabbed my key and went outside. Only to find all my crew members had changed, grabbed their passports and ids.

While I'm standing there, in my slippers. And hair like you wouldn't even believe.

There was a guy out there in just his boxers, and I was amazed at the number of people wearing the hotel robe. I found that to be a bit unacceptable; not that I've ever worn a hotel robe but now I'm really really not going to wear one!

Come to find out the next morning, some drunk hit the glass plate that covers the alarm. Awesome, drunk British dude. But I must extend a thank you, because we did get crew rest coming home! A whole glorious hour and fifteen minutes in the bunks :)

You don't even have to ask - juniority holds first break!

Monday, September 27, 2010

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things!

We finally got that new crew hotel for our long LHR layovers! Its a reasonably nice hotel somewhere in Kensington, and I just love being in central London again. I would have liked to have followed Pinto's example of doing a layover on less than $50 USD, but I wasn't quite dressed to spend much time outside; it was rather breezy and I didn't have a jacket. I did, however, manage to wonder around our new 'hood and find the coolest pub ever! The building is covered in ivy and vines and foliage, with various flags flying from the rooftop - UK, Irish, and something else. I wish I would have taken a picture but I already felt like a poorly dressed American tourist. Inside is a classic pub, with a lovely bar and great beer selection. But if you continue around the bar to the right and keep heading to the back, all of a sudden you're in a Thai restaurant! That's decorated like an English butterfly garden! So I got myself a Guinness and a table, ordered green curry with prawns and gorged myself on some of the best Thai I've had in a while. I can't wait to take crew members and enjoy it with others.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

RIP TravelPro

Today as I was coming back from Heathrow, I noted that the handle on my roller was a bit abused. I don't usually use the handle on the side to pick up my bag so after three and a half years of flying around the world, abuse is saying it nicely.

So just now, at this very moment, I was bringing my bag upstairs to un- and re- pack for my trip to who knows where tomorrow, and bam! Gone. The handle broke. I pitched a mini melt down for dramatic effect, seeing as I don't have a back up suitcase. My father promised to glue it and bring my beloved roller that I've had for as long as I've been flying back to life. My game plan is to invest in a new roller tomorrow to have just in case.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm Going Home

When I first transfered to the international base, the very first trip I picked up was LHR 777 aft galley. On that trip I made career long friends with a few people on the crew and we spent the layover wondering around the city and stuffing our faces with fish and chips and mushy peas. Oh how I love mushy peas. For those of you who've been following me for quite some time know that I love London; I forced myself to fall in love with this capital city because I knew I'd always be there or that this trip would be floating around open time so I might as well embrace it and enjoy. And I have. I was there for the good - our first crew hotel in Bloomsbury - and the bad - Camp Marriott for Crews. And now, I'm headed to our new crew hotel! I'm not really sure where it is, but it'll be good. I even have errands to do already; I have to exchange a shirt at Primark and my father has requested I bring home coffee. I hope I can find raisin bakes too!

Take me to New York? Nah. Londontown bound.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oops...

I lost a unam.

A unam is an unaccompanied minor. For my first trip back, I wanted to go to Dublin and to do so, I had to work the purser position - the service manager - meaning I was in charge of making announcements, selling duty free, and responsible for the delivery of the unaccompanied minor. She was older, about 14, and had flown by herself before and lied to me when she said she knew the rules. Obviously she missed the part when I told her not to go running off the plane upon our arrival, and that I would come and collect her. I was seated at door 1, we use door 2 for deplaning and by the time I was out of the bathroom, she was long gone. I gave her passport and information to the gate agent so she could find her and get her out of the country... only to discover as we were leaving immigration that she made it out of the immigration hall without her passport and the gate agent had yet to locate her. Awesome. So now not only have I lost her, but apparently the Irish government just lets anyone come waltzing into their country. I so desperately wanted to ask one of the agents the following morning what happened but it wasn't anyone who had dealt with the situation initially and I certainly was not going to rat myself out. So 14 yr old Samantha, who runs away and can't follow directions, where ever you might be, I hope someone who you know collected you at the airport and that Ireland beefs up their immigration policy... like requiring passports...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Band Aid!

I have a band aid! And a pedicure! And a cute little scar on my ankle involving a boat, champagne, and glass...

Guess who's going back to work tomorrow??? Sans heels of course ;)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fan Mail: Skirts

I received this email over the weekend and would like to pose this question to all of my fellow flight attendant followers. I also forwarded this to my flight attendant best friend who's on a layover in the UK (oh international juniority!) and will post her reply as soon as I can, along with my own. So have at it kiddies!


Hi, I have a question - I fly pretty often and I noticed that many of
the female flight attendants seem to dress very provocative. Whether
its the high heels, extremely short/tight skirts,
tight/revealing/lowcut blouses or all of the above!
Do they dress like this on purpose - to entice the men? I happen not
to mind because it gives me something to look at when bored :) but
just curious why they do it.

Of course I have seen plenty of FA who don't dress this way but my
question is on the ones who do.

Eagerly awaiting your response

Rick



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Doctors Orders...

I saw the doctor day - it appears I'm out of commission for yet another week. It was indeed an appointment, he didn't know Lisbon is in Portugal. Things are healing up nicely, it just takes time to get things back to 100%. I'm hoping to be back in the air by the 17th, so we'll see.

Job share request is in... we'll see.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dinner, courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa

Now that I'm semi mobile, my mother put me to work and I made shrimp scampi for dinner with a simple recipe from the Food Network. There were zucchini floating around in there too but were not present for this particular snap shot. Thus far, I've also made lemon squares and zucchini bread.

Can you tell I'm ready to go back to work???

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lies

The battery light on my dash, when illuminated, isn't lying. I thought it was; I was down the shore before my surgery when it first shined it's ugly orange light in my face. I figured with the rain and excessive salty air, there was nothing to fear. I haven't been driving much since then, but the past few times when I have been on the road - bam - there it is. The battery light. Usually it would turn itself off after a bit. Not the case today. So at the moment I'm stranded at the post office waiting for the tow truck. Awesome. There's a pizza place in this shopping center and I practically have a library in my trunk so I'm fully stocked with provisions and activities. This just isn't exactly how I pictured my Thursday...

Via iPhone

As it would turn out, I have a bad alternator. The shop I took it to actually put in this now bad alternator about a year and a half ago - half a year over the warranty. The whole thing is going to cost me $400 for a "new" (they don't make new ones for my car, only re - somethings... so technical, right?) part and labor. I told him time wasn't too important... its not like I'm going back to work just yet. I suppose the light on the dash should have been my first clue...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Itching

My foot has finally begun itching. I know that this is good and all, as it is a sign of healing, but I want to take my wooden back scratcher and scratch the &*%$ out of it. Rip me a new one... perhaps digging out a fresh layer of skin with my nails would feel a bit better than leaving the one I have on now???

At the moment I'm down the shore at J's house. Yesterday her, her father and his friend went out to 'shred the gnar' or surf for you non-beach dwellers. Waves were totally kicking with Hurricane (?) Danielle. Don't tell my mom, but I totally went too! I double bagged my sneakered foot and gimped my way out onto the sand with a chair and sat on the beach. I figured if J's dad, a doctor, said it okay then should she find out, I can't get in trouble. And let me tell you, it was glorious. The sun was beginning to set, the sand cooling down... well worth being forced back to crutches that evening.

As for today, it's been kind of awful sitting here looking at the ocean a block away... I'm itching to hit the beach too. For those of you not in the big dirty, the sky is a perfect cloudless blue and it's lets get in the water hot - perfection.

Next week? Maybe? C'mon Doc!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Alyssa Hates Crutch.

Good news - I'm in sneakers and hobbling around with ONE crutch. I was trying to go cold turkey, but that really isn't an option when I can't put weight on my whole foot.

On my next 'date' with Doctor, I'll have to express to him that while I'm glad that he moved all my spots on my heel it was rather inconsiderate that he did the ball of my foot at the same time. Both parts are essential to walking, thus cramping my style. My crutch free style!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hammock!

The treehouse got a hammock and I gimped up here all by myself :)

Like Justin, Been Sitting Here...

I've been sitting here for just over a week now. I'm still 100% crutch-ified and am not mobile on my own two feet. My best friend did come all the way from Rome to visit me; I got to go outside! I practically killed her with her allergies. Oops. I'm still a little sad that I can't go down the shore - no sand and no submersion for the foot. I'm surprised at how much I miss work; I miss my peeps.

It would have been nice of you to come and visit me too. Oh, and yes, that's my passive aggressive nature at its finest.

I found a language school! I'd like to get all excited and tell you all about it but I'm waiting to see if my jobshare request is approved for October.

Waiting to heal, waiting for September to come, waiting waiting waiting.

However, two boxes showed up for me today... I wonder what's inside! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shopping Via the Internet

I may not be able to carry things while hobbling around on my crutches. This also impedes my ability to shop in the real world. So today, I decided that if there are things in this world I need - such as season 2 of How I Met Your Mother and 3 of Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia - that I shall make them come to me! Thank you on line shopping forums for making my dreams come true.

AND hopefully I'm drugged up enough to not remember ordering anything and will be pleasantly surprised when everything arrives :)

Prognosis? I still can't put weight on my foot. But I most certainly bathed today!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Hate Feet

So here's a snap shot of my fathers fine bandaging work. It doesn't hurt for him to remove the old dressing or apply the ointment - thank God. I just can't do it myself...

I still can't walk without crutches but I'm healing.

Dating a Doctor

I have great admiration for doctors and nurses. Mostly because the sight of blood or gore makes me queasy. Super queasy. Prior to my surgery, the nurse was having a difficult time putting the iv in my hand and I started seeing stars and needed a cold wet rag for my forehead, like a weenie. I can't help it! I get that woozy feeling and it's game over.

So last night I had a 'date' with a doctor... I'm pretty sure the preferred word is 'appointment' considering his office staff arranged it, he's seen me in a legally drug induced state, and my father was there. Anyway, on my big date with the doctor, he removed the dressing and was trying to get me to take a look at the wound. I started to peer around at the bottom of my foot and bam! Guess who's seeing stars?

My only conclusion from all this is that I either a) simply HAVE to date a doctor who can deal with my ability to faint at the sight of blood and can be a man about it or b) at the very least, date someone who can deal with gore, regardless of his degree. Just another thing to add to my list of deal breakers ;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yous Guys

I know you got married last weekend. Congratulations. It's something that I know you've wanted for a very long time and a person you've searched your whole life for, and I truly wish you both the best.

I know you put in a offer on a house - that's awesome! I hope its up to your standards, I know you wouldn't have put in the offer it if wasn't, but moreover, I know you'll make it into a wonderful home for you and your significant other to share. Enjoy your vacation and happy birthday.

I'm still hopped up on vicodin.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

All Hopped Up

I had minor foot surgery on Friday. I was sent home on crutches (only fell twice!) and vicodin. I'm out on sick leave for just over two weeks, and will return to yet another reserve line. I'm hoping for my job share request to be granted for October, but that's another consideration for a different day. At the moment I'm planning on putting together 6 days off next month and going on vacation - but where to? Suggestions? Ideas thus far: Lisbon, southern Italy, Greek islands. Bring it! I've got plenty of time to plan.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Left Coast Envy

A few days ago, I picked up the long SNN layover with my good friend Lady Craver. There are currently three different SNN trips in the system - regular with 24 hours, the long which is over 30 hours, and then the four day with 48 hours. My friend Justin happened to be on the four day, on day three when I arrived at the layover hotel at 8 am on the long 3 day. He happened to be in the lobby getting ready to go on the big Cliffs of Moher tour so I decided to forgo my very precious sleep and join him!

Cliffs of Moher has to be on the most amazing places I've ever been in my life - it was stunning. I loved every minute of it and have truly fallen in love with Ireland. It never ceases to amaze me when these foreign destinations make the transition from places I've heard of once in a book to making me feel like home inside. I'm curious to see if the east coast of Ireland can ever get there too... ;)









Friday, August 6, 2010

New Found Glory

bored, walking on the board
New Jersey Shore
if I come to New York
can I sleep on your floor?
been living out of a suitcase
on the motel floor
and running up the tab
at the corner store
at the corner store.

so barely walking on the boardwalk
anymore
when summer gets along
your hair gets too long
picking up the habit
so long before 4
when July is gone
I'll be 24
and not anymore
and not anymore

New Jersey Shore

And then,
not anymore

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Moves

So yesterday I hung out with a college friend of mine - let's call him Dr. A.H. He finishes up with med school and begins his residency sometime in the spring of next year. I was lamenting to him that everyone else is doing all these big kid things like getting married and buying houses; meanwhile neither of us have a significant other, nor prospects of one. Then again, our standards are a bit high - he wants someone who cooks and I want to be a kept woman, you know, those ones that do lunch. But we're also in places in our lives where its not exactly practical to settle down. His next "semester" is in Orlando and I find out on August 15th if I've been granted another job share and can start planning my move! It wouldn't be fair for either of us to pay mortgages on houses we don't live in or date people we don't actually see on a semi-regular basis. Someday. Maybe its sooner than I think...


Friday, July 23, 2010

My Apology... with Texts From Last Night

Dear Maureen,

(FYI: 609 is my flight attendant bff J, and incorporated in this letter of apology explaining my/our so called life/ves is/are our texts from yesterday. aa = airport alert)

I lied to you. I know how you feel about knowing where I am for piece of mind and I told you yesterday that I would let you know where they send me. I usually make my antics known on Facebook but this particular day of scheduling shenanigans, there just wasn't time.

I came in from Shannon, as you know and failed to take a nap. I vegged out a bit, watched a movie, had dinner, talked to you before I went to bed.

(609): Gosh darn aa at 630 am
(856): I fear the scheduling wake up call...

I tried to sleep but couldn't in my crazy hot as Hades bedroom; I moved it to the couch downstairs. Scheduling called at 12:20 or so with a one day trip checking in at 5:45. I tried to sleep til 2:50, but I was up every half hour. I finally got up, dressed, packed a lunch and in my car at 3:25 and hit the road.

(856): And my check in is at 5:45...
(609): See you there sugar pie. I'm sorry

I made it out of my town and once I got on the highway, I noticed my check engine light was illuminated. Awesome. Called the house, woke up my father and turned around to pick him up and drop off my car. I started driving to the airport in the Taur-nasty while he caught a few zzz's. Its pretty sweet to get dropped off curb side to start your day.

I went downstairs and checked in for my trip: deadhead to Boston, work to Houston and deadhead back to Newark. My first thought was get released from the second dead head and catch the 12:38 to PHL. Seats available! Score.

(609): Did you make it? I'm waiting for the bus
(856): I'm in the crew room. I'm gate 128
(609): Ok. Deadhead to bos? Jerk stores
(856): Oh yes

I went got some coffee and headed to my gate. So I sit there, enjoying my cup of joe and cinnamon roll from some bakery in J's home town - gotta love the shoebies who bring my mom treats! We chatted briefly about how lovely it was for me to have gotten my personal drop and J's early release to days off so we could lounge and bake ourselves on the beach. We briefly discussed how after this we were headed to the outlets in AC on Friday, and then a weekend of partying and sun in the OC. J was pretty excited because this is her last weekend home before she moves to the city.

Got to BOS no problem, but my phone wouldn't let me check in or list myself for the PHL flight. Thankfully the gate agent took care of me. The crew I worked with had all been assigned this off of the couch yesterday; one of the girls had been sitting for 5 hours by the time she got assigned this trip. They had come into BOS late the night before and weren't legal to work the scheduled time of departure at 5:30 so it was delayed over 3 hours which was enough time to get me there. Then we were all scheduled to deadhead back to EWR on the noon. The flight was uneventful. I had forgotten how absurd American passengers are, not having flown domestic in I can't tell you how long. (I know I did I MEX turn a while back, but there weren't that many Americans on it to notice a difference). Landed in IAH at 11:20, which was just enough time to get released from deadhead and make to the other side of the terminal to my gate.

(609): Shannon 4 day. Crew rest now then rolling me 3 days. F*** me
(856): Nnnnnoooooooo!!!!
(609): Oh but yes. They released me early from aa... Damnit
(856): Not worth being sick? I'm sch a bad influence
(609): Too late. The aa phone rang and that's what they told me. Crew rest now 4 day tonight it would be sick after assignment
(609): Rolling 3 days?! WTF

Got to my gate, checked in for my flight. Called J to see how she was. Sometimes its just hard when scheduling owns you. I ended up on the jumpseat to Philly, which was fine with me - it meant I was going home. My dad picked me up and I said to him, "so how many more airports do you think we can make it to today?"
The reason it was so important to make that Philly flight is because everyone was at the house: parents, sister, aunt and uncle, and my grandfather. Had I landed in EWR, I would have had to take the train home and that would have easily taken 3 hours. And today, July 23, was her birthday. It was important to me to be home with everyone.
So I'm sorry I didn't tell you that I was in BOS or IAH. I'm also sorry that J got rolled and missed her weekend home. But I'm safe, and she has 5 days off when she gets back.
Moreover, you're in Florida and should have spent Thursday worrying about Florida things. I cannot WAIT to hear about your trip.
BRING ME BACK SOMETHING FRENCH!
Love always,
Alyssa

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shannon

This is a snapshot of the view from my bed. Eff yeah.

I woke up Monday morning to find airport alert on my line at 18:30. I was convinced all day that due to the number of pairings in open time, scheduling was going to call at a moments notice and reassign me to an earlier check in... which leads to this state of heightened alert and makes me not want to leave the house. I could have used a trip to target and the library. I left for work early just in case, but sat my alert regardless. I got called around 8:45 or so for late 3 day Shannon that gets back early.

And it's good to be "home".

Shannon is my thinking place. It seems whenever I need a time out or that I have my priorities askew, I end up here in Ireland with plenty of time to contemplate and accept. Complete attitude adjustment. I also love the Indian place upstairs, across from Dunnes. Delicious! Great crew, great trip and I know I'm going home a happy camper.

Even though I'm only good for one day...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shoes... Let's get some shoes!!!

I love shoes. Flops, heels, sneaks; I love them all. I especially love loud sneakers. In college, I had a pair of bright green Roos with light blue trim. I rocked them from here to London and loved them dearly. So today my mom and I were out shopping and I stumbled upon this pair of Reebok that I absolutely had to have. Not only are they bright ass blue, but they were $25! Double win.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Are you crying? There's no crying in baseball!

Lately, I've been crying a bit. There was a situation driving to work - exhaustion will render anyone to tears. And then there's the media induced tears from Toy Story 3 (sobbed like the woman I am), followed by literary tears. On the jumpseat.

I've been reading Nicholas Sparks since 1998; Sparks is my literature crack. Its basic American English, there's nothing challenging about the read. Faulkner he is not. But he writes about my favorite subject: love. Prior, I'd been reading a lot of new age philosophy and for lack of a better term, self help and realization books. In need of a change, I grabbed my sister's copy of The Last Song before heading a few trips ago. I haven't seen the movie, but just knowing Miley Cyrus was part of the cast made it hard to get through. I wanted to paint the characters in my own light, not in Hollywood induced faux glamor-ific spotlights. So I'm reading and reading; I'm enjoying the story about young love and teenage angst while sitting on the jumpseat, at work, en route to Newark. The next thing I know, plot twist, and the tears won't stop! *ding, call button. I'm a mess in the aisle, make up running down my face. Fiercely turning pages while holding the soaked remains of a tissue, and can't stop crying. So embarrassed but I just couldn't put the book down!

So today, now that I'm on day 3 of 5 days off, I was on the beach reading Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah and again with the tears. It was just such a good story! The twists and turns, the plot lines that jump from here to there. Loved it. Worth the embarrassment of weeping at the beach. Even more so than silly Sparks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stockholm Story

Last Sunday, I was exhausted. I took a nap and about 10 minutes in scheduling calls and just like that I'm off to Stockholm. I had enough time to get dressed, in the car and go sans make up. Sans make up!

I was less than pleased.

When I got on the plane, one of the line holders switched positions with me so I could hide in the back. The back galley girl (40+) and I got along famously; we just clicked and it was non stop shits and giggles. As we were boarding, we were scoping out the passengers and there was this one guy, who we judged to be Swedish, that was carrying a backpack with his motorcycle helmet attached. Tall, 6'2 or so, blond hair high and tight, big blue eyes, too tan with sunburn on his nose, arms covered in tattoos - USMC - and oozing with sexiness. But not in that demure because I am kind of way but obnoxious I know you think I'm hot sleazy gross way. We commented (fries with that shake! woo hoo!) and thought nothing of it. Potential IFB all the way.

We close the door and begin to taxi, do the safety dance (flight attendants demo positions please). I'm standing at the over wing exits looking down the cabin and Sexy Pants McGee has his leg in the aisle with his hand on his knee, middle finger pointed down tapping. WHAT? I'm doing my best to maintain a dead pan face showing no emotion so he knows he can't get to me and I pretend not to notice. He stops. "Should oxygen be needed..." BAM! His finger is back tapping at his knee. I'm looking everywhere around the cabin except at him. As soon as we're done and do the cabin compliance check, I make my way to my jumpseat, which I share with the purser and fill her in on what's going on. His new name? IFSB - In Flight Scuz Bucket.

We do the service, I'm on first break. Directly in front of the crew rest seats is a family of four with a screamer. This child is not having a happy time and feels compelled to share with the rest of the cabin. Awesome. About half way through my break I hear this conversation start and can make out a fair amount of the words even though I'm wearing ear plugs. I get the wake up tap on my shoulder only to emerge into fluorescent light to find IFSB and his new found BFF chatting it up in the galley. Asshole. He's been drinking all flight now and does not have an inside voice. So the two of them stay back there and proceed to talk all the way till third break begins. THEN I'm left alone with him, his lies, and absurd stories of his daughters, the Marine Corp, DOS in Iraq/Afghanistan (Dept of State), adjusting to cushy soft life back in the States... IFSB was by far the most craziest person I've ever talked to on the plane. EVER. None of his stories matched up, he pretended to know who Matt Pryor is (lead singer of The Get Up Kids) and claimed to be headed to Bangkok to see Tokyo Police Club (I had to look that one up - they're currently on tour States side).

He also had a potty mouth.

One of the other stews is Mormon, and does not tolerate the s or f word. She jokingly bet him that he couldn't clean up his mouth. At first he was good, but kept getting all liquored up and soon lost his verbal control and out came the f bomb. His terms of the bet? $100. And he paid up. She wouldn't accept his money so while she was setting up the cart in the mid he hid it in her bag; which she found before we landed. By then he was so passed out she was able to slip in back into his pocket. Who does that? Pay some stranger $100 because you can't lock it up? I would have kept the money. And then sent it to the Sisters of Christian Charity or Habitat for Humanity because I would begin to feel too guilty to enjoy spending on myself. Regardless. IFSB strikes again.

So we get to the hotel and sign up for our exercise classes at the amazing gym downstairs: African dance and core express which start at 5. I woke up promptly at 4. I'm sad I missed African dance but I'm still feeling the effects of core express. I went back up to my room after 30 minutes on the treadmill, ordered room service and fell back asleep at 9:30, up at 1:30, back to bed at 2, wake up at 5:30, breakfast at 6:30, on the plane and back in Newark by 11:40, home before 2.

I took a four hour nap, slept 10 hours last night and have yet to leave the house today. I'd like to take a short power nap soon and I know I'll get another 8 if not more tonight. I've been flying two trips/one day off basically since I got home from Berlin over a month ago. Today is my first day off of five and I'm in need of the R&R. Tomorrow I'm going down the shore to sit in the sun and work on this kicking sun kissed tan I'm rocking.

And while I sort of wish I was in Munich instead, drinking delicious beers, I know that everything happens for a reason and being home is most certainly NOT overrated.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Not Picking My Seat

I just unpacked my stack of let's non-rev to Munich clothes. It's Tuesday; I would have liked to have gone to the opera. Instead, scheduling rolled my days and sent me to Stockholm which was probably one of the most ridiculous trips I've been on in a while. Before I'm ready to tell that tale, lets just mourn the loss of my Munich trip: Thai and opera in Augsburg, Mikes Bikes tour in Munich, dunkel weissbier galore. I'm still off the next five days and am looking forward to quite the NTA detox and will undoubtedly recount the ARN absurdity soon. I know, you all await with baited breath.

J, I pray you get into the base soon - you'd LOVE ARN layover.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fun with Safety Graphics

On the jet way in Paris:

"I eat lightning... nom nom nom..."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Adult Beverages

Dear Vodka,

I hate your stinking guts. You make me vomit. You're the scum between my toes.

Love,

Alyssa

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reserve Minimum Coverage

I'm going to the opera in Augsburg. I just don't know when. I need to trade one more day to make sure I get to the city on time for the opera and then have a few more to play in Munich. But if scheduling rolls my day, then I get to play in Munich for a few days and then see the opera. I'd like to plan where I'm staying and book the hostels but that's not looking like a possibility when I don't know where I'll be until I get there... And the reason why I can't trade my day? Reserve minimum coverage.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things I Saw In The Terminal

1. A priest.
2. someone with a mullet. This is the east coast so sightings are a bit more rare here in EWR as opposed to other places
3. Men refusing to put their belts back on, therefore just walking around holding them.
4. Three girls doing laps, as in wearing running gear like shorts, tees, sneakers, carrying no bags and just running.
5. Pigeon.

Via iPhone

OSL

When I first came into the international base, I flew Heathrow. A lot of Heathrow. I would pick it up, scheduling would assign it to me. Then for a while there, I kept ending up in Shannon, which I loved. I grew to a greater love and appreciation for the western Irish coast during my 9 day volcano stint. And as of late, I've been the Oslo queen. I'm waiting for it to grow on me. I'm waiting to fall in love with Norway and it's just not happening. At least this is just a three day trip and I'll be home in Jersey on Tuesday before I know it. Then after I fly this trip, and three more, I'm off to Munich to play in Bavaria!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

TXL for Two

Last week, prior to my sleepfest in Oslo, I managed to squeeze in a two day adventure to Germany's capital city. I got in to the city center around 9:30, did a 4 hour bike tour at 11, slept for a few, saw The Get Up Kids, slept, wondered around Berlin and then ended up in Potsdam for the afternoon, slept, and was back in Newark in no time. Here's a few of the pictures from the bike tour, which was totally awesome and I can't wait to do it in Munich in three weeks!!!


Reichstag
Yours Truly and the Brandenburg Gate
Berlin Wall, and my sweet Chucks
TV Tower


And for those of you who noticed there were no pictures of food, that's because the food in Berlin isn't nearly as good as in Augsburg or Bavaria. Don't get me wrong, I had some good beers, brats, pretzels... but it just wasn't the same. Kind of like Wawa coffee. Its good, but leaves something to be desired.



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Attn:

I have a new favorite beer. My proclaimed favorites, depending on who I was talking to and when, was either Smithwicks or Leffe Brune. But for sure, my new favorite beer is totally Franzikaner Dunkel. The real deal from Germany is perfection, but I had it on tap at a bar in Philly (for $2!!!) and I fell in love all over again. Unless scheduling will grant me a Germania trip, I'll just have to wait for my week in Munich in July to indulge my palate. And then I can have it with a real pretzel too. Mmm.... pretzel...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oslo??

I made it to Berlin and back; pictures and a debrief to follow. The
next day I went down the shore and spent the day on the boat, day
drinking, and eating more seafood than got destroyed in the Gulf (too
soon?). I briefly contemplated picking up a trip during the madness,
but there really weren't many trips in there. I ended up with airport
appreciation at 19:05 with a few friends. It was a good time until I
got called for Oslo. Four day Oslo. I threw myself a reserve sucks
pity party en route to the gate but was pleasantly surprised once
things started going. Great crew, okay croud. And now that I'm sitting
here, day three in Norway's capital, it's pretty nice to relax and sit
and do nothing. Yesterday we went to the grocery store and stocked up
on basic provisions... and now I'm having a difficult time finding
motivation to get out of bed!

Via iPhone

Saturday, June 12, 2010

You make plans, God laughs. I make plans, scheduling laughs.

Should have gone to Oslo...

But should I have? I had an awesome crew to Bristol, flew with one of
my favorite captains, cheap and delicious Indian for dinner. All in
all a great trip.

Good for one day, no personal drops awarded. AMC to MEX and back. Oh
that's right. Mexico City turn. That gets back well after Berlin
leaves. I'm currently eating my feelings in the terminal and drowning
my sorrows in coffee. It could be worse.

PS - that's my game plan to make it alive out of this 11 hour turn.
Just keep eating! I'll work out double tomorrow.

Via iPhone

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dreaming of Bristol and Still So Scary...

I did manage to get my trip switched to Bristol, which I've never been to and after this year we will no longer be flying there.

I just woke up from a two hour nap (interrupted only to let me pick up BRS and by my bff J, who I'll call back in a bit now that I'm wake and functioning), and I keep having these awful nightmares about being late for work. This afternoon's dream premise was that I had to drive to Bristol and I knew it was near London so I was going to stop and have lunch with Maureen there; we lunched at the time I had to be in Bristol and I was less than pleased. Last night, when I still thought I was going to Oslo, I dreampt that the family was experiencing some sort of crisis and I was screaming at my mother that I told her I had to leave by 6 and it is now 8 and I'll never get to EWR in 45 minutes. I never actually get to work, I do dream about my getting ready process (which for those of you who fly know how important this ritual is) and I get to the transit part but not the airport; I've had this dream a few times since I've been home from Germany. The only thing I could think to do was google what all this means and here's what I got:

To dream that you arrive late for something may mean that you are neglecting a responsibility, or you'd like to avoid the thing you're late for. Dreaming of feeling bad about being late can mean your are experiencing or fearing a loss of control or fear being controlled by outside circumstances in your life. Being late in a dream can also represent passive-aggression towards an authority figure.


To dream that you are late, signifies your fear of change and your ambivalence about seizing an opportunity. You may feel unready, unworthy, or unsupported in your current circumstances. Additionally, you may be overwhelmed or conflicted with decisions about your future. Time is running out and you no longer have time to accomplish all the things you want. Alternatively, being late in your dream could be telling you that it is better late than never. (found here)


Passive-aggression towards an authority figure? Hello scheduling. Change and seizing an opportunity? Well if one would present itself I would take it! How can I be running out of time when I'm 26?

I think I'm in need of a pint...

Guesses and Guests

I opted to play scheduling ruelette for today and spun a four day
Oslo. Ew. I was hoping that by choosing not to pick up a trip I might
end up with something fabulous. Wrong. I called this morning to be
added to the guest purser list. A purser is the lead flight attendant
who makes all the announcements and is responsible for the flight.
When I was domestic I prefered to fly lead; internationally the job is
a bit more intense. I think it has to do with larger crews and more
time crammed together in an aluminum tube doing 500 mph. My favorite
part is making announcements. And someday, auf deutsch! Dreaming big,
I know. But as for today, here goes my attempted to get a different
trip!

Via iPhone

Monday, June 7, 2010

Galley Hands

Galley hands belong to flight attendants who insist on using their bare hands to pull piping hot metal trays out of the ovens, and have no feeling left in their digits. I do not have galley hands and insist on using the oven mitt when handling anything that's not room temperature. It really gets my knickers in a twist when these galley flight attendants who clearly DO NOT work the aisle, cook the crap out of the dishes. Yes, its nice to have warm nut ramekins and main courses should be served on a warm dish. This can easily be accomplished by preheating the oven for three minutes on medium at the beginning of the service and leaving them in the oven. Ten minutes on high with the meals? My hands WILL be a blister. And now I have to hand this dish of danger to a BusinessFirst passenger? Smells like a lawsuit to me! So please, remember that just because you've burnt your hands to the point of no return doesn't mean that everyone else has. Thanks.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Reserve is cramping my style.

On days I pick up, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, all pop into open time to be assigned.

On days I wait around for scheduling to call me, I get Oslo or airport alert.

Oh the magical land of holding a line.

I picked up Shannon tonight, I'm just excited for some good Indian food. I've been sampling the various Indian tv dinners from different UK super markets and they're just not as good as the real deal. Chicken balti, cheese naan and a Cobra are in my future! Its my silver lining.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Picking Your Seat

"Alyssa, are going to the opera?"

"Why?" I would innocently question my mother.

"Because you're picking your seat."

I suppose this was her attempt to use humor in order to teach me to either a) some manners in public, b) pick one's wedgie less obviously, or c) become accustom to the dreaded wedgie.


Now that I'm the wise old age of 26 years old, I like to go the opera and pick my seat for real! In our time together before she died, my grandmother would sing parts of her favorite opera, Turandot, to me. I googled it; its playing live in three places this summer: Verona, Ottawa, and Augsburg. The Met is also showing it in movie theaters across the US as part of their Summer Encore. I'm not sure which way the winds will carry me, but mark my words, I'll see this opera before summer's end.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How You Doing?

Dear 2B,

When you boarded the aircraft, there was a look. Witty banter ensued, cute I-was-on-a-business trip-in-Europe conversation... and oh how I was so not impressed the way you thought I was, you silly BusinessFirst passenger you. A Jersey boy, excited to hear I was from there too. It was nice.

We took off, I did some work. I wondered up to your cabin in between service, and you did it. You had not only taken off your shoes, which is understandable, but had also removed your socks. Deal breaker. You are no longer in the running for coveted "IFB" (in flight boyfriend), nor will you ever be. I won't slip you my number on a cocktail napkin, nor would I remotely even consider keeping yours. You have crossed the line and taken off your socks.

Its over.

Oh to what never will be!

Always,
Alyssa

PS - Eddie also said he saw you picking your nose. You're lucky I missed that one; I might have directed you to your amenity kit for a tissue.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Jersey? What Exit???

My usual response is exit 3, off the turnpike. A while back, I discovered a local brewery, at exit 4, named a beer after their exit! I vowed to myself that I would get my hands on it at some point. So yesterday, when I was running about Philadelphia with a few friends of mine, we stopped at Eulogy on Chestnut in Old City and I found it! I found Exit 4! And I drank it! And it was magically delicious! What I love about Belgian beer bars is their selection of Europe's tastiest along with some local or hard to find domestic favorites. My buddy Adam from Oregon was excited to find a few brews from his neck of the North American woods. What can I say, we love beer.


Adam's Dead Guy and my Exit 4... *sigh*

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Bed Time: 9 pm

Jet lag is currently kicking my ass.

My first night home, I was asleep before 8:30 on a Saturday night. Sunday, I was up and running at 5 am and needed two cups of coffee to make it through the day. I was assigned airport alert Monday morning at 7:45, which meant up at 4:30 to leave by 5:15 for a Wawa run and in the employee lot by 7. It should be no surprise that I barely made it to 9 before it was lights out. Yesterday, I managed to sleep in til 7; I worked out and napped a bit. Still in bed asleep by 9. This morning, I was up at 5, snoozed til 6, and then post-nap til 9. Its currently 3:15 in the afternoon and I'm so ready for a nap, its unreal. How I long for the days when I could stay up til 1 and sleep solidly til 10 or 11. I'm going to a wedding on Saturday and I'm beginning to get a bit concerned that I'll have to leave before they even cut the cake for fear of falling asleep at the wheel! I'm going back to work on Sunday night... this ought to be interesting.


Oh, and I totally forgot I had a pot of chili on the stove and just managed to cook the crap out of it. I don't think I burnt it... we'll see how this endeavor goes tonight at dinner. I am not okay. Sleep deprivation/jet lag is not cute!

Monday, May 17, 2010

What DOES Augsburg Look Like???


Maureen, quick look! A non-food photo!

This is a shot of the famous buildings of Augsburg, Perlachturm (tower, with church) and Rathaus (City Hall). They are in Rathausplatz, and below the building on the left is where we had my birthday dinner in the Ratskeller (Keller is German for cellar - crafty).

J and I were not alone and did not take pictures of dinner there... it was really good though. She had schnitzel with a cranberry sauce and I had pork roast with red cabbage, beer, and strudel for dessert.



And for those of you who are my friends on the book of faces, you'll find some more snap shots there... once I get around to loading them. It was my original intention to do it today at airport alert but my computer wouldn't connect to the wifi in the crew room and I was less than pleased. First day back at work and reserve still sucks. Germanic thoughts dancing in my head did make me feel better, and lit the fire under my tush to study harder!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Food, One Last Time

My Dearest Maureen,

I promise that this will be my last post about the food and beer in Germany.

And yes, that's simply because I don't have anymore.

Love always,

Alyssa




Dinner our last in Augsburg: salad, pretzel, and beer


This is a snapshot of my new favorite beer - Mart and Mo, I know you'd love it too! And check out that head - poured by yours truly.


One word: lunch. I had regular ketchup, J had curry ketchup and she was right, it was good. Just before this we had brats, but they were consumed too quickly to take a picture!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Good Eats!

Now that Joanna is here with me in Germany, we have been on a non stop
eating tour of everything and everywhere. On the 12th, we had Thai for
lunch, then ice cream because it was a bit spicy for yours truly,
followed by two big dark beers called Alligator at the Bavarian
restaurant, dinner at the Ratskeller which is one of the nicer joints
in town (I had pork roast with red cabage and J had schnitzel),
strudel for dessert, followed by a night of more beers. There are no
pictures of these particular culinary delights.

The next day was a national holiday and we purchased a Bayern ticket
for the two of us and rode trains all day for 28€. Our first stop was
in Donauwörth at a Greek Brauhaus and here are the two pictures, soup
and main entree. Amazingly delicious. Then in Nürnberg we just had hot
chocolate and a raisin pretzel. There was no need for dinner. And once
I get home, I'll be sure to post real pics. Make sure not to drool on
your computer screen!

Via iPhone

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

That Tourist...

Someone once told me that there is a partcular group of tourists from
a particular Asian country that is known to photograph their food
prior to consumption. I tried so discreetly to snap this shot... But
based on prinicple alone, I must be one of them.

This is my Jaegerschnizel mit pomme fritz, post-eatum. And it was
delicious. I ordered the klein, smaller portion, and the waitress
appologized upon it's arrival as this was anything but little. I did
my best to finish, as I always do. I have yet to clear a plate since
I've been here. Next time, next time.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beer For Breakfast!

The Get Up Kids, my favorite band, has a song about this very topic -
beer for breakfast! While it may be a cover, it's still one of my
favorites. And prior to yesterday, I'd never experienced such morning
nonsense. Now that I have, let me tell you, it's delicious. I had a
traditional Bavarian breakfast with white brats with sweet mustard,
pretzel with butter, and a mighty delicious Franziskaner. I wanted
coffee because it was a bit early, but the beer just matches the
flavors so well that it's just not an option. The traditional meal
isn't something that you have everyday, just a special occation kind
of thing. But beer with breakfast, especially this beer with these
brats, is quite alright in my book!

Via iPhone

Friday, May 7, 2010

You're embarrassing me...

Yes, well aparently I am embarrassing to myself.

This evening I was invited out to a house warming party. I was excited
to go and looking forward to the company and being with real German
people. So I get there and the first thing I noticed was a pile of
shoes in the hall equal to that of people there. Which means I'm going
to have to take off my shoes. I'm wearing socks, but like totally and
completely ridiculous socks, and now everyone shall see just how
obsurd they are. Awesome. Now without saying a word, I have just
become that girl. That American girl, that girl with the socks, that
girl who speaks piss pour German...

For those of you who have seen my sock collection or who know me well,
wouldn't expect anything less. And here is a snap shot of these
particular socks. In terms of my collection i feel as though they are
rather tame. Just not in a strange country, where I don't know anyone,
when I can barely get a few words out...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Irony is funny... When it happens to someone else...

This week, I finally made a new friend. We have had lunch twice this
week and I enjoy my new friend's company, as they are a native English
speaker too. Now that I got my cool German cell phone to work, we
exchanged numbers and I was invited out for a beer this evening. I got
all dressed in my fancy party top (because I know if I don't wear it
now I won't later), put my face on and eyes in (contacts! ooo fancy)
and was headed out the door. I put my key in the lock to open the door
and it wouldnt turn. I kept twisting and prying and pulling to no
avail. I even got Martina to help - nothing. We called Sister Reggie
and she said the door is broken and will call someone in the morning.
I could leave, but I wouldn't be able to get back out. Awesome. I
finally have something to do and someplace to go with someone and I am
LITERALLY locked inside of a convent. I know, I know. It's funny. But
I know you think it is far funnier than I do.

Via iPhone

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Laundry... European Style

Being here in Germany, and Europe in general, is teaching me patients,
which clearly is not one of my shining personality traits. Prior to
arriving at the nunnery, I was aware that no one really has dryers in
Europe. And at the convent, that is most certainly a luxury they can
do without. Anticipating this to be the situation, I woke up early
Sunday morning and put a mini load of my underpants, socks, tee shirts
and pjs in the washer at 8:45. They were still spinning around at
10:40 when it was time to leave for mass! I got back from church
around 1 and hung everything to dry. It's now Tuesday morning and
things still don't feel exactly what I would call dry. And they're
stiff! I used fabric softener too! Oh how I long for that fresh dryer
sheet smell and feel of warm clean clothes straight from the dryer.

Americans are so spoiled. Enjoy your Maytags. I'll see mine in two
weeks!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nobody Told Me You Were a Sucker for a Kiss

Those of you who know me, know that I am an absolute sucker for love
stories, how we met stories, our first kiss stories. Someday if you
ask me I'll tell you the best of my stories - my first kiss!, how I
stumbled upon my college boyfriend, meeting Mr. Chicago (that was
recent... might be in here somewhere), the bidding war that ensued at
a kids with cancer fundraiser... I got some good stories. But these
two are good and I'm almost sad neither is mine.

So on average, there 12 students in my German class; two are native
English speakers, one's an Aussie, the other from DC. The Aussie is
learning German because he married a German girl LAST WEEK and cannot
work here as the trained engineer he is without fluency. He met her
down under three years ago, and he showed her his homeland and they've
kept in touch, coming back to one another over time and distance, and
now they are married. As Long Duck Dong would say, "Married?" "Married!"

Now the kid from DC, let's call him Chris. Chris is cute, pushing 6'2,
blondish hair, blue eyes. Well traveled, spoken, educated and 23. He
graduated from the college, got some desk job which he quit to move to
Germany, learn the language and give things a go with his girlfriend
of five years. She was an exchange student at his high school his
senior year and they've been going back and forth ever since. I'm so
upset that Chris is a dude and tells 'dude bro' stories because I'm
sure the cutesy details would make you gush for a week! All of this
leads me to draw the conclusion that true gentelmen, romance, and
courting are all very much so alive and real.

I'm waiting.

Und ich sprecke Deutsch in the meantime ;)

Via iPhone

Saturday, May 1, 2010

European Toilet Paper

Toilet paper in Europe is different, for lack of a better term. I have
heard it compared to elementary school paper towels, but I'm not sure
if it's quite that rough. It is, however, thicker and I feel more
absorbant than classic American Scotts, which you need a million
sheets to complete the job. Not here, a few rectangles will do you
good. European toilet paper it isn't squared.

And to answer your question, yes. These are the important things I
observe and think about while not studying, eating too many pastries
or drinking beers like whoa. Life is simpler here. Just like the
toilet paper.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Was ist das?

That's what's for dinner! Snapshot of the pretzel not included, but
there is a big bread basket full of rolls an pretzels to the left of
the plate, with two types of mustard in the wooden canisters pictured
- honey dijion and spicy yellow. And as for you, Mr. SOB, below is
pictured some of the best potato salad i have ever had in my life.
Your little state side deli doesn't stand a chance to the real deal.

Ich liebe Deutschland!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ich habe eine Blume!

Today, I took the tram to school with Yoko who lives upstairs, made
friends with the crazy Aussie who's German is about as good as mine,
and I bought a plant. My German is coming, slowly but surely, but I'm
happy to be here. I have such great freedom with my job and lifestyle;
I can't even begin to imagine what corporate America golden handcuffs
or settleing down feels like. It's finally beginning to sink in that
my life is far from the norm and just how lucky, how blessed, I truly
am!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tiffany Key? Yes Please!

Many moons ago, when we lived in Lewisburg, PA, we lived across the
street from an antique store. I was obsessed with two things: the
postcards and the keys. I loved flipping through pictures of towns
past and reading the thoughts of people I would never know, who are no
longer with us. I also thought the old keys were beautiful and came
with so many questions. Why are they here in an antique store? What
did they once open? If I wear one as a necklace will it break my neck?
The postcards I studied in college (geography major, remember?); but
the keys - I have my own set now! The big cool old fashioned one opens
my room and the gate. The others open the main door and main gate.
Unfortunately for me, I can never get anything to unlock the first try
and stand for what feels like hours trying to open the door. And it's
loud too! I always make sure that I'm in and out at reasonable hours
because I know how awful it is that I can't even open the door quickly
or quietly. At least when I get my fancy Tiffany key for my birthday,
it will serve decoration purposes only!

And yes, that's my awesome bed spread with matching pillow case!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Guten Tag! Tag Zwei

Greetings from old country! And let me tell you, this town is old
country. Church bells chime every fifteen minutes, stores close mid
day, and apparently nothing is open on Sunday. I walked all around the
city yesterday and it is beautiful here. As a lover of land use
patterns, and Europe, the landscape is much to my liking and I'm sure
things will only get better once I can talk to people. Auf deutsch.

My room is basic and clean; it's part of a nunnery. I'm not sure how
many sisters live here but their chapel is around the corner from my
room. Rosaries or daily mass is at 6 depending on the day. This
morning Sister Reggie and I went to church and it's nice to know that
bad church behavior is language-less.

To be a bit honest, I'm ready to get to class and to do some serious
homework and studying. It would also be nice to meet some people my
age who don't wear a habit...

So yes, I finally made it to Augsburg, Germany to learn me some
deutsch. I've been waiting so long to get here - since the winter and
delayed in Shannon. And now I have the next three weeks to enjoy,
learn, and drink beer!

Via iPhone

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nerdalicious

We all know I'm a sucker for a geographic song; songs about planes, traveling, leaving. Listen to the Get Up Kids lyrics - those are their major themes. Anyway. I just heard this song for the first time on my pandora and I thought it captured my college education rather well. Enjoy!

Designer Skylines by Owl City

Affection, the gifted architect
Is making a draft and beautiful design
The options and possibilities
Are endless when we connect and re-align
Collections of books and documents
Arise and parade around my cluttered desk
Reworking the math and measurements
Until I'm convinced these plans are picturesque
Like mountains in the Midwest

Reaction creates the columns dark
And wide like the roads around Fort Lauderdale
The structures begin to take their shape
Before I've designed the public monorail
The turnpike and high-speed motorway
Connect and enclose the quaint suburban streets
The airport, the broad suspension bridge
The lake and the beach where several rivers meet
Compounded from the spreadsheet

A city sparkles in the night
How can it glow so bright?
The neighborhoods surround the soft florescent light
Designer skyline in my head
Abstract and still well-read
You went from numbered lines to buildings overhead

Did I say 8 days? I meant 9

I am finally home. That was the shortest 6 and a half hour flight I have ever worked. I am currently procrastinating packing up my suitcase to go back to Europe but here's the kicker - there are negative seats going Saturday and 7 going out tomorrow night. So I will be leaving for my big German adventure TOMORROW instead. I'm excited to be going... now I just have to get everything in my suitcase!

I did have a great Irish vacation this past week and would recommend Ireland in the spring time to anyone. It was beautiful, and just as we were leaving, flowers and trees were starting to bloom. Sigh, Europe in the spring time. There's no where else like it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Beach Boys

Well I feel so broke up
I want to go home

So hoist up the John B's sail
See how the mainsail sets
Call for the Captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I wanna go home, yeah yeah
Well I feel so broke up
I wanna go home



Possibly Thursday?

Monday, April 19, 2010

8 Day Shannon Trip?

Oh yes! So we have been delayed and rescheduled numerous times now.
The latest update has us departing Ireland for the states on Thursday.
Will that actually happen? Your guess is as good as mine. I recently
made the switch to Sky news, as opposed to CNN, and they are far more
informative with better meteorologists and volcanologists. I also find
it strange that not one of the news agencies out there has mentioned
Irish airspace; if you look at a map, it becomes a bit more clear as
to why...

Thus far, I missed watching United States of Tara with my sister and
have had to cancel my first week of German class. If we are not out of
here by Friday, then I have to scrap the trip entirely. That is
looking like a real possibility.

Just like my new Irish boyfriend! AND the captain is all about it
because he can marry us on the plane! Haha, my mother would just LOVE
that!

Via iPhone

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thanks Mom!

So I finally downloaded the Skype application for my iPhone, added minutes and called home (eat that AT&T international plan!). I talked to my dad for a bit, about making the best of the situation and then he put my mother on the phone.

"As I said to the family, it could be worse - Alyssa could be stuck here with me! 'Why didn't I get a trip? I wish I was on a trip. Why can't I go anywhere? When can I leave for Germany???'"

Thanks Mom. Love you too.

For those of you who know me well know just how psychotic I can get when it comes to work. I was excited to get this trip Tuesday night, so I wouldn't have to worry about scheduling Wednesday. And in all honesty, there is nothing in the above quote that isn't true. It does stink that I had to cancel my first week of German classes; I'm still scheduled to go for the last three until May 15. I'm also scheduled to leave Shannon on Tuesday. We'll see how that one goes.

It's nice being here in Ireland with other crew members who want to go home, be with their families, and take care of personal matters and projects; we are all in this together. I'm so thankful that I don't have any strings holding me to the states: no boyfriend, no husband, no kids, no bills, no house, and parents, who love me a lot, to take care of everything else.

The company has offered to buy us dinner tonight, which is nice. It's also 60 and sunny outside which for Ireland is even better. Tonight is also laundry night, as I have been wearing these jeans since Geneva and am down to one pair of underpants. We're going on the big tour tomorrow of touristy things; I'm excited for that. I told the crew that we can't come home after having been here for days on end and have our only activities be Indian and Thai curry, Guinness, and dancing into the wee small hours of the morn (80's night, Nancy Blakes, and that pub with the kid with braces). Besides, Mom said she'd pick up the tab for anything I couldn't afford ;)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down!

As I'm sure you all are well aware, there is currently a volcano errupting in Iceland impacting travel in and out of Europe. I am in Shannon, Ireland where the airspace is currently closed. I was supposed to depart tomorrow, Friday, and that has been cancelled; but scheduling has us departing Saturday morning. The thing with these mother nature geological events is that no one really knows when what's going to happen. I'm mad at myself for not being prepared for my trip to Germany before I left for this trip - I figured it was a three day and I would be back at my house by 1 or 2 Friday afternoon. There's nothing I can do about that now and we'll just have to wait and see. I'm supposed to be in German class in Augsburg Monday morning. Keep you posted as to how that goes!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bottles of Fun!

My past two trips were Berlin, speaker position off airport alert, and Geneva, I was called 3 1/2 hours ahead of time at home. The best part about flying to mainland Europe (and Ireland) is there's no liquid restrictions. Even as crew members, there are liquid restrictions flying out of the UK, which is where I go more often than not as we are all well aware. I have grown accustom to not even trying to get hummus or yogurt (only Muller's rice in either strawberry or vanilla custard) through, let alone investing in bottles of fun at the supermarket. I don't have time to be checking my bag, waiting for it on the carousel; when I clear customs, I want in my car and home. Anyway, I digress.

So on these two trips, Berlin and Geneva, I was able to bring home bottles of fun! My favorite bottles of fun! I bought a hefeweizen in Berlin and a Leffe Brune in Geneva. AND my best friend J, who just came home from Italia brought me back two Fantas and a bottle of my favorite red! My fridge is full of fun and you are full of envy ;)



Fanta and

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo


Leffe, cold Fanta, and a .5 liter hefeweizen... yum!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Skin and Bones

As I have previously mentioned, I haven't flown this many hours since last summer. Since then I've dropped a few pounds and now can wear a size 2. I know its shallow and vain, but it sure is nice to see that little 2 on the inside of my pants. I can't see it, this is my body and it feels the same to me. I've been working out a bit so I feel healthier and it is far easier to lug my overstuffed bags through security and up and down the terminal. But last night en route to Geneva it dawned on me why the pounds have literally melted away: I had stopped flying! I wish you all could have seen the things I stuffed in my face on that plane. I was first class galley, which didn't help. I had a cashews, piece of garlic bread (YUM!), one of the veggie spring rolls with the sauce, pretzel bread, a salad with creamy dressing, a coach chicken (stir fry with rice, egg, and what looked to be broccoli and carrots). And a bite of brownie. And a handful of grapes. OH - and I had a half of a wrap before we took off. What makes eating on the airplane worse is that I ate all this between 8 and 11, and didn't sit down to have an actual meal. I only have one more "trip" (okay, reserve days that could equal a trip) and I know I won't plan out food to bring with me for 3 days. I think I'll make this my goal come May, when I head back out on line.

I did try to pick up Manchester where they have a microwave in the crew room. Instead, I got assigned this trip, with no microwave, and a kebab shop two blocks away. And with the Swiss franc the way it is, that's about all I can afford.

PS - When you spell check on a French computer, English is wrong. I appologize for any mispellings; you know, more than the usual.