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.
Love always,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


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.