Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Puppy Kisses and Unicorn Rides for Christmas

Tomorrow kicks off the Christmas Market season in Germany.  Last year, I wanted our girls' trip to include Nuremberg but I was outvoted in favor of Cancun (which was quite okay with me!).  This year, it was my intention to bid for a week off to go and meander about Bavaria eating and drinking, and enjoying the countryside towns and my favorite big cities.  As my schedule stands, it looks like I'll be in Houston for some training, followed by a few more days in Newark.  There are also some clean up classes throughout the month that I may (or may not) be needed to fill.  I'm hoping for the best of trips with awesome crews while I'm on call, and I'd love to make it to Germany for the real Christmas market experience.  I'm so excited to be back in the air flying again, let's just hope it's all puppy kisses and unicorn rides ;)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wild!

My wildest dreams have come true! All the women in my family own fur coats and of course, I've always wanted one too. Recently, thanks to a flood in my parents' basement, my mother came across her silver fox fur my father bought her when they lived in Germany back in the early 1980's. And now it's all mine. A vintage fur coat.

So excited.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sleep Tight...

The biggest perk I've seen in this post-modern world is how accessible life in the far reaches of every corner has become.  There are "ancient" interviews with flight crews or businessmen, economists who can bore you about how the 747 changed the world.  And it has.

It's brought bed bugs to a hotel near you.

Recently I was in a hotel, that I will name by personal message, with an issue in more than one room.  I will also tell you, slanderously so via PM, which crew hotels that have been identified in the system as hosts of infestations of the night.  When my sister worked for Disney she learned the extensiveness that they deal with bed bugs (and I must say, if you were going to encounter that problem, then Disney is most certainly the place to do so).  It truly is a global problem, and has been for I'm guessing centuries.

At the moment, my suitcase is in the trunk of my car and I'm quite fearful to bring it into my apartment or parents' house.  I think it can just hang out a few more days before I pick out what needs to be dry-cleaned, or until I get desperate to wash those pajamas...

Or I might just get a new suitcase...

Friday, November 9, 2012

FALL by Cider Sky



Amaze-balls.

My new favorite band, for reals-eys.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Flying High: Fan Mail and EDI

Fan Mail


As instructors, we get to fly only when the operation needs the coverage.  Hurricane = operational need.  This time around I felt like I had been given the golden ticket... partially because I wanted to get out of the house but also to satisfy the "I want to fly" itch.  As I was running around trying to get everything in order, I came across this in my inbox:

I started reading your blog a few days ago, yes the whole thing, all 5 years of it…ha.  I found myself extremely engaged, almost like reading a book, a really interesting book of course.  I have been researching and looking for insight to the job from first hand perspective.  My aunt has been an FA for United for about 25 years know.  Her and my mother signed me up for the job, unbeknownst to me, and I received an email back a few months later inviting me to come for an interview...

I am 26, I graduated from college with a degree in microbiology with an emphases on epidemiology.  I have been really stuck in my ways my whole life.  I had a serious plan for veterinary school, until I got burnt out; then started on my track for med school, and was unable to get the funding. Like most women my age I have been in one failing relationship after the other.  I eventually came to the realization of "what the hell do I want to do"...  

So I come to you after reading your blog and I feel like there is hope.  After hearing your struggles and the issues you have faced, I feel like I am ready for a change.  I will have to leave my completely unsupportive boyfriend behind, and my Boston Terrier with family, but what the hell…. I really have nothing to lose.  I just hope it's the right decision because I really am not the type to just jump ship and leave it all behind.  My family including my sick father thinks I will have the time of my life and they all wished they would have taken this opportunity when they were younger. I just wanted to take the time to thank you for writing your blog, it rely helped me make my decision.


Thank you, Future Stew, for taking a leap and trying something new and more importantly, for reaching out and saying so.  I don't need to tell you all my applying advice; you've read it and I'm sure you found The Flying Pinto who's a much better resource.  I wish you all the best.  Bringing how lucky I am to my attention before hitting the road helped me get through the motions of driving up the turnpike, stopping in Bayonne, and getting mentally ready to suit up and show up.  Doing those things wasn't particularly easy, and I still don't have power in my apartment.




EDI


We were given the green light, go pick up a trip at noon on Thursday.  I had a feeling it was coming, and was stalking open time looking for my friends or trips I would want to fly.  I did a lot of Edinburgh this summer and I chose it over higher time trips because I wanted to be someplace comfortable.  I also needed something that checked in late enough for me to go first to Bayonne, and there were only turns (ew!) in domestic.  Having closely followed the news and the Governor's frequent updates about the storm damage and transit closures, I still wasn't prepared for what I saw en route to my apartment and at the airport: crazy lines for gas, complete clean up and debris piles on the NJ TPK, and my town completely powerless.  It hasn't been that cold yet, so my building was tolerable and I was able to clean out my fridge.  I left as soon as I was ready for some serious high speed aluminum tubing.

The flight over was uneventful - just how I like it.  We got together as a whole crew and had a night cap before our naps.  The weather was beautiful, as you already saw; we all had views of Sir Arthur's Seat from our hotel rooms.  I woke up starving and ran to The Potato Place, which is take away serving baked potatoes with all these amazing toppings for cheap.  It's the kind of place that a carbo-holic's dreams are made of.  

We met for dinner, and our friend who's the concierge of the hotel, recommended a restaurant called Mum's.  Not gunna lie, my first thoughts about the name were "mum's the word" as in secrets.  Boy was I wrong.  The menu was affordable comfort food, rather affordable deliciousness.  

 
I had sweet potato soup with mac and cheese.


Everyone else had some sort of pie with carrots and the most delicious peas on the side.  Way better than Nando's, and I'm thinking their pies are better than Auld Jock's even though I have yet to make it there before they close.

In Nando's defense, it's popular with crews because there's no battle of the check.  It's set up so you go to the register, order and pay, sit down and be served.  The check for this particular meal was also no issue because it was taken care of by one of the flight attendant's boyfriend who's a local... and possibly Chuck Norris.

Now, it's not everyday I accuse people of being Chuck Norris, mostly because I've never met someone worth of the name.  But here's a list, as compiled by Smiling Paul, of things we learned about this Faux Chuck Norris over the course of the evening:
(1) he's Billy Connolly's neighbor, 
(2) built a flying car and sold it to a company bigger than Boeing & Airbus, 
(3) was a super-soldier in the SAS and carried a guy on his back 500 miles through the desert
(4) jumped off a 110' cliff with a snowmobile three weeks ago and lived to tell about it, 
(5) had a brain tumor removed five weeks ago, and 
(6) has jammed with Steve Martin (the actor/comedian/banjo player).

How gullible are we?  I don't even mind that we were buying what he was selling because he was fun and paid for dinner.  Kept us amused all night long - including later at the pub when he spun another stew around the dance floor and kept lifting his kilt to show off his sexy leg to his ladyfriend.  She was not nearly as amused by those shenanigans as I was and her embarrassment.  We were out dancing and drinking quite late for a school night.  It was so nice to be out and blow off some steam, considering all the hardships most of us were facing, are facing, at home.  But the crew camaraderie is what the job and what living the dream is all about.  

As well as identifying possible Chuck Norris (and yes, that is the plural).

Friday, November 2, 2012

Good Morning, Edinburgh!

The view from my hotel window this morning

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Natural Disaster Readiness

Always have your bags packed in the event you're called off the couch.

I have my tote, but my suitcase and everything else are in my apartment.  So now I'm off to Bayonne, with no power, to gather my belongings so I can go to Edinburgh tonight.

I'm excited to get on the plane tonight; not exactly looking forward to getting everything in line to get there.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Assessing Conditions

I awoke this morning to find bands of blue skies.

They have since dissipated.

After work on Sunday (training center), I quickly went back to Bayonne, packed my bag, and went to my parents' house.  My biggest fear was having to ride out the storm alone in my apartment.  Airport operations were closed/cancelled beginning at 7 pm Sunday night and were not scheduled to resume until noon today.  In short, that means I don't have work again til Friday - possibly Thursday if they add another class.

Down here in South Jersey, my parents' house lost power for a few hours Monday night.  It's actually been quite nice to be together with the fam, and spending time thinking about life; just some philosophical thinking about where I am and where I want to go. As for the conditions of my town, my apartment, I'm thinking my only casualty will be the contents of my fridge.  I don't know if power has been restored quite yet; I'm hoping it will be this weekend.

Having watched the continuous coverage of the storm, at both the local and national level, I know how lucky I am to be safe, warm, well-fed, and together.  Some people lost everything and my heart and prayers go out to them.



For information about the storm and climate:
http://www.livescience.com/24377-weather-climate-hurricane-sandy.html

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Governor Christie

Rule #1 in Hurricane Preparation:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

September Adventures!


9/27/2012 Notre Dame, Paris, France



10/3/2012 Hoffbrau Tent, Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany


10/4/2012 Marien Platz, Munich, Germany (hungover)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Double Rainbow

Double French rainbow... what does it mean???

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Und Jetzt...

I'd been feeling a bit blue this month: work started off a bit more challenging then I would have liked, my dream Peru trip fell through.  It's a bit too easy to count all the things you don't have and I was certainly falling prey.

When my sister and I were in Germany earlier this year, she asked me to go to Paris.  To have a picnic under the Eiffel Tower is a line item that lives on most people's bucket lists for years and I fail to have a perspective where that's a big deal.  Because it is, especially to my sister.  So we're going next week.  I'm getting pretty excited, but the fun, antsy, nervous kind.  I've only ever stayed in the confines of our crew hotel, which is a block away from the Eiffel Tower, and have yet to experience "the real Paris."  I'm unfamiliar with their metro or tube or subway, and our hotel is on a street with constants I know you don't pronounce.  We are certainly in for an adventure and I'm sitting back, giving thanks, and opening my eyes for a broader outlook with gratitude.

The week after, I'm going to Oktoberfest with K.  That's a broader outlook with "Bier Brille" ;)


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Scottish, British, and the UK

When we got off the plane in Edinburgh, aka Athens of the North, the first officer said he was so happy to be with the lovely British people... oops..


Friday, August 10, 2012

Life Happens While You're Busy Planning

This week, nothing went according to plan.  I had five days off and it was a divine comedy of errors.

Monday night, we were supposed to have dinner at Bobby Flay's in AC.  Thanks to crew (screw) scheduling, we ended up at Delmonaco's in Manhattan Tuesday night.  It's Restaurant Week, we were together, and the food was amazing.  Moreover, it gave me some time to myself, which after working that 6 day trip was much needed.

At the moment, my mother and sister were in Disney and my father's in NorCal with his family.  After a great internal debate, I decided to meet up with my father in SMF and as a surprise, be with my grandmother for her birthday.  I woke up super early Wednesday morning, attempting a connection in Chicago.  It was a mess from start to finish.  My connection was cancelled, and I ended up back in EWR 12 hours after I'd left.   Kris was going out to Belfast on a 3 day and I considered going with her.  Kind of glad I didn't.

Thursday, I bought myself a new mattress!  Consolation prize for missing all the fun in CA with my father, Guinness in Northern Ireland, and not being able to go with J to MUC.  She's there now and will be home tomorrow.

This morning, Friday, I woke up to a fury of messages from Kris, in Belfast, that her flight's been cancelled.  It's her boyfriend's 30th birthday party.  Surprise birthday party.  Guess who's in charge of that one now?  I immediately messaged J and told her not to be sad about missing the party, as the hostess won't be there either.

Life happens.  Crew scheduling happens.  It's all a big game, and sometimes you win and sometimes your flight's canceled.

I go back on call tomorrow and I'm good for five days.  Only the Lord knows what's in store for me now...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Domestic Layovers

Pictured is a Pinkus Organic Wheat from my favorite place on earth, Germany.

We got in about 6 hours late to DC, and immediately went out for drinks. Delicious. As the beer snob... er, expert... I ordered my friend a dunkel and it was bananas - literally ;)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

$20 Anyone?

'I got a twenty-dollar bill
That says no one's ever seen you without makeup.
You're always made up.'

Mix Tape by Brand New



And especially when I go to work.

A few years ago, when I started going back and forth from my parents house to work and then back to my apartment, I decided to downsize makeup bags so I could always have it in my purse.  On my last trip in June, I left my makeup in the crew hotel in LHR.  And now I'm sitting here in MAN with no makeup; I left it in my apartment safe and sound where I couldn't leave it in crew hotels.  Which most certainly defeats the purpose of buying new makeup to replace what I just lost.  In my locker at the training center, I have a spare girl kit with mascara and eyeliner... I'm beginning to think I should have something similar in my suitcase...

Oh well, just another task on my DC to do list ;)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wild Blue Yonder

I've been going back and forth from flying to teaching since May.  Cover for scheduling, teach a few days, back and forth and up and down.  Now that it's officially August in flight attendant land, I'm scheduled to fly the entire month.  I'm leaving tonight for Manchester and will be gone for my first 6 day trip.  I'm a bit nervous, but it's only four legs with a few people I know AND I'm working aft galley.  Moreover, I get 28 hours in DC!  Pics to follow I'm sure.

Upon my return, the girls and I are going to Bobby Flay's Steakhouse in AC.  This is also going to be the first time all season I'll be on the beach... which kind of breaks my heart.  I love the beach.  Wednesday morning, I'm going to NorCal to meet my dad and uncles to celebrate my grandmother's birthday.  When I get back Friday night, we're celebrating Bestie's 30th birthday.  It looks wonderful on paper, doesn't it?  And then I go on call for another 6 days...

At the moment there's 6 day DUB in there.  Fingers and toes ;)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Belle Reprise (german)

There's nothing I love more than adventure.

Thus far this year, I took my sister to Europe for the first time - and not just any Euro trip, but we did Frankfurt, the Rhine River Valley, and Heidelberg Castle.  I spent another month in Augsburg.  We did a girls trip to Rapid City, South Dakota.  Next week, I'm going to NorCal with my father.

Slowly but surely, my dream trip to Machu Picchu is shaping up... I've only been planning that one for two years ;)

And my latest dream trip?  Munich and Nuremberg for the Christmas markets.  I'm thinking second weekend in December.  You coming?


Saturday, June 30, 2012

LHR Thai

Like all good flight attendants, I have my favorite restaurants in each city. My new fave in Edinburgh is the Potato Shop where, for a mere five pounds, you get two medium potatoes smothered in all sorts of wonderful things like beans, cheese, chili, sour cream, and various toppings alike. In Shannon, Mongol Indian is the best. There's also great Thai and a fancy pizza joint along the river.

I was excited to get this London trip because I wanted to go to my favorite Thai place, The Churchill Arms. It has a great atmosphere, good beers on tap (even though I always get Guinness), and the food is reasonably priced and quite delicious. Here's a snapshot from my table, looking across the way. The ceiling is covered with hanging potted plants, and the windows are large and let in as much light as is shining.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

EDI


Check us out!  We did Edinburgh together, and climbed Sir Arthur's Seat!  It was wonderful, and we look so cute coming home too ;)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Rules

My mother said I'm not allowed to leave the country unless I let her know.

Glasgow.  Found the Nando's.

Edinburgh.  Found the Nando's, and Whistle Binkies.

Belfast.  FINALLY had a beer at Kelly's Cellars.  Walked past the Nando's ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ich vermisse dich

I miss you all, dearly.

Here are a few of the snapshots from my last day in Augsburg.  It was my dream day, mein Traumtag.  I went to school in the morning with goodies from the bakery.  Received all 2's and an 1 in conversation!  Went it to Pow Wow for a coffee with the kiddies after class.  Then went on an epic journey to find the big slide; went down aforementioned slide.  Drank a bottle of Italian wine on a bench in the park, that J had brought from Italy to New York, then back to Munich for my birthday.  It was delicious.  As it was Feiertag, made our way out to the suburbs (via bus! I rode the bus!) for beers in a tent in the middle of a field.  I couldn't have planned it, dreamed it, or lived it better.


Epic slide.  There's clearly toddlers waddling up the staircase, and a sign that says this Spielplatz ist fuer die Kinder.  Ich bin ein Kind im mein Herz.


M's holding the bottle, and those are cups commandeered from Pow Wow...
We're classy.


The Boys made fun of my American smile in all the pictures.  In this particular snapshot it appears M is holding my beer, but I assure you I can hold my own liter.  With two hands.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

RIP Robin

Robin Gibb past away on Sunday.  This is a cheesy video of The Wallflowers' cover of Robin's best song, one of my absolute favorites.  I secretly (well, not so much anymore...) LOVE The Bee Gees.  They created their own sounds, melodies, harmonies, and perfected those very basic yet challenging elements of writing music and songs that will always be monumental and ground breaking.  Cheers to you, Robin Gibb.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Now What???

On Friday afternoon, as the 777 was descending, and Manhattan was standing so proudly out the window of my quite glorious first class flat bed seat, tears were streaming down my face.  It wasn't that I was sad to be home, it was that I had no way of knowing how I'd get back.  When I left Augsburg two years ago, I knew in my heart I'd be back again and without that same peace: tears.  I was so lucky and fortunate to have then spent the next few hours out to lunch with my best friends, then out to drinks in the City.  I'm currently at my parents' house, where I've been for the past 48 hours.  I spent every one of them lying down watching an embarrassingly large amount of television and eating meat (my host family was on a meat-minimalist diet).  There are a few things that are for sure:  I'm cutting off my cable in the apartment, I'm going to a different gym with classes because my knee won't permit me to be a marathon runner (and I'm okay with that).  I do need to make it to that soup kitchen and start volunteering.  And achieving fluency in the German language.  It's quite the list of goals, but all within my reach and all things I've always wanted to do anyway.  The time has come, the Walrus said, to stop talking of things and doing them ;)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Birthday Dress!!

Here's what 28 looks like with my new bestie Angelene :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Meine Haare

After being here for four weeks, I finally figured out how to blow out my hair properly with my tonka truck sized blow dryer and limited styling product: excessive conditioner. Yesterday and today, my hair was bouncy yet smooth and almost frizz free. The beautiful sunshiny weather helps too ;)

Via iPhone

Monday, May 14, 2012

Shorty

I had a wonderful birthday!!! I can't even believe I'm 28, or that I've been flying for five years...


I had long since forgotten that I only party in Europe. It's been ages since I've been out... I think it was Vegas? The tunes were rocking - all the same stuff at home on the radio - the beer was reasonably priced; and we were out til the next morning. Super.

One's birthday comes but once a year and I was quite thrilled to have spent it here - again. I go home in four days and I'm running around town doing all my favorite things one last time. I know I'll be back - the plane leave everyday so says my mother ;)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flying Nun!!!

Gotta love random, rocking Sister spottings!!! She was quite the speed demon.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Where The Wild Things Are

I brought my guest family's son a copy of aforementioned book to say thank you for hosting, feeding, and entertaining me. When I first gave it to Louis we sat down and read, and I did my best to explain in German what was going on. But tonight after dinner, Ingrid brought it out and I ended up reading the story to everyone.

It's been such a treasure and a joy to have been welcomed into another family for no other reason than just because. I'm more than half way done and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Let the wild rumpus start! cried Max.

Via iPhone

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Kids

Things I learned today from hanging out with a five year old in a different language:

1. I'm not a kids person. You most certainly are not cuter than me, and don't make that face because I invented the face to get money from my parents, drinks from silly boys, and to get out of a speeding ticket. I'm not buying what you're selling, kid.

2. If and when I do have kids, I really hope I get the two for one deal. I can't even imagine spending my days off coming up with new and different ways to amuse you. If there's two of them then they can amuse each other.

3. Whatever you name your kid, I hope you like it. Because you're going to be telling it. A lot.

4. If you told the kid once in one language, they aren't going to listen in another, regardless of fluency.

5. I just haven't met him yet. It seems to me, that all these normal, self centered people who went on to reproduce keep telling me it's worth it; and I suppose they're right. Maybe it will be for me.... in like ten years ;)

Via iPhone

Friday, May 4, 2012

LUNCH!!!

I was doing my best to take this pic inconspicuously, whilst still capturing the wonders that is a brat with senf for lunch. I went for a run in the morning, and that means I can eat whatever I want. Including ice cream later ;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Little Piece of Bavarian Heaven

Finally made to Germany, settled in with my host family. Going to school everyday and loving every minute of it. Today the weather was so amazingly beautiful, I went for my first run EVER. I ran. Ich bin gerannt. I did okay, considering I didn't have my inhaler. My knees have determined they do not like pavement, but could handle dirt paths and whatnot.

My only problem is that I keep taking two hour naps in the afternoon... Like today, I came home from school, ate lunch, did homework, and then went for my epic first run... And bam! Asleep for two hours. I didn't mind as much because I did make it outside to enjoy the sunshine. But now it's time for bed and I'll easily sleep til 6 when the sun comes up and doze for another hour.

All the sleep I can get, all the beer I can drink, fresh everything - fruit, meat, yogurt - that I can eat. And learning, something adults forget they love - okay well, at least this "adult."

Yep. Why I do declare: a little piece of heaven.

Via iPhone

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For...

A few weeks ago, I told J that I thought it would be really cool if my host family had kids. I know I probably shouldn't wish for little ones, but kids like to share their knowledge and are helpful, more often than not.

My host family has a five year old son.

So now, in the aftermath of the pants party, I'm going to go repack my roller and pack my carry-on. It's showing there's a seat in the front for me (SO SPOILED), but just in case I need to put together my economy class bag of treats. I've also been keeping an eye on the weather and it looks like it'll be cold when I first get there but then it'll warm up to be real spring, like here.

And the best packing part is I'll be back Friday, so I can do a complete wardrobe change if need be.

Bavaria here I come.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pants Party!?!!!????

Tonight, I hosted a pants party for me and my two flight attendant besties... in order to pack my pants. Because I'm going to Germany, for a month. And I leave on Saturday.


SAY WHAT???!!!


Apparently, pants parties involve J yelling at me that no, I cannot take four different sweater dresses, and Kris yelling about how I can't pack my tights with my slippers because they're not matching (slippers are footwear that cannot touch other things and tights are clothing). There was also beer. Lots of beer. So now that I'm all packed and ready to go, I feel good. Mainly because I'm coming back home in a week and can bring this all back and try again. Or wash with a real washer and dryer.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Am I Too Old For This???

At the moment, the only real reason why I want to go to Germany so badly is to put an end to this horrific allergy attack. Sneezing, runny nose, scratchy throat, sinus pain and pressure all day and with the current weather in Bavaria, I'm quite certain that's the best solution to end my misery.

However, I also had the fleeting thought that maybe I'm too old for this. I'm about to be 28 years old - isn't it supposed to be time to settle down? Isn't that what everyone else is doing? Pairing off and procreating? I guess... but we're all going to be 28 regardless. And then before we know it we'll be 50. So I suppose I'll be doing what I want to do and not what I think I'm supposed to be doing or what everyone else is doing. It's scary, but more importantly, it's an adventure.

The one thing I've always ever wanted: adventure.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's 9:45 in the morning and I'm eating lamb...

Yesterday, Kris and I went out for Greek food. We found an awesome restaurant in Highland Park, close to my alma mater Rutgers. We ordered way too much delicious food and ended up bringing most of it home.

Which I'm now eating... for breakfast...

I haven't had Greek food this amazing since J and I were in Germany two years ago. The time before that, when Mo and I were in Athens in May, 2008. So to find lamb this amazing in America is beyond exciting! AND the restaurant was BYO!!!


So here it is: lamb with artichoke hearts, dill, and greens in a lemony garlic sauce. So light and crisp, the perfect entree regardless of time.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ich habe blonde Haare.

It's recently been brought to my attention that with my new fancy highlights, I'll be perceived as the stereotypical blond American whilst in Germany. Awesome.

Pictures to come, I'm sure.

I leave in eight days.

Via iPhone

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Of Monsters and Men - Lakehouse (Live on KEXP)

Saw these guys Friday night and they rocked my socks.  Loved it.  And the drummer ;)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Hire Anniversary

March 17, 2007 was my first official day I suited up and showed up and poured the cokes. My first assignment was airport alert, and I was then assigned a three day trip with layovers in Tuscon and LaGuardia (the crew hotel was across the street from Shea stadium). It was the most exciting and exhilarating thing I've ever done. I was the lead flight attendant, I got to make all the announcements and be at the top of the bar cart. This was also back in the day when we actually served people refreshments and meals. I remember sitting on the jumpseat thinking to myself - remember how cool you think take off feels, carry this with you. And I've tried hard to keep those first flight attendant moments in mind. Not like I've flown a trip recently, but still, I'm grateful.

When you're a new hire flight attendant, you're on probation. During this probationary period you frequently meet with your supervisor. I vividly remember being asked to show my supervisor all my required duty items during one of these meetings - my flashlight, cabin key, manual, alarm clock, pen, passport (both FAA and company required items). He took my passport and saw where I was born, Frankfurt. He said they were short on speakers, and asked if I spoke; I didn't. I thought I could never go to Germany (um, hello, you fly for free)... I thought I could never do something like that on reserve (the Frau at community college might agree, but I did indeed pass 101 with a solid B)... I thought I'd never have the courage to go alone, but I did two years ago and I do now. It takes me a while to get to places I'm trying to go, to accomplish my goals. There's even a Bright Eyes song about it - these things take forever, I especially am slow. Oh, but the adventures I've had, and oh the places I'm about to go.

Hopefully in a real seat.

Below is yours truly, circa March 2007. My hair is blondish now, my nails are natural. I have no idea where that watch is, and those heels were the best pair I've ever owned. The ear to ear grin, well, somethings never change.



Friday, March 30, 2012

So Indecisive... And Fearful...

I just sent this email to my support team - my besties. It's self explanatory. I wasn't going to do something, I didn't thing I could. Oh but how I will!


Mo, J, Kris, and Bex

I had to have a very honest conversation with myself today. (As a result, I'm beginning to think that I do have quite the flare for the dramatic...). And here's what I got.

I have been debating this German issue in my brain since I thought to myself, "hey, maybe you don't even have to go at all."

Oh, but I do.

Let's be honest, I'm scared out of my mind, I haven't put in the work to have maintained the limited level I acquired TWO YEARS ago... but I sat down and asked myself what this nonsense-icalness is all about and here's what I got.

Where are you now? Have you accomplished your goals or made progress towards them to date? I successfully live alone, I keep getting "promoted" at work (whatever that really means), I feel fulfilled at work and here in New Jersey. Of course there are things I could be doing better - diet, exercise - but overall, I'd like to think I'm riding high and doing well, especially having made it through Christmas and February. And where I'm at in life, kissing 28 years old, is so wondrously gloriously divinely (Holler Jesus!) awesome, I have nothing but thanks. And in that gratitude, where can I go from here? What do I want in the big picture?

And whenever I ask that I just hear Belle singing "I want adventure in the great wide, somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

As fun as the training center is, I know that means (that the above means) I need more. I'm longing, thirsting, for more. Sure, there are big kid career opportunities that would be fun to pursue when its time to be a real big kid, to be serious and for reals-eys. But those moving up the ladder jobs aren't going anywhere. I perform, I'm good, I enjoy it and for now, I'm satisfied at work.

There was a girl on International House Hunters, Paris. She loved all things Parisian, and just had to live there and be a part of their society. I know that feeling.

J was assigned Stuttgart today. And the overwhelming jealousy that ensued, that 'I want to go to Germany too' was a bit more bitter tasting than I'd like to admit.

SO ALYSSA, GO TO GERMANY. Silly girl. Go. Follow your heart.

And yes, I'd like to own a condo by the time I'm 30. Of course I'd like a fur coat and to get married someday, and own a fine piece of German automotive engineering... but that's for later. Maybe even a puppy (then again, maybe not... we all know I don't believe in vacuuming). BUT - This is the now. This is the time to be wild and 27 and responsibly irresponsible.

I'm going for the gold, chief. Why was I trying to put off this trip (I was thinking about Sept/Oct instead)? Because I won't be able to move on and date until this is over and done. Because I was mad I had to come back for the weekend to teach. That one silly weekend. I can get back and forth quite easily on the trains and planes. I'M ALSO A FLIGHT ATTENDANT. You can even climb the Inca Trail when you want to and have the desire and passion.

For all these reasons, this is why being single is pretty awesome. This is what's in my heart, and I would be denying myself if I didn't go and at least try. Learning German is not easy, but it is something that I am capable of doing, that I long to do and a goal I can accomplish. Over time. I have it, time that is, in my favor and I'm going for it.

I love how crazy I get about making these big decisions, and I can't believe I almost didn't go. I have no idea how I'm going to tell J. I'll probably be sneaky and forward this to her as well. Kristy didn't even know that I was considering not going. She's going to hit the floor when she finds out.

Above all, I just want to say thank you. I have been given nothing but love and support from the four of you, for my ridiculous shenanigans, back and forth, to-ing and fro-ing. May I always do the same for you.

Love Always,

Alyssa

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why???

Found at Exchange Place, NJ Transit Hudson Bergen light rail station in the JC...

Which means there's a small child running around with bare feet. Unacceptable. But more importantly, WHY???

Monday, March 26, 2012

Stars

I love this band.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Look What I Found!

Leaving this morning, ANA's 787. Pictures of actual German adventure to come.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dreaming Big!

Guess what came to work today???!!!

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

SAY WHAT?!

The interior isn't quite as large as a 777, though the wingspan and engines are huge. It was everything I thought it'd be and more. And I can't wait til its *mine*!

'Blood' The Middle East

The latest jam I found. It's the song in the trailer for Jeff Who Lives At Home.

I think I'm in love.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

NJTPK

I can't remember the first time I ever drove down the New Jersey Turnpike, as either driver or passenger. It's just been one of those staples in my life, like pot roast or sunscreen. I have so many memories about going up and down... like the day I drove to Newark for my flight attendant interview; the first time my mother and I drove to Rutgers, both to tour the campus and when I moved in freshman year; thinking that my "Voldemort" was the one when we drove to see the Statue of Liberty in August, 2001; driving with my sister to my grandmother's funeral; today, rocking out to Weezer. The New Jersey Turnpike is an epic part of the northeast, and has an illusive part in American pop culture along with other roads like route 66 or the 405.

When we were either sophomores or juniors at RU, my roommate with whom I also went to high school, came to my house on a hot August day, we loaded my crap into her car, and drove off to the turnpike and up to the banks of the old Raritan. I'd never felt more grown up or important or empowered cruising along at 70 mph (it was a bit of a Japanese jalopy, we all know the real speed limit is 80). It was one of those cheesy movie moments that make the open hearted weepy, complete with some Britney songs blaring, I'm sure. But that moment, and those other precious ones like holding my college boyfriend's hand and playing pidittle, or driving home knowing I was about to become a flight attendant for a legacy airline, that's what the turnpike's all about.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Credible Threats to Aviation: Stupidity

This is what happened yesterday in Philly.

I either read or heard elsewhere that the driver was trying to outrun the cops who were chasing him. Most likely because he was doing something stupid prior to do something really really stupid.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Festive Holiday Decorations

I moved into my apartment a month before Christmas 2010. My mother bought me two festive kitchen towels, and a red frosted candle with an "A" on it. I highly protested any sort of holiday fare that year, and ever since, due to an extreme lack of storage. Recently, my mother gave me these bad boys. And I have to admit, I kind of love them. I never quite fancied myself as a "Martha" or Stepford-esque. Apparently, evidence proves contrary.

And no, I do not display them both at the same time! One's February and the other March.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pink Eye Fail

This month I've been back and forth, teaching in two of our facilities. My first round outside of the EWR, I had a severe cold and then got a cold sore. Two visits to the clinic. I powered through and managed to do as best as I could to still be a part of the team and work hard.

And now this week, I've got pink eye. I'm so sad. I'm being shipped back home later tonight (I have to wait for a flight with open seats) and of course my optometrist isn't in the office again til Monday. Awesome. The worst part is I selfishly put my class and coworkers in danger because I'm contagious. It's taking the wind out of my I'm going home sails.

My couch, here I come.

Via iPhone

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fan Mail: The Interview

I got this job just over five years ago and good interview advice is still the same. Smile. Be confident, well-dressed, and well-groomed. Always dress professionally in a suit. Women should wear hose and heels; men should be clean shaven with professional hair. Hair that's acceptable on Wall Street, not Haight Ashbury. Gum is never a good idea. While you should be prepared to answer the interviewer's questions, perhaps you should have a few questions to ask. Know a few things about the company before you get there.

An even better person to ask is The Flying Pinto, and you can start right here. Pinto's a great resource for people who are interested in the career, beginning the interviewing process, and provides great camaraderie for us flying veterans as well as industry insider looks for those peering in from the outside.

Best of luck to those of you out there who are getting ready for the interview, beginning initial training (Barbie Bootcamp is hard!), and even well wishes to those of you on probation. Because yes, you're STILL new.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Epic Love Songs

Happy Belated Valentine's Day from my 17 yr old self. 10 years later, and I still absolutely love this cover... and the rest of the Pop Goes Punk albums...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Hire Fail

There was a group of new hire flight attendants in our training center to get their hands on with equipment to maintain their qualifications. It's required of all reserves who are based elsewhere. As a junior stew, I get excited to see new, shiny faces and tell them how happy we are that they're here and welcome them to the company. This particular girl said she came out online December 24, and was very quick to tell us that a new class came out online last Saturday, one today, and every week til June... so she wasn't new anymore.

I politely smiled and walked away.

There are a zillion things I SHOULD have said... like aw, that's cute - good luck with that attitude out online. I've been here for five years and you're still on probation for another five months.

I don't know where these new hires get this false sense of awesomeness... enjoy reserve!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Resolutions Win

I just got home from teaching in one of our satellite training centers. We walked in to find that Group A had played a little prank on us, and we spent the rest of the week plotting our revenge. There was great camaraderie between us and I'm so thankful to have been with such talented, family-orientated instructors. I'm in Group B so we go back one more time and get the last laugh on A. Unfortunately, however, I spent the week holed up in my hotel room when we weren't teaching; I had, and still am, overcoming quite the cold. The only advantage was I had plenty of time to sit and think about what needs to get done in terms of my infamous five resolutions.

I'm trying hard to put these five things at the forefront of my life; accomplishing these things will only make me more successful and satisfied. Being sick knocked me down and let me sit and think about how to make better financial decisions. Apparently spending more than you make is not one of them. I logged on to my primary financial institution's website to discover that they had a budgeting tool available, allowing you to choose which categories best fit your lifestyle (ie: rent, not mortgage) and then what the budgeted amount should be for the month to then classify all debits and expenses. This month will be different because I'm not spending it home doing the usual routine and while we do get reimbursed for our travel expenses, its not exactly what I'd call a timely operation. It's a pretty cool tool to use, and a great habit to get into. It's also making me excited to save for the future and stop squandering now. There are only so many treats (shoes...) one deserves...

Up next on the priorities list is studying German for a half hour every day.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Scheduling Nightmares

For the first time in a long while, I had a nightmare about crew scheduling.

Bastards.

I dreamt I was on a month of company business - that's what they call flight attendants on special assignments like teaching at the training center or working at the duty desk. And without my knowledge, scheduling put a late LHR on my line. I saw it, suited up and showed up at 10:40 in the morning instead of at night and had a total breakdown in the crew room. Completely lost it, lying on the floor, screaming, crying, carrying on, and was quite a mess over being "forced" to fly a trip. Part of the insanity stems from not being able to tell scheduling no. If you choose to refuse a trip, you are thereby choosing to turn in your company issued badge and manual (resigning, quiting, etc). It. Was. Awful. (Off the record, you can call in sick; however, that can lead to disciplinary action if abused). Thankfully in my present to near future, I'll be safe and sound downstairs at the training center. Where at the moment, I belong.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Benjamin David

Well, this Benjamin David most certainly be an important person for me to re-activate my account on the book. He's the first of my close friends' offspring; a big congrats to Allison and Brian. When I first decided to delete the book, I knew I would miss his arrival. And I did, someone had to text me. But I don't miss the book and I'm kind of glad I did it and proud that I'm sticking to it. So now if you want to talk to me, you have to do it the old fashion way - via email. Or even snail mail! Imagine that.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Of Monsters and Men - Love Love Love (Live on KEXP)




Here's a sweet video of my new favorite band! This is the slow, girly song; the rest of the EP is most enjoyable and I highly suggest you check them out!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Things I Should Not Be Doing in January...

January has historically marked the beginning of "real" winter. Some climatic event takes place between Christmas and New Years that means I have to pull out my long puffy coat, my real gloves, and my various hats and scarves. January means its cold outside, especially at night, meaning I get to wear my slowly enlarging fleece and sweatpants collection.

But this January hasn't been cold here in New Jersey. I went bike riding down the D&R Canal for two hours - I was fine until the very end when my toes got cold. I've been sleeping with the windows wide open, and NOT in any piece of fleece. I went to work in just my turtle neck, uniform polo, sweater, and vest. VEST. January isn't supposed to be vest season... In looking to next week's forecast, the cold is approaching but there might not be snow this year. I welcome the cold, and would like to send the snow to NY/VT for a ski trip next month, please.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Resolving and Resoluting

Last year, I made five new year's resolutions... or is it New Year resolutions... New Years' Resolutions... Proper capitalization and punctuation aside, I'm quite certain that they're going to remain the same for this year but my priorities have changed.

For 2011, my top goal was to be the best instructor that I could be. I seized as many opportunities as the department threw at me, challenged myself to be before a crowd in a different way, and cheer on the flight attendants in a professional, positive, and constructive manner. There are a few skills that I know I need to work on - such as how (non-east coast) people perceive me (I apparently come off as a raging Yankee bitch'o'saurus to mid-westerners and foreigners), and how to get a class to go from disinterested to engaged. But this year, 2012, I'm thinking this is headed down the list. While instructing will continue to make me grow as a person, in light of everything that went down in December - read - my grandfather died - there are other things I want to accomplish.

This year's top goal is going to be making sure I spend time doing the things I want to do, which is studying German, continuing to write, and reading. I want to continue pursuing my dream of being a German speaker. Spend some quality time with Rosetta and her rocks, continuing to take German class in the city. Come April, I'm headed back to the Deutschland for a few weeks and I'm hoping to squeeze being there for a month out of my two weeks of vacation; the most unnerving part about that is packing. I can't tell you the last time I wrote personally, in my journal. I love writing, even if it is just for me. There are also four titles on my Kindle left unread and it is unacceptable to watch the movie instead.

My other goals were personal - I want to continue to be conscious of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. I flew two trips in December, and I felt fat and unhealthy. I haven't been to the gym in I can't tell you how long, and have let my diet go. I have the slow cooker, a George Forman, an empty freezer, and the skills to plan a successful diet. For 2012, I'd also like to add giving back as an important part of "healthy lifestyle". I found a soup kitchen that's nearby and am looking forward to adding volunteer to who I am and what's important.

I want to make sure I continue to actually live in my apartment and make this my home as best as I can. Last year, I bought a $500 couch that I practically live on, new bedding, and even hung up a bulletin board in the kitchen all by myself. My next project is to hang shit on the walls in my sitting room; the current project is making a wall collage of my Europe pictures. I'm also thinking of some sort of decoupage project of all the greeting cards I've been given over the years.

And lastly, most certainly leastly as well, is to be credit card debt free. Meh, I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

So, in short, here's a manageable list of goals for 2012:

1. Studying German. Reading. Writing.

2. Healthy lifestyle: diet, exercise, volunteering.

3. Best instructor I can be (perhaps I should start by learning the new program I have to teach next week...)

4. My home

5. Finances. (does this rule out my $30 manicure every two weeks...? love that gel!)