23 December 2007

No Matter Where I Am, This Is Christmas To Me

As Christmas approaches, this video will always remind me of my childhood holidays. This was before videos or DVDs, you actually looked forward to and waited for specials on television like this. I actually really miss that aspect of life, the anticipation of things. Seeing this puts a little Christmas spirit in me and I hope it does in you too. Wherever you are and whoever you are with, Happy Holidays!!

21 December 2007

Reason # 7 Why Ambien and Liquor Do Not Mix

Please learn something from the cautionary tale about the man travelling on a buddy pass in economy. Mr.X washed down his Ambien with a few glasses of red wine. After flirting shamelessly with his female seatmate, the wine kicked in and he excused himself to the toilet. Somehow the Ambien took over and he flushed his trousers down the toilet. Truly. He entered the toilet with them on, when he left they were no where to be seen, nor in the wastebasket. What was seen was the thong he was wearing as he waddled back to his seat. When Mr.X woke up he had no memory of the prior events. He left the aircraft wrapped in a blanket fashioned into a sarong in a wheelchair.

Please do not be Mr.X. Friends do not let friends mix liquor and Ambien in an aircraft. Julie C. do not ever give Mr.X a buddy pass again.

20 December 2007

Must Have Items For Long Haul travel

After over a decade of flying, I think I have finally started to perfect what to bring onboard for work or holiday travel on long haul flights. This research has been very hit or miss, with alot of money spent on useless items . The following items are those that are in my carry on luggage as a crew member or a passenger on long flights.

  • A travel pillow. Not just any pillow, I have found for me the ones filled with buckwheat are too noisy and the inflatable ones, well, deflate. I went to a travel show several years ago in London and came across a booth selling JetRest pillows. They aren't cheap, Boots chemist makes a knock off but their style is the best I have come across. It is a little wedge that fits next to wither side of your head to give you the nap quality of leaning against the window, even if you are in a middle seat. I have run through over a dozen travel pillows and this is the BEST.

  • A ziploc bag filled with tea bags and hot chocolate packets. If you prefer sweetener to sugar, throw these in as well. Not all carriers provide anything but caffeinated tea,but all can provide you with hot water to make the drink of your choice. These are also handy in a hotel room/hostel to make you feel homey.

  • A pashmina. Yes, I realize that fashion wise they are so 5 years ago but they are invaluable for travel. If you are cold they are your blanket. Pillows and seats of dubious cleanliness are covered with it as well. When off the plane, they serve as an extra blanket, a tablecloth for a picnic or a makeshift pillow on a bus or train.

  • Hot water bottle. I am ALWAYS cold on the plane, when working or as a passenger. I carry a tiny hot water bottle and fill it to keep warm. And crew will be happy to oblige a request like this. They pack away to nothing and can also be used to warm a chilly bed with hot water from the tap. If you forgot a hot water bottle, you can create a makeshift one by using an empty water bottle. If you do not have one, ask the crew if they have an empty water bottle that they can fill with hot water. Wrap it with your pashmina (I told you it was handy!) or an airline sock so as not to have hot water against your skin.

  • A crappy paperback. I never travel with reading material that I intend to bring home . When you are finished with that junky novel, leave it for the cabin crew on the plane(in the magazine rack) or in your hotel/hostel for the staff or another guest. Be cheaper still by buying them at a salvation army or Goodwill/oxfam store, books are CHEAP there.

  • Postcard addresses on address labels or a piece of paper. I feel it is too risky with my forget fullness to actually pack my address book, that stays home. I write out labels for all the postcards I intend to write,when they are posted, you have nothing filling your bag,nothing to loose.

  • Earplugs!!! A necessity in economy class or in a noisy hotel (yes you noisy 'Swedish ' hostel in Jerusalem, I am referring to you!)
  • Lavender oil. Covers the funk of the cabin or a stale hotel room and also helps you to sleep.
  • Saline gel for your nose. I use the brand Ayr, but any are fine. They keep your nose moist in the cabin which has a humidity level of a desert ( seriously). Also great in dry climates and high altitudes like Colorado.

If anyone else has other suggestions, please post them, I am always on the hunt for new ideas!!

18 December 2007

Overheard in Business Class

She: My feet are sore, can you give me a foot massage??
He: NO!!!

This was asked of a crew member midflight. No, I do not work for the airline with the onboard beauty therapist, but even they do over clothing only neck and shoulder massages!! Some things asked of us by passengers make me wonder where the Candid Camera is hiding.....I do not even like to rub my own feet, much less someone elses, what the heck was this lady thinking??? I am glad she asked my lovely Dutch coworker this question, I would not have been able to keep a straight face in my reply!!!

There are many odd things I have done for passengers while flying including but not limited to:

Changing refugee babies diapers upon descent as the parents had never seen disposible diapers.

Cleaning up copious amounts of vomit. Rarely do the passengers thank you for this task.

Helping an incontinent woman in the lav get her clothes back on.

Giving a passenger some of my clothes as they had been vomited upon.

So you can see I am not bothered by much but no, NONE of us will rub your feet lady. It bacame a running joke with the other passengers, they all started asking for back rubs and hand massages. it is interesting that when you have a real pain in the ass passenger, the others seem to compensate for he/she. That lady was a real princess and the massage request was only the tip of the iceberg.

*A thank you to the lady in 8E who gave me the handful of gossippy magazines!! Much appreciated!!

15 December 2007

the Lavdance, Will It Catch On Like the Safety Dance??

Delta Airlines has recently released a series of videos called 'palneguage'. They highlight dubious behaviour onboard planes by passengers. The lavdance one reminds me of a few universal rules that passengers should follow to makt the public bathroom a kinder experience for everyone.

Men, the toilets are not urinals, they require flushing.

The public toilets are not a place to bring in magazines. I do not care if you have installed a bookshelf in your home bathroom, this is not a place to linger. Others are waiting...

Ladies, If you need to do major beauty overhauls, please use the time before everyone else wakes up or go while the carts are in the aisle. Right before landing with 20 passengers tapping their foot outside the door is not the time to reapply makeup.

Parents, If you change a childs diaper, do not hand it to me in the galley. You do not disponse of your little angels diapers at home in your kitchen, this is the same. Put them in a sick bag, seal it and place in the lav garbage.

The utility drawer( the place where you find sick bags and sanitary pads) is not a trash. Please do not wad up toilet paper and place it there.

Latsly, please drain the sink when you are done. No one wants to encounter a sinkfull of cloudy toothpaste water.

A little consideration of others goes a long way on the plane.Thanks!!

09 December 2007

Bruised, Battered and Bewildered

Sorry for the lack of updates!! I have been snowboarding in Copper Mountain, Colorado at one of the airlines ski weeks. This ski week is a little less party ( only a little) and a lot of learning. No matter the level, you get a week of coaching to improve your form.

As a new boarder my form needs mucho work!! I have taken to the sport enough to agree to put away my skis for 2 years to get a handle on all things boarding. Shhhh, I have joined the darkside. My neck , butt and abs are in serious pain after a week of coaching. One chair lift 'dismount' was so catastrophic that the workers merely stared in wonder rather than turn off the lift . Warren Miller could have used it as an outtake in his videos.

My friends , unlike me, have digital cameras so the beauty of the slopes will be here shortly!! I am off to ice my various parts, back soon.....

28 November 2007

Have I Joined the Circus??

Sometimes after seeing the cast of characters on the plane, I wonder if I have indeed joined the circus. All the people watching is certainly the greatest show on earth . A colleague contacted us and told us that we were working a trip that a 'very unusual' friend of theirs was on. We scanned the gate room and found the tattooed man, the smallest man on earth ( a midget) , and the bearded lady ( a transvestite). The bearded lady was indeed the friend. One of our pilots also played the harmonica to passengers while they boarded and had a rubber chicken attached to his suitcase, which makes him the worlds kookiest man.

27 November 2007

Was I Ever This New??

Probably. But thankfully I had better hair. I love working new crew members and absorbing some of their enthusiasm,it really can be contagious!

24 November 2007

Fight Club

Okay, I know the first rule of Fight Club is don't talk about Fight Club, but I am going to anyway! Today we had a pack of the "Hollywood Foreign Press" onboard, the ones that decide who wins the Golden Globes and all write for glossy mags in faraway lands. They were travelling to London to see the premieres of Golden Compass, the controversial new Nicole Kidman film and also Sweeney Todd. To me Sweeney Todd, with its themes of murder and cannibalism would seemingly be more controversial, but the religious right finds it less troublesome than a Phillip Pullman novel put onscreen.

The press were largely in business class, my cabin du jour. They were all precious in that LAX way but mostly very polite which compensated for that. (Courtesy will make me overlook an awful lot). One of the gals was to far too precious for me , or any of the crew to forgive. She was a princess who misplaced her tiara. Far into the flight, we learned that she was merely the girlfriend of one of the aforementioned press, he donated his business class seat to her and he sat in the back. Ahhh love.

Most gals would give their paramours mucho appreciation for the gesture, but it was lost on her. They somehow ended up in the economy galley where a discussion escalated into a fight. Soon a loud SLAP sounded out. it was her hitting him.....

Anytime there is a physical fight on the plane, it is always a tense and awkward situation breaking it up. It is just plain embarrassing to have to restrain a woman from assaulting a man. I find it really interesting how if it were a man hitting a woman we would have acted very aggressively towards the man, probably separating them and threatening to call the police when we land. Totally different dynamic for the reverse situation, although really it should be the same. men being abused by women is sort of the last taboo...

The cool gossipy lady of the press, she of the Chanel coat, shared with us that they all recently attended a party thrown by the lovely George Clooney. The abusing girlfriend got plastered at the party and tried to make time with George. I can only imagine him trying to tactfully pull the Slavic slapper off him. Jeesh, I hope she didn't try to take a piece out of George too.

23 November 2007

Overheard on a Layover

The scene is several crew members drinking by the hotel pool before going out for dinner. The drinks were flowing and one crew member got a little frisky towards another.
She: Hey! You are not my fun tonight!!

Layover Thanksgiving

I am not having dinner with family today,I am on a layover in Los Angeles. (This is by choice, not a boo hoo story). The hotel has AMAZINGLY provided us with either a turkey or prime rib dinner tonight!!
Drinks with a great crew by the pool, followed by a great free meal, who can ask for anything more?? I do get to attend a Thanksgiving in London meal on Sunday so this is just icing on the cake. I am off to place my order for a cold drink....Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!!

21 November 2007

Talk About a Bad Day At Work!!

According to aircrew buzz, a fantastic website on aviation goings on, this lovely new A340-600 which was days away from delivery to Etihad, is a total write off. The aircraft went through the blast barrier at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse. I imagine the 9 onboard soiled themselves just a little.....

Hasta Luego Valencia

Without further ado, the end of our travels to Valencia. The city had been really scrubbed in anticipation of Americas Cup, which breezed through the city a few months before we did. You could really see the effort they had taken and it was appreciated. The downtown was so tidy you could almost eat off the sidewalk. You certainly could eat on the sidewalk at all the outdoor cafes!! The sidewalks in the commercial center were made of marble, really lovely but cruel on slippery soled heels!! I can only imagine the horror that is a rain shower there.(Sturdy soled shoes essential next time....)
This amazing ceiling is located in the central post office, which is located on the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, right across the street from the building pictured above. This post office was filled with amazing lighting, carved wooden doors and beautiful marble floors. It would not seem strange to hold a wedding reception there...really! I cannot imagine a post office worker there 'going postal', it is such a serene atmosphere.
Thses crayon colored buildings were just across from the Mercado Central. They housed toy shops, restaurants and cafes. As you can see many of the buildings have lovely wrought iron balconies. What you cannot see is the intricate tilework below the balconies, very old and decrepit but amazing. Things are so spartan now that no one takes the time to decorate what is seen, mich less what is not usually seen. After gazing up Cindy and I entered the Mercado.
(Vegetarians, please turn away!!) This is a shot of one of the many butchers in the market. This covered market was constructed in 1928 and, if empty of shopkeepers, would resemble an old train station, the ceiling arched and ornate. Row upon row of butcher, fruiterer, cheeseseller, etc. We ate lunch with the food we purchased here, it was amazing. It does close at 1430 so make sure you hit it early enough in the day!!!

We loaded up on fruit, cheese and bread for our evening train journey to Granada. The grapes were the size of your thumb and burst with flavor ( and seeds).

We contemplated buying a paella pan, as the local specialty was so amazing, If anyone knows, why can you order it in increments of 2?? The pans lines up made us want to buy one until we remembered our small Euro stove tops could not accomodate these pans. our paella eating would be confined to reataurants.

The hotel kindly let us check out late ( gracias!!) but we still had an evening to kill before our train at 2am... Luckily for us there was a music festival being held in the Plaza de la Virgen that night, and it was free! Our 'seats' were the sidewalk, so the Lonely Planet book made a dandy buffer between the white of my pants and the ground. Music and dancing from Cuba, Senegal, Argentina, France and many other countries was amazing. it is always a treat to stumble upon things like this. It filled the time and entertained us until out train was due to leave.

We made our way to the train station and boarded our train. Cindy was unable to print the tickets but had a reservation number and seat numbers. The train operator, RENFE assured us that was no problem. When we got on we could not locate our bunks. That is because our tickets were for the night before........Seriously. I envisoned a night sitting on our bags ( at least I had a good paperback). Luckily they found us a berth for 2 , after we bought more tickets. It is not a coincidence Cindy and I call our travels 'Stupid Girl Tour'. This was her stupid but I certainly have had my share!! After the back and forth of buying new tickets, we were on our way to Granada...

18 November 2007

As Overdue As My Library Books....Valencia

I am aware that this trip was taken in late August and it is now mid November. ( I am also aware that my 2006 taxes have not been sent in , but I digress.) These are some photos from our trip to attend la Tomatina 2007, as well as try to soak in a little culture from Valencia and Granada, Spain. Above is a shot of the Valencia's cathedral, it was actually well worth the admission fee as was a 'microcosm of the city's architectural history' . Those are Lonely Planets clever words, not mine. Lord knows the guys we travelled with were not into culture, it is just as well they were eating ice cream outside as they would have started crying as we put on the tour headsets. They were also scared of eating fartons, why did we bring them along??
This statue of the Virgin Mary is one that pregnant women make offerings to in order to have a safe pregnancy. There were loads of posies and notes at her feet. If I remember correctly the pregnant woman had to walk around the statue 9 times (one for each month??)
This was a funky costume shop off the Plaza de la Virgen. Man would they love Halloween! It is not often you get the opportunity to see an outdoor disco ball.
This gorgeous window was for a fabric shop in the center of town. The window was really the only thing of beauty, the store was drab and filled with bolts of dark cloth. At least the window designer had a little fun.
This fountain was in the center of the Plaza de la Virgen, which is surrounded by churches, restaurants and cafes. It is a great place to eat dinner as the area is a hive of activity. (The Restaurant el Generalife, which overlooks this square, does a great dinner and gets crowded, go early!!)

The gent reclining in the fountain above represents the Rio Turia, and the eight 'maidens' with their gushing pots represent the main irrigation canals flowing from it. I guess the 'gushing' stopped about the same time we stopped describing girls as maidens......

Chapter 2 of this tale will include riding on a train for which we had tickets for the day before,what shoes not to wear, and how the lonely planet guidebook can protect white pants from dirt, stay tuned!!

16 November 2007

Overheard in Economy

She: This service was abdominal!!!
(No that is not a typo. There is no response as the crew member fled into the galley in hysterics.)

11 November 2007

The Worst Sort of Flights

I recently saw the film In the Valley of Elah which reminded me of many flights I have flown since the 'Conflict in Iraq' began. Many US carriers participate in the CRAF program, which stands for civilian reserve air fleet. Basically we scale back operations and fly soldiers to points of conflict, and back again. We are not permitted to give details of where or when so that will not be mentioned.

Starting in 2003 we flew soldiers to the area of conflict. I was completely confounded when crew scheduling called me with a trip to xxx, as I knew we did not fly there. We are all volunteers that fly these flights, and in the spirit of adventure, I agreed. Little did I know the highs and lows that accompany flying soldiers in and out of war zones puts you through.

I flew our first flight there that was staffed by flight attendants . We had NO IDEA who would be our passengers, or what would happen. These people were so young they broke my heart. It was scary seeing teenagers being sent to an area that they could not place on a map. Some were clutching teddy bears. All had machine guns.

I cannot even begin to relate the mood on the plane, most were certain they were going to die ( and obviously some did). They were writing letters we promised to mail to family members,none could sleep in spite of the long days ahead. We tried to keep them occupied as best as we could, I never talked so much as on that flight. No one wanted to get off that plane, they were all leaving their innocence behind and they knew it.

One woman had a 5 week old baby she had to leave behind with her mother. Even her COs were upset over that, they could not get her paperwork processed fast enough to delay her report. I really hope she was reunited with her little one sooner rather than later.

After they filed off and unloaded the bags themselves, they were off . We would hit duty free and leave. In spite of the strange circumstances we never lost our need to shop. Weird, huh?? We leave you to go off to fight and we rush to buy cheap caviar and cigarettes. That was a dichotomy of these trips, we loved the unusual layovers but sure hated what we had to see.

We even were trained in donning chemical suits in case Saddam launched something our way. Luckily his attempts fell short as the soldiers said we were given old equipment and did not know how to put the stuff on properly.

Over time ( these missions took place over about 2 years) we began to learn which bases had Marines ( we liked them best) and which were Army. I tasted more meals ready to eat (MREs) than I should have, once I learned the calorie content. They all came with a mini Tabasco sauce and toilet paper.

Sadly to me, I only had a chance to fly 3 groups home from the area. One was a small group going home that were contractors, nothing too memorable there, they slept the whole flight. The next was a bunch going home to California. They were going home early on, and spent the entire flight laughing and joking. We all discussed with them what their first meal home would be. Some wanted steak, some bacon sandwiches, one guy wanted a bowl of cereal with his son. I thought that was one of the most fun flights I had ever worked, we had sprung for some liquor so they could have a taste after being in a dry area.The crew pooled our monies and we were basically able to purchase a shot each for them, with their COs approval. (We did not serve liquor on these flights). Boy did those men and women love that small taste of home!

This flight turned from a favorite to a sad one when I learned that 4 of the younger boys were killed by a drunk driver the night they got home. They had hopped in a car and went off to get some fast food. They survive a war and get killed when they get home. That nearly made me stop flying these trips, it really tore our crew up when we learned of this.

My other flight home was the one that reminded me of the film I referenced earlier. This flight was filled with men from a small town in a small (population) state. They had all grown up together and knew each other inside and out. They had lost one fifth of their group there. These poor men were shells,unable to process anything. It was like a flight of ghosts, they did not even want to talk. Having seen these men made me realize how the plot of the Valley of Elah would be so very possible. That was the last flight flying soldiers I did.

While I am against war, I support our soldiers 100% and am proud of every soldier I happened to be lucky enough to fly with. I only wish they were all home safe and sound.

10 November 2007

View From the Top

It is eerie how they captured my life. Except for the taxi, doorman, huge apartment,beautiful uniform,shiny blonde hair...I am going to go cry now....

08 November 2007

The Ladies From Belfast

Today I thought of the ladies from Belfast. These ladies were a group of about 7 or 8 women I had on the plane about a decade ago. They ranged in age from mid 30s to 70 and all lived on the same street.

None of this is what makes them stick in my memory. They were delightful passengers, the sort you want on every flight. Even that is not what makes them still travel with me.

What keep them with me is the fact that they nonchalantly said that they had saved 7 years for this trip by scrimping on grocery money.

For many of us in our 30s or younger, we have not grown up with delayed gratification in any real sense. Heck, even layaway plans have largely disappeared. It made me feel so very damn lucky to be able to travel the world without having to do without little extras for 7 years to do so. And that was only for one trip.

That they were so nonchalant about it stopped me in my tracks. These ladies were thrilled to bits to be on that plane and I was thrilled to have made their acquaintance. The memory of them gives me a continual reality check when I gripe about my job or plan a trip that I can take on a moments notice.

I gave the ladies a bag full of airplane minis to take with them (shhh....do not tell !) It was the very least I could do to help them on their way. I hope to have you gals on the plane again, with the exchange rate, another trip to the states should require less scrimping!!

06 November 2007

Congratulations, You Are Now A Foreigner

This post is a small explanation of the immigration paperwork process for those that are leaving their home country. Apparently no matter how many onboard announcements are made, this is not sinking in.
If you are visiting a foreign country, congratulations, this makes you a foreigner!! Part of the heady responsibilities accompanying such a lofty title is the paperwork that many nations require.
"But I'm an American!" you tell me. Yes, but we are landing in England. Not America. England. Do you see where this is going?
"How will they know I am not European?" Hmmm..... I have difficulty answering that one (with a straight face), why not ask the immigration official you need to get past before entering the country.
"We are going on a cruise". Does the ship dock at Heathrow??? If you are LEAVING the airport, you are entering the UK.
"I am only here for 2 days." See above.
Please do not be startled when you return to America and you are also asked to fill out paperwork, we love bureaucracy!! Most importantly, please bring a pen. I do have one, but have seen to many disappear into your purse, backpack or mouth to be confident of its return. Most important of all, if it says 'for official use only' that is NOT you. Do not 'help' them out by filling in that part. Job security and all.

02 November 2007

Red Poppies Are The New Must Have Accessory

As you can see by my prior posts I primarily blog about my travels and my job. Today I make an exception to promote the annual Poppy Appeal.
Each year the Royal British Legion unfailingly supports its current and former soldiers welfares. I think we can all agree that ,politics aside, veterans generally get the shaft by their governments. This foundation makes an effort to step in and assist where the government fails.
Over 36 million poppies are produced at a factory in Richmond, Surrey. Each year around the end of October, stands pop up all over the country with poppies and a collection box. This is probably the one charity that has universal appeal, you see people of all ages and walks of life wearing poppies on all variety of outfits.
The appeal ends on Remembrance Sunday, 11th November. At the 11th hour at the 11 th minute the country truly stops for a 2 minute silence. As an American, where our Veterans Day had degenerated into a large shopping day at the mall, it is something to behold. Although not British, I support anyone who serves his country and proudly remember my grandfather who lied about his age to serve during WWI at the age of 15. I am proud of his bravery and think of him each time I put on my poppy. Pop-pop, this poppy is for you!!

01 November 2007

10 Celebrities I Have Spent the Night With

Before you get excited, I will remind you that I work all-nighter flights so my definition of spending the night with someone is different than most. Some are more famous than others, and some are definitely more memorable than others. In no particular order, I offer you my random 10 celebrities.

1. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen- This was long before the days of anorexia, they were still teens. Teens that wore Chanel and Marc Jacobs to be sure. They were dream passengers, polite,quiet and with exceedingly well behaved hangers on. Their lawyer (who resembled Kramer from Seinfeld ) got the names of any crew members that had children and sent them incredibly large boxes of the girls videos, dolls and clothes. Large, appliance sized boxes.

2.Newt Gingrich- As a rabid Democrat I really wanted to dislike him, I swear I did. He had actually aged so much it was only the paperwork that made me match the name to his celebrity status. it was his lovely ( and much younger ) wife Calista that won me over. She was so friendly I felt like maybe we would be doing lunch or catching a flick together next time I was in Dc. Well, not really but you know what I mean.

3.George Michael- In case you think I am fawning over each celeb, let me introduce the passenger who needed a seat for his ego. Mr.Michael ( who has a long, tongue twisting Greek surname) feels he is above speaking to a member of the crew. His associate would repeat everything I said to George, who would whisper his reply which was relayed to me. Talk about a time waster. No one sitting in first class gave a hoot who he was and I think that disturbed him. His rudeness caused me to inform the people waiting outside customs that George Michael was entering soon, and filled them in on what he was wearing. Being that this was Brazil, he surely had a shrieky mob on his hands as he left customs.

4.Patricia Neal-What a class act. This lady was classy from head to toe. She exuded elegance in a way that people today do not. Her stroke did not diminish her classiness at all. Beauty knows all ages and anyone would be lucky to look like her in their golden years. Sophie Dahl, you have a cool granny!!

5.Michael Hutchence- He was on his way to Australia for the final time. He looked so very kooky,scruffy,dirty that I asked for his boarding card, he did not look like a typical business class passenger. Once I realized who he was I will freely admit I asked the gate agents to upgrade him,which they did. He had trouble making eye contact with anyone and seemed really sad.

6.Sarah Ferguson ( aka Princess Fergie)- Funny and down to earth. We seem to get all the 'lesser' royals, I suppose British Airways has a lock on all the big royals. Fergie got on the plane looking like a million bucks (500,000 pounds with the current exchange rate). She took off her makeup, changed out of her designer suit and then became so every day plain Jane that she could have been anyone. She told us to call her whatever we wanted ( no official titles for her, too snobby!) and mentioned whatever we called her would certainly be kinder than names the press had thought up. Before landing she reversed the process and became the glamour girl again.

7.Jane Seymour- Her sister works as a customer service agent for my carrier at Heathrow. She sits in first or business class while the children sit in the back with the nannies. She is lovely but seems to have no handle on the kids. Never went back to check on them. Ever. During an 11 hour flight.

8.Marilyn Mansons band- Not outright celebs by name themselves, but they move in that world. They looked so creepy that one passenger asked to be moved from sitting next to the drummer, offering some crap excuse as to why. We had to sit an employees daughter next to him. He ended up chatting with this young lady the whole flight ( not in a creepy perv way) and when he found out that her friend was a fan- he had the whole band autograph something for this girl. You would presume the band would drink whiskey and try to smoke, but they has vegetarian meals and drank herbal tea the whole flight. Don't tell anyone, I am sure it would damage their credibility!!

9.Renee Zellweger -This was several years ago when she was at the height of her celebrity. Small and skinny. And shy. And skinny,it needs to be said again. 'Nuff said.

10.Muhammed Ali- The most gracious of passengers. His impairment was painfully obvious yet he never let it slow him down. He had collected his Sportsman of the Century Award in London, who could think of someone more worthy? His assistant told us he would happily sign autographs for any crew member or passenger that wanted one. His smile was contagious. When we landed, the cheers he got from the crowd truly strengthened him and he gained energy from the adulation. A real hero.

This list does not include all or the worst celebrity offenders, but is a pretty good start. The next 10 will include 2 presidents,2 celebutants and 2 caught in the act!! If anyone has had celebrity passengers, or sat near one, please dish the dirt!!

31 October 2007

How to Get a Pilot in a Dress

I recently came across a disc of photos from a Ski Week and had to post them, in all of their ridiculous glory. Each year the International Airline Ski Federation holds an annual ski week, with airlines from around the world participating. Thses photos are from the March 2007 ski week held in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Past years have been held in Schladming (Austria), Levi (Finland) and Alyeska (Alaska) to name a few.

One of the last nights of each week is a costume party. There is a 'theme' to each party and this year was cartoons. Getting the team to decide on a costume is always a give and take between the women ( the planners) the men just go along with whatever is decided. This year my airline chose Underdog as our cartoon ( our standings in the races would indicate it was an appropriate costume for us !) Some teams had very emaborate purchased costumes, some thought up some the day of. In any case, here are a few of the costume highlights-
The above costume is SwissAir's 'Globi' which is a cartoon they assured us every child in Switzerland is familiar with . (No, none of us had heard of Globi either!)
These pilots are with Condor. Their team traditionally ignores the theme and wears what makes them ( and us) laugh. Yes these 2 men are pilots.
These men with their purchased brawn are with Southwest, and I think the Wilma Flintstone is with American Airlines.
This gang is from Transavia, a Dutch airline. I remember seeing this cartoon as a child but completely forget the name, I think they were bank robbers??

Looking at these photos makes me excited for 2008 in Garmisch,Germany. Some teams are more competitive than others, but everyone has a great time and it really is a big piss up and a chance to meet new friends from around the world. A recent marriage just happened for an Emirates and former MyTravel ( now Etihad) couple, as well as a Qantas and SAS couple.

30 October 2007

Overheard in Business Class

Purser: Sir, You're not that good looking , I suggest you work on your personality.

Holy crap!!! While he was a bit ride and boorish, I would never have the guts to say something like that!! I nearly dropped my tray when I heard that one. Some crew can say anything to passengers and get away with it.

29 October 2007

Hurry Up and Wait....and Wait.....

This photo, from the rockin blog London Photos perfectly captures an autumn morning in London. This weather also meant it was the first day of the year to drag the uniform winter coat along. I try to delay the onset of coat wearing as long as possible, but dear readers ,winter is a comin'.

Perfectly lovely flight, made even better by bring my birthday trip. Not because it is my birthday, but for the extra pay that accompanies working a holiday. We are paid 'holiday' pay for working any of the following holidays; New years day, Easter, August Bank Holiday, Christmas and our respective birthday. Often 'holiday' pay trips go senior and you cannot hold them in your schedule as all the senior gals like the money too. Your birthday is the one holiday you can always seem to work. Yay for the extra pay!!

Boo for the one hour wait in the immigration queue at Dulles airport ( see a theme here at Dulles?). Nothing like waiting behind Qatar (great color uniforms), Lufthansa and United crew times 2. At least the air was not filled with the noxious fumes of last week. The final joy was when the purser and I reached the front of the customs line ,no one was behind us and she closed her lane, snapping that she was closed. Thanks!! My impartial survey of Los Angeles, New York, Boston, San Fran and Chicago reveals Dulles customs and immigration to be the rudest and meanest and slowest port of entry...Blue ribbon for IAD. You can share it with the TSA there,don't feel slighted.

27 October 2007

I'm a Stewardess!!

Obviously this crew is based in Newark or JFK!!

26 October 2007

Bark at the Moon

October 26th was an evening with a full moon. Normally I don't give a rat's ass about lunar cycles, but full moons sure bring out the freak in passengers. Things that normally would not make them bat an eye have them shrieking like banshees. Whenever there is a flight chock full of kooks we always look at the moon and ,invariably, it is full.
I am not one that follows horoscopes or things of that nature with much interest but I am beginning to wonder if I should bid my schedule around the lunar cycle. 8D and 9D, you need to be locked up during full moons.

25 October 2007

La Dolce Layover

I recently had an unusual layover in Rome, Italy. Unusual in that I usually fly to the States, and flew with a former roommate I had not seen in a decade. (We lived together when I was 8 okay, stop with the math!!)

After landing and a loooong drive into the Eternal City ( complete with the eternal rush hour) we arrived at the FABULOUS hotel, located on Piazza Barberini. Took a quick little catnap and then hit the pavement before we met for dinner. Luckily I had a layover there in July so was familiar with the layout of the area.

First stop was the Monumental Cemetary of the Capuchin Brothers, which my guidebook described as 'one of the most horrifying sights in all Christendom'. It is something of a large tomb, several rooms, lined with the skeletons of over 4,000 Capuchin brothers. If you keep in mind that is was constructed when there was a 'cult for the dead' and spiritualists preached with skulls in hand, it is beautiful in a strange and eerie way. It is in the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Via Vittorio Veneto 27 ( metro: Barberini) and well worth a quick view if you are in the area.

After fortifying myself with a gelato after that visit, I headed towards the more traditional Trevi fountain to throw a coin in. It was so crowded I decided to return in the morning light before pickup to get photos. Next stop was the Spanish Steps. Note to others who are fans of the high heels, make sure yours have great traction before descending the WELL worn steps. The constant traffic has the steps as slick as ice in some areas. As crowded as it is there, it is part of the charm. People snapping photos, kissing, eating gelato and shopping all intermingled happily.

At the bottom of the steps are the ever important public toilets and an AMEX office, as well as a public fountain which is a great place to refill a water bottle of take a sip. The fountains of Rome were designed as places for the public to procure drinking water, it is perfectly clean and as nice as bottled. Really high end shops line the area, far beyond my budget, but I already had spotted my destination. Sermoneta Gloves.

Sermoneta Gloves is , to me, the holy grail of gloves. Truly. To look at it you would say I was crazy. it is a TINY storefront across from the steps. It could get lost amongst Chanel, Dior, Prada, etc, but stop here. You walk in and see a cashier only and think, what the hell...but press on upstairs. in a room the size of a small kitchen you will elbow to elbow with other shoppers who know... There are hand mannequins of all the styles possible. the ladies who work there ( and probably have since the 50s) speak 'glovese' in many languages. Point at the style you like, tell them your size. They will hoist up or down a wheel of gloves for you to choose from. You pick the color, the lining and try on after they have popped open the fingers with a special tool. Love at first feel. 2 pairs and 80 Euros lighter, I left with a smile on my face.

After a quick stop at Blue Sand for further retail therapy ( I can say 'sale' in every language) and a disco nap, I met the former roommate,Frank, for dinner. One delicious meal pf pasta,pizza and red wine later, we I took him to the Capuchin cemetary so he could see for himself next time. To our incredible luck there was an opera concerto going on within the grounds. We were able to listen in from the courtyard as we were too late to enter.Moments like that made us realize how very luck we are,music,friends and Rome.

I got up at sunrise to catch some more photos before pickup, and back to reality. I had the Trevi Fountain nearly to myself. Only a lone policemen was there. What a contrast to the daytime, when it is chock a block!!

A quick coffee later ( standing ,local style *also cheaper*) I headed back to the hotel to get ready for work. One last snap of the Fontana del Tritone and I was back to reality and getting ready for work.

23 October 2007

Overheard in First Class

(This exchange will only be painful to those that know something about wine. Sir, for a full fare first class passenger, you should be ashamed.Hell, anyone that read the wine list should be ashamed.)
He: I want some white wine!!
She: Sir we have a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or a French Burgundy.
He: I wanted CHARDONNAY!!!
She: Sir, the French Burgundy is a chardonnay.
He: Where is it from?
She: *sighs* Burgundy

Dulles Redux

After fumegate when we arrived at Dulles the other night, I thought my opinions of the airport could not get worse. Silly rabbit, of course they could!!!

As our crew bus approached Dulles Airport, we saw that there were literally hundreds and hundreds of people outside the airport. From a distance, we assumed they were press waiting for the arrival of some person of note.Who was it , we wondered?? George Bush, Britney Spears,Paris Hilton??? Traffic was clogged, each cars occupants panicking at missing their flight.

One of the quick thinking crew members called the inflight office to get the scoop. There was an evacuation of the main terminal due to a suspicious package at baggage claim. Everyone had to leave the terminal ( and this is during the rush hour of afternoon departures to Europe). The people looked like they were waiting for a concert on the grassy embankments, except they all had luggage. Hundreds of crew members milled around outside, smoking or talking on mobiles, or both.
Finally after about 1 hour they reopened the terminal, the crew security line was about 200 thick. I think we could have done speed dating as we winded our way through , think of the possibilities!! At long last we made it to the plane, with only a 30 minute delay.
I do think that the joker that left a bag there should be publically flogged and forced to apologize to everyone he or she inconvienanced. But it did add a little interest to an otherwise ordinary day.

22 October 2007

Queues and Fumes

The theme of todays flight was fumes.....Bad fumes!!!!! These fumes were brought to my nose by the following individuals 2J who reeked of booze,the unnamed male crew member that farted throughout crew rest ( no more curry for you before break...please??) and the male crew member that clearly left his deoderant at home,and his soap. Oh the humanity people!!!
You would have thought that at flights end there would be sweet relief, but during the 1 hour wait at crew immigration at Dulles there was a smell of kerosene that was so strong that firefighters came past us wearing gas masks. Of course immigration had cleared 3 widebody flights passengers while we waited.....And waited....And inhaled the stink......

20 October 2007

Quick and Easy Salsa, or Part 2

Where did I leave off? Oh yes, being watered down by fire hoses.....Fun times.... After the 9th truck of tomatoes drove through the town the fighting slowed down. A whistle indicated the throwing of tomatoes was to stop. That was when some idiots decided it was a fab time to throw sopping wet clothes at everyone. Cindy got a black eye from an errant shirt. As we were on steps against a wall we literally had over 50 shirts at our feet by the end of la Shirtatina.

The walk out of the square was nothing short of Tailhook. People throwing things at each other, you had to hunch over to avoid getting hit. people were missing shoes,putting on the ones they found on the ground. I saw the wedding dress,lonely and stained with tomatoes on the ground. I really hoped the guy waering it had something else on, cause man was he large!!

We proceeded to the local flat that was kindly holding a garden hose out their window to clean us off. There were 'showers' by the train station but being covered in tomato skin,seeds and muck for another minute was unthinkable. We tossed our shirts and walked to where our clean clothes were in our bathing suits. It was a real trick to get chenged in public, but resourceful as flight attendants are, we managed.

Now for the ugly wait for a return train home in the hot sun. I felt like I was waiting for the last flight out of Saigon. One hour after joining the masses, we were let in the station after the workers checked that we were clean and had shirts on. Luckily, oh so luckily,we got seats. The ride home was quiet, we were all EXHAUSTED and sore.

Once we made it to the sweet relief of the hotel showers, further salsa and seeds fell out of places we never expected. Dinner and cold beers ended the wonderful day that was la Tomatina. Would I do it again?? Probably, but in costume this time!! (I am thinking hula skirt and leis!) It is not often you can put aside all the responsibilities of adulthood and just engage in pure FUN and PLAY for a few hours. This is one of those places. But be ready to get dirty. And do not wear flip flops!!

Broadway Musicals and Serial Killers

I am more than a little frightened. I was just clicking on the 'interests' part of my profile to see what other bloggers shared my love of travel. (I am bored and home sick, I swear!!) Shiver me timbers, at the bottom of the page was a person who listed their interests as travel.....singing, broadway musicals ,serial killers and feral children!!!

WTF??? Could they have had a less jarring segue??? Perhaps inserted kick boxing or judo between musicals and serial killers??? I suppose a person with those interests might be equally scared of my love of knitting and aviation.

I did not read their blog. Hoping to sleep with both eyes closed tonight!!

18 October 2007

And Now....La Tomatina Part 1

Since I have taken another holiday and not yet documented the folly of la Tomatina- here goes....

Tomato throwing begins at 11 am. We took a 7am train filled with other tomato throwers. There were men in tuxedos, a fat man in a wedding dress,people dressed like cops,people in togas. (Note to self, plan a team 'theme' if you attend again)The train was as packed like a sardine can, people sitting on floors,on laps, wherever there was a random space. After 1 hour of jostling and bumping, we arrived. Bunyol is truly ( no disrespect intended) a little nothing of a town that comes alive one day a year, then goes to sleep again.

There are places to stow your clean clothes and rucksacks ( well worth the small fee!). Stands popped up with T shirts to commemorate the throw,food and drink to sate you,but curiously no postcards. Maybe the typical thrower ( which would be Australian apparently) is too frugal to buy a card. maybe digital cameras negate the need. We found a spot to sit and ate a sandwich before heading into town.

As we headed down the hill in a sea of strangely dressed folk, 2 caught our eye. A matador and a Spanish seniorita were filming everything. Both were men and the seniorita has the funniest fake teeth in his mouth. He picked up our friend Jim and spun him around. The buildings in the town center were covered in plastic and window shutters were closed. They knew what was coming. Did we??

In the edge of the square was a greased pole about 20 feet tall with a ham on top. The throwing could not begin until someone, anyone got it down. Men and women gave it a go, but the thick white fat slathered on the pole all knoched them off. There were other people climbing a coconut tree nearby which was more humorous as they got up quite high, then splintered the bejesus out of themselves as they slid down. There must be a local 'ringer' for someone climbed up just before 11 am and got the ham down.

Soon the crowd bean to get very loud, those in the front saw the brightly colored trucks each with over a ton of tomatoes in them. Locals sat on the top of the trucks and threw the tomatoes into the crowd. Let the melee begin!! Each truckload was good for about 5 minutes of no holds barred fun!! You threw at your friends, at bald heads, people that had annoyed you on the train, whoever you could hit in the TIGHTLY packed space. We were glad to be wearing the goggles ,it got messy and ugly. In between the truckloads of tomatoes people began throwing hats, shirts ( those HURT!!) even a bra or two was tossed around. The fire department hosed us down with their fire hoses, it cleaned the salsa off and cooled you down in the incredibly packed crowd.

25 September 2007

What the hell is a farton and why did I eat one??

After la Tomatina ( which will be blogged as soon as roll is finished, darn my non digital!!) the gang and I descended on the city of Valencia. The Lonely Planet guidebook mentioned a local drink and food that was recomended to sample. The name 'fartons' not only put the guys into fits of giggles , they flat out refused to put something in their mouths with a name like that. So Cindy and I had to wait until they left town before we could descend upon the Horchateria de Santa Catalina.

Surely a national drink that prompted establishments devoted to its consumption must be good. We entered the Horchateria late in the afternoon, unsure if there was a designated time to drink it, it seemed a reasonable compromise. santa catalina seemed like its interior had remained unchanged since the 30s. Marble floors, mosaic walls,dark rickety wooden chairs and tables like an ice cream shop of your parents childhood. dark polished wood and glass counters behind which the fartons were lined up in rows.

Our crap Spanish hindered our communication until a kind waitress took us under her wing. She explained the process.Eat fartons.Drink ice cold horchata.Repeat as necessary. Not wanting to seem piggish, we ordered 2 each.

Sweet mother of God, I could have eaten 22. Really. As sweet as a malasada (anyone else from Hawaii knows about this) but without the sticky fingers afterward. Horchata is like a low fat milk in substance with sugar added. Just what does a body good after an afternoon of wakling and church hopping. Modesty prevented me from ordering more. That and the nervous twitch I developed from all the sugar. When in Valencia, overcome the humor of the name and EAT A FARTON. And be proud.

24 September 2007

Orange you glad you don't wear an easyjet uniform?

Now that half the Spain photos are developed, here is the travelogue before jetheimers kicks in!! Cin and I bought REAL tickets (ie non standby,ie expensive!) on Easyjet to Valencia. Sweet Jesus, how I appreciate my airline after seeing their workday and uniform.....

Those poor crews have the UGLIEST uniforms possible. Skirts and trousers with the 'hint' of denim in the form of faux topstitching, with a shiny orange shirt to top it off. Lest I forget, the apparent option of a quilted vest to wear over that. Yes, I would LOVE to add pounds to my figure with a quilted vest, on a hot aircraft. Talk about things that make you go hmmmm.....

The crew had to sell everything,. which makes me feel better about only having to sell booze and duty free. Selling food and scratch cards. I am not sure what the prize was, it appeared to be MORE scratch cards. After continuously serving the oh so thirsty British males behind me, who bought beer in increments of 10, they had to clean the plane. I guess I have it better than I thought.

Kudos to the crew for being friendly and patient with the travelling masses, they aren't even rewarded with a layover in sunny Spain!!

18 September 2007

17 September 2007

5 Things I Love About My Job

  1. Uniforms. There is something really freeing about wearing a uniform . in the morning, when the brain is most challenged, there is something delightful about the fact my largest decision is short sleeve or long? Off black stockings or nude?
  2. Free food and drink. I love that there is , at all times, a complete bar cart at my disposal. (Minus the liquor of course,although that is on the menu for some). Have a hankering for a diet coke? Pop the top, no fishing for coins. No packing a lunch or saving money for lunch hour. I will admit that dining while standing or on a jumpseat perilously close to a toilet is a less than ideal venue,but the price is right. Were the meals left over, i could literally eat 20 economy chickens. I only know this is possible as I have seen it done. I would not reccommend it .
  3. The office view. My flatmate longs for a mere window in her open plan office area. hell, she really longs for the copier to not belch fumes on her while she works. If I look out the window, on various flights I have been treated to views of Rio de Janeiro,the Great Pyramids,the fires burning on the oilfields in the Middle East, the illuminated border of pakistan and India, and the Manhattan skyline. No one has a better view.
  4. The time off. Depending on the trips I bid, I average 12-18 days off a month. That is a full time job. There is something wonderfully decadent about having a Tuesday to go to a matinee, or not worrying about getting time off for a doctors appointment. Shopping in an empty store at 10am,not fighting the crowds.
  5. Free toiletries at hotels. I cant remember the last time I purchased shampoo. Or soap for that matter. If I don't care for it myself the sample sizes go to a homeless shelter, but I always look forward to them. Always great for vacation or giving to the aunt that collects them in a basket in her guest room.

Odds and Ends

What a lazy ass layover I had. After being switched last minute from Chicago to a Washington layover, I had high hopes. Packed the guide book and camera.Then realized that my 'free time' was Sunday before 2pm. Not...much...happening.... Also, after a delay I was unusually exhausted so devoted far too much time to NY Times crossword puzzles. So much for the glamorous world of being a stewardess!! With a view of the Washington Monument from my Tempur-Pedic bed, I could hardly be bothered to leave my bed. Next layover I *promise* some culture will be seen and documented.

I got to fly with belladonnafiga. She also single and not sure why. With her dynamite haircut and recent weight loss, it is a mystery to me too!! We laughed about our friends telling us we are too picky. HAR!! We are both currently averaging a 0% rejection factor, cause offers of dates aren't happening lately. Are the men all hibernating or what?? Luckily 14A provided all of us working business class with a bag of eye candy.

14 September 2007

Destination unknown

Okay... I was supposed to fly to ORD tomorrow (Chicago for the muggles) but have been reassigned to fly to IAD (Washington DC) due to being over my quarterly max of hours. Clearly they were not aware I was flying with my dear friend Monique!!! Or maybe they were.... Well at least I can hang out in first class on this more junior of flights. Which museum to go to.........

13 September 2007

Overheard in economy

She: How is the chicken prepared?
He: Uh, I don't know, baked I guess...
She: No, I need to know how it is prepared!!
He: By a Dominican in a hairnet!!

09 September 2007

Ode to the man in 3J

I work first class fairly regularly. With the exception of Gary Oldman you have been the handsomest man I have served in some time. Clearly with the Oldman reference it is obvious I have 'aesthetically flawed' or some would say 'nerdy' taste in men. You were right up my alley, yet chose to sleep facing the wall. Thanks for nothing 3J.

The Meanest Link

While staying at home Saturday night ( hey, I had a cold!!) I happened to catch a special 'celebrity' edition of the Weakest Link. The celebrities in question were 'glamour models' and WAGs- 2 descriptions that only people in England understand. In the states I suppose we would call glamour models ...well I can think of what you call gals that pose topless in newspapers because that doesnt happen at home. We also don't make celebrities out of professional atheletes girlfriends, which is a bit odd since everyone else can be a celebrity in America.

The girls all had unique spellings of their names like Amii or Linsey or Charley. The host, Anne Robinson felt is was completely acceptable to ask the breast sizes of the contestants. WTF??? Their assets were obvious, did you really need to demean them further than the simplified questions that were asked?? While I giggled at their not knowing what an exchequer was, or tempestuous meant, did you really need to ask the cup size?? Come on Anne, their 'intellect' was funny enough,and it was for charity after all. A little mercy would have gone a long way.

08 September 2007

My heart belongs to Santiago.....Calatrava

Who knew the charm that is southern Spain?? Apparently everyone did but me!! My last time in Spain consisted of a few rainy dreary days in Madrid filled with galleries and......sleep. Not a trip that filled me with a longing to return to that country. After all I did already have the passport stamp.
The Tomatina festival ( which will be documented when film is developed) prompted a return to Espana. I figured that the tomato throwing would be the highlight,bookended by some sangria and sun. The 'bookends' surrounding the festival were worthy of a vacation in itself-in fact so loverly that it would have been a worthwhile trip even without the joy of the adult food fight.
Our hotel was a bit on the outskirts of the city proper, but as it was in sight of one of Santiago Calatravas masterpieces, all was well. If possible for someone with no architecture education, I am a bit of a groupie for his work. Something about the soaring beauty of his work fills me with joy. Difficult for someone as sarcastic as me to be filled with joy- but true. The crush began the first time I saw his art gallery in Milwaukee ,Wisconsin open its wings in the morning light. It was deepened seeing this building. Had Valencia not been such a magnificent city I could have spent all of my time gazing at this structure. As soon as photos are downloaded, I will detail the beauty of Valencias churches,music and mercados.

21 August 2007

Passengers, the good, the bad and the rude!

One of the things I love most about my job is the fact I get to study people and get paid for it. Well, I suppose my employer would say they pay me for serving passengers, but why split hairs?? These past few flights I have had a very interesting cross section of passengers that exemplify everything good and bad about people.

The good- the LOVELY couple that sat in 12HJ on my last San Francisco-London flight. I suppose I could describe them as 'women who wear comfortable shoes'. They are the kind of 'old school' couple that resemble each other they have been paired up so long, finishing each others sentences. They brought us a HUGE box of Sees candies, the type that is so large it is actually heavy. I have actually never seen a box so large and imagine it is usually purchased by a man that has comitted a serious relationship error. It was gift wrapped and with it was the most touching part of all, the note. It thanked us for all we did everyday, for being well trained and hoping that all that training never had to be used. They also stated they would never forget September 11th. The note, paraphrased poorly , was what stayed with me . I am sure the 5+ chocolates will have residual staying power, but the fact these ladies thought of us in advance really got me. Sadly, as they were transferring through London with a liquid restriction- we could not offer a return gift. They replied that us doing our jobs was all the thanks they wanted!!!

The bad-the JERK in 13J on the way to San Francisco. We often have cruise ship passengers travelling in business class- they are paying full fare and deserve the good service that comes with it. They do, however, need to remember that I am not PingPong the Phillipino servant that put dogs made of sunglasses on their beds next to the mints. This JERK had a seat malfunction before takeoff, it was repaired about 3 minutes later. After the meal he came into the galley and carped about how his bed would not go down. Thinking he expected a lie flat seat , I replied that it merely reclines,not goes flat. He snapped that the 'frickin thing' would not recline at all. Again, within 3 minutes the seat easily went back- he had been pressing the wrong button. He then barked'Thats all it reclines, thats SHIT!!'. Thanks for the cursing, pal. During the flight he easily drank a bottle and a half of champagne. Later, he actually clapped his hands loudly and repeatedly to get water. He looked so much like a seal I wanted to throw him a fish rather than get him a drink. By the end of the flight even his wife screamed at him to shut up, he was pissing her off too!! men like that make me happy to wake up alone. (Well for a day anyway.)

02 August 2007

Happy Birthday Cindy!!

Tonight is my best friend's 40th birthday party. Cindy turned 40 yesterday, but being the money loving girls that we are, she worked her birthday to enjoy the holiday pay that accompanies it. We have been friends since about our 23rd birthday, back when leggings were last fashionable. They weren't attractive then either, looking back at photos.
The champagne is chilling, the sushi is purchased, the desserts are in the fridge..... Now if I could only stop puttering on the puter and start cleaning the house- this party could really get started. Cindy, I never thought about 40 when we met- let me know what its like!!! Love, Your slightly younger best friend!!

01 August 2007

La Tomatina!!!

Every once in a while you plan a holiday that gives you pause. My plans to go to, and participate in, La Tomatina in Spain is one of those holidays. Either it will be the most brilliant fun ever..... or I will develop a hatred of all things tomato, there can be no inbetween.

This trip began innocently one lazy day in a travel book store in Covent garden with my friend Jim. I innocently flipped through a Lonely Planet book of festivals and came across this one. My how things would be different if I had opened to the page about Oberammergau or New Orleans. But Bunel it was, and now I plan my trip to willingly throw tomatoes and have them thrown at me. This Lucy and Ethel trip has grown to 6 attendees, all of whom will pelt me mercilessly.

Did I mention you are supposed to wear white to this?? Maybe it is sponsored by Shout!- the official stain remover of La Tomatina?? So tomorrow is my day to purchase a white outfit that I will never wear after the day, possibly some goggles as well...Wish us luck!