Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Last Day of a Very Long Trip

Normally the longest trip is four days. However, last week they created an extra special five day trip, just for me. Don't be jealous.

Normally on the last day of a trip I phone it in. I just want to get home. Nothing interesting happens. I don't try to make extra conversation with passengers. My smile is most definitely an effort.

The last day of this trip was quite the exception. My hotel van didn't show up (which was fine because I am always crazy early) so the hotel staff gave me a free breakfast while I waited for the next van. How nice was that?!

As I was doing my classic walk through the airport (pulling luggage with one hand, holding and looking at my phone with the other, carefully scanning my peripheral for obstacles and people) a strange man walked awkwardly towards me and then past me saying, "Your so cute" in a strange accent I couldn't place. weird. So I looked up from my phone made a weird face and kept walking towards my gate as quickly as possibly.

Once on the plane one passenger brought us fun size Butterfinger Bars. Yum.

Another Passengers brought each of us this hilarious sticker... He then thanked us for all we do and apologized for all the mean passengers he has seen over the years. He also said he is glad we are trained and onboard, but hopes he never needs us in that capacity. You and me both, Sir.

On top of all of that, the Captain was handing out the book "The Age of Flight". It is a book about the history of United. I already have one, so I declined. But still, how nice was that?!

Whilst all this awkwardness and generosity was going on, one person told me I look like Elizabeth Shue, another said I resembled Jodi Foster, and someone else said I look like (name escapes me), a tennis player from the 1970's.

These cultural references give you the general age of the people I work with.

It is always awkward when people say you look like a famous person. What do you say? What if you think the person is ugly or crazy? (Like when people said I looked like Britney during her drugs and head shaving phase. Thanks???) I usually just say, "Oh, thank you. I haven't heard that before." and then pretend to know who the person is they are talking about (Elizabeth Shue? Seventies tennis player?)

I am pretty sure everyone who looked at me that day could tell I had had a long five days. I mean, I still have a gouge and bruise on my forehead from a run-in with a floating shelf in one of my hotel rooms. So, I think everyone saw me coming a mile away, with a slightly crazed and extremely worn out look, and thought they better be nice to me. Which they were.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sometimes I Do My Hair,

and it actually looks good. I am a big fan of the messy side bun, or messy buns in general. However, it is rare that my hair is anything other than not embarrassing. In other words, I do just enough to not look like I went to bed with wet unbrushed hair. Which is something I do pretty much every night. So when I wake up without weird bumps and random frizzy spots, you know, nice hair; I have to run with it, and get dressed, and find the mini tripod to take pictures of myself.

This post could also be titled "Gap Appreciation". Bright sweater, ruffled blouse, and printed jeans from Gap. Black boots from a random store in Hong Kong.


A passenger came onboard and gave us these special treats. What a nice guy! When I tried to thank him for being so thoughtful, he humbly said, "I just appreciate all the hard work you all do. So, thank you."

He was high up in United's milage status. So he travels a lot. Which means he sees a lot of us flight attendants. And he still brings us sweet treats! Maybe it's because we are just that great or because he thinks we need some sweet in us; if only in our bellies. (I have worked with and been, myself, both kinds.)

I am working lead this trip. That means I'm the boss and work up in first class, while the other two FA's work together in the back. One of the funniest parts of working up front is the visits from the FA's in the back.

One will come up. Grab a chocolate. Chat. Then talk about how annoying the other FA is. I "hm" and "what?!" in interest. Then she heads back to pick up trash.

The other will come up. Check for extra meals to snack on. Chat. Then talk about how annoying the other FA is. I "hm" and "what?!" in interest. Then she heads back to check seat belts.

Rinse and repeat.

Ah, work. It's a hilarious, and at times sweet, peek into the human condition and behavior.

It's the small things. If I didn't find it amusing, I would quite literally go crazy. Instead, I get to enjoy fancy chocolates while relaxing in my room.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Up in the UP

 Such a fun weekend. It almost didn't happen though, due to an apocalyptic rush hour snow storm. It stretched a twenty minute ride from Danielle's work to our apartment, into a 2 1/2 hour creeping crawling nightmare. We all were thinking it, but didn't want to say it: "Maybe we shouldn't go." So on we went. It started out treacherous. Have you ever been on the tollway and not been able to see the blacktop. We have. Jake pointed out, "Forget wide lanes, this is no lanes!" (It's a Seinfeld thing) We made it up safe and sound. The weather paid us back in full with a perfect two days and an ice storm the night before we left, giving us an extra half day up North.

Once we made it up there it was a non-stop fun fest of outdoor activities, food, and game nights.
(I originally tried to upload 49 photos. It was taking a while, so I had to pare it down...to 34. I tried.)

We went up to camp to sneak in some snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Out on the trail.

On the river.

Watching out for open water and old picturesque bridges.

The guys caught up to us.

If you want to be popular with the dogs, just have some food.

Ice caves:

The hike in to the cave was a combination of walking, scooting, sliding, and butt sledding.

Some saucy posing at the caves.

Butt sledding!

We almost lost Tim.

Thank goodness he was safe so that he could teach the men to tree bend (I don't know the technical term).

Jake's attempt was not so successful.

Better luck next time.

After all that slipping and sliding we were ready for some personal pizzas and a couple serious rounds of Pictionary.

The camera was laid by the way side for game time and hot tub time. I was very busy loosing and Kelsey's January legs are frightening (and hardly discernible amidst the snowy landscape).

And now for a special installment of UP Fashion:

Fur and camo or very hot this season.

Stormy Kromer hats are cool. The Red and black plaid is particularly popular. I want this one in wintergreen/blue spruce.

Camo, orange hunting gear, and a Coach bag. A rose among thorns, or is it the other way around? 
(The battle of the sexes ensues!)

Men in tights. errr, long johns.

Specialty bath robes.

Uber fashionable indeed.

Whew! That was a long one. Are you still there?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jake's Two Cents: January Edition

One thing that has surprised me about starting this blog is how invested Jake is in what I write. If I write something he likes or thinks is funny, he will comment on it. If I forget a point he thinks is important, he will inquire as to why I left it out. Sometimes he will even suggest entire post ideas (Although, he couldn't care less about my outfit posts). After a few of these ideas, I told him he should start his own blog. "Oh, no. You are the writer." So, we compromised. Every once in awhile I will take Jake's post idea and share it.

After three days in a row of, "I was expecting you to say something about my new heater. When are you going to post about my new heater?", here it is.

Jake wore out another (I think this makes 3, plus my old hair drier) space heater. In our *tiny* apartment we have two of them, in addition to our perfectly functioning heat. Why is this necessary? I honestly don't understand it either. But, I have learned to go with it. Heater no.1 (and what lead to the eventual demise of my last hair drier) is for optimal comfort and warmth whilst sitting in the bathroom. 'nuf said. Heater no.2 is for white noise at bed time. I have finally (after over four years) stopped laughing about the former and have learned to appreciate with the latter.

As mentioned, this past weekend we were in the market for a new space heater. Off to Home Depot we went. After about three to four rounds of:

"What do you think about this one?"
"I don't care, that one looks good."
"hmmm, it might be too industrial looking. Maybe this one."
"No one is going to see it. I don't care. Get what you like."

He finally settled on this beauty.
It works very well. We are so proud.

Two dials! So sophisticated.

I'm sure that once we get out of this apartment and start paying the electric bill, this dependency on space heaters will take care of itself real quick.

Also while we are on the subject of Jake; he got himself some new boots with christmas and birthday money. Here are some photos of him conditioning/ waterproofing his new shoes. Like a little guy playing with a new toy; so excited, so focused. He is always making me laugh.

Last photo by Jake.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Good, the bad, and the Absurd

So much has happened since I last blogged, I hardly know where to begin. So, I have broken the last five days into several different categories: the good, the bad, and the absurd. 

The Good:

Thursday it snowed! Finally! It was so pretty. One of my favorite things about snow is that I get to wear my special fur boots, which I was able to do with abandon the last several days.

Thursday, Melissa took me out to dinner as a thank you. A few weeks ago I helped her out by watching her boys when she was sick. Also, I helped her take them to the doctor, which was so horrifying I almost started laughing (or crying) amidst the boys' breakdowns and the other doctor office chaos. It was so nice to just hang out and chat. Sometimes you need a good girl chat and some friend support. Our night out came at the perfect time for me. We all need our friends sometimes.

I made some super tasty vegan black bean and sweet potato enchiladas in my new apron. Lindsay, my sister-in-law, made the apron! How crazy is that? I can't sew, so her skills are very impressive to me.

Saturday we went to an all day marriage conference and learned a lot.

Jake had Monday off and so did I.

I needed to print some stuff off on Monday. We don't have a printer (or the room for one) so we went over to Lauren's. Boy am I glad we did. Her Monday was like my Thursday. I'm glad we were able to pay her back for the use of her printer and paper, if only through moral support. 

The Bad:

Sunday we had a football party at our house. Danielle made a lot of great food. I made an onion dip. I made it look so fancy with the tomatoes, olives, and extra parsley. The recipe was from the same book as the aforementioned enchiladas. I had high hopes for this dip. They were dashed with the first dip of my chip. So, so, so very bad. Nobody even tried to fake that they liked it. I blame it on the red onion crop. I'll try yellow onion next time instead. 

The Packers lost. Which, as a Bears fan, wasn't as sad for me as it was for our party guests, Danielle and Lauren. 

Jake and I went to the gym and he worked me out within an inch of my life. Also, my push-up and plank attempts where just pitiful.

Monday it rained, melting all the snow.

The Absurd:

My brother, Eric, and his wife, Lindsay, are moving from New York City to Portland. They were able to stop by Saturday for some dinner and then breakfast before continuing on their journey. (Which belongs in the good category) We took them out for Chicago style pizza in a neighboring suburb. While at dinner Jake became convinced that Brian Urlacher, a Bears linebacker, was dining in another part of the same restaurant. What would lead a man to such a conclusion, you ask? Why, he saw a kid running around, (of a different race than Urlacher) whom he thought looked like the linebacker. The ever fearless Danielle scoped out the area. No Urlacher to be found.

As mentioned we had a football get together. Between their house and ours, baby Ben had a complete blow out in his diaper. What did we (four adults) do? We (all) got him undressed, washed him in the bath, dried him off, and threw together an outfit for him. He had a change of pants but no shirt, so he wore one of mine. It was pretty much the most funny thing ever, looking back now. We were all so wrapped up in the moment of getting him clean and dressed, I turned into a picture snappin' fool, you would have thought Ben was baby Jesus himself or at the very least the center of the universe. It didn't occur to me then, but looking back at the pictures I just laugh... Look at all of us, and just picture me giving photo direction amidst the madness. There were more pictures, but I didn't want to embarrass Ben by uploading bath tub photos. 

Ben in his Ben Folds tee, so perfect
As part of our party decor, Danielle brought her custom made Rogers discount double check championship belt. Packer fans will never cease to amaze you in their displays of team spirit.

Potato soup not pictured

Future quarterback

Today some packages arrived for us. One we were expecting, the other was quite a surprise: 120 booklets on the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. What are we to do with all of these? Well, I hope you can all make our informational meeting, on traveling this beautiful area, next Sunday. Or, maybe I will put them in the seat back pockets on the planes at work. Or, take them to a local hotel and replace their "Willis" tower brochures with something of the great outdoors. There are just so many options. I just don't understand what intern took "I would like some information on your area and maybe some maps, please" and turned it into this...

To sum it all up:

Everybody needs everybody. Family visits are nice. Cute babies and football make adults loose their minds. Red onions are bad. We have lots of information on the Blue Ridge Mountains, incase you are planning a visit.