Saturday, June 27, 2009

The hands-down absolute worst travel experience of my entire life ever

WARNING! Contains expletives, harsh language, and the angry rantings of a lifetime airport dweller!

So by now, you all know that my mom works for Delta Airlines and I usually fly standby. Remember last Christmas when I was whining about some past travel nightmares? Well it was all a lie. Every single last detail. I redact, recant, and re-remove everything I ever said about any of this nonsense being my worst travel experience ever. This weekend was hands-down my favorite worst time traveling on standby ever. I know my mom has worked for them for 25 years, but I have to say: Delta Airlines can kiss my shockingly white ass.

6:30AM: Set out for JFK Airport with every intention of getting on overbooked 8:30 flight to San Diego.

8:30: I don't get on the flight, but my luggage does.

9:00: Mom says to try 9:30 flight to Salt Lake City and make connection there.

9:30: Flight to Salt Lake City is overbooked--the Mormons don't want me, either.

9:35: Set out for La Guardia Airport with every intention of getting on overbooked flight(s) to Atlanta.

10:50: 10:55 Flight to Atlanta is oversold by 20, I am number 33 on the standby list.

10:55: I am now number 34 on the standby list.

10:56: I give up and walk to the next gate for the 11:55 flight.

11:50: Flight is oversold by 19, I am number 37 on the standby list.

11:55: Flight leaves with all standby passengers still standing by. I walk to the next gate for the 12:55 flight.

12:15PM: Wait with 200 people in a hot, overcrowded terminal with God knows how many other passengers trying to get on the 12:55 flight to Atlanta.

12:30: Mom suggests I keep waiting to get on a flight to Atlanta. I ask mom how the flights out of Atlanta to San Diego look. Mom says "not good." I ask what my chances are of even getting to Atlanta today. Mom says "not good." I ask mom how the 7:30 flight to San Diego out of JFK looks tonight. Mom says, "Overbooked by 20 with 19 standby's."

12:35: I make the executive decision that it's time to quit this bitch and go home.

1:00: Awesome Cousin picks me up at airport and we spend the day shopping and eating Chinese food.

8:30pm: Receive frantic phone call from mom that the 7:30 flight to San Diego out of JFK has been delayed to 10pm because of thunderstorms, that there are 14 seats open, and that if I rush, I can make it.

9:00: Arrive at airport and attempt to check in, only to have the kiosk tell me to see an agent. Line to see agent is 100-deep. I use Delta lingo to get agent to help me and cut line. I get dirty looks from other passengers. I don't give a damn.

9:30: Get to gate. Flight is delayed until 10:15. Look for outlet to charge my dying phone; find none.

10:15: Flight is now delayed until 11:00.

11:00: Flight is now delayed until 11:15.

11:15: Departure gate is changed to an entirely different terminal and delayed until midnight.


11:45: A/C is on full blast at new gate, tired children are crying, creepy air marshal is giving me the side-eye because I keep opening my suitcase to put more clothes on. I am hungry, aggravated, frustrated, and exhausted beyond words. Look for outlet to charge my dying phone; all are taken.

12 midnight: Flight is canceled.

12:01AM: I lose my shit and start to cry.

12:02-12:15: I desperately call my mother to come pick me up, but she doesn't hear the phone.

12:30: I take a $35 cab ride home.

1:00: I walk into my house and scare my mother half to death. I tell her that I'll go to work with her tomorrow at 6am and try again to get on that day's Atlanta flight(s). She says not to bother, as 3 Atlanta flights were canceled that night due to weather and all those bitches would be on the AM flights. I secretly thank God that I get to sleep for more than 5 hours and go to bed.

6:22AM: I receive a frantic call from my mother that they've added a second morning flight to San Diego that has 45 empty seats, and that if I rush, I can make the 8:30am flight.

6:24: I cautiously call my awesome cousin and beg her to drive me to JFK. Because she's so awesome, she not only agrees, but gets us there in less than 20 minutes.

7:30: Arrive at JFK and warn Awesome Cousin that even though there are 45 empty seats on the extra 8:30 flight, not to leave the airport.

7:40: Attempt to check in and have the stupid kiosk tell me to see an agent AGAIN.

7:45: Call mom in a panic.

7:50: Mom tells me extra 8:30am flight to San Diego is canceled.

7:51: REALLY lose my shit and start to sob.

7:55: Mom tries in vain to calm me down and tells me to get to LaGuardia in time to try and get on 11am flight.

8:00-9:00: Awesome Cousin and I get breakfast and watch Michael Jackson videos on MTV.

9:30: Arrive at LaGuardia and have kiosk tell me to see an agent.

9:31: I smack the kiosk.

9:35: I call mom and she gets an agent to check me in manually and bring me my boarding pass. More dirty looks from other passengers. Still don't give a damn.

10:30: After waiting in the security line for an hour, I get to gate and see that I am number 42 on the standby list. Mom tells me to come upstairs to the control tower where she works and wait with her.

View from control tower

10:45-2pm: Watch flight after flight take off (literally) without the same 20-30 standby passengers still waiting to get on a flight, any flight.

2:05: Mom suggests I find another airline and buy a ticket.

2:10: Non-stop flight from JFK to San Diego on Jet Blue at 6:35 this evening is booked, hassle-free.

2:30-4:00: Go home, shower, relax, go back to airport.

4:30: Arrive at JFK, check in at the kiosk hassle-free, wait 10 hassle-free minutes in a short security line, and proceed to Jet Blue terminal, otherwise known as Heaven on Earth.

5:00: I purchase a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread and caramel popcorn, walk 20 feet to gate, and sit at internet depot where I am currently enjoying free Wi-Fi and a plethora of outlets for my electronics.

Number of failed flights: 12
Number of hours attempting to travel: 36
Number of suitcases that left without me: 2
Number of times I will ever consider flying standby if I can afford a real ticket: ZERO.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Words cannot express... much you girls mean to me. For seventeen years we've cried on each other's shoulders, made each other laugh, and have been there for each other in more ways than I can count. I have never in my life met another group of women who have the history, the bond, and the love that we have for each other. Don't for a second think that I can ever forget how much you guys mean to me. Without you, I wouldn't be me.

My girls, I will love you forever!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Packing can kiss my ass

I hate packing. From hauling the suitcase up from the basement to sitting on it to close the zipper (and inevitably having to remove stuff), I despite every part of it. I know things are little different this time, since I'm packing EVERYTHING I OWN. But still I've done it enough time to know that I can't stand:
  1. Choosing a suitcase size. One would assume that factors like length of trip and weather at destination would determine what size suitcase to pack, but you know what they say about assuming. Suitcase size is actually determined by gender of traveler, how many activities (read: outfit changes) will be required, and how many shoes she has. And just when you think you can get away with nothing but your bathing suit and some flip-flops, someone mentions a boat cruise and a volcano and you've broken out the closet on wheels.
  2. Planning what to pack. This essentially requires that you plan out all of your outfits in advance--you can't just throw a bunch of random stuff together and hope some of it matches. When I think about what to pack, my inner dialogue usually goes something like this: "I want that red top, but I need pants to match, and those shoes would go really great, but then I need something else that matches the shoes because it's silly to bring shoes that only go with one outfit, so what about that brown top, and then which pants go with it...." Repeat seventeen times.
  3. The laundry. How many times have I put a load in the machine, continued packing, and forgotten all about the mound of clothes coming out of the dryer? Too many. Just when I think to myself, "This suitcase isn't spilling over! Score!," a ding comes from the basement and I want to throw everything out the window.
  4. Leaving out what you need until the day you go. This is how I manage to forget either my glasses, my pajamas, my hair dryer, or my toothbrush one out of every five times I travel. Did you know hotels charge $6 for toothbrushes? Word to the wise: leave a spare one in your toiletry bag.
  5. The mess is creates. There is nothing more annoying than tripping over an open suitcases in the middle of your bedroom floor. Or looking for something that you've already packed. Or wearing something you haven't worn since 2002 to run errands because all your "good" clothes are already packed.
  6. Forgetting something and trying to shove it in at the last minute. I am famous for forgetting to put my toiletry bag in my suitcase until the very end, until I've arranged everything perfectly and created minimal wrinklage. And then comes this gigantic bag the size of a milk carton looking to make its way into my luggage and I have to move everything around and leave a pair of shoes behind to make room. And of course those are the ONE pair of shoes that match that red top.....
  7. Unpacking. Be honest: how long do you usually leave your suitcase full of dirty laundry sitting in your hallway before you unpack it? Two days? Three? My stuff usually sits around so long that every article of clothing goes straight into the washing machine. Just be careful not to wash your souvenirs... broken seashells and satin nightgowns don't mix very well. Trust me.
I leave for the City of Awesome tomorrow evening and I can't wait!! I hear San Diego is German for... [5 points to the first person who answers that question correctly].

Thursday, June 18, 2009

7 things I'm glad I didn't do before turning 27

See #6 for explanation
  1. Get a real job. Sure, I've been a manager at a retail store, but that was only part time. Yes I've argued in front of judges and interviewed convicted felons behind bars, but I wasn't getting paid for it. I start my first real (read: actually means something to me) job in a little over a week and I'm actually excited. I'm not sure I could've said the same three years ago.
  2. Get married*. Or engaged. Or settle down. Or really do anything that would involve having to check someone else's social calendar before making plans, or require me to share the remote with them. There's time for that, people.
  3. Have a kid. Boy would that put a damper on my plans to drive all over California and drink wine every weekend for the next 3 years.
  4. Travel abroad alone. I know that for some people this a cathartic, soul-freeing experience. But I think I'd just be really lonely and upset that I didn't have anyone to share it with. I mean, when you see a hooker dressed like Cher proposition a priest on the streets of Berlin, what do you do? Take a picture? Call your best friend even though it's 4am at home? I'd much rather turn to my travel companion and make a witty remark about believing in life after love...and death.
  5. Make a purchase more significant than my car. Who needs that kind of debt? Oh wait, I forgot that I already owe close to $100K in student loans...
  6. Die. If I have to go early, I want to at least join the 27 Club. And definitely not from death-by-fake-ceiling-collapse.
  7. Be preoccupied with not having done the preceding things and mope about being too old**. Life is too dang short to whine about what you haven't accomplished or where you thought you'd be. As the cliche goes: life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. TRUTH!!!
*I own this t-shirt. Not kidding.
**This picture has nothing to do with anything but awesomeness.

I'm Going Going / Back Back / To Cali Cali

Guess what, internet?

No seriously, guess.

Don't give up yet, come on.

Still can't guess?

Okay one more hint.

What do all those things mean? Well, not much. Only that...


Details to follow. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My summer nights are filled without outdoor cafes and air conditioned dens

Remember when summer TV used to suck bigtime? All those CBS mini series about prairies, and Hallmark movies involving young people befriending old, blind ranch hands.... I mean, I get why that stuff used to be on TV (because we should've been outdoors running through sprinklers and having BBQ's with our families) but no one enjoys that kind of programming anymore.

So it's a good thing those days of crappy summer TV are OVAH!! That's right ladies and gentlemen, some of the best TV now comes on when your A/C does. Let me share with you some of my favorite post-spring/pre-fall shows.

Burn Notice. I know I've talked about this show, but it's just that good. Think MacGyver meets well-dressed metrosexual JamesBond, and there you have Michael Westen, the main character of the show. He's a government spy who's been burned, which basically means he no longer exists. They took away this identity, his cash, his contacts and dropped him in Miami, where he now solves cases for people who don't exactly want the police involved. You know how some spy shows are campy and filled with fake, overdone drama and explosions? Not this one. It's funny, it's sarcastic, and someone who works on this show must have been an actual government agent, because the stunts they pull? Just watch. The new season started last week. Thursday nights on USA at 9pm.

Royal Pains. When you're done watching Burn Notice, you'll want to stick around for the show that comes on after it. Royal Pains insn't your typical medial drama, so sir. Dr. Hank Lawson has been blacklisted from every top-tier hospital in New York for trying to save a patient. He escapes to the Hamptons with his CPA brother, and becomes the hero of the hour when he saves a sick girl at a swanky party. Word that there's a new on-call doctor in town spreads quickly, and before he knows it, Hank finds himself making house calls and moving into the guest house of a very rich German dignitary. The concept of Roayl might be a little eh, but I promise is makes up for in acting and sarcasm what it lacks in a creative premise. Here's a good line to use if you're trying to fend off money-grubbing Hamptonite bimbos: "I have no job, no money, and my Saab is older than you." Guaranteed to work every time. Thursday nights on USA at 10pm.

True Blood. I didn't read the Tween Fuckery Twilight books, so I have no idea how this show about vampires compares to that Edward Cullen crap. But let's just say that HBO has done it again. Set in a small town in northern Louisiana, the show centers around Sookie Stackhouse, a sweet girl who has telepathic abilities. Vampires and humans co-exists in this fictional town of Bon Temps, but not all that peacefully. There are love triangles (think human-vampire-human), drugs, sex, and a hilarious gay man who quite honestly is the best character on the show. More dramatic than Buffy, but much better than the Twilight foolery. The season 2 premiere is Sunday, June 14th on HBO. Check out season one On Demand.

Nurse Jackie. I'm sure you've seen this show advertised all over every newspaper, magazine, website and hot dog cart umbrella (not kidding: saw it in Manhattan on Monday) for the past 2 weeks. I don't know about you, but when I see a show get that much attention, it immediately turns me off. However trust me when I say, this one lives up to to the hype. The first episode features our heroic nurse (played by Edie Falco of Carmela Soprano fame) snorting drugs, having an affair, and telling a punkass doctor what's what. But despite all that nonsense, you end up loving her. Monday nights at 10:30 on Showtime.

I would of course be remiss if I didn't mention my favorite long-running summer series: Entourage (new season on HBO coming soon), Weeds (Monday night at 10 on Showtime, right before Nurse Jakie), and Dexter (also coming soon to Showtime).

Happy summer, y'all!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Too early in the morning for this topic? Yeah, probably.

Around this time last year, I was up to my eyeballs in the degrees of murder and grounds for divorce in New York. ("I don't want to be married to this douche" is apparently not one of them.) During a break from studying this crap really important legal stuff, I sent Liz the following email:

"For some reason, I thought of you when I came across this photo. For 2 reasons: (1) because he's hot and I thought you'd think so, too, and (2) because he's wearing bikini briefs while holding a butcher knife with a look on his face that says, "Oh. why Susan, you surprised me. What's that? You wanna know where John is? Well.. um..."

His name is Jason Mraz, he's some famous musician or something. Never heard of him. But he is damn hot."

Little did I know that I would later become obsessed this fine piece of hotness. Every song he makes, every video he puts out draws me deeper into his web of delightful sarcasm. And now I'm so tangled up that I can't escape.

So tangled, in fact, that when he recently blogged about toilet tips, all I did was smile and go, "Oooohhhh that's Just Jason Mraz being Jason Mraz. At least he's green!"

Oh, and did I mention the real reason for this post? The almost-naked picture of him? I didn't? Well shame on me!
Who knows what that tattoo on his arms says?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hey, if Jesus said so....

Six months ago today, I had my last cigarette. I'd like to congratulate myself on quitting the only habit that was guaranteed to kill me.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some republicans to speak with about gay marriage and legalizing marijuana.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mr. Brand

It's not that I want to be attracted to Russell Brand. It's not like I took one look at the dead possum on top of his head and said, "THAT is what I want to run my fingers through get my whole arm caught in." It's just one of those weird celebrity crushes that has nothing to do with anything, but is so outlandish and peculiar that, really, how could you NOT tell the world about your fixation on this hot mess? It's like when you fall down the subway stairs in front of 200 strangers and them email all your friends about it: it's really embarrassing and kinda hurts a little, but you had to tell someone.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Oh. My. God.

There are no words. Just watch.

5 things I'm too old for

I'm turning 27 in a couple of weeks, and really, I'm okay with it. I swear. My only beef with that number is that it's a little strange: you're no longer 24, and therefore can't blame your transgressions on misguided youth; but you're not 30 and no one therefore has the right to ask you when you're having kids. So what is one supposed to be doing at this age if not settling down with a mate and planning a family? If you asked me that question, I'd say, "Living your life to the fullest and being happy." That means a lot of travel, trying new things, and doing all the stuff you didn't have the time (or good sense) to do in your early 20's. Like go to a museum or not spend every weekend drunk.

While 27 is still young enough to spend the occasional night at the club, it's definitely too old (in this humble gal's opinion) for certain things:
  1. Cheap shoes. Depending on how fortunate you were growing up, most people start to get sick of attire that falls apart after three wearings. Sure, it's worth it to spend $13 on a top at Forever 21 because, let's not lie, you'll probably try to wear it even after the elastic starts to fade. But shoes? You can't exactly safety pin them back together. And when your heel breaks while walking down the steps of a swanky club, you'll promise yourself never to buy anything from Payless ever again.
  2. Staying out all night. I've mentioned before how I can't drink like I used to. Also how much I love my own bed. Combine those facts, and you'll come to the following conclusion: that after the party, I almost always go home. (Almost.)
  3. Prposly mispelng wrds n typing thngs like, "omg,lmao i cant believ he sed dat!" Srsly? I'm too old for that nonsense.
  4. Driving recklessly. I remember a time when I would retaliate if someone tailgated me: I'd move out of their way, then get right behind them and get on their ass. Stupid, I know. Nowadays, I give people the thumbs up sign if they cut me off or flip me the bird. Road rage is not worth the aggravation.
  5. Drama. There comes a point in an adult's life when they have to start dealing with shit in a mature way. That means expressing your thoughts and emotions like a rational human being, and not whining and stamping your feet to get your way. Tantrums aren't cute when you're almost 30, and neither are staged acts of attention. In fact, they're embarrassingly transparent and extremely unattractive. If you've resorted to snooping through someone's drawers or humiliating them in public (or worse yet, putting up with that garbage) then it's time to check yourself and your relationships. Self-respect, people! You all deserve it and are capable of having it!!
One thing I will never be too old for, however, is a personal sense of style. Don't let anyone tell you that just because you turn 40 you have to cut your hair, or that men over 35 shouldn't wear Chuck Taylors. There's a huge difference between inappropriate and unique.