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Sunday, January 30, 2011


It is no surprise that my life is filled with an intimate, up close look at a wide variety of people. Young, old, abled and not, positive and horrible, in a wide variety of colors. I see it all. I hear it all. And I'm at the point in my life where I giggle, laugh and make fun of most of it. It's either that or explode in a violent frenzy of beer drinking and escape slide usage.

Change of subject for a second -- I love t-shirts. I'd almost call it a fetish but that conjures up visions of other things so we'll just call it a strong like (as Facebook would call it). I always look at t-shirts most anyplace we go. And I've been eyeballing this particular line of shirts at Target for quite some time now. But I'm also trying to be more prudent about my discretionary spending so I've chosen not to buy it. And now I know why. Two afternoons headed toward Austin, Texas, I was my typical cheery, smiling self saying "Hi There" to those coming through the forward L-1 boarding door. When lo and behold, I was taken aback. And that doesn't happen often with me. Here she came with MY t-shirt. The one I want!

Do you see the Twinkie in this picture? The picture right here? You see it....right? Well, imagine it stretched tight across the chest of a very large overweight woman (I swear she had to be from Portland.....). Yes sir, that little sponge cake with the sweet chemical filling was nestled in between the floundering breasts of this smiling, happy woman. "Hi there," she said to me as I'm aghast and staring uncontrollably at her titties. It reminded me of Oregon's Three Sisters mountains. I typically would strike up a conversation with people about their t-shirts, watches, glasses, handbags, whatever. But that day, in that situation, I was caught without words. Well, I did have a few, come to think of it. But they were not appropriate for the forward galley on a Boeing 737-800 bound for Austin within earshot of the First Class section. I'm sure that my head was moving from left to right in a reading sort of fashion as I went from Tit 1 to Twinkie to Tit 2. Lord, I will never see that t-shirt the same. No matter who it's on. Oh, and it is what's on the inside that counts, don't 'cha know.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Minute Maid

Did you know that I serve Minute Maid juice on my flights? Nope, I didn't either. But apparently I do....according to the precious middle-aged, overweight dude in 18A just an hour or two ago. The conversation actually didn't involve me directly...but I was on the aft end of the trolley overhearing the exchange and giggling (I had to....I just had to):

18A: What kind of juice do you have?
Trolley Dolley: Orange, apple, cranberry and tomato.
18A: I want a can of Minute Maid orange.
Trolley Dolley: None of our juices come in a can and we don't serve Minute Maid.
18A: Yes they do. I want the one in a can.
Trolley Dolley: No sir, they all come in boxes. And we don't serve Minute Maid.
18A: No they don't. I've flown your airline 12 times over the last year and have always had Minute Maid orange in a can.
Trolley Dolley: No, I've been here for many years and have never seen Minute Maid.

You see, the truth is that we have never served Minute Maid. And have never served any juice in a can. I'm not sure what he settled on, but that's how exchanges occasionally go in this occupation. He was convinced of his own reality in spite of the fact that it wasn't the truth. I'm amazed how people get so easily confused. They will tell me that they flew my airline into, oh say, Lincoln, Nebraska last year to see their relatives. Well, the fact is that we don't fly to Lincoln. But they are convinced that we do. I'm not sure the specifics of how the human mind and psyche work. But it would be a long thesis for someone to write about. I'm wondering if he ever found his Minute Maid in a can today.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hump Day Happenings

It's back! My sinus infection, that is. I was out of work for a week or more, went back to the friendly skies, and now it appears to have returned. I honestly thought I was over it. I'm a die-hard fan of my NeilMed Sinus Flushing System. Amazing how good it feels to actually remove the crud from the inside of one's sinuses. In all seriousness, if you're not using it, you should be -- anybody with allergies, colds, sinus issues and the like will find great relief.

Conversion Disorder
. Anybody have personal experience?

I ask a row of passengers the other day what they'd like to drink. I do that regularly, you know. And the lady tells me that she's going to have an orange juice and her husband (who is not in his seat at the time) will have nothing "because he's been a very naughty boy." And the conversation ensues from there while I see her husband back behind our beverage trolley waiting patiently to get back to his seat after using the restroom. I'm listening to her tell me this story about him being naughty while I'm staring back to him behind our cart in the center aisle. Just looking around, totally unaware of what his wife has just told me. I wonder if it was true? And I wonder if it crossed his mind when I said to him, "And what does the naughty boy want to drink today?" He looked sort of innocent to me.

Mason has made yet another trip to the veterinarian. I swear, it's a very good thing that we're enrolled in Banfield's Wellness Program which equates to free office visits and a reduction in all other services and procedures. He's better now but over the weekend he was pacing around, uncomfortable, unable to rest, relax or sleep. We have done our best, you all know we have. We've changed foods, tried this, tried that. And now he's on this ultra-low-allergen dog food and absolutely no people food. Apparently small breed dogs, and even light-colored dogs, tend to have more allergy issues than others. He's better now but it seems to just keep happening. And he's such a good boy....it's hard to see him at the Vet. Trembling, staring at us, begging us to get him out of there.

And before I go, I'd just like to say that I'm thankful I've got more in the shorts than Howard Stern apparently has. I heard it with my own ears last night on the new Piers Morgan show......Stern tells Morgan that he's "Hung Like a Raisin." And I was wondering.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mid-Winter Meanderings

Whew. My niece's MRI for the conditions I mentioned in my earlier post showed normal! Normal. Subjective, I know. But nonetheless, no physical issue going on in her brain. Great news. The bad news is that it is a psychological issue. She's had a tough life. And I've always counted her as able to get over things probably a little more quickly than she apparently has been able to. She is going to be visiting with several psychiatric doctors to get this thing ironed out. I'm thankful. I'm hopeful. But I'm still not completely happy.

We did the unthinkable last night. Seriously. It's been years since we've gone to a real live mainstream movie theater to see a movie. You see, Portland is filled to overflowing with all sorts of independent theaters where you can take your pizza, beer, burger, whatever into the theater and watch a movie. They charge $3 for the movie and then you buy your food. You sit on couches, big soft chairs and the like. So that's typically the theaters we end up at. If our friends hadn't given us certificates to go to a real theater, we would not have. Are you kidding? $10 admission plus another $10 or more per person for treats? Umm, nope. Back to the movie at hand, we saw The King's Speech based on the true-life story of King George VI during the 1930s-1940s. Amazing. Brilliant. A must-see.

I'm nearly at the end of ten days with congestion, a sore throat, coughing and zero energy. Thankfully, it is just about gone and I can get myself back to work. I pushed and shoved myself back to yoga yesterday. It felt great but, boy oh boy, my energy has been seriously lacking. And this New Year's Resolution thing has the gym and parking lot hopping. Wow. Lots of "I have to be in the gym in January" people there. My favorite thing about going yesterday? Probably when my yoga guide Carla said, "I wish you peace, peace, and more peace." I think we all need a little more of that. A lot more, perhaps.

Our airline has new uniforms which we'll be transferring over to on January 28. I've been a little hesitant about them....the sizing, color, fabric, lack of practical options as far as shirts go, and that sort of thing. But they have now arrived after a six-month wait. They are currently at the tailors being fitted and should be ready to roll soon! They do look good, I must admit. It's been more than ten years since we've had new uniforms to sport in the Friendly Skies. Coffee, tea, or me??

We're in the middle of heavy chat about what to do for our vacation this year. Money. Timing. All of that. Our list is very long of things we'd like to do -- narrowing it down to a do-able, financially-good-fit option is the tough part. We have more vacation time available than money to do vacations with. Plus, I've got several large bills that I'm trying to get a prudent handle on this year....and that has my attention more than even taking a trip somewhere.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Cold Chill of Winter

I'm not really quite sure what to say, exactly. I've been sick for a week. Sinusitis, sore throat, ear aches, feel like crappola. And I'm home sick. But that's the least of my worries.

There's a serious chill in my life right now. It's my beautiful niece. She will be 15 in a week or two. She's smart, pretty and a pleasure to be around (much like her uncle). But there's trouble. Since January 1, she has developed numerous physical ailments that are not good. She is not able to speak more than a word at a time without difficulty, she can't walk correctly, she cannot use her hands to dial a telephone, she's not able to sit or hold still, she cannot feed herself or drink without spilling it everywhere, and she cannot write....even a single letter on a page is apparently difficult. Her entire body is writhing -- all of her limbs and joints unable to hold still. She will not be able to return to her 9th grade school this week, clearly. I'm not sure what is going to happen. She's been to several doctors over the last week including a neurologist. An MRI is scheduled in a few days.

Emilee came into this life a fighter. She was born with several heart valves malfunctioning and without a complete septum dividing the two sides of her heart -- and came very close to dying. At 13 months, she underwent open heart surgery. She's tough. And we love her with all of our hearts. She always brings a smile to our faces. She's fun to be with and our time with her has always been accented by memorable times. Please keep her, us, in your good thoughts and prayers this week. It's all just cropped up so, so fast. And she is way too young for this sort of thing.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Looking Into the Face of the Past

Holy mackerel. I haven't had to look into the past for quite some time now. You know, those dark areas of one's former life that bring up various emotions and feelings and remind one of situations that we wish we could forget.

My family and friends are filled with a variety of troubles....not unlike any other group on the face of the earth. And I think it's fair to say that alcoholism is right near the top of the list. The list is long of those whose lives have turned sour because of the icky old bottle. I don't have the time or adequate space here and now to recount the stories -- police, job loss, DUI, courts, jail, physical harm, mental anguish, horrible harmful words spewed, and the like. But I think you get the picture. However, I'm very glad to say, that there are at least a few in my life that have taken the bull by the horns and have righted themselves...much like a ship being tossed by giant waves, they have found calmer seas and have discovered a beautiful way of correcting the course of their life.

But I stared down the dark hole recently into the face of drunks. Loudmouth, out of control, vicious, nasty drunks. I was really uncomfortable and felt completely out of place. I was embarrassed. It felt like my past life. I wanted the restaurant bill paid pronto and I wanted out. Now! I know the look in the eyes, the slurred speech, the attempts at putting sentences together, and the escalating volume of voice. It's not pretty. In fact, it's ugly. And it makes me sad. I hate to see people who have turned control of their lives over to the bottle. And it's been years, many years, since I've had to face it and see it personally. It reminded me of dark terrible days in past years. And I don't want to go there again.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Re-Commitment To My Own Life

True happiness comes from having a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved by cultivating altruism, love and compassion, and by eliminating anger, selfishness and greed -- the Dalai Lama

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

Re-Commitment to My Own Life

  1. Smile more often.
  2. Make more eye contact.
  3. Slow down: Walk more slowly, walk less arrogantly, be in less of a hurry, stop looking for ways to speed up situations/processes.
  4. Spend less time on the internet.
  5. Practice yoga more often.
  6. Pay more attention to my partner.
  7. Be less rigid in life: at work, in my processes/procedures.
  8. Less “Have to’s” in my life and more “Want to’s.”
  9. Less self-induced pressure.
  10. Be more approachable; be invitational, not confrontational.
  11. More consideration given to indiscriminate financial spending.
  12. Cook at home more often.
  13. Walk more in Portland neighborhoods.
  14. Continue to allow trees, rivers, the sky, and nature to captivate and nourish me.
  15. Focus on my breath, breathe deeper, breathe more slowly.
  16. Set my intention for each moment and interaction: What is it that I can bring to this moment? What is it that I can take from this moment?
  17. Consider others and where they are coming from.
  18. Stare more. Think more. Consider more. Ponder more.
  19. Center/balance/focus on positive, healthy, good.
  20. At Bedtime each night: Be thankful for the day; let today’s troubles rest; exhale slowly.
  21. At the end of each day: Be thankful for one thing I did right that day. Put at rest one thing I did poorly that day.