Thursday, November 30, 2006

Murphy And His Law Can Kiss My Ass

Hi everyone. I am back. I know that you missed me. I have a lot to tell you and I will do that over the next couple of weeks.
Today I want to tell you about my trip back.
My parents live approximately 45 minutes from Sea-Tac airport. Due to the crazy weather we left 3 ½ hours before my flight so that I could get there on time. My flight was at 10:55 in the morning and we arrived at the airport at 9:15. I got my boarding pass, checked my luggage and went through security. I was in the actual terminal heading for my gate around 10:10 in the morning.
I glanced at the monitors that display the flights and notice that my flight has been pushed back 5 minutes to 11:00 am. I was feeling pretty good about that until I got to the gate. From the time that I had looked at the monitor until I arrived at the gate they had delayed the flight and did not have the updated flight time posted yet. There were no seats available in the gate area so D and I sat on the floor waiting to see when our flight would be.
Around 11:00 they posted the updated flight time. We would be taking off at 11:40 and arriving in Chicago at 5:26pm. My flight to Grand Rapids, MI was set to take off from Chicago at 5:50 so I knew that it would be a close call and that we would basically be running to catch our connection since we had to go from one terminal to another and anyone who has ever been to the Chicago airport will know that it is a good distance from one terminal to another.
We take off on time and I am sandwiched in between a beefy gentleman on my right and D on my left who has the window seat. I try to relax and get a nap during the flight. Every time I would start to nod off D would start wiggling around, elbowing me or talking nonstop for a good 20 minutes. After the first 2 hours of the flight I pretty much abandon my plans to get some rest and I read my book.
We were about 30 minutes from Chicago when the pilot informs us that due to gusty winds in Chicago that we will be in a holding pattern over Chicago for approximately 30 minutes and that we will be landing around 6:10 pm. I think to myself that maybe the flight to Grand Rapids would be delayed as well and that I might still make my flight. Then we get pushed back another 20 minutes in a holding pattern.
I deplane around 6:24 and go straight to the monitors. Sure enough, my flight is long gone. I notice that there is one flight to Grand Rapids at 9:50 pm and another to Kalamazoo at 6:55. I go to the counter and talk to the lady and discover that the flight to Grand Rapids at 9:50 is overbooked to the point where they are not even allowing additional standby. I inquire about the flight to Kalamazoo hoping that I can get boarding passes and arrive at the gate towards the final boarding time. I guess that American Airlines doesn’t really give a crap about customer service as I was informed that to modify my flight that I have to go to the rebooking center which is in another terminal.
D and I power walk about 1/3 of a mile to gate H7 where the rebooking center is. We discover that it is a bank of 3 phones and of course they are all occupied. I stand in line for 10 minutes waiting for a woman who keeps asking the rebooking agent where her gate is. Why she couldn’t use the information booth about 20 feet away I will never know. I finally get a phone and am on hold for another 5 minutes before I reach an operator. I explain my situation and she lets me know that I have been rebooked for a flight that is leaving the next morning at 7:40 the next morning. I let her know that I have to be at work the next morning and that the flight will not work for me. I inquire about the Kalamazoo flight and at this point we both realize that it is too late to make that flight since it is taking off in about 5 minutes (thanks to the woman who wouldn’t help me at the counter). I tell her that I will take any flight to Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Kalamazoo or Lansing. I didn’t care what time or what airline. She tells me that there are no other flights to any of those airports on any airline tonight except for the 9:50 flight that I can’t get on.
I am getting agitated at this point and although the woman was very nice I start to get audibly upset. I ask if the airline will provide a rental car for me so that I can drive the 200 miles home but am told that because the delays were weather related that the airline will not pay for a rental car or a hotel room. I am pissed at this point but I calmly thank the lady and hang up.
I whip out my cell phone, call Funny Girl and let her know not to pick me up at the airport and then I start to cry. D is mimicking my frustration and anger and repeatedly says “Stupid Alaskan Airlines” (American had placed us on an Alaskan Airline flight for this one leg of the trip).
I explain to Funny Girl what is going on and by the time I get off the phone I am feeling a bit more calm. I call my mom and tell her what is happening. She goes online to see which rental car company has the best rate. It turns out that the rental car companies like to financially rape customers that are in need and the least expensive car we could find was the economy car through Alamo for $125.00. She tells me that she has reserved a car for me so I tell her that I am going to figure out how to get my luggage.
I head toward the information booth that I saw on my way to the rebooking center and talk to a very nice, elderly gentleman who tells me that I need to go to baggage claim #10 to ask for my luggage. He tells me that it is a 50/50 prospect that I will actually get my luggage. I head towards baggage claim 10 lugging my carry on a small cooler and my purse. D has his rolling backpack. I arrive at baggage claim 10 and there is no one there. I make some kind of snide comment about the fact that American/Alaskan airlines can kiss my ass and a man about 5 feet away turns around, smiles in sympathy and tells me that the counter agent went to make a phone call and that he would be right back.
I wait another 5 minutes for the baggage agent to return. I walk up to the counter and tell him that I am very upset but that I will try and remain calm. I tell him that I need my luggage. He asks for my luggage claim tickets, types them into the computer and then directs me towards baggage claim #3 as that is American Eagle’s storage place.
Feeling utterly defeated and exhausted I trudge down to baggage claim #3. There was a bit of a line so I sat down on my little mini-cooler waiting my turn. I hand the gentleman my claim tickets and about 10 minutes later I receive my checked luggage. All four of them. I give D my debit card and he runs over and gets me a smart card to load my mountain of bags. I turn back the other way and head back down by baggage claim #10 where the rental car busses are.
I exit the airport and wait for about 4 minutes for the National/Alamo bus to arrive. The bus driver was extremely kind, loaded all of my luggage and then we boarded the bus. Within 5 minutes I was off of the bus and he unloaded my luggage, told me to pick out a vehicle, put in my luggage and that they would take care of everything at the exit.
I pick out a little blue, 2 door Pontiac G-6, load up everything and head to the exit. I hand the woman my confirmation number that my mother had given me and she tells me that it isn’t a valid number. I have to turn around and go to the actual office.
I walk into the office, stand in another line and wait my turn. I get to the counter, hand my confirmation number to the woman and she tells me in a quite snotty voice that it isn’t a confirmation number. I tell her that my mother told me that she booked it online and that was the number that she gave me. The woman snatches my driver’s license out of my hand and types in my name. She tells me that to rent a car for a one way trip you have to use a credit card that matches the driver’s license information or have a return plane ticket. I hand her my ticket showing that I had a flight from Chicago to Grand Rapids and my debit card with a credit card logo. She tells me that this isn’t acceptable. I finally ask to speak to the manager who isn’t much friendlier than the woman at the counter.
I finally am informed that a debit card isn’t acceptable. They need a credit card. I hand her my credit card, sign the paperwork and leave.
I sit in the car for a few minutes calming down and then figure out how to get from the airport heading towards home. I get on the freeway and drive for an hour. We stop, get some fast food and get back on the road.
Originally I was supposed to arrive in Grand Rapids at 7:45 and should have been home by 9:00 so that I had time to get settled in and get some sleep so that I could be at work on Wednesday morning. Instead I get home at 1:00 am after driving 200 miles, stagger into my house and fall into bed within 20 minutes of getting home and then after what seemed like 5 minutes my alarm goes off and I stumble out of bed and go to work bleary eyed and exhausted.
I am still trying to recover.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hump Day Hottie

This weeks Hump Day Hottie will be short and sweet and only has one hint.

I am one of them.

This weeks Hump Day Hottie is ~ The Weary Traveler.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hump Day Hottie

This weeks hottie is a special. There are actually two and they are really only famous for one day.

In an annual ritual dating back to the mid 1800's a new pair are chosen. It is an honor to be selected as it means that they will spend the rest of their days in safety. They are not required to pay taxes but will be supported by those tax dollars.

This weeks Hump Day Hottie's also receives the honor or meeting the President of the United States and is bestowed immunity from future harm.

Unfortunately I am unable to add a photo of this weeks Hump Day Hottie as Blogger won't allow me to upload photos today so I will add a link:

This weeks Hump Day Hotties are ~ Flyer and Fryer the turkeys pardoned by GWB for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Goodbye ~ I Will Miss You All

I have some devastating news. I hope that you will be able to control your sorrow when you read what I have to say. Don’t do anything drastic. I promise that everything will be ok eventually.
I will not be writing on my blog. I know that you have become like a crack addict. You are always coming back to my blog to get your fix. Writing every day has become tedious for me and I need to break away. At least for a few days.
Did I have you going for a few seconds? Probably not but it made my smile to imagine the shock on at least one persons face.
I am going on vacation to visit my family in Washington State for the Thanksgiving holiday. I have a glorious 11 days with no work. I am so excited I can scarcely contain my excitement.
D and I are flying out tomorrow and are coming back on November 28th. I will at least post my Hump Day Hottie next week but I won’t guarantee anything more than that. I will be busy dammit!!!
I hope that you will keep visiting me when I return (if my plane doesn’t crash or something) so that we can continue this love affair that we have started.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hump Day Hottie

He was born December 30, 1975 in Cypress, CA.
He was a child prodigy who began to play his sport at the age of 2.
In 1978 he demonstrated his skill in a television appearance on The Mike Douglas Show.
He appeared in a digest magazine dedicated to his sport at the age of 5 and on ABC’s That’s Incredible.
In 1984 he won the 9-10 boy’s even for the Junior World Championships. He was only eight at the time but 9-10 was the youngest age group available. He went on to win Junior World Championships six times, including four consecutive winds from 1988 to 1991. He also won the U.S. Junior Amateur title in 1991, 1992 and 1993; he remains the youngest-ever and only multiple winner.
He then won three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles over the next three years, the only person to achieve this feat.
He attended Stanford University for 2 years. His teammates jokingly nicknamed him “Urkel”.
He left Stanford after 2 years to turn professional in his sport.
Shortly after his 21st birthday He began signing numerous endorsement deals including General Motors, General Mills, America Express and Nike. Only Michael Jordan and Arnold Palmer have had longer tenures at the top for endorsements and have made more money overall than this weeks Hump Day Hottie.
In 1997 after his first major professional win he was urged by fellow pro Fuzzy Zoeller not to order fried chicken or collard greens for the traditional Championship dinner.
His racial background is very diverse and coined a phrase to describe his ethnicity - Cablinasian (Cacausian, Black, American Indian & Asian).
His hobbies include working out, boating, water sports, fishing, cooking and car racing. He has never owned an airplane as his sponsor NetJets provides one as part of his sponsorship package.
He married Elin Nordegren, a Swedish model on October 5, 2004. They have no children yet.

"Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps."

"I am the toughest golfer mentally."

"I did envisage being this successful as a player, but not all the hysteria around it off the golf course."

"I don't know if I even have an aura, man. I just try to win."

"I get to play golf for a living. What more can you ask for - getting paid for doing what you love."

"I'm trying as hard as I can, and sometimes things don't go your way, and that's the way things go."

"If you can't laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at?"

This weeks Hump Day Hottie is ~ Tiger Woods.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Crime & Punishment

A few weeks ago I got into a heated debate with some friends. It originally started as a conversation about the minimum wage and how impossible it would be to try and make it solely on that income. Someone commented that it seems unfair that prisoners have a better quality of life than people that work full time making minimum wage.
Some of the comments that were made were along these lines.

They should not have access to the outside world via television.
They should be fed bread and water or the bare minimum to survive.
They should be stacked 6 deep in a cell.
They should work on chain gangs.
There should be no access to medical care or psychological care.
If they are sentenced to death it should be carried out within 48 hours of the conviction.

I will be honest with you. Part of me agrees with some of these statements. It isn’t supposed to be easy. Another part of me vehemently disagrees with these statements and I will tell you why.

If everyone that went to prison was there for the rest of their life than providing the basic minimum for living conditions could be an option.
The fact is that only 1 in 11 prisoners serves a life sentence. The average amount of amount of time served is only 48 months. That means that a convicted felon is released out into society after only 4 years in prison.
What happens in that 4 years will affect how that person acts in society at large.

Here are 2 examples of people who would serve prison time.

James was an upstanding citizen. He owned his own business and was married with children. He had never been arrested but he had a secret. He molested his daughters for over 2 years before his wife found video tapes of the assaults.
He ran but was apprehended and sentenced to 35 years in prison. He lives in fear every day that someone will find out what he was convicted of and that he will be killed in prison. He works in the music room of the prison and makes 35¢ per hour and receives $8 per month to buy amenities as the rest goes to court costs, reparations and child support.

Bob was driving at night and accidentally fell asleep at the wheel, hitting and killing a pedestrian. He is sentenced to 7 years in prison for vehicular homicide. Before this he had never been arrested and had never been in any previous accidents. He is a retired iron worker and has been married for 30 years with 2 grown children and 4 grandchildren.
He works at the prison taking catalogue orders and makes 75¢ per hour. He shares a cell with James.

Obviously James deserves to be in prison. Most people would say that he should rot in prison and that to give him more than bread and water and a hole to crap in would be a travesty.
How do you think that Bob should be treated? He is a convicted felon along with James.

James & Bob will eventually be living in society along with the rest of us. Should we treat them poorly in prison and expect that they will miraculously be an asset to society when released?
Should be treat them as people, allow them to earn small privileges like paying $4 per month for cable in their cell and to purchase things like coffee from the prison store? Is it our burden as tax-payers to provide counseling and other mental health services so that the chance that they become repeat criminals is reduced?

I can honestly see both sides of the issue. I think that prison shouldn’t be a walk in the park. It should be difficult. But at what point do we have to realize that even though they are criminals, they are also people.
If someone goes to prison and is treated like an animal in a cage, what kind of person do you think will be released when he is done serving his sentence?
I have a strong feeling that it won’t be someone we would want to be around.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Just Another Manic Monday

You gotta love it when you accidentally set your alarm for 10:50 at night instead of 6:50 in the morning and then you wake up with 25 minutes to get you and your kid ready to go.

I took a shower that lasted about 2 minutes, brushed teeth, got dressed and even had time to get my lunch together and put on makeup.

On a different note, I ended up trying to comfort a friend over the phone until about 1:00 this morning. Why do women always blame themselves for the failings of men? She kept asking me what was wrong with her because her boyfriend cheated on her.

I told her she was asking the wrong question. She should be asking what was wrong with him that he would cheat on a beautiful, intelligent, amazing woman.

By the end of the call I had her laughing instead of crying and she said that she felt "10 times better".

Why do women always take the blame on themselves for the failings of others? Why do we think that we can change people?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Can You Go From A 5 To An 8 On Personality?

Have you ever met someone that you thought was average looking but the more you got to know them the more attractive they became to you?
Someone told me that it doesn’t work that way for men.
Just wondering what your thoughts are.
I met someone when I was younger that I thought was kinda cute. It took a while but after I got to know him the more attractive that he became to me. It actually changed what I found attractive to a certain degree.
If you met one of the "average Joe's" that I posted here would you consider dating him? What criteria (looks wise) is a deal breaker for you?
I refuse to date someone with bad teeth (cavities or extremely crooked). If I met someone with really crooked teeth that had an awesome personality my opinion might change.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hump Day Hottie

Graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a BA in Political Science.
Interned at the CIA.
Lived in Vietnam for a year and studied Vietnamese at the University of Hanoi.
Haunted by his brother’s suicide in 1988 he started filming stories from war-torn regions around the globe, including Somalia, Bosnia & Rwanda.

He explains, "The only thing I really knew is that I was hurting and needed to go someplace where the pain outside matched the pain I was feeling inside.”

In 1995 he became a correspondent of ABC News rising to the position of co-anchor of World News Now.
In 2000 he switched career paths, taking a job as the host of ABC’s reality show The Mole.

"My last year at ABC, I was working overnights anchoring this newscast then during the day at 20/20. So I was sleeping in two- or four-hour shifts, and I was really tired and wanted a change. I wanted to clear my head and get out of news a little bit, and I was interested in reality TV—and it was interesting."

He returned to broadcast news in 2001 now at CNN as co-anchor on American Morning and then the weekend prime time anchor.
In 2003 he was made anchor of a fast paced weeknight news program that bears his name.
Was called “the anchorperson of the future” by CNN president Jonathan Klein.
Wrote a book called “Dispatches From The Edge” in 2006 which detailed his life as a journalist and human being in Sri Lanka, Africa, Iraq etc.

Fun facts:
Started going gray around age 20 and was completely gray by age 35.
Named as one of the Sexiest Men Alive in 2005 by People Magazine.
He was Number 3 on Playgirl’s magazine’s Sexiest Newscasters List.
Son of Gloria Vanderbilt

This week's Hump Day Hottie is ~ Anderson Cooper.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Repost ~ Bathroom Etiquette

I originally wrote this post on my old blog . I went back and read some of the things that I had written and this one still made me laugh so I thought that I would share it with all of my new blogging friends.

I work in a building full of "professionals". That being said, for some reason, people can grow up, get a degree and work in a relatively nice place and still not have even the least modicum of bathroom etiquette.

Here are a few things that I feel everyone should abide by:

If there are 7 stalls in the bathroom and only 1 or 2 are in use, PLEASE don't sit next to me, especially if you have flatulence or bowel movement issues. The metal dividers DO NOT dissipate the smell.

If you flush the toilet with your foot and then it falls into the bowl, I am going to laugh. Not just because you have a wet foot, but because the same people that flush with their hands, also use the lock on the door and you have done nothing to avoid their germs.

If you are using the facilities and you realize that you have left any kind of trace that you have been there (wet toilet paper, pubic hair, period leftovers etc.) clean it up. Seriously people, when I have to walk past 3 stalls because there are pubes, tiny left over particles of brown toilet paper from wiping your butt and it rolling up and falling onto the back of the toilet seat or a random blood droplet, there is something seriously wrong. The only thing that you get a free pass on is if you go #2 and there are streaks. Flush again and if they are still there, you have done your best.

If you read a book when you are in a restroom, even if you try to keep it quiet, other people know that you are reading and they are either feeling sorry for you that there isn't a better place to read, or wishing that they had a book themselves.

When you are finished going to the bathroom and head to the sink, you should actually WASH your hands. Not rinse them and then dry them off to pretend that you actually care for your personal hygiene. Better yet, wash them and then use the anti-bacterial lotion so that when you open the bathroom door that you aren't collecting germs from the disgusting people who only rinsed.

Don't talk on your cell phone while in the stall. Checking voicemail is OK, but don't have a conversation, I don't want to hear it and it is gross to be peeing or going #2 when talking to someone on the phone unless they are a good friend and you warn them first. Plus, it interrupts the readers that are in there.

Hopefully these few valuable tidbits of information can make your next bathroom foray a much more enjoyable experience.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Brokeback Malibu

Let me preface this by saying that I hope your weekend started out better than mine.
The place that I work is open on Saturdays due to contractual obligations. Because the amount of work is lower than during the week we usually only have to work a Saturday every 6 weeks or so. This was my weekend.
I had to be at work at 10:00 on Saturday. I decided to stop and get breakfast before I started so I left my house around 9:15. I drove to my mailbox (about 2 blocks away), stopped my 2001 Chevrolet Malibu LS, picked up my mail and went back to my car. My car wouldn’t start. I tried and tried to get it started but nothing I did worked. It was acting like it didn’t have any gas even though it had half a tank.
I called into work to let them know what was going on and then called my friend Dolly who is very good with cars. She changes her own brakes, rotors, serpentine belts and just about anything else you can think of. She got out of bed and drove all the way across town to come help me.
Of course as soon as she got there the car started with no problem. This is the second time that my car has just decided not to start and since I live on my own with no family in the state other than my son I have to make sure that I have a very reliable vehicle.
We drove into town (she followed me in her car) and went to the car dealership. I decided that it was time to trade in my car for a new one that has a warranty.
They looked at my car for trade in (I didn’t tell them about the starting problem) and they found a lot of engine issues including coolant pouring down my engine.
I was looking at purchasing a Hyundai Sonata because they have excellent warranties and the quality has improved dramatically. Unfortunately I have to keep my car payment below $350 per month and the only option that I had was a Kia Spectra Sport because I have quite a bit of negative equity on my current car.
I was approved for a loan with a 7.40% interest rate and my payment will be $338 per month. I wouldn’t sign the papers until I called my insurance company to find out what the cost would be. My insurance is going up $5 per month so I called the dealership to let them know that I would coming down after work to sign the papers.
I like the car but it wouldn’t have been my first choice. I hope that I am happy with my decision.
Here is a stock photo of my new car. The only difference is that mine is silver, not blue.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hump Day Hottie

Last week I promised Funny Girl that this weeks edition of Hump Day Hottie would be based on looks only.

I found this absolute hunk on a google image search. All the information that I have on him is that he is an actor and model from Brazil.

This weeks Hump Day Hottie is ~ Henri Castelli