I Spent 19 Hours Traveling and It Hurt Me

So coming home for Christmas, I spent 19 hours in some various form of transit. My airplane got delayed in my final layover in Milwaukee, because it broke down. We spent an hour waiting for the crew to pull out a new aircraft, and though I am extremely grateful that I got home safely, I was a very cranky little girl for an hour and wrote this rant. People who work at airports are so valuable, especially during the holidays, but I couldn’t deny you this irrational gem, could I?

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I think the idea of people being annoying is interesting. What makes us annoyed? Why can that annoyance inspire hatred? The kind that makes you say, “I want. Those people. To die.”

I’m sitting in the Milwaukee airport, and I can’t get over the feeling that everyone here is dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb. That’s why the puddle-jumping plane I’m supposed to take back to Pittsburgh is broken down, that’s why it’s going to take more than an hour to get a new plane out of the hangar and that’s why the stupid desk woman was snooty with me when I asked her if this meant our flight would be delayed.

Why is it never “Yes, unfortunately that is the case. Doesn’t that suck? I wish I had a magic carpet right here to fly you back home asap, my friend,” and instead, “Um, YES this will delay your flight??? The maintenance crew has some very IMPORTANT WORK that needs to be done???? They have their CHECKS???? Wouldn’t want you flying on a broken PLANE now WOULD WE???????” No, Grandmother Time, I wouldn’t want to fly on a broken plane, I just wanted to know if the people around here can get it together in less time than it takes to assemble a full aircraft from start to finish.

I’m convinced that every stupid person is on any given airplane, at any given time, always. This, I believe, is with the expressed purpose of destroying the sanity of any of the normal closed-mouth, non-talkers on the flight. You know the type: gender, age and race non-discriminating, this person takes to the plane like they year is 1903 and the Wright Brothers issued a personal invitation for the occasion. This person has some sort of awful rolling carry-on which he or she has refused to check, despite the fact that it is obviously too large for the aisle or the overhead compartment. The fact that the bag now bumps along the elbows and knees of every other passenger on the plane is unbeknownst to her, as she refuses to pick up the damn thing, probably because it has too many pairs of Pajama Jeans in it or something.

Obviously attempting to gather as much oxygen as possible, this person refuses to close his mouth. Why?

Oh my god. I have to interrupt that previous thought for something breaking. There is a girl in front of me doing her stupid hair with her stupid Photobooth camera as we speak. It’s 7 p.m. and we’re in the Milwaukee airport. Unless you’re trying to swing a date with the Neanderthal fry-slinger from Johnny Rocket’s, there is no one on this concourse to impress. She’s one spoke on a three-pronged wheel of death that has been following me from Salt Lake to Denver and now, here, Milwaukee. Mommy Dearest and her two iPhone equipped, Kardashian-wannabe daughters have been doing annoying shit all day. Complaining about Angry Birds and how they don’t have the newest Mario Game that their friend, Christina or something, has. Of course, they are tall and thin with long dark hair that they obsess over in various computer applications, iPhone and MacBook Pro non-exempt. To stay casual, they’re decked out in Victoria’s Secrets sweats and Ugg Boots, but they’re absolutely made-up, because striking that sexy, bed-head balance in the airport is a full-time job, ladies.

I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing them at several instances throughout my day, and I can confidently say that not one of them has done anything except Soduko or Facebook in the last 12 hours. I don’t know how they’re alive. They’re not even trying to watch anything on Netflix. Not one brought a book to read. Buntastic over here is literally looking through her old iPhoto albums. Reminiscing about good times, eh? Or do you just honestly have no ideas about other activities that don’t involve going out, documenting said instance and then reliving it via Facebook? I’m inclined to assume the latter. BUT WHO AM I.

Just a girl, losing her mind after a sleepless night, a three-hour drive at 3 a.m., more than eight hours of combined layover time and now, a broken plane. All I want for Christmas is a frontal lobotomy.

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[DISCLAIMER: I don’t actually want any part of my brain removed.]

And When I Got Home, The Cat Was On The Concrete Cherub

Today I went for a walk. I left my apartment after my upstairs neighbor spent 15 minutes telling me about bears tipping over people’s refrigerators in Red Lodge, the place she used to live, and how it was a consequence of dumpster locks.

“Well that has to be frustrating,” I said, and she walked away from me. She probably had to make lunch.

The sun was hot so it was better to walk on the tree-lined streets where shadow shrouded the sidewalks. The leaves were trembling and yellow like a drink, but they just show up grey under your feet. For two blocks I followed a garbage truck, the mechanical arms dip down to the pavement like a ballerina to pick up the bins at the curb, just to flip them and shake them out like it was looking for milk money. The truck drove away from me, probably to find more cans.

The neighborhood around me is only a few blocks deep, so it can be hard to escape the main road where all the businesses and cars are, but you can if you just try. You have to enjoy it though, because it can end quickly.

I found a place where the pavement ends and two or three brown houses open out onto brown muddy stones. Behind them is a newer looking building that’s home to a Spanish-language church. I stopped at the street sign on the corner by the church to pull my yellow socks back up around my ankles. The street sign wobbled in the soft, wet dirt and I watched as, across the street and a muddy field, a crane lifted up some wood to the top of the skeleton of what I can only guess will someday soon be a new building.

I walked around to the main street to see what it was, but I still don’t know. I turned around, away from the cars, back to the dirt road. It’s just right there. At the end, staring at me, was an old house, nestled into a thick pillow of trees that get cut off prematurely at the edge of the property, like someone had built it there first and then someone else mowed everything else around it. It’s just right there, you can see it from the World Gym up the street, but who does? It’s like a secret that we all know but don’t acknowledge. But when you look at it you can hear something whispering. It’s fun to be in on a secret.

Across the street Habitat for Humanity is building a new house, but no one is there working on it just then. The foundation juts up from the ground and it looks like a swimming pool. I met the family moving in to the house back when they held a press ground-breaking for the house a few months ago. I imagined the family stacked up in the tiny pool, living their same lives in the bigger built up place. I got to see your house when it was naked.  It’s fun to be in on a secret.

I headed back through a series of construction signs reading, “Road Closed.” I always thought that applied to sidewalks, too, but you know what? It doesn’t. I passed a road crew scraping some wet cement flat in the space between the framework for a new curb. Grey, wet, flat. Whiter, drier, flatter. Two men kneeling there scraping get asked something by the more in-charge man walking behind them. I didn’t hear what the man asked, but the older black man kneeling on the right with a grey fluffy beard like the inside of a pillow stopped his scraping, looked up and said in a kind of slow, lisping drawl that makes you glad he’s out in the world, “It looks pretty good, but it still needs some work.”

Why I Didn’t Get the New iPhone [SPOILER ALERT: $$$]

I did something last night that I believe was a very adult thing to do.

For months — nay! — years now, I have been coveting the iPhone. And it wasn’t just me — my dad, a self-identified techie — also lusted after its shiny casing (“How ’bout that iPhone, Brittany?? Now that’s what you want!”) Being a college student on a Verizon family plan severely limited my ability to rescue that beauty from its AT&T prison, so I waited idly by until: WHABAM. Verizon, with her steely claws, snatched up the iPhone just, like, a month ago.

Like so many, I thought, “My time has finally come!” And prepared myself for endless apps and MacBook syncing possibilities.

Since Dad kindly pays my $10 contribution to the family plan every month, and we both knew that we both wanted that iPhone and that I was up for an upgrade, we sat down to have the big talk.

I play it back now like an epic movie montage: Beethoven’s 5th is playing amid our wild gesticulations as the camera cuts to tight shots of the anger and excitement on our faces, blue prints and plans flying about. “THEY’LL GIVE US THE DATA PLAN FOR $10 OFF!” “BUT HOW. WILL. WE. DO IT???”

As most Dad-conversations go, this one ended with, “Okay, we’ll figure it out later.” (They wonder why I’m a procrastinator, sheesh.)

When I went to the Verizon store to check things out, I realized upgrading phones wouldn’t be too costly, but the data plan would require me to pawn off several necessary limbs every month. Standing there, playing with some girl’s Facebook she left signed in on a sample Droid, I thought, “What if my dad will pick up the data plan?”

As someone who doesn’t live in a suburban basement, I immediately felt gross about it. Sure, Dad pays the 10 clams for my regular service, but that’s nothing (I rationalize). Add another $30 to that and what kind of monster would I be? Robbing the roost of a potential SIX $5 footlongs?!? It couldn’t be done. I went home that night empty-handed considering how I could finance my Steve Jobs dream.

As tempting as it was timely, the battery in my existing phone suddenly began to whither and die. No matter how hard I chucked the stupid thing against my passenger seat, I just couldn’t sustain a phone call longer than five minutes. After one too many conversations ending with, “Uhp! Hold on I think my phone’s gonna–! Die. It’s dead. You can’t hear me,” I knew that no matter how many financial algorithms I thought I could concoct in my sleep, I couldn’t hold out for the iPhone any longer.

So last night, sweaty and hamster-haired from the gym, I drove to the Verizon store, asked for a battery and some new screen covers, and left spending less than I would for an entire month of data plan service.

Am I less cool because I don’t have a smart phone? Maybe. I may not be able to play Angry Birds or inter-phoneular Scrabble, and I do feel a lot like an old man, but that’s okay. I made an adult decision not to bankrupt myself or ask my parents for more money, even in the face of looking uncool. So maybe the guy at the Verizon store thought I was a hobo and said, “Yeah, your phone is pretty old, so I don’t think we have any cases for it,” but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I still have my extra $30 every month, and I can spend it on something as mature as my decision. Like booze.

My Stupid Old Phone

Sarah Palin Ignites Ire In The Heart Of Many

And one day, someone will be smart enough to run a line of kerosene from his or her heart to Palin’s, so that she may ignite as well. AND THEN THIS NIGHTMARE CAN END.

“No no, good, hire me the guy who LOST the last election. He’ll. Be. Just. The. Man. For. The. Job.” – Sarah Palin  Dolores Umbridge Sarah Palin

In her endless “Look at me! Look at me!” campaign, Sarah Palin decided to hire Michael Glassner, formerly of John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign (which, ya know, HE LOST), as her new “chief of staff” for “SarahPAC” which I liberally put into “air quotes” because I don’t want to “validate them.”

Here’s the real story:  http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/11/palin-hires-chief-of-staff/

The painful conclusion that smart people draw from all of this is that she’s just one step closer to actually running for prom queen hockey booster association king president.

Hey, remember when it was cool to create a political action campaign and just name it after yourself? Because it pertains to nothing besides yourself?

My favorite narcissist/best friend Caitlin Condit loves looking at herself in the mirror. And when you call her out on it, she says, “Yeah, I do it because I look good.” And at least you can know that she’s telling you what she really believes.

When you catch Sarah Palin looking at herself in the mirror, she says, “Yeah! Erm, it’s for… Liberty! (??) *WINK.*”

Q: When will she fade into obscurity?
A: Not soon enough.

Day Three: Biscuits and Gray-vee

Today was a boring day. Just an all out fruits and veggies medley. I do find myself, however, without many cravings (just like Jajoo said on his website) except one: SAUSAGE BISCUITS AND GRAVY.

God help me and my love for that tangy gravy goodness. This local place? Oliver’s? They make this ONE THING that’s like, their version of Eggs Benedict? But they call it Eggs Oliver?? And it’s just like Eggs Benedict BUT GET THIS: it’s on BISCUITS WITH SAUSAGE GRAVY HOLYSHITYEAHSCREWTHATHOLLANDAISE.

[Quick Sidebar: Just looked up how to spell Hollandaise and found its made with egg yolks. Egg on egg action, Eggs Ben?? Guess they didn’t care about LDL levels in the 1894 Waldorf Astoria.]

So that’s mostly how I’m feeling today. That, and like, kind of cleansed. I guess that’s to be expected after a couple of fiber rich days, but ya know, just keeping you plebes in the loop and all. It’s tough work.

Well anyway, tomorrow’s banana day. So I get to eat eight bananas. And drink three glasses of milk. And eat all the throw up soup I want.

As a result, a neat thing I got to do today was buy sweet, sweet (and local!) Cloverleaf milk from the Co-op AND THEN two grass-fed beef New York Strip steaks from the Kinport Junction. But those are for beef day. A whole banana day away.

OH. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT PART.

Vegetable day, though rough and full of roughage, did not yield many results. Scale went down by one today. *Drum roll plz*

NET LOSS = -3

Live Blogging: The Day After Christmas In Footie Pajamas

Allow me to spare you the doldrums of yet ANOTHER Christmas blog (not to mention another day-after-Christmas post). For my birthday this year, my dad and step-mom got me a pair of Hoodie Footie pajamas from the PajamaGram company. They are monogrammed, fluffy and baby pink.

THIS is the live blogging experience of their maiden voyage on my body.

Feet!

5:01 PM: No spontaneous weight gain. “Easy A” has just ended. I’m taking these damn footies off. Bon voyage, extra skin. But I’ll leave ya’ll with a picture, just because you’ve been so good. 😉

4:54 PM: Matt and I got up to eat some ice cream. I just wanna take these damn footies off and run a mile or something. I fear I may start to fill out this extra fluffy skin. STAY TUNED TO SEE IF I SPONTANEOUSLY GAIN ONE HUNDRED POUNDS.

4:49 PM: GETTING UP TO GET WATER. IT’S SERIOUSLY WARM IN HERE.

4:47 PM: STARTING TO FEEL LIKE MY INSIDES ARE COOKING. Heart beat increasing. Way too insulated. Head kinda hurts. MSG not helping anything.

4:44 PM: TANGENTIAL UPDATE: A little while ago, Matt moved into a new position because the sun had been shining violently through the blinds and interfering with his ability to watch “Easy A.” The sun just set below the edge of the window, and Matt has since moved back into more comfortable Position A. Realizing I’ve spent the day in footie pajamas as the sun sets? Not as comforting.

4:4o PM: I found a new, slightly sunken and reclined position that has stretched out the extra skin while simultaneously making me feel hotter. UPDATE: NO ERRANT RICE FOUND IN EXTRA SKIN.

4:31 PM: My hip kinda hurts, and I’ve sunken down into a little hole in the couch, but I really want some water. The extra fuzzy skin is kind of annoying, but don’t feel like getting off the couch to hydrate/fix it. “Easy A” has reached its climax, and I’m hitting a new low.

4:21 PM: Finished off the sesame chicken. Did not slip getting food. Footie pajamas have this weird middle flap thing, as if I got laproscopic surgery and have a bunch of extra skin leftover. Worried some errant rice grains may have spilled off the plate and are lost in the fluffy skin. STAY TUNED TO SEE IF IT’S AN ISSUE.

4:15 PM: To avoid awkward situation and taste mixing, I not only asked Matt if I could have his Chinese (to which he responded, “Uh yeah? I told you could already.”) BUT I ALSO WASHED OFF MY PLATE. And! Found one last tiny fork, answering the question on everyone’s lips, NO SESAME GLAZE FOR THESE THUMB HOLES.

4:08 PM: Wondering if I should wash plate off before getting Chinese. WILL RESIDUAL SWEET GLAZE INFLUENCE SAVORY SESAME TASTE? THAT’S SOMETHING I DON’T WANT. SOMETHING I DO WANT: SODA. SOMETHING I DON’T HAVE: SODA.

4:06 PM: Debating going for the Chinese leftovers. Realizing that footie grips will aid in walk to refrigerator.

4:00 PM: Feet are notoriously cold, possibly due to poor circulation. Footie pajamas provide insulation for feet, but still feel unsettlingly chilly. “Easy A” is no cool comedy, however, I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU SEE IT.

3:56 PM: Finished ham plate. Still hungry. Matt brought over Chinese food, and offered me HIS leftovers. Do I indulge in double leftover jeopardy? KEYS HAVE NOT BEEN GLAZED. I may be too lazy to get the extra buns, but not enough to not go the extra mile for that glaze.

3:53 PM: Using fingers to eat ham results not in matted fleece, but in glazed fingers. OPENS DOOR FOR GLAZED KEYS. STAY TUNED TO SEE IF I NEGLECT TO LICK THE GLAZE OFF BEFORE THE NEXT UPDATE.

3:48 PM: Used tiny bun to make tiny sandwich. Successfully kept glaze off sleeves. Extra ham needs to be eaten by hand. Extra tiny buns too far away. MAY RESULT IN MATTED FLEECE. STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES.

3:44 PM: Put thumbs in thumb holes. Made it difficult to get leftover ham. Worried glaze will mat the fuzzy fleece. Lack of clean forks may exacerbate possibility.

3:34 PM: Stepped into footie pajamas. Zipped up. Found spot on couch next to friend, Matt, to view “Easy A.” Starting to feel warm already.

Happy Birthday, BRITTANY

It’s mah 23rd birfday!

What does that mean?

Well, my hairdresser just gave me a GIANT glass of wine while she trimmed me up, AND I got a free brownie from Geraldine’s Bakery,  conveniently located just above where I get my hairs cut.

Delicious brownie and (slightly!) shorter hairs.

It also meant Birthday “LOST” on Skype with Jamie AND decorating the three foot, pre-lit, fake Christmas tree I got for $15 off the display at Bed, Bath & Beyond yesterday. It just wouldn’t be a birthday without some Christmas cheer. My mom sent me a Ziploc baggy full of old ornaments from my house–ones of me from when I was just a little tyke, and ones I loved from then, too.

You might not guess this, but as a child, my two favorite things ever were cats and Minnie Mouse. And okay, a third: myself. So, yes, my tree DOES look like a toddler decorated it.

 

Baby Me and Baby Minnie with a kitten, as ornaments. NOTE: We are both wearing pink bows.

 

The whole dang tree!

Now that that’s over, I’m going to do some laundry, drink some more wine and prepare myself for sushi at Sumisu later.

With the only cultural significance left to my increasing age being a discount on car insurance and a bunch of gag canes and incontinence pills by “Over the Hill!” Manufacturers, it’s interesting, now, to associate meaning with another year gone by.

For me, being 23 will mean living alone, working a lot, not making money, not seeing family, missing old friends and cultivating new ones. But most of all, it will mean trying to figure out exactly what from myself by the time the next Dec. 18 rolls around. Here’s hoping I’m ringing it in the right way.

Cheers,
B