Monthly Archives: October 2008

In Memorandum(s)

This is past due, for both of the people I would like to remember today, but I want to remember them all the same.

First came Andrea, over at Punk Rock Mommy. I “knew” her only through her blog. She was a fellow breast cancer blogger (having had IBC), and in fact, she found me. Andrea passed away on July 5th of this year, and I have never managed to post about it. I wanted to, but…I just couldn’t. Even though I never met her, her death was intensely saddening to me. I think about her fairly regularly, and even now, as I visit her blog to read the words of her continuously blogging husband and family, I always end up crying. Visit her blog and read her story. You will not be sorry. What beautifully open hearted people. My favorite post is perhaps “My Last Blog“, in which the wisdom and grace that positively radiated from her actually comes back to bite you from the other side. My descriptions cannot do justice. Andrea and her family share in a way that is gut-wrenchingly, beautifully generous. I wish I could have met Andrea personally. But she was kind enough to leave this behind, so I could know what I missed. What we all missed.

Sadly, I have another “blog friend” to add here. Stig was my only non-breast cancer blog friend. I never actually exchanged more than an email or two with him personally, but he moved me just the same. He had lung cancer, disgnosed at age 34, and like Andrea it was he who found me, through this blog. His battle lasted about one year, during which he got married to the girl of his dreams. And she lost him so soon after…Part of the reason I “knew” him less is because he unable to share as consistently as Andrea. It seems every time Stig got some momentum going, he had a medical set back. Once he disappeared for many many months. Finally he came back, only to have to leave for another surgery. That was May or so. I’ve been looking for him (on his blog) every once in a while ever since, as had my sister. Recently, my sis and I had a conversation about Stig and Andrea. I told her about the emotional force that was Andrea; she asked what I thought of Stig’s long silence. We made up a nice story about how he hadn’t posted in ages because his last surgery went so well that he was in full remission and too busy enjoying life with his new wife to bother blogging to us.

Sadly, today I checked again, and this time read over the many comments. Buried in there is a comment left by one of his friends, saying that Stig passed away on June 7th. His blog is left unfinished. Words of hope hanging there, waiting forever to be fulfilled. Another blog friend that will not be forgotten.

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Obama and the Anti-Christ

You all know I don’t really like to bring politics to this blog. But I just have to fire off one thing that’s been driving me crazy…

That is, the number of screeching, paranoiac religious nutters claiming that “Obama is the anti-Christ [proved by the fact that] the book of Revelations clearly states that the anti-Christ will be a Muslim”. Now, I know that these people are obviously of the nut-jobish persuasion, so perhaps that’s why no one is bothering to point out their stupidity, but I just wanna say…I certainly claim to be no biblical expert. Yet they do (and that’s why they think they will get certain people to believe them). So how come I know, in a split second, that their claim is not even theoretically possible, and they do not?

Because the book of Revelations was written by John the Baptist. [Correction: I meant John the Apostle] Obvious logic: John was a disciple of Jesus. Meaning that even if the precise date of authorship can be disputed, the fact that it was written within a lifespan of Jesus cannot be. Even a generous post-Jesus dating puts the document within the 1st century AD. (Interesting aside: Last year, in my family’s big trip together we visited the supposed site of where it was written, in modern-day Selcuk, Turkey, next to ancient Ephesus. An extremely interesting and highly recommended trip.)

So, how would such a book make the claim that the anti-Christ will be a Muslim, when Mohammed, the founder of Islam, wasn’t even born for another 600ish years after Revelations was written?

Tell me, how (HOW?!) can these people not realize that? Again, maybe no one finds it worth their time to bother pointing out such an obvious spoiler, but for people making this claim, who claim to be so religiously knowledgeable, I feel someone should tell them that they have “dumbass” egg on their faces. These people clearly think they are going to scare a certain segment of people into believing them, based on their “obvious authority” of their religion and the Bible. So, just in case the latter people exist, let us help them raise the bar for their standard of bamboozlement. If you come across any of them, please, point out the obvious if for no other reason but to shut them up. Consider it a public service – to us and them and the religion they claim to be speaking for.

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My Worst Flight Ever

Some of you have heard this story. But those same some of you seem to love it. And the rest of you are often asking me, “so what’s the worst flight you ever had?” So, I’m going to tell you, maybe or maybe not for the first time.

I had been flying international for about a year. We still had 3 classes of service to Europe at the time (instead of just 2, like most American carriers have now) and I was working First Class. The head of our crew – and my working partner – was a famously horrid woman. A “Senior Mamma” who was just nasty at every opportunity. I can’t remember her name – must’ve been Crusty or something like that. She was intimidating, and while I had stood up to her upon our first meeting – and thus earned a smidgen of respect – she could still make me nervous.

We started our service; I went out in the cabin with crudite and dressing to deliver. My first two guys, were both in suits and the Aisle Guy outed himself as a jerk immediately. At the time we had mini video players built right into the seats and before I could even place the crudite by his seat, he was having a mini freak-out because, as he tried to shut the door of his movie player, the door wasn’t catching and would come back open. Pushpushpush. slam. SLAM. SLAM!

“This is unacceptable!” he shrieked. “This godd**m thing doesn’t work! What the…?”

His temper went from 0 to 100 in, literally, 2 seconds. All he needed to do was take a breath and push the tape door gently. As slammed the door compulsively, I tried to tell him. “Sir, if you just – sir. No, just push slow – sir.” (sigh) Tray still in hand, him not listening to me, yet getting more red, sweaty-faced by the millisecond, I simply reached over to close it gently for him. At that moment, we hit the slightest bump of turbulence. The Window Guy next to him thought I would tip the tray. I was prepared for the bump, but I wasn’t prepared for Window Guy to lunge at me. I jerked away and then the crudite flipped off the tray.

In slow motion it tumbled through the air (I swear). Flip. Flip…clunk. Right. in. his. crotch.
Fuming Temper Aisle Guy. Not trying-to-be-helpful Window Guy, of course.

Aisle Guy is wearing a taupe colored, fine weave suit. Now with a blotch of mayonnaise-based dressing on the naughty parts. I run and get him a wet towel, Crusty shrieking “What’d you do?” as I passed her in a blur of motion. Of course I vomited apologies, but to no avail. Aisle Guy was in a full rant of yelling.

Do you know what you’ve done! DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU”VE DONE?! You’ve RUINED ME! You’ve RUINED me! I have a meeting first thing in the morning. I have a MEETING. Do you know what you’ve done? You have RUINED me!”

He was so focused on screaming, he wasn’t even trying to clean himself up. I juggled trying to clean him up – which meant plucking mayonnaise-covered pieces of carrot and celery from his crotch in between his flailing hands, while uttering apologies, suggestions as to how we could get his suit cleaned and get him fresh clothes from his suitcase upon landing, all the ways we might salvage the situation…but he didn’t want to hear any of it. He just wanted to yell.

This went on for several minutes, coupled with Crusty heaving a total lack of support upon me every time I went into the galley, until I’d had enough. I understand why the guy was angry, even if it wouldn’t have happened if he’d had just one moment of patience and hadn’t been throwing a hissy fit in the first place. But I’d given him his moment to yell and I was simply over it. He continued to yell, “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU”VE DONE?” and I finally stepped back and said, “I know…(and, timed to say the repeated phrase in unison with him) I’ve ruined you!” (*cue restrained but obviously tempting eye roll from me*)

That finally seemed to cork the berating, as he didn’t have any other lines to deliver. Everyone in First Class just stared. I went into the galley and begged Crusty to let me switch with a colleague in the Main Cabin so I didn’t have to face them again. She said, “No.” I asked her to go out there. Just for a minute so I could regain my composure. She simply said, “No.”

So I sucked it up and went back out there. It’s like preforming a one-woman show to a booing audience. I made it through the service without further incident, except for everyone being very careful around me. (Husband fiercely whispered to wife: Dear! Help the lady out and hand her your tray so she doesn’t have to reach.”)

I have a hard time imagining how I would have handled it today. Of course I would have been apologetic, but I now have a much lower tolerance for jerks (the inevitable evolution of an F/A as the years pass!). After the way he acted, I’m not sure I would even feel bad. But please, cross your fingers I never have to find out.

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I Love a Man Who Makes Me Laugh

Yesterday, in the course of a conversation about one of our favorite shows, Battlestar Galactica (or, “BSG” to the geeky cool kids):

“What if they’re about to bring in a time travel episode or something like that? It would be very un-BSG of them. I mean, it’d be the first element of sci-fi that they’ve introduced. Well…except that they’re living in space. Oh, and fighting robots.”

Man are so cute. I’m still giggling, and I just had to share.

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Traveling the US

I admit that I’m one of those people who has seen a fair amount of the world, yet little of my own country. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I’m not interested in America or have never left my state. I have been up and down the east coast all my life, have lived in Chicago and have visited a few west coast cities. But I definitely fall victim to the feeling of choosing to travel far over experiencing one’s “own back yard”. I might not always be able to travel overseas at the drop of a hat, so feeI better do that while I can.

When Del and I became very serious, I had this weird feeling of being very impatient for a certain something. That something wasn’t a particular social or relationship landmark, it was just this feeling of not being able to wait until we had a long and detailed past. Like looking forward to being well into a thick novel, being familiar with the plot twists, able to look back at how far you’d come with the well-loved story, finding the author a dependable source for a good read. I love having 200 pages in my left hand over which I might feel nostalgic. (Gee, can you tell I like to read?) Well, that’s the thing I’ve come to have with moving back to the States. I am really anxious to get to know it in more detail. To know more of its individual pages. And finally, I’ve been able to get started.

First off, Del and I went to an overnight party at one of Del’s new friends’ houses on Chesapeake Bay. To me, Chesapeake Bay is like Martha’s Vineyard – it’s well known, but I don’t really know why, other than people saying it’s nice. To me, “Chesapeake Bay” sounds like some department store’s in-house label. Anyhow, we finally got to go, had a fantastic time, and I can see why it’s a familiar place even in name. What a lovely spot. A gorgeous house just an hour out of DC, on the water, with a refreshingly small town feeling.

I also (finally) visited my big sis in New Mexico. I’ve wanted to see the Southwest for years and after two years of sis living there, I’m finally (relatively) close enough to make it out there. And it wasn’t a disappointment! Albuquerque feels like a charmingly quirky and stylish city. We also took a road trip to Mesa Verde National Park, and I’m not sure I ever felt to patriotic. The land is just stunning. (Although, I’m not sure I could live in such dryness. My throat hurt intensely the entire time.) I kept thinking, “It’s just like in the movies!”

I’ve also always had a particular soft spot for Native Americans. It just seems they’ve never really stopping being ignored (certainly relative to what their cultures deserve from this country) and still pretty much get the shaft. We’ve come a long way, but a point of no return for their culture was passed long ago. (Nope, I won’t need the soapbox today…I’m done.) So I was really happy to learn more about their history than I ever have and to see some of their current land. Who knew they had adobe “palaces” 800 years ago? Not me.

I’m not claiming that my wanderlust for all things far and wide will telescope. But though I will always be happy to return to Europe, I am equally satisfied to expanding some new chapters hre at home. I’m sure I could learn a lot from that under-attended “back yard”.

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