Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Ah, pretty, pretty.

So I've completed my experiment of Covergirl lip stuff. (from a couple of posts ago, I'd put a link, but I'm in a hurry and I don't know how to do that yet) I dedicated myself, and my lips to determining whether or not their double lip gloss actually had staying power. The commercial had been driving me crazy, so, I went and tried it out.


That stuff stays!! Through 4 cups of coffee, lunch, 2 diet pepsis, 1 bottle of water, 45 min at the gym, and dinner. Now, it's not as glossy by the end of the day, but the stain is still there. This is good news, if you like the color.

Guys: good news for you!! Once the color is on your sweeties lips, it won't rub off on you. Also, if you are one of those guys, you won't have to worry about lip smuges on your shirt collar.

Downfalls: Shrinkwrap. There is no tab to pull it off, so two fingernails, and a small, but alarming gouge from a small knife is necissary to open. Also, kinda pricey, 10$ a pop.

Non-lip-stuff talk: I'm drinking the largest, most espresso filled latte and my head is starting to float away, is that normal? On a positive note, only about 20 pages of thesis writing left to do!! woo-hoo!! I'm at page 108 right now...then formating, and bibliography, then....shots!!!! (can you tell the coffee is doing a lot of the 'enthusiastic' writing? i.e. lots of these '!!!!!!!!')

Thursday, September 21, 2006

As Promised

As promised, my last plane post.

I went home again to Montana for the Christmas after the nosedive incident. This time, the airport in Helena, MT was accepting flights from Northwest. I guess our little capital had finally grown large enough. As it turns out, they had completely revamped the small airport. Truly a sad, sad loss.

I grew up going to the airport late in my footed PJs with my mom and little brother to see my dad off on business trips. He didn't go too often, but it was a special thing when he did. We got to stay up late, and see the plane take off (no security in the old days). The little airport had all of three gates, two downstairs to walk out onto the tarmac, and one upstairs for the planes that were big enough to utilize the tunnel walkway.

The entire place was splashed in that orange '70s decorators reveled in. A two seater plane hung precariously from the rafters painted in black and orange sporting a dusty, and lopsided mannequin pilot. Heads from animals covered the walls. Dear, elk, antelope, mountain sheep, jackalopes, buffalo, and a moose. Some had their entire body displayed on a stick or a small piece of rock like the mountain goats, bear, rabbits, badgers and coyotes.

Oh, it was lovely. There was a dark bar lined with casino machines and filled with smoke. The airport entertained children with a packman video game and an old candy machine. Now you can buy espresso there, and all the dead animals are gone. I miss the old one.

Anyway, so as I was saying, I flew direct from Memphis to Minneapolis to Helena. An uneventful flight except we couldn't land in Helena. It was too foggy. So, we circle for about 45 min, then the pilot announces we have to go to another airport before we run out of gas, great. So we land in Great Falls (about 90 miles northeast of Helena). Then they can't get us off the plane because their walkway thing isn't tall enough, or was too tall, whatever, we couldn't deplane. So 30 minutes later they find a ladder for us and we get off. Then, we all wait in the terminal for another 30 minutes for a bus to take us to Helena.

We get on the bus, make it about halfway before the bus begins swerving and almost goes off the icy road. Oh no, it wasn't the road, it was the driver. He couldn't see because the defrost had stopped working. So we wait on the side of the road for another bus. When we arrived in Helena it was 2 in the morning.

The next Christmas I went to Paris.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


As per my previous post, I am conducting an experiment. While experimenting, however, I thought I’d entertain everyone with a few little plane frights as I still don’t have this ‘flying bug’ out of my system yet.

Flying to Montana for Christmas is not particularly fun. It is stressful, at best, to fly north during the winter. Maybe that is why those of the avian nature have developed the clear sense to fly south for the winter. But, partly because I like to see my parents at least once a year, and partly due to the fact that a white Christmas is the only way to go, I will head to Montana.

Years ago, the lovely airline, Northwest, had a cheap flight, on equally cheap planes, from Memphis to Minneapolis and on to Bozeman, MT. I’m not from Bozeman, but, in Montana, you make do with what you will and my parents drove 160miles from Helena to pick me up at the ‘international’ airport in Bozeman.

I did this for two years.

One year I spent the night in Minneapolis having missed the one and only connection to Bozeman for the evening.

The second year, I made the connection, survived a semi-bumpy ride through the mid-west clouds, and nearly hit a mountain. OK, maybe I’m being a tad dramatic, but that’s how it seemed. We flew out of this storm over the flat plains of eastern Montana and Wham, right there, as the clouds cleared were the Bridgers. Really, high, really. The plane banked up a little smoothly arced over the mountains, then began its descent.

There were about three or four of us on a fairly large plane (obviously the rest of Montana had missed the one and only connection until New Years) and as the plane descended from the mountains, or rather, started a nosedive, we all sat up in our seats. Everyone kind-of exchanged this look of horror (we’d all been peacefully sleeping in our section of the near-empty plane). The strangest thing is it was that look of ‘if you scream I will, but I’m not going to go first, because then I’ll just look stupid, and I’d rather look stupid with you, but not alone, because if this plane is going down, damn-it, I’m not going to embarrass myself alone.’

So we stared alternately at each other, the window, the approaching runway, where was that damn flight attendant? Should someone go up to the front and knock on the cabin? Did they even announce we were landing? Are you going to panic? Well, I’m panicking, so maybe we could just all….Oh

We landed.

Why no announcement? They didn’t want to wake us up.

Why so sharp a dive? Coming from the east over the mountains with the runway right at the edge causes planes to either drop fast or circle a lot.

I would’ve preferred to circle.

Tomorrow’s installation; the next two Christmases
Day after? All about lip gloss.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Review

Picture courtesy of CoverGirl.com

OK, I've seen this commercial a lot lately, a lot! So I've decided, CoverGirl, does your 'Outlast Double lipShine' actually last all day? Is it extra shiny because you have a special brush of clear stuff to apply after the color? Will it really stay on my lips and not my coffee cup? Ah, we shall see, we shall see.

On a separate note, I did laundry today. I did laundry for 4 hours. I did laundry for 4 hours which required hiking, soap struggles, and a $20. I will post on this when I'm no longer so irrate about laundry.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I joined the YMCA today. I’m not one for joining gyms, mostly because I’ll pay money and not go, but I’m turning over a new leaf…well, let’s hope.

I guess I don’t have much to post today, except that I remember swimming at the Y twice a week, all throughout my childhood. We’d play, and race, and then struggle into warm, PJ’s, you know, the kind with the feet. My Dad would give my brother and I a dime each to get a small handful of those tart candies in the machine by the desk as he and my Mom chatted with the desk guy, a friend who apparently still works there, nearly 30 years later.

Then we’d bundle into coats and be carried to the little yellow Volvo in the parking lot, our hair freezing, the sky full of cold and stars. I don’t know why I only remember the winter at the Y, but I do, probably because it’s longer in Montana.

Later, I became a lifeguard, then a swim instructor. Even later I moved away to go to college, found new pools, hotsprings, cities without city pools and without the Y.

Interesting that I remember all this now, all because I live in a little Brooklyn neighborhood with a YMCA.

Monday, September 11, 2006

One winter’s morning

To keep in tune with the past couple of posts, I thought I’d relate a story from some years ago.

My Mother’s youngest sister married at the end of November some 10 years ago, and we decided to join in the party leaving my brother and my Dad to their own for a few days.

The wedding took place in northern California, two plane rides to Oakland, and one train up to Sacramento. We left Montana early in the morning, huffing through the cold and snow up the ladder and into the plane. Winter had arrived early, and left a bleak, white trail through the valley.

We settled into our small seats, feet freezing, and nervously chatted about the upcoming event. After awhile, we began to realize a lot of time had passed without so much as a proposal for lift off. It was about then that the intercom sputtered to life:

“Well, umm, this is the pilot folks, looks like we’re going to be taking off a bit late today.” Clearing of the throat. “Seems like the compass is frozen, but” A brief pause through which I imagine he tapped on the contraption verifying his diagnosis. Then much more cheerfully, “we’ve got a hair dryer up here now, so I’m sure it’ll all be thawed out in a few minutes.”

Wait just one damn minute, did he actually say hairdryer? They’re thawing out instruments used to fly a metal, frozen contraption into the air using a device meant to tease high school girls’ hair into oblivion? Nonononono…

“Yeah, OK, that looks good” humming very much like a hairdryer in the background. “looks like this is working, so we’ll be in the air soon.”


Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Weary Traveler

Incredibly as it may sound, there are a few differences between living in Montana, Memphis, and New York. Among these differences are the quality of service, or the lack there of, and the quirks attributed to the airport experience in each place.

Since 9/11, certain safety measures have been put into place, which, as we all know, are kind-of a pain in the ass. The levels to which these ‘safety’ measures are employed speak volumes about a city. Take the security to get into the terminal, for example.

In Montana, they make sure you take off your shoes, belts, coats, discard any liquids (apologetically), etc.. They then help you grab your shoes, hand you your coat, run after people who have mistakenly left their cell phone, and encourage you to have a nice flight.

In Memphis, they ignore you, don’t care if you take your shoes off, talk to one another as your things move through the security check-point, and steal your cell phone.

In New York, they are quite friendly, but more than strict. They hold 80 year old grandfathers under tight scrutiny for their pacemakers, glare menacingly at anyone who attempts to come close to getting in line with a bottle of water, announce repeatedly to take off your shoes, belts, and the like, and dissect every item that passes through security. Once through, however, they smile, tell you to have a good flight, and joke with you as you struggle to grab all your things amid the crowd of travelers.

Another great example of the differences attributed to each city, is the gathering of your luggage after a flight.

In Montana, the guy who checks you in also; directs the plane to its parking spot, pushes the ladder into place, and loads and unloads the luggage. All this occurs on time, and you may wait 15 to 20 minutes to gather your bags after a rather disturbing flight (another post entirely).

In Memphis, you exit the plane to an empty terminal after roughly 8pm, or a busy one between the hours of 11am and 8pm. Either way, you will walk a couple miles to an old escalator, which drives you down to the basement for storage. If you’re lucky, they’ll remember they perhaps stored a few travelers in the basement who may have brought something in the hold of maybe one of those flying machines out there, and maybe you might like it back, eventually, when they get around to it, and if you’re lucky.

In New York, you walk briskly through a never-ending stream of people to a luggage carrousel that is clearly too small for the population. You wait 5 people deep for your bag, trying to see your bag, hoping that is your bag, desperately struggling for that bag, then collapsing just short of that bag to wait another go around…if that was your bag.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pink Soap

Talking on a cell phone in the bathroom. The only appropriate time to do this is in a very loud bar and it’s -50 F, or a hurricane is raging outside. It’s gross, it’s rude, and just don’t do it sans alcohol, otherwise I’m going to throw pink soap on you.

Flew to Montana for a few days. Really had a great trip despite the fact that I had to suffer through a longer, more expensive flight than to London. I live in this country, yet my mail apparently is still delivered via pony express, and travel, at it’s best (by that I mean coach, not that first class exists on flights to Montana, it doesn’t. I was bumped up once, but the planes are too small for first class!), a weary traveler arrives merely 30 min late, one scrumptious meal of exactly 4 pretzels, more than 8 hours of flight and a mad 15 min dash from one end of the Salt Lake terminal to the other on your transfer.

At it’s worst, overnight delays, no pretzels, turbulence, one or two good scares, crammed next to a very large passenger, and running out of money to buy another glass of mind-calming red wine, because if you don’t you may need to be forcibly restrained.

Once landed safely, however, I’m usually in a better mood….that is until I have to get my luggage, more later…