Tuesday, March 29, 2005

What You've all Been Waiting For

So ever since i became a flight attendant, people have asked me to tell stories of crazy things happening on the plane...well..for the first three months...not much happens. we load people on, goof around, sling out some snacks and drinks, and gett'm to where they want to go. simple.

Today we landed in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. We were completely full. Nothing unusual. I was flying A, which meant i was in charge...kind of. We pull up to the gate, i look out the window to wait for the ops agent to pull the jetbridge up to the plane. But there was no one there. there were a couple people in the jetbridge, just no one was operating the jetbridge. I just figured they were waiting for the ops agent. And we waited...and waited...about 10 minutes go by, and still no one is there. at this point i have the door cracked enough to where i can see and talk to the people in the jetbridge. during this time i'm just talking to passengers up front and letting a little girl tell me jokes. the Captain has made an announcment that we "were having a little delay" and that we'd be off shortly. i could just imagine someone getting closterphobic in the middle of the plane and going crazy with no way out.

Finally someone pulls up the jetbridge to the plane. she walks up, gets her face real close to the crack in the door and starts whispering something to me. She says that I need to keep the door closed, and that immigrations was outside. I had wanted people on my plane. great. so slowly we have law enforcement trickle down to the end of the jetbridge. people on the plane are getting ancy. they have no idea whats goin on. i can't exactly make an announcement about it. just had to wait and act as if nothing was wrong.

finally they let me open the door. they make an announcement about who they were. They said they were going to check Id's. everyone. EVERYONE had to show ID. they inquired about peoples nationality. one at a time. a couple people they told to stay on the plane. towards the back there were some mexican guys they made stay. At this point i'm staying out of the way. Still trying to do my job, i'm telling these poor people who are deplaning to "have a nice day". right.

So these poor mexican guys were illegal immigrants. they handcuffed them all and took'm off the plane. i can just imagine waiting to board a plane, and seeing guys being taken off in handcuffs.

as we boarded the next flight, people were joking around with me about it. "Looks like you've had an interesting day." "Never a dull moment 'round here" i reply.

So yeah that was the first crazy thing that happened to me. Oh, and when you get mad that an airline's flights are late, this is just one thing that could happen thats out of our hands.

I was a tough little booger

Saturday, March 26, 2005

For the Love of the Game

I love the game of baseball. I've played it all my life. Played organized until my sophomore year in High School, then switched to Track for talent reasons. I organized sandlot games in college. I've been kicked off many fields for jumping fences on locked fields just to play a little ball.

When I was younger, I was a pretty good player. I was a bit undersized, sometimes I got stuck in right field, just me and the dandilions, getting smacked in the head by horseflies in southern Louisiana. But I always gave my best, and i could lay down a mean bunt.

I played in coach pitch league, and I wasn't bad. Then I had to make the transition from coach pitch to kid pitch. I was terrified. I refused to play. I decided to sit it out. My father would have nothing of it. He wouldn't have a quitter for a son, so he forced me, against all my efforts, to get out there and play. I did, i ended up making the all star team with i think 5 hits the entire season. I hustled and was a team player. I could steal bases. (cept for that time i got picked off for looking at the girls in the stands.) But I thank God my pop made me play, because i wouldn't be the same person today.

A lot of you know about my love for baseball, and i'm sure you're all wondering how i'm taking this whole steroid controversy. Well, let me start out by saying that I have my own glove, my own ball, and my own bat. Theres a zillion softball leagues here in chicago, which i plan on joining. I've got friends to go play catch with. Theres hundreds of minor league games to go watch. I think i'll be fine.

I don't believe everyone is juiced. I believe A LOT are. I also believe baseball isn't the only sport that has players taking steroids. I also believe that steroids can't help you hit a ball. Case in point, Jeremy Giambi, admitting that he's taken steroids, is a lifetime .263 hitter, 52 HRs in 7 years, and is currently looking for work.

Sometimes controversy and scandal is necessary for change. Its called precedents. We live and we learn. Its a big reason why we learn History in school. The Civil War, even though it was not started over slavery (ok, i want no comments regarding this comment. later post), became a big controversy and we're better off because of it. Its a natural progression. The betterment of the human race. We screw up, we fix the problem, and we move on.

Baseball is trying to fix it, and we've got a little ways to go, but we're trying. Theres no reason to have a 5 strike policy. Its ludicris. Ok so i can cheat and get caught 5 times before i'm REALLY punished for it. That was made abundantly clear during the hearings.

I also believe Jose Canseco is a bum and a sell-out, looking for only 1 thing...money. Ken Caminiti is the man. He admitted he had made a mistake, shed light on the problem, yet never mentioned names. He never profited from ratting on his own players. He never broke the code of teammates, yet Baseball is changing for the better because of him.

Baseball is a game for the common man. Thats the way it began. Even the undersized kid in right field whos playing with the dandilions gets a chance at the plate. Its something that doesn't happen in football and basketball. EVERYONE gets a shot. EVERYONE has a role. You don't have to be a spectacular athlete to play. I mean for cryin out loud, 70% of major league players are out of shape. They're just like you and me. But thats just it. Just like you and me. We all make mistakes. We all screw up. We all have become the victim of greediness and selfishness. And sometimes it takes the embarrassment of these mistakes becoming public. But in the end we all pick up the pieces, put our lives back together, learn from our mistakes, and move on.

-JJ

Friday, March 18, 2005

This stuff really works!!

ok just a couple side notes first.

-flew "A" for the first time this past trip (A is the attendant that is basically in charge, gets paid an extra $2 per hr, and gets to make all those announcements from memory) and i had to fly..get this, in one day: ontario (ca)-san jose-san diego-san jose-san diego-sacramento-ontario.

-i thought the steroid hearings were disgusting. everyone looked uncomfortable. that guy who was drilling selig was right. why do they need 5 strikes? my favorite was the guy who "lost his train of thought." thats called "i forgot the story i had made up"

CONFIDENCE. no kidding. this stuff really works. As you know i had to fly "A" the other day, and the first day i read everything out of my manual. its nerve racking to be in front of everyone spouting off pages of material from memory. so i read it. not supposed to, but i did. that night i ended up leaving my manual on the plane, the pilot found it and returned it. but if i had lost that thing i'd be SCCAAARREWED!

so the next day i say "ya know what, forget it. i know this stuff. and i'm not about to lose my manual. i've got 6 legs today, and i'm just gonna throw caution to the wind and jump in." so i did. first leg, i did that REEALLY LONG emergency PA (the one with the mask and everything) and when we're done, my "C" flight attendant said "ya know, that was better than when you read it!" so the rest is history. piece of cake.

that morning i was sitting in my hotel, bout ready to leave, watching tv, when that Enzyte commercial comes on. The one with Bob taking the natural male enhancement. and if you listen closely, what really happens to Bob? Bob gains CONFIDENCE. thats what its all about , friends. confidence.

now, we all need to have limits. i'm not suggesting anyone go jump off a cliff with the confidence that they'll be fine. it probably won't happen.

You wanna approach a girl and ask her out? Forget the nice clothes, the cologne, the "thick, wavy hair" or whatever women find attractive. if you dress strange but your confident about it, the girl thinks your "unique." you know its true. how many beautiful women do you see with not very good looking guys? thousands!!

1988 World Series. Dodgers are down. Coach says "Hey Kirk (Gibson), get in there." Kirk injured himself earlier. Kirk steps up to the plate. you think he's thinking to himself "dang, i'm crippled, can't walk, theres noway i can get a hit!?" if he had, the #1 greatest world series moment might involve a yankee. (and who wants that??) HECK NO! I bet kirk was like "BRING IT ON, ECK! YOU GOT NUTHIN YA BIG PANTYWASTE!" so Kirk smacks a game winning homerun and hobbles around the diamand. BOOYEAH. the man had confidence.

-JJ

Friday, March 11, 2005

Eeny meeny miny UH OH

On the van ride to the hotel on thursday night in Hartford, CT, I learned something that forever baffled me. Other crew members were laughing at me because i was so stuck on it. I overheard a conversation about how you have to be careful when being funny over the P.A. because you never know who is going to be offended. They went on to say that a girl had gotten written up for something she said during boarding.

As you know, we have open seating at Southwest, so sometimes people have a hard time choosing between seats even though THEY'RE ALL THE SAME! Anyways, during boarding she got on the P.A. and said "eeny meeny miny moe, find a seat, c'mon lets go!" but i was baffled as to why that would offend anyone. I asked, and they said they werent sure, just that it had something to do with the "N" word. and they moved on. But i was stuck. what the heck does that have to do with the "N" word?? I asked 3 more times, but i couldn't get a straight answer. "For cryin out loud, what the heck does that phrase have to do with the "N" word???? how does that work???"

Finally i got an explanation. "Eeny meeny miney moe, catch a..." and i interjected "TIGER!!"
laughter. "nononono" they said. "thats what you say all the time. thats not how it started. Eeny meeny miney moe, catch a 'N*****' by the toe..."

UH OH. I was astonished to learn that a little game that I played my entire childhood and sometimes to this day, meant something so disgusting. How does that happen that I was never told this? does anyone else know this?well apparently some people do. some people know enough about it to complain when someone makes a fun little joke out of a little game we played as kids. what other phrases are out there like that? I could lose my job because i try to play a little game on the plane? or is it people being a little too sensitive? Because its when stuff like that happens that crew members get a little cautious of playing games, then theres stuff written about us in the newspapers how we're no fun to fly anymore. uh huh.

It just amazing to me where these little games come from. Or maybe it was all made up. maybe none of this is true. maybe ill google it. hold on, lets see....

yup, here ya go. its from a very old childrens song. crazy.

Be careful out there.

-JJ

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Just Give it Time


It just clicked


Ok so I've always loved to ski. I'd only been skiing 6 or 7 times my entire life, but if there was one thing i could do every day, it would be ski. I love cold weather, I love snow, and I enjoy going fast. So it all makes sense, right?

So when it happened where I would be working for an airline where I can fly wherever i want, i got pretty excited about the idea of skiing ALL THE TIME. I didn't own my own ski's, and christmas was coming up (Santa does still come to visit me. I think he'll continue until i get married, so I think i'll enjoy the single life for a while :) ) so i did the natural thing and i ASKED FOR A SNOWBOARD. hmm..doesn't make much sense, but i did it. i'd never done it in my life. Snowbarding that is, not doing things that don't make sense. I do that all the time.

I learned in Salt Lake City at Snowbird. Tons of fresh powder. My brother taught me. Never took a lesson. I went 5 or 6 times on the bunny slope then forced myself up the mountain. I kinda slid down. the greens there could be blacks anywhere else. Not kidding. Lucky for me there was a lot of powder, cuz learning to snowboard does a number on your rear. Just ask Stormy. I fell a million times. I was there for about 2 days. (1 full day, 2 half days) The last day i wiped bad, laid there in the middle of the slope, and i couldn't lift my head. I was there at least 5 minutes.

Went to Wisconsin a week or so ago, and fell some more. not as much, cuz i rarely left the bunny, but when i didn't fall i wasn't going very fast. I did the back and forth thing.

So I went back to salt lake this past weekend. We were there for a full day. And crazy, somehow, it all just came together. This whole time i was going carefully down the mountain, now all of a sudden, our of nowhere, i was blazin' down the mountain, barely taking time to turn, with a few jumps in between. I'D NEVER JUMPED WHEN I SKIIED. I was going faster than i'd ever gone before. An older guy on the lift asked me how i was, i told him how excited i was that it had all just clicked. He was like "what, 3 or 4 days?" True. He said same thing happened to him. he was minutes away from quitting, he was so frustrated, but he faught through it, and it all just came together. Its truly amazing how it happens. You go from barely getting down the mountain without falling to going unbelievably fast, jumping everything down the mountain. i took a lift up to the top, the lift took 5 minutes, i made it down in 3. Never fell.

This is just an encouragement for all those who are going through the frustrations of trying to snowboard. One day, it'll all just click. Just give it time. and its a whole lot more fun than skiing.

-JJ

Friday, March 04, 2005

I think i'm pathetic

Its day three. I can't really say i've done anything. Its not like i've never done nothing before. Yet, its strangely unfamiliar. My head hurts. I'm constantly hungry. I have no food. At least theres light at the end of the tunnell. And wierd that you spend all day with absolutely nothing to do and you know you have to go somewhere really late tonight and get up really early. its like christmas day where you have all day with nothing to do but dwell on the presents your gonna get the next morning...cept all i'm gettin is a big fat lump of cole. ok well maybe i can't say that, since i am going to do something fun tomorrow evening. but who looks ahead that far.The effects of boredom.

I recently posted how i was constantly busy, but all that has come to a screeching halt. Over the past three days, all that i've accomplished was a haircut. no seriously, thats it. I sat around wednesday, then i was on call for work on thursday, but they never called. at least i have an excuse for that day. then today i sat around...again. worst is, i really WASTED MY TIME. honestly. i started a project where i would go into my mvp baseball 2004 game and update all the rosters, which is a HUGE PROJECT. i spent ALL DAY...like 12-7, sitting there toying around with it, then today from 1-4:30 doing the exact same thing. and guess what!!! i'm about to give up and just go buy the new version since its only 30 bucks. i always say i dont need the new one...but i always give in. for those who care, the problem is that theres rosters for major league, AAA, and AA. thats a whole lot of roster moves. plus you can't exit the game without everything being right to play. it won't let you. and if you let the computer finish it, babe ruth ends up playing right for the royals. dang.

i think zoolander will be a good movie for the evening.

tonight i have to pick up stormy from the airport at 1:10am (i was gonna play paper rock scissors with diedra for it, but she trumped me with the "who has to work tomorrow?")...fine.

but i'm off to salt lake city in the morning for a couple days for some more 'boardin, then work next week, then to tampa for some spring training next weekend.

Its like a prisoner whos been in jail for so long that when he gets released, he doesn't know how to handle it. ive been busy for so long, i don't know how to handle boredom. hopefully ill make it through the day. plus its dreary (imagine that..winter in chicago...dreary???)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

And I keep going and going...


Me and Stormy Snowboarding in Wisconsin


not that theres anything wrong with that. So today is the first day in a while that i actually get to sit down in my own home and relax. It started the 22nd of february, tuesday, when i decided to get up early and go visit my friends in dallas for a little tuesday night dinner. I was there until thursday morning, and since its such a pain to fly into dallas (theres a little thing called the wright amendment, a federal law, where southwest can only fly into neighboring states from dallas. ridiculous i know) it took me all day to get home, not to mention that my flight to tulsa got cancelled b/c of severe weather in houston, where my plane was coming from. anyways, i got home, went to bed, got a call the next morning to sit airport standby. oook, i get to the airport around 730am, sit for a couple hours, get a call saying they are sending me on a 3 day trip with overnights in sacramento and kansas city. no problem. i actually got home a little early, it now being feb. 27th, however i had a flat on my car and a million other things to do that day, plus i get a call that night that i had to be at the airport the next morning for a 1 day trip (i was only good for 1 day of a 4 day block. ask if you want explanation of this) at 645am. i'm goin to oklahoma city then they're just flying me back as a passenger. in OKC, i'm thinking..."ya know, i forgot my running shoes in dallas, and it'll be easy to hop over there from OKC and get them...why not?" saved josue a lil money from mailing my shoes. so i called to get released in OKC, flew to dallas, and spent the day hanging out, playin some tennis. left around 6, flew to houston, hopped on a plane that i knew was being worked by my friend stormy and my roommate da'rrow back to chicago. got home at 1am. that day started at 445. next day i picked up stormy sometime in the am, we drove a lil outside of chicago to a ski place that didn'treally exist....then...a little dissapointed, drove to wisconsinto another ski place that was better. got there at 2pm, skiied until our bums were sore, which wasn't long since the snow was pretty much ice. we left at 6, missed our exit so took another road back, which ended up being 45 min longer , but we didn't have to pay tolls...but i missed my fantasy baseball draft, so i called zach and he drafted for me over the phone. :) ya do what ya gotta do. so finally i was home, we watched a movie last night, then...ugghh..then this morning april freakin' manint has the audacity to call me at 7:30. what a pain. so here i am, finally a day to relax. it was a crazy few days, but its what i signed up for.