Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Contact

wow. i finally got to talk to my mom tonight, i think i got lucky and got through to her cellphone. shes doing fine in mississippi, shes now at my cousins in madison, where they have power and water...first since the hurricane. she said it was nice to have a bath. it was also the first shes seen of the destruction in the city. she seemed very shaken, especially since she hasn't talked to my dad today. she asked me if i'd seen any more of his pics on the web....i told her i'd just seen the ones from earlier today. I'm sure we'llbe updated tomorrow.

tomorrow shes going to try to go home, and shes terrified of what she might find. i told her that i did know that we didn't get the worst of the storm and from what i've heard, there wasn't that much damage.

She talked to my brother yesterday, and they're still out doing search and rescue. Honestly I feel completely worthless sitting here in Josue's nice apartment in Dallas, while my mom is struggling in Mississippi, my dad's out in the flooding taking pics and undoubtedly helping people, and my brother is out saving people's lives. I wish I could do something...when i found out that the N.O. airport was allowing humanitarian flights in and out, I immediately called crew scheduling and volunteered my services to work a flight into the city to help. Unfortunately they already had had people volunteer and had already scheduled a flight into the city. I think that says a lot for the company that I work for. I guess all I can do is send in money....

Anyways, hopefully I can talk to my mom tomorrow if/when she makes it home to the house. I think the only thing i'm worried about is if a tree fell on the house or something.

-JJ

Hey its somethin'

I just finally got in contact with some family. I called my aunt in Brookhaven, MS, with whom my mom is staying, and she finally answered instead of getting that "all circuits are busy" message. She said they're fine, no water, no electricity, they're hot and they stink. Apparently the insanity has spread, since my uncle was going down to board up my aunt's jewelry store b/c people had tried to loot it.

My mom wasn't there, so had gone to my other aunts house b/c apparently she had electricity, so i havn't talked to her, but they are fine. She talked to my dad who has made it to LaPlace, La (part of the journey was apparently made by row boat) and met up with a fellow photographer of his, and he's gonna stay there.

My aunt said that if theres no electricity by tomorrow, they're gonna head up to madison, Ms. to another family members house where apparently they do have electricity. So so far so good.

No news about the Boat yet.

-JJ

THE MAN!






I've had a lot of emails asking about my parents and how they're doing, and to be honest...well...I dunno. I've tried every avenue possible, to try to contact them. All phones are down, which pretty much cuts off all contact in and out of Louisiana and Mississippi, the two states where my parents are.

I'm assuming my mom is doing fine, since she evacuated north of New Orleans to Brookhaven, Ms. As far as my dad...well...as you can see by the second picture above, he's still runnin' about and kickin, takin some awesome pictures that are running on nola.com I don't know how he's getting around, but I guess you can't ask the master to reveal his secrets.


As far as my hometown, I heard from our ex-preacher who heard from a church member of ours, saying that Mandeville/Covington pretty much escaped the destruction that is ravaging N.O. and Slidell, which is obviously good news. The first pic in this blog is a pic of a street in Mandeville. Looks pretty bad, but I guess is thats the worst they could find, then we made it ok.

Thansk for all the emails! I'll update as soon as I find out more!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Out of Thin Air (Pt 1)

The other day between one of my flights, I received an phone message from a college buddy of mine name Kent Brantly, whom I was planning a visit to a few days thereafter. The message was slightly mumbled, or maybe that was the roar of the 737 engines, but the single word that I caught was Skydiving.

It’s been on my mental lifetime “to do” list for quite a while, so I immediately called him back, asking if all that he said was true. He said yeah, he’s wanted to go for a while.

“I’m in” I said.

A couple days later I landed in Indianapolis, home of the great Hoosier Kent Brantly himself, and made plans to hurl ourselves out of a plane at 11,000 ft at 10:45 the next day. The rest of the day we received nothing but a hard time.

“I know this one guy that bounced off the ground after his parachute didn’t open.”

“Ever heard of an Iron Lung? Have you heard what those people sound like?”

These were a couple of comments made by Kent’s boss at Interstate Batteries and his ER Doctor father, respectively.

I called my parents that day and talked to them about sending my birth certificate so I can get my passport, and at the end of the conversation I ended with “I’m goin’ skydiving tomorrow I’ll call ya when I’m done.”

All I heard was “WHHAAATTT???”

“Gotta go mom. Talk to ya lata.” Click.



We left at 10:00am. We searched for some music to get us goin and to shake the nerves, but all Kent had was sappy love songs to non-existent girlfriends, classical, and slow dull Christian songs. So we jammed to a mix made by some wierdo’s from ACU that made the CD as an ode to they’re house.

We called all our friends to say our goodbye’s, just in case things didn’t work out the way we wanted. We also called Kyle Carter, who had recently been skydiving, for some advice.

“well” he said . “Just go out and enjoy it.!”

None the less, we were still pretty nervous about the whole thing.

We arrived a few minutes early, walked around the campers trailers into a barn looking structure, and all we saw were two people looking at a computer and a girl going to town packing parachutes back into the sacks. I don’t think she slowed down the entire time we were there.

Eventually the girl looking at the computer came over and asked if we’ve been helped. We said no and as she walked away, she stopped, came back, and said that I looked pretty shaken and worried. I really wasn’t that nervous I told her, just “really confused at the whole operation going on here.”

We then went and watched a short video on first time skydiving (that was us!), got put into jump groups, and sat around, watching people go up...then come down. As the whole thing went on, we relaxed, thinking “this shouldn’t be so bad.”

Finally our names got called, we got strapped into our harnesses, briefed on what was going to happen (this lasted a total of 10 mins. Tops.) then waited for the plane to come down. An announcement came on, saying we had 15 mins before we went up.

Finally, our instructors came and got us, saying it was time to go. We walked out of the barn out to the runway as the airplane landed and turned around, leaving the gaping hole in the side of the airplane that we were about to climb into…and 11,000 feet later… jump out of..

Continue with the Saga Here...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Go Ahead, Hate Me

Disclaimer: This post was not directed to any individual, but as an epidemic that faces our nation as a whole...

Ok kids, before you think I'm too good of a person after that last post, It's time to ruffle some feathers...

Today in the USA Today I was reading an arcticle about the most obese states in the Nation. And it quickely confirms something that has really bothered me, especially since I've been working for an airline.

Long story short, 4 of the top 5 most obese states were Louisiana (surprise surprise), Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama, states that are pretty much notorious for good ole' "stuff my face with soul food and sit on my couch and watch football" living.

Don't get me wrong, I love southern cooking. I love football. I love sitting on the couch.

But PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE, there comes a time when the sunshine calls your name and you've got to go out and enjoy it!!!!

I hate diets. I don't think it works. I think its a scam. That stomach reduction thingamabobber is beyond ludicris.

It's a problem when you're complaining about being overweight and not being able to lose weight when your sitting on your couch watching tv and stuffing your face with cheetos or whatever fancies your tastebuds.

"But Jeremy you're just biased because you have a metabolism like a tree stump grinder and you can eat whatever you want and do whatever you want and not gain any weight."

People. I'm also an avid outdoorsman and I'd sooner take my bike out or go play tackle football than catch the next episode of The Bachelor while eating a pint of ben and jerry's.

What does this have to do with me working for an airline, you ask?

I see people everday. hundreds of people. Maybe thousands of people. And I see obese people try to pass it off as an illness. This is the problem I have. They want concessions. They want things done for them as if they were a cripple. You're not a cripple. This is self-inflicted.

Not too long ago a lady tried to sue Southwest for making her buy an extra seat because she was too big. Give me a break. You take up 2 seats, you buy 2 seats. We're even nice enough to refund you that second seat if the flights not full. What, should we have a fat person section??

Some people are what you call "big boned." Naturally, your thicker than most. This is fine. No problem with that.

So I'm not surprised to see Southern States top the list. You know what state is at the bottom? Colorado. Montana is down there. Why? Because they ski, they hike, they go to the park, they're proud of they're parks, they enjoy the outdoors. I mean am I the only one that sees this? "I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!!" The studies confirms it!

JUST GET OUT AND GO DO SOMETHING FOR CRYIN OUT LOUD!!

-JJ

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Mall of Terror

Just get in and get out, I told myself.

I arrived in Sacramento earlier today, got into my room, and realized i needed to pick up some shower necessities.

Luckily, our hotel pretty much shares a parking lot with a mall. I just hoped this mall had some sort of drug store or something that would carry shampoo. and food sounded good too. La Salsa...if you ever happen to stop by california, I would recommend La salsa for some tasty mexican...for fast food standards.

So I strolled over to the mall, only to find myself weaving through cars that were looking for parking. I thought "Dang, this is a lot of traffic."

Then I realized it was Saturday. Shoot!!! the worst mall shopping day if your a guy like me and you like to avoid crowds. I had a feeling what I would be facing for the next 5 mins, or however long it would take me to sprint through the mall and get my business done, and GET OUT as soon as possible.

But what I witnessed was AWFUL, and..well..expected.

Pre-teens, teens, EVERYWHERE. I couldn't get away. I started spinning around trying to find my way through this maze. I think i heard noises. voices. giggling. gossip. A flash caught the corner of my eye, and I realized it was the reflection off some pre-teens braces. All I saw was halter tops and short jean skirts on 12 year old girls that left me lurching for the nearest trash can in an effort to find a place for my vomit. All I could think was "My daughter, that is when/if I have one, is never coming to the mall without me. ever. and after this trip, she'll be hard pressed to get me back."

Task at hand. Shampoo. I think i made the mall circle in about 3 mins, during which i passed my most hated store, abercrombie and fitch, only to see some guy standing in the doorway with his shirt off...i ran like the wind.

To no avail, there was not a single store that sold shampoo, but it hardly mattered now. I just yearned for the safety of my hotel room. But La Salsa couldn't wait.

Apparently so could I. I ordered and standed in line for what seemed like an hour, while streams of tube tops, mini skirts, and abercrombie passed by. I could see the superficiality dripping off every single one of them as each used mommy's credit card to purchase overpriced items just to support they're california lifestyle. (this is a seperate post altogether.)

My Burrito finally came out, number 37, and I headed straight for the exit. I wish I had blinders on like those horses in parades.

Needless to say, I hate malls. It's almost as bad as trying to go to the movies on a friday night, or, as I like to call it, Pre-teen night. Theres just too many bratty kids running around with absolutely nothing better to do. And for heaven's sakes put some clothes on! Not to mention theres not a whole lot of stores in there I really care about. Put in a Best Buy and we've got something going. But as it is now, I can get through the mall in 15 minutes...taking my time to look at everything that interests me. If I am in desperate need and actually have to go to the mall, just get in and get out...just get in..and get out.

-JJ

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

INVADED

I've been compromised!!!

Yesterday I excitedly...like usual...visited my blog to view recent comments. If you think I don't read those comments you're a fool.

Sweet, 3 comments.

I clicked to view them, and...what the...one of the comments was i think a full page long, something about a stock that was at a low price and that I should buy.

I couldn't believe that I'd been spammed on my very own personal blog. Who allowed this? How could this be? I mean I made fun of Debbie in her Malaysian Treehouse because she got it before I did, but does that mean that I got what I deserved?? I THINK NOT!! I mean this guy posted a full page!!

Usually you can go in and delete comments, which I've tried to do, but for some reason its not reasoning with me. I feel like i should write in a comment and complain.

But alas, maybe this whole blogging adventure was just a matter of time before blogspot was compromised. Maybe its time to hang up my blogging hat...

or not. I feel like we can beat this together. With our forces combined.....

So, after much thought and contemplation, I decided not to buy.


-JJ

ps. after posting this comment, i realized that I could now delete that said comment. However, I'm leaving it up as an example of what we're up against.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

It's a small, small world

Crazy how tiny this place is!

I overnighted in cleveland a couple nights ago, and we catch an early morning flight from baltimore (BWI for flight attendant nerds) to cleveland(cle) Then we meet the pilots who have just joined us. We normally will get different pilots every day, if not multiple sets every day. Rarely, but it does happen, we get the same pilots for 3-4 days.

This time I meet the captain, he's telling me, for some reason, about his crash pad in chicago that he just bought and how his family flew up to fix it up, and how he has a connection in cleveland to go home to nashville. How his trip ended in cleveland, i'm really not sure. They usually end in the home base, which for us would be chicago. Stop me if I've confused you. Anyways, he mentions how he went on a trip with some college kids to build houses in Mexico, so I assumed he was a church goer. I mentioned how I had a bunch of friends who go to lipscomb (or went to). Then he said his daughter goes to harding, then, realizing the COC connection, told him I went to ACU. Then he said he went to ACU too!!! NO WAy!! What are the chances we both went to a small christian college in the middle of the desert in west texas!!!??? crazy.

after we overnighted in cleveland, we took 4 legs over to seattle where we could relax for the better part of the 17 hrs (a really good overnight) in a beautiful city. We took the bus downtown to the fish market, which was crazy fun. A couple of hrs later we decided to head back and catch the bus. As I'm waiting, leaning against the light post, i look up..and ...

"Greg?"

Heeeyy!!! It was a friend of mine from ACU that I was in Flying Cats with. Greg Estrada, I'm sure a lot of you know him. Just ran into the guy on a random corner in Seattle, Wa. Apparently hes doin some mission work for the summer there. Wow. We didn't talk long, but it was a nice blast from the past.

Its crazy where you run into these COCers.

-JJ

Thursday, August 11, 2005

My Body is a Beast

Tonight, after I ate, I stepped on the scale and it read 128.

5 Mins later I stepped on it again and it said 126.

now thats a metabolism.

-JJ

Monday, August 08, 2005

"Keep the Noles!" Another Rant.

Man its been a few days, right?

So I was sitting in the Sacramento Hotel Restaurant, having breakfast and reading the paper, and I read a small write up about how the Gov'ment is stiffing up they're restrictions on Native American mascots.

And heres how I feel about it.

I'm a fan of the Native American. I think they had a right to this land that we unfairly ripped out of they're hands, when really all they wanted was peace. We could stay on they're land, just leave them alone. But we decided to slaughter them.

Therefore...

Keep the names! I really don't understand why everyone is so uptight and sensitive these days. Whats the deal? We're using the names in terms of a "fierce warrior"..which they were! Why is that so degrading? I'm sure you're saying to yourself right now...'yeah, what if people started calling they're team names "honkeys? would you be offended by that?'

Well that doesnt really matter these days since the white man is the only race you can get away with making fun of. Another thing I don't understand. Don't mention anything about blacks, or else you're in deep doo doo. Sure we did them wrong. Sure we did the Native Americans wrong. No one denies that. But why can't we just let it go. Is it revenge?? If so, then we should just let the british back over here to beat us up a little bit for kickin' they're tails in the Revolution. And we'll just sit back and take it because...after all...we did them wrong back then.

Right.

Anyway, back to the mascots.

Last I checked teams didn't chose they're name from something they DIDN'T LIKE! Its usually something they're proud of. I'm sure Florida is pretty proud to have been part of the Seminole heritage.

Probably why they those that instead of being called "The Florida State Elderly."

-JJ