Sunday, May 28, 2006

Planes trains and automobiles




We got real ambitious on an overnight in Providence on Friday night, so me, my 2 fellow flight attendants (sam and erika who are AWESOMELY fun) and our first officer (co-pilot in lay terms) andhopped a cab to downtown, then hopped an Amtrak to Boston, and attended the Red Sox game against the Devil Rays.

It was raining when we got there, and we stood outside the box office wondering if we should buy tickets or not since we didn't want to get rained out and be out 20 bucks. So we sat...and sat...the lady at the window looked kind of mean and scary, and I told them I'd get her to smile, and I walked over and flirted with her (i did get her to smile) and it came decision time...it was either go to the game that might rain out or go have a nice dinner in Boston...we flipped a coin..heads was game time and tails was dinner. It came up heads, we got tickets, and had a great time!

We only had standing room only, and we got kicked out of seats 5 different times, but we had a great time. Then we hopped a cab to the bus station and took the Bonanza bus back to Providence. We joked that we took every mode of transportation that day except for boats.

Anyways, I took some shots that came out pleasantly well, especially the one at the beginning of the blog. I dig that one.





Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Eyes that see all

I'm going crazy. Seriously. I'm here, in Chicago, sitting on reserve, not getting called, and going crazy. I don't sit inside very well. I can do it for a few hours, sure. i like to sit back and relax and watch the boob tube for a little while, but it gets to a point when my head starts hurting from the lack of fresh air and sunlight.

So yesterday as I sat online (and some of you know this as I was logged on ALL DAY LONG) and getting frustrated, I contacted my friend Cherie here in chicago to see if she would be interested in a Sox game this evening. Cherie can't resist the tempation of a Ball Game, so of course she agrees. I get back to my crash pad, and call scheduling to see what the heck is going on.

Ok, heres the deal. Every day now for almost a month, scheduling has been offering VJAS. What that means is that they offer people to come in to work on their days off to work a trip for time and a half. And plenty of people take up that offer.

So I call scheduling and say "hey, i'm just making sure you guys havn't forgotten about me over here, since you are VJAing and all."

He tells me that they haven't forgotten, they just don't have anything for me. Which is odd since I can work these trips for straight time and they are choosing to pay people extra to work them.

5:30 rolls around. Now they have to give me 2 hrs to get to the airport once I've been called. Plus the 1hr before push report time. that means for a 9pm flight, they would have to call me by 6. They could give me the latest airport standby, but they would have to call me by 4 or 5. So I deemed it highly unlikely, that by 6, that they would call me.

I was on the train by 6, headed for the stadium. I had to make a transfer to an underground train, meaning I would be out of cell phone reception for about 15 minutes.

I emerged from the underground, got off the train, and my phone starts ringing. I had a message. I thought it was Cherie since I told her to call me when she got there. I checked my message, and lo and behold, it was scheduling. They wanted me to sit airport standby at 8:40 (I'VE NEVER heard of an airport standby being later than 5-10, and here they were wanting me to sit from 8:40-midnight) I couldn't believe it. Now the clock was ticking, and I had to get back to my crashpad, changed, packed, and to the airport in 2 hrs.

Luckily there was a cab parked right there, and I caught it and was at the airport by 8.

But seriously. they call at the worst possible time. And this is the second time they've called me at a baseball game. Once they called me 20 mins into a Cubs game. It's like they are playing a game with me, and they know exactly where I am at all times.

It's like as soon as you make plans on an overnight, things go awry. You get seriously delayed or rerouted. It never fails.

So here I am again, i've been doing nothing all day long, sitting here, waiting for my phone to ring. I feel like a bum. I've thought about heading out to the stadium so maybe it will get something going.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

First Timer

Ok, sorry if that picture is taking so long to come up. I'm using my brand new MacBook, and I havn't quite figured out how to scale down pics without the use of the handy dandy photoshop, which I don't have for mac.

Anyways, I ventured up to the mountains for the first time on monday morning. And it was absolutely GLORIOUS! I bought a book called "Mountain Biking the front range" and after hours of trying to decide which of the hundreds of mountain biking trails to go on, I decided (I can't remember the name of the trail...not like you care), and headed out at about 7:30am.

The first part of the trail crosses over a wooden bridge, then winds through a canopy of trees alongside the Jamestown river.

Then the "official" trail ended, and it got TOUGH. It was a mean climb up a hill..which was mostly sand. And if you've ever tried to bike in sand...well..YOU CAN'T. So most of that part I had to walk my bike up, which often left me short of breath, especially in the thin mountain air. I actually had to walk my bike up a lot of the steep hills, mostly because I'm not a good enough mountain biker.

I ended up at a place called Miller's rock, which you can climb up and get incredible views of the mountains. So I climbed up, and enjoyed the 360 degree view of mountains while eating my orange.

Heres the thing about photographing scenery...its too easy, so everyone can do it...making it really hard to get anything unique. It's really difficult to get anything creative out of it unless you wait around for a long time, maybe get an approaching storm that brings awesome cloud formations, and maybe a few lighting strikes, then you get the picture, and book it down the mountain while the storm chases you, or you can get a picture of an elk on the ridge looking out into the open...which I WILL get one day. one day. Plus its impossible to take a picture of the feeling. The fresh mountain breeze and just the sheer joy of sitting on top taking in the views. But I wasn't waiting around all day. It's always good to have perspective, so heres the best I came up with.

Thats my lunch. Talk about perspective.

I've got more pics, but until I figure out how to make them smaller, I'm not gonna be the "Bandwidth Bandit" like usual and make you wait for the pictures to load.

So after the scenery, I clamored down the rock cliff and shot down the mountain. It was so much fun. Much of it I had to ride the brake or else scream down the mountain at 90 mph, hopping over rocks in the process, which would inevitably send me to my untimely death, so I took it slow. There were times of smooth riding, especially through the really woodsy parts, so I took those pretty fast. I am also happy to report that much of the rocks that I walked my bike through on the way up, I made it over without getting off this time around..even going uphill.

I was really impressed with how my bike handled its first real mountain biking experience. No tires popped, and the chain never de-railed. I had a blast.

Only about 599 more trails to do.

Ah yes, and back to the first of this blog. I did purchase a new computer, and much-smaller- and -compact -than- my -old -Dell MacBook. I love it. Its blazing fast, sleek, stylish...just awesome. Plus I can still go back to my old Windows programs with Bootcamp...Which I may have to eventually for photoshop.

And once I get that setup, I'll post the other pics from my adventure. Until then...

-JJ

Ok, well that didn't take long. Here are some others.



Monday, May 15, 2006

Gone home sick

One of the worst parts of getting sick is going home. It's like a race against time. How long can I go before I completely lose control and make a..ahem...mess of everything. You know what I mean. Most of the time, the vaunted ride home is a simple 10 minute drive home in the car.

I thought the worst was when I was living in new york, and while at work I started to become a little nauseous. I'm usually pretty tough about things like this, and I don't like going home sick when I'm just a little sick, but It was getting bad so I informed the boss that I was going home.

Well my commute home then was an hour and a half on the train. Sure, like no one has puked on the train before in New York, but I'd rather not join the club. So I sat in the corner of the train for the entire hour and a half, buckled over, taking deep breaths (mmmm..train smell) fending off the evils in my stomach for the entire ride. I made it home, only to spend the next 2 hours lying on the cool tile of the bathroom. You know the feeling.

Last monday night I was sitting in my crash pad in chicago when I developed a stomach ache. I went to bed (i use the term loosely) and ended up making 6 trips to the porcelain princess that night. And, like I said, I'm no pansy when It comes to being sick, so I woke up the next morning (i also use the term "woke up" loosely, as I really didn't get a lot of sleep), got a call to go to work, and went to work I did. I didn't have a fever, my vomiting had stopped, so I felt I was able to work even though my stomach wasn't really able to hold real food.

By thursday night, I was in Seattle and feeling awful again. My stomach wasn't any better, so friday morning I bit the bullett and called in sick. This was hard for me to do since now I don't get any freebie passes to hand out to my friends for this quarter.

Now I just had to get home.

And talk about a ride. I called Scheduling, she told me she would book me on flights home to Denver from Seattle..so she told me to hold on and she would list me...she was gone for a while which made me a little nervous, and when she came back she said the best way to get home was 3 legs from Seattle through Oakland and Vegas. (Remember we just started service into Denver so flights there are a little sparse)

So Imagine having to hold yourself together, yearning for your bed and some chicken noodle soup, for 8 hours, trying to get home. It was quite the ordeal. And nothing was easy. For example, I was the last on the plane in Oakland on the way to Vegas, and there was no room for my luggage on the plane, so the Ops Agent was nice enough to 'gate check' my bag, which means that they put it in the belly of the plane, but when we land they bring it right back up to me in the jetway.
Unfortunately, he wasn't aware that vegas doesn't allow gate checking, so in vegas I had to go all the way down to baggage claim, claim my luggage, and go all the way back through security and catch my flight. All the while my stomach goes "rumble rumble rumble"

PLUS airport and hotel food is NOTHING but grease and stuff my stomach couldn't handle. I didn't eat a thing for over 30 hrs.

I made it home, and fell asleep on my futon watching david letterman and slept like a baby. Its monday morning now and I feel great.

In other news, my parents stopped by for a visit..much like the freight train that goes by my house, with a little rumble and a toot toot of the horn....mostly just to say hi and to rob me of sleep. they arrived at 10:30pm and left at 7:20am. And that doesn't include drive time to pick them up. they were on they're way to seattle (they flew for free, and went from jackson, ms to chicago to denver (stay the night) to vegas to seattle. like the lady who made they're schedule says 'it's the price we pay for the price we pay'.)

Sorry theres no picture today...I had the great idea of getting up this morning at 4am, and heading up into the mountains somewhere to find a stunning view of the sunrise, but it just wasn't in the cards, and when I woke up this morning after 10 hrs of sleep and still tired, I knew I'd made the right choice.

-JJ

Monday, May 08, 2006

She'll be rollin' down the mountain..


Boulder Falls, Boulder Colorado
On Sunday I got with a few friends of mine, one of which was visiting for the weekend, and headed up to Flagstaff, which is a scenic overlook of the city. It was a beautiful view. Unfortunately, me and Nate weren't satisfied with just a view. We decided to be a little mischevious. It started with small stones, then with larger rocks, then small boulders. At first it was just a contest to see if we could hit a certain spot, but it ended up seeing how far we could get them to roll down the hill.

then we found the log. I straigtened it up so it would roll right down the chute, and gave it a little push. the thing gathered some speed, hit a rock and was launched five feet in the air spinning at about 3000 RPMs, landed, and continued rolling. Me and Nate stopped, listenening to see how far it made it....but we could still hear it rolling....then, we were out of the reach of the sound of the log. But as we looked down the hill, about 200 feet down, giggling slightly to ourselves, we saw about four treetops buckle from the weight of the spinning log.

Half laughing hysterically and half scared that we may have done something really bad, we ran back up the hill, up to where patty and noelle were, and were scolded for what we had done.

It was well worth it.

In other news, I found a bed!!! I bought a queen size mattress and box spring from big lots for half off..it was a deal and I couldn't pass it up.

-JJ

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Crash Pad This!!!

So you guys...or..ya'll..(sorry I've been in the north for a while) .know my predicament. I have no crash pad. It's really the only loose end not tied up.

If you have no idea what a crash pad is, here is your answer. I commute to work. My first flight starts at 6am. Theres no flight from Denver that gets into Chicago before then. Soo..I need a place to stay the night before. People buy houses close to the airport..i mean really close..and put in bunk beds or what not, and rent them out to flight attendants for cheap. Just a place to "crash."

I commuted into Chicago last monday with no place to go. I've been trying to get ahold of this lady who has a crash pad and has open beds, unfortunately i've been calling for two weeks with no answer. Voice mail after voice mail.

I got to the lounge in chicago, sat down, and fully expected to have to sleep in the lounge. It's really not that big of a deal, especially since I have a buzzed head and I can do without a shower for a while without looking extremely greasy. On the other hand, they leave the lights on all night, and people are coming in at all hours of the night. PLUS I'm on call..so theres the issue that I might have to sleep on those couches for 4 nights and not get called to go anywhere. Good thing is that I wouldn't be late if they did call me.

So back in the lounge, I've become a charity case. I've seen some pals of mine, and I told them my predicament, and all of a sudden they are trying to find a crash pad for me. Of course, it's kind of short notice, and most people aren't answering they're phones..and thats only if they have a bed available for me to rent..and if its Coed. (theres all girl crash pads and co-ed crash pads. there are no all guy crash pads.)

So people are calling they're landlords, but nothing is turning up. We get ahold of a landlord named tony who says he might have one available, and he'd call me tomorrow.

"Ok" i thought. "I'll just have to stay one night in the lounge."

About 10pm a guy comes in, and as soon as he walks in a girl tells him my predicament. He thinks, then goes about calling his landlord. Her name is Bren. He talks to her for a while, and it sounds promising. He hangs up, and tells me that shes might have a bed available, but for the night she'll let me sleep on the couch!! Awesome. At least I'll get a shower.

I follow this guy to the crash pad, he shows me around, and I crash on the couch. (and I think I scared a girl who walked in on a stranger sleeping on the couch.)

Lo and behold I get a call at 3:10 in the morning, saying that I have a 4-day trip. Sweet. I don't have to deal with this crash pad thing for a while. So I go on my trip with plans to call Bren to see if I can get a bed. But I get a call from Tony who says that the bed is available if I want it. he says he's pretty strict about how theres a time to party and a time to sleep. "don't get me wrong, we love to party, but theres a time to sleep."

I just got a bad feeling about this Tony. But it was better than nothing. But he wants to meet me before we secure the deal, so this buys me a few days before I commit. (I'm not committal if you don't know me) I call bren, no answer, and leave a message. Third day of the trip, still no return call from Bren, so I give her a call back. She answers, and says she'll call her husband and see what was going on. She'll call me back.

2 hrs later she calls me, says that somebody had wanted the bed, but they havn't heard from them..so shes gonna give it to me if I wanted it. SWEET. I had a good feeling about this one. She explained all the rules, and shes the nicest lady, (though she warned me that the girls are jokesters and might mess with me, but they are great, just don't get offended, its all in good fun. But feel free to retaliate. Good thing I have prankster genious Tim Ingram on speed dial.

So we get all the particulars worked out, she left the keys for me in my box and I left the rent check in her box.

So another loose end of moving tied up. If I could only get a bed at my own apartment.

-JJ