Monday, December 8, 2008
of course, there's grad school... my first choice was nyu but then i started contemplating the need to be in DC if i'm serious about getting involved with education policy. the thing about grad school is that it would be best for me to wait until i can hold a real schedule with continental and work weekends/attend class during the week.
i've always wanted to live in new york city, so when nyu started the program about education policy and advocacy i decided it was the perfect opportunity to further my education and fulfill a lifelong dream. i used to even say that i would sell hot dogs on the street for money if necessary. well, especially since high school, my love of france has grown to be probably even greater than my love for new york. a college friend of mine just told me she's moving to france for a year in february and for a split second i very seriously considered joining her, only now the hot dogs have become crepes. when i had that thought i realized that i would have no way of earning money.
money. it's the reason i have to stay with my job and can't just move to france on a whim. money and i have a love/hate relationship. as we are in this recession, i have to be thankful that i have a job, even if it means that i share a one bedroom apartment with three other people and serve drinks and ham or turkey sandwiches on planes for a living.
then of course there's the other idea of returning to texas. of course i miss my family, but even more than that i hate that i'm missing out on my best friends' kids growing up. even just a few weeks make such an incredible difference!
my mommy and daddy always told me i can do anything i want... but being an adult it's just not practical to pick up and move to paris, even if that's what i want to do.
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Sunday, December 7, 2008
this past weekend i visited the asbys and last night i didn't want to leave! anna kate is perfect and tiny and such a true combination of both her parents. it was great to see carin's mom and our zeta friend whitney.
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
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a couple days later i celebrated my 24th birthday. my friend dustin picked me up and we got birthday pumpkin pancakes at ihop. then we ran some errands, during which scheduling called me for airport alert that night. needless to say i was not happy. luckily i didn’t get sent anywhere and that night’s festivities could commence!
that night i didn’t make it to bed. we were out late and then everyone came back to our apartment for a post-celebration. my flight for houston left so early in the morning that i left for the airport at 4:30. i spent the next couple days in houston celebrating my friend keely’s birthday, which was the day after mine. we had a barbeque saturday night and spent sunday shopping and playing with her kids.
back in dallas the next week, we did thanksgiving early with dad and the dusings since i knew i’d be working the day of. and instead of cooking, we went to chamberlains again! i was thankful for not having to do the dishes!
even though this wasn’t my first year away from home for thanksgiving – last year i spent it with emily and her family – it was my first time having to work. luckily i got a trip with a friend from bayonne, and we were back early enough so that i could make it for dinner at resalin’s in the city. she had friends over from her graduate program and amber combs, a high school friend, was also in town. it really was a great time and at the end of the day i was thankful to have someone with whom to spend the holiday. and to make for an even better thanksgiving, the next day i was assigned a trip to LA so i was able to see gloria and perry. they introduced me to ethiopian food and i loved it!
life up in the north has definitely been an adjustment, but i am thankful for the many friends i've made and simply for the fact that i have a job in this economic slump. i know working on christmas will be extremely difficult, but you can all bet that i’ll be looking for a layover in a city near family or friends so if you’re lucky you’ll get me as a holiday surprise this year!
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the week after i visited chicago, my best friend emily came in town for her birthday. she experienced life in my cozy apartment and even slept on the bunk-beds! on emily’s actual birthday we had dinner with her parents, who were in town for their anniversary. we then went for drinks on our own before heading back to bayonne.
that next weekend i went to college station for a reunion with my pledge class. our goal was to act like we were 21 again… our bodies did not necessarily agree. the first night out i managed to lose my purse – cash, credit cards, id, phone, and lip gloss! luckily i got it back, but not until 24 hours later! we didn’t make it to the game but held down the tailgate fort like no other! it was so nice getting to see everyone. even three out of four of us out-of-staters were able to make it!
the next big thing was halloween, which was fun and festive with many homes and businesses going all out with decorations. apparently that's the norm up here, but it was a first for me! don’t get me wrong, we decorate in texas but definitely not to the extent of people up here. we carved pumpkins and decorated the apartment as much as we could.
our little airline community had a party here in bayonne. our new roommate tim had just moved in and maritza's sister came in town… add william to the mix (since he was at our apartment most of the weekend even though he lives across the street) and we had a full house! maritza and i dressed as ladybugs and her sister dressed as a cat.
after recovering, we spent the next afternoon in central park admiring the changing leaves and fall scents. we ate dinner near times square at a little italian place we found back in june on our first night in the city together – bella vita. they have the best garlic knots i’ve ever had and a great selection of pastas, salads, and pizza.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
earlier this month i picked up a trip with a layover in chicago, a city i've never visited! it's a great place and we stay in a beautiful hotel downtown, the holton palmer house. the location is perfect, near the navy pier, the magnificent mile, rush st, and grant park. unfortunately i forgot my camera so here are some pictures taken with my iPhone.
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Friday, September 26, 2008
another way i can tell it's fall is that the flying has dramatically decreased. i probably won't even make my guarantee this month, which isn't horrible because i still get paid for it, but have gotten used to my summer paychecks! i still haven't made an international trip, but this past week i did get my french visa so that increases my chances. i even sat international airport alert last night. (airport alert - AAA - is when you sit in the crew room for four hours with your suitcase ready to go in case they need someone on really short notice. if they don't need you then you just go home.)
last weekend i was in boston with a 22 hour layover. unlike last time when i ordered room service and slept the whole time due to exhaustion, i actually explored the city and enjoyed my time there. one of my very good friends, madision presenza, moved just outside the city in august for a teaching internship. she took the train into town to meet me and we toured the town with her friend grant who was also in just for a few hours. we had a great time and took some fun pictures! although we decided to "blaze our own trail" we did catch glimpses of the red freedom trail along the way, to which we yelled, "freedom!" and "they can take our lives... but they'll never. take. our freedom!!" we ran into a huge concert-rally for legalization of marijuana, stopped for pastries at mike's, and watched various performing artists on the streets and sidewalks. of course we couldn't miss taking our picture in front of cheers and sitting on the ducks in the gardens. we strolled through quincy market and down newbury street, said hi to sam adams, visited the old north church, and ate dinner at the famed legal seafoods. all in all it was a great day in a great city with a really great friend! i always knew i'd love boston but now it's definitely on my list of places to live.
in other news... i moved my days off around this month so i could have a week off to throw my best friend from high school, carin, a baby shower. after the shower i was going to be meeting the g-parents in florida for a little vacay. however, ike decided to throw a "little" temper-tantrum causing IAH was closed down for a few days so i couldn't make the trip. the up-side is that i got to spend some more time with the fam and with emily.
next month i have the same schedule as a lot of my friends so hopefully we can get trips together. emily is coming for her birthday and i'm going to try to make it to college station for the tech game to meet up with my pledge class.... i'll be keeping y'all updated!
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Friday, September 5, 2008
one afternoon, sunny and simply gorgeous outside, i decided to take the staten island ferry to get a closer view of lady liberty. why the staten island ferry? because it's a free ride that goes right by liberty herself and then comes back!
after this little excursion i took a walk through battery park, which is one of my favorite parks in nyc. i fell in love with it back in 2000 when kathy and i took a harbor cruise tour and walked all through the park. the light shines through the trees just right to make playful shadows on the ground. the park is located at the very tip of manhattan and encompasses 25 acres. there are many statues and memorials throughout the park, some of which i have pictures of below. the sphere was a sculpture that was located in the area between the twin towers. it was recovered from the rubble, but did suffer some damage. the sphere was placed in battery park along with the eternal flame, which was lit 9/11/2002 as a tribute to all 9/11 victims. the eagle statue is part of the world war ii memorial in the park.
(the sphere and eternal flame 9/11 memorial, park fountains and harbor view, wwii memorial)
earlier this same day i was exploring resalin's new neighborhood, the financial district. i found bowling green park, the alexander hamilton u.s. custom house, and best of all, the charging bull! the park is circular with benches, a fountain, and beautiful flowers. it right in the middle of whitehall and state, the two streets formed by the splitting of broadway. the park actually has free wi-fi and a lot of people eat lunch there on their breaks. the alexander hamilton custom house is a beautiful building at the south end of the park, currently housing the national museum of the american indian and the ny bankruptcy court. the charging bull is found at the north end of the park and is iconic of the financial district. according to wikipedia, the bull symblizes aggressive financial optimism and prosperity. it is said that rubbing it's nose, horns, and testicles brings good luck. if you notice in the picture, the testicles are rather shiny... hmm
another sight i really enjoyed visiting was the united nations building. i didn't actually go inside, but i did get a great view of the secretariat building from the park across the street. i love the reflection of the city in the buildings windows and the flags lining the street. i randomly found the quotes below as i was exploring the turtle bay neighborhood. the stone in the ground is in memory of ralph johnson bunche, an american politican scientist and diplomat active in planning for the un, which says, "peace, to have meaning for many who have only known suffering in both peace and war, must be translated into bread or rice, shelter, health and education, as well as freedom and human dignity." the large stone wall presents a quote from isaiah 2:4, "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." someday i hope to work for the un or to someway be affiliated with the organization.
(secretariat building, ralph bunche quote, isaiah quote)
as i left the turtle bay area, looking for the new york public library, i found goodburger. first of all i didn't even know these existed anymore, and second, this neighborhood was the last place i would expect to see one. too bad i wasn't hungry because it would have been a first in a lifetime experience for me!
after some wrong turns, i found the ny public library. i sat out front of the massive building, enjoying the beautiful day and talking to keely on the phone. she was a little curious as to why i was spending my day going to the library, which is odd because she too loves the library... but i didn't go there for books. i really just wanted to admire the architecture both outside and in. once inside, i didn't have much time to explore the building because i found a temporary photography exhibit entitled "eminent domain." the works of various artists were featured to highlight contemporary photography and new york city. to read more about the exhibit go to this link: http://www.nypl.org/research/calendar/exhib/hssl/hsslexhibdesc.cfm?id=462. my favorite piece was by reiner leist, "window/eleven septembers." leist took a picture of the ny skyline from his apartment window everyday he was in the city. the piece included the photos from september 1995 - september 2005. on the days he was not in his apartment there is a blank slide. it is eerie to see the differences of the city from the same view both before and after 9/11.
this is a view of new york from sophie's queens apartment at night. for those of you who don't know, sophie is now one of resalin's roommates in the wall street apartment. she's from the uk and is absolutely amazing! i'm so glad resalin has made friends like sophie because i get to be friends with her too :)
this photo is from the strawberry fields memorial area of central park, a tribute to john lennon. even though i've been to central park many times, i never knew about this area. i was shopping and walking the city with ryan's mom and sister when they were in town and we stopped by the memorial before dinner. the mosaic is always covered in fresh flowers or candles, left by john lennon fans. around this area there are benches donated by various people, trees, and shrubs. it is a really peaceful area and i hope to make it back on john lennon's birthday or death anniversary so i can experience the tribute paid to him.
so that's all for now... i'll have more updates soon. i hope you enjoy this little piece of new york at least almost as much as i did. it's much better in person!
PS - you can click on the photos for a larger view!
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Saturday, August 30, 2008
i understand that all the airlines are having difficulties, and as most of you probably know, everyone is making cutbacks. i am "lucky" and won't be getting furloughed because there were enough volunteers to take leaves of absence. i say "lucky" because even though the leaves haven't gone into effect - they start september 1 - i am still working a ridiculous amount. i can not even imagine what it will be like when these people aren't here anymore! don't get me wrong, it's nice to get the paychecks, but as far as my sanity goes... well, it really doesn't exist anymore!
recently i was working a fake four-day trip. we brought the red-eye in from phoenix on the third night, so arrived on the fourth morning. i and another girl working with me were both sent directly back out to work a flight to san antonio - a three and half hour flight after working an almost five hour red-eye. not only that, but scheduling rolled our days off and extended our trip into a six day. we weren't the only ones either. i heard countless tales of three and four day trips being turned into six days. i am really curious as to how we will successfully operate with fewer employees, but i have a feeling it will be quite chaotic!
in other news... on my last set of four days off i was supposed to visit gloria in LA, but the flights were all overbooked. seeing as that wasn't really a viable option, i decided very last minute to fly to dallas and drive my car back to jersey. my roommate, our friend matt and his finace TJ all flew into dallas the next night to drive back with me. dad made dinner for all of us and then tuesday morning we loaded up on pete's breakfast for some roadtrip fuel. i drove 12 hours and it honestly felt like 4 - in every aspect except my numb butt! that night we stayed at TJs house in evansville, indiana. we met up with some of his and matt's friends then woke up a little later than planned on wednesday morning. tj's mom made us a delicious breakfast and we were on our way. that day we had 14 hours to go and we decided to go for it all instead of stopping another night. matt drove most of the day which was really nice for me. the drive was beautiful and i got to enjoy the lush, green scenery!
so even though i haven't been home much since lola came to bayonne, it is really nice to have her there for errands - we have gone to the grocery store and target. i plan to take a trip down to the shore and go visit aunt ro in tom's river. driving in jersey is definitely interesting to say the least! not only are the roads horrible, but who gave the east coast license to drive??
i fixed my schedule for next month to where i have a whole week off! i am throwing a baby shower for my best friend from high school, carin. she's having a girl and i couldn't be more excited! baby asby is due in december :)
then after the shower i'm flying to florida to meet up with the g-rents in panama city beach. it will be a nice little vacation and it also gives me a little reassurance that i will be able to coordinate my schedule for the lamb family cruise next november!
anyway... thanks to y'all who are still reading - now start commenting!!
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Thursday, August 14, 2008
my most recent trip was to dfw. thanks scheduling. i've only lived in dallas for my entire life - not counting three years in houston - and the fabulous trip i was hoping for turns out to be none other than a dallas layover. it was ok though. i came to terms with the fact that it was no london, dublin or rome, but it was a good chance for me to get some more things without using my days off. plus i got to eat at pete's... and oh yeah, see the fam!
the trip was going to be easy-peasy! i had one leg there, 15 hour layover, and one leg back. of course i get to the airport for check-in and the flight is already delayed. no big deal. around 8:15 we finally got on the plane, even though departure time was still 8:35. we knew that wouldn't happen because we still had to do pre-flight checks and let the passengers board. the travellers traipsed on, all telling tales of their days of travel, cancellations and delays. many families and couples were split up due to being bumped and placed on standby, so i helped and after a lovely game of musical chairs, everyone was mostly happy.
come to find out, the pilots for our flight just left miami and the gate agents hadn't bothered to check on the main component needed for us to make it to dallas... so now we would leave around 11:30. none of us wanted to be stuck on the plane with these people for two more hours so we let them leave their stuff but get back off the plane. some handled it with delirious amusement and others with anger, directed at us of course. needless to say we had an interesting time getting to dallas, but luckily most slept and we arrived around 2:30am.
mom picked me up and i got to meet the new addition to our family, lola the yellow lab. the next day i took care of some errands and ate lunch with mom and kathy at pete's. knowing the weather was bad in newark, i checked the status of our flight and saw that were were now scheduled to leave three hours later, which meant i had time to do some shopping!
when i got to the airport, i was going through security i noticed a ticket on the ground and found the owner who was just about to go through the metal detector. "you're not going to get very far without this," i told him. he was unusually grateful, but then i thought that maybe i'm just getting used to the northeast attitude. he came up to me again after i went through security and thanked me profusely. really. not a big deal. so when he started walking the same direction as i was, i felt like i needed to make small talk.
"where're you headed?"
"oh you're probably on my flight then. i'm going to newark" - "joy!" i thought!
turns out he was scheduled on a later flight, but since we were delayed i knew his flight would also be delayed and he got the genius idea that maybe he could get on my flight. of course, we were still early and no one was at the gate.
"well we have time, can i buy you a drink for saving me?"
(was he serious? ugh. it wasn't a big deal and of course i couldn't drink, i was working!)
we settled on coffee. but of course that meant sitting down and conversation. when i discovered his wedding ring and he mentioned kids, i thought i was safe. he asked me if i get hit on a lot and i used that opportunity to drop a hint.
"no actually. i like it better that way. i'm just trying to do my job and i don't need people bothering me." hint, hint.
i finally see a gate agent at the desk and say i need to head over and check-in. he follows right behind me of course. luckily the rest of my crew was already down on the plane so i thanked him for the coffee and skedaddled, secretly hoping he wasn't able to switch over to our flight.
as luck would have it, he did make it, and not only that, but he was in the second to last row and i was working the back galley. naturally.
so throughout the flight he continues to come back there. ask me dumb questions, go to the bathroom, ask for another drink, ask me to go have a drink with him. what? by this time i wasn't naive enough to think that he was just being thankful and friendly, but i mean didn't we just talk about his wife and kids?
"i have plans with my sister," but i left out the fact that they weren't until the next day!
i thought he had given up until a little later when he came back for another diet coke and asked me why i wouldn't go have dinner with him. so we're moving from have a drink to go to dinner. i. don't. think. so.
as i started to say again that i had plans with my sister, he furthered the awkardness by asking "well, if you didn't have plans with your sister, would you go to dinner with me?"
i am usually not good at these situations, but this was pretty easy.
"why not?" (as if he needed to ask!)
"because you're married!!!"
finally that was it. although i wasn't sure i was safe until i got on the shuttle to go home.
moral of the story: men are pigs. and since men fly on continental, pigs do in fact fly.
(sorry for those of you reading who are of the male gender)
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Friday, August 8, 2008
however, you get to go to some great places. i've been doing a lot of florida trips, but my friends have been to rome, portugal, brussels, lima, and copenhagen. i have yet to be assigned an international trip, but i'm still holding on to hope. i'm also working on my french with the $8 rosetta stone my roommate bought in lima. hopefully within the next month or so i will be able to take the test confidently and then i can be a french speaker, getting assigned international flights left and right! another great thing about the job is the ability to meet people you wouldn't usually meet and see people you don't usually get to see. speaking of... if anyone would like me to come visit send me an e-mail or give me a call. my days off are usually during the week, but if anyone has flexible schedules and wants a visitor then i'm your girl! this month i'm trying to make it to la to see gloria and i plan to visit cousin deb, steve, and the kids sometime in the next few months. hopefully next month i'll be able to make it to florida to meet up with g-ma and g-pa... so just add yourself to the list if you so desire! :)
the best part of the job is living so near the city. i've always wanted to be a new york girl and now i'm an honorary member, spending much of my time off crowding resalin in her bed at night and walking around the city during the day, trying to familiarize myself. i hope everyone is doing well and please remember to keep me updated on your lives!
ps - i've been waiting to hear about the possible furlough, and found out today that due to the overwhelming response to the COLAS (company offered leaves of absence) none of us will be without jobs involuntarily!!
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Sunday, July 13, 2008
for the next few days i thought of all the things i wish i had said to her, some true and some not so true...
i am a liberal, college-educated 23-year old with a background in political science who did not grow up in a racist society - sorry if you did! i was the minority in my high school and seemed to get along quite well. i am voting for barack obama for christ's sake!
the father of my three kids is black!
my name is lanie. would you like me to spell that for you? here, let me give you my supervisor's name and number too so you can embarrass yourself to someone else on top of all these people sitting near you on the plane.
i'm there to give people food and drink i don't have time to look at the color of their skin or what they're wearing or if they have all their teeth... the only color i see is the green sticker for turkey and the brown sticker for ham, the color of the cans and the lids of the mini liquor bottles.
i've had enough of the people who cry wolf and continue to make this society that we live in racist. i know it does still exist, but the majority of people we come into contact with on a daily basis are civilized and treat people equally - whether it's equally like shit or with kindness. people for the most part are creatures of habit and we're not going to go out of our way to ignore 9D and serve 9E and F simply because of race, age, religion, etc. if you ask me, those who cry wolf keep racism alive and actually reverse it.
on a much lighter note... my trip to san diego was so much fun! a girl from my training class, lona, was on the crew with me. she grew up in la jolla and her sister lives in encinitas. we went to her sister's for dinner and too much wine. the weather was of course perfect and we sat outside on their porch with the view of their beautifully landscaped backyard garden. the next day we drove through seaport village, gaslamp, and along the coast before we ate and walked around la jolla. it was still as perfect as i remember it and i still vow to live there one day!
other than my trips, the only news is that the bar below us closed down for a week due to multiple noise violations. honestly i haven't noticed it being any quieter though! now i'm off for four days and i'm flying back to dallas in just a few hours. hope everyone is doing well... keep me updated on your lives too! i know i am usually hard to get ahold of, but shoot me an e-mail, text, phone call, or even snail mail!
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Monday, June 30, 2008
our first flight was to houston and it turned out to be a disaster! the flight was already delayed leaving for whatever reason. once the passengers boarded though catering decided to take their sweet time and we were waiting on them to leave. they gave us less than half of what we needed for the flight and left! the doors were all shut which is our cue to arm them in case of an emergency evacuation. there is a red strap across the window to indicate the door is armed and should not be opened. as we were about to take our safety demo positions catering decides to come back and open the armed door! luckily there was a flight attendant in the back of the plane who was riding as a passenger and she grabbed the door before the slide completely deployed. basically she saved the man's life because those things inflate so quickly and with such force that they seriously injure or kill those in the way. this caused an even greater delay because maintenance and safety inspectors had to board the plane and repack the slide. needless to say our passengers were not happy...
our second flight was much better and after a stressful day we were in denver. kaylinda picked me up from the hotel and took me to her and david's house. we played catch up and went to bed. kaylinda and i went to mass and then met david at drew and maritza's house for lunch - a peruvian chicken and rice dish. it was delicious!
i've only been working a week but it feels like a month and even though i'm soooo exhausted, i feel very lucky to have this job. it has opened many doors and allows me to meet/see people and places i might not normally.
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my position was in first class, which is my favorite! we flew first to houston, where i grabbed some mexican food because i desperately miss it! just as we were getting ready to take-off for orlando the storms started and we were delayed. i started to worry that we might not be able to leave at all, but mother nature pulled through. the whole trip was planned so that i could have a layover with my very best friend from training, allison, who is based in cleveland.
we got to the renaissance hotel in orlando a little late, but still with plenty of time for shenanigans with allison and my new friend dustin, who was working first class with me. we had some "happy time" drinks, and i'm not sure i've ever needed a glass of wine like that one!
that night allison and i had a sleepover and caught up on life... even though we talk about 5 times a day! the next day we worked one flight to houston and deadheaded to newark. (deadheading means that you aren't working the flight; instead you travel as a passenger, but you still get paid!)
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008
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