Monthly Archives: December 2008

airport & airplane happenings

I’ve been back in Seattle for 24hrs and it seems like just 5 minutes ago I was crammed in a window seat for 6 1/2 hours on a flight from Newark, NJ to Seattle.   With all the travelling I’ve done lately I think yesterday was definitely the most bizarre in way of things I saw and people surrounding me on my trip.  Must be all the crazies travelling home from the Holidays.  Here’s my all too descriptive account of my travel home from the Holidays.

I arrived at Norfolk International Airport (quite possibly the smallest & most out-dated “international” airport in the country) at 4:30AM (which is 1:30AM Seattle time) to some long lines.   I saw one lady drop her bags at the counter, blocking all other people from the check-in kiosk to re-pack her luggage.   Her travel companion was a little more considerate and actually took his two giant suitcases to the main walk-way to repack.  Apparently their luggage was over the 50lb weight.  I heard the airline representative say “73lbs” to the guy.  How did he think that by rearranging the items in their suitcase it would get lighter?  News flash, no matter how the items are placed in the suitcase they still weigh the same amount!

I boarded my plane in Norfolk, and as the flight attendants started over the PA system and the seat next to me was still empty, I got all excited thinking I would have a comfortable flight and even be able to put my feet up.   I was wrong…last minute traveller boards the plane and sits next to me.  Took me a minute to figure it out, but then I realize it was the same girl who was frantically repacking her luggage at the check-in counter.  Hooray for me.   Apparently she thought she’d circumvent the 2-bag carry-on limit to get around her 70lb suitcase, cause she had 4 separate bags, and didn’t seem to care about the “keep the aisles clear” statement the flight attendant made.   She threw her laptop bag under my feet, as if it wouldn’t bother me.   Thank goodness the flight was only 1 1/2 hours, because between the bag lady who seemed to lean towards me instead of away and the 2 year old who constantly slammed the tray into the back of my seat, even after a few nasty stares I made to the parents,  I don’t think I could’ve lasted much longer.

Touched down in Newark…finally!   1-hour connection, just enough time to walk the 2 miles to my departing gate and grab a snack.   I usually have window seats, so I try to board as soon as my row is called to avoid having to make people move to let me into my seat, but it rarely works.  I think everyone else just teleports to their seats, because I never seem to beat them.   Got on the plane, a young couple sitting in seats D & E and I was in F.   As I asked them to move, they seemed way too excited to see me, yelling “She’s here!” and “She’s our age, yeah!!”.   Strange…but they seemed nice enough to sit next to for 6 1/2 hours.

As I got settled in I made the typical small talk, asking them if they were heading home to Seattle, etc, etc, etc.   Found out they were east coast transplants as well, and had lived in Renton for about a year.  They have a dog, which they eagerly showed me pictures of, while I remained composed and decided not to whip out pictures of my cute pups.   After the initial “hi how are you” chit-chat I opened my magazine to start reading.  I was reading an US Weekly, with all the entertainment gossip and photos.  Every 2 seconds the girl (who was sitting in the middle) kept leaning over my shoulder saying “Who is that?” or “Oh they broke up?”.  Kind of annoying, but I let it slide.

Then the PDA started.  Now seriously people,  it’s annoying enough to walk through a mall and see people well into their 20s sucking face in the food court, but to be crammed into a coach seat with barely enough space to be considered “personal” and to have the people next to you kissing ever couple minutes, draping their legs over eachother and basically spooning eachother and cuddling next to you is just uncalled for.  I think it’s great when people are in love, and it’s nice to have a travel companion to lean on their shoulder to sleep, rather than the hard plastic window, but keep it to a minimum, not everyone in your row wants to be involved in your in-flight cuddle fest.

Long flight so I slept, I read, I watched the silly movies they played, and I tried to just keep my headphones in and ignore what was going on around me.   The pilot comes on the speaker to announce we are beginning our decent to Seattle…woohoo!  I pull up the window shades and lean towards the window to see the snow covered mountains and terrain below.  Gorgeous sight!  Then I get an eerie feeling of something breathing down my neck.  I turn around to find the cuddle-bug couple leaning less than inch away from me trying to get a glance out the window.  I think “how annoying?”, but decide to be nice and lean back so they can get a quick glance.  Then, just as I start to lean forward to look out the window again (I am my father’s daughter when it comes to looking out a plane window) the guy, who is sitting in the aisle seat cleans so far over, laying across his girlfriend’s lap and stretches his arm across me to put his camera up against the glass and take photos.   Now this is getting out of hand!!  Are you kidding me???  If you want to look out a window and take pictures then book your flight earlier and pick a window seat, otherwise sit back in your seat and get your arm out of my face!!   I was so tempted to just slap his arm and say “EXCUSE ME!!!”

Finally we land, while my last nerve is about to explode, I say a polite, “Good day” to the couple and run as fast as I can to baggage claim.  So happy to see my sister standing there waiting for me and know that I can finally join the ranks of civilized society again.

Snow in Seattle causes mass confusion

According to reports, the latest amounts of snow in downtown Seattle is the most seen in almost 30 years.   It is not 7:30 PM Sunday evening and has been snowing in Seattle off and on for 4 days, and has been snowing continuously for over 7 hours!!   I’d guess by the naked eye that we have about 8-12″ of snow on the ground in downtown Seattle.   The large quanities of snow are not only causing people to stay in doors and locals to freak out, but causing mass confusion in Seattle’s canine population.

The safest way to get around the city in this much snow is definitely by foot, but be aware of large spots of discolored snow.   Apparently the dog population in Seattle is just as un-used to the snow as the humans, which is causing for some major problems when finding a spot to “relieve” themselves.  Seems the snow is screwing with the pups noses and ability to seek dirt and grass and instead just seem to be popping a squat whereever they want.

Just a warned, watch where you step and for goodness sake do NOT eat the yellow snow!!

* Pictures taken around 11pm Saturday night, only about 5-6″ on the ground at that point.

hooking up?

Who needs to meet someone, go on a ton of dates and then decide to get serious.   Apparently no one under 30 does that anymore.  Hooking up is the new normal and here’s an article to prove it. Thanks to RheaMay for sharing the article!

The Demise of Dating

smell this!

In a recent post, “An All To Familar Scent…” I went on a rambling narrative about the scent of cigarettes and alcohol on an early morning ride.   Low and behold this morning, 2nd stop, a familar looking gentleman boarded the bus and took the seat across the aisle from me, and as suspected smelled of cigarettes and alcohol.  Same guy, same bus, same smell.  I think he has a problem.  Either that or he thinks it’s really cool to bathe in alcohol.   Would it be too much to propose an intervention for a AM bus drunkard who I don’t even know??

On a side note, I refer back to the my post Weather Forecasting to say how disappointed I was to wake up this morning expected to see snow, or even a little freezing rain, but saw nothing but dry streets.  Although I was not as disappointed in the snow as I was when I was already on the bus, which was 20 minutes late, and got an email from my boss telling me to just work from home if I hadn’t already left.   Damn!!  I’m going home at noon to beat the seattle “crazies” as my boss calls them since they are all terrified of the very mention of snow.

secrets from the box…

…Pandora’s Box that is.   I am assuming that you all have used or at least heard of the fantabulous phenomenon that is Pandroa Radio.  If not, go here.

I am a daily listener of Pandora, especially at work, as I get sick of the same random shuffle from my Ipod.   I have 1,000 songs on my Ipod yet always seem to hear the same 20 songs over and over, but that is a subject I will rant on in another post.   So my obcession with Pandora has been growing over the past weeks as I’ve added at least a dozen new stations to my page and I absolutely love the “quickmix” feature for a random selection of music to keep me on my toes.  Nothing says random like going from Bing Crosby singing White Christmas straight to classic Ludacris, What’s YourFantasy?!.   I love it!

Today I found a new favorite station.   I saw the movie Mama Mia in the Theater, recently saw it again on a plane ride, and seem to see advertising for the DVD all over TV and internet these days.   I credit the advertising guros, because it was all this advertising that prompted me to type “Abba” into Pandora this morning.   Most Pandora stations guide you through a lovely array of songs by your selected artist as well as others, but this station has been particularly stagnant, however I’ve now been listening to it for almost 6 hours!!   It basically seems to play the same 10 Abba songs over and over again, because of all the different Abba albums, plus remakes, and numerous soundtracks from broadway renditions and movies of Mama Mia.   I think I have memorized ever Abba song known to man.  Not only have been a “Dancing Queen” all day in my desk chair, but I’ve also had a few moments from Grease, and a few classics from Blondie, and Cindy Lauper.

This may almost be as bad as my addiction to Hannah Montana!  Thank you Pandora for being so fantabulous and allowing me to relish in Abba show tunes all day!!

sun in seattle after snow

Everyone assumes that because Seattle is so far north that it gets very cold and we gets lots of snow… but that is a misnomer.  Because of the surrounding mountains and whatever it creates a strange barrier.  It’ll snow to the north, south, east, and west of downtown Seattle, but rarely in the city.

I was lucky when we got a beautiful and rare dusting of snow on my Birthday.  I was hoping it would stick, but when I woke up this morning there was nothing but some dusting on trees and some snow on top of parked cars.   After living in Virginia Beach you think you have never seen a populated city more unprepared for snow, but while walking the dogs this AM, I realized I was wrong.   In the 10 minutes I was outside with the dogs, in a 1 block radius from my apartment I witnessed two people trying to get snow and ice off their windshield with their hands, because they have no window scraper and 3 people outside taking pictures of the less than 1″ on top of cars.

Seriously Seattle dwellers… it’s just a little bit of snow!   I definitely tried my hardest not to laugh out loud as one guy was complaining that his hands were freezing while trying to scrap ice off his windshielf and I heard him comment that he had never seen so much snow….he must have just moved from SoCal.

An all to familar scent…

Now that I am finally back in Seattle, I get to once again enjoy the pleasures that are a 40-minutes bus ride to/from work each day.  40 minutes is a long time to think, ponder, listen to music, play on your blackberry, or just sleep, but anyone who takes mass transit in a crowded city can agree that all of the aforementioned tasks directly depend on the company sitting near you on the bus.

6:55AM on this Monday morning I got on the 550 to Bellevue and found myself a nice window seat near the front of the bus.  I was all settled in and ready to catch-up on my Google-reader list on my blackberry  when a chubby (not obese, just pleasantly plump) Hispanic man dressed in sweats; as if he just woke up; got on at the next stop and all too eagerly took the vacant seat next to me.

I am by no means claustrophobic, nor do I underestimate the lack of personal space on a crowded rush-hour bus, but this man sat in a wide stance and clearly stretched into my seat on purpose.   If this man sat with his legs any wider I would have thought he was practicing the splits in hopes of joining the US Men’s Gymnastic team.

As I held my laptop bag and purse in my lap and proceeded to huddle against the window in the 1′ of barely liveable space the man had left for me I noticed a smell coming from the man that was all too familar (If only the internet was sophisticated enough to link a scratch’n’sniff in this slot!)

At first I thought; is this some cheap drug store cologne that I’ve smelt while out at the bars?  Perhaps it was just cigarette smoke?   I am always a little stuffy in the morning after the cold walk to the bus station so I figured my nose was not fully functioning yet… but only a few seconds later….and ephiphany!   I knew the scent that was sitting next to me.   (According to a bunch of scientist at some big-name science school scents and smells are one of the largest triggers for emotional memories) A name immediately popped in my head (a former boyfriend who I’ll spare the embarassment of naming) and recognized the complex smell of cigarettes, liquor (namely redbull & vodka) and strong cologne trying to cover it up.    Ahh, the memories which I moved 3000 miles away to forget were flooding back.

As I sat in my inch left of space on the crowded early moring bus, and remembered times which I so longed to forget another question jumped into my head….what the heck is someone doing wreaking of alcohol at 6:55am on a Monday morning?!?!?!