Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I personally thought the best way to celebrate gay pride last weekend...

...was to fly to Ohio and watch two straight kids get married. My girlfriend and friends disagreed. Hey, I'm not bitter that I used to baby-sit for the groom, yet he's allowed to get married and I'm not. Ok, maybe a little bitter.

My parents basically said I had to go to this wedding. I'm not very close to the groom, but he's the son of close family friends. They live across the street from my parents; his sister was in the same grade as me. And the father is ill with two types of cancer, and is headed to the hospital for his 2nd bone marrow transplant. It was important that I be there before he's in the hospital and under quarantine for months.

Since my presence at the wedding was mandatory, my parents booked and paid for my flight. Now, normally I'm very resposible about printing out my flight information and get to the airport plently early. But last week was hectic. I was out of town Monday, worked and saw a friend Tuesday (my last chance to see her before she left town to get married), did laundry and packed Wednesday and worked both my jobs Thursday and Friday.

I was talking to my dad during the hour I have between jobs Friday when I mentioned that I still hadn't printed out the flight information for the next day and needed to look it up. It had easily been 2 or 3 months since the flight was booked and I really had no clue when it left. My dad said, "Oh, I have it right here in my Outlook. Northwest has a feature when you book online. You can download the flight information right into your Outlook and Blackberry."

This is where the Consumer Alert portion of the story begins.

He told me my flight was at 10:05 am.

I arrived at the airport at 8:40, plenty early for a 10am flight.

The check-in kiosk told me my flight was a 9:05 AM.

When my dad downloaded the info, Outlook converted my flights from Central Standard (where I live) to Eastern Standard (where my dad is). The fact that I was leaving at 10:05 Michigan time wasn't going to help me in the Minneapolis St. Paul airport. My flight was already boarding and I hadn't gone through security yet.

The first time in my life I've not printed out the flight information for myself.

Turns out it would also be the first time in my life I would miss a flight. Not before I put forth a galliant effort to make that flight. But the Fates are not without a sick sense of humor. I ended up in security behind the people with strollers, inexperienced travelers who don't know to take off their shoes, people who put their IDs away after the initial inspection. And the bitches at security pulled my bag for inspection. I knew they wouldn't give a shit that my flight was about to leave, so I kept my mouth shut, assuming that they look upon idiots like me with utter disdain and purposely take longer out of spite for the stupid girl that can't get to the airport on time.

Like a scene straight out of a movie, I ran to my gate, pulling my suitcase behind me, my overloaded purse bouncing off my butt, simultaneously pulling my shirt up and pushing my pants down. At one point my name came over the intercom "This is the final boarding call for flight whatever to Cleveland, Smitty, you have two minutes to be at gate whatever". I flagged down one of those golf carts usually reserved for the frail and invalid. Panting and dripping with sweat, I begged for a ride. The driver obliged and did his best with me cursing under my breath everytime we had to slow down for a yuppie with a small dog in a carry-on or a businessman on a cell phone that was oblivous to the cart coming down the concourse.

When I got to the gate, my plane was still visible through window, but the door to the gangway was shut. There was an Amish couple in front of me at the counter who were also trying to get to Cleveland. They had just flown in from somewhere else and there flight was late getting in to Minneapolis. They were being told, "I'm sorry, we saw that you were coming from a far-away gate and held the plane as long as we could." Damn, they didn't hold the plane for some Amish folk who were late through no fault of their own. I knew then I was SOL.

I had called my girlfriend in a panic from the security line. I knew she was praying I'd miss the flight, that there'd be no more flights to Cleveland in time for me to make the wedding, and she'd get to turn around, come pick my ass back up, and take me to the Pride festival.

Perhaps I would have made it to Pride if I hadn't started to simuloustaneously cry and have an asthma attack in front of the ticket agent. She took pity on me when I really didn't deserve it, and gave me a seat on a Cleveland flight that left only an hour and 20 minutes after my original flight. A flight that ended up being overbooked. When the ticket agent at my new gate came over the P.A. and said "I'm looking for 3 people with flexible travel plans to give up their seats on this flight in exchange for a free round trip ticket anywhere in the U.S.," I sat in my seat twindling my thumbs as if I was supposed to be there all along.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Not a good idea

To eat an entire Chipotle burrito at 10 pm and be in bed by 11. You end up dreaming about your friend's dad's bluegrass band and wake up with the song "I'm my own grandpa" stuck in your head:

Oh, many, many years ago
When I was twenty-three
I was married to a widow
Who was pretty as can be
This widow had a grown-up daughter
Who had hair of red
My father fell in love with her
And soon the two were wed

This made my dad my son-in-law
And changed my very life
For my daughter was my mother
'Cause she was my father's wife
To complicate the matter
Though it really brought me joy
I soon became the father
Of a bouncing baby boy

This little baby then became
A brother-in-law to Dad
And so became my uncle
Though it made me very sad
For if he was my uncle
Then that also made him brother
Of the widow's grown-up daughter
WHo of course is my step-mother

I'm my own grandpa
I'm my own grandpa
It sounds funny I know
But it really is so
Oh, I'm my own grandpa

My father's wife then had a son
Who kept them on the run
And he became my grandchild
For he was my daughter's son
My wife is now my mother's mother
And it makes me blue
Because although she is my wife
She's my grandmother too

Now if my wife is my grandmother
Then I'm her grandchild
And every time I think of it
It nearly drives me wild
For now I have become
The strangest case you ever saw
As husband of my grandma
I am my own grandpa

I'm my own grandpa
I'm my own grandpa
It sounds funny I know
But it really is so
Oh, I'm my own grandpa

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Best. Cheer-up. Email. Ever! Thanks Austin!

I just received the following message from my friend Austin and now there is a smile on my face!

"I know I am working on getting a JD, this is not like an MD. That was my warning that the following advice is not my medical opionion, but just sort of general things I have gathered either through others or that I just made up now.

While depressed avoid:

overly cheery people - (a) they typically suck to be around but when depressed it is magnified as they would say something like "make lemons out of lemonaide" which is the problem because (b) they may possibly force you to become violent (c) and confined spaces with them as it only increases the odds of the aforementioned (b).

whiny folks - you are in no place to empathize, but more possibly attack their shallow whines and then shatter their already shakey existance

depressing music - elliott smith is a bad choice right now. Just say no to emo.

nonhappy ending movies - millon dollar baby, boys don't cry, the crying game, bambi - all should be avoided.

Booze - not because it is a depresent no, no no. More to avoid the drunk dials you will live to regret. Or drunk emails etc.

The one uppers - those that say, "oh yeah you did X, well that's not so bad because I had Y happen to me." Though normally they can be side stepped and ignored or talked over most of the time. Right now you may lash out and explain that Y is not X so no they don't really know what it is like and that Y in fact didn't even happen to them because they are too full of shit to ever have anything actually happen in their life.

The mall of america - this is actually a place that should just pretty much always be avoided

WE - now is not the time to watch women be abused or have shopping problems. Their problems are obvious and solvable and their lives are in no way as meaningful or complex as your own melodrama.

Things to not avoid:

Austin - though she can be cheerful she is far more cynical than most and sassy. Pick someone for her to verbally assault and she will do that just to make you smile.

Pointless comedy - movies like "mean girls," "tootsie," "Wayne's World," and any great standup - Whoopie, Kathy Griffith, Ellen, Robin Williams, you should know who you like.

Flea markets - for many reasons (a) you are better off than 95% of the people there (b) great neil and elvis finds are bound to occur (c) shit is cheap and (d) people watching

Bravo - that channel is just damn good tv

dancing - you missed a remix of glamorous by Fergie that repeated "tacobell" about 100x. You don't get that experience just anywhere. How often can you dance to tacobell?

Please again remember this is in no way medical advice but more of some bullshit I wrote to make you at least smile or roll your eyes. If I wasn't successful I blame it on the fact that it is text so something must have be lost.

On a totally different note unrelated to the above list my dog Q got a haircut yesterday and he is very handsome and proud. He struts all over and seems very excited. Basically he is proud to no longer have the shag and return to his stud buzz cut. Take it easy. I am going to the show at your theatre on thursday. I hope it doesn't suck. If it does suck expect hate mail coming at ya'

Take it easy, and try not to be so easy


[LLCJ stands for LL Cool Jew, btw]

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Song by David Gray

Please forgive me
If I act a little strange
For I know not what I do.
Feels like lightning running through my veins
Everytime I look at you
Everytime I look at you

Help me out here
All my words are falling short
And theres so much I want to say
Want to tell you just how good it feels
When you look at me that way
When you look at me that way

Throw a stone and watch the ripples flow
Moving out across the bay
Like a stone I fall into your eyes
Deep into some mystery
Deep into that mystery

I got half a mind to scream out loud
I got half a mind to die
So I wont ever have to lose you girl
Wont ever have to say goodbye
I wont ever have to lie
Wont ever have to say goodbye

Please forgive me
If I act a little strange
For I know not what I do
Its like my head is filled with lightning girl
Everytime I look at you
Everytime I look at you
Everytime I look at you
Everytime I look at you

Friday, June 01, 2007

A familiar stranger

She and I never celebrated an anniversary. It was a running joke whenever someone asked how long we'd been together. Should we count from when we started dating the first time (even though we didn't remember the exact date)? It made more sense to start counting from when we'd picked up years later, the 2nd and final time around. But that time the relationship was long distance, confusing things. She had been ready to name it "dating" and "girlfriends" before I was. So again, we were left with no one day to celebrate. We could've counted from when I took the plunge and crossed state lines to move in with her. But that seemed too late a date to start counting from. So, the answer always ended up being "about a year," "a year or two," and finally, at the end, "3 or 4 years".

I do know the exact date that it ended. The day (actually it was night) when she turned to me and said, "You know this is pretty much over, don't you?"

"Yes, it is."

The one year anniversary of that date came and passed recently. I mentioned it to my mom that day as drove home. Minutes later I saw my ex on the street. Me still in my car; her standing on the corner smoking. I watched her while I waited at a red light, briefly entertaining the thought that it was somehow significant that I saw her on this anniversary. But the light turned green and I did when I've been doing for a year now, turned away and headed in my own direction.