Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I promise I'm not dead, I'm just really, really tired.

Contrary to popular belief, I have not been killed in a secret coup after being discovered as a double agent for Ed Snowden/  the female persona of  Bradley manning / Miley Cyrus at the vmas. (i didn't caps this because i do not have a functioning m key on my laptop. the only way to get one is to spell "Nichigan" and then let autocorrect replace the N with a M. << I did that there.)

Really, I've been very busy with 5am wakeup calls, drills, and becoming qualified on my first aircraft! The s80 is a narrow bodied, generally domestic aircraft with a minimum crew of 3. I hope none of that is classified.

It's that plane where you hope they'll serve cookies, but they don't because its a 45 minute flight , and everyone is bathing you in your beverage of choice because they're trying to do the entire cabin service before the bell chimes and we start to descend.  The glamorous life.
(also i've been at the pool, sleeping and trying to avoid the most recent pop culture outrage that is clogging up all of my social media outlets--how rude!)

So that's one down, several to go. And i can also do the demo with the seatbelt and the mask. I briefly got to take a mask home, it was like in home ec when they make you take a baby home. I had to be very gentle with it, and sanitize it regularly.

In other news, I have to wake up at 315 tomorrow to catch a 415 bus. It's pretty rude, and its also my bedtime right about meow.  I promise not to die again, and keep telling you, dear reader, all of the really irrelevant things about being a flight attendant.

I dedicate this post to my faithful readership, which i am fairly certain consists solely of my mom and former roommates.

Portrait of a Flight Attendant: Part One.

Our first portrait of a Flight Attendant.

Our first F/A is of one of the many natural born nurturers in this class.   For the sake of anonymity, her name has been changed, but I don’t think it will be hard for anyone who knows “Lucy” to pick her out from the crowd.  She is warm, loving and treats everyone as she would like to be treated.  The first day I met her, she drove me to Wal-mart after I asked how best to cross the highway on foot. She told me that she would want someone to stop her kids from trying to do something so dangerous, so she’d do me (and my mom) a little favor and shuttle me over there.

 That isn’t to say that she is only sweetness and light—Lucy is quirky, spunky and quick with a joke—especially if the laugh is on her.  When I asked her to re-name herself, she decided on Lucy because, like Lucille Ball, our Lucy finds herself in a sticky situation every now and again.  

 I sat down with Lucy and found even more than I was expecting.  In her “real life” she is a devoted mother, grandmother-to-be and artist. She’s a youngest child (just like me), with a strong affinity for family.
 What really struck me by the end of this interview was how straightforward, honest and immediate her responses were.  Lucy knows who she is, what she wants, and what is important to her.  After talking to her, I could not help but compare notes and remember that, as her answers reflect, Love is ultimately the most important part of life. 
According to Lucy, home is wherever her family is—location is secondary. Although Lucy’s life has not been without loss or struggle, she manages to find her joy in the love of others. With funny bone in tact, she creates a warm and comforting atmosphere, making us all feel a little bit more at home at the charm farm.

~~~   ~~~   ~~~

When you wake up, and you have nothing to do that day, what makes you get out of bed?
--You’ll learn this, a mother’s work is never done. My to-do list for the day gets me out of bed, because with kids, there is always something to be done.

--Tell me three things you know about life.
Never take anything for granted.  Find humor in every situation. Live it. To the fullest.

--where is the best place you have traveled?
Anywhere I went with my sister.  We used to travel together and have the most fun. 

--Tell me three things you know about love.
­Honesty. Passion. Desire.
(I like this one because instead of giving me “love” advice, she handed me a recipe, a little checklist for what ought to be present. Not what should isn’t there, rather a list of what is.)

Who was your childhood best friend? Are you still best friends?
We are still best friends.  She was the first person I met on my first day of third grade in a new town at a new school. She talked to me because she thought my brother was cute.
(This reminds me of how my best friend Kyle is in love with my mom, except its way less creepy.)

more to come! I promise I’m alive! Last week was a seriously long week (if you don’t believe me, ask Lucy)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I have three tests tomorrow, so here is a picture of me wearing a PBE.

 here is a PBE.  Its supposed to be used as a source of Oxygen when fighting fires in flight.  I want to use it to go into space.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Everything is top-secret information: Thanks, Obama!

Due to FAA regulations, I can tell you essentially nothing about the specifics of training.  Even talking about image checks (which people call imaging, which makes me think of this. ) raised some eyebrows.
  They probably aren't a big fan of me talking about image call because some of the requirements are a little loopy...but I won't get into that. After 5 days, I am thoroughly convinced that i am being watched at every turn, and that if I am caught in jeans before 6pm, they will bob my hair and send me home.

In light of this recent security....enlightenment, I want to focus a bit more on who, specifically, becomes a flight attendant. 

I always thought it was funny that, when I went to college (GO BLUE, IF YOU'RE AN OSU FAN STOP READING THIS BLOG AND GO TO A REAL SCHOOL), I was ready for a land of outstanding diversity. Michigan talked a big show on diversity.  And when i got there---I found out that fairly intelligent, upper middle class men and women come from every race, religion and creed.

Okay, that's not entirely fair, but its cannot compare to the enviornment here. Diversity doesn't begin to cover it, from the difference in age, which spans over 20 years, to the are vast religious, political, social, cultural, and economic differences in my FA Class.
So far? The people part of this experience has been unbelievable. 
Suffice it to say, it's  only day 5. (WHAT)

In the coming days, I'm going to reach out and make (anonymous) profiles of some of my willing classmates. This topic deserves more attention than a couple meager paragraphs that are LyKkE OmGz ThEzE GuRlS ND GYZ R GR88888.

Look out for our first Portrait of a Young Flight Attendant

coming to a F/A blog near you! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dirty Acronyms--The Aiport codes game

Did you know that it is in the best interest of every flight attendant to know the airport codes of every airport their airlines services? Did you know that this particular airlines services 250 airports, and not all of them have logical names like BWI (Baltimore Washington International) or SAT (San Antonio, Texas)?  Some need fun acronyms to make sense of their strange abbreviations. Por ejemplo, HPN is White Plains, NY (Hated Payin' for New york).
This is the easy week, the test is (rumored) to be much less challenging than the hype for the test, and still I'm making flashcards and associating unknown regional airports with some really inappropriate acronyms.

Being a person who likes to be busy, orientation week for anything is always hard for me.  Being a sociable person who also manages to be highly socially awkward, making friends takes a while.  And of course, Feeling anxious/stressed/lonely/like I never fit in anywhere has made me a little homesick for good old Ann Arbor. 

It's pretty uncommon to hear a Wolverine celebrate her/his exodus from collegiate life.  But I really loved school.  I loved it. I loved it in spite of emotional obstacles.  I loved it in spite of having to watch the priveliged prevail over the talented.  I loved the school so much that I even started loving football. 

While I have a  restless spirit, there is a part of me that loves to come home. I like to cook dinner. I like to make the bed.  I like coffee in the morning from my favorite mug, and the best window with the best view shining light on whatever book I'm reading.  I like being a regular at a bar(s).  The fact that my Pap's photo is still hanging up at the  Meck in Shepherdstown is utterly cool to me.

Of course, the obstacle to this homey attitude is a constant stress that nothing is being accomplished, fear that I am not "doing anything with my young life". If I stay at home for too long, I start to become a monster. 

I suppose its both a matter of managing both sides of the coin, and remembering that most every moment in life is transitional.  The homebody portion of my life is not over, just because I am acclimating to a grifter-like existence. Depending on the day, Living in the now is either really easy  or impossible.   I suppose its just a matter of increasing the percentage of success.  Or at least learning a middle ground.  Alas, I'm a pretty extreme gal.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Everything I own has a mustard stain, and other reasons why I can't have nice things.

Setting out my Day 1 flight attendant outfit, i realize...everything I packed either A) has food stains or 2) is white and really could use a thorough bleaching.  I wonder what my "Image Counselor" will think of this. (I fear that her outlook will not be very positive). There is also something called a "lipstick check"  and "shaved legs" are part of the uniform, which is really cramping my style, considering I forgot a razor.

I woke up at 330 this morning to head to Dallas (really, to Irving) Texas this morning to begin my training.  I was tired. I am tired. This evening, I had some reasonably good fajitas and TWO unreasonably large "small" beers with my older sister's childhood best friend ( because Shepherdstown relocates in groups like ducks or fish) and now I am even mORe TiReD.

I will be living at a hotel for the next two months. It is not a suite. my roommate is nice, she is my mom's age, and I just want to offer to camp outside for the sake of her getting a little privacy. She is in great shape. She really keeps it together, whereas I just sort of loosely hold it in place.  We both do not run marathons.  the only difference is that She used to, but after three kids and something about her bones, she has to settle with half-marathons.  If I were a 22 year old man at a bar and saw us side by side, I'd go for her.  I aint mad.

Flying first class is as good as you think it is. They give you coffee until you pee. Then, when you start to pee, the pilot turns on the fasten seatbelt sign, leaving you unsure of whether you should return to your seat, or sit there on your new seat like some kind of toilet gnome. Actually, between flight attendant and toilet gnome, I think I might be a star pick for the latter.

Speaking of gnomes, I look terrible in business attire. I have small shoulders and short legs and whatever GenTlEmAn designed businesswear for ladies imagined his future, gender-neutral workplace to be one peopled with broad shouldered amazonians.  I was once compared (accurately) to a teacup pig.  Not quite the spitting image of Xena, Warrior Princess, my first celebrity idol, who probably looks as good in a suit as she did in weird boob armor.

Final thought of the day:
I live in a place called Irving, Texas.  It is a series of strip malls, actual malls and pinball-like highways. my friend's mom (who is a proud Texan) told me that "Dallas aint really Texas', and I'm thinking (hoping) Irving fits into that category as well.  It's like a really boring pinball machine, where you bump into cheap fajitas, cell phone kiosks and instead of a pinball you have a Hummer.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Last night jitters.

There aren't too many good words for how I feel right now.  It's all happening very (too) fast.  So. this is what I've got, and its borrowed from my buddy, Rumi. His poetry and wisdom do a lot for me when I get my heart rate going at rabbit speed and I can't see past the muck.

"If you are wholly perplexed and in straits,
have patience, for patience is the key to joy. 
If you are irritated by every rub,
how will your mirror be polished?"

Diving into the deep. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stress Eating, Preparing and Anne Bogart.

As I sit here eating my 2 1/2 slices of cold pizza (which rounded out my lunch of an entire cucumber, two pieces of watermelon and an ice cream sundae nicely), I am beginning to admit to myself that the past week of moving, saying goodbye to loved (and severely liked) ones, packing and unpacking has had a colossal effect on my emotional state. And, when I feel emotionally unsteady, I tend to go heavy on the snack-packs. I suppose the extra weight makes me feel more grounded.

 Aside from eating, I've been alternating between worrying about my future home and over-analyzing responses from friends/colleagues/old boyfriend's roommates in regards to my new occupation.  Although many people were just somewhat shocked that I wasn't immediately going to assassinate and then become Julie Taymor, I did feel that I had to somewhat "defend" my decision to become a flygirl in 2013. Well folks, unfortunately fame and glory isn't as easy as murdering the only female stage director anyone has ever heard of (Anne BOgart, people!), so I decided to take a pitstop into international travel, long hours and a life of utter unexpected lunacy--which I plan to document. Here. And hopefully somewhere that will pay me.

Keep track if you're interested. This is just a truncated post on my parent's dial-up like wifi (country life problems) to whet your apetite. Expect a lot of emotion, photos (when i get an iPhone) and emotion.

Please note the nearest exit, and remember that it may be behind you.