Monthly Archives: December 2009

Let’s Play Holiday Air Travel – A Reality Show

Flying. It just plain sucks these days. Weather, no weather, it’s all the same. Delays, cancellations, cranky passengers, bag fees, no meals… no fun.

Today, Jana played the third installment of fly home at Christmastime from a school in the Midwest.

After a huge snowstorm that crippled the east coast airports.

With very heavy luggage.

Now that the stage is set here is how the reality show went. These were the parameters: Connecting flights through Milwaukee. Two different airlines (thanks studentuniverse.com). Ok, flight one is delayed 1 hour. Flight 2 is delayed only 1/2 hour. Here is the catch, airline one will neither check the bag through to final destination, nor will they assign a seat on flight two (airline two). She is now required to do the following:

1. take delayed flight #1.

2. retrieve bags at baggage claim.

3. go to airline #2 ticketing desk to check bag (pay fee and heavy surchage AGAIN – bags flew for more money than she did)

4. get seat assignment.

5. go back through security.

6. arrive at gate and board plane.

All this had to be achieved in under 45 minutes. Now THAT is what I call incredible customer service! Jeez, can they be any more alienating?

I placed a little over/under on Facebook but I am happy to report she is now seated on flight 2 (behind a crying baby, of course) and on her way home.

Hey, at least her next flight will be to Europe for semester abroad. I am sure connecting flights in Madrid will go much smoother. Imagine, the Telemundo version in Spanish!

2/23 UPDATE:

To the idiot behind the counter at Airtran in Milwaukee… thanks for your undying lack of compassion, completely inexcusable lack of customer service and your totally inane comment of, “There is no way either you OR your bag will make this flight.” Seriously, do they give you a handbook on how to be a total creep when you do your training? Oh and of course, thanks also for being the slowest moving damn ticket agent in the midwest, just to add insult to injury. No thanks to you, she AND her bag made it. Perhaps that was due to the good nature of each and every person on the security line that let her cut through, and a great pair of 20-year-old legs that sprinted to (of course) the furthest gate in the airport.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, humor, Jana, travel

Time to Cry Tuesday – 55 precious minutes from the past

These days we take for granted the ease in which we document and share our memories. With digital cameras, smartphones and flip video we can share a moment in real-time with our entire network of friends and family without giving it much thought. Our children do not know a time when photos and videos were not shared before the sun rose on another day.

But back in 1974, just one lone Yale film student was cool enough to have a Super 8 camera at the summer camp I have written about so lovingly before. And that super(8), cool guy just happened to be my husband’s co-counselor and dear friend. As luck would have it, this Time to Cry Tuesday happens to be his birthday. So, Steve, this one is for you.

After thirty-five years, most probably buried in a box at his parent’s house, Steve uncovered an artifact like no other. The very Super 8 film that he shot in the summer of 1974. He burned a bunch of DVDs of that most incredible piece of history and shipped it back east to those of us that he knew would love it the most. Thanks to Dr. Jimmy as courier, we are now in possession of a copy of these 55 precious minutes from the past.

For those who have not read my gushing posts about this very special sleepaway camp, it is a place where 3 generations of my family have attended (yes, my mom went there). So did my husband, his siblings, my cousin as well as both our kids. The friends we made there are counted amongst some of our closest friends today, and their children are friends with ours. Ok, so my daughter’s boyfriend is the son of one of them, too. There it is all out in the open. One big happy family.

We watched this amazing footage with our son the other night. His love for the place is as strong as ours. And there, in silence as there was no soundtrack on Super 8, were the younger versions of ourselves and people we have known for all these years. To see the place in action, as it was back then, was such a gift. Not just to ourselves, but to our son as well. He hears the stories and knows the way we feel about the place, but for him to see that history come to life was such a joy. There we were, his age! Seeing not what has changed so much as what has remained exactly the same – the essence of the place. The traditions. The love. The complete and utter freedom to just BE. And do it with passion.

This young man of a generation that documents every move it makes stopped and sat in awe of a generation that was so very lucky to have that one lone Yale film student who took the time to painstakingly piece together that carefree summer for all eternity. In his own words:

I can’t believe it’s been hidden as if in the Grateful Dead vault for 35 years. But as that was my last summer of camp, it’s frozen in time for me there. I remember the fall of ’74… I spent three months cutting the thin little slivers of Regular 8 film on a tiny film viewer and splicing them together with tape.

Thank you, dear birthday boy, for giving us all back that magical summer, and letting us share it with our children.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visitLeaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under camp, danny, freindship, gary, Jana, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Never too old to rock n roll but way too old to shovel

My mother in law called this morning, “Don’t you dare shovel”, she said.

Then my mom called, “Please don’t shovel”, she said.

Me? Oh I am a big shot. I LOVE shoveling. The cold crisp air, the dogs running around, the neighbors being all neighborly. Yeh, one big happy group out there shoveling away, throwing balls for the dogs and snowballs with the kids. (note the heartbreakingly adorable picture of my dog)

Well hear me now world. THAT WAS THE LAST TIME I SHOVEL.

Dinner conversation:

Me: I am pretty sure I am having a heart attack.

Gary: Nah, I am pretty sure you pulled a muscle, that is what manual labor feels like.

Me: What do you know from manual labor? Tennis is NOT manual labor.

Danny: He uses the leaf blower.

Me: (after 20 years of refusing to agree to this) Ok, go buy a snowblower. And make sure it is a big-ass one and gas powered.

I suppose there are times in all our lives where we have to start to realize our limitations and adjust our behaviors. I can rock n roll with the best of them, but the snow shoveling, not so much. And hey, it’s not like giving up something that is all that pleasurable.

Now you will excuse me while I go crawl up to bed with my cardiologist on speed dial (just in case).

(kidding moms! seriously that was just for effect. i am fine, really)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under conversations, current events, danny, gary, health, humor

Does your mom look like this? Another online ad fail.

Ok, who’s responsible for this one? I am constantly entertained by online advertising these days. This beauty showed up on weather.com this afternoon. Let’s see, huge eastern seaboard blizzard this weekend, how many impressions do you think this baby got? I am sure this is the kind of mom Obama was talking about educating.

So, anyone out there have a mom that looks like this? Just asking. Don’t want to make too many assumptions but I am pretty sure this guy would not fall under the category of mom… ANYWHERE! Perhaps the American Laser Centers would like to give this guy a shot for their next ad. Way to go classesUSA.com, nice photo pick.

But wait. A refresh on the site came up with this tidbit. Seems our ‘mom’ is being used in more than one ad on here. Another Obama backed program and hairy dearest has shown up on a driver’s license promoting auto insurance discounts. lowermybills.com, you may want to talk to your agency about this.

Nope, not done yet. One more page refresh landed me here. We have now gotten ourselves a shot at government refinance relief. Seems lowermybills.com did not want to pay extra for more stock photo images, so one bearded guy fits all is the mantra for their ads.

Now that I look at this guy I worry that he was stolen out of someone’s Facebook pictures from the 70s. Anyone recognize him? I mean, I think I went to college with at least a dozen guys that look like this.

Can’t make this stuff up.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visitLeaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, companies, humor, marketing

Are New Yorkers Really Miserable?

The CDC told us today that New Yorkers are the unhappiest people in the country. Seems our neighbors are pretty miserable living next door because New Jersey and Connecticut are up there too. Hey Jersey, I get it (just kidding Jersey friends) but what the hell does Connecticut have to be so unhappy about being all Norman Rockwell up there?

These studies are so ridiculous to me. Tennessee and Louisiana are in the top five along with Colorado, Hawaii and Florida. Ok, so Colorado and Hawaii I get. But Louisiana? What? Katrina left in its wake a state full of the elated. Nope. Don’t think so. And Florida, well, let’s see, half the state is full of New Yorkers. Oh, I get it, all the happy ones moved down there.

There is all this data about good weather and happiness. Sure I get it. But NY has a lot more than weather to offer. Honestly, I will take a cultural center over the early bird special any day.

Happiness, in my opinion, is not something that geography can control. It comes from inside us all. Find what makes y0u happy and you can stay that way wherever you live.

And hey, I know plenty of miserable people in Florida!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visitLeaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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All thumbs

Texting, or BBMing (blackberry messenger texting) is the way many of us communicate these days. It is not only the kids that converse this way, now many adults do as well. The keyboard-based phones have revolutionized the speed in which we can now get our message out. Back in the day of traditional cell phones (jeez, that does sound ridiculous) we were forced to spell things painstakingly with triple keystrokes to get the correct letters out. The full keyboards have eliminated that awkwardness and helped us to type out error free, coherent messages.

Well, most of us.

Every crowd has one. The person who loves to converse in BBM and does so regularly. That person is sensitive, completely in touch, a responsible friend and the worst damn thumb typist on the face of the earth. Many try to understand her messages but few can decode the nonsense that rolls off her fingertips and out into the BBMosphere. I have gotten pretty good at looking at the letters on the keyboard next to the ones that have been typed to try to decipher her messages.

Oh, honey, you know who you are, and so do all your friends. But we love you just the same.

Full disclosure, I asked permission to write this and she is a damn good sport.

To give you an example of how funny things can with a friend like this, here are a few examples that happened during a not so funny time in her life this week.

First, she bbmd her husband who was picking up her daughter at college with an urgent message. He looked at it. Looked at it again. Then handed it to his daughter and said, “Can you tell what she is trying to say here.” The daughter’s response was, “Hmmm, there really is no way to tell.”

Later that day she sent me a message about her son having to have some unpleasant test while in the emergency room. Here was our exact conversation:

Me: Ew at 50. Ewwwwwww, kill me now at 14.

Her: That’s what linda said

Me: Who the hell is linda?

Her: Long Nails

Me: Linda long nails?

Her: no I mean that is what he kinda said. my nails are long for typing

Me: OMG, I thought the nurse giving him the test was named Linda and she had long nails.

I am happy to report her son is now ok. But during the afternoon we did get to talk about ‘ibtestines’, i found out that ‘whabdoesnt kill u makes us stronger’ and she shared that nails were a mess because she had ‘missee her monicrd’.

Yeh, well, better to be all thumbs than tongue tied, right?

Wishing a speedy recovery to a 14 year old who is a reeeallly, reeeallly good sport!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visitLeaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Let dogs out. Let dogs in. Let dogs out.

I posted this as my Facebook status yesterday and it would appear that many people share my schedule. We are lucky to be graced with the presence of a guest dog for 11 days. Dear Barkley is a bearded collie who is advanced in his years like Mel. These two have a pretty tight schedule planned most days. It involves torturing me to go in and out of the house… constantly.

And yes, I am a sucker for their needs. After all they are old.

The picture at the top of this post is a magnet that a friend gave me awhile back. He completely understands my plight. I also have another magnet that says “no outfit is complete without dog hair”. I often wonder why a woman who wears only black clothing would ever be possessed to by a white dog.

So, if you call tomorrow and can’t find me, I would most probably just be corralling these knuckleheads back into the house. Dont’ worry all of those who are unsettled by my leaving the basement, I will be here.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visitLeaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under pets