Saturday, September 24, 2011

Under the wire

So one of my "mid-year's resolutions" that I posted a couple posts back (after my 6 month hiatus) was to post every 2 weeks.  Well, I think it's exactly two weeks today. :) And how am I doing with the going to sleep early thing? Not so well.  There's just too much to do! I'm really ready for those extra hours in the day anytime now. Maybe a 28-hour day would be good.

But anyway, what I really want to talk about is the upcoming ABC show Pan Am.  Why? Well, my mom was a Pan Am stewardess in the late '60s, '70's and early '80's (until my brother was born).  I grew up hearing my mom's stories about flying and her run-ins with the law in countries like Libya (for smuggling in alcohol to trade for ... something ... probably a Hermes scarf, knowing my mom ;) ) and visits to countries all over the world.


This article from the Advocate (GLBT news magazine, in case you didn't know) talks about the top 10 reasons you should watch the show and some of the points are exactly why I'm looking forward to it.  Like the feminism. I mean, sure, my mom had frequent weigh-ins but she was travelling all over the world and spoke 3 languages fluently and boy does she have some crazy stories.  I have heard her stories but it will be fun to see how the show does stuff and how many things my mom can say didn't happen that way or were exactly that way.

We had a bunch of art and stuff from foreign countries in our house growing up that I just took for granted.  You mean not everyone's family has Persian rugs that they actually bought in Iran for probably $5?  It's not normal to have coasters made from Zebra hide? (Yes, before you tell me how the Zebra was probably poached, let me remind you it was purchased in the '60s or '70s, not today).

And not to mention random things in our house that had somehow made it from the airplane into our house.  Like my favorite tongs that my mom used. When I asked her where they came from so that I could buy some when I was moving into my own apartment she said, "oh those? Those were used in first class for food service." Or all the blue throw blankets with Pan Am logos on them.  And she still has all her uniforms.  I wore the original one (similar to the one they wear on the show) for Halloween when I was in high school (and the skirt actually fit me) and then 4 years ago (when I had to wear a skirt I already owned, but the shirt and jacket fit)!

Being a flight attendant is different now and when I was trying to figure out what to do after I graduated, being a flight attendant was on my list but didn't seem quite as glamorous anymore.  Sure I would have gotten to fly the international legs earlier because I spoke a bunch of languages, but I don't think I would have worn my uniform sight-seeing.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Okay, I'll do it, too.

I have already seen a number of people posting the "where I was 10 years ago on 9/11" thing so I thought I'd add my voice in since mine may be different from the majority of Americans.

I was in South Korea on my 2nd month of a 13 month stay teaching English in a girl's high school.  I had just moved in with a Korean host family and was sitting in the family room while they watched a Korean prime time television show (it was 10pm-ish on 9/11) and I was on their computer checking email and probably scanning photos to post online.

A crawl showed up on the bottom of the TV screen and my host mother said that it sounded like a plane had hit one of the buildings in New York.  So I tried to get on a news website but none of them were loading.  I couldn't get on to any new sites.  Finally my dad came online (he and I chatted multiple times a day via AIM) and told me that a commuter plane or something had hit one of the towers.  Then he essentially narrated the second tower being hit.  Nothing was really known but my dad said they thought maybe it was a terrorist attack. Finally I had to go to sleep.

In the morning, there was nothing about the attack on the English-language paper I got every morning (I guess they went to press earlier in the night).  However, I was able to finally get onto news sites and was shocked to find out that not only had the towers collapsed, but the pentagon had been hit and a fourth plane had gone down and they were calling it a terrorist attack by Al Qaeda.

It was pretty strange.  Here was I was halfway across the world while all kinds of crazy stuff was happening.  My friends and family in NYC were all fine. My brother in Ithaca, NY was fine.  My mom in Chicago was convinced the Sears Tower was next and the 30-something of us on Fulbright Teaching Assistantship grants in South Korea were not quite sure what to do.  We were told that we were safe where we were (spread out across the country all in different cities) and to let them know if we couldn't get in touch with any family.  I was able to communicate via phone or email or IM and spoke with my mom to assure her I was fine.

I think I had a much more detached experience than anyone in the US. I still had to teach 5 classes of 40 students each that day. I'm sure I could have gotten out of it if I wanted to but I didn't feel as overwhelmed or worried as somebody in the US may have.  So we just kind of continued on.  I paid a lot more attention to the news than I may have otherwise and certainly spoke with my family a lot.

So that's my "where were you on September 11th" story

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Well that's silly. The entry I posted last week sometime has a June date on it, which is when I started a draft. I'm not sure how to change the date, but no big deal. :) 

Jen has gone up to bed after a fun (day-before) Labor Day cookout today with her family. Nate and his cousins had a blast playing together. It's nice that Nate's now getting to the point where he and his 10-month older cousin are interacting and speaking with each other instead of crying anytime the other takes a toy away.

So Jen's up in bed and I'm laying in a strange sideways position on the couch since sitting still causes my sciatica pain to act up. What an odd thing chronic pain is. It's never something I really thought about. Occasionally I'd get a pain in my back or sleep funny and wake up with a stiff neck, but then it would go away and usually Advil helped it. When you have a pain that radiates from your lower back down to your ankle anytime you sit and no painkillers really help it, you'll do a lot and change a lot of habits to get it to stop. Like standing all day. I started to have pain in late April or May and once I realized how impossible it was to concentrate on work sitting at my desk, I requested a standing-height desk. That has definitely helped (and though I was more tired the first month, I'm now totally used to standing all day).  Jen and I used to sit together on the couch all the time at night to relax and watch a little TV but now sometimes I have to stretch out on the other couch in the living room or lay on the floor. It has definitely gotten better but it's not totally gone.  I also no longer sit on the T. Those seats are not friendly. I'm one of the annoying people standing with an available seat in front of me.  SORRY!

Thankfully it is better or the 2 1/2-hour each way that I drove yesterday to go to a great friend from college's wedding would have been excruciating. There were times in July/August when I dreaded driving the 10 minutes to the chiropractor because not only was sitting in the car hideously painful, getting out of the car was almost worse. That part has definitely gotten better. I'm confident it'll be gone eventually. Thanks to stretching and yoga, massage and the chiropractor.

So Nate and I went to his first wedding yesterday. :) I have proof that he wore a tie (for about 5 minutes) and looked very handsome while he did. Even while making a silly monkey face.

The wedding was at 3 and we enjoyed the reception until about 7:30, which was after the cake. Nate wanted to stay for the cake. :) After the cake we packed up and put Nate's PJs on for the ride home.  He told me he had a fun time.  Then this morning when I asked him the best part of the wedding, he said it was the orange juice.  For some reason the orange juice was really memorable.  Possibly because he got to have it in an adult glass and not a brightly-colored plastic cup.

We have no plans tomorrow, which is one of the best things.  Maybe Nate and I will bake something for Momma, or maybe we'll all go for a walk at Wompatuck and bring a picnic. Maybe we'll just lounge around and do nothing. Maybe we'll sort through some of Nate's toys to put away the ones he has outgrown and get rid of any broken ones.  I like days with no plans!