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Month: September 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

Two really sucky options

I’ve said it before. The dentist freaks me the heck out. I hate to admit it because I’m not normally so… normal? I mean, it’s normal to be afraid of the dentist right?

Please say yes. I don’t need to feel worse about this.

Thankfully I have excellent dental hygiene. I brush twice a day. I floss every night. I use mouthwash. I’ve never had many dental problems. I had to get my wisdom teeth removed. I also had a wee little filling on something that was a soft spot not a cavity. Or something. I’m not a dentist.

I had hoped that that would be the end of my relationship with the dentist other than regular cleanings. Wouldn’t you know it couldn’t be that simple.

::sigh::

So now this stupid tooth that never bothered me before ever hurts like crazy. That’s not the way these things are supposed to work right? No pain, get a filling, one year later extreme pain? Seems backwards, am I right?

Naturally the first thing anyone would do when they get shooting pains when they so much as brush in the area, much less eat anything hot or cold, would be to call the dentist right? Well…. I may have put it off… awhile.

Like a week. I really honestly hoped it would go away.

Needless to say it didn’t. And when I put down a bar of Godiva chocolate because it hurt too much to eat it I knew I had to suck it up and make a call.

Yesterday I had an appointment with an endodontist because when I explained my symptoms to my dentist they thought I may need a root canal. Yay!

I went to the office, filled out some paperwork (By the way, how mean is it to expect someone to remember important information like their SSN or their husband’s driver’s license number with the sound of sucking and drilling as background noise. ::shiver:: Wait, who remembers their own driver’s license number much less their husband’s? Seriously.) and tried not to pass out, throw up or shiver too visibly. Spoiler alert: I did none of those things. Win!

Well, after taking some x-rays and then poking around in my mouth to find out if it hurt. (Yes it freaking did!) I was told I have two options. Both of them suck. Of course.

Option one: Try to repair my damaged filling and hope that will fix it. It’s definitely the less invasive option. It also won’t cost a fortune which is a big plus. The downside is, it may not actually fix it at all. In fact, I can expect to be in pain for the better part of a month. It may even make my pain worse, to the point of not sleeping, for awhile. And if it doesn’t work I could end up needing a root canal anyway, after all that.

Option two: Just go ahead and get a root canal. This would make the pain go away much faster because it gets rid of the nerve. No nerve, no pain! Wee! However, it would hollow out my tooth, weakening it and requiring a crown. Complications with that down the road could mean losing a tooth. It also may require my selling my first born child to pay for, I’m not entirely sure how much my insurance covers. I know it’s the more expensive option anyway.

So yeah, I’m putting off calling and scheduling anything because I honestly don’t know what to do. I’m also not in quite as much pain as before. Mostly because I’ve stopped chewing completely on that side of my mouth but whatever.

I need advice from someone with more dental experience than me. I’m leaning toward the first option, anything less drastic seems like a plus. But the idea of being in pain for a month is less than appealing. Tell me what I should do people! I need your help!

Favorite season not action

Tonight I can officially add the sidewalk to my list of dangerous objects.

Joel and I are running again. Hush, I heard that eye roll. I haven’t really mentioned it here or on Twitter because this is the third time I’ve started the C25K program. ::hangs head:: I know. I’m horrible at follow through. But whatever, this time I’ve gone much further than ever before and it feels awesome.

This is not a post about running though. This is a post about falling. Excited?

Joel and I have a habit of running in the evening. This started out of necessity because 6 weeks ago when we started it was 85 degrees, humid and sunny during the day and the one time we tried running in the afternoon I about collapsed halfway through. Humidity is the devil. Take note.

Well Fall is upon us here in Chicagoland and the temperatures have been extremely pleasant. Instead of changing our habits though we’ve continued to run after dark. It just works for us. Or it has so far.

Tonight I was feeling great on our run. The previous run was a full 20 minutes straight. I know! Head explosion over here. I’m still in shock that I actually did it. Anyway, after that long run going back to intervals (per the program) felt like a piece of cake. The weather was nice, I had my headphones in and was rocking out. I only had about 2 minutes left of my last running interval before the cool down and I let my mind wander.

I’ll never remember where it wandered because I realized the sidewalk had suddenly become slightly uneven and gravity was about to make me it’s bitch.

In my head it all happened in slow motion. The sidewalk dipped and my feet didn’t get the message fast enough. I tripped slightly and must have over corrected because instead of righting myself I kept going downward.

Bam! My right knee hit and I somehow still stumbled a bit more before my left knee followed with only slightly less force.

Bam! I reached my right palm out to catch myself but my momentum was too great and I continued down even further. The momentum was so great I scraped my knuckles on that same hand.

Bam! My left shoulder hit next and my mind immediately went to my iPhone which was in a case strapped to my bicep. Oh please don’t let it break. Yes, even with the threat of bones breaking my biggest concern was for my iPhone. I realize how pathetic that is.

Finally Bam! My face met the concrete and I could not fall any further.

I lay there for a moment completely in shock. My brain did a quick mental check of my bones and nothing felt broken. I lay face down on the pavement and the shock of it all, plus the sting of the scrapes caused me to burst into tears.

Joel was almost immediately by my side and I was soon sitting up on the sidewalk, testing my limbs to make sure none were seriously injured. Thank goodness none were. I was bleeding but not broken.

A minute passed, I’m still sitting there bawling when I realize a car is pulling up next to us. And then I saw the pretty red and blue lights flick on.

Oh yay, the police!

I scrabbled to my feet, tears and pain suddenly gone with the adrenaline of the embarrassment. The officer was incredibly nice and offered me an ambulance (which I obviously told him I didn’t need) and a ride home (which I was too embarrassed to accept). Because he stopped he had to take my name and information and write a quick report of the incident. Fan-freaking-tastic. I am officially on record as a klutz. His exact words were “So you just tripped over the curb or something stupid like that?” Yep, exactly stupid like that.

Needless to say I didn’t finish the run but walking home wasn’t a problem. Want to see the damage?

Sexy knees.

Shoulder and face. Please excuse the sweaty hair and face. Running isn’t something I get dressed up for.

Closeup!

So all in all nothing is too horrible. They definitely sting and I’m not looking forward to the probable black eye in a couple of days. I’m just super grateful it’s nothing more than a few superficial scrapes. As weird as it sounds I’m glad I caught myself with my face rather than catching the whole fall on my hands and snapping my wrist. Can’t fix that with a band-aid!

Despite my luck this time I think it’s about time we change our running habits. Uneven sidewalks are much easier to spot in daylight. I’d like to try and keep all my skin attached from now on thank you very much.

 

The argument against gay marriage

… and what is wrong with it.

Gay marriage is such a hot issue right now. Those that are for it scream for equality and justice. They want to be seen as equals in a society where they are expected to contribute equally in taxes and laws. Those that are against it fear for the end of civilization as we know it. I hear so many arguments against gay marriage. Here are my problems with some of them.

1. “It’s unnatural”– If you mean that there are no examples in nature then you should look at penguins, dolphins, albatross etc. Animals have all kinds of same sex relationships. In fact, over 450 species practice some sort of same sex activity. (NY Times)

If you mean they can’t reproduce then you are correct. However, we don’t outlaw marriage for the elderly and infertile. We also have not outlawed birth control. Natural procreation is only one of hundreds of  possible valid reasons to get married. There is nothing unnatural about desiring marriage for the sake of love, commitment and companionship.

2. “It goes against my religion” – That may very well be true. No one is asking you to change your religious beliefs. The beautiful thing about this country is that we have freedom to practice any belief system we see fit. We do not have a State church. Anyone, religious or non-religious, should be very appreciative of that. Christianity alone has so many denominations and there are extreme differences even between them. You are free to choose, not only your specific religion, but how when and where you practice it. The minute the government starts making laws based on one religion it puts all religious freedoms at risk.

3. “But… but… Sodom and Gomorrah!”– First of all, this is again, based on a specific religion and so shouldn’t have an influence on legislation. If however you’re afraid that our country will be destroyed in fire and brimstone or that you’ll be turned into a pillar of salt as a result then you’ll have to get in line. Spain, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal, Netherlands, Iceland, Canada and South Africa all have laws allowing gay marriage or domestic partnerships. If these countries start getting systematically destroyed by bizarre acts of nature we’ll have plenty of time to reevaluate our stance on things.

And if you really want to get theological about it, the perverts in Sodom and Gomorrah wanted to rape the angels that came to visit Lot.* Rape is a disgusting and abhorrent act. It could be argued that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, not for being cities full of people in loving, monogamous, same sex relationships, but rather because they were cities full of murderers and rapists. Plus, when God wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah He said that if there were even 10 righteous men He would spare it. I certainly hope we could muster up that many righteous people in the event of imminent destruction. (Genesis 18 and 19)

4. “Marriage has always been this way.”- Marriage has actually changed drastically and often throughout history. Marriages used to be a simple property exchange. The man owned the women in order for her to produce heirs and do household tasks. Marriage used to involve one man and as many women as he could afford to keep. This was again to ensure he had as many heirs as physically possible. We have since changed the laws and marriage is now only recognized in most areas of the US as between two people.

Another very recent change to marriage is legalization of interracial marriage. As few as 45 years ago, interracial marriage was as illegal and feared as gay marriage is today. Opponents used the same arguments, that is was not biblical and that it was unnatural. They were afraid that it would produce mentally handicapped and damaged offspring. As a proud aunt of beautiful and brilliant interracial children the very idea that 50 years ago they wouldn’t have been allowed to see their mom and dad married sickens me. As a proud daughter-in-law of a highly intelligent and loving gay man I feel the same way for him. Sick.

Until relatively recently in history women and black people were seen as property. Should we go back to that because it’s the way it’s always been? Of course not! History is not the standard by which we set our values, attempting to mirror it as closely as possible. Instead, history is something we should examine carefully and learn from. We should be taking the good and rejecting the bad so that we can grow into a more ideal society.

I think it’s time to take a hard, honest look at the motivation behind these and any other arguments. They are all based on fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of loss of power. We have many examples of healthy, normal societies where gay marriage is nothing more than another normal relationship. These societies have yet to fall apart as a result.

Put yourself in their place. Would you not be devastated if your marriage was illegal? Would you not fight with every breath to see that changed? I know I would. I would also fight with every breath if my sister and brother-in-law could not be married just like I am fighting now for my father-in-law to be able to marry someone he loves.

Gay people aren’t looking to make your life harder. They’re not looking to affect your personal life at all.  All they want are the same rights and privileges that you enjoy. They don’t want any special treatment, they just want equal treatment. Isn’t that what the United States is all about?

*Yeah I know my Biblical characters. What?

A real boy

This past weekend I was at my sister’s with Joel babysitting her three kiddos. My nephews are Anthony 4, Jordan 3 and Devin (but we call him Diggy) 5 months and they are seriously the sweetest kids ever.

Here are a couple snippets from the weekend:

JordanUncle Joel, you don’t live here.

JoelWell for the weekend we do.

JordanYeah but you don’t live here regularly. (side note, seriously he used the word regularly. He’s 3! Cracked me up)

JoelWould you like it if we lived here regularly?

At the same time: AnthonyYes! JordanNo!

AnthonyBut Jordan, then they’d be here all the time.

JordanBut that would just be silly.

—-

They were watching a super hero move and one of the previews was for Harry Potter.

AnthonyI like Harry Potter. Is he real?

MeNo he’s a character on TV just like Superman.

He seemed disappointed but got lost in the movie and didn’t say anything else about it. Later my sister Anna (16) was over and she was talking with Anthony. He was obviously being super cute and so she said,

You’re so cute, Anthony. You should be on TV.

Anthony’s eyes got really big and sad. He took a deep breath and said,

But…. I want to be real.
——

I was so pleased with how the day went. I thought it was going to be the whole weekend. My brother-in-law was having some health issues and we thought he would need to be in the hospital all weekend. Thankfully the issues turned out not to be as serious as originally thought and they didn’t even have to stay over night.

It was going to be kind of fun and interesting though. Going from a blissfully child-free couple to two toddlers and an infant? For a whole weekend? Including over night? Bam!

I was shocked at how stress free it was though. Yeah I was tired at the end of the day but those kids are so freaking well behaved. The most annoying part of the day was heating up bottles every time Diggy needed to eat. And that was not that big a deal. At all.

The only thing I’m worried about now is I won’t be able to live up to this high standard of adorableness my sister’s kids have set. I’m just the tiniest bit concerned that I’m going to end up raising a herd of monster children.

Maybe I’ll just convince my sister to move in next door. Between her and their older boy cousins they ought to stay in line. Or at least their cousins will teach them how to be ridiculously adorable and I won’t notice the monstrous behavior as much.

Embracing the sad

There was a time I didn’t know how to cry. I noticed when I was 10. I was in a movie (part of a college student’s portfolio) and couldn’t muster up any of the tears that were necessary to play my part.

I faked it, but not well. Oscar worthy performance it was not.

But after that it became my mission to teach myself to cry.

Ironically it was around that time that my world turned upside down. My mom got sick and suddenly wasn’t around much anymore. That’s a story for a different time but my lack of emotion became really obvious. Things were happening that I should have cried over but I was like a rock. Just, nothing.

I couldn’t feel a thing.

I know now I was probably protecting myself. The thing was, I realized that while not feeling the pain was nice I also never really felt any good emotions either. I was blank. Empty.

Empty is so much worse than pain.

I can’t remember my exact journey away from numbness. I don’t think I ever had an epiphany that woke me up. But I did wake up. I taught myself to cry. Crying is a cleansing act. When your capacity for feeling reaches new lows it also reaches new highs. It’s impossible for it to go one way.

It’s been so long since I inadvertently learned that lesson that I’d kind of forgotten it. I’ve read several posts recently about being alone and finding a group, etc. They make me sad. I still have yet to find my “tribe.”

It’s something I want so badly and feeling sad about it all the time sucks.  Tonight I found myself sitting here wishing I could just shut that part of me off and not feel sad anymore. Just be numb.

But then it came rushing back to me. Numb isn’t all that great either. In fact, it probably sucks more.

So I’m embracing the sad. I accept that it’s part of who I am right now. I know, like everything this will pass. I will move on and grow and change and all that. I’ll look back on this lonely time and remember how much it sucked.

I’m guessing it’s like dating. When you want a relationship so fucking desperately it tends to elude. Relationships, at least good ones, seem to come to those who aren’t actively looking for one.

I have a feeling that once I embrace this feeling and become comfortable with my situation that’s when I’ll find my place. I will cry my cleansing tears and I will stop being ashamed of how I feel.

I’m lonely.

I’m sad.

I want a group of friends.

That is okay.

I will have a group someday.

And when I have that and I’m sitting around having coffee with friends and laughing until our stomachs hurt. Or reaching over to text my friend something neat that happened. Or being there to listen when my friend is hurting I will feel that too.

If the low of being lonely hurts this much then the high of finally finding my tribe is going to be pretty amazing.

A day in my life

I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to do this. When Jill wrote the challenge it seemed like a fun idea. Unfortunately I’m afraid my life is rather dull right now. At least compared to when I’m actually flying.

But when I thought about it I realized I may like to look back and see what a regular day was like too. So here it is, a day in my life as seen through my iPhone and Instagram:

7:00am– Joel’s alarm goes off. I nudge him to turn it off and doze back off while he gets ready for work.

7:45am– Joel kisses me goodbye for the day. I wake up long enough to kiss him and then again fall back asleep.

9:00am- I roll over and see this adorable face staring at me. Check Twitter, email, etc from my iPhone.

Good morning sunshine.

9:15am– I finally stop cuddling Phoebe and checking tweets and make the bed.

Phoebe seriously freaks out about bed making.

10:15am- Breakfast eaten, showered, dressed and out the door.

Bye Phoebe.

10:45am– Laser hair removal appointment. Ouch.

11:00am- Out to lunch with Joel.

We’ve been wanting to try out Labriola’s cafe for awhile. It does not disappoint. Yum!

12:00pm- Drop Joel back off at work. Long day for him. Bummer.

12:30pm- Home again. And somebody is ready for her walk.

It’s kind of rainy and gross though so it’s a short walk.

12:45- Phoebe naps while I catch up on blogs and twitter and stuff.

2:00pm– Phoebe’s batteries are recharged and she would like for me to play with her.

She starts polite but if I don’t oblige quickly she goes into attack mode.


2:05pm- I give in and we run around and play with her new favorite toy.

Kill it!

2:30pm- I decide to sort laundry so it’s all ready to do tomorrow.

2:33pm- I grumble about how somebody always forgets to empty their pockets so it’s lucky that somebody always double checks because otherwise somebody’s flashdrive would’ve gotten washed. ahem

2:35pm- I almost kill our hamper because it. always. falls. off. the. freaking. hooks.

Laundry makes me grumble a lot. ahem

2:40pm- Laundry is sorted. I could wash it today but… yeah... So I read a book instead. A book and Phoebe cuddles are so much better than carting laundry up and down three flights of stairs.

Happiness.

5:00pm- Time to eat something for dinner.

I get kind of lazy about dinner when Joel has to work late. What?

6:00pm- Jazz class

7:00pm- Water break

7:10pm- Hip hop

8:30pm- Classes over and finally time to pick up Joel from work. P.S. Longest work day ever, right?

9:00pm- Home at last. Time to get a little quality time with Joel, watch some Psych on Netflix and enjoy a little post dance treat.

I’d say I earned it.

Now I want to know about you. What does a day in your life look like?

The Clothing Assassin

Joel is a wonderful person and I wouldn’t trade him for anything. One thing about him that baffles me is how hard he is on clothes. I have clothes that I’ve owned since 1997… not that I should be especially proud of that. And also not that I actually wear those clothes (ahem) often. But I still own them and they’re still in decent shape.

As far as the clothes that I haven’t kept for their sentimental value, they generally last me a long time. They either go out of style or I grow tired of them. Some of them that I wear really often get that pilled up look after awhile. (Which makes otherwise perfectly good clothes look rather ratty by the way. If anyone has a solution to this me and my wardrobe would be eternally grateful.) I have one pair of jeans that I got from a friend who bought them at a thrift store. After wearing those jeans for seriously years they finally just got a hole in the knee. That is the only pair of jeans that has ever gotten a hole in them without already coming home from the store that way.

Joel is a completely different story. I swear the man goes through clothes like you wouldn’t believe. It’s been about a year and half since the last time we bought him jeans and he just informed me that of a dozen different pairs he has one pair left that doesn’t have holes in the knees.

What. the. heck. people?!

He isn’t a five year old rough and tumble boy who crawls around. In fact, I can’t think of the last time I saw him crawl. He doesn’t play sports. He has a desk job for heavens sake. How does sitting at a desk 40 hours a week wear holes in your knees?!

It’s the same with shoes. Today he was complaining that his feet hurt after walking around all day. After taking a look at what he was walking around in it wasn’t hard to see why.

These shoes are about a year old. One year old!

Holding them up to the light. You can see through them completely!

How does this happen? Just, how?!

I realize that I own easily twice as many clothes and shoes as he does so it makes sense that his clothes would wear out a bit faster. But this seems really excessive. Do other men destroy their clothes in record time like this? Or am I seriously married to the clothing assassin? Is there a way to prevent the massacre? I’m pretty sure I see pants and shoes alike shudder in terror as Joel walks by. Send help people. Future clothes depend on it.

Popcorn and Cake… wrecks

I grew up in the town where Orville Redenbocker developed his famous and delicious popcorn. Hence, the annual Popcorn Festival. With the exception of a few adult years where I was either living overseas or had to work I’ve been going to the Popcorn Festival since I was a little kid. It starts with short 100 meter dashes for kids 2-10. It’s so cute to see my nephews carrying on the tradition.

Winners. Yay!

After that there’s a parade in which a float = anything with popcorn thrown on it.

Or people dressed as popcorn. Whatever.

As a kid I remember the floats being these elaborate creations made entirely of popcorn. Not sure if I was just little and thought everything was cooler or if people got lazy because the floats aren’t all that impressive anymore. Oh well, it’s more about spending time with my family anyway.

See how my brother is leaning back in his chair? Despite warnings he continued doing it.

He learned his lesson though.

Once the parade was over we walked around a bit, ate some junk food and listened to the bands that were playing. Normally we’d look around at the booths as there are always some really cool crafts and things. This year it was so insanely crowded that we quickly decided it wasn’t worth it and headed home. I made cake!

If you follow me on twitter you may remember tweeting about my cake wreck. See, in my head I’m this fabulous baker. Unfortunately I have very little experience and so things don’t tend to turn out the way they look in my head. Remember the asshole cake? Yeah.

I do learn from my mistakes though and did not come close to losing a finger or throwing cake across the room. Win!

That’s kind of where the win ends though.

What I learned this time is whipped frosting, while delicious, does not hold layer cakes together well.

Whipped frosting kind of likes to be all airfull and slidey and before you know it your beautiful layer cake looks like this.

That hole in the frosting is from me trying to push the layers back into place.

Top tip: that doesn’t work. At. all.

We all got a good laugh out of it though and the really cool thing about the cake wasn’t revealed until I started serving it.

That was the reaction I was hoping for.

Ta da!

Hot mess on the outside. Awesome on the inside.

Kind of like me.

 

Insignificant Details

I remember the stupid details of that day.

Getting ready to go to school, hearing something on the radio about the twin towers being hit and thinking they meant the Petronas Towers. Even at 15 I was probably too globally minded for my own good. Plus, they couldn’t mean in New York. Things like that don’t happen in America.

Getting to school and sitting in huddled, quiet, tearful groups watching the the live broadcast of the horrible events of the day play out.

It was a Tuesday.

I’ll never forget that because we had youth group that night. It wasn’t canceled. Instead it was a long prayer meeting.

I remember a catholic friend of mine joined me at youth that night. She prayed not only for the living but the dead. My youth group was nondenominational and charismatic and I remember someone saying something to me about how it was wrong for my friend to pray for the dead because she couldn’t help them anymore.

I wanted to hit them.

Even on that day stupid, insignificant religious details couldn’t be put aside. At that moment I knew that the sudden surge of patriotism and camaraderie was only temporary.

That naive 15 year old me was right. Unfortunately. We are more divided than ever. Our worlds were turned upside down by truly evil people and instead of rising above it all and taking it as a wake up call people used it for profit. People, American people, profited off the horrific deaths of innocent Americans.

It makes me so sick and sad.

We let the terrorists win.

Their goal was not to kill people on that one day. Their goal was to divide us and change the way we live every. single. day.

They did.

We let them.

As a flight attendant I’m reminded daily just exactly how different our lives are. How much they continue to change.

I wasn’t going to write at all today. There are so many who have put this day into words so much better than I ever could.  I don’t pretend like I have anything unique or special to say. It was on my mind though and wanted to be written. I’m disappointed in our country right now. I know it could be so much better.

While this post reflects that disappointment I haven’t lost hope. I know that this country could be great if we could start focusing on what matters. People matter. So many details are just so insignificant.

Puzzled

This is the puzzle we put together Labor Day weekend. About halfway through we got the video framed better and it looks pretty cool I think.

When I put together a puzzle I have a system. First I find all the edge pieces. Then I assemble all the edge pieces so I have a nice frame to work around.

I also separate any pieces that were already together when I dumped the box out. Because it’s cheating. Obviously

Joel is totally different. He just starts putting pieces together willy nilly. Who needs a frame? And if pieces are already assembled? Bonus!

That kind of drove me crazy. After we had almost finished the frame there was one piece missing. Joel wanted to just start on the rest of the puzzle but I could not wrap my head around it. We I searched for several minutes, until I found that stupid last piece and then I felt okay about starting the center of the puzzle.

The funny part is, once we started on the center we totally reversed roles.

Joel likes to focus on one small section at a time, not stopping until that part is complete.

I, on the other hand, may try to focus on one section but pieces tend to jump out at me randomly as I scan them and I assemble about 12 sections at once.

That drove Joel a little crazy. Mostly because I kept reaching in front of him because I saw a piece on his half of the table.

Joel is quiet and thoughtful, concentrating on finishing whatever section he’s working on at the moment.

I’m chatty and vocal. I also had the world’s most random show tune medley going on basically the entire time. Come on though, don’t put me in front of puzzle of Times Square and not expect me to sing songs from whatever show is on the piece that I’m holding. That’s just mean.

We couldn’t be more different, Joel and I.

And I love it.

 

 

 

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