Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sounding Off on Taking Off

The white noise of the engine, air and oxygen floating freely through the cabin. Nothing more relaxing on a small propeller plane headed back from the islands until one of your newly seated neighbors acts like he is in his family room with NO family around within 1000 miles.

What is he thinking? I'll tell you exactly what is going through his head. "Ahh, hours of nobody around who loves me or cares what I touch while I sit here and act like my name is Donald Rump. Yes, after I remove my workboots, my dark socks that are older than the pilot and undo my belt one notch in case I have two of those yummy steamed burgers they serve, I'll be able to recline back faster than a flight attendant can say Buh-Bye".

Any male over the age of 3, shouldn't be allowed to remove any stitch of clothing or shoe in public unless he is on his way to a quadruple bypass and has to be carted into O.R. on his back.
There is a reason sardines STINK, They are stuck in a miniature plane without wings with strangers who are all just going to the same destination.

We truly don't want to know you are on the same flight as us. This is why we all pretend to look out the window while we listened to you on the runway scream into your 1st generation cell phone telling your wife and/or girlfriend to kiss your ASPirations if they don't like how you fixed the back window with duct tape.

Please don't think you fooled us by bringing BOTH a duffle bag with STYX concert labels and a backpack of dirty laundry that you think counts as ONE Carry-On. We truly mind that you took up four of the above bins with your red leather jacket, giftshop bag with cheap airport chocolate and a mailing tube with a map of the Biggest Ball of Yarn museum.

I have a ticket for your next trip. Its called a laundry ticket, use it to get some new shirts as your current one is melting into the tweed finish of this prop plane to the septic pool of destinations

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sleepless For All the Wrong Reasons

You've been there. Unless you are 9 months old and your only concern in life is NOT if you will be changed in the morning, but how often-Then you have been THERE.

Where? In that world where you are WIDE AWAKE and no place to go.

Are you concerned you haven't watched enough Reality TV and your favorite Idol just didn't get enough text messages from your cheap 30 messages max-a-month plan to make to next week or the late night talk circuit didn't give you enough stupid people tricks with people who think they actually have a talent (sorry, but I can make disturbing noises with my body too, but I don't go on Letterman to prove it to my pals back at Costco.)

Or were you stuck flipping channels and couldn't turn off one of the 50 Meg Ryan movies playing after midnight where she..um..yes...CRIES. (I guarantee she get paid by the teardrop)

What keeps us up? Truly, we have to understand that nothing can or will be done until the morning, where that alarm you set clearly to music the night before goes off playing static white noise which is not what you perceived it would sound like 8 hours before.

It must be that you are trying to even out the duration of how long you slept on the left side versus the right versus the lying flat on the back position.

Did you spend enough time on your stomach with a tempur-pedic pillow perpetually punched or did you exercise your right to submit to the fetal-tucked position with all the blankets wrapped around you?

Perhaps what is keeping you awake is your good heart where you ponder your existence with in regards to the devastation of global warming, the pummeling economy or worse yet, if A-ROD really, truly chose VOGUE as his favorite Madonna song.

How silly of me. It's probably every ache and pain that never existed in your body 10 years ago that exists today just for the sole reason to prove you are aging.

It could be the anxiety of retiring before you hit 100. But then again, if you sleep walk until then, you will just have more time to lay awake wondering did I just waste one of my last nights on Earth ..SLEEPING?

Some of us may even dream of the next time they visit a mattress store and no one will be in there to help them to pick out the SERTA PERFECT SLEEPER?

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and think you may be completely unselfish and are just worrying for others.

Yes, you could be concerned about your children, parents, friends, co-workers or just that damn neighbor next door who plays the 80's music NO one admits playing. (Who on this earth remembers Marillion and Sly Fox?)

Are you just methodically going through your todo list for tomorrow?Are you thinking, "I didn't call you, write him, remind her, drop off this one, pick up that one, schedule, meet, eat or finish the list from yesterday. Honestly, I haven't even touched the list from the last millennium, let alone yesterday and I wasn't sleeping much then either but I had a legitimate cold so the extra dose of Sudafed helped."

I would hate to think its an over stimulus as my mind still hauntingly echos T.I and Justin Timberlake's song DEAD AND GONE.

I turn my body to the north.....I turn my body to the east .....

Now it can't be MY reason..Perhaps yours? And if it was mine, Do you think I'd put it in writing?

I think most of us don't sleep because it just feels like deja vu all over again. But I would expect the number one reason we are having trouble sleeping is not for lack of effort, no warm milk, or temperature variances in our homes. I think it has to do more with the fact I need to ..um...let's see...where was i? zzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzz.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Centering on the Middle Seat

I've been lucky in travel. A majority of my seats whether they are domestic or international have provided me an aisle seat for my 6'4" frame and I only had to be concerned on how many flight attendants I would trip as my foot hung out into the traffic lane during each flight.

However this last flight, I had to endure the dreaded middle seat syndrome with a man who overstepped all etiquette when it comes to the laws of traveling.

I always understood if I was lucky enough to get an aisle seat, I would be forfeiting the arm rests for most of the flight and defer to my cramped neighbor giving adequate space for them to function.

It's the unwritten air travel law. I just happen to find one of the biggest violators of this air rule and I decided to be the new Sheriff in town.

There I was, sitting with a Justin Timberlake wannabe with a fanny pack. He not only was already in his seat before even 1st class was seated (He boarded early perhaps as he tried to pass as a young child who needed assistance for seating).

I knew from seeing his over sized carry on bag, extra stuffed notebook computer case (which he thinks doesn't count as a bag) and a half dozen music magazines on his lap that this was going to be a "special" trip for me.

He couldn't have been 5'7" but he still wouldn't even get up or maneuver to allow me to get by his temporary domain. Five hours with EMIMEM was going to test my mettle above and beyond the Golden Rule...OH I plan on treating him how I want to be treated..trust me.

For you to understand, I only have to describe one example. The dude with the frosted tips and a Napoleon Dynamite T-shirt wasn't going to MOVE his right arm from the armrest the entire 5 hours

1) Not to eat-He only used his outside hand for both cutting, eating and sorting.

2) Not to read-Hell, he was only looking at pictures of babes with guitars on motorcycles anyway

3) Not to reach for his drink, napkin or peanuts from the flight attendants. -He would actually grab, place, grab again, place and then continue with the only free arm I couldn't negotiate with

4) Not even to scratch his pathetic effort of hair growth under his chin.

The bottom line is he acted as though his right arm was permanently glued to the arm rest and as I responded with the only way a well traveled person would do in this situation...I played the "wedge" game with him and enjoyed every minute of his frustration.

I leaned my left arm back and slid my elbow to the back of the armrest behind his and coughed as I pushed his arm forward with a wedge of my arm.

Sorry, but listening to him for the rest of the flight sigh out loud, moaning, grunting and trying to push his arm back onto mine for the next few hours was more enjoyable than watching the latest High School Musical 3 on the little screen in front of me. He truly thought his Gilligan sized body frame was going to have enough leverage to move my arm even an inch. Doesn't he know I can use the other arm rest as a base to ensure I don't falter from my defensive position. (YES, YES, I have thought too much of this issue)

With my noise cancellation headsets and the satisfaction of knowing I won the battle as well as the airline war of armrest positioning, I sung along to the teenage crazed videos and most likely drove him to finally get up and visit the restroom. He should thank ME, as I know he was holding it in with the fear of losing his arm's position as I counted him downing 8 diet cokes and I was worried he was going to pull out an empty Gatorade bottle and forget he was on a public airline for the moment.

Don't worry, when he returned, I was polite enough to give him his arm rest back as the intercom interrupted, "Please prepare for landing and bring all seats to an upright position."

The least I can do is give him the armrest for the last 10 minutes of the flight as even I have a little air travel compassion. Plus, I had to use both of my hands to cover my face of my overly excited expressions of winning this Olympic travel event.

When it comes to airline etiquette, I'm just too happy to play with the rookies.

The best part is I slipped the blog address in his bag as he exited the plane for him to find later. The issue is I'm left handed so I had to write it with my free hand so he might not be able to read it clearly but there is only one thing better than winning the armrest challenge. It's letting them know you won it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Paying for Pain, Not Pleasure

There must be a reason I don't get massages that often. I have only had a few in my life, but the ones I have had were surprisingly pleasant....until this weekend in Las Vegas.

When I was asked at this beautiful spa overlooking an amazing hotel what type of massage would I prefer this lovely warm morning.

I was very honest and expressed the fact I'm not that familiar with categories of relaxation and anything to remove this little twinge in my back after my five hour flight to Las Vegas would be the most desirable.

DESIRABLE? After 45 minutes with this little lady with hands of steel, I can't even spell masssage anymore. Yes, the first 15 seconds were bliss with her teasing me with the delightful sounds, aromas and low lights.

Then for the rest of my conscious session, I felt as thought I was in a slow motion car wreck without air bags.

Little did I know until after I paid for this "massage", they chose a deep tissue, fusion therapy for me --which in Las Vegas, stands for


I truly haven't experienced that much pain since I had multiple root canals years ago and the dentists has a Polaroid of how I left my fingernails embedded in his chair for all the future patients to be forewarned.

As I grunted with each elbow jarring pressure point on my back and shoulders, I was praying for my time to end both in the room and on this earth. My masseuse, Max, which was short for Maxine or perhaps she couldn't afford to legally change her name after the OPERATION, tried to ensure me that all is well in the city that never sleeps, nor can they after spending time with her.

"Are you COMFORTABLE?" crackled her words through a five pack a day voice box. "SURE, I always like discovering new muscles and bones in my body that have been dormant since the 5th grade." Yes, I literally had Joe Pesci with breasts asking me, "I'm funny? I'm funny how? DO I AMUSE YOU?" as she snapped my body with each roll of her knuckle and I swear she hit my belly button....FROM my back.

I don't know which was worse, when she started to crush the left side of my body not knowing what part of me was going to break first--or anticipating the right side KNOWING what she was going to do with the only part of me not ready for traction.

A short pause for her to reload her hands (and for me to plan my escape) she continued this Spanish inquisition by pouring hot blistering oil on me from above like I was trying to raid her King's castle. I am here trying to enjoy my time in Las Vegas and I end up having my own personal MASSAGE NAZI screaming as she punished me to oblivion, "NO PLEASURE FOR YOU".

I'm only speaking for myself, but If I'm going to be laid out on a nice leather bed all vulnerable in the state of Nevada, I at least want to know why I'm being labeled as a "bad boy"...Y'know what I'm saying?

At the end of the the Jack Bauer (24) interrogation of my body and mind, she left me helpless in the room alone to pick up my robe, slippers and strength, but my innocence was left on that table for others to again be forewarned as my next therapy session will take place on a leather couch and prescription drugs.

They say what happens in Vegas stays there. But that shouldn't include my dignity, $175.00 and the ability to speak in full sentences just to cry Uncle repeatedly until they find me a new legal guardian to remove me from the premises.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Conformity at its Worse

I've tried. I have held my ground as long as I can hoping it would just go away during the next season of America's Top Model.

I have faithfully hesitated to touch upon this sensitive issue. One that touches millions and is both politically incorrect and teeters on cruelty but....

WHAT on earth possesses anyone to think that wearing jeans tucked in UGGS with the same soft touch North Face Jacket every other 15 year old is wearing is a style you want to emulate?

OH OH..I know. Everyone keeps telling me they are incredibly comfortable. They feel as if you stepped into a sheep pen without the smell. But comfort is not a style. There are men who define comfort with baggy boxers and a AC/DC t-shirt but even THEY don't walk around the mall looking like they broke their leg in a ski mishap.

Casual wear at its finest. Warm, easy to get on and off and based on every 12-28 year old, they go with everything from Pre-game warm ups to PJ's. Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks these over sized elephant mitts look as though they fell out of the ugly tree and hit every other branch. Why would you want to walk around with your legs aspiring to be short tree stumps?

Let's define it as a fad and soon enough I can rant about Hollister sweatshirts that smell like the beach.

I'll stop, I'll let it go....but when I see a middle aged man wearing the same thing trying to look like he FITS in with the teen scene, I am sorry. I just want to stop the world and get off. These kids are suppose to conform no matter what we think, but you look like a bad sequel of HARRY and LLOYD of DUMB AND DUMBER on their way to ASPEN to get a fake tan.

Let the conformity teen scene enjoy their sheep skin boots and fluffy jackets. YOU need to stick to boxers and AC/DC shirts..It is what makes the world right again.