Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Have been studying for the GMAT's, the standarized test required for admission to all business schools. It is incredibly hard! Who am I kidding? Why am I bothering? One whole section is math based and well...I suck at math.

All the schools I'm applying to (except the ONE in Virginia), require high scores. Should I even bother applying to these places? What is the point, if I already know I'm not going to score this unbelievably high score? Or should I tell the admission committee's that I'm not a great standarizied test taker but that those scores are not indictative of how well I will do in their program. They just need to see my history to see this statement is true...I did average on my SAT's, which are suppose to be this great harbinger of how well you will do in college. According to my SAT's, I would have been a "C" student - but instead I graduated third in my class, with honors.

These standarizied tests simply grade how smart you are on the I.Q. scale, but they don't show how much you'll work, you're effort. I remember these kids in my high school class who were in the gifted and talented program, because they had such high I.Q.'s, half of them were below me in ranking. They might have been smart but they didn't care about doing anything (a lot of them were known drug users). I know I'm not genetically smart but I also know that I will work VERY hard to do well. Shouldn't that count for something? Isn't that the kind of person you want in your MBA program?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Office Politics

So I am writing this on the DL (downlow). One of my managers at work is riding my ass. she was given this big project by our director and now I'm her slave.

Normally I grin and bare whatever crap is thrown at me, you name it and I'm game. But as I now know my time at the office is coming to a close, I'm less happy about doing stupid projects and this is the motherload of stupid projects! Basically it's an act of "let's move the rock here and than move it back again." It involves a lot of work and time for absolutely no reward. I was strong-armed into coming in this weekend to work on this act of futility. The manager runs around like a chicken with her head cut off, making herself and the project seem more important than it really is. She acts as if everything else should be dropped because her project is most vital. I had the audicity to be a little surly about working on this stupid stupid stupid project (hey I'm doing it am I not, no one said I had to have a smile on my face while doing it - gee thanks mast'a for beating me) and my director reprimended me "drop the attitude." '

Why don't you piss off!' is what I felt like saying to her, instead I said nothing. Your manufactured crisis is not my problem! Right, so sorry if this post is rambling, but have no time to re-read, I hear my manager getting off the phone, she is probably going to come into my cubicle again (she likes to check up on me, to catch me doing something I'm not suppose to be, so she can tattle tale.). Serenity now!!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Random Thoughts

Swamped at work (jeez you go away to Africa for a week and suddenly your desk looks like Kanasas after the tornado hit) - but wanted to thank everyone for their kind thoughts yesterday. I do hope that at 29, my life isn't over, that God has greater plan for me. As we say in Islam, InshAllah.

I was hooked last night on women's figure skating - it was so good. I am proud of Sasha Cohen coming back and taking silver, that is not something to be sniffed at (and I'm tired of all the tv commentators making it out like she lost - jeez ask the girl who came in 20th what she thinks about the silver and you'd get a different story, what is our American obsession with the gold, when did silver and bronze become, "not good enough." Ridiculious!). oh and also, Dick Button is a mean sucker with his commentary, mincing no words, but I have to say, I agree with a lot of his assesments (ie that girl who was skating in her fourth Olympics, from Ukraine, what is the point if you don't improve your skating, to keep coming back?).

Now that all the figure skating competition at the Olympics is over, let us go back and look at my predictions before the games started here. Dangnabbit if I didn't call exactly the men and dance competition! With the women, I got the top three just not in the right order and pairs, I was only off by one. I think that calls for Virginia Gal pat on the back - I am a figure skating fan hear me roar!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I'm Back!

I'm back from South Africa, sorry no View from the 23rd Row this week. Got in early yesterday morning, but had to go straight to work and immediately after that had to dash to my GMAT prep courses (why do I bother, I am not smart enough for business school).

Trip was fun, South Africa is a lovely country, everyone is so nice! I think probably the friendliest people in the world. However, with that said though, my heart was crushed and I'm trying valiantly not to fall into massive depression. I didn't get to see the guy I liked and found out from some of the South African girls that at 29 in South Africa, I'm not only off the shelf, but completely and unutterably (sp) undesirable - better I just crawl under a rock and die.

Trying to catch up on all my ice skating that I missed (no one tell me who won ice dance, I have that on tape and will watch this weekend). Do hope everyone is well, I'll try to bop around and check it out.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

South Africa!

Right, I'm off to South Africa this morning (where I WON'T be calling my crush, though he lives there, if he is going to be an ass to me, forget it. Like my good friend Molly Malone said, I deal with enough 8-year olds daily at work, I don't need another one in my life!).
See you all next week!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

View From the 23rd Row

(sorry in advance if this post is a bit disjointed, I've not feeling so good, heartbroken).

I was traveling this past weekend and made it into my airline's hub city early Sunday morning. This city is in the South, so wasn't affected by the snowstorm. But Washington DC was hit, however when I went to my gate for my flight to Regan National the flight was leaving on-time. Fifteen minutes later the customer service agent announces that the flight is delayed. I knew what that meant and ran to the Washington Dulles gate and got on that flight. I came to find out later that that National flight got canceled. I was so glad I made the change.

Delays are inevitable in air travel but knowing how to read a delay can help you to avoid getting stuck somewhere indefinitely.

The following delays probably mean you will get out, just a little later than expected:
  • crew (waiting for a flight attendant or pilot to come)
  • plane coming in from another destination

The following delays probably mean your flight is going to be canceled:
  • Mechanical problems
  • weather
In these instances, as soon as the gate agent announces the delay and why it is happening, go up to the agent and see if you can get on another flight to your destination. Don't wait around for the sad, "sorry to inform you this flight is canceled" notice, because at that point you are going to be lumped in with every other passenger. Check to see if a flight is going to an airport near where you wanted to go, i.e. you are scheduled to land at JFK, maybe there is similar timed flight to LaGuardia. My friend was scheduled on United to go from Charlotte to Las Vegas, but her flight was massively delayed, she went over to the US Airways counter and got the last seat on their Charlotte to Vegas flight - no extra charge and landed only three hours later than planned, much better than what happened to the rest of the passengers on her flight, a stay overnight in Charlotte cause the United flight couldn't come in that evening (due to weather). Just remember when a delay happens, don't panic, think of some alternative solutions and know that there is no harm in talking to a gate agent (that is what they are there for, to help you).

Sidenote - Men's short program last night, like I thought just a matter of who would land their jumps. Sad to see Sandu (Canada) and Lysachek (USA) self implode, good skaters who have lost a shot at a medal in 2 1/2 minutes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Olympics and Tagged

Pairs Competition

I was so happy to see my team Zhen and Shao on the medal stand - so what if it was bronze...the fact that they came back from such a huge injury and unveiling this program for the first time at the Olympics was huge. I really think if it hadn't been for that injury and if they had competed this season they would have won the gold. Plus to be honest, I think they got lucky in even getting the bronze, the other pairs in contention made some mistakes, but who cares it helped my peeps!
The winner's Totmianina and Marinin skated clean and won but I doubt their program will go down in the annuals of figure skating, it was ehh. A little sorry to see Petrova and Tikhonov not place, poor things have been around forever, won a world championship back in 2000 but just never connected with the audience and that conveyed to the judges. I hope they have a great career as professionals. As for the other two Chinese teams - rock on - break up the Russian stranglehold on pairs! If Shen and Zhao compete in this year's worlds, it could be a sweep by the Chinese, which would be really cool!

I was tagged by Adorable Tony for this and am now just getting around to it (sorry)...
1. First blog you ever read? the wonderful quirky Pax Romano
2. What inspired you to start your own? Peer pressure from Adorable Tony, who can say no to that cutie?
3.The best and worst about blogging? best - meeting new people and reading about places and experiences people are having that are so different from your own. The worst, sometimes thinking of what to say.
4. Who was the first person to comment on your blog? I think Adorable Tony or Piggy&Tazzy.
5. What has been your most popular blog entry? Beats me...maybe about the Danish comic, or the one where everyone wished me Eid Mubarak?
6. If I re-named my blog I would call it…... Virginia Gal's thoughts (alright not super original, so sue me, sheesh).
7. If my blog had a theme song it would be…I think it would depend on my mood, but most of the time it would be Garbage's "I'm Only Happy When it Rains."
8. If my blog was a room it would look like…..shabby chic, lots of pink, flowers, overstuffed sofas and white tables with pretty tea cups, like a more innocent version of Victoria Secret's.
9. Five bloggers I would like to have over for dinner - Well actually Molly Malone has been over for dinner but like Tony can't really name ONLY five - would love to have everyone over, I'm sure it would be a fantastically interesting conversation!
10. Two bloggers you would like to set up on a blind date - Snicks and Tony.
11. Somebody I wish had a blog? My crush, so I'd know what he is thinking!
12. If you were only allowed to read one blog ever again. Which blog would it be?Pax, cause everyone hits that one and I'd still be in the loop.
13. Is there a fellow blogger you would like to snog/shag/do rude things to? Is Prince William reading this?
14. Discover a blog. Link to a blog that you have recently found, or a blog you have been reading for a while and haven’t blogrolled. Well lately I've been reading Manic Moments, I like her posts and she and I have some things in common that always makes me smile. Plus she is up in Prince Edward Island Canada - way cool!
I'm too tag five people...so again I'm going to pick those who I haven't seen post in a bit, Molly Malone, Lost, Ordinary Snapshots.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Michelle Kwan's withdrawal from 2006 Olympics

Salute to a Champion

She won nine United States Figure Skating National Championships. Five World Championships. A silver medal in 1998. A Bronze medal in 2002. Michelle Kwan is one of the most decorated athletes in the history of sport. she came into the spotlight amidst the drama of Harding/Kerrigan and stayed above the fray. She re-introduced a level of artistry to ladies figure skating that had begun evaporating. Her spirals and spins were the stuff legends are made of. Her ability to interpret any style of music made her stand-out. But more than that, she has always comported herself with grace and dignity. A better representative of figure skating could not have found.

I have a picture of her taped to my cubicle wall, in it she is executing a variation on the lay-back spin, a spin she had learned to modify cause her traditional lay-back wasn't so spectacular. That step eptiomes much of what I loved about watching her compete, she was always strove for perfection and almost always got it. She brought back the grace of spirals to ladies competition. Her skating always moves me, I still tear up at her, "Fields of Gold" exhibition program that she performed at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, so smooth and graceful, like a pretty snowflake falling to the earth. The etheral beauty of Kwan has yet to be duplicated by anyone.

Despite withdrawing from the Olympics Sunday morning and thereby effectively eliminating any chance of ever winning a gold medal, for figure skating fans like myself, Michelle Kwan is a true champion no matter the color of medal she does or doesn't have.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

2006 Torino - Winter Olympics!!

The Winter Olympics are here!!! I am so excited - I adore the Winter Olympics. Back when I was a little girl watching Brian Boitano win gold in Calgary, I've been hooked. I love all the countries coming together, the spirit of sportsmanship, the intermingling of different athletes, so many people all in one place having a grand time, the world joined for something good. I love the human interest stories and the underdog victories. I enjoy the Winter Olympics because I like winter sports more (being a figure skating fan), its smaller and there just seems to be a keener sense of collectiveness. For me, the Winter Olympics are a nice break from the mundanity of everyday life.

My sport of passion is figure skating...I will be watching it avidly over the next two weeks as Olympic Gold is the pinnacle award of figure skating. There are some really great match up's and there are some blow-outs. Here are my predictions of the winners. Going in order of the competitions as they are scheduled:

Gold - Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin (Russia)
Silver - Xhue Shen and Hungbo Zhao (China)
Bronze - Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov (Russia)
Shen and Zhao are my favorites, they have this great hard luck story, they are so cute as a team and you can tell they truly love to skate. However Zhao has been battling a major achilles injury and the team missed the entire season, this will be their first international competition, which is not good. They have been known to pull out all the stops, she can skate through anything, if he can keep it together and they can land all their jumps, they could win the gold! Otherwise it's all Totmianina and Marinin, who are techinically good but lifeless, which can also be said for Petrova and Tikhonov. If any of these predicted teams really mess up, Qing Pang & Jian Tong (China), Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang (China) and Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy (Germany) could come in and snatch a medal. This competition will not be that exciting unless Shen and Zhao bring it on!

Gold - Evgeni Plushenko (Russia)
Silver - Stephane Lambiel (Switzerland)
Bronze - Jeffrey Buttle (Canada)

This is Plushenko's to lose, he is the heir apparent, he just needs to come out and perform halfway decent and the gold is his (which makes for a really boring competition, but apparently the judges don't care). Silver and bronze are still relatively up for grabs, it really will be a game of who can stay up in their jumps. Other contenders who could just as easily be on the medal stand (as silver or bronze) are Johnny Weir (USA), Emanuel Sandhu (Canada), Brian Joubert (France), Evan Lysacek (USA), and true dark horses but might surprise us Daisuke Takahashi (Japan), Kevin Van Der Perren (Belgium) and Takeshi Honda (Japan).

Gold - Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov (Russia)
Silver - Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto (USA)
Bronze - Elena Grushina and Ruslan Goncharov (Ukraine)
THIS is when the figure skating competion will really start to sizzle, it is going to be intersting! While Navka and Kostomarov have the gold cinched up, silver and bronze is where the contest begins. There are so many great, top-notch dance teams out there, a few coming out of retirement, it is the making of the perfect storm! With everyone being so good, it will come down to the teams that put the whole program together, have not only the techinical proficiency (fast twizzles, interesting innovative lifts, perfect footwork) but also smooth, flawless artistry. Other teams that are real contenders are Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski (Bulgaria) they've been out all season and didn't have a great last season but have won world placements in the past so who knows. Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas (Lithuania) are coming back from retirement, they were robbed in 2002 of a world bronze medal and they skate like a dream. They placed third at this year's Europeans, so they could really challenge also. Also potential coming out of retirement contenders, Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio (Italy) who are 2002 Olympic Silver Medalists and Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schonenfelder of France a fun team that is always near the top could sneak in there. With this line-up - don't miss the free program of the 2006 Winter Olympics Dance competition!

Gold - Sasha Cohen (USA)
Silver - Irina Slutskaya (Russia)
Bronze - Shizuka Arakawa (Italy)
After Dance, this will the be THE competition to watch! Anything is possible with the ladies. I personally prefer Sasha over Irina. Irina has the jumps but absolutely NO artistry - I think she has been propped up and I'm not impressed. If Sasha holds it together, lands all her jumps, she IS the better skater, cause she has the whole package, not just jumps but this amazing spiral (almost vertical), a beautiful lay-back spin and a finesse that is mesmorzing to watch. She just has to land all the jumps! Arakawa is also very pretty not as clean but a polished skater, she won the 2004 World title, so she can play in the big league. I am actually rooting for Michelle Kwan who was robbed in 1998 by that twit Tara Lipinski. Kwan is one of the best skaters in the history of figure skating, she has this amazing spiral sequence, she still has this graceful artistry and when she lands her jumps they are solid! But Michelle has not competed internationally at all this season, she has been dealing with a groin injury and last year at Worlds she placed fourth. She doesn't seem to me to be comfortable with the new scoring system and if she can't master that, she can't win. It would be great if the headlines after the ladies free skate read, "third times a charm," but it will take a lot on Michelle's part (and probably some mistakes on others). Dark horses in this race include home town favorite Carolina Kostner (Italy), Elena Sokolova (Russia), Fumie Suguri (Japan), Joannie Rochette (Canada), and Sarah Meier (Switzerland).

As you can see some of these races are going to be very edge-of-your seat, to win skaters will have to land all of their jumps, not trip or fall or some equally silly mistake and create an atmosphere with their artistry that leaves an everlasting impression - an Olympic worthy program.

Let the games begin!

So Much Going on!

Oh this post is going to be all over the place - much going on that I want to blog about!

1. Project Runway - totally bummed that Nick got the boot but his creations of late have not been stellar. Now I'll about Chloe, I so hope she wins! Felt a little bad for Santino, he was totally being excluded and you could see that it did hurt him, must have been what it was like for him growing up in small-town America.

2. Got an email yesterday from my local Muslim Assocation (the Mosque) about how to handle this comic situation, thought it was really good and wanted to share some points with my fellow bloggers to show how most Muslims are reacting and what the official line of my congregation is:
  • Express anger and disgust within the framework of the law of the country. Use the law of the country to its full capacity
  • Do not be violent in any way and do not burn buildings, cars, etc.
  • Do not confine expression of anger to the cartoon issue. Use the opportunity to express the disgust on Islamophobia in general and highlight some pertinent issues.
  • Do not conduct ourselves with our fellow non-Muslim citizens in a way that offend them and look for an opportunity to get back at us. We will then be the cause of them showing disrespect to Islam and Islamic values. Always express good character and conduct to all.

3. Figure Skating predictions: I am so excited about tomorrow's opening of the Winter Olympic's!! I love the Winter Olympic's - there is something about them that just makes me happy. I think I will reserve Friday's post for my predictions for winners of each of the disciplines in Figure Skating (which I am addicted too!). In some of the areas it is shaping up to be an interesting competition. My only regret is that I didn't buy tickets to go...goodness knows I could have flown over there for free...oh well. What was meant to be will be, no?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

View from the 23rd Row

Virgin Atlantic Airways Sucks!

As an airline employee who has traveled extensively on not only my carrier but on other airlines, I feel it is my imperative, as a self-professed expert, to tell you why you should NEVER fly Virgin Atlantic Airways, THE WORST AIR CARRIER IN THE WORLD!!

Have you ever seen the movie, Titantic (the one with Leo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet in it)? Remember how rich Kate Winslet's character was treated compared to poor old Leo? Well that White Star line thinking didn't go down with the ship, it is alive and kicking at Virgin Atlantic Airways.

My every experience (more than one I assure you) with Virgin has been an exercise in torture. I always fly economy and I'm always dealt with the way Leo was dealt with on the Titanic, poor, badly and flat-out rudeness. The seats in Virgin's steerage are smaller and harder than most average carrier's economy section. They really cram you in there, on top of each other. The flight attendants behave as if they are doing me a favor by being there and on more than one occassion I've been told that the flight attendants are there only for my safety and anything else they do (meal service) is out of the goodness of their heart. They are all very snobby and look down their nose at those of us peasants riding in steerage.

But it is not only their in-flight crew that makes Virgin so vile, their ground staff is equally rude and offensive. Besides the asinine carry-on rule of allowing only bags that weigh five pounds or less, I've been verbally abused by baggage handlers because my mother dared to raise her voice (hey she is a paying customer she can yell all she wants!). Their customer service agents, when I had a problem, didn't lift a finger to help out (she was busy flirting with some guy), but rather sent me to another carrier to seek assistance! Even their reservation agents act as if they are doing a huge task by making a reservation, with lots of exaserbated sighing and sarcastic questions.

I seriously believe Virgin's recruitment policy for all their staff must entail gauging how rude a person is, the more boorish you are, the more chance you have of being hired. In-flight they hire all these young chippy's who think they are the bee's knees cause they are a flight attendant for Virgin (get over yourself, you're not that cool, overpaid waitress!) and will only provide good service if you are a young cute male in first class. oh and they will give you great service in first and business class, just like the White Star line.

I have never been treated as badly as an airline employee as I have on Virgin and to me how another airline treats a fellow airline employee says a lot about the culture and attitude of the company. Do they place no value on goodwill and the the golden rule? Would they want to be cared for the way I was cared for on Virgin? I doubt it. No other carrier acts this way - everyone is always pleasant and friendly, my favorites are British Airways, Delta, American, Emirates, Lufthansa and SAS.

In a customer service oriented field like air travel, Virgin's behavior is unacceptable! If you are planning a trip to London, DON'T USE VIRGIN, there are so many carriers that go over, you are bound to find a cheap deal on one of them. Just about every American airline flies to London as well as British Airways and British Midlands. Between all of these choices (that offer you all the same anemities that Virgin does, the tv in the seat and the free travel bag), you can find someone better to fly across the pound.

I just hope Virgin remembers what comes around goes around....remember what happened to to the Titanic!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Last Word

Ok I promise not to go on and on about this comic debate, just wanted to include the link for Fareed Zakaria's editorial this week. Zakaria is a moderate educated Muslim like myself. He is also the editor of Newsweek International. I think he has a great take on this whole situation etc. and really puts into words what many Muslims are feeling.


Also because I think we need something funny, I heard this on the radio last night and laughed out loud, wacky!

A student at Arizona State University was arrested for pleasuring himself while watching internet porn in the school's library. When asked why he chose to do this at the library,his quote..."the internet connection at my dorm isn't good enough." See ya tomorrow!

Monday, February 06, 2006


Right so I said I would post about the current hoopla going on with the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) comic.

I think PissedOffPencil and Molly Malone have presented some good arguments and should also be included in the debate. As I said in POP's comments, this has become a flash point for Muslims around the world. My father did say that it was included in the Friday prayers he attends and I imagine his was was not the only all-male congregation where this topic was dicussed. I wouldn't be surprised if every single Friday prayers services around the world on Friday February 3rd didn't have this comic as its main talking point.

Why is this comic so inflammatory? Because it is about the Prophet (pbuh), the most important PERSON in Islam. His life and deeds are core to the practice of Islam - we use him as an example for ourselves (similar to how Christians use Jesus, pbuh). There are two main points to the comic that make it offensive:
1. It depicts the Prophet (pbuh). This is a HUGE sin in Islam - to make graven images. During the establishment of Islam, the people of Arabia were worshipping idols, statues of monkeys and rats. This angered God. Nothing should be worshipped but God, the creator of all things. Out of a fear that having his image created would lead to his worship, the Prophet (pbuh) forbid pictures of himself. NO ONE in Islam thinks of breaking this command. It is blasphemous to us.
2. This comic shows the Prophet (pbuh) as a terrorist, with a bomb on his head. It is this second point that angers me. What is the basis behind this thought?

The problem for me is that editorial comics are suppose to make fun, to be a satire, but I don't see the humor in this Prophet (pbuh) comic. What exactly was the person trying to say? That Islam is a terrorist religion, that from its inception, from its last prophet, it has enjoyed and actively encouraged terrorism? This is such an ignorant, racist point of view, I don't see any humor or profound message in the comic. What are we suppose to come away with from this comic, what deeper thoughts am I to be thinking? It's like a Klan member drawing a comic of a black man eating a white baby - its not funny and it has no basis in reality. Its like a little kid drawing a boogey man.

Why would you post this comic, alienating not just extreme Muslims but all Muslims, including moderate ones like myself? It is so blatantly racist, I feel like the strip came from the court of Isabel and Ferdiand, as a means to incite further violence against the Muslims. Don't think we Muslims don't see Crusade in all of these actions, including this strip. I suppose I just don't get it, pick and choose your battles - is this really the fight you want to get into against Muslims? Isn't there something better or bigger?

I'm all for freedom of speech. Fine go ahead and publish this piece of absurdity, just like white cafes had the right to deny service to blacks in the 1950's, but I'm going to participate in the economic boycott - hit them where it hurts! Don't get me wrong, I think the violent reaction to the comic is overkill - the last thing we need to do is prove this racist comic creater he was right about Muslims. Also, I understand Muslims are not the only ones who get made fun of, but trust me, we have NO sense of humor when it comes to our religion.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out...

Friday, February 03, 2006

Happy Friday!

Raining in DC this morning - thought we could all do with a laugh to start the day - Happy Friday (click on the strip to see it clearly)!

Just some further random thoughts.....
  • Finished Memoirs of a Geisha. I really enjoyed it. In our European-centric world, it was fascinating to read about a cultural aspect of Japan. Next up Rogue State, that book Osama Bin Laden referrenced in his latest tirade. Wanna see what all the hype is about.
  • Mixed feelings on the whole Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) editorial comic situation. The comic is offensive to me not so much for the image (which yes is blasphemous in Islam, we don't allow graven pictures of the Prophet (pbuh) rightly out of fear of idol-worship) but more so for what it represents - the idea that the Prophet (pbuh) was a terrorist. This probably warrants a full post - will write about it on Monday.
  • Yesterday's ER episode was total drivel, completely predictable and dull - but mark my words, James Wood will get the Emmy for male guest star come September.
  • Have no interest in seeing Brokeback Mountain, not because of the subject material but because it looks boring, kinda like Shadowlands - which I did not like at all. But am interested in seeing Final Destination 3 - I'm sad, I know.
  • My figure skating Olympic predictions next week - can't wait for the games to begin!
  • Considering graduate school after this job ends...am I crazy???
  • I have a jpeg picture that I want to put on the sidebar (it doesn't link to anything), does anyone know how to do that in blogger?

Have a good weekend!

Marge: Homer, the plant called. They said if you don't show up tomorrow don't bother showing up on Monday.

Homer: Woo-hoo. Four-day weekend.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Project Runway

I have become addicted to the show Project Runaway, it is now the one program I MUST watch. The show takes 16 designers and gives them assignments each week, the designers create original work, there is a runway show (where the work is modeled and judged) and each week one designer is out. The show is fun because you get to see all these great designs, plus it has the drama of a reality show, the dynamics of personalities clashing and stressful situations breaking people. I enjoy seeing the final result of each designer, always picking which one I like and which one was horrible. Surprisingly many times my choices match the judges, these high faluten fashion people (Michael Kors, editor's of various fashion magazines, Heidi Klum). Every designer they have on has talent, that is what is amazing! Plus you add the excitment of the fashion world and this show is riveting! Right now I'm rooting for Nick, Chloe and Daniel to be in the final three. If you have Bravo, watch an episode, comes on Wednesday's, 10pm (but they re-run it a lot!).

Do you ever wonder if President Bush knows that there are Americans out there who DON'T think he is doing a good job? I was watching clips of the State of the Union address, my God, what a great big lovefest, self-congradulatory celebration. Ugh! Really, did they need to give standing ovations so many times? I didn't hear anything profound. Sometimes I think it would be neat if maybe GW got on-line and somehow stumbled onto my blog, what would he think? Would he comment? Would any of my thoughts make him stop and think about what he is doing? Probably not.

Oh yeah, that was really classy by the way, kicking Cindy Sheehan out of the event because she dared to exercise her free speech right. Stupid woman, how rude! We must curb these freedoms in order to protect ourselves from the big bad scary terrorists, who want to take these freedoms away from us - didn't she know that?! Hey we might not be able to say what we want or feel free to talk over the phone without wire tapping, but at least we are safe from those guys who would not let us say what we want and monitor our phone calls. Dumb terrorists, we are not going to let you rob us of our liberties, what we fought wars over, we are going to do it ourselves, HA - take that!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

View from the 23rd Row

Since 9/11 getting through the airport security line has became more than an annoyance it has often become the bane of my existence. The wait is always long and you waste so much time, especially when you are running late to catch your flight (which, yes, I do a lot). People act as if they have never been through a security line before and become fumbling idiots.

Because I travel so much I know how to dress and pack in order to get through the line in five minutes or less, but what holds me up is all the other dingbats uh people. So for my faithful readers, I'm going to give you some tips to make you better, more aware, passengers and get you through the security line at the airport quicker!

1. Dress appropriately - when you wake up that morning of your flight, spend some time to think about what to wear. Avoid clothes with a lot of metal, buttons, buckles, chains etc. A simple pair of jeans with a cloth belt and a nice shirt should do. Layers will work against you.
2. Wear sensible shoes - after Richard Reed's shoebombing attempt, security now makes a point of checking everyone's shoes. Pick a pair of shoes you can slip on and off, i.e. loafers or mules. DON'T wear sneakers or anything with lace - they take forever to get off! Boots and anything else that is excessivly heavy are a no-no also, because again it takes to much time to get them off. I have invested in a pair of simple Chinese slippers that are so soft and clothy that I don't even have to take them off cause they never cause the security machine to beep. These are a great alternative if you hate being barefoot like me.
3. Accessories - keep it simple ladies - leave the bling for when you arrive at your destination. No metal bangles, they always set the machines off, maybe one nice necklace and a pair of earings and that should be it, unless you want to get the body search. Also keep bobby pins to a minmium, at some airports these tiny hair helpers can cause you to beep in the security machine.
4. Men keep keys, coins etc outside - perhaps in your carry-on or in a man purse. You squander so much time digging in your pants pockets or jacket trying to find all of that stuff and it is stupid, cause you knew that all that metal crap would set the machine off, why do you try my patience by not having this stuff all in one area before getting to security!
5. Carry-on's - pack your essentials and that should be it - you don't need to bring the entire electronic's department from Circuit City. Half the stuff you pack you probably won't even use. Remember scissors, knives, guns, nail files, lighters, and explosive devices are not allowed in your carry-on.

Getting Through Security
1. Biggest mistake I see most people make, they put away their I.D. and boarding pass before coming to the line. YOU WILL NEED BOTH OF THESE ITEMS - DON'T PUT YOUR BOARDING PASS AND I.D. AWAY, KEEP THEM OUT UNTIL YOU GET TO YOUR GATE!!!! People waste so much of my time when they have to go searching through a purse or jacket to find the boarding pass and I.D. - it is beyond annoying, stupid people!
2. Be ready - don't have six different things in your hand - you should have one carry-on and one personal item - that's it!
3. When you get to the line, have your laptop and umbrella out of your carry-on, so you can quickly put them into the bins - laptops and umbrella's have to go through the machine outside of your carry-on.
4. When you get to the point in the line when you can start putting stuff down, place your carry-on bag on the conveyor belt first (you won't need a bin for this) - than your one personal item. If you have a laptop, this is when you will pick up ONE bin and put it in that. Now pick up ONE more bin - Take your shoes off put them in that, next to them, place your coat or sweater (if you are wearing one) in the same bin. Men if you have all this loose change (which you smartly had all together in a plastic baggie), put it in a smaller bin. At this point you should be ready to go through the security machine. If you follow this method exactly, it should be boom boom boom - you are through the line.
5. If you have an option to chose your security line, avoid those with businessmen and children, both of these groups don't pay attention and can tack on another 10 minutes to this ordeal. Lines with babies is not even an option, they are the plague of security!

With these tips you should get through security with ease, and soon you will be like me, annoyed at the stupidity and ineptness of your fellow passengers to do this simple task. For more tips, I've attached a sheet from the TSA, the agency that overseas airport security in America.


Happy flying!