Wednesday, June 28, 2006

View From the 23rd Row - Goodbye

After five and a half years, traveling around the globe, where I've jumped off the sky tower in Auckland, tango'ed in Buenos Aires, royal-watched in Copenhagen, drank English tea in Paris, skipped in the rain in Rome, marveled at the beauty of a snowy Prague, walked all over Stockholm, sailed in Alaska, won nothing in Vegas, feared the Grand Canyon, experienced rubgy in Sydney, ate crepes in Montreal, discovered Alamo Park in San Francisco, gasped at the beauty of the Alhambra in Grenada, bicycled around the countryside of Venice, waltzed in Vienna, nearly got stranded in Madrid, sunbathed in the Bahamas, crossed the wall in Berlin, hit New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Orlando, Tampa, and Houston for quick day trips, attended a beautiful wedding in Edinburgh and New Delhi, rode jump seat out of Athens, and took too many trips to count to London, it is time to say good-bye.

In my five and a half years, I've seen a lot - at the two year hump, I seriously considered leaving, than when I decided to stay on, I would go through massive stress every six months when our quarterly report would show a need for more lay-offs. I worried that I would be let go. And yet, miraculously I made it through each time, even the massive Sept 11th cuts (what a horrible day to be at work). I think God finally said, "goodness this girl will never leave this job, what is the one thing I can do to get her out, to go in this different path, the path I want her to go?" Moving headquarters all the way across to the other side of the country! How's that for drastic?

Working in HR at non-descript airlines has been quite the learning experience. I will definitely miss being part of this larger team, full of great people. Certainly if I hadn't been surrounded by positive, energetic folks, I would have left a long time ago. It also helped immensely that both my bosses were good people. Despite going through Four CEO's and two bankruptcies in five years, I wouldn’t change a thing. Sadly, I've chosen not to go out to the new headquarters location in Phoenix, but I wish the company the best for continued success (no more bankruptcies or pay cuts!).

This will be my last View from the 23rd Row column, as I promised I would only write it while working for an airline and Friday is my last day. I hope, in my small way, I have made you a better consumer and passenger and instilled a desire to see the world, to travel.

Now with all the clues I've given you, you should be able to guess which airline I work for.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Monday Musings

Back from Phoenix, where of course all the news was about the brush fires in Sedona. Man is it hot in that part of the world. I loved it - but for the average human being, it would not be fun (I get cold super easy).

I can't believe this is my last week at work for non-descript airlines -June 30th is my last day. I've been here for five 1/2 years, October would make six years. Crazy, I have loved my time here but I firmly believe there is a reason this change in headquarters has happened, God knewI would never leave this job unless there was something extreme, so He did something drastic, nothing more extreme for me than moving the job location all the way out to Arizona, where I have no desire or reason to go (now if headquarters had moved to London that would be a different story, hee hee). I'm not particularly good with change, but I know going back to school, getting my MBA, is a good thing. So this job loss is not all bad.

Went to the Grand Cayman Islands this past weekend, a final hoo-rah with this job. It was nice, but I maintain, unless you are a scuba diver or want to snorkel or do some water activity specific to the Caribbean, you can relax just as well in America and its much more affordable. Don't get me wrong, Cayman Islands are very nice - but no need to spend so much money when you can get that stuff in Florida just as well.

Right - have a lovely week!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ross's List

John Abraham

In a very funny episode of Friends, Chandler comes up with this game, each of the "Friends" could make up a list of ten famous guys or girls respectively, who, if one of the "Friends" met, the "Friend in question" could cheat on their "average" partner with this celebrity. It gets really hilarious as Ross takes the task so seriously he laminates his picks for his wallet, at the end deciding to dump Isabella Rossilini for Michele Pfeiffer in the 10 spot. Guess who shows up at the coffee shop at the end of the episode…..Isabella Rossilini - what ensues is quite amusing.
So here is my list of 10 famous guys that I just adore, think are hot, etc. These are my heart throb guys, who I stop flicking the television channels for, who I can dream about at any time.

1. Prince William of England
2. Noah Wylie (Dr. Carter from "ER")
3. Ben Affleck
4. Johnny Abraham (Indian film star)
5. Joaquim Phoenix
6. Johnny Resnick (Goo-Goo Dolls lead singer)
7. Hritik Roshen (Indian film star)
8.Jensen Ackles (from the tv show, SuperNatural)
9. Dougray Scott (actor)
10. My crush in South Africa

Who would be on your top ten list?

ps - I'm off to Phoenix for the week - no View from the 23rd Row : (

Friday, June 16, 2006


First - thanks to everyone's comments about the guy, I am off to London this weekend and I'll give him a call when I reach there. Despite never having met and being in far-flung locations, you guys are always there for me - it's amazing! God bless and thank you!!

Has God abandoned me or have I abandoned God? I posed this question last week because it has been nagging on my brain. My beloved aunt and her family visited us last week and she and I got to talking about my life situation one evening.

We were discussing why it is that I'm having such a difficult time getting re-married when she brought up a point that left me really deep in thought.

Since my divorce I've gone through this whole range of emotions, anger and bitterness, sadness and shame. Five years after the fact, I remain upset with myself for allowing this horrible event to happen. Why didn't I say anything? Why didn't I put a stop to it? How come I couldn't make it work?

Everyday I sit on my prayer rug and beg God to forgive me, to no longer be angry. I believe that God is angry with me for this incidence and it is for that reason that I seem unable to get re-married. My aunt thought about it for a second and replied, "God has forgiven you, you're only human, He doesn't expect you to be perfect. You haven't forgiven yourself and that is the problem. Who are you to not forgive yourself, are you better than God?! Maybe God is angry at you for not forgiving yourself and allowing some healing."

Wow! I had never thought about it like that! Yes, I made a mistake, but is it so big that I should shrivel up and die? I'm only human and beating myself up over it, won't change the past. Perhaps I should start praying to God to help me to forgive myself, because until I do that, I can't get forward. It is not that I want to absolve myself of the guilt but to realize what happened cannot be undone - am I right to try to forgive myself?

Have a good father's day weekend - I'm off to London!
Bill Cosby: Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is, "soap-on-a-rope."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

View from the 23rd Row

First I have a question for my blog friends to answer - what does it mean when a boy, who was sort of a romantic interest and hasn't contacted you in ages, calls you out of the blue? He asked that I contact him next time I'm in London - should I?

This week's post will be written by Ken K, a co-worker, I like his points and his writing cracks me up. Enjoy!

Travel tips by Ken K.
The real trick these days is getting through security. I don't know why, but there are some travelers out there who still don't know what to expect before they board an aircraft. God knows how they act once they've landed! I mean really, these are people who most likely hold jobs, drive automobiles and may even have children! It astounds me that these same people can't learn to get to the airport on time. It also astounds me that we've survived as a species, but I digress…

Getting to the airport on time is easy to do. Since airlines board flights roughly 30 minutes before takeoff, make sure you figure that half-hour into your schedule. Treat your flight time as if it were leaving 30 minutes before its actual departure time. As a rule of thumb, arrive at the airport no later than one hour before boarding time for domestic flights and no less than two hours before boarding time for international flights. I know what you're thinking: "@#$%! If I gotta get there so @#$%ing early, I may as well walk to where I'm going! It'll take less @#$%ing time!" If that's the case, then by all means, walk. Remember though, just because you have a bit of down time, don't spend it getting drunk at one of the airport bars. It's expensive for one, and for the other -- if you're too tanked, they will not board you. There is no such thing as a charming drunk.

Have what you need before you get to the airport. That is, be sure you've got your tickets, money, passport, boarding pass, photo ID, or whatever and make sure your tickets are in order before you try to get to the boarding area. It's very frustrating after standing in line to find out that you should've stopped by the ticket counter first.

Take only what you're going to need and use. Believe me, they have kitchen sinks all over the world; you don't have to pack yours. One dress outfit if you'll be attending a show or dining in a nice restaurant; two pairs of jeans; a pair of comfortable walking shoes; underwear and socks for each day you'll be abroad; prescriptions and toiletries in your carry on, and for the sake of everything that's holy, use sample sizes! It is also important to take something to read. I suggest Russian literature -- it's long enough to keep you busy during a long flight or a delay and it's big enough to smack the person in the seat next to you if there's any unwanted attentiveness.

Have fun! What's the point of travelling if you can't enjoy yourself? Board your bad mood with the dog at the kennel, you'll be better off and the lousy mutt will have something to remember you by while you're gone.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday Prayer

As it is raining here today and I'm in a introspective mood, here is a prayer a very good friend of mine sent me that I just love - it seems to perfectly fit my current stage in life - sort of in a transition (this job ends soon, I start school at the end of August).

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following your will
Does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing,
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road
Though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always,
Though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
And you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Thomas Merton

Friday, June 09, 2006

Mary Cheney

Has God abandoned me or have I abandoned God?.....

MARY CHENEY (with all the talk of gay marriage this week, this post seemed appropriate).

Mary Cheney was on NPR the other day. She was hawking her book. I don't like Mary Cheney. She lives in an ivory tower. She may be gay, but I don't get the impression she has ever experienced any hardship or difficult in her life. She lacks a real sense of empathy. Which comes as no surprise, considering who her parents are, two very selfish human beings. Actually I think Lynne is worse than Dick. At least with Dick it is up front, you know he doesn’t care, but with Lynne, she cloaks it in this fake veneer of being compassionate. Ha!

It was a really interesting interview, despite all of Mary's PC answers. I'm surprised Mary Cheney even agreed to be on public radio, hello doesn't she know which way the wind blows on this particular media outlet? One woman called in and asked Mary, "with you being in such a position of power, what are you doing for the Lesbian/Gay community?" Mary's answer - nada…oh no wait, she and her father have told some people that they don't agree with a federal amendment to ban gay marriage. Oh very good Mary, very effective, wow, I'm sure you made a big difference - not! Actually her father believes this issue should be decided state by state. Well, that's great, we all know how well states do in protecting civil rights, remember a little thing called "segregation" yeah the states were all over…keeping it!

This girl bothers me, would she lead such a charmed life, away from any of the real difficulties of being gay, if she weren't the daughter of the vice president of the USA? Despite her being gay, she is a Cheney through and through, she answered one question about what the legacy of this presidency would be - as one of America's best, (excuse me from laughing).

She is a Republican puppet head, she kept going on and on about how we are in a war, how we had to protect our national security and how that was the main issue in 2004, not gay rights. She talked about how her father has not profited from this war one iota. Wrong - read this

Really what bugs me is, good lord woman, this party thinks how you live, with another woman, is morally wrong, some in this party want to criminalize your lifestyle and you support them?! What is wrong with you? I could never support a group that thought my faith or culture (Indian) was abhorrent and should be banished. It would be denying myself, my being. How can you do that?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

View from the 23rd Row

Sometimes we airline employees get a little wacky, we have to let off the steam of this up & down industry (no pun intended) and we do like to take a piss at some of the sillyness of airlines - so this week's post is a list one of my hilarious co-workers came up with....enjoy!

Ways Airlines Are Cutting Back
by Ken K.
1. Get back to basics with Inflight Entertainment's dramatic hand-shadow presentation.

2. Expensive aircraft safety information seat-back card and video presentation replaced by cocktail napkin which reads: "In case of emergency - EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF!"

3. Floor level lighting replaced by diminutive person with a flashlight.

4. Envoy class seats' amenities now powered by passenger pedaling attachment.

5. Passengers encouraged to bring their own toilet paper.

6. Center seat passengers will now link arms with their neighbors upon take-off and landing due to removal of seatbelts in middle row.

7. It's fun, fun, fun! With the new "Spin The Wheel" inflight menu selection.

8. Unaccompanied minors are now made useful in the fun & educational "Work That Galley!" program.

9. Economy is doubly served with new combined inflight catering/human remains storage facilities.

10. Preboard procedure made quick and easy with addition of "William Tell Overture".

11. Fuel cost greatly reduced thanks to "Flintstones" method of take off & landing.

12. Smaller wheel for hamster increases engine rotation by 40%.

13. Deals made with connections in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee for low cost alternative to high priced potables. Liquor kit now contains a small funnel, stick on labels and food coloring.

14. Instead of headphones, passengers are now encouraged to hum.

15. The complaint department has been entirely replaced by a room full of kittens and puppies.

16. Expensive first-run films, documentaries, and current TV shows eschewed for better valued reruns of "The Flying Nun". Subtitles available only on flights where passengers don't mind playing charades.

17. Introduction of reality based series on selected flights -- "Be The Cabin Crew" coming to an airport near you!

18. Deplaning's a breeze now that the new arrival announcement has been changed from "Welcome to etc..." to "Fire! Fire! Oh my god! Fire!"

19. "In case of the unlikely event of a water landing, you'll find a set of oars beneath your seat..."

Monday, June 05, 2006

Missing Monday

DOB: Sep 29, 1988
Missing: Apr 22, 2006
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
Eyes: Brown
Race: Black
Age Now: 17
Sex: Female
Weight: 150 lbs (68 kg)
Hair: Black
Missing From: WOODBRIDGE, VA

Geraldine was last seen on April 22, 2006. She may still be in the local area. Geraldine has several tattoos. Her nicknames are Lisha and MeMe.

This girl is from Northern Virginia - life here is busy and rushed, I do hope she is ok and that doesn't get lost in the shuffle. Obviously someone cares enough about her to report her missing, she has such a friendly face, may God protect her and keep her safe.

Father in heaven hear my prayer,
keep me in thy loving care.
Be my guide in all I do,
Bless all those who love me too.

Friday, June 02, 2006


So I was watching the Scripts Howard National Spelling Bee on ABC primetime last night. I was in a state of euphoria - finally a celebration of intelligence! It should probably come as no surprise that I'm not a fan of the adulation heaped on athletes in this country. There is something wrong with a society that pays a guy millions to throw a ball into a hoop but just a few thousand for someone who goes into burning buildings to save lives. Also the rampant culture of maniacal egotism and corruption that is associated with so many athletes today (the ones we see on television), is not only an impurity of the athlete but the sport.

It's a nice change to see the praising and publicizing of children who have the amazing ability to spell. Taking a word and just from its definition and etymology being able to spell it, entails some genius, no? I'm certainly impressed. Its been my experience that those who spell well and have an extraordinary commend of the English language are very smart (high I.Q.'s).

Mock them if you are that shallow (yes the kids seem to fit a certain stereotype) but most of them will laugh last because unlike the millions of kids who try to make it to professional sports, these students have a better chance of succeeding in the world. They all have Ivy League written over them.

As I get older and more cynical, it is nice to see the joy a spelling bee, something so particular to children, can induce. For once, instead of idolizing some 12-year old in a belly shirt who shakes her ass while lip-synching we can make celebrities of bright kids who have an amazing ability to spell.

ps - I was also elated that 3 Indian kids made it to the top ten - desi's represent'n!