Complimentary Oxygen

Well, I jinxed myself. I ended my last post with hopes that this vacation & flights would be memorable. * sigh * Memorable isn’t the first word that comes to mind…

I flew out of Seattle on Thursday afternoon, Phoenix bound for a week of sunshine, sight seeing, and days of pre-planned exploration. The friend I was visiting had assured me that there’s such a plethora of things to do in Phoenix & it’s surrounding areas that we would never lack for entertainment, excitement & breathtaking views. Well, to give you an idea of where I’m going with this… It’s Sunday morning & I landed back in Seattle last night…

The flight to Phoenix was uneventful & rather smooth, we touched down a little after 7:30 pm. I was met at the airport by my friend, and at that point I was informed that we were on our way to a big networking event, oh & that my attire was unacceptable so I should probably change into something more “business” appropriate. Can I take this moment to rehash the fact that I had just spent 2.5 hours on a shuttle, followed by 3 hours on a plane – so yes, my outfit was a comfortable one of capris, sandals & a tank top. There was no cleavage, ass crack, or spandex in sight! But, in hopes of maintaining the facade of a pleasant vacation I agreed to change into a cocktail dress & heels – in the parking garage… (side-note: my friends outfit consisted of camo shorts, a tee shirt & sneakers?!?!!?!?)

I should explain that this event was thrown by & for the “web hosting” companies of the area. I’m an insurance agent. I don’t know what web hosting is, if a gigabite is larger or smaller than a megabite, or why anyone would use a search engine other than Google! So, needless to say, I was a bit out of my element. Luckily, one thing is certain with any networking event, in any city/state, with any industry – the main goal of all attendees is to booze & schmooze – that, I can do. 4 hours later I had 3 new facebook friend requests, a bra full of business cards (cocktail dress=no pockets), and more contacts than I could ever need or want! Not to mention the handful of job offers should I ever decide to look at sales with an internet based company & relocate to New York, Arizona, or California.

We finally made it back to my friends place a little after 1 am, and I was ready to drop! Not only was I exhausted after the day, but wanting to be fully rested for the day ahead on Friday. There were plans of sightseeing, playing the shutter happy tourist, and just enjoying the predicted 106 degree day. Well, Friday morning came around & I was up by 6 am with the sun. I know that not everyone wakes up as early as I do, so I had come prepared with a handful of reading material. I got myself ready for the day & curled up for what I expected to be 2-3 hours of quiet reading & relaxing before my friend was up & ready to start exploring with me.

I should mention now that while I was told that my friend lived “just out of Phoenix” – we were actually just over 60 miles out of Phoenix, in an extremely quiet, secluded, rural area – with nothing to see, do, or pretend to be interested in. 8 hours later, a little before 2 pm, my friend decided to join the world of the living. I’d now finished 2 of the 3 books I brought along, within the confines of the house as there was no patio to sit on to enjoy the weather – unless of course you like reading while being surrounded & attacked by flies that have been attracted by the shit used to fertilize the 4 square feet of lawn.

Once my friend was up, showered & ready to leave (3 pm) I was so anxious to be outside & doing something, it was maddening. So we got in the car & headed towards the city – I made the mistake of asking where we were headed first. * sigh * The answer was, to a condo he’s having remodeled, because the carpets were going down & he needed to check on how it was going. So, thinking this would be a quick 10 minute stop (no, this was not an assumption – I was told it would be a “quick 10 minute stop”) – I tried not to be frustrated with my horribly wasted vacation day. Arriving at the condo we found that the carpets were about half finished & looking nice – half an hour later we were on our way to grab a quick bite to eat as my friend was hungry for breakfast, and I hadn’t eaten since the night before. After a quick salad, we went back to the condo – to be sure the carpets were finished. At this point I informed my friend that I was going to be looking into changing my flight back home. Now I know the assumption is that because I’m having such an amazing vacation, I’m hoping to push my flight out in order to stay in town for as long as possible. Alas, this was not the case. My intent was to get a ticket out of Phoenix STAT!

Let me tell you a little about myself. When I travel or vacation, I go to see new places, to be the ideal tourist & take photographs of everything, to experience my temporary surroundings. I go with a plan of the places & things I’d like to see. These are all attributes that my friend was well aware of, and the planned adventures had been discussed long before I got on the plane. I do not vacation, to sit on my ass, in someone else’s home, bored as hell, and dwelling on the fact that if I had wanted to waste my precious vacation time to sit on said ass & not enjoy myself – I could have done so at home, while getting laundry done!

Of course my desire to leave came as a complete shock & he informed me that it ruined all the fun things he had planned for us to do during the rest of my visit. When I asked what kind of amazing things he had in mind – his response was, “well, we could go get plowed.” Once again, I hate to be a spoilsport but if I had the desire to waste my time off getting plowed, I could have achieved that pretty easily at home, without flying across 4 states and taking time off work. When I made mention of the places we had planned on seeing; Camelback Mountain, Sedona, Grand Canyon, anything other than the inside of his house or car at this point… his response was… “huh, so you’re more of an outdoors girl huh?” There are no words…

We got back to his place & I booked my ticket for Saturday afternoon. He assured me that since I was now leaving so early – we should make sure to get up & going first thing Saturday morning to do something, anything, before I headed for home. This made me feel slightly guilty, maybe I’d made the wrong decision & was being too hasty in my escape…

So, Saturday morning I was up again by 6 am – finishing off my last book, letting his dog out to piddle, staring at the ceiling fan, making my bed in the spare room, counting tiles on the kitchen floor, & packing my suitcase until a little after 1 pm – when he decided to get up. * sigh * With the morning gone, there was no time to visit anyplace that we had discussed. Instead we had just enough time to visit the local shooting range & then onto the airport.

I will say I enjoyed the range, I’ve never fired a gun before & it was a definite experience. I’m proud to say that I was actually pretty good at it, and was able to make quite a few “kill shots” at a distance of 15ft – which I’m told is impressive. I know I owed my aim and determination to the piss & vinegar running through my veins at that point – but I’m still proud of my newfound skills. We arrived at the airport and I couldn’t vacate the car quick enough, by this point I was looking forward to the flight home & reassessing the past 2 days.

The trip home was heavenly – I love flying anyways, but the flight was exceptionally smooth, the plane only partially filled, and my ipod fully charged. It also helped that the head stewardess had a great sense of humor, explaining during the safety procedures that “in the event that we have an emergency & lose cabin pressure, a small mask will fall from above your seat – once placed over your mouth you will receive a complimentary supply of oxygen.” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud – never have I heard the life prolonging tools on a plane described as if they were a “free gift with purchase.”

We flew into Seattle with just enough light in the sky to cast a glow over the city – making the skyline & unique landmarks stand out that much more. We landed with 15 minutes to spare & were just standing up to file out when the lights flickered & went off. The captain explained over the speaker that while trying to connect the jetway (walkway) to our plane, the circuit blew – shorting not only the power to open the door, but also to light the interior of the plane. We were only in the dark for a few moments – but were on the plane for just over half an hour before they finally gave up on opening the door, instead having us exit the plane via an emergency exit – climbing to the ground on a set of rickity old stairs. From there we strolled across the tarmac, to another set of ancient steps which we were able to take back up & into the terminal. I suggested numerous times that the emergency slide is always an option, and they could post someone (yes, I volunteered) to stand on the ground and take candid snapshots of people as they went down the slide – it would have been like Splash Mountain but so much better! Sadly they did opt for the stairs.

So here I am, home, disappointed in the fact that while I was in Arizona for approx. 42 hours I saw nothing more than the inside of a grocery store & a gun range. But, glad to be home all the same. Next time: I vacation alone.

Seats & tray tables in their upright positions…

This evening while packing and prepping to leave for vacation in the morning, I’m reminded of the excitement involved during one of my last little trips. Last year I met a friend in Vegas for a long weekend. We had just about hit the halfway point, mid-flight drinks were being served & the silent old woman seated in front of me decided she’d had just about enough & started having a royal flip out session! We’re talking sliding down in her seat, legs finding their way up the wall in front of her, arms flailing & curses streaming – it was like a remake of the exorcist but with an old woman who suffers from tourettes¬†as the star! Absolutely insane! Well, about this time the stewardess have given up trying to quiet her down, her seatmates have seemed to evaporate, and of course – the drink cart disappears. The pilot decided that due to the severity of our “situation” the best course of action would be to flip a Boeing size bitch in the sky and aim our asses back home. Well, upon landing, back at home – at the same time we should have been landing in Vegas… we were greeted on the tarmac by EMT’s, firemen, & sheriffs deputies. Our crazy cohort was removed from the plane in restraints & a wheelchair – and after refueling the plane – we were once again on our way to the land of sin.

The trip itself was amazing. Then, when it came time to fly back home – because of the clusterfuck that was my original flight – someone has mistakenly adjusted my itinerary to show that I had taken a flight from “home” to “home” – which is in essence what happened… But, this left me with no return ticket home – for real! After a few stress induced tears & phone calls, I was handed a post-it note with my SSN, name, and destination, then escorted through the bowels of the Vegas Airport to my gate. Just to make the afternoon that much more strenuous – I was informed that my flight had been held while all this was going on – so I boarded the plane, under the watchful (& pissed off) eyes of my new travel companions. All this, while dealing with an incorrigible “headache” – c’mon, it was Vegas!

Let’s just hope this trip is as memorable as that one was – but perhaps for different reasons?…

~ m

To Whom It May Concern…

Dear Prince Charming;

I realize that patience is a virtue and being not of royal blood I’m going to need all the virtue I can scrounge if I should dream of ever catching your eye. But, in hopes of sounding less desperate that inquisitive, I thought I’d drop you a note while waiting for you & your noble steed to make an appearance.

I don’t mean to sound impatient, as I know that once we’ve met, fallen madly in love, and are en-route to our happily ever after; the trials & disasters of our past will be nothing but distant memories & humorous anecdotes. In an effort to keep myself in prime (princess) condition, I maintain an extremely active social calendar – making appearances at any event where destiny may be waiting to merge our paths. I never leave the house in anything less than my best, and am always pleasant to strangers. Alright, perhaps I do sometimes wear sweats to the market, and have occasionally let a sneer slip when avoiding an old foe, but at least 50% of the time I’m a nearly perfect mortal!

I continue to keep my head up, and assure myself that you’ll be here someday. ¬†Perhaps like some of the frogs I’ve dated, princes also struggle with asking for directions? In the mean time, I will be honest, I’m beginning to tire of entertaining your frat brothers, short bus riding cousins, socially defunct friends, and worst of all your lecherous uncles. It’s getting to the point where some of the dwarves are even appearing “not that bad.” So, if you could please, hurry just a little bit?

Patiently Waiting,

The Above Average Girl Next Door