Category

airplanes/airports

Oh, Say Can You See

By | airplanes/airports, concerts, events, jet noise, life's a beach, navy, partying like a rock star, virginia beach | 3 Comments

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Last weekend, Virginia Beach launched 2012’s series of summer events with the Patriotic Festival — a three-day celebration of our nation’s military featuring concerts on the beach, vendors along the boardwalk, and air shows over the Atlantic Ocean.

Last weekend was nothing short of amazing. I’ve seen air shows before, but never two days in a row over the ocean. =) On Saturday, I managed to finagle an invite from Heather to Sky Bar, which had to have been one of the best vantage points for snapping photos of the Blue Angels as they soared south past the Hilton towards the demonstration area over and over during their performance. Saturday night, J and I leisurely walked up and down the boardwalk, dodging the occasional rain drop and listening to the sounds of Steel Pulse coming from the stage on the sand at 5th Street. Sunday was another perfect beach day, and we biked to the Oceanfront to watch the Blue Angels again — this time at the water’s edge.

This year’s Patriotic Festival also kicked off 12 days of OpSail 2012 Virginia, which coincides this weekend with Norfolk’s annual Harborfest and the bicentennial of the War of 1812. I told you it was going to be a busy summer. =)

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High Flying, Annoyed

By | airplanes/airports, breaking news, drama, financial wisdom, hazards to my well-being, lists, mortgage | No Comments

Today, my mortgage company practically forced me to call Quicken Loans to discuss refinance options. I figured just doing what they said might be less of a waste of time than listening to their awful hold music for one more second, so I called. A customer service rep answered the phone, took down some of my information, and then explained why all of the options LBPS told me to ask about wouldn’t work.

“I know,” I said. “But they made me call.”

I then proceeded to ask a series of questions beginning with phrases like, Correct me if I’m wrong but and And isn’t it also true that and But those programs won’t help me because, to which the customer service rep responded, “Whoa. You know more about mortgages than anyone that even works here.”

Well, duh. That’s why I keep having to call you loony tunes over and over in the first place.

Moving on.

My friend told me this afternoon that a notification light was flashing on her dash, suggesting that she had a light bulb out. I told her I’d look around the car when we left work tonight, and she said, “It’s okay. My husband already looked. There aren’t any lights out.”

And I said, “I’ll look anyway. I’m smarter than him.” I found the busted light after one tap on the brakes.

In the meantime, it’s become evident that in their ongoing quest to improve the security at major airports, the U.S. government has taken up practices like sexual assault, nude photography, pedophilia, and might I say mildly terrorizing the general public before allowing them to board a plane. Perhaps their reasoning is that if more people are unwilling to fly at all, terrorists will be less likely to target planes?

I understand where they’re coming from but, here’s the thing. Whereas, no one was making much of a scene about avoiding air travel after that moron boarded a plane with explosives in his underpants last year, now people don’t want to fly because they don’t want Joe Schmoe TSA employee touching their “junk” or comparing the outline of their practically naked image to the next passenger’s. Nice.

In all honesty, I’m trying to be satirical here, but don’t take any of this too seriously because I haven’t formulated my complete opinion on this topic yet. I’m not really sure how I’ll cope with these changes in airport security procedures, and I’m going to put off figuring it out for as long as possible. I’ll tell you why.

1. I don’t want to be standing in line at security behind the belligerent idiot who won’t cooperate. I consider myself a pretty well-traveled person. I fly more than the average American in any given year, but the next time I’m scheduled to travel is around Christmas…along with a whole bunch of people who never fly. I’m simply not interested in navigating my way through the battle of the aggressive security personnel versus the defensive passengers. Not this year, anyway.

2. I don’t want to become the belligerent idiot who won’t cooperate. This is highly unlikely, but always possible. I never thought I’d smack a Russian bouncer upside the head at Lunasea for forcefully grabbing (and bruising!) my arm, but that happened once, so I can’t make any promises.

3. I don’t know if you know this or not, but it’s a pretty well-known fact (to me and my mom, anyway) that I am destined to become disgustingly rich and famous, and I don’t want to become the future victim of blackmail when some psychotic, disgruntled TSA employee threatens to¬† leak my body scan image online. (Yeah, they say they’re deleting them, but I’ve seen my boyfriend recover deleted images off my camera, so I don’t buy it. Besides, are you trying to tell me that if there is another underwear bomber, they won’t go back and review his body scan image to see what they missed?) I’ll be much hotter then, and I won’t want people mocking the naked-ish image of me in 2010. It’s true.

4. (This is the main reason.) I don’t want to get arrested (which I probably will — for punching that pat-down person in the face — because I don’t even let my co-workers hug me, much less allow strangers to stick their fingers down the waistband of my pants).

I guess what it really comes down to is this — if I have to choose between posing for nude photographs or being molested at the airport this holiday season, then I guess I just choose to drive home to New Jersey for Christmas. Sorry, Continental. It’s Wawa that will be profiting off of me this year.

Finally, in other less pressing and far more entertaining news, a mysterious blob was discovered in Newport News.

P.S. When I do become disgustingly rich and famous, I’ll just buy my own plane, and then this won’t be an issue.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: grounded
And I’m singin’ along to: Like A G6 – Far East Movement

24

By | airplanes/airports, birthdays, las vegas, little cousins, partying like a rock star, roommates | 5 Comments

I just had the best birthday weekend ever in Vegas. I definitely crammed as much stuff as possible into the past four days. I’m never drinking again. Until at least Wednesday.

Thursday
I had lunch at Chuck E. Cheese’s with my aunt and Franky and Sammy. Then I took Kristen and Courtney to the mall and bought myself a new pair of Diesel jeans. Later on, Robbie and I picked up the white Malibu he rented. Then we drove to out to the Green Valley Ranch where we drank Crown Royal and danced and played some pool at the Whiskey Bar.

Friday
I did my best to sleep in and then I went food shopping with Aunt Kim and Sammy. Sammy bought a new Tinkerbell watch with her birthday money. I hung out by the pool all afternoon and tried to get a decent sunburn. Robbie and I went out to dinner at Shuck’s where I didn’t try any raw oysters, but I did have the best salad ever. Then we hit up the Treasure Island — we drank mojitos and got into Tangerine for free after I randomly found some VIP passes while we were waiting on line.

Saturday
I lounged around outside all morning making a list of the songs that were on the CD I made for my roommate (he was complaining he didn’t know who any of the bands were). I went to Toxicity and had Holly cut my hair, then I came home and had some tacos for dinner with my cousins. Robbie and I went to In-N-Out Burger (dinner number two) and then we headed over to the Luxor where we spent the night dancing and celebrating my birthday at Ra. I won $20 on a hand of Black Jack before we left, so that was nice.

Sunday
Robbie and I took a little trip to Red Rock Canyon and I stopped at Jersey Mike’s Subs for some lunch on the way there. We climbed some rocks and drove around that long scenic one-way road enjoying the mountains. “Such Great Heights” by Iron and Wine was playing when we stopped at the highest point on the scenic drive, so that was a nice movie soundtrack kind of moment. We didn’t talk much all day because we were both exhausted from staying up until 5:00 this morning. I had dinner with my aunt and uncle and cousins and Jimmy and then I attempted a nap. I didn’t really get a nap though; I was too busy catching up with friends that called to wish me a happy birthday. Robbie came back around 8:00 and we all had birthday cake. My cousins got me a Build-A-Bear and I named her Hualapai (after a cool street name here in Vegas). After my cousins went to bed, my aunt and uncle and Jimmy and Robbie and I all sat outside for a bit and then Robbie and I hung out in the hot tub for a few hours. We decided we’re going to open a Jersey Mike’s Subs in Virginia Beach. He gave me the best birthday hug ever before he left and I promised to cook him a huge dinner when he comes home in May because he definitely helped make this the most awesome birthday weekend I’ve ever had.

Monday
My flight leaves tomorrow around 3:00 p.m., and I’ll be flying non-stop to ORF on Southwest. I land around 11:00 and I’m pretty sure Allison is picking me up from the airport. I am so exhausted. I can’t wait to go home and sleep in my bed. It’s going to be a busy week.

Planes, Bars and a Bowl of Cocoa Puffs

By | airplanes/airports, conversations, las vegas, partying like a rock star, ruling at life, travel | No Comments

Last night I landed around 11 and my aunt, Jimmy and I went to the Hard Rock Hotel and the Palms where we met up with the neighbors and some other people.

I met some cool people on the planes and at the bars yesterday. The guy on my first plane is probably around 45 years old, seemed very successful, had owned a business a long time ago in New Jersey and is currently working in D.C. or something. He told me all these crazy stories about his sisters and his nieces and the twisted paths they took to get to where they were today — one is a union president in Montclair, one is the executive editor of USA Today, one is a photographer, one works part time in Europe and another lives in Brooklyn and works in publishing in Manhattan. Oh, and his sister with a brain tumor manages a really nice restaurant in New York City.

The couple on my second plane was heading to Vegas on vacation. The guy works in shipping, so he shipped his motorcycle to Vegas so that he and his wife could drive it out to California and up and down the Pacific Coast Highway. They said they were staying at the Luxor, so I suggested they check out the House of Blues for breakfast. He said they would.

At the Hard Rock, some eccentric older gentleman with an accent and a mustache insisted on standing at the bar right in the middle of our group. He kept eavesdropping on my conversation with Aunt Kim and bought her a drink.

The guy we talked to at the Palms was middle-aged. He moved to Vegas 18 months ago because he is a builder. He has a 12-year old daughter, a house in L.A., a house here in Vegas, and he says “fuck” a lot — too much for someone his age. I pointed that out to him. While I was offering constructive criticism, I should have told him, “Say it, don’t spray it,” but I figured one communication tip per night would probably suffice. I forget his name, though.

Guy at bar: “So how do you know her?”

Lisa: “She’s my mom’s brother’s wife.”

Bartender: “She’s what?”

Lisa: “She’s my aunt.”

Bartender: “There you go. That’s much easier to understand.”

Lisa: “Right, but he already knew she was my aunt. I thought he wanted more specifics — like what side of the family. So, she’s my mom’s brother’s wife.”

Bartender: “Oh.”

Lisa: “As opposed to my mom’s sister or my dad’s sister or my dad’s brother’s wife — you see?”

Bartender: “You’re hurting me.”

Aunt Kim: “That was hilarious.”

Guy at bar: “I think I’m fucked up.”

After that exchange, Jimmy and I quoted some Napoleon Dynamite and then we headed out to pick up the Hummer from the valet. I drove it home. My aunt was a little tipsy, as she should have been — she just dropped my grandparents off at the airport yesterday after their week-long stay. My aunt said it was their fault she needed a drink. I told my mom that on the phone and she agreed that having my grandmother around for a week can be very “taxing.”

I’ve just finished a nutritional breakfast of Cocoa Puffs, and I think I’m ready to start the day. Peace out.