Thursday, December 21, 2006

Let it snow, let it snow, let it STOP!

Well it turns out that packing my unmentionables was the least of my worries. Thanks to two feet of snow in Denver, we didn't actually go anywhere yesterday. We were supposed to transfer planes in Denver, and are glad we didn't get there only to become stranded with 4500 other people.

Yesterday I spent all day trying to get through to the airline, mostly getting busy signals or simply getting disconnected. When I finally got to wait on hold for 45 minutes, I tried getting us to Chicago sooner than Christmas. They could get us a flight on the 23rd, which makes Chris's trip not worth it since he was flying back on the 25th anyway. In my further attempts to find an earlier flight so he could come with me, I twice got disconnected while being transferred to a supervisor. So now it looks like I will be going without him and he will be all alone on Christmas Eve and Christmas day! Today I am trying to get through to the airline again just so I can cancel Chris's flight for a refund, and I can't get through. It turns out that when you get the automated voice that thinks he can understand you, all you have to say is "agent" to get transferred to a person...or a busy signal that is.

Looking on the bright side, I get three days of time with my husband while he has time off work, and I can still see my family and hand deliver Christmas presents, even if its not with Chris.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Luggage Challenged

Today we are flying to Chicago to be with my family for Christmas. Since we were engaged, our airline-lost-my-luggage ratio has consistently been high, even though the airline has always varied. The first time it happened, it was Chris's bag, and it was delivered by airline messenger the next day.

The second time it happened, we had flown to visit his Mom for our first Christmas together. We had checked two bags. When we arrived at our destination, one bag had not left SLC, and the other had somehow been sent to San Francisco, even though we were in Seattle. Explain that one to me. Unfortunately, since we had flown in on Christmas Eve, all service desks were unmanned and there was little hope of trying to track down our bags. That Christmas I remember sequestering myself in a quiet room for 45 minutes at a time waiting on hold, trying to get a status on my bag...It would be an understatement to say that I was ticked off.

You think I would have learned my lesson, but I consistently pack in such a way that I would be lost without my checked baggage (I mean, really. If you didn't actually expect to use something on your trip, you wouldn't have packed it in the first place!). So the next time it happened, on a trip to Illinois the following Christmas, I realized that it would have been wise to stash deodorant and spare undies at the bottom of my carry-on. Now that many liquids are prohibited on airplanes, not only would I smell in one set of clothes, but I would also look terrible because my liquid foundation would be checked.

So now I come to a great dilemma. How do I pack? How do I break the curse? Am I doomed to a life of checking my book and carrying-on my underwear?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Don't waste your time

Movies we tried to watch and thought were awful:

  • Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • Anger Management
  • Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  • Van Helsing (this one we saw at the $1 theater and actually walked out of)
  • The Book of Mormom: The Movie (Don't get me wrong, we love the book itself!)

Those were really bad. Here are some that are just pretty bad:

  • The Wedding Date
  • Under the Tuscan Sun
  • Must Love Dogs
  • ...I'm sure we'll think of more!

Ode to Apple Pie

That last time I made apple pie was a solemn day at our house. I took it anxiously out of the oven to let it cool on the range top. It smelled and looked so good! Shortly afterward, we smelled burning pie. The burner underneath the pie dish had accidentally got turned on while we were making dinner. We looked down and saw red hot coils underneath my beautiful new apple pie. Panic coursed through our blood. We turned off the burner, but how bad was the damage?

Before we could think of what to do next, the glass pie dish shattered! Now there was pie oozing all over the stove top and smoking on the *hot* burner, surrounded by a ten foot radius of cubed glass particles. I think time stopped for a moment while we considered what had happened and what to do next. I think we were laughing: the pie was undoubtedly ruined, and before we could have time to mourn we had to prevent a kitchen fire. When we came to our senses, we poured the water from the tea kettle on the pie to stop the smoking before it escalated. What a mess we had to clean up! For Christmas that year I got a new pie dish from my mom, accompanied by specific instructions not to use on a range top!

Well it's been over a year since my apple pie fiasco, and I decided I had healed enough to try again. I made an identical apple pie last night to finally satisfy that craving (I did get some on my stove top trying to serve it up, but nothing as disastrous as last time). I think maybe the year of anticipation for sweet juicy pie filling and crumbly topping was a little too much because I didn't think it was very good. Perhaps I waited too long, or it was just never meant to be!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Live and laugh and pass it on

Do you ever have those moments when you want to be really embarassed or mad about something, but you know you should really just laugh it off? The way it always happens with me is that someone else is trying to get me to shrug it off and I get annoyed because I want my time to be mad about it first. I learned this the hard way from my dear friend Liz.

I distinctly remember our fight right after my glasses flew off my face on a roller coaster at Six Flags. We must have been in Junior High. I was ticked and I knew my parents would be ticked. I wanted my time to fume and blame someone (besides myself, of course). But Liz, who has always been very level-headed, was convinced that there was nothing we could do about it and that we might as well laugh, especially since immediately beforehand we had had a conversation about how not to lose our glasses on the Iron Wolf. And of course, her glasses were tightly clutched in her fist the entire time and survived the ride. She was right, they were gone; I never saw through them again. Why did I reserve the right to be mad when I knew eventually I would have to laugh about the irony of the incident?

I was reminded of this and heard Liz's effervescent cackling in the back of my mind today when I drove away from my house with a box on the roof of my car. I almost wish someone else could have seen it so I could have heard their laughing. I'm laughing now. Thanks Liz!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mother Duck

This afternoon my little Leah was toddling around showing her newest playmate (my babysitting charge) the ins and outs of our family room—how to turn on and off the TV, how to bang on the furnace grate at the end of the hallway and hear a metallic echo, how to misuse her toys, etc.

Their initial reactions to each other were to grab and taste each other, but once they got past first impressions, they now do everything together. They woke up from naps crying, messed their diapers, and needed bottles at the same time. I made the mistake of giving Leah a graham cracker, and I was instantly popular. There they both were, clinging to my jeans with mouths open wide like baby birds. When I went into the kitchen to transfer laundry to the dryer, there they both were again clinging to the gate at the edge of the room, anxiously peering over on tip toe. When they both got fussy (at the same time, of course!) I tried my amazing distraction technique: bubbles. Little birds again, clinging to me with their mouths open wide. I went to the computer to enrich my mind and they followed me, this time they were both trying to eat the cotton fibers coming loose from my jeans where the knee used to be.

My little ducklings follow close behind me everywhere I go. If only they were neatly in a row.