If Our Flight Gets Delayed, I Will Scream

This is what I said in response to a text from my Dad about an hour ago. Dramatic? Maybe. Am I serious about my reaction? Yes.

You might say I was channeling Michael Scott in my reaction:

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To back up: my dad, for some reason, felt the need to text me this article about weather concerns for Wednesday night travelers in the Mid-Atlantic to New England region of the country. When are Rahul and I flying out for Thanksgiving break? Wednesday night, of course. Why would my dad text me this article, knowing my history with flight anxiety? Probably just to inform me but now, of course, I’m panicking. It’s not just that I want to get home to spend a few days with my family–I’m REALLY REALLY looking forward to that and need the time away to refresh for the rest of the semester.

It’s that I can’t spend another night in the Baltimore-Washington airport.

Back in May (pre-Wordifications revitalization), I headed home to TN for my friend Alex’s wedding. I got a text alert about an hour before leaving for the airport that the flight had been delayed. However, given the anxious traveler that I am, I had my ride drop me off at the time we had planned, thinking I could spend an extra hour in the airport, no problem. I checked in, had some dinner, drank a beer, and read The Fault in Our Stars.

Then the flight was delayed another hour. And another. And two more. Next thing you know, the flight–originally scheduled for 8:10 pm–was delayed until 1 AM.

By the time the 1 AM delay rolled around, I had already circled the airport twice, so I decided to go to my gate and hope for the best. Of course, I found the other passengers all “hoping for the best” as well, except their hoping was much louder and much more complainy than mine. I listened to outraged passengers yell at the staff who could do nothing more than tell them what the computer screen was relaying to them–that our flight was delayed for “unknown” reasons.

The fun started, however, when the flight was canceled around 11 AM. They told us, immediately, that a new flight was being created for us at 6 AM the next morning and that we would also receive a $100 voucher. All we had to do was come to the desk to receive our new ticket.

Most passengers begrudgingly obliged, myself included. I think most of us realized that the situation was beyond our control, beyond even Southwest’s control, and just wanted to get our new ticket and go to sleep. I was actually relieved, because after hours of waiting anxiously, picking my fingernails, I could get some rest, knowing a plane would come at 6 AM to whisk me away.

But then there were the others.

The others, whom I also like to refer to as “The Whiners,” were, of course, sitting in a circle right beside me, so I overheard everything. For the next 2 hours, they did nothing but complain about how this was terrible, inexcusable, ruining their travel plans, ruining their lives, the worst thing that had ever happened. They complained, complained, complained. One man complained loudly and very openly in an obvious attempt to get the rest of us just as angry as he was. He was also the passenger that stormed up to the desk several times to remind the Southwest employees how upset and outraged he was. After that night, I decided that those kind of people are some of the worst. Not only did he want to be angry and upset, but he very clearly wanted to get everyone just as angry and upset as he.

While the experience was tiring and tried my patience–again, I refer to Shirley Bennett to describe what I was feeling–

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I decided, somewhere between our plane finally showing up at 2 AM (it had been delayed in Tampa and then again in Buffalo and the people on the plane were even more pissed than The Whiners) and falling asleep, curled up on one of those Southwest armchairs, that I could either join The Whiners and complain about how terrible this was, how it was ruining my life, how I couldn’t believe “they” had let this happen–while the weather was clearly the culprit–or I could just accept it, get some sleep, and look forward to arriving in Nashville the next morning. Luckily, I had scheduled my flight for Thursday evening, so I missed none of the wedding festivities (for which I was a bridesmaid) and was able to nap Friday afternoon to not feel so spacey.

Even though I rectified the situation in my mind, I don’t think I can do it again for one reason: The Whiners. That made everything 1,000 times worse. Tell me, please, how does complaining about a situation LITERALLY OUT OF YOUR CONTROL make you feel any better? I have complained plenty in my life, but either do something about it (like try to get on another flight) or just accept it and move on. Anything else in between is downright annoying.

That being said, I’ll leave you with this list.

Things I Learned Spending the Night in the Airport:

1. A scarf makes a great makeshift blanket. For this reason, I am taking my Zara shawl tomorrow just in case….

2. Pack socks in case you need to warm up your feet while trying to fall asleep.

3. Curling up in the huge armchairs is infinitely more comfortable than lying on your  back on the regular chairs.

4. Buy snacks early. Most of the shops close at 10.

5. Tell your other passengers that most of the shops close at 10 so you don’t have to listen to one of The Whiners complain about how “they should have told us there were no vending machines and that the shops close. I’m hypoglycemic, I have to have a snack!”

6. Resist the urge to slap said girl, or even gently point out that someone who is hypoglycemic should always have snacks on them, regardless of the situation.

7. Prepare your entertainment. Be sure to have TV shows ready, or a book, or even work to get you through the many, many hours.

8. If traveling alone, make friends with at least one other non-whiner person, so he or she can watch your stuff when you make bathroom runs.

9. Keep your frustration or exclamations of “I have somewhere to be!” to yourself. Everyone on the damn plane has somewhere to be, otherwise they wouldn’t be at the airport with you.

10. Run up and down the empty airport hallways, screaming at the top of your lungs. I didn’t do it but, hey, the rest of the place is empty so you might as well, right?

Kidding aside, I will scream, and possibly cry, if our flight is delayed. But I will do it internally, because I know everyone else will be feeling the same way. I want to see my family, dammit!

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Eating Whatever the Hell I Want: Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Recap

Gathering at the starting/finishing line, the Washington Monument.

Gathering at the starting/finishing line, the Washington Monument.

I ran the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler on Sunday, and since then my biggest question has been how long can I use that as an excuse to eat whatever the hell I want? Pre-race pizza? Yum. Post race muffins? Necessary. Next day spaghetti? Sure. Next next day Indian food for lunch? Delicious. Next next day ice cream? Okay, now it’s getting a little out of hand.
To be fair, the ice cream was from Ben & Jerry’s free scoop day. So I feel like that shouldn’t even really count.

Rachel and I looking confident before the race started. Post race: confidence still there??

Rachel and I looking confident before the race started. Post race: confidence still there??

The race itself wasn’t as terrible as I thought it was going to be. In fact, it was actually great—although my face in some of the official race photos will try to tell you a different story. After waiting in the longest bathroom line ever—don’t think I’ve ever waited so long to use a Porta Potty—Rachel and I were able to start the race in the same corral. We were in the 10:30-minute mile one, which meant we passed the elite runners looking ever-so-cool at around their mile five right after we started. A fellow green-miler yelled, “whoo hoo fast runners!” to which her friend told her to stop focusing on the real runners and on her own running.

Love the costumes.

Love the costumes.

That was probably one of the best parts of the race, and what made it feel like not 10 miles. Since I was running with about 15,000 of my closest friends, there were always people around me. That’s a huge motivating factor. It’s even more motivating when you have fun things to look at, like the guy dressed up as a flower, or the America-themed couple. This was my first large race, and I was honestly expecting a madhouse. And while there were people EVERYWHERE—someone needs to teach those tourists to cross the road with conviction. If you’re going to cross the road with hundreds of runners coming toward you at a much faster pace, commit to it. Don’t stop and look at us—it was a good kind of crowd, as the crowd was a big reason to keep moving forward. That and the awesome signs passed along the way, two of my favorites being “This is the worst parade ever” and “Run like Phoebe!” Oh, and I definitely couldn’t have done miles 6-8 without Rachel running beside me, as my legs were absolutely ready to quit. But that makes sense when the longest I ran in training was six miles. Like a dummy.

Run run run! Run like walkers are out to get you!

Run run run! Run like walkers are out to get you!

This is my longest race since my half marathon two years ago, which was a much different scene. The night after the race (like we’re talking 8 hours later), I was helping myself to a generous serving of cake at an event I attended with my parents when a woman said, “Slow down, remember it was only 13 miles.” Yeah, it was ONLY 13 miles. I feel like that equals out to at least several pieces of cake.

I’m going to walk home today from the metro instead of using the bus, as a half-assed attempt at equaling out the ice cream consumption. But really, I can’t help but still operate under the fact that yeah, I ran 10 miles on Sunday. ONLY ten. So pass the snacks.

What Happens When You Lose Your Blog Password: A Study in Laziness

So there was a time when I was really good about posting on my blog on a regular basis. I made blog writing and posting part of my weekly routine–treating it just like a homework assignment–and was very religious in ensuring I always had something fresh for my readers.

Ha! That time has passed.

Over the past few months, there have been many different reasons for why I’ve found it hard to keep my blog updated. At first, it was adjusting to a new schedule and a new school year. And then it was because I ran out of things to write about and didn’t want to share my dumb life with strangers. (disclaimer: I don’t actually think my life is dumb.) And lately? Well, to be honest, I forgot my password and, after changing my password a handful of times because I kept forgetting it, and kept forgetting where I wrote it down, I just gave up. It would have been easy to change the password again, but I wasn’t feeling it.

To sum up: I’M LAZY.

But as the semester draws to a close, I finally decided to embark on the dreadful task of changing the password and here we all are. It’s springtime outside (and actually feels like it today) and with that comes new possibilities.
I could write inspirational cards, don’t ya think?

Exciting things that have happened in my (dumb-not-so-dumb) life lately:

The finished quilt top. Next step: the actual quilting.

The finished quilt top. Next step: the actual quilting.

1. I’m making a quilt and also going to finish a quilt my grandmother started decades ago and never finished. My amazing and talented friend Anna has been the inspiration behind this. If you are a quilter yourself, please check out her blog!

2. I’m staying for a third year to complete my thesis for my MFA degree. My thesis currently looks like this: ASDMKLASDJLWEJKWJK INSERT AMAZING SMART WONDERFUL BRILLIANT AWARD WINNING WORDS HERE ADJKASLDRJWELRKJQWELRKQW.

Happy!

Happy!

3. I saw Rahul over Spring Break! I also got to see my family, pets, best friends, Sonic, favorite sushi and Mexican restaurants.

4. A few friends and I pulled a pretty epic April Fool’s Day by putting googly eyes on EVERYTHING in their office.

5. Kid President is from Tennessee. Not just Tennessee, but like 20-minutes-from-where-I’m-from in Tennessee. Okay, this isn’t MY life, but it still feels pretty important.

6. The Cherry Blossom 10-Miler is in two days. The longest I’ve run in preperation for it? Six miles. Here’s hoping for a miracle….

7. There may or may not be a rat infestation under the PSK house.

And three of the more interesting things I’ve done lately….

The view from the Exec Building. Oh hey, Obama!

The view from the Exec Building. Oh hey, Obama!

8. Got to go INSIDE THE EISENHOWER EXECUTIVE BUILDING. Felt like a legit bad ass and also like Leslie Knope, except Joe Biden wasn’t there.

9. Attended an event about the documentary “No Job for a Woman: The Women Who Fought to Report WWII” at which SOLEDAD O’BRIEN was the panel moderator. And I’ll tell you something: she is SKINNYTINYSKINNY in real life!

Hey there Soledad O'Brien, Michele Midori Fillion, Leisa Meyer, Missy Ryan, Ann Rondeau, and Kristen Rouse. You are all awesome and I will probably never be as awesome as you are. K bye.

Hey there Soledad O’Brien, Michele Midori Fillion, Leisa Meyer, Missy Ryan, Ann Rondeau, and Kristen Rouse. You are all awesome and I will probably never be as awesome as you are. K bye.

10. Attended the 42nd Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, held every year by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Who was the 42nd lecturer? Just this dude, Martin Scorsese. NO BIG DEAL.

My new BFF. Just kidding. I didn't get close enough to make that connection happen. NEXT TIME.

My new BFF. Just kidding. I didn’t get close enough to make that connection happen. NEXT TIME.

I will try to do better to keep this guy updated as the semester ends. But I can’t make any promises….

Gettin’ Crafty With It

I’m not the most artistic person in the world. As of late, I have begun painting my nails with some interesting and fun designs, but I don’t really think that counts. Two Christmases ago, I painted a pretty spectacular (as in my definition of spectacular) painting of a tree at an Art by the Glazz class. And I think that I have put together some pretty crafty gifts for Rahul, but for confirmation on that, you’ll have to talk to him.

So when my friend Anna offered to teach my other friend Rachel and I how to quilt, we took to the idea quickly. Anna taught herself how to quilt over a year ago, and now makes an impressive amount of quilts, pillows, gifts, and more. The girl is an impressive machine when it comes to quilting, and makes some really beautiful stuff. So who better to learn a craft from than from someone who knows it backwards and forwards, and won’t get frustrated when you accidentally de-thread her sewing machine a thousand times. I’m not saying that was me, but….

Anna, Rachel, and I before participating in a Case Study Competition last week.

Anna, Rachel, and I before participating in a Case Study Competition last week.

The trip to the fabric store was completely overwhelming, but we left with some beautiful fabrics for our quilted pillows, which was our first undertaking. Rachel and I picked some pretty complicated patterns for our pillows–well, complicated for first-time quilters–so the process is still in the making. We had to make 64 half-square triangles for our pillows, which involved a lot of cutting, pressing, and matching. But, even though the process is long, being able to witness a creation come together–and know that you’re the one making it–is an experience unlike any other. Take that, store-bought pillows! You have a new competitor in town.

My first fabric purchase!

My first fabric purchase!

The chevron design I am using for my own pillow.

The chevron design I am using for my own pillow.

My fabrics cut into squares!! The process has begun!

My fabrics cut into squares!! The process has begun!

Meet Jane, Anna's sewing machine!

Meet Jane, Anna’s sewing machine!

After sewing a color piece to a plain piece, the pressing comes next!

After sewing a color piece to a plain piece, the pressing comes next!

Cutting the pieces into smaller sizes.

Cutting the pieces into smaller sizes.

And voila, the pattern begins to take shape!

And voila, the pattern begins to take shape!

More of the pattern.

More of the pattern.

The patterned rows sewed together!

The patterned rows sewn together!

Our next project, after the pillows are completed, is the Giant Star quilt. Check out Anna’s blog for this pattern, as well as her wealth of other pictures and design tips. She is definitely the expert here! I’m excited to take on this next step in the learning process, and have the fabric ready to go. Picking eight fat quarters from this selection for the quilt is not going to be easy….

Fabrics galore.

My latest fabrics purchase. So pretty!

My latest fabric purchases. So pretty!

Fabrics galore!

Quilting fun.

Quilting fun.

The countdown begins….

I’ve made some changes to my blog lately, one of which is the “Milestone” widget. You’ll notice it at the bottom of the page. When I first saw this widget, I immediately liked it, but couldn’t think of any use for it.

But wait! I entered the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in D.C. in December. And made it through the lottery. So now I have this race in a little over 2 months that I have to prepare for. I’ve run one half-marathon before, but that was two years ago and if someone asked me to just up and run 10 miles tomorrow I would throw up at some point during the run.
When my friend Rachel, who’s also doing the race, saw my widget, she sent me a text that said “Terrifying. Wanna run Saturday?” So maybe the little countdown widget will cast some magical spell over us that makes us constantly motivated to train.

That being said, I’ve created a detailed (and stolen from Hal Higdon) 10-week training schedule to get me up to speed. It starts off pretty easy (2 mile runs), so it was not hard to commit myself to it. Plus, I wrote it in my planner so now I have to do it.

I’m not going to obnoxiously post about my progress or shove it in your face that I’m training for something by posting pictures of my running shoes clad feet with a tag like “killing it.” Instead, I’ll post one annoying picture here of my now-I-have-to-do-it-because-it’s-in-my-planner race prep. And I’ll get excited as the countdown grows smaller and closer to the date.

This makes it real....

This makes it real….

Also, please take some time to check out what I’ve changed on the blog!

A Tale of Two Li’l Sebastians

One Li'l Sebastian + One Li'l Sebastian = TWO Li'l Sebastians!

One Li’l Sebastian + One Li’l Sebastian = TWO Li’l Sebastians!

No, you’re not seeing double. There are two plush Li’l Sebastians in that picture.

Let me explain…my boyfriend and I love the TV show “Parks & Recreation” and watch the new episodes together when they are available. So, when our 2-year anniversary rolled around, I was looking for things to get him that would be representative of our relationship. Since we have given TV-show themed gifts in the past, I decided a “Parks & Rec” gift would be a perfect idea. So I ordered him a Li’l Sebastian and had it delivered to my house. Only to find out…

Enjoying some downtime under some lovely plant shade.

Enjoying some downtime under some lovely plant shade.

he got the same thing for me! So now I have two Li’l Sebastians. We have our theories for why one is a little darker, scruffier, and thinner than the other, but so far they seem to enjoy spending time with each other and haven’t caught on to the fact that they’re exactly the same.

In their free time, they enjoy touring around to small towns to participate in county fairs and have people fawn over their size and adorableness.

Watching some "Parks & Rec" together.

Watching some “Parks & Rec” together.

In other news….

  • A new school semester has started,
  • I saw Barack Obama at Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson’s concert in front of the Capital Building,
  • The guys are back in the house, making their presence known through leaving the TV on 24/7 and turning the dryer buttons to the noise level,
  • I saw Silver Linings Playbook twice and now wish I had written that story.

Happy end of January, y’all.

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Which one is scruffier…..

My new BFF's.

My new BFF’s.