December 10, 2008

Why Christmas Can't Come Too Soon

My mother, admittedly, has a lot of crap at her house. My sisters and I have found some real gems in the past few years when helping to clean the house. Few things, however, make it into the prestigious league of the utterly ridiculous and what-were-you thinking?! class.
For example, one recent favorite was a pink bunny wall hanging. A much larger than life-size pink bunny. It's pretty phenomenal.

When I was home recently, I came across something that really is a winner.

All I needed was a large dish, but instead, when I opened the hutch, I found this little buddy. What you can't see in this picture is that he's holding a lantern and his navy felt cape is really not portrayed to it's greatest strength. Oh, and that leather strap across his chest? Yeah, there's a golden (wooden) horn at the end of it.

What is it? I wondered that too. Apparently, it is a German made incense burner. Owned by a woman who CAN'T STAND any form of incense or strongly scented candle. I'm not kidding. Several times she's broken into fits of coughing in the candle section at Pier One. (Although, to be fair, it is a rather stinky place)

But how does it work?? This is where I thought she might throw her hands up in confusion and walk away but, she totally knew. You take his head off, insert cone shaped incense, replace the head and the smoke COMES OUT OF HIS MOUTH.

I'm so testing it out over Christmas break.
Oh, also planning on naming this bad boy. Any suggestions?

December 3, 2008

Blankets, or: Why I love flying

Last weekend I flew back to Minneapolis from Michigan after being back home for Thanksgiving. Earlier in the week I described this experience as hellish, and while it was, now that I think about it, Sunday wasn't nearly as bad as other traveling experiences I've had.

I believe I have come to this conclusion because of the fact that on my second flight that I was not originally booked on and that took off a whopping 45 minutes after it was scheduled, I sat in first class. And it was legit.

But let me tell the whole story.

As I was finishing packing Sunday afternoon, my Mom came into my room and told me to be prepared, O'Hare was already delaying and canceling flights in spite of the fact that it was barely snowing there. A whopper of a storm was about to engulf the midwest. Subtext: Hide your children and put on clean underwear!

As I walked into the TC airport, it started snowing. I saw the enormous line in front of NWA and thought "Suckaaaaaas! SO happy I'm flying United!" Got in line behind a lady with a really nice green suitcase and 3 other people in front of her.

Then we overheard the United agent tell every person that oh, FYI, your flight? You know, the one that should leave around 4? Yeah. Good luck with that. Try 6. If you're lucky.

Double u teeeeeeee efffffffffffffff?

This line was no longer the happy line. Basically no one had any chance of making their connection (mine was around the time of our updated departure - wah wah...) so they were booking people like crazy on other flights. This meant, for me, that instead of getting into Minneapolis at the respectable 6:35, it was now looking like my plane would be landing (if it could take off at all) around 11:30.

Happy Camper = Not Me.

So. I got to sit in the TC airport around people freaking out about not getting home Monday, their dogs at the kennels, and little kids literally running laps around the terminal, moms and dads barely in tow.

5:30 pm EST: In line to board the plane. The old people and tiny children are heading toward the podium. A boarding pass is about to be handed to an agent when...."United passengers, we are not able to board at this time." !!!!!!!!!!!!! "New wheels up estimated time is 7:30."

I don't know about you, but it is SO ANNOYING to be ready to get on a plane - things packed up, ipod turned off, boarding pass accessible - then being told to sit down for another hour and a half.

Finally, about the time I was thinking about which hotel I would stay at in TC, we got on the plane and got to Chicago.

Earlier, in TC when I had been booked on another flight, I hadn't been given a boarding pass, but instead a receipt type thing that I was instructed to give to a United employee who could then print me a boarding pass.

I still had about 3 hours until my flight, but I wanted to make sure I had a seat what with the hundreds of people sitting around waiting on standby. I did not want to do that, so I found my gate. No United representative there or at any other gate nearby. I was near the info spot for United, so I went there only to find one of the longest lines EVER. Thought to myself that those people probably missed connections. I, technically, hadn't so it didn't make sense that I needed to be in that line. Kept walking and saw someone at a podium with no line. SCORE! Got my boarding pass, and barely registered the fact that it was gold instead of the typical blue before stuffing it in my book and heading off to get some dinner.

After eating and doing my homework, I was sitting near the gate (which was moved, but closeby thank God) and looked at my boarding pass. It didn't have a seating number on it, which my other United boarding passes had, and looking again at the gold then seeing 1A I realized I was going to be living the high life in FIRST CLASS. Sure enough, when I went through the line with the actual business class people, I wasn't turned away.

Let me just say that while I will not in the near future buy a first class ticket, it is TOTALLY WORTH IT. The comfort of the seats alone are a bit astonishing.

I have only been in first class one other time. My oldest sister and I were flying back from our grandparent's houses (well, trailers, but that's a different story...) and while running through the Houston airport (we almost missed our plane) my sister looked at our boarding passes and told me that maybe we had possibly been bumped up to first class.

We were. It was fantastic. Honestly, I don't remember much because a) it was 10 years ago and b) I was only 10 years old. I do remember, however, that I had the chicken and not the lasagna and that they gave us real glasses and real silverware. I also was in the back row of first class, so I could lean back and play my gameboy without annoying anyone. Bliss for a fourth grader is much easier to achieve than one might think, friends.

Anyway, to commemorate this occasion, I decided very early on the flight (before completely passing out - no complimentary drink!) that I would steal a blanket. Unfortunately, I was sitting next to a flight attendant that was just riding, and I was afraid she'd call me on it or something.

Luckily, I was just too stealthy. I hid it under my coat to carry it off the airplane, then went around a corner and shoved it in my bag. And no one was the wiser. Until now. Hmmm.....

Well, I just can't wait until another 10 years go by and I steal another first class blanket. Think of the updates in the material alone!

Oh the memories.