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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blogging Away from Home OR What I Learned in the Last Month

Disclaimers: No illustrations today because I do not have my handy, dandy bamboo pad.  Purple kool-aid causes your poop to turn green.  I have proof.  This blog may cause you to gasp in amazement/alarm/consternation.  Elvis Presley was a crappy actor.  Sorry but it had to be said.

Ah, it's Sunday in Spokane and the active volcanoes of the Cascades are not erupting at the moment.  Life isn't so bad.  My sister, who had been very ill, is getting better, and I may be able to go home soon.  (Just in time for Easter.  HIM was boiling eggs today and I fear for the safety of our house and kitchen in particular.  Howvever. I figure the kid will run outside as soon as she sees the flames shooting out of the pot of water.)

But here I am on a mild afternoon and I'm pondering the lessons of the past month.  There are a few but they are significant.

1.  They have graupel here in Spokane.  I did not know what graupel was before.  (It's snow/hail or a mix of the two.)  I would have called it hail and ignored it but the folks here have a special word for it, or maybe just a word I have not heard before and therefore, I have discovered a need to make fun of it.  Graupel.  (Say it ten times in a row and it sounds really bizarre.)  I did not make that up.  Look, it's got its own entry in Wikipedia.  Here.

2.  My sister's truck, which is a Toyota Tacoma has an engine that I suspect came from a lawn mower.  For those of you who are uneducated about Spokane, there are hills here.  I have to drive up one stupid hill every day to visit my sister in the hospital.  The truck, (Minitruck, actually.  It wants to be a big truck when it grows up.) goes from 30 miles an hour to 15 miles an hour on these hills and it isn't because I'm not pressing the gas pedal down.  I am but you have to lean forward to get the truck to go up the hill.  Large men from the WWE pushing the back of the truck help, too.

3.  There are turkeys in the parks here.  I saw them and I will say that local law enforcement officials frown upon short, fat women chasing the local fauna down to get a photograph.  (Which is the real reason why I don't have photographic proof.  Well, that and the fact that the hills in that particular park wore me down kind of like my sister's truck.)  There are also quail/partridges here.  I can't tell the difference but I'm basing my guess on watching the opening sequence of The Partridge Family from the sixties.  All you baby boomers know what I'm talking about.  You do.  Admit it.  You had a crush on David Cassidy.

4.  They have Bank of America branches in Spokane.  They do not have them in Alabama.  (So I guess I'm slamming one state.  Guess which one.)  BofA, please open a branch in Huntsville.  I need notary public service and change, also sometimes I like to go in to be called, "Ma'am" in the way that only bank tellers can do.

5.  Finally, I now know what a wound vac is.  My medically-occupied fans will know, but I did not know.  (I kind of wish I could un-know it.)  Basically they (the nurses, doctors, medical professionals) put a vacuum cleaner on your open surgery parts to suck up the icky juicy parts.  (TMI?)  The last time my sister had an emergency operation (1992 and she's making a dreadful habit of this, isn't she?) I learned what a colostomy bag was.  Prior to 1992 I was blissfully oblivious.  My sister said I drew faces on the colostomy bag with a sharpie.  Hmm.  Who would do something like that?

Anyway, please have patience with me.  I'll be back in blogging/writing/snarking action soon.  I seem to have missed almost the entire month of March.  April will be better.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

On Flying OR On Bitching OR On Griping About Flying and Bitching

Disclaimer:  I usually blog once a week.  This month and last month, the shizz done happened.  Shizz happens.  As a matter of fact, while I was saying shizz happens, shizz happened.  The shizz that happened while I was saying shizz happens covered up for the shizz that happened then.  Anyway, this will likely be the only blog that happens in this month due to shizz happening.  (My only sister had an immense booboo.  I'm not really permitted to discuss it at length, except to say that it involves her colon, holes therein that aren't supposed to be there, and a doctor who was determined to tuck everything back inside her where it belongs.  And hell, that's probably going to get me into trouble right there.  My sister's just lucky I'm not posting the picture I took of her while she was in ICU.  In fact, she's probably going to call me after reading this blog and discuss how shizz will be happening to me once she gets her hands on me and my Droid.  See?  Shizz happening right now.)
Just wanted to see if ya'll were paying attention.
Also that is not my ass.
Okay then.  Onto the blog.

I had to fly to Spokane from Huntsville, Alabama.  I had to take two planes that day.  (Which is great because I'm taking three planes this weekend and you know what's going to happen.  One of them is going to be late and I'll be spending the night in Atlanta or Salt Lake City.  On the return trip I'm going to Minnesota and Detroit, so all bets are off.)  The first flight was okay.  It was the second flight that was the problem.
I want to go on the "fun" plane.
I want flight attendants who don't mind that I have
a sense of humor.  (I.e., the ones who don't
threaten to get the air marshal.)
The flight from Denver to Spokane was jammed full like sardines in a can.  (I'm trying to do atmosphere here.)  The dame in the row in front of me couldn't take it.  Five minutes into the flight (I do not exaggerate that fact.) she began to BARF!  And barf.  And barf.  And then she barfed some more.  She pretty much barfed nonstop for two hours with intermittent breaks to breathe.

Truly I felt sorry for the woman.  If one has to barf, then one has to barf.  Barf happens in much the same manner as shizz happens.  But the woman next to me felt compelled to do a blow-by-blow account of the situation.  "Now they're giving her oxygen.  What if she throws up in the mask?  Oh, ginger ale is supposed to be good for that.  Look, they're giving it to her by the teaspoon full.  Oh, here it comes back up.  I didn't know ginger ale turned that color after being in your stomach.  Hey, they carry buckets on the plane.  They found a doctor to look at her.  Whoopsie.  You can't get puke stains out of cashmere.  I know."
Why don't I see flying turtles when I fly?
Probably I don't take Dramamine and drink
massive quantities of tequila at the same time.
Generally I'm a trooper, but I wanted to bitch-slap the woman in the seat next to me.  I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ALL THE EXCRUCIATING DETAILS OF THE POOR INDIVIDUAL WHO TOSSED HER COOKIES CONSTANTLY ON THE PLANE I WAS ON AND SITTING ONE ROW AHEAD OF ME!  Really I don't.

My own stomach was doing random movements that would have made Cirque du Soleil performers jealous.  I finally retrieved a barf bag, which is conveniently placed in the holder on the back of the seat in front of you, and waved it at the woman sitting next to me.  She looked at me and I discovered that I could make her shut up.  (The blessed but brief silence was filled by the woman in front of us vomiting into her bucket.)  But then she couldn't help herself, "Are you...all right?"
I'm sure they posted this on that plane
after the lady was done barfing.
I wanted to say, "I have a barf bag in my hand.  It's a clue.  The stimulating scent of vomit keeps wafting back to us and is tickling my gag reflex in a manner that is best not discussed in public.  What do you really think?" but I kept silent, letting the woman think the worst.  I huddled next to the window and shook the barf bag at her every time she said something and eventually she stopped talking!  (Cue angelic horns here.)  She even pushed to the opposite side so I got the armrest to myself.  (Whose bright fricking idea was it to share armrests on a flying sardine can?  I think we can legally kill that person.)

Anyway, as all things do, the plane did land in Spokane and everyone waited while the paramedics came and got the sick woman off.  I wanted them to take the woman in the seat next to me, but they wouldn't do it.

So for future reference, if you have a seat mate who will not stop talking or in my case, not stop a marathon of puke related observations, feel free to find your barf bag and rattle it ominously.  They will be quiet.
I know this doesn't fit in but I saw it and laughed.
You got to get the whole Snakes on a Plane
reference.  Or Skanks on a Plane, which
is probably the XXX version.
For the flight home, this did not work.  There was a baby in back of me who kicked the seat for the duration of the flight.  There was a baby in front of me with poopy diapers and the smell made me wish for the vomiting woman to be back instead.  Poopy diapers baby's mother was flirting with the man in the seat across the aisle and couldn't be bothered with such insignificant details as dirty kaka diapers.

I'm bringing a nose plug on the next flight.  I don't care how goofy I look.