Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ha Ha

I'm a double bad guy... I took this with the camera on my cellphone. See you in double jail.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another Celebrity

I don't follow that much wrestling. While I do have immense respect for their athletic abilities (whether the whole thing is real or not), I'm that rare breed of flight attendant more interested in sweaty semi-clad girls. But some wrestlers are so big (in both the physical and metaphysical sense) that even a non-fan is familiar with them.
This guy gets on the plane, and he's seat 1A in first class, right there in front of me. He's a big dude... I mean he barely fits in the cabin. He doesn't say much, but I notice that he's got a big skull ring on. That's cool. I support death jewelry. But on my second pass through the cabin, I notice that he's got a skull tattoo on one oil drum-sized calf. That's a little overkill, I think. Entertainer? Must be. And during the service, a guy in the third row excitedly asks me if the big dude up front is Stone Cold.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin is a very nice fellow. That is, if you're not one of the hundred thousand people he's destroyed in the ring. I didn't let on that I knew who he was. He asked me about the job, and he mentioned that he'd traveled a lot. Said he preferred Texas. And after he deplaned, I found his cell phone in his seat. Great, I thought. He's gonna think I stole his phone. He's been civil all this time, and now he's going to drop an Atomic Elbow on me. But he thanked me without causing my death, and by name even. I don't know if he's still wrestling, but if he is, I'd watch him. Stone Cold is good people. You should meet him.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Griffith Observatory

My friend Lucy, who moved to L.A. a while back, has taken it as her solemn duty to bring me to a new and weird place every time I visit. So this time, the Griffith Observatory.

This place, oddly enough, is in Griffith Park, which is named after a Welshman named Griffith J. Griffith, who donated the land to Los Angeles in 1896 (tour guides mention that you can always tell where the park is at night because it's the only place in L.A. without lights.) He subsequently became enamored with stars, and commissioned an observatory in 1912, though it wasn't actually finished until after he died. Also of note is that this is where Arnold arrived from the future in The Terminator. That's all the encouragement I needed to go.
You have to drive up long mountain roads to get there, and parking was abysmal on the day we went, so we parked way far down and hiked up. We should have just time traveled.

It's done up in great thirties style, and is built into the side of a mountain, so that from the balcony that surrounds it...

... you can see the whole of L.A. The view is incredible, and we hadn't even gotten inside yet.

The Hollywood sign is right there on one of the adjacent mountains. Just look under the antenna.

Inside is a bunch of exhibits devoted to sky-watching. There is a pretty cool room that's really one big pinhole camera, and projects the sky onto a plate on the floor based on available light. You could move the 'pinhole' around and get different views of the city and sky. There was also, for no reason that I could discern, a huge pendulum. I think it was supposed to demonstrate that the Earth spins. I guess it's for people who don't want to look out the window.

video

This is a better look at the ceiling it hangs from. Pretty cool art, I thought.

There's also a planetarium, which they built after Griffith's death to fulfill his aim to include a theater where people could see films about the night sky. They hadn't actually invented planetariums until after he was dead, but upon it's invention, they stuck one right in. There was a huge crowd the day we went, and so we didn't get to see it.
And of course, there's a telescope, which is inside this rampart here.

Looks like this on the inside.

They had it pointed at Jupiter that day, I think. I think that's what I saw. It was a faint white dot. Didn't look a whole lot like the Jupiter in the astronomy books. But then, I support a planet's right to craft a whole new look for itself. You go, planet.
This place is great. Go if you're in L.A. ever. I think I actually enjoyed the outside more than the inside. But if you're there and you see Arnold, run.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oxygenally Challenged

Anyone think this is funny?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Directionally Challenged

Anyone else think this is funny?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thirty Seven And Three-Quarters Things I've Learned This Year

Chrysanthemums are easier to kill than other things.
Pumpkins melt.
Ballet is cool when there are severed body parts in it.
Boston is a cool place even when you're not good enough to be in the Blue Man Group.
Some people drive vans on rocks, and I don't know why.
The Red Menace is taking over the airline industry, one letter at a time.
Some people can talk and vomit at the same time.
Squirrels are black in Canada.
Canadians do not use American money.
California features big trees.
If you have a beard, you don’t have to shave.
Mattresses are better when you don’t have to inflate them.
There’s snack food in Wichita, but not much else.
The SLC cemetery got some old dead people.
Time does not exist in a plane. But people still want to know what time it is.
People think you’re praying when you're in the aft brace position.
FA uniforms got out of hand in the sixties.
A blazer makes you look cooler than you actually are.
With the WTHYA map, I know where you are.
Gate agents still can’t count.
If you're in a hotel on Christmas, you may not remember where it happened.
There are no jetway drivers, only trainees.
Overpressurization is yet another way the main cabin door can kill you.
The flu still exists, but popsicles are gone gone gone.
Red beans make good dinner but crappy candy.
The main cabin door will drop crap in your eyes and make you blind.
Many parents on the plane think that their babies are in charge.
Bad jetway drivers can drive you insane. But bad tug drivers can crack your skull.
Some taxi drivers would rather stay in their taxi than get paid.
Rampers meow at each other and it’s funny.
Vancouver is fun to bike in, but I look stupid in a helmet.
Lost is the best TV show ever.
The Alamo is a lot smaller in real life.
Driving into a wall of snow is embarrassing.
Egypt is hot, sandy, cheap, and amazing.
Calgary stampede: ok. Oreo beignets: priceless.
Diving is fun and scary.
To get a million dollars, all you have to do is

Now... ON TO NEXT YEAR!

Two Years

Well, today makes two years that I've been attending flight. I was gonna slap together a retrospective with lots of old clips from previous seasons set to 'Dust In The Wind,' but seeing as how it took me three months to slog through one week in Egypt, I'm just gonna let that stand as the end-of-year bash. Just let it be known that my office is still a galley and that I'm still enjoying it. Haven't gotten all fifty states yet, but at least I left the continent (and somehow found my way back). And of course, see the next post for the requisite list of things I've learned.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

That's Why They Call It The Desert, Sweetheart

In the summer, the Great Salt Lake evaporates. This is Antelope Island, or what is Antelope Island in the winter. Right now it's Antelope Peak. When there's lake there, only the dark part shows. Wow evaporation.

It should be mentioned that the not-dark part is the part that stinks. Holy CRAP I'm never going there in the summer.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Flight To The Center Of The Earth

Today the pilots mentioned that we might have to divert a flight because of ash from the Aleutian volcanoes. I'd just like to take a moment to exclaim how awesome it is to work in a job where VOLCANOES are an occupational hazard. Thank you.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Why I'm Jealous Of Southwest

OK. I haven't ever mentioned who I work for, so that if my chief ever finds this blog, she won't fire me. But I will tell you that I don't work for Southwest, so that I can then tell you that I'm jealous of them. Why, you ask? It's not the polo shirts and khaki shorts. I would look perfectly horrible in that getup, as I suspect most people would. Nope, I'm jealous that they get to say any damn thing they want. Things like, "There are fifty ways to leave your lover, but only four ways off my aircraft." Or one of my other favorites, on landing: "Whew." At my airline, we're held to more professional-sounding (read: stuffy) standards.
But the other day I jumped ship on a Southwest plane, and heard something I really really wish I could say. The FA was beginning the service, and asked everyone to please have their drink selection ready when she got to them. "We are all out of 'what do you have,'" she said. Damn I wish I could say that.