A Rant, A List, A Brand New Week

Hey everybody! How was your weekend?! Mine, although lovely, was not exactly what I had planned. Remember the Pittsburgh wedding I was oh-so-excited to attend? Well, that didn't happen. I mean...it happened, they are now happily married, yay, but I was not there so, you know. Trees falling in forests and all that. Just kidding! I know that life goes on even when I am not there, I'm not thaaaat vain. (Or am I?!!) Friday was a drab and rainy day all up and down the east coast, but it was by no means Hurricane Sandy Reincarnate so I was mildly frustrated but not super surprised when I received an email Friday afternoon telling me that my 8 PM flight had been pushed to 9:30. I then received a voice mail informing me it had been pushed back yet again, this time to 10:30, but don't you worry, we're still doing everything we can to get back on schedule! In one bit of actual levity for the evening, the voice mail was one of those automated services and I guess they had some confusion over the way my name was written on my ID. The message combined my first name (Elizabeth) and middle initial (M), announcing "Hello. This is a message for Alizabatham HoHENadell." HA!

I remained calm and unflustered, used the newfound free time to take public transportation to the airport instead of blowing $50 on a taxi, went through security, found my gate, bought a $400 Cesar salad, found a plug to charge my cell phone, which was at a precarious 8% battery life, and cracked open my book, when the phone rang once again.

"Hello Alizabatham HoHENadell, your flight is cancelled."

WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. WHAT.

I frantically ran around the airport to find the US Airways help desk, while dialing their customer support on my cell phone, now elevated to just 11% battery life. This flight was one of just many cancellations throughout LaGuardia, so the customer service line was, no joke, 75+ people deep. I managed to get an actually super nice and helpful customer service rep on the phone while I stood in line, who told me that the good news was they'd refund my full fare, the bad news being, of course, that they had no other available flights on my route that night or the following morning.  I got out of the US Airways line and went looking for Delta, only to find them also backed up by the dozens.

I found a spot on the floor next to an outlet, plugged in my cell phone, called my mom, cried, stress ate my Caesar salad (worth every penny!) (false), yelled the F word far too loud for a public setting, looked up alternate routes to PGH and finally came to the realization that it was not happening. I would not make it to Pittsburgh. I would not see Brigette get married. I felt mad and sad and guilty and disappointed and basically every emotion you might find on the negative end of a feelings chart. I took a sad taxi home to Crown Heights, the rain pouring nearly as hard as my tears.

HAHA just kidding for dramatic emphasis. I mean, yes I cried, but that's a tad heavy handed. Trying to spice up my writing with overuse of metaphor! What if I actually talked like that? Yikes!

Enn. Eee. Way. My mom & Margie sent me loads of photos from the wedding and it looked like a truly beautiful day. I'm so happy for the newlyweds! And I was able to see Brian's sister graduate, so the weekend still  managed to be special and full of family. And also sun. Wait until you get a load of the sunburn I acquired yesterday. It's one for the record books!

HOWEVER it has come to my attention that God or Mother Nature or SOMEONE is reading my blog and deliberately trying to sabotage me.While I do appreciate the attention, I am not amused. I mean, I had expressly stated on Friday morning just how VERY EXCITED I was to fly to Pittsburgh and my flight up and cancels on me? COME ON, dude. Do you think this is because I couldn't remember the timeline of Christ's resurrection? Am I being punished for supporting gay marriage???? Whatever the reason, it is pretttty clear that someone is out to get me, so below is a list of things I am super not excited for. If my logic is correct, which it totally always is, since I'm not excited for these things, that means these days will be bright and sunny and warm and perfect and amazing...right?! RIGHT.

  • My Own Wedding. August is hurricane season, right? Let's get a storm a brewin'!
  • Similarly: My Bridal Shower this coming weekend and my Bachelorette in June. Two separate weekends being feted by my most special ladies? HARD PASS. 
  • My Cousin Angie's visit to NYC. Angie is the WORST! 
  • The string of 30th Birthday parties we have this June. Rooftops and pool parties and Brooklyn day drinking? These are a few of my (least!) favorite things. (PS: read that to the tune of the song, please, I tried really hard to make it fit.) 
  • Summer Fridays. 12 PM closing? No thanks, I'll work til 6! 

And while we're at it, something I am so totally very super excited about is next week's big publishing annual conference, BEA. Schlepping to the far west side of Manhattan in what always manages to be the hottest weather of all time for long days of standing around and small talking...I can. not. wait. I will be SO VERY SAD if a lighting bolt just strikes right down into the middle of the Javits Center and burns it right down to the ground. Please oh please don't let that happen, I long for this week all year!

There. That should about cover it. Everything's looking up for old Alizabatham HoHENadell!!!

(Arbitrary image b/c photos make blogs better, according to other blogs.)

Here's to the start of a NEW week for all of us - hope it's nothing short of spectacular. xoxo

One Awkward Flight

! My weekend starts today! I’m off to Chicago to visit my lil brother – actually he’s like 6’5’’ and barely a year younger than me, so I’m not sure he qualifies as “lil” in any sense but let’s not worry about that now – and am so looking forward to 3 days touristing and eating and drinking in a fun city. Also the Nato G8 Summit is in Chi-town this weekend, so that should be pretty, you know, summity. Summutous. Summitastic!

Quick truth test: Raise your hand if you’re just pretending to know what “Nato G8 Summit” means? Be real people, I know it’s not just me!

My flight out doesn’t leave until 9:50 PM tonight and, if my track record proves consistent, should be a sheer delight. Because I am broke and a cheapskate, whenever planning a trip I’ll end up adding immense time and stress to my journey just to save negligible amounts of money.  I’ll book the most convoluted itineraries, so long as they’re the least expensive. I’m also frequently disorganized when it comes to life planning and communication. For me, getting from point A to point B usually involves at least three methods of public transportation plus an unexpected detour to some other point, C, that leaves me stranded, having to beg for someone with a car to come save me or find me another bus or plane or train and at the end of the whole thing I’ve spent more money stress-eating vending machine food than I would have spent just booking a direct flight or train or bus in the first place.

An example! Every year my large extended family has a party the Sunday before Christmas, usually somewhere in South Central Pennsylvania. Though I live inNew YorkI do my best to make it ever year. Gold Star Relative Award! A few years ago my cousin hosted – I’d never been to his house but knew it was “near Philadelphia,” which I took to mean “inside the Philadelphia train station” so I was planning, in my head, to get a ride from NYC to the party with my brother and then just hop a train out of town whenever I pleased because life is easy when you live in a train station. His house, of course, turned out to be at least an hour outside of Philly proper, pretty far into the country, with no train station attached.

The rest of the day is an extremely convoluted story, which I won’t go too deep into, but basically what happened was, after finally finding the nearest train station (thanks mom!) I panicked over the cost of direct Amtrak trains ($90 one way!) and decided to get creative – combining Amtrak with SEPTA, the Pennsylvania mass transit which would get me as far as Trenton, NJ, where I could connect with New Jersey Transit, which would take me back to Manhattan. It was a solid gold plan if, in this instance, you swap gold with feces.

I barely missed the Amtrak – SEPTA connection, leaving me with an hour to kill in Philadelphia’s stunning 30th Street Station. The NJ Transit connection was slightly smoother (only 30 minute wait!) and we were chugging along just fine when disaster struck. It was one of those newfangled double-decker trains – you’d enter into an open foyer, of sorts and then choose to walk down, into the lower deck, or up to the top row. I am aware that you don’t need me to define “double decker” for you, but bear with me. It’s relevant! I was riding on top, just the way I like it (haha gross, sorry) and suddenly my fellow passengers and I heard a commotion below us. A woman was running up and down the aisle in the car below us, shrieking at the top of her lungs, just screaming and screaming and running. We pulled into the next station and the conductor stalled the train and called the police to come get her. She then took out her cell phone and called the police herself, screaming into the line that she was mentally ill (…erm, obvi…) and was being held hostage on a train. She ran around in the enclosed area screaming for 15 minutes, until the authorities came to haul her away. It was such a bizarre situation – horribly sad and yet funny in an uncomfortable way. It wasn’t until I was looking out the window, watching her led away in handcuffs that I realized the name of the station we’d been stalled in:Elizabeth. Of course it was! Where else would a train be stalled due to a schizophrenic breakdown disaster than a town calledELIZABETH.

Lord almighty.

By the time we finally made it back toNew YorkI was so exhausted and frazzled by the experience I decided to take a taxi home from the train station. I walked in my door at 11:30 PM. I had been travelling for over five hours. I was at the Christmas party for under three. Had I stayed on the Amtrak, I’d have made it home before 9.  How much money did I save on this expedition? $13. Thirteen dollars.

Thirteen dollars!!

Have I learned my lesson? Of course not! Tonight I’ll be flying to Chicago on the red-eye leg of an airline called Spirit Air. They do a bang-up marketing job, selling tickets for a pittance, then charging fees for everything from carry-on luggage to a reserved seat. Despite the absurd fees, my round trip ticket still cost me far less than any other airline…and by far less, obviously I mean like, $35. I need to reevaluate my financial situation.

Apparently you get what you pay for. I told a friend I was flying Spirit and she directed me to the internet. There are dozens of city-specific Yelp pages for Spirit Airlines and on each and every one of them the average rating is One Star. Here is one of my favorites:

Just a few words to sum up Spirit Airlines:

Appalling, atrocious, awful, beastly, dangerous, desperate, dire, disastrous, disturbing, dreadful, frightful, ghastly, gruesome, harrowing, hateful, hideous, horrendous, horrid, horrifying, inconvenient, loathsome, monstrous, obnoxious, odious, offensive, petrifying, poor, repulsive, revolting, rotten, shocking, unfortunate, unnerving, unpleasant, vile.

NEGATIVE STARS!!

My absolute favorite review comes from the above mentioned friend’s boyfriend, a true poet if I’ve ever known one, who sums up his Spirit Air experience:

You are a bottomless pit of suckitude -- an anus-flavored neverending gobstopper of despair.

Kind regards,

Jeremy

(zero stars)

  So yes, this evening should be exceptional! Who doesn't look forward to anus-flavored neverending gobstoppers of despair?

Wish me luck, please?