Monday, December 16, 2013

The Worst People to Travel Around

I was able to fly into D.C. last week despite the dire snow storm warnings.  All D.C. federal offices were closed the day I flew in, which indicated to me that there was a real chance of snow and ice.  I am somewhat familiar with the area from my 2-3 annual office visits and I knew that the main problem with Metro-ing in was the block and a half of  icy sidewalks I would have to walk from the Metro stop to the hotel.  (The first winter we lived in Virginia, I slipped on ice and have been overly paranoid cautious about ice ever since.)  I decided to chance it, and behold: this is the snowy wonder that greeted me as I left the Metro station.

You can see how treacherous the conditions were (eye roll).  I was very glad to not have snow and ice to deal with, but I clearly worried about the weather for no reason.

On to the Worst People: Travel Edition.  This trip really solidified for me how awful people can be when traveling.  Many people are great and bring their common sense with them, but if you have traveled at all, ever, you have probably run into at least one of these annoying travelers.  I ran into at least one of each category just in the Atlanta airport.

1. The Goldfish- (Disclaimer- goldfish are used in this example because they allegedly have a very short memory, and I couldn't think of a really dumb animal.  I'm sure your goldfish is truly brilliant.) Despite the constant audio reminders and twelve signs we have just passed, Goldfish don't seem to realize they need to take off their shoes to get through security until it is their turn to go through the detectors. Goldfish almost always need to empty seven pockets, unpack a laptop and make it halfway to the detector before remembering they need to come back and remove their belt.  Nice goldfish will offer you to just go around them.  Truly evil goldfish will take an extra three minutes removing items they don't even need to, like their watch.

2. The Pigeons- these are the people that slowly meander through the terminal without any apparent direction or pep in their step.  They don't seem to be in a hurry to get to a gate, or restroom, or anywhere really.  If a Pigeon is walking in front of you, it is guaranteed he/she is walking no faster than half the speed you want to be walking.  Pigeons will occasionally wander to the right.  You will try to take advantage of the opportunity to pass on the left and BAM! Pigeon goes left every single time.  Your only hope is when a Pigeon is distracted by something shiny at an airport store and pauses slightly right of middle of the lane.  Then you may pass, but go quickly and never look back.

3. The Hyenas- Hyenas like to hold phone or in person conversations at a volume that allows everyone near the gate to enjoy said conversation.  For a Hyena, loud talking is good, but loud laughter is even better.  If nothing else, Hyenas can contribute to your education or entertainment.  On this trip, the Hyena sitting behind me carried on a long, loud conversation that started off discussing business issues, then veered into a discussion of a recent bachelor party.  Very interesting.  He also said that his "lawyer friend has been doing lawyer $&*@ for ten years".  I'm a lawyer, and I had no idea that I was supposed to be doing "lawyer $&*@".  See, educational.  The boldest Hyena I ever saw carried on a loud phone conversation in the middle of gate 21- on SPEAKERPHONE.  That dude Hyena'd like a boss.

4. The Salmon- This trip was my first sighting of the Salmon, and they may win most annoying traveler.  Most fliers wait patiently (well, that may be a stretch), but they do wait for people in the front of the plane to slowly disembark before stepping into the aisle.  Traffic flows from the back of the plane toward the front since that is where, you know, the door is located.  And yet, behold the mighty Salmon swimming against the stream.  Salmon sat in seat 10A, but had to stow his carry-on bag in the bin above seat 38C.  Instead of letting most rows clear out before retrieving his bag, Salmon decides it makes perfect sense to push his way back to row 38 to get his bag, then step over people to get back to row 10.  Salmon in seat 12B sees this, and decides that is a good idea for her as well.  Dear Salmon, this was not a good idea.

Have you encountered any of these on a trip?  Have I forgotten any other annoying travelers?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Traveling to D.C.?

I am leaving in about twenty minutes for the airport as Delta has not yet cancelled my flight to D.C.  This weather is so crazy, I didn't even bother packing until this morning.  I've mentioned before I like to arrive at the airport well before my flight time, but I have a feeling today may be a day of flight delays or cancellation. Oh well, I have a new book to read while I wait, and I'm taking "Bossypants" by Tina Fey to read again if needed.  That book is hilarious.  If you haven't read it yet, you really should.  It is one of the few that made me laugh out loud.  Assuming I actually am able to fly today, I'll be in the freezing tundra of our nation's capital until Thursday night.  If I can't fly today, I'll let you know how long I had to wait for Delta to ruin my plans.  : )  Have a great week!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Sound of "Scandal"

Am I the only person who did NOT watch "The Sound of Music" re-make last night?  Much to the dismay of my musical loving sister (I'm sure), I do not care for the original "The Sound of Music", much less an updated version.  Instead, my Thursday evening go-to entertainment is "Scandal".  I love the twists and turns, the Olivia/Fitz I love you- I hate you- I love you again relationship, the Huck/Quinn face off, and who doesn't want Olivia Pope's wardrobe?  Last night's episode delivered several big "WHAT?!" moments for me, and I can't want until the next one.  Anyone else watching this crazy pants season?!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dear Mr. Knightly- Book Review

I sat down to read Dear Mr. Knightley and enjoyed it so much, I kept reading until I was done!  Samantha Moore is a twenty-three-year-old orphan who frequently escapes into her beloved literary world of Austen, Dickens and Shakespeare.  Given the opportunity to attend journalism school by an anonymous benefactor going by the name Mr. Knightley, all Samantha has to do is write Mr. Knightley frequently detailing her progress.  Growing up in an abusive home, Samantha must stretch emotionally to become successful.

Dear Mr. Knightley is written primarily as a series of letters from Samantha Brown detailing her development personally and in school.  A one-sided account of Samantha's life could be very dry, but Katherine Reay writes in such an engaging manner, it held my interest the whole time.  Samantha is flawed and sometimes less than likable, but she was still a character I really rooted for.  My only complaint is I HATED the ending.  I saw a glimpse of it earlier in the book and hoped I was wrong, but unfortunately, the plot progressed as I feared it would.  I don't want to give anything away, but the resolution of Mr. Knightley was highly disappointing to me. A bad ending is a big deal, but the rest of the book was so enjoyable I still recommend this book.

I received this book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for my review, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, December 2, 2013

God Distorted- Book Review

The subtitle of John Bishop's book, God Distorted, pretty succinctly sums up the content of the book: "How Your Earthly Father Affects Your Perception of God and Why It Matters".  For many of us who grew up in the church, God as "father" was the prevailing way we were taught to identify with God.  These sermons frequently drew a parallel between the love and care of an earthly father with the love of God.  I don't recall many sermons (if any) that addressed the "what if your earthly father sucks" type of questions.  John's book covers multiple types of fathers people may have on earth.  Each chapter covers fathers who are physically absent, physically present but emotionally absent, abusive, controlling, or enabling.  There is even a chapter for those who feel they had a pretty good dad (hint- he still isn't God).

The idea of this book was very interesting to me and the content did not disappoint.  John shares his own experiences as the child of several types of fathers (mostly bad but some good) and the challenges he has faced as an enabling father.  I appreciate his use of personal stories to demonstrate how damaging a father/child relationship can be for some children, but they can still experience the full love and acceptance of God.  I'll still thinking of several points from this book weeks later, so it clearly made an impact.  If you at all question how God can be a father to you, I highly recommend you give this book a try.  Even if you have or had a great father, I believe you can still gain some new insight into the father role of God.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  I was not otherwise compensated for this review and all opinions stated are my own.