Friday, November 21, 2008

Rant Series - On Traveling

Since traveling season is upon us once more, I've decided to focus on a pet peeve of mine - Traveling Etiquette.
So, without further ado:

A Modern Prude's Etiquette Guide For Traveling

I'm really very liberal when it comes to people doing whatever they want, but when it comes to traveling, I'm a complete throwback.

The current trend of wearing pajamas/pajama bottoms in public appalls me. Especially when traveling. I understand wanting to be comfortable when traveling, and that getting up early to catch the 6 AM flight is bearish, but for your own self-respect, as well as the respect of your fellow travelers, put on some decent clothes. Don't look like you just rolled out of bed and went to the airport, dirty, unshowered, and in your sleeping clothes.

I have, burned into my memory, the face and "clothing" of one person - I'm pretty sure she was a girl in her late teens, it was hard to tell - that I had the unfortunate displeasure to be on the same plane with. Her hair was still a mess - bedhead hair - and she was wearing pink 2-piece fuzzy pajamas. Her face was devoid of makeup, she still had the dull, half-closed puffy eyes and slack jaw of the newly-awakened. Her feet were shoved into unlaced tan hiking boots, and she clutched a full-size pillow as she stood looking vacantly around her. Her mouth was open as she breathed, and I'm guessing the teeth were unbrushed.

I shuddered to think this...this...thing might be my seatmate. I don't want to breathe in my own unbrushed unwashed self in the morning, I certainly did not want to breathe in her stench.

People, I'm begging you. Have a modicum of decency. Shower and dress, run a comb through your hair, brush your teeth, and put on decent clothes. Wake up a bit early - you can sleep on the plane, and while waiting for your flight! Jeans are fine...You needn't dress up.

Speaking of dressing up - this brings me to my next topic. When I'm dressing to travel, I do dress nicely, no matter how early or late the flight. Why? Well, because besides having self respect, and respecting the people around me enough to be clean and maintained, I also find that I get better service when I look better. I don't get pulled out of line to be "randomly searched". Going through the safety check is easy. Flight attendants are friendlier. If something happens with my flight or my luggage, I have found that I'm helped more readily than the person in the sweats and messy hair.

Some other things to remember -

Don't just stop in the middle of a busy airport, so that people bump into you, or need to walk around you. "Pull over" to the side, as you would if you were in a car. If you want to check out the menu of an eatery, or read the departures/arrivals signs, walk over there and read the menu, don't just slow or stop dead, oblivious of everyone else.

Making people stand because you don't want anyone sitting next to you is rude. You don't need to take up two seats, one for you, one for your luggage.

When picking up your luggage from the carousels, don't push people that were already standing there out of the way. It will not kill you to say, "Excuse me", and then move to grab your suitcase. Also, keep your brats under control. The carousel, despite the name, is not a child's ride. I don't want to be delayed because your child was climbing on the rack and caught their fingers when it started moving, causing them to be ripped off. I can't take the screaming and blood, and I'll be upset if I have to wait an hour or so for my luggage because they had to clean your child's skin out of the machine. I also don't want to be pushed or hit in the legs by these little people running into me to see if their luggage "is here yet". Keep them out of the way. If my luggage comes, and I'm dragging it off the carousel, I'm not watching for children around me. If I hit your child with a 50 pound suitcase because they were standing right behind my legs, it's not my fault. Leash them if you can't control them properly.

Don't be rude to flight attendants. They are not waiters, and you are not in an exclusive French bistro.

If your child is kicking the back of my seat in the airplane, or otherwise bothering me, I will be letting you know it's not appreciated. In return, I expect you to keep control of your child, and not be offended that I had to actually ask you to be a parent. Two words: Children's Benadryl

Don't get totally drunk before or during the flight. First of all, it's not really good to be drinking at that altitude, and second of all, you're annoying. Shut up.

Hey, seatmate? Sorry you didn't bring anything to read. Reading over my shoulder is not appreciated. Stop it.

These observations do apply to bus and train travel, as well.

Thanks for listening, and have a happy holiday season!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rant Series - On Being 40 & Female

I'll be 40 on December 5th. Changes (or is it "The Change"?) have made me rather...snippy. So.
Rant Series - ON BEING 40 AND FEMALE

*warning - this may contain some TMI, especially for the male gender. You menfolk may not want to read this entry.

40 is old. Well, it seems old. I've been in peri-menopause for years, sliding down into pre-menopause with horrifying ease.

I've always had bad periods - cramps, nausea, heavy bleeding, irregular periods, headaches, breast tenderness, back aches, irritability, bloating, mood swings, tiredness, vomiting.

Now I've added a whole new batch of symptoms to the list: leg aches, night chills, night sweats, hot flashes, migraines, irritable bowels, smell, taste and hearing sensitivity. And, just for good measure, certain things have grown worse: back aches, mood swings, cramps, tiredness.


I would like to know how all this contributes to evolution, I really would. Making me hate being female for a goodly portion of every month - making me moody and tired and bloated and vomiting are NOT good ways to attract a mate. The "I have a headache" can only work so much before it becomes tiresome to the male.

This is evolution's way of telling me I should not, in fact, breed. There is something in my biological makeup that is screaming out to be heard: "Warning! Keep away from this female! She is damaged goods! No good genes to pass on!" Seriously. I think all these troubles are an evolutionary adaptation to keep me, and women like me, from breeding. No man is going to put up with this bullshit long enough to mate with us - I barely can, and I'm LIVING it!

And the worst part? It doesn't get any better than this. Every year that passes will be WORSE. Until I can't physically breed anymore. "Post-menopause". Then what good am I? Soylent Green is people!
I went through my whole life for...what? No mate; no love; no offspring; lots and lots of pain and blood.

Hardly seems evolutionary. I should be proud, maybe. I'm ANTI-evolutionary. I'm here to make sure that men breed with other, more genome-fit women, and ones like me die off. Survival of the species at it's best! So, hey. I guess I do serve a purpose. No pain, no gain, eh?
To the survival of Humankind!!
You can thank me later.

Rant Series - Elections

This is a hot topic, and inspired by a couple exchanges with people over the last few months, in real life and online.
Rant series - ELECTIONS

Shut up. No, really - SHUT UP all of you! Yes, ALL! Even the People For O. I know - it's amazing and appalling, isn't it? I want the Obama supporters to shut up! We all know Obama is The Savior of The United States of America! How can I tell them to shut up??

Because I'm fucking sick of the lot of you.

And by "you", I mean McCain supporters, too, so wipe that smug look of your faces.

I am stating, emphatically, that I don't like ANY of the least, the frontrunners. I see the positives and negatives in both, but none sway me. And Palin just outright scares and disgusts me - she's the worst of the four.

However, more than their views and what "CHANGE" they want (because they both want CHANGE), what disgusts and appalls me more is the supporters for each side. The cries of "racist", "terrorist". The oh-how-terribly-urbane-and-sly-am-I "McSame" and "McBush" and "McPalin" word plays.

Mostly what disturbs me is how rabid the Obama people seem to be. If you're not for Obama, you're against the U.S., you're racist, you're..well, just downright ridiculous and stupid, aren't you?

Calling me racist is ridiculous, as anyone who knows me IRL will attest to. I probably wouldn't even care if it came out that Obama is, in reality, Muslim, because I don't believe what the gub'mint tells me about "all" Muslims. Religion should have no place in politics, which is why Palin scares me, and to some extent, McCain.

Discussing Obama with someone inevitably leads to arguing with somebody about Obama, because they can't seem to keep their cool. As soon as you say you're not "for" him, they take it as a personal insult and are instantly on the attack.
Chill the fuck out.
This is why I can't stand talking about politics. The slightest whiff of anti-O, and they're off. They cannot - CANNOT - hold civilized discussions. They resort to name-calling and/or turn around the argument to McCain, who they bash with glee. There is no discussion. It's not possible. They cite all sorts of facts and figures, and then dismiss anything you might counter with. If I say McCain supporters cars were keyed, or signs were stolen, they retort with "And THAT'S supposed to be the same as calling Obama a terrorist?!"
Well, no - I never said it was. I just said that BOTH SIDES ARE WAY TOO OUT OF HAND, and should chill out. I cited instances that I PERSONALLY knew about, instead of reported stories.

So. In summary. I don't like McCain. I don't like Obama. I really dislike Palin. I don't much care about Biden. I won't vote for either candidate, no matter how much that galls you - I actually have the RIGHT (*gasp!*) to vote for someone else! Imagine! The freedom to vote. Whodathunkit?

Now please - don't talk politics with me. Or at me. I think everyone is out of hand and should shut up, and that includes you. And you. And yes - even you.

And me, too.

Rant Series - News Flashes and News

I have a few rants to get out of my system, but they should be separated, so this is the first one - NEWS FLASHES AND NEWS.

Dear local news (and even cable news, but mostly local news):

There are VERY few things that require a news flash in our little city of Milwaukee. The Falk explosion? Yes. The killing/dying/assassination of a Personage of Note? Sure. Declarations of war or peace? Yes. Tornado coming? OK. 27-car pile up on I-94? Yes. Helicopter crash in the lake? Yes.

"There's a possible fire, maybe in a warehouse, somewhere in the Valley, and you can see the smoke from the freeway!" is NOT breaking news. It's pre-breaking news. It's not even news. It's just pre-breaking chit-chat, perhaps.

When you have details: when you know if people are dead or OK or hurt; when you know the location of the incident; when you know, even basically, WTF is going on...THEN you have breaking news.
As a follow-up, once the news has broken, and you have details, and you have had your "Breaking News" flash that interrupted regular programming, do NOT have a news flash every 5 minutes with every little tiny detail (or even no new details) that comes to light. Save it, and do another flash in, say, a half hour, when you'll probably have even MORE details. I hate seeing reporters and talking heads standing around re-iterating everything that's already been said, and said many times already.

Speaking of reporters standing around - here's another peeve. Weather "news". I like to know the weather as much as the next person. I want to know if there's a tornado in the area, or if flooding rains are expected, or a huge snowstorm is on the way. That's all well and good.
HOWEVER, when you send reporters to different locations to pick up bits of snow and show the camera and say "Oooo...snow!" for EIGHT SOLID HOURS....well, it's a bit much. We live in Wisconsin. Most of us have seen snow - way too much of it, in fact. We know what snow is, what it looks like, that it needs to be shoveled, and that we should be careful driving in it. We have windows that show us how deep it is "out there". There is never a reason for "breaking news" for a snowstorm.
We all know what a crawl is on the bottom of the screen. You use it for tornado/storm watches and warnings. This is sufficient. You can even have the radar on the side of the screen. We don't need more. We don't need reporters and talking heads for EIGHT HOURS talking about nothing but snow. There *is* actual news happening, too, and we'd like to know about that.
Here's an idea. Be the station that only shows the crawl at the bottom and the radar on the side, and get on with normal programming! I bet your ratings will soar, not plummet. "That's a level-headed station, right there", people will say. "They're good because they don't panic, and don't show us snow for eight hours".

This rant is over.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I really need to keep up with my blog. I have the time - just not the motivation.

I closed on my house in New Orleans yesterday. So, that's it. My final anchor to NOLA is gone. I'm happy the house sold, don't get me wrong, but I'm sad, too. It was a beautiful, great house.

When I move back to NOLA, though, I won't own property. Too much heartache. Renting will do.

Signed up for Brightkite today. Seems interesting. We'll see how it goes.

I'm supposed to go to a Twappyhour tomorrow evening at the Iron Horse Hotel in the Valley. Cori is supposed to be there, too, and I think I got Chuck to go, so at least I'll know 2 people. I'm kind of abashed when it comes to meeting new people. Wish I had business cards of my own. I should have thought of it sooner. Oh, well - I'll give out the Via 1 ones, and that'll have to do.

What else? Hmmm.....

Still looking for a "real" job, or at least more Copywriting opportunities. Got just one assignment in the past month, and that's not good.

I sent out the invitation e-mail for my 40th birthday in New Orleans. It's also a combination Tweetup and Fark party. I've rec'd 2 "maybe", 2 "no", and 5 "yes" so far. And that's not including all my friends that are coming that live in New Orleans.
I'm really excited about the hotel group rate I got at Avenue Garden Hotel on St.Charles. First, it's one of my favorite hotels in New Orleans, second, it's only a couple blocks from Lucky's, where the party will be. $69/night is an awesome deal anywhere, but especially in New Orleans.
Hey - anyone reading my blog - you're invited, too. Just ask for "Christin's Party rate" when you book. The party is on Saturday, Dec. 6th. The rate is good from Dec 1 - Dec 8. Avenue Garden Hotel phone number is 504.521.8000.

I like explaining to people outside of New Orleans that yes...when I say the party is all day/all night, I mean it. Lucky's never closes. They are open 24/7/365. I've had a few people express shock at this situation. It makes me laugh.

Oh - I got an early Christmas present. Tickets to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Dec. 11 (I think) in Milwaukee. Awesome! I've always wanted to see them. Mary & Ron bought them for me. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

A New Blog - Introductions

Hello. I'm X1 (or some form of that name).
I'm going to try this place out.
JournalCommunity changed my password and didn't bother to let me know. Then, after I asked for it a second time, stating that I was "really irritated", they told someone else that I "flamed" them with a second email.
Time to find a new home!

I'll be transferring everything over here, as soon as I can get to my entries.


Today is the first day of Autumn, a situation I'm not exactly happy about, as I hate Winter. However, October is my favorite month. I'm just full of dichotomies, and that's just one!

A little about me:

I'm a single (never been married), female with no children. I do have 3 nieces and 2 nephews, and 1 niece that died of SIDS at age 3 months.

I was born in Milwaukee, WI. I moved to New Orleans, and lived there for years - until Hurricane Katrina came and kicked me out - all the way back to WI. I now live in a Milwaukee suburb, and am just passing time until I can move back to NOLA, which is more home to me than any place on Earth. I love and miss my adopted hometown, her people, her culture, her food and everything else. Well...except the cockroaches and politicians (one and the same thing, really).

I'm on gchat, and also, my name is Im_X1 on Twitter. Follow me!

So. Hi. Nice to meet you.


The Scorecard - Updated

Wow. I didn't pull any punches with my old Scorecard, did I? And since then, my opinions of people have changed, new people have been added, and some fell by the wayside.
Boo and Meg, for example, got married and now live in GA. JT is now Lucky's manager, and I can actually say and spell "Janneke", JT's wife. She still keeps her hair in blonde dreads, but she works for a different hospital now. She's also a rollergirl for BERG, the Big Easy Rollergirls. Her name is "Fleur d'Lethal", but she may change it to "Meggan Groceries".
Jack is still around, but only just realized that we really, really are not dating anymore. Took him a few years. I still care about him, but it is NOT meant to be.
Destiny gave up being a night-time cabbie for United and is now a grade school teacher. She lives with her boyfriend, Johnny, who does construction work. The "marriage" word is in their future.
Rose and Dan are regulars at Lucky's. Debbie still works there, as well, and new bartenders come and go. Karen is still there, and she dumped loser Travis and is now with Angelo, and all is right with that.
A different Travis (AKA T-Love or Big Travis or Big T) is a much-beloved regular at Lucky's, as well.

For the Milwaukee scorecard, we have Dave, the owner of the bar I hang out at, and my friend. Also friends with Chuck, Mike & Beth (AKA Foodlovers), Amy, and Kelly. Daniel, my friend of 21 years, is no longer my friend. His loss.
Other assorted people include: Nancy, Andy, Kevin/George, Chris/Goober, Jackie, and my family members.