I ended up being pretty lucky in the flights I got before I quit. For a good two months I went wonderful places - it still wasn't enough to make me happy with my job. I was THRILLED with the destinations but not so much with the actual working part of it.

The month before I quit I did two separate trips to Venice. Well... technically Aviano which is an hour away from Venice but thankfully Europe has embraced this magical traveling machine called a train. We went into Venice three times. I took way too many photos.

Book Store Cat

Venice pictures below the cut. VERY image heavy )
Wow. It's been awhile since I posted.

I'd blame work but it's not been terribly busy. Instead I've been hanging about twiddling my thumbs on reserve and slowly going crazy. I've not been home to Houston in about... five months so my headspace right now isn't terribly good. When you spend that long going from bunk bed to couch to hotel room... lets just say I wouldn't advise it.

I'm leaving for Frankfurt (ugh. Again) today and thought I'd dig my head out of the sand long enough to post some pretty pictures.

Tooling around London on my second day there was basically all about knocking out the super touristy things: The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey... All the iconic stuff.

Yay pictures of things in London I've always seen on TV! )
After five years of almost constant travel all over the globe, I finally made it to London!

Granted, I never would have gone if David Tennant hadn't decided that he wanted to do Much Ado About Nothing with Catherine Tate and while that wasn't my entire reason for going, it sure was the catalyst.

I am completely indebted to [livejournal.com profile] shinyopals who didn't seem to mind when a loud Texan took up residence on her floor. I don't think I could have pulled off this London excursion without her.

Hi Ho London Below )

Much Ado About Nothing with David Tennant and Catherine Tate )

I may have taken WAY too many photos. AKA Warning: Image Heavy! )
I haven't slept in over 24 hours.

In the past 3 days I've only slept in a real bed once.

I'm sitting in LaGuardia Airport in New York trying to get on a flight to Houston.

I don't have a ticket. I'm flying standby and will only get on the plane if there's space available.

All of the flights are oversold.

I wanted to buy a ticket a month ago but my mother assured me I didn't have to and it would be fine.

It's not fine.

I am a wreck. I'm exhausted, I want to go home, I don't want to spend another day in New York and I am so exceedingly close to bawling my eyes out in the middle of this terminal...
Quick and dirty post as I've been troubleshooting Spyware problems this entire evening.

I watched Fred Claus on the way to Germany as I was bored bored bored. It was... quite bad but the part that made me giggle:

Surprise JDM!

That man sure does get around...
It's been over a year since I've been in the Washington Dulles Airport. I had forgotten how much of a slap in the face it is. In case you've forgotten that this is AMERICA (fuck yeah!) and that it is a VERY IMPORTANT ELECTION YEAR the Washington Dulles Airport stands ready to remind you at every turn.

And I've got *consults watch* 4 more hours until my flight leaves for Frankfurt... Four hours is enough to make me want to crawl under the chairs and huddle into a whimpering ball (which I will not do as the carpet is questionable).

I'm considering watching Doctor Who but I think I might just save the eps for my god-knows-how-long wait in Frankfurt so that way I'll have something to do in my jet lagged and exhausted state (which will not be helped by the fact that I have become quite nocturnal this past week).

Until then, I am going to soak up as much of the internet as I possibly can as I do not know when I will be back online. I may have internet addiction problems. Hmmm, this bears thinking about.

Oh, and happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] veracity!! Even though your birthday is tomorrow. Have a wonderful day sweet thing!

[livejournal.com profile] regala_electra, I do believe you owe me some comments on that something I kept threatening to post and finally did last night. I've got the other three somethings too, but I shall not post them just yet. *eg*

ETA: Oh yeah, Ike apparently hits Texas tomorrow. Here's to hoping it doesn't get it too hard. As I'd like my house, that I'm moving back to, to remain intact and preferably pristine.

Warning - there be travel bitching here!

I think I enjoy traveling for work more then I do on my own. If something goes wrong all I have to do is inform the travel department so they can take care of things (sadly, they are horribly inept and I have spent far too much time on the phone arguing with them. This is why I am to the point where I do things and tell them about it after the fact. Better to apologize then ask permission right?)

Anyways, I am off to Frankfurt tomorrow to meet the boy, except my flight takes me through the Washington Dulles Airport where I have all of 1 hour to get from one flight to the next. Considering how typical it is for JFK to be obscenely delayed around about 7 pm (right when my flight leaves, you have no idea how fun it is to hear the Captain get on the PA system and announce that there are 30 planes ahead of you waiting to take off) I am understandably nervous about this whole thing. And with no crew travel to blame it on!

I have instead decided to show up 5 hours earlier then planned to see if I can beg my way onto an earlier flight. Also, I don't trust United Airlines with my bag. The longer you have to wait at an airport the more chances they have for misplacing your stuff. This is a fact.

On the up side, if I'm stuck somewhere for 5 hours, I may just catch up on all those Doctor Who eps I have not watched, which should make [livejournal.com profile] mtemplar_fic very happy. Maybe though... I MIGHT watch them :) Possibly.
As I am off to see The Boy in less then a week, these pictures were at the top of my insanely large "to edit" list. He was perceptive enough to figure out that I'm a bit of an animal nut (not a hard deduction on anyone's part) so Day 2 of our two day date involved me getting camera happy at The Pittsburgh Zoo.

There were many cute (and not so cute) things there to be seen. Like baby elephants

Bucket Explorations

There be more baby elephants below this here cut )
I was all bummed the other day... There would be no South East Asia trip for me.

But the scheduling gods saw my pain and smiled upon me.

pssst.... I'm in Japan right now!


I'll also be spending my 26th birthday in Guam and will follow that up with a trip to Thailand.
Here's a taste of my last flight:

7 Flight Attendants

3 Pilots

8 U.S. Army Escorts

68 Afghani Nationals from the Afghani Police and Afghani Army.

108 82nd Airborne Troops (U.S. Army)

Put in a plane together. Mix well and throughly.

More details are forthcoming once I recover from it all.
I'm going on Vacation tomorrow. Winchestercon in LA. If I wasn't hacking up a lung I'd be all full of squee right now, but I'm still having a hard time reconciling the whole "going on vacation" thing.

Going on this vacation requires me to fly and thus I feel like I'm actually going to work. I'm going to have to keep telling myself when I show up at JFK tomorrow that I need to go someplace other then terminal 4.

I am not working, I am going to go have fun. *says it over and over again*

I should really go organize my suitcase...

Tonight I face what I dread the most: a Turn.

Now, I'm sure most people who aren't all up with airline lingo are scratching their heads and going "okaaaay..." A turn means I go there, I turn right back around and I come back.

Easy Peasy right? WRONG!

For this is no ordinary turn, this is a Georgetown Turn. Georgetown, Guyana that is. Guyana is Venezuela's next door neighbor, but it's best known for being the home of a cult where everyone was murdered by drinking poisoned KoolAid back in the 70's. What a legacy right?

Anyhow, come about 12 tonight I will plaster a smile on my face, quell any negative emotions I may have (there's going to be an awful lot of quelling going on) and I will play the role of the happy, ditzy flight attendant who would just love to offer you chicken or pasta and yes sir, it would be my pleasure to get you one more drink... All while smiling and looking vapid, because sometimes that's the only way I can deal with people - to just forget I have a brain and smile because otherwise I'd be in the aft galley weeping my little heart out.

There's a beauty to military flights that's missing in commercial passenger flights. I prefer military and I usually do everything in my power to not do commercial. I have all kinds of excuses: the main one that I usually throw out is the thing about just liking to look at all the pretty boys... and yes, this is true because oh my god some of them are smoking (F22 Raptor pilots are some of the most beautiful creatures on gods green earth) but there's more to my enjoyment of military flights then just the eye candy. They're polite, they can take orders and if they step out of line there's always a superior officer there to straighten them out pretty damn quick. Also, they are some of the most intelligent and thoughtful individuals I've run into - not all of them granted, but I can usually count on at least having a few interesting conversations on a military flight rather then a commercial flight. The military knows we're all in this together, commercial passengers see us as more of their servants rather then someone who is stuck in the same tin can as they are.

I want to be nice to them, hell, I like being nice. It's why I can't work in the graphic design industry in New York anymore (for various other reasons too, but that's one of them). I want to help people out, but they make it so difficult sometimes.

With a turn you can't look forward to the destination. The plane will land, the cleaners and caterers will come onboard and the flight attendants, after having stocked up on alcohol in duty free and Roti in the shops right outside the airport, will take themselves off to a remote part of the plane, curl up into a little ball and try to get a few winks of sleep before the 'I'm a happy ditz' smile must yet again be plastered on.

And people wonder why I'm grumpy when I get home after these flights...

As an aside, if your curious to see a few photos from the troop transports I do, I have some up on Flickr
The upside to this past month is that I've been to Iceland, Ireland, England, Germany, Alaska, Kyrgyzstan and Norway. With stops (where I didn't get to stay) in Hungary, Spain, Azerbaijan, Italy, Sweden and Greece. I met interesting people, saw interesting things and ate some amazing food.

I got to o.d. on European Fanta (which is so much better then the pigswill they pass off as Fanta in the States) and I got to add a few more cuties (when I say "cuties" I mean members of the United States Military) to my list of great guys I know and adore.

The downside to all this is that I am exhausted. Completely and totally wiped out. I spent about 6 days of the past month in an apartment I pay a hell of a lot of money for. In order to go to Greece, Sweden and Norway I ended up getting extended and had to e-mail my mother to call my super to let him know I'd be mailing my rent as soon as I got home.

The downside to having cuties I know and adore in the US military is that I end up bringing them to such garden spots as Iraq and Afghanistan and my heart is always in my throat whenever I think of them. Especially after hearing the stories some of the wonderful guys from the 10th Mountain Division regaled me with on the last flight I did (props to them, they are back home, safe and sound.) I spent half the flight chatting with a 19 year old who I seriously thought was in his 20's by the way he spoke and presented himself.

I've got a few more days off, I'm hoping by the time I have to go out again I won't be nearly as destroyed and will be able to do more then sit on my couch watching 80's movies (Ghostbusters for the win!) and drawing in my Moleskin.
Enh. I leave for Germany tomorrow and my apartment looks like a tornado went through it. This is what happens when you only have two days at home and you spend most of it stumbling around in a zombie like state. Oh, and there was that bit where I couldn't stay in my apartment because I don't have air conditioners or fans and had to escape to the city to see Pirates of the Caribbean because the movie theater was air conditioned. I've since bought fans but sadly I still seem to be a zombie. Thank god it's just a commercial and I can zone out for the 7 hours it takes to get to Frankfurt (and if someone tries and pulls something like the two Danish guys did on the last commercial I was on, I will say something this time)

Enough rambling. I must go collapse

Let it end

Jun. 1st, 2007 11:17 pm
Is this week almost over? Is it really true that I finally get to go home today? Please dear lord let that be true. 7 days, 8 countries: Germany, Italy, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Britain, Sweden, Greece and Norway. And in not one of them did I have a decent layover.

And now here I am awake at 5 in the morning because I want to be drop dead tired when I walk on that plane. Sleep makes the time go by.

Just get me home *weeps*

And to think I'll be going home to two Doctor Who episodes that I've managed to miss.

Sweaty Pork

May. 1st, 2007 02:19 am
I never meant to go this long without posting. Ooops. I'm currently back in what feels like my second home (Leipzig, Germany) about to go back to the states only to end up in Iceland. I am completely okay with this.

I've got a gazillion pics from Hawaii (and maybe just a million from Guam and Japan) to post, but as I have to vacate the premises pretty soon, I don't have time to post them all. Instead I am leaving you with an image of what I had for dinner in Japan. Remember, sweat adds great flavor...

Sweaty Pork
I am exhausted. And it's a good thing.

Since we are ferrying the plane to Hawaii today and the entire point is to sleep on the plane, I've forced myself to crawl out of the warm inviting bed and am currently trying to keep myself from thinking about how inviting the bed actually is so my body doesn't go crawling back in again. That would be very, very bad.

Anyhow, in a desperate attempt to keep myself occupied and out of the (warm, inviting, comfortable) bed, I'm going to share my photos of the Fort Worth Zoo instead. I spent the day tooling around with my friend Ben who knows me too well and took me to see the Arachnitopia exhibit at the zoo, since I'm one of the few people who looks at a spider and says "aren't you such a cutie" instead of the whole requisite girly screaming, then again, I wouldn't have owned a tarantula for three years (and a giant millipede) if I didn't like creepy crawlies like I do.

Popular Bear
Anyhow, the Popular Bear thinks I've rambled too much and that you should click on the link below to look at more animals. Don't worry, I didn't take any spider pictures (they're camera shy) Oh, btw, lots and lots of pics below the cut and they are in no discernible order. Just a warning.

click click click click )
I've been flitting around airliners.net all day today looking at all the pretty plane pictures and had a revelation whilst looking at a cockpit picture for a Boeing 757 - we are ferrying a 767 from Hawaii to Guam to Japan (ferry means the flight crew takes a plane devoid of passengers from one place to another. Imagine a plane that seats 240 something people. Imagine only 12 people on it. That's what it is to ferry) Well, anyways, it just hit me, one of the pilots I will be ferrying with is the same guy who made me stick my finger in the pen holder on the 757 the last time we ferried because apparently it felt just like a sphincter.

This should be interesting...
Just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Now I must go back to suffering from the cold I picked up in Kosovo and the bum knee I picked up in Krgyzstan (long story, but it involves a horse falling on me. More on that when I don't feel like death warmed over)
I am waaaaaay behind on posting. I've got pics from Baltimore, Ghana, Colorado, Nigeria and my meanderings around New York to put up and I'm not even half done going through them all. And in two days I'm off to Mississippi, Ireland, Germany and Kuwait (even though I get no layovers in Kuwait. boo.) so that means even more pictures. Although I don't know if anyone wants to see the New York pics, as I was in the Musuem of Natural History today and went camera crazy in the Hall of Dinosaurs and prehistoric animals...

I love how I go on so many trips I don't have enough time to deal with all the pics I take. Seriously. I love that. Although it's hell on my tv schedule.

Meh, I need to go to Grenada. The fam has alcohol requests and I must feed their need.



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