Monday, June 28, 2010

Duping the next generation

So the (maiden name)'s have a history of fun family portraits. Every year since my second bro was born, we've had a family portrait. Of course, when your dad is a nationally recognized theater teacher, they are not your standard solid, matching colored shirt and jeans.

No, (maiden name) portraits feature all of my ugly childhood glory in a grass skirt, kimono, safari outfit, mexican twirl skirt, and many more. I didn't figure out that wearing matching costumes was unusual for family portraits until I turned about twelve.
For the past five years or so we have abstained from traditional costumes in favor of the wedding variety. Now there are four grandkids in the picture and my papa asked if we wanted to go typical LDS, or try and have the next generation of progeny convinced that costumes were normal.

And so for those of you wondering why I was scouring facebook for a fairytale costume last minute, I present to you the (Maiden Name)s

P.S. We're Jack and Jill. And I wore that dress in my fifth grade play at 10 years old, junior miss at 17, and at 24! John's response to this fact: "You were a scary 10 year old."

Friday, June 25, 2010

How I became high class

World! Let it be known that I, G----- C------- A------- (privacy y'all) have accomplished a lifelong goal and dream.

I flew first class on an airplane.

That's right, walmart shopping, garage sale hunting, payless shoe wearing, Ross loving me was the 3rd person on the airplane. I enjoyed my first soda while children and adults bumbled by and tried to be patient waiting to stow their luggage.

I sat in the cushy leather seat with abundant leg room, my linebacker shoulders miles away from the yuppie Japanese guy next to me.

As I sat on the other side of the literal and socioeconomic curtain, I got to be one of those people I typically write of as indulgent shmucks who paid twice as much for the same 1 hour 40 min plane ride. Of course as I enjoyed my complimentary fancy pepperidge farm cookies (you know, the really good kind I never buy because they are like $7 for like ten cookies that I will most likely eat in one sitting) I decided I must share the secrets of my excellent fortune.

You see my dear readers, I did not compromise on my C-------(maiden name) bred frugality.

This upgrade was free.




I have cultivated a new talent in the last six months. Of the lasts 8 flights I've taken this year, I have extended my generous leg length in an emergency exit row for 6 of them. (I count a flight as every time I board a new plane. Many a trip has had a promising start with the coveted aisle seat, only for the next leg of the journey to be spent sandwiched next to an extremely obese drunken man and a stinky old lady.)

Today, I share with you my secrets to thrifty leg accommodating travel.

1)Look good when you travel

My old travel attire consisted of basketball shorts and my favorite thrift store shirt. Now I wear jewelry, makeup, and sometimes even my sexy hair. I compromise on pants and wear capri things I can wear to work AND still entertain the entire gate with my pseudo-yoga stretching, when travel duration requires it. I like to think my looks aren't getting me the special seat treatment. If it came down to upgrading a put together person or a scruffy one, most would choose the nicer dressed I think. But this may be a naive notion I created in hopes that I can still get a good seat for free when I have wrinkles and saggy boobs. But considering my humble seat requests have 100% success rate with men at the counter and only about 70% with women makes me wonder...

2) Be early

If all boarding passes have been issued, there is no hope for you. Sooooo put that 3 hour lay over to good use!

3) Ask! Ask! Ask!

Once I got an entire case of peanuts on a flight because I asked the attendant if my friend could get an extra pack because it was her birthday. Don't be afraid to ask.

Alright, you look nice, you did your online check in, you are early, what next? You head to the gate. Now you patiently wait in line to talk to the person at the gate desk. Have your current inferior boarding pass (or passes) ready, focus your mental energies on being charming, and proceed to step 4.

4) Smile big and if the situation reads right, make a joke in your request.

The airport is full of stressed out people. Don't be one of them. Radiate happiness and optimism.

Here's pretty much what I say:
"Hi! I'm actually one of the few who DON'T have a problem for you to fix! But I did want to see if you by chance just happen to have any emergency exit row seats open for my Amazon woman legs. Me and the poor person who winds up in front of me would REALLY appreciate it."

Then they ask for my boarding pass and start clicking.

5) Be very gracious either way

Remember, the more clicking on the keyboard, the better your chances. Be patient and keep smiling. If they offer you a seat for more money, politely decline and say that you will happily fill it if they don't have any takers before boarding. Remember, everyone likes to be helpful if you make it easy for them. And be kind even if they abruptly say "No. Next please." My favorite is to pronounce blessings on their head. "Thank you so much! I hope your shift ends soon, everyone you meet is pleasant, and that you find $20 on the ground!" I usually give a second thank you to them as I board. Sometimes I'll tell them I'll write nice things about them if they have a comment card to give me. If not, I extol the benefits of good karma.

6) Travel alone

One seat is easier to pull off than two together. I was blessed with two scoops adventure, three spoonfuls of wanderlust, a big helping of independence, and a sprinkle of spontaneity. This means I'm often gallivanting across the country solo for various reasons. But I will admit that a squished seat next to John in coach beats a seat by myself with 6-10 more inches.

But first class, that's another story :)

*This post is brought to you in part by saturday steals at Archives.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Well my bloggity friends, I'm off.

I happen to be in charge of the youth camp leaders of the big church camp for the next four days.

Wish me luck.

And then I do some laundry, repack, and drive to DC with a friend. So goodbye for two weeks.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

God is Good

I should be in Hawaii right now.

I'm not.

Instead my husband is one appendix lighter and rather comical to watch get off the couch.

All of this is awesome though. Really, honest to goodness, awesome. Here's why:

1) If he would have waited two days, it would have happened in Hawaii. Emergency surgery is no fun in paradise.

2) If the appy blew any earlier I would have had to take off the last week of school. That would have been a nightmare to try and arrange.
3) The resort we booked refunded every dime, including the deposit. And wished him a speedy recovery.

4) The airline gave us full credit with no change of flight fees. So now we have the equivalent of two Delta giftcards. Essentially no money lost.

5) Appendicitis is very hard to differential diagnose without a CT scan because it presents differently in so many people. I wanted to avoid an ER visit if possible so we went to an urgent care to find out if his white blood cell count was up. Thankfully it was. That made it an easy decision to go to the ER. If it wasn't, the decision would have been harder.

6) The urgent care doc recommended Mercy Gilbert hospital for a generally quick wait time and he said the er docs were amazing. The whole hospital gets 2 thumbs way up. Everyone was happy and courteous. There was no waiting for triage. We saw a doc in about ten minutes. They were quick on all the labs. They gave us a private room to wait in before the CT scan. As soon as they got the CT results, it was just an hour until he was under the knife. Now whether or not that had to do with how close he was to rupturing is another story...

7) John was still able to catch the end of the Suns game. And he had painkillers for it. Total plus considering the outcome.

8) My dad came and waited with me. If he had called and asked I would have said not to worry about it because I was fine. I'm glad my mom just sent him. With food for me :) It meant a lot. And that he stayed with John so I could run home and shower. This would not have happened in Hawaii.

9)Oh the food at Mercy was awesome. They had a "killer breakfast burrito" on the menu that really was killer. Like the size of my head. For $2. John was stuck with broth and jello and pudding, although I did offer to sneak him some burrito. I may have found my new 24 hr restaurant.

10) John already had the time scheduled off work so it has been no problem laying low this week. I'm on summer break so I don't have to use sick days.

11) We sleep 10-12 hours a day and don't feel guilty. In Hawaii we would be obligated to wake up and go adventuring.

12) I got my end of school sickness a week early this year instead of the first week of break like typical. So I had energy enough to take care of my sweetie.

13) We have good jobs with insurance so this is not financial ruin.

14)I have a healthy husband. Priceless.

So life is marvelous. Favorite quote from my husband with the awesome pain tolerance:

Doc: How are you feeling?
J: Good!
Doc: No you're not! We just got your CT scan back.

I kept telling him to stop saying his pain was a 5/10 because no one would take that seriously. I knew that him texting me at work with "I think I'm dying. Will you come home?" is not 5/10. His reasoning, "it's 5/10 if I don't move anywhere. 9/10 when I move at all. As long as I'm not moving, I'm fine." Thankfully they had a nice smiley face chart to go with the numbers so I could show him where he was on the normal people scale.

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