Sunday, September 23, 2007

Some goodbyes are harder than others

A was here and gone again for the weekend. Flew in friday night, late, and left sunday morning. I have to say, it seemed like this weekends leaving was harder on me than they have been lately. I think it was because I was being left at home for a full day of moping (not like Kidzilla allowed much of that, but the potential was there) vs. heading to work where I am kept busy with mind numbing tasks. It felt more like *him leaving us* than the "see ya next time" feeling we usually have when Kidzilla and I head out the door in the morning leaving him at home to depart after we have left. We kept busy with a few rounds of miniature golf, some roller coaster and a dip in the pool when we got home.

We finally got the schedule issue worked out for next month. It's not as bad as I feared it would be. This month, he got a line that is built of fill in trips dropped by other lineholders. It's a line that is created by crew scheduling and you don't get to see it ahead of time. But in return for the favor of letting CS ride you like a pony, you get a bonus 2 days off for the month. Thanks! So we have a short week off at the beginning of the month, 3 weeks of barely seeing each other, then 8 full, consecutive, days off. Now far be it from me to complain about extended time off, but perhaps they could have balanced the days off a little better? I guess the good thing about monthly bidding is that once the month's schedule sets in and really wears on you, it's already time to bid for the next month's so you have some hope that things will get better soon. It's that eternal hopefulness that leads me on.

We're planning to take some time in that 8 days off to go visit the IAH area and get a better feel for if we really want to take the leap and relocate. The thought of moving near family and having some built in babysitters is really tempting. Oh, and so is the potential to cut down on commuting time and all that other stuff. We'll see what comes up.

Poor A got stuck on a full flight for one leg of his commute today. So for 3.5 hours he has to "straddle the saddle" and ride in the RJ cockpit jumpseat. It's like a fold down bench directly behind the crew seats and he has to straddle the center console the whole way. Oh the things we do for love. And, let's be honest here, the prospect of getting some from the wife you haven't seen in a week...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

He's lucky he's in another state

Today I am thoroughly exasperated with A. He did one bad thing and possibly one even worst thing that will make the bad thing not matter. One thing will take a month to resolve itself, the other possibly longer. Both are job related in an administrative kind of way ( they aren't flight safety issues, nor are the fire worthy offenses. Just headaches).

And the worst part is- next time I see him, he'll just give me this puppy dog look and say "well, it was an accident, I didn't know" and of course I will melt and forgive his errors. Knowing my own weakness makes me even more exasperated with him.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The apple fritter dilema

A flew back out to his base on monday after a nice, relaxed, full weekend at home. And was blessed with a 3:31am phone call on tuesday telling him he had a trip scheduled. Starting with a deadhead that left at 6pm that night. Gee guys, thanks for the advance warning; with that late of a show time, perhaps it wasn't quite so urgent and you could have waiting to call until say... 7am? The trip includes an overnight in our town, so that's a nice treat for us. Although A is opting to stay at the hotel overnight due to the am show time, we're planning on dinner and hanging out together. Then he'll fly back to base thursday and turn around and (hopefully) come home friday for another weekend. What a life!

Yesterday, as we were on the phone and he was telling me all of this, a friend stopped by my desk with a beautiful, fresh apple fritter, direct from our local bakery. It was warm, apple smelling, a golden color with a tastely glazed finish, sitting right there on my desk. But I couldn't delve into it b/c I was on the phone with A and didn't want to be rude. It was 11am and I had missed my morning snack (10am sharp) and I was super hungry and that pastry just looked SO GOOD. But A had made an effort to call me and wanted to share his news and I didn't want to interupt him for an apple fritter. And with the way schedules change, I didn't know when I'd get to talk to him again. But he was going on and on andonandonandonandonandon. And all I could think about what how tasty that fritter was going to be. I finally politely got him off the phone and boy was that fritter WAS good. Oh, the sacrifices we women have to make for our men sometimes!

So, A, that's why I had to ask you 3 times where your overnight was going to be when we were on the phone- I was distracted by that darn apple fritter but didn't want you to feel less important to me than a pastry.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Return of the model wife

A is coming home tonight. For three full days of family time. Panic is setting in and I'm realizing that I need to clean up the house and just generally get my Stepford on (thanks MSwife, that was exactly the image I was thinking of). He won't arrive until 10:45pm or so, it's a 9 hour trip from coast to coast, so I have some time. I'll probably stop short of greeting him at the door in lingere with a fresh coat of lipstick and a martini in hand. In reality, I'll probably be asleep in an old tee shirt when he arrives...

Last return, he was kind enough to bring me some high end hotel samples and a box of chocolates. Just because. It's nice to be appreciated once in a while.

PS, if you have kids and you haven't already posted, check out the previous post and leave your observations. It's like a giant science project.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

More C words

Been battlling illness for 3 days now, so I'm in a contemtious mood.

Careers- A has a career, as a pilot. Prior to that, he had a career as an engineer. I have no career. I don't want one. Once, when I graduated from college, I had dreams, I had aspirations, I was going to make a difference. Then, I had a child and my priorities shifted. I wasn't content to spend hours upon hours working, spending weekends and weekdays working. I downshifted to a job. Something that pays the bills, gives me time off when I need it, doesn't leave me exhausted in the evening and has very little upward mobility. As much as I am rooting for A to climb that ladder to success, I am content to stand at the bottom and cheer him on. I have no regrets that I am an overqualified secretary who has time to stop off at the playground on the way home from school.

Complaining- Why do pilots complain about the lack of commutable routes? Is the company required to build routes that are easy for commuters? Probably not. They do it because they know it helps, but they aren't required to. YOU are the one who chose to live out of base. So deal with your decision and don't complain about the lack of commutable lines month after month. I know commuting is hard, we do it too- and farther than a lot of people. But, we chose to do it so we have no reason to complain. I have compassion for people who have less than ideal situations due to commuting, but only so much.

Consideration- On our last trip, Kidzilla and I met a Captain who was really nice. He invited us to board early, let Kidzilla sit in the cockpit and told him all kinds of stuff. It was really nice of him to take a little time out of his prepwork to do that. Kidzilla told EVERYONE how he got to fly the plane. I had A put a small note in the CA's file to say thanks. A little consideration goes a long way. I've heard of other crew who aren't quite so considerate to others. Althought they seem to be in the minority, there are those who have the "I earned the seniority, so I can tromp all over you" mentality. Stealing trips, taking base trades and taking all the commutable trips when doing TDY (temporary duty at another base, for which you receive extra pay and perks) are some of the things I've heard. I can only hope that Karma comes around to get them in the end. What happened to the Golden Rule? Or just not being a dick?

Comedy- On his last trip, A was with a Captain who was lots of fun. Made the trip that much more fun to be on. At one point, as passengers were boarding, they had a big USA map unfolded and were jokingly mapping out a route to their next destination ("OK, if we follow I40 as far as Tulsa and then turn north..."). I appreciate crews who make the effort to make the trip fun.

Children- I'm curious to hear from other parents on this one. A few weeks ago I posted about the cycle that I go through during A's absences. I'm trying to figure out if Kidzilla goes though his own cycle every time Dad leaves or if its all in my head. I can tell that it's hard for Kidzilla to go from having 100% of Mom's attention to having to share it with A- he tends to interrupt more and is more demanding of my attention when A is home. While he is excited to see A, we think he gets more competitive when A is home. He's only 5, I don't think he does it on purpose. Usually, the day after A leaves, he wants to do something special with just us- go swimming, go out to dinner, that kind of thing where he can be reassured that he still has Mama's attention. I asked his teacher to look out for whether there seem to be patterns of misbehavior at school, but it's too early to tell yet. So tell me- how do your kids react to a parent being gone frequently?

A's coming home for 2 weekends in a row. We're looking forward to getting out and about now that fall is starting and the weather is starting to cool. I just hope that I am feeling better soon. And that next month's bid is as good to us as this month's was.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I don't do well with change. Unless it's initiated by me, then I'm all for it. It's not that I don't like change, I do. It's not that I can't be flexible or spontaneous, I just need to know ahead of time that I'm going to need to be that way. Luckily, A is usually able to indulge my weakness. Usually.

A has been sitting reserve in ONT for a month now. Without a trip. Just before he started getting concerned about timing out, he picked up a 4 day trip. Which is great. Except that Kidzilla and I were planning on him coming home on break on friday night and that got pushed back to sunday night. 5 year olds aren't exactly known for their flexibility either, especially when they are looking forward to special Dad time. While I'm excited for A to finally get a trip, it brought home the point that he needs to consider more than just his desires when changing his trips. Another "oh yeah, huh" moment for us.

I have more C words to write about, but right now I'm out of time. A asked me when I was going to post again, so I want to at least post something...