Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'd let him park his jet in my hanger

I've so got to say that (the jet/hanger comment) about a pilot while standing in line at the airport food court one day. Guaranteed to make the pilot near you blush and start a conversation. It was suggested in a forum post I read today about pilot groupies.

How do you know when your date with a pilot is half over?He says "enough about flying, let's talk about me".

It's sharing time! What pilot related jokes/pick up lines have you heard or used?


The seasons are changing here in Florida (yes, we do have seasons here). It's gray, overcast, rainy, and our daily high is only 74 degrees. Yep, fall is in the air. Lots of changes for us happening too.

We had a wonderful visit to Houston and decided to commit to moving. We found a suburb we love, a school for Kidzilla we love, family overjoyed to welcome us to the area. Our goal is to move out there around June 2008. We are waiting for A to hit his 2nd year salary and for me to clear some things up related to the wasband before we go after a mortgage. It will save us from my having to find a job in my field and be employed there for at least one month to qualify (and thus saving us a second move). A maintains that he'll continue with the west coast base, but that in time, the local base may become more appealing. But for now, it's westward, ho! If you are in the IAH area, by all means, let me know.

We are having fun with the new "holding a line" schedule. The convenience of being able to trade out the terrible trips (like the 3 day that dead-heads from Ontario to Spokane to Sacramento, flies from Sacramento to Fresno and then deadheads back to Ontario. ONT to Fresno is only a 5 or so hour drive) and picking up a trip with a 21 hour overnight in Sacramento so A can see his family for the first time in nearly a year, is fantastic. The next few months are going to be enjoyable, until I find something else to complain about.

Kidzilla and I are facing our first Thanksgiving alone. A's good friend has a 21 hour layover here in town that day, but since they are on different sides of the operation, they can't trade trips so A can be home for the day. A will be enjoying a fine hotel buffet in Tucson instead. I was having visions of Kidzilla and I having a sad dinner alone at the local Denny's, with all the other patrons murmuring about what a terrible mother I was for not cooking a meal and where was our family. BUT, we scored an invite to a friend's house so now I can relax. I know I could have non-rev'd out to Tucson, family in Houston or on the West Coast, but it just seemed like too much hassle. Flights are going to be crowded and I just don't want the stress- maybe if I were alone, but not with a 5 year old in tow. I guess apathy wins again.

I was thinking this morning- it seems like EVERY pilot has to fly on the holidays. You hear about it from pilots, wives, media, forums. But really, the company only owns around 205 aircraft, so that's only 205 crews that are needed that day. That would be roughly 410 of the total 3000+ pilots with the company. Plus, adding in the ones that might be starting or ending a trip that day and it still seems like it's only 1/3 of the pilots that will actually have to work that day. So maybe we have a hope of having a holiday off eventually. At least I like to think so.

A has been off now for 11 straight days. He goes back tomorrow to start a pairing on the 1st. I thought for sure I was going to go nuts having him home for so long, but actually it's been pretty nice. His time off was extended a bit by having to call in sick on his last two days of reserve due to a chest infection, but we still made the best of it while he was sick. It's going to be weird to have him gone again. It looks like we'll have another 2.5 week block of long trips and short visits home and then another good block off at the end of the month.

In a testament to bad karma, I've managed to destroy two cell phones in as many weeks. I knocked my barely two month old phone into the toilet one day at work. Everything worked fine except the speaker, so we had to replace it. $250 later, I was the proud new owner of a Razr. A mere 4 days later, I accidentally put that phone down in a puddle of water on a public bathroom counter and shorted it out. But we got it replaced for free. So now I'm on cell phone no. three and hoping I can keep it for a while. I think if I ruin this one, A is going to make me get one of those clunky indestructible ones they advertise now. I'm resisting because they really have no bling, but I realize that it might be in my best interest.

Happy Halloween and be sure to enjoy all that candy that kids will be bringing home. One more piece won't hurt, it's little...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Good news!

A called last night to let me know that the bid package came out and he's offically a line holder as of November. Good news for us, but I don't know what he's going to do now that he doesn't have all day to watch inane television shows on VH1 anymore...

I also want to say that I <3 all of my comment posters and blog readers in general. All y'alls! Even you Grant. Especially you Rachel. It's scary to share when you are having bad days and down times and it makes it easier to post about the ups and downs when I know that there are others out there who are having the same struggles and don't belittle me for admitting to them. And it's great to be able to share acheivements. Thank you to everyone for making me feel that I have a voice and outlet worth listening to.

That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How to get even with Crew Scheduling

Taken (with permission) from a posting on jetgirls.net-

You know your husband is working, but crew scheduling calls the house looking for him, wanting him to fly? Ummm, he's already flying, knucklehead, check your schedules.

I have had that happen to me so many times over the years it's not even funny, so today, I wasn't in the mood and really got the guy.

He asked to speak to hubby, he had some flying he needed him to cover. (For some reason they show him as sitting at home instead of in the plane)

"I thought he was flying. He told me he was flying. He's out with that girl, again isn't he? That's it."

"I uh...uh...you know, i um."

"Don't try to cover for him. I've had it. I hope you find him before I do."

Hubby calls about ten minutes later. He's laughing so hard, he can hardly get out hello. What the hell did you say to him? He called me all stammering and telling me how sorry he is for getting me into trouble.

Well...(I reply all innocently) Maybe next time he'll look at the schedule better.
You know you wanna do it next time they call...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lost and found- the lost

I am usually an optimist to the nth degree. But sometimes, I just lose my groove and it leaves me floundering. It's been one of those weeks. It's the middle of our 3 week work spurt, I've been filled with anxiety about some past life issues, and we are unsettled with where we are headed next. He's gone all the time, I'm tired of taking the kid to the playground alone and for goodness sake, when am I going to get pregnant already? Is this really my life? Is this really what I want? Can I deal with this for the next 20 years? I wonder if I've already lost some of my enchantment for this.

I am reminded of when I was an exchange student and the phases of cultural adjustment that they taught us about. Getting into this aviation lifestyle is definitely an adjustment, one that it's hard to prep for. We've definitely made it through the honeymoon phase, where everything was bright and shiny new and are heading into the culture shock phase. Although there are still a lot of things we have yet to experience (like holding a line, fingers crossed for Nov.), we've settled into our routine. I feel like we are hovering somewhere between culture shock and adjustment.

This weekend, A wasn't able to get home until Sunday afternoon and had to turn around and leave on monday afternoon. The commute both ways was a nightmare for him (and then he got called for ARC and had to go spend MORE time sitting in an airport). Monday morning I realized that I felt like I had spent the entire weekend waiting for my weekend to start when he got home. Then, heading into work, I was feeling like- where'd my weekend go? Lost, to his job I guess.

A friend that I met through aviation moved away recently, her husband took a job and they moved closer to family. I miss her. I realized that I relied on her more than I thought. I wonder if I'm going to become callous toward making friends with other pilot wives when I know that eventually they are going to move away. I'm not sure I want to go through the emotional work of making friends and the ensuing drama when they leave. Yes, we can keep in touch, but losing a friend you relied on to keep you occupied when you were alone, who took classes with you b/c you didn't want to go alone, who you could call on at the last minute when you have car trouble is really hard. Going to have to get used to the lost friendships and opportunities, caused by the job.

We have our break of 8 days off coming up in just 4 more days. Hopefully some time away from the routine and the jolt of planning the next phase of our lives together will help us both find our lost enthusiam.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lost and found- the found

I've been moping around for a few days now, composing a new blog entry about how sometimes Pollyanna leaves the building and Cranky K moves in instead. Then, yesterday, as I was playing around in the admin of this blog looking for a fix for something I discovered something new to distract me- Referrers.

Basically, it's a list of websites that led people to my blog. It includes a mostly the standards I would expect- forums where I have my blog linked in my signature and other blogs I am linked to. But also a surprising number of google, msn and other searches that have led to my blog. Random samplings include: life as a pilot in the reserves, pilots away wife home, failing pilot IOE, can a pilot come home every day, wife jealous jetsetting husband (was I looking for myself here? Oh wait, does a Fresno-Bakersfield-San Diego trip count as jetsetting?), Expressjet pilot uniform, and a whole slew of combinations of pilot, wife/wives, life, and married.

For some reason the naughty feeling of snooping on other people (don't worry, I have no idea who did what search) has completely brightened my day.

BTW, I never did find my fix, so if anyone who is good with wordpress can tell me how my archives to display by year, I'd appreciate it...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Snicker worthy

"In the event of a water landing feel free to fight the flight attendant for survival"

Found on seatback in 19B by my favorite JetFO.

Refining the flight plan

A and I have been living the pilot family life for a few months now and with the new month, I've got a new urge to get our life back into a normal pattern. It might be the changing of the leaves or the new fall weather we are having, but suddenly I'm itching to get us into a new routine. I think we've passed though the chaotic, we're just getting used to this, adjustment phase. My goals for the month are to find a workable weekly schedule for Kidzilla and me (shopping on thursday, errands on wednesday...) and to get done all those nagging chores (ordering new contacts, signing up at the YMCA)Ă‚ that have gone undone for several months due to apathy. Hopefully this will keep our household running smoothly and stress to the minimum.

A has his own tasks to keep our household running smoothly. After all, if he is part of the family, then he needs to pitch in. Thanks to the internet, he can take care of paying our bills, monitoring our investments and keep up with the housing market while he's sitting on reserve. Once he's off of reserve, we might have to readjust, but for now, it works. Is it too much to expect that he contribute when he's around? I don't think so, after all, I work a 40 hour job as well.

I was thinking the other day, of some little things he could do for me while on the road- sending postcards occasionally, bringing me home things. Then I tried to think about what I did for him and the list was woefully inadequate. I can't send him things to be waiting for him at his hotel, there is never enough lead time. He packs his suitcase after I've already left for the day, so I can't slip a surprise in there. So I'm working on coming up with some new ideas. It's not fair for me to ask for small treats when I don't also give them.

We're just getting into our 3 weeks of misery preceeding our fabulous time off block. I'm expecting to see A for only 2 nights in an 18 day stretch. It will be nice to have him home and I know he is willing to come, but I'm wondering if the cross country flight effort will not be worth the payoff of being home for just one night. Usually those single days end up fraught with arguing and guilt for not spending a perfect day together. We'll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.