Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why sleep in your own familiar bed...

when you can show up (invited of course) at the house of some girl whose blog you've been following for a year but have never met and crash on her couch instead?

Nicole and I have been following each other's blogs for over a year now, but have never met in person. We have a lot in common- aviation, children, being west coasters in the east. She set up a meet and greet weekend in Atlanta for members of our online group Pilot Wives Club. Since it was within driving distance and I don't have anything better to be doing, I went. Nicole offered up her couch as budget lodging and we were set.

I arrived on Friday night, settled in and had a tasty Indian dinner with Nicole and her husband The next morning we were up bright and early to pick up another wife, Julie, from the airport. She flew in from Indiana for the day. We got to know each other over breakfast and hanging out. For lunch, we had Thai food and met up with two more wives. It was fantastic getting to know other women in the same situations- all of our husbands worked for regional airlines, all had started within months of each other, all had similar complaints and compliments about both the airlines and our husbands. We followed up with a trip to the World of Coke, a walk through Olympic Park and dinner at the Varsity Diner before dropping Julie off at the airport again. The evening finished with s'mores with some friends of Nicole. The next morning, after a tasty home cooked breakfast, I headed south.

Blogging twins

The wives summit- representing:
ASA, Mesaba, Pinnacle and ExpressJet

Coke, even more refreshing
than advertised

Wrapping up our day

It was so nice to be able to share training stories, should've dones, advice and companionship with other wives. Knowing that each airline has its own unique and similar challenges and that we aren't alone is always nice. But putting a face and personality to the actual people out there really brings it home.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rest stop fun

This past weekend I went to Atlanta to meet up with some other pilot wives. We had a blast. I'll post more about it later when I get some pictures from the trip. Despite the minor guilt I felt about taking off for a weekend away the day after A receiving bad news from the doctor, it was a much needed chance to process some emotions and generally clear my head.

Thinking back, the six hour drive was the longest road trip I've ever taken by myself. I've driven that far with other people in the car, including once when Kidzilla was only 4 months old, but this was the first time I was ever really, truly alone. I could stop at any rest stop I wanted without hearing about how frequently I had to pee or bypass them all without having to worry about whether someone in the backseat was going to make it until the next one. Ahhh, freedom.

In honor of the drive, I'm resurrecting a post I wrote when A and I made the drive in the moving truck (Jan 2006). 5 days of us, alone, in a moving truck limited to 55 mph. It made for some great memories and a lot of stops.

Now the interesting stuff- the Cross Country Rest Room awards! Since we were only going about 55 mph in the truck, we stopped at almost every rest stop to rest. So we saw a lot of them. Here's a rundown of our opinions:

California- Outdoor Living Award
For having all open air rest stops. Until this trip, I had never experienced the pleasure of a heated/cooled rest stop building. Who knew??

Arizona- Hellfire Award
For having the hottest restrooms around. It was cold out, like in the 30's, but man, AZ spared no expense at heating rest stops for traveler's comfort. It was like stepping in AZ in the summer every time you opened the door.

New Mexico- Most Authentic Architecture Award
For having duplicated the native Pueblo structure style, a magnificent feat. Rest rooms don't have to be boring... NM also had the first staffed info center and provided us with a very nice state map.

Texas- Fiscal Management Award
For blowing their wad on one really great rest stop and leaving the rest closed or having no bathrooms. A tornado shelter at the rest stop? Got it. Vending machines? Got it. AC? Got it. Clean toilets? Got it. Playground? Got it. If you stop at the right one that is...

Oklahoma- Desolation Award
For having the most barren and treeless rest stops. Rest stops appeared to be brown boxes on the prairie. They need to take a cue from NM and at least make them look like teepees or something. Kinda fits with the new state slogan we developed for OK- "Oklahoma- we have nothing to offer". That was followed by "Oklahoma- We gave you Garth Brooks, now we're spent".

Arkansas- Most Welcoming Welcome Center Award
An authentic log cabin welcome center with tons of brochures, a roaring fire, free internet access and more. And you know what? Arkansas is not as bad as I expected. It's actually kind of pretty.

Tennessee- Least Welcoming Award
Rest stops had full parking areas, crappy bathrooms, they were few and far between and had no welcome center. No wonder no one visits TN!

Georgia- Technology Award
For having the an entirely hands free rest room. The entry door, the toilet flush, the sinks, the soap, the dryers. You barely had to wipe your own ass. Thank you Georgia!

Florida- Kid Friendly Award
For having a kid's "learning center" in their Welcome Center. Too bad it was closed when we crossed the border.

Sadly, the condition of the Georgia rest stops were no where near as cool as the one I posted about. Not only were they run down, I had to manually do everything. Perhaps they should be second in the Fiscal Management category.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Results are in

Yesterday I got up an hour early, got everyone in the car, took A to the hospital for a scan, killed time until it was time to take Kidzilla to school, returned to the hospital and spent a fascinating 2.5 hours in the lobby waiting for A to be done with his bone scan. At least I was able to get some reading done, although it was slow going with the Fox News blaring and all the interesting people.

We got word of the results by phone a while ago. The cancer is not gone and A will have to go through another round of treatment. It's going to be at least another 9 months. At this point, he'll have enough seniority to upgrade by the time he goes back (I wish!). They are going to do a CAT scan to determine if there is anything they can surgically remove and do another dose of the radioactive iodine. So now, I'll have to be isolated from him for 3-5 days while not having a job to go to. Further radiation treatments to be determined later.

While this news sucks, I am happy at least that the Doctor is being aggressive with this because of how aggressive the cancer was last year. I would have to see A go through all of the retraining, fly a few trips and then get pulled off the line again. At this point we are still under the "first occurrence" rules which are somewhat looser than the second or third occurrence rules (thing three strikes, you're out). Also, we will be looking at a second full year on disability pay which was only a fraction of what his first year salary was. At least we have good medical insurance.

On a bright note, I'm on my way to Atlanta this weekend for a pilot wives get together. And thanks Shelly for the song title/author hook up.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Turn me on tonight, I'm radioactive...

Well, not really, but that's the only radioactive lyrics I could come up with. And hat's the only part of the song I could remember. If anyone can give me the title/artist so that I can torment A with it indefinitely, I would appreciate it. Its in the classic rock genre and I think there's a part about "can't get distracted" and a chorus about "I want you to stay with me" .

As the title gives away, A took his radioactive pill today and will have having his scans on wed and thurs. This dose is 40x less strong than the one he took last year, so we don't have to worry about the not sharing a bed/bathroom/silverware business like we did before. We are hoping, hoping, hoping that it is good news for us by the end of the week because basically, it all comes down to this.

In other good news, we have yet to get so irritated by each other that we have poked out any eyes or pulled out any fingernails on each other. Not an easy feat when you are together 24/7. But it seems to be going well thus far. I think I've graduted into Advanced Loafing and Timewasting and I'm taking the final on Inventing Errands.

And sadly, this month marks two years since I was last able to get pregnant. I can't begin to explain how that two years feels.

To end on a good note- I put up a new picture on the blog site (for those of you who use a reader to keep up with me), I'm making an effort to wear something beyond a tee shirt and jeans to avoid that "I've given up" look, and I'm going to actually use my twitter account.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Only a pilot's wife would understand

I love my husband, I really do. But sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. And having him home for the last year has been walking that good thing fine line. Sometimes an independent girl just needs her space. A knows this, understands this and enjoys (tolerates?) this quality of mine. Sometimes he even busts out a little humor about it. Like when, a few days ago, he told a friend of ours (a more traditional gal) that I was moving to Tallahassee to get away from him. Her jaw dropped and her eyes got all wide. I think my single gal friend had trouble believing that I would ever need some space away from my man. What is that quip? There's a little truth in every joke?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

If I hated the job so much...

and I was planning on leaving in 16 weeks anyway, why am I so torn up about getting laid off?

Oh yeah, because we need the money. This isn't the route to becoming a stay at home mom that I was planning on taking.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A secret i'd rather not admit

I have discovered that I have a problem. An addiction if you will. Most of the time I am strong enough to overcome it. But every so often, usually when A sets me off, I can't help myself. I binge on TV.

Normally, I avoid the television and restrict Kidzilla's viewing as well. It stems from a previous relationship where it felt like the TV was on ALL THE TIME. I hated it and as soon as the relationship was over the TV was off all of the time. To this day, I avoid getting sucked into shows that I HAVE TO WATCH. I hate that feeling of "OMG I have to hurry up grocery shopping or having drinks with a friend so I can get home in time to watch XYZ". And I'm not shelling out for a TIVO either.

But on occasion, I will come home and find A watching something ridiculous like Housewives of New York or Rock of Love or Millionaire Matchmaker or Curb Appeal and my god, I just can't stop myself. I will sit and watch hours of it. Leaving A and Kidzilla to fend for themselves, usually leading to dinner of Taco Bell and me complaining that they are interrupting my viewing. Once I start, I can't stop. It's never a show of any substance, it's usually something where I gape at humanity and thank god that I'm not those people (with the exception of the HGTV, when I wish I was the one buying a swanky vacation home in some exotic locale), but nevertheless, I can't help myself. Thank goodness I'm not a pilot on reserve home watching this crap all day long.

I have heard that step one is admitting that you have a problem.