Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Doing it in the dark . . .

I guess that I was tired on my flight out of Austin, because I fell sound asleep on the airplane. Now with most folks, this wouldn’t be much of a problem, but you have to understand that I snore. When I say “I snore”, I mean “I SNORE!”  Let me tell you a little story that puts my snoring into perspective:

I was once in a hotel and sound asleep when the phone on the table rang at about midnight. Not thrilled at being pulled from my sleep, I reached out, picked up the phone and mumbled “Hello?” into it.
There was no one there . . .
Figuring it was just a wrong number and the person on the other end was probably too embarrassed or rude to say something, I went right back to sleep. About twenty minutes later, the phone range again and so I answered it.
There was no one there . . . I went right back to sleep . . .
About thirty minutes later, around 130A, the damn thing rang again. This time I was angry, so I just reached out and unplugged the phone from the wall, and then went back to sleep. About thirty minutes after that, I awoke with my heart pounding in my chest, because someone is banging on my wall so hard that the cheap hotel paintings hanging there are jumping on their hooks. 
I didn’t catch the first part of his statement, but I figure that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. . .

So with that little story to give it perspective, I'll say it again - I feel asleep on the flight and my own loud snoring woke me up. I sheepishly looked at the poor woman next to me.
"I'm so sorry, but I didn't get much sleep last night and so I was pretty exhausted." I told her, blushing horribly while thinking about how very masculine I know my snoring must have sounded.
"It's no problem." She replied with a smile that didn't reach her eyes, and with a tone of voice that made it clear that she wasn't in the least little bit sincere. Just then the male flight attendant walked up to me.
"Did you enjoy your nap?" He asked with a grin.
"I'm SO sorry!" I told him while covering my face with my hands.
"Oh it's not a problem at all. So who is Larry?" He asked 
"Larry?!" I asked him, more than a little bit confused.
"We'll you were yelling his name out in your sleep." He told me with a concerned look on his face. I must have had a shocked look on my face, because he busted up laughing after a few moments.
"I'm just teasing," he told me with a laugh.
When the plane landed an hour so later and I was walking by him on the way off of the airplane, I gave him a wink.
"I'll tell Larry that you said hello!" I quipped at him.
"You do that!" He replied with a laugh.

Things got a little bit interesting when it came time to board my connection. As you enter the gate area, you hand your ticket to a customer service representative who then scans it, tells you to have a great flight, and then off you go. Not THIS time though! I handed her my ticket, she scanned it, and her computer made three loud beeps. At the same time, her monitor went completely red with one message in the center: "DO NOT BOARD PASSENGER"
"What the heck?" She said with a shocked look on her face. "I've never seen this before!"
THAT didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. She frantically pushed keys in her keyboard for two or three minutes while irritated people started to pile up behind me.
"According to this, there is already someone seated in your chair, but your ticket appears to be correct and valid. This might take me a moment or two, so would you mind stepping aside?" She asked with a flustered look on her face.
"Sure" I replied, with more than a bit of a flustered look myself.

The woman behind me was a flawless young lady in her early thirties with long dark hair and a petite figure that probably allowed her to wear those size six things that have been, and always will be, well out of my reach.  That didn't help her here though.
"BEEP BEEP BEEP" went the oh-so-helpful computer when HER ticket was scanned.
"What in the world?" The exasperated gate agent exclaimed to no one in particular.  Since we had just gone from just one customer with a problem, to multiple customers, it suddenly became a priority to figure out what was wrong. While she madly typed away at her terminal, I turned to the beautiful young lady that was apparently in the same boat that I was in.
"I'm sure that YOU are not so very pleased about it, but I'm SO happy to see that it is not just me that has a problem!" I told her.
"It's always something isn't it?" She said with s shrug.

"We'll ladies, I'm sorry, but it insists that there are already people seated in the seats that you are assigned to. Since the rest of first class is full, the best that I can do for you is to give you your own row in coach?" She stated it as a question. I didn't see much question to it though as I had to get to Detroit even if it meant taking a bus.
"No worries, as long as I get there! Oh, and you don't need to give me my own row either, I'm not that antisocial." I told her with a grin. The pretty woman stuck in the same boat with me nodded her agreement to my own statement, and shortly we were entering the aircraft and on our way to our newly assigned seats. As we entered the first class section, I was fully prepared to glare at whoever was in MY seat, but there was no one there, nor in the seat behind it.
behind it. Before I could say anything, the pretty size six spoke up.
"Hey! There IS no one in our seats!" She loudly proclaimed. This got the interest of the flight attendant, and so the young lady shared the story of our plight with her.  While they were taking, I started putting my things away and prepared to take my original seat. You know, the one in first class! Now that the flight attendant had heard the whole "we were told there was someone already seated in our seats story" the flight attendant still looked at me and shook her head.
"I'm sorry, but you will have to take the seats that they told you to use at the gate."
"We'll all righty then!" I said with a disgusted tone of voice, and then I grabbed my stuff and moved back three or four rows, past first class and into cattle territory. No sooner had we got our things stowed away, when the gate agent boarded the airplane and approached us.
"Look, I'm so sorry. I still have no idea what happened, but clearly there is no one already seated in your chairs, so please feel free to move back up to first class." Size six and I just looked at each other, laughed, and started pulling our things back out of the overhead again. Of course by now, general boarding had started and so the two of us had to fight the flow of traffic to make our way back up to the front of the plane while everyone else was trying to get to the back of it.

When the Avis bus pulled up to the airport and the driver came back, I had to grin as I realized that he was the same guy that had given me shit a year or two ago when he had realized what I was. Back then, he had done a double take when he tried it lift my bags onto the bus, because they were good deal heavier than he had expected.
"Wow, you must be really strong!" He had said with a grin back then.
The grin that he gave me THIS time made it clear that HE had also recalled ME.
"Hey! I know you!" He said with a laugh.
"Oh I dunno, I've only been coming here off and on for the better part of a decade." I laughed with him as I collapsed the handles on my suitcase and toolbox.
"Well you go ahead and leave that stuff and get on the bus." He told me. I already had my hand wrapped around the handle of my suitcase and so figured I'd at least put it up on the bus, but as soon as I started to lift it, he put his hand on it and stopped me.
"Ma'am," and he emphasized the word, "please get on the bus. I'll take care of that for you." I looked up and found him staring hard into my eyes. In my last encounters with him, I had thought that he was more or less polite, but the kind of person who liked to kind of cut up with people. I hadn't been sure if he was being honestly friendly or not at the time. This time he seemed pretty sincere and seemed to honestly want to help, and so I sat the bag down and entered the bus while giving him my thanks.

By the time that I got settled into my rental car, it was too dark to see without a light, and so I started looking for an interior light switch in my little SUV so that I could find my GPS and set it up. Apparently I goofed though, because suddenly there was a polite little gong sound, followed by a recorded voice saying something about connecting to OnStar.  I was unsure if that entailed an additional fee or not, and so I frantically looked for an "off" or "end call" option, but all I saw were icons that meant nothing to me. Not knowing what else to do, I hit the same button again and was gratified to hear something along the lines of "call ended".
It lied . . .
About thirty seconds later I hear what is clearly a living human beings voice.
"This is OnStar. What is the nature of the emergency?!" Asked a polite female voice in a most professional tone. I sat there a second, startled that the call apparently hadn't been ended after all, and I guess I waited too long to reply, because she asked again.
"What is the nature of the emergency please?"
I thought about it for a moment before I replied.
"We'll, the nature of the emergency is that there is an idiot running loose in a rental car who apparently can't figure out how to end an OnStar call once it was accidentally started." I told her with a flabbergasted and sarcastic voice. It took her a moment or two to stop laughing.
"That's okay, the system is designed to keep the call active until we can verify if there is an emergency, and if we need to send the police out or not."
"We'll I hope like hell THAT'S not gonna be required!" I laughed. "No one is hurt here. All we have is an ignorant redneck in a rental car that is apparently smarter than I am."
Once again, it took her a moment or two to stop laughing so that she could wish me a good night.

I won't bore you with the details of my work there, suffice it to say that it was a long service call, the weather was miserable, and I was more than a little bit happy when the day to go home rolled around at last. Imagine my joy when I awoke at 6AM on a pitch black morning, to a hotel that was utterly silent, dark, and cold. It seems that sometime during the night, a transformer somewhere had blown, and the hotel had no electricity! At this point, most people would have probably decided that with no lights or power, today would be a great day to just throw on a pair of jeans for my flight, but I was feeling stubborn. In no time at all, I had my laptop setup on the bathroom counter and proceeded to use the light of its screen to apply my makeup. For those things that demanded more light, I downloaded a flashlight app for my iPhone, and we were off to the races. Just for the record, this was a lot harder than it sounds, and I expected to get to the airport to find that my makeup looked like hell. Much to my surprise though, when I got to the airport, I thought that it looked pretty darn good!

So sitting in the Charlotte airport waiting for my connecting flight home to Austin, I had four hours to kill. I was sitting down eating lunch when a young lady that I recognized from my own flight sat at the table next to me and struck up a conversation.  We got to talking about families and the like, and I mentioned having three children.
"You must have a good husband that takes care of them while you are gone huh?" She asked me at least three times. I kept considering telling her that she and I both knew damned good and well I don't have a "husband" but instead I kept grinning and telling her "yeah, something like that."

Did I mention that I think my makeup turned out pretty good considering that I did it by the silvery light of a laptop monitor?!  Hell, I'm thinking maybe I ought to put on my makeup in the dark more often . . .


  1. I wish i could do my makeup half as "gooder" NORMALLY as you do it under those conditions!



  2. You are an inspiration to many...including me! You go, girl!

  3. I've done mine in the car before but usually with a lighted makeup mirror. I guess we eventually learn our faces pretty well.

    Sally Cross

    1. until i came out to my family and neighbors this is the way i applied make up all the time on the run in the car. it is sooo much easier doing this at home (preferably when the electric hadn't gone out LOL) and less chance of poking my eyes out with an eye liner or mascara brush. i don't know how the youngins' do this when they are on the go.

  4. Kim -

    Coming from another snorer....

    One of my friends uses a positive pressure device when she sleeps - helps with the snoring and other breathing problems. Mind you, it's a pain to cart around on trips. They are also using disposable nose plugs (one way air vent for positive pressure) to achieve the same effect. You might want to ask your doc about these solutions, if you haven't already....


  5. Nothing wrong with jeans for a flight, as long as they are pretty ones. For a number of reason I have recently taken to wearing jeans more often when I "go out", I love the skinny jeans, boots and tunic look.

    My solution to the snoring problem, and elbow in her ribs ;-)

  6. Kim

    I love the comment about your husband, and even if she perceived you to be a transgender woman, there is no reason why a you couldn't or wouldn't have a husband!

  7. Kim

    I love the comment about your husband, and even if she perceived you to be a transgender woman, there is no reason why a you couldn't or wouldn't have a husband!

    1. Great story Kim. I too have a little problem with smoring.

      I was in the army, like you, it was fall and the sun was shining on my back in my barracks office. After lunch, I could barely stay awake. Darned near gave myself whiplash with my head jerking back off my chest. So I rigged up a deal where I could pull out the "kick panel" from the inside, crawl through into the hall, and lock my office with the padlock from the outside. Then I could crawl back through the door, replace the "kick panel" and it would look like I was out of the office. I then proceeded to climb up on the shelving and take a nap, on my back.

      I awoke with the Company First Sergeant beating on my door profanely yelling for me to wake up. Can't remember how I got out of that one, but a commendation on my inventiveness was not in order. I had no idea that I snored! Actually, I snore so loud that I'm considered an "aid to navigation" by the US Coast Guard. As proof, no ship has ever crashed into my town.

      Love your stories Kim.

      Lynn Marie

    2. hay gals just be glad you don't grind your teeth in your sleep. my mom said it wounded like squirrels chomping on nuts. LOL

  8. kim i really like the photo of the tan skirt and teal sweater it really brings out your complection.

    also just thing here in nj after storm sandy ( to sweet a name for such a miserable storm) that is how most of us lived for at least 9 or more days without electricity. some went for 2 weeks. and the only cell service for the most part was verizon which had cell towers on generator.
    ever since that storm which ploped a tree on our house with 90 MPH winds for 3 hours i have gotten a little edgy whenwever we get high wind gusts of 60mph, like we are getting this morning.

    1. Diane, when I was about 11 years old, my mother took us from our large and modern 3 bedroom house in town out to a one room cabin way out in the Mojave desert. The cabin had no plumbing and no electricity for over 6 months, so I have most definitely "been there and done that". LOL

  9. Kim -

    You don't "Snore". You "Sleep Enthusiastically!"


  10. I always enjoy your blog posts - you have a gift for story telling, and your experiences lend themselves well to being told! May all your travels be blessed, Sweetie!