Sunday, March 20, 2011

Triple Ds

During my last trip, we had a three hour break to kill in JFK. We, the crew consisting of two flight attendants and two pilots, stayed on the plane and hung out. We all had iPhones, so the four of us sat in First Class, caught up on emails, texted, youtubed, facebooked and googled...and enjoyed each others company.

I do love my iPhone but I'm not very good at smartphoning. :-(
Is there an App Store at Kenwood Town Center?
How did we waste time before the smartphone?

It's fun to be with people who really know how to effectively use their smartphones. John, Chris and Katy (my Captain, First Officer and the other flight attendant respectively) really know how to work their phones with ease and grace. I, on the other hand, fumbled around looking for my glasses, hmming and hawing and continually asking "How do I.....?" Eventually, I ran out of iPhone skills and picked up my knitting.

The Captain is the crew member who sets the tone for the whole trip. Some Captains are all business, some are more laid back, some are resentful of the state of affairs in the airline industry and some are just plain weird. Capt'n John has been with Comair for 31 years. He is number 4 on the pilot seniority list and still enjoys his job. His attitude is that all of his crew members are professionals and should act accordingly but we may as well have a good time while were doing our jobs.  Bless his Heart!

Capt'n John is passionate about searching for the best dining options available for wherever he is and he's generous about sharing his findings... and making sure that his crew never goes hungry or thirsty. He has an App that he put on my phone called GateGuru, that is a great resource that posts security wait times, airport food, shops and services and airport maps for over 115 airports across the US, Canada and Europe. He also put a link for TV Food on my phone so I can find restaurants that have been featured on the Food Network and Travel Channels.

Capt'n John loves his "Triples Ds". For those of you who aren't fans of the Food Network, that stands for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. During the trip he worked his trusty iPhone searching for "Triple Ds" in Boston. He worked his iMagic and arranged for a fabulous and memorable meal at Rino's Place in East Boston. He made our dinner reservation before we took off in JFK for Boston and was told that it would be a 3 hour wait--perfect timing! He then arranged for transportation and luggage storage all via iPhone and tipped our van driver handsomely.

Forty minutes after landing in Boston and five minutes after the hotel van dropped us off at Rino's, our table was ready! The restaurant has 14 tables and the 13 other tables were so engrossed in their meals that they barely noticed the Flight Crew in full uniform entering the restaurant. I loved the atmosphere, I loved the food, I loved the friendly wait staff and I really enjoyed the company of my fellow crew members (I would have felt silly if I were the only one in uniform). All of my expectations of this "Triple D" were exceeded from the Limoncello Shrimp and Asparagus appetizers to the Tiramisu and peach sorbet desserts! The portions were larger than huge--the homemade raviolis were bigger than my hand!

I took pictures of the fabulousness that was served but my iPhotography is terrible!
Capt'n John's Watch and iPhone

Clean Plate Club
The first photo is a great action shot of Capt'n John taking a photo of our food covered table. The second photo is what was left of the tiramisu. Someone needs to come up with a phone camera that I can use and a smell-o-vision app so you can get the full experience.

This four day trip was one of the rare trips that makes me love doing the whole flight attendant thing. When you have a good crew, good weather and an iPhone, it doesn't even feel like you're working. What other job could I have that pays me to have such enjoyable adventures while still on the clock?

What a wonderful and blessed life I have. I get into uniform and I get to see, dine and experience places that most only see on TV and I get out of my uniform and spend time doing what I am most passionate about- knitting and hanging out with Knitwits. I AM living the dream! 

P.S.  Thank you all for the concern that you had for my family members in Japan. According to my mom, everyone is accounted for and doing the best they can. Let's not forget how fortunate we are!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Am....a Knitwit!

I was given a writing assignment two weeks ago that I just can’t seem to accomplish. My Life Coach, Janet, and her Life Coach, Karyn, asked me to write two paragraphs, one titled “I Am...” and the other “I Am Not...”

This assignment should be very easy for a blogger.  I really enjoy writing the Knitwits blog and revealing little “I Am...” and “I Am Not...” snippets. Over the years, this little Knitwits blog has morphed from a simple knitting blog to an online diary for me (a knitter and a Knitwit) to share opinions, ramblings and personal events. Last month, the Knitwits Blog had 894 readers. Yikes! 

Why can’t I do this assignment?  Why can a very private person blab so freely and reveal so much in a blog for the whole world to read (or at least 894 people) and clam up when writing two little paragraphs for a private audience?

When I get “The Flash”, the idea for my next blog and not a middle-age moment, I sit down at the computer and start typing. The words and thoughts just pour out of my head and three of my fingers start fumbling about the keyboard, hunting and pecking for the right keys, trying to keep up with the ramblings. It is much easier for me to tell the faceless keyboard my thoughts than it is to tell a person. Blogging is very much like revealing a secret but doing it in a very public manner. Perhaps, the revealed secrets are what blog readers enjoy.

So, why no blog last week and why no "I Am..." and no "I Am Not..." paragraphs?
Well....Last week, I was in the Knitwits office talking to one of our favorite yarn reps and a cup of hot coffee tipped over and landed in the keyboard of my treasured MacBook.

When the coffee incident first happened, I said some bad words, turned the treasured McBook upside down and yanked out the battery. In yet another act of newly found bravery, I turned the caffeinated MacBook on and.....bright orange, blinky stripes appeared and then everything went black! Ruh Roh!

I somewhat calmly made an appointment with the Apple "Genius" at the "Genius Bar" and I was off to the iHospital, the Apple Store in Kenwood Town Center. As you all know, I don't drive if it can be avoided, I don't drive in Ohio, I don't make left hand turns and I don't have any sense of direction. But, desperate times call for desperate measures! Off I bravely went.....

In my panicked state, I took the Columbia Parkway exit instead of heading towards Columbus. Mistake #1. Unless you drive over a cliff, there is nowhere to make a right hand turn on Columbia Parkway, so I was forced to make a left. Mistake #2. When I saw the "Welcome to West Walnut Hills" sign, I knew I was in trouble. I called Janet. Call went to voicemail. Mistake #3. Janet called me back when she found her phone and said, "Heeeeeey! Watcha doin?" and I rambled something about coffee, computer, Ohio, West Walnut Hills, and how'd I get to UC.  I saw a sign for 75, so we discussed if I wanted 75N or 75S.  I don't remember which one I took, but it was the right choice. Mistake #4 averted.

I made it to Kenwood Town Center 15 minutes before my "Genius" appointment. Phew. I entered the mall and looked at the directory to locate the Apple Store. Who is the "genius" who designs those Mall directories. The only thing I could find was the "You are Here" sticker.  I eventually found the Apple store with 2 minutes to spare.

I explained the coffee situation to my "genius" and he took my treasured MacBook to the mysterious backroom. After what seemed like days, he returned with the verdict. "Your hard drive is fine but we'd like to keep your computer for a few days and blah blah blah". I didn't hear anything after "hard drive fine" and "keep computer".  I was leaving for a four day trip in the morning and I'd be leaving without my treasured MacBook!  I only got lost once on the drive home.

While I was on my trip, I tried writing stuff on my iphone with little success. I don't know what's worse, the teeny tiny keypad or the auto-suggest spelling feature. For this blogger, blogging without her treasured MacBook is like knitting with Red Heart Yarn...it just doesn't feel right!

I got back from my trip too late on Saturday Night to go to the Apple Hospital. So today, I was able to retrieve my treasured MacBook (thanks to the kindness of my Valentine volunteering to drive) and voila, like magic I blog.

Sorry that I've digressed from the original "I Am..." and "I Am Not..." problem. The real problem is that "I Am...a Knitwit!" and for a Knitwit... Nothing is Simple! We have this habit of turning simple tasks into monumental projects. For instance, knitting a Central Park Hoodie turns into "Knit 12 sweaters in 12 Months", writing two little paragraphs turns into writing a series of books, "What should I make for dinner?" turns into enrolling in the Culinary Institute, etc.

No wonder my email name is ufojunko. UFO in knitting speak is UnFinishedObject. Just staying true to the name!  Writing a blog is like knitting a one-skein project-they are quick and easy to finish in just one evening.

Thanks for reading!