Monday, October 27, 2008

Exit Stage Right

I love flying to Orlando during fall break.

I have to admit, I wasn’t terribly thrilled to arrive at my gate and find it crammed with small fry toting Belle backpacks. Obviously, I don’t begrudge families enjoying a long weekend at Disney World – little children excited to see Mickey is very energizing.

But not when you’re about to put their energized butts on an airplane with nowhere to go to work off the excitement.

So I pulled out my iPod ear buds and proceeded to zone out with Los Lonely Boys. And then I heard the announcement: “Would anyone willing to trade their seat for an exit row please come to the counter?” Get outta here – they were giving away EXIT ROW seats? I’d never make it in time, but I grabbed my luggage anyhow and started running toward the counter.

I was the only one there. Even more surreal, the flight attendant thanked me for volunteering. So I took another glance at my fellow travelers and their coloring books, Tigger stuffed animals and Jasmine costumes. Mom and Dad couldn’t leave them to fend for themselves while they jumped 11 rows away to stretch out their legs. And the FAA wisely doesn’t leave the safety of passengers during an emergency in the hands of a 3-year-old.

Huh. That left solo adult traveler Julie Sturgeon to hold down the fort, sacrificing her crappy seat for twice as much leg room. It was a great flight – and the toddler who shrieked intermittently during the 2-hour flight? I had a Los Lonely Boys concert in my ear.

UPDATE: I did it again. I just snagged an aisle exit seat on the return flight, too!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Julie, the Radical

I wore a new t-shirt today. Yahoo! Grabbing it meant I didn’t have to walk around in my bathrobe waiting on a load of laundry to get a fresh one. And I had a lot of little things on my calendar today – everything from lunch with a friend to a bank deposit to buying more wasp spray and toothpaste.

So while I was near the county courthouse, I figured I’d be cheap and drop off my absentee ballot to save postage. I walked in and asked the sheriff at the security clearance where I would find the election office. His reply: ”Downstairs but I’ll let them take care of you.”

Why the hostility dude? Well, never tweak a guy with a gun and handcuffs is my motto. So I trotted downstairs, where there was a line of people waiting to use the voting machines, and some desks tucked off in the corner. I wandered over, and asked where I should drop off an absentee ballot envelope. Three ladies came flying over around their desks to surround me. “What are you doing here?” Uh, have I mentioned I just want to drop off an absentee ballot? Is there code word I’m supposed to know for this action? “You can’t be here in that shirt,” one lady said forcefully.

Now I glanced down enough to see it was dark blue, which is what I wore yesterday, with cute Tigger and Pooh embroidery work on it. I really wasn’t trying to be a smart mouth when I joked, “What? I’m too old to wear Winnie the Pooh?” Her glare told me it wasn’t funny, and I finally looked down. Really looked.

I was wearing a McCain/Palin official t-shirt. Get outta here. Fast.

They could tell by my reaction I had just made an honest boo-boo — even if the official word for it is electioneering, which signs posted everywhere forbid — so one lady said, “OK, if you just want to drop off the ballot, I’ll stamp it official and you can go out the side door if you cover up your shirt with your purse.” (Sad side note: My chest is so small, that worked.) So I reached in to get the ballot, and what happened to fly out with it and onto the floor?

My McCain/Palin bumper sticker.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Online Hints

I don’t need a television to clue me on what’s happening on the economy front. I have a spam bucket on my email that makes it perfectly clear.

This week, I’ve been tantalized by subject lines offering me my very own bail-out plan. (From what? Doing the laundry? Taking a sample of my dog’s poo to the vet?) One ambitious company dangled a $500 Macy gift card to click on their link.

But mostly I’ve been bombarded with job training offers. Some folks think I’m a candidate to study graphic design. They haven’t seen my skills with this website, have they? Someone else wants me to go to massage therapy school, while others are dangling online psych degrees – like I’d be crazy enough to fall for that.

My favorite, so far, have been the offers for, and I quote, “a good mortgage loan – lets you build an investment.” An hour later, I got a pitch to attend real estate school – start of a smart career.

You can’t make stuff up this funny.