Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Greetings from jetBlue!

From: Dusty
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2008 9:10 pm
Subject: Whoo Hoo!
I did it!! I've passed my tests and my final and now I'm officially a real Flight Attendant!! woo hoo!! haha. I can't believe it- no, really- I can't believe it. haha. I still don't think that I'm a F/A or that I'll be working on a plane and living in JFK. haha.

I got information on my first IOE flight (a graded flight) today!! I'm flying from JFK to LAS and back! The good thing is that I'll be doing it with my soon-to-be-roommate, Aaron. I don't know how that happened, but it's cool that I'll have a familiar face on my flight. That starts on the 4th of Feb. I think it's cool because I've never been to LAS before and well, there ya go- I get to be in LAS, even if it's for a 20 min turn-around. haha. Too funny!

Our February scheduling should be coming out in a day (maybe tonight) - I have no control over that since we weren't allowed to bid. But by Friday, the March schedules should be up where I can bid for my days off. I think I'll go for Tues and Wed each week (we get 12 days off- the other day I'll let Crew Services pick). We'll see how it goes!

Hope all is well!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Greetings from jetBlue!

From: Dusty
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2008 8:48 pm
Subject: It's Almost Over...
Well, I have successfully passed all my exams with flying colors! My test today I got a 98 and my CPR drill went without incident. Yay! Now the only thing left is our oral final exam on Tuesday then it's all in the clear for graduation on Wednesday at Noon!!!!!!!!

I got my name badge today! haha.

Oh and I have a crash pad in NY already lined up. It looks good from the pics that I've seen and I'll be with a bunch of us newbie jetBlue peeps. About 8 of us are all crashing at one place so it will be nice and kind of like family. It is a new property and there is ample parking spaces (on street) and I wouldn't have to move my car around for street cleaning if I were to drive it up - not sure what I'll do with my car other than possibly leave it at IAD for when I come home, though I can only get free parking at one airport. haha. Hmmm.

Hope all is well-

Read-Thru, The Velveteen Rabbit

This afternoon, we all got together to discuss The Velveteen Rabbit. This production is part of The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem's New Horizon Series, which is a two week festival of stage readings of shows by NC playwrights. Because it is such a wonderful story, we all agreed that we'd like to breathe more life into it than just reading the story on a stage.

After reading through the script, we discussed that even though the Narrators have the majority of lines, the other actors must create their characters physically. They will have to use their body and movement, action, instead of dialogue. So, of course, we had to play some theatre games. How would you walk if you were a rabbit, a horse, a mechanical toy, etc. I am not a fan of these games, but I participate for the kids.

Already, there is one kid who is going to annoy the bejesus out of me. He's the kind of kid who announces to everyone, often while someone else is speaking, that he has no problem learning lines, can speak in a multitude of dialects and voices, and corrects others who have made a mistake. He's also full of ideas. I will admit that he is talented. I just don't think courtesy was part of his upbringing. Maybe I can help him with that?

Mark your calendars now. We will perform March 7 and 8. Performances will be in the lobby of the Arts Council and at the main library.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Greetings from jetBlue!

From: Dusty
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 11:04 pm
Things in jetBlue land are still great. After the big emergency equipment test snafu where most of the class failed, we had our retake on Monday. The test before that I made a 97 and the last test we had I made a 90.

Today we had our evacuation drill tests and I was lucky enough (being sarcastic here) to have been given the Embraer simulator for my demo and an unplanned water ditching. The sarcasm - because water ditchings have more command words to yell plus you have to put on your life vest and do some additional things to the slides. (In the simulator, you have to 'pretend' with the slides as they don't activate them for this drill.) On these drills you would have been given either a ditching or a unplanned land evacuation (crash) with an added bonus like a pregnant lady at the slide or the slide was too steep, etc. You had to be on top of your game to call out the correct command.

Anyway, mine started off a bit rocky- I was in the back of the E190 (FA#2) and it was my second time doing a water ditching. I started off my evacuation ok- the commands were coming out good (not tongue tied). I had a bit of a time getting my life vest on as well as placing my hands on the aft handle in order to open the entry door... and I also forgot to inflate the pretend 'slide' too. hahaha. But by the time I got to the service door I knew it wasn't going well and I gave up and called it quits so I could do it over. I did it over and passed. Nothing major - many people got it on their 2nd try.

Now we have just 2 tests left and we're done! It's hard to believe that next Wednesday I'll be getting my wings. Wow. A new hire class started yesterday - about 90 new Inflight Crewmembers! Woo-hoo! 2nd class for 2008 and now my senority has been upped a bit! haha.

Lots of hugs and love,

Happy Birthday, Myla!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Article in the Go Triad

From bayou to off-Broadway
By Leslie Mizell, Special to Go Triad
WINSTON-SALEM -- It's a long way from Louisiana to New York, but two bayou playwrights with shows opening in Winston-Salem next week found success there at a very early age.

The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem is staging Larry Shue's "The Foreigner," a modern-day classic comedy, opening Feb. 1. That same night, the Stained Glass Playhouse will debut Judi Ann Mason's "Livin' Fat" for Piedmont audiences.

Actor-playwright Shue, a New Orleans native, debuted "My Emperor's New Clothes" off-Broadway in 1968 when he was just 22 years old. However, he wouldn't find real accolades until nearly 15 years later when he wrote a pair of comedies, "The Nerd" and "The Foreigner," as a playwright in residence at Milwaukee Repertory Theater .

"The Nerd" premiered in London in 1981 and had a successful Broadway run in 1987; "The Foreigner" spent 18 months off-Broadway and won the Outer Critics Circle award for best play.

"The Foreigner" of the title is Charlie Baker, a painfully shy Englishman who is vacationing with his friend "Froggy" LaSeur at a Georgia hunting lodge when soldier Froggy is unexpectedly called up for maneuvers.

Stranded with a bunch of strangers, Charlie pretends to be a foreigner who doesn't understand English. But far from isolating him from the lodge owners and guests, his inability to communicate means he finds himself taken into their confidences and becomes the unwitting witness to their secrets.
One secret becomes particularly volatile, and Charlie suddenly finds himself helping his new friends protect themselves from the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

Sadly, "Wenceslas Square " (1988) would be Shue's fifth and final produced comedy. The playwright died in a plane crash in 1985. He was 39.

Mason was born 10 years after Shue in Shreveport, La. Her writing career was off to an auspicious start when she received the Norman Lear Award for Comedy from the Kennedy Center while a student at Grambling State University.

Like Shue, she first found professional success at 22, selling a script to the long-running TV comedy "Good Times" in 1978. Since then, she has worked as easily in comedy as drama, and for television, stage and movies alike.

She also wrote scripts for "Sanford and Son," "A Different World," "Beverly Hills, 90210," and "I'll Fly Away."

She penned films "Sophie & the Moonhanger" for television and the Whoopi Goldberg vehicle "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" for the silver screen. In between, she found time to write three dozen plays and youth musicals, including "Eddie Lee Baker Is Dead" and "A Star Ain't Nothin' But a Hole in Heaven."

"Livin' Fat," which the prestigious Negro Ensemble Company debuted off-Broadway in 1976, is set in that recession-ridden era. Times are tough for the Cooper family. Although money is tight, their affection for each other is limitless.

Everything changes, however, when son David Lee, a college graduate forced by the economy to work as a bank janitor, interrupts a robbery. In their haste to get away, the thieves drop a $50,000 bundle of money, which David Lee grabs and hides from his employers and the police.

Now the religious and law-abiding Coopers are faced with a dilemma: The money would allow David Lee's father to quit one of his jobs, his mother to stop cleaning other people's houses, his grandmother to enjoy her golden years, his sister to go to college, and himself to get a fresh start and marry his girlfriend. But can they sacrifice their scruples enough to benefit from ill-gotten gains?

Contact Leslie Mizell at


The general office for SETC is located at Revolution Mills Studios. Having to come here absolutely makes the hike to Greensboro worth it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Cast of The Velveteen Rabbit

The "no news is good news" philosophy is a double-edged sword for actors. Sometimes you never hear anything, find out by checking an online cast list, or you hear from other actors.

The Velveteen Rabbit auditions were Saturday morning. Not hearing for four days after an audition is usually not a good sign. I just figured that Reed decided to cast kids only. So, imagine my surprise when I got an email announcing the cast:
Boy - Gerrit
Rabbit - Elizabeth Wallace
Narrator 1 - Charli
Narrator 2/Mechanical Toy - Adam
Narrator 3/Uncle- Jeremy
Narrator 4/Aunt- Cheryl Ann Roberts
Nana/Boat Toy - Katlyn
Fairy - Jasmyn
Horse/Doctor - Sam
Bunny - Annemarie
Bunny - Britton
I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be a part of this production! And yes, I am the oldest cast member!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Some News

Beginning on Wednesday, I will be working part-time for the Southeastern Theatre Conference. I'll be helping to get everyone ready (office staff and those auditioning) for the annual convention in Chattanooga. I'm excited!

An Afternoon at the Theatre

Mallorie and I went to see Movin' Out at the Greensboro Coliseum yesterday afternoon. We both loved it!

The storyline: Long Island in the 60's. Sweethearts Eddie and Brenda break off their high school romance, as James and Judy get engaged. Another member of the group, Tony, picks up with Brenda shortly before all of the boys head off for Vietnam. James loses his life on the battlefield, leaving Judy shattered. Tony and Eddie return home with feelings of loss and alienation. Tony and Brenda's relationship becomes more and more complicated, while Eddie slips into narcotic abuse. In a drug laced fantasy Eddie follows the image of Judy which steers him in the right direction and he soon finds solace. Meanwhile, Tony and Brenda renew their love for each other. The friend reunite to discover they have all found their way back home.

Due to the endurance needed for Eddie, 4 dancers rotate the role. We saw Andrew Pirozzi as Eddie, and he was awesome. Understudy Shayna Harris played Brenda. She was very good as well. John Corsa played Tony and when he and Shayna were on stage it was magic. I was not impressed with the dancers who played Judy and James. Kyle Martin was our Piano Man, and there were times when he sounded very much like Billy Joel.

The opening number, "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me", was slow to begin. Once the band warmed up, they maintained the needed energy throughout the show. While some of the dance numbers were spectacular (Tony "skating" across the stage in his hi-tops, Eddie's leaps through the air), some were not. Some of the dancers had timing difficulty, so their performances weren't as clean. And some of Twyla Tharp's choreography was just unusual.

Still, it's a very impressive show, and Mallorie was thrilled to have seen it with me. We listened to Billy Joel's Greatest Hits on the way to the coliseum, so she was familiar with a few songs I had grown up listening to. And I couldn't help but sing along to some of the songs.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Auditions, The Velveteen Rabbit

If you've ever visited my Myspace page then you know that The Velveteen Rabbit is my favorite book of all time. As part of this year's New Horizon Series, and in conjunction with the ACT program, The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem will be staging an adaptation of Margery Williams' book. Auditions were this morning, and I was there. As a matter of fact, I was the oldest person there! (Well, except for some of the parents waiting for their kids.) I was amazed by the turn-out. There were small kids up to high school ages. And there were several boys auditioning.

I knew I wouldn't be asked to read for the Rabbit or Skinhorse; those parts would go to the kids. The script calls for 4 narrators who "age" during the course of the show, so I figured I could play Narrator 3 or 4. There's also a Nana.

After playing some "theatre" games to warm up the kids, Ryan grouped us together and we began to read. He hadn't picked a side for Nana, so I mostly read for Narrator 3 and 4. I really was amazed by the talent of some of the kids! Which might mean that I won't get cast at all. There was certainly enough talent to cast the show completely with kids.

It really doesn't matter if I get cast or not. I love working with kids, and I love the story so I thought it would be really fun. Even if I'm not cast, I will see the show.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Greetings from jetBlue!

From: Dusty
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 6:03 pm
Thanks for the positive thoughts- it worked.... I got an 88. Low, but thankfully passing. BUT the test was a bit screwy since many of us weren't sure exactly how and what to study. The learning course we took about the equipment was taught in a different way than the study guide and to add to it- we had to know both planes. Would you believe that about 30 people failed the test today? That's INSANE. One of my friends from class was among those failed and I was worried that he wouldn't pull through on the retake (cause you have to have 100% on the 2nd try). But luckily the instructors decided that there was a problem with the exam and decided to make it invalid for all and we'll be tested again on it next week. Whew. My friend is saved. But it also goes to show that we need to study more because it's not the easy stuff like last week that we're learning about.

Today we got our badges! LOL. Check it out! I'm finally 'CREW'!!!!!! What do you think?

Love ya,
Dusty "jetBlue Crew"

Greetings from jetBlue!

From: Dusty
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 8:13 pm
Well, our base assignments came out today and JFK is my home base! Woo Hoo! There weren't a lot of slots open for that- maybe 15 of us got it and we're the oldest, so that's good to know where I rank in seniority with this class. The rest got BOS as their base. BOS would have been another excellent choice- maybe even better since it is expanding more and there is more need for reserves there, which would push up seniority and status quicker. But whatever, I don't mind. If I fly over 100 hours a month, so be it- I'll be making money. LOL.

It's a bit scary- I have my emergency equipment test tomorrow on both aircraft. I can kind of wrap my brain around it, but when I look at the 'pickle' (drawing of the plane) I get all nervous that I won't know where the equipment is located. haha. But no worries- I know I'll be fine. :-) Did I tell you this school teacher in my class said that she used to tell her class that they need to be like the little train that could and always say "I know I can" rather than "I can't"? I told her that was perfect advice because when you think you can't do something, you end up believing it and you won't pass, but if you remain confident and positive, you'll feel better about studying. At least that's the way I feel here. I try to remain positive and when I start to feel negative, I counter act.

Today I went down the escape slides of the A320 and the E190! It was fun! haha.

I see that a BA 777 ran off the runway at Heathrow!! Scary, but it just goes to show that Safety is first and that what we're learning now in class is HUGE for what we're doing in this job.

What's new with you?

P.S. Tomorrow is the test and a pool drill where we have to get into a raft! LOL

Thursday, January 17, 2008

So Excited!

I just finished printing my tickets!

Greetings from jetBlue!

To: Dusty
From: Cheryl Ann
Date: Jan 16, 2008 10:19 AM
A 95 is a good score! You are averaging a 98 for an overall grade, and that's well above the bottom line of 80. You are doing well on your tests and I'm very proud of you!

Ah yes, safety, safety, safety. The real work begins.

I talked with mom yesterday. She said jetBlue doesn't have a base in Dulles. Have you found out where you are going to be based?

Love ya,
Cheryl Ann
From: Dusty
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 5:50 pm
Yea, no base in IAD- I knew that but I thought on their map it looked like there was one. LOL. I put down JFK as my choice and will probably commute to work using a Crash Pad for a short while until I figure out how that goes, etc. I had seriously thought about FLL as a place to move to- how cool would it be with the beach? But there aren't enough reserve flights in and out of FLL, so the money isn't that good. JFK really is where it's at and by Sept they'll have their new gate opened up. We'll see. I have no house so it's easy for me to do whatever. LOL. But NY living? Ummmm dunno.

I'm proud of myself too and I remain positive on these tests. At first when we go over the lecture in class I get overwhelmed because it looks difficult and I size it up by the amount of pages, etc, but when I read it - it's simple. But now with the evac drills, that will be a bit challenging. I can do it- it's just the whole- I have to act it out in front of people. haha.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another Random Posting

This was found in my newly acquired copy of a used script for Once Upon a Shoe, a musical for children. Interesting comments if you are thinking of staging this wonderful show.

Random Posting

This was found between the pages of The Tap Dance Kid.

Greetings from jetBlue!

From: Dusty
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 8:38 pm
Today I made a 95 on my Airbus A320 test. boooo. I wanted a higher score, but whatever, it's higher than an 80, which is our bottom line score. I missed 3 questions and noticed that one was because I didn't 'read' it as good as I thought. But now I know. haha.

Looks like the fun is over and we'll be getting into heavier things. We went over the Safety side of the job today. Eeeek. It's tough! It's really not all about serving drinks as much as it is always watching out for who can be your 'able bodied person' to help you out in the event of an emergency landing, whether it be on land or water. There is a TON of procedures to learn about all these things! It's crazy, but then again I knew it was all about Safety and we all know it's nothing more than a tube of metal flying at 500 mph! haha. I'll get through it!

Hope all is well!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Greetings from jetBlue!

From: Dusty
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2008 7:29 pm
Subject: Two Down and Several More To Go!
Well, I made a 98 on my second test! I missed one question. Whew! Tomorrow I have a test on the Airbus A320. It's got a bit more stuff, but I think I can handle it. haha.
Still excited,

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dyin' to See This

I first heard about Movin' Out in 2003, when it was nominated for several Tony awards, including the Best and Featured Actor/Actress categories. What made the show especially noteworthy, even in its nominations, was that there is no dialogue. The story is "acted out" through choreography.

I grew up on Billy Joel and I love the art of dance. As such I've been dying to see this. I missed it a couple of years ago when it toured in Charlotte. Good news! It's going to be in Greensboro this Saturday and Sunday!
Told through the choreography of Twyla Tharp and more than two dozen of Billy Joel’s songs, it's the story of lifelong friends through two turbulent decades that change them and the world around them forever. Songs like “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” and “Pressure” all come together to weave a musical backdrop which beautifully complements Tharp’s innovative choreography. The songs and dance take audiences through a poignant narrative comprised of three main elements: post-World War II idealism, the Vietnam War and its subsequent unrest, and finally, survival.

Many will recognize the main characters, as they come straight from Joel’s lyrics. There’s Brenda and Eddie from “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” Tony and Sergeant O’Leary from “Movin’ Out,” Judy from “Why, Judy, Why,” and James from “James”—and their story is told completely through dance, with no dialogue whatsoever. Movin' Out is “a story told without language,” Tharp says. “The movement and the action tell the story—the experience, the emotional resonance, comes from action rather than language.”
I'll be purchasing tickets no later than Tuesday, so let me know if you'd like to go with me!

Greetings from jetBlue

From: Dusty
Sent: Sat, 12 Jan 2008 8:21 pm
Well, I did it! I made my first 100 on my city code, 24-hour clock and Flight Attendant Manual test! Whew! haha. One down and about 7 more to go, plus drills, all in 2 weeks time.

Another cool thing for me today was that I also got to close, arm, disarm and open the rear entry door of a mock Embrarer 190! Too cool. Oh, and not to mention I got to walk around the mock plane and get my feel for it and check out the lights, the storage carts, boxes, etc. It was fun! I'll have my test on the E190 on Monday and then the Airbus 320 on Tuesday I guess. Whew. A lot of stuff. Anyway-still having fun here at JetBlue University! haha.

Hope all is well-

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Living in IKEA

Comedian Shacks Up at NJ IKEA

PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — When Mark Malkoff thought about where he could stay while his New York City apartment was being fumigated for cockroaches, he quickly ruled out friends' places (too small) and hotels (too expensive).

Instead, the comedian and filmmaker decided to move into an IKEA store in suburban New Jersey, where on Monday he unloaded two suitcases into a spacious bedroom at the store.

"The fact that IKEA is letting me do this is mind-boggling," said Malkoff, lounging on a bed in his new room. "There's no way I'm going back. I love this way too much."

Malkoff, who works for Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" as a ticket handler, is allowed to stay until IKEA closes at about midnight on Saturday; the store, famous for its low-cost do-it-yourself furniture, is closed on Sundays.

Malkoff, 31, is known for his 2007 video "171 Starbucks" which documents his visits to all of the coffee chain's Manhattan stores in a single day.

Deputy store manager Julie Mott said Malkoff contacted the store about three weeks ago and presented a proposal to move in.

"We thought it would be a lot of fun and interesting," Mott said. "We're not really sure what this week holds."

He is being followed by a camera crew documenting his stay.

But despite the hospitality, Malkoff did find a few problems: The sinks don't work, and neither does the toilet, refrigerator, flat-screen television or the washer and dryer.

"Is anything real in this place?" he asked.

He must shower in the staff locker room and will have access to the staff cafeteria to cook his own meals, if he chooses, Mott said.

However, the IKEA display does offer more spacious living than his two-bedroom Queens apartment.

"I feel like I'm on the set of 'Friends,'" he said, adding that he has met a few new faux friends — customers who wandered into his new apartment.

His wife of 2 1/2 years, Christine, isn't as thrilled with his new digs and has instead opted to stay with relatives in upstate New York.

"For some reason," he said, "she doesn't want to live in a store."

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Same Words Women Use - Defined By Men

1. Fine - Depends heavily on the context. A "Fine" after asking "How was work?" means "It was crap and I'm not interested in talking about it". "Fine" at the end of an argument, however, has the same connotations as when women would use it, but it is usually shouted because men have trouble using an inside voice when they're angry.

2. Five minutes
- If he's playing video games, five minutes is about half an hour, or until he finds the ever elusive 'next save point'. Getting ready for sex? Five minutes is two minutes. Preparing to leave? Five minutes means five minutes, and if you're not in the car in exactly five minutes you will find yourself under a veritable barrage of honking until you rectify the fact.

3. Nothing
- Is largely a synonym for "Fine", though more resolute. A "Fine" can be challenged. A "Nothing" is completely off limits, and rather than signaling that an argument is forth coming, it should tell any man-savvy woman that whatever is wrong is not up for discussion with her, her mother, or anyone she is related to. Full stop. Period.

4. Go ahead
- "I'm not interested in arguing with you anymore, do whatever the hell you want. See if I care!" Often accompanied by a #1.

5. Loud sigh
- Sometimes with a curse, like "Jesus Christ" or "Fucking hell". This is a sign of frustration, and means, basically, "I don't understand the issue here. What is she still pissed about? My conclusive rebuttals weren't enough for her?"

6. That's okay
- This is a sign of disappointment. If a man replies "That's okay" after you've just admitted something, it means his respect for you has taken a free fall and he's not sure what to say that won't insult you, despite his current feelings.

7. Thanks
- This depends largely on the context and intonation. Like eels and shotguns, "Thanks" is a slippery beast.

8. Whatever
- "I'm over it. I'm not interested in arguing. I still think I'm right, but you know what? You don't, and I'm beyond caring. Fuck you."

8. Don't worry about it, I got it
- This isn't often used by men, but when uttered it means "Stop asking if I need help, I am a MAN. I am more than capable of handling this myself". Women often challenge this, which can result in a #4 #5 combo, or, worse, a #1 followed up by an #8.

- Male perspective provided by Faith Gone Nova

Words Women Use - Defined

1. Fine - This is a word we use to end an argument when we are right, and you need to shut up.

2. Five Minutes - If we are getting dressed, this means half an hour. However, five minutes is only five minutes if you have been given five more minutes to watch the game or play (insert brand gaming system here) before helping around the house.

3. Nothing - This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with "Nothing" usually end in "Fine" (see #1).

4. Go Ahead - This is a dare, not permission. DON'T DO IT!!

5. Loud Sigh - This is not actually a word but a non-verbal statement often misunderstood. A loud sigh means we think you are an idiot and wonder why we are wasting our time standing here arguing with you about "Nothing". (see #3).

6. That's Okay - This is one of the most dangerous statements we can make. "That's okay" means we want to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7. Thanks - We are thanking you. Do not question or faint. Just say, "You're welcome."

8. Whatever - Our way of saying "F@#% YOU!"

9. Don't Worry About It, I Got It - Another dangerous statement, meaning there's something we've told you to do several times, but will now take care of ourselves. This will later result in your asking "What's wrong?" (see #5 and #3 for possible responses).

Monday, January 07, 2008

Word from jetBlue

From: Dusty
Sent: Mon, 7 Jan 2008 5:06 pm
Subject: I'm Official!
Well, yes and no. I'm officially a JetBlue Crewmember on their payroll. I finally got my documents and flight info for my trip tomorrow to MCO!!!!! (That's the airline city code for Orlando, Florida.- Cheryl Ann) I'm nervous as hell. And yes, I am trying to think positive. But still the studying and testing. AAAAHHH!

Orientation lasts 2 days and we'll be in class 6 days a week for 4 weeks from 0800 to 1800 (or there abouts). I have my laptop, (yes, I bought a laptop!) and will try to keep in touch when I can. I'll also bring my camera to take pictures.

Well, wish me the best of luck so that I can earn my wings!! haha. That sounds sooo funny! Now I'll need a catchy closing for the airline industry. Hmmm..

Love ya!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Friendly Skys Just Got Friendlier

If you recall, my brother left his job as Director of IT for a medical supply company to tour Europe for a year. He cut his tour short and was back on American soil in time for his December birthday. The holidays are over and it's time for Dusty to find a job. He's decided he wants a new career. He's applied to jetBlue for a flight attendant position. He's been accepted on a conditional basis, and is scheduled to begin training January 9 in Ft. Lauderdale.

Once again he's doing something I've always wanted to do. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I always replied flight attendant (except in 1st grade when I was a nurse for Career Day). I joined US Airways in 1988 with that goal in mind. At one point I did fill out a transfer request, and was conditionally accepted, but the class was cancelled. So I remained in Reservations and lived out my US Airways career in The Office of Consumer Affairs. I've no desire now to be a flight attendant.

Still, my little brother will be the best flight attendant ever! I'll keep you posted on his progress.

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Gift Well Appreciated

Last Christmas, my best friend gave me a gift certificate for the "Spa Sampler" package at European Touch Total Day Spa. I finally redeemed the gift this morning.

I arrived at 10:30 and was given a menu from which to order lunch from Village Tavern. I settled on the Spinach salad, and was then taken to the changing room. I was instructed to shed my outer clothing and I was given a spa robe, as well as spa shoes. Melissa came to take me to my first stop - an express facial.

Now, I have had a facial before. Last September, compliments of Eric who was our makeup and wig artist for Open Season. When I asked him if it would hurt, he lied to me. Course I didn't know he was lying until I was on the table, tears running down, as he squeezed my face.

Experience being the best teacher, I asked Melissa what I should expect. Since I was having an express facial, she wouldn't be squeezing, poking or prodding at me. My face would be exfoliated, steamed, and massaged. And let me just tell you, she was absolutely wonderful! My face has never felt so refreshed and with such a glow!

Next was a 30-minute massage with Leslie. I have never had a professional massage, so I was really looking forward to this. Leslie asked and I advised that my shoulders bore the brunt of my stress. We agreed that she would spend time working out any knots. I started out on my back as Leslie gave me a very nice neck and upper shoulder massage. I then flipped over and she proceeded to work on my back and shoulders. She kept checking to make sure I was okay with the amount of pressure. And yes, I was absolutely okay! In order to keep from falling asleep I reviewed my lines in my head. But the massage felt so wonderful that my mind kept wandering. I thought about David Joy, who is also a masseuse. All too soon time was up and Leslie advised that my lunch was ready. I had such a difficult time getting up off that table. I was sooo relaxed.

Lunch was very good; quiet and peaceful. The salad was delicious. Melissa found me and led me to the makeup up chair where she would do my make-up application. I'm not sure of the products she used but the make-up felt very light on my skin. I've always liked the "made up look" but just can't stand the heavy foundation feeling on my face. She did a great job. I looked and felt beautiful.

Next, I picked out my nail color (OPI's Didgeridoo) for my manicure and pedicure with Kelly. It's been 3 months since my last trip to a nail salon so Kelly had some extra work. She was great. My fingers and toes are back in shape and painted a pretty shimmery pink.

All in all, I had a fabulous time. I highly recommend European Touch and spa gift certificates are the perfect gift. You don't have to purchase an entire package. Go for just a facial or a massage. Either way your well-being will thank you for it!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Rehearsals, The Foreigner

We were supposed to be completely off book today. You would think that having two weeks off would provide enough time to learn lines. Not during the Christmas and New Year holidays. I studied as much as I could, but it was still not enough. Thankfully Stan is an actor himself, so he understood the tall order to be completely off book during the holiday season. He even gave us permission to use scripts if really necessary. I was able to go scriptless for Act One, Scene One. I had to call lines in Act One, Scene Two and ended up picking up my script for my big monologue. I didn't put it down the rest of the night, although I tried not to glance at it if I knew the lines.

Getting off book and stumble-throughs are my most despised part of rehearsal. I'm either forgetting my blocking because I'm too busy concentrating on my lines, or blocking is fine and I can't remember the words. I just feel so inadequate.

Good news, though. For the next several days we will only be rehearsing specific scenes. That means I can spend some quality time reviewing a section at a time. Yikes, tomorrow's rehearsal is the longest scene in the show. I'd better get cracking. If I sleep with my script under my pillow will I be able to magically absorb Catherine's lines?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I Can Dry My Own Hair

An Afternoon at the (Movie) Theater

I did something today that I haven't done since I was 14 years old. (And I only did it then because I was visiting my cousin who had to work, so I went with her.) I went to see a movie by myself. I went to the 1:30pm showing of P.S. I Love You. It wasn't that I couldn't have gotten someone to go with me. Granted, I would have had to do some heavy begging because it is a chick-flick. At the very least I was pretty sure I could talk Mallorie into going (she's a Gerard Butler fan). But I just really wanted to go alone, especially considering where my head was last night.

I will first tell you that my inner voice was correct in advising me to read the book first. The movie was, as most are, different from the book. Holly's brothers, Declan and John, were not in the movie. Her father wasn't either. (The backstory was that he left when Holly was a teen.) Holly's mother was given a prominent role in the movie, and even a name change! Kathy Bates was great as Patricia, the newly named mom. Harry Connick, Jr. played Daniel and the movie pretty much stayed true to his character. I was surprised by Gina Gershon's performance as Holly's best friend Sharon. Lisa Kudrow was Lisa Kudrow playing Denise, Holly's other best friend. I was pleasantly surprised to see James Marsters on the silver screen, playing Sharon's husband to boot. (Though honestly I liked him much better as Spike.) William, played by a very sexy Jeffrey Dean Morgan, was added to the movie. Holly ends up having a one-night stand with him while she and friends are in Ireland on vacation. While I absolutely love Jeffrey Dean Morgan, his character was just not appropriate. I was not very impressed with Hilary Swank's portrayal of Holly. I was very impressed with Gerard Butler's portrayal of Gerry. He's ruggedly handsome, quite sexy, and he's a voice that can melt butter. And I was so glad to hear him sing! Lord, he just makes me smile!

Fortunately, seeing the movie dispelled my pondering from last night. The movie just did not elicit the same emotion in me as the book. And that was just fine. At least for now.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Book Report

While in Target doing some Christmas shopping, I decided to purchase P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. I've been wanting to see the movie, but my inner voice was encouraging me to read the book first. I started it immediately, and due to reading a couple of scripts, I just finished it. Like 5 minutes ago.

To be honest, I'm not really sure how I feel about it. I mean, it's very well written, albeit a bit long. The characters are very real; you can feel their emotions on the page. But this book has left me thinking about things I'm not too sure I want to ponder. And yet here I am, doing just that, pondering. I think, and I say think because it's going to sound so very weird, but I think I might be jealous of Holly, the main character. She's lost her husband of 10 years to a brain tumor and she is having a very difficult time coping with her grief. No, it's not that I want someone to die so I can grieve. I think it's more that I am envious that Holly had someone that meant so much to her, who was so much a part of her, that without him she simply can't (and doesn't really want to) cope. Does that make sense?

I mean, with the exception of my kids and family, and even then that's a different level altogether, I'm not sure there's anyone in my life that would leave me as devastated as Holly. And I am concerned about that. What does that say about me?
We headed over to Hanes Mall so she could spent some Christmas money. Figuring she wouldn't want to hang around the adults, I gave her a meeting point and told her to return in an hour. As she departed, I turned and joked to my friend that this was the first time we'd been to the mall together. We proceeded to stroll along until a 75% Off Sale caught my attention. I told my friend that I wanted to check out the sale. I wasn't in the store 10 minutes; my friend disappeared. I walked around in circles attempting to locate and reunite. After 30 minutes I gave up and returned to the meeting point, where I sat until the designated meeting time. When my friend returned, no disappearance explanation was offered, even when I asked. I had been worried, yet my friend was apathetic.

What's up with that?

An Afternoon at the (Movie) Theater

Mallorie, me and a friend of mine headed to The Grand theater earlier this afternoon to see Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. It was awesome!

I've been familiar with the music from the Broadway musical. "Pretty Women" and "Not While I'm Around" are two of my all-time favorite songs. And I saw the Piedmont Players' beautifully staged production almost 10 years ago. Still, watching the movie was like listening to the story for the first time.

In my opinion, Johnny Depp is one of the most talented actors of our time. I've always been impressed with his work. His Sweeney left me even more so. And I must give him his due with his singing. With no formal training he took quite a chance, and it paid off. While some of his razor poses were reminiscent of Edward Scissorhands, he never let us forget Sweeney or his inner torment.

Helena Bonham Carter, on the other hand, was terrible. I don't believe a word of the interviews in which Tim tries to convince us that Helena was awarded the role based on merit. Yeah, she looks the goth part. But her acting was hallow and singing was awful. I'm sure being Tim's partner, pregnant with his child, had nothing what-so-ever to do with her being cast. I will not be convinced that there is that much of a shortage of more talented actresses.

Alan Rickman was glorious. I just love watching him. And I loved his "Pretty Women" duet with Depp. I was very impressed with Ed Sanders who played Toby. What a beautiful voice! No one knows much about him now, but I'd bet he's got a long career ahead of him.

Mallorie received the movie book and the soundtrack for Christmas. I can't wait to sit down with her and leaf through the book while listening to the CD!