Thank you for dropping by!

I truly appreciate that you've decided to share part of your day in my world. I hope your time has been well spent and I've made you smile, laugh or think.





Sunday, October 30, 2011

Every Week Means Every Week??

From my other blog "My Quest to Put Down the Donut" at skinnymamabean.blogspot.com

Apparently I misunderstood when I joined Weight Watchers.  Although they kept saying "Don't dial it in," "Follow the program to a tee, " "If you bite it, write it,"  those bastards meant it.

And today's meeting was for me and my friend Ellen.  It was about staying on course when it's not going so well.

We both had a gain this week.

Rats.  My first one.

Oddly, this was the first week I started to notice that my clothes were fitting more loosely.  I would also like to add that Ellen is looking great.  She's been diligent about the gym.  I added a spin class this week.

Oh and I ate like a pig.

I "technically" stayed in my point range.  At WW's they give you 49 points to spread over the course of the week, so if you're hungry, you eat.  If you have a party, you can eat a piece of cake.  It's quite brilliant.  It takes away the sense of deprivation.  If you exercise, you can add points and then it will let you "use" more points.  It defeats the point of exercising in a way, but it DID get me to spin class.  It was Saturday, we had a few parties to go to, I needed some extra points!

Lesson learned this week:  Follow the program.

Sigh.

I also have been a bit lucky the past few weeks.  With all our festivities I still pulled out losses.  So I got a little cocky and I pushed it.

I deserved the .2 pounds that I gained.  My weekly average loss is down to .6.  At this rate, I might get to my goal in 2 years.

And SPARE me the platitudes about how it will really stay off.... yes, I know that.  I have no intention of spending the next year making all these positive changes to gain it back.  But I was hoping it would only be a year, not 2.  I don't want it to feel like a diet, but I think if I want to get serious, I might want to be a bit more focused.

On a positive note, I bought a t-shirt this summer a size smaller than I normally get.  I wasn't sure what size my boobs would end up (I had reduction surgery in June).  Sadly, the sleeves and the mid-section were a little snug.  I've been sleeping in it because it was a bit too tight to wear out.  On Monday I had it on and realized that it fit.

Also my "weigh-in" pants are really baggy.  I've been to this point before with these same pants.  Which brings me to my next question for the audience...

A friend of mine is getting married next November.  There is a J Crew dress I have been dreaming of for years.  Do I buy it in a size 8 and hang it in my closet?  Will it motivate or mock me?  I've never done anything like this before because I've always feared that I would waste my money.  In other words, I've never had faith I would get there.  At .6 pounds a week, I won't.  Has anyone done this?  Has it worked?  My friend is someone that I "met" quite a few years ago on Spark People and actually have met her in person.  Our table will be all sparkers-- and I'm not the only one using her wedding as a motivator.  She's completely fine that we're stealing her special day as a weight loss goal since that's how we all met.

Please comment!!  I'm curious what everyone thinks!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Doing Wrong

I had to take an online training this week for my securities licensing on ethics. 

Oddly, the topic has been on mind quite a bit this week.

You see, the priest that married us, recently confessed to stealing $650,000 from my former parish.

I really liked him.

I still do.

I sorta kinda left the church awhile back.  It's not a long story.  There was no one thing.  I decided that I had become a cafeteria plan Catholic.  I don't think you should dial in religion.  Either be in or be out.  I opted out.  It really came down to a great homily that Fr. Kevin gave.

It was during the Bill Clinton "What is the Definition of Is?" debate.

Fr. Kevin stated simply that there is a right and there is a wrong.  There are no grey areas with regard to morality.

Ah, but I can already hear you arguing that certain things are debatable.  I would have agreed with you until that sermon.

Fr. Kevin went on to elaborate that everyone has a line that they draw.  Once you cross your own moral line, you start to justify and rationalize your actions.  You never have to justify or rationalize doing the right thing to yourself.  Those little voices that you hear in your head telling you to go ahead, no one will know-- that means you've crossed your line.  Rationalization is for attorneys.  No one can tell you where to draw the line.

You're nasty to your kids- the voice says "Well, you were tired. It's okay."  It's not.  Apologize to them.

You tell your boss you're sick and what you really want is a day off-- "Everyone does it." They don't.  Ask for the day off.  Don't lie. It IS a lie.

You start to gossip about someone that you work with- "Well, everyone KNOWS he drinks..."- they don't.  Stop.  Leave the conversation.

Someone walks into your house and threatens your family, has a gun.  You shoot them.  No need to justify.

See how it works?

There have been a few times since I heard that sermon that the little voices start rationalizing in my head and I immediately stop.  I am trying to justify crossing the line.  It was actually life changing for me.  I always joke that I'm not a practicing Catholic because I got it right and don't need to practice any more. 

Doing the right thing has never caused me pain or grief.  I may have had to explain my reasons to someone else, but I've never had to justify my actions to myself.

It's quite a lovely moral code to live by, I believe.  I do good things because I think it's right, not because I'm being told to do them.  Or the fear of eternal damnation.

There is a right and there is a wrong. 

Enough said.

I can only imagine the personal agony he must have been experiencing.  Those voices must have been screaming in his head.

He is a good man.  He had a flaw.

And before you think "Wow, that's a lot of money, how did no one notice?" They did.  That's how he got caught.  It also was over more than 10 years  and the parish has thrived under him.  New school, even.  It's a very large parish with 10,000 families- it nearly doubled under Fr. Kevin.  My uncle, a deacon, saw the bulletin (I brought him an article they had in it).  One week of the collections was more than his parish took in in a year. 

I'm sure he used the fact that so much was being accomplished to justify that he wasn't hurting anyone.  It would be easy to rationalize.  He probably brought in much more money than he ever took.  Can you hear the voices justifying what happened?  And yet it still is wrong.  Very wrong.

Fr. Kevin confessed to the authorities.  From what I've heard, he's cooperated fully and intends to somehow repay the money.

It wasn't a Catholic thing.  It wasn't a priest thing.  It was a human thing.

And from one human to another, I hope he finds compassion in his own soul.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

10 Secrets to a Successful Marriage.... or at least to my marriage...

This Thursday was my tenth anniversary.  Since my parents have been married 45 years and most of my friends from high school are getting close to 20 years, I did not think it was a huge deal.  Apparently, it is.

So without any actual knowledge of what makes a successful marriage, no professional training in this arena, and only an open internet audience, I offer my tips.

1.  Marry the Right Person
Mr. Bean is the key to my successful marriage.  I like him.  I even love him.  This makes it very easy to stay married to him.  I had quite a few other options, believe it or not, but being stuck with the wrong person for all eternity frightened me considerably more than being alone.

2.  Don't Date Others After You Are Married
I always joke about this because it really does seem to be an issue for some folks.  We both assumed once we got married that we wouldn't be dating others.  In fact, it was even a bit of a plus.  We both were a bit tired of it. 

3.  Don't Have Sex with Others After You Are Married
Again, seems obvious and somewhat outlined to #2, but we've seen it enough to note that it probably should be more clearly defined.  It doesn't matter if it's Republican or Democrat sex. 

4.  You Can Always Leave
WHAT?  Shouldn't divorce be off the table?  Maybe for some folks, but for me, what works is knowing that there is no gun to my head making me stay.  I am there voluntarily.  If it sucks, I should probably do something about it.  I happily and willingly married my husband.  Every day I chose to be happily married.  Most of the time.  Some times I need a nap.  See #5.


5.  Go to Bed Angry
I get really pissy if I'm tired.  Why make it worse by trying to resolve every little stinking thing?  You never will.  Sleep on the couch if you must, but my guess is, 8 hours later, after some sleep, you'll forget whatever it was that had you so uptight the night before.

6.  Give your Spouse a Break
Not physically (since everyone in our family seems a bit breakable...).  I honestly don't think my husband snores as a secret plot to make me nuts.  He also doesn't run the dishwasher in the morning, after he leaves, to piss me off.  Although it makes cleaning up after breakfast with the kids a pain (he leaves at 6 am), wakes up the dog and I can't use the garbage disposal, I don't think it's intentional.  I think he's simply trying to have clean dishes.  I also don't forget my clothes in the dryer to destroy his day.  Okay, maybe sometimes... Anyhow, you probably aren't a bag of sunshine either, so lighten up.

7.  Have a your own Life
I hate when people disappear into couples.  Have a life.  Have a hobby.  Have friends.  It helps keep the conversation going.  Expecting your spouse to be your BFF, your entertainment coordinator, your business partner is a bit of a tall task for anyone.


8.  Kiss in Front of your Kids
Yes, they find it totally disgusting, but it's really your only opportunity some days.  We're not business partners, we're spouses.  The kids should know we like each other. 

9.  Be Willing to Compromise
My husband came up with this one.  I told him I think what he really meant was "Do What Your Wife Wants."  He agreed.

10.  Date Night isn't Optional
Since you won't be dating other people, you might as well date your spouse.  Otherwise, it's a roommate with whom you share a closet, some kids and some debt.  Sexy, huh?  I really enjoy hanging out with my husband. I would probably forget that if we didn't hang out.


Anyhow, take it for what it's worth.  Not every day has been sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, but I have to say, I'm pretty darn happy.  And not to be completely nerdy, but I can honestly say, I love my husband more now that I did 10 years ago.  It makes me sad that marriage is becoming less trendy-- it's by far the best decision I've ever made.  It's nice to have someone who knows me better than anyone and yet still loves me.  Very cool.

Happy Anniversary, Mr. Bean!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Zumba and Mama Bean

I went to my second Zumba class today.  Wow.  It is way too much fun.

For those of you that are following my secondary weight loss blog, you are probably aware that this time on my quest to lose weight, I decided to only do exercise that I like.  This isn't too terribly difficult, as I like pretty much everything.  But this time, I'm raising the bar.  I don't mind working out, but I wasn't loving it.  Every time I went to the gym it was a reminder on how much I had let myself go. Working out used to be a great stress reliever.  I could feel my muscles grow stronger every time.  Now, I can't even find my muscles beneath the layers of fat.

So no more cross training.  No more weights.  No more treadmill.  For now.  When I'm at a point where I'm trying to get fit, I will add those back in.  Right now, I'm just trying to get to fat.

Seriously.

I have 21 pounds to lose to be "just" fat.

I will be the happiest fat person in the world once I get there.  Or as I will refer to myself- non-obese person.

What a sad goal- to be fat.

But alas, it's where I"m at right now and I'm okay with that.

So rather than look at this next year as a giant mountain to climb, I decided to dance up it.  I just had some cookies, too.  What I didn't do was eat a dozen.  I had some.  Last week I had ice cream.  Tonight, I will have a glass of wine at my book club.

And every week, I have lost a pound. 

And every week I've only done things that I liked.

Now I'm sure if I really put my mind to it, like the folks on "The Biggest Loser" or "I Used to Be Fat" I could get most of this weight off much more quickly.  Trust me, it would find me again. 

I have very intentionally decided to do this sloooooooowly.  With fun and a little flair.

So today I shook my booty.  The hard part isn't to shake it.  The hard part is to get it to stop shaking.  And as I was gettin' down with my funky self, I noticed the treadmills.  The people on them looked like drones.  Not the runners-- but the walkers. They were my size or bigger.  Headsets on.  Eyes glazed.  Trudging through life.

I wanted to tell them "You're not going to stick with it.  Trust me.  Might as well have some fun." 

I'm not by any means the biggest or the most uncoordinated person in the class.  I don't even think there's a profile for the class.  I may even be on the younger end.  I'm not sure.  There's a wide range of ethnicities, too.  There's a gentlemen who must be in his late 70's-- he rocks.

It's all very motivating.  Dancing doesn't discriminate.

The older women who have adopted me in the back row, keep me going.  I keep them laughing.  It's nice.

According to my heart rate monitor, my cardio health is improving.  According to my scale, I'm losing weight.  According to my smile, I am having fun.


And that's what it's all about, isn't it?



Friday, October 14, 2011

My life as a Square Peg

I had a recent FB post that said no matter how hard I tried, I just don't fit in with the PTA crowd.  The comments were hilarious and appreciated.  I do want to point out that the PTA wasn't like the crowd on the recent episode "Suburgatory"-- they aren't uptight bitches by any means-- they are actually very nice.  I just simply don't fit in.

Here's the scoop- this is not the first time this has happened to me.  In fact, I've spent most of my life not fitting in.

I always credit my curly hair with my ability to accept that I'm not like all the other kids.  My giant mop of hair always made me stick out a bit in the crowd.  When the other little girls had cutesy pigtails, I had my mini fro.  It never really bothered me.  It just was what it was.

It continued throughout school.  I liked sports in grade school, but I also loved to tap dance.  I wasn't quite a dancer and I wasn't quite a jock.  Most of my friends were boys because I didn't care about clothes or reading "Teen Beat."  I was always a little odd.  I liked math, but wasn't a math nerd.  I even went to math camp and stuck out because I wasn't nerdy enough.  I play trombone-- although female trombonists are getting more popular now, they weren't when I started.  At a national music camp, I was the "chick trombonist."  Now there's a moniker to put on a t-shirt!

In college, it continued.  I was the mid-westerner amongst New Yorkers.  In my very liberal dorm, The Language House, I was one of the more conservative students - not politically, just personally.  I was the blue collar kid amongst trust fund kids. I sat in a human resources class and realized I was the only one who had ever received a paycheck!  Socially, I got bids into a few sororities, ended up joining the one I thought I fit into best only to quit 6 weeks later because, well, I just didn't fit.

Professionally, more of the same.  I'm a Democrat who works in finance.  My fellow Dems are protesting me now in their "Occupy Wall Street" movement.  Once again, I'm the odd man out.

And try being a working mom.  Talk about being out of place.  I once had a stay at home mom tell me that she "put her family first"-- which I apparently didn't.  Sigh.  And at work, I had another advisor offer to buy my practice so I could stay home and be "more fulfilled."  Bigger sigh.  I don't fit in on the playground or the boys' club.

I'm too analytical.  I'm too emotional.  I'm too serious.  I'm too glib.  I'm too intense.  I'm too flippant.  I'm too fast.  I'm too slow.  I'm too mommy.  I'm too professional.  I'm too educated.  I'm too casual.  I'm too blunt.  I'm too nice.  I'm always "too."

I don't blame the mommies at the PTA.  They were very nice.  I know am never going to fit.

And I'm usually okay with it.

Because I know it's not really true.  Every time I write a blog or make a post, the main comment I get is "Sounds like me and my life."

So maybe I do fit in.  Maybe I'm just a little bit like everybody and a lot like nobody.

Maybe I'm just me.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Papa Bean

Today is my husband's 40th birthday.

Here are some interesting facts that you may not know about him:

He is 6'5" tall.  That is freaky tall.  I can always find him in a crowd.  I like that.

His eyes are really cool.  They are greenish with flecks of blue and brown.  Hazel does not do them justice.  I like to say they are the color of outside.

He had VERY red, Howdy Doody red hair when he was a child.  It's brownish now.

He is a good dancer, but thinks he can't dance.

He is a good singer, but says he can't sing.  He has a beautiful baritone voice.

He is very funny, but cannot tell a joke to save his life.  He always gives up the punchline.

He and my daughter have the same personality.  People think she's like me, but trust me, that fiestiness is all him.  They both will argue that the sky is orange til the death.

He loves "Hillbilly Handfishing."

He laughs like a crazy man at "America's Funniest Videos."  The terms guffaw, chortle and snicker are all defined.  And nothing makes him laugh louder than a good nut kick or old people falling over.  Yet I still love him.

He's a great teacher.  His students love him.

He really is allergic to spinach.  I didn't believe him.  Oops.

He teared up at "Finding Nemo."  I often yell "Nemo!! Don't go, Nemo!!!" just to piss him off.

He never saw the movie "Shane" until a few years ago.  I often yell "Shane!  Don't go, Shane!"

He is nearly half the man I married.  He has lost over 100 lbs.  I am almost twice the woman.  Oops, again.

He never liked to travel.  Since we've been married, he's caught the bug and even planned this summer's road trip.

He tries hard not to laugh at me, but from time to time, he will bust out laughing.

He makes a mean latte.  No one can froth like him.

He respects my monthly book club and always makes sure his schedule is clear so I can go.

He has never yelled at me when I back up the boat trailer, even though I suck at it.  Really suck at it.

He has seen nearly every action movie and comedy ever made. 

He is an excellent rapper.  No kidding.  It's hilarious.

He is a huge dog lover.  He tried not to fall in love with our new dog.  By her first morning with us, he had already given her a nickname.

He hates to fly.

He is a third generation Las Vegan.

He is a fantastic husband.

He is, quite simply, the love of my life.










Monday, October 10, 2011

My past few days....

On Fridays, I typically work in the morning either from home or Starbucks then spend the afternoon volunteering at the kids' school.  This morning I had a doctor's appointment, so being the efficiency geek that I am, I planned many small tasks.

This is how my day was supposed to go.

8 am  Take the dogs to the groomers
8:15   Take the kids to school
8:45   Drop off our tax information at the accountants
9:15   Deposit a refund check we received at the bank
9:30   Pick up a gift certificate
10:00 Go to the doctor's a little early to read
11:00 Lunch with my friend Shelley for her birthday
1:40  Volunteer at the kids' school
3:30  Pick up the dogs from the groomers

Amidst this, I return calls from clients.  Fortunately, it was quiet and my assistant had the work stuff covered.

This is how my day actually went:
8 am   Took the dogs to the groomers
8:05    Chased Dixie around the groomer's lobby when she slipped out of her collar
8:15    Took the kids to school completely covered in dog hair
8:45    Dropped off the tax information.  Realized that my husband had also been putting my mail into the "TAX INFO" envelope. 
8:50    Sat in the parking lot at the accountant's removing the mail from the envelope
8:55    Actually dropped off the info.
9:00   Drive around for 20 minutes trying to find the branch
9:20   Realize the check I was going to deposit I left in the envelope at the accountant's.  Also realize that my business expenses are on the seat next to me with the mail I removed.  Deposit a check that I rewrote from my business account.
9:45   Go back to the accountant's to give them my business expenses and pick up the checks I had left.
9:50    Realized that the check I wanted to deposit was made out to my husband and he hadn't endorsed it.
10:15  Get to the doctors.

10:25  Get in to the doctor's early (Yeah Dr. Judy!).  Find out that I'm not there for just a blood test, but also my annual exam.  FUN. 

11:00  Meet my friend Shelley for lunch.  ON the way there, I'm cut off on the freeway by a woman on her cell phone in a Hummer.  She proceeds to cut me off in the parking lot AND physically runs into me as she yapped on her phone and never once acknowledged it.  She plowed into me, too.

The afternoon was more mellow-- volunteered at the school, hung out with the kids-- all good stuff.

Saturday I had planned to pick up our food co-op basket, then a soccer game, then get ready for my client appreciation picnic on Sunday.


That was interrupted by an ER visit.  My son broke his arm playing soccer.

Yes, that's right, my daughter just got cleared after breaking her leg.

We are waiting for the call from social services.  Sigh. 


The good news, his break wasn't too bad.  The bad news, he's out of most of his activities for the fall. 


The good news- we have some free time!


ANYHOW, even though by profession I am a planner, clearly things do not always go as planned.  And yet again, I'm forced to roll with it.


So if I haven't returned your calls, responded to your emails, etc, etc, it's because it's been a little crazy.  Throw in my old dog taking another down turn (and getting a tumor on his eye), the neighbor's dogs who NEVER SHUT UP DURING THE NIGHT and well, my head is exploding.


But ain't it swell?



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dante's Password Inferno

It seems like only yesterday I had one password to remember-- my ATM pin.

I was clever with it.

It was 5674.  It spells Lori.  For obvious reasons, I no longer use it (so don't get any ideas).

Then came my first email address and log in.  It was 1989.  I knew exactly 1 person who had email.  Tory and I would send witty things like "Hey, isn't this cool?" every 60-90 days.  I had my log in and password written in the front cover of my day planner.

Since I worked in HR originally, I put a password on my Windows-- which confounded many.  I think it was probably PASSWORD.

Just yesterday I was trying to remember the password to my secondary laptop's desktop encryption.  (FYI from this point on, I will not be sharing any of my passwords, although some are so ingenious that I often forget them.)

My typical day involves the following passwords:

Personal e-mail
Facebook
Blogspot
Desktop encryption
Windows
CISCO VPN Security
Intranet work website
Work email
Weight Watchers
Blackberry password

Then on a regular basis:
Personal bank
Cornell (I volunteer with admissions)
Business bank
Personal bank ATM
Brokerage account
Payroll
Old DOS system at work

Then on a semi-regular, say quarterly basis, I access these websites
NV Business Tax
Sewer fee
Trash fee
Car payment (I hate to even write that....  I hate car payments....)
Cell phone
Business credit card
Continuing Education(3 different sites)
Long term care proposal system
Retirement plan
HRIS for payroll deductions
Amazon
Kodakgallery


Then on a not often enough so now the following accounts are locked out:
Too many to remember-- LLBean, Target, Williams-Sonoma, Savings bonds, college funds, doctor's office Med Something or Other, 10,000 different photo sites to view my friends pictures, etc, etc, etc


That's nearly 40 passwords- not counting the log-in "account names".  All special and unique in their own way. 

No kidding.

Some can only be 8 characters.
Some must be more than 8 characters.
Some must have a number and non-alpha-numeric symbol.
Some cannot have a non-alpha-numeric symbol.
Some must include capitalization.
Some are not cap-sensitive.
Some expire every 90 days.
Some never expire.
Some only expire if you haven't used them.
Some will let you simply change a number  PASSWORD1...PASSWORD22
Some will not allow you to reuse any of the symbols, letters or numbers that you've used previously.

That last one sets me off the most....

First, let me state that I am completely out of ideas for passwords.  If I get too creative, there is no chance that I will EVER be able to remember it.  Hence the many accounts of which I am locked out.  I also don't want to write them all down and put them in a file.  Defeats the purpose of the password.  Even if I label the file "Dog Vaccinations" rather than "Passwords."

I very honestly had to come up with a password with the following criteria:
  • It had to be 8 letters exactly.
  • I had to have at least 1 capital letter, 1 number and 1 non-alphanumeric character.
    It could not resemble ANY of the passwords I used in the past.
  • I would need to reset it, with the same parameters, in 90 days.

I appreciate companies concerns for my security, but let's face it, with all the recent "We've had a breach in security" letters I've received in the past 2 years, I personally think it's just one more hurdle added to my busy day. 

When people comment on how stressed everyone is today, I blame the insane amount of useless information that I am required to retain.  Like 40 passwords.  And that doesn't even count my friends' countless home phones, cell phones, work emails, personal emails....

Remember when there was 1 way to reach someone? 

I love technology.  Lately, it feels like more of a burden, however.  It seems like no matter I do, how unique I am with my passwords, someone will hack the account or some idiot employee will sell my info to the highest bidder.

It leaves me unprotected and exasperated as I am constantly locking out accounts, being left on hold to unlock them or anxiously awaiting the secret coded email (which seems to take hours to come) to unlock my ability to buy a toy for a friend's kid that I barely know.

I feel like it's out of control.

And to that I say...

BuLL5h!t










Monday, October 3, 2011

Enjoy your retirement Andy Rooney



Last night I watched Andy Rooney's final broadcast on "60 Minutes" and he said he was grateful that for the last 40 years he was paid to give his opinion.  It was a good life. 

I completely understand.  I, like most people, do it for free and it's still a lot of fun.

I've always enjoyed Mr. Rooney's commentaries.  I like how he could complain and make me laugh all at the same time.  He's made me think over the years.  I like how he twists common logic and looks at it from a very tiny perspective to get your attention.

He was thoughtful, articulate and to the point.  He didn't belabor a point.  He didn't need a 30 minute "news" show that was nothing more than a lengthy opinion piece charading as real news (not Comedy Central).  He always clearly said that it was his opinion, take it or leave it, but you knew if you disagreed, he probably would think you were a moron.


Somewhere in my brain, Erma Bombeck, Art Buchwald and Andy Rooney's voices are constantly commentating on my life.  They have taught me to see the humor in every situation- motherhood, politics, and day to day living.  They have taught me how to be slightly caustic but rarely offensive and rude.  I learned how to voice my disdain in sweet, polite, humorous diatribes by reading their books, columns and watching them.  It has helped me immensely in my personal professional career; I tend to get my point across with a few laughs, but the knowledge that I am dead serious. 

I will miss Mr. Rooney's iconic voice, his wit and perspective.  I hope, as he promised, he will continue to write.  His perspective is still needed.  We all need to laugh at ourselves.  He was, without a doubt, one of the best.  My generation moves forward with Jon Stewart, Mo Rocca, Nancy Giles, Stephen Colbert- to name a few.  But Mr. Rooney remains the master. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Airports, travel and Mama Bean

I am very fortunate that over the past year and a half I've had the opportunity to go "on the road" a bit. 

I've always been a wanderlust by nature.  Although I never flew in a plane until I was 18, by the time I was 24 I had visited 5 continents and had a fairly full passport.  Currently, I'm on a quest to see all 50 states.

Once I got married, had kids, my traveling days had been limited.  Then I was offered the opportunity to train some colleagues, only about 2 days a month, and I thought it would be fun. 

It has been.

Airports are one of my favorite places to people watch.  The fact that I live in Las Vegas, LAS is a great people watching place.  People from all over the world in their drunken, materialistic glory flock here.  One time, before a family vacation, we were waiting with a group of very hungover college students- sunglasses on inside, slightly moaning- and I very humourosly detailed to my son the travails of excessive drinking with their full moans of approval.

This trip, a quickie to LA, had me thinking while I waited to go through security, that it is also a great opportunity to see who people really are.  Specifically, at security.

Here's my take on airport security:

It's not that big a deal.

No joke.

I am quite happy to save my liquids for the other side of the screening, take off my shoes, take out my liquids in my little zippy bag, remove my lap top from the bag, and take off my belt.  If this means the plane will not explode into a million burning pieces, I'm good with it.

It takes about 10-20 minutes out of my life to accomplish this.

For this slight inconvenience, I get to fly, in the air and not blow up.

Sounds fair.

But to some people you would think this was a HUGE violation of their very busy lives.  If you look at the line, the business folks, the people who travel the most, aren't bitching.  In fact while the tourists are moaning and complaining, the business folks have slipped off their slip on shoes, removed their belts and already taken off their shoes.  Our liquids are in the quart sized bag which we place on the top of our carry on.  Our lap tops are easily accessible and quickly removed.

Yes, water is a liquid.  I know you paid $3 for it.  You are a moron.  Dump it and refill the stupid thing on the other side of security.  It's free at the water fountains.  It hasn't cost you a penny more.

Yes, even YOU have to remove your shoes.  Did you think I was going to a Japanese restaurant and that's why I removed mine?

Yes, your belt buckle is metal.  As is the change in your wallet that you have left in your back pocket.

There are GIANT SIGNS that explain this complicated process to you.  We even have humorous videos at LAS because we know many of the people who visit aren't regular flyers. 

This isn't communism.  This isn't a grave violation of your civil rights.  It's security because 10 years ago some really bad people killed a lot of people when the security guards waved them through, despite having set off the detectors.  This "horrible" process has prevented more people from doing the same.

And while I don't understand why my parents would ever need a pat down, if it lets everyone sleep a little better in a safer world, you can have my 20 minutes.  Pat away.

This is where I see my parallel to life- some people are so self involved they can't appreciate the benefit to a greater good.  They are so concerned about their own drama, that they make the 10 minutes feel like an hour.  They complain and bitch as if this is an ongoing problem in their lives.

You know what I consider a problem?  Terrorists taking over a plane.

If going through security so you can travel is your biggest gripe, then God Bless America.  These are the same people that throw shit fits at Starbucks when their latte is served hot and not iced because they never told the barista.  The same people who yell at the cashier when something rings up incorrectly.  The same people who get off making other people feel bad about themselves because they are clearly not happy.  Do they even know that's why they are doing it?  They are too embarassed to admit they made a mistake, don't understand, are confused, so they take it out on everyone else.

Dial it down people.

You are not more important than me or the rest of the people in line.  We are all doing the exact same thing. 

Now shut the hell up, take off your shoes and MOVE.