Happy National Cheesecake Day!

Got a hankering for something sweet in a graham cracker crust?  Today’s your lucky day!  What am I saying?  It’s everybody’s lucky day: July 30th is National Cheesecake Day.  If you need me, I’ll be somewhere on our big orange couch.  It looks like it might be fixin’ to rain, and I can’t imagine a better excuse for a Golden Girls marathon.  I might have to catch Phelpsy in the recap.  (Read how NPR also links cheesecake to the Olympics here.)

My latest short story, “Hot Shots,” focuses on the Olympic aspirations of handsome young Beau, whose Life’s Primary Ambition is to become an Olympic athlete, so that he can then have sex with as many other Olympic athletes as possible.  “Hot Shots” turns into a romance as Beau warms up to his coach, but this funny article seems to foretell (or at least fantasize about) the true-life version of my original idea, an Olympic Village gone hook-up mad!  I just got way more excited about watching the Olympics on TV.

When Worlds Collide (or, “My Favorite Bookstore Layovers”)

Books at Bluestocking, San Diego

You would think that by now I would know better than to pack all of my flying into the can of worms we call “Summer.”  Jam-packed airplanes, glass-ceilinged terminal buildings that simmer like crock pots, unaccompanied kids in droves and cancellations galore, and for some reason, I stack my schedule like I don’t want to miss a single minute of it.  (Santa Fe spas are awesome, after all, but they ain’t free.)   But Summertime flying is a topic for another post.  (Or “series of rants;” we’ll see where that takes us.)  Hard as I’ve been hittin’ it the last couple weeks, though, it hasn’t been all bad.  As I’ve mentioned in posts past, I am a mad fan of the downtown layover, and of all of the diversions they provide, and I have lucked into a few of them lately.  Cute cafes and boys in shorts are but the first two things that leap to mind as being more plentiful and more fun in a City Center than at airport-adjacent lodgings, and my pro-cafe, pro-boys-in-shorts stance is longstanding and unambiguous.  But last week, on an unexpected and uncommon trip with not one but two downtown layovers, I reconnected, at long last, with one of the best things about being a writer who flies: America’s Bookstores. Continue reading

And What Is the Australian Word for “Chicken?”

That was then…

Some flight attendants are crazy.  Some flight attendants who fly international are really crazy.  Some flight attendants who fly the late-night, after-all-the-supervisors-have-gone-home international departures (Sydney, Dubai, Buenos Aires) are certifiable knuckleheads.  There’s something about flying super long hauls and living permanently on the back end of the clock that encourages some people to unplug from What’s Really Going On.  I just flew a domestic segment the other day with one such flight attendant, who felt compelled to make good and sure that everyone who crossed her path knew that she only flies international.  She saw to this by starting every sentence (on a 5.5-hour flight) with that very phrase.  “I only fly international,” she would say to me.  “Where are the stir sticks?”  Or, to a passenger, “I only fly international, but I will try to hang your coat.”  As if, when flying international, the stir sticks and coat closets are so very glamorous that she has been rendered unable to recognize their domestic counterparts.  And pointing out that they are identical products in identical locations served only to egg her on.  “I only fly international,” she patiently reminded everyone within earshot, “so I wasn’t sure…”

This is a very common attitude in bases with mixed international and domestic flying, and is annoying for several reasons, not the least of which is, if you only flew international, you wouldn’t be getting up my nose today on this domestic segment, now would you?  I flew international for ten years, and the toilets may indeed be more glamorous in Japan than they are in Rochester, NY, but I know you still use them same as I do, and it doesn’t smell like fresh-baked cinnamon rolls when you flush.  In a word?  Getoveryourself. Continue reading