Thursday, September 25, 2008

Andrea - Stanger on a Plane

Picture it: LaGuardia Airport, a Sunday night, boarding 45 minutes AFTER the plane was scheduled to take off. Billy Joel whistling The Stranger in the background

I get to my window seat with hardly a problem, okay so maybe we are running an hour late but no problems boarding. The plane starts to fill up and the middle seat has not been occupied yet, okay this could be good, an open middle seat. Then I see the obvious look of the person coming towards my row, in my head I am silently pleading "please be the aisle seat, please be the aisle seat" Yes! my pleading worked, the stranger is the aisle seat occupant. Next I hear the intercom turn on "Ladies and Gentleman, please take your seats quickly, we are closing the aircraft door and getting ready to take off" YES! Open middle seat. Now I can spread out a bit, not have to share my arm rest and prepare for take off and flight. I reach into my backpack - the one I never board a plane without in the last 10 years - and search for my pack of gum. Again I start conversing with myself - do I offer the stranger on the aisle seat a piece of gum and open up the possibility of having to have a conversation or do I just stick to my little window corner and pretend like I am the only one on the plane. Well my manners won out and I offered him a piece of gum.

He made a funny joke, politely declined my offer as he already had gum and went back to his book. As we take off, we both look out the window to see the beautiful NY City skyline grow smaller and smaller as we climb higher and higher. And then the inevitable happens, he starts chatting with me. Okay manners win again and I politely chat back. It actually turned out to be a nice conversation, where are you from, what do you do, etc. and we chat amicably and easily for a few minutes. Then he asks for my card, maybe we can keep in touch, grab a drink sometime. A slight moment of panic comes over me, do I give him my card, if not how do I get out of this, and while this inner dilemma is going on, without realizing what I am doing and much to my own surprise as well as it is way out of my character, I give him my card. Wait how did that happen? I never do that and I just did. Then the kind stranger says, "well your book is not going to read itself, I will let you get back to it."

All in all it turned out pretty good - an enjoyable conversation, a stranger on a plane that knows when to you let you read your book and a smooth flight that made up for delayed time in the air. Not bad for a Sunday night travelling the friendly skies.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tracy-First Time Mom Friend

I just got back from Washington state where I spent a week visiting one of my best friends from college. She had a beautiful baby girl, Piper and I went to give her some moral support and hopefully, a little time for herself.

Not having children of my own, I was a little hesitant what to expect living in a house with a one month old, two dogs, a cat my friend and her husband. Would there be incessant crying? How would I know what to say if the baby didn’t gain the right amount of weight at the doctor’s visit? What advice could I possibly have to offer this first time mom?

When Leslie and Piper picked me up at the airport, Leslie asked me to drive the hour and a half back to their house since it was so late. Normally, I would have no hesitation to drive, but this time was different. One, I had just flown across the United States and had been traveling for 8 hours. Two, her car is a stick shift and I hadn’t driven stick in about five years. And three, there is a one-month old in the car! Ok, no pressure here or anything. Just drive, on a dark, unknown highway with your best friend and her most precious gift in the back seat, an hour and a half, jetlagged. Sure, I can do that. Press in the clutch, feel the bite, don’t stop on any hills, sip the gas station coffee without jolting forward or stalling out. And, don’t wake the baby.

Well, we made it home safe and sound and I went right to bed. In a deep slumber, I heard nothing over night. Of course, Leslie and Piper were up multiple times throughout the night. I really had no right to complain and we soon were off walking a four-mile trail on the coastline of Washington, with the San Juan Islands in the distance. Halfway through the walk, we came upon a small town, with an outdoor plaza. Fairly secluded, Leslie wanted to try breast feeding in public for the first time. She told me she needed me there as support to know that she could do this. Again, not having children, I never took the time to think about what a big deal this must be in a mother’s life. It’s natural, yet feels unnatural to be doing this in public. Using a little apron-like coverup, Leslie as able to maneuver herself and the baby so there was no public viewing and all went well. I was so proud of her and glad that I was the one that gave her the confidence to be able to get past this difficult hurdle.

Throughout the week, there were so many firsts it was amazing to think that at age 37, you can still be a neophyte in so many areas. From Kenmore the dog ripping through the diaper genie to learning how to use the exercise ball as a bouncy chair to soothe a crying baby, a first time mom has much to learn. A first time mom friend must also learn as she goes. I wouldn’t have it any other way and am counting the days until I can see this new little family again. In the meantime, I’ll be practicing driving stick!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Andrea: Knitting For Charity

A few months ago I recieved a newsletter that talked about a knitting project that can be donated to charity for the holidays. I thought what a great idea, I love to knit and it would be great to knit for charity, so I kept the idea on the to-do list for when the timing was right to start knitting for the holidays.

As that time draws closer, and I have begun doing some research on patterns and charities, I discovered that there are so many great charities that are in need of home made items such as hats, scarves and afghans that I wanted to share them with other knitters, crocheters and crafters.

Be sure to click below to see all the great charities that accept knitted donation and lets get the needles clicking, the yarn rolling and projects finished and send some warmth to those in need. If you have a charity and a pattern that you currently use, please feel free to pass that info along to me either by commenting on this blog or emailing me at

Happy Holiday knitting! Knitting For Charity List

Andrea: 90210 Back!?

Yup I grew up with Kelly, Brandon, Brenda, Dylan and the whole Beverly Hills 90210 crew. I was even in the same "class" as they were but over here in the Norwalk 06850. I watched just about every episode the first time it aired for all 10 years that the show was on and I loved every minute of it. I continued to watch the show in repeats whenever I could and thanks to Soapnet I still can and do. (thank you soapnet!)

So when I heard that they were going to be featuring a new class at West Beverly I got really excited. I got even more excited when I heard some of the characters from my generation (can't believe I just said that) were going to be making an appearance.

As I suspected, the kids were a bit too young for me to really identify with but it was entertaining to watch and see new twists on the old story. But for me the best part was seeing the characters that I loved making appearance as well as some funny coincidences from the past. For example I love that both Kelly's little sister and Andrea's daughter are both in the show. But it still left me yearning to see more story line on Brenda and Kelly and the rest of the classmates. But I realize that this is not a show aimed quite towards me anymore but at the high schoolers like I used to be when the show originally aired.

So it looks like I will be visiting the halls of West Beverly again but maybe not as faithfully as once before and I will keep hoping to see more story line of my favorite characters, but until that happens I will just have to do with the small glimpses of the familiar.

Donna Martin Graduates!