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Well, isn't THAT convenient?

Posted by SkyGirl Apr 26, 2013

Well, well, well.  Funny how those lawmakers find a quick "fix" to the FAA furloughs juuust in time to accommodate THEIR flying needs.  Yes, it will certainly end some of the chaos I've been experiencing over the last week or so.  But how unfair that those selfish legislators can change the sequestration in order to make THEIR lives easier, while leaving the cuts that affect the less-affluent people in place.  It's not right.  But I won't smoke over the injustice of it.

Ok, just to make sure that Shawn remembers me (:-p back atcha, girl!), I'm going to actually post twice within a 24 hour period!  And also because it felt SO good to get comments from so many of my dear friends here on EX!  

I'm so sorry to keep talking about my job, but the job I have is really a lifestyle as much as it is a job and so much of how I live is affected by what happens in my job and here's the latest...  Have you guys all been reading about the FAA layoffs?  What a nightmare!!!  My crew was supposed to fly from Salt Lake City into LAX tonight, which is an easy two hour flight.  

But due to FAA layoffs (which they are calling "sequestrations".  HUH???), there were only TWO Air Traffic Controllers working the entire Los Angeles airport tonight.  TWO?  Yes, only TWO guys handling all the hundreds of flights coming in and going out of LAX.  To those of us whose safety depends upon those controllers who schedule runway usage and guide flights in and out of airports, THAT is an uncomfortable, almost terrifying, situation.  C'mon, one guy gets too tired at the wrong moment?  Or spends too long on a bathroom break?  Or gets distracted at a critical time?  Yikes.

Anyway...due to this crazy FAA stuff, my flight out of SLC was delayed for close to four hours, so now I'm stuck in Los Angeles tonight instead of working the red-eye back to DC.  Arrrgh.  And I'm admitting that when we walked out of Door 7H and half my crew lit up immediately...for just a second...I wanted a cigarette.

But it WAS for just a second.  And it was never a REAL possibility.  It was no more than a conditioned response to stress and fatigue.  And the very best part of all that was my AWARENESS of my thought process and my subsequent immediate ability to recognize that old smoker's response.  

Tonight, I could step outside the momentary craving and brush the feeling off.  And I could do that because, when I was getting ready to quit, I had taken the time and effort to EDUCATE myself about nicotine addiction and how nicotine actually makes physical changes in your brain.  Once you understand nicotine addiction, it changes the whole way you look at your "need" to smoke.  To the new folks: please go read an article entitled, "Nicotine Addiction 101" on  (I know I sound like a broken record when I keep recommending that article...but it made a huge impact on me. I'm hoping it will also make a difference for others.

xxxooo,    Sky   (P.S.  Um...Shawn who?  LOL!)

I just looked at my own blogs to see how long it's been since I last posted.  It's been TWELVE days!  I don't think I've ever gone that long without writing a blog here.  Hello, does anyone even remember me anymore??  ;-)

I knew this was going to be a tough month, though.  I have exactly THREE days off during this entire month.  Flying that much does killer things to your body and your brain.  Some days I have as little as 10 hours off between trips.  So I am telling the truth when I say that I am half-dead in Salt Lake City!  A few more hours of rest here, then work to LAX and work the red-eye back to DC, arriving at 6:20am.  I hope I live long enough to get to our Vegas get-together next month!

I've talked here before about how, when I was a smoker, I had favorite layover cities.  At least, I THOUGHT they were my favorites.  After I quit, I realized that I loved certain layovers on the basis of how easy it was to smoke at the hotels.  Hotels with balconies?  The BEST!  Hotels with comfortable sheltered smoking areas?  GREAT!  Hotels with ashtrays by the pools?  EXCELLENT!  I'm chagrined to think that I ranked my enjoyment of certain layovers because of how easily they accomodated my addiction.  Sheesh.  

I'm talking about this because our layover hotel in Salt Lake City was one of those old favorites of mine.  Balconies!!!!  And never mind those little stickers on the sliding glass doors that said "No smoking on balcony".  Heck, I'd take a paper coffee cup with water in it (my "ashtray") and stand out on the balcony for hours, smoking my guts out.  The really stupid part?  I'd tell myself that it was good for me to do this because of all the FRESH AIR I was getting, since my job keeps me stuck in closed-up airplanes and airports all the time.  (A quick aside: you do NOT want to know the results of studies done on the quality of recirculated air in airplanes.)

Yes, the first time I stayed at this hotel in Salt Lake City after I quit was a real challenge.  But this time was different.  I woke up this morning and went to pull back the curtains for a view of the gorgeous snow-capped mountains and...wait!  This hotel has balconies!!!  I hadn't even thought about that fact once since I arrived late last night.  Boy, did that feel wonderful?  You bet it did.  I love being an ex-smoker.  Love it.  I never dreamed I'd love my new normal so very much.  Staying strong at 208 days!

Stick with it, everyone.  It may seem near-impossible in the beginning.  But the rewards are SO worth it.

xxxooo,   Sky

Hey, EXers, I'll be in Seattle tomorrow if anyone wants to get together for an early dinner.  Our layover hotel is right next to the airport with lots of parking.  Or it's just a few blocks from a Light Rail station where I could meet you.  I fly the red-eye out at 10:30pm tomorrow night.  If anyone in Seattle is interested, just let me know here or by private message.

Then, I will be in Houston for 24 hours starting at 5am on the 12th.  I'll be staying downtown on Fannin Street.  If there are any EXers in Houston, I would LOVE to have lunch, cocktails or dinner with you!  Again, just let me know or send me a message here on EX!

Don't be SHY!!!!


Hanging out with jojo!

Posted by SkyGirl Apr 10, 2013

I had a GREAT time getting together with jojo in Philly last week.  I think she had a good time, too! 

Here a few pictures (if I can get them to post...). 

And, NO, that isn't cigarette smoke in that one photo!  But it sure looks like it, doesn't it?  The bartender took that picture of us and that haze is steam coming up from the hot water running in the sink behind the bar.  But jojo and I both thought that it was kind of a cool picture because the "smoke" is sort of symbolic of how we met each other.  Yeah, it's a stretch, I know, but just go with it, ok?  ;-)

I couldn't go to Philly and NOT have a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, could I?  So...I ate meat.  It was a good sandwich, but I sent the second half of it home with jojo. 

And then I went and confessed to My Beloved that I had "slipped" and eaten an animal product.  I'm being purposely facetious, folks.  However I was very glad that it was only a sandwich I had to confess instead of a cigarette! come the pics.  I hope.  If not, I'll just keep trying to post them.

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I'll be in San Fran tomorrow for 12 hours and then working the red-eye to Philly.  Last time, I had a trip to Philly, it got canceled at the last minute.  But this trip looks good to go, so by Tuesday afternoon/evening, I should be hanging out with jojo in Philly!!!  I'm SO excited!

By the way, are there any EXers in Salt Lake City?  I have a really long layover (27 hours) there in the middle of April.  And, as you all know, I'm always looking to meet EXers on my layovers.

I also have long layovers in Seattle and three long layovers in Houston this month, too.

And, if you can't make it to Vegas for the EX get-together, at LEAST meet with me on a layover so I can take pics and then pass them around in Las Vegas in May.  RIGHT?

And, hey, I'm buying.  Can't argue with THAT, can you?

xxxooo,   Sky