Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Airline Pet Fees

Although there are several things in this world I don't understand, and being blonde never seems to help the situation. I cannot seem to wrap my head around an airline pet fee. For those of you not aware of what it is I speak, heres the breakdown.

When you travel on the airlines, with your pet, you must pay a fee. This fee runs from $75 (each way) up to $200!!! Its sometimes more than MY ticket!

Now, if my pet is going in the belly of the plane, I can understand this. A little care is needed to make sure the pet is secured properly and that they are kept upright so your dog doesn't show up in Sheboygan with his food on his head and a broken paw. Or if the dog is of great weight or size and a few portly gentlemen need to get their lift on to get the pup into the belly, I get that.

BUT........this is not my scenario. Not even close. Here is how traveling goes with my 6lbs of crazy that goes under the seat in front of me.

1. Walk the pup to make sure he is fully disarmed before heading to the airport.

2. Offer up a little peanut butter laced with a doggy downer so that the pooch is mellow and chillin' before he is folded up like an origami crane into his carrier.

3. Fold up pup like an origami crane and stuff into said carrier.

4. Wrestle all your bags and purse to taxi while keeping pup upright. (Note: Sheboygan scenario)

5. Wrestle all bags out of taxi and into airport while keeping pup upright.

6. Try to check in at kiosk and once kiosk tells you to "See Agent", then try to find someone who actually wants to help you. They usually tell you to check in at the kiosk with a great deal of annoyance in their voice.

7. Hoist pup in carrier.....while keeping tell agent you CAN'T check in at the kiosk because you have a pet.

8. Once the agent has rolled their eyes and let out a large sigh because they actually have to DO SOMETHING, you try to act cheerful and polite.

9. Pull out documents for pet travel. This would be the Health Certificate that all airlines require for your pet. You must get one within 10 days of travel. Here is the breakdown of fees to acquire one from your vet:

$55 office visit
+$45 Health Certificate
$100 for a piece of paper

10. Agent asks for your ID.

11. Agent asks how you would like to pay for your pet to travel.

12. Agent takes payment and issues pet a boarding pass, along with yours.

13. Agent never asks to see the FREAKIN' HEALTH CERTIFICATE!!!
*Note to self: White out recent health certificate and forge all future ones. (F-ers!)

14. With any luck, your one big bag has been taken and you have only your dog and your purse to now wrestle with....but if you are flying DELTA like I am tomorrow, you must now drag your beastly bag over into ANOTHER line so that you can hand it off to someone who will throw it in a pile to be screened. I love this conversation.

"Is this your bag?"
"No, I love to randomly grab other peoples bags so I can stand in this line again and again."
"Has anyone asked you to carry anything today?"
"Yes, 8 packages containing cocaine, but as you can see, my hands are already full, so I only could fit 3 in my bag. Can I go now?"
"Is your bag unlocked?"
"Its a duffle bag, does it look unlocked genius?"

15. Once bag is dropped off for the scanning, its off to security. Good times!

16. Find the line without the dad struggling to close the stroller and the mom trying to wrangle the 3 children.

17. Grab several grey trays.

18. Tray 1 - Shoes

19. Tray 2 - laptop

20. Tray 3 - Coat....for some reason coat and shoes are not allowed to snuggle in together. I think its discrimination against the shoes.

21. Unload dog from carrier and try to catch him before he makes a b-line for the food court.

22. Stand like an idiot in socks, holding the pup and trying to keep both boarding passes and your ID available for viewing.

23. Walk through scanner.

24. Dern. Dogs tags set off scanner.

25. Remove dogs tags.

26. Go through scanner again.

27. Phew!

28. Refold dog back into carrier.

29. Return laptop to bag.

30. Put shoes back on and try to play off that there was a big hole in your sock.

31. Grab all bags, coat and dog. Try to get around the dad that is now wrestling to open the stroller on the other side.

32. Do not run over 3 kids mom is still trying to wrangle, although secretly you want to.

33. Finally get to the gate and realize that you are now sweating.

34. After waiting for a few hours, its time to board.

35. As people line up to board, try not to get mad that they are pushing by you and smacking your dogs carrier with their luggage. Completely oblivious to the fact that its not all about them.

36. Board plane.

37. Flight attendant may or may not realize you have a pet. If they do, dog gets a "Aw! How cute!"

38. Get to seat. Throw purse in overhead compartment.

39. Scrunch up your face as you realize the seat area below is a lot smaller than the measurements they posted on their website.

40. Turn dog carrier sideways and then shove with foot to "make it fit".

41. Give empathetic look to pup.

42. During flight, skillfully pull out carrier and offer dog water and food that you have packed.

43. At end of flight deplane as another flight attendant coos "Oh! Look! How cute!"

44. Wrestle carrier and purse off plane and down to baggage claim.

45. Retrieve checked luggage, if it actually made it and its not in Sheboygan.

46. Depart airport.

Now. I realize this is quite detailed and it needed to be because......WHAT DID I GET FOR MY PET FEE? A flight attendant coo? Really? $200+ to hear a flight attendant tell me how adorable I already know my pet is? Is this some self esteem fee for those people who may not actually realize their pet is cute? Its not for food, cuz I brought my own. Its not for water cuz I brought my own. Is it because I used one of my carry on bag allowances for my dog? Wait. Let me get this straight. I can carry on two bags for free if there is nothing live in them, but if I decide to put something live in them, they are going to charge me?

They don't touch my dog. They don't feed my dog. They don't walk my dog. They certainly don't handle my dog at all AND i'm giving up a carry on for my dog, but they are charging ME! Can SOMEONE please explain this to me? This falls under one of those moments where you wish you qualified for ignorance is bliss. But because my IQ is actually 3 digits instead of 2, it infuriates me to no end.

I think I'll call the airlines and tell them I'm going to stop showering for 30 days before my flights and if they want me to shower, it'll cost them $200. Who am I kidding. I can't stand myself after 2 days. Hence the reason I never go camping.

I wish I had a leg to stand on with this one, but I don't. Its my hassle to deal with if I actually want to bring the pup on a trip. I just hope the rumors I hear about the airlines charging for other things, like using the bathrooms aren't true. There will be a whole new use for those airsick bags and I seriously doubt I'll hear one single flight attendant coo "Oh! How cute!" when I hand them a full one.

Take that you F-ers.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Its beginning to feel a lot like Disney!

I don't know why I'm saying that but there is something about this time of year that makes me think of Disneyland. I have several groups of friends who love planning a day there. Its just magical. I know some people grumble about the prices and I agree that its getting ridiculous to pay $72 for a 1 Day pass. When I moved here 10 years ago, it was about $40, so it has nearly doubled. I honestly don't know how some people are affording it with children! I sometimes have to scrape my pennies together for myself......and I make good money!

Oh who am I kidding, I buy the Southern California Annual Pass because I usually go so many times a year that it just makes sense. But THAT is ridiculous as well, especially since all the days you REALLY want to go are blacked out and you have to pay the $72 anyway. Whatever. Here is why I keep putting up with the pricing.

Its the happiest dern place on earth. Plain and simple. Where else can you go where the employees are cheerful and thank you and treat you like they are so happy to have you as their guest? Has that EVER happened consistently anywhere else? When you go to Jiffy Lube do those guys practically bust out in a chorus line to thank you for coming so they can change your oil? Never. You're lucky if they even look up....or (gasp)....speak!

Disneyland is a day of sunshine and sugar. I've even had to learn to curb my truck driver mouth at Disneyland because I have been gently reminded by the people that sweep the streets that there are children present. "There are? Where? Here?" Yea, they were right and I have since switched my "Holy sh*ts!" to "Holy Banana Poo!" just for the occasion. Its worth it though. Where else can you pay $3.75 for a churro? I mean seriously folks! I realize I am paying $3 for the smile...and well, .75¢ for the actual churro, but dang-it, its worth it! A sugar high from a person that at least appears to enjoy their job! Do you find that anywhere else? No you don't!

I haven't even mentioned the rides. Ah, Pirates of the Caribbean. Captain Jack Sparrow. Need I say more? Just stay away from the actual character walking around. The guy I met a few years back was wickedly rude. I touched his sleeve to get his attention and ask for a photo and all I got was a nasty "Don't.......touch......Love!" The "Holy Banana Poo" got replaced with "You're an a-hole!" happens, we all slip on occasion. Sorry to any children in the vicinity that day. Hope you aren't scarred by hearing such things.

But back to the rides! Where else would you happily stand in line for over an hour to get spun through a dark globe and then have your picture taken as you were about to throw up on the last hill? Space Mountain! Of course you would! Where else would you climb into the most rickety spine slamming rollercoaster that puts your life in danger by putting you face to face with the abdominal snowman? (Like most kids, I used to say abdominal and it stuck.....not that I could even venture a guess as to how to, you know what I mean.)

There is just something about Disneyland that lets you escape the world of hell outside its gates. Its cheerful, its clean and even though a cookie costs more than your car payment, you will happily pay it because for once in our lives, someone isn't inconvenienced to get it for you!

So I'm reminded of Disneyland this time of year because if you go when the park is decorated for the holidays, its even more magical than it usually is. It takes you back to being a kid and watching all the Christmas specials on tv like "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", "Frosty the Snowman" and of course "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Its like you get to step into those magical places and live there for a few hours. The lights, the smells and of course, the California "snow". Its just pure magic and I don't know about you, but I am willing to pay for a little "happy reality" for a while instead of the real reality of rude people and bad drivers....who can't seem to find their turn signals......another blog, another time....

This next story will about sum up the reality of Disneyland. Back in 2001, my friends and I, had been planning for months to take a Friday off and go to Disneyland on September 14th. Then, the most dreaded event in U.S. history, for our generation, happened. September 11, 2001. We were all shell shocked and scared. We had talked about rescheduling our visit. Then we decided that we needed to continue on with our lives and not let that day stop us. Yes, it was only 3 days after the most horrific day, but we needed a break from our tv's and the "fear machine" as I like to call the news.

We got to the gates of Disneyland and it was like a weight was lifted. We could all exhale. We could laugh. We could enjoy the beautiful weather and unwind from the extreme horror we had all witnessed. We had a wonderful day and the park was virtually empty because people were still home glued to their tv's. We had gotten out of the house and decided to not let this event stop us from being Americans and being free. We ate junk food till we almost barfed and we rode all the rides at least twice. We felt better. We felt alive and we were thankful for that. Because in the end, we figured, if someone decided to bomb Disneyland, at least we would die at the happiest place on earth and we were all okay with that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Chronicles of Roo.

Poor Roo. If he had known he was going to become a prisoner to 6 lb chihuahua, he never would have agreed to be shrink wrapped to a bottle of shampoo. But we all make mistakes in life. We all make miscalculations. We all take a shot and sometimes we win.....and sometimes our tail ends up in someones teeth.

Poor Roo. I was in Target about 6 months ago looking for some shampoo because I was clean out of the expensive stuff and thought.....does it really matter THAT much? Do I really need to spend $40 on shampoo to make my locks irresistible to men? Then I remembered that I hadn't had a man anywhere near my hair in quite some time, so the answer was a resounding NO! I was about to save myself about $36! Yaaayyy!!

I remembered using Aussie products years ago when I was scraping by in the world...and let's face it....who isn't these days right? I especially love their 3 min Miracle conditioner. Awesome stuff! So I'm perusing the Aussie products they have and I see the shampoo I want, but there is a little purple kangaroo shrink wrapped to it. Do I really NEED a little stuffed kangaroo? Do I know a little person who may enjoy it? Not really. I had this conversation with myself because I am trying to cut down on the clutter. Waaaaaay too much useless stuff in my house. I've had a stop on spending for all things ridiculous like candles for almost 10 years now because frankly, I have enough candles to burn my house down 100x over and still burn down the entire neighborhood. Too.....much.....junk.

But I wanted the shampoo and there was no shampoo that didn't have a little purple Roo was coming home with me with its fate to be determined.

About a week passed and Roo sat on my dining room table. Still couldn't figure out what to do with Roo. My friend came over to go to breakfast and I explained my dilemma. "No little cousins?" Nope. "No one who recently had a baby?" Yea, no. "Does Monkey not like it?" Monkey! I hadn't even thought about Monkey! Without another word she picked up Roo and winged him across the room. Like a flash of lightning, a tasmanian devil on a mission, Monkey flew off the couch in hot pursuit!

And there is was. Roo had a purpose. Six pounds of crazy would drop even a milkbone to pursue the great flying purple Roo! Monkey is so in love that he will carry Roo to bed and even try to bring him on walks. "No Monkey. Put Roo down. I'm not going to have you drop him somewhere and then I'll have to spend the night combing the neighborhood with a flashlight looking for Roo. Leave him here."

Although Monkey has managed to chomp off one of Roo's ears, its a good thing he has a pouch because the little nibblet of an ear has a permanent cozy home with his owner. Who knew that the Aussie company would unknowingly create such a love affair. I have never seen a ball of fur move so fast and yet carry his beloved so gingerly in his teeth. Ok, there is an occasional chomping too, but Roo has made a place for himself in a house where little bits of uselessness were banned.

Long live Roo!

Friday, December 11, 2009

McRib is back!


Can someone please explain to me WHAT exactly the McRib is? I hate to point out the obvious, but when you go to a restaurant to eat ribs, you eat the meat in between and leave the ribs. Sooooooooo......if you order a McRib, are you pulling ribs out of this sandwich? The whole thing is wickedly shady and if you DON'T pull ribs out of your sandwich.......(dare I ask)........what are the ribs made out of?

I'm thinking if you saw the McRib piece before they drown it in BBQ sauce it would probably be some shade......of grey. And I can't imagine that would be all that appetizing to lay eyes upon. I'd really like to see the McRib form they use to press the pseudo meat into this.......odd........side of ribs....shape......ick. My stomach is turning. But did they make a mold out of wax first and then pour plaster over it....and then.........I dunno.

This is a total headscratcher. Although I am super curious.........I am also super scared.

I guess scared is a better place to be because my conscious will be clear knowing that I have not, nor will I ever ingest.......a rib..........eeesh.

Just sayin.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers.

Gerard Butler has a quiet, dangerous kind of sexiness about him. I guess after the movie "300" and that moonlit nakedness he shared with us, it would be hard to not see him as dreamy.....and dangerous....and yummy..... (drooling)

Whoops. Sorry.

Last Monday I was at my day job as a motion picture advertising editor.....have I told you that yet? I can't remember.....especially since I post so far in between on this I'm at work. I see one of our clients is in house running around with our President and another editor. There becomes a gaggle of guys just outside my office carrying on and being loud boys. I have to run to the printer. I run to the printer through this gaggle of boys SEVERAL times, never looking up and taking any of them in. Its our client, President, etc.

After a bit, they disappear into the room next to me to record some voiceover. I dunno. Wasn't paying attention and wasn't really caring, but annoyed that they were sitting outside my office carrying on LOUDLY about boy stuff.

My friend and partner in crime for junk food, Lauren....whom I am lucky enough to work with, IM's me and says "OMG! Gerard Butler was out there for 10 mins!" My response was immediate and frantic..."Out where? OUTSIDE? IS HE STILL THERE!?! WTF!?!" She tells me that he was in the

I quickly grab a mirror to check my roots. Nope, brunette. But what a stunning performance as a dumb blonde! Never. Looked. Up. Gerard Butler 10 feet from me and closer because i walked by him........(embarassed to admit).........4 times........without........looking......up.


So the afternoon wears on and as the buzz of Mr. Butler's presence gets around to all the females, suddenly meetings are being had with the conference room doors open and male co-workers asked to get out of the way of the line of sight to the voice over booth door. It was a bit stressful. I couldn't miss him AGAIN! That would be pathetic.

After about 3 hours, I was sitting with my edit bay door open and working on something with my boss Anna. It had been so long that I had actually forgotten he was in house. So Anna and I were discussing something I was working on and all of the sudden I look up and the divinely handsome and ridiculously yummy Mr. Butler was standing IN MY DOORWAY peering in.

I am SO glad I knew he was in house because otherwise I would have looked at him and yelled out something resembling "HOLY BUCKING GRIT!".......aaaaaaaaaand that would have looked bad for our company. But instead, I was in conversation with Anna and simply glanced at this outrageously delicious man and looked back at Anna, all the while talking.

Suddenly, he speaks. "Hey, do you have internet in here?"
My attention turns, "Why yes, I do. Here on my laptop. Go ahead."
I'm still trying to continue with Anna, but all is lost. Gerard Butler is standing so close that I could literally wrap my arm around his leg and gently lay my head upon the side of his hip and start purring. Would that be too obvious? Yea, I didn't think so either. But instead he continues.

"How are you ladies today? Is there anything I can help you with?"
My one eyebrow slowly curved towards my hairline in a devilish manner. The ideas flashing quickly through my head. Wow, that's quite a list and what fun! But wait....I can't. I shouldn't.....I should because after all its every woman for HERSELF!

But I don't.

All I come up with is...."Want to record my outgoing voicemail message?"
"Yea! Bring it up!"

My fingers start nervously fumbling with my phone. Gotta call voicemail then actually figure out how to rerecord the message. Hands shaking so bad, hit the wrong menu item and have to start over. Am I going to be too nervous to figure this out? Will he walk away because I take to long? He is 1 foot from me and I still want to hug his leg, but I get it figured out and he says, "What's your name?"
"Standard greeting?"
"No, Kira's tied up right, kidding. Standard greeting is great."
"Hi this is Gerry Butler, Kira's unavailable at the moment but if you leave a message, she'll get back to you. Have a great day."

Someone asked me how I even thought to ask him that. I don't know. Just popped in my head. And now I get to hear Gerard Butler say my name anytime I want. Life is good.

A few days later, someone at work asked me about meeting him. They asked if I thought he was handsome and all I could say was, "I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers."

And its true.

So if Gerard Butler ever shows up at my house with a box of Ritz, you can be sure I will let him in. Just sayin'.