Saturday, January 15, 2011

You Never Know Who You'll Meet

The very first time I flew, I was a sophomore in college. I was going home for Christmas break and I was getting a ride from some friends of my step-dad. Keep in mind, this takes place in Arkansas and the wife, Sheila, was a good Southern lady. She does big hair & big make-up every day. My flight was crazy early in the morning and I threw on some jeans & a tshirt. I washed my face, but I was NOT going to put on make-up or do my hair for a flight this early. I walked out the bathroom and Sheila gave me the up-and-down and said, "Is that what you're going to wear on the plane?" Well, yeah. And she shook her head and said, "Oh honey, but you just never know who you're going meet!"

She meant this in the sense that I could sit down next to a man and he could turn out to be my husband. And I scoffed at it at the time. But to this day, any time I am tempted to leave the house looking sloppy, I hear Sheila's voice in my head, "But you just never know who you're going to meet!"

Now, I like to consider myself stylish. I like to think I have good taste. When I travel on my own time, I like to be comfortable but still look put together. I've purchased items of clothing specifically to wear whilst traveling. I own a pair of simple black leggings that I wear with tunic-length tops & a black blazer or long black cardigan. I have a few black jersey dresses that I can layer things under or over. I wear easy-on, easy-off boots or flats. I brush my hair. If it's not cooperating, I put it up in a bun. I accessorize a bit with a scarf or a long necklace. I wear a bit of make-up.

None of this is complicated and because it's all made out of stretchy materials like jersey, it's all comfortable. And I don't have to resort to a pair of sweatpants with words across the ass. And I don't scrape my bedhead into a rat's nest of a pony tail. I don't top it with a 3-sizes-too-big hoodie. And I don't tuck my sweatpants into a pair of Uggs. I do not understand this apparent lack of pride in what one wears. The girls (and women!) I see dressed like this look like they don't care. They look like they've stopped trying. Comfort is one thing. Sloth is another.

My feelings on this partly come from spending two semesters studying abroad in Italy. In Italy, even the street kids have a certain style they represent. Little old ladies wear stockings, heels, skirts & blouses to go to the grocery store. Little old men wear suspenders and dress pants to go to the bar for a coffee. People dress themselves. They don't just pull something off the floor because they're only going to the post office and who are you going to meet at the post office? Well, you just never know.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bourbon Breeze

So, I'll just start this off by saying I know next to nothing about bourbon. My affinity for it is a very recent development and I'm not entirely sure how it happened. I'll give you a little backstory.

The very first time I got good & drunk was at one of my sister's parties. She was pouring me very modest Jack & Cokes, w/ about half a shot of Jack per drink. After several of these, I wanted another and she cut me off. Granted, I was 17, but still. I went behind her back and asked her friend to pour me a drink. He dumped about half the bottle of Jack in a glass and topped it off with a splash of Coke. I chugged that one like I'd chugged all the rest and was promptly sick. And terribly hung over the next day. And for yeeeeears, I couldn't stand even the smell of Jack Daniels and the one time I accidentally drank Coke after that, my mom said my face turned green.

So I had this idea that Whiskey + Sarah = Bad Times. But then somehow I started drinking whiskey sours? And I noticed that I liked some better than others. And then I realized I liked whiskey sours made with Jim Beam better than with Jack Daniels. And that made me realize that the difference was that Jack Daniels is a Tennessee whiskey and Jim Beam is a Kentucky Bourbon whiskey. And last summer, the ex-boyfriend & I got fancy with cocktails and I started making whiskey sours from scratch. And then one time on a layover, I'd had a hard day so I wandered into a liquor store in a strip mall across from my hotel. I bought two mini bottles of Jim Beam Black. I was going to buy a soda to mix it with, but I was feeling ballsy so I decided to just sip it over ice. And I liked it.

Fast forward to a discussion with a passenger in first class. We had started carrying Woodford Reserve bourbon on the plane and I'd had a LOT of passengers get very excited about this. So I was talking to this passenger about how I don't really know anything about bourbon or what makes a good bourbon. And he told me, Woodford Reserve makes a good bourbon. So, the next time I managed to pass ride in first class, I ordered a Woodford Reserve on the rocks. And it was love at first sip.

It is ridiculously smooth. I like to let it sit on my tongue for a moment or two after I sip it and let the vanilla aroma fill my mouth. I've since dispensed with the ice because it eventually waters it down. And Woodford Reserve is really the only reason I ever hope for a first class seat anymore. I've even been known to order it on a 7am flight because, really? Why not? At the liquor store, it costs about $30 a bottle and I always blanch at the cost, even though I know I will savor and enjoy it. It's on the list of things I definitely need to purchase when I get my holiday pay in February.

The title today comes from an abomination we're supposedly promoting on our flights this month, in which we're supposed to ruin the amazing deliciousness of Woodford Reserve w/ cran-apple & orange juice. I gag just thinking about it. And the only person I've had who ordered it took about two sips and asked me to take it away. Who comes up with these things?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

On the Topic of Uniforms

So, speaking of creating a style blog. I took this picture on a layover because this is essentially my Layover Uniform. But then I realized that this is actually my Everyday Uniform. I wore the EXACT SAME THING yesterday to go shopping. White v-neck tshirt, long gray cardigan, scarf, skinny Express jeans from 5 years ago, and either ballet flats or black boots, depending on the weather. I honestly wear some variation of this outfit EVERY DAY. Occasionally, I do put together something like my New Year's Eve daytime outfit. But otherwise, this is my look.

Part of my dilemma is dressing for my new shape. This time last year, I was 50 pounds heavier. I had exactly one pair of jeans that sort of fit, but I hated wearing them b/c the waistband cut into my stomach and caused a muffintop. I lived in the same size 14 a-line skirt from Old Navy with an assortment of tights, tshirts & cardigans. I was trying to hide my shape, not emphasize it.

I spend enough time in a uniform. I have exactly one uniform dress that fits, so I just wash it out every night on trips. So, I wear the same thing every time I go to work. And I wear the same thing every time I don't go to work. Let's work on this, shall we?

New Year, New Goals

So it's the second day of a new year. 2010 was a pretty good year for me. I lost close to 50 pounds. I ran my first 5K race. I was a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding. At that wedding, I met an incredible guy with whom I am head over heels in love. I had to break up with the boyfriend I'd been dating for almost a year. And yes, that is chronologically accurate. I'm generally not one to hop from one relationship into another, but when it feels right, it feels right.

So, what's going to happen in 2011? For one thing, I'm planning on maintaining this newfound girlish figure. My first purchase of the new year was two pairs of running pants. I'd like to participate in a few more 5K races this year, once Minneapolis starts to thaw out. Because I don't have a gym membership, I don't get much of a chance to go running in the winter. I use the treadmills in the fitness centers of hotels I stay in, but I'm not consistent. I haven't been consistent about my workouts in months, which is a shame and is something new for me to work on.

The other big goal for 2011 is to FINALLY get my financial shit in order. I am terrible with money anymore. I think the biggest thing is going to be figuring out a budget. I need to sit down and figure out what my bare minimum income is and then write down all of my expenses and compare the two. I need to make cuts in my expenses and start being more aware of how much money I'm spending every time I go to Target. I have a few big purchases I'm planning to make in February, when I get my holiday bonus & my tax return, but the rest will probably go toward paying off a credit card. That's the other thing. I think I really need to take my credit cards out of my wallet so I am not tempted to use them to bridge the gap between paychecks. But yes, I need to figure out a budget and actually stick to it.

The third item on my list of goals for the new year is to write more. And I guess by write more, I mean update my damn blog more. My friends and loved ones have been on my case to do something with my writing. I have a degree in Journalism that I am clearly not using at the airline. But people do seem to enjoy my writing and I enjoy doing the writing.

I've been trying to figure out what direction I'd like to take with this blog. While it will obviously come up, I don't think I want to focus on my job. I think there is too much of that sort of "Oh these craaaazy passengers!" thing already and I don't want to do something that's already been done and done. I've thought about starting to take pictures of my outfits and going the style blog route. I do enjoy getting dressed & putting together ridiculous outfits to go to Target. Then there is the continuing healthiness journey I'm currently on. And this new quest to get my money shit together.

So for a while, I think this blog is going to be a bit schizo while I figure out what niche I want to fit into. In a way, this is appropriate considering that the title of this blog is "Up in the Air."

p.s. Speaking of putting together ridiculous outfits to go to Target, here is a really shitty webcam shot of the outfit I wore New Year's Eve day b/c I had no plans for New Year's Eve night. Those boots are a much more brilliant shade of emerald green in person. They were a ridiculous purchase and I never wear them b/c they are a shade too tight on my calf. One of these days, I will finally take them to the cobbler and have them stretched.