“Snoop Dogg” & “Martha Stewart”

A few months ago, I read an article about the unlikely friendship between Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. They first met when he was a guest on her show in 2008, and their friendship has grown ever since. The article said that in 2016 they started a show together called, ‘Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, which premiered on VH1.

I searched for an episode on YouTube, and I have to admit that it was entertaining. They almost seem to balance each other, and it’s obvious by their back and forth banter, that they admire each other. Their show is now called, ‘Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Party Challenge.

This week I was teaching in Atlanta Public Schools. Out of 26 participants, I only had one guy in my group. As the week passed, I could tell that he appreciated my humor, and I definitely appreciated his. In other words, he was a good banter partner!

On the last day of the course, he approached me and asked if I had heard some of the participants laughing earlier in the day. I hadn’t heard them, or maybe I just didn’t notice. He told me that they were laughing about the two of us—they thought that we should hit the road and do an educational version of Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart!

I laughed SO hard! It might just work, but if not, maybe Martha & Snoop will want to invite us to their show!

United Airlines–tsk! tsk!

I was scheduled to head to Atlanta, GA on Sunday, June 2nd. It was a direct flight, so things should have proceeded smoothly. I’m going to use a list to lay out the timeline, so it’s easier to follow along with me on my travel debacle–

  1. 6:41 a.m./text–your 12:45 p.m. flight from Washington to Atlanta is delayed. UA6201 now departs at 4:39 p.m. (4:39 p.m.? What? Oh wait, this means that I don’t have to leave for the airport and I’ll get more time at home. Okay, this isn’t so bad.)
  2. 6:42 a.m./text–Your 12:45 p.m. flight from Washington to Atlanta is not as delayed as we indicated earlier. UA6201 now departs at 4:38 p.m. (HUH? Did you really just sent a message saying that it’s not at delayed as indicated earlier, and it’s a 1 minute difference!)
  3. 6:42 a.m./text–Your inbound plane is delayed because of a plane change that occurred last night as a result of maintenance-related schedule disruptions. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. Your estimated departure time is 4:38 p.m. arriving in Atlanta at 6:34 p.m. (Wait! Your knew this last night? Why did it take until 6:41 a.m. to get the first delay message?)
  4. Okay–I live an hour and ten minutes from the airport. We’ll leave for the airport later this afternoon.
  5. 1:19 p.m./text–Your 12:45 p.m. flight from Washington to Atlanta is delayed further because an earlier delay impacted your plane’s arrival. UA6201 now departs at 7:55 p.m. on June 2. We’re sorry for the extra delay and are working to get you on your way. (WHAT? You’ve known about this since last night. You can’t problem solve any faster than this? I also noticed that you didn’t even bother to let me know what time I could expect to arrive in Atlanta.)
  6. 1:19 p.m./text–Gate change: Flight UA 6201 from Washington to Atlanta now departs from Gate D20 at 7:55 p.m. on June 2. (Why are you even bothering to tell us about a gate change right now? Also, still no indication for arrival time.)
  7. Okay–I’m still at home–it would be much worse if I was already at the airport. It takes me an hour and 10 minutes to drive to the airport, so we’ll leave at 5:00 p.m. That will get me there by 6:30 p.m. at the latest–allowing a little buffer for traffic.
  8. 3:58/text–Your 12:45 p.m. flight from Washington to Atlanta is not a delayed as we indicated earlier. UA6201 now departs at 6:00 p.m. on June 2. (WHAT? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!)
  9. We raced out to the car and were on the road by 4:05 p.m. As we were driving, the following text came through: Your inbound flight is on the way and is now scheduled to arrive by 5:35 p.m. Your estimated departure is 6:00 p.m, arriving in Atlanta at 7:56 p.m. We realize how frustrating delays can be, so your patience is greatly appreciated. (Notice the wording–a few minutes ago it said leaving at 6:00 p.m., now it says estimated departure is 6:00 p.m. You appreciate my patience? I WAS patient until you decided to bump the flight earlier after telling me ALL day that it was leaving at 7:55 p.m!, forcing my husband to drive like he would on the Autobahn just so we can get to the airport on time.)
  10. Another text came through as we were driving. Reminder: Flight UA6201 from Washington to Atlanta departs at 6:00 p.m. on June 2. (Reminder? Why would I need a reminder? You just sent the same text three times in the last few minutes. First you say departs at 6:00 p.m., then you say estimated departure 6:00 p.m., then you said departs at 6:00 p.m.. Okay—I get it–we’re trying to get there!
  11. We hit massive traffic at the airport–bumper to bumper rounding the bend to departures. I arrived at United’s Premier ticket counter at 5:25 p.m. I punched my frequent flyer number into the computer and got a message that said there wasn’t a reservation under my name in the system. I typed it in again–same message. I asked for help from the lady behind the counter. She asked for me name and told me that she didn’t see a reservation under my name. I told her that I did have a reservation, and that I was receiving messages about the flight and that time was TICKING!
  12. She asked me to scan my credit card, so she could find my reservation–nothing! At this point someone farther down the counter asked her a question, and she walked away from helping me to answer their question. When she came back, I told her again that my flight time was approaching and that I was running out of time. I handed my license to her, and this time, she miraculously found my reservation. She was extremely short and abrupt with me–Friendly Skies? No, not this time!
  13. I ran, walked, ran, snorted, huffed and puffed my way to my gate—I’ve NEVER had to run to gate before with such a small window of time remaining.

14. As I approached my gate, I saw that the door was closed, so I figured that I had missed my flight. I was sweating and out of breath, and the woman at the counter looked at me with a weird expression as I raced toward her.

“I’m heading to Atlanta, has the flight left yet?”

“No,” she replied. The inbound flight hasn’t even landed yet.”

“What? Why in the world didn’t they tell me that at the ticket counter?”

UNITED–now I’ve lost my patience. THAT was unacceptable!

15. 6:01–Your plane has arrived. However, lightning has been reported close to Washington Dulles International Airport. For the safety of our employees, we’ve asked them to remain inside until the weather improves. We’re sorry for this inconvenience. Your estimated arrival time in Atlanta is 7:49 p.m. (What about our estimated departure time?)

15. I was given a $10.00 food/drink voucher by the woman at the counter for my inconvenience. United–$10.00? I went to Pizza Hut right across the hall from my gate and got pizza and a diet coke–the cost–$11.34. Nothing extravagant, and it didn’t even cover it. Others have been waiting in the airport for HOURS–$10.00 doesn’t come close to cutting it for them either!

16. Moments later I got this text: Delay Update: Your 12:45 p.m. flight from Washington to Atlanta is delayed further. UA6201 now departs at 6:45 p.m. on June 2. We’re sorry for the extra delay and are working to get you on your way. (HOW are you working on lightning? You just told us that was the reason for the delay.)

17. Back-to-back text: Delay update: Your 12:45 p.m. flight from Washington to Atlanta is delayed further because severe weather conditions on the way to your destination. UA6201 now departs at 7:15p.m. on June 2. We’re sorry for the extra delay and are working to get you on your way. (You’re GOD now? How are you working on it? You just said it was due to weather. How do you plan to work on that? AND please stop calling it the 12:45 p.m. flight–that’s getting a bit annoying.)

18. 6:32 p.m.–the passengers from the inbound plane de-boarded at our gate.

19. 6:48 p.m.–Much to everyone’s relief, we boarded our plane. When I scanned my ticket, the woman at the gate told me that I had been upgraded to 1st Class. Okay–things are improving.

20. We boarded and the pilot quickly got us out to the runway. He told us there would be a delay in take off because there was a long line of planes in front of us. Almost immediately, he came back on and said, “Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you. We have a very small window of opportunity. If we have to wait too long for take off, the flight crew will be ‘timed out’ and we won’t be allowed to fly. We’ve been going since 5:00 a.m.”

21. Sure enough, a few minutes later, he came back on and announced that the flight crew had ‘timed out’ and that he had to return us to the gate to de-plane.

22. When we got off the plane, the woman at the ticket counter told us to wait in the area until she could give us an update. She finally told us the flight was cancelled, and that we had to go to the customer service desk for help with re-booking. Since I was standing right next to her, I asked for clarification, “You can’t help us re-book?” She replied, “No, you have to go to the customer service desk.” She pointed down the hallway, and everyone stampeded in that direction.

23. I was about 10th or 12th in line, and it moved at a snail’s pace. At one point, fearful that I wouldn’t be able to be re-booked, I called United from my place in line. The representative told me that 10:00 p.m. flight that night was booked, and that the next available flight was at 12:45 p.m. the next day! I booked myself on that flight, knowing that I would have to cancel my first day of teaching. I asked if I could be put on the waiting list for the 10:00 p.m. flight and she informed me that she could only re-book, and that I had to continue to stand in line to be put on the waiting list. (WHAT? That’s crazy!)

24. I waited in line and was finally second in line, when the woman from my boarding gate stepped in and motioned for me to follow her to a nearby computer. I was grateful for her help, but why didn’t she help me hours ago when I first asked her? It was 9:05 p.m. when she started to help me, and 9:20 p.m. when she issued me a stand-by ticket for the 10:00 p.m. flight to Atlanta.

25. I arrived at the gate for the 10:00 p.m. flight at around 9:45 p.m.—that was cutting it close! Miracles do happen–I got on the flight!

26. I’m serious–miracles really do happen. Not only did I get on the flight, but my luggage made it to Atlanta, too! I finally arrived at my hotel at 1:00 a.m. and I was in bed by 1:30 a.m. My alarm went off at 5:45 a.m.

Yes, United–I’m tired! Shame on you! Yesterday was ridiculous! I could overlook it, if it was a rare occurrence, but things like this happen all the time. Tsk! Tsk!

Update—United apologized and issued me a $150.00 flight voucher for dealing with the hassle of this flight. Thank you!

Indiana—What Did I Ever Do to You?

For the last two weeks, I’ve had back-to-back trainings in Indiana. I’ve never trained here before and I must say that this place seems to have it out for me…

I was at my home airport for hours waiting for my flight to Dayton, Ohio—delay after delay, after delay. I finally landed in Dayton at around 5:30 p.m., which was about three hours later than I had expected. I still had to drive to the “middle of nowhere” Indiana, which was going to take about 1 1/2 hours.

About half way through the trip, it started to pour. The sky was really dark with low lying clouds. The landscape looked like a pancake—flat! I drove past miles and miles of flooded fields that looked more like lakes than fields. I came across two roads that were closed because of flooding. There were no detour signs, so I had to guess which way to go. With about 30 minutes left, I lost my cellular signal. I was lost and there was nobody around to ask directions, even if I had wanted to.

I thought it looked like a tornado could be brewing, but I had no way of knowing for sure. I kept myself pointed in the right direction, and on a wing and a prayer, I finally found my hotel. The town where I was teaching must have been in some kind of cellular dead-zone because I didn’t have service for the entire week. Ugh!

I don’t have time for this Indiana!

Fast forward to this week. I flew back to Dayton, and the trip in was uneventful. After landing I drove back into Indiana, and this time the drive was only about thirty minutes.

A few days later, I was in my hotel, and the TV show that I was watching was interrupted by a local weather report. There were tornado warnings in multiple counties including where I was staying.

The newscaster repeatedly said to get to a low level of the building. I was on the 4th floor of the hotel, which was the highest floor, so I listened to what he said! I went down to the lobby and I saw that the room was filled with many other nervous looking guests. Some were pacing around, while others were watching out the back windows and the back door. It felt comforting to be around other people, even though they were strangers.

I was standing in the 1/2 opened back door of the lobby with another woman, and we chatted with each other as we watched the thunderstorm raging above us. We turned around when we heard a woman yelling in the lobby. At first it was hard to understand what she was saying, but we finally figured out that she couldn’t find her husband, and she sounded panicked.

“Bob! Bob! Where are you? Has anyone seen my husband?”

At that same moment, I heard a man scream in the back parking lot. “Barbara! Where are you?”

I looked out the door and saw an older man running down the sidewalk towards me. I watched him trip and soar headlong into a metal fence. When he hit the fence, he screamed out in pain. I ran out and was the first to arrive at his side. His head was jammed into the fence and his body was completely sprawled out—partially in the gravel, and partially on the sidewalk.

As I bent over him, I could hear him moaning and he kept saying, “Oh no,” over and over again. I asked him his name and I tried to settle him down him down by talking as calmly as possible. “Bob—my name is Candee.”

Another man, who I later found out was named Joe, ran out of the building and squatted next to us. Bob kept saying that he was scared of being on the metal fence. When I asked if anything hurt, he replied, “My neck, I think I broke it!”

The only way I can describe how he looked, was that he reminded me of something that I experienced a long time ago at summer camp. We were on an outing and the camp bus hit a large bird.

The bus driver pulled into a parking lot, and all of the campers piled off the bus. We saw that a hawk was stuck in the grill/bumper. The bird’s head was jammed in so far that we couldn’t see it, and its body dangled in a twisted, awkward way. We were sure that it had broken its neck, and that it was probably dead.

The bus driver pulled and tugged on the hawk trying to free it, but at first it didn’t budge. When the driver tried again, the bird popped out, causing the driver to fall to the ground. The hawk hit the ground next to him, but landed on its feet. We watched the bird shake its wings and tail, and to our surprise, it flew away.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think Bob was going to fair as well the hawk. Every time that the thunder boomed over head, Bob reacted. “Get me off of this fence!”

I looked at Joe and he asked, “Do you think that we should move him?” I could tell that he was keenly aware, as I was, that we were still in the middle of a tornado warning.

I also knew Bob was terrified, but I didn’t want to injure him further. “Bob, what do you want us to do?”

“Get me off of this fence!” He wailed again.

Joe and I decided that if Bob could roll himself over, we would support him as he did it. I told Bob the plan, and he literally couldn’t extract his head from the fence, no matter how hard he tried. His shoulder was at a weird angle, and his head was pinned—just like the hawk.

Someone handed us a jacket, which we balled up under Bob’s head and neck to relieve some of the pressure. “Bob, what do you want us to do—do we need to call 911?”

“Yes,” he answered immediately.

I rubbed his back, and I tried to keep his mind occupied by talking to him. He finally couldn’t handle the terror any longer and he screamed, “I have to get off of this fence!”

Joe and I looked at each other for reassurance, and we tried as gently as we could to dislodge him and roll him over. It was hard to do, but we finally did it. When we rolled him over, we discovered that he had a lump the size of an egg on his forehead where he had hit the fence. To our surprise, we also saw that his blow to the head had bent the fence.

He was now on his back with the jacket under his head, but he seemed even more worried, because he was now looking directly at the storm above us. I began to rub his belly, and we continued to talk to him, asking any question that we could think of. I was deeply worried about him losing consciousness.

At one point, because I was running out of ideas, I took a shot at humor. “Bob…you picked a bad night to fall into a fence.”

He opened his eyes and replied, “Shit—oh, pardon my French—oh, shit!”

It was cute and funny all at the same time. Joe and I stayed by his side until the emergency crew showed up. We later found out that he has dementia. He and his wife were driving to Dayton, but had pulled off the highway because of the weather. They both got out of the car—she walked to the front door of the hotel, but for some reason he didn’t see her. He panicked and ran around the side of the building, and then found himself on the back side of the hotel. When she turned around in the lobby, she realized that he hadn’t followed her, so that’s when she started to panic.

After the ambulance left, Joe and I chatted with each other for a few minutes, and we decided that we made a pretty good team, and that we had worked well together. I found out later that at least five tornados had touched down that night.

Indiana—I’m serious—stop it!

The next day, I came out for work and discovered that my car had been “bombed” with the biggest poop splotch that I had ever seen. It must have been a pterodactyl, because nothing that you could say would convince me that any normal bird could do that! What else, Indiana? What else do you have for me? What did I ever do to you?

Oh—severe thunderstorms tonight! Yippee! On second thought…maybe it will wash away the pterodactyl poop!

A Sign of the Times—

Earlier tonight I ate dinner at the restaurant in my hotel. The waitress greeted me and handed me an iPad, which electronically housed their menu. I must admit that it surprised me a bit, but I began to click on the categories and didn’t think much more about it.

The waitress stopped at the next table and I heard her ask the man seated there if he was ready to order.

He looked up and said, “No—no, I’m not ready. I’m still trying to figure this menu out.”

I looked over and saw that he was probably in his late 70’s or early 80’s. I bet if you had asked him (or any of us) twenty-five years ago, if he thought menus would be computerized in restaurants, he would have had a good laugh over it!

The times are a changin’!

Come Back & Get Your Walker

I was waiting for my flight when I heard the following announcement—

“Whoever left their walker at Gate D12, please return to get it. It CAN NOT be left at the gate.”

I looked up from my book, wondering if I had somehow misunderstood the message. If a walker was needed to get to the gate, surely the owner would need it to walk away from the gate. Right?

The announcement came on again, and my curiosity was now piqued. How far had the person gone? Would they walk back to the gate if they heard the announcement?

What if they got tired?

I kept my eyes glued on the walker until my flight was called, but it remained unclaimed. Another unsolved mystery at the airport!

The Incredible Hulk

Overhearing a conversation has two universal truths. The first is that you can’t ‘un-hear’ it. The second, is that shy of sticking your fingers in your ears, you can’t keep yourself from hearing it in the first place.

Bottom line—you’re stuck. Tonight at dinner, I was sitting in a booth and there were two women sitting in the booth next to me. I could only see their heads, as the rest of their bodies were concealed by the high-backed divider between the tables

I could tell by the way they were talking, that they had known each other for a long time, but hadn’t seen each other for awhile.
What follows is what I overheard—

Lady 1: “I decided to get another tattoo.”

Lady 2: “Another one? You already have so many!”

Lady 1: “I know, and my tattoo artist tried to talk me out of it. I told her what I wanted, and she asked me if I was sure. I assured her that
I had given it plenty of thought.”

Lady 2: “Why didn’t she want you to get it?”

Lady 1: She said that the best tattoos, in her opinion, are the ones that have personal meaning. She was worried that I’d regret it.”

Lady 2: “Regret it? What did you want?”

Lady 1: “The Incredible Hulk.”

Lady 2: “The Hulk?”

Lady 1: “Yeah—the big green guy!”

Lady 2: “I know who the Hulk is! Are you joking?”

Lady 1: “Nope.”

Lady 2: “Where?”

Lady 1: “My thigh. It covers the entire upper part of my leg.”

Lady 2: “Are you kidding?”

Lady 1: “I’ve always loved the Hulk—you know that!”

Lady 2: “Now I know that you’re shittin’ me!”

I actually snorted. I was so completely engrossed in their conversation, and I really couldn’t tell if the woman was teasing.

Lady 1: “I’m not shittin’ you! Do you want to see it?”

She stood up next to the table, and all I could see was that she had a skirt on. She slid the bottom of her skirt up her leg, and I strained to see around the booth.

Lady 2: “Shit! It’s huge!”

Lady 1: “Yup—and I love it!”

Never in my life have I wanted to see something so badly. A full thigh-sized Incredible Hulk tattoo—and I missed it!

A Surprise Gift

The Perfect Gift for a Traveler!

I took the red-eye home from California last night, and I got home this morning around 9:30 a.m. Needless to say, I was tired and ready to head straight to bed.

Pierre told me that while I was gone, a package had arrived for me. I hadn’t ordered anything, and I wasn’t expecting a delivery, so the package was a bit of a mystery. My curiosity was piqued, but even more so because it was delivered in a hot pink mailing envelope! Sleep would have to wait…

The contents of the envelope included a bracelet and a hand-written note, that read—

I was browsing through the internet and saw this bracelet. I knew right away that it belonged to you! I totally enjoy hearing your stories and look forward to many more!”

I was so blown away by this sweet gesture that I started to tear up. (Tears? What tears? I just have something in my eye!) Of course, I absolutely love the bracelet, but what I love even more was her thoughtfulness. I write because I enjoy it, and it was so nice to hear that she enjoyed reading my stories.

Lynn–the pink packaging should have been a dead giveaway! Thank you SO much for thinking of me. You touched my heart and made my day! Thank you! ✈️📸🌎

He’s Famous!

I finished work on Friday and was scheduled to take the 11:30 p.m., red eye flight home from Los Angles. Because it was going to be a long flight, I wanted to walk or stand until it was time to board.

Even if I had wanted to sit, there wasn’t a single vacant seat in the waiting area. After wandering around for a awhile, I decided to queue up and stand in line for the last 10 or so minutes before boarding began. I was second in line, and the woman in front of me immediately turned around and began talking to me.

“Do you see that man over there?”

I looked to where she was pointing, and she continued without giving me a chance to respond. “He’s famous.”

“He is?” I look at the man again. He was well dressed, had gray hair, and appeared to be in his seventies. “Who is he?”

“I don’t know his name but I know that he’s a senator,” she explained, placing extra emphasis on the word ‘senator.’

Again, before I could reply, she continued, “Or a newscaster.”

“He’s a senator or a newscaster, but you don’t remember his name?”

“No—but I remember his face. If you give me a second, his name will come to me.”

She was so excited, that she literally couldn’t stop talking, it sounded more like a string of nonsense words as she tried to force his name out of her memory bank.

“Babble, babble, babble…Maybe John?”

I smiled and nodded, and silently wished that I had kept walking for the last ten minutes. Then I found myself wondering if she was going to be seated next to me on the flight.

“He’s the second famous person that I’ve seen tonight.”

“Oh yeah—what was that person’s name?”

“I don’t remember,” she replied thoughtfully, “But he was tall and black. He’s a basketball player.”

At this point, I was seriously considering stepping out of the line, but I was now wedged in by the people who had lined up behind me. An unnamed tall, black basketball player? An unnamed senator or newscaster? This was getting ridiculous.

She continued, “I looked at him with a look that said, ‘I know who you are.’ Then he looked back at me with a look that said, I know, that you know, who I am.”

Did you talk to him?” I asked, already regretting the question as it left my lips.

“No, but he knew, that I knew, that he was famous!” Repeating what she had already told me. As she finished, a man walked into the gate area, and she exclaimed, “There he is! Do you recognize him?”

“Ummmm…no, I don’t recognize him.” By this time, I was quite sure that neither of the men were famous, but I wasn’t about to tell her that.”

The loudspeaker crackled, interrupting our conversation, and the lady behind the counter announced that they were ready to begin the boarding process.

“Global service members can board now…”

The ‘senator’ and the ‘basketball player’ stepped forward and checked in. As I watched them disappear down the hallway leading to the plane, the lady turned around and declared, “See! I told you that they were famous!”

Of course, not all Global Service members are famous, but I have to admit that the situation was funny. When I boarded, I walked through 1st class, and saw that they were both already seated in that section. The basketball player smiled at me as I walked past him, and I smiled back. I wonder if he knew, that I knew, that he was famous?

I was seated in the row immediately behind first class, so I had plenty of leg room, but more importantly, SHE wasn’t seated next to me! 😃

Someone Paid for My Dinner? Who?

I went out to dinner last night, and I brought my book along with me, so it was a nice leisurely experience. When I finished, I asked my waitress for my check. She set it down next to me and enthusiastically said, “Here you you go!”

Something about her tone and actions made me pause for a moment, and as she walked away from the table, I began to wonder why she had just been so overly upbeat. I suspiciously looked down at my bill, and saw that the total was $0.00.

I motioned her back over, and when she was standing by my side again, I told her that she had given me the wrong check. She replied with a smile, “That’s your check!”

“I’m confused,” I admitted.

She leaned forward and dropped her voice to a whisper, “I was sworn to secrecy, but somebody in the restaurant paid for your dinner.”

I blurted, “Someone paid for my dinner?” Looking around, and seeing nothing to tip me off, I questioned again, “Who?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“You can’t tell me?” I squawked, in an embarrassingly psittacine manner.


The grin plastered to her face told me that she was enjoying the situation tremendously, so I simply replied, “Thank you!”

“I’ll pass along your message!”

I never found out who paid for my meal, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise. Life is fun! 😀

A Chance Meeting (on a shuttle bus of all places!)—

What a great surprise—right before leaving Dulles, Victoria (my co-worker) and I discovered that we were both flying to LaGuardia Airport, and both of us were renting from Enterprise.

Her flight was supposed to land about twenty minutes after mine, but she took off early and my plane sat on the runway for about 15 minutes before taking off.

We met in the Enterprise shuttle and got to chat for about 10 minutes before we both headed off in different directions. We only see each other a few times a year, so it was a nice surprise.

Small world! 😃