me at high altitude

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* this post started on Tuesday, December 28th, 2010.

I’m 37,000 feet above ground right now in an Airbus 333. As per the interior specifications card, there are 51 rows of seating on this plane; 37 seats in first class, 228 in economy – where I sit in the 42nd row; the seating arrangement is 2-4-2 in econ. I am part of the four grouping, but at the aisle, and the person in front of me doesn’t seem to want to recline which I am thoroughly enjoying because my tray table is down. My seat isn’t reclined either. The sky is dark because it’s about 7:30 PM EST. I never thought this until now, but it’s odd writing “the sky” while I’m actually flying up in it. If I refer to the sky, it’s usually as something I look up at, not out at. You know? Anyway… I’m on my way back to Vancouver from spending Christmas in Ottawa. This jaunt was a big deal for me because the last time I saw my family and friends at Christmas was 2006. I spent Christmas with them for 30 years before I moved, so to lose that makes holidays in Vancouver a little bittersweet. Curse all airlines for making Christmas-season flights upwards of $900. This year though, I must have been a really good girl because Santas (uncle Mark, Mum, Dad, Nana) got me a flight home collectively.

Shanny, my same-sex soul mate:

Is my nana a beauty, or what?

Shan’s little Noah


Self-timed family photo:

Chelsy and Riley-girl

Katie and Dylan baybee

Nom nom nom


Miss this spot:




Check out Oscar at the NAC:

Miss the Parkway a lot:

Shoppingtimes with Kokomo:

I call this a ‘Yuck.’ It’s a Yam Duck!

Chez my brother and wife:

An aunt sandwiched between a niece and a nephew:

Sister and brother with cousin in order by height:


It’s my Harley-inspired dad:

So, about this flight I’m on: Right now I am in an ideal position considering I’m 42 rows away from the front exit which means that disembarking is going to take a while but, I’ve got leg and laptop room and my crossword puzzles. It’s almost the best of all possible economy situations (where first class would mean fully reclining and having a nice, soft blankie, and my own little pod to sleep in) … except for the woman at the opposite end of my quad row. Between us is a young couple. I’ve got the girlfriend beside me and I’m pretty sure she drugged herself because she was literally asleep before the plane even left the ground. She’s got her boyfriend’s jacket draped over her and he tucks it in on the sides for her every time she shifts. They’re really sweet. Now, as for this woman at the end, she might also have drugged herself but I’m wondering if maybe hers were amphetamines? She’s watching something funny because every few minutes or so her shrill cackle breaks the silence and she rushes her body forward a bit, then bounces back and her gold bracelets collide with each other.

The problem with it being every few minutes is that I have just enough time to come down from being startled out of my pants only to have it re-occur. Cackle. Lunge. Crash. Clink clink clink. It feels like torture actually. It’s worse that the plane is dark because darkness makes people quieter, darkness is usually associated with rest, sleeping, whispers, nighttime.

With each obnoxious assault on my peace, I look over at her. But, she is not giving me the satisfaction of returning my eye contact so I can’t suggest she quiet down with my glare and hope that she snaps out of it. I’m not getting that satisfaction! It’s so startling that the young woman beside me actually jolts a bit in her sleep each time; like a cat.

It just happened again, this time I looked at the woman beside me, who looked at her boyfriend, who looked at me, then back at his girlfriend, then we all turned to the laughing woman who never looked at us. We all had a silent, telepathic, group commiseration and I do feel a bit better. Yes, we are being very passive aggressive in our approach right now and we have her on our hyper-radars. The girl friend is totally awake and she’s tense; I can feel it coming off her. The problem is none of us want to be the one to tell the woman. How do you tell someone who’s in the throes of laughter to clam it?

So now my mind wanders … Does she know we’re looking over at her and couldn’t care less? Maybe she’s developed a waking unconsciousness toward anything that goes on around her. Maybe she’s the type of person when even if someone did point it out to her, she’d just cackle it off and put her headphones back on. She’s failing on many levels and is a bad, bad, terrible person.

But look at her … laughing away so carefree. It is likely that no one will say anything. Maybe we’ll turn the volume up on our own headsets now. Or we’ll all just daydream her away. She’ll get off the plane, reminisce over the hilarious show she just watched, and how nice the flight was. Then she’ll board a plane again in the future, do the same thing, no one will tell her, and she’ll have wonderful happy airplane memories. The End.

I am admitedly very choked to the point of downright internal bitchiness which I am not proud of. The problem is I am a creature who functions best when my environment is set to levels Harmony and Tranquility. Shrill, spontaneous, loud noises actually rattle me both mentally and physically. It’s like I have shell shock only I don’t ever recall being surrounded by gunfire or any kind of cacophonies of the sort.

The thing is, this is just one of her isms. I mean, she can’t be purposefully scraping a rusty ice pick along the sensitive auditory canals of my ears. Her cackle just doesn’t work well with my own loud, spontaneous noise disorder.

Okay wait, it is also that if I do say something, she may respond less than agreeably to my suggestion then over-exaggerate her laughter because who the hell is this bitch telling me to laugh quieter? So, because I’m 37,000 feet in the air, trapped in a steel tube with no where else to go and I have no idea what kind of personality this woman has I’m going to have to ultimately let it be.

But man, do I ever wish her show would hurry up and end.

I’m going to go for a plane aisle walk. brb.

I just had a really interesting conversation with an 8″ tall man. Okay, maybe he was more like 6’4″ but when you’re 5’4″ it’s easy to misgauge. We met in the aisle toward the back where the flight attendants hang. It’s also where the bathroom is and what he was waiting for. I asked him what it’s like sitting in a plane being so long. Yes, I said long, yes I thought about it after it left my lips, but he handled it well and told me the key is the emergency exit row. Of course! Then he told me I was probably small enough to stretch out in the overhead compartments.

Phew, that walk really did me in. The Gravol and decongestant I took have kicked in now and I think I need to close my laptop and try to have a little snoozy-poo. I have no idea when I’ll go back to this post again because it will be around 9:30 PM PST by the time I get home which will feel like 12:30 AM EST so I certainly won’t be returning to this today in either PST or EST. So, I’m going to say good bye for now.

It’s the early evening of Saturday, January 15th. I went skiing with Mandy today. My skis were recently waxed and sharpened and were just incredible. The weather itself wasn’t very nice as dark clouds did loom over head and it eventually started to rain but the snow on the trails was so fluffy and fast. We found a couple treed runs that ran along the main drag, and had not been touched, so it felt like our own little side of the mountain.

Speaking of tree trails, I learned a new term today: Tree wells. Falling into a deep one means you have a mere 10% survival rate, on average.


Basically, if you’re in an area where the trees are tall and the boughs rest upon the snow, then chances are there is a void of loose snow that surrounds the section of the tree trunk that is beneath the boughs. So, if you ski too close to the trees, or you lose control and hit one, you can fall into a tree well. Often it is the depth of the fall that will result in limbs being injured which contributes to the decrease in survival and  it can apparently be as quick as drowning to suffocate to death. There were two experiments conducted in the US and Canada where volunteers were placed in a tree well and 90% could not rescue themselves. This death is called Non-Avalanche Related Snow Immersion Death, or NARSID.


So ya, watch out for those whether snowmobiling, snowshoeing, skiing, walking, etc. Stay away from the boughs of the trees. Don’t let me catch you stuck in one or I’ll be really upset!

Okay, taking a T.O. right now, need to stretch my body before it seizes from skiing.

It’s Monday. I’m at work. My morning has been spent forcing emails upon someone who I’m fighting tooth and nail with over purchasing the skis he’s been saying he wants to purchase for the last three years. EBay link after EBay link, screaming deal after screaming deal, and nothing. I had to draw this release the frustration:

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2 Responses to me at high altitude

  1. c'est moi says:

    Isn’t that me chasing you?

  2. Andrea says:


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