Sunday, September 28, 2008

Glamour At It's Best

I don't even know what to say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Monday, September 22, 2008

I Love New York!

I'm once again back in my (almost) favorite city in the world. And i'll be damned if it wasn't hell getting here. And i'm sure that this hotel will be hell getting opened. Let me tell you how my trip went!!!

I was at home and decided to check in online for my 12:40pm flight to LaGuardia International. My mind told me to change to a later flight, but the charge was $150 and I knew that my boss wasn't going to pay for that. The alternative was to wait until 3 hours before the flight and then there would be no charge since i'm a Gold Medallion member. But I decided to go ahead on to the airport and take my original flight.

The drive to the airport was uneventful as there was no traffic as 10:30am in the morning. I made it to the airport and made it from my car to my gate in about 15 minutes (all the ATL airport haters can kiss my ass). Just as I was about to sit down, my phone rang with a call from my coordinator. She said "don't get on the plane, the hotel isn't going to open on Thursday. They didn't pass their health inspection (they had the wrong sized sink) and can't open the kitchen in order to serve breakfast." Hampton Inns have a wonderful complimentary breakfast and the hotels can't open until it's ready. OK, no hay problema. I was kinda pissed, but then glad that I would get a few more days off.

I went up to the counter to speak with the very attractive guy there about retrieving my bag before it was loaded onto the plane. He said that they hadn't put any bags on the plane and he would call down to baggage handling to ask them to send it back to baggage claim. He also told me that I would also have to get down to baggage claim as soon as possible just in case the bag does get put on the plane. So I dash off down the concourse like a damn fool with a 15lb laptop bag. Ya'll know I was dripping with sweat by the time I ran from gate B2 to baggage claim!!!!

Can you believe that as soon as I got down there my phone rang again?!?!?!?!?!? It was my coordinator telling me to just wait a few minutes while she talks to the hotel. They were going to try to cater breakfast in until they could get the issues with the kitchen taken care of. So I proceed to baggage claim service to see if my bag was there yet. When I got there, the agent took my claim number and ran "downstairs" to see if she could find my bag. While standing there trying to cool off, my phone rang again!!!!!!!!! Once again it was my coordinator. This time she told me that the hotel would in fact be catering in breakfast so I could go ahead and travel to Manhattan. WELL DAMN!!!!!!

So, the agent returned from "downstairs" and told me that my luggage was on its way to LaGuardia! I said OK and told her that it was cool because my trip had been rescheduled any way. I thanked her and turned around with the intent to run to security. When I turned around and looked at the clock, it was 12:20pm. That meant that I only had 5 minutes to get to my gate before the boarding door was closed. I started to get irritated, frustrated and mad as hell. But then I stopped.

It suddenly hit me that this was a situation that was easily solved. All I had to do was book the next flight at 1:40pm and head on to NYC. I calmed myself down and thought about what would be the best thing to do. I went to the kiosk and changed my flight to 3:40pm. The next thing that I realized was that I was soaking wet from all that running. I called a friend who lived close by the airport and ask him if I could come by and take a shower and he answered in the affirmative. On the way over, I stopped and bought me a few pair of undies and undershirts so that I could change into those and just in case my bag got lost.

He and I chilled for a minute talking and listening to music while I waited to head back to the airport. When I got back to Hartsfield-Jackson-Atlanta International Airport (the world's busiest). Things were looking up. I had already been upgraded to first class and I was able to go through the express security line. I got to my concourse, got something to eat and sat down at my gate to look over some of the hotel's notes.

My flight was normal as usual with me ordering a rum and coke (I needed it). I slept my requisite 30 minutes and when I awoke I was surprised to find that they were serving dinner on the plane. So a ham and cheese on marble rye with salad and chocolate cake was enjoyed.

When I arrived at LaGuardia's baggage claim, my bag was waiting right next to the baggage claim office. I hopped in a cab (I almost took a limo!) and made it to the hotel without any more issues.

What I had to remeber and re-learn today was that any issue can be handled if you stay calm and think the situation over. I also learned that you should always follow your intuition. Maybe if I had rescheduled my flight, none of this may have happened.

I'm stealing from Cocoa on this one.

Have you recently had a situation where you were all up in arms and had to calm yourself down and think about how to handle it? If you did, did you learn anything from it?

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Now this is just fucking ridiculous!!!! She needs an ass-whooping, not to be faced with federal charges!!!

Last month while accompanying her father, a disabled vet, to the VA Medical Center in Boise, Natalie Walters bought a soda from the cafeteria. After finishing her drink, she refilled her mug and went to pay.

The cafeteria has no set cost for refills, but usually charged her $1 or $1.50. This time, however, the clerk charged her $3.80. Walters was none too thrilled about the refill markup. After asking to see a manager and trying to return the soda, she refused to pay and proceeded to pour it over the counter.

We've all thrown tantrums like that, and no harm done, right? The U.S. Attorney's office thinks otherwise. Walters has been slapped with federal charges of larceny and disturbance, each of which could net her six months in the clink.

We generally don't advise crying over split soda, but in this case, it might be the only viable solution.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Unlike Solange...

...I haven't decided.

Can you believe that we have about a month and a half until the presidential election and I have not made a decision on who will get my vote or even if I will vote?

I can honestly say that I do not know who I am voting for. And since I am not a member of any political party, I feel no obligation to choose a candidate for either party. In the past, I just voted for the Democrat because that's what Mom and Dad used to do. But now, I see that both parties have good and bad about them. I agree with ideals of both Democrats and Republicans.

The problem here is that neither candidate has said or done anything to impress me or persuade me into voting for him. And after listening to them both, I think that they are both full of bullish when it comes to the plans they have and the promises that they make. Neither one of them can say for sure of what they will do when in office.
Of course I have been bombarded with reasons why I should consider one candidate over the other, but none of those reasons has been valid enough to persuade me. "McCain has more experience." "Obama can rally the people." "Obama can make history." McCain will work with the other party. None of the reasons have done anything for me. And all of the negative media advertisements don't make things any better.

So at this point, I don't know if I am will mark a box in the PRESIDENTIAL ballot at all. But I will cast ballots in the local, city, and state elections. We have state senators up for election and those are the people who really decide the direction our country takes.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

When I Grow Old...

...I wonder if I will be in this situation.

Bob McCoy is a youthful, active 78-year-old. He sings in his church choir, takes a weekly computer class, and regularly attends social gatherings organized by a gay senior citizens group in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lives. But McCoy worries about a day when he can no longer care for himself: he has no close family, no partner, and he's outlived most of his friends. "I'm used to having friends I can call up and say, 'Let's go to [a movie],'" he says. "But now there's nobody to call."
Newly engaged, Jim Fetterman, 62, and Ilde Gonzalez-Rivera, 56, look forward to growing old together at their home in Queens, N.Y., where they share a garden and a green Cadillac. But the couple isn't sure if or when they'll be able to marry. Their house is in Rivera's name, but because the couple can't legally wed in New York, Fetterman won't automatically inherit it, should his partner die. And even though they are registered domestic partners in New York City, neither man will have access to the other's Social Security, because the federal government doesn't recognize their relationship. "It's not something we like to think about, but there's a certain amount of anxiety that comes with not having those things," says Fetterman.

These are typical faces of the gay and aging—a growing population often overlooked by mainstream advocates. Gerontologists haven't traditionally viewed sexual orientation as relevant to their work—and, according to a study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, most national health surveys of elderly citizens fail to assess sexual orientation. But gay seniors confront unique challenges: they're twice as likely as straights to live alone, and 10 times less likely to have a caretaker should they fall ill. Older gay men are at high risk for HIV, and many suffer the psychological effects of losing friends to the AIDS crisis. (See our report on HIV and aging.) Many face discrimination in medical and social services, and on top of it all, they're less likely to have health insurance: one survey, by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law, at UCLA, estimates that gay seniors are half as likely to have coverage as their straight counterparts.

"In many ways, this population is a mirror opposite of what the mainstream aging community looks like," says Karen Taylor, director of advocacy and training for the New York-based Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders, or SAGE, the nation's oldest senior network. "The average senior in the United States lives with one other person; two-thirds of LGBT seniors live alone. If you don't have those informal support networks built into your life, then everything else becomes a bigger issue. Who forces you to go to the doctor? What happens if you fall?"

As this community grows, in both population and visibility, those questions are becoming harder to ignore. Over the next 25 years, persons in America who are 65 and older are expected to grow from about 12 to 20 percent of the total population, and various estimates indicate that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals will comprise 7 to 10 percent of that senior population. Meanwhile, like the Baby Boomers of all stripes, aging gays and lesbians are radically redefining what it means to be a senior—and how they fit into the larger community. They're coming out of the closet, vocalizing their experiences and needs, and, most importantly, demanding public recognition. "If you go back 40 years, there were virtually no openly gay seniors," says Gary Gates, a senior research fellow and demographer at the Williams Institute. "But now you have a large enough group that people are paying attention."

This year, SAGE is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and running an ad campaign in New York to raise awareness about their constituents. And when the organization holds its national conference on aging next month, it will be sponsored for the first time by the AARP. Just that acknowledgement, say advocates, is huge: with 40 million members, the AARP is considered one of America's most powerful lobbying groups—and an influential voice on health care and social policy. "When we look to the future, we know we cannot progress if we don't bring in these other communities," says the Washington-based organization's chief diversity officer, E. Percil Stanford. "The [gay and lesbian] community is quite often invisible and overlooked."

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Executive Decision

So I have been thinking the last month about what I want to do with my career and have come to a decision.

Since I was in high school, I wanted to be an attorney; a prosecutor to be exact. When my senior year of college came, I was ready to apply and was all excited to be going. But then something started to happen in my life that distracted me from my dream. For some reason, I fell into a deep depression. I was so depressed that I couldn't sleep or I slept too much. I started having panic attacks anytime and anywhere. Depression was affecting everything in my life from my relationship and family to work and school. After about 2 months of feeling like life was over, I started going to see a counselor (who was actually a psychiatry intern). It took me about 3 months of visits each Tuesday to get back to normal. Needlesss to say, while I was thinking life was over, the last thing on my mind was continuing my education. I didn't complete the law school application process and subsequently didn't get in.

Each year, I said that I was going to apply and go back, but then I started working full-time in a hotel operations career. As my pay increased, so did my debt. Of course since I was out of school, I had to pay back student loans, I had car note, rent and credit card bills. So I decided that I was going to lower my debt to zero before I went back to school. That was years ago and i'm still not in law school, but i'm still in debt.

But on Monday, I made the decision that debt-be-damned, i'm applying to law school for admission in the fall of 2009. Applying to law school is a process that i've been afraid of because it's not an easy one. But i'm starting the process on Friday when I get home from this trip.

I'm not worried about getting into law school. What i'm worried about is paying for it. Tuition is no where near inexpensive, so it looks like more loans for me. I will be applying for grants, scholarships and other moneys, but loans will probably be my largest means of paying tuition.

So wish me luck on my process!!

Oh yeah. I did say 2 decisions didn't I? Well that other decision was to just stick with this job I have until I know whether or not I am accepted to law school. I don't know if I will make it though until next August though.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Just Wait

In a few days I will be making 2 decisions that will affect my long term goals.

Stay Tuned!!!!!!!!!!!

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