Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"The lighter your rollerboard, the better!"

One of my personal quests in the last year has been to "die while alive". When my mom passed away , I was surprised by a gift she gave me. She had given me this gift all along but I didn't realize it until she was gone.

This 'dying while living' sounds a bit wacko until you delve deeper. Wayne Dyer writes about the concept which he lifted from the Tao Te Ching. My mom Sparky was a woman of surrender and material things were at the bottom of her priority list. I have a hard time following this act. I'm not sure if buying a kindle while giving away my books fits this concept but I have been simplifying and downsizing. I'm used to living out of a suitcase and having to lug that thing around, the less it weighs, the better.

The task that has driven me to lighten my material load was going through my mom's possessions after her death. It was difficult emotionally but in no other way because my mom didn't accumulate things like I have and would give away things easily. In a few hours, I had 2 bags of clothes to donate, one photo album and a few momentos. It occurred to me if my daughter had the same task, it would be horrific.

Another beautiful thing about unloading stuff and not easily acquiring new things is the time it frees up. Warren Buffet talked about the fact that he could have the big, fancy yacht but then you have to manage the staff that goes with it. My friend Hal Spolerich is fond of saying that "even a book requires maintenance" so I'm trying to use that one to justify my own purchase of a Kindle and dusting off one device instead of an entire library.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Clooney Convergence

Sometimes that whole 'synchronicity' thing knocks me out!  A few weeks ago, My daughter tells me she met George Clooney and shook his hand. The very next day, I'm on an airplane after a visit to Hobbs and then a stop in Vegas. I happen to be seated next to the director and producers' of Clooney's next film which was about to start filming. It's called "Up in the Air" and is about a corporate hatchet man who is on a quest to build his frequent flier miles. The day after that, my friend calls and tells me her husband was heading to Darfur with guess who?

On the flight seated next to the filmmakers,  Jason Reitman told me he recently took a trip from LAX to ORD just to keep his mileage status. He bought a Chicago pizza which the TSA tried to confiscate and immediately returned home with his goal accomplished, retaining his 1K status which would have been short a few hundred miles if not for that pizza trip. Mr. Reitman is an acclaimed director "Juno" and the son of another acclaimed director, Ivan Reitman, who directed "Ghostbusters". In fact, he was wearing a Ghostbusters t-shirt on the flight. It is hard for me to believe but that film was done 25 years ago. I'm one of those movie fans who always stays for the credits. Can't wait to see this film after talking to these three gentlemen.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bite Me!

Went last week to my 'One on One' at the Apple Store and had a discussion with my teacher about my favorite website.  Ted has a conference every year that I have so longed to attend but it's a bit costly and certainly the airline business doesn't pay enough for me to attend. One of the teacher's customers had just been to the conference and she told him about Bill Gate's talk. Both my teacher Josh and I agreed that although we both love Apple products, Bill Gates has set the world on fire. Anyway, at the TED conference, he actually let loose a jar of mosquitoes into the audience. He had showed a map of the countries where malaria is a major killer and they are all poor countries. He was just  trying to even the score and naturally the mosquitoes were malaria-free!  Too funny and such an example of guerrilla marketing. His foundation is fighting malaria and his talk is inspiring. I have mentioned him in an earlier post when he was a passenger on one of my flights. He is good buddies with Warren Buffet, another personal favorite of mine who has advised him in his philanthropy efforts. Gotta' love people trying to make a difference!

Shoes & Stem Cells

Now it may appear I'm on some sort of a shoe obsession but I don't usually notice shoes that much, unlike my pal Rebecca who claims that "Shoes make life more fun!" and has the shoes and experiences to prove it. That said, you can see that Rebecca must have influenced me because I seem to be taking more note of shoes these days!  The shoes pictured here belong to a scientist that completely changed my image of the scientific community. I was commuting to work on a 6am flight. Didn't have to work until that night but flying space available, didn't want to chance a later flight. Had no makeup on and flat shoes and as luck would have it, got seated in first class next to the owner of these incredibly stylish shoes. This picture which I asked him to send me, does not do them justice. The gentleman, Chris Airrless; is a brilliant Phd and the head of  CA Stem Cell .  He is also a flight instructor, and bears a slight resemblance to the motivational guru, James Ray. (James, you could take some fashion advice from Mr. Stem Cell.) He was so charming and said he thought me a female counterpart to Sir Richard Branson. Obviously, the man can "talk the talk" as far as women goes and what I admired even more about him was the high regard with which he spoke of his wife. (Ladies, you knew a man like this would be married!) His wife is a blogger and I suspect might have influenced him in his clothing selection. His shirt also did not fit the culture, I have come to picture of your typical scientist. The potential in Stem cells provide hope to those with ALS, SMA and cardiovascular disease. To top it off, an article about his company was published that day on the front page of my hometown newspaper, The Orange County Register. My close friend, Allison and I were journalism students in high school and have that newspaper on a pedestal in our hearts.  

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cowgirl Airplane Cupholder

Creative genius with huge style points given to this passenger for her water bottle holder!  Turbulence! Not a problem since you can stabilize the boots with your feet. For those of you with embarrassing foot odor ( you know who you are), I recommend some thick socks if you're going to give this a go. That was not the case for this beautiful Oklahoma cowgirl who had just visited California for the first time. Met her on a flight from San Diego to Dallas. She had obviously had a very special time with her sweetheart who sadly was being deployed to Iraq.   

Friday, January 23, 2009

There is always someone who doesn't pay attention to the safety demonstration.

One of my flying partner's from our heydays' at the long gone Hawaii Express sent me this photo which has been bouncing around the internet. The successful ditching of USAir's flight into the Hudson River made anyone who has ever been a part of the flight attendant profession so proud. While our job has it's share of mundane tasks, we all have the training and have proved ourselves in plenty of practice scenarios so we are ready to conduct an evacuation should the need arise during any takeoff or landing. Kudos to FA's Sheila Dail, Doreen Welsh and Donna Dent for directing a textbook perfect event and of course the expert piloting skills of Capt Sully and FO Jeff Skiles for making it possible for there to be an intact aircraft to get out of in the first place. 

Thursday, January 01, 2009

"Life is Like a Roll of Toilet Paper."

 "The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes! says a friend from my inner circle in his best Forest Gump voice. Here we are ripping off another sheet and what I now know for sure is each moment must be relished. Got to get it right in life because don't want to waste time on retakes. Make only new mistakes and take big smart risks to eliminate regrets. Life truly is a fabulous adventure.  Make this year count.