Friday, 24 December 2010
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Traveling at Christmas sucks. There is just no other eloquent way to say it that encapsulates how bad it really is. (For those of you living in Hawaii, or any sunny climate, I’m sure a trip to the airport is a sheer pleasure…B*stards). In fact, sucks is a kind word. It is a torturous exercise in utter futility in every possible way, especially if you live in a country where the climate rivals that of the frozen tundra. But it is made all the worse when the country one lives in pretends it does NOT have such a climate. Yes, I'm talking to you ENGLAND. In fact, each year the weather worsens, and the winter descends upon the innocent traveler just trying to get home for the holidays, the authorities (governments, airport bosses, airline heads etc) pretend to be utterly shocked when the heavens open and snow grinds the country to an absolute halt.
For the last three years in fact, I have spent the majority of my run up to Christmas sitting in the airport. You would think I would learn, wouldn’t you? I have had flights canceled repeatedly, undergone delays that lasted days on end, had to take trains into other countries to then catch other planes in hopes that they would actually get me to where I needed to go; trudged through snow drifts with battered luggage (cue music please) when buses have gotten stuck to reach terminals (are you feeling sorry for me yet??), been mistreated by airport staff, ignored, and shoved around like cattle, and all to reach my family at Christmas time. I am like a freakin movie on Lifetime.
This year, as most of you have heard, England has been utterly battered by freezing temperatures. Fine, it’s come early this year, and it’s not exactly typical for us to have this much snow. But as it’s been a growing trend that our winters are getting fiercer, you would think that those in charge would be prepared for such a thing. But no, of course not, that would be far too forward thinking and progressive. Cause, we can figure out how to put a million pound plane in the air, but we can not seem to melt ice. Instead we have headlines like, “England running out heating fuel…fears of no more salt for roads…repeated airport closures forces airport boss to make humiliated apology!” the list is a long one.
I went to school in Michigan. It was a state that knew snow from every single angle. It expected it, knew what to do with it, and there was a never a time in my four years at university where the Detroit airport closed. In fact, I think the city residents would’ve risen up and beat the appropriate person into a coma if they had closed the airport. Detroit denizens would consider closing the airport cause of snow a very sissy move.
Don’t get me wrong, there were delays, and cancellations from time to time, but never did I sleep in an airport or watch on the news as families set up tents in various terminals over the Christmas period. This is when England starts to resemble a third world country and you can’t help but wonder who the heck is truly in charge. Not to mention, you would think if they have had this problem year after year, the airports would stock up on the essential machinery, like I don’t know, something to move the gosh darn snow out of the way!!
This year I am now forced to travel on Christmas Day, and I’m not even going to my destination of choice. We literally said to the airline rep get us anywhere remotely near Los Angeles, we’re not picky (see how agreeable your passengers are! You don’t deserve us). The rep mind you that we waited four hours on the phone to speak to on our dime – I kid you not, 4 hours on the phone listening to bad syrupy ballads on constant rotation, is guaranteed to make you nuttier than a fruitcake.
So the King’s first Christmas will be spent in economy class staring down at some petrified meal as I try to entertain him amongst a plane full of pissed off passengers. But knowing him, he will make the most of it and be pleased as punch simply to try and put the airplane pillow in his mouth (which will send my OCD into overdrive). As for you Mr. Transport Minister, I’m not as agreeable. I hope your stocking is filled with coal!
Posted by Anthea Anka at 23:21
Sunday, 19 December 2010
BEST OF 2010
For today’s blog I thought I would count down the best of 2010 – the best for me anyway (and as I’m in a foul mood cause my flight to the States has been canceled, I needed some positive energy!); Oh, and when I say the best, I mean, intriguing, inspiring, out of the box, or simply brought me enjoyment.
10. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed – Seriously. It took this long?
Finally the most ridiculous, discriminatory law was overturned. Can you imagine, you want to serve your country, but you’re gay, so um, we’ll let you in, but don’t tell anyone cause your sexuality may get someone killed, or even worse, you may try to hit on someone in battle cause you clearly have no restraint. (This is sarcasm people, for those of you that don’t have any). And to be honest, if I’m going to war and staring down death day in and day out, gay or straight, it would be nice to have a few moments of pleasure. It might even increase morale.
9. Ash cloud from Icelandic volcano shuts down airports.
Why was this good? Well it wasn’t really, but it was such an oddity, one of those, ‘can you repeat that’ moments, that it was definitely memorable. Seriously, how many times in your life can you say your flight was canceled due to a giant ash cloud? And at least it was a good excuse, not like, ahem, snow. Get it together England. It’s just snow!
8. 10 new freaky animal discoveries.
My favorite being the yoda bat. You really need to see this [http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/12/photogalleries/101207-top-ten-weird-new-animals-2010/] ....Especially in a day and age where we kill just about anything (Sarah Palin, stay away, stay far away), it’s nice to know we found several new things we haven’t destroyed yet.
7. Ceelo – F*ck You
When it comes to the creative arena, I have to admit there was not a lot to get excited about. I fear we have moved into the decade of celebrating profound mediocrity, something that depresses me to no end. But to stay on the positive side of things, the artist Ceelo managed to do two things: make one of the most ‘get up and shake your money maker’ tracks of the year, whilst incorporating one of my favorite two word phrases. It doesn’t get much better than that.
6. Obama – health care.
Love it, hate it, it got done. As far as I’m concerned it was a step in the right direction to enable all Americans to have proper health care. I live in a country that has a national health program, if you so choose – and most do. And for the most part it works, and works well. For those of you complaining about the costs, or having to pay for the man next to you, I’m thinking you may be eating those words when you’re faced with unexpected medical bills that cause you to remortgage your house.
In short, the existence of an organization like this means that a certain group of individuals out there aren’t buying what their government is selling, and they’re not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. [Thank you first amendment]. And you have to love that, especially when governments are exposed to be the corrupt, duplicitous manipulators that they really are.
5. Paris Hilton put out a new perfume.
4. World Cup in South Africa.
You know how I feel about my sports, especially those events on a grand stage. And this year did not disappoint. The World Cup had all the drama (thank you France), knuckle biting action (too many moments to narrow it down really), rise of the underdogs (USA & New Zealand), disappointments (OHHHH England), and humor – the prophetic wisdom of Paul the octopus. RIP my little cephalopod.
3. Students took to the streets in London to protest the rise in tuition fees.
Anytime people band together and protest against the government’s egregious behavior, I get excited. Calm down, I’m not advocating violence, although Camilla and Charles’s car getting a battering was pretty damn funny (seriously, Mr. and Mrs. Royal did you not check the route before leaving the house???); but I think in today’s age of hideous greed, corruption and double talk, there should be plenty more revolutionary behavior. And protesting against tripling school fees (when the people were promised it would not happen) seems like a good place to start.
2. The rescue of the Chilean miners
Nothing I like more than an event that pulls the entire world together, outside of sports of course. And you couldn’t ask for a more inspiring group of individuals. I still can’t wrap my head around the one miner that did his marathon training through the long dark tunnels as he breathed in god knows how many carcinogens. I can barely jog in the best of weather and circumstances. And the best part, they all got out alive and were in good fighting spirit. Ole!
1. The KING’s arrival!!!
Need I say more?
Posted by Anthea Anka at 23:11