Sunday, March 07, 2010

OSCAR TIME!!!!!!!!

Ok, I don't have much time....but here are my predictions:

Best Picture - Avatar (Not my preference)
Best Director - Kathry Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Best Actor - Jeff Bridges
Best Actress - Sandra Bullock (Once again, not my preference)
Best Supporting Actress - Monique
Best Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz

Sunday, February 21, 2010

An Education

Please go see An Education. Please see it right now.

I'm a huge huge fan of movies.... during Oscar season, I get a bit obsessed with all the wonderful films that come out. It's the best time of the year to go the theaters. Lately though, I haven't gotten the chance to see as much as I'd like. I saw Avatar and Nine, but I hadn't been truly pulled into a complete cinema experience, until last night.

In a brief synopsis, the story takes place in England, 1961. Jenny(played by the wonderful Carey Mulligan), a 16 year old schoolgirl, is courted by David(the handsome Peter Sarsgaard), a 35 year old man who takes a fancy to her cultured taste and ambitions. She becomes enamored with the glamorous life he leads. She is treated to Jazz Clubs, orchestral concerts, and trips to Paris.....beyond any of her dreams. Until this point, Jenny was hoping to get into Oxford and become an educated, career-oriented woman. Now, she is tempted with the choice of an exciting and cultured life, over the struggles of an ordinary woman.

Everything about this movie is wonderful. The movie strays away from typical formulas and gives us fantastic performances from Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, and Alfred Molina.This story still resonates strongly with our current times. Even though women have many more possibilities with careers and living independent lives, there is always the temptation for stability in marriage.* I am so blessed to have the option of living an independent life with the choice of whatever career I pursue the kind of life I want to have.

Now.....go to the theaters pronto, before all you have left to see is Dear John.....eeeekkkk.

*This comment is in no way devaluing the significance of marriage, as I hope to marry as well someday. It's more relating to the pressure of certain lifestyles that have been established by previous generations.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kevin Smith and the Status of Customer Service in the US

It has been quite the controversy surrounding Kevin Smith and his situation with Southwest airlines.

I have flown Southwest numerous times, and I appreciate their features and their pricing during this difficult economic time. First off, this isn't a blog about whether or not Kevin should have been kicked off that airplane. I can't imagine having to deal with the embarrassment of such a situation.

However, it's time to SHUT UP. That's right, please stop talking about it.

I find it quite interesting how something becomes an important issue once a celebrity is mistreated. How dare they kick Mr. Smith off of that plane!! Who do they think they are?!?!

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith's movies. Chasing Amy is a personal favorite of mine, and he can write movie dialogue like no other.

With this said, my question is, "What did you expect?"

I was listening to his smodcast about the situation, and I couldn't help being offended as he referred to Southwest as being called the "Food Stamp Airline." I'm sorry, but a majority of Americans can't afford to spend a lot of money on air flight, myself included.

Once again, this has nothing to do with the issue regarding him being kicked off the plane. There are serious issues with weight discrimination in this country, and I have sympathy for what others are going through. This has to do with the fact that he wanted to question what customer service truly is, during the time he was rescheduling his flights BEFORE the incident.

He has more than enough money to travel first class, and yet he chooses to fly on a coach airline...why is this? Especially when he is going to bitch about their poor customer service. I don't think that a celebrity has a clear grasp on what customer service truly is, especially when people are paid to specifically kiss your ass.

My opinion is, if you choose to fly on a regular domestic airline, then you are choosing to be treated like a normal person. In the real world, airport employees aren't going to stand around, batting their eyes at you while you check in. They have a job to do, and a business to run.

I have worked in the customer service business for quite awhile, and it's not always an easy job. Most of the time, you are dealing with high-maintenance people who think the world revolves around them. If you don't do everything they want, they usually are rude and/or talk down to you until they get their way. After dealing with this day after day after day....your approach towards customers can become less than enthusiastic.

I'm not saying that anyone has the excuse to be rude, but don't be angry when they don't go above and beyond to fulfill all of your hearts desires. If you want a kiss on your cheek and a mint on your pillow.....FLY FIRST CLASS. They will do everything they can to make sure you are happy and comfortable, because that is what you are paying for.

Welcome to the real world.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Things to do before I die (BUCKET LIST)

This list will continue to grow....but might as well start now:

Learn a language - preferably German or Spanish

Make exercise an enjoyable part of my life

Find better ways to connect to my physical and spiritual health - Yoga, bible study....whatever works

Go to Iceland

Attend a summer music festival and make sure I don't remember those 3-4 days in my life : ) (ex. Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lolla)

Learn to Salsa!!! (With an acceptable partner)

Anyone want to help me with these things? Feel free to let me know.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Airport stories from the cheese state!!!

Ok.....more airport stories....and I haven’t even made it to Madison yet.

Where am I going? I’m flying to Wisconsin for a gig at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I’m currently sitting at the Milwaukee airport, waiting for my connecting flight. I’m surprised I even made it this far, considering the snow storm that just hit the Midwest. It took me an hour to get to the Indianapolis Airport, when it should only take 30 minutes.

For the whole drive, I was gripping the steering wheel, praying I would make it either on-time or alive....either would be good possibilities.

Then, my flight was delay an hour. Now, my connecting flight is also delayed for two hours.
While waiting in Milwaukee, someone once again decided that they should have a conversation with me. I look around and notice that everyone else is able to sit in peace and quiet, undisturbed. I must have some kind of sign that says, “I love to talk to random people!!!”

This guy will be referred to as Vitamin Man.

Why is his name Vitamin Man?

Well...once again I randomly meet a man who wants to go into great detail about his life, when I just want to read my book. Seriously.....does anyone care about privacy anymore?

We quickly went from, “Where are you flying?” to “I work in the Vitamin business, because I had all these health problems and couldn’t find a solution.....until I discovered vitamins!!!”

I don’t want to hear about your health problems.

Then he goes on to tell me how his sister has some minor health problems as well, but that she exaggerates them to the extreme. Once again, don’t know why I need to know this....

I say, “Oh so she is some form of a hypochondriac.”

He replies, “Eh....she just over-exaggerates and freaks out over any health problems she has.”
Um....isn’t that at least one description of a hypochondriac?

Then, he goes into description about one health condition of his sister. He decides that I need to be informed about her RASH.

Once again....WHY?!?!?!?!?

But don’t worry, he told me he found the solution. She was eating too much dairy. Once she stopped....POOF! No more rash.

Vitamin Man, thank you for such informative advice. When I get a big rash all over my body, I’ll stop drinking milk. I feel sooooo relieved.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Morning After

Do you ever have those nights when you have to completely dissect every aspect of your life in one big swoop? You can go however many weeks taking each step day by day, but there always has to be a break down moment.

I think it has to do with the more I socialize and interact with others. By conversing with other people, I am forced to acknowledge exactly where my life is at in order to engage freely.

All sorts of questions are brewing as I'm driving home in my car, after a night out with friends. I start to get angry, which results in me denouncing any of God's decisions pertaining to my life.

This results in:

" Wow, everyone else is doing *blank* except me."

"Why do I have to wait so long for *blank* when everyone else seems to have it..."

"Obviously you've decided I'm not good enough to do A, B, or C."

"Thanks once again for proving how I'll never be *blank."

"Why did the Colts have to lose the Superbowl!?" (Totally kidding on that one.)

I'm refraining from posting any of these specific issues, because we each have our fears and insecurities about our lives, and even though blogs are becoming more of a "open journal" for others, I personally have to have some form of secrecy.

When all is said and done, I come home angry. I pull my covers over my head while muttering sarcastically, "Thanks a lot. FML" It's as if I've been fighting with my boyfriend, and afterwards, going to bed unsettled.

The morning rolls around, and I wake up with the sun shining through my window. I start getting ready for work and talk with my mom as I eat my breakfast. I walk outside and feel refreshed, ready to start my day.

No matter what, I feel blessed to wake up and have another day in my life. Who knows when one of my questions will be answered, but I'm still here to fulfill a purpose. I have to trust and let go.

"Thank you for my health."

"Thank you for my friends and family"

"I'm blessed to have my life ahead of me."

With God's grace, I smile while saying, "I'm sorry about last night...."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Small World........

Wednesday -

I'm out at the bars because I don't have to work in the morning. A few hours into the evening, while talking to my friends, a guy approaches me. We have a short conversation, but it was obvious that there was no form of chemistry. NADA. What does he do? He asks for my number. He's in town for a few days, and wants to go out.

Does anyone else understand this concept? No chemistry = please let me have your number. However, I was nice enough to give him my number just so he could leave me alone and let me be with my friends.

Thursday -

I get a text message from the guy. It says something along the lines of "Sorry I was so drunk last night.... Wanna go out this weekend?"

I ignore it.

Friday -

Once again, out at the bars. I run into my friend Taylor, who invites me out to meet some friends of his. I accept!

We enter the bar, and Taylor starts introducing me to his friends.

"Sarah, this is my friend ******. He's visiting in town for a few days."

It was the guy I met at the bar on Wednesday.

The world works in mysterious ways........

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Flight from Hell......part deux.

I flew out of LaGuardia at 7 am, after running on only a few hours of sleep. I get on the airplane and once again, look for a seat towards the back. I finally decided upon an aisle seat(a lesson I learned from the last time). The other two seats were taken by two men. The second I met eyes with the guy sitting next to me....I knew I had made the wrong decision.

I could tell that he thought he had just hit the jackpot....having a woman his age willingly come and sit by him. These are the times that I wished I came to the airport looking as unattractive as possible.

Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not saying that I'm soooo unfortunately attractive that men want to hit on me all the time. I'm just saying that there are certain men who will jump at ANYTHING...

I don't know what it is about people at airports. First I have Mr. Airplane pilot feeling the need to have a meaningful conversation while I'm reading, and now I'm dealing with Coffee Breath Man.

The reason he deserves this name is that the second he introduced himself, he breath wreaked a combination of cigarettes and coffee.


He finally got the picture, sensing my urge to lean away, and asked for a piece of gum.....since he wasn't smart enough to bring his own.

Coffee Breath begins to tell me how he'd been up all night drinking with his buddies and hadn't even slept yet. It wouldn't have surprised me if he was still drunk. GREAT.....I try to avoid this at the bars. The stewardess comes around asking about drinks. Before this, he hints at the fact that he would like to buy me a drink.

Let me remind you that it's 7:15 in the morning.

I politely tell him that it's a bit too early in the morning for that. What does he do? He ignores me and orders us Bloody Mary's. Now, instead of my glass of water...I have to drink an alcoholic beverage.

Thanks for listening.

He starts to bring up conversation. He is an actor in NYC who also is a comedy writer. One of the networks he writes for is Comedy Central, blah blah blah. None of this stuff is really relevant at this point, when you are drunk, don't listen, and have unruly caterpillars as eyebrows.

So...time goes by, and once again I'm not able to read my book like I would like to. Coffee Breath finishes his 2nd bloody mary as he continues to preach to me why I will never get an opera job by having to pay audition fees. Of course, he's coming from his world of theater, which is a completely different business. Most opera companies charge some form of fee to apply for their company. It sucks, but such is life.

He asks, "Do you know a single person who has gotten a single job as a result of paying for their audition?"


Don't worry, it gets even better. At one point he looks into my eyes and says, "What will it take for you to make out with a stranger on an airplane?"

I was in airplane hell. First trip: unruly children, Second trip: gross, drunk man wanting to make out with you.

He then tries to grab my hand, to which I quickly pull away.

"Why did you pull away?"

"Well...considering I've only known you for two hours, it's a bit too fast."

Coffee Breath has to catch another flight from Chicago, and begs me to have a drink with him when we land. Once's not even 10 AM. Luckily, I have to pick up from sister from Chicago, so that we can go home for Thanksgiving. After much begging and pleading, we finally landed.

I couldn't run away fast enough. I think he got the point.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

To fly or not to fly?

Ok, so I am going to a gig in Madison in February, and I have chosen to fly. The one major perk about flying is the fact that you don't have to worry about driving, at all...unless you count driving to the airport in a panic, hoping you will make your flight.

I have flown quite often the past year in order to make it to auditions in New York City. In the past, my flights to New York have been rather uncomplicated, and actually quite relaxing. However, my first trip in November turned out to be two of the worst flights I've ever been on in my life.

Flight One:

Let's start with the flight to NYC...from Midway airport in Chicago. I was sitting in the terminal, reading, when an airplane pilot sits down and begins to talk to me.

You would think it would be obvious that reading = don't talk to me, however, people at airports don't really think that way.

So, he goes on to ask me why I'm flying to New York. I hesitate to even tell the truth, because once I told him I was a singer on the way to auditions, he responds, "Oh wow! Really? Will you sing something for me?!?!"

This is another topic that I will leave for another day, but it's one of the worst things to ask a singer when they are off the clock....AT AN AIRPORT. I told him no, but of course he continues to bother me. It isn't until I start to get short with him that he finally gets the message and leaves.

Now, on to the flight. I take a seat towards the back, since that is the typical protocal for boarding a plane. I sit in the window seat, waiting to others to sit down. A rather smelly guy decides to sit in the aisle seat.

The smelly guy is not why the flight was bad.

A mother, with a toddler and 8 year old, is distressed because there are only single seats left. Therefore, her son has to sit with *gasp* a stranger. Let me remind you that there is early seating for families, but you actually have to be there on time to take advantage of this.

Since I obviously look like a child molester, there is no way that she'll allow her son to sit in between me and the smelly man. Smelly man decides to be so kind as to give up his seat. So, guess who I'm stuck sitting with....

That's right. 2 1/2 hours with the mother, toddler, and eight year old boy. If I had known that the husband was also on the plane, I would have moved as well.

Here are some fantastic moments, in no particular order:

1. The eight year old taunting his toddler sister, causing her to yell bloodcurdling screams.

2. The eight year old getting out a portable dvd player, and playing it with no headphones.

3. The eight year old getting out a BOP IT.

Yes, I did indeed say a BOP IT. Can it get any worse? I consider myself a patient person, but I have never given so many death stares in my life. You can't really help what a toddler does, but the boy was old enough to know better.

Usually, I bring my headphones. For some reason, I thought that I could read or do something else with my time.

Did I mention that the pilot from earlier, was also on this flight? He was finished with his day, and flying back to NYC. The moment he sees me on the plane, he says, "Hey, Opera Singer, why don't you sing something for me!?!?!?!"

He asked this at the end of the flight...right after the Bop It.

......this was my flight to NYC.

Just wait til you hear about the return flight.