Donna Crawford
Redondo Beach, California


I was born in North Carolina and lived there until I was about 2 or so.  My father was in the military, so we moved every year or two.  We lived up and down the east coast, in Arkansas, Germany and Kansas, before he retired in 1980.  I attended Manhattan High School (in Kansas) and college and law school at the University of Kansas (Go Jayhawks!!).

I've lived in Alabama, Georgia, Texas and California since leaving my parents' home.  I currently live in California with my husband Kirk (even while we were on our RTW, we considered California as home). My family and friends are scattered all over the place, as you can imagine.

My husband and I are highly involved with our church, locally. I have lots of hobbies, including cooking, HAM radio, reading, travelling, bzflag, and sports/outdoor activities. Although I love to watch Jayhawk Basketball, I generally prefer to participate. Some of my favorites are beach volleyball, scuba diving, cycling, rowing, swimming, snow skiing, tramping, surfing, off-roading, etc.

My travels over the last few years have taken me to Costa Rica, Hawaii, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and most recently, on a 15-country, 1-year round-the-world trip.

Feel free to drop me an email to let me know how you're doing, or any other suggestions you have for these pages! And be sure to sign my new Guestbook!

Recent Articles

Saturday, April 14


BzFlag & GSoC

I had a rather funny dream last night but to understand it, you must first know a little of what's been going on lately. A few weeks ago, I was asked to apply as a Google Summer of Code mentor for BzFlag. Not only was I completely surprised by the request, I felt totally inadequate. Although I've been playing BzFlag for a bit over 3 years now, I PLAY. I am not a developer (despite the many people who have mistakenly believed me to be after seeing a "developers gathering" photo). In fact, I haven't written a single piece of code since I took FORTRAN in college. So my first reaction was, "WHAT?! Why me?!"

The SoC administrator proceeded to explain to me that the BzFlag project would be more of a team-led mentoring, and the designated mentor was more of a shepherd. And so, I started to think about it. One of my strengths is mentoring. It's also what I've most enjoyed about some of my past positions. So, I ultimately said "yes" and applied.

After several days of evaluating proposals (as best as I could), the administrator had to rank the various proposals, assign mentors (at least temporarily) and then we were waiting on Google to determine the number of slots we would receive. Initially slotted for five, BzFlag ended up with only four. And initially, I was assigned as a mentor for a slotted position. Keep in mind, there were about 10 people (9 of them actually qualified to mentor through giving direction on coding) who were willing to mentor for BzFlag. Ultimately, my mentee was given to another, more qualified mentor.

Was I relieved? Absolutely! This summer is rapidly looking busier and busier. Plus, I've possibly taken on a bit more than I bargained for with ShareFest. Was I disappointed? Surprisingly, yes, a bit. Which, I presume, is what led to my comical dream. In the dream, the administrator was begging mentees in turn to accept me as their mentor. None of them wanted me! Can you imagine?! Bah!

Anyway, I'm very excited that BzFlag has been accepted to Google's Summer of Code and we are all looking forward to the projects being developed this summer!

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Monday, March 12


Sporty Chicks?

Well for anyone who knows my online name, this will make sense:

Special thanks to Pimpi who retrieved it from his children's candy and sent it to me!

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Thursday, February 8


Short Update

Here's a very short update on what's been going on - I'll try to remember to provide an expanded version later on. Kirk has been on the road since January 16th. He did manage a short 2 day trip home for our 5-year anniversary, which we spent in Idyllwild. We stayed at a nice little B&B (Strawberry Creek Inn) and went horseback riding. I picked him up from the airport and took him straight back to the airport - he never even got to come back to the apartment.

While he was in Maui, I took the opportunity to head up to Mammoth with some folks from irc. Christel, who I know from freenode (and whose staff I recently joined), and a couple of others were flying up to Mammoth on a Cessna 210. I attended Bryan and Chad's going away lunch and then drove straight to San Diego.

The flight up was nice, but a bit chilly. It was quite dark by the time we landed. A nice dinner out at Roberto's (where Kirk and I had met Fred & Geri 5 years ago) and the next morning we hit the slopes. Or tried to. It took a while to get everyone sorted, and it was almost 11AM by the time we headed up the hill to take our first run.

Turns out that James was a bit newer to skiing than Tracy or I realized, so we took some time getting him over to a green run and then tried to coach him down the run. It was while on this green run that disaster struck. We were near the right hand side of the very wide run, in perfectly clear view to anyone above us. I was standing still explaining how to snow plow, and Tracy was about 20 yards downhill. All the sudden, I looked uphill and saw a guy coming straight for me, completely out of control, laying back on his skis. Before I even had time to react, he ran right into me. I went flying, landing on my head and shoulder. Tracy later said he stopped about a foot or so from where Tracy was standing.

I was in too much pain to even get up and Tracy went for help. Ski patrol came and I got a nice little ride down the hill on a sled - not exactly what I was expecting. From there, the EMTs took me in an ambulance to the hospital, which was packed. After a substantial wait (a portion of which I spent on irc trying to distract myself from the pain), I was finally wheeled into xray - where they made me do my xrays laying down. First I had to remove about 5 layers of clothing - excruicating!

Turns out, I had a fractured glenoid - that's one of the bones making up the socket. Not good. I was done for the trip - without having taken a single run! I spent the next 2 1/2 days in the hotel room, icing my shoulder, taking pain medication and generally sulking a bit. We had some nice meals out and Christel was a doll and hung out with me most of the time, not getting to ski herself.

Monday, we flew home in stellar weather. I got to ride up front with Tracy (the pilot) and saw some magnificent scenery. As I was now in San Diego with my car, I had a 2 1/2 hour drive home ahead of me. We landed fairly late and I was feeling rather weary, so I decided to postpone my drive home for a day. We met Scott (numist) and Ben (krel) out for dinner and then headed back to Tracy's where I slept like the dead.

Tuesday, I just never got around to going home. I was desperately hoping to find someone who would be willing to drive me back - driving without a right arm/shoulder is difficult, even with an automatic. Putting my seatbelt on turned out to be one of my most challenging tasks. I ended up spending all day Thursday in San Diego too - we went over to Scott's house later in the evening and watched House, along with a bunch of his friends and roomates. It was quite packed, with computers and power cords everywhere you looked. We went out for burritos after House, as we were all starving. It was pretty funny to sit in a roomful of people and have 1/2 the conversation happening online and the rest in real life.

Finally, on Wednesday, I had to go home. My orthopedic appointment was for Thursday. I was pretty nervous about making the drive, but I did. Managed to get home without hitting rush hour in San Diego or LA. My friend, Linda, came over and washed my hair on Wednesday night - that was such a blessing.

On Thursday, my orthopedist took new x-rays and discovered I had two breaks in my shoulder. I had an AC separation and a glenoid break. The AC separation is pretty much ignored - they don't repair those, just let them sort of "heal" on their own (although they pretty much don't go back to the way they were - I'll forever have a bump in my shoulder where the bone sticks up). The glenoid fracture was more troublesome and he sent me for a CTscan on Friday.

I had the scan on Friday and was due to go back in to see my doctor on Monday to get hte results of the scan. However, his office called me Friday afternoon to tell me they had made me an appointment with a specialist - I was seeing him on Monday instead. To me, this meant I was very likely going to require surgery - not good.

Another friend (from bzflag), Manaen (zk), gave me a ring. He is in town for some work training. His timing was perfect, as I was just trying to figure out who to call for a ride to church. When Manaen called, he mentioned going to church, so I invited him to come along AND be my chauffeur, to which he agreed. His internal clock was a bit mixed up though, as he arrived to pick me up at 6:45AM (instead of 8AM). He woke me up when he called, surprising me! We had breakfast at Good Stuff (where I had one of the girls braid my hair) and then headed over to my church, King's Harbor. By the time church was over, I was pretty worn out, so he took me home. I had a Superbowl party I was supposed to attend that afternoon but I ended up staying home and resting.

Monday came along and I went to my specialist appointment. No one had sent over any of the information on my case - not the x-rays or the CTscan. Gah! They took yet a third set of x-rays and got the CTscan written report faxed over. Based on those two items, he decided I did not need surgery! Hooray, good news at last.

Fast forward to today. I've been feeling rather poorly since Monday. I kept hearing a sort of rattling in my chest if I tried to breathe while laying down. Despite taking aspirin, etc., I had a fever that kept coming and going (not too high - no more than about 101) and I had started coughing too (although I resisted coughing as it hurt my shoulder). Finally today, I gave in and went to the doctor. They did a chest x-ray (I'm going to be radioactive if they keep this up) and discovered I have bacterial pneumonia. They think it is caused because of the broken shoulder - I haven't been breathing as deeply as usual and consequently, have been unable to clear my lungs.

So now, not only is it a total pain to type (mostly done one-handed), but it is also difficult to talk, as it tends to make me want to cough, which I decidedly do not want to do.

An aside (but very important), I have terrific friends. Throughout this whole process, my friends and coworkers have been bringing me meals, doing my laundry, washing my hair, shopping for me. I am truly blessed!

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Saturday, November 11


Fun with irssi

So recently, I decided to change from using XChat to using irssi for accessing irc. I had a LOT of help from several folks on the freenode network. In addition, I spent hours perusing the documentation at the official irssi website. It took me a full week to get the settings tweaked to be similar to (or even an improvement on) what I had with xchat.

Since then, I've been slowly adding new scripts and adding other tweaks. Irssi is wonderfully configurable.

One of my annoyances early on, was my tendency to "lose" windows - either channel windows, but more often private message windows. My friend Dennis ([dmp]) got tired of my complaining and constantly asking him to PM me so I could find the right window and he wrote me a nice little script, There is an existing script on the irssi site called, but I found that it was more complex and frankly didn't have some of the basic functionality I wanted. With, I can simply type "/wnn err" and it will take me to the first window (whether channel or pm) that has "err" in the name. If I type it again, it takes me to the next one. The script is clean and easy to use (and Dennis has added functionality as we realized some things using it). Thanks, Dennis!

And yay for irssi! It's a little hard to set up, but well worth the effort!

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Friday, October 6


Late nights on irc

Irc ("Internet Relay Chat")... a gathering place of technologically inclined people, geeks if you will, but each with varying interests, focus, direction and history. With tens of thousands of people on a network, channels exist to make conversations plausible, pleasurable, possible. Channels about computers, games, cooking, lifestyles. Channels that exist for the sole purpose of advancing projects, providing a meeting place for groups and clubs. Channels filled with people who just want someone to talk to. There are even variety channels.

I have a channel, ##essy. I suppose, if I were forced to classify it, it would be a social/variety channel. We have our share of "geeks", by which I mean the hordes of brilliant, selfless people who, at the mere hint of a question mark, will turn their attention and resources to decyphering and solving whatever problem or issue you have (or might have or SHOULD have). We have our younger members (which does not mean less mature). We have our gamers, our bloggers, our technocrats, administrators, teachers, students, Germans, Italians, Swiss, French, English, cooks, restauranteers, entrepreneurs. The variety, the cultures, the languages. In a digital way, it's sort of like some of the traveling we did.

It can be fun at any time of the day, since so many different time zones are represented. Lately, though, a few of us have been hanging on late into the evening. The conversation is varied, often wavering between silly and philosophical, between virtual and real life, between the past, present and future. I've had the wonderful opportunity to get to know some of these folks a bit better through some of these (and other) conversations. Additionally, many of us have resumed our blogging (or started new blogs). Kalen has been blogging - posting some of his writings (past and present) (he is quite prolific - be sure to read his stuff if you can). Tokimi has resumed his blog, and DTRemenak has started a blog (and he blames it on us).

Stop by and see us sometime...and don't worry, we are friendly - we don't bite.

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Thursday, September 28


Girls & the Internet

I had a rather annoying experience on irc yesterday. I had been sent to visit a specific channel to get some help. Upon arriving there, I discovered it was huge! Almost 900 people at any given time. This is not the kind of place I like seeking help. So, I have been sitting there quietly for 4 days, trying to get the "lay of the land".

Last night, I was installing some software and had to reboot my machine. Upon arriving back on this channel where I had been sitting quietly, this happened:

Sep 27 22:18:33 Guy 1 "SportChick" in a Linux distribution channel? Anyone see the irony of an athletically oriented female name present in a Linux channel?
Sep 27 22:18:47 Guy 1 not being chauvinistic, just...observant.
Sep 27 22:18:56 SportChick Guy 1: :p
Sep 27 22:18:57 Guy 2 "SportChick" is a guy posing as a girl to get other guys to help him more quickly.
Sep 27 22:19:13 * Guy 2 is now known as hotbabe892
Sep 27 22:19:18 hotbabe892 Hi boys ;)
Sep 27 22:19:20 Guy 1 Guy 2 observance countered with inference.
Sep 27 22:19:23 SportChick clearly you haven't been paying attention
Sep 27 22:19:23 Guy 1 nice.
Sep 27 22:19:40 Guy 1 SportChick I just got her.e
Sep 27 22:19:54 hotbabe892 One of you manly guys want to help little 'ol me with some Ubuntu? ;);)

This morning, laughing upon hearing of my "adventure", my friend Dennis sent me this hilarious link about "Girls and the Internet".

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Thursday, September 21


Birthday Fun, the Answer Age

Well, birthdays are supposed to be fun, right? I mean, I realize many people get to a certain age and simply just dread turning another year. But birthdays should be a celebration! Well, this year, mine was.

First of all, my wonderful husband was home. For the first time in five years, my birthday managed to fall on a day when he wasn't traveling or otherwise unescapably commited. Last year, he flew to Australia. The two years before were the men's retreat. The first year we were married, he was a groomsman in our best man's wedding and the bachelor party was that night. This year? This year, he was scheduled to fly to Maui the day before my birthday. When told of the impending schedule, he told them that if he wasn't home on my birthday this year, he'd have no home to return to. (He was, of course, kidding; however, the gesture and his determination to be here was greatly appreciated!)

I received a couple of birthday greetings a day or two early. On the night before my birthday, I was playing bzflag with some friends of mine. One is in Germany (Bernie) and one in Utah (Sol). Well, it was certainly my birthdate in Germany - and Bernie was sure to let me know! He not only wished me happy birthday repeatedly, he wouldn't let me sign off until it was my birthday HERE so he could "officially" wish me a happy birthday! Finally, a while after midnight, I said goodnight to Sol & Bernie and got some sleep.

In the morning, Kirk surprised me by setting up a special playlist on iTunes - all containing songs with "birthday", "happy" and "I love you" themes, like "Birthday" (The Beatles), "A Happy Ending" (The Princess Bride Soundtrack), "Donna" (Los Lobos), "The Girl I Love" (Tony Bennett) and "So Happy Together" (The Turtles). It was incredibly sweet and fun! We chatted for a while and finally he had to head off to work. I listened to that playlist all day.

On irc, we have our own channel - it's a small little place (##essy) that a number of bzflaggers and a few other friends visit. Well, Kirk had changed the topic on the channel to let everyone know it was my birthday. Consequently, people were cheerful and fun and we had a sort of virtual party there during the day. One of my GU teammates, romfis, had spammed most of the irc channels along with each team I'm on with a link to the GU Forums, where NTH had posted a birthday topic for me. Kierra did the same on the ducati forums. I was surprised to see a greeting from one of my teammates who, just a few months ago, complained about the posting of "birthday topics". So many people went out of their way to wish me a good day - it was almost a bit overwhelming (but completely and totally appreciated)! I even discovered a voicemail (gah, I picked the wrong day to forget to turn on the ringer for my phone!) from the "Baron clan", in which they, along with my friend Val, sang me a rather muddled, off-key and completely wonderful rendition of "Happy Birthday".

In late morning, Kirk pinged me to say that my birthday present had been delivered. It was shipped to my work address, so he suggested I go pick it up. I was pretty sure I knew what it was. Last week, when we were in Berkeley, tokimi had pinged me to say that Apple had just announced an 80 gb ipod. Now, I've been complaining for months that 40 gb simply isn't big enough. I was hoping for a 150 gb the size of a nano. Yes, yes, I know - it's a bit of a pipe dream, but 80 gb is almost enough to fit about 70% of our current music library (yes, I've been collecting CDs since I was in college - Kirk was happy to marry into so much music). So, when I heard an 80 gb was available, I immediately sent the link to Kirk and said "wow! check this out!" He said "cool! I guess it's a good thing I hadn't bought your birthday present yet, huhn?" So...I was pretty sure I knew what I'd be getting. And I did!

Of course, I immediately took it home, opened it up and started loading music on it. It takes a while to load 80 gb! With the OS and software loaded on the ipod, I had 74.37 gb of usable space. I'm using every little bit and byte. Funnily, it's actually slightly smaller in size than my 40 gb, and the screen is bigger. AND in colour! Now I need a new case, as my old one doesn't fit it properly. Since my old ipod is going to Kirk (his old one died), he will inherit my case too, once I get a new case.

The DUB servers wish SportChick a happy birthdayWhile waiting for my 74.37 gb to transfer over, I played some bzflag. Pimpinella had put up a banner on the dub servers wishing me a happy birthday. (It's interesting how I was turning everything from 16 to 90-something, depending upon who was wishing me a good day! In fact, the answer to my age IS the answer.)

In the early afternoon, my doorbell rang. Now, for the last two and a half weeks (it seems longer!), we have had our lives and apartments turned upside down while they repipe the whole building. They are replacing all of our copper piping. There isn't a single room in our small apartment this isn't affected. We've been waiting for several days for them to finish our apartment (they're done with the repipe, but havne't closed up all the walls), so I presumed that the door was just one of the wallboarding guys coming back to finish up. I was shocked to see a man standing at my door with a huge bouquet of beautiful red roses! I happily accepted the delivery and discovered my wonderful husband had sent them to me!

Kirk and Donna celebrateI knew that Kirk was planning something for that evening - presumably including dinner, so I didn't have to cook. He actually arrived home a full hour earlier than I expected, but then said he had to go run an errand and left. He was home about 40 minutes later. He had a cake and a beautiful card for me! But of course, we were going to have dinner first.

Just as I was almost ready to walk out the door, the doorbell rang (again). What now? It was a delivery for me. I opened the huge box to find ANOTHER flower arrangement...I looked at Kirk quizzically and he shook his head. There was a note - my friends Dianne & Jeff had send the flowers! Cool! Kirk put the flowers in water and we headed out.

I love surprises. It's really hard for Kirk to surprise me - I'm very curious and he's a horrible liar (which is a very good thing, but not conducive to being surprised often). But in this case, I had studiously attempted not to ask him anything about what we were doing, and he had done his part by not bringing it up. I knew it couldn't be too far - we could get there within 15 minutes according to him. We drove down to Hermosa Beach, toward my old house. In fact, a block and a half from my old house! There's a beautiful, well-known little Italian restaurant (called The Bottle Inn) down there that, despite having lived right by it for 18 months and still very close for another another 4 years, I had never been. The menu was divine! It was extremely hard to make a decision, but I finally selected the Risotto Al Filetto and Kirk selected the Conchilioni. We had an appetizer of Calamari - possibly the best I've ever had. It was served in a giant martini glass. The atmosphere was both romantic and conducive to good conversation. We were at a table that was suitably secluded and in a quiet enough location to have conversation without straining our voices or our ears.

I thought we would manage to sneak out the door without any "birthday" hoopla, but (when asked if we wanted to order dessert) Kirk mentioned we were heading home to get some birthday cake and of course, they were back moments later with a small dish of chocolate mousse and loud voices.

After dinner, we took a nice walk along the strand in Hermosa Beach. It has been so long since we've done that, and despite my completely unsuitable (and clacky) shoes, we had a very nice time! All-in-all, it was a fantastic day - certainly the best birthday I can remember ever having! Thanks to everyone who made it so special!

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Saturday, September 16


lilo's Passing

I spend a good bit of time on the irc Freenode network. It has a long and somewhat interesting history that I won't go into here, but thanks to Sean for showing it to me. At any rate, Freenode has been headed by Rob Levin a/k/a "lilo" and "someguy" for quite some time now. He had a vision for the way irc should work and was implementing that vision on Freenode.

I just found out that on September 12th, Rob was out riding his bicycle and was hit by a car. He spent the next 4 days in a coma and eventually succumbed to his injuries, passing away today, September 16th. I know many will miss lilo. He had a great impact on irc and a great many people who use his network. Of course, he left behind a lot of people in "real life" too - he had a wife and child.

Several times, I spent a good bit of time talking to Rob. Not only was he an incredibly nice person, but he spent more time than was necessary walking me through how things worked, why they worked and generally orienting me to irc. We also chatted a few times on a personal level. I liked him and always knew I could go to him if I had questions or concerns. He will be missed by many, including me.

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Wednesday, August 23


The Good, The Bad & the Parched

Airline travel these days is nothing like it was even 5 years ago. Sure, they still have pilots, flight attendants, cushy seats in first, narrow & uncomfortable seats in coach, loud obnoxious passengers & bad movies. The food used to be bad, but free. Now it's bad AND you have to pay for it. But now, you can't take water onto the plane. No spritzer. No coke. No gatorade, fingernail file. No scissors, so if you are planning to crochet or knit or sew, forget it. At least we haven't gone as far as the flights out of the UK, where NO carry ons are allowed on the plane - not even a purse! Airport security now has long lines to go through, and virtually no one on the far side. If you even THINK of pulling out a camera and snapping a photo anywhere near security, you'll have 10 agents surrounding you, demanding the film, camera and wanting to search you and your luggage.

All this said, my day started out quite fine. My friend Dina graciously drove me to the airport - albeit a bit early, as she had an appointment, but it was fine for me. After a slight glitch at check in (I went through the automated check in process, but the silly machine couldn't find my reservation), I breezed through security. During checkin, I heard a young lady next to me who apparently, though she was checking in 45 minutes prior to her departure (on an international flight), missed the deadline and was to be waitlisted on a flight leaving 7 hours later. I passed her on the way to security, trying to find coins for a pay phone. I remembered all the times during our travels we had to sort out making phone calls and just let her use my cell instead. A nice gal from Melbourne, just trying to get home. Apparently, check in in Melbourne for international flights is only 30 minutes. Hopefully she made it home.

From my past as a frequent traveler, I have a lifetime membership in the Admiral's Club. It's a nice little perk for when I'm traveling on American Airlines, which I was. I spent the next 2+ hours hanging out in the AC, drinking as much water and juice as I could consume and snacking on whatever they had laying around - fruit, cheese & crackers, trail mix. I watched one guy who managed to fill a plastic cup with trail mix, then, trying to balance it on his laptop, while carrying the laptop and a beverage of some sort, managed to dump the entire cup of trailmix all over the floor. He started to walk away, thought better of it, and then started to sweep up the pieces with his shoe, which, of course, merely crushed the pieces into smaller pieces and burrow them into the carpet. Eventually, he knelt down and scooped them up with his hands, leaving the remaining pieces for the attendant to sweep up a bit later. I passed the time chatting with a couple of people on IRC (for those of you who don't know, come to the freenode network, channel ##essy) and trying to do some testing at the same time.

Finally, it was time to board by plane. Another perk of the Admiral's Club (and arriving 3 hours early) was that I was able to change my seat to my favorite - the bulkhead aisle seat, right behind 1st class. Of course, 1st class would be nice, but I don't travel enough anymore to earn the upgrades. I got to the gate, expecting a giant crowd, only to find that they had already boarded most everyone. I breezed onto the plane, stowed my backpack and settled in.

There was a teenage girl in the seat next to me, traveling alone. By the way, not only did I score the bulkhead aisle seat, but it was exit row too! She offered me a stick of gum, which I gladly accepted, after having had an ear ache for the last week. Then she proceeded to talk. A lot.

Do you remember those people when you were younger? They were very nice, but seemingly not very self-confident. They often talked about themselves, and dropped comments or hints of things that were supposed to impress you? I think this is something that happens most with teenagers, and this young lady was no exception. She was very sweet though. Eventually, I managed to get engrossed in my book for a while and she turned her attention to the inflight entertainment.

The flight attendants seemed a bit harried. Apparently, even though it was a full flight, they were running with a minimum crew. There was a bit of confusion and one of the flight attendants was having to man the drink cart, which weights about 150 pounds all loaded, by herself. That doesn't sound so bad, except when you consider that the plane was still gaining altitude, so it was a bit heavier. Then they came around with the "meal" ($5 for a turkey sandwich) and "snack box" ($4 for a box containing small amounts of goldfish crackers, mixed nuts, raisins, a sausage stick, cheese and crackers and a cookie). I spent $4.

Now, here's where I get to rant a little. There were three flight attendants handling all of coach, which was full. One of them, I barely saw - I think she was working the back section most of the time. One, Kate, was mostly helping us and was extremely nice. The third was... a bit rough around the edges. She basically was quite impatient and rather curt. That's fine - everyone has bad days. But...

On the second drink pass, Ms. Curt and Kate were sorting something out on one of the carts. Kate had gone back to get something and suddenly, I felt my arm get extremely wet. I looked down and saw my sleeve was soaked and orange juice was dripping down my arm. I looked up and saw Ms. Curt. She didn't even notice. I said, "Excuse me?" and she noticed I was a bit wet and handed me a teeny napkin (the drink-sized square kind) and said, "Oh, don't worry, it's only water." and she walked off. ARGH!! I was also penned in by the cart, so I couldn't get up to go to the bathroom and try to wash my arm off. A few minutes later, Kate came back and graciously handed me a can of club soda and two thick towelsized napkin thingies to try and get the orange juice out of my sleeve (so it wouldn't stain). Now, with a thoroughly wet sleeve, that air they always have going on the plane started to feel a bit chilly. I wrapped up tighter in the blanket.

After a trip to the toilet, I came back and wrapped up in the blanket again, only to discover that I had turned it around and the part I had wrapped around my arms previously had been on the floor and was also soaked in orange juice. Sigh. I flipped it around again. About 2 hours later, I'm starting to dry out sufficiently (it's a 5 hour flight) and I made another trip to the toilet (remember, I spent 2 hours in the Admiral's Club downing all I could drink). When in there, I noticed that a 5 inch section of the back of my shirt, near the hem, had managed to take on a douse of OJ and I was just noticing it. It was mostly dry, but had orange juice stains all over it... So, I got ANOTHER can of club soda and ANOTHER one of those cool towelettes (from Kate of course) and I did my best to get the stain out. Another hour or two to go of being wet and uncomfortable.

Do you remember when you were a child, and you used to chew gum? I do. Vividly. My father used to get terrificly angry if I chewed it with my mouth open. Or if I made snapping or popping sounds with my gum. I always thought he was over-reacting and being silly, but he was my dad. And I prefered not to be spanked - especially in my teenage years. So, I learned the fine art of stealth gum chewing. Well. Dad. I now "get" it. In the last hour or so of the flight, I chose to listen to my ipod and relax a bit. Despite the fact that I was wearing headphones and the music was sufficiently loud, I could hear, as if I had nothing in my ears, the gal next to me making the most obnoxious sounds with her gum. I sat there dreaming of ways to politely (or

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Donna in Austria
Click for larger image Austria, August 2003