The Time for Finding a Birthing Class Is Upon Us

This is so crazy. Time has flown. There are only three months left and we now need to take some sort of lamaze class. Unfortunately we won't be able to take the Midwife Center class because they all are either on shabbos or yomim tovim. So I think our options are limited to West Penn Allegheny Health classes.
More to come on what we decide to do.


This made me think of one of my favorite lines from F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
[Phoebe is in labor]
Frank Buffay Jr.: Hey. I came as soon as I heard. 
Phoebe: Hey. Where's Alice? 
Frank Buffay Jr.: Oh, she's in Delaware. But, don't worry, she told me all about the lamazda training. 
Yes, that would be if you get the babies out by the end of the month, you get 2% financing. 


The JetBlue Misconception

JetBlue flight 1052 from Pittsburgh to New York. Sounds like a regular old flight right? Wrong!

It was on this flight that Steven Slater pulled out a submachine gun and killed 40,000 passengers before chugging a gallon of vodka and blowing up the airport.
Uh, I think that sounded like I work in the media all of a sudden. OK, here is the real story as experienced by me and Rik.

It was a normal Monday morning at Pittsburgh International Airport. The weather was fair; planes were taking off and landing with regularity. But somewhere, trouble was brewing. DUN DUN DUN!!! A routine flight headed to JFK International Airport in New York was boarding and, as usual, a passenger was not happy. She had an over sized bag that just wouldn't fit in the overhead compartment. As his job description dictated, Mr. Slater approached the lady and told her that she will need to check the bag underneath the plane and will get it back when the plane lands. Well, she didn't like what she was hearing but she had no choice so she violently yanked her bag out of the overhead and caught Slater right on the forehead with enough force to cut him. When Rik and I boarded the plane (we got on later because we were in row 5) I mentioned to her that the flight attendant was bleeding. I thought it was really strange but when I saw him again it seemed to be taken care of.

Throughout the rest of the morning our interactions with Mr. Slater were very positive. He was very nice to Rik and even let her get up to use the bathroom when the seat belt light was still on. So it came as quite a shock that night when we got to our hotel room that night and saw, in our email inboxes, an email from JetBlue apologizing for the inconvenience. Here is an excerpt from the email:

On behalf of the 12,500 professional Crewmembers here at JetBlue, we appreciate the opportunity to extend a sincere apology for the situation you experienced on August 9th, on JetBlue Flight #1052. We appreciate your patience and understanding as events unfolded. This situation is absolutely not what you have come to expect from JetBlue. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation in connection with the deployment of our emergency slide.
As a gesture of goodwill and apology for any inconvenience you may have experienced, we have issued a credit in the amount of $100 in your name. These funds will be placed in your JetBlue Travel Bank within seven (7) days and may be used in the next year towards the purchase of travel on JetBlue. You will receive communication confirming the credits via email.

What the hell happened? We took off on time. We landed on time. The flight was a little turbulent (in the regular sense of the word) but JetBlue had no control over that. Why were they giving us this money? We just dismissed it and figured we would get an email saying that we received that email in error and no money was actually being deposited. Anyway, we forgot all about it until my father called me the next morning while we were roaming around Chinatown. He said something along the lines of "so, I guess you were on the flight yesterday". And I said "huh?". Which is when he proceeded to tell me about the guns and explosions and all that other stuff that the news was broadcasting as fact. So, we looked the story up online and started hearing about it on the news and were really intrigued. How could we have missed this? Did this really happen while we were on the plane? We really couldn't figure it out. Then, a few days later, we start getting calls from JetBlue, TSA, and JFK airport security. They all wanted to know what really happened. So we told them that we had no idea. We saw Steven bleeding but nothing else. Then, after we answered all of their questions, I asked a few of my own. What happened on the flight. What have they found out from asking people who were actually on the flight? And this is what I found out: while the flight was boarding, a female passenger was trying to cram and oversized bag into the overhead compartment. Mr. Slater advised her that it was too big and he would check it underneath and have it returned when the plane lands. She got upset and angrily hands her bag over, swearing and then accidentally hitting Slater in the head and cutting him. Slater, obviously tired of the horrible treatment, spent the flight upset at being antagonized again! Then, as the plane was taxiing into the terminal, several passengers started getting up and getting their stuff. Slater got on the PA system and told those passengers that they needed to take their seats and wait until the seatbelt light turned off. So, everyone sat back down and everything continued as normal.

Then, when passengers were de-planing in New York, the original passenger apparently kept harassing him and complaining about her bag not being there when she needed it. Slater, finally fed up with it all, got on the PA system and let those passengers who were left on the plane (JetBlue said there were only about 15 passengers that actually witnessed it) that enough was enough, and pulled the emergency slide and had some fun on the way out of a 20 year career. See, pretty harmless. I don't know what all the fuss was about. The man had a bad day and probably had a concussion from being hit in the head. And the country wants this man arrested and fined as if he were some sort of terrorist.

I can't speak for anyone else but, if he were the flight attendant for me again, I would feel safe and not have a problem with it. We all have bad days. Let's stop overanalyzing his.



Well, it only took us a little over a year but we are finally going on our honeymoon. Maybe it can be called a babymoon too but we are just calling it the honeymoon. It still doesn't seem like it's been a whole year since we got married but, I guess it has. Anyway, as with all vacations, this weekend is going to be crazy hectic with preparing food, clothes, last minute stuff, and also researching where the birth centers are in all stops of our trip (just in case). You never know, hopefully that baby stays inside but if Ike decides he/she wants to see New York, we will be prepared.

Our first leg of the trip is the actual honeymoon. We are staying for three days and two nights in midtown Manhattan in a nice hotel with a pool. During that time we will be attending Mary Poppins on Broadway and doing other touristy stuff; Empire State Building, Chinatown, going out to eat, and of course visiting Justina. She is the only person who we are going to be meeting up with in NY. With all of her recent stuff going on plus the fact that we haven't seen her since the wedding, we really need to see her. Not to mention the fact that we want to visit her.

After NY we are going to take a train up to Fairfield to visit Rik's old hometown. Last time we were there I got really sick and didn't truly get to experience it so this time I told my tummy to behave. We are going to see a few families and I think we are planning to have lunch there. After Fairfield we are going to New Haven to spend the night with the Roffmans and I think we are even going to get to see Mindy and her family (now of 4).

Next stop is back to NY for a late night flight to Washington DC Dulles airport. Our flight gets in at 10:40 PM so don't expect us to be very talkative. We are staying with Robyn and Leon and Basha Chaya and Liora Ness. We are staying in Potomac for shabbos, spending a great deal of it with the Frankls who are in from Israel. I can't wait to see them. Haven't seen 'em since I left the holy land in 2006. It has been waaaay too long. Then, on Saturday night, I am going to play pickup hockey with my cousin Adam somewhere in Maryland. I am not sure yet where. And of course, on Sunday we are going to try to get together with family for a brunch somewhere.

Well, that seems to be it. I gotta get back to work.

Have a great shabbos!

Our First Car!

So, here is how it all went down, because it happened really quickly. On Wednesday, my co-worker and good friend Bryan told me about a friend of his selling a car. I was interested as we have been looking for a car to purchase for a while now. We have been iffy about being able to buy one but when Bryan told me about this one I had a feeling we had found our car.

I called the Rik and told her what I had learned and she told me to call the owner and get some more information. I called the owner and found out more about the car and everything he told me seemed to be exactly what we had been looking for. 4 doors, check. AC, check. Small, check. Low mileage, check. Low price tag, check.

That night I went to test drive the car and I really liked it. It drove nicely. It was raining out and the car handled really well. The wipers worked great and no water was leaking in. Well, we got back to his garage and we spoke about pricing and stuff. Then he drove me home.

Rik and I talked it over that night and decided that this was an opportunity that we couldn't pass up. At the moment we can't really afford to insure and register it so we decided that we will just buy it and keep it behind her parent's house for now until a time that we can pay to use it.

Yesterday, I called the owner and told him that we were going to buy it. I asked my manager for permission to leave work for a few hours and she said it was fine. I left work at 10:00 and went straight to the bank. Had a banks check made out to him and then met him at my in-laws. We parked the car in the back and took off the plate. It read "DAY-3930" in case you were curious. From there we went down to AAA and transfered the title to my name. After that I took him home and that was it. Not even three hours. I was back at work at 12:45.

So, Rik and I are now the proud owners of a 1997 Honda Civic EX 4 door sedan. It has 66,841 miles. Power windows. Power locks. AC/heat. A sunroof. Fabric interior (which we preferred, hate those leather seats in the summer). Everything we really needed in a car is in it. Now all it needs is an HD radio!

Coaching From Experience

This past winter (that of 2009/10) I helped a friend out with coaching a youth ice hockey fundamentals class. It was there that I realized how much fun it is to coach kids. Now, with Ike on the way, I am really excited to watch my own kid get involved in sports, eventually of course (I doubt they make 0-6 month old ice skates or baseball gloves), and maybe even coach them.

Fast forward a few months. I am at the library looking for books on hockey history to read in my spare time (I highly recommend "Why Is The Stanley Cup In Mario Lemieux's Swimming Pool?" and "Best in the Game: The Turbulent Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rise to Stanley Cup Champions") and I came across a book titled "Coaching Kids For Dummies", a how-to book that covers a variety of topics and aspects that parents should consider when coaching children. I am only midway through the second chapter and I have already learned a lot from it. From the first chapter though is where I learned a lesson on my own experience in sports.

As you know (if you read my previous post) I am on a hockey team that is doing terribly. We signed up for the wrong league and are all getting really frustrated, as well as having a great time. Our captain, who happens to be the guy I did the fundamentals class with over the winter, is looking into other options for us to play next season in a league that is more suited to our level of play. In the last post I mentioned that getting beaten every game is a lesson in humility. Well, after reading this book, I realized that my perspective had been all wrong to begin with. The whole point of this league is to have fun and to compete. I was putting way to much pressure on myself to excel in a situation that didn't allow me to. I was having fun but not allowing myself to be satisfied. What I need to do for the last three games is just go out there, have fun, and work on my skills. That is what it's all about. There is no prize for winning. No trophies or plaques or anything. It's all about having fun and I can see that now.

Before, I said that I am going to ditch my team at the end of the year but after one of our more recent games I spoke to one of the referees who had worked two of our games. He recommended that I move down a level and continue playing with my team. There, I can be one of the better players in the league and really get a chance to work on my skills. I should play two or three seasons at that level and then move up with the confidence and skills that I have been building. That was really good advice. I am still looking into both options but for now I want to stay with my team.

As for coaching, the experience I am having of losing every game of the season and still having a great time is the first thing I will tell any group of kids that I am assigned to. "Listen up, a few years ago I was on a team that was shut out in 5 of our first 7 games and lost all 10. But every person on our team had fun. That is the point of playing and that is the only thing I expect from you guys. Winning, statistics, great plays all mean nothing. We are all learning. As long as we have fun the whole season then, win or lose, we are winners. This is your time! Now go out there and take it!"