Hoop Song

The gentle summer breeze

rushes past the leaves

soothing

awakening

and calming.

The hoop, a circle

of harmony, love

acceptance 

and balance. 

You race around my body

my thighs, hips and waist

slapping what is out of place

back in.

Sweat is dripping

chaos is leaving

room for tranquility

to settle in. 

How I’ve missed you my love

I’m glad I returned.

(Free verse poem written by me after a long overdue hoop session. Hope you enjoyed it!)

Blogger Recognition Award

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I would like to thank The Wounded Healer for nominating me to receive this award. This is my first award, and it means a lot to have been nominated.

I started blogging in uni back in 2002. At the time, I was blogging on xanga because that’s where my friends had been doing it. I started there to keep up with what they had been writing, and soon became interested in jotting down a few ideas of my own. I went from the one blog to keeping 3 or 4 on the same site, then stopped blogging almost entirely by 2006. One of the 4 blogs that I kept was about food, and I started that one around the time that I had finished cooking school. I even got featured on one of the pages that features food blog entries. I may have even had a livejournal, if I remember correctly. One day, I decided that I wanted to blog again, only to find out that xanga was no more… so I started blogging again in September 2013 here on WordPress.

Miss Rachel Chanel is self titled. I acted at some point, and I wanted this to be my stage name if I got more work. I also wanted this to be my pen name for writing. Fun fact: Chanel is what my mom wanted to name me. My first name was given to me by my grandmother. The “was supposed to be my name” is my middle name. This blog is about me and how I enjoy life. I don’t enjoy it every day, which can be read in some of my entries… but at least I’ve enjoyed good food along the way.

To the bloggers getting started or that have been at it for a while… gosh, I don’t know what to say. One thing I’ve strived to do with my blog is be true to my voice. If I was ranting, I try to edit it as little as possible to convey the raw emotion. Not every day is great, and that’s okay. I’ve also learned that when you release those raw feelings and share them, you might find that someone out there can relate. I’ve also discovered that more people are reading and paying attention than you might think. I’ve wanted to give up at times because I felt like no one would miss it. When you feel like that, think of the reason you started. Remember it each time you write. Surprisingly, when you stay true to yourself and to your voice, somebody’s going to read it. More than one somebody, actually. They might even like it.

For this award, I’d like to nominate people whose blogs I’ve been following for quite a while. Apologies if you’ve already been nominated (I mean, you’re so awesome that it wouldn’t surprise me):

  1. Helen Jones-journeytoamberth
  2. SouthernBelly
  3. ShunPWrites
  4. Robert Okaji- O At The Edges
  5. leaf and twig
  6. of fries and men
  7. blonde write more

All right, so we’re all honored, yeah yeah, and NOW… here’s what we must do to receive said award.

The rules of the Award-

1) Write a post to show the award.
2) Thank the person who nominated you.
3) Briefly describe your journey as a blogger.
4) Give advice to other bloggers.
5) Nominate other bloggers.

Hope you like enjoy sharing your experience!

Thanks again for the nomination; it’s my first one! Yay!

Ciao beautiful peoples! Part of me wants to do this again to nominate others of you.

 

Au ciel

“My head’s stuck in the clouds, she begs me to come down, says ‘Boy, quit fooling around’. I told her, I love the view from up here…” 

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I still remember my first flight. I was 13 years old, and going to Walt Disney World for the first time. Childlike fascination overtook me, and I was in awe of the fact that we were high enough to be amongst clouds. Although I knew I couldn’t technically walk on clouds, I imagined being like Superman, getting to fly through and around them. From that moment, I knew I would always love flying.

Almost 20 years later, I still enjoy flying; in fact, flying is now my bread and butter. I learned in a very short space of time that there’s much more to it than simply punching a hole in the sky. There are many hands that help people go from one place to another, long checklists, and a lot of communications that must go back and forth. And paperwork. LOTS of paperwork. My office might be in the sky, but we still kill trees just as much as any corporation does. Trust me on that one.

The days are long and trying, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It’s a pleasure when I don’t have to work a flight, and can catch a ride from one place to another. If I’m lucky, I’m assigned a window seat. I settle myself, fasten that seatbelt, and look eagerly out. When the “crosswalk” appears on the ground, the engines rev up and that aircraft barrels down the runway until it lifts off into the sky, I’m suddenly 13 again. That same excitement is there, and I hope it will never be lost on me.

I was always a sky girl, and now I have the job to prove it.

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Ew, Really? Summer again?

When I saw people making a big deal about the summer solstice on the news, I rolled my eyes and honestly got annoyed.

What’s the big deal?

The ones that make a big deal of it are adults, and I can’t see why. Most of the time, depending on where you live, it’s too hot to go outside. So all you do is go out in the heat just to seek refuge from it. There are also more bugs out, and everyone on the planet gets the same idea to migrate to the beach on the weekend… so the beaches are overcrowded and unenjoyable. Who wants to deal with all of that?

Summer stopped being enjoyable at least 10 years ago for me. All I’ve ever done during the summertime is work, and try not to come to work sweaty and gross. Why do adults look forward to the summertime anyway? Unless you’re a teacher, you still have to go to work. And if you’re a parent, you now have to figure out how to keep your older children entertained. You might even give them some form of a curriculum so that they don’t lose what they’ve learned in school.

Let’s not even mention all the skin that’s everywhere. That alone makes me want to escape to the nordic regions of the world and live in an igloo. I don’t know if Colonel Sanders had to deal with breasts and thighs like that. Speaking of which, most of us adults spent the friggen springtime obsessing over what our bodies will look like, and follow all kinds of crazy diets to almost feel like we look good in our swimsuits on a beach. And you know what’s messed up? We probably only went to the beach one time during the whole season because of… you guessed it. Work.

Who is summer fun for anymore? Kids?

There was a time, though, that I used to love summer. I hated school, so I would day dream about all the tv I could watch, family beach trips to be taken, ice cream to eat, and fireflies to be caught at night. Let’s not forget the cookouts. I live in a place where there is a grilling season, and nothing is more thrilling than breaking out the grill and smelling the coals burning. My mouth would begin to water before food was even on the grates.

Summer used to mean freedom. It was a break and a rest from toil and stress. Before we had central air in our house, I use to enjoy movie trips just to escape the heat, or those midday siestas that fostered a special kind of sleep. It was too hot to harness energy for anything else. The rain felt rejuvenating on especially hot and humid days, and when the storm passed… the air was cooler, but still comfortable and inviting. It felt like a great big hug.

Those days are gone now. The only thing I enjoy about summer now are the nights. The repose I used to like about this season comes back, and my love rekindles. I always loved a good summer night and still do. I like that just a sundress and sandals is all you need. A breeze caresses your skin and makes your body tingle. I even have a couple of steamy summer memories with summertime flings. For now, though, I’m fine with listening to the crickets chirp, and holding my sandals in my hand to enjoy the grass under my feet and the earth between my toes.

And even still, I enjoy watching the fireflies bring light to the darkness.

Summer might not be my favourite season anymore, but I remember when it was. Maybe we’ll rekindle what was lost one day.

One Became Four

“Go through the door, down the steps, and it’s the second door on the left”, he said.

“Got it”, I replied.

I came out and informed the flight attendant that I tripped on a crooked step. He made sure I was okay, then vowed to fix the stair himself with duct tape.

Mind you, this conversation concerned the lavatory on an airplane. This is what air stewards do.

This is Day 3 of a 4-day trip that was only supposed to be a 1-day trip. Thank God that I had prepared myself with the right amount of food this time; my bank account would not have been able to support me on one day, let alone 4.

  • Day 1: I worked a long behind round trip from Philly to Memphis, then back to Philly. I received a call from scheduling, telling me that I needed to catch a ride to Washington DC, then work a flight to White Plains, NY. Apparently, I missed a call telling me not to catch the ride. Needless to say, I stayed the night in White Plains. It was a short overnight.
  • Day 2: Worked a flight from White Plains early in the morn to go back to Washington DC. I caught a ride to Charlotte, where there were 2 pilots that needed a flight attendant. I had a bacon cheeseburger & fries at around 8:30am (winning!), then slipped into a food coma on the ride from DC to Charlotte, NC. Worked a flight from Charlotte to Columbia, SC. Very short flight. I had complimentary cookies at the hotel, and got a crazy look when I asked the restaurant staff for bread. I had run out of sandwich bread, thinking that I was only going to be gone for 2 days. It had been stretched into 3 by this point.
  • Day 3 (today): woke up this morning and checked my schedule. My 3-day was sprinkled with pixie dust, thus magically turning it into a 4-day trip. Last day is tomorrow, for sure. It’s my last day of reserve (on call). I’ll be home for real, but not before an early start and a grueling work day. Today wasn’t bad at all, but tomorrow is 5 flights, and I gotta catch a ride home from DC to Philly. Today, I worked 3 flights, and caught a ride to Cleveland, OH.

In truth, I don’t mind long trips away from home; when I actually am home, I feel dysfunctional. I don’t know what to do other than eat and sleep, and avoid doing chores. Oddly enough, I can settle into a routine very easily when I’m on-the-go. Being away from home often is almost normal to me, like I was created to live that way. It really isn’t for everyone.

Now I must try my best to sleep, as I’ll have to wake up at 4am tomorrow. Hopefully, the coffee maker works because I suffered today. Usually, I’ll have 1/2 a cup if I feel droopy, but the coffeemaker had other plans today… like to take a vacation and not let me know about it. These things must pass through me; we’re supposed to work together, after all!

I’m kind of glad that I’ll be home tomorrow; food supplies were running low, and my bank account mocks me with low funds.

All I can do is laugh and pray that this, too, shall pass. Thank goodness for fellow flight attendants because no one knows the struggle like they do. One of them that I met today has been doing this 3o years as a part time career. Both were fun guys, and it was a joy to be on their flight.

No Place Like Home

I sit outside on a beautifully warm Monday in what is this writer’s natural habitat: Starbucks.

With a notebook and paper in front of me (I know, how retro of me!), I casually sip my black iced coffee with a shot of espresso, and lose myself whilst pondering. A cute guy sitting across from me interrupts my thoughts. I know I should make an excuse to talk to him, but I know me: I’ll give a coy glance here and there, but won’t actually speak to him. Having a way with words only translates on paper, not in audible speech.

This is where it all began; most of those early blogs were written here. Now that I can write them from hotels in different states, I find myself missing the inspiration that came from Starbucks. Not just any Starbucks, though. MY Starbucks. I know the staff and they know me; I even went on a date with one of the workers. It didn’t work out, but I still think he’s delicious.

The more I sit here and think about it, the more appreciation for my domicile builds. Being away so much has made me embrace and enjoy being home all the more.

I sit sideways in the chair with my leg swinging off the arm, enjoying the breeze that rustles through the trees. The canopy of leaves provides shade where I sit, and cars zip hastily by as I enjoy my moment of repose. Memories of talking with girlfriends eke into my consciousness, and nostalgia takes hold. Now I get why some people nest in certain places and don’t leave.

Going out and about is great; it makes coming home that much sweeter. There are many different Starbucks stores in the world, but it’s not this store in this place. None of them have the memories that this one does for me. I’ve got a lot of memories here, and I’m not sure that I want to let those go. In fact, I’m eager to start some new ones. Maybe with the same friends, and maybe with different ones.

Other places that I love to hit up at home are:

  • Rita’s Water Ice. The water ice can be bought in pints, and their frozen custard is to die for also. Yeah it’s a chain, but I’ve been living up the street from Rita’s since I was a kid! It’s a seasonal store, but it tastes better that way.
  • Tom Jones Restaurant. This is a diner that’s open 24 hrs. The cinnabon à la mode is my favourite thing. At one point, I was hitting this place up at the end of every work week; I was tired and not trusting myself to cook.
  • Little Anthony’s. A pizza joint close to my heart because I got friendly with the guys working there. Highly recommend their white broccoli pizza & cheese fries.
  • Pinocchio’s. My other favourite pizza joint. Back in the day, an ice cream parlour was attached to it. Now that attached building is where you buy beer. It’s starting to become well known for its beer garden.
  • Iron Hill Brewery. Any place that makes something like brisket fries and the Mahalo Apollo is a place that is hard to stay away from! I was so excited when the latter came back this season. They’re also great with responding to comments on their Instagram page.
  • La Na Thai French Cuisine. This is my favourite thai place mostly because of their lunch specials. A friend introduced me to this place years ago, and I haven’t left. Whether I had little money and no job, or good money and a decent job, I always found myself here. The food is good as is the price. Plus it’s BYOB. What’s not to love? There’s no corking fee of which I’m aware.
  • Linvilla Orchards. There’s a reason that the Twitter name for this wonderful orchard/farmers market is @ilovethatplace. As a kid, I was all about jumping in the giant haystack, the pie, hayrides in the fall, and the corn maze. As an adult… well, I still love the pie. I also now appreciate the farmer’s market. And the cider doughnuts, which they sell all year round.
  • Margaret Kuo’s & Jing Fong. Favourite places for Chinese food take-out. You can also dine in at Margaret’s, while Jing Fong is solely take out. Jing Fong has the best chicken wings I’ve ever bought from a Chinese food place, and they make a vegetable egg roll that I actually prefer over the pork version. That’s definitely saying something!

And Philly. Oh wonderful Philly. That needs its own post. In fact, it has had a few on this blog. I have my haunts there, and am still learning this town.

It’s in my nature to be adventurous, and I desire to explore every corner of this earth that I possibly can; however, home will always be home. Maybe one day I’ll live somewhere else, but while I’m here and when I’m not flying out, I vow to unearth coolness in my town with as much zeal as I do my newest destination.

Peace & love folks; enjoy your week.

#weekendcoffeeshare

If We Were Having Coffee

I’d be shifting uncomfortably in my chair because my back hurts. Sitting straight without slouching has been the best way to sit for the past 3 days. I’d also be sipping herbal tea since I can’t have caffeine on my period; the cramps thereafter usher in death, and I’d like to keep that at bay.

I’ll be all right; the pain medication should kick in soon.

Work has been slow and money has been slim. It’s bringing me to a place where I need to make some decisions. I have my concerns, though. I just wish I had someone to think it all through with, which is why I’m glad that you’re here.

Will I have to sacrifice what I love and where I want to go for the present needs? Will I ever come back around to the things that I truly love? And, most importantly, will I have to consider being… landlocked??

I was talking to either a pilot or another flight attendant, and said that I would have to have a stay-at-home husband. Not in the sense that he stayed at home exclusively to care for children (not unless he could work from home, making that a possibility). I followed this up with “Well one of us has to stay at home, and it’s not going to be me.” Thinking back on how miserable it was to be landlocked, I cannot allow that to happen again; I love to be mobile, but I like having a home base.

Part of me always worried that this job would kill any chance of finding a mate. I took the job because it’s not like I had any luck with that before. My rationale for keeping it was that I can at least have a job that I love since being alone is the deal right now. Who knows how long that “now” will last.

Maybe I should wander even further out. Broaden my horizons in a literal sense. These are the things that are on my mind as I sip my tea. Amongst these concerns lies the niggling to keep up with bills if any big changes are to be made.

I’m not sure what to do, but something must be done.

Just a few thoughts as I sip my tea, and hope that you are in better spirits than I am. Not to say that that my disposition is foul; I’m just contemplative, which sobers the emotions and subdues any radical moods.

How’s life going for you?

#weekendcoffeeshare