I’ve written about my charming, witty, and always stylish friend (and writing partner) Margo Candela before, and I’ve even featured her book, More Than This, in the Galley Gossip post, Love on the Plane. Well I’ve got big news, people! Latino Literacy Now announced the winners of their 11th Annual International Latino Book Awards today during BookExpo America taking place in New York this weekend and More Than This came in second in the Best Novel-Romance category.
Category Archives: Books
Check out Ellie Krieger’s website http://www.healthylivingwithellie.com/
1. People watch. Better yet, get to know one of the people you’ve been watching. Then, if you’re feeling kinda ballsy, go for it! Get a date. Seriously, what better place to meet the person of your dreams than at the airport. Walk around, linger at the gate, and when you find that perfect someone, use the flight cancellation as an ice breaker, and then head on over to the food court for a coffee date. Take it a step further and try speed dating.
2. Eat. Don’t you know that calories don’t count at the airport. What do you mean there’s no place to sit? Have a picnic. Find a place on the floor and enjoy. Make it romantic by bringing along a date, the one you picked up at the gate.
3. Call your mother. You’ve FINALLY got the time. Or better yet, call someone else’s mother, like my mother. Why not go through your entire phone list and call every single person you know. Make a few prank calls while you’re at it. Feel funny calling a certain someone, delete that number! Seriously, it’s time.
4. Read. Buy a magazine (Or two. Or three) and catch up on celebrity gossip, new recipes, ways to organize your life, the latest international news, or what about discovering something entirely new? Or how about a book? May I suggest Eat Pray Love? Not only will it pass the time, it may even inspire you to change your life. Pillars of the Earth is not only a good read, but a long one, which will keep you busy for days and days and days, and let’s face it, it could be days until you’re finally out of there, so go ahead, prop those feet up on the luggage and get lost in a book.
5. Just buy it already! That pricey electronic device you’ve always wanted, but weren’t quite sure if it was really worth it. You know exactly what I’m talking about – those Bose noise cancellation headsets (so you don’t have to talk to the one lingering around the gate, checking you out), or an electronic book reader like the Kindle (so you don’t have to buy all those magazines and that big heavy book), or how about the ipod that plays movies (so you can stop looking over your neighbor’s shoulder). I mean don’t you wish you had it now? There’s a Brookstone, I’m sure, just around the corner.
6. Get your shoes shined. It’ll not only make you look better, but it will also make you feel better.
7. Be a perv. Get frisked. A couple times. Go back and forth through security and when they look at you funny, grin mischievously, and say they missed a spot.
8. When someone is paged over the airport intercom, drop everything, put your hands over you ears, and cry out, “I’m hearing voices again!” Or try pretending you’re the someone they paged, every single time someone is paged. See if they notice.
9. Bother the Agent. Get up and mimic the agent when he/she makes an announcement. Constantly ask “When are we going to leave? Can’t we just get a new airplane?” Make sure to use the word ridiculous when asking a question.
10. Play a game. How about what’s in your bag? Try and guess what people pack. Winner gets a free snack at the food court.
11. Work Out. Use the moving sidewalk like a treadmill, or the escalator as a stair stepper. Put on your shorts, wear a sweatband, and listen to your ipod. No shorts? Go borrow some. Rifle through a couple of those bags nearby . No ipod? Go back and read number 5!
12. Bored? See if you can steal your neighbor’s food when they’re not looking. Bonus points if you can snag their drink too.
13. Take a ride. Find a wheelchair and get rolling. Wrap a luggage tag around your arm and ride the baggage claim conveyor belt for a few minutes, then have your travel companion arrive with a luggage cart, pick you up, load you on, and roll you away. Don’t come back. Take the bus.
14. Get to know the bartender. REAL WELL.
15. Stare blankly into space. See how long you can go without blinking. Have a staring contest with your neighbor. Don’t tell the neighbor. Practice breathing. Swallowing. Sleeping.
16. Plan Your Life. Get out a notebook and make lists of things you want to do. Or not do. Add travel to your list of what not to do.
I gulp. “Do you actually believe in…”
I can’t say it. I mean I can’t believe we’re even talking about it. Nervously I rip my napkins into tiny shreds.
“Don’t you?” he asks.
“I guess I’m kind of starting to.” My napkin is no longer a napkin. It’s confetti. “Ya know, it’s weird we’re talking about this because I recently met a woman. She told me things. Things about my future. And my past. And she got it right. She was very specific, too. It kind of freaked me out.”
He downs his drink and holds up his glass as Fabian passes by. “Don’t tell me you believe in psychics.”
“I never believed in them before, but after hearing all she had to say, it’s kind of hard not to believe. She told me things she couldn’t have known by just looking at me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they’re all real. Most of them, I’m sure, are fakes. But if we do have this predetermined fate, like you seem to think, is it really so strange that someone can see it, feel it, even predict it!” I scream, because all of a sudden the music just got really loud. “Oh wow!” I point to the ceiling. “I love this song!” And then I hold up my glass. “And I love these martinis!”
The drinks aren’t the only things I love. Fabian is filling a martini shaker with ice. Man I wish he’d turn around and shake it harder.
“Don’t let that psychic affect your life,” says Michael, reaching for the pack of cigarettes. “I worked with this man who went to see a psychic. A Japanese guy. Very superstitious. She told him not to make any life altering events for twenty years. The guy just bought his first car last year. He’s forty. That’s what I am talking about. Crazy.”
Fabian holds the silver shaker high and pours a drink with such grace, such precision, such amazing pouring talent, he has to be a Martini making God from heaven. He places the drink on the bar in front of me and winks. At me – Me!
“Thanks” I say, smiling sweetly, because my drink, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
Michael twirls an unlit cigarette. “What exactly did that psychic tell you?”
“Not much. Just that I’m going to do something special and that we’re going to get married and have babies.” I hold up my glass. “Cheers!”
The cigarette instantly stops twirling. “We are?”
I gulp. “No. Not we. I mean me. Me are.”
He laughs. “You’re drunk.”
“No I’m not!” I say, placing my drink on the bar and pushing it away.
He pushes the drink back in front me. “So what makes you think I’m the one she was talking about?”
“Because she said I’ve already met The One, and we had just met, and since we’d already met…” I laugh. “Well I had to believe it was you. At least I hope it’s you.” Sheepishly I smile.
He taps his cigarette on the bar. “You never know.”
What? He’s not fighting it? I stare at him in disbelief. He’s not even denying it! He’s actually cool with it. This can’t be happening. I look at him square in the eye. “So you mean to tell me-”
“Everything happens for a reason,” he murmurs, placing his warm soft lips on the back of my hand.
“But…I…always…believed…” I can’t talk. I can’t concentrate. Not when his mouth is slowly moving up my arm. I take a deep breath. “That a person can change their destiny.”
“If you can change your destiny it only means that the change was meant to be in the first place.”
“So is that why I met you, because we’re supposed to fall madly in love-”
“And have babies,” he interrupts. “Lots and lots of babies,” he says, smiling mischievously.
Babies? Did he just say… My god the psychic was right. Thank god she’s right! Not only is he The One and we’re going to get married and have babies, lots and lots of babies, but he’s back at it again with those butterfly kisses and it’s intoxicating…or am I intoxicated? It’s so hard to tell.
“You really weren’t supposed to agree,” I say, giving him a chance to back out, because they always need an easy out if they’re going to stick around.
“What do you say we get out of here and start working on those babies?”
Giggling, I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. Who would have thunk The One would end up being this good! I mean not only is he gorgeous and successful, a fantastic combination, but he wants to get married, and he wants to get married to me! Oh my god we’re going to do it! Tonight. And we’re going to do it a lot. Tonight! Where’s my drink? I look around and wonder how the hell it got way over there. That’s when it hits me, there’s a drink stealer on the loose! Someone really should report this, but instead of reporting the crime someone takes another big swig and asks the teeny tiny question that’s been on her mind all night.
“Are there any sexual fetishes you might want to tell me about? Like any foot fetishes or anything weird like that?”
Michael chokes on his drink. “What kind of questions is that?”
I shrug innocently.
He leans back laughing. “You’re insane! Absolutely nuts!”
“So that means there’s nothing? Not one weird thing?” I ask, relief sweeping over me.
“I hate smoke,” I mumble, staring at the cigarette resting between those sexy lips, wondering when I’d find my turn between them.
“Yeah.” Inhale. Exhale. “I like that.” Wink. “A girl who doesn’t smoke.”
And I like it too, the way he does it, the way he holds it, and the way his hand is gently moving up my thigh. “Are you looking for love, Michael?”
“Some people just want sex.”
“I want that, too. I’m not going to lie. If I meet a woman and like her, and we both want to be in an intimate relationship, we’re in a relationship, whether it’s for a day, a year, or fifty years. But if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. It’s over. Women are always trying to turn love into a game. I don’t play games. I do want to fall and love and get married someday, but I’m not going to settle. I want someone special. Someone like you.”
Like me? But wait a minute…I’m like me! I reach out and touch his hair. It’s soft and nice and black and soft and beautiful. Just like him.
“Let’s get out of here.” He jabs his cigarette in the ashtray and stands.
“But we just got here.” Eagerly I take his hand and hop off the stool. “We can’t go now, not when we have such great seats,” I say when I spot a nearby couple ready to pounce on our stools. And steal our drinks. I grab my glass and down it. “Where are we going?”
He runs his fingers through that thick black hair. “You’re going home.”
“Still in Rome.” She flipped the book over and looked at me. “Enjoying it?”
“Have you ever been to Bali?” she asked, handing her boarding pass to the agent manning the gate.
“No,” I said, slowing my pace so she could join me on the jetbridge. “Is it a place I should go?”
“Oh definitely. It’s lovely. In fact, I’m just now coming back from Bali. I used to live there. That’s why my daughter-in-law gave me this book. She thought I might relate.”
At row 14, I lifted my bag into the overhead bin, and asked, “Where are you seated?”
The woman hoisted her large plastic bag into the bin next to mine. “14 C,” she said, looking down at her ticket. “You?”
“14A!” I exclaimed. “Wow, that’s weird,” I said, because it was weird. First the cheese sandwich, then the book, and now the row. Could it get any weirder?
Yes, it could, I was soon to find out, because Millie had met a man in Bali who claimed to have found The Medicine man, as in the actual medicine man the character in the book is based on. Supposedly this man Millie had met while eating breakfast with her book resting on the table noticed her book and then told her he had found himself crammed in a room full of nothing but American women while waiting to meet the spiritual advisor. And that was just the beginning of my four hour long conversation with Millie, a sweet woman who ended up giving me her telephone number, along with all kinds of information on Bali, just in case I ever decided to go. After the flight, I couldn’t wait to tell my husband our plans had changed. No longer were we traveling to Italy. Instead we were going to Indonesia, via Hong Kong, and staying in a tiny hotel near Monkey Forest, a place also mentioned in the book.
“Are you kidding me!” my husband exclaimed when I told him the news. “You can visit Bali with your next husband. I’m going to Italy.”
“But Millie said Bali is relaxing and peaceful and tranquil, full of spirituality. Isn’t that what we want, that kind of experience. She said all you have to do is sit on your porch and Bali comes to you.”
“The only thing I want coming to me is bowl of macaroni and perhaps a little gelato. I’ll be in Italy whether you’re with me or not.”
So that’s kind of how we, the husband and I – not Millie and I – came to pick Venice and Positano over Rome. Everyone thinks we’re crazy for not spending more time in Rome. Maybe we are. But if it weren’t for the book Eat Pray Love, I wouldn’t have met Millie, and if I hadn’t met Millie, I wouldn’t have realized what I really needed was a relaxing vacation, not an action packed week and a half in Rome, and if I hadn’t realized that, I probably wouldn’t find myself overlooking the magical canals of Venice or the beautiful coastline of the Amalfi Coast in May. God I can’t wait.
“I read your blog,” said my friend Cady over the phone. “You know I read that book you mentioned, Eat Pray Love.”
No, I did not know that, and I wondered why she hadn’t told me sooner. So I asked Cady the second question people ask whenever they see someone reading the book, which is a question I ask often at work while pouring drinks in coach. “Did you like it?”
“Eh,” said Cady, and then she laughed. “You know there’s a website called Eat Pray Loathe.”
I laughed, because I could kind of understand why.
Cady continued, “There are times when the author just goes on and on and on…”
Cady and Millie aren’t the only ones who feel “eh” about the book, because half the people who reviewed it on Amazon.com felt the exact same way. You either love it or hate it. I found it humorous and insightful and I also found myself cooking a lot more pasta than ususal, which made the husband, a born and bred New Yorker, very happy, and when he’s happy, I’m happy.
A few weeks ago, after a long day at work, my husband walked into the kitchen and dropped his briefcase on the floor, his tired eyes zeroing in on the book lying oh so innocently on the counter. He looked at me. He looked back at the book. He looked at me again. “How to make love like a porn star?” he said, making a face like something smelled.
“Oh yeah,” I said, trying not to laugh as I stirred a pot of enchilada soup, which, I must inform you, smelled delish, because it was delish. “I’m going to make love to you like a porn star. All. Night. Long.”
He just looked at me. He looked back at the book. “Seriously, what is this?” he asked, flipping through the pages. Suddenly the pages stopped flipping and slowly a smile began to form on his face.
It was the same sly smile that had formed on my own face that very morning after I FINALLY found the courage to pick it up, walk it to the teenage cashier girl, and purchase the damn book already! HOW TO MAKE LOVE LIKE A PORN STAR by Jenna Jameson had caught my eye the moment I first saw it sitting seductively on the shelf over a year ago. Trust me when I tell you it’s worth the walk of shame to the cash register.
On the jumpseat, that’s where I wanted to read this book, but I didn’t dare pull it out of my tote bag for fear of what the crew and passengers might think, so I saved it for the privacy of my layover hotel room where I devoured it page by page, staying up much too late for a flight attendant with an early morning pick up. It’s an interesting book, but don’t let the title fool you. This is not a book full of crazy sex tips. Nor is it a Pretty Woman type of memoir. What it is, however, is a story about the trials and tribulations of one woman’s journey through the porno industry. It’s not always a pretty tale. But what I love about the book, besides the absolutely amazing photographs, is Jenna’s honesty. She’s real. She’s raw. She’s fierce. What more could you ask for from a porn star? And that’s not all. What I truly admire about this woman is the way she takes responsibility for the choices she’s made in her life. She is not a victim. Clearly she’s taken control of her life and has achieved exactly what she set out to do. As the most famous porn star in the industry, she’s living the life she always dreamed of. You go, girl!
(I love when passengers leave things behind! Especially books. Particularly Oprah books. )
Like most flight attendants, I enjoy reading a good book. On the jumpseat. After the meal service of course! And one of the books I read on a jumpseat years ago flying back and forth from New York to whatever west coast city I was flying to that particular month – Seattle, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, you pick – was a disturbing novel by Bret Easton Ellis called LUNAR PARK. It’s been quite a few years since I read the book, but what I remember most, besides almost not being able to finish it, were the scenes involving a possessed bird doll that at one point grows real fangs and bites Bret in the crotch. The bird doll was so scary, so over the top, I remember thinking to myself, Where the heck does this guy come up with these crazy ideas. Well now I know. And what they say is true, writers really do write about what they know. But we’ll get to that in a moment. First I’d like to share with you what was printed in the Village Voice in 2005. Brandon Stosuy wrote …
Lunar Park could be interpreted as retrospective, but Ellis insists the decision was the result of a “technical problem”: “I had done this very long outline while I was working on other stuff and it was pretty much the book as it is now, but [the main character] wasn’t Bret Easton Ellis.” Blocked, realizing that it was already autobiographical, he keyed his name into the text. “When I decided to make that choice everything opened up,” he says. “The book then became much more driven and much more personal to me.” Of course, scoop-craving critics have remained too concerned with discerning fact/fiction. “Yes, I was attacked by a bird doll. It bit my leg open. I was on a cane for a year. I don’t like to talk about it. I don’t want to go there,” he says sarcastically.
Meet Pete, the talking parrot, the talking parrot, who repeats EVERYTHING I say, everything I say, twice. Pete came to live with us on Christmas Day. He was a present to my son, bought by yours truly. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. Of course Pete was a hit with my son, who’d pet the bird gently and give it kisses with a big, mmmwhaw!
Mmmmwhaw, mmmmwhaw, Pete repeated, flapping his colorful wings.
Good bird, I said, smiling at my son.
Good bird good bird, went Pete.
Pete wasn’t always a good bird. My husband and I soon became very disturbed when in the middle of the night Pete began to squawk. “What the hell!” my husband growled.
“I’ll take care of it,” I said, flinging back the covers, and then running as fast as I could down the dark hall to my son’s room where Pete sat on the dresser flapping his wings. I grabbed Pete, smothered his damn beak, and ran into the guest room, all the while struggling to find the switch to turn the bird off. Let’s just say most nights Pete somehow ended up under the guest room bed. Only to be rescued by my son the next morning.
“That bird freaks me out,” my husband once remarked.
Yeah well he wasn’t the only one freaked out. Because Pete had begun to remind me of a very scary character in a book I’d once read, a book I’d forgotten all about, LUNAR PARK.
For obvious reasons, I didn’t really like that book.
Yesterday I was at the park with my son when I got a call from my friend Cady. “I know this probably sounds crazy,” said Cady, “But I seriously think my daughters stuffed puppy has been possessed by the ghost of my aunt.”
Cady was right. I thought she was crazy. “What!” I shrieked into the phone as I helped my son down the slide.
“Ever since my aunt died the talking dog has been randomly talking on it’s own. Last night it got so creepy, I had to throw it in the garage.”
“Oh my god,” I exclaimed, “I’ve got a talking parrot buried in a closet!” And then I went on to tell her all about Pete.
“Wanna hear something funny?” Cady said, and she giggled, and wouldn’t stop giggling. “I put the dog in the husband’s car, strapped in the backseat.”
I laughed so hard my own husband came running into the living room saying, “What what? Tell me, tell me!”
“Nothing,” I said, a sly smile on my face.
And so, in the spirit of Cady, Pete, the talking parrot who talks when he’s not supposed to talk, now sits in the backseat of my husband’s car waiting to go for a ride, waiting for a ride.