Monday, May 24, 2010


Everyone has their super power they wish they had, be it telepathy, invisibility, or for me, flying. I have never been afraid of heights, I love roller coasters, and never worry about turbulence on airplanes. I've wanted to go skydiving since I first heard about it.

As another birthday approached, I decided, no more waiting, I'm doing this now. I already had a trip to LA booked to visit friends, so I found a skydiving place to go near LA, an hour north in Camarillo. None of my friends were up for the leap, but it meant more for me to do it than to do it with anyone.
I drove up the Pacific Coast Highway this morning, beautiful coastal views, clear skies, sun shining. I was sorry I didn't bring my camera for the drive, even if I couldn't use it on the dive. Up in Camarillo, I went into the small airport, found the little one room office, and signed my life away on five pages of liability waivers. I kept wondering what would happen if we fell into a hawk or something, but put that out of my mind.

My tandem partner strapped me into a harness, gave me a pair of goggles, and we climbed into the tiny propeller plane. It was much too small to stand up inside, we sat in the back, me practically in instructor's lap so that he could connect my harness to his. I use instructor loosely, as the directions were: when I put my left foot out, you do the same, then we hang our right feet over the edge, arch back your back and neck and jump. Since I wasn't put in charge of the parachute, I didn't really need to know much more.

So we flew up to 10,000 feet over farmland near the coast. When we got to the right place, my partner opened the door of the plane and we looked down. This was my only moment of fear, sitting there with the door open, I thought, I'm gonna fall! And then I reminded myself that was the whole point, and I was fine. We stepped out, leaned back, and jumped. First we flipped around, then leveled out, I stuck my arms out and I flew. It was amazing, the wind hitting me, carrying me, the world tiny and spinning below me, not like I was plummeting towards it, but like it just existed far below, nothing but a vista.

After about a minute of free falling, he pulled the parachute cord, and we slowed significantly, the wind rush in my ears quieted a lot, and we fell perpendicular to the earth. The instructor let me take the reins of the parachute and steer us, so that we leaned and turned one way and the other the rest of the way down to the ground. We stumbled a bit on the landing, but it wasn't too hard, and then it was done.

I'm ready to go again. I bet it's more nerve wracking without the tandem instructor, but working up to it (as I can afford) sounds like fun to me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

No, it's not Ironic, but still funny

An old man turned ninety-eight He won the lottery

and died the next day

It's a black fly in your Chardonnay

It's a death row pardon two minutes too late

It's like rain on your wedding day

It's a free ride when you've already paid

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye He waited his whole damn life to take that flight

And as the plane crashed down he thought 'Well isn't this nice...'

It's a traffic jam when you're already late

It's a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break

It's like ten thousand spoons

when all you need is a knife

It's meeting the man of my dreams

And then meeting his beautiful wife

And isn't it ironic... don't you think?


Friday, May 7, 2010

Seen in NYC

So when you live in a big city, you are likely to see some strange or unusual things as part of the day to day. What's more, you are likely to walk right by without thinking much more about it. Like when I used to sit outside at restaurants on the Upper East Side, and see a guy in a thong leotard and nothing else come walking by. So here is my list of somewhat unusual things I walked right by in the past week or so:
  • A man standing having a smoke on the sidewalk in a full length dress
  • A man splayed out on the ground bleeding from the head as someone tried to ask who they should call to help him
  • A woman sobbing as a disinterested looking man held her for a long time
  • 3 separate caravans of film crews (and not a single star!). (From the looks of it, I have been seeing the crews for the Smurf Movie and White Collar. I'm upset to keep missing NPH)
  • A full out bitch fight between a cabbie and a man driving a Lexus, neither of which seemed to show any damage
  • Jeremy Sisto of Clueless and Waitress fame, eating a gyro

So that's my latest list. I am fairly certain there are more things I've just forgotten about. Ah, the joys of living in the city.