The Cranky Ol' Bat

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - RuPaul


A Public Service Announcement From The Jet Set Chick

Well, this was too good NOT to share, and since the weekend is coming up, I figured there may be someone out there who needs this advice.


1. I have absolutely no idea where my purse is.

2. I believe that dancing with my arms overhead and wiggling my Butt
while yelling WOO-HOO is truly the sexiest dance move around. (Now you
all know we've done this one!)

3. I've suddenly decided I want to kick someone's ass and honestly
believe I could do it too.

4. In my last trip to "pee" I realize I now look more like Tammy Faye
Baker than the goddess I was just four hours ago.

5. I drop my 3:00 a.m. hotdog on the floor (which I'm eating even
though I'm not the least bit hungry), pick it up and carry on eating it.

6. I start crying and telling everyone I see that I love them sooooo

7. There are less than three hours before I'm due to start work.

8. I've found a deeper/spiritual side to the geek sitting next to me.

9. The man I'm flirting with used to be my 5th grade teacher.

10. The urge to take off articles of clothing, stand on a table and
dance becomes strangely overwhelming.

11. My eyes just don't seem to want to stay open on their own so I keep
them half closed and think it looks exotically sexy.

12. I've suddenly taken up singing and become really good at it.

13. I yell at the bartender, who (I think) cheated me by giving me just
coke, but that's just because I can no longer taste the rum.

14. I think I'm in bed, but my pillow feels strangely like the kitchen
or bathroom floor.

15. I start every conversation with a booming, "DON'T take this The
WRONG WAY but..."

16. I fail to notice that the toilet lid's down when I sit on it.

17. My hugs begin to resemble wrestling takedown moves.

18. I'm tired so I just sit on the floor (wherever I happen to be
standing) and take a quick nap.

19. I begin leaving the buttons open on my pants to cut down on the
time I'm in the bathroom away from my drink.

20. I take my shoes off because I believe it's their fault that I'm
having problems walking straight.

21. I start believing that everyone in the room wants to see my boobs.

22. You start to rub your face & can't feel it & say, "My Numb is
Face!" (when we all know she meant to really say - "My Face is Numb!")

Not that I've ever been guilty of any of this behavior, mind you.... ;) (I'm just thankful photo phones weren't available when I was in my twenties!)

Have a terrific weekend!

On This Date in History......

The World Trade Centers were not the first New York skyscrapers to have an airplane crash into them. 59 years ago today, a B-25 flew into the Empire State Building, killing 14 people. Click here to read more.


Freakonomics Meets O'Hare....

Maybe you have read the hot book of the summer, Freakonomics. It is an attempt to explain weird questions like "Why is the Ku Klux Klan like a bunch of real estate agents?" and what might possibly be the next hot name for girls in the new century ("Aviva", a popular name in Israel. I kind of like it, but I doubt the Tsar would....)

Anyway, if you always wanted a Freakonomics-style answer to the question, "Why the hell do I always get stuck at the airport?", maybe this article will help you figure out why.


Delta's Sweet Deals Making Everybody Happy

OK, you want to take off, but the wallet ain't exactly cooperating.....

Maybe Delta has a discounted fare for you if you book by 2 Aug. Fares are good from 3 Aug to 16 Nov.

But....if you click here, you still might do better if you pop over to the search flight deals section. Delta's $232 fare on the left between Phoenix and Orlando sounds good (quite a bit cheaper than me & the Tsar had to pay a couple weeks ago), but the right side yielded an American Airlines fare of $178 for a departure date of 31 Aug, coming back 6 Sep (all prices before taxes, of course).


Think You Know the Answer?

Everybody thinks that Model T's only came in black. Not quite, amigo. What other colors did the Model T come in?

Click here to check your answer.

Still Feeling Under the Weather!

Sorry there was no Friday post, Jet Set Loungers. I think there's some kind of crap going around.....or maybe I picked something up in what looks like is going to be my new home, the Space Coast of Florida (the Tsar is negotiating salary and benefits, so I think that other company is interested in hiring him).

I'm not feeling great right now, either. Nothing serious, but if there's a day I skip you know it's not because I just up & quit.

Hope you all had a great weekend!


Places to Avoid Going if You Can....An Ongoing Series of Opinionated Reviews

Looking for a seaside town getaway? Think twice if you are heading to the Howard Johnsons Oceanfront Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland.

The reviews posted about it on Trip Advisor are some of the worst I've ever seen about a hotel. Green jacuzzis, no toilet paper and dirty towels apparently are considered "amenities" at this joint.

I think I'll pass.....


Win a Free Trip to Paris, Courtesy of Paris & Paris!

This is a contest for all you cynics out there in the Jet Set Lounge.

If you think that Paris Hilton and her fugly fiance, Paris Latsis, aren't going to make it through the summer to nuptial bliss, you could win.....a five day first-class trip to Paris, courtesy of the NY Post.

Five first place finishers will win French manicures and Paris-inspired jewelry.

However, if their love is true and lasts all season, they will randomly pick entries to select the winners.

Bon voyage, baby!

Want to Go to Hong Kong Disneyland?

You might want to wait until they work out the bugs at the hotel.


According to Reuters, the furniture at the hotel is infested with beetles.

Time for Disney to get some feng shui guy on staff. First the shark fin soup and now this?


Why THEY Piss ME Off!

LC recently stated that America has done a lot of crappy things around the world that we should be ashamed of.

He's right. We have messed around in Chile when Allende was in power, we have messed around in Iran when Mossadegh was in power, we have messed around in Central America countless times, and heaven knows where else. We have also messed up things here at home with slavery and it's aftermath, the internment of Japanese citizens for being, well, Japanese when we did nothing to those of German or Italian descent, and our treatment of the Indians has precious little to be proud of.

I do not deny or minimize any of that. As a matter of fact, I think the fact that we admit our shortcomings and try to rectify them (if possible) is one of this country's greatest virtues. There are plenty of other countries who refuse to admit any wrongdoing on their behalf. (Just try to get a Turk to admit to the Armenian genocide and see how far you get.) Our ability to look back, and hopefully learn from our mistakes, is one of the reasons why this country is magnificent.

One of the things I have heard, and not just from LC, is "think about why they hate us". I have. I have come up with plenty of reasons for them to hate my country...and me personally. (As it says on the side of this blog, I'm known there as Desert Blondie.)

But, for a change of pace, let's get to another topic: Why THEY really piss ME off.

I get pissed off when I hear about the mistreatment of women that I am supposed to accept as a "cultural difference", or worse yet, as "the will of God". I refuse to accept things like honor killing of women because they dared to talk to a man, raping women who don't wear hijab, or female circumcision as anything more than evidence of misogyny of the worst kind. The very idea that my testimony would be worth only one-half of a man's, or that I would get a very generous one-half of the inheritance my brother would receive simply because I am a woman incenses me.

(The silence of our so-called "women's movement" on these issues is appalling. Racism is alive and well in that "movement", and you can't convince me otherwise until they start acting like brown and black women's lives in the third world are every bit as valuable as the lives of ladies who lunch. I know....dream on.)

I also get pissed off when I consider that in some parts of the world, daring to preach another religion besides Islam will get you imprisoned or killed. Desecration of books and holy objects for other religions is perfectly acceptable to them (including the priceless statues of Buddha that the Taliban destroyed). They demand, and get, the ability to practice their religion in my country, but feel no obligation to return the favor when my countrymen are putting themselves in harm's way to do the fighting they cannot or will not do. Yes, Saudi Arabia, I'm talking about you.

I'm tired of countries that routinely put gay men and lesbians to death, simply because they are not heterosexual. I don't want to hear this "it's against the Bible/Koran/whatever....", either. (With regards to the Bible, since I am familiar with it.....don't start picking and choosing what biblical laws you're going to respect if you're going to use that as your argument for discriminating against homosexuals or treating them as less than human. In other words, take off that mixed fiber shirt, put down that shrimp you were going to eat for dinner, and be sure to follow the rules regarding the acceptable manner to sell your daughter into slavery. Leviticus, baby. Look it up.)

I'm tired of countries that enslave Africans, Indians and Haitians in the 21st century, countries that treat female guest workers from the Philippines and India as sex slaves for the men of the house.....and the leaders of countries who turn a blind eye as their nationals are being abused in this way.

I'm tired of national leaders who, when their country gets a windfall because of some freak deposit of natural resources, choose to whore around and drink on the Riviera instead of investing in their people. They really piss me off when they turn around and blame the Americans.....or the Jews.....or hell, the American Jews, when their people ask why they still walk around in goat shit and live in a hovel when there is all this wealth coming out of the ground.

Any gang of morons who believes that "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is anything other than a Tsarist hoax, and thinks that the Jews use the blood of children in their matzoh pisses me off, too. Any of the maggots behind "Zahra's Blue Eyes" should be ashamed of themselves instead of proud of their work.

I'm tired of idiots walking around with Che shirts who have no idea what he really stood for. Idiots walking around with Che shirts who do know what kind of a murdering asshole he was and admire that are revolting.

Anyone who thinks the word "Chomsky" and "intellectual" belong in the same sentence must have been dropped on their heads repeatedly when they were babies. No wonder so many of his fans are anarchists with bylaws. (I mean, WTF??? Were you asleep in political science class, you morons?)

I shed no tears over Lori Berenson and her Sendero Luminoso pals. Peru can keep them in a frigid Andean jail for eternity as far as I'm concerned. (And if they don't get rice pilaf with orange chicken or Mao's little book gets shoved down a toilet, c'est la vie. I save my compassion for those in real gulags, not the Gitmo kind. Ask Natan Sharansky what the genuine article is....he ought to know.)

My sympathy is pretty much shot when I hear Colombians and Mexicans complain about narco-terrorismo....the kidnappings, senseless murders, and now their own children becoming addicts. I guess as long as it was only gringos getting hooked on that shit it was fine with them.

I get damn disgusted with "cultures" that tell their young not to value life, but to glory in death, especially if they take some other poor bastards with them. Their reward? Six dozen virgins who won't laugh at their tiny equipment that couldn't satisfy any earth woman. (Personally, I'd rather have a couple of experienced sluts. They'd probably be more fun. But then again, I'm a perv.)

Ah, who am I kidding....I'm a woman. A woman's reward for turning herself into a walking bomb is to be the head ho. Since they've refused to educate their women and treat them all like prostitutes (or at least, good for only one thing) anyway, their females actually think this is a good idea.

I'm sickened by cultures that press pregnant women to have ultrasounds for the sole purpose of determining their baby's sex, and then coerce them into abortions if the child is not a boy. Some of them are waking up and finding out that their precious sons don't have enough women to marry, now that they have messed with the natural order of things. Call me heartless, but I gotta yuk it up when I hear that. Serves 'em right.

My heart goes out to the little girls given up for adoption only because they are XX instead of XY. I hope that someday one of those abandoned little ones does something miraculous, like cures the common cold. Not that she'd change any minds about the value of women, but it still would be wonderful, don't you think?

Of course, since I am the Jet Set Chick, my blood pressure boils when I think of women who cannot travel without a male escort or allowed to drive. The idea that my husband could toss me to the curb with three little sentences, while I would have to wait for years to maybe, possibly get rid of him....and only if I could bring in male witnesses to prove I was being abused.....pisses me off.

I have no idea if what we are doing in Iraq is worth it. I know that we won't really be able to tell until a decade or two or three has passed and we see the final consequences of our actions. But one thing I do know is that I feel a certain bit of pride when I see pictures of a servicewoman standing proud and doing the same job that a serviceman does......and there are Arabs witnessing this, and others watching it on al-Jazeera. Those young women of every race and color make a hell of an impact just by going about their jobs.

The optimist in me hopes that some little girls and their more adventurous parents might just start to rethink the limits on women in their societies. There's been a few baby steps in that direction. Kuwait has granted the vote to women. Saudi Arabia is discussing the vote for women and allowing them to drive. Occasionally there is an editorial where the blame for their society's backwardness is not placed on the Jews or on the West, but on themselves, and they are asking what they can do to improve the situation.

I categorically refuse to believe that Arabs are too stupid to "get" democracy, or that they couldn't possibly produce something other than oil that the rest of the world would be willing to buy.

Why not? Baghdad was the center of the educated world circa 1100. Why couldn't they be a center of knowledge in 2100?

And finally, I am extremely exhausted with the stupid idea that everything evil emanates from the West. I can't put the argument any better than this article in the Guardian.

What it boils down to is that, for once, George Bush was completely right. Either you're with us or with the terrorists.

Let me expand on that. I choose to be on the side that, even though my idea of a good time probably horrifies the crap outta them, at least doesn't think that I deserve to die for the glory of some deity that may or may not exist. Both sides may not like it when me and a good male friend check out other guys' butts in the library when we should be studying....but only one side can think of ten reasons in that circumstance that justify brutally killing us both for that behavior.'s the side that glorifies psychotics named "Osama" and "Yasser".

I am of the opinion that if God really wanted me dead, he sure as hell would NOT require the assistance of some half-educated (I'm being generous here), sexually insecure, inbred semi-illiterate to do the job. He could call down a hurricane or start an earthquake.

Am I comfortable supporting Bush? Are you kidding?

But one thing I do know from my history classes (it was my minor a damn long time ago...), appeasement never works. Plus, it ain't my style.

So, if you want, go ahead and calculate America's faults in excruciating detail. Burn the flag, if you are so inclined. We're tough, we can handle it.

Remember, nobody burns the flag of a country that doesn't stand for anything, anyway.

Maybe I'm weird, but when a bunch of the greatest minds of the 7th century get together and torch Old Glory, I'm proud. Yes, proud. They are making a public statement that everything I hold freedoms, my rights and yes, my responsibilities as an American....threaten them.

I gotta love that.

Too Bad She Can't Drive to Work.....

A 24 year old woman named Hanadi Zakariya Hindi has made Saudi history by becoming the first female commercial pilot ever in that country.

Of course, the religious fanatics have weighed in on this......and I'm sure the picture in the article showing her uncovered face made them go crazy, too.

The Jet Set Chick wishes Captain Hindi blue skies ahead!


He Might Be Human, But He Ain't Getting Any Love Outta Me!

Howdy, everybody! This weekend sure was weird. Made it back to Phoenix way later than we planned (Amateur Worst, now Tsar Charming's least favorite airline, got us home at 4:30 am on Sunday, three hours late. The gate looked like it was crowded with refugees trying to get on the last plane out. I've never seen so many sober people grateful to wolf down Taco Bell at midnight like there were in Las Vegas' McCarran International on Saturday.) And then the power went out at 6 pm Sunday.....and didn't come back on until 4:10 am.

I am NOT looking forward to cleaning out my fridge, lemme tell ya!

Fortunately we didn't have as much food as we usually do, but heaven knows what I'm going to find in there.....

Anyway, whatever I discover has got to be better than the latest musical in Britain. It is based on the songs from my absolute least favorite 80's band, the Smiths (NY Times, registration required, sorry!). Yup, the whiniest band ever has had their songs adapted to a theatrical production called "Some Girls are Bigger Than Others".

No, I'm not going to go see it. No way, no how, not even with free tickets and all expenses paid to London.

If I ever got a chance to kick the living shit out of their lead singer, believe me, Morrissey would be bleeding out of every orifice. I hated them way before an annoying neighbor decided to get stoned and blast that crap the night before a Russian final my sophomore year. (Don't cry for me, though.....aced it anyway, and got revenge on the maggot with a very special early morning wakeup call from my boom box before I left to take the exam. I still remember that tape, called "Fury of the Brave Bulls", featuring the top hits of the Spanish corrida. Enjoy the hangover, you mutha@#$%^&!!)

Good times, right, scone? ;)

Of course, it's hitting the road for Ireland and Australia. So far, New York has been spared, mainly because the reviews have been horrible. If you are interested, tickets are available online for shows through 23 July at the Lyric Hammersmith.

If you go, be sure to slap the dork in the bunny suit for me......


Best Bangs for the Buck in Travel

So...your budget's kinda hurting but you want to hit the road?

According to Frommer's Global Price Index, your best bets are in travel meccas like.....Columbus OH, and another place I ain't getting caught in this time of year......Cairo, Egypt.

Look, I didn't say they would be appealing travel spots, now, did I? Hmmm?

Maybe you'd have better luck at this site.

Speaking of hitting the road, me & the Tsar are hitting the road and heading to Florida's Space Coast tomorrow. (The Tsar has an interview on Thursday. I love Arizona but I really hope he gets this job.)

Anyway, it won't be all business there. I'll let you know about our Disney-free adventures starting Monday. Take care and will talk to you later!


Just in Time for a Heat Advisory Day......

Ok, so it's not REALLY in honor of the beastly heat going on here in Phoenix, but 7-11 is celebrating its 76th birthday by giving away free slurpees.

Bet the Tsar can't wait to go turn his tongue blue.....


3 Officers Shot at Sky Harbor

An unidentified man is dead after shooting up a terminal at Sky Harbor overnight. At this time, it is unclear if he was shot by the officers or if his death was self-inflicted.

The moron (yes, I am biased.....happens when you know cops and work with them for nine years) was originally spotted on the freeway driving a vehicle with suspected stolen plates. He led officers on a chase to the airport, where he dropped off a passenger before stopping and shooting.

Two of the three officers are still in the hospital, but are expected to recover fully from their wounds. None of the officers suffered life-threatening injuries.

Sky Harbor has been kind of interesting lately.....earlier this week some guy went driving around on the runway. The police are still investigating that incident.


40 + Dead in London

I don't have anything profound to say about this. But if you would like to express your condolences to the British on this tragedy, click here.

Maybe it was al-Qaeda, maybe it was some stupid Palestinian group.....maybe the IRA. I'm sure some group of losers is going to claim responsibility eventually. You know what? I don't give a rat's ass how they attempt to justify this. This was cold-blooded murder of innocent people. Period. Case closed. End of discussion.

I don't know if anyone in England reads this, but if they do.....I am truly sorry that this happened, and I hope the creatures responsible for this (I refuse to honor them by calling them "people") are swiftly apprehended and punished. If you know anyone personally who was injured or killed, you have my deepest sympathy, and my heart goes out to you.


I Love the Aussies! Part Two

I know from some of my friends that getting car parts for foreign cars can be an exercise in frustration. I just wonder how many of them ever wanted to write a letter like this.


Not Travel Related, But.....

If this Russian astrologer was any good, don't you think she would have predicted the NASA comet strike this past weekend, and made adjustments in her horoscope?

Just askin'.......

Hope nothing "unpredictable" that wasn't welcome happened on your 4th!

So, Were You in Keflavik Airport on the Night of 29 June?

If so, maybe you got to see this guy perform when he made a quick refueling stop.....


Think You Know the Answer?

Ok, so it's a real tenuous link to the 4th of July.....

Lots of people know that Istanbul was once Constantinople, and some know that Jakarta was Batavia when the Dutch were in charge. What city, once upon a time, was known as Philadelphia?

Click to find out if you're right!

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!


Moments in Transportation History....

Sometimes, history has some weird coincidences.

Consider this: tomorrow is both the anniversary of the first Zeppelin flight in 1900, and the anniversary of the 1982 flight of Lawn Chair Larry in the LAX flight path.

Lawn Chair Who?, some of you young 'uns might be asking. He was the guy who attached 40+ helium-filled weather balloons to a lawn chair, hoping to float about 30 feet above the earth in his girlfriend's backyard. Armed with a six of Miller Light and a BB gun, he figured he could shoot the balloons and come down gently when he was done, well, hanging out. He cut the tether to his truck and shot up to 16000 feet. Oops.

No, I'm not making that up. Click on the link to find out more.

At least he fared better than Amelia Earhart, who disappeared on that day in 1937.

US Airways & America West Face Final Hurdle

Just in case you wanted US Airways before America West got it, today is your last day to file a challenge to the merger.