The Miracle of Human Flight. (in the digital age)


I went on a business trip.

Yep. Like a big girl.

I know you’re not surprised, since I’ve blogged about my flying adventures before.

This time was different though.  I didn’t make a lobster roll spread on my way to Los Angeles by taking up a full row and laying out my condiments (shamelesssss) and I didn’t creatively procure free alcohol (it was weird).

I participated in the miracle of human flight in a different way and I got pretty excited.

Are you guys familiar with Louis C. K.?  I apologize if this question is akin to me asking if you’ve heard of Miley Cyrus. DUH. (Unfortunately) (although that “We Can’t Stop” song – pretty catchy).

Anyway. Louis C. K. Comedian. Hilarious. Sometimes takes it too far. But mostly dead on funny.

A few years ago he was on Conan’s show and ranted for a fantastic bit that has come to be known as “everything is amazing and no one is happy,” during which he recounts how freaking awesome it is – this invention of human flight (among other things) (and rants on humans in general).

(if you haven’t seen it, then you HAVE TO watch this clip. It’s the funniest shit ever. Click here. Or here. Or HERE.)

That’s how I felt.

Not only was it a gorgeous day for flying.

BUT I used the internet today. On board.

Not only was I 38,000 feet in the air, but I could TELL MY FRIENDS ABOUT IT.

In real time.

So I did.

I emailed my brother, my aunt, my boyfriend, my cousin, 10 of my co-workers, my grandma, several managers, my dad, and my hair stylist (ok my former hair stylist).

I realize in-flight wifi isn’t new. But it actually worked this time. And I actually felt like using it instead of taking some me time/had to dial-in (something about work).

I was totally going weeeeeeeee. (My row companion LOVED it. JK. But I did have an interesting convo with him that I’ll save for my next post. YUP. It’s a two-parter.)



A Thing or Two About Life: A Birthday Chronicle

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A photo of the besties in costume for their big performance honoring/teasing my aunt

My aunt turned the big 6-0.

She’ll probably kill me for broadcasting this to the world.  But I think it’s necessary for my purposes.

Mostly because, it’s kind of a big deal.  In Russian, we call this a “circular date.”  A milestone.  Something huge that deservedly requires something grand to mark its presence.

To commemorate, my aunt invited friends and family from our town, other states and other countries.  I’m pretty sure she invited everyone she knew.  Old friends, new friends, relatives I’ve never met and neighbors who treat me like family.

She decided to put aside that whole “shit I’m getting older” situation and decided to have a big damn blow out.

And we applauded her.

And we braced ourselves.

Because we knew this meant a “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” style party, during which we would eat enough food for 30 days and those of us “youth” would stare with mouth agape wondering how it was possible we ever made any friends.


One of the tables. It could have fed a 1st world army. Instead it fed 50 of my aunt’s closest friends.

Unfortunately, this post isn’t about my eventful childhood (we’ll save that for later).  It’s about my aunt’s choice to ring in her important birthday with a positive attitude and a hell of a lot of fun.

She always tells me about the parties she and her friends throw together.  The kind of fun they conjure up, seemingly from nothing.  When she phones me to catch up, the conversation inevitably turns to some gathering these friends had and the songs, skits, poems, readings and/or ensembles they put together.

My aunt’s birthday offered me a peek into their traditions.

These weren’t ordinary toasts.  The MC’s main job was passing the microphone around from group of friends to group of friends so they could start on their “prepared piece” in honor of my aunt.

My expressions went from awed shock to laughter.

And at the risk of showing the world the insanity that is a birthday party in “my culture,” I’ve attached the video of one of the performances here – my favorite one.  Where they dressed up in “Ukrainian wear” and sang a Ukrainian folk song in jest to tease my aunt.

You don’t need to watch all 2 minutes and 48 seconds of this video.  I realize it’s a lot to ask.  But should you choose to click on the link below, keep in mind that these women are dentists, lawyers, doctors and engineers by day.  Also – I had no idea they even knew how to speak Ukrainian (my family speaks Russian).  Also – I had no idea our friend the MC could play the accordion.  Or that people still played the accordion.

It was absolutely ridiculous.

But so damn fun.

I’m thinking my aunt and her friends have a thing or 2 figured out.  Maybe they know how real fun is had.

Between catching up with my cousin and family friends, dancing with my boyfriend, my uncle and my dad, stuffing myself with deliciousness, taking hundreds of photos, and watching my family members dance together, I was absolutely caught up and living in the moment.

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My dad dancing with his sister, the birthday girl.

Admittedly, I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

We laughed.  We danced.  We sang.

What more can a person ask for?


That Time I Broke My Wrist

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It’s true.  I broke my wrist.

The right one.

I wish I could tell you that I got into a heated debate regarding the merits of placing college graduates in low-income public schools (it’s happened) or the reasons why Shark Fin soup should be outlawed (leave the sharks alone!).  I wish I could tell you that no choice was left on my side (for the good of society) but to conk someone in the face at the expense of my wrist.


That would be too easy.

I fell doing the running man while rocking out to Russian pop hits of the 1980s on a docked (read: not moving) boat in a still harbor on Lake Michigan.

Obviously this is how it was going to go down.

22 years of hurling my body at great speeds at the ice rink didn’t do the trick.

At some point I had to break something right??  Just to right the world of falling down karma.

It finally happened.

At first I was in denial and kept moving about as usual (OH the blue and black marks on my arm… just a bruise!).

But then the blue wouldn’t go away and a few too many days later I found myself at the ER at the urging of friends, family, co-workers, my doorman and the homeless man outside Wholefoods.

So imagine my surprise when the ER doc told me it was FRACTURED.

I thought she was kidding.

She realized I thought she was kidding.

So she took me back to the x-ray lab to show me the x-rays on the special computer.

SO… she wasn’t kidding.

Clearly my first reaction was to assume this woman was a magician:

“Oh a splint and then possibly a cast??  BUT there are only 4 weeks left of the summer!  I can’t have a broken wrist!  I don’t think you understand.”

Unfortunately she didn’t use her magic wand to piece it back together.

So that sucks.

But I can still have the most Awesome end of summer EVER.  Right?


First things first.  I needed advice on how to proceed with the arm situation.  So naturally I called little bro for advice.

  • Me: little bro I broke my wrist
  • Bro: you’ll be fine
  • Me: How am I supposed to go to the beach?!
  • Bro: Tie a bag around it
  • Me: What bag?
  • Bro: A Walgreens bag
  • Me: Silence
  • Bro:  Or a black garbage bag.  If you want to keep it classy
  • Me: Love you

I’m a broken wrist rookie.  Lucky for me, I have plenty of friends around who “have frequent flyer miles to the ER” (exact statement by one of my friends).  So clearly I checked in with them.

All in all though, I’ve been stumbling and learning as I go.

Things I’ve learned:

  1. The iPhone Voice-Text/E-mail option MUST have been created by someone who had just broken their wrist.  I have a sneaky suspicion that my new addiction to voice-dictation will stay with me for some time to come.
  2. The hardest thing in this world to do without the full dexterity of your wrist… is put on a bra.  Stupid complicated little suckers.  (And while we’re at it… bathing suits…can’t tie those damn ties).
  3. Typing.  Really need two hands.  Or an intern.  hmmmm.
  4. Dining in nice restaurants is awkward.  As in I shouldn’t be allowed.  The display of eating like a total train wreck is a special experience for everyone.
  5. Opening Jars.  Just forget it.
  6. Getting caught in the rain.  Two words: Not. Good.
  7. The game of Cornhole/bag toss/bags can totally still be played with the use of the opposite arm.  You might hit pedestrians and your own partner in the head, but that’s really just part of the fun.
  8. Dishwashers are right up there with voice dictation software.

I shed half a tear, pooled moral support and moved forward on my quest to become ambidextrous.

The future isn’t looking as bleak now that I know I can:

Still see the Chicago skyline from the back of a boat:

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And do crossword puzzles:


And attend firm-sponsored  networking events where I eat too much food:

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And read trash magazines where I gain wisdom and perspective about why it’ll be OK to turn 30 in a couple years:

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The only thing that makes breaking a limb better … is one of your besties injuring something too.  (What? Yes. This is my selfish moment.)

Lucky for me, one of my friends just sprained her ankle and was outfitted with non-other than a black brace.

The walk to this morning’s brunch date was classic.  Me with my splint.  She with hers.  Me holding my arm up.  She limping like a champ.  I’m not gonna lie.  It was adorable.  And A-B-S-O-L-U-T-L-Y ridiculous.  At one point we crossed the street and were walking head on with a girl who appeared to have just gotten some kind of ACL reconstructive surgery.

We almost invited her to brunch.

At some point, during the walk back, laughing close to tears, I decided it was going to be OK.

And that’s…. pretty Awesome.

*Note: this post was written largely with my left hand.  Which is why it took about 5 days to write.  That’s how much I love all of you.  You’re welcome.

*Note 2: clearly there will now be a Broken Wrist Series of sorts… stay tuned.