Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Magic is Might

Courtesy of GQ
There was an article in GQ about the concept of middlebrow. Anything in your life choices, activities and tastes as lowbrow as Jersey Shore, and as highbrow as J.Crew (it's all income-relative though), is often deemed acceptable by your peers. Anything between seems to deserve a knitting of the brows. Unless you're lucky enough to be constantly surrounded by people (including your own mind's eye) who don't give a shit. But most of us have to come into contact with people and inner voices that scoff or compare. But that's no fun, right?

The magical thing about middlebrow is, more often than not, it's what you really want to do. And if you don't do it, you usually regret it and make everybody around you miserable; it could be as simple a choice as ordering a fancy salad instead of a turkey sandwich, or as big as flying helicopters and keeping a blog (blogging is a big decision) over piloting jets and publishing novels. You know, something like that...

Courtesy of DeviantArt,
by Bubblesjungle
Voldemort had it wrong that magic is might, meaning eliminating the so-called half-magical wizards and witches. Those seemingly middlebrow magicians were often the most powerful. And so is the magic that spirals from both tiny and monumental life choices that may seem too normal; there's no such thing really.

Last Thursday, the hus was selected to fly helicopters [insert fireworks, National Anthem and American flag backdrop here]. Every squadron, within the overarching Whiting Field Training Airwing 5, has their own unique ceremony - so visit my YouTube Channel to see what the Red Knights' training squadron (#3) does... (Clicking will give you time to brace yourself if you don't approve of drinking in any situation, as well as promote the act of bookmarking my YouTube Channel.)
The H-60 Seahawk (Yay, Seattle Seahawks)
Courtesy of Naval Air Systems Command

Below: The H-53 Sea Stallion practicing with Navy Seals
Couresty of American Specia Ops

Friday, the hus checked in to his helicopter squadron at Whiting (the only place the Navy and Marine Corps train helo - what cool people say - pilots). On June 23, he'll begin his helo training with ground school again, officially part of squadron H-18: the Vigilant Eagles. Hahahahaha. Ahem. No, the best part is, their call sign is 'Factory Hand.' A good four syllables to squawk over the radio. (Although, this wasn't my first thought.) Until then, the future helo pilot (pending any breakdowns, after which he would return to his alter ego of strapping physical therapist) is on vacation in a way ... AKA invading my home office.

Benefits of helos we've discovered -
  • Helo crews see some serious action, in war time and out; this is a draw for the brave and a turn on for the proud.
  • The helo community is family-oriented (whatever that means).
  • You feel your speed flying so low, and it's cool to fly low in itself, right?
  • You enjoy weird maneuverability.
  • About 6 more months of Pensacola! Beaches, the river, the swampy, swarmy south, and the kind of friends that have made this a Newbold-esque experience.
  • Have helos, will travel. These pilots are stationed EVERYWHERE.
  • There are only two kinds, so I only have to learn about two kinds of aircraft now. Instead of a zillion. Or a dozen.
  • We can watch movies with helos in them and feel cool.
  • The hus will be winged (metal pin not feathers) as an O1 (ensign) most likely. Kinda cool, too.
Whilst the hus is out being smart enough to nab his second choice naval aircraft (it almost took first place on his wish list after receiving a remote-control helicopter for his birthday), I remain thick enough that I miss commercial flights. During my stopover in Houston from LAX (after a rollicking good time girls weekend in Santa Barbara), I ran screaming from the restroom when I saw a sign flashing 'Pensacola' over a gate different from the one I was waiting at - and an attendant firmly closing the heavy door without me on the other side.

Order of events to explain -
  • Waiting to pick up my order of chicken McNuggets at the crowded Houston airport McDonald's...
  • A guy with a cool jacket wishes me good luck as he grabs his own greasy, white bag.
  • I head to my gate (listed on the passageway monitors), even though I'm an hour and a half early, and settle in with Harry Potter's last deadly adventure, in a chair near my supposed gate - with a sign boasting a city in Maryland...
  • But the attendant casually agrees the gate will be for Pensacola evenutally.
  • I read.
  • I pee.
  • I read.
  • I pee.
  • I read.
  • Guy with cool jacket sits down next to me. Harry learns he has to die. I look up for a breather. "Hey," he says. We look at each other. "McDonalds." He sort of points. "Hey," I say, "Yeah." He turns out to be a naval firefighter. Go figure. He soon leaves for his own plane to San Diego.
  • I decide on one last trip to the bathroom, since my flight from LA had the seatbelt light on half the time, and I couldn't fully focus on Harry.
  • Upon exiting, this is when my brain screams in realization that gate switching, Potterwatch, trying to find out where the firefighter got that jacket, overbooked flights and under-announcing, combined forces to thwart my travel plans; seat 11C was given away 15 minutes before I even realized it.
  • The customer service desk understands (another traveler this happened to doesn't care), and I only have to pay a small room fee. Though I secretly hope my life was saved for $49.99. I mean, that's a crazy sushi night. A haircut. Or something else to boost my appearance. But really, it's my ego that needs a sushi boost, since no planes crash in the night.
  • I glance longingly at the hotel bar, as I creep to my lonely room.
  • True Blood is on!
  • Courtesy of Brand Eating
  • But it doesn't beat watching it at home.

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