Category Archives: Writer life

Home again, home again, jiggity jog

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Where to begin?

It’s embarrassing to admit that I thought of you all many times on this trip, sometimes even by name. I do have friends in real life too, honest! But I was frequently thinking of how I would write up certain things for this blog and you, my beloved blog buddies.

After I got through the security check in San Diego, I sat down and typed this:

The first pat down was painless. They not only had the footprint floor mat facing away from the maddening crowd of the security line, they took me a little ways off to the side. There was an onlooker this time (like in D.C.) but only because my “patter” was a trainee. She was gentle (unlike in D.C.). The only hitch was I needed to hold my pants up while she frisked my legs. “This is embarrassing enough without my pants falling down,” I said. She was kind enough to let me break protocol and put my arms down for that part of the procedure.

When she checked my belly, I said, “Yes, it’s real.” Both women laughed and gushed over how cute and petite it was. I managed to survive that part. 😉

They wished me a Happy Mother’s Day, and I was on my way.

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So TOTALLY not me.

Even though it was a little sad to be traveling on Mother’s Day, since I’m obviously a mother, thanks to this beer gut, I got a hearty Happy M. D. from the kind lady I bought my lunch from, as well as one of the flight attendants, who gushed over my belly, asked me several questions, told me a little about her son, and then finally continued beverage service. When she finished she came back, leaned her arm against the overhead bin above me, and we chatted me some more.

The woman who did my pat down in the Birmingham airport on the way home asked me similar questions in the same exact tone as she gave the run-down of the procedure. Matter-of-factly she said, as her hands did their business: Read the rest of this entry

The news that isn’t fit to print, but I am anyway

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“Betsy, you’re waddling,” I was told last night as I walked into a restaurant for a friend’s baby shower. (The friend, btw, was not in attendance because she was at the hospital in labor. We celebrated in her absence.)

So it’s as I feared.

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This is what I’ve become. Picture the waddle.

The sprained muscle I mentioned in my last post has only gotten worse, and the other side of my body is getting thrown off to compensate, thereby exasperating my pregnant-lady walk. At seven months, I should not have the pregnant-lady walk!

Not to mention the pain. I decided it was time to take action by rubbing cream on the affected area, you know, my “lower back.”

Oooh, the cooling sensation. Not bad. Why didn’t I do this sooner?

Wait? What’s happening now? Why is it burning? My gosh my as—er… lower back is on fire! How did a cream that started out cool turn my backside into a bunsen burner?! Read the rest of this entry

The news that’s fit to print

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Leaving—on a jet plane. DO know when I’ll be back again. The very next day!

I’ve begun planning for my whirlwind trip by picking out, washing, drying, and hanging up the five wardrobe changes for my television debut. Hanging the clothes up is a fool’s errand since they’ll be shoved, er, placed nicely, in a suitcase soon enough, but I can at least give them a fighting chance, right?

My schedule is to leave Sunday morning, spend all day on planes and in airports after getting the customary pregnant-woman-who-refuses-to-use-the-body-scanner pat-down (Happy Mother’s Day to me!), arrive at night, film the next day from 9a.m.-4:30p.m., fly away that evening, doing the whole pat-down, airports, flights thing in reverse, and arriving home around midnight local time.

If this is what’s considered “living the life” of a writer, it might be overrated. And did I mention the flights I’ve been booked are on United? Heaven help me.

So I’m planning six outfits for being on-site less than 24 hours. The sixth outfit being my Read the rest of this entry

Turning in my introvert card

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Carrie Rubin, prepare to be amazed.

So y’all know of my great D.C. adventure where I gave a speech to some 200 people, right? You can read of my airport pat-down debacles here and here.

Well, guess what? I need to prepare for the frisking yet again! But it’s not for a talk this time. Oh no. It’s for television! Read the rest of this entry

Getting frisked for the second time in three days

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airport-1895173_640At long last, part two. (If you missed part one, you may want to catch up.)

So, two days after flying into Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., for my big speaking debut, it was time to fly home to the reality of my mommy existence. First order of business would be feeding my kids the vegetables they were likely missing for the past three days.

Walking into the airport with my trusty companion, I said to her, “It would be nice if I didn’t have to get frisked this time. I’m just not feeling up for that again.”

But it soon became apparent that security at Dulles was no joke, and the likelihood of me not getting frisked was dwindling with each TSA security agent we saw, the first ones being immediately upon entry.

Two were poised and ready to check our boarding passes and wave us through. Then we located our gate number and headed in the proper direction, only to come to security check number two. Here TSA used machines to scan our boarding passes.

Then on to security check number three. Despite the seriousness this place clearly gives its safety, I still held on to some hope I could avoid the pat-down. But once we entered the waving sea of security lines, all hope was lost.

Let me describe for you the security line in San Diego, my beloved city of origin: That’s just it–security LINE, as in singular. And it pretty much takes you to half the airport. Plus, even calling it a line is a bit much. We hardly had time to remove our shoes before it was our turn to go through. I suppose once people arrive in San Diego, they don’t want to leave.

aircraft-1526567_640But in Dulles there was an ocean of people in sixish lines weaving and winding to the point where you couldn’t tell where your lane was letting out. (Insert your own joke about trying to get out of D.C. here.)

When it was our turn to put our stuff on the conveyor belt, I noted that the posted TSA agent was literally getting paid to sit on a chair and people watch. He wasn’t making any announcements whatsoever about liquids, laptops, OR lozenges. (If that makes no sense, see previous post.) I told him I was preggo and didn’t want to go through the body scanner.

“There’s no x-rays, Ma’am.”

“So you’re able to see under people’s clothing by harnessing Superman’s powers?” Is what I wanted to say, but I know you don’t mess with TSA any more than you do TX, even this lazy TSA, so instead I answered, “I’d still rather not.”

“Then you’ll get a pat-down.”

“Couldn’t I just go through that?” gesturing in vain to the poor nearly discarded relic of a metal detector, left standing there just to mock the likes of me.

“No.”

And so I waited once again in disgrace to be called back for my humiliation. Then I caught sight of my tormentor. Read the rest of this entry

Getting frisked twice in three days

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Technically, they call it a pat-down when it’s done at the airport, but from what I’ve seen of people getting frisked on TV, cops have nothing on the TSA (Transportation Security Administration, in case you were wondering) when it comes to invasion of privacy in a public setting.

So here’s the thing, those blasted full-body scans are everywhere now. I remember when some poor saps got stuck in those lines while others skated through your standard metal detector, but no more. The putting your hands in the air like you really do care while x-rays check your personage for concealed weapons is now the norm.

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From wikipedia’s TSA “How it works” video.

Sure, they still have the metal detectors standing there like old relics at a museum for people to stare at in awe and yearning as they wait in long security lines, but those are only for people who apparently travel frequently enough or can afford to pay to not have to raise their hands if they’re sure. Those people also get to keep their shoes on. Apparently rich, well-traveled people don’t conceal weapons in stilettos. Though, truthfully, the stilettos could be used as a weapon. Why am I the only one seeing this? Nail clippers are verboten, but pointy-heeled shoes? No problem. I know which I’d rather have in a fight should I need to poke someone’s eye out.

Not that I spend time thinking about these things.

The other lucky souls who got to used the metal detector were those carrying small children. To this I protest. I’M carrying a small child! He just doesn’t happen to be visible yet!

Even the random lady during my friend’s and my pre-security bathroom break, washing her hands at the sink between us, agreed with me that I shouldn’t use the giant sweeping arm contraption while pregs. [Sidenote: I love when strangers join in your conversation, and I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s just friendly and shows a camaraderie among women. Particularly when it comes to being pregnant. And being in the bathroom.]

So, with shoes off, paraphernalia in the little white bins, and suitcase on the conveyor belt, I waited for the TSA man to take a breath during his routine announcements to those in line about liquids, laptops, and I don’t know, lozenges? Are those forbidden too?

I thought surely he must be finished, but he held a blue-gloved finger up to me (the correct finger) until he completed his litany. Read the rest of this entry

Well, I survived.

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I started throwing stuff in my suitcase days in advance and at one point thought, I rather like how that looks. I think I’ll take a picture. You’re welcome blog world! (Those aren’t the actual books, just hard-backed blow ups, in case you were wondering.)

I’ve returned from my cross-country trip to D.C. where I, Betsy Kerekes, spoke at a conference and have lived to tell the tale.

When I whined about having to give a speech in front of a boatload of people, many of you said, “You’ll be great!” And I thought, “How do you know?”

But in truth, well, you were right. 🙂 It went really well, and the feedback was warm and positive. As I walked back to my book table, several people said nice things to me along the way. I forgot to turn my recording device off right away, so my husband was able to hear proof of that.

The man who spoke ahead of me and who does this sort of thing all the time, gave me the best compliment. He looked at me in all seriousness and said one word: “Fantastic.” That was validating, y’all.

Let me back up a bit. We’re talking months of nerves leading up to this one hour of public speaking. As my dear friend who volunteered to accompany me and I pulled up to the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD, I said, “What am I doing here? I can’t do this!” Read the rest of this entry