Monday, August 30, 2010

JetBlue All You Can Jet - Shoulder Season

With a week or so to go before traveling, what is there to do? Confirm final arrangements, start packing, go to physical therapy.

Wait... what? physical therapy? Why am I going to 3 physical therapy appointments this week, in the midst of all this travel prep?

Several weeks ago, maybe it's even been a couple of months, I pulled something in my shoulder. Frankly, I think sitting at a computer for hours and hours does not help my shoulders one bit. I'm trying to get up more often to stretch, and try to keep my arms are resting on something, but I can't always do it. Holding your arm out over your mouse, keyboard or track ball for hours at a time must be hard on shoulders. That's just my own non-medical theory.

Then one day I was moving fairly quickly, I stretched and reached out suddenly (to mail a letter from my car, of all things) and OUCH, felt like I had pulled my own arm out of my socket. Ouch. Pain. What have I done? It felt okay when my arm was not making any extraordinary moves, so I kind of forgot about it. But then I used that arm to pull myself up on a bus. OUCH. Shoot, I forgot, my shoulder is screwed up. Then it felt okay. Then I decided to try on some raincoats at a store. Reaching around to put that second arm in the sleeve. OUCH. Yikes. This is not good.

When I got the AYCJ travel pass, I started imagine 30 days of travel, lugging my luggage for days and days. I decided to have someone look at my shoulder. I'm now in physical therapy to try to get the range of motion back in my shoulder.

Geesh, how did I do this, I'm not THAT old. Well, this is the oldest I've been yet, but still. Is this the universe telling me to slow down a bit? My first experience with physical therapy has been really good. My arm's range of motion seems to be slowly expanding. But I am impatient and want it to get better faster. So I'm doing my exercises, slowly trying to stretch it back to its previous flexibility. And I have made the executive decision... to check a bag. I think using the overhead compartment repeatedly over 30 days might just be asking for unnecessary shoulder trouble.

So, another note for this journey, can I survive 30 days of travel with only one fully functioning shoulder? Better go stretch some more...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

JetBlue AYCJ -- Preparation Continues

The JetBlue "All You Can Jet" Pass is such a great idea and it's going to be fun. But I wonder. Have other passholders spent as many hours online as I have, trying to figure out these 30 days of travel? I'm exhausted and I haven't gone anywhere yet!

But now that booking is allowed, I have booked my first flights. So, I'm on the way!

Since I'm coordinating with several friends and relatives, some time has been spent coordinating dates and schedules. And just because JetBlue flies to the 2 cities you want to visit, doesn't mean it's easy to get from one to the other... it appears we will all be spending some time at JFK, no matter where we're going.

Two weeks to figure out the rest of the routes, and the adventure begins.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stay Tuned For A JetBlue AYCJ Adventure

Look what I've gone and done now... I just bought a JetBlue "All You Can Jet" Pass. It's not just a plane ticket, it's an adventure... hopefully. Check it out at

This means I can fly as much as I want, wherever JetBlue flies, from September 7 through October 6. I bought the less expensive pass, so I can't fly on Fridays and Sundays, which, frankly is kind of a relief... two days each week when I just have to stay put!

It's already become like a full-time job, trying to figure out how to get to all the different places I want to go in those 30 days. I've been meaning to visit friends and relatives in Florida, New York, Chicago, and a few other places. So now I can go see EVERYBODY. All in one month. Yes, I may be crazy.

"Can I get there from here?" becomes an issue with JetBlue. To fly between some cities, you have to connect through either Long Beach CA, JFK-NY, or Boston. So I'd rather not go back and forth too much, from Seattle to NYC, to LA, to Boston if I can help it. I guess you could try to spend all your time actually in planes, for 30 days, but... I don't think that's for me.

Perhaps I am a bit of an obsessive planner when it comes to things like this. But I want to get my money's worth and take the best advantage of this thing, while also trying not to spend a gazillion dollars. I will be depending on the kindness of friends and relatives, crashing on a couch or spare bed in some places, getting some hotel rooms and rental cars in others. Once I figure out a few basics for the month, then I can relax and enjoy, knowing there's always the option to make flight changes, as long as you give a 3 day notice.

Just think of how much time I'll be spending in airports for 30 days. No, on second thought, I don't want to think about that, do I? Air travel and airports -- just not as much fun as they were 20 years ago. The key to this travel month will be staying in the right frame of mind. Stay calm, have fun, it all works out in the end.

When I've boarded the first JetBlue flight to ... well, I'm not sure yet, but I'll know soon... I will be blogging my adventures, so stay tuned. Until then, I have some more planning to do.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bravo's Work of Art Finale

Tonight was the finale for Bravo TV's "Work of Art".

The three finalists all had very distinctive styles:

Miles had his conceptual, "let's get deep inside my head and see what sorts of black and white images, shapes, and pixels are inside there" exhibition.

Peregrine took us to a country fair, with lots of color (no black and white here) wax heads, melting frames, little horses, pictures of vomiting kids, cotton candy, and a picture of taxidermied unborn fawns. Whew, that's some country fair.

Abdi showed striking large sculptures of figures lying on the ground, and paintings of figures, and body bags.

Simon DePury made the rounds to the artists' homes (a la Tim Gunn on Project Runway) in the months prior to the finale, to check up on their progress. It's always interesting to see where people live and do their work. It looks like Peregrine has a fabulous loft space, which very few people can afford any more in New York City... and may be one good reason to move to Kansas City, MO.

The winner of the show, $100,000, and an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, was Abdi. I liked this outcome, as I enjoyed watching him grow throughout the series. His positive spirit and attitude counter-balanced some of the other contestants, who appeared more cynical or manipulative about the playing the game. Of course that's all part of a reality show, to be willing to do anything to win. And a variety of personalities is needed to make a good TV show, so Work of Art did a good job there, with a pretty good variety of creative types. But Abdi seemed to just enjoy doing the art, with humor and charm. That was fun to watch.

The judging of art and any other creative endeavor is completely subjective. There is no one right or wrong answer. Everybody has an opinion about art they like or dislike. And they're all right. There may be some consensus regarding whether someone has good technical skills, although that can be debatable too. Everyone will never agree ... No one will always agree. Well, however you look at it, everyone is entitled to their opinion. This is clear on various blogs, recaps, and comments sections that have followed this show.

Work of Art allowed us to see how art critics, gallery owners, and other artists, look at and talk about art. The art world is a mysterious place. If you're not in New York City, or London or some other large city, then it can be a mystery what makes something a good piece of art. In Work of Art, a TV show exposed that process to millions of American television viewers, who could see and listen to people making art and discussing art. So even if you live in the so-called fly-over states (everywhere that's not NYC or LA), you could watch, listen in, and even share in the conversations about the creation of a Work of Art. And what can be wrong with that?