Review (TV Show): Testing the Look and Sounds of Riverdale

Look out kids, this isn’t your grandparent’s Archie Comics!

***SPOILERS WARNING***

(Duh.)

That’s right, Precious Readers,

I had to get a disclaimer out before greeting you. This show is would shock the living daylights out of your (great/grand)parents. In no way shape or form am I “early” to the game. The Season 1 attempt has been out so long that I watched it on Netflix. I do not have cable. That’s how out of the loop I am.

Have I mentioned I’m on the latter half of life?

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but I am a comic book/graphic novel fan. I am a legit comic book fan. I spent much of my youth in the 19-blah, blah, blah’s (we don’t need to go into specifics) lost and absorbed into those ink soaked pages filled with 2-D hand drawn tales of drama, adventure, daring rescues, laughter, sorrow, and the battle between the (sometimes non-)human condition versus impossible odds. The courage scrambled together in the face of death. The highs and lows of the life and trials of (sometimes super) people living their lives with the incredulous dichotomy of circumstances.

Did I throw enough fancy words at you to prove how “too legit to quit” I am?

I haven’t read everything. I am in no way an expert in any genre or 1+ series. There are 8 year olds far better versed in the comic world than I am. Although, nowadays the focus seems to be on Manga, not as much American-based work. I mostly was stuck on the American giant comic worlds Marvel and DC. My main loves covered the following worlds:

  • Batman (DC)
    • Love Batman, Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, and Two Face!
  • X-Men
    • I’m all about Storm. Love, Love, Love Aurora. GO STORM!
  • Spiderman
    • Most of the films and reboots (kicking of the dead horse that is the Spiderman origin films) have damn near killed me, although Spiderman Homecoming wasn’t completely terrible.
  • Watchmen (later in life, not safe for kids!)
  • Wanted (later in life, not safe for kids!)
  • In the future – looking to start reading the original The Walking Dead series graphic novel series because I love the TV show so much. So much. Plus, I hate not reading the source material before seeing something on the screen. (Coooooral!)

Most of all, I was a big fan of one of the original American comics: Archie Comics. The star comic of this post. It may not be a big surprise, but my favorite stories were the Betty and Veronica characters and Jughead.

Betty and Veronica are as night and day as their hair color. Why would I appreciate their characters? Betty Cooper was the all-American girl next door who could do it all and still be herself. She had a demure confidence from natural skill, working hard, and believed that she could accomplish anything if she set her mind to it. Why appreciate the spoiled rotten Veronica Lodge? Veronica, although had her faults, was often making the wrong decisions but would have to deal with the consequences. Her confidence came from herself, knowing her value, and wouldn’t have the time of day for any boy who didn’t appreciate her. She liked the finer things, but many of the original comic humor for her character stemmed from her attempting to be more like Betty and relate to her friends. Her often misguided attempts at achieving this endeared her to me, as she often failed but continued to try. And really, what teenage girl wouldn’t want an unlimited credit card and a closet full of her favorite clothing, whatever that style may be?

Then, there’s Jughead. No, I wasn’t a fan of him because they made him adorable on Riverdale. I was a Jughead fan years and years (and years) ago. I appreciated the writers making him a bit obtuse and subversive from the rest of the series. He often broke the fourth wall, having a strange spatial awareness that he was a drawn character for the entertainment of others while the rest of the Archie characters believed they lived in their own world. Jughead directly connected with the audience, had an aloof manner that gave him an easygoing personality that I envied, and could eat more cheeseburgers to put Shaggy from Scooby Doo to shame. In actuality, I firmly have a theory that Shaggy was the stoner’s version of Jughead to make Shaggy more in line with the trippy time of Scooby Doo’s release to the world.

Jughead also managed to transcend space and time, often with Dr. Strange-like movements from one frame to the next. Who wouldn’t want that ability? He was often the voice of reason from the everyday drama of high school life, and seemed to have outgrown Riverdale years before ever graduating from Riverdale High. Perhaps space and time travel, page leaping, and fourth-wall breaking ability makes one mature quicker as the character realizes how much a part of a literal larger picture he is, causing him to take life in a bit more stride than his friends. Plus, I really, really loved that crown paper hat that he wore ironically.

You’ll notice that i didn’t write anything about the titular character, Archie Andrews. You know, despite being the headliner for this vast world of high schoolers, I was often bored with Archie. He was a kid who was nice, sure. And, of course, the love triangle between will he, or won’t he between Betty and Veronica, never quite being able to choose… well, that bugged me even as a kid. As a girl who has no time for not being wanted “enough” for someone to decide if they wanted to be with me or not, I had no head space for a character who was a total fuckboy. That was the one aspect of Betty and Veronica’s characters I could never get over. Why the hell would these smart, confident, young women even bother with a guy who “wasn’t quite sure” if he wanted to be with them. It was always clear that “Betty” stood for “Backup,” while Veronica was more of a symbol of the life Archie wanted for himself. He never really appreciated either of them.

For those reasons, I have no patience, nor empathy for a fuckboy like that.

Now that I’ve probably lessened my endearment to my fellow readers, again, let’s move on to the actual Riverdale show now, shall we?

Conversion of Pages to Television and Style

How did the writers, set designers, and directors do with creating Riverdale? I think they did a great job bringing Archie into the modern world. They still have iconic locations, of course the home base, Riverdale High, Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe, Betty Cooper’s house. One set that was new to Archie fans was the lack of the “big” mansion for Veronica and her family. The show begins in the immediate aftermath of Veronica’s father, Hiram, being incarcerated for shady, dastardly business deals. Veronica and her (visible) mother, Hermione have to move to the “tiny” mansion back in Riverdale. (Yes, kids, there was a Hermione known to Americans loooong before the British, bookish Hermione.) Hermione Lodge was typically a non-visible character, as most of Veronica’s home life in the comics was the push/pull spoiled/unspoiled relationship between her and her father.

The original Archie comics were set decades before, but were fitting for the time they were drawn. The style, the haircuts, the slang, all timely at publication. Although part of me was sad they didn’t keep the comics in the 1950’s, (I would’ve loved to see some vintage cars and architecture), I feel they successfully brought the characters into the 21st century. I am happy to report they kept Pop’s Choklit Shoppe as a time warp in more of a throwback diner.

The gang now has cell phones, YouTube, and cyberbullying. It truly is a modern take on the show.

Casting/Acting

Here’s where it gets interesting. I have to say, I have zero problems with any of the casting of this show. That is rare. There’s typically someone who overacts, or doesn’t fit the character at all (Emilie de Ravin as Belle on OUAT – I’m looking at you), or is waaay to old to play a teenager. Although there is a slight issue with some of the ages of the actors, I’m pretty excited about the hiring of relatively unknown actors for this show. I also appreciate that the show has embraced racial diversity. Most of the key characters are all white, but the hiring of Camila Mendes playing an updated and Latina version of Veronica, the character reformatted as a “reformed” queen bee with a tarnished crown, is a breath of fresh air. I did note that for Hollywood “whitewashing” entertainment that the hiring of Mendes was still strategic, as she is white-enough looking to pass for Caucasian. Way to play it safe, Hollywood. Characters who are more easily spotted as non-white are predominantly in secondary roles, or in the case of Reggie, played by Ross Butler, is the school bully. He’s not a nerd and he speaks English well. Although it’s nice to see an Asian as a handsome jock, he’s also the school’s biggest asshole. Not sure how to handle that one.

Archie Andrews, played by Australia’s KJ Apa, is a far more fully fleshed out character than in the comics. It’s nice to see him have frustrations, sorrow, and general human emotions overall. In the comics, I felt that Archie was often a “tra la” guy, floating through life and not appreciate the fine group of friends and adoration of amazing women at his side. This Archie, while still figuring out what he wants from life, actually seems to care about the people around him, including Betty and Veronica… more on that later.

The 3 big surprise castings to me are the following:

Hermione Lodge, played by Marisol Nichols. For those who are older than 20, most will remember her as “Audrey Griswold” from Vegas Vacation, the fourth installment of the Chevy Chase comedy dynasty.

Jughead’s dad is introduced as “Forsythe ‘F.P.’ Jones II,” (is it for-sith or for-sigh-th?) played by a longtime cinematic crush of mine, the brooding, dark, and oh-so-cuddle-able, Skeet Ulrich. Jericho, anyone? I love that freaking show, and it was canceled far too early. LET’S BRING IT BACK! JERICHO! JERICHO!

Another surprising addition to the cast is ’90’s 90210 heartthrob, Luke Perry. Those puppy dog eyes, that low, gentle voice. He’s the smooth to Archie’s freak out nature. I have to say, watching Luke Perry act again is relaxing and enjoyable. Like snuggling into a soft, familiar blanket, and enjoying a few minutes of entertainment and not having to think much. Even better, he’s all grown up and a dad now. Could he be more adorable?

Archie loves Veronica/Betty/Veronica/Betty/Veronica/Betty… wait. Archie loves… Miss Grundy?

Are they dramatic enough for you yet?

I promised we’d get here, and we did. Have I ever let you down? (Don’t answer that.) I have to hand it to the writers. In Episode 1, they fully address the love triangle and make Betty have respect for herself. She fully calls out Archie asking if he ever loved her. Although the Archie/Betty/Veronica triangle is never completely gone, at least Betty does her best to move on, and happily does. (Again, more on that later.)

The twist… Bring on Miss Grundy! Apparently, having an older woman on the show with actual grey or white hair who is single and open about wanting to date is still a “no no” in Hollywood. Instead, the writers took an iconic, and sometimes hilariously dry, character of Miss Grundy and sexified her up in a child-molesting model vamped up way.

Image result for miss grundy riverdale

I mean… seriously?

I’ve made it no secret that I work at a school. The even slightest hint at a teacher fraternizing with one of their students, especially an underage minor, is unethical, amoral, and completely illegal. YES. ILLEGAL.

The writers’ excuse?

“Archie got abs.”

Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me?

This was an attempted plot point that was completely unnecessary and used only to add drama. It did nothing to the plot, and I can’t tell you how happy I was to see her go. Buh-bye!

I don’t care who you are. THIS IS NOT OKAY. I don’t care if you say “it’s a gray area. They’re in love.” I say again, THIS IS NOT OKAY.

Done.

No excuses.

Let’s just move on.

Bughead? Bughead!

Is this going to work?

Yes. Yes, I think it will.

Now we’re at some fun. Can I just say how much I love, love, love, “Bughead?” The writer’s gave Betty a break and paired her up with Jughead. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Fans of the original comics will remember that though Jughead was an aloof, sometimes asexual character, he and Betty always had a special connection. He had even mentioned [paraphrasing here] that if he was to ever kiss a girl, he’d want it to be someone like Betty.

Awww.

The writers finally gave the readers and longtime fans some closure by granting us Bughead.

#Love #Bughead

Thank you, writers. Thank you. The onscreen chemistry between Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse, Betty and Jughead, respectively, is deep, emotional, and guts you with every word they type together for the school paper. Apparently the on-screen chemistry was too hot to handle as Reinhart and Sprouse are now an item off-screen as well.

Let’s hope that if they break up they can still work together. I’m really calling Riverdale by its rightful name, Bughead now.

 

What do you think of the show?
Has it crossed too many lines?
Are you eating up the drama with a spoon?
Loving Cole Sprouse’s emo-tastic darkened locks?
Do you want Jughead’s knitted cap and Betty’s Jughead crown sweater as much as I do? (Believe me, I’m working on getting those for my own wardrobe.)
Are you wicked jealous of Betty and Veronica’s BFF relationship and even more green-eyed jealous of their wardrobe?
Have you seen too much/too little of Archie’s abs?

Comment below!

Aside

Spirit Airlines Review – FULL Review

spirit - logo

Greetings Precious Readers!

I promised a follow-up and I did not disappoint! (Er, this time!)

Spirit Airlines has gotten a fairly bad reputation due to its “no frills” policy and approach to airline service. I’ve already touched on its history and current reputation in an earlier post here. All ratings will be rated on a 0-5 😊 scale. Also, in my earlier post, I wrote about having set expectations and doing your research. I went into my flights with Spirit Airlines fully aware of their “no frills” policy and clear expectations of how it would be. It is an economical way to fly, and I treated it as such.

I’m going to jet right into my review. (See what I did there?)

Seat Picking  – 😊😊😊😊😊
My friend, Caring* and I hadn’t vacationed before, but we were easily able to get seats next to each other without having to “request” it earlier. Specifically picking your seats is an added cost. I could see how this would bother someone, but I figure with other ‘standard’ airlines, that fee is built into your higher ticket price. Since the flight was only 2.5 hours each way, Caring and I didn’t worry about not sitting with each other. SA surprised us and seated us next to each other automatically. Lucky us! For this, I give it 5 faces. If it had been a longer flight, I might have coughed up the extra dollars to ensure I was somewhat near the people I’m traveling with. If it had been with Pilot, we definitely would’ve preferred to sit next to each other. The second flight wasn’t full, and the airline allowed us to move seats for more comfort. No seat neighbors = Happy KB. Caring and I ended up each sitting on one aisle seat across from each other, still able to talk, plus elbow room. What could be better?

spirit - bare fare

Bare Fare Experience – 😊😊😊😊😊
Going in with a full understanding of the “Bare Fare Experience,” there were no surprises, or upsets in any way. If you’re not traveling far, or only traveling for a short period of time 1-3 days, and are able to pack light, I highly recommend this as a great money saver. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather save my money for my actual destination rather than the travel to the destination. If it was a longer flight, like the one to South Korea, I would’ve sprung for more creature comforts due to the large amount of time actually spent in my traveling vessel. Since I went in with clear expectations, and there were no bad surprises, I’d say everything went according to plan. Really, what else is there in travel plans?

Baggage/Packing for Medical Needs – 😊😊😊😊😊
I only packed an average-sized laptop-holding backpack for my 3-day trip, clothes only packed for 2 days as I was wearing my “third” outfit, and a swimsuit. I had no issues getting baggage through TSA and ensured my bag was considered the right size for SA as my ONE bag. It’s not like a standard airline with a carry on + personal item. You only get ONE bag.

I did have an extra bag, but it was for medical purposes. I had contacted SA ahead of time, and they assured me my extra bag would not be charged for. They kept their word and gave no hassles of any kind in regards to my medical supplies. 5 😊 for that!

spirit - seats

Seat Comfort – 😊😊😊😊😊
This was a pleasant surprise! The seats, although not plush were surprisingly comfortable! I’m a larger gal, so having slightly less padding actually gave me more room and less encroachment on my seatmates. I don’t require 2 airline seats, but I’m not thin. I’m not a size 4. I try to be conscious about not taking up space. Having said that, I also hate seatmates who lean over the armrest and shove their elbows into me to “establish dominance of the territory.” Be a pal. If you have an armrest, don’t use up BOTH. I’m only using 1, you should only be using 1. I digress… The seats on SA were comfortable, leather, and I had no problem catching a brief nap on them. I’m a lucky gal who can sleep anywhere, but I was actually comfortable, and didn’t need a neck pillow.

The all important LEG ROOM: The leg room was unbelievably awesome! I had more leg room on this trip than I did for my flight on Korean Air. Korean Air was a 10.5 hour flight to Korea and an 11 hour return flight to Seattle. I repeat: I HAD MORE LEG ROOM ON SPIRIT AIRLINES THAN I DID KOREAN AIR. That is saying something!

Lack of In-Flight Services – N/A
I’m not going to rate this. I didn’t purchase any food or beverages on the flight. SA is clear that any water, drinks, and/or food on the plane is an additional fee. I tend to snack, so I bought water and snacks in the airport before the flight. They gave me no hassles about bringing an additional bag of trail mix on the plane and my water bottle, even though they clearly didn’t fit in my stuffed backpack. I won’t rate this since I didn’t try their products, and neither did my friend, so I cannot comment on the quality of water, beverages, or food. However, the staff was polite and their service was efficient getting the items into the hands of waiting guests.

Customer Service – 😊😊😊
I’d like to specifically say that the flight attendants and the pilots were some of the most genuinely nice staff I’ve seen since Korean Airlines. I’ve traveled by air easily 25+ times in my life. This was the second-most friendly service I’ve experienced for flight services. They cracked jokes during the emergency lecture pre-flight, the pilots also brought a level of brevity to typically sterile and stale instructions, which made the plane burst into light laughter. Flight guests are a tough crowd. Hat’s off to them!

This was my first time flying with SA, so I can’t comment on how their service was in the beginning, but I found them polite, courteous, efficient, and able to successfully bring some humor to the flight. At 6:00 AM, I call that talent.

The reason I knocked off two faces–that phrase looks weird–was due to pre-flight issues. SA doesn’t allow you to print boarding passes until within 24-hours of your flight. I printed them at home, because printing the boarding pass at the airport is an additional fee. The print off didn’t scan at TSA, and they directed me to the SA counter to get a boarding pass re-printed like a standard boarding pass. Apparently the bar code/smart code used on home printers rarely scan well at TSA check in points and this is a common occurrence. Since our flight left at 6:00 AM, Caring and I were at the airport at 4:00 AM. The SA counter didn’t open until later that morning.

Luckily, the airport had standing kiosks like mini-ATMs where I could print a new boarding pass myself (free!). However, if the airport hadn’t had a kiosk, I would’ve been stuck until the SA counter opened, missed my flight, and Caring and I would’ve had a shorter vacation (or she would’ve been in our warm climate destination without me). If you’re traveling to a more remote place, I don’t know how this would affect your travel plans. Several other counters of other airlines were open with staff, so it was disappointing to see the SA counter dim and desolate.

Canceled Flight – N/A
My flight wasn’t canceled, so I cannot comment or rate the experience. So, that’s a good thing!

spirit - amused

OVERALL: A solid 3.75 / 5
Overall, I give SA a 3.75/5, which compared to other reviews I’ve seen, isn’t too bad. If you’re looking to get from Point A to Point B with a little humor thrown in, and leg room to spare, this is the discount airline for you!

Traveled with Spirit Airlines? What was your experience? Comment below!

Have a travel tip? Please share with the masses below!

Want to provide me with much-needed advice, and think I’m writing with rose-colored glasses? I’d love to know how wrong my thinking is! Tell me how wrong I am!

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

I was not asked or compensated in any way to provide this review of Spirit Airlines. The information provided on this blog is voluntarily of my sole opinion.

Putting My Life in Spirit Airline’s Hands While They Hurtle It Through the Air

flying

Hello Precious Readers,

You read that correctly. Later this year, I will be attempting to fly with “The Worst Airline” in American history. “Why?” you may ask? I’ll tell you. I’m cheap. And I don’t have a large budget. But I need a vacation.

I’ve heard the stories, I’ve read the articles, I’ve seen the Yelp/Trip Advisor/Other Blog Post reviews. You know what consistently pops up? Read the fine print.

angry librarian

Warning: It’s Tough Love time.

I’ve warned you about my “straight talk,” and that I am not into frills if that’s not what is expected. I’m a firm believer that our country is becoming entitled. People expect more for less, and have condescending and egotistical attitudes about it. I’m not immune to this mentally viral emotional state… I try to have those instances occur as few and as far between events of my idiocy as possible. I’m human, but I try to remember that other people are human too.

Spirit Airlines tends to emote the lizard-brain, guttural, almost primitive reactions of hate, frustration, and anger in people who fly with them. I’m looking at the experience a bit more optimistically.

vacation

My girl friend, Caring and I are taking a girl’s getaway trip later this year to warmer climates. I firmly believe this vacation was hard earned due to some struggles both of us have incurred over the last couple of years, me finishing CRUSH ON YOU: A Roxy Summers Mystery #2, (releasing August 21, 2017!), and a break from life’s little problems. It will be our first vacation together. I’ll admit I’ve had poor traveling experiences with friends in the past, but I’m feeling optimistic. Caring and I have both have traveled to this destination before, and are looking for some time away from family and children. Not that we don’t like children. I work in a school, for crying out loud. She works in early education and has a master’s degree in social work, which she obtained while studying in DETROIT. We’re pro-children.

Queue the music now: “I believe the children are our future…”

But, neither of us will be playing “tourist” during this trip and can kick back, have some relaxation time, and enjoy some sunshine and pool side quasi-luxury. (Keep an eye on my Instagram *cough cough, hint hint* if you want to keep up with my misadventures!)

But, I digress.

I used to work with a group of lawyers. I’m not a lawyer. I’m not smart enough. But, after supporting a team of lawyers for several years, I’ve learned 2 things:

  • Do your research.
  • Read the fine print before you sign anything.

It’s a good thing I do. This can tend to be a point of frustration for my loved ones, who quickly sign subscription, Fred Meyer points cards, etc. with the carefree attitude of someone with nothing to lose. Then, they get annoyed when I stand at the counter an extra 5-7 minutes reading the agreement in its entirety, sometimes with a level 5 point font. I read every word. Every. Single. Word.

Those few extra minutes make a big difference in my life decisions.

Spirit Airlines is no different. One of the biggest complaints that are across the internet are regarding baggage, seat comfort, lack of in-flight services, and customer service. All of this information is addressed on their website in big yellow boxes.

spirit

This is where “Do your research” comes in. Always know what you’re getting into before signing anything

Let’s break down the biggest complaints people have, shall we?

baggage

  • Baggage — Baggage is a luxury. Of course, if you are traveling more than 1 day, you might need more clothes. It is possible to travel with 1 full outfit, but most people do not find this ideal. However, with modern-day materials and a little soap, you can stretch 1 outfit. It’s not ideal, and frankly, unless you’re backpacking in the same climate or planning to only wear a bathing suit, it’s not realistic. Having said that, I’ve seen people have an entire suitcase only for their shoes. My opinion? Unless you are traveling to colder climates, you do not require that much luggage.

Leg room

  • Seat Comfort — The owner of Spirit has said their seats are basic with little leg room to provide more chairs in each plane. If you’re traveling longer than 2.5 hours, or have a medical situation, you really might want to consider a different airline. We will be traveling <2.5 hours, so I can withstand a little uncomfortable seating. Lack of leg room – unless you’re willing to pay out the nose for business or first-class seating, is that truly any different from any other airline? My hubby, Pilot and I traveled 10.5 hours one way from Seattle to Seoul, South Korea in Economy Seats. Did we have little leg room? Yes. Did I bring an extra carry-on bag? Yes. This already reduces the amount of leg room. Planes are uncomfortable, but they are transportation systems. Not hotels. Need to stretch your legs? Stand up. Bring a scarf or wear a sweater you can use to cushion your seat. Frankly, I hate it when someone reclines. It puts their chair in my face, along with their head, and I don’t need to lock eyes with the passenger in front of me. What is the airline’s job? Get you from Point A to Point B, fairly and not-permanently scathed. Do they do this? Yes. You bought what you paid for.

In Flight

  • Lack of In-Flight Services — Think that water and pack of peanuts is complimentary? Think again. Booking outside of Spirit Airlines, the fees are little higher, or sometimes much higher. So that “complimentary” service, isn’t really free, is it? It’s like paying for a luxury hotel stay and getting the little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soap, and lotion. Those are not “complimentary.” You pre-paid for those when you booked your hotel room. If you want in-flight food or water, you will have to pay for it in-flight or beforehand and bring it with you. So is “complimentary” really complimentary? According to a bottom line, no. Not really.

Customer

  • Customer Service — Here is where it gets tricky. As someone who has worked her whole life in customer service, I have both an employee and customer’s point of view. I’ve been on the side of good and terrible service. I’ve been on the side of dealing with reasonable, and completely “whacked out of their gourd” irate and irrationally angry customers who are determined to not have their problem solved no matter what you are able to legally provide for them. Which of these was your experience?

SCENARIO 1: Are you someone who gets frustrated easily? Has the staff member apologized for your grievance, but according to business policies they are unable to meet your request? Well, then the problem is you.

Businesses have policies for a reason. Read the fine print. It is not the employee’s fault that you are requesting something beyond what they are permitted to give. Do you go to a Chinese food restaurant which only serves Chinese food, but then demand a hamburger?

“But the [Name of Burger Place] down the street serves them!” you demand.

“But, we don’t make hamburgers here, sir/madam,” says the employee.

“You are being rude, and this is ridiculous!” you say. “You serve food, don’t you? That’s what I’m asking for. Food! NOW!”

“Yes, but we only serve Chinese food,” says the employee. “It says so on the sign outside, on our website, and on our menus that we only serve Chinese food. We could put some beef on a roll for you, but that will be an extra charge since we don’t usually make it.”

“This is ridiculous!” you exclaim. “I will tell everyone and everyone they know about the terrible service here!”

Do you see what’s wrong with this scenario? I don’t know about when Spirit Airlines first launched their business or website, but if you look at it now, it is straightforward information about their baggage policies, in-flight policies, seating, etc. 

SCENARIO 2: Were you kind, polite, said “please” and “thank you,” but what you’re requesting goes against business policy? Then the problem is still you. See scenario 1 above, but with a lighter tone from the customer. Do you really expect a Chinese food restaurant to serve you a burger? No.

SCENARIO 3: Were you kind, polite, said “please” and “thank you,” what you were requesting falls inside of their policies, but were met with an employee who showed hostility, aggression, and could not care less that you are human being? Then the problem is with the service. THIS IS WHEN YOU SHOULD COMPLAIN TO A MANAGER.

want v need

Another thing to keep in mind: There’s a big difference between “want” and “need.” 

Do I need to check 2 bags, and have a carry on and purse on my person — for a 2-night stay in a warm-climate location? Probably not.

Do I need to pack 3 pairs of sunglasses and have four outfits per day? Again, probably not.

Is my carry on bigger and/or heavier than the dimensions the airline clearly outlined on their website? Yes? I may have to pay an additional fee. With increasing fuel costs and limited space — airlines need to be royalty of efficiency and good use of space. There’s only 1 plane with a finite amount of space to hold objects and amount of weight it can hold, and only 1 you. Who do you think is going to win this battle?

Do I need my medication(s) and proper storage arrangements for them? Yes. Luckily, Spirit Airlines does not charge for any accommodations needed for medically related issues. This does not include your loyal pet #NimitzThePomeranian as your “service dog.” Do you plan to list medication(s) as true medical need? No matter which airline you fly, you will need to provide documentation. Doctors notes are king, along with original packaging for your meds, and bring your prescriptions with you. Keep in mind, this is for any and all airlines, not just Spirit. If traveling internationally, make sure your medication(s) are legal to bring into that country.

But, they canceled my flight and I didn’t get a refund! What the heck?

I would be frustrated too. In fact, this is my biggest fear about my upcoming flight with Spirit. But I have this fear with all airlines. Again, as of today, Spirit has made it clear on their website that all sales are final and there are no refunds. I’m gambling with my money, but I agreed to these terms, and I’ll have to suck it up if my flight gets canceled. Spirit does offer its customers the opportunity to fly on their next flight to your planned destination at no additional fee, but that is based on your individual itinerary. It’s not the airline’s fault that you’ll be missing C-dog-topia-wallop-palooza, the sole reason you were flying in the first place. Again, this is seems pretty standard for any airline. You run the risk of your flight being delayed or canceled. Especially if your flight(s) may be affected by inclement weather or an emergency situation.

caveat

Having anything seemingly go wrong with your travel plans can be frustrating, exhausting, and feel like the end of the world. But, I implore you, Caveat Emptor, or “Buyer Beware.”

Research is your friend. So is reading the fine print. At this stage, Caring and I are fully aware of what we’re getting into, and doing our best to apply ourselves to their guidelines. It may be a bumpy flight, but we’ll be doing our best to have our eyes wide open about it.

It’s easy to say all of these things before flying with them. Perhaps they’ll prove me wrong, and I’ll have a great time, and everything will be perfect. Maybe they’ll prove me really, really wrong, and everything turns to shit. Either way, we’ll find out soon, won’t we? And you will, because I’ll writing another blog post confirming or denying my findings.

Traveled with Spirit Airlines? Tell us your experiences in the comments section!

Have a travel tip? Please share with the masses below!

Want to provide me with much-needed advice, and think I’m writing with rose-colored glasses? I’d love to know how wrong my thinking is! Share with me below!

the spy who loved me – and, oh, how i do love my spies!

Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

(And, let’s face it, with romance, you never know…)

Precious Readers, I cannot begin to tell you how much it warms my heart to see people still checking out my blog, even though I may have… kinda-sorta… disappeared into a black hole the last couple of weeks.

My apologies, Precious Readers – I did not mean to neglect you.

It’s just been a crazy-busy last few weeks.

The Ugly

Pilot was in Portland for practically a week, and then I was working and subsequently went to Oregon the following weekend.  I’m sad to share with you, Precious Readers, November is a tough month for me. Especially to be left alone to my own devices.  Even more especially when it’s the first time Pilot and I have been separated since our wedding.

November is the same month my dad died, and it happened the day after Thanksgiving.  Needless to say, as I’ve pointed out in earlier posts, I am not a fan of the holiday season.

When the hell did I get so needy?  After Pilot came home, it was the middle of the week and then I left Friday morning, (yes, I used precious vacation hours to take Friday, Nov. 2nd off) to drive all the way down to Cannon Beach.  He and I had less than 48 hours together upon his return, most of which I spent at my job or sleeping.  Not much of a romantic reunion.

Pilot: Hey Sweetie, want to watch a movie or something?

Me: Zzz…

Pilot: Or we could turn on the Roku, see if any of our shows are on.

Me: Zzz… Njai verk nahl dah… Jnah fle muh zleen

Pilot: I know you worked all day. You must be tired.  Ok, I’ll just let you sleep.

Me: Zzz…

Fresh and early-

Ok, it was 9:00am… But that’s early-ish, right?

-I picked up my friend Peace* in Lynnwood and we headed down for 3-days of fun-filled female companionship.

Wait… that didn’t sound right.  Let me try that again.

Girl’s weekend!

Ah-ha! There we go!

My friend Obie-One-Pin-Obie is turning 30 later this month, but since her birthday is close to Turkey Day, she likes to celebrate it a little earlier.  And so, I was to partake in a weekend of girly silliness.

I left that semi-soggy morning, ready and raring to go!

8.5 hours later, a new car part and my wallet lightened by $160 for aforementioned new car part, we finally made it to the rented house.  Let’s just say not enough wine was consumed, a battery jump was necessary, and a lot of taffy purchased. No questions please.

It was a long enough weekend and my friends read this blog.  I’ll write more someday in the future when it’s actually funny. Promise.

The Sunday I arrived home and crashed with Pilot-

Wait… Phrasing…

-Pilot and I vegged around the house-

Ah-ha! Again, better.  See Precious Readers? I must be more diligent about my writing, otherwise my skills go to shit.

Life is busy and I wish there were 365 days of writing challenges so I become more disciplined.

The Bad

One of my favorite British authors to read is Carole Mathews.  Unfortunately I tried reading Let’s Meet on Platform 8.  It’s the second book in my life I had to put down.  And didn’t finish.

Not going to write anymore about this because it’s not worth it.

If you want a GREAT read (one of my top 10 favorites) read Carole Matthew’s For Better, For Worse. Hilarious romantic comedy + a jewelry-eating duck.  Need I say more?

The Good

Status update on writing: haven’t accomplished much. However, I am testing a new schedule of 7:30-4:30 at work, which hopefully will give me more time in the evenings.

Speaking of writing – in case you haven’t noticed yet, I am a huge fan of intrigue, suspense, thrills, chills and bumps in the night.

And considering I’m aspiring to be a romance novelist, there are two forms of bumping in the night, but that’s neither here nor there.

Since the very recent release of Skyfall it’s helped me re-tap into my love of espionage.  As previously mentioned, I am a HUGE action movie fan!

During Skyfall I witnessed a pretty awesome preview for the next Die Hard film.  Can’t wait!  <Squee!>  Also, Skyfall was wicked awesome. A must see!  Despite that Daniel Craig is more notorious to me as “James Blonde” he is still quite the sight to behold.

Haven’t mentioned this much before, but I am also a HUGE spy genre fan!  Mission: Impossible¸ Get Smart, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, RED, Austin Powers (yes, those are great spy movies), James Bond, The Recruit (Colin Farrell!), The Bourne Identity series, Spy, etc.

Currently I’m hooked on Gina Robinson for spy novels. She’s one of my spy novel faves. Can’t wait for Live and Let Love.  She’s a Pacific Northwest author-

Support your local authors!

-and just love the way she weaves a story with hilarity!  I highly recommend checking her stuff out!

What is your favorite spy book or film?  What type of job would you like for espionage?  The daring agent Ethan Hunt or James Bond style?  The mysterious M or Q?  The deadly assassin?  The damsel/love interest care of Ms. Moneypenny or girl-who-gets-caught-up-in-the-mess?

*Name has been changed to protect privacy

Acosta-ed! pass the sunblock, would you? – review

I’ll tell you one thing:
It sucks you in and leaves you craving for more!

I have to hand it to my friend who introduced me to Marta Acosta’s Casa Dracula series back in college. After reading the first novel, I became enthralled with Milagro de los Santos, the narrator and no-one-takes-me-seriously-but-I’m-very-serious-right-now-party girl.

Thrall? Vampire? Get it? Too soon? Oh, well.

You can imagine the sheer joy I felt upon discovering that Acosta planned to develop this into a series, which calmed my nerves after the first novel Happy Hour at Casa Dracula left me with some unanswered questions.

Acosta’s series is as follows:
1. Happy Hour at Casa Dracula
2. Midnight Brunch
3. The Bride of Casa Dracula
4. Haunted Honeymoon

Her sharp, sassy, side-splitting funny voice takes the reader into a world that invites you to sit a spell for a meal of beet salad and tomato juice.  (In this world, apparently one does not necessarily need blood, but a high abundance of red-colored foods.)

Using the idea of vampirism as a “condition,” Acosta’s main character, Milagro de los Santos leads you into a world that debates clashes of the classes, what is true love, and how much sunblock does one undead person need?

I may or may not have laughed so hard that I fell out of my chair… literally. But would never admit to such a thing.

I give the Casa Dracula Series and Marta Acosta an A. The only reason this series did not receive an A+ is because you should definitely this series in order. If these had been written as standalone novels with the larger story arcs they cover, it would have been much easier on me as a reader.  Otherwise there are some serious gaps in knowledge until Haunted Honeymoon.  At least in her final book of the series, Acosta gives what I believe to be a decent sendoff for her characters whom I fell in love with. Milagro de los Santos is the big-hearted best friend you wish you had, and want to root for even when she’s making decisions that tear your hair out! Marta Acosta is a true winner and I’ll never be able to stop sharing Milagro with others as my friend had shared Milagro with me.

This review is solely the opinion of Katherine Bacher. I am in no way affiliated with Marta Acosta, nor her works, and wrote this review purely on my own terms. Check out Marta Acosta’s Casa Dracula series. You’ll never put them down!