LIVE BLOGGING JETBLUE: Back to Burbs Edition

The view from my seat.

Ahh, it feels like it was just last week when I last wrote a flight blog, and here I am again, busting out the laptop for more airborne commentary. It’s time to leave the chilly climes of the Northeast and return to the sunny, temperate weather of Los Angeles — Burbank Airport, specifically.  After a whirlwind weekend of wedding activities (and snow), I’ve found myself back at JFK, sitting in the JetBlue terminal and waiting for this alleged wireless hotspot to kick in.  You see, despite my laptop registering a full four bars-worth of connectivity, I’m unable to access the World Wide Web.  A quick polling of my nearby laptop neighbors reveal that they too have been similarly and frustratingly cockblocked from the Internet.  Sadly, this isn’t the first time this has happened.  The last few times I’ve flown out of JFK, I’ve noticed that the wireless hotspot has been anything but.  I mean, yes, it is a spot, but it’s hardly hot.
So without internet access, I’m stuck here observing my surroundings.  The terminal is packed, I should note.  I think I saw someone from Bunim-Murray at the food court.  I don’t know his name, and I never interacted with him when I was working there, but I’m fairly sure he’s a producer or something.  I also saw a woman watching Juno on her laptop.  I guess she had a screener.  WELL.  Two can play at that game, lady.  Maybe I’ll just pop in MY screener of Atonement.  Actually, I won’t.  It’s entirely too early in the morning for a delicate British drama.
Lastly, I should note that some guy full-on farted at the security check in.  It was nasty.  So nasty that one of the security guards asked another loudly, “Juan, did you pass gas?”  She then fanned her hand in front of her face.  Whoever smelt it dealt it, right?  Rest assured, it wasn’t me (despite my making the rhyme, which means I therefore did the crime.  Although, now I’ve denied it, which means I’ve also supplied it.  Damn, I’m really making a bad case for myself).  Nevertheless, the lack of usable internet access mixed with the toxic clouds of ass emissions has made this morning in Terminal 6 slightly unpleasant.  That’s okay though.  I actually have real work I have to do, which means that while I’ll check in periodically to give updates on the flight, I won’t be as fastidious with the blogging as perhaps my trip out [ed. note — this proved to be a lie].  Plus, there’s also the very real possibility that I may conk out mid flight (only got like two hours of sleep last night).  So now we’re all updated and happy, yes?  Good.  See you in the air.

10:01 AM
Well, I’ve been in the air for about twenty minutes or so, but I’ve been in the plane for about an hour.  My television viewing has consisted mostly of tornados and music videos.  The National Geographic Channel — or NGC — had a cool special about tornados that featured some very compelling and exciting footage.  It was only made better when my favorite chipmunk, Lisa Ling, popped out at the end.  What a pleasant surprise!  And speaking of chipmunks, one of the Fox In Flight pay per view movies is, you guessed it, Alvin and the Chipmunks.  I mention this only because in an effort to generate interest in the movie, the pay per view channel has been showing an extended behind-the-scenes featurette about the making of Alvin and the Chipmunks, and all these people are talking about it as if it’s the second coming of Citizen Kane. I assure you it’s not.
Anyway, I’ve watched a good number of videos on the three-headed monster that is MTV-VH1-VH1 Classic.  Highlights have included “No Air” by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown (my new guilty pleasure), “We Built This City” by Starship (my all time favorite guilty pleasure), “Foolish Beat” by Debbie Gibson (a guilty pleasure I didn’t even realize was a guilty pleasure until it came on), “Wishing Well” by Terrence Trent D’Arby (a smooth pleasure), “Love Song”  by Sara Bareilles (a goddamn pleasure), and “Touch My Body” by Mariah Carey (a funny video pleasure).  I should note that for whatever reason, I was oddly compelled to sing along to “We Built This City,” but I restrained myself out of respect for the passengers and/or any small animals that may be aboard.  I should also note that while I’ve seen the video many, many times in my life, this was the first time that I carefully studied Grace Slick’s dance moves, and let me say that while rhythm might not be her strong suit, no one can touch her when it comes to teetering over on her side / clapping oddly.
In other news, Brett Favre is retiring, which sucks because I would have liked to have seen him come back for another season.  Oh well.  Luckily, I’m not a die hard Packers or Favre fan.
As for my plane, it is ghastly hot in here.  My little air vent is completely useless in this flying hotbox of stuffiness.  Plus, I think I have heartburn, which is odd.  All I’ve eaten today has been a bagel and cream cheese.  The good news is that I have a seat that reclines this time; so that’s always a plus.  I had the option of taking a window exit row seat, but I would have been stuck with another permanently erect chair, and that just wouldn’t do.
Meanwhile, the head flight attendant has gotten some well placed passive-aggressive zingers in.  Early on, some guy decided to stand up while we pulled out from the gate.  Faster than you can say “Nancy will NOT stand for this,” the flight attendant got on the loudspeaker and announced that “as a reminder” all people must be in their seats with the overhead compartments closed.  Translation:  SIT THE FUCK DOWN YOU DOUCHEBAG.  Ah, I love that.
Later, someone’s cell phone went off as we were waiting to take off.  You knew that wouldn’t go ignored.  The flight attendant got back on the loudspeaker and once again said “as a reminder” that all phones have to be off.  Translation:  TURN YOUR AWFUL PHONE OFF, YOU AWFUL AWFUL PERSON.  The shame these people must feel — it’s wonderful.
10:22 AM
There’s a commercial for the board game Taboo on TV right now.  Now, for anyone who hasn’t played the game before, there’s this little buzzer you get, and for some reason, there’s nothing more wonderful than buzzing it right in your friend’s face.  Maybe that’s just me and my never dying need to annoy everyone around me.  Well, in the commercial, there’s a shot of all these young twentysomethings playing, and very briefly, one of the actors takes the buzzer and buzzes it RIGHT IN SOMEONE’S FACE!  I’m not the only one who does it!  I feel so validated.
10:26 AM
I’ve just placed my order for my first beverage:  tomato juice.  I was thinking about ginger ale, but seeing how I gave tomato juice the short shrift on the last flight, I thought I’d give it a run this time around.
10:27 AM
I forgot to mention that among the videos that I saw was (palindrome!) the new one from the Foo Fighters.  It’s awesome.  Dave Groll dresses up as some sort of cheesy soap star turned rocker, and Karen from The Office plays his lady.  I’m really not doing it justice.
10:54 AM
Beverage service has come and gone.  The flight attendant gave me two, count ’em, TWO cans of tomato juice.  I was very impressed/excited.  Later, when she came by with her basket of snacks, the guy next to me asked if the Terra Chips were baked or not.  She handed him the bag so he could see for himself, and as she started talking about the various health benefits of the chips, he simply cut her off with a curt and slightly rude, “Thank you.”  He wasn’t even looking at her. However, she was not about to stop mid-spiel; so he said, “THANK YOU” again.  Aaand then again.  It was so awkward.  Surprisingly, she seemed quite unfazed, which was strange because she seemed like the sort of stewardess who would immediately enter fussy mode.  Nevertheless, she then asked what I wanted, and I immediately went for the Sweet Georgia Brownie cookies.  The flight attendant asked if I wanted anything else, and while I toyed with the idea of getting a second bag of cookies, I decided to be slightly healthier and keep my snack to one bag’s worth.  Of course, I then opened up my bag and discovered that it contained a paltry four tiny cookies.  ARGH.  I immediately regretted my choice to stick with one serving.  I could have called the flight attendant back and asked for a second bag, but I didn’t want to be THAT guy.  My plan is to maybe ring her in about an hour.  This way, it’ll seem less like I was inefficient with my snack service, and more like I was suddenly plagued with fresh, new hunger pangs.  Yes, this shall work out perfectly.
Nevertheless, nothing much else has happened.  There’s been some light turbulence, and my streak of cheesy ’80s videos continued with the oft-butchered-on-Idol classic, “Alone” by Heart.  Also, in a strange turn of events, VH1 Classic played the same video twice within ten minutes.  Unacceptable.
11:16 AM
The Sci-Fi channel has some sort of Southern Gothic show from the ’80s on.  I don’t understand it, but a flustered woman just told her daughter that if she doesn’t stand up right, she’ll starch all her underwear herself!  Gasps all around!  I nearly got the vapors!
11:24 AM
Okay, this is apparently Tales from the Darkside; although, if I were to base it on this episode, I might rename the show, Tales from the Tennessee Williams Side.
11:29 AM
I’ve never seen Tales from the Darkside before, but based on this episode, I’d have to say that it’s pretty much awful.  Another episode is starting, but I’m not sure if I can watch it.  Oh wait — master thespian Nancy Travis is in this next episode.  It’s named “My Own Place,” but I’ll call it “MUST WATCH!”
11:30 AM
I’d like to add that after a brief cooling off period, the plane is now hot again.
11:33 AM
Nancy Travis is excited about her boyfriend’s new apartment.  You can see just a teeny bit of Central Park from the window.  It’s a Travis Miracle!  I hope nothing goes wrong!!
11:34 AM
OOH.  An ominous feather just floated down from the ceiling.  And it brought with it dastardly visions of India!  I fear for Nancy Travis.  I fear for her life and the deadly, feathery fate that awaits her!
11:35 AM
Wouldn’t you know it?  Nancy Travis’s new apartment comes with its very own Indian ghost.  It’s like Rose Red ALL OVER AGAIN.
11:37 AM
Here’s something fascinating:  MTV’s True Life: I Work in the Sex Industry.  I’m intrigued, but I feel sort of embarrassed watching this in public.  Luckily, the guy next to me is watching it now, so I feel less like a perv.
11:40 AM
Meanwhile, the pay per view, which normally cuts off to non-customers after fifteen minutes, is still going strong.  Had I known this, I would have been watching The Savages all this time.  I’ll tell you this much though:  I bet that Juno screener woman doesn’t think she’s hot shit anymore.  Guess what, lady, we all can see it.  HA!  (Full disclosure:  I saw Juno on a screener too.  BUT I saw it three weeks ago, so I’m that much cooler than she is).
11:46 AM
Oooh, the guy next to me is in the movies.  He might be a screenwriter.  He just plucked some production materials out of his bag in the overhead compartment and put them on his seat.  He then went off to the bathroom WITHOUT closing the overhead bin.  [rolling eyes].  Needless to say, the flight attendant slammed it shut about ten seconds later.  Translation:  CLOSE THE OVERHEAD BIN, FUCKER!
Speaking of screenwriting and whatnot, I’m gonna take a break to do some real work.
11:56 AM
Scratch that.  Juno just ended and now The Savages is going to be showing again.  I’m watching it.  It better be free.  Oh, and what’s best is that the announcer on the JetBlue channel goes “Up next:  THE SAVAGES!!!“  I think he thought it was movie about cannibals or something.
12:43 PM
Savages update.  This movie is pretty good so far.  I’m impressed.  Plus, I ordered my next batch of cookies — conveniently from a different flight attendant.  He not only brought me the Sweet Georgia Brownie cookies, but also a bag of chocolate chip cookies.  Looks like the gamble to wait paid off.  Meanwhile, the guy next to me recently busted out his laptop and is rocking out on the Dixie Chicks on it through his headphones.  I’m talking about bopping and shaking his head.  I’m embarrassed for him.  He also just asked the flight attendant if it was possible for him to charge his MacBook.  Not on JetBlue.  Maybe next time he should FULLY CHARGE before getting on the plane (and not drain excess battery with iTunes. It’s called an iPod. Look into it).
1:49 PM
WELL.  I certainly loved The Savages.  I highly recommend it.  I got a little misty eyed at the end, but again, I was determined not to make a fool of myself in public; so I held it all in. I was very proud of myself. Actually, it wasn’t that sad of an ending, but I guess when you have two hours of sleep, everything can make you misty eyed.
1:51 PM
FYI — Sci Fi now has talking fruit and vegetable puppets carrying on a conversation.  What happened to this network?
1:55 PM
According to the Live Map, I’m presently approaching the Four Corners.  To celebrate this moment, I busted out my camera and took pics of the snowy, mountainous terrain below.  I always feel weird taking pictures on a plane.  I feel like I’m not supposed to.  I also feel like a dumb tourist.  As you can imagine, I’m in a state of great conflict and embarrassment presently.
2:00 PM
Wow, I am good.  A movie literally just started on USA.  I saw the Paramount emblem, saw the opening shot, and somehow, I just knew that it was Twilight, a small film noir from ten years ago.  Lo and behold, I was right.  KUDOS, ME.
2:14 PM
Well, I just went to the bathroom, which meant I had to become THAT guy who makes everyone get up.  There’s no easy way around it:  I was awful.  The good news was that when I returned to my seat, a bag of Lorna Dunes was waiting for me.  Again, not my favorite snack, but hey, I’ll take what they give me (which is more than American).
2:39 PM
Oooh, another beverage service.  This time, I enjoyed a cool, refreshing ginger ale.  We also flew over the Grand Canyon.  The pilot made a funny when he said that people on the right side of the plane (a.k.a. me) can see the Grand Canyon while people on the left could see… people looking at the Grand Canyon.  Of course, for a moment, I thought he meant they’d be able to see some wildly popular observation deck, but then I got the joke.  Sorry, I’m a little slower at these altitudes.  Nevertheless, I took out my camera again and took pictures.
2:42 PM
I swear, this one woman on Passions looks just like COUGAR Quinn from The Real Housewives of Orange County. Just a comment. Anyone know what I’m talking about? Anyone?
2:44 PM
Why does it sound naughty when Rachel Ray says, “My pork is smelling good already!”
2:47 PM
This show on the Travel Channel has a guy tasting weird foods.  It’s pretty cool.  He’s eating a fruit called Duri or something like that.  He says it’s the texture of custard with the aroma and taste of petrified onions and cheese.  I don’t know.  That sounds pretty good to me.
2:49 PM
Now the guy is eating jellyfish salad — which I’ve had and is actually pretty tasty — and sea cucumber, which he described as having a texture of connective tissue or frozen vaseline if it weren’t cold.  Okay, that doesn’t sound good.  But I’d try it, I suppose.
2:51 PM
Well, the battery’s running low.  I think I’m gonna pack it up.  So much for this being a “light” flight blog.
2:54 PM
One last thing:  the guy next to me is snoring like there’s no tomorrow.  Awful.

9 replies on “LIVE BLOGGING JETBLUE: Back to Burbs Edition”

  1. Was it a bald guy eating ‘Bizarre Foods’ on the Travel channel? If so it was Andrew Zimmern.
    Glad your back in La La Land.

  2. That’s funny – I totally watched that True Life: I Work in the Sex Industry on my last day in Florida
    It was interesting, but one of the people they profiled was just a radio host who talked about her sexual experiences. I call shenanigans that they could not find a more interesting sex industry worker.
    They also had a guy who was a heterosexual gay porn star. I was perplexed at that, but hey – whatever pays the bills, eh?

  3. The fruit the guy was eating would have been durian- it smells like death but it tastes really good, like a vanilla custard. Many hotels in Asia have “No Durian” signs posted, since the smell is so horrible.
    Glad you had a good flight!

  4. This was a great flight blog and all (your snooping at neighbor’s reading materials was awesome) but it’s really time for you to trade in the tomato juice for a string of Bloody Marys and get sloshed on the flight. Not saying you have to create a scene that involves TSA, but just once you could call the flight attendant “honey.”

  5. kepster totally said what I was gonna say (except I didn’t think it tasted all that good when I ate it). Anyway- durian fruit is the FAVE food of wild orangutans!
    Love the flogs B!

  6. Awwww…I was going to dazzle you all with my knowledge of smelly Asian fruit. I should have known that BSide draws well-read (or well-fed?) readers.
    I concur: the durian smells of death. I couldn’t bring myself to taste it.

  7. B-Side, your mother called. She wants to know why you ordered acidic tomato juice when you already had indigestion? At least take Jennifer30309’s suggestion so the pain will be somewhat blunted by alcohol.

  8. I would have loved for you to be with me last week to blog my flight to and from Italy. We had some real winners in coach, on the flight that talked loud, snored and flirted with the flight attendants. I did get to see Juno, Reservation Road, Dan in real life, No country for old men, and part of Elizabeth. Great movies on the international flights. But the food, ugh!

  9. Thanks for flying with JetBlue! We really do have the coolest passengers, xcept for the fool you had to sit next to. Glad you enjoyed getting your snack on, and please enjoy the complimentary tomato juice on a future flight. Thanks again for your business, peeps like you make it fun.
    A Jetblue Steward- JFK

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