Surprise, surprise! I am currently on an airplane flying to New York, and with the advent of in-flight Internet courtesy of Gogo Wireless, I’m able to truly report to you all with a live blog. This is actually the second time I’ve used this service, and I’m still a bit giddy about the notion of checking my email while cruising high above the mountains of California. I LOVE TECHNOLOGY. What I don’t love, however, are unexpected kinks in what should be a relatively straightforward flight.
The story behind my “Ugggghhhhh” after the jump…
Things started off very promisingly today at LAX. The airport wasn’t too crowded, which was a plus, and my cholesterol-laden breakfast of a Whopper with Cheese truly hit the spot, even if it was only 9:30 AM. I was really hoping to get onion rings instead of fries on the side, but alas, the Terminal 4 Burger King does not start up those delicious rings of glory until 10:30 AM. That, sadly, was entirely too close to my boarding time; so I had to settle for lowly fries Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â which wouldn’t be a problem at McDonald’s. But at Burger King, well, they’re just not that good.
Sadly, my boarding time got delayed about forty minutes, which meant that I could have waited around for the onion rings after all. DRATS! It’s probably all for the best, though. My body tends to emit rather unpleasant odors in the wake of such oniony ingestion; so for my fellow passenger’s sake, it was probably was for the greater good that I was relegated to fries.
Anyway, fries be damned, I was more than happy to be noshing on some Burger King Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â a special treat I reserve for my visits to LAX. I sat down at a nearby two-person table and tore into that Whopper like none other. It was delicious. I was in a mildly zen state of mind when all of a sudden, some random dude just came over and SAT DOWN AT MY TABLE. Did I mention it was a table for two? Okay, look, I realize the dining area was busy, and most of the tables were full, but buddy, go find your own damn spot! Actually, it wouldn’t have been so bad if he’d just asked permission to sit. But no, he just plopped himself down. It was, to put i mildly, VERY awkward. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he just didn’t speak English (he was one of IndianJones’s people), but still, some sort of universal hand gesture would have been appreciated. As a result, I had to spend the rest of the meal avoiding eye-contact, and honestly, who wants to do that? NOT ME.
After my strange dining experience, I relocated to a chair by my gate and happily kept an eye out for celebrities. A year ago, I was privileged enough to have Ian Sommerholder of Lost sit at my Chair Island (a.k.a. the little cluster of seats in which I was firmly ensconced). This time around though, there was nary a star to be found. Oh well. Luckily, when the plane from NY landed at my gate, I did have one celeb sighting. That’s right, none other than Christian Siriano, the hot tranny mess from Project Runway, emerged from the gate looking pretty much the way you’d expect: petit and on the verge of rolling his eyes.
Aside from Christian, there were no other stars. I did certainly get an eyeful of something else at the gate. Some mommy placed her things down in the chair next to me and then decided to engage in some good old fashioned Ashram yoga. Next thing I knew, her foot was resting atop the chair back and her butt was fully in my face. I of course took a picture with my cell phone camera, and amusingly, I snapped the shot just as she bent over. Leave it to my lame ass phone to be out of memory though. BLAST!! And leave it to my lame ass phone to only alert me of this AFTER I’ve taken my picture (as opposed to before so I could clear some space out in advance). Well, I hurriedly erased some pics, and fortunately for me, the woman’s derriere was still mere inches Ã¢â‚¬â€ literally Ã¢â‚¬â€ from my previously non-assed-impeded face. Needless to say, second time was the charm:
Seriously, you should have seen the shot of her bending over. And meanwhile, this was incredibly awkward prepping this photo to go on the blog. Nothing like having the homely woman next to you noticing a giant photo of an ASS on your laptop.
Anyway, flagrant ass-in-face violations be damned things were still going pretty well this morning. And then it was time to board.
I was placed in Group 5 Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â rows 27 and below Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â which meant that as a result, I would be in the fifth group to board the plane (get it? Group 5 boards fifth? It’s very intuitive). Well, I always hate being in the last group because I’m afraid all the overhead bins will be full. However, I scooted to the front of my group’s line; so I’d be the first in the section and therefore able to procure space above my seat Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â a strategy I’ve employed many times successfully.
Well, the gate agents acted all tough about only letting people in when their groups were called, but when I arrived on the plane, I discovered to my horror that nearly my entire section had been filled up. That’s right, several other Group Fivers had snuck on earlier and had not only taken their seats, they had taken ALL OF THE OVERHEAD SPACE. Not cool. I mean, what’s the point of having boarding groups if the gate agents aren’t going to enforce them?
With overhead space limited, I had to do that thing that I hate the most: delve deeper into the plane for luggage space. This is the worst ever because a) it’s inconvenient to everyone, b) it means that after I find a space, I then have to go “upstream” against others boarding, and c) later, when it’s time to deplane, I have to wait for all the people BEHIND me to get off before I can grab my bag. It takes all the perks out of being seated at the front of the cabin! UGH.
Well, I had to do what I had to do. I trudged to the back, and to my horror Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â but not surprise Ã¢â‚¬â€ there continued to be no space. I knew I could check the other side, but with my big ass bag and passengers still lumbering onto the plane, it was a massive, massive pain in the ass (not to mention a total roadblock to everyone). So I did the LOGICAL thing: I asked a flight attendant for help. I told her I was having trouble finding a space for my bag, and she just looked at me sadly and said I’d have to check the bag up front.
I had spent extra time and energy cramming all my cloths into a smaller bag so I could specifically take it as carry-on. This meant I also had to be extra economical with my garments as space was limited in my baggage. I had made sacrifices Ã¢â‚¬â€ both in fashion and convenience Ã¢â‚¬â€ in order to not check my bag and ensure that I had a swift deplaning experience. But now that was all going out the window Ã¢â‚¬â€ all because the gate agents had let others sneak on ahead of me.
Luckily, I didn’t have to pay for this checked bag (if I had, I would have freaked), but still, I was very, very unhappy. I rolled my bag back out to the gate, handed it to a guy, and somberly returned to the cabin. Oh well. Those are the breaks. Or are they?
As I made my way back to my seat, the flight attendant, Karrie, looked at me and said, “Oh honey, there’s a space right over there!” Sure enough, Karrie pointed to a completely empty overhead bin in Business. “Did you look? You gotta look all over the plane,” she then said, instantly infuriating me.
“Well, that’s why I asked you,” I said. On every single other flight I have ever been on, when people have had trouble finding space, they ask the flight attendant, who then helps them locate an empty bin. That’s what I had done, and she had directed me to the gate. Could I have gone through every bin myself? Yes. Would that have been a massive inconvenience to everyone around me? Damn right it would have. Karrie, not beholden to any bag, had the benefit of easy mobility. SHE should have been able to find a space for me, and the fact that she didn’t, and then blamed ME for it later really, really annoyed me. But I take responsibility too for my part in this. Lesson learned: be more direct with what you need from a flight attendant because you never know if they’re gonna be AWFUL.
My simmering rage must have registered on my face because moments later, Karrie came up to me and apologized Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â which I appreciated Ã¢â‚¬â€ but she still kind of put the fault on me, saying that next time, I should just claim any open space that I see. I told her that I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to place my bag in Business (again, another reason why I initially approached her), but I guess that’s sort of my fault for not asking her if I could stow my luggage in places other than coach. Anyway, the whole scenario really put me in a fowl mood, and while we both made mistakes, I think Karrie made more of them. She did, however, thank me for wishing to not overstep my bounds by keeping my bags out of Business Class. I guess that’s something, right? Sort of made me feel like a spineless lame-o though. Mark my words: on the flight back, I am overstepping my bounds! In fact, I am specifically placing my bag IN Business Class, regardless if there’s space over my seat or not!
Nevertheless, since take-off, my mood has improved. My flight attendant Leslie has been very sweet and helpful Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â she even offered me some water with my Bloody Mary mix, lest the tomato juice make me more thirsty. Plus, American is showing Wall-E, which is really a perfect airplane movie as there’s little to no dialogue; so headphones are virtually unnecessary.
You know what would be awesome? If the woman behind me would STOP shoving against my seat. I think she dropped something by her feet Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â probably that annoyingly aromatic bag of dried fruit she’s been noshing from Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â and now in order to reach it, she’s wedged her head up against my seat, causing me to rock at irregular and unwelcomed intervals. STOP.
I’m nearly two hours into my flight, and there’s been nary a disruption from a baby or toddler. Oh, if only I had been able to check my bag. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PERFECT.
DISASTER IN THE GALLEY! One of the flight attendants just broke a glass. I’m not pointing any fingers, but guess who was in there? KARRIE.
The good news: Eye On American is showing Worst Week. The bad news: the sound isn’t working. I bet Karrie totally KARRIED it up.
Aww, they stopped Worst Week. Now we’re watching some report about salmon. GREAT.
Sun is setting. I’m approaching Illinois. I guess this isn’t the most EXCITING of flights. I could go for a cookie.
Someone somewhere is blasting big band jazz music through their headphones. It’s quite irksome.
I’ve just flown by Chicago. I tried to take a pic, but the lighting was such that there’s really not enough contrast to see it. You can just barely make out the outline of Lake Michigan. In other news, LADY, STOP KICKING MY CHAIR!
Some guy has been in the bathroom for quite a long time. Methinks a crap this fine man makes! I was gonna get in line, but now I’ll wait. Luckily I haven’t been drinking many fluids. Much to the surprise of my flight attendant who OH MY GOSH JUST GAVE ME A FREE COOKIE WITHOUT EVEN ME ASKING FOR ONE!!!!!
Poops McGillicutty just stepped out of the bathroom. Surprisingly, I didn’t detect many odors (I’m sitting next to is, well, against the window, so one seat removed). Also, I must come clean about the cookie. It wasn’t given to me, per se. Leslie, our awesome flight attendant, gave the woman next to me a cookie and me a huge bag of nuts. I would have been fine with them, but as I previously stated, I really, really wanted a cookie. I didn’t want to propose a switch though because that would put her in an awkward position. So I took a gamble. I offered the woman next to me my nuts (snicker), hoping that she’d feel bad and give me her cookie. IT WORKED. The lady gave me her big cookie, she got my nuts, and we both wound up happy as can be. Unfortunately for her, she had to then go to the bathroom, which meant she had to go in after Turd Fitzpatrick. Ouch.
Here’s a strange twist. Doug from The Hills just added me as a friend on MySpace. I’m suspicious of this as I feel like if he ever met me, he’d want to punch me in the face, but who knows what his motives are. I approved his friendship and will let you all know what happens…
According to the pilot, Toronto and Buffalo can be seen from the left side of the plane. Too bad I’m on the right. I really wanted to see Toronto. I hear it’s just like New York, but without all the stuff…
Guess who just enjoyed a lovely bathroom break? THIS GUY. Unfortunately, I was behind two slow women Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â well, one was a little girl Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â but no big deal. Of course, I was the poor sap who got into the bathroom as the plane started to tilt Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â always a very uncomfortable situation to be in. Urinating while rotating makes for perilous moments. Sorry if this is graphic, but there’s no way to sugar coat it. Fear not: my aim is impeccable and any hygiene deficiencies the lavs may suffer from have nothing to do with me.
Meanwhile, poor Leslie the flight attendant is positively intent on getting me a drink. When she saw my empty cookie wrapper, she came over and said “Are you suuure you don’t want anything with that?” What can I say? I’M JUST NOT VERY THIRSTY TODAY! I know I should hydrate, but I’ll be landing soon enough. I told Leslie I was like a camel. “I guess so!” she said in shock. Sorry, Les. If it’s any consolation, you are probably the VERY BEST FLIGHT ATTENDANT I HAVE EVER HAD. And I’ve flown on Lufthansa!
The end is nigh, people. They just made Business Class put away their portable entertainment systems. I wonder where they’re gonna put all them. Oh, I know. In the space that MY BAG SHOULD’VE BEEN IN.
I caved. Leslie just brought me an unsolicited Ghiradelli Chocolate and then asked “SOME WATER?” Fine fine fine. I told her yes. Now she is literally running to the back of the plane to get it. If it makes her happy, it makes me happy.
Landing! Smell ya later!!