FLIGHT LIVE BLOG: Flying Back To LA — Curse of the Ginny Seat

Well, I’m back up in the air and headed back to Los Angeles, and I’m proud to report that there’s no Ginny in sight. I was a little concerned that my arch-nemesis would be returning to the Left Coast with me, but thankfully, she’s nowhere to be seen. Perhaps there’s an urgent candy cane blazer conference in New York City that demands her presence. Nevertheless, without her presence, this flight has been more or less uneventful. The guy next to me seems cool (and capable of beating me up), and even though there are an abundance of children and families on this flight, they all seem to be quiet and placid. Maybe they’re all bracing for the cinematic experience that is Marley and Me — soon to begin after the cocktail service.
And where is that cocktail service anyway? I’m starving, but I don’t want to gorge on my Cibo Express sandwich (ham & brie sandwich, black and white cookie on the side) until I have a beverage to sate what will surely be a ravenous thirst. Aha! Ask and ye shall receive! The beverage cart has just appeared in the aisle, and my lunch plans look to be headed in the right direction.
More excitement after the jump…

4:47 PM
Well, it’s about an hour an fifteen minutes since we were scheduled to take off. We were delayed about forty-five minutes at JFK because of heavy traffic (no surprise there). Everything else about the flight process has been lovely. I passed through security with a minimum of stress-inducing activities. This was impressive, actually, because I was stuck behind an old, borderline-ancient Asian man who seemed absolutely clueless about the entire airport experience. Let me amend that: he seemed clueless about many things — starting with his jacket, which he was unable to remove. I would have rolled my eyes, but a) he was super old, and b) his ten year old grandson was helping him, and it was so charming and nice that I couldn’t help but enjoy the tender moment between the generations.
My warmth, however, was short-lived when the old dude tried to walk through security with a watch. This led to a drawn out and increasingly loud exchange wherein the old guy stared confusedly at the frustrated TSA guard while his daughter, who had already gone through security, yelled “THE WATCH! THE WATCH!” Adding to the general cacophony was another TSA woman — possibly named Daiquiqui — who was on a perpetual loop of shouting “HAVE YOUR BOARDING PASS IN YOUR HANDS. REMOVE YOUR JACKET. ALL LARGE ELECTRONIC DEVICES MUST BE TAKEN OUT AND PLACED IN A SEPARATE TRAY. YOU MUST TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES. GET THEM OFF! THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS!” She was — to put it lightly — brash.
Ooh — beverages. Will resume in a moment
5:20 PM
I just finished a delightful lunch: the aforementioned ham and brie sandwich with a black and white cookie for dessert. The latter item didn’t quite mesh with the bloody mary mix I had selected as a beverage, but that’s okay. I was happy overall with my meal. Plus, I was able to teach the guy next to me about the joys of Mr. & Mrs. T’s. He informed me that he’d never ordered it on a plane but that it would be his next choice. I told him he would not be disappointed.
In other news, I’m proud to announce that I was able to bring my bag onto the plane, unlike last time when the dumb gate agent made me check it at the last second (never mind that I actually have more stuff in the suitcase now). With any luck, I should have a rather peaceful deplaning experience later this afternoon. And yes, I stowed my bag in Business, lest I be shit out of luck with the overhead bins above my seat (it was a wise choice).
I’m kind of shocked at how pleasant the people around me have been. Actually, I should note that the couple in front of me are ever so slightly awful. Not the worst ever, but I did lose respect for the guy, who had reclined his seat on the tarmac to nap. When it came time to take off, the flight attendant made him return his seat to an upright position, which he did — only to recline it again a minute later when the flight attendant had gone off. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but it showed a subtle lack of respect for the flight crew that I found ever so slightly reprehensible.
Making matters worse was that later on, the woman in front of me took her dog out of its little kennel thing. This immediately incurred the wrath of a new flight attendant, who told the couple very nicely that the dog had to remain in its bag at all times. Unsurprisingly, the guy debated this point for a good five minutes, saying that other times they were allowed to take their dogs out and that people at American Airlines had told them they could take the dog out and that they’d never had this problem before and yada yada yada. Needless to say, these points were dubious at best, and the flight attendant remained absolutely immutable on the point — as she should have been. I think it’s safe to say these people are fairly horrendous.
5:34 PM
By the way, when we were at JFK on the tarmac, I totally dozed off like Ginny on acid: my head was bobbing all over the place, and yes, I did twitch awake once or twice. I wouldn’t have been shocked if someone thought I had a small electric probe in my posterior.
5:49 PM
Hey, guess who just knocked his LAPTOP off of his own seatback tray? ME. I’m awful. Even worse, the laptop fell at the feet of the guy next to me, waking him up. I’m so Ginny today. I will say this though. Earlier, while I was unfurling my sandwich from its wrapper, I must have made quite the mess because not only do I have a large, unrelenting collection of crumbs on my lap, but I somehow managed to get an errant piece of plastic stuck on the elbow of the guy next to me. He didn’t notice. However, unlike Ginny, who just let her big-ass pumpernickel crumb just sit on my tray, I took some responsibility and informed the guy that there was plastic on his arm and most likely, I was the culprit. He said no worries and plucked it off. I would hate me.
6:05 PM
How is it already two and a half hours since my head-bobbin nap of bliss? Time is certainly flying (pun intended). The cabin seems unnaturally quiet, perhaps lulled into a state of catatonic rest by the showing of Marley and Me. I haven’t been watching; although, I did smile slightly at the sight of Marley as a puppy. Clearly he will be dead by the end of the movie, and half the kids on this flight will be crying. Can’t wait.
6:11 PM
Whattup Chicago peeps. I’m flying over you right now. I cannot see your fair city, however, as I appear to be engorged in a cloud.
6:15 PM
In celebrity news, I saw Casey Wilson from Saturday Night Live at the gate. Not sure if she’s on the plane or not and OH MY GOD THE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF ME TOOK THEIR DOG OUT AGAIN. Okay, they are officially AWFUL.
6:17 PM
Terry is not pleased with these people. She has informed them that the dog MUST remain in its bag. The guy does not seem able to comprehend this. He wants to speak to a manager. Good luck, bub. In case you haven’t noticed, WE’RE IN A CLOUD.
6:19 PM
Oh my. It’s getting tense. Doggie man has now complained to a new flight attendant, who looks not unlike Verne Yip. I couldn’t hear what was said… until Verne loudly stated, “TAKE IT EASY.” Oh my gosh. This is gonna turn into an international incident. Verne just told the guy that he has to take care of some other things first. When the guy started up again, Verne snapped back, “You know what? RELAX.”
6:23 PM
Verne has now knelt down next to Pedram (which is what I’ve named him). They are discussing. I can’t hear anything. I’m so curious to know what is happening. I’m sure Verne is reiterating that this is all policy. Pedram is doing the ol’ “I’ve flown a million times and this has never happened,” and now Verne is telling him to write a letter to American. Now Pedram wants to get Terry’s name. Verne won’t give it to him. Of course, if he were observant like me, he would have already read her nametag and seen that her name is TERRY.
6:29 PM
Meanwhile, I can see that Charlotte (Terry’s beverage cart partner in crime) soooo wants to jump in, but she’s resisting with every ounce in her body (and that includes her pert, spiky haircut). Instead, she’s just sending an occasional angry glare towards Pedram. I’m quite pleased with her passive aggression.
6:41 PM
Marley spoiler: the dog’s at the vet, and I don’t think it’s gonna end well. Owen looks concerned. So does Jen. I think we’re on the verge of doggie death.
6:44 PM
We’re losing Marley! WE’RE LOSING HIM! The kids are watching home movies of him and crying!! Jen is sitting in a window sill and staring off into nowhere!! OWEN HAS HIS HAND ON HIS HEAD! IT JUST FADED TO BLACK! MARLEY NOOOOOO!!!!!!!! STAY AWAY FROM THE LIGHT!!!!!!!!
6:47 PM
The deed is done. No one in the cabin seems to be crying though. Pedram, meanwhile, is still writing furiously. I think he’s gonna bring a class action lawsuit.
6:53 PM
Pedram’s lady, Bathsheeba, has risen from the depths of slumber. She is presently sullying up the bathroom while Pedram continues to tinker away on his laptop. I should note that he’s wearing gold-rimmed sunglasses, despite the fact that it’s rather dark in this cabin of Marley grievers.
7:10 PM
And so it begins again. The lead flight attendant has just arrived at Pedram’s seat. Pedram, I should note, is not really named Pedram, but I like that name more than the real one. Anyway, Pedram is getting impassioned as he pleads his case and Marcy is watching him with faux-concern that looks like it will turn into cutting annoyance in about two seconds. Can’t wait to see how this plays out…
7:12 PM
Pedram is gesticulating wildly. I’m hearing bits and pieces of phrases like “I don’t expect to be treated this way” and “I fly al the time” etc. For the record, they’ve treated him perfectly fine. Marcy keeps asking “You are clear on the policy, yes?” Marcy is totally crazy regulating his ass. She is so direct. “Let me just finish please. I let you finish. Our policy is that we ask people to cooperate with all our policies. We’ve already established the fact that you were out of line from the beginning by letting the dog out of the cage… what makes our job difficult is when people don’t cooperate.”
“I just want to be clear on what you’re telling me,” Pedram
“From the beginning at one point, you were not cooperative. But I’m not going to debate this with you,” Marcy. This is so awesome.
This guy is acting as if he was being yelled at for the past three hours. Oh my gosh. And might I add that he’s in 22B, THE EXACT SEAT THAT GINNY WAS IN!!!!
7:16 PM
Ha, I just heard Marcy say “It’s the FAA, not the FAG.”
7:17 PM
And now it’s gotten to the “We appreciate your business” part of the interaction. OOH. And her name is Linda, not Marcy. Linda is much more appropriate.
7:19 PM
Aaaaand scene.
8:06 PM
If it seems a bit quiet on the blog, that’s because absolutely nothing has happened in the past forty-five minutes. Just about the only thing even remotely exciting is that I put on my hoodie. Sounds benign, but you try putting on a hoodie in a confined space without waking up the guy next to you by accidentally jabbing him. It’s very hard. And I’m all elbows and angles.
8:29 PM
F$@#*!!! It’s cookie time, and once again, I’m entirely too close to the galley for this to be cool. Seriously, I’m gonna bring cookie dough sometime.
8:36 PM
We have emerged from the cloud. Verne has informed us that outside our window is none other than Bryce Canyon. I like Bryce Canyon, if only because it sounds like a teenager. If giant natural formations were people, I’d say that Bryce Canyon is totally the 17 year old son of Mt. Everest and her lesbian life partner, Niagara Falls. (David Crosby is clearly the biological dad).
Sigh. I’m on crack.
8:50 PM
Clint just came by with the beverage cart. For round two, I went to my second favorite airline beverage: ginger ale. It’s very refreshing. Meanwhile, as promised, the guy next to me ordered bloody mary mix, and he seems to be VERY happy with it. How could he not be? It’s delicious. I feel like I’ve changed someone’s life today for the better.
9:02 PM
I brought my screener of Benjamin Button on the plane in case I got bored (and, let’s be honest, to backdoor brag that I HAVE it), but I forgot to watch it. Probably for the best. Considering how the last time I saw it, I left the theater with puffy red eyes, the last thing I need would be to have tears rolling down my face in coach — especially given how stone-hearted these passengers are (cough, Marley & Me, cough).
9:11 PM
Pedram is up and waiting for the bathroom. And furthermore, he has his cellphone on and is CHECKING HIS TEXT MESSAGES. Cell phone off, you douche! Where’s Terry when you need her? Chances are Pedram’s gonna complain that other airlines let him check text, and then of course he’ll bawl that he’s being treated improperly. Jerk.
9:21 PM
The guy behind me is standing in the aisle and talking to like everyone. Normally it would really annoy me, but I’m feeling surprisingly docile today. That being said, I apologize that this flight blog can’t live up to the excitement and drama of my previous one. I think very few will.
9:23 PM
I’m a huge idiot. Casey Wilson not only is on this flight, but she’s in my row. She’s across the aisle/galley. I didn’t see her all this time because next to her is some kid, and I’m loathe to look in the direction of any children. I must admit, however, that I did look at him to see if he was crying at the end of Marley & Me. But he didn’t. I really wanted to see a kid cry.
9:31 PM
Casey looks to be reading a TV script of some sort. I’m being very stalkerish. Apologies in advance. (I always apologize to people who I could conceivably cross paths with in a professional environment — not that I’m insinuating anything, but you know what I’m saying). Anyway, we’re about to land. I think it’s time to call it a day. Thanks for reading everyone on this lazy Sunday. Will be back tomorrow…