LIVE FLOG: Internet, Baggage Woes Mar Early Portions of Otherwise Lovely Flight

Hello, people! I’m currently flying cross country on American Airlines, taking advantage of the inflight WiFi. You know what that means: time to live blog the adventures.
Bitching and moaning after the jump…


11:37 AM
Well, here I am — flying several hundred (perhaps thousand? I’m bad with dimensions) feet over California. I’m on American Airlines — an airliner I chose for the in-flight Internet. One problem: it doesn’t seem to be working. This is very disconcerting for me as I was not only looking forward to blogging and Twittering and Facebooking whilst crossing the country, but I also talked it up too — hyping this flight blog (or FLOG) on every platform I could find. Now I fear that it may not happen live.
Making matters worse is that my laptop claims to be connected to the Internet, but every time I launch it, I’m incapable of reaching the Go Go Inflight signup page. (Shaking fist at technology)
Aside from this mishap, I had another unfortunate event happen to me during the boarding process. It had to do with my bag. You see, being the economical and efficient packer that I am, I was able to easily cram all my clothes into a smaller piece of luggage — one that would fit snugly in the overhead compartment. WELL. I arrived at LAX, and before I could even enter the security line, a lovely yet stolid woman told me I had to test the luggage in one of those constrictive, metal boxes. Oh, naive worker, little do you realize that my bag is slim and full of air. As such, the bag slid into the box — but not with ease. Thanks to the glut of pockets and zippers that TravelPro has bestowed upon my bag, the luggage got snagged on the box, both going in and out. But nevertheless, the baggage did fit with ease, and so the TSA lady waved me through to security. Crisis averted.
Of course, that didn’t mean that the morning was about to get any easier. I managed to get stuck behind an older Indian couple in their late fifties, who appeared to be visiting or traveling with their son. They (the parents) were totally clueless. The TSA person had to instruct them on every step of the process. Take your watch off. Take your keys out. Take off your sweater. Take off your shoes. Take off your shoes. Your SHOES. Sir, you must take off your shoes. Yes, both of them. When I tell you to walk through the metal detector, walk through. SIR. I did not say walk through! ONE AT A TIME. SIR!!! JUST HOLD ON. HOLD ON, SIR. Okay, come through. SIR. COME THROUGH.
It was awful.
Even worse, by the time I was able to get through the damn metal detector, the old guy was still busy reclaiming all his belongings from the conveyor belt, which isn’t appalling in and of itself, but the problem was that he didn’t move his bins down the line of roly bars. So he clogged up the whole line as he slowwwwly removed items from his bin. Seeing that my items were directly behind his and trapped in the DO NOT TOUCH zone, I had nothing to do but sit there and glare at the back of his head. Eventually, his bins randomly moved forward about an inch, and I took FULL advantage. I yanked my bin into the free area (perhaps knocking his bin down the row just a tad — anti-oops) and hastily removed all my items in about ten seconds. I hope he saw that and felt ashamed. At least his son, who seemed somewhat in tune with modern technology / etiquette, should have.
Eventually, I rid myself of these people, and after a detour at Burger King for breakfast (Whopper with cheese! Wholesome!), I wandered up to my gate where a line of people were already pre-boarding. I looked at my boarding pass and groaned. I was Group 6. Last time I flew, I got royally screwed over when I patiently waited for my group, and by the time I got to my seat, there was no more overhead space for my bag (people in my group had snuck up and boarded with earlier groups and had thus nabbed all the real estate). Well, I had learned my lesson. I was going to be a bastard.
The gate agents announced that group three would be boarding, elaborating that everyone in rows twenty one through thirty-three could now board. Technically I was group six, but I was also in row twenty-two. That made me half-entitled to board; so I played dumb and got in line. I marched up to the woman at the gate, and confidently handed over my boarding pass, knowing full well that I might have to do the “Oh, I just heard rows twenty one and higher. I didn’t realize it was a group.”
However, as I learned from my last flying fiasco, the gate agents don’t really pay that much attention to the groups, and as such, I was scanned in without even the slightest reprimand. SUCCESS!!!
But then everything came crumbling down.
“Wait, sir…” said the woman. Drats! I was caught! Don’t panic. Play dumb. Tell her you didn’t know what you were doing. Just stay cool.
“We’re gonna need to test your bag to make sure it’ll fit,” she said.
Oh. That’s it? Well, that was a close call.
“Oh, it fits,” I said. “They made me test it earlier.” Plus, I’ve stowed it in the overhead compartment MANY times, and it’s never been a problem, which would make sense as that’s exactly what the bag was designed for.
“I’m still gonna need you to test it,” the gate agent said. Fine. Bitch wants to dance? Then let’s dance. I dropped my bag into the metal box, and just like last time, the pockets all got snagged.
“Yeah, you’re gonna have to check it. If you have to force it, then that’s gonna be a problem,” she said. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Not cool.
“No, I’m not forcing it. It’s just that it got snagged on the pockets,” I said, showing her how not forced the bag was in the box. The woman seemed unconvinced.
“It fits fine, really!” I said. I then pulled the bag up, but alas, the zippers and pockets got snagged again, and the entire box apparatus shook violently and nearly fell over. Not helping my case. Alas, there was nothing I could do. I had created the illusion of an oversized bag when in fact it was anything but. When I untangled the luggage from its box prison, I showed the woman just how compact the bag really was, but she was totally immutable on the point. It would have to be checked. GREAT.
“Think of it this way. Now you don’t have to deal with it on the plane!” she said, as if I was going to be spending the flight cradling the damn bag in my arms. I wanted to slap her. Well, not really. I don’t condone violence, especially against women.

Point is, I didn’t totally love her attempt at consolation, and if she wasn’t so damn sweet, I would have been a little nastier to her when I said, “Yeah, but now I have to wait at baggage claim.”
I think the woman could see I was on the borderline of getting testy, and so she said she’d see to it that my bag would be at the front of the baggage pile, and truthfully, in my experience, when I’ve had to check at the gate, the bag usually comes out very quickly. And hey, I didn’t have to pay anything.
However, when I did get on the plane, what was the first thing I saw? A bag that was twice as puffy as mine and so crammed with stuff that it looked like it was about to explode. I was instantly livid. Why was I singled out when this much worse bag got to ride in the overhead? Maybe it was discrimination. ANTI-SEMITES! All of them!!
Well, I’ve since settled into my seat, and the woman next to me seems perfectly inoffensive. She did commit one massive blunder though. She pulled out a sandwich and dropped a massive pumpernickel crumb on my tray, right next to my computer. I wanted to immediately discard of it, but then I feared she would say “Oh, I’m sorry!” and then I’d have to say “Oh, it’s fine! No worries!” (which is a lie). And then from that point on, who knows what sort of conversation might flow forth, and let me say I am not in the mood to interact.
Let’s check that internet connection again…
12:13 PM
Apparently the issue is with my computer because other people have gotten Go Go In Flight to work. Meanwhile, the woman next to me has water perched riiiight on the edge of her tray, and she’s presently readjusting herself, which is stressful because she also has her pillow on her tray, and in the midst of her readjustment, the pillow began shoving the water rapidly towards the edge (a.k.a. in the direction of me and my LAPTOP). I quietly stuck my hand out and literally prevented a cascading deluge of water (the cup was halfway over the side of the tray), and the woman didn’t even say anything. I don’t think she noticed. I’m starting to think she’s a total idiot. I should mention that she’s already taken out her Blackberry and sent like two emails. Awful.
12:15 PM
I should note that the woman sitting next to me was one of the last to board; so I think that speaks to her lack of organization, wherewithal, and general attentiveness to detail (a.k.a. FLIGHT TIMES).
12:26 PM
Oh thank God. I think I fixed my Internet problem. I had tried all sorts of things, and then I clicked on “Network Diagnostics…” on Safari, and I thiiiink it’s gonna work. Crossing fingers. If this doesn’t work, I may be stuck watching Bolt — or as dyslexics call it, Blot.
12:29 PM
It’s working! It’s working! Meanwhile, the woman behind me is talking about Wicked. I haven’t seen it, and I’m open to seeing it (which I should really do because my friend’s dad wrote it), but that being said, I do really hate when people go on and on and on about it.
12:32 PM
The flight attendant, who I’ll call Blake, just came by to check on my Internet status. I explained to him (proudly) that I had gotten it to work. “I did some network diagnostics, and it worked out,” I said, causing Blake to reply, “You’re good! You’re good!” He then moseyed on off, and the woman next to me turned and asked “Do you work in computers?” UGH.
“No,” I said super nicely. “I just know my way around them.”
She then smiled and joked, “Everything you said — I know it was English, but it was like [frazzled face of confusion].” Really? Everything I said? I just said “network diagnostics.” That’s not a terribly esoteric term. Losing respect… (but she does seem nice).
12:52 PM
In her infinite wisdom, Ginny (as I’ve named her) decided to get up from her seat RIGHT when the beverage cart was passing by. Not approaching, not having past — but literally passing by. She promptly collided with it in one of the more avoidable accidents to occur in recent memory. Luckily, there was no spillage (except that of dignity), and as sweet cosmic justice, Ginny has now had to stand over her seat for like ten minutes, waiting for the beverage cart to go away (which it won’t since we’re adjacent to the galley and the flight attendants are gabbing and unaware of her presence).
12:58 PM
The flight attendant just said “Beggars can’t be choosey.” I hate that. People, it’s “Beggars can’t be choosers.” See the parallelism with the rhyming?
1:02 PM
Oh, I forgot to give the celebrity update. It’s actually very small: Larry Wilmore (creator of The Bernie Mac Show and contributor to The Daily Show. He’s wearing a hat that says “Studio Physique.” Consider this stalking complete. (Definitely not as good as the time Sigourney Weaver was sitting a few rows away. That was the BEST.)
1:25 PM
I just caught up on all my blogs. Gawker posts entirely too much. They already have thirty items up today, and very few of them are terribly fascinating (no offense). I suppose people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but seriously, TOO MUCH. Meanwhile, the flight attendant just gave us water. I have a watchful eye on Ginny, lest she carelessly knock it onto my lap like she almost did an hour ago. This is a no caroming zone.
1:30 PM
WELL THEN. Ginny just let out a loud, ostentatious yawn. Look, bitch. If you’re tired, go to sleep. No need to howl like a beleaguered coyote.
1:31 PM
Bauer’s Sweetheart: there was no lane for experts and idiots. I was, however, diverted into the alterna-security annex, which was much less crowded and significantly more pleasant to go through — confused foreigners be damned.
1:33 PM
It’s official: my toes are cold.
1:35 PM
Twitter is overloaded, and I’m getting the Fail Whale. Why are those birds carrying that whale anyway? I don’t think they’d appreciate if a bunch of whales dragged THEM out of THEIR natural habitat.
1:42 PM
Ginny is up and moving again. I think now would be an appropriate time to mention that she is wearing a CANDY CANE BLAZER.
1:44 PM
It gets worse. Ginny is doing airplane yoga. Yes, she is one of those. She’s currently bent over as if she’s touching her toes — except she happens to be tussling her hair instead. And guess what? She JUST got in the way of a flight attendant. Didn’t see that happening. My toes are really cold.
1:47 PM
I wonder where I am.
1:48 PM
I’d like to note to my sister-in-law that at some point, I will be over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre region. With any luck, I might be able to see the Woodlands. (Or at least the TGIFridays).
2:00 PM
Ginny just ate an apple. I’m shocked she hasn’t managed to drop the core onto the floor yet. EW! She just wiped her nose on the complimentary blanket! AND NOW ON HER CANDY CANE SLEEVE!
2:11 PM
Ginny seems to be rather entranced by the trials and tribulations of BOLT. I wonder if she knows it’s a cartoon.
2:14 PM
I kind of have to go to the bathroom. This is cruel, but I sort of want to wait for Ginny to fall asleep first. Then I can WAKE HER UP. mwahahahaha. Seriously, she’s got a snot covered blanket. AND A CANDY CANE BLAZER!
2:15 PM
Let me elaborate that Ginny’s blazer does not have little candy canes on it. No, it’s just full of red and white stripes, thus making her look like a big candy cane with curly hair.
2:18 PM
Ha. Ginny totally dozed off, but some kid walked by and she startled awake. She’s probably all tense now. T-minus ten minutes until she needs to do more stress-relieving yoga in front of the Lav.
2:19 PM
Fuck fuck fuck! They’re making the cookies for Business and First! This is cruel. I wonder if I bring some cookie dough with me next time if they’d make me a cookie too. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I bet they wouldn’t. But they should. Totally doing that next time. Worst comes to worst, I just eat the cookie dough. But I’d prefer it cooked.
2:20 PM
Gin-dawg is not falling asleep easily. Everything keeps startling her awake. It’s pretty funny. Imagine a candy cane. Then imagine a candy cane with a perm. Then imagine that candy cane with a perm suddenly twitching with fear every few seconds. Yeah, it’s just like that.
2:29 PM
I CANNOT DEAL WITH THE DELICIOUS COOKIE SMELL. I think they should give me one as consolation for the whole bag check disaster. Knowing Ginny, she’d probably spill on it though and ruin everything.
2:33 PM
Why don’t more people make fun of Mylie Cyrus’s giant buckteeth? It seems like totally fair game, and as a young starlet, people should be picking apart her physical attributes by now.
2:37 PM
Holy shit! We’re in Indiana!! How did that happen? I thought we were in Western Kansas. Time flies when you’re hangin’ with Ginny.
2:39 PM
This is awkward. Ginny totally caught me and yelled at me! I feel bad now. She called me a pig. I apologized. I was gonna try to explain that i was just sort of making a character and projecting it onto her, but that would be complicated. YIKES!
10:44 PM
Back at home. Presently writing the awkward epilogue.
Read the stunning conclusion here.