FLIGHT BLOG: New York to LA Live!

Well, here I am. On another plane. But unlike my recent Alaska and Jetblue excursions, this time I’m on American Airlines, and you know what that means — GoGo in flight wireless! That means that I am writing to you live from the skies, relaying useful and petty information AS IT HAPPENS. The glories of technology. Even better is that while this service normally costs $13, my friend jash was able to hook me up with a sweet promotion code that has reduced the fee down to $0.00. That’s right. This experience is freeeeeeee! And you all know how I like a good deal.
Anyway, everything seems to be pretty good so far, but as usual, I have a few complaints. Let the whining commence…

11:39 AM
So here I am. The flight has been relatively drama free. I have a delightful aisle seat, and I have blown my neighbor’s mind with the wireless. He is presently chuckling. And now he is showing me his Kindle. We are a very tech-savvy row.
Anyway, as per the usual custom, I must describe the incidents leading up to this moment. There actually has been very little drama, with only some minor snafus occurring at where else? Security. Basically, Shanice from the TSA (that’s what I imagine her name to be), informed me that my carry-on bag was too large. This struck me as odd as I’ve been flying with it for the past two weeks. Anyway, I wasn’t about to pick a fight, and Shanice informed me that all I had to do was simply rearrange some goods from my big bag to my little bag. So there I was, in the middle of the American Airlines terminal with my bag fully open — unmentionables exposed to all — as I pulled random garments from the TravelPro and stuffed them in my previously unpuffy satchel.
Oooh — cocktail service. I’ll continue in a few minutes.
11:46 AM
The cart is right by my feet. There will be a rousing order of Bloody Mary Mix in my imminent future. Mr. and Mrs. T’s, natch. I should also note that I’m right next to the bathroom and have shared many accidental eye contact moments with people emerging. This includes my new best friend, Ariane from Top Chef more on that in a sec. Here comes the cart!
12:14 PM
Exciting! The weather outside is -39 degrees celsius. The celsius and Fahrenheit slopes are about to intersect!! (yes, I was a science and math nerd growing up)
12:15 PM
Today’s film: Duplicity starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. I actually saw this in the theaters with jash and Sly. We all agreed that at the end of the day, it’s basically an airplane movie. HOW FITTING.
12:19 PM
So back to my story. It’s actually going to be kind of lame now because I stopped midway, just as I was leading to some sort of a dramatic climax. And for the record, there really was no dramatic climax, but I was hoping I’d just be able to create one out of inertia — inertia that I have severely undermined. Anyway, I’m babbling about literally nothing.
Nevertheless, things overall at the terminal were fine. I didn’t particularly enjoy having to rearrange the contents of my luggage right there on the floor, but when it came to checking the bag, I was all HELL TO THE NO. (Sorry. Random sass). I took off my flip-flops, donned some socks, put on my shoes, put on my hoodie, stuffed some random things into my laptop case, and ta-da! The previously oversized carry-on bag was now svelte and ready for Shanice. I’m proud to announce that not only did it pass muster, but it provided an opportunity for me and Shanice to engage in some light banter about the situation. “I knew you could do it!” she told me, causing me to reply heartily, “I always hold out hope!” Of course, I RARELY hold out hope (nor am I often folksy with people), but I was caught up in the moment, and the fact that I had gotten Shanice, who had been up to that moment about as expressive as the rocks at Stonehenge, to banter really was cause for celebration and goofy repartee.
Anyway, once I passed through Shanice, I had a very short line to contend with. I should note that the terminal has those newfangled “Expert Traveler” and “Casual Traveler” security lanes, but when I tried for the former, I was shocked to discover that it was CLOSED. That’s right. I had to wait with the “casuals.” Why even bother with the lane delineations then if we all have to be casual? Sounds like whoever was in charge of this was an EXPERT idiot at CASUAL awfulness.
Ugh. There’ s a stressful situation developing around me. One moment.
12:34 PM
The stressful situation is abating. More on that in a bit. I’m getting backlogged.
Anyway, once I made it through security, I fetched a lovely sandwich from Cibo (black forest ham, brie, mustard sauce — the usual), and then I meandered over to my gate where before I could even sit down, I was approached by a strange person. UGH. He saw my sandwich and asked me “Will there be anything to eat on the flight?” Despite my inner disdain for this man deigning to forge communications with me, I replied in a friendly way that there would be food on the flight, but it would be for sale.
I interrupt this update to alert you all that one of the flight attendants is named GINNY!!!!! (if you don’t know the significance of this, click here)
12:40 PM
Sorry. I got excited there for a moment. Well, back to the story of the awful man. I guess there really isn’t much more to it (all my stories suck today), but as soon as I told him the (very obvious and well documented) food policy, he just started asking me question after question about food and flying etc. etc. It was awful. I wanted him to just go away. Thankfully, he did just that, announcing that he was gonna do what I did and buy a sandwich. GREAT. Now SHUT UP. Upon his return, he happily announced to me that he did in fact get a sandwich, to which I smiled politely before burying my head in a book. It was sort of my way of saying, “You have perceived social cues of acceptance that do not actually exist. Now please do go away.” I think it worked. Sadly, some poor woman who looked like Patricia Clarkson got stuck with the yapper. Better her than me. Know what I’m saying? (I would totally high five someone now if I could).
Eventually, it was time to board, and as I stood there in line, I noticed none other than Ariane from the latest season of Top Chef walking to the gate. Ariane, as you may or may not know, was one of my favorites last season. Not only did I find some of her food mouthwatering (parfait disasters excluded), but I loved her personality. (OOH, she just walked by!!!) It should be no surprise that I practically tackled her (okay, I just tapped her on the shoulder) and proclaimed my adoration. She and her friend were very friendly, and I told them I had a blog and was a big fan etc. Okay, so I looked like a raving lunatic, but she was cool with it. Maybe I can get her to take a picture right now!
12:48 PM
Hmmm. I tried to make eye contact with Ariane just now, but it was a failure. I’ll try again later in the flight. She’s probably fairly aware by now that I’m a stalker. But a lovable stalker! Anyway, in my interaction with her, she was very sweet. Maybe she’ll cook me a meal? Okay, no. GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF.
12:50 PM
To answer NikiSpice’s question, the reason I know there’s a flight attendant on here named Ginny is because she was wearing an apron in the galley, and yes, the apron said “Ginny” right in the middle, and yes, the apron had STRIPES! But not candy cane. So for instance, should Ginny 2.0 pull me aside and say “Excuse me, but this apron is NOT candy cane,” I would have to agree with her.
12:55 PM
Okay, here’s the situation. My seat neighbors around me are all fine. Like I said before, the guy next to me is cool. He’s even read along for some of this and will most certainly be reading this all later today. Say hi everyone! Anyway, there are no toddlers in sight, which is wonderful; however… this is not to be mean, but I think the guy in front of me may have Aspergers. I say this because he’s very odd socially. He’s been nothing but nice, but some of his mannerisms or ways of talking have been a bit… off (I know — I’m one to talk). He tried to strike up conversation with me about flight delays, and it was just, well, I’m not going to get into it. The point is, he doesn’t seem to have social nuances, which would not be a problem except that the flight attendant caring to him — let’s just say it’s not a good match. The attendant, who I’ll name Emilio, is also very friendly, but he deals with stress in a not so ideal way. Mainly, he STRESSES THE HELL OUT. I’m not kidding. Before we even took off, he grabbed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger for a moment before exhaling loudly as if to say “LORD GIVE ME THE STRENGTH!!”
Needless to say, the combination of easily-stressed flight attendant and awkward social passenger has not been great. I can’t be sure, but there seems to have been an issue with the passenger’s food. I think he didn’t get it. Or maybe it was that he was seeking cream, not half and half. Yes, that was it. (Milk does bad things to his stomach). Anyway, the guy asked for cream, but Emilio gave him half-and-half, and the communication errors just piled on from there. Everytime the guy opened his mouth, I tensed up, knowing that his unintentionally brash style was going to set off Emilio to no end. Emilio would try his best to keep it together, but I swear, he’s been on the verge of snapping a few times.
And then came the bathroom incident.
The guy in front of me apparently has a physical ailment that prevents him from being able to walk without support. As a result, Emilio had to help him to the bathroom, which is conveniently located directly adjacent to me. Nothing wrong with any of this. Emilio should be commended for being a patient and helpful attendant. BUT DAMN was this stressful.
First of all, the guy had to go to the bathroom badly, but he couldn’t just stand in line. Emilio had to basically stake out a spot and make sure that no one else went into the loo. However, the person in the bathroom was taking forever, which meant Emilio had to hover over me for a few minutes, and let me tell you, his nervous energy was beyond contagious. I felt my chest cavity literally imploding with nerves.
Finally, the bathroom user emerged, and guess what? It was a dad with two kids. UGH. Actually, the kids were sweet and well-behaved, but still, didn’t they realize we had a situation brewing here? I guess not. They were, after all, in the bathroom. Anyway, Emilio guided the passenger into the bathroom, and then phase two of the stress began. Obviously, Emilio had to be there to take the guy back to his seat. Unfortunately, no one really knew how long the dude was gonna be in the bathroom for. I assumed it would be the standard piss, but no. Something else was going on. Obviously, I don’t know what it was, but it involved multiple flushes over the course of about five minutes.
Okay, so the guy was probably taking a dump. The problem is that every time he flushed, Emilio thought he was on deck; so he’d come racing back to be ready, only to be faked out time and time again. It was kind of funny. Well, I’m sure it would have been funny to anyone who WASN’T sitting directly in the middle of this. The constant flurry of activity was very uncomfortable, and making matters worse was the line of people that accumulated all around me. I had people crowded around me, looking over my shoulder, and loitering around impatiently to relieve their bladders. It all made for an immensely unpleasant and stressful situation.
Deep breaths.
1:12 PM
Meanwhile, as I’ve been writing, the Emilio situation continues to deteriorate. You see, the guy in front of me keeps asking him questions, and let’s face it — they’re annoying ass questions. Poor Emilio is going out of his mind. He just had to remind the guy for the umpteenth time to “JUST WAIT A MINUTE. We need to finish the service first.” These two are just not good together.
1:16 PM
Ugh. There’s this one woman who keeps just hanging out in the bathroom area. She’s driving me nuts. I hope the door opens and bops her in the face.
1:22 PM
Hot damn. I got some major, major pit stains going on. Thanks, GALLEY STRESS.
1:25 PM
Okay, I know this guy might be mentally challenged, but he keeps asking the Business Class attendants things instead of the Coach attendants. It’s a breach of etiquette. Oh, but his parents are sweet. They keep coming back to check on them. They’re the best. His dad gave him some tuna salad. His mom just popped in to say hi. Oh, they’re in First Class, btw.
2:03 PM
Nothing has happened in quite some time (except for my pit stains growing, I’m sure). I tweeted Andy Cohen and told him that Ariane was on board. He didn’t reply back. WTF???
2:22 PM
Gasp! I forgot to give a shout-out to Wilkes-Barre and Scranton when I was over them in honor of my sister in law! Presently, I’m over the middle of the country. American’s livemap doesn’t zoom in very far. Oh wait, I can track myself on the Internets. In the meantime, I must deal with all the people milling about now that Duplicity has ended. Also of note: chatty guy just walked by me. He did not chat though. Hallelujah. I thought I’d be trapped in a conversation about the finer subtleties of wheat germ.
2:29 PM
WELL THEN. Chatty guy isn’t chatting, but he’s doing stretches right next to me. He even bent and touched his toes, thus thrusting his ass directly into my face. It was not pleasant. Luckily he has moved on to other regions of the aircraft. Hopefully he’s stayed away from dearest Ariane.
2:30 PM
Sly requests that I stop updating about my pit stains. Interestingly enough, they’ve shrunken a bit. Just thought you’d all need some closure.
2:38 PM
Currently over Colorado. What’s up, sisofjash?
2:55 PM
DAMMIT. Chocolate chip cookie time! I forgot to bring on my cookie dough. In case you forgot, the experiment was that I would bring on cookie dough, and I’d ask if they’d heat it up for me. Probably not allowed.
2:59 PM
Bad news, everyone. El niño is coming back. At least according to non-certified amateur meteorologist Meeshie. It should be noted that Meeshie has a deep-seated fear of being killed by a falling meteor, but that’s neither here nor there.
3:13 PM
Emilio has got to get it together. He just came down the aisle more stressed out than ever before. He literally rested his head up against the wall, put the back of his hand against his forehead, and clenched shut his eyes. This was followed by a dramatic swoon and further nose-bridge clasping. You’d think he was trying to negotiate peace in the Middle East.
3:16 PM
Emilio just confessed to the guy in front of me that he has a really bad headache. Aww, the guy and his dad are switching places. The dad is gonna help him walk up to first. It’s a tender moment for all of us. Well, maybe not Emilio, who is in the throes of an aneurysm, it would seem.
3:22 PM
To answer the question, I took down the original photo at the top of this post because I really couldn’t bear to stare at such a goofy photo of myself. Actually, it was more also because people would walk by and see the photo and see me and realize that I clearly had taken a dumb pic of myself and had posted it on the World Wide Web. I just can’t deal with that sort of judgment. But here it is, safely hidden away in the depths of the FLOG:


3:36 PM
Guess who I just chatted with? Ariane! I’m gonna try to get her to take a picture on my webcam.
3:45 PM

Neither of us were particularly pleased with the way we looked in this photo, but hey, it was fun!

3:52 PM
Okay, we’re gonna land relatively soon. Gonna wrap things up. Thanks for reading!

39 replies on “FLIGHT BLOG: New York to LA Live!”

  1. I was hoping you’d do a flog! I’m glad that you have a nice neighbor, not a Ginny…

  2. Wow. I wonder how your tech-savvy neighbor will feel when he realizes he’s anonymously FAMOUS?

  3. To determine the level of tech-savviness, is his the Kindle 1 or 2?
    This information is essential.

  4. I was so excited to see this heading!!! I am just sitting here waiting for more.
    Is it weird that I can picture Shanice???

  5. Stop lying to us, B-Side – there’s no way the flight attendant is actually named Ginny…
    By chance is she wearing a striped uniform? That would be TOO awesome!

  6. “Like I said before, the guy next to me is cool. He’s even read along for some of this and will most certainly be reading this all later today. Say hi everyone!”
    Hi cool guy next to b-side.!

  7. Hey there, Kindle-reading neighbor of B-Side. It’s kind of too bad that you’re cool, ’cause we’d get better flog stories if you were a psycho… but “hi” anyway!

  8. And I can’t believe I’m sitting here enthralled by b-side’s airplane trip!
    I MUST seek medical attention.

  9. I get great amusement from the fact that the parents abandoned their son in coach, leaving his care to the help, while sipping champagne and stretching out in first class. I can hear their in-flight banter in my head, and they sound like Thurston and Lovey Howell.

  10. I was thinking the same thing, Jennifer. It is obvious that they know he is a high-maintenance traveler (aka pain-in-the-ass traveler)…therefore they dumped him with the common folk.

  11. Hey, guy in the next seat!
    B-Side: Love how you first complain about the chatty stranger, then chat up Ariane just a few minutes later 😀

  12. Uh, hello? I am in Colorado too. No love for a random reader that you have never met in person?! Whatever.

  13. I always miss these things then get really mad about it! Or I’m at work, like now, and can’t update every 5 minutes like I would want to!

  14. The parents are flying first class and leave the son who obviously needs extra help in the back at the mercy of the flight attendants? Interesting…

  15. Perhaps Emilio doesn’t feel well? Swine flu? Ack…and you are locked in a flying petri dish with him.

  16. I am sitting at work laughing my ass off reading your blog. I loved it but after the last few hope never to be on a flight with you

  17. KikiC, this is why I think the airlines should allow you to bring a can of Lysol or Clorox spray aboard. Whenever unpleasant situations (sneezing, sniffing, hacking, coughing, drippy child, etc.) occur, you just spray the Lysol at that person. It makes you feel cleaner because I know they will immediately remove you from that area and put you in an area that most people don’t get to go. Therefore way cleaner and more hygenic.

  18. B you are lucky you are leaving New York. If you didn’t believe me about El Nino before, you would’ve if you had been in this weather!

  19. Seriously, NYC is flooded.
    I hope next time I fly from JKF to LA I sit next to you B-side. I want to be an internet celebrity!

  20. funny, I thought about waving to the sky to you. So . And I don’t mind the pit stains updates, it is an indicator of your stress level in the way that frogs are environmental indicators. the toads of your stress maybe?

  21. If I was sitting next to B on an airplane I wouldn’t want to be an internet celebrity, but I would want to get him inebriated. That would be highly amusing, but probably expensive.

  22. God I love reading your flight blogs. But if I don’t stop laughing in my cubicle while everyone else is being quiet, I’m probably gonna get fired.

  23. Thanks for the enjoyable flight. My tray is now in the upright position.
    You made my day, Ben.

  24. I was in a store parking lot today and I saw a license plate on a car–jaunty coupe, mind you. It said “GINNY 4”. It made me think of you B.

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