Die Fliegende Collander


I'm on vacation!  This increase in free time has led to a decrease in blogging.  The implications are as astounding as they are banal.

A few observations from my trip:

Travel, for me, is always an object lesson in my utter failure as a masculine specimen.  Just as I'm not really able to lift a 100 pound box, I'm not really capable of carrying a 50 pound piece of luggage with any degree of grace.   Maneuvering my bag three blocks to the subway, onto the train, off the train, down the stairs to another train, and off of that train to the JFK monorail was an exercise in strategic hoisting and lunging.  By the time I got my bag checked my arm muscles had vanished, replaced with pure, writhing ache.  My arms still hurt now, three days later, and my fingers are red and blistered. 

I got to my gate way early (as always).  The TVs were playing Airport CNN.  Airport CNN is a lot like regular CNN, only the ads have been replaced with Public Service Announcements.  This makes for an interesting viewing experience: It's pure fear, pumped from the monitor without the mitigation of advertisements.  To give you a sense of what it's like:

News Anchor: Up next, we speak to Congressman Charles Dimwittie, who alleges that allowing the Dubai Port Deal to go through will put TERRORISTS IN CHARGE OF OUR PORTS who will use that access to BLOW UP YOUR HOUSE TOMORROW! And later in the hour, our panel of experts will discuss whether blocking the Dubai Port Deal will cause ARABS TO HATE US, AND YOU IN PARTICULAR, which will cause them to COME TO YOUR HOUSE TOMORROW AND BLOW IT UP!  But first, these messages.

Public Service Announcement:  When was the last time you talked to YOUR child about alcohol abuse?  Oh, last night?  I see.  So you didn't think that this morning might be a good time for another talk?  Well, guess what.  Chances are your kid's taking swigs of Jack Daniels right now because of YOUR negligent parenting.  Still glad you decided to eat that sausage biscuit rather than save your child from a life of crippling alcoholism and abuse?  I hope you still remember how good that biscuit tasted when you're watching your child wither away from cirrhosis.  You disgust me.

PSA #2: Have you talked to your child today about methamphetamine abuse?  Better get on it, because right now your child's just set up a meth lab in the basement, and soon it will BLOW UP YOUR HOUSE!

PSA #3: As a cigarrette smoker, you're pretty much the most disgusting human being on the planet.  Really.  For the sake of humanity, just die of heart disease already so we don't have to breathe your disgusting second-hand smoke, which, by the way, is killing your kids.  Plus you'll probably burn down your house with a stray cigarette soon, anyway.

The plane boarded, as planes are wont to do.  I had the pleasure of sitting with chatty neighbors.  As mentioned before, I'm not a big fan of socializing, particularly with strangers, and especially when it means socializing for six hours with no possibility of escape.  Plus the in-flight movie was The Family Freaking Stone.  Ugh.  After twenty minutes discussing the weather, fifteen minutes on how interesting law school must be, and thirty minutes on the minutiae of being a facial therapist at a spa up in Connecticut, I opened the in-flight magazine to escape.  This lead to a ten minute conversation about how boring in-flight magazines are, and who writes for them anyway?  I found myself on the word puzzles page, toward the back.  I figured that working on a puzzle would cause my seatmate to leave me in peace.  I was wrong.  Every two minutes an interuption.  "Well, how's that puzzle going?  You getting any farther?  Is it pretty hard?"  "No, I'm about where I was the last time you asked."  "Oh, is it tough?"  "Not really, no."  "Okay.  ....  So where are you now?" 

As usual, boredom was my ally.  I pulled out my Latin textbook and started studying.  When the inevitable question came, I launched into a passionate explanation of declension.  Twenty minutes later, she never wanted to know about antique grammar again.  For the rest of that flight, Wheelock's Latin was my conversation shield.  Plus, now I know the second declension!

Boarding a plane did not put an end to the media's attempts to terrify my.  While leafing through the aforesaid in-flight magazine I discovered a full-page medical warning about deep-vein thrombosis.  DVT occurs when a large clot forms in the veins of your legs, then disloges and makes its way to your heart, there to cause all sorts of trouble.  The risk factors include sitting down a lot (which I do all the time!) and not changing your leg position (which happens to me by necessity on plane flights!).  I began panicking.  There was no way I'd survive this whole six hour flight; I could feel my leg veins clotting already.  Here I was, about to die, and the last thing I'd hear was this woman telling me about facial peels.  My fear turned out to be unwarranted.  Though, as the conversation wore on, I began silently rooting for the clot.

Oh, a fun Latin phrase from my in-flight lesson: Ira Poetae: The Rage of the Poet.  If this isn't already the name of a video game, it should be. 

A couple of hours into the flight the attendants announced the beginning of food service.  I got excited.  Airline food is one of those things about which I get unreasonably excited, even though I really shouldn't.  It never fails to disappoint, but the prospect of packaged Air Food seems so alluring when it's announced.  It's like Charlie Brown and his football, only with partially-hydrogenated spreadable neon-orange cheese-esque substance.  This time I was doubly excited; I hadn't eaten since that morning at my apartment.  I'd avoided airport food, since it's over-priced even for New York and I figured I'd soon be getting a free airline meal.

This flight's meal, in turn, was doubly disappointing, because it did not exist.  Not for me, anyway.  Apparently, American Airlines now charges for in-flight meals, $4 for a sandwich and $3 for a snack pack.  I was outraged.  Outraged!  I didn't even get a packet of peanuts; those were in the snack pack.  I fumed.  $4 for a sandwich!  $7 for the whole meal!  As I thought about it, though, I realized there was nothing I'd be willing to pay for airline food.  It's airline food!  It's terrible!  And yet its absence has caused me to swear a vendetta against American Airlines that can only be satisfied with blood.  How curious, then, the in-flight meal.  It's so worthless there is no amount I would pay for it, and yet I am outraged when it isn't given to me free. 

One final note: Why is it so cold here?  When I left New York, the weather was sunny and in the mid-60s.  I was out in shirt sleeves and didn't pack a sweater or anything.  I arrive in San Diego and it's pouring rain and in the low 40s.  I didn't come across the country for this!  Why has the weather forsaken me?


Ah...the joys of flight. I avoid that situation at all costs by pulling out a book/work and plugging in my headphones as soon as I sit down. I don't even wait to get in the air. No one talks to me without my consent!!

Don't worry, it got cold again in the NE. It was 70 at my house yesterday, and now that I'm leaving its down to 33. Say hi to the rest of the San Diego Sharpes for me!

Though, as the conversation wore on, I began silently rooting for the clot.

Sometimes, when my friends write particularly brilliantly, I thank the powers that be for blogs. This morning, I merely thanked them that my last bite of breakfast didn't travel all the way to my laptop screen.

Ted: Yeah, I should have put my headphones on before I boarded the plane. As it was, they got to the seats first and the conversation started before I even sat down. I'm too polite/meek to tell somebody that I'd rather listen to music than hear them talk, so I was stuck until I could figure out a way to make her stop wanting to talk to me.

And dagnabbit. When does it actually get warm up there?

I can't say for sure about NYC - even though they are further north than Pgh, they are at a lower elevation, and have the ocean breezes to play havoc with weather patterns, but in general, the Northeast gets consistently warm (55-70) by late April. That is not to say you won't see 80 degrees in March or 25 degrees and snow in April. Heck, I've seen snow in early May in higher elevations.

But don't worry, once June hits, it goes from pleasant to unbearably humid and lasts like that until mid-September!! Enjoy that while walking around in your suit after your intership!

Oh, and with the too meek to tell them what you want to do... I'm not the most outgoing person either, but the way I see it, on a big flight from NY to CA, the chances of you running into that person ever again are slim to none! So speak your mind and then don't worry about it. And if you do happen to run into them again - well, they think you're rude and they won't bother to talk to you anyway - and that was the whole point!!

Disclaimer - do not do this in small communities as chances are you will need or want to interact with them in the future. In that case, suck it up, and ask about their kids.

Yeah, lousy suits. Like most first year law students, I own exactly one suit, which I purchased just before internship interviews in January/February. Naturally, therefore, warmth was a prime consideration in suit selection. Now, however, unless I invest in another suit before Summer (which I'll have to do eventually, of course, but it's still a lot of money) I'll have to slog back and forth in my hot suit for three months. Ugh. 2 hours a day crammed onto crowded subway cars in that heat and humidity while wearing a suit will not be fun. At least most subway cars are air-conditioned.

You're going to spend a lot of money on dry cleaning. OR invest in a couple of blazers and slacks so that you can mix things up.

Blazer/slacks is probably my best option at the moment. Though I'll probably want a new suit before the late Summer/Fall interview season (We interview in mid-August for our jobs next Summer). For now, though, I'm interning at a non-profit this Summer, so hopefully they'll be more casual about dress code. Probably a shirt-and-slacks dress code is the best I can hope for, but it would still be better than a full-on suit.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on March 14, 2006 1:31 AM.

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