Thursday, October 04, 2007

View from the top

Another weekend in September, another plane trip. Yep this marks my third round trip flight in this month alone. Fourth trip outside of NYC if you count the bus ride to Boston three weeks ago. Being super cheap, I take the bus shuttle service to the airport instead of handing over $30 for a cab ride. That means waking up at 4am and walking cross the island among drunks stumbling home. Nice.

Since I had to wake up predawn, all I wanted to do on the flight was sleep. Therefore the loud guy in the row behind me who kept yapping was the bane of my existence. He was all like “yes I’m a triple major at Cornel, its an Ivy school, actually it is the largest Ivy but our endowment is not as much as Harvard so we often do not get as much press as we should, blah blah blah”. Now imagine saying that with a very snooty privileged voice almost like Mr. Belvedere minus the British accent. His triple major is in English, Literature, and Physics. What the fuck! Okay how are those related? I may not have three degrees from an Ivy but I am smart enough to know you can’t get shit with those majors. Idiot. Oh what next Einstein….a teaching position at an suburban high school…way to blow 100grand in student loans. Okay, I sound bitchy, but put yourself in my very tired cranky shoes. The best was when he said “yeah, when I graduate and start making it big time (note I stifle laughter), I’m not going to flaunt my money. You know, I don’t need a big house or fancy car to tell me I am hugely successful. I mean, if I was driving around in a Mercedes, I would think to myself…” I took this opportunity to shout back “what that you are a douche bag”. Ah ha ha, score one for me. The girl sitting next to me gave me a high five.

I think that finally shut him up because he remained relatively quiet for the rest of the flight. I then could enjoy my prime seat. Yep, I got the aisle seat in the first row of coach. In front of me was first class, so I had yards of leg room. I eventually fell asleep only to be woken up by the cold wet sensation running down my leg. Yep a lady with a giant handbag (when only allowed one carry-on suitcase, some people find the biggest purse ever, seriously you could fit a toddler in one) walked by and knocked my half finished glass of juice on me. Oblivious of the trail of destruction her own zip code needing bag was causing, she just kept on walking. The first class stewardess rushed up to me and said “oh my God, I saw that, she didn’t even stop, how rude, let me get you some towels”. Our combined effort was able to extract most of the liquid from my purse (yep right into the purse) and my damp pants. When the lady emerged from the forward restroom, the first class stewardess gave her a lashing “well I hope you know you spilt this poor lady’s drink all over her and you didn’t even stop, I think you owe her an apology”. The woman came over and asked if she could help me with anything (although she was about two minutes too late), so shoved all the wadded up towels and ice cubes into her hands and said “sure you can get rid of this” before shooting her a surly look.

So I changed planes in Chicago and boarded the smallest plane ever! Granted it was enroute to Omaha, and the plane probably held a quarter of the state’s population (just kidding). Seriously, it held maybe 30 people. Although our tiny plane had only one stewardess, she made up for it in personality. Okay I say personality, but I mean to say completely backwoods twang accent. She over emphasized and held all ‘e’ vowels like “now eeeeeveryone, pleeeease take a seeeeat and fasten your seeeeatbelts”. I sunk low in my seat and counted the ways she helped set back Nebraska’s image about 200 years.

Okay I complain about the early hour of the flight, but the one great thing is the light. Yeah that sounds odd, but I usually hop on a flight after work and therefore it is usually pretty dark outside when I am in the air. Well the sight is breathtaking! I snapped some pictures of the farm landscapes of Iowa/Nebraska as well as the monster storm clouds that we flew over (yeah beautiful from above, scary as hell from below). At one point we flew thru a cloud for 10 minutes (one hell of a cloud) and it was a complete white out (like pitch black but with white).

Luckily I had my camera ready when I exited the plane because I was rewarded with my favorite picture of Nebraska sofar. Actually it was a series of advertisements. The first was a farmer guy approaching his mailbox in the middle of a cornfield (why a mailbox was in the middle of a cornfield is beyond me). The next picture showed him reaching inside. The final picture (the image in the blog) shows the farmer celebrating, saying “my favorite day of the month”, and clutching his Fastline tractor magazine. Ah ha ha.

My first stop in Nebraska was (drum roll please)…..Walmart! Yep, home of everything you never knew you needed. I loaded up on cereal and canned juice since both are about three times more expensive in NYC. Good thing I brought the big suitcase home. Yeah, call me lame, but I will be smiling when I roll around in my bed of fruit loops while sporting a grape juice mustache. Mom also sends me home with a gallon bag of rice crispy bars and brownies which last about, um I don’t know, a day when I return. Mmmmn.

Okay yeah I know, Walmart. What can I say, I’m a cheap ass m-f-er (why I suddenly got a conscious and decided to start abbreviating my swearing, I do not know). I would say it is better to be too cheap than too extravagant. I learned my miser ways from my Dad. His favorite store is the dollar general. If they have a special on T-shirts, (say 5 for $10), he will get 5 of the same t-shirts! Then because he is so proud of his good buy (even though the t-shirts are all like Huskers, big 8 conference champ, 1988) he will wear the shirts out all the time. Granted he is hygienic enough to wear a different shirt each day, but to the ignorant, it looks like he is wearing the same shirt all week. I was able to snap a picture that embodies my Dad’s loveable buy persistent thriftiness. Exhibit one – the TV with rabbit ears (duct taped in the back) and a nail clipper as channel changer dial. Nice.

That night I met up with a high school friend Tina for drinks and gossip. We stopped at the same small town bar that hosted our 10 year reunion. Well this place was happening, and by happening, I mean eight people! Yeah, I guess 10pm on a Friday night is must see TV time or something. Good thing about an empty bar is that we were able to monopolize the touch screen triva thing. Yes, that machine on the end of the bar that you always wonder about. It is addicting like big buck hunter or the mechanical claw. We spiced it up by playing photo match with Chippendale male strippers so we could be the token “perverts” at the bar. Thanks Tina….not.

One of the key items at the bar was the life size mannequin of Herbie Husker (Nebraska football mascot). They stuffed the body so it would fill out the overalls properly (ie with a beer belly). The mask kept starring at me as I moved around and I could not help think of the Steven King IT movie….creepy. Some girls (must be lost since there is zero tourism in Gretna) took a group picture with the thing.


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