A Few Fuck-Yous…

…Brought to you by international air and train travel.

1. Fuck you for wearing your skunk perfume on a plane (also on the train…I’m looking at you, passengers of renfe who showered in old man cologne). I’m glad you’re making an effort to smell good but we’re all hurtling through the sky in a coke can so everyone can smell everyone else a little too well and I will sneeze on you.

2. Fuck you for wearing your nicest heels and jewels through the security line. I’m glad you’re wealthy and old, but there’s really no reason to hold up the line with your nonsense just so you can stick your fake nose a little higher in the air.

3. Fuck you for looking nice on an airplane, honestly. This isn’t so much of a fuck you as it is a how is this possible? I look like a gremlin who was caught in a flood and a tornado and a hornets nest. It’s just rude to look so much better than me, and to make it all look so effortless. I’m wearing socks with sandals, goddamn it, because I’m tired, these shoes were too heavy to check through, and my toes get cold. I’m a wreck. This is a PSA.

4. Fuck the system. Or…yeah. Fuck this whole first class business class nonsense. I get it, because I, too, would like to actually be able to stretch my (very long) legs out whilst flying. But I can’t, because I don’t have money flying off of trees and landing in my wallet.

5. Speaking of first class, fuck the stupid curtain. “Okay so what we’ll do is take the rich people and put them up front and then keep the plebs away from them with a mesh curtain.”

6. Fuck airports that don’t have free unlimited wifi. Sorry I have a six hour layover and wanted to write on my laptop but only had 30 minutes to do it, JFK. Sorry. So sorry I refuse to pay $5 an hour for shitty wifi. On that note, fuck writing a blog post on your cell phone whilst using data.

7. Fuck. I’m so fucking tired. I’m in that mood where nothing matters so I don’t understand why people put any effort into anything non-essential. Also I broke a nail and I’m annoyingly emotional about it.

8. 12 hours down, 8 to go. There’s no place like home. Fuck everywhere else.


Randomly Selected

I’m flying to Seattle today! Yay! I’m going to Bumbershoot, a music festival in Seattle, and I’m also going to (surprise!) an international cat show. My gal pal Haylie and I are going to frolic and make flower chains for our hair and be generally delightful, so look forward to some fun posts about that!

My college town is small, conveniently located between a wheat field and another tiny town. But! There is an airport here (it’s an international airport, but the only thing international about it is the large amount of foreign exchange students getting ready to board my flight).

I hate flying. I get incredibly uncomfortable and nauseas while zooming a jillion feet above where I’m supposed to be (the ground) and typically have some inner ear issues. So I always come very prepared: everything in its baggies, laptop easily accessible to pull out, shoes easy to take off, no knives or explosives (I know this is surprising to you since I love to live dangerously). The TSA agent at the front of the security line (there is one terminal and one security line in this airport, which is perfect for anxious flyers like me) complimented me on my organization, which was hilarious and adorable and really nice all at the same time. And then I was selected for an “extra security screening” as I walked through the metal detector.

I got a pat down, y’all! And it was honestly a rather pleasant experience. Hold up, before you get the wrong idea here, it was pleasant because the lady was so nice. She explained everything in detail (back of the hands while going over my butt, thank you very much) and…I don’t know, it wasn’t uncomfortable like people always say it is. Everyone complains about TSA agents, but I think today I might’ve fallen in love with all of them (at this baby airport anyway).

But even in large cities they’re usually at least pleasant. I flew out of Maui a few years ago and the guy told me my name was beautiful. In Oakland, they were the happiest TSA bunch I’ve ever seen — I felt like I was in the midst of the Seven Dwarves.

Anyway, the moral of this story is: I was randomly selected for a pat down and it seemed like I’d won a prize or something. So cheers, TSA, you’re doing it right!

Fisticuffs at Four

BAH traveling is hard. I mean, not hard compared to actually hard things such as getting into a ninja fight or climbing Mount Everest with one arm tied behind your back…but it’s totally hard compared to chewing gum or putting on a sock.

It gets harder when you’re me and totally confused 90% of the time. My brain goes off on holiday whenever it actually needs to focus, like in the Seattle airport or during finals week. So here’s a quick rundown of my awesome time traveling home:

1. Engaged in verbal fisticuffs with a girl on the Light Rail on my way to the airport.
I was sitting in my seat and zoning out, looking at the girl’s foot/leg by accident, not because I had a personal vendetta against her jeans (though, come to think of it, they were pretty ugly), when she had a total heart attack and got mad at me. Well sorry, sister, but I like to let my eyes wander about freely, uninhibited. So they can look at your foot if they want. But since you insist, I will divert my gaze out the window and get carsick (or rather, light rail sick).
But she was mad now, so she kept staring at me for about 15 minutes, mumbling things to her (more normal) friend who kept trying to calm her down. I felt like I was in middle school, with the mean girls staring at me and giggling from across the classroom…Anyway, toward the end of the ride I may or may not have looked her straight in the eye at which point she called me a bitch and then my alter ego Chantel came out (keep in mind that Chantel is a pretty tame alter ego and usually only ends up saying slightly insulting things to people who totally deserve it…)
Girl: Bitch, look away!
Me/Chantel: What the hell is your problem?!
Girl: Bitch! (She may have not kept repeating bitch, but I can’t really remember what she actually said so we’ll just fill in the blank spots with profanities.)
Me/Chantel: You’re crazy! Get off the train. Just get off. (It was her stop, so I wasn’t being that threatening…it was just logical that she get off…)
And there you have it: fisticuffs at dawn (4 p.m.)

2. Lost my boarding pass at Qdoba.
I just wanted a taco! But noooo, my brain was so excited about the taco that I left my boarding pass on the counter and went to my gate before realizing (20 minutes later) that I no longer had it. I sprinted back and, somehow, no one had thrown it away and it was sitting there, whimpering, “Cappy, how could you have forgotten me? You’re so cruel.”

3. I think that was it, actually. It just seemed more like 10 things because I kind of wanted to throw a suitcase at that girl.

Good news is: I am home! Yay! Back to the land of wheat, where people actually wear helmets while bicycling and nobody tries to steal me off the street!

Hello, Seattle

Visiting a big city is weird. I’m not from a small town, per-say, but it definitely has that small town feel to it. Seattle is not a small town.

There is a man yelling, “Fuck you!” outside the window of my sister’s apartment. How comforting.

I’ve never really flown all by myself before (I know, I was actually surprised when I realized that, too), so today was full of new experiences. I got through security without forgetting to leave my mace at home or having a total heart attack, so things were looking up…until I waited for about 40 minutes at the wrong gate. By the time I finally realized that no, there were no other passengers waiting alongside me in this totally empty terminal, so go upstairs, you idiot, they were boarding the plane and I really had to pee. Sprinting to the bathroom with a suitcase in hand is not really fun, nor is it attractive.

I’d like to quickly add that having straight across bangs and then sweating/running/being generally frazzled can cause beauty complications. I count my blessings that I’ve had a boyfriend for almost a year and therefore no longer need to worry about what I look like for the opposite sex. However, when you get off a (very bumpy) flight and every woman in the Seattle airport is wearing 5 inch heels and you’re wearing an oversized sweatshirt and Vans…well, your self esteem can really go in the pooper.

So anyway, I’m boarding the plane and my suitcase is being a jerk, banging into the seats of stuffy First Class passengers (who even does that, smugly rides in First Class with arm rests and wide seats and a curtain blocking them from the peasants…okay, that doesn’t sound so bad…) and practically bouncing off a child’s head at one point. I kind of hate my suitcase, and I think it’s time that it face its fate: spending the rest of eternity in a dumpster under old banana peels and creepy children’s dolls. One of its wheels is broken and makes that awful noise that you get when you stick playing cards in bike spokes and ride for a mile. Basically, it drew even more attention to my awesome (and completely fashionable) self in Sea-Tac once I got off the plane.

Stop distracting me — I’m still boarding the plane! Actually, right now I’m sitting in the wrong seat and realizing it and moving and knocking into someone (I’m not really a small person, so cramped planes don’t work super well for me). I finally sit down and the lady next to me looks grumpy, so I just close my eyes and try to forget the fact that I’m going to feel very, very sick once this plane is in the air. The flight attendants are super nice and have pretty hair, so I’m thinking that their general good-hygene is going to help me not die in a plane somewhere over central Washington, but no, no, the plane takes off and we’re tumbling around like rocks in a dryer, or other things that don’t belong in a dryer, like cats or sticks. So we’re tumbling, and I’m very unhappy and the “snack mix” is only comforting me a little bit, and then we finally land and we all whip out our cell phones.

I find that bit funny. The second they allow us to use our cell phones, we all pull ours out and turn them on, like something earth shattering happened in the hour that we weren’t paying attention. The amount of buzzing and dinging and jingling (possibly some jangling) that occurred within 5 minutes was ridiculous.

So we leave and the woman behind me is basically pushing me down the aisle (because obviously getting off of the plane 5 seconds faster is imperative), and then I got lost in the airport for about 30 minutes trying to find the light rail, and then once I finally found it (at the other end of the airport), a little Chinese man sat in front of me eating walnuts.

And then a cab driver who was not truly a cab driver tried to get us to ride to my sister’s apartment with him. And another cab driver came up and started yelling at him, telling us “He’s not a real cab driver,” and taking pictures…so I promptly removed my suitcase from his trunk. Apparently he was only allowed to drive people if they called in advance, and he charged a really expensive flat rate.

So basically Seattle (or maybe just travel in general) freaks me out. I like it, but there are a lot of ambulances and scary people taking my suitcase in their “cabs” and men hitting on me and…basically, there are no cows within a 20 mile radius, and that is just not acceptable.

To Scan or Not to Scan?

That seems to be the question nowadays. Recently, I’ve heard just about enough people yelling about airport body scanners to make me want to crush them with one. I mean, really. 

Photo courtesy of Slate

Dear Airport Security,

I give you full permission to scan my body at the airport. It’s not like anyone else ever sees me naked, so we might as well test my body out on you. But in all seriousness, I don’t have a problem with it. I’m pretty sure you have better things to do (such as making sure nobody blows my plane into smithereens) than ogle my body while you scan it. And if you happen to decide to check me out, you’ll be in the other room, so I won’t even know.

I think the people who have been so angry about these scans are just opposing to oppose. They say they’re “protecting American privacy,” but I don’t remember anyone getting this upset when Bush wire-tapped our phones. And so what? We as a society need to just calm down about our bodies. Everyone has a body. You can basically tell what someone else’s body looks like just by seeing them with their clothes on. So there’s no point in getting so upset about some airport security man (who you can’t see and who can’t see you)  seeing your body for about two seconds before you get on a plane. I can understand if you object because your religion demands serious modesty, but even then…it’s completely professional and unobtrusive and my God, people, we claim to be in a war on terror, but instead of remembering that terrorists hijacked our planes, we’re occupying Iraq.

I haven’t seen any women get scanned, anyway. When I went through security, they had me go through the old detectors while men went through the body scanners. So if you’re a woman worried about someone looking at your breasty substances, you might not even have to worry. And if you’re a man, well…deal with it.

I think there are bigger issues in this country than this whole body scanning thing. Like the fact that we can’t pass a healthcare bill. Or the fact that we CAN’T PASS A HEALTHCARE BILL. Or, you know, the fact that we, uh, can’t pass a healthcare bill.

Maybe if we put something about banning body scanners into that bill, it’d get a little more attention.