Thursday, February 24, 2011

Journey to Miami

Rick and I flew to Miami the day before our cruise, and I want to report that I was not at all calm during the flight.  Shocking, right?  I know.  It wasn't my fault though - the plane was doing scary things!

First of all, once we were seated and waiting to leave (well, everyone else was seated ... I was curled up and shaking and preparing for death) there was this super loud noise that sounded like a fire alarm.

Me: What's that?!
Rick: Relax.  It just means we're going to back up from the gate.

He said no, but I wasn't convinced.  I kept jerking my head around checking for smoke.  As we backed up from the gate (ok ok, I guess Rick was telling the truth) I decided I would rather plummet to my firey death wearing sunglasses, so I put mine on.  I mean, flames are bright.  It made sense.

Me: Hey, I'm the only one wearing sunglasses.
Rick: Yes, you are.
Me: Well, what if they think I'm wearing them because I'm some handicapped blind person?
Rick: Maybe that'll make them upgrade us.

My concerns were clearly a joke to him.  At this point we were approaching the runway, but we suddenly stopped.  I knew this couldn't be normal.  Planes don't just stop ... something sinister was going on here.

Me: Why are we stopping?!  Did they find something wrong with the plane?  Are they going to let us get off?  Are they going to fly it anyway? 
Rick (his face very close to mine, looking at me as if I'm 3 years old): Ashley, everything is fine.
Me: Then why did we stop???
Rick: I don't know.

Well, that did it.  I thought of Rick as my plane expert; I knew he would have an answer for all my questions, but not even he knew why we had stopped!  I started to get hot and panicky (well, more panicky).  Then we started moving again.  I looked out of my little window to try to see where we were going, and I could sort of see the runway.

Me: Ok, that road is not long enough.
Rick: What road?
Me: The road we're supposed to take off from.  We're going to crash right off the end of it.
Rick (switching to comfort-a-hysterical-toddler mode): Ashley, everything is fine.  It's long enough.  Trust me.
Me: I don't!  You didn't even know why we stopped!  I'm telling you, I can see with my own eyes that we're going to run out of room!

Of course, I was wrong; the flight was fine.  Whatever.

The drama wasn't over, though, because we landed in Miami International Airport, otherwise known as We Make Every F-ing Announcement In English AND Spanish.  We got our bags and found a sign (miraculously not in Spanish) advertising a free shuttle service that would take us to our hotel.  Rick tried calling the number 3 times, and no one ever answered.  At this point, we were both tired and starving, so we walked outside to just take a cab to the hotel.

Warning: If you are ever at this airport and think you can just take a cab somewhere, as if it's a normal thing to do, think again.  These cabs don't want you.  You are not good enough for these cabs.  Nope, not even if you have money to give them.  Repeat: These cab drivers do not want your money.  They are simply driving around for the fun of it, and possibly to soak up the Spanglish atmosphere.

We tried to get into 3 different cabs, and each time, when we told them to take us to the hotel, they LITERALLY said that we had to take the shuttle, and they refused to drive us.  What.The.Fuck.  We were offering to pay them to drive us somewhere, and they kept kicking us out.  So we ended up having to wait for the stupid shuttle, extremely pissed off due to lack of food and cab-driver bullshit.

When we finally got to our room, all I could think about was how hungry I was.  I found 2 delivery menus on the floor.  They were really similar, but one of them said "WE SPEAK ENGLISH" in bold at the bottom.  Bingo.

Rick called in our order (commenting "The whole 'we speak English' thing?  Yeah, that's borderline.") and we waited ... and waited ... and waited.  I was about to die of starvation.  I figured they hadn't understood what Rick said or they had tried to take a cab to the hotel or something.  FINALLY almost 2 hours later, our food arrived. 

I scarfed it down like I had been raised by wolves and immediately fell asleep, praying that I wouldn't have nightmares dubbed in Spanish.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Space Band and Followers

Rick and I went to our usual bar several nights ago to hang out for a bit.  We noticed a band setting up, but that's nothing unusual.  Or so we thought. The band consisted of three 20something members:

1) A guy with long greasy hair who looked like he hadn't showered in approximately 30 days.
2) A nerdy guy with glasses and a curly white-guy afro
3) A guy wearing a sideways hat and a huge gold chain ... Mmhmm, he keeps it real.

Anyway, they dragged in all their equipment and started to warm up.  The warming up consisted of Gold Chain Guy blasting out sci-fi noises from a keyboard that sounded like the theme song to some kind of 80's romantic comedy, starring aliens.  It was like a John Hughes movie soundtrack ... in space.  Afro Guy was on drums, randomly thumping out a beat that had nothing to do with the keyboard "music".  Greasy Guy was holding a guitar but not actually playing it.  The warm-up last for about three mintues, and then the band just went to stand outside for an hour before finally coming back in to start the actual show.  I'm guessing they had to consult with their mothership before they could perform.

While they were outside getting beamed up, I noticed that a Bob Marley sign was hanging from the keyboard.  So then ... wait ... what???  Here they were playing random space sounds, and apparently Bob Marley is their muse.  Maybe they didn't actually know who he was.  Maybe they saw a picture of him and thought he looked like some sort of alien leader.

Right before the show began, a huge crowd of people came bolting through the door.  They all looked like this was the first time they had ventured outside of their parents' basements in a while, and a lot of them were wearing t-shirts with the band's name on them.  It was a giant cult of nerds, all queueing up to get down to the funky space beats!  I'd never seen anything quite like it.

The music continued to be all spacey and weird, (this time with Greasy Guy actually PLAYING his guitar) and the followers were loving it.  In fact, one chubby dude was loving it way more than I have ever seen anyone love anything.  He was standing right in front of the band, dancing his heart out the entire time.  His dancing was so hilarious that I was doing that laughing-so-hard-you-can't-breathe thing.

He started out doing a head bobbing motion that reminded me of how chickens look as they strut around.  He would thrust his head back and forth with every step he took, and it quickly became apparent to me that this guy did not care at all how stupid he looked.  I mean, Rick and I were very openly laughing at him, and I feel like it only made him feel proud of his moves.  For his next trick, he started violently and robotically punching his arms forward.  He looked like a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot.

At that point, his girlfriend (how does he have a girlfriend?) came over to try to talk him off the dance floor.  She looked pissed as hell and extremely embarrassed.  She kept shaking her head at him, and eventually he followed her back to where she had been sitting.  They had a little argument, which ended with him thundering back to his dance area and her storming outside to stand in the cold.  I don't blame her.  If Rick had been dancing like that, I would have chosen to stand outside freezing too.

His next move consisted of him randomly squatting down really low and moving his arms as if he were rocking a baby to sleep.  He did this in a hyper fast manner, flailing his arms about as if he were trying to kill that invisible baby.  He then stood up and started twirling in circles as fast as possible, and luckily the nerds around him backed away before he crashed into them.  After that, he decided a good idea would be to get a drink.  Right ... because he just wasn't out of control enough yet.  After returning from the bar, he attempted to continue his insane dance moves while drinking, which resulted in him missing the straw almost every time.

As for the other nerds, I saw one of them take a tequila shot, which he had clearly never done before in life.  To begin, he dumped about half the contents of a salt shaker on his hand.  He then took the shot, (spilling most of it down his shirt) and afterwards completely forgot to put the lime in his mouth.  Next to me, a guy was trying to buy a drink using his birth certificate as his form of ID.  How is that easier to carry around than a drivers license?  Although, a drivers license would probably be of no use to him since I'm sure the only vehicles he's ever "driven" were spaceships in video games.

Right before we left, I saw a guy join Insane Dancing Guy on the floor.  This new one started dancing by repeatedly punching himself in the stomach.  Perhaps he was trying to induce vomiting since the band was so terrible.  Oh, and Insane Dancing Guy's girlfriend finally got into the spirit by grinding up on some old man who was dancing with his cane.  He looked about 85.  She was probably attracted to him because, even with his age and cane, his moves were far superior to her boyfriend's.

I really hope this band plays every week.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Flight Fears

My boyfriend Rick and I are going on a cruise next week.  In order to do this, we have to first fly to Miami since that's where the ship is.  I have only been on a trip that involved flying once before, and I am pretty much terrified of doing it again.  I didn't have a bad experience the first time or anything, but I just always have irrational fears about stuff like this.  Here are some of them:

1)  Drugs could be hidden under my seat.

Seriously, I just saw some news report about how people are doing that now - hiding drugs in various places on a plane.  I mean, I suppose I could check my seat as soon as I get on the plane, but then what if I actually find a huge thing of drugs??  Do I announce it?  What if someone sees me looking at them and assumes they're mine and reports me and I get hauled off to jail?!  I guess I could always casually slide them over to Rick's seat and let him deal with them, but if HE gets hauled off to jail I'd probably have to bail him out or go to court or some shit and miss my cruise.

2)  Someone with B.O. could be sitting near me.

Planes aren't THAT big once you're all crammed in and seated, so this could be an issue.  I'm sure tons of people get up in the morning and think "Hey, all I'm doing is getting on a plane today, why shower?"  With my luck, they'll be right in front of me, and their odor will just waft backwards up my nostrils.  I might have to bring a tiny bottle of perfume with me to cover it up, but that's a risk since the scents "Extreme Disgusting Sweaty Non-Showering Guy" and "Tulips" probably don't mix well.

3)  I could have a heart attack on the plane.

Hey, I'm going to be stressed and nervous already because of the other fears.  Plus, the way my diet is, I figure I'm gonna have at least 3 heart attacks before I'm 30.  I hear about people having heart attacks on planes all the time - why???  Is it some kind of conspiracy?  Is it a game among the airline staff where they see how fast they can solve the emergency, and if the person dies, everyone loses points?  Maybe there's an Induce Heart Attack button and they pick a random person as a victim every 73 flights so that it doesn't APPEAR as though anything fishy is going on.  You never know.

4)  The pilot could go insane.

I'm sure pilots are under a fair amount of stress, so one is bound to crack eventually.  The one flying my plane might get a craving for a hamburger and decide to try to land the plane in a McDonald's parking lot.  Or he could get really ambitious and decide that our plane will be the first test subject to see if planes can also double as submarines.  Maybe he'll see a flock of birds flying by and try to use their flight path as our new route, including when they land on someone's roof.  Maybe he'll try to ram the plane into every bird he sees.  Or, he could always try to add a little culture into the trip by making every announcement in loud dog barks so that we can learn his pet's native language.  The possibilities really are endless.

5)  There could be a spider on the plane.

In which case, I would not be able to scream and run away from it because then people would think there was a bomb or something.  The spider would totally have me at its mercy.  My only real escape would be the bathroom, and the hell if I'm ever going in there - yuck.  So great, it's going to crawl all over me and into my ear and into my brain and use its powers to control all my actions.  Pretty soon I'll be living in Spider HQ where they'll all come together to plot their takeover of the planet.  They'll use me to reach/lift things for them and to negotiate with world leaders since they can't speak.  Then before you know it, everyone will be trapped in some giant web, and it'll be my fault for getting on the damn plane in the first place.

If any of you have irrational plane fears, please let me know.  I need to feel better about being a paranoid weirdo.