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May 6, 2010

Airnarium and aquarium

Traveling is always an adventure, sometimes the most trepidatious part is just sitting beside a stranger for so many hours. On the way from L.A. to JFK, I sat next to a guy who was completely addicted to his cellphone. He wasn't the only one, so was the lady in the seat in front of me. They both talked on their phones as they boarded the plane, they were talking as we waited for the plane to fill and eventually they were holding up the plane because neither would hang up so we could take off.

The lady in front of me was on an urgent call that went like this, "Yeah, I'm just sitting on the plane now. Huh? Yeah, I got a coke before but forgot to buy something to eat. Well there was one place but everything else was still closed. Yeah, I liked that bagel shop we went to that time..." and so on. Clearly too enthralling to hang up when the announcement was made for the third time to please turn off all cell phones. Now. Please.

The guy beside me was funny. He was obviously addicted to his cell phone, too, and antsy about being unable to use it for a few hours. You see people like this all over the city, they can't stand to sit still and be silent for even a second. He was talking when he was walking down the aisle of the plane and as soon as that conversation ended, he immediately called another person and another and another until the flight attendant had to stand over him and take his phone away as if he were a naughty six-year-old. He was probably in his mid-forties. All his conversations were as urgent and compelling as the gal in the seat ahead of us: "Hey, you talk to Mike yet? Did he see that movie I told him about? I knew if he liked poker he'd like it. You eat breakfast yet? Yeah, well, we were late for the plane so I haven't even had a coffee. Oh right, Ok, talk to you later." (click) (dials phone) "Hey! Mike, it's Sy. You see that movie I told you about? Yeah, well I knew if you liked poker you'd like it. Man, I am dying for a coffee..." and on and on and on.

When the flight attendant took away his phone he fidgeted until we were in the air and then promptly fell asleep with his mouth open.

My mom and I flew together from JFK to Bermuda, so that was nice. Then on the flight back I was in a row by myself from Bermuda to JFK, and from JFK to LAX I sat next to a guy with a bad case of IPS -- Imaginary Package Syndrome. You know the guys who have an imaginary package so large they have to spread their legs really wide and encroach into your personal space to accommodate that enormously huge imaginary schlong? Yep, I sat next to that guy.

I'm really glad they don't allow people to make cell phone calls in flight. I hope they never change that rule. Even with my headphones on I could hear my seatmates talking, and I have those fancy schmancy noise-canceling headphones. The idea of sitting next to someone for six hours and listening to them natter on and on would surely increase the passenger air rage quotient, no? Of course it does nothing to address the prevalence of dudes with Imaginary Package Syndrome. Some things you just have to make jokes about.

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One of the highlights of our sightseeing on vacation was visiting the local aquarium. I love aquariums, there's something so peaceful and beautiful about watching the fish and reading all the information about each display. It appeals to my dorky science-geek self as well as the "I want to view nature in air-conditioned comfort" side of my personality.

My favorite is always the octopus (they're so smart!) and I love all the wacky sea plant-animals, like anemones and coral and urchins. Sea horses and jellyfish are big favorites, too, though there weren't any of those at this particular aquarium. There was a giant living reef display that stretched along a wall and had some very big fish. And sharks! They're so fascinating. I've known some sharks, actually. Except the ones I knew were dressed in people clothes.

Most of my pictures turned out great, so I'm going to bore you with a ton of them! (The key is to never use flash. I love my little Canon point-and-shoot, it's a great camera!)

Some of the fish had people faces. I find aquatic life endlessly fascinating. Do they get bored with swimming? Are they uncomfortable in the aquarium? Or is it all the same when you're a fish? If there are any fish reading, let me know. After all on the internet, no one knows you're an octopus...

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Posted by laurie at May 6, 2010 6:33 AM