Food on an Airplane: A Sit-Down Tragedy (Not to Be Confused With Airplane Food: A Stand-Up Comedy)

Here’s a story that I tell you more as a warning than anything else. In fact there is no other reason I can (with an existing conscience) admit as to why I am sharing it.

I took a plane from Chicago back to D.C. today. I actually missed my original flight because I was the last person to check in so they bumped me and put me on a later flight. I graciously accepted my fate in the form of a complimentary voucher and some extra time.

As a consolation prize of sorts, I went and bought myself a burrito. Veggie with all the fixings if you must know! They stacked and packed that mound of nutrients; it was locked and loaded for deliciousness with an intent to satiate hunger.

So I got on the later flight, paper burrito sack in tow, and I promptly fell asleep. This action turned out to be great timing because the flight was delayed and I slept through most of the tarmac time including waiting in a queue of jets to take off. If you think waiting in line at the post office is bad, try waiting in a line of airplanes at the going postal office. Ok so nobody actually suddenly raged out, but the old lady next to me did put her head in her hands and sigh so heavily that the bookmark in her Sue Grafton novel slightly ruffled. I know!! Pretty crazy stuff.

Anyhoohaw, we eventually took off with no great fanfare and so did my appetite. My friend Joe warned me about not eating a complicated meal on the plane, but I brushed off his advice. The old lady next to me cracked into her Starbucks scone so, as far as I was concerned, it was game time for the stomach fiesta!

Burritos are always inhumanely large. I should have factored that into my calculations. I wonder if this guy did.
photo courtesy of Flickr and Dan Phiffer

Well, shortly into my foray down Guac n’ Cheese Lane, something horrible happened. Salsa started dripping down my arms, or more accurately, into the sleeves of my jacket. I tried to prevent the leakage, but when I corked one tomato spout, another one would dribble out somewhere else. It was hopeless. I could barely eat that monster quick enough. And then, when it seemed like things couldn’t get any worse, a single, bold black bean fell down my shirt.

Once I managed to sandbag most of the condiment flood and jam the rest of the soggy tortilla down my gullet, I decided to conduct a full-fledged bean investigation. I found it, lodged in the nook of my bra. Well, of course, as I tried to extricate it, it fell way down into the lower torso region. I searched everywhere, the seat, my person, and the persons next to me (“Excuse me, but have you seen a single, orphaned black bean? No? Well, thanks for nothing!”), but it was nowhere close to be-an found. Giving it up for lost, I went on with my seated life.

(Cut to three, suspenseful hours later…)

I was off the flight, bags in hand, and ready for the world! And then I went to the bathroom for a quick wash-up, and something bizarre and grotesque happened. I found the bean. Lodged in the holy sanctuary of my belly button, seeking asylum for the past (tomato and avocado) chunk of my life. I threw my fists at the sky yelling “Why! Why! Whyyyyyyyyyy!”

You guys think you’re so fun and carefree. I’m never falling for it again.
photo courtesy of Flickr and Amy Grace Elizabeth

There were no answers. There still aren’t. The black bean’s family is still making inquiry as to his whereabouts. There was salsa all over the crime scene. [Roll Lawwww and Hors D’oeuvres credits].

P.S. Yes, I have an innie. How dare all of you.

I See Your Normalcy Request, and Raise You One Eyebrow and a Whirligig

I. Underblogged in New York

I spent this past weekend in NYC. Some people I am privileged to know live there.

I also got to do some shows (both way fun and hosted by way fun people). But in between all that hobnobbing and stagestomping, I got to experience this perky little thing called LIFE IN THE BIG CITY.

Here were the top three incidents of note.

1. Arrived in NYC and got off bus, walked about 2 blocks. Passed a man standing behind a homeless charity table. He yelled, “Help the homeless! (Aside to himself but still quite audibly) I forget how f$%kin’ stupid they all are! (This was either directed at all of us, or at other homeless people, or at the voices in his head; it was unclear.) Heeeelp the homeless, New York!” It was quite an angry outburst in the name of charity.

2. Was walking and went into a Border’s bookstore for a potty break, and the woman in line in front of me in the restroom is dancing a little! Granted, they were playing some club hit over the intercom system but then, as if my eyes were questioning their reality, she started really gettin’ down. I mean, I guess something’s gotta get the rhythm going and the pipes flowing before you enter the stall, or maybe it was straight up just her pee dance and she had added some flair to it. I might never know the answer, and I’m OK with that.

3. Was at a show in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and two rappers stopped by for part of the show. And the comic onstage asked them who they were (naturally, because they sat right up in the front bursting with Brooklyn pride), and it turns out, it was Johnny Brooklyn himself and his “brother” (in his own words) Numbers. They were the perfect possible pair to show up at a comedy show in Brooklyn on that fated night, but alas they had to leave early to go watch their “brother” Beans perform at another venue nearby. Yes. Beans.

I am so content about the aforementioned events, I could just shimmy in the bathroom.

Who can stay neutral when it comes to the charms of the outer boroughs?!
photo courtesy of Flickr and laverrue

II. Panic at the Drop of a Gchat!

Even more Gchat issues…

I realized today that every time someone writes something on Gchat along the lines of:

I have to tell you something.

I gotta be honest with you.


Hey listen…

I freak out and prepare for the worst, which usually turns out to be a) a link to a funny clip, b) a weird news story, or c) an admission of guilt about something ridiculous along the lines of not wearing socks that day.

I have to say though,it gets me every time! I don’t know why I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. But I do kind of mentally batten down the hatches with morbid delight. Human nature is really something else, I’ll tell you what!

The Drama Queen’s Understudy Makes Her Amateur Debut

I thought you guys should know. I reordered a specialty coffee drink yesterday.


I got the first one.

It tasted heavily of ashes and chocolate water slightly mixed with a hint of mint.

I considered my unassertive options. I actually didn’t sample the brewed poison until I had vacated the vendor’s premises.

I realized I couldn’t afford two mid-priced luxury beverages in one day.

So I marched (more like tippytoed) back to the esteemed cafe, and I was all halfheartedly (as if it were out of my hands), “Something doesn’t taste right!” and they were all “We’re sorry! We’re sorry!” And then I was all “Not as sorry as I am!”

Then I tried to change my drink order to something simpler, but the owner insisted that the barista remake my original drink. Which I then tasted in front of the whole staff, beaming, thrilled at how impossibly good it was…(and the Oscar weiner for Best Supporting Overactress, in a Tragicomedy, goes to…)

But hey, standing up for myself without having to make jokes about it, wasn’t the end of me. I mean, I guess it was half bad, but it was half alright too. Insert witty half & half line here, and tie it in with coffee reference.

This is going to be me in a year. Block and punch, but verbally!
photo courtesy of Flickr and cheetah100


Today, continuing my aggressive streak, I almost took out a manchild on crutches.

Fittingly, he commented, “So sorry about that!”

Because he’s the one who was clearly an imposition on the door I flung open all wild and crazylike. Riiight.

I’m Just Ballin’…Spitballin’ Son!

I was at a restaurant with the sig otro the other night, and the following happened.

We got our check, and the our super-nice and thoughtful waitress had written, “Thank you!” on it in a cheerful, helpful script, and we were both like “Awwwww” but not in an annoying couply way (OBVI).

So then when I was signing my check (we split the bill like 21st century feminist astronauts), I wrote “Thank you!” on it.

And then boyfie was all, “Don’t write that! It looks sarcastic!” Then I thought about underlining the “you” but that would have looked even more sarcastic.

So I had gotten myself in a real muddle, because he was right. I tried to one-up her sincere niceness game and I ended up looking like a perfunctory pickle trying to masquerade as a cool, collected cucumber. She probably took one look and ripped it up…with her teeth!

I am the straw that broke the customer servant’s back!

Waitresses are people too! And how!
photo courtesy of Flickr and flattop341


In PWNED news, I had to IM the IT guy today to ask him an urgent question (hadn’t happened in awhile), and his new AIM icon was a large, glaring tribal mask.

It doesn’t take a symbology major to pick up on the subtlety there.

So naturally, the following conversation ensued:

Aparna: angry tiki mask
Aparna: really
IT Guy: That is its purpose.
IT Guy: It keeps away evil spirits.
IT Guy: Are you an evil spirit?
Aparna: how dare you

Anyway, things escalated and I ended up having to pay him an actual face-to-face visit for SUPER REAL help with a NOT IMAGINARY problem.

Sad story short, it ended up being a minor glitch that I could’ve fixed myself and IT Guy communicated this information to me very clearly using a language exclusively made up of snorts and eyerolls.

But then I looked at some of these (July 23 is perfection) to feel better about myself. And it worked. Of course.

This is me, actually.
photo courtesy of Flickr and rileyroxx

Help request? More like Self-Help request; am I right, Crazies?!


Other quick notes of (dis)interest:

I realize I’m ok with the stairwell at work smelling like urine. I know this because I didn’t even flinch today when I noticed that the stairwell at work smelled like urine! Even though it’s never smelled like that before!

Conclusion: I’m open-minded!

I have a bug-bite stigmata on my foot. It’s a Bermuda triangle of itching and yellow skin pus caps. It seeps regularly, and all the bites operate as one trained unit in terms of ambiguous excretions.

Conclusion: Too much information? Not enough calamine!

I learned this new corporate drone term—spitballing! And I can’t stop using it.

Conclusion: I’m not completely sold on it yet as breakout star of my new, as-yet-to-be-determined catchphrase but maybe toss some more popaway flys at me, and we’ll touch base soon, chief! (sports metaphors dropped with casual enthuzed-ness are the only thing worse! *fist pumps and pounds all around*)

Let Me Just Put on My Introspectacles for a Minute Here…

My afternoon meal today was a straight-up callback-to-smellementary-school (remember the first time you smelled BO in 3rd or 4th grade? I do. How about farts? No? Nothing? I don’t mean your own!) cafeteria lunch. The entree was slimy noodles, liquified tomato paste, and faux-ground round, and you had to peel back plastic and nuke sufficiently to get to it. I feel proud and slightly self-conscious, but mostly proud. I ate it by myself in an empty room without looking up…just like old times!

An all-ages treat!
photo courtesy of Flickr and foundphotoslj


I realized this inconclusive characteristic about myself today. Whenever someone makes eye contact with me in a hallway coming the other way, I routinely grin but I try to hold the smile and then fade it slowly (on my own time because I’m considerate) after we’ve passed each other.

Otherwise you get the compulsory flash-smile that suddenly shifts into the default grimace-frown, which reeks of fake boobiness (people being fake boobies, not real fake breasts. On second thought, real fake breasts sounds weird but you know what I mean). Also holding the smile makes you feel weirdly better about yourself and your honorable intentions with the world that day.

I also realized I immediately look at the ground after making eye contact with people as if to reacquaint myself with my position in the world. The way peasants would look down in the presence of royalty! I’m a real toegazer. And I don’t even paint my toenails so it’s not for aesthetic reasons. My toes are functional but they’re not supermodels.

I’m going to try to look up instead from now on…at the sky! And wink at some stars or clouds. For your information, we have some inside jokes, the sky and I. I think the ground and I have even more though, but here’s to deepening friendships with inanimate objects. In my new attempts at social climbing, the sky will be the limit (literally)! I’m afraid people might think I’m rolling my eyes though. Ah well, one must make sacrifices for self-esteem!


My sister is here for one night AND one night only (on loan from the other side of the world)! She has a long list of demands, and requires me to play the part of the earnest chauffeur all around and around we go. Hopefully, on the way, there will be some catch-up time. Between Barnes & Borders and Java the Hut, perhaps we can squeeze in a few cheek kisses and head pats. Best Buy is so unromantic for familial reunions. Oh, you need another plastic seat cover? Let me wrap it up in my current life journeys.

This is pure delight (there are seven other parts to watch if you need more):

(Via Will)

And forgive me because I might not say it everyday but love you and miss you, Alice.