crashing and burning.
two quick lessons in what-not-to-do at the airport:
- this morning, scrambling to get on a plane to philadelphia, my pitstop on the way to delaware: don't pass through security wearing your mountain goats '04 tour t-shirt — the robin's-egg-blue-and-brown one, the one that has "ready for the future" printed in big block sans-serif type underneath a picture of a gradually sloping hill covered in densely packed, unmarked gravestones. a tip of the hat to a song on one of their recent albums and its sad sleepy imagery, but the tsa, they don't care so much for that. they frown on that sort of negativity. and then they frisk you.
- couple of months ago, flying back from dc through dulles, after a couple long workdays: somebody i trust to know my tastes (peter, i think, even though he often disagrees with 'em) told me i'd really like the new show "lost", and on the basis of that recommendation i broke my promise to add no new shows to the must-see list this season. owing to the fact that i live in the future, i downloaded the first five or so episodes to my laptop from the safety and comfort of my living room (i'll miss you, tvtorrents!) to watch on the plane.
having avoided all discussion of this or any other new show — every time i get out, they pull me back in! —i was unaware of the premise: that a plane, in spectacular fashion, goes down on an enchanted desert isle. and the series creator, jj abrams, he of previous network hits "felicity" and "alias," obviously flexed his newfound network muscle to get some serious cash behind the set design and explosive special effects, which he then squeezed every ounce out of, revisiting that crash sequence at least five times in the first twenty minutes of the pilot.
i know this, because after getting through security (unmolested, this time) and sitting down in the dulles terminal, popping open my g4, and booting up the first ep on vlc, i watched that plane take that dive, all five times in the first twenty minutes. now, i don't really mind that sort of thing — actually kind of used to it , and comfortable with my thin grip on the wall separating reality from fiction — so i just let the episode go on. and it's an engrossing show, so i was engrossed, looking up only when i heard the initial boarding call from the back of the room. at which point i couldn't help but notice that, even in a small terminal on a fully packed flight, i'd still managed to clear a ten-seat circumference all around me.
 i seem to have quite the knack for catching shows/movies featuring planes going down in flames right before getting onto one myself. just last night it was the latest episode of "medium" (another show i didn't mean to get started on). though i'm guessing this is less ill-fated omen and more unseemly intersection of my overloaded travel schedule with our culture's well-mediated fascination with airborne destruction. and since i'm writing this from my perch on united flight 88, seat 15f, i guess i'm ok with that.