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Travel

Sometimes I go places.

eyelash
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helter skelter shelter

Tour

I’ve been doing shows. Since last I updated, i think it’s been four, with a fifth tonight.  A lot, whatever the number is.  Des Moines, Atlanta, Orlando and Houston in six days, at least.  My bus has been running all over the country, hither and yon, all around Robin Hood’s barn, there and back again, even.

In Des Moines I took a few more pictures for BRANDED (not on the site yet, of course, but I’ll work on it some today), which counts as the first time I’ve done a shoot on the road.  Totally do-able, although without lights, it’s sort of an exercise in futility.  At least it was an exercise in something, though since I’ve been entirely stagnant since I got out here on this leg.  Good thing it’s short.

I managed also to get a couple of flights booked yesterday (two out of the five I need to book), and that was fine, but I was really aiming for three, with four as the outside goal.  I seem to have lost my mojo for the flight finding that I did the other day, because not only couldn’t I find the same times, I couldn’t even remember what airline they were on. Yeesh.  Anyway, I’ll try that again today, now that I’ve caught up on JVS work today.  Still have some PCW work to get through and bills, though both of those will have to wait ’till the next town (Memphis?), because my time is almost exhausted here.

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Hotel Review – New Orleans Sheraton

Tour

I haven’t written a hotel review in awhile, so here’s one for you.

The Sheraton New Orleans hotel has fascinating elevators with no floor buttons, but air conditioners that don’t condition and all-flat-sheet bed construction.  Overall, that makes for a sad matt.  Don’t read any further unless you really want to read a hotel review.  Seriously.

Venue Setup
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I survived the Canadian Government collapse

Tour

Canada has no government, apparently.  You’d never know, though ’cause no one is running in the streets, the police are still out in force, and everything seems pretty much normal.  Canada is so polite.

So in the 2 weeks since my last update, a lot has happened.  Figures, right? I’ve had weird internet access, as well as generally more to do than I usually have.  This leg of the tour has been very Matt-friendly with its venues, with the East Coast, Vegas and a week off in Chicago, where I spent a lot of time with Stephanie and a lot of time writing.

There’s plenty to tell, and I’ll probably post a few pictures, so I’ll put a bunch of crap after the break.

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like a novel – an update in prose

Tour

There comes a time when the dirt under your fingernails becomes as much a part of you as the nail itself, and when you notice that’s become the case, it’s time for a shower.

The bus’ engine rumbles beneath them as they hurtle down the nighttime highway in search of another destination, another sold-out arena, another truck-tip, another load-in, another day in the life of a roadie.  Some of the guys drink beer.  One drinks red wine, one white.  Two and a half men is on the flat-screen, playing in a marathon from someone’s collection, now moved to the PS3.  There’s a huge bouquet of flowers that one of the girls rescued from a dressing room after the band had left; the eucalyptus makes the bus smell a little fresher.

Two days, two shows, two cities then a half a day to rest and recover, then two more days and two more shows in two more cities.  As that cycle draws to a close, a roadie can’t doubt what he does for a living, can’t delude himself into thinking that it’s glamorous or exciting or really anything but exhausting and repetitive.  And dirty.  The cases, the cables, they get so dirty and gleefully transfer their soot, their grime to hands, shoulders, forearms, which do their best to spread the love to pants legs, faces and necks.  Repeated washings are part of the ritual, and the showers in the various locker rooms seem inviting until you start to wonder how you’ll hang up the towel or where your toiletries will go, or why you left your shower shoes in the bus.  Then you wonder what the hell a grown man is doing owning shower shoes in the first place.

The night stretches on and the inside of the coffin-like bunk is a haven away from all men and all halves, from flowers quickly wilting, from beer bottles and snack temptations.  Before you drift off, you hope that somehow this 150-mile ride will take 12 hours and that you’ll sleep through all of it, and that when you arrive, you’ll somehow be clean.

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starting the torrent (tour-ent?)

Tour

Today starts the madness of doing the 2-in-a-rows.  This morning was the last time I’ll fell well-rested for a week or so, which is going to wreak havoc on my senses and on my complexion.  Gross.  Regardless, NYC, DC and Boston have all been pretty good to me, at least in terms of seeing friends & family I love.  The shows have been going well, too.

PCW purchased a new Mac last Thursday – it’s time to start looking into new (and available) prompter rigs.  Can HDMI deliver signal over 150′ cables? 200?  100? How is that impacted by couplers?  Do they even make couplers?  What about L-brackets?  What do I do about different resolutions for different monitors?  I’d guess you’d have to get identical monitors for every kit, which is fine, too, but something that we don’t do now, exactly.  that’d be better anyway.

Today has been a tough day, personally – I’m feeling very disconnected and far away, so it’s been hard to get myself balanced and on point to be creative.  And I was going to write a great treatment for the Naked Ninja boobsploitation flick today, too.  Ah well.  There’s always tomorrow.

At least until there isn’t, right?

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being busy is great

Tour

So I’ve spent the last week in NYC and DC, a fact that’s kept me super busy.  That’s awesome, because it means I’ve gotten to see a bunch of people I choose to see (and who choose to see) for a change.  Fun times.  These east coast tours are bad for my clapboard updates, so those of you I’m not updating in real life (IRL) get more sporadic updates.  Sorry about that.

This update, in fact, is just a crappy one, ’cause we’re doing sound check early today, which means that I don’t have time to upload pictures right now.  I’ll make it up to you, though, swear.  Next update will have pictures, i swear. If it were as easy to resize video as images, I’d even shoot you a little video.  Someday.  Clapboard is going to get more and more multimedia-y, too, at least, that’s the goal for 2011.  That, and giving you guys more and more reasons to come back.

Happy Sunday, and go Oscar – have a good show tonight, which I will completely ignore.

Generic Colosseum
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Rome = Booked.

Vacation

Generic ColosseumIt’s done. We’re going to Rome.  And the flying is free.  Lest I ever complain about working for a tour again, here’s what you can tell me: “You had to buy the most expensive tickets, miles-wise, to get the flight that you wanted, but because you did, you got exactly the flight that you wanted. So suck it up.”

Now, even with the free flights I can’t afford to be staying in $250/night hotels while I’m there or anything, but at least we’re going.  Honestly, where we stay isn’t really that important – having a bed and a place to put my bags is really the only thing that matters.  Now comes the fun of figuring out how much the rest of the trip costs, and how we’ll do it economically enough to make it possible.  Let’s just say that I’m saving as much of my per diem as I can while I’m on the road. Of course, with these Canadian exchange rates, it’s not easy.

That’s all for now.  I’ll update with more plans as we make them.  Put the first week of June on your calendars, ’cause if you’re going to be in Italy around then, we’ll totally have to meet up.

Wright Brothers Vintage
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Flying Fool

Vacation

Wright Brothers VintageIf the Brothers Wright could see what atrocities were being done to their work by the TSA and a willing public these days, they’d probably have kept flying to themselves.

Flying today has become an embarrassment of epic proportions – incompetent drones following absurdist mandates from an ever-terrified group of know-nothings in suits who sit in dark rooms and think up ways to look like they’re doing their jobs without once considering whether their jobs are providing the service for which they were intended lo those many years ago. The act o getting to a seat on an airplane these days can make even the sanest folk crazy.  No wonder Americans largely eschew flight for staying home and watching American Idol.  They’re not ignorant, backwater, dis-engaged and incurious, but rather staging the largest, longest and most sedentary sit-in of all time because they know what the TSA can (and does) do to you when you dare to try to fly.

That said, it’s still marginally less obnoxious than driving across the country (and sailing across oceans), so I do it when called upon by the minstrel gods of rock n roll.  Especially when those same singers give me a couple of days off to hang out with my mom in Glen Mills.  Good stuff.

There’s snow here (that I should be shoveling out) and the poor dog is lamed by cancer (most likely) in her shoulder and foreleg, but mom is well and the house looks great.  I’m getting work done sitting here at my mom”s kitchen table, checking 4 email boxes with only a bit more difficulty (and 2 computers) than usual.  This leg of the tour is the official start of the “working from the road” program that I should have been implementing throughout all of 2010, but was too lazy to attempt.  so far, it’s been a smashing success.  Having Emily at home to help out is actually really awesome – knowing that things will get done well in my absence is important to my mental health, I think.

Okay, time to get outside to shovel a little more of the driveway before moms gets home.

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sleep is great

Tour

So, after ill-advised drinks in Brisbane last night, I slept my entire day away today, give or take. I mean, I walked about a little, but just sitting in the room reading and laying about (and following the goddamn Eagles’ squeaker on the interwebs) was my goal of the day.  and boy did i win at my goal.  I may go out and get a bite to eat in a little while (i realized, while trying to assess why I was hungover this morning, that part of it had to do with the fact that my last meal was dinner on Saturday, and the sandwich on the plane at noon on Sunday probably didn’t count as much as I thought it did.  Days off are great for my diet, I guess, although eating less on days ON would be more beneficial, since I only have 2 days off.  Ah well.

Anyway, I’ve missed the internet while I was in Brisbane, but it doesn’t seem to have been an awfully eventful few days online or anything.

Happy Sunday/Monday night!

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Quick Update from Perth

Tour

Boy, Howdy! Time flies when you’re living in the future!

Has it really been forever, or just about that?  Yes.  Well, it’s been tiring, fun, and more than a little absurd, as you’d expect of a tour.  PerthWine_10Yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had since this tour started, and I wanted to mention it because there are so many days when I’m tired or bored-but-unable-to-do-stuff or simply sans-internet.  Yesterday was an unexpected day off here in Perth and because of the time difference between New Zealand and here, I woke up early. Quickly deciding to rent a car, I was just heading out to go wine tasting in the nearby Swan River Valley when I ran into Bobby. He was game to come when I invited, so we grabbed the car and headed out.

I put a couple pics at the bottom of this post, since I had ’em.
(…MO 2016_0803)
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On the road again (and again)

Tour

From the Unoriginal Title Department comes this, the latest installment of the unoriginal-titled epic series known as Clapboard.

I’m leaving for Tokyo and points beyond, but I’ll be in touch better than ever as long as you email me.

Thanksgiving was spectacular, Scott & Sharon’s visit has been a lot of fun (ask me about 3am steaks sometime!) and the 10 days that have led me to this have been more than ridiculous mayhem in a pretty good way.

Go Eagles, beat Bears today – show the NFL that you’re not the wishy-washy losers that you often appear to be, and make the effort to win something significant today.

I, for my part, will make an effort to be creative and do interesting things, despite the hellish travel schedule and the near-permanent jet lag.
I love you all.

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Rio and the Buddy Christ

Tour

Breaking the tradition of show-sleep-fly-eat-sleep-show-sleep-fly tradition a little bit, I went to see the big Jeezy on the top of the hill in Rio yesterday morning. The trip ended up costing 50 reals because no one wanted to wait, but that was only a few reals more than it would have cost if we’d taken the train.  As if in revenge for having been ignored pretty much since I left home, my camera insisted on shooting the mot ridiculous pictures.  It rained at the top (“Hey!  We ARE in a massive rain forest!”) and was fucking freezing, but it was totally worth it to have had the opportunity to leave the hotel.

Even if the hotel was kind of cool.

ConcreteChrist3Anyway, I’m in the airport now, almost finished with this leg of the tour.  Internet has been such a pain in the ass – how do hotels get away with charging $40/day for internet?  When, do you think, will I get used to that and just sigh and pay it?  Or not sigh and just pay it?  Right now, $40 to browse some porn and read bad blog entries doesn’t seem worth it. I’ll he happy as hell to get home and sad as hell that I won’t be staying there very long.  I’ll stay long enough to post some pictures, at least.

Happy Sunday, and go Eagles!

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BJT – Sao Paulo, Brazil

Tour

Hello from Sao Paulo!

Today’s my day off and I’m spending it not doing a damn thing.  I’m burned out, A, and B, I have no idea what to do here.  I need the rest more than I need the tourism at this point, you can be sure.

Anyway, it’s been awhile since I updated, both for reasons of shitty internet (in Santiago, the venue internet was out every 5 minutes, so I didn’t even try, and in Buenos Aires the hotel wanted $40USD/day for internet).  I’m currently in a Sheraton downtown, into which has been integrated a home-decorating mall (as far as I can tell, those and restaurants are the only two stores there).  The room here is nice, but they made the odd choice to put two single beds into the rooms we have, and the mattresses are hard. Not uncomfortably hard, but almost.  But there’s a couch that’s great for reading and I’m on the 11th floor, so that’s nice.

In anticipation of our day off today, production authorized a department-wide dinner, so, lost-soul department that I am, I went with some others to South, a restaurant like Fogo De Chao (who has their headquarters and original location here), only this one was not a chain.  The meat was spectacular and the wine was tasty and not very expensive.  I got a bottle of Brazilian Cab that was $40US, and it was one of the more expensive bottles on the list.  Good stuff.

As far as updates go, I’ve had good shows, lots of time to read, and a couple of sunny days (prior to today, of course).  I’m really bummed that I didn’t get to spend any time exploring Buenos Aires or Santiago, but them’s the breaks.  Maybe I’ll come back sometime after the madness of touring is over.  It’d be worth it just for the wine tourism.  Where’s my import company when I need it?

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BJT – Lima Peru

Tour

Hello again, this time from Lima, Peru!

First time south of the Equator!

Exciting! Drains spin backwards, the sun rises in the west and it’s springtime in late September.  Okay the drain thing and the sun thing are both lies, but i’m excited to be below the beltline of the earth.  If the earth had a crotch, I’d be sliding towards it.  For the first time in my life, south is downhill.
WTF.

Getting here yesterday was a nightmare that I won’t bore you with.  Let’s just say that when your flight is 9 hours delayed, you don’t want to be at the airport 3 hours early for the scheduled time.  Piss.  12 hours in the airport and then a 3 hour flight were enough to make sure we all slept in this morning, and then I was eating a tasty meal when the day’s only tour left, so I missed that, too.  It was a bus tour, though, which would have been cool, but not that big of a deal, really.  So I walked around the neighborhood for a long time – San Ysidro (I think) is a nice neighborhood in Lima.  I could totally live here, except that there’s not much to do right here.  I went out just now looking for a particular bar, but didn’t find it.  I think it may have been knocked down and replaced by Progress.  Like my place in Hollywood, but more successfully.

Anyway, now I sit in my hotel room, drinking a bottle of Peruvian wine (Intipalka Tannat 2008 – earthy with a little spice), eating locally-made bread (sweet, tasty!), munching on tiny peruvian apples (sour! tangy!) and biting chunks of Peruvian cheese off the wedge (Cuartirollo, similar to a mozzarella, spelled slightly different in Argentina, or so Google would have me believe.  Anyway, it’s all good.  I went to the gym today and may go again tomorrow, depending on how soon I go to bed. I’ll probably nurse a little bit more wine, work a little bit more on a treatment or two and then conk out.  This is one of the very few times that I wish ChatRoulette was still the thing to do – it’d keep me mindlessly entertained for awhile, anyway.  As it stands, it’s good because I can get some of my treatments written.

I’m not really sure how I’m going to end up structuring these treatments, but I’m going to try to start and finish in one sitting and have at least the skeleton of a story there before I quit.  These Travel Treatments are a trial run.  If I wrote one 1-page treatment a week for a year, I’d have more than 50 stories treated by the end of that year.  That’d be madness!
Good madness, but still!

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BJT – San Jose, Costa Rica

Tour

Mexico City’s show was uneventful.

We loaded in, I read a lot, then the show happened and we loaded out.  Yesterday was an annoyingly full day of travel, as we went Mexico City -> Panama City -> San Jose.  We got here just in time for me to get some dinner with the audio guys at a steak place.  Good stuff.

Today’s another show, although the gear isn’t fully here yet, so that’ll be fun.  It’s a quick load in and out today, it seems, so less time for reading.  Also no time to see anything – our walk to the restaurant last night could’ve been in any city the world over – not much going on there.  I’m feeling bitter about not being able to see anything on this trip.  It comes in waves, but it’ll pass.  I’m planning a new thing for when I’m home anyway, and also got invited to do Christmas in Australia and New Years’ in Bali – if only I could rationalize *that*.

Anyway, I still haven’t taken any pictures of note, but I’ll do my best to change that today as long as the rain holds off.  It was good in Mexico City – I barely got wet at all, but it’s looking worse today.  Fun times!

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BJT – Mexico City

Tour

Sitting in the 15-pass on the way here from the airport (here being the Presidente Intercontinental in Mexico City), I had all sorts of half-formed thoughts about wandering, about watching out the window, and about how seasoned tour guys don’t seem to do it.  I mean, they take some advantage (a couple of guys went to the pyramids yesterday on a pseudo-day-off – how, I do not know), but all these things and places seem to blend together in their minds, or else they’re so used to it that they don’t care.  Never having been to Mexico City, or really anywhere in Mexico for that matter, everything I could see on the ride was interesting to me.  They use 8 numbers for their phones here.  The first branding I could see from my window (American, Window, Exit Row, starboard side) was that on a wal-mart store in what must have been a suburb.  If the tricks of light didn’t deceive (it was dusk, afterall), those suburbs seem to go on awhile.

Anyway, the half-formed thoughts were about how much of the world I have not seen and about how I would like to be able to see it versus how I am seeing the small parts I *am* seeing. Those two positions (what I want and the reality of my recent travels) are on distant ends of a pole, with one glaring exception – someone else is paying.  Thinking about the traveling I could get done on the amount of money the tour has to spend to get me around is truly staggering; if I spent 1/4 of the money per day they spend on me, I’d be amazed.  Honestly, I’d bet it’d be 1/10.  I’d spend it, though.  You can bet I’d eat my way around the world.

So here I sit – Presidente Intercontinental, feeling like I’m not connecting things as well as I should.  Feeling a little out of touch, and not in the phones, internet, email sense but in some way that I’m not threading things together the best possible way.  Like I need to seriously optimize my code to run this new program or something.  It’s a hazard, I’d hazard, of living the sort of life where you try to always do the most interesting thing available to you at any given time without sacrificing your history to do that.  That’s the first time I’ve written that, or said it, and written out longhand it seems daunting, actually.  Like a manifesto.  Or something you’d carve on a headstone.  There’s an image.  “Here lies Matt, having always tried to do the thing that was most interesting.  Need I chisel more?”

I have an FTP program on my phone, so I’ll try to snap some phonepics while I’m here to update with immediately. Failing that, I’ll do a big ol’ trip photo update when I get back.  Fun times.

Crowd at the O2
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The O2 gets crowded

Tour

This is what it  looks like from under the stage when I lift the little black fabric that covers the gap between the stage and the slightly-higher drum/guitar/bass riser under which I sit.

I wandered around London for a couple of hours today, crossing every bridge as I came to it (Tower, London, Southwark, Millennium), and also walked along the riverwalk quite a ways, too.

Fun times.

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London Bridging

Tour

Here I am, back on Bon Jovi and back to not blogging. Silliness, I tell you, when I’m half a world away from home and trying to do new things (as well as some old ones).

So far, the shows have been fine – Jon picked out a song that wasn’t on my computer (networking was down again) and that pointed out the fact that I needed to have the entire archive on the laptop, too, so that’s what I did.  In the meanwhile, I’m trying to update the “everything” file with the latest version of every song so I can make sure that each night looks identical to the last night.  I’m hoping, for example, that tonight’s set list is much less obscure than the one from the other night – I was rushing to get everything in and everyone was waiting on me.  Fun times.

Also, I’d really like to get networking working properly on these two machines, but failing that, I’ll at least teach myself the proper use of bluetooth filesharing so I can get one file back and forth with ease.

Okay, enough shop talk, except to say that I might be continuing on this tour by going to South America in September.  We’ll see.

On Monday I’m going to go to Stonehenge (on the summer solstice, even – I’m such a hippie!), and then to Bath and to see the Magna Carta on a bus tour that some of the other roadies are going on.  Should be fun.  I’ll bring my camera there, as I have yet to even pull it out of the bag I brought it in.  Ghetto!

The lifted restrictions on pub hours have allowed me to stay out late one night, and will probably allow the same thing in the future, although I will be trying to be a good boy and going to bed early if there’s nothing specific planned or if I have a long day ahead (Sunday night seems especially likely).

And that’s that.  Time to go search for some internet so I can post this bastard and get on with my waiting.

Waiting-HO!

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Drew Hawaii

Vacation

Hanauama BayWe made it back from Hawaii!

2500 miles from mainland in the middle of the Pacific (and south of the Tropic of Cancer), Hawaii provided the backdrop of Drew’s Bachelor Weekend. The surprise worked and Drew had a great time, which was the #1 most important thing – in fact, it was the only thing.  As icing on the cake, I had a great time, too.  We had great weather, rented fun scooters and drove almost all the way around the island.  It rained, after a fashion, for a little while on a couple of days, but it wasn’t even enough to get you wet.  Awesome.  We swam in the balmy-warm ocean, saw sea turtles and pineapple fields, and managed to avoid sunburn almost altogether.

Anyway, check out my gallery of all the images after the break if you want.

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Good things about the trip so far

Tour

Yesterday, I was too harsh on the trip thus far, and I intend to correct that this morning.

First of all, I was in New York. New York is one of my favorite places in the country, and although I get jaded because it’s also the place I visit most often, it’s only fair to note that I *always* like visiting New York.  It’s a slice of home for me, and I love being there.

Second, while in NYC, I got to see three of my favorite people – Mike, Russ and Megan.  Megs was the big surprise because she lives in DC, but since she had to be in town for a work thing, they sent her up a night early and she rallied and came out late-night style to hang out with me.  Awesome.  Michael trekked all the way back into the city for a quick dinner, and Russ came across town to have drinks – everyone went out of their way to come hang out with me and that’s an honor.  And besides old friends, I also got to see Lindsay, who took me to a hilarious late-night “happy hour” Broadway event where Stanley Tucci ended up pouring me a Chopin on the rocks.  She also suggested and then met me for pizza when I was craving New York’s finest.  Good stuff.

For the first time in years, I didn’t have to stay in a Hotel, either.  I stayed in a friend’s studio apartment, which was also pretty cool.  While it wasn’t free, it was cheaper than a hotel and pretty much exactly the same thing – a studio (except this had a kitchen that I didn’t have time to use) apartment in New York.  In fact, it was bigger than most of the hotel rooms I rent.  It’s in a great neighborhood on the upper west side, just a quick train ride to work – a fact that makes it more convenient in some ways than even my favorite place in Times Square (that’s now $400/night to which I’ll never return) That was pretty cool.

After NY, I took a bus to Hershey.  I hear that I could have taken a train, which also would have been cool (and a little faster), but I didn’t think to check on that, so a bus it was.  No trouble, and I got to read my Kindle more.  I’ve been reading the shit out of things on my Kindle – it’s almost time to start looking through the Project Gutenberg library and such for more fodder.  I still haven’t bought anything from the Kindle store because fuck DRM and because I have enough to read already.  Eventually, when I have no other choice I certainly will buy something, but I’m in no hurry to load my Kindle up with hundreds of dollars worth of bits and bytes that I don’t even get to own.  But having and using the Kindle is a definite plus for me while I’m on the road.

Hershey has been relaxing.  I’ve been catching up on my sleep (I think I got nine consecutive hours two nights in a row now!) and generally keeping out of harm’s way.  Set up at the venue went way more smoothly than I thought it would, and I could be ready to prompt in under an hour (and that includes having pulled the monitors off the stage to keep rain off them).  It’s looking more and more like I might have to head back to the east coast for the Meadowlands shows, but we’ll see – it’s all still totally up in the air right now.  It’s not like I’d be buying a ticket for Monday night or anything, right?

Okay, this update is way too long.  Tonight I fly home and meet Drew for the start of his Bachelor party weekend.  I hope he doesn’t have any clue as to our activities (any more clues than I’ve already given him, that is), but you never know.  He’s smart, and I’m loose-lipped – a deadly combination for secrets.  We’ll see soon enough, right?

Happy Wednesday.

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Stupidly Busy

Vacation

Over the last few days, I’ve been too busy to even check my email. I look at the sender, and even if it’s not spam, if I don’t have to deal with it right away, I just ignore it.  So if that’s been you, I apologize.  The fact is, just like in the title of my email, I’ve been stupidly busy.  Setting up six new computers takes a better system than I have in place, and it takes more time than I had to do it, too.  If there’s ever a next time, I’ll know that and build it in.  The new computers helped, but they didn’t solve the problem – that’s a network issue that I’m going to deal with sooner rather than later.

Anyway, not important to anyone but me, but still, something I’m thinking about.  Now I’m on Bon Jovi for two and a half days, which should be fun. By fun, I of course mean not at all fun, but instead infuriating, since my gear hasn’t arrived and I’m flying blind, pretty much, given that we’re in Hershey, PA, which is in the middle of nowhere.  Geh.

Anyway, a quick update for you – just wanted to keep being better about writing, especially since I got such a nice compliment on my website the other day.

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Hotel Review – Crowne Plaza, Tulsa

Tour

What the hell, I can’t resist.

Pros:

  • Fitted Bottom Sheet
  • Comfy reading chair

Cons:

  • A/C didn’t work
  • mattress less comfy than average
  • windows didn’t open
  • no free WiFi

Notes:
Why is it so goddamn impossible to get A/C working? (Why is A/C the shorthand for Air Conditioning, anyway?

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Hotel Review – Westin Dallas CityCenter

Tour

It’s occurred to me that I could do a pretty thorough series of hotel reviews while on this tour, and, while I’m not that interested in writing (or reading) reviews, I thought it might be a neat experiment to try it out at least once.  I don’t have any tools like blacklights or checklists to keep myself on task, and I don’t have an overarching theme or clear to the review – yet more ammunition against writing anything, but still.  As a final caveat, I’m a low-maintenance traveller.  I read other reviews and wonder how these people even get through the night.  I don’t care about the front desk, the bellhops or really, the size of the room.  I’m just interested in my experience, so here it is.

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Minneapolis/St. Paul

Tour

Well, here I am.

I put my bike under the cover, I didn’t mow the lawn, and I set the sprinklers to go on occasionally, hopefully spurring the growth of new grass in my half-dead-and-half-jungle yard. Fucking yardwork.  Here’s the problem – I want to have a great, lush yard and gardens, but I’m never home to deal with it.  Quandary.  I’m sad that I can’t ride my bike, too, but this tour is making me the money I need to insure it and to pay tickets and such that I’m sure I owe.  2010 has been a pretty good year for getting myself into less trouble than I’m getting into, but it’s barely a third complete, so I’ve got plenty of time.

I’m just about starved out on the whole JVS/Tech front, but I do believe that I could manage to get more work if (again) I was home to deal with it.  I’m starting to sound like a broken record.  Records were like CDs… wait, no one remembers those, either.  They were these huge black disks that people used to play music and occasionally they’d skip, repeating the same section over and over…

My wine is in secondary, and I can’t check on it until I get home, so I have to just forget about it for now.  When I started the siphon, I got to taste a little and it tasted like a cross between grape juice and wine, so I guess that’s pretty good for now.  I don’t know what else will happen to the must to make it wine, but something, probably, right?  Also, I don’t know if there’s enough must in the carboy – it’s not full up to the neck, so maybe there’s too much air on the wine?  Man, it’s amazing how little shit I know, huh?

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Glendale is not a city

Tour

As far as I can tell, Glendale, AZ is more of a strip mall than a town. I’m in a Renaissance of some sort, and man, what a disaster.  I just ate a burger at Johny Rockets because every restaurant in the area is a chain, and that’s where I could spend the least money.  I guess I could have gone to Margaritaville.  Geh.

Anyway, we’re on an early call because some departments couldn’t get their acts together and Jon’s pissed.  That’s fine with me because I’ll just go to bed early, then get up, load in and go see a movie.  WTF.  Maybe I’ll also get some writing done.  Or at least outlining.  That’s what I should do tonight, but I’m not mentally prepared tonight.  I think I could settle into a routine, though, with this whole living on a bus thing.  Fortunately for me, it’s almost over.

I just wanted to say hi.  Happy Birthday to Justin, too, whom I didn’t call today.  Bad cousin, me.