On the Road

On the Road: 2002

3 June 2002

"You are such a fool to worry like you do.
I know it's tough
and you can never get enough of what you don't really need now.
My oh my.
You've got to get yourself together.
You've got stuck in a moment and you can't get out of it.
O Lord, look at you now.
You've got yourself stuck in a moment and you can't get out of it."
- Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of, U2

World War I started with a political assassination and the Great War for Mattopia ended with one. In all, mine was a six-year struggle which culminated in a 50-day war. Now that the dust is settling, it seems Mattopia is in a better state than the rest of the world.

Day One on the new job was far from what I had grown accustomed to over the past six years. My primary accomplishments on Monday were to apply for a visa to Kazakhstan and book air passage to The Netherlands. I leave Saturday morning. I'll be back around August 10. If all goes according to plan, that'll include a bonus week of vacation. I'll have to find someplace interesting to visit while I'm out there. The mind reels at the possibilities...

If I could spend time in New York and Europe every year, I'd be well on my way to living the life I've imagined.

Oddly enough, the assassination was the release I needed to detach myself from the evil lurking so disturbingly close to home. Now I'm officially "unstuck." However, I realize some reinvention is in order. "Zoo Station" is my theme song right now.

The transition from the old to the new was carried out via a week in the Big Apple. It was a symbolic trip in many ways. New York is my "adopted home town" and it's the birthplace of my wanderlust. This trip served as an excellent "soul check." Yeah. I'm still chirpin' about heart and soul. Now more than ever.

Putting things in perspective:

  • It was the first trip I'd taken in almost seven months (a long time at home for a groupie)...
  • It was my first trip anywhere in almost two years that did not involve my band...
  • It was my first trip to New York in 11 years outside the employment of a particular software company...
  • It was my first trip to New York without the Twin Towers. Ever.

The primary reason for the trip was a wedding. And it was a truly neat, traditional Jewish wedding. I've never seen one like it and I wish Ian and Arianne all the best. Having missed three weddings last year because of a rock band fronted by a man named after a hearing aid, it felt good to finally make it to one. It was also great to see a lot of old friends at the wedding and in Matthattan.

After the wedding, my jaunt down to New York City was designed to wear me out before what I anticipated would be a slow first few weeks on the new job. Little did I know I'd be scrambling to get things done before a two-month adventure abroad.

Among the NYC shenanigans, I give high marks to Billy Bob Thornton, the singer who has an acting career on the side. He was highly entertaining at Joe's Pub, my new favorite live music venue. Billy Bob's had quite the life and I think we could have some really interesting conversations. He says he's known four people who had no soul. Shoot. I could introduce him to several in the Denver Tech Center. That area seems to be a nesting ground for soulless wonders.

As much as I like Billy Bob and admire his work, I still think Angelina should trade up. Unfortunately, she wasn't at the show. Last I heard she was out in Asia somewhere doing stuff for the UN.

Also, I was down at the World Trade Center for the ceremony marking the end of the clean up phase. Having spent time down there taking pictures and standing in awe between the two towers by day and by night, it's still unfathomable what happened. After the ceremony I was able to get a very close up look at the pit. I stood next to a girl holding on to a picture of a loved one lost in the attack, crying. There was still a lot of grief down there. It put the bigger picture in perspective.

Moving back up to Broadway, the best new show is Urinetown The Musical. They were robbed Sunday night at the Tony Awards. Millie might be good; I didn't see it but I don't think it could compete with the ingeniously sly humor of this show about a young man fighting for the right of people to pee for free. It's the kind of material I could relate to. Think Sweeney Todd. Think Little Shop of Horrors (the musical not the cheesy horror movie which served as its inspiration). Those are the only shows I can think of that come close to the spirit of Urinetown. (Editor's note 24 Feb. 2014: The show is currently enjoying a limited engagement in London - and there's more info at Official Theatre!)

Oh yeah... and then there was Shakira at the Today Show, watched from the friendly confines of Dean & DeLuca. Killed two birds with one stone that way. Hot coffee and a pop tart live. (She needs to trade up, too.)

A very, very tiny portion of my delusions of grandeur briefly met with reality as I strolled 5th Avenue toting bags from Dean & DeLuca and Burberry. While I was in "Big Man" mode, I shoulda gone down to Mulberry Street. I'm looking forward to more of that... after I sell The Great American Screenplay.

I've got tons of notes to flesh out my latest NY trip, but it'll be a while before all the details get typed up; The Netherlands await. At some point I'll fill in the gaps, including where to go in Matthattan for the Perfect Pint, my experience at The People's Court, two hours of rain delays at Yankee Stadium, more on Billy Bob, Urinetown, and a lot of other nonsense.

It's time to live for the future and build on the past.

The goal will always be El-e-va-tion.

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