With the exception of curly finger nails, Howard Hughes-types and those less wealthy shut-ins who smell vaguely of rancid cranberries and Grandpa's cardigan, everyone loves traveling. We hear that guy with the brogue during the interminably long commercial break between Double Jeopardy and Final Jeopardy admonishing us to "Visit Scotland" and we picture ourselves in some verdant meadow, wearing plaid, eating sheep's innards. We smell great gumbo and fantasize about a late evening, two-third blotto, watching jazz in a smoky New Orleans dungeon, drinking Brandy Milk Punch. We see a friends photographs from Eastern Europe and we imagine ourselves...ah...doing whatever cold-ass, root-vegetable things they do over there. To a certain extent, we all have a case of wanderlust, again, purposely disremembering about the Spruce Goose building contingent here.
The difference for me? I like actually traveling. Not ending up in a far off distant land, but, you know, the actual act of traveling. I enjoy sitting in the car between shows on tour, reading a Michael Malone book. If I can make it through take-off with losing my airport Sausage McMuffin, I really have no problem with flying, what with the free ginger ale, the little safety cards, the Sky Mall hawking cat massagers and Lord of the Rings themed condoms. Even the oft-maligned (and I'm pointing the finger squarely at myself) San Francisco bus system can be a downright enjoyable affair, if you're lucky enough to find a seat on a bus where a vagrant has yet to have his morning bowel movement.
I'll go as far as to say I've actually hankered for a longer commute. See, when I'm going to work, its about a twenty-five jaunt on the ol' electric bus and, frankly, that isn't enough time to really enjoy traveling. I like reading my book, doing the crossword, enjoying an album, or, doing all three in homage to some many-armed Hindu god of multi-tasking. Of course, most books have sizable chapters which are not easily conquered in short amount of time. Same goes for the crossword, unless its Monday or Tuesday*. As for albums, well, here's the thing: when a band puts out an album, not just a collection of songs but a real album, I have to listen to the whole thing, front to back. Like "Dark Side of the Moon": that's an album. You can't really pick a track or two there. You must hear the squealing woman for the full 43 minutes. There is no other option.
And there's always a new album. Last year, I went through a long, damn near monogamous relationship with "Astral Weeks" again. For a month or so "The Trials of Van Occupanther" kept me wishing for a trainee bus driver who'd yet to develop the "drive away while you cuss at me" move that the guy who usually drives my bus has perfected. "The Body, The Blood, The Machine", Aquemini", "Sticky Fingers": at some point, on some bus, in the not so distant past, I wanted to miss my stop and end up at the Ferry building buying overpriced cheese just so I wouldn't have to upset my listening experience and tread hangdog into the office to write a Motion in Limine no one will ever read.
Thankfully, I don't have to do that anymore. I quit.
Furthermore, the reason that I quit was to do exactly what made me not want to get off the bus in the first place. We're recording an album.
Was that a cumbersome enough way to announce that news? I think yes. But I'm rusty (as you can see from the date of the last post) and I wanted to build suspense. And nothing builds suspense like, uh, talking about the bus. In fact, most Hitchcock movies have extended conversations about mass transit conveyances. Event Horizon, you'll recall, is about a gigantic cosmic bus for a bunch of really unhappy astronauts. This blog is a mere follower.
And, so, it comes full circle. This blog was originally hatched to chronicle the recording of our first album, a few day sprint through all the songs we knew in a city we weren't in love with in a house with cats and a singer with cat allergies. This time? Much more organized. We're staying put in gloomy San Francisco, we're spending more than three days in a studio, and we're keeping Peter in a hermetically sealed man-sized Tupperware. In fact, there are plenty of details worth knowing. But for now, in the interest of brevity and some Christmas shopping I somehow, somehow still haven't done, I'll wrap it up. Until soon.
* The crossword gets incrementally harder each day, with Monday being the easiest while Friday and Saturday are nearly opaque to most. Sunday's just really, really big; big enough that finishing one has often made me question the reason I'm alive.