I sit by and watch the river flow,
I sit by and watch the traffic go.
Imagine something of your very own,
Something you can have and hold;
I'd build a road in gold,
Just to have some dreaming,
Dreaming is free...
Don't dream it's over, 'cos, miraculously, it's not. As is generally the case in my life, I was hit by a bolt from the blue three weeks ago today. I'm not going to tell you what it means just yet (and by you I mean the two or three people who bother to read this monthly rambling I call Vitriol), but I will say that I'm happier than I've been in a long time. Nothing's set in stone, and, as I often say, life has a funny way of turning around and biting you in the ass; nevertheless, for the first time in a few years I see a light at the end of the tunnel. :) And this time I'm confident that it's not an oncoming train... The journey through that tunnel won't always be fun, and won't always be easy... but it will always be worth it, I'm certain.
With that vague declaration in mind, it's difficult for me to get too riled up about anything lately. Heh-heh... So I don't think I'll be ranting this month.
I found myself with an unexpected (and unprecedented, since my promotion in May 2002) three days off from work this past week. Well, the first one was planned... It was good to see that things functioned mostly smoothly in my absence, with only one problem requiring my immediate assistance by phone. I'm leaving for Boston on the 10th, and returning to work on the 16th, so it's reassuring to know that I can leave these people alone for a while after all. ;) My Superman complex often keeps me from taking well-deserved time off...
I'm very much looking forward to Boston. This will be my third mini-vacation there, and the centerpiece of the trip is a talk by the Dalai Lama at the FleetCenter. Other things I've planned include a tour of the Samuel Adams brewery (mmm, Sam Adams...), a return to Walden Pond, and maybe a visit to the South End Jazz Festival. Should be relaxing and fun.
Barbara and I saw Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band early in August, and I think it may well have been the best concert I've been to this year. And that's saying something! Ringo's such a great guy, and so full of energy, and the music... ah, the music. In addition to his own songs, and some of the music he sang while with a little group called the Beatles, the bandmembers performed some of their own hits. The All-Starrs this time around were John Waite, Paul Carrack, Colin Hay (of Men At Work), Sheila E, and sax player Mark Rivera, so we got to hear great stuff like "Tempted," "Down Under," "The Glamorous Life," and "Missing You" in addition to "Photograph," "You're Sixteen," "Don't Pass Me By," "It Don't Come Easy," and even a wonderfully moving "Here Comes the Sun," written by Ringo's friend and onetime bandmate George Harrison.
I saw the new "Tomb Raider" movie twice last month, and obviously enjoyed it. I'd say it was as good as the first, though I don't think it did as well at the box office. On the other hand, from what I've been reading, movies in general aren't doing all that well this summer.
Where were you when the lights went out? I was at work, and had to deal with everyone's computers being shut down abruptly, except for mine, and the finance manager's, and the servers, all of which are plugged into uninterruptible power supplies. We lost power completely for twenty minutes or so, and then dealt with flickers for a while, but by 5:45 PM or so, the power came back on and stayed on. I had to stay late nonetheless, to make sure that all the servers were back online and all the services were running normally. Couldn't go home the normal way, either, as the trains weren't running; Barbara picked me up at the office a few hours later. The next day, Yesika and our outgoing receptionist, Nicole, and I went to New York, but we had to take the PATH train in, as buses were not being allowed into the City, the Port Authority Bus Terminal still being shut down. It was an interesting day; the Times Square area had power, but a few blocks down everything was still dark, as was the East Side. I dragged us all the way down to the Pioneer, only to find Justyna, the waitress, outside the darkened establishment. She told us they weren't open yet, but would be whenever the power came back on; since no one knew when that would be, though, we reluctantly left, and ended up spending the rest of the evening in Hoboken, where the electricity was flowing freely.
With "The Lord of the Rings" behind me, I've started reading Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" novels, on the recommendation of a friend. I'm amused and impressed. He's sorta done for fantasy what Douglas Adams did for science fiction. I'm on the third book, "Equal Rites," at the moment...
The music thing is moving along, too. I've finished "Hole in the Wall,"
which will be on the album I still hope to complete by year's end. I also recorded a cover of
the Standells' "Dirty Water," an ode to Boston and its college women. Heh... I'd conceived of
recording it back when I visited Beantown last year. A short instrumental, "Inspired by My Muse,"
was in fact inspired by my muse, and I put it together over the course of two hours or so. It
and the fleshed-out "Hate Theme from 'Waiting for X'" that I've started looking at again are not
going to be on this album, I don't think... A new song has started taking shape in my head; actually,
"That's Just What I Am" also first came to me (as a title, anyway) last October in Boston, partly in
response to Aimee Mann's "That's Just What You Are." And I'll be writing "Dances on Clouds" and
"Second Shot" in the near future. Ugh, I have to finish this first album soon, because I've already
got a second one building up! Still not sure what to call this one, though... Well, wish me a happy
birthday on the 29th, if'n ya want to, and I'll see you next month.
- A (firstname.lastname@example.org)