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The Writings on the Stall

Monday, 2004-12-20

the journey

Although this entry is most definitely not even close to real time, I've not been around my computer long enough to log the adventures in Scotland.

So we wake up — it's about time to start "the journey" as I'll call it. Ahead: 18 hours of travel. The taxi should soon be on its way to take us to the airport.

Walking out the apartment there's seventies music in the air. Rounding the corner of the stairs a heavy-set bald man feeling his music appears. The driver's side doors to his minivan face us, swung wide open. A bit odd, but that always makes it interesting.

We hop in the van; middle seats are gone. Didn't catch the driver's real name, but he did mention that others call him Honest Abe.

Honest Abe: Tell Sherlock Holmes Abe says hello.
Gemma: Isn't Sherlock Holmes English?
Jonathan [to Gemma]: Yeah.
[Gemma and Jonathan laugh, heartily.]

Austin to Houston. Houston to Newark. Read Bruce Sterling's Tomorrow Now along the way. Memorable passages likely to follow in the near future.

At Newark Gemma, Catherine, Jill and David played a little trick on this naïve American: they convinced me I've pronounced Dublin incorrectly all along. The proper way to say Dublin is "Dooblin"; thanks for the tip, guys.

Later at Newark I had a beer at the Brooklyn Jazz Bar. Having had Brooklyn Lager before, I asked the bartender for a taste of Brooklyn Weisse. Then ordered a pint of the lager and the bartender replied "figured as much." What, you figured I wouldn't want the weisse? "Scrap that. I'll have the weisse." Jackass.

Mid-flight, I heard Radiohead and found Gemma listening to Kid A on her iPod. Considering her distaste for Radiohead — and myself a fan — this made her boyfriend quite proud.

We landed safely at Glasgow Airport (obviously) and headed out the plane to pick up our baggage. In the baggage claim area is a smoking section, which I noticed on the last visit. What's peculiar about this particular area is that no walls separate cigarette smoke from the rest of the room. Instead, smoke bellows along the ceiling, rendering the division pointless.

After a brief drive through the country-side we arive at Ashita and Ian's house in Balfron.

Still working on other "catch-up" articles. Expect to see them soon.

Saturday, 2004-12-18

land trippin'

The sweaters bought for the trip to Scotland two years ago still fit. I'd expected them to be eaten by moths or something already. The "winter clothes" side of my closet is being accessed, which means: I'm either moving or traveling.

At some unspecified time today, we're headed to Scotland — where Guinness flows like water and people drive on the wrong side of the road. If any of this sounds familiar, you have a great memory. Experiences to follow...

Wednesday, 2004-12-08

hyp(ocratic) britpop

Twice today Gemma downed Keane (specifically their single "Somewhere Only We Know"); both times I've had her eat her words. And both times she referred to the band in a manner that isn't to be repeated. Children may be reading.

See, she happens to love Travis and will often mention how they grew up only a short distance from where she did in Scotland. Keane, like Travis, hails from the UK. Both groups sound like whiny Brits — much like Gemma, but I digress. The lead singers of both bands have the same strain in their voices. Not to mention their overall sounds evoke similar emotion in this listener.

My intention isn't to knock Britpop. If it were, we'd find me as hypocritical — been listening to plenty of The Verve/Richard Ashcroft these days. No, this entry should show how Gemma picking on Keane is akin to picking on her Travis.

Update 2005-12-25 22:18: Track removed from server.