19:52 35,000 feet Above America, after leaving Tampa…
Turbulance again, though I thought this would be a smoother ride. Nothing like flying up and against the gulf stream. There is no walking allowed or getting up, we’re locked into our seats. The New Yorkers who were a festive bunch before we took off are quiet. Their accents are thick and rich and yes can be annoying, but they are joyous – or were joyous. Maybe we’re going against the wind. Soon the farts will be passed, the sweat which is starting to kick in will trickle off down on skin. At least I had enough time to grab a salad and ice tea. I also have my seat with the extra leg room, which has been a bonus on all of these flights. The pilot is trying to get out of the wind. The woman sitting in front of me is reading Shades in LARGE font and I find myself peeking over her shoulder and then the plane shakes and I stop looking over her shoulder. As if God is warning me…keep it up…I will shake this thing all I want. They are handing out snacks, little bags, small as a nickel bag and maybe some pretzels. The woman reading SHADES squirms in her seat. Looks like I will be home before midnight, maybe by 11? Man what the heck is this turbulence? I have another Bud Lite coming. I should write about my run today in Minneapolis. I love this run; it takes me over the Mississippi, passed some old remnants of factories. The pilot said the rocking should last about twenty minutes. Nice. It’s tough to type…anyway, got my run in and headed out to find the house where the Replacements took the picture for their Let it Be cover. Mike Sweeney sent it to me earlier and I popped the address in the GPS since I had time before dropping off the rental. I arrived there in a few minutes. I saw a man riding a bicycle who walked up and in the house. I ran up and knocked on the front door, but I’m sure he had run into many Mats fans. An Asian woman – a hipster - walked past and I asked her like an idiot is this where The Replacements took their? Who? She asked. The Replacements. I don’t know? Before I pulled away I saw a man walking his dog, roughly around the age of 50. A fair assumption he should know The Replacements. I walked up to him. Excuse me? He was ignoring me. I walked closer. Excuse me? I got his attention. He looked at me and said, “I’m deaf.” The genius that I am stays with the question thus ignoring his disability. Is this where The Replacements took the picture for the Let It Be album cover? The Beatles? He asked. No. He asked me to write my question down into his smart phone. He asked if I checked Wikapedia…he looked it up, found the cover and we both walked up and down the sidewalk inspecting the house in silence. He shook his head and said, I don’t think so…I drove off after taking this picture for your discernment.
8/28/12 11:30 Fargo
Yesterday was a travelling day. Flew from Islip to Baltimore and then Chicago and then to Minneapolis, and then drove three plus hours through rush hour traffic till I hit 94. The speed limit is 70. I was pulled over for travelling 89. With an apology and confusion where the speed dominator was, the officer gave me a written warning. After getting lost to my hotel in Moor Head, I was given directions from the front office. Found the place and a burrito spot. The woman at the front desk was very pleasant and pushed back her blonde bob hair cut which was cut fashionably…she looked like she could be a second cousin, just in the eyes. Ate dinner late. Beer and bed, and how I stunk. Awaful stench, but I fell asleep soundly in my stench and clean sheets. Worked on some emails, showered, shaved and out of the door for a 0900 appointment. I was early and picked up some donuts and muffins for my 10:00 appointment. I’m not looking forward to driving three plus hours back to MSP, but I have tickets to a Twins game tonight and will hang out with Dan Schwartz - the baseball encyclopedia. Time to work….I wanted to write something in Fargo and this was it.
8/26/12 20:07 Home
Where else would I be? I woke up this morning at 0600, made coffee and read the paper. Knowing I have a few hours to myself in the house is a blessing. With the rest of the family asleep, I fed the cats, watered the garden. The corn is growing and read the paper outside. The air was warm, not humid; there was a chill, as low scud clouds lingered. When is it going to rain? It’s been more than a week, well a little more, but the ground feels brittle, the leaves are falling from the black oak or whatever that beast is we have in our backyard. We went to church. Typically we are racing and I kick myself for not jumping in the shower at 0800, instead I wait for the last minute. Why? Because I like to know I can take my time on Sunday mornings, it’s the one day out of the week I don’t need to rush. Soon, we will be back at the 0900 service. This was Amanda’s last Sunday before she heads off to Simmons. I will miss her. Just knowing she is here and I can count on her to help out. I’m proud of her. This is a great opportunity and I know she is close to Katie and Ben and only a few hours away from us. Ali made the decision to stop therapy this week. Amanda's move and packing will be draining enough. Amanda is concerned about Ali’s health and wellness. I mentioned both of their names at church. Afterwards we came home briefly. There was enough time to give Emma Tess a driving lesson at the empty parking lot at the train station. She did well and after about fifteen minutes of back and forth and teaching the blind spots - I let her coast the minivan onto the street and up into the driveway. She almost made it all the way, but the front passenger side ended up in the bed of plants. Afterwards we went to Ma Pa’s house - for Santi’s birthday. Seeing my nephews refer to my sisters as Mom is still amazing, she’s not a mother she’s a little shit who listens to Michael Jackson who has pictures of him all over her room, go ahead go upstairs and look. Now the rooms are different. The evidence of those young lives have been replaced with clean walls and photographs. Our lives have evolved. It’s hard to see the flaking paint on the exterior cedar shakes which my father scraped and painted so many times over the decades, the roof looks sunken in one area, the ceilings in the rooms have cracks and stains. Dad still tossed the ball with us and my nephews refer to his as Grand Da. He looks to be in good shape, doesn’t smoke any longer and has been sober for more than twelve years. My children don’t have a memory of my father with a beer. I on the other hand had three Corona’s with the marinated chicken and tender steak my brother-in-law cooked up on the BBQ. It was delicious and ice cream cake and some water, I was stuffed on the ride home. In church the message for all of us was on love, from Tuesday’s with Morrie: Love is the only rational act. What a wonderful message Rev. Elaine had for all of us - to take in the moment we are currently in and be present in it. Be where you are and be in the moment.
8/08/12 19:16 Marriott Pittsburgh
Last night I was at the Pirates game with EJ Friday one of my contacts when he worked at Sanofi a couple of years ago. We had a burger and beer before the game and headed into the stadium. Most of his conversations revolved around work which is good, we’re supposed discuss business since I will expense the tickets and food. The stadium is beautiful with the yellow Roberto Clemente bridge, crossing over the river that runs along the stadium. I took the new subway to the stadium for free. Next year they will charge for the service. The Bucs were blown out of the water by the Diamondbacks, ten to four. Marte hit a dinger for the Bucs, fireworks went off. We had a good time. I don’t think I will forget faint light from the sunset on the city skyline. Each building appeared crisp. The Pirates are having a very good season which is a shock to the city. The people here are very friendly and need to have a winning team. While I’m writing this, I’m watching tonight’s game and getting distracted. I could walk to the stadium from here and chill out in the stadium. Then again I did it last night. I don’t want the stadium to be the only highlight in this city. It is a sports town. I learned this important fact during my first meeting with three women who love the Steelers, Penguins and the Pirates in that order. Their knowledge of these teams was shocking. I was embarrassed since I know little compared to them. That was a sort of sexist comment. I think instead of going to the game, I will hit the pool. Today was busy from a call before my 9:00 to close to 3:00, I had four appointments. I found the original Forbes Field wall on the campus at UPitt and took some pictures, as well as the home plate which is in one of the buildings. It was one of my goals for this trip. After a late afternoon conference call, I drove to the Andy Warhol museum, which is concrete and sparse; I wish Emma was there, she would have enjoyed it considering there were substantial displays of his photographs, movies and videos. There was a video entitled Kennedy’s on beach in Montauk. John Junior was buried up to his neck in sand, I could see the fillings in his teeth, he appeared like his father. One of the kids, was it Caroline who asked if Andy had his Polaroid. He said it was back at the house. The scene could have been filmed by any family on any beach, so there was a sense of peeking into the private lives of these people. Overall I enjoyed Warhol’s work, especially a display of angels and on the other side of the wall - mothers and their children which was a project he abandoned swiftly.