I'm flying over Colorado on the way to Boston. We are flying at 35,207 feet according to the map on the seat in front of me. Airspeed is currently 558 MPH. TRI714 is probably drafting us right now and will undoubtedly try and sling-shot past us once we cross the Mississippi. But I hope you have your arm warmers on, dude. Because it's minus 62 degrees out there.
It's just occurred to me that I haven't left the Pacific time zone in over a year. That's most likely some sort of record, as I used to travel a lot. There was a period when I was living in New York and traveling to London almost weekly. Then there was a period when I was living in California but was in New York all the time. And when Mary and I first start dating, she lived in California and I lived in New York. So needless to say there was a lot of flying involved during the courtship. I have no idea how many times I visited her, but I remember exactly how many times she came to visit me - twice.
I used to be a pro at this stuff - a certified road warrior. Kind of Like George Clooney in Up In The Air , but without the suit. Back in the day, I was an honorary Jedi in the eyes of United Airlines because I had so many frequent flyer miles. There was the Red Carpet Club, upgrades on virtually every flight and I even got to take a shower at Heathrow when I got off the evening flight from JFK. My bags were usually in the first few that came out at baggage claim. And I got these really sweet luggage tags one year.
Tonight however, I am sitting in 24B, a middle seat 3 rows from the back. I'm not on a United flight, but that doesn't matter anymore anyway. Those bastards forget who you are the minute you stop flying with them every few weeks.
Maybe the new job will allow me to rejoin the traveling elite, I don't know. But really, who cares? Haven't all the airlines except for maybe a few foreign flag carriers reduced their frequent customer programs to next to nothing anyway?
The plane is filled with people headed to the marathon. But I'm actually going out for another reason and in fact will be home Sunday night. What's funny is that there is definitely some sort of bonding going on between all the runners. It's not like people are gathered in the back galley discussing race tactics, though. Rather, it's manifesting itself in "looks" and "nods". I've been pinged a couple times myself. Maybe it's the early season tan. Maybe it's the (relatively) lean body. Maybe it's my TYR bag. Anyway, I'm taking it as a compliment.
So why am I going to Boston? Here's the answer. The "only-slightly-less-popular-than-the-Boston -Marathon" New England Hardcore and Metal Festival is also this weekend. This means that more than 100 bands will be performing at extreme volumes and with a maximum level of testosterone over Friday and Saturday night. Though I'll see a lot of friends and colleagues there, it's still a tedious proposition. Because the law of averages will kick in. Some of the bands are already established, so I either already work with them or someone else does. Of the balance, most will suck. So the trick is to find the few bands that don't suck that are on the way to becoming established and try to sign them up to a merchandise deal. This, after all, is how I pay the mortgage and buy triathlon stuff. Still, I wouldn't have minded pulling the Coachella assignment this weekend. Because Coachella is in California and features a line-up that is a little more palatable to my ears.
Actually, it's no big deal. Boston is my hometown and it will be nice to be back.