Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Happy 131st anniversary of Emma Mills Nutt becoming the world's first female telephone operator! Let's give it up for Emma.

Wow, life sure is non-stop. And thanks to the organization of that Greco-Roman calendar we really can predict the future, but that doesn't mean we actually believe what's written on it, until it's upon us. September 1st, 2009 has meant for a few months now that I would find myself alone in a hotel room in London, and thanks to the incredibly efficient and highly functioning global infrastructure (and my own will power to not run away), I am. Me and the old passport barely had time to molt our feathers this time around, and suddenly we're back to this travelling business. It feels really natural, but also a bit discombobulating to be alone in a foreign city once again.

I was taught as a tiny little kid that it's good luck to say "Rabbit" as the first word you speak at the beginning of a new month. I have no idea where this superstition came from, but for as long as I can remember I have tried every single month to fulfill the tradition. I'm pretty good too, I probably succeed ten out of twelve months a year on average. The reason I bring it up now is because I was met last night with a severe conundrum on how to successfully say "Rabbit" as my first word because I was barreling through the icy skies as the calendar ripped off August and bared September. I didn't know whose time to go by. If I waited until Pacific Standard Time reached September I would be an hour away from landing in Dublin, the sun already high in the sky, so clearly this was not what I needed to do. I knew that during the course of my flight I was losing eight hours, and that roughly six hours into the ten hour flight we would be above the East Coast, so could I steal their time zone and use it for my own devices from 35,000 feet in the air? Probably, but not fool-proof enough for me. I am very unfortunately a superstitious wreck, and if ever there was a month where I wanted an extra pocketful of luck this was it, so I knew I had to be thorough to be sure it was my first word. So what did I do? I spontaneously blurted out the word "Rabbit" all night long. I had to, there were too many factors for me to ensure my accuracy. I got a few funny looks from my fellow passengers throughout the flight. I could only imagine what they thought of me and my outbursts. "That guy must be really hungry." Or: "I want some of what he took." Or more likely it was just a good old-fashioned: "Stay away from the creepy weirdo, kids." Anyway, I feel confident that my first word of September 2009 was "Rabbit," considering I probably spoke 40 words on the entire flight and roughly 34 of them were "Rabbit."

So here I am in London. I'm delirious to my marrow, and although there is a bustling, vibrant, brand-new-to-me megametropolis out there I am already preparing for bed at seven in the evening. Besides the delirium my only real problem is that I managed to bloom my first cold sore in ages the day before I left. Apparently it's a bit stressful to pack one's life away into boxes, say goodbye to everyone they love, and launch into the great unknown for at least a year. The cold sore is unfortunate because it is the ultimate confidence sink for me, and I am in a process where confidence is hugely helpful and necessary at the moment. People think pimples or a little mustard on the tip of the nose is embarrassing, how about: "Hey man, you got something on your lip, oh wait, sorry, it's actually just a tremendous dollop of weeping herpes virus dribbling down your chin. No worries, it'll go away on its own, in like two weeks!" I actually don't care all that much, I just thought it was unfortunately timed.

Willy joins me tomorrow! How great is that!?

Well anyway, superstition and an infected lip are really not what's important right now. Those things aside I will quickly report that though the big, bad world feels a little extra big and bad from the fourth story of the Jenkins Hotel in London, I'm really really glad to be on my way, very excited for what's to come, and feel quite clear that there is nothing about this trip that feels like a step backward or even to the side, but only a gigantic leap forward along the path of my life.

I was just watching the words appear on the screen as I wrote them and suddenly I felt like Doogie Howser...