My Travels

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My Imajica Experience



March 30, 2007 4:00pm

Landed at my hotel at 3:30pm. I started the following entry in the Sydney
airport. I was planning to finish it when I got here. I'm very sweaty
mule(it's uphill from the train station), I am in desperate need of a shower
and I discovered the mini-bar has three untasted flavors of my favorite
carbonated beverage. There's a nice view from the 12th floor of a good chunk
of the bridge. It looks like rain and I'm in no hurry...maybe I'll finish
this up later tonight. ;)

Well, the first big bit, the JFK/SYD leg was quite a haul. I'm starting this
in the gate area for my BNE flight that boards in an hour(careful, I may do
some time weaving here). It's a very quiet lounge here in Sydney. Not a lot
of domestic passengers and the windows are so well sealed that the planes
appear to be taking off silently. It's a nice break from the long flight
here in this new looking terminal. My malodorous self feels a bit out of
place, I'll blame my post-flight funk on TSA not letting me pack a deodorant

Anyway, back to the matter at hand, I was starting a journal in a spiral
bound notebook. I went and left it in my seat pouch in 50C. If you happen to
see it... I'll just have to start again from memory, it should be easy and a
good deal easier to manage than writing on the train from Albany.

It seems just like yesterday morning...

I'm calling this section Electric Sunshine

(on the ALB/NYP train 4/28)

I tried to get some sleep. The last time I checked the clock it was 3:55am.
The packing session should have tuckered me out but I just laid there with
my eyes closed. Nothing. You can't hurry good sleep, so I took the advice
given to insomniacs; turn the lights on, get up and try again. I did,
visiting the living room to grab my copy of Kijana from atop the
entertainment center. A quick re-read of chapter 1 was all I needed. It
wasn't blissful slumber, but my eyes were soon closed and I had a smile on
my face.

I woke up before my alarm at 6:58. I was soon triple checking my pack-out
after a long shower. It took two trips to get to the car, stopping at the
dumpster with trash and carrying the half bag of sweet oranges I couldn't
bare to throw away, the second load was all business. I looked down to see
it was 8:12 as I pulled out of my parking space.

My "just in time system" was still working well. I saved my last visit to
Sun Capsule for this morning. I opted to stay at 9 minutes for my last dose.
I was directed to capsule Nassau this morning(I've noted a distinct
Caribbean bias in the capsule names, I should speak to management, better
yet, I'll send them a post card!). I said my goodbyes to the staff there and
told them depending on how it goes, I may just be back for some maintenance,
we'll see.

Having a hunch things might get nuts in the last hours, I stopped at Amtrak
and got my train ticket ahead of time. I recalled trying to get Jack Hanna
on a train out of that station a month ealier after a flight caneled on him.
As he was walking back to the van he had the "don't bother to open the door
for my luggage" look on his face(sorry I'm diverting here, but I want to
share this one). He got back into the front seat and sat shaking his head.
"You know Keith, I've been in this business a long time and I've only fired
four people, I just don't believe in it, you can work things out. But, that
man at the counter in there, he would be number five!" File that one away, I
thought as we completed the hour long circle back to Proctors Theatre that

My experience at the counter was happily much different. I popped right back
out of the station with my ticket for the 10:23. A few minutes later my car
was parked on the 3rd floor of the parking structure looking out over Villa
Italia. I grabbed my day pack and headed into the office. I did a quick
check of e-mail, no news yet from Jesse. The camera I agreed to carry was
still on it's way from CA. I had checked the UPS site at 2:30 and it had
gotten as far as Louisville by 1:15. It was time for a CVS run(still needed
the Tylenol PM) and maybe a coffee from Katz. As I was in front of the
Arcade on State St I marveled at how at the sunshine and blue sky reminded
me of my first day in Sydney two Octobers ago. I was scanning the street
hoping to find a UPS truck making an early delivery when my cell rang. It
was Jesse asking if I knew what a weather delay meant as far as UPS was
concerned. He was only able to get info from his Blackberry and couldn't log
to the UPS site. There was something about weather in the back of my head,
remebering bits about a mid-west storm on the Weather Channel as I closed my
bags. "I'll check into as soon as I'm back in my office. I finished my run
to CVS and passed on the coffee. Minutes later I was tracking two packages.
The didn't get on the truck in Menands until 8:30. Yikes! I tried calling
the 800 number but when I asked, after the prompt, "Talk to a human", the
answer back was, "I'm sorry I don't understand that request." Exactly! Time
to go back to the street.

At Chautauaua you know who the really connected people are, they have the
personal cell phone numbers of the UPS and FedEx guys. I started doing loops
around the Arcade and State Street looking for similarily connected people.
They were in short, make that non-existant supply. I e-mailed Jesse who rang
me back for an update. At 10:15 I started walking to my car. I figured I had
30 minutes of local mobile search time to find the UPS truck and then have
Craig drive me to the Albany station to catch the noon train. Just as I was
crossing Broadway to the parking garage I looked to my right in time to see
the UPS truck heading up State Street. By the time I quick stepped back to
440 I literally crossed paths with the delivery man on his way out. Dottie
announced the arrival to me as soon as I stepped off the elevator, she
hadn't had time to ring my cell. Hmmm, the size of the boxes caused me to
pause for a moment, this was going to be a challenge. Well, when you need to
fix something fast you either do it with cash or gaffer's tape. I scooped up
the boxes and headed for the stage. Passing Jim in the Arcade I asked if
there was a stash of trick line somewhere I could borrow from. "Downstage
right, I think Derek is there, too." I nodded to Jim and weaved around 100
or so elementary school kids coming in the door for a chorus rehearsal. It
suddenly felt like the All-County music fest as Chautauqua. Everything felt
like summer and the sunshine bouncing in the doors had a surreal yellow
quality to it. Everyone was in shirtsleves. The change had happened
overnight. I had been expecting the last minute stress-induced tunnel
vision, this was something very different. I had the feeling EVERYONE was on

I quickly left the light and popped in the stage door, taking a long arc
upstage around the other 100 children onstage. Derek caught the look on my
face and was soon asking what he could do. When you need to fix something
fast with gaffer's tape, ask a propman. As Derek was unspooling trick line I
was slapping some gaff tape on the different sized boxes to keep them
together. Derek had them tied up and string handles installed in less than 3
minutes. Better than a rodeo!

I dumped my new packages at the candy counter and zipped up to the second
floor to coax Craig out of Bob's office. That was easy. We were on our way
to the Albany station with time to spare. My Schenectady ticket was
exchanged painlessly in under a minute(where were you for Mr. Hanna?) and
after some good wishes from Craig, I was soon alone in the lounge with my
pile to ponder.

To Be Continued