... from the road!
This week I'm at the beginning of a mini vacation and whirlwind meet 'n greet tour of a number of wonderful places in the northeastern United States... and Buffalo. With special Fan Club tickets to the Pearl Jam show in Buffalo on Saturday night, airline tickets being what they are, and me with my new fuel efficient Mazda 3 (Sport, with SkyActiv™ technology), I made the executive decision a few weeks ago to drive from Buffalo to Cambridge, Massachusetts while making a stop in upstate New York to visit my friend and fellow blogger/writer Gordon Bonnet (his twitter handle is @TalesOfWoah and his blog is Skeptophilia).
But before that I had a few things to sort out. Step one is getting across the border. Last time I made the trip I was harangued at the Peace Bridge by an overzealous guard. In addition to the usual "What's the purpose of your trip? Where are you staying?" questions the following exchange occurred:
Guard: "How do you know your friend?
Me: "We grew up together."
Guard: "So you've lived in the United States?"
Me: "No he used to live in Canada?"
Guard: "So why is he living in the United States?"
Me: "He went to grad school in Wisconsin and then got a job in Chicago. He switched jobs and moved to Cambridge. Met a nice girl and got married."
Guard: "So is that why you're visiting? To get a job?"
Me: "No sir. I have a job. I just want to visit my buddy."
[Handing me back my passport]
Guard: "Have a good trip."
This time the trip across was a lot smoother, even if it did take 45 minutes to complete. With it being the long weekend and with there being a Bills game on Sunday it was amazingly busy. The border guard did rummage through all my stuff and check the wheel wells of my car for contraband but other than that it was uneventful. Oh, a lady a couple rows over was detained for reasons unknown, so I guess that was exciting.
Saturday night was spent in a packed arena in the armpit of America watching one of the most exciting bands of the last two decades. Pearl Jam has graduated from 1990's grunge to good old fashioned Rock and Roll and they put on a show that I certainly won't forget. Smart phones being what they are I managed to capture a few things. Here's a taste (oh yeah, I caught myself a Mike McCready guitar pick too):
We chatted about writing. We talked about art and creativity. I got to see his son working on his art (glass blowing and other assorted glass creations). He made me a cheese and bacon sandwich. He even let me see his writing hole... er... workspace. He probably has the best window ever for looking out of. The picture doesn't do it justice:
So it's been an eventful weekend to say the least. Tune in next week as I continue my quest to meet as many writers as possible. With any amount of luck I'll get to tell you what Richard B. Wood drinks at the pub, what kind of flooring is in Alex Kimmell's house, and where A.J. Aalto's favourite place is to dump a body.