Monday, November 7, 2011

Intermission, Entry 22

Intermission Entry 22, November 8th, 2011, 1:07am (GMT +0)

Just when I thought I'd seen everything that this job can throw at me . . .

There's an event here on the Indy called the “Mat Hatter's Parade.” It happens on the promenade (the long, open interior street running down the length of the ship on deck 5 – see an earlier entry) and involves the cast, ice cast, cruise staff, and . . . you guessed it, the musicians.

I'm a little unsure as to the details, but there's a definite Alice in Wonderland vibe going on . . which does nothing to explain why we're dressed up in Sgt. Pepper outfits (I got the purple one). We're split into two teams, each one pushing a float in opposite directions at first and then dancing with giant cloth lollipops after that. The cast has actual choreography, but the musicians pretty much do whatever we want.

There's a certain mindset required to successfully pull off a parade. Zach, our bassist, summed it up succinctly: “Every parade is the best parade, forever.” This temporary insanity is cultivated by dancing in circles, jumping up and down, singing, and yelling animal noises at the top of our lungs with the other crew members. I like to think of it as somewhat analogous to the old Saxon initiation rituals where a warrior was sewn into the freshly flayed skin of a bear and beaten by his compatriots until he lost control and became the bear, taking the ferocity and spirit of the animal into himself. Or something like that.

From the notebook, October 17th, 2011

A different country ever day for the past four days; now that is a good feeling. Finished my visit in Vienna, had a day in Munich with my friend Ben, spent a day in Amsterdam with a different friend, Mirjam, and tomorrow I travel via Brussels to London. If train stations count, that's actually five countries.

I put one of Jason's stories on the blog, along with a different story about a military helicopter, but I forgot to add this one (note: Jason is a friend I made while drinking beer in the bike car on the night train from Munich). Jason's friend's family is a big deal in Spain. They're really rich and own four different houses in the South of Spain. They asked him offhand one day if he'd like to stay in Spain, and he said yes (who wouldn't?). The next thing he knows, he's being interviewed for a teaching position at the local university. He just has to enroll in a Spanish class for a semester to get his Spanish together and to get a student visa, and then he get get a work visa the next semester when the university hires him. It's nice to have friends in high places, eh? Mind you, he hasn't finished his own bachelor's degree yet!

He didn't take it, though. He said it was too much of a time commitment (more than a year) and that he had a life back home in Texas that he wanted to come home to. Shit, man, forget that! You're bartending A&M dropout! Move to Spain! I'm reminded of “The Alchemist,” . . . another visit from the King of Salem.

Oh well, I wish him luck. He's a nice, generous, adventurous soul, and who am I to tell people how to live? I hope he finds what he's looking for.

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