Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shot Down In Flames

Ain't it shame, to be shot down in flames? Can anybody name that song? It's one from my youth, the glorious stoner days of the early eighties. Anyway, it's appropriate for my current saga in trying to find a travel writing gig. It's not easy, not only to find a job, but to get someone to even respond to your query. It depresses me, actually, but I'm undeterred, and will find a way to pull this off. One thing I have found that there are definitely avenues to submit stories after the fact, I'm just not sure if they want queries first or just unsolicited articles. What's a guy supposed to do?

Anyway, our trip is days away and I've yet to find a gig, and we haven't prepared much at all. I'm beginning to stress, and never seem to enjoy the anticipation or for that matter, the preparation. Then again, I never anticipate new things well, it's a crappy way to be because it really prevents me from trying new things and exploring, which is what life is all about. I feel so lucky to be with Ruth because she has such a taste for adventure and our trips always come out memorable, never any regrets, it's just taking that first step that seems to hold me back. If not for my family, I would never go anywhere, and that's how it's been my entire life. Bummer.

But it's not the case, now, and the kids get so much out of travel, I don't know where to begin with it. So, there you have it. And in all honesty, I shouldn't say we haven't prepared anything. Ruth has arranged for our tickets and our housing, we have a "sort of" plan, and we are even incorporating a little work into the trip, meeting with our collaborators in Spain.

I can't say for sure why traveling gives me so much anxiety, and it's worth taking a good, long hard look at, because like most anxiety, it's based in irrational thinking, and I'm the king of that sort of thing. I wish I weren't, and hope that my kids aren't, either. So far, they're great travelers, but I think most kids are. It's the old farts like me who hold themselves back.

Okay, so now that paid writing gigs seem unattainable, I'm thinking I'll just try to keep a travel blog and tie it into my blog-blog, or the other way around. I'd like to do this, and I can't keep the system from discouraging me, though I have to confess, rejection (or being ignored) gets me depressed, and I felt it yesterday. The sky was gray and there was a light snow falling, and I felt myself slipping into the blues. Talk about self-indulgent. Being a parent really forces you to deal with life, however, and having someone need you is a huge thing. You can't afford to be a pussy.

I also found something that helps me get through the blues-cooking. Believe it or not, getting dinner ready really made me feel better. Maybe it's just the process of getting something done, taking care of business. And dinner turned out great-cauliflower casserole, veggie birani (sp?), and roasted potatoes. Everyone loved it, and it was vegan. Making meatless meals is always a challenge, but we manage to pull it off at least three or four times a week.

I still need to talk to Marty, there's no getting around this, and I have to do it sooner, not later. John Flinn called me two days ago to try rekindle the whole screenwriting thing, but I have nothing for him, and he's got nothing for me. I hate to sound so utilitarian, but that's the extent of our relationship, and it's gotten us nowhere. I'm not sure what he wants from me.

I've scored the y-coupler and headphones for the computer and think we can obtain some key movies for the trip. Ideally we'd get them from the library so we can hold them for two weeks, but their selection isn't alway the best. Netflix is the way to go, but I've got to choose movies, and send back the old ones. BTW, we've been getting four movies a pop, I think our bonus month has kicked in.

Gary wants to sell us his SUV, and it's tempting, but I think that thing is living on borrowed time. Either way, it's been nice having two cars, but maybe something more reliable and practical. I've actually got some thoughts on that, but I'll keep a lid on them, for now.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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