12%

So, I heard that 12% of Americans have a passport. Is this too many or too few in your opinion?

I’ve been rolling this question over and over in my head today as I hiked around Rio De Janeiro. I think I have walked about 6 mile along the beaches. And, to be frankly, I’m not sure how I would answer that question. On one hand, we all need to experience things beyond the Big Box stores, chain restaurants, and strip malls. At the same time, our fat ignorant asses have no right to piss on the customs and cultures of other nations. More ‘merkins abroad or less? It’s not an easy question to answer.

On the cable car up Pao de Acucar, I watched some hawks circle about. It reminded me of John Hiatt and his song “Before I Go,” which I am listening to now. Truly beautiful. Simple. Honest. Download it now.

Rio is part L.A. (the traffic and mountains in the distance), part San Francisco (the hills), part Denver (the smog), and part San Sebastian (the amazing Copacabana beach and seafood). I’m here for 26 hours. I just finished an amazing Italian meal… some of the best risotto I have ever had… sorry, Josh, it beats yours.

I think I have come to an answer on the more or less passport issue. Todd, one of the patron saints of the Tuesday Night Lists, actually, has previously provided the answer. For those of you who don’t know Todd and aren’t part of the Tuesday Night West group, he is dear dear friend who despite his New Jersey facade is a true Renaissance man. Todd explained to
me in a Irish pub in San Francisco which served wicked curry, that either you have wings or roots. Root people look to nest, look to settle down with 2.5 children. Wing people desire the ability to move at any time to anywhere. Each group is admirable. Each group has their moments when they consider changing sides. I am on fence sitter on this issue… but probably would end up in the Wings group is push came to shove. I think Todd would say that more poeple need passport, need to experience more. I want to believe that… I really do, but, frankly, the less fat-ass, ignorant, white-sock wearing, TGI Friday’s eatin’, assmonkies, I have to deal with while I am abroad, the better. Am I the asshole here?

At any rate, I am on the road right now. Just left Buenos Aires for Rio. I head to Sao Paulo tomorrow night… yikes! I think I’ll be in DC for most of May… I hope.

If you are on this list and have not traveled abroad (which I doubt), get a passport, and get the hell out of the States. Go see something different. Put yourself in situations where you are the minority. Put yourself where you are sacred, unable to communicate, and amazed. Find that which is different. Buy a drink. Smile. Enjoy.

A cycle is complete

Some how I feel that a cycle is complete. While I, a Penn grad, sit next
to the Superdome in New Orleans, where Syracuse is in the NCAA finals,
Josh, a Syracuse grad, sits at Penn enrolled as a grad student. Now, my
beloved Quakers lost to OSU, Sarah’s school, in the first round. The Pokes
then lost to Syracuse. (Giving up at 17 point lead, I might add.)

So a bunch of us went and saw the Gourds a few nights ago. All I can say
is that you have to see these guys in concert. Check out their schedule. Bluegrass,
country, disco, hip-hop, all merged into one dirt bag, porch sittin’,
gloppy glorious mess.

So, another Tuesday night is going to roll by without me in DC. I’m in New
Orleans for a conference. Sounds good… but I kinda hate traveling when I
really don’t know anyone where I am going. Thankfully, a good friend of
mine from Scotland live here; the bad news is… he and his wife are both
medical students.