Out Of The Gate
Box

Out of the Gate As I race toward 40, here is the plan. Stay in motion. Stay in the air. Live deliberately. Drink consciously. Eat compassionately. Love deeply. Explore. So in that spirit it’s finally time to break the seal on this adventure. I’m actually in the air as I type. Somewhere north of Florida. I’m just coming off a weekend with my brother near St.Augustine. We had such a good time and I was glad to have been there, but in the back of my mind, I was nervous. Nervous about getting out of the gate and getting this adventure underway. I land at LGA at 5:30 this afternoon and will be in a mad scramble to get home, swap dirty clothes for clean, and race off to Newark. After these last few weeks of sorting through pics, making travel plans and getting some work shifts covered in the city, it looks like I’m taking the 8:50 red-eye to London tonight. I’d hoped to make it for the Manchester flight at 7:30 instead, but that is looking less and less likely. The incomparable MPM is attending that flight and there’s nothing like being plied with sparkling wine by a best friend all the way to Europe. But alas, London seems to be my path. There I’m picking up a rental car and heading north, if possible, as far as Keswick. Hopefully staying on the right side of the road. And of course by “right” I mean left. I’ll have […]

How It All Started?
Zoe likes to be helpful.

How it all started? I was about to turn 39. That’s pretty much it. Well, ok that’s not it. But that was the seed. I mean we all know that 39 is only the banana peel of life that sends us sliding to the grave, right? Ok, that’s a little hysterical. I mean, my life so far has given me much to celebrate. An amazing family. An unexpected romance. Incredibly gifted and remarkable friends. Over a decade of performing and traveling the world. But 39 seems at times a gaping maw which when shouted into echoes back from a very short distance to 40. And I was feeling…stagnant? No, that’s not the right word. It suggests something rotting or some mosquito swarmed pond. I was feeling at rest. There. Positive adjustment. But like all rests, eventually you gotta get up and get moving again. So I’m setting out to shake things up this year. Learning Italian. Attempting to learn the piano. And chasing my dearly-departed grandparents across the globe. Mark and I were home with the family for this last Christmas as the idea for this adventure was taking shape. I love my family. I really can’t get enough of them. And since I live in NYC and they are all in Texas, that remains true. Never enough. Now, being Texas, we were of course threatened over a 24-hour period with both a snow-storm and a tornado warning. But all weather patterns aside, the storms in my mind were louder. […]

The Map of the World
Nanny and Papa's world map pre-refurbish.

When I was young, I loved maps. Still do. On long road trips with the family across TX, through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, or tediously progressing through the monotonous cornfields of the central plains, I had a map. The world in my lap. Dots and lines, squiggles and symbols. A secret code which once unlocked revealed the universe. Atlas at home. Globe in the bedroom. So much to discover. So much to see.  So much to understand. But above all maps there stood one. The map of the world.   It hung in the foyer of my Nanny and Papa’s lake house, home to countless Christmas Eve’s and Easter egg hunts, July 4th barbeques and Mother’s Day cookouts. It was the first thing you noticed when stepping into the hilltop, red-brick ranch-style home. Well, the first thing I noticed. The red-brick outside reaching into the house to become the floor. And there by the door, the map. Now others might say that red-brick floor drew the eye forward to the wall of windows brilliantly displaying the forest beyond and the lake below. But I had eyes only for the map.   Countless pins marked its surface from border to border. Pins puncturing the earth in yellow, red, green and blue. Not the big clumsy push-pins of today, but long, thin, graceful pins with a small ball of color on the end. In an elegant box centered at the bottom of the map, as though floating in the South Pacific, […]

On Day One
njtrain

It only seems right that I’m likely to turn 39 sitting on a train. If not on the one I find myself, then certainly the venerable N train of Astoria fame. After a long day of packing up the family (more on that later), a car ride from my “little” nephew who suddenly seems to be a man, a long delay for a flight out of Dallas, I now find myself on a train watching the clock move toward midnight.  I say it seems right as I am beginning a journey.  Not today’s journey whose end is my home. My Mark. My Zoe. But the larger journey. The journey of the year to come. My fortieth year. Seems right to be in motion. Don’t care where I land in a year, just so long as I’m in the air.  On the journey.  Explore. Chase the family. Expand my mind. Stretch my body.  Soothe and nurture my spirit. See the world. Love my man. Live my life! 11:15. 45 minutes to launch and I’m rocking roughly somewhere between Newark Penn and Secaucus Station. Addendum: N train down. Luggage heavy. Home in cab by 12:02.   Journey Home or…Journey to the Map