License To Thrill (Song of the Week, 9/19/2012)

In the past few weeks, I renewed my long dead passport. Today, I visited the Brazilian Consulate, where I was granted a visa allowing me entry to the country for the next decade.

My status as International Man of Mystery has been restored. I have a license to thrill. If you notice the processing label the consulate used on my passport, you can see that even the Brazilians seem to recognize my status. Look out Most Interesting Man in the World…

Considering my last vacation wound up reminding me entirely too much of Stephen King’s Misery, I am really looking forward to a few weeks in a tropical paradise with a gorgeous hostess and no fear of potential sledge hammers. It’s going to be a few months before I go, but I AM READY. Except that I really need a hair cut.

Boa noite. My name is Byrd. Tim Byrd.

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America (Song of the Week, 2/2/2012)

Thinking about my trip to New York, and the long train ride there and back, lonely, watching the landscape flash past in the darkness, brought this song to mind…

Kathy, I’m lost, I said, though I knew she was sleeping
I’m empty and I’m aching and I don’t know why
Countin’ the cars on the New Jersey turnpike
They’ve all come to look for America, all come to look for America…

Good Memories of 2011, Day 3: New York City

In New York, with Phil. I'm the one with glasses. (Photo by Angela Rockstroh)

Looking back at the “good memories” I’ve already posted, and the ones I plan to write, it’s striking how interwoven the subjects are, and how personal. In previous years I’ve posted some personal stuff, some entertainment stuff. But this year, the topics all fit together, bright shards from the broken window that was my 2011.

Day 1 I wrote about the electroconvulsive therapy I underwent as part of my ongoing battle with chronic depression. Day 2 I wrote about the music of the lovely and amazing Brandi Carlile, because her songs helped me cope during the dark times (as well as delighting and moving me even when I was doing well). Those posts are further related via the romantic break-up I suffered just before opting for the electroshock, a romance that was born and died while I listened to Brandi’s songs.

Today, I’m writing about a trip to New York City to visit friends. In memory, and at the time, that trip was bittersweet, because the original plan was for my sweetheart to visit me for several days here in Atlanta, then I’d accompany her on her train trip back to Philly for a brief visit, after which I’d continue on to NYC.

By the time of the trip, my sweetie was my sweetie no longer, and wouldn’t give me the time of day. The tedious loneliness of hundreds of miles of Amtrak travel were magnified as I thought of how the trip might have been with her at my side. While the train stopped in Philadelphia, I thought of tweeting “I tracked my heart to Philadelphia, then lost the trail forever.” But the thought seemed pathetic, so I didn’t. Right call, I think.

Then, while talking about her with my friends one day while walking through a New York City park, I realized the street musicians we’d just passed were playing “I Just Saw A Face,” the Beatles song which, covered by Brandi Carlile, was the tune I most identified with the start of that love.

Oh, synchronicity, how you can fuck with a guy.

See how everything is intertwined? Continue reading

More Mom-Abuse by the TSA

Another outrageous account of TSA misdeeds, this time toward a mother and child flying out of Atlanta’s own Hartsfield-Jackson airport.

My son was taken from me.

Taken.

My son was taken from me by the TSA agents at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport yesterday.

He was taken away from me and OUT OF MY SIGHT because his pacifier clip went off when I carried him through the metal detector.

According to the Transportation Security Administration website, “We will not ask you to do anything that will separate you from your child or children.”

Bullshit TSA.

You took my son. MY SON.

The full account is here.

It’s definitely worth a read. The sheer banal evil of these low-level security cogs — mall cops with Gestapo authority complexes — is astonishing.

(I provided video of an earlier incident and some thoughts on this stuff earlier, at this link.)