The clouds look like popcorn below, just passing over the Mississippi River an hour and 54 minute into the flight. I'm blazing East at 39000 feet.
Bergstrom at 5:45 am was packed. At 6 am, the line to the TSA security checkpoint was a hundred fifty feet long.
My seat mate - the guy next to me on the plane - must be from New York, accent and all. He smelled like he quit drinking an hour or two before the flight after an all-nighter. He's looking pretty tired, wearing the same clothes all weekend, is covered in big bruises like he's fallen a lot, was in a car wreck or took an good ass whipping. He's now sleeping on his seat back tray. I will call him "Pigpen". He knows the subway though and is good for directions.
I have stopped in New York for a few days before leaving for Italy and Greece. I have a new laptop, a new back-up hard drive, a new HD Video Cam, new shoes and a new UT hat. With appropriate clothes for the Vatican, I will "Longhorn" across the Piazzas and a bit of the Med. with some work in between.
As most of you know, I've always been traveler. Seizing the opportunity to go someplace I've never been, I've gotten down to a fine art. Back in the day, I wrote down my thoughts in a notebook and hauled my film back to the lab. In recent times, I've practiced the long and short of e-mail, forgetting to resize images or rambling a bit too long - and undoubtedly overwhelmed a mailbox or two in the process. As many of you have enjoyed my travel e-mails, instead of the mass e-mail of big files, I'm going to publish a blog.
From this point on, you can access my blog at your leisure, or respond to the link I'll send while away. It is called "Nocturnal Emissions", the occasional rambling of a late night visitor. Yes, yes, it contains a little sophisticated, sometimes prurient and even dark humor at times.
This afternoon it was strangely cool here, 80 maybe. I walked back from Brooklyn to Manhattan to make my hair cut appointment, my first ever $71 haircut. My cutter, a Russian gal named Bella, looked at my hair and said, "do you want to keep it long or do you want it to look nice?" She then grabbed my head forcefully and spun around my chair with her sizers in hand. I have short hair now. Da.
Tomorrow we fly by helicopter to JFK and then onto our flight to Rome.
More from there.