Brad Hogg’s Diary – The SOCG II

Date or timeframe: 12-10-2016 / 25-10-2016
City: Villa Allende, Cordoba
Country: Argentina
Category(-ies): /

12 October 2016

7pm local time:  Currently sitting in airport in Lima, Peru.

Yesterday began before it began, with finalization of packing in the apartment; double- and triple-checking everything I would be bringing with me.  Some last-minute laundry, and to bed.

In the morning, up at the usual time, and out the door a little late to get to work.  Arriving late at 9:20ish AM, and straight into the clean-up work I was engaged in the day before.  After the experience of last week’s freneticism at work (Kim being out after wisdom teeth removal, no more Sandra, and being the only person around for processing things in Sage, even with the temp we have working in the office), the opportunity to just do the task I set out to do was both refreshing and necessary.  A lot of backlog was cut out, more than enough to make up for the fact that I’ll be gone for two weeks.

Lunch at the usual taco joint.

Back at work, following up on little things, cleaning my inbox, and really having to make a concerted effort to not begin any new projects.  A final check-in with Kim, bidding the office farewell, and out the door an hour early to find Ieva waiting.

Back up the canyon.  Home at 6pm, a shower at 7pm, and a short dinner across the street at the diner; while there, we found ourselves wondering how old the restaurant is, and while we didn’t find out how old it was, we did find out that they’d been ordered to pay out $5m in an age discrimination lawsuit.  The actual description of the lawsuit did seem to indicate some more nuance in the whole matter, but modern journalism, and modern culture in general, rarely seems to allow for that anymore.

Back across the street, hailing an Uber, and off to the airport at 8:40pm.  Arriving at LAX at roughly 9:15pm; after chatting with the driver for maybe 15 minutes, I went totally silent, both because I had nothing more to say and because I didn’t feel like I had to fill the space with talk.

Painless check-in, slightly overlong passing through security (I overheard one of the guards expressing disbelief at how many people were there), and into the Tom Bradley International Terminal.  Very big, very California-looking place.  Some bland singer-songwriter performing near the lounge.  Off to find a coffee.

Coffee secured, and a short exploration of the international wing.  Sitting over by the boarding gate, and a spot opened up in front of the window, providing a new space for practicing.

Even though I am technically out of shape as a player, it’s a constant surprise to see how much more developed my hands have become in the past couple of years.  If I’d been at this level when I went to the extended course in Mexico… but then, I am at the level I’m at now, largely because I spent two months in Mexico.

Boarding the plane at 11:15pm, with a bit of panic while I tried to find a place to store my guitar.  So far, I’ve lucked out and have never had to gate-check it—yet again, I cheated fate.  In my seat by the window; it wasn’t comfortable in the general sense of the term, but it was more comfortable than I’ve experienced, and I’ll take that.

In the air by 12:20am, and I probably knocked out by 12:45 or so, and then properly tried to sleep at 2am.  Again, not comfortable, but I was tired enough that it didn’t necessarily matter.

Awake at 5:30am, technically languishing until 6:30 or 7, when the pilot/flight attendants flicked on the light.  The breakfast offered was a ham and cheese sandwich, along with a roll and a cup of fruit and coffee.  I chose to skip the sandwich; my seatmate declined, though he offered me his roll.

After they collected all the detritus, a full sitting:  relaxation circuit and 60 points.  Some looking outside at the blue orange-peel ocean marbling up through the gauze of clouds–the perks of being at 35k feet.

Landing was a bit cavalier, it seemed; initial descent was from 35k to approx. 24k in a matter of maybe 5 minutes.  I’m used to a gentler approach, but this got the job done.  Some gawking at boats and ships in the water by the ocean before touching down at the airport, which was also done in sort of a “put it down right here” matter.  Not a soft landing, but not jarring and terrifying.

After deplaning, I found out that my phone plan provides for unlimited international free roaming data–I don’t know if this is a common thing, but this was happily welcomed.  In the airport at Lima, some walking around to see what I was working with, and then an actual breakfast.  More bread, but with eggs.  But, like, a lot of bread, and a croissant.  Regrettable coffee.

Finding a spot for myself, and more practicing.  A text from Ieva led to a phone conversation in which she detailed how she was just let go at her job, simply because her boss was restructuring everything.  This is likely because she had just cancelled a partnership with a company, and likely had to buy herself out in order to be able to do so.  A pain in the ass, but probably a good pain in the ass, ultimately.

More practicing.  More walking about.  Some coffee.  More practicing.  More walking about.  Diarizing, and thinking about another meal.  Currently 7:42pm local time.  Boarding again in 3.5 hours for the second leg to head to Cordoba.

13 October 2016

Nothing much after yesterday’s writing.  I grabbed dinner that was surprisingly tasty, though a little expensive; the cerveza was passable, and there was a copious amount of butter.

More wandering, as best I could while lugging my guitar case around.  More practicing; I’m beginning to drop into “course hands” (they do what I want them to), though I’m still not particularly fast.

Boarding was late, at around 11:30ish pm; it was in a new section of airport, which was interesting if only for the slight change in scenery.  Forced to gate-check the guitar, which never makes me happy, but there’s not much I can do about it.  The plane looked to be an older Delta Airbus A320….

Take off was also late by about 15 minutes.  I was right:  there does seem to be a bit of a cavalier attitude about the piloting down here.

Barely slept on the plane, but I basically knocked right out for the 3 hours we were in the air.  Touching down at a little before 6am.  Collected my things in baggage claim; a dog was stuck in a cage and was extremely vocal about how scared it was.  Through customs without incident, and out to the arrivals lobby; a bit of a wait for the taxi, which showed up shortly after 7am.  Enough time for me to get a picture of a crazy sky as it was lit up by the rising sun.

A brief relaxation circuit in the taxi, and arrival at the course at about 7:20am.  Claudio let me in, showed me to my room (sharing a room with 2 people, which seems like a total blessing), and I grabbed a quick shower and had a proper sitting, if a little short.

Breakfast at 8am.

Kitchen team meeting at 9:30am.


A bit of warming up afterward.  Some general catching up with John L., a bit of chatting with Dev R.  Helping out with housework, but this turned into a brief cleaning of our room.  Skipped Tai Chi at 12:30 so I could get a few minutes of napping, and almost missed lunch.

The meals are loud, so far.

More practice.

Tea:  loud.  The number of people in a small space doesn’t help.

More practicing.


Watching the intro team learn to circulate: always good to see where we’ve come from.  Personal favorite moment:  RF gives the instruction to circulate in 5, with one chair per beat.  The fifth chair is tacet.  Almost every one of them, when playing the “5”, would grin instead of playing a note.  Classic.

14 October 2016

Last night:  after writing the above, they all learned to whizz.  Pretty impressive.  Some more practicing.  Dinner.  Crashing hard, but waking in time for a House of Guitars, which was fun, though over-long, like the first ones always are.


Already moving into “play all the time and don’t practice” mode.

Lots of comments this morning on the House of Guitars last night.  Beginners were very effusive; rarely did anyone have a negative opinion.  As Horacio noted later on, there were some judgy comments about noise versus music, but subjectivitiy is an inevitable side-effect, it seems.

My own thoughts were simply that it was a group finding its voice; it did go on too long, and would have done well to curtail itself, but usually these kinds of things need time to stretch out.  I had a couple of noteworthy moments for myself:

  • I am a little confused, and worn out; I allow my hips to drop, which is a significant help to my personal state of being.
  • Towards the end I notice that I want it to end, and am tired of the group repeating itself, and realize that it’s necessary to hold the space open for the group to realize the same. Active neutrality?

Picking up some new pieces, today.

Spaghetti at lunch.  The food isn’t great.

Burning on Afghanistan.  An extra little point that I hadn’t been aware of, so even if there’s nothing else (and there will be), I’ve got that pointed stick.

Some talk with Dev, regarding the future of this work.   It’s really only losing the name and the founder (and not even that, really).  Multiple courses and projects in the planning, it seems.  I’m actually not 100% sure how I feel about that.  But I like having a future.

Almost passed out during the evening meal.  Twice.  Silence went on forever.  Intro team is currently in their “personal meeting with Robert”, which means that we’ll have some fun tomorrow night.


Lots of practicing, especially the 4th Bach Cello Prelude.  Some playing around with the old Garden motif.  I may never finish it, much less complete it.

Interesting how the Intro performance challenge is tomorrow.  Maybe I’m wrong, but it does seem a little early, compared to other courses I’ve been on.  Mine was on the third full day.  But then, some courses never see it, from what I understand.


If my aim is to practice letting go, why do I find it necessary to maintain distance?

Some hangups never leave.

The old detachment resurfaced during dinner, and probably a bit before; it’s likely that it was at least in part due to being the only native English speaker at the table, but I’m probably just looking for a scapegoat.

It’s at least somewhat ironic that, even in a place or situation I call “home”, I still feel detached or uncomfortable.  I suppose I’m technically putting myself in situations that are guaranteed to create internal friction, and thus giving myself more work, but this isn’t the kind of work I can use to distract myself from myself.

It’s also only the second full day.  Let go, indeed.

15 Oct 2016

Fairly popped awake this morning, well before my alarm.  Shower, a decent sitting, and into breakfast.

Long silence during breakfast.  Perhaps the beginner’s team was more tired than they let on; I’ve noticed that each of the silences have tended to show up not long after the noise level hits a high, and then there’s a short trailing off, and then silence.

Five minutes–no, 4 minutes–of practice, just to make my hands feel like they did something, and then into lunch prep.  This was early:  9:30a.m.  I know we’re cooking for 120ish people, but we actually had a lot of downtime, and even a 15-minute break.  Perhaps because of this, we ended up going over on our time for clean up.

No stops during the meal prep, and not a lot of care in the execution.  Lunch was okay, but not up to what my personal standards are.

After lunch and cleanup, a session with Andres C. to demonstrate the First Secondary.  Some practicing, transferring money, and a short meeting with the Energies reading group and RF.

Immediately moving into “The Guitarist Inside”, with approximately 80 guitarists in 3 circles.  Relaxation, filling, various circulations:

  • Each circle on its own
  • In various times while leaving a beat out
  • In 8, various beats moving between exoteric, mesoteric, and esoteric circles
  • Doing the same with the addition of moving sensation in the limbs
  • Whizzing 9x times in exoteric, 10x in mesoteric, and 12x in the esoteric. Sarah whizzing is something to behold.

Exposition from RF on primaries, secondaries, and tertiary exercises.

“May the efforts of this, my work, be transubstantiated in me for my being.”

Dinner was fairly light on food, but heavy on noise.  Several performances, lots of noise, and when dessert began coming out, we were treated with the perfect timing of Octavio and Ricardo playing a Mexican folk song, which shut everyone up, and then led to a deep silence.

Dessert was gelatin, so I passed.

Conversation with Octavio afterward.  Waiting for performance from the intro team, and later will be working.  Whee, courses!

16 Oct 2016

Breakfast duty this morning.  I am head chef, but for the first time that I can recall, I got the “I don’t think there’s a head chef at breakfast” response.  [At time of writing, I did not realize that this is the case in the South American/European courses.]  This combined with another person’s assumption of the proverbial mantle, led to a fairly confusing meal.  I ended up not eating, clean-up took a very long time (largely because of the confusion of roles), and I ended up even more worn out than I should have been.  Completion sort of felt like letting it go, but re-capitulating just now, I’m not so sure.

Comments at breakfast largely focused on last night’s performance; as expected, the beginners were mostly accepting of the heckling, though a little confused.  The women seemed more accepting of it than the men, though one woman said it reminded her a bit of a recent experience with her band, and being sexually harassed on stage.

The big things I noticed, as an audience member:

  • Clear connection between this performance and the House of Guitars from the first night; there was a very clear sense of the group (and groups within groups) finding its voice.
  • People making “cool” faces have no idea how ridiculous they look.
  • A good heckler is practically in the band.


Hitting the point of exhaustion; practicing today is not as easy as the past couple of days.  Not that it’s an excuse.

One thing for later:  practicing subdivisions, and finding that 5s felt qualitatively longer than 4s.


I am finally beginning to appreciate Red as a GC piece.  Still am not sold on Schizoid Man, though.


Finally, a true and deep silence at the last meal, brought about by two comments, both women:

  • From Agostina: “We have not felt true silence, yet.”
  • Later, from Elena: “I wanted to say yes, to give a second performance, but I could not face my fear.”  Speaking subjectively, this is one of the best comments I’ve heard in a long time.  No jargon, straight from experience, and honest and true.  Heartbreaking, in fact.


Approximately 11pm:  Introduction to the Guitar Circle is complete.  Halfway there.

17 Oct 2016

Brief recap:

  • The intro tream left this morning, save for one, who was here until 6:30pm. This was long enough to be around for the third Symphony of Crafty Guitarists rehearsal.  Poor thing.
  • Coffee station today.   More challenging than normal, mostly because the modus operandi here is a little odd, compared to the USA or Mexico.
  • 3 of 4 total meetings of the SoCG today. Interesting to note:  twice I thought I was leading, but I was being led, both times by a woman.
  • Food is markedly better today.
  • I’d like to bring in a Tony Geballe piece to this course.
  • Bicycling to Afghanistan last night was played by the Hellboys. Talk about cooking.

18 Oct 2016

The problem with having an aim is that when you get the opportunity to actually meet you aim, the moment is almost never of your choosing.  And sometimes, it’s about as unpleasant as you can get.

“The practice of letting go” is good for this.

I know that I shouldn’t be as affected by something like getting cut from a piece, especially something like Eye of the Needle.  But it still hurts a lot, specifically because I didn’t even get the chance to give it a shot.  It’s like the Frank Ocean bullshit all over again:  a special group of people that I know I meet the standard of, but am excluded from because of politics and clique-ishness.  Another group that I am not good enough for.

And people wonder why I try so fucking hard.


… Having had the chance to cool down….

I still mostly disagree with that decision, if only because it means I’ve been sidelined on one of the only pieces of music I expected to be able to perform, possibly the most important piece in the repertoire.  I had mentioned something along this line to Octavio, and he actually took the initiative to ask Horacio.  If we really want to, we could take part in presenting this at lunch or even breakfast, which would move me into consideration.  This puts me in between two stools:  formally, this would be humbling myself, but for what?  I’m allowing myself to hold it in front of me, but I strongly suspect the only smart thing–to meet my aim–would be to just let it go.

The music is not the work.


All of this being said, the other big “aha” came today during an AT session with Ignacio and a larger group:

We are working with what could be called a “breathing circle”:  the circle walks in until their shoulders touch, and then back out again.  We’ve been divided into two interpolated groups, one in 7s and one in 5s, who each take that number of steps in and then back out again, while also clapping in time (on-beats on the way in, and off-beats on the way out).  As my group moves back out, Ignacio comes up behind me, lets the back of my head drop into his hand, makes an extremely quick adjustment, and lets me go on–all this in less than a second.  Suddenly, my back and posture are perfect.  It is so shocking that I begin to “fix it” back into what I have just been released from, and it takes all of my available attention to inhibit this.

This couldn’t have been longer than three seconds in real time.  I suspect I’ll be processing this one for a good long while.

The really important and rich moments increasingly seem to be the really tiny moments.  All the big events are obviously important, and valuable, and life-changing, and all that, but it’s really coming down to the small, seemingly insignificant moments and passings that really seem to have the most information.  Small acts of quality are transformational, but so are small unexpected jewels of quality.

19 Oct 2016

Really uncomfortable dream last night:  girlfriend was pregnant and her water broke.  Suddenly am on the phone with my old boss saying that I’d be busy with this.  The entire time, I’m thinking about how much I do not want to see this, as well as how I absolutely have no idea what to do.

A lot of my disappointment over the events of the past day or so really stems from what I remember experiencing after my appendix was removed, regarding the All-State auditions in 2001.  This, and my feelings about exclusivity in the Crafty world.  It filters into the Symphony rehearsals, as well:  there is a different set of attitudes between what is essentially the American and the Euro-Argentine teams/factions.

Overheard Mika and Horacio discussing the repertoire set list.  The way they are going about it is borderline clinical; shooting for absolute perfection really seems to kill the musicality, to me.  Ieva and I do tend to disagree on necessary skill levels, but this is rather extreme, even for my tastes.  It does make me wish that Victor had been on this course.


These are just people with day jobs.  RF just happens to be one of the greatest living guitarists.


Dress rehearsal tonight.  Weird.  I really felt trapped for the first half.  Then it opened up, and I immediately felt better.  There is still a bit of cliquey business going on, and a lot of the course seems to be playing it safe.  Communication has been a constant problem with this course, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get much better.

Roommate was totally jazzed that he got to play Red with RF, and really seemed annoyed that I poked a hole in his balloon.  Unfeeling bastard, I am.

20 Oct 2016

Sitting was very difficult this morning; hard to even get up, much less go and sit for roughly 45 minutes.  Ran a full relaxation, 60 Points, Six Points, Five Latifahs, and went a few minutes long, simply because I was struggling to stay awake.

Comments were long at breakfast; the general consensus was that the quasi-performance last night was very good, and the repertoire was delivered with quality.  There was also a comment by Mika about excessive aggression in the performance; this was indeed in reference to my “face-off” with Octavio, but I had been aware in the moment that it had gone on too long and that it had become too aggressive, which was why I had backed it off.  Thankfully, the rest of the SoCG rose up to embrace it, so it didn’t appear entirely out of context.  As it stands, I had seen that something needed to happen, and without thought gestured to Octavio, and we darted out into the empty middle.  So it is.

One thing I did not know was that one of the younger, more local members had also begun to use his guitar as a demonstrative weapon; this may have colored commentary somewhat.

Shower after breakfast.  It’s cold, this morning.

Moving on to warming up, and then a circulations meeting at 10:45. This was far more interesting to me than last night’s rehearsal, and was much more engaging than that as well.  It may simply be that the direction/request for quiet circulations was all that we needed to re-introduce that into the bag of tricks.

More practicing.  Chatting with Dev, who confirmed that the “face-off” had gone too far last night, but that something needed to happen, and that we had just been right on the edge of being too much.  I also got the chance to thank him for at least inviting me to this year’s Chamber Orchestra, and he told me that there will likely be a Guitar Orchestra of New York next year, so I should keep my calendar open.  As before, the work will continue; the workshop is being dismantled, but all the apprentices are becoming journeymen.  Next year will likely be an explosion of activity, with RF’s blessing (provided we do not use any of the names that are dying out).

More practicing.  Diary.

Practicalities discussed at lunch, and Sixty Points begun at 2:30.  Dropping my guitar into the main room for transport, and a walk around the grounds.

Dressed and ready at 4:00 pm, and out the door at 4:45.  The city supplied security to escort us to the gig, which was a new one for me.  20 minute walk, and arriving at the space at 5 pm.  A brief tour, some sneaky pictures, and into prep/blocking.  The space sounded amazing, almost too pretty.  Probably should have been a drier sound, but I’ll take this any day.  Done with blocking/set,ist check at 7 pm.  Quiet time at 7:30, and circling/spiralling up at 7:50pm, running exercises internally.  Each person received a pick from RF.

Showtime at 8:10, beginning with the Tower of Babel/Los Internationales, which always brings a smile to my face. Out of the green room at just a few minutes after that.

Procession and Zither in Dmin, Moving to Circulating Silence

Symphonic Improvisation #1
Carpet Weaving
Broken Funk
Symphonic Improvisation #2
Ravel String Quartet
Triplets in A Lydian Mode
Symphonic Improvisation #3
Corrente – Double Presto
Eye of the Needle
Procession and Exit in Dmin

Contrapunctus #1
The Whizz

I managed to switch picks, probably before the gig started, and left my pick in the guitar.  Totally stupid.

More tomorrow.

21 Oct 2016

Sitting was even more difficult this morning.  Exhaustion is really setting in.  Still managed to push through 60 Points, Six Point, and Five Latifahs.

Lots of comments at breakfast.  Almost entirely positive, and they should be:  the performance really was a stunner.  Multiple reports of an audience that was totally transported, and one audient that said the music was put into her body, even if she didn’t like it.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of theological leanings as well; Luz specifically mentioned the similarity in experience between the performance and a Mass.


To recount the performance, several noteworthy experiences:

  • Forgetting about my pick in my guitar for about half of Blockhead. I must have put it in and then grabbed a pick out of my pocket without even realizing it.
  • Back to back with Sarah, her falling down, and me helping her up.
  • Several times, inhibiting the impulse to move with the music. Also, navigating the fine line between not being stone-faced and not wanting to give into momentary displays of emotion.
  • The massive two-sided push-pull that slowed down to an almost imperceptible passing of time. It really truly looked and felt like time had just slowed to the point of stopping.  And then, being able to drop it immediately and walking away from it.
  • During Asturias, walking towards the front door of the church while twinkling, and then turning around to head back and being completely shocked by the image of the altar area, the crucifix, and all of us walking towards the light. The symbolism was undeniable, almost to the point of caricature.  And yet, there I was, walking towards the light.
  • Actually being almost removed during the whizz, like I’d just watched it happen, while also being fully engaged.

Afterward, a bit of feeling miserable and separated.  This course has had a despondent feel to it, for me.  Almost like my discomfort with myself, and just being myself, is being made into an 11-day pointed stick.

Back to the house.  Veggie burgers with lots of cheese (yes!), a sort of dulce de leche/chocolate/cake confection for dessert, and prosecco for toasting 31 years of this work.  Cleanup, and to bed late last night.


Lunch was substantial.  An enormous salad of beets, old cabbage, and a lot of carrots; rice from the other day, bits of veggie burger.  More comments, as directed by the hat.  I’m generally thinking I won’t have to say anything, and frankly am hoping I don’t have to, at this point; I usually get a little bummed at the end of courses, but this is much more than I’m used to.

Still:  always be prepared.


Last minute, Daniel asked to play for a bit before dinner; I didn’t quite feel like it, but I gave it a shot just to do so.  It did feel a bit off, but funnily enough, it did give me a chance to run Where is the Nurse a couple of times.

Very long comments session at dinner.

The general comments tonight were very good, and every one seemed to get a rich meal from the performance and the meal.  There was only one really crazy comment about black holes and whales, and we simply moved on after this.

Some chatting with Ricardo after dinner; we both ended up saying nothing at meals during this part of the course.  We both apparently had a rough couple of days, as well.

At least I can say that there will be a next time.  Probably a next time down here, too.


For the LA circle, I’m thinking that I’d like them to make a 7-week commitment, one for each primary.  I’m getting sick of wasting time.  Whoever commits will do so for the duration, emergencies excepted.


Course declared completed at 11:26 pm.  Many words about the future, and closing the workshop.  I spoke for Bill F., Victor M., and Josh B.

  • The work has not come to an end.
  • An organization is necessary to ensure that we can do things. Once an organization becomes locked into a format, it becomes an institution, and the majority of the work goes into maintaining the structure.
  • The direction of the organization can easily go astray and end up moving in the opposite direction of the creative impules.
  • Better to close up shop and send the apprentices out into the world. They all have the necessary tools.
  • Various strains of this work.
  • Bennett line is currently caught between “active-passive” and “active-active”
    • Active receptivity: actively looking for answers/directions
    • Active activity: presenting in the world, seeking out schools, collaborating with others

22 Oct 2016

In the air; ended up on the same departing flight as Curt, Dean, Eric, Chris, Dr. Mike, and RF.  Plenty of chatting while waiting for the flight.  Also hilariously adorable to listen to RF calling Toyah after the course had ended.  Also of note:  RF rides coach.  Business class, but coach.

Sitting was slightly easier this morning.  Small breakfast, talking to Fumihito; found out he’d extensively modified his Ovation, which is why it looked so strange.  Also checked in with Sarah; sounds like her marriage has been a little distant, the past couple of weeks.  She’d like to move to Seattle, like we all do.

Goodbyes to everyone, even Luz, who barely speaks English and I barely speak Spanish.  Group hug with Jon, Al, Martin, Dev (“Wait, where’d Brad go?!”), final wavings, and into the van.  Some chatting with Eric at the airport; Primus was a touchpoint for both of us.  Through security, and into the waiting area at roughly 10:45.  More chatting with Chris, who it turns out worked in marketing for EAW for many years, and the music equipment industry in general.  Boarding at approximately 11:50ish, and in the air by 12:25.

I am beginning to feel a strong pull to this country.  I can definitely see myself making many more trips down here.

In relation to this, as I was telling Curt, I am now ready to start kicking ass.  Having spent a year in LA, and being generally unimpressed with the small amount of work we’ve done, I figure that it’s getting to be time to put or shut up.  This does mean that I may have to leave the circle in order to get shit done, but I’ve been on the edge for some time now.

In the meantime, there is also the GC History project that I need to really dig into.  With all the typing, picture development, photo editing, and general formatting, I think it’s reasonable to assume it will take approximately 1 1/2 months to compile everything and have it ready. [Ed. Note.:  yeah, right.]

Deplaned in Santiago, and on the way through Customs, RF turned around and asked me what airline I was taking.  A minute later, saying his farewells to Curt, Dean, Chris, and Eric, he turned to Dr. Mike and suggested that I follow them to the VIP Salon.

LATAM’s salon didn’t look promising, so over to American Airline’s club.  A couple of questions asked, and I’m in.  RF had some necessary online-ness to address, but this afforded me the opportunity to have a good chat with Dr. Mike.  Somewhat surprising to find that he’d worked with George B. as well, before George moved his family to the Camp Caravan area.  A couple of interesting suggestions and thoughts came out of all this–I really couldn’t have been luckier.

After maybe 45 minutes, he and RF had a connection to make, so they took their leave.  Before departing, RF came over, shook my hand with his left hand, and we said farewell.  This left me alone with free food, wifi, and plenty of alcohol.  And a big, comfy chair.

Necessary diarizing and digitizing.

After about 4 hours, it was time to pop up to the main airport and look around for some sort of souvenir.  Up and down the terminal and gates, and after a bit, I came across a very nice Chilean poncho.

Some more wandering around the gates.  A bit of serious cognitive dissonance was experienced when I came across a Dunkin’ Donuts.  It shouldn’t be terribly surprising, especially in an international airport, but it was quite odd.

A late lunch consisted of what I am assuming to be a traditional Chilean sandwich:  cheese, mayonnaise, tomato, and french-cut green beans.  Weird.  Kind of messy.

A bit more wandering eventually brought me across Curt, Dean, Chris, and Eric, who were enjoying Pisco Sours.  Some more chatting with them, and then it was time for me to make my connection to Lima.

Over to the gate, and onto a 787 for the first time ever.  The plane left at least 30 minutes late, which had me very concerned with making my connection, though I didn’t need to be.

Within 5 minutes of being airborne, I passed out.

I touched down in Lima at approximately 11pm local time, and immediately made my way to a coffee shop for tea and cheesecake, but was kicked out after maybe 20 minutes due to the airport changing terminals around.

Over to my gate to wait for a 2 am departure.  This was also on a 787, so was thankfully very comfortable, enough to knock me out until the next morning.

23 October 2016

Awake at approximately 7:30 Lima time, coming to in time to watch the sun rise over central Mexico.  Breakfast was edible.

Sitting at roughly 8:30 am, Lima time.  60 Points, Six Points, and 5 Latifahs.

Coming in for the final descent at 8:15 am.  Off the plane, and through customs/immigration by about 8:30 am.  Meeting Ieva at the car at about 8:50 am, ignoring a traffic cop who threatened to ticket us if we didn’t move.

Straight to a coffee shop.  Coffee acquired, and up the mountain to the apartment, walking in the door at about 9:30 am.  Approximately 27 hours, door to door.

To the diner for 12 Noon!

Various chores throughout the day, in order to stay awake.  Some tentative glancing at e-mail before finally crashing at 10pm.

25 October 2016

Up at 6 am on the dot, and on the road to work for 7:45am.

Walking into work at 9am, tea in hand to fight the cold I’ve acquired in Argentina.  By noon, I can say this course is essentially complete.

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