Pining for the Fjords

by stephancox

Owing an odd confluence of circumstances, I will be leaving for a week-long solo trip to Scandinavia tomorrow evening. I’m incredibly excited, and, yes, a little nervous. For those of you keeping score at home, traveling abroad alone is on my list of Shit That Scares Me, so expect a blog post with a full report in about a week or so.

The story is this: About a month-and-a-half ago, I attempted to get tickets to go see Kraftwerk play at the Museum of Modern Art. I’d always wanted to see them live, and they were scheduled to do an eight-night stand at MOMA, performing one of their albums in its entirety each night. The tickets were only available online at a specified time, so when that time came around, I logged onto their site and attempted to buy tickets. I selected the night I wanted and waited. And waited. And waited. One of those spinning icons alerted me that I was waiting in the queue to purchase tickets, to not refresh my screen, and to continue to wait.

After about a half-an-hour of looking at the same spinning icon, I decided to compare notes with friends over Facebook who I knew were also trying to get tickets, and it turns out they was having the same experience. It seems that not only did thousands of people want to see these shows, but that, more perniciously, scalper-bots were likely scooping up all the tickets. Bastards.

Then Lori, who was also trying to get tickets, called and we talked about how utterly ridiculous the situation was. We started singing phrases on the web page with German accents. She encouraged me to write and record a catchy little jingle to capture my experience. I did, and I guess it hit a nerve, because it went kinda-sorta viral, and people left many nice and funny comments about it. End of story, I thought.

Then, last week, I got an email from a curator in Oslo, Norway, telling me that he’d curated an art exhibit about waiting creatively, and that he would like to use my video. In an art exhibition. In Norway.

Needless to say, I say yes. A week later, I’m going to Norway. Since it’s a long shlep (eight hours and change), I will be also going to Stockholm, another city I’ve always wanted to see. It’s all been a crazy whirlwind, but then, that’s the sort of thing that belongs on a Shit That Scares Me blog, right?

Quick update on other stuff: The triathlon training continues apace. This last weekend, I did my first 25 mile bike ride, with the help of my incredible wife, who followed me and took notes, just like she did with the marathon training. She totally, totally rules. Oh, and as I’ve mentioned here before, I’m raising money for an incredibly worthwhile cause, so if you haven’t donated yet, please consider doing so.

I am about halfway through “Ulysses” (I keep pausing to read other books), I’ve been working with my French tutor every week (with flashes of fluency), and now, my father and I have decided that we’re going skydiving together on my birthday in August. So I’m going to jump out of a plane with my dad. How cool is that?

More to come in the weeks ahead. See you in the Fjords…