Thursday, December 12, 2002

In a story that will surprise no one, Guns N' Roses has canceled the rest of its US tour. Ten years ago, this would have crushed me, but now I just have to laugh at it. I still love Gn'R's old albums, and I've recently gained a new appreciate of Appetite for Destruction. I even saw the band on its 1992 tour with Metallica, and it remains one of the greatest live shows I've ever seen. But I never had any interest in seeing the band that Conan O'Brien refers to as "Fatty Magoo and the Guys Who Aren't Slash." Ever since Axl Rose fired the rest of the band in 1994 (or thereabouts), I've given up hope that anything resembling the old sound would ever come out of his studio. And that was borne out by the new band's performance at the MTV VMAs in August. Seeing Axl and some nameless weirdos playing my old favorite songs confirmed that the old Gn'R is long, long gone. Although I have hope for the new album that may be forthcoming from the rest of the original group. I heard some of the album that Slash put out in 1995, and it wasn't too bad, so maybe this new effort will bring back some fond memories of my late teens.

I spent Wednesday traveling around the New York City area with my father, assisting him with his side business of providing educational video programming to hospitals. The work we were doing (installing/replacing laserdisc players with DVD players) wasn't that interesting, but we did have some fun trying to find the hospitals. We took private taxis to all our appointments, and while some of them knew where to go, one driver in particular had no idea where our Bronx hospital was. Dad and I had each been there before, so we had a vague idea where it was. But the cabbie had no clue, and even when I told him we were going in the wrong direction, he didn't turn around. Twice we drove out of our way on a congested Cross Bronx Expressway, and if I never see that road again.... I had my new iPaq handheld and a wireless Internet connection, so I kept trying to look up directions to the hospital, but every time I entered our current location, we'd pull away before I could get the directions from Mapquest. Finally, we asked a gas station attendant where to go, and while we waited, I got the right directions. With the attendant's help, and my online searching, we finally found our way. The next cab ride was less of a puzzle since the driver knew just where to go, but he was talkative and shared far too many details of his life story as he drove us from the Bronx to upper Manhattan. We heard all about his son who was born out of wedlock, his daughter who he abandoned at the age of two because of his drinking problems, his subsequent attempts to rekindle the relationship with his now-grown daughter and her family, and his uncle (wait, it's now his uncle-in-law; I'm still trying to figure out how that works) who's a doctor but can't afford to retire. I'm glad I had the chance to spend time with my father, but I could do without all the cab rides. Along those lines, we took him on the subway later that night, and it was the first time he'd been on the NYC subway in almost 40 years. He was on some of the "redbird" cars when they were new!

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