The Amtrak observation car is a parallel universe to the bar Cheers — nobody knows your name, but they’ll ask politely, and even if they never ask your name they’ll tell you their life story anyway. Rev. Johnny Brandt’s card says “Weddings. Bike Blessings. Ordained Minister.” He offered to talk to me after I whipped out my mic to speak to a pair of sisters traveling from Ft. Worth, Texas, to Hawaii by train and boat. The sister Rev. Brandt is kissing refuses to hop on an airplane, but that doesn’t stop her from traveling. (I’ll upload their story separately.) Meanwhile, here’s a tiny snippet of audio [sorry, a bit muffled] from the Reverend — or as I nicknamed him, having gotten a smooch myself, the Motorcycle Kissing Bandit.
I’d hoped to upload more audio by now, but I’ve been learning as I go. For the first time, I’ve been recording on two different platforms on my iPhone, instead of a stand-alone audio recorder. I’m now in Los Angeles, where I had some additional mics delivered — a new lavalier and a stubby little omni mic with a port for headphones. I’ll use those on the last leg of my trip. In some ways, I wish I’d brought a regular audio recorder because I had some challenges transferring the audio from my iPhone to the computer. Plus I had to re-download the entire Adobe creative suite because I’d gotten a new computer, but not properly outfitted it, before leaving New York. It all plays very well into my plans to teach iPhone recording on Friday when I get back to the classroom.
The train is marvelous but I stayed a couple extra days in LA and am actually flying to New Orleans and meeting a reporter from MSNBC. I’ve been seeing friends and doing yoga and working through the inevitable knots of mainly sitting for 48 hours of long-distance train travel. (I’m the kind of person who actually uses a standing desk a lot of the time.) Off to New Orleans tomorrow; then back on the rails to NYC.