Oct 28, 2014

The Day of Doom Festival Begins...

Our first night in Barcelona came to an end after a nice, relaxing dinner out on the sidewalk at a Greek restaurant where a friend of Samo's happened to wait tables.  It wasn't our intention to go there, but since we were so good at getting lost it seemed like as good a place as any to get off of our feet and unwind. We would have gotten lost trying to find anything else anyway, so why not go to the place across the street?  We learned that first day that trams and metros are not the same thing, and that streets coming in at subtle angles make it very difficult to retrace your steps to your hotel.  Fortunately Monica and I paid for a new cellular service plan for the trip and we were able to text "Help!!!" to our caretakers every time we realized we were not where we thought we'd be.  Someone kept screwing with the maps in our GPS apps while we were boldly walking towards what we just knew would be the precise spot Samo described as a meeting place.  We had read that Barcelona had the best pick pocketers in the world.  In fact there were signs on the metros and in certain areas of the city warning about professional robbers, but no one said anything about them stealing your phone and editing the map you were using before stealthily placing the phone back in your pocket.  What evil bastards!  Maybe that's what they do to people like us who clearly don't have any money to take so that we don't feel excluded from participating in their finely honed craft of picking pockets.  Well the joke was on them ultimately, because even though it was their fault we got lost I rather enjoyed my falafel and papatas bravas.

Oct 21, 2014

Day of Doom 2014: Two Years in the Making

I still remember the very first time the organizer of Barcelona's Day of Doom Festival and I spoke.  I was at work on top of a ten foot ladder when I received the call.  I don't normally answer the phone at work unless it's one of a small handful of people trying to reach me. Talking on the phone is not what I get paid to do. Apparently talking on the phone and texting all day is what everyone under the age of 30 gets paid to do, but not me.  On this particular occasion I happened to notice the foreign country code on the phone screen, so I decided it could be interesting to take the call.  A very thick accent on the other end said "Hello!  I am calling from Barcelona, Spain".  Barcelona?  Cool city, but I didn't know anyone there.  I replied "I'm pretty sure you have the wrong number" and I thought that would be the end of things.  I was wrong.  The voice then asked "Is this Steve Shelton?".  Hold on a second, this had to be a prank.  I started looking around from atop the ladder to see who might be watching my reaction.  Within a few seconds I realized this was not a prank at all.  My friend, Braulio kept on working while I spent the next few minutes trying to process the idea that a very rich, booming voice was asking if Confessor would consider flying to Barcelona to play a festival. Scott already lived in China, and we may not even have been 'active' at the time, but hellz yeah, I'd ask the girls if they would be interested in playing one of my favorite places on earth!  When I tried to give The Voice my email address there was a problem with my accent.  It suddenly dawned on me that the mystery fan might speak Spanish, so much to his surprise and delight we finished the last several minutes of the conversation in Spanish. I remember him laughing and saying that I sounded like a bonafide Mexican.  I'll take that as a compliment any day, and it was an interesting way to end a very strange conversation that had begun ten feet in the air.

Oct 19, 2014

Barcelona: Inspiration Around Every Corner

After a week in one of the most amazing cities I have ever visited Monica and I are slowly settling into our comfortable life here at home.  Time will blur some of the details but the impact of our trip to Barcelona will stay with us forever.  We packed our days there with a number of things we were excited to see and experience, and we were worn out by the end of it all.  We would have gladly stayed for a few more days, but sadly the date on our return ticket did not magically change.  We spent our first day back at home laying around with our beloved Ripp and Bella while the two cats seemed just as unmoved by our return as one would expect.  To be sure, they were happy to have someone to annoy again though they are always too detached to exhibit any real emotion.  I have spent much of my time going over the 1,500 photos we took so that we might all eagerly relive the experience with our fellow travelers while we are still glowing from our adventure together.  Hopefully I will be able to begin breaking our trip down for all Pounderers next week before "normal life", or that which happens between adventures, digs its claws into us and time warps us right into the holidays.  This time of year always seems to speed up and life becomes a long series of commitments you barely have control of before year's end.  We will think back to our trip to Spain and remember what it was like to be surrounded by beauty, art and architecture, friends, churros and drinkable chocolate all within a few minutes' walk of the Mediterranean Sea.