I finally picked up this week's issue of City Paper, and who is on the front cover, mocking me? Michelle Shocked. She's playing at Ram's Head Baltimore on Tuesday, and I've been looking forward to it for months, but, alas, I cannot make it.
I've been a fan of Shocked's since around 1996, but have never seen her live. I've heard her live shows are Springsteen-esque in their intensity, but also a lot of fun - apparently she lets audience members come up who know her songs, and does things like karaoke. I actually don't know her music that well anymore, but I have a lot of respect for her as an artist - the passionate, almost crazed political stances and causes, her stubborn switching of genres in the face of record label pressure. And even though I don't know her music that well anymore, I think I'd get my price of admission just by hearing her play two of the greatest songs written, ever - "Anchorage" and "Come a Long Way." Both were minor hits (I've heard them both on WTMD this year), and both are songs where every lyric, every note is perfect. Her craggy, unadorned vocals probably sound impressive live.
Unfortunately, I'll be in Albuquerque. And I've really screwed myself over with it, too. Here's the blow by blow:
1. I'm told in December that I have an opportunity to go on a trip to New Mexico this summer from July 12 - July 15.
2. I make arrangements to see a friend and drive up to Colorado to visit another friend in his summer home in the Aspen mountains. I get really excited.
3. The first week of June, I'm told that the training was filled up and I can't go and have to choose a new date. The reason, I'm told, is that "North Avenue" screwed it up. I don't believe it for a second; I think it's the person who is giving me that excuse, but it doesn't really matter because there's nothing I can do about it. I disappointingly give the friend out west the bad news that I can no longer go on the drive up to the summer house.
4. I'm told I have to buy my own plane tickets but I'll be reimbursed. I wait and wait for confirmation that I'm going on the trip on July 28. I finally get it on Wednesday, June 15. I have to buy plane tickets, but can't afford to until payday on Friday, June 17. On Thursday, June 16, there was a deal to buy tickets to Michigan, to Albuquerque, and back to Baltimore for $594. The moment I get paid on Friday June 17, I look again for that ticket package, and it's now $816 - out of my price range.
5. I rush through and get a deal for $405 to Albuquerque. I'm being reimbursed $355 for the flight so I figure that's okay. However, I get it through Priceline, and I screw up and part of the deal is they get to pick the times. Unfortunately, I have to make it to the airport by 4pm to catch the shuttle for the two hour drive to the training facility. My ticket has me set to arrive at midnight. I try to change it, both through Priceline and through Delta, and I cannot. I now have to rent a car, which is $204 for the week. Now, my trip is costing me $605 in transportation alone and I'm just getting $355 back. I'm being screwed out of $250. This sucks, sucks, sucks. By the way, does anyone have any experience with cancelling a Priceline order? That seems to be my only option. They told me yesterday I cannot, though.
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