Seattle, Washington Visa Purgatory

Long overdue update on that job post thing: Ranee Stewart has joined the team as our production coordinator. She's been putting together the first big trip of the new video for the last month and she is absolutely knocking it out of the park.

We've got two visas down so far and two more to go. I should be hitting the road in about a month. Incidentally: how hard do you think it is to get an Afghanistan visa? Turns out it's not that hard. A valid passport and two photo IDs and you can pretty much wander into a war zone.

I'm starting to get extremely motivated to get going on this new video. Having Ranee on board to plow through the bookings and applications has removed the last motivational barrier. I'm finally looking forward to living in airports and waking up in a new country every other day.

The dance training has been coming along. I got a crowd together in Volunteer Park a couple weekends ago to try out some moves and practice teaching them to people. It's new and challenging; the old dance was totally un-self-conscious, so it was easy to get big, goofy smiles out of people. When you're actually trying to learn something, you tend to look grim and determined, so it's harder to bring out that lightness of spirit. It takes rehearsal, but not too much or else everyone looks bored. Tricky!

Aside from that I've just been lining up people to dance with in the Middle East, waiting for visas to come through, and enjoying the spring.

I'm working on integrating some sort of TwitteryFaceybookyness into the site for the trip. Since finishing the book, I'm kind of done with long, meandering blog posts and it seems like the rest of the world is too. I'm thinking I'll do full posts every now and then and punctuate them with short bursts of a sentence or two with a photo — internet and smartphone technology permitting.

It would all be visible from this site, though, so (hopefully) no need to sign up for anything you're not already signed up for. The last thing I want to do is prompt anyone to join Facebook.

Oh, almost forgot. A very satisfying email exchange:


Hi Matt—

This is _____, from Fox News Channel, in NYC. How are you? I actually loved your video over a year ago, when I first saw it online…I am wondering if there is any way you may be anle (sic) to join us for a possible interview on our show, Fox & Friends, to discuss your travel, and to play clips of some of the fabulous footage…Thanks so much, and hope to hear from you soon.


Hi _____

Thanks for the kind invitation. I would rather stick a fork in my eye than appear on your hateful, fear-mongering, ignorance-spewing program.