Staring At The Sun

I wake up just before we land. I gather my baggage from the overhead bin (yes, they shifted during flight), thank the pilot, and step off into the warm, wet Miami air.

I cue up my iPod to U2’s ‘Miami,’ and walk through the terminal like Bono himself.

Her eyes all swimming pool blue
Dumb bells on a diving board
Baby’s always attracted to
The things she’s afraid of

I have arrived.

There’s a white van with a color VMA sign in the window. I climb aboard behind a gray-haired white guy wearing a tweed suit and straw hat, and a dude in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. My colleagues.

The American Airlines Arena is hoppin’. The plot of land between the arena and Biscayne Bay that was once nothing but a sloppy pile of dirt is fully transformed: green grass, fresh asphalt, and palm trees. It’s like a war zone. Security is everywhere. White tens punctuate the blue sky. Workers scurry to rig sound and lighting. My coworkers, all clipboards and head sets, walk with purpose.

I secure my credentials at Gate 7: News Crew and Red Carpet, walk the span of the arena and step past craft services into the cool, white newsroom. The VP of News, tugging on a fresh-blended fruit smoothy, extends his hand. Just beyond, four shiny eMacs, five Dell PCs, and G4 Digitizing Station gleam beneath three clocks displaying three time zones.

I have arrived.

* * *

I just got in from dinner with my boss downstairs at the Marriott’s Bay View Grille. Most of our colleagues are down the street at the Radisson (which they’ve dubbed Le Radisson), so it was just us. Which made for a pretty cool time.

I met Michael at the Democratic National Convention almost eight years ago to the day. I was working for Lifetime Television (yes, “For Women”). I was the first of my team to arrived at the United Airline Arena when I saw the MTV News crew. I figured they must know something about something (ie: where to plug in my computer), so I stuck out my hand and introduced myself. Six weeks later, I’m working for the guy.

Tonight, I’m two beers in, inhaling my mahi mahi, and he’s already touched on meeting Keith Richards, interviewing The Pixies, Nirvana, Jimmy Page, and I’m like, “Dude! You gotta’ write a book!”

Which is why my job rocks. The people who are good at it are good at it because they really love music. They’re enthusiastic. They care. And man, for me, that’s everything. That’s the only reason for being.

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