Ten Thousand Things: Not to be confused with the 10,000 Maniacs.

One thing about The Ten Thousand Things North American Tour is that this a learning process for us here at Miss Fairchild. You see, we’ve never done this particular thing in this particular way and, despite research and preparation, things go wrong and unexpected challenges pop up from time to time. In fact, dear readers, I write to you now from a Grand Union supermarket parking lot in Swanton, VT, just this side of Quebec. Why have we stopped, you ask? Well, we’re waiting on some final paperwork to go through so that our work visas are ready for our entry into Canada. Montreal is just about an hour away! But she seems so much farther…

So, instead of driving, or navigating, or preparing to play a show, we sit and enjoy the sights and splendors. Let’s see. There’s McDonald’s to my right. They have wifi, but it’s not free. There’s Grand Union to my left. They have Vitamin Water, and thou

gh it’s not free, it’s actually pretty cheap. Behind me is a Dunkin Donuts, which, after starting up in Newton, MA has become quite the corporation, what with John Goodman and Rachel Ray on the payroll. And, in front of me is a mean looking dude with an orange chinstrap wearing jean shorts and a Red Sox cap, sending a text message and about to ride away on his Suzuki motorcycle. After he sends the text, someone calls and he looks sheepish and unprepared for the conversation. There’s a good chance that was his mom asking why he wasn’t back from the store with the margarine she asked him to buy. Now, he’s tucking in his shirt and looking sheepishly side to side to make sure no one is watching as he adjusts his, uh, shorts. In a bout of regional sports confusion, he puts on a San Jose Sharks jacket and a motorcycle helmet that has a few too many stickers on it, one of which looks to advertise the Philadelphia Eagles, and rides off, not as loud as he would like.

And, truly, since we aren’t driving or playing a show r

ight now, I also have an opportunity to tell you all what exactly the Ten Thousand Things North American Tour is all about.

[One moment, have to avoid the yellow jacket that just flew into the van…

…And it’s gone! No casualties.]

Okay, the ten thousand things are all of those things that we have to remember: to bring, to do, to see, to eat, to find, to avoid, that happen, that oughtn’t happen, that might happen. It’s everything that we bring with us, everything that we take home and everything that we leave behind. It’s gear, and sleeping mats and books. It’s rest stops and motels. It’s fans and friends and family. It’s visa problems and car alarms and broken flashlights. It’s random encounters and planned rendezvous.

So, from time to time, as you read this blog you might hear the phrase “_____ is a thing” and you will know that it’s one of the ten thousand. Speaking of which….

Our visa scenario has just been resolved! Yay, we went through Canadian immigration and all of my stereotypes about Canadians have been confirmed:

These are some of the nicest people in the world.

I can’t say it any other way. The immigration officers that attended to our work permits and merchandise taxes were sooo exceptionally nice, I thought they might have owed us a favor or been related to us in some way. We had to unpack a lot of our gear so the officer could see our merchandise, a fact for which she was very apologetic. Considering the fact that moments ago we were unsure of whether or not we would even make it to the gig, the whole thing seemed easy.

That we’re on the road again and listening to Ice Cube is just gravy.

In recap, waiting for work permits is a thing. Immigration officers is a thing. Canadians being really nice and accommodating is a thing. The Great Dunlap dusting off his very rusty French is a thing.

Wish us (me) luck!

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