Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No Line on the Horizon

Unemployment - Day 42 in Business Days; Day 58 in Human Days

It's been 7 hours and 58 days...since they took my job away.

"I want to feel sunlight on my face. I see the dust clouds disappear without a trace."

The sun shone. The sky bright blued. The snow reflected, blinding like love. The air crisped and the wind walloped wildly. It was the afternoon of March 3rd and the smell of fresh U2 filled the streets of New York City like honeysuckle in summer.

What makes this day so special? Why, it's U2-sday!

U2's new album, No Line on the Horizon, was released today. I've only listened to it 4 times all the way through, so it's still a bit early on to give a detailed review. I plan to dissect each track on this here blog over the next week, so stay tuned. What I will say right now is that I was excited to hear sounds on the album reminiscent of the band's very first album, Boy. I fully support the reinvention of U2 throughout the years, and I do believe that is it only through constant self-discovery and experimentation that a band can stay relevant and capture new and younger listeners. However, it was loverly to hear a connection to U2 olden days.

Usually when a new U2 album comes out, I wait in line the night before at whatever music store is doing a midnight release so that I can purchase the actual, tangible album (deluxe edition, of course) as soon as is humanly and crazy-fan-ly possible. This time around, though, I decided to forgo the midnight mission and instead buy the album first thing in the morning on iTunes. I feel guilty about abandoning my tradition and not owning a physical copy of the album, but I have a few sound reasons:

1) The snow. I've braved a plethora of outdoor elements for my boys over the years, but I'm only willing to stand overnight in slush for the possibility of actual contact with the band.

2) I'm officially couch-surfing (more on that some other time - today is about U2). I have a limited amount of space in the two suitcases out of which I'm living. As someone who is out of work and homeless, I must lead a simple material life and only carry on my back the belongings of absolute necessity. How can I possibly add a CD to a suitcase containing 7 pairs of shoes and a 6-month supply of Devachan conditioner? Nope, time to scale down.

3) Dough. It costs less money to download the deluxe edition of No Line on the Horizon than to buy the physical album. That's money I can use to pad and insulate the cardboard box I'll sleep in later this year when U2 concert tickets go on sale. Wait -- if I'm already living in a cardboard box, and then I bring the cardboard box to the concert venue for waiting in line overnight, does that mean that I own a mobile home? Hmmm.

All in all, it's been a glorious U2 day. I received many communications today from various friends with U2 sightings, thoughts on the new album, and good old U2-sday well wishes. Even a man I went on two dates with six months ago and never heard from since found me on gmail chat to share a U2 story. I love it. I love being that U2 girl. I love being the first person that people think of when something U2-y happens. It just makes me feel all warm and Bono-y inside.

But I have mixed feelings about one particular person who sent me U2 communications today. Yup, that's right. The Artist Formerly Know As My Husband. He sent me a text AND an email to let me know that the band was having lunch at Maison on 53rd and Broadway with Mayor Bloomberg. "Happy Bono hunting" he said. Immediately I laughed and texted back with a meaningful song lyric. But as the day wore on, I grew more and more irritated by the messages. Yes, I'm happy to receive any information on the band's whereabouts, especially since the tragic demise of the Bono-Radar. But do I want to receive it from TAFKAMH?

U2 was always my thing. My obsession. My religion. The one thing that brought me more peace and joy than anything else. And today is an extremely important day in my U2 world. A high holy day. And while I certainly don't object to anybody else worshipping U2, I'm not so sure I want The Artist Formerly Known As My Husband trying to enter my U2 temple and interrupt my U2 bliss.

I tried to turn the tables and think of what I would do in his position. If I saw Batman on the street, I would think immediately of The Artist Formerly Known As My Husband. It would be an involuntary reflex. But would I call him to tell him? I can't help thinking -- What would Bono do?

Jobless City Challenge: Buy new U2 album on iTunes. The cheapest I was able to find a physical copy of the deluxe edition is for $23.08. I purchased it on iTunes for $17.99.
Money Saved: $5.09! Also probably saved a tree.