Tuesday, December 30, 2008

i've read that book, too

Tonight I got the, "It's not you... I just don't want to be in a relationship right now" speech. I was also patronized blatantly with the, "I'm older than you" (5 years) and, "but I've had a string of long term relationships (which all failed?) and you haven't" lines.

Happy new year. I'm going to crawl back into bed for a few days.

Monday, December 29, 2008

another one bites the dust?

The oldest man in America has died as has Freddie Hubbard. I guess it's true what they say about your chances of dying increasing around the holidays. So sad.

She says as she stuffs the last bite of brownie in her gob...

recommended reading

I saw this on someone else's blog and thought it might be a little ego boost to repost it to mine. I know people personally who would bold the entire list and those people are my heroes. I'm a little embarrassed to have so many red-bold-highlighted (can't figure out how to underline here) books, but hell, this time of year it's good to know what needs to be worked on for next:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This one is originally from the Big Read. Apparently they reckon most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

Instructions:
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Underline those you intend to read. Since I can't figure out how to underline, I'm just going to color them red.
3) Italicize the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.


1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (en français)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

wow... rip eartha kitt.

Bummer.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

maths

Three's a crowd.

Monday, December 22, 2008

a little swim... a little salt

I thought I'd put up a couple of photos from Salt Lake City. It's not apparent by looking at these, but it was INSANELY cold when I was there last week. No, really.
People have CHICKENS... in their backyard??? Weird. Mormons.


I went for my first swim in just about forever today -- there were bratty kids in the pool. I know they were trying really hard to not be brats, but they just couldn't help themselves. There were no grannies there -- I went too late in the day (for the 2nd open swim). Le sigh. I only did 13 laps. I totally suck and I'm horribly out of shape. The worst was walking by the full-length mirror and seeing THE HORROR!!! I'm giving myself 2 weeks of hard swimming to get back up to a mile a day and then it's on. I want to be fit by mid-February. If not "fit" then at least less jiggly.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

crappy christmas



Happy Hanukkah!

still crazy after all these hours

Had brunch with Lors... more baked goods given. Just thinking about how fat I'm going to get this week is depressing me. I threw away the fattest of my fat pants... maybe it's time to invest in Maternity jeans?

Oh lawd.

And the news. It's still all about the plane crash. Le sigh. Almost makes you want to create some news, just to break up the monotony. My problem is that I'm already afraid of flying (even though I have to do quite a bit of it) and the re-hashing and speculation about this incident is feeding my fears. I should turn off the TV but that's really too sensible a thing to do.

I also think my phones are broken. Must be. I've been waiting... and waiting... and waiting for a phone call from a certain someone (no, not Santa, but let's maybe say "Satan") and the only reason I can surmise for lack of communication is spontaneous combustion? Yeah, maybe the Meatbomb exploded after a night of drinking and mechanical bull-riding. Surely. Effing Fucker.

slow news day?

They're still talking about the plane "crash" last night at DEN. Nobody died... everyone got off the plane. I've decided that skidding off the runway really isn't a sexy crash to be involved in -- I won't be joking about that anymore, but c'mon Denver news media -- can we talk about the weather or something?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

a little crazy

Ever feel like you're going that way? I do lately. It's over a boy... I hate this. I hate being irrational and jealous and insecure. This isn't me.

I've been waiting for the phone to ring... funny, it never does if you're waiting for it to do so. I try to cheat it by turning it off, alas no calls. Le sigh.

I'm reading "White Tiger" -- it's the latest Booker Prize winner... so far it's quite entertaining. I think I'll escape into the Indian wilds (erm, the wild imagination of the author) for a wee while. Sleep should come swiftly if I know myself. Sleep is what I need; it tempers the crazy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

in a bid to make me very fat for christmas...

Look at what Tracy sent me:Do you know who these people are? They're the bastards who bake the brownie and cookie bits that go into Ben&Jerry's ice cream. I'm seriously going to have to invest in some elastic for '09.

And Lindsey gave me some Lo-Han beverage:
This is what it says on the back of the little box:
Dosage: To be taken after having dissolved one piece of the cube with 100 cc. of boiling water. One piece for each time and 2-3 times for each day.

Hello! Lindsey Lo-Han tea? OK, bye-bye.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

yay! oi beers is coming!!!

In honor of Roy coming into town tonight and not tomorrow morning, I'm going to share the ghetto emergency "card" RyanAir have on their planes. They're so damn cheap that they don't even have seat pockets -- they distribute their inflight magazine after everyone is seated and then collect them at the end -- I'm pretty sure you have to pay for them if you want to keep them.

Anyhow, the card is glued to the seatback:
Look closer... you must not show your panties when using the emergency slide:

empty cupboards and dust bunnies

Punches in the face: 1
Bruises on the body: 15
Achy joints: 3
Verbal insults endured: countless
Stress pounds gained: 9
Excess luggage on Ryan Air: €150
Wages lost due to weak Sterling: $2000
Change fee for return flight: $230
Flu meds at the airport: £6
...
...
...
...
...waking up in my own bed today: FECKING PRICELESS!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

the end

I made it! Last night was the last show and it felt like Christmas came early this year! I left the "end of tour" drinks thing at the hotel early -- rudely without saying goodbye to anyone (who I'll soon be seeing at the airport...)

One more day and then I fly home... seems like forever.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

word of the day

From Dictionary.com:
caitiff \KAY-tif\, noun, adjective:

1. cowardly and mean
2. a mean, cowardly person

Funny... I know someone like this and I work for her -- only one more show!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

limerick -- the one in ireland, not a silly verse

Well, maybe a silly verse... second-to-last show! This must be one of the smallest gigs I've ever done. It's about the size of the Hi-Dive in Denver. I honestly don't know what we're going to do about quick changes and everything... I'm right on stage behind the stacks. My night is going to be long. The payoff? We're going to a hotel "straight" after the gig to shower and sleep. And tomorrow is the last show!

I've pretty much got my wardrobe sorted so that's me. Almost finished. Thank feck for that!

Monday, December 1, 2008

and another one bites the dust

Tonight I hate her guts. I really, really do. I was actually wishing she'd just fall right off the stage, but she didn't. I got yelled at during the first quick change -- I didn't understand what she was asking for after one song -- the song before the change, and when I asked what she needed she went off on me... saying that I need to be "creative" and that "everything with (me) is just lists." Well, first, I'm not paid to be creative. If I choose to go "creative" with the changes, she'll yell at me. I go by lists so as not to upset her, and yet that upsets her. I'm not paid to be "creative" -- that's her fucking job.

I know she was stressed out because her whole family were in the audience, but that's no excuse for going off on me... and Joanne... and everyone she went off on today. She's just a miserable person.

During the sound check she decided to change the set a bit -- we had a rolling clothing rail which she wanted filled with clothes so that she could wheel it out to the center, poke her head through and start a song. We didn't rehearse. It didn't work, of course -- she couldn't get close enough to the mic to sing... so what does she do? She wheels the rail around the stage a bit (Jo and I watching nervously, waiting for it to tip over) and then stops and starts pulling the clothes off and throwing them all over the place. It was down to Jo and me to run around the stage picking up after her. The effect is that she looked like a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum (the 2nd of the night on stage, in fact) and I couldn't find many of the items which had been strewn around. I couldn't even go into her room to gather her dress because I was so angry with her... she didn't do it in a run of "creativity" -- she did it to be a bitch. She's a mean person and I should feel sorry for her, but I just hate her at present.

three shows to go

I can't believe we're almost finished. OHMYGOD!!! I honestly thought I'd either be sacked or I'd have quit by this point but here I sit in the "crew room" at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin waiting for the show to begin... we've got just under 2.5 hours... then a 2 hour show... then it's two shows left! Hoorah!

Yesterday flying in wasn't so traumatic; at least not nearly as bad as I thought it would be... we did Podge & Rodge (unfortunately it's airing tonight during the show so nobody gets to see it) and I didn't blag any swag while I was there (stupidly). It's all good... I'll live. She was really kind to me yesterday; I don't get all this hot and cold shit. I'm over it, but it's almost over so I'll manage.

What else? Nothing much, actually. She fell getting up the curb when we got to our hotel yesterday (the driver accidentally took us to the wrong hotel first -- Blooms... Brooks... so similar. Not really) and I had to work hard to stifle a laugh. I had one once I got to my room -- it's karma. She had a go at the waiter and manager of this airport restaurant we ate at because her "Full English" was lacking sausage and wasn't up to par. She got a refund (my money which she pocketed). Grrrr. So when she fell, I was quite amused. And then she was really nice to me and I felt horrible.

OK. Here's some pictures. I had an Irish Coffee for Lindsey -- I'll have to look for glasses when I get back to England -- I have half a day out by Gatwick -- because we're flying Ryan Air back to London and my luggage is well over the 15kg limit. Goddamn.

Photos are being fussy, unfortunately.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

brixton

Another one of those days.

Our guitar tech quit -- for strictly personal reasons -- and we were all scrambling to find a replacement. As I made my 5th call, I thought, "Do I really want to subject a friend to this madness?" Eh, no. In the end, someone else was found, so I haven't burned any friends...

Four more shows counting tonight. Four more. When this night is over, I'm headed straight to a hotel, a hot shower and bed... for like, what, 6 hours sleep? Um, better than nothing I suppose.

That's it, really. Hopefully I'll be online for a bit and can upload some photos. Today is the 29th and I'll be home, sleeping in my own bed in 6 days!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

in manchester

Our guitar tech quit today... or is in the process of leaving anyhow. Le sigh.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

what i'm thankful for this year...

Well, I've met some really fabulous people this year... and one not-so fabulous. I'm thankful for my health (although I'm feeling a bit old today -- oh, me knees!) I'm thankful that this god awful tour is almost over. I'm thankful that I have a bit of backbone and when asked if I'd stay an extra day to help with the wardrobe returns, I'm saying "no."

There's loads more... mostly I'm thankful that I've been financially responsible enough to not have to work for this artist again. It's afforded me a freedom to make mistakes once, and not repeat them. Hoorah.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

god help me...

She's back and in rare form. I was asked why I always have "that look on your face..." which look, I asked..."the look of having the weight of the world on your shoulders." Um, yeah. I can't remember which silly request she had put in for me to make me have "that look" on my face, but I'm sure it was something above and beyond (my job description).

She was actually fine when I met her at the train station. She regaled me with stories from last night's fete... and was jovial. Then we go to the gig and she was all business. Fabulous. I got a mild chiding over the trousers -- the zip doesn't have "an end" and the hook and eye are missing. Whatever. I am over IT.

8 more days until I'm finished. I'm only going to sort out the garments for Jo... and that's me finished. SHE asked me what was going to happen with all the loaners after the tour and I was like, "not my problem, babes!" Well, not really. That was what I wanted to say. I explained that we were going to sort them and Jo would return them because I'm flying home on the 5th and the stuff might not be back at the storage space early enough on the 4th (it will but I don't want her to know that).

This is a nightmare of a tour. I doubt she'll be doing a US tour anytime soon -- she'd have to really strip things down because I can't imagine she could sell a tour... so no wardrobe! Yeehaw!

OK. I hear talking which might mean sound check is finished. That means I have to attend to HER. Feck.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

like winning the lottery

Almost. I'm at the British Library -- not doing research. Nope. Doing free internet! Hoorah! They're open until 8pm, which is a respectable hour to head to King's Cross, get a coffee and a sweet and wait for the bus to turn up. Jo, our TM is riding with us tonight, so I don't expect I need to round everyone up... which is excellent considering I've been out walking around in the cold all day (since noon, really).

I didn't make it to a movie because I had to get the trousers. The dreaded trousers. The Viktor & Rolfs with the busted zipper... I did something silly and dropped them at a local (to my shitty hotel) dry cleaners. The promised me they'd come back in pristine condition, but I did have my doubts. Well, imagine my surprise when I went in an hour and a half early (I wanted to make sure a quick trip down to Covent Garden and the bead shop wasn't needed) and the trousers were clean, pressed... new zipper installed (albeit still a plastic one). I think these will last the remaining 7 shows. If not? I really don't care. I do, but I'm trying really hard not to.

I sat at Euston for a while this morning just watching the people go by... there were a couple of Korean girls sitting next to me just blahblahing, waiting for their train, and they had the cutest capes on. I'm going to make an effort to sew more when I get home... just because.

Right. I need to find a power point so I can upload some photos. The fun, you see, it never ends.

how wonderful is wifi?

I'm at the Apple Store on Regent Street using the wifi so I can check email... I feel like an asshole, but whatever. I've given Steve Jobs enough of my money, right?

I have hours to blow before I meet the bus at King's Cross... a movie might be in order. I'm going to make my way to Leicester Square now to see what's on... what might fit my schedule. I have to collect dry cleaning at Euston by 6pm so that puts a bit of a wrench in my loaf. I don't have anywhere to hang out otherwise... maybe I'll just go to the British Museum. I should go see the Greek Antiquities before it's decided that they have to give them back.

7 more shows to go!!!

I'll be home the first week of December and I can't wait. I've been craving Mexican food for weeks now... soon enough. Strangely I haven't yet had a curry. I don't think it's going to happen on this trip. Oh well... all the better for my bowels.

Right. The security guard is circling me like a shark... I feel I should make myself scarce now.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

brussels

Today they're filming the show for webcast... and a possible DVD, but they're not saying that so as not to have to pay everyone more money for the film. Hah.

Last night there was the first real wardrobe "malfunction." I don't know why designers put really cheap plastic zippers into garments... oh wait, yes I do -- it's because designer garments which aren't specifically made for the stage, are meant to be worn on occasion -- just once in a while. Not every damn day for an hour on stage. Being danced in. So, on the 12th show, the zipper on the Viktor&Rolf pants split. I'd already put the change trousers in the quick change -- so they weren't right on stage... which, you know, I wouldn't have done if my crystal ball hadn't been on the fritz. I could've foreseen the zipper problem and maybe, I don't know, fixed it before it had broken, again mitigating the need to have spare trousers on stage???

I got a telling-to after the show -- that SHE "wasn't at all happy about the Viktor&Rolf pants." No shit? As if I WAS happy? Did I look happy as I frantically ran down to the quick change to grab the other trousers -- and was told to forget about it? Maybe I was smirking... I don't know. THEN I "missed a cue" because I can't read her mind. This is the most frustrating tour I've ever been on. I've never seen so many people run around trying to keep one person happy... I have to ask the BVs to go and hang out with her before they go on stage because they don't always remember to go into her room and have a drink with her... you don't forget to hang out with people you like, do you?

So, 8 more shows. Tonight is being filmed... for "webcast" and I can't do anything about the trousers because we have two wardrobe cases and I don't have a proper sewing kit. It's Sunday in Brussels anyway so I'd be hard-pressed to find a good store with a metal zipper and a sewing machine. We've already called this designer-friend of hers but he's in Amsterdam. Typical. I'm not really sweating it... except that when I told her I might have to sew her into the trousers, she freaked out on me. It's not THAT unusual but that's beside the point.

OK. That's my pre-show bitching. She could surprise me and be charming seeing as her family and boyfriend are here at the show today... which I think is ridiculous considering she's already going to be stressed out enough over the filming. Whatevs. I just need to walk away if she starts screaming at me.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

another one of *those* days

I could cry but I'm too tired. Seriously. You can only be yelled at so much, by so many people before... well, I don't know. I'll sleep on it and form a hypothesis tomorrow.

Jesus.

köl(d)

In Cologne today... it's freezing! I'm not ready for winter, apparently.

Last night wasn't too bad... got yelled at and shoved, but nothing too traumatic. I'm turning into a bit of a duck on this, the last half of the tour. 9 shows to go (counting tonight) which means I'm in my bed in exactly 2 weeks!

Friday, November 21, 2008

the fear

I'm a little worried that tonight is going to be a massacre... first production show with no rehearsal. Should be interesting. I hope I don't get yelled at... too much, or kicked. I might kick back.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

here's what's happening

So I'm being a completely lazy bastard today. It's heavenly... yes, the sun is shining outside and it looks gorgeous, but this is the absolute last day of sloth I have until I get home on December 5th. I changed my return ticket... am following up on a weird charge to my credit card... and now I'm doing nothing. I have to check out of my room at noon tomorrow and don't meet the bus until 10pm, so I figure this is a good day to stay in. Tomorrow I have big plans for the Wembley IKEA and the Neasden Hindu Temple... and possibly a new long coat from the mall at Westfield. That's three big trips, well, sort of, so I'm going to sit here and type up an update now.

My birthday was so nice. I really miss Cec... and Val... and I got to spend a few lovely hours with them over a very casual dinner. I got tipsy off of two... maybe three... large glasses of wine and we laughed and laughed and talked about boys and clothes and work and it was just normal. I didn't have to worry about saying something that might offend someone or being anyone but me. Cec's trip over was way too short and I feel guilty for dragging her down to my lazy level, but she didn't complain. We never did climb to the top of St. Paul's (which I've done too many times already) and we did go to see the Gherkin together -- something I've been wanting to do for a few years. She didn't see the galleries at the Tate Modern, but it's somewhere she'll return to eventually. We had a nice stroll along the Thames taking photos and soaking up the sun (I even worked up a sweat!) and it was just nice.

The tour I've been on is exhausting. I don't know what happened to 2008. It's been a bear of a year -- not just for the stock market. I've had three less-than-fabulous tours (the first one was just awful all around, the next was just bad because of the work but the people were amazing, and this last one? I can't get my head around it yet. Everyone is fabulous bar one and she's who we're all working for). I was in a similar position last year at this time; I was on a tour I didn't like with nice people doing work I didn't care for and I put the intention into the universe that this year should be better. I think I'll keep my intentions to myself and see how '09 unfolds.

I started dreading going back to work the day we got back to London. I knew that my unpaid "days off" wouldn't be "off," just unpaid... and I spent a good two days stressed out about absolutely nothing. I feel horribly for Cec because I know it spilled over into her visit even though I promised a mere 30 minutes of complaining. We're completely different people, but she's good people and she forgives my shortcomings.

When I meet everyone at King's Cross tomorrow night, the 20th November, it's exactly two weeks until the end of this tour; 10 more shows. I've never been this anxious/excited to get home from Europe before -- this, when the Pound is so weak even. I just want to be HOME. Home even if there are few friends there... or they're too busy with family commitments or whatever. When I think of that, it makes me wonder if I'm depressed... maybe a bit -- the holidays tend to bring that forth, but nah, this tour is depressing. I look older when I'm at work than I do on a day off -- it's from furrowing my brow all day, waiting for the scolding I know will be coming eventually. I tell myself that the woman we're working for is miserable -- that's why she makes us all miserable, and that I should pity her, but honestly, she's just a nightmare and not worth my pity. I'm under no false pretense that we have to be friends and I have no desire to be her friend... it's just exhausting trying to mitigate the freak-outs and verbal assaults. I expend so much energy trying to keep up with her demands -- but in succeeding, she reaches a comfort level where she can ask for even more ridiculous stuff. I just can't win and so I count down the days... but today? I'm not counting. I'm not doing anything at all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

birthdays and blurrydays

Ah, London. Here since Saturday again... which was a day for sleeping. Cecilia arrived on Sunday and we immediately went on a drippy walkabout in the rain. Wagamama eaten, British Museum and National Portrait Gallery visited, we started the shopping and then went West to meet Val for a drink and an eat.

I had a lovely birthday this year -- it certainly surpassed any birthday I've had in the last five years or so. It was incredibly low-key, low-expectation and high reward. Hoorah.
Yesterday was another drizzly day -- we didn't do much other than shop and eat. Cec, unfortunately, isn't a fan of S&M. I'd have to say she's not necessarily a big fan of British foodstuffs... sadly. Maybe they're an acquired taste? To be fair, she didn't have the best sausages and the gravy was a bit overwhelming... eh, I love the stuff. Could live off it (until I have a heart attack anyhow).

Today she's leaving and the sun is shining. I've got laundry on my "to do" list. We had tentatively planned on climbing St. Paul's but I don't know if that's going to happen... I think she's down in the lobby doing a paper; but I'm not sure. I've been up for a couple of hours; suppose I could've taken care of my laundry by now, but you know, I'm OFF work so I'm being incredibly lazy.

Enjoy the photos.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

leaving prague

Am I allowed to change my favorite city? I love Prague... the only problem is that it's so damn expensive. We've had beautiful weather the day and a half that we've been here -- I made myself go on a bit of a walkabout (because I knew I'd regret it if I didn't...) and I really wish I were staying here for the next four days.

Oh well.

Cec is coming to visit me in London and I get a bit of a break from this crazy tour.

Right. Here's some pictures of the touristy bit of Prague... it's such a stunningly beautiful city, it's just not right.

Friday, November 14, 2008

what is going on?

OK. Warsaw and Berlin were great shows... I don't know what today is going to be like. I'm wary and weary and teary and tired. We're all tired which means today could go either way... it could be fabulous (again) or it could be very traumatic and stressful. I'm keeping my eye on the prize (i.e. the ever strengthening dollar against my pound sterling wages. Le sigh... could be worse I suppose... I could be doing this for free but then how would I pay for the therapy after???)

Tonight we're at the Electronic Beats Festival with the Orb and some other bands I might've heard of. We get to meet our support band for the remainder of the tour (10 shows after tonight!!!) I've also got to find out about my return ticket from Cork so I can book my change home. It seems a shame to leave the UK when the dollar is having a rally against the pound, but I'm just sick for home after this tour. I really, really am. I need some creature comforts and some quiet...

Eddie asked me today if I hated him for getting me involved with this mess. I don't HATE him, but I'm a little disappointed I suppose. I always try to prepare myself for the worst, but I didn't have a clue when it came to this tour. Eh, we're past the halfway mark at any rate, so I just need to keep it together for a little longer.

OK, so I'm in Prague and it's a beautiful, sunny day out. I want to go explore a bit and then come back and nap. We're not even on until 12:30am and it's only 2:15pm now... my ride back to the gig is in about 9 hours so a quick shower now... a walkabout... a nap... another shower... then gig, bed, airport, London, hotel, birthday, HOORAY!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

jesus christ

The exchange rate is now £1 = $1.48. Fuck. Great for tourists... typical since I'm getting paid in Pounds Sterling. AND by the time my credit cards bill me for everything I've charged, the rate will probably be close to 2:1 again. Goddamnitall.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

manic/tragic panic

I can't stop the panicking... it's almost at DefCon-4. Seriously. I sent cleaning out all over London and just got it all back. As I'm packing things up, I notice that one of the items I sent for alterations wasn't sewn correctly. Feh. The two puffy dresses sent to the good cleaners didn't get the mending I was promised... but then again, they did turn them around in 24 hours. That alone was above and beyond. THEN at the hotel, of the 12 items I sent out, I only got the 6 shirts back... the bottoms just turned up. My life is being shortened by weeks and days, not just minutes on this tour. It's the 11th. I'll be in my own bed in less than one month.

Tomorrow we fly to Warsaw; it's unfortunate that I won't have time to explore, but so be it. I'll have to go back at some point.

Today was a beautiful London day -- it was sunny, albeit breezy. These are the types of days which make me fall in love with this city. I was in a bit of a swoon all day running around doing my silly errands. I wish I had more time to explore, actually -- since things are always changing. It used to be hard work to find Korean food here, but I saw three Korean restaurants today. I might have to drag Cec out for bibimbap on the day she arrives... or maybe I'll just wait and have my momma's cooking when I get home. Maybe that'll be best...

Monday, November 10, 2008

like flies...

Michael Crichton and Miriam Makeba? Jesus. So sad.

rats!

As in wet rat... or wet blanket. Take your pick. I spent the day running three errands. Yes, it took all damn day to stop at three places. Unbelievable. It's down to the rain -- not a nice, drizzly London rain, it was pretty much a downpour and there I was in nothing but a sweater and a thin water "resistant" wind breaker, jeans and converse. Not really appropriate dress for the weather today... a wet suit would've been better. I can't remember having been as wet and cold as I was all day... well, not ever, but not in a long time anyhow. It's funny the things that change when you're away for a year. What was Tower in Piccadilly and then Virgin is now some other store... Zucci or Ziccu or something -- it's still an entertainment shop, but not a brand I've ever heard of. I had a browse and spent no money!

My favorite dry cleaner/alterations shop is no longer where it used to be... or maybe I was lost. Either way, I wandered aimlessly for a good hour before I gave up and went to Liberty to get a couple of items for the Principal which she told me to pick up... yeah, sure... I'm not getting paid here, so yeah, let me run some personal errands. Feh. I'll get over it. Maybe. Anyhow, I asked the shop girl in the Beauty section if she knew of any cleaners/alterations shops nearby and she directed me around the corner... I really hope they don't fuck up the stuff I left, but then again, I don't really care too much. One of the items is for the BVs (which I was told I'm not responsible for) and the other is a bodysuit with a cut that needs to be sewn around. There are five more long-sleeved body-suits in the case, so I'm not too worried... well, that's a lie. I'm worried a bit about getting yelled at. I'll live, though.

I'm operating now as if I don't care whether or not I get fired. I really do care, but it would almost be a blessing to get shipped home. I feel greyer and fatter than I was before I got here -- and it's down to the stress. I'm in it for the money, clearly, and the more money I have at the end, the more time I've bought myself to find work, but maybe a little less stress now will extend my life by about 10 years. Don't know.

Tomorrow it's back out into the weather (which I'm praying will improve) to pick up everything I left behind... I barely have enough pounds, but I'll manage. It's down to invoicing and following-up and following-up some more. We're getting costumes to wear onstage ourselves... I'm actually excited about this -- because it'll be something to hide behind while I'm on stage each evening. What is it? 13 more shows still? I leave on Wednesday for Warsaw and three in a row, then it's back to London for five days off. Cec is coming to celebrate my birthday with me, so there is hope...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

ldn

Last night's show in Athens was really good -- meaning I had a good night, didn't get yelled at... was toasted, in fact, and had a glass of champagne. It's been schizophrenic here for sure... my guard is always up (even through toasts).

We flew to London today -- I got my first look at T5. My luggage didn't get lost (unfortunately as one of the suitcases I'm carrying is costumes I have to have cleaned on my "unpaid days off"). Grrr. Actually, I get one day paid off, so I'm doing work for one day and that's it. That day is tomorrow. After tomorrow I'm not answering my phone until I get to Heathrow again on the 12th... unreasonable? Probably. So be it.

I sat next to a massive, hulking Greek man on the plane. He smelled of cigarettes. It didn't stop me from sleeping. In fact, it's only 2:19pm and I'm about to go down for a nap. I'm staying at a rather shit hotel near the airport, but I got such a great deal on the rate I had to take it. My room, actually, isn't bad -- it's just a really ugly building on the outside. I don't care... there's room service, internet and satellite TV. Hoorah.

So that's me. Bed. I'll upload my photos from the plane later -- we did a couple of flyovers above London while we were in a holding pattern; my pics aren't the best, but I couldn't believe the view -- I don't remember flying that low over the city in clear skies... not for a long time, anyhow.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

damnitall

14 shows left after today. Feck.

bucharest... sophia... thessaloniki... to athens

It's been a long road to Athens. Today is the last of 4-in-a-row and I'm so excited. Last night was a bit of a nightmare (the show was great... there were "words" exchanged after) but we're on the last of the four, so I can do this. We're all exhausted. The roads between the cities are atrocious... the Greeks have been grossly disorganized... the Bulgarians, while incredibly friendly, were too numerous and there was hell press and the Romanians? That was days ago... I barely remember the day.

I spent a day wandering Bucharest however, and it's a city undergoing change. I think that in 5 years' time it'll be really tourist-friendly but at the moment many of the old city streets look like bomb/building sites. It's ugly/beautiful in a way -- the one area where the national art museum and the philharmonic are located are impeccable and I assume an example of what the city will become.

Sofia, unfortunately, was a day down to promo. The city is under fog and still has a very Eastern feel to it... I wish I had a chance to explore -- it's supposed to be a lovely city. Our show and hotel were a bit out of the center, unfortunately, and the juxtaposition between the new and the old (Soviet) buildings is this weird unbalance -- there's extreme luxury with the new, and what appears to be extreme poverty with the old. Our promoter rep explained that Sofia is undergoing a lot of change (i.e. influx of money as they work to get on the Euro) but that there is seemingly no plan to the improvements. It's interesting. Our catering was dynamic here. I just remembered how the catering at lunch in Bucharest was amazing and the dinner was, well, gross.

One funny thing happened on the way to the forum... we were stopped by border patrol in Bulgaria on the way to Greece. The customs official came on the bus and wanted to see everyone -- so I had an abrupt awakening when my bunk curtains were pulled open. Nothing made much sense; I thought we were at the gig and that the crew were coming on to get the luggage... the customs dude was talking to Thomas, our driver, and they woke Roisin -- who got frustrated with the noise, obviously not knowing we were at a border crossing, and yelled, "OI! SHUT UP... GET OUT WE'RE TRYING TO SLEEP HERE!!!" We're so lucky the dude didn't pull us all off the bus for a late-night anal inspection.

Thessaloniki -- what a mess! The promoter was completely disorganized; unfortunately we have the same promoter today. I'll have to post about this show later because I'm still coming down off the disappointment of the evening. I will say that Greece is a "free-smoke" zone. It's absolutely disgusting to walk into a hotel and have to walk through a haze of cigarette smoke. I'm surprised they didn't give us a crate of ciggies upon entry to Greece. It's vomit-inducing.

I could be wrong but I think there are 13 shows left? Don't know if that means 13 shows left for me... or if I'll be coming home early... seriously. News at 10.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WE WON!!!

I awoke to a new day... a new President-elect and hope. If I get sacked today, it's not so bad... at least I'll be coming home to a new America!

I'd like a new puppy, too.

Monday, November 3, 2008

odds and ends

This met us at the airport today:It's a car, yes... clearly involved in a crash of some sort and it's been saran wrapped together. Is this street legal?

We flew Iberia today from Madrid. The seats were insanely tiny. I knew when I stepped on and saw "business class" that we were in for a long day, but the upside was that they fed us! I'd forgotten what it's like to get free food on a plane... I wasn't sure what to make of it.

OK. I'm just up after a nap and should go to sleep otherwise I'll be screwed tomorrow and every other day.

madrid breakthrough?

Last night's show was good, actually... until the bit where I forgot the hat at the last quick change (the encore). Fuck. I ran it out on stage and was yelled at to "GET OFF!" So I did. I spent the night crouching on stage, trying to be invisible... it really sucked. The crowd were amazing -- they sang along to almost every song and there was this really skinny kid in the front wearing a white t and a scarf who just bopped along to every song... no matter. His nose was the biggest thing on him and I imagined one mis-step would land him face-first into the barricade, yet he stayed upright the entire show.

After, I got a thank you and a hug... which really threw me off guard. I really thought I was going to be flying back to London today instead of Bucharest. I'm here, though... in a JW Marriott hotel -- it's massive (there's a shopping mall on the ground floor). I have no plans to leave this evening, even though I should. I should go and take some pictures because it's just beautiful here... the sun has already set and I'm determined to get some stuffed cabbage (or a burger) from room service. Lame, yes. There's a curry around the corner (which means a 10 minute walk) and I might go there for lunch... can't help myself. Curry. In Romania. I might be dourly disappointed.

My room looks over Ceausescu's "palace." It's pretty disgusting when you think about it. The man was a pig. I'm not sure what it's used for now, but I hear there are tours during the day so I might head over there in the morning and find out what a complete bastard the man was. I can't even describe the magnitude of this place... I can't believe he built it off the backs of the Romanians during his Presidency. It's sad, really.

On that note... I know what the exchange rate is now... so I'm going to order some food... bath... sleep. Awesome.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

porto to madrid

casa de musica, porto, portugal

Porto was a fantastic show... really. I didn't get kicked or yelled at (much) and overall I felt really good about the whole thing. We went on at 1:15am and I didn't get back to my room until 5:30am -- at which point I just went straight to bed. I was shit-tired by then.

I slept all day yesterday and wasted a perfectly nice afternoon for a stroll and some photos. Too bad. I will go back to Porto some day. I will see the sea and the view from the other side of the river. I will. All the buildings were tiled and the city just had such a different vibe from day to night. I think I liked it there?

We left the hotel at 10pm last night to arrive in Madrid this morning... I think there must've been some grumbling about me on the bus because I had two people suggest I practice the quick changes. Hmmm. They don't actually take too long -- yesterday our change was up a flight of stairs because there was only one place for us to go -- up to the emergency exit. There was no other place for the band to stand while we changed... soooo I don't know. I feel like I'm constantly apologizing for things which are beyond my control. We're also supposed to have a rack of clothing on stage during the show -- that was impossible at last night's gig. Tonight we have the rack on stage and I'll have to squat under the monitor desk in view of the entire audience. Le sigh. I didn't sign up for this when I accepted the position... it never occurred to me to ask if I'd be on stage during the entire performance. I asked about quick changes and was told that yes, there would be a couple but there are two changes off stage and about 6 on stage. Seriously. I've never worked this hard. I feel like I need a stage towel and water for myself. It's brutal.

Jesus.

So it's sound check at the moment and I'm shitting myself about the show tonight. I don't want to get sacked, but it might happen. I don't know. This wardrobe job really requires two people. I'm also looking after the band while the TM is at the venue looking after the production stuff, and that job alone takes two people. I'm just exhausted. It's 5 weeks yet to the finish line... hopefully I'll make it with all appendages in tact.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

lisboa

In Lisbon... don't speak, no, speak exactly ONE word of Portugese but "obrigado" will only get you so far. It's beautiful here I think. I haven't actually left my room... haven't actually eaten... haven't actually anything. Yesterday was a bit of a trial; I'm not sure that I passed.

It's now 10:34pm and I'm starving. I don't know if things are open late or not... it might just be me and the apples left in my room by housekeeping tonight. Hopefully the stress of this tour will make me THIN but most likely it'll make me fat. Damnitall. One more reason to rush home when this finishes I think.

Malaga was an unfortunate place for pigeons. I saw one trapped in that horrible wire they put up to keep birds from roosting in high places -- this was at the cathedral behind our hotel. Bird, strung up like a chicken at a factory by it's feet in chicken wire. It was so sad. Later a couple of my colleagues recounted the story of their hilarious cab ride where a pigeon actually committed suicide under their taxi's wheels. The poor bird was probably on it's way out -- apparently the driver honked and flashed it's lights (which might've stunned the poor thing) and instead of walking OUT of the way, it walked right under the car's wheels. They said it made a horrible squishing sound. Twice. They also said it was hilarious (this from a 30+ year vegetarian - so I believe that it was funny). Malaga was the city where I thought about throwing myself off a balcony. But I didn't want to go the way of the pigeons... maybe I'll wait until Cologne.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ohmystars

I'm freaking out. I think the wardrobe I'm in charge of is worth more than my house. Seriously. Serious clothes... and shoes and all sorts of wonderful stuff. Le sigh.

Monday, October 27, 2008

málaga a go-go

Ah, it's so gorgeous here... I don't know if I could ever get used to the pace of life. We all arrived yesterday afternoon, our TM, Jo got here without luggage, unfortunately. I was certain that my bag wouldn't arrive so I feel a little guilty for putting that energy out into the universe. The hotel is lovely but why aren't there any English channels on the TV? I don't think I've ever stayed in a hotel in Spain which has any English channels... oh well, maybe I shouldn't be watching TV?

I had a very late start today and just wandered aimlessly around the neighborhood. The beach is spitting distance from here yet I don't think I'll be going down there. I'll probably regret not putting my toes in the sea, but there you go. I'm too tired. I did go to the Museo Picasso Malaga -- it was a free day (woohoo!). The building was amazing and I hate myself for not speaking Spanish right now. I couldn't get anyone to explain in English what the history of the site was (there's an archaeological dig in the basement). They also had a Max Ernst exhibit on, so I wasted a good two hours at the museum before I ventured out for a bite (I missed breakfast... this is the last time that happens, surely?)

So the meeting with the band went well... I'm really freaked out about meeting the Principal, but I'm sure it'll go fine, right? If not I'll just cry.

I can't believe I found a snowglobe here! I bought it and then no less than 10 minutes later, I broke it. Damnitall.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

rock it!

The VOTE, yo!
...all the cool kids are doing it...

Monday, October 20, 2008

p.s.

And what's up with not getting an "I voted" sticker with your mail-in ballot? Hmmmn? Hello! Colorado?!?
image pinched from etsy (thankyouverymuch)

i was wrong...

and right at the same time. Steve Jobs is out to ruin me. The bastard. Anyone interested in an iPhone or an iPod Touch? Just wait a while... I'm thinking of buying one. Grrr.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

lazy with updating

... and about to get even lazier.

Monday, September 29, 2008

bureaucracy sucks!

Urgh. Frustrating day on the phone today... to India. After 45 minutes of back-and-forth blahblahing about "we're sending a letter stating that you did pay off your mortgage" when, really, what I need is the Release of Deed and not just a letter saying that I paid off my mortgage I finally got a transfer to someone in the US who could tell me what the procedure is for releasing my deed. Le sigh. I paid off my house last year... in November. It's now almost October. I don't have the deed to my house yet. With all the upset happening in the markets today I figured I should probably chase this sucker down and have it in hand... just in case.

It turns out I was given bad information from my City and County Clerk way back in March and after three phone calls and numerous transfers, I finally got an emailed release of deed. Grrrr.

The next item on my list was the car -- insurance and registration. I don't even want to talk about it. It's done.

To work off my frustrating morning I rode to the pool and it was CLOSED! I half worried that it would be closed due to the holiday, but alas I forget, the City only observes Christian holidays. And yet. AND YET it was closed due to a "staff shortage." It's OK, I got in a good two or three miles on the bike, came home, cleaned and showered and now it's time for a nap. I saw the amended schedule for my upcoming tour and it looks good... there's even a couple of weeks slated for Brazil (which I doubt will happen) but who knows. Just maybe.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

a sad day indeed

I woke up this morning to the news that Paul Newman had died. Yeah, he was a celebrity but he seemed a decent person, too. I loved the idea of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward -- they were beautiful and in love and even though I didn't know them, it's the kind of love affair I'd want to have.

I remember being young (really, like 7 years old) and having a massive crush on Paul Newman. I always imagined he was the type of person who never realized how handsome he was -- and who knows, maybe he was an absolute tyrant, but I doubt it.

Anyhow, forget about Brad and Angelina. They're nothing compared to Paul and Joanne. So sad.

Friday, September 26, 2008

let's call the whole thing off!

Seriously. Just give the Presidency to Obama. He IS the next President. Feh.

I shouldn't have watched the debate... I didn't learn anything about McInsane that I didn't know already and pulling out the sympathy card right at the beginning by bringing up Kennedy -- that was pretty gross.

On the upside, I did like hearing a bit of Obama's plan with regard to Foreign policy... and the war... and I really dig how he stood his ground against McCain's bulldogging.

What I'm really looking forward to is the VP debate. Oh yes, THAT will be entertaining.

two parts stunning

one part shambolic...

I just watched the Palin/Couric interview. OHMYGOD!!! This woman is an absolute idiot! She got exposure to foreign cultures through "education" and "books?" Huh? Woman, you said it yourself... there are two "foreign Countries" bordering the State you grew up in... why not just cross the border? She was too busy working two jobs when other kids who went to prep school, then college, had parents who bought them passports and sent them to Europe with a backpack??? This woman is completely deluded and out of touch.

Wow.

I was a little sick of Katie Couric but I have newfound respect for the woman. I can't believe she was able to sit opposite Palin and not bitch smack her. Seriously. Her fervent blinking to hold back her clear disbelief was beautiful. I could not have contained myself and I suppose that's why the Couric earns the big bucks and gets to interview the candidates and I get to sit back for free and be alarmed and amazed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

blast from the past

Wow. I just saw this on a friend's Facebook page; it's from 2000. We had a day off and decided to do a group sushi outing -- it must've been somewhere grim like Dallas or Philadelphia. I really don't remember. I do remember making fun of our guitarist (not sure where he is... possibly drunk somewhere) and I had taken to calling our percussionist a "CUNT!" on a regular basis (hence the sour look on his face -- he's just there in the red shirt). Oh, good times. My hair -- it was so FULL and so not grey way back then...

Check out all those beer bottles in front of me; those were the days when I was "fun."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

one of these things is not like the others

I went to see a friend last night; he's out working for this ROCK band and they were at the Fillmore... suffice it to say, I wasn't the oldest person in attendance, but I was probably the most uncomfortable. To be fair the crowd was really mixed: emo kids, metal heads, frat boys and sorority girls... it was really strange. The first band on the bill was fairly forgettable -- so much so that I barely remember their name (Blind Tide). I do remember that the "lead singer" is only 15 and his father is out with them. Working. Doing backline and driving the van? That's devotion.

The second band on the bill, Bleeding Through, while not my cup 'o tea, was thoroughly entertaining. They got the crowd really riled up -- so much so that they were running in a giant circle around FOH. It was like watching a track meet. I laughed and laughed... and scratched my head. What ever happened to a good old mosh pit?

Scott's band were the headliner, so I had a long wait to say goodbye. I spent a good portion of the show out front -- in front of the venue, on the pavement talking to my friend and tallying up the casualties. I did make it in to see the "wall of death" -- the whole evening was a practice in dumb audience tricks and the wall of death didn't disappoint. The band draw an imaginary line down the middle of the crowd, have them split to sides and then run into each other when the magic word is called. It was thoroughly entertaining. People who you wouldn't expect, on appearance, to do such silly things participated. Oh, good times.

So today I'm exhausted. I bought a car yesterday and I'm having tiny pangs of buyer's remorse... but I really love the car. I also got a couple of really annoying (work related) emails -- one having to do with the tour I did two tours ago... something like four months ago, and the other is just an annoying thing to do with the tour I just finished (but have, in my mind, completely wrapped up). I'll deal with these in a couple of days. I'm upset enough about them at the moment to send some snarky replies back, so I'll cool off and reply when my head is calm.

I'm reading the ticker tape on TV and it's all doom and gloom while Mario Batali cooks with Sam Champion -- they're all smiles and it's just weird. I think I need some coffee.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

frosted flakes

MyAndrew canceled the Symphony outing today. Eh, I'm tired so I'm not really all that disappointed. I am concerned about his well-being... he's become "Leaving Las Vegas Andrew" again and I really can't fathom why his depression grips him so frequently and with such fervor. He's like watching a train wreck in slow motion. It really makes me sad.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

remberance of things past

Last night at the game there was a young couple sitting across the aisle from us. The boy spent four innings stroking his girlfriend's head -- just gently massaging it. It was really very sweet. It made me long for things I've never had.

Today the sun is shining. I really should go outside, alas I think I'm going to take yet another lazy day and save the action for next week. I'll probably feel guilty later, but I'm going to luxuriate in the sloth anyway.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

major purchases

OK, so sometimes I'm incredibly, inexplicable frivolous with my money. Case in point: I bought a new computer even though I didn't really need one... but it had been something I was thinking about for a while. Oh, and there was that ring at Swarovski that one time...

I need a new car. Not necessarily a brand new car, but one which is new to me. Today I went and did a test-drive on a Volvo. No, not a "sexy" car -- it screams practicality -- and I was so ready to whip out my checkbook and pay for the sucker on the spot. I decided to take a night to sleep on it. I so want to drive up to the car dealership and buy that puppy... I'm going to force myself to wait until the morning. I've only been waiting 4 years for the TDI Jetta Wagon to come out again but I don't trust VW to put the damn thing out this Fall. I'm going to get an interim car, use it for a couple of years and then maybe I'll go back to VW. Maybe.

That's all. Lindsey is on her way over and we're going to hit up Costco on the way to an art opening. I'm all a-twitter with the excitement!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

waiting...

Why is it that when you're waiting for a phone call it never comes? I should stop waiting and start doing something. The marvels of modern technology include voice mail. I should take advantage of it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

rewind, return

Home.

I changed my travel plans last night and flew from Wichita. I wonder what shenanigans I missed at the end-of-tour dinner... it was in a public place so there's about a 50/50 chance breasts were exposed... I had a pleasant dinner and drinks with Josh and Frank before they left to drive the backline to LA. My shuttle left at early o'clock today (5am) and my driver was a really interesting man who was originally from Ethiopia. We had an hour to chat and get to know one another on the way to the airport yet I didn't manage to get his name... sometimes those types of encounters are the best.

I ran into the Stein clan at the airport in Wichita and almost shit myself. Here's hoping I never see them again. To be fair, Ebony the "tm" was a really nice girl; her husband was a champ and I felt badly that they took the wrap for Rooster's hustling ways. I don't know what she does in real life... hopefully she's gainfully employed and this was just a one-off for her.

As for me? Who knows. The future is wide open... I have tentative plans but first I must sleep. And sleep I will.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

there's no place like home

Particularly when you're in Kansas. Today is the last show... Last night, in Spencer, IA was epic. First, one of the bands who have been supporting us (whom I ran into at DEN) weren't actually on the bill, so that was lovely. Everyone at the fairground was incredibly nice... albeit white. I had an "Indian Taco" which was more or less chili on a piece of fry-bread and it was delicious (as were the little cookies from the cookie stand).

So we do an early show today and then we drive 300 miles to Kansas City for a farewell dinner and flights home. I'm looking forward to getting into my own bed again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

ooh, suckage

I'm at OMA and nobody else is. This is one of the noisiest airports I've ever set foot in... and what's worse is that I don't know when anyone is turning up. ARGH. I fear walking out to the terminal less I miss someone and the services there suck -- at least here I have beer and coffee and a tiny news stand. Hmmm.

There goes a guy who looks like James Blunt... maybe he's with shiny bronze tights girl? I think she's either going to LA or just wants to look like she belongs there... to me it's a bit over the top.

This just might be the right time to start eating... or drinking... or possibly both, however my new fitness plan calls for one or the other. The two in concert might make my ass too big for pants. Oh my!

ETA: men are so damn predictable. James Bluntlike just sat across from the stereotypical blonde. She's not cute, but she IS incredibly processed. Now I'm staring at the woman in yellow... oh good, she's walking away now.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

i have to pack

Last weekend of the Disney tour. Yay?

I'm really feeling down about leaving some of the crew behind... I was pleasantly surprised to meet some fabulous people. Really. My goal is to not slip into post-tour funk this time. I can't. I need to concentrate on getting back in shape (all those corn dogs have wrecked my body). I'm contemplating a drastic hair change -- in a bid to drop a few lbs. I know, I'm a very silly girl.

In other news I got an email from an old friend today stating that she cannot be friends with anyone who votes for "Omaha" (sic). Thank god because I don't have any intention to vote Omaha this November... my vote is going to Obama. The rest of her email was a mini-rant about socialized healthcare and how it's going to kill her, however we don't yet have socialized healthcare... she's on a private HMO. Interesting. The drama... I think it's just going to escalate as the election nears.

I really need to clear some space in my home. I've got too much of... everything. Unfortunately I've gotten rid of all my fat clothes, so my penance is going to be disciplined eating and exercise until I can fit into that which I already own. Not fun.

I also need to have a hard think and open myself up for emotional dissection this weekend... I'm really scared about this, but it has to be done. I spend so much time trying to protect myself and it's gotten me nowhere. I'm going to try something new and pray it doesn't blow up in my face.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

good news comes flat-packed

WE'RE GETTING IKEA!!!! Details coming at 5 on the news. Oh happy day!

i have to remember

That sometimes there's a bigger plan for me. Two weeks ago it seemed I would be working through the end of the year and now I fear those plans are all falling apart. Le sigh. It would've worked out perfectly -- putting me in the UK for December in time to meet Cecilia, but maybe I'll just take the time to get myself back to good health. It's just frustrating not being able to make firm plans as everything is contingent on other "things."

There's time yet, maybe things will turn around.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

can i just say

I really love my new laptop!!! It's dead sexy... and fast. I didn't know the internet could be so quick!

And I need to throw in an "I hate Miley Cyrus" already. It's my fault, really... I've got that "Fashion Rocks" crap on TV because it's nice, mindless drivel I can knit to without having to be attentive and Miley was just on and she's not precocious or cute, just very annoying.

Right. Time to put on some tunes.

thank... blog?

So I broke down and got a new laptop last week... I'm still waiting for FedEx to get off their duffs and deliver it (their ground service doesn't deliver on Mondays apparently???) Anyhow, at the last show our Road Manager came onto the crew bus and started blah-blahing about how Apple is making a huge announcement this Tuesday (today) and he had heard that the touch-screen MacBook Pro was coming out.

I just bought a new MacBook Pro. Not touch-screen.

I've always thought that Steve Jobs was out to ruin me; that he has my account marked and when I purchase something, it's his folly to put out something better than what I just bought.

When Kevin told us about this Mac announcement, I was gutted. I haven't checked their website yet for the video, but I hopped on MacRumor.com this morning and apparently all the changes are to iPods. Phew. The touch-screen computer is supposed to roll out later this year. Thank god. I can sleep easier now. Maybe.

Monday, September 8, 2008

so you say it's your birthday

It wasn't my birthday, too. It was J-Plo's 21st yesterday; we celebrated Saturday night after the show. Frank and I arranged for a cake -- which had dubious artwork (it looked an awful lot like Lila, Josh's crush on the V-crew) and generous mammaries. I thought those were the only breasts I would see that night... was I wrong. It turns out our dancers, Tia and Claude-Racine are "breast friends."

When the time came (midnight) to get the cake out, Josh was a big boy... he blew out all the candles. Tia then took a bit of frosting and suggestively put it in her mouth and gave the b-day boy a kiss... Josh is fantastic. He's one of the smartest guys I've met in a while and he has a fabulous, dark sense of humor. He smeared the frosting on Tia's top lip when he pulled away. I don't know how it deviated from that to Tia and Claude getting their tits out and having Josh lick frosting off them while the 12 or so men in the room took photos/video, but that's exactly what happened. It's a little weird when the tittie bar comes to you. I took that as my cue to leave, but as I was going, our crazy FOH guy (Crazy Kenny), who wasn't drunk, stopped me and asked why I had to be a party pooper? WHAT? Because I didn't get my tits out, too? I must have missed the memo because I didn't know that to participate in the party, I had to be part of the entertainment. I explained that my chest is like a crime scene and that there's "nothing to see here... please move along," but still felt really upset that Ken would assault me like that. Erm, that's what it felt like. He's a bit of a pit bull when he gets going -- I don't think he means anything by it, but I still don't like being on the receiving end of his rants.

I also don't like being lumped in with the girls -- their behavior is sometimes less-than-ladylike and while I have the mouth of a sailor, in most other regards, in the company of my colleagues, I keep it as professional as possible.

So, I'm home now. I'm sitting by the phone waiting for phone calls which aren't going to come. I think I'm going to do some "normal" things this week -- top of the list is seeing my mom.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

home fires

I'm back again for a few days... I fly to Omaha on Friday and in the meantime, I have loads of stuff to do or not do.

Last night was weird; I'll have to write about it later... I'm still a little freaked out about it all -- freaked out doesn't really describe it, though. Hmmm.

OK. I've got a belly full of bread pudding and my eyelids are incredibly heavy. Magic Mike is parked out front -- he's sleeping on the bus, which is a relief even though I offered him my guest room bed. I have a bad feeling he might be having a wank in my bunk tonight...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

second to last

We're almost finished with this tour... while I'm glad my swag run is coming to an end, I'm really quite sad that this is almost over. Three shows over the next week have canceled, so I'm headed home with the bus tonight after the show while the crew and band fly home until the next show next weekend (somewhere in Iowa and then the last show somewhere in Kansas).

Last week was bliss -- being home, that is. We had a show in Denver last night and it was weird. My vendor seemed "unstable." That's the kindest, most apt description for him. I was actually calling him a "tweaker" all day, but it was clear that he not only had a substance issue, but mental stability ones too. It was when he emphatically stated his support (and upcoming vote) for John McCain that I decided to tune out... less I start to argue, which could potentially put my safety in question.

Ah well. We're pulling in to Tingley Coliseum. It's our last show with the Vanessa, thank god. The merch company ponied up and got someone local to settle her swag -- I wasn't getting paid extra for the extra work, nor was I getting any appreciation. Today being the last one, I can put my feelings of frustration and guilt aside and just concentrate on my job.

Alright. We're here. I'm going to hunt down a shower so I can feel slightly human today. I'm going to try to stay busy and not focus on being sad and feeling like I'm missing people before they're already gone.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

duquoin, il

Another show bites the dust and I'm one day closer to home... we just got to Oklahoma City and I learned that I need to hustle to get out this evening as people have early flights from DEN tomorrow (I'm getting dropped at my front door! Hoorah!!!)

OK. I have stuff I should be doing. I'll be doing that shortly.

Friday, August 29, 2008

mount vernon, il

It's definitely déja vu all over again... I'm at the same hotel I stayed at a couple of months ago on that other Disney tour. There's little to do here, either that or I lack the energy to do anything. Most likely the latter.

So, a few shows have canceled. We aren't flying to Albany afterall, which means I'm home for four days! I get to go to S'n'B next Wednesday and see my girls. I'm pretty excited. Well, I'm excited, but I'll have to not promise to go until I check my energy level. I'm fairly well shagged out... this tour has been brutal.

I got the schedule for the next tour I'm maybe doing and it's reasonable. There are about 10 unpaid days, though, which really stinks seeing as I'll be paying rent. In London. London rent. In Pounds Sterling... ARGH! But it's a really good opportunity, so if I get it, I'm not turning it down. I have to put a CV and references together. Le sigh.

I don't know about that October gig yet... but this could be a good thing. I could be home for a month, swimming and eating like a normal person, not like I've been doing -- like a caged animal who might never see food again. I'm pretty disgusted with myself and my lack of self control, but this is an alternate reality, the road, so I'm trying to give myself a bit of a break (there's so much more of myself to forgive these days, unfortunately).

What else? That's pretty much it. I'm making a habit of leaving things behind... and this is tragic.

Today's words: Sleep is fleeting; end is nigh.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

canfield

Our last show with VH until Albuquerque... phew!

It rained all damn day. I'm still wet and cold and miserable. Thank god tomorrow's show canceled and we get to SLEEP in hotel beds. Hoorah!

And that's me, to bed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

syracuse

What can I say? The New York State Fair is HUGE! They have a Tim Horton's trailer... which is probably the only thing out of Canada that I actually like. I'll have to hit that up later for some delicious donuts and coffee... as you do.

Apparently there's a new "Operation" game. I don't know how it's different, but there's a display here with a life-sized operation dude and crazy doctor. You can actually pull the guy's organs out of his body just like you do when you're playing the game. I might have to check that out again later. The games were all occupied when I stopped there earlier.

I also scored some Alpaca wool! My fellow Denver knitters/spinners will be happy to hear that a big old box of that stuff is being sent to me in a few while... I will divvy it out when it comes.

OK. So today is one of the last State Fairs we play before we move on to proper gigs. Thank god. However the maple syrup cotton candy was delish. The snake/woman was not.

Hillary really disappointed with her little "Sisterhood of the traveling pant-suit" comment last night. Barf.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

dayton, o-hi-o

It's another lovely day on tour... Dayton is, surprisingly, pretty depressed by the look of Downtown. I had a bit of a walkabout and am waiting for bad news from the company I'm working for (mainly that I have to do some physical work this afternoon... urgh).

I'm feeling the need for a proper day off -- we'll have that in Denver and then we have to fly to Albany.

Not much to say today. My mood has improved, but my energy level is depressed. I'm not vending tonight, which is a real treat, but I'll still be busy with other stuff. Fab-u-lous.

OK. I should "work" or something.

Monday, August 25, 2008

trying

I'm really upset. It's completely irrational and I'm more pissed off with myself than anyone else, yet I cannot be around the others less I say something I'll regret.

It stems from the shower and my inability to follow my gut. Grrrr.

We're leaving Detroit just now which is a good thing. I saw a dead dog on the side of the road and it was an ominous sign. The next dead thing was the stillborn pig in the "miracle of life" ag tent. I kind of wish this day had never happened. Thank god it's over.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

corntastic


We played the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD yesterday... it was petty cool despite the weevils and horse flies. I must admit, however, that I was a little disappointed when I walked outside and saw that the palace sits on a street, unlike any other in any small town in America. I had this image of a building which rose from a corn field... covered in corn. The actual thing is a brick building with plywood boards all over the outside which they decorate with any number of plant-like things. Not JUST corn.

Eh, the concessions inside is called a "corncessions" and there are corn stalks on everything in the town which just proves that yes, you can take a pun too far. Photos eventually seeing as the bus internet has slowed to pre-wifi speeds.

We're just outside of Chicago for a rest day. I think I might do something productive -- like go into town and spend some PDs. It's the American way.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

this was fun

video

b-b-b-boise!

Day 3 in Boise, yo. I'm ready to move on already... we spent two days exploring Downtown (which was just about a day too much exploring). I should've done the right thing and gone for a hike or a bike ride... but I didn't. I did manage to blow through some PDs, but I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what I bought.

Hrumph.

We have a show in a few hours and then a sleep and a flight through DEN on the way to Sioux Falls. Second trip to Sioux Falls in less than two weeks... third trip in less than three months.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

meadville

What to say? The nicest people yet. Seriously. They fed us well (there was pie -- I even tried the cherry and might have to rethink my position on baked fruits) and were so accommodating I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.

When we pulled up, there were horse races on the track... they didn't scoop the poop, unfortunately, just watered it down (which was great as the heat started to rise).

OK, our driver just pulled up in front of his friend's house and wants us all to go and "hang out?" Weird. I just want to get to the airport and get an early flight and a McMuffin. We're off to Boise for a whole day off! Oh and a show.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

lexington, ky

We had a bus day in Lexington... this means we're not really on a day off, but we're on our way to somewhere so we stop for a day for the driver to sleep and we all get hotel rooms to get away from one another. The first thing we did was walk across the street to the Waffle House for breakfast. Together. Next, we shopped. Together. Then we all met for dinner... and a trip to the Liquor Barn. So... it was another day spent with the crew. Together. Thank god I like the crew.

I did get some "me" time in my hotel room -- long enough to remove my nail polish, but not long enough to re-polish said toe nails. I'm feeling a little self-conscious about it all.

I took absolutely no photos last night because it was too moist. My camera has a thing about humidity -- not unlike me. It doesn't work when the comfort index is in the sweaty zone.

Something very funny happened but I don't remember what it was. We were all in top bunks last night at some point, laughing and laughing. Oh yes. Our replacement guitar tech is JC's brother -- they call each other "peckerhead." JC told me that the "first thing out of my mouth should be peckerhead" when I meet Carl. Think about it. It's funny.