here's a random snapshot of what a typical day is like for me.
last night, i made sure that everything was in my suitcase of a handbag: basics like my business cards, my wallet, my digital camera, my palm pilot, my cell phone; important stuff like water, an all-natural snack of some sort (this week: almonds and raisins), a good book (i'm towards the end of the tipping point by malcolm gladwell -- i already read blink and liked it), a light sweater, and my small see-through zippered cosmetics bag that contains things like my compact, kleenex, purex hand sanitizer, hand lotion and shea butter lip balm; extras like promo postcards for the gig on friday in case i run into someone i know. usually, i'm gone all day. today is no exception. i have to be prepared in case i get stuck on the train and i'm dehydrated and starving, which seems to be happening more often that i'd care to admit.
9am -- went to avery fisher hall at lincoln center to pick up band passes for cmj music marathon -- they're giving them to us for free because we're in the brooklyn new music festival. neat-o! -- but they're not handing them out until 10am.
9:15am -- went up the street to the drugstore around the corner from dr. kessler to get some black currant pastilles. they're the things i'm supposed to take to help my throat stay moist when i sing. no more slippery elm or peppermint, which dry my vocal cords out. then i went across the street to kiehl's for some much needed creme de corps lotion and some lip balm. paused in front of starbucks, thought about a vanilla latte then decided i'd be good to myself and hit jamba juice in union square instead.
10am -- finally got to the correct cmj counter but they only had a badge for me. i didn't leave until they fixed that snafu. some chubby pretty asian woman was trying to get me to smile and she was being really california about it, which was extremely annoying. God, i hate morning people. it comes from the inside out for me, not the other way around. otherwise, it's not sincere. the expression on my face is none of her business. way too early in the morning for that crap. whatever.
10:35am -- stopped off at jamba juice on university place and got a 2 oz. shot of wheatgrass and a gigantic custom-made smoothie with vitamins and good stuff in it. then i went around the corner and got a manicure and pedicure at jeniette salon in union square. the manicurist was sweet enough to remember to cut my nails off on my left hand and shape the ones on my right hand. i love that place. they scrub my feet until they're as soft and uncalloused and supple as my hands. and for years, rosa has been the only one that touches my eyebrows. when they're done, i look at my hands and feet and they look so fresh, so clean...
for the rest of the day, whenever i look at my feet, i feel a burst of happiness.
12:10am -- walked to the flatiron building, got a new charger for my cellphone at nextel. (or was it sprint?)
12:40pm -- walked to funkadelic studios on w. 26th street. on the wall as i stepped out of the elevator, i saw a handwritten sign that said "ferengi rule of acquisition: the bigger the smile, the bigger the knife." of course i thought about that overly perky cmj girl right away. i wanted make a mental note to smile more often, but knives just aren't my style.
it wasn't busy at all, so they let me have a bigger room for the same price and they let me hang out in the room until everyone showed up for no extra charge. i went in, made phone calls and practiced the piano until jack showed up and then we hung out until everyone else filed in.
1pm - 4pm -- band rehearsal. a really good one, too. i tried not to sing my voice out but jack was turned up way too loud. gave everyone their cmj badges, and also soundcheck and performance information for both gigs on friday and sunday. melvin gibbs said that in all the years that he'd been doing the cmj marathon with whatever bands he was in, this was the first time anyone had ever given him an actual pass. (huh?)
4pm - 6:30pm -- hung out with jack and fred at r.u.b. in chelsea, had several arnold palmers, talked business and shot the proverbial breeze. ran into letitia guillory, who was there for a dinner meeting of some sort. that was nice. waltzed through the guitar store by the chelsea hotel to eye and ask about the lap steel guitars before heading for the R to union ave, so i could get to the brooklyn lyceum to leave a package for brian tate, the festival promoter.
7pm -- crash landed into the tail end of a soundcheck for apollo heights and who's in the band? micah gaugh, the saxophonist i haven't seen in ages. needless to say, we pick right back up where we left off. he's a texan, as i recall, and he's a lot of fun in a stream-of-consciousness tangential kind of way. after hanging out and checking out the space and listening to their soundcheck, we walk outside to the new see the new meow mix about a half a block away, called catty shack. i give him the package to give to brian. he promises to make it happen. i jump on the train and head for manhattan.
8:30pm -- i get home and there's two messages: one from marvin sewell, apologizing for missing so many of my gigs (he's out of town for a few months) and congratulating me on the cd i did with james "blood" ulmer last october (he really liked it a lot.); and one from my mother, telling me that the two dozen assorted roses i sent for her birthday made her day. i call her while i nuke some chicken soup my father made on his last visit. we talk about how great bobby short was, amongst other things. i try to call my grandmother but my call won't go through for some reason. i make more phone calls, check messages, check my email, sort through my mail. i finally get through to my grandmother. she got the new yorker with me on page 12. she was over the moon about it. it's a pretty cool photo. "don't give up," she said. "i'm praying for you. God will open a door for you soon." i know that she's right.
i figure out what i have to do tomorrow: check out a karate studio in chelsea, pick up dry cleaning, return some stuff to h&m, send cd packages to canada, confirm an ad design and my cool logo with mikey the graphic artist, get fresh fruits and vegetables and maybe a little chicken to cook, have guitar rehearsal in my apartment in the afternoon, then piano practice for at least an hour while i make the chicken -- and if i don't have any netflix in my mailbox, i'll have to eat that apple movie. i've decided against a soundcheck on friday and will opt for a line check right before we go on. that will let everyone show up an hour before the gig. i have the most beautiful silk dress that's a gram parsons psychedelic cowgirl outfit if there ever was one. very strange, the color -- light salmon, cream, bits of yellow, even. it looks like a happy not quite tie-dyed upscale acid trip got trapped in the fabric. i need the right pair of cowboy boots to go with it but it'll probably take me all season to find them. i want jack in western wear. it would be nice if melvin would wear a suit but i'm not sure if he has one. i think he'd look very chic and basquiat if he were in suit with his dreads and no shoes. wow, i'd be such a good stylist. what am i saying, i am a stylist -- by default. yada, yada, yada.
10:30pm -- i'm on a mission to watch a movie every day, so i can catch up on all the stuff i should have seen by now. last night, i watched hidalgo and sized up viggo mortensen, who's clearly running neck and neck with benicio del toro for prime candidacy to be my future ex-husband. i borrowed donnie darko from my cool gay white neighbors down the hall last week. they insisted that i also take something called "the apple" -- a musical from the '70's that's set in the '90's -- but it doesn't look all that appetizing. i'll probably watch it anyway while i'm waiting for another netflix selection. (next in the queue: get carter with michael caine. i've already seen sylvester stallone's version.)
but first, i have to watch tripping the rift on the sci-fi channel. and then i have to watch the daily show on comedy central -- and very nearly abandon it for iron chef on the food channel. (they're having an octopus battle!) while i watch tv, i practice the guitar absentmindedly. all of a sudden, i realize that i'm improving. and that reminds me of the other sign on the wall at the rehearsal studio that said "everyday zen: you get better at whatever you practice."
11:30pm -- i shower and shave. i feel guilty because i missed my mark today and didn't practice the piano for an hour. i'll make up for it tomorrow. climbed in my (what else?) queen-sized bed, turned out the lights, plugged my headphones in and put them on, turned on the fan in the window and reached for my baby taylor acoustic guitar. practiced finger excercises absentmindedly in my pitch black room while i watched donnie darko.
all is merry and bright.