I know, I’m late again. I kept waiting for a certain thing to happen so that I could fill you all in but, it’s dragging out long enough I need to just get on with it all…
Another cog in the wheel or snag or maybe it’s something else entirely but, my beloved Trooper is going to be retired (hopefully this week). I’ve been told it’s on its last leg and has to be replaced before I find myself stranded along some roadside. Searched fervishly all weekend for a replacement yeah, gonna have to pay for it out of the recording fund…but, I’m not as bummed about it as I thought I would. I’m a good 6 months away before my brain and body are back to norm and if I’ve learned anything along this journey it’s that anything can (and for me, usually does) happen. Besides, this is the second time I’ve saved up and had to spend the money on something else and you all know I’m a big believer in “3rd times a charm” so good times ahead I’m sure. As a matter of fact, on the way to chemo this morning I found myself singing “we’re in the money” outta the blue. Maybe it was a subconscious wishful thinking or a premonition (or maybe someone’s been watching way too many episodes of “Medium” lately) well, whatever it was it put me in a really good frame of mind so, I’ll take it~
I don’t know about you but, I get emotionally attached to certain things…my car…certain articles of clothing…I attach memories to them and about once a year I go through my rather large pile of clothes for someone who doesn’t wear but a tenth of what’s in her closet and I hand the pile to my friends and say “these are full” (meaning they are full of memories and there’s no more room for more or sometimes I get rid of them because they have a bad memory attached) and I get rid of them and for a brief time my home is nice and simplified.
I get especially attached to my cars. They take me where I need to go and I’ve had many great times/conversations with friends in them and I will defend that vehicle to the death (until I run it into the ground). My mechanic will warn me several times before I’ll finally give in and call it “full” and start fresh with a new(er) vehicle. On that track, I like used cars. Cars with a little history to them and character. I had one new car in my life and I constantly worried about it getting scratched or dinged. Used cars take the worry out of it. They’ve already been bumped and bruised and aren’t expecting to be coddled. They’re…like me…”Imperfect” and that’s a great thing to be. Trooper was definitely imperfect. I bought him for a mere $1,200 from a young couple trying to squeek by while going to school. I bought him after my red jeep cherokee blew 5 of its 6 cylinders on my way to work one morning. After that, I promised my mechanic I would bring my car in every 60ish days for a simple check to make sure everything was as it should be. I was pretty true to that (btw, in return he bought my jeep off me and gave it to his son to learn off of – since then my Trooper fixes have been surprisingly cheap;) and over the months the warnings have been progressively more frequent “you can’t commute this things to PB and back much longer before it’ll just up n quit on ye”….”well, we could fix the two front windows from rattling…but, it’ll be about $500 each to replace those motors and that’s nearly what you paid for it”, then looking at me from over the top rim of his glasses “see this…(pointing to a little pile of rust on his desk) that, was the pump for your wiper fluid…aint no resurecting that and it’s about $400 to replace it) and the list goes on but, that was the latest warning and considering how much gas it devours I decided to work around it by going only filling my tank halfway (so I’d have to go to the gas station twice a week) where I’d wipe the windows down each time (I can work around an elephant…in a phonebox I could). Then, I did the math…the amount I pay for gas each month is a full car payment…or to put it a more ali-esque way…if I switched to a more fuel efficient car I would have about $1,200 back in the recording fund within 6 months…and that’s when I woke up and said “full”. I love that vehicle I do but, I love music more and I’m determined to pare down and narrow my focus so that it becomes the main thing in my life. Funny thing today…I was talking to our P.A. (who sits down with me every first day of chemo and goes over a checklist of how are yous) and was telling him about the good things that have happened to me lately and that in general that’s how my life works…I envision it…I believe in it…it happens. He (the one who told me when we first met that I was clearly lost and needed to figure out who I was) said “I need to take a lesson from you”. I smiled and silently agreed ;). I may not be rich (by Robin Leache’s standards) or model-esque but, I am content. Everything that happens from here on is just icing on the piece of cake my life has become. And I believe without a doubt that this isn’t an exlusive deal the universe held out for me…I think it’s just that simple that you ask for what you want, you envision it, believe it, keep your eyes and ears open for it and then simply act on it when it presents itself. Oh yeah…if you’re too specific and outlandish you’re going to be disappointed but, if you leave it open for some interpretation then you will be pleasantly surprised on a daily basis. I keep thinking of that film “The Wedding Date” with Debra Messinger and (who I lovingly/jokingly refer to as my ex-bf) Dermot Mulroony (who has the best lines of all men in romantic films) where he says that every woman has the exact romantic life they want. I believe that but, it goes beyond that. We all have the life we want. We may saaaay we don’t “want” it…hat we’re in the life we are because we’re stuck, genetics, bad economy but, I think it’s a matter of “comfort”. We get comfortable in our role in the world and we humans are a lazy breed at times. Change is a strangley difficult thing to embrace and in this world of instant gratification and bombardments of media implying were aren’t good enough “as is” it’s pretty easy to become stuck in a place of discontentment but, I say…tell em all to “Fk the hll ooooooff” because they’re nothing but, “bozo blockers” bozos blocking the view of or portal to the life/world you would be happiest in. If you find yourself around several people making negative statements then you’re more likely than not by nature a happy person and these people who find happiness to be elusive would prefer misery to have company. It’s so ironic when you think of it. They could learn from you but, instead most of them would rather slip a rope around your ankle and heave ho pull you down into the murk. Wack. And…there I go again on a tangent when today was supposed to be an ode to Trooper and all the good times we’ve had and places we’ve been. I cleaned out that thing and had 4 large bags of crap and was surprised that 3 of em could be tossed (and did). A huge lightening of loads it was (I’m afraid I inerhited the knack for hoarding from my dearest Pop). I’ve been combing through craigslist based on mpg and surprised at how I’m so drawn to way smaller vehicles (you hear that Bren…not an SUV in the bunch ;). A car says a lot about a person. For example, I absolutely refuse to buy a white car. I even make a fuss at the rental counter if they try to stick me with one. What does that say about me? Hell if I know but, I’m sure it says something…I’ve had 2 red vehicles, 3 black ones and one grey one. Somehow I think green or blue might be in my future but, again…I’m open to interpretation…
Which makes me curious…if you were to use a car to describe me which one do you think cries “Ali” the most?
Ah right, music…I did go to the open mic at Hensley’s last Monday night and you know what was so cool about it? Well, Jeremy wasn’t there because he was moving house but, there wasn’t anyone there that knew how the equipment works (it’s quirky). Jeremy tried to show me once (but, I was too wrapped up in staring at his beard (which brought on a cool memory of my Pop’s beard he had when I was a little kid and he used to do this “Whisker rub” routine leaving my cheeks all red and bristled and feelin fully loved and adored and…wait, where was I) but, I didn’t remember for the life of me what he said (note to self, get him to draw a diagram to leave at the pub so we’ve got it covered next time) and so the first couple hours of open mic were a mish-mash of artists taking their turns trying to figure out how to get the system up and running. Nat’s Jeremy gave it a solid try (he was really sweet about it so I had to mention him) along with a dozen other ppl. I heard one guy in the crowd wanted to play but, didn’t have a guitar with him and one girl was going to drive to her home nearby and grab her husbands spare guitar when I remembered the Yamaha was in the back seat (the plus side of SUV’s) so I grabbed it and lent it to him and he was so surprised by the kindness and this is exactly why I like these open mics…most all of the musicians are very communal and supportive. Yeah yeah, every now and then there are a those that are so into the sound of their own voice that they not only sing more than their share songs but, love to talk their way (and not quietly) through yours but, you just gotta take them in stride and consider them good practice for when you’re playin a tough crowd (or have a friend like M who’ll stare daggers at em until they shuddup already) or at the very least a reminder of the kind of performer you DON’T want to be. So, right…a couple hours of this goes on and my friends are getting restless and my self induced curfew is approaching so I shot up on stage…called out to the crowd of 20 or so and asked for a show of hands of how many were there hoping to perform that night and least 10 hands showed themselves…3 songs, 15 minutes…ten ppl…hrmmmm…and I knew they weren’t allowed to have live music after a certain hour so I said the problem shouldn’t stop us from playing “Unplugged” which would maybe be a disaster or maybe brilliant but, either way I was willing to take the risk of making an ass of myself if they were willing to give it a listen…and voila…the chatter dropped down to a low hum and I put martin around my shoulders and gave it a go. I don’t remember what I sang first but, I sang. Nearly shouted at first then I sat more upright so the air could move and sang from the core of me. Toward the end of the 3rd song the mics went on (to great applause) and so I asked this warm crowd if I could have one more song with the mics on to which they agreed and after I was done I got warm applause and a high five from the one and a firm hand holding from the otherof the two guys who sat next to us at the bar saying they’d be back and handie would might even play keyboards next time. I stuck around to hear “Monster Boy” play who was instrumental in getting the sound on and who’s wife was willing to head out to let “Joe” have a chance on stage. Monster Boy (he has a real name but, I forgot it…funny how his nick stuck like glue though) is amazing. First, he’s a marine and I have a solid piece of property set aside for them in my heart but, that kid can play. Kind of a blue grass feel to his sound and I promise I’ll capture him on video next time I see him there (hopefully next week) so you can see what I mean. I was glad I waited to hear him play. After that we all were ready to go so I made a deal with Hugh (the bartender) that Joe could hand my guitar over to him when he’s done and I’d pick it up next day (which I totally forgot until Wed). When I did, he said that Joe was last and nearly didn’t get to play but, he begged for one song cuz “he was keen to impress a young lass at his table” and it all worked out beautifully and I couldn’t help but smile the whole way home knowing that Yamaha (who doesn’t get nearly enough attention) was instrumental in a wooing. I’m a big fan of wooing. I think its an artform that should never eeever become outdated. M and I were talking (which turned out outright bellyaching laughter) at the realization that the majority of male singers on the airwaves these days sound neutered and homogeneous. I’d be guessing who was playing thinking its one of any three singers to find it’s a fourth I’d never heard of but, couldn’t tell from the other 3. I don’t mean to be overly critical. I just miss the grit. It’s the difference between a guy who sits there at a table as she walks away staring off into space and the one who gets up, storms after her and pulls her to him wrapping his big arms around her making sure she knows where she belongs and who to. Ok, off track again but, I’ve got the head phones on listening to both types and feeling compelled to put it in writing. Somewhere between the uber passive James Blunts and the havoc wreaking Metalica-likes is the guy that every woman I’ve talked to in the past year of this project is looking for. He’s out there and he’s not the son of someone famous or even semi famous. He’s his own man with his own sound and he’s going to take over the airwaves and start a long overdue resurgence of ballsy. Yes, I’ve definitely been watching too much “Medium” (to which M informs me if Joe does exist she would kill (knock over) anyone (even me) who dared to even try to get to him before her (which I totally would ;)).
On another note…the internship at surf dog is going swimmingly. Everyone is really cool and I’m learning leaps and bounds and since most creative work is done on a mac…(and I’m the queen of finding great deals) I went out and got a grt used Imac G5 loaded with all the adobe creative stuff I need for work and then when I got it home and plugged in I found it even had Garageband on it which a cool music editing program…I’m tellin ye…lucky lucky girl I am.
Between the stroke of luck on finding this kind of work and the money going to the Trooper replacement I guess you may have figured that the trip to Mexico is off as well. Well, not off but, the date is moved to St. Paddy’s weekend which is great because my friends who know the island will be there so that’ll be more fun. It means I’ll miss the swimming with whale sharks season which I had my shaky lil heart set on but, once I made the decision…guess what popped up into my inbox…a local deal Leopard Shark Snorkeling right here in San Diego for a mere 35 bucks so, come August I’ll still get to swim with da sharks. See, it’s good when you’re open to interpretation…
The ole Trooper the day I got it
Thanks as always for following along and I promise to do my best to post on time this week~