Thursday, May 08, 2008

Psychological Satisfaction

500 Moustaches per hour

One, maybe two more flights. That's about all that I have left in me. Yesterday I was just a big, mushy ball of downers and red wine stumbling like a drug mule whose bag has burst. I have fleeting memories of continuing my torturous plane movie watching. I'm pretty sure I described watching 'The Water Horse' to Lexi as being raped in the eyes for 80 minutes.
Could have been worse, I suppose.

I could have been flying on not one, but two airplanes that seemed to have narrowly survived a dogfight in WWII. My personal favorite was the industrial strength tape that was holding together most of the aircraft that was hurtling through the air at 500 miles per hour.

I had the image of a nerf football, missing a big chunk of foam out of it, flopping around in the air. Friendly skies my ass. Talk to the pomeranian that was sleeping upside-down at a 90-degree angle for nine hours.

But, tell me why? That's like saying don't drive the car, or don't eat the food. That's what they are there for, man.

Did you know that the best kept secret in rock and roll is not that U2's bass player is never plugged in and that he has someone under the stage playing for him, or that ozzy osbourne has a body double, or that Mick Jagger died in 1978? Nope, it's that dragons are real and they can play the guitar better than you.

I'm in Boston today, for a few days. We've got some radio show nonsense brewing here, but mostly l'm looking forward to seeing some old friends. They aren't peanuts, unfortunately.

So, I've been giving this some thought, mostly during drug-induced long haul flights, which should invalidate this discussion straight away, just bear with me. Most bands I travel with like to give false names at hotels so rabid fans don't try to break down their doors and steal their socks while they are sleeping. I think, just to keep things fresh, that I'm going to start giving it a go. Here's my list so far:

John Berryhorn
Larry Tarotcard
Jaques Biopsy
Pascal Quito
Cobra Salad

Any thoughts?
So, the other day Lexi sent me this .gif of a bird stealing a bag of chips from a store, and I've watched it maybe 700 times since then. It never gets old, and, in fact, is funnier each and every time that I see it.

Yesterday, not having access to my laptop on the flight, I felt a bit down not being able to laugh at that little guy every fifteen minutes or so. To kill the pain I bought a trashy UK celeb magazine that had some pretty choice photos. For the following 12 hours I only had to reach into my pocket and unfold a glossy photo of a dog peeing on Natalie Portman to make myself feel better.

Jet. Lag.

Streadier Footing

Four days in London is four more days in any place other than my home. That is all. When I got on the flight (the first of two to get to the UK) the accents started cropping up around me, and I knew right away that it was trouble. Oh there's a group of Scousers in row 34, across the aisle is a nice Yorkshire couple and the guy behind me is Welsh because I can't understand a thing he's saying. I am still adjusting to traveling from the west coast. After many years in NY, and short (ish) flight to London was no big deal, and I could sleep off the time change in a night (following a few pints of high octane cider or something on par), but this time It was rough, awful and terrible all rolled into one, big sleepless bastard of a jet-lag burrito. My first morning, after sleeping in two or three hour fits I woke up to see this outside the window. I figured that it was maybe 7 or 8 AM, which was respectful.

It turned out to be 4:30 AM. Brutal. After fighting with myself for a bit, I resigned to being awake, got some coffee and proceeded to wrap up all of the work that I had ahead of me for the next two months in a matter of hours. I designed six different backdrops, two lighting plots and then started haggling over the costs of all three with various companies in the states. Just when I felt like I had conquered the world I collapsed into a ball on the bed and sobbed until the early evening.

I spent the rest of the day in a carefully balanced state between slightly over-caffinated and comatose.

We had a production day (which often implies the use of 'production') in a small club. There was very little being produced in that magical little place other than about 27 years of beer puke, sweat and something that smelled not unlike an open sewer (most likely an open sewer).

There wasn't much for me to do, so I sat around, slept in a few corners, and then went out for a walk around Camden. It's a hip part of town, I suppose. It's like St. Marks where all of the squatter punks hang out all day sneering and handing out flyers for tattoo parlors, and then go back to Kensington (or New Jersey) to their nice condos at the end of the day, open a bottle of Malbec and discuss politics. It's usually where you see Amy Winehouse stumbling around resembling a survivor from Pompeii at two in the morning looking for smokes. The shopping in the market area was a lot more intriguing when a pair of Dr. Martens cost $10 as opposed to about $400, what with the dollar being spare change these days. I did manage to find an Alternative Tentacles Records shirt in my size (which kind of blew my mind since I can't get one in SF where they are actually from). Fopp, the discount record shop, where the majority of my per diems had gone over the last few years is no longer, as is about half of the locks markets that burned down earlier this year.

All the same, I got some thai food, coffee, a few t-shirts, a fake Louis Vuitton wallet, more coffee and then went back to work to harass the locals.

And the non-locals.

There was a hell of a line out front for the show in no time.

And somehow the club managed to squeeze every last one of those sweaty little freaks into that room.