"Look at what I bought today!" He hands me an ancient, out-of-tune guitar with two F holes swirling about on both sides of the strings. I strum a simple chord into another simple chord and listen to the echoes crash into each other. Jimmy, lazily tucked into a giant wicker chair, begins playing a little tune. "Teach me something. Teach me anything," I say with a smile hidden in the shadows. He says in a slow drawl, "Well, what do you want to learn?" "I don't know. Anything." And he begins playing and singing a little something. I don't know who wrote the words and the melodies he plays. Bob Dylan? That wrinkled man who wrote "Fulsom Prison"? The song sounds withered and wise and I'm happy to connect myself to it. He whispers the chords for me in between lyrics. My fingers eagerly follow his commands. I lean my head back and close my eyes. So simple. So easy and right. I feel that every evening after a long day filled with so many conflicting thoughts should end this way. His singing. Our playing together under the evening sky, joined by chords, words, and happy familiar chatter. This is why I play.
I wander inside to sample a delightful eggplant parmesan dish lovingly crafted by a good friend. "You must always cook your meals with love," he says matter-of-factly. He's always feeding us bits and pieces of his meals in progress. We taste a bit of fried eggplant straight out of the steaming frying pan. In turn, he tickles all of our noses with a lemon leaf, explaining that some useful ways to enjoy this plant are dried in tea or infused in some chilled water. After enjoying a meal of his, I immediately scheme of ways to repay him, but I'd be too shy to offer him my attempts at a hearty meal. Perhaps after I've had a bit more practice from those pretty, colorful magazines with gooey blueberries sliding off of pastries on their covers...
After we have all decorated our plates with the bright purple main dish, cinnamon glazed carrots, and some buttery croissants, we chat amongst longtime girlfriends about our surprise when we discover the contents of our purses are all the same: lip gloss, some type of headache relief (most of us had advil), a smartphone, and brand new and old copies of The Great Gatsby. "I can't believe that anyone could dream up a film with scenes like that," I say. Someone else replies, "That movie was a huge let down! The score was just terrible, much too modern." Then a woman's soft and yet powerful voice floats in from the back door putting an abrupt end to our conversation. So we happily abandon our debate at the kitchen table along with the dirty pots and pans, drawn to the music like hipsters to a farmers market.
I find a secluded spot tucked away just behind and to the left of the trio playing their music. I feel that I need to approach their performance like one would approach a fragile butterfly. It was as though I needed to sneak past them as silently and unobtrusively as possible, or the magic might stop and they might fly away. We all form a semi circle around the guitars and singing. I don't know what they are singing. Dia clutches her knees and sways forward and back, singing, singing with her eyelids drooping. Two guitars dance around each other as her accompaniment.
It is nice to see her singing for herself and for us, a bunch of tired old friends, enjoying some excellently seasoned vegetables and a pretty song or two. I couldn't help thinking, "this is why she sings, to feel like THAT, to help us feel like THIS." The end of their song conjures up images of a scene from The Great Gatsby. I picture the director explaining the nuances of the scene to the actors just so, fixing a prop here and adjusting the lighting there, giving everything he has to his creation, and then letting it go to be what it will. He made us feel that feeling for days and days after we walk out of the theater, tossing our empty coke cups into the trash by the exit.
Well, I've got a lot of exciting news about the happenings taking place around the Chandler studio. A few months ago, my friend Kate, (who sells these) asked me to share a booth with her at Unique L.A., an extremely popular craft fair in Los Angeles. Last year Dia raved about the show for hours and especially loved her new jewelry she purchased from Kyle Chan Jewelry. There are some really gorgeous photos of Dia on that site. You guys should seriously check her and them out;) I'm thankful that they met at the show, because since she introduced the two of us, he has given me tons of invaluable advice for my jewelry company. It kills me how a person can be so nice and helpful to someone they don't know. I can't wait to finally meet Kyle in person at the show! So, if you live in the area please try and stop by our booth and say hello! There are a few artists and designers that I have been following for some time such as Oh, Hello Friend and Nail Tree Love, and I'm really excited to meet them as well. I'll be one of those internet stalker people, "Hi my name is Meg. I read your blog every morning, even before I get out of bed to go pee, and I LOVE you!" Think I'll weird them out much?
This is the packaging I'm working on for the show. I've always had a thing for hot air balloons. Hot air balloons and men in tight pants. I'm just waiting on my creme colored stretchy bows, and I'll be ready, set, go!
Nick will be sharing the booth with us also, exhibiting his handmade industrial light fixtures
. (See photo below for a sneak peek at a design he is working on just for the show. My favorite part of this photo is the Coke bottle. Is my boyfriend good at photo styling or what?) We're still trying to figure out the best way for customers to take their new light fixtures home with them. His packaging isn't as easy as mine, a teensy weensy, super-cute, lightweight box. If you have any ideas for him, please let us know.
As the day draws nearer we've been communicating by email and phone to figure out our booth design and our plans for the event. It's so exciting! I totally geek out about this stuff. Craft fairs give me the same fuzzy warm feelings that music venues and libraries do. Music venues always carried a sense of urgency and excitement for me during our tours. I loved being around other creative, passionate musicians, soaking in their performances and sharing inspiring conversations about our common craft. Craft fairs are very similar, except now we share our design processes, favorite colors to incorporate, and swoon over each other's creations. I already know I'm going to have a difficult time peeling myself away from my booth to walk around and check out everyone else's goods, since I really love interacting with customers and new friends in my booth. It's always interesting to see what kind of reaction you get from customers when you can see their expressions on their faces as they tell you what they think. "Cute." seems to be the response I receive the most, which I'm fine with, but his year I'm really shooting for, "Yikes, those are SO zany!"
When I'm not dreaming and scheming about the craft show, I'm thinking about new designs. I've promised myself that the first week of May I'm going to lock myself up in my studio and crank out ideas. Sometimes, as a designer, I feel a little intimidated when I think about the daunting task of creating a little robot army out of thin air.
I've blocked out my schedule and doodled a whole bunch of cogs and screws on those days in my calendar. I have a few ideas rattling around my brain at the moment. I think a Warrior Bot, (Think Tiger Lily. She'll have on a warrior outfit and a bow and arrow and crazy feather hair ornaments) would be pretty awesome... I'm also toying around with the idea of a bot playing a guitar, but I'm just not sure how I can make that work… I thought some aged lightning bolts wound with antique copper wire would make some killer earrings!
Can you imagine how hard it is for me to try and get some sleep at night? I'm laying there, and instead of sheep hopping over those bushes it's "Oh, lightning bolts!! No, no…wait. I've got it an owl with a screwdriver for a beak! Or, how about a round sailer with a Tim Burton-esque umbrella hat!" It just never ends...
And I suppose I'm thankful for that:)
My mother is the most intelligent, sweetest woman I've ever known. I can't imagine myself ever accomplishing feats like the ones she has overcome in her life, moving from Korea to the U.S. to follow her new husband at a ripe young age, learning a completely new language, becoming accustomed to a brand new, intimidating culture. She's my hero.
Please allow me to share our lunch conversation with you. The menu: crispy coconut shrimp tacos drizzled with a warm, spicy mango dressing, a coke for dessert, followed with some vegetable juice for my health. (The two drinks don't mix so well…and drinking them at the same time probably cancels out the health benefits, but I digress.) The conversation: a talk about her breakfast party with some close friends at the local Cracker Barrel.
"So, how was breakfast? What did you have?" I asked her.
"Oh, I had oatmeal. It was good."
"Well, how is everyone? What did they all have to say?"
Quick side note: Cussing in a different a language has always been kind of interesting to me. I mean, cussing in your own language is an interesting topic all on its own, but it's strange to try and understand the psychology behind wanting to know how to say bad words in other languages. You know you've had the thought, "O.k., o.k., so… how do you say #$%^ in Spanish?! Really *attempt a few tries at pronouncing said foreign word to see how the syllables roll off the tongue.* Cool! Now, how do you say *&%#?! Ooooh, let me try. I know, I know, it's all very juvenile, but sometimes you just can't explain why we humans do the things we do, or say the things we say.
My mom asked me the other day if I knew anyone who uses swear words. In my head, I was thinking, "Do I know anyone who… doesn't? But in real life of course, I said, "No, not really." Does Nick use swear words? "Hmm… I can't really think of a time…" How could I admit to my doe-eyed Korean mother that as a couple, my boyfriend and I use profanity when we tell each other to pass the salt and pepper at dinner time?
So, I'm sure you can guess, in my family we do not use those words. Once you step over our welcome mat, your language better be clean as a whistle. I've never heard my mom swear (except when spring cleaning rolls around and she tells me that it's time to "change the shits" on my bed.)
"Well," she continued on with her story, "I was very surprised to hear a very religious man in our group use the word," and her voice became a whisper as she spelled it out, "a-s-s".
"You don't say?" I took a pause from scarfing down my taco to lean in a bit toward her concerned face.
"Yes, he said that he told his son to take the A-S-S out of the house! I couldn't believe he swore. Everyone at the table seemed not to notice."
"Oh, is his son lazy? Was he trying to tell his son to get his butt off of the couch and get a job or something?"
"No, he had a mule, like in Mrs. Doubtfire, in the house, and he wanted his son to get it out."
"What do you mean like Mrs. Doubtfire, mom?"
"You know, the kid brought a horse into the house."
"Oh, there was an actual mule in the house, like the animal?"
Never mind that at this moment in the conversation I was just DYING to know why there was a mule in this man's house, but I held back my curiosity to explain a new american term that my mother might not be familiar with.
"Mom" I placed my hand on her knee after wiping off some mango sauce on a napkin, "You know that the technical term for a mule IS ass, right? Like, that's not a swear word if you call a mule an ass. That's what it's called. Sometimes the same words mean two different things, like a river damn means something different than the swear word."
For a moment, my mother's face just went completely blank, and then shit white (oh, excuse me, I mean *sheet* white), and then she blew out some mango sauce from her nostrils as she erupted into laughter and all but fell out of the kitchen chair.
Did I mention how much I love my Korean mother and how much I enjoy lifting the veil of the strange nuances of the English language?
While Nick and I visited L.A. a few weeks ago, we found ourselves constantly pulling out our iPhone's Google Maps in order to navigate the city. Karen's confident, soothing voice rose above the noisy L.A. traffic. (We call the voice giving the directions in the app Karen. Don't ask me why…) I'd fill in the blanks on my phone's glowing screen. A "current location" always goes in the "start" box. Then I simply type in the address of my destination. After I press "route" a map zooms out on the screen displaying the entire route. A quick tap on the "start" button zooms into the exact location the car is in and proceeds to immediately dictate, step by step, the quickest way to arrive at our destination.
I'm quite sure that if Karen was a person, she'd look like this.
After dialing in a few different locations and driving all over the city with Karen tucked into the console in between us, I became rather jealous of Google Maps and its ability to know where we started, where we needed to go, and the shortest way to get there with such certainty and aplomb. Sometimes it's easy to overlook where we start from, in life I mean. Where was that place? As a musician or as a jewelry designer, what did the beginning look like for me? Naive, eager, unstoppable? What did your beginning look like? And where did I hope to end up someday by heading down that road? Stardom, arenas, or a modest career filled with joy after realizing I make music every day? Where did you end up?
My favorite feature of google maps is how after you land on the screen where your whole route is displayed and you get a good feel for the journey ahead ( i.e. the time it will take to arrive at your destination, the number of miles involved, etc... ) and you press that "route" button, Google Maps doesn't hem haw around and analyze and pick apart whether the journey will be worth it. A questionnaire doesn't pop up on the screen with a sequence of questions such as: 1. Will your parents be proud of you if you travel to 350 North 4080 West? 2. Will you regret your decision if you move forward with this trip to 530 Downey street? 3. Are you sure, I mean REALLY sure that this is the correct path for you if you do indeed end up at The Grove in Los Angeles, California?
Nope, that doesn't happen. The phone simply does its quick-as-a-blink calculation and BAM, step one pops up on the screen, and you don't think twice as you take that first baby step forward. Pump up the radio, "Slight left onto Certainty Avenue". You pick up your cell phone and make a quick "catch up" call to your sister at school in San Francisco as Karen gives you another direction, "Continue on Nothin' To Lose Highway". Time to push your favorite button in your vehicle, the seat warmer. Mmmm my fav. "Take a right at Consistency Road then turn left onto Self Respect Drive."
"Arriving at address 5874 East Finish What You Start Circle".
And then you press "End". You've made it. Simple.
Speaking of making a plan and following through, I'm super excited to announce the 3rd Annual Birthday Sale for Chandler The Robot! I've been working really hard in preparation for tomorrow. Designs are going to go quick, so grab em' while they're hot:)
P.S. No, I'm not working with google and they do not sponsor my blog in anyway… although I kind of feel that they should:)
It's interesting being alive long enough to experience major social/economic changes. We've lived through a painful recession. We've seen people's life savings dry up and their houses taken away. We've witnessed the internet pivot the way we all socially interact with one another. I'm definitely thankful for technology as a jewelry designer, because the internet is how I make my living. As a musician though, the crazy advances in technology having to do with music have effected me the most. Music has a place right beside my heart, and a bunch of freakin' computer geeks had to go and mess with that. (P.S. I'm not mad about it.)
Between me and many of my musician friends there has been an ongoing conversation about the advances of technology and its effect on the music scene. Some of us musicians tend to take the topic personally. If a pianist has been forced to sit at that bench and practice for hours since the day he turned five years old, how do you think he feels when he becomes a master pianist as an adult and realizes that a computer can play all those notes perfectly
Every. Single. Time?
Whenever I pick up my guitar these days, the question does cross my mind, "What's the point? Wouldn't my audience and I be better served if I spent all this time learning Logic or Protools instead?"
I wonder if musicians experienced similar apprehension in the 1920's with the introduction of the electric guitar? That was new technology back then. Did they freak out and think that the new sound would ruin music? Did some musicians consider the way distortion muffled some musical passages cheating? Well, Hendrix happened because of that invention, so I'm thankful for sure!
The main argument about technology and music usually centers around how computer programmed music takes away the "human element" or how electronic music isn't "genuine". What is meant by "genuine" in this context? True, no musician is actually playing the parts in electronic music, but who's to say that their musical decisions aren't genuine?
I think the determining factor in whether a song is "genuine" or not has nothing to do with whether the piece was played by real musicians or programmed by an artist, the deciding factor lies in understanding whether the artist had something to say, and whether they said it.
Some of the most mind-boggeling and beautiful music I've ever heard was likely composed behind the blue light of a computer monitor and would definitely fall under the category of "electronica". Have you ever listened to the over-powering beat, just, BOOM, BOOM, BOOMING over all of the instrumentation? I'm not talking annoying club music that reminds you you should be anywhere but in that stupid club called "Lipstick" with one too many whiskey shots? (Oh, am I writing a blog for the public here? Please excuse my momentary lapse.) I'm talking BOOM, BOOMING like the kind blasting in Passion Pit's "Take A Walk". THAT beat in THAT song pushes the beat of my own heart along, resuscitating the pulse in my body, on days when maybe my heart isn't up to beating so vibrantly all on its own.
Want to get your socks rocked off? Check out Passion Pit!
Even though I fully support computer programmed/electronic music, don't you dare think for one second I will ever stop searching for new ways to play my guitar. Even though I could program a difficult riff in under 2 minutes flat, and that same riff might take me six months to learn, I'll still learn it, because I receive joy in being able to physically connect with my instrument, and I still believe that people connect to musician's playing live in a different way.
I'm just saying there has also been electronic music that I jam in my car that makes me cry, and I'm talking instantly.
What do you think about technology and music? Or do you just pump up the jams, regardless of whether its dance music or blues from the 50's, and let it fill you up, up, up?
As many of you know from my previous blog posts, Nick and I have been relentlessly searching for our first home in Salt Lake for the past year to no avail. We've worked with a couple realtors and seen over twenty homes. I've become so familiar with the inner workings of craigslist, I can spot a dud listing quicker than you can say "scam!"
By the end of this last winter, I wanted to feel sunshine on my face so badly, the thought of lying in one of those morbid tanning beds at those tanning salons that smell like pina colada air fresheners seemed like heaven. Seasonal depression may be an overstatement for me, but I just have to be true to myself and admit that I'm a warmth and sunshine person. When Nick and I aren't having our usual conversations over dinner in which we over-analyze every angle of the character development in zany t.v. comedies like Parks and Rec, we stop to ponder about our lives and if we are really fulfilling them like we always hoped we would. During one of these conversations, a tiny seed of an idea planted itself in our minds. A crazy idea. Maybe we could, by the sheer luck of being advantageously located in the heart of Hollywood, be eligible for some interesting, creative, and fulfilling opportunities. (I'm not gonna lie, the amazing weather was a high selling point for me!)
This crazy idea of considering L.A. as a place to live for awhile began to take shape after Nick and I spent some time visiting Dia and some close friends in L.A. and saw first hand, although they weren't all crazy successes YET, they were happy toiling away, because with every passing day they were working toward fulfilling their life-long dreams.
So, while Nick and I aren't tied down by any looming responsibilities in our lives, other than finding creative ways to eat and put a roof over our heads, we thought now would be a good time to try out a big city. We spent a week there over my birthday weekend with supportive family and friend's showing us the ropes and explaining all of the quirky intricacies you learn to navigate while living there. I couldn't wrap my head around everything all in one week. Nick and I spent our spare time during this vacation perusing our favorite website (craigslist!) searching for living situations that seemed manageable (at least for the short term).
One of the duplexes we checked out was owned by a retired gang leader. "He has been sober for twenty years now and even started a drug recovery home which is right across the street incidentally!" said current tenant, who works in the "adult film" industry and sells baby coconuts to Phish fans at music festivals in the summer time. Also, apparently, one or two blocks north, the neighborhood "gets REALLY dangerous, so make sure you never venture out that way." Nick and I ran to our vehicle parked out front and promptly shrieked in unison "NO!"
This whole "moving to Los Angeles as a aspiring musician in order to pursue our life long dreams" is very much up in the air at this point. I go back and forth between staying in my home town, learning how to become an excellent cook living the quiet life, moving to L.A., and perhaps becoming a water color painter on the outskirts of Italy. So, please don't hold us to this moving decision, and don't be surprised if in my next blog post I announce that we will in fact be setting up shop in Europe.
My least favorite part about moving, (aside from packing, yuck!) is the fact that so much focus and emphasis is placed on the situation at hand, that the rest of life is put on hold temporarily. Yes, it's exciting. Yes, it will be a new adventure, but I can't wait to be able to have it over and done with so I can get back to what's important, like relationships, music, and Chandler The Robot.
Speaking of Chandler, I'm working on some brand new designs. My favorite part of my jewelry business is that I can run it, design things, create things, and share things from basically anywhere on the planet. So, wherever Nick and I end up, I'll still be working on Chandler full throttle.
This CTR bracelet isn't available yet. Working out all of the details. It will also be available as a necklace and earrings too!
I just re-released a second batch of giraffe bracelets you can order HERE.
Please keep an eye out for my annual Birthday Sale that happens every year. This year it will happen this Friday, April 12th, since I was busy searching for a place to throw my boxes and suitcase on my actual birthday which was on the 3rd.
"I think I'm going to call my next blog 'Always Almost Crashing'," I mention to Nick over a plate of ripe golden mango and sticky rice and an ice cold glass of authentic thai iced tea. "What do you think a blog with that title should be about?" He says, "Well, if it isn't about how we are always almost crashing into other cars and people on motorcycles and scooters while we are sitting in a taxi cab, then it should most definitely be about how we are always almost crashing from exhaustion after a long and exciting day exploring Bangkok."
The streets in Thailand smell like burnt pork and incense. After stepping outside for only a few moments, my skin becomes sticky and hot. No need to pack lotion for hot, humid Thailand. Dia said in an email before we left the states, "Don't bring any warm clothes. It doesn't get cold here, even at night."
Mangos hang from the edges of old, wise trees bending the branches low to the ground. Thai people are friendly and cheerful. I would trust almost any of them to take care of my dog, as one of them did with me after only speaking to me for a few moments. "Here, can you watch my dog? I want to listen to the music for awhile." So, I sat with a little furry animal, shaky and scared to meet a new stranger, while the adorable Thai woman pranced off.
They all laugh at me when I try to say one of the two Thai words I know, "Hello" and "Thank you". Hello is sah-wah-dee-kah. Thank you is kah-dee-kah. Whenever I have to ask to go pee, I ask for the toilet. Toilet is a strange word. I'd much rather ask for a restroom, but people here don't understand that. I'm almost used to the word now. Toilet. Toi-Ee-let. It's almost starting to sound…pretty.
The part of our trip where we give back to the people who have given us so much during our stay takes place. A stage is erected with pretty yellow lights and a grassy area in front is roped off with red velvet. Dia, Nick, Danny and I assemble at the side of the stage, dressed to the nines in curious show attire chosen by our hosts. An announcer introduces us in her native tongue.
"What does your band do before you play a show?" I ask Danny, lead singer of a band called Scars on 45, who is filling in as Dia's rhythm guitar player for the show. We show him Meg and Dia's pre-show ritual, the Cool Runnings chant. He says they don't really have one, so Dia starts chanting the Thai word for "tickle" that we learned when we tried out a traditional fish spa. (I can't pronounce it well enough to write in this blog post. I apologize.)
New unfamiliar equipment. New guitar parts. New songs. New fans. New country. A lot of factors that add up to a less than comfortable performing situation. I play and sing as best as I can hoping to bring some Thai people some entertainment for the evening that could at least half way repay them for the amazing time I have experienced in their country.
There is one woman sitting in the front row with her very small child nestled in her lap listening to us as we play Dia's set. I glance up at her and she acknowledges me acknowledging her, and I know that we both have this intense connection. I say to her with my stare, "I'm trying so hard. Are you enjoying this?" And she says back with her encouraging eyes and enthusiastic nodding, "I love it! Thank you for being here. Thank you for being you. Thank you for coming here to play this music for us. We love you!" And I just wanted to set my guitar down right there on stage and crawl down to her seat in the front row and squeeze her and her daughter in a big bear hug.
The day after the show, we visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. We are told that this temple would bring us luck in our career and work. The excellent workmanship and the humbling craftsmanship of the statues and temples is breathtaking. Nick and I wander around the temple grounds, stopping to listen to the ancient harmonies of the monks dressed in their orange robes. We shuffle around with all the other tourists, Germans, the English, South Africans. All of us from all over the world passing each other,coming to this place to discover a new culture together, sweating even more than usual since we have to dress appropriately and the sun is still blazing hot.
We find one temple with gifts of golden beads, flowers, and candles placed at the base of the giant happy Buddha. Other people step in, kneel down on their knees, bow their heads, and bring their hands together and pray in silence. Being raised in a predominately Mormon community in Southern Utah, where they pray with folded arms and out loud, and myself not belonging to any religion, I simply bow my head and bring my hands together in respect as I listen to my breath like they teach us in yoga, the closest thing that I have to a religion.
In and out. In and out.
I wonder if this prayer helps my career and my work? I wonder who had a more profound effect on the other, Dia and us on the crowd, or the people in the crowd at Dia's concert on us? It's really hard to tell. So many lives and experiences swirling together and meeting at a moment in time in a new foreign land. My past. Their past. My future. Their future. Our time. We are always almost crashing.
I didn't get the memo before I signed on to play this gig in Thailand with Dia, but apparently I'm the lead guitar player. Surprise! Um, o.k.? Not too comfortable with this plan, but I suppose I'll take a whack at it. I'm a rhythm guitar player. I've always been a rhythm guitar player. The metronome is my bestest buddy. I can play a steady strum pattern to any tempo with one hand tied behind my back. You need a latin rhythm? I got ya covered. You need Spanish? Heck, I'll even enjoy a taco nestled in between the tuning pegs on the headstock of my guitar mid song, mid rehearsal. You need folk? You need me to strum furiously like a Nashville tornado like those Mumford and Sons kids?
But lead guitar?! How am I supposed to work with that job title?
Of course I didn't quit on the spot while we were delivering a flurry of emails between the band, crew, and management. "Sure, I can do that. No problem." Fake it till you make it baby, right?
The first time I sat down to re-learn Dia's tracks from her album, Red, I solemnly set down my acoustic guitar and traded it in for an electric version. I don't even have my pedal board with me to work out effects. It's still up in Salt Lake. Well, guess I'm going to have to imagine what a chorus or a tremolo would feel like with this new riff. Ha! This show is going to be…interesting.
Beginning to rehearse for a new set when you are in a band is very similar to moving to a completely foreign city where you know no one, and you need to find a new apartment immediately before you lose all your "moving to city A fund!" in ridiculous hotel fees.
Day 1: Wow, this is so exciting! I'm in a brand new place with all of these fabulous food trucks and attractive, funny people. I can't wait to find my totally awesome studio where I'll throw all of these outrageous parties with all of my new devoted friends.
Day 2: Hmm… that apartment is how much?! Well, maybe I could go with something a bit smaller. You know living outside of the city won't be that bad. Why can't I find something? I didn't expect this to be so difficult.
Day 3. Oh my god! What am I going to do!? I'm going to end up a homeless person living on the street like all those bums with the grocery carts filled with bike tires and random broken electronics! (Well… maybe if I end up being one of those famous ones that always walks around naked and has a name everyone knows them by and is in the paper all the time…) But, NO! I NEED a place?
Day 4. I'll never find an apartment. I should have just stayed home and lived in my mother's basement. Timmy and Jessica from high school were right. I'm never gonna make it. Ugh… I need a drink.
And then when day 4 rolls around, you begin to gain a bit of clarity in the quietness of your defeated inner being. You visualize the worse that can happen and realize that it's not that bad. So I get boo'd off stage. Maybe I won't even understand their booing because I don't understand their language. Maybe I'll even interpret it as cheering? "Awe, thanks so much guys. I really wasn't that great, was I? I never knew Thailand people were so nice!" Or maybe Dia will take over big sister leadership and renounce my title. "Sorry sis, you blew it." Well, that wouldn't be so bad. I'm kind over all the responsibility to be a success anyway with 5 little sisters always looking up to me. Dia can take over now. I wouldn't even mind giving her some tips and pointers along the way. "No, don't you ever let on that you don't know what your doing. Make a confident face like this. NO! Your eyebrows are still tipped up near the bridge of your nose like an iceberg cascading up into the Titanic. They'll never believe you with that nonsense going on."
So the dust has settled. I've finally worked out some parts that I'm quite happy with. The "Voice Memo" app on my iphone has been extremely helpful for my purposes. Garage band takes a bit to long to load. Guitar parts flitter in and out of my head in a nano-second. "I got it. I got it! Oooh, it's perfect! …wait! It's gone… It's gone! Oh no… come back." So, thanks Apple. You're a life saver once again.
I really hope I can remember all my parts once I get over there. I'll tell ya what, I'm SO excited to be performing again. It's been awhile. Dia says to never wear tank tops or shorts over there and to always place one hand on your heart when you are addressing anyone (even your waiter), and also to never, NEVER under any circumstances, mention the King. Nick's response was, "How will we survive?" Of course Dia's reply had to do with food, "Well, there's lot's of fresh baby coconuts and curry!"
Good enough for me:)
I'm always amazed when Dia picks me to perform with her around the world. I know it seems like a given that she should choose me because we are sisters and we have a long history together. I know that she thinks of me first as a guitar player and wants me to share the cool experiences with her, but still it's pretty cool to me when she asks me to come when there are so many incredible musicians out there that she could choose instead.
I recently spoke to Chad Jeffers, Carrie Underwood's slide guitar player, over Skype about being a musician. The first thing he said was, "This is a crazy industry. There's no rhyme or reason to who becomes successful and who doesn't. I have a whole bunch of friends here in Nashville who are incredible musicians, but for one reason or another, they just never made it. I also have a lot of musician friends who honestly aren't that great, yet they get amazing gigs! A lot of it comes down to luck."
Of course, I'm striving to improve my licks every day. I diligently run my scales and practice Buddy Guy riffs and John Mayer strum patters. Well, that's what I used to do any way. Those songs have been switched out with Dia Frampton songs since I am preparing for our gig with her in Thailand in March. (I don't even think that she has announced the news yet. It might be a little early for me to be saying this show is happening, but that's what you get when you read my blog. You hear things first! So don't hold me to it, if this show gets canceled for some reason.) Even though I'm practicing all the time, there are other kids are practicing longer and harder and in their sleep. There will always be someone better, and there will always be someone worse, but that doesn't mean that opportunities won't happen for you even when you don't feel quite ready yet.
This is why I think that it is so important to have a positive attitude and be pleasant and professional. (In my case, doesn't hurt to be nice to your little sister!) Don't focus so much on the competition and who might be more qualified for whatever it is you are setting out to do, whether that's a job interview or a gig. Never hurts to try. You might be picked because you're the funniest person alive and make road trips with the band easier, or maybe you're really great at keeping business meetings lively and focused. Meg and Dia used to work with a tour manager who was really adept at being a professional tour manager, but I'm sure there were managers that were more intelligent than him, or better organized, but he is so positive and funny and energetic, we never thought to look for other options.
So whether Dia picked me because we came from the same wonderful asian women or because of my sparkling personality, the fact remains that she did pick me. Of course when Dia asked me if I would perform in Thailand with her I immediately said "Yes, I would love to!" I've had a nice long break from touring and I'm really ready to perform and travel again. I'm also super excited because Nick's coming too! I think it's incredible to perform with my boyfriend and share the excitement I feel on stage with him. We can talk to each other about how the show went and know exactly what each of us is referring to. Plus, for the flight over there, I'm lucky I can lay my head on his shoulder instead of accidentally falling asleep on some stranger. Yikes!
I hope I'll get to do this on our trip over there! (Well, not quite like that, but you know what I mean:)