Wednesday, July 09, 2008

01/20/09 Amabo

Blogs are like the show for me, they’re supposed to entertain, inspire & make you think. Or as I say “make you thank!” Anyway, I like writing them, but sometimes the demands of the road, the lack of internet, etc. make it hard to get them out in a timely manner. This blog is a case in point. I’m warning you up front that it’s going to be long! Some names are abbreviated to protect identities! I go all the way back to my birthday.
On my birthday we played in Westbury NY. Miles away from home and family. Nature of the game as it was. I knew that my wife wouldn’t be able to make it out to the show, and I was bummed to be so far away from my girls. At least, I thought, my buddy CMFL. will be at the show. Then I give him a call only to hear that he’s got to have a surgical procedure and can’t make the show. Oh well I think, I guess it’s just another day at the office. We did our usual routine for the afternoon; Chipotle, Starbucks, Bookstore, Mall, etc. and then I fell asleep in the van for about an hour. Somebody wakes me up…”Hey!” I look and see my best bro Keith MFT and CMFL!!! Awwwww Shhhhhhiiiii…it’s on ya’ll! What a tremendous surprise and birthday gift to have my dear friends show up just to hang for the night and be with me on my birthday! Keith brought a care package from home that my wife had put together with cards and stuff that I love and I had recordings of my wife and daughter saying happy birthday. I just wanted to crawl in the cards and go home!!! We had a great show, all the folks at Mirelles and Lori Productions made us feel so at home and welcome, that I can’t wait to get back there soon! So after the gig, Keith has to go to the airport. He’d only come up for the day! Literally! CMFL was going to drive him out there, but he actually had had the surgery and it was 30 miles in the opposite direction from his house, so I said we’ll take him. Go home and get some rest, but first let me give you a back cracking hug!!! So here we go to take Keith to the airport. Now remember, it’s 30 miles in the wrong direction for us too. Not that it matters when it’s your friend, but it just makes the story funnier to understand the geography. As we are heading towards Islip airport, I get a call from my friend and advisor, Arnie Goodman who tells me that the CDs we ordered are at his house. Cool I say, since it’s closing in on 3:00am, we’ll come to you first and get the CDs so you don’t have to stay up all night…Arnie lives in the opposite direction from the airport…we turn around and head to his house. When we get there, I realize we’re now almost to Manhattan! 50 miles from Islip! We get the CDs and Arnie says “why don’t you drop Keith off at Penn Station. You have to drive right by it on your way out of town and he can catch a train out to Islip. Makes sense, so we head to Manhattan. Penn Station is under Madison Square Garden…middle of Manhattan…3:30am. We get downstairs and see a carpet of humanity lying on the floor, leaned up against posts, waiting for the ticket office to open at 6:30am. Keith’s flight is at 8:00 and we start to vibe that if we wait, he might miss it going this way. Let’s go! Back to Islip!! We get to Islip at dawn and say good bye to my friend. Then head back, same road, to our next gig NJ! Hit the next town at around 10:30 am. I didn’t care, what a great birthday! Second best ever! Almost perfect, except my best best friend Buffy wasn’t there. My Yoko from Tennessee!! My Posh Spice! My Eva Longoria! My own personal Penthouse Pet!!! Ohhhh I could go on and on! Thank you Buff! Keith! Chuck!
Somers Point was a fun gig, after the rain storm blew through! My pedal board had an ocean’s worth of sand on it the next day though! Blue 5 in VA and then home...right? My wife’s family is scheduled to go on vacation on Sunday. We play Blue 5 on Saturday, hen we’re supposed to drive over night (9 hours), so I can get in the car and drive to Gulf Shores (6 ½ hours away). No big deal, we’ve done it before. Sleep is something you use to recharge the batteries; I don’t do it for pleasure or as a hobby (like some people we’ve known!) We start driving…an hour outside of town…BOOM!!! The rear axle breaks! Lucky we’re on the side of the road at an exit, but its 3:30 am…pitch black dark…hmmmm. I don’t have a flashlight!!! (I do now!) Can’t see the amount of damage, can’t find the tire, what do you do? I call Uncle Wayne and Keith MFT. Nobody answers!! 3 calls each and I finally wake them both up…Thanks Scott! No sleep for anybody! Keith gets up, hooks his trailer and drives 9 hours to pick us up and haul the van and the trailer back to Columbia!!! 4 hours of winching and pushing and sweating, we get the van on the trailer. Vans have 4 wheels. They roll fine. When you take away one of the wheels, they don’t roll at all. Vans are very heavy. They slide like the rocks from Stonehenge! The caravan was over 54 feet long…I’m sure we broke laws, but we got it home. 9:00 pm, shower, pack, jump in the car and head to vacation. Get there at 4:30 am Monday morning. I’m not complaining, it IS vacation. If you can’t be happy at the beach, something’s wrong with your mind grapes. Keith has the van at his shop, I have insurance to repair it, and so I call the insurance co. Monday morning and start the process. When I feel like its all in play and rolling smooth, I start my vacation. First time in 5 years or more, I put my cell phone on the night stand and walk away! No cell phone! That night when we get back I have 9 missed calls, 40 text messages, 9 voicemails; U ain’t out of the woods yet cowboy! The van is “F”ed up. Don’t be offended, if you know me, that’s how I talk and in this case, that’s a very accurate description of what’s up with the van. The rest of my vacation is cool, but it includes about an hour of phone calls a day every morning getting the latest updates and figuring out how I’m getting to Ohio on Saturday. That’s right; the back end of my vacation also includes a drive back to home and then get in another vehicle and roll overnight (71/2 hours) to Huron Ohio. Remember; Sleep is just a tool to recharge, it’s not a pastime! Fast forward, through all the boring details, Enterprise rents me the van and we get there and back. We did lock the keys in the rental van, but by this point I’m just glad the thing didn’t explode!!! Thank God for all of my blessings! Friends and safe travels! I am blessed!

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