The work day flew by and was interrupted throughout the afternoon by phone calls from the road figuring out the weekend. I love how I told Phil that if the band needed to stay over my apartment, to let me know a few days ahead of time so I can do linens and towels for them and go grocery shopping. Of course Phil asks me hours beforehand, not days. As if I haven’t been stressed enough lately haha! But at least the Tribeca show was that night so I had something to look forward to. Work let me out early so I could get to the show. I am loving Verizon and my new cell phone. I get service EVERYWHERE. I talked to Morgan and Maryellen while in the subway station – fabulous.
I get to Tribeca and meet up with Maryellen and hit up the bar since last week had me running ragged. It was good to see the guys again and have a sense of familiarity around me. Maryellen finally got to meet them and we all socialized down in the green room. Phil and I took silly pictures with sunglasses and I got to do Chris’s rockstar hair. Upstairs I finally met Judy in person and her friends Angela and Jessica before LDE took stage. Tribeca is always loud. Good setlist. I took some pictures with my real camera since my digital is still broken.
Immediately after their set, Maryellen and I dashed to catch the last train to Hoboken where we refueled on coffee. The guys had to load out and grab food so I had some downtime to actually straighten up my place before they arrived. I miss my little purple apartment where having people stay over at random hours was never an issue, but now I have roommates. We crammed almost everyone in my living room, then Chris and Donnie in my bedroom. Phil joined us and we schemed about the weekend and watched porn. Chris and I stayed up way past everyone else talking about random things, our pre-dawn ramblings perpetuated by Donnie’s inconsistent snoring. I think I finally got about three hours of sleep before being roused by my alarm clock. They got to sleep in – I had to go to work. :-/
The work day went by pretty quickly, mostly due to my half conscious state of being. After work, I headed down to Tribeca again to pick up Chris’s wallet since some how it must have fallen out of his bag and onto the clubs floor. Took the train back up to Penn Station and roamed around while making phone calls waiting for my 9 pm bus to Hartford. I was way too anxious to start my weekend. On the way to Hartford I caught up with Dan and Tanya then spent the last hour staring out the window at the passing cars, rivers, and small New England towns.
I got off the bus and called Morgan, who met me outside of the club. I think I squealed a few times and people stared. Oh well, I was happy. Go inside and meet up with Steve, who met me with a $1 pitcher and a cup. The show was at The Brickyard and I honestly have no idea what to say about the place except that we totally didn’t fit in. The girls were wearing outfits totally not suitable for 10 degree weather and had on more makeup than Mimi from the Drew Carey show. I had on my chucks and hadn’t showered for a day and was fine. The guys all had popped collars and perfectly mussed up hair. Of course we had to make fun of everyone, it was awesome. Morgan, Steve, and I reminisced about the past few years sharing random stories from the road while LDE played on. It was the first time that either one had seen LDE, but both were quite familiar with Georgia Avenue stuff. I think this is the beginning of a new chapter of nationwide roadtrips and tape trading a la DMB & PMB. We pretty much have the old school PMB crew on board for the new level of rock called LDE. Exciting.
LDE played Two Step with rock star flair. Chris accidentally knocked over his monitor, jumped off stage, grabbed a beer bottle, smashed said bottle, jumped back on stage, then knocked over his mic stand. Some random guy we made fun of also went up on stage. Morgan was about the regulate, but once he stood up, the $1 pitcher of beer stopped him in his tracks and he sat back down. We all socialized afterwards and Morgan made me do my hair like Deb from Napoleon Dynamite.
We loaded up the van and headed north in search of a diner and lodging. At the diner, my naïve self was educated on random sexual acts…that NO ONE DOES! Aurora met up with us as we were leaving, just in time to say hello and goodbye. We drove a few minutes more and found a hotel and checked in a little after 4am. We put the furniture outside and lined the entire floor with air mattresses. Ahhhhh…the good old days...
We woke up around noon without the help of an alarm clock. It was snowing! Yay winter! I think that that was the last time I thought that thought for the rest of the trip. The guys all took showers as I got ready. I kinda enjoy my alone time in the morning and its been too long since I have actually had to go from “just woken up” to “presentable” in front of a room full of guys. Oh well, I hopped onto the sink and plugged in my straightener. Doug wouldn’t let me straighten his hair. I called my mom to let her know I was still alive (she panics if she doesn’t hear from me by around noonish each day) where she overheard Chris talk dirty in reference to her daughter. At least she knows them, so I don’t think she was too worried. An hour later we pile in the van and hit the highway.
I joined Chris in the backseat as we randomly rambled and I edited his road journal. He also came up with the best buzzword of March 2005 – Fratercrombies…while describing the previous night’s festivities at The Brickyard. I think we were having an interesting conversation about parenting when a fellow driver informed Donnie that our tire blew. Odd thing is that Johnny called it in the hotel parking lot. We pulled off to a random gas station and as Chris and Donnie fixed the tire, the rest of us caused a ruckus in the convenience store. Ruckus meaning me being cornered in an aisle as the guys…nevermind…guys are silly. Lebron has his own gum. Phil didn’t know that SueBee was honey before Beth. Does 50 Cent have his own Vitamin Water or does he just endorse it? Musings from the side of the road of Connecticut.We piled back into the van and headed north back on track to Vermont. I stared out the rear window and watched the cars go by the grey scenery through the sliver between the van and trailer. Ever since I was younger I have constantly been on the road. Every few years or so my family would pack up and move and my mom always liked to travel to random places, so a lot of my life has been spent pounding the asphalt and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I always wonder where people are going.
I played with Chris’s shoelaces as he played with his phone. He fell asleep then I joined the guys up front for a game of 90’s Trivial Pursuit where I discovered that I know nothing about movies or video games. We took a detour to New Hampshire (YAY HOME STATE!) to pick up some equipment. The guys loaded up the van as I found a bookstore to find a bathroom and a book. I was victorious in both. Back in the van…back on the way to Vermont.
Phil and I talked about music stuff as Johnny played with my hair. We also reminisced and it’s so weird to have been around LDE for over two years and watching all of the changes and progression. I like this band a lot more then I liked LDE circa 2002. Phil delicately asked how LDE compares to the other bands I know on the road. I honestly told him that “on the road” to the rest of us means “gigs close to each other but we all still go home or stay in a hotel room to party and not sleep”. And the bands I hang out with, I go to their shows, work with them, and we all hang out during our off time and before and after shows. It’s not the same. I also told Phil that they are the outcast of the mirandabands – the rest of us know each other, go to each others shows, party together, collaborate…so it’s hard to even put them in the same category. In some respects they are totally in a different league and are on a totally different and above level…on another hand, I feel as though they are missing out. Not that what we all have is great, but we have such an awesome legion of rock and the network we all have and support and have reached a decent level of success. Conversations with Phil reminded me of what I have missed that have nothing to do with being on stage, but the randomness that comes with it…chugging cheap orange vodka in parking lots with Chris then jumping on hotel beds, sides of miscellaneous sauce with Dan at diners, giving directions to Akiva, going to Wawa with Matt before every LoHo and Grape shows, Ken and his BOMBS obsession, Derek’s trips to Dunkin Donuts and us shouting our orders to him from my window, Pittenger schooling me on Bush and me ignoring him, JJ and his equal obsession with vanilla soy lattes, and of course having John freaking Faye show up at a Stone Balloon after party at my apartment. That’s the shit I miss. It's not always about the music.
Omnisoul boys came up in conversation and I had Phil listen to the CD, and even though the CD is fabulous, their live show is stellar. I also brought up how Tyler is freaking awesome, the fans really get into him, and there is always a buzz in the crowd about his performance. Phil plainly asks if he is better than Donnie, and well, of course I say yes because I am being honest – which became a running joke of the night. Hopefully LDE will get to see them perform soon…
Johnny has a purple six string bass and he almost lost it to the band in a bet. I win. He also gave me my first Corona, in which Phil had to later show me how to do the lime thing. My fingers are too small to manipulate the lime so I ended up making a slight mess. I took pictures with Chris’s digital during the first set. I am so used to my cameras and hate using other cameras since I usually customize my settings. Eh…there were some decent ones out of the bunch. During the set break Phil gave me a tour of the lodge and we contemplated crashing in the empty rooms instead of driving to out hotel. The DVD room had these weird rocking chairs so we spent about 15 minutes flipping over in them.
The second set was good, nothing too standout or fabulous. Most of the band was a bit tipsy and just having fun on stage. Phil was going to introduce himself for the first time ever, and never did. Afterwards we hung out at the bar and made fun of Johnny for his latest conquest as the other memebers passed around my phone like a baton since it had the most reliable signal. I noticed Chris off on the side of the stage and joined him since I think we were the only two mostly sober people in the club. He played me a song that he is currently working on as I guessed his shoe size. In the lyrics was “Walk Alone” which I had put on the May 2003 mix CD to Aurora, Jen, and Brit and recently had the lyrics in my head and couldn’t think of the title - until then. The Postal Service came on the iPod and he asked me to dance with them, where I proceeded to step on his feet, so I just stayed on his feet instead. It was fabulous.
We packed up the van with everything that wasn’t staying at the venue and headed out to the hotel. Aurora called, and was going to check into the same hotel, but informed us that no one was at the hotel – just a note greeting us. Aurora and Jackman checked into the Super 8 down the street and navigated us to the Inn at the Top of the Hill, which wasn’t at the Top of the Hill. We clammored up the stairs and woke up our neighbors. Whoops! The suite was spacious, clean, and warm – the only characteristics you really need. Wait, I take that back – I took a freezing cold shower because apparently I couldn’t read the nozzle correctly. I totally got called out in front of the guys and was just too damn tired. And still cold. So I crawled into bed with Phil and we watched and made fun of shuffling – SO NOT A SPORT - til everyone crashed. We stayed up till about 5:30 – 6ish talking. He almost kicked me out since I wasn’t listening to him. We talked about a lot of things and I think Doug wished he had his earplugs from my apartment. We talked about life on the road, relationships, shuffling, healthy and unhealthy lifestyles, and my frustration with various different comments and opinions coming at me. For the first night in days, I slept without any interruptions.
We wake up around 11am and watched Fear Factor and Something About Mary while everyone took their showers. Caught up with Aurora and Judy on the phone and figured we would meet at lunch or at the lodge seeing how we had no idea what we were goingt o do that day. Half wanted to hit the slopes, the other half wanted to go to Canada – but for now, food beckoned.
Johnny made porn on our table with the sugar packets then danced on his chair, which Aurora and Jackman walked in on. The coffee wasn’t great, but doable. Keep count, since this is probably the 5th cup of subpar coffee I have had in two days and that just isn’t acceptable! It was 2:30 and we found out that the lifts closed in an hour and a half…Canada it is, eh!
The international border was only about eight miles away, but the torrential road conditions and snow fall made the trip longer. We had all of our bags and whatnot crammed with us in the van since we didn’t have the trailor attached. I’m sure we were engaged in some random conversation, I was in the middle staring out the side and front windows, and Phil was on my phone with Beth. We started fishtailing and so my gaze went from the side window to the front window to see what was going on. I had just assumed that Chris was getting ready to turn since it didn’t seem like he was panicking. It then felt like we were sucked in and completely spun around on the interstate. It felt as though we were going in slow motion – all I could hear was Phil swearing in the back seat and amidst the spinning snowscapes from our windows, all I could see was Rusty cover his head and get into the fetal position on the floor. I felt the van tipping and didn’t see anything but snow and was convinced that we were going to tip if not roll over. I’m not afraid of death – suffering, yes, death, no – and it was all kinda surreal. I was thinking, “here I am in Vermont and aside from Aurora and the guys being here, I am miles away from everyone but at least I’m happy and maybe the snow will cushion us so the impact won’t be as bad and hopefully a car won’t hit us.” Then we suddenly careened and stopped in a snow bank and it was completely silent and I think we all breathed a sigh of relief. We were all stuck in the van and had to climb out the back window and drivers side door. Yay for being alive! I tossed Chris my camera and cell phone and he was on the phone with AAA. Again, cell phone service sucks up there (HELLO IT’S 2005!!!!!!!) and the call was lost. Doug donned his coveralls and transformed into a rough and tough mountain man and proceeded to start digging the car out alongside of a nice guy who conveniently had a few shovels in the back seat of his car. Man, how much would that have sucked if no one drove by and we didn’t have cell phone service. The van was recovered and we were merrily and carefully on our way to Canada…where we went to a gas station and a duty-free shop and turned right back around and headed back to America.
Aurora was behind us as we trekked up the hill to the ski lodge. We almost made it – three quarters of the way up, the van just couldn’t make it. So we all get out and push to no avail, well, I didn’t push – I watched. Aurora couldn’t make it either. Or a third car. Dammit. A half hour later we were all inside and trying to warm up and get dry. We had a few hours to kill before the show, so we played Trivial Pursuit and watched basketball. Rusty complained, but he so got urban questions. I’m a complete klutz and have a problem dropping and spilling things, so naturally I spilled my water all over the board twice. Aurora and Jackman came out strong, but Phil and I pulled out ahead and won the game.
Judy and Angela made it back from the slopes and joined us at the table. Aurora said she was going to play catch up with the band, so Jackman and I escaped to bring the Captain into the venue. LDE, Aurora, the Captain and I have a special relationship. There were no holds barred – The Captain dove right into Rusty’s pitcher of coke. See, we take care of him.
The set was good, more people in attendence. I feel bad, most of the time Aurora and I were in the crowd remembering random LDE shows or making fun of the skeevy guys near us or reminiscing about some other random road trip. This is why we don’t travel with others, we have to be seperated, because we drive normal people crazy. We don’t know how we feel about the new song, Victim, yet. I like the lyrics, not sure about the music. I don’t really like Stranger, which is becoming my Wish (the song where I would go to the bathroom or bar or merch table) so Phil said that I probably won’t like Victim. We’ll see. During the set break I asked Phil if he could play Kangol, since again, it’s an old school LDE song that has meaning with our crew and the band. Not so much meaning, but come on…MMC 7 HILTON!! We got our Kangol as the last song and creepy boys tried to dance with us. Blech!
After the show, Rusty showed me conga beats and I displayed my whiteness and lack of groove. Aurora and I laughed at the drunk sluts. I love being us J. We said our goodbyes and headed to her car. “Get the fucking scrappppppeeeerrrr!!” Then we got stuck on the flat road. Jackman and I tried pushing her out, but no luck. Off to the LDE van to coerce the guys to help us once again. A few minutes later we were back on the road and off to our rented beds.
Yay for continental breakfast. Coffee and bagels are an excellent way to start a day after 5 hours of sleep. Aurora and I are pros at maximizing our time in the morning, though Jackman doubted us. We packed up our car a final time and hit the nearby gas station for a full tank and full cups of large coffees.
Most of the drive was silent – Aurora and Jackman talking, me gazing out the window, and the CDs spinning. We took a pit stop in Cambridge to chill with Jackman and order from Dominoes and watch Law & Order. Around 5 we hit the road again. Aurora and I wouldn’t talk to each other until we got more coffee. We have rules. So instead we put on CDs and song really loudly and off key.
Chris called from the road and informed me of his late night/early morning treacherour drive and how the van was still acting up. Poor guys, it’s always something! It’s really cool of him though to take the reins and responsibility of getting them to and from their locations safely. As soon as Chris and I hung up, we approached a rest stop…bathroom, coffee, and gas…what more do you really need in life?
Aurora and I then talked pretty much non stop for two hours to Hoboken just pretty much catching up and talking about mutual friends and making future plans. It was good and it felt like home. She dropped me off and I got out and we said our goodbyes…then it dawned on us that “see you later” doesn’t mean tomorrow. She walked me upstairs and saw my finally furnished and pretty much complete bedroom. We said our goodbyes again though we know we’ll talk soon.
Over the weekend I was with the LDE guys, Aurora, and Jackman, hung out with Steve and Morgan, talked to Maryellen, Tanya, and Dan, and was entertained by texts from Ryan – what a freaking fabulous weekend and being with all of those above people in person and spirit made me miss home so much. See you later…see you soon…