Monday, June 27, 2011

Travel Weary

I have been travelling all over the country this month.  As a result, I have been mostly wifi-free, as opposed to free wifi, which is much more desirable.  When I finally settle my travel weary derriere in one place, I will begin posting every day.  Don't give up me, baby ...

Monday, June 20, 2011

If in 20 years...

Yesterday was a fantastic day of food, music, family, and friends.  Dan and I started the day with lobster and friends at the East Bay Grille in Plymouth, MA (the site of past debauchery) and ended it with clam chowder and family at The Bailey in Marshfield, MA.  There were bands playing at both restaurants and it got me thinking...

If in 20 years I am with this guy ...

Doing this...

Or this...

I will be happy ... and probably relieved.  Age is a major factor in the LA music scene.  I often - and I do mean OFTEN - worry that I have passed the prime music career-making age.  My friends and husband tell me I'm crazy, but the thought is always in the back of my head.  Then I come to New England and see 50+ year olds energetically grooving to the oldies and jamming out Irish jigs on a Sunday afternoon with the sun in the sky and ocean at their backs and I realize that there is musical life outside of LA and over 30.  A relief indeed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Most Beautiful Sight

I have returned to the land of cell reception and internet connection.  Maine was beautiful and as promised, there are pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures.  It will take some time to weed through them, so in the meantime I would like to discuss the most beautiful sight out of all the sights to be seen on any sight-seeing road trip.  The gas station bathroom.  Unlikely?  Yes, but after endless miles of travel on roads often empty of any signs of civilization (besides, you know, the road), the elation I and my bladder feel at the sight of a Shell or Arco sign is unmatched.  Sorry, Grand Canyon.  My apologies, Niagra Falls.  Maybe next time, Mt. Rushmore.  A little friend of mine called Irving has got you beat.

Cue the angel choir...
Oh, no, Irving.  Thank YOU.
(I did not take this photo.  Obviously)

Monday, June 13, 2011


I'm headed to Maine tomorrow where I expect to have lots of lobster and no internet connection.  While in Maine I will see my brother, his wife, my baby nephew, and the home I lived in for the ever so important teenage years of my so called life.  Expect pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures. (Claire Danes not included.)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cover me. I'm goin' in.

Last night Dan, a few of our east coast friends, and I ventured into Penuche's, an underground "dive" bar in Concord, NH.  I feel I should be honest and tell you that it was for the third time this week.  Last night when we got to the bottom of the stairs we were told there was a $3 cover.  This launched a series of word bubbles in my head straight out of SNL's Really!?! with Seth and Amy.  $3 is not bad, but I thought I had left cover charges behind in LA. 

Too many bars in LA charge a cover at the door simply for the privilege of spending your money inside - no entertainment, no nuthin'.  Many times when you are paying a cover to see a band, the bar or club keeps all or most of the money made at the door. Often when I play shows with my band, there is a cover - usually around $10 - but my band and I see none of it.  The music scene is so vast and competitive that if you are not amenable to the terms offered by a venue, they will easily and speedily find someone who is.

Last night I could hear that a band was playing inside, so I silently hoped at least some of the cover would go to them and paid up.  A little while later I was voicing my umbrage at the cover to one of Dan's friends who lives in the area and she delivered the refreshing news that the guy taking money at the door told her all the money goes to the band.  How refreshing!  Good for the band and good for Penuche's.

P.S.  I know it's a blogger's obligation to bring a camera everywhere to document everything.  I have no problem complying with this during the day; however, for some reason when night falls and I have a drink in my hand, my lens cap stays on.  After 3 nights at Penuche's, this is the only photo I can produce:
I'll work on that.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Catching Up

I am aware that creating a blog and then ignoring it for 5 days in its infancy is just plain unacceptable, so I am here to play catch-up.  Here's some of what I have been up to ...

Drove under this Nebraska sky while listening to tornado warnings on the radio.

Shook off road-weary sleep long enough to capture a truck stop sunrise somewhere between Iowa and Indiana.

Made it to the fantastically situated home of Dan's father in Marshfield, MA.

Attended my brilliant sister-in-law's high school graduation. (She graduated 9th in her class of 300!)

Walked across an entire football field in 4-inch heels.

Reveled in the luxury of ordering the elusive pu pu platter at Dan's favorite restaurant in Marshfield, the Ming Dynasty.  They serve that type of Americanized Chinese food that is hard to find in LA.

Celebrated Katie's graduation at the Green Harbor Yacht club where Dan reminisced about the days he spent there as a kid; stories that involved walking into screen doors and unsuccessfully attempting a dock/dingy straddle.

Wore my yacht club appropriate and Facebook approved white shorts.

Visited the Robert Frost farm in Derry, NH.

"Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Robert Frost

Swam in the crystal clear waters of Lake Winniepesaukee on a 90-degree New Hampshire day.

Went for a ride up into the White Mountains to find some covered bridges.

Western view from inside one of the covered bridges.

Eastern view from inside the same bridge at the same time.

There has also been some drinking ...

Some eating ...

And some sight-seeing ...

To quote Inigo Montoya: "Let me explain.  No, there is too much.  Let me sum up ..."  I'm on vacation!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Like I'm Being Followed

I have a love/hate relationship with my keyboard.  For me it is an instrument of beauty and expression, but also of intimidation and inadequacy. It taunts me from the corner of the loft above my bedroom like a school-yard bully daring me to try to be his friend. "Let's see what you got, kid.  C'mon.  What are you scared?"

Every time I pass by I feel its pull.  There is the hope that if I dare approach its keys, my fingers will discover some fantastic new melody that will result in a beautiful and insightful song.  There is also the fear that I will fight with the keys until I finally give up after they give me nothing. The fear usually wins and I pass by the keyboard without playing anything at all.  I have gone for weeks without touching it - even to practice or play for fun.  Every time I give in and avoid trying, guilt moves right in. 

My keyboard usually sits out of sight and out of mind in the loft, but for this road trip Dan talked me into bringing it along for the ride.  I have felt it following me around in the trunk of our car through each and every state.  The room left in my head by endless hours of driving is filled with the amplified taunts of this every-yard bully.  I am hoping that the rest I am getting by being away from my hectic life in LA will help me muster the courage and, perhaps more importantly, the energy to face the fight.

This is what happens when I win.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Straight Up Trippin'

My job is behind me and my new life of adventure awaits.  The first adventure of (hopefully) many is a road trip to New England with my husband Dan.  Right now as I write this, we are driving through Wyoming.  A big thank you to whoever invented the car charger.
Anyone who knows me knows I love road trips.  I go crazy planning them; trying to hit every single national park and odd curiosity along the planned route.  Someday soon I will post about the epic cross-country trip of October 2008.
This particular road trip is rushed because we need to make it to Massachusetts by Saturday for Dan’s sister’s high school graduation.  Still, I plan on squeezing out at least one or two touristy activities along the way.
We left Los Angeles on Monday and our first stop was in Tahoe to visit our friend Matt who is working at an absolutely utopian wilderness camp on Fallen Leaf Lake.  Below are a few pictures from our 24 hours at the camp.

Our cabin deck.

Matt and Dan at a waterfall near the camp.
Matt and his ever-present flip-flops. (Note the snow.)

Fallen Leaf Lake

While relaxing in the lodge (pictured directly above) I was faced with the first challenge of my new life: singing on demand in a casual atmosphere.  Sounds easy:  friends are lounging around and someone says, “Hey, Cindy, how about a song?”  Not so easy!  Even writing this now my heart is starting to pound.  I have always been extremely shy about singing and playing songs in social situations.  As nervous as I am about performing on a stage, performing for a small group of friends is somehow more terrifying.  Why?  I have no idea, but it’s on my fix-it list.  Stay tuned.