Just so you know, I am going to continue to shamelessly use song titles and lyrics for the titles of my blog posts. If you can think of any good ones that contain the name of the state that I’m currently in, you win a prize. But first, you’d have to know the state. And by state, I’m talking geography, not mentally. Though those would be good song lyrics, too.
It’s been a long several days in the Alabama/Georgia region. Our passenger van has been acting a little off since we started our trip. And by “a little off”, I mean crazed blinking of the coolant light and violent jerking when accelerating over 40 mph. And though I am no car connoisseur and often ask if the gas pedal is indeed on the right (just to be sure! Ha! I’m kidding! Not really!), I sensed something was wrong as the van swayed and bucked its way over some parts of the expressway. And by “some parts”, I mean every single road we’ve driven on since we left Harlem.
The van was dropped off yesterday and Rance, Melissa and I killed a good two hours in Cracker Barrel (Do you know they serve breakfast all day?! SERIOUSLY!?) as our poor stage manager Margot dozed off on the couch in the mechanic’s waiting room. The verdict? The van needed to be left overnight, leaving us to travel to Greenville, South Carolina in a rental soccer mom minivan.
It turns out that some genius filled the passenger van with the “wrong kind of coolant”. And by “wrong kind of coolant”, I mean windshield wiper fluid. I could totally see how that could happen seeing as how coolant regulates the temperature of the car and windshield wiper fluid does something quite similar which involves keeping the windows clean. It’s also an easy mix-up when you think about the fact that both are clearly labeled and both come in liquid form. I can’t tell you how often I confuse coolant for a glass of orange juice! It’s happened to all of us at one point, I’m sure.
Either way, the “wrong kind of coolant” has wreaked havoc on our thermostat and by “wreaked havoc” I mean screwed it up in a huge way. I was pretty surprised we didn’t overheat and break down on the middle of the interstate somewhere. It would’ve happened eventually that day if we hadn’t taken it in to the shop, considering it was 90 degrees in Augusta and we had two and a half hours of driving to do to get to Greenville. Then again, even if we HAD broken down on the highway in the middle of Georgia, I would’ve felt safe and happy knowing that even though the windshield wiper fluid wasn’t keeping the car temperature regulated, at least it was keeping the coolant tank clean.
So, instead of driving from Greenville to Norcross, Georgia for the evening, we had to swing back to Augusta to return the rental and pick up our fixed passenger van and then travel onto Norcross. I am currently laying across the backseat of our passenger van, typing this entry and am pleased to report that the car no longer acts possessed and that also, I am able to type on my computer in a moving vehicle without feeling nauseous.
The two shows we had this morning didn’t go very well, at least not for me. We did have a great crew helping to load in and out and by “great crew”, I mean a young man with tattoos all over his arms who bought me a bottle of water because I couldn’t find the water fountain. TATTOOED BOY! Let’s get married!! The detailed pictures of skulls and music notes that were inked on your arm TOTALLY SPOKE TO ME!
Other than that, ick. The sound was awful and throughout the show, we couldn’t hear the music or each other or ourselves. Awesome! I was also tired and woke up with a bit of a sore throat, so I’m sure that had a lot to do with it.
So, our van is fixed and I’m currently on vocal rest. The show itself doesn’t really tire me out but the constant talking does. I talk all.the.time. It’s hard not to when communicating with six other people all day long–putting together the set, voting on where to eat lunch, keeping someone awake when driving, answering the cell phone when it rings, etc. The vocal chords, they are tired. And since I’m paranoid about vocal damage, I am shutting the hell up until Sunday, our day off. We’ll see if the tiredness improves. For now, RESPECT ME. I AM AN ARTIST AND I AM PROTECTING MY INSTRUMENT.
Tomorrow is a travel day, a loooooong day of riding in the car on the way to Mobile, Alabama where we have a day off on Sunday. A DAY OFF. No driving, no shows, no nothing! It will be our first day off, which means we have been going steady for eleven straight days. I’m not sure what I can expect from a day off in Mobile but you can bet it’s going to be something CRAZY. And by “crazy” I mean maybe going to the movies or sleeping in past 6:00 am.
Yeah. That’s it. I’ll wake up around 9 or 10, go for a run, take a shower and pour myself a steaming mug of coolant.