Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Last Rehearsal Day in Chicago

Today's the last day of the Chicago rehearsals. Rob has to do an awards show in LA, so everyone is flying home for a few days. I'll get home to Raleigh Wednesday afternoon, and I get to spend 4 nights in my own bed. On Sunday, everyone flies to Kansas City for 3 more days of rehearsal Monday through Wednesday. The first show of the tour is on Thursday the 9th.

One of my Chicago "daughters", Evie, came to visit today around lunch. I hate that I haven't been able to spend any time with either her or Kim (other "daughter"), but I've been stuck at the gig all day, every day since arriving. So anyway, I managed to get away for an hour and go to lunch with Evie. We went a few blocks away to Harry Caray's and sat in the bar, as the dining room was closed. It was good to get caught up with her. She's just returned from 3 weeks in Europe with some godawful metal band. She's a masseuse, and on this tour, was also doing merch. Poor thing.

Long day of rehearsals, with load-out to commence around 10:30. The load-out will probably run until about 1 or 2, but I see no reason for me to be here. I'm hoping to be at the hotel by midnight.


It's now after 1am, and I'm still stuck here. Hope to be in my room and asleep by 2.

Fingers crossed…

Monday, February 27, 2006

And Again...

Another cush day. Up early and read a bit in my room. Have a muffin for breakfast. Grab a shower and head over to the venue at 11. Hope to finish my show files today so I can start on other stuff.

Great news today! We're hiring JT to come out and do the tour with us. Janet Taylor was our production assistant on System of a Down last year. She's the Queen! Best damn PA I've ever worked with. She's gonna do dressing rooms, help a little with wardrobe and help a little in the production office.

Suddenly, this tour just got a lot easier and a lot more fun!!!!

I bang out files most of the day. Hit the Staples store a block away around 8:30 to buy an adding machine and some other office stuff for the tour.

Work until midnight and then back to the hotel for some sleep. As usual, some of the crew guys are going out for beers, but I'm not ready to lose any sleep in the pursuit of malt-beverage-fueled fun. Maybe in a week or two...


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Another Rehearsal Day in Chicago

I grabbed a copy of today's Chicago Tribune on the way back to the hotel last night around 12:30. So nice to have a paper in my room when I woke up. Read the whole thing, then grabbed a shower and headed over around noon. No one's coming in today until after 5, but I've still got lots of show files to set up.

Thought about hanging out in my room and watching NASCAR, but I totally hate the track they're running on today.

So I have the production office to myself for a couple of hours. Gratton comes in after lunch, and everyone else starts to filter in around 5-5:30.

I keep working until just before midnight, then head back to the hotel with the other few stragglers.

Big, exciting day, huh?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rehearsal Day in Chicago

There's no way yesterday could have ended any differently...

Got back to the hotel around midnight. Gave the bellman my luggage receipt while I was picking up my room key at the desk. He came back a minute later – couldn't find my bag and could I please come take a look in the storage area to see if I could ID it for him. No sweat, I go check it out. Oops, not there.

OK, still not a problem. Between him, the desk clerk and me, we decide that my bag must have been placed in my room sometime during the day when the room became available. I really don't like having hotel staff come into my room anytime during my stay, but since I hadn't yet been up to the room, I can overlook it. Up to the room I go.

No bag. Anywhere. Looked under everything, over everything, behind everything, even looked in the tub. No bag. Not good.

Head back downstairs. Re-search the storage area with the bellman. Go to the desk to confer with the clerk. A few (tense) minutes later, my bag is located in an office area behind the desk. Whew! This could only happen on a day like today.

On to today…

Got up around 7:30. Still feeling washed-out, but some of that can be attributed to the Mucinex I've been taking. After a long, hot shower to clear out the sinuses, I feel pretty darned good. Do some reading and email, then head to the venue around 11. Stop at Subway for a "Veggie Delight" for early lunch.

Work on setting up my files most of the afternoon. Rob's manager/business manager Derrell comes by with his 3 kids. We get introduced, but since he's got his kids hanging out, we'll talk business tomorrow.

Oh, yeah, guess I should mention. I bought a house over my wintertime break. I've been renting apartments for the last 15 years, so this was a pretty big step for me.

After pissing away all of my money all my life, I stopped dating about this time last year, and by the end of '05, I suddenly had more money than I'd EVER had in my life. So I bought a MONEY PIT. Gee, from one deep hole to throw my money down, to another…

It's a cute little brick bungalow in the Hi-Mount neighborhood in Raleigh, which borders the Five Points neighborhood. Two bedrooms, one bath, about 1030 square feet total. Which is as big a house as a single guy needs. Not too much to heat, to cool, or to clean.

Having a bunch of work done to it. The plumbing and electrical was taken care of a couple of weeks ago. New roof put on last week. Front porch flat roof fixed. Next comes new gutters and the rebuild of the porch ceiling.

Here's a couple of shots of Mike Brown's crew doing the roof. These guys had the whole roof stripped and the felt down within 2 hours. Pretty awesome.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Travel Day to Chicago

I managed to get my butt on the plane today. I am sooo glad I didn't fly 3 days ago. It probably would have killed me.

Got on the ground in Chicago around noon, then it took over an hour for everyone's bags to come in from the plane.

Cab to the hotel to check in before walking over to the venue. Well, except that my room isn't ready. It's now a little after 1:30 – I can either sit here until it's ready (uh, that'll be hell no), or I can have them store my bags and walk on over.

The venue's a couple of blocks away. Chris has a table ready and waiting for me when I walk in, so I get to work.

An hour later, I get a dehydration/flying/still-sick headache so severe that I consider going to the hospital. I thought I was gonna pass out. Throughout the course of the day today, I'll drink nothing less that 2 gallons of water. I finally start to feel human again around 9pm.

Meet about a bajillion new folks today. I'll 'splain more about them later.

Rashod the tour manager comes in around dinnertime. Totally cool guy. Pretty sure we met in 2000 on the Britney Spears tour, when I was TM'ing BBMak. He gives me a lot of background on this tour and how things are gonna go. Sounds like I might enjoy this more than I thought.

I piddle around and get some more work done. Can only do so much before I receive the show contracts. Looks like I won't see those before tomorrow, so I just set up a bunch of other files.

Decent dinner in catering. I have some Portabello Ravioli, along with Greek Salad and some hummus with pita points.

This being a union building, we'll be out the door by midnight. We don't come back in tomorrow until 2pm, so I plan to get plenty of rest tonight.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Too Sick To Travel...

Well, today was supposed to be the day I flew out to begin work on my new gig, R. Kelly. Rehearsals start tomorrow in Chicago.

Here's what's going on instead...

I've been battling some sort of bug for a few weeks (picked it up in the Juror Lounge, while on Jury Duty in late January). Thought I was pretty much over it when I went to visit my mom in Charlotte last Thursday at Elmcroft, the assisted living facility she resides in. But perhaps I picked up something else while I was there.

I started feeling like crap when I woke up on Saturday morning (around 4:30am!) and only got worse throughout the day. Got less than 3 hours sleep Saturday night, waking around 3am, and was up from then. Was running a fever over 101 by 7am. By 11, I was waiting outside for the Doc-In-A-Box to open. My BP spiked while I was there, too. Got the doc to write me a scrip for a Z-Pack, got it filled, grabbed a little grub from the grocery store, and headed for the couch.

By 4pm, the fever was running 103. Felt like shit. A fever this high can be dangerous, so I filled a bowl with rubbing alcohol and started sponging down my head, neck and chest every 10-15 minutes to help bring my body temp down. Can you guess - my mom was a nurse, and I actually learned a few things from her.

Early evening I called Chris Gratton, our production manager. He agreed that I was too sick to fly, and that it would be bad if I came out and infected others on the tour. My Tuesday flight was delayed until Friday.

My personal nurse (and Angel of Mercy) Paige came by around 8pm with lots of goodies. VapoRub Inhaler, SudaCare Inhaler wall plug-in, VapoRub Cream, anti-viral wipes, anti-viral Kleenex, Mucinex, Mucinex DM, lots of Gatorade, a box of Hot Chocolate mix, and a bowl of her homemade vegetarian chili.

I sniffed, snorted, wiped, creamed, drank, ate, etc. everything in hopes of feeling better. Even tried the little known remedy of applying VapoRub to the soles of my feet before going to bed. And yeah, you have to put socks on when you do this.

Monday was better. My temp pretty much ran between 100 and 102 all day, but I could tell I was starting to feel better.

I've been reading James Patterson's "Mary Mary" over the past week or so, but I've only gotten to page 32 so far. Well, I knocked out the other 276 pages on Monday, finishing it just before midnight. Good read.

Slept over 6 hours last night. Most in a week. Temp's been under 99 so far today.

Things are getting better!

Friday, February 17, 2006


Flying out Tuesday February 21st to do 3 months with R. Kelly.

Watch this space...