Monday, May 8, 2006

Day Off in Los Angeles

The alarm gets me up at 8. Coulda used some more sleep, but I've gotta get up at 5:30 tomorrow morning, so I wanna make sure I can go to sleep by 11 tonight.

Make calls about my upcoming gig. Knock out a bunch of work email, then head over to Starbucks around 10. It's in the middle of all that touristy stuff here in Universal City. I sit outside and share my scone crumbs with a couple of sparrows.

Right next door is the NASCAR Speedway, which has those really cool, almost full-sized cars that simulate real racing conditions. Basically, it's a big video game, but you get thrown around in the car and actually have to drive the thing. I'm the first guy in the door this morning, right at 11. I buy 4 races ($25) and head for the #8 Budweiser Chevy. What, like you thought I was gonna drive some POS Ford?

You even have to take a quickie (3 or 4 minutes) class before they'll let you in the cars. This might be fun!

All 4 of my races are on the Daytona track. The first race I totally suck, trying to get used to the car. Keep stalling the damn thing out at first, then I wreck a couple of times. I still manage to pull out a 15th place finish. I only averaged 138.1 mph for the entire race.

Race 2 I'm better, averaging 171.2 mph. Do a much better job getting into the turns, hitting them in the high 170's. I finish 9th and I'm gettin' it done.

Race 3 I finish 10th, but my average speed for this race is 184.7 mph. Manage to get into turn 3 at between 186 and 190.6 almost every lap.

Race 4 (my last one), my average speed is only 178.0 for the race, but I pull out a 4th place finish. If the damn race had been 10 laps longer, I think I coulda won it.

After my races, I head out to the lobby where the attendant hands me computer readout of all my stats, race by race. That's how I knew all that crap above.

That was the best $25.00 I"ve spent in a long time. I might have done better if I wasn't all jacked up on caffeine.

Back to the room for a shower and some more phone calls. Audioslave's tour manager calls and says that they're blowing out the dates in Japan, Korea, Australia and the U.K. That was the tour I passed on to do the streetball tour for AEG this summer. Guess I made the right call. He says they'll start up in September now, which could work out schedule-wise for me. They still gotta come up with more money, or I'll take something else. I love working with the TM, my buddy Steve. But I’m not gonna turn something down that pays 500-700 a week more to do it. Not now that I have a big ol' mortgage to pay.

I've got the Evanescence gig, too. That starts October 4th. Looks like I've got the Cheetah Girls tour, too, if I want it. That would be with Gratton, the production manager I’m working for now.

Walk back across the street to see the 2:30 showing of Mission Impossible 3 in Digital DTS. Wow! Wow! Wow! The picture and the audio are probably the best I've ever seen and heard in a theater. The movies got some outlandish plot issues, but it's an adrenaline junkie's dream movie.

I'd met one of our backline guys at the movie, and as we're leaving, I tell him about the NASCAR place. He thinks it sounds cool, so off we go racin'.

I puss out this time, and opt for the automatic transmission. My finishes this time were 7th, 7th, 7th and 4th. My average speeds are 186.9, 184.8, 187.4 and 182.1, repectively. There were a couple of big wrecks in the last race, which slowed down the speed a bit, but I did some awesome passing to climb to fourth place.

Back to the hotel for some more work. I grab a quesadilla for dinner in the bar, then head up to my room to chill out, watch a little TV and hit the hay.

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