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Wednesday, 13 August 2008

A Vacation?

My cravings for America have reached their climax. It's 11 am in Westbourne Park and I'm sitting, jet lagged, in an 50's style diner called Lucky Seven's, awaiting a fresh mug of coffee and a dish of eggs. This may seem commonplace to those of you in the 50 States, but in London it's a rare feat. I've searched high and wide for a morning eatery to replace the NYC Greek diner and this is the closest I've come. Diners are the staple of the touring life, a lifeline in times of need – being hung-over in Northampton with Ryan Montbleau comes to mind, after a night of shotgunning beers we found a middle-eastern breakfast spot complete with Turkish coffee: that stuff has a serious kick and I strongly recommend it to the caffeine inclined.

If you're wondering where I've been the past two months since my last blog (my longest break without communiqué, I am deeply sorry), why I'm jet-lagged, or what I'm eating this morning, I'll tell you - been laying-low, watching loads of movies (see Appendix A at the bottom of this entry). The past two weeks of which were spent back home showing the sites of The City to a certain British friend of mine. Back in toward the end of June, I hit a wall. Everyone occasionally hits a wall and at the speed I move, when I hit a wall it's a massive collision wreaking havoc on my emotional and physical state, not unlike those crash-test dummy commercials. Nothing was going my way. My phone broke, sending hundreds of blank texts at a time, my email wouldn't receive messages, I gained 15 pounds (that's over a stone for y'all the UK. Don't worry, got it under control. My weight-loss secret: No More Hobnobs). I kept trying to write music but nothing was coming out. The muse can be tricky, like a groundhog. Sometimes he doesn't wanna come out. So what did your faithful hero do? I took some time off. Since I started gigging for a living in 2001, I don't think I ever consciously took a vacation. A weekend here, bank holiday there, but for the most part, I was chugging along to the next place, be it the recording studio or Annapolis, Maryland. I know what you're thinking; the musician's way of life is a vacation, a nice long walk in the sun. I can't argue with that.

Sometimes you need a vacation from the vacation. And that's just what I did. Caught more than my fare share of flicks, grew a beard and generally chilled out. It wasn't graceful, lemme tell you. I was bitching and moaning the whole time and everyone around me was in misery, but weirdly enough that's how I wind down. I wasn't able to admit to myself it was time to take a break. Looking back, it's just what the doctor ordered. I strongly recommend it, along with Turkish Coffee, to some of my musician mates, a one Ryan Montbleau coming to mind yet again. Us busy-bodies, we gots to chill sometimes.

FYI, it's Huevos Rancheros with Poached Eggs and Chorizo, along with Coffee and a tall glass of OJ. Boo-yah!

Films I have watched since June 20, some for the 1st time, some for the 20th time.
Note: TV series of DVDs count

The Mist
The Forbidden Kingdom
Pulp Fiction
Jackie Brown
Kill Bill Vols 1& 2
Reservoir Dogs
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
A Fistful of Dollars
For A Few Dollars More
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Dirty Harry
Planet Of The Apes
Beneath The Planet Of The Apes
Escape From The Planet Of The Apes
Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes
Battle For The Planet Of The Apes
Sweet Smell Of Success
Battle Royal
Battle Royal 2
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
Time Bandits
The Night Of The Hunter
The Red Balloon
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
The Dark Knight
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
John Carpenter's The Thing
The Goonies
South Park's 10 Greatest, Vol. 1
Aeon Flux, The Complete Series
Knowing Me, Knowing You - The Alan Partridge Show, 6 episodes
Trapped In The Closet, Part 1-22