It's September 21, the last day of summer. I woke up surrounded by thick clouds, but already they've cleared. Where did they even go?
When told that Katryna was going on maternity leave in mid October, a well meaning friend suggested to both of us, "While you're not touring, you should have a blog."
To which we both responded, "What's a blog?"
Still not knowing what exactly a blog is, we are going to blog anyway. Or die trying. This is what I think a blog is. A blog is a kind of journal, different from the newsletters we send our fans. Not so finger pointing. But also not a story, like the novels I write. Not so impressionistic. Katryna says she has a friend who, first thing every morning, is compelled to go online and read some random guy's blog. Why? He doesn't know. "It's kind of a train wreck," he says, helpfully. Being a narcissistic artist, I of course want that kind of power and control. So I will do my best to provide virtual trainwrecks for whatever our readership turns out for this.
Potential Train Wreck Number One:
Our manager, Patty, who has been with us for over ten years now, steadfastly and faithfully carrying Torch Nields, has found a new love. The Other Women are the WNBA. Oh, sure, she tells us she still loves us, but the signs are all there. Rarely does she actually come to one of our shows anymore, and when she does, you might notice a small light down by her waist area where she's eyeing her palm pilot to keep up with the score. She's gone every weekend, too. We call from the road.
"Hey what's up?"
"Oh, Connecticut won in overtime. Nykesha got a triple double which would have been great but the coach of the Shock blah blah blah."
"Hey, Patty, at the show last night, we sold a hundred thousand dollars worth of merchandise and I stood on my head and did five cartwheels..."
"Lisa Leslie got the tip-off, but then Lindsay Whalen rebounded with an assist from Tina Thompson. All in all Sun won in a buzzer-beater. And there were seventeen no-look passes! Four by Diana Taurasi!! And I swear Diana smiled at me!"
Soon, I fear, we are going to have to go back to Peter Quince, the gentleman who managed us before Patty, long before Patty. Peter Quince was actually not a bad manager, except he has a voice like a girl's and I'm pretty sure promoters used to smirk about that behind his back. "He sounds just like a girl! In fact, he sounds like Nerissa! Imagine going through life as a man who sounds like a girl!"
Anyway, Peter Quince did a pretty good job managing us. He was courteous and respectful and never pushed us too hard, except me. He had kind of a thing with me, that I was never writing the kinds of songs he wanted to hear on the radio. "Can't you make it sound, I don't know, a little more like ABBA?" he said when I brought him "Ash Wednesday." (Come to think of it, I think Patty is an ABBA fan, too.) Peter Quince told Katryna she should try singing Libarace covers. And he wanted us in uniforms. Also, Peter Quince has a thing for Siegfried and Roy. In fact, that's where he's been for the past year; in Las Vegas camped with what insiders call The Devoted. But I know he'd come back if Patty really left us for good.
The thing I'm going to miss about touring is standing up in front of a group of people who are usually a lot more knowledgeable than I am. The audience answers my questions so efficiently. Much better than lugging my volumes of encyclopedeiae out from under the bed. So here are the questions of the day:
-What is the WNBA and why does Patty like it so much better than us?
-How exactly does the stock market work?
-What is the largest province in Canada? (It's not Quebec and Northwest Territories isn't a province. It's a territory.)
-Why don't we pray for John Kerry to win? Is it just because we don't want to seem like those Praying Republicans? Is it because we think we're too evolved and sophisticated spiritually to believe in a God who sits around being swayed by the numbers or intensity of people praying for one political candidate or another? "Hmm," says this God. "A flat tax kind of goes against what my son, Jesus was preaching about, but I really like the idea. Nice and simple. I think I'll keep the chads from falling off again in Florida this November."
Is the reason GWB is ahead right now because he's praying? Is John Kerry praying? Is this just a big old prayer contest? Could we get the monks of Tibet with their prayer wheels to pray for John Kerry to win, and then stick some extra dynamic prayer wheels in the rivers of Tibet and also the Connecticut, Hudson and Mississippi and direct them all to pray for John Kerry?
I think God really could listen to reason, or at the very least some howls of despair. I don't really have that much pride. I want John Kerry to win, so much, that I'd be willing to lead Prayer Vigils For Kerry. This is how we'll pray: "God, please let John Kerry win. Please let Bush and his friends retire and give them a nice severance package and good weather with no hurricanes down in Texas. Please disillusion the masses and let us all, for more than ten seconds, look up from our Game Boys, Reality TV shows, New York Times Crossword puzzles, lotus positions, Downward Dogs, WNBA marathons, cell phones, fascinating Internet Blogs and notice how much better things were BB (before Bush) and work together to elect a man who is smart, capable and really is not that bad."
That should be his campaign moniker: John Kerry: He's Not That Bad.
I like Kerry. I think he's effective and competent and would greatly improve diplomacy with our allies and adversaries. In fact, Katryna and I could have a Why I Like Kerry rally, a Folk the Vote, if you will. We're going to sit around and sing songs, all of which are going to reformat to focus on our Man. "James" will be retitled "John."
John, John, John
John will Kerry On
For someone so outrageous you come off as so calm
If only people knew him, they'd love John
If only people knew him....
And Mr. Right Now:
His hair is pompadourier than my dad would like
But he'll vote for him
(vote for him, vote for him...)
He's just returning from a cross country voting drive
I'll vote for him (vote for him, vote for him)
Pull the lever right now, for Mr. Right Now...
All these things that you promise to me
Don't mean nothing if you can't win Ohio
I like this. We should have this Folk the Vote Rally. We're thinking Halloween weekend. I'm dressing up as Ann Coulter and Katryna's going as Laura Bush. We'll do it at Cooley Dickinson Hospital just in case Katryna has to, you know, have a baby or something.