sometimes i amaze myself with the amount of things i manage to pack into a random day. let me just recap for you the last 24 hours or so of my life for you.
friday at 9 PM – earlier in the day i texted eric on a whim to see which of his 45098583726 bands he was playing with that night. turns out, matt o’ree @ the mad hatter in sea bright (col. mustard, in the library, with the candlestick) from 10 til close. a venue i’d never been to before + a band i’d only seen once + a friend i hadn’t seen in months = a good time, whether or not i could even find anyone to go with.
see, because i’ve come to the point where music is too important to me, supporting the local scene is too important to me, that not having someone to go with is, personally, a really lame and completely invalid excuse. i know that this is a perfectly good reason for the majority of people to avoid doing.. whatever.. but for me? no. it makes my mother worry, and i’m sure that, from people who notice, i get a few odd looks being a single female out at a bar, completely anti-social and digging on the music. but you know what? who cares. well, i care about my mom, but who cares about everything else. music is just too important.
and in a way, it’s kind of nice to go out somewhere new, somewhere where i only know one or two people, if that many. somewhere i can disappear for just a few hours, and be a random face in the crowd that no one is really paying attention to. it’s like a vacation.
i host the show at mugs so everyone knows me there. the owners, the bartender, the waitresses, and our growing number of regulars (they’re never all there at the same time, but man if they were we’d pack the place – there’s about 15 or so people who are there really consistently and i’ve even gotten to know some of them by name). i go to writers in raritan and the crowd there knows me, too. sometimes i even get a shout out from on stage. i always know a mess of people when i go out to court tavern, between the cats i roll out with, the random people that show up, and the bands. same deal for the cup and, when i travel down to the land of asbury park, the saint. and we won’t even get started on the throngs of people who know me in the ukrainian community. i met someone a few weekends ago who said “oh wow YOU’RE anna lawrence!” and, f’real, i knew we traveled in social circles that mixed on occasion, but getting a response like that was kind of surprising.
it’s amazing the people who know me in all the random places i go, so it’s really kind of nice to be able to go to a bar, find a stool, get a pint and just enjoy the music. and not have to talk to anyone. and zone out, just for a little bit.
end the tangent within the tangent.
so i went down the mad hatter (got lost, somehow, because apparantly my GPS, my trusty navigator, captain jack, got drunk on all the rum and led me to totally the wrong spot) and really only planned on staying for a set or two.
because after all, i did have to teach at nine in the morning. this is a very important point. i left my house thinking, “in 12 hours, i will be starting my work day, and seven hours after that i will be finishing it.” who works on a saturday like that? a piano teacher does, that’s for sure.
i get there after matt started. chat with eric inbetween sets. they play again and i start talking to this other random guy, randomly, oh it’s so random, and we talk the rest of the night. he buys me guinness, we discuss everything from music, to politics to religion and the institution of marriage and why an unforgiving ukrainian will cut your face if you refer to it as “the ukraine,” we cover pretty much everything in just a few short hours and i am pleasantly surprised at the caliber of people who patronize the bars these days. he is neither creepy nor is he completely crazy. and did i mention he bought me guinness?
so the next thing i know, after “the ukraine” and quoting a bronx tale, the band is DONE for the night. done. done and the bar is closing. as in, you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here. what time does that happen in new jersey? oh, that’s right, two o clock.
say goodnight to eric, get in my car, get home. it’s nearly three by the time my head hits the pillow. i get text messages in my sleep and, as addicted to texts as i am, they don’t even wake me.
this is now the end of the tangent, or, really, the prelude to the actual blog entry. and i’ll bet you thought this was already long enough.
saturday at 6 AM – i am standing outside with the puppy, watching, making sure she remembers that we are out here for a reason and that reason is to do her business. that’s right. we slept for only approximately three hours.
saturday at 9 AM – i start teaching. my first lesson has pretty much just as hard a time getting up on a saturday morning as i do. he speaks in one word answers to me, and only sometimes manages to smile and laugh. today, however, he is speaking in full sentences. at this point i’m assuming this is a good omen of a wonderful day ahead.
saturday at 1 PM – two of my students are quitting permanently and 1 is quitting for the summer. maybe this summer i’ll actually get to take off on saturdays.
saturday at 3:30 PM – my day is done a whopping half hour early. not that it really matters, because i sit on the computer looking stuff up for lou for over a half hour.
saturday at 4:30 PM – i arrive at home. another saturday’s teaching is done. i actually have time to eat dinner before dance class.
saturday at 6 PM – i get to dance class. now let me tell you about dance class. it’s run by a woman who is just naturally very energetic and into dance orrrrrrr maybe she does an 8-ball before dance class. probably it’s the former, but man oh man she is in the zone.
and today at dance class? i was the only one who showed. between graduation parties and other end of the school year events i was the only person who wasn’t already busy. so it was just my teacher and i. for an hour and a half. she works us hard, and when she’s got you one on one there is just no down time. i shouldn’t say that, because she did let us take a break for just a few minutes, and we were chatting about all the dancing she did in ukraine (all sorts of eastern european dancing, moldovian, hungarian – !!! – i think she said lemko, too). if i didn’t think i would die, i would love for this woman to teach me privately every week.
by the time i get home, i am thoroughly exhausted. i can’t even think. three hours of sleep, seven hours of teaching, one and a half hours of dance class. i was ready for bed at, like, nine. i’m supposed to be out at a party right now but i was seriously afraid i’d fall asleep at the wheel either going or coming.
i was trying to think of all the times i pulled all nighters or got only one or two hours worth of sleep. through all of annalawrence: the early years, all those times where i was awake from sunday to wednesday, i still don’t think i expended the amount of energy i did today.
and by now i am pooped. you’re probably wondering, that was a really long entry for someone who’s tired. blame my typing speed. i can type at the same speed i think at, more or less, so the words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup. it’s endless, i tell you. i could go on and on. jai guru deva om. instead i will end it here. when i woke up this morning (with those statesboro blues, raymond, wherever you are) i didn’t even think i’d make it through the day. i made it and then some. even practiced a little bit in there. now it’s time to settle the puppy down and collapse in bed.