After three full days in NYC, I settled into a routine where the emphasis is less on work and more on relaxation, catch up with life, and prepping myself for a two month assignment.
I don't live anywhere anymore. I migrate from gig to gig, travel and vacation in different places, and split my down time in between NYC and Hollyweird. Here's the rough breakdown of where I've been so far in 2007:
LA 5 weeksI don't work in an office environment, so I don't spend 40 hours a week with the same group of people. I don't have an apartment, so I don't have neighbors. Most of my friends are scattered all over the country and some are sprinkled on the other side of the globe. Aside from an occasional email, I don't have much interaction with friends aside from when I happen to be in their hometown or on the off chance they decide to head out to Las Vegas. In some respects, I have made more connections and cultivated new friendships in the last three years than I have ever made in my life. I'm skiddish that the quantity factor is usurping the quality factor. Friendships are relationships and each needs to be constantly worked on. For every assignment that I take, I feel as though more distance is growing between a core group of friends that I had as of a few years ago. No one has complained one bit and they've been even more supportive than ever before. But the growing distance is something I have no control over and that's frustrating.
Australia 4 weeks
NYC 3.5 weeks
Las Vegas 3 weeks
Europe 1.5 weeks
Florida 1 week
I'm caught at a crossroads. I do my best to reconnect with old friends as much as possible but sometimes I have to decide between alone time to write (non-poker things) and create versus taking time out to hang out with friends.
My time in New York was definitely been carved up before I even got home. I knew that I had to juggle several things. I have 2.5 weeks off but I'm still unable to drop off the grid and disappear for a few days like I did in Amsterdam for 48 hours last month. I have several friends passing through NYC along with a group of old friends that I have been desperately wanting to hang out with for the past few months. Trying to arrange time to hang out has been tough when I have to factor in time to workout, write, and catch up on other projects that I've neglected over the past few months. I also have plenty of sports to watch, Mother's Day to deal with, pay bills, sort through mail, answer email, and a shitload of stuff on TiVo to get through. Then there are the books I have been wanting to read which is time consuming. Oh and then I have to get ready to move to Las Vegas to two months.
For a guy on vacation, I'm swamped with he other aspects of life that I've been ignoring or didn't have time to deal with due to a crazy work and travel schedule over the first four months of the year. I need a vacation from my vacation.
My days start out with a brisk walk and/or jog. I had a really bad allergy day on Tuesday and had to cut my outside time short and this hot and sticky morning was brutal. After the workout, I shower and eat a meager breakfast (Grape Nuts and bananas with skim milk) in my attempt to eat a little better and shed a few pounds. My goal is to drop 7 pounds and be in as best physical shape as possible for my two month stint in Las Vegas where I know I'm not going to sleep much and I'll be eating terribly and I'll be drinking on my dinner breaks.
Part of the reason I've held up so well under tough traveling conditions was the huge workout binge in early October when I lost 20 pounds and ran up to 5 miles a day. I survived a slew of partying at the Vegoose music festival and a week long excursion in Amsterdam with Nicky. I also survived the blogger gathering in Las Vegas and My Morning Jacket's magnificent New Year's Eve show at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Plus there was that month long trip to Oz and a trip to Europe at the end of March and early April. I really haven't had time to work out and take the necessary time to heal both my mind and body.
The morning workouts have been amazing for my clarity of thought. I now have the time to visualize the rest of my day and I've been working effectively. I have been accomplishing everything on my To Do list and I've been writing late at nights instead of early in the morning. I do my best work between the hours of 2am and 6am.
I've been enjoying an hour of so of relaxation and meditation before I crash every night. It's more like I get really stoned or pop a half of muscle relaxer and sit in the dark while listening to music. I let my mind wander and race and let all of the stressful or negative thoughts out before I go to bed. The last few nights of sleep have been a little longer in length and have been some of the best stint of sleep I've gotten in a very long time.
In the afternoons, I have been doing a little work and the rest of the time has been devoted to reading and catching up on TiVo. At nights I have been having dinner with my brother followed up by watching the Yankees game.
I've been living the life that most normal people live. They have a routine with a work week bookended by two days off. Having a routine has enabled me to pick specific times to write. On Wednesday, I wrote my first piece of fiction in I don't know how long. Although I was rusty, it felt a greater sense of self-worth. I made something from nothing just for my own personal amusement.
I have been working on some other projects. I did some editing work on the next issue of Truckin' and started my strip club project over at the Las Vegas blog. I've already posted a review of Crazy Horse Too and my infamous Las Vegas Strip Club tips. I've been trying to post regularly on the Phish blog and added new photos to my Flickr pages. I created a new gallery for the Yankee Stadium pics and I've added new photos to the Pauly food gallery.
I leave for Hollyweird two weeks from today. I spend a long weekend there before I drive back to Las Vegas with Nicky and we move into the apartment I rented at Del Bocca Vista.