Tuesday, March 17, 2009


By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

On Monday afternoon, I got side tracked by a conversation that I thought would take thirty minutes but ran over to 2.5 hours. Time flew. I rarely speak on the phone, but I took the opportunity to catch up with an old friend. We both recommended documentary films to each other and we spoke about our takes on each one. That discussions spun off into other areas involving politics and philosophy and we eventually pontificated about the dystopian future of America.

As much as I enjoyed the conversation, part of me was purposely procrastinating. A few weeks ago, I would have never even considered leaving my phone on, let alone actually talking during day light hours. Alas, I was very slow to get back on the horse with Project Z and did not want to rush things. But at the same time, I wanted to remain disciplined.

I did not read the entire draft (39 chapters worth) twice over like I originally planned during the LA/NYC round trip flight. Instead, I read the last three chapters. I sat at the counter at Nick's coffeeshop on Monday morning and ate a breakfast sandwich while I made minor notes with a red pen. When I returned to the apartment, I struggled through the late morning and early afternoon. After I shook off the rust, I printed everything up and then tore it to shreds. On my second pass, I condensed three chapters into two. I wasn't pleased with my overall productivity and I settled on just 5,000 words and two chapters. Little did I know that I'd complete less on Tuesday.

On Monday night, I spoke with the Human Head. He always has some interesting things to say and after our talk, I always leave with a bunch of quality book suggestions. But I gotta say, I'm always a little paranoid after our talks. It's the heaviness of the subject matter. I make sure the door is locked and I peek out the window shades to make sure no one is watching me.

It's like when I talk about 2012 with the Joker. He told me that he hate watching those videos on YouTube late at night because he freaks out and thinks there's an alien hiding in his closet.

I found myself distracted in a good way on Tuesday morning. I woke up to a flurry of text messages and emails about the Phish at Fenway rumor. Kid Dynamite insisted that they were going to play on June 1st after a friend of his in the Red Sox organization confirmed the rumor. I quickly penned a post for Coventry and spent an hour or so fielding emails. Senor was super pumped when he found out the possibilty of a show in his neck of the woods, as he should be since he was a Red Sox fan.

I wandered over to Nick's for breakfast. I printed up the two chapters that I wrote the night before and sat down to edit. Halfway through my edits, I got a call from the Joker. He said that Phish released their late summer tour dates. I gobbled up the rest of my egg white omelete and rushed home. I quickly placed my mail order/lottery selections and hoped that I'd fare better this time around than the first leg of summer tour when I virtually got shut out.

I was sorta surprised with the venues and the dates. It's a short 12 show tour but the shows are spread out, making it almost impossible to see every show by a car caravan. Even with flying in between shows, it would be tough to do the entire tour, especially since I'm not getting any younger. Just like the first leg of summer tour, I had to make a hard decision and skip a show based on geographic complications (I had to skip St. Louis and decided to drive to Cincy and get a day of rest before the last four shows). For late summer, I decided to skip Chicago in order to see the other 11 shows. I essentially split the tour into West Coast and East Coast legs.

The late summer tour kicks off in Denver with four shows at Red Rocks then heads to Northern California for one night and then two shows at the Gorge in central Washington state, before the tour skips to Chicago for one night before they finish up four shows on the east coast (Buffalo, Hartford, Baltimore/DC, and upstate NY).

Back in the day, Phish would spread out 20+ shows over 4 or 5 weeks, which gave you the opportunity to drive the entire tour. Not this time around. Yeah, it's gonna be one tough trip. I'm going to fly from LA to Denver, then fly back to LA to drive up to San Fran with Nicky, then drive 800 miles to the Gorge, before we drive back to LA. Then, I'll fly to NYC so I can finish out the rest of the tour. I could have squeezed in Chicago, but that's just too much flying, too much money, and I'd be cutting it close. If the Hampton shows sucked, I would not be going so crazy to make this happen. Since they blew the roof off the Mothership, I didn't blink about blocking off the rest of my summer for Phish tour. Plus, I have been hearing conflicting rumors about a multi-day festival in either Vermont or perhaps outside of Austin.

I had hoped that there would be a show at the Hollywood Bowl in August, which was heavily rumored but failed to materialize, since we wouldn't have to travel too far for the show. At least we'd get to see four shows in Denver and crash with the Joker and party it up with his crew. I always love going to Colorado after a long summer in Las Vegas. I did it three out of the last four years.

Anyway, most of my morning and early afternoons included some serious trip planning, budget crunching, and wheeling and dealing for tickets. When I looked at the time, I was shocked that it was almost 2pm. I had been up for 8+ hours and did not write a single word.

I forced myself to peck away at the keyboard. I wrote a chapter and ended up erasing the entire thing. It wasn't because I was distracted, it was because the content sucked, so I trashed it all. That was not the start I had hoped for. By 3pm, I found my groove and two hours later I completed a brand new chapter. Solid stuff too, and much better than anything I wrote on Monday.

I stopped for an early dinner and ordered a pizza. For my name, I used one of the guys from Phish.

I chatted with my brother and watched the World Baseball Classic. Team USA was on the brink of being eliminated. I tried to avoid the boob tune since I knew I'd be stuck in front of it for four straight days during March Madness.

On Monday night, I watched the first two episodes of the new season of Breaking Bad about a chemistry teacher who gets terminal cancer and decides to cook up meth to make some money for his family. I never saw the first season (shortened by the writer's strike), but Nicky raved about it. Out of the two episodes that I saw, I gotta say it's much better than I thought. More dark and violent than the half-baked Weeds.

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