I suppose I should do some writing. We won’t be playing a lot of shows these next few months so I guess the urgency of updating blog posts has gone way down in my mind, despite some big recent news. But then I got really sick and wanted to do nothing but watch Buffy.
Well, today I had my first wisdom tooth pulled and even though it felt fine all day the pain is really kicking in right now. And Eric’s off doing some pre-recording practice with a friend and I’m here at home, with all the Buffy already watched and not much else to do but sit and hope this pain will subside. So, why not update with the bloggity blog. I guess.
Ok, so… The last update was the octopus painting, way back in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After that show we crashed at a crummy hotel and were up and entering Toledo before noon on Thursday, April 18. We were both desperately fighting off illnesses and this was who knows how many days in a row of stress migraines for me. We literally spent the entire day sitting in a Tim Horton’s, and even though we did nothing we still felt completely exhausted before even getting to that night’s venue. We had a show that evening at the Ottawa Tavern, which we’d played at before back in June of last year.
After checking in, Eric & I sat quietly in our car while it poured rain outside, finishing off our cartons of orange juice each and eating what’s come to be known in the Pocket Vinyl world as “breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time”: cold dry rice Chex, raisins, almonds, and apples. Did I mention how worn out and exhausted we were feeling by this point? We tentatively brought up the thought that maybe our bodies had simply had enough of this tour…
Maybe an hour before the events of the night got underway we loaded our gear in to the venue, traded in our pitchers-of-PBR-each for one craft brew each, and played some ping pong. Around 9:30 the night got started with a screening of the film Last Shop Standing, in honor of the approaching Record Store Day on April 20th.
After the film Eric & I set up and battled through sickness and exhaustion to perform our show. I painted a bear. If this was going to be our last show of this ridiculously long and exhausting tour, I wanted to go out with my best, if sick and worn out, foot forward.
The guy who booked us and the bartender had a little bidding war over the painting, but the bartender won. The guy who booked us apologized for the low attendance at our show. He said he’d gone to a bar a bit down the street and it was packed with locals from the Ottawa Tavern. When he asked why they’d left and gone to a different bar they told him that it was because he’d been showing “that lame movie”. People.
As we packed up we asked the guy who’d booked us about cheap hotels in the area. With the sickness and exhaustion, our bodies just couldn’t take trying to sleep in the car right now. Instead, he offered us his living room to crash in and sympathized with our exhaustion. Besides booking, he’s also toured in a band himself quite a bit. We talked with him about the bug in our heads in considering canceling the remaining dates on the tour and going home. It was when he finally said “Well, think about it, you guys have been on tour for pretty much all of 2013!”
That’s when it really hit us. Hard. In the past 108 days we’d played almost 70 shows and we’d been away from home for 95 of those days. (Since the beginning of the year, we had literally been on the road for all but 13 days! Less than 2 weeks!) That information was like adding 50 pounds to our already exhausted shoulders.
We dragged ourselves to the booker’s upstairs apartment and collapsed into our sleeping bags. We slipped out quietly the next morning, stopped at a Tim Horton’s again, and knew we needed to decide. We could not physically continue on for the next 10 days of this tour. We were worn out and defeated. Eric’s fingertips were falling apart, my creativity had abandoned me, day after day was spent in excruciating pain from these migraines, and physically our bodies had all but given up on us. We decided, and we began the 11 hour drive straight home to Connecticut. We called a few people and sent e-mails to the rest to cancel the last handful of gigs. Luckily everyone was extremely understanding and kind about it.
The drive was just one more exhausting day. And to add a teensy bit of salt to our raw wounds, a couple days later a speeding ticket was mailed o us from Toledo for going 30 in a 20 mph zone. Seriously?
Well, we made it home the night of the 19th of April, collapsing into our own comfortable bed finally. And it’s a good thing we came home when we did too, because although Eric’s health began to improve, mine deteriorated until I could literally do nothing but shiver on the couch for 4 days straight, drinking juice and trying to get rid of all the mucus in my head. Two weeks later, I’m still trying to rid myself of this head cold. But doing much better. And honestly, could not be happier to finally be home. It was a good tour. But it’s more good that it’s over.