The road out front is mud. We are almost prisoners now. My computer is still being worked on. The weather is foul.

Why did I take my computer in? Self-sabotage is my middle name. Here I have been working almost a year on a first draft of a book. We finally got a printer a few days ago, after months without one, so I could start printing this thing out and see what I’ve got. The computer was crawling, and so I decided now, of all times, to get it looked at! When all I’ve wanted was to feel like I’ve accomplished my goal of having something done by the time we leave on tour. I’m not worried that the work will be lost – just questioning my lousy timing. It’s been four days now and I’m stuck. Every time I ask if it’ll be ready today, the computer guy says “Maybe. Or tomorrow.”

I’d been wanting to see “Julie & Julia” since it came out back when I was in the US. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more, seeing it there. Watching it in France – I was sort of ashamed. I sank lower and lower into my cinema seat, sure that my American vibes would be detected by the other audience members and they’d stuff me and hang me in effigy outside the theatre as some kind of warning. As the movie dragged on and on, I could understand why it has such a limited release in this country. I don’t know why I expected anything better from Nora Ephron. Her hackdom as a director continues to mystify me, because I always thought she was a fine writer. Why that should translate into an ability to not take the low road, to go for the cute, coy and cliched every time, I don’t know, but I like to expect the best from people. When they used “Psycho Killer” over the lobster scene, I wanted to throw up.

It’s a shame because I swear there was something interesting underneath all the cute concept, about wanting to make your mark, do something with your self. I spend probably too much time thinking about that, these days. Then joke about cows.

Afterwards I had a lousy time at the eyeglass place – my fault for choosing the chain whose spokesperson is Johnny Hallyday! His dessicated visage is everywhere right now. His final tour continues and this week he plays Limoges. It may be the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to the place. Gil Rose et Les Hydropathes, who were here recording, cracked me up because they say Johnny must never, never die. They pray that he is immortal, because should he not be, when he dies France will be in interminable mourning and those who don’t care will have to hide away somewhere until the public grief subsides. Which may take a while.

I’d finally decided to reorder the glasses I lost back in Chicago this summer. The Optic 2000 employees stared at me like I was nuts – look, there are all these other frames here! Why would you get the same pair twice? I tried explaining that I’d chosen those frames, over all the others, so why go through the work, the agony, of looking again?

But things move on quickly in the eyeglass world, and they’re likely no longer available…except in beige. Again, stuck.

Wait, one positive thing – the test pressing was fine, the 45’s are being stamped out at this very moment! Now if we can only figure out how to get someone to brave the mud and deliver the package to us.

16 thoughts on “Mud

  1. Poppy Robbie

    You should tooootally sell me one of the tests to make up for the fact that there wont be a limited colored version for me to nerd-out and try to track down haha.I know how you feel about the glasses situation. Back when I got my hornrims, for some strange reason back in 2001 or 02 (whenever i got them), they were somewhat hard to find locally (now you can find them anywhere). I searched every glasses dealer in the area's surrounding cities and almost gave up, until I tried one last store in my hometown, a small place that I figured certainly wouldn't have them. Turns out, my hometown is just backwards enough to have actually had some (undoubtably still laying around from the 50s). When I explained which ones I wanted, after fishing the pair out of an old used and broken box they pulled out from behind the counter once I had described what I was looking for – "old, standard black-framed glasses". They proclaimed, after making sure I wasn't nuts and actually wanted them, "Oh, yeah. We can get those." "Old Man Whitted", they said, "get's those.""It's not a problem."I couldn't help but wonder who this old man was and if I wanted to wear the same make and model glasses as him. Glasses that apparently were something of a trademark that he had developed within the local eye glasses retailer community. Nevertheless, I got them and have been attached to them since.That's right, I haven't had my eyes checked since 2002. I think it's time, but I'm afraid they will no longer have these frames, as scratched, beaten-up, aged and worn as my current ones are…I used to work with a guy who said back in his military days they had a name for these kind of glasses. I was hoping he was going to say something like, "awesome" or "bitchin", but instead he responded with a somber "Birth Control Glasses."

  2. amy

    That is hilarious Robbie, about your trademark glasses. I wonder if old man Whitted is still around? Now as for that test pressing – don't worry, the actual discs will be ready very soon, we're expecting delivery today!thanks Mike – I'm just steeling myself to call him this morning…wondering what he'll have to tell me.Hot Rain! Sounds like a good title Rosie – I'll have to see what the latest is on your trip.

  3. KudzuCarl

    Real 45's? The vinyl kind that go onto turntables? I only know of two places to play them anymore — my office (yes, I have a "record player" in my office) and the local Waffle House, which still has a jukebox that plays vinyl.Where's the link that lets us order these sure-to-be gems?

  4. amy

    Carl, we'll soon have these genuine vinyl 45's (sorry, no color vinyl) for sale through our sites. If you can sneak into the Waffle House, open the jukebox and install `Teflon Wok/Bobblehead Doll' there – you can have your copies for free!

  5. mike ollier

    Vinyl??? Who has a record player these days? I've just heard that Mike Ferrio/Tandy will release his next album on vinyl only???!!??? What? That's about 99% of his (already too small) audience gone.M

  6. amy

    Mike,Mike,Mike – nothing sounds like vinyl. People are realizing that and believe it or not lots of people either still have record players or are going out and getting them. As music becomes more "artisanal" it comes back around to the idea of records as objects to collect. True, lots of people listen to music in their cars, on phones & computers and that's not going to change. But the idea of the ceremony of putting on a record, and doing nothing else but listening to it – how wonderful. So glad that's coming back. Take a look at some label websites (Yep Roc for example) and see how many people are putting out records on vinyl. Don't be so negative!Kim, a lot of people I know loved the movie. But it just didn't work for me. And I love Meryl – but, forgive me, I just watched Mamma Mia and it's camp as hell but I thought she would be much more deserving of an award for THAT – the singin' dancin' completely vibrant sexy middle aged woman that she is in that film, than some be-wigged, be-girdled ultimately two dimensional study. I think in the end Dan Ackroyd did it better.Robbie if only we could get our hands on some bobbleheads around here…

  7. Anonymous

    Whoa there, I'm not being negative (and thanks for your "put down" post) ~ I don't have a record player and I'm not gonna get one. Would you like me to get a betamax video player nd an 8 track?What is the point of doing a gig and then trying to sell people a format that they probably can't paly, a fair proportion of the audience, I bet. And I didn't notice you refusing my money when I bought CDs from you in the past.Yes, they are warm… yes they are lovely to behold… NO, I don't have a turntable.Also, I have bought from Yep Roc extensively: a couple of weeks ago I recieved Dave Alvin and also the tribute to Gaffney… neither of which are on vinyl.

  8. amy

    It's true,Mike, we all have to draw our own lines somewhere. i will continue to show up with CDs to sell and I'll keep buying them too cause the van doesn't have a turntable. Lord knows I couldn't have done the UK touring I've done by train and haul a load of vinyl around with me! Anonymous isn't too far off the mark w/the "cassingle" mention – cassettes do seem to be resurfacing, for the few who want to chase that kind of technology. There's no way to do it all, and the same probably goes for Mike Ferrio, if he's investing in pressing up an LP – not to dictate what format people should listen to music on but specializing for that particular release. It might be a matter of finances (ie not having the cash to fund the two formats, and wanting to try it out. ) If he goes near Germany or Netherlands to tour believe me he will sell plenty.

  9. Mike

    Well… it's the industry ~ "leave vinyl, go to CD, go to DVD, go to Blu-ray" and mugs like me buy Dylan etc on LP, cassette, CD, re-issue CD with extra tracks etc etc etc ~ I tried for years to resist the CD onslaught and started to buy CDs cos the artists I liked stoped making LPs and switched to CD. But it tooK me over and now I have thousands of the little shiny buggers.My foot has to come down somwhere though ~ I'm not investing in Blu-Ray and I'm not re-investing in vinyl (and I agree, by far THE best way to listen to music) cos I feel violated by the industry who tried (and failed) with other formats.I think Mike Ferrio has a totally different manifesto than cost ~ but offering something on vinyl seems perverse these days ~ if you're not making ir avaiable on CD. I can understand mp3s/downloads ~ though I hate them and don't partake ~ but vinyl?I have travelled to NYC from the UK just to see Tandy in action on more than one occasion, so, if he goes through with the vinyl only idea, I'll buy a record player I suppose ~ but… but

  10. amy

    I always knew that Mike F. was a powerful force!And Carl, thanks for the bobblehead link – that is hilarious. At $85 a pop they may be a little expensive as merchandise, but there's always the video to consider…

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