Sunday to Two Weeks Back in Backwards Time
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11:
drove home from dallas. did NOT get a speeding ticket. whew. missed iolana’s church rendition of “the grinch”, but lance taped it so we all sat around the tube and watched the show that night with a fire blazing in the fireplace. snuggle time. i fell asleep during storytime at bedtime. i woke up later and lance was watching “sex in the city”. i fell back asleep and dreamed.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10:
(Pic by Eddie Malphrus. Thanks!)
played with milo deering and colin boyd as my band at poor david’s pub. we played 2 1/2 hours and rocked the casbah. the two of them really brought a lot of depth and class to what i’m trying to do with my music; i felt completely at ease and supported, and we hadn’t even rehearsed…they just had their charts on stage and off we jammed. i felt ten feet tall, and even burst into a rendition of “evergreen”, per milo’s nudging, pretending to channel her soul as the words and melody burst forth. milo even chimed in with harmony. he plays pedal steel, violin, mandolin and guitar. colin played electric and sang and wore this groovy hat. two handsome cats, two extraordinary players. i think i have a name for the band (which is, usually, brad, zirkel and eddy.)
played a two hour kids show at poor david’s to a bevy of girls! there were only two little boys, about two years old, that were in attendance. we sang, we danced, we hopped, we complained, we chatted, we sang christmas songs and jingled the bells i brought in a sack. good times!
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9:
went to the production block and recorded fifteen spots for a new radio segment i am hoping half price books will endorse called “sleepytime with sara”. joel block rocks. sarah binion came and cheered me on. did not bring pie to the studio, which is becoming my thing: take home baked pies to recording sessions. just didn’t have time to make one.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8:
remembered john lennon and where i was on this day all those years ago when he was killed. i had driven up in my tomato colored kharman ghia to the front of my high school. it was raining. people were standing in the rain, heads thrown back or tucked in with despair, letting the rain soak them wet. i didn’t understand what was going on. why was everyone in the rain? i parked my car, and walked up to one of my fellow students. “john lennon was shot!” and then i stood in the rain, my face wet, too, but not from the sky.
no school today. everything is frozen. the girls stayed home and we messed around. first we dropped off our kitten, pepper, to get neutered, and then lily and i went and bought gloves and hats for the homeless. by 7:45 am, we were down at the shelter, giving them out. there were a lot of pigeons nestled all around the entrance. they didn’t even fly away when we walked up. people were smoking cigarettes and trying to stay warm.
teresa, my lovely assistant, brought supplies for after work and the girls made home made pizzas for snacks. they even got to roll their own dough! that teresa. so thoughtful.
that night, we took the girls to the state theater for a production of “a christmas carol.” such wonder fills their eyes…great ensemble, great sound and lighting effects. love this show!
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7
met with rob sides, who is going to become the general manager of my label, sleeveless. very productive meeting over tea and breakfast tacos. we had a great brainstorming session. good things will come of this!
met with cartis group to check in on design of “motherlode” artwork.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6
sang at UT’s elementary school….such awesome children! it made me sad i didn’t know more songs in spanish (note to self…you know what you need to do!)
met with lucy here at my house about helping with internet placement of songs, reading contracts, etc. i love lucy’s smile. she will start helping out as a sleeveless hand in january. welcome aboard!
picked the girls up from school. hung out.
got ready around 5:30 and had aspen come sit with the girls. she’s super! met lance at spazio for an event with any baby can. heard a deaf family from new orleans talk about their horrible ordeal during hurricane katrina. especially awful since their hearing family had left town and not warned them in advance what was coming….the mother and father are both deaf, and they have two little girls. they hid in a closet and heard the destruction all around them. then, for many days, they tried to find help. they were finally forced to walk through the water, until a boat carried them to land. then they were living under and underpass, and finally taken to the superdome. they saw many terrifying things (a child molested and later found in a freezer. the deaf father tried to tell an authority, but they did not speak sign language, and so the little girl was killed.) they saw bodies in the water. they felt abandoned. they found hope in austin, where an interpreter started to help them. they were seperated from their children at some point, but the interpreter found them several days later, enrolled in a school and safe. MY GOD! HOW HORRIFYING WOULD THAT BE?! they are now pregnant with another child, and settling in to austin. any baby can has been helping them. after the two parents spoke, the oldest daughter spoke. she was nine. it was all incredibly moving.
then, alan lueke recieved an award from any baby can, and then i sang “we are each others’ angels” and it was a magical, love filled night.
the owners of spazio saw lance and i looking at a book of photography afterwards, and came over and gave it to us. they were very kind.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 5
six kids in my car last night, we drove to KVUE/ABC television studios here in austin to shoot a segment for christmas eve/christmas morning. everyone looked so festive in their green and red! three girls (all in dresses a-sparklin’!) and three boys (dapper and fresh faced). led the kids among a massive plethora of blood-red poinsettas and beside a decorated tree in “here comes santa claus” and then! voila! he appeared! and what a jolly st. nick he was, complete with leather brown boots, a heavy red suit accented in white fur, real curls in his real white beard, golden glasses upon his noggin. (what’s a noggin? is that a nose? all of the sudden i’m thinking it’s a chin…) and he had a lovely english accent to make the picture complete! he read stories, and gave out presents (i got to be his elf! just call me “jingles”)….all in all, a good time, then the kids and i piled in the car and drove through a jack in the box….i felt like mrs. partridge!
met my friend, margaret, for lunch, and burst into tears. she kindly kept repeating that she has cried on my shoulders in abundance, but still….so, finally, after letting go of feeling like a silly, i just went ahead and let the tears out. i was feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work, holidays, arguing with a friend, lack of sleep. i ate a hot meal and sobbed all the way through it. margaret was so comforting and let me just get it all out. she then surprised me with a christmas gift and lovely card, and never ONCE looked bothered by the fact i had tears in my meatloaf. no one in the restaurant seemed to be bothered by it, either, so i’m thinking this location has seen it’s fair share of distraught artist/moms. i left feeling such relief. thank god for good friends!
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4
i can not remember what i did today, except that i know i went to church.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3
sang at the capitol for the official interior lighting of the tree in the legislative branch. i was very excited about singing. had a great soundcheck. met some of the other singers who thought i was shawn colvin. had to smile.
my turn to sing after a choir of children, and the guitar wasn’t working. i couldn’t believe it. it threw me for a loop. i sang the first song mostly a capella, looking out into the faces of politicians, dressed to the nines, children sleepy eyed and ready for santa. second song, i reached over for another mic stand/mic, and tried to set it up for the guitar. that was awkward, especially as i was in a nice ball type gown get up, but got it to happen, and sang christmas cheer and everyone whistled on the break. good, good. then, the last song. i had chosen “happy christmas” by john lennon. it was a risk, i knew. i had made hand outs with the lyrics and had the sound man run out and pass them out. no one sang on the song. i dedicated it to children all around the world who deserve healthy food, homes to live in and safe haven from war.
i was stunned that not one person sang along…i was feeling verrrrrrrrrry alone on “war is over…if you want it….” i left the stage feeling peculiar and shaken. it is a hard climate to speak out about war.
red steagall had me come back up and play guitar for him as he sang “silent night” and “santa claus is coming to town”…good man. he’s a cowboy poet!
i felt upset with the whole shebang. i don’t like upsetting anyone, but i also like to know that people are thinking about their country’s actions, having discussion about it. i feel, as a musician, i have an obligation to sing about what is important, not just to me, but to others. or i should say, i have an obligation to sing about reality. i don’t know. maybe folks didn’t know the words, but lance agreed with me: it was a statement in itself that no one chose to sing along on the song. very bothersome and heartbreaking for me.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2
sang at Patton Elementary, after getting my girls off to school. LOOOOOOOOVE this school. 500 kids, full of energy, all in team colored tee-shirts to identify their classroom and grade level. like singing to a giant rainbow!
we danced and yelled and wow! ZINGO! it was a BLAST! stuck around and talked with kids and handed out trading cards….lovely, perfect morning. got the principal up to dance on “iolana” and he was hilarious, of course.
later that day, lily, io and some other girls from our troop all went bowling. shoes and socks and orange neon balls and pizza and jumping in the inflatable castle and trying our luck at the claw and a few video games. great way to end a fun day.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1
sang at a memorial service for Interfaith Care Alliance, which i was a member of all last and this year. my care partner died earlier this year from AIDS. a buddhist monk, some amazing African American dancers (who had me in tears of love and joy) and candlelighting, mixed with music and quilts representing those who had died. my family went with me….and we had just come from…
another benefit concert i played on the other side of town for Taco Express…maria, the owner, has an enormous statue of herself, arms extended, on top of the restaurant. it is now a legendary part of austin. however, some freak decided to climb on top of the restaurant and sawed off her arms!!!!!!!!! so, i played to help raise funds to create new appendages to replace the missing ones. on halloween, she made it look like they were covered in bandages with blood spurting out! she is so funny.
earlier in the day: drove in from denton, texas….in time to pick the girls up from school.
MONDAY-WED, NOV 28-30
went to denton to record with carl finch. we have a concept to make a record together. here is a list of adjectives to describe those three days: exciting, conflicting, confrontational, confusing, happy, sexy, silly, passionate, creative, musical, bewildering, loopy, serious, not serious, over the top, exhausting, good, great, expansive, curious.
drove in from denton on wednesday and went to glenn mitchell’s memorial service…that had me bawling and laughing. what an amazing life this man had. he was intelligent, thought provoking, curious, and had quite a core of talented, interesting and perceptive friends, many of whom got up to spoke and kept us all in stitches with stories of glenn. josh alan played guitar in his mysterious black ray-bans and gail (from cafe noir) played beautiful violin with another violinist and i sang at the end…and, once again, the microphones went out on me.
it was such a stellar tribute to an incredible human being. thank you, glenn, for all the years of joy you’ve brought so many, including me. you were one of the best.
(as a side: i am convinced there is a gremlin in my guitar case that hops out and decides to mess with the equipment, yet, i just keep performing and do what i must when i’m left acoustic! be gone, little demon! i vanquish you to greenwich village…now, get away! leave me be!)