Waiting: the lull after the album making frenzy is finished, and the moments before the marketing machine starts up. I imagine this is how a fireman must feel: trained and ready for action but having to just sit there and wait for the call. Wait for the moment when the little light on that red telephone flashes. It’s maddening and the moments of self-doubt are the worst. So then I’m sent into the distractions, I, Robot, Scanners, Red Dead Redemption, Big Bang Theory and dreams of Wil Wheaton and that guy that plays Chief in BSG. Too much time on the internet. The feeling of staring up towards an unseen goal at the top of a mountain I’m about to climb.
It’s a feeling of endless possibility, and total impossibility. The waiting game. Waiting to conquer.
I saved a draft of an earlier version of this sentiment about a month ago: I was coming down from being in the studio and jumped headfirst into mixing: “This band is like a team of mercenaries, a bunch of guys that just come in for the kill, unforgiving, with destructive force.” Something to look forward to? Or something like this:
I am the best wife ever. In case any of you were wondering. Tomorrow is Murray’s birthday, but today God of War III came out. Knowing he would probably want to get the game today, I had to beat him to the punch. So after dropping off Neptune at preschool, I went straight to the Best Buy.
Allow me to illustrate the scenario:
1. It’s 10AM, Best Buy has just opened for the day.
2. There are at least four guys in their mid-thirties ahead of me buying the same game.
3. Don’t these people have jobs?
When the weather gets nice in Montreal, you may notice there is a large number of people just lolling around in the middle of the week. Sitting in the sun on a field in Jeanne Mance park (at 1:30PM); drinking coffee on a terrace (at 11AM), walking dogs (noon), riding a unicycle down Prince Arthur (all hours). I guess that’s what makes Montreal so great: it’s a primarily self-employed city. The cost of living is much less than in other “big” Canadian cities like Toronto or Vancouver…never mind real cities like New York or London UK. So while Montrealers are still incredibly productive, our lives are based on a work-week where every day is Casual Friday.
So, either everyone at Best Buy at 10AM on a weekday is self-employed, unemployed, a trustafarian, took a sick day to play video games, or works for Ubisoft and was sent there as part of their job.
All of the above are possible. So this is what Murray woke up to:
They were giving away free t-shirts to the gatecrashers, which I used as wrapping paper. I was compelled to say to the cashier: “Oh, it’s not for me, its for my husband,” to which he replied: “It’s one size fits all.”
Lately I’ve been feeling a little anxious, a little dejected, trying hard to find the light in the tunnel. Why? I’ve taken on more responsibility in planning our upcoming tour, and realised today – after a strangely prophetic dream of driving Gwen Stefani around in a Honda Civic – that I take on everything I do very emotionally. I feel weight when our business is constricted, I feel euphoria when it hits a high. I feel like it’s my responsibility to try and fully understand every situation, every point of view, every effect my actions may have on others.
I don’t like the feeling of regret, and so I regret very little in my life. Instead I learn, I use my mistakes as a foundation on which to build something better. So I don’t appreciate the prospect of walking into the lion’s den, or down the garden path someone might selfishly be tempting me to stroll along.
Maybe my emotional and psychological investment into The Dears on a business level cannot be removed, but at least I can try to better understand their conjunction. Alas, it gets me down sometimes, I get frustrated and anxious and might spend entire afternoons burning through a video game (They’re trying to turn me into a Big Daddy: becoming the enemy).
On the other hand I am really looking forward to this tour, to being in the desert, motoring through New Mexico and Arizona and playing our own shows in Canada, finally. Except as of right now I need a haircut, so I’m not totally ready…in several ways.
This year has begun as have many others before it: without ceremony, a few days of lounging around in pajamas before the “back-to-work” flurry of activity hits. This year it was January 5th, back to work, back to people returning your emails, returning your calls. Touring right up into the holidays is a bit anti-climactic: we got home and it was like we had to wait until the next year to finish working on the tour. Which is kind of fine.
Murray played Prince of Persia on the PS3, which I got him for Christmas (later I confessed that I kind of got it for myself, too). He alternated between gaming and taking down a wall in our basement. I forced the band to move out of our overpriced rehearsal space in St-Michel, and into our more moderately priced (i.e. included in mortgage) Park-Ex basement. The location is much better and it’s more comfortable. And we don’t have to deal with metal bands anymore, though they were all very nice to us; especially our neighbours, Unbeing. Anyhow, it’s very comfortable in our newly appointed rec-room and Neptune even likes to hang out down there, helping daddy fix things and tidy up.
Right now Murray is down there, jamming with Yann. They are working on something new; I think that’s what I hear up through the floor boards.
It took me six days to write this first post…and even though it’s technically been the “holidays,” the self-employed never really have holidays unless they are somewhere where their Blackberries and iPhones don’t have reception. And ours was spent accordingly, troubleshooting our professional lives which so fluidly meld with our personal lives. There’s no real distinction anymore: we are so emotionally entrenched in The Dears. We can’t help it. We believe in this thing, in each other, in The Dears 2.0, in our audience, critics and co-workers, in our management, in all of you. We just can’t help ourselves. We are manic about this project…
…manic for 2009.