Oakland, CA – Day 13 & 14

Final day of the tour.  They call it travel day.  I’ll be home-home for about 3 days. Then I drive up to NYC and then to home-home-home – Boston, MA.  So as tired as I am, as much as I’d like to just be home-home, I’m excited to be home-home-home and see some great friends in the Northeast.

Hotel rooms have been pretty cozy, but I can’t seem to get to sleep early enough to enjoy the comfy beds.  I guess I’m usually pretty wired after the gig, and the hang after that.  We had some of the best sushi ever last night.  Seriously, the sashimi was off the chain. Maybe I was just so happy.

I’m hanging with the band at the bar after dinner and see TV screens at each table booth.  I think it’s getting out of hand.

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Lake Tahoe, NV – Day 12

Breakfast in bed.  It’s going to happen in about 3 minutes.

Hotel rooms have become my little world within a little world over the past 2 years.

I decided a couple years ago that I was worth it.  That crashing on couches or twin beds were not an option anymore for me. Of course, I’ve digressed a few times.  Had to make one or two exceptions, but for the most part, I’ve been able to create a little more head space.  I need that time to think.  To miss my dog, to miss my family, to scribble lyrics down.  To play the piano without any inhibition.

To have steak and eggs on a kingsize bed and feel no guilt whatsoever.

Okay, I admit.  I’m not gonna eat this food on the bed.  The tidy Chinese in me refuses to make a crumby mess.

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San Diego, CA > Lake Tahoe, NV – Day 10 & 11

Ok. I lost 40 bucks.  Fudge.  Think of all the great records I could have picked up.

Did I have fun ?  For 10 minutes… yes !

But darn. I got kinda caught up in the frenzy.  Sign said $5 minimum.  But I ended up betting on either RED or BLACK.  Nope – that costs $10.  Ouch.  I won on the 1st bet.  10 bucks up.  Right there.  Should have walked away.  But… I was having fun.

We shot a music video a couple of days ago.  I met the man I’ve always wanted to play electric guitar like.  Mr. David T. Walker ladies and gentlemen.

I’m going to put some ice on my hand now.  This pain WILL go away.

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Hollywood, CA – Day 9

It exactly 11 years ago when my Dad decided to check out of Motel Earth.

We’ve come a long way since 2000, but have we ?  A long way where ?

Yeah, life is okay.  Kinda glamorous hanging in the “GREEN-ER” room at the Conan O’Brien show.  We tape this afternoon.

But nothing beats the sight of a rainbow and Mother Nature staring right back at you. You see something like this and you begin to feel the earth beneath your feet again. Or at least, I’d like to take my sneakers off and put on some flip flops.

Nevermind.  I’m already wearing some.

We play the Hollywood Bowl tonight.  Yeah man.  Perspective.  Important to hold onto this.  Can’t let a second go by without being grateful.  Realizing that yes, I’ve come a long way since my Dad’s passing.  I’m lucky to be here.  But it feels like this is exactly the way it supposed to go down.  More awaits.  Tour bus.  More glamour.

Hopefully more rainbows.

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Studio City, CA – Day 7 & 8

Airports. Just thinking about them makes me slouch in a chair and get tired.  But it’s cool.  Part of the job.

But you arrive at the venue and see a nice spread of food.  Sigh of relief.  Someone put some serious love into the hummus.

I like hummus.

In Los Angeles for the next couple of days.  I might iron a few things.  Poolside room. Nice.

I feel like I’m in a movie.

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Denver, CO – Day 6

Sometimes you have to bite your tongue and make compromises. Like…

You don’t get the fancy hotel room with the soft white comforter and 3-4 plushy pillows, not to mention thick soft bath towels.

You don’t eat leftovers.  I actually like my leftovers, the stuff that I cooked the previous night.

You don’t say anything when people you work with talk jokingly with a Chinese accent, trying to imitate an Asian woman i.e. my Mom.  You just gotta relax and know that they don’t mean any harm.  I can understand why it’s a little funny.  It’s easy to imitate this kind of accent, and therefore makes you, in general, feel somewhat smarter and empowered.

I only wish the person who does this would understand how it makes me feel.

It actually hurts.  Brings back a lot of negative memories of being on the school bus early in the morning or in the afternoon.  White kids would start doing their “ching-chong” imitations.  And they meant to offend me.  There was no other intention but that.

Sigh.  Racism is a bitch.  Prejudice.  Whether you agree or not, in America, Asians still don’t get the respect we have earned.

So it’s not funny to me.

I miss my dog.  I’ve got the blues again.

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Bellevue, CO – Day 5

It’s 9:10am.  I feel incredibly blessed.  I’m a little weird, but lately, I’ll look at a set of numbers, and add them altogether.  Like now it’s 9:10am.  Total equals 10.

10 is a very lucky number in Chinese culture.  At least, that’s what my Dad used to tell me.

For example, I’ll pump some gas and it’ll read 38.52.  11+7=18, which, in my mind really equals 9 (add the 1 and the 8).  Nope.  So I pump a tiny bit more gas til it reads 38.53.  Ah.  11+8=19, which equals 10 again.  Follow me ?

It’s the mathematician in me.  I scored 720 on my SATs in math.  It’s NOT because I’m Asian.  (That would bea great T-shirt, eh?)

It’s coz I studied music.  There’s a lot of counting that goes on there.  So I’ve gotten fast at it.

I’ll think of other examples when I get a moment.

Speaking of moments, on the first day of rehearsal, I received a box of “In-Ear” monitors, made by Ultimate Ears.  Paid by the company. Nice.  Another sign (to most folks) that I’ve “made it”… hmmm.  I’m totally grateful.  But truthfully, I feel like I’ve been making it all along.  Making music, making progress in my heart and soul.  Making mistakes along the path.  Making friends and connections of the spirit.

Anyways… these earphones on steroids need some getting used to. But it’s cool coz they’re perfectly molded to my ears.  Custom-molded actually. Sweet.  So they never fall out, especially when I’m doing back-flips during the shows.

Sarcasm is very important when traveling with several adults at a time.

And these earphones can get quite LOUD.  No problem.  When I’m at the Y, I’m usually cranking the volume anyways.  Probably why I’ll be deaf by the time I’m 60.  Kidding.  Got it under control.

Really taking the time out to focus on nature.  I’m in Colorado for Christ’s sake.  These trees aren’t anywhere else.  Just a different level altogether from the nature in the Northeast.  I always think about driving west on I-90 passing through Northampton, MA or something.  Yep Exit 4 to I-91.  I still remember all these things.  Got to.  Keeps me balanced in the schmooze-fest of the music industry.

I’m hungry and want to keep things simple.  No fancy breakfast.  Just some oatmeal and eggs.  Need my grains and a little protein. Hopefully some fruit will find me, too.

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