Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Rock School Post Partum Syndrome - one month after partying with Eddie Vedder, Jon Anderson, Alice Cooper, Stewart Copeland, and Ann Wilson

Julie Slick on stage in Seattle

So it's approximately one month after the debut of Rock School; the documentary is leaving the Ritz Five in Philadelphia after tonight's screening and while it just opened last week in a few cities and will be debuting overseas next month, it will be on DVD sooner than later where I think it's going to be a fact, I read an interesting article how DVDs are much bigger business and bigger profit makers than movies in theaters so hopefully the advertising that Rock School did not get this time around will be rectified for the DVD and it will in fact get the wide audience it deserves.

But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't depressed these days. Rock School the movie was in the making over two years -- probably almost three years -- and I have true post partum syndrome now that it's over. I mean, come on, a month ago I was in Hollywood chatting with Jon Anderson after he played Heart of the Sunrise with Julie and Eric at the L.A. Knitting Factory and he put his arm around me and told me how great they are -- I even have a pic of it which I may post if I have a few drinks (meaning, I look absolutely horrific in this photo -- like a deer caught in the headlights with a shit eating grin on my face)...I stood in shock while my kids played with Stewart Copeland, Alice Cooper, Ann Wilson, and Eddie Vedder...and my god, I had freaking pizza with Eddie Vedder (also have a pic with his arm around me, too, again, too awful for words -- I think I need a chinectomy, i.e., for someone who hovers between a size ten and twelve, I have about seventeen chins in that photo but I know me, one night while knocking back a few, I won't be able to resist posting it)and anyway, it's been back to the real world bigtime for me and I don't like it.

Daughter Julie is happy, though. Her boyfriend Matt is back from his two week adventure in New Mexico though I have to admit, I enjoyed having her to myself. We had some awesome times together (ha ha - as usual, I clobbered her in Scrabble but she's a great player as well so we're thinking of becoming a team and challenging others to play us at Mugshots, a local coffeehouse which has Wednesday night Scrabble tournaments. I'm not bragging, I used to play tournament Scrabble and trust me, no one is going to beat the two of us. I just hope money is involved or at least free coffee!). We also had some incredible meals out, the best of which was dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, Lolita, at 13th and Sansom. It had to be the absolute best Mexican meal I've ever had in my life - I'd eaten there before with a fellow writer, Miriam Kotzin, and was blown away but the dinner I had with Julie was even better. They have a knocked out salad made with green apples, butter fish which has been chargrilled, fancy lettuce, and a dressing which tasted of vanilla beans but very subtle. I can't even describe how amazing it is. It's a BYOB and their big thing is they have these huge pitchers of fresh fruit juices so you bring a big bottle of tequila and enjoy. For dessert we had chocolate tres leches cake - oh my god, and I wonder why I have seventeen chins. Tres Leches cake is three milk cake - so this was chocolate cake soaked in heavy cream, milk, and sweetened condensed milk. They topped it off with homemade whipped cream and rich chocolate chunks. Lolita is now one of my favorite restaurants in Philadelphia.

Eric has so much stuff going on I can't even keep track of it. Gigs with both of his bands, gigs exclusive of his bands, two very interesting gigs at the end of the month I can't announce yet but of course will shortly as soon as they are confirmed; then he leaves for Germany with his father for Zappanale 16 where he'll perform along with the Rock School All-Stars as the festival's headliner doing a night of Pink Floyd and a night of Zappa. I am sooo jealous I'm not going to Germany again but I think it's important for Eric and his dad to go together though it's the first time EVER that Gary will get on a plane because he's terrified to fly. This is a big man who normally is afraid of nothing -- he goes along with the kids on the world's most heinous amusement rides -- when they were younger and he took them I couldn't even go and watch because I'm one of those people who throw up after a trip on the Merry-Go-Round and wouldn't even dream of anything as wild as a Ferris Wheel let alone those roller coasters of death. He is also a man who, when his jeep was stolen and by some weird twist of fate he pulled up next to it at a traffic light, chased the very very scarey criminal through West Philadelphia in his new jeep with no cell phone and no weapon other than his hands. I told Eric he has to take a pic of his dad's face at take-off; I'm imagining a version of "The Scream".

And in other news, we have Live 8 here on Saturday which is literally right down the street from my house. Now if this was the original line-up that I saw in 1985 here, I'd be so excited I wouldn't be able to control myself but the Philadelphia cast is so horrible I doubt I'll even watch it on TV. I mean, we have fucking Josh Groban, Dave Matthews, Bon Jovi, and P. Diddy. Somebody please kill me now. However, I did tell the kids that I'll have an open house here for anyone who wants to stop by for a burger - I'll probably barbecue all day and have all kinds of munchies so you don't have to give the City of Philadelphia $20.00 for a crappy hotdog and warm Pepsi.

Sigh...just thinking about Live Aid 1985 makes me depressed. I was three months pregnant with Julie and in the bathroom every five seconds either throwing up or peeing. First time in my young life back then I went to a rock concert and couldn't get high. Ha. It was the hottest day ever and the promoters got the brilliant idea about midway through the show to turn high powered hoses on everyone. Now I was thrilled, it felt wonderful, but all the people laying out lines of coke on mirrors all around me (hey, it was 1985!) almost had heart attacks and not from the drug. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of dope ruined that day. Oh the humanity! But oh my god, the show. There will never be a line-up in Philadelphia like that again:

Bernard Watson
Joan Baez
The Hooters
The Four Tops
Billy Ocean
Ozzy Osbourne
Run Dmc
Rick Springfield
Crosby Stills and Nash
Judas Priest
Bryan Adams
The Beach Boys
George Thorogood and the Destroyers/Bo Diddley/Albert Collins
Simply Minds
The Pretenders
Santanna and Pat Metheny
Ashford and Simpson and Teddy Pendergrass
Tom Petty
Kenny Logins
The Cars
Neil Young
The Power Station (Robert Palmer's super group)
The Thomson Twins
Eric Clapton
Phil Collins
Plant, Page and Jones
Duran Duran
Patti La Belle
Hall & Oates/Eddie Kendricks/David Ruffin
Mick Jagger and Tina Turner
Bob Dylan/Keith Richard/Ron Wood

Bernard Watson is an interesting story. He showed up at Live Aid with a guitar - he was a local singer/songwriter and said "Put me on stage, please" and so the organizers said, what the fuck, and let him open the show.

That could never happen in today's corporate climate. Our line up is not only an MTV disgrace, how the hell could they exclude Rock School? Rock School has given this city more publicity and fame and our lovely Mayor, who by the way was voted the worst mayor in the entire United States by Time Magazine, doesn't even acknowledge their presence. I mean, if you take the suburban branches into consideration, we have maybe 500 kids from the area who are accomplished rock and rollers, had a documentary made about them which has played all over the country and is now scheduled for international release; made a soundtrack with some of the original Live Aid performers -- kids who play major venues all over the city and have had press everywhere from the New York Times to the London Observer...and they can't get an invitation to play in their own city? Oh well, who cares. Who the fuck wants to play with P-Diddy and Dave Matthews. These kids have played with Stewart Copeland and Eddie Vedder, etc.

But I did read the City is proud to announce that Pepsi has paid them $65,000 for the rights to be the exclusive drink supplier for the concert...
Hey, I just did get some good news. Got an email that a story of mine was accepted for the summer edition of Slow Trains Literary Journal and it will be published this Friday. Yay! I have started really writing again now that all the distractions are over; editing my novel on The Tour which no longer focuses on the tour at all; finishing up the sequel to Three Days in NYC; and simultaneously writing two short stories.

So life is good in that regard. Oh, one funny story about that. I know I'm always moaning that I want to quit my job so I can write full time but in reality, my kids and I have a high life style which we enjoy so unless Hollywood buys Three Days or my new novel gets a huge advance, I'm not quitting my day job anytime soon. Yesterday at work, my boss wasn't in and he called, asking me to look on his desk for a file. I go in his office and see a legal tablet with notes which are obviously for a conversation and something catches my eye. It says "I know you haven't been happy; I've heard you want a break; this is something I have to do; I know it's not fair but I'm taking Theresa on; the two of you can alternate; I know I talked to you about this before and we'll re-evaluate it again next year...etc."

Naturally, this had to do with me. I know there's a paralegal/legal secretary named Theresa who is very, very good and while I thought she was happy in her present job; I know she moves around a lot and her name comes up frequently when the firm with whom we share space is looking for help. So my stomach plummetted, because I have a lot of expenses coming up; I want to redo my upstairs entirely; I have plans to buy french doors for my living room; I have a two week vacation at the beach planned in September; Julie's college tuition which always includes extras for me to pay....oh my god, I went into shock. So I sat at my desk paralyzed for an hour, thinking about my options. Working part-time would be amazing; it would allow me to write and have a consistently clean house. But it would also mean my salary would be cut in half at the worst possible time. Could I afford it? Then I started thinking about how difficult the work is now and if I were making half of my salary, would I still want to deal with it or would I rather just go temp somewhere and make the same money without any stress? Plus, and this is the worst aspect, I've worked at my job for decades and my computer contains a lot of highly personal stuff (well, a lot of my short stories and things I work on during my lunch hour and before work, etc.) and my desk is a mess, also stuffed with my private belongings. It would literally take me two months to clear my hard drive and clean up my "mess". The idea of sharing my workspace with another woman sent my blood running cold.

Anyway, after almost giving myself a stroke, my boss strolls in and I decide to immediately confront him with this so that he couldn't hit me with it first. I notice he covered up the legal tablet with files as soon as he walked in and then got on the phone. I sat there and sweated for another hour until he was free. I walk in his office and blurt out "Is there something you want to tell me?"

He stares at me like I'm crazy.

"Look, Craig, I never snoop on your desk but you sent me in here and I saw the notes on the tablet."

"What tablet, Robin? What are you talking about?"

"The one on your desk under all of those files!"

He digs it out and starts laughing.

"What's so funny?"

"This is about hockey. Theresa is my assistant hockey coach. I am putting her in to share duties with another one of the moms because she has more time and energy."

Oh my god. I was so mortified and worse, I also let him see my fear about being downsized. I let him see it BIG TIME.

I even made him feel my hands, which were like giant frozen ice blocks, and trust me, neither Craig nor I are touchy feely and for me to do that, I was out of my head with paranoia.

Anyway, to his credit, he laughed and ripped the paper up in shreds, saying he talked to the other mom who coaches about Theresa last night; she was upset, and that he was tearing it up because this whole thing already caused him enough angst with her (Craig is really a nice guy; it's not his fault the legal business is so crappy these days) and that he didn't need me upset, too.

So that was yesterday.

But hey, I have a story about to be published in Slow Trains! Hahahahaha - sorry to repeat it again, but Slow Trains Literary Journal is a top tier lit publication and I'm feeling a lot less sorry for myself all of a sudden.