March 2008

Australian Jet Lag Makes Surprise Return Engagement, Affords Area Woman Two Hours of Sleep and an Entire Monday Spent Trapped in Willy Wonka’s Hallucinatory Boat Tunnel.

(Sent from my mobile phone.)

Less than two years ago, I swapped the creature comforts of the corporate world for a gamble on a career in the music business. As evidenced by my ample physical proportions, I don’t yet qualify as a ‘starving artist’ — but the sacrifices are real, and they do feel stultifying at times. Tonight my hombre D. took me out for billiards and a hibachi dinner with the express purpose of begging me to keep the faith. D. is himself an epic natural-born storyteller who in his own words has “sold his soul to The Man” for years rather than risk failure as a writer. His sense of regret is palpable. He vows to personally beat me down if I stray from my creative calling. Luckily for me, ‘The Man’ compensates D. pretty well for his soul, because our filet mignon was grilled to tender perfection.

(Sent from my mobile phone.)

I was graciously mailed a sleek maroon-colored iPod Shuffle – an unexpected gift from someone in Canada who likes my music (merci!). Tonight I loaded the gorgeous lil’ gadget up with a bunch of incendiary hip-hop music, clipped it to my black Hello Kitty hoodie and took a chilly nighttime run under the streetlights of my neighborhood,  feeling, as I so yearned to feel, like a modern-day, female version of ROCKY…i.e. all sweaty and awash with productive rage and resilience in the face of crappy odds. (P.S., if you’ve been wondering how best to close that ‘Black Panther anthems’ gap in your WASP-y music collection, consider the work of rapper Paris — ‘The Devil Made Me Do It’ is a rippin’ single from the 90s, and he created an album with a reunited Public Enemy a couple years back).

(Sent from my mobile phone.)

God bless my Australian expat friend Mags for sitting me down at my favorite restaurant, Al Di La, to administer a rather stern lecture about why Australia is NOT in fact Eden. I’ll spare the specifics of her Oz-bashing in deferrence to my Aussie friends, but she raved, rightly, about how New York City offers immense latitude for living, drums up vivid character formations, rewards healthy aggression and ambition. Our chat was a welcome closure to a busy day of reintegration that included a Secret Covers recording session with Byron (U2’s “With or Without You”) and a couple hours of errand-running amidst the awesomely dizzying swirl of humanity found within several blocks of my apartment. I’m back in the saddle, methinks.

(Sent from mobile phone.)

Operation NYC Reintegration progress is sluggish at best. I’m flattened by jet lag. Another sun-blocking and unimaginative building his risen outside my front door while I was in Australia. I’m missing Australia’s warmth and vivid colors and unrelenting lushness. And the people, who stumble around in a sunbaked stupor saying ‘cheers’ and ‘epic’ and ‘massive’ and ‘mate’ and ‘g’day.’ I can feel my brain and body being forcibly tapped back into the big grey electrical grid of New York City. Waking from one dream into another.

(Sent from my mobile phone.)

Almost 24 hours of travel from Australia, followed by a bleary sliver of awake time at my apartment before bed. A lavendar bath in my own tub. Staring at my own dog. It’s chilly here, the furnace is crackling in the walls.

(Sent from my mobile phone.)

A final swim in the hotel pool with the Harbour Bridge in sight. I’m going back to New York. I never like leaving Australia. I’ll be back in the Summer.

Crept around to various spots in the hilly harbour surrounds, listening to the swirl of sounds from the countless varieties of human labour unfolding all around – boat and crane motors humming, glasses clinking onto tables being set for the first round of customers, all clattering amidst the vast sorta hum that emanates from large bodies of water. The din was punctured only by the screeching of all sorts of birds and bats that don’t exist in America. Birds have alot to say over here. I stared back at the Sydney Opera House from hundreds of often-startling angles afforded by the wharves, the canon-strewn slopes below the bridge overpass, the bright green hilltops in the botanical gardens. I wrote a bit throughout the day, but mostly tuned in and wondered alot.

Australia’s four-day Easter weekend holiday is almost over, as is my time in Australia. It’s Monday, but I have That Sunday Feeling.

I stayed up in the mountains at Andrew and Michelle’s gorgeous home and was awakened by the sound of cows on Easter morning. Andrew has turned me onto the underground surf culture in Brooklyn which I’m eager to explore. I flew back to Sydney later in the morning.

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