I know, that’s like every show I played from January through April. Which one, Laura, which one? I’m speaking specifically of the show on February 16, 2013 (the one where I made the mistake of wearing tights instead of socks and briefly lost feeling in my left foot while walking from my car). Just so happens I recently received some videos from that night. Wooo! It’s second best to actually having been there!
Second Unitarian (“2U,” as the insiders call it) has an annual Folk Fundraiser, and they graciously invited yours truly to headline this year’s event on a double-bill with the unstoppable Chris Corsale. I’ll tell you what, I’ll sing in a cavernous chapel every chance I can get. The acoustics of such spaces are among my favoritest things ever. Oh, and it didn’t hurt that this specific chapel was full of folks I love, my Chi-town regulars and then some.
Let’s travel back in time to that cold night in February…
Stevie Nicks’ – “Landslide”
February. Winter slows everything down. 2012 turned into 2013 with no shortage of change. At the end of December, my body informed me that it was done. My immune system opened its doors and set up every intruder with a “Welcome Home” t-shirt and gift bag. Over the last eight weeks, I’ve had the flu, a stomach virus, a handful of colds, two ear infections… you name it, I’ve had it. Anyhow, I’m happy to report that I’m doing much better now.
The solution has been shockingly simple. It’s nothing new. It did not come to me in a flash of light. Are you ready for the miracle cure?
Eat well. Sleep when you’re tired.
I know, right?
Let’s be honest. Travel does not make for easy, healthy dining. You grab what you can (er, that might be a few pieces of string cheese and some beef jerky) and head to the next gig. It’s not good. For the record, I will not EVER be taking another road trip without a menu-plan and a prepared list of locations for various Whole Foods/Trader Joes/local natural what-have-yous along my route.
But organic food is expensive, right? Ladies and gentlemen, I am here today to tell you that you do not need to spend a ton of extra money to eat healthy, whole, organic foods. Nope. You just need a brain. Since you’re reading, odds are looking pretty good. I will now break down the process into a series of straight-forward, easy-to-follow steps.
1) Familiarize yourself with standard prices of staple organic products where you shop.
2) Create food budget.
3) Map out simple, healthy meals for the week using items that fit within aforementioned budget.
4) Recognize when you need to make time to cook things in advance.
(This keeps food waste down. “Oh, I meant to use this… cabbage…?” *slime and sadness*)
Once again… I know, right? We can all do this. For ourselves. For the environment.
In defense of Whole Foods, they actually have some great prices on produce. In Chicago, their prices are the same as Jewel, if not lower. And their 365 brand is priced for winning. Winning at not taking all of your money.
A note on Trader Joe’s: If there’s one in your vicinity, for the love of all that is holy, go there. The prices are low and their products couldn’t be more straight-forward. In my experience, their fresh produce is pretty short-lived, but hey. Make a plan. Stick with it. Avoid slime sadness.
“But Laura. I can’t plan organic, simple meals. I don’t know how to cook.” What. You can’t make brown rice? Time to learn. Good, now mix some kale and chicken and garlic in with it. Look at you. You’re cooking. Isn’t your body (your temple!) worth it? Yes. In the meantime, I’ll put together some sample meals for those of you who are blinded with confusion and terror upon being handed a saucepan. It’s okay. We can work through this together.
So first, this happened. 16,000+ views later, uh… well, let’s just say I can cross “Go viral on YouTube” off my bucket list.
In the meantime, man, I’ve been driving a lot. Why don’t I start every blog entry off with that? Sustainability fail, guys. I know. Someone gift me a Prius. Actually, my VW gets about an average of 34mpg on the highway (where I spend most of my time). All in all, not too shabby.
I like my car, and I feel like she’s happy to be carting me around the country. Got her first taste of salt on the way back from New York right after Thanksgiving. Didn’t like that. Would rather be back in the Southwest where her parts can sun-rot rather than rust. Well, good news! I’ve been working on booking AZ and NM for the past day or so. I’ll keep you all posted.
Let’s take a moment to talk about gas efficiency. There are two things I’ve found I can do.
1) Keep cruise control around 60 mph on the highway.
That’s right, I’m driving the station wagon that’s going fogey warp speed. Feel free to pass.
2) Drive as few miles as possible between gigs.
Ideally, each gig would be 65-125 miles apart. Wouldn’t that be lovely? It doesn’t happen. I’m trying, believe me, but you get out into the middle of somewhere (or nowhere) in Illinois and … where am I going to stop? It’s corn and Single Stop Sign Towns for hundreds of miles.
Of course, there are the obvious things we all hopefully learned in Drivers Ed: avoid extended idling, check your tire pressure, keep your engine maintained, accelerate and brake smoothly…
Speaking of brakes, a few nights ago, a Chicago Good Samaritan waved me over to tell me my brake lights weren’t working. Thank goodness I was informed before I was rear-ended, right? I see a car without brake lights as a metaphor for life. Things could change without warning. But goodness, what a ride it’s been on this particular road so far. Anyone have additional gas mileage tips out there? I’m wide open to suggestions.
Some weeks ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore… I went down to Brooklyn and filmed a “Call Me Maybe” parody.
We had missed riding in on that initial tidal wave of horrible (aka awesome?) parodies that occurred in June/July of this summer. But what did we have to lose? Nothing. Certainly not pride. Furthermore, why had this particular version not been done yet? Does no one read classic literature anymore? Is the ratio of AP English students to YouTube filmmakers that unbalanced? Apparently, yes.
I want to clarify that I did not think of this brilliant idea, nor did I write, film, or edit it. It was an Operation: Freedom collaborative effort. Yes, remember the awesome little band I toured with through Kentucky and Tennessee earlier this summer? Here’s a sample of the magic.
My job was to get dressed up in a ridiculous costume and sing like a popstar (which I discovered I can’t do without a strong dose of sarcasm). One boom mic and a copy of Garage Band later, now you all know what I’m capable of. Sony, I’m waiting for your call.
Other things worth mentioning:
1) Poetic license: Taken. The rhyme scheme was too sweet.
(That’s for all of you, “It’s more commonly pronounced ‘ki’ not ‘qway’…” people.)
2) I’m available for birthday parties, weddings, and corporate events.
3) Suspenders come at an extra charge.