Laundry And Bourbon

A lot of wishful thinking…
A lot of wishful thinking…
Oh, you know, I’m just not feeling all that bloggish lately. I’ve been advised to blog more but I just can’t seem to summon interesting blog fare out of the air. Some people can write about anything but I’m not sure what I’m even doing sitting in front of the computer right now.

Okay. Over that hurdle…

A writer friend of mine once described songwriting as ‘sticking your finger down your throat and trying to make yourself throw up’. Nice. He was a staff writer for a big publishing company in Toronto and frankly, his songs were formulaic and kinda sucked, but hey. If my songs ever sound like sonic vomit … I guess I should quit while I’m ahead here. Some of that 80’s production is pretty poopy.

Jann Arden blogs every other day. I really enjoy her writing and humor, but oh man, the sheer luxury of having time. You just don’t have a clue about that when you are single and childless and gallivanting around the world. Had I known, I would have written volumes back then. Warren Zevon once said that when you buy a novel, what you are really buying is the idea that you will actually have the time to read it. Well, we have two libraries full of books, so I guess that’s a lot of wishful thinking. At least I’ll never get bored when I’m old. Just boring.

Jett is really sick right now. Poor little bear. He’s got wrecking balls of snot flying out of his nose when he sneezes and has been coughing with this terrible croup. He sounds like Marge Simpson. Tonight I tricked him into drinking a cold medicine/juice mixture in the ‘grown up’ Winnie the Pooh Cup (the one with the straw attached) that belongs to his big sister. He fell for it immediately. Now he’s snoring like a trucker. At least somebody is getting a decent sleep around here.

The laundry is piling up again. Never in my life did I imagine that I would ever do this much laundry. To all you moms out there, yeah, yeah, I know I’m preaching to the choir … but seriously, it’s endless.

Dreaming of the laundromat.
Dreaming of the laundromat.
Many years ago, when I first started gigging, I had this argument with my first manager over laundry. Specifically, that one needs a day off once in a while to do it. Back then we were on the infamous dumpy hotel circuit. Monday to Saturday, usually four sets, and I made a whopping $100 dollars a week. I traveled with my sleeping bag, because you never knew for sure if the sheets got washed at all, or who’d last slept in them. My hot plate, because on $100 dollars a week, eating out was not an option. My flip flops, because the communal shower at the end of the hall was usually so scary, you never knew what might be growing under your feet in there. Cardboard and gaff tape, for taping up broken windows in your hotel room to keep the cold out. No kidding. Sundays were usually off, but he’d have us driving 12 hours to the next dumpy hotel gig in the next town. On this particular occasion we were near Sarnia, Ontario, and he phoned Saturday afternoon to let us know that the next gig was just past Montreal. I totally lost it on him. The past week’s conditions were extraordinarily bad and I just couldn’t stomach the idea of an 11 hour drive with a suitcase full of sweaty clothes. Pretty sad when you are actually dreaming of going to the Laundromat. In the end, the drive took 16 hours because we hit a wicked snowstorm. The place was locked up when we finally arrived at 3am, and we had to rouse the hotel owner from his sleep. He was surprised because he said the gig had been cancelled for two weeks. Huh? Annulé – got that. His English wasn’t too good, and his robe was sort of flopping open, so it was all a bit uncomfortable. The rooms were indescribably disgusting, with dirty mattresses on the floor and NO BEDDING WHATSOEVER. I snarled “Can we at least have some flipping sheets?” He laughed. My French isn’t great, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t say ‘waterbeds’. Then he insinuated he was doing us a favour by letting us crash there for the night. After all, we were just a motley bunch of travelers who had shown up at his joint in the middle of a blizzard looking for shelter. I had a fifth of bourbon saved for a special occasion, or an emergency such as this. I chugged it so I could fall asleep at Amityville Hotel.

The next morning, I had a monster hangover, no clean socks, no gas money and no job. Ah, yes, we can laugh about it now … well, not really.

God wants me to do more laundry.
God wants me to do more laundry.
A decade later, I was staying at five-star hotels in Münich and Paris and having my dirty laundry picked up, washed and delivered back to my room by 4pm. It was sweet. You just had to fill out a little list itemizing the contents of your laundry bag. I was always paranoid that my underwear would go missing and some hotel clerk would be running around telling all his buddies he had Lee Aaron’s undies. Hey, could happen….

These days, with little ones, I do – I don’t know – maybe ten loads of laundry a week. Except when I’m out of town, when our (very) part-time nanny does it. I used to do about 300 shows a year, now I do about 20. You do the math. That’s a lot of dirty laundry. Sometimes I try to think of it as payback for all the fun I had for so many years. That my soul is further sanctified with every load I do. God wants me to do more laundry. Then I tell myself that’s a bunch of crap. I just hate laundry. What I really need to do is some ironing. Because there’s only one thing in this world I hate more than laundry … then I’d be getting into heaven for sure.

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One comment on “Laundry And Bourbon” …

  1. Oh Karen, it’s so nice to have grown up with you! lol
    Just as your music has evolved (and even remained current) over the years watching you age and mature as person and woman has been just as enjoyable and funny. My wife and I (same age as you) have been fans of you for so many years, we try to catch you when you’re around the area. You let us take a nice pic with you after one of your shows a couple years back. Ever the professional!
    Love your new release and really enjoyed that vid for Tomboy. Lee Aaron in a video with … her kid??!! whoda thunkit back then? lol But it’s great! Aside from the ultimate gift to a child, it really shows where you are as a person these days, and THAT is what song writing is about. Keep it coming. Actually looking forward to my seventies to see what the Metal Queen has to write about then! “Grandchild of Metal Queen”? Who knows? 😉

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