Hi friends! I’ve been noticeably absent from the cyber-world of late because I’m thinking that my computer might be one of the contributors to my insomnia problem. I kept it off for a while in hopes that the lack of lights and electrical whirring might help me sleep better. I found on the Rush University Medical Center’s website that:
“Americans are a sleepy bunch and laptops, texting, video games and iPods could be to blame. The 2011 Sleep in America poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation finds 43% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights. And almost everyone surveyed, 95%, uses some type of electronics like a television, computer, video game or cell phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed.”
Keep in mind, Rush University may be one of those places that you can send like $50 and get a diploma in the mail, but I don’t think so. I mean, I’ve never heard of them, but then again, I play music and majored in social science, so I’ve never done any real research into medical schools. However, staying off of my computer for a while has not helped the insomnia problem (in any noticeable way at least), so maybe it is one of those buy-your-diploma-online schools? I’m sure that after posting this, I’ll get a strongly worded email from a Rush graduate who is the world’s top researcher in something really important to set me straight. The truth is though, that I welcome those kinds of things because:
1) Nobody likes to be the guy who’s out there spreading rumors—especially if they’re false and hurtful like, “that school is one where you buy your diploma online.”
2) Although at this point, I might have peaked out in academic endeavors and will probably never go to medical school, it’s always good to know about the famous ones when you play Trivial Pursuit. My brother-in-law is the only guy who’s ever beaten me at that game. He did it pretty brutally with a question on the Church of Scientology. So now, I’m a sponge for any kind of fact that I might be able to use against him one day.
[Side note: Rush University Hospital was named in US News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals of 2011.” Just so that I seriously don’t get any strongly worded emails from Rush grads—I’m totally kidding and I don’t believe that you can buy a diploma online from this school. But even if you could, I saw The Ciderhouse Rules and I know full well that sometimes the best doctors are the guys who didn’t even go to medical school, but just studied under Michael Caine and then got a fake diploma.]
All of that to say, I’m back.
I may not sleep, but I’m back.
The plus side is that it’s not just me (Sarah Mac) that’s back, Charlie’s back, too!! From Cambodia, that is… safe and sound (just in case you were worrying like Claire and I were—or at least I was). Poor Charlie, he came back and only had four days to recover before he was back out on the road in the mini-van. But as we tend to remind ourselves when we get to the end of our ropes and are too tired to go on, “This is living the dream, baby.” (You have to include the “baby” part, or it isn’t legit.)
Charlie was in Asia for his birthday, so Claire and I missed it. We decided that in order to celebrate it, we would take him to the Allman Brothers Band Museum in Macon on our way up to Atlanta. It was a bit out of our way, so we had to figure out a plan to keep the surprise a secret, without his questioning our sudden exit from the freeway. We decided to tell him that I had found a specialty boutique in Macon that sold the perfume that I want—this part is true. I do want this perfume and it’s not readily available online, so you have to stalk our the boutiques that sell it in big cities and pick up a bottle while you’re passing through. Had it been me, I would’ve said, “Seriously?!? You cannot convince me that there is a place in Macon Georgia that carries this perfume.” But Charlie’s a boy (just to clarify) and he totally doesn’t pay attention to that kind of stuff. So, he agreed to make a quick pit stop in Macon for me to buy my perfume.
I’ll just need to note here for God and everyone that Charlie was irritated and stressed by the whole thing. We had to leave town in time to get to the museum before they closed, but we told him that we had to be at the boutique before they closed because they wouldn’t be open on the day that we’d be driving back by Macon. I didn’t catch Hell like I expected for being a high maintenance girl, but it was still sort of tense for a bit. Charlie, man, you gotta trust sometimes that Claire and I know what we’re doing. Or at least, think we do.
Charlie often says of himself that he walks a fine line between focused and clueless. This was one of the times that he left the line and do-not-pass-go jumped face first into “clueless.” Either that, or Claire and I were particularly convincing in our lies (in which case the CIA should recruit us because we’d probably make a heck of a lot more money lying for them than we do lying for the Sarah Mac Band). When he asked what the name of the boutique was (because we actually passed it the first time), Claire looked him straight in the eyes and said, “The Big House.” I was sweating it hard core, because I knew that we had just been found out. Not so! He then proceeded to drive down the street looking for a sign advertising, “The Big House.”
“That’s a weird name for a fancy store, Sarah.”
We parked, we walked up the finely manicured sidewalk past the signs that pointed in different directions: bathroom, the Fillmore, Jacksonville, etc. and into the museum. Charlie was on the phone though, so he was distracted. Even after he walked in, he wasn’t really paying attention and Claire had to walk him through the steps to realize where he was:
Claire: “Look over there, What is that?”
Charlie: “What? Oh that? That’s a guitar.”
Claire: “Now why would there be a guitar in place that sells perfume.”
Charlie: “I don’t know. I was just wondering that.”
Claire: “Hey dude, look around. Do you know where you are?”
Charlie:”No, what is this place?”
Claire: “Dude!! It’s the Allman Brothers Museum. Happy birthday.”
Charlie: “What? What are you talking about? My birthday was last week when I was in Cambodia.”
We had some very enthusiastic guides who took us on a little tour and showed us everything—“so-and-so wore this shirt in 1964 and it still has the original sweat stains…” all the way to “this was the gold record that they got for….” Charlie was in heaven looking at all of the memorabilia because he’s a super-hard-core Allman Brothers fan. In fact, he learned to play guitar by listening to and emulating Allman Brothers records in his basement as a teenager. I was in heaven because of the phenomenal bathrooms at the place. I actually took pictures because I decided that if the Sarah Mac Band ever gets a band house, we’ll definitely model our bathrooms on these claiming homage to Charlie’s heroes.
Atlanta is always a strange trip for us. We have yet to really find our place in that city—which is sad for me because I love a good trip up there for the restaurants, shopping, and our great friends (Plus, they actually do have boutiques in there that carry my perfume.). Although we tend to have trouble in Atlanta, the outskirts are always good to us. We stopped in Zebulon, GA and had a remarkable show at A Novel Experience. In spite of blowing up our PA (because anyone who has seen us live knows that we rock twelve times harder than the average metal band), we had a great evening and made some wonderful connections.
The next night, we were supposed to play at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta, but we got bumped for a Jennifer Lopez movie shoot. Not kidding—J-Lo has officially been added to the running list of Sarah Mac Band inside jokes/jokes on us that are still really funny. Stayed tuned for a future cover of “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.”
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I’m not so sure what big picture, eternal purpose the J-Lo bump might have served. But the immediate consequence, or benefit as it turned out to be, was that we found a restaurant that would let us play for their dinner crowd. There’s a little part of me that says, “Wow, I’ve been at this for almost ten years just to play at a restaurant in a suburb of Atlanta? Maybe I should consider retiring.” But, I was determined to have a good attitude and an open heart, which was the right choice as the evening ended up being really fun. Plus, we made some new fans AND we got to eat at my favorite Atlanta restaurant for free!
This is the hippest, coolest, newest thing. I don’t really know much about it except that because I’m a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), I got an invitation to join. If I take any cues from how excited Claire and Charlie are about it, I think that it might be the next biggest thing since Jesus. So, we’re going to be making fun play lists each week to share with you guys. Stay tuned and stalk our Facebook page because, I think that’s where we’ll post them.
While Charlie was out of town, I didn’t really have anything to do, so I went on the road with Grant Peeples and the Peeples Republik Band as the requisite girl backup singer (everybody has one these days). Check out some photos below as well as a live track, “The Hanging,” recorded straight from the board at Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta.