Washington, D.C. – “The Week of Determination” – The Iota – June 3, 1999

Yesterday, as we made our way into Washington D.C., I was struck by how lonely I feel in cities. It’s a peculiar loneliness, one that suggests being without myself rather than simply without others. As we circled the drain of exits leading into the city, I reflected on the transient nature of our experience out here and the unsettling nature of this nomadic existence.

I called Kipp from the hotel room, desperate for some company after the rest of the band left for dinner. I was thirsty for reassurance I was out here doing the right thing and not just spinning my wheels. The last few weeks have been rough. It’s nearly impossible to convince myself I’m elevating my career when I’m advertised under a 25¢ beer sign, hosting a bikini contest between my sets, chipping my teeth on bouncy plywood stages, and getting heckled to play James Taylor songs by drunken frat boys. It’s depressing. Kipp’s voice was a balm of warm sunshine. I caught him on his cell phone over at our friend Stu’s place in Boulder.

“The relationship book says you were born in the ‘Week of Determination,’” he said. “I’m not worried about your career one bit. Even when you get all weird and self-conscious and stuff, because you’re so damned determined!” “…And cute,” I heard Stu pipe in from the background. “And cute,” Kipp repeated. “I’d come to see you even if you had nothing to back it up,” called Stu. “Your insecurities stand absolutely NO chance against your spirit. You’re much too good and strong for your fears to stand a chance,” said Kipp.

I felt like Popeye post-spinach. Kipp saved me from drowning in the sewer of my thoughts, and I went to sleep affirming his wonderful words to myself, “I am determined. I am strong. My fears don’t stand a chance against my spirit.” Thank you, beloved Kipp.

When I woke up, the sun was shining. It chased away the cobwebs of yesterday’s self-doubt.

The Iota was across the street from a Whole Foods Market, and while the rest of the band unloaded the van I stole away to restock our dwindling supply of Reid’s Ginger Beer (which, frankly, I cannot live without!!!!).

When I entered the dark venue, arms full of green bottles, our promoter was confused and pouring over our contract with Delucchi. He’d intended for us to headline the show “…with special guest Lisa Cerbone” (a local act) but we’d accepted an opening slots payment. While willing to headline, we didn’t love the idea of only getting paid $100 for a 90-minute set. We decided to draw straws with Lisa for the headline act and ended up, happily, opening for her at 9:30.

It’s amazing how vastly my emotional weather pattern can fluctuate from day to day out here. I mustn’t forget this tomorrow when I’m certain to arise with a freshly baked batch of fear and uncertainty.

“I am determined. I am strong. My fears don’t stand a chance against my spirit.”

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