Monthly Archives: November 2011

Ten Ways to Survive the Holidays

1.  Avoid the mall.

2.  Bake pies.

3.  Kiss and cuddle with the windows open.

4.  Drink lots of Champagne.

5.  Repeat above.

6.  Do not stress over gift giving, it’s not what’s important.

7.  Avoid Christmas music.

8.  Watch the good Christmas movies.

9.  When forced to make small talk with people you only see once a year, just pretend to have lost your voice.

10.  Give.  Give as much as you can.

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 4

With this post, I am going to continue with the unspoken romances I had with the world, while being miserable on Van’s Warped Tour in 2010.

Being a merch girl, I had to be the first one up every morning, because in order to get a half way decent spot, you needed to be out there with your tent and gear, ready to go by 8:00am.  This meant I needed to be up by 7:00am every morning in order to get ready and get all of the merch bullshit from the trailer and onto the dolly, only to inevitably cart it through mud and hills for a half a mile.  Needless to say, this got very old very fucking fast.

Every morning, on every stage, a sound check of sorts was routine.  Typically, as I’m sure you know, a sound check involves the actual band, but this obviously cannot happen every morning on Warped, so the sound engineers use a very specific, specially picked song to check the PA systems (thanks Crowe).  The Main Stage obviously has the loudest and best sound.  Every morning, they would play “Same Ol’ Road,” by Dredg.  I’m assuming they used that song because of its dynamic, going from almost no guitar to hugely epic, arms spread open under a waterfall, type progressions.  And every morning, when I would hear that song, I would smile.  Everything got a little bit better.  Everything made a little bit more sense and for a split second, it felt like I could breathe again.

After Warped was over, I found the song on iTunes.  It is the worst piece of shit I have ever heard.  So embarrassing to the point that I considered not mentioning the name of it here.  It made me recognize how hugely important listening to music the proper way is.  Our generation listens to music off of our computers, and have no respect for sound quality.  It’s like watching a movie on your fucking iPhone, it’s almost an insult to the industry.  That song was obviously meant to be listened to with real speakers and was the difference between falling in love and throwing up in my mouth, which is why I included “own a great stereo system” to my Caitlin’s  List of Rules.

Despite the song’s cheesiness and Wal-Mart type rock, hearing it at approximately 9:00 every morning while preparing for another day of hell, did hit an emotional chord with all of us “workers” I think.  I remember when the chorus would begin, I’d sometimes look out at all of the chaos of starting the day, and everyone got quiet and just listened.  Somehow that song united all of us in an unspoken way.  I think because with days filled of such uncertainty and variables and unexpected circumstances, that song was our constant, and it echoed out, louder than the rest.

Another unspoken romance I had, was with Jake Kolatis from The Casualties.  I have never spoken of this until now.  He has the most beautiful, piercing eyes of anyone that I have ever met.  I know you’re about to google image this guy, but you’re not going to see what I saw.  I know this because I just google imaged him as well to see what you all would be seeing.  Trust me when I say, it does not do him justice.  While I will admit that I do have a thing for mohawks, and he has by far, the best mohawk I have ever seen, it was his eyes that made me fall in love with him that summer.

One of the first nights of the tour, we were all out by the buses drinking and hanging out.  My TM (tour manager) Kyle, who I have spoken about in Part 2, was kind of a badass.  He TMed for Less Than Jake, NOFX and a lot of other fairly huge bands within that scene.  Anyway, NOFX had a portable bar, and somehow, Kyle acquired it during the tour, even though NOFX was not on the tour that year, and we kept this portable bar in our trailer.  He, and the TM for Alkaline Trio would bring it out every night and serve drinks to everyone on the tour.  They were smart… they bought cheap alcohol in bulk, then, instead of charging, it was a tip only bar.  So if you tipped five dollars, you got a serious drink.  If you tipped two dollars, you got a vagina amount of alcohol.  I’m digressing.  The point of all of this is, that during one of the first nights that Kyle opened up the bar, Jake and I looked at each other and it was fucking sexy.  I’m not going to lie… I even pulled a, bite my bottom lip move, during one of the eye contacts.

Caitlin Rule:  If done properly, biting your bottom lip = lets fall in love tonight.

I had no idea who he was, and it wasn’t until weeks later that I found out he was a member of The Casualties.  We only actually spoke a few times, and the first time was at a Pub in Denver, where we made the soul crushing eye-contact again, and he walked right up to me and said, “Do a shot with me.”

Fuck yes I’ll do a shot with you.  I love when new guys just tell you what is going down.  My favorite way that I’ve ever been asked out on a date was this kid I ran into on the street, we had a couple of classes together at the time and he said, “Get dinner with me tonight at seven.”  Ummm okay.  It doesn’t seem like I have an option and somehow that was kind of hot.  So Jake telling me I was doing a shot with him, and those being the first words spoken between us, just further confirmed my love for him and we took a shot of whiskey.  We only spoke for a couple of minutes because my crew was leaving, one of them being my boyfriend at the time, so me staying behind to do shots and chat it up with Jake Kolatis would not have blown over so well.  God I’m retarded.  I should have just told my boyfriend that he sucked balls and then bunked up with Jake for the remainder of the tour.  I don’t regret much, but I do regret letting my ex-boyfriend ruin that summer for me.

After that, whenever I would see Jake, he would smile and wink at me, and I would stick my tongue out at him.  Every time.  It was our little secret, unspoken romance.  I liked it that way.  We understood each other and the way things were, without words.  I’ll never forget him.

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Creepy vs. Charismatic

How is it, that some boys can get away with doing the creepiest shit, and it somehow comes off as charming and endearing?  While other guys, can’t even say hello without seeming creepy?

Scenario 1:

In a parking garage, sitting in my car, windows rolled up and talking on the phone.  Creepy factor number one: parking garage.  Boy walks by, smiling at me.  Creepy factor number two: imperishable grin.  He gets in his car which is across from mine, and continues looking at me, then begins attempting to have a sign language/lip-reading exchange.  After hopeless efforts at understanding him, I respond positively to his gesture which is essentially asking me if he can get out of his car and approach mine.  Creepy factor number three: everything about everything I just said.  He approaches and we have a short conversation where he goes on to inform me that he thinks I’m attractive and boldly asks for my number.  Despite everything about this scenario being extremely disturbing, he somehow (how exactly, I am still trying to figure out), managed to make this exchange extremely painless and dare I say, charming and cute.

Scenario 2:

Sitting at a restaurant bar eating some lunch, a man approaches, asking if the seat next to me is taken.  CREEPY!  But why?!  There weren’t many available seats, so it is extremely understandable and humane that he would ask me that, but for whatever reason, my creepy meter shot into the red zone.

How scenario 1 got my number, while scenario 2 barely got eye contact or an audible response from me… I either have an extraordinary creepy meter or a very defective one.

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Dear Bearded Musicians,

Please do not get married.  I ask this of you because inevitably you and I will meet, have an annoyingly profound connection, and we’ll both be sorry about that wedding band around your finger that is now suffocating the both of us.  Thanks!

Love,

Caitlin

Epilogue:  I am cursed with falling in love with every guy I come across with an acoustic guitar, tattoos, a beard and a raspy voice.  That may sound incredibly specific, but I would say at least one out of every four musician’s fall into that category.  Fuck my life.

Like many of my tales, this one starts at a bar.  I wasn’t there for five minutes before I made “The Iron Man Eye-Contact.”  This type of eye-contact is very different from typical flirty, eye-fucking exchanges that are made between you and a hot stranger.  Iron Man Eye-Contact only comes around a handful of times in life, and it’s like when Iron Man is in his helmet, and he targets someone and the red lights start flashing, the two of you are locked in… there’s no going back and all of this information appears about the target.

His name was Pete, and I can’t stop thinking about him.  Jesus Christ.  When I looked at him, it was just like Iron Man’s instant information stream.  I felt like I already knew so much about him and knew we would instantly vibe.  He walked past me, and did one of those unnecessary touching your back things while saying excuse me, even though there is plenty of room to pass without the physical contact.  Okay, done.  I was wet just from that, so I knew I was saying hi to him on his way back over.

Just as expected, we immediately hit it off in a way that made it feel like it was scripted dialogue.  Three minutes into the conversation I find out he’s in a band.  Of course.  Fifteen minutes in I find out he plays guitar in the band.  Of course.  Beard, of course.  Tattoos, of course.  Raspy voice… considering my curse, I would say it’s safe to assume that is another, of course.

Eighteen minutes in and he grabs me by the hand, leading me to a quieter area of the bar.  Wet.  Twenty-five minutes into the conversation, my friends that I drove with are ready to leave, so I’m about to mention that we should meet again, and I see the wedding ring glaring at me, radiating energy as if it’s the friggen ring from Lord of the Rings.  It was a stab to the stomach.  First of all, you’re a touring musician and you’re married?!  What is wrong with you?  Secondly, fuck you and me!  We’re both screwed now because I know you felt it too.  So I said bye and just left.  I’m sure I’ll never see that Pete again, but I know that I’ll forever think that we both probably missed out on something really good.

So, my bearded tattooed guitar playing friends, the moral of the story is:

Do not get married, because with my curse, there is a strong possibility that the two of us will meet and both want to rip out our eyeballs if you are.

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