Thursday, July 19, 2007

Busy Making Music, Seeing Doctors.

I haven't posted a lot in the past few days because Amy and I have been writing more songs. I don't know if I've announced it yet, but we're writing a new musical revue about New York City. I've even got a title for it, but I'm going to hold the title in secret for now until the piece is done. But my plan is to get four of the best cabaret artists in New York together on a stage, give them this material and let them go at it.

I'm particularly excited about the song we finished yesterday. Jim said, "This is among the best songs you've ever written." Once again, Amy Lynn has come through with an absolutely beautiful lyric and I feel so lucky to be her "mentor." But I think sometimes she's the one mentoring me. She is outracing me like mad with her propensity for sharp, incisive, witty and, finally, touching lyrics.

Each morning, after she gives me a new lyric, we get on Google Chat (since she's still back in New York) and start taking it apart line by line after I've set some music to it. The thing is that she's such a fast writer, I can barely keep up with her. And this is good!

Meanwhile, I've been seeing my parade of doctors. Dr. Ruchi, my beautiful endocrinologist says that my cholesterol and triglycerides are sky high again. So, I have to buckle down and get to the streets again. I've been lax in exercising. I admit it. And the ship food hasn't helped a bit. I'm afraid I helped myself to the ship's french fries at the grill. Yes, I know. Bad boy. But, oh well. Sometimes you just gotta live.

Dr. Tony, my regular physician, is mostly happy with me. My t-cells are at 480. Viral load is undetectable, so the Atripla he started me on is still working, though I'm still having these phantasmagoric dreams. A friend of mine who is also on Atripla asked me the other day, "Do these things ever stop?" They totally wear him out and make it difficult for him to function during the day. They wear me out, too, sometimes. But you just get used to it. Fortunately, I love dreaming.

A couple of weeks ago, on the ship, I was in the cabin when suddenly my mom and dad were there. And I knew that that was impossible since my mom suffers from terrible motion sickness. Then it occurred to me that I was dreaming. So, I said hi to them, announced that I was dreaming them and asked them if they knew how to wake up from a dream. I'm not even sure why I wanted to wake up. Probably just because I knew I was dreaming. So, I started slapping my face. Nope. Didn't work. Pinching myself. Nope. Finally, I said to myself, "Oh, well. I guess I'll wake up eventually." And I did.

It's the Sustiva that's a part of the Atripla that does it. (Atripla is three AIDS drugs combined into one tablet).

I also saw my old pal, Lynn Keller, the other day. Lynn is one of the best bass players in the business. Tiny, red-headed and full of fire, she can handle charts and play with the best of them. Lynn played on my original "Living in the Bonus Round" CD. She remembered playing out with me in concert when "Living in the Bonus Round" was a series of concerts back before "The Last Session" was even a show. This was 11 years ago. We have barely seen each other since. She told me of playing on Diana Ross' tour and, recently, she played the national tour of "Little Shop."

On Friday, I'm going to see her play with my old friend Bob Malone here in town. I can't wait. In fact, I sneaked into Bob's rehearsal at The Alley here in North Hollywood right after having tea with Lynn. I opened the door and just stared at him, waiting for him to recognize me. Bob tours constantly with his New Orleans style barrel house songs. When he came to L.A. many years ago from Jersey, I was the first person he played his songs for. It's a joke with us now, but back then, I told him he was a great musician and songwriter, but had to stop wearing "mall clothes."

See, in L.A., it's all about fashion!

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