How’s it going? Just checking in. Are we holding up? Don’t buckle. Strap in. Stay awake. Have some coffee, but not too much, it will turn on you.
I think I’m feeling physically better for those of you who are keeping up with the nuance of the occasional updates about my tummy. I think a lot of what I was feeling was just the stress of converging on the end of a tour and the end of America as we know it. Work and awful paradigm shifts are stressful on their own. When they are happening simultaneously in full force it’s hard not to feel them on a cellular level even if you aren’t aware of the toll they are talking. Need those reprieves and that’s up to you.
I’ve been a few places since we last talked. I was in NYC doing some GLOW promotion. It was pretty crazy. Press junkets are hardcore. A lot of talking. A lot of repetition. A lot of energy keeping up the old charm and excitement while talking to about fifty different press outlets in a day. It was good though. It was nice to hang out with Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin and feel the excitement of people about the show.
After NYC, me and Brendan McDonald took the train down to DC. Yeah, where it’s all going down, and by down, I mean down. Train travel is relaxing once you get on the train. Converging to get onto the train is harrowing. Waiting at Penn Station, looking at the big board for your track number to drop, sprinting for the gate with hundreds of people, scrambling to get a seat and then holding that seat. After all that, it’s nice. I did splurge for first class Amtrak tickets this time which made that process a bit easier but I still felt a panic. If you don’t travel by train all the time it’s a little hard to know what to do in a crowded station because it all happens so quickly. We went down there to do an interview. No, not with that guy, with another guy. You’ll see.
Then Brendan went back up to NYC and I went to Philly to do the penultimate (yeah, I just used that word) show of the tour. It was at the Merriam Theatre and it was great. I brought Nate Bargatze with me again because he consistently makes me laugh. It’s fun. Laughing. We got in a late night roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone. The next morning, we went back down to DC for the last show of the ‘Too Real Tour’ at the Warner Theatre.
I was nervous to go to DC. I hadn’t been there since the thing happened. I didn’t know if the ‘carnage’ discussed in the inaugural speech would be apparent. I didn’t know if DC wouldn’t feel like the capital of the United States now that someone is leading it who has no desire to unite us and in fact does the opposite. Was I going to feel estranged from my country in its main hub? I can feel that at home.
I was surprised and excited that I didn’t. DC was full of all kinds of people. Diverse. Engaged. Doing things. Taking it in. I don’t know why, it gave me hope. Or, at the very least, a fleeting good feeling. What is going on in the buildings there, the ones that still have employees in them, is the opposite of hope. Craven legislators systematically destroying hope with new laws, deregulation and political malice. Not good. I always like going to DC though. I still feel great to be an American walking around there. Weird. Dumb, maybe. Naïve.
It is different now looking at the White House. I’ve been there a lot with different parties occupying the buildings. This is the first time I looked at it with perverse fascination and apprehension. Morbid curiosity. "Is he in there? What’s he doing in there?" I pictured and felt the chaotic energy of irresponsible, erratic fits of power and abuse. It was haunting. The White House looked haunted. It was a bit sad.
My sold out last show at The Warner Theater was fucking awesome though. What a way to end it. In that town, all full of the beans and the spirit of fighting the good fight and cats and stuff. Great crowd. Great night.
Great shows this week. Today I talk to Joel Hodgson. The calm mad genius who created Mystery Science Theater 3000. I also talk to Jonah Ray today about some stuff. On Thursday, former pro-wrestler AJ Mendez-Brooks talks wrestling and dealing with mental illness. Also on Thursday, I spend a bit of time with our old friend Fred Stoller. He’s a little worked up.