USA Tour Diary 2011-It Feels Like I Got A Splinter Up My Thumbnail, Oh Wait I Did.


Day 2 of tour

I wake up early to move Jeff’s car before we leave for Rochester. When I reach for my socks my thumb brushes up against the coffee table and I get a long splinter up my fingernail. AAAAAAAAAAA. The pain. I rush to the bathroom and try and pull it out. I only manage to break off the tip. “AAAAAAAA, ow, ow, ow” Oh my fucking god, this is un-real. My mom comes into the bathroom with some tweezers and quickly pulls out the splinter. What a mom! A real “Pro” - mom. Man. I take a couple advil. It hurts like hell. I run downstairs to move the car.

(This is my thumb on Nov 16th)

Thirty minutes later I drive to pick up Nan, our keyboard player. Jeff is still packing so I have time to go to the pickle store and get a tub of my favorite pickled tomatoes.

On Essex Street I pull up behind a cop car, then change lanes and pass him on the right. His lights go on and two cops pull me over.

“License and registration.”

“It’s my brother’s car, but I have it somewhere”

After some fumbling I give him the insurance and registration

“Where you going?”

“uh, sort of to pick up my brother, but first to the pickle store”

He looks at my Oregon license.

“First time in NY?”

“No, I grew up down the block from here”

“Ok, I’m going to go run your name through my computer”

He goes to go do that. He returns.

“What is 63 Ave A?”

“It’s my parents address”

“Computer says you have a non-driver ID”

“Yeah, I did, but I lost it a few years ago”

“Sir can you step out of the car.”


“Are you on drugs you’re acting a little weird, did you just wake up?”

“I just woke up not long ago” (my shoes are untied)

“Are you on drugs?”


“Do you take drugs, are there drugs in the car?”


“You don’t take drugs?”


“your eyes are dilated. I’ve been doing this a lot of years. I bet if we had you tested you, you’d test positive for something, but I’m not going to do that”

“I did just get a big splinter up my thumbnail, and I took 2 Advil.” I show him the band-aid on my thumb.

“Let me see your hands”

My hands are always shaky, so they shake.

“Ok turn them over”

I flip my hands

“Sir, you have burn marks on your finger tips”

“I play bass-guitar, those are calluses”

“Ok, I’m sure you’re on something, but you can go”

“Ok, thanks, umm, why did you pull us over?”

He’s walking back to his cop car

“Your middle brake-light is out”

Nan and I check the brake-lights, nothing seems broken.

Days later I feel almost ok being hassled since I am white. Equal opportunity harassment.

We drive to Rochester. In Rochester I get to hang out with my old friend Ahndraya and her husband Greg.

It’s really nice to be able to spend some time with them. I have seen Ahndraya very sporadically since we graduated from college 10 years ago. I did just see them the weekend before at Lily’s wedding in Kansas City. Just a nice coincidence that I get to see them again. Dray has a meeting so Greg shows me around Rochester. He takes me to some really amazing hidden-urban areas. I learn Kodak was started here by George Eastman, who eventually committed suicide. Greg tells me he left a note which said: "My work is done. Why wait?"

Greg shows me the Genesee brewery and two amazing waterfalls, high falls and low falls. I wish I had time and a tour-guide to see cool stuff in every city.

I have more of these pictures on Facebook here:


I dig it.

MMM's picture

Burn marks?

"Here to do great things."