JUST ANOTHER DAY
This is my first installation writing for Yoji Nagasawa-san's internet magazine, Nagasawa Magazine (www.nagasawamagazine.com). Nakagawa-san and I worked together through the introduction of coordinator and mutual friend, Keiko Ohashi (Cyber Soul), on several magazines for which he interviewed me, as well as my conducting the interviews. On one of the interviews, I was able to introduce various spots I find charming around the area I live in the North Fork of Long Island, an area known for its wineries, farmlands with its roadside farm stands (of which there are many that are organic), beaches, etc.
Being that I live out in the booneys as it might, I wasn't sure what I could write that could compare to those who live in the metropolis of Tokyo, New York, and other urban cities that scream of excitement, but this is my life (which is more of a subtle whisper, and I thought I'd start off by introducing a day in the life of Monday Michiru.
Welcome to January 18, 2013!
This morning, I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to help my son get ready (breakfast was homemade organic banana and almond bread, vanilla yoghurt, and organic apple, with Mariage Freres' Eros tea, a present from engineer Dave Darlington's wife, Kayo) and drive him to school for his band practice where he is currently playing percussions (he is taking a sabbatical from his beloved trumpet studies while he endures two years of braces). Back home, my male German Shepherd Sky insists on attention as we go through a moaning duet (Sky from his cushion-bed: "(moan)," me from the couch: "(responding moan)"," Sky: "(persistent moan)," me "(moaning again)," and on it goes) until I finally relent for a long petting session. Note to self as I washed my hands afterwards: He is badly in need of a bath.
I spend the next hour transferring the mailing list from my website to an outside mailing system (Mail Chimp), inputting the email addresses and names one by one; the Mail Chimp system can transfer mailing lists from Microsoft software, but apparently not from the lowly Mac (really, this computer incompatibility issue is getting SO old...). This is a tedious project I have been working on, off and on, for two weeks, and is nearly complete; the next phase is to try and work out how the Mail Chimp system actually works so I can send out the cool graphic newsletters my other artist friends have been sending me using the same service, something that has baffled me since I first signed on two years ago and couldn't figure it out even with their "Boot Camp lessons." Apparently my technical mind is not as sharp as a chimp's.
Going through my emails, there are tons which needs immediate attention. One is from guitarist Robin Macatangay who will be playing with me in a duet format for NHK's program, El Mundo, which we'll be taping on February 13th at Celsius Restaurant in Battery Park (lower Manhattan), airing on February 14th in Japan; we need to sort out the sound equipment. Next is from Nengah Krisnarini (Sister Duke) from Jakarta, Indonesia about my potential guest feature with her band for the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta this coming March which I'm performing in as well with my band; apparently Jakarta is in a state of turmoil due to severe flooding. It reminds me to hunt down contact information for saxophonist Kenny Garrett (who I've known since the late '80s) as well as singer Gregory Porter, both who are also headlining the festival, to see if they would agree to be surprise guests for my stage.
I send an email to mutual friends of both Garrett and Porter, then find Gregory Porter's Facebook page and send him a message; hopefully he won't think I'm some random strange stalker. I see an email from my manager in Japan, Nyoro, who is working out details for not only the festival, but also the days following where I am to do more campaigning and taking pictures for Indonesian make-up brand, PAC, which I am currently under a two year contract with as their "brand ambassador."
I'm trying to bring my husband, trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, as a last minute add on to my band after conflicting dates of his fell through from an Italy tour; unfortunately we'll have to wait out the flood until business in Indonesia can resume again for a definitive answer. I now have to contend with a nervous and pouting husband who wants badly to go to Indonesia with me (and I could certainly use him, as he is a world class jazz trumpeter!). Make-up/hair artist and photographer (and friend!) Takashi Matsuzaki has sent over a large file of one of the shots from my Soulception album (released last summer from Adventure Music) which I forward to NHK as a potential artist shot for their website. There's an email from the babysitter we use for Nikita and our dogs saying she can't watch him during the time I'm in Jakarta (great, who can I get...). And on it goes.
As the morning chips away, I decide I should give up on the seemingly endless emails and, after throwing a load of laundry in the washer, take a bath (to combat all the viruses floating around), and slather on my creams (currently I'm using Martha Tilaar Lab's Biokos Derma Bright intensive brightening serum and day cream for the face, and body lotion from their Dewi Sri Spa line). Settling into my office/music room, I conducted a Skype meeting with film maker and educator Jun Oshima who proposes his idea to make a documentary about me, which I'm super flattered by. We discuss my upcoming projects, potential filming subjects and availability before biding each other farewell. A little blog writing ensues
Lunch is eggs (sunny side up), turkey bacon and a spring mix, roasted tomato and avocado salad with vinaigrette. Another load of laundry, and then more discussions and explanations with the nervous husband about what's going on in Indonesia and his chances of coming with me, which drains me to no end. Taking my fresh brewed green tea (Itoen's sencha/genmai/matcha blend) back into my work room, I do my daily vocal exercises while browsing Facebook and dust the shelves at the same time; one has to double task, you know.
At some point, there's a phone call with my step-father, Lew Tabackin, coordinating the dinner time with our family on the following Sunday before hubby performs with the Jeff Tain Watts Band at the Jazz Standard and Lew performs at the Blue Note for a tribute to Benny Goodman, and also to see if he might have a contact for Kenny Garrett, but he advises to let the festival organizers deal with everything; I tend to agree. My cut off time to work is 3:15 p.m. when Nikita comes home from school. The day has escaped again and I haven't had an opportunity to work on writing music nor getting the charts together to send to my band members for the upcoming Long Island "Jazz on the Vine" performance next month. Darn!
3:45pm and we're on the road to Nikita's godfather and hubby's long time friend, multi-instrumentalist Sergei Gurbeloshvili's house who we haven't seen in too long, stopping by nearby Tanger Outlet to Saks Fifth Off to pick up a present for their daughter's newborn; for Sergei we've brought an Apple TV unit, and for his wife Lilia a Le Crueset water pitcher and champagne. We get to their house by 5:15 p.m. and, after their surprise and comments over Nikita's growth and voice changes and the usual initial chit chat, we're seated at their dining table and served a wonderful meal prepared by Lilia. Although I've been off alcohol and sugar for the last 4 days in preparation for my upcoming photo shoots, I decide to break down for a little Italian red in honor of the evening. By the time we get home at 9:00 p.m., the dogs are desperate for food; Nikita scurries away to the haven of his computer play world. I decide to break down further from my "no alcohol" rule and crack open the Ramazzotti Amaro digestive to share with hubby; we end up having 3 shots each. So much for the no alcohol rule. The night ends with hubby watching the Australian Open and me in a comfortable fuzzy high (but remembering to do my business with flossing the teeth after brushing and putting on proper night moisturizer for the night!). Last note to self as I fade out: I want an electric blanket for our bed to combat these cold winter evenings…