Farewell, Carrie-Ann the Caravan

What a weekend! Two-thirds of the Plurals (me and Tommy) were hard at work this Mother’s Day weekend selling plants at McCord’s Farm Market. Mother’s Day is pretty easy for us, since most people are buying hanging baskets with the “she’s going to kill it anyway” attitude. After a haze of two nine-hour shifts that blur together in my head, I booked it to Mac’s for an early show to play guitar with Really Cinematic and drums with Frank & Earnest. Flying down the highway in my shaky flower-shop van at 80mph, I wondered how much longer we’d last. For whatever reason, Carrie-Ann seemed to run better for me at that speed. Mysteries. I was barely still running myself. Tommy intentionally avoided booking any shows during the month of May, and I thank him for that. But I’m still a sucker, and I ALWAYS want to play shows. So there I was at Mac’s. After working in the sun all day, I could barely see a thing in the dark, dingy bar. I had just missed another great set by Johnny Unicorn, and the touring acts were about to start setting up. James and I filled up on some greasy Fish ‘n Chips down the street and headed back in time to catch Busman’s Holiday. I could barely keep any thought straight after an un-nessicarily dramatic few days at work (why do middle-aged women have such a hard time listening to someone that’s “old enough to be their daughter”? Grrrrrr).

The show was running behind as usual, so Really Cinematic played five songs; same old stuff… (we need to write more songs… fuck, we need to practice!) Then,  I jumped back to the drums while Frank and Earnest set up in a mad rush. My worst fears came true with this show. Practice goes over well; the songs are still a little shaky but if I listen to and watch my band mates I’m fine. Anything I screw up I just compensate for with some stupid-awesome drum-fill. But my hands weren’t working with me since my head was barely working itself. On top of that, the other musicians couldn’t very-well communicate with me when they were focused on trying to hear themselves. Back behind everything… I couldn’t hear shit.  I think we were a little spoiled by Seth’s sound-board capabilities—when he was our sound guy, we could actually hear each other and rock out. But unfortunately for us, whoever was running sound Sunday night was new. Very new. Of course everyone said it was an alright show, but that didn’t take away my disappointmet with myself. I know I could have done much better. So we sulked some, and then some more. Sulk, sulk, sulk.

It wasn’t even ten o’clock when we found ourselves back at the GTG house. Johnny was getting the flu, Loren had to get back to Lake-O for a funeral, James and Jessi were fighting, and I had to work at 8:00 a.m. Loren and I managed to stay considerably positive somehow on our ride back to Lake-O in the rickety old caravan. After I had reached Ionia and put my $3.40 in my gas tank, I got a text from Loren that he left his stuff in my van! Hahaha… oh Loren. So after crashing out and returning to work again, I buzzed over to Lake-O on the express way to deliver Loren’s things. On the way back while shaking up to speed on Jordan Lake Road, Carrie-Ann experianced this horrible lurching… and though I had just been going 70mph on my way over, I could no longer reach half that speed! I stopped and added some fluids, but it didn’t help much. It was soon to be over for poor Carrie-Ann, our beloved flower shoppe van.

Allow me to share some history about Carrie-Ann. She came after Amanda, our previous band-van; this enormous, blue ’86 Dodge van, so the Caravan was quite a change. I purchased the caravan from Rick Anothony for only $500 after driving it all over and around Lansing for a year delivering flowers. There was about 260,000 miles on it, lots of rust, but it was a very well-maintained vehical. I left the flower-shop name on it as long as I could, but during my last days at the shoppe, Rick snuck out there and removed his business name and left the roses on it. The Plurals took it to the east coast and back. It got me anywhere and everywhere. She never stalled on us once. Gradually, she began to deteriorate. The back hatch broke, so we had to hold the door open while loading equipment. Then, the side-door (which we always had problems with) decided it wouldn’t open anymore. And more recently when I went to open the driver-side door, it about fell off, leaving the passenger-side door the only practical access. Then came the shaking, and… it was all downhill from there.

I’ve decided that any work on the van will cost more than it’s worth to have it fixed, so I’ll just sell it for parts. Talk to me if you’re interested! Tommy and I made it back to my parents’ house in Portland and were able to borrow a car to get to practice with “Firebrand of the Revolution” since we’re playing with Crooked Sound and the Break-Ups at Magdalena’s Tea House this Saturday. We stayed the night in Portland. Things were fianlly starting to wind down. Something was on the T.V. that showed the date (May 11th) and I thought “holy shit!” and turned to Tommy and said “Happy Anniversary!!” We both laughed really hard about the fact that we totally forgot it was our six-year anniversary. We celebrated with a bottle of honey mead my brother made. It was delicious.

Timmy was nice enough to pick us up and give me a ride to the Scav today. We’re still figuring out what to do about not having a car. It’s all good for now—we have bikes! Plus, Pickle and the Thunderchild are there for us when it comes to shows, at least until Tommy gets his brother’s car in the summer. Tonight we’re having another GTG house show with The Break-Ups, Irwin Vega, Ahmad Naboulsi, Tavo Carbone, and Smallpox and the New Vaccine. Should be pretty alright. I’m making spagetti for the touring bands and whoever else is around (including YOU if you come by around seven o’ clock). Then tomorrow, we’re supposedly playing the Small Planet with Waveburner and Straight From the Fridge. Wonder how that will go…

Can’t wait for GTG Fest!! We’ve been plotting away… it’s gonna be good. Good times all day and night with camping and all. Fuck yeah. Hope to see some people tonight, tomorrow and this weekend! Going to see a mo-ped soon, so if I don’t see you, count on me running you down on my new wheels!!

-Hattie Plural

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