i am sitting on the starboard
of your only way
back home


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Jana Pochop
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Sunday, January 24, 2010


Oh yeah, this whole blog thing I've been doing for 3 years. I haven't forgotten! 2010 has been interesting to say the least. Some life things just require that you take some time off from your own self-imposed pressures and that is what I am doing. But I am back, blogging, and things are reaching full steam ahead momentum again. And I learned "Happy Birthday" on the ukelele for Susan. Happy Birthday, Boss!

The gigs are starting to pick up with me as merch girl/tour manager/merch manager/tour monkey/whatever...I need an encompassing title. Monkey fits, as long as people think kindly of monkeys. This weekend I opened for Susan in Austin (it's been a while since I played my own town, weird), and Susan played an awesome house concert in Kerrville last night. Here we are with our host, Paula, after the show when we had already put on our cold weather hoodies and I had donned my drive-home-hat, haha.

As for the rest of 2010, which I deem really starts in February because January never counts, there promises to be tons of good stuff happening. If I can keep all my plates spinning at once, that is.

- I'm going to be booking a couple more artists, starting soon, and I'll say more soon. That makes me a "booking agent." That means I am closer to actually "paying bills" reliably haha.

- My long-time co-conspirator Josh and I are finishing up some projects under our newly founded 20Something Media company; our first physical release of a documentary made by Josh comes soon!

- Susan's tour schedule is filling...first up out of state is Folk Alliance in Memphis and Nashville in February. I'm excited about New York in March and Virginia in April, too...still working on those dates.

- MY OWN RECORD, yeah that one, is getting there! Dan and I will get some background vocals by the fabulous Katie this week and mix away. It's sounding good. It's sounding like growth, which is what I asked for.

So there it is...much happening. I didn't chart this path for myself when I moved to Texas, but I love everything about it so far. Forward motion breeds opportunity. Perseverance breeds success.

Happy to be blogging.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Rules of Engagement: Road Food

Boiled Peanuts!
From Georgia. I did not eat these.

Time to blog about something silly but not silly at all. Feeding oneself is a topic everyone thinks about at least 3 times a day, probably more. After a year and a half of having many meals away from home and often purchased in 12-minute gas stops, I thought I'd expound upon some of the more obvious trends I've noted being (I know it's cliche) "on the road."

You have to move fast. Sometimes we have the luxury of a few hours to spare before a show, sometimes our butts are clenched to get there on time. Either way, you're not wanting to hang out at the Pilot Truck Stop along I-35 any longer than you have to, so there are steps. You walk in, and you immediately assess, "DO THEY HAVE REAL FOOD?" Sometimes you luck out and there's a deli with actual warm food that hasn't been sitting there for 6 hours. Go there first. Choose quickly. Check the lettuce, make sure it's not brown. Be thankful you are eating greens that day.

Fast food costs more at a truck stop. Usually a food and gas stop is combined, and there's not time to get gas and then drive somewhere and get food. Hence, it is handy if there is a Subway or something at the truck stop. However, be prepared to pay at least a dollar more than you would normally, and be prepared to wait. For some reason I find those gas station/fast food combo places take forever. And I tap my foot. And I get annoyed.

Alternatively, there is no deli and you're not up for fried potato products from Arby's, so then what? Some truck stops have a "health food section" which means energy bars and trail mix. Go there first. But trail mix is caloric, so don't get a giant bag. Finding Clif Bars or Luna Bars is like manna, and I actually feel the whole grains coursing through my body. Sometimes it's a Cheerios cereal bar, and I feel the high fructose corn syrup in my veins. But tasty HFCS it is.

SOMETIMES...you're without a deli, not desiring a Whopper, and there's no hippie granola bars in sight (this has happened to me in the southern states and in Wyoming, I don't know why). I have been known to pick up a Lunchable. I know. People are cringing. I get the "adult lunchable" which contains a duller package design, so that I don't feel like a 3rd grader when I check out. Sometimes the protein and minimal carb intake is worth it, even though it is a product with a name that actually means, "Able to be Lunched."

However, not surprisingly, that's not an option either sometimes. That's when I go for the juice products. Liquid dinner is better than oily grease in a bag dinner. Check the bottle and pray there's more fruit than sugar in it. I prefer grapefruit. I love it if they have Odwalla Juice. Odwallas are super rare. If you find an Odwalla in a cold case there's a Clif Bar section not far, and possibly organic pretzels,and probably hemp necklaces at the checkout counter. Rejoice. If not, go for pulp. Fiber is key when you will eat bar food later.

Experiment occasionally but not all the time. Go with what you know. We have seen every incarnation of every candy bar ever, covered in the white chocolate, dark chocolate, key lime flavored, cherry/strawberry/orange/cheesy/flaming/giant/purple/BBQ/aerodynamic. WE BOUGHT GIANT CHEETOS THAT TURNED OUR TONGUES BLUE. In Hot Springs, Arkansas. I remember that day well.

GROSSEST THING: Deep fried peanuts in shells with Cajun Flavoring. What's not to love? I like peanuts, I like Cajuns, I like fried foods. But a peanut shell is like sawdust, and if you deep fry sawdust, you're still eating sawdust. We were in Georgia or Alabama or something. Seemed like a good idea, until the next stop when I threw them out. Susan wouldn't even eat one whole one. Tsk.

In reality, we eat pretty well on the road. Between the kindness of our hosts and a lot of venues that serve good stuff, we do all right. But sometimes, you have to eat at a 7-11, and the faster you can triage the situation, get out, and get on the road...the faster you'll get to the next bathroom stop. And that's all there is to it.

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