IMPORTANT NEW NOTES FROM JUSTIN:
US Tour Day 178: Leaving Miami
Today I left that opulent, flashy place called South Beach—saying goodbye to the art deco faÁades, the tanned, near–naked bodies, and a dazzling display of electronic music industry professionals from around the world. WMC, the Winter Music Conference, was clearly the best collection of talent and panels I've seen in any music conference. It was hard to leave.
The event brought with it many great opportunities for me. In addition to meeting with Casey Spooner, Princess Superstar, Liza Richardson, Danger Mouse, and other great heros of today's music world, I was able to shoot a mountain of images—many of them really capture the energy of the event. I networked until my hands went numb—frantically taking notes on the name, profession, and important information about every person I had a conversation with. I can't wait to find ways to further their music careers and mine.
But, it wasn't all roses. I lost my wallet, which put me into a panic. I'm not the sort to lose things, so I was hard on myself for being such a dunce. Then there was the time that a drunk girl from Chicago got into a cab holding my photo portfolio. My heart sank as all my contracts, business licenses, and copies of each of my prints disappeared into the night in a yellow taxi. She called the next day to return it to me, but I can't pretend I wasn't worried.
And then there was the call from my mom telling me that my unemployment claim was complete. That means no more money. I would like to say that I remained calm, having full faith that the universe would provide to me as I needed. That would be a lie. I panicked. 3,300 miles from home, the stark reality that I might not be able to afford food in the next few weeks was paralyzing. I was a mess, or, as much of a mess as I've ever been. I must admit my shaky state wasn't made any better by staying up until daybreak every day at private industry parties and chest pounding night clubs.
So, after three all–too–short hours of something like sleep, I dropped off my friend slash entertainment lawyer at the airport and Jen drove me to her house near Fort Lauderdale for a nap.
We weren't greeted with the welcoming arms I'd hoped. Jen's mom has felt taken advantage of by her children, especially Jen. She'd posted invoices all around the house from her fictitious business "Cooper City Hilton: Where you stay to take advantage of mom". Invoices ranged from $200 for the 'dirty sheet suite', Jen's double occupancy bedroom, $90 for insurance, $230 for tuition, and $2000 for transmission repairs. The bottom of each invoice was punctuated as passive aggressively as possible with the words THANK YOU FOR TAKING ADVANTAGE OF ME!
It's safe to say that I don't exactly feel welcome here anymore. Neither does Jen, who spent the next few hours crying in her bed. Jen's mom has never explained what is expected of her kids as members of the family. Feeling helpless and used by three hungry mouths who don't know how to bring anything to the table, she lashes out at them. Their lack of direct communication is really at the heart of the issue. Clear, open dialog would be a strong shot of antibiotics into the infection that sickens their family life.
Enough of my prescriptions for others. It's time to prescribe a dose of actual sleep to myself. I have a lot of work to do when I wake up this afternoon. A great big world of propagating art in this world awaits me!
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