Entry 87, June 11th, 2011, 2:20am (ship time GMT +2)
I had a very, very long day today.
Ate breakfast with a friend at about 7:20 in the morning after only five hours of sleep. I then caught Mike Spiegel on facebook chat for an hour or two (hi Spiegel!) before heading to meditate, practice, and attend rehearsal. The rehearsal went long, but we got off the ship around 1:15 to climb the rock of Gibraltar. Protip: it is a long way to the top . . . many, many stairs. Two hours up and two hours back down.
The view was amazing, though – we could see Africa across the strait, as well the constant passage of freighters back and forth. Massive oil tankers looked like toy boats from our vantage point. There's been talk of a bridge across the strait . . . let me tell you, that would be a BIG bridge. We didn't have time to explore the fortress dug into the stone or the natural caves, but we did see the monkey den. Apparently the rock is home to a large number of monkeys (who would have guessed?), who spend most of their day either lounging around or stealing from tourists. I avoided any loss of personal property, but I saw a couple purses get snatched.
I hurried back to the ship, showered, got paid, played a sound check and did two shows. I was beginning to feel pretty tired at this point, since I'd been up an entire day and had climbed a mountain in my spare time. Before the second show we found out that the orchestra was responsible for playing a jazz set after our gig, covering for the singers' cabaret set in the schooner bar (they'd dropped the ball and hadn't rehearsed anything . . . come on guys, really?). I don't mind playing, but on five hours sleep the chops were starting to get a bit tender (not to mention the brain, the legs, and everything else).
So we threw together a jazz set from 11 to midnight. Right as we were getting ready to finish up, the word filtered down through the ranks that the guests had complained that there were no singers, and so we had to continue playing until the singers could be woken up and provided to the masses (hungry for entertainment, I guess). At about 12:30 the singers showed up, with nothing prepared and not knowing any tunes. They're musical theater types, not jazz singers, but you would think they would know something, right? I mean, we just pulled an hour and a half of music out of nowhere to cover for them and they don't even have one song? Sigh. Vocalists.
Finally “Summertime” was decided upon and happened in D minor. We tried to do another but the singer bailed out after calling the tune and we finished it as an instrumental. At this point we cashed it in after five and a half hours of playing.
So yeah, long day. Gotta get some sleep, we have a meeting with the cruise director tomorrow.