“What do you do all day?” I get asked this question frequently. To many, my daily routine simply doesn’t add up–no commute, no lunch breaks, no water cooler gossip, no compromised time. How is it, exactly, that Chris fills a day with things no ordinary person would call work, and yet he is classified as a working musician and magically pays rent? Is there something we should know about?
Well, you’re in luck. I’m bringing to you a Day in the Life of Chris Milam to try and clear up the confusion. Actually, I’m bringing you two days in the life: one according to my friends who have no idea what I do all day but would like to guess, and one according to everyone else peripherally involved with my daily business.
With the first, you’ll notice that my friends firmly believe that an artist leads a meager, slovenly existence, and that my schedule is not exempt these stereotypes. Behold The Truth, according to my friends:
1:30 pm: Wake up. Curse whoever invented the alarm clock and whatever drove me to set it.
1:42 pm: Shower. It is Wednesday, after all.
1:48 pm: Fall asleep in the shower.
2:32 pm: Wake up again, dry off, and dress myself in a burlap sack and moth-eaten canvas pants. Stare cravenly at my roommates’ leftover Subway sangwiches.
3:14 pm: Call everyone I know at their office and ask for Carly Mingus.
4:35 pm: Do that again–that was fun.
4:50 pm: Wait for roommates to get home, then start practicing, remembering to sing extra loud.
5:00 pm: Watch the Cosby Show. I am in a good mood.
5:05 pm: Contemplate whether to turn the heat on, as I can’t feel my extremities. Decide to watch Cosby while doing jumping jacks instead.
5:30 pm: Return all of my emails for that day, being sure to make each email sound rushed and impersonal, like I’m really, really busy.
5:37 pm: Take a nap.
7:13 pm: Wake up and read everything available on the internet about football. Wish desperately that I was athletic.
7:46 pm: Take a break from reading on the internet because I can’t actually see anymore. Decide to cook a morsel of boiled chicken for dinner while my roommates go to Ruth’s Chris to celebrate their financial stability.
8:13 pm: Try to work out with some free weights. Pass out from overexertion.
8:53 pm: Wait for roommates to return from dinner to practice again. This time, practice with one of their guitars and “accidentally” break three strings.
9:30 pm: Watch the Cosby show. I am getting irritated.
10:22 pm: Go outside to check the mail and discover that the seasons have changed. It is time to bust out the patchwork quilt I stole from the antique store. Also, rent is due.
10:36 pm: Have myself a good cry.
11:09 pm: Join my friends at a local brewpub, where I stare enviously at their frosty mugs of fermented grain beverages and plates of nachos and chicken wings. One of them reminds me that such items cost money, and that unless we adopt the bartering system, and in that system blank CD-Rs are the new gold, I won’t be purchasing any food or beverage anywhere for several years.
11:58 pm: Call everyone I know and tell them their taste in music sucks. Also, that I miss them.
12:30 am: Watch the Cosby show. I am struggling to keep my composure.
1:03 am: Complain to my friends for a while that things just aren’t going my way. Express to them my frustration with the music business. They remind me that I haven’t seen the sun in two months, and that might be a good starting point. They snicker and give each other a pound. I’m hungry.
1:26 am: Wait for my roommates to fall asleep, then steal a single chip from each of their open bags. Do a little dance in celebration.
2:03 am: Now that I have the house to myself, settle myself on the couch with an airplane blanket and curdled soy milk and read the first twelve pages of Making It in the Music Business, by Some Guy I’ve Never Heard Of.
2:52 am: Do some solid staring at the ceiling.
3:13 am: Try to write a song about my experiences, which quickly puts me to sleep.