Grammys, hypotheticals, etc
What I would have worn, among other things, to my first Grammy ceremonies
The Grammys are today, my loves. And I am nominated for one, alongside my dearest friend/queen Becca Stevens, for my work on her brilliant song, “Slow Burn.”
That… is intense. And exciting. And particularly odd as we enter into year two of weird end times. My new album came out this past Friday (thank you for all the love!! Buying the CD is very helpful for us, and you can do it here!! Etc!!). It speaks on these end times to the extent of its title, “When Did The World Start Ending? (Live at Levon Helm Studios). I might talk about it more next week when there aren’t, you know, life altering circumstances happening that day.
Do you remember when the world started ending? I really do find myself searching and grappling for the shift. It’s the part in me that needs to rationalize, to find a cause and a solution. There isn’t one here, as we’ve all painfully learned. So the new question that has been eating at me this week (It is what it is! I’m Jewish! We do this! We question! Always!) is: What would today have looked like if the world hadn’t ended?
I probably would have worn vintage to the ceremony. First, I would have gone through the ringer weighing options. I would have called trusted friends, pretended I cared about brands instead of thrift, tried to find a designer who makes dresses for women who actually have breasts. This would have led me down the usual rabbit hole of disappointment and depression until I ultimately called my family over at Amarcord in Brooklyn. Like always, they’d have the perfect thing.
I would have obsessed, obsessed, obsessed over my curls. Called Mona Baltazar to see if she would help. This would require a flight to LA, and I doubt Mona would be down to leave her goddess daughter Malaya (oh, Malaya! If you know, you know!), so I would hope I’d fall into Shai Amiel’s hands. Shai is very busy. In this hypothetical, we’re gonna say/pray that he has a second to work with me.
(And I can do that, because this is my dream non-ended-world, okay?)
I’d fly United to Los Angeles. Window seat. José, I hope, would be with me, heroically taking the middle seat per usual. Taking off, I’d look out the window and feel the same glee I feel every time a plane takes off. Upon landing, I’d remember the great relief I used to feel seeing those palm trees while I lived there. When I left LA, with many of what I thought were key relationships in complete disarray, I remember wondering if the two years spent there were a waste.
(You know what I did first upon landing back in New York, by the way? Called my old friend Becca Stevens and cowrote the song we’re nominated for today.)
(So… that answers that, past t.)
Back to future t’s hypotheticals. First thing I’d do upon landing in LA would not be business. It would be lunch at Sqirl. Because I have my priorities straight. Sorrel rice bowl. Extra egg.
I’d get a bunch of shiny invitations to LA Grammy parties. I’d feel a pull to go, forgetting as I often do that I am horrendous at parties, especially when there are unspoken social agendas behind said gatherings.
José would remind me of this. We’d book dinner at a great place instead.
And then, I don’t know. We’d get to go to the Grammys. It would be my second official red carpet. The first one was with José for his role in 50 Shades Darker. Amarcord dressed me that time, too, in vintage Moschino. I felt like a movie star. In all the Getty images write ups we were listed as “José James and guest.”
Talia Billig / Taali this time, thx v much.
Because this time, I’m nominated for a Grammy.
Nominated for a Grammy in 2021, a weird half hopeful half barren wasteland of confusion.
I know we’re all playing out these kinds of timelines in our head. Skeletons of alternate realities. Dress or not, I’m so grateful to be nominated. It hits me at weird times and I feel little 7 year old t in absolute ecstasy at this realized dream. But the facts remain the facts - I am also typing to you in a pink hoodie, hair in a messy bun, a lukewarm cup of coffee next to me. I think I’ve worn this same pair of leggings every day this week.
It’s 2021. I have no plans. The show begins at 2 am my time. I thought, maybe, about dressing up. This remains to be seen, due to my aforementioned new predilection for leisurewear. Either way, we’ll make steak just like we would have in LA. Because steak is non negotiable. I might bake a lemon tart from a recipe my dear nana sent over to me. If anyone knows lemon tarts, it’s that goddess. Keep you posted.
In the meanwhile, José has made part of my skeletal alternate reality happen. I’m sorry. That wasn’t dramatic enough of a sentence for what has happened. José has made my literal dreams come true, by making. the. sqirl. sorrel. rice. bowl. at. HOME.
So Grammy day is going pretty well, actually. It may just be the homemade rice bowl talking, but I’m completely certain this is happening exactly as it should. I’m in a very real sweatpants/lukewarm coffee space today that I likely wouldn’t have been in otherwise for my first Grammy nomination. I feel deep love for Becca Stevens’ brilliance, friendship and art. I’m so grateful that she included me in the gorgeous album currently up for said nomination. I hope we win, and I also don’t feel too much pressure about it. There won’t be a red carpet or a place to be biting my nails and pretending I don’t care too much. There will be a Sqirl lunch and steak dinner.
Monday morning, I’ll wake up and do the same routine I do every morning. Glass of water. Gratitude list while I make coffee. Morning pages. Meditation. Dream work.
And then I’ll get back to work on this new album and running Rainbow Blonde, because Grammy or not, that’s what I do. But hey, if you’re in America and watching, I’d appreciate your cheers and/or Grammy-win-dances! Fingers crossed, and see you next week.
ps: if you’re new here/not a subscriber, we do these every week. I’d love for you to join the community, and you can do so via this fancee button below.