Category Archives: Music

Older than Jesus

Well, I turned 34 on Sunday. That was nice. I made the most amazingly-colored cake for myself and spent the day just hanging out. It was very relaxing.

However, I am now older than Jesus, if you subscribe to that mythology. Interesting thought. I was going to make a list of famous people I have managed to outlive (because I’m weird like that) but… who has time? Not me, that’s for sure. I’m too busy chasing Jillian, doing voodoo chants in the garden, and playing Tetris.

I know I’ve been neglecting you, dearest blog, and I do apologize. So much is going on, but not all of it is blog-worthy. I think I’m interesting, but I’m not sure you folks really want to hear about how the laundry refuses to fold itself and how I did the taxes this morning. Right? We’d probably all laugh a lot more about the Wii Fit calling me ‘obese’ and how I need to get my knee x-rayed before I can start running again but first I’m going to the hand surgeon to talk about my tendonitis.

That should be interesting. I’ve had tendonitis in both of my wrists for pretty much as long as I can remember. I did address it with a previous doctor but her advice was “rest your wrists for six months and it should go away.”



How is that even possible in this day and age? IT’S NOT. And even if I wasn’t on the computer 23 hours a day, I still knit and play Tetris. And SOMEDAY I’d like to get back to music, which means fingers flying over the keys of the saxophone (and the flute, and the clarinet [which, where IS my clarinet, anyway?], and the guitar and someday maybe I’ll even get a piano!), and I cannot even fathom what that will be like because I no longer have any kind of embouchure whatsoever which is sad and depressing but can be remedied if I have any skills left at all which I doubt.


Wouldn’t it be hilarious to start taking saxophone lessons again? HAHAHA, I can’t even fathom what that would be like. And it’s not really necessary, anyway – I just need to start practicing again.

So, for my birthday, I asked Freddie to buy me sessions with a personal trainer. My motivation is such that I think I need someone to kick my ass for me or else I won’t do the necessary to get in shape. And boy oh boy, do I need to get back in shape. Once the results of my knee x-rays are obtained, I’ll have a better idea of what I’m capable of/allowed to do and will progress from there.

Speaking of Jesus, I am performing my own miracles in the backyard. Freddie built me two garden boxes that we filled with a huge load of topsoil (they each hold about 1600 pounds of topsoil) and then I put seeds in! If we’re lucky (and dude, we are so NOT, since it’s 40 degrees and rainy today), we’ll get lettuce! And spinach! And scallions! And… cucumbers, maybe. I don’t follow directions and I don’t really plan ahead so we’ll see if anything at all manages to grow out there. A month from now will be the start of Tomatopalooza 2009, and I’m hoping for success with that.

My garden makes me God. It’s a nice feeling.

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Yes, I’ve been neglecting the blog. It’s an occupational hazard, I think. There just isn’t all that much to write about. This isn’t to say that life is boring (it is), because it’s not (no, it really is). It’s just that… well, I mellowed out a bit, I think. And when I’m not angry about something, I don’t need to write.

Who knew happiness would lead to writer’s block?

Things are good. I did just drop $400 getting the refrigerator’s motor replaced, which was making me unhappy. Then I called the cable company about my wonky internet connection and spent a day raging about that…. how boring. Fridge is fixed, cable is fixed, life is fine.

Jillian is officially a Big Girl. She has been in her Big Girl bed since shortly before the new year started. And while I do miss the Baby Cage and the bonus hour of sleeping we would get in the morning, it’s nice to wake up to toddler morning breath right in my face. Sometimes she pokes my eyes and says “Mama’s eyes open! It’s morning!” Yes, it’s morning, but only in the sense that 5AM is after midnight. Sigh.

We still haven’t made much progress with potty training. Please do not call it ‘toilet learning’ because that phrase makes me want to punch you in the face. With my foot. It’s potty training, dammit. And we’re not doing it. We had a couple of weeks when it was The Thing To Do, but now? Not so much. I’m in no rush, and like everything else the kid has figured out how to do, she’ll wake up one day and decide to pee in the potty and that will be that.

Jillian is growing much too fast. Her language skills have exploded, along with her imagination. Her new favorite thing in the whole wide world is the movie Toy Story, so we watch that approximately 32 times a day. While it’s on, we draw pictures of Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody, and Jillian uses her blocks to build action figures of her own. It’s very cute, and because we do all of these other things, I don’t worry too much about the fact that the movie is on repeat pretty much all day.

Of course, that’s not EVERY day here. We have been getting outside to stomp around the neighborhood. Lately it’s been very chilly so we haven’t been out as much as we’d like to be, but most days we bundle up and head out. Jillian is a big fan of snow and her one true heart’s desire is to make a snowman, but we haven’t had enough snow to do that this season. Me? I detest snow. Freddie thinks he’s going to get us all to go skiing either this season or next but he is obviously deranged.

The knitting is going well – I finally figured out socks! I made a pair each for my mom and dad, and I’m currently working on a pair for myself made from Harry Potter-inspired yarn from Opal. I am totally in love with this yarn and when I manage to get pictures, I’ll put some here because it’s amazing stuff. Once these socks are done, I’m not sure what my next project will me. I may make a shawl for Jillian, since I usually have mine on and she wants “a cape like Mama has.” And then… I don’t know. Jillian is getting to a size where she’s not considered a baby anymore but she’s not yet a kid, so the knitting patterns for this size of person are few and far between. Plus I haven’t been looking that hard. Girlfriend does love her hats, so perhaps I’ll make a bunch of them for her.

As for me, I am trying really hard to get into an exercise groove and stick with it. I managed to acquire a Wii Fit, whom I have named Harold. Harold tells me I’m obese, which is laughable but… not terribly far from reality. Ooops. Shut up, it’s baby weight! Yes, she’s two and a half years old. I said shut up.

I’m trying to hit the gym at least 2 times a week. I wish it were more, but the schedule doesn’t really allow. I have a treadmill which I use fairly regularly, so…. it’s a slow process. I feel good about it, though, which is a huge difference from before. I know I won’t ever have the body I had when I was 17 (I tried to sell my soul but couldn’t find a buyer), but I can at least be a little less fluffy, eh?

Oh, and Phish decided to go on tour this summer so I am anxiously checking the credit-card statement to see if I got tickets yet.

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Virginia is for lovers

…of PHISH!

Hampton Coliseum, March 6-8, 2009. Will we be there? The odds are not in favor, but… we shall try.



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Awhile back, my most excellent blogfriend Ms. Prufrock alerted me to the fact that James, my 2nd mostest favoritest band in the whole wide world (behind U2, duh) was touring.

And was going to be in New Jersey.

My head exploded a little bit, because I am reallyreallyreally out of the loop with regard to popular culture and music and what’s going on in the world outside my window. It’s an occupational hazard, I think.

Unfortunately, or so I thought, James was appearing at The Stone Pony, which is a tiny tiny tiny TINY little room of a place down the shore. I figured there was no way I was ever going to get tickets, since my ticket karma is not usually good. And though James isn’t nearly as well-known as they were in 1994 when Laid came out, I figured there would be enough fans to fill the place.

I demanded that my family leave me alone on the morning the tickets went on sale so I could focus all of my considerable mental energy on Ticketmaster. It worked, and tickets were mine.

Then I had to wait. Nearly three months. [taps foot.]

But then, oh. Then.

Yesterday happened.

Freddie and I left The Jillian in the [mostly] capable hands of my mom, brother, and sister-in-law and we headed down the shore. We had a lovely dinner at a pub, then made our way over to the beach, where we parked the car, tried really hard to break the parking meter, and got in line to go inside.

We managed to snag two barstools with an awesome view and that’s where we stayed. I could have wiggled my way up closer to the stage, but we were only about 20 feet away as it was, with the added bonus of a bartender, so… that’s where we stayed.

I sent Ms. Prufrock an email from Freddie’s BlackBerry, because she’s the only person I know who would truly understand. Other people kind of get it, because we all have something we love, but Ms. P knows. Which is why I adore her.

The opening band came out and played for a half-hour, mercifully. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t particularly great, either. I’m sure they’ll be some huge giant force in the next five years and I’ll be able to say I saw them way back when, but… meh.

Twenty minutes later, my life became totally complete. The only thing that would top seeing James at The Stone Pony would be if the guys in The Smiths decide they don’t want to kill each other anymore and they get back together. That’s the ONLY thing.

I’m a rather blackhearted cynic most of the time, and I don’t gush about too many things, but music is the closest I will ever get to religion, and seeing one of the bands I have loved for most of my life, on a stage not 20 feet from me, is the closest I will get to church, I think.

It was a good thing. A very good thing.

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I don’t know what to say about this

RIP Leroi Moore.

About thirteen and a half years ago, I was as low as I had ever been. I’d had a nervous breakdown of sorts and found myself 2,500 miles away from home living with someone I completely loathed.

Those were hard and lonely days. I was working two jobs so I didn’t have to be home and so that I would be so tired at the end of the day that I would just fall into a quick and dreamless sleep. Dark days, indeed.

I had a couple of friends from work, so it wasn’t all bad. One of those friends invited me out to a show and even though I hadn’t really heard of the band except for That One Song On The Radio All The Time (remember this was 1994-1995 and the Internet was something that we were just getting used to), I decided to go.

The Dave Matthews Band saved my life. Not in a literal way, since I’m rather fond of myself and never a suicide risk, but in a very real way nonetheless. Their music gave me a way to get out of myself, away from my own head.

Shortly after that show, I started figuring out how to get home. That sucked – it was hard, it required quite a bit of humiliation and begging on my part, but I got home and started putting my life back together. It didn’t happen overnight and I stumbled along the way (a lot), but I had a soundtrack.

Toward the end of the 90’s, DMB got a bit too big for their britches and started to suck. I was disappointed, but by then Freddie and I were spending a lot of extra time and spare cash chasing Phish around the Northeast, so I didn’t miss DMB as much. Besides, all the music they put out after “Before These Crowded Streets” was putrid and horrible, so no big loss, right?

I read in an interview awhile back that Dave Matthews agrees with me. It remains to be seen if he and his band do anything about it.

RIP, Leroi. The show will go on, but it won’t be the same.

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Weird iPod Juxtapositions, an ongoing series

From ABBA’s “Waterloo” to Jane’s Addiction’s “Three Days.” I don’t know if I’m in the mood to bust out my shiny gold leisure suit or shave my head.

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No, seriously.

If I didn’t have wicked tendonitis in both wrists, I would be doing cartwheels for real. As it is, I have James on the iPod and Jillian and I are dancing around the house.

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The happiest girl in the world

My lovely blog-friend Summer just sent me an email telling me that James is finally releasing their new album (which I already have, thanks to Summer’s fabulousness and the magick of Teh Internets) in the states with a tour to follow. And they’re opening for Squeeze at Radio City! OMG!

Even better – they’re playing the Stone Pony the next night! For $20! The Stone Pony is roughly the size of my living room, and to see James there… I might die. I may have already died from sheer happiness at this news.

This past month has been so awful in so many ways. So to hear this, and have something to look forward to… well… it’s just the best thing ever. I am going to have an excellent day.

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Jarring iPod Juxtapositioning

From Bob Marley to Culture Club: For a good four minutes, you’re bouncing away reggae-style, with thoughts of tropical islands and you start to wonder if maybe you could get some weed since the weekend is coming up and all, then wil no warning at all, you’re thrown into the early-80’s club scene and thinking really hard about mascara and blow.

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