Jill "xtingu" Knapp

Traveling musician. Singer. Road warrior in bursts. Dork. Easy to spot. Gauche eyeshadow fan. Unreasonably happy.

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Just got back from NJ. 

Sadly, they postponed Mom's surgery again... when they were prepping her for the surgery at the hospital on Wednesday morning at 6AM (*gulp!*), she had a mini-heart attack (her AFib went nuts and her heart rate shot to 170) so they stopped what they were doing immediately.  They had only gotten as far as inserting her IV and she has no fear of needles or anything, so they don't know what caused it (plus she was totally chill going into surgery), but we suspect it was because they told her not to take ANYTHING (not even meds) by mouth the morning of surgery, so she didn't take her heart medication. 

This is now the 3rd time her knee surgery was canceled. So we're really disappointed... but better safe than sorry. Per the hospital's orders, we went to her cardiologist immediately from the hospital who gave her a monitor to wear and also did a meds adjustment, hopefully she can try for a 4th time soon.  Man. 

Her cardiologist was really irritated that she wasn't allowed to take her heart medication that morning with a tiny sip of water, but that's what you get when you only see one doctor at a time, I guess.

I don't think she realizes how unhealthy she is... rampant diabetes, emphysema, COPD, congestive heart failure, AFib, blah blah blah... an anesthesiologist would be crazy to try to put her out.  Hell, when she had her hysterectomy they gave her an epidural because they knew it was too dangerous to knock her out, and that was 6 years ago when she was healthier. 

Anyhoo, we wound up staying in NJ for the full duration even though she didn't get chopped up... I could tell my dad just kinda needed us there.  

When we were in the waiting room on the morning of surgery and the nurse came out to tell us there were complications, Dad was pretty much trying to wrap his head around Mom dying. It was awful. 

(I'm too tired now as it's 2:54am, but remind me to tell you about Jerry.)

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What a strange tease. Hoping for progress.
For realz. Thanks, beb.
I'm sorry this is such a roller coaster for you.
That it is. I feel like it's so common for people in their late 40s/early 50s to go through this with their parents... I wish there was a simple solution. Alas.
Damn. I hope this improves and quickly. All of you have more than earned a respite from this.

How is she feeling now?
She's more disappointed than anything else. She's just in so much pain as she tries to move... yet somehow she remains agile enough to pop out for a cigarette every hour or so. So y'know.

But we're hoping she gets another chance soon.
"agile enough to pop out for a cigarette every hour or so"
Okay, you know what? As a person who just accidentally sneezed a Nicorette lozenge across the from (not for the first time), and my process of coping with the Nicotine Demon can be measured in Hunter's height, that makes me mad. True, I've been the person who could lift up a couch to find out if there were a nicotine source under it.

It makes me particularly mad because Vince's dad was/is a lifelong smoker, yet every single time he gets hospitalized, he is offered and refuses nicotine patches, because he says that he wants to deal with it on his own. So he spends hospital stays not only coping with whatever put him there, but also weaning himself off of nicotine.

Her consumption is going to affect whatever meds she's on, especially heart meds. She can ask for nicotine support: gum, patches, whatever. Argh. I'll shut up now. You don't need that shit. Sorry.
Ennnnhhhhhhuuggghhh. What a pain for everyone.
It is indeeeeeeedy.
Unbelievable.
I have had similar things happen, but with blood tests, i.e., "you said this was fasting blood work," "yes, but we meant you should take your thyroid meds."

How incredibly frustrating.

who's jerry?
I wonder what it would take to get all of her doctors in one room to duke out a care plan in person, where they all heard what the others were recommending. That would be really cool.

Jerry was another patient in the waiting room with us that day. I've got a half-written post about him that I need to finish.
 

Hi!

We are back from Burning Man and had a lovely time and are very excited to go again next year.  Lots to report, and a full writeup will likely be coming soonish.

But in the meantime... I have not had a chance to read OPW since right before we left... Say August 24th or so.  I will start reading what y'all wrote and getting caught up... but if I missed anything huge while we were gone, please lemme know!  :)


We are en route to my folks' house today where we'll be until Saturday morning. My mom is having knee surgery tomorrow-- she was supposed to have it done before Burning Man but when she showed up to the surgi-center the morning of her surgery, the anesthesiologist said, "I had no idea you had emphysema and AFib and COPD and all these other risk factors... I don't have the equipment to keep you alive here. We have to reschedule you so we can operate in a real hospital and not an outpatient surgi-center like this."  So tomorrow's the day. I'm praying she gets the relief she's been needing, poor thing.

We then have a wedding to attend Saturday afternoon back here in DE.  We fly to Arizona a few days later on Wednesday the 19th for a week to help my friend Jeff figure his life and house out since his wife (and my good friend) Debbie passed away last month... man. 

I've got a bunch of work travel scheduled between now and early December, so when it rains, it pours travel-wise.

Ok, imma get crackin'.

Hope everyone's rockin' in the free-ish world.


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Holy sh!t. I hadn’t heard about Debbie! What happened?!
It's a long-ish story, but basically she had a mental health breakdown (we do not know the trigger), and despite getting her every possible help money could buy, she drank herself and pilled herself to death. I can give you the full scoop when I see you. It's devastating.
Oh man. I'm so sorry.
1. Welcome home. I saw some photos of BM and it looked friggin' amazing.
2. Best wishes to your mom; I hope the surgery goes well, she recovers quickly, and it improves her quality of life.
3. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your friend. I know Jeff will deeply appreciate your visit.
Thanks so much!

They canceled her surgery yet again (complications during surgery prep-- see my next entry), but here's hoping for the 4th time being a charm...
Hey, congrats on getting another burn in the books. Thanks for the temple delivery service, Talley appreciated it.
Sorry to hear about your friend. Someone much wiser than me once said that living is a process of accumulating scars until you die. Losing friends is one of those scarring processes, but it doesn't make it easier.
I hope your mom's mutant healing factor let's her pull through this knee surgery with aplomb.
Catch you sometime between now and next year!
Welcome back, bebe. *smooch*
Karen 9/12
So much. Very sorry about your friend.
How did I ever miss this song? Heather from 11th Grade, if you're out there, you would have loved this.
Karen 7m
 

Hi, all!

It's been forever since I've posted here, though I have about 98734 drafts just none of them finished.  I'll summarize the last month with a listo:

  • Beatlefest (wow, a month ago) was one of the most musically satisfying things I've ever done, tribute-wise.  The band Joe hired was full of some of the best musicians I've had the pleasure to work with here. Everyone has extensive musical training and reads music like a motherfucker... you needed those skills if you were gonna get through 215 songs... yet they also had rock chops so we knew how to feel an ending that just fades out on the record.  There were times we had 40 musicians on stage which includes string a section, a horn section... we also had musicians who specialized in Indian instruments.  There was one instrument that pretty much nobody in north America plays called a Dilruba, so we flew my dear friend Stefan in from Arizona to approximate the part using a hurdy gurdy.  Stefan was the real MVP.  We have dates for Beatlefest 2019 already, and FINALLY the City of Wilmingon sees this as the lucrative, exciting thing that it is and will be putting their marketing hype behind it next year, making Beatlefest a destination with hotel deals and stuff.  It was nice that we sold out the last 3 nights of the six-night run, and we all made a really nice chunk of change. (This is unusual for these tribute shows... usually we make a few hundred bucks, but this was quite nice, especially considering that we'd been rehearsing since January.)
  • Through the hype of Beatlefest, I didn't really notice how anemic I was getting... adrenaline is a hell of a chemical.  The following week we had Hot Breakfast's 8th Annnual Summer Blowout at the Bellefonte Cafe (which was sold out 3 days before the event-- yay!) and I kinda noticed I was having a hard time singing medium-length phrases, but again, I just pushed it aside because adrenaline.
  • The thing with anemia (or at least my anemia-- my hematologists insists I'm weird for this) is that I'm able to hit "snooze" on the Iron Alarm when there are more pressing things in front of me... so Beatlefest, Hot Breakfast show... caring for my Mom for a week... being in NJ for Sunnyvale rehearsals... and then BAM, I was almost dead. 
  • So yeah... I put myself in the hospital for 5 days because I got too damn anemic.  That was last week.  I was gonna go for iron anyway because I would never go to Burning Man without being freshly ironed-up... but still.  Damn.   It also turns out that there's a manufacturer's shortage of my usual iron preparation, Iron Dextran, which is normally a 6-hour infusion when I'm not so low I'm a fuckface, so I had to do a 5-day infusion of this other formulation anyway.  
  • SO!  BURNING MAN!  After a 7-year hiatus, we are headed back to The Thing In The Desert. We leave for the airport in a few hours, and we'll be in Reno getting supplies tomorrow (Friday), and then Saturday we will head out to the playa.  We have Early Access Passes which normally I don't really care about, but with the city having 70,000 people in it, I'm happy to get out a day early so we can beat some of the line at the gate.  We will be there (assuming all goes well) until Labor Day Monday. We'll head back to Reno on Labor Day, clean the car on Tuesday, and then fly home early on Wednesday the 5th.  So we will be totally incommunicado from Saturday August 25 - Monday September 3rd.  Yes, I know that Katy Perry updates her Instagram from the playa and that there is scant wifi if you look hard enough, but I am not going to do that. The phone stays in the car, which stays locked for a week.
  • Matt is very excited to be heading back out there, too... this will be his 2nd burn, and my 8th.  I'm a little worried about his anxiety, but we have a nice, newish trailer, so if he gets squoodgy, we can just hang there where it's comfy.
  • We were in NJ for a week (before my iron infusion) and my dad was out to breakfast and my mom fell.  It was a huge deal, and Matt and I managed to get her back up after her being on the floor for 90-ish minutes.  I wrote a long OPW post about it, but haven't posted it yet because I didn't finish it. But she was trapped on the floor and it was awful, and she was basically suffocating because she didn't have her oxygen.  More on this later.
  • My mom's mobility is seriously hindered and her body has basically told her to fuck off.  Her biggest pain is her knee, and she's not allowed to take any pain medication (not even Advil or other NSAIDS) because of all the other medications she's on.  My mom was supposed to have her knee fixed on Monday at a surgicenter, but once she got there, the anesthesiologist was like "Um, your heart is A-Fib, your lungs don't work from emphysema, you need supplemental oxygen... I can't believe anyone thought we could accomodate your surgery here.  We can't.  Go home, and we'll do it at the hospital where I have more ways of keeping you alive, yo."  So she was VERY disappointed... but I admit I was kinda relieved because she would have been recovering while we were at Burning Man and unable to give my dad a hand.  We want to be up there with her during and after the surgery... my dad can't handle it all.
  • Life continues to be happy. I'm in a much better place mentally than I was 2 weeks ago-- I was feeling really dark and angry and sad and frustrated and overwhelmed and unable to cope... and in retrospect this was probably because my iron was so low.  
  • Please don't give me crap about ignoring my iron. I know. I know. It won't happen again, Mom. :-)

OK, that's all I can think of for now.  There's more to write, but no time... I need to get in the shower... our ride to the airport comes in less than 3 hours and I still have to throw together a few more things. 

I love you all, and I hope you have a spiffy few weeks!

xoxo,

Jill-o

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Happy trails! At least one other friend of mine, in a completely different and non-Philadel circle, has just left Reno. If you run in to a big ex-Air Force guy wearing Philadelphia Brewing (http://philadelphiabrewing.com/) or Fishtown-related swag, or maybe a Mummer costume, his name is Steve and it would be hilarious if you ran into each other.

I know the city grows to 70,000 people. But things happen at Burning Man.
It's better to burn out than fade away, as the poet says.
I just read about the crazy searches being done by law enforcement on vehicles headed to the playa. Officials are claiming they're only making regular traffic stops (speeding, stop sign roll throughs, tail lights out, etc.) but are apparently making random and frequent stops, then bringing out the drug sniffing dogs and requiring vehicles be unpacked on the side of the road. It sounds like they may even be making a grab for people's prescription drugs? Not sure. With 70K people going this year, I can't even begin to picture the mess this will be. Stay safe. <3
Anne Mollo 8/23edited
It's only a matter of time before people starting landing light aircraft on the playa. Capitalism will find a way to meet a demand.
They have their own airport-- there have been direct flights to the playa for a while. You're totally right!
I notice that you didn't give out your snail mail address for the burn this year. #JillCanLearn #IAmDisappoint
No, it's not that... it's that they don't accept incoming mail anymore as of 2015. BRC post office is outbound-only. Once the event grew to 70K it just got to be too much, I imagine.

Or maybe they didn't want to earworm an entire damn event. :-D
 

I've never said or typed "herml-blermbl" before, but it just seems to fit.

I have a buncha half-written drafts here on OPW and I want to finish them and tell y'all what's been happenin' (and also to remind myself later what was happenin'), but I just... don't do it. Herml-blermbl.

So, here's a redux:

-- Beatlefest (July 16-21) was unfathomably satisfying and I really feel like we pulled off a nigh-impossible feat with very high quality... the highest to date. We had top-notch musicians/players who were all incredible readers, which was gonna be the only way we'd ever get to play 215 songs over 6 nights. Reading the charts, listening to each other, and watch Rich or Joe for the ending for the songs that faded out on the actual record. I'm really proud of what we did, and I'm excited it's now officially an annual thing and has caught the attention of all of the Delaware tourism groups and chamber of commerce and politicians and hoteliers and stuff... so they're gonna throw money and marketing behind it next year to make it something that the state celebrates and hotels offer package deals and yadda yadda yadda.  They're also trying to move it to the 1200-seat Grand Opera House, which is pretty amazing. 

-- I jumped back on Facebook because people were "very upset" they couldn't tag me in BeatleFest photos. #firstworldproblems  It is time to disable that shit nowwwww. 

-- We are derg-sitting Riley The Mutt again; she belongs to Nick and Nancy D'Argenio. They actually spell her name "Rylee" but when this derg is here she is MY derg and that's how I spell it, so there. I love having a doggo in the house. She is such a good, good, good, and pretty girl. JD was such a guy-dog, but Rhieleighe is so dainty and girlie, even though she's a mutt and not any kind of fancy foo-foo breed. She's still very much a doggo, though. 

-- I give the WeRateDogs guy sole credit for inventing the little dog-lingo the entire internetz now uses have when talking about dogs. The whole "heckin' good doggo 12/10 would pet" sentence structure amuses and delights me (and I didn't even do it right).

-- I've had a co-worker for the last 6-ish years that I've only ever worked with remotely... I'd never met him before in person. But this week he was teaching in Philly so we invited him down for dinner and for a jam session, because he's about to retire and do music full-time. I'm so happy for him! We had a great time. He said that he's the only democrat/non-Trump guy in his entire neighborhood... ugh, poor guy. I let him drink from our ITMFA mug and he was delighted!

-- Andrew Durkin (my musical collaborator since 1986) flew to the east coast today, and he'll be here for a week. From this-coming Monday to Thursday we're gonna get together and work on Sunnyvale material... Sunnyvale is the band that is me, Matt, Andrew, and Leo. (In the '90s I was in a regionally-successful band called The Evelyn Situation with both Andrew and Leo (and some other folks)... so getting to make music with them plus Matt is a musical dream come true for me.  We're gonna rehearse and record at my folks' place in north Jersey. 

-- My parents' 51st anniversary is this coming week, so we're taking them out to dinner on Sunday night. I asked my brother how many folks from his clan were coming, and he said "Just me and Mindy" (his wife).  I said, "No kids?" He said, "One kid is at camp and the other one has something else going on, and the oldest lives near college now. So yeah, just me and Mindy."  Call me weird, but whether I was 14, 17, or 22 (the ages of their 3 kids), I never had a choice about whether or not I'd attend a grandparent-related event... it was expected I'd go.  It feels weird to me that it's just kinda optional for them.  My folks are gonna be really disappointed, but hey, it's not my call. 

-- Matt and I are going to Burning Man this year... the last time we went was 2011, which was Matt's first time, and we left before the man even burned.  This year we are determined to stay for the man burning (Saturday before Labor Day) as well as the temple burn (Labor Day eve), but I'm not sure if it'll be do-able given his near-daily anxiety attacks.  He is hoping for some mystical, magical, cosmic ass-kicking. Perhaps some, um, molecular encouragement will help... or it'll kill him when his brain separates from his body permanently. We'll see. Or we won't.  But either way, this is the 10th Anniversary of Patty and Mike's Burning Man wedding that I officiated, so they wanna have a Vow Renewal Ceremony with me at the helm again. It won't be nearly as elaborate, but just a little something to commemorate a decade of awesome. 

-- We had our 8th Hot Breakfast Summer Blowout at Bellefonte Cafe on Friday the 27th and it was sold out since the Wednesday before. That was nice to hear. 

-- My music schedule is super-busy between now and the end of November. This is cool.

-- There's a new edition of ITIL (the thing I teach) coming out in Q1 2019, and the ITIL Mothership has chosen me (me!) and my videos to be the one they wanna help be first to market.  This pleases and flatters me greatly. It's nice to be recognized by the creator of the thing I'm a specialist in that yep, they agree I don't suck.  Woot! 


-- Food has been getting stuck in my dumb esophagus for years, which means I only eat a few bites per meal... which means I'm down to 111 pounds which is TOO DAMN SCRAWNY​​​​​​.  So my GP finally prescribed a thing I can take before I eat that will loosen things up and allow me to eat a full meal without having to pause after two bites and sit awkwardly and uncomfortably.  I'm so excited!! Hopefully I'll get some friggin' meat back on my bones. I look like Skeletor. 

-- I sleep on a towel every night and soak through it every night. Very sexy. I wish someone would yank out my girl parts... I DON'T NEED THEM.

--Matt's MiniCooper (Janice) doesn't have too much life left in her, unfortunately. So we need to decide: New Mini? Or Chevy Cruze which we fell in love with unexpectedly on a business trip when I was randomly assigned one by the rental car place?

-- I paid for the NYTimes digital edition as well as for access to the digital versions of their crosswords. I loooove their mini-crosswords (they take me anywhere from 40 seconds to 2-3 mins). But their full-size crosswords start easy on Monday and get harder through the week. I can only do their Monday and Tuesday ones, and then they get too hard for me because I'm dummm. But I love doing them. 

-- I'm sorry I haven't been posting or commenting here much... but I have been reading everything.  I love you all very much. 

-- I'm forgetting stuff but I need to sleep. 

(In fact I just nodded off and dreamt that Nik Everett is Matt's cousin Amy's grandfather and he was giving a speech on a baseballfield about having to give her away at her wedding. But she wasn't there to hear the speech so I was recording it with my phone and then a muslim hardcore/speedmetal band started setting up around him and just started playing playing in full burqas... but they turned out to be guys just trying to push the envelope... but they were really good! My brain is weird.)

Okbye.

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Congratulations on many things and best wishes on the test. I miss you.
Thank you, m'dear! Miss you right back. Lots.
I'd describe this as "too much on my plate".

Speaking of dogs and Burning Man. My dog and I have an appointment on Monday at the vet to get her reassessed for her cancer. I'm really hoping I don't have to send you to the burn with something for the temple.

See my next post about dogs, re: my latest foster dog.

You are not twenty any longer. Time to suck it up and drink some ensure. And follow up with your doctor. Get the medicine. Take the medicine. BE the medicine. Ohm.

For what it's worth, get rid of the baby factory but keep the playpen.

The mini cooper news reminds me that I saw a VW Scirocco on the highway this morning. I beeped the horn and gave the guy a thumbs up. I always wanted one back when.

Get a motor home for the trip to the playa. That way Matt can have a rest spot that he can retreat to. And lock the door. Plus, air conditioning.

Sorry I missed the Beatles Fest and the summer show. Too damn busy with the house.
Oh no... please keep me posted on your dog's appointment. I hope everything is fine and you have many long years of belly rubs ahead of you. And if you want me to bring general good wishes to the temple, say the word! It doesn't have to be all sad. I can even post some gratitude for your roof!

The good news is that we have already rented a foo-foo trailer for Burning Man (I always rent a trailer or RV because I am a princess... but this one is extra-nice) so we will have an extra-comfy refuge for when we need to hermit. Plus we'll have air conditioning if things get extreeeeme (though really, opening the windows and getting a cross-breeze really is lovely and often plenty adequate). And we'll have a fridge and a shower... and best of all, the Home Toilet Advantage. PortaJohns be damned. :-)


Oh-- I didn't realize I stopped typing in the middle of my medical bit above (gonna fix that now)... but I just took this new med today and HOLY LORD I ate a full meal today and it is miraculous. If ClassicJill ever knew there would be a future day I wished I could gain 15 pounds, she would laugh me the hell out of the room.
I’m always amazed that you can be in a state where you have too much on your plate, yet reading your posts makes me feel more pragmatic and positive. You have an ability to embrace the notion that happiness takes work and that makes me feel like doing happy work.
Here we go - in order. (Sorta.)

*inhales deeply*

-"herml-blermbl" are EXACTLY the right words there.

-Beatlefest - I'm really sorry that I missed it, but I'm overjoyed that it went so well, that you enjoyed it so thoroughly, and (perhaps most especially) to hear about the marketing push you guys will have next year! That sounds super rad. Do kids say rad these days? I doubt it. Maybe it's retro again? I'm old - what I'm saying here is that I'm old.

-"Rylee" - Why is there no doggo pic for this post?! I feel terribly let down by you Miss Knapp. Also, I genuinely burst out laughing when I read "Rhieleighe"

-"heckin" - this lingo absolutely slays me. Watch this video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCY3xsz-6zI )if you haven't seen it already - but really, just the first dog (giant poodle) because they're the 80/20 in just a few seconds of video.

- Durkin's visit - Well shit. Of COURSE it's the week that I'm headed to Maine with my family to see my grandfather. Please give Durkin my unending respect and lerv. Very sorry I'm going to miss the guy.

- "51st anniversary" - Please give them my lerv and congratulations!

- "Burning Man" - I wish like Hell I could make it this year for Patty and Mike's anniversary. I've been thinking about the Burn a lot over the last couple of years, and I kinda have the itch to go again - even if it wasn't for such a good 'excuse', but it's just not in the cards. I may have to send something with you for them if that wouldn't be too much of a PITA? I hope the RV helps soothe Matt's experience. Still renting from the same lady?

- Bellefonte Cafe - Sorry I didn't make it. Went to Slackerbot, and you woulda dug it. You guys get me for the next one. Promise. ;)

- ITIL - This is SO good to hear, even if it's not terribly shocking. You're amazing at what you do. You think things through and prepare. You actually work at that annoying little thing called 'quality'. You f***ing _get it_. I know my opinion doesn't amount to a hill of beans here given my vast influence in the industry which is why I'm so psyched to hear that the people whose opinions DO matter are paying attention. Endlessly and eternally proud of you despite my having no influence on your work whatsoever. ;)

-I wanna new drug, so I can actually swallow - okay, so after my inner Beavis shuts up for a minute... glad to hear this. Pretty sure I speak for the whole clan when I say that we like our Jill healthy. :)

- New Car - I legitimately have no advice here. I drove a Cruze once - in much the same circumstances that you did, but mine was not cleaned properly after a smoker had it and it was just... gross, so no real love there for Yours Truly.

That about covers that for now.
Last time we met I was wondering if you weren't maybe starting to approach scrawny ... though it's not my business I'm glad your doc found something that will help you stay healthy!

An annual BeatleFest with city/state arts funding support sounds AWESOME. I fear that Joe may have taken himself to the cleaners putting it together, so hopefully some real and steady funding will come through for next year.
Thank you for not mentioning my scrawniness in person (though if you had, I would have known it was out of love).

People (mostly acquaintances) either say "OMG YOU'RE SO SKINNY GAAAH EAT A SANDWICH JEEZ" to which I want to reply "I would actually give anything to eat a sandwich," or they say "Wow girl, you look soooooo great and skinny!" to which I want to reply, "Thank you that's lovely, but I have pretty serious health issues because I'm so undernourished. But hey, I'm glad my illness pleases your sense of female aesthetics." :-D

Hopefully neither of these will be a thing soon. Yay!
I haven't seen you for a while (sorry) but I always thought of you as Jill shaped and birdlike.
Well, this is the thing, right? As to any "you look great because you're skinny," fuck that shit and the horse that those commenters ride in on and smash the patriarchy.

As to health, I can say, "Oh, hey, Jill, you're lookin' a little on the slim side lately," and, you know, I'm guessing that YOU ALREADY KNOW THAT. You already know if, say, your pants are a little looser than they used to be and whether your favorite top is starting to look a little baggy. Also, you're an adult, and so I figure you're taking care of it or you're trying to, and I'm not your mom. And also I'm not going to embarrass both of us by bringing it up in public -- there's no comfortable response to "you're skinny" -- or risk maybe throwing you off your performance game by saying something just before you get on stage.

Not saying anything ever will possibly make me look like I don't care, but it's a hard needle to thread, figuring out what to say and when to say it about someone's appearance. I try to hit the MYOB eye of that needle.

In conclusion, I'm really happy you're getting some medical help with it. Here's to sandwiches.
Michele Grant 8/5edited
Yep! You get it entirely.

I know what I look like and how my pants fit, and I know that it's noticeable. And I also I know you love me, and I know you know I love you, and I know you're polite and awesome enough not to say anything about my potentially unhealthy appearance unless I bring it up. This is the way the universe should be. (But again, if you did bring it up randomly, I wouldn't have been offended or mad, because I would know it was coming from a place of love and concern. It would take a HELL of a lot to make me mad at you.

The best kinds of friends are ones where you never have to question the friendship... you just know it's good good good.

Sing it! "Thank you for being a frieeeeend!"
You never cease to amaze me.
SFM 8/5
Hey! It's great to see you here! Welcome!!
My parents do the NYT crosswords all week and solve them "together" (one takes a crack then the other then I think they work together). Good stuff!

Also: AWESOME about all the music. Keep me posted on dates for next year.

Lastly, we're hoping do see the Dead Milkmen at the Ardmore Music Hall on 9/21 if we can (it's sold out, we're on a ticket waiting list) and then have GA tickets for Paul Simon's LAST CONCERT EVER in NY the next night. Just in case you're doing any of those things...
How many tix do you need for the Milkmen show on 9/21? I miiiiight be able to getcha on the list. Lemme see what I can do!
Two would be AMAZEballs.
 

I forget if I mentioned here this ridiculous musical undertaking we decided to attempt: We are putting on Delaware's very first Beatles festival, and this festival means that we are playing every Beatles song ever released (and even two that were recorded and never released) over a course of six consecutive nights... this means we do two albums per night, plus any singles that were released around those albums.  There is one night we're only doing one album, and that's the night we're playing The White Album since it's a double-album... and one other night we're playing three albums because that's just how the math worked. 

The festival started tonight, and we were kinda expecting the lightest crowd tonight since it's a Monday night, and since we just kinda figured this is their less interesting material.  But holy crap, we had 130 people tonight, and the theater only holds about 250... so it felt very full, and the crowd was very enthusiastic. One of tonight's audience members was actually in the audience when The Beatles played on Ed Sullivan!! GAAAH!!  After our show tonight she said she was so happy she came tonight so she could actually hear the songs, unlike the Ed Sullivan show where all she heard was screaming. :-)

We've been rehearsing this material since January-- two rehearsals per week -- one a vocal-only rehearsal, and the other rehearsal was with the whole band. 

The name of the group putting on this BeatleFest is called "The Rock Orchestra," which is an tribute show organization headed up by Joe Trainor and Matt Urban. Joe and MattU (not to be confused with 'my Matt' (aka MattC)) choose what tribute shows they want to perform (basically curating a season's worth of music), and then writes all the arrangements, and hires the right musicians to play it. So there's no set band member list to The Rock Orchestra... but they have an extensive Rolodex from which to draw. :-)

This BeatleFest takes 40 musicians to play all of this music as true to the albums as we can, once you get strings, horns, traditional Indian instrmentalists, harmonica, harp, even sound effects... all in addition to the core band. 

Because we're playing these songs in release order, tonight was the "simplest" material, so we only needed the core band tonight.  But we've been rehearsing in release order, too... so our most recent rehearsals has been the REALLY complicated stuff requiring all 40 players.  We had two final rehearsals this weekend... Saturday was sound-equipment load-in, and Sunday was all 40 of us... and we played all of the hard stuff (we're even doing "Revolution #9" live!)  We intentionally left the stage set up with all the (empty) chairs for the strings and horns, all of my 73,000 percussion instruments were out on display, MattC's guitars and saxes and keys were all set up, even though we don't use them until Wednesday.  We really want the audience to watch and feel this stuff build in complexity as we move through the Beatles' catalogue and timeline. 

So tonight when we got to the theater for Night 1 of BeatleFest to play "Please Please Me" and "With The Beatles" and the surrounding singles, only the seven core band members were needed, and we were like "Where is everyone? Oh, wait, it's just us tonight!"  

We've got Joe Trainor singing mostly Paul McCartney's parts and also playing piano and keys; we've got Brendan Sheehan playing guitar and singing mostly John Lennon's parts, Rich Degnars on drums (he's amazing), Josh Dowiak on bass and some vocals, Joey Lopes on lead guitar (he is freakin' awesome), and then Matt and I are the utility players.  (Utility players are people who can sing and play many instruments, so they play whatever is needed.)  I sing backing vocals on almost everything (I sing lead on a few, too) and I play about 22 different percussion instruments (everything from simple handclaps to timpani and anvil and concert chimes to a motorcycle exhaust pipe), keys a few times, and I also handle all the sound effects (think the animal sounds in "Good Morning, Good Morning").  Matt sings whenever we need 4-part harmony (and he also sings lead on a few), and he's playing guitar, bass, sax, keys/piano, and percussion. 

Tonight was an easy night music-wise, and tomorrow night (Tuesday, Night 2) is also just the core band again because we're playing two more " simple" albums: "Beatles for Sale" and "A Hard Day's Night" (plus some singles).

Wednesday night (Night 3) is "Help!" and "Rubber Soul" (plus some singles). Wednesday night is when Matt and are the guest singers, so we sing lead on a few songs. This night is also when more band members arrive... Indian musicians arrive, some horns and strings...

Thursday night (Night 4) s the big night where we do three albums (‘Revolver’, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and ‘Magical Mystery Tour’) and also the point when all 40 musicians are on stage through the rest of the festival!

Friday night (Night 5 of 6, also Matt's birthday):  Tonight we only play one album, which is "The Beatles," aka The White Album. It's a double album.  We'll also play any singles released during that time. And once we tackle that, we're brought to closing night, which is "Abbey Road" and "Let it Be," plus the singles. And that's it!

During the show, we have fun projections as a backdrop that sorta gives you an idea of what "era" of The Beatles we're in (in Hamburg, the Ed Sullivan stage, their psychedelic stage, the rooftop, etc... and we have another projector with a slideshow that displays the song name, album title, and a counter that counts up the number of songs out of the 215 we've played already.  

I'm really proud and excited to play this music with these people-- it sounds great, and best of all everyone gets along, so it's been a very joyful experience!  It's also been exciting new really exciting to feel how the songwriting got more interesting and complex as The Beatles' progressed, and also to note how they were able to do all the things they wanted to record thanks to advances in recording technology.  

There was more I wanted to type, but I've forgotten because I've fallen asleep a few times while typing this... haha... and it's now 3:55am so I'm gonna post this now. 

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These shows sound amazing. Do your best Norwegian Wood for me, and Maxwell's Silver Hammer for Mr. Archer. <3
Thanks! Tonight is Norwegian Wood-- that actually features me and Matt (along with Day Tripper and Ticket to Ride.) Maxwell's Silver Hammer is tomorrow night-- I love that song!
I am not normally a tribute show person, but this would absolutely have drawn me in, especially the White Album night. Alas, I'm in Virginia Beach for the week. So I shall console myself with sun, surf, sand and ludicrous amounts of cozy time.
Both are equally magical. Have a fabulous time, sir!
It is absolutely killing me that I can't be there (or give Robbb the gift of being there). I hope you all break all of your legs!
Thanks, babycakes! It's very strange not having you guys here... you are both missed very much!
This sounds like so much GD fun. I can feel the glow from here.
Damn, that sounds fun!!
 

All seasons of MASH are now available on Hulu, so today we started binge-watching it.  Season 1 is where they are working out the kinks, and finally easing up on the blatant misogyny and tail-chasin'... though I guess it is a period piece. 

Either way, I love these characters so much, and Larry Gelbart is a script god. 

I am happier now that the Father Mulcahy I recognize and Klinger have arrived. 

The show holds up great now that we're half a season in, and it's a pleasure to watch. But you definitely have to get through the first few. Henry Blake is less of a dunderhead and more a dude; Frank and Houlihan aren't just meanies out to foil Hawkeye and Trapper, but are nuanced people.  

I feel like I'm with old friends. :)

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I wish I were binging with you!
Come on down! :)

Or, we can make a date to binge-watch simultaneously. We'll synchronize episodes and we can talk about 'em here or elsewhere!
I guess what I really mean is, I wish I had the TIME to binge, and especially with you!

Right now I'm bingeing on the final season of 12 Monkeys. Not because it's good, but because I've seen the rest and feel as though I should take it to the end.
Oh, that’s going to help me survive this holiday. Thank you!
It is a magical balm.
Damn you. I already have too many things on my binge list, but this is kinda a 'must add'. I mean, M*A*S*H is, like you described, a collection of old friends.

I've also recently listened to an interview with Alan Alda on one of my myriad podcasts and it just reminded me how much I've always liked the dude. I'll have to see if I can't find the episode and add a link...

Update: I think this was it: https://www.npr.org/2018/01/22/577433687/alan-alda-wants-us-to-have-better-conversations
I love Alan Alda. I also love Bill Hader's impression of Alan Alda.
When Saturday Night Live does their faux auditions (e.g., They pretend to play the screen tests of people auditioning for "Back to the Future" or Star Wars. So you'll have Bill Hader impersonating Alan Alda auditioning for Marty McFly or Han Solo. It's hilarious! -- like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azwKHqEkXEY)
Holy crap that's amazing. Love Bill Hader, and I hadn't seen some of his impersonations. So good.
god do I love that show.
Rabbit 7/2
It's soooo good!
Vince has the DVD set, and it has the option to remove the laugh track.
Matt and I discovered that we both always listen for the same guy on the laugh track... that same guy can be heard laughing on Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch, too. I'd bet a zillion bucks that you and Vince know the exact laughing guy we're talking about. :)
No, but now I want to listen for him!
Wow, this is like the Wilhelm Scream.
I've never heard that before! Gaaaaah! That is amazing!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdbYsoEasio
I don't think it was any of the Star Wars clips in that youtube video, but there was a more recent movie (maybe TLJ?) that I actually caught it while in the theater and I almost shouted when I realized what it was.
I kind of like the post-Radar Klinger. He wasn't as madcap, in fact they abandoned the whole section 8 crossdressing thing completely once he became company clerk. It made him a more nuanced character.
We haven't gotten there yet, but now I'm curious. I hadn't noticed it in my youth... I just remember being sad when Radar wasn't on the show anymore.
 

This article by Lili Loofbourau on Slate sums up my feelings of sadness, helplessness, futility, and we're-fucked-ism. 

Enjoy!  Yay!  This is fun!


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those videos are glorious!!!
Jenn A 7/1
If you want soul food cooking videos, I got some soul food cooking videos for you: http://phillyjaycooking.com/
 

I wrote this stream-of-consciousness and haven't edited or condensed this yet. I'm just talking it out, out loud. Yep, I know it's a public post... but I fucked up the other day and I own it... and I'm trying to work out my thoughts here by typing them out. 


Didja ever have something really frustrating  happen, and you vent about it, and once you've gotten it off your chest, you've pretty much forgotten about it?  Like, the act of venting pops the proverbial zit, it heals, and then you're done?

That's what venting is for. And we vent to our pals about stuff. That's one of many many neat things that pals are for. And that's also what blogs are for... and blog pals. :-)

Another thing blogs are good for is for feeling connected to people when you may have a hard time seeing folks. Like, I don't really like thinking about what I'm about to type in this here paragraph because it depresses me, but it's a fact that Matt and I are pretty isolated. When his belly issues started in 2012, we couldn't go out as much. And then what seems like one day in February 2015 the belly issues stopped and were replaced by unspeakably awful anxiety attacks, and then we really couldn't go out any longer. When we would try to go out we'd always have to leave early, so eventually we just stopped going out. The few times we tried inviting people over instead, Matt would still end up having an anxiety attack (I'm not looking for a cause or diagnosis here), so we just stopped inviting people over.  And understandably, people have stopped inviting us to things because they/we just know we'll either have to cancel beforehand or leave shortly after we arrive. So we don't really see people any longer unless it's for a rehearsal or a gig. Matt has friends he talks to on the phone, but I don't really. I also don't have coworkers, and my family all lives hours away, so I am pretty isolated.  I'm not on Facebook, so this blog (and barely Twitter) is pretty much my main  connection to other people. 

I've been keeping an online blog since the mid-90s, since before the word "blog" was even used.  I once had a creepy neighbor discover my old llij.net blog, and he saw me in person one day and told me how close he felt to me because he read what I wrote.  But he didn't know me-- he just knew those teeny moments and ideas I shared.  This spooked me out a bit, and shortly thereafter I switched to LiveJournal, which had the ability to lock certain posts down so only a small subset of people could see it. You could have public posts too, of course, and you could also even lock things to be completely private, for those rare things I didn't want to bounce off any friends but still wanted to immortalize on electrons. :-)

But when you don't see someone very often but you read something they've written, it's logical to assume that what they're written is some deeply-held sacred belief or life philosophy... when it could just be the brain-fart du jour.

LiveJournal ("LJ") got bought by the Russians a few years ago, and since Russia does not believe in https, we all abandoned ship since no privacy could be assured there. OnePostWonder ("OPW") was born, and we've all built a nice cozy home here. It's not as huge as LJ was, but most of my LJ pals (many of whom are IRL pals) made the jump to OPW, so it's good here. (Plus I love and trust the people who built it.)

I've always loved writing, though I know I'm not that great at it. I switch tenses all the time, I change I/you/they prounouns constantly because I write in a very stream-of-consciousness way. And I'm long-winded as hell (plus I start sentences with conjunctions-- heavens!).  But I blog as a way to just shoot the shit, but also so I have a way to work out some things I'm thinking about, and to share some general life happenings. 


Anyhoo, you may recall I wrote a post the other day where I vented about a very frustrating night at a restaurant where an acquaintance's kids (two daughters)  misbehaved and it upset not only people at our table, but also a group of strangers who had to sit in our semi-private section because it was a busy night. I wound up buying the strangers' dinner (nobody put me up to it) because they were in my direct line of sight and I could see how upset they were over how often they were getting bumped into and squealed at by the kids, and I felt the mom (I called her "S") wasn't doing anything to control her kids. Plus, this kicked Matt into one of the worst panic attacks he's ever had, and he left the restaurant early. I had assumed he went to sit and cry in the car (which he always does), but when I got outside after I quickly said goodbye to folks, I found him wandering the far end of the shopping center speaking gibberish and spinning in circles, arms flailing. I wish I was exaggerating. It was really upsetting.

In S's defense, her daughters were super-happy. I think maybe parents tend to correct their kids when they're being skootchy or annoying or hitting, but when they're squeeing and giggling and dancing (OK, and climbing the walls and trying to do cartwheels) maybe you don't worry about it because they're chipper, maybe it's hard to see that as misbehaving. I dunno, that's just a guess... I'm not a parent.  

Anyway, when I wrote that post, I really let loose. I was raw. We had just gotten home and I had finally gotten Matt calmed down and in bed, where he was still punching himself in the head and speaking nonsense words, moreso than usual. It was a particularly awful panic attack (he said later it was one of the worst, if not the worst one, he's ever had), made even worse by the fact that we were so sure going into the night that he wasn't going to have one. We don't get to go out anymore, but that night the stars had this magical alignment and he was actually OK, and we felt normal and hopeful for the first time in a very, very long time. I was so, so angry to have had that taken away... and I was so so angry because I felt that this could have been avoided. 

What do I know.

Maybe I'm delusional and maybe Matt was destined to have a panic attack all along. Why should that night have been any different?  Maybe we're idiots for having hope anymore. 

So I vented. I was frustrated. Not only was I trying to piece Matt back together again, I was also out over $100 for the strangers' meals... and I was annoyed that the strangers never even smiled to say a silent "thank you." Nuthin'.  And then I felt guilty that my friends bought my and Matt's dinners because they knew I bought the strangers' dinners. I wasn't trying to cost anyone extra money! So I was angry, and embarrassed, and annoyed, and sad, and hurt, and crushed, and disappointed. And those were all valid feelings, and I don't feel bad for having them.


But in my venting in my blog post, I did something awful. Legitimately, genuinely awful, and something I feel deeply sorry for.  I called S, the mom of the rowdy daughters some awful, awful things in my blog post.  I was vicious. I was beyond harsh. I used words that may have felt justified in the moment but were absolutely NOT OK.   

It's one thing to hate the behavior... it's another thing to hate the person

And the truth is, I don't hate the person at all.  Never did. After I wrote what I wrote, the venting was over, we commented on it here, and bloop-- I forgot all about it. 

Right? Haven't you ever vented about something and then forgotten about it? That's what venting is for.  Once it's vented, it's over. It's a non-issue.  If someone were to bring it up again, I'd say "Yeah, that night was a shit-show," but if I saw S the next day I'd say hello like everything was fine, because everything is fine, and I don't hate and never did hate her.  Sure, I was pissed in the moment, and I reaaaaaallllly wish the night played out differently, and I shot my big dumb mouth off on my blog and let my New Jersey out, but then I got over it once it was out of my system. Humans are wonderfully resilient that way. 

But due to my blog entry, a bunch of strangers on OPW now think that S is some awful human being, though she is not.  (Not that 99.9% of you know or will ever know who S is... but still... that's negativity the world doesn't need.)

But if you don't know me very well, or if you don't see me that often and you read my post, you'd think I was gonna set this lady on fire. You might think, "My god, I've never known Jill to hate anyone like this. This is upsetting and concerning." And I could see why you'd think that, and I wouldn't blame you.  (Sure, I'd hope you'd give me the benefit of the doubt, but I could also understand why you wouldn't.)

And this Benefit of the Doubt thing:

This is where I went wrong, and for what I feel awful: In the moment of blogging, I never gave S the benefit of the doubt. I went straight for the jugular; I chose vicious. I didn't say "I wish her behavior was different," I said "She is a fucking piece of shit." I didn't say, "Man, she had a lapse in judgment that night," I said "She has shitty fucking parenting skills." (or something like that.)  I didn't separate the actions from the soul.  I judged her as a human. I called her such awful things that it could almost even be viewed as an insult to everyone else at the dinner. If S was such a complete piece of shit then everyone else at dinner must be too since they're all friends with her. Only shit likes shit, amirite?

This is not okay. 

To be clear, I don't regret my description of what happened at dinner. It was factually accurate from my viewpoint-- I was watching stuff happen because I could see the whole room from my seat. But I deeply, deeply regret what I said after I described the events of the evening... where I got personal. I called names. I judged. 


As if you couldn't tell, I've been really reflecting on that evening and its blog post and my word choices, as well as my description of the night's events.

And check this nugget out:

There were two moms there; Julie is Kit's mom, and then there was S and her two daughters. The truth of the matter is Kit was behaving just as inappropriately and was just as rambunctious as S's daughters, but I described Julie and Kit as "fine" because I know Julie and I love Julie very much... so I naturally cut her some slack in my judgment. I didn't mention Kit's climbing or cartwheel attempts or windowsill dancing once in that post... because I know Julie is a good person who tries hard, so I didn't throw her under the blog bus.  But S? I don't know her so FUCK HER-- SHE MUST BE A TERRORIST. Whaaaa?  Hey Jill you asshole... YOU may not know S., but everyone else does, and she wouldn't have been invited if people didn't love her very much. So just because you Jill don't know her, maybe you should cut her the same slack you cut for Julie and Kit. They are clearly deserving of slack and basic human fucking decency, instead of coming out guns blazing.

So I've been soul searching ever since I realized what I had done. 

And I really think this is the crux of what sucks with the world and the USA today. So many of us are all so quick to vilify those we don't know... but that person we're vilifying is someone's friend, someone's daughter, someone's sister, someone's mother. Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to "other-ize" people, or to "well they should just"-ize people. It ain't that easy. If they "could just," wouldn't they?

If anyone called any of you the things I called S, whether you made a mistake or not, I'd set them on fire.


It's actually a very very minor subplot-point that I completely accidentally made that post a public post (that I have just friends-locked an hour ago), and S's dear friend saw it and got very understandably upset... so upset that she didn't want to speak with me so her husband brought it up to me.  (S's dear friend and husband were not at dinner; they had heard from other attendees that dinner was a shitshow, and I think it got mentioned on Facebook... but my OPW post was the only place where someone (me!) was vitriolic and horrible.)  I'm not angry at the dear friend who got upset, and I'm not angry at her husband for telling me... and I'm not angry at anyone else who may have seen the post and shared it.  I'm angry at myself.   

I fucked up. I own it. I'm genuinely sorry. I am using this as a learning experience and as an opportunity for growth... which sounds douchey, but I am totally sincere here. 

This is not one of those things where I'm apologizing because I'm sorry I got caught. 

In some lumpy way, I'm almost happy (?) I got caught, because it's forced me to have a VERY uncomfortable look at this thing I sometimes do without thinking about the larger impact it's having.

So while I'm damning S for doing something without realizing the larger impact it's having, I'm doing the same thing like a hypocritical fuckstick. And I've gotta knock it off.  If you wanna make the world a better place ya gotta look at yourself and make a change, yo.

So yeah, I'm not apologizing because I got caught. And I'm not apologizing because people are upset.

I'm apologizing because I'm sorry for judging this person so harshly instead of cutting them some slack. I'm sorry for being a judgy asshole and jumping to the worst possible conclusion without even considering any other possibility. I denied her her humanity. How fucking shitty is that?

Sure, her actions almost definitely caused bad times for me and Matt, and caused other people to have an uncomfortable, awkward, unpleasant night.  But nobody is perfect. You need to separate the person from the actions until you have hard, ongoing, consistent, repeatable proof that the questionable actions are an actual character trait and not just someone having a bad night or a one-time lapse of judgment. We all have bad days. We all make mistakes. We all deserve forgiveness. 


I hope people will extend me the same courtesy. 


I have some apology emails to write.


(This post was typed stream-of-consciousness and has not been edited or condensed.)

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PLEASE DO NOT BE ANGRY AT YOURSELF.

I'm going to comment more thoroughly once I have pants on, because that's another step toward organized thinking (in my world). I wish I could buy you a cup of coffee right now and listen and pat your birdy head.

If kids are allowed to do cartwheels in restaurants, you are allowed to say how it made you feel.
Actually, now that I think about it, my 40K-word howler can be summed up very easily.

People need to be able to express, through writing/art/etc., their feelings, whether positive, negative, or multifaceted.

Social media can and should be a way for us to discuss and refine ideas.

Being prevented from airing grievances will make one sick and/or violent.
I think your reactions are not at all out of line, though, as you said, it would have been better to not broadcast them so publicly.

A quote went by on some social media thing lately saying something like "you can still be a good person while not putting up with bullshit."

You're good people!
Sean M Puckett 6/4edited
Yeah, I feel you, sister.
I don't know anything helpful to say about the issue at hand.
You're thinking and feeling sounds WAY more responsible and mature than I have access to, so I'll take your word for it on all that.

Your writing is top-shelf, in my opinion.
I've enjoyed watching the subtle changes over the many years I've been reading your emails-llij-LiveJournal-OPW, while your boss voice stayed constant.

I'm a fan of that.
No.
The only fault I find here is making the post public if you didn't want S or her friends to see it ... and that's more of a goofup than anything else.

This is where you communicate with your close friends.
You are allowed to vent to your friends.
You are (we all are) allowed to be unfair when you vent to your friends, you are allowed to be not your best self, you are allowed to have a shitty day, you are allowed no makeup and puffy eyes and conversations about your digestive system (or ours) and you do not have to be fair, kind, or perfect.

You are fair, you are kind, you are thoughtful.
You are not perfect.
With the people you love and who love you, with the people who know you and care about you ... we KNOW you are fair and kind and thoughtful, we do not expect you to be perfect and if you vent or rant or whatever, we know that isn't your secret evil self, you just got annoyed at thing x or thing y.

I also think you need a night out without Matt, a night where the only person you have to take care of is Jill. Your needs matter. It doesn't make you a shitty human to need a break from your partner - I shoved Houser out of the house last night because he had ENOUGH of Hunter, Hunter had enough of him, and it was time for everyone to recharge. Houser came home a few hours later and much happier.

That was about Hunter, but we do it to get space from each other too, not "I hate you" space, but "I want to be with my friends and not have to worry whether you are having a good time" space. That makes it sound like we spend the whole time when we're out worrying about each other, and we don't do that at all ... but we're aware of each other and tuned in to each other, and sometimes it's fun to be just ... out.

Also, it's hotter. I mean like when you get home ... but I digress.

You, Jill, need some time where you allow yourself to take care of Jill. In my unsolicited, unprofessional opinion. You are not selfish. This is not a reflection on Matt ... and I do not mean time when you are traveling for work - I mean time out with your people where you are not worried about how long it has been since you've seen us or whatever other judgement stuff ... just time to BE. (I know, says one of the judgiest bitches on the planet, but caring for a partner's medical needs, mental and/or physical can really take it out of you and I totally get it.)

I love you.
A lot.
All of this is true, seconded, ^^^THIS, etc. etc.

I agree with what Shelle says, also.
Rabbit 6/5
Good. For. You.
Rabbit 6/4
SeaDel friend Falko told me not long ago that he used to have a real problem with a generally negative outlook on people and the world. road rage, phone rage, work rage, etc.

He started an experiment to try and rewire his brain away from "that person is a STUPID IDIOT and I hate them!" reaction to things that were, when you really look at them, pretty minor issues. The experiment was, whenever he started to feel that impulse to hate someone he didn't know (or barely knew) over some minor fuckup, to just say "maybe that's the only stupid thing they've ever done in their life".

Maybe they're AMAZING all of the rest of the time. Maybe they're curing cancer. Maybe they're the kindest, gentlest person in their town. Maybe they're a great friend. Maybe they're the person who solves all the tech support problems in their office. Maybe they just wrote a great book. Maybe they are amazing at fixing engines. Maybe none of those things - maybe they're just a regular person going about their business. BUT MAYBE THAT'S THE ONLY STUPID THING THEY'VE EVER DONE IN THEIR LIFE.

It doesn't necessarily remove the ragey impulse, but it quickly puts it into proportion - points up the absurdity of it.

Or anyway - it worked for him.

Has kinda worked for me.



CM Adams 6/8edited
Yes! This is also a good way to avoid bashing allies. "I am enraged by that surfacey gesture / slacktivist post you're making because I assume you are doing nothing more." No. Maybe they are singlehandedly flipping Alabama.
I LOVE THIS.

I really do tend to see the best in people, which is why it was so jarring to go completely off my onion that day. When I get ranty, it's usually for comedic/"NewJerseyan" reasons and not out of any real anger or vitriol. But maaaan, I was in very rare form the other day, and I have been flogged deservedly.

But I love the whole "Maybe this is the only stupid thing they've ever done" approach!
also, sorry about the whole feeling/being isolated thing. I really enjoyed seeing you when Barb and I were there. and every time I talk to Matt, I like him more. hearing now about some of the toll that socializing can take, I feel especially lucky that we seem to have managed it without major issues on that occasion.
Matt and I loooooved spending time with you guys, too! Barb is the bees knees, and you've always been and continue to be one of my favorite people on the planet. You crack me up like few people can. :)

(and now that you know our dirty secret: After we got home from the restaurant, Matt was having a meltdown in the bedroom while you and I gabbed in the kitchen. We just said he was tired. :-) But his meltdown was totally expected; there's almost a rhythm to these things, if that makes any sense.)

But the goal is to not make his anxiety impact other people... so I'm happy we skated under the radar. (Which isn't to imply that we'd think you wouldn't be cool/understanding if you knew, but we just didn't wanna make it a thing.)
 

Our dryer died about a month ago. I forget if I wrote about this or not.  

Since that happened, we've taken our clothes to the laundromat a few times, did our laundry at my folks' house, and also washed stuff here and hung it outside.  It hasn't been awful. 

I figured our dryer died because it's 20-ish years old. But I also know it's entirely mechanical, so therefore entirely fixable by anyone with half a brain. I've already replaced the belt that spins the drum, so I'm totally comfy fixing stuff.  

My dad raised us to always try fixing broken things. In the worst case, it continues to stay broken. In the best case, you fix it! In the medium-case, it stays broken but now you know how one more thing in the world works. 

Anyway, I know that dryers can die because of a clogged lint pipe, but we just had our lint-tubes totally cleaned out when we had our ducts cleaned a few months ago.  Turns out they didn't clean the dryer lint tube at all. See Exhibit A:

Ummmm... I guess this would explain why our dryer stopped working. Guess I should ask for our money back from the guy who cleaned our dryer vents a few months ago....  It's a miracle the house didn't burn down.

Anyhoo, our friend and handyman Crusher (yep, that's his name!) ripped out the old impacted lint-duct and replaced it with smoove new pipe that is easily accessible and clean-outable.  We fired up the dryer, but it didn't get hot... turns out the heating element burned out (surprise surprise), so I ordered a new one off Amazon which will be here Friday along with a new thermostat (I figured I'd replace it just in case).  So we'll be back to laundrytown by Friday evening. Yay!

But man. It's crazy to think that the house really could have burned down from all that lint. My dad's a fireman, and we know lots of stories of fires that started with a lint-trap clogged a fraction of what ours was.

So please clean out your lint-lines, folks. 

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"My dad raised us to always try fixing broken things. In the worst case, it continues to stay broken."

Just one of many reasons to love the recent birthday boy.
I love your resilience. I'd have been tempted to mail the bad duct cleaner that impacted pipe.
Nothing like fixing an appliance to make you feel like The Boss.
I like it when my friends reduce fire hazards in their dwellings. I like it a lot.
Oh my ... that dryer lint clog is horrifying. Looks like a sandworm from Dune! Glad you investigated.
 

Did you know that you have a dominant eye? I knew this, but had never considered what it might mean for my life.

So... put your arms straight out ahead of you, palms facing away from you, fingers pointing towards the ceiling.  Now twist your wrists inward a teeny bit to touch your thumb-tips together and your pointer-fingertips together... this makes a diamond-shaped hole.  Now find something on a wall about 10-20 feet away and look at it through the hole in your hands (make sure both eyes are open).  Now close one eye. Now switch eyes. Make sure your hands didn't move.  When you closed one eye your hand blocked the thing, right? And when you closed the other eye you could see it through the hole, right? Whichever eyeball you could see the distant thing through is your dominant eyeball.

I'm sure there was an easier way for me to describe how to do that, but okay. 


Anyhoo, this morning I went to the eye doctor-- it had probably been nearly 10 years since I've been there. My prescription has never been all that strong, and it's only ever been for distance.  Even though I only ever was supposed to wear my glasses for driving and for watching movies, I'd just keep them on all the time because it was just easier. They're so weak that they never really got in the way or me seeing stuff.

Today's eye exam showed that my distance-prescription has gotten just a teeeeeny bit worse in 10-ish years... and both my eyeballs continue to have the same prescription as each other, which is nifty.  He asked if I'd resorted to cheater/reading glasses yet now that I'm 47, and I told him that just in the last year I find that if I need to read something I have to take my glasses off and read it with my naked eyes... but I don't need cheater/reading glasses yet.  (Matt owns a pair of cheaters and I only use them if I'm doing REALLY close/fine detail painting for an extended period of time. But general reading and dicking with my phone, nope, still all good.) 

So he asked me how I felt about contacts. I told him I only ever really wear contacts for any gigs where I need to glance at sheet music or lyrics (I keep the sheet music/lyrics far away so they don't block the audience's view-- so my everyday distance glasses/contacts work great) otherwise I don't wear contacts... my glasses are fine for everyday life.   I have a gig where I don't need lyrics/music, I prefer the "psychic distance" having a slightly-fuzzy audience provides.  Proof: The last time I ordered contacts was 2009, and I just used my last pair about a month ago. So I really don't wear them often.

(I brought the empty contacts box with me just so he could see my old prescription, and he said "You just used these? You realize these expired in 2016, right?" Oopsie.)

He asked if I was averse to contacts, and I said no. So he suggested we try an experiment. He figured out which eye is my dominant eye, and then did a few tests to see how dominant my dominant eye is... and as luck would have it, my dominant eye is more of a switch. ;-)   This means I'm a great candidate for Eyeball Shennanigans™ -- which means I wear a distance-contact in my non-dominant eye, and I leave my dominant eye nekkid. So if I need to read, my dominant eyeball springs into action, and if I need to see far, my brain switches to my other eye with the distance-lens in it.  Ta-daaaa!

So we popped one contact-lens in at noon today and HOLY SHITBALLS my life has changed. I can see EVERYTHING. It's so cool!  Fuckin' eyeballs, how do they work?

For the record, eyeball dominance has nothing to do with which eye is less-blind or which eye has an astigmatism or anything. It's also not related to your dominant hand. It's just a brain thing.  (My left eye is my dominant eye. Neat!)

#themoreyouknow


(Hi. My name is Jill, and I take 87 years to say what anyone else could convey in 6 sentences.  Go me!)

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One world, one vision, fried chicken.
Do you go to Dr. Strauss on Marsh?
Nope! We go to Dr. Tom Piorowski at Springfield Opticians immmmmmmediately over the DE/PA border on 202. I lerve him.
One time, around 1990 or so, I went to a movie with Ursula and we were trying to decide where to sit.

She said "we should sit on the left side of the theater because the majority of people are right eyed" and I almost blacked out laughing.

I didn't realize that eye dominance was a thing then, but I still consider it an absurd factor in deciding where to sit at a movie.