Jill "xtingu" Knapp

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

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I am very lucky to have you all in my world. 

I love this platform. 

Feeling warm and grateful and happy today. 

Had breakfast with the Casarinos this morning and did the immediate-family gift exchange, and came back home for a shower and disco-nap. Gonna kidnap Lee and head back over to Casarino-land for dinner and goofiness. 

Whether you're celebrating Christmas or not, I hope it's a happy, snuggly day. 

12/25 '18 2 Comments
Merry Christmas to you both.
How convenient, because we love you, too!
Karen 12/27 '18


We're in the throes of tech week/hell week for our "Hot Breakfast and Friends Presents: Another Very Dorky Christmas Show" happening this Saturday, December 15th at 8 (doors open at 7:15).  We did this half-play/half-concert Christmas show in 2016 and it was a sellout, and we couldn't find a suitable venue in 2017, but we're doing it again this year at the 2016 venue (The Queen, on Market St. in Wilmington). However, the venue has changed ownership from an independently-owned performance space affiliated with the NPR show World Cafe Live, to it's current LiveNation... and it's a *tooooootally* different thing now, even though the space looks mostly the same. What used to be a welcoming venue is now layers and layers of bureaucracy and contracts and this one doesn't know what that one's doing and who do I talk to for this simple thing and blaaaah.  But as of this morning we've sorted out most of the logistical stuff, and since the show is gonna be over 48-ish hours from now, I can't be worried anymore. It'll be fine. We're working with super-talented musicians on stage whom we trust entirely, we got some friends to lend a hand to handle backstage and front-of-house stuff, and we got Matt's cousin to make cookies (she's the head executive pastrychef at the Hotel duPont, Delaware's only zillion-star hotel).  The audience would be just as happy I'm sure if we just had musicians playing Christmas and/or Hanukkah songs, but the fact that we make it into a play and give these musicians scenarios to improv-act in, it makes it a fun, silly, and festive night. 

We're excited. 

I'm looking forward to December 17, which is the day I officially have nothing to do. It'll be sweeeeeet. 

12/13 '18 12 Comments
Break a leg!
Ray Conrad 12/13 '18
Thanky thanky!
You guys will be wonderful, of course! I'm sorry that LiveNation is... well, LiveNation. They really do make it a hassle for bands to put on a show for their fans.

It's like a parallel to our old "I want to give you my money - make it EASY for me!"
Matt Lichtenwalner 12/14 '18edited
It's true. I think there's maybe two WCL@Q people who still work there, though MattTheAwesomeSoundGuy just quit because he got promoted to ManagerOfTheSoundGuys and he hated managing.

Anyhoo, tonight the bullshit matters not. Though I'm sad there's pretty much no way for us to make a few bucks... but we don't do this particular event for money. It would've been nice to break even, but that looks impossible, too.

So I guess they're good at taking our money... but they didn't make it easy! :-D
Sorry to miss this -- but we need to get together when I'm in town from the 26th to the 3rd. Alert! You may well receive a text from a 709 area code phone number!
Michele Grant 12/14 '18
Yaaaaay! I look very very much forward to seeing you crazy Canucks!

I am blessedly un-busy that week. We have plans on the 30th and 31st, but I thiiiink (?) that's it... though sometimes Matt forgets to put stuff on the calendar. But either way-- YES!
Just me, I'm afraid! It's not in our budget for Robbb to travel as well. :( Plans so far include 50-cent pierogies at Tattooed Mom's, 530 South Street, on Thursday the 27th. You're welcome to come! Or we can figure something else out. Yay!
Michele Grant 12/15 '18
I'm sad to miss El Robbbidor, but I'm excited to see you!
Good luck - we're all counting on you.
Heeey! When did you get here? Yay!
WOOOT this sounds AWESOME
Sean M Puckett 12/14 '18
Tonight's the big night! We're ready to rock! Let's hope it works! :)

I'm writing this with my eyes half closed; I apologize for any typos or half-finished sentences.

Sunday mornings are usually spent getting brunch with Matt's folks. I really like Matt's folks so I genuinely look forward to it each week. Matt's dad (Steve) will never let us pay, which I find amusing. We keep telling him that he doesn't have to bribe us with food, and that we'd come out anyway... but he still pays. He won't even let us get the tip. 

This recent Sunday Matt went to a Giants game with his bro Nick. Nick has season tickets and really goes all in-- he leaves Delaware at 7:30am to arrive for a 1pm game by 9:30am so he can tailgate for a few hours. Matt went with him and I admit I was worried he'd have a panic attack at the game and wouldn't have any safe, private place to melt down for a few hours... but thankfully(??) the day before he had two AWFUL panic attacks, and he often has a good day after an especially awful day. So I'm happy that worked out. 

Matt's folks asked me if we were gonna do brunch and I told them Matt wouldn't be home so I figured they'd cancel, but instead they said "Let's go anyway, just the three of us!"  We had a really lovely, easy, relaxed time since this was the first time I've ever spent time with them sans Matt (not that I was worried-- we get along really well). After brunch they asked me to come back to their house to help Steve fix his computer, which I did in 5 minutes, and they were thrilled. (Not only am I vaguely personable, I'm useful, too! Wow! What a catch!)

I don't know why, but I always get super-happy when my boyfriend's parents like me. 

Anyhoo, Matt got home from the game around 6:45pm and we hopped in the car and headed to Philly, where I'm teaching at UPenn all week.  Class is from 8:30-4:30, and I arrive to my classroom around 8, and I try to get people outta there by 4:05 at the latest, mostly because I can tell by 2:45pm I could be talking about elephant spackle* and they'd be writing it down... the lunch coma is a very real thing.  (*I do not know what elephant spackle is or why my brain just typed it.)

My hotel is quite literally directly across the street from my classroom building, which is AWESOME.  No commute, just a few steps... so I can roll outta bed at 7:30am and be there at 8:00 with no problem. I love that.  

Matt is with me in the hotel, so I usually go back to the hotel for lunch just to relax a bit. After ll the class ends, I make my way back to the hotel by 4:45 or so by the time I straighten the classroom up... and then I immediately change into my PJs and flop into bed.  I'm usually sleepy by 8pm because I'm 90. But tonight I had a big ol' project that's due for my colleague in the Netherlands, so I had to knock that out because he's 6 hours ahead of me. It took me a few hours to finish and I just finished it up now... and right now it's almost 10pm and my body is like "HEY STUPID! WHY AREN'T YOU ASLEEP?"  

I keep falling asleep while I'm writing this and then waking up 15-20 minutes later.

 Other news, and I'll be quick here because it's super-late now... I forget if I told you that my mom lost 25 pounds on the NutriSystem plan we bought her so she could get her blood-sugar under control.  I'm SOOOOO damn proud of her. She said the food is meh and just basically TV dinners, but that's kinda what she normally eats anyway.

Ok, I'm going to sleep. Love you all ok bye.

Happy Hanukkah to those tho celebrate! 

12/3 '18 3 Comments
Yay for solo brunch with the SO's rents! Always awesome when the bf's parents like you, I agree and hope for this too. Who wouldn't? :) Sleep tight, bae. *tuck in with a teddy* (I'm half brain dead right now.)
Karen 12/4 '18
WHAAAAAAAAAT 25 LBS? Which NutriSystem plan? I have to look this up so I can read all the ingredients and obsess about it but never do it. That's amazing!

I'm a dumbass, I stayed up too late too.
Good job, Mom! That's fantastic.

We've been at my folks' place since Sunday. Dad had carpal-tunnel surgery on his wrench-turnin' hand on Monday, and he was very worried about how it was gonna go. If he can't use his right hand, he might as well check himself into the rest home, since fixing cars and building stuff (and caring for my mom) is what keeps him alive. 

The good news is that the surgery went smooove like buttah, and 10 minutes after he got home he made himself an omelet with his bionic hand... so he's fine. Now that he's a few days out his fingers are a little black and blue, but it's really all good.  Today at 2:45 we take him for his post-op follow-up, and then we'll head back home. 

We have this rhythm here at my folks' place where my parents get up early (around 7) and fix themselves some coffee and a small bite. It wakes me up, but I stay in bed snoozing. I They are so sweet and kind to each other in the mornings, and it makes me happy.  Then my mom goes back to bed, and my dad goes out to get coffee and bullshit with the guys at Steve's Transmissions for a few hours, and he gets home around 11. By then Matt gets up and brings me a cup of coffee in bed because he is the best, and then he hangs with my folks a bit while I build up the courage/strength to put on pants and go out to the kitchen with everyone. By this time my folks' morning sweetness has worn off and they're both back to interrupting and my dad answering for my mom and then my mom getting defensive and my dad not understanding why she's suddenly pissy and then I explain Communication 101 and then a lightbulb goes off for a moment until they both find it easier to deem me too preachy than it is to try changing how they talk to each other.  

So I'm still in bed at 11:58am. I need to get out there and I don't wanna. 


I have been go-go-go since the end of October, as companies are rushing to spend their training budgets so they don't lose them for next year. I've had classes in TX, Denver, Philly, and then I took a class in DC, then we went to CT for Thanksgiving, then we had a gig in West Chester on Saturday, and then we left for NJ (here) the next day.  I haven't had a day off in a while, and I need one.  The emails are piling up (work emails and friendly emails) and I haven't had much time to even read them let alone reply. If I owe you an email, I promise I'm working on it. 

Next week (Dec 3-6) I teach a class at UPenn again, and the following week (Dec 10-13) is another class that I just don't feel like teaching since it's the week before our big Christmas Show (which is on the 15th), so I'm having my pal Joyce teach it. We're gonna be building sets and rehearsing and panicking that week, so there was no way I could be away for the week. With Joyce teaching the class, I'm not making as much on the class as I normally would since I have to pay for her airfare, hotel, and instructor fee, but I'll still make something, and something is better than if I had just turned the work away and gotten nothing.

I have a ton of other work to do and no desire to do it... I'm not sure if this is some low-level depression, the start of the winter blues, or just general laziness. Probably some combo thereof.

In other news entirely, a few weeks ago I was taking a class in Washington DC and I took the train down. DC's Union Station has a bunch of mall-esque stores in it, and I was worried I was gonna be cold as I walked to/from class, so I popped in a store I'd never heard of and bought a warm undershirt for $19.00. And now, I have a new fucking addiction... these HeatTech bra-top undershirts by Uniqlo. Most bra-top undershirts have a totally useless shelf-bra, but these things have this kinda combo shelf-cup configuration that HOLY BALLS actually handles my mutant titties better than any other actual bra I have ever worn.  Going from a 40DD to a 32-Pfffft is impossible to fit, and these things work (they actually work!!), praise jeeeesus!  I bought a bunch more, so I pretty much haven't taken one off since November 13th... and ta-daaa. I am comfortable and warm (and perky!) for the first time in well over a decade. 

Perhaps that is TMI. Perhaps I don't care.

It's my blog, and I'll TMI if I want to. :)

Ok, time to get motivated. Bleh.

11/29 '18 8 Comments
Winter blahs, I prescribe a full spectrum light in your work space. At the minimum a daylight spectrum light. It makes a huge difference in my mid-winter demeanor.

I was up in central Massachusetts for the holiday and holy balls, a couple hundred miles northeast and you notice how much earlier the sun goes down up there as opposed to in Philadel.

And yes, TMI. But you be you. I now know more about the state of your chest than I ever did before, or am comfortable knowing. #nerdworldproblems

And if you haven't taken off a shirt since November 13th, perhaps it's time to give it a rest and maybe launder it.
Ray Conrad 11/29 '18
I've been meaning to get a full-spectrum light for a looong time, but just... haven't. Perhaps I shall Amazon One-click one into existence. :)

And dooood, I shower with this undershirt/bra on, so IT'S CLEAN, OKAY? (I kid.)
(googles "heat tech bra top undershirt uniqlo")
I have the opposite of your boobs. My bra size is 40 A.72 or something. I buy 40 Bs with push-up padding, so there's extra mass inside the cup, so the bra will fit. I would buy 40 As. They don't exist. I will buy damn near anything that has padded cups. Did you get the one with camisole straps or wider straps?

So this one time I was at a Barenaked Ladies concert at the Spectrum (RIP), and people were throwing their bras onstage. It was New Year's, so Steve and Ed would take the bras and put them on the Christmas tree upstage. It was a very polite crowd, so bras were being passed via the crowd to the stage. Every time a bra made it to the front, Steve or Ed would bow in thanks, and add it to the tree. I happened to be wearing a leopard print bra that I didn't hate, but wouldn't have shed tears if I never saw it again, and I was considering trying to get it passed up to the stage. Then a huge burly bearded guy in the front row passed a bra to the stage, and Steve did a double take and asked, "is this yours, sir?" Then Ed said, "What size is it, a 40 A?"

I decided not to participate.

Digression is the better part of valor.

Glad you're taking good care of your folks. Fist bump of solidarity.
Ahhhhh yes, boob-shame. I know it well.

Remind me to tell you about The Summer I Went Crazy and had a one-night stand with a guy in Philly and the boobs of shame. Let's just say my Victoria's Secret push-up bra did a wholllllllle lotta false advertising, and the let-down was SO AWKWARD and AWFUL. (Oh. Looks like I just told you.)
OMG I now have to email you. I remember ALL boob conversations we have ever had.
I'll have to check out the bra-top undershirts. My man boobs are getting out of control with your run of the mill bra.

(Thrilled beyond words to hear that Dad's bionic wrench turnin' hand is fully function.)
Hahaha! It's a "Bro" or a "Manssiere." (Thanks, Seinfeld!)
Great news about your Dad!
Also I love that you get the chance to hear your parents being lovely to each other.


The thing I teach is this thing called "ITIL" which is basically a set of books that give you ideas on how to make your IT department suck less.  When I teach what's known as an "ITIL Foundation" class, I'm basically giving a 3-day lecture on the highlights of these books (kinda like a live-action Cliffs Notes), and then I proctor the official Certification Exam that "proves" that people remember the highlights and major plot points of these books. 

When these books first came out in 1989-ish, they were a set of 31 books. They were revised in 1999 and they shrunk down to 8 books (though they added a 9th one later) -- that was called "ITIL v2," and then in 2007 it became 5 books ("ITIL V3"). In 2011, they did a teeny little update to the five ITIL V3 books and there was confusion in the industry as to whether it was still called "ITIL V3" or if it was called "ITIL 2011" or just plain ol' "ITIL." But it stayed five books.

A new version just sorta came out in beta, and only instructors have access to this draft version (called "ITIL 4"). Instructors have to be certified in it before we're allowed to teach it, obviously.  The new version won't be officially released until February-ish, and the new ITIL 4 Foundation exams will go live around then.

I'm heading down to Washington DC today because the ITIL Mothership is holding a  Train the Trainer Class on Thursday and Friday... and then Friday afternoon I'll also take the Foundation Exam.  This new version is soooooooooo fundamentally different than any of its predecessors that I am worried I'm gonna fail this exam on Friday... and boy howdy won't that be embarrassing. 

I know when ITIL V2 moved to ITIL V3 in 2007, I was convinced I'd never ever be comfy or fluent in the V3 material... and hey, look at me, I'm considered a fancy-pants subject matter expert and I haven't had an in-person student flunk the exam on my watch since 2009, and people buy access to my online instructional videos and send me fan-mail thanking me for helping them nail the exam. So maybe I'm not as dumb as I think. 

But this new version... man. I read it, and it means nothing to me... and I channel Matt Lichtenwalner ​​​​​​'s friend Don and kinda giggle because all I see are "worrrrrrrrds..."  O_o

In other news, a few weeks ago I had two root canals and one of them turned to the dark side and got infected (yum) so my face blew up and it hurt... so I jumped on 10 days of antibiotics. Those ended on November 5th.

On Monday of this week they had to do more dental work, and now the *other* root-canaled tooth has turned to the dark side. So I'll be on yet another stupid round of antibiotics starting in an hour or so. Sick of this, you guys.  (I swear I brush and floss! I even have a Sonicare and a WaterPik that I use religiously!)  And my dentist is awesome... so I don't know why my teef rebel like this. It hurts, and I look like an idiot with my face all lopsided yet again.  (Perfect for meeting new people!)

It's supposed to be a wintry mix of blecch from DC to NYC for the next few days, and the hotel I'm staying in is about 1/2 mile from the Sofitel hotel where the training is at. (As much as I wanted to stay at the Sofitel, I couldn't justify $800/night. So it'll be $400/night instead at the Hampton Inn... ouch.) I'm not looking forward to walking 1/2 mile in the icy snow to/from class, but I also know that 1/2 mile is just not far enough to justify calling an Uber/Lyft.  So I will comfort and warm my heart by flipping the bird at The White House as I walk directly past it on the walk to/from class each day. 

I am looking forward to meeting my friend Dan for dinner tonight since he lives in DC. He's been my pal since Kindergarten, and he's fucking awesome. We were in punk band in high school together and he is one of those "touchstone" people in my life. Stoked to see him. 

This will be my first work-trip (or any trip, really) in forever where Matt isn't coming with me. I haz a sad. But honestly, I'm gonna be studying each night, so I wouldn't be that much fun to hang around anyway.

In other news, this Saturday night we are playing in a big-ol' tribute to The Who, and I am pretty excited about it.  Good lordy, the song "Slip Kid" is so much fun to play. Plus I'm getting to play trumpet on "5:15," "Drowned," and "The Real Me," and it's a blast.  I can't remember if I've ever performed on The Grand Opera House stage before... it's a 1200-seat theater. I feel like I would have remembered that. *shrug*

Ok, time to get out of bed. (I've been up since 8, but I just like being in bed.)

11/14 '18 6 Comments
I can't imagine that it's possible that you haven't performed at the Grande. Maybe at the Baby Grande? Dunno.

Anywho - sounds like you're pretty slammed over the next couple of days, but I will be working in DC (or nearby) both days (weather permitting) so ping me if you want to grab coffee.
I gather you’ll have little time, but if you do, pop into the Renwick? (right around the corner from the White House) Also, Air Canada has a pop up Poutine restaurant in DC this season. Also also, Thursday evening Local 16 DC bar has a Broadway singalong. Pop pop pop.
Ursula Sadiq 11/14 '18edited
I’m stressed out for you, just reading this. I have a feeling that once you figure out the pattern, you’ll triumph.
I never have figured out what ITIL is except that "we don't have it" and "we need it."

And you've already taught me something, as now I know it is "ideas on how to make your IT department suck less."
Chris Herdt 11/20 '18
Take a whole bunch of really smart IT managers and come up with a very long list of their best practices for running IT organizations (big and small). Put it through the 'common language' filter so that everyone understands everyone else.

Now distill all that stuff down into something that doesn't take a lifetime to learn.

Voila! ITIL
Matt Lichtenwalner 11/21 '18edited
ETA: ITIL CAN take a lifetime to master, of course - like anything. Ms. Knapp seems to have an uncanny ability in that department. Smart one, she.

The last two years haven't been as travel-intense as prior years, which is great for my laziness and introversion, and crappy for my love of flying and desire to hoard frequent flyer miles. 

Right now we're on a plane to Denver, where I will have to accept that it really is fall and approaching winter; it's been easy to forget that in Delaware.  

We'll be in Denver until Friday, and my days will be packed with teaching a new client, and my nights will be spent recovering.

I first got my travelly job in 2007 and I told myself how exciting it would be to get to see all of these great cities... but the reality is that I know what the airport and the hotel of that city looks like. I can count on one hand the number of times I ventured out after work to explore the city I was in... but most of the time I'm just too exhausted. When I teach, I'm essentially delivering a 7-to-8-hour monologue, and when the day is done I just want to go back to my hotel room, order room service, and be in bed by 8. Not very exciting, I know. 

When I travel to a city where friends of mine live, I don't even bother telling them I'll be there, because I know I won't have enough gas in the ol' tank to hang out. Sad. Lame. All that. 

Tomorrow is the mid-term election day, and Matt and I submitted our absentee ballots a week or two ago, so we're all set there.  I'm kinda curious how the Pennsylvania districts will vote now that they re-drew so many districts because they were gerrymandered for so long. 

I have so much work to do between now and November 17th-- I'm kinda overwhelmed.  I need to learn a ton of music for this tribute to The Who that we're doing on 11/17 (but I have to have the music learned by the 11th so I don't sound like an ass at rehearsal-- I'm singing, percussioning, and playing trumpet); plus I have to read and fully grok a 215-page book for work by 11/14 because I'm headed to DC on the 14th to attend a Train the Trainer class on the 15th and 16th and I'll be taking the exam for it on the 16th, and I MUST pass it. I have to be able to write courseware for it and teach a class based on it by the end of the year, and I can't teach it if I'm not certified in it.  It'll all get done somehow, but right now it just feels impossible. 

OK, gonna make use of this flight time and start working on chipping away at some of this stuff.

In other news, I hate being cold. Denver in November is no place to try to be warm.

Ok bye.

11/5 '18 3 Comments
Safe travels and good health, love.
Sending warm thoughts to fend off the impending frostbite.
Ray Conrad 11/5 '18
what album(s)/song(s) are you doing for the Who thing?
CM Adams 11/7 '18

My face is on fire. 

I could type out the whole story here, but I just had to cancel birthday and Dead Milkmen concert plans with Jenn and Jack for tonight... and it's just easier if I copy and paste what I typed to her, because I am the laziest fuck ever... but hey, I have an owie excuse.



And now, the bad news: We have to bail tonight. I had two root canals on Tuesday and one got infected (sexy!), and yesterday morning I woke up in agony and my face looked like Rocky Dennis from Mask. Flew to the dentist at 8am, and he prescribed mega-doses of steroids and antibiotics to get the swelling down... but we had a gig last night that I should have canceled but didn't, and I overdid it because I'm an asshole, and my face and skull are friggin' on fire today... plus, I leave for a work-trip tomorrow. 

I'm so sorry and sad to not be with you guys today. We were REALLY looking forward to it... but I really feel like I should err on the safe side. 


(Additional thought: Plus, the high doses of steroids means I have hella reduced immunity right now, and being in a giant sweaty  Milkmen crowd is probably a bad idea... but I'm honestly not really thinking about that.)

Good god. I would love to be able to attend one goddamn event with my fucking friends without SOMETHING happening... anxiety attack, rotting infected tooth-skull, Mom emergency, etc.  I feel like a selfish jerk for feeling this way, though.

Humans are complicated.

10/27 '18 3 Comments
Christ! Take care of yourself. Sorry you had to miss big plans. That is super shitty pain and swelling after an already painful procedure.
Karen 10/27 '18
You do look a bit lumpy. Take care of yourself and get better real quick!
Ray Conrad 10/28 '18
oh man! I hope you're feeling better. :(
Kate Haney 10/29 '18

We were all set to leave for NJ yesterday so we could accompany my folks for mom's 4th attempt at knee-meniscus-repair surgery which was scheduled for this morning. 

She called me yesterday before we got on the road to say that they canceled it yet again... this time because her pre-op testing showed her blood-sugar has been too high, so her endocrinologist wouldn't clear her. 

She is really really bummed. 

I asked what the next steps forward towards rescheduling are, and she said, "I've gotta get my blood sugar under better control, I guess."  I asked her how she should do this-- is it as "simple" as an insulin adjustment?  She said in a defeated tone, "I guess I need to eat better." 

Strange that a diabetic shouldn't be subsisting on dollar-store frozen pizzas, Ritz crackers, pasta, and insulin.  *facepalm*

Anyway, I was happy (?) to hear that her endocrinologist said "Come down today from 3-4pm and meet with our nutritionist, and we'll work with you to get your blood-sugar down. We want you to have this surgery." So she's going there today.  I asked her to ask the nutritionist for meal ideas that are easy and quick because she can't stand up long enough to cook a healthy meal, which is why she eats what's easy. Is there a mail-order meal service that they recommend? I know there are meal services like Blue Apron and Sun Basket, but those require you to prepare the meal yourself, which probably requires some amount of standing.  I also don't think she'd spend that kind of money on herself, but that's a different story... and one Matt and I might be able to solve since her birthday is coming up. Maybe a few months of a meal service would be a nice gift. Or maybe that would be awful and would make her feel judged somehow... I don't know. 

I just wanna help. 

Anyway, we're heading up in an hour or so, and we'll be there until Friday. We've got a real busy weekend coming up with 2 gigs on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and family stuff on Sunday.

10/17 '18 9 Comments
There are definitely meal delivery services where you don't have to prep stuff, just heat it! That's a great idea. I forget, where do your folks live?

You could check out:


They seem to cover a wide area. If you wield your favorite search engine and ask for "meal delivery service [state or city or general location]", you should find more stuff. When we lived in California and I was having babies, the local meal delivery services were lifesavers!!

They're NOT generally cheap, but you'll find a range of prices both between providers and within various meals/meal plans.
Anne Mollo 10/17 '18
How did I miss these replies? Annie, thank you so, so much! We're OK with not cheap, as long as she eats it!
In addition to delivery services, I have an idea. I'll text you.
That was super-helpful, beb-- thank you!
Any time!
Healthy Root didn't work for me, because the price per calorie ratio was not what I needed. But, it doesn't require much cooking. You pretty much just dump everything in a pan and heat it up. It's vegan, so I don't know how that works with a diet where you're trying to lower your blood sugar.

Blue Apron was a lot of chopping. Hate to shop, but love to chop? Blue Apron!

My guess is that the nutritionist has met plenty of people who need help controlling their diabetes who have trouble standing up for long periods of time.
We ultimately decided to go with NutriSystem. Her endocrinologist told us it's approved by the American Diabetes Hernka-fernka BlahBlah, and it's basically like Lean Cuisine TV dinners. That's the level of effort she's willing to make, so we helped her pick out the meals that're gonna be delivered to her house. Let's hope she eats them...
Interesting. You hyphenated Hernka-fernka. I think I prefer that.
I hope they taste good. Wonder if I can get my parents on those. Maybe I can print out a good description from americandiabeteshernka-fernka.edu.

Last night we played a show in Kennett Square, opening for an impro comedy troupe.  We played a 25 minute set, and then sat in the back of the theater to watch their improv show. They invited us on stage to participate in the final improv game of the night and I protested because I'd never done any improv whatsoever... and it turns out I did kinda OK given my total lack of skill. That was kinda fun to try. Matt did great because he's freakin' effortless at everything-- I don't know how he does it. 

Today (Friday) I put my phone in Airplane Mode and stayed offline pretty much all day in what we call a NEDNOP day (NEDNOP stands for "no electronic devices, no other people"). We spent some time at a little spa down the street to finally get the last of the playa dust out of our pores.  (After we got home from Burning Man my skin was so dry and angry that I desperately wanted a facial, and I also wanted a massage because my muscles hurt from building shit and pounding the playa for a week. So today we finally took care of that.)

Matt and I got massages and facials (his first facial!), and I also got a body treatment where they dry brush you and slather you with shea butter and then wrap you in warm towels and plastic and stick you under the heat lamp like a piece of Roy Rogers NJ Turnpike rest stop chicken.  The facial and the body treatment were maybe a 7 out of 10 (perfectly delightful) and the massage was an 8.5 or even a 9. She was amazing.  

Matt and I went to get a bite right afterwards, and then hit the hardware store for some stuff for the house, and then he started feeling anxious so we came home and crawled into bed around 6PM-ish... and we fell asleep... and then I woke up around 2AM, which is why I'm typing this at 6;19am. 

While I've been writing this, I've been listening to "Who's Next" on headphones. Good lord, what a masterpiece. Roger Daltrey is a MACHINE. Pete Townshend's voice is so smooth... and John Entwistle's bass playing is so melodic and he plays it like a lead instrument. And my friend Rob summed up Keith Moon's playing perfectly, like "someone kicked Keith and his drumset down a flight of stairs and he landed on 1."  What a band. Man oh man.

OK. I'm finally getting sleepy, so I'm gonna end this. 


10/13 '18 13 Comments
NEDNOP is kind of an amazing idea. I'm not sure how we'd survive, though. Read a book? Conversation? Walks? Huh. Maybe?
Sean M Puckett 10/13 '18
Do it. You won't regret it.
Just pretend it's 1991, and you'll be fine. :-)
I'm not shocked that either of you would be good at improv. I think the 80/20 of improv is being 'quick'. Assessing, processing, and being able to respond quickly. We all know that there are different kinds of intelligence, but you both have that in spades. Glad to hear you tried it!

I'd like to say that I'm due for a NEDNOP day, but I think most days look pretty much like NEDNOP to most folks. I have so little real interaction with anyone. Problem with that is that it moves the bar. Now, on those days where I talk to one person, I'm all "Whoooaah! That took it out of me." #GoodProblemsToHave?
I'm kinda with you re: real interaction with people. We don't have much, honestly. We play gigs, but that's not real interaction-- it's very one-sided. We also eat at Angel's a few times per week and chit-chat with the staff and the regulars, and call that enough interaction. We also see people at rehearsal but we've got a job to do there and always go right home afterwards.

Kinda bums me out that I don't hang out with anyone really, but then again I'm also totally OK with it. Deep down (OK, not very deep down) I'm a very lazy person who just wants to lay in bed all day, so I get to live that dream most days.

This makes no sense.
It makes _perfect_ sense.

Hello bed.
NEDNOP is something koozbanians should have said. NEDNOP!
Thomas Boutell 10/13 '18
I really wish I could put my parents up in a swanky hotel with a spa and restaurant for a long weekend, and then take over their house for a long weekend of All The Space I Need. I would hire Bobbi to teach a master class in improv, so we could all benefit from all the listening and "yes and" and stuff.
That sounds like a damn fine weekend for all involved.
Hell, just wait until your parents go away on one of their vacations and we'll do it then!

Or... we'll do it at Anne's house. VERMONT ROADTRIP!

(You are also welcome to do it here anytime. If our great room can handle 7-person Beatlefest Core Band + 8-person string ensemble rehearsals, we could do an improv workshop. Wouldn't be nearly as roomy as your folks' place, but it's something.)
I can't remember whose line it was about the Who being "a singer plus three guys all of whom think they're playing lead" but it's nowhere more evident than on Who's Next and Quadrophenia.

Moon in particular on Quadrophenia is fucking supernatural. if you haven't fired it up on headphones before, allow me to recommend.
CM Adams 10/16 '18
I think I'm gonna make Quadrophenia on headphones happen tonight. I need me more Keith Moon!
there's some awesome Moon segments in the Kids Are Alright film, btw. he was one crazy ass motherfucker.
CM Adams 10/17 '18

It's 5:30am and I just woke up with a case of BRAIN BEES. (Thank you to Sean and Dawn for this term, though I'm sorry y'all had to coin it.)  In trying to get back to sleep and failing (it's now 6:53) I'm trying to think of more pleasant topics than my aging parents and Hurricane Michael and Kavanaugh and that article in the New Yorker whose last 3 paragraphs killed me and kids spraypainting swastikas on an historic Black schoolhouse and climate change report and Trump and Columbus Day and how I do not want to go to the dentist today for fear of what awfulness they will find and how much it will cost to fix. 

So let's think of something fun, shall we?

Many people have a playful, silly list of famous people with whom they would be allowed to [redacted for Adult Themes] without consequence to their current relationship. 

For example, I have negiotated a deal with my partners (past and present) which states that if I ever met either Jack Black, Nathan Fillion, or Questlove, and if they were interested in a one-night [redacted] with me, that I would be allowed to use my It's Not Cheating Pass and enjoy my one-time [redacted] guilt-free and consequence-free. 

I have now added Monica Lewinsky to my list. Lordy, I love her style. 

Who's on your list? 

10/10 '18 80 Comments
Oh, dude, I’m in a constant state of fighting Brain Bees lately. More on that story in a bit.
I might not have time to participate in this discussion as fully as I want to right now, because Vince is making dinner. But, on the subject of Brain Bees: DHOOOODD. I wholeheartedly empathize. Revising the Freebie List is a great way to cope. I haven't tried that yet, but I will. Here are the ways in which I cope with Brain Bees:

Vividly imagining walking up a spiral staircase, trying to get every single detail as clear as possible. This one is for lightweight Brain Bee swarm levels.

Translating songs I know by heart into Spanish. A favorite is "Kyle's Mom is A Bitch" from South Park. I don't know if it should he "Has encuentra la mama de mi amigo Kyle, es la bruja mas grande en todo el mundo," or "es la perra mas grande en todo el mundo." That's usually where I get stuck. It doesn't scan.

Translating "Stewart" by the Dead Milkmen into Shakespearean iambic pentameter. This one is tough, so I usually save it for emergencies, like when I'm really sick. If I'm having physical and mental discomfort, I have to whip Stewart out like a Leatherman Charge+TTI. "Know you this, Stewart, well do I love thee. Amongst all the villagers, thee I prize."

Finding inventive ways to produce overdone musicals. For example:

Annie: in the post-apocalypse.

Les Miserables: Kabuki, in the days around the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown: in a maximum security prison.

Oklahoma: during the Depression.

Sweeney Todd: elementary school playground. I'm not too thrilled about this one. My plan was that when someone is murdered, they are tagged "out" and have to sit on the bench in the corner. I don't think that's a resonant enough choice.

All-drag Guys and Dolls. This one is my favorite. I think the Broadway production should star Lea DeLaria as Nathan Detroit, k.d. lang as Sky Masterson, John Cameron Mitchell as Miss Adelaide, and Neil Patrick Harris as Sarah Brown.

I believe that freebie lists should be revised annually. That doesn't mean that it has to change (you could say "2018's list is the same as 2017's"), but you can add and remove people. However, I think there could be a rule that if you add someone, you have to remove someone.
This list is helpful and amusing. I recall you doing the 'Stuartspeare' and I told Rodney about it and he almost ejected a lung. He's dying to hear any of it if you wanted to share it.

And when I read your phrase "Freebie List" I thought it said "Frisbee List" and was temporarily amused/confused. I need reading glasses and I am fighting it.

"Brain Bees" really is the most perfect turn of phrase for a thing ever. It sucks that we all know it so well.
Did he really?

Shit, I'm going to have to follow through. I'm not sure how I'll deal with "the ride called The Mixer." For what it's worth, there's a shitty bar up this way called Curran's, that often has a live musical act called Sir Rod. I'm positive it's a Rod Stewart tribute act, but I get so tempted to call and ask them if it's a Rodney Anonymous tribute act, and complain when they say no.
Allright Harris-Friel, I need yer list.

My favorite thing you once said about someone you admired involved them having just washed their hair with Strawberry Herbal Essences shampoo. (I remember who your famous person was, but I didn't wanna announce it here case you didn't wanna share it. But I would love to bury my face in Monica Lewinsky's barely-damp hair... and that shampoo would be amaaaaazeballs.)
I wish I could remember who that was!

A guy I fooled around with in high school had broken up with some girl who used Suave strawberry shampoo. I switched to it, not knowing this, and it freaked him out so badly that he refused to be near me until I washed my hair with a different shampoo. I learned two things from this experience.
1) Kids are cruel (actually I knew that already)
2) Strawberry shampoo is a huge happy times trigger for people of a certain generation.

And now: Freebie List 2018, in no particular order

1) Benedict Cumberbatch (although he's skinny enough that I'm afraid I'd kill him if I even hugged him)

2) David Tennant (see above)

3) Ewan McGregor (an evergreen candidate)

4) Adam Driver (but only in certain lighting conditions. sometimes he just looks like a greasy arrogant dork and sometimes he looks like a tall Clara Bow)

5) Adam Scott (see 1 and 2)

6) Colin Firth

7) Jameela Jamil (I just want to brush her hair. Really.)

8) Evan Rachel Wood (see 2, 3 and 5. She's so teeny!)

9) Liev Schreiber, but there's something wrong with him and I can't put my finger on it, so he might get bumped

10) The guy who plays Oleg on The Americans. (Google) Costa Ronin.
Oh dear god I love you to pieces right now for your Brain Bees list. It's 2am, I've had insomnia for weeks, you had me at spiral staircase. Love love love.
Karen 10/12 '18
Oh! Monica! [scribbles her name on the bottom of the list]

I will say, I've had to cross some folks off as it became clear what crappy people they really were... sigh.

But on the current list? Hmmm....

Jack Black (can't disagree with you on that one!)
Bradley Cooper
Jodie Foster
Dean Stockwell
Judi Dench
Rosalind Russell's ghost
Donald Glover

Those are the folks who come to mind first.
Anne Mollo 10/10 '18
I love this entire list!

I would add Lady Gaga to my list, but I think I have more of an admiration crush on her, and would really just like to talk shop with her.
Just re-read your list. Judi Dench is so freakin' great. Wotta woman!
Oh I love Lady Gaga. But you know, I just saw her and Cooper in A Star is Born and I thought, "Oh, that would be so dorky to put them both on the list right now." Plus... bjeezus I admire the woman. On every level, in every way. I would absolutely want her to represent our species when the aliens come and are trying to decide whether to exterminate or merely enslave us.
Anne Mollo 10/11 '18
I lost a bit of respect for Ms. Dench recently when she opined that Spacey was hard done by.
Waider 10/13 '18
Oh maaaan, did she say that? Come on Judi, get with it...
Aw. I didn't know that.
Anne Mollo 10/13 '18

That article makes me think of a post for another time... something along the lines of: if you do awful things and then some lovely things, are you awful or lovely? (I wrestle with this a lot.)

Also, this is my navel, and I shall stare at it for a while.
I used to want to take a bubble bath with Kevin Spacey, but that ship has sailed.
Yeah. Same boat Johnny Depp is on.
Anne Mollo 10/12 '18
Here's my Sorry, But Your Ship Has Sailed list:

Kevin Spacey
Johnny Depp
Von Hayes
Trey Parker
Harrison Ford

...and believe me, this isn't a "sorry I'm not sorry," this is a "dhhhooood. I am Sorry for the Loss of You."
Why Harrison Ford? What did I miss?
She probably doesn't want to deal with the complications of schtupping with a walker.
Ray Conrad 10/13 '18
That, and, something about him leaving his wife for Calista Flockheart turns me off.
Yeah, I get that.
Sure, he can cheat on his wife with me in my mind, but leave her for Calista Flockheart in reality?
So, time machine jumping back before the breakup is still okay? Or does knowing it's going to happen still ruin it? (Talk about ovethinking).
Ray Conrad 10/14 '18

Also: lulz
I think you'll find that this is creepier when the guys start responding.
Ray Conrad 10/10 '18
But, come to think of it, while the principles are still alive I'd like to revisit Trading Places and see where 35 years has left the firm of Winthorpe and Valentine.
Ray Conrad 10/10 '18
Set it in 2008.
That was a great cast! I just had to imdb it to remember everyone, but yep!
That never occurred to me that this could be creepy if guys chimed in. I promise not to think it's creepy, if that's at all helpful (and I don't know if it is, or if I'm just being horribly blind and icky... and if that's the case, I hope someone will tell me).

In the meantime, Matt's alllll about Rosario Dawson, and I'm totally OK with it. :)
So is this in as-is condition or are we talking about peak hotness? Gotta set the ground rules before I start up the melon with some 80 proof ol' thought lubricator.
Ray Conrad 10/11 '18
"Gotta set the ground rules before I start up the melon with some 80 proof ol' thought lubricator." I love the way you write-- I snickered aloud when I read that.

Hmmm. I think the official rules are probably "the person as they are now," but rules are also made to be broken... so what the hell: list yer list regardless of era. Because I'd love an evening with a Citizen Kane era Orson Welles.
Well, all the people on my list, I am totally thinking, "as they are right now." Age has never put me off. When I saw Judi Dench in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel... I just MELTED. I've yet to see the sequel; I missed it in the theaters and now I'm kind of saving it up.

And Dean Stockwell? I can't even. I've loved him at every age, and the older and scragglier he gets, the louder my pulse beats. Watching Quantum Leap, everyone fawned over Scott Bakula, and I'm all like, "Dr. Beckett you need to stop talking so I can hear Al." And THEN, when he showed up in the remake of Battlestar Galactica??! Died and went to heaven.
Anne Mollo 10/11 '18edited
isn't it interesting how people sort of grow into themselves?
You see, if we went exclusively with "as they are right now" I'd be delving into necrophilia. And, sorry, that's a hard NO.
Ray Conrad 10/12 '18
Forget the dead bodies, dude! Go for the GHOSTS! Didn't you ever read any Anne Rice? (NOT the Vampire Series! Different kind of undead.)
Anne Mollo 10/12 '18
Anne Rice is the single biggest reason we have a vampire problem in the western hemisphere today.

As far as doing the nasty with the passed-y, not going to happen. If I'm going to shoot my load into a sheet I'd prefer it to be cotton, not ectoplasm.
Ray Conrad 10/12 '18
Hahahaha. You kill me.

I dunno, man. For Rosalind Russell, I might even deal with the ecto.

Anne Mollo 10/12 '18
This little thread is awesome. :)
I'm the same with age. I much prefer old and doughy David Gilmour to 25 year old David Gilmour. And Billy Joel will always be on my list.
Okay, my list in two parts;
The first part is what I call American originals. Iconic beauty of the ages. Yes, I am a product of the era I grew up in so there's a lot of blondes with a full crowd in the balcony. Most of this list will require a time machine, because they've gone on ahead of us, turned into total train wrecks or both.

Full disclaimer: I am 100% hetero.

Mae West
Marilyn Monroe
Jayne Mansfield
Grace Kelly
Lana Turner
Kathernine Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn (Warning, small parts, FRAGILE)
Farrah Fawcett
Jenny McCarthy
Anna Nicole Smith
Pamela Anderson
Kelly Lebrock
Brittany Murphy

The second list is as they are now. And again, I'm a product of the era I grew up in.

Cindy Crawford
Kim Basinger
Meg Ryan
Christie Brinkley
Markie Post
Lacey Chabert (Warning, small parts, FRAGILE)
Joey Lauren Adams (Warning, small parts, FRAGILE)
Monica Bellucci
Christina Applegate
Elisabeth Shue
Courtney Cox
Aisha Tyler
Sandra Bullock
Lea Thompson
Jeri Ryan
Minnie Driver
Dina Meyer
Missi Pyle

Because, being single, every day is hall pass day. Never mind that I've got a better chance of seeing the Lord than for one of these celebrities picking me out of crowd to bump uglies with.

Ray Conrad 10/13 '18
IHNJ, IJLS "Warning, small parts, FRAGILE."
"Full crowd in the balcony." Never heard that before, but I am giggling.
Not creepy at all, at least in our house. Paul’s list includes Drew Barrymore and Drew Barrymore.
Anne Mollo 10/11 '18
Drew Barrymore is pretty wonderful.
1. emma thompson
2. emma thompson
3. emma thompson
CM Adams 10/11 '18
excellent choices.
In what order? Or does it matter?
I am so obsessed with this post that I had to write my own post about it.
I don't have such a list (and I'd have to think about it for a while to come up with entrants) but I'm intrigued by the occurrence and recurrence of Jack Black in this thread.

We /are/ talking about Nacho Libre, School of Rock, High Fidelity, Tenacious D Jack Black, and not some mystery hunka-hunka-burnin'-love beefcake of the same name, right?
Waider 10/12 '18
Thank you for this. It made me laugh out loud.
Anne Mollo 10/12 '18
My absolute pleasure. You and Jill are converting me to the church of Blackness.
Yep. Try to listen to "Fuck Her Gently" and not add him to your list in 6 seconds.
This thread is hella old, but I'm not kidding when I tell you I played this song for Roger and not halfway through it I caught him googling for the mp3 on Amazon. He is now fully converted to the D-side... entire album, in order, every road trip, (with air drums and air guitar).
Karen 10/25 '18edited
Why yes, /that/ Jack Black. And now you have a little window into our souls.

He's funny, he's smart, he's multi-talented. What's not to drool over?
Anne Mollo 10/12 '18
I guess the thing that has always bugged me about him is when he does the man-child bit. To be fair, he's not quite made a career out of it like, say, Will Ferrell, but I've always found that sort of acting grating.
Waider 10/13 '18
Have to agree with not liking man-child gigs. I can't think of a Will Ferrell character that I've liked. I guess I just pass over Black's version of that, because he has such a broad range.
Anne Mollo 10/13 '18
The best Jack Black performance might be in, hold on, Jumanji. Watching him chew up scenery playing a self-obsessed high school girl in a well-padded Jack Black body was worth every cent. Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillan could not hold a candle to him. THAT, my friends is acting talent.

Going on the theory that making humans laugh is hard, but making them cry is easy, I'd love to see him in a pure dramatic role. He played it straight in the Jackson King Kong remake, but there's only so much an actor can do with the script he's given.
Ray Conrad 10/12 '18
Have you seen Bernie?
No, but I just read the wiki page for the movie. I've got to watch that.
Ray Conrad 10/13 '18
It's a brilliant movie.

And also "The Big Year" with him and Steve Martin is also great. While not a super-serious dramatic role like Lawrence Olivier or something, it's definitely lighthearted, but it's Jack being very different than his typical Jack.
Oooh, that one scene in particular where he does the thing, and then realizes what he's done. Ooooooh, good stuff.
Karen 10/25 '18
Listen to Wonderboy by Tenacious D. I think I've only heard it once, yet I understand the panty-melting allure.
No, wait. Even better: https://youtu.be/bzl_l5gC5is

Chicks dig personality, commitment and talent.
Are we talking just a one night thing or more of a prolonged get-to-know-the-real-person deal, because I gotta be honest, the one night thing is not really the way my libido rolls so much. At least I don't think? Thirty years ago I might have been able to come up with a "top 5 pump & dump" but now I just do not think so.

Maybe if we reframe it to "who would you want to become really close friends (maybe with benefits) with" I could have some honest answers. But then again it's so hard because public personas so rarely match what people are really like at home getting underpants drunk after a bastard of a week. When you really want to curl up and soothe and make everyone feel really nice and loved.

Some thinking is required.
Sean M Puckett 10/12 '18
I think in this case, actually, perhaps LESS thinking is required... [chuckle]
Anne Mollo 10/13 '18
Certainly no one has ever accused me of under-thinking something!
Sean M Puckett 10/13 '18
Here is a thought, re: the freebie list, hall pass, whatever you want to call it.

Fantasizing about celebrities gives us a template for knowing what we want.

When I was breaking up with She Who Must Not be Named (or putting plans in place to get out of that toxic relationship), my freebie list was an over-thought and cherished concept. It was the poster of Raquel Welch on a Mexican beach in Shawshank Redemption.

One time my therapist and I were riffing on the kind of person I wanted to be with next, and I said, someone like the lead singer of Everclear. I wasn't into him or the band, really, but I saw an interview with him that meant a lot to me.
a guy (so I could be the pretty girl in the relationship, a concept she used to torture me with)
had recovered from drug use, so he knew what recovery was like
has a lot of scars or tats or both so he knew what pain/endurance/recovery was like, and was okay with weird body image stuff (because I had terrible body image stuff)
had bleached/dyed hair or had ever bleached/dyed his hair so he knew what it was like to say "this body is mine and I can control it and change it" and also knew that hair dye is damaging
played at least one musical instrument so he knew what it was like to struggle with something difficult for its own sake
liked to dress up, but not all the time, and was man enough to wear a skirt, so he knows that dressing up takes work, but is about vulnerability and power and all kinds of stuff
most importantly, would check the blind spot in the car when I'm driving.

Now I'm with a terminally honest musician who has probably had every facial hair configuration and haircut that you can name, has endured painful surgeries, has worn cowboy, 60s garage rock and Victorian costumes in public, and always checks my blind spot.

also, I cannot name the lead singer of Everclear without Googling.

Lindsay Harris-Friel 10/13 '18edited
Art Alexakis, IIRC.
Ray Conrad 10/13 '18
I love this explanation.

And I am so happy you have found Your Person. 💗
I’m seeing 71 replies to this post but not one reference to Idris Elba. Friends, I am disappoint.
Michele Grant 10/20 '18
Thus your own list was born.
Anne Mollo 10/20 '18
Man-crushes on Idris Elba are common amongst my male peers, but he didn't make my lengthy and indiscriminate list because he has the wrong set of plumbing. And his initials are the same as the browser of my nightmares.
Ray Conrad 10/20 '18
Idris Elba is not a person. He is a force of nature. He cannot be bottled up into a freebie, hall pass, or one night stand.
Gaaah! What the holy hell is wrong with me?! He is dreeeeeeaaaaaammmmyyy.
- Ben Goldacre
- Benedict Cumberbatch
- Martin Freeman
- Rupert Graves
- Hugh Bonneville
- Taye Diggs
- Hugh Laurie
- David Tennant
- Denis Lawson
- Jason Momoa

Apparently I prefer British. Dunno why.
Kate Haney 10/22 '18
Ahhhhh... Hugh Laurie, you beautiful, tormented man, who once played a beautiful, tormented man with a gravelly American accent. Yes, please, good sir.
Karen 10/25 '18