I have Joni Mitchell's "California" in my head, and that makes me happy. We are sitting in the Long Beach Airport, waiting to board our plane to Phoenix, where we will likely get stuck because of the snowstorm hitting Philly tonight.  We scored first class tix, and this canceled-flight crap only ever seems to impact us on these rare occasions when we are flying on a non-Southwest flight and also managed to score first class seats. (So it's gotta be our fault somehow.)

We were in California for about 36 hours, for Uncle Greg's funeral services. They had a very short viewing just for close family, and good LORD, Greg looked AWFUL. Like, we all joked that maybe they brought the wrong guy to the funeral parlor, because seriously-- no resemblance whatsoever

It's fascinating watching people from different families playing these familar roles... mourning wife, mourning sister, mourning children. No matter whether they're from my family, Matt's family, or a friend's family... there are these motions everyone has culturally agreed to go through, clothes you wear, things you say, body gestures you make... and we all have more or less agreed to play these roles when they are foisted upon us. 

We gathered in a Catholic church in the middle of a breezy beach town in California, yet it smelled like a Catholic church, it had all of the symbols that I recognize... and I admit it brought me comfort somehow... being thousands of miles away from the church I grew up in, yet got comfort in the familiarity of the smells, sounds, and symbols that I assume are in every Catholic church. 

But I also knew very deeply that these traditions didn't really *mean* anything to me other than simply tradition. And it made me think: When I die, I don't want this stuff. 


At times I found myself imagining being in that front-row of the church, playing the role of the person closest to the departed, accepting the condolences and watching all of these gathered people playing their parts.

I know we will go through all of these motions/play these roles for when my Mom passes, because these things are very meaningful to her. And I imagine as my brother and I bury my Mom (and I guess my Dad; I've never really asked him what he wants), these rituals will be comforting to me and Jeff (my brother) because it's what would be expected of us.  And in some weird way, it would be a symbol that we are the "family elders" now. 

But when I die, I don't want a church service. I don't want a viewing (unless you can stuff my body so I'm standing up and making some totally silly expression, with my hands positioned into finger-guns so people can take tacky selfies). But seriously-- I don't want any of this formal Catholic stuff... but because what I want lacks the formality of these generations of practicing these roles, I kinda accept that when I kick off, there won't be any kind of "official farewell." Because without the formality, it also loses importance somehow. 

Anyway.

Been thinkin' a lot today. 

And with that, our plane just arrived, so it's time for us to fly to Phoenix so we can get stranded there. Yay. 

[Edited to add: Flight from Phoenix to Philly took off right on schedule. Not sure what the weather sitch will be when we land, but I'll find out in 90 mins when our flight touches down. In the meantime, this has been a very pleasant flight so far.]

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Yeah.

Death is for the living though. I think I wrote something like "cremate me - or really do whatever the hell you want - you're the ones going through a terrible time. Sorry, wish I could be there to help."
Glad you’re not stuck somewhere. I’m sorry for your loss, for you both.
Safe travels. It's uglaaaay here in the 19810. 3 inches of fluffy snow.
They would be on my bucket if I had a bucket.

if i go first, i want to be made into diamonds and have everyone wear me someplace fabulous: http://www.lifegem.com/index.php

welcome back. and i'm sorry again about Greg. :(
I want to be planted in a tree planter, but I’m afraid I’d get dug up to build a Hooters or something.
that got me.
I hope it got you in a good way.

Worse, the tree would probably be dug up by a developer, to build a Hooters with a Chuck E. Cheese right next door.
It was a good way.
Like, I woulda probably shot coffee out of my nose if I had been drinking coffee at the time.
Thanks.
When I die, I want all of you who are still living to gather around my children and tell them stories about me. They'll be adults, so you can even tell the embarrassing ones.

I want my mortal remains scattered at Eastern State Penitentiary, on Broadway, at Versailles, at the Tower of London and in the ocean off Bermuda by Archer and Hunter together. That's not really about the ashes, it's about them taking that trip together, that pilgrimage to their mother's favorite places. Now that I think about it, there are also a couple of stops along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway - the FI, the PMA. I hope they think of me fondly every time they smell The Heart.
This choked me up.
💗
I HAVE THAT SONG IN MY HEAD TOO BEFORE I EVEN READ THIS WHAT.
ASDFGTYUIFGYHJGTUJGH!!
Death/Funerals really does produce a kind of out-of-body experience, doesn't it? You float over it all, see the patterns and the rituals, you contemplate your own end. You ponder time and entropy, and what it is to be human... My love to you and Matt.

Thank you, my friend. Xoxo
 

Up until a few months ago, I hadn't seen my natural hair color since high school.  I decided to just stop coloring my hair and take advantage of the "shadow root" trend. Once the sides got long enough, I got it cut so it was cropped super-short all over except the fooge on the top/front of my head, which I need.  I let it grow and grow, and soon I had what looked like all nondescript brownish-blah hair with frosted tips (with surprisingly little gray, but who cares)... but I didn't feel funky at all. I missed feeling funky.

So I went to the local, indie, mom-n-pop beauty supply shoppe near my house so I could to restock up on mah hair stuff, and $3.50 later, I had everything I needed to go back to Jillish.  I kinda dug the two-tone hair, but I just didn't have my mojo.  So... TADAAAA, I'm back to all-platinum again. (And with a better color result and less breakage than I get at the salon, thankyouverymuch.)

============================

Once again, I am sick.

It's so weird. There were years where I wasn't getting sick, and now I'm getting sick all the time, it seems. Maybe it's because I'm around more people since I'm at Penn all the time... I dunno. But MAN, this cold is extra awful.

Started with a sore throat, and now it's sore ears, a meaty lung cough of death where I'm coughing up a ton of yellow disgustingness... my lungs rattle and it's just gross. My ears are killing me. I hate it. 

I've been living on tea and Progresso soup since Sunday, which is the right thing to do, I suppose. 

I need to get better ASAP because I have an ITIL Foundation class to teach at Penn from Monday to Thursday of this coming week. 

Today is the first day I've gotten out of bed since Sunday. I feel like I've turned a corner, but I still have noooo voice. I hate having no voice, but I figure Matt likes the peace and quiet... tee hee.

Lindsay Harris-Friel had gotten us all tickets to see Steven Page and the Art of Time Ensemble on Tuesday night, but I was too sick to go, and she was too busy to go. We had those tickets since August-- we both so desperately wanted to attend... but the universe had alternate plans for us.

===============================
In other news, The Eagles won the Super Bowl for the first time. I normally don't care about sportsball, but you can't deny it was a really great game. My mom emailed me to ask if we went to the game, but I don't think she realized that the game was played in Minneapolis and not in PA, and that the cheapest tickets were $4500. So no, we didn't go. :) I don't understand why Eagles fans celebrate my destroying the city... this is why we can't have nice things. 

[Pause]

==============================


OK, I can't put off breaking this bad news any longer. I hate making small talk when there's a bomb to drop, so here it is:

We are very, very sad to hear that Matt's Uncle Greg (Betsy's older brother) died suddenly today. He was just diagnosed with lung cancer, so he had just started chemo. Sometimes chemo can cause pneumonia (who knew?) which he wound up catching... and then he had a stroke last night. His wife Elizabeth said it looked pretty grim, and she had hoped he wouldn't wake up... and he didn't. We just got the news this afternoon (Feb 7th) that he died at 4:30. It's absolutely heartbreaking. Greg was so amazing. We'll be flying out to California for the services next week. Greg worked at Boeing for most of his life as an engineer plus he had a lot of hobbies, one of which was birdwatching. He led tours for birdwatchers to see species that are native to the California coastline, and even led school groups through California's conservation areas. He took us on a private tour one time when Matt and I were in that neck of the woods as I taught in Irvine, CA. Something tells me that we will definitely see a bird or two at Greg's burial. 

It makes me sad that my parents will never get a chance to meet Greg; they really would have liked him.

But I am grateful to have had a lot of time with him recently, especially considering how far away he and Elizabeth live. We got to sing for his wedding, they came out for Grandmom's funeral, and they even flew out for Steve and Betsy's 50th Anniversary Party. They were well-traveled and well-loved, and I suppose that's all you can ask for, right?

=============================

Also, just to lighten the mood a bit (and apropos of nothing) you probably didn't know that you needed a video of a bunny-jumping competition. So here ya go. 

==========================
Anyway, I want to write more, but the cold medicine is kicking in and I'm feeling derpy. So... I'm off to bed.

Good night!

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I am so sorry. Glad you got to know him.
You especially would have freakin' LOVED him. Funny as hell, super-duper-ridiculously smart, dry humor (but not always), always using his body, insanely curious. Lots in common, you two. :)
Oh, I'm so sorry about Greg. And sorry you are sick!

On a lighter note, I sent the bunny jumping video to my daughter Nina, who will LOVE IT.

I am so with you on the hair color thing. I'm struggling right now. Still growing out the last of the "gray" from the play--which is now just white. I've grown out the bleachiness once before, went back to my normal color (there's proof of that in one of my storytelling videos). I eventually went shrieking back to my hairdresser because I couldn't stand it anymore. This time, I'm trying to grow my hair longer and have no idea what to do about the color, since I'm growing it so I can audition for a play I'd really like to be in this fall--and I have a feeling my short bleachy look wouldn't get me the part--but I don't know how long I can stand having Bad Hair. It's driving me batshit.
I know the batshit-caused-by-hair very well.

How long can you grow your hair out before you scream ASDFGYUFGYHGYUJFGH and chop it all off again? You and I have similarly-short hair styles, and whenever I say "This time I'll grow it out!" I skip maybe two of my regular cutting times and I am so miserable that when I finally get it cut I get it cut REALLY short as if to compensate or atone to the short-hair gods for my foolish whims.

I sometimes wish it was more acceptable for white women to wear wigs in daily life. As for your role, wigs can look awesome on stage, so hopefully your director can look past your short hair and plop a wig on you. What part are you auditioning for? I love living my theater life vicariously through you. :)

(And thank you re: Greg and my plague. Xo.)
oh, i am so sorry. i'm sorry about Greg, i'm sorry you feel like crap, i'm sorry you missed your concert. but happy about your hair (although i'm sure on you it looked super-cool and you're being really critical :P). feel better, and miss you.
Jenn A 2/8
"although i'm sure on you it looked super-cool and you're being really critical :P"

Written like someone who knows her well. :)
Thank you all around, m'dear. I hate being a whiner, but these are worthy whines.

Miss you too. :) <3
I didn't know Greg, but I'm sorry to hear that he's gone. Sounds like a good dude.

"They were well-traveled and well-loved, and I suppose that's all you can ask for, right?"

I sure as hell hope so.
You sir, are two for two, and then some. :-)
I'm so sorry for your loss. Greg sounds awesome.
 

If you told me a month ago that I'd genuinely give a shit about Bruce Springsteen, I'd give you 100 reasons why I wouldn't... starting with how in north Jersey we were loyal to Billy Joel, not Bruce.  And his lyrics ("Show a little faith there's magic in the night / You ain't a beauty but hey, you're all right / don't turn me home again, I just can't face myself alone again / Don't run back inside, darlin'  you know just what I'm here for / because this dick won't suck itself / and I'm desperate so I guess an ugly chick will do for now / Ohhhhh THUNDER ROAD!" -- I may be paraphrasing and messing things up a bit.)

But in the spirit of rocking the early '70s and punk male bravado, I put that all aside and fell in love with this music last night.  I got to play a Bruce Springsteen tribute with The Rock Orchestra at LiveNation/The Queen to a sold-out crowd, and I learned a totally new instrument in just a few weeks and I, dare I say, fuckin' rocked it considering.  (Sorry. I don't give myself props often, but I'm pretty proud.)

This band, which had many people I'd never played with before, was a fucking well-oiled machine. It was a level of excellence I haven't experienced in a tribute show before. I mean, playing tribute shows are always fun (and lucrative), but this band is really stacked with TRUE pros... it feels good being a weak link and really having to hustle to keep up... and still feeling like one of the band.  Matt, who I consider 73 times the musician I am, also felt like a second-string player to these guys. But it was so freakin' wonderful watching the cougars in the front row LITERALLY licking their lips at him like drunk sorority girl wannabe porn stars when Matt took a sax solo. I am not shitting you.

The only crappy thing about doing these shows is that we work our asses off to nail this music only to play it twice.  Our first show was last night (1/20), and the second and final show is this coming Saturday at the Milton Theatre in Milton DE, down by DogfishHead and stuff.  It's almost sold out already, so if anyone wants to come and wants a comp ticket, let me know ASAP. 

I sing backing vocals and play percussion which is my usual gig for these things... but I had to find a glockenspiel, write out all my parts, and learn how to play the damn instrument in less than 3 weeks and 2 rehearsals.  Fucking nuts. 

Here's a little clip of the GlockenspielCam of me doing a bit of "Born to Run."  A pro-mallet player I'm not... but I'm proud of what I could do having never played one of these in my life a month ago.  (...and if it sounds like shit, please remember you're listening to my monitor mix through a phone camera. This isn't what the audience heard.  But GAAAAH I LOVE THAT THAT HAMMOND ORGAN SWEET JESUS!)

Goddamn do I love being a musician.

And if I may be totally superficial for a moment (and I am NOT fishing for compliments):  It is startling to me how one moment I look like a ridiculous old lady struggling for relevance and hipness and failing terribly, and other times I... don't? 

I'm not really a fan of the physical aspects of this aging business, I'm not gonna lie.  *sigh*

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You are so fucking awesome.
Yes. This. Always and forever.
I thought you looked amazing. I wouldn't say that if it wasn't true (I just wouldn't say anything).

Also, IHNJH IJLS GlockenspielCam
The only Glock you’ll ever need. :)
Glockidarity! I played glockenspiel in marching band back in the day.

Age-idarity! I'm getting jowls. 0.o

Sad! I am dead for missing these TRO shows. The FB clips are showing me barest shadow of the skill and talent and energy you and everybody else are putting into the music.
I didn't know you played glockenspiel! Did you march with it via the (ahem) strap-on model, or did you get to park at the sideline? I can't imagine marching and glockenspieling, but I saw folks do it in high school. Insaneballs.

Dood, we miss you and Robbbb 'round here.
I parked it on the sidelines because I handled a few other pit percussion things for our tiny, tiny band. But I did have to carry it in parades, and damn, the bruises I'd have on my hips afterward, because the harness was stiff fiberglass IIRC, and built for someone with a bigger frame than myself. Best memory: we were gearing up for some parade, and I got bored, so I started picking out "Axel F" from "Beverly Hills Cop" (www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOc7gL7Le9E) on the glock. A bunch of the better musicians in the band jumped in, including the sousaphone player (who's now a music teacher IRL) for that fun bass line, and we riffed until it was time to get moving.

Miss youuuuu toooooo.
That’s so awesome.
Seconded.
We also totally played Axel F!

GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE, etc etc
I've heard marching bands do that before and I SO SUDDENLY WANT TO BE IN A STADIUM HEARING THE BAND DO THAT. G-dangit where is summertime. This cold winter business is OLD LIKE ALL OF US ARE FEELIN.
Karen 1/30
And now I'm remembering that there's a different style that most people use, which sits upright and over to one side. That's not what we had. I carried it straight in front of me like a short-order cook's grill. I think the upright kind is a "bell lyra"; mine was a glock, but we did call it the "bells." Also it was beat to all hell; that gear must have been 25 years old when I was using it.
I imagine that 'beat to hell' must be frustrating when you're trying to make music with it, but in the retelling of tales, it just seems awesome. Like a beat up and well loved book.
Yep, the "bell lyre." In parades, our glock players also played "bells" (which was the bell lyre) kinda right out in front of them. Yup yup! I still can't imagine walking while playing... that seems impossible to me.
 

OK, so, um, I have a problem. 

Matt is music-directing this show at the Wilmington Drama League called "Disaster!" which is a funny-as-hell spoof on 60s-70s disaster movies (best of all, it only uses real pop tunes from the '70s as the show's songs). They start Tech Week tomorrow, and it opens on January 26th. We saw it on Broadway and loved it. Matt has kinda sworn off theater and said the only way he'd ever be involved with another show is if an impossibly unlikely 'perfect storm' occurred where he was music director for Disaster!, with Nick D'Argenio directing. And guess what happened? Yep. So, Matt's been busy.

Anyway, without giving away spoilers, there is a scene where a character, um, interacts with sharks, and we needed to create some shark-props for this, so Matt bought two stuffed sharks off of Amazon. He brought one of them into the bedroom to show one to me, and I *instantly* fell in love with this shark and I cannot stop hugging it. So Matt saw this and said, "Uh, looks like I need to buy another shark... you're not giving this one up, are you?" NOPE. MY SHARK. MINE. 

So Matt had to buy a new shark because there is no way I could part with this shark... even though they are identical sharks.

The Shark is now Guy #5 who sleeps with us every night. For those keeping track, I have been sleeping with Fishy, which is a fish-shaped pillow I made in 7th Grade Home Ec class, since the day I brought it home in 1982. He travels with me everywhere. 

Next is Radar, who is Matt's teddy bear that we bought at Target for a Radar O'Reilly Halloween costume in probably 2014. (Yes, we named the bear after the MASH character.) 

Then we added Oscar in 2017, who is a teeny bear that came with a box of Russell Stover Valentine's Day chocolates our friend Helen gave us. Most people would toss the bear, but he is so friendly and good... he is not disposable. Oscar sleeps between my pillow and Matt's because he is teeny.

Guy #4 is Huggy Bear, which is a super-cheap, very flat yellow bear that Jeff (my brother) won at Circus Circus in Las Vegas in 1985. Huggy Bear is anti-social and just stays under my pillow. He has lived in a box in the basement for many years, but I found him a few months ago and felt bad he was just in a box. I kinda think he preferred it there, but for now, he's with us.

And now we have a giant fucking shark. 


But, if that's not enough of a problem, I think my Fish is NOT pleased about this latest shark development. When I woke up after my first night with the shark, the shark was on the floor and my Fish was smugly in the bed. I can't say I blame him. 

So now I have to sleep with them separated, Fish on one side of me and the shark on the other. 

This is a LOT of friggin' drama, folks. I'm doing my best.

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Fish heads fish heads, roly poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads, love them up, yum!
We will be there on the 27th!

Barring disaster. Yuk yuk yuk.

If Matt is swearing off theater, what's next?
He's been done with theater for a while, really... at least the "putting on the show" onstage/backstage part. He will always be a playwright, but since Hot Breakfast got busy (awww yeaaah) music has been much more front and center.

He was pretty happy knowing he'd never have to music-direct a show ever again... until Nick called and said "Hey, wanna do Disaster! ?" And Matt was all OH GOD DAMMIT FINE. Hahah!
Wheee!

Full disclosure: Wouldn't ya know it... the 27th is only night where Matt will not be at the show playing and/or music directing, since we'll be playing in the 2nd performance of the Springsteen Tribute that night. So the pit band will be playing with a few substitute players, and Steve We will be conducting from behind the piano in Matt's absence.

I rec-o-nize you're a busy people... but the 27th performance may not be the tightest. Just so'z ya know.
Guh! I wonder if we can change our tickets?
So how 7yr old friendly would this show be?
It's PG at the worst, so it'll be fine I suspect, without knowing your specific 7 year old. It is VERY silly. The shark thing I mention is blatantly goofy and not scary.

We do suggest you go 2nd weekend if you can... the show might need a full weekend to hit its stride, I suspect. (They lost a few rehearsals due to weather.)

I believe I'm ushering on Feb 3rd, if that's any incentive. :-)
I was thinking the 4th - can't do the 3rd. It's the kid's birthday. Making this a present!
And tickets acquired! If you make it to the showing on the 4th, I'll meet you then!
 

Christmas

Had an especially lovely Christmas up at Chez ElderKnapp. I don't know if it's because my brother's kids are older now or what, but it was just really fun, funny, dorky, kind, playful, and full of love. I feel very lucky. Matt and I got up there late on Christmas Eve, and we came home later on the 27th. 

I'm sad for my poor mom... everything just hurts her so much, and because she's on so many medications for other things, she's not allowed to take NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, aspirin) -- so she's limited to Tylenol, which notoriously does nothing for my mom and those of us who take after her side of the family. So she just HURTS. She really tries to be a trooper (trouper?) and smile through it all, but it really takes its toll and it's heartbreaking. I can't imagine living in that much pain... and it SUCKS that one friggin' Aleve fixes it perfectly for 12 hours, but she can't even take that. Man. I keep asking her to beg her doctor for something, but naturally as soon as you say "pain" to a doctor they think you're shooting heroin or something idiotic. Like, can't they reduce the amount of blood thinner she's on so she can take one miserable Aleve? I don't get it. 


Phish in NYC

Friday the 29th Matt and I, along with BT and KT went to NYC to see Phish. It was BT's 93-millionth Phish show, KT's 4th, Matt's 2nd, and my first Phish show. The crowd was absolutely awesome-- so friendly with a kind, inviting, Burner vibe. Everyone was baked or tripping and the guards were lenient and friendly, which was refreshing, since nobody was hurting anyone/anything. We sat in section 115 which had a great view. The floor is general admission and people aparently line up very very early to get a good spot on the floor. From our view above the floor, we were all super-impressed with how everyone on the floor respected each others' space. Nobody pushed, nobody crowded or shoved. It just seemed great. 

Some guy who calls himself Malacoid greeted us when we got to our seats, and he greeted everyone else as they filled in. He introduced us all to each other, and after about 30 minutes we were all buddies. This guy Ryan (who was a long-haired, bearded Dave Grohl) looked like he needed one of my blinkie burner lights, so I gave it to him and he acted like I gave him a million dollars. It was great. 

Phish played from 8:15-10pm, and then played a second set from maybe 10:30-11:45. What amazing musicians! It was a pleasure and I'd love to go back. We slept in NYC (I booked two hotel rooms) and it felt great to have a comfy place to crash that night instead of driving home. FTN.


New Years Eve

New Years Eve was either going to be spent in NYC or spent quietly at home doing nothing... and then at the last minute it turned into a very small gathering (just 7 of us). Matt made dinner, we played Cards Against Humanity, and everyone went home around 1:15ish. We were absolutely maxxed out at 7 people (my house simply cannot hold more than 7) and it worked out fine. I was also happy to see all of the neat events happening around Wilmington this year. 


Phone Blather (BlackBerry stuff)

Anyway, I just got a notice that my beloved Blackberry Priv (it runs Android, so please stop making 2006 jokes about my Blackberry) will no longer receive updates from Verizon or Google as of 12/31/17, so it is officially end of life... which is some serious bullshit considering I bought it on the day it came out on March 4th 2016. Really? A $750 phone (yes, I really paid $750) gets barely two years of support?! Insane, man. Seriously.

Anyway anyway, over the last two weeks or so, I noticed that the micro-USB charging port has been getting a little wonky... like needing some wiggling, or needing to be positioned juuuuuust riiiiiight to get a good charge. This never ends well... and as of yesterday, the port is now completely dead. I'm sure it just became unsoldered as these things do, and if I had a T3 screwdriver I feel confident in my ability to take it apart, re-solder the connection, and move on with my life. Alas, I lack the right tools right now. (Gonna order them from Amazon shortly.) Anyway, as you can imagine, yesterday my battery drained completely, and now I officially have no way to charge my phone... which means I was phoneless all day yesterday. I don't get paid for a few more weeks, so I can't really afford a new phone right now (and even if I could afford it, what would I buy? I haven't even been thinking about new phones so I don't really even know what's out there. And something tells me that my physical-keyboard options are pretty damn slim).

So, late last night I fired up one of my three ancient Droid4s that I had laying around, but they all use an old-style SIM card, so I couldn't pull my BlackBerry SIM card and plonk it into my Droid4 and have it just work. (Besides, my Droid 4 is SO damn laggy, and it was horribly laggy in 2015, so in 2018 it is basically unusable.) And then I remembered... wait a second... My Blackberry Priv has wireless charging! I've never used it because I don't own a wireless charging station, but WHEEE! Here's a $30 fix for a $750 problem. And because I have the best boyfriend ever, while I was sleeping this morning, Matt woke up and went to Best Buy and bought me a wireless charging pad, so when I woke up, he was handing me a Qi charger that I got set up in 3 seconds and YAAAAAY, my phone is slowly coming back to life. I actually cried when I saw it charging up. It was like hearing your friend was in a horrible accident and then finding out he's OK.

So, what have we learned?
1) I can toss my Droid 4s now, because they're unusuable now, even as a backup. (But man, I missed that big-ass keyboard.)
2) My BlackBerry Priv has wireless charging and it works great... and I can use this charging pad for pretty much whatever device I wind up buying next.
3) I need to start shopping for a new phone, because my Priv is officially not going to get any security updates anymore, so if I wanna be a secure little technology consumer, I need to have a device that is still being supported. 
4) Verizon can eat a bag of dicks for selling a device and only offering support for not even two years. (I acknowledge it may not be Verizon's decision to stop pushing updates... it's probably Google's... but still. F Y'ALL.)


As of right now, my phone options seem to be:
1) A Blackberry KeyOne. The only crappy thing about that is the keyboard is visible/exposed all the time, so ass-dialing could be a problem with that device. (My Priv's keyboard hid away nicely.)
2) A Moto Z, which is supposed to be an open platform for people to design various cool mods for it. Some neat guys developed a super-sexy landscape keyboard mod for it that has its own battery, but that keyboard mod doesn't ship until the spring. 
3) A Samsung Galaxy S8, which has a nifty keyboard attachment for use in portrait-mode.

I dunno. I'm gonna see which phone of those three has the most horsepower and which one will likely be around the longest and go for that one.

[update]
I'm gonna get a Blackberry KeyOne. I just watched 47,000 reviews and comparison videos by unbiased reviewers online, and even people who initially scoffed at a BlackBerry were ALLLLL about it by the end. So sign me the hell up. Two days of battery life is pretty awesome, too.


Lastly: 

I caught the plague that everyone else had. I thought I had caught it a few weeks ago, but I managed to fight it off with megadoses of vitamins... but now it has officially got me in its grips. I have yellow and green stuff coming out of my sinuses that I could really do without. We have a gig on Friday and I hope I'm OK, since we're headlining. I have NO voice, and it is excruciating to speak. Ugh ugh ugh.

It's supposedly gonna snow so I'm gonna go set up my snowcam. okbye.

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Snowcam! Or BLOWCAM?
Feel better, sweetheart.

Could you go with your Mom to a doctor's appt and discuss her pain, or is that not something the two of you would be comfortable with?
Who is your mom's palliative care doc? That is usually the member of the team who can figure out stuff like what your mom is going through. They're great at balancing medicine with quality of life and like to err on the side of quality. If your mom doesn't have a palliative care doctor, and you're able to advocate for her, you should request (okay, demand) one via her primary.
Anne Mollo 1/4edited
 

I had to run out for a second, and Folkadelphia (it's a radio show) was on 88.5 WXPN. A song came on, and I listened to it on the short drive home and then couldn't leave the car until I found out what it was. 

It's a song called "You Missed My Heart," and it's performed by Phoebe Bridgers. It's a cover... but holy shit, the words, the performance, the arrangement just all took my breath away. 

Here's info about it. You can listen to the song there and also read the lyrics.

Just... wow.

The Christmas Plague

In other news, everyone around me has been sick with this two-week head cold of death. I've been feeling pretty cocky and invincible until yesterday when I woke up with a giant spike sticking into my throat from my inner ear.  

It wouldn't be Christmas without me having a friggin' cold.  Matt has it too... though I think he's a day sicker than I am.

We're supposed to be the in-studio on-air guests on WDEL's afternoon show this Friday to sing a few Christmas tunes and to plug our upcoming comedy show at Logan House on January 5th. Let's hope I have a voice that day.

Driveway Moment #2

Driveway Moment #2 just happened now. I am still in the car, now in a totally dark garage because the inside garage light timed out. 

I just watched Anne Mollo 's absolutely gorgeous story of Her Winter of Bill (as I call it).  I was absolutely enraptured. I got choked up. There were a few times I caught myself not breathing.  Thank you Annie-- really. Thank you. What a beautiful story. 

Watch it here-- she starts at the 37-minute mark. 


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12/20 '17 2 Comments
I love those moments of discovery on the radio. I remember hearing Chris Smither (being broadcast live) for the first time just as I was leaving a supermarket parking lot. I had to put the transmission back in park and just sit and listen to the rest of the show; I was so enraptured I didn't even want to drive!
Anne Mollo 12/20 '17
I just ran across her debut album (the one that song appears on) a couple weeks ago and have really been digging it. There are a few weak pieces, but the first 3 tracks are aces.

I also love that the album title, A Stranger in the Alps, is a fairly "in" Big Lebowski in-joke.
CM Adams 12/21 '17
 

Patty Lin is coming to town!

It's true. Patty is flying in on Thursday night, and her husband Mike is flying in on a Friday-Saturday red-eye because he has to work a full day on Friday before flying out.  They were originally flying out to see Hot Breakfast's Second Annual Very Dorky Christmas Show, but it has been cancelled because the venue sucked and basically didn't want our money.  So much for that.

So instead of having a Christmas gig, we're going to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi instead.  We're seeing the non-IMAX, non-3D version, because from what I could tell, that's mostly how it was shot.  (They said they shot a few scenes in IMAX format, but it was only a few scenes. Meh.) 

I bought tickets ahead of time on Fandango, and as of last week, we were the only people in the entire theater.  (All of the other theaters were almost max capacity... but that's because they were 3D and/or IMAX.)

In related news, two weeks ago was the 10-year anniversary of me buying this house. I still haven't had a housewarming party yet.  I still haven't hired a frau[1] (aka a cleaning lady / cleaning service).  I used to use a cleaning service when I lived in Arizona in the mid-'90s, and I kept using one when I moved back to DE.  When I bought this house, my fraus didn't want to clean my house, since they specialized in apartments, so I had to find a new service, and I never got around to it.  (Not entirely true. I brought one in, but I didn't trust her.  She didn't seem to be all there, and she told me that her husband worked for Cantor Fitzgerald and died on 9/11.  She told me about the enormous amount of money she received from it, both from his life insurance and also from some kind of government payout. She bragged about her huge new fancy house she had, and she never said "But I'd trade it all to have my husband back," which seemed strange.  Anyway, things didn't add up, and I didn't feel entirely comfy with her getting intimate with my belongings, so I after the initial "try-before-you-buy" clean, I didn't call her back. 

BUT!  Patty's coming to town, so Matt called around and hired a cleaning service that we both feel good about, and they're coming tomorrow (Monday) and I am excite to have a clean house again.  And I will gladly give them my dollars every two weeks to maintain a clean house. Hallelujah!

And in addition to the fraus, Matt also called Stanley Steemer to come clean the bedroom carpet, the great room area rugs and my grandmother's two green chairs.  I am very excited about that, too.

And maybe the plumber will actually show up and fix the basement pipes, and then my house will be as good as gnu!  Did I mention that I'm excited? Because I'm excited.  Yay!

Anyhoo, I need to get to bed because we have Bruce Springsteen rehearsal tomorrow and I have to be sharp for it (no pun intended).  

G'night!

-------

[1] When I worked at the law firm in the early '90s, my lawyer told me that the German word for "cleaning lady" is "heinemachenfrau."  I fell in love with that word.  Turns out it was wrong, and the right word starts with an R, so it's "reinemachenfrau." However, Google Translate doesn't acknowledge that word (probably because I'm likely spelling it wrong), and instead it wants me to use the word "putzfrau" which, dare I say, I almost like better. 

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12/10 '17 18 Comments
Reinemachefrau (mache, not machen): pure make woman.

With the Star Wars movie coming out this week, I guess we're going to wait for NFLX (insert joke referencing the time zone shift to Newfoundland) to catch the latest Thor. Haven't been hale enough with time available to catch a cheap Tuesday in all the time it's been out.


Dawn Keenan 12/10 '17
It's a lot of fun. And while it only flirts with deeper meanings, it at least bothers to flirt.
Thomas Boutell 12/10 '17
Ah! Thank you! That makes good sense.

I feel like a bad person because I'm not dying to see Thor. I don't know why it hasn't grabbed me. Maybe I just haven't seen the right preview.
Jeff Goldblum dressed in gold robes being Jeff Goldblum.
You're welcome.
I wish that were a whole movie.
Hmmmmmmmmm!
Hmmmmmmm!
After the movie, we were talking about Thor family cosplay, and Archer immediately said, "I want to be Jeff Goldblum!" and started imitating the character (I forget his name). I love my kid with the fire of a million suns.
I’d be really interested to see the difference between how you sleep before and after all this cleaning. Especially the Stanley Steeming. I bet the difference will be like breathing fresh mountain air.
I think the big clincher would be to have the ducts cleaned... I am sure they are a hot, fuzzy mess. That's next on the list. My lungs and eternally drippy nose will thank me, I have no doubt!
holy shit, they just left 20 minutes ago and my nose is already less drippy. HAIL SATAN!
Really? What did you have done? Hunter is coughing and I wonder if we need carpets cleaned.
I just had cleaning ladies from Bethel Cleaning do their one-time deep clean, and MAN, they cleaned things that literally I had never considered cleaning. The dusted every surface in the universe and *removed the dust* as opposed to just smearing ithe dust and/or relocating it. It is night-and-day in my nose-drips. They charge by the hour, per girl... so this wound up costing $450. Worth EVERY dime. If I want bi-weekly cleaning now that the big initial scary clean is out of the way, it'll be around $120 which is totally worth it to me to BREATHE.

I've been trying to be diligent about replacing our home's HVAC filter every month... it is terrifying how much dust it collects... and we don't even have pets.

We are having Stanley Steemer come out and clean the ducts today... so that should also help maintain the low dust-levels.

If I'm gonna be indoors all winter, I don't wanna have a raw nose of death from the nose-dripping!

And I can't stop dancing around my house singing the "Hello, Clean House!" song. I am transformed.

This is way more info than you wanted. Haha!
Jill "xtingu" Knapp 12/13 '17edited
Actually it is as much as I wanted except I want to hear you sing that song too. I am very, very demanding. xo xo xo
HAIL STANLEY!
I've sometimes in my life paid to have someone regularly clean my house. It was a nice way of masking the fact that, in the absence of paid help, I'm the ONLY one who cleans unless I directly tell someone else to do it.

So I don't pay for cleaning anymore. I either tell other people to clean stuff, or I let things get nasty and ignore it. Except the floors. I still do the floors. I could ask other people to do the floors, but they invariably do an incredibly shitty job, and then when they're done with their half-assed effort, they whine about how much time it took them or how much it made their arms or shoulders hurt.

There is also the issue of what cleaning costs in rural Vermont. Urban areas, there's enough competition to keep the prices lower. Here, it could easily cost $350/cleaning. Which ain't happening every two weeks, nope.

But... sigh. I still dream about that level of clean.
Anne Mollo 12/11 '17
Daaaaaaaamn, $350 a pop. That is waaaay too rich for my wallet. This deep cleaning for 3 people for 4 hours was $450, but bi-weekly cleans will run me $120-$150 she said. I have spent money on far dumber crap, so this will be well worth it.

I'm pretty good about vacuuming and keeping surfaces wiped and I'll clean the bathroom weekly... and maybe we'll wash the kitchen floor every 2-3 months. But dusting simply never gets done. But they dusted absolutely everything in this house, and I am stunned at how much better I can breathe just since they left.

I like the discipline of having someone come every 2 weeks. I like having to "clean up for the cleaning ladies" every 2 weeks as a way to throw shit out, sort the pile of mail, and put the last bit of laundry away.

I am verrrrrrry influenced by my environment, and when stuff is cluttered I get anxious and annoyed... or, I just squirrel myself away in the bedroom and ignore everything (healthy, that). But now I feel like I can enjoy my house again! Squeeeee!

Tomorrow the carpets and my grandmother's two super-awesome lime-green livingroom chairs get cleaned. Wednesday the ducts get cleaned. Thursday I will struggle to not have sex on every surface in my house... lulz.
I've had cleaners since 1997. In 3 different states, in 5 different properties. I'd rather give up netflix than my cleaners (I'd say I'd give up cable, but I already gave that up). I find I can keep up with the clutter and dishes and laundry and repairs and candy crush if I don't also have to vacuum and dust and and clean the baths. $90 every 2 weeks for this modest 3br house in Dover Delaware.
Ursula Sadiq 12/11 '17
 

I should not be awake right now.

I drove exactly 300 miles yesterday over 6.25 hours driving between rehearsals, Matt's performance at a north Jersey wedding (nobody we knew-- it was just a gig, and I did not attend... I was just the chauffeur), my parents' place, and home. 

I was very happy to see my folks yesterday, even though it was a quick visit. 

I have two more rehearsals today and another performance. 

I bought my house exactly 10 years ago Friday. 

​​​​​I still have boxes I haven't opened since they were moved here from my old apartment. 

I spend a lot of time waiting for my phone to do what I'm asking it to do, which often isn't much.

I think operationally, not strategically.

I move gently.

If I have a problem, I solve it fundamentally.

I think mentally-- and when I fly I'm so high, I do it intercontinentally.

(Those last three lines courtesy of Robert Bryan and Dave Peters. Listen here.)

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11/12 '17 6 Comments
Wow you are one seriously busy lady! I hear you re the phone... it gets old. How hard is it anyway for my $600 machine to perform simple tasks? Ugh.

Congrats on 10 years of home ownership and enjoy all the gigging (exhausting as it is). And I hope you get some rest soon!
Leela 11/12 '17
Oh shit.
I thought, “That sounds familiar... wait, that’s me, that’s Dave.”
Wow. Thank you.
Robert Bryan 11/12 '17
I sing that song ALL. THE. TIME. I love how he delivers your lyrics (the inflections make me soooo happy), and the little vocal percussions he sometimes does betwixt verses.

I fly a lot. So that line is in my head very often. :-)

Thank you to the both of you for giving us all that song.
Holy crap! I completely recognize those lyrics from the mix you put that on about a bajillion years ago. I didn’t know that was Mr. Bryan‘s work!
Yup! Rob wrote the lyrics and Dave set it to music, played it, and recorded it. Fun, right?
Fun indeed!
 

I like watching SNL via YouTube clip a day or two after the show.  I have been loving SNL super-hard since last year (along with the rest of the universe), but last night's Larry David /Miley Cyrus episode left me wanting. Weekend Update was great as usual, though.

I've never seen Curb Your Enthusiasm so I have no feelings either way about Larry David, but I felt like he didn't have much to work with this week.

I heard Miley Cyrus interviewed on Howard Stern and respected her-- she seems to have a good head on her shoulders and a healthy understanding about who she is and where her place is in the universe. I also think she has a powerful voice, and an accurate voice, too-- but the musician in me wishes her songs weren't so contrived and dumb, and I wish she didn't rely so heavily on "faux R-and-B melisma thinly veiled as passion and soul." Just fucking sing the song. (Then again, I wish someone would give her something better to sing... but then again, she is in her early 20s and maybe that's all she has to sing about right now.). 

Everyone's a critic, apparently.

My UPenn consulting gig is going well, though I really don't feel like they need me very much, though they use me a lot. I think they just use me as a sanity check/training wheels, but their own instincts are great and they don't really need my guidance. I'm happy to give them the extra assurance if it makes them feel better, though. 

Hot Breakfast is back in the studio and we've got two songs done; "Giants are Sleeping" which is a dream Matt had, and "Taking Care of Bobby" which is about someone who is taking care of a person ("Bobby") with a mental illness. Bobby was once a famous musician and now decades later he's become unwieldy and unstable and relies on the kindness of others until he wears out his welcome and is foisted on some other unsuspecting fan.  We're about to start recording our Meatloaf-esque epic song "Open Mic Night," which is an 8-minute monstrosity with skits and everything. I'm ridiculously excited about it.

I've been doing a lot of voiceover work lately. My latest project is that I'm the voice of New Mexico's health insurance exchanges (e.g., "don't forget to choose a healthcare plan under Obamacare" since open enrollment is HELLA SHORT this year and ends December 15th and the healthcare.gov website is closed Sundays I shit you not. (Fuck you, Trump.))   I'm also the voice of St. Francis Healthcare, which is a hospital in Wilmington.  It's fun to hear my voice in commercials when I'm listening to the radio in the shower. 

Yesterday Matt and I played in a memorial softball game for our friend Joel who died two years ago. Joel loved softball, so our friend Kevin Regan organized a game so we could do something fun on what would normally be a sad day. It was a gorgeous, crisp fall day, and we had fun.  I played catcher which means I did 73,000 squats, which means I can barely walk today.  But I did hit both righty and lefty which was fun.  Matt pitched really well, and also hit really well, too. A fine day out.

Allrighty, I'm gonna sign off-- got stuff to do.


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11/5 '17 17 Comments
When Weekend Update comes on, I chant "Che! Che! Che" and Houser says, "Johhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhst!"
Yeah, those guys have really nailed it. I really look forward to that segment, and I love how they react to each other.
H loves it when they crack each other up. I love the Michael Che eyeroll that ends up as laughter.

We ended up fast-forwarding Larry David's monologue. Holocaust jokes are in poor taste, but maybe salvageable if the comedian is Jewish ... maybe. But why, why waste the audience's time and emotional energy with Holocaust jokes that are not at all funny, not to the Jews and not to the goyim? UGH.
Shelle Klein Houser 11/5 '17edited
I didn't even get to watch the monologue yet... and now I won't. Thanks for saving me a click!
I've been pretty underwhelmed by SNL for a long time, but I'm with you both - Weekend Update is fantastic and pretty much always makes me lol.
Ooh I'd love to hear those ads! I just started copying all my old voiceover tapes to digital and would love to share (OMG my little baby voice back then!), but have no idea how to share them on FB or here...
Jenn A 11/6 '17
Soundcloud is your friend... or even just save 'em to Dropbox and share the public links. Nuthin' to it! I'd love to hear yours, too!
Didn't know I could use Dropbox, thanks!!! Just posted one to FB, here's the link because I know you're never on there. :) https://www.dropbox.com/s/0r5wwosn8x2b507/Jenn%20Del%20Val%20College%20spot.wav?dl=0
Jenn A 11/7 '17
DOOOOOD! I finally had a chance to listen to this! (I couldn't play it on my phone because crappy phone.) This is awesome!! Is the whole thing your voice-- even at the end with the phone numbers? It sounds like two totally different people! I can't tell either way... on one hand I think it's you, and then I listen again and I'm like "mmmmaybe it is?" Eeeeeeeeeeee!

If you want, I'd be happy to toss your name into the pool if/when my guy needs another female voice, because I absolutely can't do that awesome character you did there. You rocketh mightily!
I would love that!!!! Thanks! It's actually 2 different voices -- the one at the end is Lucy St. James, who was the ad production person at the time (I forget what station she's at now). She did most of the radio spots that the station recorded for clients... but if the client wanted a "character" (like in that one) she'd poke her head into my office and be like, "can I steal you for 15 minutes?" :)
Jenn A 11/9 '17
Holy crap - I wanna hear those too! Any chance we can convince you to share with the rest of the class?
I posted one on FB (same as the link above)... I'll put the others up this weekend. :)
Jenn A 11/9 '17
Excellent! I will be checking these out ASAP.
Can I ask how you got started doing the voiceover stuff? I have to confess to being a little curious about that myself. Not that I think I have a great voice or anything, but I'm thinking a LOT about side gigs right now, and pretty much any kind of creative work seems like it would be really good.
It really was just a case of being in the right place at the right time, and knowing the right people. I hate to say it, but it's true.

I got that Cream of Wheat voiceover in 7th grade because Nabisco's headquarters was in my town, and they wanted cheap labor, so they sent a guy to the middle school and asked the Broadcasting Club advisor (Mr. Ginsberg!) if he had any club members that had good voices, and Ginsberg recommended me. So I recorded the spot, not really knowing what I was doing, but I guess I came across like I wasn't a total idiot. But that was the first thing on the resume that made me appear "legit."

In high school and college I recorded music in studios with various bands, so I got really comfortable with hearing the sound of my own voice (granted, my singing voice), but I also got comfy with studio equipment, so I looked like I knew what I was doing and sounded like I knew what I was talking about.

Then I had my college radio show for 4 years and earned my FCC radio license and had to do newscasts and commercials for the station, so that also built up my resume. Moving to Arizona helped because it really neutralized my NJ accent.

Then I was working as the head of IT for a huge radiology group in Arizona when Bell was morphing to Lucent, and my company was shopping for a new phone system. So the Bell sales droid said that we could save money on our phone system by recording the phone prompts ourselves, so I said I'd do it. So I first recorded the voice prompts just for our own company's phone system, and when the guy heard that it sounded good, he suggested his bosses dial into our phone system to hear my voice because they were looking for the voice for Lucent's new phone systems to sell to people who didn't want to record their own voice prompts. I honestly think I got that gig because I was... there... and not totally incompetent. Saying I had an FCC Radio License gave me some kind of faux-credibility -- it sounded important to people who didn't know any better. (Fun fact: The year after I got my radio license the FCC decided you didn't need a license anymore to be on the radio... so my license means absolutely nothing. But it sure sounds important!)

Anyway, I got the recent voiceover gigs because we hired George Murphy from Planet Ten to do our CD design/layout of our first CD (39 Summers), and instead of paying him, he asked if I would just barter some free voiceover work... somehow he knew that I had done voiceovers before. And then going forward, whenever he needed a voice he called me... and those turned into paying gigs.

This is more information than you wanted, I'm sure... but the upshot is, I was in the right place at the right time, and I spoke up about what I could offer people. *shrug*
Jill "xtingu" Knapp 11/9 '17edited
You crack me up. “I was just lucky“ and then proceed to list a long set of ways in which you created that ‘luck’.

;)

Very cool though. I don’t think I knew about most of those gigs. I knew about the college radio, but I think that’s about it!
Matt Lichtenwalner 11/13 '17edited
Now I have “George Murphy” by Tom Lehrer in my head. Listen to it. It’s a great song, on “That Was The Year that Was.”
 

I was in Wisconsin for 24 hours on Sunday into Monday-- Racine, to be exact.  My hotel was right on the bank of Lake Michigan, which is surprisingly blue... like Caribbean blue. 

Racine is like Wilmington in that it was probably a sad, falling-down place for decades until someone decided to throw a ton of money at it, and now it has a super-cute main drag, similar in vibe to Market Street in Wilmington, or maybe more specifically the Riverfront. Lots of shops, eateries, businesses, parking, people walking around, all that. And it's CUTE. 

Even th Milwaukee airport is adorable, mostly because of the people in it. Everyone is soooo friendly, inclusive, soft-spoken, quick to smile and say hello. Where the Philly airport (and every other airport) is LOUD with announcements, machinery, moving walkways, beeping carts, cops on Segways, yelling kids, and families whose default vocal conversation volume is SCREAMING, it's easy to get numb to the noise.  But Milwaukee is quiet. 


Always Get a Shoe Shine

I forget where I read it, but someone said in their list of life tips to "Always get a shoe shine by the old guy in the airport."

I may have only gotten two or three shoe shines in my life, and they were awesome, and my shoes appreciated it.   Two weeks ago I wanted to wear my ancient Doc Martens to work and Matt offered to shine them up, and I took him up on it. They look great! What a difference!  I bought those 10-eye black Doc boots from Buffalo Exchange (used!) in 1996 or so... so they're at least 21 years old. (My boots can drink!) After Matt got done shining them up, they look like new damn boots! I can't believe it!  I really need new soles though-- they are worn flat to the point where they are slippery and absolutely unwearable in the wintertime. 

ANYWAY, this post is not about my Doc Martens though, but instead about me getting a shoe shine in the Milwaukee airport right after I landed, shining a totally different pair of boots. My flight landed around 1pm, and it was gonna be about a 30 minute drive to Racine and I figured there was a good chance my hotel room wouldn't be ready for me by the time I showed up at 1:30, so I tried to take my time. As I wandered through the almost empty airport, I saw a shoeshine guy on the out-side of security... which seemed strange, but OK.  The shoeshine guy had a TV in his booth and he was watching the game, and I felt bad for interrupting him, but he invited me in.  As soon as he invited me in, I could tell something was slightly off... but I didn't care. He cheerfully and eagerly invited me in, and I was gonna stay. 

The old guy, probably in his 60s, looked much older. He was very shaky, couldn't speak clearly... but he managed to say that he had just had a stroke and was just coming back to work. In a moment, his son appeared and took over the reins, somewhat embarrassed for his dad. Once I assured the son that I was comfy with Dad and was happy to be there, the three of us had a great time. We talked about the stroke a little bit, and how Dad couldn't bear to stay cooped up in the nursing home with "people with no purpose no more."  He was a shoe-shiner, and he took his craft seriously... it was his life's work. Even though he couldn't wield the tools as adeptly anymore, his son helped out when he needed to, and they managed to give me a great freakin' shoe-shine in 30 minutes... and a great chat. We talked about traveling, weather, the 24-hours news cycle and how it's killing the country, and food that is unique to this side of Wisconsin. 

After 30 minutes of intensive work, they charged me $12 for the shoe-shine, and I gave them $40. 

My boots look damn fiiiiine, and my heart feels good, too. 


Swingin'...

In other news entirely, my favorite lunch spot in Philly is 30th Street Station, outside on the swings.  I get a cup of coffee and a bagel and/or a sammich/salad from one of the many shoppes inside, and plop my arse on a swing and all is right with the world.

They have two different types of swings-- one where your feet can touch the ground, and ones that are more like giant recliners where your legs are totally off the ground. So today there were people sitting on the big recliner swings, but their swing had stopped swinging... and since their feet can't touch the ground, they have no way to swing again. So as I walked by them, I gave them each a push and they both smiled and laughed. It made my day. :-)

Shut up and post this, Jill

Anyway, I think I'm just gonna post this, otherwise I'll just drag it out, adding letters but saying nothing. So... post!

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11/2 '17 4 Comments
Shoe shining/repair is something of a rare art these days. If you have a good shoe repair shop around you, it is always an awesome thing to have soles replaced. Between that and a shine, it's like insta-new-shoe! Poof! Plus, then your footwear lasts foreeeeeever. I have a pair of boots over 30 years old and a pair of dress heels over 25. My shoes aren't *quite* old enough to be your Doc's mom, but I bet they babysat 'em on Friday nights.
Anne Mollo 11/2 '17
There are two "shoe guys" in town, and one is in the mall of all places, and they are craaaaazy-busy. I've brought boots to them that had broken zippers and stuff, and they replaced 'em as good as new. But I've never had soles replaced.

Doc Martens have such specific soles, and I don't know if they have Doc Marten soles. But then again, I'm not sure how mega-important genuine Doc Martens soles are. As long as they look and feel right, I suppose that's what's important. Besides, I've been walking around on worn-down soles for so long, so I don't know if if I'd know the difference. Maybe I'll bring them over.
Okay, yes, I might be a bit biased, but I swear to Christ, Lucifer, and everyone in between that I would read the shit out of a book of collected blog posts by you chica. Just something about the way I feel the life moments in your posts. It's really fine stuff.

And now I'm having a mental image of you, talking about you, and saying "She just... Gets It. You know? She's our people."
Awwwww, thanks! I love writing. I know my writing needs a lot of work, but it's good for my soul. It makes me really happy that you like reading my brain pickinz. ;)