Jill "xtingu" Knapp

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

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Old ladies have ways of doing things that seem silly or dated or whatever... but ya know what? These old-lady ways WORK. 

Like, I have this great sweater-dress that I wear with tights or leggings, but I'm always yanking on it because sweater + leggings = sticking to each other.  What's a girl to do?  Wear a (half)slip. 

Slips?! But those are for old ladies!

Yeah, but ya know what? Old ladies aren't pulling on their damn dresses all day... because the slip just fucking works

I jumped on Amazon to buy two half-slips (insert joke here about why didn't I just buy one whole one instead-- herpaderp), one black and one cream-colored... and instead I discovered a magical thing called "pettipants," which is a floofy slip but with leg-holes so your thighs don't touch. And I wore it under my sweater-dress and over my leggings for Mothers Day and sweetwoundedjesus it was magical. I was comfy, the dress looked great, and I didn't have my hand up my arse tugging and unsticking myself all day.  

Old ladies. They get it.

Some Other Old Lady Stuff that I'm Using and It's Working Great:

1) Washing my hair once per week, if that... otherwise I just slap conditioner on it and rinse it out. (Some days I just chuck on a shower cap and don't wet my hair at all. They're really onto something with the not-daily-hairdo. Boom. Done.

2) Cleaning my house with stuff like a vinegar solution, borax, baking soda, etc.  It's cheap, it works like a mofo. Boom. Handled.

​​​​​​3) Oil of Olay. I'm talkin' the OG OoO... the shit just works. Smells like Nana. Boom. Addressed.

4) Cold cream to get your makeup off... even impossible stuff like waterproof mascara and that liquid lipstick. Boom. Fixed. 

​​​​​​​5) Those pillows that go between your knees when you sleep. HOLY CRAP, what a godsend! Without it, my hip is screeeeeaming in the morning. With it, happy times.  Boom. Finito.

6) Bathtub handles. OK, I don't have a bathtub/shower handle in my bathroom (yet), but whenever I stay in a hotel with one I'm much happier. Should probably get one.

7) Toppik for thinning hair. No, it's not the scalp spraypaint of the Ron Popeil days... these are little fibers that you sprinkle on and they really fill in the slightly sparse spots. They're not gonna make a totally bald person look like Fabio, but it is amaaaaazing. Really works. For men and women. Boom. Fixx0r3d.

So, there you have it.

Any other old-people hacks that work for you?

5/16 '18 29 Comments
I have no old lady hacks but I use Ponds.
Ponds ROCKS. I love the smell-- it brings me back to 1974 or something.
Huh. I never stopped wearing slips. I didn't realize they were old-ladyish.

Also usually don't take off my makeup because I kind dig the morning after look. (Not that a wear it every day. Cause retired and never got into the habit and often get home in a state of collapse and whatnot). But I use Nivea when I do.

I'm a believer in not washing hair more than once every week or so. I find the less I wash it, the less often it needs washing.

I wear Hanes Women's Stretch Jersey Bike Shorts shorts under my dresses to solve the thigh rub problem. And sometimes boxer shorts when my bike shorts are all in the wash.

I'm going to get me some pettipants
Ursula Sadiq 5/16 '18
I remember someone telling me in like 2002 that slips were "for old ladies." I dunno why I didn't think to question it. But yeah-- now that you mention it, maybe slips never were an old-lady thing all this time, and I've been duped! Gaaah!

I wear Matt's stretchy boxer-briefs when I need a no-thigh-touching solution. Soooo comfy.
Wearing Boyfriend's underwear is so much fun.
Karen Kuhl 5/17 '18
I've always loved full slips (and had them in two lengths, long and short) because you never have to adjust the waist or turn them—cuz they hang from the shoulder! But wouldn't it be UHmazing to have a full slip that ended in pettipants?!

Of course, I don't wear slips much anymore because I don't wear dresses much, or the ones I do wear are clingy-like, so what I need is something underneath to smooth out all the bumps.

That's my chief complaint with aging, I think. Getting lumpy. I mean, I'm still pretty skinny. but the older I get the lumpier I get.

Well that and all the little pockets between my teeth. Now I want pettipants for my teeth.
Anne Mollo 5/16 '18
Yes! Pettipants for teeth!

Yeah, the teeth thing is starting to concern me. I sleep with my mouth open (so sexy) so I get dry mouth really bad, which is no bueno for teefs. My dentist has tried a zillion things to lube up my mouf overnight (wow, sounds dirty) but alas, the gum-pockets persist. I'm gonna need a gum-graft soon, I know it. Ugh.

And a full-slip that ends in pettipants would be magical! One that was slightly form-fitting to just gently smooth things out without being tight like spanx would rock.

Anyone sew? (Hey Ursula!)
I had a gum graft maybe 15 years ago. It's not so bad. I needed a massage the next day for my back & neck, 'cause I held myself so stiff.

Only probably with full slip with petti-pants? Going to the bathroom. Y'gotta strip allllll the way down.
Kate Haney 5/28 '18
Ooooh, yeah, the full-strip es no bueno.
Ah. Yeah, I didn't think about that. I hate clothes like that--anything that makes me strip to pee, or anything that's what I call "toddler clothes for women," meaning it has buttons or zippers in the BACK. Which requires you to ask for help getting dressed.
Anne Mollo 5/30 '18
I know! Pettipant full slips with a back flap! snort.
Anne Mollo 5/30 '18
Heating pads, electric blankets, all the live long day.
Karen Kuhl 5/17 '18
Yes! Heating pads!
Anne Mollo 5/17 '18
YES! Heating pads and electric blankets, even in the summer!
I'll swing in and gross everybody out by stating that I haven't washed my hair in probably over 5 years. I condition it every morning. Once a month or so I deep-condition with shea butter and leave that in overnight. But in the shower every day, all I do is condition and rinse.

That's a textured hair thing, though, not really an old-lady thing. Hrm.

- Does using only a paper calendar, no Google or Outlook or anything count? I really hate telling Google and social media what I'm up to.

- I keep a designated ceramic thing above the kitchen sink for rings and watch, because I don't like wearing jewelry while I'm cooking or cleaning up. It feels a little old-ladyish.
Michele Grant 5/17 '18
Oh I'm with you on the paper calendar. And apparently I was so convincing I got a much younger colleague to switch!

And what I like most about paper calendar keeping? It forces you to slow. the fuck. down. And it makes you less instantly schedule-accessible to everyone else. People say, "Can you do thus and such on this or that day?" and I get to say, "You know what, I don't have my calendar handy just now; I will look and get back to you!"
Anne Mollo 5/17 '18
YES PAPER CALENDARS! I get a "continuous" paper calendar every year from this guy https://supamoto.co/ Because LOVE the continuous part. .. I keep them around for years after as mementos of everything done.
Ursula Sadiq 5/17 '18
I could use that. HMMMMM.....
Yep! I keep past years as references, sometimes just to remember but sometimes for important info, like medical event info, etc.
Anne Mollo 5/17 '18
I ... have all my calendars dating back about 25 years.
Michele Grant 5/17 '18
I tried out a Quo Vadis "President" dealio (http://quovadiscanada.com/en/categorie-produit/diary-2018-en/diary-president-en/) almost 10 years ago and I haven't looked back since. I keep it in a red pleather cover that is impossible for me to leave behind anywhere, and I get the annual refill with Amazon points every November.

I think what I really dislike about computer- or device-based calendar systems is that you can't simply flip through them. For some reason it just irritates the heck out of me to have to clicky-clicky-click-scroll-blah and toggle between the views of day, week, and month to just frickin' see what my workload looks like for the next 10-20 days.
Michele Grant 5/17 '18
I'm with you re: the frustration of not being able to flip through the calendar pages. I have a calendar app called "Business Calendar" and I even bought the Pro version because it's the only calendar app that gives me the damn view I want... or I should say, gives me closest to what is the ideal (paper) view.

Some things are meant to stay analog.

I have a month-paper calendar that has images of Extraordinary Chickens-- I've been buying this chicken calendar since probably 2008. Flipping to the month and revealing the new chicken is a very happy ritual. (It was always The Weather Channel's calendar before that.)

But GAAH-- I agree with the Supamoto website: the time between months really fooks things up, and I always miss early-month birthdays, and I hate not having an idea of what the next few months look like at a glance.

Hmmm. Not sure where I'd put this or if I could end my chickenny ways, but your calendar here is pretty spectacular.
Re Supamoto: YESSSSSS Monday start or GTFO.
Michele Grant 5/19 '18
I think these things are all brilliant.

But I have always admired you for your life-hacks and frugality hacks and just general sensible-ness.
aw, shucks
Michele Grant 5/20 '18
Shampooing all the oil out of your hair and buying another product to deal with it being too dry now is how they getcha. Natural bristle hairbrush. Also Gold Bond Medicated Powder and Bag Balm. Although the bag balm is not for the bag, and the powder is. #mystery
Brett Heller 5/20 '18
Gold Bond is a magical substance. I like the extra-strength. I have learned where it should not go.
the old-lady-ist of my old-lady-isms: WID. As in "when in doubt." As in, pee when you get the chance, because you WILL need to pee before long.

Not unrelated: panti-liners. Because sneezing proves I gave birth.
Kate Haney 5/28 '18

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*

1/21 '18 14 Comments
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
Matt Lichtenwalner 1/22 '18edited
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.
Michele Grant 1/22 '18
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.
Michele Grant 1/23 '18
That’s so awesome.
We also totally played Axel F!

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 Kuhl 1/30 '18
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.
Michele Grant 1/23 '18
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.