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
How convenient, because we love you, too!
Merry Christmas to you both.

Hi, all!

July 4th, seeing the folks; parental update

Spent July 4th up at my folks' place. I sometimes feel guilty that they don't have any friends who invite them to hang out on holidays, so late on the 3rd Matt and I decided to head up to their place. Was happy to see them.

My dad has been battling this mystery ailment where food tastes BAD (like decidedly awful), and it's been like this for about 6-8 weeks. Because of this, he doesn't really like to eat anymore, so his energy is crap now. I'm worried about him. Not sure what the fix is, but his doctors ordered him labwork and everything came back OK, except for low sodium. (Which is funny, considering he always would eat salty snacks and put a crap-ton of salt on his food. But he doesn't eat the salty snacks anymore because of how awful everything tastes... hence his now-too-low sodium. I find it so fascinating that the body craves what it knows it needs.)


In other news, I have no work lined up and it is scary. We also have no Hot Breakfast gigs scheduled.  We must remedy these things.

My book royalty checks have been keeping me afloat in these non-workin' times... but last month's book royalty check was $105. For the record, $105 does not pay the mortgage.  (The reason the book royalty check was so small was because my book is sold by two different companies: Pearson (my publisher) and SafariBooksOnline.com (a reseller). 99% of my book sales come from Safari, and Safari didn't get their monthly sales numbers to Pearson in time for the May royalty check (which I receive in June) because of Memorial Day.  No biggie... my July royalty check will have both May and June's royalties in there. But I can't tell my mortgage company to just wait a month.

What else can I update you on...


I dunno if y'all remember, but I was asked to audition for and got cast in Lizzie, which is a four-woman hard-rock musical based on Lizzie Borden. I play Emma, Lizzie's very pissed off and much-older sister.  The show was supposed to go up in April, but the theater was having trouble securing the space (they lease space from Opera Delaware) for rehearsals and the show dates. So the show got pushed back and pushed back, and got pushed back so far that we lost our Lizzie because she had plans to move to California in July, which she just did.  So anyhoo, things have solidified, and rehearsals officially start next week for a September run.  The girl we got to replace our original Lizzie is wonderful, so I'm excited about that. I am 20-ish years older than the other cast members... curious how we'll interact. Also curious what the costumers are thinking about dressing us in. I've seen some photos from some productions where the cast is in lingerie and/or BSDM gear. I've seen others where they are dressed all emo/goth. And then there are others where the girls are wearing period-appropriate clothes. So I dunno.  All I know is I desperately need a haircut and dye job, but I don't know if they'll want my nutty Jill Hair, or if they're gonna stick a wig on me.  I'll know more in 2 weeks, I guess!

Golden Anniversary 

This weekend is Matt's parents' 50th Anniversary party (their actual anniversary is tomorrow). Tonight (Friday) we're having a small family get-together, and then tomorrow (Saturday) is the big soirée at a restaurant. They planned it themselves and also said "No gifts, we mean it!" which essentially makes us look like jerks. My mom used to do that all the time... she'd book her own party and then would make everyone feel like a shitbird* for not throwing a party for her.

Allrighty-- gonna try to catch a 40-minute nap before we head to Matt's folks' for Anniversary Dinner Round 1.

Hope all is well.


* "Shitbird." Thanks, Gas-Man!

That "everything tastes bad" thing sure sounds like pregnancy. Maybe you should give your dad The Talk.

I've got a birthday present squirreled away for someone. I'm crossing my fingers they don't freekin buy themselves one before their birthday.

Thou shalt not drop hints and then self-gratify before your birthday! It's, like, a rule. I just made it.
I agree with this rule!

My mom would also just buy what she wanted for herself, so when we'd say "what do you want for x holiday?" She'd say "Give me $28 to cover the cost of the thing I bought myself." Grrr.

I mean, on one hand, I get that sometimes you don't wanna wait until your birthday or Christmas to get what you need. But come ON.
Please let me know when Lizzie tickets are on sale. I wanted to see that show when I first heard about it, and now that you are in it, I REALLY want to see it.

Also, I know that when you complain about money, you are not asking for help, but if you need help with anything, please reach out. Or get Matt to do it, because you suck at asking for help, even when you need it. xoxoxoxo
Awww, thanks babycakes. We're actually in (blessedly) good shape financially, as a couple. I just hate asking Matt for money, and he really hates that I hate asking. He's very much "what's mine is ours" and I'm very much "I MUST HANDLE ALL THE THINGS ALONE! The house is in MY name, and is therefore MY problem!" So it's a thing. But also totally not. I just need a foot up my ass. (What else is new?)

I'll keep you posted re: Lizzie! I'm really itchy to get rehearsing.
Damn, Lizzie sounds awesome! I bet you're gonna have a blast and I know it will be fantastic.

Sorry to hear about your dad... that's scary, especially because they don't know why. I hope you guys get some answers about that soon.

I hope your work/gig life fleshes out again soon too. As a fellow freelance worker, I know how crappy those slow times are (like right now, so you're in good company).

Enjoy your nap!
The nap was most excellent. :-)

Thanks for the kind words, too... I'm sure things will straighten out soon. :)
First up, I read "parental update" as "prenatal update" and was seriously surprised for a second.

That taste thing with your dad, sounds rough! My first thought is maybe a low grade sinus infection, which can affect taste. My hypochondriac panic response is brain tumor, which would also explain the low sodium levels and his energy levels. (Well, lots of tumors can cause that actually.) Sorry, I shouldn't share my medical anxieties so freely! I'll stop now. I hope it gets figured out and your dad feels better soon. Not wanting to eat sucks.

Can you talk with your mortgage lender? Is it a local lender or just Big Bank?

When will Lizzie happen? Where? Can I come see it somehow? I'm good with sleeping on couches...

For the record, I've been taking a LOT of 20-minute naps lately. I'm surprised to find that they actually help.
Nonono, please don't ever hold back with the medical expertise, even if your thoughts are considered kinda ooky. I wanna know. Because my first thought was "mini stroke." So hearing you say "brain tumor" certainly isn't comforting, but it makes me think if they don't find anything with this next round of bloodwork it might be time for a CT.

Lizzie is happening in September! We have a comfy guest room with a nice, new bed and its own bathroom, and we love guests. I also have a zillion hotel points if you'd rather stay in the Doubletree. I'm not the best hostess when in "gotta get ready for a show"-mode, but I also know you get that. :-) So come on down! But lemme get some rehearsals in first just to make sure it doesn't suck first. (This theater does excellent, excellent work. It's considered our city's "edgy theater." So the only way the show will suck is if I suck, which is possible, because an actor I ain't.

As for the mortgage stuff, we're actually OK... Matt (godblesshim) has things comfortably under control. I just hate asking, and he hates that I hate asking. :-)
Do please keep me updated! I will be in NYC the weekend of Sept 16 for my BURFday. I decided my present this year should be a visit to the botanical gardens at night, to see Chihully glassworks lit up and glowing. So we're all going down and staying with James (eldest daughter's dad; former husband) at his newish house in New Jersey, so we call all six of us visit the gardens together.
That's closing weekend. Yay!

We have shows that week(end) on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and we close on that Saturday the 16th. The theater is a few steps from the Wilmington Amtrak station.

They are renovating the NYPenn train station which impacts service between Wilmington and NYP now through September 1st. Assuming they finish on time, then all should be happy. But if the repairs run late, then Acela service will be your only bet, and that's spendy (assuming you wanna take a train).

Where in Jersey will you be? (I'm originally from Jersey, but I don't know the gardens.)

But let's make sure the show is good first. :-) The music director in me wishes they tested everyone's harmony-singing abilities at auditions, but they didn't. I don't know any of the actors, but tomorrow is our first rehearsal/sing-thru, so I'll know more soon.

If you wanna spend a day in my neck of the woods, a day-trip to Longwood Gardens is pretty amazing, and is about 20 minutes away.


Tonight was the 10th Annual WSTW Homey Awards ceremony at World Cafe Live in Wilmington. We jokingly call it the Music Prom because everyone from the Delaware, Philly, South Jersey and Baltimore original music scenes get together and get dressed up and celebrate the cool shit we all did this year. Yeah, there are awards, but even if you don't win, it's still a really cool, warm, celebration. (Trust us. There've been years we didn't win. It was still great.)

This year we were nominated for 7(!!) categories and took home three(!!) awards, which is blowing my mind. We won:

  • Best Live Act (we also won that last year-- holy crap!)
  • Best Collaboration with Jake and the Stiffs for our punky punky song "New York Drama." (We also won that last year with our EDM parody song with Todd Chappelle called "This is Our Hit Song")
  • And I won Best Lead Singer, also for the second time, but it'd been two years since I won that. I am reeeeeling. (I'll post photos and links to songs later... but if you wanna see photos, the event hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, which barely anyone used, but enough that you'll get the idea) was " #Homeys10 "

There was a funny running gag throughout the night-- when we were announced for our first award, Joe Trainor jumped up on stage to accept the award for us saying, "Hot Breakfast is sorry they couldn't be here tonight so I'm just gonna..." and then we dragged him off the stage.  So for the rest of the night, anytime we were called to the stage (even to present awards or to play), either someone else would stand in for one of us and the other would say, "Jill's sorry she couldn't attend" or "Matt wishes he could be here, but..." or something along those lines. It was good and silly.  I love our people very much. 

Anyway, we were also nominated for Song of the Year for "Kids Today," which we were fine not winning, so much so that even I voted for the band who won it (Wave Radio, for their song "Unbreakable") instead of voting for my own song. But because we were nominated for Song of the Year, we had to play it live (rules is rules). It was fun to play for our peers.  Later on, one of our favorite bands (Glim Dropper) were playing the closing set of the night and asked us to jump in on three Bowie tunes: "Star," Hang On To Yourself," and "Ziggy Stardust." Glim Dropper uses in-ear monitors, so the sound guy forgot to give me and Matt (and Kevin Niemi who also joined in bass) any monitors until the middle of the second song.  (If you attended our CD release show, Glim Dropper was the band who backed us up. We LOVE them, and they are honestly probably the best musicians I know, period, hands down.)

Anyway, I wanna tell you more about it, but Matt's folks are gonna be at our house in less than 7 hours because this weekend is our "we don't buy each other Christmas gifts and instead pool our money and spend a nice weekend in NYC seeing a play, an opera, and eating some good food" weekend. We're taking the train up, so we're on a schedule.

See you on the flip side!

ps: oh! My iron infusion went well. I was achy when I got home (normal) so I slept for the rest of the day/night, and woke up today still craving ginger (so my pica wasn't completely eradicated yet) but hour by hour I'm feeling better and have more color. After next week's infusion I'll be rockin' extra hard at 110%. Yay!

OK, bed. 


(x-posted to xtingu.livejournal.com)

3/5 '16 3 Comments
Wowza!!!!! That is so fabulous. And yeah, what Matt said--all of this makes me so happy for you!
Welcome back, infusion girl!
Everything about this post makes me extremely happy for you. :P