Jill "xtingu" Knapp

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

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(I wrote this at 4:00am on Saturday morning.)


Hi, all!

It's been go-go-go land here, so I apologize for not writing or generally being more present or responsive. I have been reading here and trying to comment where I can, but that's about all I can offer for the next 8-9 days or so.


We are now just a few days away from Beatlefest 2019. It's going to be the same format as last year, in the same location, etc.

The biggest change for me is that instead of using three enormous 3-ring notebooks full of sheet music, I'm trying to use my new tablet that I bought expressly for this purpose. I struggled so much last year juggling several percussion instruments and having to turn pages, so I needed something electronic with a bluetooth foot pedal. I labored over my decision, and I chose the Boox Onyx Max2 Pro, 13.3" e-ink tablet, so it's crazy-light, and easy on the eyes, and displays a sheet of music at full Letter Page size that my 48-year-old eyeballs can read.  I've been using this amazing app called MobileSheets Pro which is everything you want in a music-performance device. 

Sadly, the app blew up last night (Friday night, just 11 hours ago) and I lost 4 days' worth of the notes I transcribed from my paper notes from last year. I am heartbroken. The app developer is ridiculously responsive, so he may be able to salvage some of it. I am not hopeful, but we're trying.


It's very late (or early, depending on how you view days)-- I've been trying to fix this since 5:30pm and now it's 4:09am (good morning, Jenn!). Today (Saturday) we core-band BeatleFest people move into the venue and get everything wired up for sound, and then we run a quick sound check with the core band.  Then the strings, horns, and Indian musicians come in Sunday to get them wired up and rehearsed.  

And then we start Beatlefest on Monday! 


In other news, my iron levels have crashed, but I go for an infusion on Tuesday (yes, a Beatlefest day). That was the fastest they could get me in, so I'll take it... and hopefully I'll be feeling magically awesome by Thursday night when I really need to be thinking clearly. It's remarkable how fuzzy my brain is when it doesn't get oxygen. 


Away we go!

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I miss you
I miss you, too. Genuinely, sincerely.
I can't believe your app crashed at the worst time! I hope you get something back!
Karen 7/28
The good news is that I got it all back! The bad news is I lost 3 days doing so, so now I'm 3 days behind in getting the rest of my written notes re-written into the tablet. Tonight (Night 3 of Beatlefest) is the last night of notes I have in my tablet. Nights 4-6 have no notes written, and they are also coincidentally the hardest friggin' music.

I'll get it done, though. Just gotta do it.
good morning! :)

booooooo to that app crashing, that completely sucks. but all that tech sounds so cool! i always wondered how people using a tablet for music turned the pages, didn't realize it was a foot pedal. i feel like i'm living in the future.
Jenn A 7/28
Yep! It's a bluetooth pedal! Some folks prefer to just tap the tablet which turns the page, which is still infinitely easier than turning paper pages. They even make a drum-pad that triggers the page turn for drummers.
 

Tonight (Friday) we'll be playing our first gig in a while. A band we love very much, The Honey Badgers, are having their album release show and asked us to open... and we were flattered since we're almost 20 years older than them. (We have this tired 'joke' about how they are the younger, more attractive acoustic duo who is also a couple with the band initials "HB.")  They played at our very first CD release show in 2013, so it'll be nice to return the favor.

Erin has a music degree in voice/violin, and her voice is like velvet. She cares so much about singing well, which I sooo appreciate, but she is also so effortless in it, which I am sooo jealous of. :-)  Her husband Michael is a science guy and a computer guy, and while not as musically-trained as Erin, he has such innate musicality and plays a zillion instruments, and their voices blend so, so, so well.  They play folk, but it's not sleepy folk. 

The show is upstairs at The Queen, but thankfully it's not a LiveNation show (it's just a rental) so tickets are not expensive because there aren't $73,938 in TicketMaster fees tacked on.  

Matt and I open the show at 8pm sharp, and we'll play a truncated set (35 mins). I'll also be singing lead on a Honey Badgers song during during their set, and then joining them on the final two tunes. 

We're looking forward to this show because we'll get to play two songs we don't get to play often at all... but since this is a folk/listening audience, we can bust out two songs that really reward the listener for paying attention to the lyrics. (Matt writes a great damn song. Playwright lyricists, man. Nomz.)

You can buy tix online only until 8am on the 15th (so 6 hours from now); otherwise you'll have to buy them at the door; there should be about 10 available at the door, I'm guessing.  The good news is that your ticket stub (or your ticket receipt if ya bought it online already) can be brought to the Stich House Brewery down the street on 8th and Market for 10% off your whole bill, before and/or after the show. Wheee!

Ok, going to bed. 


(PS: This is not me trying to convince anyone to go. We gauge our success on how many non-friends (organic fans) come to the show. I hate when bands make their money by guilting their friends into paying their rent, essentially. Not cool. Nobody owes me anything. 😊)


(PPS' My sleepy meds have just kicked in. I wanted to write about The Homey Awards that were tonight, and were fun. Will write more tomorrow.)

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Ooo now I know where to invite the gang after future shows
The place is really great!
Is it still guilt if it's a guilty pleasure?

Some day SOME DAY, I will be kid free and in Delaware when you play and make one of your shows....what's the best way to see your schedule in advance?
There are two easy ways to keep up!

1) Our website:
http://hot-breakfast.com/shows/

2) Our Google calendar:
http://hot-breakfast.com/calendar/

We can also add you to our mailing list! We usually send things out quarterly/seasonally... but that requires people to kinda make a note about shows. Our marketing person is trying to get us to send out reminder emails closer to shows, but good lord I am so worried about over-emailing people.
 

Yesterday morning Matt had to get some bloodwork done, so we got up early (well, early for us) and got that taken care of, and then went to brunch.  When we got back, Matt said, "Oh man, I think I might be coming down with something. I'm not entirely sure... I just feel kinda off." That was around 1:30.

By 5:00 Matt had a 99.4 degree fever, and by 8:30 it was 101.7 and he was praying that the sweet lord would just let him die. He had the power-pukes of doom (though he admittedly felt better after Round 3), and the cold/hot/ugh of the fever, and this awful cough that came from the pit of his soul.

Around 11pm my pal Kerry texted me and mentioned that she had the similar plague the day before, but thankfully it seemed to be a 24 hour thing because she felt 89% better.  

Matt debated taking something to knock his fever down, but we agreed that we shouldn't mess with millennia of evolution, and that we should just let the fever cook out whatever it needed to.  We did give him a delicious Wal-Som to knock him out though, and he slept fairly well through the night despite a few puke-breaks.

He woke up this morning and his fever is back down to 99.4, and he feels better than he did yesterday but is still bed-ridden.

I am avoiding him as much as possible, which means I'm sleeping in the guest room, and staying out of our bedroom unless I absolutely have to go in there to bring him something.  Poor guy.

This wouldn't be a big deal, but this weekend is a Really Important Weekend.

On Friday, Matt has his very first gig with 53rd & 3rd, which is a brand-new Ramones tribute band that he's the lead singer for.  Matt has never fronted a band without also holding a guitar before, and he's nervous (though very prepared). He reaaaaaally doesn't want to be sick for this. I suppose the good news is that the gig is at Bar XIII, which is about 7 minutes from our house, and if worse came to worst, he could show up, sing, and leave.  This isn't what we want, of course.

On Saturday, Matt and I are part of this really neat show called "Shine a Light," which is a 50+ musician fundraising show that raises dinero for the Light Up The Queen Foundation, which raises money for Delaware schools that lost their arts/music funding. It also runs a jazz school, and does some other cool things, too.  It's held on the big stage downstairs at The Queen, and it's almost already sold out. Tickets are $125 each, and VIP tix are $250... so it's a pretty big to-do.  Anyway, each year's concert has a theme, and this year we're doing all songs from 1969. It's a prestigious thing, and this is our first year being a part of it.  As Freshmen members, we are singing backups and are in the horn section... so no lead singer or guitar duties, but honestly, we really like being right where we are. 

Anyway, Saturday's show is an all-day thing... we have to arrive by 3 so we can be all sound-checked and cleared off the stage by 6 because that's when the house opens for the VIPs.  The music starts at 8.

The downside to this show is that there are over 50 players involved, so there are going to be over 50 musicians crammed into the backstage area where there is not enough room for even 20 people, really... plus I'm sure many will be drinking throughout the day/night... and as an introvert it's hard to endure not having a place to be quiet where there isn't a person (drunk or not) trying to talk to you... but it's a billion times worse when you're sick.  So I'm thinking about bringing a pillow or some kind of cushion so we can sit in the stairwell where (hopefully) nobody else will be. 

As for me, I feel like my body is working really hard to fight something. I'm doing everything in my power to make sure it wins.

We were in Austin all last week for work and got home on Saturday, and then Matt had a Ramones rehearsal at 10:00am on Sunday because we had an all-day dress rehearsal for Shine a Light that started at noon and went until around 7 or 8-ish (can't remember).  So between travel, being on an airplane, being in two rehearsal spaces crammed with people and sharing mics and stuff and just running running running, it's no surprise the plague got a foothold.

So, we're hoping Matt feels better ASAP.

In the last bit of news: I'm typing this in procrastination, because I'm an idiot and always wait until the last possible second to get my books in shape in time for my accountant to do my business taxes and then my personal taxes. I see my accountant tomorrow at 2pm, and I am just now starting to hand-type in all of my bank and credit card transactions for the year, because naturally I am too cheap to spend the $9.95/month for Quickbooks access.

Anyway, if I owe you an email or some kind of reply, it'll likely be next week sometime. I've gotta get through this week and the weekend.

xo

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O lawd. Good luck kids.
Sending love and strength.
 

Howdy!

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. 

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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! :)
 

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.



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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:

https://www.cleaneatsmealprep.com/

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. 

Xo

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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
 

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

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

So, here's a redux:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okbye.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry I missed the Beatles Fest and the summer show. Too damn busy with the house.
Ray Conrad 8/3 '18
Oh no... please keep me posted on your dog's appointment. I hope everything is fine and you have many long years of belly rubs ahead of you. And if you want me to bring general good wishes to the temple, say the word! It doesn't have to be all sad. I can even post some gratitude for your roof!

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


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

*inhales deeply*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In conclusion, I'm really happy you're getting some medical help with it. Here's to sandwiches.
Michele Grant 8/5 '18edited
Yep! You get it entirely.

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

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

Sing it! "Thank you for being a frieeeeend!"
You never cease to amaze me.
SFM 8/5 '18
Hey! It's great to see you here! Welcome!!
My parents do the NYT crosswords all week and solve them "together" (one takes a crack then the other then I think they work together). Good stuff!

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

Lastly, we're hoping do see the Dead Milkmen at the Ardmore Music Hall on 9/21 if we can (it's sold out, we're on a ticket waiting list) and then have GA tickets for Paul Simon's LAST CONCERT EVER in NY the next night. Just in case you're doing any of those things...
Avocado Tom 8/9 '18
How many tix do you need for the Milkmen show on 9/21? I miiiiight be able to getcha on the list. Lemme see what I can do!
Two would be AMAZEballs.
Avocado Tom 8/15 '18
 

And no worries if you're not.  (Long overdue HB Snoozeletter comes out tomorrow. You can sign up for our mailing list here if ya want.)

Also: For pals in far-away places: If you know of any venues near you that book bands where people tend to listen (read: we are not competing with TV screens showing sports), or if you've ever wanted to host a house concert (they are shockingly easy), let me/us know! 

You can reply here, or you can email us at awesomesauce@hot-breakfast.com .

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4/21 '18 13 Comments
I'm 100% serious about this, we will find you a gig where people listen to you when you come to St. John's.

Also we will put you up.
Michele Grant 4/21 '18
And we are 100% serious about taking you up on it! Warm weather is coming... :)
I have forgotten what leaves look like.
Michele Grant 4/23 '18
Dood, so have we.

The daffodils are up, and our grass is clumpily coming in, but dammit there are no buds on the trees yet. I would love a day over 60, plzkthx, it's almost fucking May.
I'm hoping to make it to the May 2nd gig.

We should talk about places down here for y'all to gig at. I know your requirements are pretty minimal, but knowing how much space, do you need electric, etc would help. I'm still too new to the area to be all "Oh! Hai! I know all the places!" but I'll keep my eye out.
Honestly, the most important thing is vibe. We don't wanna be background music, but we also know that more traditional theater-esque won't book us without knowing who we are. It's a conundrum.

But thanks for keeping an eye out! :)

Can't wait to see you on the 2nd! :)
Seconded with Roger and I planning to come.
Karen 4/25 '18
The Trapp Door Gastropub in Emmaus frequently does two-person bands in the corner right up front. Very intimate, and people do go for the music. And clap.
Karen 4/25 '18
Oh - that seems like a good call!
Holy carp, are we really both on the same 3-day old post at the same time? Ha! I love OPW at night right before bed.
Karen 4/25 '18
Yup. Or at least I'm online and I see when there's an update to a Post I commented on. :)
This is great-- thanks!
When you are in Dover, you might want to walk over to Governor's Cafe. They've started hosting singer/songwriters but I'm not sure the exact setup. Ditto for 33 on Lockerman. Forham Brewery does new beer release events about once a month where they book music. .

I"m going to do my best to come hear y'all on Friday so I get a better idea of what you're all about. Then I might be more useful in my suggestions.
Ursula Sadiq 4/29 '18
 

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 have a few things to talk about, but it's 2am (now 5:30am) and I'm now too tired... so I'm just going to leave videos of two songs from the Sunnyvale / Hot Breakfast!  house concert that happened in August in north Jersey.  (Huge thanks to Anthony Stramaglia for shooting and posting these!)

This first song ("A Thing to Get Through") is brand-new, and this recording was not only the song's very first "public" performance, it was also perhaps maybe only the 5th or 6th time we'd actually played/sung it straight through... Matt and I had learned it quite literally the night before.  It was a safe and friendly crowd, so I wasn't worried about making a mistake; I was more worried about crying in the middle of the song. (You can hear me start to get choked up a few times; you can just hear things tighten up and me make slight vocal adjustments to compensate.  Or maybe you don't hear it since I didn't use a mic, and/or maube you're not that anal about vocal mechanisms. Whatevz.  Anyway, getting choked up is normal and often happens when you lose a friend and you sing a song about the loss to a room full of people who loved him.)  Andrew (the songwriter and piano player) was Paul's (the friend who died) best friend, and they were VERY tight, and kept up their friendship via email since they lived on opposite coasts (Paul in north Jersey and Andrew lived in Portland, OR).  They are both gifted writers, and I secretly pray those letters/emails get published some day.  Heavy philosophy, social criticism, music analysis and theory, knowing thyself, etc.  

Anyway, the lyrics are below the video.


Below that is Video #2 for an old song ("The Job Song" a.k.a. "Get a Real Job") by our old band The Evelyn Situation. This song was written in 1992 for two women's voices and piano and guitar as an evil polka, and has been re-arranged over the years for 2 voices/one kazoo/two guitars/piano; then for one vocalist (me!) plus a 17 piece big band (the Industrial Jazz Group), all the way to this current stripped-down version of one voice, one piano (below).  The video for The Job Song is below the first one, and the lyrics (which are wonderfully clever) are below it.  (and yes, I was super-enunciatey. I didn't have a mic and I wanted to make sure everyone understood the words. I'd rather err on the side of over-pronouncey than mumbly. I hate when I can't understand a singer.)

A Thing to Get Through - - words and music by Andrew Durkin. (For Paul.)

Flying in to Jersey 
With the winter on my mind
I got angry at a stewardess 
Who was trying to be kind
My past was up ahead, and my future far behind
mm-mmm, mm-mmm, mm-mmm

If you had a fortune
Would you have been who you wanted to be
If you had a lifetime
Would you have used it to finally get free
If you had a second chance
Could you do now what you didn’t do
Or was life just a thing to get through

Some came from the beginning 
And some came from the end
Some I hadn’t seen forever
And some I might never see again
Help me, Jesus—is this anyway to treat a friend
mm-mmm, mm-mmm, mm-mmm

If you had a fortune
Would you have been who you wanted to be
If you had a lifetime
Would you have used it to finally get free
If you had a second chance
Could you do now what you didn’t do
Or was life just a thing to get through

Maybe you are laughing
From your attic in the sky
Maybe you’re that piece of clay
That finally learned to fly
Do you think we’ll ever know
What happens when we die
mm-mmm, mm-mmm, mm-mmm


The Job Song (words and music by Andrew Durkin)

This guy with horns said, "There's a cure for your financial state: don't do the thing you love, cause good things come to those who hate. I'm a powerful man, and though I think you're a slob, if you will flatter me, I'll get you a real job."

"Give up your dreams," he said, "Yes, that's the way to have it all. Look at your cousin Neil: he's young, he's rich (he's going bald). He may be dead in a decade or two, but he drives a porsche, and yes, you can drive one, too. Why don't you get a real job?"

Having just finished school, I'd never met his type before. "You're very kind," I said, "And yes, you're right, I'm very poor. But I don't see how your scheme could help me, And so I wonder if you might not tell me more. Why should I get a real job?"

"Well, don't you want to be like the people on TV? So bored and jaded and doing something that you have always hated? Just give in! How could it be a sin? The big machine must keep on rolling on... Why don't you get a real job?

For I have here in store each numbered casket for your generation: I've been waiting with anticipation! Truth, you'll find, is on the dotted line, so be a good sport. That's what life is for!"

Anyway. 

I have to tell y'all about the new consulting gig and Matt's music directing a show and me thinking about joining a christmas carol troupe for this holiday season to make a few bucks singing in malls, but that'll have to wait until the next post of One Post Wonder.

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10/8 '17 11 Comments
Wow. I remember the job song. Hearing it in a slow, mournful incarnation is very affecting.
Thomas Boutell 10/8 '17
I agree! And I could even stand to hear it slowed down further, a soft studio version with just the voice and piano.
Anne Mollo 10/8 '17
Thanks so much for giving a listen!

I'll suggest that to Andrew and see what he says... we're always up for trying new stuff.
No! I just meant, "Wow this song is so awesome I could imagine loving it in any style, from polka to sappy studio ballad."
Anne Mollo 10/12 '17
Thank you, thank you!
It blows my mind that you remember a song from a band I was in before I knew you. It blows my mind because I can't believe there was ever a time when I didn't know you.

Though, next year will be the year where I will have officially spent more time alivewithh you in my sphere than without. That's pretty fucking cool. I owe it all to Jeremy being pushy and They Might Be Giants.
Ah, their Horse With No Name era! Fun fact: their recent albums... Which are numerous, because of the influence of Jonathan Coulton's work ethic... Are all excellent.
Thomas Boutell 10/12 '17
Yeah, I love me some TMBG still. I love how they've grown with the times, taken advantage of the technology, and still stay screamingly relevant (to me, anyway). I bought Jeremy their Fan Club membership and he's been known to occasionally share the fruits. SO GOOD!
I remember the Job song too! I used to put it on mixes.
Eeeeeeeeee!!
“A Thing to Get Through” - I experienced solid frisson with full hair follicle involvement. Thank you for sharing that, and for, you know, bearing the existential burden required to sing that in the first place.
Robert Bryan 10/8 '17
Aw, thanks for listening. :)

I've been revisiting some other videos from that night, and there's one where I damn near lose my shit every time the chorus comes around. Full-on voice crack... but it just sounds like I'm a shitty singer as opposed to someone feeling feels. Oh well. I don't really care... the only people who can see those videos are people who know.

If I think about music too much my brain explodes from wonder.