Jill "xtingu" Knapp

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

  • Followed
  • Follows you

Edit biography

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

This makes no sense.
It makes _perfect_ sense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who's on your list? 

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

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

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

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

Finding inventive ways to produce overdone musicals. For example:

Annie: in the post-apocalypse.

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

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

Oklahoma: during the Depression.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now: Freebie List 2018, in no particular order

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

2) David Tennant (see above)

3) Ewan McGregor (an evergreen candidate)

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

5) Adam Scott (see 1 and 2)

6) Colin Firth

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

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

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

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

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

But on the current list? Hmmm....

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin Spacey
Johnny Depp
Von Hayes
Trey Parker
Harrison Ford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full disclaimer: I am 100% hetero.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the '90s, I bought the cheapest, crappiest bed I could afford on my temp-agency salary when I lived in Arizona, and slept on that god-awful bed for years.  

Finally in 2004 I was making "a nice wage" (as my brother would once write) and splurged on an expensive mattress/boxspring set for almost $800, which was hella spendy back then. I bought a Serta Perfect Sleeper Modesto, and it was deemed by many people to be The World's Most Comfy Bed. (I don't know how to type that without it making me sound like a slut. I'm just saying I was proud of my purchase because it was one of the only nice things I owned, so lots of people tried it.)

They say you should replace your mattress every seven years, though that may just be the mattress companies telling you that... but for the last 9 or so years or so it was pretty obvious that the non-Jill side of the bed was significantly lower and more broken/sunken in (read: broken) than my side of the bed. Matt's back has been bugging him now for a while, so we decided it was time to buy a new mattress.

I take after my mom-- I am not a shopper. I have noooo interest in going to 12 different places to find the best price and compare 47 different things; I just want to walk in, try a few items, and buy the one that I like that also offers the least amount of hassle. I don't care if this means I might pay $3.69 extra for something. I've got a life to lead. 

So yesterday we looked online to see what stores in the area sold Serta Perfect Sleepers in hopes of getting a mattress close to what I've got now (only not broken on one side). We decided to hit the Concord Mall on 202 where we could go to Sears and Boscovs in one shot, and then head over to Raymour and Flanagan if those didn't pan out. 

On our way to the mall we passed Raymour and Flanagan, so we said "screw it" and went there first. (50,000 points for Matt's fast reflexes and driving skills.)  We walked in and were greeted by a lovely saleslady who showed us a bunch of mattresses. She was a good salesperson with just the right amount of personable gab, but also knew when to leave us alone. She'd clearly been to Mattress Selling School, asking questions about how we sleep, if we have back problems, what we like/don't like, telling us all about the best type of mattress for hinky spinal injuries, and I'm not gonna lie... we settled on the most expensive one we tried. She didn't even try to force us into it; it was just the most comfortable. We are thrifty in most other aspects of our life, so why not splurge on a thing where we spend 70% of our time? (We spend a LOT of time lounging in bed; waaaaaay more than your average human). (Another way I take after my mother.)

This bed is like a cloud, and it apparently will help keep Hot Flash Jill cool during sweaty nights. I'm skeptical, but hopeful... because right now I have a stack of towels next to the bed that I rotate in and out throughout the night. (In fact, that's why I started writing this blog entry at 6-something AM... the bed was soaked and it woke me up. Sexy.)

They have next day delivery, so it should be coming today. (actually, the delivery guy just called and said he'll be here between 10-1. Woot!)  They'll take away the old mattress and box-spring and set up the new bed, plus there's a 100-night no-questions-asked return period. I liked that there were no hidden or extra charges... the price is the price and you don't have to pay for delivery or setup or taking away the old mattress, yadda yadda. 

We opted for a split box-spring hoping we might move to NYC someday where narrow stairwells would make getting a queen-sized boxspring into an apartment potentially tricky. It felt nice to be thinking ahead. 

I feel like I'm saying goodbye to a friend that got me through some really important years of my life... but it also feels nice to be buying a thing with Matt as a couple. We don't really have anything like that, really; we just have my stuff and his stuff all co-mingled, but nothing that is *ours.*  It only took us seven years to make this leap. :-)


In other news, we went to NYC this past week to see Steven Page's new trio at the Highline Ballroom on Tuesday night. We were supposed to go with Jeff and Mindy, but they were busy so we went with Brian Marshall and Tom Moynahan.  Steve was funny, smart, sounded great, and did a great mix of old and new stuff.  Matt and I grabbed a hotel (yay, Hilton points!) and slept in the Financial District, right at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan, an area of the city we'd never stayed in before, and it felt like it could be home.  We saw an apartment building we loved, and a two-bedroom is only $7500/month sooooooo we won't be moving into that particular building anytime soon I guess. :). But it did have a great Australian breakfast/lunch place nearby called "Hole In The Wall" which was deeeelicious, and I had my very first flat-white, which is a coffee-drink originated in either Australia or New Zealand (they argue over it)... it's like a latte except the milk isn't frothy at all (it's flat; get it?). I'd wanted to try one forever, and it lived up to the hype. 

Anyhoo, it's 7:55am and I woke up in a puddle of sweat about 45 minutes ago, so I'm ready to go back to sleep. I'm turning my ringer on nice and loud so I can hear the bed delivery guy's call. (He called! They'll deliver between 10 and 1.)

It's hard to believe this is the last morning I'll be sleeping/snoozing on this bed. 

Thank you, bed. You've been the best bed. 


PS: The weather has been absolutely GLORIOUS the last few days, hasn't it? Man, this season (aka 'the Fifth Season') is by far my favorite season. 75 degree days, low humidity, slightly foggy mornings, starry nights, sleeping with the windows open... so good!

PPS: I watched the clips from this weekend's SNL premiere and I howled! I thought they really nailed it. Apparently I like Adam Driver. I did not know this before, even despite my Kylo Renning.  (Kanye though... what the hell was that?)

x-posted to dreamwidth.org

10/2 '18 18 Comments
You kids just jumping into buying newfangled doodads.

My mattress is 17 years old, and I'm in the same boat. It's brokeity broke ass broke. I need to get on the stick and buy a new one.
Ray Conrad 10/2 '18
You will be a happy guy when you do.

I will tell you that Raymour and Flanagan had a thing where the price of the mattress included everything-- new boxspring, setup, taking the old mattress/boxspring, etc.

We missed the (very reasonable and totally understandable) fine print that said that they will not take your mattress/boxspring away if they inspect it and find anything that could vaguely look like a bug ever walked on it, because they don't want a potentially buggy mattress to be on the same truck as new mattresses. I dig this. Good god, if I got bedbugs or fleas or anything because of some other person's ancient mattress touching my new mattress, I'd kill someone.

Alas, our boxspring had some cobwebs on it (hard to believe that a boxspring would have cobwebs after being in a house for 11 years, but hey) so they wouldn't take it away. No stress-- our trash company will take them for free (I just called)... but right now I worry that our house looks like "that house" with the mattress outside.

It's hidden, thankfully... but yeah.
Ooo. New beeeeeeeeeeeedd. May you sleep the sleep of the ages.

Nuthin' like a new mattress, even better when you can afford to get the most comfy.

We found a mattress company out in CA when we lived there. Love their mattresses so damned much, we ordered a new one and had it shipped to VT when the old one started to wear out. LOYAL we are.
Anne Mollo 10/2 '18
Oooooh! What kind of mattress? I love knowing about products people are super-loyal to.

Tonight shall be glorious. :)
(I'm sitting on it right now, desperately fighting the urge to climb inside since I have rehearsal tonight and need to be working on music right now...)
It's this company: https://sleepworks.com/

"European Sleep Works" sounds fancy shmancy, and I guess they kind of are, but not in a ... fancy shmancy kind of way. It's really the engineering that impresses me. You can even customize the two sides of the bed, for whatever level of softness/firmness you like, and also the "box spring" isn't really a box spring; it's this nifty adjustable slat system with little sliders, so you can make sure the bed gives a little more at your shoulder, for instance, if you're a side sleeper. (And it's a split system, so if one of you is a side sleeper and one is a tummy sleeper, you can adjust independently.)

Oh, and they're local. They source a lot of their components from Europe (hence the name, I guess), but they build the mattresses right around the corner from where we used to live. So basically you order a bed and they build it for you.

But really, their beds just FEEL SO GOOD to me. Which is whatcha want, after all.
Anne Mollo 10/2 '18
Oooooooooooh, this sounds absolutely *decadent.*
Oh! And the mattress covers unzip, so you can actually open them up and see everything inside, the coils and the latex and the wool and whatever. Which makes my brain gurgle with rainbow colors.
Anne Mollo 10/2 '18
And yeah, they're a million dollars and thirty two cents and we'll probably never be able to afford another one, but wow it's fun while it's lasting.
Anne Mollo 10/2 '18
We've got a ~$300 foam mattress with an egg crate pad and feather bed on top and somehow the combination is just about perfect. Though it's been a long stretch of years of tweaking and juggling things to make it so. I mean it's a whole story of making do and making do until making do actually worked. I have so many stories about beds. None of them really awesome. But at least now when we can't sleep, it's not physical discomfort but BRAIN BEES.
Sean M Puckett 10/3 '18
When my mom was alive, I'd visit and sleep with her in her big king bed. I have no idea what the mattress was, but the egg crate pad she put on top? I always slept So Soundly. What is it with that stuff! It doesn't LOOK like it should be so comfortable.
Anne Mollo 10/3 '18
My dad absolutely swears by his egg crate bed, and he will not consider sleeping on anything else. When you find what works, you go with it!

Tell me more about this feather bed on top. Does it make you sweat? My new bed has a magical pillow top, but there is always room for Moar Fluffiness.

And hoooo-boy, I am allll too familiar with BRAIN BEES. I've never heard it described with that term, but that is the most perfect description ever. Thank you for giving me words for this thing.
Ikea Canada seems to no longer sell the featherbed we have. It's similar in function to the pillow top of your new bed. A featherbed wants to be aired out and rotated more regularly than one rotates a mattress. Weekly or as frequently as you change the fitted sheet is good.
Dawn Keenan 10/4 '18
Ah! Thank you! This is very helpful.

I've seen them advertised over the years, but never actually knew how to use one, as goofy as that may sound.
One more question-- does it go under your fitted sheet, or do you sleep directly on it?
We don't find the feather bed unduly sweat inducing; it is neither cooling nor warming. Just... [ poof ] comforting. Some kind of magic.

Anyway, our stack is

Fitted sheet
Waterproof mattress pad (cat insurance)
Feather bed
Egg crate foam
Mattress itself
Sean M Puckett 10/8 '18
Heh. I have almost this exact same setup, also from having to make do. And it do make do, very nicely.
Karen Kuhl 10/8 '18edited
Winnie-the-Pooh could knock on his head and the bees would shoot out his mouth. Yet another reason having a head full of fluff would be, many times over, superior to meat.
Sean M Puckett 10/8 '18
Girls is a kind of annoying show in most respects (and only gets less interesting as the seasons go on) but it is, in my opinion, well worth watching for how freakin' HILARIOUS Adam Driver is in it.

CM Adams 10/11 '18

I forget if I mentioned here this ridiculous musical undertaking we decided to attempt: We are putting on Delaware's very first Beatles festival, and this festival means that we are playing every Beatles song ever released (and even two that were recorded and never released) over a course of six consecutive nights... this means we do two albums per night, plus any singles that were released around those albums.  There is one night we're only doing one album, and that's the night we're playing The White Album since it's a double-album... and one other night we're playing three albums because that's just how the math worked. 

The festival started tonight, and we were kinda expecting the lightest crowd tonight since it's a Monday night, and since we just kinda figured this is their less interesting material.  But holy crap, we had 130 people tonight, and the theater only holds about 250... so it felt very full, and the crowd was very enthusiastic. One of tonight's audience members was actually in the audience when The Beatles played on Ed Sullivan!! GAAAH!!  After our show tonight she said she was so happy she came tonight so she could actually hear the songs, unlike the Ed Sullivan show where all she heard was screaming. :-)

We've been rehearsing this material since January-- two rehearsals per week -- one a vocal-only rehearsal, and the other rehearsal was with the whole band. 

The name of the group putting on this BeatleFest is called "The Rock Orchestra," which is an tribute show organization headed up by Joe Trainor and Matt Urban. Joe and MattU (not to be confused with 'my Matt' (aka MattC)) choose what tribute shows they want to perform (basically curating a season's worth of music), and then writes all the arrangements, and hires the right musicians to play it. So there's no set band member list to The Rock Orchestra... but they have an extensive Rolodex from which to draw. :-)

This BeatleFest takes 40 musicians to play all of this music as true to the albums as we can, once you get strings, horns, traditional Indian instrmentalists, harmonica, harp, even sound effects... all in addition to the core band. 

Because we're playing these songs in release order, tonight was the "simplest" material, so we only needed the core band tonight.  But we've been rehearsing in release order, too... so our most recent rehearsals has been the REALLY complicated stuff requiring all 40 players.  We had two final rehearsals this weekend... Saturday was sound-equipment load-in, and Sunday was all 40 of us... and we played all of the hard stuff (we're even doing "Revolution #9" live!)  We intentionally left the stage set up with all the (empty) chairs for the strings and horns, all of my 73,000 percussion instruments were out on display, MattC's guitars and saxes and keys were all set up, even though we don't use them until Wednesday.  We really want the audience to watch and feel this stuff build in complexity as we move through the Beatles' catalogue and timeline. 

So tonight when we got to the theater for Night 1 of BeatleFest to play "Please Please Me" and "With The Beatles" and the surrounding singles, only the seven core band members were needed, and we were like "Where is everyone? Oh, wait, it's just us tonight!"  

We've got Joe Trainor singing mostly Paul McCartney's parts and also playing piano and keys; we've got Brendan Sheehan playing guitar and singing mostly John Lennon's parts, Rich Degnars on drums (he's amazing), Josh Dowiak on bass and some vocals, Joey Lopes on lead guitar (he is freakin' awesome), and then Matt and I are the utility players.  (Utility players are people who can sing and play many instruments, so they play whatever is needed.)  I sing backing vocals on almost everything (I sing lead on a few, too) and I play about 22 different percussion instruments (everything from simple handclaps to timpani and anvil and concert chimes to a motorcycle exhaust pipe), keys a few times, and I also handle all the sound effects (think the animal sounds in "Good Morning, Good Morning").  Matt sings whenever we need 4-part harmony (and he also sings lead on a few), and he's playing guitar, bass, sax, keys/piano, and percussion. 

Tonight was an easy night music-wise, and tomorrow night (Tuesday, Night 2) is also just the core band again because we're playing two more " simple" albums: "Beatles for Sale" and "A Hard Day's Night" (plus some singles).

Wednesday night (Night 3) is "Help!" and "Rubber Soul" (plus some singles). Wednesday night is when Matt and are the guest singers, so we sing lead on a few songs. This night is also when more band members arrive... Indian musicians arrive, some horns and strings...

Thursday night (Night 4) s the big night where we do three albums (‘Revolver’, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and ‘Magical Mystery Tour’) and also the point when all 40 musicians are on stage through the rest of the festival!

Friday night (Night 5 of 6, also Matt's birthday):  Tonight we only play one album, which is "The Beatles," aka The White Album. It's a double album.  We'll also play any singles released during that time. And once we tackle that, we're brought to closing night, which is "Abbey Road" and "Let it Be," plus the singles. And that's it!

During the show, we have fun projections as a backdrop that sorta gives you an idea of what "era" of The Beatles we're in (in Hamburg, the Ed Sullivan stage, their psychedelic stage, the rooftop, etc... and we have another projector with a slideshow that displays the song name, album title, and a counter that counts up the number of songs out of the 215 we've played already.  

I'm really proud and excited to play this music with these people-- it sounds great, and best of all everyone gets along, so it's been a very joyful experience!  It's also been exciting new really exciting to feel how the songwriting got more interesting and complex as The Beatles' progressed, and also to note how they were able to do all the things they wanted to record thanks to advances in recording technology.  

There was more I wanted to type, but I've forgotten because I've fallen asleep a few times while typing this... haha... and it's now 3:55am so I'm gonna post this now. 

7/17 '18 8 Comments
These shows sound amazing. Do your best Norwegian Wood for me, and Maxwell's Silver Hammer for Mr. Archer. <3
Thanks! Tonight is Norwegian Wood-- that actually features me and Matt (along with Day Tripper and Ticket to Ride.) Maxwell's Silver Hammer is tomorrow night-- I love that song!
I am not normally a tribute show person, but this would absolutely have drawn me in, especially the White Album night. Alas, I'm in Virginia Beach for the week. So I shall console myself with sun, surf, sand and ludicrous amounts of cozy time.
Thomas Boutell 7/17 '18
Both are equally magical. Have a fabulous time, sir!
It is absolutely killing me that I can't be there (or give Robbb the gift of being there). I hope you all break all of your legs!
Michele Grant 7/17 '18
Thanks, babycakes! It's very strange not having you guys here... you are both missed very much!
This sounds like so much GD fun. I can feel the glow from here.
Anne Mollo 7/19 '18
Damn, that sounds fun!!
Kate Haney 7/24 '18