Jill "xtingu" Knapp

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

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

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

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Once again, I am sick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Pause]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good night!

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

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

I am so with you on the hair color thing. I'm struggling right now. Still growing out the last of the "gray" from the play--which is now just white. I've grown out the bleachiness once before, went back to my normal color (there's proof of that in one of my storytelling videos). I eventually went shrieking back to my hairdresser because I couldn't stand it anymore. This time, I'm trying to grow my hair longer and have no idea what to do about the color, since I'm growing it so I can audition for a play I'd really like to be in this fall--and I have a feeling my short bleachy look wouldn't get me the part--but I don't know how long I can stand having Bad Hair. It's driving me batshit.
Anne Mollo 2/8 '18
I know the batshit-caused-by-hair very well.

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

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

(And thank you re: Greg and my plague. Xo.)
oh, i am so sorry. i'm sorry about Greg, i'm sorry you feel like crap, i'm sorry you missed your concert. but happy about your hair (although i'm sure on you it looked super-cool and you're being really critical :P). feel better, and miss you.
Jenn A 2/8 '18
"although i'm sure on you it looked super-cool and you're being really critical :P"

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

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

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

I sure as hell hope so.
You sir, are two for two, and then some. :-)
*lerv*
I'm so sorry for your loss. Greg sounds awesome.
Kate Haney 2/12 '18
 

Hi, troops!

Today is kinda my first do-nothing day since before Lizzie had tech week.  I'm currently sitting in the chair gettin' mah hairz did.


Takin' care of bidniss

We spent the better part of the last two weeks up at my folks' place because my mom had her cataracts laz0r3d out and replaced with a permanent contact lens. They only do one eye at a time, and only on Tuesdays... so we were up there taking care of things and just generally keeping their moods chipper and helping out with stuff.  Last week's visit was hard due to a shitty bitchy fight my mom and I had, but she sincerely apologized 20 minutes before we went home... and this visit was much more chill.  Mom's eyeball surgeries went very well, so that's super-good.

My dad bought a portable air conditioner for our bedroom at my folks' house (a sunroom, so it gets hella hot during the daytime), and it is awesomesauce. Thanks Dad! 


TMI

The Ladytimes decided to visit and completely obliterate me. I won't go into the literal gorey details, but suffice it to say I did three loads of laundry in 36 hours because of HOLY GOD IT WON'T STOP.  I spent all day yesterday in my bed at my folks' place curled up a ball with a heating pad, moaning, eating Advil until I gave myself gastritis. Good times. (OK, apprently I WILL go into the gory details. Sorry.)


Closing weekend of Lizzie redux

I don't think I ever talked about how the final weekend of Lizzie went. In a nutshell, it rocked. I was sad when it closed. The penultimate show (Friday the 12th) was our best show by far... and Saturday (closing night) the rhythm was off and a few of us fucked up little things that we'd never fucked up before... but that always seems to happen on closing nights, dunno why. The show is a VERY vocally-intense and challenging score for all four actors, and by Saturday's closing night we all wanted to go all-balls-out... but since we went all-balls-out every other night too, there wasn't anyplace farther/harder we could go. So, in my snobby professional voice-teacher opinion, Saturday night show sounded a little pushed to me... and I am guilty, too.  But daaaaaamn, it feels so good to just let it all go and hold nothing back. It's hard not to surrender to that feeling and get swept up, technique be damned... but good technique is what allows you to be able to sing balls-out night after night, so you can't really toss it to the wind. (Geez, I'm making it sound like the closing night show was a disaster. It wasn't! But after the Friday night buttah-like show, it was a sliiiiight disappointment for us actors.)

Someone recorded the awesome Friday night show, but they forgot to record sound (KHAAAAAAAN!!!!) so they recorded the closing Saturday as a re-do which was a wee bit of a let-down. So I have no desire to watch the recording because all I can do is focus on the three notes I sounded scratchy on and the one spoken line I butchered, so I can't enjoy anything ever again.  Buuuuuut, the girl who played lead guitar (Meghan, on whom I have a TERRIBLE crush, good GAWD) recorded the show on a tablet from her music stand (she was getting footage of herself playing to build her online portfolio of her musician-for-hire skillz) so we've been thinking about using her sound from her Friday night recording and laying it over the soundless camera recording.  The sound from Meghan's iPad is gonna be band-heavy, but at least it'd be something.  Anyway. That's a someday project, and it's something I'm hoping Sandler will do, because he's awesome like that. 


We interrupt this program...

Fuck, my cramps hurt right now. I wish someone would just agree to yank out my goddamn lady parts. ("YOU'RE NOT WANTED!!") But my girlie doc says "Uhm, we don't just go removing perfectly good organs y'know." Aaaaah, fuck you. Gimme some fuggin' nail clippers and some Everclear and I'll do it myself.)


House stuff

My house has so many things it needs done and I just ignore them. La la la, nothing to see here!  Things like:

Why does the basement smell wet all the time? It is not wet. 

When will I get around to calling the plumber and getting my basement slop-sink fixed?

When will I get around to calling the exterminator and making sure our house is more basement-mouse-resistant before it gets chilly and the mice move indoors?

When will I hire some nice people to remove the Big Gay Purple Shed (or when will I give Houser a sledgehammer and some rum  and a GoPro)?

When will I hire some nice people to look at Grandfather (our redwood tree, only 1 of 11 in the state) to make sure he's OK?

When will I hire some nice people to re-pour the cement slab in the backyard and maybe even build a fire pit or a patio or something that doesn't look shitty?

When will I find a new owner for The Barcalounger motorcycle that is in my other shed, surely with a gunked up gas tank by now since it's been stored with stagnant gas for god-knows-how-long?

When will I have Joe's car removed from our driveway? This has been the longest weekend favor evaaaar. (Though OTOH, it is nice making it look like someone's home by having a car in the driveway.)

The answer to these questions are all: Mehhhh.


Bye now

OK, my hairz are done, but the wifi here stinks, so I'll post this later.

(EDIT: It's later. Hello from THE FUTURE!)

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9/28 '17 3 Comments
I'm so sorry that yer ladyparts iz givin' you trouble. I sooooo sympathize. I reiterate my earlier offer to hook you up with my ladyparts doctor, who is awesome (though not terribly convenient for you). I hope you're keeping your iron intake WAY UP SO UP IT'S THE UPPEST.
Kate Haney 10/1 '17
Y'know, I will take you up on it. Can you give me her info? I'm OK if you post it here, but if you'd rather email me, I'm just jillknapp at gmail. Thank you!
Dr. Lilibeth Denham, based in Springfield. She's FANTASTIC.
Kate Haney 10/7 '17
 

Well, that explains/confirms a lot.

Have you ever felt like crap but you had stuff to do so you wouldn't allow yourself to really BE sick, and then when you get medical confirmation that you are, indeed, sick, you suddenly feel 73,000 times worse?  So, that.

I admit I'm about due for an iron infusion, but I've worked so little this year that I figured, "Meh, I haven't been flying around the country every week, so maybe my iron is better than the calendar implies it should be." So I ignored it, like an idiot.

And last week I got the always annoying and "Holy shit it's now serious" angular chelitis, which is when the corner of your lip rips and no amount of lip balm, neosporin, or other ointments in the universe will heal it. It is caused by iron deficiency and/or its good friend Vitamin B/folate deficiency.  As soon as my lip ripped, I thought, "OK, no more fucking around and trying to ignore this. Get your damn bloodwork and get fixed, Knapp."

I only had my period twice in 2016, so I assumed my ol' body was doing the menopause thang (my Mom went through it early, too)... but in 2017 it's been back with a vengeance. As of July, I've had 4 periods already, and they've all been 10 days long (as always) and ridiculously heavy. So yeah, even though I haven't been traveling as much this year and using up my iron reserves by running through airports, instead I'm exhausting my iron reserves by being a freakin' female. (A female who would love to have her ladyparts removed, thx... but noooooo, good heavens. "We don't just go removing perfectly good organs," says my OB/GYN.  Nice. Yank it out, please. And no, I don't want an endometrial ablation... good lord, it sounds awful.)


I went for my double-bloodwork on Monday... which means I had 2 vials of blood drawn for my anemia labs, but I also had *11 vials* drawn for my "big bloodwork" which tests everything from protein, calcium, PTH, zinc* and everything else that could ever be tested.   I got my anemia labs back this morning (my "big bloodwork" results will take longer because they're so much bigger) and HOLY CRAP I am in the shiiiiiitter. Like shit-ter. SHITTER I SAY.  Not only did some results show "Low" (though if the target range of something was, say, 11-30, my value was 5), there were others that had a bold, italicized ALERT next to some which is to say "Daaaaaaaamn, girl."  So this definitely explains the desire to stay in bed 16 hours a day and also explains why I sound like shit in Lizzie rehearsals, and why at our last Hot Breakfast! shows I couldn't get through a damn phrase without taking extra breaths. (And people thought that was performey "faux exaustion."  Nope. Genuinely gasping, folks. Just trying to play it off so nobody calls the paramedics at a gig.)

I suppose the good news is that insurance won't have any problem paying for an iron infusion or two... though the dumb news is that an iron infusion costs $500 if I were to pay out of pocket (which is a bargain), but costs $3000 when billed to insurance.

At Labcorp, they said I owed $18.00 out of pocket for my anemia labs, and $83.00 out of pocket for my big labs. I have an $8500 deductible.  Only $8399 out of pocket to go!  Plus $490/month for the honor of having this "insurance."  I am SO mixed on the ACA. On one hand, I am so happy I can even qualify for insurance (hello, pre-existing condition), but I have to mentally budget $490 x 12 + $8500 a year for healthcare. I don't feel $14380's worth of sick... especially when an iron infusion costs $500 out of pocket. I have to keep telling myself this insurance is there in case I get hit by a truck or get that cancer diagnosis that is lurking around the corner.**


In other news, Matt and I were supposed to head down to the beach today until Thursday morning, but we just found out 20 mins ago that Matt's friend Lisa's dad has passed and his services are tomorrow... so we'll be home instead.  It's kinda funny how we've had this beach trip on the calendar for two weeks, but I never really "felt in The Force" that we were going. And boom-- there it is. I feel awful about Lisa's dad... that poor girl has had waaaay more bad shit happen in her life than anyone else should. She's a friggin' math teacher, ferfuckssake. Bad shit shouldn't happen to math teachers. 

Does anyone here watch Stranger Things ? Matt subscribes to Entertainment Weekly which helps us pretend we have a vague idea about what is happening in pop culture (though it just reinforces that we really don't)... but EW makes a compelling case for Stranger Things. So do a few of our friends who all say "Out of everyone, we can't believe YOU don't watch it!" (Geez, you do a Total Eclipse of the Heart cover and all of a sudden you're stuck at 17.  Eh, nah... really... I guess we wear our trapped-in-the-80s-dom loud and proud on our sleeves. Why fight it?) I admit I haven't binge-watched a show in eons, and it is kinda fun... so I'm thinking that might be something to do on this staycation.

In other news, I want to shoot myself in the fucking face for missing Lindsay Harris-Friel ​​​​​'s big reading this past weekend. It's been in the back of my head as something I had every intention of doing, and boom... I just didn't. I kept thinking July had one more week left, and I just never put it on my calendar... blah blah blah. I can't blame anyone but myself. I'm a fucking idiot.  But I am really, really sad I missed it. Not only selfishly because I really do like that play and I wanted to see someone else's interpretation of it... but also because I love Lindsay and want to support my friend. (Don't worry, I emailed this to her already... but I'm still kicking my own ass VERY HARD over it.) 

I mean, I do expect to miss out on a large percentage of things in life because I'm not on Facebook, and some people only communicate events and life happenings there (which is cool).  But I take my "if I'm not gonna be on Facebook then I will listen very carefully on OPW/DW/Email/meatspace" obligation very seriously. But I fucked up. Ugh. I'm a schmuckface.

OK, I'm gonna go figure out what to do about my hairz. (Dye it at home? Go back to The Land of Triple Processing Overpriced Brillo? Try somewhere new? I have to have presentable hair by Friday, cause I have a new client meeting and blue/green/gray hair isn't gonna cut it.)

Ok, I got stuff to do.


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*  (Is it just me? I cannot type or say "zinc" without hearing the Simpsons fake school science movie bit with "Come back, Zinc!" Anyone else?)

** (I'm a Knapp. I've got tons of cancer on both sides of the family... plus never having been pregnant increases my chances of breast cancer bigly, and only being on hormonal contraception for like 20 minutes in fits and spurts also increases the risk of ladycancer. Whatever. Bring it.)

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I got a couple episodes in and then did my usual meh. But I do that with almost everything "on TV." Whatever that means now.

I'm only six episodes into freakin' Breaking Bad and that show is amazing.

It sucks that you're stuck in the category of people who probably couldn't have insurance at fucking all before... but now have to get mortgage-priced insurance with deductibles so high they don't actually catch a break in practice unless hit by a truck. These are the people who would benefit most from single payer... always providing it doesn't do a worse job with situations like your iron deficiency. The devil is in the details.
My friend Patty wrote the pilot and first season of Breaking Bad. She had to live in New Mexico for a few months as they shot it. I'm so happy you dig it! (I didn't watch it, but my dad was tooootttaaaallllyy into it.)
Your friend Patty is genius on toast.
OF COURSE you know someone who worked on something as epic as breaking bad. Somehow, I'm not even surprised by this.
Leela 8/2 '17
Stranger Things was like reading an early Stephen King novel, the kids are like the D&D nerds in the 80s version of the kids in The Body aka Stand By Me. Winona Ryder is really good and the world of the show is totally 80stastic.
You'll dig it.
We watched three episodes last night and are DEFINITELY hooked. Yaaaaay!
Yeah, this. Agree with Shelle completely.
Karen Kuhl 8/2 '17
I feel you on the lurking cancer diagnosis thing. And on the wanting your lady parts removed thing. And about the 10 day periods, oof.

Very glad you got to the doctor and are able to get some iron. The cost thing through?!? ...It should just be $500, period. The ACA has allowed me to have decent affordable insurance, and what with my recent breast lump it may well have actually saved my life. But I'm sorry you fall in the category of folks who have a rent-sized bill to pay every month. There has to be a better way.

Also, stranger things! Watch it! 😁
Leela 8/1 '17edited
hooooooooleeeeeeesheeeeet. thank goodness you did that blood test... that is freaking CRAY. hope you start feeling better soon!

Stranger Things is awesome. So is Breaking Bad, probably one of the best shows I've ever watched in my life. Every single episode is perfect, not a bad one in the bunch.
Jenn A 8/2 '17
Oh no. I'm going to get sucked into Breaking Bad. I can tell already. Especially since I'm trying to cut cable out soon.
Karen Kuhl 8/2 '17
Karen, it took me about 6 episodes to like it. Then, I binge watched like I thought I'd never see a TV again. 😂
Leela 8/3 '17
I watched most of season one of Breaking Bad. I thought the writing was excellent, but I got sick of watching him lie to his wife, so I was done. Most people who watched it loved it. I am not unilaterally opposed to people who lie to spouses (I enjoyed Mad Men), but when I watch a TV show, I need somebody to like, even if that isn't the same character for the whole season or if my liking is spread among more than one character. The person I liked in Breaking Bad was the wife, and she kept getting shit on by her husband (and by the fans on the Internet). So I was done.
I had this same problem with Ray Donavon.
Karen Kuhl 8/4 '17
Don't go on the Internet. (:
Matt had a similar feeling about Breaking Bad. He loved it at first, but it was just so depressing and dark, and he just couldn't be in such a dark place every week, even if it was just a TV show.
I don't understand how there can be so many episodes of Breaking Bad, because every episode I've seen before is so perfect, and I can't imagine that being pulled off for years... obviously I can expect to be amazed!
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that, given your blood work results, you maybe might not wanna kick yourself *quite* so hard for missing Lindsay's reading...
Anne Mollo 8/3 '17
*COUGH* *WHEEZE* *BLEED* I'M SO GLAD I MADE IT TO YOUR *EXPIRE* yeah
Yeah this.
Anne Mollo 8/4 '17
Hahahaha! I was gentle-ish. :)
Jill "xtingu" Knapp 8/5 '17edited
Dang! PCP still nixing the hysterectomy? BLARGH. I'm recovering from mine, which sucks, but the suckage is orders of magnitude lower than the endless bleeding stuff. And my iron deficiency was nothing compared to yours.

I'm so sorry you're suffering. Boo! I am sending you virtual hugs, dark chocolate, spinach, and sweet potatoes. And meat, if you eat it.

I'm also sorry that virtual iron-rich foods aren't terribly helpful.
Kate Haney 8/8 '17
I know that the endless bleeding stuff was holy hell for you!!!! I hope you're all healed up soon and you can wear white pants every day now. (you know, all those white pants you own. LOL) xoxo
Jenn A 8/8 '17
I dunno if your reply is for me or for Jill, but I do indeed own white pants... and plan to wear
them just about every day between now and Labor Day!
Kate Haney 8/16 '17
excellent! i guess i'm thinking of our younger days, when all you and i wore was black. :) yay white pants!
Jenn A 8/17 '17
Absolutely! My anti-Kate (all-white) Halloween costume was one of my most successful ever.
Kate Haney 8/20 '17