Jill "xtingu" Knapp

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

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Last got a haircut on January 3rd. Yowza. 

Because I bleach the everloving crap out of my hair, sometimes the unavoidable small amount of sacrificial breakage serves as a cut... "a chemical cut," as we jokingly call it. This means that if I bleach my hair at home during long stretches, I can sometimes put off a haircut a bit. (I'm not saying this is optimal, but it has bought me time in the lean times and the busy times.)

But with the lockdown in place, and my hair rapidly approaching "meth-using love-child of Guy Fieri and 1985 Richard Marx" status, I decided to whip out Ye Olde Clippers and take matters into my own hands.  (I have done this before, but never after 3 months of growth.)

Holy moley, I am a new woman. I kept the top Fieri/Marxy, but the sides are clipped to a nice 1/2" and YAY.


Easter Zoom Calls / Parent Update

In other news: Today is Easter and we did a Zoom visit with Matt's family and then my family.  Guiding Matt's family through using Zoom was similar to this, but once everyone finally got on it was fun.  We yapped for about 45 mins before we said goodbye and then chatted with my family.  We had my parents in one window Zooming in fron their home in north Jersey, and my brother's family of five in their window, from their dining room about 25 minutes away from my folks, also in north Jersey. My mom didn't understand why we weren't all able to be physically together, and kept asking where we all were. She kept saying, "Well I know you're all so busy," as if she thought we couldn't get together because we just didn't feel like freeing up our schedules. At one point she also didn't recognize the grandkids... but that's kind of understandable-ish because she only sees them maybe twice a year, and the two girls (ages 16 and 23) look different every time we see them (hair color/length changes, typical weight fluctuations, new glasses, etc.).  Mom also kept asking where Matt and I were, because she had assumed we were having a big Easter dinner with Matt's family. I assured her we were in my kitchen alone. But again, her not recognizing my kitchen is also sort of understandable: Mom has been to my house maybe twice since I bought my house in '07... so how could she realistically recognize my kitchen?  I can't let myself stress about it.

What's ultimately important is that she and my dad are safe up in NJ at their home in the sticks, and they have neighbors and folks offering to go to the store for them (which my dad rejects because wants to get out of the house). As much as I bitch that they live on the moon, it has given them some insulation which is comforting. 

Their isolation, and now the lack of the home health-care companion I had coming a few days a week to keep Mom engaged and stuff, means Mom's just pretty much sleeping much of the day because she's bored and understimulated. I asked my dad if hecould suggest maybe they watch a movie together, and he said, "Well, our tastes don't line up."  I jokingly/not-jokingly said, "I suppose being flexible for 100 minutes and watching something maybe Mom might like... that's probably asking too much, I guess...?"  He just shrugged. 

It's so weird. Maybe it's because gender dynamics have changed between our generations, and maybe my mom believes that it's her job and duty just to go along with whatever my dad wants... and instead of asking to watch a movie or the news together, it's better for her just to go sit in her room alone with her TV blaring, and for my dad to sit in the TV room with his TV blaring.  *shrug*


But when all you have is each other, and understimulation is only going to make her decline WAY faster, wouldn't you wanna watch a stupid movie or even friggin' Tiger King and just BS about it? Dementia or not, she can watch a movie. 

I also get that Dad is her sole care provider right now, and watching his wife decline decline decline and then ask the same questions 27 times in a row has got to be exhausting... so maybe he welcomes the time off and the peace. But since she's honestly out of her room maybe 2 hours a day total (that's to eat and grab a smoke), it seems like it shouldn't be too much of an ask. 

I know I'm making a lot of assumptions on his part, which isn't fair. So I should probably knock that off and change the subject. 

In slightly other news, for the last few years he's been getting REALLY wound up over little stupid things. Part of it is our Jersey snark of always having to have some snitty comeback to small stuff, but it started becoming his default behavior, and we've been really worried.  His anxiety has been through the roof, and made waaaaaaay worse since his various hospitalizations this year since my Mom's been so bad since October or so. We all kinda think his first two hospitalizations have been physical manifestations of his anxiety.  So the hospital doctors increased his xanax frequency from "as needed" to 3x daily (a low dose each time, but still). Sometimes it'd make him groggy, but it definitely did take his anxious edge off. But I didn't like the grog-- you could see it in his eyes.


His regular doctor (who is awesome) did a regular med-check at the end of March via a telemedicine visit and said he was concerned about my almost 80-year-old dad taking so much xanax, and would prefer he not build a tolerance, and would prefer dad use it as a rescue medication for legit panic attacks, and not as the way he copes with his wife.  Instead, he put him on Zoloft (sertraline). At first I was concerned... but after a week, HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD he's a new fucking guy. He's handling lockdown great, he's chipper, he feels good, he's got more energy, he's got more patience, he doesn't get overwhelmed, he doesn't get out of breath, and he doesn't feel 'medicated' like he was feeling with the daytime xanax... so it's a definite home run. It's like I have my old dad back from 25 years ago. Yaaaaaay! 


Fancy Easter Dinner

The food we have eaten today: Buttered toast made from some bread I made last week that is still delicious (ate that at 1:30pm), a few strips of bacon (ate that at 2:30), and then some home-made french fries at 8:30pm as a snack. Only the finest Easter meal. 

We have not ordered any takeout whatsoever during this lockdown. I know I should support my local businesses, but I just can't trust that these small businesses have kitchens designed for social distancing, and enough PPE to last long shifts. I'd rather just buy gift cards from them online and this way nobody has to be in danger on my account. (I am not judging anyone who orders takeout. Please don't @ me.)

With that, it's been fun getting back to our "home economics" roots and planning meals, going to the store once every 10 days or so, buying only what we planned, and making everything here, and then making good things from the leftovers.  We will probably have to go to the store this week since we are low on some staples, but if it needs to wait, we will not starve. We haven't dug into the soups in the pantry or anything.  (Now that I've written that, maybe I will stay home.)

Masks

Because of Burning Man prep over the years, I had a few boxes of N-95 masks. I donated the sealed boxes and the healthcare workers were VERY grateful. I had an opened box with only a few masks in it, so I kept that and sent my parents two masks, and kept two for me and Matt, and gave two to my mailman (along with some PVC gloves and a small thing of hand sanitizer I had) after I heard our post office didn't have PPE. 

But even with that, my dear BFF Patty is making gorgeous masks that follow one of the CDC designs, and even comes with replaceable filters and a moldable nose-piece and adjustable ear-loops. They're wonderful. So if anyone needs masks, she charges $10/mask (that comes with a bunch of filters and great instructions and are beautifully made in fun-printed fabrics) plus shipping. They are worth every dime. I've been buying them for friends and family when I hear they are mask-less. She has adult and child sizes.  So if you need masks, lemme know and I'd be happy to ship you some as a gift. 


In the last bit of thing:

Is there a way to back-date entries, kinda like how LJ used to do?  I get that this might be anti-OPW ethos, but I feel bad for dumping 73 years' worth of bloggy thoughts into one long entry, when maybe I could spread them out with a carefully-used backdate option.  (Or maybe I could just plan my writing better.)

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Thank you for the link to your friend who makes masks. <3 We are maskless over here and I was looking at the awesome pattern Anne linked in her post, but honestly I am struggling with even just the basics of living right now, so mask-making has not happened for me yet.
I would just like to second the fact that Pat-man is a pretty fantastic human and has more style in her little finger than I do in my whole body. I realize that’s not really saying much, but she’s awesome and stylish, and her masks are too! :)
I cut my hair back when I was still in town. It had gone waaaaayyy too long without a cut before the pandemic started, so I’d figured “What the hell?! I’m not going to be seeing anyone anyway, I have a simple hair style, and why not?” Guess it turned out okay since no one on the Zoom calls stopped, pointed, and laughed. I suspect yours looks infinitely better though.

Glad to hear that things are... well... at least ‘stable-ish’ with your folks. And the Dad v. Meds scenario is awesome! Glad to hear he’s feeling more himself and has a bit more zest.

If it helps, I had a similar sort of Easter dinner. A whole hell of a lot more of it, but similar in it’s... traditional fare.

I don’t believe that there is a way to back date entries. Might be an interesting future addition?
Teaching my mom how to use Zoom was so insane that I recorded it. I hit the record button about two minutes into the call, thinking, “Ted and I can make comedy gold out of this.” I can’t bring myself to watch the recording, and I’m just going to delete it, because it feels cruel now.

Is it better if your mom thinks that you all having separate Easter dinners is by choice, rather than because there’s an invisible threat? I don’t know the answer, or if there is one.

Patty’s designs are gorgeous. Half the reason I’m obsessed with mask making is because I feel like it’s a problem I can solve. It’s an intersection of art, fashion, ingenuity, necessity, altruism, repurposing, and thrift, if you’re using up a fabric stash or old clothes that didn’t work out.

Your dad’s Zoloft process sounds so similar to what I went through when I first started taking it. I resisted it really hard, because I was afraid I’d turn into a compliant little zombie. The thought that comes to mind to describe how I felt is, “the giant pile of bricks is still there, but I can deal with it and it doesn’t own me.”
I have been in since March 17th due to an early possible exposure (false alarm) and was due for a clip then. I had a sleep study on the 24th and knowing they were going to put electrodes on my head, I broke out the clippers and gave myself a 0 guide clip. Not enough hair to look cool, too much hair to look mean. But Lord, did the sleep lab technician like me.

I needed to acquire the inner layer filter fabric for my friend's little mask production line. This required a trip to Norristown to pick up from Joann Fabrics, the closest store with the fabric in stock. Fortunately they were open for pickup.

No takeout orders here either. Although I've had to be in and out for various errands. Food and medicine. Being single means there's only one person around to do the dirty work. I masked up and went to Lowe's today to get some new blinds. Being that the old ones in my office were old enough to vote and broken due to my former cats... they were ripe for replacement.
My pal who makes masks said that shop towels (those thicker paper towels) doubled up make damn good filters in a pinch. I only have a few of these filter-towels, but I also don't leave often enough to be worried about running out.

Is the filter-fabric you got at Jo-Ann designed to be a filter, or does it just coincidentally work as a filter?

How'd the sleep study go? (If you wrote about it, I'll find out in a second... I'm pretty far behind on reading OPW.)

Man, I miss hanging out with you. I really, really look forward to the day we can have lunch together again.
Seconded on shop towels.
The filter fabric (Pellon 911FF) is recommended. It's a non-woven fabric. Not sure I want to be wearing a mask come summertime. It's not the easiest stuff to breath through.

Sleep study went well, I advocated for surgery as a remedy, since it showed mild sleep apnea. But since all elective surgeries have been cancelled, (I guess this is elective, since it only MIGHT kill me) I have been prescribed a CPAP. But hey, since all of the companies that make CPAPs also make ventilators, guess what else isn't available right now?

Even in introvert wonderland, this introvert is getting a little rammy to be out and about.
Sorry to hear about the CPAP. Here’s hoping that things wrap up sooner than expected and you get one faster than you thought possible. (And that the surgery options get back on the table shortly after that!)
Good to hear your dad is better. I just learned that my elder aunt is now in a similar place to your mom. I'm more concerned for my mother's feelings than my own; I haven't spent a ton of time with my aunt, but my mother is clearly grappling with the existential implications of her sister not being all there anymore.

As to OnePo, there's no backdating hack, alas. But there *is* the queue feature, for spewing forwards in time. You can post as many posts as you want into the queue, and they will come out one per day, on days when you don't post something else.
I meant to reply to this sooner, but all my time is taken up by Hot Breakfast Coffee Break Concerts. :-P I just sent you a text with my t-shirt size and shipping address, for context. :-D

Thank you for the update on your parents. I have been concerned about all of you and you are never far from my thoughts. I wrote on FB during my mother's decline mostly to share what happens during dementia. And the stories are completely hilarious, if you allow them to be. I am glad to read your father is coping better.

I buy masks for cleaning purposes, so bizarrely, I had a supply of masks before all of this started. I also bought toilet paper on sale in DECEMBER and am just running out of it now. I happened to pick up a 12-pack at the supermarket today. Totally weird how that worked out. I may ask for a mask from P. Lin ("Plin") eventually, just to be more stylish. I have also turned into that old guy who yells at teenagers about not wearing their masks properly, so there's that.

I was just thinking of you and Matt and wanted to reach out. Thank you for the concerts - they have really been helping me get through all of this, and I am certain I am not the only one. Much love to you both.
SFM 5/2
 

I am very lucky to have you all in my world. 

I love this platform. 

Feeling warm and grateful and happy today. 

Had breakfast with the Casarinos this morning and did the immediate-family gift exchange, and came back home for a shower and disco-nap. Gonna kidnap Lee and head back over to Casarino-land for dinner and goofiness. 

Whether you're celebrating Christmas or not, I hope it's a happy, snuggly day. 


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12/25 '18 2 Comments
Merry Christmas to you both.
How convenient, because we love you, too!
Karen Kuhl 12/27 '18
 

There's a difference between being a proud small business where you're not tied to big dumb corporate rules so you can be flexible and agile, and being so small that you still have a single AOL email address on your website.

I want to support the small guy, but if they still use AOL, how can I be confident that my credit card info is secure in their office?

This one local place sells kitchen appliances. They have cutesy commercials featuring the owner's two small boys. "I'm Cameron!" "And I'm Gavin!" "And if you have trouble, call us and we'll make sure it gets handled RIGHT!"  I wonder how creepy it would be if I called up the store asking to speak to Cameron or Gavin to complain about a bill or a customer service issue. They would call Child Protective Services in 5 minutes. And what the fuck does that say about their family dynamic (or Dad's business acumen) that a 7 year old is their accountable executive in charge of customer satisfaction?!

Anyway.

We need a new washer/dryer. The one I have currently is the set that came with the house. I would love to get a set of stackables, and then put a shelf where the dryer currently is.  The washer/dryer used to be in the basement, but my house's previous owners brought them to the main floor of the house, taking up the hall linen closet with the washer/dryer. So I'd love to reclaim some of that closet space since I currently have none whatsoever, unless you count bedroom closets.

I heard a thing on the radio this morning about how small businesses should consider buying "CyberInsurance" in addition to general liability insurance and worker's comp, because small businesses are more vulnerable to cyberattacks.  Really? I know of a zillion huge corporations that were brought down by the ransomware viruses and no small businesses that I use were hit. But maybe that's because large businesses have a higher percentage of dumb people who surf the web at work, clicking on shit they oughtn't... and granted, I'm a small (vaguely tech-related) company, so maybe the percentage of employees who work for my company who click on dumb shit is 0%. 

But I figure Cameron and Gavin (or their mom) click on dumb shit pretty often, so they probably need CyberInsurance. 

The only people who use the term "cyber" are people who shouldn't.

In other news, we spent this past weekend (Saturday through Tuesday) at my folks' place. We hadn't seen them since Christmas, which is waaaaay too long. My mom tore a muscle in her right shoulder, so in addition to her back and her legs being in constant pain, let's add her right shoulder to the laundry list.  My dad has days where he's very weak for no discernible reason, so we needed to go up there and just help them out a bit. They felt so awful that they decided to cancel Easter dinner because my mom couldn't cook and my dad couldn't clean the house, and they both felt that having a house full of people would be too much.

So we offered to come up and do all of the cooking/cleaning, so now Easter is back on. 

We're in the car now heading back up there. We'll be there for a few days. I'm so excited it's finally starting to get warm... this fucking winter might FINALLY be behind us.

I hope everyone has a fabulous Easter, Passover, or April Fool's. :-)

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3/31 '18 7 Comments
"So we offered to come up and do all of the cooking/cleaning, so now Easter is back on."

Yer gud.
I'm torn between "har-har, you still use AOL," and "oooh, you were a savvy early-adopter." I say that because among lawyers, it's often an early-adopter thing. As in, a lot of lawyers were quick to get word processor machines and Palm Pilots and Compuserve numbers -- but then they didn't upgrade, whether because it was a pain to migrate the files or it got too expensive (because they needed to hire IT staff/consultants) or time-consuming. And if you're not at a firm where they give you a LawyerName@ThousandDollarSuitBigLawLLP.com address, then why not keep using the same AOL address ("number") that your clients and their world-of-mouth referrals have been using for 20 (!) years now.

Also you can take my WordPerfect when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

Hope yer Easter trip goes well!
Michele Grant 3/31 '18edited
I think I saw WP on the shelves in a store recently, and it made me happy. I don't have much preference in word processor programs (I tend to use Wordpad in windows or Google Docs) but I did use WP in college and remember it fondly.

I also happen to know a big tech company that still uses Lotus instead of Office, so there's that.
WordPerfect (actually an entire suite by Corel) is regularly upgraded. I had a learning curve from Quattro, which is what Lotus 1-2-3 became, to Excel; I still think Quattro is better in a lot of ways but I'm more likely to start something new in Excel now. The Corel version of PowerPoint leaves a LOT to be desired, though.

I avoid Google Docs for functionality, privacy, security, and subpoena reasons, and also because of the risk that anything Google could just disappear at any time for no reason, and there's no recourse. The risk is small, but I'm unwilling to take it.
Entirely reasonable. I suspect if I was doing anything that, you know - mattered - I would have the same mindset.
🤘 Scripsit forever 🤘

Love it.
 

Christmas

Had an especially lovely Christmas up at Chez ElderKnapp. I don't know if it's because my brother's kids are older now or what, but it was just really fun, funny, dorky, kind, playful, and full of love. I feel very lucky. Matt and I got up there late on Christmas Eve, and we came home later on the 27th. 

I'm sad for my poor mom... everything just hurts her so much, and because she's on so many medications for other things, she's not allowed to take NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, aspirin) -- so she's limited to Tylenol, which notoriously does nothing for my mom and those of us who take after her side of the family. So she just HURTS. She really tries to be a trooper (trouper?) and smile through it all, but it really takes its toll and it's heartbreaking. I can't imagine living in that much pain... and it SUCKS that one friggin' Aleve fixes it perfectly for 12 hours, but she can't even take that. Man. I keep asking her to beg her doctor for something, but naturally as soon as you say "pain" to a doctor they think you're shooting heroin or something idiotic. Like, can't they reduce the amount of blood thinner she's on so she can take one miserable Aleve? I don't get it. 


Phish in NYC

Friday the 29th Matt and I, along with BT and KT went to NYC to see Phish. It was BT's 93-millionth Phish show, KT's 4th, Matt's 2nd, and my first Phish show. The crowd was absolutely awesome-- so friendly with a kind, inviting, Burner vibe. Everyone was baked or tripping and the guards were lenient and friendly, which was refreshing, since nobody was hurting anyone/anything. We sat in section 115 which had a great view. The floor is general admission and people aparently line up very very early to get a good spot on the floor. From our view above the floor, we were all super-impressed with how everyone on the floor respected each others' space. Nobody pushed, nobody crowded or shoved. It just seemed great. 

Some guy who calls himself Malacoid greeted us when we got to our seats, and he greeted everyone else as they filled in. He introduced us all to each other, and after about 30 minutes we were all buddies. This guy Ryan (who was a long-haired, bearded Dave Grohl) looked like he needed one of my blinkie burner lights, so I gave it to him and he acted like I gave him a million dollars. It was great. 

Phish played from 8:15-10pm, and then played a second set from maybe 10:30-11:45. What amazing musicians! It was a pleasure and I'd love to go back. We slept in NYC (I booked two hotel rooms) and it felt great to have a comfy place to crash that night instead of driving home. FTN.


New Years Eve

New Years Eve was either going to be spent in NYC or spent quietly at home doing nothing... and then at the last minute it turned into a very small gathering (just 7 of us). Matt made dinner, we played Cards Against Humanity, and everyone went home around 1:15ish. We were absolutely maxxed out at 7 people (my house simply cannot hold more than 7) and it worked out fine. I was also happy to see all of the neat events happening around Wilmington this year. 


Phone Blather (BlackBerry stuff)

Anyway, I just got a notice that my beloved Blackberry Priv (it runs Android, so please stop making 2006 jokes about my Blackberry) will no longer receive updates from Verizon or Google as of 12/31/17, so it is officially end of life... which is some serious bullshit considering I bought it on the day it came out on March 4th 2016. Really? A $750 phone (yes, I really paid $750) gets barely two years of support?! Insane, man. Seriously.

Anyway anyway, over the last two weeks or so, I noticed that the micro-USB charging port has been getting a little wonky... like needing some wiggling, or needing to be positioned juuuuuust riiiiiight to get a good charge. This never ends well... and as of yesterday, the port is now completely dead. I'm sure it just became unsoldered as these things do, and if I had a T3 screwdriver I feel confident in my ability to take it apart, re-solder the connection, and move on with my life. Alas, I lack the right tools right now. (Gonna order them from Amazon shortly.) Anyway, as you can imagine, yesterday my battery drained completely, and now I officially have no way to charge my phone... which means I was phoneless all day yesterday. I don't get paid for a few more weeks, so I can't really afford a new phone right now (and even if I could afford it, what would I buy? I haven't even been thinking about new phones so I don't really even know what's out there. And something tells me that my physical-keyboard options are pretty damn slim).

So, late last night I fired up one of my three ancient Droid4s that I had laying around, but they all use an old-style SIM card, so I couldn't pull my BlackBerry SIM card and plonk it into my Droid4 and have it just work. (Besides, my Droid 4 is SO damn laggy, and it was horribly laggy in 2015, so in 2018 it is basically unusable.) And then I remembered... wait a second... My Blackberry Priv has wireless charging! I've never used it because I don't own a wireless charging station, but WHEEE! Here's a $30 fix for a $750 problem. And because I have the best boyfriend ever, while I was sleeping this morning, Matt woke up and went to Best Buy and bought me a wireless charging pad, so when I woke up, he was handing me a Qi charger that I got set up in 3 seconds and YAAAAAY, my phone is slowly coming back to life. I actually cried when I saw it charging up. It was like hearing your friend was in a horrible accident and then finding out he's OK.

So, what have we learned?
1) I can toss my Droid 4s now, because they're unusuable now, even as a backup. (But man, I missed that big-ass keyboard.)
2) My BlackBerry Priv has wireless charging and it works great... and I can use this charging pad for pretty much whatever device I wind up buying next.
3) I need to start shopping for a new phone, because my Priv is officially not going to get any security updates anymore, so if I wanna be a secure little technology consumer, I need to have a device that is still being supported. 
4) Verizon can eat a bag of dicks for selling a device and only offering support for not even two years. (I acknowledge it may not be Verizon's decision to stop pushing updates... it's probably Google's... but still. F Y'ALL.)


As of right now, my phone options seem to be:
1) A Blackberry KeyOne. The only crappy thing about that is the keyboard is visible/exposed all the time, so ass-dialing could be a problem with that device. (My Priv's keyboard hid away nicely.)
2) A Moto Z, which is supposed to be an open platform for people to design various cool mods for it. Some neat guys developed a super-sexy landscape keyboard mod for it that has its own battery, but that keyboard mod doesn't ship until the spring. 
3) A Samsung Galaxy S8, which has a nifty keyboard attachment for use in portrait-mode.

I dunno. I'm gonna see which phone of those three has the most horsepower and which one will likely be around the longest and go for that one.

[update]
I'm gonna get a Blackberry KeyOne. I just watched 47,000 reviews and comparison videos by unbiased reviewers online, and even people who initially scoffed at a BlackBerry were ALLLLL about it by the end. So sign me the hell up. Two days of battery life is pretty awesome, too.


Lastly: 

I caught the plague that everyone else had. I thought I had caught it a few weeks ago, but I managed to fight it off with megadoses of vitamins... but now it has officially got me in its grips. I have yellow and green stuff coming out of my sinuses that I could really do without. We have a gig on Friday and I hope I'm OK, since we're headlining. I have NO voice, and it is excruciating to speak. Ugh ugh ugh.

It's supposedly gonna snow so I'm gonna go set up my snowcam. okbye.

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1/4 '18 3 Comments
Snowcam! Or BLOWCAM?
Feel better, sweetheart.

Could you go with your Mom to a doctor's appt and discuss her pain, or is that not something the two of you would be comfortable with?
Who is your mom's palliative care doc? That is usually the member of the team who can figure out stuff like what your mom is going through. They're great at balancing medicine with quality of life and like to err on the side of quality. If your mom doesn't have a palliative care doctor, and you're able to advocate for her, you should request (okay, demand) one via her primary.
Anne Mollo 1/4 '18edited
 

I've decided that when I die, my headstone should make mention of the fact that I could sing pretty okay, and that I really like socks. 

Matt bought me a pair of new socks the other day called "Heat Holders." I think I may have heard them advertised on the radio, but maybe not. But either way, Matt bought them for me and SWEET HOLY GOD LORDT ABOVE THESE SOCKS ARE THE MOST MAGICAL THINGS I HAVE EVER PUT ON MY FEET ALL CAPS. I have incredibly sexy cankles that swell up, and by 3pm pretty much every pair of socks that I own are digging into my shins and then they roll down an inch, and then they dig in there, and they roll down an inch, and by 6:30pm my lower legs look like a hand grenade. Very sexy. But these socks are big enough where they don't dig into my legs, but they don't fall down either. 

The inside of these socks are like brushed soft yarn... like long yarn... I don't know how to describe it, but it's like having your foot engulfed in the virgin baby hair of Scandinavian angels. And if your feet sweat, somehow these socks keep your feet reaaaaaaallly warm, but never damp. They are pretty much the perfect thing. I have the feeling they weren't made to be worn with shoes/boots, but maybe just worn as slippers around the house maybe... they're really thick. But I threw on a pair of boots over them today and when I took my first step I squeeeeeed audibly and started making up songs in dumb voices about how I was walking on magical clouds. So put these effers on your holiday gift list, and ask for nothing else, because no gift you get will be better than these. I got the fuschia/cerise striped ones. They make me stupidly happy.

What else is going on...

If you haven't watched John Oliver's final 2016 clip of Last Week Tonight, it is very much worth the 25 minute investment. If your 2016 has sucked as much as everyone else's has, then you will especially like the final five minutes of it. 

What else is going on...

I have pretty big and not very funny confession to make, but I will make that confession in a friends-locked post because it's not for public consumption... so if you're not logged into LJ or if you don't have an account on OPW, you're outta luck.

What else is going on...

Matt and I have been recording a Christmas EP, and so far we've got four songs done out of the five. The song titles so far are "Everyone's a Child When it Snows," which is not particularly "Hot Breakfasty" in that it's not funny or dorky, but quite sweet and a touch precious even... but we're OK with it. Next is "Don't Get Me Anything," which is an upbeat fun thing which parrots my anti-noun stance on gift giving... and please for the love of God, no more gifts for my damn inner child... I'm forty-fucking-five and I don't need toys. Up next is "Christmas is for Believers," which is also not particularly funny, but has Matt's clever wordplay and also a very honest, even-handed and kind way of approaching what could be a controversial topic: non-Christians who celebrate Christmas. The song we recorded tonight is called "Clean Blank Slate" which starts off saying something like "It's January 1st and everything magically resets and all the bullshit that was going on last year just disappears," and then the rest of the song is saying, "Yeah, wouldn't it be nice if it was like that, but it isn't." When we were recording the backing vocals, we got the idea of burying a subliminal message in there... so we added some lyrics waaaay low down in the mix, and I'm really proud of what we did and how it came out. We have one song left to record called "The Holiday Shift" which has a similar feel to our 2013 hit "An Idiot for Christmas", and is about a person who has to work on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day for the sales, and how they feel about it. (Spoiler: You might think it's a horrible thing, but our hero actually likes the extra hours and overtime pay, and is happy to have an excuse not to hang with his family.) We're releasing this new Christmas EP on December 17th at a show at World Café Live at the Queen at our "Hot Breakfast! & Friends Present: A Very Dorky Christmas." It should be super-fun!


Allrighty, that's all I got for now. Tune in soon, true-believers, to an LJ post near you for my big ol' secret confession. 

xo!

x-posted from xtingu.livejournal.com/

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11/24 '16 6 Comments
The new ep sounds like my kinda thing.
Thomas Boutell 11/24 '16
I think you'll like it... especially once I point out the seekrit Easter eggs in "Clean Blank Slate." :-)
I am excited. Ted will also be excited. Having worked on holidays for many years, I am particularly excited, and my heart is warmed.
Lindsay Harris Friel 11/24 '16edited
Yaaaaaay! I like Friel-sibling excitement. :)
Christmas doesn't excite me, but I love socks and I love you!
Two outta three? I'll take it!

Love you right back, babycakes. :)
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you on the flip side!

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

OK, bed. 

Happiness!

(x-posted to xtingu.livejournal.com)

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3/5 '16 3 Comments
Wowza!!!!! That is so fabulous. And yeah, what Matt said--all of this makes me so happy for you!
Anne Mollo 3/6 '16
Welcome back, infusion girl!
Everything about this post makes me extremely happy for you. :P