Jill "xtingu" Knapp

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

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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. :-)


NYC

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

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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
 

Our dryer died about a month ago. I forget if I wrote about this or not.  

Since that happened, we've taken our clothes to the laundromat a few times, did our laundry at my folks' house, and also washed stuff here and hung it outside.  It hasn't been awful. 

I figured our dryer died because it's 20-ish years old. But I also know it's entirely mechanical, so therefore entirely fixable by anyone with half a brain. I've already replaced the belt that spins the drum, so I'm totally comfy fixing stuff.  

My dad raised us to always try fixing broken things. In the worst case, it continues to stay broken. In the best case, you fix it! In the medium-case, it stays broken but now you know how one more thing in the world works. 

Anyway, I know that dryers can die because of a clogged lint pipe, but we just had our lint-tubes totally cleaned out when we had our ducts cleaned a few months ago.  Turns out they didn't clean the dryer lint tube at all. See Exhibit A:

Ummmm... I guess this would explain why our dryer stopped working. Guess I should ask for our money back from the guy who cleaned our dryer vents a few months ago....  It's a miracle the house didn't burn down.

Anyhoo, our friend and handyman Crusher (yep, that's his name!) ripped out the old impacted lint-duct and replaced it with smoove new pipe that is easily accessible and clean-outable.  We fired up the dryer, but it didn't get hot... turns out the heating element burned out (surprise surprise), so I ordered a new one off Amazon which will be here Friday along with a new thermostat (I figured I'd replace it just in case).  So we'll be back to laundrytown by Friday evening. Yay!

But man. It's crazy to think that the house really could have burned down from all that lint. My dad's a fireman, and we know lots of stories of fires that started with a lint-trap clogged a fraction of what ours was.

So please clean out your lint-lines, folks. 

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5/30 '18 5 Comments
"My dad raised us to always try fixing broken things. In the worst case, it continues to stay broken."

Just one of many reasons to love the recent birthday boy.
I love your resilience. I'd have been tempted to mail the bad duct cleaner that impacted pipe.
Nothing like fixing an appliance to make you feel like The Boss.
Anne Mollo 5/31 '18
I like it when my friends reduce fire hazards in their dwellings. I like it a lot.
Sean M Puckett 5/31 '18
Oh my ... that dryer lint clog is horrifying. Looks like a sandworm from Dune! Glad you investigated.
 

... are the words I use at the laundromat

Our dryer died last week, so for the last 5 days we've been watching Mt. Laundry reach Everest altitudes while our underwear drawers were even running out of Emergency Undies rations.  So on Monday we decided to bring our enormous hamper full of dirty clothes to the laundromat. Dare I say it was fun?

We tossed the stuff into three giant washing machines and then went next door to El Diablo Burritos where I got myself three delicious chicken soft tacos and Matt got himself three steak tacos with this chili-lime sauce on 'em. SO GOOD.  When we were done nomming, it was time to move everything into the dryers. 

We filled the 40 minutes of dryer time with a trip next door (the other way) to the Hallmark store where we bought Mothers Day cards and Yankee Candles (because we're grandmothers, apparently).  We have a little Yankee Candle problem-- we keep one lit in the bedroom and/or the great room pretty often; it acts like a nightlight in the evenings. The problem is that no matter how well we trim the wick and use those little candle caps, the black waxy soot is on EVERY wall and ceiling, really amplifying every drywall nail in the ceiling. It's a great look... though it gives me something to obsess over when I can't sleep at night and am looking at the ceiling.  I can't but think "Jeez. If our walls and ceiling have this much black crud on them from just 2 years of burning candles, imagine the work that dude had to do as he cleaned the hundreds of years' worth of soot off of the Sistine Chapel frescoes." 
  


House stuff

My house needs a lot of love. In no particular order:
1) I need to fix the fence that got wrecked in the nor'asters. At the very least I need to replace the missing slats... at the best I need to replace the whole fence because it looks like crap.  That will not be cheap, but that's OK-- I am willing to pay good money to have a straight, even fence that will last.


2) I need to have a plumber come over and fix a zillion broken things.  A) The basement slop sink keeps filling with black bilgewater... that's not good.  B) The drain underneath the basement slop sink has a huge hole rusted out of it so I kludged together a replacement pipe out of duct tape (yes, really) and it's holding enough, but water + tape don't equal a long-term solution. C) They also need to figure out why my master-bathroom sink is dripping underneath it. (Stuff in the cabinet beneath the sink is wet, but I can't find where it's leaking.)  D) My kitchen faucet looks like shit and the adjustable water-spray can't decide what setting it wants to be on, so it just spritzes in get-all-over-everything mode. E) my hall bathroom toilet needs to have the guts replaced...  you have to hold the handle down to get a complete flush, and that only works 80% of the time... the other times you need a second flush. Annoying. 


3) I need to get the carpets cleaned. We had them scheduled but called them off because of one of the snowstorms.  I'll probably wait until July to get the carpets done at this point, mostly because we are having two Beatles rehearsals per week at the house and we have a zillion people bringing instruments and gear in and out of the house. No sense cleaning the carpets when I have a parade happening 2x/week.  Maybe I'll have them cleaned once the show is in production so we can have a cast party at our place after the closing night, maybe.


4) Landscaping. I would love to hire someone to trim my bushes that got obliterated in the snow last month. While they're at it, I would love to have them plant plants, put some mulch down, and have a yard that isn't a joke.  Then I would love to have someone turn my backyard into something not-embarrassing.  Yes, that means removing the Big Gay Purple Shed. 

5) I need to get the gutters cleaned, and while someone is up on the roof, they need to clean out the drain vents because I am sure they are clogged.  As much as I love my rare Redwood tree, it poops stuff for three out of four seasons and I'm constantly cleaning up after the damn thing. It's maddening.  And the stuff it drops is smaller than the holes on the gutter guards, rendering them completely pointless.  

Easter candy
In other news, I'm not all that into chocolate. But Matt's folks were in Connecticut for Easter and brought us each back a solid dark-chocolate bunny from this local magical chocolatier in Simbury, CT.  I devoured two chocolate rabbits by Munson's Chocolates in just 5 days. They were DELICIOUS. So smooth and tasty!

Yogurt: The struggle
Speaking of tasty things, I've been on a yogurt kick, but it is near-impossible to buy plain ol' full-fat yogurt in the store. There is Greek yogurt out the ass, and every kind of low-fat or fat-free yogurt everywhere. But I just want full-fat yogurt, made with sugar or some sweetener that comes from a damn plant or a bee.   I finally found Siggi's Icelandic Yogurt, but you have to look through the different kinds of Siggi's to find the full-fat stuff. It is deeelicious.  I also found Brown Cow brand yogurt, which is also full-fat yogurt and damn tasty.  But finding these is a feat and a half, and I have to make special trips to find 'em. Annoying. 


What else...

Hot Breakfast stuff...

Hot Breakfast has been taking a bit of a hiatus, but we're finally starting to fill up the ol' gig calendar. We've got a gig in Dover on May 4th, and then we've been asked to play the Wilmington Flower Market on the 10th and then a record-store event on May 11th.  We've got other stuff potentially coming up, too... so it'll be nice to play our own gigs for a change, since we've been doing so many tribute shows lately.


What else...

lipstick
I've been wearing this ridiculously bright hot-pink lipstick lately and I don't care how silly and age-inappropriate I look. It makes me happy. 


Birthdays
Today is my brother's birthday, and I posted a goofy photo of him wearing a leisure suit as a 4-year-old on Instagram.  I called him and we chatted for 20 minutes or so, which was delightful. I love my brother very much.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is my birthday and we have nothing planned, just like the last zillion birthdays. Matt asked me if I wanted him to get everyone together and I said no thanks.  I don't need people to interrupt their lives and go through the hassle of leaving the house and fighting the social anxiety (or real anxiety) on my account. I don't need the validation. I already feel valid and loved, thanks. :)

If someone thinks of me tomorrow they can send me a text or a card or something. But I don't like obligation. Birthdays are not important to me. 

EDITED TO ADD: How could I forget! My beloved birthday pie turns 17 today, which means we're bringing it for its drivers test and license.  It's a little stressed about the junior prom considering how hard it is to find a date, but we are staying optimistic. I was telling Shelle via text that the closest prospect was a can of evaporated milk from 1995 that lives with my parents, but said can of milk is not interested in kid-stuff like the prom anymore. Shelle replied "Too milquetoast for dances?" And that is why I love Shelle Klein Houser ​​​​​​. 

OK, that's enough for now.

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4/16 '18 13 Comments
It's your birthday, but you give away the presents.
"some sweetener that comes from a damn plant or a bee."
That's a gift.

Happy Birthday. I celebrate you.
We've had good service from http://moonplumbing.com/ since before they had their current website (2001).
-q
Robert Bryan 4/17 '18
Awwww, thanks for the birthday wishes and sweet words!

Thanks also for the Moon recommendation. You've recommended them to me before and they did really wonderful work for us.
Yay you're coming to Dover! On a day I might be here! (or I may not, since I'm kidfree that night, and miss city life). Where are you giggin?

Also, Plumbers putty is an awesome temp-fix for leaking pipe solution. My kitchen sink drain (vintage 1971) is rusted through in a way only fixable by replacing the sink. And sinks are no longer made the same size, so it's not easy to just drop a new one in. So I puttied the drain about 6 months ago, and dream of a day when I can remodel the whole damn dump of a kitchen that I currently have.

I'm with you on the annoying "can't find real yogurt" issue. I've caved and gone over to greek.

In my washerless youth, I used to pay $0.20/lb for a wash&fold service. Cheap at twice the price,IMHO, and worth every penny.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
Ursula Sadiq 4/17 '18
Also in my washerless early 30s, I also used a wash-and-fold which was most definitely absolutely the best deal ever-- I am in total agreement!

And thanks for the plumbers putty suggestion. I'd never heard of it, but your suggestion sent me down a youtube rabbit hole, and now I wanna fix EVERYTHING.

We'll be at the Dover Public Library on Friday, May 4th from 6:30 - 8pm. So a nice, chill night for everyone! We are not kids' music, but we don't drop F-bombs or sing about anything particularly inappropriate... but I always like to set that expectation, especially when we're playing in a place one might expect a kids-band to play. Kids do seem to like us... I think it's because we smile a lot. :)
> near-impossible to buy plain ol' full-fat yogurt in the store

The struggle is real. I like whole-milk yogurt, and I like it plain because I want to control how much sugar I put in it. Whole Foods is terrible but I always found that they tend to have a more reliable inventory of unsweetened, whole-milk yogurt than Acme.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY tip: If you can't find Brown Cow, try Nancy's brand.
Michele Grant 4/17 '18
Nancy's brand? Never heard of it, but I am officially on the lookout!

Xo!
Best returns of the day. Wear that lipstick!
Scott Stevens 4/17 '18
Thank you, thank you!

And consider my maw stupidly fuschia. :)
and I love you.
And I love you. :)
Oh! Happy birthday, Jill! A world with you born into it is a world enriched.

You know what's weird? When I'm out and about and I buy nonfat yogurt for Paul, I actually have to be very careful when grabbing a container because SO MANY brands are sold in full-fat form around here. I kid you not.
Anne Mollo 4/17 '18edited
You are so sweet. Thank you for the birthday wordseses!

And dooood, I am coming to Vermont for the Mollo and the yogurt. :)
Yesterday, the store I visited had ONLY full fat yogurts. It was The Weird. And if I'd known that was how to lure you up here I'd've mentioned it a LOT sooner...
Anne Mollo 4/19 '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.
 


Edited to add: Got home, didn't have to break in-- power's on. One section of the fence is a shredded mess.  Go go gadget home insurance!  That fence needed replacing in 2008, so I'm happy in a way-- this will get me off my ass to get it done finally. 


The Philly airport was a shiiiiiiit-shooooow... I've never seen it like that. Granted, when we fly home we normally land around midnight so maybe we're just not used to the usual 9:45pm crowd? But I suspect it has more to do with the Philly airport being closed for 24-ish hours and being filled with stranded, grumpy passengers.  The baggage carousel had so much luggage on it that it couldn't spin anymore because it was gridlocked... and there was only one poor lady working at baggage claim... and she was trying to juggle 24+ hours of lost/rerouted bags and angry passengers so she couldn't unclog the bag carousel... so I did.  (Everyone else was just standing around like idiots. Ugh. So yeah, let the 110-pound anemic lady with a wooden leg* do it.)

Ok, bedtime.


*I do not actually have a wooden leg.

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3/3 '18 2 Comments
The problem's plain to see.
Too much technology.
I hope you're home and safe soon.
 

Patty Lin is coming to town!

It's true. Patty is flying in on Thursday night, and her husband Mike is flying in on a Friday-Saturday red-eye because he has to work a full day on Friday before flying out.  They were originally flying out to see Hot Breakfast's Second Annual Very Dorky Christmas Show, but it has been cancelled because the venue sucked and basically didn't want our money.  So much for that.

So instead of having a Christmas gig, we're going to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi instead.  We're seeing the non-IMAX, non-3D version, because from what I could tell, that's mostly how it was shot.  (They said they shot a few scenes in IMAX format, but it was only a few scenes. Meh.) 

I bought tickets ahead of time on Fandango, and as of last week, we were the only people in the entire theater.  (All of the other theaters were almost max capacity... but that's because they were 3D and/or IMAX.)

In related news, two weeks ago was the 10-year anniversary of me buying this house. I still haven't had a housewarming party yet.  I still haven't hired a frau[1] (aka a cleaning lady / cleaning service).  I used to use a cleaning service when I lived in Arizona in the mid-'90s, and I kept using one when I moved back to DE.  When I bought this house, my fraus didn't want to clean my house, since they specialized in apartments, so I had to find a new service, and I never got around to it.  (Not entirely true. I brought one in, but I didn't trust her.  She didn't seem to be all there, and she told me that her husband worked for Cantor Fitzgerald and died on 9/11.  She told me about the enormous amount of money she received from it, both from his life insurance and also from some kind of government payout. She bragged about her huge new fancy house she had, and she never said "But I'd trade it all to have my husband back," which seemed strange.  Anyway, things didn't add up, and I didn't feel entirely comfy with her getting intimate with my belongings, so I after the initial "try-before-you-buy" clean, I didn't call her back. 

BUT!  Patty's coming to town, so Matt called around and hired a cleaning service that we both feel good about, and they're coming tomorrow (Monday) and I am excite to have a clean house again.  And I will gladly give them my dollars every two weeks to maintain a clean house. Hallelujah!

And in addition to the fraus, Matt also called Stanley Steemer to come clean the bedroom carpet, the great room area rugs and my grandmother's two green chairs.  I am very excited about that, too.

And maybe the plumber will actually show up and fix the basement pipes, and then my house will be as good as gnu!  Did I mention that I'm excited? Because I'm excited.  Yay!

Anyhoo, I need to get to bed because we have Bruce Springsteen rehearsal tomorrow and I have to be sharp for it (no pun intended).  

G'night!

-------

[1] When I worked at the law firm in the early '90s, my lawyer told me that the German word for "cleaning lady" is "heinemachenfrau."  I fell in love with that word.  Turns out it was wrong, and the right word starts with an R, so it's "reinemachenfrau." However, Google Translate doesn't acknowledge that word (probably because I'm likely spelling it wrong), and instead it wants me to use the word "putzfrau" which, dare I say, I almost like better. 

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12/10 '17 18 Comments
Reinemachefrau (mache, not machen): pure make woman.

With the Star Wars movie coming out this week, I guess we're going to wait for NFLX (insert joke referencing the time zone shift to Newfoundland) to catch the latest Thor. Haven't been hale enough with time available to catch a cheap Tuesday in all the time it's been out.


Dawn Keenan 12/10 '17
It's a lot of fun. And while it only flirts with deeper meanings, it at least bothers to flirt.
Thomas Boutell 12/10 '17
Ah! Thank you! That makes good sense.

I feel like a bad person because I'm not dying to see Thor. I don't know why it hasn't grabbed me. Maybe I just haven't seen the right preview.
Jeff Goldblum dressed in gold robes being Jeff Goldblum.
You're welcome.
I wish that were a whole movie.
Hmmmmmmmmm!
Hmmmmmmm!
After the movie, we were talking about Thor family cosplay, and Archer immediately said, "I want to be Jeff Goldblum!" and started imitating the character (I forget his name). I love my kid with the fire of a million suns.
I’d be really interested to see the difference between how you sleep before and after all this cleaning. Especially the Stanley Steeming. I bet the difference will be like breathing fresh mountain air.
I think the big clincher would be to have the ducts cleaned... I am sure they are a hot, fuzzy mess. That's next on the list. My lungs and eternally drippy nose will thank me, I have no doubt!
holy shit, they just left 20 minutes ago and my nose is already less drippy. HAIL SATAN!
Really? What did you have done? Hunter is coughing and I wonder if we need carpets cleaned.
I just had cleaning ladies from Bethel Cleaning do their one-time deep clean, and MAN, they cleaned things that literally I had never considered cleaning. The dusted every surface in the universe and *removed the dust* as opposed to just smearing ithe dust and/or relocating it. It is night-and-day in my nose-drips. They charge by the hour, per girl... so this wound up costing $450. Worth EVERY dime. If I want bi-weekly cleaning now that the big initial scary clean is out of the way, it'll be around $120 which is totally worth it to me to BREATHE.

I've been trying to be diligent about replacing our home's HVAC filter every month... it is terrifying how much dust it collects... and we don't even have pets.

We are having Stanley Steemer come out and clean the ducts today... so that should also help maintain the low dust-levels.

If I'm gonna be indoors all winter, I don't wanna have a raw nose of death from the nose-dripping!

And I can't stop dancing around my house singing the "Hello, Clean House!" song. I am transformed.

This is way more info than you wanted. Haha!
Jill "xtingu" Knapp 12/13 '17edited
Actually it is as much as I wanted except I want to hear you sing that song too. I am very, very demanding. xo xo xo
HAIL STANLEY!
I've sometimes in my life paid to have someone regularly clean my house. It was a nice way of masking the fact that, in the absence of paid help, I'm the ONLY one who cleans unless I directly tell someone else to do it.

So I don't pay for cleaning anymore. I either tell other people to clean stuff, or I let things get nasty and ignore it. Except the floors. I still do the floors. I could ask other people to do the floors, but they invariably do an incredibly shitty job, and then when they're done with their half-assed effort, they whine about how much time it took them or how much it made their arms or shoulders hurt.

There is also the issue of what cleaning costs in rural Vermont. Urban areas, there's enough competition to keep the prices lower. Here, it could easily cost $350/cleaning. Which ain't happening every two weeks, nope.

But... sigh. I still dream about that level of clean.
Anne Mollo 12/11 '17
Daaaaaaaamn, $350 a pop. That is waaaay too rich for my wallet. This deep cleaning for 3 people for 4 hours was $450, but bi-weekly cleans will run me $120-$150 she said. I have spent money on far dumber crap, so this will be well worth it.

I'm pretty good about vacuuming and keeping surfaces wiped and I'll clean the bathroom weekly... and maybe we'll wash the kitchen floor every 2-3 months. But dusting simply never gets done. But they dusted absolutely everything in this house, and I am stunned at how much better I can breathe just since they left.

I like the discipline of having someone come every 2 weeks. I like having to "clean up for the cleaning ladies" every 2 weeks as a way to throw shit out, sort the pile of mail, and put the last bit of laundry away.

I am verrrrrrry influenced by my environment, and when stuff is cluttered I get anxious and annoyed... or, I just squirrel myself away in the bedroom and ignore everything (healthy, that). But now I feel like I can enjoy my house again! Squeeeee!

Tomorrow the carpets and my grandmother's two super-awesome lime-green livingroom chairs get cleaned. Wednesday the ducts get cleaned. Thursday I will struggle to not have sex on every surface in my house... lulz.
I've had cleaners since 1997. In 3 different states, in 5 different properties. I'd rather give up netflix than my cleaners (I'd say I'd give up cable, but I already gave that up). I find I can keep up with the clutter and dishes and laundry and repairs and candy crush if I don't also have to vacuum and dust and and clean the baths. $90 every 2 weeks for this modest 3br house in Dover Delaware.
Ursula Sadiq 12/11 '17
 

I should not be awake right now.

I drove exactly 300 miles yesterday over 6.25 hours driving between rehearsals, Matt's performance at a north Jersey wedding (nobody we knew-- it was just a gig, and I did not attend... I was just the chauffeur), my parents' place, and home. 

I was very happy to see my folks yesterday, even though it was a quick visit. 

I have two more rehearsals today and another performance. 

I bought my house exactly 10 years ago Friday. 

​​​​​I still have boxes I haven't opened since they were moved here from my old apartment. 

I spend a lot of time waiting for my phone to do what I'm asking it to do, which often isn't much.

I think operationally, not strategically.

I move gently.

If I have a problem, I solve it fundamentally.

I think mentally-- and when I fly I'm so high, I do it intercontinentally.

(Those last three lines courtesy of Robert Bryan and Dave Peters. Listen here.)

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11/12 '17 6 Comments
Wow you are one seriously busy lady! I hear you re the phone... it gets old. How hard is it anyway for my $600 machine to perform simple tasks? Ugh.

Congrats on 10 years of home ownership and enjoy all the gigging (exhausting as it is). And I hope you get some rest soon!
Leela 11/12 '17
Oh shit.
I thought, “That sounds familiar... wait, that’s me, that’s Dave.”
Wow. Thank you.
Robert Bryan 11/12 '17
I sing that song ALL. THE. TIME. I love how he delivers your lyrics (the inflections make me soooo happy), and the little vocal percussions he sometimes does betwixt verses.

I fly a lot. So that line is in my head very often. :-)

Thank you to the both of you for giving us all that song.
Holy crap! I completely recognize those lyrics from the mix you put that on about a bajillion years ago. I didn’t know that was Mr. Bryan‘s work!
Yup! Rob wrote the lyrics and Dave set it to music, played it, and recorded it. Fun, right?
Fun indeed!
 

Hit a home run with Verizon Residential and a bunt to first with Verizon Wireless today. It's been a Verizonny day. 

In a nutshell, Verizon Residential came out (and was on time!) this morning and they confirmed my diagnosis and remedy, because I am awesome.  So yep, turns out the ONT (optical network terminal) wasn't getting power from the outlet, and was only getting power from the BBU (battery backup unit).  The tech was awesome and took one look at our 10-year-old ONT/BBU and immediately said "I gotta replace this shiznit," at which point I said "Whoa whoa whoa, Amigo... the new units don't have battery backups, so you're not allowed to replace it because I have a landline that relies on the battery in the event of a power outage." And he was like, "Holy shitballs, you're right, which is weird because you appear to have both technical skills and boobs."  Yes, I get that a lot. I understand. It's an anomalies in your home and native land of DelCo, where everyone has Rodney Anonymous' accent.  Anyway, he replaced the power supply and didn't charge me anything, and said "I just gotta warn you though... a sales guy is gonna call you and they're gonna try to get you to upgrade your FIOS. Right now you have 256MB Up/Down, which was bleeeeeeeeding-edge speedy 10 years ago, and now we've got Gigabyte Up/Down. So just brace yourself." I asked if I was in any danger if I didn't upgrade... like, was I vulnerable to some nutty exploit, and he said "Nope, none that I can think of. As long as you keep your router firmware up-to-date and don't keep default passwords, you should be OK."  So, yeah. I call that a win for now.

* * * * *

The bunt to first base happened overnight last night when I tweeted to VZWSupport about a problem that has been plaguing our neighborhood and environs since May 2014: We had a freak hailstorm in May of 2014 with baseball-sized hail that got me and my neighbors new roofs/siding/car bodywork/etc.

(see cool photos of hailstones and damage to my house and car: https://www.flickr.com/photos/xtingu/sets/72157645237393142/ )

It also knocked out the Verizon cell tower that serves our area, and since that very afternoon, cell reception for everyone around here has been shittastic... you either have baaaaaarely one teeeeeeny bar of signal or none whatsoever, or you have to go outside to make a call. (This is why I still have a landline.)  Various neighbors have called VZW to complain over the years, and Verizon resolved the individual Incidents (be selling signal boosters to people who complained) but never addressed the Problem of fixing the smashed tower. So after I tweeted VZWSupport last night, they called me today and I was able to explain to the rep that it wasn't just me and Matt experiencing this, but it was over 200 customers in the area, many of whom are switching (or already switched) to Sprint.  She said "Holy crap, we'll get someone out there within 5-7 days!" Which seems like a long time, but we've waited three years, so what's other week?

There's a slightly more locked-down social media site called "NextDoor" which is a neighborhood message board that somehow verifies you actually live in a certain neighborhood before it lets you join. This "Damaged Verizon Cell Tower" has been a very sore point for a looooong time, but I'm suddenly a hero today for telling everyone in our surrounding neighborhoods that this might FINALLY get addressed. I am cautiously optimistic, hence a bunt to first base.  I'll keep y'all posted... I'm sure you're all biting your nails wondering how the cell reception is in North Wilmington, Delaware. 

Other than that...

Music Stuff This Weekend

We've got two gigs this weekend. On Friday (6/23) we're playing this neat town festival called Smyrna At Night. Smyrna, Delaware is a cute town about halfway down our tall skinny state that has a street festival every summer where they close the main drag, have a ton of vendors, food trucks, bands, and stuff all night. We're playing an indoor venue at prime time, from 8-9pm at a place called The Drunk'n Baker, which is a bakery that makes booze-infused treatz.*  Should be fun, even if I won't eat their boozey snax.

The second gig is the next night (Saturday, 6/24), where we're playing in our Billy Joel Tribute Band at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, on the big stage downstairs. Show starts at 8pm.  I sing lead on a few things, I sing backup on a zillion others, and play tenor and also saxes, and a crap-ton of percussion. It's a blast, and I love playing this music with my friends... it's an 8-piece band and we make a good racket. If you're in or around Philly, come on out if ya want. We'd love an audience. :-D

On Sunday we'll do a belated Fathers Day up at my folks' place in NJ and we'll stay with them for a few days. It'll be nice.

So that's the news. 

Riveting, I know.

Ok, bye. :)

____

Seven dollahs, get a big bagga treatz!" (Inside joke. Sorry.)​​​​​​

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6/22 '17 9 Comments
"Seven dollahs, yah get a big bagga treatz!"

I fuckin love you. Have I mentioned that recently, cuz I do.

Laughed out loud in my hotel. Hope I didn't wake the neighbors.

Also - Nice work with Big VZ - both counts. I love that the kid tried to warn you of the impending call from the sales droid. Because of COURSE there's going to be a call.

And the cell tower? That seems like it will be a MAYJOHR win if it happens.

Your customer complaint fu is so VERY much stronger than mine. Remind me to have you come with me the next time I have to deal with VZW...
Matt Lichtenwalner 6/22 '17edited
Sometimes autocorrect is good. "Also sax:" now my favorite typo
Thomas Boutell 6/22 '17
So I wanna say I am proud of you for taking it to the man and getting good service ... and I am, but the fact that getting honest, helpful service from a vendor who YOU PAY is a victory, not a commonplace occurrence ... that makes me sad.

Yay you!
Boo Corporate America.
*pumps fist in solidarity*
I'll be there is Smyrna with my (most likely cranky) 6 yr old in tow. Hoping to finally meet you!
Ursula Sadiq 6/23 '17
Wait ... Ursula and Jill, you've never met?
That makes sense considering the timing, but still, it feels weird.
Jill I saw you through the window - but kid was extra cranky melting down, so we didn't come in. . . . some other day!
Ursula Sadiq 6/23 '17
No worries at all! Just saw this now that we're home, so I wasn't on the lookout and didn't know to be disappointed. :-D

But get this-- your name was totally brought up tonight! Kristen Halversen (new last name is Pickering) was there and her super-talented son Brody joined us as an intern when we recorded our last album. Kristen said to me, "Hey, I didn't know you know Hamlet! We were in the honors program at UD together!" And then started naming people we knew, and she mentioned you, and I said that we hadn't yet met but were probably going to any minute. IT'S LIKE I WAS PSYCHIC.
Told you.
 

This is costing me ridiculous amounts of money to post.

Our Verizon FiOS box (the ONT box, not the BBU) died unceremoniously last Wednesday... it is not getting power unless the battery is providing it... however, batteries can only provide power for like 11 hours until they drain. They are not rechargeable. (The power outlet is fine, for you troubleshooting at home.)

This means we have no home phone and we have no wifi, and my main desktop computer has no internet access since it has a hardwired network connection.

This means that in order to get on the internet, we must use our cell phone minutes (which are looooong depleted now).  So using the internet (as I am doing right now) is costing me cell phone overages. I can't imagine VZW waiving these overage charges because Verizon's Residential Service wasn't working. I can't imagine they talk to each other.

The problem is that we had a freak hail storm affect our neighborhood and Arden (across the street) about 3 years ago, and the hail storm knocked out the Verizon cell equipment there... so if you live in our neighborhoods you have baaaaaarely one teeeeny micro-bar of Verizon cell signal here.  It's enough signal to get text messages, but it's not not enough signal to have a pleasant cellphone conversation (hence why I still pay for a landline).  Connecting to the internet via cell is just okaaaaay. 

Anyway, the Verizon tech was supposed to be out here on Saturday between 11 and 3, and never showed. I opened another ticket so we're trying again for tomorrow. Fucker better show. 

Guaranteed I'm gonna need a new ONT (optical network terminal) because I suspect they've been wanting to upgrade it for a while (to charge me for faster service that I do not need). I'm gonna be pissed when it costs $350 to fix what is essentially obsolescence. 

I know I sound like the crazy old idiot who doesn't wanna upgrade from Windows XP, so I will go along with their upgrade. But MAN I don't wanna have to pay for it. But I use the WinXP analogy, I know it's my responsibility.  But I still get to be annoyed about it.

Guy better show up.


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6/21 '17 11 Comments
I, just tonight, spent time having a chit chat with a VZW rep. Problem with our 'family plan'.

His response? "Well, for just a few dollars more per month, you can upgrade to..."

I stopped him. I pointed out that (as he well knew) we have been in a /bunch/ of times with issues. And EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. The answer is "For just a few dollars more a month, you can upgrade to..."

And this time? It's an upgrade to 'Unlimited'! (Please don't get me started on the evils of VZW's unlimited plan and net neutrality and.... yeah.)

I say all this to say: 1. I _HATE_ that Verizon makes such an art form out of making you pay more only so you can pay more. Who do they think they are? Apple? 2. The kid couldn't give me any more info than I had already deduced on my own. If they can't talk to THEMSELVES, they sure as hell aren't talking to the land line folks. (Which seems pretty pathetic to me.)

The one plus of the evening? I never said "I used to be an IT Guy." and they called me one. Apparently I can still talk the talk at least...
Matt Lichtenwalner 6/21 '17edited
Just call Comcast! Ha ha ha wheeze
Thomas Boutell 6/21 '17
We have T-Mobile, which is great for us, but I hear that when you're traveling there are more cell-less patches with T-Mobile than with Verizon. I have to say, though, that T-Mo has great customer service, they never make me see red like Verizon did.

But Comcast ... never again. "Squirrel got in the junction box" was a regular occurrence when I had their "service" in DE.
I had heard about the coverage holes too. That's why I stayed with VZW this long (hello, I don't know where I will be day to day...).

BUT! I'm thinking about Google Fi which pretty much means I would have coverage from ALL THE PROVIDERS IN ALL THE PLACES.

(That may be a slight exaggeration, but you get my point. Also? Sexy phones.)
I don't think Google has made it out here yet. I heard about it in Atlanta but not the east coast.
I'm assuming you're thinking of the Google Fiber thing. Google Fi is something different. Kevin Niemi has it and loves it.
http://fi.google.com
Matt Lichtenwalner 6/21 '17edited
Oh, ok. That does look cool for people who don't drop their phones as much as I do. My plan has insurance and I love it.
LOL! That totally makes sense.

*knocks on wood*

I haven't dropped my phone, and I've had it for... a very long time.

*knocks on wood*

And I'm not paranoid about it at all!

*knocks on wood*
Things that sound dirty but aren't: "Squirrel got in the junction box." AWWWW YEEAAAAH!
Where did I bury mah nutz!
Thomas Boutell 6/22 '17
Gah! What en epic nuisance! Also? Why didn't they ever fix the cellular issue after the hail storm? Oy. I do hope they show up this time, and don't charge you an arm and a leg.
Leela 6/22 '17
 

This entry has been copied/pasted from xtingu.dreamwidth.org/1034861.html .
I was happy to see that rone replied there.

--------------

Wow, I've been writing a lot. I take this as a good sign, and maybe the first sign that maybe my hermitty ways may be ever-so-slightly starting to lift. 

I wanted to jot some things down so I don't forget them, in no particular order.

1) My company, Knapp I.T., Inc. is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year. Coincidentally, my brother's company, Jephens Tech is celebrating 20 years this year. I feel like we should get the employees of Boutell.com and Moskowitz-Inc and go spend some pre-tax dollars on an employee appreciation dinner. :-)

2) If my company is 10 years old, that means I've been living in my house for 10 years come this November. Jeeeezus. So much for only moving to Delaware for six months until I figured out where I wanted to wind up. :-)

3) Matt and I have tickets to a Phillies game tomorrow. The weather should be perfect. This will be my first time at the "new" stadium. 

4) Our home wifi dies once a week or so, and one of us has to go reset the router in the basement when that happens. So this afternoon the wifi died, but it turns out my entire FiOS box is dead dead dead... it's not getting power at all. The outlet works, and the battery backup seems to be charging, but no power is getting to the main unit. Not sure what's happening, but the nice Verizon man will come out on Saturday to fix it. Until then, we have no land line, and only Internet on our phones. Hmmmm. Suboptimal. 

5) This past Friday we went to Hummingbird to Mars, which is a cute speakeasy sorta place in Wilmington. It's not as swanky as Please Don't Tell in NYC or the Franklin Mortgage and Investment in Philly, but it's fine for Wilmington. We went with our pal Brian and also with Kevin and Lee. We all agreed it was very civilized. And no matter how foo-foo and well-prepared a cocktail is, I just don't give a crap about drinking. Gimme a ginger ale and I'm happy. 

5a) I went for a quick check-up (more like a check-in) with my regular doctor and he asked me the usual questions. When he asked if I drank, I said no. "Not at all?" "Nope." "Not even a glass of wine?" "Maybe once a year..." "Wow, OK." I found his surprise amusing. :) Anyway, he gave me crap about not having a gone for a recent mammogram or a DEXA bone density scan, so imma go do those, along with my big annual bloodwork and anemia labs.

6) Last week our pal Noelle was releasing her new EP at the Wilmington Art Loop, so we went to grab a copy and to see the gorgeous photo exhibit of images by Joe del Tufo that accompanied the album. We then went to the DCCA to see Lauren at her art studio and seeing all of her paintings made me itchy to paint again. So I started a new piece soon to be called "Hello, Pinball." I love it so far... really proud of it, but the hardest part (the lettering) hasn't begun yet. I can't decide what color to make the letters yet. Hmmmm.

7) Tonight while I was painting, I saw the BIGGEST FUCKING ANT I have ever seen in my life, and I ran screaming as if I were getting axed in the face. Matt saved the day with a slipper... and it took me 10 minutes for my heart to stop leaping out of my chest. I love bugs, spiders, beetles... but ants? NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. Little ants? If there's only one or two, I'm ok... but if there's a line, or wosre, a pile? AAAAAIIIGGHH!! And big ants (like carpenter ants)? FUCK THAT GET A BAT. This ant that I saw was waaaay bigger than a standard-issue carpenter ant. I don't know what the hell kind of radioactive mutant ant it was, but if I had to guess, it was probably called a OH MY GOD GET IT AWAY FROM ME KILL IT WITH FIRE ant. 

8) When my company was born all those years ago, one of the first things I did was hire an accountant/bookkeeper. Her name is Carol, and I honestly couldn't run my business without her. She's funny, she's brilliant, she talks to me like I'm six, she fixes my QuickBooks stupidity, she handles forms and files my taxes and just takes care of everything and keeps me out of jail. I love her. Welp, she used to be a one-person business, and then she got bought out by a bigger firm, and now that firm is focusing on wealth-management clients and getting rid of their accounting/bookkeeping clients. I am heartbroken. I mean, I totally understand of course. So we're trying to tie up as many loose ends by the end of the month as possible, because she officially goes away on June 30th. It is daunting trying to find a bookkeeper, an accountant, and someone who can run my payroll under one roof, so I figure I'll go back to using Paychex for my payroll at least. No idea about the bookkeeper/accountant yet. Gotta move on that soon, though. 

9) Last but not least: I need to see my folks; it's been too long, and I miss them. I have to figure out a Fathers Day Plan. I'm gonna call my folks tomorrow and see what they're thinkin'. 

Allrighty-- that's all the news that's fit for bloggin'.


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6/15 '17