Jill "xtingu" Knapp

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

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Tornado Warning!

I wrote this on Twitter this morning (April 15th), and I'm going to be lazy and copy/paste the tweet-storm:

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1) Holy crap. I haven't been sleeping well for the last few nights... and last night my body said "ENOUGH." Like a Roomba driving itself back to its dock, my body auto-piloted itself to bed at 11:15. (This is unheard of for me... I usually hit the hay around 4:30am.)

2) Normally I wake up 8-9 times over the course of a night/morning, and like an ass I always check my phone when I wake up, which naturally makes it harder to fall back asleep. This did not happen last night... I slept SO HARD. I knew nothing.

3) I'm also a huge weather and safety nerd; my ears are finely-tuned to detect any and all weather-related sounds (distant thunder, wind, rain, etc.), as well as weird noises in/outside the house. I sleep with one ear open, and these sounds always wake me up. Not last night.

4) I just woke up now (8:43am) to a bazillion missed phone alerts from 3-4am (including one of those incredibly loud Emergency Alerts sent via the Powers The Be™) commanding I "take immediate shelter from the [goddamn] TORNADO." I missed 'em all. That scares me on 2 levels.

5) It scares me 'cuz it's always been my job to be in charge of weather safety. I like keeping aware of wx threats, stocking a modest emergency kit, and making the rare "it's time to get in the basement" call. I like this job. I missed this completely; we could have been hurt.

6) It also scares me that my body was SO exhausted that it could not be awoken, even for a substantial threat, and despite a zillion warnings that surely made my phone scream. What does this say about the state of my anemic body, that a zillion alarms didn't even make me flinch?

7) Anyway, I really hope everyone is safe. I haven't yet looked at damage reports yet (hell; haven't even looked out the window yet) and judging by the sheer number of alerts, I imagine there's gotta be some. I'm just hoping people heeded them and erred on the safe side. (Fin)

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After I wrote all that, I started investigating why my phone's emergency alert didn't wake me. I keep my phone on Silent 99% of the time; however, I remember when President Cheeto sent that Presidential Alert a few months back, that shizzle came through loud and clear. So why didn't this Actual Alert make a sound? I went digging through my phone's settings and even RTFM and still couldn't find the answer, so... I dunno. 
Anyhoo, there was an F2 tornado that touched down at 3:38am in Sussex County[1], so that tornado warning was real. Thankfully nobody died; I believe there was only one injury caused by a tree falling on someone's house... yikes.

And thankfully, my worry above was for naught... I was really concerned that I slept through crazy alarms that should wake the dead and holy-lord-am-I-that-anemic-and-dead-that-even-that-couldn't-wake-me?! But the alarm was silent, so I just slept like a normal person. No crisis!


Early Birthday Weekend

(I wrote this on April 15th)

My birthday is coming up on Wednesday of this week (me and George Takei!). As an early birthday gift, Matt bought us tickets to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. This is the 4th time we've seen him at MSG since he started his residency, and he sounded amazing, as always. I scored us a hotel near Times Square, and we could see the New Years Eve Ball from our hotel window. Thankfully the hotel entrance is away from the crowd, so we could avoid the tourons and belligerent buskers in Elmo and SpiderMan and Statue of Liberty costumes.  We took the train up (admittedly, a decadent gift to ourselves) and arrived around 3-ish, so we enjoyed the 20-block walk to the hotel, grabbed a cup of coffee and a few fronch macarons along the way, and checked right into the hotel.  After freshening up, we went to our favorite restaurant (a Turkish place, creatively named "Turkish Cuisine,") and had an amazing meal as always, and then walked to MSG.  We entered the venue and took the escalator up to the 100 section, and then walked to the door marked "Sections 111-115." The usher looked at our tickets and said "Oh, NICE! Which one of you bought these tickets?" Matt said, "That was me." The usher turned to me and said, "This guy right here? He done good. Enjoy the show." He handed us off to a different usher who walked us down to our seats... closer and closer to the stage... to the front row of Section 115. HOLY CRAP! We were as close as you could possibly get to the stage without being on the floor... which means we could see absolutely everything. In fact, we were so close that I could read the brand of gear on the sound guy's mixing board. It was SO GREAT!  We sat next to some friendly drunk people in their late 50s and after just generally chatting, our Billy Joel tribute band might get a gig out of the deal. (One of the couples was verrrrrrrry wealthy and had flown up from South Carolina just to see this show. The husband is turning 60 and they want to do something extra amazing for him, so we said, "Why not hire a Billy Joel tribute band?"  The wife gave us her phone number. Who knows?)

After the show, we walked back to the hotel in the pouring rain, and stopped for dessert and a nightcap at Cafe Un Deux Trois, which was lovely. 

The next morning we went to this diner we really like (The Times Square Diner- though don't let the name fool you-- it's not particularly touristy), and then we headed over to Central Park to walk around and then go to the zoo. We got to see the sea lions, all of the amazing birds in the Tropic zone, and also Matt's favorites-- the puffins.

We made sure to leave the zoo by 3:45ish so we could catch a cab to Sam Ash, which is a giant music store right by Penn Station. I needed to pick up a few more percussion gadgets for this Genesis show I'm playing in (see "Percussion" below) and wound up spending almost $450.  Whoops... oh well. Happy Birthday to me, I guess!


Another Birthday...

My brother's birthday and mine are two years + one day apart. He's 4/16 and I'm 4/17. He turns 50 in 14 minutes! For his big 5-0, he decided he wanted to go to the most beautiful place he'd ever seen, which is Assisi, Italy. He went there in high school, when our high school used to arrange annual trips to Europe (which they natually discontinued once it came time for me to be old enough to go). Since 1987 he's been saying it's the most beautiful place he's ever been to, and how he'd give anything to go back. So, they gathered up their immediate family and headed over there. My sister-in-law and my youngest niece left 5 days early so they could visit a friend in Israel, and then they met my brother, my nephew, and my oldest niece in Italy. I'm so happy they're able to experience this all together.  It's also kinda neat that Jack (my nephew) is the same age that Jeff (my brother) was when he first saw Assisi.

We'll be having the Knapp Family Easter Passover Birthday Goulash next weekend in NJ. 


Percussion!

The next musical thing I'm involved in is a live performance of Genesis' double album "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" with The Rock Orchestra. We're not dressing like Peter Gabriel or anything, but we are playing the hell out of this music.  The band has been rehearsing for about 2 months now, but every weekend they rehearsed I had to be in NJ for something. But for this show, they can definitely rehearse without me, because I'm just playing percussion and provding some secondary backing vocals. (Joe has this other woman Chris singing primary backing vocals. Whenever there are two backing vocal parts at once, I'll jump in. But the percussion is keeping me plenty busy. It's so much fun!)

I sent these tweets on the train ride home:

1: Just spent almost $450 on more percussion toys at @samashmusic in NYC. There's so much fun percussion on Genesis' #TheLambLiesDownOnBroadway, and I get to play it all, twice in one day, with @RockOrchestraDE on Saturday, May 18th at 3pm and 8pm. Shows at  @TheGrandWilm. Wheee!

2: Bought some monkey skulls (pitched woodblocks), mountable castanets, a snake spine (ratchet), & an ultra-lite tambourine for crazy-fast 32nd notes. Also bought 2 expansion trays for my percussion stand for quick/easy access; sometimes I only have 2 beats to switch instruments.

3: Got yet another shaker: This one is REALLY bright/crisp/loud & really cuts through. Has a great feel/swing/weight. My fave purchase: A Flexatone! Gonna follow @Casarino around in case he sees something eerie, catches a chill, or eats Jello. (Helpful Example!) 


OK, gonna post this now.


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[1]: Sussex County is Delaware's southernmost county-- we only have three, stacked on top of each other since Delaware is a tall, skinny state. We live in New Castle County, the northernmost one.


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my phone didn't make any sound either, and I'd been keeping it by my bed for years in case of something like a tornado warning.

happy birthday.
thank you for sharing the update.
You know where else Matt can see puffins? https://mollybawn.com/boat_tour_newfoundland I think tours start in June. Also they participate in Puffin Patrol, where they help puflings (!) get from where they’ve hatched to the water without getting eaten by gulls. That starts in August. https://cpawsnl.org/puffinpetrelpatrol/ (EDITED to add: I don't know why the second link won't linky, sorry.)
Michele Grant 4/21edited
PUFLINGS! EEEEEEEEE!!!
Puffins are gud. See them a lot in Maine, and on my travels for work (including Newfoundland). They're just so... good!
that sounds like an AMAZING birthday! and holycrap those seats! well done, matt! :) (and i love un deux trois, if jack weren't 100% paleo i would have taken him there the other night since our theater was right next door. nom.)
Jenn A 4/22
I was awake, prepping for a medical procedure. I just thought, "Well, we're screwed." Since I was pretty immobile and everyone else was asleep.

Happy Birthday! Give Pie my best!
Yes! Birthday Pie needs to get its proper adulation!
Happy belated birthday!
Sounds like a fantastic birthday - more so when thinking about the two of you and that scene. Super happy to hear it.
 

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

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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