Jill "xtingu" Knapp

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

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Did you know that you have a dominant eye? I knew this, but had never considered what it might mean for my life.

So... put your arms straight out ahead of you, palms facing away from you, fingers pointing towards the ceiling.  Now twist your wrists inward a teeny bit to touch your thumb-tips together and your pointer-fingertips together... this makes a diamond-shaped hole.  Now find something on a wall about 10-20 feet away and look at it through the hole in your hands (make sure both eyes are open).  Now close one eye. Now switch eyes. Make sure your hands didn't move.  When you closed one eye your hand blocked the thing, right? And when you closed the other eye you could see it through the hole, right? Whichever eyeball you could see the distant thing through is your dominant eyeball.

I'm sure there was an easier way for me to describe how to do that, but okay. 


Anyhoo, this morning I went to the eye doctor-- it had probably been nearly 10 years since I've been there. My prescription has never been all that strong, and it's only ever been for distance.  Even though I only ever was supposed to wear my glasses for driving and for watching movies, I'd just keep them on all the time because it was just easier. They're so weak that they never really got in the way or me seeing stuff.

Today's eye exam showed that my distance-prescription has gotten just a teeeeeny bit worse in 10-ish years... and both my eyeballs continue to have the same prescription as each other, which is nifty.  He asked if I'd resorted to cheater/reading glasses yet now that I'm 47, and I told him that just in the last year I find that if I need to read something I have to take my glasses off and read it with my naked eyes... but I don't need cheater/reading glasses yet.  (Matt owns a pair of cheaters and I only use them if I'm doing REALLY close/fine detail painting for an extended period of time. But general reading and dicking with my phone, nope, still all good.) 

So he asked me how I felt about contacts. I told him I only ever really wear contacts for any gigs where I need to glance at sheet music or lyrics (I keep the sheet music/lyrics far away so they don't block the audience's view-- so my everyday distance glasses/contacts work great) otherwise I don't wear contacts... my glasses are fine for everyday life.   I have a gig where I don't need lyrics/music, I prefer the "psychic distance" having a slightly-fuzzy audience provides.  Proof: The last time I ordered contacts was 2009, and I just used my last pair about a month ago. So I really don't wear them often.

(I brought the empty contacts box with me just so he could see my old prescription, and he said "You just used these? You realize these expired in 2016, right?" Oopsie.)

He asked if I was averse to contacts, and I said no. So he suggested we try an experiment. He figured out which eye is my dominant eye, and then did a few tests to see how dominant my dominant eye is... and as luck would have it, my dominant eye is more of a switch. ;-)   This means I'm a great candidate for Eyeball Shennanigans™ -- which means I wear a distance-contact in my non-dominant eye, and I leave my dominant eye nekkid. So if I need to read, my dominant eyeball springs into action, and if I need to see far, my brain switches to my other eye with the distance-lens in it.  Ta-daaaa!

So we popped one contact-lens in at noon today and HOLY SHITBALLS my life has changed. I can see EVERYTHING. It's so cool!  Fuckin' eyeballs, how do they work?

For the record, eyeball dominance has nothing to do with which eye is less-blind or which eye has an astigmatism or anything. It's also not related to your dominant hand. It's just a brain thing.  (My left eye is my dominant eye. Neat!)

#themoreyouknow


(Hi. My name is Jill, and I take 87 years to say what anyone else could convey in 6 sentences.  Go me!)

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5/29 '18 4 Comments
One world, one vision, fried chicken.
Thomas Boutell 5/30 '18
Do you go to Dr. Strauss on Marsh?
Robert Bryan 5/30 '18
Nope! We go to Dr. Tom Piorowski at Springfield Opticians immmmmmmediately over the DE/PA border on 202. I lerve him.
One time, around 1990 or so, I went to a movie with Ursula and we were trying to decide where to sit.

She said "we should sit on the left side of the theater because the majority of people are right eyed" and I almost blacked out laughing.

I didn't realize that eye dominance was a thing then, but I still consider it an absurd factor in deciding where to sit at a movie.
CM Adams 6/8 '18
 

Yes, I know you all know this. But just in case: 

Please, PLEASE!! PROTECT YOUR EYES DURING THE SOLAR ECLIPSE.  Everyone knows how to make a pinhole camera, but some people erroneously believe that you look at the sun through the hole in the paper. NO NO NO.  You look wherever your pinhole camera is projecting the image onto. 

Or, you need to get some ISO-certified eclipse-viewing glasses. But PLEASE don't look directly at the eclipse.  "But I can look at the regular daytime for a second, so why can't I look directly at an eclipse?" BECAUSE YOU CAN'T, OK?

House Concert in NJ with Sunnyvale and Hot Breakfast!

In other news, we were up in NJ at my folks' place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday this weekend, because Hot Breakfast!, along with Sunnyvale, co-billed on a house concert in north Jersey at my brother's house. ("Sunnyvale" is our new bi-coastal musical project which includes me, Matt, and my pre-Matt lifelong musical collaborator Andrew Durkin. We play Andrew's compositions-- some are retooled versions of old Evelyn Situation tunes, and some are brandy-new compositions.) Andrew lives in Portland (OR) but was out east taking care of some family stuff, so we decided to try to play a show while he was out east. We also used this house concert as a way to honor Paul's memory. After Paul's memorial service in January, we all vowed to stay in touch... so we called everyone together to hear these Sunnyvale tunes which were all songs inspired by Paul's passing, or songs on which Paul had some input while Andrew wrote them, or songs that Paul had played on back in The Evelyn Situation days.  Hello, house concert!  It was attended by my and Andrew's and my brother's overlapping high school friends; some I hadn't seen in eons. 

Here's a video of the first Sunnyvale tune of the night, called "Blood and Bone." It's my favorite of our Sunnyvale new tunes. I sing a bit more "legit" (meaning "treat these songs more like an art song rather than a pop song." Or, more precisely, find someplace in between art-song and pop-song) with Sunnyvale songs as opposed to the "always huge voice, all the time, always with a knowing wink" with Hot Breakfast.  It's sincere. Since I was mic-less for this, I really tried to focus on my diction because I wanted everyone to catch every word. I might have over-done it... I was nervous as hell, mostly because I wasn't able to get through a lot of these songs in rehearsal because I kept crying. (Plus, many of these songs are brandy-new and I've only sung them once before. Or never.)

I fucking LOVE this song so much; it's in 6/4 which just gives it this hypnotizing droney feel... but then I love how the piano part and the vocal intertwine with his majestic right-hand thing with the vocal's wordless "ooohs."  And then the bridge goes into a quicker 4/4 time as it talks about remembering how it feels like to be a child on the family vacation, and just *being.*  [1]

OK, so now here's the video of the first Sunnyvale tune of the night, called "Blood and Bone." It's my favorite of our new tunes. (Music starts around 1:10. Feel free to forward through my thank-yous and the backstory.)

Lizzie

What else. Lizzie rehearsals continue to go well. The girl playing Lizzie hasn't been at the last few rehearsals because she was wrapping up another play, and then she caught the plague, poor thing. But the other cast members have been doing good work, and Lizzie will plug right in, no doubt.​​​​​​​

Iron Time!

In other news, tomorrow (Tuesday) is my first-of-two iron infusions. I cannot wait... hook me UP!  And then Wednesday we leave for California to visit Patty and to see one of Matt's plays at the Little Fish Theater in San Pedro/Los Angeles... and then we fly home during the eclipse. Wooooot!  We'll be home late on the 21st.

So that's the latest!

If you've emailed me (Shelle Klein Houser ​​​​​, Lindsay Harris-Friel ​​​​​​, Thomas Boutell ​​​​​​), I know I owe you a reply. I'll reply soon, I promise. 

Xoxo!

Jill-o

 _____________

[1] How the hell did I get so lucky to get to sing the songs that Andrew writes? It was just right-place-right-time -- If Andrew wasn't on my bus on that band trip in 1986, he never would have heard me sing, and he never would have asked to work together. And then none of the Area Code (201) / Brooklyn Ferry/ Evelyn Situation/ Jay's Booming Hat / Industrial Jazz Group bands ever would have happened. Which then means that I wouldn't have had the musical taste and experience that makes me me... which means I wouldn't have been the right fit to sing Matt's music in either the "Matt needs backing vocals for his solo record(s)" to "holy crap, playing as a duo is fun, let's do this more" days, up to and through to the Casarino Royale and now to the present Hot Breakfast! days. And now I get to make music with these two absolutely It's all right-place-right-time... and once again, I am the luckiest girl in the world. THANK YOU, UNIVERSE.

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8/14 '17 6 Comments
Right place, right time, right Jill.
Thomas Boutell 8/15 '17
We are all products of our experiences. I'm so lucky to have had the experiences that paved the way for other experiences, which pave the way for other experiences. It all starts with surrounding yourself with people who inspire you. (Hello, Philadel.)
Make sure that's ISO certified, not NASA certified (apparently some products are claiming the latter, nonexistent honor). My cousin's husband is the Chief Medical Officer at NASA, and he's been all over FB reminding people that NASA does not certify (or even endorse) products.
Kate Haney 8/16 '17
Indeedy! Mine are ISO-blessed... at $4/pair with a minimum order of 25, so I'll share them with people on the plane. But there are lots of bogus, cheap specs out there that have "NASA" or pictures of galaxies all over them, which means nada, but people are buying them up like crazy. I'm very worried about the eyeball damage.
Also, I am in love with your cousin's husband because he has the coolest job on the planet (and probably on other planets!).
It is a very cool job. He's a bit of a schmuck, but he suits my cousin fine.
Kate Haney 8/20 '17
 

Who's got two thumbs and just booked a flight on Southwest Airlines specifically to watch the eclipse from the air?

THIS CHICK.

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Nice! Where are you headed for viewing?

M, K, W, and myself will be viewing in Oregon. :)
I'm heading to the window seat on the plane!
Like, the only reason I'm flying is to be in the air during the eclipse... so I'll only be seeing it from the air.
OMG amazing!!!!!
Jenn A 8/5 '17
I knowwwww! I'm super-stoked!
I'm so curious to know how this goes!
me, too!
Hope you get a window seat
Ursula Sadiq 8/5 '17
I'm super-lucky... I have the super-duper priority on Southwest because I fly them a ridiculous amount, so I'm almost always one of the first to board. I loooooooove me some Southwest!
Niiiiice I am a little jelly

I have already made a google calendar appointment one year before the next one to book a train ticket to a little town in Vermont that will be dead center of totality.
Ooooooh! When is that? (Yes, I could JFGI...)
April 8th 2024. Chris has already expressed interest in tagging along...
Me three. errr.. four?
Me,errr, 5?
Ursula Sadiq 8/6 '17
April 8th is also John "Bo Duke" Schneider's birthday, so it'll be *especially magical.* We can have a "It's Now or Never" singalong! (uh... or not.)
Y'all are quite welcome to check in with me in 2023 about trip planning (:
Looking forward to the report!
Anne Mollo 8/5 '17