Jill "xtingu" Knapp

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

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Yesterday morning Matt had to get some bloodwork done, so we got up early (well, early for us) and got that taken care of, and then went to brunch.  When we got back, Matt said, "Oh man, I think I might be coming down with something. I'm not entirely sure... I just feel kinda off." That was around 1:30.

By 5:00 Matt had a 99.4 degree fever, and by 8:30 it was 101.7 and he was praying that the sweet lord would just let him die. He had the power-pukes of doom (though he admittedly felt better after Round 3), and the cold/hot/ugh of the fever, and this awful cough that came from the pit of his soul.

Around 11pm my pal Kerry texted me and mentioned that she had the similar plague the day before, but thankfully it seemed to be a 24 hour thing because she felt 89% better.  

Matt debated taking something to knock his fever down, but we agreed that we shouldn't mess with millennia of evolution, and that we should just let the fever cook out whatever it needed to.  We did give him a delicious Wal-Som to knock him out though, and he slept fairly well through the night despite a few puke-breaks.

He woke up this morning and his fever is back down to 99.4, and he feels better than he did yesterday but is still bed-ridden.

I am avoiding him as much as possible, which means I'm sleeping in the guest room, and staying out of our bedroom unless I absolutely have to go in there to bring him something.  Poor guy.

This wouldn't be a big deal, but this weekend is a Really Important Weekend.

On Friday, Matt has his very first gig with 53rd & 3rd, which is a brand-new Ramones tribute band that he's the lead singer for.  Matt has never fronted a band without also holding a guitar before, and he's nervous (though very prepared). He reaaaaaally doesn't want to be sick for this. I suppose the good news is that the gig is at Bar XIII, which is about 7 minutes from our house, and if worse came to worst, he could show up, sing, and leave.  This isn't what we want, of course.

On Saturday, Matt and I are part of this really neat show called "Shine a Light," which is a 50+ musician fundraising show that raises dinero for the Light Up The Queen Foundation, which raises money for Delaware schools that lost their arts/music funding. It also runs a jazz school, and does some other cool things, too.  It's held on the big stage downstairs at The Queen, and it's almost already sold out. Tickets are $125 each, and VIP tix are $250... so it's a pretty big to-do.  Anyway, each year's concert has a theme, and this year we're doing all songs from 1969. It's a prestigious thing, and this is our first year being a part of it.  As Freshmen members, we are singing backups and are in the horn section... so no lead singer or guitar duties, but honestly, we really like being right where we are. 

Anyway, Saturday's show is an all-day thing... we have to arrive by 3 so we can be all sound-checked and cleared off the stage by 6 because that's when the house opens for the VIPs.  The music starts at 8.

The downside to this show is that there are over 50 players involved, so there are going to be over 50 musicians crammed into the backstage area where there is not enough room for even 20 people, really... plus I'm sure many will be drinking throughout the day/night... and as an introvert it's hard to endure not having a place to be quiet where there isn't a person (drunk or not) trying to talk to you... but it's a billion times worse when you're sick.  So I'm thinking about bringing a pillow or some kind of cushion so we can sit in the stairwell where (hopefully) nobody else will be. 

As for me, I feel like my body is working really hard to fight something. I'm doing everything in my power to make sure it wins.

We were in Austin all last week for work and got home on Saturday, and then Matt had a Ramones rehearsal at 10:00am on Sunday because we had an all-day dress rehearsal for Shine a Light that started at noon and went until around 7 or 8-ish (can't remember).  So between travel, being on an airplane, being in two rehearsal spaces crammed with people and sharing mics and stuff and just running running running, it's no surprise the plague got a foothold.

So, we're hoping Matt feels better ASAP.

In the last bit of news: I'm typing this in procrastination, because I'm an idiot and always wait until the last possible second to get my books in shape in time for my accountant to do my business taxes and then my personal taxes. I see my accountant tomorrow at 2pm, and I am just now starting to hand-type in all of my bank and credit card transactions for the year, because naturally I am too cheap to spend the $9.95/month for Quickbooks access.

Anyway, if I owe you an email or some kind of reply, it'll likely be next week sometime. I've gotta get through this week and the weekend.

xo

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O lawd. Good luck kids.
Sending love and strength.
 

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

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

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Once again, I am sick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Pause]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good night!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 had to run out for a second, and Folkadelphia (it's a radio show) was on 88.5 WXPN. A song came on, and I listened to it on the short drive home and then couldn't leave the car until I found out what it was. 

It's a song called "You Missed My Heart," and it's performed by Phoebe Bridgers. It's a cover... but holy shit, the words, the performance, the arrangement just all took my breath away. 

Here's info about it. You can listen to the song there and also read the lyrics.

Just... wow.

The Christmas Plague

In other news, everyone around me has been sick with this two-week head cold of death. I've been feeling pretty cocky and invincible until yesterday when I woke up with a giant spike sticking into my throat from my inner ear.  

It wouldn't be Christmas without me having a friggin' cold.  Matt has it too... though I think he's a day sicker than I am.

We're supposed to be the in-studio on-air guests on WDEL's afternoon show this Friday to sing a few Christmas tunes and to plug our upcoming comedy show at Logan House on January 5th. Let's hope I have a voice that day.

Driveway Moment #2

Driveway Moment #2 just happened now. I am still in the car, now in a totally dark garage because the inside garage light timed out. 

I just watched Anne Mollo 's absolutely gorgeous story of Her Winter of Bill (as I call it).  I was absolutely enraptured. I got choked up. There were a few times I caught myself not breathing.  Thank you Annie-- really. Thank you. What a beautiful story. 

Watch it here-- she starts at the 37-minute mark. 


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12/20 '17 2 Comments
I love those moments of discovery on the radio. I remember hearing Chris Smither (being broadcast live) for the first time just as I was leaving a supermarket parking lot. I had to put the transmission back in park and just sit and listen to the rest of the show; I was so enraptured I didn't even want to drive!
Anne Mollo 12/20 '17
I just ran across her debut album (the one that song appears on) a couple weeks ago and have really been digging it. There are a few weak pieces, but the first 3 tracks are aces.

I also love that the album title, A Stranger in the Alps, is a fairly "in" Big Lebowski in-joke.
CM Adams 12/21 '17
 

Matt and I are SO FRIGGIN' SICK, like lung-meat death-cough no-voice-fever sick. Fun vacation. But right now we're sitting outside on Santa Monica Blvd drinking Philz Coffee, and a douchebag in a convertible drove by cranking "Life in the Fast Lane" and I've never felt more California. 

Life is good despite it... though I'm not looking forward to 43 flights in the next 24 hours with clogged ears. (But I am looking forward to watching the eclipse from the plane.)

So much for singing Total Eclipse of the Heart for Southwest Airlines. Can't currently talk. 

Boo.

OK, that's it. More later.

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8/20 '17 5 Comments
Ugh, that SUCKS! At least you'll get to enjoy the eclipse, somewhat.
That's not fair, getting sick right on top of an iron infusion! Like, you should have super powers now, not lung death fever! Boo!
Anne Mollo 8/20 '17
Be well kids!
Thomas Boutell 8/21 '17
How was the flight??? I was in a concrete box all day, so I have to experience the universe through my friends' social media posts.
Like others, I am dying to know how the flight was!?
Anne Mollo 8/21 '17