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
 

OK, so, um, I have a problem. 

Matt is music-directing this show at the Wilmington Drama League called "Disaster!" which is a funny-as-hell spoof on 60s-70s disaster movies (best of all, it only uses real pop tunes from the '70s as the show's songs). They start Tech Week tomorrow, and it opens on January 26th. We saw it on Broadway and loved it. Matt has kinda sworn off theater and said the only way he'd ever be involved with another show is if an impossibly unlikely 'perfect storm' occurred where he was music director for Disaster!, with Nick D'Argenio directing. And guess what happened? Yep. So, Matt's been busy.

Anyway, without giving away spoilers, there is a scene where a character, um, interacts with sharks, and we needed to create some shark-props for this, so Matt bought two stuffed sharks off of Amazon. He brought one of them into the bedroom to show one to me, and I *instantly* fell in love with this shark and I cannot stop hugging it. So Matt saw this and said, "Uh, looks like I need to buy another shark... you're not giving this one up, are you?" NOPE. MY SHARK. MINE. 

So Matt had to buy a new shark because there is no way I could part with this shark... even though they are identical sharks.

The Shark is now Guy #5 who sleeps with us every night. For those keeping track, I have been sleeping with Fishy, which is a fish-shaped pillow I made in 7th Grade Home Ec class, since the day I brought it home in 1982. He travels with me everywhere. 

Next is Radar, who is Matt's teddy bear that we bought at Target for a Radar O'Reilly Halloween costume in probably 2014. (Yes, we named the bear after the MASH character.) 

Then we added Oscar in 2017, who is a teeny bear that came with a box of Russell Stover Valentine's Day chocolates our friend Helen gave us. Most people would toss the bear, but he is so friendly and good... he is not disposable. Oscar sleeps between my pillow and Matt's because he is teeny.

Guy #4 is Huggy Bear, which is a super-cheap, very flat yellow bear that Jeff (my brother) won at Circus Circus in Las Vegas in 1985. Huggy Bear is anti-social and just stays under my pillow. He has lived in a box in the basement for many years, but I found him a few months ago and felt bad he was just in a box. I kinda think he preferred it there, but for now, he's with us.

And now we have a giant fucking shark. 


But, if that's not enough of a problem, I think my Fish is NOT pleased about this latest shark development. When I woke up after my first night with the shark, the shark was on the floor and my Fish was smugly in the bed. I can't say I blame him. 

So now I have to sleep with them separated, Fish on one side of me and the shark on the other. 

This is a LOT of friggin' drama, folks. I'm doing my best.

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1/20 '18 10 Comments
Fish heads fish heads, roly poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads, love them up, yum!
Thomas Boutell 1/21 '18
We will be there on the 27th!

Barring disaster. Yuk yuk yuk.

If Matt is swearing off theater, what's next?
Thomas Boutell 1/21 '18
He's been done with theater for a while, really... at least the "putting on the show" onstage/backstage part. He will always be a playwright, but since Hot Breakfast got busy (awww yeaaah) music has been much more front and center.

He was pretty happy knowing he'd never have to music-direct a show ever again... until Nick called and said "Hey, wanna do Disaster! ?" And Matt was all OH GOD DAMMIT FINE. Hahah!
Wheee!

Full disclosure: Wouldn't ya know it... the 27th is only night where Matt will not be at the show playing and/or music directing, since we'll be playing in the 2nd performance of the Springsteen Tribute that night. So the pit band will be playing with a few substitute players, and Steve We will be conducting from behind the piano in Matt's absence.

I rec-o-nize you're a busy people... but the 27th performance may not be the tightest. Just so'z ya know.
Guh! I wonder if we can change our tickets?
Thomas Boutell 1/24 '18
So how 7yr old friendly would this show be?
Ursula Sadiq 1/21 '18
It's PG at the worst, so it'll be fine I suspect, without knowing your specific 7 year old. It is VERY silly. The shark thing I mention is blatantly goofy and not scary.

We do suggest you go 2nd weekend if you can... the show might need a full weekend to hit its stride, I suspect. (They lost a few rehearsals due to weather.)

I believe I'm ushering on Feb 3rd, if that's any incentive. :-)
Jill "xtingu" Knapp 1/21 '18edited
I was thinking the 4th - can't do the 3rd. It's the kid's birthday. Making this a present!
Ursula Sadiq 1/22 '18
And tickets acquired! If you make it to the showing on the 4th, I'll meet you then!
Ursula Sadiq 1/23 '18