Jill "xtingu" Knapp

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

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HOLY  CRAP, the Southwest Air Eclipse Flight was awesome awesome awesome. Just so much fun! 

After we deplaned, a news crew from Channel 11 Alive Atlanta was interviewing people about their experience, and since I'm a whore, I jumped in front of the camera. Apparently I'm gonna be on the Atlanta news. Woot!

So if you watch this video, that's me at 1:36 in my ITMFA shirt kvelling. :-) 


The Channel 11 folks also asked us to write up our experience and email it to them with photos, so here's what I sent.

_____________________

Hi, Julie and crew!

I'm the Jill Knapp that Matt mentioned in his first email. I believe someone from your station grabbed a quick interview with me when we landed in Atlanta. (I have the spiky platinum-blonde hair with the blue streak and the big smile.)

We've attached some photos for you. 

We are an acoustic dork-rock duo from Wilmington, Delaware called "Hot Breakfast!", and we fly Southwest exclusively because of our earned Companion Pass status on the airline. (Companion Pass status allows us to perform all around the country in a buy-one-get-one-free arrangement, reserved for their most frequent flyers.)  

When we heard this flight was happening, we jumped on it specifically to see the eclipse from above the clouds!

Boarding the flight was super-fun-- the plane was decorated with a disco ball and colorful streamers, and the flight attendants were all dressed up with glittery wigs, glow glasses, alien antennae ("deely-boppers" for those of us '80s kids), and the pilot was able to bank the plane several times to let both sides of the plane get great views. Matt and I sat in the "LUV Seat," which is the exit row with only two seats in the row, so we had room to crouch down low by the window to see the eclipse, and we encouraged other passengers to jump in our row to get the great view, too! 

The vibe on the plane was so friendly, fun, enthusiastic. The Southwest flight attendants are always top-notch, but they went above and beyond today with custom eclipse-themed cocktails, eclipse and space trivia games, and glow-bracelets for everyone, and plenty of jokes and smiles. 

Sometimes the news will make you think that everyone is angry and there's no happiness in the world (and especially in our country). But this flight made me remember that people are almost all wonderful, curious, and fun. I admit, I needed this. :-)

This flight was absolutely everything we hoped it would be and more. 

Thanks for letting us report in!

Our very best,

Jill and Matt

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8/21 '17 12 Comments
\o/!

Were you laid over in ATL, or are you here-here?
Rabbit 8/22 '17
Just a layover for about 90 minutes, and during that time we had to get our bags from baggage claim and re-check in, due to some creative flight scheduling on my part. But we made our next flight with about 10 minutes to spare! Wooot!
Whatever they offer you ... don't feed the plants!
That soundtrack has been in my brain for a week now... and I am not complaining even a little. (It's mah favorite show EVAR.)
Of course it has, because it starts with a TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN! I need you and Matt C in my life to grok my Little Shop jokes ... and Jerm, but he is not on OPW.
My little Audrey II insisted on nursing for most of it.
Rabbit 8/23 '17
Feed me, Mama, feed me all night long. That's right!
May I touch the hem of your garment?
Thomas Boutell 8/22 '17
Mais oui!
Just watched the video - you look SO geeked out happy! Eeeee!
that's so awesome!!!! so how did you even hear about this flight -- did the airline send out a blasto to their elite passengers or something? :)
Jenn A 8/24 '17
excellent! so jealous...
Kate Haney 8/25 '17
 

Well, that explains/confirms a lot.

Have you ever felt like crap but you had stuff to do so you wouldn't allow yourself to really BE sick, and then when you get medical confirmation that you are, indeed, sick, you suddenly feel 73,000 times worse?  So, that.

I admit I'm about due for an iron infusion, but I've worked so little this year that I figured, "Meh, I haven't been flying around the country every week, so maybe my iron is better than the calendar implies it should be." So I ignored it, like an idiot.

And last week I got the always annoying and "Holy shit it's now serious" angular chelitis, which is when the corner of your lip rips and no amount of lip balm, neosporin, or other ointments in the universe will heal it. It is caused by iron deficiency and/or its good friend Vitamin B/folate deficiency.  As soon as my lip ripped, I thought, "OK, no more fucking around and trying to ignore this. Get your damn bloodwork and get fixed, Knapp."

I only had my period twice in 2016, so I assumed my ol' body was doing the menopause thang (my Mom went through it early, too)... but in 2017 it's been back with a vengeance. As of July, I've had 4 periods already, and they've all been 10 days long (as always) and ridiculously heavy. So yeah, even though I haven't been traveling as much this year and using up my iron reserves by running through airports, instead I'm exhausting my iron reserves by being a freakin' female. (A female who would love to have her ladyparts removed, thx... but noooooo, good heavens. "We don't just go removing perfectly good organs," says my OB/GYN.  Nice. Yank it out, please. And no, I don't want an endometrial ablation... good lord, it sounds awful.)


I went for my double-bloodwork on Monday... which means I had 2 vials of blood drawn for my anemia labs, but I also had *11 vials* drawn for my "big bloodwork" which tests everything from protein, calcium, PTH, zinc* and everything else that could ever be tested.   I got my anemia labs back this morning (my "big bloodwork" results will take longer because they're so much bigger) and HOLY CRAP I am in the shiiiiiitter. Like shit-ter. SHITTER I SAY.  Not only did some results show "Low" (though if the target range of something was, say, 11-30, my value was 5), there were others that had a bold, italicized ALERT next to some which is to say "Daaaaaaaamn, girl."  So this definitely explains the desire to stay in bed 16 hours a day and also explains why I sound like shit in Lizzie rehearsals, and why at our last Hot Breakfast! shows I couldn't get through a damn phrase without taking extra breaths. (And people thought that was performey "faux exaustion."  Nope. Genuinely gasping, folks. Just trying to play it off so nobody calls the paramedics at a gig.)

I suppose the good news is that insurance won't have any problem paying for an iron infusion or two... though the dumb news is that an iron infusion costs $500 if I were to pay out of pocket (which is a bargain), but costs $3000 when billed to insurance.

At Labcorp, they said I owed $18.00 out of pocket for my anemia labs, and $83.00 out of pocket for my big labs. I have an $8500 deductible.  Only $8399 out of pocket to go!  Plus $490/month for the honor of having this "insurance."  I am SO mixed on the ACA. On one hand, I am so happy I can even qualify for insurance (hello, pre-existing condition), but I have to mentally budget $490 x 12 + $8500 a year for healthcare. I don't feel $14380's worth of sick... especially when an iron infusion costs $500 out of pocket. I have to keep telling myself this insurance is there in case I get hit by a truck or get that cancer diagnosis that is lurking around the corner.**


In other news, Matt and I were supposed to head down to the beach today until Thursday morning, but we just found out 20 mins ago that Matt's friend Lisa's dad has passed and his services are tomorrow... so we'll be home instead.  It's kinda funny how we've had this beach trip on the calendar for two weeks, but I never really "felt in The Force" that we were going. And boom-- there it is. I feel awful about Lisa's dad... that poor girl has had waaaay more bad shit happen in her life than anyone else should. She's a friggin' math teacher, ferfuckssake. Bad shit shouldn't happen to math teachers. 

Does anyone here watch Stranger Things ? Matt subscribes to Entertainment Weekly which helps us pretend we have a vague idea about what is happening in pop culture (though it just reinforces that we really don't)... but EW makes a compelling case for Stranger Things. So do a few of our friends who all say "Out of everyone, we can't believe YOU don't watch it!" (Geez, you do a Total Eclipse of the Heart cover and all of a sudden you're stuck at 17.  Eh, nah... really... I guess we wear our trapped-in-the-80s-dom loud and proud on our sleeves. Why fight it?) I admit I haven't binge-watched a show in eons, and it is kinda fun... so I'm thinking that might be something to do on this staycation.

In other news, I want to shoot myself in the fucking face for missing Lindsay Harris-Friel ​​​​​'s big reading this past weekend. It's been in the back of my head as something I had every intention of doing, and boom... I just didn't. I kept thinking July had one more week left, and I just never put it on my calendar... blah blah blah. I can't blame anyone but myself. I'm a fucking idiot.  But I am really, really sad I missed it. Not only selfishly because I really do like that play and I wanted to see someone else's interpretation of it... but also because I love Lindsay and want to support my friend. (Don't worry, I emailed this to her already... but I'm still kicking my own ass VERY HARD over it.) 

I mean, I do expect to miss out on a large percentage of things in life because I'm not on Facebook, and some people only communicate events and life happenings there (which is cool).  But I take my "if I'm not gonna be on Facebook then I will listen very carefully on OPW/DW/Email/meatspace" obligation very seriously. But I fucked up. Ugh. I'm a schmuckface.

OK, I'm gonna go figure out what to do about my hairz. (Dye it at home? Go back to The Land of Triple Processing Overpriced Brillo? Try somewhere new? I have to have presentable hair by Friday, cause I have a new client meeting and blue/green/gray hair isn't gonna cut it.)

Ok, I got stuff to do.


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

*  (Is it just me? I cannot type or say "zinc" without hearing the Simpsons fake school science movie bit with "Come back, Zinc!" Anyone else?)

** (I'm a Knapp. I've got tons of cancer on both sides of the family... plus never having been pregnant increases my chances of breast cancer bigly, and only being on hormonal contraception for like 20 minutes in fits and spurts also increases the risk of ladycancer. Whatever. Bring it.)

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I got a couple episodes in and then did my usual meh. But I do that with almost everything "on TV." Whatever that means now.

I'm only six episodes into freakin' Breaking Bad and that show is amazing.

It sucks that you're stuck in the category of people who probably couldn't have insurance at fucking all before... but now have to get mortgage-priced insurance with deductibles so high they don't actually catch a break in practice unless hit by a truck. These are the people who would benefit most from single payer... always providing it doesn't do a worse job with situations like your iron deficiency. The devil is in the details.
My friend Patty wrote the pilot and first season of Breaking Bad. She had to live in New Mexico for a few months as they shot it. I'm so happy you dig it! (I didn't watch it, but my dad was tooootttaaaallllyy into it.)
Your friend Patty is genius on toast.
OF COURSE you know someone who worked on something as epic as breaking bad. Somehow, I'm not even surprised by this.
Leela 8/2 '17
Stranger Things was like reading an early Stephen King novel, the kids are like the D&D nerds in the 80s version of the kids in The Body aka Stand By Me. Winona Ryder is really good and the world of the show is totally 80stastic.
You'll dig it.
We watched three episodes last night and are DEFINITELY hooked. Yaaaaay!
Yeah, this. Agree with Shelle completely.
Karen Kuhl 8/2 '17
I feel you on the lurking cancer diagnosis thing. And on the wanting your lady parts removed thing. And about the 10 day periods, oof.

Very glad you got to the doctor and are able to get some iron. The cost thing through?!? ...It should just be $500, period. The ACA has allowed me to have decent affordable insurance, and what with my recent breast lump it may well have actually saved my life. But I'm sorry you fall in the category of folks who have a rent-sized bill to pay every month. There has to be a better way.

Also, stranger things! Watch it! 😁
Leela 8/1 '17edited
hooooooooleeeeeeesheeeeet. thank goodness you did that blood test... that is freaking CRAY. hope you start feeling better soon!

Stranger Things is awesome. So is Breaking Bad, probably one of the best shows I've ever watched in my life. Every single episode is perfect, not a bad one in the bunch.
Jenn A 8/2 '17
Oh no. I'm going to get sucked into Breaking Bad. I can tell already. Especially since I'm trying to cut cable out soon.
Karen Kuhl 8/2 '17
Karen, it took me about 6 episodes to like it. Then, I binge watched like I thought I'd never see a TV again. 😂
Leela 8/3 '17
I watched most of season one of Breaking Bad. I thought the writing was excellent, but I got sick of watching him lie to his wife, so I was done. Most people who watched it loved it. I am not unilaterally opposed to people who lie to spouses (I enjoyed Mad Men), but when I watch a TV show, I need somebody to like, even if that isn't the same character for the whole season or if my liking is spread among more than one character. The person I liked in Breaking Bad was the wife, and she kept getting shit on by her husband (and by the fans on the Internet). So I was done.
I had this same problem with Ray Donavon.
Karen Kuhl 8/4 '17
Don't go on the Internet. (:
Matt had a similar feeling about Breaking Bad. He loved it at first, but it was just so depressing and dark, and he just couldn't be in such a dark place every week, even if it was just a TV show.
I don't understand how there can be so many episodes of Breaking Bad, because every episode I've seen before is so perfect, and I can't imagine that being pulled off for years... obviously I can expect to be amazed!
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that, given your blood work results, you maybe might not wanna kick yourself *quite* so hard for missing Lindsay's reading...
Anne Mollo 8/3 '17
*COUGH* *WHEEZE* *BLEED* I'M SO GLAD I MADE IT TO YOUR *EXPIRE* yeah
Yeah this.
Anne Mollo 8/4 '17
Hahahaha! I was gentle-ish. :)
Jill "xtingu" Knapp 8/5 '17edited
Dang! PCP still nixing the hysterectomy? BLARGH. I'm recovering from mine, which sucks, but the suckage is orders of magnitude lower than the endless bleeding stuff. And my iron deficiency was nothing compared to yours.

I'm so sorry you're suffering. Boo! I am sending you virtual hugs, dark chocolate, spinach, and sweet potatoes. And meat, if you eat it.

I'm also sorry that virtual iron-rich foods aren't terribly helpful.
Kate Haney 8/8 '17
I know that the endless bleeding stuff was holy hell for you!!!! I hope you're all healed up soon and you can wear white pants every day now. (you know, all those white pants you own. LOL) xoxo
Jenn A 8/8 '17
I dunno if your reply is for me or for Jill, but I do indeed own white pants... and plan to wear
them just about every day between now and Labor Day!
Kate Haney 8/16 '17
excellent! i guess i'm thinking of our younger days, when all you and i wore was black. :) yay white pants!
Jenn A 8/17 '17
Absolutely! My anti-Kate (all-white) Halloween costume was one of my most successful ever.
Kate Haney 8/20 '17
 

Hi all!

We've been up at my folks' place since Sunday. We were eating dinner and I got a text from my dad that he had to call an ambulance to bring him to the hospital because he blew out his knee and couldn't put even a toe's worth of weight on his right leg.  I called him and he was TERRIFIED, and absolutely convinced this was "the fall," meaning the injury an old person has in their late 70s that begins the rapid decline to death.  I kept trying to tell him not to order the headstone quite yet, but he was really, really upset. By the time he got out of the ER and back home it was 11:30PM, so we all agreed Matt and I would get up to NJ on Monday (the 13th).

So, apart from snowcamming (which is now over), I have been almost entirely offline since we've been up here. I haven't read OPW or LJ; I've done maybe 10 mins max on Instagram and Twitter.  I'm sorry I haven't been more responsive.

So yep, we're still up at my folks' place taking care of them since my dad blew his knee out on Sunday.  Strangely, Mom seems to be doing MUCH better. I'm thinking with my Dad down for the count, Mom realizes she needs to step it up a bit, and she has! She isn't nearly as forgetful.  Maybe the extra responsibility is good for her.

Since we've been here, we let my folks handle their own breakfast as a test to see how their mobility is for the day... but then we wind up handling lunch and dinner plus all chores (laundry, cleaning Mom's bedroom commode, cleaning/prepping her CPAP, meal prep and serving/cleanup, shopping, snow removal, med checks, laundry, washing the kitchen floor, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, etc.)

Yesterday (Thursday) I took my dad to the orthopedist to figure out what's broken on him and what the prognosis/path forward is.  Diagnosis: Torn meniscus, but luckily it's not an entirely fucked meniscus. It should heal with some PT and TLC in a few weeks... he's already markedly better yesterday than he was on Monday when we arrived, but he absolutely still needs a walker, which means he can't carry anything.  My mom can't carry anything either... so the small "care-related tasks" like dumping and cleaning my mom's bedside commode is impossible for either of them to do... let alone carrying food to the table. So as much as we want to get home and get our lives back, we need some kind of plan to have these small tasks handled. I cannot rely on my brother or sister-in-law, which is sometimes frustrating but understandable. My parents' neighbors have offered to help out, but cleaning a chunky pee-filled commode isn't something you ask a neighbor to do... that's a family job. (Sorry for that visual.)

Matt has been so good anxiety-wise lately... the CBD + Xanax combo has been working miracles. However, yesterday was a Very Bad Day and a reminder that he is not "cured," and a reminder he mustn't get cocky and not take his meds.  Caring for my mom, caring for my dad, and caring for plus worrying about Matt yesterday made me wonder how people with kids care for several people every day of their lives with no break whatsoever. I was wiped out. 

My parents have been very kind and appreciative this visit, and they keep telling me how truly grateful they are that we're up here and able/willing to help.  I'm very happy to have been up here, too.  In the evenings once we're done with dinner and all of our tasks are done, my dad and I (and sometimes Matt)  wind down by binge-watching Nurse Jackie.  I've been enjoying it. When I asked him why he chose that show as opposed to the other million things on Netflix, cable, Amazon, etc., he said, "I like Edie Falco, and I wanted to watch something without explosions for a change."  My dad? Watching something without fast cars or explosions? WEIRD. :-D

Selfishly, I'm also happy to have ridden out the storm up here with my folks because Delaware got a ton of ice and apparently Arden and north Wilmington lost power for a good long while... parts of which didn't get power back until yesterday (Thursday) with crews from North Carolina helping out the local power company workers. I know our house lost power at some point (even if just for a moment) because I tried remoting into my home computer yesterday and couldn't, which tells me it turned off unceremoniously. (My computer stays off if the power gets cut.)  So I have no way to know if we'll come home to a freezer full of warm, stinky food or what. (Though Joe Trainor just stopped by our house a few minutes ago to return a soprano sax we rented for the sold-out Billy Joel show we did on Saturday night down at the beach, and he was able to use the garage door OK, so the power's onbviously on now.)

Today is Friday, and I'm not sure when we're going back to DE. We really wanted to go to a concert on Saturday (tomorrow) night, and Matt has a final rehearsal on Sunday afternoon for an Able Arts skit they've asked him to be a part of for their show next week.  We may just go home for the weekend and come right back up here.

It's actually been pretty OK being up here. I feel very appreciated and useful. 

Anyway, I promise to be more present online when I can. I'm sorry that I can't be a better or more responsive friend now... right now I need to keep focusing on being a good daughter and a good partner. 

Love you all.

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3/17 '17 3 Comments
Don't worry about being a responsive friend right now. Charge your emotional batteries.
Holy smokes gurrrl. If you want to feel bad about something... No, I can't even kid about it. Just don't.
Thomas Boutell 3/17 '17
Like they said - don't worry about being online / responsive / whatever. If anyone asks you to be otherwise, feel free to have them discuss it with me. I'll explain it (more or less) nicely. *smirk*

On to the folks:
1. It's not 'the fall'. I'm with you on that one. You're Dad is WAY too much of a badass for that. Uncomfortable? Sure. Annoying? I bet.
2. Feeling useful - I'm happy to hear this. Family emergencies can be... draining. Feeling appreciated for what your doing can go a long way towards countering that.
3. Mom: It doesn't shock me that 'needing to step up' is helping her in some way. If it's not her that needs looking after, she's always been first up to bat.
4. Staying for a while in NJ? I'm coming back during the first week of April. I would like to humbly ask that you consider having me come lend a hand if you're still in NJ at that point. Like I said before - this stuff takes a toll. I would like to help cover that if I can. Before you dismiss this (I can just imagine you reading this) - please - seriously think about it. I'm HAPPY to help, and your folks have always been nothing shy of awesome to me. They've MORE than earned it. :)

Sending lerv. Lots of it.