So there's this new website where you upload your photo and they tell you which famous celebrity you resemble.
Oh my god, apparently I am a guy. And not just any guy.
Here's the photo I submitted, and look who they matched me up with!
Yeah, yeah, that's right. Laugh it up. So which one of these fine men do I resemble the most? Ozzie Osbourne or Russell Crowe? Ha!
And, um, yikes!
Here's the link so you can try it yourselves. What fun!
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Hey, how's this for cool. Philebrity lists their favorite music for 2005 with the following introduction:
"God damn, we listened to a lot of music this year. And while we don’t pretend to be scientific, well, we like what we like and we’re right about everything. So here it is, warts and all, and in no particular order. Rockers of the world, when you weren’t sucking, you, um, rocked us. Good on ya."
And guess which band gets a mention in that article?
05Tom Vek · We Are Sound
Franz Ferdinand · You Could Have It So Much Better With Franz Ferdinand
The Legends · Up Against The Legends
Holland Boys/King God (live and mp3s)
Sweat Heart (live)
Bruce Springsteen ·Devils & Dust
Yeah, that's right, Sweatheart, featuring Thom Lessner on guitar and vocals, Rose Luardo on vocals, Hot Tanya/Amanda on vocals, Julie Slick on bass, and Eric Slick on drums. Ha! Come see for yourself at the Troc this Saturday afternoon (info in post below).
So I learned something yesterday. You don't want to google Neil Gaiman and indiscriminately visit blogs which pay homage to him unless you are prepared to handle anything. Now me, I have a weak stomach...and if you have one, too, I suggest you not visit this one, unless you want to see what a rat looks like when it's been skinned and roasted.
I did, however, find a blog which offered me a test to see which Endless I am (Endless being characters from Neil Gaiman's Sandman series), and was further traumatized to learn that I am apparently
Death, the second of The Endless, responsible for ending all lives and taking them to my realm, from which no one ever returns. I am bright, positive, happy, optimistic and enjoy everything about life, but that does not mean I am silly or stupid. I can lay the smack down when I have to! Everyone loves me, and they don't know why.
Okay, first of all, I'm neither happy nor optimistic nor do I enjoy everything about life, but yeah, I can lay the smack down when I have to.
Now. What does lay the smack down mean? Hahahaha - I picture junkies, doing lines. No, no, that I can't do. Been there, done that, never again. And it wasn't heroin, and it was like in 1980, but still...
An um, everyone loves me and they don't know why? Yeah, me, either. Very curious, that, but from now on, just call me Death.
So I'm not in the greatest head right now. I couldn't sleep at all last night -- I just kept tossing and turning over the state of my current book. I'm putting tremendous pressure on myself because I've basically been on vacation since quitting my job at the end of July and I know this time, it's sink or swim...i.e,, finish the novel or start looking for a "real" job before I totally deplete my savings account for no reason other than an extended holiday at home. Anyway, I finally gave up on the idea of getting any rest at all and went downstairs about 3:00 a.m. to find my son watching T.V., wide awake and stressed as well. We started talking and crying on each other's shoulders and it was amazing, it took me until 5:30 a.m., but I finally felt better and was able to go back upstairs and get some much needed sleep. As I was talking out loud to Eric, I realized that, as usual, I was being way too hard on myself. First of all, I quit my job at the end of July -- a job I had my entire adult life and from which I was so burnt out I could barely get dressed in the morning -- and I'd pretty much decided that since I hadn't had a break in over two decades, I'd take the month of August off to just hang out with the kiddies. But then in September, I took my usual two weeks at the beach. In October, I went to England. Then before I knew it, the holidays were here, and all hopes of getting serious writing done went out the window.
I'm also a little more than worried about this blog. It's taking up a lot of my time, and it's become somewhat of an addiction. To be honest, I'm entertaining thoughts of abandoning it. But on some days, it's the only writing I do, and it is a way to get the word out about the kids' music and my own writing achievements as well as those of my friends, so I guess I will not make any rash decisions on that front yet. It's also an obvious personal diary, because as I've hinted in the past, in the real world I am a social misfit, and this is my way of "talking to people"...something I don't do easily in person.
Anyway, getting back to our talk last night, Eric reminded me that I had in fact written quite a few short stories (all of which have been or will be published in the near future) and an entire novel since leaving my job in July, and although it's not the creative non-fiction book about which I'm tormenting myself, it's the sequel to Three Days in New York City, and I guess I'm also subconsciously suppressing that because I'm still waiting to hear from my publisher about edits/revisions, etc. It's very difficult to write a sequel, especially since I went through so many changes since the first book was written in 2003 so I agonized over keeping the same voice of the character...oy...I'm getting nervous just thinking about it and naturally assume my publisher hates it and oh God, let me stop this line of thinking now before I have a total meltdown altogether. Ack! I was just feeling good about myself just five minutes ago. But seriously, talking with Eric last night was amazing and if I've done nothing else right in my life, I raised two incredibly bright, loving, and talented kids and when I go into these black holes of depression, I need to remind myself of that.
But this writing thing -- tell me again why I do it?
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Monty the crazy dog taking a nap with my totally exhausted daughter Julie and her boyfriend Matt. Yeah, I know, I shouldn't let the pets on the furniture. But you know, it would be cruel for me to make Matt and Julie sleep on the floor.
As for me, I could sleep straight through until January 15, 2006 and just might.
Nah, I have some shows to attend! Details below.
So yeah, we got through Christmas, and I'm still able to fit into my jeans but barely, which is kind of good, because it means that as long as I wear them and don't admit defeat and switch to a jogging suit with an elastic waist band, I will make it through the holiday fairly unscathed, which means I only have to lose ten pounds instead of the usual post-cookie/chocolate twenty.
The kids are in the room with me right now, watching Spinal Tap, and it's still funny as hell and hard to believe it's been over twenty years since it was released. Holy cow.
But that being so, I'm finding it difficult to concentrate and I want to watch it, too, so here's the music news sooner rather than later:
Julie and Eric, playing bass and drums respectively with Sweatheart at The Troc sometime between 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 31, 2005 as part of the Rock School All-Star end of holiday tour blow-out.
Eric performing with The Shannon Penn Band on January 3, 2006 at 8:30 p.m. at The Grape Street Pub and February 24, 2006 at World Cafe Live.
And um, here's something I know I'll be talking about over the next few days. I scored two tickets to see Neil Gaiman in New York City January 9. I am taking a vow right now not to do anything embarrassing, i.e., if there is a question and answer period I promise to sit on my hands and stay quiet and I also promise not to camp out at the venue at 5:00 a.m. so I get a front row seat, nor will I bring a huge backpack filled with all of his books in the hopes of maybe scoring his autograph with my very own vintage Waterman 52...
Nope, I will behave.
At least that's the theory...
And by the way, Monty is an equal opportunity napper. Eric was doing a serious snooze here -- he's got his sheets and blanket!
Monday, December 26, 2005
Ha ha - Eric seems freaked by the amount of presents under the tree.
Every Christmas, it's the same thing. Julie and Eric haven't changed since they were five years old. They wait until a respectable hour -- in this case -- they gave me until 8:00 a.m., before they opened my bedroom door and got the dog to wake me.
"Monty - Mommy has presents for you," I heard them whisper. Next thing I know, I'm getting hit in the face with the dog's over-enthusiastic tail. I pretended to be unconscious but then when Monty started head butting me and licking me, I started giggling and there's my two grown-up kids, acting like two toddlers who still believe in Santa.
"Okay, okay," I yawned. "Let me go downstairs first so I can get the camera ready. (Hence the above photo where I captured the look on Eric's face)
This is poor Eric looking puzzled after I KNOW he thought he was ripped off this Christmas but I pulled a joke on him. I made him open his gifts in order, and I gave him the "boring" stuff first, like, clothes (which he does not consider boring but I do), snow boots (that was his gag gift but seriously, he walks everywhere, and when it snows, he still wears his Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers, which are not exactly winter shoes to begin with)...then I made him save what he thought was his last present for last, which was Logic Pro 7. He freaked out when he opened it, but I could see he was thinking...Hmmm...Julie got a lot more than I did. By the way, for those who don't know, Logic Pro 7 "is the industry-leading application for music creation and audio production which dramatically broadens the capabilities of computer-based studio environments. It's the first choice of many prominent musicians and producers, and provides the most comprehensive collection of music creation tools".
But you need something to go with Logic Pro 7, and after Eric thought he was done opening his gifts, I handed him the one he is opening in that photo, saying to him rather nonchalantly,"Oh, Er, here's one more I forgot to give you."
Heh -- it was a Mac laptop to go with the Logic Pro 7. (What, you thought I was going to let him use MY computer for that? Ha ha ha. You're joking, right?)
Anyway, to say he freaked out is putting it mildly. He ran around the room, jumping up and down, hugging me...it was awesome.
For those of you who might care, Julie got some big assed bass amp she's lusted over, clothes, a very cool handmade necklace made of bass strings (more on that and a photo in a future post), tons of "equipment" for her new hobby which of course is cooking so she got everything from a professional waffle maker to a stainless steel whipped cream dispenser (Jesus Christ, I actually need to go out today and buy her nitrous oxide for that thing. I have to keep reminding myself I'm not sixteen and it's perfectly respectable for me to visit a restaurant supply house and not feel like a junkie asking for whippets -- wait, is that how you spell the drug or the dog -- oh, whatever -- but yeah, you need nitrous oxide to make the dispenser push out that great homemade whipped cream she's gonna make us)...but the most fun I had was visiting an Asian market because Julie's been saying for months that she wants to make sushi. So I went to a great store and had a woman take me under her wing. She filled my shopping cart with everything from sushi mats to seaweed things for handrolls to sticky rice...wasabi paste, black and white sesame seeds...then I went really nuts and let her put things in my cart like a bamboo steamer, a professional wok, gorgeous hand painted chopsticks, etc. Anyway, when I got home, I packed all this stuff together in a huge carton and it was so much fun watching Julie open it and go through it all because it was so up her alley. I do not have a photo of her doing this because she was the official family photographer at that point and by the time I could locate where she set down the camera, she was already done going through her box.
Both kids also got a some really cool art supplies as both are talented artists who sort of stopped drawing for a while when they were touring so much but now they're back into it bigtime and some of the stuff they're coming up with is AWESOME.
Eric's girlfriend, Carolyn, gave him a saxophone! And Eric being Eric, has already mastered it and I haven't heard one squeak, just gorgeous, mellow notes. I want him to figure out "Baker Street" but he's busy learning John Coltrane.
Matt gave Julie an incredible mic that -- get this -- was actually once owned by the Captain and Tenille. Their names and telephone number are on it! He bought it off of Ebay, and what's so insane about this is that it's the same mic used by Zappa great saxophonist Napoleon Murphy Brock, and as I said, Carolyn just happened to give Eric a sax and Julie just happened to get a mic that's incredible for recording a sax, so it's an awesome coincidence. In keeping with Julie's food fetish, Matt also bought her these ridiculously expensive and sharp Japanese knives (she used them at dinner and I didn't shut up. "Watch your fingers! Tuck them underneath when you cut...you know, like a professional chef! Please don't make me spend Christmas Day in the emergency room at Jefferson Hospital). He also bought her an immersion blender (I have visions of her splattering soups all over my kitchen walls ha ha...nah, I'm just kidding about all of this, she's an amazing, talented and very cautious cook)...and totally cool, a pair of ice skates.
I gave Julie and Matt and Carolyn and Eric gift certificates to the Stephen Starr Restaurant of their choice (and I'm jealous I can't go).
Eric gave Carolyn an iPod and a bracelet and even better, he wrote her a song which, if I could post it here, I would, and I know there's a way to do it because Pete Townshend is posting MP3s in his blog so if anyone knows how, drop me an email.
Julie gave Matt an incredible guitar (oh, I could write a book on that story but I'll spare you the details), a hard drive, the Band's new box set, and this amazing charcoal drawing of George Harrison.
Funny story about that. They exchanged gifts at Matt's dad's house Friday evening. Matt's dad came home after a Christmas party in rather a "festive" condition, went into Matt's room and saw the drawing and remarked "Hey! What's a picture of Jesus Christ doing in your room?"
If you knew Matt's dad, you'd laugh, because he's hilarious and I can just picture the whole scene.
There's my poor dog, Monty, with whom I struggled bigtime with that Santa hat while Julie frantically tried to take his photo before he ripped it off himself. Man, he hated that hat. But you get the idea. I didn't want to keep torturing him so I gave up.
There's my house, totally trashed before even half the presents are opened. You will notice that Eric simply had to take a break and check his e-mail on my computer, (not having the benefit of his yet), and that the dog has already opened one of his gifts which he is busy eating and thus no longer cares about the embarrassment of the Santa hat.
As for me, I got tons of cool stuff, but my favorite gift was that my family chipped in and gave me a gift certificate for a new upstairs bathroom. I'm serious! I've been bitching that I want to replace the fixtures up there for like five years but I never get around to it and it's one thing I would not expect the kids to go out and do for me so I'm totally psyched and will probably spend this week doing girly stuff like looking through catalogues of vanities and medicine chests and do I want a stall shower or a whirlpool?
Because I know there's no way I'm writing this week. I'm wiped out. Totally and completely. So I've decided I'm officially on vacation until January 2, when it's time to get serious about finishing my book. I'm gonna just chill for the next couple of days, hang with the kiddies, do some thinking, and well, try and enjoy myself.
Hope you all had/have a holiday as cool as I did.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Our genius dog Monty figuring out that some of those presents are for him...
So. Anyone know where the title of this post is taken from?
I take you back to 1963 -- The Beatles Christmas Record:
GOOD KING WENCELAS LOOKED OUT
ON THE FEAST OF STEPHEN, HO!
AS THE SLOW RAY ROUND ABOUT
DEEP AND CRISP AND CRISPY.
BRIGHTLY SHOW THE BOOT LAST NIGHT
ON THE MOSSTY CRUEL.
HENRY HALL AND DAVID LLOYD,
BETTY GRABLE TOO-OO-OO.
HELLO, THIS IS JOHN, SPEAKING WITH HIS VOICE. (huh!)
WE'RE ALL VERY HAPPY TO BE ABLE TO TALK TO YOU LIKE THIS ON THIS LITTLE BIT OF PLASTIC.
THIS RECORD REACHES YOU AT THE END OF A REALLY GEAR YEAR FOR US AND IT'S ALL DUE TO YOU.
WHEN WE MADE OUR FIRST RECORD ON PARLOPHONE TOWARDS THE END OF 1962, WE HOPED
EVERYBODY WOULD LIKE WHAT HAD ALREADY BEEN OUR TYPE OF MUSIC FOR SEVERAL YEARS
ALREADY. BUT WE HAD NO IDEA OF ALL THE GEAR THINGS IN STORE FOR US.
IT ALL HAPPENED REALLY WHEN 'PLEASE PLEASE ME' BECAME A NUMBER ONE HIT AND AFTER THAT,
WELL COR' THE BLIMEYS, HEAVE THE MO'.
OUR BIGGEST THRILL OF THE YEAR, WELL, I SUPPOSE IT MUST HAVE BEEN TOPPING THE BILL AT THE
LONDON PALLADIUM AND THEN, ONLY A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER, BEING INVITED TO TAKE PART IN
THE ROYAL VARIETY SHOW.
THIS TIME LAST YEAR WE WERE ALL DEAD CHUFFED BECAUSE 'LOVE ME DO' GOT INTO THE TOP
TWENTY AND WE CAN'T BELIEVE REALLY THAT SO MANY THINGS HAVE HAPPENED IN BETWEEN
JUST BEFORE I PASS YOU OVER TO PAUL, (arf! arf! arf! arf!) I?D LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU TO ALL THE
BEATLE PEOPLE WHO HAVE WRITTEN TO ME DURING THE YEAR AND EVERYBODY WHO SENT GIFTS
AND CARDS FOR MY BIRTHDAY, WHICH I'M TRYING TO FORGET, IN OCTOBER. (huh!)
I?D LIKE TO REPLY PERSONALLY TO EVERYBODY BUT I JUST HAVEN'T ENOUGH PENS.
IN THE MEANTIME:
GARRY CRIMBLE TO YOU,
GARRY MIMBLE TO YOU.
GETTY BABLE, DEAR CHRISTMAS,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ME TOO.
THIS IS PAUL HERE.
EVERYTHING THAT JOHN SAID GOES FOR ME TOO, SPECIALLY THE BIT ABOUT BIRTHDAY CARDS AND
PARCELS, CAUSE ALL OUR HOMES AND OFFICES GOT STACKS OF MAIL LAST JUNE, OW! HA-HA!
WHEN IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY.
ANYWAY, WE'RE ALL DEAD PLEASED BY THE WAY YOU TREATED US IN 1963 AND WE TRY TO DO
EVERYTHING WE CAN TO PLEASE YOU WITH THE TYPE OF SONGS WE'LL WRITE AND RECORD NEXT
OH YEAH, SOMEBODY ASKED US IF WE STILL LIKE JELLY BABIES? WELL, WE USED TO LIKE THEM, IN
FACT WE LOVED THEM AND SAID SO IN ONE OF THE PAPERS, YOU SEE. EVER SINCE THEN WE'VE BEEN
GETTING THEM IN BOXES, PACKETS AND CRATES. ANYWAY, WE'VE GONE RIGHT OFF JELLY BABIES,
YOU SEE, BUT WE STILL LIKE PEPPERMINT CREAMS, CHOCOLATE DROPS AND DOLLY MIXTURES AND
ALL THAT SORT OF THINGS. (Yes! Yes! Oh yes!)
WELL, LOTS OF PEOPLE ASKED US WHAT WE ENJOY BEST, YOU SEE, CONCERTS AND TELEVISION OR
RECORDING? WE LIKE DOING STAGE SHOWS 'CAUSE, YOU KNOW, IT'S GREAT TO HEAR AN AUDIENCE
ENJOYING THEMSELVES. BUT THE THING WE LIKE BEST, I THINK SO ANYWAY, IS GOING INTO THE
RECORDING STUDIO (Yes, we enjoy that very kindly) TO MAKE NEW RECORDS, WHICH IS WHAT WE'VE
BEEN DOING ALL DAY BEFORE WE STARTED ON THIS SPECIAL MESSAGE.
WELL, WHAT WE LIKE TO HEAR MOST IS ONE OF OUR SONGS, YOU KNOW, TAKING SHAPE IN A
RECORDING STUDIO, AH, ONE OF THE ONES JOHN AND I HAVE WRITTEN AND THEN LISTENING TO THE
TAPES AFTERWARDS TO HEAR HOW IT ALL WORKED OUT, YOU SEE.
WELL, I'M RUNNING OUT OF TIME AND PEOPLE ARE TELLING ME TO STOP, (Stop! Stop!) AND RINGO,
(Stop! Stop! Shouting those animals!) SO...I'LL FINISH OFF NOW WITH IT WISHING EVERYONE HAPPY
CRIMBLE AND A MERRY NEW YEAR AND ESPECIALLY ALL THE ONES WHO PAID THE SUBSCRIPTION.
JA, DAS WIRD UNS DANKE SCHON
UND DENN GRUSS VON EVEN.
JA, DENN GRUSS VON EVEN SCHON
JA, DAS WIRD WUNDERSCHON, BOY,
HELLO, RINGO HERE,
AS YOU KNOW I WAS THE LAST MEMBER TO JOIN THE BEATLES. I STARTED TO PLAY DRUMS IN THE
GROUP 1962, HA-HA-HA! HAVE BEEN IN A COUPLE OF OTHER GROUPS...
(Oh, just wish the people a merry, happy, go on, for Christmas, Christmas)
MERRY, HAPPY NEW YEAR, AND FOLKS, HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND MAY, MAY EVERYTHING YOU WISH
(Sing, sing us Wenceslas, King Wenceslas)
WELL, GOOD KING WENCESLAS LOOKED OUT (oh ho!)
ON THE FEAST OF STEPHEN. (hey!)
WHEN THE SNOW WAS ON THE GROUND, (yeah!)
DEEP AND CRISP AND EVEN. (oh yeah!)
THANK YOU, RINGO! THANK YOU, RINGO! WE'LL PHONE YOU! (ha ha ha!)
I'M GEORGE HARRISON,
NOBODY ELSE SAID ANYTHING YET ABOUT OUR FAN CLUB SECRETARIES, ANN COLLINGHAM AND
BETTINA ROSE, NOT TO MENTION FREDA KELLY IN LIVERPOOL. (Good old Freda!!) SO ON BEHALF OF
US ALL, I?D JUST LIKE TO SAY A GREAT, BIG THANK YOU TO ANN, BETTINA AND FREDA FOR ALL THE
HARD WORK THEY'VE DONE AND WE JUST HOPE YOU CAN GO ON PLEASING US FOR A LONG TIME,
CAUSE IT'S GONNA CAUSE IT TO YOUR REACTION ARE TO OUR RECORDS THAT REALLY MATTERS,
AND I JUST LIKE TO SAY:
BRIGHTLY WAS THE SCHON AT NIGHT,
THOUGH THE WINTER CRUEL.
WHEN A PORK PIE CAME INSIDE
GATHERING WINTER CRUEL.
RUDOLPH, THE RED NOSED REINDEER (HO!)
HAD A VERY SHINY NOSE, (A SHINY NOSE!)
WHEN EV?RYBODY PICKED IT...
HA, HA, HA, HA,....
OH YEAH! OH!
RUDOLPH, THE RED NOSED RINGO, (RUDOLPH!)
HAD A VERY SHINY NOSE.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!
Damn it. John was so brilliant...
And oh my God, I just realized that it's twice this week that the word "crispy" has appeared prominently in this blog. What are the odds? Ha!
Anyway, Merry Christmas, Festivus, Hanukkah, Kwanza...whatever. I'm done wrapping presents and now I must drink vast quantities of alcohol. Because you know, it's the law.
Friday, December 23, 2005
In case you didn't believe my post about Julie's booger cookies, we did take a digital pic and I finally got Eric to upload it for me. (New Years Resolution #37: Learn how to properly work your digital camera and at least try and learn the basics of Photoshop, Robin). So. Was I right or was I right? But man, they were really delicious despite their sad appearance. Yikes, another metaphor -- one I don't want to get into. Ho ho ho.
So yesterday was funny as hell. Even though I live in downtown Philly which is probably less than two miles in each direction, I live on the very edge, in the Art Museum district, and unfortunately, most of my last minute shopping involved stores all the way at the other end as well as places somewhere in the middle near Broad and Walnut, which is also where I used to work. I'm such a social retard, I've been "hiding" from my office since I left nine to five world in July, even though I left on good terms -- meaning, I wasn't fired, I "retired" after more than two decades at the same place because I'd had enough and was burned out and wanted to do the writing thing full time. But because I worked there so many years, I do business with several vendors in the area. I get my prescriptions from the druggist next door; I get my hair cut at Pierre and Carlo in the Bellevue Hotel which is right at the freaking corner of Broad and Walnut...and I do my banking right across the street. So for the past six months, I've been sneaking around, going at odd hours...acting like a true child.
Anyway, I had all this shopping in the area and I started taking ridiculous detours up and down streets from 16th to 13th (Broad is actually 14th Street for those not familiar with Philly -- these streets run north and south) and Market to Locust (five block radius which runs east and west and Walnut is smack in the middle). On one of my stops, I went to Payless Shoes to buy my daughter a gag gift. I have no fear of her finding this out today because Julie informed me haughtily "I do not read your blog" -- unlike Eric who reads it every day and thinks it's hilariously awful but loves me anyway. So Julie's gag gift is a pair of black oxford tie restaurant shoes with slip resistant, big rubber soles. The reason it's so funny is that Julie would rather die than wear a pair of shoes from Payless...but she won't care when it comes to shoes she must wear while working at Rembrandts Restaurant. All servers there have to dress all in black, including their shoes. Rather than go out and "waste" her own money, what Julie's done is adopt my black Pumas. I love my black Pumas! Because the State of Pennsylvania does not want me ever driving again (and the world is a much safer place for that, trust me and no, no, I didn't kill or hurt anyone...I, um, just didn't know you couldn't do certain things while driving and that's all I'm saying on the subject) I require comfortable walking shoes and again, that's why I love my Pumas! I don't know what the hell is going on with Julie's feet, but I went to put them on the other day and there were all these new weird indents for my toes..I felt like a duck! And there's some rather ominous stains on them as well...I'm guessing some of the bearnaise sauce on a customer's dish didn't all make it to his/her table.
Okay, I realize I'm really rambling now, but I wanted to set up the story. So I'm taking all these detours to shop, my final stop is Payless Shoes where they give me this huge, huge bag with a giant shoe box containing Julie's "gift", and of course the bag says PAYLESS SHOES in gigantic letters. The other bags I'm holding are also generic because I shopped in a couple of stores that are not corporate chains and they just use plain paper or plastic bags.
So. I'm finally done shopping and there's no way I can walk home two miles with all this crap. I figure I'll hail a cab. But I realize I'm starving so I decide to stop in DiBruno Brothers, the world's greatest Italian take-out, for some poached salmon with fresh herbs and some tomato pie for Eric since I knew he was home and I didn't have anything interesting in the house to feed him for lunch. DiBruno Brothers is at 18th and Chestnut, approximately six-seven blocks from my old office.
Right as I'm about ten feet away from the entrance, I look up, and there's my former boss, just about to enter the store as well.
Hahahaha - only me, I spend three hours trying to avoid 1420 Walnut Street, and bang smack...right into my boss in a totally unlikely place. It wasn't nearly as awkward as I thought it would be. We made pleasant small talk and I told him how happy I was being retired and how I'm doing great...and the whole time...the whole freaking time...he's staring at my big ugly Payless Bag and my other two generic plastic ones which kinda resemble garbage bags. Plus, it was really cold yesterday so I wore an old parka and I couldn't find gloves so I was wearing an old pair of Gary's which have big Flyers hockey emblems on them. And, my now beat up, severly stained and twisted black Pumas.
Of course this could all be my imagination, but I talked to myself out loud about it all afternoon when I got home, just like a crazy bag lady har har. I mean, god forbid I should ever bump into anyone when I'm looking good. But at least I was verbally coherent. No. That's not exactly true, either. If you must know, I was a blithering idiot.
Sigh...once again, only me.
So today I'm hanging out at home and praying Amazon.com does in fact deliver the stuff I ordered back in November which was definitely supposed to get here by Christmas only now there's a notice by my "Where's My Stuff" page that my items will arrive between "December 19 and February 6". February 6? How is that going to help me? But...hooray...I guess...they now have a "cancel my item before it is shipped" feature, so if the stuff doesn't come today, it's getting cancelled. That's fine, except for the fact that I will now be doing exactly what I despise most, shopping on Christmas Eve for things I thought of and purchased six weeks ago! This is so, so not fair. Stupid Amazon. Well, I'm never ordering from them again, anyway. As I said here a few days ago, I just found out they are big Bush contributors and I'm sorry, you support Bush, you do not get my money.
Tonight Julie and Matt are exchanging gifts because Matt has to be with his family Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we're making buffalo wings and hand cut french fries and having sort of a party here...then Matt and Julie are going to Matt's dad's house (they love that he moved into the city from the suburbs!) and having a party there, which is cool because I still have about a million more presents to wrap and it's looking ominously like we need to bake yet more cookies because well, I ate them all. Nah, not yet I didn't, but we still need to pack up some tins as gifts.
Carolyn and Eric are exchanging gifts here early tomorrow morning and I promised I'd be out of the house, which won't be a problem because I'm sure I will be out shopping FOR THE FREAKING STUFF I ORDERED ON AMAZON IN NOVEMBER.
One final thing, though I'm sure I'll be back later or tomorrow to wish everyone a happy holiday. When I was walking into town, I was thinking about what an incredible year this has been and I might be a super egomaniac next week and do a year in review. But I mean, come on. My book was published and actually sold a few copies, my kids were in a movie, we hung out with rock stars, I quit my long time paralegal job, I went to England, I met someone I never thought I'd meet in a million years...not to use a line from the Grateful Dead, one of the few classic rock groups other than U2 I despise with all my heart and soul...but...what a long, strange trip it's been.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Uh-oh, now my kids know I'm really Mrs. Santa.
But I mean, they should have guessed that years ago.
Cool boots, huh.
So. As I've said many times here, I adore Opium Magazine, and this week they've asked their writers/contributors to provide them with a holiday wish list.
Yeah, yeah, I'm in there, and of course I asked for those Monty Python rabbit with pointy teeth slippers previously mentioned, but I'll post them again IN CASE MY KIDS DIDN'T SEE THEM THE FIRST TIME...
Anyway, my favorite response would have to be courtesy of the brilliant Will Layman.
So what did Will ask Santa to bring him Christmas morning?
"A dangerous bossa-nova singer endlessly whispering into my ear the word "crispy."
Hahahaha - that totally broke me up. Crispy. That's gonna be my new word. To read more of Santa's Holiday List from the Opiates -- and that's what we're called, those of us cool folk who write for Opium -- follow this link. And while you are on the site, go to the Opium store. I ordered several of their very groovy ".scarf's" for some of my writer pal friends -- handmade by Todd Zuniga's own mother!
Getting back to the "list", I also like the guy who wrote "I want to have a piece accepted" (at Opium...d'oh) but since I recently googled myself and saw that this same dude dissed one of my stories in his blog, ironically one that Opium published, I'm not gonna name him. Nah nah nah. (Not really - I'm no grinch, and to prove I'm a better person than he is, I'm making this reference and you'll be able to figure it out who he is just by going to the list. It was a great answer...but the guy has got to learn to stop trashing editors and other writers on Zoetrope discussion boards. I have one word for him: karma! Suppørt your fellow writer, oh nasty one. Be...err...crispy! And not to ruin his holiday, but guess what? Another one of my stories will be pubbed in Opium shortly. Ho ho ho!)
Other than that, I'm busy baking cookies, wrapping gifts, seeing how much I can eat before I explode, etc. Seems to me I have other stuff to talk about -- like, once again Zoetrope's server is down which means I might not get to say Merry Christmas to all of my cyberpals, so I am trying to stay calm, have happy thoughts, and not freak out at anyone.
Just kidding. Life is good. At least at the moment. I believe Julie and Eric are working on a special project this afternoon -- doing some recording, filming, the usual stuff about which I know nothing -- so I'm gonna be a good little drone and go upstairs and wrap a thousand more gifts.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
My dog, Monty, trying to hush our talking Steve Urkel doll. Oh, I'm not kidding about that. I love cool toys. Yeah, the dog's a genius and when I was messing with him, pulling Urkel's voice string, he took it away from me and stuck his paw over its mouth. Anyway, that photograph is a perfect metaphor for what's been happening to Eric musically for the past couple of weeks but as I hinted in a prior post, I knew he'd think this whole situation out intelligently and do the right thing.
Eric Slick is no longer a Control Freak. While it seemed a happy marriage at first due to heady offers of a contract with Atlantic Records, an immediate trip to the David Ivory's studio to lay down tracks, etc., it also meant that Eric would sell his soul musically. These girls are talented songwriters but they're basically punk/pop and they wanted a one hundred ten per cent committment, meaning, Eric couldn't have any other projects. He would have had to sever his alliances with good friends and incredible musicians Shannon Penn, Chris Opperman, Project Object, Sweatheart, Doctor Dark, Flamingo...even his sister. He wouldn't have time for his girlfriend, teaching drums to his students at Rock School...it just really would have sucked for someone eighteen years old who is taking the year off from college to explore every option...including a possible return to said college. And so he tried the Control Freaks and realized it was definitely not something he wanted to do. Eric loves the music of Frank Zappa and other innovative rock and jazz musicians -- just really, really complex and interesting stuff...anyway, he would have been miserable locked into a band with two teenaged girls. So he might be missing out on fame and fortune right now, but he's a true artist and can't do the crossroads thing and I absolutely love him for it.
And now that he's not under "control" anymore, I can freely promote his gigs. Like I said, next one up is a New Years matinee and it's gonna be awesome. He plays with Sweatheart and Flamingo -- two totally opposite types of music but both great in their own right. In January, and all through 2006, he has a pretty decent line up of shows with Shannon Penn as well as a potential spring northeast tour with Chris Opperman. And he was recently contacted by a singer/songwriter who plays at World Cafe Live for future collaborations as well as some possible studio work with a British guitar player (swoon). More on all bands in a future post...along with photos and links to their music.
Monty giving me the sad face after I took Urkel away from him. And yes, I know, I have a very cool living room. I feel like Peter Pan living here.
On a completely different topic, Julie and I had lunch at Buddakan yesterday to make up for missing out on our annual Christmas trip to New York because of the transit strike. Man, did we make lemonade out of a lemon. That very well may be the best restaurant at which we've ever eaten. So much so that I'm going to have to devote a separate post to it when I have more time.
Okay, I'll tell you anyway. Julie, Eric, and I went to see Santa yesterday to put in our Christmas requests.
We had so much fun! We went to the Dickens Christmas at Strawbridges Department Store and it was empty (what's this about our ecomony doing so well, Dubya-you- illegally-spying-on-Americans idiot liar?) so we all took turns reading the story out loud. The tale is inscribed on these lovely wooden scrolls throughout the exhibit. Eric played Scrooge, Julie was the narrator, and I played all of the ghosts and the nephew, Fred. We were laughing our asses off but it's really a very beautiful and well done display and of course half way through I started crying because I remember taking them every year when they were babies and reading it to them...and then I started thinking this is the last Christmas we'll be together (even though that's probably not true and now I suddenly learn that not only will Julie and Matt be here another year, if Eric's girlfriend Carolyn gets into Temple University, she wants to live here, too? Ho ho ho, the more the merrier, what do I care. I think Eric was teasing me, but who knows. It's all good.)
When I saw Santa sitting there all by himself -- not even a line to see him! -- I begged the kids to have their photo taken and even though I'm pretty sure they wanted to shoot me, they're good sports and it ended up that all three of us did it -- and yes, I agree, that's a horrific picture of yours truly, half sitting so that I look like I'm only five feet tall and with my scarf pulled so tight my face looks like it's going to explode and what the hell kind of hair day was I having but nonetheless a very good one of the kids and I doubt I'll ever be able to look at that photo in the future without bursting into tears.
In other news, this you can't believe. The Chicago Tribune talked about the ten best films of 2005 -- said there were none -- so instead named the ten best performances by an actor. Take a look at this list and try not to faint:
Some favorite performances of the year, in no particular order:
Amy Adams in "Junebug," Sarah Silverman in "The Aristocrats" and "Jesus Is Magic," Terrence Howard in "Hustle & Flow," Matthew Goode in "Match Point," Will O'Connor as himself in "Rock School," John Pierson as himself in "Reel Paradise," Ed Harris in "A History of Violence," Kevin Costner in "Rumor Has It . . . ," Claire Danes in "Shopgirl."
Yep, that's right. There it is in black and white. Will O'Connor, as himself, in "Rock School".
Hahahahahahahahahaha - that's great.
If you don't believe me, here's the link so you can see it for yourselves.
Okay, I will be in New York City all day today hanging out with Julie, doing some shopping...we're eating at this incredible restaurant in the East Village which of course I will review in a future post...we're gonna go see the tree at Rockefeller Center...maybe ice skate, who knows..
ETA: Oh god, I just heard on the news there is New York City transit strike. And Julie wants to go everywhere from the upper West side to Tribeca. It's like forty below zero outside. Ah well, there's no getting out of this. I'm going to be doing the polar bear thing and walking for miles through throngs of tourists in the city for the holiday...at least fifty per cent of whom would normally be on subways and busses. You can't walk down Seventh Avenue as it is without getting crushed...I can't even imagine what today is going to be like.
But of course I will tell you tomorrow...
(Wait: I think I may have talked Julie out of going. Being the calm, non-paranoid person I am, when just watching CNN, seeing the streets mobbed already at 6:00 a.m., and hearing about 150 pounds of dangerous commercial explosives being stolen in New Mexico, you can just imagine what I'm thinking right now about the crowded streets in New York. It's really unbelievable. Bush is so busy spying on people "for our own good" he's completely neglected protecting places like, oh, those which house commercial explosives, nuclear power plants....arghhhh.....WHY ISN'T THIS ASSHOLE BEING IMPEACHED? Oh. Right. "Dick" Cheney is VP.)
Yes! We are not going to NYC after all. Of course I'm going to make it up to Julie bigtime by taking her to lunch at one of Philly's best restaurants today and then out for some more shopping -- arghhh, isn't that what the internet is for -- and after that, we're gonna spend the rest of the afternoon baking some more cookies. Then Gary, Julie's dad, is picking her up and taking her out for some more shopping tonight, after which she is sleeping at her boyfriend's parents' home in the suburbs. And Eric is spending the night at Carolyn's, because it's her father's office Christmas party tonight and he's invited and I guess that means I'm gonna be all alone with the dog this evening and I will try not to be too unhappy about that!
Mark your calendars!
Eric and Julie have an upcoming show at the Troc from 2:00-7:00 p.m. on New Years Eve where they will be joined by several local bands and the Rock School All-Stars. Eric and Julie will be performing together with Sweatheart, and Eric will be on drums with Flamingo. Look for two future shows in January when Eric will be with the Shannon Penn Band at World Cafe Live and Grape Street Pub.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Allie Hauptman and Eric's last show at Indre Studios, Spring, 2005
I'm way busy today but let me just say that last night Beatle's show at Indre Studios was amazing! Stand-outs were Sinead and Lynne on Blackbird, every song with Foster, Gina is just a joy to behold as is Natasha, Rachel (man, can she sing), Hannah...other stand-out songs were Helter Skelter, Ticket to Ride, Taxman, Golden Slumbers...wow...here's what Dylan, General Manager of Philly Rock School had to say about it on the Rock School Forum Board:
"i saw the future of rock school, and it was strong and beautiful.
Coming from Dylan, I think that's high praise and I felt the same way, though I have to admit I was all choked up going back to Indre for the first time since Eric's final performance with Rock School at the Zep show last spring. I kept looking around to see if other parents with whom I'd gone to shows for the past seven years like the Hauptmans and the Pollocks were there but of course they weren't...you know, as I said yesterday...things change, kids grow up, time fries, blah blah blah. Anyway, I had a blast last night and Gary had an even bigger one helping Nero out with the show. Nero is awesome! Well, so is everyone connected with the school. I sang along with every single song, and I wouldn't want to be Nero, trying to pick out the greatest 2-3 tunes for the Best of Season Show in January.
On Neil Gaiman's blog yesterday: Errata Silp
posted by Neil 12/17/2005 01:13:00 AM
"In the previous correction, David Gilmour was, of course, spelled David Gilmore . We trust there will be no further Pink Floid typos of any kind, unintentional or otherwise, in this blog."
I couldn't resist dropping him a note:
"Roger Walters thanks you very much".
Okay, I'm off to do whatever it is frazzled people do less than a week before Christmas. Ha ha - this is what a Jewish girl gets for marrying a gentile and raising her kids without religion but with a Christmas tree and many presents. Hell, my agnostic but still Jewish parents never even fulfilled the entire eight days of Hanukah. Okay, yeah, they did, but by the 8th day, my gift was something like a can of olives. (But hey, I love olives!)
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Disillusionment and Metamorphosis by Marty D. Ison
So I know I talk a lot about Zoetrope Virtual Studios, which is Francis Ford Coppola's generous contribution to writers/artists internationally, but I really have met some incredibly talented people there. Because by nature I'm an introvert content to stay alone at home and be somewhat reclusive, for the past couple of years Zoetrope has been my social life. Yeah, yeah, of course I've met many people from Zoetrope in the real world, too, and I must admit, I've had some, um, very good times.
One man I met a couple of years ago is named Marty Ison. I was originally drawn to his incredible poetry and just knew from the way he wrote that he had to be an artist as well. So we got to talking, and I find out, yeah, he is -- even an art school grad -- but his stuff is all dusty in the attic; he hasn't painted in years, blah blah blah. Naturally me being me could not bear to hear that and asked to see a digital photo or two of his work.
Needless to say, when I saw the extent of his talent, I gasped, and asked to see more. I could not believe he wasn't painting anymore, and we talked about that back and forth, and trust me, I'm not patting myself on the back or anything, but I guess something I said must have touched a nerve, because after a long dry spell, Marty took out his paints and the next thing you know, he's got a gallery down in Florida where he lives representing him and um, his paintings are going for almost as much as I paid for my house.
Anyway, in addition to the above, Marty is now art director at one of the best 'zines around, Smokelong Quarterly (Have I mentioned a story of mine is in their anthology along with Steve Almond and Stuart Dybeck? Hahahahaha - only a few thousand times, I bet). In their brand new, spectacular issue, Marty is interviewed and he actually mentions me to the point where I started crying. Okay, I was teary eyed before I got to my name because when you read about Marty's childhood, you'd have to be made of stone not to get emotional. Read Marty's interview right here. And after you have finished reading it, click on Smokelong's main page and enjoy the awesome short stories and interviews in this issue. They are all really something special.
And to view more of Marty's extraordinary artwork, follow this link.
So I heard the Beatle show at Indre Studios really rocked last night -- I cannot wait to go tonight. I made an error in yesterday's post -- Eric will not be there this evening, he's got a gig in Delaware, but Julie will be accompanying me and it's gonna be weird to return to Indre with Julie sitting next to me instead of me watching her on stage, but hey, time moves on, or as my favorite waiter in Chinatown once remarked to me when I came for dinner with Julie and Eric and he hadn't seen them since they were babies -- "Wow. Time fries".
I love that.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Yeah, that photo of Neil Gaiman definitely deserved to be reposted. Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas to me.
Nah, I have a reason for putting that pic back up which I'll mention at the end of today's entry. But who needs a reason? I'd make it my permanent screen saver but you know, that would make me weird. Ha, not really, it's more like I won't do it because it's already been done by an internationally respected, happily married female writer pal of mine who lifted it off my blog last week for that very purpose but then had to replace it with Calvin and Hobbs when her husband saw it. (Ha ha - hi there, anonymous writer pal -- don't worry, I won't out you and I agree, Calvin and Hobbs are way cool.)
Besides, I have the infamous one of Eddie Vedder's arm around me post-pizza dinner for my computer wallpaper.
Yes, I know. I'm not only weird, I'm pathetic, too. But hey, good on me, I have mastered the fountain pen! I love it! Oh, I could do a dissertation on flex nibs now. I let Julie write with it yesterday and she went crazy. It figures she'd get into that, too (nervously clutching my checkbook).
So I know I've talked about my friend, author Tom Saunders, and his wonderful short story collection, Brother, What Strange Place Is This? but today I simply must direct you to his blog, where he from time to time posts his short stories, poetry, and examples of his awesome photography. Up right now is a short story Tom wrote (dated December 1, 2005 in case he posts something new before you read this) called Delayed Action which just blew me away, and you can read that, and the rest of Tom's blog, right here.
Eric is at David Ivory's studio this morning laying down some more tracks and that's all I'm saying on that subject for now. He's a very smart, complex kid with tons of talent but he's got a lot of soul searching to do as concerns his future. Gary and I are doing our best to both gently guide him and let him work this out himself but oh my God, it's so hard not to interfere. I have to keep reminding myself that by the time we were his age, we were already out on our own and we've hopefully raised him to be an independent thinker. But in any event, I feel pretty confident he's going to be a big star and having grown up in the music business, I know it's a crap shoot and there's more than talent involved, but Eric's got it all going for him (including two parents who insist that he not take a full time job which would limit his ability to tour and gig so we continue to throw money at him so he can pursue the dream...and buy me a place in the UK when he makes it, ha ha).
Julie is happy as a clam having taken her last final yesterday and is officially on a three week winter semester break. She spent last night baking these truly obscene Christmas cookies while I hung out in the living room on the computer yelling stuff into the kitchen like "Are you making a mess in there?" just to aggravate her.
She made two types of cookies which she invented (yep, she does that and she's amazing) -- one which will make her famous if she ever decides to market them -- a lovely toasted coconut number topped with melted chocolate. The other "experiment", however, I have rather aptly named "booger cookies". Because you see she made lemon shortbread -- totally delicious - but we were out of confectioners sugar so she decided to use this green crystalized stuff we had in the house instead, which you sprinkle on Christmas cookies as decoration. But Julie being Julie had to take it a step further because I mentioned that I think confectioners sugar is merely regular granulated sugar that's been whipped, so she decided to stick it in the mixer and for some inexplicable reason, added a few drops of red food coloring. When she got a very unpleasant brown result (d'oh), she immediately added some more green, which rendered the sugar and food coloring into a thin, olive green liquid. She glazed the yellowish lemon cookies with them, and when I broke out into hysterical laughter and called them "booger cookies" she tried to make them prettier by adding chopped almonds on top.
Trust me, it did not make them look better -- more than ever the topping appears to be something you'd find in a disgusting, used hankie. But here's some advice if you come over the house today. Eat one anyway. They are awesome tasting -- just shut your eyes when you take one and don't think about it.
One final reminder -- please go see the Paul Green School of Rock Music tribute to the Beatles at Indre Studios - the shows are tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Details are in the post below. I will not be at tonight's show because I'm going to stay home and wrap presents (translation: stay home, get drunk, and fuck off at the computer) but I will be at tomorrow's performance for sure. Especially as I've been promised a midnight dinner out afterwards with Gary and the kids because both Julie and Eric are attending as well to support their dad. Gary and Nero have worked really hard on this show and are thrilled with the result, so I am really psyched for both of them and the set list is amazing. Okay, well, for me, there are only maybe five Beatle songs out of their whole catalogue which I don't like (can you say Octopus Garden or Maxwell's Silver Hammer?) but even the very worst Beatle song is still a million times better than Jesus Take the Wheel. Don't worry - I have not forgotten my plan to CRUSH THE JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL MOVEMENT and will probably go full steam ahead with that project next week.
Or not. Depends on how much last minute Christmas shopping I need to do. But in that case, the week after for sure!!!
Anyway, here's the Gaiman bit I was talking about. Because I am (a) an egomaniac or (b) an insecure, paranoid individual starved for attention/affection, or, if I want to be completely honest, I am both (a) and (b), I google myself to see what's up in my world that I might not know about and now I've found a new and better toy, google blog search. Or just plain blog search, or icerocket blog search. Lots of fun, that. You can type in your name and find out who is talking about you in their on line diaries. So imagine my shock to see an entry a couple of days ago that said in its title "That bitch Robin Slick!".
I'm a bitch? I am not! Crazy, yes, a big overgrown kid, for sure...but a bitch? Oh man, you should have seen me when I first read that. I went white; my stomach fell...I was fucking terrified. What did I do now? But despite feeling like I was going to vomit from anxiety, I couldn't help myself, I clicked on the link, and it took me to a woman's blog...a woman who calls herself "Liarbyrd" I do not know but who also lives in Philadelphia and also did NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) last month. Apparently, she blogged her novel...and one of her characters was "Robin Slick, an aging groupie". Err...it was kind of hard not to take that personally and get all, well, uber paranoid, but rather than get upset, I decided to be flattered instead. Anyway, I go to her blogger profile page and see her favorite writer is Neil Gaiman. Too funny. Anyway, I checked her out further; didn't read anything which would indicate she's a lunatic or had any personal vendettas against me, so I moved on and went back to working on my current book. End of story, right?
Nope, not in my world. Cos' yesterday I couldn't resist it -- I blog searched her again to see what other names she's called me in her NaNo novel and what other adventures my aging groupie character got into, and I almost fucking fainted when I saw a post titled Neil Gaiman Answered My Annoying E-Mail. So you know I had to immediately click on it, and ha ha, as you will see, she did write to him and was lucky enough to have her letter posted and commented on in his blog (which I'd even read a few days ago), but she neglected to sign her name. So she gets the great man's attention, but anonymously! Oh man, that is so something I would do, maybe I can't be angry at Liarbyrd whoever she is after all.
And of course you know I could not resist leaving her a little note on her blog to the effect of Nah nah nah, Neil Gaiman may have published your post in his blog but he came and visited mine and left a comment.
But how weird. Here's this woman from my same city -- I don't know her and let me tell you, the writing community in Philadelphia is SMALL and we all know each other -- she just happens to love Gaiman (okay, we all love Neil so that's not too much of a coincidence), but in one week, I find out she's writing a book with my name in it, Gaiman comments in my blog, and answers a post she writes to him in his blog.
Coincidence? I think not!
Man, life is strange. Oh well. Go see the Beatle show at Indre tonight. Or tomorrow, and come up to me and say hi. I'll even give you some cookies...
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Eric Slick reminding me scarily of the late John Bonham
It must be twenty below zero here today. I'm sitting at the computer wearing a black turteneck, jeans, and a huge zip up black sweatshirt over the whole mess. I'm tempted to add a black wool cap to the mix. I mean, I have a fire roaring in the fireplace, the heat turned up to high, and I'm still freezing. I'm not used to this in Philadelphia! Not on December 14, anyway. My poor son just left for the day -- he's got hours of rehearsal ahead of him and a long walk to the train and back. I don't expect him home until late tonight, when it will probably be like an ice skating rink out there. Oh the life of a musician. I am pretty sure he's got a gig this weekend but I know better from past experience than to advertise it here too early because these things change all the time. I will, however, strongly advise you to attend the Rock School Beatle show at Indre Studios in Philadelphia either this Friday or Saturday night because I hear first hand from the assistant music director of the show (ha -- Gary, Eric's dad) that it's unbelievable. It's one of those shows where every kid is enthused about the music; everyone's learned their songs; the harmonies are beautiful...Gary loaned them his sitar for a song or two as well as a couple other of his vintage axes...so I'm really psyched to attend. Also, following the Friday night show, there's a CD release party for Jukebox Zeros (hey, that's an awesome name) at the Pontiac Grille (okay, actually, it starts at 9:00 p.m., I'll just get there late) which is my friend Joe Ankenbrand's new band. I've known Joe since high school - he's been drumming for decades with musicians all over the city and had some success in Europe several years ago with a band called Bunnydrums. I think Kenn Kweder is in this latest band, but I'm not sure. Speaking of Kenn, he's got the world's greatest collection of names for his collaborations: Over the years he's founded:
# The Nasty Cookies 1969
# Wasted Lunch 1970
# The Band Aids 1971
# Franny and Kenny Band 1971-1974
# Kenn Kweder and his Secret Kidds 1975-1981
# The Tom and Jim show 1977-1986
# Kenn Kweder and the Electric Kwede Orchestra 1981
# Men from K.W.E.D.E.R. 1981-1984
# Men From P.O.V.I.C.H. 1984-1985
# Kenn Kweder and the Radio Church of God 1986
# Kenn Kweder and the Radio Church of KWEDER 1987
# Kenn Kweder and The Employees 1988
# Kenn Kweder and the Indian Guides 1988
# Kenn Kweder and the Memory Banks 1988-1989
# Kenn Kweder and the Few 1989
# Kenn Kweder and the Couch Dancers 1990
# Kenn Kweder and the Enablers featuring the Co-dependents 1991
# The Elvis Presley Tribute Show (20 piece band) 1989
# Kenn Kweder and the Rolling Blackouts 1992
# Kenn Kweder and the Greedy Little Miser Weasals 1993-1994
# Kenn Kweder and the Trustafarians 1995-1999
# Kenn Kweder and the Mechanical Athiests 2000
# Kenn Kweder and the Men From WaWa 2002
So how about this news I found last night on Yahoo and which I'm sure you probably all saw but I'm posting it anyway because it excites me...
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Legendary folk rocker Bob Dylan to host weekly radio music show
Bob Dylan will start a new career as a radio DJ when he launches a new weekly music show on XM Satellite Radio next March.
The station said on Tuesday the show would feature music hand-picked by Dylan, writer of some of the enduring classics of popular music since the 1960s such as "Mr Tambourine Man," "Like a Rolling Stone" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'."
"Dylan will offer regular commentary on music and other topics, host and interview special guests including other artists and will take emails from XM subscribers," XM said.
You know, I wasn't going to do the satellite radio thing, but hmmm...
Jake from Jake's Pens came to my rescue again and forwarded me a link for wonderful journals, ink, etc. that work best with fountain pens. The name of the site is Pendemonium, and I do believe, after giving it much consideration, that I will order either a Fabriano or an Exacompta. (Click on stationary, that will take you to journals, click on that...and help me decide!). The Exacompta has more pages inside, but I'm tempted to just buy the leather journal itself with refill pages because that would seem to make more sense. And as I was embarrassed to admit yesterday, yeah, yeah, I do want a pretty cover, too. So...help! Which one should I buy? (Of course, me being me, wants to buy all of them, see them in person, and whichever I reject I'll regift or use for other projects).
Okay. Julie's at Drexel University taking her finals all day; Eric is out practicing the drums until tonight; the dog is sleeping on my foot...I should just end the blog post now and do some actual writing, right?
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
How and when did Eric and Julie change from the above into this:
Please excuse me. I get all sentimental around the holidays and while the second photograph is from the Rock School premiere in late May of 2005 out in LA, the first photo I guess is from around 1993 or 1994 when all I had to worry about was having poster boards in the house for elementary school projects and making sure no one from the outside world told my kids that Santa wasn't real. (I managed to perpetuate that myth until Julie was in 6th grade and Eric in 5th grade and I don't care what they might say to the contrary, that is the TRUTH. And Eric was the one who told Julie!)
In that first pic, we were on vacation and we'd just come down the water slide. That was the first and only time I'd ever committed that act of terror, and after making several deals with God once I got to the top of the slide, yeah, yeah, I did it. Even my getting to the top of the slide in itself was no small feat because as normal people who enjoy that sort of thing (and who the hell are you?) are aware, you have to climb and climb and climb many stairs with throngs of over-active kids clutching huge tubes...and oh, have I mentioned in addition to being a lousy swimmer I also hate heights and tend to get claustrophobic when teenagers are pushing and shoving each other while next to me and we're fifty miles up in the air and a fall over the railing would result in certain death? So why I allowed the kids to even talk me into that debacle in the first place I have no idea...must have been during my Xanax period.
Anyway, I did in fact sit in the tube and allow myself to be pushed by a sixteen year old, gum cracking lifeguard into the chamber of terror where I screamed my bloody head off the entire time as I scraped my elbows and shins all the way down on whatever that thing is constructed of -- it's like freaking sandpaper and it also took the nail polish right off my fingers and toes, by the way. And if that experience alone wasn't gruesome enough, the grand finale resulted in my catapulting ten feet in the air into a pool of gross water way over my head.
So that explains my hair in that photo.
In other news, you would think that now that I'm no longer in nine to five world, I'd have Christmas all under control this year, but it's just the opposite. I have exactly two presents bought, and while the tree is up, it's half-assed because I swear I'm missing an entire box of ornaments and it's a box of the good ones - handcrafted gifts from friends, ones I made myself during my oh look at me I'm so crafty phase, and even a complete set of both the Three Stooges and The Beatles. The family of course thinks I'm crazy and tells me nothing is missing, but how could they not remember Moe, Curly and Larry? Or John, Paul, George, and Ringo? I would not dream I had these ornaments!
Or would I? Oh god, I feel so crazy anymore, I'm not sure if I dream half the shit that happens around here. Stupid female hormones. Grrr...
No, we have those ornaments. I just remembered the clincher. We have two angels - a pink Julie and a blue Eric, who sleep on clouds, that their grandmother bought for us when they were babies. Aha! Now the family will believe me when I tell them this box is missing!!!
Unless of course I dreamt about the angels, too, and the idea of Julie and Eric ever being angelic is just wishful thinking...
Anyway, continuing on with this zoo of a house, as anyone who has visited knows, I still have all of my vinyl, and it's a pretty extensive collection spanning every decade (ha - I even have 78s and an old Edison crank up to play them on), requiring six huge built in shelves which take up a substantial portion of my living room wall. Last time I counted, and yes, once I was crazy enough to do stuff like that...before I had kids, I guess...I had over 5,000 records. Of course when Julie was born in 1986, that's kind of right when I started buying CDs, so maybe the 5,000 figure is still correct. To make a long story short, we were in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies Saturday night when we heard a huge rumble and then a crash. All six shelves collapsed, record albums spilled out everywhere; the complete stereo/tape/CD system went a-falling, too, and well, oh bitchcakes. Besides the fact that we had to hang new shelves -- not easy when you have exposed brick walls as your "wallpaper" -- I then had to put 5,000 albums back in alphabetical order.
I'm still not finished. I'm up to "L". But luckily it appears that everything still works, even the...snort...turntable. And thank God, not one album sustained even a scratch. I know because I checked. Hey, I have some serious collector's stuff here, like, original Beatle records only sent to members of their fan club in the sixties and tons of bootlegs plus stuff I bought in Germany and the UK that you just can't get here.
Okay, enough about my freaking record collection.
You can always tell when I have more major Julie or Eric music news that I'm sitting on and can't spill because my posts are inane bullshit like today's.
Sooo...if it's gossip you're wanting from me, you'll have to wait a few more days.
In the meantime, I'm off to play some more with my new fountain pen. I still haven't found out the best paper to use; I've been investigating journals on line and found some gorgeous ones but nowhere does it say "works well with fountain pens". Ha ha, I can't imagine why. So. If anyone reading this can fill me in on the best journal to buy for writing with pen and ink, please let me know. A link would be most appreciated. Especially a link to a journal that not only has superior paper but a pretty cover, too.
Hey, I told you I was hormonal.
Ho fucking ho.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Okay, a coincidence? I think not.
For recordings released during the Eligibility Year October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2005 (Announced December 8, 2005)
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, without vocals. Includes Rock, Hard Rock and Metal. Singles or Tracks only.)
* Birds Of Prey
Track from: Orchestralli
Julie Slick with Stewart Copeland at the LA Knitting Factory (May, 2005)
* 69 Freedom Special
Les Paul & Friends
Track from: American Made World Played
Les Paul with Max DiMezza on bass (hey, is that Julie's bass?), Eric Slick on drums, and in front with his head down, Rock School Uber Lord Paul Green at MPL Live, NYC (October, 2005)
* Beat Box Guitar
Track from: Side One
Julie Slick with Adrian Belew at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC (October, 2005)
Julie's bass playing boyfriend, Matt Rothstein, with Adrian Belew
* Lotus Feet
Steve Vai (featuring Chris Opperman on keyboards)
Track from: Real Illusions: Reflections
Eric Slick with Chris Opperman at the Lion's Den, NYC (July, 2005)
Eric Slick with Carlos Alomar, guitarist for David Bowie, etc., and President of the New York Chapter of the Grammys at CBGB's in NYC (June, 2005)
Marky Ramone with Joey Randazzo, Eric Slick, and Grace Hollander at Studio 4, taking a break while recording the Rock School movie soundtrack CD, produced by Phil Nicolo, President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Grammys (January, 2005)
Phil Nicolo in the studio being filmed by Don Argott, Director of Rock School, the movie
Friday, December 09, 2005
My absolute all time favorite picture of daughter Julie on stage.
Oh bitchcakes. Yeah, that's right. I said it. Oh, bitchcakes. And no, no, I'm not talking about Julie. Not today, anyway.
Don't know what bitchcakes means? Ha! You will. You'll be hearing it everywhere soon. Trust me - I know these things. It's the new "fucking insane" for 2006. Slightly more politically correct, don't you think?
Here's how it should be used in a sentence: "Everyone is going totally bitchcakes today."
Or, like the word "fuck", it is very versatile, and you can simply, as I did, say "Oh bitchcakes".
In fact, if my kids were smart, one of them would grab it as a name for one of their bands immediately. Because it was recently used by that author I said I wouldn't mention again, and immediately showed up right here.
Hey, congratulations to keyboard wizard Chris Opperman who played on Steve Vai's Lotus Feet, nominated yesterday for a Grammy! Yes! When Eric played drums on Chris' east coast gig in New York this past July, it was one of the highlights of my summer.
So get this. Amazon is having a sale. They team up two books together and offer a discount. So I find this out, and immediately do a search on Three Days in New York City. Oh, they've teamed up my book alright. You'll never guess with what. Okay, I'll tell you. "Erotica - My Dirty Thirties: Male/Female/Male" by Kelly Carr. Also, Amazon mentions that people who purchased my book also bought Dirty Thirties as well as a book by Emma Holly called "Strange Attractions". So if you are interested in a bargain and would like a copy of my book along with My Dirty Thirties, here is the link.
Personally, I think that is hilarious, but I much prefer Barnes and Noble. I recently learned that Amazon contributed heavily to the Bush campaign. So you know what that means. And, Barnes and Noble is far kinder to me. People who purchased my book there also purchased the following:
Afterburn by Zane
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Nervous by Zane
Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell
Star by Pamela Anderson
If you are so inclined, Barnes and Noble has my book right here.
Seriously, for the millionth time, while Three Days in New York City does contain some, um, graphic sex scenes, it is a comedy about a very dysfunctional woman who meets up with a very dysfunctional man. End of story. It is not porn; it only gets the erotica label because the male character has "exotic tastes" which completely freak out the female character with what I hope are laugh out loud funny results. Okay? Okay.
Anyway, Eric had an incredible day at the studio recording with the Control Freaks yesterday and he should be there today only it seems we're having a bit of a blizzard here so they've called off recording and Eric's headed to Wilmington, Delaware for practice all day so that they can continue onward on Monday. Oh god, I wish I could tell you what else is going to happen next week in that regard, but I can't. Ha. How's that for a tease.
Yes, I know.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
No, I am not gay. Not that's there anything wrong with that.
Ha! I love this pic - that's my friend, the brilliant author, Maya, on the left. Her dad played with the Allman Brothers so she's had a life as insane as mine. Notice I am wearing my black NaNo t-shirt -- last year and prior years I actually won; this year...well...I made it to 35,000 words but hey, 35,000 words in thirty days is still nothing to sniff at. Once again, NaNo is short for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place during the month of November, and the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. No sense my posting a link to their site now, huh.
So a moment of silence for the late, great John Lennon. I cannot believe it's twenty-five years.
Gary and I got the news the worst possible way. I was half asleep and Gary was watching Monday Night Football on television and heard Howard Cosell announce it. We were so young to be married already (like, when most kids are just starting college) - my mom had recently died and we'd just moved into our new house -- I sat straight up in bed and Gary and I looked at each other in total disbelief. We immediately turned on the radio and with sinking hearts, we heard every FM rock station playing a Lennon song. We knew it had to be true but we were still in denial until the song ended -- and of course it was Happy Christmas (War is Over) which I have never been able to listen to without getting teary eyed since -- and the disc jockey was crying and taking calls from crying fans. Anyway, Gary and I went on a week long bender - we drank Irish whiskey straight from the bottle, smoked about three ounces of pot...ugh, it's hard to explain to our kids what it was like and what John Lennon meant to our generation, but we are very fortunate in that Julie and Eric, while of course loving new bands like the Flaming Lips and Shins, etc., also embrace our music as well. Hell, the two of them are the ones who turned me on to Frank Zappa. I was into British blues/rock only, which was in direct defiance to my jazz musician father. (Though he'd really have hated Zappa. Ha.)
They had a memorial service for John Lennon here in Philadelphia one day after it happened on the steps of the Art Museum, which is right down the street from where I lived at the time and still live, in fact, and they had Imagine playing over loudspeakers. When whoever was in charge asked for a moment of silence, the oddest thing occurred. It was a dark, gloomy day, and all of a sudden, the clouds shifted, parted, and the strangest single ray of sunlight illuminated everything. The crowd gasped -- it was totally surreal. Here's a photo of the museum - there were people crowded together on every step...yes, the same steps Rocky ran up (bleh).
Oh, I just realized this pic does not show the steps. Okay, well, you all saw Rocky (unfortunately, I'm sure) so you know what I'm talking about.
In other surreal news, Eric goes into the studio at 1:00 p.m. today and all day tomorrow with the Control Freaks and he's really stoked. Hey, we're all stoked. More on that in a future post. I've name dropped enough in that regard, but you know, until contracts are signed, etc. I'd better stay quiet on that front.
Speaking of new music (was I?), there are two guys out there I really like at the moment: Citizen Cope and Lewis Taylor. Trust me on this. They are amazing! Check them out and buy their music -- it's important to crush the whole Jesus Take the Wheel movement. Oh my god, I'm sure she's very nice, but Carrie Underwood makes me want to climb up in a tower with a high powered rifle.
And back for a moment to the Flaming Lips. Guess who else loves them? Pete Townshend of the Who! How do I know this? I found his blog! He's blogging an entire novel, complete with MP3s! Yes! (Though I was really surprised to learn one of his favorite authors was Patricia Cornwell. No comment, but can you say "formula"?)
Ah well, I'm sure there's more news and stuff going on with this crazy family and if I remember it, I will be back, but in the meantime, I am off to write.
But before I go, do me a favor. Listen to some John Lennon music today, okay? And may I respectfully suggest you google him and read about his philosophies and well, about his life, really. This blog is named in honor of his brilliant book of prose, poetry, and incredible artwork: John Lennon, In His Own Write. If you don't already own a copy, buy it.
Whoops - apparently I'm not writing yet. Eric, even though on his way out the door to go to the studio, left me with the DVD of Let it Be on the television. The camera just panned to John. Oh god, here come the tears again...
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
I keep telling you, this is fate. Ha!
So. Neil? Julie?
Err...just so you know, Alice Cooper is a Republican.
But yeah, yeah, a hell of a nice guy, anyway.
(I obviously met Alice, too, on the night Julie performed with him but declined to have my photo taken. And of course that's Julie on the right, playing last year's Christmas present, the lovely Rickenbacker bass (refer to December, 2004 archives here for the story of the century about that debacle), and vocalist/guitarist Teddi Tarnoff on the left)
Okay, just so you all know, I had this post prepared yesterday but had it on hold, waiting for some more Eric news, which, unfortunately, I still have to keep under wraps.
In the meantime, what do you think happened? I got a post from Neil Gaiman himself in the comments section of yesterday's blog entry.
After my kids administered smelling salts and I stopped running around the living room screaming like a madwoman, I realized the implications of his post, which is as follows if you are too lazy to scroll down and read it for yourself:
Truth to tell, the Waterman 52 is a wonderful signing pen, but it's only a so-so novel-writing pen. The nibs do lovely things on paper, but it's a little light and not the most legible pen you'll ever write with. My favourite novel-writing pen is probably the Lamy 2000 -- there's a write up on it at http://www.rickconner.net/penoply/misc.12.html
They retail for $145 but you can find new ones on eBay for half that..."
Because guess what. Before getting that note from Mr. Gaiman, I decided to treat myself to the vintage Waterman fountain pen I mentioned yesterday after all (which, by the way, I learned was manufactured around 1926-1928), but since I have no idea even how to use one, I wrote to the seller with some questions. In a totally unbelievable for this day and age move, Jake from Jake's Pens, where I found the 52 vintage Waterman, is sending me the pen free of charge to try out. If I like it, I can paypal him; if I can't work it properly, all I have to do it return it. I'm kind of astounded by his generousity. Here's a copy of our correspondence to each other so you can all have a giggle at what a dork I am, but I cannot believe this kind of chivalry still exists:
Letter from me to Jake:
Hi - before I send off the paypal money for the pen, and you're going to think I'm a complete idiot when I tell you this-- but I've never written with one of these before and I want one because I'm a writer and a famous author I adore (Neil Gaiman) uses the same pen.
Sooo....my question is: Do I need anything else with this order? I'm assuming I at least need ink. Do I need extra "nibs" or whatever they are called? Do you sell this stuff and if so, can you put together a package for me and then tell me the exact amount so I can paypal it all at the same time?
I know, I know. This is so lame.
Hi Robin -
Don't worry about "lame" questions. There are not many of us left that actually write with fountain pens so having a "convert" is welcome. Even more welcome is a convert to vintage fountain pens.
Let's do this. Don't send any $. I will send you the pen and a bottle of ink so you can try it out. Actually I don't have any unopened bottles of the ink that I like, Parker Quink, but it is easy to get online. I do have some ink that I got at a pen show that isn't my favorite. You can have a bottle to try out the pen. If you like the pen, send payment for the pen only. Keep the ink, although I recommend Quink. (If you like the ink I send I have plenty more you can have for mailing cost only.)
Just send your address and I will get the pen and ink in the mail in the morning if the above is suitable to you.
PS You do not need extra nibs, and, yes, the writing points are indeed called nibs. On quality vintage pens they are usually 14 kt gold and won't deteriorate. FYI they are 14 kt gold because 1920's ink was so corrosive that only gold could stand up to it. Today's ink is quite benign though.
Seriously. How cool is Jake? Stay tuned for how this all turns out. But I am determined to do this and do it well. Only now it appears I have to also purchase a Lamy 2000 for writing my next book in longhand. I like what Neil has to say about that. He says using the fountain pen and writing in longhand slows him down...he takes more time with his writing and this helps him creatively. This is interesting to me and makes a lot of sense because I am sometimes stunned by the errors in my work when I strictly use the computer...when I print out what I've written, I see the same words used over and over; I see statements/thoughts which I begin but don't properly follow through...oh, it's a regular horror show.
And I rather like, no, love the idea of a vintage pen. And wow, a 14k gold nib. I'm really psyched. So I will save the Waterman for future book signings because you know, I sign thousands at a time. Hahahaha - well, I can dream, can't I? Hmmm. Now. To find out what Neil uses for paper. I picture him with beautiful leather bound journals, but of course if I research it I'm going to find out he uses black and white composition books -- you know, the kind we all used in elementary school and can buy three for a dollar at the discount store. But if I am going to be using a vintage fountain pen with ink, I think a beautiful journal with heavy expensive cream colored paper is in order, don't you?
But in other rather bizarre news, yesterday, before receiving his post, for the first time since I began reading his journal, I dropped Neil a note about all of this -- telling him that I'd bought the Waterman pen and I asked him what kind of paper does he use, etc. Because he usually publishes a Q&A thing from fans on his blog a couple of times a week but I never really expected to be chosen, and in truth, I'm pretty sure he stumbled on me via Google blogsearch or something and it's just an incredible coincidence.
Anyway, lest people start to think I'm the Kathy Bates character in the Stephen King movie, Misery, unless I have some momentous news, that's my last mention of Neil Gaiman for a while. Though he continues to be my hero writer-wise for 2005.
One final thing I will say on the subject, though, is that I've been really depressed this holiday season and have been struggling to write every day. While I haven't been able to pin down exactly why I've been so sad, I think, besides the war in Iraq and the other horrors in connection with the Bush administration, I'm still experiencing a let down following my return from England because I can't wait to go back, coupled with the fact that realistically, this is most likely the last year this family will all be together and living here at Christmas. Julie and Matt will surely have their own apartment by next December; Eric will be touring the world or living in that mansion, and I see myself alone with the computer, which will probably be the only thing decorated in lights.
But getting that comment from Neil Gaiman yesterday and the whole pen experience with Jake has me really flying high and excited to do some serious work today for the first time in weeks. Yay!
Oh, P.S. I am not taking the paralegal job. What was I thinking?????
Off I go, then.
Hmm...this is insane. My post above of the same title keeps disappearing and now this new one appears under it? I mean, I did type this one as a test as a new post, and it came in underneath? Ha ha - I was recently told I was a bottom (yeah right - I didn't even know what a bottom was).
Is it me? Is it blogger? The Anansi Boys? What??? Oh well, the intended post is the one above this, which I will delete as soon as I figure out what the hell is going on.
Is it me? Is it blogger? The Anansi Boys? What??? Oh well, the intended post is the one above this, which I will delete as soon as I figure out what the hell is going on.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
The above are known as Monty Python Rabbit with Pointy Teeth Slippers.
"The bunny slipper just got a bit bloodier with this pointy-toothed carnivore of a rabbit whose massive choppers do little to diminish his cuddly cuteness. But don't let the puffy tail and floppy ears fool you. Put your foot in the wrong end of this guy and you can expect to lose that foot, buster."
No, no, I did not write that advertisement -- it's how it appears in the Urban Outfitters catalogue. Yes, Urban Outfitters, the store I love to trash because of its customer base made up of clueless, trying oh so hard to be hip wannabes, but okay, I admit it...I want those damn slippers and I want them bad.
Family, etc., if you are reading this, you cannot buy them at Urban, they are a dot com special only, and they are one size fits all so you don't even have to bother asking me my shoe size, and even better, I'm going to provide you with a link to buy them right here.
However, if you are feeling more flush, what I really want is a vintage 52 Waterman fountain pen with a flex nib. Of course I am just being a frightful bore because yeah, yeah, Neil Gaiman writes with one of those -- he even writes his books in longhand with one for fuck's sake -- so now naturally I want one, too. Only my books don't sell millions like Neil's do so when I first saw the price of this pen, I stuck out my lower lip and pouted because I can't afford it or let's just say someone who isn't currently working should not be spending so much money on a pen.
But I want it. I want to write my books longhand in fountain pen, too, and after researching, well, nothing will do but a Waterman 52.
So I went on ebay and found some.
Ahem. Family? Friends? Anyone?
Hahahaha - here's what one looks like:
And here's where you can buy it cheaply.
Oh man, you know it's bad if I'm posting pleas for my own presents, but I'm kind of down right now and I can't shake it. I guess I'm excited for Eric but worried at the same time; Julie's so busy I hardly ever see her, and I just got an email from Rock School announcing the winter All-Stars tour and for the first time since Rock School has existed, neither one of my kids will be a part of anything. Well, that's not entirely true, there is a New Years' matinee at The Troc on December 31, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. which will include local bands, and Julie is in Sweatheart, so hopefully I'll be able to attend and see some...sob...old friends.
But hey, in case anyone is reading this outside the Philadelphia area, let me post the itinerary for the new School of Rock All-Star tours, because even though Julie and Eric have graduated the program, this is one hell of a group of talented kids and it's a great family event to attend, especially during the week between Christmas and New Years.
Actually, I'll just post the entire email I received from Paul so you understand it all:
There are new All-Stars, 2 groups of them (hence our ability to be in Chicago and Charlottesville on the same day), drawn from our 7 East Coast Schools. They are young, hungry, and awesome. Anyone who has seen one of our All-Star shows knows that these kids ain't no joke, and that the audience is in for a hell of a show.
So please: if you will be in one of these locations, please join us. If you know people in, say, Falls River MA, please tell them to come. And forward this to anyone you feel comfortable doing so.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 18TH
*Trenton NJ: The Conduit
MONDAY DECEMBER 26TH
*New Yok City: BB King's
*Falls River MA: Narrows Center for the Arts
TUESDAY DECEMBER 27TH
*Pittsburgh PA: Club Cafe
*Burlington VT: Higher Ground
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 28TH
*Cleveland OH: House of Blues, 1pm Matinee
*Teaneck NJ: Mexicali Blues
THURSDAY DECEMBER 29TH
*Chicago IL: Martyrs
*Charlottesville VA: Starr Hill
FRIDAY DECEMBER 30TH
*Columbus OH: Little Brothers
*Virginia Beach VA: The Jewish Mother
SATURDAY DECEMBER 31ST
*Philadelphia PA: The Trocadero 2pm Matinee
BOTH GROUPS, PLUS LOCAL SOR BANDS, HOLIDAY SPECTATCULAR!!!
In writing news, Opium Magazine just accepted another one of my stories, Embouchure, and I'm guessing it will appear some time late this month or early next month. As readers of this blog know, I love, love, love Opium so I'm pretty happy about that at least. Oh, and I'm doing a reading with an incredible writer, Randall Brown (I have his link on the right hand side here) at Community College on January 31, 2006, so that's pretty cool, too. Though as I remarked to another writer friend of mine, "I should just decline to read myself and offer to hold/turn Randall's pages for him, huh."
That's how good Randall is. Of course I'll be posting more details about that event in late January. Wow, I just realized, that's one day after Julie's birthday. She'll be twenty years old. Holy crap -- someone please tell me how that happened. Wasn't I just twenty? Didn't I just give birth to that little b**** err, I mean, princess?
Oh, here's some other news. I got an email from someone asking me if I was interested in returning to work part-time as a paralegal. The scary thing is, I'm considering it. I mean, if it's only two days a week, I wouldn't mind, especially as it means I could buy five Waterman 52s if I want. What to do, what to do. Oh God, I swore I'd never go back to law.
But it is what I know, damn it.
Ho ho ho.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Christ, he posts this pic of himself and what's a girl to do...not topple off her chair? Sheesh. This photo is of Neil taking a stroll yesterday on the grounds of his home in Minnesota.
I have a sudden urge to relocate across the country...sigh...
Nah. But I'm normal and admit it: I appreciate a good looking man and Neil, you've already captured my brain with your incredible writing but now, having woken up first thing to that photo, I'm completely lost. Lost, I tell you.
So Eric jammed all last night with the Control Freaks and it's so great to see him so psyched.
Meanwhile, their manager just called Eric. Rather than even wait until the end of the month, they're going into the studio all day this coming Thursday and Friday -- that's how fast this band clicked together.
Julie played a gig with McRad last night at a college bar in West Chester. She's also playing with Sweatheart at 1026 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA next Friday night, December 9. So she's pretty happy and trust me, when she's happy, the whole family is happy. Conversely, when she's miserable...arghhh....
So I visited my Publishers Marketplace webpage yesterday for the first time in literally months and was shocked to see I'm in the top ten most visited pages, especially as over 30,000 people visit that site every day. The reason I went to the site was to change my information, because it was my old news from last year which promoted my book, The Tour, and since the book has totally been revised/rewritten, the title changed to Baby Boomer, and really, the focus entirely shifted, I thought it wise (d'oh) to amend the page though I'm still tweaking a few things -- oh, and still re-writing the novel, too, but I'm starting to feel way pumped about it. Finally. Anyway, while I was on the site, I checked out pages of some pals of mine, and they're really cool. Go have a look at Susan Henderson's and Ellen Meister's.
Anyway, speaking of writing, that's the plan for today. I've been really depressed over a few things happening with some people in my online writers' group if you can believe that insanity on my part (yeah, like how about living in the real world now, Rob...take this as a divine message of sorts), so speaking of Neil Gaiman, I'm going to take his advice. When you're down and out and miserable, MAKE ART! Eric is out teaching drums all day and then is going straight from that to spending the evening with the lovely Carolyn out in the suburbs. Julie is working a double shift at the restaurant and most likely sleeping at Matt's tonight, so I've got no distractions other than my own crazy brain.
And tomorrow Eric is rehearsing with the Control Freaks and Julie is again working a double shift, so that's double writing time in solitude!
Hey, one thing I do have that's nice are gorgeous Christmas lights all over the house and the promise of snow both tomorrow and Monday! Yay! See, now that I stay home and write full time and no longer have to walk to a miserable nine to five job, I can really appreciate things like snow and can actually spend Monday playing outside in it with my dog. Ah...maybe I shouldn't be depressed after all.
Okay. Let me go then.