Thursday, March 01, 2007

Back by popular demand....

Ha ha - I figured I didn't want to drive everyone nuts or worse, bore you to tears with daily photos of my kids and Adrian Belew (not that Adrian could ever be boring...oh my god, I hope you all read his blog every day -- he really does rock in every way possible) so I went shuffling through my various photo sites and found this one from a couple of years ago in NYC which I've probably posted before but I can't remember. The beautiful redhead planting one on my cheek is my "fellow" writer pal Maya whose dad was in the Allman Brothers so like, we have that in common (musician fathers from whom we are alienated har har) and no, no, it's not what you are thinking. We were talking books, shopping, and know what? I think we might have been hamming it up for Ellen who at that time was telling us about this new novel she'd written and how she was trying to find an agent. Basically, that's what we talked about all through breakfast -- agent queries. And now look at us. A couple of years later and we're all like, an agent, ha ha, that's just step two out of a thousand more. Oh. Step one is actually writing something worthwhile. After that it's a total free-fall altogether.

By the way, notice I am wearing my black Nano t-shirt...that year I actually did complete a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I did it three times...four if you count my current book, but then again, that's taken me two Nanos' to finish so I'm not sure if it counts or not.

Anyway, as you can tell, I've rejoined the living and apparently do not have anything fatal after all, though on Sunday you could have fooled me. I mean, Saturday night I was fact, I was better than fine, I was awesome. Why? We went out to dinner, it was good, I had one glass of a really fine wine...then at midnight we tuned into radio station WNKU 89.7 and listened to the world's coolest disc jockey, Jeff Menke. He was at the Adrian Belew Power Trio show in Newport, KY for the recording of Side Four Live and he met up with Gary there, gave him his card, and told him he'd be playing Beatbox Guitar on his show this past Saturday and that we could hear the show via the internet. He said he was so blown away by the trio that he'd be talking them up on his program so that was all I had to hear -- I didn't even care that his show ran from midnight until 2:00 a.m. when I am usually dead to the world. Jeff is my new hero. Get a load of of what this man's got on his playlist:

The Beatles Come Together 1
The Zombies Time Of The Season Best Of The Zombies
John Lennon #9 Dream Walls And Bridges
Don Byron Bounce Of The Sugar Plum Faries / Powerhouse Bug Music
Todd Rundgren / Jeff Baxter Something To Fall Back On With A Little Help From My Friends
Queen Bohemian Rhapsody A Night At The Opera
David Bowie / Rick Wakeman Space Oddity Changesbowie
Ric Hickey And The Loose Wrecks Afterthoughts 2006
Adrian Belew Power Trio Beat Box Guitar Single
Gentle Giant All Through The Night Civilian
The Mothers Of Invention The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet Freak Out
Frank Zappa Drowning Witch Ship Arriving Too Late...
Pink Floyd One Of These Days Meddle
Dread Zeppelin I Can't Quit You Babe Un-Led-Ed
Primus My Name Is Mud Pork Soda
Colosseum II The Inquisition War Dance
10cc Blackmail The Original Soundtrack
Todd Rundgren Eastern Intrigue / Initiation Back To The Bars
The Allman Brothers Band Stormy Monday The Fillmore Concerts
Dixie Dregs Jessica California Screamin'
The J. Geils Band First I Look At The Purse Anthology
Edgar Winter's White Trash Tobacco Road Roadwork
Z Z Top Thunderbird Fandango
Frank Zappa Big Swifty / City Of Tiny Lights Make A Jazz Noise Here
Yes And You And I YesYears Vol. 4
King Crimson Frame By Frame B'Boom
The Who We're Not Gonna Take It / Summertime Blues Woodstock 1969
Dread Zeppelin Heartbreaker The Song Remains Insane

Man, look at those awesome tunes. And to think I've probably slept with half of the musicians in those bands....

Ha! Just kidding. But someone from a indie newspaper emailed me again about this little Robin Slick/Pamela DesBarre/Bebe Buell groupie article and no, I'm not going to give you the Hungarian translation again...okay, you twisted my arm, it says I'm still cool even if they've been unable to unearth a plaster cast with my signature on it.

Okay, they didn't say I was cool, they said I was coy.


Anyway, getting back to the fabulous Jeff, he did in fact play Beatbox Guitar, then went on to say that he has been around music for a long time (in fact, in a subsequent email, he told me he had tickets to see the Beatles but oh my god, they were cancelled due to inclement weather)...anyway, yeah, he's a fellow musicologist and he said very little comes down the pike today which makes him speechless and that's the way he felt when he saw Julie and Eric play with Adrian. He said he literally walked around for three days unable to talk because he was on such a high from the show. Funny story -- when he first started talking about the kids, he said "I, um, think they're from Pittsburgh" and of course Gary and I could not let that one pass so I said to Gary, "Hey, why not call him and say Hi and tell him that Julie and Eric are from Philadelphia! Gary does not have to be asked something like that twice, so like at 1:00 a.m. he called Jeff up and it was so totally cool - the two of them talked; Gary put me on the phone because Jeff reads my blog all the time (yes, I know. I'm not only right up there with Pamela DesBarre, I'm also giving Arianna Huffington a run for her money). After we hung up, Jeff not only told his listeners about our call, he went on to talk up the Belew Power Trio even more...and even gave everyone the name/link to my blog.

Trust me on this -- listening to Jeff Menke on Saturday nights at midnight is going to be a new weekly tradition in this house. Unfortunately, his shows are not archived but his set lists are and oh man, why isn't he here in Philadelphia? Our radio stations truly, truly suck. Well, I guess if you are into Blue Oyster Cult, rap music, or that idiot Rush Limbaugh you're in good shape, but if you have any taste at all, you are shit out of luck here. Which for a major city is just pitiful. Oh wait. That's the U.S. in general these days, huh. So lacking in good taste it's embarrassing. At least you get to hear some tasty indie stuff on internet radio but it would be nice if there was still such a thing as "underground F.M.". And if you know what I mean by that, well, you are probably, like me, sob...born before 1970.

Here's the link to listen live.

So yeah, we were totally stoked that night; we went to bed around 2:30 a.m., I felt great, and then an hour later, I woke up...oh my god, I thought I was dying. I literally could not even hold down a glass of water and every joint in my body ached beyond belief. As I tossed and turned, I considered the possibilities. Flu? Yeah, but usually you have some warning about a scratchy throat the day before or a bad headache. Food poisoning? Nah, I didn't eat anything weird, and like I said, I only had one glass of wine. So it's now like 4:00 a.m. and I've now thrown up like six times in an hour and I figured this was don't even want to know the morbid fantasies I entertained. But you know I was deathly ill if I was too sick to even go on line all day Sunday and check my, I didn't want to start looking up my symptoms on the internet because I was positive the web would confirm what I already knew -- I had something fatal and my death would be quick but not painless.

Anyway, Gary was a fucking prince. He stood over me while I was sick and kept handing me fresh buckets lined with plastic bags while he wiped my forehead with cold compresses and asked every five minutes if I wanted to go to the hospital. No, I did not want to go to the e.r.; I preferred to die in my own home.

To make a long story at least a bit shorter, I was still sick as a dog on Monday but able to check my email, where I learned that one of my favorite magazines was advertising Three Days in New York City on their front page...and that magazine is Juked. If you didn't go there last week and read Myfanwy Collins' phenomenal story, do yourself a favor and head over there this instant!

Speaking of Myfanwy, I lifted this quiz Who Is Your Inner Rock Chick? off her blog...and as I told her, Oh god, that was sobering. You know why? None of those questions really applied to me. Not the clothes, not the hair, not any of the lyrics. There were no categories for "dresses all in black" "long wild blonde hair" and "As soon as you're born, they make you feel small" (Working Class Hero, John Lennon). Anyway...after answering the questions as best I could, here's what it said:

You Are Avril Lavigne!
A bit hardcore on the outside...
But sweet and sensitive on the inside.
"It's a damn cold night
Trying to figure out this life"

Okay...if they say so.

While I'm still talking about music, sort of, and it's been what, a few paragraphs since I mentioned Adrian Belew, here's an extremely cool contest he's running at the moment: Have You Ever Wanted to Design An Album Cover?

Come on. You know you want to enter. Hey, if I wasn't connected to the band, I'd submit something for sure.

Okay, now that I've totally lost my train of thought...getting back to Monday, so yeah, I was starting to feel a little better but the room was still spinning and I still couldn't eat, which, if you know me at all, just doesn't happen. I can always force a little something down. To say I'm a foodie is putting it mildly. But I did walk away from the computer without going to Web M.D. and then the next thing I know, Eric looks at me and I notice he's white as a ghost.

"Mom...I don't feel so good..."

And so it really began in earnest...Eric all Monday night into Tuesday...and then Tuesday, an hour after leaving for work, Gary came bursting through the door in a cold sweat which later turned into the fever from hell (it's funny how this thing manifests itself differently in everyone it hit...Julie came down with it as well but with her it was more of an ache-y headcold kind of thing)...he'd hurled into a dumpster behind his office before coming home but that was it...and he was able to hold down liquids thank God which helped the fever. But you should have seen the three of us. We were really a sad, sad bunch.

The only good news is, as quick as this plague came upon us, it's gone, and we're all really skinny. I am determined to make this weight loss stick this time though to be honest, nothing rich or fattening really appeals to me at all...I'm fine with brown rice and steamed veggies.

Did I just say that? Holy cow, it's worse than I thought. I wasn't really sick; an alien entered my body. Help! I'm a pod person! Next thing you know, I'm going to be reading the Wall Street Journal, dressing in bright colors, and doing aerobics to seventies disco music.


So let's see. What else do I need to tell you. Oh yeah, for those still reading (both this blog and in general), I got a very nice review of Another Bite of the Apple from the Romance Studio which I seriously think helped in my recovery this week. I am hoping to see Another Bite out in paperback with its brand new, incredibly cool cover out in the near future and of course will be posting the usual billboards across the universe when it does.

And just a reminder that I'm still accepting submissions for 39 and Holding...please don't be shy. The anthology is starting to fill up nicely...I've gotten a few stellar pieces, one from a very well known author, so you know you want to be a part of this incredible anthology, right? Right!

Finally, I know I don't have to remind anyone how much I love Lit Park, but you should really head over there this week...not only is there an interview with fabulous author Amy Wallen, there's also some really funny, funny stuff courtesy of author James Spring and a hilarious trip through Trader Joe's. Make sure you read the comments section for the posts on both Monday and Wednesday -- they alone are worth the price of admission.

What the hell did I just mean by that? Damn if I know. Okay, I'm starting to babble, which means it's time for me to go.

Oh. One final cool thing. I bought Julie a necklace from my new favorite jeweler, Natalie of Pashupatina who I met via the Fabulist, an incredible, incredible site which I was turned on to by...okay, give me a break, I haven't mentioned him in weeks, Neil Gaiman and I am linking his journal because he's had a very interesting dialogue going on this week about librarians and the right wing which is more than a little disturbing. Anyway, getting back to my original comment, when you click on the link for Pashupatina, on the left hand side you'll see another link for "customer photos". Click on that...and have a look at the very first photo you see.

Yes. I know. That is one gorgeous necklace. And one gorgeous daughter.