Thursday, December 20, 2007

Odds and Sods for Thursday, December 20, 2007

Monty posing for the camera with one of his past Christmas presents. Okay, one of the kids' past Christmas presents from many years ago with which he likes to greet us at the door when we come home and it makes us feel great no matter how bad our day might have been.

So I haven't felt much like blogging because I get kind of stressed around Christmas and can't focus on much else. I mean, not stressed per se, but I'm always worried about picking out the perfect gifts, baking enough cookies (and oh God, Gary is going to kill me since he's not only been the Master Pastry Chef this year but also doing the UPS end of it...argh, I just remembered two people to whom I forgot to send cookies so guess what I will be doing later on...)

That, and I am just completely worn out. I realize I owe people a bunch of emails and even comments on this blog and I will try and get to all of you within the next day or two, I promise.

Monday, Julie and I went to New York and we really do have magical fun times together. We decided on a day trip and not to hotel it this year because we realized that instead of spending $500.00 for an overnight stay where they kick you out by 11:00 a.m., we could use the money for something much cooler. So we did.

We had lunch at a decent restaurant that I'm not going to name because I really cannot in honesty say "Oh, you must visit so and so when you are in New York" and I doubt we'll ever go there again but it was pleasant and pretty and we shared a cold vegetarian appetizer and a hot roasted vegetable platter. I mean, it was vegetables so how bad can you fuck that up and I did it to appease Julie who tells me you can never order seafood in a restaurant on Monday because it's not fresh so I decided to join her team for the day and not eat any meat. Anyway, I've seen restaurants be pretty creative with hummus and tahini but this place was pretty straightforward so no, I'm not going to recommend it.

Now where we had dinner was so great I can't tell you because we want it to be our secret place. It was so beautiful and cool - candle lit and velvet drapes and chairs with faux suede walls and great artwork -- we had three huge glasses of wine and the best baked eggplant rollatini ever (yep, I stayed vegetarian all day) and the total bill was $32.00. Not to mention it included an outrageous sliced warm baguette and really quality olive oil.

We went to a bunch of music stores which was a blast, especially when Julie is recognized. That happened at Sam Ash and the sales guy almost had a heart attack because he's a big Adrian Belew freak. He asked me to take a cell phone pic of Julie with him and he was so nervous he couldn't even show me how to work his phone and that was pretty damn funny. That, and other than Julie, his most famous customer was Michael J. Fox, who was just in there the other day and I can't give details because it was for a special Christmas gift. And yeah, yeah, the salesman showed me his photo with Michael and I oohed and aahed even if I was being the world's biggest phony. Speaking of guitars -- oh man, I saw the most gorgeous guitar ever at Chelsea Guitars on 23rd Street. It was a custom Rickenbacker, the entire body rainbows of mother of pearl inlays, with John Lennon's portrait. I didn't have the guts to ask the price in person but I did send them an email which they still haven't answered so I'm guessing it's either not for sale or in excess of $100,000.00. We have a pretty impressive vintage guitar collection in this house but I've never seen anything like that Rick in my life. Hey, if I do sell my books to Hollywood there will be no fancy car or house in my future -- just that guitar. You see? I have my priorities straight.

On the bus ride home (yeah, Julie made me take the bus instead of the train. Please kill me), we had a hilarious experience. The bus driver made an announcement to please not use cell phones but if you must, do it quietly and discreetly. Julie and I did not get to sit next to each other as it was a full bus but she did sit directly behind me. We were pretty much at the back of said bus but behind Julie was a fellow who must have not liked the no cell phone rule and decided it was not meant for him. Not only that, his phone had one of those awful ring tones - loud and like you are at a circus or carnival in some bumfuck town. Sometimes he spoke loudly in Spanish, sometimes loudly in English, but it went on and on during the entire two plus hour ride home. I managed to sleep my way through most of it, but when we were almost back in Philly and his phone rang for like the twentieth time, I lost it and slapped myself on the forehead and said out loud "Oh my god!". I hear this laugh behind me and I turn around and Julie says "Mom, you can't believe this. The whole time he was on the phone, this whole trip, I did nothing. But when his phone rang that last time, I did the same thing you did and I saw you do it simultaneously...we both slapped our heads in the same place at exactly the same time."

We really do have a Like Mother, Like Daughter thing going on...

I see Eric has updated his blog which makes me very happy because I love the way he writes. And while I'm on the subject of Eric, if you are in the Bucks County area, in case I take a break from blogging over the holidays altogether (hey, it could happen!), please do not forget he's got a gig at John and Peters on December 28 with Dave Dreiwitz which is going to be awesome and you just never know who is liable to show up at these shows...I know who is on my Christmas wish list but um, I'd better not say it. (Mickey Mickey Mickey)(whoops...sorry...I said it after all but that is because in addition to being an awesome guitarist, he is also the world's best club dj and I still cannot believe he played Savoy Brown last time we were at a John and Peter's show and also does play with Dave and Eric from time to time)

Also, and this is really important, I mentioned in my last post that on Christmas Eve there would be a two hour tribute to the Adrian Belew Power Trio. Well, it's actually a three hour tribute; dj Jonny Mambo will be playing Side Four in its entirety, and it runs from 9:00 p.m. until midnight. Can you think of a better soundtrack for gift wrapping?

Here's the link for the live stream Monday night.

Speaking of music, and when don't I, head over to Susan Henderson's Lit Park for a veddy interesting interview with Paul Green. What made me laugh out loud were the audio clips. Susan questions Paul about the first All-Star tour and all you can hear is Paul asking "Did Robin tell you anything? What did Robin tell you?"

Hey, if I told her anything, it was that in retrospect I would not have missed that experience for anything in the world. I just wish I could have been twenty years younger!

Susan also has the trailer for Rock School in her Monday post and it cracks me up to see a 15 year old Eric and 16 year old Julie sitting side by side, trashing the band 311. Eric on drums with short hair and glasses opens and closes the clip, and there are glimpses of Julie on stage in Germany toward the end. They've changed so much in the five/four and a half years or so when the movie was filmed and I hadn't seen it in a while so it really made me smile.

WXPN, the NPR station out of Philadelphia, is really the only radio station in town who plays indie artists and goes outside the box, so to speak, so we've really been trying to get them to play Side Four Live. We passed a copy on to dj Jim McGuinn who has been very receptive but it's the program director, Dan Reed, who will ultimately make the decision and Jim gave the CD to him so we have our fingers crossed. I mean, Julie and Eric are native Philadelphians...there's human interest here in addition to great freaking music. Anyway, the other day Gary heard Jim on the radio saying that he was going to play the top five female bassists at 5:00 p.m. Naturally Gary called him and gave him a gentle reminder about Julie, and Jim was kind enough to talk about her on the air as being from Philly and someone to watch - someone we'll all be hearing about in the future in a big way, etc.

So now I see his comment made it on the XPN Forum Board and some other people left remarks about the Adrian Belew Power Trio being great and that they plan to see them on March 12, 2008 at the World Cafe Live and yeah this is a link for tickets, too. Since we are trying to get XPN to play the CD, if any of you would please add a comment to that effect on the forum board, it would be greatly appreciated.

Also, there are some new You Tubes up of the trio down in Florida this summer - they are montages and pretty well done:

So that's pretty much it for today. I have edits to do on my new book; I'm in the process of redesigning my website completely - and Scott Abernethy, who does the webwork for Adrian, Eric, and Julie, has been kind enough to offer his services to me so I'm currently trying to figure out what I want. And on top of that, I'm still trying to select which pieces I'm accepting for the Phaze Anthology 39 and Holding Him Part II -- there is still space available and if any of my writer friends reading this are interested, write to me for submission guidelines.

If I don't make it back here before Christmas, Happy Holidays! (But I'm thinking I will, if for nothing more than to remind you all about the Christmas Eve Adrian Belew Power Trio radio broadcast and to tell you what Julie and Gary are cooking for Christmas dinner...)