Friday, September 28, 2007

We're singin'
Go Cubs Go
Go Cubs Go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today!
Go Cubs Go
Go Cubs Go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today!
I know, I know, I've been remiss in posting about the show Tuesday night. I've been trying to find the words to describe it.

All day Tuesday, I was nervous. Not that we wouldn't have enough audience there, but because of who some of the audience members were going to be. I was going to have at least two ex-boyfriends in the crowd, a friend from high school I hadn't seen in ten years, my entire immediate family, and my friend from Boston all there at the same time. I wanted to make sure they would all have fun and I wanted to be able to say hello to everyone and what if they didn't like my music? Then what? And I know that all of that is stuff that is out of my control, but it was making me nervous all day anyway.

So when I got to the venue, I was feeling a little bit better about my performance abilities and whatnot, but I started to freak out when by 9:00pm, we had seven audience members. That's not enough to be invited back to play again. And let's face it -- people tend to fink out on Tuesday night shows. People have to work the next day, or they're tired from work that day, or whatever. It's hard to get people to go out on a Tuesday. Which is kind of the point. At this venue, and many others, if you can bring a good crowd at a bad time, they figure you have to be able to bring an even better crowd at a good time. It's kind of an audition.

But then people started streaming in. A guy in whose wedding I stood up. My Boston friend. My brother and sister-in-law had about eight of their friends in tow. My high school friend. The drummer from the band I used to be in. And a whole bunch more people I hadn't expected to show up at all. It was incredible! Almost like a reunion of sorts. I was doing my best to talk to everyone, knowing full well that meant I wasn't really talking to anybody, but I did, at the very least, get to say hi to everyone, which was nice. And I got to hug my friends who I hadn't seen in a very long time, which was also wonderful. And then it was time to play.




I don't think we've ever sounded that good, even taking into account the song wherein I spaced out and started singing again too soon. We recovered from that, and my little technical malfunction, to put on an amazing show. Amazing. People were singing along to songs they had never heard before. People were dancing. And after every song, the crowd was so loud I got that ringing thing going on in my ears. They started chanting for an encore when we were done, and the sound guy said we could do it, so we did it. And again, the audience erupted in cheers. It was insane. Best crowd ever. Best sound we've had so far. Great bartenders and door guy. It was all around just...exactly what I needed to feel like a rockstar. A real musician with the potential to make a career out of this.

I know not everyone who hears my music will like it. But so far, a lot of people are getting a lot of enjoyment out of the songs I write and that feels so amazing I can't even tell you. I'm realizing more and more lately how much I've given up to be able to do the things I do, so it's really nice to know that my efforts haven't been wasted. I'm accomplishing exactly what I want to accomplish. How many people get to say that? And how lucky am I that I'm one that does?

I didn't want to go home after the show. I wanted to just play again. Just keep on playing all night while people danced and talked and drank. But eventually, I did have to leave. And I carried all of my equipment out by myself and drove home to curl up with my cat and a crossword puzzle before going to sleep. And I went in to work the next day with none of my co-workers being the wiser as to my stardom from the night before. I kind of like that. I'm a normal person who does normal things. I'm just super crazy lucky that I get to play music for a room full of cheering fans every now and again, too.

So thank you to the Elbo Room for letting us play -- we'll be back soon, I can almost promise you that (working on logistics as we speak). Thank you to the sound guy for making us sound amazing. Thank you to the bartenders for keeping the crowd lubricated. Thank you from me specifically to my bandmates for making my songs sound so much better than I ever could have on my own. And most of all, thank you to everyone who came out on Tuesday night to hear some music, spend time with friends, cheer, dance and drink. You guys made this gig one I will never forget.

Thank you! And keep an eye out for future gigs because we're only gonna get better.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So we're getting down to the wire. The magic number is four, with only six games left to play. We have to take four out of six games. Or pray that the Brewers do worse than we do. And I have one question:

Where is the city-wide buzz about the Cubs?

Two years ago when the other baseball team in Chicago was doing well, the whole city was alive with energy. Reports of their daily games topped the sports segement of every newscast. Pictures of the team in victory covered the newspapers. Even former Cub Ryne Sandberg encouraged Cubs fans to get behind the other team, partially because when it's the Cubs' turn, fans from the other team will get behind us.


Tackleball season has started (aka American football) and the horrendous performances of the Bears seems to be topping every newscast. Sports commentators can't stop talking about how horrible our quarterback is. And then they talk about how sad it is that the other baseball team, who won the World Series two years ago, is in last place in the AL Central this year. And then they mention, in the last thirty seconds of their broadcast, that the Cubs won again and are now three games up on the Brewers in the NL Central. What the hell? Where is the excitement? Isn't it good for our city that the Cubs, who started out the season with just about the worst record in the league, have come back to sit alone atop the National League Central Division? I mean, come on! Reporters live for this kind of thing. In the off season, we fired the old manager, hired a new one, spent obscene amounts of money on some new, key players. We've had brawls this year and injuries and trades and rumors and there's the whole speculation thing about what's going to happen to the Cubs next year with the selling of the Tribune Company. And despite all of this (or perhaps because of it), the Cubs are leading the National League Central Division. This has been one hell of a season to be a Cubs fan. So why are they last on the bill on both television and radio sportscasts?

I'm wondering if it has anything to do with a sort of knock-on-wood mentality -- if we get too excited before the division is ours, then it won't happen. Or if it's because the NL Central is the worst division in the league (or the best, depending on how you look at it -- if you have that many teams all playing each other more than anyone else, and so many of them are right around the .500 mark, wouldn't that imply that everyone is just about equally good?). The Cubs aren't going to win 100 games this year. Not even 90. But the Cardinals won the World Series last year with only 83 wins on the season and I'll bet you dollars to donuts that St. Louis was all in a hubbub over it. Or if it's just that too many times, the Cubs have gotten only so far in the post-season that the mass media no longer believes that we can actually win the whole thing? With the other baseball team, there was no goat curse to stand in their way. We still have that to deal with. But we also have DeRosa and Soriano and Lee and Ramirez and Theriot and Lilly and Zambrano and hell, even Fuld and Soto. And we want this worse than any other team in baseball, I can promise you that.

So on behalf of the relatively quiet Chicago media, GO CUBBIES! I have hope. I have faith. And you know I'll have my radio with me for every game, no matter where I am.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's just about that time of year again when I get up before the sun and don't get home from work until after sunset. It is kind of cool to get to see the sun do it's thing on both ends, and I have to say that in general, I really like my new job. The work so far has been stuff that at least makes me feel like I'm doing something or accomplishing something. No, it's not earth-shattering, change-the-world kind of work, but I stay occupied. And I really like the people here. We're starting to get used to each other and more and more bits of personality are starting to show. It's fun. And I do like that I get to listen to Lin Brahmer in the mornings again. I missed that. But it is kind of sad to not see the sun much anymore. Or to only see it through the window. Oh well. At least it's still warm out so I can wear skirts to work and don't have to pull out the sweaters and (gasp!) pantyhose yet.
You know, it's amazing what getting rid of anger and grudges will do for you. I was very badly hurt by an ex-boyfriend a while ago and I guess, looking back on it, I never quite got back to myself, you know? He somehow had managed to make me doubt myself and feel worthless as a human being. Which is funny because I know (as do most of the people around me) that one of the last things I am is worthless. I'm quite the useful sort. But to be involved with someone in that sense who makes you feel less of a's hard to recover from that. I dated after him, a great guy who told me every day how wonderful I am, but I still didn't feel it about me, you know? I looked in the mirror and saw adequate, not amazing.

But I recently was able to make peace with said ex-boyfriend. I was able to say my piece and I think he actually heard it, so I was able to get to this lovely place of indifference towards him. And ever since then, I look in the mirror and see extraordinary. I see attractive. I see useful and competent and intelligent. All because I let go of my anger.

You should try it. Forgive the people who have hurt you and move on with your life. You'll be amazed what is still out there for you. (And I mean that as the royal "you," as in anyone who might be angry or holding a grudge about something, not directed at any one specific person.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Okay, there are those would would argue that I am smarter than the average bear. There are probably those who would disagree with that statement, but for the duration of this entry, let's just pretend that I am smarter than the average bear. (No, not literally, Dwight.)

What the hell? Seriously.

I know it's hard work to be a postal carrier. Especially on icky rainy or snowy days. And I know that it's easy to zone out for a minute or two and get distracted and that sometimes this means the mail goes to the wrong place. But when mail is put back in the mailbox with the address blacked out and the words "Not at this address" written on it in large bold letters, do you take it back to the same place that just said that it was delivered incorrectly? I think even the average bear would say no. And yet, this happens on almost a daily basis here. Sometimes, I'll get the same piece of mis-delivered mail three or four times before it finally goes back to the sender. I admire the tenacity, but really. The US Postal Service has such a bad rep for poor delivery service anyway; it would make sense to follow the instructions printed on the envelope in large bold letters to "Return to Sender" because the addressee is "Not at This Address." I mean, really.

And, as luck would have it, my paycheck got lost in cyberspace over the weekend. Hooray for direct deposit! The payroll people sent it and got a confirmation that it went, but my bank had no record of it ever showing up. Until they decided to check all accounts and for some reason, it was waiting to go into a non-existent savings account, which is why it didn't show up in my checking account. So then they put it into my checking account. Twice. Plus one thousand extra dollars, just for fun. They took the thousand dollars back within hours, but the second paycheck...well, here's hoping they still leave one in there when they "fix" everything.

And finally, my bathtub. It doesn't drain anymore. At all. I cleaned the hair trap, I stuck my fingers in the drain to get anything that had made it through, I poked around with a piece of floral wire, and I spent a good half an hour plunging, but nothing. I had to empty the tub into my toilet with a bucket in order to be able to bathe this morning. So I try to call my landlord to let them know that there is a problem and the phone just rings and rings and rings and rings...literally, I cooked my lunch (two minutes in the microwave) and they still didn't answer. Really? Not even voice mail or some automated system? Not even voice mail or some automated system. Four times I tried calling, each time letting it ring upwards of 20 times before hanging up and dialing again. I even tried calling directory assistance to see if perchance they had moved and got three new numbers, none of which went anywhere. So I tried the original number again and bam! Someone picked up on the first ring. Seriously? Seriously.

Now, back to me being smarter than the average bear. How do things like this happen? Deliver the mail to the right place. Pick up the phone when it answers. Put electronic funds transfers where they are supposed to be. Okay, maybe the last one is a little tricky, but how about just transfering the right amount of money once it has been determined that money should be transferred? Is it really that difficult?

Sorry. Had to rant for a minute there. Back to your reguarly scheduled programming. You were watching COPS, weren't you? Good grief...
I think it's interesting that ever since the show Floss! ended, I've been flossing more. I don't know if it's because I suddenly decided that I should take better care of my teeth, or if it's because I miss Floss!ing so much that I'll take it in whatever form I can get it. But yeah, I'm flossing now. Kind of regularly. If not daily, then at least weekly. That's better than yearly, right?

And I know that one certain reader is going to lambast me for this because, well, that's what this reader likes to do (I do think it's kind of cool that I'm popular enough to get hate mail), but I also think it's kind of interesting that I'm the kind of person that people miss. I spent so much of my childhood feeling invisible and honestly walking around completely unnoticed, that it's just interesting to me that on several occasions now, people who I thought were long gone from my life have reappeared to say that they miss me. I'm not saying it's a good thing or a bad thing -- each situation is different -- I just find it interesting.

Oh, and I want my Jim. From The Office. I'd even settle for a Tim from the British version, but yeah, he's such a great character. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six years.

Um, I don't really know what to say that hasn't already been said. It was one of the worst days I have ever experienced and I hope that nothing like that ever happens again to anyone. I feel for everyone who lost someone in the towers or at the Pentagon. And since then, we've really screwed the pooch. On that day, the whole world was behind us. Within a month, we became one of the most hated nations on the planet. 2008, baby. It can only get better from there.

And a very happy birthday to Moby. See? Something really good did happen on this, day, too.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Okay, so I've been to a few shows now whereat the artist on stage invites an audience member up to help sing one of the songs. I would like, if I may, to offer a suggestion to any future artists who happen to be coming to town, planning on doing the same thing.

Pick me.

You can forego the whole, "Who out there knows this song?" bit and just say, "Is Kitty here?" I'll come up from wherever I am because I do know the song, I probably know the harmony, I'm not afraid of microphones, and I'll actually make the song sound good.

Arrogant of me, I know, but I'm just sayin'. Just trying to help make your concert sound good.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Well, I'm staring to get the feeling back in some of my toes. This morning, there were four of them that were, essentially, not attached to the rest of me. I know they had to still be there because I could see them in the shower and I wasn't falling over when I walked, but had you asked me about them while I was sitting in the middle of the day, I would have said that at least four of them had defected to Cuba. I know, I know, it usually goes the other way around, but I have odd feet. And apparently stinky ones, too. Why do the comfortable shoes have the worst odors? Stupid all-natural-good-for-the-environment shoes. So comfy. So cute. So stinky.


Monday, September 03, 2007

So it happened and I cried. A lot. I cried when I first saw my sister-in-law in her dress, hair and makeup finished. I cried when I first saw my brother in his tux. I cried when they took pictures of my family. How many people get a family portrait after the parents divorce? Not many. But we now have one and it made me cry. I cried when they signed the marriage contract and through most of the ceremony. And I cried telling my Texas friend about it on the phone today. But the main thing I have to say is




Hands down. The rehearsal dinner was amazing. Seeing so much of my family, from both sides, was amazing. My brother's friends were amazing. My brother's inlaws were amazing. I was totally happy with the weekend before the wedding even happened. Yes, the manicurist ripped two of my cuticles to the point where they bled and yes, my feet are screaming at me today and yes, I'm totally exhausted and wiped out and poor. But oh my god, was that fun. Everyone looked beautiful and the food was great and I actually got to visit with people and I drank enough to last the rest of the year. Even a sad, misguided but apparently well-intentioned run-in with an ex boyfriend couldn't ruin the weekend. It's kind of sad that the weekend ended with that, but oh well. I have fun pictures to look at, and more on the way. One of these days, hopefully I'll get to see a picture of me -- there weren't any on my camera -- because I clean up good. And apparently, red is my color.

So yeah. Welcome to the family, sister-in-law. Congratulations and best wishes to my brother and his wife. And if you ever have the opportunity to go to a wedding for one of my family members, I must recommend that you take it. We know how to throw a good party.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Rabbit, rabbit. Happy September.

Random note: my cat is just about the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Even when he's driving me crazy.