Saturday, September 30, 2006

really, i am still alive. Mony could testify.

I don't think you need to read a blow by blow description of the rest of the week, but i could fill in the blanks if there's any interest.

One highlight was hooking up with an old friend I thought I'd lost. We were work pals a few stops ago, and socialized a lot as well. (in fact, it's probably safe to say she is the reason I'm doing the type of programming I do today---she held a crash course in country music when I started working at that big deal radio station, and later gave me the bluegrass cribnotes I needed to get through my first festival without sounding like an idiot.)

Anyway, we spent loads of time together. She's the one who taught me to can, use a gluegun, and tie a good ribbon bow. Then, suddenly, nothing. My pal suffered a very mysterious illness a few years ago, and really didn't want company. So, after a bit, I stopped calling. When I picked up the phone months later, there was no response from her. Her husband, yes, her no. eventually, I gave up. But i still sent regards via other folks, and made the odd call once a year, or so.

I walk over to greet someone on Tuesday, look up, and see my old pal sitting next to him. She'd actually introduced us a decade or so earlier....anyway, you could have knocked me over with a feather! I rushed over, gave her a big hug, and said "I am so glad to see you!" An awkward second later, the years rolled away, and the conversation flowed as if we'd been talking every day for the past five years.

I think that was the best thing to come out of my long soujourn in nashville.

The second best? Seeing this grand finale at the americana music awards.

That's rosanne cash checking out, not really, she's probably just getting info about the key, or who's singing first. Elvis Costello is to her right, and her ex-husband Rodney Crowell is to the front and (stage) right of Elvis. Who's the angel in white? Well, think back a few years. Recognize this?

that's right, it's Miss Barbara Jean, from Robert Altman's classic "nashville." Ronee Blakely was honestly considered one of the "next big things" in music before (and right after) that film was released. She even toured with Bob Dylan during Rolling Thunder. RB says she's got some more songs on the way.

Monday, September 25, 2006

may I just brag on my "nephew-in-law" Wagner for a moment?

Wagner, born and raised in Brazil, the husband of my extremely talented niece Emily, is one of our newest citizens! I'm very proud of him! In her note, Emily made mention of the fact he was sworn in on their anniversary. Two happy years down, many more to come!

Join me in a cheer for Wagner, please!! Hip hip, Hooray!

back from the dead, part 2!

Thursday dawned bright. So bright that both Ann (who'd flown in from boulder at about 11 pm) and I were up with the chickens. I never remember to bring clothespins to make sure hotel curtains stay closed, with no bright light gap in the middle. Once or twice, I've used packing tape to make sure they don't gape at the sides, but that wasn't needed this time!

A quick snack in the club (thanks marriott for the upgrade! A quiet room was a "must" for part two of my stay (days 4-10) , and they upgraded me to the top floor. No banjos!

The day was something of a blur, but I know it involved seeing some music, listening to some experts, and chowing on something. More music at night, back at that too loud club. Smoky, too. Thank god i was with friends! Otherwise I would have found myself going up to complete strangers, and asking them to "smell my head!"

This is not some untoward kink, it's really just a mechanism to figure out if I have to wash my big thick (dry) head of hair, or if I can get another day out of it. Answer? Break out the shampoo and conditioner, which I did on Friday morning.

Despite the noise and the smoke, we saw a couple of good songs from Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives, and also from Darrell Scott.

The evening started back at the station inn, where we watched the Sparrow Quartet, led by Abby Washburn. I'm sure I've raved about Abby before....the quartet will soon be in China and Tibet, the first US band to tour tibet! No slouches them! Chatted a bit with Abby and Bela after the show, it's always good to see them! Abby and I are going to try to get together for a short interview this week, so I can get the word to my Chinese listeners!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

back from the dead, part 1!

greetings from nashville! I've been here since wednesday, but things have been so busy that i've barely had time to thing, let alone type!

my flight was a bit late on wed, but rob waited and was near baggage claim by the time i toddled down there. Got the rental with no problems, but hit a huge traffic jam about two mile out of the airport. So much for getting downtown by 11!

We finally made it, dropped bags, picked up registration stuff, and immediately headed to provence for an early lunch. The curried chicken lentil (or lintel, as it was spelled)soup was just fine, and the asparagus salad was also quality stuff!

Satisfied, we headed back to the hotel, where i managed to talk myself into an upgrade to the concierge level. That proves to be a wise move, as it means free breakfast (mon-fri), and evening drinks during the week.

but back to business: the conference. just fine, thank you. panels were good, always wonderful to see my ama friends, etc, etc.

I met up with a few friends, and headed over to the first party of the week, a welcome thing at the Cannery. TOO LOUD was our main conclusion. I can't even remember who was making music, it was all TOO LOUD to hear.

A few beers later, it was time to head out for showcases.

Mona came into town that evening and met us at the world famous Station Inn to hear chris smither. He was wonderful, as usual. But I wasn't the only one thinking so: the room was silent. Not the usual chattery mess that surrounds an industry showcase! Mony took a few pictures, perhaps she'll post them here!

Jeez, was that just wednesday in a nutshell? I guess so!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

the first thing i do when i get to nashville? take a nap. 3 hrs sleep last night, luckily I don't look as bad as I feel! ( a small miracle, but we'll take all we can get)

Hey, go see mony, and check out the photos of New Mexico. I want to be there!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

busy today. I worked til late yesterday, getting everything done so I could devote today getting set for my trip.

Amazingly, my travel orders still haven't been signed....a bit too late for me to pull out of the trip now, isn't it?

A couple of appts were going to keep me out of the office anyway this afternoon, so I think i made the right decision in taking the rest of the day for me!

must go start laundry.

Friday, September 15, 2006

I am spending far too much time watching antique british television programs. How do I know?

Well, during our recent trip to play in Al's drunken midnight croquet party, NM and I decided i need to spend some of my house money on front-of-the-plane tickets to london. Why? So i could meet the chinless wonder of my dreams. You know, the guy who'll set me up in a london home, complete with aga. Yes, I have aga lust.

They had one on the floor of the flagship Marshall Fields store in downtown Chicago. I almost cried with joy. I think it was this one:
but itmight have been this other one. the Four Oven Cooker - Gas Model that lets you Bake, Broil, Roast, Bake, Stew, Steam and Simmer...all at the Same Time.

I think she came up with a good solution, don't you? In the meantime, I may just have to buy these wellies. You know, so I'm prepared. (Who knew the Hunter folks made them in something other than green.)

i don't know how it happened, but i'm back to being boring.

I heard from NM today, off on her jaunt to, um NM. That's new mexico, in case you thought she was visiting herself. Wanted to know if there was a nordstrom in salt lake city. Why? No idea, cept she did say there was snow on part of their route.

Snow. While I'm looking at the nashvegas forecast, which calls for highs ranging from 66 to 85. Which will make packing a joy.

yesterday, I was visited by an old friend named rod picott. Perhaps I should say someone I've known for years, but only talk to every few years. Anyway, rod (who'll conveniently be out of nashville while i'm there), is on his way (as we speak) to london for another tour of the UK and europe. He is a wonderful songwriter, and I suggest you check him out here.

I received a lovely, and unexpected, gift in the mail earlier this week. It's the boxed set of the history of Hightone records. The oakland based label is (or has been) home to several of my favorite singers and songwriters including tom russell, dave alvin, chris smither, jimmie dale gilmore, loads more. they've got everything: blues, rockabilly, singer-songwriters. Took me totally by surprise and I am looking forward to hearing every second!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

i know you've heard me say how much i love my dentist, but i don't think i need to see him more than three times a year. Which explains why it pained me so to pay him a visit today. Because I knew that it would be a burden to my pocket.

I've been uncomfortable for the past week, or so. And I knew, deep down, that it wasn't really a problem with my crown. Or with the filling he did. Or with any old random tooth. Or random filling.

it was that stress has caused me to start grinding my teeth again. And that, as I did all those years ago (much to amusement of some), I didn't settle for simple grinding, I was clenching. Causing a muscle spasm. Relieved by drugs, and a new nightguard. Custom, of course. And, of course, my old one no longer fit because I'd stopped wearing it (at least a year ago), and my teeth had shifted a bit.

Nice guy that he is, doc cut me 20% off. another 5 for a professional courtesy. It would have been another 10, but I couldn't write him a check.

Monday, September 11, 2006

and one more thing. These 9/11 remembrances. I'm not with the program here. There has not been one day 9/11 has NOT been on the front page of a newspaper I read. It's too new to remember. It's still here in the now.

and don't get me started about that shit that ABC aired. Free media, indeed.

don't you wish you knew what this was all about?

I do. Wish I knew, I mean. I've got no clue, except that it was at a press conference in Toronto for the film festival.

I must admit I've never really thought much about brad pitt. I know i've seen him in a couple of films, but I never really cared one way or another. There was, however, an interesting article about him in the Post on Saturday. About his presiding over a summer long contest in New Orleans to create eco-friendly house.

And check out the picture that goes with the story. Contrast that to the one above. I must say, when it counts, he cleans up real good. I do like the french cuffs, though the tie leaves me a bit cold. But, all in all, it's a nice outfit.

I will be very glad when the house in fla is sold. I'm getting very tired of having to deal with all the associated crap. Friday, I got a panicked phone call from the "stager" at 4:55 pm. I had to talk with the mover by 5, or at 8 saturday morning! I didn't want to talk with the mover, I wanted RLK to deal with that. After hearing all the moving horror stories (furniture held hostage, reality coming in at 2x estimates, etc) I figured having them know a lawyer was in on the deal would be a good idea. Unfortunately, rlk was in japan.

So i did it. and they were lovely, and gave me a firm total, not an estimate. But it was just one more thing that HAD to be done that second. Part of the reason we have someone helping is to avoid those HAVE TO BE DONE NOWS! Now, all I need to do is pin down those movers and get a firm arrival date. I have told them it can not be between the 20th and the first, as I've got to meet them at the new storage unit. And we all know where I'll be then!

Yes, our very own storage unit. a 10x15 climate controlled beauty. For about 300 bucks a month. Incentive to do something about my house....or for NKK to get her house ready to accept things, and let me downsize.

Back to the dentist tomorrow. I have been having some problems ever since I got that new crown. Nothing major, mainly discomfort due to cold, something that doesn't bother them in the least. But I think it's bothering me enough that I'm grinding my teeth or something. Twice now I've awakened with an achy jaw. About 15 years ago, I had a muscle spasm there, much to mike's amusement. I'm sure one of my leftover flexerils will take care of it, but it will also knock me out enough that I'd probably want to take the morning after off.

But enough about me. Go see cute lil vida on mony's blog. And michelle says she's finally going to blog, but seems too shy to comment. Get over it! We need you!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

oh god, it's not like i'm asking for help in picking health insurance. All I wanted was aid in picking shoes! Really, don't you care how my feet look? Do you want me to drag down your cq (coolness quotient) if you're seen with me?

(insert big huff here)

Can you tell I'm stressing about my upcoming trip to nashville. I'll be there ten or 11 days. I think that's a bit too long. There's no hyatt. I'll have to listen to bad music, played too loud. Lots of whining. Too many fried foods. Elevator problems.
Shopping isn't the best. Ruth and Rob won't be there.

On the good side, I'll be able to meet the newest member of mony's clan. See the renovations mike and suz did on their house. Call a meeting of the power chicks. And see friends I only see once, or twice a year when they come through town on tour. maybe meet some new ones. and hear some great road stories, I hope.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

it was supposed to rain buckets over the weekend, but didn't. I mean, there was some rain, but nothing like the deluges expected.
And what happens when rain doesn't arrive on schedule? It shows up early this morning.

It was pouring, no, teeming, when I left the house at 730 this morning. I was very soggy on the train, but totally soaked by the time i walked the two-plus blocks to my office. And yes, I did have a jacket, a nice waterproof one with a hood. I thought about wearing the burberry trench (all good reporters must have one!), but I don't have a rainhat! And an umbrella is no good at all in rain like this.

I did roll up my jeans, so that the too long legs wouldn't be too badly soaked. Not that it helped.

So, I arrive in the office, soaked. Actually, only the front of my legs, thigh to toes, soaked. THe backs were kinda dry.

But there's a good news, bad news kinda ending for this one. The good news is that I have an extra pair of jeans in my desk, just for days like this. The bad new? I haven't worn them in close to 10 years. More bad news: Very bad style for me. high waisted, very baggy legs. No pleats, thank god!

The good news? They fit. Amazing, isn't it? Even better: I've got a small heater in here, and the ones I wore in are finally dry. Only took 5 hours.

I was smart enough to wear my crocs today, and not shoes that would stay wet. I also have a pair of running shoes and sock here, but didn't need to put them on.

Monday, September 04, 2006

so, saturday (before my head exploded) i met erin (and her daughter olivia) at Nordstrom at Tyson's for the susan komen bra fitting extravaganza. On the way out, we had to look at school shoes (for liv, as she told me to call her), and then us, of course.

We were both taken (back to childhood? not for me, these were too flat. Mom thought they didn't offer enough support.) by these brand new converse all star slip ons.

but which color? That apple green? or the chocolate brown?

mom was right. The first thing that came out of my mouth after sticking my foot into the (apple green) display shoe was "God, these are flat. There's nothing under my arch!) Hmmm.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

i can not believe it is 4 pm and I have done nothing of import yet today. I'll put the blame on the fact that I've got a headache...the same one I had yesterday afternoon, I think. I was hoping it would fade when the rains did, but no such luck.

We didn't seem to get as much of Ernesto as promised, just a bit of wind and some rain. I think one of my neighbors must have lost some branches, as I'm hearing a chainsaw whine. and whine, and whine, and whine. Until i'm about ready to scream.

Friday, September 01, 2006

fellow babies, I command thee to rush out and part with approximately 17 of your hard earned dollars on the new bob dylan CD "Modern Times." Don't scrimp, and pay for the regular CD, buy up to the limited edition, complete with a bonus DVD with four tracks, including the video for the oscar nominated "Things Have Changed" (from Wonder Boys), and "Cold Irons Bound," from the unwatchable "masked and anonymous."

Fantastic stuff. Especially if you liked the last two releases.