12.30.2012

Sunday Confessions Link Up aaaaaaand a special birthday!

First things first!  A very happy birthday to Michael Nesmith, who is turning 70!!  He shared a birthday with Davy Jones, who would have been 67 today.

From R.I.P. Davy Jones


And now, it's that time of the week!  If you're interested (and you should be), link up with the lovely Alyx and publicize your sins, baby.



1.  I woke up at about 3:30 p.m. today.
I have been sick for over two weeks, my sleep schedule is weird, and... um, Adrianne Curry was doing a live chat last night.  I know it's weird, but I think that she and I have a lot in common -- nerd stuff, being from the Midwest, etc.  Thing is, the chat was just full of boys going "HEY TALK ABOUT BOOBS" and she would then actually talk about boobs.  The whole thing gave me a headache.

2.  I received Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas, and I'm in love with the pages.
Seriously.  I just run my hands over the pages.  They're all soft.

3.  I'm currently upset because David is going to a party tonight, and I'm not "allowed" or whatever.
Apparently only David's co-workers are invited, even though they're going to my favorite bar/restaurant (The Checkerboard), and with David going out to eat, I'll have to make dinner for one tonight, which is depressing, and I'd much rather go out and have some of The Checkerboard's broccoli (which I'm obsessed with), but I'm not allowed.  :(  So if I do go and get dinner there, I'll have to like, pretend not to notice David, having fun with his party.  

4.  I'm seeing Les Mis tomorrow night, and I'm afraid I'll cry during the movie in front of my family.
That would be embarrassing.  I am, however, looking forward to this annual tradition:  On New Year's Eve, I go out with my mom and her sister (and spouse) (and now David) (and sometimes a boy I'm dating, if applicable... not applicable this year) to dinner, exchange Christmas gifts, and see a movie.  So far, we have always managed to pick a movie that later wins an Academy Award!

5.  My cats provide me with hours of entertainment.
Sometimes, I seriously just sit in the living room and watch them being stinkers.  They chase each other around, play with ping pong balls, take naps in funny poses.  Right now I'm watching Micky trying to awkwardly sit on a comforter -- she doesn't quite fit into one area of it, but she wants to be there so she'll make it happen.  Bellatrix is on the other side of the room, doing her "lying on her side and not giving a fuuuuck" position.  They really are just too funny.


Yep.  I'm a crazy cat lady now.


12.28.2012

So I used to be in a band.

The other night, I was wandering around the Internet and found an old MySpace page dedicated to a band I belonged to back in 2008 -- The Funky Transactions.

I'm in the background
We were actually pretty good.  I listened through all the songs that we'd uploaded on MySpace, although we had like 20 more songs than what was on there (hmmm... do I have my old song notebook?); I watched our videos, and even though the A/V quality was poor, I was able to remember the notes; I looked at the pictures, which a couple of friends had taken of us.

Sigh.  How exciting it was to be 23.

Kiley and I met in middle school -- I remember playing with my mom's face masks with her and a mutual friend, laughing as we peeled them from our faces in front of the bureau mirror in my parents' room.  Years later, we ended up in the same sociolinguistics class at Purdue, and while we were catching up, it came up that we both played musical instruments.  At some point, one of us exclaimed, "Dude!  We should start a fuckin' BAND!"

Taken by Sandra
After class, we went to the study area in the union's soda shop with our notebooks and worked out a game plan -- how often we'd rehearse, what kind of sound we'd have, how many instruments we could each play.  I'd never been in a real band before, other than tinkering around with friends growing up, but Kiley had, so I was happy that someone actually knew what she was doing.

Then suddenly, we were at my house, which I rented with my then-boyfriend in downtown Lafayette, practicing chords and covering Regina Spektor songs, with Kiley on acoustic guitar and me on my grandmother's piano (which I had to buy at an auction because my sociopath uncle sold all her stuff).

Here's us just fucking around early on -- this was an unfinished chorus and bridge, and it became a "real" song later:





Our song-writing strategy was simple:  I'd never written a song before, and Kiley wrote songs in her sleep.  She'd come over for rehearsal with a new idea for a song, complete with most of the lyrics, and then I'd make shit up on the piano to the chords she already had.  That was probably the one area where I was solid:  I knew chords.

Kiley knew some of the chord names, but mostly she just played what sounded cool and didn't really know how to communicate what it was (and that's not a bad thing -- Paul McCartney couldn't read sheet music either, and I suppose he did okay with himself).  I'd studied music since I was a kid, learning chords and scales, being in the school band for eight years, taking a music theory course at Purdue, performing with the Lafayette Citizens Band, etc.  I was able to figure out, with relative ease, the chords Kiley was playing on guitar and then match something up with the piano.  It helped that she kept her guitar tuned really well.

Before I knew it, Kiley was talking about playing live, which naturally freaked me the fuck out.  We did end up playing some live shows, and she was so cool with all of it, but my hands shook the entire time, and the shows are a blur to me now.  I don't remember making any big mistakes, but I do remember us starting a song over at the Knickerbocker after a couple of measures because it didn't sound right.  I don't know what we changed the second time, but it sounded fine after that.

Taken by someone I don't know.  Both my now-ex-fiancĂ© and my father are in this picture. OOH GUESS THEM!

At the Skylight Coffee House.  Peter Tork played on this stage two years later.
Kiley had a friend who owned a recording studio in what used to be... I think a furniture store?  Or a school maybe?  We went in and recorded some songs in there.  I was less nervous about this part, because it wasn't live, and no one was looking at me.  Plus, I mean... the attitude that comes with, "yeah dude, I'm in the fuckin' studio, layin' down some fuckin' tracks, y'all."  Some of the songs we recorded are on the MySpace page still.  We also had a photographer friend take pictures of us one of the times we went to the studio.

Recording.  Photo is by our friend Angie, but I don't know if she's interested in consulting as a photographer right now.  If she lets me know, then I'll link to her stuff in this caption later.

Hallway in this school-furniture store place where the studio was.  Also, I was pretty uncomfortable with having my picture taken.  I still am.
We ended up going our separate ways after several months.  I don't blame her -- I was about to graduate from Purdue, I was career-oriented, wanted to work in a cubicle.  Which, I know now, is... well, not at all what we'd been aiming for.  Kiley ended up traveling, I think, and then she settled down to start a family (and out of all the babies I see on my Facebook newsfeed, he's one of the cutest -- and those who know me well know that this is actually saying something).

I'm glad I found those songs and videos, though.  Lots of good memories.  She brought me out of my shell -- when I first thought about performing on stage or recording music, I wanted to shit myself.  Now, however, I know that I did something that terrified me, and I enjoyed it.  And, I hope, other people got something out of it as well.






You can barely hear Kiley in this last video, but I liked this song.

And us live -- sorry for the poor quality... it's from my ex's phone:




Anyone else out there have a band, or were you ever in one?  Ever been terrified on stage, or are you totally comfortable?

12.20.2012

Nigel Barker is a bit pervy

What I do on a Thursday night when I have a bad cold and we're expecting snow:

  • Make five little cups of Easy Mac
  • Eat them, slowly and sadly
  • Watch America's Next Top Model
  • Ibuprofen, nose spray, vapor rub... in that order
  • Look at my copy of Les MisĂ©rables as if I might actually read it again before I see the movie, but I know that I'm just going to skim the Wikipedia page instead
  • Fuck, that was the last tissue
  • I'm not done Christmas shopping, and that freaks me out, because as an atheist I'm supposed to be all like, "lol wut holiday"... but I don't want to be offensive by not buying things for people to celebrate something religious, or something?  Unless you're one of those weird people that deny any Pagan influence on Christmas and say phrases like "war on Christmas" and "reason for the season," and in that case I'm just going to tell you to get a grip and read something that's actually non-fiction
  • Tyra Banks is kind of a psycho, but all she does is work... at some point, girl, just go have a nap... take a vacation... relax your smizing 
  • This turned into more than a to-do list
Anyone else been sick during a holiday?  Is it as miserable as I'm expecting it to be?

12.14.2012

"Terror starts at home"

Both of my parents were school teachers for 35-40 years each. Never once, not even after Columbine, did I think to ask them if they were afraid to go to work. Now I'm wondering if they ever were -- if they ever looked around their classrooms and worked out a plan for if anything horrible was happening -- "Where can I hide? How many students can fit there? Do these windows open? Who's the bravest kid in each of my classes? ... who's the unhappiest kid in each of my classes?"

I was stressed about work this week.  I was stressed about chores at home that need to get done.  

I don't have kids, but I understood when I saw that one of my Facebook friends, who lives here in Indiana, left work in the middle of the day today to grab her toddler out of daycare... just because she wanted to hold him.  Her son was in no danger at daycare, but the people at an elementary school in a sleepy Connecticut town assumed they were in no danger either.  

At work today, we all stopped for a while to watch real-time news online.  We still went to our meetings, sent our emails, etc., but for about ten minutes, we were just silent and sick to our stomachs.  

These were children.  I first said "innocent children," but everyone who is a victim of one of these acts is innocent.  I don't want to take away from the adults today that were victims -- parents, educators... servants to our society... and in the end, all we can ask is "why?"  The cliche exists for a reason, I suppose.

As an atheist, there are times when you wish you could pray -- then you'd actually feel like you're doing something.  But also as an atheist, you wonder how people can believe in a god at a time like this.  

I don't really know what else to say.