Monday, July 21, 2008

What's New...

These last couple of weeks have been so very hectic. On top of the weather being unbearably hot, my mind has been focused on the Orchid Show. I did want to give everyone some updates and odds and ends about things that have been going on these last few weeks.

The Orchid Show: So the show was fun and my performance was a success. As I said I was doing a mash-up of the Amy Winehouse song "Rehab" and "Drinking Again" reworked into a Sinatra-esqe saloon song. My friend Paul's arrangement was steller, but regardless, I didn't know how it would go over; I mean music has changed so much and so few songs are steeped into the general conscienceness. In the 70's there wasn't a person who didn't know "You Light Up My Life". Love it or hate it, you knew it. I did the song at the sound tech and I thought it sounded good, but Brigid was afraid it was too slow for the place where it was in the show. However, she caveatted it with "It's very pretty." After much hemming and hawing, she said, "We may move you in the line-up..." I was expecting her to say, "We are moving you to the garbage can..." So any confidence I had in what I was going to do was gone.

I should know to trust my instincts, I knew it was going to be good; It was a huge hit. Brigid introduced me saying that I sang like Sinatra but she had told me to sing some modern songs. The curtains opened and I was leaning against the grand piano, dressed in my tux with a whiskey on the rocks in my hand and when I sang "They tried to make me go to rehab..." the place went wild. Then it got really quiet during the Drinking Again, which made me nervous but I thought maybe they are actually listening. I hit a high C at the end of the song and the applause was thunderous. I couldn't get off the stage fast enough... I love playing at those big shows and being in the spotlight, but damn it's hard work. The next day I felt like I had been in a car accident. I'm sure it's the last one I'll ever do; imitating Sinatra is fun and I do it well, but it's completely a been there, done that thing for me.

Oh, my father, sister and brother-in-law, came to the show. My sister told me that he was really excited to come because he wanted to see the "Blue Man Group". Bless his heart. Although it was out of their element I think they really enjoyed it. The only time I noticed any tension was when Tom Wolf, a writer, got up and did a piece that was anti-Bush I could see my brother-in-law frowning. And my father thought there was too much music and asked me when the ventriloquist was going to come on. Bless his heart
I'm trying to get a video of my performance, but it might have been an ephemera moment.


I love Milwaukee and I had a few days off last month so my friend Gary and I decided to go 'explore Milwaukee'. I had just purchased a Magellan GPS system. Wow. I don't know how I've survived this long in my life without one. I'm always getting hopelessly lost, in life, and when I drive. This is what people must have felt like when they first introduced telephones. I'm amazed that it knows just when I'm supposed to turn, the names of the streets and where I can get gas. If they could only make one of these for life decisions. "Bing!" "It's time you looked for a new job". "Bing!" "Another glass of wine is not a good idea." "Bing!" "Clean your car".
We had renamed the GPS Maggie because it has a woman's voice, which sounds slight pissed off when you don't follow her directions. Her voice saying "Re-calculating route." is pretty harsh. Some of the highlights of Milwaukee that we went to were the fantastic Milwaukee Art Museum. If you haven't gone, it's worth the trip, if only to see the amazing structure that looks like a bow of a ship.

We had a drink at the Phister in their lobby where a bored pianist played the hits of Porter and Gershwin. But it was just beautiful. I love Milwaukee, they never remodel anything. And I mean that in a good way. The lobby looked like it hadn't changed in 75 years. From there we did a few tours of the local bars. The highlight was going to Gene and Marcy's Holler House. Gene died a few years ago, but 82 year old Marcy is going strong. She was sitting by herself watching the Brewers baseball game, and was a little aghast we didn't know it was taped from that afternoon. They love their sports up there. The main reason we wanted to go to the Holler House, besides the ceiling that was struin with bras, is that it holds the oldest active bowling alley in the country. The bowling alley was celebrating it's 100 anniversary that fall. Marcy was just a doll. Gary asked her why the bras were all over the ceiling. She said "About 50 years ago a bunch of the regulars were getting toasted one night and one of the ladies took off her top and bra and threw it on the ceiling. Then everyone else did the same... Soon we were all drunk and naked." Those must have been the days. Marcy was kind enough to show us the bowling alley although it was officially closed. "Can't have bowling in the summer because you need pin setters and the boys would pass out from being in the back of the alley from the heat." Bless her heart. The gay bars we went to afterwards paled in comparison.
We also stopped off at the Pabst Mansion, which was one of the best house tours I'd been on. Great tour guides who seemed to know every minutia about the place. And then on to the Ambassador for lunch at the Deco Hotel, recently remodeled. I'm ready to move there.

Pet Angst. Recap on my cat. I continue to deal with Dinah my cat who is biting me more than ever. I've tried playing with her more, but that just seem to agitate her to attack me. Another cat isn't the answer. I've a slight cat allergy and I can handle one cat, but not two. In fact, last week, by accident Dinah scratched my stomach really badly with her back claws. The next day my skin felt like it was sunburned and started to break out in hives. I went out to dinner and felt like I had bugs crawling all over me. I stopped at Walgreens and bought some Wal-adryl. Despite having a couple glasses of wine with dinner I took two of the pills and went to bed. There was a huge storm that night that nearly flooded the city; I was told that the thunder and lightening were biblical. I wouldn't know I slept right through it.

I don't know what to do with her. I'm constantly on edge waiting for the next pounce. And she's so non-cozy. I'd really miss not having her around, but I'm just annoyed all the time. Can you get a divorce from your cat?

Odds and Ends.

I was walking on Saturday through my local Walgreens carrying my Alka-Seltzer when this booming voice from one of the women who work there yelled, "ZIP IT UP". I looked and my fly was wide open. Thankfully, nothing had snuck out, but I was mortified.'

I'm down to the last season of "power cycling' through The X-Files. I'd never seen it when it originally aired, so I thought I should see what all the fuss is about. I really liked the first few seasons, but season eight was downright painful to get through. Now you might ask, "Why not stop watching it...?" I can't. I'm doomed. I'm such a completist. If I start I have to finish and I knew the commitment I was making with this when I went in. Nine seasons! It's bad when I was involuntarily yelling, "who cares" during key dramatic scenes.

I watched a documentary about the closing of Chasen's Restaurant called Off the Menu. It focuses on the last few weeks of their operation with interviews with the longtime staff. The restaurant closed for a bunch of reasons, mainly no one was going anymore. In the 90's people wanted lite fare not steaks and chili. They would have thrived in the Atkin's Diet years. The family decided to sell the place to developers to make it into a mall. It was like tearing down a huge piece of Hollywood history. It's a must see. Brother: My brother is doing better, but he's feeling worse, which is a good thing. The first round of stem cels didn't take; as I wrote a few months ago. However, with the second bag they seem to be working as he's getting terrible hives, dehydration, and foul smelling diarrhea. But that's what's supposed to happen. The doctors are extremely hopeful. He called me excitedly a couple weeks ago to tell me they gave him a bag of my blood platelets which were also filtered from my system. He told me a priest came in and blessed the bag. I said, "I'm surprised it didn't burst into flames." Comcast: Another reason my blog has been slowing down is I didn't have Internet cable for over a week! I don't know how I survived. I actually read part of a book! I hate relying on utility companies for things as precarious as the Internet. I had a service call on Tuesday and I took off of work and they never showed up. This and watching X-Files all afternoon made me nearly lose my mind. On Friday morning they fixed it, telling me that a cord was loose and I could have pushed it in myself. I was mortified. But then after they left my bandwidth was down to nearly the speed of a dial-up. I'm usually a pretty calm person, but I just fill with rage whenever I have to talk to those Comcast people reading from their manuals. Someone needs to start a utilities hotline to talk people down after one of these calls. When they didn't show up on Tuesday after waiting and waiting and watching X-Files all afternoon, I called and started to get really annoyed with the Comcast guy on the other end of the phone. Then after yelling about how I wasted my whole day waiting and waiting and watching X-Files I stopped and said, "I'm sorry, it's not your fault. I shouldn't have yelled. And I'm also sorry you have to work at such an awful company!"

Peace and Waterfalls!

logo from The Top Ramen Playground


Aaron said...

Good news about Orchid! Great news about brother!

Bad news about kitty...I wouldn't know what to do either...some cats are just like that. Sophie gets like that with me sometimes, and that's when I push her out of my room and shut the door. Then she's all lovey-dovey later...

Maybe Dinah needs an exorcist...

Graeme said...

Maybe it's the ghost of the little girl in the hall who's possessed Dinah?