Weekend Update and the Best Part…

So this was a creative weekend but, not necessarily musically.  Friday, I helped Nat (along with a few others) move into her newer, cooler, closer to the water place.  It is the perfect place for her and I’m so gonna go over there and take some pics so you can see the little characteristics that make it so cool.  The one that sticks out the most is the old fashioned ice crusher attached to the cabinet over the kitchen.  We had an identical one growing up only ours was turquoise instead of yellow.  Even the colors give away their timeline.  I just thought it was sooo cool.  And the place had such a creative vibe to it.  Being a painter (and a talented one at that), I was glad to see she was surrounding herself with an environment that would encourage her to get out the brushes.

Before I knew it, it was time to hit the road to L.A.   This was the weekend LA Galaxy was playing Portland, Oregon team and get this…my main job was to get photos of any Portland player next to Beckham…hooohummmm what a tough life I have…of course that said, my brain didn’t make it easy…I tried to use an outdated laptop while mine is out for repairs and it was like swimming in molasses…maddening…then the camera kept jamming up and refusing to shoot until I re-booted and re-seated the lens (which happened about every 30 minutes) and even then, 90% of the photos turned out too blurry to use and then…part way up to LA I realized “OH SHT SHT SHT” that I forgot my press pass badge that hangs around my neck so luckily the guyz were able to call it in and get me a slap on badge that later fell off and nearly got me kicked off the field and definitely treated like I was some psycho stalker…arg.  After all that got sorted then I was told “you’re our photographer of the year”  which I thought was sweet until he mentioned I had the bib on inside out.  “The blue is supposed to be on the outside” he informs me with more than a hint of sarcasm.  Ohhhh you don’t know how badly I wanted to pull the “C” card but, I didn’t.  I just wanted to wipe his smug face into it.  Especially later when he came up (this time dripping with sarcasm) ‘Taking some great pics are we?”.  I looked around to see that everyone but me had massive giant cameras with massive telephoto lenses and nearly said “unlike with men, when it come to a camera, size really doesn’t matter” but, again…I held my tongue I did.  When I got home I took Steven’s advice and found some old thumb drives and all my press passes and put them in the camera bag.  Hopefully I’ll keep out of trouble at the next one.   I was surprised to see I got about ten good ones.  I’m still just itching to get a longer lens with a faster shutter but, all the advisers out there keep recommending stuff my pocketbook just laughs at until…my friend Deb came down from Seattle for a visit on Tuesday and wanted to go camera shopping…I talked her into buying the newest version of mine which was a package deal (which her husband is yet to know about so shhhh) that came with a very cool telephoto lens very similar to what i want only waaaaaay cheaper.  We tested it out Wed morning and damn…pretty impressive.  I think it might just work and I’m so going to get one before the next game on June 1st :-).

In the meantime….music…yes..  Monday night at the last minute I decided to go to open mic at Hensleys and posted a msg out to my friends just before I left and was really surprised to see that 3 of em made it out :).  I was so psyched to see them that I forgot to sign up so one performer after another and then it kicked in and barely in time.  They were fading and looking like they were ready to go so I asked a favor of Jeremy and he slipped me in.  I think I did horribly.  I wasn’t too nervous but, I babbled and that buddah belly was blocking the airway so, a couple times I felt like I sounded winded.  Brad challenged me to try playing standing up next time.  I accepted.  I was practicing it today when I realized “Sht, it’s Thursday.  I was supposed to blog yesterday!”.  So, I’ll get back to it as soon as I’m done with this update and…speaking of that…Brad also suggested I ask Pauly to join in.  He’s the savant that can pick up any stringed instrument and play it like he’s done for years.  I love the sound of the fiddle (he also plays banjo which is cool) so between then and now I got ahold of them both and we’re gonna play at the open mic on May 9th and get in a jam session before then.  How cool is that??  Hopefully, we’ll get a good clip of that to share with you.  I also contacted Tim today and sent him a list of cover’s I’d like to do and invited him to meet up and practice some songs together. 

Tonite…I’ll heading back down to Pacific Beach for open mic (where I will try out the whole standing while playing thing) and before that, meeting up with some old workmates (that are now such good friends there seems no point in referencing how we met).  So, I’m meeting up with my friends Scott, Tom n Jen tonite :).  That place is I think my favorite so far.  Just sucha great vibe and great group of people.  I feel far more comfortable around them.

I was supposed to go up to long beach this weekend for a special open mic but, we’re gonna move it to next month because the Trooper is sputtering and no one wants to let me drive anywhere but, to the corner store in it (good god these ppl are mighty protective of my full grown self.  I’m not sayin their wrong…I’m just sayin…).

Oh and the best part of the update…Ana (I’ve mentioned her before…great singer) asked me to play the Uke at her wedding this summer :-).  She’s from Hawaii, I lived there and so I totally get what she’s hoping for and I’m going to do my damnedest to deliver it.  I sent a note off to Moppet to see if he could swing it too since its on the beach, no mics and so the more Uke’s the better…This…is when it all means the most to me.   3 years ago if you had asked me “can you picture yourself playing the Ukulele at someone’s wedding or playing and singing an original song at someone’s wedding I would’ve laughed as my heart raced at the terror of the thought of how I would bungle it and never have the guts to even attempt it.  I am living proof and I want to be that it’s never too late to change direction…to pick up a dream where you left off even if it’s decades old.  Maybe you always dreamed of being a ballerina and you’re hair is gray.  Ok, so you may not make it to the Met but, you can go to that studio, give it your all and dance at your recital on a stage.   It is crazy when you stop to think on it.  How we are our own worst enemy 90% of the times that we’re not getting what we want out of life.  I’m still incredibly imperfect and always will be.  But, I’m reaching for a better version of me and the reaching itself (ok, yeah…as you may be able to tell I’m fresh from a session with my oh so gorgeously charming Nordic god of a personal trainer ((who by the way think Margaritas are a good thing which makes me think he’s all the cooler~)) so I’m a bit life through rose colored glasses but, why the hell not?  I paid good money for this high dammit and I’m gonna enjoy every second of it~ ;)…where the fk was I…oh right…the reaching itself is sometimes the best part.

Ok, enough babble.  On to lunch then practice then on to another open mic (and possibly some laundry inbetween)~

Thanks as always for listening and sticking around.  Wish me luck tonite~

‘ali

Oh, and “restless spirit” does NOT mean Bi-polar or Disloyal.  It just means there’s a need for near constant ebb n flow.  Why, I  know many restless spirits who live contentedly within the confines of normality (I’m just not one of em).

Weekend Update and the return of the Foley Moment…

So, Wednesday night I stayed at a posh hotel (while they de-bugged the cottage) that I had a free night’s stay I’d been holding onto.  It had a huge pool and jacuzzi and room service came on a table on wheels with actual “cloth” tablecloth and fresh cut daisies (my fav) in a vase.  I was floored~  Was the perfect getaway.  Got some great practice in with martin and did some more work on the new songs as well which was really cool.
I went to PB the next day thinking I’d visit with friends to pass the time away before the open mic there but, as fate would have it each and every one of em was busy.  That’s what I get for waiting til the last minute.  I walked along the beach, stopped by the music shop where I’d take my lessons with Moppet (who was nowhere to be found) and played a song for Alan who was running the place that day.  It was about 2pm when I left there and I thought…5 more hours…5 more hours at least before I should head to the black pearl…I was so restless and worried about my place and whether all the san fleas were gone and then heard from Carrie that she was on the fence about going that night too that I thought hell with it.  Head back up home and take care of business.  Aired out and vacuumed the place then my phone reminder went off “open mic at beachside grill”.  I put this one in my phone a couple months back after someone recommended the place and their open mic. 
I talked M into going and we got there pretty early so we set martin up against the bar and ordered their burger specials n some (yummmm) raspberry cider.  Never tried it before but yummmm it was really good~  We got caught up in conversation when I finally realized that they were all setup and I hadn’t signed up.  I was 5th on the list and based on the first act it would be another hour before I’d get up on stage and I was already feeling pretty tired and M could see it so we talked me into calling it a day.
Friday afternoon Carrie told me that the Belly Up was having a happy hour band playing and wouldn’t it be good to get out and YES, I was totally up for it.  The band had great energy and was covering 80’s music, which I love but, I keep forgetting that “80’s music” doesn’t necessarily mean depeche mode, new order, the cure etc which is what I know but, there are so many other forms from that decade and that’s the stuff this band was playing.  It was still fun and the only regret was that I didn’t get up and dance before we headed over the restaurant/bar connected to the place.  I love that place.  Great food, great wine, great service and interesting ppl watching.  We were chatting away when i notice I missed a call…a call and 2 txt msgs from M…the latest saying she was at the Belly Up and the grey sharks were circling…yikes~  I ran over and rescued her just as they were closing in.  What are these creatures?  Silver haired gentlemen who tend to dress like they’re still in their 20’s and have no ability to properly measure cologne because I can only guess, their sense of smell is going.  These creatures are highly aggressive and like to flash their gold cards n championship rings and don’t take no lightly.  M being the fabulous younginthat she is…she was in deep waters and rescue was oh so necessarily.
Saturday morning M n I headed down to Mission Bay to meet up with Carrie and her brilliant plan to go whale watching.  It was awesome~  I was a bit terrified at how the boat bounced over the waves and my feet lifted off the deck each time but, I still managed to get in some shots.  The guide was over the moon at the site of a mini whale called a MINKE.  She said they’re “Elusive” and rarely approach boats but, this one did and circled us at least a dozen times…it was odd looking…like a large dolphin from the middle on but, its face was like an alien space ship or something.  I’ll post a pic at the bottom for you…  We also saw a huge group of dolphins just as we were heading back.  They were leaping out of the water far ahead of us like 3 at a time.  looked like they were doing gymnastics or bouncing on underwater trampolines.  It was quite a site~   A nice walk around the neighborhood along with an outdoor lunch followed.  Was a beautiful day and I totally took advantage of my second to last day allowed to be in the sun (chemo makes me photosensitive).  Got a bit burnt but, thanks to Aloe spray it turned to a nice little tan :).  Got a txt from Red just before heading out saying he was in my hood.  Hadn’t seen him in ages so I met up with him at the old Gibs and like no time had past we caught right up and hung out.  He had spent the day going around town taking pics with “Flat Stanley”.  You heard of this one?  School kids send out this paper guy called Flat Stanley and as you to take pics of him in your area then send him and the pics back for the kid to share with their class.  Pretty cool idea.  My pic probably won’t make it back to his nephew’s school but, we still liked it.  The name kept reminding me of one of my favorite Simpsons episodes about the tale of “Dark Stanley”.  We decided (ok I did) that they were distant cousins.  This was the light Stanley of course.
Sunday was the monthly Irish Breakfast at the pub in the village that Vivienne works at and puts together.  This time it was her bday. I made Red come with me and we got there kind of late so there were just scraps left but, Guinness and Bloody Mary’s make a great hair of the dog breakfast and that’s exactly what we did.  Another part of my countdown (chemo makes all food/drink taste “off” so, I was determined to enjoy every one of my favorite tastes before Monday came.  The bass player for a band we know (His name is Sergio but, not the Sergio that the “Baby” song is about) was there to celebrate V’s bday.  There were lots of people there for her which was really cool to see.  I told him she’d mentioned she’d hoped he’d hop up on stage and play one with the band.  He said he would if I would and I said “sure” without hesitation.  He seemed really surprised.  I told him I’d gotten over my stage fright or at least I can get up on stage and sing without puking or having a nervous breakdown.  I do get nervous still.  I just don’t let it stop me anymore.  How’s that for progress eh?  :).  By the time we got serious about it the band was done for the day but, at least the seed was planted…
I heard back from Tim, the guitarist who’s interested in joining the trio.  He seems pretty keen so we’ll meet up again at Hensley’s and work on some songs together.  I’ll capture some on video and post for you.  Oh, and got the email address of the Violin/Mandolin player as well but, I’ll hold off until I can make it back to the Black Pearl open mic. 
Which brings us to the return of the fanny pack AKA chemo.  Started back on Monday morning.  Back to the bouncing up and down on the scale (litterally, lost 8 lbs one day and gained 9 the next, oy).  The first day you hang out there then they connect you to a portable pump that fits nicely into a fanny pack.  Uck. F- uck.  I don’t like it much, can you tell?  Got unplugged from it this afternoon and now I’m thinking up something spicy for dinner to get the chemical taste outta my mouth.  Just gotta keep reminding myself just 3 more months….just 3 more months…I just want it to rush by.  On the creative front there’s a song that seems to be piecing itself together.  I’m not quite sure what its about but, I’m pretty sure I know who’s inspiring it…and on to the “Foley Moment”…Tim (I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs) is a consummate performer.  He’s been playing music forever.  I met him through friends several years back when I he came to the pub and played Ilian pipes up on stage with the band.  The thing about Tim is yes…he’s talented but, what really stands out is how he fearlessly lassos in the crowd.  He’s cheeky and brat packish and just connects in a way I don’t quite think I’ve seen before.  It inspires me every time I see it.  Not that my style would or could ever be like his…just the casual way he does it.  It’s pretty impressive.  Speaking of that, he was recently was at Coachella which is a Cali music festival and posted of fb that he’d gotten up on stage with Jeff Goldblum (remember that actor was in the movie the Big Chill and the Fly…) who seems to also be a fan of the brat pack music.  Anyway…I told him I hoped someone taped it and someone did~  So, here’s a link to it.  I’m curious to see if you see it…
Tim Foley with Jeff Goldblum
I’m hoping to be up for open mic on Monday night.  Anyone’s guess.  I stopped the happy pills on Sunday after reading some pretty convincing posts from patients who’ve taken it and tied it to unexplained weight gain.  Yup, I’m grumpy and worried about what it’ll do to my sense of calm but, its time to set the crutches aside and walk on ahead on my own…fingers crossed (toes too) that it’ll just get better from here on.
Til next posting…here’s a couple pics of the “elusive” Minke whale…


Minke body (looks like a big dolphin yeah?)

Minke head

Red n Flat Stanley

Weekend Update and the High Time…

I’ll start with Yesterday and work my way back…

I know I said before I was going to hire a personal trainer to help me shed the chemo pounds but, I was so turned off by the first (after the initial cool wore off) looking down her skinny little nose at me…I decided to try it on my own which ended up in disaster and several strains.  I’ve been observing the other trainers in action while I plodded on the treadmill and there’s one in particular…best way to describe him is if Dolph Lundren had a younger, leaner, smarter, more peaceful in his actions kind of brother well, this guy is it.  I had my first session with him at 8am yesterday (ugh…I’m so not used to being up early).  He asked me to type out my wishes, worries and limitations etc. so I handed them in sheepishly along with a pic of what I used to look like just one spring ago…we sat down at a table and he looked through it…looked sadly at me when he saw the part about the cancer and then looked at the pic.  When he got to that point I said “I just want to look and be able to move like her again…and look, see she has cheekbones” as I patted my chipmunk cheeks and he laughed assuring me I still had those cheek bones (gotta love a trainer that uses flattery to motivate :-). He went on to explaining metabolic rates, how they work, why I was able to eat away last year and not gain weight but, snack like a rabbit now and gain 4 lbs in a day.  Pretty fascinating stuff and I’ll share some as I go along if anyone is interested.  Top 3 things I learned so far:

  • eat every 3 hours and especially protein just before you go to bed (keeping putting logs on the fire or it’ll burn out).
  • don’t consume carbs while exercising (your body will burn that carb instead of fat) and if you don’t consume enough protein then the muscles you’re working on will steal from other muscles instead of burning fat.
  • even if this is all turns out to be bull who cares…working out is a lot more fun when you’ve got a handsome, charming trainer by your side 😉

Monday, I practiced during the day then headed over to Hensley’s for their weekly open mic.  The moment I walked in, Jeremy (who runs it) turned to me and said “I have your capo”.  Just the way he said it made me smile and think damn…this guy is mr. Honest Abe and sharp cookie because I wouldn’t remember and didn’t remember I’d left it behind~  I was the first (as usual) since no one else turns up until closer to 9 but, I don’t mind.  I like getting it out of the way and then being able to relax and enjoy the others’performances.  I got up there and went blank.  I looked out at Michele and the crowd and got the feeling that this crowd wasn’t here for the show.  They were here to burn off the workday’s irritants.  It doesn’t matter though…it can’t matter.  Open mic is a test of wills…can you get up there, pour your heart out whether the people in the room care to listen or not?  To me, that’s exactly what its about.  So Monday night…I took a deep breath and then poured my heart out.   I let it seep right into my vocal chords and sang “baby”, “the other side”, “anyway”, “boomerang” and “plus one”.  There were a couple out there that locked eyes with me but, that was it.  Michele shrugged her shoulders and looked back at the bar like “wtf people…there’s someone on stage you know”  even the bartender shouted above all the performers.  I guess he’s heard them all long enough that they’re just background noise to him.  Anyway, after I was ready to step down Jeremy came back in the room and as I was unplugging he saw me eyeing the uke and asked if I wanted to play it which I enthusiastically and mistakedly said yes to.  I completely forgot the change chords on “if he were mine” so it was a sad way to end a set.  Ah well, its all a learning process right?  While the next guy was up, he came by for a side hug and to catch up.  I asked him why he wasn’t in a band and he said it was hard to find ppl to play with so I pointed my finger to my noise and gave me that look of a third grader in class who is over the moon that they know the answer to teacher’s questions and they’re nearly jumping out of their seat to get called upon to reveal it.  He looked at me and smiled politely and I knew…my music is too square for him he thinks…I mean, he’s got dreadlocks and plays cool sounds on his expansive DJ sound board and M says he’s got that same cool energy of “Glen Hansard” (who I dreaaaaaam of playing with one day) and when he said “yeah…I play guitar ok but, I really love to play drums” (he plays guitar 20 times better than me I swear I’ll video him next time for you to see).  I was like in tunnel mode from that moment on…determined to convince him to join to the soon to be trio.  I’d like to get your feedback when you see a clip of him too.  Maybe together, we’ll all convince him or maybe you all will convince me to keep looking…who knows~  Anyway.  I’ll go back this coming or the next Monday and make it happen…So, our friend Brad (the drummer for Brehon Law) showed up just after I finished.  Doh`  So, I asked Jeremy to go up and play something (to get Brad’s opinion of him;) and then I shouted out “sing something” to which he said he finds it hard to sing and play guitar at the same time so I said “ok, how bout you play and I siiiiing” and before you know it I’m up on stage, showing him the chords and rhythm to “By New Year’s Day” .  I couldn’t quite get him to play the rhythm I knew but, something inside me said “stop…maybe this is a good thing”.  So, I said “that’s great, let’s do it” and he started playing…I started singing and man oh man….my voice was like y’know that scene in “The Grinch (cartoon version of course) where he suddenly pulls the sleigh up over his head and his heart just bursts out of its frame…yeah…it was kinda like that.  My voice was full on and my heart was busting out of its frame and this time…they paid attention.  One guy even high fived me as I passed him going back to my seat.  See…this is why I love open mics and learning to love performing again.  The acknowledgement that someone else was affected by your words/song.  It’s like the best of Christmas days for me.  And the expression on his face was completely different at the end of the song than before we started.   It’s amazing how much better I can sing if I’m not worry about playing the right chord or in time etc.  Oh and Tim…the guitarist I was telling you about showed up to listen.  As a matter of fact, M pointed him out  just as I sat down and said “that one was really paying attention”.  So, I was suprised when he came over and introduced himself.  He came up and played as well and again…another one who’s miles above me in the guitar playing department and he sings~  Nice semi-baritone sound.  If Jeremy and I hadn’t had the conversation before that I’d probably be chasing him down.  He was a cool and talented guy for sure.  M herself is insistent that Jeremy is the one to pursue (though I think her version of pursuing might be different than mine) and I trust her judgement on these matters (the music part) so I’ll do my best to lasso that one.  This Thursday is open mic again at the black pearl so hopefully violin/mandolin player will be there.  Carrie and possibly M are going and will give me their feedback on whether or not to pursue this one.  Not that I can’t think for myself but, I dont’ trust my (chemo) brain these days…all over that map.  Oh, and Nat showed up :).  She has a dance class on Monday nights but, she swung by after just in case.  My bit was over and was just paying up when she arrived so we sat for a bit and caught up and listened to the one on stage.  It was a nice surprise.  I knew she said she’d come to them once her classes were done but, that’s weeks from now.  I like surprises like that.  It’s heartwarming :).

Sunday…ah Sunday…that was the coolest day of the week for me.  A couple of my friends I don’t get to see often came up along with…Daniel my favorite neighbor from PB 🙂  Yup, he totally fixed Martin who sounded better than ever and played him while I cooked a kickass brunch and had overflowing mimosas going.  I was totally the hostess with the mostess and…y’know that thing that most cancer patients can do without getting into trouble but, I haven’t because I can’t stand the smell?  Yeah…got over it for a day and as the Post title says…M got off work early and Daniel had brought up a gluten free pizza for her along with my order from our fav pizza joint in PB (which also happens to be right across the street from where we lived) so she was over the moon happy and considering them all heros.  We had a fun walk to the market (beer/mimosa run) that afternoon.  First along the beach then across the train tracks where I played chicken with the thing that goes down when a train is coming.  I think that’s when Daniel said…”Ali…are you high…?”  to which I just laughed and said something random.  I could never be a “stoner” I’ve decided.  First off I’d be big as a house (chocolate easter candy n pizza…yes I did), 2nd off I’d get hit by a train so I think I’ll just stick with the natural high my brain seems to be in on nearly a daily basis.  All the silliness aside…these guyz made for a perfect day.  I was so glad to see each and every one of em…oh, and we painted, oh and while we were painting I brought the martin out on the patio and started playing AND singing for the world to hear~  I noticed the neighbor across the way propped  her door open but, other than that I was pretty and happily oblivious to the outside world and was just there playing for my friends…:).  The next day I put the posters on my wall but, they fell off.  Will get some no stick tape and try again.  Masterpieces…each of em. 

Saturday, I went blonde again thanks to my v cool stylist Sarah.  I feel brighter and lighter hearted somehow.  I was a complete toehead when I was little.  There’s a pic somewhere on the facebook music page of me at the piano with Pop and Eddy.  I think I like having hair color that reminds me of that time…

Friday, I drove up to San Juan Capistrano (which I found out Monday is pretty much the same as Dana Point and that John Shipe plays there so we’re so gonna drive up and see him next time he’s there :-)) because my sister in law and my nephew Ian and his g/f (who we all adore) were there.  I haven’t seen any of them since Thanksgiving so it was really good to catch up.  Ian and Amy had also come down for the birthday bash of mine in September.  The whole gang loves Ian.  They always ask “Is your nephew coming down for that?”.  He is so genuine and loveable and mega talented.  I know L.A. is chock full of talented actors but, just once I’d like to see the spotlight on him.  He really has a gift the world should get to see.  I reminded him of the Thanksgiving where we broke into improv at the table and someonehow it became a tech support call and being transferred to different characters (all Ian) to fix my broken cawfee cup holda in my PC.  He had everyone in stiches laughing.  Man, I love those moments~  These are the moments we never get on film because they’re so impromptu and everyone in camera range is too into it to think to record it.  Arg.

Anyway, that’s my story for the week.  Was pretty full of great moments I must say…time well spent :).  After I publish this I’m going off line til Friday morning.  Discovered this week the downside to being on the beach…sand fleas…who apprently just looove carpet (that I so wish I owned this place so I could rip it out and put hard wood floors in).  Bombin the hell outta em and taking advantage of a free night’s stay at a local hotel with a pool (well, not quite free…I’m  a shopaholic so I kinda spent enough to balance it out to more like getting my money back if I stay there)….oh can I tell you just how psyched I am about the pool part?  Surprisingly there are no public pools in my area and friends with homes with pools are few and far between so this little fish is going to spend the next two days splashing around and since its near PB I’ll bring my guitar and head straight from the hotel to my old hood and the open mic.  It’ll be good to go offline.  I know one person in particular who I’ve been harassing daily will be glad for the break from my random rantings ;).  I do tend to write in the form of a ball that bounces around from wall to wall…I calls it like I sees it in my mind’s eye…

Holy crp its noon already~  Ok, off I go.  Wish me luck on Thursday…hope you all have a great week and hopefully I’ll have some good progress to report to you next week~

Til then, thanks as always for listening 🙂

‘ali

Even with the magic tape they only made it a few minutes before they ripped themselves free and fell to the floor. 

Can you guess which one is mine (hint…think short attention span)?

😉

Weekend Update and the Reminder of the Marvels of Modern Technology…

So, yesterday I decided not to wait until I make it back to PB and tried re-stringing the martin all by myself…now it’s not just hopelessly out of tune but, I snapped the 6th string…saw it coming…took the strap off from around my shoulder to get some distance and WHAMO, that string flew out and passed my head…another trip to the ER narrowly avoided 😉

I started on a couple of new songs…one is about memories from youth and the other is about my “favorite ex”.  Nothing’s finished yet but, they’re both making their way through :).  I don’t think I did any open mics last week but, I signed myself up for a bunch of them and…I walked/hobbled through the Carlsbad 5000 on Sunday~  I’m still aching from head to toe but, tomorrow I’m determined to make it back to the gym for more torture.  Many from our group ran/walked it and we gathered at the beer garden and then the old Gibs for celebratory drinks/lunch.  Was a great day but, the best (well there r 2…) moment was when I passed the last corner I found two of my friends standing there waiting for me to catch up to them so that they could cross the finish line with me.  Was I Vehklempt?  Hellyes but, thanks to SoCal sun, my big ole sunglasses hid it just fine.  We crossed together and my heart was pounding through my chest (as I described to a fit friend…”try strapping two 20 lb bags of flour to your waist and run with em on…that’s how this extra weight feels”).  but to loose it you gotta work it so I’m working it but good~

My old fav neighbor is coming over on Sunday 🙂  He n Jen n I are going to paint (disaster pending) on the beach and I’m sure there’ll be guitar playing so re-stringing them all…hopefully by then I’ll have the procedure down pat.  Or…maybe I’ll txt him to see if he knows how and then just hand him a mimosa and a set of strings when he arrives…yes…i think I like that plan muuuch better.

So, what’s with the marvels?  Here’s what…let’s say someone had the gaul to hack into your website/blog and then left threatening messages in its place…well, if that were to happen then all you have to do is contact your domain host and then they restore everything from backup and change your passwords for your protection.  Then…all you have to do is check your web analytics to see who visited your site the day it was hacked and then request your host provider to check their servers to confirm which of those IP addresses represents the hacker (IP address is a unique address that every machine with internet access has…did I mention I’ve worked in technology for the past 15 years?).  An example of an IP address would be something like… 208.100.56.10 (neat trick…type www.ipchicken.com in your web browser and it’ll tell you what your internet IP address is) then, all you have to do is a search of that IP address to find out which company manages it like for example…”Steadfast Networks” and then you can check to see the actual city that address was used in like oh I don’t know…for arguments sake let’s say…San Diego…then you just report the incident to that service provider and provide them with the report number you got from the local Police Department after reporting the crime (where I learned today there was law passed in 2010 protecting those from Internet hacking/threats…Penal Code 528.5 which carries a sentence of up to a year in prison and not the Martha Stewart type) along with a print screen of the threatening messages and voila…they’re more than happy to track that user down and avoid any negative reflection on their reputation as “Chicago’s number one provider”.  Then…all you have to do is get back to what you do and let the police and that vendor handle the fker who thought they could threaten you and get away with it.  If that happened to me I’d probably say something like “hey dummas…Your comment “don’t play with me” makes no sense because unless you have a musical instrument in your hand, I’m not and who doesn’t want to play music??.  However, apparently the cops and your Internet provider are more than happy to and thanks to the proof that you visited the last blog before hacking, they now consider you a person of interest in the aforementioned crime that took place in Carlsbad.  Now,  as far as the “go to hell” part…hello…I just faced stage 4 cancer and kicked its ass fearlessly…what on earth makes you think you could possibly be more intimidating or daunting than that?  Then I’d move on because I’d consider them nothing more than a minor inconvenience in need of therapy and a life of their own and just look forward to officer Brush  (eh, I mean THE officer, whoever that would be) contacting me with the “case closed” story.

But, that’s just me.  What would you do?  Feel free to post your thoughts on that “what if” scenario…

So, back to the stuff that matters…This month will be full of open mics and I’ll be sure to report back to you all on each one.  Tax lady smiled on me with the good news that there will be funding for a CD and…I finally placed the ad for the trio and got one response in particular that sounded like a winner.  He’s a guitarist and is meeting up with me early next week so I’ll be sure to update you on the next blog :).  Hopefully it’ll work out and then we’ll head back to PB to check out the violin/mandolin player…

Lots of good things about to happen and I can’t wait to share them with you all 🙂

Til then, thanks as always for sticking around for the stories and updates~

‘ali