Friday, August 18, 2017

Kindergarten and Cargo Bikes!

My wee boy started KINDERGARTEN this week! It's great to have him back on a schedule because he loves routine and structure and rules and art projects, and home-schooling is just not my game, (unless I have a Maria-von-Trapp governess on the payroll because I've won Powerball, then I am 100% homeschooling). Anyhoo, here are the boys on the porch:

They are both sweet as can be, and I remind myself how lucky I am -- particularly at 1am when Angus is waking up for the third time, and I'm just a ball of sleep deprived mess.

I also have failed to alert my faithful blog readers that we got a new family vehicle!! It's amazing. I've been on the road with it for about 3 weeks now, and I love it more every day.

It's a Taga 2.0, and we bought it on Kickstarter over a year before it was delivered. As we have been car-free for the past six years, this is a game-changer. I swear, it feels almost like I'm cheating when I zip around toting the kids or the groceries. Part of that guilt is because it's got an electric pedal-assist, so I can conquer the hills of my neighborhood (aptly called "The Highlands") without breaking a sweat. It's fantastic, and I now want to electrify every bicycle we own.

In business news, BUY MY NEW CD, PLEASE??!?!? 

Also, I'm booking a house concert tour for the end of October and early-November, and I'd love to play in your living room. Curious about hosting a house concert? I wrote an FAQs page here. Check it out.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Vegetarian Tasting Menu in LOUISVILLE!!

I was 22 the first time I had a proper meal. It was Paris. A lunch. It was a friend of my parents, who had taken us all out to lunch at a classic brasserie -- red awning, sparkling wine, tables too close to your dining neighbors, and only one vegetarian item on the menu: a plate of green beans drowned in a stick of butter. It was the most delicious meal I'd ever had, and entirely because of the company, the atmosphere, the wine, and the fact that it took three hours.

Since then, my ultimate #treatyoself or vacation goal has been: a long and delicious dining experience, coursed out over a couple of hours.

It's a rare experience for me and David, however, because we are vegetarians. When we travel, we seek out the nice restaurants that offer a vegetarian tasting menu -- not just one with a chef willing to tolerate or "create something" for us. Not having to make a special request is everything, and I relish the chefs who recognize that most food, actually, is not made of animals. 

Some of my favorite meals of yore:

New Orleans. Restaurant August. Edinburgh, Scotland. The Kitchin.New York City. Cafe Boulud.Edinburgh, Scotland. David Bann. 

I was just lost in a fantasy remembering other delicious meals (Yellow Bar in Florence, Italy. That conveyor belt sushi place we found in Paris. A breakfast sandwich from Pick a Bagel in Manhattan.), but today my focus is VEGETARIAN TASTING MENUS.

Today I am excited because a LOUISVILLE restaurant (The Fat Lamb) is smart enough to offer up an entire Vegetarian Tasting Menu event this month, and I CANNOT WAIT. 

The Fat Lamb is already my favorite new restaurant in this town, and this acknowledgment that vegetarians, too, might like a swanky night out, well, it just cements that honor. 

August 20, with two seatings: 5:30 and 7:30.
Wine pairings optional.
Menu available here.
Facebook event here.

I'll be at the 5:30 seating because I have babies, so I can't be eating at 7:30 like a normal person. 

Here are some photos from when David and I created our own vegetarian tasting menu experience back in January. I meant to blog about it then, but I meant to do a lot of things last winter. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

CD Release Party Wrap-up!

MY CD RELEASE SHOW WAS AMAZING! If you weren't there (the place was packed, but I still missed many of your smiling face!), then you missed a spectacular display of support for live independent music. But goodness knows I understand other responsibilities and the difficulty of getting out to hear local music. 

Alex Wright is one amazing guy, and he was great fun to work with on this show. He's as good at the business end as the music end, and (unfortunately) that is just as important, if not more so. I think it was a good partnership. Go "like" his Facebook page. (And like mine, while you're at it, please! It seems minor, but it's oddly a really good way to help indie artists.)

Twisted Events hosted a special VIP section at Headliners, with heavy appetizers and a beautiful cupcake display for my birthday. Tyra is the owner of Twisted Events, and she's got incredible vision and implementation.

Joe Mays of Alien Twilight Photography took some video of the night, and I don't even know where to begin to post it. But it's good to FINALLY have some professional footage of a full band show. Thank you, Joe! Will be posting soon.

Catch my band LIVE for FREE on Thursday August 3 at Metro Hall in Downtown Louisville. I'm playing the Mayor's Music & Art Series at noon. It's a full-band show. If the weather holds, it'll be outside. 

End of the night hanger-outers!
T-SHIRTS! Pre-order one today!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Birthday Menu.

I had a birthday this week! And here's what I did for it. I ate a lot. I love eating my favorite foods on my birthday -- a tradition that began in Edinburgh when I was pregnant with Graham. We snacked on our favorites all day long. This year, I enjoyed the company of my parents for breakfast, my band for lunch, and my kids and parents for dinner.

Breakfast: North End Cafe
Vegetarian Omelet, Home fries, Biscuit. Decaf Coffee.

Treatyoself: Starbucks Free Birthday Drink!
Venti Half-Caff Iced Soy Mocha. I'm sure I wrote that all in the wrong order.

Then I had a band rehearsal at Scott's house, followed by lunch with the band.

Lunch: Ramsi's Cafe on the World
Prosecco, Chips 'n' Queso, Fried Brie, Spinach Salad

Treatyouself: Graeter's Ice Cream
Graham took me out for a treat. We shared a Brownie Sundae made with Cookie Dough ice cream.

Dinner: Simply Thai
Pad Thai Tofu, add vegetables, Spice Level Zero.

Then I went to Aaron Bibelhauser's house for another rehearsal and a wee dram of Woodford Reserve. 

It was a good day!!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

An apparently simple career boost.

I've spent the last few years feeling largely irrelevant and unloved in the local music community -- not at all a cry for help, just a feeling -- and what do you know, all it took was a new photo of me with Elvis Costello to get 5 gig offers, 3 media requests about my new record, and 1 super-cool radio opportunity all within 3 hours of me posting a photo of Elvis grinning next to me on the ol' Facebook. I'm not saying it's all because of Elvis, but it can't just be coincidence, right?

I don't know, maybe if I post another photo of me with someone super-cool, more exciting career-related things will open up. Anyone really good at Photoshop? I kid, I kid.

I'm so excited about MY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW and also my CD RELEASE PARTY!! It's Friday in Louisville at Headliners, and I'm so, so, so ready to play this music out with my band. We are also doing Live Lunch on Friday -- sharing the bill with Alex Wright, so should be good fun.

Also, I found this on my dad's car when it was parked outside my house for a few days. Very interest-specific religious targeting, wouldn't you say? I mean, a Scotland flag and a horse riding to freedom???

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Return of Elvis Costello [in my life]

I just LOVE a good rock and roll show, especially a band that knows how to integrate a real piano player. That Steve Nieve is magical, and I got a verrrrrrrrrrrry close-up seat to watch him play last night in Kettering, Ohio, at the Fraze Pavilion. It was such a good night -- well worth the awful traffic in Cincinnati.

I try to be cool about this and not go on about it, especially because I value Elvis Costello as an artist and mentor -- particularly his wisdom when it comes to balancing musician-life with motherhood. He was the first person to tell me (aside from my husband) there was absolutely nothing wrong with hiring a babysitter just so I could play the piano -- that even though at that moment it meant the babysitter earns more than I do, that it feeds my creative soul, which is more valuable than any career I'd have.

We caught up on his tour bus yesterday for about 45 minutes. He'd graciously left backstage passes for me and my guitarist/bassist/friend Dennis and his lovely wife Nancy after I let him know that we had tickets to the show. He made me a cup of tea -- I still can't believe I accepted because he was at work and had a show to do, but he offered multiple times and a cuppa did sound relaxing. We talked about our mums, our kids, our travels. He gave me an LP, signed it "Congratulations" after I told him that I had another baby since I last saw him -- and he spelled my name correctly without even having to ask. Why isn't everyone in the music business so genuine?

Also, I gave him my new record (and signed it, ha!), and I told him that track 4 "The Jester" was inspired by Steve Nieve, which then made me really nervous and I am hoping that Steve likes the song even just a little. It's been a while since I wrote it, so I'm not sure how it comes across -- but it's meant in love and is about meeting my keyboard hero.

So if you're reading this, Steve, please let me buy you a glass of wine in Paris someday. Also, I loved that shirt you wore and your shoe game is on-point. But you already know that.

Please come to my Headliners  CD Release party!! Friday, July 28. Doors at 7. Opener at 8. I play at 9 or 9:15. Full band. $10. Email me if you want to venmo/paypal/square me money to pre-order your tickets and maybe can even save you a seat. We are planning on having lots more chairs than usual, so don't let your old idea of the venue scare you away -- i like to sit at Headliners, myself :) If you can't come, could you please share the event??? I'm starting to freak out and have those nightmares that the room will be empty. Eek.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

3 Things I'm Digging this week.

Last time I did 5 things I was loving, but I'm not that creative today. Also, 5 Things is the name of a really great podcast that is, get this, going to be on of my 3 Things today, so let's try not to get confused.

1. Five Things. 

It's a podcast! It's from Louisville! It's from TARA. Tara is a wonderful person and a wonderful interviewer, and I've been digging her podcast. She interviews all kinds of people for this, but I've got to plug the one with Dennis Ledford. He has been playing guitar and bass for me for a few years now, but he's been around the Louisville music scene for a loooooooong time. He's the real deal -- killer musician and great human being. He's got a story for everything, and I enjoyed his interview tremendously.

2. Amazon Echo.

We have had our Echo for about two years now, I think? My dad got one first, and we referred to it as his robot. Now my kids are growing up with it -- we have an Echo and 3 dots around the house. They function as everything from a white noise machine ("Alexa, play 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' on repeat.") to a joke-teller. Graham's stand-up routine consists of Alexa jokes. I like to ask it about the weather because that means I don't have to look at my phone and then be distracted by phone-nonsense.

fMy Kroger finally got this, and it comes with same-day timeslots, meaning I think I'm over the Instacart. Instacart was good, but their substitutions were a little pricey or wrong. Anyway, you can finally order groceries online, go pick them up and have someone deliver them straight into your vehicle. (I am excited to pull up into my Kroger with the wagon or my cargo bike!) Has anyone out there successfully gotten them to use paper or reusable bags? The amount of plastic is absurd, and I still like a good stroll through the market. But + Clicklist is NICE and saves so much brainspace.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Backstage at my business!

Running a business while being primary caregiver for two small children is HARD. I knew that prior to my album release (um, HELLO, why else did it take so long to finish???), but, goodness, all the stuff that goes into actually promoting and getting this thing out the door in any sort of smart, business-like manner, is nigh-on impossible without help. Last week in a mental breakdown as I had printed shipping labels, return address labels (that's a thing in America), ordered envelopes, and packaged CDs, signed CDs for those who ordered signed CDs, and agonized over customs forms, well, then I had a wee breakdown over how exactly I would actually get to the Post Office to spend an hour while I had the babies attached to me. A neighbor came over to play with the kids, my amazing husband took a box of sealed envelopes out of my hands and over to the post office, while I hand-delivered CDs to people in my neighborhood.

What I've learned (and had somehow forgotten since the last time I did this) is that the wee little shipping & handling fee in NO WAY actually covers the materials and postage -- particularly not once you include time.

But I don't care because I've shipped out the first round of orders for people who ordered the actual CD.

If you ordered a handwritten lyrics, I have not yet done those for you ... email me which song you'd like? Or if you'd like me to calligraphy "Don't Stop Believin'" instead, that's cool too, I guess. I'm going to the art supply shop to buy some nice paper and fancy pens because I do love beautiful writing supplies.

If you ordered a cover-song recorded on the musical saw (yes, that was an option, and I cannot WAIT to get going on those orders because they are amazing), that's not finished yet, but my plan is to tackle those in August.

For now, I'm focused on Headliners on July 28. There will be seating available -- so many of you have told me you don't love Headliners because you don't want to stand around all night. You shouldn't have to, as we are requesting additional chairs be put out. If you like to mill about, like I do, you'll still be welcome to. I'm getting nervous about filling that room, so would you all please please please consider coming to the show? Doors at 7, music at 8, and I play second. I'm working on an exact time because I know you don't want the babysitter to get any more money than necessary.

This Headliners show is a BIG DEAL though. I'm rehearsing the band, having a few special guests (#Bibelhauser), and Alex Wright is also releasing his new album that night. Basically, we are really, really, really hoping to fill that room -- like 250-people worth of room-fill. Could you help us get there??? I often tell people about shows, but I rarely beg. So today, I'm asking you: please come to that show! I'll have my new album there, as well as some cool merch I'm working on. I've got some pre-sale tickets available at my house ... cash or venmo or paypal or check or card or whatever you like :)

I'm also doing a giveaway. If you got this far along in the blog, you're eligible for a pair of tickets! I'll pick a random winner from anyone who comments on either on my blog or on my Facebook music page -- you can comment anything. An emoji. A Pirate joke. The book you're reading. The next vacation you're planning. A link to your "Things that Make me Happy" Pinterest page (mine really does make me happy). A picture of your puppy. The name of your favorite castle. Whatever, I really don't care -- just hashtag it #headliners728 and i'll know you're interested in a pair of free tickets!

I'll choose the winner at random on Friday, July 14.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

5 Things I'm digging right now.

1. Any book with the word "Paris" in the title. Seriously, it should be its own genre. I'd like to write in that genre. One year I'm going to "summer in France" (I have always wanted to use the word "summer" as a verb), and I'm going to write one of these light-hearted rom-com novels. I once read that if the book you want to read doesn't exist, you should write it. I'm pretty sure I've exhausted this particular genre, so maybe time to write some more.

2. Dryer balls.  It took me a zillion years to jump on this wagon, even though I stopped using fabric softener ages ago. As a compromise to the rest of my household, who prefer the fabric softener sheets, I ordered these little balls. They just live in the dryer, and they somehow make it seem like I've used one of those little sheets of carcinogens, except it's non-toxic.

3. Better Without Booze. It's an instagram page, with a website to follow, created by my friend and favorite blogger, Joy Manning. I have not quit drinking, but ever since my first pregnancy, I've asked bartenders to "make me something fun, but non-alcoholic." They've always enjoyed the task, and it's nice to see a whole feed devoted to beautiful mocktails. I still love a good whisky or G&T or glass of prosecco (bubbly has been my thing in recent years), but I rarely drink these days. I don't get enough sleep as it is with these babies, and we all know how alcohol keeps you up at night.

4. Planner Pad. I like this day-planner as a good way to make sense of the variety of projects I've got on my To Do list. It categorizes your tasks and funnels it through a priority list, beginning with everything for the week, to everything for the day, to specific times, which is extremely helpful for a visual-oriented self-employed person who gets overwhelmed easily and who also has, like, zero time.

5. DryBar. I've only been once, but I foresee this being the new TreatYoSelf of choice. I don't like to straighten my hair because I want to encourage the natural curls (you know how angry I get when Anne Hathaway gets a blowout in The Princess Diaries to signify that she is now a refined princess because natural curls do NOT EQUATE TO INSANITY), but I still like playing dress-up from time to time. And, though I may not like the back story, I do feel like a movie star after a blowout, apparently. Or a princess. Can you imagine that Kate Middleton probably has an in-house blowout person?? (Or is it in-palace?)

Also : I'm mostly funded on my pre-order campaign -- 99%. if you want to order my new album on CD or just as a download or buy something else from my cooooooool store.
Louisville, I'm playing an acoustic show July 7 at Goodwood Brewery with Steve Cooley. And I'm also playing July 28 at Headliners with a full band and lots of special guests! I have some tickets in hand and you can paypal or venmo or whatever $$ to me to buy them without the extra ticket fee that buying them online will charge you. They are $10 each.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Me on not-decaf and some yoga thoughts.

HEY IT'S MONDAY, AND THAT DEFINITELY WASN'T DECAF!! Also, I went to yoga this morning, and did about 75% of what the teacher requested we do. I can't do 100% because of my weird back-issues ever since my first pregnancy, and also because I am stubborn and even in yoga, YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO! No, but seriously, it was a lovely yoga class.

The only part I can't stand is when you get off your mat in the beginning and go introduce yourself to a stranger. That gives me insane anxiety. For some reason it's only when I'm in the studio, mat rolled out and getting in the zone. Introductions before or after, small-talk while putting my shoes in a cubby or rolling up my mat -- that's fine, and I actually like the community aspect of the yoga studio. I've made lots of new friends. But I really dislike making a new friend while I'm trying to get in the no-one-is-touching-me-for-75-minutes mood. Because that's my favorite thing about yoga: being alone for an hour. No one is grabbing my nipples or telling me they are hungry. It's pretty much magic.

My PledgeMusic campaign is going really well. I'm planning on closing the project in a few days and mailing out all the pre-orders next week (assuming I hit my 100% goal!), so if you'd like to receive your copy of my new CD this week instead of having to wait until Headliners on July 28, then please get your pledge in today. Seriously -- it's a huge relief to get the production-funding out of the way, particularly on an indie-artist who does EVERYTHING herself. The other benefit to pledging -- even if it's just a download because you sold your CD collection to Better Days last summer -- is that you get to see behind-the-scenes updates on how an indie-artist like me does it. This morning I posted a behind-the-scenes video of me packing and going to radio interview.

Last week's alone time was a visit to the DryBar Louisville, where my friend Carrie talked me into getting a blowout on a random rainy Friday afternoon. We sipped champagne (BYOB), niblled croissants, and again -- no one grabbed our nipples or asked for a snack. It was fab.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Some gratitudes and a sneak preview of 8-year-old me video.

Shocker, but now that I have a new album finished and shrink-wrapped, I am feeling better all-round. It's solstice week, which always cheers me up, even when I have to put myself to bed at 7pm because wee Angus has been whimpering every 30 minutes from (I think) a tooth that just won't poke through.

More things I'm thankful for:

1) My sister-in-law, who is in the basement. Her presence both gives me another adult to talk to while David is traveling, but also is teaching me what it's like to have a sibling. I know how to share, but conflict-resolution has never been my strong game. Also, I tend to assume that one disagreement means we hate each other forever. I'm learning that siblings don't operate that way -- that it's possible to have a spat and then play Lego ten minutes later like nothing happened.

2) Instacart. You guys -- I get my groceries delivered. It's not quite as simple as the perfect Waitrose delivery service we had in Scotland, but it saved me mental anguish and trip to the store with two kiddos. Combining Instacart with Fresh20 is keeping me sane. I also had a promo code HELLOLOU that did something, but I'm not sure what.

3) Health, happy babies. My kids, you all. They don't sleep. They wake up with the sun. But oh my goodness, are they wonderful, smart, and empathetic. Wee Angus got shots today (you see, it's possible to have a home birth, but still like vaccinations), and Graham held his hands and snuggled him the whole time. Siblings -- who knew??

Also, I dug out a hilariously awful home video of me doing a gymnastics competition when I was 7 or 8. I am SO BAD. I put it on the internet, but it's an unsearchable private link that I will only release to PledgeMusic pledgers when I reach 75%. Pre-order the album, please? I'm at 72%, so I'm hoping to hit my goal by early next week and then stop trying to sell you things. Here's a sneak peak:

Monday, June 19, 2017

New CD available for PRE-ORDER!!!

MY NEW CD IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER! I've got several boxes of nicely shrink-wrapped 12-song albums in my living room, but I can't mail out a single one until I reach my PledgeMusic goal.

Won't you please support an independent musician, a woman-business-owner, a working mother, and someone who generally tries to spread love and smiles in the community? The minute I hit my goal, I'll mail these CDs. So those of you who pre-order it will be the absolute first to get a copy. Thank you so much! And if you can't pledge, please spread the word, or get in touch about hosting a house concert for my summer tour.

Click here:

And don't forget to watch the video for some hilarious outtakes that show how nearly-impossible it is to be a work-at-home-parent. Please also consider "liking" my Facebook page because, believe it or not, those numbers actually help make me look good to venues and media outlets. It's also a wonderful and easy way to spread the word.

Here's the album cover, shot in Amsterdam, and designed by Al Moreschi:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Yoga shorts for the win.

I was absent from yoga for much of May, and my mental health has suffered for it. It wasn't for lack of effort on my part -- it was for lack of childcare. My nanny-type-person (she's not an actual nanny, but we have a good barter thing going on) was gone for a month, and it just is not in the budget to go to a yoga class AND pay a babysitter.

Anyway, my childcare is back, and I went to yoga this morning! And get this -- I went to yoga in YOGA SHORTS, which are now my new favorite thing in the world. It's basically like doing yoga in your underwear, and that's awesome and freeing and sweaty and feels good. I'm over the yoga pants, y'all.

Also, I didn't realize that it was an internet-viral-worthy thing to reveal that you haven't shaved your legs in years, like that fitness blogger who made headlines a few weeks ago. Like, is that how I should have been marketing myself??? Typical me -- timing just always SLIGHTLY off. Can someone out there help me craft a blog or press release that'll go viral that says "musician uses album cover image where she's not wearing any makeup" ?? You know, it'll say have a clickbait article that's, like, "This indie musician is raising eyebrows with her scandalous album cover image" and then the whole thing is SHE'S NOT WEARING MAKEUP OMG OMG OMG HOW CRAZY IS THAT? Any publicists out there want to take that and run with it? I'll even delete this blog if you think it's ruining the effect.

Anyhoo ... check back for an announcement about how to pre-order my new album! It's a fun one.

Monday, June 12, 2017

BIG NEWS! And cover artwork photos.

I've finished my album! YESSSSSSSS! Completely. Artwork, production, shrink-wrap -- it's finished. I'm working my tail off on some fun ways to roll out the release, and I'll have something fun to announce later this week. I know, I know, the slow-release is all the rage these days with albums. You're "supposed" to have product in hand a good six months before you release the thing. I'm supposed to be teasing you with videos and telling you you can't buy product for months and months. But I'm not doing things by the book because I'm Brigid Kaelin, and carpe diem, etc.

Have a look at a bunch of the images that were up for cover artwork, along with the standard promotional photos:

Monday, June 5, 2017

EPCOT Sparkling Dessert Party Review

EPCOT is my favorite part of DisneyWorld. Specifically, the World Showcase is wonderful because it lightly satiates my wanderlust and in time with my attention disorder. I can walk from Mexico to Italy leisurely in ten minutes. We didn't get to spend enough time at the various countries because we were tired and also a ride broke down on us, wasting an hour of our day.

Rather than buying souvenirs for ourselves on this trip, David and I opted to buy an experience. We splurged and bought 2 tickets to the Sparkling Dessert Party. It's normally sold out, but people often give up their reservations the day before rather than pay a change fee. While sitting on the Boardwalk watching the IllumiNations show, I found two tickets to the Dessert Party and bought them (#buyitnow!). They were $49 each, BUT ...

It was an Open Bar of CHAMPAGNE, which has been my go-to drink for the past couple of years (besides gin & tonics -- I know, I know, I have really backed away from the whisky lately) and it was an All You Can Eat Dessert Buffet, made up of one dessert from each of the EPCOT countries. And it was GOOD. I'm sure lots of people did not get their money's worth, but David and I had both been 1) not really drinking much this year and 2) avoiding sweets for a while. We decided to go to town on both (within reason on the alcohol, but not within reason on the dessert). Then we sat there, stuffed, and had a front row place to watch the fireworks.

Angus came along, strapped on David's back and chowing on watermelon because he doesn't yet know that Strawberry Shortcake exists.

It was fantastic, and considering we each had a few glasses of champagne (with various syrup flavors they provided to make 'em extra fancy), which was great for relaxing after a stressful day at Disney, and we used up probably 10 plates worth of desserts. Seriously.

The Strawberry Shortcake from the US was David's favorite.
I liked the little ganache torts from France.
And the chocolate fudge thing that came with vanilla bean ice cream that I think was from the UK.
And the Pretzels and Fondue that we had to pretend we were eating dinner too...
And the cannolis from Italy ... mmmmmmmm.
And it was all-vegetarian, except for the rice-krispie treats.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The cutest thing you've ever seen.

So much to report! I have a date for my CD Release party. More about that later, but mark down July 28 in Louisville. I unplugged for an entire week -- deleted social media off my phone and didn't Instagram a single adorable image from our trip to DisneyWorld last week. I'm slowly creeping back in and have many thoughts on my internet cleanse and its effects (both good and bad). I'm solo parenting hard, and I'm fighting sleep depravation and a need to WORK. But before I write the myriad of Disney blogs I have to share, I feel the need to stop everything and tell you that today is: PRESCHOOL PROM.

Graham's older cousin was in our wedding, and we have the size 4T tuxedo he wore for it. Thus, today, I give you Grahaminatux or THE CUTEST THING EVER:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Family talk in business situations and gender.

I was asked to fill in last night and play a 3-song spot at a bar for a songwriter event. The gig was easy and fun, and though the crowd had no idea who any of us were, it was a good time. I saw some 2am-friends I hadn't seen in years and got some nice hugs from them. I heard music that made me smile, and I wish I'd been able to stay later in the evening to hear more music from other writers. The baby needed my breasts eventually, so I was beckoned home.

Here's something funny I noticed: I have this problem with radical honesty. I can very rarely answer "How are you?" with a "Fine, thanks, you?" I offer TMI and can see people's shock or disengagement right away. And that's in a normal coffeehouse interaction and makes me laugh at myself more than want to change.

Throw that attitude into a business situation -- and though this stage was not The Palace, it was still a stage -- and you get, I think, a bad businesswoman.

While I went out to gig last night, these two
snuggled ... for a short while.
Because I talked about my kids. I realized after answering the question, "What have you been up to?" that I should have said, "Oh, I've been working a lot with Steve Cooley, who's producing a new album for me that's due out in July. I've also been trying to focus on writing and getting new material, as well as planning some upcoming European tours."

See? Not so hard. All of that is true.

What I said instead, however, is, "Oh, I've been playing a lot of private parties because there aren't many venues left in town that pay. Also, my kids don't sleep, so I get in bed at 7:30. The postpartum depression is fading, though, and I see the light now that my youngest is one. My mom's got Stage 4 cancer, so that takes up a lot of headspace, and it's hard to focus. But overall, I'm feeling okay. Been trying to focus on self-care and music, and I'm glad to be playing out tonight."

Then I was mad at myself for not properly doing business.

Then I was mad at the situation because why can't a woman honestly talk about her family in a a business setting? I hear men do it all the time, but it comes across differently.

Dear blog readers, I am finishing a record. I'm setting a hard deadline, and I don't really care if there's not a horn part on it or if the mix isn't perfect. This record is coming out because I need to release it and move on. I've got several more albums I need to finish, and I'm artistically constipated at the moment. It hurts my heart rather than my bowels, but it's just as painful.

See?? TMI again!!!

Still, I suppose my own TMI shouldn't really be dismissed when last night the bartenders were talking about anal waxing to the group next to me. (Seriously, people: your bodies are fine the way they are. Stop torturing yourselves unless you like that sort of thing.)

The lovely and sweet and talented and smart Heidijoy Stenson took this photo last night. Her instagram page has some video of my playing. 

Kindergarten and Cargo Bikes!

My wee boy started KINDERGARTEN this week! It's great to have him back on a schedule because he loves routine and structure and rules an...