Thursday, April 30, 2009

Derby Week: Thursday. Revealing my secret Derby plans

I went back to Churchill Downs this morning to watch more horsies train. Kyle joined me this time, and we meandered around the media center, enjoying free Krispy Kremes and saying hello to loads of industry friends of ours, mostly photographers and DJs.

After a brief stop at Wagner's Deli (the backside one, not the one on 4th street), we walked back to find a huge group of photographers and gawkers staring at one particular horse: Rachel Alexandra. She's the favorite in the Oaks Race. The Oaks is Friday's big race, and it is almost as big as the Kentucky Derby. Although fillies (girl horses) are allowed to run in the Derby, the Oaks is entirely fillies. And Rachel Alexandra is gorgeous.

She stood there like a perfect model, not the least bit phased by the crowd or of the photographers. When they opened the gates for more training, Rachel Alexandra held her head up high, pranced into the track, ran a happy and leisurely two miles, and sauntered back to the stables. I'd say to bet on her, but the odds are 3-5. You'll probably win 20 cents or something.

Anyway ... what else is on my plate this week?

Tonight, I'm playing with Shannon Lawson at the Monkey Wrench, of course. I WILL see you there, yes?

Friday night -- Derby Eve -- is the big day in Louisville. The bars are open all night long ... no last call. Tourists and locals alike parade all around the city, partying just because they can.

Of course, the best thing to do on Oaks Night/ Derby Eve is to crash a party. There are plenty of Gatsby Parties going on into the wee hours of the night, some with massive ticket prices, and some with bouncers, and some with free-for-all attitudes.

Last year, I went to the Mint Jubilee and played some piano with my pal Peter Searcy. Red carpet entrance and lots of smiles.

This year ... I'm going to the big party. The one everyone wants to go to ... the Oscars of the Kentucky Derby.

Yep, I'm singing a couple of my tunes at the Barnstable-Brown Gala. I may devote an entire blog on this tomorrow, but I can't keep this a secret much longer.

Must prepare outfit. Yes!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Derby Week: wednesday Truck Power!

Come out and see me tomorrow (THURSDAY APRIL 30) at my favorite Louisville hangout, The Monkey Wrench, around 9:00. I'm playing with SHANNON LAWSON, one of my best friends and one of my favorite performers.


My Volvo is sick. It's only slightly ill, but it's been out-of-order for a few days. I'm not too worried, as it's only got 196,000 miles on it, which is nothin' for the Swedes.

Yesterday I borrowed Friend-with-a-Smart-Car's Smart Car to run a few errands. It was fun zipping in and out of traffic, cutting people off because the Smart Car is so short there's no way they'll hit you. Plus, everyone wants to stop and look at your weird little car. I let two different people at Whole Foods sit in the car just to show them how big it feels inside.

This morning, however, I borrowed Friend-with-a-Truck's Truck. Friends, I'm torn. Honestly, I'm a little drunk with Truck Power.

I picked up my pal Kyle, who hosts a great radio program called The Weekly Feed, to go out for breakfast. His first comment: "Wow, you look great in a truck." Yeah, that's right, I do. This was the onset of the Truck Power.

First of all, it's a V8, so if you sneeze, you end up with whiplash. The other thing I noticed is that people always yield to a truck. In my Volvo, I can have my turn signal on for a full minute before anyone lets me change lanes. With the Truck, the turn signal barely makes it through a full click before the entire line of traffic comes to a halt in order to allow Me-with-a-Truck to change lanes.

Pedestrians and cyclers cower with fear, even when I'm driving around with my foot hanging out the window and a big grin on my face.

I gave the truck back at lunch. Hmpf.


See you at the Monkey Wrench on Thursday. Yee haw!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Derby Week: Tuesday .. Pie and Rain

Apparently, I missed all the excitement yesterday morning at the track. Right after we left, a horse went berserk, threw his jockey, and ran barreling into a filly down the stretch. Both horses fell over, and the filly died of shock.

I'm glad I wasn't there. It makes me sad when horses die. Last year's Derby was heartbreaking, and I'm looking for smiles and hoorays this year. Which leads me to today's blog: DERBY PIE!

Interesting fact about me: Yes, I am about to boast. But as Muhammad Ali (aslo a Louisvillians) said, "It ain't braggin' if it's true." I am the reigning CBS News Bakemaster. Yep, we had a production team bake-off back when I used to produce documentaries. And in the 4th round in, I was named The Bakemaster. The following recipe was used to slay the competition in Round One of the Bracket.

My version is vegetarian, so I leave out the ground horse meat.

Brigid's Chocolate Pecan Bourbonlicious Pie, complete with commentary:

1 Pie Crust. Either make your own, or go to the Cool Whip section and buy one of those pre-made pie crusts that come in their own little tin. Check to make sure it's not made with lard because I think lard is gross.

1 stick of butter, melted and cooled. I think salted butter makes a better pie.
2 eggs. Buy local.
Beat the eggs with the cooled butter.

1 cup of sugar.
1/2 cup flour OR 1/4 cup corn starch, whichever you have lying around the house.
Add the sugar and flour/cornstarch to the eggs/butter mixture. Mix well.

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I sometimes put in more when I'm craving chocolate)
1 cup chopped pecans
2 TBSP Bourbon. I like cookin' with Maker's Mark. It's not so expensive that you feel guilty using it in a pie, but it still tastes good.
Stir the chocolate, pecans, and bourbon into the mixture.
Pour into pie crust and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until set.

Also, something you should know about me is that I never actually measure anything. Measuring is for carpenters, not bakers. Feel free to use more or less. Whatever works for you.

If you've got a heavy hand, like I do, and you put in a little more bourbon than 2 TBSP, like I do, then you might need to add a little more flour or corn starch to the pie filling. It shouldn't look like soup when you pour it into the dish.

It's raining today, and my Volvo is in the shop. I'm borrowing Friend-with-a-Smart-Car's wee little car to run some errands. If you see me, say hello!

Ooh ooh, and make plans to come to the MONKEY WRENCH on Thursday to hear me play a set on my own, and then play a set with SHANNON LAWSON. He's good.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Derby Week: Monday

I woke up at 5:30 this morning. On purpose. Then I went to Churchill Downs. A friend of mine has horses, and he's allowed to bring people to the backside of the track to watch the horses train.

It's a glorious thing, watching the sun rise from the clock tower as you watch Derby horses (they wear golden silks) and Oaks horses (they wear pink because girl horses like pink, I guess) run past the 19th century Twin Spires. Everyone there is a horse racing enthusiast. They know the trainers' names, how the horses looked yesterday morning compared to today, and which horses to watch.

I asked Tim how he could tell when a horse looked good, and he looked at me oddly. Apparently, it's just like anyone. If they run kinda funny (I run funny), they that's no good. And itf it looks easy for them and they look like unicorns galloping down a pasture, then that's a good horse.

So I am now a horse expert. I like Hold Me Back for the Derby and Nan for the Oaks. Mainly because those are the two horses I watched run this morning.

Then I went to the media tent and found the doughnuts. Beautiful morning!

Tonight's fun Derby Activity of the Day is: The Bed Races.

Sunday Review (4.26)

Wow ... lots to review this week. Adult-Book-It is off and running. Please note that we're not reading Adult books, it's just that we readers happen to be grownups. Thanks to you who have emailed me your readings. I'm impressed, but I still think my dad is going to destroy us all.

Maybe we're missing the spiritual point of yoga, but at least I can touch my toes with my palms now.

The Derby festival is rockin' this week. Art fairs, fireworks, bed races, balloon races, and general merriment has taken over.

Saturday was my 3/4 birthday, so you have only 3 months left to go to my Wish list and purchase the Oxford English Dictionary for me.

Now for review:

Mia -- Derby Pie recipe to follow. I swear.

Karen -- thanks for sharing that video. it was a fun time singing at that fancy library. I still can't believe Rob learned that duet either. Too cool.

Beth - I know the feeling. My favorite part about graduating from college was being able to read whatever I wanted without feeling guilty. You can still count schoolbooks though if you want:)

Paul -- Brilliant idea on the Good Reads front. I signed back on to GoodReads after a several-month hiatus. We should start our Book-It group there. (Join us, everyone!)

Teresa -- EEEk!! Everything in a fire? That is horrible. What do you miss the most?

Trees -- did you get the iTouch? It's worth coveting. Don't know where I was before my iPhone.

Bard -- You're right about things being dispoable nowadays. Especially things like printers. But ipods aren't disposable if you aren't a dumbass and don't drop them on the ground and break them. It's unfixable, or I would certainlny have it fixed.

Arlene -- "Cyrin Over Material Things" ... i'll work on that...

Rainbow Mud -- i have missed you!! Thought of you and Manuel. I'm going to create some sparkly cowboy boots for a party this week ... can't afford a Manuel pair.

Su & meredith -- drop by FWCPancakes's house on Thursdays at 11:45 ... on hot days, we'll go for hot yoga.

BSM -- I love using "legendary" to describe things. Also, "comic genius". I think you are both.

Bard -- I didn't realize you were at the Wrench for the whole singalong. Hope we didn't interfere with the zen of open mic night.

Mia -- Yes, come to louisville .. we'll hit the Monkey Wrench together.

Happy Derby Week EVERYONE!!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Racing and Blogging and Sign Holding.

I was going to skip blogging today. One, it is the Sabbath. Two, it was 87 degrees and humid in Louisville today. And three, I got up at 6am to run the mini-marathon this morning.

Okay, three is a lie. But I'm at a party right now, and the party just discovered that I haven't blogged yet today. So Friend-who-hosts-the-party has delivered his laptop. And here I am.

I did get up at 6am though, to drive to various points of the marathon and cheer on some crazy friends of mine. Crazy, as in they chose to run 13.1 miles in 87 degree weather.

Our various signs said:
"Tequila and a Kiss at the finish line!" Kris held this one, which prompted whistles and cheers from the women and "I'll take the tequila!" from the men.
I held a giant Texas flag for our running friends who happen to be from Texas. There were a surpising amount of Texans who felt extra special today.
My other favorite sign was: "John 3:16 David #1!!!" (for our friend, David, of course. Go David!)

We had another sign, but it didn't really make an appearance ... it was a beautiful inspirational quote from Ricky Bobby: "If you ain't first ... you're last!!" It was funny, but not really appropriate when we saw the exhausted, sweaty runners crying and barely halfway through.

Okay, I'm signing off before this party turns into one of those anoying parties where everyone stands around the computer and watches YouTube videos.

Good job, running friends. Y'all are crazy. But it was fun cheering you on.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cardboard Cakes and Elton John.

Last Sunday was Dennie's birthday. Dennie is the owner of The Monkey Wrench, a restaurant/music venue in Louisville that I frequent. He is in his 30's, yet already a Louisville legend, among those who care about our fair city. He loves all things Louisville, from Cardinal basketball to My Morning Jacket, and he cares about creating an awesome place to hang out. Atmosphere is important, as is good food and more importantly, good company. He's been working on the rooftop for years, and he finally got the green light from the city to open up.

The roof of the Monkey Wrench feels like Spring Break. I normally order a bourbon and soda, but when I'm sitting under the umbrella at the roof-deck, I want a fruity frozen concoction. I also to turn around and see the ocean, but the skyline of Paristown makes me smile anyway.

Friend-with-a-Truck and I showed up to celebrate Dennie's birthday on Sunday, along with my parents and a handful of other good friends of Dennie's. Chris was a one-man mimosa factory, pouring Champagne Supernovas, aka Mimosas with Grand Marnier and some additional fruit juice. All was well, until we realized there was no cake.

So FWATruck and I rushed up to the Homemade Pie & Ice Cream up the street and spied the perfect cake in the counter display. It was frosted with pink icing and said "Happy Birthday Princess." Perfect. We asked the 16-year-old behind the counter what kind of cake it was, and he looked at us cock-eyed.

"Um, it's made of cardboard."

FWATruck and I giggled. Then he asked the boy, "How much for it?"

"What? You can't eat it. It's just the display."

"I know, but what'll it take for you to sell it to us?"

At this point, the teenager understood and was amused as well. He asked his manager, who said we should make an offer. I offered five bucks, and he giggles and puts it in the tip jar.

We bought two pies (both edible) and went back to the rooftop of the Wrench with our Pink Princess Cardboard Cake and two mischievous grins.

The "cake" was much more entertaining than trick candles.

After we ate, we all sat around the piano while I played pop tunes and we had an impromptu singalong with everything from "Tiny Dancer" to Sweet Child of Mine." We may have forgotten to sing "Happy Birthday," but it was still a perfect afternoon. And I think that kid at the pie shop is still telling the story of the folks who bought the cardboard cake.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dirty yoga.

In the beginning of 2009, I had never been camping, never seen Tombstone, and never done yoga. Two out of the three things have now been crossed off the list. My faithful readers know about the night I watched Tombstone, and I had since tried out yoga.

I have recently started attending a yoga class. And when I say attend, I mean a nice yoga lady comes over to Friend-Who-Cooks-Pancakes's (heretofore FWCP) house and gives us a private class. It's awesome. FWCP and I had been researching the various yoga studios around town, none of which offered beginning classes at times convenient for us. We also were not too excited about the prospect of a spirituality-based yoga class with serious yogites and instructors who don't think talking or giggling during class is appropriate and definitely don't let you listen to AC/DC.

Then we found Dirty-Yoga-Teacher. She's awesome. I'm all stretchy and flexy now because we just had an hour-plus long class in the comfort of FWCP's home, and she never once mentioned "connecting to a higher spirit," and she giggled at FWCP's multiple "That's-what-she-said" jokes. (Try to imagine all the That's-what-she-said possibilities in a yoga class ... "open your hips" ... "next position"... limitless.) She even let us play AC/DC during the intense set of Sun Salutations.

The best part is not having to be quiet. FWCP and I would most certainly be kicked out of a yoga studio, even if we kept our giggling to a minimum. It's nice to be able to groan and cry a little bit about your aching joints and even better to be allowed to laugh when FWCP falls over. Dirty-Yoga-Teacher is also very good about dealing with the competitiveness that takes over, as in: "how come she can touch her toes and I can't?" and I say "I'm better than you are" and D-Y-Teacher steps in and says "Hey, we're all pretty here ... now drop to your hands and knees" and FWCP says "That's what she said" and then we all giggle and are friends again.

We're also considering trying out Hot Yoga sometime. And by Hot Yoga, we mean maybe going up to the rooftop of the Monkey Wrench in July , stretching a bit, then having margaritas post-relaxation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cryin' over material things.

I've got a list in my head of the most important inventions of all time, and the iPod is on it. Some of my other favorites include the printing press, the zipper, and birth control pills.

My iPod broke last week. It fell about two feet from the seat of my car to the street, landed on its head and smiled up at me. It's fallen before and been fine, so I didn't really think anything was wrong. Then I picked it up, turned it on, and the screen had transformed itself into a lava lamp. It still plays music, but not videos. I'm pretty sad about it. I've got an iPhone, but it's only 8G, and I want my entire record collection with me while I'm on the road, along with podcasts of This American Life and 60 Minutes.

So I'm troubled now. I must replace it, but I really don't have the money. Maybe that's what credit cards are for. Should I get the 160G or the 120G? Or should I wait it out for some new version of the iPod to come along? How long can I go without?

I used to hate road trips, and I think it's because I had to deal with the same few tapes or CDs over and over. Now I love being able to choose the perfect song for even a five minute trip down the street.

I never should have bought that stupid water heater last month. Then I could have bought a new MacBook AND an iPod.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Book-It-for-Grownups!™: Rules and Regulations

Ok, let the Book-It-for Grownups!™ games begin. April 1 is our official start date, so whatever you're reading now, or have read since then will absolutely count.

1) I'm going to suggest that everyone go our and purchase a tiny little passport-sized notebook -- I like the Moleskin-Pocket-Sized which are always on sale at Borders, often in packs of three -- to keep track of your Book-It-for-Grownups!™ points. You can also get fancy gold stars, or pink stars, or other kinds of stickers, or stamps for your Reading Passport™, or just use one of your favorite pens (my current favorite is the Sharpie Ink Pen) to make fun little designs or tally marks.

2) We're going to base this on the Honor System, so you don't have to have a grownup sign off for you.

3) In general, one book is worth 2 Gold Stars. Or 2 points, or smiley faces, whatever little symbol makes you feel good.

4) If you read anything that might be deemed a "classic," or something in another language, or anything that is absurdly long, you may give yourself 3 or 4 points.

5) If you read Ulysses, you get 10 points. If you read Ulysses and understand it, you get 15 points.

6) Audiobooks count, but never more than 2 points.

7) Reading aloud to your kids also counts for points, so there's some incentive for some parent-child-bonding-times. You decide how many gold stars you think you should get.

8) Once you get to 20 points, you get some sort of reward. That reward might be a nice meal or a new guitar or a free cover charge to one of my shows. (Maybe I'll have a Book-It-for-Grownups! concert at the library this summer or something.) Or if anyone out there wants to design a Book-it-for-Grownups! Pin that we can all have, then please make it happen.

9) No matter what my blog topic is, feel free to email me ( or comment away about what you're reading. I'd love to publish a weekly list of what everyone is reading/ has read (anonymously of course).

Here's my list so far:

The Devil and Miss Prymm by Paulo Coelho (2 gold stars)
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (I read half and did half on Audiobook, so I still think I get 2 gold stars)
Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies by June Casagrande (2 gold stars)

And actually, I have about 20 pages to go in each of them. I rarely
ever have just one book going. I usually read about three at once,
then finish them all at the same time. I predict I'll finish these on
Thursday morning.

I'm not sure what's next for me. I might try to finish Texas by James Michener, but it's terribly long. Hmmmmmm .... off to the library!


P.S. Feel free to make amendments to the Book-It-for-Grownups! Constitution.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday Review, except on Monday (4.20)

Monday Review (4.20)

I have much to say, but alas! it is review day. I'll commence my commentary maƱana, and today I will review. It's been a week of highs and lows and not much in between. We've all learned a new protein source and we've mostly all filed our taxes. The fireworks on Saturday were the perfect end to a week, and even yesterday's rain rain rain wasn't too bad. Sunday afternoon was spent celebrating the birthday of a good friend, complete with Derby pie and an impromptu piano singalong. Nothing like a little "Tiny Dancer" to get the room feelin' the love.

Book-It-for-Adults! seems like it's a go. I say, start your engines now ... I'll announce some rules and regulations (brigid style, which means, very flexible) in tomorrow blog. But I say you can backtrack to April 1 with your reading logs. Prize suggestions welcome.

And now for the review:

* Bard -- The Odd Couple reference made me laugh out loud. I'm truly glad that my initials are not F.U. And also, please note the difference between vegetarian and vegan.

* Kelly -- 10g? That's like an entire veggie burger. Impressive.

* Cari -- I'm baffled by the I-Don't-Eat-Chocolate thing, but I'm glad I could be a proper source of entertainment. It's really great to say at family/office gatherings. As long as it's someone else's family/co-workers.

* Johnny T -- I owe you a reply. We'll make that show happen. You know my rider is: anything vegetarian. I'll share with you!

* Mia - yeah it amazes me how Southerners (and apparently many others) just don't know how to cook veggies without using bacon grease or ham stock. Ick about the anemia. I had some friends in high school who did that, but really all they ate were bags of Cheetohs and Diet Coke. That'll make anyone sick.

* Kimberly -- your response was absolutely perfect, and you are totally right. I'm re-printing for those who missed your comment: "I love how this is the one scenario in which everyone becomes a nutrition expert. Do the same people who ask this approach people who are scarfing junk food or overeating at gatherings with the same concern for their health? Do they notice when people don't get enough vegetables on their plates? Most Americans have terrible diets lacking vitamins and minerals and loaded with fat, cholesterol, and sodium, but somehow we all become protein advocates when there's a vegetarian in the room."

* Chris -- Congrats on taxes filed. Glad you made it early. It seems that no matter when I start doing mine, they still always take me until the deadline. I think maybe I'll really procrastinate next year. Then i'll waste less time.

* Mia -- seriously?! An IOU?!? And I thought California was cool. I used to have to file in Kentucky and New York, which was a pain, but at least I always got my refund. Hope you get your money soon.

* Bard -- Ok, Mr. Bard, you TOTALLLY missed the point of that audit blog. I command you to re-read it. I was commenting on how I DO file an honest return, so it's wild that I'm afraid of an audit.

* Brian - Ugh, that is awful. Although, I hope by the time I have to file in multiple states, I'll be making enough money to warrant having my own accountant.

* Jim - I didn't even notice the kudo thing until you pointed it out. Weird.

* Kenny - You can read tomes if you want to, but I think I'd rather put you in charge of a vocabulary list for everyone. Keep track of good words for me, but preferably shorter words that not everyone knows (like "tome," for instance.)

* Tara -- Hmmmm ... you're right about pages. "Things Fall Apart" definitely counts. Maybe anything labeled "Classics" -- I'd count Achebe as classic -- should count double. Like a weighted GPA system. I meant to read Pillars of the Earth before I went on that British tour. Forgot.

* Mia -- Yay! Glad you're in. Definitely choose your own books. That's why I never liked book clubs anyway. I like to choose my own. I think re-reading counts, especially if it's something you read in high school or college. I'm curious to see your reading list. Your rainy day record list is fantastic.

* Paul - I also think audiobooks should count too. "Live reading... as a before bed thing." That is so cute. I think maybe you should be in charge of the rules. We shall discuss. And well-done on the rainy day record list. Those Bach cello suites make me cry every time.

* Bard - Non-fiction and poetry count just as much as Sci-Fi. You read whatever you want.

* Jonathan - I totally agree about Sinead. Glad to see I'm not alone.

* S.R. - niiiiiice.

* Christi -- Yeah, but I'm not so sure how Lawson would feel about being on a list with ABBA.

* Kenneth - Ha ha, glad I qualified my Sunny Day record then. I don't know why that GP record just makes me want to skip through the park, but it does.

* LeeAnn -- "Take a Chance on Me" was stuck in my head for three months. Good to hear from you:)

* Marty -- COOOOOOOL picture! I love them all flying together, how sweet. It's like they're holding hands.

* Meredith - Harry Potter Uno and Fireworks and Margaritas sounds like a great day. Well-done, amiga. Maybe we should do that for our 25-year anniversary.

* Mia - Come to Derby! But if you can't, and you need a killer Derby Pie recipe, I'm your girl. Maybe I'll just post it as a blog one day.

* Arlene -- hit on the head by a stealth bomber ... THAT is a great story!!!

Thanks for waiting a bit for the review. Cheers!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I was a Thunder Scrooge.

Thunder Over Louisville is the largest fireworks display in the world. Or maybe North America. The superlative changes year-to-year, but the point remains the same: It's the kick-off event to the Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF). And it somehow attracts eight-hundred-thousand (800,000) people to Louisville's waterfront. It's become as big as the Derby itself, with people coming from all over the world for the fireworks. I even hear people wishing each other "Happy Thunder!" as they would "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Derby!"

I haven't been to Thunder since I was 12. Honestly, I've been a Thunder Scrooge. I love all else that is Derby -- the parties, the smiles, the Cherokee Art Fair, the Balloon Race, the backside of the track at dawn, watching the horses run, having a town full of tourists, and the bars and restaurants being open round-the-clock. But 800,000 people crammed on the waterfront, some of whom laid their blankets down at 4am, just to watch some fireworks on the river, just doesn't sound pleasant.

I could also go on a tirade about how all the millions of dollars paid for the event could feed and educate the community's less-fortunate. And don't even get me started on the environmental impact of all the planes flying overhead, some during the air show and others just carrying banners, and the emissions from the fireworks themselves. And the Stealth Bombers and F16s that entertain the crowd during the daytime while we await the fireworks show only serve to glorify war and country.

Friend-with-a-Truck, however, just loves Thunder Day. He won tickets to the baseball game at downtown Louisville Slugger Field, and we went down there with a few other friends. The company was pleasant, and we had perfect stadium seats that overlooked the river.

Yet again, no one was paying attention to the baseball game itself, but this time it wasn't dollar beers that was the distraction. It was the Air Show. The Lima Lima Airplanes flew overhead for an HOUR doing loop-dee-loops and various other formation stunts, and when they finished, several bombers kept flying around the stadium, both destroying our eardrums and being completely amazing at the same time.

I loooooved the air show. There was a home run somewhere in the game, and then the F16 did this crazy trick we liked to call the "Ascent up Mt. Fuji" where it pretty much shot straight up in the air, then just floated around, flipped, and nosedived down, then disappeared for a while before it came back with a thunderous surprise. Wars must be really really scary.

Our seats were the perfect view of the fireworks, but Friend-with-a-Truck wanted to leave the stadium and go down to the waterfront itself. Always up for an adventure, I followed, despite my previous hesitations. The trek was pretty hilarious, involving wading through funnel cake lines and the colognes of italian sausages and B.O. A woman with a stroller tried to push through the crowd, and a lovely young woman with teased hair and a foul mouth told her exactly where she should stick that stroller.

We emerged to the perfect spot, a tiny clearing in the sea of 800,000+ people where there was room to breathe, stand, sit, even dance. We had a perfect view of both bridges (fireworks cascade off the bridge and shoot up in rainbow-colored arcs while others come from floating barges), lovely southern Indiana, and a few 12-year-old cheerleaders who giggled loudly as they sat upon their boyfriend's shoulders and smoked cigarettes. And it was wildly fun, and funny, and beautiful, and the fireworks blew my mind.

So I'm not so much a Thunder Scrooge anymore. It was really spectacular, and it amazes me that Louisville can put together such an awesome event for the community. I always say that I love my job because I'm able make people smile. Making people smile and showing them a good time is every bit as important as getting a good education or recycling. So way to go, Louisville, for making almost a million people smile.

Derby time!!! So excited.

P.S. Sorry I missed the blog yesterday. I actually tried to blog Live from the Waterfront, pretty much all day long. But apparently, when you get a million people together, which means a million cell phones, the service stops working. So oh well. Review tomorrow.

Derby derby derby derby. yay!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Top 5 (and maybe more) Sunnier Happier Day Records

The sun is shining in Louisville, and I'm in the mood for some of my favorite records. It's funny, but happy-day records doesn't mean I want to hear pop music all day long. Some of these records have terribly sad songs on them, but I still love to listen them while walking through the park on a sunny warm day.

I have more than five. I never was good with boundaries.

G.P./Grievous Angel, Gram Parsons

Scarecrow, John Cougar Mellancamp


The Acoustic Livingroom Sessions, Shannon Lawson

John Prine, John Prine

Blood on the Tracks, Bob Dylan

Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin

The Blue Album, Weezer

New York, New York, Frank Sinatra

She's So Unusual, Cyndi Lauper

Thriller, Michael Jackson

Trivia time: the last three albums listed here were my first three albums ever. No regrets. I still love them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Top 5 Rainy Cloudy Introspective Day Albums

It's been a while since I blogged about music. Some of you are forgetting that's what I do. But I'm listening to music today. Well, listening to the beginnings of a lot of songs, searching for that perfect one. It's cloudy and cold in Louisville, so here are my favorite records for a cloudy, cold, rainy, introspective kind of day.

In no particular order...

New Skin for the Old Ceremony, Leonard Cohen
Pretty much anything by Leonard Cohen is depressing, but this whole record is really more for the melancholy ... you know, those who take a little bit of joy in their self-pity.

OK Computer, Radiohead
One of my all-time favorites.

I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, Sinead O'Connor
Say what you will, but I love this record.

Unplugged, Nirvana
Next time you listen to this one, listen for the cello and the accordion. Soulful instruments. A soulful album.

Closing Time, Tom Waits
This record makes me smile, even on a cloudy, rainy, and introspective day.

What are yours?
And when will summer be here?


P.S. Book-it!-for-Adults™ rules and regulations to follow soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Back in 1985, Pizza Hut started a program called Book-It!™ In retrospect, surely they could have come up with a much better, or at least more clever, name for it. Of course, we all still remember it, so I guess the name served its purpose.

The point of Book-It!™ was to encourage children to read. A reading goal was set, and for every book or set of books we read, we received a little star. That star was then affixed to a purple pin. When all the stars made it to the pin, we wore that little pin to Pizza Hut and received a free personal pan pizza. Always the over-achiever, first grade was a year of lots of personal pan pizzas.

My friends and I were reminiscing about the days where we were rewarded (with food, not just a warm-fuzzy feeling) for our reading, and we decided to start an adult Book-It!™ program, with the rewards being beer or whisky.

Obviously we need rules, so the cheaters amongst us don't just read a bunch of Dr. Seuss books in anticipation of their Hi-Life. Should it be based on word count? number of pages? Maybe we get a star for every 200-pages read? Do audiobooks count? I mean, I can't read while I'm in the tour van because I throw up. And apparently police officers consider it "wreckless driving" to prop a book on the steering wheel.

Who's in for the Adult Book-it!™ series? And can someone out there please make adult Book-It!™ pins so we have someplace to store out little gold stars?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Taxes: Filed.

My taxes take me FOREVER. I've got a 2" binder full of statements and receipts and mileage logs and calendars and invoices and anything else business related. I live in fear of the audit, but I claim every penny I make. I think I might be the only musician in the world who pays sales tax on CDs sold at a live show.

I overly obsess about my taxes because my mom works for the Kentucky Department of Revenue. She has instilled the Fear of the Revenue Service within me, without ever intending to. I am afraid of one thing only in this world: an audit. (Well, maybe spiders too.) And I claim everything and do everything right, but I'm still constantly concerned that I'm going to be audited.

All this time, I thought that it was my mom's job and her accounting degree that caused my obsession with taxes and my fear of audits. But I recently learned something:

My parents were audited by the IRS when they were pregnant with me. Obviously, I was deeply affected -- in the womb -- by the presence of the evil IRS auditor, much like some babies are affected by Baby Genius CDs or Mozart or the sound of their mother's voice. I think all I heard was, "Do you have a receipt for that?"

I just filed a 47-page tax return and am breathing a huge sigh of relief ... until next April.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Where do you get your protein? A PSA.

Ah, family gatherings ... The food, the festivities, the cornhole, the sitting-around-the-TV-watching-golf ... and for the most part, these are the only times of the year when I get the question: vegetarian??! Where do you get your protein?

I've been a vegetarian since about 1994, and it's a pretty common diet. (I think it's much weirder when people tell me they don't eat chocolate.) Back then I got a few questions, but as soon as I moved to New York, it was a non-issue. By the time I moved back to Kentucky, even we hillbillies were aware of my "condition," as one particularly annoying heckler (which doesn't mean I don't love you still ... it is just very annoying to hear) calls it.

The Easter gathering was absolutely delicious. My aunt cooks a huge Italian feast, complete with cannolis and Italian cream cake. I told my mom that Aunt Karen hid cannolis around the house, rather than Easter eggs, and that she should probably start looking for them. The rest of the relatives played along, and mom wandered around the house looking behind doors and under couches for a few minutes before she caught on. I'm such a trickster ...

Anyway, the yummiest part of all was the special vegetarian entree that Auntie Karen prepared especially for me (all the other side dishes were cooked with meat). It was a divine red sauce with baby bellas and fresh veggies atop a penne pasta. Yummmmmmmm.

But, of course, someone had to be the one to corner me: Vegetarian? Now let me ask you this: where do you get your protein? Now I know this particular family friend -- a good one -- meant no harm by it. And the family present prevented me from giving my regular retort, which always shuts up the harrasser-of-herbivores, given to me by my good from Erin, also a vegetarian. When asked where you get your protein, the proper respons is: Semen. (Although, my family reads my blogs, so maybe I should have just snapped that answer yesterday.) That usually quickly shuts up the purveyors of meat.

Anyway, as a public service announcement to all those who are simply curious as to where vegetarians get their protein, even those vegetarians who eschew dairy as well: beans, legumes, grains, and seeds. Where do you get your vitamins and minerals?

Here is a list of various vegetables and the protein content within. It seems I get a lot of my protein from broccoli. I loooooooove broccoli.

I really don't care if you eat meat or not. I choose not to, and I hope that's okay with you. I don't bother you about your diet. Please don't harangue your vegetarian friends about their bizarro hippie ways. I promise you, they get plenty of protein.

And anyway, there are plenty of other oddities to discuss at family gatherings, like where Aunt Karen hid those cannolis and how long it will take Brigid's mom to figure out the joke.

Sorry mom, I just couldn't resist the chicanery.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Revew (4.12)

It is Easter Sunday, and I am risen! Feeling better. I'm still mad about the Matzoh Ball Soup Incident (sort of like the Spaghetti Incident, but with less head-banging), but I'll get over it.

Thanks for all the tips on how to deal with roommates and note-writing. The general consensus is that, yes, there is no way to convey a message without sounding passive aggressive or anal. Oh well.

*Liz-who-is-everywhere ... just meant that whenever I go out, I always run into you. Which means you must be ubiquitious. Ubiquitous Liz has a better ring to it though, so maybe I'll use that. Or U.L. for short.

* Dallas, that is brilliant. I never even thought that maybe writing a song about someone might be the most passive aggressive move ever. Wow. I am a butthead. We all are, I guess.

* Tom if i ever make it to Devon, I'd love to have tea with your friend.

* Christi -- i love your Google genius. Tea time, here I come. And Marty , I had no idea that Dolfinger's did that. Follow-up to follow.

* Sally ... pure brilliance! A 5am house meeting about proper care of cookware. Then I would surely be searching for new roommates.

* Tom, surely you're not that boring!

* Bard. " Different people react differently to different things, I suppose." So wise. So wise.

* Chris, congrats on the giving-up-of-alcohol. Has it really been that long since I've seen you out and about? I know I was hibernating. But still. And yes, both Benedryl and apparently those OTC sleeping pills knock me out completely.

* Accordion folders are a must-have for any self-employed person, but especially an accordionista.

* Trees, let me know if you find anything new and good at OfficeMax. I'm always hunting. My newest find is: the Sharpie Pen ... with no bleed-through. It's awesome.

* "Office Supply" perfume -- brilliance! Much better than "new car smell" or "buttered popcorn."

* Baseball and brats ... reminds me of my everlasting quest to find the best veggie-brat. Yves has a pretty good one, but I'm still searching...

* Mia, thanks for the sympathy. Hope your mom is feeling better.
Sometimes those delayed family celebrations are even better. We did
Thanksgiving a week late this year ... delicious and no pressure.

* Yes, Teresa, Friend-who-cooks-pancakes is a good one. (Ladies, he's single!)

Hope Easter/Passover/Pagan Celebration was fun for you all.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wherein Brigid gets mad over matzoh ball soup.

I cried a little bit this afternoon. It was frustration and self-pity, and I just needed to wallow in it for a few minutes. Not even that long, actually ... how unsatisfying!

I wasn't feeling well, nor am I still. I'm nauseated and have a sinus headache. For some reason, tonight the only thing I wanted in the whole world was the vegetarian matzoh ball soup I'd made last night for a non-traditional and impromptu Passover seder my family had last night at Friend-who-cooks-pancakes's house. I'd made a batch with twice-as-many matzoh balls because I knew there would be plenty of leftovers.

The only reason I got out of bed at all was because I could taste the soup on my tongue. I threw on clothes and made it to Friend-who-cooks-Pancakes's house with unkempt hair, untied shoes, and an unsettled tummy. And when I got there: the soup ... had been ... thrown away. Not even composted ... but thrown away!!

It is the only time in recent memory when I could feel, actually feel, the rage flooding my whole body. I was absolutely livid. And at the same time, I completely understood how ridiculous it was to be angry. It's just soup. Even though there was no way I could make more that day, and it was a perfectly fine batch of soup. But I was sooooooo mad.

I left, telling Friend-who-cooks-Pancakes I don't understand why I'm so upset, but I am just really really really really mad, and I know I'll get over it soon, and I am sorry I'm being a baby about it, but matzoh ball soup might be the only thing that might make me feel better. Then I went home and got back in bed and here I am telling you about it.

I signed on to post a three-word blog that said: "Blog canceled: headache." Then I felt the need to confess and publicly apologize to Friend-Who-Cooks-Pancakes that I'm sorry I was mad and thanks for letting my family invade your house and sorry we made you eat Gifelte fish and I'm sorry for that time last week when we moved your living room furniture into your backyard because we wanted to watch a movie on the outdoor projector but still have the comforts of a couch and end-tables.

I still really want matzoh ball soup though. Grrrrrrrr!

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Baseball Blog.

If you're a reader of Rob-from-the-Muckrakers's blog, then you might noticed a high percentage of blogs about baseball. He loves baseball. I do not.

The first words I ever strung together, however, were, "Go Cubs Go," a result of my parents' leaving me with a baseball fanatic babysitter a few times too many. I also remember going to Redbirds games with my grandpa many a time.

Really, I can't stand watching baseball on TV, but I really like going to the games.

Last night was opening night for Louisville's Triple A team, the Louisville Bats (Louisville Sluggers™ would have been better, but it was copyrighted already.) It was a beautiful afternoon, followed by a warm, but rainy night.
I met a bunch of friends there around 6 because it was $1 beer night. Never have I seen so many people double-fisting beers. I don't even know why I drank beer; I don't care for it. I can't resist a bargain though, even when someone else is buying it for me.

I knew when the game started because someone sang "The Star-Spangled Banner." Then I went back to my nachos and socializing around picnic tables. Looking around, I saw mostly empty seats, but tons and tons and tons of people milling about by the food and drink stands.

It made me feel rather sorry for those Louisville Bats. It was kind of like when you're just starting to play music for a living, and you have to play crappy bars to a bunch of dudes in white hats and girls in uni-sleeves who are doing shots off each other's anatomy, and the only time they pay attention is when you play a verse of "Brown Eyed Girl" or "American Pie." The Major Leagues must be comparable to listening venues or Headliners.

I figured maybe a thousand people were there for the game, and five thousand there for the beer, until I heard a large mass of people simultaneously cheer and start applauding. I looked up to see what exciting play had been made.

Then I saw a guy in a white hat get up from having fallen on a large puddle of water. They were cheering because he had slipped and completely wiped out, but had somehow managed not to spill a single drop of his beer.

Off to tax land again.

P.S. No offense to men who own white hats. I mean, some of my best friends wear white hats:)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Shiny new staplers and hole punches.

I love office supplies.

For some reason, I find it impossible to begin my taxes without first visiting the office supply store and picking up a new hole-punch (why can I NEVER find my hole punch??? I have purchased/been given at least six in the past four years. Hmpf.), several folders, a massive binder, clear dividers with pockets, and a variety of Post-its™ and paper clips. Then, and only then, can the receipt organization begin.

Every year I also say I'm going to be great about receipts. I'm going to pile them up the day my bank statement comes and staple them directly to the statement, each receipt perfectly labeled with the business reason and subdivided into tax-deductible categories.

Why is April always so torturous? I've got a great system; I just don't use it.

Anyway, I kind of miss -- only kind of -- the few years where I worked at CBS News. We had the most amazing office supply drawers, full of Post-its™ and spiral notebooks and fancy tape dispensers and Pilot™ pens (I just discovered with the "™" button is on my iBook™: hold down "option" and press "2" simultaneously. cool!™). A friend of mine just last week even found lanyards and badge-holders in his office supply closet, so we could make our very own VIP passes.

I want to have an Office supply closet at my house. What would I keep there? Lots of Sharpies™, as any good rock star should have. Gold markers with which to sign my new CD, as black ink doesn't show up on them. I also like those Post-it™ Flags -- you know the ones that are sort of like tiny pieces of Scotch™ tape with a colored tag on the end. So useful for filing. I think I'd also need oodles of #2 pencils and a serious Boston™ pencil sharpener. I also want one of those massive packs of Sharpies™ with all the different colors. And binder clips. And accordion folders for filing all those stupid stupid receipts.

Ok, enough procrastinating. Supplies purchased. Back to filing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Caffeine, I told you it was over, now please leave me alone.

I can't sleep. It is terrible. I have woken up at 3:44 am pretty much every day for a week now. I've managed to fall back asleep every other day, but I'm up and ready to go running right now. Well, maybe not running, but ...

What does one do at 4-5 am when one cannot fall asleep? If it were six o'clock, I might consider getting started for the day, but it seems far too early for that.

Usually, I write when something like this happens, but I've decided to blog instead to try to figure out what all I could do.

I could play the guitar, but I'd wake my roommates.

I could finish cooking this pot of amazing cuban frijoles negros that I started yesterday, but the smell would wake them as well. And we can't have them drifting down the stairs like a cartoon character to steal an apple pie.

I suppose I could read, but I left the book I'm about to finish at someone else's house.

I'm going to try lying down on the couch and see if I can fall asleep here.

I have some sleeping pills I suppose I could take, but I keep them on hand for when I have a migraine. I am hesitant to take one unprovoked. Plus, it seems so dramatic to take a sleeping pill.

I think the coffee shop just opened. Maybe I'll wander over there and see what kind of person goes to the coffeeshop at 6am. Is anyone out? Do I have anything in common with the person who ventures out at 6 am on a night that isn't Derby night? Or who doesn't live in Vegas?

I blame that pot of Earl Grey I drank this afternoon while trying to imagine I was in England. Stupid caffeine. We broke up years ago, but every so often you sneak back into my life without my even noticing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Proper Cream Tea in the Midwest/South

I'm feeling homesick for a place that is most definitely not my home. Is that even possible? I don't even have any British ancestors, as far as I know. Maybe a few Irish, but certainly no one from Devon or Cornwall.

We had a beautiful weekend in Kentucky. On Sunday, I walked to the park, lay on a blanket watching the clouds pass by, and listened to David Mead. Then I walked back home and smiled about how awesome my life is, putting all thoughts of tax receipts and mortgages payments and sick friends out of my head.

Monday morning, the temperature had dropped more than 40 degrees and snow was in the forecast. I had to cover up my veggie seedlings with plastic and dig out my coat.

At first, I decided to pretend I was in Paris and put on some french accordion tunes. But I didn't want a baguette and camembert..... what I wanted was: a proper cream tea.

My daydreams then shifted north to the UK and a cloudy afternoon spent in a teashop in Llangollen, Wales, with Wayne the Aussie, who introduced me to the proper cream tea.

If you follow me on Facebook (I'm a public profile, so let's be friends), then you'll know I offered to tattoo on my back the name of anyone who could deliver a proper cream tea to me immediately. No takers.

Where does one find such a ceremony in Louisville?

Cream Tea isn't just tea with cream, as I originally thought. It's black tea, cream optional but definitely suggested, but the kicker is what you eat with the tea: a perfect scone, with strawberry jam, and a whopping dollop of clotted cream.

I'm told the best cream tea awaits me in Devon or Cornwall, but alas! I did not make it there during my European Tour Fall 2008™.

In the mean time, I'm seeking out the best scones in Louisville or the surrounding area. Not too big either. Everything is too big in the US. They are a proper size in England and Wales.

I've perfected my pot o' tea skillz. The trick is warming up the teapot with hot water before you steep. Then use only boiling water. I've even found a perfect Soy Half-and-half substitute. I'm afraid I'm going to have to indulge in the dairy once the clotted cream is located, however.

Can someone book me a tour of the UK so I can come to you live from a tea shop sometime? Oooh ooh, I just remembered that somewhere I have video from the little teashop in Wales. If I ever dig myself from out of the Land of Taxes, I'll edit a little video treat for you.

Off to make a pot o' tea now. Cheerio!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Passive Agressive Notes, Blogs, and Facebook Statuses

*** I wrote this blog over a month ago, then failed to post it. I chickened out, fearing that it would be perceived as a Passive Aggressive Blog. That is not my intent, but oh well if it seems that way. ****

Have you seen It's a hilarious collection of notes people have left for roommates, friends, anonymous people who steal their parking spots, etc. You get the picture.

I've also seen a great deal of passive aggressive Facebook statuses lately. Some are woe-is-me statuses (or is it stati? just checked .. statuses is more acceptable ... stati is plural in Latin) and others are things like "So-and-so wishes some people would return her phone calls already." I'm surprised their aren't more Facebook fights.

It's known that I have roommates. It is also known that I am rarely home, and when I am, it does not usually coincide with the moments my roommates are also home. I live in constant fear of writing The Passive Aggressive Note.

But here's the thing: How do you possibly communicate something to someone you never see without sounding passive aggressive? In the notes in the site, the more smiley faces and pleases and thank yous in a note, the more bitchy you sound. I know some of the notes I've left were probably construed that way, but sometimes you just need to tell people not to flush tampons down the toilet and they don't answer their phones and isn't leaving a voice-mail like that just as horrible, if not worse, than a note?

(Quite certain this one doesn't read my blog, but here I go again worrying that suddenly I'm writing a passive aggressive blog. I swear I'm not. I might be anal about my plumbing and my cookware, but I'm not passive aggressive. And I own the home, and therefore the plumbing system, and don't enjoy spending my savings account because of the bizarro things you flush.)

Anyway, I've had to leave notes before, and I always hate doing that. If anyone has found a way to leave a note to a roommate asking them to do something or not do something, please let me know. I haven't left a note in a long time. I stop myself every time and cringe and hope that I see them sometime.

And roommates, I'm pretty sure you two don't read my blogs either, but please please know that I really am trying not to be passive aggressive. I just don't like crusty overnight splar in my expensive cookware. Maybe that's anal, or maybe it's just that it's a New Depression and I can't afford new Calphalon.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sunday Review (4.5)

I'm reading a funny book right now called Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies. From it, I've determined I'm not really a grammar snob, as I do not delight

in other people's misuse of past participles. I am a "grammar geek."
Friend-who-cooks-pancakes might be a grammar snob. Truly, however, I
don't think he delights in the mistakes of others. I think he just
wishes people could understand apostrophes. It's like wishing the
Israelis and Palestinians would stop fighting.

Anyway, on to our Sunday Review. It's been a good week in blog views and comments, so there is much to cover:

I would LOVE to receive a packet of vegemite, Wayne. I think maybe
I'll experiment and do an entire blog based on "What an American can do
with Vegemite." Please please send me some: Brigid Kaelin/Red
Accordion Records/PO Box 4005/Louisville, KY 40204.

* Allison:
mustaches? I'm not sure if I would look good in them, but I think
Peter would love them. He sported a real Freddie Mercury one during
our show at the Hard Rock.

* Cari: Mexico, ah, that's the
secret. My health insurance doesn't cover anything, so I think I'd be
heading to Mexico as well.

* Liz, I discovered a delicious
vegan mozzarella brand at Whole Foods. So maybe I just need to grow
soy. Then I can duplicate the recipe and have my own caprese salad

* All that sunlight and warmth, Mia, and you can't grow
anything but cacti. Ick. I brought a cactus back from Austin, but it
doesn't like the humidity here at all. As for a backyard, I've been
thinking about just pouring gravel or peastone all over mine. Nothing
grows there because of tree coverage, and I'm tired of the mud and
hostas. Boring. Your pool sounds dreamy though. I may come visit.

Yeah, I still can't believe the government wants us to report barters,
just so they can take a percentage. Even in this economy, how can they
live with themselves? I give you a piano lesson, and you fix my
doorknob. Why do I give the government $10?

Christi-who-goes-camping and Liz-who-is-everywhere ... where does one
camp in Alabama? and when do we leave? But I'd rather backpack across
Europe than through the woods. Unless the woods were in Germany, with
all those cool castles.

* Seriously, Arlene. I mean the consumption is a romantic way to go, but usually for a soprano -- not a lawman.

* I think eating carrots is much preferable to smoking cigarettes, whether you're at Red River Gorge or Seidenfaden's.

* Courtney, yes, I had no idea the void in my life that had been Tombstone. Anything else I'm missing? Fill me in.

* Teresa ... hmmmm, Val Kilmer and a Shannon Lawson soundtrack. Nice. Camping doesn't sound so bad.

Ha ha ... Paris without bathing. I'd take that any day over camping. I
think. I've never been camping, like I said, so perhaps I should
withhold judgment.

* Ah ... the guest blog by
Friend-Who-Cooks-Pancakes. I should perhaps let him address theses, but
he is embarassed by his lie/lay mistake. To his credit, he asked me to
proofread his blog before he posted it. I, however, stopped reading
about halfway through, and just hit "post." Sorry, my Pancake cookin'
friend. I would have caught that for ya'.

* Mia, if you find a good Craigslist rants-n-raves, please please share.

* Thanks for supporting me and my plantin', Jim. More to sow.

* Allison, I owe you a paragraph still. Maybe I'll do a whole blog about you someday.

Good times. Off to brunch now.


I love a good cabaret.

I spent some time playing in cabarets in New York City during and right after college. Those West Village clubs like The Stonewall and The Duplex and Rose's Turn and especially Marie's Crisis, were super-fun places to kill a few hours singing showtunes with a bar full of other people who know all the words to "Surrey with the Fringe On Top." I even used to substitute and play the piano in some of them to make a few extra bucks on occasion.

I've been to a few shows lately that reminded me of cabarets. It's hard to recreate the vibe of a cabaret, especially when it requires a Time Machine of sorts. The 1930's/40's cabaret scene may not have required any suspension of disbelief, but it's all an act now.

That being said, I've seen a few acts attempting to recreate the cabaret scene in a postmodern light. (Or is that post-post-modern? I'm a little behind the times in my pop culture philosophy references. Forgive me.)

I saw one act in Austin that made me uncomfortable for the poor guy she picked on all night long. It was like an awkward stand-up routine where the guy in the front row is the butt of all the jokes, except this time, the cabaret songstress forced him to paint her toenails. In front of his girlfriend. (Note: she had strikingly fake red hair. The seductress, not the girlfriend.)

Last night here in Louisville, I popped over to one of my favorite venues, Headliner's, to be a guest of Lady Rizo, a cabaret act from New York City. She was entertaining, and had a hell of a pair of vocal cords. She also had a great wardrobe and changed clothes at least four times during the set.

I had one of those rock star moments where I had something else going on all night long, but I had promised to sing a song as a guest of Lady Rizo. So around midnight, I pulled up in the Smart Car (you can ALWAYS get rock star parking when you're driving a Smart Car), floated inside the club, headed backstage, sang a song with some of my favorite musicians ever, and floated back to the bar/audience. Good times.

This show is part of Ray Rizzo's brainchild, The Motherlodge Festival. It's the inaugural year, but I can already tell it's going to be a Louisville staple. Coinciding with the Humana Festival at Actor's Theatre of Louisville, The Motherlodge Festival combines theater with music in the way that Louisville loves to do. If you're out and about tonight, stop by The Rudyard Kipling on Oak Street to catch more of Lady Rizo's act, along with Dawn Landes and a few other stellar national acts.

I'm going to work on some new dance steps because Johnny Berry is playing right down the street from The Rudyard Kipling. And he plays late. Maybe i"ll wear my red boots.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Brigid Appleseed.

Some might call me the devil. That's okay with me. I think those people are boring. It's not their fault, and I pity them.

While Friend-who-cooks-pancakes and I were planting our community garden a few days ago, we decided that I am, in general, a seed-planter. Literally and figuratively.

To many of my friends, it's a big personality flaw of mine. But to me, it's just how I operate. I like to suggest -- not to intimate subtly, but to loudly suggest -- that people do things. Like the little devil on my friends' shoulders (note the plural possessive), I whisper things like, "Come on! You know you want to do it ... go ahead ... make it happen," into their awaiting ears.

Examples include: Michael and his Magic Shirt. A double-feature blog from Nashville, circa November 2007. I convinced Michael that he absolutely needed to purchase this slightly expensive, but absolutely perfect Gunfighter Western Shirt from Katy K's. When he bought it, his whole attitude changed. He became the Guy-With-the-Awesome-Shirt.

I've also been known to tell Friends-who-should-maybe-hook-up-with-each-other that they like each other. Then I'd watch the romance blossom from afar.

When Friend-who-now-works-in-radio was wishing he was a DJ, I talked him into calling the radio station of his choice and asking for a job. He now hosts his own show.

I don't want to actually take credit for any of this. The whole point is that they actually did all this stuff themselves. I just planted the seeds. That's what I do. Plant seeds. But I'm very bad about watering and weeding. That's up to someone else. (Friend-who-cooks-pancakes, I hope you're watering our seedlings.) Okay, metaphor completed.

Anyway, I'm offering services today. If you need any seeds sowed, let me know. I'll talk you into doing it. If you need that little extra push to do something that most of your friends think you're crazy for even considering ... drop me a line. I'm your girl. Nothing is crazy to me. Except maybe not doing what you want to do. That's just dumb.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good Grammar is Sexy


Guest blog today brought to you today by

I love a woman with great grammar more than just anything. I wish I could
say more than sex, but that's just not true.

Your vs. You're. Why is that even an issue? They're not confusing
in the least bit. One's a damned contraction and obviously doesn't convey
possession at all!

Their, They're, There. Damn it people. Why is this confusing?
Homonyms/Homophones is not an excuse for misuse.

Plural Possessive. Just because a word ends in an "s" does not
mean possessive is s' all the time. It's Charles's house, not Charles'
house. There aren't more than one of us (thank God). If there were
more than one of us, it would be Charleses' house.

Impact. I know that this is a losing fight now, but it still breaks my
heart. Impact is not a verb. It has, for whatever reason, become
accepted as a verb. Wait a minute...I know why...because folks were so
fearful of misusing effect/affect that they tried to find an alternative so
they wouldn't look stupid. Ironic isn't it. Affect is a verb.
Effect is a noun. Impact is a noun. Impact and Effect are synonyms;
Impact and Affect are not. Imagine a stuffy conference room in a stuffy
company...someone giving a shitty powerpoint presentation. Dork in the
back of the room, eager to impress the boss says, "But how does this
impact our bottom line?" Idiot.

...Charles steps down from his soap box and awaits your criticism...

When not bitching about grammar, Charles would prefer to be laying in a hammock
under a palm tree. With a beer. And you.

(Ladies: he's single! Hmmmm ... maybe he should re-think his personal ad. -brigid)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tombstone and promises made by men.

I'm an adventurous gal, but people are oft-surprised by the things I've never done before. Most notably, my dude-friends are always shocked that 1) I've never been camping and 2) I've never seen Tombstone. (minor spoiler alert)

I don't really get why the latter is such a shocker because there are loads of pop culture references I don't get.

Anyway, I can count at least five guys who have promised to both take me camping and make me watch Tombstone, but none of them has ever followed through. Until recently.

Friend-with-a-Truck decided that I needed to come over and watch Tombstone a couple of days ago. I obliged.

First of all, let me tell you that I always thought Tombstone was a really old movie. I knew it was about Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. (Tangent: I love the name Wyatt. My friend from college had a baby right after we graduated, and she named him Jack Wyatt. I thought that was the most perfect name ... the name for a child who could be anything when he grew up ... a cowboy, a mystery writer, a politician, a rock star, a farmer... just perfect.) But I thought the movie was black and white or at least really early technicolor.

I had no idea that Val Kilmer was in it. And Jason Priestley.

It's from 1993. And yes, the two seductresses of the film are both redheads, though both with poor dye-jobs. The redheaded vixen, with her zest and passion for life, tempts Wyatt to leave his oh-so-sweet-she's-got-an-opium-addiction blonde of a wife. And Doc's redheaded lady is a money-grubbing bad girl.

Anyway, I liked the movie very much. I love a good gangster flick, whether it's cowboys or the mafia. As much as I hate guns, I adore a gunfight in a movie. Reservoir Dogs is one of my absolute favorite movies ever.

I also surprisingly liked the whole temptress subplot. I laughed when it was happening because it was so predictable and silly. But then I liked that the redheaded vixen wasn't really pursuing him; he just couldn't help but be attracted to her charms and personality. The redheaded vixen kept a distance for the most part, but Wyatt pursues her despite her refusing to make the first move.

A familiar plot ...

Then when the credits rolled, I noticed a solitary name on the screen ... after the Director and Writer ... came another name: Catherine Hardwicke.

And I giggled wildy because Catherine Hardwicke is the director of Twilight.

I think Tombstone and Twilight are oddly similar.

Friend-with-a-Truck didn't like that very much.

Now we'll see if he'll take me camping. Maybe camping will turn out to be surprisingly like Paris. That would be cool.