Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Name Retrieval is a Difficult Game.

Someone said something to me a few weeks ago about how I'll just accept anyone as a friend on Facebook. I said they were right, for the most part, and I rarely ever deny anyone. I felt kind of bad about that and though that maybe I should be more discerning.

But since then, I've been watching my page, and I'm amazed by how many of you I really do know. I think maybe that's what happens when you go out pretty much every night and have lived in a few different cities.

It also makes me feel horrible that I've become bad at names lately. For the most part, I know when I've met someone before, but I am really really really terrible at names. I'm good with numbers, however, and it's more likely that I remember your birthday or your phone number than your name and where we met.

All day Saturday, it was bugging me that I'd forgotten someone's birthday. Then I realized it was Carrie-from-sixth-grade's birthday, whom I hadn't seen in years. All day Sunday, at the Tim Krekel Funeral Celebration, I ran into people in the Louisville music scene whose name I just couldn't retrieve. I felt like such a jackass.

I also really really dislike it when people approach me with a grin and the question, "Do you remember my name?" Then, even if I know your name, I'm hesitant to just guess.

Also, sometimes we met at 3 am while I was four bourbons into the after-show and I was trying to load my 100-pound keyboard into my Volvo and you didn't even bother to help. Sorry I forgot your name. I really do feel horrible about it, though something tells me I'm being too hard on myself.

Happy birthday, Carrie-from-sixth-grade.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Where the Local Beer is Heineken.

Congratulations, Wayne. Somehow it makes total sense that you are the one who guessed correctly.

I went to Amsterdam for the weekend.

That is so awesome to type, that I'm going to type it again: I went to Amsterdam for the weekend.

Tuesday was an awesome day in Nashville. Wednesday was a crappy day when I found out Tim didn't have long to live. So Wednesday night, Friend-with-a-Truck -- who had also had a bad day -- and I decided that eating a crêpe in Paris would cheer us up.

I called Friend-who-works-for-Delta (I don't have a Trust Fund, but I DO have a o% interest credit card and a friend in the airline business), and asked what the chances were for a stand-by flight to Paris. Not a chance. Flights were booked.

But then she said, "Amsterdam is open. Wanna go there?"

I'd never been to Holland before, and it sounded like a good idea. So we left Thursday at 8:00 pm, slept on the plane, woke up refreshed at 9:30 am in The Netherlands, and giggled about how crazy we were, especially since we'd borrowed the Smart Car for the drive to Cincinnati. We failed to tell Friend-with-a-Smart-Car, however, that we were driving to the Cincinnati airport and leaving the Smart in long-term parking for the weekend.

It turns out that Amsterdam was the perfect weekend getaway. Paris is too big and would have been overwhelming. We walked all over Amsterdam, saw all kinds of museums, ate chocolate waffles and Nutella™ crêpes and pommes frites with mayonnaise and Dutch cheeses (real meals were too expensive, so we just grabbed food from little shoppes when we were hungry), and giggled the entire weekend about how no one knew where we were.

We were there all of Friday and Saturday, and left Sunday at noon, arriving back in Cincy at 3. I went to bed early and woke up Monday morning completely refreshed. I no longer believe in Jetlag.

I have 15 Euros left, and I'm not changing them back to dollars. It's just too easy to slip away for the weekend.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dance Parties and Guessing Games

I'm loving this guessing-game: Where Did Brigid Go Last Weekend?

The postcards were mailed on Monday the 22nd, and, oddly, none of them has arrived yet. So it's probably obvious to you that we probably didn't go to Cincinnati. Maybe tomorrow I'll post a photo and give you another clue.

In other exciting news, I was out at a Mexican restaurant with a bunch of friends last night, all of whom were surreptitiously checking Twitter under the table. Luckily, we found out about an impromptu Midnight Michael Jackson Dance Party at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Bardstown Road.

Of course, we went immediately. Someone brought a boombox and a tape called "Awesome Michael Jackson Memorial Mix (Volume #1)," and mass quantities of people danced.

At first, we just watched, laughing, but once "PYT" came on, I could no longer remain an observer. In the words of Gene Kelly, "Gotta dance!" Friend-with-a-Truck moved the dance party to the street itself, and within a few minutes, there was a triangular formation of folks -- led by my awesome friend Kim -- doing the Thriller Dance (you know the one with your hands shaped like claws) across Bardstown Road, disturbing oncoming traffic.

Another adventure! My friend Erin was there too, who had also read about the party on Twitter. She took photos. I might be in one of them. Someone there had a Flip video camera, which I tried to avoid. But it might end up on YouTube.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tim Krekel 1950-2009

(from http://brigidkaelin.blogspot.com)
Last Wednesday, I played at the Zeppelin Cafe. Tim Krekel started a weekly Wednesday gig there several months ago, just before being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Since then, friends and family have filled in for him, keeping the music going throughout his treatments.

We all thought he was kicking cancer's ass, until last week when he took a drastic turn for the worse -- shocking because I'd just been at his wedding three days previously. I cried a lot before and after playing his gig last Wednesday, when I was told hospice had been called.

Also, just before I started singing that night, I bought a plane ticket to someplace absurd* (and left the next afternoon) because I had one of those Enjoy-Yourself-It's-Later-Than-You-Think Moments. Actually, I have those moments pretty much every day, and it's probably why my friends think I'm crazy. It's also why I've had so many adventures.

Tim died yesterday afternoon, and news spread quickly through the town. It seems like everyone's Facebook status yesterday was dedicated to Tim.

I went to Waterfront Wednesday last night with my friend Charles because it seemed like the best place to grieve -- surrounded by music lovers and an outdoor concert and lots of friends. On the way there, Charles was playing a mass Tim Krekel compilation on random in his car. Every single song that played in the car was just so good. How can one songwriter from Louisville have written so many brilliant songs? They are real, uplifting, and they always make me smile. They also make me want to dance.

And dance we all did, later that night at the Wednesday Night Zeppelin gig. I barely made it through a rendition of Tim's "Blues as Blues Can Get," but the smiles, hugs, and memories made the night a beautiful celebration of his life and music.

The evening also made me think deeply about the place of music in our lives. I forget that you don't have to be a musician to appreciate its powers. A Tim Krekel fan came up to me last night and said she'd been sad and crying all afternoon. She told me she'd been listening to WFPK, when one of my songs came on -- a lighthearted, funny tune "Future Mr. Used-to-Be" -- and made her laugh and smile for the first time since she'd heard the news. And she thanked me for that. And I hugged her, thanking her for the reminder that that is why I do what I do. It amazes me that a song I recorded four years ago could bring a smile to anyone on such a dark day. It also gives me reason to keep writing, playing, traveling, singing, and smiling.

Thanks to WFPK for recognizing Louisville's great loss, and for dedicating today to Tim's music and stories of his career.

There's a blog on WFPK for people to share stories, as well as a nice obituary in the Courier-Journal. Apparently, I gave some quotes to the writer, but I was so out-of-it yesterday, I barely remember the converstaion.

* I promise to tell you next week, after certain people have received their postcards.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Life Without a Car

I'm a huge proponent of public transportation. The secret-place-I-disappeared-to this past weekend has excellent public transport and it's incredibly bicycle-friendly should you need your independence.

So when I returned home and my car died, -- not just a "spell" but an absolute death to the 1987 Acura Integra with approximately four kajillion miles on it -- I just shrugged and decided to not have a car for a while.

Friend-with-a-Truck offered to leave work to drive me the 2.5 miles down Bardstown Road yesterday, but I was stubborn and didn't want to interrupt anyone's work day when I could easily hop the bus. Prepared with six quarters (I have no idea how much TARC costs these days), I walked to a bus stop and waited. And waited. And waited.

It was 95 degrees (not an exagerration), and I was sweaty, hot, annoyed, and now running late. I had been waiting 20 minutes for the bus that should have come within 5, when a wine-connoisseur friend from The Wine Market called out to me. (Just because I know the Wine guy by name doesn't mean I have a problem.)

About that same time, I felt something land on my head. I reached up to swat it away, and I was stung by a bee. On the head. By a bee. It had now been 24 minutes I'd been waiting for the stupid bus, and I just completely gave up.

I pouted a bit, went into The Wine Market for some cold air and good conversation, spent my six quarters on a fancy ginger ale, and called Friend-with-a-Smart-Car for a ride.

I might buy a car tomorrow. Or move to this secret-place-I-visited-last-weekend and bring my bicycle.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Off the Record on WFPK

While I was out of town, -- someday, I might tell you where I went -- WFPK aired my episode of "Off the Record." It's available for downloadable MP3 on WFPK's website, or you can subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes.

It's a dandy little show, with bits and pieces of the 5 songs I chose interwoven with my voice talking about each of the songs. I haven't actually listened to it yet, so I hope I sound halfway intelligent.

This Saturday, I'm traveling down to Scottsville, KY, to play a festival called Arts on Main. I'm bringing a band to play the two-hour show (7-9 central time). Should be fun. I'm really looking forward to playing a band show. If you know where Scottsville, KY, is and it's not too far from you, maybe I'll see you there.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Greatest Weekend Ever.

Hi there, sorry I vanished for a few days. I'll tell you about it sometime. Not today.

Anyway, the Elvis show at the Ryman was awesome. He left tickets at the door for me, complete with a backstage pass. The show itself was great. Imagine your favorite songwriter playing with the best Nashville players -- Jerry Douglass, Jim Lauderdale, Mike Compton, Jeff Taylor, and more. The music was wonderful. Who knows it they even rehearsed, those guys are such pros. Actually, it looked like Lauderdale was staring at Elvis the whole time looking for cues. I only noticed this because I use the same trick when I haven't rehearsed. But of course, Lauderdale didn't miss a beat.

After the show, we lingered around with our VIP passes and were escorted backstage, where about twenty people, including the band, were hanging out. I didn't want to stand in the line-to-greet-Elvis because he had just finished a show, and I know how it is sometimes annoying to be in the meet-and-greet line when you just want to chillax. (Yes, I said "chillax." Sorry, I watched Twilight last week.)

Then I heard a mellifluous British accent call out, "Did you bring your saw, Brigid?" I looked over, and Elvis motioned for me to come say hi. I floated over there and got a wonderful hug and European kiss-on-the-cheek. We caught up, and he introduced me to Jim Lauderdale -- whom I already knew, and he remembered me too, despite all that tequila -- and Jeff Taylor, exclaiming, "This is Brigid! The girl I was telling you about, you know the accordion player and saw player."

Then Jeff, who is a killer accordionista I'd heard of for years, asked what kind of accordion I played and did I want to see his? So we ran out onto the stage, and I got to play his newest Italian accordion, while he played another. Too cool. I was having so much fun that I didn't even stop to turn around and look at the audience seats and take in that I was playing accordion on-stage at the Ryman. Eeek!

I went back, snuck out the backstage door, hugged Elvis goodbye, and drifted down that notorious alley that Hank Williams used to drink in before the Opry with a smile on my face, knowing that I'd play with Elvis again someday and thinking how cool that guy really is.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elvis and Nashville.

The first time to Nashville that I can remember was March 2006, for an Elvis Costello concert at the Ryman. It was amazing. My Uncle Billy and I drove down just in time for the show, then drove back to Louisville afterwards.

My first full day in Nashville was for the semi-finals of Nashville Star in November 2006, when I got to sing an original song. The next day, my picture was on the front page of The Tennessean -- above the fold.

Every time I came down here -- and there was a time when I spent four days a week in Nashville -- something just absurdly cool would happen to me. I don't understand it, but I've come to expect it.

I arrived this morning and went straight to Cowboy Jack's recording studio to do a little musical saw demonstration for his recording engineer. Cowboy has an amazing home studio, unlike any other home studio I've ever seen. It's more like a recording studio that happens to have a living area. I played an unbelievable Steinway grand that sounded gorgeous. I also looked around and tried to imagine Cowboy's friends -- like Johnny Cash and Charley Pride -- walking around and playing the various instruments that dotted the walls. The gold records on the walls were mind-blowing. Cowboy Jack wrote a few of the songs on Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison, and loads of other classic country tunes.

Anyway, so that was my morning ....

Tonight's adventure brings me full circle. My first grownup trip to Nashville was to see Elvis Costello at the Ryman. That time, Uncle Billy gave me a free ticket.

Tonight at the Ryman: Elvis Costello put me on his guest list. I can't believe I just wrote that sentence. I'm going to write it again: Elvis Costello put me on his guest list. If I'm ever actually famous, I want to always be as cool and genuine and down-to-earth and thoughtful as he is. What an amazing person.

Tee hee. Okay, off to pinch myself. I'll write about the concert tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Review (6.15)

I had a productive week. Friend-with-a-Truck and Friend-who-cooks-pancakes left town for a while, which left me time to work on my house and get some errands run. It's too easy to blow off painting your dining room and go on an adventure with friends. Plus, I got to drive The Truck all weekend.

In other exciting news, Friend-with-a-Truck brought me a present back from Colorado: a t-shirt with a lone wolf howling at the moon. I walked the Cherokee Loop in it this morning, and I felt extra-powerful. Just imagine how magical I would be if there were THREE wolves!!

Review time:

Thanks for sharing your Five Songs picks ... i love reading other people's choices. I think my Off the Record will air this week on WFPK. It should be available for podcast soon.

dm- Batting gloves for sure next time. Ouch!

Troy -- THanks for the tips on Western Mass. I do need to do a Northeast tour. It's just sooooo much work planning ,promoting, etc ... i feel like i'd rather be writing right now. Ah, for a booking agent. Dreaming dreamind dreaming.

Mia -- I agree. I went with songs that were important to me.

Chelsey -- Can you create some sort of Three Wolves/Brigid Kaelin t-shirt to sell at shows? That would be amazing. Please please wear them to my next show.

Nancy -- You should totally copyright The Three Wolves.

Sondra -- Do you think they have the tiger t-shirt in babydoll style?

Rachel -- Yeah, NYU was so much fun. Greenwich Village was the best place to move after high school. If I get the urge to go back, we'll definitely be roomies.

Bina - Hi!

Nick -- I LOVE that you got recognized in NYC. What a great story.

Jon -- I forgot to put my stuff out for junk week, and they came first thing this morning. Shelving will have to wait until September:(

James -- Awwwwwwwwww, thanks. But i look especially good in a truck.

Derek -- Mini-vacations ... the perfect way to think of Nashville studio trips. And also dangerous. It's too easy to have too much fun down there. I can't wait!

Joel - Sorry you didn't get tickets. I did. Tee hee ... but not from Grimey's .... from EC!! Maybe I'll be at Fraze too, who knows.



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nashville, I have missed thee.

I used to blog all the time about my adventures in Nashville. Then I stopped going to Nashville all the time because gas decided to be insanely expensive. Then I stopped getting session work in Nashville because I wasn't hanging around there all the time. Out of sight, out of mind, is the mindset down there.

But I'm heading back soon, so beware. On Tuesday, I may or may not be on the guest list at a really exciting show at the Ryman. You be the judge. Also, I may or may not have a really exciting meeting at a legendary music studio.

Let this blog be a warning that if I fail to blog on Tuesday or Wednesday, it's because I'm hanging out with some of my heroes.

Oh yeah, and I look waaaaaaaaaaay good in a truck, just FYI.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Drunk with Truck Power and the possibility of Junk.

It still amazes me that people are reading this. I like the transition to Blogspot (it's http://brigidkaelin.blogspot.com for all of you reading this through the RSS feed on Facebook) because Blogspot never randomly deletes a post before I'm finished typing it. I went through a lot of shouting matches with MySpace because of that.

I haven't slept much. I got up at 4:30 am yesterday to take Friend-with-a-Truck to the airport. This was worth the early wake-up call because I am now Brigid-with-a-Truck. The first thing I did yesterday morning was go to Lowes. It was like some bizarro impulse: Have-Truck-Must-Purchase-Long-Items-Like-Mops-and-2x4s-and-Patio-Furniture.

But even more exciting is that my Weekend With a Truck coincides with: JUNK WEEK! What is Junk Week, you may ask? In other cities, it's known as Big Trash Week. It's when you are allowed to put anything you want out on your curb, and the big garbage trucks come around and haul it away. Broken swing sets, ugly tables, your ex's orange plaid recliner, old TV's .... anything you can haul out there will be hauled away for you.

I live in the Highlands, where a lot of rich people also live. Such people are often too lazy to take things to Goodwill, so they put out perfectly good items during Junk Week. It's the perfect week to lurk down alleys in search of treasure .... and thus, the PERFECT week to have a truck.

The Hammond B3 organ now living in Peter Searcy's studio was a Junk Week find. I found a great table a few years ago and my friend got a cool vintage bar. Last Junk Day, I was guilty of throwing out a set of storm windows, shutters, and stereo speakers, all of which were scavenged long before the Garbage Truck arrived.

So I'm off to lurk slowly down your street. If you've got any old accordions or baker's racks, please put them out between 11-noon. I will be in the Silver Toyota Tundra.

If you'd like any broken lawn tools, chairs, or shelving, please swing by my house Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Batting Cages are not for Musicians.

My friend Malcolm is in town for a few days. He's a New Yorker, a brilliant bass player, and an all-round good guy. Last summer when I was out on tour playing accordion with Days of the New (Malcolm is the bassist), I turned to Malcolm often as a source of sanity and balance in a completely insane situation.

He was stranded in Fern Creek without a car, which, for a Brooklynite, is even worse than it sounds. I was on my way to Whole Foods when he called, so he joined me on my quest for a yummy lunch.

Next to the Whole Foods, we saw something I'd never noticed before: batting cages!!

We immediately purchased six tokens after laughing at the nominal cost -- 8 pitches for one token for 50 cents. So we bought 48 pitches.

I'm not a baseball player, but I remember the basics. Keep your eye on the ball and keep your elbow higher than you think you should. After missing 8 pitches in a row at 45 mph, -- Malcolm declared they were too high and I would have been walked were it a real game -- I switched to 40 mph. The speed for little girls. But I'm not proud, so it was fine.

I hit the first ball, and it was a good one too, directly between the pitcher's mound and 3rd base. Suddenly, my hand was throbbing in a weird pulsing pain. I screamed an expletive, and Malcolm, who had hit about 16 straight balls asked it my hand hurt. "Stupid aluminum bats," he said, "They always sting your hand when you get a hit." I hit one more ball and that time my hand reeeeeeeally hurt. I decided I was too weak to continue. Then Malcolm decided that his hands hurt a lot too, and we should probably stop if we wanted to be able to play our Friday night gigs.

We gave our last two tokens to a little boy and his grandfather, telling them we didn't want to hurt our hands anymore. The grandfather grinned and asked, "Are you musicians?" Malcolm sort of looks like a rock star, and I had on oversized sunglasses. Maybe we looked the part. Or maybe musicians are the only people wussy enough to get injured in the batting cages.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Freerunning and Great Films.

When I lived in New York, I loved going to the movies. Up there, movies are known as "films." People buy tickets far in advance and show up way early just to get a good seat. It's not like in Louisville when seeing fifty other people there is considered crowded. There's something magical about seeing a "film" in a full-house theater full of movie buffs, movie critics, and even movie stars. The sad scenes are more poignant, the jokes are more hilarious, and it's not unusual to burst into applause when the hero dominates the villain.

I wish I'd seen Paul Blart: Mall Cop at Lincoln Square rather than my living room.

Yes, I knew it would be terrible. No, I can't really explain to you why I agreed to watch it. Honestly, however, I kind of like watching movies that are completely mindless. It keeps my thoughts away from grown-up stuff like bills and taxes and tour planning. (FYI, your 2009 second quarter estimates are due on Monday, all you self-employed folks.)

There is one good thing about having seen PB:MC on DVD rather than the theater: the special features.

I liked the special features about ten times more than the movie ("film"). Most of them were all about Freerunning or Parkour, which are supposedly two different activities, but seem basically the same to a laywoman like me. The idea is to move from Point A to Point B in a straight line. If a garbage can is directly in your line of movement, you simply hurdle over it. If there is an open window, you jump through it, even if involves doing a bunch of flips and landing on a skateboard and hopping on a moving vehicle.

Anyway, the bad guys in PB:MC are either Free Runners, Parkour experts, skateboarding champs, or BMX bike pros, which makes for some pretty cool chase scenes. The Behind-the-Scenes are expecially neat-o.

I'm not saying you should rent the movie. But if you do, watch the Special Features. You'll feel less guilty for wasting your evening with Paul Blart.

Did anyone see that other Mall Cop movie that came out? The one with Seth Rogan? He's funny. I'm thinking of doing a dissertation on Mall Cop movies as a genre. Suggested thesis topics are welcome.

Here's a YouTube of some wacky Parkour moves from the film:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Five songs ... any five songs.

There's a show Louisville's WFPK called "Off the Record," where a musician or music industry professional selects 5 songs and talks about them on air. Any five songs. It can be a theme, or it can be five random songs.

I'm recording an "Off the Record" this morning down at the radio station, and I've been over-thinking my five songs all weekend. Should it be my five favorite songs? Should I make an Awesome Summer Mix E.P.? Should they be my five favorite artists? or my influences? Should I include a local artist just to support my friends? Ugh, so many choices.

WFPK doesn't even play the entire tune, just excerpts from the song as the guest talks about why they like the tune. So really, it seems, the program focuses on the guest. Now I'm over-thinking the audience and wondering what they would care to know about me...

My five song choices are all older songs, all written long before I was born. I didn't do that on purpose. I decided to choose songs that reminded me of different points in my life. It's funny how a song can immediately take you to a particular place in time and you can remember exactly what you were doing or thinking when you heard it.

One of the songs immediately makes me want to clean my house. Another reminds me of the first time I realized I wanted to be in a band. Another makes me want to write songs. Another makes me want to dance, travel, sing, and frolic. And one makes me want to do something amazing.

What are your five songs? Any theme or no theme.

If you're curious about the format, you can get the "Off the Record" Podcast FREE on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=288373080.
Mine is not available as it has not been recorded or aired yet on WFPK.org/91.9

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Three Wolves T-Shirt

I keep trying to convince Dennie at the Monkey Wrench that he needs to hire one of those Airbrush Artists to sit up on the rooftop and make t-shirts for people this summer. The rooftop of the Wrench feels like Spring Break, and Spring Break = Airbrushed T-shirt.

Thinking about airbrushed t-shirts made me think of something my good pal Peter Searcy told me about a few weeks ago. At a gig, he said, "Hey, do you know about the Three Wolves t-shirt?" I said, "You mean that tacky t-shirt with three wolves howling at the moon? Like the ones you find at truck stops and the like? I've seen those shirts for years."

Peter then proceeded to tell me the pop culture phenomenon that t-shirt has become. Apparently, you can purchase the T-shirt on Amazon.com, and someone left a joke snarky comment about how the wolf t-shirt gave them special powers:

Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women
Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the 'guns'), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.

Since this first comment, many more have been added. It's hilarious. Even funnier, is that the T-shirt has been the #1-seller in apparel on Amazon.com for an absurd length of time.

I'm thinking about ordering six of these T-shirts for the big Peter Searcy Band show this coming Friday at Gerstle's. Tee hee.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Review (6.7)

Apparently, it is June already. I keep thinking it's mid-May and being surprised by that. But the Belmont is over, and it's hot and humid in Kentucky. I did not win the Pick 4, thus I am not in Argentina. I'd like to say that I'm writing this review poolside, but Lakeside still doens't have WiFi. If they did, I'd be writing blogs and songs there all summer long.

As for a review .... thanks for not being angry with you for misleading you about Friend-who-Cooks-Pancakes being the same person as Friend-With-A-Smart-Car and Friend-who-lives-close-to-the-bar. I promise you he is different from Friend-with-a-Truck, however. Sorry for the deception.

Troy -- I would love to play Western Mass. Where should I play? a college? A festival? Talk to me. I've seen Amy LaVere a few times. I think my accordion could take her bass.

Mia -- I think Friend-who-cooks-pancakes likes you. He's been bugging me to play Vegas just so we can hang out with you.

Bluegrassrom -- That sounds like a great song title: "Fried Freckles." Nicely done.

Wayne -- My new game is to assume that everyone I don't recognize is an Australian Tourist. Sorry for all the Vegemite Hate last week. I still haven't opened the tube though. Is there a vegemite cookbook? We could combine it with Cookingforengineers.

Erin -- That Applebee's IS a puzzle. I'm thinking about going in and talking to the staff. Maybe I'll write about it ... investigative reporting for LEO or something.

Joy -- I had a dream about that peanut sauce last night. And I still can't believe that I got the tofu to taste like Thai Take-out Tofu. I got your cookbook, by the way .... awesome. And one more day to go on the Not-Eating-Out quest. This has been so so so difficult. Especially on a weekend. But I've eaten well, and I don't have any leftovers in the fridge. Although, I don't have much of anything in the fridge now ...

Trees -- Let me know how it goes for you. You are so right about meals being meant to eat with friends. I wish I could find some way to organize it or rotate meal preparation duties. Maybe that'll be my new quest. I totally know what you mean about planning meals, then being too tired to bother with it when the Pad Thai Take-out down the street only costs $6.

Cheerio, folks.

By the way, is anyone out there in Paris? If so, I'm thinking about visiting you in a few weeks.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My TVG account.

I just wagered on the Pick 4 through my TVG account. Well, technically it's not my TVG account; it's Friend-with-a-Truck's. But he promises not to garnish my winnings when I win that Pick 4, worth $1 million.

I bet my birthday (7-2-5), plus Mine That Bird (7). So when you see that I haven't blogged in a few days, and you notice that the Pick 4 winners were 7-2-5-7, then you'll note that I have purchased that vineyard in Argentina at the foothills of the Andes and moved on.

I gamble only a few times a year. The Derby, obviously. A few random other days at the track. And the occasional Powerball, but only when it's at an absurdly high amount that makes me want to participate in the pop culture phenomenon that is Powerball.

It's amazing what purchasing that single QuickPick or placing that wager at the track can do to your imagination. I immediately assume I have won, and daydreams ensue. For example, "Wow, it will be such a relief to not have to worry about who will produce my next record. I can just hire T-Bone Burnett. And I can finally pay Willie to sing that duet with me. And I can supply the recording studio with my own brand of wine that I aged at my new vineyard in Argentina."

Adios, amigos.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Goal for the weekend: Not dining out.

I love restaurants. This is fortunate because I spend a lot of my time on the road. When I'm in town, I end up catching up with my friends over a dinner. My business meetings with booking agents and attorneys and bass players seem to be over lunch or breakfast.

I can go to the grocery store for the week, then legitimately eat every meal out -- for business. And though I go to the grocery store because I think I should, I think it might be cheaper for a single person to grab a falafel here or there rather than cook meals and be forced to eat the same batch of chili for a week straight.

But over the past year or so, my friends and I have slowly moved towards a bizarro communal living. I keep Mueslix and Hemp Milk (Yes, I said Hemp milk. So I think cow's milk is gross, so what?) at Friend-who-cooks-pancakes's house. I keep other staples at Friend-with-a-Truck's place. My own house merely has a tube of Vegemite (Thanks, Wayne!) and a loaf of frozen challah bread. I am rarely home.

I'm thinking, however, that this communal-living thing could be advantageous to my recent desire to save money and cook meals at home. Last night I tried out a new recipe, which I found on my friend Joy's blog. It was a tofu-broccoli-peanut-sauce dish that was absolutely divine.

Joy is a food writer for Philadelphia Magazine as well as a cookbook author and a friend from my days at NYU. I haven't seen her in ten years, but her blog makes me laugh. It also has meal plans for the week, something I just cannot wrap my head around. Who plans what you're going to eat three days from now? I freak out at the thought of planning my afternoon. But I'm liking the idea of a week of meals eaten and enjoyed at home, or at least eaten and enjoyed with commune partners.

My goal for the next three days -- yes, the weekend -- is to not spend a dime at a restaurant, unless it's for a cocktail. I'm going to cook.

We shall see...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cooking for Engineers

Friend-who-cooks-Pancakes is a licensed engineer. He works in non-profit now, however, because of bourgeois guilt. This does not stop him from having an engineer mind. He is currently driving me crazy. Currently, as in right now.

He is sitting next to me in our office (we share a cubicle, which is actually not a cubicle, but a couch with several laptops available) and acting all literal, not inferring anything. This conversation just happened:

(scene: We are both getting some work done, while awaiting the arrival of Dirty Yoga teacher this morning. The afternoon is open.)

Me: What's the movie situation this afternoon?

FWCP: What do you mean?

Me: You know, the movies.

FWCP: The movie situation in the entire world? What are you talking about?

Me: Why are you being difficult?

FWCP: Well, you could mean anything. The movies in the world? Movies we could go to see? Movies we could watch at my house? Movies we could make?

Me: FWCP, you seriously have no idea what I'm talking about? You are absolutely clueless? You can't extrapolate the tiniest idea of what I could be thinking?

FWCP: I don't extrapolate.

Me: Engineer.

FWCP: Sorry, I don't extrapolate.

Me: You would make a terrible detective.

FWCP: I would make a great detective.

Me: You would be the worse detective ever. I'm gonna write a blog about CookingForEngineers.com.

FWCP: Ha ha, that's funny.

Me: So, the movies?

Anyway, look at CookingforEngineers.com. It's the most literal cooking website ever. For those annoying engineers minds who ask questions about EVERYTHING instead of just pausing to figure out what it might mean.

There, I wasn't too mean, right FWCP? The ladies still like you here. I mean, I revealed that not only do you cook pancakes, own a smart car, live near a bar, are my BFF, go on adventures, do yoga, but you're also a freakin' engineer. Ladies, he's single! (Just make sure you're verrrrrrry clear when you speak to him.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Who Goes to Applebee's?

I live in the Highlands in Louisville. It's the Greenwich Village-type area, with loads of independent restaurants, coffee shops, hippies, hipsters, farmers' markets, record stores, great parks etc. There is one Starbuck's, but it's always empty. People in Louisville, especially the Highlands, are dangerously proud of their indie shops.

Of course, there are still some fast food restaurants because people still need tacos at 4 am.

There is one anomaly in my neighborhood that's been there for about twenty years, and I cannot for the life of me understand how it stays in business: Applebee's. Who goes to Applebee's?

I went there a lot when I was sixteen because it was the only place that wasn't a bar that was open until 4 am. Meredith and I would -- I kid you not -- bring our biology textbooks up there the nights before exams and quiz each other over Virgin Mudslides and Veggie Patch Pizzas. Then one time they put bacon on my Veggie Patch Pizza, and I vowed never to return.

Somehow, people are always there. They are not Highlanders. They are imports, and I wonder if they are Highlands tourists looking for an interesting dining experience. Maybe it's like when we're on tour and we end up at a Starbucks because at least we know the coffee will be good. And I can get a fruit cup. But, come on, Applebee's?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Swimming, Freckles, and Ouch!

I'm a redhead. I have more freckles than you do. Don't start counting; I promise you that I have more. (Unless you are my dad.) I collect them, and I started that collection when I was about six months old. It's grown exponentially.

I am also passionate about sunscreen (never less than 30SPF) and wide-brimmed hats. I'd like to sell BrigidKaelin™ wide-brimmed hats at the merch table.

Yesterday at Lakeside, I got a lovely cherry sunburn. I wore sunscreen. I re-applied.

Admittedly, I didn't wear any on my legs. I've never gotten a sunburn on my legs before. Years of sitting in that lifeguard chair with the tops of my thighs exposed, and they didn't burn. I'm a fair-skinned redhead, but I can still acquire a tan.

But yesterday? Ouch. I've got crunchy back. You know, when it's burned and you squeeze your shoulderblades together and the skin crunches?

I discovered the sunburn about 2:00 when I went home. And at 7:00, I returned to the pool to meet up with Friend-who-cooks-pancakes, Friend-with-a-truck, and Friend-in-town-from-Baltimore.

We played, despite multiple comments about my red skin with brown spots. (I looked like Strawberry Chocolate Chip ice cream.) Swimming pools are pure playtime. There was splashing, dunking, ankle grabbing, diving board fun, breath-holding contests.

I also invented what should absolutely be a new Olympic Sport: Water Dancing. It's like Ice Dancing, but in the water. You're gonna love it.

Okay, I'm off to Lakeside. Yes!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Secret Revealed.

He wanted me to reveal this last week. Then he decided I should wait until the end of the year and let out the secret in a Cast of Characters List. But I'm letting you know today.

You know Friend-Who-Cooks-Pancakes? He is ...... not my boyfriend. That's what you were thinking, right? Nope, not the secret.

Friend-Who-Cooks-Pancakes is .... the same person as ... Friend-With-a-Smart-Car. AND Friend-Who-Lives-Close-to-the-Bar.

We didn't want to trick you any longer. It wasn't purposeful deception. The monikers just sort of stuck, and I kept going with it. The three guest blogs as three different people were his idea. Maybe he's got multiple personalities. He has been acting rather odd lately.

I think I'm going to call him Friend-who-cooks-Pancakes, unless the Smart Car is involved. Really, though, he hasn't cooked pancakes in ages. Back before Derby he showed up with a Tupperware of piping hot pancakes and delivered them to my doorstep. I think he only did that because he thought I would blog about it and then he'd get ALL the ladies.

So there you go. Secret out.