Friday, July 31, 2009

A completely non-controversial, vanilla blog post.

Wow, so yesterday's blog had my stomach in knots, worried that I'd upset my friends, and I couldn't concentrate all day long. So much for being a politician, right? I obviously cannot handle the stress of offending folks and/or being misinterpreted. The whole thing was meant to be about missing the Plugged-In section and wasn't intended to start a local Alt-Weekly Duel.
I do, however, want to thank approximately FIFTY people who emailed me privately (wishing to remain anonymous) and thanked me for yesterday's blog.

Now for today's completely sophomoric blog, an online quiz/survey thing:

1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:03 am
2. How do you like your steak? I haven't had a steak since I was 15. Je suis vegeterienne.
3. What was the last movie you saw? Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
4. What is your favorite TV show? Mr. Ed.
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Edinburgh or Amsterdam.
6. What did you have for breakfast? Pineapple and a brownie.
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Italian. Or Mexican.
8. What foods do you dislike? Meat. And sun-dried tomatoes.
9. Favorite Place to Eat? Anywhere in New York City.
10. Favorite dressing? Goddess dressing.
11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? David's Truck or my dad's Volvo or Charles's Smart Car or Jen's Jeep, all of which get better gas mileage than my VW Golf.
12. What are your favorite clothes? Sundresses.
13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Everywhere. I'm thinking Australia next. Or Argentina.
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Full, of course.
15. Where would you want to retire? The Netherlands.
16. Favorite time of day? Sunset.
17. Where were you born? Louisville
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Cricket because it makes no sense, and soccer because it makes lots of sense.
19. Who do you think will not tag you back? I'm not tagging, sorry
20. Person you expect to tag you back first? I'm not tagging, sorry
21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? N/A
22. Bird watcher? No, though I did recently acquire a birdfeeder. And when I was a kid, my favorite book was The North American Field Guide of Birds.
23. Are you a morning person or a night person? I alternate, but mostly a night person.
24. Do you have any pets? No. Guinness lives with my parents now where he is spoiled.
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Nope, my life is totally private. Ha.
26. What did you want to be when you were little? A rock star. And the President.
27. What is your best childhood memory? They were all either good or amusing.
28. Are you a cat or dog person? Dog.
29. Are you married? No.
30. Always wear your seat belt? Yes
31. Been in a car accident? Yes, but only when someone else was driving.
32. Any pet peeves? People who get in the left lane at a red light, then wait to put on their left turn signal until the light turns green. Also, when Friend-Who-Cooks-Pancakes touches me. That bugs me. Even when it's accidental. I'm always yelling,"Don't touch me!"
33 Favorite Pizza Toppings? Pineapple and mushroom. I am not joking. Try being single for a while and you'll discover some amazing pizza flavors you'd never dare order when in a group.
34. Favorite Flower? Lilies. Oriental and Calla. I like a good rose too.
35. Favorite ice cream? Mint Chocolate Chip.
36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Qdoba
37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Zero times.
38. From whom did you get your last email? Kirsten, about doing a show in Louisville together to release her new CD
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Some music equipment store. I was gonna say Guitar Emporium, but I need a keyboard too. And another accordion.
40. Do anything spontaneous lately? I skipped down the block this morning. That was fun.
41. Like your job? Yes.
42. Broccoli? Looooooooove broccoli.
43. What was your favorite vacation? The spontaneous weekend trip to Amsterdam back in June.
44. Last person you went out to dinner with? David.
45. What are you listening to right now? NPR.
46. What is your favorite color? I always say purple, but really it's red.
47. How many tattoos do you have? None. My canvas is too busy with freckles.
48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? I'm not tagging.
49. What time did you finish this quiz? 9:13am
50. Coffee Drinker? Decaf. (Sorry, I'm wired enough naturally.)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What's going on tonight? I have no idea.

Does anyone else out there really miss the LEO event/music listings? I know I'm going to get in trouble for this post because I have a ton of friends who work for LEO. (Before you start to accuse me of using my friends and their jobs to get publicity, I must point out that the LEO is the only publication in town that's never done an article about my music. I've been mentioned in music-related articles, and they've reviewed both of my CD's, but I've not really gotten much press from them. They are much more news-oriented anyway these days.) So anyway, my friends there will probably be annoyed by this post, but I'm not known to keep my mouth shut.

I have no idea what music is going on in town this week, and I don't know where to look to find out. Velocity's listings are much too complicated to read, and they are so ad-filled that it takes too many pages of paper to see all that's happening.

I understand the LEO wanting people to pay for advertisements for their shows rather than just listing them for free, but I'm complaining as a consumer, not as an artist. I want to know what is happening in town, and I don't want to have to navigate my way through the over-advertised and poorly designed Metromix site.

So 3 things..

1) LEO, please bring back your listings.
2) Velocity, please make your listings easier and less annoying to read.
3) Someone please come up with some awesome alternative?

Okay, enough complaining. Now for the positive. I love reading the Velocity blogs. And there's a really cook article on parsley in this week's LEO by my ol' chum Holly Clark. I love reading her enthusiastic articles on botany. I know there are lots of other thoughtful articles in there as well, but I admittedly went straight for Holly's article this morning. Now to catch up on the rest of my reading...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Special Potluck Blog Day!

Today's blog is a little something special, brought to you by my college friend Joy Manning, her co-author Tara Mataraza Desmond, and Ten Speed Press/Random House/Crown. I ordered their book, Almost Meatless: That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet , a few months back, both because I love supporting my friends. I swear, my friends always do the coolest things ... from Erin Keane's book of poetry to Nick's audio recording of Lord of the Rings to Danny's ornithological audio recording of various rare birds in Mexico. Maybe one day I should do a blog entirely of the awesome projects my friends have come up with.

Anyway, Joy and Tara wrote this cookbook, and they invited me to participate in a Blogger Potluck. Most of the other participants are food writers or chefs, but I just happen to blog a lot and really like to eat. There are at least 25 other bloggers involved, each of whom was given a recipe from Almost Meatless to prepare.

The premise of the cookbook is really cool. Basically, it's a collection of delicious recipes that aims to cut back -- not eliminate -- the dependency on meat as a main ingredient. So if you don't want to commit to vegetarianism, but you do want to eat in an environmentally and health-conscious way, Almost Meatless offers all kinds of recipes.

They are also easily adaptable if you are a full-on vegetarian, as I am.

It was really fun to try out a new recipe, though admittedly, it was extremely difficult. The recipe itself was way easy, -- BLT's with Chipotle Avocado Spread -- and it really only took about 15 minutes from start to plate. I, however, am terrible about following directions. I'm more of an artist than a chemist, so things like measuring and being specific are not easy for me.

I skimmed the recipe, and told Friend-with-a-Truck that I was in charge of dinner. He smirked, but mostly gave me free reign of the kitchen. He's also probably going to claim that he ended up cooking most of the meal, which is totally untrue. Okay, so he may have opened up the Soy Bacon for me and told me how to cut the chipotle, but that's it.

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, but they have been a severe migraine trigger for me for about the past six years. Awful, ain't it? But seeing as our bodies change or whatever about every seven years, however, I am trying to slowly re-introduce them into my diet. I made them Monday night, and so far no migraine. This is exciting.

I didn't mess anything up too badly, although I accidentally put in 1/4 tablespoon of salt instead of 1/4 teaspoon of white wine vinegar. I was able to dig out the excess salt before I blended it in though, so tragedy was averted.

Also, this was the perfect recipe for using those awesome garden tomatoes that are FINALLY ready. And it turns out that Soy Bacon is delicious. Who knews? Even Friend-with-a-Truck said he likes soy bacon.

I absolutely must give full photo credit to him, by the way. He did not approve of my original food display for my photo, and he insisted on assembling the sandwich in the photo, hence the gorgeous red drape background and perfectly situated sandwich. I was much more concerned with eating my food than displaying it. But I guess it looks good in pictures. And isn't the point of a cookbook the pictures?

The recipe:
8 strips turkey bacon (I used Soy Bacon)
1 avocado diced (about 1 cup)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar or line juice
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
8 slices white bread, toasted (i used Whole Wheat because I couldn't bring myself to buy white bread)
4 large lettuce leaves (I used Romaine, I think. Or whatever was left over from the birthday cookout.)
1 pound tomatoes, sliced to desired thickness

Preheat the oven to 400*.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment paper, or a silicone mat. Place the bacon strips on the sheet about 1 inch apart. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes to desired doneness.
While the bacon cooks, put the avocado, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the vinegar in a blender or food processor. Cut off the stem of the chipotle, halve it lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds. Coarsely chop the chipotle and add it to the blender. (Use just half of the chipotle if you prefer less heat.) Blend the ingredients to a smooth, spreadable consistency. Cover the surface of the avocado spread with plastic wrap until ready to use.
When the bacon is read, assemble the sandwich. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the avocado chipotle mixture on one slice of the toasted bread. Add the luttce, tomato, and two slices of bacon. Season with salt and pepper, and top with the other slice of toasted bread.

There are all kinds of food facts and tips listed in the cookbook, but I'm too lazy to type them all out. The cookbook is available for purchase if you are curious!

Reprinted with permission from Ten Speed Press and the authors

Other bloggers and their blogs:
Tara Mataraza Desmond
Co-author, Almost Meatless, food writer, recipe developer, cook. Blogging about food and life in words and pictures.

Joy Manning
Restaurant critic, freelance writer and Almost Meatless co-author. Blogger who wants to eat well and be fit.

Marisa McClellan
This canning maven and culinary instructor helps readers put up and preserve the seasonal harvest. She also co-hosts Fork You, an online cooking show.

Chris & Lisa
This Seattle-based husband and wife have a passion for cooking healthy new dishes to banish boredom at the dinner table.

This once morbidly obese new father has lost over 100 pounds since January. He tracks his meals and calories on his blog.

Monica Bhide
This Washington D.C.-area based cookbook author (most recently, Modern Spice) and freelance writer has written about food for the New York Times and Bon Apetit.

Daniel Koontz
This blog's many recipes and tips help demystify home cooking.

Christie Charmian
Recipes and food photos from a writer who loves to cook.

Brigid Kaelin
A musician who describes her style as "Alt-Country Cabaret." She's also a blogger, gardener, and vegetarian.

Jen says that blogging is cheaper than therapy. For her readers, it's also more entertaining.

Jaden Hair
A food writer and TV personality whose specializes in Asian fare.

FWTS stands for Fries with that Shake, so it's natural that Jess helms the Burger Club Philly, which unites members to sample the city's best burgers.

Susan has blogged her way through a 30-pound weight loss and is on a quest for health and self acceptance.

Debbie Koenig
This former Random House VP brings stress-free menus to other busy moms.

Amy Strauss
Philadelphia City Paper staffer Amy channels her passion for food into her blog.

Cheryl Sternman-Rule
Food writer shares her wit and wisdom through words peppered with hilarity and smart insight, and photography that supports "food is art" philosophy.

Katie Morford
Food writer and recipe developer who is one of a duo blogging about a mutual admiration for Afghan cuisine.

Ali Stafford
Chef and food writer sharing recipes, pictures and good thoughts.

Alona Martinez
Venezuela native cooking, writing and living life through memorable bites.

Danielle Bilton
Pastry chef via a former life in the fine arts.

Robin Asbell
Cookbook author (The New Whole Grains Cookbook; The New Vegetarian Cookbook), food writer, private chef and culinary teacher specializing in vegetarian food.

Erika & Deacon Chapin
He cooks, she eats (and sometimes cleans). A couple in Connecticut expecting their first child and eating well until he/she arrives.

Sandra Gutierrez
Food writer and cooking instructor at work on a cookbook about Latin cuisine.

Ivy Manning
Cookbook author (The Farm to Table Cookbook; The Adaptable Feast), food and travel writer.

Hank Sawtelle
Ex-esquire turned sous-vide obsessed. Cooking everything he can stuff into a plastic bag and seal and out to prove you can do it, too.

Elspeth Pierson
Food writer and radio personality living, eating and cooking in Cape Cod.

Adam Erace
Restaurant critic and food writer in Philadelphia.

A Southern food lover who struggles to balance the food she craves with her healthy lifestyle goals.

Rebekah Denn
James Beard award-winning food writer and former restaurant critic for Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Eddie Lakin
Chicago chef and writer dishing up meaty blog posts.

Sarah Copeland
Urban gardner, recipe developer, spokeswoman for The Good Food Gardens.

Jennifer Lindner McGlinn
Food writer, recipe developer, author of "Gingerbread", and new mom.

Cynthia Feury
Food writer and editor in the the OC, CA

Andrea Nguyen
Cookbook author (Into the Vietnamese Kitchen; Asian Dumplings), contributing editor for Saveur, food writer and cooking teacher.

Recording and stuff

In January, I received some really cool news: I was selected for a showcase at the Americana Music Conference in Nashville this coming September (Wed Sept 16 at 8:00 at The Basement, if you'll be there). This was extra-cool news because it's a difficult festival to play, even if you have a record deal. In fact, every artist I've ever seen play there has had a record or distribution deal of some sort. So it's a huge honor to have been chosen as a completely independent artist. I thought I had plenty of time to get a new record together for the September show. I've got tons of material, and I'm still writing new ones. But somehow, we're approaching August, and I haven't recorded anything.

My, how the year goes by.

It's great to have a deadline though. I work well under pressure, and my best work (at least in school) has always been under procrastinating circumstances. Why spend two months on a project, when you can spend two days? It's a matter of economy of time.

Anyway, I've got plenty of material, -- am sorting through about 30 songs that I'm mostly satisfied with -- but I'm determined to finish a few more songs before tomorrow morning when I start recording scratch tracks. I'm also determined to finish the record in no more than five days of recording. You know, just know what you want and play it right the first time.

Making a CD is terribly expensive, despite the advances in technology. And I'm terrified of spending more money. I canceled my label deal just before releasing WEST 28th STREET and self-financed the whole CD. That is a really scary thing for someone who is most definitely not independently wealthy. It's also not a wise investment, considering the state of the music industry.

I keep dwelling on the fact that even if I somehow magically got free studio time and didn't have to pay my musicians (as if), it still costs over $2500 just to print the CDs. Then factor in all the promotional CDs -- there are 350+ Triple A radio stations alone -- and it's pretty much a losing battle. But NOT making a new record is NOT an option.

Hmmmm ... how did I end up on the subject of financing a CD? Maybe I should be begging those of you who burned a copy of my last record from your friends to maybe at least purchase it from iTunes? Or at least don't balk at a $5 cover charge the next time you go out to hear live music...

Or if you steal my music, maybe at least buy me a drink? Or offer me a free massage? Or whatever it is that you do?

Monday, July 27, 2009

An Open Letter to Louise Brown

Dear Louise,

We've never met, but we share the exact same birthday: month, day, and year. You're a wee bit more famous than I am, and "wee" is a severe understatement. Pretty much everyone on the planet hears your name about once a year, on July 25, when news organizations do stories and updates on the anniversary of the birth of the world's first test tube baby (That's you.) Most people don't really notice, I suppose, but I've heard your name my entire life. You're in crossword puzzles and in clues on Jeopardy!, and my mom always brings up your name up on my birthday.

Last year, when we turned 30 and there were news stories galore (about you, not about me), I started to write you a song. It was called "Dear Louise," and was really my own musings about what you are doing. I might finish that song someday, but for now, I thought I'd settle for a letter.

Really, I'm just curious about you, for no other reason than you are ALWAYS a topic of conversation at my birthday parties. Isn't that weird for you? I mean, you didn't do anything to deserve a bunch of folks in Kentucky talking about "the test tube baby." You were just born. Amazingly enough, surely, but it's got to be sort of like being told one day that you're "the girl who lived" (dorky Harry Potter reference, I know). Do people ever stop you on the streets? Can you go out to dinner with your family in peace without the paparazzi snapping photos? What does YOUR family talk about on YOUR birthday? Surely they don't talk about me ...

Can we meet up and have a cup o' tea the next time I'm touring over in England? There's a chance I'll be back in Manchester this fall, and I'd like to meet you. I've never met anyone with my exact birthday before.

Anyway, I'm sort of hoping that you're the type of person who has her name set up on a "Google Alert" search. You'll find my blog and this letter, and you'll send me an email (, and we'll have a good chuckle over this. I'll plan that Fall UK tour, and I'll buy you a tea or a pint.

Sorry that a few thousand other people read this letter first. I didn't want to be totally creepy and search for you on Facebook.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Birthday week!

July is my favorite month because it's always warm, sunny, tomato-filled, and full of birthdays. My birthday is Saturday. I LOVE birthdays.

As a kid, I would have summer birthday parties, but it always seemed like my friends were on vacation that week. Several of my friends are also on vacation this week, but it's not so upsetting anymore. It used to bother me that I was never in school on my birthday because I never got the chance to bring cupcakes to school like most of the kids did. Also: not so upsetting anymore.

Originally, I'd hoped that someone would whisk me away to Europe for the weekend, but I remembered that you can't sit around and wait for things to happen. Ok, so maybe it would have been a better surprise if I'd waited, but I opted to take care of that fantasy myself a few weeks ago. So with my Europe craving satiated, I'm left with a pleasant weekend in Louisville with a few of my favorite things: friends, brunch (LOVE brunch), croquet, watermelon, a cook-out, and Friend-with-a-Truck's Tequila Shots™. Yes, the shots are good enough to be trademarked.

People keep asking me what I want, but I really don't like getting presents. I mean, of course, I like presents, but I always feel guilty. I'd rather people go out to dinner or meet me in Paris than buy me a new iPod. My mom is bugging me about it, and I finally told her that what would make me really really happy is if she paid for getting the trees in my backyard all trimmed up. I'll take care of Paris if she takes care of the overgrown mulberry tree that is creeping steadily toward my roof and making tiny forests in the gutters.

That being said, I am reminded of a blog I made last winter when I was hopped up on some cold medicine. I apparently spent hours browsing and made a brilliant "Wish List Registry." So just in case any of you out there were desperately wondering what to get your favorite accordionista blogger, here's my list.

It's much better than what my friend Jen did when she was hopped up on Ambien. She ordered one of those Sally Struthers African kids, and she still pays twenty bucks a month for his "school supplies." Me, I've just got the Oxford English Dictionary on my registry.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Masochistic Ice Cream Cravings.

I am lactose intolerant. I've always hated milk because it has always made me feel icky. Cheese, however, I completely adore despite its ill effects. It gives me migraines and pains my joints, and my head and my fingers are a wee bit important to my job. I avoid dairy as much as possible, unless I happen to find myself in a cheese shop in Holland. Or ice cream in July. Specifically my birthday week.

Ice cream is also deadly to me. I'll sacrifice myself for journalism occasionally, as in the 2007 Great Quest to Find the Best Ice Cream in Germantown. After sampling the delicacies of The Dairy Del and The Dairy Kastle, I was down with a migraine within a few hours. (That link is from Erin Keane's blog, and it's a mighty fine read for y'all Louisvillians.)

Tonight, however, I'm going to have a Tagalong™ Blizzard for dinner. I understand what could happen. My tummy will rumble and a sharp pain will ensue. I will lament about how I knew what would happen, and I will beg Friend-With-A-Truck to talk me out of whatever ice cream craving strikes me next.

But in the mean time, I will taste the deliciousness of TAGALONGS™ mixed with BLIZZARD!! Brilliant. It's a gorgeous evening in Louisville (it feels like LA minus the smog), I've got on a sundress, it's my birthday week, and I feel like skipping down Bardstown Road with a blizzard. Honk if you see me!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thoughts about running for mayor.

So Mayor Jerry* is not running for re-election, and someone asked me if I'd ever considered running for mayor. Duh, of course I have! I was a political science major, after all, and I do like to know exactly what is going on with everyone (hence why I like status updates on Facebook). I also absolutely love Louisville, and I'm pretty opinionated on things that would make Louisville better.

After some deep thought, however, I am not at all interested in RUNNING for mayor. I would just like to BE the mayor. See the difference?

I know it's not really a monarchy, but I'm somehow a distant cousin of Mayor Jerry's wife. I also happy to have a Jewish mother, which makes me Jewish, like Mayor Jerry. So I think I might have a rightful claim to the throne. I mean, it's at least as good a claim as Lady Jane Grey. Although she got beheaded, so maybe that's not a good precedent.

If I were the mayor, I would probably insist on wearing a tiara. I've already got a tiara (again, duh), so we wouldn't need to use public funds to purchase it. See how I'm already saving you money? I would also ride the bus to work everyday because I live along a major bus route. Also, do you think I could perhaps do most of my work from Highland Coffee rather than the downtown office? Maybe I'd have a roving office and Tweet daily about where my office is today.
Like today it's at coffeeshop in the Highlands, and tomorrow it's at the cool Hat shop on Main Street in Portland. I might even venture to the Smyrna Inn one afternoon, although I would definitely have to drive there rather than TARC it.

Improving TARC would be a major goal. And making a real bicycle lane on the major streets. And making it illegal to turn left onto Eastern Parkway from Bardstown Road (why is there only a green arrow going the other direction?) And getting every kid in this city free or subsidized music lessons. Why couldn't we hook up high school music students with underprivileged youth who don't have the resources to take private music lessons? I also think I would put accordion players or ukulele players or diggeree-doo players on every street corner downtown because seeing them would make my constituents happy. And really, isn't everyone's goal just to be a little happier?

Hmmmm ... on second thought, maybe I'll just continue trying to make everyone happy by roving around town with my accordion. Pretty much like I do already. Perhaps I should start wearing a tiara while I do it.

Remind me to tell you a hilarious story about playing accordion on the streets and Mayor Jerry.

* He's got a Wikipedia entry! Why don't I have a Wikipedia entry? Hmpf.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

B-R-I-G-I-D. Yes, with a "D." No Ts, no Es.

Please don't tell me I spell my name wrong. It's Gaelic, and it's ancient, and I know that's weird. Sometimes people email me -- my email is -- and then begin the message: "Hi Bridget, how are you?" How can you type my name twice in the email and then completely butcher it during the greeting?

In Ireland, they don't misspell "Brigid." When I was there, the coolest part of the trip was being able to find my name spelled correctly on keychains and little notepads. I had never been able to buy a truck-stop nameplate before I went to Ireland.

I know my name is tricky, and I know most people aren't particularly good spellers. Really, it doesn't bother me as much as you might think. People pronounce an imaginary "T" in my name all the time, and honestly, I barely notice anymore. I'll answer to just about anything.

But lately, I've begun overly pronouncing my name when someone asks. For example, the awesome barista at Heine Brothers on Frankfort Avenue who just now took my Yummy Iced Soy Chai order and asked my first name. "Brigiddddddddd," I responded.

And when I just now picked my Yummy Iced Soy Chai drink up at the counter, I read on the cup: "iChai Soy Brigid." I am completely amazed.

And so I forgot the original topic of today's blog and instead wrote about the amazing speller barista.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Review 7.19 is the RSS Feed for my blog
Review time! I've got lots to blog about this week, including an amazing day with The Muckrakers during their last show, a bloodthirsty game of risk with some Muckrakers and Friend-with-a-Truck, my morning with Walter Cronkite, and maybe a few other stories-to-come.

But for now ... to attend to your comments and questions:

Nick S - Lucky lucky you for finding someone who understands the life of a musicians. There are very few out there. And yes, a Big Band is a wonderful thing ... i sing with some of the guy's from my grandpa's band about twice a year.

Melissa R.S. - You know, I think you're right about me always being busy. But I also think I'm sort of masochistic like that ... i'm depressed when I'm bored.

Laura Ro - I will happily relieve you of any extra tomatos. My plants are not nearly as productive as my pumpkins.

Michael -- I bet you anything my granpa knew your uncle. We should investigate.

Sabrina -- We still need to take you to dinner.

Chermaya -- Did you see HP yet?

Neil -- I read one of the Earthsea books. I like it okay, but I really just don't like that genre. I think that's why I like Harry Potter; it doesn't feel like a fantasy book. And I prefer the "hit me up if you need a pint" of the UK over the blood bank anyday.

Garrett -- Yeah, we eventually let those kids cut in front of us though. But only because the ABC News camera crew was there, and we didn't want to look like asses. Remember how tightly you had to clutch your Goblet of Fire on the train home? I thought I would be mugged for sure.

Vicki --Have you started watching the HP movies yet?

Terry F -- Yes, please, say hello! Or at least spread a rumor that I was doing something fabulous.

Keith S - From how they were posing with their wands, I'm pretty sure they are into more than just ice cream sundaes.

Margy - That is a GREAT story! I'm going to start calling you the "Clay and Cotton Lady." Awesome. You should absolutely open a store in Vail.

Kyle - Thanks for the squash. You missed a killer Risk night, while you were out pretending like you had friends in high school.

Alex - I'll see you at LTC. Do i have to dress as a vampire? Is this Twilight or True Blood?

Jenny S - Stiltgrass updates still needed!

Susan - It's funny, mom was saying how Joe never talked, but he told me the story of "Intermission" multiple times. Maybe it was a musician-to-musician thing. If I ever have kids, they'd better not interrupt a gig. I've been daydreaming about Colorado lately, by the way ... could be time to book a show there.

Sandra -- Oh, I wasn't volunteering to just anyone .. just those universal acceptors and my fellow B+ers. Sorry i can't save your life:(

Brit -- Why in the world did YOU get kicked out of high school?

Paul & Lyzz -- Blood valedictorians. Boooooo.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My blood-type has ruined my GPA.

I gave blood a few weeks ago at Louisville Public Media's Blood Drive. It was kind of weird to lie there and squeeze the ball in the same performance studio where I've squeezed the accordion at least thirteen times on WFPK's Live Lunch program. But I was really excited because it was the first time I was actually able to give blood. Every time I'd tried previously, I couldn't for some reason or another -- either the wrong hemoglobin count or I'd been out of the country too recently.

Since that day in June, I've been waiting to find out my blood type. And today when I opened my mail from the Red Cross, I felt my stomach turn in a really uncomfortable way.

We all know that I was, um, a bit of an over-achiever in high school and college. (That is probably an understatement.) But may I tell you that seeing "Brigid Kaelin: B+" on my Red Cross ID card instinctively irritated me?

Do you think that maybe if I did some extra credit or volunteered at the canteen or gave plasma, I could at least get it change to an "A-?"

Friend-who-cooks-pancakes got an "A+" on his card, and he's not letting me forget it. In fact, I just saw him pumping his fists in the air and doing a little jig while singing "I got an A+ I got an A+!" He and I are fighting.

So for the time being, I'm dealing with a B+. Anyone else out there a B+? We can save each other's lives. Hit me up if you need a pint.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Harry Potter became a fan of Brigid Kaelin.

Okay, Anonymous, I normally wait until my Sunday Review to address comments, but I'm impatient. Also, your comment reminded me of something I've been meaning to blog about anyway....

One of my least favorite thing about blogs is the lack of editing, and I know I'm at fault for this as well. I trimmed yesterday's, however, and one of the paragraphs I left out was about this adorable Harry Potter couple sitting a couple of rows in front of us. And then that anonymous comment! (it's on the page, for you Facebook readers).

Friend-with-a-Truck and I were amused by the Sexy Hogwarts Outfits™ and the girls posing suggestively with their wands, but then this awesome Harry and Hermione couple wandered in and were immediately our favorite costumed group of the evening. Their outfits were great, and they just looked like they were having fun without the need to draw a bunch of attention to themselves.

Then while Friend-with-a-Truck was getting popcorn, Awesome Harry Potter turned around and looked at me and said, "Are you Brigid Kaelin?" Here I was sitting in perfect anonymity at a midnight movie with people totally out of my perceived audience demographic, and I was busted at the Harry Potter midnight premiere. (Though honestly, if I saw someone at the Harry Potter midnight premiere, I would immediately think they are cool. Maybe it's a good thing.) I laughed and said I was. And Awesome Harry Potter said he liked my music and had seen me at the broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.

It somehow tickled me even more that the Best Dressed Wizard of the evening recognized me. I mean ... come on ... getting recognized by ... Harry Potter? He's the most famous wizard of all time!

But that made me think about the whole idea of getting recognized in public by people you don't know. When I see someone mildly famous (whether locally or nationally), I rarely ever go talk to him/her. Like a few months ago when I saw this really creepy guy at Impellizeri's on Bardstown Road getting a carryout pizza, I immediately disliked him for some reason. Then I realized it was Ethan from Lost, and isn't it funny to see him getting take-out. But I didn't talk to him. I told some friends though, so now my friends know that sometimes Ethan from Lost eats pizza from the Highlands.

The whole point of this is that it's weird to think about who might see me out and about, know who I am, not say anything to me, and then tell someone else what I was doing. Last year, my dad called me up and said, "I heard you were at the track today." And I had indeed been at the track, but I hadn't told anyone I was there. It was just an impromptu photo shoot with a photographer friend of mine. Turns out that one of the employees there recognized me and told somebody who told somebody who told my dad. Weird, right?

It's a good thing I'm not really famous. And it's also a good thing I never misbehave (in public).

Anyway, thanks for saying hello to me, Awesome Harry Potter. I hope you and that Awesome Hermione Granger are actually a couple. I always wanted Harry and Hermione to hook up.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Midnight Magic Harry Potter

If you are one of those folks who refuses to read Harry Potter on principle, then I think you are silly. I also think you probably shouldn't read this blog.

I tore through the first three books when I was a part-time nanny for the world's most charming and precocious four-year-old in New York. I waited a year for Book Four to come out, and yes, I waited in line (or on-line, as they say in Yankee-town) at midnight at the Barnes & Noble at Astor Place to purchase The Goblet of Fire. I rode the subway home at 1am, clutching my copy close to my body on the train. It was the only time during my five years in NYC that I felt even slightly unsafe. I had a visible prize, and the people on that train wanted it.

(Remind me to tell you about the time Rebecca and I pitched a Harry Potter TV Special to CBS News before Book Four came out and they told us, "Cute girls, but no one is going to care about a kids' book. Thanks for trying." Suckas.)

I like the movies too. It's been two years since I've read the books, and my memory is fading. I took this as the perfect opportunity to re-watch the first five movies. I was surprised by how much plot (and subplots) I'd forgotten, and how much better that made the movies. I didn't care that Hermione's House-Elf Union storyline wasn't in the movie, and that made the movies just fly by.

I purposely did not re-read The Half-Blood Prince* before I saw the film. And I had a great time at the midnight showing last night.

Friend-with-a-Truck and I went to the Baxter Avenue midnight premiere. Yes, we bought tickets several days prior, and no, we were not the oldest people there. But we were definitely above the median age, which was approximate seventeen.

We arrived around 11:00 because we wanted good seats. There was no line, but that was because they'd already let about fifty teenagers inside. Luckily, there was an entire row available, and we got great center seats. That row ended up being the 21+ row as well, but we were surrounded by teenage girls dressed in Sexy Hogwarts Costumes (it's like the new Catholic schoolgirl costume) who were texting each other and taking pictures and giggling a lot.

It was actually really really fun. It reminded me of seeing a movie in NYC, when the theater is totally packed and everyone cheers for the good guy and boos for the villain. There's something special about laughing together and crying together and cheering together.

There was explosive cheering when the previews finally began. My favorite part of the night was when the second preview started, -- I was digging in the popcorn tub for the perfect kernel and I didn't see the preview's first scene -- and there was a unison high-pitched squeal of excitement. It was the Twilight 2 preview, and the dreamy vampire smiled his crooked smile across the big screen. I admit that when I noticed what it was, I dug into Friend-with-a-Truck's arm a bit too enthusiastically. Then I laughed maniacally while two hundred teenage girls shushed each other so they could hear the dialogue. (Really though, I think Twilight dialogue is better left unheard. Let's just look at the hot vampire and forget about the storyline.)

I have trouble sitting still, but the two-and-a-half hour Harry Potter 6 movie wasn't the least bit dull. The special effects still amaze me, particularly when a pedestrian bridge in London tumbles into the Thames, as well as a nice scene when Dumbledore waves his wand and cleans an entire room. It also blows my mind when something in the movies looks just as I imagined it while reading the book.

I didn't get home until 3am, and I immediately read Chapter 1 of Book 7. Now to wait an entire year until the final movie. Well, Part 1 of the final movie. I heard they're splitting it into two films.

*Note to you Facebook Readers -- when my blogs import into Facebook, all of my italics and bolds are lost, which makes me crazy because i know you're supposed to Italicize book titles ... believe me, it's italicized on

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I am not the only professional musician in the family. My Grandpa Joe was a trumpet player in Big Bands back in their heyday. I love playing jazz piano and singing with Big Bands, but can you imagine what it would have been like to play those great swing standards as they were being composed. I can hear it now: "Hey guys, did you hear the new Duke Ellington tune?" I hear people say they wished they'd been alive during the 60s to hear the great music then, but I would have liked to have been around during the 30s and 40s.

My grandpa joined the army like everyone else during World War II, but he was in the army band. So while others were flying planes and dropping bombs, he was playing showtunes where he was stationed: Palm Springs. He played parties for celebrities in support of war bonds. Kind of a nice way to spend a war, don't you think?

After the war, he returned to Louisville, got married, and started having babies. Music was put on the back-burner for just long enough to drive him crazy, I imagine. So he started playing with bands again. I can understand this need to play music; it's genetic.

Joe was playing a party in Southern Indiana on the evening of July 14, 1951, when he got word that his wife Evelyn had gone into labor across the river in Louisville. After finishing the first set, he hopped in his car and rushed to the hospital just in time to hear word that he had a daughter, premature but breathing. He asked the doctor what he should do.

"What were you doing before?" the doctor asked my grandfather.

"Playing a gig in Indiana," he replied.

"Well, go back to the gig then."

So Joe hopped back in his car and rushed across the river and got back to the venue just in time to start the second set. A true professional musician.

And that's the story of how my mom was born during intermission.

Happy Birthday, Mom. (Did I make you cry?)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Review 7.12

I'm trying to re-discover the weekend. It's a weird thing being both self-employed AND a musician. People seem to think I'm available at all times day and night. I'm trying to maintain some "off-work" hours, which is difficult, but has a huge impact on my personal life. I guess everyone has that balance, but most people have those hours defined for them.

Now for review. Let me remind you kind folks reading on Facebook that you can subscribe to the RSS feed ( and thus see all of my fun BOLD thing.

Troy --My yard is definitely getting cuter and cuter by the hour. I feel like it's somehow possible to watch those pumpkins creep across the grass. Also, I like your idea on my future fans ... i should maybe start doing all kinds of "nerd camp" visits.

Bluegrassrom -- Rachael Ray's got nothing on me, hee hee. Except that she can cook meat. And I have no idea how to cook meat.

Alex -- I think I'm playing with John for LTC. Tell him he has to pay me well though because that's my birthday weekend.

Glenna -- How was your Goshen party?

Marty -- I totally forgot about that song. Should have been singing it all the way down the slide.

Lee -- "Nerd girls are sexy" hee hee hee.

Cody -- I agree. And it's not like they are really all that dirty, just suggestive double entendres.

Kelly -- I am working on some sort of New England tour. If you've got any ideas for particular cities or venues, please send them along...

Christi -- What's even funnier is that I purposefully did NOT even sing those tunes. I thought they would be inappropriate ...

Vicki -- Saint Brigid t-shirts would probably not sell as well as we think ... hee hee

Neil -- I can't imagine what your kids would have done to incite four-letter words, ha. Personally, I can't believe how well teachers hold themselves together day in and day out.

LeeAnn -- I had completely forgotten about the racquetball scandal. And you're right ... we caught on to EVERYTHING.

Jessi -- Yeah, I was a music focus at GSP too ... actually I think I chose that because you told me how awesome it was. Definitely feelin' the age this year. Aris told me that he had been working at GSP for exactly 17 years ... and that this year's scholars were born the same year he took the job.

Mike -- You're probably right about that. Maybe i should start singing about rainbows and puppies if I want people to stop listening.

Kampschaefer -- Where have you been hiding? I haven't seen you in agews.

Meredith -- I'll make something with Rooster sauce in it for you. It's not really made of rooster.

Janet -- Yeah, I feel like someone once asked me to participate in a cookbook, then I never heard anything again about it. What's happening?

Tara -- Food-throwing steps will now become part of every recipe. Somehow.

Margy -- I'm glad to hear that even folks with families have problems not eating out. Maybe it's the ease and convenience of life in the Highlands... it's too easy to grab a falafel or Pad Thai and it's cheaper to do that than to buy all the ingredients.

Laura Roberts - How are your squash doing? Did you trim them back?

Jenny -- Same thing ... did you find a solution for that obnoxious stiltgrass?

Liz -- Liam and Grady are absolutely invited to the pumpkin patch for Halloween.

Kyle -- Deliver me some squash! I'm at DC's this afternoon. Come on over.

Brit - We'll have pumpkin soup for sure.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Midnight water slides

I'm in the middle of a 4 gigs in 48 hours stretch, with the last of them being a mere 3 hours away. (LebowskiFest Live Lunch on Louisville's 91.9 WFPK radio station streaming live from noon-1 Eastern time).

Last night was the one I knew the least about. Peter Searcy booked it, and I thought I was just playing keyboards while he sang some tunes at some private party way out in Goshen. Goshen is about 30 minutes from The Highlands, which to me is a road trip. The only time I've ever been there is when I've been hired to play some fancy schmancy private party for people with tennis courts in their backyards. Usually at these things, it's well-known that the musicians are "the help," and we are not encouraged to mingle with the guests.

Turns out, I had a blast. I think if I suddenly found my bank account with a few million dollars in it, -- as it seems most of the households in Goshen must have -- I would (after saving, investing, buying a Roland Midi Accordion, and taking care of some non-profits) invite my friends over for some killer parties. I'd hire a band, I'd have someone else cater it, I'd import some divine Italian cheeses and olive oil and wine, and I'd have a 42-foot slide through my hilly garden down to my swimming pool.

The hosts at last night's party were not just great to the musicians, -- we were basically just guests at the party who happened to play music -- but they seemed like the awesome kind of people who just appreciate and enjoy life to the fullest. Peter played his songs, but I also played a bunch of mine. And the guests actually listened to the band ... totally weird for a private party.

When the party was over and Peter and I were packing up the van, I decided it was weird that not a single guest had been in the gorgeous swimming pool. I pulled up my dress just a little bit, kicked off my sandals, and stepped into the water just a bit. It was the perfect temperature, and the hostess saw me eyeing the water slide mischievously.

"Do it," she shouted. "I'll get you a towel!"

So I skipped over to the garden, and made my way up the hill to the top of the slide. Peter's wife was in shock and fumbling for her camera (I instructed her: No Facebook photos!), but I was too quick for her. It was just past midnight, I was tired from playing a gig, oddly completely sober, and I jumped on the slide ... winding and twisting down the hill unbelievably fast and spilling out into the deep end of the pool with a smile and a splash and all of my clothes.

Then I did it two more times and swam a few laps before driving home in a towel. You'll never tell the story about that time you almost went down the slide in all of your clothes, right?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Smart kids shouldn't listen to my lyrics.

I played a gig at Bellarmine University this afternoon for a group of Kentucky High School Seniors-to-Be called Governor's Scholars. When I was part of this group back in 1995, we called it "nerd camp." It's basically summer camp for the over-achievers. They go and take classes and expand their horizons and stuff. It's pretty cool.

I played for about 30 minutes, then answered questions and talked about life as an artist and following your dream and stuff.

What really got me though about these kids was how well they listened. A group of 200+ high school kids who were taking pictures and whispering and texting ... still managed to catch every dirty joke or song lyric I sang. I felt kind of guilty. Then I realized I think maybe I write too many dirty songs. Or I don't expect the audience to actually catch my lyrics.

I need to be careful. People are actually listening.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kitchen 911, Brigid-style.

Wow, it's 10:30, and I'm just now getting to today's blog. This morning I loaded into a lunchtime gig at this bar where my dad works and realized that in 48 hours I have 4 gigs. I'm not even on tour right now. Please don't hate me if I haven't returned your phone call or email ... odds are I haven't listened to your voice-mail or read your message yet.

In related news, I'm still in a Try-Not-to-Eat-Out-Every-Night frame of mind. I don't like how difficult this is to maintain. I had to grab a tomato sandwich from the deli by my studio today because I just had no time to eat. And I am not a fun person to deal with when I have low blood sugar.

I'm proud of myself for creating some magic out of a barren cupboard tonight. I know this isn't a food blog, and since I am the opposite of OCD when it comes to, well, everything, my recipe will likely be completely useless to you. But here goes:

-Frozen broccoli florets (Enough to fit in the small frying pan that is the only clean dish in the house).
Cook the florets in the pan with some water until they aren't frozen anymore, but they aren't mushy either.

-Box of Whole Grain Macaroni and Cheese (Just the noodles because remember you used up the "cheese" packet to fix another batch of mac-n-cheese that time you accidentally poured that box's "cheese" packet into the boiling water, then remembered you had that weird extra Box of Macaroni and Cheese that happened to be Whole Grain, and you figured you'd never make Whole Grain Mac-n-Cheese, but you saved the actual noodles just in case there was an emergency. This is that emergency. Use those noodles.)
Boil some water and cook the macaroni until it's tender, but also not mushy. You can do that thing where you throw macaroni on the wall to see if it sticks, but mostly because it's fun to throw food.

In a separate bowl, preferably one that's sort of clean, mix together the following things found in your mostly barren cupboard:
- Peanut Butter (A couple of spoonfuls, the big soup spoons. and use creamy because it's your roommate's, and you need to save the extra crunchy in case there is a SERIOUS food emergency.)

- Some peanuts (Unless you used the Crunchy Peanut Butter. That would be redundant.)

- Rooster sauce (A squeeze or two.)

- Cilantro (Yay for the herb garden. Put as much as you can get from your garden this late in the season. My plants flowered already, so I've only got about six cilantro leaves.

- Basil (Only if you don't have enough cilantro. Which I didn't. I used one basil leaf. It was a pretty big leaf though.)

- Soy Sauce (Enough to squirt the letter "B" in the bowl.)

- A little bit of brown sugar. (Because brown sugar saves most things from tasting like crap.)

This is a fine opportunity to use a whisk! I did, and it was fun. It's also fun to say "whisk," but only if you are sure to pronounce the "wh" properly.
Whisk the peanut butter, peanuts, rooster sauce, cilantro, basil, soy sauce, and brown sugar together.

Add some hot water.
(Just a little, to thin out the sauce because you probably didn't make enough to cover the macaroni.)

Mix the macaroni, and broccoli, and peanut sauce together.

Discover there is one egg left. Scramble the egg.
(Use the same pan as you cooked the broccoli because it's mostly clean.)

Add the egg to the mixture.

I thought it was pretty yummy. Better than Kraft mac-n-cheese anyway.

Maybe I should write a cookbook.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Great Crooked-Neck Squash

So some of you saw my Facebook status yesterday about my garden ... the story gets more interesting. Most of you know I loooooove gardening. Earlier this year the neighborhood newspaper even did a story on home vegetable gardens, and my 100+ seedlings were featured on the cover. The adorable squash seedlings, in particular, were the most attractive cover models. Unfortunately, the "greenhouse" was at Friend-who-cooks-Pancakes's house, not my own, so only about 1/3 of the seedlings survived the spring.

I gave many away, but I planted a few tomatoes, peppers, loads of herbs, and two squash plants in my front yard. The squash seemed happy in their little patch of land where I have grown zucchini and squash for the past few years. They've grown to about two feet tall or more in huge green mounds with glorious orange blossoms (cue the fiddle) peeking out from the base of the plants. There were also about 3-4 "volunteer" seedlings that grew out of the ground, the results of letting last years zucchini drop seeds in my yard.

A few days ago at Kyle's house, I harvested three squash from his plants, all of which were the same height and prowess as mine. But my blossoms were not producing. This angered me, especially because the plants just keep growing, spilling over the sidewalk at points. The sidewalks were infiltrated last year as well, but not this early in the season.

That's when I found my first little squash growing right out of one of those orange blossoms. Only it was short and fat, not slender and elegant. I shrieked and called over to Friend-with-a-Truck who confirmed my hypothesis: These are pumpkins!!!

At first annoyed, I soon giggled gleefully at the thought of a Pumpkin Patch in my front yard. The new neighbors two doors down were just commenting on my front yard garden, -- in a nice way, not in a passive-agressive-please-stop-growing-food-in-the-front kind of way -- and they've got two little kids. How fun would it be to have the most locally grown Halloween decorations possible? So I trimmed it back a little -- and by "it" I mean actually about three or four plants that are very quickly taking over the yard.

My only explanation is that my roommates never threw away their Halloween decorations from last fall. I was in Europe on tour during the season, so I never even bought a pumpkin. And upon further recollection -- and examination of my pumpkin patch -- I think the plants are actually producing ... mini-pumpkins!!! You know, those decorative teeny-weeny pumpkins.

Part of me thinks that if you're going to have a pumpkin patch in your front yard, you should be growing massive, giant, state-fair winning pumpkins. Aren't mini-pumpkins kind of a cop-out? Or is it just that much more ridiculous?

Either way, I'm keeping it. For now. Pictures to follow.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Review 7.6

Crazy. For the first time in months, I'm not feeling writer's block when it's time for a blog, but I realized I'm long overdue for a review. First off, I'm sticking with the site rather than MySpace. Most of you are reading on Facebook or GoogleReader or MyYahoo, so just works better.

I'll continue with some Amsterdam blogs and will eventually even finish my Tale of Millionaire's Row. But for now attend to your comments:

Mia -- We did pretty much all of that and more. It was a total blast. The Kaffe was amazing.

Joy - I wouldn't say that Elvis and I are friends, but I've got a few text message conversations that I am never going to erase. We played a show in Louisville together last summer, and we have a lot of mutual friends. He ran into one of them at Bonnaroo, and they called me. Then he invited me to the Ryman show ... our paths just keep crossing.

CD - I've never been on the balcony of the Ryman. I am almost always behind a pole on the floor. But it's still always a great show.

Dan -- OMG!! Styx?!?! That totally trumps E.C.

Tim -- Thanks for leading the folks astray with your "i took her to Paris" comment. It got everyone off my scent for a while.

Ann -- Argentina was our second choice. An excellent guess.

Robert L. -- Ha! The Appalachian Trail ... That's one thing you will NEVER catch me doing. Outdoors? Camping? For days and weeks at a time? Ick.

Sarah V -- The one time i come to your neck of the woods, and you're up in Louisville. Phooey! Can we have a farm concert at your place sometime?

Patrick -- Thanks, glad you liked the Off the Record. I was listening ot some of the old ones thinking how completely off-the-wall my choices are. Glad you enjoyed.

Laurie & Bryan -- Love the comments on LivingWithout a Car. I seriously wish that Tarc would develop racks on the front of them for Keyboards and Guitar Amps. And that they ran musician hours.

Rob F. - You would make an excellent detective! I was most definitely NOT in LA.

Sarah R - Funny, I was supposed to be playing in Mackinac Island that weekend. But that gig fell through a few months prior. Someday...

Marty -- Enjoy yourself ... love all the versions of that tune. Glad to hear I'm not alone in singing it to myself.

Leigh Ann -- you were great on the radio. sorry i missed you!

Beth -- You have no idea what your words mean to an independent musician. It's so nice to know that someone appreciates it .... not that i'm down on myself, but it's so easy to think that you're not accomplishing anything by just singing songs. Sometimes I think my time would be better spent at a soup kitchen. Thank you.

To all who loved Tim -- Thanks for reading and for keeping the music alive.

Sabrina -- We kicked ourselves in the face for not remembering to grab your address before we left. I need to have your address tattooed on my arm or something. THank you again.

John Whit - When are we playing? And why didn't you meet me in Amsterdam?

Tara - "I want to be you." You are hilarious. Come with me next time. Or let's plot something new...

Wendy -- It was such a blast. I'm still itchin' for Wales though. And cream tea.

Robert L - You're right. Our local beer is better than in Holland.

Dude -- Hope you liked your cheese.

Melissa -- Ha, you mentioned having trouble tagging people because of remembering their names. That's one of my favorite things abotu Facebook .. when someone else tags someone, and I can finally recall their name.

Lynn - I'm glad someone else thinks the "Do you remember my name" game is rude. (P.S. please eat some basil from my yard!)

Jon K- How can I forget a man in a kilt?!

Jill -- What's your name again?

Daniel - Viggo and Greta? Really? Wow, what was I thinking?

Nancy - You're right about hte nightracing going along with the decline of the industry, but it is really a hopeful comeback. I've only ever seen the track so crowded on Derby Day. It was really amazing.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Old Amsterdam. Not New.

Sorry for the lame blog yesterday. I've been crazed all week, and I felt guilty for skipping the day before. Today I'm going to make up for it by telling you a bit about my weekend in Amsterdam.

I was just sorting through some of the photos this morning, which made me smile and laugh. I've gotten some crap from some of my friends about the trip, -- the sarcastic, Must be nice to be able to do that. I could never do anything like that, -- but mostly the response has been: Awesome! What a great idea!

And so to you silly folks who think you could never do something as wildly spontaneous, I say you need to try a little bit harder. I'm not saying you should fly to Amsterdam for the weekend, but there are loads of other little spontaneous excursions -- whether a trip to the Dairy Del or the crazy underground caves/bomb-shelters or Cherokee Park -- that you could give you the same sense of wonder and adventure.

But enough preaching ... let me tell you about Amsterdam.

Because of Friend-who-works-for-Delta, we were able to fly ridiculously cheap. The caveat was that we had to fly stand-by. The awesome part of that caveat is that if there are any Business Class seats available, then we get automatic upgrades. I pouted for about a minute when we ended up in Coach, -- don't make fun of me, if you've ever flown Business Class internationally, then you can appreciate my dismay -- but then I remembered we were were on our way to Amsterdam. I immediately perked up.

I slept on the plane, and when I woke up, we were approaching Schipol airport in Holland. Looking out the window, I could see windmills miles from shore out in the ocean. Holland and windmills. I half-expected us to land in a tulip field. It was already completely pastoral.

The Amsterdam airport is incredibly easy to navigate, and apparently the customs officers don't really care who is entering their country. We showed our passports, and the guy stamped them immediately. He asked us no questions, and simply said, "Have fun!" I had been prepared for the Inquisition like they do in the United Kingdom, but The Netherlands is about a million times more laid-back.

We bought a train ticket to Amsterdam Centraal Station, which was much more complicated than anticipated. Credit cards in Europe are more advanced than in the US. They are equipped with some sort of ID chip, and it's difficult to us our mere American cards. We struggled with the machines for a while, but finally bought our tickets.

Note the spelling of Centraal Station. That's another thing ... the Dutch language seems to consist of English words with extra vowels in the middle and "-nen" added to the end of a word. To avoid looking like Americans, we spoke Dutch gibberish to each other as we navigated our way to the correct train-nen. A gaggle of schoolchildren were surely laughing at us, but we didn't let up our Dutch-gibberish. Or at least I didn't. Friend-with-a-Truck was also laughing at me eventually.

The other funny thing is that no conductor ever collected our tickets that we'd struggled so long to purchase. We'd already wasted 7 Euros. Or possible 14 because we may have accidentally bought the tickets twice.

It was about 10am when we stepped out of Centraal Station into the streets of Amsterdam. We were faced with slow-moving Trams and hundreds of bicycles in every direction. It was the postcard of a perfect European city, and we couldn't wait to go exploring. We high-fived each other, and went in search of a cheap hotel.

What, you expected us to have made reservations?!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Good times at the track.

I'm supertired today. Yesterday was spent at Churchill Downs loading in equipment, setting up, and then playing from 4-10. I am not used to marathon gigs like that. When I was first starting out in the music scene, I played a weekly four hour gig at Air Devils Inn. It wasn't hard at first, but i soon began to dread it.

I've been spoiled these past couple of years, getting to play cool shows with usually kit one power set of my strongest material. Last night was actually pretty fun, despite the insane amount of hours and the fact that we were mostly background music. its a Shocker to those of you who know me, I'm sure, but I don't like to be in the background.

But it was acually a really fun gig. The track was packed, and l had a blast.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I love horseracing. Obviously it has something to do with growing up in Louisville. But it also reminds me of My Fair Lady and of being completely decadent. Going to Churchill Downs is exciting, not just because of the races, but because of the energy and the history that envelops the track. I love knowing that for a century and a half, people have stood in those stadiums and watched those amazingly strong creatures gallop around the track.

One of my favorite things to do is to get up at 6am during Derby week and go to the backside to watch the race horses train. They are pure atheletes with glistening muscles and a competitive nature. I still get chills when I watch the old newsreel footage of Secretariat winning the Belmont by thirty lengths. Watch that video if you get a chance.

I don't go to the track often because I'm usually busy during the day. But Churchill Downs has started: NIGHT RACING! It's from 4:00 - midnight and features Happy Hour, tons of live music, food, fancy cocktails, and horse races. I also happen to be playing from 4-10 (yes, 4:00-10:00 between races) in the Triple Crown Room ..... fancy!

I must admit, I'm really excited about getting dressed up and heading to the track. I hope this is something that Churchill Downs is going to continue. Will be Twittering (or Tweeting or Twitting or whatever you call it) from the event.