Monday, April 28, 2008

backyard epiphanies

It is spring. Nearly 100 of my wee baby apples are wearing wee stockings in an effort to foil the coddling moth. My husband and son are working side by side on my rather expensive, but out of warranty, blender in the next room. I have a beer buzz on.

The pin oaks are leafing out, starting with the northernmost trees, working their way south. There is a Sierra wave cloud formation.

We showed the Over the Atlantic someplace special and they gave us a lovely, fun show.

We hit our $3,000 medical deductible in less than three months, so theoretically, prescriptions and procedures will be free from here on out.

All the accoutrements of middle age (e.g. the statins for the cholesterol) seem to be working.

The drip watering system is making our backyard a lush oasis in the high desert. We seem to have the most hummingbirds of anybody in town.

I can say "no" to the heaps of neighborhood kids who want to play on the playground set Nicole gave Wyatt, but invite them back for a playdate when either Matt or I can be around.

Our renter at our "retirement home" is great.

Tomato and basil planting season has begun. The snow peas have started to blossom and pod out.

Matty, Wyatt, and I are all in a lovely, mellow mood. (and this is where the great "Kids in the Hall" line goes, "Yes, but for how long?")

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shimmering songs fall on Bishop - Over the Atlantic

It is safe to say that Over the Atlantic went over really well in Bishop last night. Nearly 50 punters turned up, and up to 40 of us took turns on the dancefloor at any given time (Karen counted).

We are the lot for whom jangly guitars, driving beats, and romantic and melancholy songs were made. We are the lot who spazz and interpretive dance and don't talk through sets. We are precisely the lot who loved Nik Brinkman on guitar and vocals, Ash Smith on bass, and Rhys Telford on drums and backing vocals for playing their honest to goodness asses off for us.

Babbo was up front in his ear protector headphones rocking out and learning the mechanics of bands. Our wee man swayed and pumped his arms and legs, mesmerized by Nik's singing and playing. Many of Nik's songs start as slow burns, build layers, and become walls of lovely melodies. It doesn't hurt that they make you want to move, be it a sway or a full on bop. As lovely as Over the Atlantic's Junica is as a record, I think the songs benefit from the backing of a real live drummer and a real live bassist. To be honest, I wasn't sure how to pitch the band to friends. Were they shoegazey? Were they spazzy new wave? Were they cerebral electronica? In the end, I didn't need to worry. They were just damned good.

The show was a stone soup effort. Derik donated his time and PA. The Inyo Council for the Arts donated their stage. Peter at the Black Sheep donated caffeine. Goike made a great recording. Janet plied the band with wholesome salads and homemade organic lemonade. Kate played "merchbitch" extraordinaire and probably got 10 extra cd sales. We were probably both the oldest and youngest crowd the band have ever played to.

We started the evening with a potluck and ended the earlyish set (started before 7:45 and ended before 9:15) around a firepit (thanks Janet for facilitating that, too!) chatting with the fellas. Folks bought vinyl (who would have thought there were so many closet DJs in Bishop?) and cds and had the band sign both (I didn't say we weren't dorks).

Thanks to Blink and Over the Atlantic for bringing their magic all the way from New Zealand (actually, it does not matter where Over the Atlantic are from, they should not be missed)! (Shout out to the Phoenix Foundation, too, for teaching me about putting together a show and for vouching that we hicks were worth a visit.)

NZMusic fandom starts young

Babbo rocking out to Paselode's C'mon Hallelujah. He met the drummer, Rhys, and it kind of blew his mind.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"Oh boy!"

We're taking two cases of Alaskan IPA and a 5 gallon keg of Sierra Nevada Pale. For the band, we've got a case of Pacifico with limes (Kiwi bands seem to like Mexican lager, maybe it's what you do when you are on a working holiday?). Derik has a sixer of Lost Coast's Downtown Brown for the lovely donation of his PA and lights.

Oh yeah, we have a standing order for Cantillon Kriek, Framboise, or gueuze, whichever turns up first.

Over the Atlantic will be live in the living room - let's spazz!

and who hasn't wanted to look pretty in black and white? (Vanessa Redgrave in Blow Up comes to mind).

On this tour, the band are appearing as a trio of Nik Over the Atlantic/Ejector Brinkman, Rhys Hot Swiss Mistress/Paselode Telford, and Ash Smith.

Here is a link to Blink's blog. He is my hero of DIY live music, and I learned so very much from his A Local Knowledge publication from a few year's back.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh crap, I've got a show to put on

Kind of sleep deprived lately.
Wyatt sick with a cold, so been watching out for very high blood sugars. That, and there's a domestic violence case that has reared its ugly head again in the neighborhood.

After I get some sleep, I'll focus on getting the Over the Atlantic show together. Actually, it's been going pretty smoothly. Matty sort of reads my mind and tends to things around the house, like the big stinky roll of insulation that needed putting away. We're snagging one section of the Arts Council's 4 x 8 stage to cram one or two of the fellas on. Potlucks sort of take care of themselves in this town.

In other concert promotion news, Roger King, McGlashan's manager, sent a note essentially saying, "I've heard about you. I've been waiting for you to make your pitch...." It won't happen this go-around, but we've seemingly entered the "never say never" phase of having Don McGlashan perform in Bishop.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ticket success and a full night's sleep

Got tickets to the Crowded House/Don McGlashan shows - sixth row off center the first night and third row center the second night. Part of me really hopes but knows that McGlashan won't sing "She's Been Talking." If he does ever make it here, he can sing it to us (and the line "the whole town's still at the show" will mean so very much).

Wyatt didn't bonk last night. So, we got a full night's sleep. Hurrah! Now, for some fine, fine tuning.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The boy can't get a sugar high to last

The boy has been having some episodes of low blood sugar the last few nights. He seems to be really sensitive to insulin and we can't seem to load him up with enough fats and carbohydrates to last him through the night.

It's bad. I will usually wake up at 1, 2, or 3 am on my own, and I will have the brief thought of going back to sleep. But conscience wins the morning and hauls my ass out of bed. It's a good thing too - he's usually bonking and in need of sugar. We tried the glucose gel the other night and it was very thick and viscous. This morning, it was juice, goldfish, and raisins.

I'm still grateful that we haven't had to inject him with glucagon to rouse him from a coma.

We're just rolling with the punches. Tonight, we'll feed him up with something starchy and fatty and see how that goes. If it doesn't work, it will be time for a call down to Childrens Hospital's hotline.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Instant Nostalgia

Wyatt, Mommy, and Gung Gung at Mammoth Mountain yesterday. The snow on Discovery was good for the boy and the dad who hadn't been on skis in 20 years. The top of One was bulletproof.

Matty took this snap through the lens of his goggles.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 04, 2008

Massive damping off

In my 8 years of starting tomatoes, I've never had the amount of damping off as I've had this year.

The seedlings, suffering from too much water, nitrogen, and/or shade, just flop over and there is necrosis at the soil line.

I definitely noticed it with seeds from one supplier. My own stock of Snow White Cherry have not suffered in the least. It seems quite random.

Fingers crossed the tomato pogrom has stopped.

Still, I reckon there will be over 200 healthy ones to give away. Yay!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The soundtrack of my life - live in LA

Don McGlashan, the man whose songs played on endless loop in my head for over a decade, is opening for Crowded House on their American tour. McGlashan was behind the bands Blam Blam Blam, the Front Lawn, the Mutton Birds, and his own solo efforts. My Mutton Bird and NZ music partner in crime Bibi is flying out to Los Angeles from Atlanta, and I am trying to convince fellow Mutton Bird forum listees Steve C. in St. Louis and Marc H. in San P that now would be a lovely, lovely time to meet. Matty will be there for one of the two nights and watching Wyatt the other.

There will be the stress of trying to have nimble and accurate fingers on the computer the morning of the presale. There will be the excitement of seeing McGlashan perform the songs that have been the soundtrack to my adult life live. There will be the sober grown up things that Matt and I have to address in the days after the shows, when we take Wyatt to his diabetes and now, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) consultations (the Prevacid only works so well).

Ever the Pollyannaistic opportunist, I have fired off an earnest letter to McGlashan's Manager Roger King pitching Bishop as a wonderful decompression spot for singer songwriters who like playing in front of enthusiastic crowds. Luckily, Sam Scott put in a good word for our efforts when he was on tour with King last year.

Nothing ventured....

*and I might ask for my first autograph ever if Harry Sinclair, one half of the brilliant brilliant Front Lawn, should be there.

Strengthening Owens Valley-Kiwi relations since 2007

We're on for Over the Atlantic
Monday, April 21st.
House concert. Our house.
Get your overbites out, y'all.

Fancy a ski?

Again, Monday was rad. The left leg, even with the angled plate in the femur, was still the stronger one.

The first couple of runs were terribly ungraceful, but fun.

I dropped knee into a telemark stance when nobody was looking, and it will be a while before I get that floaty surfy feeling back. I can't seem to set my edges in tele. I can feel the spooky loading of my weight onto the metal plate, but it's bomber, and I'm grateful.

Monday reminded me of how much I loved skiing. Between my aversion to crowds and sensation that I should be doing something else more "productive," I haven't had that feeling in years. Thanks Matt Birch for being the impetus.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Birch is leaving

My tea drinking partner in crime and friend, Matt Birch, is packing up the trailer and getting ready to head to other points south and west.

It's been a fun month and some hanging out with him.

Matty, Birch, Ray, Lesley, Brian, and I got away for a ski at Mammoth Mountain yesterday in honor of Birch's penultimate day in the area. It was bluebird. It was glorious. Even Stevie Wonder was reportedly at the Mountain enjoying a ski.

I once had a crazy mad crush on Birch, and I am glad that it's mutated to something very different. I am glad because he is such a lovely old soul, and I can see that now.

Birch didn't finish his crazy hard bouldering project (the sit start to Rastaman Vibration in the Buttermilk), but we all reckon he'll be back for it. Cheeseburgers on the grill in that honor, Darlin'.