Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The hair is having a midlife crisis

Have shorn off the hair. It happens every ten years. I look like a middle aged mother now.

It is nice to get away from the thing that is so tied up with identity. Hair schmair.

Friday, August 27, 2010

But I was very, very sleepy

Kindergarten started, and I'm cycling/driving up to school (only 5-8 minutes away) up to four times a day before 1:15. The first week was super duper intense, but the staff at school are very helpful.

I have had flashes of intense sadness for the kid - he's got years of this stuff (the machine that is school) ahead of him. Luckily, he digs it all and enjoys learning.

The sewer lateral at the rental was broken at the main and $1,000 in diagnostics and god knows how much for the actual repair (apparently, I am married to a good ol' boy with good karma and the city gladly stepped in to do the work near the main - at a discount, when compared to a private plumber - It was major, they had to shut down the eastbound lane of East Line St.) - later, it is done.

Matty didn't get covered in raw sewage today. He's out fishing because work still slow at the office.

It's still nearly 100 degrees each day, and I'm passing out on the couch or bed very, very early.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Still reeling from the show that was

I mentioned that I had a bit of stress during the show because Babbo was a bit clingy, but we had beautiful Sandra there to take him home if he needed it, and how rude would it have been to deny him the chance to see the dude who sings his favorite song of all-time ("She's Been Talking")? Little did we realize that Babbo had long committed the lyrics to memory. The best part was, he learned "Car headlights creep across the sea" as "Cotton ice cream across the sea...."

Perhaps the realization of all that was happening didn't hit me until we (Steve Carosello, Marc Horton, Bibi Gellert, Tony Patti, Chantelle Patterson, Matty, Karen, AT, etc.) were sitting around the kitchen table for the SECOND night drinking scotch with Don McG and folks were happily shouting over what books he NEEDED to take home. (AT set everyone up nicely with a box of uncorrected proofs and new publications from her publishers, and I ran and got another copy of William Boyd's "Any Human Heart" to give away). All this together, with a generous dram in hand, made me do a dance on the kitchen floor.

It was a privilege to strategize about my fantasy Bishop shows with dear friends who wanted the same thing and with the man who could help. The consensus was that one day, one day, a permutation of the Bellbirds (with the heartbreaking Sean SJD Donnelly, Sandy Mill, Victoria Kelly, and Don McG) and Humphreys and Keen would be here. Every one expressed their deep wish to hear H&K's "The Overflow" done live - and it came up more than once over the few days we were together. We have put our good intentions into the universe.... We are a patient lot.....We will wait and see what happens.

Tuesday found four women piling into the car and heading down to Spaceland in LA. Spaceland is a hard room to play, unless you are loud or 20 years old and look great in a pair of skinny jeans. The sound was wonky. Some die hard fans came from across the LA basin. Singing and writing folks like Patria Jacobs and David Steinhart came for a listen. Chantelle Patterson came after a long road trip which began with the Bishop show. Bless.

Harry Sinclair with his gorgeous silver hair and the director Toa Fraser were also there. Bibi and I know that we can secure CD jewel cases in a minute's notice. Bibi did a great job selling CDs for the two shows. Marc Horton got the poster he created signed.

John Andrew Frederick of the Black Watch bought me a Shirley Temple. Steven played incredibly well even though his guitar kept going out of tune and the cables were failing. Steven is my talented, tortured, loving, generous, brother. I am always indebted to him. I think I gave him my bottle of Paddy too early in the night, though? Whoops? :)

The diffuse nature of the LA show only made me completely understand how special Bishop is.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Don McGlashan broke Karen Robb's heart and she broke mine

Spent much of the sublime show Thursday night watching Karen cry as she listened, really listened, to Don McGlashan's songs. She started crying on the first song "Don't Fight it Marsha, It's Bigger Than the Both of Us" at the line, "and I want you to be happy, but I rather you were here with me/perhaps we can arrange something ...."

Don McGlashan walked in on friendships in progress. Friendships which had begun years ago because of something he wrote and sang and friendships which have grown richer as other new and common interests enter the fray.

Wednesday night found us meeting like pilgrims over BLTs, beer, and champagne - Bibi had come from Atlanta, Steve, from St. Louis, and Marc from LA. AT and Karen helped Matty and me play co-hostesses (but they are the one w/ the mostesses). Steve was a friend from the Mutton Birds-Phoenix Foundation- Humphreys and Keen mafia whom I'd never met. We have been sending music, notes, and in his case, he'd been sending regional gifts - 2 lb tins of Spudmaster potato chips, a membership to the excellent KDHX radio station, since before Babbo was born. Carosello walked in through the kitchen door, after a long drive through Death Valley, and it was like welcoming an old friend home.

Marc finally got to meet AT. They had books and years of working with independent bookstores in common. AT came bearing a box of books for all.

We were settling in when I got a call from Don McGlashan, who came to the area a night early. Bibi and I knew about the schedule change, but I hadn't really mentioned it to the men. They froze.

An advance team of Matty, Karen, and Kate was sent into the streets to round up the singer. Carosello and I sat in the dark comfort of the backyard. In the end, much whisky was consumed, passionate but good natured bullshit shat, and even a fingertip lost (sharp knives, Spanish chorizo, ignoring the cutting board- ooh, dangerous combo). Don McG was lovely, relaxed, amiable, rolling with all the new faces, the non(yet) fans, the diehard fans, the chaos that is our kitchen. We released him into the dark, late Bishop streets, sure that we plied him with enough scotch and sure that he wouldn't get mugged.

The show was exquisite. Parts of it were stressful for Matty and me because Babbo has been in a clingy phase and so he insisted on laying on me during the show. In hindsight, he did just fine for a five year old. Other pilgrims arrived from St. Louis (thank you Tony) andLA (Chantelle, my beautiful sprite from Easter).

The ICA, normally a utilitarian room, was set up beautifully. I got to put out carpets and homey touches like our table, a glass of a big California red, a Fiesta pitcher of water. I got to watch my favorite songwriter in the world from the comfort of my living room carpet, laying out with my dear friends and family. He sang from a relaxed and cheeky state. The Bishopites hung on every word, saluted all the right sentiments (there was big, lovely applause when Don said that he saw his first hummingbird in our yard and that life would now be divided into the life before hummingbirds and the life after hummingbirds). My in-laws, Walt and Cass, and family friend and Matty and AT's 9th grade English teacher, Chris, and Matty's pediatrician Dr. Beck, and a small cross section of the community were there, and they made me so very proud.

Every time I turned to Carosello, he looked like he was in a state of wordless shock.

Don McG's voice is clearer, stronger, suppler than it's ever ever been. The high notes were unreal, the low notes strong. The coloring, coupled with the clarity (I never knew the lyric in"Ngaire" was "I'm standing, but it feels like falling") sent collective chills down every one's spine. Karen, my rock of Gibraltar, spent the night weeping at the stories through a lens of heartbreak and recognition.

I watched her face as she listened to the lines from Pulled Along By Love:

Sun comes up on you and me and we fall out of bed
and we work all day
we're thinking about the weekend
we're thinking about new clothes
we're thinking about touching
but every one's watching.

Her wry smile- with her beautiful face turned up to Don McG- with her body seated up against AT- was the biggest present of the night.

Turnout was about 45 and 28 CDs were sold.