Last night's band practice has left me cheerful as can be. We played new songs, worked on fragments of new unfinished songs, and just kind of space jammed. Dave's imperative -- to carry the flame now that Elvin is gone -- is going to elevate all of us. Finishing the songs for the second half of the record doesn't seem so intimidating anymore.

Anyone got good plans for the 4th?


Bonjour mes petits chous!

J.J. and I are finally back from the land of the café au lait-addled. We had a lovely time, and when I see you in person I will force you to marvel at the $5 gold stilettos and $8 cowgirl boots I plucked off of the abundant, flowering Quebecois vintage clothing trees. In the meantime, it has come to my attention that some of you find these bloggings disproportionately nasty compared to my usual sunny demeanor. Of course, y'all can just go jump in a lake if you like. But you're my friends, and I trust you to tell me when I'm being a pill. So I will now make an upbeat list of things I love, and you can add to it if you like.

I LOVE lavender ice cream on the rue St.-Denis. I LOVE having pedicures with a buddy. I LOVE cats and dogs and people who love cats and dogs. I LOVE claymation. I LOVE Homer. I LOVE walking down Central Park West at dusk. I LOVE nieces and nephews. I LOVE picking out fun underwear. I LOVE the smell of a wood-burning stove. I LOVE swimming in a backyard pool when it's hot but not too hot.

And on another bright note: My 'blended' family has been together for twenty-four years as of today. Pretty amazing.


En vacances

This will be my last post for a few days, as Just Jill and I are heading to the French-speaking Northern regions. We intend to drink cappuccino out of porridge bowls and snap up every $5 thrift shop dress in town. See you later!


A Hot White Jolt of Fun

26 hours, 4 takeout meals, 3 scones, 24 ounces of Diet Pepsi, and 36 ginger candies later, we cut enough songs for half a record at least. Thanks to Jason "Big Poppa" Marcucci and all the band for being so lovely. Thanks also to Scotty Aldrich for loaning out his Les Paul.

At this time I can start to approximate what the new record might sound like, and it sounds mighty fine. Fast. Poppy. With a hit of the blues for good measure.

I'm still in recovery. If anyone else feels like a slug tonight, drop on by; I'll be on the couch with some ice pops, watching Saro go nuts for the kitty show!


Thanks, people, for coming out to the Wednesday show. I finally drug myself out of bed. However, upon looking around, I think perhaps I should have drugged myself back in bed.

Enough of the Reagan homage already. Enough of all the newscasters wearing black, and catching themselves mid-perky-smile and squelching it. Enough coffin shots! I call this one "Coffin in a Rotunda." "Coffin Descending Plane." "Coffin on Steps."

Enough tabloid court case coverage. I do hope that whoever murdered Laci Peterson is brought to justice. But enough already. The Patriot Act, environmental laws, immigration laws, court cases affecting a woman's right to choose . . . I really wish I could hear those discussed with the same fervor. I don't want just to hear about them when they're over and done with.

Is there a decent channel to watch in the morning? My brain is rotting.


Why I Stay Inside.

I went for a long walk over the lunch hour and stopped in at a designer sample sale. I was a little heat damaged and allowed myself to be seduced by the chartreuse and magenta silks and satins in the window; lured by the mod prints and promise of discounts; beckoned by the air conditioning blasting through the open doorway and cooling my cheeks.

Lines and lines of rolling racks! Sorted by size! I scooped up some lovely satin camis and dresses that looked vaguely wide enough for my ass, reminding myself that in fashion, 12 is the new 14. As a precaution I quickly grabbed some clothes off the maternity rack. I was shaking a little, feeling as if I wasn't supposed to be there, trying not to look at the women around me with their designer rodeo belts.

The line to the dressing room was snaking longer and longer so I hopped on. Someone was inside howling like a square-dance caller. "Next on line!" (me: "You'll look fine!") I ducked in. It was a big space cordoned off with tarp. The woman who had called was beckoning me toward a spot she had staked out in-between 2 bronzed cokehead debutantes. Maybe they were PR assistants. Soon, without being obtrusive, I would come to wonder how neither of them had tan lines on their tits.

You know, size "large" is a curious thing. Larger than . . . a rabbit? A badger? Surely not larger than me. One of the camis fit. It was a gorgeous baby blue with black lace. There was a stretchy silk dress that was cool, but too snug even for this slut: what's the purpose of going couture if you're going to hoe it up anyway? Nothing else, save the wrap dress, even fit over my head.

This all took a very long time: Tangling and untangling my hair out of the dress, bending over looking for armholes, shaking the dress off over my head, making sure I really was putting my arms in the right place, taking a humiliation break, trying again.

I had fantasized about owning one of these holy grail wrap dresses for a very long time, and it looked nice, but I let it go. I wasn't in love with the pattern.

Mystery Photo: military buffs, can you help?

While looking at the archived family photos my dad gave to me, I came across this one of my great-uncle Beryl's father. Can anyone identify the circumstances based on the uniform he's wearing? We know Beryl was from Texas.

This photo looks very nineteenth-century to me. Isn't the kid handsome? He looks like Johnny Depp.

Here's a larger image.

Write a letter, get a free scoop

Here's a place you can go to quickly and easily urge your lawmakers to cut global warming pollution by voting for the Climate Stewardship Act. You will be rewarded for your efforts by getting a coupon for a free scoop of Ben and Jerry's!


Bitch break

Can someone please explain to me why O.J.'s sorry mug is all over the television again? Yes, I know it's ten years after. But this morning, as I was doing my rodent run on the treadmill, I couldn't get away from the bastard. First he's pissing all over Miss Couric, saying how GREAT! his kids are doing. Disgusted, I jumped over to Good Morning America, where in the queue they've got the sister of the dismembered mother of said children preparing her insults.




Yes, You Really Want To

Just a reminder: the band and I are playing at the Lakeside Lounge tomorrow night.

I'll be selling delicious homemade body products: body butter, lip balm in limited-edition repro vintage tins, bath salts, and a very special summer salt scrub designed to cool and moisturize your delicate skin. And everything is $5 or less.

Yes, I'll be singing and all that, too. And selling records.

I will welcome suggestions for more body products, especially seasonal ones. Cooling foot spritz? Poof powder? Shower gel? I'll make it for you.


For this 60th anniversary of D-Day, I learned something new: my great uncle (my grandmother's brother) landed at Normandy with the Canadian army. If I had known this as a child, it faded away behind stories of Uncle Dody's other exploits: They may have seemed more colorful at the time, but certainly were less staggering in consequence. I never knew him -- he survived the war, but passed away when I was little. So today I'll raise my hot cup of tea to Donald MacKenzie, Jr. (pictured here with his father).


More good news!

Eleni Mandell's new record is out.

All the News That's Good News

I'm feeling exceptionally bitter and defeated today, but I won't trouble you with that. On a brighter note, I periodically Google my record to see if any new reviews have rolled in, and by golly, I just found one.

A correction: I'm Canadian by heritage, but I wasn't born there. However, as the song goes, if Bush gets re-elected . . .


I hope you all had a good long weekend. Mine was very nice, thank you. Sunday involved a trip to Jones Beach. It was gorgeous: sunny, breezy, though too chilly for me to do any real prancing in the water. My Favorite Newlyweds had brought a baby grill, so eating sufficed as the chief entertainment. And lying down came up a close second. If you lay flat, it felt a little warmer than it was.

There was an airshow going on. We watched four parachuters jump out of a plane and swing on the wind, slowly making their way down to the water. There also was a Red Baron-type plane making crazy eights, spinning, diving, and swooping. The scariest part was when he would shoot straight up and cut the engine, hang in suspension for a few seconds, and then whirlybird nosedive straight down. Of course, just as it looked as if he was going to hit water, he would yank himself back up and go back to his frenetic loops, a stream of pink smoke trailing behind him.

The part of the airshow I didn't like involved the big military planes. They whizzed, whined, and screamed over us almost at all times. Sometimes they looked like giant flying rats, other times like dildos sailing and tilting in unison. And they were loud. I was reminded of the days after 9/11 when we heard the churning of F-14s overhead pretty much constantly. This was not pleasantly evocative as we lay on the sand. Not long after the sonic boom, we packed it up.