Thursday, November 29, 2007
Art Appreciation Day on the Slick Blog, or, My un-birthday card from, erm, Neil Gaiman, I mean, Eric Slick, and the brilliant work of Julie Slick
Too funny - even though it was Gary's birthday, Eric, who always creates the absolute best greeting cards, felt compelled to make me an un-birthday card, and before I even read it, I burst out laughing as soon as I saw what I think is an incredibly great drawing of Neil Gaiman and immediately reached for my camera...then I read what the card actually said and broke up giggling altogether.
So yeah, as I pointed out in yesterday's post, Gary is now officially middle-aged (ha ha) and maybe it's just me, but on a scale of one to ten, his birthday was like off the charts. First, as I showed via the photographs I put up in my aforesaid blog entry of November 28, he got to finally hold Side Four Live in his hands (we only listened to it like a thousand more times last night, nothing too extreme) and then we (all of us, even Monty dog) walked over to boyfriend Matt's house where Julie prepared probably the best dinner ever, and even though I had my new camera phone with me, I regret to say that I was so busy stuffing my face, I forgot to take photos of the meal, which is really regrettable since as delicious as it was (details to follow), the presentation was magnificent. However, I did finally remember to take photos of some of Julie's artwork hanging on the walls at Matt's place, and I was so preoccupied with that I totally forgot to take food pics.
Here's a portrait she did of one of my heroes, Kurt Vonnegut, and Julie, I know you don't read my blog but Eric, tell your sister I want one of these for Christmas!
Next, we have her amazing sketch of Nietzsche;
How about a little Camus...
And finally, last but not least, from Terry Gilliam's brilliant Brazil:
Julie and Eric do not have too much talent, huh. But all kidding aside, if you look at some of the great musicians out there, many of them are/were great artists as well...Lennon, Clapton, Ron Wood, Bowie, Belew...the list is endless. I honestly thought Julie would go to art school; Eric was drumming at age two and Julie didn't seem interested in music until one day at age eleven she idly picked up one of Gary's basses and then asked for a mega-expensive Fender for Christmas, which I said we'd buy her if she would agree to take actual music lessons...and that's how we met Paul Green and the rest is history...
Okay, so what did Julie prepare for Gary's birthday dinner?
She made four different meals, which is mind blowing in itself - one for vegetarian Eric, one for carnivores Matt and Gary, seafood for Julie and me, and then she actually made me a separate lunch to have for today.
For Eric, she stuffed huge portobello mushrooms with roasted artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, and cheese and a side of those sick mashed potatoes she also made at Thanksgiving. For Gary and Matt, braised short ribs which sat in a puddle of horseradish cream served over mashed potatoes, topped with a stuffed portobello mushroom ala Eric's platter, and for the two of us, the same dish, minus the cheese and short ribs, but with seared scallops instead. For my noon meal today, she made brown rice which she tossed with all kinds of veggies, more seared scallops, and topped with a honey mustard shallot dressing.
Is it lunchtime yet?
Dessert was a cream cheese pound cake with a fresh blackberry compote - she found berries the size of softballs...it was truly one of those meals where you let out sensual sighs with every bite.
Life is so, so good right now...
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Wow, what a birthday Gary is having today - it already started at midnight when he hung out downstairs while Julie and Eric autographed mass quantities of Side Four Live.
Julie has obviously just caught of glimpse of Gary lurking downstairs and is looking at him suspiciously.
Even though she was working last night and didn't get home until very late, a very excited Gary stayed up because the CDs needed to be autographed and sent back to Nashville today. My instructions to him before I fell asleep:
"Take some photos of J&E signing the CDs," I yawned.
"Oh god. There she goes, giving orders from her warm spot under the covers. Okay, I'll try to get some pics but they are going to hate you," Gary laughed.
"Maybe they won't notice. Be discreet."
Erm, I think they noticed.
And now they will obviously know for sure, but how can I not post this? I mean, is it every day your brilliant offspring are asked to autograph mass quantities of their very first CD, Side Four Live, starring the incredible genius Adrian Belew?
Gary is a saint. Not once did he suggest that I stay up and take said photos myself and be the one to suffer the consequences - the wrath - of Julie (not Eric, he's my good child...hahahahaha...just kidding)
I can't divulge the "liner notes" but suffice it to say that if Gary ever had a better birthday in the, gulp, decades and decades I've known him, I cannot think of one.
Happy Birthday, Gary! We love you!!!!!
(Dad, how about we spend tonight at our favorite spot at the beach? Love, your other child, Monty)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Yes, that is my official Winner's Certificate from National Novel Writing Month, though the actual real one is in color and if I wasn't so technology challenged, I could have added my name and title of my book on line and posted it here the correct way but after struggling for a half hour, I said screw it, printed it out in black and white, wrote my own name in and took a digital pic.
But as you can see by the bright yellow icon on the right hand side here, yes, I did hit 50,000 words yesterday and did conquer the beast that is NANO five days ahead of schedule, although it's my estimation that the book is another 20,000 words from being completed.
I'm really stoked about this book. I started it with no real set outline but yeah, I admit it, I already had awesome characters in place from my prior novels since it is in fact the third in my Three Days in New York City series which I was inspired to write after Hollywood came a-calling in September regarding the first two books in the series with talks about pitching it as a series to HBO along the lines of Sex in the City.
And then the writers went on strike.
So I'm in a holding pattern, but feeling so good about this new novel, which, although part of the series definitely stands on its own, that I may start querying an agent (or fifty) to represent it.
The first draft, or 50,000 words of it, along with my official on line winner announcement, can be found right here and even though I have officially "won", I will continue to add to it until November 30 when it will be hopefully be completed, or should I say the first draft will be finished, anyway.
You would think I'd be really happy about this but I find myself incredibly depressed this morning. Of course that could be because I just spent an amazing four day Thanksgiving holiday with my family, they graciously allowed me the time and space to write over 10,000 words during that time, and now it's Monday, it's pouring rain, and I'm committed to working full time in a law office this week to cover for the aforementioned goddess Donna, who is vacationing until next Monday when she will return for just two more weeks before moving on to her new job.
I have to honestly say if not for Christmas and the fact that I have a guilty conscience over leaving my boss alone and left with massive piles of unfinished wrok, I would just throw in the towel and take the rest of the year off and worry about finding new employment in January, i.e., my original plan of temping just to get out of the house and have pocket money. Because I did find my statement of a week or two ago to be true -- if I am not working at all, I do not properly budget my time or my money. This month, I managed to write a 50,000 word novel while overloaded with and heartsick about work and Donna's imminent departure, a scary spike in my blood pressure which still has me sick as a dog and dizzy, and somehow managing one of the best Thanksgivings of my life.
Okay, that's enough whining out of me.
Hopefully on to better news tomorrow...
Friday, November 23, 2007
Adrian Belew and Eric Slick performing at the Quebec Summer Music Festival, July, 2007
ETA: I realized early this morning (Saturday) that one should never post links after consuming copious amounts of brandy and therefore there were some links here which I really screwed up last night. I have now fixed them for your viewing pleasure. And just so we are clear on this, the world premier of a track (or two) from Side Four Live is tonight! For complete info, see below
So. Click here to see Eric Slick Dot Com, which is a brilliant work in progress thanks to Eric's amazing, creative genius webmaster, Scott Abernethy of Nerdy Rhino Development.
Scott has incorporated a very cool collage of photos (a lot of which were taken by proud Papa Gary Slick and Mark Colman) into a short film clip on Eric's site, but even more importantly, it includes a partial sound byte from a brand new spanking track off of the newly released Side Four Live.
And if that's not exciting enough...
Tomorrow night...Saturday, November 24...at midnight eastern, (So I guess that makes it technically Sunday, November 25 har har) DJ Extraordinaire Jeff Menke of 89.7 FM WNKU, will be the first to play the worldwide premier of a mystery track (or maybe even two!) from Side Four for your listening pleasure during his incredible show, Rainbow Bridge...it will stream live on the internet right here.
Jeff has been incredibly supportive of the trio since first seeing them live last year in Ohio and has played not only Beatbox Guitar but even cuts from the trio's first overseas appearance in July of 2006 at the Zappanale Festival in Bad Doberan, Germany throughout the year as well as offering insightful and uplifting commentary about Adrian, Julie and Eric.
So it's pretty freaking exciting that he will be the first to premier a cut or two off the new CD, and I hope you can all set your clocks for midnight eastern and check out what is sure to be an incredible, incredible show.
Eric Slick, Thanksgiving, 2007, thinking to himself "Now listen, I know I am a vegetarian but surely my dinner will consist of more than string beans, right? Right?
Gary getting ready to carve our $10,000.00 (ha) organic, free range turkey breast (with a nod to Julie who insisted that if we are going to eat meat in her presence, it had to, erm, "meat" with her approval) while Julie (not seen in the photo because she was such a blur of activity) bombards the table with additional magnificent side dishes she has spent two days preparing in both our kitchen and boyfriend Matt's.
There's the string beans up close, which were flash fried with wild mushrooms and walnuts in healthy olive oil for dear old Mom. In fact, every single side dish, as rich and decadent as they were, contained no fat or sugar or anything else which would add to my hasty demise as per my doctor's strict instructions of last week and my reluctant but necessary willingness to listen.
There's Eric again, still waiting for more than string beans to be delivered to his plate, but in the meantime, we've started our annual go around the table where we all say what we are thankful for.
I wish I could remember exactly what each of us said, but Julie made me something called mulled wine except she made it with brandy and after two drinks all I could get out of my mouth was "I am thankful I have such a schweet fammy". Actually, we all said how thankful we are for how close our family is and how much we love each other and what an incredible year it's been; naturally we mentioned how thankful we are to Adrian and Martha Belew and the opportunities and experiences they've afforded all of us and oh my god, Side Four Live...
The first course arrives - Julie's legendary pumpkin soup with carmelized onions, mushrooms, wine, evaporated fat free milk which made it rich and creamy, and even a couple of golden raisins thrown in. Unfreakingbelievable! And next to that, a fresh cranberry chutney which she garnished with a lemon twist and sprig of thyme. One day I really have to post some of Julie's artwork here -- she's an accomplished portraitist who can sketch a person so lifelike it looks like a photograph or even more eerily, you half expect her drawings to talk to you they are so realistic.
There's the finished product - we all had the same plateful of food minus the turkey for Julie and Eric...there's Yukon gold mashed potatoes which Julie whipped with buttermilk as opposed to the heavy cream and pound of butter this family traditionally uses in that dish - she literally knocked the calorie count in half and the fat count to practically zero. Can I tell you that they were the absolute richest and most delicious mashed potatoes I ever had? Oh, she added carmelized shallots and fresh herbs as well, and garnished it with fresh cracked black pepper, so honestly, I didn't even realize the butter was missing. In fact, I doubt I'll ever eat them the "old" way again. Also on the plate was Gary's incredible, legendary stuffing, this year made with multi-grain baguettes from Metropolitan Bakery combined with celery, carrots, onions, fresh herbs and topped with an orange, rosemary gravy - the same gravy he made for our turkey - and he was able to duplicate it using vegetable broth instead of turkey "drippings" for Julie and Eric...you coud have fooled me -- it was every bit as delicious as ours.
Finally, we ended the meal with a completely invented by Julie fat free apple pie, which she made with her own whole wheat crust and topped with no fat (ha) ice cream.
So yeah, you can get through Thanksgiving and eat like a King/Queen without butter and sugar and still moan and groan and honestly say "This was the best Thanksgiving ever."
Well, it was. Not just the food and company, but it was absolutely the most stress free meal ever. Julie and Gary now run the kitchen like a well oiled machine and in the couple of years Julie has worked in restaurants and thrown parties at Matt's house, she has totally learned how to properly budget her time in the kitchen. I remember 3-4 years ago when she first got interested in cooking -- and when Julie gets interested in something, it's never half way -- a year later she was a gourmet chef with cookbooks from all over the world and a collection of knives and pots and pans which cost more than my house -- anyway, 3-4 years ago it was a wrestling match in our tiny townhouse kitchen (the price you pay for wanting live near the Art Museum har har) with Gary and Julie bumping into each other and a lot of "When will you be done with the oven?" and "Oh man, you are using the pot I wanted to use" etc. etc.
But not yesterday. Gary prepared the stuffing and turkey, put it in the oven, and his work was done. He went upstairs to watch football and listen to Side Four Live (ha...yep...but it was at my request because I have not been able to stop singing Of Bow and Drum and Three of a Perfect Pair, among others)...Julie bustled about in the kitchen, Eric sat with headphones on at his laptop writing music and at one point while stuff was cooking I heard music coming from downstairs and it was Julie and Eric working on a new composition together, heart be still - crap - I hope I remembered to say I was thankful for that at dinner but now that I think about it, Gary probably covered that one -- and since I was totally off the hook to do anything, I sat here and worked on my new book for National Novel Writing Month...arghh...eight more days of writing left...but I am now up to 40,588 words and if you don't believe me, here's the excerpt. In a perfect world, I want to hit 50,000 words and "win" by Sunday night, which is hardly impossible given the fact that it computes to less than 3,400 words per day...of course that's barring any family emergencies or my not feeling well again but so far, so good...
Anyway, more music news tomorrow...I like to keep the holiday posts separate and what a blast we had yesterday going into my archives here...I read my written accounts of Thanksgiving 2006 and 2005 out loud and we all laughed at how many things have changed since this blog first started. I had inadvertently erased Thanksgiving 2004, darn it, because when I first began my journal, I used it as a vehicle to write a novel and then as soon as I realized it was crap I deleted it, not realizing that by deleting months worth of writing that book I also deleted months worth of other stuff, too, but oh well, what can you do.
Now. It's Black Friday so go out and shop! But please - support your local mom and pop store, or what's left of them, anyway Stay out of the evil corporate conglomerates - they all gave campaign contributions to that madman Bush so that he and his fellow demon administration could run this country right into the ground and are now responsible for the deaths of thousands and thousands of Americans and people in the mideast and all over the world. Corporate conglomerates underpay their workers and spy on them and they are the real reason this country is in the deplorable shape it is in -- both morally and financially.
And err, by the way, have you all had a chance to read this?
Can anyone explain to me why the Madman and his Vice-Madman have not been arrested under charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity? Why are we so docile and accepting of what these people have done?
Sigh...am I the only one (other than Gary) who worries we are headed for a civil war in this country as the middle class disappears and the rich have gotten richer while there are people homeless and starving...starving!...in the so-called greatest country in the world?
Anyway, listen, I know money is really tight right now so if you absolutely have no choice but to shop at a corporate chain for financial reasons, just do me one small favor. Please, please, please don't ever set foot in a Wal-Mart. Don't give that bastard one cent of your hard earned money. Okay? Okay!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Adrian Belew for the Album Side Three, another unbelievable masterpiece by Mark Colman
From Live Daily:
Adrian Belew supports live set with Power Trio
November 19, 2007
By Kym Kilgore
"Guitarist Adrian Belew has a new live album ready to drop and is planning to tour the US once again with his Power Trio.
Dates for the 2008 Adrian Belew Power Trio Tour launch Feb. 19 in Seattle. The outing is scheduled to stick close to the West Coast in February and then jump to the East Coast in March. Details are listed below.
Belew's Power Trio comprises 20-year-old drummer Eric Slick and 21-year-old bassist Julie Slick. The siblings are graduates of the Paul Green School of Rock, where Belew met them in early 2006.
The trio, which has been touring together since late last year, has been recording live shows for the album "Side Four," which is due tomorrow (11/20). The set trails last year's "Side Three," which marked Belew's third solo album in less than a year following 2005's "Side One" and "Side Two."
The first three albums in the series feature bassist Les Claypool of Primus and drummer Danny Carey from Tool.
Belew also released new material this year with his pop band, The Bears. The album "Eureka!" surfaced in May and The Bears did a mini-tour in the spring."
Also, as per Pollstar there are new dates added to the Power Trio tour this spring as follows (and a little birdie told me there are yet more to be added soon)
Tue 03/04/08 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
Thu 03/06/08 Ferndale, MI The Magic Bag
Tue 03/11/08 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Music Hall
ETA: Oh, pardon me. It appears that birdie just flew by:
03/15/08 Jammin' Java Vienna, Virginia
Erm, I know I've been among the missing lately, but combine my new blood pressure medication with National Novel Writing Month and the excitement of Side Four Live and a lot of e-flurrying (heh) I'm doing in connection with that, I haven't had time to blog.
So let's do a quick recap.
You can purchase Side Four Live right here.
There's also a very good chance you will be able to purchase Mark Colman's poster in connection with the photo shoot he did for Side Four Live -- you know, this one -- and I've heard a rumor that it will in fact be the official tour poster for the trio so continue to check Ade's website:
In other news...
You can check up on my progress at National Novel Writing Month right here.
I get to walk the red carpet (even if it is from Bed, Bath and Beyond) for the opening night preview/premier of Why We Wax in New York City on December 10, 2007 because I am one of the film's co-stars.
And wrapping up the headlines of today, I wrote a blurb for a new short story collection by an incredible mysterious author so that's way cool, too...stay tuned for a lot more on that in the near future, too.
Other than the above, things are quiet. I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving with the family...Julie and Gary are furiously planning the menu and as is my eccentric tradition every year, I will post photos of each dish as well as detailed ingredients and descriptions.
Sigh...I wonder if this is my last carnivorous Thanksgiving. Yikes, what if by this time next year, I'm a vegan?
Friday, November 16, 2007
Hurrah! Side Four Live, the debut CD of the Adrian Belew Power Trio, is available now at Store Belew.
Do you think I'm a little psyched?
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Incredible photo collage of the Adrian Belew Power Trio created by the insanely talented Marc Colman. No, it is not the cover art for Side Four Live, which is art by the multi-talented Adrian, but I seriously want to get a framed copy of this masterpiece for my wall. I believe it may be a take on a photograph Marc took of the trio which will be included inside the CD and I've seen the original - it's heart melting stuff.
Have I mentioned Side Four Live will be available for pre-order next Tuesday? Ha ha, like a million times, I know. I'm busy pasting billboards all over the internet.
You know, it's funny. I was reflecting on Adrian's recent blog post where he shows us a royalty check for six cents he recently received and how it made him comment:
"is this a torture device meant to remind me
of how invaluable my life's work has been
for the needy hearts of a barren culture,
or someone's poke in the eye with a sharp stick
to say pointedly, "look at you, you piece of dookie"?
Well, naturally, a bunch of fans immediately left remarks assuring him how much his music has meant to them, and it's a good thing I didn't go in there and leave my thoughts or I would have written a mini-series.
Coincidentally today, I stumbled on this, which has special meaning for me for personal reasons and I thought how cool, as it was with our family when we met Adrian and Martha Belew, it's not just his music which changes lives:
I hope this link works because it's from a daily newspaper, The Nevada County Local News, but if not, here is a cut and paste of the article:
He used to be a wino
Now, KVMR’s Mike Thornton is just a regular guy
"The last thing Mike Thornton heard as he was falling through the front door of a San Francisco detox center was, “Oh my God!”
Then the lights went out.
The now-very sober newsman for KVMR has since become a voice for the recovery community. But that morning 20 years ago, he had awakened in a park, awash in his
own blood, wondering what hit him.
He realized his face had been smashed with something wooden — a bat or maybe a two-by-four — because a piece of it still was stuck in his mouth.
“I had been beaten and left to die,” Thornton said.
But instead, Nevada City’s Chicago-born radio personality eventually found a new reason to live.
Now 53, Thornton has been gainfully employed in Nevada County since 1989, first as the leader of the Lovett Recovery Center residential drug and rehabilitation facility. For the past 13 years, he has been with KVMR as a board member and then in a job that evolved from disc jockey to news director.
It wasn’t that much of a jump.
Even when he was a kid running the rough streets of Chicago around Wrigley Field and using drugs, “just about anything I could get my hands on,” Thornton was educating himself, he recalled.
“I’d cut school, but I’d hang out at the Museum of Natural History, and I watched PBS all the time,” Thornton said. The cultural respites were welcome in the abusive environment he was growing up in with no parental involvement.
But his lifestyle soon caught up with him.
“I was marched out of high school in handcuffs,” he remembered. “I was already a drunk and a drug addict.”
That led to several years with the Illinois Youth Commission, the juvenile prison system for the state.
“It was incredibly abusive,” Thornton said. “They would make you duck walk around the gym, and when you fell out, they’d kick the (expletive) out of you.”
When Thornton got out, he returned to Chicago, where he continued to self-medicate with other troubled people in the streets, injecting drugs almost daily.
“I was never a hard criminal, but I wasn’t a model citizen, either,” Thornton said. “I knew some generally bad people.”
Realizing Chicago was getting him nowhere, Thornton stepped onto a bus and got off in Carson City. He worked in casinos for a while, then began wandering to Long Beach, Sacramento and back to Chicago.
“It was horrible,” Thornton said.
He wound up in San Francisco, “kind of a homeless drug addict and wino,” Thornton said. That’s when he got into the fight that led him to the detox center.
He got sober there, then entered an alcohol program in Galt that turned his life around.
A man named Bill Smith took a liking to Thornton, and begin to teach him how to get along.
“I had no idea what it was like to lead a sober life,” Thornton said.
The state Department of Rehabilitation also helped out with education services, and Thornton began attending drug counseling classes at Sacramento State.
“I’ve been clean and sober ever since,” Thornton said.
He worked in recovery programs in Galt and Sacramento.
“I was good at it. I had a lot of practical experience,” Thornton said. “I don’t believe you have to be a former drug addict to be a good drug counselor, but it helps, because you know they know that you know.”
After establishing himself in the drug and alcohol rehabilitation field, Thornton came to Nevada County to run the Lovett Center.
“I’m real proud of what we did, “ Thornton said. “We made it a safe place for people who needed it.”
But after 10 years and the death of close colleague Richard Knight, “I was getting burned out,” Thornton said. “I got to a point where I was faking it, and it was stressful.”
That’s when Thornton turned to radio. He was playing “a weird mix of hard core punk and hip-hop, and eventually I got the midnight to 4 (a.m.) shift on Friday morning, when no one was here. I even got a ‘Play Misty for Me’ phone call.”
He also got a chance. He did an interview with guitarist Adrian Belew, who played with King Crimson and Frank Zappa, among other greats.
“It went fabulously well,” Thornton said. “I started doing entertainment interviews, and then I got more and more involved in news and politics, and it evolved into a talk show.”
It was during his talk show days that Thornton began to travel. He has done reports for a consortium of community radio stations around the country.
In 2005, he traveled to the Middle East, Syria, Lebanon. On the road one day, he realized he stuck out like a sore thumb: A six-foot-two-inch white man with his arms covered in tattoos walking.
He also visited a Palestinian refugee camp and met an official of Hezbollah, the Islamic fundamentalist militia active in Lebanon.
“He said if we attack Iran, we’ll have a war we won’t believe,” Thornton said.
The news man is planning to return to the Middle East at the end of the month to provide coverage for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He’ll also work on “a documentary on stories that have not been told,” Thornton said.
News has also taken Thornton to South America, and, close to home, to San Quentin prison, where he witnessed an execution that moved him deeply and pushed him to take a stand against capital punishment.
“Everybody, particularly people for capital punishment, should go see one and then tell me what you think,” Thornton said. “I tell people, ‘You go to one, and then we’ll talk.’”
Much of KVMR’s audience is not mainstream, and Thornton understands that. “but we’re more balanced than you think,” he said. “They don’t want to hear Rush Limbaugh, but we let John Doolittle have his say.”
Conservative viewpoints would get on KVMR more often if those sources would speak to him, Thornton said.
“They say, no, the station’s too liberal, but I think I have a reasonably good reputation as a journalist in this community, and if they want to say something, all they’ve got to do is call me,” Thornton said.
To relax, Thornton plays cajon, a drum-like wooden box from Africa. He is single, has a girlfriend and leads a very private life.
“I’m a regular guy,” Thornton said. “Put a dime in me and I start talking, and I don’t know when to shut up.”
Pretty cool, huh. So he did an interview with Adrian and it lead to a life changing career. See, Ade? You have left your mark in this world in more ways than one, all of them briliant.
Also cool is Sid Smith over at DGM Live, who gives the trio a blurb today:
"The Adrian Belew Power Trio are back on the road again in the New Year. And if that's not enough, he's taking pre-orders for the long awaited, Side Four live album featuring Julie and Eric Slick alongside Ade."
Here's a little tease for those of you in the colder parts of the country, like where you ski and in the midwest - you'll notice there is a gap in the schedule between February 29 and March 8.
Err...no. Stay tuned to your computers - I do believe those dates will fill in nicely very shortly.
In other news, my son turned me on to "The Blog Readability Test" which tells you what level of education is required to understand your blog.
Sooo...I typed in my URL and kill me now. Please.
Next I typed in Adrian's blog:
Well, who didn't know that?
Then I could not resist having a go at Robert Fripp's diary:
Let's see what they have to say about Sue Henderson over at Lit Park:
Ha! Normally Sue would be gnashing her teeth over this, but I have a feeling I can make her smile.
Neil Gaiman's journal:
Ha ha - well, Sue, at least we are in good company once again.
So you'll see that I've titled this post life changing experiences. I kind of had one myself today and as I type this, I'm debating as to how much detail I want to go into but here goes...we'll see how it pans out.
I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol and all of the things that are very scary to a woman my age. I'm intelligent, I want to live to at least see Side Four Live win a Grammy (heh), and yet I do not take care of myself. I eat whatever I want and other than walking, I despise all forms of exercise. I thought I was controlling my health issues with regular trips to an internist and three different types of meds, which, I have to admit, make me forgetful and dizzy and definitely not the woman I once was but it's kind of subtle...I don't walk around moaning and complaining; I just feel "off" and I'm frequently doing stuff like walking upstairs and forgetting why I went there, opening the refrigerator and totally spacing out as to what I meant to take out of there, or my personal favorite, picking up the television remote and holding to my ear shouting "Hello? Hello?" when my cell phone rang. But a couple of weeks ago, I bent down and almost couldn't get back up. I was so freaking dizzy and I don't know how else to describe this, but I had sparkly things shooting in front of my eyes...so much so that for a minute, I was afraid I was losing the vision in my right eye. I couldn't focus and it scared the crap out of me.
God forbid I would have taken this as a sign to give up the Pad Thai and Bassets Ice Cream bars but no, I will just pop my meds and assure myself I'm okay and protected.
The last week, though, has been horrible. I haven't wanted to alarm my family, but I have barely been able to catch my breath. But I'm really stressed out right now. I discussed the office thing here last week. Yeah, all kinds of cool things are happening with my books and film option discussions but it takes time and now there is a writer strike which I am sure is going to have an effect on me as well. So as suspected, my blood pressure was really high...frighteningly so. I knew it before I even went to the doctor today because I felt like crap when I started walking to his office...at which time it began to rain. Now I'm sure anyone with a family can relate to this. There are four of us. How is it that in a family of four, there is not one umbrella in this house? Okay, one is my fault, I know I left it at the office. But we had like six others. Oh well, it wasn't raining that bad out, but by the time I walked several blocks, it started to pour so I had to duck inside a CVS Pharmacy to buy an umbrella. In a weird twist of fate, the bin of umbrellas was directly across from a do-it-yourself blood pressure cuff.
I never should have done it but I did.
So I pretty much knew I was in trouble even before I saw the doctor. In fact, I began to cry as soon as I sat down on the examining table. He was pretty upset as well and immediately prescribed something called a Beta Blocker. Naturally I made things worse by reading the pamphlet that came along with it.
If only I had watched my diet and exercised.
So now I'm dizzy and stressed and I take a pill which says right on the package "will cause dizziness until your body becomes accustomed to it".
I was so out of it I had to go straight home - it was only like 9:30 a.m. and this you can't believe - I walk in the door and smell natural gas. And I mean I smell it strong. I check the stove - the pilot is on - so this means it could be coming from the basement - the gas heater or the hot water heater, I don't know from these things but luckily Gary does. I called him at work, so freaking emotional, that he came straight home.
Good thing he did. Somehow the gas connector to the hot water heater rotted away or broke away...I don't remember what Gary told me, only that it was hissing gas.
I have been so full of "what ifs" today. What if I didn't come home early and Julie, Eric and the dog were asleep and didn't wake up...oh god, I can't even type any more about that...I just can't do it.
So right now I am so dizzy it's insane; Gary needs to do major work in the basement and is bringing home supplies, and I have all the windows open.
But I've been thinking all day how in one instant your life can totally change...and how we need to take care of ourselves and live each day totally to the fullest...and try and make a difference in this world.
And with that, assuming I can sit up straight for more than a short period of time, I'm going to attempt a bit more of my excerpt for National Novel Writing month.
At least in theory.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
The girl in the above sketch is smiling. I am not. But it was the best I could come up with.
God, Bitten to the Core is a great name for my new novel in so many ways, but it's literally the way I feel after the marathon writing session that is National Novel Writing Month. Okay, so as of this morning, I have 14,600 words, and the whole sorry first draft in progress is up on their site right here...and normally 14,600 words since November 1, 2007 would be most impressive except for the fact that...arghhh...if I want to keep pace I need 20,000 words by the time I go to bed tonight.
ETA: Yes! As of 4:45 p.m., I have 16,800 words! Yay me!
ETA #2: Make that 18,136 words at 7:38 p.m. I'm blind! Help me! (I can't freaking believe I'm doing this. I blame Susan Henderson at Lit Park. If so many other Lit Parkers weren't doing this, I'd probably have given up by now but personal pride, man, it's huge...as is my competitive streak. I don't dare fail now. Okay, back to my original blog post of this morning, which is not all that true anymore -- I think I've figured out my plot! Yay!
Wait: ETA #3 - 18,383 at 9:10 p.m., which, by my calculations, puts me right on track. Which is good because I can't type another word. But yeah, today is November 11, and I'm supposed to be hitting 1,666 words a day. So 1,666 x 11 = 18,326. Which makes me 57 words ahead. Oh god, I'm going to get very drunk now. Just in time for Julie and Eric to arrive home and see their mom turn into total mush brain. But oh do I have a good excuse! Damn I feel good right now, even without the alcohol. I freaking did it!
This would be a piece of cake for me normally IF I HAD ANY FUCKING IDEA OF WHERE I WAS GOING WITH THIS PLOT...sorry...I scream when I'm frustrated. So I woke up early to brainstorm, Gary won't be awake until noon, Julie and Eric are still in Nashville and their flight home doesn't arrive until 9:00 p.m. tonight, so there is absolutely no reason I should be staring at the page right now totally clueless.
Okay, I do know what I want, it's just a matter of making it funny as opposed to offensive, which is a fine line when you are writing erotica, and who in their right mind attempts comedic erotica? I managed to do it in Three Days and Another Bite but for this third book in the series, it's hard to keep the character fresh and funny and not jaded by all of her "experiences"...and here's the kicker...I have to somehow think up a plan for our two lovers in question to be in a slapstick situation with a bunch of busybody church ladies. See what I mean about crossing that politically correct line? Hmmm, that's the wrong word to use. I could give two fucks if I'm politically correct...what I need is to make it believable and laugh out loud funny.
I guess the idea of a dungeon in the church basement complete with chains, shackles, and whips where they kidnap our heroine and hero and torture them in, um, unusual ways won't work, huh. Though I should warn you I have not completely given up on that idea...
Oh I'm kidding. At least I hope I'm kidding. Because if I can't come up with anything else...argh...
So while I sit at my computer all miserable and frustrated and searching, searching, searching, I figured I'd do a warm up exercise by coming back to my absolute favorite place to write -- i.e., this blog. And excuse all of the f notes I'm hurling here but I get emotional when I'm blocked, which isn't often thank God. (Being blocked that is....I obviously get emotional all the time, but it's usually in a good way)
Anyway, in much better news, I talked to Eric yesterday and they are having an amazing, amazing time at Adrian's house down in Nashville. Yesterday they recorded yet another brand new masterpiece and Eric sounded excited beyond belief. Both Julie and Eric are writing their own parts to certain songs and they are swooning over that. By the way, Gary and I played Side Four Live (yet again har har) yesterday and you should hear what those two little tricksters pulled in the live version of the song "Madness"...let's just say it's an awesome tribute to Robert Fripp. Gary was at that club in Kentucky when Side Four Live was recorded earlier this year, and he told me that when they launched into it on drums and bass about halfway through, Adrian turned to them in shocked delight and smiled ear to ear because they totally surprised him. So I hate to tease you all like that with the CD not being available for pre-order until next Tuesday, but you heard it here first...listen very closely during Madness. Actually, that would be "A Little Madness" as it's been renamed on Side Four Live. (Speaking of Robert Fripp, thank you, sir, for making me smile in delight at your diary entry of today, where you call the ABPT "The Adrian Belew Trio Of Power, Wonderment & Bliss Arising". You made my day -- and those photos of New York, etc. were awesome but the accompanying commentary had me laughing out loud)
Also, I'm hoping Ade posts a photo, but last night they all went to dinner at a friend of Ade and Martha...and I may be getting this wrong so I will have to check with Eric later and come in and correct this post if I am...but I believe they also dined with him Friday night at J. Alexander's...or, they may have run into him and then made plans for last night, I'm not sure. Anyway, the reason I'm telling you this is that having met him Friday night, they wanted to bring him and his wife, a brilliant artist (gah! I really hope I'm not screwing this story totally up) gifts of art when they went to dinner at their home last evening. So Ade and Eric took a drumhead and did wild things to it with spray paint. Eric said it's so incredible, I have to see it. So that's why I'm hoping they took a photo and Ade posts it in his blog. And what did Julie contribute to this plan? I am so freaking jealous. She made her famous key lime pie, which I am also hoping Ade took a photo of, though knowing Julie, she insisted.
You haven't experienced true nirvana until you have had a slice of Julie's key lime pie. And she is correct, it is a true work of art.
(Julie? You are baking that for Thanksgiving dinner this year, right? Right? Right?)
Anyway, okay, my fingers are nimble, I've had two cups of coffee...it's time to return to my trainwreck...I mean...novel in progress.
Now. What to do with that bunch of angry church ladies....
Friday, November 09, 2007
Robin Slick - 4th Place Winner of Best of Blog Awards 2007, Diarist, but She's Way More Excited About the Impending Release of Side Four Live
So the 2007 Web Blog Awards are over, and I am thrilled to have landed in 4th place, Best Diarist. What's really amazing about this is there were 545,446 votes cast in 49 categories over six days and blogs nominated from all over the world. To even make it into the top ten finalists was thrilling - and even better I beat out the woman who worships the witch with Nazi Slime Disease featured in my post below. So thank you to all of my great friends and readers who voted, especially Ellen Meister, who campaigned for me over at Zoetrope Studios and Cafe Mom, Aimee over at Aimeepalooza, Susan Henderson who gave me a shout out at the fabulous Lit Park, and most of all to Jon Swift for nominating me in the first place and congratulations to Jon on his third place finish as "Funniest Blog on the Internet" I quote Jon here but I think he's #1. Ha ha - in his post today he says we are "victory challenged" which made me laugh out loud. Anyway...I am so stoked!
And, if life isn't good enough, over at Adrian Belew's website, there is finally an announcement about Side Four Live - pre-orders for the CD will be taken starting November 20!
In other news, this morning I reached 10,000 words on my new book for National Novel Writing Month which would be awesome except if you do the math, to finish writing 50,000 words by November 30 means I need to have 16,666 words by the time I go to bed tonight. Or something like that. Arghhh....I suck at math. Anyway, one thing I do know -- that means close to 7,000 words today if I want to keep pace, and I do in a big way so I really need to get to work, like, NOW.
For those of you interested, I am posting my novel in progress as I go along but as I've said before, this is a first draft and pretty much reads like a first draft but if you are bored and have nothing better to do and want to give me some feedback, hey, knock yourself out.
Okay, I'm outta here.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Okay, today is the last day of voting for 2007 Web Blog Awards, Best Diarist and I need your help. One final time, all you have to do is click on the "Robin Slick" button when you go to this link. The polls close at 5:00 p.m. eastern.
I would normally be thrilled to finish 4th, which is where I am now, or even 5th, but one of the other finalists who is neck and neck with me has a link to the hideously evil, anti-semetic, homophobic, Bush loving witch with Nazi Slime Disease...oh god...if I type her name, all of her demented fans will find my blog via google...so how about if I just post her photo so you know who it is...let me see if I can find the ugliest one possible that shows her black soul...ooh...ooh...I just found one with her name on it...
In case you aren't already acquainted with this "lovely" woman, you can read all about her latest horrifying escapades here.
So now you now why I cannot be beaten by this blogger who actually links her prominently.
In other news, I know I get a lot of cross-readers from Adrian Belew's blog, but in case you are coming here from another source, I'm going to have to insist that you go over and read his last couple of posts as concerns my two kids. When I read his food post about Ms. Julie Slick first thing yesterday morning, I broke up laughing. I pictured the whole scene at their house, including Julie in the kitchen, her hair piled on top of her head, busy slicing and dicing, and then standing behind Adrian while he typed his blog post, telling him the exact ingredients. Adrian even says "Julie said it's creamy leek and mushroom ragu"...
Oh man, I wish I were there. And then Julie snapped this photo of Eric at Ade's piano which just about killed me...and I adore Ade's hat...damn, did I say I wish I were there?
So yeah, click on that link because there's some really good stuff there.
Although there is one bozo fan who commented he wished Side Four Live had a different line-up...hahahahaha - what is wrong with people? Did that remark make him feel like, intelligent or something? Gah! We're all entitled to our opinions but there's a time and place, you know?
I'll never understand this world. Exhibit "A" is that the witch with Nazi Slime Disease actually has a huge following and a major book deal. It's very, very depressing.
But then again, there's a lot in this universe that is really fantastic - like the Adrian Belew Power Trio and impending release of Side Four Live, my family and music and writing/reading in general...so I think I'll concentrate on that instead.
I'm off to work on my new novel. The link for the excerpt is in the post below, and I expect to be adding a lot to it later today.
One final time, please vote for my blog today...and for your convenience, another direct link to vote.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
They're Back - Julie Slick and Eric Slick descend on Casa Belew in Nashville and Robin Slick is well on her way to a nervous breakdown
Oh god, was it only a few months ago those photos were taken down in Nashville right before the trio went on their international tour this summer?
And today they are back there again, learning all kinds of new material and rehearsing for their February/March cross-country marathon...and I see Pollstar has just listed a second Philadelphia date but I'm thinking that's a mistake because they aren't concurrent - one is March 9 and one is March 12, and the March 12 date is in fact listed on the World Cafe Live website though I guess anything is possible...I will find out ASAP and let you all know what I find out.
So today's entry is actually going to be a real Robin Slick diary post, which is only fitting since the Best of Blog Awards are still going on and I seem to have a nice grip on 5th place (sob)...it would be awesome to finish higher but hell, it's an honor to even be a top ten blog worldwide. Have you voted yet? Thank god I don't have to do this much longer - voting ends on Thursday -- but here, yet again, is the dreaded link. And thank you so much!
Alrighty, as promised, a real diary post, because Good Grief, after today, I need one. Okay, what I really need is a psychiatrist's couch, but you all will have to do instead.
The "trauma" actually started last night. Eric is already in Nashville - he headed there immediately following his show with Delicious Saturday night. Julie's plan was to fly there early this morning on a 6:45 a.m. flight. Naturally this meant that Gary had to drive her to the airport today at 5:00 a.m.
"I assume you'll be sleeping home Monday night," I said to Julie on Sunday when I briefly saw her in between "projects".
"Oh yeah, of course. I have to wake up at 4:30 a.m. Since Matt (her boyfriend) doesn't have any gigs, we're going to have dinner out, see a movie, and then I'll come home and crash early."
Sooo...yesterday rolled around, Gary and I ate pizza for dinner, and had every intention of staying up until Julie got home...Gary was going to watch the hockey game and I was going to work on my novel for National Novel Writing Month and god help me if that link works, because it will actually take you to my novel in progress and one thing you really don't want to read is the first draft of what is basically being written without an outline or even spell check...but I put it there just so you can see I really am doing it. (But in a perfect world, that link won't work for you and will merely take you to the main site).
The best laid plans went astray...i.e., we made the mistake of stretching out in bed right after dinner for a quick nap before the hockey game and that's the last thing either of us remember. I woke up close to midnight and I could hear the television blasting from downstairs and could also see all the lights were on.
"Fuck," I muttered under my breath. "Julie comes home and doesn't even shut off the t.v.?"
Err...no. A quick check down the hallway told me Julie wasn't even home.
So, it's midnight; she has to be up in four hours to go to the airport, and now I'm wide awake with fear. Where is she?
I really hated to do this to a 21 year old, but I was honestly concerned. My first thought was that she did the same thing Gary and I did - fell asleep with Matt after dinner, didn't set her alarm, and would miss her flight. Worse, Gary was snoring and I didn't know if he'd set our alarm clock, either. I tried reaching over him to find out but it was hopeless.
I am sorry to say I have no idea how to work the damn clock anyway.
What choice did I have? Even though it was late, I dialed Julie up on her cell phone.
"Hi, Mom. I decided to stay at Matt's. I'll just come home at 4:30 tomorrow morning."
I trudge back upstairs to bed at 1:00 a.m. and I can't sleep. I keep dreaming she misses her plane. I roll over every 15 minutes to check the time.
Finally at 4:00 a.m. I get out of bed and put up a pot of coffee. I know she'll be needing some, and I want Gary to have at least a cup or two before he wakes up and has to drive on the highway in the dark, stormy rain to Philly International Airport.
It's 4:30 a.m. and no Julie. Arghh...just as I'm about to go upstairs and send Gary over to Matt's house, Gary walks downstairs and opens the front door.
"Your daughter just called. She's on her way and wanted me to unlock the door because it's pouring out." (Like I didn't hear the rain and wasn't worrying non-stop for the past five hours about everything from her flight to their drive to the airport to her walking around downtown Philly at 4:30 a.m.)
So Julie comes in the door and she's not a happy camper. She didn't sleep, either, and she didn't feel that great. But that was the tip of the iceberg.
"Oh crap!" she exclaimed.
"What? What?" There went my mom radar again.
"I totally forgot. When we did our last tour in Seattle and you guys were on vacation, the airline broke my bass case. I forgot to say anything and now I don't have a sturdy case to put my bass in which is secure enough to be checked into baggage on the plane."
"Oh my god," Gary and I said simultaneously.
"Wait a minute," I said. "We have thirty guitars and basses in this house. Not one of the other cases will fit your bass?"
She looked at me pityingly, because yeah, yeah, I am the only non-musician in the family - what do I know about these things.
"Mom, it's a Fender Jazz bass. It's huge. None of the cases will fit."
"So what are we going to do?" I asked, the panic in my voice rising to new, unheard of ever before levels.
"I guess Daddy will have to drive me back to Matt's and I will take my other bass...he uses it for his gigs on Wednesday nights but I have no choice."
You have to understand - we are a family of music nuts. For us not to have a case for Julie is a crime. Not to Julie, mind you, but to us. What will the Belews think of us? We are neglectful parents!
"Err, she's 21, Rob. This isn't our problem," said Gary.
Yep, as usual, he's right.
So he drove Julie to Matt's, got the other bass, and off they went - all this before 5:00 a.m.
You might have thought I immediately went back to bed, but no. Nope, it doesn't work that way.
One thing I haven't shared here because I haven't felt like it is that last year, after my much touted retirement from law in 2005, I decided to go back to work as a paralegal part-time. There were many reasons for this, the most important of which was that I found I wasn't budgeting my writing time properly once I'd quit my job...I was basically fucking off all day instead of writing. When I worked full-time, I somehow managed to run a household and write two novels. Once I quit my job, everything went to hell. So I thought it would be a cool idea to temp...work a couple days a week, work only when I wanted to, have some extra pocket money, and really put my days off to much better use...i.e., writing.
Naturally my temp idea led me right to a law office, and without even realizing what I was getting myself into, I agreed to work 3 days a week, Tuesday to Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This gave me four days off in a row to write plus late afternoons...it seemed like the perfect arrangement and I swore I would never get "involved" in a job again...after spending decades at my former job and feeling that I could never top that experience because I so loved my boss of 20 odd years who'd retired.
Naturally with my personality, this could never happen.
I started to really like my new job. I started worrying about it, thinking about it on my days off, and caring way too much about the people there. I work for a solo practitioner who has had the same secretary, Donna, for 27 years and we share an office with another solo guy, also awesome. I love these three people. The trouble is, I remembered why I left law in the first place. I fucking hate it. But the hours are awesome, I was earning good money in between royalty checks from the books, and I honestly looked forward to going in three days a week - but more specifically, because of Donna, the woman with whom I job-shared. In fact I just mentioned Donna and her two daughters in my blog here last week - we all had pizza together and everyone at the table was a vegetarian except for Donna and me - but we made up for it by being the only two lushes at the table (i.e., cheap drunks on two beers).
Anyway, Donna and I have really bonded this past year though I joke I'm going to write a novel about the two of us called "The Prom Queen and The Pot Head" (hey, it's a reference to our teen years, not now!)...but despite the fact that she's a "good girl" and I'm the crazy burned out hippie, the two of us can talk for hours and we've already established I don't feel that way about many people.
I couldn't wait to tell Donna about my Julie experience last night and this morning. With daughters the same age of her own, I knew she'd understand and laugh and give me a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.
And she did. And nothing seemed weird or abnormal, until an hour or so later when our boss came in. She went into his office, which is directly across from where I sit, and didn't come out. I can usually hear pretty much everything that is said in there, but I heard nothing.
I started to get nervous. Maybe I was getting fired. The personal injury field in Philadelphia is horrible right now - half of Philly is driving around without insurance; cases are not getting settled because insurance companies aren't paying...it's a mess. Okay, deep breath, Rob. Getting fired would not be so bad. You hate the work, anyway. Donna will always be your friend now...you can go back to your original plan of working as an anonymous temp where you go somewhere different every day and don't get INVOLVED. Even better, you can put if off until spring, which means you won't have to walk into town three days a week in ice and snow and yes, you can probably knock out at least another book. Maybe two.
Donna walked right past my desk without saying a word. I waited a few minutes and then walked out to the reception area where she sits. I looked at her and she said:
"I just quit."
Now, I've known this woman a year. She's worked for Stacy (our boss) 27 years. I thought she was kidding...or, he had to have said something really awful and pissed her off so much...but you have to understand, Donna really is a Prom Queen. She's just about the most perfect woman I've ever met...sweet, even tempered, beautiful...she's not the type to throw a hissy fit.
"You're joking. What did he do now?"
And even when I said that, I didn't mean it. Stacy is unusual but he's a good guy. I say that because I see a lot of myself in him har har...no, really, I do. Moody at times, likes to keep his feelings to himself (which, believe it or not, I used to do before I got this damn blog), like me, very smart -- brilliant, even (heh), but prone to stress and really can do a number on himself over it. Like me, he takes medication for high blood pressure.
"He didn't do anything. I quit. I got another job. It just fell into my lap and I'm so burned out...."
She told me the whole story but all I heard was white noise. Oh fuck. There goes my dream job. I saw the writing on the wall. Without Donna there as my stabilizer, I would be burnt out in about two seconds. I certainly didn't want her job - she works 50 hours a week and waits on Stacy hand and foot. We don't have a typical office -we rent space in a lovely apartment building on Rittenhouse Square in downtown Philadelphia which means we don't even have maid service - we empty our own trash, clean our own coffee pot, etc. Donna even runs the vacuum!
Could you see me doing that? Okay, you guys really don't know me, but let's just say that when the vacuum gets run around here, it's because Gary is doing it.
(Well, that could be because between Eric's drums, amps, guitars, etc. there's about a two inch path of carpet to vacuum and you have to be careful or you can suck up all kinds of amp cables, etc.)
So without going into even more detail because I'm shaking enough as it is, yes, Donna's last day is Wednesday, November 21 - the day before Thanksgiving. Two weeks from tomorrow.
What do I do? Do I quit, too?
Not if Stacy has his way.
Just as I was about to go home at 3:00, he stood by my desk, and I've never seen anyone look so sad in my life. Plus, he wasn't hungry all day (obviously) but finally forced himself to eat something, and it was all over his face. He looked like a little boy with crumbs on his lip and he also looked like he was going to cry. He just about broke my heart.
"You're not going to leave me, too, are you?"
"Err...I don't know," I answered truthfully. "To be honest, I'm kind of blindsided right now...this hasn't sunk in yet..."
"Please don't leave me. I'll find someone to replace Donna."
Oh, he'll find a replacement, but she won't be Donna. No one is Donna.
Which leaves me. What the hell do I do? I can't leave the guy all alone with inexperienced help and a million trials on the horizon, files for which it took me a year to acquaint myself but now I know them like the back of my hand and could probably try them myself in court.
Okay, I'm exaggerating but still.
It's more like, I can't kick a man when he's down.
But what about me? Without Donna, who basically ran that office single-handedly, where does that leave my writing career? If I stay, am I going to be sucked back into full-time work? Am I going to ever feel about a co-worker the way I feel about Donna? Is Stacy going to be so frustrated with the new girl that even though he promised me I could just continue on exactly as I am, he'll never be able to do it?
Argh...I need some help here.
If I am truly honest with myself, I should move on as well. It's a part-time, 18 hour a week job for Christ sake!
But I can't. That guilt stuff is killer, man.
I don't know how I'm going to get through the next two weeks. I can't even think of life beyond that.
I hope it's just because I'm so dead tired and maybe tomorrow I'll have a clearer head about this whole thing.
I never should have gone back to work. Gah!
Sunday, November 04, 2007
In which Julie Slick finally agrees to be something other than a monster for Halloween and I am once again begging you to vote for me as best blogger
Julie Slick as Wednesday Adams, Halloween, 2007
So I cry foul! How can they run the 2007 Best of Blogs Awards concurrently with National Novel Writing Month? How am I supposed to get out there and campaign for votes when I'm supposed to be writing a minimum of 2,000 words a day (yeah, because now I'm so far behind that if I don't write at least 2,000 a day, I'll never make 50,000 by November 30)
What's that? Oh, you mean everyone involved in the 2007 Web Blog Awards is not also participating in National Novel Writing Month? You mean I am the only lunatic...I mean...writer? Out of all those blogs?
But how else do I explain the thrashing I am getting from blogs such as Army Wife/Toddler Mom?
So today I am pulling out my big guns - putting up a photo of my gorgeous daughter in a Halloween costume we threw together at the very last minute the other night because Julie was thinking everyone in the club where her boyfriend's band was playing would be dressed up.
And we couldn't find her black skirt last minute so we substituted orange (you know. Halloween colors?) -- anyway, I'm not sure if she pulled off Wednesday Adams but she did pull off geek pretty well...
(ducking as Julie throws heavy object directly toward my head)
This is a sad but true story. I always dreamed of having a little girl who would let me dress her up and make her cool hairstyles.
Yeah, well, dream on.
From the time she could talk, which was pretty early - age one - if I would go to put her in a dress?
"NO DRESS MOMMY NO DRESS ME WEAR JEANS"
You don't even want to know about the nightmare of her hair.
I wasn't even allowed to make her a ponytail. No barrettes, ever. No pretty bows.
So I thought I would at least get some reprieve on Halloween.
"Would you like to go as a Princess?" I would ask her, hopefully.
"No, I think I'll be a hideous, scary monster," she replied.
"But you were a hideous, scary monster last year!"
"Okay, then I'll wrap myself up in bandages and cover myself with fake blood!"
"No, I hate that idea. Can't you ever go as a girl?"
"I guess I could be a witch. Hey, how about a witch covered in fake blood, with half a cat hanging out of her mouth?"
"Oh my god, Julie. Not only is that gross, witches don't eat cats, and where would we get half a cat, anyway?"
"I already thought of that. We'll use a knife and saw my stuffed Garfield in half. And I'm eating him because he is a stupid cat, not a witch's cat. And...and...he eats lasagna, so he probably tastes really good, too."
Sigh...and so it went. Year after year of gruesome costumes...we even tried taking her to expensive costume stores but all she found there were even more horrifying masks and fake pus and brown teeth...she was in heaven.
So on Halloween this year when she asked me to help her with Wednesday Adams after putting me through twenty-two years of torture, it was all I could do not to jump up and down screaming Yay! Yay! Yay!
But alas, when I went to make her those trademark braids (for the very first time in her life, I got to play with her hair), she said -- and to her credit -- it was sweetly apologetically -- "Mom, you can't brush my hair straight or hardly touch it at all - I just washed it and it's falling in perfect curls."
So I had to carefully section off sections of ringlets and somehow turn them into long straight braids without actually brushing or straightening her hair. As you can see by the above photo, I managed, but I pouted the whole time.
And then she gave me that beautiful smile and said "See, Mom? I'm finally not a monster!"
Yeah, this is some monster:
There's the little ogre -- I mean, Julie Slick, holding Paul McCartney's bass - yeah, that's right - Paul's bass, autographed by Paul and everything -- following a show she did with Adrian Belew on the west coast last year.
Okay, I really need to get back to my "real writing". So once again, I am going to beg you to vote for me. There are only five days left so I won't be bugging you that much longer:
As I instructed before, anyone can vote once a day until November 8 without registering any name, email address or anything...just click on the button that says "Robin Slick"...and here is the "voting booth".
Thank you, thank you, thank you
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Hey, I know this is last minute, but if you are in the NYC area at 9:00 p.m. tonight, please go check out Cheers Elephant at the Parkside Lounge, 317 East Houston Street, NYC. Julie's boyfriend plays bass in the band, does vocals, writes a lot of the songs...they are just amazing and were recently compared by one reviewer to the Kinks.
Oh, and Ms. Julie Slick produced their new CD, which they will hopefully have available tonight at the show...and say Hi to Julie while you are there this evening - maybe she'll tell you about Side Four Live and the upcoming Adrian Belew Power Trio tour.
These bands need our support!
(And Clear Channel must die!)
Yeah! Zappa Plays Zappa performing on Conan - October 30, 2007
Man, what a smoking version of Willie the Pimp.
I guess because I'm Eric Slick's mother and there's always this flame war crap going on over at the Zappa forum board about Zappa Plays Zappa vs the merits of Project Object and Eric Slick v ZPZ's Joe Travers on drums, I'm not allowed to love this or something because it would be disloyal...but Eric sure doesn't feel that way and neither does Andre Cholmondeley, P/O's fearless leader...this is good, good stuff and it's thrilling to watch. Ray White is fucking amazing, Dweezil rips on guitar, and anyone who says Joe Travers isn't a fantastic drummer isn't hearing the same music I am. Joe rules!
I am so pissed I missed them when they were in Philadelphia but I intend to rectify that mistake next time they are anywhere nearby.
Whew...what an awesome way to wake up this morning. I need to play that again. Give me a minute....
You know, I've probably said this before and one day I intend to tell you the whole damn story down to the very last detail, but it was through Eric Slick and Julie Slick that I came to love the music of Frank Zappa. I was a total music freak growing up but a Brit Rock/punk snob and thought Frank was "weird". Around ten years ago, they came home from their music lessons when they were about twelve years old and made me sit down and listen to his really deep stuff and even his more "accessible" tunes and I am now a diehard fan. That's just one of the many reasons I pinch myself daily to know that Adrian Belew (if there's anyone reading this who doesn't know, Frank Zappa gave Adrian his big break when he made him as his guitarist back in 1977) chose both Eric and Julie as his bandmates...a year and a half later and it still blows my mind.
And I know I've said this a few times this week, but if you are in the Asheville, N.C. area tonight, please catch Eric and Andre and Josh in the band Delicious tonight at Stella Blue Live.
Hey, speaking of Mr. Belew, by now I guess you've all seen Adrian's Blog, where yesterday he announced the impending release of Side Four Live, which of course features Eric on drums and Julie on bass:
"the parts for side four (live) were sent to the pressing plant to begin the manufacture thereof.
in two weeks we will begin accepting orders. I'm told they will make lovely Christmas gifts..."
Yay! Heart be still!
Okay, that's it for now. I am going back to work on my novel for National Novel Writing Month...I am woefully behind my 2,000 word a day pace - I should have close to 4,000 words as of this morning and I only have 2,019 thus far which means I need to triple that amount by the time I go to bed tonight.
But before I go, I am being clobbered by Army Wife/Toddler Mom in the 2007 Best of Blog Awards...and we just can't have that. So as I instructed before, anyone can vote once a day until November 8 without registering any name, email address or anything...just click on the button that says "Robin Slick"...and here is the "voting booth".
Friday, November 02, 2007
Okay, there is only one week of voting for 2007 Web Blog Awards, Best Diarist and I need your help. Everyone can vote once a day from their computer, you don't have to register your name or email, all you have to do is click on the "Robin Slick In Her Own Write" button when you go to this page. If you could do this for me once a day for the next week until the polls close on November 8, you will have my undying gratitude.
I know, I know, I'm far too hip to be concerned with stuff like this but there you have it - the big secret is I am really a nerd.
Speaking of nerds, I have to make this quick -- I've had the migraine from hell the past two days which is an awful time to be participating in National Novel Writing Month but oh well, talk about dying for your art...
But before I go, I could not help but notice that my son has a mention in today's Citizen Times:
"Asheville’s Delicious makes a comeback
New ingredients bring fresh life to psychedelic band
by Michael Flynn, take5 correspondent
published November 2, 2007 12:15 am
ASHEVILLE — Without a guitarist and drummer, longtime Asheville psychedelic rockers Delicious appeared to be cooked. That was a few months ago, before bassist and remaining member Josh Rosenstein met up with guitarist Andre Cholmondeley of the acclaimed Frank Zappa tribute Project Object.
Cholmondeley agreed to perform with Delicious and round up drummer Eric Slick, whose gigs include work with celebrated King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew.
Suddenly, Delicious was back, with new ingredients but promising the same instrumental jams that have powered the trio through hundreds of shows since its formation about 10 years ago.
The new lineup hits the stage for the first time Saturday downstairs at Stella Blue, after an earlier show upstairs featuring metal kings Sanctity and several other bands. In advance of the show, Rosenstein talked about the band’s second life.
“I gave him a CD, and he called me back that night and was way into it,” Rosentein, 32, said about the Asheville encounter with Cholmondeley that led to the group’s rejuvenation. “I wasn’t into being the only original member of Delicious, but now I am really excited about it.”
Satan’s jam band
“It will still be the same wall of sound with its quiet moments,” Rosenstein said about the band’s music, which draws on the heavy sounds of Black Sabbath and instrumental elements of Pink Floyd. “These guys are really into what Delicious was originally about.”
The shows will also improve, he said. “It will change for the better because everyone in the band is sober,” Rosenstein said in reference to a prior member’s substance problems that helped doom the previous lineup.
With Slick living in Philadelphia and the other two players in Asheville, the new members will have jammed together only a few times before taking the stage downstairs at Stella Blue.
“It will be Delicious instrumentals and who knows,” Rosenstein said in anticipation of the spontaneity. “No waiting around — let’s just do it.”
“There’s a lot of room — it’s real organic and free-flowing,” Rosenstein said about the benefits of performing instrumental music. “I’ve been doing it for so long, it seems natural.” Plus, as a trio, there’s more room in the van, and no prima donna lead singer.
“There’s no arrogant frontman taking up all of the time running his mouth,” he said with a laugh.
Rosenstein said he looks forward to touring with the new lineup, as well as recording an album. “It’s going to be nothing but good for Delicious,” he said.
Michael Flynn writes for take5. E-mail him at email@example.com.
Contact Michael Flynn at 828-232-2935, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Gary Slick and Eric Slick crashing out at O'Hare Airport in Chicago following the Adrian Belew Power Trio tour November, 2006
Okay, so I have all kinds of cool news today and I'm like, really stoked.
Yesterday in the comments section of my blog I received this note:
"Your site has won a Blog of the Day Award"
I clicked on that link and was so thrilled! So thank you, Bonnie, for your kind selection and excellent taste...and now for my acceptance speech. I wish to thank the Academy, my family, my therapist...oh, I'm kidding...I don't have a therapist...I mean, I need a therapist, I'm sure most will agree, but nope, don't have one.
Anyway, they were kind enough to provide me with an award button, which I have posted on the right hand sidebar here.
And in a classic case of the type of serendipity I adore, Neil Gaiman won the exact same award yesterday, too.
Heart be still. It gets better. As if that excitement wasn't enough, this morning I came down to the news that yes, yes, yes, I'm one of ten finalists (out of like a gazillion nominated) in the 2007 Web Blog Awards, Diarist and voting will begin late tonight for the winners -- you know I will be posting a link for that as soon one appears on their site.
So why did I post a photograph of Eric and Gary instead of my stunning face? Because you know me, I got way more psyched when I discovered today that Eric, who is currently on tour with Delicious in Asheville, North Carolina, has updated his blog.
I was just laughing out loud reading it - Eric is hilarious. And ahem, genetically an excellent writer, for which I will take full credit.
And...look out...because Gary, former computer hater...wait...he still hates computers but he's reluctantly become a part of the "If I can't beat 'em, I'm gonna join 'em gang", has asked me to set up a blog of his own. Right not it's nothing more than a URL address but he will probably be posting within the next day or so and his "platform" (ha! to all of you writers out there who moaned out loud as soon as they read that word) will be something on the order of Rock Music 101. Gary is an extensive musicologist and has probably attended thousands of concerts in his lifetime...yes...his Mommy even took him to see the Beatles in 1966 when he was too young to go anywhere but the bathroom by himself and he not only has the original ticket stubs ($4.50! Four freaking dollars and fifty cents!) he has the actual program from the show, which was held at the now demolished JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.
But if I know my husband, he'll probably also rant from time to time about Republicans and yuppies as well because, he is, after all, my husband. So watch this space - I'll put up an alert when Gary writes his first words of wisdom.
Oh, and I am sure he'll be blogging from at least part of the Adrian Belew tour this February/March, and speaking of that...hey hey hey...more good news for me, I just discovered that Pollstar had a feature article on their website about the trio yesterday!
The Power Of Adrian Belew
Wednesday, Oct 31, 2007 3:15AM
"Adrian Belew, self-described "world's greatest experimental whammy twang bar czar rhino king crimson stunt guitarist," has announced the first round of dates for an early 2008 tour of the U.S. accompanied by siblings Eric and Julie Slick.
The Adrian Belew Power Trio kicks off its trek February 19 at Triple Door in Seattle so far is scheduled to hit clubs and theatres around the country through mid-March.
Highlights of the tour include stops at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Ore. (February 20), Slim's in San Francisco (February 23), the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, Calif. (February 26), the Santa Fe Brewing Company in New Mexico (February 29), World Café Live in Philadelphia (March 12), and B.B. King's Blues Club in New York City (March 13).
Tickets are available through links at www.adrianbelew.net.
Here's a clip of Belew (accompanied by the Slicks) doing that voodoo-that-he-do at the Carriage House Theatre in Saratoga, Calif., in October 2006."
So yeah, Pollstar posted that video of the trio, which, by the way, is the most watched You Tube of all the trio offerings out there -- in fact, it's even on Adrian Belew's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nomination Page. Alas, Adrian was not nominated this year but it's the first year he's eligible and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that he's going to be inducted sooner rather than later.
In other news, I've made no secret that I am decidedly not a Bruce Springsteen fan because my taste in music runs more to British blues rock and punk, but good grief, the man has the #1 CD on the Billboard charts right now and the evil, wicked, Republican, corporate Clear Channel, who own approximately 40% of the country's radio stations -- that would be 1,165 of 'em -- has banned the entire CD from their playlist because of Bruce's liberal politics!
""When you have artists like the Dixie Chicks and Bruce Springsteen who have overtly spoken out against this Administration, they are taken to task in spite the clear and undeniable indications from the marketplace that people want to hear their music. What seems to be happening-- if sales are any kind of a barometer of what the marketplace is-- is that these politically-connected radio networks like Clear Channel are not looking to succeed as radio stations as much as pushing forward some political agenda."
I think I'm gonna be sick. I mean, I already knew the evil Republicans running this country, headed by the madman in the White House, were a completely unconstitutional dictatorship who owned the media, but banning Bruce Springsteen? Oh. My. God.
I am embarrassed to be an American right now. We need to do something about this, people. The government is fucking with our music, damn it!
So let's start right here. That link will take you to a Petition to Boycott Clear Channel.
And to my fellow animal loving friends, here's a bit more on the PETA side to this story...we all really need to unite here...googling Clear Channel, PETA, and other suchlike connecting links has rendered me totally unable to eat breakfast this morning. I seriously feel like I'm going to hurl.
I do believe a definite return to my wild hippie protest days is in order and I'm taking all of you along with me.
Ooh, I almost forgot - I have some more way cool music news - Julie's boyfriend Matt, as I've mentioned before, is in an amazing band, Cheers Elephant, and yesterday they got a fabulous review in the Philadelphia Weekly:
Fri., Nov. 2, 9pm. $7. With Papertrigger, Drink up Buttercup + Sisters 3. Millcreek Tavern, 4200 Chester Ave. 215.222.1255. www.millcreektavernphilly.com
Cheers Elephant sound more British than most young Philly bands. They set out for prime Kinks real estate, and nearly close the deal with their rambunctious shows. (They could grow up to become the Teeth.) But as smoothly as songs like “Here We Are” and “Wide Eyed” channel ’60s psych and folk, the band reveals spidery digressions and fat Primus-style basslines amid their noisy rave-ups live. The result is a heady swirl of influences that grapple with each other for attention while Cheers Elephant play happily along. These guys may not have their sound set in stone yet, but most everything they’re doing is pleasing to the ears. (Doug Wallen)"
Oh well. The best blogger of October 31, 2007 needs to split now. Why, you ask? Because today is November 1, and you know what that means. Oh, you don't? Sigh...okay...here it is. Today is the start of National Novel Writing Month. So I will be joining thousands and thousands of other writers across all seven continents in an effort to complete a 50,000 word novel by November 30. That's something like just under 2,000 words a day, which is only daunting if you don't have a plot (ha) but I'm pretty lucky here...I'm using it as a vehicle to write the third book in the Three Days in New York City series so I've already got my characters, my plot, and okay, I'll admit it, some really sick humor ready and waiting to burst from my fingers to the computer keyboard.
And speaking of humor, Susan Henderson has a great topic going on over at Lit Park this week - name your top five humorous books. I am such a dork - I must have been over-caffeinated yesterday because while I easily came up with my first four choices, I stumbled and could not think of #5 so I did the lamest thing ever - I picked my own book. Thank God my good friend Ellen Meister, whose own book I selected for its brilliant humor, came in and bailed me out. Ack! Susan, when are you going to get that edit button? I cringed all day over my "vanitized" selection - I reminded myself of...never mind...why make it worse than it really is?
Okay, enough of me. I'm off to type...what's that again...2,000 words for National Novel Writing Month, or "Nano" to you...