Welcome to whatever is on my mind!

Some people use the term "nonsense" but I prefer to use the phrase "uncommonly sensed" because it's more reflective of creative types.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Birthday Wish List

My birthday just passed and several people asked me what I wanted as a gift (I don’t judge my friends by timeliness). I’m putting together a list list because even if you don’t know me you may know someone like me and this could be a great resource for gift ideas. For those of you who already bought me a gift, bookmark this for next year.

So here’s my list:

1. Cicadas to be gone for good. They didn’t listen to my advice in my previous blog, so quite frankly I’m getting a little tired of the bad house guests. Plus their grubs are ugly.
2. A cold front, preferably with snow. Yes, I know it’s June and that’s what makes this such a great gift. If I asked for this in December it wouldn’t mean as much. The bottom line: How much do you love me?
3. Move Boston closer to Nashville. I like visiting that city but don’t get there very often because it’s so far away. If someone moved it closer I could visit more often.
4. Write a song with Paul McCartney. And maybe have lunch.
5. I want my dog to be in charge of customer service everywhere I shop. She knows how to put things in order and she has a strong desire to see me happy. This makes her my ideal salesperson. Plus she might bite other customers I find annoying. That’s a bonus.

Well, this list should get you started. You have an entire year to make the appropriate arrangements, so I won’t be accepting excuses. And while I’m on the subject of arrangements, I’d just like to add that I will be turning 21 again next year so my husband will be taking me out drinking to celebrate this milestone (as he does every year, God bless him!). Since my daughter will not be old enough to be our designated driver for another year we’ll be looking for a volunteer for this position. A valid driver’s license is required.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My First Vocal Recording Session

I spent last Saturday in the studio with my band Lucky Munk assisting the engineer and producer with vocal tracks for our first recording. I wasn’t singing (so you can all relax), but as the drummer in the group I was allowed into the session to provide creative input. So I made my input as creative as I could.

First of all, I gave good tips on tonal quality to the vocalist such as “You sounded a little like Kermit the Frog on that take” and “I’m still hearing Kermittone in your voice” or “I need a little more Fozzy here.” The Muppets are universal, by the way, so they provide an excellent reference for making a point. I also gave good advice such as “How about if you sing the lyrics on the sheet in front of you?” And I made sure to be supportive and told the vocalist how hot his butt looks when he’s singing because you’ve got to keep building the vocalist’s confidence no matter how much he asks, “but how did I sound?”

One of the coolest things about being in the studio is that on the computer you can see the sound waves as they’re being created on every take. As a visual person, I loved this. These were like little Rorschach ribbons endlessly spooling. We voted on which take was the best and while other people would say “number 4” or “number 7” I kept in mind that I was there for creative input and said, “I like the one that looks like two birds kissing” or “the one that looks like an evil sandwich.”

While we were recording, I also took the opportunity to ask a lot of questions of the Producer, such as, “Why do you take another aspirin after every time I speak?” (The answer, by the way, was “You have a natural ability to remind me that I need to reduce my stress level.). And, “Are those really aspirin? Because I don’t think you should be taking so many of them.” He just smiled politely, so I’m not sure how well he speaks English. He didn’t have an accent, but you can never tell.

Another tip in case you’re ever in the control room during a recording session. The producer likes it when you agree with him. He kept mentioning (and at odd times, like when things were very intense) that it would be nice if we had someone who could run to Starbucks and get coffee such as someone who was not producing or engineering. I always agreed and said, “Yes, it’s too bad we don’t have someone like that who also isn’t providing creative input.” Then the producer and engineer would smile at each other and that’s how I knew that I was doing the right thing by agreeing with him.

I was not in the control room on Sunday when guitar parts were recorded. Apparently, they had all the creative input they could handle for one weekend.

Here’s the link to the song we finished. WARNING: The contents of this MP3 may contain elements of Jazz and/or Blues. Listeners sensitive to these harmonies should proceed with caution. If you or someone in the room with you is adversely affected by the sound of a hollow body guitar, you may want to turn down the volume before clicking the link.

You can also go to our FaceBook page and leave comments on what you liked or didn’t like about the song. We really do want some feedback. And if you like what we’re doing or feel that the drums sound awesome, please also “like” our Facebook page. We appreciate it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Some People Call It an “Accident” I Call It “Genetics.”

Last night I was taking my daughter to a political roundtable discussion (you know how teenagers love those things). As we were walking into the building we were in a crosswalk with a crowd of other people when a hotel van suddenly lurched into reverse and slammed into my left shoulder knocking me over. I immediately recalled that a ery similar event happened to me almost exactly 20 years ago when I was crossing the street in downtown Nashville and a city bus swerved into the crosswalk hitting me in the left shoulder.

In both of these instances I was in a crowd where no one else was hit but me and I was in the area designated for pedestrians crossing with traffic. I also recalled that my grandfather was killed when he was walking on the side of a country road where the only car within miles swerved off the road to knock him 25 feet into a corn field.

So this started me thinking. It must be genetic. In both cases where I was hit no one else in the crowd was touched, but my left shoulder was irresistible to the vehicle in question. The car that killed my grandfather had to leave the road to hit him. Magnetic attraction. So, like my grandfather, moving vehicles are drawn to something in my blood that makes them want to touch me hard enough that I notice them. Quite frankly, I’m flattered. However, that doesn’t mean that I will be less cautious. They may be affectionate, but they're still dangerous.

The only other explanation I can think of is that my left shoulder has an uncontrollable addiction to moving vehicles. Possible. But unlikely. I’m going with genetics on this one.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Advice for Cicadas

I have a little neighborly advice for the Cicadas who have recently moved into my neighborhood. I know that some people are really upset with the little guys, so I thought I might be of some assistance in helping them to acclimate to the world that has changed since their last visit 13 years ago. With a little effort, I think we can all get along here.

One of the key issues stems from a lack of understanding concerning politeness. Behaviors that are perfectly acceptable in entomological society may not be appropriate around humans and vice versa. So when you weigh the appropriateness of my advice, please remember that we are in the South and that manners matter here. It can make a huge impact on how well you’re accepted. Bear this in mind as you read on.

First of all, swarming is not considered attractive in polite society. It shows a complete disregard for personal space. Unless you’re a hot looking groupie (subjective, I know) falling all over a rock star, swarming is generally not a desirable trait. Keep a little space and try to avoid accidentally flying into the orifices of strangers (unless the stranger is a rock star who likes that sort of thing).

Next, try to keep the noise down. I don’t speak your language or know what you’re saying, but everyone clicking at once creates more tension and confusion. So try not to talk all at once because you sound like a giant, drunk rattlesnake when you do this. In fact, your conversations often sound like a frat party with maracas.

Eating decorative plants, dropping your larvae in public places, molting where people may be eating, and dying en masse on someone’s front porch are all behaviors which are generally frowned upon. In addition, simply showing up every thirteen years is not the same as calling ahead for a reservation.

I know that this can be overwhelming all at once, so to help you keep track of appropriate and inappropriate behavior I have constructed a simple list below:

Dive bombing cars by hurling yourself at them on the interstate: Not polite.
Eating decorative wreaths: Not polite
Flying down a shirt without an invitation: Not polite.
Dying in large groups on your neighbors porch: Not polite.

Calling ahead for a reservation to swarm trees: Polite.
Dressing up for dinner: Polite
Playing “Quiet Mouse” for your entire six week visit: Polite
Wearing mascara to tone down your ghoulishly orange eyeballs: Polite
Keeping your pincers to yourself at all times: Polite

In summary, Cicadas, if you want to be welcomed on your next visit, try some traditional courtesy. The results can be lifechanging. For example, instead of thinking of you as a nuisance, some people might even think you were cool.