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Oh, That Band!

When I was running the Boilermaker 15K in July, I LOVED the band that was playing outside the Utica Zoo.  They were bluesy and danceable.  I dance-ran by them, a move which I am sure looks perfectly ridiculous but is fun nevertheless.  I still had not gotten around to looking up who the band was.  In my defense, I’ve been busy.

Fast forward to Chicks Along the Canal, part of Little Falls Canal Fest, last Saturday, Aug. 12.  While the cast of The Tempest (remember, that play I’m in?) waited to perform, the best band was playing!  They were bluesy!  They were danceable!  I went over to the tent and danced.

“Bands like it when you dance to their music,” I told my fellow cast members.  Another listener was dancing, a gentleman wearing an ARMY cap.  He waved at me, and  went over and dance with him.

It was while I was dancing that the band began to sound familiar.  Ooh!  Was it the awesome band from the Boilermaker?  I thought maybe!

After their set, I saw the lead singer chatting with someone, so I approached and asked if they had been in front of the Zoo during the Boilermaker.  They had!

“I LOVE you guys!”  I said.  “What is the name of your band?”

“The Cathie Timian Band,” was the answer.  She gave me a card.  When I got home, I looked up their website: http://www.cathietimian.com/.  I also Liked the Cathie Timian Facebook page.  I hope to hear them play again soon.  You bet I’ll write a blog post about it.

 

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Even My Blog Post Needs a Hand

Did you ever notice that in every Rankin/Bass special there is one really cool Encouragement song?  I have many times noticed it.  Almost every December throughout junior high and high school, after I watched Santa Claus is Coming to Town, for weeks I wondered how I could “Put One Foot in Front of the Other.”   Really, the best part about these specials is the music.  Right now I’m watching one of the more lame efforts, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, and I’m thinking, “It’s so true!  ‘Even a Miracle Needs a Hand’!”

Yes, today is Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  It is drawing closer and closer to my bedtime and I have not made a blog post yet.  In my defense… OK, there is no defense.  I was trying to do some chores earlier (got a little laundry and the dishes done at least), then Steven and I met up with a fellow to talk about a murder mystery we hope to participate in at the Overlook Mansion in Little Falls, NY.  I will be happy to write more about that, when more definite information is forthcoming.  What can I say?  It is really hard to get everything done in a day!

So I think it is really good that we came home and started to watch some of these Rankin/Bass Christmas specials we have on video (yes, the two we watched thus far are on VHS; we fortunately still have a device that plays video).  I need the encouragement song today.  I shall put one foot in front of the other, as Kris Kringle encouraged the Winter Warlock to do.  ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas just ended, and Steven is about to put in Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, so I can be assured that “There’s Always Tomorrow for Dreams to Come True.”

 

 

I Am a Dancing Fool

I may have mentioned in passing that Steven and I danced the night away at the Silverado Inn last Saturday.  We’re still talking about what a fun night we had.

We had made our plans to go a week or two before,when I saw an article in the Utica O-D about a band called Mersey Side 5, which has been together for 50 years.  Impressive, but what really caught my attention was that we know two of the members.  Rick DeJohn, on bass, has been our sound and light guy at Ilion Little Theatre for some time now.   He is a great musician, an all-around awesome person and our very good friend.  Rick Short, guitar and vocals, is of course leader of the Rick Short Band, a hard-rocking group we enjoy very much.

After our stressful week last week, we were not sure if we would be up for going out, with the result that we did not organize a bunch of friends to go with us.  I ended up feeling very bad about that, but I really did not want to say, “Hey, let’s go!” then be too sad and tired to enjoy it.

We arrived early and sat in a booth.  Steven got us beers while I greeted a friend from work.  I had not been at the Silverado on a Saturday night in years.  I have, however, enjoyed numerous fundraisers there on a Sunday, most notably the HALO Hoedown in September.  I noticed a lot of older people in the crowd, and by “older” of course I mean my age (middle).

Soon the music started and things got really fun.  We danced to almost every song, as did a lot of people.  It was a nice bunch, too.  When things got crowded on the dance floor, nobody got annoyed at being bumped into.  As it said in the article, the band played classic rock, including music by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Animals and more.  It was one good dance tune after another!  We loved it.

We would have stayed and danced as long as the band played, but Steven had to work the next day.  As it was, we didn’t get to bed till after midnight.  It did not matter.  Such a fun time is worth feeling a little tired the next day.  I hope we get a chance to hear Mersey Side 5 again soon.

 

A Happy Hour Indeed

Last Friday I asked Steven to take me to Happy Hour at the Belly Up Pub.

“I want to sit at the bar and pretend we’re in our 20s and 30s,” I said. When were first started dating, I was in my 20s and Steven was in his 30s. That was a while ago.

We were happy to find seats at the end of the bar, my favorite spot. We had to wait a few minutes for the Bonus Happy Hour to start at five. Happy Hour at the Belly Up Pub usually runs from 6 till 8, but for May they had a bonus hour from 5 to 6. I felt like a cheapskate waiting for a half price drink, but sometimes you just have to save a buck (don’t worry; we tipped the bartender on the full amount).

Live music was provided by Louis Baldanza, who plays a pretty mean guitar. He sang some bad ass songs from the 70s. I felt a little bad, because he kept asking for requests and I couldn’t think of a thing. We enjoyed his sound and made sure we put something in his Tip Jar.

Everything was half price, so we ordered a couple of hot dogs and some french fries. They offer a selection of appetizers: chicken wings, jalapeno poppers, eggplant fries, to name a few. This was our first time getting hot dogs, and they were quite good.

Drawings for giveaways are held every 15 minutes. I won a Belly Up coozy and a coin for a half price drink.

“So if we come early next time, we won’t have to wait,” I said.

Steven noticed that shot glasses were also half price. He collects shot glasses, although neither of us do shots, so he asked to see one. Before he could ask the price, the bartender did another drawing.

“We usually give away a shot glass at six,” she told us. “You won.” How awesome was that!

We had a really nice time, although I did not actually pretend I was in my 20s. Who wants to go back in time anyways? Life is good right now.

The Belly Up Pub is located at 122 West Albany St., Herkimer, NY. For more information, visit their website at www.bellyuppub.com. You can also Like them on Facebook.

Twisted Challenge

Alternate title: Not Wiped Out Yet

The other day on Facebook my sister issued the Wipe Out Challenge. You play the song “Wipe Out” and dance the twist. During the drum solos you go side to side or twerk. I forget how many days you are supposed to keep this up.

I will say right up front that I have never twerked in my life and I do not intend to start (although I did just flash on that Disney song about “Hi ho! Hi ho! It’s off twerk we go!”) (I always suspected that was the kind of ho they meant) (but I digress). However, I am a past master of twisting. I won a contest at it once. And I used to twist on the pads between machines at Curves.

“Wipe Out” is not one of the songs we own in our rather large CD collection (oh don’t start on me about I-pods or whatever they are, I am doing just fine with my CDs, thank you). Steven found it on YouTube. It was only two minutes and forty seconds. No matter, I was declining the challenge.

I changed my mind later on. I was waiting for my popcorn to pop (on the stove with oil, as God intended). I started singing the “Wipe Out” song and dancing. “Di da-da DAH di-da-da di da-da DAH di-da-da…” I kept an eye on the clock and continued for about three minutes. Tabby came out and danced with me for part of the time.

The next day after work I sought out a particular Roomful of Blues CD which contained a song I often dance the twist to. Ah, two minutes and forty seconds. Perfect. I got to twisting. I had previously taken Tabby for a twenty minute walk (perhaps you read my blog post about it). I know that thirty minutes of exercise are recommended, so I thought to twist for ten minutes. It took me three songs to do it. I’ve known for a long time that many songs are good to twist to.

Tuesday (today) I knew I would be challenged to find a time to twist. Steven was picking me up at work and we were driving to Rome. It was a cold morning. Steven let the car warm up before taking me to work. While it warmed, I started singing and twisting. Once again Tabby danced with me. I made up words to the “Wipe Out” tune: “Well it’s a cutie little schnoodle, it’s a cutie little schnoodle…” Three minutes is not too long to dance and sing about your dog.

So that makes three days. Will I continue to meet the challenge? Hard to say. I am thinking of it more as the Twister Challenge than the Wipe Out Challenge. In any case, I needed a blog post and this was better than my usual Tired Tuesday. If only I’m not too tired to type it in.

And, as you see, I was not. Rock on!

I’m Not a Basket Case

For this week’s Middle-aged Musings Monday, I would like to dissect a ditty I learned in elementary school. I still sing it on occasion, because it has kind of a catchy tune. Luckily for you, dear reader, this is not an audio blog. Without my awful singing voice, then, here is the first part:

There was an old woman tossed up in a basket,
Fifteen times as high as the moon.
And where she was going, I couldn’t but ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.

Excuse me, what? Of course, I’m no expert on astronomy, but considering how small the moon looks from here, how in the world is this guy seeing this old woman, never mind the basket and the broom (I say “this guy,” because there was a picture of a guy next to this song in my fourth grade music book) (although it might not have been fourth grade; I just thought the sentence would sound better if I was specific) (but I digress).

Who tossed her, the Incredible Hulk?

OK, let’s assume the guy has the Hubble Space Telescope, how does he manage to carry on a conversation with her, which he does, because the song continues:

“Old Woman, Old Woman, Old Woman,” quoth I,
“Oh whither, or whither so high?”
“To swee-eep the co-obwebs out of the sky-y-y!”

I guess that was how people talked back then, “quoth I.” In my younger days, it would have been, “So I sez to her…” These days, it might be, “So I’m like, ‘What up, Lady?’ and she’s all, ‘Sweeping the cobwebs, dude.'”

Do people still call other people “dude”? It was “man” in the ’60s and ’70s, “dude” in the ’80s and ’90s, and then I completely lost touch. I did mention that these were middle-aged musings, didn’t I?

Come to think of it, these days, he could have texted her. This probably would include “lol” and “fml,” but I really don’t know a lot about texting.

It just goes to show, though, how I took everything at face value when I was a little kid. You taught me a song about a lady in a basket, and I sang it. It isn’t till YEARS later that I finally say, “Waaait a minute!”

On further reflection, that basket may have been sixteen times as high as the moon.

Have Yourself a Merry Post-Christmas Let Down

Look, bloggers get post-Christmas let downs, too. Today I can only offer a little more Christmas Carol commentary. I hope you find it amusing.

Regarding “Do You Hear What I Hear?”: If I would have been the little lamb, the second verse would have gone, “Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy, ‘Hey, the wind is talking to me.'” Then the third verse could have gone, “Said the shepherd boy to the Hollywood agent, ‘I have a talking sheep.'”

I realize neither of those lines is in the rhythm of the original tune, but you know how singers interpret things (I actually hate it when they do that, but hell, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em).

One other thing: What if I don’t WANT to have myself a Merry Little Christmas? What if I want to have myself a Merry Big Fat Christmas? What are you going to sing to me then?

I have no other silly observations to make, so I will finish by sharing a Christmas Carol memory.

One Christmas many years ago, my husband Steve and I as well as my sister Diane and her husband, Chris, were staying at my parents’ house. To complete the picture, I’ll just mention that at this point my parents’ house only boasted one bathroom.

Christmas morning I was up before anybody else and got into the shower. I thought since everybody was still asleep, I could get away with taking a long shower. I sang Christmas carols in the shower. In retrospect, I don’t know how I thought anybody could sleep through that, but I do love to sing Christmas carols. Indeed, other people were up when I emerged from the shower squeaky clean.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said. “If I had known you were awake, I would have taken a shorter shower.”

My sister Diane retorted, “You would have taken a shorter shower if you didn’t have to sing every verse!”

It’s still five days away, but my New Year’s Resolution is to have more Mohawk Valley adventures, so I don’t have to make such silly blog posts all the time. Hope your own post-Christmas let down is mild.