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Jazz is the Answer!

Music is magic.  I’ve known it for years.  Let me tell you how I was just reminded about it today.

I spent the day at work muddling through.  I don’t know if it was a kind of a migraine or spring allergies kicking, but I felt light-headed and nauseous all day.  Sorry to complain; just giving you the picture.  I thought I would have to take a Blogger’s Sick Day and wondered if I would make it to rehearsal for Morning’s at Seven, the play I am in at Ilion Little Theatre.

Eventually I got some ginger ale out of the machine, which helped the nausea.  I tried to feel thankful that it was light-headedness and not pain.  Counting one’s blessings can go a long way.  I came home and laid down for a while with my heated face mask, then had some coffee and food.

While all this was going on, I knew I had to make a blog post. Of course I did not write one while at work, muddling. Pondering what I could write, I checked my email and Facebook notifications.  I tried to forget how light-headed I was still feeling.  This was difficult, because it is not easy to hold a thought in such a light head (cue jokes about how that must often be the case for me).

As I sat here in front of a blank screen with increasing feelings of panic (I have to leave for rehearsal in less than an hour), Steven said he was going upstairs to lie down (fine wife I am; I didn’t even ask what was wrong).  I asked him to turn off the television or put it on one of the music channels.

“1945,” I suggested, picking the one I have memorized, because it is a year.  Suddenly, jazz was bouncing out of the television, and my fingers were on the keys and ready to type.

It has always been this way with me.  I remember sitting at my parents’ house, when I lived there.  I had Mom’s portable typewriter set up on the coffee table, paper rolled in, novel notes nearby, and I felt blank.  I put on a record album.  It was the soundtrack of StarWars, as I recall (it was the 1970’s).  It turns out, instrumental music is a writing trigger for me.

It is not my only trigger.  Sometimes I can write quite handily on breaks and before starting work with various factory sounds around me.  The ambient noise of a diner or bar works fine.  Sometimes the relative quiet of the library is nice.

Now I am over 400 words and I have about a half hour till I’d better leave.  So I guess this is my Tired Tuesday post.  Not a long whine about not being able to write, but a short story about how I managed to write… something.  Something good?  Well, we don’t ask for miracles on Tired Tuesday.

 

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Post Posers Post

This post was supposed to be titled “Pre Posers Post” and was supposed to be written before we went to the Mohawk American Legion to hear one of our favorite bands.  However, my post-work nap took longer than anticipated, and I was too flustered to make a proper post before our friend Kim picked us up to go to the Legion.

Now, unfortunately, I am a little tired and tipsy to make a really good post.  Still, one must persevere.  We had a marvelous time at the Legion.  We drank, we danced. Kim took a few pictures.

A band shot.

That is scarcely a problem, however, since it is Lame Post Friday.  As regular readers know, however many foolish posts I may have made during the week, I rarely forgo Lame Post Friday.  It is a thing withe me.

Maybe a little less good of a shot.

So here is my Friday Lame Post:  We went to the Mohawk American Legion and heard our favorite band, The Posers, featuring one of our favorite people, Rick DeJohn, on base.  We danced our butts off.

 

Full disclosure: this photo looked better on Kim’s phone than it looks now.

It was a wonderful Friday.  I can only hope for an equally enjoyable Saturday. In the meantime, I highly recommend The Posers as a good band to listen to.  Happy Friday, everyone.

 

Facing the Music

A musical weekend awaits me.  Tomorrow, Steven and I will drive into Utica, NY (not a far drive) to the Stanley Theatre to see the band America (you don’t have to italicize band names, do you? I should know these things).  I have not been to the Stanley in over 20 years (yikes!  I just now figured that out).  It was beautiful then, and I believe they have made improvements since.

Just to give you an idea.

The event is a fundraiser for the Herkimer County Historical Society, one of my favorite organizations.

Saturday our friend Tracy is coming to visit, and we are going to see a folk group, Jam Crackers in Holland Patent.  We have seen them before; they are wonderful.  Tracy may get here earlier in the day, so we can get in a Mohawk Valley adventure or two as well.

Tracy’s visit is one reason I have been so distracted from my blogging duties this week:  we have been frantically cleaning the house.  Tracy nicely said that as long as she had a path to get through she was fine, but, well, we had to excavate the path anyways.  I utilized my old favorite cleaning protocol: the stuff-and-cram method.  We’ll worry about organization at a later date.

So this is my Non-Sequitur Thursday post for the week.  Or I guess we could call it a Preview of Coming Attractions.  Discuss among yourselves.

 

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.

 

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.