fatrockstar: (band)
I've been toying with the idea of download cards for a while. I think the only thing that kept me from doing it sooner was listening to Ethan tell me that people prefer to have a physical CD in their hands when they leave a show, insinuating I'd be wasting my money if I bothered.

He's probably right. I know if I'm going to buy music at a show I'd rather have something tangible, but I also know that it's got to somehow fit into my purse (if I brought one), and then I have to make room for it in my car, and eventually I'm going to rip it to my computer anyway...

A download card is environmentally friendly, a little cheaper than a regular CD, and fits in your wallet. You can always find me for a physical copy, and we'll still sell them -- this time around, though, you have options.

This Saturday (August 28) we will be playing at the West Seattle Eagles Club Hall for a Seattle Children's Hospital Benefit show at 7pm. We are headlining, which means we'll go on last. This isn't as bad as it seems, really -- the other acts are planned for only half an hour each, and the organizer has given us the green light to play a little longer if we want to.
fatrockstar: (band)
The turnout for this show was huge. Bigger than I've seen in a while. THANK YOU to all who came out to support us. I was nervous doing the show without Donnie on drums. We got through the set, though. There was some dancing, and because of the awesome sound man I was able to drown out most of the mistakes I was otherwise painfully aware of. Terrence was a sport, though. He stuck around after the show for Ethan's set and hung out with the band a bit.

Ethan's band did not have the challenges ours did, and despite playing to a smaller crowd managed to attract a handful of dancers to the floor. His set was tight, and I was a little envious. You win this one, Freckleton... next time you won't best me so easily!

People who came out and had not heard us before were unaware of our temporary lineup change and enjoyed the show. For that I am grateful and can call the show a success. That didn't stop me from immediately taking full advantage of the 2 free drinks per band member Big Daddy's offered. And a mai tai. And some quesadillas. An old friend of mine told me a long time ago: "If anyone asks you how your show went, it was AWESOME, got it? No matter what, it was awesome. Nobody in the audience hears the mistakes as loud as you do, if they hear them at all." We are an awesome band, even on an off night.

Our next show is a benefit for Children's Hospital at the West Seattle Eagles Club Hall on August 28 at 7pm. I should have a flyer to post soon. Mark your calendars and come on out!
fatrockstar: (band)
If you can make it to this show, please do. Not because it will be a great show or anything, but because I need you to. Donnie will not magically appear in time to play the show and I do not expect him to, so we will be playing with a last-minute stand-in. Terrence has a ginormous studio kit that may or may not fit on the stage, and we will have had two long rehearsals and a day of listening to recordings of our set list on a loop to go on. Your support is quite appreciated.

Tonight is our final rehearsal before showtime. We will go over our set with Terrence to tighten it up enough to be passable, and hope that he has been listening to the tracks we gave him. He is obviously an experienced drummer and can keep a beat, the trick will be getting him attuned to all the little visual cues we normally give Donnie during the course of a set. I think we can do it, and after Monday's practice Baz said he thought we'd be fine, too. Ron called me yesterday all worried, and then I got worried. For now I am choosing to be positive. Cross your fingers that Terrence has been listening to that disk we gave him.

That said, please come out. It is a free show at a venue with a huge menu, two bars full of liquor, and a lot of places to sit.

Big Daddy's Place, Woodinville, WA
July 15, music starts at 9, free, 21+
I play first, Ethan plays after that. We should be done before midnight, and I may sing backup on a couple of Ethan's songs. Bring some cash -- I'll be selling disks and magnets.

It went fast

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 00:45
fatrockstar: (dragon)
Not even a day after posting it, my "I am Loved" plaque was purchased (thanks, Michelle!) I shared this news with a couple of the people who I had shown the finished product to, and they were a little bummed. "You should make more," they said. I will probably do that. I bought enough balsa wood for it. I like the whole "remind me of good things" theme.

There's a tin in my oven right now with a raised and "gilded" guitar design on its lid. The rest of it is covered in black and silver. Usually I line the inside of the tin with felt, but this time around I'm thinking something else would do. It's got a guitar on it, maybe a music emergency kit? I could insert some foam and include a 9v battery, some slots for picks, and an extra guitar string or something. I dunno. I'm just brainstorming here.

Tonight I finished a violet-and-gold heart-shaped pillow bead that I'm pretty proud of. It's on a satin cord now awaiting some clasps. I have another heart-shaped pillow bead necklace that is done and ready-to-go. I need to whip out the light box and start taking pictures. I know absolutely nothing about jewelry -- hopefully it's nice enough to get someone's attention.

Someone pointed out that there is a lot of testosterone in my house. Even the pets are male. Oh well. At least I'll never have to lift anything heavy or have to struggle for items on a high shelf.
fatrockstar: (enVphone)
This was taken about a week ago. Since then, Grady has made a habit of stalking Flea. At one point he even took a swing at him (but no contact). Normally Flea terrorizes cats. Grady seems immune to the bird's aggressive posturing, probably even fascinated by it.

For the record, the swat Grady took at Flea was after Flea reacted poorly to Grady's attempt to sniff him. It was hilarious.

Grady is now more intrigued than ever, and Flea just wishes the cat would hurry up and recognize his superiority already.



Sunday? No.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009 20:50
fatrockstar: (band)
Ethan asked me yesterday if I was up for a gig on Sunday. I said sure, the rest of his band said okay, and then he had to quickly throw together a rehearsal. He then said that it would be tonight, and late. Given the series of events that happened this afternoon I don't think I'll be at that show on Sunday. Around 4 he texted me that the garage door wouldn't shut and he had to leave. I called him right back and he was already on the freeway -- why he didn't call me when he realized it wouldn't close I have no idea. I thought I'd have to go home early to fix it, but Ken stepped in. He's one of those people who does the 6 - 3 shift, so he was available. Problem solved.

Ethan wouldn't open the garage if he didn't need something out of it. In this case it was his amplifier. I guess I won't be at any rehearsal. Not that I'm upset, but man... what is it about humans that makes communication so difficult? Grady is better at this than we are, and he speaks NO LANGUAGE KNOWN TO MAN. True facts.

Anyway, the door is fixed, I'm at home, and things are okay. If anyone is interested, Ethan will be playing the early show at The Skylark Cafe this Sunday. I'm not sure if I'll be performing with him or not.

In case you've been skimming )
fatrockstar: (hello)
Back when Grady was going through his treatment, he was shaved in a bunch of places. A couple of those places I didn't think needed shaving, but by the time I noticed them it was, well, too late. The spot on his front leg started to develop black patches right away that I couldn't tell were fur or not. Then the perimeter of the bald spot on his neck started to get them. It was a long time before I could tell they were fur. You'd think it would be obvious, right? I asked a vet tech when I first saw them -- she couldn't figure it out either.

A couple of days ago I noticed that pink skin was no longer showing on his foreleg. The fur is noticeably shorter, but it covers everything. The other foreleg is catching up. His neck is also working on it, and looks kind of like a bad combover. Today I looked at his belly and saw that the hair was growing back there, too. My little buddy will soon have his moobs covered again.

Maybe with Ethan gone and me spending a lot more time in a quiet house has calmed Grady down enough for him to return to normal a little faster. I'm thinking that by the end of the month he will no longer look like something took a bite out of him.

As for the flu, it's gone, but the residuals are annoying. I'm still a little lethargic and can't exercise much, my sinuses still ache some, and I can't tell if my cough is from forgetting to take my stomach meds or some kind of chest cold. I feel okay to socialize, just don't ask me to go dancing.
fatrockstar: (hello)
The shifting crawlspace door was a wake-up call from the universe that the entire closet needed attention. After vacuuming and taking certain icky things to the backyard to hose them down I was able to lift the carpet cover and re-set it. I must have stepped on that door just right to get it to shift the way it did.

Grady is back to his old energy levels, and has decided that Ethan is the go-to guy for noms. Why? Because Ethan will feed Grady people food, that's why! I just discovered this last night as I walked in on him picking up his cereal bowl from the floor, with Grady licking his chops contentedly. Me, I just do kibble and that crap from a can -- what kind of two-leg am I if I can't share the good stuff?

Apparently Ethan and Grady have bonded during this period of unemployment and fatty liver recovery. I guess things could be worse.

+ + + + + + + +

I'm pretty much out of a lot of the supplies to continue taking care of Grady's neck. It's been a long time since I've fed him through that tube regularly, and I'm constantly interrupting his attempts to scratch at it. I will go to the drugstore on my way home and restock, but I really can't wait until the tube is out and we can focus on just getting him closed up.

While it's really cute that he's so cooperative about getting his neck cleaned and redressed, it's a little disturbing to walk away when I'm done only to find him still sitting on the washing machine ten minutes later like he's waiting for permission. I say "down, Grady" and he responds with «are you sure?» Yes, I'm sure -- get down. «I don't really want to, it's a big drop...» Grady, down. «Oh, all right. [jumps down] I still think you missed something. Where's my skritches?»

This conversation and others like it happen all the time. He's very talkative.

Thursday morning we go back to see Dr. Vaughn. Maybe then we can make arrangements to have that tube removed.
fatrockstar: (hello)
Grady's feedings are remarkably calm, like he's looking forward to them and enjoying them. Part of getting to this point was counting to 60 between 7mL pushes of goo through his feeding tube. Done in a calm voice and accompanied by scritches on his chin, this seemed to work. It also shortened feeding time considerably. What used to be a half-hour job will now take as little as 15 minutes.

The appetite stimulant is getting Grady to eat kibble between tube feedings, but it doesn't seem to be enough. I got reports from Ethan yesterday that Grady was unusually aggressive in soliciting affection while I was at work. He offered kibble, but Grady was not interested. The more he described Grady's behavior, the more I thought that maybe I had unknowingly associated snuggling and scritches with that feeling of fullness, and he was hungry. Oh dear.

After this morning's feeding I offered a little bit of gushyfud and did not get a positive reaction. No gagging, no barfing, just signs of nausea and distaste. I left the plate in the kitchen where he could find it. Keep your fingers crossed.

I worked on clay last night and had to curb my urge to make all of them perfect in the exact same way. Given the time and space to focus, I should have them ready to ship by Monday.
fatrockstar: (hello)

Grady's feedings and dressing changes became calmer, and he would linger in front of windows if put in front of them. This is good. He's alert at least.

I dropped him off at the vet on Sunday morning for follow-up bloodwork. I ran some errands, came back to fetch him, then we went through another feeding. Very uneventful. I became distracted by computer issues for a while and then headed to the grocery store for lunch fixin's. In the checkout line I got the call back from Dr. Sanders.

Grady's bloodwork shows his liver's condition has deteriorated. He has yet to regain any weight, and if he doesn't start to eat on his own in a week they will need to do a biopsy to make a proper diagnosis. Great. She asked if I was using the appetite stimulant and I told her no, because to me it looked like he was improving, and I assumed that was because he was getting enough to eat! When she asked me that I felt so incredibly stupid. How could I not use it anyway and be better safe than sorry? Oh, I remember now... it was because the first time I gave it to him it was by mouth, and it did little for his appetite. The bottom line is that he's not improving, his only hope is to eat, and it could take a couple of months for him to respond.

I gave him the appetite stimulant in his evening meal, and it seems to have worked. Kibble is disappearing from his bowl.

When Ethan arrived home from his Hawaiian vacation, Grady had already been removed from his shower and was not very happy about it. He was, however, happy to see Ethan. That was odd. He perked right up, wandering through the kitchen and dining room, sleeping in the La-Z-Boy, giving 'kisses,' and answering me when I asked him if he was ready for bedtime. He even slept on the bed with me, something he hadn't done in a couple of weeks.

Of course, at 4 a.m. his dry heaves woke me up like a shot, and I had to move quickly to get him to barf on the floor and not the comforter. Nothing came out, though. I took him to his water bowl and he just drank and drank and drank... I went back to sleep and found him under the bed this morning. After feeding he wanted to sit in the open window, so I let him.

I am hoping that he will continue to eat kibble while I'm at work, because if he doesn't I will need to have someone feed him by tube in the middle of the day. I'm not going to ask Ethan. His allergies won't let him hold on to Grady long enough for the feeding to finish.

Keep your fingers crossed and send prayers. We're not out of the woods yet -- we're hardly even halfway in.
fatrockstar: (hello)
Feedings have become calmer while dressing changes have become more stressful.

The twice-daily feedings are done with him in my lap, facing me, while I gently count to 60 aloud before plunging 5mL of slurry into his feeding tube. It takes about eight to ten of these counts for food, followed by one for the 10mL of water to flush it through. He's still not eating on his own despite having dry food available. I moved the bowl of kibble closer to him and he just kinda looked at it, thinking about it. At least he didn't gag. The mere appearance of an unopened can of gushyfud will illicit a gag response from him, so making wet food available is not an option.

Ethan's absence has provided Grady with a dry shower to hang out in. I have tried a few times to get him to sit on the sofa or the bed with me, but he isn't interested. When he gets to the sofa he escapes to the window sill, and then to the floor, and back to the shower. If I bring him to the bed at night, he'll stay there for a few minutes, but he's not lovey like he used to be. He will sit in cat loaf pose until he's had enough of that, then go back to the shower.

Slowly I am trying to re-acclimate him to other parts of the house. After two days of trying to get him to hang out anywhere other than the shower or under my bed he has finally settled for a few minutes in front of the open sliding glass door. I put him there.

Oh, wait -- I wrote too soon. He's on his way back to the shower now. Darn. He used to love sitting in the open sliding glass door, sniffing the outside and yowling from time to time. I was hoping that he would remember that, and I'd hear him talk to the backyard again. No such luck.

Ethan returns on Sunday night. This means I have a limited amount of time to draw Grady out of the shower and back to his old haunts.

I am inclined to believe that whatever Grady is going through is an advanced response to stress. A lot has happened in the last three months, and we all know that he's very finely tuned to me and my stress. I won't lie -- my stress has been gargantuan, and all at once. Grady's is a little different, because not only does he sense my stress, he also has Ethan, his 8-year-old son, and his bird to adjust to. Then there was looking for work, money woes, some personal drama, and some health issues I had to deal with. It's enough stress for a person. I can't imagine what it's like for a cat.

Donations keep coming in, and I am immensely grateful. The thank you gifts I've been constructing will most likely get baked this week and sent out to those who contributed. With the heat wave we had last week it was impossible to do anything but bitch and moan, much less turn on any heat or focus on a creative task. At one point I sat in front of my computer with my feet in a cooler full of ice covered by a towel. Oh man, did that feel good...

This weekend is all about Grady, making sure he eats and is reacquainted with the rest of the house. I'm doing some major cleaning while I have the house to myself. It's a Zen thing for me, not a chore. If I can't do it I get tetchy. Having a clean house is just a pleasant side-effect.
fatrockstar: (enVphone)

Grady is responding to the tube feedings. This is good, because that means he's heading toward recovery, and bad, because this means he just squirms harder when he starts to get anxious. Trying to get the entire 50mL in him is hard work, and then there's the time it takes to add another 10mL of water to flush everything through.

This morning's feedings brought back the vocal Grady. He howled like a wolf at the full moon, making sure both paws were planted firmly on my chest and pushing. That's encouraging.

I learned quickly to have everything prepared and laid out on a tray before I even grab him, both for feeding and changing his dressings. By tomorrow I'm sure he will have learned that tray=uh-oh and get a little more aggressive.

It hasn't all been smooth sailing, though. On Saturday night he barfed quite a bit about an hour and a half after I gave him his antibiotics, and had dry heaves at 3a.m. Sunday night he barfed in his litterbox. Ew. "Gosh, the smell of poo triggered barf? No way!" (Ladies and gentlemen, my housemate, Ethan. He'll be here all week. Try the veal.) I will have to be a little more generous with the antinausea meds, it seems. I've been conservative about them, but according to my vet I don't have to.

I'm not sure how the rest of the week will go. Instead of three feedings I will only be able to give him two. This may help a little with the barfing and reduce his stress, so it can't be too bad.

The heat has already complicated things, and Monday is predicted to have a high of 90. I can manage temps up to the mid-80s, but anything over that and I'm at a loss. I've done everything but fill a big bowl full of ice and stick it in front of the fan.

He's home.

Saturday, 25 July 2009 10:26
fatrockstar: (hello)
Yesterday I arrived at work to find a card addressed to Grady on my desk. It contained well wishes and a large sum of cash, but no signature. I am immensely grateful for the windfall, but I wish I knew who to thank. The anonymous nature of the gift leads me to assume that it was someone who knew me. I usually don't receive such large gifts comfortably even though they are greatly appreciated. Whoever you are, thank you!

Later the same day a man came by my office, introduced himself, and contributed his own sum to the Grady fund. I am touched by his generosity. Grady doesn't realize it, but he is touched, too. Thank you, Don, for your donation!

Both of these donations took a huge chunk out of Grady's hospital bill, which was a little larger than the estimate.

After work I went to SVS to pick up Grady and get a primer on how to take care of him and his feeding tube. They gave me a LOT of stuff, including extra syringes, stoppers, gauze, and antiseptic. Grady did not want to sit still for the demonstration of what went where. I couldn't tell if that was the process or the environment.

I got home and Ethan & Tristan were there having dinner. Ethan's parrot, Flea, was hanging out as well. In an attempt to feed Grady in a cleanup-friendly environment I brought him into the dining room, but that proved to be a poor choice. There was too much activity and noise going on in there for it to go well, PLUS I had not prepared anything in advance like I probably should have. It was like trying to thread a needle with a sack of wet hamsters in your arms. Not fun. Grady got sick in response, so I put him in a quiet bedroom to calm down before trying again. The next attempt went a little easier.

Even though I had set up a nook for him to hide in, he decided he was happier under the bed. I don't like dragging him out from under there, but I did this morning to change his dressings and see how he was doing. He was very wiggly during that. Note to self: Have even more of the materials ready-to-go when changing the dressing next time. Once calm, I gave him his meds without incident. He practically napped through the whole thing. Same with the feeding an hour later. If he's calm, things go okay. If he's held, he will protest. We're not out of the woods yet.

I must have checked on him one too many times this morning, because after his post-breakfast feeding he moved to a box in the corner of the music room to hide. We have an agreement that I don't mess with him there. He is safe until I have to feed him again.

I still have hope. Next week I will have the house to myself for several days while Ethan is in Hawai'i for a songwriting conference. Keep your fingers crossed that most of his improvement will be during that time.
fatrockstar: (Default)
However, at one time I did aspire to be one. All my eBay and CraigsList images were taken by me using tools a pro shooter would use.

Ethan is trying to move his drumkit, so I offered to photograph it for him. Thing is, the lighting in the room where it's set up is kinda crappy. I built a light box for my smaller items, so I figured I could convert an old umbrella into a light diffuser of sorts. This is easier said than done. I really need to remove some tines on the framework without putting my eye out.

I wish I had something more interesting to write, but I don't.

Now I will go get milk.


Thursday, 4 June 2009 12:55
fatrockstar: (Default)
I colored my hair last night with Ken's help. I've had the supplies for a couple of weeks now and was too chickenshit to follow through. It turned out pretty good. I probably could have left it on five more minutes, though. It still looks like I have roots, but at least the roots are cherry red and not soccer mom brown.

Grady is back from the vet. He was uncharacteristically quiet on the way there and on the way back. They gave him fluids and Pepcid, and will do some bloodwork. I'm out $133. That's without an x-ray. The vet was a good sport about Grady's shitty attitude, and remembered him from our last visit there. He has lost half a pound, but is still overweight.

I do not like PayPal.

I really want to make macaroni and cheese, but it will heat up the house like nobody's business. I'll have to wait until the sun goes down to do this. Damn.

The roasted garlic I made is almost gone. Here's some TMI for you: My bathroom smells like garlic. That's how much garlic was made and consumed in this house over the last 48 hours. We will be vampire-free for a month, guaranteed. I thought for sure the hair dye smell would overwhelm it, but no.

While I feel so much better now that the whateveritis is mostly out of my system, my voice is not up to par. I am having trouble staying on key and I still feel like I have fluid in my throat, making me cough randomly. I hope I'm back to normal by Sunday. As an added bonus, it looks like Ken has caught the whateveritis that knocked me out this week. I hope he doesn't suffer as much as I did. More garlic is in order.

It looks like we've booked another show this month. I can't tell you when or where without risking the crowd numbers for Sunday's Skylark show (because we really really really need people to show up there -- attendance == $$ == a completed album of Just My Stuff), but I will tell you it's soon, it's in a great little place with great food, and it will be easy to get to for all the people out there who complained about where we'd been booked for other shows. If we're lucky, this new show will come with its own draw, and we'll have plenty of audience.

Early this morning I got up to let some cool morning air into the house. This has worked for the last couple of summers, but this year it's a little challenging. To keep Grady out of his room, Ethan keeps the door closed (he's allergic), so that air flow is lost. We'll figure out something. So far I've been able to keep it below 80 inside, even though it doesn't really feel like it's 75-78 inside. Whatever the real temperature is, it's still much cooler than what's going on outside. I have my suspicions regarding this thermostat anyway. It went nuts after Garret moved out and I've been struggling with it ever since.

OMG DID YOU SEE L&O:SVU THIS WEEK? HOLY CRAP! I just caught it on TiVo, and man, I was on the edge of my seat...

That's about it.
fatrockstar: (singer)
Ethan followed up on the set we did at Laughing Ladies Cafe this past Saturday, asking if any of the photos they took of us were available for him to use. Amanda, who booked us, sent the following feedback:

You guys were so awesome! Seriously, I have never had such a pull from outside than with you guys. Your voices compliment each other so well.

I am still editing the pics that I got, and trying to salvage some of the sound on the videos. Aaron was asking me about them as well.

Rudy as managed to get a very good clip of one of your songs, and has been showing it off to our friends and family, they are all curious about your band and I have been giving them your myspace.

I actually wanted to ask if you minded if I spotlight you on my new page, as one of my artists of the month? The page isn't built up all the way yet, but it should be some extra exposure none the less. I don't want to do it without your permission though ;)

It *was* Ethan's show. Not sure if she realized we weren't a duet/band, but friends playing a show together. Either way, it was a good time. Thanks to all y'all that came out!
fatrockstar: (The Man in Black)
Today's second wave of layoffs over at MS will make the job search a little harder. Not that I'm not used to it by now. My life as a musician isn't bad, it's just severely lacking in funds. I don't know what I'd do if Ethan wasn't here.

Today all the fired people will flood the job hunter market immediately. For the next six weeks, applying to any MS job through their website will be pointless as those who remain place an unofficial priority on their former employees to fill those open positions. It's the law they have to post the job publicly, but they don't have to look at your resume. After six weeks the employees whose positions were eliminated will have run out of time to find new ones, and they will be removed from the payroll. Maybe then I'll have a chance.

It's unfair, but then again getting into MS as a full-time employee hasn't ever been a cake walk. The only place harder to get on the payroll for is probably Google, and that's only because Larry & Sergei want so badly to "not be evil" that they became "total assholes" about screening applicants. I did wonders for that company, but their prerequisites overlooked the person and focused on what I was missing in my past. It's not my resume, y'all. My resume, accomplishments, and references are solid, and my experience provocative -- I'm a Rock Star in every sense of the term -- but you can't hire someone based on a piece of paper. Sometimes I think hiring managers forget that.

My heart goes out to all that lost their jobs today. My only advice is to find something you love to do and throw yourself into it. If it makes money, that's even better.

That, and network, network, network...

Ethan and Flea

Monday, 27 April 2009 16:37
fatrockstar: (jokermartha)
Ethan is now my housemate. He's living in the master bedroom with his bird, Flea. Flea has been his buddy since he was 10, and he's a card. Totally emerald green with some interesting red spots on him, he's sequestered in Ethan's room behind closed doors, waiting for him to get home. Occasionally he'll screech, but for the most part he's just hanging out...

A couple of months ago Ethan joked with me that he'd need a place to stay since he was running out of money. Turns out he wasn't really joking. He's here, my television has been boxed up and taken to the garage, and now he just needs to settle in and realize that MY WII HAS SENIORITY AND WILL RULE THEM ALL.


Anyway, we're settling in with the pet issues. Grady's never seen a bird like Flea. Flea lorded over Grady, but was totally freaked out by Teamun's excited turtle-y swimming. Ethan is dealing with a mild cat dander allergy, and I'm vacuuming and washing everything I can.

It should be an interesting week.