Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Patty, Julie, Norah and Will

I was talking to my friend Will Briarwood today. I asked him if he had listed his Norah Jones ticket on ebay yet.

“Yeah, just did, this morning.”

Any bids yet?

“Not yet. I checked all the listing for tickets for her Chicago show – mine is the cheapest at $19.99. And there’s only one other auction that is offering a single ticket.”

Good luck. Hey, do I hear Patty Griffin?

“Yeah – the person who sits in the next cube is out for a few days, so I can play music at my desk without bothering anyone.”

Her new album?

“Yeah. Hey, I forgot to mention, during our conversations about cats – I have a Patty Griffin song stuck in my head when I think about my cat.”

The cat who had surgery.

“It’s a few lines from her song ‘Be Careful.’”

Give them to me, and I’ll put them at the end of my post.

“OK. And as long as we’re talking about female singers…”

Which we do a lot, it seems.

“Don’t get me started. I don’t know what’s wrong with guys who only listen to men. Is it some buried homosexual impulse? Is it some misogynist thing?”

I won’t get you started. But I will say that I was listening to a Bruce Springsteen live recording the other day, and Bruce was talking between songs, and you could hear some guy in the crowd yelling “Broooooce.”

“I bet he’s sick of that.”

Actually, it was pretty damn funny – he said something like, “It’s really great when other men express their love for me.”

“That is pretty funny. So, speaking of female singers, weren’t we discussing Julie Miller recently?”

We were.

“I heard that she’ll be releasing a collection from her old out-of-print Christian records.”

Like a box set?

“No, I think it’s just a single cd. And it will be available only at their website.”

Cool. I’ll let covivant know. So how’s the bachelor life?

“She just left this morning. In fact, I’m not sure if their plane has even landed yet.”

They went to Vegas, your wife and her daughter?

“Yeah. They’re going to see that Beatles show tomorrow night.”

The Cirque du Soleil show, LOVE.

“Yep. They were considering trying to get tickets for one of Prince’s shows too, but decided it was too expensive, and too much hassle.”

I did hear that Prince is playing Vegas.

“Supposedly the shows are great, but I think tickets are like $125, and even though the wife loves Prince, she didn’t feel like standing for several hours in a crowded nightclub.”

I saw that someone had like six cd’s of his Vegas shows over on dime – if I can find some time to download and burn it, then I’ll give you a copy.

“Thanks, the wife would probably like that.”

So, what’s on the bachelor agenda this evening?

“Exciting stuff. Stopping at the Wild Birds store, then at Whole Foods, then home. Feed cats. Try to give the one cat her two pills, which I’ve never done by myself. Eat some of the leftovers that the wife left for me. And hopefully stay awake long enough to watch Jericho and Lost.”

That does sound exciting.

“But mostly, I’ll try to hang with the cats. The guy who had surgery is really a momma’s boy, and he really misses her when she’s not around.”

Patty Griffin lyrics for Will’s cat:

“Be careful how you bend me
Be careful where you send me
Careful how you end me
Be careful with me”

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Norah Jones Ticket Available

I was talking to my friend Will Briarwood again today. He said he had to do some backtracking.

“Remember our conversation a while back, about Norah Jones tickets?”

I do. You were angry at ticket scalpers and ebay.

“And I said that reselling tickets should be prohibited or at least restricted.”

And now…

“I’m trying to sell one of my tickets. But I’m not trying to scalp it – I just want to sell it for what I paid for it.”

No one around to go with you?

“No, the wife isn’t a fan, and my brother and sister aren’t either. So I’m going to try and sell it on ebay – but I don’t know how much interest there will be in a single ticket. For a show on a Tuesday evening.”

Couldn’t a ticket scalper buy your ticket and then sell it for a higher price?

“Technically, yes. I’m going to try to put some kind of warning in my auction that the theatre does not allow reselling the ticket for more than the face value. Maybe that will keep the scalpers away.”

Hopefully it won’t keep potential buyers away.

“Hopefully not.”

How’s the cat doing?

“The guy who had surgery is doing ok. One of the other cats got into my wife’s herb garden, and was throwing up this morning.”

Nothing poisonous, I hope.

“Chives – I checked around online, and one list said chives were harmful to cats, and another list said chives were not harmful. He doesn’t act sick, so we’re just going to keep an eye on him for a few days. Then one of the other cats had a bit of a cough, so we have to keep an eye on her.”

I wish I could add our cats to my health insurance.

“No kidding. I have great insurance for myself, and nothing for the cats. Just a long series of charges to my Visa.”

And you? Feeling better?

“Yeah, sort of. I went to the doctor last week, and she said my lungs were clear, so I don’t have pneumonia or bronchitis, just a frakking annoying cough. She told me to take Claritin.”

You and Kelly Willis.

“That’s right. But I doubt that Claritin will do much for my singing voice.”

Well, take it easy.

“I plan to. The wife and her daughter will be out of town for a few days, so I’ll have the place to myself – well, me and four cats.”

You can turn the heat down.

“I plan to. But I’ll have to leave her electric blanket on at night, because the cats like to sleep on it.”

As I said, you guys are the best cat owners.

“Thanks. If I can sell my Norah Jones ticket, then I’ll put the proceeds into the pay-the-next-vet-bill fund.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ten Questions On Music

I was talking to my friend Will Briarwood again this morning. He started our conversation by apologizing.

“Sorry I’ve been such a drag lately.”

Don’t worry about it. How’s your cat doing?

“Well, we got his stitches out, and we waited a day and then took his collar off, and within an hour he had chewed a big raw spot on his back. I wish I could have stayed home with him today.”

Nothing serious, is it?

“Well, he had to get his collar back on again, and he was not too happy about that. I talked to the vet today, and she said to keep an eye on things. If the spot he chewed doesn’t heal promptly, then we should call them back. Hey, enough about that. Let’s switch to a happier topic. I found this list of questions on my boss’s blog.”

Your boss has a blog?

“Yeah, I found it by accident when I did a google search
for our company name.”

Is it about your company? Or is it personal stuff?

“Personal, mostly about music.”

Have you posted any comments on his blog?

“No way. So, here are the questions…”

1. What was the first record or cd that you owned?

W: “I think it was a Three Dog Night single. Maybe ‘Eli’s Coming.’ ”

K: My brothers and I bought some 45’s at the local Osco – I think the first was “In the Year 2525” by Zager & Evans.

2. What was the worst concert you ever saw?

W: “I saw John Fahey several years ago, it must have been right before he died. Maybe his music was too complex for me, but I thought he was just doodling for over an hour…”

K: Can’t think of any really bad ones. I saw Siouxsie and the Banshees put on an uninspired show back in the 80’s. Covivant and I saw Johnette Napolitano twice, with different bands, and both times she played really short shows.

3. What cd or album in your collection are you embarrassed to say is there?

W: “I think I sold all of my REO Speedwagon and Kansas albums before we moved last time.”

K: I owned at least six Styx albums, which I think I sold too.

4. What was the last song that gave you goose bumps?

W: “Patty Griffin, ‘Mary.’ “

K: Kim Richey, “Every River.”

5. If you could sit in with one musician or band, who would that be?

W: “I think this question is for the musicians out there. When I was a kid, I wanted to be in Black Sabbath.”

K: If I were a musician, I think it would be pretty cool to play with the E Street Band.

6. What's the best place you've ever seen a concert?

W: “Fitzgerald’s.”

K: I’ll go with that. Followed by the Old Town School.

7. The worst?

W: “I hope I don’t have to ever go back to the World/Tweeter/Midwest whatever the frak it’s called now.”

K: I don’t think I ever want to go to another big festival, like at Soldier Field.

8. Did your Dad have a love for music? How about your Mom?

W: “Ummm… not really. I mean, my dad liked Frank Sinatra, and I took my mom to see Tony Bennett earlier this year, but they didn’t buy music by the ton the way I do.”

K: I can remember my dad liking only a few rock songs: “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies, and “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger. And “American Pie.” My mom really liked watching Bruce Springsteen when she would see him on tv.

9. DRM stands for __________________ .

W: “Ummm… I have no idea. Are those Dave Matthews’ initials?”

K: I remember a band called DRI. And DOA. No idea.

10. What singer's pipes blow you away?

W: “Patty Griffin, Neko Case, Sinead O’Connor, Karan Casey.”

K: Roger Daltrey when he was younger. Bruce Springsteen.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Get Well, Big Guy

I talked to my friend Will Briarwood this morning.

“Sorry I didn’t get back to you the other day. It’s been another hectic month.”

No problem. What’s going on?

“Our cat had another cancer surgery.”

I’m sorry to hear that. How is he doing?

“OK, considering. He had two little lumps, so we took him to the vet, and it turned out that both lumps were cancerous – the vet called them soft tissue sarcomas. So he had to have them both removed, and he’s got two more long scars, to go with the one he got last year. He just got his sutures removed yesterday.”

You and your wife are the best cat owners, Will. I’m sure you’re taking good care of him.

“I hope so. My wife is starting to worry that we’re going to be keeping him alive for selfish reasons, rather than doing what’s best for him.”

How old is he?

“He’ll be nine this year. So, in human years, he’s about the same age we are.”

How is he handling everything?

“As far as we can tell, he’s ok. I mean, he’s clearly uncomfortable, and he’s not happy with the collar he’s been wearing for two weeks. But never for a second did I believe that he wanted us to put him out of his suffering. And the other day he jumped from the one set of steps, up on to our bed, which is about three feet – it was a damned good jump for an overweight, three-legged cat recovering from cancer surgery.”

As I said, I know that you are taking care of him.

“We discussed everything with our vet. He had talked with a couple of veterinary oncologists -- I guess that sometimes they can do radiation treatments for cats, but he didn’t think that our cat was a good candidate.”

Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

“And then I find out that the one flavor of cat food that we feed one of the other cats, just got added to the big recall. So I had to return that food to PetSmart today, and now I have to find something else that the one cat will eat.”

I keep meaning to write some letters to the cat food companies about all this.

“I read through the FAQ from the one company, Nutro / MaxCat. It answered some questions, but there are still plenty more to be answered.”

All that’s happening in the world, and we worry most about our cats.

“Because they’re closer to us – physically and emotionally – than the rest of the world.”

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ten Questions for a Monday

Why won’t they name the company that supplied the wheat gluten that went into the pet food that poisoned hundreds or thousands of pets? Why hasn’t the FDA issued an updated count of pets that have gotten sick?

Who is going to buy the Cubs?

Would this story be believable with any other recent Vice President? What about this story and any other President?

What is happening to the bees?

Will Veronica Mars be back next season? What about Jericho?

Does Harry Potter die in the seventh and last book?

Does anyone really drink eight glasses of water every day?