pale beneath the blue

Road stories and more from singer/songwriter, pale beneath the blue.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I'd rather be nesting...or writing

It's been a little while since my last post. I haven't felt much like doing anything since I returned to Cincy from NY. I don't think it's's spring time and the trees are blooming and the grass is getting cut on a regular basis and I know that I'll be wearing a swimsuit soon. So, yeah, I've been working out and just standing outside smelling the air. That's something you don't really ever want to do in NYC. In fact, I remember trying hard not to breath at all some days on the way to see the muffin men. But recently I woke up and wanted to go shopping at IKEA. It was a perfect day for it, except that I'm broke and the closest one was 4 1/2 hours away. So, then I came up with a plan to fix our deck/patio thing in the back because right now it's useless. And there's guitar pedals and cables and papers and stuff all over the house and how am I supposed to accomplish anything with that in my way? grrr.

I was beginning to get a little testy. Okay, more than a little. I was becoming downright impossible to be around. Finally tonite, we had the 3rd installment of "Who's Song is it, Anyway?" at Kaldi's Coffee in downtown Cincinnati, and I realized what my problem was. I hadn't been creating at all since I got home. Yes, I sort of designed a new T-shirt today, but I was so frustrated getting the thing in the right format and couldn't do what I wanted to do that I was ready to rip my own head off. I'm not generally a violent person, but technical things that are difficult just for the sake of being difficult drive me nuts! Fine, I understand that you created this program and you are smarter than me, but if you want me to buy it and use it, then make it simple, darn it!

But I digress. Improv night was as usual, a blast. We had some newcomers as well as some faithful folks who keep showing up. Our prompt was "rounding up the _______ and holding it for ransom." Eric wrote about burn-outs, I wrote about a girl who was freaked out because she found that her boyfriend had never given up his ex-girlfriend's t-shirt, John and Jun didn't get very far about the Shaman so John wrote a song on the spot about his friend, John Gault, Liz wrote about babies and kitties and needing money for new shoes, I forget what Andy wrote about, and Sharon wrote a song in 5 minutes that was amazing but she didn't like the prompt so she picked "conspiracy of kindness" and worked it into the lyric. Our lightning round was all about delivery, mail and moving businesses until Lauren decided she wanted to do animal products and then folks started making up jingles about that. I don't think that anyone will forget Sharon's "Fancy Feast" or "U-Haul" diddys in the near future. Oh, and Zachariah rapped about Overnight Express, I think. I must clear some video tape for the next one, probably in July.

At any rate, I feel much better, though I'm hopped up on coffee. But I even wrote a WaMu jingle in the car on the way home. It's stupid and it's rap, heh. I'll try to have it prepared for the next one. Maybe I can get some sponsorships that way...hmmm.

Oh. Last night I watched the DiVinci Code and you can find my review on 's message boards.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sightseeing in NYC

I've been in NY a little over 3 weeks and I'm just now getting around to seeing the sights. I've been walking until I can barely move. I finally got to see Central Park. It's so strange to be here and see things that I've been seeing for years in movies. It reminds me how much I love film and am seriously considering working on doing some short films in the near future. From Central Park we headed to Midtown where we had to walk five blocks from Rockafeller Center to a Barnes and Noble to get to a restroom. (See previous postings) Dinner was in Little Italy--it was okay, but hardly Carraba's. The evening finished at the Empire State Building--$16 per person, thank you. It's gorgeous, but so crowded. There's virtually no way to have a conversation with someone while up on the observation deck. It is beautiful and highly recommended if you've never seen it at night.

Today we walked around the sight of the World Trade Center. I'd never seen it standing, just in movies and on tv during 9/11 attacks. It was really hard to be there. Maybe because I've been through so much myself but I was fighting back the tears as soon as I saw the timeline of events. It all comes back and it's been almost 5 years. From there, we headed down Wall St. and then onto Battery Park to see if we wanted to head to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island but everything was closed already. For a "city that never sleeps" stuff sure closes early. Next we headed to Soho for a quick shopping trip and then stopped at Times Square on the way back to Allison's to watch 24 and Grey's Anatomy. I should have been in bed hours ago since I'm heading home tomorrow, but I stopped at one of a thousand Starbucks in Soho and now I'm wide awake.

Okay, that's enough about me, what have you guys been up to?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Recording, mixing, Recording again

I've been in this cycle for a while of recording a song, getting almost finished and then deciding that I don't really like it so I re-record it. I'm still here in NYC as you can tell and we've been re-doing vocals and some piano parts and adding a little this and a little that, and taking away some things too. Just thought you'd be interested in seeing where I've been working the last couple of days. Of course, I'm not in the picture because I forgot my camera and had to pull it off the website. There are so many great folks who've recorded here. I feel so blessed to be working with Denise in such an amazing space. I thought it would be way more daunting than it is. More soon.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The mysteries of NYC explained

I've got this love/hate relationship with NYC at the moment. At one moment, I love it here. The subway is so amazing--the big buildings, the people, the lights. But being in NY for so long has made me understand what I appreciate about the suburbs. There are still plenty of things I would change about the suburbs, but there are a few things that I miss. Qdoba, Chik-Fil-A, Carraba's, McAllister's Deli, Planet Smoothie, my bed, the smell of fresh cut lawn, a few other things, but that's most of it. I certainly don't miss worrying about gas prices, though.

The thing that had always baffled me-- several different friends had mentioned that people urinate on the street in NY. Gross and why? Well, I finally figured it out. There are no restrooms in Manhatten. If you go to a Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, or Virgin Superstore (for those of you who don't know, this is a gigantic record store--not a place where you can buy virgins or anything that relates to being a virgin), you will find a restroom and if it's not out of order, then you are having a good day. If you go anywhere else, say Jamba Juice or Chipotle, the restrooms are locked because they don't want people coming in off the streets just to use them. I think it's a marketing tactic. Buy something and we'll let you use our facilities. Makes sense, but it creates a very difficult situation for out of towners who, say are on crutches, don't move quickly, and don't know their way around. I think I actually saw some guy urinating next to Banana Republic today and I definately smelled urine when I was walking home from the train station. Granted, the bulk of it does seem to come from homeless people--that would be people who don't have homes and sleep on the steps at the subway station, which is entirely different from the "vagrants" who ask for money in Cincinnati--posers. So, the mystery has been solved. Now I can sleep at night.

Monday, May 08, 2006

the wall comes tumbling down

If you listened to the Tea with Hungry Lucy podcast, I made a comment about seperating myself from the music that I write when I'm on stage performing. Well, I've been here in NY working with my new friend Denise Barbarita trying to finish up the record once and for all, and it's crazy, but I've been crying for two days. Denise has this gift of being able to get you to connect with a song even though you don't want to. Some of the vocal takes over the last two days were completely unintelligible. I do think that we are getting some great stuff--things I've never been able to do before. But I'm a little concerned yet. I haven't really listened back to things much. Just hoping we got something usable. We do seem to be making progress. Mostly, I'm hoping that I will be able to get through the songs when I play them live.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Finally, I'm understanding this iPod thing

K, so I know how to use an iPod, I'm not completely dense. However, when I broke down and bought my little 1 gig nano when I was flying to DC in March, I wasn't really sure what all the fuss was about. I was able to use it driving to Austin a week later and could drive at night without keeping everyone else awake. But I didn't really use it at home because I don't have time to listen to music and I'm not crazy about having things in my ears. But everyone in NYC has one so I've been taking it on the train with me. I figured I might as well fill it up though. So, I went to to find some new tunes and finally came across Howlin' Maggie. Since my accident happened when they released "Hyde" I never got a copy. I started listening to it on the train today and when "Where My Funky People" kicked in, I was taken back in time to all the times I saw Happy and the guys play that song live. I started bobbing my head and wanted to get up and dance, but then realized that I was still on the subway. I was walking around SoHo listening to the rest of the record and enjoying every minute of it. I'm so sad that I haven't been able to see Happy in forever, but thrilled that I have the opportunity to relive his genius on my iPod whenever I want.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Surburban Eye for the Urban (girl)

Allison recently lost her roommate and I'm kinda stuck here for a little while working on the record, so we decided to clean out some of the stuff in her apartment. Last night we were up until 4a, cleaning her kitchen. We're still not done, but here's a list of some interesting things we found:

peanut butter from 2002
unopened mustard that expired in 1998 (it does go bad)
little ceramic animals that allison's mom gave her off old tea containers?
rose's lime juice that had been sitting opened but unrefrigerated--it was brown
chinese stuff doesn't go bad even after 5 years
baking powder that expired in 1995
almonds that had been hiding under the microwave
contact solution that expired in 2001
nearly empty containers of OJ, oatmeal, spaghetti sauce, & things i've never seen before
dead plants and empty hanging flower baskets

It's amazing what you find when you live somewhere for 10 years and have a multitude of room mates. I was reminded last night why I decided that I would have to move every 5 years. It's a shame that we don't have video cameras--that was some priceless television.

Have a great day...and maybe take a moment to clean out 1 cupboard.