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Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Gift Of Music & Memories

 Yesterday, Al, Terry and I went up to Lakewood to check out the piano player at the Waterbury Tavern.  An old friend of mine from Stompin', Gerry Keating, sings there on Wednesday nights.  We each got to sing with the piano player.
His name is Michael and he is superb!!  One of the best guys I've ever sung with!  He's young too, maybe in his 40s if I had to venture a guess.  Lovely person!

I sang Embraceable You, I Don't Know Why, Fly Me To The Moon and Someone To Watch Over Me.  I cried during that one.  Michael followed me and also challenged me by modulating during a few of the songs.  Wow!

Gerry called another old friend, a guy I gigged with for years, Steve Samuel, and he came over with his clarinet. It was great to see him and hear him play.  He's a very fine reed player! He complimented me on my singing and said I had so much depth, command and emotion.  I did feel like saying I've been at this for a while so I would hope I'd improve!  But the words were indeed welcomed and I'm grateful for them.

I told him I had been learning the ukulele.  Long story short, he had an old uke that he had purloined from a school he taught (it had never been inventoried) and wanted me to have it.

Eulalie, Ka'mea, the baritone & Adelaide
Are you kidding?  Sure!  He doesn't play it and he's had it for years.  We went to his apartment and he hauled out a BARITONE ukulele!  Hell yeah!

So I brought her home to meet the other ukes.
Today I took her to Pekar Music and sadly, she's in really bad shape.  Her top is coming off, her bridge is coming unglued, the neck is warping and beginning to crack.  It would cost as much as buying a new baritone uke with a pickup as if would to fix her.  Even then it would be a temporary fix.  I was wondering about the bridge, frankly.  

So even though she can barely be played, she can hang on our wall, in a place of honor, remembering good times and a generous musician friend.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Yesterday's Medical Adventures

I don't know why I went to the damn ER with chest pains yesterday; nothing wrong with me other being a PITA! They admitted me which pissed me off to no end.
I'm home. All is well.  
I do have a heart, I saw it on the ultrasound and my stress test was actually good. I did 6 minutes with a bpi of 160 on a 10% incline at about 15 minute mile rate.  
A friend of mine, Terri, brought me a coloring book. (She was down in the ER with Kim, who had taken me to the ER earlier that day.)That coloring book made me laugh!  
"Here are colored pencils. It doesn't matter what color they are, you can't see them anyway!"
Weird set of circumstances: my room-mate had major health issues and last night I ended up holding her hand and comforting HER! LOL! Who-a thunk? This morning, she was bemoaning the fact that she felt so shitty. "Maybe it's the drugs."
"Uh, you mean the prescriptions you're on? Or something else?" (I'm such a Nosy Parker!)
"Yeah, it's probably the heroin."  
"How long have you been off of it?"
"About 21 days." Well, sh*t, Ya think??  I mean, I felt bad that she was in such a state with about six things wrong with her but when I found out she was an addict, my sympathy level as to why she was in such a state went down a few notches. OK, call me bad.
The first thing that came into my head was I wished Megan could have been there, with her mouth duct-taped shut to hear everything that was wrong with that lady. I doubt it would have made a difference.  
I was reassuring, that with her Higher Power's help, she could stay clean. I guess my first clue that something might not be all Kosher was that her husband was in jail. I didn't ask what for, of course.
I will say this; those nurses treated her exactly the same way they treated me; with kindness and compassion. So all that b.s. that Megan spouts about being treated like a second class citizen makes me doubt her statements and claims. My guess would be that Megan didn't shut the fk up and let the medical folks do their job; that she tried to quarter-back it all. Also, it makes me question highly as to WHY she feels the way she does and ends up in the ER to begin with. Now I think it's drugs that are the main culprits. Stupid, stupid, stupid girl.
The bottom line is I'm OK. It's all good. People are saying it was good that i went but I feel rather dopey for going in the first place.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Musical Palm-Slap To Head "Doe!!"

Musical/Musician Friends
From the "Doe!!" palm-slap to forehead department:
You want to sing something in the key of B (who does that, except crazy people?) and play it on the ukulele too? Then you look at the chords and think "Satan invented those."
Your first thought is "play it in A and capo it up two frets, right?" Ah, but you would be thinking like a guitar player (Todd, Laurie I'm talkin' to you!). The key of A (for jazzier stuff) is another horrendous key on the uke. C, F and G are your "friendly" keys!
Then (thank you Dan my teacher) you figure it out....tune the damn ukulele down a damn half-step. This is where my music theory failed me (I had help, thank you, Dan!). So for the first time, I tuned the uke to a different tuning. Instead of G. C. E. A it became Gb, B, Eb, Ab. I needed the keyboard for that. (Boris, you can stop laughing now, OK?)
And, voila! "Smile" in Madeleine Peyroux's key. I shall practice it and play it for you all.