What I’ve been up to in this world until this minute
IN TRADITIONAL BACKWARDS ORDER:
WEDNESDAY MAY 21
34 minutes ago: Listened to a cassette recording that iolana made me while I was in San Diego. It was hilariously sweet. She gargled water for me after singing our good night song.
Ask me at a show, I will sing it for you.
Got to watch the last twenty minutes of “American Idol”. I hadn’t seen any of it in, uh…two years? I don’t think I watched any last year. I can’t remember. But I definately haven’t seen one episode this year! Gosh. Anyhoo, why did George Michael wear those sunglasses during that beautiful song? I wanted to see his eyes. And it was a song with a passionate message. I think he could have
had more than Paula crying, really moved the world. I don’t know who the guy with the dreadlocks was, but…whoo! He has some eyes, talking about eyes! There was something very zen about him.
Can he sing? I do not know, but he sure seemed real! And the lady with the 9 foot long legs…uh….Carrie…uh…the country singer whose name escapes me. She sure looks confident and can sing!
The song was ok, I guess it is from a current movie, but she is polished up. I guess that’s one side of the music business that just blows my mind….all the sculpting and coaching and fashionista
consultants and stylists and put together bands and diamond encrusted wireless mics…whoo!
Saw “Chronicles of Narnia” with Lily at Alamo Drafthouse. My favorite person is Susan cuz man oh man she is in charge of those arrows, I tell you what.
Made peanut butter crackers and apple slices for the girls after walking up to school to bring them home at 2:45 pm
Took a short nap
Flew home today from San Diego at 8:25 a.m.
TUESDAY MAY 20
Evening: Talked to my dad on the phone while looking out at the ocean. Called Lance afterwards. My dad has leukemia. We aren’t sure
what this means yet. Lance was really calming. I love him so much. My dad and I are in a hard place. But I don’t think either one of us
wants to be. That’s all I really want to say. So, maybe, think of us and send prayers for better dialogue. Prayers of hope. Prayers of healing,
on every level.
Called the girls to wish them a good night.
Yesterday, stopped by the beach while driving down the 101 and stuck my toes in the surf with Kim Campbell, Executive Director of the Dallas Wind Symphony.
I gathered 17 smooth, various colored rocks and put them in my pocket. I had to walk with lumpy pockets through the thick, white sand. Like a gnome who had had
too much spiked apple cider.
Went back to Sammy’ s house and saw all the amazing awards, photos of him with Frank (Sinatra), Sarah (Vaughn) and many, many photos with Quincy (Jones.) He has
arranged for all of them, and Toni (Tenille) and Emergency (the tv show). We talked about a project we will be working on with the Dallas Wind Symphony, and it was exciting, VERY
exciting, and a HUGE HONOR, to talk about music/arrangements/parts with someone who has lived such an astounding life, starting with the Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie orchestra!
Living history. Amazing. And what a genuine, beautiful heartwarming smile Mr. Nestico has, too. And his wife…. what a giving woman she is! We had some lovely discussions upstairs while I
was given a tour and saw all the Steelers paraphanelia! A TERRY BRADSHAW framed shirt from the field… cool! I love Terry Bradshaw. Well, I mean I don’t know him personally, but he always makes
me laugh when he’s on a talk show.
Got off the plane. Picked up the rental P.T. Cruiser (silver.) Drove to Sammy Nestico’s house where we went to a REAL Italian restaurant with Sammy, his wife, Shirley, Kim
and myself. I ordered gnocchi, just like my friend, Andrew Massimino makes from scratch, with homemade pomodoro sauce.
Got up at 5:45. Showered. Dressed. Straightened hair. Got my bags, kissed all goodbye, drove to airport. Got the paper. Bottled water. Went in bathroom to put on makeup.
Sang to two babies who were getting their diapers changed while I was putting on lip-glop.
MONDAY MAY 19
Went to the dentist. Lance and the girls had been there 1 hour and 1/2, and no cleaning yet. The girls were on the edge of despair and pretending they had gone crazy.
I put my foot down and expressed my frustration with the dentist. Think what you will, but it’s ridiculous to make kids wait, especially on their first visit. With no magazines, books
or anything to do in the exam rooms. And these are creative kids who could have found ways to distract themselves, but the room was completely devoid of ANYTHING. Like some
sad, broken film set. I felt sad afterwards, cuz I don’t like bringing any body down, but hopefully the next family that comes through that office will have the attention of the staff and
books, magazines, crayons, something for the kids.
Met with Tammie Ward at the Long Center to discuss two events, one being the finale for the Music For Life event in October. We hope to hold it here! Tammie is authentic and enthusiastic
and really smart. She used to work at the Kennedy Center, so Austin is blessed to have her here!
Met with Mike Henry about the documentary I have been filming concerning the Music For Life event. Really good guy.
Performed at the Trinity Episcopal School for kids 2nd grade to 8th grade. That was really great. Kids in uniforms, sitting at attention, and I just chatted about sacrifice, grumpy people and
being kind in the world, mixed with singing and smiling. They relaxed and smiled, too. Very happy time. Stayed and talked with the Reverend afterwards, and we plan on having lunch.
She wants to be a songwriter, and I told her I have always wanted to be a minister.
Went on KGSR with Super Pal Universe. The kids did GREAT! Mark Murray was so supportive, as always. Loris was the visiting DJ and I chatted up the Rock-n-Restock event the kids will be doing Thursday night with Bob Schneider. Then the kids played “On Our Way” live and KGSR played “Microphone” from the SPU cd. Yes!
Saw Cactus Pryor ambling down the KGSR hallway, so got the SPU gang to gather round and we took some pix. That Cactus! He’s such a living legend, hoot, smiley dude. I’m really glad to have known him all these years. I think the kids weren’t sure who he was….it’s weird to be 45, in some ways, cuz I feel like a kid all the time, and yet I’m doing all these adult things. Being a mom, being a musician, being a business person, being a wife. I’m glad to be me. Just sometimes I find myself thinking, “How did I get here?” I’m sure anyone else reading this who is over the age of, say,
27, knows what I’m talking about. (27 seems like the age where I started realising I wasn’t going backwards, only the other direction….onward!)
SUNDAY MAY 18
Evening: Sat around the Austin Motel pool while the girls swam in the clear, blue water and the warm night. Sitting with Amiti, Cyndy, Celeste and Lance. Lance had a huge bruised toe from bending it backwards off a step. It looked pretty bad. We enjoyed sitting outside relaxing, listening to the girls laugh.
Afternoon: Had a special celebration in honor of Lily. Women flew in from all over the country, and we cried and laughed and shared stories about womanhood. It was one of the most
magical experiences I have ever been blessed to be a part of. We ate delicious food afterwards: butternut squash canneloni, garlic mashed potatoes, grilled veggies, rolls, salad, cremed chocolate pots and cheesecake. Every girl deserves to be honored for passage! I can’t wait to give the same celebration for iolana.
io was at SKATE NIGHT, last one of the year for the school. I love skate night. I love the disco ball. I love to boogie! I love to hold hands with io and go round and round and round…..Sorry I had to miss this one….but io had a good time!
Morning: Prepped for the day. Made sure hotel accomodations were taken care of.
SATURDAY MAY 17
Evening: Went to a lovely home in Central Austin and heard Mike Farrell (B.J. Honeycutt of M*A*S*H) talk about why he opposed the death penalty. Met him afterwards, and what a warm, present human being he is. He has a new book out called “Just Call Me Mike”. Took a picture of Lance with Mike, and will post it when I remember to do so.
My mom arrived in town and hung out with the girls. So good to have my mom. She is one tough little cookie, never gives up. I’m glad she is my mom!!! She was in a hilarious mood, and
later that night, we had fun joking around with the girls, making ourselves laugh silly.
Afternoon: Went to Kevin Tuerff’s incredible home that overlooks Lake Austin where he held a WWJDD? event. We sang John Denver songs and ate delicious hor-deurves and met wonderful people and petted the dogs and I shed tears when we sang “Matthew”. I really really like Kevin and Kevin and if they read my blog I want them to know that I hope we grow old together as friends because
they are two of the neatest people I’ve had the honor to meet. Seriously. Funny, smart, and they like shoes. Well, one of them likes shoes. I’m not sure what Kevin likes. Kevin, what do you like? See, that’s why we need to be friends forever so I never have to ask that question again. I suspect Kevin likes dogs. Oh, and I really enjoy knowing MIMI, too. She is a hoot! Man, she’s sharp as a tack.
Why isn’t she on the city council or in politics? She could be another Molly Ivans, as far as I’m concerned. I know she’s an accountant, but dang, she’s funny.
FRIDAY MAY 16
Evening: Lily had her volleyball tournament. First game ROCKED. The Eliminators were on FIRE! iolana and I kept the scoreboard steady. Then, for some reason, the fire fizzled and the
games lost steam and two more games, it was over. Such a sad look on the girls faces during photos. But it was a good season and super coaches—Ms. Cindy and Mr. Steve!
Lily returned home from her overnight 5th graders trip to HOUSTON, where they spent the night at the Houston Zoo and got a private nocturnal/early morning tour of the animals with NO ONE ELSE AROUND! (Well, I mean, there were official ZOO PEOPLE there, of course! Kids weren’t just left ALONE in a zoo! Ha ha ha. That would be wierd!) They got to ride a tour bus down, and Lily said it was great except for the smell in the back of the bus by the latrine.
I was in Belton, TX that morning, singing in a waaaay cool theatre for 900 K-2nd graders. It was a blast! Seriously. I looooove singing and working with this age group. They are so polite and funny and fantastic and full of wonder and I hugged EVERY SINGLE one of those kids. Sometimes twice. I couldn’t say “I love you!” and “Bless you!” and “Stay in school, sweet pea!” and all the other assorted things that pop into my mind when we are all in a big mosh of love. I hugged as many teachers as I could, too. And I ALWAYS suggest the kids do a class project by writing their congress people and asking for TEACHER RAISES!!!! That goes over well!
Had breakfast with my mother-in-law, whose home I spent the night at….Fell asleep on the couch, but got up and got in bed. Someone was snoring, so didn’t sleep too well, but that’s par for the course!
THURSDAY MAY 15
Drove home from Temple, TX as fast as I legally could so I could get to Maria’s Taco Express with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to see iolana’s band, THE SKELETONES, perform! They were first on, and the place was PACKED! io did SO SO SO GREAT! She plays keys, Anna Clare sings, Max on bass, Jude on electric guitar and Blaise on drums. They sang “Let’s Have A Party” and Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack.” What were YOU doing at 7? I wasn’t doing that either! Whoo.
Performed in Temple for 900 kids. 900 sing-a-long clap-a-long laugh-a-long kids. 900 hugs! Man, it was an awesome day!
Huge hail storm/no electricity/8 fire trucks up at the school….and, still, Lily’s tour bus went off without a hitch for the Houston field trip!
Got up at 5:00 am to drive to Temple, TX.
WEDNESDAY MAY 14
Performed at Antone’s for Stephen Moser’s benefit. Saw Todd and Mickey (who are the CUTEST COUPLE EVER!), Ray Benson and so many nice folks. I got up and sang four songs, including “To Sir, With Love” and sat on the stage with bare feet. When I opened my eyes, there was Stephen, Margaret, their brother and mother—all teary eyed and mascara-cheeked and then I ran over to the side of the stage and started crying, too, cuz I was thinking I was utterly boring after Ray Wylie and his smoking band, so I was glad I was able to bring love, too.
iolana’s try out for the school Talent Show….drove back from Temple, TX like a Meatloaf song (you know what I mean if you like Meatloaf) because I needed to help set up the amps and try to get levels, but oh man, the gear was so ridiculously poor! Anyway, did my best to help the kids, and soon all the parents were up trying to help get levels, too, and then we got out of the way and the kids performed their songs. (Note: They didn’t make it in the talent show, but that’s ok….the point is ONE SHOULD ALWAYS TRY! So, good job kids!)
Drove to Temple, TX for the first of three days performing for 3 one hour gigs, 300 kids each gig. It will be interesting to see what this is like (and it turned out to be an utter joy each day!!!)
Met Byron, the head theatre tech for the Temple/Belton shows. Man, what a really, really nice human being. I love making new friends, especially people who love what they do and are really good at it and share their life history with me and we can eat lunch and enjoy chatting and relaxing. Thank you, Byron, for your support those three days!