Thursday, November 21, 2013

Listening to what you are listening to.

I'll start out by saying that I'm feeling a bit tangential.  This may make no sense to anyone but me and I'm not certain as to exactly how the flow will go, but hang out if you'd like.

My husband's life is music.  He eats, he breathes and he sleeps music.  I swear this to you.  He'll go through phases.  He'll watch documentaries and start listening to the bands that his bands say are influences.  No offense to Styx, but I'm glad that particular phase has passed.  :shutter:  His passion (addiction) has taught me something-- listen to what you are listening to.

I've mentioned before that our bed was handcrafted in Amish country.  We ordered it and waited 6 months because Hubs needed it made to accommodate his CD collection that is under our bed.  He has pull-out plastic bins with wheels and trimmed down swimming noodles between the rows of CDs to keep them from all banging into each other.  He cleans them.  He cares for them.

I drive him crazy with mine.  I'm not so tidy and OCD about my CDs.  At all.

He buys CDs as opposed to bypassing and copying because he wants to support the band.  His stand is that the bands aren't making a whole lot of money, but they do make money with merchandise sales.  Not all he purchases are new.  He does purchase some used CDs, but he is supporting a small business with that.  Liner sheets and CD art are romantic to my husband.  He loves the feel of the CD in his hand.  He enjoys reading whatever it is the band wrote and included inside.

My husband is a bit of a rock and roll savant.  He can tell you who produced what, who was in what group, what group morphed into what and so on.  He could be very best friends with Sam Dunn or Eddie Trunk.

At any rate, I've been on a bit of a Pearl Jam and Jack White kick lately.  I've always had a love for Pearl Jam and Hubs has been faithful about supplying me with their CDs when they hit the resale rack at his favorite establishment.

When the Pearl Jam Twenty documentary came out, I got to see it in bits and pieces, but not in full.  I can tell you that I ended up until about midnight watching it last night.  I find that band documentaries always give me a new appreciation for the band.  That's kind of what they are designed to do.  With bands like Pearl Jam, I appreciate the true artist of it all.  They are not making music just to have sound come out of speakers.  They are making music that they like to make and if people should happen to like it, too-- fantastic!

You fall into dreamy artist syndrome.  You have Eddie Vedder who is easy on the eyes anyhow, but the whole creativeness about him just makes him that much more dreamy.  :swoon:  You have people like Neil Peart and Jack White who are, by physical appearance, not that fetching to me. Then you throw into the mix their passion and intellect and my oh my.  You can't help to be enchanted by the depth of all their passion for what they do and how they are attempting not to make canned music that is radio-friendly, but rather things that are a bit chewy to make you think.

My husband's passion is death metal.  It is loud.  It has hair and teeth.  I have to tell you, having watched enough documentaries with him (in whole or in bits) they are truly in the same boat as the people that I enjoy.  Again, my husband is the one who has taught me to stop and listen to what I am listening to.

A few weeks back, I was on a run with The Lumineers.  I had found this delightful live performance and was telling Hubs about it.  Even he sat down and watched it with me.  In the video, The Lumineers are so basic with their instruments and space.  What comes out is so pure.

On my quest for musical knowledge and in-depth research (thanks Hubs!) I found an interview that Conan O'Brien had with Jack White.  I'm busy making my way through it.  Jack White talks all about people singing off tune, then hitting a button and magically everything is fixed.  Just as with photography and screwing around with settings and whatnot.  All of that takes the pureness out and you have doctored two dimensional work on the wall or music that sounds okay on a CD, but the live performance (my husband's take on the whole thing) suffers and sounds like crap since you have a bunch of people who can't play an instrument without the aid of Pro Tools.

Technology is great.  It can make things wonderful.  It can also be a hindrance and a cheat.  Listen to what you are listening to.  Can you really hear it?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Crunch, munch, a trip to the ortho and all is well.

I am not full of grace.  Well, God's grace is what I try to be full of, but physical grace is something that can allude me.  Take this summer for instance.

My left leg was swollen under the knee, and where the graft for my ACL hamstring endobutton reconstruction had gone on.  It was suspiciously close to where the staples are and I had a concern about hardware rejection.  (Mom had that, so it was of concern.)  A coworker who is also a massage therapist yelled at me for the way I was sitting (leg up under me) and after I stopped that, the leg gradually got better.

Then came September.

I had a want for ice cream and only in a fashion that I could manage, I got my leg closed in the freezer door at the grocery-- at the exact same place I had been having problems.  It swelled.  It bruised.  It hurt like no tomorrow.  I was convinced I made it angry.  It agreed when we went to Washington DC and my leg hurt so bad that I felt like it was going to explode.  I came home and made an appointment to go to the orthopedic surgeon.  Then like a car with a noise, my leg started feeling better.

Wouldn't it figure?

I still had a knot.  A goose egg-like knot where the freezer door shut.  Lumps and me don't get along.  They are a mystery that freak me out.

This past Thursday I went to the ortho guy.  He was delightful.  I was there for 2 hours and after all of that, I find that the freezer door closed right on the area of my bone that had been drilled for the graft to feed through.  I may have also nicked the corner of one of those staples.

No surgery needed!  Hooray!  I do have a lump.  A good sized lump that will be with me for a while.  He told me, "Well, I could go in if you want and remove it."

"If you aren't chomping at the bit to go digging around in my knee and tell me I'm fine, I'm good with it."

A $30 copay and an intensive bruising that will go away with time.  Yup.  Takes talent for sure.  :S

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Holiday Cookie Baking: A lost lid, oven flames and 5 pounds of baking soda.

I have a rather minuscule home.  I don't mind it.  I really don't.  I do have to store some baking pans in the oven.  In there I have my Pampered Chef stones.  I pulled the baking pans out, pulled the stones out, turned the oven on and went about my business.  I came back in a few minutes later, K working on getting baking things ready and I see flames-- flames in my oven.


Hubs is behind me yelling something.  K is starting to panic.

"I've got this.  No big deal."

Hubs kept yelling to put water on it.

"This isn't an electrical fire, but it is small and enclosed in the oven.  You don't want to put water on it.  I have baking soda.  It's all good." Y'all-- it took 5 lbs of baking soda to put it out.  I swear to you.  Hubs did make me put one glass of water on it.  By the way, it did nothing.

So what went aflame in the oven?  It was a 13 x 9" cake pan lid.  A plastic lid.  Stinky.

Once I got the fire out (and I do mean flames) I carted the oven rack outside and doused it with water to be extra certain I wasn't going to light any of the wet leaves on fire.  :S  It was easy to get out since when I was busy trying to put the fire out and calming K at the same time, Hubs was running around opening every window and door he could find.  The back door was propped open, the smoke detector screaming, K crying, Hubs insisting I use water and all the while, I stand there with the Rapunzel plastic drinking cup and a 13 1/2 pound bag of baking soda, flinging cupfuls of baking soda at the flames.

Good times.

We only lost the cake pan lid.  (K was rather distressed.  I told her it was better than burning the house down.  A lid is a lot easier to replace.  That's what Black Friday is for!)  I scraped the pounds of baking soda back out of the oven, Hubs swept it out with the shop vac and I wiped it all down.  We fired it back up as high as she could go with the oven door open so that we could burn the remaining plastic off of the element while the the winds would carry the evil plastic smell out.

I'm happy to announce that the cookies are baking just fine with no plastic smell lingering.  Well, that is until I place the involved rack back into the oven and rock it out in heat as high as I can make her roll.  Hubs saved it.  He pulled all of the plastic off that he could and scoured the rest with Scotch Brite.

I was that mom who used this as a teachable lesson to K.  "What do we do if there is a fire?"  "Don't panic and if it is small enough, the fire extinguisher or Mom's giant bag of baking soda may take you where you need to go.  If not, exit the house, call the fire department and let them take care of business."

For those of you wondering a few things-- I clean with baking soda, which is why I have such a large bag.  I also had the bag on my kitchen table from dough day yesterday.  You can purchase the Arm & Hammer 13.5 pound size at your local Sam's for around $4.00.  It's handy to have around!