06-26-06: family, friends and rock

Wow, what a weekend! I've spent the last 3 weeks gearing up for this big weekend, and *poof!* now it's over. Here's a recap:

Friday day: Took the day off work and drove up to north Jersey to celebrate my mom's retirement. Friday was her last day of school-- she's been a foreign language teacher at East Hanover Middle School since 1981, and thanks to No Child Left Behind, it's now All Good Teachers Are Saying F- Y'All. My mom always said she wanted to teach until she croaked, but the bit flipped this year and I've never seen her so miserable in her job. Anyhoo, her cool teacher friends threw her a really beautiful retirement luncheon, and only her friends and family were invited. My brother and I sat together with my folks and family, and it was really wacky and cool to see our middle school teachers. Mr. Palmieri still wears kooky shirts, Miss Murphy looks exactly the same, and Mr. Duer still is the king of random non-sequiturs but holycrap do I love that guy. I wrote a little speech and apparently had a bunch of teachers crying. Thankfully I was oblivious to that... crying is like puking: if I see someone doing it, I do it too.

Around 4pm my brother and I left the party and went back to my folks' house to get our cars and check the weather before I drove back to DE. I left the house at 4:30 and didn't get to Delaware until after 8pm. (Yay thunderstorms, beach traffic and moron drivers.)

Friday night: Rehearsal for The Wall at this studio in Newport which was inhabited by a drunk, stoned, creepycreepycreepy pair of dudes who have no concept of personal space. They were just so damn creepy and gross and icky and holy crap, ick. Totally harmless, of course, but gross nonetheless. Of course, the rehearsal space was free, so ya make do. Either way, I am so happy I'm in a band with 8 big guys. The rehearsals went well despite thunderstorms and lack of air conditioning. :-)

Saturday: Slept in because holycrap I needed it. Got motivated in the afternoon and drove to Hockessin (think uber-uber-wealthy area of old-money families) to sing a gig for some lady's 50th birthday surprise party. Dood, this lady is an event planner by trade, so planning a surprise party for her had to be unfathomably over-the-top. It was a luau theme, so they had 250 fresh hand-tied leis shipped in from Hawaii, a cake as big as my apartment shipped in from Seattle that came in a box bigger than a dishwasher, and they paid three singers $300 to learn one four-minute song. Granted, it wasn't the easiest song in the world (tight 3-part big-belter gospel full-blast harmony), but still, I can't believe I walked in, rehearsed the song twice in the basement, walked outside and performed it, and left the place 10 minutes later with a $100 bill in my pocket. And holy crap, did we knock that bizzle out of the park.

I gassed up and drove like a madwoman to pick up SteveWe and we sprinted out to the North Star Bar in Philly to sing The Wall. The concert rocked-- even though we didn't do the fully staged version, it's nice to know that the in-concert version works really well, too. Thanks to all the peeps for braving the storms and coming out, and also for dancing their asses off! What a rush to see people jumping around, singing along, smiling huge, clapping, rocking... and when the pot-smoke wafted up from the audience during Comfortably Numb, I was thinking, "Ah yes, now it's a Floyd show."

After The Wall, we performed a third set of well-known (and a few obscure) Floyd tunes, which were considerably less rehearsed, but went over well and were a blast to do. Joe Trainor lists our third set here in his LiveJournal. I was a little worried about my soulful belty solo bits Time and Brain Damage/Eclipse only because I hadn't had a chance to rehearse them, but some sippin' beverages lubed things nicely, mentally and vocally.

And hey! According to several reports (because I am oblivious to everything), I had a groupie! Woohooooo!

Sunday: Since I didn't get to bed until about 4:30am, I slept in until about 2pm, and then went to the Golden Monkey with Joe, Paula, and Matt. Post-diner, Matt and I did some mundane junk (haircuts, grocery store run) and then went back to my place and watched two Jackie Chan movies, ate freshly-made rice crispie treats and ordered some chinese food. I soooo needed a day of mindless decompression, and dude: nothing is better than Jackie Chan movies. Total guilty pleasure.

Oh, and I signed up another voice student who starts this week. Woot!

I'd been gearing up for this weekend for such a long time, and now that it's over, I think to myself, "What next?" But I know what is next: Pinball, and lots of it. Heading to San Fran on July 7-8-9 to practice pinball with DrJohn, and to get some hang time with Soren, Kathryn, Pirate and Schulte. Yay!

Fortune Teller Miracle Fish today tells me that I am: In Love.   Yeah, baby!