Monday, December 28, 2009

Number One with a Bullet

This is a first for me, writing a blog just after midnight. Not surprising that I'm up, really, what with the forty billion naps I've taken in the last 4 days. I get on the bed to read and within minutes, I am out. But I have been reading a lot. I just finished the third book in the Twilight series and I have to say, they are pretty damn bad. But it's vacation, so one should read crappy books and watch crappy movies (Alvin and the Chipmunks, anyone?) and eat peppermint bark. I look forward to book four, when Bella goes into labor and Edward chews the baby out of her. Oops. I hope I didn't spoil it for anyone.

When I was at the mall with Small today to repierce the ear that got infected, we were at Nordstrom and there were those huge lifesize cutouts of the Jacob and Edward characters from Twilight mingling with the headless and/or bald juniors mannequins. These cutouts are apparently being stolen right and left. I was trying to explain to Small, who is very sophisticated for all of her nearly eight years, what the hullabaloo was about and she looked at me, shook her head, and said, "I don't get it." I said "I don't either." And then I bought a dress.

Forget about the preposterous novels and the whole vampire chic thing that is happening absolutely everywhere. I look at Robert Pattinson and I see Pretty. Beautiful bone structure, important haircuts, smoldering quality. Pretty. And that does nothing for me. Nothing against him, or Zac Efron, or that blond dude from Gossip Girl, or Rob Lowe back in the day--those guys are so pretty as to be female. This isn't their fault, they won the genetic lottery and have hordes of screaming fans and a ton of dough to show for it. But to me, they are just too pretty. Better skin than I have, use more products than I do, some may wear a smaller size, I'm not sure. Yes, no doubt it is an issue of mine. But this is my blog, remember?

A few months back, I went down to the Cape (remember the giant Diet Coke?) with a group of ladies and we were talking about our Celebrity Fuck List, though i don't think it was called that by the dainty amongst us. These are the celebrities you supposedly get a pass for by your spouse, should you be fortunate enough to run into them at Star Market. Interesting what you learn about people from playing this game. I heard Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp, Bill Clinton (which was not me, but he has a certain dirty quality that would probably make him fun) and Raiders era Harrison Ford. I personally think the qualification of "particular era" is cheating, but hey, that's their list, and if they want an automatic disqualification because now Harrison Ford looks like an aging doofus with an earring (all the hip kids have them!), go right ahead. My first choice? Jon Stewart.

I know that Jon Stewart looks like a lot of the guys I went to high school with, that incredibly ethnic (read:Jewish) thing that does not generally appeal to me. But here are his trump cards: funny and smart. That's it. As I have watched that show, he has become THE most beautiful thing EVER, New Jersey Jew or not--no offense intended, Husband. Because smart and funny is transformative to me, just as stupid and humorless are--watch Jared Leto turn into the ugliest motherfucker on the planet the SECOND he opens his mouth to speak. Pretentious? Check. Overly serious? Check. Self-Deprecating? Nope, not at all. I don't care if you were Jordan Catalano. Your time is UP. Thanks for playing.

So at the risk of embarrassing myself completely, here are the top five on my Celebrity Fuck List.

1. Jon Stewart--even my parents would approve!
2. Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters--not at all afraid to make fun of himself or dress in drag. Fantastically funny videos with
3. Jack Black--who will no doubt surprise people, as it did at the dinner table in Wellfleet. You know what? The man is fucking hilarious. John Cusack is adorable, but I wanted to make out with Jack Black after watching High Fidelity.And he has awesome eyebrows.
4. Dan Savage--yes, I know he is gay and gorgeous. And I don't care.
5. Howard Stern--this one is the hardest to admit publicly, but I will go on record as saying that this is the man I have had the most erotic dreams about. He can be cruel and he can be tiresome, but when he is funny, he is the funniest guy out there. I will also admit that I wake up from these dreams embarrassed. Actually, I am kind of embarrassed right now.

And one more thing--if you are male and I tell you you are smart and/or funny, please don't take that as a euphemism for ugly. Just like I don't take it hard if you describe me as smart and funny. . But if you want to add hot, feel free to do so.

A happy and healthy new year to all of you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

True Love

Today was one of those days that did not go as I had planned at all. On top of the usual stuff, I had to run Medium to the doctor to treat his infected pointer finger, which was nasty and spreading up his arm. I spent a lot of time in Boston traffic, listening to The Who, and wondering when I could get the hell out of the car, into my pajamas and write my blog. Because I have something wonderful to share. WONDERFUL. I bought a new guitar.

Before I praise her to the high heavens, and oh, how I will, I need to explain the SYMBOLISM of this guitar. Because it is indeed SYMBOLIC. At our show on Thursday, (yes, that one, which you did not go to, even though I asked you nicely), I played the guitar for two songs with a full-ass band of five, and it was the most fun I have had, musically, in a long time. Our previous lack of drummer had forced us into a period of acoustic duo-ness, which was fine, for a while. But truth be told, I have been waaaaaaaay bored with the quiet, the subdued and the sad. The full band stuff was loud and rocky and dirty, and after it was done and we kicked the ass of that Radiohead cover , it was abundantly clear that I have entered a period of loud, rocky and dirty. I looked at the guitar I was playing, a sweet little Fender Mustang that BELONGS TO MY TEN YEAR OLD SON, and I thought, Make a Commitment. To ROCK. His guitar is perfect, but it is his, and I needed to find a perfect one for me. And thus, anticipating snow and parked in front of my computer screen, I spent Saturday night on Craigslist and found my new baby. My Fender Mustang. Mine.

Beautiful and small, with a tone that can be sweet or nasty. She fits me like a glove, cools me up, makes me confident, makes me feel like playing power chords is possible. She doesn't have a mark on her, and is a beautiful shade called Daphne Blue. When I took her to Guitar Hero Jim Mouradian's shop today, and I saw her out of the case and on his workbench getting adjusted, I was so happy that I felt almost ridiculous. Luckily, Medium was checking out the selection of vintage amps and didn't see me surreptitiously wipe a tear from my eye. I look at this guitar and I want to write, and sing, and use distortion, have a fuckload of pedals that do random things and an amp that I know how to use. I want to play shows that take people's breath away. I want it to feel new again. And I look at this guitar, and it does.

So, 2010 is the Year of Rawk for Sugar Snow. What that means yet, I don't know, but I can tell you this--at the next show, I will have an amp of my own, a tuning pedal that I know how to use and my new guitar, with it's pickups, knobs and whammy bar. And this one you must go to. Don't you want to see if I hurt myself?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Do you smell what I smell?

My biggest anxiety about my show this week: how bad is the mic going to smell?

God, they are awful. The accumulation of sweat, spit and halitosis in the little silver ball is truly disgusting. I am one of those unfortunates who hasn't mastered the projecting thing, and because I sing sort of quietly, I am right up on the mic and am hit again and again with the aroma of dying dreams. We are playing a great club, a really great club, but the great ones have perhaps the stinkiest mics of all. I became acquainted with the smelly mic problem at the best club in town.

When we first started out and played anywhere,anytime, we had to bring our own equipment with us. An entire PA was shoved into the back of my van, and , of course, we brought our own mics. I never really thought about how personal the use of the mic is, and when we played these small shows, I only had mine and didn't have to share it. It never occurred to me, actually. It was part of the deal of shlepping tons of equipment. Later, when we played at small clubs, clubs with their own PA's and a more acoustic set of performers, i could either use my own mic or theirs, but theirs were fine. Acoustic clubs have a lower volume of spitting performers, less excitable by nature, and while they were not the greatest quality mics, they were clean. Clean to the point that it never bothered me, I never noticed. And then, the big show. And all that changed.

We were on first , so we got the soundcheck, and the whole time I was up there, excited as I was to be in THE club, I kept thinking, "God, I need to brush my teeth or something." It took me a while to realize that it wasn't me (because, as you know, I have excellent oral hygiene) but the ball of the mic. I swear, the stench was so bad, it was eating away at the metal .I discreetly went over to the nicest sound guy EVER and, smiling hugely so as to not offend him. I said "Uh, dude, this mic reeks!" "Oh," he said, smiling back at me," you should have smelled the box the mic was IN. When I opened it and the smell hit me, I felt faint." I watched him deftly unscrew the ball of the mic and spritz it from a spray bottle full of Listerine, clean it thoroughly, screw it back on and hand it back. I thought that was soooooooo cool--like I was in on a big music secret--Listerine to clean the mic! Wow! Went back up to finish the soundcheck, and...THE MIC STILL STANK. Only now it smelled like ripe armpits coated in a Listerine deodorant. The show must go on and blah blah blah. I tried to not pay attention, but I have been scarred by the smelly mic. I fear them now.

So along with all my other anxieties about whether my skirt is too short (I think it is) and whether the photographer guy is going to be able to hide my turkey neck, I will also have to worry about the mic.I will use the club mic, and take one for the team, if I have to, because sound guys can be extremely sensitive about you not using THEIR SUPERIOR EQUIPMENT. And if you don't use THEIR SUPERIOR EQUIPMENT, they can make you sound very, very bad. But please, Sound Guy or Gal at Church on December 17 at 9, let me use my beautiful, odor-free mic. I'm sure your equipment is superior. But sometimes a girl prefers her own.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Can I tell you about my children?

You know what my biggest fear is? Not my fear of snakes, spiders or rodents, or my fear of tunnels, down escalators and heights (a biggie) or even my fear of my car breaking down in an isolated area where people find out I am Jewish and ask me to explain the Torah. My biggest fear is people thinking I am boring. And that is because I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT DEAL WITH BORING. I just can't. And thus, I am afraid that someone will cross the street to avoid ME because THEY think I am boring. I am not a juggling-at-parties kind of gal, but I think I am fairly easy to talk to. I can generally find some common ground with almost anyone. I try very hard to limit discussion of my family or my band.In short, I try NOT TO BE BORING. But I think the most boring are the ones that don't realize it. It is an insidious danger amongst us, so BE AWARE. This time of year, with all the holiday parties, school events and random get-togethers, we are all bound to get stuck with A Bore. If this is utterly unavoidable, try to get stuck near the booze table. The Bore comes in two categories: The Limited Interest Bore and the Nothing to Say Bore. Talking to either is like dying a very slow death, but in a different way.

Example of The Limited Interest Bore (LIB): Cornered near the coats by The Mom Who Won't Stop Talking About Her Children. Listen to stories of Walter's three goals at the state hockey championships, Gertrude's starring role in the school play in which a talent scout happened to be present, Fred's acceptance into a prestigious state department program for studies of World Breads. The LIB doesn't notice that you are texting for help, or anything else for that matter. This is never limited to a discussion of children (although that is a frequent offender), but could be about their job, their money, their connections (name-dropping), their hobbies, really anything. This kind of micro-lecture is not boring because the subject matter is uninteresting. It might be. No, it is boring because you, you personally, don't need to be there for it. Really anyone, ANYONE, in the room, would do. It is not a conversation, which involves the exchange of ideas, it is a monologue. So if you don't care about model trains EXCLUSIVELY, you are not being an asshole when you break your own finger and plead for first aid just to shut an LIB up. Kudos to you if you can do that without inflicting pain on yourself.

Example of Nothing to Say Bore (NSB): You are at a wedding, which can be a whole other type of bore, but let's stay on the subject, shall we? At a wedding, seated at a table with some perfectly nice people. Everyone introduces themselves, and of course, instantly forget everyone's name but remember exactly what they are wearing. You attempt conversation with the woman on your right, the Woman in the Blue Dress, and while she smiles at you pleasantly, you never get beyond the stage of "How do you know the bride?" Why? Because she has nothing to say. Unlike the LIB, she has NO interests, NO hobbies, NO discernible personality. Not mean, not funny, not sarcastic, not ANYTHING. Just NOT. AT ALL. This type of bore is much more difficult to deal with, because they have actually done nothing wrong, and the fact that you have nothing to discuss makes you feel like YOU are the boring one. Sometimes you can meet someone and have nothing to talk about because you have nothing in common, but not find them boring. But the NSB has absolutely nothing to say, and you wind up just looking at each other, and because time stands still with an NSB, you could be there for 5 minutes that feel like an eternity or for several actual years. Inflicting injury on oneself is generally not necessary with an NSB. You literally can get up and leave. An NSB is used to that and assumes everyone on earth always has somewhere else they need to be. And they do. Away.

I hope that the people who love me, those funny and fascinating people, will take it upon themselves to stage an intervention should I become boring. Bar the door and remind me that NO ONE wants to hear THAT MUCH about shoes. Withhold food and sleep. Whatever works. Because while my grandmother lived to a ripe old age and died with a full mustache, she was NEVER boring. She was just hairy. And I would rather be hairy than boring any day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Extra Happy Thursday RAVE

I have lived in Massachusetts for many years, and it is true that the drivers here are amongst the worst in the universe, myself included. I have seen people back up on the Mass Pike, people turn left from the right lane, people performing every sort of personal hygiene while driving in the breakdown lane at rush hour. It is hard to shock a Massachusetts driver with anything, so much so that egregious breaches of legal,moral and practical driving behavior are rarely reported in the newspaper. However, I was delighted to read about this recent roadway ridiculousness that happened in our fair state, under the headline Motorist helps police rounding up cows:

Interstate 91 South in Springfield was shut down for approximately 30 minutes yesterday to allow State Police to safely remove two cows from the travel lanes. The cows, approximately 500 pounds each, had escaped from a trailer that came unlatched and were walking near Exit 8. A motorist who was stuck in traffic offered his help to state troopers, Springfield animal control, and environmental police. Dressed in a cowboy hat and boots, the motorist lassoed one cow, then the other, and was able to guide the animals back into the trailer.

Yes, I KNOW that Western Massachusetts is very, very different from the eastern part, but we do not live in Wyoming. What the hell was this guy doing dressed like Woody from Toy Story on the interstate, and with a fucking LASSO? You know when you are stuck in a long traffic jam, and you think to yourself, "There had better be someone bleeding up there!" and crane your neck to see a broken body at the crash site? Wouldn't it be so much cooler to see Urban Cowboy and his golden lasso roping them steers? I am so sad that I missed this! Why did I not get caught in this traffic jam?? Three hours to get over the Sagamore Bridge, and neither lassoes nor blood were involved. Damn.