Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Getting ready for this party

I'm a mad, shopping fool. I haven't shopped like this in ages. Food, decorations, art supplies, STUFF! As I go along I'm getting more ideas. I think this party is gonna look so cool.

I'm trying to do as much as I can ahead of time so I won't be running like a crazy person trying to pull it all together at the last minute. But you know that's going to happen anyway. Still, I think I'm in pretty good shape. Today I made a freakin' VAT of chili. Tomorrow I'll make the artichoke dip and freeze it. I'll do as much as I can but some things you just can't do ahead. Like chop cilantro. It just won't keep.

Tomorrow (today!) I'll take a load over to Stacey's and get started decorating. I guess I'll start with the garage. We're fixing it up to be the kid's party place. This will be black light decorating. I'm going to line two walls with black paper and paint day-glo monster type stuff on it. The other half of the garage will be separated by a large piece of fabric that I've had for YEARS. It's a giant piece of light orange polyester that I've painted with black, spooky shapes. We used to use it to enclose our patio in Santa Rosa. I've gotten sooo much use out of that piece of fabric. I also have a lot of black light stuff that I'll stick up here and there. If I have enough paper I'll cover the ceiling.

Gotta set up the band area. Drew's going to assemble a platform for the drummer. We're going to be performing on the grass so he'll need something to set the drums on or everything will fall over. I'm going to hang our spinning light balls from the beams over Scotty's barbeque area. That's going to be the dance floor.

Oh man, so much to do! There will be spooky displays everywhere. Gotta set up lighting. I have ideas for the food tables. I'm even going to decorate the bathroom.

But not tomorrow.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Things go missing

Dad thinks people are breaking into his house and stealing things. His keys have been missing for a while, his wallet and the cash we got out of the bank a couple weeks ago are also missing. Last night he called when we weren't home and told Lindsay he thinks Paige's friends are getting into his house. I called him back and talked to him about it. Hoo boy.

I reminded him that he does have Alzheimer's and that's why he loses things. He kept talking about how he's done things the same way for years. I told him that one thing AD does is rob you of your habits. So even though he's always kept track of his keys and wallet things are different now. He still insisted he has his habits and there's no other explanation for the missing items. The last time he got a key from me I put it on a bright blue lanyard to make it harder for him to lose. Well, he lost it almost immediately. Now he says he wants to change the locks again. Nooooooo....

Part of the problem was he hadn't eaten in a while. If his blood sugar is low his thinking is foggier and he gets nasty crazy.

He's very suspicious of Paige's friend, Ben. He really doesn't like the way he looks. Sigh. Ben is one of the nicest kids I know. I'd better warn him about Dad.

I really wonder how tree season is going to go. Bud Lyon is running things this year. I really hope that Dad will stay away from the sales shed. He can get so nasty with people and he'll probably think Bud's people are working for HIM. If last year is any indication we're going to have trouble with him.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Taking Timio's

Paige's fledgling band needs a place to practice. I asked Dad if she could Timio's empty apartment as a practice room and he said ok. Yesterday five of her friends came over to help clean the place. We need to make it secure so they can store their instruments there. Lots of holes to plug. We're going to seal most of the doors shut and board up the windows. One of the bathrooms seems to work pretty well and there are two extra rooms that can be used for storage. The kitchen is unusable but we don't really need it. I think it's going to work out pretty well.

Those kids are so excited about having their own space. They had been practicing at one kid's house but his dad didn't like it eating into his tv time (!) so they had to come up with something else. I don't get that attitude. You've got a great group of kids who want to do a cool, fun thing and you don't want to open up your home to them because it interferes with TV TIME??? Puh-leeez! I'm just glad we have something to offer them. I would have moved my living room furniture out of the way and let them practice in there. Fortunately, we gots barns.

And it's quite likely us adults will be needing that space, too. Casual Sunday is breaking up and will probably reform as a new band minus Ken. He's just not happy doing what we've been doing and wants to get back to playing with the Klones. That's the short version of the story and it's all I'm going to write about here. One reason is we don't really know what the whole story is yet. Certain conversations have not yet occurred. I'm sure it will all get resolved.

We have to hold it together until the party on the 21st. But if we don't we still have the TV's Kyle band, Paige's band and the Canaries. We can make cds for dancing. I'm just not going to get worked up about it. Not anymore.

So! Lots of work to do. We have to get the room together and I need to work on Halloween decorations and costumes. I can already see time slipping away. Typical.

So I'd better stop doing this and work on the party invitation!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The last taping

For a while. The show debuts January 17th. If it gets picked up (and I don't see why it wouldn't) tapings will resume. Last night's show was the best yet. I can't wait to see it.

Kyle had to work again so it was Lindsay, Jim and me. We got there early enough to get great seats. The best seats, really. Right in front of the band. The energy in the room was up, probably because it was the last taping and people were looking forward to the wrap party.

We didn't know if we would be able to go to the party because Jillinda said they were being sticky about having only the cast and crew attend. But at the end of the taping they said everyone with a black wrist band should stick around. We were on the guest list, we had black wrist bands. Far out. Now we just needed to get Kyle in.

They had the party set up in an empty soundstage. It was basically like a big warehouse with soundproof walls. They had decorated it with Trucker set pieces, including the truck. The catering was appropriately Trucker-esque; In-N-Out Burgers, corndogs, popcorn, chocolate bananas and sodas. And a bar. Gotta have a bar.

Jim asked around about getting Kyle into the party. Turns out there was no problem at all getting him in. Lindsay was much relieved.

They raffled off some of the props from the show. When they brought in the box of props there was a guitar sticking out the top. I said ooh, I want that guitar. It was the first thing they raffled and we won! It had been used in one of the shows that we missed (look for the Civil War Dream sketch). It's a small, black guitar with a bullet hole in the front. Gruber and Koechner signed it. It shall occupy a place of honor in our studio. They also had paint buckets (with custom Trucker labels) filled with paint stirring sticks that had The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show and the Comedy Central logo printed on them (another joke from a sketch. "It's a found object."). We brought home a bucket and a bunch of paint sticks.

At one end of the room they set up a photo booth where you could get a picture with a cut-out of T-Bones and Trucker. Later in the evening I went up to Koechner to shake his hand and tell him how much we've enjoyed the tapings. I know Gruber but this is the first time I've talked to David Koechner. Well, he couldn't have been nicer. He said, "Hey, let's grab a picture!" and dragged Jim and me over to the photo booth. Way cool! Kyle and Lindsay also got a picture with him.

Outside we talked to Gruber. He was happy we're the ones who ended up with the guitar. He said it couldn't have gone to a nicer family.

The whole night was great fun. I had three people come up to tell me how much they enjoyed my song. Yay!

Oh no! No more tapings! Trucker withdrawal!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My Hollywood debut

We went to the Trucker taping last night. Kyle had to work and Paige had band practice so it was Lindsay, Jim and me. We got there early enough to get good seats this time. The show was its usual fabulous fun.

During a break the Steve, warm-up comedian, asked if anyone wanted to sing a song with the band. Jim was poking at me to volunteer but I didn't feel quite right about it and I couldn't think of a song anyway. But the band went on break along with everyone else so Steve started asking for volunteers to sing a capella. It seemed like no one was raising their hands, although there were a lot of people volunteering their friends. One guy got up and sang By The Rivers Of Babylon and he was very good. Then Steve asked for more singers so I made a snap decision and said, "Ok, I'll do one!" EEK!

He handed me the mike and asked what song I was going to do. I told him I was going to do a song I wrote. From the look on his face I could tell he was thinking oh yeah, this is going to be lame. I sang the Bosom song. When I got to the end of the first verse people started laughing and Steve's expression changed. He was impressed! Good GAWD, I was nervous! My hands were shaking so much the microphone was waving around like crazy. I had to hold it with both hands to keep from looking like a total geriatric case. My voice was shaky. I was a little surprised. I'm not usually nervous about performing but hey, this was a Comedy Central studio audience!

The whole thing is kind of a blur. Maybe Jim and Lindsay will post their impressions here. But I do remember that people were laughing and enjoying my song and THAT was a total gas! I had fun goofing around with Steve. And the applause was huge. If I had sung some other song and performed that badly I would have been hugely embarrassed. But the audience liked my song (MY song!) so I'm very happy. Big ego feed!

Friday's taping will be the last one for a while. If the show gets picked up there will be many more. I hope it will! It debuts on January 17th. Gruber and Koechner have been doing this show on stage for years. Koechner's career has really taken off but Gruber hasn't done as well. If the Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show is a hit then Gruber can reap the rewards of all his years of hard work. He deserves it.

Man, that was fun! But good golly, I've got to get my nerves under control!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Lake Mojave

Ahhhh, nice weekend.

Adults only. This time we had Stacey and Scotty, Drew and Mindy, Sean and his new girlfriend Roxanna, Lindsay and Kyle and Jim and me. Good group. It was fun having Lindsay and Kyle along. Paige couldn't go because Ramona's homecoming game was Friday night and she had to play with the band. She stayed with a friend for the weekend. Dede came to Riverside and stayed with Dad.

We got out there late morning on Friday. We found a cove and set up camp and then went back to the marina for lunch. Since we were such a small group we had almost all of our meals at the marina. Much easier than cooking in camp but dang, the food was kinda crummy. Didn't get a good cook this weekend, I guess. I tried to sort of stick to the low carb stuff for the most part. I did pretty well and didn't totally blow it carb-wise.

In the afternoon we kicked back on the beach. The water was too cold for me to swim in but Lindsay, Kyle and Jim went in. I'm a cold water sissy. Stacey had pre-mixed some Bloody Marys but she didn't add much alcohol. I had three of them in a row and didn't feel a thing. Then Scotty mixed up a batch of Margaritas. Holy crap.

I had one just before we went to dinner and another one on the boat on the way to the marina. They went down just like punch and punch me they did! It didn't really start to bother me until we sat down. Then it was ohnowhathaveidoneiamsoooooeffedup. Of course Jim thought that was the perfect opportunity to mess with me. He kept making faces at me which caused a major sensory overload. Funny Jim. I barely got through dinner. Getting back on the boat was a project.

After we got back to camp I downed a lot of water which helped quite a lot. After about an hour I felt much better. Scotty and Sean built a fire. We performed the Kyle songs for everybody. Jim and I made a lot of mistakes. He was playing a mini keyboard in the dark and I was still pretty drunk.

I don't think we stayed up very late. I was uncomfortable trying to sleep because it was kind of cold. I had come prepared for it to be warm at night and only had a light blanket. I was glad to see the dawn. I wasn't hung over, which surprised me.

Drew and Mindy showed up in the morning. The day was very relaxing. I made sure I paced myself with the alcohol. We mostly sat around reading and chatting. Lindsay and Kyle drew cartoons.

After dinner we built a fire. Drew and MIndy had missed the previous evening's performance of the Kyle songs so we performed them again. Much better this time! The Scottyritas were flowing (this time I diluted mine with Crystal Light which I was told was a "party foul" but I didn't care). The party was on. Sometimes that fire got pretty big. Drew and Sean and Scotty kept finding dead bushes to drag to the fire. Stacey had happy feet. Everyone was telling jokes (drunkenly) and since Kyle isn't a drinker he stayed sharp and inserted his Kyle-isms into the conversation which was, of course, freakin' hilarious. I was laughing so hard my face hurt. It was great!

We stayed up pretty late. The temperature was much more pleasant the second night and I slept pretty comfortably. After breakfast we hung out for a while and then packed up. We left for home around 2:15. We had dinner on the way and later hit some slow traffic so we didn't get home until 8:30.

A fun, fun weekend. Lindsay and Kyle even got to drive the boat (thanks, Drew!). I enjoyed meeting Roxanna. It was her first time meeting any of us and I think she had a good time. It's always fun talking to Sean. He has good stories. And hanging out with my sibs is just the best.