Saturday, February 28, 2009

Real Text Messages on My Phone


How did the big ziti smackdown go?

Requirements gathering. I had a hard time wondering why anyone would care.

I do love it! Just didn't recall talking about it.

I knew she'd go there, smoking & all

She's the bad karma express

I'm not sure I would call that MY eureka moment

Tragically bad. Did yr feet get some action?


Having raisin toast for breakfast and thinking of you!

Snow is as deep as a gnome's chin! Ha!

She's so weird. so very weird. and quite the bus-thrower-under.

Wanna bail 2morrow?

and nothing helps? drugs heat chocolate?

Read'n about buttery nipples while I eat lunch, whatCHOO doing?

it wasn't my ass, it was my thighs!

Tell all your single friends, who are you calling a twitter?

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Things You Hear

On the phone tonight, the Rev said:

It must be the hoar frost that keeps me young

That just sounds funny.

Tell all your single friends, it only sounds like it should be spelled w-h-o-r-e.

XO, JamieSmitten

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I've Got Spirit, Yes I Do!


Totally worth the drive to Charlottesville last night. And that hand that touched Dave Wakeling? It has now been held in a two hand clasp by Matt Vasquez, lead hottie for Delta Spirit.

Concert-o-rama 2009 is a freaking success -- and only 2 months in! Best idea I've had in years.

It was a quick drive there with plenty of time to reflect on how nice it was to be on the road -- even if for only 70 miles -- and how glad I was to not be trying to make conversation with couch guy. I had a cup of coffee just in case my body started to rebel, having obediently done 150 lunges at Boot Camp at 5:30 that morning. [Yes, Jeifer, I was counting.]

Mapquest actually provided decent directions to the downtown mall and I took the lazy route and parked in a lot. I really should have parked on the street and spent that $8 on beer, but single woman safety first, right? Short walk across the street and $10 at the door and I'm just in time to order a beer and get a good spot for the opening act.

The Gravity Lounge has a great beer selection, so I started with a Maudite. It just appeals to the french major in me. Plus it has enough % to get the party started. It is an odd little venue -- a bookstore with a stage and beer. Decent enough acoustics although the low ceiling made me really hope there would be no pyrotechnics in the show. I identified all exits just in case.

Dawes was the first band. 4 guys and some excellent songwriting from California. A little more mellow than I usually listen to, but the live show sold me. Nice guitar work and some propulsive drumming, especially on When My Time Comes. I bought the cd and I'm not sorry. These boys make commercial radio crap like The Fray sound overproduced and amateurish. Up with Dawes!!

The second band was Other Lives. They were decent, but didn't hook me. So I used my time wisely by visiting the facilities, checking out the C-ville hipsters, and buying a Magic Hat #9. My beer cap said "It's Good to be Queen." Felt like career advice to me. Duly noted.

The place started to get more crowded and everyone who had been sitting on the floor got up and prepared to feel the spirit. A short equipment change later and we were ready to go.

Delta Spirit took the stage to some polite applause and proceeded to get things moving. Now I'd love to tell you that I remember every song and in which order they made me shake my ass, but gosh, I don't. I liked them all though. They definitely played my favorites from the radio and Letterman Show: People C'Mon, Trashcan, and Streetwalker.

My love is coming I can barely hardly wait

My heart is thumping I can feel it more with every beat

My love is coming I can barely hardly wait around

Mmmmm -- yessssssss. The place is so small that every drum thump or trashcan lid crash (more pleasant than you would think) hit me in the chest with a pleasing vibration. It was definitely a hipster crowd, so those of us dancing to the hypnotic beat were in the minority, but everyone seemed to get it -- the infectious joy of musicians playing together perfectly.

If you're feeling what I'm feeling c'mon

All you soul searching people c'mon

It should have been a sell out and it should have been in a bigger place. Fortunately, this will happen. We just need to spread the word.

The drive home was fairly uneventful, except for the empty gas tank light coming on 20 miles from home. So I stopped at Sheetz (brightly lit for single woman safety --check!) where I learned 2 new things. 1> You can't buy lottery tickets between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. 2> Pumping gas is quite delightful when the muzak playing over the tinny speakers is Rod Stewart singing "If Ya Want My Body."

Tell all your single friends, support independent music and buy Ode To Sunshine by Delta Spirit. You will not be sorry

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Step 1

We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable

I've already consumed TWO and Easter is still two months away. Cadbury should sponsor a 12 step recovery program. I can't be the only one who needs help.

Tell all your single friends, only 5 mg of cholesterol in each creamy oeuf!

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Nine Days Sober......Not!

Where to begin? With Gilligan and Stripey? With bacon wrapped around dates? With a strange (albeit cute) man on my couch?

We'll start where all good stories start. With the buttery nipples.

Actually, I probably need to give a little background. When I first moved to Richmond, I lived with a bunch of people. It was kind of like having the entire cast of Friends living in one apartment. But break-ups happen, people buy houses, and suddenly the (not even yet contemplating a career as a) Rev and I were on our own -- with a $1000 rent payment. So we advertised and interviewed for potential roommates. I was leaning towards the young, impressionable boys from VCU -- hopefully with a steady stream of equally impressionable friends.

But then we interviewed M. M stood out during her interview because she brought a peppy friend and tried to stab me with a knife. O.K. it was some sort of sleight of hand trick, but the knife did point at and then touch my stomach. Anywho, with this type of entrance, how could we resist? So M moved in with her owl and all was well on Stuart Ave. Peppy girl became DFF, so there you have the players.

Friday night, M came to town and DFF left the West End and we essentially recreated a night from our first year of acquaintance. Some of the trappings are different -- we buy more expensive beer now, we snack on hummus instead of chips, we wear clothes that don't need to be drycleaned to get the smoky bar smell out. But the essentials? That remains the same. We do the girly stuff like use hairspray and assure each other that we are in fact, quite hot -- no "still" about it. We listen to music, we catch up, and we drink buttery nipples.

Well lubricated, we walked over to the bar -- the same bar we always used to go to -- to see a group we always used to see. It was kind of dead at first but it picked up. Helped in no small part by my commitment to dancing, even when nobody else does. Besides, standing up allowed me to meet Gilligan -- an odd man in a Gilligan hat who touched my back every time he passed me. It was kind of creepy, but he looked a little off, so I let it go.

More beer, more dancing. I was thrilled to not be the one who spotted a long-forgotten FWB -- DFF had that honor. His girlfriend was Stripey. It was funny if you were there. Then we found the possibly only normal and good-looking male in the bar and convinced him to dance with us. This being Richmond, he was a friend of a friend of DFF. Richmond is 2 degrees of separation, in case you didn't know.

Lights came up, nobody was ready to stop, so we hot-stepped it over to another bar who firmly refused to serve us. I will attribute this to the late hour as we were clearly a fine looking bunch. Not to be deterred we lurched homeward with the promise of more buttery nipples on our lips. And they were good, although in the morning it appears I had a heavy hand with the schnapps as there is still some Bailey's left. Irksome. There may have been some Morgan and coke. There was definitely some beer.

And just when I was thinking this strange man might warrant a closer look, I slipped. I mixed my party favors. And as M did point out the next morning, "you can't do that, Smitten."

So a short time later, I was on the back porch trying desperately not to coat my Docs with the 3 cherry tomatoes, 5 tostitos, and 4 brownie bites. Thank goodness I don't eat meat, because the bacon-wrapped dates from our first party stop of the night would not have helped anyone in the immediate vicinity of my regurgitation. Thankfully, M lived with me long enough to know that once they dry heaves were done, I could be safely sent to bed. With this on the floor next to me:

When we woke up the next morning, the strange man was gone from the couch, his bedding neatly folded. Well, the bedding and the shower curtain that M had thoughtfully provided as a blanket. Deluxe accommodations, I tell you.

"I totally thought you were going to hook up with him." Sigh. The sad refrain of my life.

I gathered up the empties and carried them out to the recycling bin, where I found a dead bird. I told DFF and she said, "Maybe he ate your puke and it killed him."

Maybe it did.

Everyone was recovered by 2-ish. And I bet we do it again before the year is out. But this time, I'm not mixing my party favors and I'm getting some.

Tell all your single friends, old friends and buttery nipples, don't knock it until you've tried it.

XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

We Are in a Recession, People!

So there was truly no excuse for me to pay $2.81 for a grapefruit.

Yes. A grapefruit. One. It was organic and weighed in at an impressive 1.13 lbs. but still, it seems a bit excessive, doesn't it?

I know better than to buy fruit at Ellwood Thompson. I love the store, but it really is targeted at the wealthy people who live on the other side of the Boulevard.

But it was Sunday morning and I was in desperate need of organic milk for my oatmeal and Cafe Bustelo and I just couldn't face the pre-Super Bowl hordes at Kroger. Plus I wanted to look at the sea buckthorn oil lotion.

There was a nice sample plate of oranges and they were good. And that damn grapefruit was just sitting there firm and redolent of sunny days in a faraway place where surely my knees wouldn't be aching from dancing. Sigh.

I also spent $15.99 on sea buckthorn lotion that appears to stain my face orange. But that's another story.

Tell all your single friends, I ate every darn juicy segment, and the seeds.

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Just Hold My Hand While I Come

Dave Wakeling shook my hand -- shut up -- no I won't -- I'm not even kidding, he really did.

2 Tone came to Richmond and Richmond represented. Oh sure, we were old and gray and some of us will be limping for days because no matter how strenuous the KYA Boot Camp walking lunge is, it does NOT compare to two+ hours of skanking. My Doc Martens kept my feet happy, but the knees are another story.

God Bless the English Beat!

I missed the opening act, because, well, I'm like that. Local musicians, decent enough was the word from one of the many co-workers I ran into at the show.

I arrived just in time to see Bad Manners take the stage. [Time for an observation: Ska bands that have been around for 30 years have generally replaced many if not all of the musicians, leaving the lone original frontman to embody everything that band was. This is clearly because ska is hard on the old bones, as lamented above.] In any case Buster Bloodvessel was in fine shape to lead his young band through their paces. Excellent horn section, tight rhythm, and a good set of about 12 songs. [Observation #2: I can't remember set lists to save my life. Possibly because I'm dancing madly and sweatily and possibly because Dave Wakeling shook my hand and all that went before means nothing. If you like concert reviews with actual reference to songs, go to Forgotten Disc Friday and let March to the Sea lead you onward. He's so good at the concert and record review, he gets free tickets.]

Anyway, Bad Manners ripped through a decent set including My Girl Lollipop, Lip Up Fatty, Special Brew, and Skaville UK. Hell -- I remembered way more songs than I thought I would. Crowd jumped and hollered back when directed, which is pretty damn unusual for a Richmond crowd. Usually they are too hip to acknowledge the opening acts and stand with their back to the stage talking loudly whilst gripping their PBR tall boys. But tonight, everyone seemed to be there to actually enjoy the show. I found a small piece of space and proceeded to sweat off my make-up within 3 songs. GOD I LOVE LIVE MUSIC.

I also had a momentary panic when I looked down and realized my genuine, purchased in 1982 at Commander Salamander, English Beat 2 Tone Girl pin was missing from my jacket. Fortunately, the concert gods parted the bodies and I managed to snatch it back from the sticky floor. The pin went safely in my pocket for the English Beat. Well, I say safely, but I did sustain one stab to the tender upper thigh area as the pin came undone. Price of rock and roll, I say.

So Bad Manners finished and the window of opportunity appeared. A straight shot up to the front stage left. I went. [Observation #3: If you concert with me and it is a band I really want to see, you are on your own for liquids and bathroom. I sweat out all fluids and will drink what you bring me, but damn if I'm giving up my spot for a beer. Just so you know.] So I moved up to the second row.

Second row is actually a bit tricky at Toad's Place. The people who walked right to the front as soon as the door opened are against a metal railing. Behind the metal railing is a 4 foot wide raised wooden step. Second row means you have the constant possibility of your energetic dancing dropping you off the raised wooden level and onto the foot of the people behind you. Sorry, pork pie hat guy! I only got you once. I settled in and waited. About 45 minutes, maybe more.

At 11 p.m. the English Beat took the stage. Dave is a wee little fellow with a lovely smile. The current toaster is Antony First Class. He kept the crowd moving and chanting and I do not doubt that we did lose weight as he swore we would. The sax player was hot, hot, hot and if you see me, I'll show you proof on my phone. [Observation #4: I was not the only one who thought he was hot. A random drunk next to me pulled off her bra and flung it at his feet.]

So off they went, starting with Whine and Grine and moving to Stand Down Margaret. Perfect. They played soooo many songs -- they were on for well over an hour and a half. Mirror in the Bathroom, Hands Off She's Mine, Can't Get Used to Losing You, Tears of a Clown, I Confess, Twist & Crawl, Two Swords, and my favorite, Save It For Later. Although picking a favorite seems ridiculous because there wasn't a bad song in the bunch. I've just always been partial to "Just hold my hand while I a decision on it." We also got some Tenderness which again whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

When it was all over, Dave came off the stage and shook hands with everyone in the front row. I had made it to front row when some people left before the encore. [Observation #5: I will NEVER be the person to leave before the encore. I'm not missing one minute of any encore.]

So there you have it. January concert -- The English Beat w/Bad Manners -- was a massive success. Let's see if February can compare.

Tell all your single friends, I don't know when to stop or when to start!

XO, JamieSmitten