Saturday, March 31, 2007

off to see the wizard

I worked entirely too late tonight (I'm still at work and its past midnight).

I spent the day interviewing candidates for the director of volunteers job.

Then I had to do my job and get organized enough to take Monday off.
I also had an ass-load (sorry I've used up all of the good words from doing six straight interviews and writing blurbs about 20 bands) of work due for NUVO.

Speaking of NUVO, the big musical family tree article I was working on was published this week. Its really cool --and my name was on the cover. Woo Hoo.

I'm leaving for Nebraska tomorrow...oh, today...Matt (from the nice suit fame) is taking me to the airport, Jerry is picking me up in Kansas City and we're driving to Cliff and Marilyn's farm.

I'd better get home and pack.
If the weather man is right I can't go wrong with rain boots and a slicker.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

it is official (complete with photograph)

Second Helpings names new director of operations

INDIANAPOLIS, March 28, 2007 – Second Helpings, Inc. has announced that it has named Nora Spitznogle to the new position of director of operations. Spitznogle has served as the agency’s director of volunteers since 2005.

In her new position, Spitznogle will oversee all of Second Helpings’ day-to-day operations, including its hunger relief, job training, and food rescue programs.

“We’re delighted that Nora has accepted this new position,” said Gina Brooks, executive director. “She has done a wonderful job with our volunteer program, and her experience in food service management made her a logical choice for director of operations.”

Spitznogle is a graduate of Purdue University. Prior to joining Second Helpings, she worked as manager of CATH, Inc., one of Indianapolis’s most popular coffee shops, with locations in Broad Ripple and the City Market.

Second Helpings Inc. is an Indianapolis-based organization committed to safely rescuing prepared and perishable food, re-preparing it into nutritious meals, and distributing up to 3,000 meals daily to more than 50 social service organizations that serve disadvantaged adults and children. Second Helpings also trains and places adults for full-time positions in the culinary field.

Since 1998, Second Helpings has collected more than eight million pounds of food and provided nearly three million meals to non-profit agencies. More than 250 adults have graduated from its Culinary Job Training program.

Monday, March 26, 2007

saturday night live

I think this was the first full episode of Saturday Night Live I've ever watched.
I've worked almost every Saturday night since I was 16 years-old.
If I was not working, I usually had plans--or I was long asleep by the time the show was on.

Peyton Manning was the host Saturday night.
I managed to quiet most of the late-night bar crowd and turned the televisions up loud enough to watch the show.

My favorite bit was the United Way spoof (click on the title to watch).
Peyton totally played on his squeaky clean image.
The real United Way commericals have always bugged me---and I work for a United Way agency.

Another skit was about a woman who always had to one-up people.
"My brother is also a lawyer"
"I have 60 cousins that live in space."

I felt like that chick the next morning at the Newsstand.
Everyone was talking about the show.
I said "I have a friend who works on SNL"
Everyone looked skeptical.
So I had to add "He also works for Conan... and he used to work for Carson...until Carson moved to LA...he also does the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade...the Rockafeller Center Tree Lighting...the Time's Square Ball Drop...and CBS Morning Show and NFL games.....he used to be the sound guy for They Might Be Giants...."

You could see the poor-Nora-and-her-imaginary-friend look on everyones face.
I headed off to work.

At 7:00 my cell phone rang.
JG CELL showed up on the screen.
Holy Crap--John of SNL fame was calling!

He'd just flown in to Indianapolis, and wanted to hang out before he went to spend a week with his parents.
We went to see Peelander-Z.
A Japanese comic punk band.
(I sure do know how to show a guy a good time.)

He told me some behind the scenes stuff from the show.
Nothing juicy, Peyton was nice and both brothers were on the set all week.
He could not believe all of the local press Peyton's appearance was generating.

I took JG for coffee this morning at the Newsstand.
I just had to prove that he is real.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

justin townes earle and miss usa

I've been working on a short piece about Justin Townes Earle this evening.

He is the son of one of my favorite musicians, Steve Earle and is named for his papa's buddy, songwriter Townes Van Zandt.
I was listening to his new album "Yuma" as I was writing.
I was also watching the basketball games (RIP Butler) but was getting too distracted--of course, it is not hard to distract me from an assigned project, I've been know to spend hours looking at salt and pepper shakers on eBay.

Anyway back to getting sidetracked...instead of turning off the television I flipped the channel and landed on the Miss USA, I mean scholarship pageant.

I was thinking about the irony of listening to the of the son of Steve Earle, who sings of social justice with one ear--
and listening to the five finalists in their interview session with the other.
One spoke of how cold it is in Minnesota (Miss Nevada) and another talking about how people don't deserve second chances (not sure who that was--the white noise started then).

Anyway, since I was writing about a Nashville based musician I decided that Miss Tennessee should win.
And she did.

Maybe I can have a new career as a pageant coach.
Or an oddsmaker in Vegas.

Click on the title to hear a Justin Earle song. I like him, his voice and songs are warmer and gentler than his papa.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

match not com


In my never-ending quest to avoid writing about my favorite gospel bands I browsed

I typed in my zip code and the age range of 38 to 52--seven years either way from mine.

Creepy guy down the street. Check
Creepy guy that used to spend way too much time at the coffeehouse. Check
Creepy guy that comes in the Red Key. Oh wait, same guy.
Creepy guy that volunteers at Second Helpings. Check
Creepy guy that I avoid at the gym. Check.
Creepy guy that I see at the library. Check.

Some of the names are creepy too-- "smoothlove" or "xxx" or "single4now" or "velvettouch"

And guys, it is okay to use spellcheck.

I'm sure there are several nice men on there--I'm just not ready to wade through them.

Being single is not so bad.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

the peggy sues

I saw a great band tonight.

The Peggy Sues are an all-women punk rock band.
Four musicians, three chords, two minute songs and one set.
Just the way I like it.

The fun part is that two of the members also write for the Broad Ripple Gazette.
The BRG is a great neighborhood/folksy/newsy/only say nice things about people paper.

I'm having trouble posting the link, so click on the post title.
Go to their link page to get to there MySpace account to hear their music.
Sorry to make to so complicated. I'll fix it if I can later.

nights with alice cooper

I just got home from work (midnight-ish). I did work-work until about 8:00, then worked on my NUVO piece.

I always freak myself out being in that big building alone and walking out to my car in the sketchy neighborhood.
It's not even that that neighborhood is so scary, but it is very industrial--and empty.
There is a day shelter for homeless people across the street and sometimes folks sleep behind my building.
It is misty and foggy tonight and I didn't think to move my car closer to the door.

Anyway...I made it to the car okay...slammed and locked the door and turned the key.
Then got really freaked out.

Alice Cooper was on the radio singing a Neil Young song--and bungling the words.
It's not that Alice Cooper is so scary (although a good argument can be made for his creepiness), but I blush wildly and get an instant stomachache when I hear him.

I have not found the way to express how goofy I was as a child.
I came close the other day when I mentioned that I was too nerdy for the marching band kids to hang out with in high school.
We did not have a record player, watch TV or listen to the radio at home.
AVS said that I grew up "a car and a light bulb" from being Amish.
I was way behind in pop culture.

I was invited to a slumber party in seventh grade.
I'm sure it is because we rode the same bus and her mom made her.

At the party the other girls were looking a records and talking about music.
Janet Ware asked me if I liked Alice Cooper.
I said "Yes, she is my favorite!"
Nail in the nerd coffin.

The rest of the night was long and painful.
Not that the girls were mean, I just had nothing to add to the conversation about boys, music and makeup.

Ironically I now write about music.

I missed out on bubble gum pop, Canadian folk musicians and glam rock.
I also missed out on the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

In college I went from zero to punk-rock.
I have a Joey Ramone poster on my office door (okay--the back of the door).
I had three pairs of Doc Martens, wore ripped fishnets stockings with short skirts and had a biker jacket (actually all of those things can still be found in my closet).
I made a pilgramage to CBGB before it closed.

I've become a bit of a hipster when it comes to music. I was at the first Lollapoolaza, saw Nirvana play in an abandoned warehouse in Philadelphia, Willie Nelson in an old theatre, been to countless Red Hot Chili Peppers shows, saw Prince play at a local bar after his big stadium show and Yo La Tengo cover a song of the college band I was in.
Countless angst-ridden singer/songwriters have crashed on my sofa.
I try to keep up on the new music--emo, goth and scarf rock.
I don't like all of it, but I appreciate that people are making it.

And Alice Cooper still makes me fell like I'm thirteen years old--and not in a good way.

At least I know now that it is just plain wrong that he's singing a Neil Young tune.
And Mr.'s "old man take a look at my life" not "take a look at my wife."
Even I know that.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

march madness

Hello Lovelies,
I'm enjoying the heck out of the basketball games.
I was really hoping that Purdue could pull off a win this afternoon.
I'm throwing my eggs in Butler's basket.
Butler is just a mile from my house, my youngest sister Ann is a graduate and I took a creative writing class there last year (don't hold that against them).

I've been doing some panic writing today.
I'm writing a piece for NUVO's nightlife guide.
When I read the assignment I thought I was to write about the Top 10 Folk bands and the best venue to see them.

I happily said yes, and forgot about it for three weeks.
It is due tomorrow, so I looked at the e-mail from the music editor this morning to check the word count.
I freaked out when I read that I'm also to write about Christian/Gosepel Music and World Music--and come up with favorite venues and Top 10 band list. With a 40 word blurb for each band.
30 bands x 40 words = HEAD EXPLOSION.

Ekkk! I blame the fact that I had a fever when I accepted the assignment.
I've spent the day researching bands online.

Did I mention that my internet access at home is not working?

I worked feverishly (pretty ironic) at the Newsstand until Matt (of the nice suit) kicked me out--three hours after he officially closed for the day.
A Sunday six-pack will only keep someone interested for so long.

I'm now sitting at the Hostel down the street using their wireless.

I'm going home to sleep for a bit.
I'm shooting for getting to work at 5:00 and finishing up the article.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

poor papa

Today was a great work day--even though it wound up being 16 hours long. And I left my window open and it rained an inch in one hour in to my truck. And my basement flooded. Really, it was a terrific day.

I just wrote and deleted 500 words about how great it was.

I'll pare it down to this:
My sister, dad, best friend and her mom volunteered today.
The students created a mock restaurant and we served 75 guests.
The volunteers prepared and delivered 2900 meals in a four-hour shift.
We rescued 15,000 pounds of food from the Sysco Food Show.

My favorite part of the day?
When I told my dad I was going on a weekend trip with Jerry to Nebraska to visit Cliff, that I met through a blog.

I think Dad made the sign of the cross and started a novena.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

dishwashing disaster

Remember that new Ikea dish rack?
Ikea is known for their sleek stylish Swedish design.
The rack is metal, has a wire rack and draining board.

This evening I was washing my favorite drinking glass as Felix ate dinner.
The glass flew off the rack (it has no sides), hit the cats head, and broke the dish he was eating from.

I think the cat is okay, not that he will let me get close enough to see.
The glass and plate did not fare so well.

It was a 1977 Ronald McDonald glass.
And I bought it myself at the McDonald's in Lebanon.
In 1977 I was 16 and my friend Kathy Miller and I were two of the folks "cruising" through town.
The McDonald's parking lot was the hub.

I've managed to keep that glass for 30 years--college, cross country moves and too many drinks to count.

The plate had the Masonic emblem on it. I'm not quite sure what the Mason's do, but the plate was left in the cabinet when I moved in to my New Jersey apartment in 1989.

Lessons learned:
No good comes from doing housework, ever.
Trendy and sleek has no place with your mismatched dishes. Those ugly rubber racks are the answer.
The Apollo 11 glasses are going no where near that rack.

I'm going to see if I can replace the glass on eBay.
And call Kathy Miller--I wonder if we still know all of the words to the Bob Seger songs we used to blare through the car radio.

Monday, March 12, 2007

ahh, algebra!

(daylight savings time + after dinner coffee) x (all-day conference + big lunch) = head bobbing afternoon.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

friday night fish fry

I had a very busy week. I had a meeting to attend or a concert to review every night.
I decided the Friday night should be something calm and fun--no name tag or credentials required.
I drove to the farm to meet Dad and go the the St. Joesph's Knights of Columbus Fish Fry. They do this every Friday during Lent.
I got the bright idea to call Jerry to see if he could join us.

All of the stars aligned (he was in town and his parents were settled) and Jerry had dinner with us. It was fun to catch up with neighbors and see the next generation at work.

St. Joe's used to have a grade school. Jerry and I were in the same classroom in 1967. Sister Benedicta kept us all in line.
I was very afraid of her (looking back I was afraid of my own shadow).
Sister Benedicta was my teacher for two years--first and second grade were in the same room back then.

I wished with all of my might that the nuns would leave our school.

The nuns did move away.....and they hired my Mom to teach.

I learned a big lesson--be careful of what you wish for.

Friday, March 09, 2007

when i am queen...

...everyone will use their turn signals.

I'll work on world peace after that.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

crabbiness undone

I slept late today, after shutting off my alarm that was still set for 6:00 am.
I was dreading opening my bedroom door.
Felix, my cat was meowing up a storm on the other side.

When I used up the yogurt, cereal and banana yesterday, I also used the last of the canned cat food.
And I didn't have enough time to pick any more up yesterday.
I had plenty of dry food, so the cat would not starve.

I grew up on a farm, where the animals for the most part did not come in the house.
Checkers, my childhood cat, also had a few other names. I first called her 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang', but the first time I stood on the back step yelling "Chitty Chitty," Mom strongly suggested a name change.
Checkers was an 'elevator kitten.'
I used to ride with Dad on the tractor (JD 4020/no cab/4 miles, for those of you keeping score) to the grain elevator in town.
I loved watching the guys take the grain sample and stood over their shoulders as they determined the moisture content.
We kids picked up ears of corn in the field and I would drag the burlap sacks full of them in to sell.
I was a very shy kid, but felt very comfortable at the elevator.
When the resident cat gave birth I was promised a kitten and could not wait to take her home.
A few months later, after the harvest was done the manager of the elevator ran off--with lots of money owed to farmers.
Dad was soon calling the Checkers 'The $10,000 cat.'
I spent a lot of time that winter protecting Checkers from Dad's boot.

Felix, who is named for one of my cousins, was a stray neighborhood cat.
How he came to me is a whole 'nother blog. I got him fixed and the appropriate shots.
I have an amazing back yard with a dozen mature trees.
Felix is king of the yard and has made friends with several neighbors.
He follows the sunshine and warm spots on porches for naps.
He is pretty independent. He mostly goes to the bathroom outdoors and I have a straw nest for him in the garage.
As you can tell, I'm a pretty tough-love cat mom.
I did not mean to start feeding him canned food, but a sample came in the bag of cat food (the first one is always free!) and I mixed it in with the dry and now Felix will not eat straight dry food.

I was thinking I'd have to run out and by cat food when I remembered I had a few cans hidden away, in the box of emergency stuff.

I was able to spend a leisurely morning and I finished one of the band pieces.

Today was the Broad Ripple Gazette open house. I write a column for the twice-a-month paper (click on the music Web site link to read the column). The paper is very folksy and newsy. It is the perfect fit for me. My column is called "Buzzing Around Town." I'll try post the caricature of me that accompanies the column--it is my head on a bee body. I love writing the column, but then feel all blushy and weird when people say they read it.

The open house was at the local American Legion. I love how all Legions are the same, yet different. I love looking at all of the photos and talking to the veterans. I met a great guy, a WW ll vet who was saved by his helmet. He was in a foxhole and shot on the top of his head. The bullet went through the top of the helmet went down the lining and lodged in his leg.

Local restaurants provided food, the other columnists were there and the Indiana Dulcimer Society performed.
There is no office for the Gazette, so I have not met everyone. We are a motley crew. I'm typically not the most normal person in the room, but in this case...
The woman who writes a 'Backyard Birds' column was there with her dog. She has her column done through October and was suggesting that I work ahead also. I commented that I review music and need to work closer to the deadline. She again suggested that I work ahead, "It is less stressful." I told her that I could certainly be more organized but that I could not write about the music until I saw the show. She told me that I did not understand how easy I would be for me to write ahead.
I guess I don't. I wonder if she knows my mom.
It was fun to meet people who read my column, I tried not to giggle too much.

After the open house, I went to the happiest place on earth--Target.
I've got enough cat food for a month and stocked up on diet Pepsi.
Woo Hoo. Today was a new day.

crabbier jane

I wound up going straight to bed last night, confident that I would wake up in a better mood.
I'm trying to eat breakfast every morning. I'm not a breakfast person, I go months at a time with out eating in the morning. Unless leftover Chinese food counts.
I'm trying to lose weight, and apparently eating breakfast helps.
When you're single you tend to eat the same thing several days in a row.
For the last two weeks I've been having half of a sliced banana and a big dollop yogurt mixed into granola.
Today I used the end of the cereal, the last of the yogurt and the rest of the banana.
I was so excited, nothing ever evens out like that.
It was going to be a good day.

I took my breakfast to the living room and flipped open the computer to work on my column. I've been working on it off and on for a few days, both at work and at home.
I have gotten lazy and instead of transferring the work on one of those handy-dandy mobile drives I've just e-mailed the document to myself.
Last night in my panic to get to the gallery I sent myself the wrong copy. Not the one with 1000 words already written, but the one with just an outline.
So at 7:00 this morning I got sort-of dressed and headed to work.
My intention was to be out of the building by 9:00 when the Saturday volunteer shift arrives. I work two or three Saturdays a month (on top of the usual Monday-Friday) and this was my only Saturday off in March.

It snowed last night and it took me twice as long to get there.
When I got to work Brian was waiting in the parking lot, almost two hours early for his volunteer shift. He had taken the 6:15 bus. Brian is one of our volunteers with a disability. He cannot read, but he can do math with a vengeance.
He is very opinionated and not shy about telling you what he thinks. I have taken him under my wing and typically enjoy being around him (except when he is spouting off about how women and minorities make terrible bosses--and I cleaned that statement up big time). He needs a lot of attention. I just about get him settled with a project when a community service person showed up.
There is really no work to be done until the kitchen manager gets there.
I was creating a project for him when he started talking about how "this crap sucked." I told him that he could not complete his community service hours with us and to leave. He started getting even louder and more aggressive. It was dawning on me that I should not have 'fired' him when it was just Brain and me in the building. Especially since I did not know what he was doing community service for. I finally got him out the door and the regular volunteers and the kitchen staff arrived.
Brian ran around telling everyone about the excitement of the morning.
I did not want Brian to tell the story, especially since it got more dramatic with each telling.
I want the volunteers to think it is a safe place to be and that crap does not need to be re-lived anyway.

By now it is 10:00 and I have not even turned on my computer.
I decided I'd work on the column at my desk. I knew that if I went home I'd be distracted by books and laundry and naps and such.
I started out by reading blogs, checking my e-mail, and generally jacking around on the computer.
Doing anything but write.

We have a staff member that is quick to point out the problems, but never the solutions. She spent a lot of time in my office this morning, sucking the life out of the room. I just got back to writing when she and one of her coworkers started yelling at each other.
I shot out of my office and sent them both home.
Which meant that I had to do their job. Wearing jeans, pink Chuck Taylor tennis shoes and a tee shirt that says "SOBER" across the chest.
By 2:00 I was finished with the kitchen stuff and back at my desk. It took me until 4:00 to finish the piece.
Just enough time for me to go home, change clothes (I kept the SOBER tee on, nice ironic shirt for the bar) and head to my waitressing shift.

I can't remember every being crabbier at work.
I also can't remember the last time I made this much money.

I think Crabby Dad is on to something.

Friday, March 02, 2007

crabby jane

I realized that I've had a scowl on my face most of the day.
And that is not like me.
I'm a glass-half-full, every-day-is-a-new-day-kind-of-chick.

I'm still not feeling well and my sleep is all goofed up.
Wednesday evening I fell asleep on the sofa, laptop on my belly at 7:00 pm.
I woke up to thunder at 3:30, took a shower and tried to finish my article.
Dozed off again and woke up in time to dress in a panic and throw my still wet, sticking out seventeen ways hair in to a bun. Of course a guy called and invited me to dinner after work. I looked like an old woman on her way to a funeral.
Black skirt, black sweater, black boots, black necklace.
I often wear black, but this combo was not good.
I got home from dinner and promptly feel asleep with out setting the alarm.
I woke up this morning with two minutes to get ready. I had to skip the shower and pull my now even-crazier hair back in to a bun. Fridays are casual day, so I wore what I thought was cute...until I got to work.
Stripped long socks, Mary Jane shoes, denim skirt and a thrift store sweater--think Pippi Longstocking's crazy aunt.
Then I worked on budgets all day. Budgets. Uggh.
Around 6:00 I remembered that it is "First Friday" and I host a music series as part of an art gallery opening. I had no time to go home and change.
All of the hipsters were there--and me.
To top it all off, a guy that I really like was there...with a date. I felt like Frumpy Jane.

I stopped at a drug store on the way home. It is in a very "urban" neighborhood. I do appreciate how hard it is to do business in those neighborhoods, so I try to support them. But there are some places that a woman wearing knee-socks driving a pick-up truck with 4-H plates carrying a box of tampons shouldn't be after dark.

I got home and Mom called. We had one of those "who's on first" conversations that make you nuts. I'm buying my house from my landlord, which is very exciting. I've set up the inspection and the appraisal and I'm in the market for a mortgage person. Mom and I were discussing that and she kept taking about a Realtor. She kept going on and on that I should not call a Realtor. I kept saying okay--after she said it the tenth time, I said "you realize that Realtors and mortgage brokers are different things." And she started carping about how I should not call a Realtor. I finally said "I'm not going to list the house, so I can buy it."
She said that I don't understand.
I guess I don't.

I was going to take a photo of my lovely outfit, but realized that my camera is at work.

Some friends just called, trying to get me to join them.
I'm too damn crabby and I have work to do.
Pity the musicians I'm about to review!

[scowl]Tomorrow is a new day, right? [/scowl]