*misadventures of a new homeowner*

4 05 2011

so this week i bought a house!! lucky you- i have a whole new category of posts that i’ll be able to write, now that i’m a homeowner. i mean, i thought it was super cool that i now i had my own house, my own little fenced-in yard, my own garage, my own SPACE. i didn’t really know (even though it was floating around in the back of my mind) the extent to which i was actually gonna have to be in charge of all all of this… stuff. so here we are, the beginning of an era, jamila the homeowner, clueless, adventurous, and super pumped.

MINE!!!

so since i’m being super stubborn and decided not to have an official “moving day” and to try to move over the course of a month (silly, silly girl that i am), i’ve been able to move a total of two carloads of stuff to my new house over the past two days. it’s barely a drop in the bucket. (don’t worry; i feel that a moving truck will play a huge part in my near future.)

i am lucky to have so much space in my house, but it looks like a big empty hole at the moment. i have yet to bring a piece of furniture over. my dad just LOVED that last night- he brought me a pizza (favorite! pepperoni for me!) and we had to stand up and eat. fine by me, of course, but i suppose i should think of my guests and at least have a camp chair available for “emergencies” such as Pizza Night. workin on it, dad!

i’m really glad my dad came to see the place last night, actually… yeah, he’d seen it before, but this was the first time as MY house. i didn’t know exactly what he was gonna look at, since i didn’t have much moved in yet, but in typical dad fashion, it turned into an educational and valuable visit. it was the first installment, an orientation if you will, of Little Girl Homeowner 101 in which i got to learn such things as, for example, which pipes are for hot and cold water. where the water shut-off valves (is that what they’re called??) are for my outside water spigots as well as for my washer and dryer (did you know you should turn off your washer water every time you go on vacay? avoid floods, people!!). i even discovered something as remote as where the power to the vintage 90’s intercom  is in my basement.

other things i’ve learned so far (mostly through the keen observations of my dad):

  • i will have to figure out my fuse box because the previous owners did not leave a list of which fuse is for which thing. if anyone wants to play with some walkie talkies one day soon, lemme know. oh, and i should also put the fuse box cover back on the fuse box so i don’t shock myself into the next life.
  • there are two parts to an air duct. one gives you AC and heat, the other one sucks air out of the room. my guest bedroom only has the “sucker” kind of vent. future guests, this is your fair warning! (don’t worry, there’s a fan.)
  • where the gas lines go.
  • where i can put new electrical sockets in my basement if i want.
  • how to operate my dehumidifier in the basement.
  • that there are three locks inside the house that are, at the same time, installed backwards and don’t have a key. awesome.
  • i can’t change the lock on my bedroom door (one of these three without a key)… most likely because paint around the knob has sealed it in… for now. sweet.
  • that there is a definite problem with one part of my gutter right outside my basement door  because it was not draining properly. and i got soaking wet when i opened the door in the rainstorm.
  • i can’t unscrew a simple shower head by myself. even with the help of a wrench.
  • the carpet is quite comfy. this is where i went to lay down and feel sorry for myself immediately after realizing i couldn’t change the shower head myself.
  • about the heaviest thing i can move in by myself is my tv. at least that’s taken care of now. and, you’ll be proud- no, i didn’t trip even once.
  • this one is courtesy of my sister’s finger: yes, the hot water dispenser really does dispense really hot water. (the hot water dispenser says “you’re welcome.”)

for two days in, i think i’ve learned a lot. i will be keeping record of all of my misdaventures for your delight and reading pleasure, world. this is gonna be a fun 30 years. 2041 here i come!

peace,
James





cats are weird

31 03 2011

disclaimer: i am not, and never will be, a cat person. belly is an exception.

before i even start, can i just say- mad props to wordpress for making my blog look so effing awesome on an iPad. i heart you, wordpress.

if you know me, you know i’m not a cat person. hate the species in general. but, if you know me, you also know that i am now a 6-month-in cat owner. i took in an unfortunate tiny black-and-white kitten one night in late september. i took her in thinking i would save her from a life on the streets, maybe foster her for a bit then let her move on with her catty little life, right. 6 months later, we’re still here. she’s set up shop, picked out a favorite chair (thanks, ikea!). she’s the proud ower of a large luxury litter box that self-cleans (that’s more for my benefit than hers) and she even has a fancy automatic feeder since i tend to wander off for days at a time. in short, she’s moved in. for the long haul. and while i’m still unsure as to whether cats are my deal, this little one is definitely one of my people.

posing. you know.

her name is isabella, for “real names” sake, but i call her belly. one, because it’s short for her “real name.” two, because i couldn’t really wrap my head around the name izzy (which the fam likes to call her). i like the name belly though. she’s definitely got one. she eats one whole hell of a lot. i’m actually surprised she’s not bigger than she is. (if you care: she’s a whopping 10 pounder.)

i recently learned black-and-white cats that look like belly are called tuxedo kittens. i find this absolutely hilarious. why? because she’s a lot like those tuxedo t-shirts. you know, of the “i want to be formal, but i’m here to party” genre. she tries to be all formal cat-like and all, or appear as such, but she’s really just a silly little thing who’s not quite right in the head.

oh nothing. just hangin out waiting for my fancy feeder to gimme some.

i don’t know much about cats… but this one is weird. i’m used to being around puppies. puppies are always happy to see you… they want to share every moment with you (unless that moment is tearing the meat off a bone, of course), they want to stare into your eyes and make sure you’re giving them every bit of attention you got, they are ready to love you every minute they can possibly stay awake. cats? i don’t think they get this idea. cats are more like, “oh hey” when you walk in the door, and then go back to what they were doing. cats hear ‘NO MA’AM!!” and they look at you and look around all like, “i know she doesn’t think she’s yelling at me… who else is here?” cats think everything you own is their property. cats also think they’re cool because they can jump higher than you can. not cool, cats. cats also make some strange-ass noises. i don’t know what cats usually say, but belly asks questions, she makes statements, and she also talks back. i have no effing idea what she says, but she definitely says something in her effed-up cat language. i also think she’s got a messed up noise-maker in there…. that whole purring thing? she does that pretty much 24/7 and it’s kinda out of tune. on top of the purring, she also makes really weird noises when she lands on whatever she’s jumping too, and it sounds like a broken rattle in a toy.

my approach with the cat thing from the start was to start off treating her like a puppy. i’ve heard if you do that, they might turn into halfway normal socialized creatures. i can’t tell if it quite works all the time, but it seems to be working half the time. half the time she keeps to herself on my ikea chair or the windowsill, and half the time she’s reaching up to pet my face or she’s jumped up on my shoulders to play with my hair or she’s busy trying to head-butt my forehead or even chew on my chin (ew. i know.)… i tolerate this ok because i figure, hey. she’s trying to be like i want her to be, even if she doesn’t quite understand it. even if it’s really effing weird. so… gohead on, belly. just keep being your weirdo self. it’s expected. i think we’re well-suited for each other.

yours,
James





#mylife: packing. thus far

24 03 2011

hey world. james here. again. so sorry i haven’t been keepin up with ya so much lately… winter break and all that… but never fear, spring is here, and i am… somewhere. i’ve actually picked up on all of my Eff&Music posts lately so i’ve been writing a lot about the music in my life, but not much else. and there is much else!

well, i kinda already told you about it, but… i’m buying a house. i guess the important part of this statement is that i have to pack up my life once again and move it from my tiny starter apartment to my new, it’s-way-too-big-for-me house. no worries though- i am sure i will be able to fill it up, if not with furniture and all of my stuff that others are too quick to call “junk,” then definitely with love. i have a little over a month until i move, and, while that seems to be a long time, you must realize i’ll be venturing out of my work life for the first time this year on some travels.

next weekend we’re going to destin for our annual anesthesia conference (read: anesthesia spring break), and after i come home from that, i work pretty much every day until we leave for california to go to… COACHELLA!!! i so cannot wait for this festival. it’s gonna be as awesome as last year, but actually so much better since we know what to expect and have planned it out so much better this year. yes, yes. and after we come home from that adventure… i have about a week (in which i’m working almost every day again!) before it’s time to start the closing/moving process from marietta to brookhaven. joy.

packing is gonna be a bitch. as i said, i have a shit ton of stuff, and not a lot of places for it to go in my apartment. if you think about it, my apartment kind of looks like a really cool thrift store. (i do love a really cool thrift store. so this doesn’t really surprise me. and shouldn’t surprise you. actually, it should worry you. because with the arrival of so much more space in my life, i may frequent really cool thrift stores more often and come home with more really cool thrift store stuff. *sigh*)

i decided to start the packing process by taking some pictures off the wall. that proved to be a mistake of grand proportions. not only did my cat decide my cute pictures were attack-able, but she also tried to eat the nails & thumbtacks they’d been hanging on. (she’s crazy, by the way.) in addition to that madness, i realized that a wall without pictures was unavoidably depressing. so, i stopped after clearing one small part of one small wall and moved on to another project.

i managed to weave my way through my “craft area”( that i haven’t been able to use in months) last night and start putting that stuff into boxes. i figured that would be a good place to start, since it’s unlikely i’ll be sitting down to do any fun projects before may. ha! is it sad to anyone else but me that i can’t bring myself to throw away stuff from college and high school? i mean, mementos, man! i can’t do it. impossible. anyway. it was a nice start… it’s highly unlikely anything else that productive will happen again in the next few weeks, but hey. i made a dent.

i’m gonna make a strong effort to keep you up-to-date on all of this packing madness (and my upcoming travels, of course), if not to entertain you than to just keep track of my madness, which i’m sure to conveniently “forget” during one of the rage blackouts that will show up sooner or later 😉 i know you can’t wait. til next time-

yours.
james.





hello, world!

7 03 2011

man, it’s been a long time! i’ve been here. just not here here. sorry! i’ve been takin care of Eff&Music business on the blog front, and just being crazy busy on the other fronts. i haven’t even been traveling! like, hardly! can’t wait for that to start again. until then, i’ll just catch you up on a few fun things.

concert season is in full swing. i have a new tradition for my shows- i got a pair of grey TOMS shoes for christmas and i’m going to write the name of every band i see this year on them. my Year of Music shoes! so exciting. they already look fabulous and i’ve only seen a handful of shows so far this year. here’s their virginal picture. i’ll have to update throughout the year.

also in music news, we’ve got some great events coming up… you know you can always check my shows page to see what’s on my radar, but at the end of this month we are going to Athens to see my favorite Avetts… then a couple weeks after that we head back to cali for this year’s coachella. you can always keep up with me on Eff&Music: TakeOnlyWhatYouNeed to hear more about that fun festival and the bands that’ll be there. every tuesday, folks.

last but not least, in big awesome news… i’m buying a house!! well, at least i’ve picked out one that i want to buy. that was the biggest part… and now it’s just the waiting game. we shall see what happens, but i should have a new home come may. yay!

happy march, y’all. have a good one and i’ll try to talk atcha more. 🙂

peace,
james





an indulgence, of sorts

16 11 2010

today is the day, loves. today is my favorite day of the year, each time it happens throughout the year. today is DAVE DAY!!! dave matthews and his band of brothers make their way back to the ATL one last time before their year-long hiatus (if you didn’t hear, the band is taking 2011 “off,” if you will, from touring, after 20 consecutive years on the road). i guess they can take a little break 🙂 i just don’t know what i’m gonna do with myself next year. i’ll have to stage dave listening parties under the stars or something. i’ll definitely miss them in my life though… tonight will be my 6th show of theirs this year. last year i was also lucky enough to see them 6 times. tonight will be my 24th show ever. i never thought i would get this far in my dave life. 😉 i’m just full of stats here. tonight we’re also going full circle… he’s playing philips arena, which used to be the omni, which was the place i first saw him play in december 1995. almost fifteen years exactly. *tear* i’m such a sap.

dave, you and me have come a long way. i first came to love you and your music after seeing you live, and then i found a way to love a boy through your music, and then your music helped define my relationships with that boy, with other boys, with best friends, and with fellow music lovers. now, your music sits with me in life like a loyal best friend… i go to a lot of shows and see a lot of popular (and a lot of unheard-of) bands, but i always come home to you. my favorite song (as we all know) is the illustrious #41. i will one day have your firedancer tatooed on my body. i hope one day i actually get to meet you and tell you what a huge part of my life you’ve become. goal in life. fa sho!

it’s sad to me that so many other people in the world love you as much as i do. i guess i have to be willing to share someone who’s become such a big presence in the music world. i am happy for your success and i’m happy you remain so down-to-earth and humble. i love that you’re a humanitarian and a philanthropist. above all else, i love that you’re in love with your music, and that anyone can see that just by watching you perform live.

i can’t wait to spend three hours totally engulfed in your sound tonight. whatever you play will be awesome…but, for your amusement and reading pleasure, here are my top ten requests (which i’m sure you’ll take into consideration):

  • THE BEST OF WHAT’S AROUND. one of my favorites. i love the lyrics and the hey-la-la’s. “turns out not where but who you’re with that really matters.”
  • TYPICAL SITUATION. again with the lyrics. but i love the cresecendo and what the song builds toward. “everybody’s happy, everybody’s free, we’ll keep the big door open, everyone’ll come around.”
  • HALLOWEEN. my favorite “angsty” song of dave’s… for when you really need an EFF YOU song but don’t really want cee-lo…  my favorite line: “tell me, are you really satisfied with f@*$&%^? don’t walk away i’m talking to you!” you tell her, dave. bitch.
  • SPACEMAN. secondary favorite on the new album. i lovedseven” first (and still do) but this is the one i listen to over and over again. “i’m not all bad but i’m a faithful sinner, i might get lost but i’ll be home for dinner.”
  • SAY GOODBYE. i used to hate this song because #41 flowed right into it, and i didn’t understand what was behind the song. now, i get it, i love it, and it makes me happy. 😉 “in your eyes i see what’s on my mind.”
  • RAPUNZEL. awesome song from one of my favorite albums, Before These Crowded Streets. and well… my favorite line here really is not for children’s eyes, so i’ll stick with “blood through my veins for you, you alone have all of me, i give my world to you, to you i will be true.”
  • CRUSH. another lover from BTCS. “so much you have given, love, that i would give you back again and again.”
  • TWO STEP. i don’t think this one needs explaining. this falls in the category of “acoustic crunk” fo’ sho. you can’t NOT dance to this. and, it’s shanayhay’s favorite! “celebrate we will, cause life is short but sweet for certain.”
  • JIMI THING. this one is part of the old school crowd, and also has one of my nicknames in it, and is also just an awesome song. “what i want is what i’ve not got, but what i need is all around me.” ’nuff said.
  • #41. what is there to say about my absolute favorite song? there’s a reason (i grudgingly admit) that so many people love it, even though the lyrics don’t seem to mean much of anything close to the way the song feels… but there’s one line that fits my life perfectly. “i will go in this way, and find my own way out.” and don’t forget leroi’s perfect sax solo. that could be a lyric in itself (jeff coffin does an amazing job in leroi’s absence).

can’t wait til tonight! we’ll be in the pit, pushing our way to the front 🙂 see you there! peace!





.::peace out, austin: ACL wrap-up::.

11 10 2010

so it all came to a close yesterday. the last day of austin city limits wasn’t nearly as exciting as the first two, but there was still some good music to be had. we actually got up the earliest of the three days because we were determined to eat a real breakfast (instead of Sonic this time). we tried to go back to Kerbey Lane Cafe but it was wayyyy crowded so we ended up at some sketch IHOP under a bridge. it was all good. i got pumpkin pancakes (again) and some eggs n stuff.

we got in the gates of ACL by 12:30 and saw a number of cool people, minus my leftover pumpkin pancake from bfast (who said you couldn’t bring food in?! i saw some old people with a banana and a boiled egg while we were watching The Eagles! how’d they sneak that shit in?!)

  • Ted Leo and The Pharmacists we found some shade under an awesome tree and camped out for these guys… we’d heard of them but hadn’t really heard any of their music. they were pretty ok though.
  • Portugal. The Man i actually had heard some of their stuff before, on daytrotter, and i really liked it! they got a thumbs up.
  • Blind Pilot we didn’t actually sit and listen to these guys but we heard a lot of their show waiting for other stuff to start. really nice voice, acoustic type stuff, i liked. gotta check them out.
  • The Morning Benders we found a great spot between the AMD and Honda stages where we could catch this band and the next without moving. they are fun fun. harmony!
  • Yeasayer redemption! we missed their show last weekend (got a little too stuck in fado at oktoberfest to make it to the masquerade). super fun dance party though! love them!
  • Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros hippie love fest! oh how i love them. i wish the people around us had been more into it. he is such a freakin hippie weirdo but i LOVE LOVE LOVE it. wanna be in their *tribe.*
  • The Flaming Lips felt like our duty to see these guys. recognized a few songs and glad i got to see them but they weren’t all that exciting for me. ho-hum. i think i was just mad they didn’t play my “yoshimi battling the pink robots” or whatever that song was called. got to drink some of that good draft beer though! without getting it kicked outta my hand 🙂
  • The National we watched about three songs of theirs since we really wanted to see the band at the next stage over and i got to see The National last week. love them though.
  • Cage the Elephant i was so excited to see them! they are favorites. i love how the guy sings, the little rhythm he’s got. really into it, great live show, sad they only got 45 min to play.
  • The Eagles …..hmmm. well, we knew all the songs. kind of a mellow way to end the weekend though. people were just filing out all over the place from the time they started. i went shopping. bought an awesome tshirt that i just love. it’s gotten lots of comments today. you’ll see.

well, that was that! now we’re headed out. back home and to (hopefully) cleaner air. can’t wait to breathe right again. sheesh.

xoxo
james





.::live from austin, day 2!::.

10 10 2010

hola peeps! how’s it going?

austin officially hates me. just found out at Walgreen’s (where we’ve been making regular twice-a-day stops) that austin is the allergy capital of the country. i never have allergy problems. NEVER. ok, maybe a little bit, just in the past couple years. let’s just say Clairitin D is my besssst friend. but for real? i don’t have allergy probs. here? i’ve been kinda dying. poor S had to go get a breathing treatment in the ER yesterday… and i’ve been trying to figure out how to stop sneezing and how to keep my face from leaking. stupid face. anyway.

ACL’s been going great… we had lots of fun shows today. slept in because we went to bed late, went by Walgreen’s (of course) and were Sonic virgins for a little snack pre-festival (the sonic guy was weird but nice… and he liked my earrings). we parked in the same spot as yesterday and stood in the same stupid line to get in. as for who we saw:

  • Two Door Cinema Club we caught the tail-end of their show. it was pretty great. looking forward to seeing them on tuesday back in the A.
  • Lucero first time i ever caught part of their set! brittany would be proud 🙂
  • Manchester Orchestra these guys are definitely into their music. total screamos, but they’re from the A, so i wanted to finally see their set.
  • Broken Bells supergroup! Danger Mouse and The Shins guy! so glad i got to see them since they were in town during my bday party…
  • Local Natives we left Broken Bells early to see my faves. fun dance party sing-a-long good time! love them love them love them! #iloveitall
  • The XX S & R went to Temper Trap and i went to see my chill BFFs from The XX. they are so great. i love their music. i can’t understand why the others are hating. 😉
  • Monsters of Folk i actually meant to see more of these guys, again, but heard more of LCD Soundsystem (who i’m liking more and more these days) than i meant to. got food during this hour (Salt Lick bbq – you’re welcome, madre) and caught parts of both shows.
  • Deadmau5 favorite!!! love his set. R had never heard him before and he was rockin out! so proud. i wish we got a chance to live-dance-party with JZ more often. what a dork 🙂
  • MIA she was actually there, even though some peeps here said she had cancelled. dumb dumb dumb. she was awesome though- great show.
  • Muse watched the end of their set after MIA. tried to explain vampire/goth rock to R. don’t think he quite got it.

so yeah! day 2 a success. wide awake little night-owl as always. drinkin spaten oktoberfest and watching (500) days of summer for the first time. love this movie!!!! ahhh, i knew i would. very, very me. oh i can’t wait to live my life. anyway- to bed soon enough, then back to festival life. more tomorrow.

xoxo
james