Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Tonight, we brought Smokey on a little field trip - her second. She's also been to our friend Mark's house, where she immediately ate the food left out for his cat, Truman, and nearly destroyed Truman's favorite toy...

She may not be invited back, I'm afraid!

One place she'll always be welcome, however - is PET SMART... Where tonight, Dave and I dropped some dead presidents on doggie snacks (Smokey especially likes the Doggie Cookies...) - Despite overindulging her in biscuit and rawhide, however, Smokey still takes the time to beg Dave for a Pretzel.

Smokey would also like to show off her new collar - Snazzy, eh?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Envelope Please...

This week, I had the privilege of listening to a CEO's retirement lecture. In it, he told the story of his last conversation with his predecessor.

Upon the changing of the guard, the CEO was given three envelopes. The instructions? Open the first envelope when you get stuck the first time. If you get stuck again, open the second. When you get stuck the third time, open the third.

In two months, the new CEO got stuck, and opened the first envelope. It read "Re-strategize..." He did so, and got over the hump. Two years later, the CEO had a problem, and consulted the second envelope. It read "Reorganize." He did so. A few months before his retirement, he found a need for the third envelope. It read "prepare three envelopes..."

Ok. Two weeks ago, my band played at a new venue. We were hired by a man who came to another gig. He sat in the corner alone the entire evening. He watched what we sung, and who heard what we sung. Following the gig, he approached me. "Well, Kelly you passed the test. My name is "Biff," I represent and book bands for the Valley's best barbecue restaurant, "Crabby's Barbecue Pit." I like the way you guys play. You don't talk too much, you play a lot of music, and where I normally only book Rockabilly, I think I'd like to try Bluegrass..."

Where I thought Biff (not his real name, btw.) was a little unusual, I gave him my contact info. He eventually booked us at Crabby's (not the real name of the bar/restaurant).

Here's the thing. Crabby's is fundamentally a biker bar in the middle of nowhere. The food is great, but the place wasn't really conducive to Bluegrass music. So, where we played very well, by our third set, the place was sparsely populated.

It's a funny thing being a bar-band... You get hired on the basis of what kind of following you have. The more people you attract to your gig, the better your chances of getting asked back. THat night at Crabby's, we counted about seventeen people in the bar who came specifically to hear us play. This is about average for us. This is also the number of people who were there (give or take) the night Biff introduced himself to us.

So why then - at the end of the night - knowing who we were, what we played, and how many people came to see us - he told us he was disappointed with our draw was beyond me. That wasn't the end of our critique. Biff then criticized our set list: "Did you see that couple who left when you sang the Prine song? They wouldn't have gone if you chose a faster song." (NOTE: That couple? They were my neighbors, Zig and Peg. Zig works the night shift. He worked Friday night. On Saturdays, he doesn't nap at all. So. By eleven PM, he'd been up for at least 31 hours. Chances are, the Prine song wasn't the reason they left... but who am I to say?)

Ok. Then Biff told us that he put our name in the paper to advertise - but the paper neglected to add "Bluegrass" to the description. Therefore, Biff expressed that we should change the name of our band because people didn't realize what we played. He then proceeded to introduce me for the remainder of the evening as "Bluegrass Kelly."

Freakin' freak.

So, by the end of the evening, Biff basically told us that we had very little chance of playing at Crabby's again. He said we needed to do the things he told us, and it would help if we had merchandise and a CD. After raking me thoroughly over the coals, he made his final offer: "When you come out with a new CD, call me. We'll do your CD Release party..."

Good heavens - WHY WOULD I DO THAT?

I understand that biker bars are perhaps not the best outlet for my band. We occasionally play a venue that's not a good match for us. I'm okay with that. I understand that not everyone likes the music we play. Ninety-Five percent of our venues really like us... So we're on the right track... However, to be critiqued by a guy who books bands for one or two out-of-the-way venues is mildly infuriating.

It's not that I can't take the criticism, but really? He's not my manager, he knew what we did... Because of this, our performance should not have elicited his response... However, I'm a trooper, so I'll just take his critique - ignore some, and take the best - as I open the first envelope: Restrategize.

I will up my marketing efforts. I'll make it a priority to put up a new band website... I'll reorganize my e-mail lists. I'll do some different marketing. When Fran is back with the band full-time (he's gone about half the time in Europe for work), we'll think about some recording.

Then, I'm going to write my own little envelope and hand it to Biff. It'll say "Don't mess with the name of my band."

Some things are sacred.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Nicest Robbery EVER

Dave seldom remembers his dreams (*or so he says*), but the other day, he reported this one to me. Now. Remember - I really believe that dreams tell us things about our psyches... So. I want you to judge for yourselves what kind of guy you think my husband is:

Dave's Dream:
Dave was driving behind a car through an alley. Behind Dave's car were about ten other cars. The lead car veered off the side of the road and crashed. The driver and his wife emerged from the car. The wife was screaming in anger. Dave and the people in the cars behind him immediately got out to help.

The driver, in the meantime, pulled a gun out, and held up the entire entorage (remember - they were trying to help him) for whatever cash they had. DAve said he slyly hid a 100 dollar bill he had with him.

Suddenly, when the gunman stood in front of Dave, he accidentally dropped the gun. Dave heroically retrieved it and now held the gunman and his wife hostage (Lord, I hope you, readers, are imagining a fascinating soundtrack to this post - like one by Danny Elfman) Anyway.

The wife was furious and began furiously screaming at her furiously embarassed husband... Dave felt so badly for the poor henpecked robber that he gave him five bucks, then solicited the rest of the would be robbery victims to kick in... just because he felt so badly for the henpecked husband.

Even in his dreams, Dave is nice... Maybe too nice.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hittin' the Streets

What the heck... The other night, I was enjoying a nightly walk through town with Smokey Von Wheady (It's what we've named Smokey - We figured she neede a last name). It's a funny thing, walking with Smokey - because she's a busy dog. Really busy. She's so intent on sniffing and breathing and hoping the barista in the coffee shop notices her walking by and brings her biscuits that she never really properly takes the time to do her business. I've never seen a dog move while peeing or pooping like Smoke. Not to be indelicate, but she likes to drop poo on the move - which means she can deposit one turd every foot for about three yards.

Anyway - this has nothing to do with the real story I want to tell you - it's just that I'm so obsessed with our new dog that I can't stop talking about her... even if it's gross and completely inappropriate poop talk.

And speaking of inappropriate... As I finished poop scooping, I stood up, deposited the little package appropriately, and continued our walk, just past the Indian Grocery store. A man was getting out of his car... What man you ask?

Three guesses. My mailman? No. My... um... High School Science teacher? nope. It was my gynocologist.


Okay - I have to tell you, that in my life, I've worked with a lot of medical professionals - Dentists, doctors, opthomologists, surgeons, even vets for my pets... But I can't remember ever really running into one in the street (I once saw a my former family doctor in a restaurant - but it was after he retired, so I figured he wouldn't remember me.)

But there we were - Smokey, my OB, and me - standing on the street of the 87th best place to live in America...

I said hello. He seemed fairly sheepish - as if he was seeing me with clothes on for the very first time (It could be true!)... "Hello," said my doctor

"Um... Meet Smokey, my newly adopted dog..." I think I may have bantered something about her former owners... He commented on the fact that I was walking my dog - and how great that was... And then, I just cut the cord.

"Well, I'll let you go. Nice to see you..."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Dog By Any Other Name...

For all those moments where dog ownership is a joy, I have to tell you that some unexpected things have happened... For one, I've e-mailed the photos of Smokey to a couple of my clients... They've all been sending back photos of their dogs - from work - photos that they have on their computers... It's kind of funny, but I think I've joined the "Canine Coalition," and just may be somewhat cooler of a vendor because of it..

The other weird thing happened while visiting someone at their desk at work. I told the story of how we got the dog (read below if you don't know) - and he smiled and sililoquized (if that's not a word - well, you get the drift) -

"Wow. Dogs are great. It's good that you got a dog before you had kids. Know what? If I had gotten this one (points to photo of dog at desk) before I had this one (points to his oldest child), or this one (points to middle child), I'd NEVER have had THIS ONE (points to youngest child). Yeah. Pets are great. They're all you need."

He then sat back and smiled wistfully.

I*am*soooooo*"in"*right*now - thanks to the dog.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Second Hand Smoke

Dave and I have made a monumentous decision in our marriage - We've adopted... A DOG!!! Meet Smokey!
It's a bittersweet adoption. Smoke's original owners had to move to Europe. Since Smokey is 14, she'd survive neither the 6 months of mandatory isolation nor the long flight, so it was either find her another home - or euthanize. This is where Dave and I come in. We both hated the idea of anything so unjust happening to a good dog, so we volunteered to keep her. Here she is in her first photo shoot, at human age 94:
Isn't she cute?
Anyway, she spent her first two hours pacing my house and backyard. She met our neighbors, Zig and Peg (the world's best neighbors ever). She met my parents, and she met Paula, my stepdaughter.

I feel terrible for Smokey's mom and dad. It was a tearful goodbye, but hopefully, Second Hand Smoke will like her new home!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Portrait of My Sister