Andrea Coller's Blog
Sunday, August 29, 2004
 
so, it's been an extremely crazy and trying and still somehow good week. like to hear it? here it go.

so on monday, i went to PACE for open mic, and got there just as the electrical inspector was leaving. when he left, david broke into a smile and said that all we'd have to do in order to open was to get a fire alarm system, and that shouldn't cost more than a couple hundred bucks. all was well.

until, that is, we found out that the fire alarm system would cost 6,000 dollars. that's about 6,000 dollars more than PACE has right now. so we were back to square one. the nields' show was cancelled. everything sucked yet again.

meanwhile, the stepkids had been rehearsing like mad, not really knowing for sure if we had a gig or not. our first press ever was the daily hampshire gazette, in its wisdom, announcing that our show was "still up in the air." we were frustrated, and tired, but still we had faith that something good would happen, that PACE would have its George Bailey moment. (i had to explain what that meant to david and sonia, cause who knew that jewish people don't really watch christmas movies?:)

the plan, as of thursday, was that we would know that afternoon whether we could use the space at apollo grill for our show, or if it would have to be in the teeny PACE cafe, or somewhere else, or not happening at all. when i checked my messages after work, i had a message from josh, saying that not only did i have a gig, but that it was to be held in the theater at PACE.

i was confused. i still am, a bit. apparently, there is a difference between having "theater" shows and "music" shows. we got our occupancy permit thingie back on thursday, officially. so PACE is on for its fall schedule, within its own space, but without comfortable seating, which we had to rip out. in the next year, the plan is to find an alternate location, and launch a major fundraiser. but for now, the thing i love best is saved, and that is what counts.

so i spent the rest of the week going straight from work to rehearsal, and yesterday, straight from work to the gig. it was at PACE, and we had SUCH fun playing with the 50 Ways, shocking the hardcore folkies with Nasty Iowa, and getting the GFP choir together for Goodnight, Irene. lots of wonderful people came out to see us, and the stepkids each got a WAY rock and roll paycheck, for $17.84. we totally loved it. we most certainly will do it again soon.

in other news, (well, not really news, but things that i filed away in the back of my head to blog about) i had a surreal moment yesterday at the salon, when i had to cut the hair of a little girl who totally reminded me of me at her age. she was going in to fourth grade, and was chubby, and had a little toehead brother that everyone at the salon was fawning over, and taking pictures of, while he was getting his hair cut. when i was that age, people did that with my sister, and it annoyed the crap out of me. i made sure to talk to her about school and activities, and pay lots of attention to her, and tell her her hair was pretty. i remember feeling really good when people would say things like that to me. i just wanted to take her home and comfort her. she wasn't unhappy seeming at all, she was just quiet, and i was in the mood to project my inner child on to this girl. and i thought about every crazy thing i've been through since i was her age, and how it has only made my life better in the long run. and then i felt better, especially last night, making music and foolishness with my friends onstage.

so the existence of PACE continues, which means that the new PACE magazine will come out. this is a good thing for PACE, and a scary thing for me, because i have a COMPLETE tell-all article inside it, that details every little horrible piece of my stem-cell transplant and personal journey through music. it is very confessional, and very very much too much information. i am a little nervous about random people knowing my personal business like that, but hey, it's good press. but something has me thinking i should have just given myself the same interview that i gave nerissa nields- 5 easy, no-pressure questions. ah, well. i wouldn't blog if i wasn't an exhibitionist of some kind, correct?

so the $1 bin at Turn it Up! in noho is INSANE. (the deal is- one for a dollar, five for three dollars, or ten for five dollars, for those unfamiliar) josh and i went there randomly this morning on our walk through downtown, post-cofffee. we ended up taking ten cds home. we got grey eye glances, settie, rosie thomas, ugly kid joe, spin doctors, the life is a highway dude, please hammer don't hurt 'em, and three kick-ass compilations. i ripped what i wanted off of the ones josh wanted to take with him, then sent him on his way. our middle/high school soundtracks were all there, in the dollar bin. that's ok, we're not offended. we have cheap cds now.

 
Sunday, August 22, 2004
 
i know, i know, i know. update your blog!!!! is all i ever hear these days. but since i spent much of last week in hysterical tears, girlie-girl style, i was unable to do so. i was also very very busy, preparing for a wedding and cramming with the stepkids, and keeping up with all of my jobs. it's a hectic life. but here's the good news first:

the redheaded stepkids are sounding FABULOUS, especially for a band formed less than a month ago. y'all simply MUST come out to see us at PACE on saturday night with our SUPERSTAR friends the 50 Ways. it will be a superstar rockshow, most definitely. and as i mentioned earlier, nerissa and katryna nields are doing a kids' show at PACE that afternoon, so it would be a perfect day for all you out-of-towners to come to town, catch what's sure to be a super-cute kids' show with the Nields, do a little shopping and dining in the noho-eho area, and come back to PACE for the stepkids and the 50 ways! our show is only $5 and $3 for members. so it's totally affordable. no excuses.

in other good news, amanda's wedding went off without a hitch, despite me forgetting an entire verse of "gentle arms of eden" (still kicking myself... how can one forget such genius?) and also despite the terrible weather. i remarked several times yesterday that any wedding i've been to that's worth its salt has had totally crap-tastic weather. i think the old wives' take is definitely true. amanda and artie are just one of those great, great couples, who are great without being annoying. the only annoying thing about them is that they are going to nassau on monday and i am not. but congrats to them.

in other good news, i have finished chapter one/ part one (i don't know what i'm really calling them) of my book. i would really really appreciate people's comments on it. so if you'd like to read it, please e-mail me and i will send you a copy. i was going to post it online, but will wait to do that until i retain a formal copyright. of course, josh said he was confused on the first page. and he's annoyingly smart, too. bastard. :) so i'd just like comments. if you have time to read twenty-something pages of an unpublished first novel (unless you count the drivel-ones i wrote in high school), please let me know.

now, to the crappy news...

PACE is in serious trouble. it was forced, last week, to shut down for a few days. it now is re-opened, in abbreviated form. open mic last week, as well as saturday night's show, had to be held in the cafe part of pace. i won't go into attacking the people whose fault it was (david and sonia are NOT to blame, let's just say), but they were forced to rip out all of the seating and risers that took gallons of our blood, sweat, and tears last year, just so they could re-open the cafe. the performance area has to be inspected again this week to determine if pace will be able to re-open that portion of the space. if it is determined that it cannot be handled, financially, PACE will be forced to move. david and sonia are looking to raise ONE MILLION DOLLARS- this isn't bake-sale shit anymore, people- to build an entirely solar-powered theater from the groud up. this is a beautiful dream, and one that i don't believe is unattainable. however, for right now, it sucks completely. at least for the shows that are booked already, including the stepkids' gig, the kind folks at Apollo Grill (good food AND a conscience, yay) would allow PACE to hold performances in the space next door to them. once the inspectors inspect said space on monday, we will know if this is possible. so here's the long and short of it-- PACE is still open, for now, in the cafe on Union St. performances will still be held there, perhaps even in the PACE auditorium. if it is impossible for the auditorium to be used, we will likely be able to hold our performances in the space next to Apollo Grill in the Eastworks building. this will be decided when everything has been inspected and the folks in charge make their decisions.

now i hear you asking... "what can i do to help?" well, the answers come down to things a lot of us don't have a whole lot of, unfortunately: MONEY and TIME. if you have money to donate, however seemingly small, PACE is a 501-C3 non-profit, and you can completely write it off. we will take anything you have to offer. Mailing address and e-mail is available on the website. if you have experience raising money for non-profits, and can donate your time to help PACE out, it would be appreciated greatly. if you have experience writing grants, or time to learn how, you can help. if you want to know more about how you can help, you can call PACE at 413-527-3700. anything is helpful. PACE is a community of people, not just a location on Union St. in Easthampton.

now that i've done my PSA, you know why i spent much of last week on edge, crying like a little baby. i thought that i was going to lose PACE forever. PACE is what saved my life when i was lying in a hospital bed in boston with no immune system. my good hallucinations were all about stepping onstage for my open mic and being surrounded by my friends there. please don't let it disappear. you CAN help. YOU can make a difference.

so there it is. here's your list of assignments:

1)HELP PACE!!

2)READ MY BOOK!

3) COME SEE THE STEPKIDS!!!!

if you complete even one of these assignments, i will blog every single day for a month. really.

 
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
 
so zack has been submitted, and has interviewed for 'queer eye for the straight guy.' i've been waiting for someone i know to be featured on a reality show!! what a weird world we live in... i'm hoping that kyan and i share the same thoughts regarding his hair, cause i think we're hair twins, kyan and i. it must be weird to have people submit you for a makeover show. read what zack has to say about it here.

so in big hairdressingnews, my boss and i are going to graham webb academy in new york city in september. for those of you who don't run in the hair circles, this is kind of like going to vidal sassoon academy. totally advanced education. this is a big, big deal, cause we were on the waiting list there for a long, long time. and it would have been my stupid fault if we hadn't gotten in at all. our tickets originally expired in april, i believe, and i was the one who caused the cancellation of our planned trip in march. (if you don't remember my whole stem cell transplant thing, yes, that's what i spent my march doing.) so i'm totally glad that my boss waited for me to be well. she could have gone herself or taken another stylist, but she chose to go with me, and that's a big honor. i'm such a kiss-ass. but yes, it is very exciting, and now i have to come up with enough money for an nyc hotel room, bus fare, and spending money. goodbye, recording fund. ah, well...

life is all about choices. graham webb academy is an investment- it will help me to increase my business in hairdressing, therefore increasing my personal spending money, thus enlarging the recording fund. so it's not like i'm _really_ draining the fund, right? hair is my number two passion, after music. i'm super-lucky to have two jobs, both at places that i love. the third job is going to be the tricky one.

my only time that i'd be free to take on a third job would be tuesday... so working about 8 hours somewhere mindless on tuesday would be great. i'm thinking starbucks, target, some corporate place where they could handle such a freaky schedule. i have cut the hair of many current and former starbucks employees, and they seem to think that it is a very good place to work. i was cutting the hair of a girl that works at cvs, and she didn't think much of her workplace. so no cvs for me. it's all about the word of the employees. i think target would be fine. if i survived caldor without killing anyone, certainly target once a week would be a piece of cake.

mmmm.... cake. you know, you'd think working in food service would tame the cravings a bit. not when you have me and gallons of ice cream and many tortilla chips. ah, well.

in music news, the stepkids rehearsed again last night. we kick ass, but i am the virgo of the group, and am trying to organize things in my own head. it's hard for three semi-grownups with multiple jobs to make time just to do fun stuff like play music together. but we got some good stuff accomplished last night- rehearsed, got meredith's starbucks fix, and snuck matt into a bar. we also took fun pictures on the famous noho stoop. who needs fancy photographers when you have a red-headed stepbrother with a digital camera? oh, and if i haven't mentioned it before, COME TO OUR PACE GIG!

i'm just chilling here at PACE, and it's raining buckets, and i'm gathering the will to do dishes. a woman came in and decided not to order anything at all because we had no cheddar cheese that was separate, only part of a pre-mixed thing. people are strange... like the woman who came into tthe salon the other day and asked for three layers in her hair. yes, JUST three.... it's all about customer service. i'm listening to a really loud rap/disco thing on the stereo here by a band called the pimps. it's an interesting thing to listen to in a folk club. i like to mix it up like that.

i'm out of semi-constructive things to say. am i hired yet?

 
Monday, August 09, 2004
 
so last week at this time, i was just writing this long and (might i add) very interesting post about life, rock and roll, and short skirts, when *poof* it went up in smoke, somewhere in the dark recesses of the overloaded PACE laptop. so to those of you who complain that the blog is seldom updated (mr. percy, i'm looking in your direction), i say "it was not my fault!" today, thank goodness, josh chose to keep me company at work for a while, and figured out the password/hex thingie attached to the wireless here. so now i am pleased to bring you: what i remember of last week's post, and a few new thoughts. (cause lord knows, i only have a few...)

so the good news is that the Red-Headed Stepkids have their first gig!! we will be co-billing with the 50 Ways at PACE on August 28 at 8 PM! come on down for a great show! if you're not from the area, a SUPERCOOL thing to do would be to catch Nerissa and Katryna Nields' kids' show at PACE at 2 PM, then hang around the Easthampton/Northampton area (shop and such) til it's time for The Stepkids and The 50 Ways! you can make a day out of it, and i swear it will be fun. i'd bet my firstborn on it.

so before i continue on with my thoughts that aren't too important in the grand scheme of things, here are some important links that are onjosh's blog.Here's how to: write to your U.S. representative, contact your Senator, register to VOTE, and e-mail Dubya.

on another political note, John Ashcroft's assistant just sent a letter to PACE on his behalf. you'll have to wait for the new edition on PACE's magazine to read it. i'm such a tease...

on a completely random note, the band and i were sitting downtown last week playing the stoop game (sitting on the steps outside of ben and bill's in downtown noho, checking out chicks and dudes and making smartass comments) and noticing the popularity of those litttle teensy paris-hilton-skirts. you know, the ones with the little ruffles that barely cover anything? in the interest of total honesty with my new bandmates, i had to admit something to them: i OWN one of those skirts. it is short. it is pink. it is ruffly. it barely covers my bum. lord help me if i ever wear it outside of the house. (it still has the tag on it, honest.) but i fear that it is a symptom of a much larger problem: i feel very OLD lately.

in about a month and a half (september 20, if you want to shower me with gifts and candy and sparkly things), i will turn 26. everyone who is older than i am will laugh at me, but i think it's mostly because of all of the crap that i've gone through this year. my body feels old, and my mind missed most of my 20s being sick. so i feel like i'm about 20 or 21, and should be able to wear such a skirt, or flirt with those of the same age. but now i have suddenly turned into mrs. robinson without ever getting to be brenda walsh. (yes, i've beenn watching 90210 reruns lately.) but there's no use complaining about time, i know this, time will pass at its own pace, hardly fast enough at some moments, hardly slow enough at others. sounds kind of like a song.

speaking of songs, i have no idea what songs to play tonight at my open mic (come on out, if you're in the area!), so i guess i'll just wing it, as always. life is like that. just gotta wing it and smile pretty for the audience.

e-mail me
 
 
so last week at this time, i was just writing this long and (might i add) very interesting post about life, rock and roll, and short skirts, when *poof* it went up in smoke, somewhere in the dark recesses of the overloaded PACE laptop. so to those of you who complain that the blog is seldom updated (mr. percy, i'm looking in your direction), i say "it was not my fault!" today, thank goodness, josh chose to keep me company at work for a while, and figured out the password/hex thingie attached to the wireless here. so now i am pleased to bring you: what i remember of last week's post, and a few new thoughts. (cause lord knows, i only have a few...)

so the good news is that the Red-Headed Stepkids have their first gig!! we will be co-billing with the 50 Ways at PACE on August 28 at 8 PM! come on down for a great show! if you're not from the area, a SUPERCOOL thing to do would be to catch Nerissa and Katryna Nields' kids' show at PACE at 2 PM, then hang around the Easthampton/Northampton area (shop and such) til it's time for The Stepkids and The 50 Ways! you can make a day out of it, and i swear it will be fun. i'd bet my firstborn on it.

so before i continue on with my thoughts that aren't too important in the grand scheme of things, here are some important links that are onjosh's blog.Here's how to: write to your U.S. representative, contact your Senator, register to VOTE, and e-mail Dubya.

on another political note, John Ashcroft's assistant just sent a letter to PACE on his behalf. you'll have to wait for the new edition on PACE's magazine to read it. i'm such a tease...

on a completely random note, the band and i were sitting downtown last week playing the stoop game (sitting on the steps outside of ben and bill's in downtown noho, checking out chicks and dudes and making smartass comments) and noticing the popularity of those litttle teensy paris-hilton-skirts. you know, the ones with the little ruffles that barely cover anything? in the interest of total honesty with my new bandmates, i had to admit something to them: i OWN one of those skirts. it is short. it is pink. it is ruffly. it barely covers my bum. lord help me if i ever wear it outside of the house. (it still has the tag on it, honest.) but i fear that it is a symptom of a much larger problem: i feel very OLD lately.

in about a month and a half (september 20, if you want to shower me with gifts and candy and sparkly things), i will turn 26. everyone who is older than i am will laugh at me, but i think it's mostly because of all of the crap that i've gone through this year. my body feels old, and my mind missed most of my 20s being sick. so i feel like i'm about 20 or 21, and should be able to wear such a skirt, or flirt with those of the same age. but now i have suddenly turned into mrs. robinson without ever getting to be brenda walsh. (yes, i've beenn watching 90210 reruns lately.) but there's no use complaining about time, i know this, time will pass at its own pace, hardly fast enough at some moments, hardly slow enough at others. sounds kind of like a song.

speaking of songs, i have no idea what songs to play tonight at my open mic (come on out, if you're in the area!), so i guess i'll just wing it, as always. life is like that. just gotta wing it and smile pretty for the audience.

e-mail me
 
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
 
 
Sunday, August 01, 2004
 
so... why is it that in every competition these days, there must be a ringer? i, myself, have experienced the phenomenon many times, and i just wintenessed it yet again on friday night.

my hilarious comic genius friend, jennifer myszkowski, was in a local contest for the tv show, 'last comic standing' at six flags in picturesque agawam, massachusetts. yes, i said, local. yet the man who ended up winning was from new york city. hmmm... (ok. bells went off in my head. ringer! i hate that.) he was funny, but jennifer won over the crowd, and made it to the last round with him. unfortunately, another terrible phenomenon existed that knocked her out of the winning spot, in the end.

the final round was not decided by the crowd, but by a panel of "celebrity" judges, which included a woman. this spells death for any woman in any competition: a female judge. why, dear lord, why must we women be taught to compete with each other like this, even when we're not directly threatening each other? the female judge said something to jennifer that was like, "yes, the crowd loved you and you have great stage presence, but if you want to do this for a living, you can't talk about being a woman." what a bitch. i appreciate the hard quality that many women in male-dominated professions have to acquire, but come on... we can't tear each other down like that!

even at the level of something as innocent as an open mic, there's general terrible cattiness (and i HATE that word) between women. i remember trying to make friends with other women at the fire and water open mic when i was terribly friendless a few years ago, and NO one said hardly a word to me. why must that be? i vow to always be fair to the other women (not that too many come to my open mic! it's strangely filled with men...) who come to my open mic. i will welcome each woman with open arms. unless she's prettier than me. then i'll just make fun of her until she gets an eating disorder, just like me.

KIDDING< KIDDING< KIDDING!!!!

i know, i'm going to hell..
 
Singer, Songwriter, Author, Stylist, and Poor Man's Carrie Bradshaw Speaks...

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