Monday, January 01, 2018

Well, that pretty much wraps it up.


I kinda lost interest in this whole blogging thing.  Reasons include laziness, shifting priorities, and no longer feeling the need to fill the world with more word pollution.  It's not like I'm getting paid to spew more words out onto the internets.  I don't really care anymore to shout just to hear my own voice.

Anyways.  I can't say 2017 was a horrible year.  It was a very very weird year.  Just so weird.  One of my musical heroes died a shocking and terrible death, and it has broken my heart.  Do you know how often there's a song in my head, and it's Chris Cornell's voice?  Months later, I've been able to listen to him and it stings.  I am grateful to have recorded music though.  His musicianship lives on.  I miss him so much.  It hurts deeply to know that there will be nothing more.  It hurts me so horribly that he took his own life.  It will always hurt.  I never met the man, but this will always hurt.

One of my entertainment heroes continued to disappoint me deeply and seriously, if he was my friend I'd be staging an intervention.  The guy who throws hard things at his wife is not the victim, and I know his life has been rough, but he is not the object of pity.  He needs to clean himself up, get healthy, apologize, and stop believing his own hype.

 FINALLY the world started listening to what women have been whispering to each other forever: that we generally are mishandled and abused and mistreated by a lot of men who probably don't even have a clue about how much damage they are inflicting, and worse, do not care.

There is a mentally addled buffoon of a reality TV star ineptly running the country to the south of us. I do not understand how this cruel bullying ass-grabbing racist still has an approval rating of any kind.  I am baffled by what people will believe just simply by being told it's true.

I spent a whole summer with my leg in a cast.  I broke my ankle in three places.  You'd think this would be a horse related injury, but nope.  I friggin stepped crooked on the stairs in my own house and ended up with a metal plate, six screws, and a huge bolt in my ankle.

So I spent a lot of time reading and thinking about my mental health. Sometimes I did these two things at the same time.

My kids have become young adults.  Today we are packing two cars full of boxes in preparation for moving the young lady into a beautiful little apartment with her awesome boyfriend.  I have spent months preparing myself for this.  They just got the place with two weeks to pack, so it's been an accelerated acceptance process for her dad and I.  Is she ready?  Well heck, who is, ever?  Yeah, at 23 I was raising my first baby, as in, HER, but just because my uterus produced a child does not mean I was mature.  It was just what I did.  No regrets here.  But she is as ready as she'll ever be.  The world grows us up, and she won't grow up any faster if she stays living with us.  Meanwhile, the boy has been in his apartment for a year, but still gets his mail here, and there is no pressure to make any permanent decision.  They will still have bedrooms here and can stay over whenever they want or need to.  Best of all, the kids are five blocks away from each other.  We have to drive an hour to get there, but they are close together.

My dog is old, my horses are all teenaged, and I love them all so much, we are all a death-do-us-part situation.  I might start teaching lessons next year if I'm well enough, but I might go more in a therapy direction.  These horses have been such good therapy for me.  I love just being in the barn, even if I am too weak to work like I used to, even when I could only stand on one foot.

Soon it will be just me and my old feller in this house, mixing records and cooking for musicians.  Can you believe that?  If anybody had even suggested five years ago that I'd be cooking meals for people who were making music in my house, I'd laugh.  I am stunned that I like it this way.  I help my man's work go more smoothly, and I go to the barn every day to see my horses and do my chores.  It's okay.  We are still married.

Last year's mantra was FORGIVE YOURSELF and it couldn't have been a better fit for this weird year.

At this point, 2018 appears to be shaping up just as weirdly: We have no water because a pipe burst down the road, and minutes ago my husband was trying to tow a frozen five ton truck with our jetta.  Oddly enough, he managed to budge it two feet and if it weren't for all the snow he'd probably have it out of our driveway.  And there's a huge two truck on the other side of the bridge waiting for the frozen truck to get pulled over the bridge so he can pull it to the shop.  Seriously, our little road warrior fifteen year old Jetta was actually pulling the five ton cube truck.  We are friggin insane.

So I'm off.  We've got two VWs filled with my daughter's stuff, since we couldn't start the frozen truck.  I'm going to go help which will probably involve standing on the snowbank, shaking my head and wondering why in the heck we don't have a tractor, right?

Have a good one, folks.

Saying goodbye to a hero: Chris Cornell 1964-2017

(I don't know why I didn't hit the button on this post.  Maybe I was just too traumatized and couldn't do it.  Anyways.  Here it is.)

I cannot believe I am typing this.  One of my favourite musicians died a week ago and I am still trying to figure out how to grieve.

Mourning a person you never met is strange and painful.

I never met him, he didn't know I existed, but he was seriously part of my life.  How weird is that?  He sang the soundtrack of my adult life.

I was a college student, at the pub with my buddies, when I first heard the glorious menacing roar of drop tuning and weird time signatures, and that indescribable voice.  (That voice came out of a physically beautiful man, and you know I have a weakness for men with long dark hair and pretty eyes.)

I was in the passenger seat when a song on the radio made my unborn baby kick inside me, and my young husband drove with his hand on my belly.  I can still see the orange glow of the car stereo in the dark that night.  I called the baby the little spoon man.  She came out a Soundgarden fan.

I was driving a different car, devastated by the news that Soundgarden was over.  I respected them for calling it quits before they all started hating each other, but I by then I'd decided they were one of my favourite bands and I was pretty damn upset about it.

I was in a stadium with my husband and our two kids to see and hear Audioslave.  Amazed by those four musicians.  The kids were 11 and 9 at the time.  They rocked their little heads off.  At one point Chris Cornell came out with just his acoustic guitar and played Black Hole Sun.  When they played Like A Stone, I am pretty sure the whole audience sang it back to him.  It was beautiful.  And when they played Killing In The Name Of, he put so much fire and guts into it, we felt like the building was vibrating with energy.

I was in bed for a month, sweating out a drug meant to stabilize my mood disorder, soothed by a song about someone else's Black Days.

Then I wept in a stadium for that same song, because I survived and my favourite band was reunited and I was with my family.

My daughter and son have grown up and become adults listening to him. It's been Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, Audioslave, The White Stripes, Rage Against the Machine (when they were old enough to handle the words), and Big Wreck.  Those were always in our CD players as the kids were growing up.  

When his Songbook album came out, I had it in the player in our room for about 6 months.  I never got tired of it.  Voice and guitar.  That was all we needed.  

I loved this man's voice, his words, his guitar playing, his face, his hair, his eyes, his shriek and growl and whisper. I can't fathom that his voice and his words will be silent. There won't be another concert. There won't be any more music. 

I feel like a family friend died.  

Aren't we lucky to be living in a world where recording has been invented?

What really tears the guts out of me is that his death has been ruled a suicide.

I hate to say it, I really do, but I know that feeling, that there is no other option.  I don't know what kept me from executing that final option.  I'd like to say it was the love of my family, and the love of God.  But this man also had a family he loved.  I don't know if he believed in God but I reckon he at least didn't not-believe.  How was I able to finally get away from that cliff and he couldn't?  

From reading so many comments on blogs and instagram, I can see that I am not alone here.  So many others have come forward and shared how Chris Cornell's music was their outlet, or the feeling that they weren't the only ones felt that way, or that a song actually helped them stay alive.  How tragic that he couldn't do the same.  It's just heartbreaking.  Losing him is so hard as it is, and this just makes it unbearable.  

Friday, December 23, 2016

Hey, Christmas is a Thing That is Happening Again this year, just like it does every year!

It's December 23rd today, and I am quite surprised at myself: there's a nicely decorated Christmas tree, and lights on the porch, and decorations in more than one part of the house, AND a few wrapped presents under the tree!!!  This does not happen very often!  

Of course, the tree is the same endearingly pathetic little thing we've had for 25 years, ever since our brother-in-law pulled it out of their closet, complete with tinsel and ornaments still attached!  This tree is imperfect and lopsided and stunted, and hey, aren't we all, in some way??

I can't post pictures.  I think it has something to do with my computer and my gadget phone being little kids in grade 7 who have decided to not ever speak to each other ever again.  So you will have to use your imagination here, ok?

We inherited Granny's ornaments from the 70s.  There was a stretch of time when the tree stayed up all winter after the folks left for Florider, and the sort of stayed there for, oh I don't know, a couple years?  Because none of us are really very attentive to non-essential functions?  So the shiny plastic bobbles (I know, it's baubles but I like the way bobbles looks) faded in the sun in places.  I like them better this way.  They have a kind of oil-slick look. We ran out of Christmas tree real estate, so I just hung them wherever I could.  Like, off the arms of the ceiling lamps.  And dangling from the plant hangers.  I like it like that and am considering just living year round with a strange solar system of shiny objects hanging off the kitchen ceiling lamp. Or, I might just be too lazy in January to take them down.  Either way.  

But seriously, people, I DECORATED FOR CHRISTMAS.

So we won't be having a virtual Christmas blog party this year… I mean, I can only handle so much, y'know?

You might be wondering what's up with me.

Well heck, what's happening in general, seeing as how 2016 has been rather unbelievable in many ways.  Does it seem to anyone else that the world has crossed over into an alternate universe?

I was just thinking the other day… in 2015, Lemmy had a birthday, the next day Christmas, and the next day, croaked.  And then all hell broke loose.  Seriously.  Like Lemmy was holding the world together and we never considered that all this time Motorhead was keeping everything on a somewhat steady pace.  After that, David Bowie, and then Prince, and for the rest of the year we have been holding our breath.  

We have to accept that our musical and entertainment heroes and trail blazers are aging.  You know what happens when we age?  Well, eventually, we die.  All those artists we looked up to, it turns out, are human like the rest of us, and we will all expire.  Deal with it.  

You know what else famous artists do?  They DISAPPOINT US.

I've been known to develop very strong admiration for people I don't actually know.  Usually this isn't negative.  I like being a "fan" even though I suspect the root word is "fanatic".  I like admiring musicians or actors.  I could easily be naive enough to elevate them too much.  But I make myself do reality checks.  Despite that, I care too much.  

Let's just say, we won't mention any names, but say I really like an actor whose name rhymes with DONNY HEP.  (Okay, full disclosure, I'm talking about JOHNNY DEPP.)  Let's imagine that for a couple of decades, I thoroughly enjoyed not just his acting, but his interviews, and duh, photos.  I liked his mind, and I liked his face.  I liked his wife-person too.  All good.

But then, just imagine that lovely wife-person is no longer attached to him. (As in, he and Vanessa Paradis broke up.)  Well that's a drag, I liked them together.  But then there's a new woman in his life.  (As in, Amber Heard.)  Don't know much about her, other than she is very pretty and much younger than him.  

Right around this time, suppose he starts looking kinda sickly and waxy and bloated, and I hate to say it, slightly green-skinned.  (Because he did.  And does.)  Right around here, my alarm bells go off.  If he was my actual friend, or real non-biological half-twin, I'd be figuring out how to pull him aside to a quiet place and ask him how he's doing, really, because it seems like maybe you're drinking too much and not taking care of himself, and also, this young woman might be a very cool good person, but dude, please understand that it doesn't look good, this man in his 50s shacking up with a woman in her late 20s, and are you having a mid-life crisis, do you need help, should I hide your booze/ call a doctor/ call Vanessa?  (Note: pretty sure don't call Vanessa.  She's a confident elegant badass but I suspect she's had enough of this.  Not that I know her life.)

So, theoretically, imagine that whole scenario.  It doesn't really take up much of my life because I do have a life of my own.  And I don't know these people.

But when someone you admire does something really awful, it kinda hurts, in a detached but symbolic kind of way.

When Johnny Depp is accused of abusing his wife, it makes a person think of every abused woman one has known, and it brings up any little abuse one has endured, and it suuuuucks.  

As for this theory that it's not true and she did it for publicity?  First of all, I have to believe her.  False accusations are rare.  Not believing her is dangerous not just for her, but for all women.  Second, Who the hell wants that kind of publicity?  So let's not get involved in that bullshit.  

This leads to one unavoidable conclusion: my favourite actor is abusive.  


Then Brad Pitt, the grocery shopping buddy of my dreams, gets accused of laying a beating on his kid, and we don't know what really happened, but something happened.  That is a stink that does not wash off easily.

Then to top it all off, a pussy-grabbing spoiled brat reality TV blowhard gets to be leader of the free world.  

Can I just say, my birthday-twin, Justin Trudeau, may be getting some heat for not doing enough in the last year, but at least WHEN HE GOES OUT IN PUBLIC HE DOES NOT EMBARRASS US.  

Whew.  Okay enough of that smouldering tire fire.  Let's talk about Meeeeeee.

This year has been alright.  I can say that after two years of messing around with various antidepressants, we have finally found a combination that works.  Just in the last month, I'm feeling more like myself.  I've been told by people close to me that I'm becoming myself again.  What a relief!  Of course, it can never be easy… one problem gets solved by the drug, and a new one comes with it.  I still struggle with fatigue.  Worse, I get head shocks.  Like I'm getting zapped in the head when I move.  It was so bad in October I didn't want to move at all.  So I don't drive these days, and I don't feel comfortable riding either.  

I go out to the farm every day for chores.  I sweep up the open shed, get the manure out to the pile, and fill the hay nets.  The trough gets filled and I clear any hay chaff off the surface.  Every few days I go up to the hay mow and through a few bales down. And I always pet my horses!  I get a nice hello from Parker, who reaches up to blow his warm breath on my face.  I love that little guy!  Copper is wearing her nifty checkerboard winter coat, and Phoenix of course is as magnificent as ever, and darn well knows it.  The boys like to play their little game of Nippy Face.  Copper stomps out of the shed with her ears back, right between them, and breaks them up.  Then they go have Barn Standing Time, when they all line up with their butts to the wall for a snooze.  It's winter, and we are all literally chilling.

The rest of the day, I read, walk the pug, and sometimes do some cleaning!  I lie down a lot.  I push myself physically but I rest often.  

Here's the weird thing: if you'd told me years ago that I'd be basically living in the Shire and running a bed and breakfast for musicians, I'd have LAFFED.  But that's what I do!  I love our isolated little road, surrounded by a river and a few houses.  I love the field across the road.  I love our house!!  Believe it or not, I even love hosting our clients.  I putter around, loading the dishwasher, boiling the kettle.  

Jethro's been busier than ever, which is both awesome and a pain!  Heck, I married a workaholic.  At least we share a home and sleep in the same bed.  

The younguns are not kids anymore, even if the Pug still thinks of them that way!  The girl has found herself a lovely boyfriend and we adore him!  Even though he's a musician!  The two of them go to a lot of concerts, and took a few trips to the beach this year with the family dogs.  She is getting out of a bit of a young-life-crisis, so she's printing photos and booking portrait sessions and entering contests.  Next up, galleries!  The boy is in his second year of college, all set up in a totally groovy apartment in an old renovated factory, with 13 foot ceilings and a growing collection of plants.  He's all smart and stuff.  I don't understand most of what he talks about.  Damn, my kids are so cool.  They pretty much don't live with us full time anymore, but they are home for Christmas holidays and I couldn't be happier!  

So that's it… the world may have seemed pretty crappy this year, but I don't know if that's anything new.  We just hear about it now.  There's no hiding the crap.  Let's think about the good that happened. There's always a lot of good out there.  

Be well, people.  

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Pleasant Holidays, and now go have a great 2017!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Just a reminder that apples ACTUALLY FOR REAL GROW ON TREES!

I'm emerging from my blog-apathy to tell you that this planet is beautiful and amazing.  I mean, as far as humans go, the world is a steaming pile of garbage, generally, and that covers some damage to this wonderful planet as well.

However, an apple tree recently reminded me that sometimes nature is oblivious to some awful things.  In no particular order...

-women being treated poorly by men
-men getting away with it
-people who aren't white being treated badly by white people
-white people getting away with it
-animals being abused
-children being abused
-leadership power being abused
-humans being gullible enough to believe anything they're told - especially when what they're told is mean spirited and cruel and degrading and potentially harmful
-being surrounded by all this crap on TV and movies and newspapers and the internets
-humans consuming shamelessly
-humans generating garbage

Did I cover it all?  If I left something out, please don't add it in the comments.  I just wanted to get that out of the way and then NOT think about it anymore.  That stuff is all over the news, and it's hard to get away from it.  Let's take a break.

Down the road and around the corner, there's a tiny little farm.  The house is old and kinda rickety, but it's obviously cared for, with new siding and a nice side porch.  The yard is clean, the flowers look happy, and there's a vegetable garden.  There are also about five apple trees along the side of the road.

I like to walk my dog that direction.  This street is the next best thing to living in the country, and I often need that.

This time of year, the apple trees are so heavy with fruit that it falls off the branches.  There are apples in the ditch, smelling sweet and rotten and slightly fermented in the sun.  It's been an abnormally hot September.  Cars drive over ripe apples that have rolled onto the road.  Pavement applesauce.

It bothers me to waste food in any case, but I thought at least, I could grab a few that landed on the ground with very little damage, and take them out to the farm to give my horses.  I'm pretty sure that would be ok, right?  Maybe it looks weird in this privileged country, to be scavenging apples off the side of the road, but where's the shame in that, right?  I don't think it's stealing, is it?

Well, happily, I found out that the owners don't mind if someone picks apples.  They're not doing it, somebody might as well.  At the very least, it'll clean up the grass a little, make it easier to mow.

I filled a bag with the small red apples, with a tinge of paleness on one side, and little bumps on the bottom.  I ate a few.  They were just a little bit sour under the sweetness.  My dad ate a few.  They were good.  I gave the horses one each for a couple days and they chewed and slobbered blissfully.

I grabbed a few hard little yellow apples.  The horses loved them.  They are very hard and bitter, so probably what my grandmothers would have called baking apples.  I might not get around to baking them.

One tree has big red apples.  I'd taken a few out of the grass, but one day a beautiful apple fell out of the tree right in front of me.  I stuck that one in my pocket.  Later, when I ate it, I felt like all of nature was singing to me that the world is still good, and the planet isn't done yet, and there is sweetness and perfection in the humblest places!  It was possibly the best apple I've ever eaten.  (No wonder the horses looked ecstatically happy!)  That apple was so good, I hoped God won't chase me out of the garden or something.

I haven't been down that direction for a few days.  I think tomorrow I'll take the Pug down the road, with a bag over my shoulder, and a hoodie with really big pockets.

Friday, July 01, 2016

As of TODAY we've been married for TWENTY FIVE YEARS!

There may be a lot of nastiness out there in the world…

Sometimes people are awful….

You'll feel let down and disappointed…

That's life.

Sickness and health, good and bad.

That's what we have lived through, the big man and I, for all these years.

Tonight we take out younguns out for a nice dinner and then the young lady will take our 25th anniversary portraits in the sunset-lit hay field across the road.  I'll be wearing cowboy boots like I did on Canada Day 25 years ago.

When we got married in the park beside the river in Smallburg we didn't have any inkling we'd end up living in Smallburg all this time later.  There was no way to predict the craziness life would serve us. or the incredible blessings.

Hug your loved ones, everybody!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Suitcases, mostly full and hanging out on an empty bed.

Fancy clothes hanging on a hook behind the door, garment bag sprawled over the arm of the couch in the spare room.

Bathroom stuff all over the counter top, medications all over the kitchen counter top.

Boots all shined up.

Tomorrow's clothes set on the chair in the bedroom, ready to slip into at dark o'clock in the morning.

Dog resting his chin on my leg as I type this, looking veeeeeery concerned and slightly annoyed.

I have been either not able to decide what to write about lately, or else just plain not feeling like writing anything.  So I haven't been very active here in blog world.  But as of tomorrow morning Jethro and I are heading off to Calgary.  Our lovely young adult daughter will be holding down the fort for us -- well, Dobby is the official guard dog around here, but he'll show her what to do.  They'll be fine.

My official attitude this spring is, I HAVE NO CRAPS LEFT TO GIVE.  Therefore I do not give a crap.  So my horses are crusty and dirty and shedding hair constantly?  I don't care.  Barnyard is a soggy manure bog?  There's enough s**t there that I do not have to give any.  Packing for five days in a different province?  I don't give a ****  I mean, I care.  But not enough to get all twisted up over it.  I didn't buy any new clothes.  I borrowed a thrift store dress and the rest of the time it'll be leggings, cowboy boots and a baggy top.  I have gained some weight in the last few months (I blame the drugs, of course) and although it's tempting to fuss and fret over that, what-friggen-ever.  So what if my nice clothes don't fit. I have a poncho.  I'll be fine.  Anxiety over travelling and flying?  Well as much as I blame the drugs, sometimes it's nice to have a little orange bottle of pills that your doctor told you to take if you need them.

Calgary, people.  If there's one place in this whole country where you can wear beat up cowboy boots all weekend, it's this one.  I'm bringing my pretty shoes for the Saturday night dinner but otherwise, boots it is.  Jethro is not nominated this year, so the pressure is off and all we have to do is cheer for the artists we worked with in our recording studio last year!

(If you're interested to know, look out for Emilie Claire Barlow's album "Clear Day" in Vocal Jazz; Robi Botos for "Movin' Forward" in Solo Jazz; Mark Kelso and the Jazz Exiles, "Stealing From My Youth" in Group Jazz; and "Refined" by Don Amero in both Aboriginal Album and Adult Contemporary.  Yep, we did a lot of Jazz records last year.)

I'm grateful that I do feel better than I did a year ago, even if I'm not totally well yet.  I can walk a straight line and I'm not shaking and trembling. So I'm a little puffier and fluffier.  What's a little padding compared to that awful feeling.  And I'm pretty sure I'm not gonna puke up anything I eat, even if I feel like it, so hey, it's all good.

 Most of all I get to hang around with my favourite guy.  We have fun together, and I am always proud of him!  This is a celebration of this industry's accomplishments… or basically, "Hey everybody, we're all survived the music business for another year!!!"

 It's a work trip, but yeah, once a year work involves free drinks.

Hey -- want to see?  Go to Instagram and look up "hickchic" of course!

Monday, February 15, 2016

2016 GRAMMY AWARDS it's a national holiday it's worldwide it's music's biggest night...

New! Improved! Now includes photos and bonus captions!!!

Hello and welcome to the Hick Chic Grammy Awards coverage - as it happens! It's the red carpet show right now. I'm watching Demi Lovato's face moving while no words are coming out.  Makes for a pretty mysterious interview.

Here's where I confess that I don't know who half the nominees are.  Who are all these younguns???  I need to get out from under the rock more often and know what's going on out there.  Or not. Get off my lawn.

Most importantly, JOHNNY DEPP IS HERE and he apparently has a band with Alice Cooper. And Joe Perry. HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS EXISTS?????

Hollywood Vampires.  I can believe that.  

See this is why I have to watch the Grammys.  Okay so we've got two minutes to go and the hype man is hyping.  The dog is cuddled up, Jethro's got his drink, and let's have some awkward live TV moments!

Oh it's the Taylor Swift show.  And they cut away to the pre show again.  Geez people.  We're watching an info block about the song she's performing.  Which we can't see.


On the live stream we can choose what camera to watch and right now we're seeing guys with lanyards and headsets.  Now we're seeing Taylor and Selena cuddling and Taylor looks like Anna Wintour.  A girl nearby sees herself in the monitor and "Oh my god guys we're on the camera"  and then Selena looks up and then Taylor looks up and smiles.  I'm getting the feeling the live stream is not the actual show????? DAMMIT.  And here we are with no TV.  Hey, remember when we used to watch TV by plugging it in and turning it on?  This is totally anticlimactic and annoying.  All we can see is John Legend and Chrissy Teigen covered in glitter and applauding.  They're not annoying.  But this whole TV computer thing where we refuse to get cable and don't have an antenna is a load of stupid.

Well Jethro seems to have found the right place to watch this thing, and we've got some young buff fella (that would be Sam Hunt) and Carrie Underwood singing, but all we can hear is the house audio, not the broadcast.  Whatever.


Carrie appears to be wearing a figure skating workout dress over her undies?  I don't know.  All that fiddling around with websites and this is what we get.  Is he a lost Hemsworth?  Well that happened.

He looks good in this colour.  But those pants just don't fit.  He probably hates shopping.

Oh gawd there's Arianna Grande.  Is she for real?  Where's the string in her back hahaha.  Ah she's a little doll.

Okay we've got sound!!!!! High quality karaoke.  It's the Weeknd.

He's so cute but I hate his hair.  I wanna drive a dinky car up the back and fling it off the front.  Dukes of Hazzard style.  He can't feel his face but just  for the first verse and chorus, then his face appears to be functioning again, so he will now sing beside a piano and cello.

 Stephen Moccio is playing piano (I think so, I can't hear it) and he is not wearing a scarf but his jacket is sparkly and his hair is magnificent so that's good.

Jethro is playing his favourite game where he shatters my illusions and tells me it's taped.  He does this to me all the time and I can't tell anymore if he's full of it or not.  The cello is mic'd.  Or at least it appears to be.  I know nothing.

We can't hear LL Cool J.  But he looks nice.  Jethro is snarkily face-booking about the sound with his people.  That'll learn 'em.

Apparently Andra Day is a big deal but we can't tell.  The piano track is up but the vocal mic is not happening.  There's some echoing stuff that might be her voice.  She is wearing something very white and fluffy.

Now there's a blonde girl but I don't know who she is -  Ellie Goulding maybe?  Oh there's her voice.  And the other voice!  I don't think they belong on the same stage.  One is singing the heck out of the other one.  Anyways.  Good thing Jethro made a stink about the sound problems because now it's fixed.

Who is Cam?  Why does she need only one name?

Mmm lemon meringue pie!

 Don't you have to be super famous first?  Like Celine, Shania, Mariah, Cher, Madonna, geez even Avril?  Should I know this lady?  Maybe I need to get out more.

Chris Stapleton gets Country album!  Yay!

Jethro? Is that you???

I love Kacey too but I like this dude fella. It's possible I just feel right about big guys with long hair and some whiskers.

It's Lionel Richie time!  How is that guy not aging?  Person of the year!

Everybody SING!

 Now a bunch of people are going to sing his songs.  I love-hate these performances.  Demi Lovato's hair is longer than it was in the pre-show?  Poor girl has to sing "Hello."  The most famous of this guy's songs.  No Pressure.  Lionel is cheering with tears in his eyes.   Good job, Death In A Bottle!!  **

**Years ago, my little friend Cute Stuff (who is now a teenager) told Selina, who was trying out black eyeliner, that she looked like Demi Lovato. But he said it so fast I thought he said, "you look like death in a bottle".  I had no idea what a Lovato was back then.  Since then, Demi Lovato has been known to us as Death In A Bottle.   I do think she's lovely and she's not toxic!!  (She's been through some heavy stuff and come out the other side.  I cheer for her.)

Help me with something.  Why does Meghan Trainor bug me?  She's cute.  She's perky.  She can sing.  She looks awesome in that black dress.  Why do I cringe when I see her?  Why?  Why?  What's wrong with me?
Seriously rocking this dress.  Seriously because it's black.  Serious.  

I keep forgetting that Lionel did Brick House.  HOWSE.  Oh, Lionel is getting up to sing!!!! In a shiny jacket!  All night long!  (Also why is Robin Thicke there???  A camera keeps finding him in the audience.  Why is this happening?)

It's music teacher time!  Yay Music Teacher award!

Little Big Town.  Dude that's an oxymoron ok?

More seriousness.  Because black clothes and orchestral accompaniment means serious.  

Is "Girl Crush" a country version of "I Kissed a Girl", but performed with an orchestra?  She's wearing a lacy skirt over pants. A PANTSDRESS?  Oh hey this song isn't gay, relax people, nothing to get all outraged about after all.  It's about a girl wanting to be like a girl so a boy will like her more.  Well see now that's perfectly acceptable and not offensive at all right?  (That was sarcasm. I'm squicked out by this weird stalker kind of song. I mean, just kiss the girl if that's what you're into.  That's what Kacey Musgraves says.) The whole thing is slightly uncomfortable, especially with the pantsdress.  The other woman in the band is wearing what appears to be just a very long blazer pretending to be a dress.  They should get together on that.  Just wear all the clothes.

Stevie Wonder is wearing camo and sparkles.

Singing with "Pentatonic."  They didn't correct him.  You don't correct Stevie.  He's never wrong.  Pentatonix are a freaking machine.  They don't need pesky instruments.  Then Stevie reads the winner because nobody else can read braille!  Haha!  Accessibility!  You tell 'em Stevie!!!!

Our internet keeps falling apart so we've seen lots of Loreal ads.  Also Ed Sheeran's parents are lovely.  And he's cute and he's chuffed because Stevie Wonder just handed him an award.

Now we have to do an Eagles tribute.  See, I actually, um, okay, full honest confession here.  I don't like the Eagles.  Rest in peace Glenn Frey, even if I don't love your band.  Although something about Joe Walsh makes me chuckle.  Just look at him. You'd think I'd like the Eagles. Harmonies, slightly country sounding well written songs.  You'd think I'd like them.  Sorry.  I really am.  I just don't.  Sorry.    I don't understand it myself.  Oh I KNOW -- It's the total lack of joy.  That's it.  It's all perfect and mechanical and joyless and I say this while I tap my foot to Take It Easy and marvel at how miserable they look.

Until this, I didn't know what a Tori Kelly or a James Bay was. They both seem pretty legit.

It will be interesting to see more of them.  Especially since our internet keeps freezing.  Right now I can see her eyelashes and ear monitors.  sigh.

Oh I'm finally going to experience some "Hamilton."  IF our computer keeps up.

WOW.  That's damn cool!  History as told by some very cool poetry in the form of rapping, with all the costumes and choreography, and a multicultural cast?  I see why people are losing their minds over this!

Okay so let's see how this Kendrick Lamar fella goes.

Wooooow.  That was one of the most intense heavy amazing performances ever.  I am not sure what I just experienced, but wow that was A THING.  So much going on: the choreography, the lighting, I think that was some heavy jazz in the background, and fire, backlight, the whole set.   I think this performance gets into things I don't understand in general.  It is just stunning.

Seth MacFarlane shows up and I'm already laughing.  Jerk.

I believe this was snapped backstage. Doesn't this face make you want to snicker?

That's always my reaction to him: hahahajerk!

Hamilton wins for musical theatre and his speech is a perfectly flowing rap.  Heck!!!!  Should get an award for that speech.

Miguel?  Geez I am out of touch.  I didn't know this guy existed.

Rock performance?  Alabama Shakes.

Very refreshingly non-rock-star looking rock stars. 

Again, not real familiar with, but this lady fronting the band is pretty fantastic.  Brittany Howard doesn't look like a rock star!  She looks like that totally cool lady down the street in your small town, who lives with a bunch of cats, wears glittery caftans every day, makes jewellery, and some of the neighbourhood kids say she can time travel and cast love spells.  And bakes good pies.  And makes good music too, who knew!  Also she thanked her engineer.  Yeah!!

Adele!!!  Forget it we all love her.  She actually is the best.

"What is happening to the audio?  Bloody hell.  Show must go on!"

She's perfection but the broadcast mix could be better.  We don't need to hear the click track.  But it's not a click track, it sounds like a steel string guitar?  And it's intermittent?  She's doing this live and it's a hell of a song to tackle.  I can't think of anybody else who'd even attempt it.  And she is GORGEOUS.  I have to admit, I don't think this was her best performance, but Adele at her less-than-best is still better than… most mortals.

The official word: a mic fell into the piano strings.  Jethro says this is why all his mic stand threads are stripped.  He cranks em down so hard to keep the microphones where they belong.  I can't help but think that in Los Angeles of all places there have to be techs who know what the heck they're doing, although I know this is a hell of a huge production, so I want to give them a break, but still, once a year guys, get it together?  Anyways, being the pro she is, Adele didn't freak out and bitch slap anybody.
"$#!% happens," she said, then announced she was going out for a burger.  True story.  

Oh it's the Skrillex Diplo Bieber thing.  Those don't even sound like real words, do they?

Bieber's wearing gold leopard print.  With a backwards baseball cap - you never really do leave Stratford, do ya? The kid is talented, I really really hope he stops dying his hair yellow, shaves off the straggly stuff on his face and writes some good songs.  This performance is nuts.  There are a lot of people playing musical instruments with strings but I am not sure if any of the noises are coming from them.  Wait Skrillex plays an actual instrument????  Is that a bass?  Is he playing it or just looking cool?  I'm confused.  What is real and what is memorex?  Why is Justin's mustache so sad?  Why doesn't Skrillex wear glasses and push buttons anymore?  No it's a guitar and he's holding it like he's Rob Trujillo from Metallica.  (Is that why I assumed it was a bass?)  Why does Biebs have so many tattoos?  Doesn't he know that won't wash off?  I am distressed.  What kind of dance is that?  Is Skrillex a metal head now???  Does Diplo want to be a drummer now?  Are there three drummers? Why isn't Diplo playing that mellotron?  Marimba?????  Has anybody else noticed how much Skrillex looks like Corey Haim?  I should go to bed.  I'm exhausted.

Ah well Sam Smith is all slim and bearded now.  Lookin good, kid, but please don't lose any more weight Sam, don't waste away.

If the singing thing doesn't pan out, grow that beard all pointy and get some Dapper English Villain roles.  

Best new artist?  Meghan Trainor.  Best New Artist.  Well.  She looks very happy about this.  I'm sure her future husband is thrilled.  Her dad is crying happy tears and that's sweet.

Lady Gaga does Bowie.  Prepare for weird and wonderful.

 Animated?  What!  Real time Aladdin Sane makeup animated on her face??  Crazy?  Wow.  Bowie medley.

 I think she's loving this.  I usually hate these kind of things but this is fun.  Robotic keyboard.  Haha.  Nile Rogers is bringing the funk.

This is the most fun she can have with a serious face and she's pulling it off!    It's all pretty silly too.  Way to go Stefanie.  Ya weirdo.  Actually this is getting really silly.

What are we thinking here, Ed Grimley or Jackie Rogers Jr?

This is borderline Martin Short but that appeals to me.

Bonnie Raitt, the only woman my husband would leave me for.  She's like, Yeah i'm gonna put on a black jacket that somebody hung in my closet and curl my hair and we're good to go.

Couldn't find a pic of all three of them onstage, but here's Gary.

Gary Clark Jr and Chris Stapleton.  Playing some BB King.  Yasssssss.  And then Bonnie shows up.  Damn that woman has a sexy strut and she is one hell of a cool slide guitar player.  Sexy badass.  Agh and her voice!!!! The thrill is gone?  Nope.  BB is gone, but the awesomeness lives on.  WE LOVED THIS PERFORMANCE and they even brought Lucille out on stage.  Awwwww. Lucille.

Now we're going to check out some Alabama Shakes.

This cool lady.  She's playing a sea foam green Gibson SG and a wearing a big white cape.  She looks like a librarian from another planet and I love her big hair.

Wait is there a whole band?  I can only be aware of that magnificent lady.  Sorry fellas but your front woman is stealing the show.  I like this a lot but I don't know about Rock Album of the Year.  Maybe cool album of the year but I don't think that's a category.


So we tribute Bowie and BB and now… LEMMY.  And Philthy Animal.  They both died this year and the remaining guys have said there is no more Motorhead.  It's the end of an era.

"Great rock n roll characters," says Dave, referring to Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.   Yeah that's for sure.  Hollywood Vampires!  With Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum even!

Pyro!!!!!! I'm already grinning.  Classic Alice Cooper.  Johnny really wanted to do THIS  FOR A LIVING 30 YEARS AGO.  ACTING IS BORING.  ROCKING IS THE SHIT.  Joe Perry is starting to look like Keef.

Alice is perfectly scary.  Johnny looks less bloated than he has for the last year.  I think playing guitar agrees with him!!!  So happy!!!

 Duff is wearing a Motorhead Tshirt and Johnny looks like right natural.  There appears to be an extra guitar player back there too.  I mean why not.  Alice Cooper doesn't age, he just gets more Alicecooperish.  So much pyro and candles and smoke!!!!!  Old badass dudes!!!  They brought Lemmy's rig out!!! They're playing Ace of Spades!  Awesome!!!!!  Can't type.  Rocking.

Okay I'm biased but I really enjoyed that.  They had Duff and Alice singing because it takes two rockers to rock anything close to Lemmy.  Ah well I see the beautiful old Rickenbacker sitting there with "Hammer" the amp and I darn near get a little misty eyed.  Except that, you don't weep when you're rocking.  Just bang your head and grin.  Lemmy would have wanted it that way.

They cut to Bruno Mars in the audience who was like, Um, oh, this is nice, I guess.  A bunch of middle aged white dudes and lots of flames.  Okay…?

It's Neil time.  President Neil!!!  Tell it like it is, Neil Portnow.  Tell it like it is!!!!  People, just listen to Neil, will ya? He just wants you to appreciate Music and the survival of artists!  Also Common continues to be handsome.
And shouts out the producers ands engineers and behind the scenes people who deserve to make a living doing what they do!!!!  YES!!!!!!  A SONG IS WORTH MORE THAN A PENNY!  Yes Neil, let's grow up in a world where music is a viable living!!!!!!  It's like President Neil is reading my mind!!!!

Joey Alexander, this year's youngest nominee, a prodigy with a huge pile of black hair on his little twelve year old head, plays some Jazz on a Steinway.  Herbie Hancock is digging it.  See ya next year, kid.  Stay cute!  And president Neil wants this young fella to have a future career as a musician.  Make it happen people, value music, do it for Joey!!!!

Man it's past my bedtime.  I don't party like I used to.

The remaining members of Earth Wind and Fire are on stage.  These guys have great voices.  Okay album of the year.  Let's do this.

I should keep my moth shut because I said please not Taylor Swift and she got it.  I don't dislike her!  I don't!  I just wanted another one to win.  Poor girl looks so shocked she might fall over.  SHOCKED, SHOCKED I TELL YOU!!!!  I think she's wearing a pink skirt over pink undies.  But the orange and pink is good.  Thanking Max Martin is a good move.  First woman to win album of the year twice.

I'll tell you, Taylor stands up for herself.  And that's pretty cool.  Selena looks like she will cry with admiration.  Tori Kelly looks skeptical. (That might just be her face though.) She clearly had a speech ready to go just in case the shocking thing happened and she won.  It was a good speech, and very well delivered despite her SHOCK.  I do admire Taylor for telling young women to claim their power.  I don't get her music but she's running her own show and that's good.

Then Beyonce shows up.  BECAUSE SHE CAN.

So, record of the year.  Bruno Mars yells c'mon Beyonce let's do it!   and yep, it's Uptown Funk for the win!  Bruno Mars is magic!!!  He calls it out and makes it happen!  I wonder if Bruno And Mick Ronson can feel their faces.

The Weeknd is probably boing to clean up at the Junos.  Well that's it and I just figured out why we kept seeing Robin Thicke in the audience all evening.  He's doing a thing with Pitbull.  I suddenly am really bored.  Why don't I like Pitbull?  Also I stand by my previous observation that Joe Perry is becoming the American Keef.

Sofia Vergara just showed up. Why?  Because she's sexy.

J Lo must be furious right now.  That's supposed to be her gig!!!   The credits are rolling.  Dobby is dreaming and his tail is wagging.  I guess he's a pit bull fan which makes sense.  Pug, pitbull.  Very close.  Robin Thicke and Joe Perry on the same stage.  I'm confused again.  If Biebs shows up I'll get a headache.  I guess this must be the Robin Thicke Redemption Tour Part 1.  Yeah I'm pretty worn thin by now.  Time to take the pug upstairs   GOODNIGHT!

Aaaaaaand here are some extra pix to prolong the fun.

We didn't see this on account of computer issues but this is Taylor Swift wearing a formal boots-onesie?

"Just popped over for a little song, no not nominated,  didn't do my hair or anything… cheerio!"

Chrissy and John.   He always looks like he just told a silly joke, doesn't he?  Their kid is going to be the cutest!

So I didn't catch this, but I enjoy this picture.  Apparently  Dave got in on the marching band going around the auditorium just as the show started.  Dave LOVES being in on any kind of fun music making!!!

Ahhhh Johnny looks more like himself now!  Amber looks like she's on her way to a business meeting and isn't quite sure why this handsome ruffian has draped his tattooed arm over her.  

Wait - they're back together???  Why so miserable looking, kids?  Where's the pink hair and the giant belt buckle?  Do I gotta fix everything around here?  Geez.  

Gary Clark Jr, looking pretty cool.  

Had to include these fellas.  They won the best folk roots album.  NOOOO they won best metal.  They came all the way from Sweden!  Do we think they wore the masks through the airport, or just had some explaining to do on their way through the metal detector????  No idea who the biker in the background is.  They're speech (pre-show) was great.  "We are Ghost.  We are from Sweden."  Crickets in the audience.  
"OMG I found my pet Sheeran!!!"

Not sure how this happened… Selena, Kendrick Lamar and Taylor.  Kendrick is also not sure how this happened.  He appears to be trying very hard to be a gentleman and not make a big deal that Taylor's undies are showing.

Baby Brother Bieber.  This kid is not having it.  Justin's trying to get him to look at  the camera and the kid is like, get your own red carpet.  This one is MINE. 

Miguel with Brittany Howard.  Smiles!!!

Can we talk about Gaga's dress?  Take away the crazy shoes and orange wig and I'd wear that.  On second thought, let's keep the shoes.  I might like to be at eye level with normal height people, too!

Can we talk about Taylor's dress?  Right here it looks very nice but I'm so unsure about the matching undies up there.  I feel like I shouldn't be looking.  But maybe I'm supposed to look!  I feel so uncomfortable!  But I want to like it because of the colours!  Dangit Swift!  

Tony Bennet should just be handed a giant Grammy.  Right now.  

Tori Kelly looking glamorous.  

James Bay looking like late White Stripes-era Jack White.  

The Weeknd looks like he asked somebody to quick take a picture with Adele and she's just waiting for this whole thing to end because she's got to get on a plane again in three hours.

Best for last:  Ringo Starr and Buzz Aldrin.  I have no idea why they're there.  Did they make a record together???? I suspect they simply bring the party to the party.  Rock on, legendary fellas!