Showing posts from May, 2011

Speaking Up in Texas.

Jim Sings for Theater Royalty.

Reader, if you're not familiar with theater royalty, then the only way to describe this evening is to imagine that Paul McCartney is being given a big award, and you've been asked to sing "Yesterday" with Paul sitting in the front row next to Steven Spielberg.

That's the position Jim found himself in when he was asked to sing "If I Were A Rich Man" in front of the great lyricist Sheldon Harnick, sitting next to Hal Prince, the great Broadway director and producer. Sheldon was being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Theater Museum on May 16.

I wasn't even sure I was going to make it, since I had barely just passed that kidney stone the day before. Weak as a kitten and still in pain, there was no way I was going to miss it. And when I found out that I would be escorting our friend, Charlotte Rae, who went to school with Sheldon, I knew I had to go.

I have seen Jim sing "Rich Man" many times. But I was startled and delighted whe…

Recording Rescue.

"I don't want to make a demo," said Peter Link, when we started this project. He's the producer and we're doing it in his studio. "I want to make records."

"Rescue" is a very simple song. Part of its beauty is the sonic quality of the voice against the piano. But it's a sound that you can really only achieve live. When I sing, I tune myself to the instrument and sing according to the vibrations I feel coming from the instrument into my body. In fact, that's always how I sing every song live.

The question is how one achieves this kind of room/body vibration in a recording, where the listener is more likely to be listening to it through tiny ear buds or computer speakers -- and where the piano is dampened in the studio in order to keep it from leaking into the vocal mic.

The answer is that you cannot.

And that's the challenge for Peter and me because a piano/vocal recording just sounds like a demo.

Now, maybe that's enough. It…

Ah, Rosemary!

Today, I finally stood up and cooked something for the first time in forever. Through all this stone passing, I had very little appetite, but was also in too much pain to stand and cook. Also, Jim was doting on me, so I didn't need to cook.

He took off for the Barrington Stage a couple of days ago and I just ate leftovers and soup until I could get some strength back. So, today, I felt stronger and decided to make something. I didn't have a recipe, so I just started throwing things together.

I like garlic, so I mashed a few cloves and sliced them thickly. Threw them in some olive oil until they were crackling a little and toasting. Then I put in four chicken breasts, salt, paprika, pepper, lemon and then let them cook.

That's when I remember I had purchased some fresh rosemary. (I'm getting so bold!) So, remembering how they did it on the cooking shows, I tore off some leaves and started sprinkling.

And oh! The smell was so divine!

After I let the breasts brown, almos…

The Emergency Has Passed.

I never saw the stone pass, but Sunday night, I woke in the middle of the night feeling the need for a gigantic pee. Stumbled to the bathroom and was in the middle of a very sweet relief when it suddenly dawned on me that I was not hurting.

Until this night, if I woke up at 3am, it was because the narcotics had worn off and I was in so much pain, I couldn't bear to breathe, much less lie there. It was all I could do to swallow more pills and beg God for mercy.

In fact, the night before, I was starting to panic because I knew I only had enough pills to last about a half more day. The prescription was helpful, but far from adequate. How much longer could this go on? What was it? Five days now in absolute torment?

But to suddenly, out of the fog of sleep, standing there in front of the toilet, remember that I had been in pain in what seemed like an eternity, it dawned on me that I was no longer hurting.

I wanted to dance, fly, crash through walls and celebrate!!

I went back to bed, c…

Then Get Active, they say.

My friends are telling me I should be more active, to jostle the stone loose. That makes sense. Even if it hurts. Maybe I can put the pain into a little box and ignore it.

"I Couldn't Read A Book Or Walk Around."

This lyric from the song Connected is swirling around in my head this morning. I'm trying to take the least amount of pain killer necessary because I don't like these things. But it means I hurt. It also means writing this hurts, so I have to stop.

A Night in the ER.

I spent last night trying to pass a kidney stone, but to no avail. It was painful to the extreme, so Jim took me to the ER this morning and I spent the whole morning in agony until they finally gave me morphine.

Now I'm home with new pain killers. Hopefully, this has passed, but I wanted to let you know what happened.

And thanks to all my Facebook friends who tried to stay up with me last night, helping me keep my mind off the pain. I love you.

Health Update

My blood sugars are still too high.

As I mentioned before, I've been put on insulin now and taken off two oral medications. The instructions were, at the beginning, to start with 10 units and increase the dosage by three units every three days until I get to 120 or below.

Now, I'm at 56 units a day and I'm still not down to 120, so I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, if that's a lot of insulin or what. Last week, I peaked at 235. Lately, I've been hovering at around 170 and yesterday, got it down to 150.

So, it feels like I'm kind of headed in the right direction, but it sure is a long haul getting to 120.

Today is the Pet Rescue Benefit.

I could barely sleep last night.

I kept having this dream that I was introducing "Rescue" in the "Love Makes The World Go Round" benefit for Zani's Furry Friends (which happens later today at Birdland). Only, instead of it being there, we were in some tiny hall and I had to hold the microphone in my hand while playing the piano. Then, a bunch of people started singing with me, but they didn't actually know the song, so they were getting it all wrong and everyone in the room was becoming more and more impatient.

I tossed and turned, waking up and going back to sleep, re-entering the same dream. Finally gave up about 5am and got out of bed.

I am excited, though, to sing this song -- and I see that I'm going to be near the end of the line-up, which is great! A plum spot for a song I love.

Speaking of which -- and maybe this is burying the lede -- but I start work on a new album tomorrow with Tony nominee Peter Link producing, and the first song we're g…