F is for fine, fun, fantastic Friday evening

I had never seen Rebecca Jade sing professionally except last August, when she was singing backup for Sheila E.

When I was staying with my sister Leslie in San Diego in early July, I may have started going a little stir crazy, I think. Keeping track of doctors’ appointments, nurses’ visits, specialists’ phone calls, paperwork for her employer was a tad overwhelming at times.

My sister and/or my niece suggested that I go see the niece go sing with her band, Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact on lucky Friday the 13th. I had never seen her sing professionally except last August, when she was singing backup for Sheila E.

Rebecca and her husband Rico picked me up. We went to a club called the Tin Roof in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Almost immediately, I started talking with this woman, mentioning that I am an uncle of Rebecca Jade; she was quite excited by that. “I always wanted to be a singer!”

One of the waitresses started bringing free ginger ales when she realized that I was part of the RJ entourage. I must admit that I appreciated the reflected glory.

Rebecca thought she and the band would do their set and then we’d leave, but no. The gig was a battle of the bands, sponsored by AARP . “The first-ever AARPROCKS Local Music Showcase! Four local bands will compete in a contest in which the winner receives $5,000! They rock – you pick – one lucky band wins!”

The participating bands:
Rebecca Jade and The Cold Fact
Casey Hensley Band
The Midnight Pine
Within

They all were pretty good. Rebecca and Casey were friendly competitors who gave each other hugs; heck, Casey gave ME a hug. Most of the Cold Fact chatted with me about their new album coming out in October, on VINYL as well as other formats.

Finally, about 20 minutes after the last band played, the winner was announced: Rebecca Jade and The Cold Fact! They even had one of those oversized checks made out to them. It was a great night!

Listen to Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact

Gonna Be Alright

Cuts Like a Winter

For ABC Wednesday

The flights of the infrequent passenger

Children flying in the middle of the night are cranky.

United_planeDuring the second week of July, I flew from Albany, NY to San Diego, CA and back. I had not been on a plane since May 2009, when my daughter and I took round-trip flights to Charlotte, NC, via LaGuardia, NYC to attend my niece Alex’s high school graduation. This time, I went to help out my sister Leslie after her bicycle accident on June 4. This will be a transportation report; I’ll write about the medical situation soon.

Because my understanding the flying landscape is nil, I got to the ALB airport a couple hours early. I paid for a checked bag (why was it $35 out, but $25 back?) because I don’t know how to pack for five or six days with carry-on bags.

I was surprised to discover that I was designated for TSA PreCheck line for the flights in both direction, which is “a U.S. government program that allows travelers deemed low-risk… to pass through an expedited security screening at certain U.S. airports. Qualifying travelers don’t have to remove their belts, shoes or lightweight jackets.”

How that this happen? I didn’t sign up for it, and I’m hardly a frequent flyer. They must have determined I’m no longer a likely terrorist.

It turned out that the plane to Newark was about 75 minutes late. I had some cushion, but I was starting to think I was going to have to run through the next airport. Some guy flying from Newark to Minneapolis was apoplectic, giving the United representative grief continually.

In both legs of the flight out, and my return trip from San Diego, I had a window seat in rows 25 to 35. My shin was right up against the seat in front of me. And the toilet was tinier than I recalled.

Children flying in the middle of the night are cranky, based on one boy deplaning in Chicago wanting his mommy though she was right there, and one girl at O’Hare who couldn’t get her tablet (which was the size of her head) to work, so her mother took it away and the girl wailed so loudly she could be heard four gates away, no exaggeration.

Odd thing about the flight from Chicago to Albany. I was in row 10, on the left aisle, two rows behind first class, and my knees didn’t reach the seat in front of me. Joy, seriously! On the opposite side, some tall guy, definitely over six and a half feet tall, stuck in the middle seat, had an app that told him that there was an aisle seat in row 35 of that plane that was available.

But the flight attendant said he’d have be even less legroom. Do the legroom is less the further back you’re seated?

Then the guy on the right aisle got bumped up to first class, allowing the tall guy to move to the aisle seat. Did the flight attendant facilitate that? Je ne sais pas, but the lucky passenger in first class seemed pleasantly surprised, and tall guy was relieved.

The worst thing about flying east is that it took me three or four days to catch up on my sleep. It’s almost never a problem flying west three time zones, but it’s almost always an issue on the return flight.