meeting Miles Hunt

Lori, Deb and Miles <3
Lori, Deb and Miles ❤
I must find a higher-res copy of this one!

The Wonder Stuff may be my all-time favorite band.

Most Americans are asking, “The… who, again?” Just in case your memory of late 80s/early 90s alternative music is foggy, I’ll jog it for you: Caught In My Shadow? Don’t Let Me Down, Gently? The Size of a Cow? Radio Ass Kiss? Give Give Give Me More More More?

No?

I’m not surprised. The Wonder Stuff had eight Top Twenty hits in the UK, but they never broke through onto mainstream radio here in the US, with the exception – I do believe – of certain parts of California and New Jersey. (Actually, Greg Glover of 94/7 fm here in Portland loves them as much as I do, so he sneaks them into his morning show on occasion… and he knows I am always giddy when he does.)

But I digress.

Once upon a time in the summer of 1998, I was pregnant and on bed rest (after going into preterm labor at 25 weeks that Fourth of July morning). My OBGYN’s rules were strict: I was to lie on my right side for as many hours a day as possible, sitting up only to eat and standing up only to walk to the bathroom. I was bored and hot and uncomfortable, but I followed directions and stayed put.

Then I found out The Stuffies were coming to town. Now, when I say “The Stuffies,” I mean Wonder Stuff lead singer Miles Hunt and guitarist Malc Treece, and when I say “coming to town,” I mean coming near enough to Portland that one could drive there to see them fairly easily. They were coming, in fact, to the little hamlet of Bingen, Washington (population at the time: 654).

I did what any conscientious-but-music-obsessed pregnant woman would do: I asked my doctor if it would be okay to go. He gave me the thumbs-up on one condition: I was to stay as reclined as possible during the whole thing. I could walk to the car; walk to a chair and put my feet up; walk back to the car; and walk to the house. Period. I agreed – I was so happy that it was possible, I might have agreed to anything.

All went as planned, with one exception: virtually nobody attended the show. Oh, all the Bingen locals were there, laughing and drinking in the bar, but in the back room where the little platform they called a stage was, we fans numbered seven (and four of us – David, my brother, my best friend Deb and I, had come in the same car).

Miles and Malc
Miles and Malc

Rather than being put out by the lack of fans in attendance, Miles and Malc seemed to take it with a grain of salt – and they put on the most fantastic show for us. After playing a few brilliant new songs, they let us call out our favorites, which they gamely attempted to play. After ages of this joy, they capped off the evening by coming right off the stage and sitting down with us for beers. (Not that I got to have a beer, of course!)

And so we were introduced to the sweet and quiet Malc Treece and the kind and gracious and hilarious Miles Hunt, up close and personal. Miles (who was sitting closest to me) had us laughing our heads off with tales of himself, including a fine one where he got Paul Weller (yes, the Modfather himself) to ring his brother, Russ – who didn’t believe it was really him! Perhaps it was the fact that Miles’ own idol Mr. Weller was gracious enough to go out with Russ for a curry that made Miles himself so open and friendly with us. Not a hint of his fabled sneering and snarky persona in sight!

Thus began my crush on Miles Hunt, singer and such a nice guy, to go along with my love for his music. No ill effects resulted on the child in my womb from this little jaunt, either*… though he does have a lifelong love of the Wonder Stuff.

(* In fact, he came almost two weeks late, in the end. But that’s another story.)

99 things – #21 through #25

I found a list of 99 things, and I will be bolding the ones I’ve done and explaining a bit about each. Because I have a tendency to yammer on, I am doing 5 of the 99 at a time. (Again, if anyone reading was involved in any of these, feel free to add facts or correct my memory… and I’ll keep looking for photos.)

#1 through #5 are here.

#6 through #10 are here.

#11 through #15 are here.

#16 through #20 are here.

21. Had a pillow fight – I should probably bold this one. I have swacked quite a few people with pillows in my day, and they have hit me right back. In fact, when I was in 6th grade, my brother and our neighbor Paul were having a pillow fight with couch cushions and I found myself in the line of fire. I was sitting on the couch reading (no surprise) and drinking a glass of milk, which I was holding between my knees. See where this is going? The glass was hit with a home-run swing and shattered, laying my right knee open so deeply that it didn’t hurt or even bleed. (The nerves in my lower leg were never right after that – if you press on the scar, it sends electric shocks down my calf. Creepy.) So why do I not claim to have had a pillow fight? Well, in my mind, a true pillow fight is a large-scale extravaganza, such as the Saturday-night pillow fights in Little Men… perhaps with an exploding pillow and a room full of feathers.

22. Hitchhiked – Even Quinland knows I am guilty of hitchhiking in days of yore, back when either things were safer or we were all more naive. When I studied in Ireland, we hitched into the nearest town from our tiny village on the coast of Donegal (often in the carts of the farmers’ tractors). Doesn’t that sound romantic? But there was a less-romantic time or two. The time we were too cheap to pay for bus fare back to Galway. The time we were drowning in a downpour outside of Munich and hitched a ride to the youth hostel. The time when… That’s probably enough for now. I don’t want any young people getting any ideas.

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill – Not recently! But that’s because I am actually ill so often these days. Prior to my health weirdness, I admit I took a mental health day now and then.

24. Built a snow fort – I have always wanted to do this, but somehow I never have. We should have tried this when we lived on the Chiemsee in Germany, since that’s the only truly snowy place I’ve ever spent much time. To be honest, it seems like just the kind of thing you’d think people would have done there, since we had all kinds of free time and people managed to get up to all kinds of shenanigans, especially after a few hours in the Windjammer Bar.

25. Held a lamb – No, sadly. Hanging out with sheep in Wales was about the most time I’ve ever spent with sheep on any occasion.

Sheep

Score so far: 14 out of 25. I need to pull this up!

am I a blogger?

I was asked this question the other day by someone who wondered why I have not written in so long. I was surprised; of course I am still a blogger! I have a blog!

But after thinking about it long and hard, I realized that there are some things tripping me up on my blog journey:

  • Perfectionism – This is the overarching problem, of course. I always want to do everything just right, and I get hung up when I can’t, which is pretty often! Let’s look at how perfectionism rears its ugly head:
  • Unpublished Drafts – I currently have 27 unpublished blog posts, things I have written about but – for whatever reason – never committed to finishing. This is silly. I need to just get stuff out there and let it go.
  • Photography Issues – When I “remodeled” the blog the last time, I decided I no longer wanted to use “stock” photos from other sources. I wanted to be like all the bloggers I admire and use my own photos. But that wasn’t quite accurate; the truth was, I wanted to use my own high-quality, well-lit, well-edited photos like all the bloggers I admire. To put it kindly, I’m not that good. (Ha! We can take the “that” out of there – I am not good.) I have some choices to make: I can post without photos. I can use my bad photos. I can strive to become a better photographer. I can use stock photos. I need to accept that any of those choices is fine.
  • Unrealistic Expectations – My life gets in the way of my best-laid plans. I have a laundry list of things I wish I could be doing better, and writing blog posts consistently is just one of those things. But there are some cold, hard facts that I have to face: I work full-time; since the first of the year, I have had to take on a retired co-worker’s job on top of my own (with no support and no extra pay) . I have a home and a family that need a lot of attention. I have MS, and sometimes I try to act like I don’t. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since we got cats, which sounds ridiculous but really affects me negatively. I’m not a high-energy, Type A personality who can do all things and do them all efficiently and with style; I’m just a regular girl. plodding through life at my own pace… and then beating myself up for it.

Long story short, I am definitely a blogger. I may not be the blogger I want to be, but I am the blogger I am. Posting here is good for me; it helps me focus on what I want, on what I love, on where I am going. It lets me keep in touch with any of you who are following my story. It gives me a chance to write – which I love – and to think out loud, which is an inherent part of who I am.

Now, let’s hear from you! Are you a blogger? Have you ever thought about blogging? If so, what’s your motivation? If not, what is keeping you? (Any of the same things I’m dealing with, above?)