Archive for the humor Category

Sweet soccer

Posted in guitar, humor, rock, soccer on August 8, 2010 by finerstacy

Let’s take care of business first.  Finer will be at the Battle of Birdy’s this Friday August 13, 2010 at 10:40pm sharp.  Come out and vote for us. It’s going to be a great night… http://www.finerband.com

Speaking of great nights…I just got back from N.Y. and got to spend a few days and nights with the family and for anyone who knows me and my Brady bunch sized crew you know I am the youngest of six and have an entourage of nieces and nephews.  Well, my flight got in late on Monday night so my first full day with the younglings consisted of intense soccer and playing with dolls.  My youngest niece reminded me that nothing is better than banging out some notes and beats on my old Casio.   She showed me all the latest dance moves including the yet to be made famous bang the ceramic doll’s feet together.  This rhythmic pattern will have all the pre-kindergarten children feeling instant joy and will be sure to annoy your teacher.    As the summer heat wave continued we headed outside for soccer.  This game was only for the strong.  And by strong I mean me and five of my nephews.   First it was me and the eldest guy ruling the field.  I felt all the glory of a top-tier athlete.  Swerving, jumping, and sprinting.  I got a lot of “Aunt Stacy, don’t’ play so hard!”  “Play at 50 percent.  Now play 40 percent.”  Soon this was deemed way too unfair.  We switched up teammates and the real effort began.    In an official soccer game there are two goals to be defended.  Each goalie stands in front of a net and guards it with his or her life. In my case it was a swing set with full on slide, ladder and rope swings.   I had to deflect the ball and at the same time watch out for a moving playground.  At the other end of the yard was a long fence and hitting the ball against the fence counted as a goal.   Although the playing field was a little bit uneven,  I was ready.  I had my new white Nikes on or as I liked to call them my nephew shoes. I did my best Elvis dance and sang “wearing my nephew shoes” in everyone’s face and subsequently got them stepped on.  I was being given the message…”Age is not on your side Aunt Stacy!”   So we set the teams up, 3 versus 3.  The youngest was on my team, I thought I had a ringer…maybe he was small, but that sweet smile is very deceptive and would be great for sneak attacks.  He had other plans.   He took a seat belly down on the swing and thus gave me one more thing to defend and look out for in the goal.  So much for sneak attacks. This was more like a swing attack.  Maybe he was a mole for the other team.  So it was down to 2.  I got an opportunity to play the field for a moment, scored about 6 goals and was told I was playing to hard from one side and not hard enough by my own teammate.  E tu Brute?   So we took a brief intermission and I gave the self-help lesson of compound Interest.  We reviewed you can improve over time, even if it’s little by little.  Your efforts will compound upon its self and your gains will be great.  They laughed it off, but we went inside and watched some Finer YouTube videos of bass player Uncle Ethan shredding on the bass.  They all knew how great he was.  But next I should them some of me rocking out on the guitar. They thought it was awesome and commented on how my armpits were right in front of the camera.   I explained that it took me time, but I have made great strides and now I am certainly a solid player.   But once this school lesson was over they were ready for more game time.  It’s not easy to keep up with elementary schoolers who are smart, witty and beyond athletic for their age.  But, I hung in there and charged up the field as much as could.  I left my sweeping the leg for another day and another story…remind me to tell you about the time I was playing Capoeira with my cousin in front of his mom and accidentally sent him crashing to the ground. Good times.    Soon we switched positions and I was back defending Central Park, I mean the goal.   They scored on me once, twice, three times.  You get the picture.   My nephew and what I thought was uplifting team gave a nice pep talk.  “Aunt Stacy, you’re letting them win!”  “Aunt Stacy, your skills are getting worse each time.”  “Seriously, are you for real?” So I dug in deep and said Buddy, this game is in your hands, but I need you to follow-up on every ball, watch their moves and attack and make a bee line for the goal, every time.  Now at this point we were down 7 to 20. I thought for sure it was over, but I was going to do my best to encourage him.  8 to 21, 9, to 23.  I was not helping the cause here.   “Aunt Stacy! We’ll never catch up.   But I kept yelling.  “Compound interest! “ “ Keep at it.’’  “You’ll get better each time.”  And then it happened.  10 unanswered goals!  It was 19 to 28!  My nephew was battling back and I had managed to hold off a few goals.  Remember the youngest was still swinging on the swing set and for all those concerned about the safety;   the ball was a rubber ball almost as light as balloon so no harm was done to anyone except to my face.  A few kicks had the ball land straight on my nose.  But you don’t need to look pretty for rock and roll so I’ll be okay.   At this point we were at hour 5 of soccer madness.  With one small break for grandma’s fresh cut watermelon (now that should be a song!), we were all pretty puckered out.  So we decided next goal wins.  The pressure was on.  My other nephews made it clear that I had to cheer for them as well and give them strategies because I loved them all equally and my information should be fair and balanced.  So with some grumbling from my team, I gave the other side some tactics and encouragement.  We had one play left and about one ounce of energy left to make it happen.  It was over before the ball even hit the ground. My teammate and “equally” loved nephew scored the goal.  The echo of a fence vibrating never sounded so sweet.  Victory was ours!  And so was the ice cream that followed!  I politely watched as the guys dug into their sundaes and my niece rocked out with her ceramic doll to the rhythm of the sprinkles being crunched.  It was a perfect day!

Watch my compound interest style guitar playing at the Battle of Birdy’s this Friday.

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The Grandest of Canyons

Posted in humor on July 15, 2010 by finerstacy

The grandest of canyons.  The world cup is over is, hearts were made and broken and now it’s time to gather round the camp fire and listen to a story from Grandma Stacy.   It will cheer the hearts of the losing team and add more joy to the victors.  Now I am not even a mother yet, but I have imagined telling my family this story one day in the distant future so humor me and get your s’mores ready.

Back in high school, during a time of light acne, student council races and homecomings, I got to take a break from it all and backpacked with friends out west.  We traveled from Colorado to California, kissed the sky while rock climbing and bathed in the rivers as we kayaked.  One evening on a night before our big Grand Canyon hike, a few of my friends and I got separated from the group.  Coincidentally we were going to a movie about hiking safety and the value of staying in contact with your trip leader.  So we were not off to a great start.  In a flash we were alone in the woods.  5 teens, 5 flashlights and Bambi.  No sooner then you could say Spidey sense were we surrounded by deer.  It was like the ultimate set up for a horror movie.  Now all we need was Carmen Electra to run by screaming and it would have been the set up for a classic.  The deer were intense.  They did not blink.  A few had horns and the others were equally strong in stature.  My friends and I stood there in our soon to be tarnished sandals and waited and waited.  It seemed like forever.  Were the animals our friends?  Were they telling us to get out of their home?   Were they insulted by our lack of fashion sense and our neon fleece jackets?   I had never felt so frozen but at the same time alive in all my life.  But in an instance they were gone and we were back on the hunt for the others.    I guess our sandals with socks fashion debacle were forgiven.  One friend who always came up with classic lines such as “This was not in the brochure!”, was keeping us rolling on the floor laughing.  It was a statement uttered as we had been on 4 day excursion that included so much rain you could barely see the ground in front of you or the rocks beside you and the pounding water  kept your shoulders slouched and your head strained on the unseen ground.   So much for natural luxury.    This time my buddy whispered in a creepy and perverse voice something to the effect “Hey Bambi what do we got to do to get out of this place?”  He would have done the Joker proud.   I guess he was just keeping with the scary movie theme.    We were still near the Grand Canyon on the cusp of a tourist camper’s heaven but had no way to reach the summit.  No leader, no map, no sense of direction and only a few Quaker oats bars to go around.  Where were the cheese Combos when you needed them?  The next step in our movie was the old abandoned shack.  I kid you not, there was a rundown shack and of course to go along with it was an old man.   That’s when we knew it was our turn to get the heck out of there.  We ran single file.  We ran fast and kept running.  Soon we reached the road.   I could hear the movie score in my head.    First came the patter of little feet on gravel.  Then the music conductor would yell “Cue the timpani drums!”  With each hit of the drum we would be one step closer to our demise.   But our story did not end in disaster, it ended with us running into a hotel in the woods.  A huge lodge, something the Grizzwalds would have stayed in a Vacation movie.  The architecture and decor was straight out of the 1970’s.  Even the yellow lights lighting up the welcome sign had the words time warp written all over it.   The guy at the front desk gave us a map.   We found our campsite and returned to find out no one had even known we were missing.  Seriously, we were already coming up with our obituaries.  “Good looking kids go down with a fight.”    But alas we were back with our friends munching on camp fire snacks and thanking the Grand Canyon gods for showing us a good time.    And for leaving Carmen Electra out of the script so we could be the pretty ones in our own adventure.

Finer we will be at Urban Elments for an acoustic evening in downtown Indianapolis on July 24th and will be rocking it at Birdy’s on July 28th.

http://www.finerband.com has all the info.

Homegrown Macgruber

Posted in basketball, humor, music, Uncategorized on May 25, 2010 by finerstacy

Friday night I went to see MacGruber.  Yes, I was one of the ticket holders contributing to the whopping $1.5 million dollar opening night. I really did enjoy it.  I enjoyed Will Forte singing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as he lead The Roots in a rocking romp version of the theme song with his real life mother looking on in a nice combination of horror and admiration.  I hope I get to see my future kids just going for it.  So as I watched the movie and laughed at prank after homemade prank,  I had a nice combination of horror and admiration myself.  Admiration for our true fallen heroes that we will be celebrating this weekend and horror for my childhood homemade concoctions that left my family in tears.

For instance, around age 5 my folks put brand new pink carpet in my room which lined up with my teenage brother receiving a hobby car kit.   Now I thought, “Why can’t I enjoy being a girly, girl  and make a model car on the pink carpet, without any newspaper underneath?”   Why can’t I leave a 1 foot black mark in  the middle of the carpet that would remain for the next 10 years just to show that I could be a tomboy and pretty?  Well, I could and I did.  It was a very charming gesture of me to do to my parents.

That same year, I felt it necessary to put my newest drawings on the spanking new wall paper with toothpaste.  My artwork was fantastic.  White paper with red marker…very daring and now it had a home.  At least for a moment because nobody told me that toothpaste was not an adhesive.  Oh well, my Mona Lisa would have to stay on the shelf.    I didn’t get in too much trouble for this one as someone, I am not naming names,  but it starts with a” b” and ends with “rother”, took a sharpie and went from the top of the stairs to the bottom by drawing a straight line down the middle of the wall.  It really framed the room and gave our guests  something different to look at.

Now, I am not trying to tell you that I was a deviant child, quite the contrary.  I was helpful and always trying to please, but sometimes made poor choices with my artistic creativity.  So I knew I had to focus my energy elsewhere until I got that sorted out.   So I went the helpful route, like loading the dishes in  my college kitchen with laundry detergent instead of dish detergent.  It was a great incentive to clean the whole room, because the entire floor  filled with bubbles up to my shins.  The kitchen was Arm and Hammer fresh and so were the looks on my roommates faces.

I believe those misguided days are behind me.  I do a great job as band leader making late night tacos after gigs, bringing snacks when the guys are heading to gigs from school with no time for a meal.  But as a newly anointed Hoosier, I still catch that old feeling  once in while like when I unknowingly told a family from Detroit that I believed that Ron Artest got the shaft and way too much blame for that NBA debacle.  I assumed they were from Indy.   But hey at least I was telling the truth and there were no suds on the floor.

Finer will be at Birdy’s this Thursday night  May 27th @ 10pm.  Be there or risk  your glue being switched out for toothpaste.

http://www.finerband.com

Kickball is for school teachers

Posted in humor, kickball, music, Uncategorized on May 1, 2010 by finerstacy

Well, warm weather is creeping her way into our lives here in Indiana and every step is welcome.   A few weeks ago I commented on the Midwest fascination with mowing and how it was a call to mother nature that we love springtime.   But nothing says I love the sun more than a good old fashioned game of kickball.  Now I love all sports.  From MMA to the NBA to a late night game of pool.   I cried when Serena won her first title and still can see John Starks dunking over MJ as if it were yesterday.   I take sport to its most intimate level.   I have been known to make buildings of sugar packets, or cities depending on the crowd at a restaurant.  If  I am with a party of  people over 60 years old than I limit myself to one city block.  If I am dining with children under the age of 6 than I can go the full borough and make sure City Hall has tooth picks columns and straw walkways.  But Kickball trumps all sports.   There are no height requirements.  Speed is of little importance and most people can catch something that is bigger than their heads.  I say most because all of  my kickball experiences have been with elementary school aged kids.  Back when I was 10, I was a pretty decent player.  I could get the ball past the infield and once in while get enough air time that allowed me to get to second base easily.  But during my elementary school TEACHING days, my skills jumped to a whole new level.  It’s one thing to watch your 5th grade students rule the playground.  It’s another to join the 3rd graders team and break the home run record for a single game.  Now I know what your thinking.  How can a new school teacher be so competitive?  Honestly, I was just testing the field at first.   You see I am from N.Y. where the schoolyard is made of grass and your classrooms are in one big indoor building.  The gymnasiums have pale yellow floors with blue and red lines and the bleachers were made of wood.  Los Angeles, were my professional life began is a concrete jungle of education, kickball, monkey bars and tall handball walls.  Your classes are in bungalows and you have to walk outside to get to lunch.  All of this was lovely to me.   To feel the sun every day was just amazing.  It made me think that if I really stuck with it, kickball could  be my future.  Hey it’s the city of angels and if I could just keep my home run streak going I had a chance.  So back to my plan of kickball world domination.  Each kid would get up to kick and have a look of either fear or fortune in their eyes.  You knew you had to take a few steps back when the student with the short torso with legs the height of a stop sign took the plate.  They had all the leverage and none of  the visibility so this ball was going anywhere it pleased.  You also had to watch out for the tiny kids with hearts of  gold  who knew if they kicked it just far enough they could get the tie at first base and steal second while the pitcher adjusts his Velcro sneakers.  But no one was ready for me, their teacher, cheerleader, encourager…short in size yes, and maybe a few held back kicks as the designated hitter made them think I was not a threat  but years of planning a comeback welled up inside of me as I made my way to the plate.  “Miss Sta-cy!  Miss Sta-cy!” roared both teams.  All eyes were on me.   What was I going to do?   Was I going to take it easy on my class or give them a Serena like performance that would keep them weeping for ages?  Well, I think you know the answer.  “Strike one!  Strike two!” called the umpire.  And by umpire I mean the speech teacher.   Was the pitcher kidding me? I could easily make that A plus on his spelling test turn into a C minus.  “Strike thr… oh my goodness!  She got a piece of it!” cried the announcer/school secretary carrying a walking microphone.   And off the ball went past the outfield, past the handball court, and stopped only by the chain linked fence.   Now in the balls defense we were playing on concrete so I got a lot of extra mileage out of the bounces on the ground.  But none the less it was my first home run of the day.  I heard shouts of glee and saw a lot of mouths drop in the in field as I crossed home plate with a enough time to tip my hat to the stadium, I mean school yard.   But after about 10 uncontested home runs and  3 ruled ties I took one last look at the outfield, high fived the losing team and then walked over to the secretary and took my post as the next games announcer.  I knew then that I had done what I had come to California to do: be a world-class athlete inspiring young people to reach for their dreams.  That was until the 4th grade teacher we’ll call Mr. Smith broke my record in one inning.  There is always next season.   Sugar city anyone?

Hats off to all the graduates.  FINER will be playing graduation parties this weekend.

Blankets for all

Posted in humor, music on April 18, 2010 by finerstacy

Muncie’s Springfest was the real deal.   I was lucky enough to see Michael Jackson in his prime with an unknown Sheryl Crow singing back up and James Brown a few months before he died.  I saw Bruce Springsteen give an earth shattering and “short” show of 3 and half hours.   I have played so many small clubs across the United States, to the tips of Tunisia,  that I know when it’s good and Springfest was better.    Yes, we have our heroes that leave us speechless, but I think what I found this weekend was a community of musicians, fans  and crew being so cool to each other.   The official staff at Springfest was so kind.    I was actually trying to see if someone would be a jerk to me and no one was.  NO ONE.  Even as we were running sound for the tremendous band the POST SCRIPT, and I had a run in with an audience member  who was criticizing  the mix, we ended up hanging out, talking AND he helped us later in the evening with late night jam.    And when bigger local bands like the always impressive Midwest Hype finished their set, they came to show their friends support by visiting the smaller stage.  Yes, it was awesome, the food, the falafels, oh the falafels.  I think And A Pickle fueled  Ethan James’ late night jam fantastic on the bass.

But, let us not forget the temperature and the fashion statement of the spring that it brought.  BLANKETS!    It was so cold that I saw cool cats, not the Twin Cats although they are very cool, in fleece blankets, wool blankets, baby blankets!!?!?!? draped around their bodies like Superman just out for a leisurely stroll in  Metropolis.   I saw children clinging to their parents’ legs in hopes of  another comforter or a croshayed hat.  I saw Will the bad ass conga player from Afrodisiacs talk to me with a straight face as he was wrapped in a pink flowered duvet and I saw Colby from Sour Mash and Matt from the Post Script set up a stage in matching blankets as if they were Tony Soprano’s men setting  up for a night of debauchery.   And now that I’m back home and starting to get feeling back in my fingers I will always be reminded of a weekend of great music and people whenever I look at Ethan’s baby blanket hand made by his grandmother.   Now that’s rock and roll.

leaf jumping

Posted in humor, mowing on April 10, 2010 by finerstacy

That’s what we do in Indiana, we mow our lawns.  I love spring.  Everyone is coming out from  their mother nature induced hibernation.  Kids are outside screaming.  Moms and dads are smiling because they no longer have to scrape the ice off their windshields and somewhere up above the gardener gods are smiling because they know business is in session.   Everyday from dawn till dusk, you can hear your neighbor’s mower singing its song.   “Highway to hell”,  that’s for the guy down the street with his tricked out John Deere riding mower.  You know the one with the Harley Plates.  I love those guys,  because no matter how hard you try  or how many people you hire to do it for you that guy will always have the better looking yard.    Every corner is trimmed to perfection.  The walk way to the front door is strategically  placed with not one single weed showing  it’s ugly head as you enter the home.  I also love the parents who have tricked their kids into leaf duty.  “Hey Johnny, if YOU rake the leaves I will let YOU jump in the pile before YOU put them in the bags.”  Now to me that is a fair trade because short of winning the Superbowl nothing is better than jumping into a pile of leaves.  I remember age 9, I would be swimming in my leaves, backstroke, sidestroke, front stroke, no floaties required and then run next door and swim in the Stern’s leaves and then I would be at the Smith’s (all names have been changed to protect the innocent  from any yard work wrong doing  allegations). ” Yes, Mrs. Smith, I saw you had little Johnny rake your leaves onto our yard.  More leaves for me.  So my lips are sealed.”    It was my Atlantic ocean right in front of my house.  No sand between my toes just worms between my fingers  and enough leaves to make collages for a lifetime.  I knew my mother always wanted another piece of artwork for the fridge and nothing says genius like five leaves smothered with Elmer’s glue slapped on an orange piece of construction paper.   “Wow, Stacy, that is really special and very different from the last collage.  Not as many sticks, a lot less dirt and very will organized.”  My mom, always knew how to make something from nothing.  Looking back, those collages where one step above the turkey  hand designs you made during Thanksgiving on a paper plate with finger paint.  But this is the point in life when you begin to believe in yourself.   This is the point when the tooth fairy stops being real but the possibility of making your own magic is not only possible but probable.   You get to be in the school play instead of watching it.  Even if you are only cowgirl number six from the right in Oklahoma.    You get to play the guitar instead of just listening.  “Wipe out” never sounded so good as when you are playing to your friends.   Maybe I never got the lick right but I felt I was right there with the Surfaris  getting ready to hit the next wave.  Here in Indy the music of the grass cutters is still alive and well.   “65 love affair” is my theme.   I have opted for a push reel mower that still has 1960’s technology and speed.   I get to watch each blade of grass take its last breath before it gets recycled and eaten by the birds.  How green of me.   Maybe I can’t get the perfect lines  and the dandelions have made it very clear who is boss,  but at least my highway to hell is paved with leaves.   Surf’s up!

Finer will be performing at Taste of Brown county on Saturday April 24th.   No leaves will be ingested during this performance.

Never put bag balm in your hair…

Posted in humor, music, Uncategorized on February 1, 2010 by finerstacy

Well, I just read an article on yahoo about that gunky goo  bag balm that everyone puts  on anything that is dry, cracked or stiff.   Not to long ago back when we were living in LA and our band was called Oh Positive, I had my own little run in with the magic green box.  I have always been one to use whatever product was available for what whatever I felt like.  If I don’t have any toothpaste left…pounds of mouth wash, or vinegar get the job done.    If we were out of soup mix….water, hot sauce and the pulp from my morning juice SEEM to be very tasty.  No orange juice…just smash that banana up…still sweet, kind of yellow and makes you think of sunshine on a depressing day.  Good times!  So we were in L.A. rehearsing a lot, getting excited about a life in music and barely making time to look good.  We just wanted to play and have fun.   Right before one of our first shows, I was getting ready, picking out a t-shirt…very fancy I know.  And I got in the shower and realized that I was out of conditioner.  I panicked for minute and then thought, this is L.A. you can make anything work and look cool.  As long as you are confident and believe in what you are doing it will work out.    So I dried off  and looked in my medicine cabinet to review my options: apricot facial scrub would provide an edgy rough look.  Not really what I was going for but I would smell exotic.  The long lost toothpaste, might provide those white/blonde hair streaks I’ve been thinking about.   Hand sanitizer would make me smell like the bathroom in the club giving the audience a reason to relieve  themselves on the dance floor and not have to miss a moment of the show. Hum, that one was intriguing.  Or finally bag balm, which I bought because anything in a green metal box with pictures of cows promising ever lasting relief deserves to be in every medicine chest in the country.  Neh, the world!  So I went with bag balm.  Scooping a large chunk out with my guitar picking hand…BIG MISTAKE and started gently rubbing it on my scalp, my hair, my face. Wow, this was fun, I feel like I am the cereal in a breakfast commercial getting doused with creamy milk that is actual 5 year old glue aged to perfection.  But then gently rubbing went to aggressively patting as I realized that this stuff was not moving!   It liked being planted on my scalp ready for the next crop season so it could sprout more green boxes and provide more satisfaction to dry hands everywhere.   My hair turned into locks of daggers that would defend me to the death in any hair saloon or busy check out line at a grocery store.  “The lady will be allowed back into her place in line after taking 20 minutes to pick out  sodium free salsa.  Stand back I say or I will wallop you with one of my swords!”  So now I am coming to the understanding that this was my look for the night…entry level greasy prostitute …working way too hard and not getting a big enough piece of the pie.  We went on to have a great show, playing loud, rocking out and ready to keep improving.  Little did I know that we were getting reviewed that night by a local magazine and my picture would forever be immortalized in upcoming band road to stardom history… “Greasy Girl,  strong voice, plays music”.  I got to keep that slippery feeling for days as the bag balm was enjoying the rock star life.  It’s good to have a visual reminder that it takes a little while to sculpt what you want but it is a great process and I mean journey, not the over processed hair look which I am still considering. 🙂