Bed Bugs and the Making of a Feline Hero (The Old Draft I Now Have an Ending For)

A few days ago, my wife found a bed bug. This threw her into a panic. Me too. The only bed bug stories are horror stories.

We made an appointment with a bed bug specialist for the next day. We had to bag all of our clothing and linens to throw them in high heat dryers for an hour. We had to lock up (herd) our several cats in the basement.

Plus, not forget to safely transport my daughter’s hamster to my father-in-law’s place. Continue reading

Watch: Final Open Mic at The Thirsty Soul

I accepted the invitation to host with a heavy heart. The Thirsty Soul was closing, and it was the last open mic night. I was the first guest performer and the last host. I met many talented people. Some were just peeking their heads out into the world to share themselves for a night. Others were jumping from open mic to open mic in the city. And some, like myself, were reliably present each week.

This particular open mic was sparsely populated: It was Bongo Billy, Pete, and I. With an empty Red Room, I hooked into the Bluetooth and Bongo Billy and I jammed to the Alley Cat and Mama Don’t Allow It. I unremarkably rolled into the last Facebook stream and acted out my best open mic night host impression and belted out some tunes, followed by the others.

The furniture tapped their legs. The chandelier shrugged. The sound system reminded me how much it dislikes acoustic guitar pickups. And so it was. With Pete’s Taylor in arms, I eeked out Redneck Vacation and finished up with my final performance of Chinese Buffet in the lush, comfy, New Orleans-styled parlor to the applause of a small circle of friends.

Watch: Live at The Thirsty Soul (feat Ben the Trombonist)

What could make a night filled with friends from my day job coming to hang out and cheer and witness the wonder of the Chinese buffet better? Ben the trombonist! Check out boogie woogie and blues enhanced in the way only trombone can do it.

The presence of a talented trombonist brought me face to face with one of my Bucket List items: Jamming with a New Orleans blues band. After balancing this supernatural energy with the enjoyment and process of performing, I glowed for days afterward. I bought Ben dinner, and found out he had been dragging his trombone around since he was a toddler. When his mother tried taking it away during those early days, his pastor stepped up and advocated for young Ben to be able to indulge his musical passion. Awesome!