ericcoleman: (Default)
Last fall a group our friends pitched in and bought me a bike.

I didn't write much about it, mostly because there ended up being a bunch of problems with that bike that were only completely solved a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, it had some issues.

A week or so ago, I bought another bike, so Lizzie and I can do this together. Got it, and took it to one of the local bike shops to have it put it together. First of all, for all my local friends, I highly recommend Bicycles Plus. Great guy running it, very helpful, very affordable.

I am in, probably, the worst shape of my life. I put on weight over the winter, and I was too heavy before.

Last night, I rode that bike (trike actually) home. A bit under a half mile. That is the furthest I have ridden any sort of self-powered vehicle in longer than I can clearly remember.

It was wonderful. My legs are a bit rubbery today, but I feel marvelous. I intend to get on it every day that I can. Probably just around the block for a bit. If I get going, I am going to have gears put on it, to help on those non-flat areas.

This weekend, we're going to adjust the bike from last year to fit Lizzie. And we're going to start in the long ride to get us both back into shape.

It felt so good, that short ride. So good.

I used to spend hours on my bike back in my teens and twenties. I want to get back to that. I'm tired of being tired all the time. I'm tired of what that does to me (and I will post about that later today, or over the weekend). It's been a dark time for me. Time to head back to the light.

5 Years

Sep. 10th, 2015 08:48 am
ericcoleman: (Default)
5 years ago at Musecon, Lizzie hit me over the head. Yeah, clueless geek boy that I am. The pretty woman would never be interested in me.

A month later, 5 years ago today, we met at Strowlerfest in St Louis.

We spent the weekend talking, listening to music, making music, some other things as well.

We both went into the weekend thinking "this will be nice, it probably won't last, it will be a nice little fling". Lizzie was certain at that point that she would never get married. I had been certain that I was done, I was going to live the rest of my life alone.

We drove home Sunday in different directions, both in a state of shock. Both knowing that our lives had changed completely. By New Years Eve we were making the final plans to make this into a permanent thing.

5 years ago.

A lot of the last 5 years have been difficult. All of it has been marvelous, amazing.

It has been a glorious adventure so far, and the road ahead looks lovely.

I adore you my fabulous Lizzie Crowe.

Life could not better be.

4 years

Feb. 14th, 2015 12:40 pm
ericcoleman: (Default)
This evening, it will be 4 years since I sang Lizzie a song I wrote, and only performed once. There are photos of this moment floating around. The song posed a question. The answer was yes.

Our life together is better and better all the time. My love for her grows in ways that I didn't think was possible. I have never been so closer to another person, I didn't think I was capable of such closeness.

I adore you my beautiful Lizzie Crowe​.

A Modest Proposal
Mae West said "Marriage is an institution"
She said she wasn't ready for an institution.
Many say I belong in an institution
which is why I wrote this song

Now my hands, they can't stop shaking
There must be something I can do to stop the shaking
I think I know how to stop the shaking
there's a question I have for you

I know you've been freting about this moment
I'm trying to make it an easy moment
Well, maybe not that easy of a moment
Cause this song's 29 verses long (hey it's filk)

I suppose I need to get to the point
Hey, what was the point?
I remember what was the point
I had a question for you

I wonder how long I could keep you waiting
A long time I could keep you waiting
I better not keep you waiting
before you beat me with a chair

I may have been less than truthful about 29 verses
There are really only 6 short verses
We've come to the last of the verses
And now my song is done

Because life could not better be
If you'd just marry me.
ericcoleman: (Default)

Four years ago I was here at Musecon, sharing a room with Jared, Xap, and this lovely young woman who I had recently started performing with. I had a considerable crush on the young woman, but me being me, I figured there would be no way she would ever be interested in me.

I may have been mistaken about that last bit.

Saturday night of the con, I had acquired food and wanted to retreat to the room for a bit of downtime. She asked if she could come up and hang out, if I wouldn't mind. I am not foolish enough to refuse the company of a lovely woman, no matter how disinterested in me me she may be.

She: You don't get it do you?
Me: Get what?

Yeah, that was my response. We had a long conversation and Sunday, as I was packing the car I said to her "you've given me a lot to think about".

A month later we met at Strowlers and this began in earnest.

Three years ago, here at Musecon, we stood up in front of a lot of our family, with a lot of our family standing with us, and had the most wonderful wedding we could have had.

Four years after that conversation on a Saturday night we woke up in the same hotel, with a lot of the same family around us. This time it is both Jared and Reilly with us in the room.

Even after the terrible year we have had, we are more in love and happier every day.

I love you my glorious Lizzie Crowe. You have made my life a better thing, and me a better person. Here is to many, many more years!

ericcoleman: (Default)
Pulled out the old 12 string last night. I was watching a John Butler show from You Tube yesterday and it inspired me. One of the things he does, he takes the high G string off, so he's only playing 11 strings. He doesn't like the trebly sound of the high G. I realized that I had a broken string ... oddly enough, the high G string.

I tuned it to DADGAD and started improvising. Lizzie picked up the mandolin and started answering my improvs with some middle eastern sort of scales. And we went back and forth. I would set down a pattern and she would take off, then I would start running up the neck and she would step back and support me.

I love making music with her. It is one of the centers of my life, this music we make.

And yeah, it's likely that the 12 string will be a big part of the songs for the next CD. A lot of the bits of music I have written have been in DADGAD.
ericcoleman: (Default)
First of all, I am feeling so much better, still a little stuffed up but I can sleep again. I am still being careful. I think that the crisis is past. Thank you everyone for all of the good feelings that have come my way over the last month or so. You have all helped me so much.

This weekend Reilly has her first real dance competition of the season. The nice thing, it's about a half mile from our house, so no spending hours in the car.

In just over a week Lizzie and I are heading out to play a show in Chicago (then we have hours in the car). New music is happening. The other night Jared introduced me to a nifty new tuning, C#,G#,D#,G#,C,D#. I have a really cool new piece of music thanks to him.

Life is getting better. The last 5 weeks have been hell, but I seem to have come through it ok. Now to get back to being active again.
ericcoleman: (Default)
Three years ago I was at Strowlerfest in St Louis. I got to the hotel, made a phone call and 16 hours (1) later there was a knock at the door. I answered and standing there was this gloriously beautiful woman. It was the most amazing weekend of my life, the beginning of the best time of my life. We wrote our first song that weekend. We are making our second CD this month. Our lives continue to get better together.

My love Lizzie Crowe, thank you for sharing this life.

1 - I may have exaggerated how long it took for her to get to the room ... just a little.
ericcoleman: (Default)
What a weekend. When we planned this we didn't realize that it was the weekend of our anniversary so that worked out nicely.

We got up Friday morning and got ourselves packed, ran a couple of errands and got on the road.

One of the things about traveling as much as we do, we try to find good places to eat. Road food is, well, road food. A few years ago a friend of mine and I found this great chinese place in Sterling IL. Really, if you are traveling along I-88 in Illinois it is worth your while to stop at Fung Ming. This is my favorite Chinese restaurant of all time.

We got into the Wrigleyville area around 5. The drive into the city was only mildly awful, so that is certainly better than the usual.

The evening was a blast. Some folks I didn't know well, some folks I knew all too well. Lizzie made a toast to our anniversary, which was lovely.

It's interesting seeing who we have all become, good and bad. In a lot of ways I am still that shy guy I was in HS and college.

Saturday was wonderful, Lizzie and I ran around the city, went to a music store, went to a yarn store, got her drum worked on.

The evening at the bar didn't last long. It was most certainly not a place to hang out and talk. We all ended up back at the condo and crashed out pretty early.

We also made the holy pilgrimage. Hmmm, lamb kebobs. Oh, and for the first time in years I had cheese fries from the Weiners Circle. My arteries are still annoyed at me.

I got around ok, better every day. I even walked to the bar. Took a cab back, but I walked there.

We need to have another of these weekends.
ericcoleman: (Default)
I had a busy day yesterday. I went to pick up WSPA-3 and she and I went to Mayhem (local game store looking for a book), Target (to get Lizzie's present), Ames British Foods (for chocolate) and Dahls (for the cake). My legs held up well, my knee was no problem at all.

I took a bit of a nap when I got home, and then the party began.

It was a lovely evening. Much conversation, many funny stories and a bit of music.

My highlight, I started playing a piece that I am working on for Cheshire Moon and Jared joined in. I set down the foundation for him and he took off. A bit of soloing but mostly adding and augmenting over the chords I was playing. He was exceptional.

This morning my legs are sore, I had some problem sleeping last night because of them, but I feel great. My knee is not an issue at all today. I walked a lot and my legs are sore. It's one of those good pains. One of those "heading in the right direction" pains.

I do intend to take it very very easy today however.

Thank you Shari, Brad, Trish, Bryan, Jennifer, Sadie, Susan, Brian, Jack, Bill, Jolie and my kids, Ian, Jared and The Miss.

Finally, most important of all, the person the party was for, my lovely bride the fabulous Lizzie. I love you, happy birthday!


Mar. 2nd, 2013 09:20 am
ericcoleman: (Default)
I had a good day yesterday. I can put weight on my knee, but I'm also very careful about it. I didn't wear out through the day as I did most days before the surgery. My energy level is way up.

I didn't sleep as well last night, but still ok.

I feel great again today. I think that the worst trauma I suffered from the surgery was the feeling of enclosure. Hospital beds were not designed for human beings. That and all of the stuff that they stick you with and pile on you. The oxygen mask is the worst part. I wasn't able to sit on the couch yesterday for much more than an hour before I had to get up and move.

My major problem is that I can't put the foot rest on the couch down by myself. My right leg doesn't deal with the stress and I can't put it down with my left leg alone, so that adds to the feeling of enclosure. I can still get off the couch, but it takes a fair amount of work on my own.

I do get to take a shower today, for which, I would imagine, Lizzie is very grateful.

I am definitely better today. My knee is a tiny bit more stiff and sore, but only a little. I can walk better.

I expect to get back to work on Monday. There is a downside to everything.
ericcoleman: (Default)
I am doing great this morning. My body needed this to happen so badly. I slept well but fitfully. The cats were a little more interactive than I needed last night, but were still very sweet.

When I got home I sat up for a bit, but then needed a bit of a nap. The couch isn't quite wide enough for my arms to be comfortable so I had Ian put up the foot rest. Helvetica then came and laid there in front of me, some so he could get skritches, but also because he is the protector in this house. If someone isn't doing well, he watches over them. He took it to a little bit of an extreme last night, thus the fitful sleeping.

I am getting around great. The Doctor said that I will know how much I can and can't do. After the surgery is still way better than the first month or so with the tear. I can walk, I can put weight on my leg, but I try to minimize it. But overall, I feel great. I woke up this morning almost 10 hours after I had taken the most recent pain med and I had no real pain. I have a higher energy level and higher level of alertness than I have had in weeks.

I can't have a shower till sometime late tomorrow. This may be the worst part. I hate missing my morning shower.

Currently I am sitting at the dining room table. The couch makes me feel constricted. I like having my feet up, but can't put the rest back down myself. Yeah, I am a bit of a control freak.

I think I woke up during the surgery, I will find out about that next week.

The main thing is that I can now start back towards feeling better. I can start back towards getting in shape.

Lizzie is a rock, as always. She knows what I need, she knows when to stand back. She is puttering around in the kitchen at the moment. I don't think I can ever make it clear how much she means to me.

Thank you everyone for your kind words the last couple of days. It means a lot.

More as thing progress.


Feb. 28th, 2013 07:37 am
ericcoleman: (Default)
Ian is here to take me to Des Moines. My surgery is at 11, I expect to be home 2ish. It seems that Lizzie will be able to be home tomorrow. Good thing, getting off this couch will be tricky not being able to use my right leg.

It's simple, just a torn meniscus. Still, I get put under for only the 3rd time in my life (got probed when I turned 50, hand surgery last year).

Talk to you this afternoon
ericcoleman: (Default)
I really should talk about the con ...

We got into the hotel around noon. Soundcheck was at 5 so we had some time to relax, we even got a nap in.

Sunnie came to the room and we ran bits of songs just to make sure we knew what we were doing. The rehearsal was superb and I had no doubts that the show would be as well.

Just before soundcheck Shawna asked us when we were going to head out, someone wanted to see us. I asked who ... she said "someone".

I knew immediatedly who it was. Katie MacDonald had listed herself as a maybe, but had not said that they were or were not coming.

We didn't get as much time hanging out with them as I would have liked, but we still got a lot. I suppose we have to go to a con on their side of the pond next.

I must rant for a brief moment ... I have a few favorite sound crews that I have worked with in fandom. Conflikt has one of the best. Cool toys too, you can run everything remotely from a tablet. Go on, start drooling gundo! Soundcheck was actually fun!

The show was great, Sunnie played like she had been a member of the band for a year, not just an hour. The response seemed to be great. People applauded, we sold CDs.

We watched CD Woodbury's show. I have to be a fan of anyone who covers Blue Oyster Cult (and not Reaper) and Screamin Jay Hawkins in one show. I have to be. He was great.

We didn't stay up for the circles. The train had messed with our sleep schedules pretty badly. We stopped at the con suite for some munchies and then went back and collapsed.

Saturday was spent running around. We went to breakfast with Steve and Katie and Shawna. After Steve, Lizzie and I went to GC. I'll let Lizzie talk about what she got there.

Lizzie and I were on a panel with Jeff and Maya and CD about forming a band.

Seeing as how Jeff and Maya were there, along with Cat and Bari and Steve and Katie, and Lizzie and I ... the solution is obvious. Find your perfect musical partner and marry them and write songs!

The rest of my day was spent listening to music and talking to lots of people. We went to dinner with Autumn and other folk ... yeah, that names thing ... Lizzie will fill this part in in comments (I hope).

The Bohnhoffs tore the place apart with their GOH set that evening. Astounding stuff. Some songs I hadn't heard them do live. They also had Betsy, Sunnie, Vixy and Dr Mary playing with them through much of the show. Jeff continues to astound me as a guitar player and Maya blows me away as a singer. One of the best shows I have ever seen at a con.

Circle that night was a little combative, but only a little. Kathy Mar stepped up and made sure that some of the quieter folks got heard. Two singers in a row, a young man and a young woman, were part of the highlights of the evening. Two amazing voices singing amazing songs acapella. I wish I had gotten their names.

We fell into bed around 2.

I went to Jeff's panel on alternate chord voicings. Wow, tons of new ideas in about 40 minutes.

We went to lunch with Dawn Marie and her fella.

We got back in time to get to sound check with Cat & Bari. We were substitute Unusual Suspects.

The song we helped out on, Wild Magic, IMNSHO, deserves a nod for best filk song.

It was really fun working with them and a great way to end the weekend. We took off right after and headed to the train station.

We sat and watched Puget Sound as the sun went down. We watched the scenery go by as best we could before we finally collapsed and went to bed.

We woke up in the mountains. It was getting toward dawn as we pulled into Whitefish MT. It is on an enormous lake and it is astoundingly beautiful.

Across the way in Glacier Park, was a huge lodge. As with so many things on this trip, I didn't see it in time to get a picture. We're taken very few this trip, mostly because we have been transfixed by the scenery. Just as well that Lizzie fallen asleep, there was a very high bridge that would have freaked her out.

We were back into the Montana scenery. Lovely, austere and quite snowy going this way.

Within an hour or so we were out of the snow. There were menacing looking clouds to the south and crystal clear skies above us and to the north. Taking the train is so much better than driving.

The rest of the ride back was quieter and less spectacular. We did go right through gundo's old neighborhood.

One more night trying to sleep on the train. We pulled into Minneapolis about an hour late, but that's ok. We retrieved our car from Celia's house and drove back home.

This has been the best time. In a lot of ways it was the honeymoon Lizzie and I hadn't gotten around to. It was also filled with great music.

Thank you everyone who made our trip wonderful, there were a lot of you.

I have to get back to Seattle again. Everything about it was amazing and I want to explore it more.

Last night

Jan. 10th, 2013 08:27 am
ericcoleman: Cheshire Moon (Cheshire Moon)
Lizzie was working on some mandolin stuff and I stepped in and started playing with her on the bouzouki, just to give her some steady time. It ended up with me playing Stream Of Consciousness. WSPA-3 started singing along.

My daughter is 11 and already starting to become a formidable singer. Her voice blended with Lizzie's perfectly. She had this lovely, low, warm tone.

It was a musical moment that will be hard to top this year.
ericcoleman: (Default)
The first road trip of the year is almost over. This weekend was a dance weekend for WSPA-3 so we have been hanging out and actually getting some decent downtime.

The only real problem, my poor love is sick. She had the beginnings of a cold toward the end of the week, felt better yesterday and is miserable today. The scary thing ... she is actually letting me take care of her. My knee is better, but she still tries to do all the driving. When I say "I'm driving home" and she says "ok", she isn't feeling well.

WSPA-3 has been at workshops, but we did get to hang out at the pool together yesterday.

The hotel has been horrible, especially food service. I may rant about that later.

The big highlight for me was lunch yesterday with [personal profile] rowangolightly. There was much laughing and stories and marvelous food. Lizzie and I have to get down this way again soon.

Next weekend is the house concert in Champaign, a week and a half after that is Seattle.

Then nothing for awhile. A crazy month, it's going to be amazing though.

The Hobbit

Dec. 23rd, 2012 05:07 pm
ericcoleman: (Default)
Lizzie and I went to see it today ... one word ... magnificent.
ericcoleman: (Default)
It's been a lovely day. Lizzie and I slept late and then ran off to see Skyfall. The best of the three recent Bond films, and, as with the first one, the best since the Connery films.

We hung out around the house for a bit, then headed out to May House for amazing Chinese food.

We came back home and just finished watching My Favorite Year, one of My Favorite Movies.

I have the day off tomorrow, Lizzie has to go to work. Kids are back over here tomorrow evening. we go to my folks for Thanksgiving dinner Saturday evening.

It's been a lovely day with my lovely wife.

I have so much to be thankful for, and so much of it is because of her.

Life could not better be.
ericcoleman: (Default)
Lizzie and I stayed home Friday. The cats had a vets appointment and Lizzie had her usual checkup. Kitties were good, albeit grumpy about the trip and the shots. They did forgive us pretty quickly.

Friday night we went to the Pizza Night at the middle school with WSPA-3. Much fun was had. We saw her at the beginning and the end (since she's like that). Then we went home and collapsed. The young man had tech crew for the school play, and then food after at Perkins (or The Club as Ed Christianson used to call it, we still miss you so much).

Friday night I decided to not sleep much, and to be wide awake at about 8:30 in the morning. This after several valiant efforts to get back to sleep. WSPA-3 had dance during the day, Jared had tech again that night and Ames British Foods had their Guy Fawkes night at a friend's farm. We ended up having lunch in the middle of the afternoon and headed out to the country to watch things burn.

Shortly after we got there Marcus made a comment about maybe having some tunes later, so putting instruments in the car was the right idea. We played a few songs, can't remember which at the moment.

I went to bed seriously early and had pretty much the same night I had on Friday. We were supposed to rehearse with Susan Sunday afternoon, but cancelled out, since Lizzie didn't have all that much better of a night. Jared had made his way over to his Grandma's after the cast party and WSPA-3 was going shopping with her Mom. So we had the house to ourselves early.

We ended up watching Silverado and then I went to bed around 8. I slept pretty well. Lizzie had had a rough day so she came to bed later.

Today Lizzie is home, the doctor needed bloodwork and had neglected to tell her that for the Friday appointment. I hauled myself out of bed and off to work, where things have been ugly all day.


May. 6th, 2012 04:47 pm
ericcoleman: (Default)
What we played at Demicon

Stream of Consciousness
If I Were The Rain
Child Of Stars
Out Of The Light
World Walker
Calvin's Girl
Widows Garden

The show went very well. Dybbuk Q. Klezmer brought wonderfulness to the songs. Lizzie sang beautifully. I played instruments. At the circle Saturday night Lizzie and I did Daughter Of The Red, with interjections from a young woman sitting behind Lizzie that were wonderful. After which we collapsed.

There was an unexpected addition to Eric's Quest For Pizza. I had intended to get to Pagliai's sometime soon, but since it was right down the street we went with Bryan and family (as mentioned before). It was yummy and I will get my review up shortly.

The music track went amazingly well. Lojo Russo and Adam Stemple were bad bad people. Adam also played with Chas Somdahl yesterday. Bryan had a sterling set with CW Smith backing up on cajón and vocals.

Robert from Orckes & Trolles said that this show wasn't as dirty as last years, he sounded a little disappointed.

The Rocky Horror Sing-A-Long went wonderfully.

The WSPA had a blast, we went to the pool every day. Jared was seen when it was time for food, although even there he tended to just go to the con suite. WSPA-3 had a great time and made some new friends.

I had a great time with my family this weekend, life is good. Collapse now.

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