spent the week working with  my dad.  ahuling lumber, building walls, getting mosquito bitten and sunburned and yesterday i was stung by a sweat bee.  sweet.  there is no substititue for hanging out with my papa.  he is so funny and smart and kind, and there is not another person on the planet who works as hard as he does.  if you needed any kind of home repair done, from new construction to remodel, he is your guy.  and he has a passion for music that is unrivaled.  it is hard to believe, looking at his rough and calloused hands, that those same fingers and thumbs will play you some of the best music you have ever heard if you get him near a piano, preferably a hammond b3.  as we worked and listened to the classic rock station, my choice because really, what else is appropriate when working outside?, on the station came the title song of this post, “i know this much is true” by spandau ballet.”  it has inspired me to compile a list of what i know is true:

I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE: the shannon edition

1) my family rocks, in every defintion of the word

2) i hit the husband jackpot

3) no one will ever make potato salad or chocolate chip cookies as good as my mothers

4) teaching is the best performance profession i have ever encountered: it is like being on stage 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and it is mostly improv and totally awesome

5) good music can turn the gray skies blue

6) no matter how tired i am, i will always watch hgtv with alex

7)  there are certain friends i haven’t seen in years who can show up out of the blue and we are 16 again, giggling at the truly bizarre and twisted ways of the world


my brother the badass

May 13, 2007

Posted on Thu, May. 10, 2007
Trombonist, drummer front their own groups
But listen fast because Paul McKee will be leaving for Florida State.
The Kansas City Star

The search for new sounds never stops in Kansas City jazz, and this week provides two shining examples.

Drummer Brandon Draper, whose new group appears Wednesday at Jardine’s, brought fresh ideas when he moved in from New Mexico last year. Yes, he’s a powerful straight-ahead jazz drummer, with astonishing chops and a fertile imagination that drives him to play some of the most exciting things we’ve heard for a while. But he has also racked up considerable experience in the world-music field, touring with guitarist Ottmar Liebert.

Youthful enthusiasm and sheer excitement permeate the music of the group he calls the New Quintet. Draper says it reflects the influences of jazz, hip-hop, R&B, indie rock and world music. The band also has John Brewer on Fender Rhodes, bassist Craig Akin, tenor saxophonist Rich Wheeler and trombonist/percussionist Kevin Cerovich playing with the fires that Draper stokes behind them.

Draper promises an album by the band soon. Meantime, this premiere performance is the start of something important.


The Brandon Draper New Quintet performs from 8 p.m. to midnight at Jardine’s, 4536 Main St. Cover is $5.

reading material

May 9, 2007

i’ve decided to spend some of my down time this summer reading, and so to that end i spent today revisiting “the bell jar” and “ariel” by sylvia plath. the first is her brilliant and moving autobiographical novel of a young woman dealing with mental illness and shock treatments, the second is her critically acclaimed and evocatively disturbing book of poetry. if you have never read her i highly recommend both of these. the novel will be easier to digest for those of you non-poetry folk, and trust me, i understand. i happen to take to poetry, but if you put a technical work in front of me like, say, a dvd/vcr manual, well, i’m going to run for the hills 🙂

this is sylvia, and these are her books–

  •     ariel

my friend lisa

May 7, 2007

some of you have met my friend lisa who lives in florida with her wicked awesome husband john and cats gray and lord.  if you have met her, you are some lucky folk.  i got a letter from her today and it reaffirmed to me all the reasons i love and miss her.  lisa is funny in ways that no one else i know is.  she is smarter than just about everyone else in the room, and caring to a fault.  i have never felt awkward or uncomfortable around her and even though we get to see each other once every two years or so, she is one of my very best friends.

i moved to florida at age 20, full of hope about a relationship that went nowhere–well, it did prove to me exactly what i didn’t want, so i guess that helped.  i lived in tampa and worked long hours, went to school part time, and tried to figure out what the hell was going on with my life.  and while there i met lisa.  she is the best thing i got out of those two years, and if i had to live it all again i would, if only so i could still call her my friend.

we have a lot in common, we love movies and books, talking about politics and laughing about pop culture, but we are also very different.  our beliefs about faith and the way we grew up could not be more opposite, but at the end of the day lisa is part of who i am, and i love her and miss her dearly.  it isn’t her birthday, there is no reason for me to post this except that sometimes when i hear from her out of the blue, i realize how much better the universe would be if more people were like her, and i want to celebrate her, and put her out there for everyone to know about.


May 3, 2007

i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!! i got the job! i got the job!! i got the job!!!

cross your fingers

April 30, 2007

i interviewed last thursday for a position at lawrence high. it is my first choice–an amazing school with incredible students and faculty. i should hear by the end of the week so please, cross your fingers!! to learn more about the chesty lions, visit their website: http://lhs.usd497.org/

soundtrack to my life

April 26, 2007

ok, so i thought doing one of these would be fun, but it was uber-hard.

here’s my version of this, but of course it will be different tomorrow.

My Life: The Soundtrack

Opening credits: There She Goes–The La’s

Waking up: Heroes–David Bowie

Average day: God Bless the Child–Billie Holiday

First date: Sweet Thing–Van Morrison

Falling in love: 33–Smashing Pumpkins

Love scene: Beautiful Girl–Pete Droge

Fight scene: Sabotage–Beastie Boys

Breaking up: I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You–Colin Hay

Getting back together: When You Come Back to Me–World Party

Secret Love: Untouchable Face–Ani DiFranco

Life’s okay: Feelin’ Alright–Joe Cocker

Political Anthem: Dear Mr. President–Pink

Mental breakdown: Baba o’Reilly–The Who

Driving: Wildflowers–Tom Petty

Learning a Lesson: If I Wrote You--Dar Williams

Deep thought: Waiting for the Miracle–Leonard Cohen

Flashback: Sweet Baby James–James Taylor

Partying: Big Pimpin’–Jay-Z

Happy dance: Statesboro Blues–Allman Brothers

Regreting: Pies–Patty Griffin

Long night alone: Dear Chicago–Ryan Adams

Closing credits: Don’t Panic–Coldplay