2001: The End And New Beginnings
I can't really hear out of my left ear right now, since it was very near a huge speaker at a concert with A Perfect Circle. My right ear isn't all that great, either, but tomorrow should be right as rain. Or sprinkles, as seem to have fallen earlier this evening. I've got the Ice Storm on a muted television and Depeche Mode playing on the stereo and I'm ripping people off on Napster, and this fear that I'm going to wake up to permanent tenitis in my ear tomorrow is slowly wrapping it's pale fingers around my brain. But that's the good stuff, right.
So after a month or so of being really excited, staying excited, and then nothing, I've realized that I don't think music journalism is my thing. After seeing my name in printjust once, just once, that's all, and then nothing else, and realizing that maybe I'm not cut out to talk to people-- well, I think I'll leave the partying up to the partiers with better connections and better resources. Not that I'm not going to stop being a music junkie or stop going to shows. I'm still in a band and we still have things to do yet together as a group. All of a sudden things stop, and it's not because you don't have talent, but because your talent belies the fact that you're just really not a people person. I don't know how much that explains, but there it is. I'm a very solitary kind of person, very internal, very quiet. I'm not very good at starting or keeping up conversation. So yeah.
Which has made me wonder about the other things I'm working on. A couple of novels that are more of ideas really, poetry that I really don't want to write anymore, screenplays that I don't even want to touch at all anymore except to maybe convert to novels, and short stories that haven't had any recent newbies added to them for a really long time. I'm driven to always finish anything, even if it's godawful by the end, but with these writing projects the fact that I don't really have a deadline opens up all kinds of procrastination. Even setting up my own personal deadlines won't work because even in the context of school I just barely followed that. I have these ideas, and they're like hands that wave themselves in my brain, and every time they wave they have different lines in their palms, different directions to go to. I usually just let them wrinkle a little bit before I commit to shaking them and making amends by reading the lines and writing the words I get, but sometimes by then the idea has lost its novelty and the hands are just left vaguely pointing somewhere distant and really foggy in my brain.
There was somewhere I was supposed to go with this, I think, but it's long gone now. Till another time, I think.
I wanted to write something, I don't know exactly what yet. I still can't hear out of my left ear, and the inside of my thighs hurt from working out. But maybe those are good things.
Lately I've been thinking about connections with people. How sometimes you have these strong bonds, and maybe the thread might have to slack a little over distance, but the string is still as tough as ever. And then there are people who in the matter of months become close and their connections are just as important because they've shown a part of themselves to you that nobody else knows.
I don't even know if I'm making sense anymore. I guess there are some people you know are going to stick around because you've known them for centuries even though you've really only been around them for a year or two.
I was talking to this girl tonight about music and it's importance and how we're freaks about it, from how we couldn't do without it to how we both play it as musicians. And then I come home to a growing (not quite massive as compared to others, but pretty significant nonetheless) CD collection, and I'm suddenly struck at how I feel like John Cusack's character in High Fidelity. I literally could put my CDs in order of emotional timeline, map out every reason for buying each CD, significant cuts off of each one, and tell a bunch of stories from them. (Although, that does give me an idea...)
Seriously though, I'm making a mix of techno songs that I've been listening to ever since about 1995 or so, and in tracking them and listening to them all these memories of high school and college-- things that I probably wouldn't remember without them, I think. I have a growth of albums from when I first started writing to now, almost eight years later, and there are some songs, some albums even, that bring me right back to times in my life that are good and bad. And I'm really glad of that. From Lords of Acid to DJ Shadow to Apollo 440, even my taste in techno has expanded a little.
I date all the mixes I make now, and I've been doing it ever since I made mix tapes constantly three years ago. It's still the same now, just on a disc instead of a thread. Certain CDs take me back to places I was a year ago. This time last year I was working on my senior project, talking so much about my mother and my family and trying to decipher that puzzle of surviving that has so many uncountable pieces. Those CDs from then bring me back to sitting at Jazz & Java, or Grounds for Enjoyment and trying to get the work done. And I was writing. And writing. And writing. I always tack that on the end. I'm writing. That's the thing.
That's always the thing.
I had a good workout today. But that's about it.
I feel like I should be curled up in bed writing a chapter or something. And I will, when I get done here.
I'm starting to read Tarot cards again, and I know in a couple of weeks' time I'll be the Tarot den mother down at the cafe again, a role I'm not all that unfamiliar with from my glory days at Copioh, a place I'm actually starting to miss a little now that there really aren't any cafe options now. I mean, real cafe options, places where you can sit down on at least one couch and read or lay down and write while lives are told around you. Mainly I miss it because it didn't feel like you had to be part of some elitist group to be there. The scene here, in all its aspects, is so dammed small, and so many people with so many visions are trying to shape it to their way of thinking, some sick hybrid of east/west coast thought that's trying too hard and not enough at the same time. But that's a rant for another time, I think.
I might have a review in for next week. I think. If I can find a dammed CD in time that's not taken by someone else. Maybe the cards are stacked against me in that department. I'd like to think not, but the Fates have a way of being so nice about pulling the rug out from under my badly-in-need-of-a-pedicure feet.
And I have this huge honker of a zit right above my chin. It's really nasty, and sweating from working out isn't making it all better. Not that I really sweat there profusely, but. Yeah. Nevermind.
I should be going to bed, but I feel like I need to vent a little.
Just to put any misconseptions about bands and Vegas aside, booking shows every once in awhile just downright sucks ass.
To make a long story short, we have a last minute gig tomorrow night, and even though Thursdays are our practice days, it's a little late for us to try and get some advertising going on. What really pisses me off about the whole thing is that the guy who puts together everything at this particular venue has the attention span of a 5 year old. And this guy is in charge of making sure there's organization with this thing. Basically it's the same as shooting yourself in the foot. I think doing that would feel much better.
But my reviews are getting in again, which is a good thing. It's nice to see that some things are going right, in some form or another.
Lately it's been popping in and out of my head how some people can so easily be in a relationship while people like me can't even accidentally trip over one in the street. Did I miss that bus? Maybe I'm under the misconseption that since everything else in my life is going so well then that part should just fall into where it's supposed to be. Whereever that is.
Which means that I should get to bed now.
So I'm starting to realize more and more exactly why my band needs to play bigger places now. This show Thursday night just confirmed it.
The story is pretty fucked up, really, but shows just how good a bunch of troopers we are. That, and how dedicated we are. Wednesday we get this call to play at the last minute Thursday night. Um, why? Because the other bands that were supposed to play dropped out at the last minute with no explanation whatsoever. Oh, and by the way, you know how we were supposed to play on March 31st? Forget it. Can you play tomorrow? Huh? Fine, we'll play, whatever. How about having another gig on April 5th that we can have some time to advertise? Sure, why not. We call some friends in another band, they say they'll make it. Okay, it's working out. So far.
Everything goes fine, pretty much. The other band showed up thank god. We even put up with hearing the second band play along with their wannabe Jim Rose Side Show/WWF midget guy who does a full on tucked front flip into a box of tacks from the raised drum set. Fine. Sure. Our guitarist arrives so we have to play third, that's fine. We get set up, our twelve friends are there to cheer us on, and we play a decent set. We finish, pack up our stuff. Oh, and by the way, the 5th isn't confirmed yet. What?!?
We handed out over 30 demos last weekend between the two shows we went to. We just want to play. We don't even really want to have a record deal or anything. At least, not right now. We have some songs, we're working on some more, we want to write more, that's all. Just the chance to play out more often. But there's this attitude around here that either you have too much confidence or not enough to get a real gig. We like to have fun, but we're also serious about having a good rep. That doesn't seem to make sense to most people in this town, especially to this guy booking bands at this particular venue. And he wants a pretty big local act to play on the night he'd originally booked us. It's not the fact that we got bumped, but the fact that his 2 brain cells couldn't play along and just figure out how to pick another date.
It's not that we think that we're badasses or anything. We'll gladly open up for any band who asks us to play with them, granted if we know them and know their sound. But when you're unprofessional, and especially with a band who's getting to know other bands in town, it's not a good thing. When you fuck us, you really get fucked. And it's not just because I have really strong karma following just myself around (I mean, I don't even have to work mojo-- it just makes itself apparent by really screwing other people up when they fuck with me-- don't ask me how it works 'cause I sure as hell don't know).
We've been talking to the right people, but it seems like nothing's happening. Maybe I just expect things to happen too fast.
Meanwhile I have a review due in by Monday along with a quip about said venue and how they're so eager to book bands. Um, I'm not even sure about this anymore. The venue, that is.
Sometimes you just want to smack people. Kirk out.
The basketball tournament is over. That's all I care about right now, because that means I can see daylight again.
This whole music journalism journey is a funny thing. I didn't go to school for it per se. I just happened to get really lucky because I like music and want to know more about it while I work on other stuff. I write fiction, and poetry was the closest I got to non-fiction, if you don't count the class I took on Autobiography. But I'm trying to learn how to be really streamlined with my writing, which is something that I had a hard time with already with poetry.
See the thing is, with fiction, you're sort of taught to expand, use detail to bring out the emotion of a scene, when needed. A show not tell kind of thing. Sometimes that means that you have to be pretty anal about details, which I find to be a little tiresome and boring when I know what I want to do with a scene. That was probably why I started trying to write screenplays-- I'm really good at dialogue, even though I suck at conversation in real life-- that way I'm just describing the skeleton of the scene and using speech to get out of it what I think should be gotten out of it.
But when I have 200 words, and I'm reviewing a CD, and I have to get the overall feeling of the thing, plus some background or research or whatnot, onto the page, and having it make sense at the same time? This, my friends, is a writing challenge more fiction teachers should be trying to incorporate into their excersises. I'm serious.
Even the stuff that get into the paper isn't nececarily all mine-- there's a reason why there's an editor in charge, just to make sure you don't ramble when you need to get to the point and say whatever the fuck your point is. It's my words, sure, but some of it's been moved around, a little punctuation changed here and there. Or maybe it's just me because I'm just really bad at consolidation and streamlining or whatever they call it that day and everyone else writes perfect.
But then again, it's got my name on it in the end, so why should it really matter in the end, right?
Meanwhile, the stuff I was working on pre-alternative-weekly is being sorely neglected even though it's nagging in my head to be worked on. I'm thinking on just taking tomorrow and using it as a Border's day, where I go to the Border's out on Stephanie Street and sit in the cafe for a few hours with my Walkman and way-too-expensive Italian Soda and write a couple of pages out and hopefully get a chapter or two done. Hopefully being the operative word there. I have 2 ideas for novels, one of them being a screenplay that I started and vowed that I'd never finish because I'm done with my screenwriting phase (and I mean that. Really.) The other is about six or seven chapters in now, and there's a totally new idea that I recently had that could possibly change the whole thing. And 50 pages double-spaced isn't really all that much when you really get down to it. It's not even a novella, I think. At least, not to me. The most I've cranked out was 150 last year for my senior project, and that was really pushing it because I had all this sort of formatting to do because it was entirely e-mails. And even on top of that it was only a thin sheet of ice called fiction on top of it, because I'd had 2 years of research with my mom's death behind me, helping me along. This story I'm writing doesn't really involve research, at least as far as historical accuracy. It's mostly based around myth. But that's for another time.
Maybe I'm not planning enough. I sort of have ideas about where the ending might be, and maybe I have an idea about a final scene, but I don't spend hours and hours planning a story. I sometimes write up background stuff for characters and their important characteristics (and when I have bad alliteration coming on, like now). But I don't like having an outline for my story because in the back of my mind I wouldn't see any room for change. For some reason, seeing what the story's already going to be on a piece of paper paints me in a corner, and no new ideas seem to want to make themselves known, and the story can go in a totally different direction than what I originally intended.
Okay, so it's getting late and my eyes are feeling all sqoogly and things are starting to run together. More later, I think.
I think I realized last night why I'm single. For damn sure being in a band is just as frustrating.
When I lived on campus at Redlands, Johnston would have meetings every week to discuss community stuff-- cleaning, things that are pissing people off, on-campus schtick, whatever. The whole idea was that we were all in a "living/learning" community of two dorms where we negotiated how to argue with each other and how to discuss things without having to rip each other's heads off. In other words, when something major happened, like when someone from one of the dorms was arrested for having pot in their room (because someone had tipped off the police that they were selling out of their room even though they only had maybe less than an ounce-- and they weren't even selling anything), going to community meetings was a way of talking about what happened and its impact on the rest of the community.
And you know how college is supposed to be a stepping stone to the real world. Sometimes, maybe.
So we had this band meeting last night. Basically the topic of discussion was the fact that our drummer pissed off the venue we played at a couple of weeks ago because he warned another band that they're flaky. At first we were all pissed about this (I definitely was), but after a couple of days to cool down and sitting around alltogether the discussion went from being irate about that particular situation to getting reprimanded for handing out demos.
Apparently I'm the only person in this band who believes in fate.
We (this being the Brandon, our drummer, and myself) handed out demos to a couple of venues, a few bands, friends who asked for a copy. We showed up at shows, shmoozed with bands, got our face out there when everyone else was busy working or being at school or hanging out somewhere else. And then we get yelled at because our manager's getting prank phone calls and bands tell us they like our shit and are interested in playing with us. That doesn't seem to mean anything because everybody's out to get us and this whole town's a competition to step on each other and get big.
Maybe it's because I'm a girl, or because I actually like this band, or because I write about the scene and have seen so many bands, but I know this scene is changing, and sitting around getting bitter about the fact that we shouldn't be kissing people's asses when we're still playing at the bar is just plain pointless. We sat in a circle for 2 hours bitching about how we're in it for the music and whatever and I don't say anything at all because I'm going to get shot down no matter what I try and throw out there.
The thing is, you never know where those demos are going to go, whose hands they're going to end up in. We want to play, and we've been playing the same set for months and months now. People keep asking me when we're playing next and I have to tell them that I don't know because we don't plan shows. We have to have our manager call up the place and work it all out. That last-minute show we played was the first time we'd played outside the bar since, oh, September. Trying to plan a day to take pictures was like pulling teeth, and our manager wants us to get a promo pack together. It took about half an hour, going off on tangents about goofy shit that doesn't even apply to what's going on, to pick a Saturday to take pictures on.
We're a band that's in it for the music, right. Yeah, one of us makes up an idea that another one shoots down, which means that after over a year together we have 7 original songs. That's right, 7. What a hobby to have. This is the real world. Really. It is.
Luckily I had a night to sleep over this, so I'm not about to cry like I was last night. I don't want to be a prophet, but don't be surprised if there isn't a drop_alpha at the end of the month.
There are some days when you wonder exactly how you got into the mindset you're in. I don't mean this to say that I'm in some kind of bad mood, or that things are going to shit. Not yet, anyway. But sometimes I feel really lucky that I went to college and at least have a surface knowledge of things.
Like psychology, for instance. I know basic Freudian knowledge, a little bit of Jung, and mainly I know those either from theories I read in sociology or literature or even religious study classes (i.e., when I did an exegenical paper on an essay explaining why Adam fucked up the message to Eve about the whole tree thing. You're probably wondering what the hell I'm talking about at this point. Basically all it came down to was that God didn't give the message to Eve, Adam did, and he fucked it up, thus, Eve and all women get all the crap when it was his fault for not knowing how to repeat a command verbatim.)
So I know about Jung. I have a book of his basic theories that I picked up and have thumbed through a couple of times. I know about archetypes because of lit crit and reading Tarot cards, and I know the basics of synchronicity, not because of The Police, thank you very much.
Today I'm thinking about my story, this novel, and this nagging theory I have in my head that I've had for years and years about myth and behavior being passed down through genes comes up. (This is something I tried in other stories but I never finished them. And I've been finding quotes lately that are kinda on this theme that I stick into the notes I started, so there's your synchronicity.) And I know someone somewhere has looked into this whole thing.
I hop online, go straight to psychology on Yahoo, find some stuff that could be useful from a couple of websites, find a book and check on Amazon if they have this particular said book. The book's only a year old, and relatively cheap. Good. But just to make sure I drive down to Barnes & Noble (where are all the good little independents in this town?) and see if they have it so I don't have to keep watch by the mailbox for a week.
I'm standing in front of the one shelf of psychology, hoping this book will be there but not keeping my hopes up. It's not there, no big deal, but I find a couple of other books that I can use that are tangents but I can draw lines to mentally. Yeah, that makes sense.
I'm staring at this shelf, and all of a sudden a couple, a white boy and girl, they look about my age or so (21? 22? 23?), stand behind me because they're looking for something. Has someone ever stood behind you while you were looking for a book? It's disturbing. So I move next to them so they won't have to check out my big ole ass, and look at the shelf next to it. That, and to listen why these two are in this section-- think Abercrombie & Fitch, Beta Kappa something or rather, drinking Starbucks-- and the boyfriend (at least that's what I assumed) is looking for a book on Jung. I say Jung like the J was a Y, like it was spelled Yung. I think that's the right way.
"He needs a book on Joong," he says.
"Who's Joong?" she asks. Her hair is dirty blonde. She's wearing short denim shorts and a flourescent-colored baby t- shirt, with a small black purse hanging from her right arm. I think she has white Keds on. Or maybe they were white Sketchers, I wasn't really looking. "I've never heard
A goofy voice in my head laughs at this. I think it was my spirit guide. I painfully stifle the urge to tell them to shut up and shove a book in their face for them to buy. I smile at myself instead, and pick up a book to scan, waiting for them to get frustrated and leave.
Did I mention I'm wearing an Ani DiFranco shirt with a naked "Righteous Babe" on the back?
While I'm reading about Genograms (cycles of behavior in families), a Mozart concerto from her cel phone begs her to pick up. It's her friend, and they spend about ten minutes figuring out what they're wearing tonight. (It's St. Patrick's Day, after all.) The boyfriend finds a bunch of books on Jung, totally flabbergasted as to which one to pick-- synchronicity? dreams?-- oh the horror! Finally she suggests they go to the mall for... something, and they'll look for a book at UNLV's library. Aw, cute, innit kids?
I don't mean to sound bitter. I really don't. But at least I can distinguish between, oh, say, a kegger and Jungian psychology. Oh wait, I'm not a heathen. No, I am. I'm a witch, after all.
But I'm a college-educated witch. And I went to a liberal arts college, which means nothing more than knowing about book stuff and knowing way too much about the dynamics of pop culture. I can't even watch commercials anymore without getting angry that the minority kids are pushed out of the frame in that toy commercial. And I'm white, fer chrissakes.
Needless to say, I came home and ordered the book I was looking for on Amazon. Hopefully it'll get here before the end of the month.
And speaking of overly expensive chain bookstores, I did have my couple of hours in at Border's a couple of days ago, with a really badly mixed and expensive Raspberry Italian soda. I ended up not really getting anything finished, although I rewrote whatever chapter I was working on, which is something, I guess, even though I'm not done with the chapter yet.
Which means I should go work on it now so I feel some kind of productivity going on.
My brother made a comment a couple of nights ago that has bothered me a little. He mentioned that I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing as far as career.
And I'm sitting there thinking that I'm doing what I want as far as career-- I'm writing. I'm doing journalism, even though it's not supporting me exclusively. Journalism isn't what I went to school for, but that's okay, I like it even if I didn't really learn how to do it in college.
I think my brother doesn't really recognize that I'm actually glad, happy, and how blessed (as tacky as that sounds) that I'm writing. I'm doing something that I'm halfway decent at doing. Is that fulfillment? I don't know, maybe.
The thing is, I don't think I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do. How I want to get there, now that's what needs to be figured out. Actually, not really be "Figured out," but lived. I want to take the journey.
But that's a broken record. I just needed to vent a little.
So this weekend was slightly busy. Well, Friday was, anyway. This mega-concert thingie at local venues Huntridge and Sanctuary. They used to be 2 seperate buildings but they linked them up and now they're trying to do these huge local events. It's a good idea, but the execution needed some work. Bands would start in one place while others were already playing somewhere else, which sucked and made it kinda boring because then Kim and I would have to move somewhere else. It was nice to see Joynt Chiefs but then we'd have to leave to go see our friend Randall in Cornerstone. Kinda frustrating 'cause it was bad enough that it was mostly standing room-- I mean, literally, there aren't many places to sit, and even when there weren't that many people there, parking whereever there's a seat, sitting on the floor was not an option, especially with beer being spilled near mosh pits.
But I saw a few bands I'd never seen before, even if it was just one song. At least I got a little something new in.
So yeah. In a way it's an exercise for me in description (at least, mentally, anyway), and more practice doing show reviews. On the 29th I'm supposed to be going to Erykah Badu, so I'm brushing up on my attention to details and whatnot.
Last night was spent at the other bassist's apartment (that would be Alex and his fiance Liz) drinking and watching really bad porn, the Pam & Tommy Lee DVD being the highlight of the evening.
There are just parts of people you really don't want to see.
And I didn't get any work done other than the reviews. A girl's gotta have her priorities.
So I'm sitting here, listening to this radio station I put together, and thinking about writing a story about how Vegas radio sucks and I'm putting together my own shit and how easy it really is to do it. But I'm also realizing that as diverse as my shit is musically, it could be more. I mean, I feel like I've only scratched the surface with all this stuff.
But I went down to the alt-weekly to fill out the paperwork for getting paid. Finally. I'm so bad. I was talking to my sister-in-law today and she commented that I'm a real artist-- I don't even really care about getting paid. Not too sure about the artist part-- I am in the sense that I do artsy shit, I guess. It's sad. I'd rather have my name up there than get the money for it. It'll be even stranger to get the check.
It's 3:30 in the morning, so I'll just tell a funny story. My dad and I had my twin nephews over on Monday to babysit. I'm sweeping the floor, since there's all kinds of crap on it, and the twins are running around being almost-2-year-olds. I have some clothes in the wash, I'm feeling productive, and my dad's nowhere to be found. All of a sudden, I hear this horrible screaming and crying and Noah runs out of my dad's room, all wet, and when I pick him up he points to dad's room. I hear water running, but I think it's the washer, but no, it gets louder as I creep more into dad's bedroom, and it sounds like the shower's running. Oh no. The shower's not running. I look in my dad's restroom (a little room with no door that has a bedet and toilet) and the bedet is cranked up all the way, hitting the ceiling, and dripping to the floor! So after getting myself wet, I turn it off, and turn the bath off 'cause he turned that on too, and now Jordan (his brother) is in there trying to turn the bath on while I'm trying to turn it off and I'm dripping and yelling at them to get outta here you horrible little brats I have to go work out.
This is my statement, and my brother seconds this, as I'm sure everyone else does: I'm not going to have kids. Not for a really really really reeeely long time.
Spring Break is here, more or less, though I don't know exactly what that means now that I don't have holidays. However, that means that all my friends are in town, or going to be here. Cat from New York, Rozzie from Japan, Lisa from Fresno. And of course Kim and I are already here, trying to have fun with just us and not succeeding very well because we get so tired of going out and people acting like assholes. But we make do. Nat's not coming back till mid/late-July, I talked to her younger brother the other night and he's totally out of it because he has no money and no job and doesn't want to get one and quit after 3 months before he goes to visit his sister.
Rozzie's here till April 19th or so, and Cat leaves this Saturday, so we're all trying to get time in together before we all take off. Roz & I are trying to plan a trip to L.A. this weekend to see Jude in concert (and Matty, my brotha-man and flatmate from England-via-Boston) and we've both got these terrible allergy/hay fever attack things going on, we can't breathe for shit. Lisa's coming in the first week of April so I know people are gonna wanna get out and be all party in your butt.
Cat & I have this weird synchronicity thing going with people. Usually when we're together we see people we haven't seen in, oh, eons or so. We're up at Blueberry Hill, one of our old eatery haunts from high school, and she's writing a brief for her class (NYU Law School-- too much paper for my taste) and I'm working on my novel (which probably has about a third as much paper as she, but still a lot for me in any sense). We're productive for a couple of hours, and about 3:30 in the morning we're finally ready to go home and get some sleep.
We're on the way out and I think I see a reeely old friend of ours, Sherri, and before we open the door, Cat turns back inside to see if it's her, and it is, and we're all surprised to see each other. Now Sherri is from the Old School Copioh Cafe, when they had real plants that this guy Joey used to take care of, a working piano and bookshelves with books on them that people left behind, and a fish tank that Sherri took care of with all kinds of manner of fish in it. She's gotta be in her mid to late fifties, and she's got these bright blue eyes and stories to tell, usually about a botched marriage or boyfriend.
And this story is no different. At least, it started off that way.
The last time Cat & I had seen Sherri she was with this guy that she'd really dug, I think she was married to him already, and they'd been together for awhile and had some drama but nothing too strange. They were about to move to southern California when we'd seen her last, so that's where she'd started with her story. She left the guy, so that was why she was back in Vegas, and she'd finally realized why she had to leave, she said, and there were a few reasons why.
She prefaced everything with talking about Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Now, when someone mentions that, I know we're in for trouble, but she wasn't that crazy. Yet. But she came to this conclusion that just because you're in the same family doesn't mean you were raised under the same roof-- you pick who your family is in this life. Okay, I can see that for some people, sure. My friends are people I consider my brothers and sisters, you know how it goes.
But then she starts talking about why she left. Now I guess they lived in the Ontario area of Cali, which has the biggest mall in the state, Ontario Mills. (Literally, you walk into the sliding glass doors and when it says in Spanish, "Welcome to neighborhood one," you know you're in trouble.)
Sherri was looking for some shoes, a particular pair that she had that were wearing out and she wanted to find a new pair at this shop in this particular mini-metropolis. She's talking to the sales person about these shoes, and he disappears. For 4 hours. And she stayed there for that long until she rented a car to get back home. She's an independent type.
But then she goes into this story about meeting the guy's father and he's a vile man. She didn't really go into details other than drinking I think. And then somehow all of a sudden she's driving back to Vegas and she's in Baker and she meets some Indian on his way to see his shaman and she locks him out of his car. And a couple of other people too, though she didn't mean to. She then proceeds to tell us about how she's been seeing the number 11:11 on her clocks all the time, and how the number 4 and 1 have been appearing every so often.
Then she tells this story about how she was going through Barstow. I don't know if this is the same trip or not. I don't think it was. I think it's an interesting story, though I uestion her sanity:
"I stop in Barstow right, because I'm hungry and you know that McDonald's drive thru they have there. And I order, and find that I only have 4 dollars! What was that?!? And the poor kid at the window, he was so nice to round up the 13 cents I didn't have out of his pocket. You know how you park in the handicapped spot when you have to wait to bring out your food, well, I'm parked and eating and this little, little old man comes up. I mean, he wasn't little! He was just... you know... (she hunches over). And then this punk kid comes over-- and I mean punk in that he knew better than to bother us at 9 at night on a Saturday. He asks me, 'Hey lady, you got any change?' and I say, 'I didn't even have enough change for this McDonald's food,' and he gets all livid and the old man says, and I thought this was the funniest thing, 'Why don't you just get a job?' and this kid's all flustered and walks off. And I'm talking to this old guy. He's a priest, he's a land owner, he's a pilot. I mean, he was in THE WAR. 'Let's go have some coffee,' he says to me, 'I know a good place to go.' I'm freaking out, but I say sure, why not.
"And we get to this cafe and he gets out and this kid comes out of the cafe and the old guy says to the kid, 'Can you go and wash this nice lady's windows for her?' and the kid took my key. I'm thinking, shit, I've really done it this time, I've fucked up and they're taking whatever I've got left. But the old man has this smile on his face, and he says, 'Come on in, I'll buy you a cup of coffee, you want anything else to eat?' How does he know this kid? Who is he? And we're sitting there for awhile in this cafe talking, and he's telling me about all this land he owns in Victorville, all the high land that's good land, and it's like he knows my passion for owning land. He knows all the things that I want. He knows them. I give the guy my phone number, tell him about how I'm going to Vegas and he'll call me and I'll come out and see his land. And I get back in my car, I have no money, and there's a hundred dollar bill on my seat and the gas tank is filled up."
It's an interesting story, I think, but Cat thinks she's lost her mind completely. Yeah, but crazy people have the best stories, because they don't care what people have to say about it.
The Academy Awards coverage is on, and I'm thinking that I was just in L.A. yesterday doing the crazy day trip thing.
Having really strange sleep patterns that are *thisclose* to sleep dep feels like a hangover after a couple of days. I've been going to sleep about 5 in the morning for the past three days. Hopefully that's over now, but then again, with friends still in for spring break, probably not.
Friday night was spent hanging with the girls until Roz & I went to 80's night and when it was all over with we were shocked that it was 4 in the morning and we were planning to get up around 10ish to head to L.A. So after getting up (or trying to, anyway) and figuring out what was going down on the P.o.A. driving logistics and whatnot, we head out, sunglasses hiding our eyes and all.
Finally getting there after all the traffic and having to pee really badly and giving Roz a preview of what was gonna go down ("The Asshole Song," "Dr. Evil," "Brad & Suzy" being a few of the choice cuts), we get to Hollywood, and after realizing our cel phones won't work and haphazardly trying to find a payphone that actually *took* money on Sunset Boulevard, we visit Matt, get some pants on, and have dinner. You notice how much slower things go when you're on somewhat of a schedule. But then again, if I didn't get all worked up, calmly, about the whole thing, it wouldn't work out in the end anyway.
Matt has plans, so we leave him and after negotiating some construction on Santa Monica Boulevard (grrr), find a parking spot on a side street (partially blocking a driveway, but it was already 9 o'clock so we didn't think anyone would be around anyway, but I was still a little apprehensive about it, till we got inside and I forgot completely about it.)
Largo was easy to find (thanks in part to a really nice guy on the AltJudeList named rychard who e-mailed me a link to a map). There's a line outside, and I'm hoping there isn't a dress code 'cause I'm wearing a Sandman t-shirt-- hey, it was one of the few shirts I had left that was clean-- and jeans that are frayed at the bottom with black Vans. No worries there. We stand outside in a slight chill for about 20 minutes and they let us in. Roz and I scope a dark corner where we can leave our stuff and lean on a sorta bar thing since there were no seats left at the actual bar and you had to have a reservation to sit at a table (something I'll note for next time).
We're talking with a nice girl we met in line named Angela who just recently moved to L.A. from Portland and just jibber-jabber, trying to reserve a good scope-the-stage spot for the night. And we're all drinking cider. Cider rawks. Luckily I only had one, or else I would've been in trouble. I knew I had to drive, and I knew I'd be feeling weird after what marginal amount of sleep I'd gotten lately, so I just had water after that.
Finally a little after 10 Jude comes out, looking a little more... I don't know the word. The first time I'd seen him, a year and a half ago in Pittsburgh, he was in a t-shirt, slacks and sneakers. This time he was in this black kinda mesh shirt with black slacks (I didn't notice the shoes). He was more... I dunno, L.A. Maybe it was the venue. He even commented his shirt was weird, so maybe he didn't pick the outfit. Rock stars, you never know what their up to.
Yeah. So the show was awesome, 2 hours of just him (his bassist came out for a few songs, but then disappeared for awhile), and it was fun. And I mean that word, fun-- we were laughing almost the entire time. I mean, the guy has a wicked sense of humor, and I know moreso now exactly why he has the comparisons to Ani-- the intelligent, goofy humor that I wish I had but couldn't really squeeze out even if I was channeling my mother. And he played all my favorite songs, which ruled. It's going into my top five live show experiences (which include Tori, Ani, Neil, and Live).
I might write more later on, but dinner just got here so priorities reign.
Just something really quick for all you people (that would include me, too, so don't think I'm bitching at some specific no-faced majority)-- if you really like a band, and I happen to say I like them too, don't expect me to know every single fucking thing about said band. I've had it done to me many a time, and last night was a prime example of my ability not to pull a Nancy Reagan and Just Say No in certain situations:
So I'm down at Roma last night, visiting, seeing how everyone is doing, tell people about my day trip. I even had someone I didn't even tell I was going out of town ask me how L.A. was-- that was very strange, considering I was only gone for a day; I guess you get so used to seeing people that when they aren't there you get nervous that the world's going to end or something. It's open mic, we're all hanging out, playing guitar, whatnot. I'm ready to go home about 10 o'clock, and we're all standing around outside talking and playing and just enjoying the nice weather, blah. And this guy who was playing my friend Grant's guitar earlier is standing there, and he wants to play again, and somehow we get on the subject of concerts and this guy asks me if I like Depeche Mode-- well, yeah. But I'm like, "Greatest Hits" Depeche, not like, I own every friggin' album and want to have Dave Gahan's love child kind of girl. I say I'm going to their concert in August, and he asks me how I'm getting tix-- probably online. He asks me if he gives me money, I'll get him a ticket-- sure, but it's still about 5 months away so I'm not in a hurry to get them since they won't be on sale for awhile at least. He asks for my number so he can call me and he can give me money so I can get him a ticket online, then proceeds to spend the next hour coming up behind me and singing Depeche Mode's greatest hits, something that scares the complete and utter shit out of me.
Basicially, kids, just say you don't like music. It makes things easier.
My nephews are turning two today. This feels really scary to me because the next thing I know they'll be off to college or something. They were born while I was out of the country, and didn't even see them the first three months of their life, so it's weird to me to see them sometimes, especially when my brother starts playing with them. It's like he's this totally different person when he's a father. He reminds me of when we were little and he and I used to play around and we had the whole desert to ourselves, playing baseball outside and playing football and wrestling inside. Then I wonder if they're going to hang on to that huge sky like we did. So many kids are unstable these days, it's hard to tell if they're going to make it or not.
But something tells me they're special, these two, even if society judges them off the bat because they're mixed babies, or because they're actually loved.
So I found out that I'm getting $311 dollars back on my tax return soon. That and the fact that I deposited my first freelancing check made me feel weird all over this week.
I told you it was going to feel strange to get that check. And it was. I mean, getting paid for services rendered that you actually DIG has got to be the biggest crime man has ever created. Seriously. (Granted I was up till 4 in the morning getting my reviews in-- Brassy's debut CD and Erykah Badu's concert last night, dayam that girl can SAYNG.) Part of me just wishes I had more opportunity to write more-- not to get paid more and support myself, but to practice my writing more. You know that whole deal-- when you aren't working on something it just gets pushed to the back burner, and other little devils take over. I had this week off from the alt-weekly when my editor called and asked me if I had anything 'cause he was short on word count (this after he mentioned that he had some extra stuff so he didn't think I was going to have anything in there.) Just goes to show ya gotta be prepared for anything, I guess. After that crazy day in L.A. I think I want to do more travelling-- it makes for better stories and better concert experiences.
Brett (the sis-in-law) and I are trying to see if there are any concerts going down in Pittsburgh while we're there in late May. Hopefully something good. We haven't been to a show together since we went to Paul Oakenfold last summer. (Was that last summer? Seems so long ago.)
So yeah. There's a nice little grove of dandelions growing outside my window. Maybe I'll make some wine...
I guess I should just start rambling. I had in mind my rant on being Pagan and all, and now that daylight savings time is here, spring is in swing and it's like everybody's getting happy again.
Yes, I'm Pagan, my handle denotes that. I've been a student since I was about 16 or so (I'm close to 23 now), and I initiated myself almost three years ago. I'm mostly solitary, I have friends who are Pagans as well and we sometimes meet around holidays and do random stuff, but that's okay because it's nice to know there are other people out there who are in the same realm with you and don't need big groups to feel a sense of self.
I mean, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with covens and group activities, but it's really hard to have a group of 13 and not have power struggles, especially when you're dealing with magicians and cupcake witches and all that crap. It's like when you're out at a club and your gaydar goes off-- you can just tell the people who are into it because it looks good, and others who are into it because they know it's where they belong.
And me, I don't even know if I belong there sometimes. I have my doubts about what exactly it is I believe, but who doesn't, you know? Mostly it's because I can't really define it and it kinda gets verbalized in my story. There are things that make more sense when you know the context. And part of it too is because I'm a student of religion, of all kinds of belief systems and philosophies, so I'm Pagan in the sense that I take these sensory things from all these places and whether their conscious or not I use them.
So, my story. There has to be a place to tell it for it to make sense, I guess.
I wasn't raised in any religion at all, really. Dad was Catholic, and so was my mom, I think. But my dad, being the rebel he was, moved from back east, and my mom moved from Northern California and met here. We never went to church, never had Bible study, nothing. My dad had a huge Catholic Bible and my mom one of those little Gideon bibles you find in hotels-- I still have it, stamped with "Town House Motel" on Casino Center Boulevard. It's still all hi-lighted and the pages are marked with paper clips from when I was 15 and wanted to use quotes from the great King James Version because I thought it would sound cooler and make me look more educated than I really was even though I had very little idea what it all meant anyway.
So yeah, I basically picked up a Bible when I was 15 to sound cool. It didn't really work, even though I was writing vampire stories at the time, but hey, it was all practice. (Everything is practice for the next story you're going to write, whether it be the novel or short story for the anthology.)
And it was one of my best friends Natalie who read my Tarot cards one day that really got to me when I was 16. I don't know what it was, really, just the fact that she hit right on about a lot of things just clicked in my head. So I asked her a lot of questions and started to read a few books, got my own pack of cards and started off.
But meeting other Pagans when I was in college almost scared the hell out of me because here I was, coming out of high school where I literally was called evil for wearing a pentegram to school into a place where you could practice and people would think it normal.
And the thing is I never really thought about initiating myself because it just didn't really occur to me, until mom died when I was 19. It's funny how you go through these cycles, and you start to feel things that you only could think about before. The whole Pagan cycle of death and birth and hibernation and sleep and rebirth-- it was like I'd had a real initiation before I sat in my bedroom on the summer solstice six months later and did it myself. It's one thing to know someone you love is going to die, but when it's so unexpected you don't think about how instantly you have to hold hands with the parts of yourself that were mere shadows hours before.
I think I became more Pagan after mom died. The thing that really did it for me was just the fact that I knew she was there with me at night, when I was sleeping, and she'd put her arm around me, and then I'd dream that we were saying goodbye. I didn't need Jesus to know I was going to see her again, and that she was alright. It's like I became this direct line to the Goddess, just because I'd gone through this experience. She sees death every day of her existence, speaks with all the spirits of the world, fractures herself in order to give us the messages that we need to survive. I realized that to speak to my mom all I had to do was say something, light a candle, even.
It felt right. The practicing, it felt right for me then, as it still does now. I needed to do it because if I didn't have it as a part of my life I wouldn't be here writing this, and telling little stories about myself that nobody reads but maybe two people.
So there's what was supposed to be a rant, but ended up being... something else entirely.
So here's something that, although is a little over-the-top, is kinda typical for me. Plus is a good laugh:
Roz & her hubby Brian & Kim & I all decide to go to the Monte Carlo brew pub last night to at least get a night out while they're here and say we went out and did something on a Tuesday night. We're standing in line to get in since we want to get a table and eat, and there's a little piece of paper taped to their menu board saying ONE NIGHT ONLY!, and adjacent to it is a color picture of Kiss-- or at least a very good impersonation called Kiss Army. Oh, cool, a cover band. Should be interesting to see how good they are.
We're seated, and half the televisions have ESPN while the other half have Boyz in the Hood on, some TVs in captions. The DJ is playing this remix of almost every popular rock song ever made from the 70's on up to the 90's and all four of us at the table know the words coming out of the speakers, while I'm watching the movie on the screen, and it's pretty much the most intense part of the movie when the guy you don't want to get shot gets shot.
Our food comes just as the band hits the little stage-- sparkly costumes and makeup and similar-looking instruments in tow. We're eating, and they start things off with "Detroit Rock City," a boom of sparks flying off the stage (their version of pyrotechnics, I guess). They play some more songs I don't really recognize, and just after playing "Hotter Than Hell" their Gene Simmons look-alike (complete with beer gut and man-boobs) breaks out a sword, tip on fire, and proceeds to blow three huge fireballs, which was pretty cool, we thought.
We finish eating and the Paul Stanley look-alike says, "Call out the Firehouse!" and they play the song which is I guess of the same name, another boom of sparks flying from the stage, which made everyone jump-- even our waitress who came up to our table and insisted on our paying for our bill even though we weren't expecting to pay yet since we were digesting and watching.
Then all of a sudden I look up at the lights above and there are flames that look straight out of the movie _Backdraft_ and I realize other people notice this too and kinda point in total curiosity. And Kim says, "I don't think that's supposed to do that," referring to the fact that the stage's roof is now on fire and the DJ ran to get a fire extinguisher.
The fire spreads a little. You can hear the whoosh. Firey shit is falling from the ceiling onto the guitars, the amps, the drums. The DJ puts out some of the fire only to have it start back up, again with that scary-ass whoosh of spreading flames. And you can hear the people about to panic as they make their way out.
There's something about seeing fire that just makes people freeze because we kept stopping to see what was happening. Maybe it's the whole idea of drama happening before you.
Then again, I'm not sure if it was the budding realization that it was a real metaphor for the music scene out here.
Band practice went well tonight. We only went over the set, but that was okay because Roz was there to film some of it for posterity, I guess. But Kim even joined in for Perjury To Life, which we got on tape for the archives. Blackmail, gotta love it.
And you know I was telling Kim how all I've been thinking about the past couple of days is that dammed woosh the fire made. It's like when you see those movies and a skeletal hand sweeps by your hair, making you turn around. You see nothing behind you, but you don't know what exactly is lurking at your shoulder.
Not that I'm having these thoughts of sudden death-- I don't think I'd be sitting here late at night writing if that were true-- but just that sound. I think it's more than just a funny story. It's genuinely CREEPY. I haven't felt like this since my mom died. Seriously.
I don't even know why I'm writing this right now. Maybe it's just to make myself feel better.
It's a cold, windy, rainy day in Vegas today. Now it REALLY feels like I'm back in England again. Good Sunday weather, even if it's a Saturday.
The band took pictures today. Sounds like a simple sentence, but so much belies its true nature. Strangely enough, it only took us about an hour to do it, which is a miracle and a half. Kim & I went to 80's night last night with Roz & Brian, so we were out to about 3:30 in the morning when we planned on Thursday to be at the bar to meet for pictures at about 10 in the morning so we could get some good light and before Brandon had to be at the Silver Bowl to work the Outlaws game. So I get there with about 5 hours of sleep, Kim not too close behind me, with no Mikey (honorary 6th member, roundabout bitch, writer of lyrics to one of our songs), who really wanted to go and was up when Kim got home and when she went to bed. Tony arrives about 10 minutes after us, Brandon about 20 minutes after him, still drunk from the night before on about 2 hours of sleep with news that Alex just woke up, hungover, and is on his way. Brandon calls Kahlil and woke him up-- he was up earlier but couldn't figure out why exactly. Everybody shows up as the weather gets worse, eventually sprinkling at eleven when we're all there. Kahlil has to meet the co-creator of Spawn (I can't remember his name, just NOT Todd McFarlane) at one, so driving to Redrocks is out, more so with the terrible weather. But we're troopers.
We figure we'd go up to Whitney Mesa and do it up there since it's close and it's got a great view of the city so we can take some good photos. It's the big hill/mountain thing that VoTech sits on top of but nobody knows the name of except us weird "we used to live over there" types-- the house I grew up in (and where my dad's crackwhore girlfriend's parents reside in now), and Kim's childhood home, now just a foundation after the people who bought it weren't sure what to do with it so they just demolished it-- are right across the street from the mesa.
The weather's cloudy, so it fits I guess, we don't have to worry about glare. But it's windy as fuck and my hair, being that I washed it and let it dry so it's a curly mess anyway, gets worse, all in my face, and I'm wearing a long skirt hoping it wouldn't be all that cold. It was. Even for being in the middle of a spring day, it was fucking COLD. But we're all fucking around anyway, laughing and making dick and fart jokes as per usual, with some serious pictures in there somewhere.
It's good to hang with the boys sometimes, but nothing with this band is ever productive.
Lisa's in town, but we pretty much had plans for this weekend before she got here, so she's doing her own thing-- Rum Jungle tonight, though why on a student's budget you'd want to pay 20 dollars when you could go for free on Monday is beyond me. I might join her for her club romp this week, but I don't know if I can take all that noise and strutting. They know what is what, but they don't know what is what, they just strut, what the fuck.
So tonight Kim & I planned on hitting The Boston with Roz & Brian to see God Among Men and Industry. Things have been really slow lately especially on the local scene, and I don't even know why that would be. I mean, not that anything that's out there now is necessarily BAD in the sense that it's completely non-listenable. It's just uninspiring. There aren't any bands that I see that I would tell everyone in the world about. The only local thing I've been listening to lately is that Jovis demo that accidentally dropped into my hands-- it's really good, I think-- very catchy tunes, kinda this dreamy emo rock, which is an interesting mix. When I was reviewing that Slaves record, I almost felt bad sending it in because it just shows how depressing things are in the scene right now. Either that, or everybody with talent's got real jobs or something.
I'm hoping things will pick up this summer. If they don't it's going to be VERY depressing.
Hmmm. I might be co-hosting a metal show. Now, if you're actually reading this, and see what I've been listening to lately, it hasn't been metal. Though I like some of it-- Candiria, Fear Factory, Pantera. But being in a band whose members have Iron Maiden influence running through their bloody veins does make me curious as to what's out there underground in the metal scene. It's a genre that's misunderstood, mainly because people can't stand the noise of it-- but that's why it's good though. Some of the musicians that come out of the metal scene are amazing-- they play at speeds you never thought could come from human beings. And some of them even use melody, how about that.
But it's a website called lvrocks.com, and I hung out with all the guys over there for a few hours today, listening to the kind of stuff Steve, the host of the metal show called Mosh It (which, incidentally, happens to be the name of his magazine) was putting on his playlist. I actually had a good time, despite the mysoginist vibe I got. If anything it'll be a good story for the alt-weekly.
It's something different, I guess. The GAM show last night was good, though not as packed as the show we all went to a couple of months ago. They put on a good show, however, probably even moreso now that they're recording something for Columbia Records. I'm crossing my fingers for them.
Okay, din din time. I know there was something else I wanted to write about, but I forgot it. Snarf.
Just wanted to ramble a bit before I went off to poetry tonight.
I have Yahoo Messenger, and on my profile (madder_rain if anyone really cares) I put up a picture of Baby Despair, just 'cause I can. I mean, I have real pictures up at the website and all, but it's funner just to see what kind of reactions I get by using something that's not really me.
Mostly, it's been a good response. However, *still*, after 6 years of being online, I get dumbass people who have nothing else to do than to tell me I'm fat. Tell me something I *don't* know, mothafucka!
Look, if you don't like what I look like, piss off, you're the one with problems if you feel the need to tell me shit people have been telling me since I was a little girl.
This guy told me all the fat jokes-- as if I'd never heard them before-- and so I just went over the top and told him all the ones I knew. A lot from Weird Al, too. I don't think he really knew what to say 'cause he types, "okay, ur fat bye" as if I couldn't see his small dick from across the computer screen. And the lack of education, at that.
And then I sit here, in front of my computer, and I think. I think about the fact that I'm almost 23, with a degree, been to three continents, with a writing job, lots of friends, a band. And how whoever's on the other end and feels the need to do something about his Napoleon complex will end up marrying a really pretty girl, after all the zits have faded and his balls have finally dropped, and he'll cheat on her, maybe have a couple of kids, and realize that his job at McDonald's isn't the career he exactly imagined when he was jacking off in front of the computer.
I'm supposed to be at work soon, so I gotta make this quick. A typical Vegas story, though sort of typical for me.
Had a late night at Studio 54 @ the MGM with Kim, Lisa, Jackie, and Chaz last night, my first time there and packed as hell. But for some reason I actually didn't feel like shit being there, don't ask me why. Usually I'm the dumpy older-sister type chick at the club, where I dance better than my friends but never, *ever* get hit on just for the mere fact that I'm not size 2. Last night, though, I didn't really give a shit, probably because Chaz came along and we kept talking in line about how we always feel so marginalized when we go out because we never get hit on. I was there to dance, I only had one margarita, and I got buzzed only because I was tired by the time we'd started dancing-- I've been trying to get to bed at a decent time lately and failing miserably, and staying out till 4 in the morning didn't help matters.
We get in, get some drinks, walk around, dance around a bit, work up a drenching sweat, and go back to the bar where everybody but Kim and me get drinks, and head back upstairs where we end up in the VIP section for some reason-- probably because there were open chairs there where we could sit for awhile.
So I work my groove back up on some trance and I turn around and this guy walks in our direction. I'm like, I know him, where do I know him. Just as he walks by, I'm thinking Holy shit that's Billy Corgan, he's not as tall as I thought he was. But I was wearing my flaming shoes with 2 inch soles, so anyone who's 6 foot isn't so tall anymore. His bald ass walks by with his girl buddy, and we're dancing, and Kim looks at me. "Who was that?" she said, "I know who that is." I told her and her jaw just dropped. "Get out." So Jackie and Lisa and I are getting our grooves back on and Chaz comes back from the bathroom, and I tell him our little celebrity spotting story. He flips, of course, all of a sudden becoming Smashing Pumpkins fanboi #1.
We're dancing again, and Billy does another stroll-by, and I point him out to Chaz, jokingly suggesting that he follow him if he's so stoked that he's here. About half an hour later he returns with this story about how he smoked out, then proceeded to make out with Billy Corgan in the bathroom, then gave him his e-mail address. You know, if it was someone I actually listened to, or was attracted to in some way, I would've been jealous.
Then again, he claims that he blew 4 people in the last hour I was there, so there ya go. Something tells me that's not too far from the truth. Which means that, guess what, surprise! Kari never, *ever* gets any play. Ever. Never.
But Chaz hon, if you ever read this, I wanna see that bloody e-mail. Neener neener.
Today's my dad's birthday. He turns 55. I haven't bought him a present yet, and I'm writing in here. Um.
Actually had a decent night @ Moose's last night. It was more hanging with Roz & Brian than anything else, really. Danced a little bit, but more to the techno parts than the rap parts. I had my eyes all glittered out and when I met Kim & Lisa at the cafe everybody was so shocked that I had something on my face-- I don't like makeup because it clogs up my face, makes me look three, and I end up scratching it off by the end of the night because my face feels like something's crawling all over it. But I had a couple of margaritas and didn't do anything extraordinary, which was good. This weekend's going to be REALLY busy 'cause there are three concerts in three days PLUS clubs we want to go to afterwards on two of those days, Blackout @ Utopia on Friday being one of them.
I've been listening to a lot of techno lately. This is good because subconsiously I listen to things because I like them and not realize why I'm listening to them-- like when I'm listening to Portishead, and not because of the beats, you know? But I've been into a lot of trancey stuff, upbeat and danceable. I just wanna bob my head right now and feel rhythm in my whole body.
But then these guys at LV Rocks REALLY want me to co-host this metal show, which is a whole other kettle of fish that I'm not sure I want to do right now even though the opportunity is kick ass. If they can wait just a couple of weeks we'll see what's up. I'm starting to get back into my multi-tasking thing where I have ten million things to do and I'm just waiting for that big conflict that means I have to stop doing one of them.
Foremost, however, is the alt-weekly. That takes precedent over everything for the mere fact that it's what I really want to do, even it's a little baby step.
I got my Jude tape. That makes me happy. There are songs on there that he played in L.A. that I loved and now that I can get them on CD it's going on repeat big time. That and the new Ani CD's here. Man, it's a good year.
Yes. Dad. Present. Now. Good.
Lots of stuff going on lately, which is why I'm neglecting the journal. But it's good stuff, so I can't really complain all that much.
I'm not sure what's up at LV Rocks. They haven't called me since last week, so I'm not sure exactly if they still want me to host or not. I'm not crossing my fingers even though I might still be involved as far as the band thing and local shit, which is fine with me. They're actually nice people over there, so at least it'll be a good contact.
I'm tired as shit, though. I've been out almost every night this past week, and I'm ready for a huge fucking nap. And writing reviews, and coming in for Dad... I should be sleeping as we speak, but I always feel like I should be doing something else if I have time to sleep, you know?
But I did cut a lot of things out this past weekend, so I'm not totally dead. Yet. Hemlock was on Friday and even though they're a bit *too* hard for my taste, they have energy and work a crowd like nobody's business. They're just fun. I didn't want to go to Utopia because I was just beat up and wanted to get to bed early, but then...
Saturday night was busy-- Kim & I caught the tail end of Cornerstone, said hi to Randall, and Kim dropped me off @ Roma so I could head off to Utopia. I had a good time dancing and people watching. Oh, and watching out for Lisa and her first E trip. When she wasn't funny rolling, I never left her to make sure she didn't get sick. But I asked her what it was like, and I've concluded that even if my friends have a good time with drogas, it's better to live vicariously through them than have an experimental phase at 22. I just feel too old for that shit. Just give me NyQuil, I'll be right as rain.
I was planning on Jurassic 5 last night, but I was too burned out and Jorge was saying how packed it was and I didn't want to go through that again after Erykah. And I was rehearsing with Chaz most of the day anyway so we were working on stuff for open mic next week.
And then I get an e-mail from my editor asking if I wanted more stuff for the alt-weekly. I mean, basically doing all the local shit, which I don't mind now that I've talked to him about it. At first I was a little leery just because it seems like a lot of stuff, but then I was talking to him about how I just tend to get random gossip rather than calling the same two people every week, so if I hear something I can just call people.
And I gave blood today @ Sam's Town, and who else would be there taking my blood than Jamie, the percussionist for Face Down. Small fucking town, I tell you. He poked both of my arms-- the left had a runaway vein, so hopefully I won't get a bruise-- and he jokingly begged me not to give a bad review of the band if I bruised up. That, my friend, is the power of journalism right there.
And it almost made me pass out, so I should actually get to a nap right now before I do anything. B and Jorge are supposed to come over and jam so I wanna be fresh when they get here.
It's been a bad week.
I say this because roundabout the new year I made a conscious decision not to project this brooding-ness-thing that I've had since I was a kid. I mean, not that I was going to force myself to be nice, or happy, or even sappy or whatever. But I wanted to just let good things happen and not question it, have a good time without thinking that there had to be something wrong, to be creative and know that was my place in life.
But this week. This week. It's been horrible in my head, and I'm not really sure why. This guy I had a huge crush on right before I went to college was in town with his wife and new baby, and Rozzie left to go to Japan and I just missed her at the airport, and I haven't really gone anywhere this week.
I tried to do sacred work-- you know, clean my room up a bit, move around some of my stuff. But tonight I was at Flashback Friday, and we went at 11, and by 1:30 I'd left with Chaz because he was sick from celebrating 4/20 all day and Kim was drunk making out with a guy we'd met at Moose's on Wednesday. So I started breaking down in there, for some reason or another, and just tried to figure out for the life of me why I let it all get to me.
It's a rant I'll probably really get to sometime, but I just wanted to let some of it out now so I can laugh about it tomrrow.
Chaz and I finally got up and played at Roma last night. It was okay, really. I mean, by the time we got up there not that many people were left so it wasn't like we were playing for the fairly large crowd that was there earlier in the evening. I didn't really care much one way or the other if we really sucked or not, just as long as we got to go up there and do something. I'm one of those people who's all about the experience, about getting up there and just doing it 'cause you can and it's your Goddess-given right to make yourself look like a complete twit if you want to. But that's just me.
There was something else I was thinking about, but I'm not sure exactly what it was anymore.
My horoscope says that Saturn is entering my sign. Saturn is the planet of death, of buildings, of blocks and obstacles. Which would make perfect sense with my little breakdown on Friday, because it's bringing up the same old things that I thought I was trying to shake hands with.
Chaz says I Love You and Mikey lays his head on my shoulder saying he knows how this feels, when you just have these rough bits in your life and your trying to figure out how you ended up crying for no reason and the word "anger" just doesn't do it justice. You don't want to let it just run through you because that means that you have to go through it AGAIN, and you've been telling yourself that it's all okay now, that you're changing things around, and just when you think you have it figured out, there's absolutely no way you have it out of your system 'cause that little memory machine in the back of your head cranks out some new detail that you'd forgotten before.
And it feels so repetitive, this build-up of... crap... in your life. There has to be a crack in the dam at some point.
You have your friends who give a shit, but nobody who will stick around after it's all over to say Don't be so hard on yourself because I won't.
I should be writing about a bunch of things right now, I'm not really sure where to start. I've started a few entries only to throw them out when my computer crashed or I blanked out.
I've been writing a lot of poetry lately, though there isn't a particular reason or episode I can point to that would make me write more. Usually I have a rush of stuff written because I've been talking to an ex, or someone comes back out of the blue that I haven't seen in awhile... things like that.
Lately, though, I've had a bunch of old memories walk in and out like old friends or sisters who scratch the hardwood floors a little by moving the chairs and couches around. They fuck up my mental Feng-Shui and I have to look at my head from a different perspective-- which means finding where they put my desk and the picture of my muse so we can sit down and write on fresh sheets of paper and new pens again.
This time, however, I'm not cranky about it like I usually would be. I figure, it's springtime, it's time to clean things out a little, polish other things up, maybe take that picture of that person I had up on the wall that was lined up so well and slightly push it so it's just barely tilted. And they look so much better that way. The memories are perfect in details, but the people I thought were who they were are not, and so their perspectives change. Usually when things come back up, like a couple of weeks ago, I just let myself fall into whatever memory decides to walk in, and let the poetry just evolve from that. Now, though, I've just been writing just because I'm inspired by various things around me, not feeling like I have to get involved. Maybe that's the whole point.
I have a tape in the stereo that I made shortly after my mom died. Somebody on the Neil Gaiman newsgroup asked us if we were to write a story about our lives that would be the movie, what story would you tell... and everybody has that one measure of time in their lives when they know this will change everything forever.
My mom was that moment. This was what I wrote:
"Trust your story. Right, yes...
I'd write about my mom. I'd write about how just when you become friends with your past, that's why things fall apart. I'd write about how you start to mistrust your father only to have to make amends through someone else's death. I'd write about growing up faster than you should, and unrequited love that won't let go, and how happiness can just happen in little pockets of time.
In there somewhere there'd be children's books, and poems, and a laugh more often than not, and a couple of margaritas. There'd be the desert, and growing up in Vegas, and big blue skies.
And driving. Lots of driving, especially on I-15.
And, above all, it would have a kick-ass soundtrack, because every song ever made would be in it."
So it's been awhile since I've sat down and really wrote about Mom. I mean, really went back and remembered everything and just let things be what they were.
I miss her ghost being around all the time. She said goodbye so quickly it was like I didn't really have a chance. I had this dream about a month and a half or so after she'd passed, and we were in Galleria Mall and she was going up the escalator while I stood on the lower floor in front of Charlotte Russe. It's a funny way for someone who's dead to say goodbye, but shopping was the thing that my mom and I went to do together exclusively, that we bonded with, that we found our likes and dislikes through. She used to come to me at night and lay beside me in bed, and put her arm around me, and she was so warm, it was like she was protecting me from everything. And then the dream happened, and she wasn't around so much, even though I thought of her every minute. Then every minute became every hour, every hour to every day. I think about my mom at least once a day-- either something will remind me of her, or she'll just randomly show up in my head, or someone like my friend Miles will talk to her (or any other relative gone from here) because she has a message for me.
I don't feel her presence anymore. In a way, maybe that's good, because I can support myself, and Mom has so many other people to take care of, her own mother being one of them. I'm so internal, I work things out in my head so much, she just pushed me to start to grieve, and I did the rest. That'll give her more room to fix my fate the way she thinks it should be.
I can still remember everything so vividly, how all my friends and relatives weren't sure how to act, and how they hated me when I left the house that night they were all over there and went out with my friends. I was so used to being the other. And even then, even in my own family, when people had shown up that I never remembered, who hadn't seen me since I was a little girl, I felt like the other. I felt like I knew myself then, more than their years ever would show them. They were so scared, and they were so unsure where she was going, even though I knew. I knew she was going somewhere they didn't understand, somewhere I'd be too someday. They weren't paying attention to her anymore because her body wasn't there, and she was in my head, constantly, not just in rememberance of her, but because she wanted me to understand that she was okay and that just because everyone else might think I'm crazy or that I wasn't a good daughter doesn't mean that I was either of those things.
My grieving was so internal. My father at one point suggested that I go to therapy. I resisted that idea not because I thought it wouldn't do me any good, because it would-- to someone else. But I didn't want to go to therapy because grief is something so personal, something so individual, that I knew all I had to do was write, and remember, and listen to the signs around me, and I'd be okay.
I wrote poems. And a screenplay. I went back to school, knowing that from then on all my schoolwork would be sacred work. For awhile I felt marginalized, kept thinking that all those people at my college were so comfortable, that they had their mothers, even if they didn't talk to her or have a good relationship with her. I felt marginalized because I lost someone I loved, and I felt like everyone was walking on eggshells. But I talked about it, let everyone in on my story, told it as if I were hanging on to driftwood in the sea. I told it so they would all understand, so I could get the message out there.
And now, now that I'm graduated from college (god, already a year this month) and out writing, and trying to keep busy, she's here with me, even if I don't feel her anymore.
So after that previous post about Mom, and the usual monthly girl problems, I forgot to write about something else that transpired last night.
I'm sitting up at Roma with Mikey, and Brandon comes in, sits down, and says:
B: "He called up Tony and left a message saying he quit, then says, 'Scratch that last message.' I tried calling him earlier tonight, and he's eating dinner."
Needless to say my jaw dropped to the floor, and Mikey's completely dumbfounded.
This is not typical Khalil behavior. Especially since we had such a kickass practice on Saturday, writing a new song, and we have a very important gig at the bar on the 19th. Oh, and Alex has moved in with him, so if we lose our singer, we might just lose one of our bassists.
I have no clue what the fuck is going on, if he has a hormonal imbalance, or if Alex and Liz moving in has driven him to the edge, or married life has ripped his head off...
I'm in a state of denial because I have no idea what the fuck is up. We're having a show on the 19th, with or without him, even if we have to get Mikey to make up new words for some of the songs.
But my horoscope for the weekend might prove some insight:
"What goes up, must come down... eventually. But it may, first, stay airborne for quite some while. Resign yourself, for a day or two, to living with a situation that you can't do much about. Something has been launched and it is now in motion. It will, eventually, land and, when it does, you can take control of it and change the way it flies, next time it takes off. Meanwhile, all you can do is watch a series of tense developments take place this weekend. If you can manage not to worry about them, you can learn from them - and make your future better as a result."
I'm just crazy. This is the only explanation. We haven't even gotten off the ground yet and things are falling apart.
I'm ready to move. Fuck this shit altogether.
I was talking to Kim earlier about this whole lead singer quitting message, and it just makes me even more depressed than I was before, and I really hate feeling that way. I don't want to feel that way. I feel like I'm going out to see bands and I get no information whatsoever for the alt-weekly, and there was a editorial letter about a review I wrote almost a month ago that I thought was funny and now it's getting to me, and I'm trying to get tix for OBC so I can cover it and the radio station hasn't called me back... it makes me just want to throw in the towel already. We have a gig coming up in two weeks and I'm not even sure if we have a band or not at this point...
I'm going to be seeing my editor tomorrow night at one of the shows I'm going to, and for some reason I feel like a bumbling idiot. Normally I wouldn't let things get to me, but I feel like I'm having one of those rough patches that's more like a wide field.
...and the Murmurs "I'm A Mess" comes on, and you can't get any better than that.
I don't even go on vacation till the end of the month. I'm ready to go right now.
I wanted to put this up. It's a response to the review I wrote of a local record I did a month ago. All criticism is important, right?
Oh, and they (being the alt-weekly) put this under the line, "Fret not-- the critics' licensing board has been alerted":
"I have never written a letter like this before but after reading your review of Slaves' Hellbound CD [CD Reviews, April 12] I just had to write. I just have one question... WHAT???!! Obviously you must have an ulterior motive behind this review of your credentials are so lacking that you really don't know what you are talking about. Slaves' CD ROCKS!
"I went to two shows recently and both places were packed with people there to see Slaves because they loved the CD and Slaves is so awesome live. I found out about your review because everyone at both shows was talking about how ridiculous your critique was! I have seen almost every local band here in Vegas and Slaves is by far the best in every way.
"As far as their music being dated and not what is happening, I guess you have not heard of bands like Creed, Three Doors Down and Godsmack. These bands don't have to rap, sing out of key or put on green glow-in-the-dark makeup because they lack talent.
"I really am curious, what are your credentials?"
I'm touched. I'm not being facetious here. People are actually talking about me now, reading my shit.
I don't even know what to say about last night. I mean, I'm really needing to get out and not be near anything in Vegas. I feel like I should be driving out to Primm just to be there, but I probably wouldn't even get that far.
And it's not that I want to run away from anything. I just want to be somewhere different, somewhere that's not so closely familiar, where I can think by myself.
I think a lot of things changed last night. Friendships were probably changed forever, just because of petty crap.
Yes, Brandon and Alex and Khalil and I (along with Liz, Alex's fiance, Caren, Khalil's wife, and Kim) all had it out last night. There was yelling, there was getting up in people's faces, there was slamming of fists, and there was, of course, crying.
The website started it all off. Kim had been working on one, and put it up so we as a band could see it-- no advertising, no promoting it, just a rough draft to see what it would look like. Khalil asked if Kim was our manager-- she's not, she's just promoting, getting calls out to various venues and stations. Alex was angry because the bio on the site made him out to be a pretty boy and only in the band because of his looks. This bio was written last year by our friend Paco, who came to a few practices and interviewed us. We'd all agreed for him to write it and talk to us about it. We finally got a hard copy about 4 months ago when the demo was done and we were planning to put a promo pack together, and I personally thought that Brandon had given everybody a copy after I'd read it myself-- nope. Khalil said that thing is worldwide, and I reiterated that it's not advertised and that the only people with the address are people in the band. Then he says that some of his lyrics are up there-- 6 lines on the entry page-- and that he doesn't want any of his lyrics up on the page. I stated that they were only there until Mikey wrote an introduction, a different one for the site. And, and, and-- I'd put those same lines on a shirt, lines that are easily heard on a demo and can be copied down by anybody-- and wore it out to A Perfect Circle's concert, a shirt that got just as much attention as Mikey's Buddy Jesus shirt. I had people stopping me to read the shirt and they thought it was awesome. Kim apologized about the site, she just wanted to help and do something creative.
I, as a published writer, cannot comprehend exactly why someone would not want words that they sing up on a website, especially when it's made plain that all the works belong to him. Kahlil says it's because he doesn't trust people that he isn't willing to be so open.
I may not trust people either. And I may not be the oldest, wisest person on this earth, but I know that I trust karma. The more you put out there, the more of that you're gonna get in return.
Alex got the most pissed off when he went on about the calling thing. He and Tony stood outside for an hour on Saturday (this being his most emphatic point, beating on the steel staircase) pointing at everyone saying they could've called him-- when Kahlil said he was going to be jumping out of planes, and Brandon didn't call them to let them know that he had to work. "I'm at rock bottom," he says, and Liz chimes in with something about backstabbing and blah blah... and I'm thinking, why doesn't she have a job yet? while Brandon and Alex, supposed best friends, stare each other down. I've lost it at this point, because I feel like we're blowing up over trivial things. It's a fucking band. Just because you have outside stresses in your life, it doesn't give you an excuse to yell at people you're supposed to love. Call me crazy, but that's my opinion.
All this time I keep thinking, you put yourself in your circumstances. Whatever you think about, however you act, that's where you're gonna be in the end.
And not to mention the fact (and this was after it was all over, that Kim tells me) that apparently Kim and I give Liz and Caren dirty looks at practices-- what the fuck? When did this happen? And when was the last time Caren was at a practice? When was the last time either one when to a show with us? They're good people, I like to hang with them when they're around, believe me, but our scene isn't their scene. They have different tastes than us. That's just the way people are. But why do I have to give them dirty looks? If I felt the need in any way to be jealous or whatever of their lives, I don't think I'd be in the band making it worse than it is. I actually kinda like my life, until shit like this happens, when people have a meeting and then break off into their own little groups to start talking shit again.
I feel like I'm in Johnston again, when I used to sit in community meetings and watch shouting matches and crying. Nay, it feels like fucking high school all over again. Everybody (including myself) is acting like a brat about this whole thing.
Yes, our communication sucks. Yes, people shouldn't have to hear about things second hand. Yes, we've all fucked up at one point or another. And no, we don't know what we want to do with this band, even after trying to talk about it.
The show on the 19th is still on. After that, we're taking a "hiatus"-- Khalil and I are going out of town on our seperate vacations. Kim said that she thinks after the hiatus we'll come back sans one bassist and vocalist.
There's a lot of stuff I didn't mention, stuff that I don't really feel like getting into here, because it involves a lot of backstory that I don't feel like typing, and some that's explained in other entries. I'm just so tired. So tired.
But I had to miss Creeper Lagoon for this meeting. And I missed Blueline's set, even though I showed up at the end of the party, after most everyone had left, to catch a little of Slow to Surface's set, and Garry from Blueline was gracious enough to give me a CD to review. (Thanks ever so muchly, even though you probably won't read this.) Steve was excited to hear that I was reviewing it, and to tell my editor to call them.
Then Kim and Jade and Brandon and I went bowling at Sam's Town for an hour, and went home. I had one margarita for Cinco de Mayo.
I just have to get through this month, and I'll be okay. Just this month, and then my birthday, and then a summer of fun.
One day though. Just to get through today, and the next...
Went at the last minute to go see Alien Ant Farm at the Sanctuary. It wasn't really advertised so there weren't many people there, which I felt bad for the bands about. If more people would've known, I know it would've been packed. But we didn't even see the opening bands since we left after I read at poetry night. They were good, but the thing that kinda sucked was that they sounded like they do on the radio-- talented people, but kinda monotonous. There were a few good songs that sonically I liked, but overall I didn't feel the need to get up and move my ass to the mosh pit.
That's the thing people don't seem to understand about criticism. I'm not saying you suck. I just know you can do better.
...ah, yes, and Dad just came in with the mail, and bless me kindly, the UK paperback of _Smoke and Mirrors_ came in, after ordering it a week ago from Amazon UK. Like I've said to friends, I'm not much of a corporate whore, but I love Amazon. They just fucking rule.
And they're keeping me satiated till _American Gods_ gets here. I'm planning on actually going to a bookstore and buying it, instead of pre-ordering online... there's something about standing in line with a book of your favorite author under your arm. It's like Christmas as a kid all over again.
Okay, I need to go get some work done now.
So I did something I haven't done in ages. I went to the library and got some work done.
I devoured a very nice book of short stories called "The Safety of Objects" by A.M. Homes and didn't realize until halfway though and by looking at the back flap of the jacket cover that the A. and the M. are initials of a woman, and I had this strange feeling for the rest of the book, as if I'd stumbled on something I wasn't supposed to.
Maybe I should start doing that-- a collection of shortcomings by K.E. O'Connor? That E just kinda throws it off. Besides, I do enough gender bending as it is wearing jeans all the time. My lesbian friends wish I was in their group, hetero males figure I like girls and don't even start with me.
Perpetually single, card-holding member of the BWC. (That would be the Bitter Women's Club, for those who don't know. Membership is free and lifetime, even when you're not really bitter anymore. There's also a men's chapter, but it's secret like The Masons so I don't really know how they do their buisness.)
And then, Sunday night, Mikey tells me he wants to have sex with me, after Kim leaves the room to go to bed and I'm trying to watch Fight Club, and I never think he's serious, because the way he goes about things with me is like a little brother would. And I guess that's inevitable, considering he's 2 years younger than me. The last time I did anything sexual was with Ben last year... oh god, that's a year ago.
Ladies and germs, I'm officially a born again virgin. Lucky me. And the last time it was with someone who was half black, and I ain't talkin' 'bout the top half, if you know what I be sayin'.
And I get frustrated at this, and Mikey in all his infinite SoCal Mexican jestering, says, "You don't want sexual chocolate, you want some sexual frijoles."
I laugh my ass off, and Brad Pitt is kicking Edward Norton's ass, and I realize that I might have liked Mikey once, but that was before I realized it's not his time to be with me.
I've been having a lot of little scenes running in my head lately, seeing details that I want to put into stories but don't have a place, so they'll go into my mental filing cabinet and hopefully if I come back and read this I'll remember.
And I was thinking about taking this screenplay that I was writing, and how I was going to base it on my life and friends here in Vegas, and I started writing it into a prose thing. It might just end up being a short story. Maybe.
I worked on the novel a little, wrote two pages longhand.
You know how libraries are. You walk in, it's quiet, and cold, and libraries here, they don't smell like books, they smell like recycled air conditioning and that annoying new building/plaster smell, even if the building's been around for a long time. Buildings here in Vegas don't last longer than 20 years, I'm truly convinced of that.
People are sitting at the tables with those soft flourecent lights right above, the ones you know you're going to hit your head on if you get up from the table at the horribly wrong angle. Books are strewn everywhere-- books that you wonder about who read what and why they were reading them, and no matter how debonair you think you are, or how much of a ninja you think those Bruce Lee movies taught you to be when you were a child, when you sit down it's like a construction company decided to make an entrance. And it's even worse, for us writers or college students, when we want a place to sit and work knowing that *nobody* we know is going to show up, 'cause I brought my bag with work in it, and a minidisc player 'cause it's smaller and easier to drag around, and all of a sudden I'm blushing because I put on the headphones and I feel like I'm talking in the Sistine Chapel or something.
And then by the end of it, because I'm so wrapped up in the book and writing, and having the headphones on and being comfortable in the uncomfortable wooden chair with my sandals off and my feet resting on the cool carpet, I forget that there are other people there, and pack up louder than I thought I could ever be and leave after 4 hours.
You know, I'm looking back on all of that I wrote, and I'm so bad at tangents. I just finished Umberto Eco's _Foucault's Pendulum_ about two weeks ago, and it's worse than those dammed sociology classes I took in college and started to analyze *everything* around me-- it's just now I'm looking for connections between all the everythings I'm analyzing. One thing relates to another and to another.
Makes you just want to escape it all, doesn't it?
I walked into Roma earlier tonight and someone commented that I look really tired. I don't feel too terribly tired. I've been getting enough sleep lately.
Mostly I just feel as if I'm in limbo. This whole thing with the band weighs down on me more than I ever thought it would, and I'm not sure exactly why.
Kahlil called today and said he doesn't hold any grudges or harbor any bad feelings from Saturday. The thing is, we didn't yell at each other-- he yelled at Brandon, and Brandon to him. I want to convince myself that it was a roundabout way of apologizing. Roundabout being the operative word.
And the thing is, before he called me I didn't really feel anything bad toward him at all, and not because he's an intimidating kind of person and tends to take a military stance sometimes, but because he was man enough to say that he was just generally pissed off and he took it out on the meeting. I respect that, because from what he's told me, there are other things going on that he's trying not to bring into the band.
I know exactly how he feels.
I just don't want people to stay pissed off about things. I mean, not that life should be peace and harmony all the time-- hell, I was just talking to Brett about how I feel blessed about my life even though I have things that balance those blessings by letting me know that there are such things as fragile moments-- but I'm starting to get to the point in my life that when you've got your sights set, you really shouldn't give a shit about the small things that piss you off.
Take a fucking deep breath, for chrissakes.
I'm just sick of worrying about the band. I want to play. I want to write. And I'm burying myself in work-- the novel, the journalism, randomly picking up the guitar-- and still I end up driving around for an hour the other night, hoping it would clear my head a little.
It didn't, and that's the worst part.
I don't even want to go to OBC anymore. But maybe it'll be theraputic, seeing all the cock-rock and being sated in the knowledge that my editor said to me today, "If you want to unload, by all means, don't hold back." I think he saw the tiredness in my eyes too, since he practically negotiated a higher hourly rate to come in next week and help with the listings for the summer issue. "Too low? Too high?" It was fine to me, my schedule is so flexible it's got double joints. I got introduced to Gigi who's already fried from the whole thing. I don't blame her. I haven't even started yet and I'm already just as bad.
Vacation. Vacation. Vacation.
The Ferris Beueler philosophy: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once awhile, you could miss it."
Today I've been having this feeling in my tummy. A nervous feeling. A good nervous feeling, like when you're about to meet a famous person you really think is cool.
This is good.
Hopefully, more later. I should get to working out.
I shouldn't even be writing in here. I should be in bed. Right now, I literally can't keep my eyes open for more than a moment.
Our Big Concert 4.0 (hitherto known as OBC) was today. Got there at 9am, got to will call at 10am, got in at 11am, got home at 11pm.
Free tix, fair weather, minimal sunburn, flashed tits (both real boobs and man-boobs ), and, of course, a lot of cock-rock. I'll get into detail tomorrow, when I've written my review.
Right now, though, I'm in a strange place. I'm trying to wrap my head around Douglas Adams' death, even though I haven't read any of his books.
And I've been having this feeling for the past week about being a writer, and how I have these visions of being in that club of widely published authors.
Oh god, Eva Cassidy's cover of "Fields of Gold" just came on. I really need to get to bed before I lose any more semblance of reality.
You go away for a day and it feels like someone deconstructed the forest and put the trees in a different order.
I've been writing all day long, so venting in here might just offset everything else-- OBC and a punk CD review. I would write in the complete silence of my room but that just might drive me insane. Thus the CD in my stereo.
OBC sucked ass, except for Fear Factory, Run DMC, the local acts, and Blink-182, even though I'm not really big fans of theirs. I barely got burned on my back, and even though I got plenty of rest last night, I still feel like I'm fried.
And the thing that I was realizing today was that the better records that I'm hearing lately here in Vegas are punk records-- and I'm not even remotely familiar with that genre of music outside of hugely popular acts, and a few band names that I know from others. Maybe that's a good thing, since Vegas has such a large capacity for self-degredation and political change (in a grassroots sense, of course).
I've been reading a lot lately. Actually a lot more than I usually do, but not enough for a writer. Then again, I'm also busy going to shows and doing reviews, so that's some kind of excuse. There are so many books out there, I just don't know where exactly to start, and the summer's coming up so I have to get going before I won't have any time left.
The next thing I have to get through is this gig coming up next Saturday. God, I talk about it like somebody died or something. I'm already grieving for something that hasn't even gotten off the ground. Then, vacation. Blessed, week with family vacation.
But there was more I wanted to write about, but at this point I'm just out of it. The band's supposed to be getting together this week to get some practice in before Saturday, so I'm sure that'll provide some drama for in here.
It's already the middle of May. This is scary.
Ah yes. So, I should be sleeping. It's almost 2 in the morning and what am I doing, writing in here like an idiot.
But I start a short story that I've had in my head a couple of days, check my email, and realize that I'm starting to get sick again. For real this time.
And I bitch in here, thinking it'll do something.
Band practice was tonight. Again. It went really really well, though I told Kim I think it's silly that people are still hanging on to their anger. I don't want to think about that anymore, especially after this Saturday. If that's going to be put to rest, I want Fate to let it go so I don't have to worry about it anymore. Khalil and Tony and I were talking about how we live here in Vegas and how we have things we like keeping us here. Like the band.
If I didn't dislike L.A. so much I'd be there. Or up in San Fransisco, if someone wanted to pay a writer enough to live on, which will never happen. Up there, I mean.
I spent two hours at the alt-weekly calling bands about this music issue we're putting together. It reminded me of being at Sam's Town again. I hated it, even though I called a lot of people and my editor and the other writer helping out (who doesn't really write for the music section) were practically falling over because I did so much so fast. I wouldn't mind doing data entry all day. I can sit in front of a computer for hours on end. Just as long as I can listen to my new Tool CD all the way through and think let my mind wander off about Jude's new album this summer. I felt like I was there all day, even though it wasn't very long at all.
And I'm still so tired. I had three things in this week in the rag, and I still don't feel like that's enough.
I'm so tired right now I'm starting to possibly flake out on making a road trip to go to a Neil Gaiman signing in L.A. at the end of June. I've been thinking about this the past couple of days. I don't want to go alone and it doesn't look like anybody's going to be able to go with me-- friends who live in L.A. included. That is unless I get all fangurl about it, and that's not why I want to go. I just want to say thank you.
There are times in your life when you just want to get on with things. You want to get things out of the way and do new stuff. Some people want to hurry and grow up. I want to hurry and rest.
I'm supposed to go call more people tomorrow. I'm hoping my brother calls me into work. Although the other chick writer said she wouldn't be surprised if I didn't come, though my editor made it sound like a dammed appointment.
Those writers, they're funny people.
I was just glad to get my CD burner hunky dory today. I was very nonplussed when I found that it wasn't being recognized by my computer because of two files. Two files that were removed after buying a new cable. But I have a new cable, one that works better than the one before. Though I'm not sure exactly what consitutes one good USB cable from another.
Went on a date last night. If he's reading this, just to let you know, M, I had a very nice time talking at Denny's. And I don't bite. Hard.
Then today I get an email from CrushLink saying someone has a crush on me. This is the second one I've gotten from them, from another person, apparently. Why, for chrissakes, can't someone just be straight with me and tell me what's up, and be serious about it and not beat around the fucking bush? Whatever to passing notes between friends, check one of these boxes, "yes, no, maybe," and send it back? And it's not like I can list all the guys I know and their email addresses 'cause then they'll all get an email saying I have a crush on them even if I really don't.
Why do I always feel like my life is over my head, just when I have a hand on it? I'm going to bed. And hope I don't get sick during the night.
So. Our gig's tomorrow. I'm starting to get jitters about it. I don't even know why. That means that nobody's going to show up now. I myself didn't even really advertise it, since all the people I know were already going, so it wasn't like I needed to.
I'm really starting to get frustrated with the opposite sex. (Okay, so here goes the rant):
I was talking to Lisa last night and she has the same problem I do-- why can't we find boys who are attracted to our smarts rather than being so scared of them?
Don't get me wrong-- I don't think I'm the most intelligent person in the world (my god do I have my blonde moments), but at the same time I haven't sat on my ass about my life. I got a college degree because I wanted it, went overseas because I wanted to, and write because I want to write.
I feel like I'm repeating myself.
And it's not that I think men are stupid, 'cause they aren't. Just some of them have other priorities in this town. Like getting laid. But that's a different story.
I thought my life was boring, so I did some things to change it, and Fate did some things to change it. Those things make me who I am. I can't help it if my genetics granted me the blessing of being able to understand some things (like words) quicker than most. I didn't really choose to take an exam that would get me into an Academically Talented class in 2nd grade. I just went in there and did it.
I've always felt like I didn't belong, either because I learned too fast, or because I was overweight... dammit, I gotta go, but I'll get back to this later.
I feel like I got the shit kicked out of me last night. Which might be a good thing, since, by all accounts, it might not ever happen with those particular 4 people with me last night ever again.
Before it started, I was too stressed out about everything going well, and we played and went well, and afterward I spent talking to Liz and telling her that if she had problems with Brandon to talk to him about it.
I see both sides of the story now, see things a little more clearer, and it's also becoming more clear the fact that people put themselves in their own circumstances.
Honestly, I don't know what to say about it all anymore. I don't even remember all that much of our set, really, since I didn't have time to digest it. I don't feel that my night was ruined as far as playing was concerned, because we played our best set yet. But then afterwards when Liz kinda cornered me and told me her side of the story, I felt like that was a little unfair. If she'd told me beforehand that she wanted to talk to me it would've been okay with me. But I just didn't know what to say to her. I don't hate her. I'll listen to what she has to say. And I told her how I see things-- that it feels like she's interfering in band business, and that she's taking it personally because of that.
She says she's getting shit on because she's defending the man she loves. But don't you think he should be able to defend himself?
And people were coming up to all of us, really, and asking if this was the last show. All we could say is that we're taking our vacations and regrouping after that.
We had a good crowd last night. I don't know how many CDs I signed, or hands I shook, or hugs I gave. And like I said at our little squabble a couple of weeks ago, when people come up to me and say, "You guys just fucking rock," that makes all the difference in the world. And it makes me so proud to be in this band. We started this band because we were having fun, and people heard us and liked us. We haven't even done anything major yet besides record this demo, and yet we're already falling apart.
But I've talked about this already.
So I just got back from seeing David Gray and Nelly Furtado. They totally made my weekend. Seriously, watching "This Year's Love" with David at the piano solo shot this up straight to #5 with a bullet, tied with Jude in Pittsburgh two years ago.
There's something about going to a show and seeing someone so cool and talented and knowing that one day you'll be at some status in your coolness meter in yourself, and maybe with some other people. There's just something about the synchronicity of seeing live shows with what's happening in your life.
So I have to put these lyrics up. "This Year's Love":
This years love had better last
Heaven knows it's high time
And I've been waiting on my own too long
But when you hold me like you do
It feels so right
I start to forget
How my heart gets torn
When that hurt gets thrown
Feeling like you can't go on
Turning circles when time again
It cuts like a knife oh yeah
If you love me got to know for sure
Cos it takes something more this time
Than sweet sweet lies
Before I open up my arms and fall
Losing all control
Every dream inside my soul
And when you kiss me
On that midnight street
Sweep me off my feet
Singing ain't this life so sweet
This years love had better last
This years love had better last
So whose to worry
If our hearts get torn
When that hurt gets thrown
Don't you know this life goes on
And won't you kiss me
On that midnight street
Sweep me off my feet
Singing ain't this life so sweet
This years love had better last
This years love had better last
This years love had better last
This years love had better last
I didn't give much thought to things going on in my life last night since there were other things to be worried about. But when I heard this song tonight I just kept thinking, yes, that's it. You meet people, and you think things go so well.
I'm talking about this date I had last week.
He sent me an email, saying there's something between us. You know what it is, it's called fear. Fear that I'm going to tear him apart because I haven't done the same things as he has-- actually he hasn't done the same things that I have, and that apparently creates this wall. I don't see a wall. If there is one, he created it for himself, and I'm not going to climb over it because I'm not here to make him do it. I'm not going to do all the work. I have my own things to take care of.
I like him, I really do. I think he's interesting. I think he's cute. I want this to work. But he seems so fucking fragile sometimes. Fragile would be fine but I feel like he would never leave *me* room to truly be that way.
You think things are going so well. Maybe they are. But they just don't have the balls. They don't have the balls to tell you anything past "I like you." If that's true, than do something about it, you twit! I'm sitting here waiting, getting on with my life, and you scratch the surface of who I am, unwilling to break down the brittle ice.
Lisa and I are in this phase where we're too good for anybody, apparently. It's not that we're conceited or ego-full, we're just projecting who we are, what we want, and we're not getting it back. We're in the theory that whatever you put out is what you're going to attract, but it doesn't seem to be really working.
It's more than frustrating. I'm not really asking for much, just someone who doesn't care where I've been or what I've done and wants to treat me right.
You can tell me you like me 'til the cows come back, but that won't change the fact that you don't do anything about it.
So do something, before it's too late and you're more broken than you were.
So I've been on vacation for the past week and a half, not wanting to do anything at all. I come home tomorrow night, the day before my birthday, and not feeling all that much like I've had a lot of real vacation time.
I haven't thought about the band at all (until just now, really), and I haven't really thought about being home, until the past few days, and it's been nice to be with my family, and come to a lot of realizations that people like me (who think way too much) get when they go on little excursions like this.
I wrote one entry in my other journal, the one I carry around with me everywhere, when I first got here. I barely wrote a page longhand for my novel. I haven't even thought about that much this week, either.
(During my first few days here, I got all my work done for the alt-weekly, only to find that I have a load to do upon my return. Not that I really mind that, but it gives me something to knock on the back of my head and bother me a little on the trip home. I'll only really have *one* day to recover from my jet lag, and then off to the races again.)
I read four books here (well, I'm almost done with the fourth one, John Irving's _The World According to Garp_, and then hopefully for the plane ride home it's _House of Leaves_ by Mark Danielewski), which, if I think about it, is the most I've read on vacation, and, if I really think about it, isn't that many books to read. But I have some ideas cooking somewhere in my head. That's good.
I haven't had very good net access (I'm on a ten year old Mac with a 33.6 modem-- I feel like I'm back in the Jurassic Age), so getting online has been a chore. I've just checked my e-mail and that's about all I've done since trying to surf is about as tedious as watching grass grow. It's kept me away, and although I feel as if I've been hidden away in the basement for a week and a half, it's been nice just to read, and hang out with my family, and remember what it feels like not to be so absorbed in myself for awhile. And read. God I haven't done that really in ages. Sitting down for hours at a time and being absorbed. I miss that. I really do.
I'll get into it more when I get home and on a faster computer, since there are a few things I wanted to ramble online about.
I got sick while I was here, which I wasn't really expecting. I'm not sure if it was an actual cold or if I'm still carrying allergies from my time in California. A lot of sniffling, which has now resulted into very badly-sounding coughing, and lots of disgusting phlegm and the taking of Robitussin and NyQuil. And hot showers, even though it's been raining off and on here in Pittsburgh with the humidity and all.
(It's been cold, though. Not freezing, mind, but I haven't been able to wear shorts at all. I forgot that they actually *do* have spring here, and summer arrives when it's supposed to, in June.)
Got some shopping done, just a little, and had awesome Mineo's pizza (there's some settling in my stomach right now-- yum), and slept. Not only because I could but
My cousin was ordained a Catholic priest, which is for later. I don't want to be stuck here on the computer for that. The sun's going down here, and the rain is falling outside the window, and it's my last night and I don't want to be the brooding family member again.
And I've been thinking about somebody. God I make it sound so secretive. But in my mind, he is. I don't want to make this place sound like my other journal is there for. I do my wooing and whatnot there. But I've been thinking about relationships, and how some of us really have to work just to get things off the ground. And I've been thinking about how I'd like to have a really nice summer. Nothing spectacular, but nice.
He sent me a poem, and it made me smile. And even though I don't really know him all that well, it made me miss him. I don't know what that means.
Okay, as I sit here typing and sighing and forming in my head what I'll write about later, I'll head out and try and finish Garp.
I'm ready to go home now.
I'm 23 today.
It's strange. My birthdays the past few years have had some slant of travelling to them. My 21st was spent on a plane coming home from England. My 22nd was spent still unpacking my car from 4 years at college. And now my 23rd will be spent recovering from jet lag.
That's okay, though. There's something about birthdays that don't hold that excitement that they did when I was a kid. I'm supposed to have some friends over tonight for a kickback, and considering it's a Sunday it won't be a real party. Not that I want a real party. Just to have everybody there is nice enough for me.
I woke up at 9 this morning, still on Eastern time. I'm still tired.
I came home to my dad's girlfriend (you know, the ex-heroin addict), a possible breakup of my band, a load of work to do Monday, a show to go to later in the evening (this despite hardly being able to keep my eyes open), and my period.
Happy Birthday to Me.
I finished _The World According to Garp_ Friday night, and I can't get it out of my head. The characters won't leave me, which is something that hasn't happened in a long time. I think it's one of my favorite books now. It reminded me that sometimes bad things happen all at once and you just go with it, and evolve and change with whatever happens, no matter how small you think it is.
I still have time to do whatever I need to do here.
I know, that sounds like crap. Maybe I just needed a reminder that the little things are okay again. Family does that to you.
I just blanked again. I hate that.
I have to do a lot of cleaning, so I should get on it. More later.
I just opened this up to write in. It's force of habit now. I need to babble, I guess.
I'm still jet lagged. Not that I expected a quick recovery, but having all this stuff going on makes it a little more difficult.
The birthday was nice, had a few people over for some drinks. Mikey and Kim made a bet that Mikey couldn't give me an orgasm through penetration. It's nice to know I'm being sold out by my friends for 5 bucks.
Kim was the only one who got me a present, in a Sandman theme-- Death and Dream candles, and a Dream journal, which was very cool. Everyone else is poor so I didn't get anything else. For some reason that didn't bother me, because just having people over hanging out was cool enough for me.
I got my review done that was due this morning late last night. I even spent an hour at Blueberry Hill alone trying to get it done.
After the poetry reading last night, I felt like an outcast. I'm too normal for that shit. I've never been asked to do a feature, never been asked to show up at this reading or other, and don't get told all that often that people like my work.
Friends who read their poems about being raped, or being lesbian, or abuse, or whatever, always get treated like they're geniuses. At least for the girls.
Yesterday I was at the Virgin Megastore in the Forum Shops, doing some listening for new CDs, and I bought Radiohead's _Kid A_, ending up telling the guy behind the counter about how I started writing for CityLife. "You must be a really good writer," he said.
In a roundabout way, it was nice. He hasn't even read me and yet I'm cool.
Last night, I just felt like I could do better. I know I have my moments when it clicks, and even my old professors used to tell me that. I'm 23 now, and I feel like I should be edging toward a more consistent style. I think. But I do a lot more journal writing than I do actual writing. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe not.
I'm young. I know that. I guess I'm supposed to still be in the phase of my life where I can't really separate myself from my experiences all that much.
I never felt I like I went on vacation at all.
I just got home from Brandon's, blabbing away about what all went down while I was gone.
Alex officially quit. I think that means being Brandon's best friend along with the band.
Kahlil called me yesterday, and said he wants to regroup after he gets back from his honeymoon in the UK.
So I don't really know what to make of all of this. There's some kind of closure, but things still feel in limbo. Today I told Kim I don't really care what anybody has to say anymore because I'm sick of feeling like I'm back in high school about this whole thing.
My horoscope for tomorrow says:
"People always feel better after the Full Moon has culminated. It's like the moment when a storm has passed. There's may be a lot of damage to under but there's always a sense of relief. At the moment, a loved one has different priorities to your own. Make an effort to clearly but calmly explain your side of things. Despite how it seems, they are probably not deliberately setting out to drive you mad. It's more likely they've just become so wrapped up in their own needs and feelings that they have temporarily forgotten to take yours into account."
I finished _House of Leaves_. Even though it was all over the place, it made sense to me for some reason. Creepy as all hell though. I'm glad I finally finished it, since it was pretty big. Felt like I was carrying around a doorstop for awhile. Not that that's a bad thing.
Right now, I have a very subtle headache, and my nasty cough won't go away. I feel like some writing's going to be done, even though I haven't really done much but write a poem lately; I want to do a story, but all the ones I have aren't screaming at me to be worked on. And the novel, I feel like I shouldn't even touch that. But maybe I should, just because I can. It's something to work on.
For some reason I kept thinking today was Wednesday. I don't really know why. I think all the flying made me skip a day. Or maybe it just felt like a Wednesday.
I don't know.
My inner rock star is Bjork, which I thought was interesting. It made me smile.
And I didn't get an email from my editor about my Radiohead review so I guess that's okay for tomorrow's publication. I think I've been converted to that little cult now.
Right now I'm still jet-lagged, so the recovery still goes on.
It's after two in the morning, and I can't sleep. I can't see too well, either. I've been averaging a book a day for the past three days, so my eyes are all googly and I know I'm probably going to have to get glasses soon since I'm realizing I'm slowly becoming nearsighted.
The music issue came out Wednesday. Being that it was a "themed" issue, the regular CD reviews were morphed into a We're-going-to-have-all-the-CD-reviewers do-the-new-Radiohead-record-because-they-all-want-to-do-it-kinda-thing; which would've been nice, if only My Editor had made that clear when I turned it in during the wee hours of Tuesday. But, since I had to do all the reviews of the local stuff, I was the dominator for the week, which was cool; but that means I probably won't have anything for next week, even though My Editor said to do something anyway, and if there's no room, to save it for the week after. Which is fine with me-- I'll get a week off.
Gary, the drummer from Blueline, was nice enough to send me an email saying thank you for the nice review I did of their record for this week, which made my entire week since I've been having a crappy one. I liked their EP. I'm listening to it now, in fact, since I can't get it out of my head: that's the whole point. I think.
But anyway, thanks Gary. You rawk. Literally and figuratively. Though I'm curious as how you got my email address...
This week didn't start off well at all. I left poetry on Monday feeling like complete and utter ineptness (or is that ineptity? ineptitude?) as an artist. I think I'm just not cut out to be a poet, as much as I like to write the stuff. I like to read it aloud too. But I read "Mermaiden" and found that I liked to read fiction better than most of my poetry. And it got a better reaction, at least that I know of. Neil who used to host the old "Shut the Fuck Up" poetry night at Copioh asked me if I actually wrote that, which made me feel a little more cool. For a moment, though.
But I wrote a poem that night, having french fries at Blueberry Hill, as I was thinking about what I was going to write about Radiohead. I wrote about Ament, and what I would probably do if I ended up taking tea at her tree. I don't know if I'll ever read it. I might post it here when I get more inclination to type it out.
I don't know if I really want to read at poetry night again. The only traumatic thing I have to write about is mom, and even then I don't exploit it like maybe a serious artist would. At least not in a poetic form. She's not a theme in my poems, if that makes sense.
People don't like my poems. That's okay. I don't like my poems, either. Maybe they'll be published after my death.
I tried to write about my most embarassing story earlier today-- I'll try and type it up and glue it up here at some point-- and every time I started it on my computer, it would crash, and I was ready to punch my screen in. So I wrote it longhand in my journal.
Tonight I stayed home. I rented _The World According to Garp_ and got inspired to write about Eric's suicide for some reason. I'm not really sure why, maybe just to have writing in for the day. It's non-fiction writing, but it's in there, and done, and I feel some sense of productive-ness about it.
I'd rather be writing fiction, though. I printed out a bunch of stories for when I went up to Border's yesterday but I blonked. I gathered all the stories I had on my hard drive that are finished (or that I think are finished) and the stories I'm still working on and put them in a folder named "Stories." I realized I have a lot of stuff in there, most of it either unfinished or in between drafts. I'd like to be able to send them to someone, a writer, or at least someone who likes to read, and get some feedback; last year with Tim Powers I felt like I was at least getting things done even if they were half-assed. I was even writing new things and dusting off old things and getting new ideas for them, even when they weren't being shared.
Now, it's all kerplunk. Maybe I'll see him at the end of the month at one of the Neil Gaiman signings. I doubt he'd remember me, though. I might be able to bug him to send me my bloody portfolio back. And get my eval done before I turn 30.
Gotta love us writers.
Tomorrow I think I'll watch Ladyhawke and High Fidelity and get them back before I go out to see Cornerstone and Blueline. And I have Meg Castaldo's _The Foreigner_ to gobble up, too. If I have time I'll get to the bookstore and pick up something I've been meaning to read but haven't had the inclination. Like Dosteyevsky. Any novel by him should have me occupied till _American Gods_, I think. Geez, that's almost a week away already. I'm psyched.
I'm going to try and sleep now. Nite.
Finally I fix my computer, after it has a ridiculously simple solution.
More on that later, since I'm going out on a date right now.
A date. I forgot what that was.
Yeah. Definitely more later.
I started on an entry, and IE decided to erase it very quietly. I'm not happy with this, especially since I distrust Microsoft immensely and don't really want to use Netscape right now.
My modem was acting up, so I couldn't browse for a few days. I took my computer apart, checked everything, cursed when it didn't work, took it apart again, checked, cursed, bought expensive utility software, cursed again, took it apart, cursed, then replaced the system software and cursed again just because it was that easy to fix.
I suppose the biggest news now is that I'm no longer single... though I can never understand how I make a big deal about it when I am single and then it's not so big when I'm not.
He makes me laugh, which is rare. He makes me smile when I think about him, which is rarer. I think about him when he's not here, which is the really disgusting part. And me makes me watch movies, which I haven't done in a very long time.
I'm not going to go on about that though. We have the potential to last awhile and I have awhile to write whatever it is I want to write about him.
Ah, yes. I picked up _American Gods_ today. I've flipped through it, read all the quotes and introductions before the story, read the quips on the back. I'm going to start it soon, before I do anything tonight. I leave on Monday to go to San Fransisco with 'Walker to go to 3 signings up there, then drive down to L.A. for two more signings. In my head I'm rehearsing what I'm going to say, how I'm going to space things I want to talk to him about out so I'm not just standing there when he's signing, making a laundry list of people who would want a copy signed since I don't have anything much for him to sign of my own.
More than likely I'll get there, be standing in front of him, and blonk. Then I'll say, "I'll see you tomorrow at blah blah bookstore," and walk off red-faced. I'll let you know how it goes.
Ack, I lost it. There was more in my head, now it's gone. I'll get some more in before I take off Monday.
I'm leaving for San Fransisco tomorrow. I haven't been there since I was 17 for an orchestra festival.
And I'm going up there to meet Neil, which is starting to make me nervous, because he wrote stories that got me through horrible times.
But. I'm going up there with Walker, who is basically his bitch (self-described), so hopefully it'll be painless and without any major mishaps.
Went out with Tree and Walker last night. Had a couple of pints at the Crown and when this horrid country band started playing cuts from O Brother, Where Art Thou? we had to speedily exit the establishment. So after going to the store to pick up some Earl Grey for Tree we cruised the Strip to look at the bright and shinies. I haven't cruised the Strip in ages. It was actually quite nice.
I did my laundry and I'm pretty much packed up, realizing that I don't really have all the much for Neil to sign. This kind of worries me, since I'll be at 5 signings. I have basically a book for every signing. I feel like I should have more. They all have some kind of personal meaning, so I guess that means more time telling him the story than having more stuff to sign. I don't know which is better.
Actually I should be doing work right now. I'll try and get more later.
I'm here. In Oakland. Slept on Michelle's couch last night. My eyes are all spoogly today, which means I might have to splurge on some caffeine today. Not a good sign.
The first signing's tonight at 7:30 in Menlo Park. Wish me luck.
I'm at CyberJava on Hollywood and La Brea in L.A., and I'm trying to gulp down this cafe mocha and not slog on the computer so long so that I get a huge bill. Plus I want to be at Book Soup soon just in case anybody shows up early.
You know, I'm probably just writing this journal for myself, just to keep track of things. Oh well. That thought just occurred to me for some reason.
I'm planning a website of this whole trip. I was planning some of it in my journal this morning in Staci's apartment after I took a shower and finally shaved my legs after a couple of days of stubble on them.
Then I go to my car to realize-- after getting a speeding ticket in Buttonwillow (Eater of Cars) yesterday-- that I got a 40 dollar parking ticket, even though I was parked during the right hours during summertime. Apparently Hollywood High School is in session today.
But, fear not. Tonight's the last night of my trip, and now that I'm having a day pretty much to myself, I feel really weird and disconnected. I've pretty much spent the past 4 days in the car with 'Walker, and even though we fight like a married couple at this point, it was kinda sad to drop him off last night. I feel like I've crammed a month of life into this week, and it's all because we have this obsession with Neil and his work.
And just for the record. Neil Gaiman really is the nicest guy in the world. Even when you blonk on telling the story of how he saved your life and he's looking at you with baggy, bloodshot eyes.
His escort in SF, Ellen Fishman, was very cool too. Whenever I get to Real Author status, and I go to San Fran, I want her to be my escort.
Tonight, though, is the last night. I'm actually sad about it. I'd never met any of the Thingies in real life before this trip, and the ba-FoGs totally took me in like I'd been there before. Even though I did have a few moments of feeling weird and out of sorts. There will be more of this on the website in my head that'll hopefully be put up in the next couple of months.
I've recorded the past few readings (I missed Tuesday's, but that's okay), and I'll find somewhere where I can put things up and not crash my Mac. I might just move forward with getting that cable modem finally so I can just get on with it.
I just want to be back in my own bed again. Not till tomorrow night.
Tonight, however, is party time.