miscellany, and Greek misogyny

blogging, funny, music, Oregon, Portland No Comments »

When I wrote last, I had a feeling that this week might get away from me, but I had no idea just how much that would happen.  Most of alll, it was time spent reconnecting with friends who I’ve not seen in years.  The total for this month is now up to twenty two.  TWENTY TWO.  . .and it’s due in a large part to Facebook.

This week, I had two rehearsals, four gigs, two trips to the beach, and as soon as I finished Gig #2 the other night, at ten-thirty at night, I got a text message saying, “Did you get my text yesterday?”

“I don’t think so.  Which one?”

“About me being in the hospital?”

“OH MY GOSH.  No, I didn’t!  What happened?  Are you okay?”  [I tried to call her, but she couldn't answer.]

The rest of the story is that she got really sick on Wednesday with what she thought was food poisoning from bad cream in her coffee, but she kept getting worse throughout the day, so she went to the hospital Wednesday night, to find out that she had frickin’ appendicitis, so she got her appendix sucked out through her navel on Thursday.  RockShowGirl and I raced over to see her Thursday afternoon, just as her mom was arriving to take her home for a few days.  She’s there now, sans appendix, recuperating with her new friend Percoset.

I drove RockShowGirl to her condo downtown and then came home back to clean up my place, in order that FriscoFriends could stay here tonight.  They arrived five minutes after IrishBand had finished Gig #3 on Thursday night, and we talked at the venue for a while, before driving back to my place and retiring to the front steps with glasses of wine.  We all slept in late yesterday, and I tiptoed out to the living room to retrieve my keys, so that I could walk to the grocery store and be back before they awoke.  I whispered, “Is either of you awake?”  The fakers both instantly opened their eyes and stretched their arms.   I laughed and said I’d be right back with coffee and ingredients for breakfast.  We had scrambled eggs with mozzarella cheese, with fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden (I got slimed by a slug who was attached to one of the tomatoes, and it took hours to get all of that sticky, yellowish, gooey crap off of my hand!), French press coffee, and toast with homemade raspberry jam courtesy of Mom ‘n’ Stepdad.

At about half past noon, we happily piled into our respective cars and caravanned to Seaside, where we met up with their family, who I’ve also known for years.  It was a great time.  They told me to bring my bike, since everybody else had theirs as well.  That turned out to be the best idea of all.  We rode up and down the Promenade, and all around the town, and I found the house we used to stay in when I was a kid that belonged to our family friends.  It’s also located right along the Promenade, and it was nice to see that unlike the rest of Seaside, it was unchanged, save for the fact that it is now a vacation rental home.  We rode to the ice cream shop for cones, and down along the riverfront marina and walkways as well.  In a great show of our Second Childhood, three of us raced to the top floor of a parking garage, and back down to street level, skidding on the sidewalk and having the time of our lives.

Then it was time for dinner, and a walk down to the beach, which included a small fire, s’mores, and a radio-controlled car and plane.  First time I’ve ever flown a model plane, by the way, and it’s much more difficult than it appears.  Then we walked back to the fire and sat around talking until dusk, when I had to pack up my car and drive home, after hugs all around.

Today I’m devoting to cleaning up my kitchen from all the cooking, and getting the living room back to normal now that life is back to normal.  By ‘normal’, I mean a gig tonight, meeting two more friends in the next couple of days, and then three gigs in a row next week, followed by at least one more beach trip (but it’s more likely to be two) before things start to settle down in the following week.  At the end of that week, I’ve been invited to play in Whitefish, Montana with a nationally known songwriter who just so happens to live here in Portland.  He also just so happens to be the significant other of someone with whom I played for almost three years, so I’ve had the opportunity to play with him many times before in that context, but it will be really great to play with him in this new context.  He’s an amazing banjo player and guitarist.

By way of an ending to all of this miscellany, I’m going to tell you that I’m listening to “El Choclo” by Astor Piazzolla, and I like to share examples of these obscure songs when I can find them.  I scrounged up a video to this one, which has a bunch of misogynistic hilarious pictures that accompany this beautiful and romantic tango music.  If you can read the captions, please feel free to comment and translate them, because it’s all Greek to me.

errrr. . .hi, mom

blogging, dreams, funny, pictures, true, Yakima No Comments »

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday, and I called her last night.  We talked for a while, and one of the things she mentioned is that she occasionally checks in on my blog to ‘see how things are going.’  My mom reads my blog, and she’s apparently been doing it for some time now.

Great.

With all those posts I’ve written about Satan and feces and third grade memories, not to mention all the copious amounts of premarital sex weird dreams and my judicious but regular smattering of naughty words, she probably thinks that her real baby son must have somehow been swapped in the hospital for this devil’s spawn.

But the most egregious thing of all (for her, anyway) has to be my non-stop trash-talking about Yakima, which is decidedly well-deserved, but she can’t stomach it.  I have a kinda funny story about that, actually, which involves my niece’s favorite TV show, which we all couldn’t help but watch with her while we were at the beach a few weeks ago.

It’s a national show, which you probably haven’t seen, let alone enjoyed, if you’re over the age of ten.  It’s about PrecociousTeenageGirl, and it’s set in Seattle, where Niece lives.  The grandparents on the show even live in Yakima, where one set of Niece’s grandparents live.  The hijinks ensued in one episode when it looked as if PTG was going to be sent to live with her grandparents.  She didn’t want to go, and she kept making all these lame jokes about Yakima and how bad it is (“oh, the sweet smell of Yakima”, et cetera).  I kept waiting for them to actually take her there, and have some scenes set in the town, which I’m sure they would have filmed in Salinas, California instead, anyway.  It has the exact same feel and look as Yakima, except for the fact that Salinas has the brilliant John Steinbeck rooting for it.  Raymond Carver and I are Yakima’s vox populi spokespeople, and we have nothing good to say about the place.

But that’s neither here nor there.

I found that episode surreal and hilarious.  No wonder it’s Niece’s favorite show; the writers practically frickin’ wrote it for her, and set it in the two places she knows best in the world.  I couldn’t stop cracking up at the irony of the situation, so between my incredulous laughter and the show’s cloying laugh track in response to every generic joke, my mom got angry and had to go upstairs to get away from it all.

I couldn’t tear myself away from the stupid show, and I actually watched the thing in its entirety. You’ll be glad to know that PTG did not, in fact, get sent to live in Yakima, because GenXGuardian (her older brother?) came through in the end to prove that despite his slacker appearance, he really was quite the responsible young gentleman when it came to raising her.  Awww.  Wipe my tears and cue the organist.

I suppose I don’t have a real reason to feel weird about my mom reading all this.  She knows (pretty much) what I’m like, this is all real stuff, and I feel like it’s a good representation of me, slightly-glossed-over warts and all.

But it still does feel weird.  I’m sure you understand.

fingers crossed

beautiful, love, music 2 Comments »

Meet the new me, same as the old me.

I’ve been feeling really good these last few days.  I feel excited and driven, and I feel lots of momentum pulling in good directions again.  Recently, I’ve felt like I’ve been just spinning my wheels lately, not doing some of the things that I should have been doing for a while now.

I have no doubt that part of the reason for these good feeling is that I’ve been riding my bike to and from work for a month or two now.  I’ve dropped about ten pounds in that time, and lost some of the schlubbiness (Did I just make up that word?) that I’d been carrying around for the last year.  The exercise has also started to improve my mood.  I feel much more outgoing and spontaneous again.  I’m even starting to feel slightly attractive and romantic again, after taking myself off of the market when my friend had her ‘incident’ a few months ago.  See, the woman I was kind of dating at the time had her own ideas about why my friend did what she did.  She was convinced that my friend was in secretly in love with me, and that her attempt was a way to reel me back in again.  She also had the idea that my friend saw her as a ‘threat’, and that I should think of my friend ‘more romantically.’  It was horrible.  I never talked to her again.

So I’ve spent the intervening months not dating, and not even trying to meet anyone either.  I had such a bad taste in my mouth from that last person, and I was so traumatized by what my friend had done that I just wasn’t up to any kind of reaching out.  I was pretty much operating on auto-pilot until I went on tour with Breanna and Justin at the end of June.  That was the jump-start I needed to get my life back on track again; to get away from all of the craziness and get out of town for a while.

Two months later, I think I’m back.  Finally.

The other night at the gig with IrishBand, I met a new person that I’m very interested in seeing more of.  She came to the show with a guy, and since I assume that every cute girl who arrives with a guy is WITH that guy, I didn’t try too hard to ‘chat her up’ when they sat at our table, but we had a great time talking for a while, before the band had to get up and play.  At the end of the night, she gave me the nicest hug ever.  I’m a hug fan, and it’s hard to find people who are good huggers, so when I meet someone who does it right, I always think, ‘This is my kind of person.’  I have a feeling I’ll be writing more about her before too long.  Too soon to know what will happen.  I don’t even know what her situation is, either, but I’m just excited to find out.

I feel particularly good about it because I’m so open right now.  It’s the perfect time to meet someone new, and just at the moment when I’ve been feeling that, here comes someone, as if by magic.

Keep your fingers crossed.

pensive

blogging, music, Oregon No Comments »

The trip to Cannon Beach was nice, and relaxing.

Drove JBJ over there with me, since his wife and kids were in Astoria already.  We had a blast, talking and listening to the CD compilation he had just finished making.  We got almost to Seaside, and he called his wife to let her know where he was.  She said, “Turn around; we’re going to Cannon Beach.”  So we did.  We all met at Cranky Sue’s Furiously Good Food To Improve Your Mood. With a name like that, how could it not be good?  Turned out to be VERY good, in fact.

Afterwards, we went our separate ways, and I met Stepdad at the beach house that we had rented.  I unloaded my car and the two of us walked down to the beach to meet up with Mom, Brother, SisterInLaw, Niece and Nephew.   Brother and Niece and I attempted to fly Brother’s kite, but it’s one of those little stunt kites that tends to nose-dive often, and on one of its nose-dives, the nylon ripped at the tip from the force of the crash.  He put it on sabbatical for a while, until he can figure out how to fix it.  I’m not gonna lie; those kites make me nervous.

I didn’t get any really good pictures this trip.  The weather was cold and foggy, and there were even thunderstorms on Sunday.  It was a good trip, it’s just that for some reason I’m having a hard time thinking of what to share about it.  We made a bonfire, walked the beach, walked to town, drank a lot of coffee, made some really good food, lost my keys and spent an hour tearing apart the house looking for them, walked the beach some more, took lots of pictures of Haystack Rock in the fog. . .I even took a page from Andrea’s book and shot a couple of quick videos, but they’re too big to upload, so I need to figure out how to compress them a bit.  Again, I apologize; I don’t know why I’m having a tough time writing about the trip, but I am.  It was nice, and relaxing, and that’s what’s important.

I had to get back to Portland at a reasonable hour on Sunday to meet a couple of friends and see the play Mimesophobia.  It was a dense and brilliant mystery, both in the way the story was told, and in the way that the play was staged.  The theater was very long and narrow, with seating for about twenty people.  There were video screens on either wall, and every few feet there was a small speaker.  It was as if we were watching a film.  The actors could whisper into their little wireless microphones and we could hear them perfectly.  There were a couple of characters who would shut off their microphones and speak to each other normally.  It was a murder mystery, only it was told via film clips (which were described to us by two ‘film-maker’ characters, who were writing a film based on the murder, Charlie Rose interviews with a person who was closely intertwined in the story, messages that were left on answering machines, people portraying the actual participants in the various events. . .it was a lot of information to take in, but it was absolutely brilliant.

Last night, J and I watched the movie Private Eyes, which I had seen many times before, but not since I was a little kid.  I was hesitant to rent it, because I had a feeling that it wouldn’t stand up very well over time, but my brother had seen it recently, and he enjoyed it, so we decided to take our chances.  I like my comedy a good bit darker these days, but it was still fun and entertaining.

This week is about to get crazy.  I found out yesterday that IrishBand has a late gig tonight, tomorrow night is the play-reading group, in which we’re reading the script for My Dinner With Andre.  Thursday night is a small Breanna gig, Friday night is a big Breanna gig, Saturday is IrishBandSinger’s birthday party at a 3 Leg Torso show, Sunday is a daytime ‘play’ consisting of a lot of personal narratives that we listen to in headphones.  It sounds a bit like This American Life, only the audience is involved somehow, by adding their own stories, and interacting at various times.  Can’t wait.

Today I drove a work friend to the hospital for some asthma-related breathing problems she’s been having.   She went in yesterday, apparently, and she felt the same thing coming on today, so she asked me to take her in.  Back at work, I’ve been involved in some very heavy, emotional, interesting and surprising conversations, that I think should remain private, other than to say that a small part of one of them involved pedophiles and what happens to them when they find themselves in prison.  Definitely not the type of conversations you expect to have when you wake up in the morning.  I have a feeling that’s what’s making me feel so pensive and odd today.

Speaking of which, I need to get back, actually.  I’m home writing this on my lunch break, and now it’s time to leave you.

odd dream

dreams No Comments »

There are two realities in this dream; one in the ‘real’ world, and one that exists and looks the same, except that you access it by typing a password into a text-based Invitation screen on a very old PC, hidden in the back corner of the office building in which I work. (No, I’ve never played Second Life or any of that avatar nonsense.) There are a few people in this dream who I either know or have met in real life, but the majority of them are not.

* * * * *

The dream starts in the ‘real’ world. My supervisor is Indian (a nice guy who I met once when he was doing some training at my workplace in real life), and it’s my first day at a new job. He gets me set up with my own desk and computer. I look around the large room. It’s sort of a lounge area, dimly but warmly lit, with a handful of sofas, wooden end tables with modern lamps, and Oriental rugs. I can see some large super-computers and network cabinets just beyond the edges of the room; this seems to be a computer company. There are a bunch of people my own age and younger, male and female , who are sitting on (or standing near) the sofas, talking and laughing with each other. They seem very friendly, and before long, I find myself invited into their circle to make their acquaintance. They ask if this is my first day. I say yes. One of the women asks if I’d like to go to dinner with all of them. Apparently this is a common occurrence.

My supervisor is still there setting things up at my desk, and when I go back over to my desk, he says something like, “I have another place for you too. Come this way.” We walk clear around to the other side of the building, where the light is fluorescent and bright. Instead of desks, there are light gray cubicles. No one else is in the room but myself and my supervisor. This does not feel uncomfortable, it’s just where we both happen to be.

Periodically, I go back to my other desk, and when I do, it seems that quite a bit of time has passed. It feels like only a half hour to me, but my new friends seem to have been working for hours, and making plans for the evening, or for the next day. I check on my computer, and find that I have 693 unread e-mails, many of which are ongoing conversations that I’ve missed between my friends. I’m included in these e-mails as well, with people asking me things and explaining a few of the inside jokes. I see a message from one of the women that says, ‘Ouch. . .that remark. :(‘ I don’t remember saying anything, and I certainly haven’t written anything either. I don’t even know anyone, so I decide to ask around to find out who this person is, and what she thinks I said.

I see Charles (with whom I work in real life) sitting at a desk, and I ask him if he knows who she is. He does not. I walk back to the group in the lounge area, and they don’t know who she is either. They take me to the corner of the room, where an ancient PC terminal is sitting around the corner from the main room, out of view of everything. It asks for a password, which I instinctively know and type on the keyboard.

I find myself in the ‘other’ world. CollegeGirlfriend is there with me. We are walking in some sort of hospital, and I’m carrying a large box of computer equipment. Charles is walking down the hall in the opposite direction, and does not acknowledge us. A nurse appears, hands us a clipboard, and asks us to sign in. We do, and she takes us through a long, dark corridor and into another lounge room, in another computer company. We make new friends with everyone there, but we’re not there to work in this place. Something about these interactions feels different, and I am a bit unnerved. CollegeGirlfriend is talking to someone, but I need to put my box of computer parts somewhere, so I leave her and go back out into the corridor to find another room. I find one and enter it. The lights are off, and the only thing in the room is another ancient PC with the same password screen on it. I type the password.

I’m now standing in the real world, in the warm-colored lounge office. My friends are there, but now that I’ve had this experience, I want to find out more about how it all works. I ask a couple of them to show me the old computer again, but they say that they’re unable to, because it appears in a different location each time. It’s up to me to find it for myself, and what’s more, it’s in a different place for each person. I decide to search for it, and after a while of rummaging through a few dark offices, I find it, on a desk in the hallway, next to the drinking fountain. There is some sort of colorful program running on the screen, and it doesn’t look the same as the other screens have. I pull up the rolling metal chair and sit at the desk, wondering what I should do. A voice says, “Just enter the password, like you normally do.” The colorful program stops running, and a password box appears on the screen. I type in the password.

I’m in the other world now. CollegeGirlfriend is standing there. I start to tell her about this experience. She seems skeptical about it. I decide to show her. I grab her hand and start to walk. She pulls her hand away, but continues to walk a step behind me. “What are you looking for?” she asks. We walk into the large corridor, without anyone stopping us or asking for us to sign in. We stop when we find our friends, but they all seem agitated about something. I tell her to wait for me, and I start running through lots of hallways, looking for my friend Blaine. It occurs to me that he works at this company, and that he may know the answers to some of my questions.

I come to a metal door, and when I open it, I poke my head out to see a small room painted completely white, with a large, vertically sliding metal door that is slid up to reveal daylight, and a street. Cars are driving by on the street, and Blaine is standing outside, being interrogated by three men in suits, navy blue, charcoal gray, and light green, respectively. I pull my head back inside and shut the door behind me, thinking that the three men will think this is a movie set. I lock the door with my thumb and sit down against the wall. I can feel the thin wall shaking as the men are now banging on it and trying the door handle in an attempt to get inside. I sit for a long minute and then decide that I should go and check on everyone else. I run back to the room where they are, and I see them hurriedly packing their things, and leaving with whatever they can carry.