Monthly Archives: December 2009

A decade. A whole one.

I started this decade in Las Vegas.  When midnight PST hit I was standing in front of the Bellagio with my friend Renee watching Cirque du Soleil acrobats rappel off the fake Eiffel Tower as a ton of glitter was tossed from the top and came floating down through the air.

As we walked back to my new apartment on Twain Ave we passed an ambulance and saw the paramedics lifting a covered body into the back.  We learned later that a local wrestler was electrocuted while climbing up a pole to get a better look at the masses of people filling the strip for the evening’s revelries.  Apparently, this happens every year.

We had just arrived in Vegas that day, after driving for three days across America.  From Port Huron to Plymouth to collect Renee and then on through the plains and the Rockies and into the desert.  My grandparents were waiting for us in the parking lot of Mark Twain Apartments, they very kindly drove their truck cross-country with half of my belongings and took us out for dinner at a strip mall buffet.  But before we got to the endless soup and salad in west Vegas my Grandpa managed to flirt his way into getting my keys out of the office ladies before I even arrived in the city much less at the apartment.  It should be noted, that this is my maternal grandfather with whom I do not even share a last name.  That said, he is a charming and handsome man, those women never stood a chance.

While this safety breach was a little concerning, it did mean we had toilet paper because Grandma realised I wouldn’t have thought to bring any with me.  Grandma is a genius.  Later that day I went to the Goodwill and bought a chair and the ladies in the office gave me a lamp someone left behind and I began outfitting my sad little 1 bedroom apartment for my new life in the desert.

Renee and I walked down Flamingo to the strip that night at around 9.  I wore a red and blue shirt dress I bought in Kalamazoo, my ox-blood and black saddle shoes and a brown plaid jacket I bought on my first trip to Vegas over spring break the year before.  A trip that was meant to be a chance to check out UNLV and talk to the professors in the Creative Writing department.  I was tremendously hung over when I met with Richard Wiley.  He seemed to find this amusing as he told me about the school and the program.  Immediately following that interview I went to the admissions counter and turned in my application and a check for $40 dollars.  The I took a cab back to the Palace Station and started drinking again.

Back to the edge of 1999/2000, on the walk back Renee told me of her millennial anxiety, which had only been heightened by the sights of the strip in full decadence mode.  A dead body surrounded by oblivious revellers was clearly a sign of the apocalypse, and Renee was not a person given to using terms like apocalypse lightly.  We walked back to my apartment in a somber mood.

When I think of that night I always think of the glitter falling from the sky, sparkling in the lights of the casinos as blue figures flew through the air.  That memory merges into the ambulance and the sheet covered figure and from there into a million other Vegas based stories.  My first day of classes, discovering rosemary bushes all over the campus.  Going to a strange play about an airplane crash.  The bar with the water wheel.  Picking out my second cat, Dill, at the PetSmart.  Crying in Doug Unger’s office.  Wondering why everyone in my writing class laughed when I said Detroit had started to feel too safe.  Realising I didn’t belong there.  Jeremy coming to visit, meeting him at the airport, he carried a flower  in his lap the whole flight.  Selling my car so I could afford the UHaul home.  And then driving back to the midwest.

This year we’ll be seeing 2009 out from the house of some friends.  We won’t leave our post code.  We’ll be able to walk home.  It is unlikely (touch wood) that there will be any fatalities. 

So much about my life has changed since those sad months spent in the desert.  True, I still haven’t finished my stupid novel and I still don’t have an MFA, but I do have my confidence back.  It’s taken some knocks but I’ve rebounded and grown and learned.  I’m glad I went out to Vegas and I’m equally glad that I came back.  And even more I’m glad and happy to be where I am in life now.  Even though I spend much of my time stressed out and tired lately, at least I’m spending it with an awesome guy in a beautiful city. 

This new decade may not start out with a ton of glitter but it will start out surrounded by friends, and that sounds considerably better to me.


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4 day weekends are the best . . .

until they end.  I seriously considered throwing my alarm across the bedroom once I figured out what it was at 5:30 this morning (and what it was, was evil).  It only took me a few days to get used to waking up at 10 and starting the day with a bllody mary and a bagel covered in cream cheese, tomato, avocado and Quorn fake bacon.

No, I’m back at work and a good 6 hours away from any sort of cocktail.  The weekend’s winner was the Orange Blossom, a prohibition era cocktail disguised to mask the taste of bathtub gin.  Take 1 measure each of sweet vermouth, gin and orange juice.  Place in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake until a frost forms on the shaker.  Pour over a few cubes of ice.  Garnish with an orange slice.  Enjoy.

And all that said, I should probably avoid any stupid cocktails because I am getting a stupid cold.  It better be gone in time for New Year’s Eve or I’ll, well I’ll probably just be grumpy and blow my nose alot, but for real, no one wants that.

Along with cocktail discoveries we also watched all but the last episode of season 5 of the Wire (I’m not ashamed to admit I cried during at least two episodes) and quite a few movies.  It was a good and relaxing weekend and I miss it already.

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Happy Christmas

Hey, you, yeah you.

Have a happy Christmas,  if you’re into that sort of thing. 

We call it Chrismukkah round ours.  Cause you know, Jeremy’s Jewish and I’m not and all.

It is celebrated by drinking at least one Bloody Mary each day, doing a jigsaw puzzle and watching lots of movies.  Roasted chestnuts also get eaten.  Also, I will probably wear my pyjamas for 4 days straight.

It’s pretty awesome.  You’re welcome to steal the idea (we partially stole it from The O.C., we;ve just improved upon it).  It’s a good one. 

So yeah, have a good one.

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Another one bites the ice

I just narrowly avoided doing a full on face plant at my bus stop this morning when I slipped on the ice while trying to check to see if the bus was coming.  It was an especially graceful move on my part and was witnessed by at least 4 people.  One of whom was kind enough to help me up and assist me in collecting all the crap that fell out of my pockets. 

I managed to turn sideways so jammed my left shoulder and right index finger rather than concussing myself.  Small blessings, right?

In other bus related news, on Monday the 4th I’ll be going in to make a statement with the police regarding the bus driver incident I witnessed so the cyclist can move forward with pressing charges.  I’ve decided to take the day off work as well and am thinking I’ll have a wander around town after doing my civic duty at the poe-lice station.

And now I have only three days left of work this week.  And then three days of work total next week.  They will each feel very long but I will fight through like a soldier.

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Filed under busshole

Sometimes nice things happen at the bus stop

So last night I was walking away from the ATM to stand by the bus shelter and wait for the 343 when a woman ran by me to catch the 78, she turned and shouted, ‘Nice coat! Where’d you get it?’ and I shouted back, ‘TK Maxx, thanks!’ and she smiled at me.

Things like that happen so rarely and they always make me feel so good.  I need to remember to put those random compliments out there too, because if they make me feel good they probably make other people feel good too.

Also, my coat is pretty awesome.  Just in case you were wondering.

It’s bright green.

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Back from the music mines

Ten Years of ATP was really good.

My absolute top favorites on the music front were Battles and múm. 

The Battles set was so much goddamn fun!  I jumped around a lot.  And the band seemed to be having all sorts of fun as well and that makes a huge difference.

múm made lots of lush beautiful noises and even had one song that featured kazoos.  My friend Paula bowled next to one of the singers earlier in the day and said she seemed like a very happy person.

My absolute least favorites were Sunn O))) who do this minimalist super loud rock business that made my whole body hurt.  Some people really like this sort of thing.  I think those people are wrong.  Although I did miss their second set which I hear featured laser hands. So, really, what do I know?

I also tried to watch some Shellac again, thinking that maybe, like pistachios and blue cheese, a little time away would make me like them more.  But no, a little time away did nothing to improve my relationship with this band.  In fact it made them more boring than ever.

Lots of other good stuff happened too.  Here’s a list:

  • Discovering that two of Jeremy’s friends from high school were in a band playing on Sunday.
  • Dancing to Jim Carroll’s song People Who Have Died during one of the DJ sets.
  • Playing air hockey (even though I lost a lot)
  • Warren Ellis’s descriptions of what all the Dirty Three’s songs are about (‘This is a song about making all the emo kids work in fish and chip shops . . . )
  • Hanging out with my friends watching the likes of Wizard People, Dear Readers and Beardo (although I should very much like to erase Hobo Fon Sex from my brain forever) and Superstar and the X Factor final.
  • Seeing Devendra Banhart dancing to Sunn O))), which is not something I would have thought possible.
  • Discussions about why some bands need more than one drummer
  • Amazement at the addition of a third and fourth drummer at the end of The Melvins set
  • Amazement that my ears still work.
  • Winning 25 prize tickets on the Sponge Bob game
  • Seeing and hearing the likes of: Papa M, The For Carnation, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, The Dirty Three, Modest Mouse, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Devendra Banhart, Explosions in the Sky, Six Organs of Admittance and many others

I didn’t have a Holy Shit moment this time (As in, Holy Shit this band is amazing and I am so glad that I now know they exist!) but since I had two when we went in May I guess that’s all right.  It’s hard to be back in normal life now where I don’t have a concert to go to every 15 minutes, but I’m managing to get back to normal.

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Filed under culture that is popular, dorking it up, Musics

Oh snap X 199!

The next person to comment on this very page will be commenter 200!

This could be your big moment in the sun of the internet, go on, be #200 and I’ll say something nice about you, I’ll even try to mean it!

You’ll be famous (among the few people who read this blog, most of whom appear to be looking lists of scary things, info about the Go-Gos, what makes a narrator reliable and whether or not Jack Kerouac was a mama’s boy (yes, yes he was)).

So go on, do it, become popular and loved and adored.  It’ll be awesome!

ETA it’s the lovely Ola!  She’s #200!  Go to her link at the right and look at her amazing music boxes.  Buy some even, they are very full of awesome


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