Archive for June, 2005

Holly Would, If She Could…

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

Mood: Aspirin, please
Drinking: Water

So the new job is going well, as long as you don’t count the continual forgetting of people’s names and the constant feeling of having no idea what’s going on. Both of which are cured by time, so I refuse to worry about it. Or to type about it. Or to talk about it anymore, because…BORING!

Instead, I’m going to relive for a few minutes the weekend just past. My darling S and I drove LeeLoo and her canine cousin Yoda down to LA and then spent the weekend in Hollywood, shopping on Melrose and wearing swanky boots.

The long version of the story involves a chapter on how I babysat my sister’s dog, Yoda (also affectionately known as the Yodes, Yoder, Fatty, Stank-ass and Lardbutt.)

The Yodes is part Boxer, part American Bulldog, part Piglet, and we love him dearly in spite of his pimply and porcine naked pink belly. He has a sad history involving a deceased previous owner, full-body hair loss and two years doing time in a Chihuahua Rescue (don’t ask!), but my sister and her husband adopted him in January and his life has been much better since then. The LeeLoo likes to push him around, sit on his head and pout when he gets more attention than she does, but all that really means is that she thinks he is swell. Dumb, yes, but swell.

After a week of dog-sitting, S and I embarked on a 7-hour car ride down the 5 to return the Yodes to his home and spend a little time in Celebrityville. (During which we saw nary a celebrity. The trick to celebrity spotting is that, most of the time, you have to actually be looking for someone who has that entitled air about them. Most of the time I am not looking. And therefore the only time I ever see celebrities is if someone else spots them and gives me the elbow.) Since S gave even less of a shit about fame-seeking than I did, we had a celebrity-free zone in Hollywood and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

We spent most of our time on Melrose Avenue, home of the Serious store and several other little goodie-spots, although it’s not quite as chock-full of goodies as it used to be. My new friend L (formerly of Chicago) informed me that I should give up on Melrose and seek out some other happening spots, but I am lazy and it was too late–S and I had already conquered Melrose, all day long.

L, who is very much in the know about all things LA (or at least much more in the know than I am), took S and I to dinner at the Rainbow Room, right next to the Roxie on the Sunset strip. It’s the kind of place you walk into, out of the sun, and have to stretch out your arms so as not to blunder into the walls and knock off one of the many framed and signed photographs of the used-to-be-famous. See, the Rainbow, as L explained it, was THE place to be in the 1980s if you were a rock star. It’s still frequented by the excessively hairy such as Vince Neil, some guy from Pantera, and, a few weeks ago, Vincent Gallo (who posed for a photo with the suddenly star-struck L).

It’s one of those buildings that has a sense of possibility in the air. Sitting in the circular booth, sipping from mega-sized plastic soda glasses and squinting through the red-candlelit gloom, we could almost imagine ourselves to be three mysterious Somebodies, on the verge of stardom or backstage access or dangerous and disease-causing groupie behavior.

Of course, it kinda ruined the mood when we strolled outside after dinner and it was still light enough out to see the line of hipsters winding around the block by the Roxie, straining for a glimpse of Jared Leto as they clutched their tickets for 30 Seconds to Mars.

But me and S, we had two dogs to feed, a whole batch of new clothes to try on, and a midnight date at Bar Sinister. So we said our goodbyes to L and hit the 10. (All stories about LA must have gratiutious freeway references to the 101, the 405, the 5, the 10, the 110, the 710, and on and on. It’s nothing but freeways down there. Freeways, hookers and unemployed script writers.)

Several hours later, after making the trek from the 10 to the 110 to my sister’s condo, playing with the pups and donning our most luscious and boob-enhancing outfits (two girls, two corsets), S finally got to meet some old friends of mine, the Damnits.

A few years ago when I first moved to California, Boy and I stumbled across Bar Sinister on our first trip south to LA. It’s a gorgeous little goth club tucked on a side street just away from the mayhem of Hollywood Boulevard. And there we found Jeffrey Damnit, an old club-friend of mine from back in the Dome Room days of Chicago. (One of these days I have to write about the Dome Room. It deserves its own long-winded and nostalgic entry.)

I knew he and his blindingly beautiful wife, Star, had moved to California shortly before I did. And I should have expected to run into them at a place like Bar Sin. But for some reason, in California, I am always shocked to run into people that I actually know. I don’t feel like I’ve lived here long enough to have a history, to have random run-ins with old friends.

But there they were, Jeffrey & Star. And it’s been a few years now, but every time I make it to Bar Sin, I’m certain to see them again. So S got introduced to my “Vampireboy” and I got to catch up with old friends AND dance to a bit of NIN, and that in itself made the whole trip worthwhile.

S and I wandered back to the car around 2 a.m., our tired toes complaining inside the confines of our terribly sexy platform boots. Our hair was a bit bedraggled and the glitter was starting to slide off our lashes, but we were flushed with the satisfaction of a very good day. A day that only got better when we got home, kicked off our boots, unbuckled our corsets and crashed into bed.

But for one former punk drummer(yes, she had a mohawk) and one former gothling girl (yes, I had black lipstick), it was just enough of a return to our former glory to keep us happy for another year or so.

-Lo, who makes up reasons to wear those terribly sexy platform boots as often as possible.

The Fires Burn Low

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

Mood: Crouching
Drinking: Pop, Fizz

I’m leaping into a change of scenery. Inhale and hold.

Change equally inflames and frightens me, and at the moment I’m teetering on the fence, right foot in front of left, arms flung out like airplane wings, trying to maintain my ambivalence.

Tomorrow is my last day at a job that has been good to me for the past two years. Next week I start a new gig with a lot of risks and a lot of perks.

I came back from Chicago with a midwestern head cold and in between sneezes I am trying to remind myself that comfort isn’t a good enough reason to stay put. I know all the routines of my current job. I have a color-coded calendar and a carefully labeled file drawer. I know where the landmines are and how to tiptoe around them. I have an assortment of fancy ink pens and an Aeron chair. For two years, I’ve had it made. And now I’m movin’ on.

I’ve got new names to learn and new routines to establish. I’ve got to shape a new voice for a whole new generation and start a discussion about serial commas. And just in time (with all the earthquake rumblings of late), I can finally abandon my Bay Bridge commute to the east side. I’ll be stayin’ in the city every day, all day from here on out. (That’s reason enough to quit a comfortable job.)

I’ll exhale on the other side.

-Lo, slightly delerious with a head full of medicine.

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

Thursday, June 9th, 2005

Mood:
Drinking:

I’m going home.

Or rather, going back to the place that used to be home. I’m attending a conference in Chicago next week for a couple of days and am leaving early so I can spend the weekend with my parents and celebrate my Dad’s birthday with movie popcorn and Star Wars. (He took me to see all of the original Star Wars movies when I was little. We had a mutual affection for R2D2.)

I don’t get back to Illinois that often. And this time I get to see both my hometown AND downtown Chicago. Love ’em both. Although I’ve been warned that it’s very hot and sticky there. And coming from Fog City, I’m not so good with the hot and the sticky anymore.

I get to see a few old friends while I’m back, but since I’m only there for a few days and much of my time is taken up with the conference, I don’t get to see everybody. So if I’m there and I miss you, I’ll take a rain check for next time.

I find that each time I go back, I’ve forgotten one more detail. The name of a freeway. Directions to a friend’s house. How to survive the humidity. The details get fuzzy from disuse.

Everything looks smaller, too. The school I spent 13 years in is so shabby and miniscule! It’s difficult to believe how much time I spent within those walls.

I find myself hoping that I’ll run into people I used to know. And that they’ll have a hard time recognizing me. Sometimes I hang out at the Super Walmart (small town social center) a bit longer than is really necessary, just in case I recognize an old face. There’s a certain ex I would LOVE to run into, just for curiosity’s sake. I haven’t seen him since we broke up, oh, seven years ago or so. It would be interesting. Or maybe just horrifying.

But whatever happens, I’m determined to get my fill of Dairy Queen (they don’t have DQ in San Francisco) and some real Chicago pizza (West Coast pizza is very sadly lacking). I’m hoping to catch a good midwestern, too. (They don’t have thunderstorms in San Francisco, either.) Rain, yes, but without the bright violence of lightning and the shuddering rumble of thunder.

My dad and I used to sit in the swing on the front porch and watch the rain move in across the fields. Count the beats between the flash and the roar.

Sometimes my sister and I would run screaming through puddles, lifting our faces to the weeping sky and shrieking, fiercely, with the simple joy of being alive, being young, being completely soaking wet.

Just a few of the details that have not yet gone fuzzy.

-Lo, who knows how to make the ice cream curl on a Dairy Queen cone. Years of practice.

The Wicker Chronicles

Monday, June 6th, 2005

Mood: Too early to tell
Drinking: Caffeinated beverage

After spending some time reading and re-reading some work by my friend G, I am more convinced than ever that more people should know who he is. Everyone, in fact, should know. There should be shiny hardback volumes with his name imprinted on their spines.

G and I met in the minefield of mid-twenties suburban mega-religion and established a bond over our mutual affection for poetry, snarkiness and the lost wonders of DeKalb.

Upon meeting G, it doesn’t take long to discover that he is a genius. And once he began to share his writing with me, I elevated him to capital GENIUS status. He really is amazing. And although I’m here now and he’s there, he fills my inbox with intrigue every single week, without fail.

This is one of his poems, “Storm”…

“in the sanctuary
hundreds of people open
their good books
and it’s the sound of leaves
rustling in the tops of trees
and all I can think of
is wind and storm,
violence
not love.

the whisper of prayers from
a thousand lips is
a mushroomcloud of moths fluttering
the silver dust from their wings
falling like ash.

the clap of a hundred raised hands
is the distant clatter
of mortars exploding,
all the killing done in
the name of Whatever
flavor of the week
we’re worshipping.

and all the words they use
are bruised and faded,
bleached of worth;
He is hiding in the subtext,
behind tongues,
before birth.

who can hope to understand
the complex mess we’ve made
of earth?

not the books and not the lips
and not the hands

for He is hiding
and is deaf to our demands,

beyond tongues,
beyond death,
such amazing love
to let us live,
breath by labored breath?”

Get more here.

-Lo, who’s getting more G herself very soon. Right, my friend? Dinner. Monday. Downtown.

Oh, Canada

Friday, June 3rd, 2005

Mood: Tired but satisfied
Drinking: Just finished, thanks

So many reasons to love Canada. It’s a peaceful land. Beautiful. With fancy Mounties in jaunty hats. And then there’s Zed TV.

And yours truly is featured on Zed TV’s website aaaaall weekend long. I’m the “performance feature.” Sure, you’ve already seen the video, but have you seen it on Zed TV? No. No you have not.

So how ’bout you go there now and scroll down a bit ’till you see me and my white hoodie. And maybe you could throw a couple of stars my way, just for old time’s sake. Yeah?
(If the link didn’t work, cut and paste: http://zed.cbc.ca/go?c=contentIndexPage )

I’m very tired, having consumed too many pupusas with M and MTB and having wished the other M a happy, HAPPY birthday at El Rio over in the Mission district. Plus, the LeeLoo woke me up at 4 a.m. this morning with a nasty hairball sounding cough. Poor pup.

So I’m gonna go now, because I have a date with three gorgeous womenfolk tomorrow morning to start editing Slow Roast specifically for your viewing pleasure!

Happy weekend, all. And to all a good night.

-Lo. Yawn.