What have I been doing!? Certainly not posting on my blog.
Actually, I've been working like crazy getting ready for the conference I just got back from in D.C. Thank goodness its all over! Now my goal (or two of them at least) is to do less work at home, and post more on my blog. In the mean time, here's a quick run down of the fun things that did happen in the last couple months.
My friend Martinique from Chicago stayed with us while she attended a library conference. During her non-conference time, we gave her a whirlwind tour of San Diego. Here's a picture Chip took of the two of us playing in the waves on Coronado Island, with the San Diego skyline in the background. The only unpleasant part of her visit was our Sunday brunch at Lips. It might sound fun, but DON'T DO IT! Seek out better drag elsewhere.
We flew to St. Louis in May for Alicia's graduation and party. The party was in a small bowling alley that was rented out just for the party. We also got to go to a cool beer festival and a local brewpub while we were there. It was all part of the celebration of Alicia. Go Alicia!
At the end of May, my favorite Chicago musician, Bobby Conn performed in San Diego! The show was not as amazing as some of the shows I've seen in Chicago with the whole band and in larger venues, but it was still very cool to get to see him play live again. It had been over a year since I'd seen him perform, and even though we were in a teeny tiny bar without even a real stage he still put on a sparkly outfit and crazy make-up. Yay!
I turned 28 and got a fancy gadget from Chip, which really deserves its own post at some future time.
Our friend Kristen came to visit from D.C. and we got to go to a fancy private company "picnic" at the San Diego Zoo. We paid only $7 instead of the usual $33 plus there was free food, airbrush tattoos, rides on the "Skyfari" & more. Fun! This picture was taken from the "Skyfari."
Here's to a relaxing fun filled summer, with more blog posts.
Ok, so I'm not actually listening to THIS Iron & Wine album, I'm listening to the custom made Iron & Wine CD made for me by Lester. When he first told me about Iron & Wine he said: "Iron & Wine is awesome. Sam Beam is the best thing to come out of South Florida since. . . well, you." How sweet is that? And the music is great too :)
So we already had a Johnny Cash Greatest hits album, but after watching Walk the Line, I just HAD to have this album! I've listened to it like four times today! Some of favorites, Cocaine Blues, Folsom Prison Blues, and Send a Picture of Mother. Did you know one of the songs on this album (Greystone Chapel) was actually written by a prisoner at Folsom?
My last day in Chicago was wonderful, and full of so many of the things I'll miss about the city.
Saturday morning I had brunch at Angels with Alanna and Martinique. Angels is delicious and cheap, and has a beautiful back patio with grape vines, and an apple and pear tree, all bearing fruit at this time of year. The perfect place to have brunch on a late summer day. We sat around and talked like it was any other day, not like it was goodbye...about things going on in our libraries, possible jobs, politics, being roomies at Midwinter, all kinds of things. It didn't feel like I was leaving, just like we were having brunch.
I took the bus home, then walked the last block or so. As I walked, I stopped at one of the little food carts, and bought some fresh, hot, homemade tamales to take home for later. Chip and I spent the afternoon cleaning our apartment, getting it all ready to move out of.
We went to the Heartland Cafe for a late dinner, and while we were there I bought some Chicago magnets in their little shop (because we're leaving :) as well as the latest issue of Sun (check out the readers write section) to read on our drive. It's one of my favorite magazines, but I let my subscription lapse a few months ago and haven't renewed it. Afterwards, we walked around the corner (literally) to the Red Line Tap for an Olupus show. It was the last one we'll get to see for a while at least, and was really wonderful, not to mention all the friends who were there and we got to hang out with one last time. Chris even dedicated my favorite song of theirs to me...Evil Pirate. I really hope they record it one day soon so the rest of the world can hear it!
Chip and I left around midnight, and had to walk a ways down Clark before finding a unoccupied cab. I saw it on the opposite side of the street, and flagged it down, and it turned around and picked us up.
When we got home, Chip said: "It was so cool the way you jumped out in the street and flagged down that cab! I didn't think it would turn around! You were like a New York lady!"
And I said: "No, not New York, Chicago!"
"Yes," he said. "Chicago."
Last night I went to see Le Tigre with three fun librarian friends. It was a fantastic show and with the combination of projected movies and visuals, dancing band in cool matching outfits and such danceable music, I could have sat (well, no, not sat, but danced!) through the show three times and still not gotten to see & hear everything!
Before I went to the show, Chris asked me to describe their music, but I'm super bad at that and came up with some lame answer, but I found this description in a review and I really like it: "Electropunk dance queens." Yes! Most definitely! I don't know how Cheryl sat through the whole show! Although she claimed she was so overstimulated she couldn't move :)
I found this picture online of the first set of matching outfits (There was one costume change 1/2 way through to another set of matching outfits. Fun!)
So imagine these ladies in their outfits being super energetic with super cool fun music. Spontaneous dancing, coordinated dance moves, cool visual effects designed by them, yell through a megaphone girl power, you can't stop dancing, on the last night of their world tour, and the last song is the best. So sad its over, but it was so much fun! The music is still reverberating in my head!
The only thing missing was Chip, but he got a full account of the show when I got home. And they didn't even play his favorite song! He would have had fun though. Next time, Chip, you're coming, too!
Last night we went up to the Red Line Tap to see Olupus and they were great! Their shows are always so super fun, I'm just sorry we didn't get to stay till the end of the show. (I had to be to work at 8:30 this morning.)
This was the first show Chip was able to go to (finally!) and he had lots of fun. We were luckily able to stay long enough for me to dance and singalong to, and for Chip to hear, my favorite new Olupus song, Evil Pirate. This morning Chip was singing it as he drove me to work. Very catchy!
If you haven't heard any of their songs yet, you should click on over to their website. They have some you can listen to or even download!
I took a few pictures of the band while they were playing. Here's one:
Chip quote of the night:
One song had a line that went something like "talking to her is like long division" and Chip turned to me, with a concerned look on his face and said: "What if you like long division?"
A couple weeks ago a friend of mine lent me her In the World of Him, and said I should listen to it, but I didn't listen to it. I ripped it, and gave it back, intending to listen to it later. I put the songs on my ipod, and forgot about it. Until this morning.
In the car, on my way to work, I had my ipod on shuffle all, and Bomb came on. In the first few seconds I was riveted. I kept listening, stunned. The song was so haunting, yet so light. And her voice crawls under the skin in the very best of ways. I had goose bumps. I couldn't breathe. You must listen to believe.
When the song was done, I listened to the rest of the album. And you should, too. It is SO amazing.
The past couple months I have just been ridiculously unwell. I mean, I know that I don't get enough sleep all the time, and I usually push myself to do the things I want instead of listening to what my body tells me, but still.
So first I got sick. Really sick for like a week. Then I got over it. Then, about a week & a half later, I got really sick again. This time, my tonsils were both swollen and I had a really bad earache. Went to the doctor. Tested positive for strep plus had an ear infection. My doctor put me on a fancy new antibiotic that seemed to make my strep go away but not the ear infection and 1 swollen tonsil apparently connected to my ear infection. She put me on another antibiotic. It still didn't make my earache go away, or tonsil unswell. I meant to call this week, and get another appointment, but I haven't because I've been busy and otherwise feeling fine (but not getting enough sleep.)
Today, I felt tired all day. Then I started to feel sick again. I got worse as it got later. My other tonsil is starting to swell again. My tongue is all weird looking in a patten that apparently can be related to guess what...strep. I guess next week I will be paying another trip to the doctors office. (My third in two months.)
So tonight, in an effort to be good and listen to my body for a change, I am not going out and doing what I really want to do. Where I really, really want to be is at Bobby Conn & the Glass Gypsies CD Release show. I haven't seen them for months and months, and I LOVE them. Bobby Conn totally Rocks, and their live shows are the BEST. Not to worry friends and family. I will still be buying the awesome new live album for many of you. Its the closest you can come to an authentic Bobby Conn experience, without actually being there live to see the show in all its glamy hard rockin' glory.
Unfortunately, I left my camera at home last night, otherwise this post would start off with a picture of the Metro sign saying:
Last night at the Metro, I saw the best Clyde Federal show I have yet seen. We were right in the front, middle of the balcony looking down of the stage, which was a really cool view. The sound was amazing, and the whole band was great. The set included the best of old and new songs, and even a couple brand new songs that were just amazing. It was really cool to see Clyde Federal playing in such a big venue, and I think definitely a sneak peek of things to come.
Andrew Bird and Archer Prewitt were great, too, although I didn't actually get to see as much of them. The balcony was getting hot and crowded up front and I had to move back and get some air. I definitely want to hear more of Andrew Bird. He switched back and forth between violin and guitar during the show, which was really cool. He also supplements his vocals with whistling which I thought was really neat and kind of haunting, but Chip hated it.
Chip's quote about Andrew Bird:
"More plucking [the violin], less whistling."
Chip's quote about Clyde Federal:
"They were the only band that rocked out!"
(It was his favorite Clyde Federal show, too.)
Fun news: There are now Clyde Federal t-shirts! Not available online yet, maybe soon?
Overheard rumor: New full length Clyde Federal album, out soon.
Patrick & Annie sit at the table next to us. They haven't been dating long, and came in on a whim after their waiter at the Harmony Grill said the show would be good tonight. Patrick drinks Blue Moons and Annie has Gin & Tonics. They are giddy with each others company, and it doesn't matter where they are, but here is good.
Johnny plays an old upright bass in a hard rockin' band. He bows with a fervor that leaves stands of horsehair hanging loose after only a few songs. They hang from his bow, whipped back a forth, floating on air. I want to photograph him playing his bass in light that catches the scratches on the old wood and shows his concentration as he sways his whole body to the motion of his arms as they bring the strings to life. The angle is just right to show the strain of muscle in his arms, and catch a glimpse of the bass clef tattooed on the inner side of his upper arm.
Annie Quick is all angles as she sings and plays. Jerky motions at first seem staged but it becomes clear she is letting go; letting herself be filled with the music and letting it take her where it will. You will too, her pure pleasure is infectious.
Clyde Federal plays in absentia, by way of Piecework surging through the speakers. People talk. The band sets up.
The crowd hangs back as the bands play, but when Palomar goes on, one man begins to creep forward, bopping up and down to the music, hugging himself, as if to keep the urge to dance inside. Halfway through the set he lets go. His arms swing free, hands strumming, drumming, flying, heels kick out. He danced with abandon, alone in front of the stage.
Palomar performed as though they were the limbs of one person. Fun and super danceable (do see above) the space the occupied on stage had no awkwardness and they all seemed to be having fun together, rather than each lost in the rigor of their own performance. What a wonderful pleasure, and what a great show.
Before the show, Amy stands small and melts into the crowd. Onstage, she dons a glowing bass, bigger than her body. It becomes a part of her, a natural appendage. She bends and dances and sings, larger than in life, radiating animal power and grace. She is fiery hot.
On Friday, Lester and I went to see Modest Mouse at the Congress Theater. We had many adventures on our way to the show, including yummy sushi and driving backwards through an drive-through ATM so I could get money out. With Lester, even the mundane becomes an adventure.
We arrived at the Congress Theater after having walked 20 minutes in the cold wind. (It's always a dilemma...how to stay warm outside, and not hot inside, at least when you are as hot blooded as me. ..usually I opt for too cold outside to be comfortable inside.) As we entered, we showed our ids and then were separated into male/female areas for searching. Lester was patted down, while only my purse was peered into. It hadn't even occured to me that cameras might not be allowed. I carry mine everywhere (you never know when a good picture might come along) and so it was in my purse as always. When informed I could not take the camera in, I offered to leave the batteries behind, without which the camera would be useless. The security guard found this acceptable and asked if I had extra batteries. I did, but intended to only lose one set of rechargeable batteries, so I said no. She warned me, if they saw me use the camera inside, it would be taken away.
I didn't use it. But these are the things I wanted to take pictures of:
The cool dome that glowed red.
The columns, and carvings, and twisted metal designs and all the other cool art deco details that had seen better days.
The colored stage lights as they shone down through thick smoke, so that they seemed to be billowing pillars of light.
Were these the things they didn't want me to take pictures of? It must have been because the dozens of people taking pictures of the band with their camera phones were allowed to keep snapping away. Someone should tell those people next week's Insane Mexican Wrestling is bound to make even more interesting pictures. Bring your camera phones!
I just got back from seeing half of Olupus (Chris & Tim) at the Red Line Tap. It was a really fun show, some great songs I knew, and some great ones I didn't. My favorite song was the one about being an evil pirate, which is really hard to explain having just heard it once, but if you heard, I'm sure you would agree its super fun! I took some pictures, and I thought this one was cool. I set my camera on the table to steady it while taking pictures, and this shot is actually the reflection from the table. Pretty cool, and kind of ghostly.
I love this song! You really must hear it to get the full effect, as the lyrics only tell half the tale. You can hear a clip at Amazon, but its just from the middle, and part of what makes the song so great are the changes that happen throughout. I love this song for the same reason I love Bobby Conn and Ferlinghetti. Its funny and irreverent and unexpected...those words don't quite capture how I feel, but they come close!
Contradictory...that's the word I was looking for, contradictory!