Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

Archive for February, 2005

Live – Poptarticus!

Monday, February 28th, 2005

My blog turned one year old over the weekend. I thought of this before I thought of how yesterday would have been my 12th anniversary, if I was still married. But instead that experience crashed and burned in 1995. I wonder how my life would be different if it had worked out. Like, would I be a mother now? Would I be spending my vacations camping at Yosemite instead of flying to Europe?

You can try to map a path but a storm will always come and wash it out. It’s better to just let life make the path for you. If there is one thing I have learned in forty years, it is that.

Turn on the Bright Lights

Monday, February 21st, 2005

At the Great America Amusement Park in Santa Clara, California, there is a roller coaster called “The Tidal Wave.” This roller coaster leaves the boarding station at 60 miles per hour. You are catapulted forward at a high speed, instantly, and it is a total rush.

This is what the beginning of Interpol’s “Not Even Jail” sounds like. And they played it last night, but without the first, launched rocket moment. Still, it was a pretty stellar show.

Mark and I got there after some fortification at The Vine, armed with small water bottles of Syrah in case the line to get into the club was long. The line WAS long, but it was moving really, really fast. There, we ran into Renee, a server at The Vine and her boyfriend (I think his name is Jim.) Lucky this, as I shared the wine with them – otherwise I would have had to guzzle it, or throw it out. And I don’t like to throw wine out, ever.

Once in, we got somewhat close to the stage along a side wall where there was a little ledge about four feet off the ground. Thanks god for this ledge, and for my own pushy self. Because of this ledge, and being pushy, I got to watch the entire show from a great height while the teeming mass saw the backs of each other’s heads. Mark wasn’t so lucky, and looked up at me often with a look of total pain. The show was oversold, and everyone was pushing and shoving on the floor.

At first I sort of just hung out by the ledge, as there were many people sitting on it already, with no room for me. When Blonde Redhead came on, and all those people stood up, I hoisted my butt up on the very edge and waited. I could tell the guy standing behind me wanted to kick me in the head, but he didn’t (thanks god.) I tried to be good at that point and not move around too much. Blonde Redhead was Just O.K. But opening acts aren’t really allowed to shine.

Once the opener was off the stage, everyone sat down but I stayed where I was – I was up there above everyone and there was no way I was giving that up. But finally the guy standing behind whined, “can you get down? I was here first…” I really had no choice but to move. Those within hearing distance exchanged “what a wanker” glances with me. When you’ve got a thousand people in a space for five hundred to fit comfortably… let’s just say you have to give a little. It’s what we put up with, for the music.

Thankfully, the girl next to me went to the bathroom, and I took that opportunity to sweet talk her boyfriend into letting me back up, which he did, no problemo. For this I gave him a hit off my flask of Bouteille Call. Now I was sitting right next to the Wanker, who would not look at me.

All this drama did not matter once Interpol came on. We all stood up (me with some difficulty – my pants were way too tight to do this with any sort of grace) and from then on, everyone was screaming, including the Wanker. He even drowned out the hundreds of screaming teenaged girls on the floor at one point.

My ears are still ringing; it was Really Fucking Loud. Everyone on the ledge was happy, and in front of the stage the teeming mass pushed forward, screaming. I was SO happy I was not down there. I was SO happy that I had the view I did. It was like being in a box seat. I could then see why the Wanker wanted to protect his spot- it was the best one in the house. So I gave him a chance to apologize to me.

“Sorry I sat on your feet before,” I yelled.
“Sorry I was a dick,” he screamed.
He then ceased to be a Wanker, and from then on was just a crazed music freak, just like me.

This show was not the best show I have ever seen, but I really have to say, the lighting was, without a doubt, the absolute best lighting I have ever seen. Even better than Radiohead’s shows – and this means genius. The combinations of color rocked as hard as the band did. Oranges and pinks, turquoise and purple… this shot about says it all.

And I guess I am a new convert in the Cult of Carlos D. Those lights on those tight black pants? My God. He really was quite a figure up there ? I had to be fifty yards away but that guy just screams charisma. I searched all morning for a shot of his, ahem, backside. But all I could find was this shot from the Matador Records website (scroll down to the first picture.) My days of being a teenybopper are long over, but I just totally fell in love with that guy. Long legs, long torso, and a seriously tight outfit. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. It’s enough to make a girl go Goth.


All in all, a fine evening, and now if I have to go to SOMA again I’ll know about that ledge, and get there early enough to get myself up there.

Today I was off for President’s Day and spent a good part of the day looking for pictures of Carlos D on stage. Now I am going to order Chinese food and watch Gone With the Wind on TCM. Who said being alone sucks?

This sucks though – my brother’s department (percussion) at San Diego State got cut because of budget cuts. Just like that. He is, understandably, totally pissed off. And a world without drummers would be a sad world indeed.

Not Even Ready

Sunday, February 20th, 2005

I’m just about to head off (via The Vine) to see Interpol and Blonde Redhead. For the first time in my life, I am kind of dreading a show. This is because this show is in the most horrible venue possible, San Diego SOMA. At SOMA, a) they have no bar and b) it is all ages (which I could put up with if there was a bar) and c) they always oversell their shows. Plus d) there is no ventilation. It’s like being squished into a sardine tin with hundreds of sweaty, tall, pimply 16 year olds.

So why am I going? It’s pretty simple – the first two seconds of Interpol’s “Not Even Jail.” I have to hear that live – if they don’t play it, I will be hella bummed.

I think I am just cranky because I have been working way too much. I just slept all afternoon and I NEVER do that.

Now I am off to The Vine, hopefully a glass of Pinot Gris and then perhaps some Tablas Creek Cotes de Tables will give me the energy I need to get to the first two seconds I am waiting for.

Vanilla High

Saturday, February 19th, 2005

This morning, for some bizarre reason, I turned on the MTV show “Newlyweds.” I have never, ever watched this show before (though once I did see the scene where Jessica Simpson doesn’t know what tuna is – I think everyone has seen that, right?)

So, it is Jessica and Nick’s second anniversary, and they go to the Napa Valley! (This is announced at dinner the night before, at a fancy restaurant. Jessica: “What’s Pphhheasant?”) No wonder I turned it on – it’s the Nick and Jessica Wine Episode. First they go to Domaine Chandon where, in honor of their anniversary, there is a Champagne Sabreing. This is a ritual where you open a bottle of Champagne with a big sabre. You cut the whole top off the bottle, cage and all – it is pretty cool, let me tell you. This was kind of wasted on Nick and Jessica, but I am sure it will raise the awareness of Champagne Sabres, which is good for me, since I sell Champagne Sabres. I reckon every 16 year old girl is going to want a Champagne Sabreing for her 2nd anniversary, whenever it should come, just like Jessica.

Jessica gets hammered on Domaine Chandon, lets out a huge burb, and can’t speak very clearly in the limo on the way back to the hotel.

The next day they go to another winery, where they cut grapes off the vines and then press them with their feet in a tiny cask. Nick digs it, but you can tell Jessica ain’t too hep on the purple feet thing. She says, “shouldn’t you clean your feet first?” Nick takes a big slug of the juice.

Later they go to Beringer Vineyards, where the chef has prepared a special three-course lunch for them. All through the lunch, Jessica makes faces like she is eating various steaming piles of shit. Dessert comes, she takes a bite of ice cream, she makes a face like she is eating a six-month old chicken liver. “It tastes like a LEAF,” she says. “It’s HORRIBLE!” Then the chef comes out, says hello, and leaves. “I feel SO bad!” Jessica moans.

Not exactly the best PR for Beringer, but I guess it’s better than V. Sattui’s Rat Sandwich.

I would have watched the next episode of “Newlyweds,” but I didn’t feel like watching Jessica at the dentist. Though I won’t be so dismissive of this show anymore, at least if I am at a motel in Bakerfield and there is nothing else on.

The Mighty…

Friday, February 18th, 2005

I’ve finally decided on, and registered the domain name for my website.

After months of deliberation, it’s going to be….


It’s done, don’t try to talk me out of it.

Other than that, not much, just working too much and getting ready for Sicily. Two and a half weeks to go.

Night Vision

Tuesday, February 15th, 2005

In those times in my life when I don’t have to work – like vacation, and when I lived in Italy, I turn into a night creature. Right now it is 11:00 P.M. and I am totally exhausted because I have to work. And on the weekends if I stay up ’till 4:00 A.M. it kind of wrecks me the next day, because I don’t feel like I can sleep until noon and then start it all over again. This really sucks because I totally love being a night creature. And not like a night creature that WORKS at night. Only a night creature that gets to SEE at night.

The best things happen at 3:00 A.M. Things that not too many people see. There is nothing better than drinking wine in Piazza San Marco at 3:00 A.M., at a deserted cafe table at Florian’s, all the waiters and musicians home asleep, you with a Valpolicella in a paper bag. Extra points if it is a full moon, or if it is Acqua Alta, when the water seeps up around you until you are surrounded by a lake. The Basilica glows and eventually, you’ll have to be carried, or jump from chair to chair, to avoid getting wet on the way out.

3:00 A.M. smells like stale cigarettes and cheap Cognac, but sometimes that is the best smell in the world. It sounds like old David Bowie. 3:00 A.M. is best when all responsibility is gone, or even when it seems responsibility will never rear it’s ugly head again. 3:00 A.M. is the murmur of voices across the Campo, policeman voices, but they don’t want to bust you, instead they want to drink with you. The first two seconds of “Kid A,” seeing a tattoo clearly but nothing else, thinking everything is a dream, but maybe it’s not.

Just thinking about it makes me want it again. Just thinking about it gives me energy, because here is is 11:30, and I’m still awake…

Life Lessons on the Eurostar

Saturday, February 12th, 2005

I woke up thinking about trains. Well, not really trains but some of the people I have seen, or met, on trains.

I never remember people on airplanes. Some guy posted a comment on the Chow Bella Books website that he met me on a plane on the way to Venice. But I don’t remember meeting a guy on a plane on the way to Venice, at least recently.

So why is it that I have so many memories of train people? Is it because you are facing them for so long? In Austria and Germany it seemed every single person got a sandwich for the ride and ate it in front of me, getting crumbs and pieces of cheese and meat all over themselves. Then they’d get off at the next stop and the next sandwich-eating Austrian would get on.

Then there was the nun who let me sit next to her on a crowded Intercity train from Milan to Venice, in a seat reserved for someone else. I was so exhausted (I had just flown in) that I kept nodding off on her shoulder. Finally I passed out with my head on my suitcase. I bet all the people in that tiny car, remember me.

So I think I started thinking about all the train people because I woke up thinking about packing. I want to pack light, and I started thinking about this wacky couple I met on the Eurostar from Venice to Rome once. They had just got married, and they were on their honeymoon. She was a rich girl from Manhattan and she really stuck herself in my head because she said some really weird things, like how she never made her own coffee, but instead called a coffee shop and had it delivered. I sort of quizzed her down on this one – “you mean you call, and they bring a to-go cup of coffee to your front door EVERY DAY?” To me this just seems totally bizarre. For one thing, it is almost as easy to make a cup of coffee as it is to call someone on the phone and order it.

Another weird thing this girl told me is, she grew up in Manhattan but had never ridden on the subway or even taken a cab. She only went around in “private cars.” Hmmm. Why would you admit that to someone? If the end of the world comes, people like this are gonna be the first ones to go down.

Mostly though I remember this couple for their insane amount of luggage. And their itinerary. They had each chosen three cities they wanted to visit. So they had been to Paris, had just left Venice (the husband complained about the price of the breakfast at the Danieli hotel – I looked at him, looked at her, and thought homie, just get ready for more of the same) and were on the way to Rome. But from Rome, they were going to Athens, then SHANGHAI. I forget the other city – St. Petersburg? Copenhagen? Buenos Aires? Something like that.

They had trunks. They actually had TRUNKS. I thought trunks went out in the 1930’s. They had two or three trunks, and a few suitcases, and who knows what else. The husband had to keep getting up to go and “check on the trunks.”

I can’t even imagine carrying around that much stuff through Termini station, much less from Athens to Shanghai. But I guess if you can call and have your coffee delivered every day, you aren’t going to be the one doing the moving and lifting. That poor guy, he might have married into money but she’s going to make him work for it.

As for me, I’m packing light. Though I think I might bring a boom-box on this trip.

Hey! Hopper! This is for you.

Friday, February 11th, 2005

It’s raining again. Here is San Diego, we aren’t really equipped with patience to outlast the rain. I, personally, am SO over it.

Also, I have been a little perturbed the past few days, because one of my favorite bands, Mercury Rev, have released a new record and it is available like everywhere but HERE. Everyone else in the world can get this record but here in the U.S. we have to wait until May!

There is one thing I have to say about this: FUCK THAT. I love this band and there is no reason why I should have to wait. But…

I learned a new trick today. Did you know you can buy stuff on amazon.com.uk and have it shipped here? I had no idea, until a couple of hours ago. It’s pretty damn cool, let me tell you.

I am pretty fucking clueless sometimes. Who knows the stress I might have saved myself just knowing amazon.com.uk ships to the States. Golly knows with all the time I spend on the internet, I should already be in tune with this simple little fact.

But still, why is Mercury Rev holding out on me like that? What is Up with THAT? I can’t be mad at them – surely it is some bonehead record deal thing that is stalling the release here in the States.

Mercury Rev is touring Europe when I will be over there. So this is a special message for Grasshopper – Dude, PLEASE PLAY IN ITALY AFTER YOU ARE DONE IN GERMANY. Also, if you should find yourself in Venice while I am there, I will show you around. I know you like Venice because I have seen that picture where you are drinking Heineken in a gondola.

My brother called me today, to tell me he wanted to take me to B.B. King for my upcoming birthday, but I have to work that night. So he said, well, you have a date for Mercury Rev, whenever they come back. My brother, who doesn’t get the music I listen to, understands that Mercury Rev are something special.

And Hopper, when you get back to San Diego, I will make you guys a kick ass veggie meal, way better than those burritos we got on the street. All you have to do is ask.

Singing in Falsetto

Wednesday, February 9th, 2005

I am feeling awfully distracted these days. Life seems to be throwing some curveballs, only I have a feeling the catcher is whispering premonitions in my ear.

Went out and spent some money on CDs though, which always makes me feel better. Also, had a feeling my brother was at Tony’s bar, and went there, and there he was. Even hanging with my brother, I felt I was hanging on the edge.

Maybe it is just that I am leaving soon. That pre-boarding jitter thing; the feeling that something is left undone. If so, a valium on the plane (or before) will take care of that. Or maybe there is some weird static in the air here. Things not yet done, not yet said; things that would be better off not done or said.

I dreamed about Jeff Tweedy this morning. He slept with some chick and I was pissed off. Then I found myself living in a motel on a busy street in San Francisco, sort of like Masonic and Geary-ish. I was fretting all night, in my dreams.

Today I was in Staples buying some shipping supplies and the checker-outer was not too with it, or tired or something, and he kept ringing up the same thing over and over, then voiding it. It took forever and finally, he finished but the item he kept ringing and voiding totally voided off my bill. I struggled within myself – should I tell this guy he didn’t charge me for this roll of bubble-wrap? Or will it take another half hour to fix it? Should I feel guilty for screwing Staples?

I got my change and receipt but then looked it over and told the guy he hadn’t charged me for the thing he’d charged and voided eight times. And gave him the money. That’s pretty silly, isn’t it?

I wish I could make sense out of all of this.

Color! Color! NOW, NOW NOW!

Saturday, February 5th, 2005

Here it is, my home in Rome. I am totally stoked. This place is a stellar deal compared to renting a hotel room in Rome. And there is a STEREO.

I love waking up whenever I want to in Italy and making my own coffee. That alone is reason enough to rent an apartment instead of a hotel.

During my first trip to Italy, I went to a restaurant in Trastevere where you you walked up this long staircase lit by candles to the dining room, and there it was that I had my very first Italian pizza. It was like eating in a castle and it was like eating a revelation. Then I ate some profiteroles (another revelation.) I will never, ever forget that meal and I want to go back and find that restaurant. In fact, I think I might not even leave Trastevere on this trip, since I have never really explored it.

On a domestic note, today I saw a woman in the supermarket with huge fake tits and a tight black T-Shirt that said, in rhinestones, BOTOX. I kid you not.

I’ve been spending a lot of time at The Vine. If one more person says “it’s like Your ‘Cheers’ ” I am gonna smack ’em. (Kidding.) Last night I was in there way too long and it was a fun, also interesting, evening. One of the other uber-regulars is the guy who owns the hair salon next door, and for some reason we had never spoken, even though I know he’s been wanting to talk hair in the past, as I had seen him looking at mine on several occasions.

Last night we hooked it up. He doesn’t like my hair, doesn’t work with my skin tone, I was all ready to hate him but I couldn’t, because he was pretty funny. Here’s a little example – he said to Sky, the bartender, “if you were snorting cocaine, wouldn’t you like to do it off her breasts?” I guess some women might get offended, but I thought it was pretty effing funny. Poor Sky, he really gets to witness some pretty bizarre behavior (some of it mine, I think.)

So anyway this salon guy (who may or may not be gay) has a new plan for my hair. All night he kept repeating the following mantra:


Some of the Violets were accentuated by fist-on-the-bar-poundage.

So essentially, streaks of these colors with some reds thrown in. I must admit, I am tempted. For one thing, I have always wanted to do the streaks of green thing, but I’ve never had the cajones to do it. We shall see.

It was a rough morning, and I got nothing done. Oh well, there is always tomorrow. Until then: