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

Archive for April, 2005

810 Miles Later

Monday, April 25th, 2005

I am so tired. I am sooooo tired.

I spent the weekend in Columbia, the gold rush town that is now a state park. There was a wine tasting there yesterday, and I stood behind a table and talked to people for three hours.

Then I went and did something really cool – I wrote a short story.

I have been wanting to write some fiction for a long time – the last time I did was ten years ago. But I never seem to get around to it. Yesterday I was sitting at this picnic table outside my hotel and this short story just came out. It was hella cool. My summer project is going to be to write a whole bunch of them. Of course, wanting to write them is not the same as them just coming out.

After I finished, and was walking back in to the hotel, Tom, the guy who runs the hotels and the wine tasting in Columbia, told me there was going to be a party in the parlor of the City Hotel up the street, and that all the wine people who were staying were going to be there. I knew though that before I went to a party I’d have to eat something, so I went and ate some Mexican food. It was good but then on the bill the server had written a scripture – Romans 12:10 or something like that. I got kind of irritated. I mean, is there no escape from the Christians? Also, why just write the scripture name and not what it means? She forced me to ask. It was some scripture about brotherhood. I am going to start writing every where: Pete Townshend, 5:15. Then people will have to ask me what that means, and then I will tell them, that is a song from The Who’s Quadrophenia.

So after all of that I went over to the City Hotel, but there was no party. As I was leaving I saw Tom again and he said no one had showed up, but that there were some people in the dining room who said I was joining them. This was complete and total news to me; I hadn’t talked to anyone about plans for the evening. It turned out to be this guy Kevin who works for a winery in the Shenandoah Valley, a charming, Irish-style drinker who I ran into in the parking lot before the tasting, where I mentioned “maybe I’ll see you in the bar later” figuring, knowing Kevin, he would definitely be there.

Kevin was with his lady-friend Vicky and this other guy, Chris. They were well on their way to Hammerdom. It was pretty funny. It is always funny to join a group in that state when you are pretty sober. I had some wine and then some grappa and watched the show. Chris was so drunk he was absolutely cross-eyed and made no sense – you could tell sentences were forming correctly in his brain, but when they came out they were all jumbled. Kevin was his usual charming self, and Vicky was cool but then disappeared right before dessert, and so I was forced to eat some of her chocolate souffle. Eventually Kevin left too and then it was just me and Chris. “Balcony wine nice moon come there?” He said. “Dude, I have to work tomorrow, sorry.” I said. When I left I looked through the dining room window and he looked so completely sad and dejected that I almost went back in.

So now I am in Jackson, at the public library. I am going to take a bath and crash early tonight. Seriously, I don’t think I recovered from my trip to Italy and Malta yet. And after Wednesday a series of wine fueled, active nights begins again. And in San Francisco, something awesome is going to happen. So I’d better rest up.

Gotta give it time

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

Tomorrow I am taking off again, for two weeks. I seems I just got back. It’s a familiar scenario. I seem to be forever moving.

I can’t believe it has been a year since our last Big Event at work. Today, I have to drive to Lodi, and I’ll spend a few days in the Sierra Foothills before I head back down to San Francisco. This year’s winner is Andrea Immer. I bet SHE won’t give me any “oh you’re not Gloria Swanson looks.” (You’ll have to read that first link to get what the hell I am talking about here.)

San Francisco will be hella fun – I am staying somewhere I have always wanted to stay – the Rock N Roll Hotel , also known as the PHOENIX. SWEET. And on May 1 there is the Doves & Mercury Rev show at the Fillmore Theater. Two of my favorite bands at one show – bonus. I am bringing earplugs on this journey. Last time I saw Doves they played an old Sub Sub song that did serious and permanent damage to my hearing. It was truly and unbelievably LOUD.

Other than that:

There are themes in life, and they fluctuate, but are also impossibly present. It’s either great, or fucked, depending on where you are at the moment. It’s fun, and heartbreaking at the same time, not to make any sense.

Whatever. I’ve long given up that I actually have any control over anything. I learned that I don’t a long fucking time ago.

Memories of Vibration

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

It’s always a sad day when you find one of your favorite bands has broken up. I was lucky enough to see The Delgados twice, both times at the Casbah, with my hands on the speakers. Both shows were awesome… the first time I heard these guys (The Great Eastern record) I was under the influence of, uh, something and it was pretty unbelievable. “Thirteen Guiding Principles” remains, to this day, one of the most epic listening experiences I have ever had.

Check out that song. It’s seriously and totally EPIC.

I think these guys partied so hard on tour that they just couldn’t do it anymore. I remember many calls for Maker’s Mark and coke at those shows. Getting older sucks that way.

My brother Tom has, finally, discovered The Vine. He came in to find me on Wednesday, and loved it so much he came back on Thursday. The first night, he ordered a fucking BUD LIGHT. I was like, Tom, PLEASE… but he insisted. Thanks god the next night he graduated to a Pure Hoppiness. Anyhow, this is pretty exciting, because now I’ll maybe see a little more of my brother.

There is a little picture of Brian and Sky at the bottom of my friend Keith’s web page. But I have it in my mind to do better. I’m going to wait ’till Sky gets drunk and get a really good one.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, PALERMO.


Some might think this is ugly, but I think it ROCKS.

On the Fairy Train (of Thought)

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

It’s that post-trip love affair you have with home.


Fucking A. It’s enough to make you realize you can give up grappa, but let’s face it, you don’t really HAVE to.

On the Carlos D front, I found this most hilarious little ditty from another cult member. How did we ever amuse ourselves before the internet discovered us?

I just bought tickets on ebay to the Doves/Mercury Rev show at the Fillmore in San Francisco May 1. Bastardi, not only skipping San Diego but skipping fucking LA! No they aren’t bastardi, I love them, and I love the Fillmore too. So it’s all good, just a little more time consuming and expensive than normal. Whateves, they are worth it.

In the meantime I’ll just be hanging out in this paradise until I have to head out again for work next week. So indulge me if I post more killer sunsets here. I can’t help it.

Waiting for the Potato to Bake

Monday, April 11th, 2005

When I was leaving Rome, I happened to be checking in for my flight with a group of fifty Christian pilgrims from Louisiana. They totally surrounded me in line, and it was all I could do to push my way up so that I might get checked in with time to get one last cornetto.

I made it through, and past the guy who asks the questions like “where were your bags last night” and up to the yellow line, where I waited in the midst of all these pilgrims and their giant suitcases and piles and piles of shit (like I was any better, where the pile factor was concerned.)

So I am waiting, and there is this queenalicious priest next to me. He is one of the Christian leaders, but not from Louisiana. I don’t know where he was from, because his accent was Total Queen.

Anyhow he comes up to me, because I have somehow got to the front of the line, and says something to me in Totally Unsure Italian. He thought I was Italian! I had a feeling about him, so just to fuck with him, I replied to his Italian inquiry with a big, fat, “WHAT?”

So he says to me (after his “oh, you are American”) “um, they are checking in our group of fifty right now, so I don’t think they will check you in.”

I was like, “dude, you are fucking high, if you think I am going to wait for all fifty of you, plus your 18,000 bags to get checked in, before I get checked in.” Well not quite in those words but you get the gist of it.

He then said, all queeny, “I don’t think they’ll check you in!”

And I said, “Dude (I think I really used the word Dude this time) these people are not going to make me stand here while they check all of you in, I can assure you!”

He huffed off, I got checked in immediately (of course, what planet was that guy from?) but then I got the being-mean-to-priests affliction, food poisoning, on the plane.

But now I am home and also, recovered. It was even OK being sick, with the Santa Ana’s blowing wet, cool air through my window in the night. Fantastic.

My backyard. It’s the place for me, at the moment, I have no desire to leave.


and it doesn’t suck.

Just thinking about it gives me the spins

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

I am home. I sure will miss those little juice boxes full of cheap red wine.


That shit makes your hair look perfect.

One great day in Roma

Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

There is a time in the visiting of every town when that town all of a sudden becomes home to you, even if briefly. That time, for me and for Rome, was about 10 minutes ago. Walking on the Viale Trastevere with the trams going by, at night which is a different Viale Trastevere than it is during the day.

It was a pretty stellar day, too. Met Steph near Piazza Navona for coffee. Before, I had the most kick-ass whole wheat cornetto filled with honey, walking down the street trying not to trip while totally concentrating on the pastry. After coffee with Steph, I went to the San Luigi di Francese church to see the Caravaggios so that Colleen will not call me totally lazy when I get home. Went over to the Pantheon and then back over to Trastevere to eat a long, long lunch with Nancy.

I thought for sure it would be nap-time after this, but Tony Polzer called so I went back over the river to hook up with him. He took me to the most fantastic, cool wine bar called, of all things, Nick’s. Mi Dio! I had SUCH a great time in there… we had four different wines served by Lorenzo, totally cool tattooed bartender guy, plus snacks like the best mozzarella di bufala. I had a great time with Tony, Lorenzo, and the other guy working at the bar who kept doing impressions of the fish vendors at the Catania fish market for me. I am, for sure, going back there tomorrow. It was AWESOME.

Eventually I left to go eat pizza with Eric Lyman, a journalist who lives here who I was suppose to be hanging out with, but then the Pope died so now he is working all the time. He took me to a pizzeria that is like a 50’s diner, with guys wearing those paper triangles on their heads. Some interesting stories were exchanged, plus since he was getting phone calls from various fact-checkers about the funeral on Friday, I learned many things about the Pope, the funeral, and some other wacky stuff.

It was a really great day. Tomorrow will be my last. It always happens… you start to get into it, and then you have to go!

Poped Out

Monday, April 4th, 2005

I arrived in Rome on Saturday afternoon. The Pope died on Saturday night. I knew the Pope was going to die when I was here.

Where I am staying, in Trastevere, things seem as normal. It is beautiful and sunny again. I have not used my umbrella once on this trip.

Yesterday I walked up to and along the Gianicolo and then down to St. Peter’s to watch part of the Post-Pope Sunday Mass. There were a gazillion people there, of course. I get panicky in crowds these days so instead I sat on a little wall right outside the Piazza. I could see part of the choir and the mass of bodies packing the Piazza and up the street that leads into the Piazza. The choir sounded beautiful and I almost started crying, though not for the Pope. I think I was crying for humanity. This always happens to me when I am around so many people.

I can’t believe I am here for this.

After I left the Vatican I walked over the bridge and into a cool enoteca on Vittorio Emmanuele for a glass of prosecco. The woman there told me there will be more people here for the viewing and the funeral, than there was at the Jublilee. Something like two million people.

Last night there was a get together with some slow trav people. We ate and drank until almost midnight. So, because of this I got a really late start today… it is pretty embarrassing, how totally lazy I am.

Pretty soon I will be heading back to Ocean Beach. I am ready, I think… I miss the Pacific, I miss my bed, and I miss The Vine. I’d say I miss work but I would be lying. I don’t miss work quite yet. I miss tortillas.

In a few months though, I’ll miss traveling again. So it goes.

Running, to Rialto

Friday, April 1st, 2005

I have been running all over the past few days. I think I have circled the islands 1,375 times since Sunday.

It has been beautiful here, I have met some really cool people, and hung out in some great new bars. Tomorrow I am going to Rome and I think while I am there, there will be a historic event.

I am running again. Six days was not enough…