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

Archive for June, 2005

Halcion Day

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

After all the hoopla after the last few weeks, today I had a bit of reality – Oral Surgery. Shocking that I can even write after all that Halcion.

I was quite sketched all day. Nervous and sweaty until it was time to take the drugs, an hour and a half before the appointment. Then I was nervous and sweaty about taking the drugs. Which is weird for me. Anyway, I took them and within a half hour or so I was sighing deeply, and in another half hour I couldn’t make my keyboard work right.

Brian came and got me and delivered me to the doctor (we drove the two blocks) and the whole thing was rather bizarre, not really painful, but trippy. First they gave me a lot of shots and I was kind of loopy so they didn’t bother me so bad. But the weird thing is, they blindfolded me with this big black cloth. So I could see nothing. I could hear, turn this way, turn that way. They were pushing and pulling but all in all it wasn’t that uncomfortable.

Then it was done! Brian picked me up again (I think we walked this time – did we?) Back home I think I ate some soup and fell asleep for awhile. But then I woke up and watched “Year of Living Dangerously” and now whatever drugs were there are gone. Halcion is kind of cool, if you don’t plan on doing anything for awhile, at least in my first experience of it.

I have an over active imagination and I had the most gruesome and scary thoughts of the afternoon. But really it wasn’t that bad. Still can’t figure out the blindfold. Kind of hot, if you think about it. Dentistry and Bondage. Hmmmm.

Fighting Fire With Fire

Monday, June 27th, 2005

It was an insane weekend, but I am still here to tell you about it. Kind of. If you can stay tuned till the end I will tell you all about the killer Arcade Fire/David Byrne show last night at the Hollywood Bowl. But first….

If there is one day every year where one can be assured of total drunken insanity, that day would be the day of the Ocean Beach Street Fair. This year did not disappoint. It was a beautiful day, and everyone was happy. It’s kind of a trip how many people I know here after only three years. This was my third OB Street Fair and it was definitely the craziest. And that is Saying Alot.

There were parties on the beach and one giant party on the street. The weird thing about OB is, you can’t drink on the street, but you can drink on the beach. You can be holding a 20 oz. plastic Martini glass full of straight gin on the beach, but you can’t touch the sea wall at the same time. Hence, you have:


A Keg in the Sand. You also have:


A smiling police officer making sure you don’t lean up against the sea wall holding a cup of beer. He looks happy!

I drank a million glasses of wine – I kept going home for more. After hanging out on the beach all day me and Mark went to Tony’s bar. And I am shocked – SHOCKED – that we were all allowed to continue drinking.


Everyone was already hammerlaned, and it was only 7:30 or something like that. I do remember running into my friends Danielle and Zach. I need to get off my lazy ass and hang out with them more. Zach bought us all shots of tequila. At this moment a general feeling of haziness became no-turning-back.

You’d think it would all end here. But NO. I get home, and there is a message from Brian about a party up the street. Remember how I said I was happy The Vine was closed for the OB Street Fair? Remember? Well fuck me, instead there was a party with all the people from The Vine. I grabbed a bottle of Iron Horse Sangiovese and headed up to Bob & Margaret’s, just a block and a half away.

I was already a goner when I got there. Details are spotty. I’m just hoping everyone else was in the same general vicinity, blood level wise, as I was. Whew.

Anyhow, yesterday I woke up with a truly severe hangover, and this is coming from someone who knows her hangovers. And I had to drive to Hollywood for the Arcade Fire/David Byrne show. It took awhile, but I finally made it out of the house and through hellish Sunday traffic to the Best Western on Highland Avenue. Thank you, Best Western, for being so close to the Hollywood Bowl on a day when the thought of a two-mile walk is akin to the thought of, well, not having any thoughts from the night before. If you get my meaning.

It was four o’clock when I got there and I was starving. I couldn’t even get a whole piece of peanut butter toast down for lunch, so I was seriously running on empty. There was a little coffee shop in the hotel and the check in girl told me it opened at five, so I went to the pool to wait it out. Went back, not open. “Er,” says the check-in girl, “I guess they aren’t open today.” This same girl didn’t know who David Byrne was, so I guess I’m not too surprised.

I decided to go up to the Bowl early, grab something to eat in the Patina Marketplace there, and relax before the show. Well, the food from Patina kind of sucked (what happened, guys? You use to ROCK) but hanging out at the Hollywood Bowl was totally awesome. I really love that place. You can bring your own food and wine in, so the place is just a sea of wine bottles, Trader Joe’s bags, and acrylic stemware. I sipped on a glass of Esca Syrah, ate my nasty Patina sandwich, and read the L.A. Weekly. I was slowly recovering.

The Bowl was half empty when openers Si Se came on. Smooth jazz lovers, take note. They are smooth, not really jazz, but mellow and sweet and innocuous. They were good – don’t get me wrong – just not my cup o’ tea. I kept peeking at Jonathan Gold’s restaurant reviews. I was too tired to shift in my seat, or I would have done that, too.

Dusk, and then Arcade Fire. And holy fuck, they did not disappoint me. I LOVE them, but so does everyone. They opened with “Wake Up,” and I thought my heart would stop right there, but it wasn’t loud enough. I can’t believe, can’t believe, can’t believe I didn’t drop everything and see Arcade Fire at the Casbah in January. But I was at the Hollywood Bowl, on a summer night, sipping a really good wine, seeing this band that I love, and even though they seemed really far away it was worth every minute of that 2.75 hour journey through hell to be there. All of them all over the stage, playing their hearts out, playing with each other, so totally into it… man. When they did “Crown of Love” I started to cry. It was so beautiful, and they had Tosca Strings on stage with them. I’m not sure if it was my delicate state or what, but I got teary quite a few more times before they were done. I’m getting teary right now just thinking about it.

Most people sat down for the first half of the set, including me. I was simply too exhausted, and after last weekends Raveonettes show where I was one of three people who actually stood up, I figured I would just chill like the Chardonnay drinking, St. Andre eatin’ Hollywood Bowl crowd. Then Arcade Fire started playing “Tunnels” and I looked back to see pockets of people jumping around. Soon my section was on their feet, and I was happy to join them. Joy is a good motivator.

I did have to move seats right after they came on. Four obnoxious dickheads sat down in front of me (four songs into the set) and proceeded to talk and look around to see who was looking at them (Dude. Nobody. Is. Looking. At. YOU.) I could only stand about five minutes of these sadly typical L.A. concertgoers. I mean, what is the point? But the gods of rock ‘n’ roll were smiling on me. Right next to my bench there were some folding chairs, I guess for use in extreme circumstances. They were empty and I simply grabbed my wine and scooted on down. From my new vantage point I had a view of some really cute youngsters who were totally into it. So, I think L.A. Concertgoers have the same dilemma as American tourists in Tuscany. There are cool tourists in Tuscany, but the assholes are more noticeable.

Alas, the Arcade Fire left the stage way too soon. I am going to be kicking myself for missing that Casbah show for the rest of my life.

David Byrne came on the stage wearing a pink suit and with bleached blond hair. He had Tosca Strings too, and of course his backing band was stellar, but it is pretty hard to take your eyes off the man himself. Three songs into his set, the Four Obnoxious Assholes got up and left – by climbing over their seats, and over me in my cramped folding chair area. I mean, what is the point? Get to a show late, talk loudly and look around, then leave way early. They totally missed the best part.

About half way in to David Byrne’s set, I noticed, to my left, a bunch of crazily-attired people walking to the back of the Bowl with horns and drums and other instruments. I was like, OK, this is going to get crazy. CRAZY is not the word for it. BLISTERINGLY INSANE is more like it. They all looked like extras from Cabaret. There was a bit of time between that which I spotted them and when they came down, from the back of the Bowl, totally blowing everyone away. The Extra-Action Marching Band, equipped with hot drag-queen pom-pom girls, flag waving chicks wearing some kind of Xena Warrior Princess kind of outfits (I think) and then the band which was huge and also, chaotic, moved towards the stage and when they got there, it wasn’t so hard not to look at David Byrne anymore.

Arcade Fire came out and did one more song (in my state, I can only remember the vibe, but not the song) with Byrne, and then the whole entirety of the Extra-Action Marching Band was on stage with him doing an unbelievable “Burning Down The House.” I will never forget it – why, oh why, didn’t I bring my camera??? The pom-pom queens danced around, in formation, and the flag waving chicks stood rigid, never moving, through the whole song. The stage was awash with people. The entire audience was on their feet. I was standing ON MY CHAIR. Then, when it was impossible that things could even have a chance of getting better, Byrne rips out his final song, a cover of Beyonce & Jay Z’s “Crazy in Love.” A fucking brilliant and totally inspired choice! That is a GREAT song and with all those horns and scantilly-clad drag queens rolling around with pom-poms it was just unbelievably cool. The Xena flag wavers waved their flags over the rich people in the front and the scene was one of barely controlled abandonment. What a moment. What a night. You can check out a bit of the madness HERE.

At the end – and it had to end there, though I don’t think David Byrne wanted it to – the drag queens started throwing their pom-poms, somewhat violently at Byrne. In a playful way, but still. It was a great show but it would have been nice to have a bit of an encore… I was in bed by 10:30, and that is why I have the energy to write.

My Rack Overfloweth

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005

Wine Alert! Wine Alert!

My buddy Steve just started co-managing a wine store called the Wine Room – they do mostly phone sales but do have a physical presence as well. The guy who ran this place before Steve stepped in bought about 80,000 times more wine than he was selling. Hence, the Wine Room has too much wine. Therefore, they are selling a bunch of it off at FIFTY PERCENT OFF.

I called on him last week to say hi and drop off a catalog and ended up walking out with a case of wine. There goes my commissions from this account for infinity, but oh well. This is one of the few bad things about my job – excessive wine purchase disorder.

Whatever. Anyone into good deals on wine should check this out. Of course, you’ll have to pay shipping, but seriously some of the deals here are too good to pass up. I can’t actually list the wines due to the wineries freaking out if they see this. Here is the website. Call and talk to Steve and Jason and they’ll tell you what they’ve got going on. Tell ’em poptarticus sent you (they probably won’t know what the hell you are talking about.)

Wine. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

Buried In Sound

Wednesday, June 15th, 2005

I am shattered. I saw Wilco at the Greek Theatre in L.A. last night. I worked on the way up, and the way down; sat in traffic for a million years. Then I got home this afternoon and immediately went to The Vine for five hours.

I am burnt out, toxificated, and jellied. But man oh man was that a fucking great show.

I love Wilco, and this is no news to anyone who knows me or even someone who doesn’t know me but perhaps occasionally reads my blog. I LOVE them and I love Mr. Wilco, Jeff Tweedy, more than plenty of other Wilco freaks out there, I am sure. But whateves, I am not trying to play the “I love him more than you do” game. I am merely trying to show you, on your screen at home or work, how intensely I feel about this one person who has a major role in making my life livable.

Somehow, the show snuck up on me. It wasn’t like November when I was throwing myself violently into the general vicinity of the experience. All of a sudden, it was time. So after a day of working in the sprawling, uber suburban deadscape of the San Fernando Valley, I made my way slowly up the Hollywood freeway. An hour and fifteen minutes later I finally made it to to my destination. Thank you, Hollywood Travelodge, just for BEING THERE. On those nights when all I need is a clean, cheap pillow to pass out on…

I checked in, pounded a glass of Hendry Zinfandel, and hit the pavement. I walked to the theatre, almost two miles away. It was a fantastic walk through a modern fairyland. I think people have the wrong image in their minds when it comes to Hollywood. Hollywood is so cool. Awesome architecture, great places to eat and drink, an in-general killer vibe. I seriously could live there. There are trippy things hiding in every nook and cranny. I could go on and on about the fabulousness of Hollywood, but this entry is not about Hollywood. This entry is about Wilco.

I arrived at the Greek and went to the bar. No surprises there right? For red wine they had Robert Mondavi Woodbridge something and Columbia Crest Cabernet – the lesser of two evils, obviously. So I asked for a glass of that. “That’s only available by the bottle,” the bartender told me. “I can get a BOTTLE?” I asked. She shows me this plastic carafe thingy, that they pour the bottle into, then you can take the whole thing to your seat. “SWEET,” I say. “How many glasses?” She says. “ONE,” I say. “SWEET!” she says.

I took my bottle of wine and went and got a hot dog. It was some famous Hollywood hot dog and it rocked, especially with some fine cheap Washington Cabernet. I sat by the condiment stand and watched the crowd talk on their cell phones. It was definitely an L.A. crowd.

The opening act, the Roots, were well into their set when I arrived, and I should have gone to my seat to watch them, but I waited until they were done to make my way in. I had a great seat – I am no judge of distances, but Jeff Tweedy’s head was perhaps the size of a walnut. You get the idea. My seat was at the end of the row and within minutes another single person was sitting right behind me, and he started talking to me almost immediately. I will encapsulate our conversation into a sound-byte dealie-bob here:

Mike: I love Wilco.
Me: Me too!
Mike: I came from San Diego for this show.
Me: Me too!
Mike: I live in Ocean Beach.

Is that weird or what? Bonus! It is always cool to be around other OBcians, but an OBcian who loves Wilco? We both danced like total geeks. (That’s not the OBcian – that’s the Wilco part, I think.)

Anyhow. Conversation stopped when Wilco took the stage. An idyllic moment… dusk, in that fantastic amphitheater in the Hollywood Hills, surrounded by trees and clueless L.A. people… that moment in my brain when visual is replaced by aural is the moment when I really and truly love life. Setting is drowned out. I don’t even need to see anymore. Hearing is enough for me.

And hearing Wilco for two hours? It makes my heart hurt just trying to write about it. Six guys on stage, sometimes quiet, sometimes out-of-control manic, always totally into it. When you love a band like I love Wilco, seeing them live is a religious experience, but damn if Wilco doesn’t live up to every fervorous stigmata-ish episode that’s ever gone down in the Christian world. Wrap that feedback around my brain, and that is all I will need for quite a while. In the words of Jeff Tweedy himself, in Handshake Drugs:

Saxophones started blowing me down
I was buried in sound

The end of this song ends in distortion. At this show, Jeff and Nels Cline, an cruelly amazing guitarist, stood face to face and just emptied their guitars of sound, filling the theatre, and my soul, with the most gratifying static. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to Zen, that kind of sound.

I could go on – Jeff’s trippy congeniality, the bonding with his family, who was in the audience… but I prefer, in my exhausted state, to leave you in distortion. I may be getting older, but I am serious when I tell you, I hope I never tire of my own Zen.

Let the Healing Begin

Monday, June 13th, 2005

Everyone is all in a mega-uproar (or in that “I told you so” pose) about Michael Jackson walking out of that courtroom today a free man. I wasn’t surprised. How can you prove that shit? Especially when you’ve got boocoo bucks to pay a really good lawyer. The whole story, the whole scenario, is totally stomach turning. I am glad it is over.

I have to say though, that I do feel kind of bad for Michael Jackson. That guy is so twisted and out of it that he doesn’t even understand he has done some really fucked up shit. I really don’t think he knows. His ranch is called Neverland – in his brain, it is neverland. Coming out of the courthouse today he looked so drugged he could barely lift his head or wave at the 100 people there screaming his name. He was acquitted, but he is dead. He is the walking dead.

Yeah, it is messed up that he did what he did and walked away. Yeah, if he was poor and black instead of rich and white (now) or even poor and white, it probably wouldn’t have gone down this way. Let’s just hope he gets some serious therapy, that the boys involved get the same, and that this vicious, twisted cycle gets stopped here.

The media has sucked all the humanity out of us. Michael Jackson is a human being, though he made himself look like a circus animal. What came first, the media or the circus? I am not trying to defend him. I am just trying to say – make it stop. And let the healing begin.

Meet Me in St. Louis

Monday, June 6th, 2005

There is an interesting thread going on over on the slowtalk message board. It’s a thread about moving – not to other countries (for once), but to other places here in the U.S.

It’s no secret to anyone how much I love Ocean Beach. It’s been three years, and I still love it. I love the ocean, I love the vibe, and I love the funkiness of this little beach town.

There is one huge problem. I can’t buy a house here. I’m sorry, but I am not going to pay just under a million bucks for a half-rotting beach cottage. I’m not only not gonna pay it, I CAN’T pay it. Mostly because I don’t have any money.

One thing that we sometimes forget here in Ripoffville, is that there are lots of other places to live where you can actually afford to buy a nice, big house. Then you can paint the walls purple if you want, something you could never do in a rental (though when I was eight my mom painted the trim in my room in our rented house purple, just to make me happy.)

As I get older this whole idea of buying a home presses on my brain more and more. Do I really want to be an old lady still renting? What if the world doesn’t really blow up like I think it will? What if it KEEPS GOING? Then I’ll be up it without a paddle.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is, eventually I will move, just so I can buy a house.

There are a few things that are very important to me – having live music venues around (now I have to drive up to L.A. all the time for that, which really sucks, and is expensive, plus there are a lot of L.A. people there); having wine around, like decent wine shops, and a bar or two with good wine, otherwise I’ll be spending too much time at home; having like-minded people around, even if it’s only three or four; hmmm… what else? I guess a Whole Foods type place. And someplace, anyplace, that I can sit by a body of water.

The cool thing is I can pretty much take my job anywhere.

I’m thinking Austin might be cool, just because of the music scene. St. Louis also appeals to me, and so do the Carolinas because I can live by the ocean there. I am telling you, when you start to think about this stuff, it starts to get crazy, because all the wanderlust in me starts coming out. It’s unstoppable.

For now, it is just talking to myself. But it is an intriguing dialog…

Forty, for like nine more months

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

A few nights ago, I was at The Vine and ran into Bryan, one of the guys from Stone Brewing and his buddy (oops. forget his name.)

Anyway the buddy gave me a sample of a lip balm he is selling, called Zinka, your basic lip balm in a skateboarder type package. I told him if he really wanted to appeal to the ladies, to make a lip balm with the flavor of Absolute Mandarin vodka, and to put glitter in it.

So if an orange vodka flavored glittery lip balm comes out into the market soon, DUDE – THAT WAS MY IDEA.

Getting back to the point, I was talking to these two guys about some stuff that happened in the late eighties and the buddy goes “whoa, you are OLD!”

“Uh, yeah, I am forty,” I said. Then Brian said, to his friend, “aren’t you turning forty soon?” That guy was the same age as me! Sometimes the politics in this town can be pretty twisted.

In other news, it looks like Jack White from the White Stripes just got married. All kinds of shamans and shit, plus his ex-wife as the maid of honor. What is up with that weird hair and that hat? Is he blow-drying every day? Or just using a lot of product? Whateves, maybe it will work out with his supermodel. In the meantime I’ll keep getting older.