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

Archive for September, 2005

Going Home Again Again

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

I just wrote this really long and boring entry of the last ten days – a marathon of gluttony. Then it all crashed and I lost it. That’s the universe telling me something there.

So, I am at my brother Jay’s house in my old hometown of El Granada. His wife Carrie is about to have my nephew. Yesterday was the family shower. I won a box of See’s Candy. Dangerous, since I’ve got another six nights of motel rooms to go and we all know that calories don’t count when you are on the road.

I was thinking all kinds of poetic stuff to write about last night in bed but now I can’t remember what is was. I am headed to Paso Robles today. It’s making me thirsty. Plus watching my brother watch football is making me crave my mom’s clam dip. The mind is a trippy thing. Like I haven’t been eating enough. Plus my dreams have been insane. Even more than usual.

Home Saturday. Then I can write more. Fall is here, and when I get home I am going to make some soup.

Going Home Again

Monday, September 19th, 2005

I am in San Francisco. Yesterday it was cold. Today it is hot. So I brought something with me.

I’ve been on the road for just under a week but it seems like so much longer. Wednesday I drove on a two lane road from Lancaster to just south of Bakersfield. One might think this would be a hellish, boring road. But really, there is something very special about that part of the world. It’s special because there is nothing built there yet. It’s a hot and wasted land, but with wildflowers as far as the eye can see and an ominous mountain range in the distance.

I was talking to someone in The Vine a couple of weeks ago, about the magic of Coalinga. Coalinga is a nothing town off the I-5, but there is a motel there way off the interstate that I sometimes stay at when I have to pass through. From the door of your room you can see the sun set over the mountains to the west, and though it is hot, and desolate, it is beautiful. It has a lonesome, unnoticed kind of beauty. Like the highway from Lancaster to just under Bakersfield.

Driving along Highway 99, you enter each town with it’s mile high signs for McDonalds, Motel 6 and Chevron, and you cringe. In Coalinga, you look one way and see the mile high signs, but you look another and you see a desert sunset. In the Central Valley of California, it is pretty bleak. You’ve got to seek out the hidden beauty, no matter how elusive. If you can do this, you can make a boring road meaningful and colorful.

Anyway. I am in San Francisco, staying in the flat I lived in the last four years I lived here. It’s like going home, but now, after four years away, it’s like going home in a real-time memory. Yesterday, after a marathon slowtrav party (more on this later, like tomorrow) I got into the city and walked up the wood staircase to the flat. My old roomies Leigh and Laurie were there, and just happened to have a bottle of sparking wine on ice. When you live with someone for four years, it is beyond familiar, and that was how it was yesterday, walking in there.

Then they had to go to rehearsal for the new play they are doing called Mudd’s Women which is based on the 4th episode of Star Trek. Leigh is playing Captain Kirk and Laurie is directing and is one of the women. Based on this alone you can probably tell how fun and cool Leigh and Laurie are.

Left alone in the flat, I walked around a while absorbing my past. Everywhere, there are things to look at in that flat – my roommates are consumate kitsch collectors and fabulous designers. Even when I lived there I use to look at everything all the time. I would have just stayed, drank some wine, and ordered up some takeout, but there was something else going on that I had to at least try to check out, and that was the Arcade Fire show at the Warfield Theater. I did not have a ticket, but I had to try to get in, and first I had to eat. So I headed out into a windy and cold San Francisco night.

My old home! What a trip to walk down to Church and Market in footsteps I’ve already walked in a thousand times. I had a dozen places I wanted to eat, many dishes I miss and want to eat while I am here. I ended up at Chow on Church Street, because there is this weird thread on pizza on the slowtalk message board and I just needed to eat pizza out of a woodfired oven really, really bad.

It was magical in Chow. It’s a life I no longer lead, but for the first time in four years, I missed San Francisco. Sitting at the counter, watching the staff with their crazy hair and nose rings, the whole place packed and crackling on a happy Sunday evening, drinking a glass of Banfi Corvina while waiting for my pizza… it was, well, like putting your cold foot into a warmed, furry slipper, one that has been stuck under the bed for a while. It only took a second to realize who the guy sitting next to me, pounding a Thai noodle salad, was. A bartender at a place called the Orbit Room down the street, a guy I always had a little crush on, a muscle car type with a slight lisp. Once, he carded me, and when he read my ID he said I was a couple of months older than him. This was years ago, and I still know exactly who he is. And he is now 40, just like me. This kind of familiarity with someone you don’t even know could only happen after living in the same place for fifteen years. I was over San Francisco, but now, I suddenly miss it. I love Ocean Beach, but I don’t have that same familiarity there, especially with strangers, if that makes any sense.

So yes. The cold Sunday evening, a wall of voices, and PJ Harvey playing loudly above that, even. Steam on the windows, the streetcar going by. This is San Francisco. This is really, really great. And suddenly I miss it.

Got on the F Line down to the Warfield, where my quest for an Arcade Fire ticket was unfruitful. It sucked – it was a scalpers market, with more buyers than sellers. I had a little sadness trio going with a really tall, skinny British guy and a long-haired nerdy type. The British guy told me he saw a woman hand over fifty bucks for a ticket, but then the guy just walked away without giving her the ticket. The nerdy guy kept saying “I can’t believe I am getting contempt from a SCALPER.” And there was some contempt, because they had us. I told one of them I’d pay fifty bucks and he contemped me. One dude walked by and had an extra ticket to sell at face value close to where I was standing and I was in the wrong spot so I didn’t get it. He made these two people flip a coin and it was brutal. The British guy came up to me and told me he was giving up. The streetcar was coming, and I gave up, too.

I gave up, and that is the only reason I am functioning today. So there is a bit of beauty in everything, even in missing an Arcade Fire show.

The Chanteuse

Monday, September 12th, 2005

There is a particular thrill that goes along with seeing a band that you have seen a few times already. I guess this is why Deadheads exist. Well, maybe not. Maybe that is something else entirely. Maybe this is why Tori Amos fans exist. It definitely has something to do with Radiohead worship. Well, maybe not. Because lots of people who are into Radiohead have never seen a Radiohead show. Hmm. I’d better move on to last night’s Pink Martini show, because I’m in no shape to get into a philosophical discussion with myself.

Mark and I got to the Belly Up an hour before the show with a plan to eat and drink a little. When we got there, there was this long line around the building, and it was mostly made up of, well, not to be ageist, but it was made up of, like, a lot of older people. Nothing wrong with that, truly, but I was just surprised to see the 50-70 set coming on down for a Pink Martini show. After four shows, this was a new one for me. We were the youngest people there, I kid you not. Later I did see a couple of people in their mid-thirties and a twenty-something chick who was with her mother.

So when we pulled up and saw this, I was like, “how come they are all waiting here already?” I couldn’t imagine all of them would be securing a place in front of the stage. No, I reckoned they all wanted a seat. A SEAT, at a Pink Martini show. Well, I told Mark, cool for us, I won’t have any problem getting us to the rail when the show starts! I like to pretend I elbow people and use karate moves to get people out of my way, but of course that is all an act. Really, I just move with the stealth of an invisible warrior and wiggle through that way. I’m good at it.

We had an expensive, mediocre meal at the cafe in the club. The bartendress made a comment about the age of the crowd, and I was like, yeah, I know. “Why are they all waiting?” I asked her, knowing the answer. “Because they want a SEAT!” She said. At about quarter of eight I started getting those wonderful, uneasy ripplings in my stomach that I get when I know I’m going to see a good show. Mark told me he wasn’t expecting much, and how that was good, because no matter what it would be good, since he wasn’t expecting great. I was like, dude, you just have no idea. You have no idea what you are getting into. That’s why I can’t eat this last piece of calamari. My stomach’s all anxious. Here. EAT IT. The cool thing was, we still had some wine left and the cafe let us bring it into the club, and said come back for more any time! That is really dangerous – decent wine at a show plus Shannon equals hangover. That’s why I can’t have any philosophical discussions with myself right now. I should instead just eat a pot pie and go to bed.

Can’t though, before finishing this entry. We left the cafe and walked straight out to the stage. The front was taken up by groupies, but I had a nice spot right behind the front line with a totally unobstructed view. One good thing about an, eh, older crowd, besides them not being on the floor, thereby making more room for me, is that there are no really tall guys to obstruct the view. And this, my friends, is the A-1 worst thing about going to shows and trying to see – really tall guys. They are everywhere, or were everywhere, until last night.

There was no opening act, this was AN EVENING WITH PINK MARTINI, as I was told when I called the Belly Up to see what time they were going on. And they went on at something like 8:05. Damn! I always get a thrill when I see all those good looking dudes walk out (and there are MANY of them) and then, when China Forbes appears, I get all weak at the knees and start screaming “CHINA!” Last night I was not the only one. There were a few other women doing the same thing. And you know there has to be something special about China if you are screaming HER name when there are ten handsome guys on the same stage.

China, very simply, is a Chanteuse. She is also one of the most glamorous, riveting people I have ever laid eyes on. Furthermore, she is a kick-ass singer. Where would Pink Martini be without China? She is the glue that holds the whole thing together. The rest of the band might think differently, but from the view on the other side… man. I had to force myself to look away, even when all this other great stuff was going on. She’s got that kind of presence.

It was a great show, energetic and fun, with the whole sold-out club totally into it, sitting or not. There was a woman right in front of me who was SO into it that she kept bouncing on my feet and into my glass of wine. But, I was chill with that because I know how it is when you just can’t stop bouncing to Pink Martini, though, of course, I never bounce. I always thought of that as more a Deadhead thing. Mark kept saying, over and over, “this is SO cool. This is SO cool.” OK, here is the rundown: two horns, a guitar, a bass, a grand pianist (Thomas, the main PM dude), FOUR percussionists, and China. I feel I may be leaving something out… but you get the idea. They were all perfect, having fun in a tiny place after some way bigger shows. It’s difficult to put Pink Martini into a box, but it is sort of like showtunes meet Samba. And when it is live, it is really and truly a great fucking time.

I am still feeling the tingles… even with a hangover.


Saturday, September 10th, 2005

Pauline made some needed changes to my blog today… now you can check out some of the blogs I read over there—->. Also some of my crazy trip reports and stuff.

Pretty soon, I hope, we will get some Poptarticus TShirt action going. I am sure you’ll ALL want one. What should I put on the back (if anything?) I want to get them made in time for Spoon’s show so I can give one to


Tomorrow night will be a fun one. Pink Martini is coming! I am going to eat some ice cream tonight in anticipation of burning it off. San Diego sucks for live shows but when bands do come, we often get to see them in more intimate spots. Like, tonight Pink Martini is at the ginormous Hollywood Bowl, but tomorrow I get to see them at the smallish Belly Up in Solana Beach were I can get all in their face and shit. I’m sure China Forbes has heard girls scream her name on many an occasion, but not with the same ferocity as moi. She’s enough to make a girl go whatever. (Laurie Bushman, you’all know what I’m talking about… I’ll miss you tomorrow for sure!)

Fireman’s Call

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

I know you are all just dying to know if there were fireman at the Fireman’s ball. But seriously, my computer is overheating, and I am not sure I can make it that far. It doesn’t seem hot, but it IS. This morning when I went out for my morning walk I thought I was having a hot flash! But I think I am still too young for that. I hope. At any rate it really is hot. Flashingly.

The other day I posted an entry about the end of the world and I got a really heartfelt and time consuming comment from one of my readers. But, I had to pull the entry down, because it was pretty sad and negative and let’s face it, we don’t need that right now. We need to take the community feeling we’ve got going and intensify it – and not think about the future or lack there-of. Still, I felt bad deleting the comment more than the entry, because someone actually took the time to write that, for me and my other readers. It’s not so easy to write stuff like that, believe me. The cool thing is, this comment I got, and some comments from my mom, made me see through my own bullshit, whether or not I “had” to write it or not. This is the weird thing about having a blog. I mean, what the fuck is this thing? It’s not a music blog, or a travel blog, or a food blog. It’s ME. Everyday I look at how many people have had a look and think about the numbers, but holy cow, those numbers may be really reading what I am writing!

It’s really hard to be entertaining and to write kind of well and to not spill your personal anxieties and nastinesses all over, but it’s also almost impossible, since this is pretty much a diary written for the entertainment of others. Where to draw the line?

Since we are getting close again, I can say this: and I don’t care about fucking punctuation; sometimes it is so hard to be entertaining. But other times when I think I can’t write, like I felt tonight, I just sit down and write. And sometimes it works.

Well then. It’s still really hot.

On another note, and one that I am sure EVERYONE will be thrilled about, Spoon is COMING TO SAN DIEGO! That’s right, Britt Daniel will be here, and at Canes, a little postage stamp of a club right down the street in Mission Beach, where I can try not to get too close because I will just look like an aging groupie, even though everyone will try to talk me into talking to him. (I won’t talk to him. I’d be too scared, also I’ll most likely be drunk, and I know not to open my mouth in these situations. One of the good things about age.) I got FOUR tickets because let’s face it, one is not enough. The show is not until November 18, and my solemn vow is to not mutter one mention of Britt Daniel on this blog until at least October 3. Not one! Except this one:

The Dandy Warhols have a new album coming in a couple of days and the title is really stupid but the record is GREAT. It’s like the old Dandy’s, the Dandy’s of 13 Tales of Urban Bohemia, one of the best records ever made in, like, 2000. You can listen to the record before it is released here. I love it… and must really have Britt Daniel on my mind because in “All the Money or the Simple Life Honey” all I can hear is Britt Daniel’s voice… not Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s. Not ALL the lyrics, but for sure some of them… Courtney loves Britt too, I can see that. How could he not? YEAH. UH HUH.

Now I promise, not one word, until at least October 3, about Britt Daniel. Maybe, by then, I’ll have a different obsession. Sorry about the randomness, I must admit, I am getting a bit lax with the run-ons. But you can take it, or you wouldn’t have got this far.

The Dream of Montreal

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

I dreamed of Montreal, a city I have never been to. I rode the city bus looking for a place called Savage something but I rode the bus too far and ended up downtown and then outside the city gates. Outside, there was a canyon and at the bottom of the canyon, a shallow lake of turquoise water. There were all kinds of animals down there, like water buffalo and emus, and there were dolphins swimming in the lake.

Then I went back through the city gate. Somewhere in there, I was with my boyfriend from a million years ago, Chris Albano, and when I said I wanted to stay another day, he offered to drive me back to San Diego. In my dream this would only take eight hours. We drank wine in a bar called The Vine. (There’s an easy one.) We ate in an Italian restaurant and drank a really good bottle of wine and the waiter was really cute. Then we went to a square with a giant church made of Istrian marble, and an ancient Roman structure. The dream went on and on. I saw an awful lot of the Montreal in my head. Maybe I’ll go to the real Montreal someday and wonder, hey, what happened to that square?

Question of the Day

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Are there firemen at a Fireman’s Ball?

I’ll check it out and let you know later.