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

Archive for January, 2006

Insane from the Ukraine

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

OK, I admit it. Until last night I was hopelessly out of the loop. Who knew the craziest punk rockers come from the friggin’ Ukraine? And here, all along, I wanted to name my blog Ukrainian Poptart. Was that the reason, all along?

Whatever. I’m still trying to get my mind around Gogol Bordello’s short set of insanity last night. I didn’t think any show could match the inspired abandon of David Byrne with the Extra-Action Marching band, but I was wrong. In the forty-five minutes or whatever that they were on stage, I don’t think my jaw once retracted into it’s normal position. Frontman Eugene Hutz came out wearing some kind of belly dancing skirt over knee-length pants and proceeded to whip the audience into complete pogo stick frenzy. He was Iggy-Popping out. He was everything Vincent Gallo wishes he could be. There was also a sinister looking fifty something violin player and two screaming asian looking chicks who danced around, got tossed around, and at one point played WASHBOARDS. There were PUNK ROCK ACCORDIAN SOLOS. Are you getting it yet?

I really can’t explain – it was just total controlled chaos, with the singer climbing on some yuppifieds back and using him to ride around the floor, spewing sweat and who knows what else all over us. It was really, really fun.

I found a video. Check it out.

They were a pretty hard act to follow. Tegan and Sara? If Scarlett Johansson put on a brown, 70’s shag wig, got a boob reduction, and starting singing, that would be Tegan and Sara. Great for teenage chicks and horny middle-aged men, but not my cup of tea.

Cake were a lot of fun though. They came on late to a packed club full of people who were, well, totally into Cake. In fact I was pretty shocked at the very loyal following Cake has in San Diego, because I’ve been to a couple of shows elsewhere and I don’t remember the audience knowing the words to every single song. There was one very humorous moment where John McCrea had the women and men battling to see who could scream “No phone, no phone” the loudest (the women won. San Diego dudes are pussies.) And the noisemaker will never die.

Absolute Mandarin and Frosting

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Despite a general sense of fatigue caused by driving too fast and too far and enhanced by crazy dreams full of sex and drugs, I am headed out to the House of Blues to see a bunch of music. Cake! I loves me some Cake, so I am gearing up now with a little Comfort Eagle. I don’t know the other acts – Tegan & Sara, Gogol Bordello and Eugene Mirman, but I’ve heard that Gogol Bordello is a crazy gyspy punk band that is insane live. So it should be fun.

Speaking of Cake, where is this?


I’ll try to be good; Monday night shows can be brutal on one’s rest of the week.

Powder Vision

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

I had one of those dreams this morning. I’ve been longing for one, but I have to say, this one left me feeling more hungry and alone than I would like to admit. After all, these days, I am the lone traveler, the one who says I don’t need anybody, the girl who flies solo.

It’s all about touch, in the end, and all kinds of other bizarreness that only a dream can bring out.

It was so real. I’m with a guy, a much younger guy, one who is untouchable and who, to date, I have had no desire to even think about that way. We are in his house on Potrero Hill and we have a shitload of cocaine. I don’t remember doing drugs in the night, all I remember is waking up in the same room as him, in seperate beds. But he comes to me and he has the most amazing back. I ran my hands all over his back, trying to get the tension out, and if I could only remember the sensation of running my hands over a back that I only felt in a dream for the rest of my life, I could be slightly happy. Well, maybe not, because now I want to feel a back like that in real life.

It’s morning in the dream, and he is gone, because he has a girlfriend and they are going skiing. He goes to the shower and I find, on the kitchen counter, a big pile of cocaine. It is yellowish-white, crumbly, dense. Perfect. I take a fingernail and scoop it into my nose. Even in a dream, I can smell it, feel it, taste it in the back of my throat. I am hiding, and lusting. All I want is twenty-four hours, in bed, with that back. I don’t need anything, but I need that back. And why cocaine? I haven’t done any in a million years, and have zero desire to do so, but it sure did taste good in my dream.

I’ve been longing for that kind of intense experience in the other world, and I love it when it comes to me. I always want what I can’t have and long for what is bad for me. But in a dream, I only get the best of the destruction.

I’m kind of in love and it is affecting me. I am hurtling through space, and it is affecting me.

Believing is Art

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

I am home! There is nothing like getting back home to OB.

It was kind of a busy trip, and pretty fun, too. I’ve got to get down to The Vine to get my fix but in the meantime, FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS.


Jason Mecier is a genius. I am so happy with my new purchase. Now, all I want to do is lay on the couch and look at my new picture.

I drove home, fast, from Sacramento. To break the monotony of 300 miles on the Interstate 5 I played “Crown of Love” by Arcade Fire over and over and screamed the lyrics as loud as I could. Finally I made it over the Grapevine, about to collapse from hunger and screaming, so I stopped at the In N Out Burger in Santa Clarita. Here, I learned something new. I am not really into In N Out and could never understand why people like it so much. Also, the fact that they put those scripture thingies on their cups kind of turns me off. But, I’ve now learned how to make In N Out taste good. You have to be hungry enough to eat plain ketchup. Also, it helps to chase it with a glass of Sangiovese. But mostly, be hungry enough to eat plain ketchup. Then, In N Out burgers taste like flaked Dungeness crab topped with shaved white truffles and melted imported farmhouse butter. I’m serious. Check it out.

Dude, Where’s my Tam?

Saturday, January 21st, 2006


After a strange and unsettling week, I am now hanging in my old hometown torturing my nephew by trying to get a photo of him smiling. He smiles when the camera is not in view, but as soon as he sees the camera, he gets all sour and perplexed. He is not a photo whore like his auntie. Not yet, anyway.

Coming back to where I grew up is always weird. There have been so many changes in twenty years that it always makes me sad and sort of horrified when I visit. But today, it didn’t seem so overbuilt and ruined as it has seemed to me before. Maybe because it was so green and lush out there that I didn’t see all the houses. Or maybe it was because Colleen was with me and seeing it through her eyes, it didn’t seem so bad. We went to the new Ritz Carlton which looks like a cheap copy of the Hotel Del Coronado without any of the charm. We had a drink in the “Conservatory.” Wondering where Professor Plum was. The service was crap and the wine was sort of off, and the music was horrible. One wonders what the big deal is.

But it has been that kind of a week. Sometimes I just don’t want to leave OB. Being here with Jay, Carrie and Ryan is great though. It just took a while for me to release my arms from their pharoah-like grasp across my chest. Ryan is movie-star handsome and also, totally brilliant. I would have trudged across eight thousand Ritz lobbies to spend just a few hours with him. Tomorrow, San Francisco, where I will eat way too much food with all my old friends and will also gaze, for the first time, at my Britt Daniel bean and noodle portrait. I’m feeling all nervous and jittery just thinking about it. In a good way, not in an arms tightly crossed way. Throw open those arms, and receive your new bean and noodle, baby. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Bored Beyond Belief

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

I think I need to have more dreams so I have something to write about. Working on the road? Boring beyond belief, especially in the winter. It’s too quiet up here in the middle of wine-country-nowhere. I’m getting so used to noise that I can’t sleep with silence. When it is silent, my ears ring. Is that normal? I almost wish I was sleeping to the sound of trucks downshifting on Interstate 5.

I am picking up my Britt portrait soon… maybe that will get the ball rolling. And I am choosing my prize soon. Someday, soon I will have something to write about. I’d write about my prize, but I don’t want to jinx it. Not yet.

Dublin Berkeley San Lorenzo Cupertino San Jose. The first person who can tell me why this list of cities, listed in this order, is part of Bay Area culture, will also get a prize. See how bored I am?

Buenos Hott-aise

Sunday, January 15th, 2006

How do I explain this weekend? It was fun, also kind of insane. The slowtrav drawing was on Saturday, and I was blessed with a good pull. You can read the transcript of the craziness here. If you want to. I warn you, it is only for slowtrav freaks, or really bored people, or the people who were on there screaming.

The weekend was trippy in other ways. The ocean is going crazy, making an insane amount of noise. It’s like a wild animal on steroids, in heat. And I find myself smiling for no reason. I feel like something big is going to happen. And not just a villa in Tuscany or a free cell phone! Something bigger. I love when I feel this way – even if nothing comes of it, it propels me.

I’m heading north and following the ocean. Onward.

No More Clean Dishes

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

After several months of gluttony, I’ve decided I need to purge a few pounds. I’ve gone through life staying sort of the same, though my body has changed over time, the weight situation always seemed to hover in a region where I felt sort of OK about it. Then I slipped on the Xingolati cruise and hurt my back so bad I couldn’t exercise for six weeks, and then I totally pigged out on large quantites of chocolate, cheese, and wine all Fall. When it rains it pours.

So in my quest for a seven pounds lighter me, I am trying to exercise more (still not enough) and also am writing down everything I eat in a given day, with the approximate calories. This always helps me tone it down consumption wise. Here is a day when I am good:

Coffee with half and half 40
Cereal 175
Salad 100
Popcorn 60
2 Tacos 300
Cookie 100
Wine 300

See, this is good. I did not go hungry and still ate only 1075 calories! Plus I got to have wine, also a cookie. But then let’s compare this to a bad day (yesterday.)

Coffee 40
Toast with Cream Cheese 140
Another piece of plain toast (starving) 90
Tomato juice (feeling cold-ish) 50
Chicken stuffed Pasilla pepper 210
Chocolate chips (need sugar) 100
Wine (pre dinner/club) 200
Pizza 300? 400?
Salad 100
Garlic Bread ???
Uber quantity of wine. Calories, INFINITY
Cookies offered by Sooty at the club 300

So basically I just totally blew the 1075 calories away by this day of several thousand calories. Oh well. The reason? My brother’s band played again at Desi & Friends and before the show me and Mark went to Pepe’s for dinner. Seriously, I was totally ready for some major gluttony. I am good at gluttony. Sloth, too.

The show was really fun. It wasn’t the who’s-who of my brother’s history that the August show was, and the energy wasn’t quite the same. But it was still rocking and there is still nothing better than watching Tom play drums. They have a new bassist, Mike, and after just a few rehearsals he fits perfectly, and he has never played the bass before! He is a guitartist. But there is only room for one guitarist in this band, and that spot is reserved for the best blues guitarist in the entire universe: Scott Blinn.

The Mudsharks are touring Europe over the summer, and I really want to try to go for part of that tour before I head off to Spain with my mom. How cool would it be, to be hanging with the Mudsharks in AMSTERDAM? It would be AWESOME TIMES INFINITY.

On the way home from the show, me and my brother were talking about the importance of long relationships with those people who seem to enter your life and never leave. Scott and Tom go way back, and though the road has not always been the easiest, they are hanging out again and playing music together with such ease (at least to us spectators, maybe in reality it is really hard) that it seems all those years apart never happened. That’s the way it is with really old friends who have known each other a long time – a shared history; a brother/sisterhood; knowledge of past events, personality quirks, best-not-brought up love affairs, and other tidbits of randomness. I have a few friends like this, and I am lucky to.


We are also lucky to have the Mudsharks, even if it is only once in a while.

Lust and Pomegranates

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

A few years ago, I wrote a trip report on the internet, about a month I spent in Venice. The trip report, in a different form, still exists, and in fact you can find it here. In those days it was posted on the AOL message board, and it’s been so long, the first report I wrote is probably gone forever.

Anyway. After I wrote that report and posted it on AOL, a woman wrote to me. She thought that she and I traveled in the same way, and that perhaps she had the same sensibilities as me. She had just come back from a second trip to Sicily and was finishing up entering her journal into her computer. And she sent it to me! She sent me her private journal. It was like taking an unedited glimpse into someone else’s life. I was riveted and it was her journal that made me plan my solo trip to Sicily in September of 2000.

Last night, looking through some old papers, I found the sixteen printed pages of her journal, getting a bit yellow, at the bottom of the box. I read it again and not only was I transported to the place I was in five years ago; I was also transported to a Sicily that doesn’t seem to be there anymore. After only five years.

She stayed in a small town on the Northern coast, and she made me promise not to tell anyone about it. At that time, it was a quiet village where you could see every building from the main piazza. Everybody knew everybody, and there was sex and intrigue around every corner. She spent her days dipping her toes into the sea and gossiping with the young women in the town, and her nights eating fat strands of macaroni with almonds and garlic and oil, meeting up with dark and lusty Sicilian men, and dancing at parties thrown in the pensione where she stayed. The way she wrote about it made me want to drop everything and get to Sicily as fast as I could. If I could make people want to go somewhere just by reading my totally unedited journal! It is pretty impressive stuff, let me tell you.

So I went. Sicily was, and remains, an incredibly beautiful, history-rich place to visit. Just five years ago, there weren’t many tourists. I remember seeing tourists all over Taormina, of course, but other than that I only saw them in hotels and in big buses driving around. I had monuments and castles to myself, and I remember the two dinners I ate in hotels, where I was the lone single diner in a sea of ten-tops. I was hit on by an insane amount of men. Oddly, this is not what I went there for, though the journal had plenty of practically Harlequin-esqe situations. What did make me go? Her evocative writing did. The promise of an unknown land full of prickly pears and pomegranates and the smell of lightning hitting the sea. A place raw and untouched.

I went to the little town from the journal. Now, everyone who has visited Sicily seems to know it. It’s not a secret anymore. When I went, I had to stay in the third and last hotel I inquired at, so how unknown could it have been, even then? Or maybe they just didn’t want to be bothered. I saw some of the people from the journal, and ate at both of the restaurants she wrote about, and dipped my toes into the same turquoise water. It was trippy, like stepping into the pages of a book you once read, but a book that only you knew about.

I wonder what it is like there now? We are living in a different world, even five years later. With the internet, and all these low-cost airlines, there aren’t too many secret villages in Europe any more. Just like only five years seperated the Beatles and the Sex Pistols, five years has made an incredible difference in the life of the traveler. I am a part of all that, so I cannot complain. What has helped me has also destroyed. Progress. I guess.

Imagine No Evictions

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006


This is the good news. The fantastic looking man above is my six-week old nephew Ryan. He rocks!

I caught a little cold on Monday, otherwise I would have written about my New Year’s Day party sooner, and now it is kind of too late. Let’s just say it was really fun and towards the end there was KARAOKE here. I’m not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed, but it was really fun. I’ve got some pictures but my friends might hate me if I post them.

On another note, I am kind of bummed by something that happened today. My next door neighbor got evicted. People get evicted all the time, and sometimes they deserve it, but this guy has two children, twin girls that are about nine or so. They have lived there for a couple of years now and the guy was working before and everything was fine, but in the past few months he got laid off and started his own business. From what he tells me, he only owes the landlady $800. Whatever, I can understand someone wanting to get rid of a tenant who always pays late or short. What I can’t understand is coming around with the sheriff and locking a tenant and his two children out of their home. I actually watched (yes, they were very close, and I couldn’t look away) as the landlady told my neighbor and one of his girls they couldn’t go in, where all their stuff is, and shut the door and locked it.

I read somewhere recently that most people are only one paycheck away from homelessness. I don’t want those girls to be homeless. The apartments next door are so crappy that they are only one step away from homelessness, but at least there is a roof, a toilet, and a stove. It makes me really, really sad and I wish that landlady could have been a little more compassionate, maybe given him a bit more time to catch up on his rent. That guy is good to his kids, and they are really well behaved, nice children. They don’t deserve this. It sucks.