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

Archive for May, 2006

All You Need are Dreams

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Last night was insane with the dreams again, but at least they weren’t nightmares. The dreams went on and on but there were two I remember very clearly. In one I was living in the country sometime after the civil war – like camping outside living. There were a lot of people doing the same thing. At one point I ran into a priest who had this coffee table book about the Beatles. And I was like, how can you have a book about the Beatles? They won’t be formed for a hundred years! Someone took the book from the priest and threw it to the bottom of a river. Someone else dove into the crystal clear water and retrieved the book and the priest was very happy.

Then this morning a dream that was so real… I was somewhere in Normandy, in a town by the sea that had crazy architecture. While I was there I met a family, an older couple and their daughter and I think the daughter’s boyfriend. The mother outfitted me with wings and me and her flew over the town. I landed OK but she landed in the water. Then I was in Manchester, England with my mom and we had missed our connection so we went into a little square in the town. And there was the same family – they were FROM Manchester. So they totally hooked us up and we were eating and drinking and there was live music. I remember I asked how the wine was in the bar and they all made cracks that it could remove paint from the wall, or something like that. But it was sunny and I did not miss the wine because I ordered some crazy Manchester drink.

Anyhow, in the dream I was going to call the office to tell them I missed my connection, so I was going to be in my dream for a while. But unfortunately I woke up.

And I haven’t had a dream about Britt Daniel in a really long time. What up with that?

Standing on the Edge

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

Tracy Lord: Dexter, say something.
C. K. Dexter Haven: Well, I…
Tracy Lord: Oh, I’m such an unholy mess of a girl.
C. K. Dexter Haven: Well, now, that’s not conversation.

The Philadelphia Story, 1940

She was forty-one, an age when even romantics must admit that youth is gone….

Richard Yates, Oh Joseph I’m So Tired

Do you ever wake up and feel that everyone thinks you are totally insane? I do, but they don’t because I am not. I am too sane. THAT is why I am so fucked up.

Last night I had a series of nightmares that wouldn’t stop. A tiny baby who I guess was sleeping on my chest, then he turned into a man-eating dog that swallowed people whole. Then I was on a 747 and a series of gliders attempted to crash straight down on us. And finally, my friend’s husband electrocuted himself with an electric shaver. My friend pulled the plug, and he fell on the ground, dying. I didn’t know how to save him so he died right in front of me.

There is a train of thought that says in dreams, every person is an aspect of yourself. So am I a baby, a man-eating dog, and a dying man? Am I a person who can’t save anyone?

Everyone fucks up. I just have to get past this one. But sometimes I just don’t know what to do about myself.

On another (much better) note, I got a special treat in the mail today – bootlegs of two Radiohead shows I was at – Coors Ampitheater in September 2003 and the L.A. Greek in October 2000. After the show at the Greek my life changed drastically and within months I was living in Europe. You never can tell where life is going to take you.

So as Thom Yorke sings,

Pull me out of the aircrash
Pull me out of the lake
I’m your superhero
We are standing on the edge.

The Rollercoaster

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

The last 24 hours have been a little insane. But before I get into all that let’s think about the finale of Top Chef for a minute.

I was thinking this episode might be anticlimatic, but it wasn’t. Everything ran fairly smoothly despite lots of room for total and complete disaster. Harold and Tiffani were allowed to cook what they wanted, for once. But poor Tiffani had a serious setback (well, a setback besides herself.) That setback was the sniveling, whiny, and now drunken queen Dave.

I totally lost respect for him on this episode. I am not sure how much is real and how much is TV, but here goes.

The final challenge was, cook the best tasting menu you can, for a bunch of really picky food people. No weirdness, everything you need given to you, plenty of time, and even kitchen helpers.

Then the kitchen helpers turned out to be Lee Anne, Stephen, Dave and Miguel. They were asked who they wanted to work with and Lee Anne, Dave and Miguel all said Harold. Stephen chose Tiffani – I am not sure if he was trying to be diplomatic (at that point I was feeling really bad for Tiffani myself… couldn’t help it) or what. Anyway Dave and Miguel had to draw knives to see who would go with Harold, because Harold himself was unwilling to choose. Dave drew the wrong knife, and ended up with Tiffani.

It seems to me that if you go back on the show to help out who is left, you should GO BACK ON THE SHOW AND HELP OUT WHO IS LEFT. No matter who you end up helping. But Dave was so clearly pissed off about being on Tiffani’s team. Then, both Dave and Stephen went out and got hammered, then showed up late AND still drunk (!) to help Tiffani cook. That is just so, so wrong. If they didn’t want to be there, they should have had someone else do it. I don’t care what Tiffani has said or done in the past to Dave, he should have got a good night’s sleep and been bright-eyed and bushy tailed, and ready to go. Stephen was worthless – a non-entity. And they continued to drink in the kitchen. Seriously, Bravo should have helped Tiffani out on this one. It wasn’t her fault that those guys showed up for work totally hammered. Unless, I guess, their reasoning is that “America’s Top Chef” should be able to function in that kind of environment.

Dave did make a dessert that was a big hit with the judges, but then stupidly Tiffani tried to take credit for it. I think sometimes the girl just doesn’t think.

Even with the backstage theatrics Tiffani still managed to make some killer dishes. But of course Harold prevailed. Everyone loves him. So Tiffani was totally wrong when she said “this is not a popularity contest.”

Of course no one is going to win any popularity contests with lines like “your knife just ran into my back.” Huh?

Drink up Harold. You deserve it.

So last night, right after me and Danielle got to the show, some dude came up to us and asked us if we were Flaming Lips fans. We were like, uh, yeah. Then I said “why, do you want us to be in those animal outfits?” Because the Lips always have people in animal outfits dancing on stage. “No,” the dude said. “Alien or Santa outfits.”

At first I was a little hesitant – I don’t know why. But then I was like, hell yeah.

We sat threw the first three bands – all acceptable, but no spark to speak of, though I sincerely believe that being on a big stage in front of a partially filled venue has something to do with this. The best part for me was Bedouin Soundclash’s cover of the Clash’s Guns of Brixton – that is my FAVORITE Clash song ever. Eventually it was time to go backstage and put our Santa outfits on.

How do I explain this? Let me begin. Onstage:

The sound sucked.

I ate five ponds of confetti.

It was hot as a motherfuck.

It was beyond colorful. Beyond fun.

Me and Danielle were up there with a bunch of other girls and we had flashlights, and we jumped up and down like crazy for an hour or whatever it was. I was not, to date, particularly enamored of the Yeah Yeah Yeah song until I was on stage with the band with Stephen Drozd’s sketchy backing vocal directly, and I mean DIRECTLY, in my ear. They were blasting off those confetti bombs right next to me. I use to hate all that confetti, but when you are in a cloud of it it’s pretty cool. And the next song was the Wand and I thought I would die from happiness right there. It was so loud, and we were all dancing like maniacs, covered in sweat and confetti. I’ve seen many a stage but I’ve never been on one looking out at an adoring audience. It was awesome, even if it wasn’t me they were looking at.

Whoa. It was a trip all right.

But then I woke up and tried to get Radiohead tickets, and no way, no way, no way… the show sold out in less than one minute. I got in RIGHT when they went up and didn’t get anything. Same with David. Same with a lot of people. Yet the tickets are selling for hundreds of dollars on ebay now.

I should have been coasting on the high of last night all day, but instead I have been really depressed. I know I should be happy I am seeing the two San Diego shows. I’ll tell myself that for a while and hope that sinks in.

Also – Tiffani – if you are reading this, which I think you might be. You deserved better in that finale. Regardless.

standard, lazy, big nothing comparative to universal?

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

Tonight is the last episode of Top Chef. Is it just me, or is it kind of anticlimatic all of a sudden? They should have done the two-hour finale in one night.

I won’t be here to watch it because I am about to head out to San Diego State for Independence Jam. I’ll have to watch it tomorrow at 5:00 and therefore I’ll have to avoid the internet all day as to not find out the winner prematurely (Harold.)

Something crazy happened today – I got mega-spammed. Spammers got me from a gazillion servers all over the place at the same time. All comments have to be approved by me, and when I checked my email I had over 300 comments waiting to be approved! I started banning ISPs and commentors like crazy but in the meantime they were firing spam comments at the rate of something like five a minute. I had to turn off comments for a while just to breathe. Anyhow now everyone who comments has to be authenicated first. Sorry… maybe down the road I will change it back, but it took a couple of hours to deal with. It was really and truly insane and in the end I deleted over a thousand comments. Holy fuck.

I guess computers spew that stuff – I wonder if the Cambridge Institute of Technology knows that their ISP is sending out spam that looks like this: “Your website is wonderfull. I’ll come visit again. standard table becomes full girl in final” by commentor “big is feature of memorizing corner.”

Well now I get to chill with a hot dog, a glass of cheap red wine and four bands. It could be a lot worse.

Fog, and a Special Treat

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Foggy here in OB, really, really foggy. It reminds me of what I grew up in, what I mostly knew as summer for much of my life. But it is warm and also, it is not summer yet. Also there are super tall and skinny palm trees on my street that wave to me every time I come home. So it is all good, even with the fog.

I came home from an evening at The Vine and was totally ecstatic to find that Bradley posted the recent Mogwai show in Boston on his blog. I LOVE Mogwai and am entirely bummed that I have not been able to see them on their recent tour. This is killer stuff. Check it out.

Tomorrow. Team Harold will prevail. Go, Harold, GO! Ya’all know what I am talking about.

Fake Plastic Grass

Monday, May 15th, 2006

It is very weird, also awesome, to be home with absolutely no plans to go anywhere for the next few months. Except L.A. of course, where I will be hitting the two Radiohead shows at the Greek in June and whatever other shows start popping up. I’m going to try to limit myself to eight L.A. shows for the entire summer just because it gets so freakin expensive. But, I don’t really have any control over any of that. If the past summer was any indication, especially.

I keep saying “I am home for the summer.” BUT IT IS NOT SUMMER YET. Why do I keep saying that? Like the year hasn’t been going by fast enough? Yeah, let’s just forget the last five weeks of Spring and jump right in. With that kind of attitude it’s no wonder my life is going by like those first six Absolute Mandarin and Sodas drunk while playing craps on a Tuesday night in Vegas when you should be sleeping.

I don’t want to sleep, I want to live. But gravity always wins and it wears me out.

Anyhow I am already dreaming, like really dreaming, about the Radiohead shows. This morning I dreamed I was there and trying to stake out a place on the grass right in front of the stage. There is a whole trippy anxiety thing with any general admission show, especially with a band you totally adore, because there are so many variables involved. Like, will I get right up in front and then a crew of the Dumb Dickhead Youth Patrol come in and start a moshpit, thereby totally wrecking the whole experience? It has happened before.

I dreamed about a lot of other stuff too, and all last week I thought and thought, and I was going to write it all down and then I didn’t and now it is gone. Oh well. There are some ideas kicking around in there which is good.

I am a bit disturbed today, by many things but mainly that Spoon is coming to San Diego in August, but to open to Death Cab for Cutie. WHATEVER. Of course I am going but sheesh. Spoon shouldn’t be opening for anyone at this point, unless it’s, uh, RADIOHEAD.

One more thing… Harold from Top Chef has a page on myspace.com. He goes to CHURCH? Oh well. Two nights to go… I can’t wait!

Small Stakes

Friday, May 12th, 2006

One of these days, I’ll meet Britt Daniel and apologize for constantly using his songs as titles for my blog. Maybe. Hopefully. Anyway.

I am home now, and for the first time since almost the beginning of the year, I can put my suitcase away indefinitely. All this constant travel has somewhat ungrounded me, and to top it off, a few days in Vegas, that place that always brings out the best, but also the worst, in me. I’ve closed my heart in so many ways but the enormousness of the human condition in Vegas never fails to open it up again. That place is fucked up, crazy, and now, to add to the insult, soulless. Those questionable attributes are a crushing blow to a gentle spirit like me (joke.) No, better to say that it is probably not the best place in the world for me to hang out in. I like to have fun too much, and I am too much of a romantic, and it doesn’t take much too put me over the edge. Too much being the key words here.

I used to really love Las Vegas. My grandparents moved there when I was in my early twenties, in the late eighties, and it was totally and completely a different town in those days. It wasn’t glitzy, it was seedy. It wasn’t about youth culture and money in those days. It was, I guess, just about the money, but in those days, nickels would do. The only smells on the Strip in 1989 were the smells of urine and the erupting volcano at the brand new Mirage. I remember that. Now Vegas smells of the propane blasting out of the backsides of a gazillion taxis. New carpet and chlorine. Garlic. Greed. It’s not a good combination.

I’m not sure what it is I am most scared of. Is it how Vegas has changed? Or how America has changed? Or is it how people, in general, have changed, or is it how they’ve totally stayed the same? Or is it how I have never changed? I am still the same as I was in 1989, except there are now a few lines on my face. I am still easily awed and easily crushed. Fucking stupid crazy killer city, making me think and feel so much. Thanks god I am back in Ocean Beach, where I can insulate myself from a world where it is so easy to throw myself against the sharpest rocks, just because it feels so good.

Fade Out Again

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

I had a full on plan to write about Radiohead tonight. But important posts require a great deal of thought, and I am going to Vegas tomorrow, so I am preparing myself by not thinking too much. One can’t think too much in Vegas. Last time I thought too much there I had a nervous breakdown. I am serious.

Anyway when I get back I plan to write a lot about Radiohead, but judging from the amount of comments I got on my Top Chef entry you all are looking for something besides music. So maybe I’ll be writing about Top Chef too.

Here then, for now… my brother and my nephew. The Essa men. Jay loves Radiohead and Ryan soon will, if I have anything to say about it. OK that’s all for now about Radiohead. For now.


Let me just say this before I stop thinking. If I had to choose one band, out of all the bands in the universe, to listen to until I die, it would be Radiohead. Without fail, there are songs and moments I listen to that slay me and render me raw. Every single time. So I am looking to June with a pilgrimage on my mind and if you read this blog all the time, I can tell you right now you are going to get sick of it. But this is who I am. THIS is WHAT I am. I hope that never changes because if that light were to go out life would be awfully boring.

Anyhow. I hope I win a million dollars in Vegas.

B for Barbaro. R for Radiohead. V for Victory.

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

A is for Awesome.

Today was a rollercoaster. I have been a little freaked for the past few days, because of the whole Radiohead-touring-these-small-venues thing. As in – can I get in? You can always get a ticket but it is so much nicer to get a ticket, and not get scammed by dickheads who are buying FAN CLUB tickets and immediately turning around and selling them on ebay for eight times the price. Please, don’t get me started – I almost have an ulcer from the past 24 hours as it is. And yesterday when I tried, in vain, to get tickets to one of the New York shows, despite being in the Ticketmaster internet queue right when it opened, it totally freaked me out. I’ve never been shut out of a show before.

Yesterday was awful. I was beyond bummed that a lot of real fans in New York got shut out and seconds later all these tickets went up on ebay… it was sick. SICK. I have sold tickets on ebay before, don’t get me wrong… but they were always tickets I got then couldn’t use. The one time I made a huge profit (P.J. Harvey at the Belly Up a few years ago) I felt so guilty that I almost gave the dude the tickets for free. So now I just sell tickets I can’t use on craigslist, at face value. Anyway.

I’d already made a pact with my Sigur Ros buddy David that we would each try to get tickets, for all the shows in San Diego and Los Angeles. But then I didn’t talk to him, so I wasn’t so sure he was still into going with me. Then last night at about nine, my cell phone rang, I answered it, and on the other end was live Sigur Ros. David was in Boise, at a show. I called him this morning. “You’re in fucking BOISE?” I asked him. Homeboy is seriously into Sigur Ros and hung out with the band last night so he was pretty happy. “Did I wake you up?” I asked him. “Well I am totally tired and hungover but I have to get the RADIOHEAD TICKETS” he said. “OK you get Monday and I’ll get Tuesday and I’ll call you back at 10:15” I said. Then we hung up. Then I called him back. “If you get Monday fast then try to get Tuesday!” He was like, CHILL. THAT IS OBVIOUS. I was sort of going a little crazy.

So it went down pretty fast, I was sitting here neurotically hitting refresh until 9:59:50 (and that is when they went on sale – I swear it) and I scored the tickets for Tuesday. When I got back in to try to get Monday, all the tickets were sold out. I called David, and he had got the Monday tickets but couldn’t get Tuesday.

A few minutes later Mark called. The first thing I said was “Mark I can’t take you.” What a friend I am. Well really, I am a really great friend. But nothing comes between me and Radiohead. Sorry bud.

After all that trauma and excitement I should have been flipping out, but I wasn’t, I was merely ecstatic. But then I went to a Kentucky Derby Party in Mission Beach (KAMB – all of them – were there) and of course I threw down for the racing pool because I love to gamble. It was a random pick, and for some crazy reason, I got Barbaro. That was AWESOME… I knew as soon as the race started, that Barbaro and his jockey with their apple green outfits were going to bring it in… I walked out of the party richer, I walked out of the day richer.

True love waits, in haunted outtakes. I fucking love Radiohead, and I am so, so happy right now. Truly.

Please pack your knives, and GO

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

I have never, ever been into reality TV (except for maybe that brief exploration of Bobby Brown Territory). Until now. Now, I am totally fascinated, all of a sudden, by the crazy, messed up, marred-with-cuss-words glimpse of both the bright and dark sides of the food business – Top Chef.

Inevitably I am always one of the last to find out about something really cool. Well, actually, I DID see an episode a couple of weeks ago, and sort of got into it. But last week when I was in San Francisco at my old pad with Leigh and Laurie, they were like “have you seen Top Chef? YOU should BE in Top Chef.” So this week I have been watching all the episodes, and this is easy, because they are on, like, all the time. At least this week they were.

Anyhow. For the uninitiated, this is a show that pits people against each other in a culinary environment. The people, and the environment (or, I guess, the challenges faced) are both a little wacked. Let’s see… cook a bunch of really hard dishes, for a wedding of two dudes named Scott and Scott, in less than 24 hours. Or create a restaurant concept, the dining room, food, and wine, for less than a thousand dollars. Or make a palatable dish out of ingredients found in a gas station mini mart (the one thing I might have been able to pull off.)

For anyone ever remotely interested in food it is pretty cool stuff. For anyone that ever stepped foot in a restaurant, even as a dishwasher, it is totally riveting.

The contestants on this show are funny.

Miguel is long gone but I was sort of sad to see him go, just for the “I am going to kill you” squinty eyes everytime someone dissed on him.

Of course I want Harold to win.

Though his whining through so many challenges (“I am a CHEF. I am not happy about trying to cook with popcorn”) sort of bugs a little, let’s face it, he is a cool guy who gets along with everyone, his food always looks awesome, he says “va fangool” all the time, and he is good looking too. He even got along with Stephen. Now I know everyone hates Stephen and he is kind of a tool on the show but I sort of liked him just because he was so bizarre. He reminds me of so many wine nerds who don’t realize there is another, more real world outside the wine one. The guy is only 24 years old. Let the real world toss him around a little, and not the reality TV world. If there is one person from Top Chef that I would love to sit at a bar with for a few hours (besides Harold) it would be Stephen. All you would have to do is say, “Stephen, tell us a little about yourself.” That would be good for HOURS of entertainment.

Plus, homeboy looks like a young Mickey Rourke.

Last night’s episode was one of the best so far. There are only four people left. And they are going to Napa to match a meal using truffles to a bottle of Shafer Cabernet.

Who’s left? Dave, Tiffani, Lee Anne and Harold. Three of them get to go to the finale at the end. Who deserves to win? Let’s just say that at the end, one that deserves to win, is not going to win. And one that totally does NOT deserve to win, is going to win.

Tiffani, even though she is a bitch, does deserve to go on to the finale. She is like the female version of Stephen. Last night was pretty telling. When they were tasting some of the Shafer Cab to see what to cook with it, she actually said “I like this wine. It has nice LEGS.” She said it without even looking at it. Does she think you TASTE the legs? It was clear she didn’t have a clue. But whateves, she is a talented cook and she definitely deserves to be one of the winners.

Dave. Oh, Dave. You got here by luck, homeboy. Luck and by being the front of the house in the restaurant concept episode. You big, teary-eyed queen you! And last night, maybe without even knowing it, you put yourself into the pocket of all those Napa Valley chefs by making their favorite food: Macaroni & Cheese.

I was just in Napa last week, and they had Macaroni and Cheese everywhere, even the continental breakfast at the Travelodge in downtown Napa. Well, not really, but you get the idea. In the Napa Valley, Mac and Cheese is sort of like those wine stoppers with the golfers on top. And Dave, harried queen of the soggy nacho, serves up some Mac and Cheese with a whole truffle at the bottom of each dish. And WINS. He’s going to Vegas. Because of Macaroni and Cheese. Awesome.

Poor Lee Anne. She SO deserved to be one of the winners.

Next week, there are casting calls for the next season of Top Chef, in Las Vegas, where I will just happen to be. But I could never be on this show. Brian from The Vine could be on this show. Brian, in fact, would be PERFECT. He’s got the talent, the balls, the experience, and the tattoos. Also, the confidence – or should I say, borderline arrogance – that a Top Chef needs. Think about it, Brian. You’d get a hundred grand in the end. I’ll try out if you will.

This Saturday there will be a seven-hour marathon of Top Chef. Check it out.