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

Archive for February, 2007

Continental Lift

Monday, February 26th, 2007

I am home. I got home yesterday, and I feel very, very lucky that American was kind enough to get me out of Houston on a Continental flight. Lots of people were stranded. Maybe I would still be there, I don’t know. All I know is I am very thankful I didn’t get stranded for very long.

Yesterday was my first Continental Airlines flight in, I think, something approaching twenty years. I’m scrunching up my forehead now, trying to remember if I have flown them in the near or even not so near past, and I don’t think so. The last time I flew on Continental was so crazy and out of control weird and so completely impossible in the world we live in now, that I feel compelled to write about it. In twenty years, everything has completely changed.

In 1987 and 1988 I lived in New Jersey for a time – I moved there for love, but it was a sick and twisted love. Fucked up, alcoholic, kicked in the face kind of love. About halfway through my ten month sentence I decided I was going home for a couple of weeks, and when I say I decided, I mean I decided. I drank a few coconut margaritas and the next thing I knew I was at Newark airport. I had no ticket, and to make matters worse I had no cash. All I had was something like two hundred bucks in the bank and my checkbook. Who the hell was I kidding? I wasn’t going to get out of New Jersey and back to California on that. Not on an airplane, anyway.

So me and my boyfriend are at Newark airport, and even though he is an asshole in general he sees the desperation and wants to help me get home for a while. At the counter, we are told by the agent that we are trippin’. Airlines don’t book tickets at the last minute for $200, and they don’t take checks. The fare is something like $350 in cash. (I had no credit in those days, I’d already crashed and burned as a college student with a Visa card.)

I was not surprised to find my hopes dashed. But as we walked away the agent called out my boyfriends name. Turns out, they went to high school together and while my boyfriend was currently a total dick, in high school I guess he was something of a legend. That was all it took – within minutes I had a ticket for a flight for San Francisco that I had purchased with the dregs of my checking account. As impossible as this seems in 1987, now it is just, well, Totally Impossible.

It gets better. On this Continental aircraft flying from Newark to San Francisco, they had a BAR. One you could go up and stand at! Sit at! Drink at! Have conversations with other passengers and flight attendents at! They were trying to make flying fun, so they put a bar in on the friggen plane. The thought of being able to get up and go hang out at a bar on an airplane is so weird and random and impossible now that if I had not experienced it once myself, I am not sure I would believe it really existed.

Our flight was delayed three hours, so drinks were free. DRINKS WERE FREE, AT A BAR, ON A PLANE. It’s true, I swear it. I drank heavily with a bunch of surfers and it was really fun, but then things got a little out of control and they made us go back to our seats. I can still see all those mini bottles of Chivas and Stoli rolling around on that bar – it was insane. Insane, and fun. What happened? Flying is definitely not fun anymore.

So thank you, Continental Airlines, twice – once for the memory of the way life used to be, and again for getting me safely home yesterday. Now, if you could just hook up some San Diego to Europe non-stops, we’d be set. But even if that never happens, it’s all cool for now.

Tales from a Stinky Land

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

You know how it is when you are watching the news and there is bad weather somewhere and there are people stranded at the airport and you are like, thank god that isn’t me?

Today it IS me. Stuck in fucking HOUSTON of all places. Everyone knows how much I love it here.

I’ve been working here at few days at the Texas Wine and Grapegrowers conference, and today I was oh, so ready to get home. I was so ready I showed up for my flight five hours early, hoping to stand by on something earlier. And yes, I called; I called yesterday and they said it would be no problem to stand by, through Dallas and on to San Diego. An hour before I left for the airport, I called and they said the flights were now full, but I wanted to get the fuck out of dodge so bad I decided to go to the airport and pray.

So I got to the airport and what did I see? A long string of CANCELLED all the way down the board. I got a really yicky feeling in my stomach. The line was already long. I started asking people how long it would take to drive to Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Too long.)

So there we are all in the Houston airport, all pretty much screwed, with a non-moving line. The thought of staying the night, much less two or three, was making me feel queasy. A woman came around with little squares of paper with a phone number to CALL American while we were in line. So I called, and the wait was twenty-two minutes, but a super cool guy behind me got through before I did (he was on the phone to them way before that lady started passing out the phone numbers) and he let me talk to the agent after he was done.

The agent was like, well, can you fly from Hobby Airport? And I was like, I’ll do whatever you want, just get me out of here. And she told me she had ONE seat on Monday.

“NO.” I told her. “I ABSOLUTELY cannot wait until Monday, I have to get out TOMORROW.” I wasn’t mean, or bitchy, but there must be something resembling angst or desperation in my voice because she put me on hold for a really long time and then came back and told me she got me on a non-stop on Continental, first thing tomorrow.

Here the poor guy who lent me his phone had to wait around for me for like twenty minutes. As I was thanking him profusely, practically offering sex (no not really but you get the idea) he said “we’re all in the same boat” and walked away.

If I would have arrived later, I would have been screwed. Well actually, I probably would be DRIVING home right now. I am telling you, I would not spend another day here. I wouldn’t.

So I am here at the Hilton Garden Inn where the airport van is bringing another ten stranded passengers every fifteen minutes. I can’t believe I am getting out tomorrow.

Well I gotta go, because all these people are walking by looking meaningfully at this computer. Tomorrow, I will write about some of the crazy shit that was going through my head about an hour ago as I sipped from a crappy glass of pinot grigio on a barren strip of land with nothing, and I mean nothing, on it except for a bunch of boring airport hotels on it.

It could be worse, but it could be better. How come I never get stranded in Paris?

The Countdown

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Two weeks to go ’till Neon Bible comes out, and I can hardly sit still. ARCADE FIRE, dudes. Remember?

Call this number NOW: 1-866-NEON-BIBLE. My god, could they be any cooler?

NPR has a live Arcade Fire show up – check it out. And this song gives me chills:

As for me. I am seeing Arcade Fire next month – IN BERLIN. I love that all the best bands sing in English. It’s definitely a plus for me. Plus I can ask the bartender for Rot Wein. Whoo hoo!

Voros Bor, Por Favor

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

The other night, I was in the Vine and started talking to one of the other regulars about my upcoming trip to Berlin.

“Know any German yet?” He asked.

“Entshuldigung Zie! Bitte! Guten Tag! Weiss Wine! Rot Wein! Uh… uh….” I tried to remember something else. How are you… how are you… vie… vie… “uh… uh…”

“Rot Wein. That’s a good one to know.” Whew.

It is a good one to know, and I have been meaning to put together this list for some time. It’s a work in progress, so feel free to comment if you have anything to add. I, for one, am dying to know how to say red wine in Polish, just in case.


rot wein – German
vino rosso – Italian
vino tinto – Spanish
vin rouge – French
voros bor – Magyar (Hungarian)
sheraaz – Australian
rode wijn – Dutch
rodvin – Danish
vinho tinto – Portuguese
czerwony wino – Polish (Thanks Angie!)

As for any more, uh… uh….

Put Yourself in My Shoes

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

I think I can count the things I love on one hand. Well, maybe two hands if I really think about it. Once thinking, you’ve got to think about things in terms of; do I really and truly love something, or do I just like it? Because those are two completely different things. It’s a the difference between merely living, and orgasm. Or even, between living and something better than orgasm. If that makes any sense.

Observe, then, a moment that completely and totally slays me – a moment so perfect, so atmospheric, so Totally Killer, that I can’t really imagine anywhere else I would rather be.

Imagine you are me for a minute, if you can. In a big, dark cavern, with a musty, wet smell, full of the most incredible anticipation, surrounded by like-minded people. About to touch, briefly, something you listen to and think about and even dream about for months beforehand. Close your eyes, and imagine you are me, in this dark spot, practically falling over with happiness.

It makes you want a little more, doesn’t it? It’s a bit of a harsh reality at the end there, isn’t it? But thankfully, there is more. THERE IS MORE!

Pretty fucking awesome, I must say. My current obsession with The Shins won’t be over anytime soon.

Give Me Back My SOS

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Well, I’m back, and ready to start boring you all again with my too frequent music posts.

I guess, to be totally honest, I am not sure how I feel about this. Actually I am pretty sure it kind of freaks me out.

Yeah, they rock it, even though the crowd in front doesn’t really seem to give two shits. And now, the Police have announced they’ll tour. The Police! Who hate each other! I always figured that when the Police gave in and forgave each other, I’d have to hang it all up.

I guess I am just being unrealistic, also selfish. I also hated the fact that Prince was on the Super Bowl, but then I loved his show. I think I mostly hated that stupid ad. Even though I hated the ad and the fact that Prince was on the Super Bowl, I still couldn’t wait to watch his performance. Does that mean I will have to go to one of the Police shows? God, I hope not.

There are some things that are sacred and shouldn’t be dredged up after over twenty years. Like, 1984. Though I have to admit that I was totally thrilled, during the freeking Super Bowl Halftime Show of all places, to hear those first seconds of 1999 (which actually came out in, what, 1982?) I think I am mostly horrified to think I will be one of those aging yuppifieds that will go to this show and be all happy and start screaming “sending out an SOS” over and over when they play “Message in a Bottle.” I am terrified of getting old. But I AM old. Also, GETTING OLDER.

I guess it could be worse. I guess I could have been into a band like, I dunno, someone who is currently tearing it up at some random casino in the middle of nowhere. Instead I am horrified that I might spend several hundred dollars to see a band that I used to love but now sort of hate because they stopped hating each other. Also, the thought of Sting practicing his Tantric love shit on a new wave of groupies just makes me want to hurl.

Oh well. At least, to date, The Clash remains sacred.


Saturday, February 10th, 2007

Is where the heart is.


More later.

What Would Anthony Bourdain Do?

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Still on the road, and I ask this question like, ten times a day. When confronted with a problem or situation, or a crappy hotel room, I ask myself, what would Anthony Bourdain do?

I read this interview with Rex Pickett, the guy who wrote “Sideways,” where he said he didn’t want to do some TV show qwhere he would be an “Anthony Bourdain type.” Dude, even if someone injected you with cool syrum, I don’t think you stand a chance. Actually if there is one person who could never be anything like Anthony Bourdain, it would be Rex Pickett.

Anyway. I am almost home, sorry about non-posting in the last few weeks but it is troublesome from where I currently reside (nowhere for very long.) In the meantime, here is the Shins new video, from their new record Wincing the Night Away. It is awesome.

Home Saturday! Yippee!