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

Archive for the ‘How do we all stay grounded when the world is spinning’ Category

A House Built of Sod

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

When I was in the 7th grade, I had a big crush on a boy named Alex. He was blond and had the face of an angel. If I’d known Botticelli paintings in the 7th grade, I’d say Alex resembled something out of one. But I didn’t know Botticelli, yet.

In the perfect 7th grade world of 1977/1978, if you liked a boy, you would go to the dance and slow-dance to “Stairway to Heaven” with him. This was the be-all end-all of the romantic junior high school mind. I spent way too much time obsessing on this in the Fall of 1977. Me, Alex, colored lights and “Stairway to Heaven.” If only it would Really Happen.

But the 7th grade is a hotbed of gossip and scandal. And there was another girl after Alex. Her name was Toni. Neither of us was particularly pretty, so the fight for Alex was fairly even, except that Toni had one thing I lacked – claws.

I don’t even know how it came about that the whole school, it seemed, knew about me, Toni, and Alex. How did they know? I certainly wasn’t talking about it. It was a whisper, then a shout – who will dance “Stairway to Heaven” with Alex? Then, the day of the dance, during gym, Toni came with her friends and starting yelling at me. I yelled back, though I was absolutely terrified. It almost came to blows. I can still see her Filippino face, turning all pink and twisted as she yelled. It was pretty fucking scary. Then she walked away.

Shortly after, still shaking a little, I was approached by my own set of best friends. Their faces were grim. They led me solemnly to the girl’s bathroom, where, they told me, Toni had left a little something for me.

I entered the bathroom and almost died. All over the walls, doors, and mirrors, Toni had written every possible slur she could think of, with a thick, blue marker. My name and a thousand cliches swam at me from all directions. It was a brutal and heartless thing to do, and for no real reason, because Alex would choose who he would choose with no help from us. You’d think only a 7th grader could be so brutal, but then you grow up.

Though the ink was permanent, I don’t think it remained on the walls very long. I never went to the principal, because that was just not done. I spent the rest of the day with my stomach in knots. Then me and my friends got dressed and went to the dance.

I wish I could tell you it was romantic, that the scorned child got her revenge through love, but it didn’t happen that way. An 8th grader named Michelle swooped in like a hawk and Alex was history. I watched her dance to “Stairway to Heaven” with him from the sidelines, barely able to control my angst. I am sure Toni was doing the same, from another part of the room.

The youthful heart recovers quickly, and I learned a great lesson from Michelle that night. Within a couple of weeks I had a cute, blond, 6th grade boyfriend named Kregg. And in the 8th grade, I had a 7th grade boyfriend (though, as my brother will tell you, this one was the biggest, scariest guy in the school. Take that, Toni.)

I guess that these incidents from our youth are necessary to give you the defenses you need to survive as an adult. It would seem that way, since though they might slip to the back of your mind, you never really forget about them. They pop in to your mind when you need them. Yeah, today I want to die. But tomorrow I’ll wake up and it’ll be better, and maybe I’ll have a cute blond boyfriend. Tomorrow, is another day.

Moon Over Mental Instability

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

Sorry for the lack of posts… sometimes it’s just not there.

Full moon tomorrow, and of course today was full of bizarreness and angst. The freaks always come out at the full moon. You know what I’m saying?

On a more pleasant note, I heard from my dear friend Prentiss Smithson today. I have mentioned him a couple of times on my blog, but we did not have contact for a couple of years. Guess how he found me? That’s right, The Blog! Maybe I can also search for my 4th grade boyfriend this way (Richie Arambula, where are you?)

Just kidding.

It was so great to talk to Prentiss. There are some friends you meet in life that, no matter what happens, will always be like family.

Prentiss told me a couple of other friends I haven’t talked to in a long time also read Poptarticus. Sneaky devils! Hi Bill, hi David, maybe I can come to Portland, Maine and Palm Beach or wherever and visit you sometime!

Today, out of nowhere, it rained. With the freaks comes the earthquake weather. No sweat, when one hooks up with a lost friend, all else can be forgotten.

No Pain, Lots of Gain

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005

The checks and balances of the universe and of each and every person and thing that inhabits the universe work in a cycle. I, being a creature of said universe, am no exception. And today I am seeing the upswing, the light at the end of the tunnel, the fat purple lollipop after a somewhat scary few days of agony.

Damn, I am such a Woos. But I am sorry, that fucking HURT.

I am out of it now. But it is a wake up call to be so messed up. Gotta start taking better care of myself, drink less wine and take Omega three gel caps and shit. It is a wonder that I am in the somewhat decent condition I am in, after all this abuse.

In my early years in San Francisco, I knew a photographer who I had worked with, had an affair with (in Boston during Hurricane Gloria) and eventually just ran into, from time to time. The guy had been in a motorcycle accident and fucked up his knee, and the constant pain CHANGED who he was. He ceased being the cool, fun photographer guy and became the guy who whenever-you-were-around-him-bad-thoughts-would-happen guy. The pain permeated him and everything around him. I remember sitting in his bedroom with him once, coming down off a crazy weekend of ingesting who-knows-what, and Patsy Cline was playing on the turntable. He went on and on about his pain and how he was drinking a pint or quart of vodka or whatever a day to kill it and before you knew it, I was crying hysterically (maybe that was his game). One time I sat in his kitchen and he rolled the I Ching for me. The I Ching told me “there is no relief or hope in sight.” Hmmm.

After a while I stopped hanging with the photographer so much (otherwise I might have hung myself. Seriously) but I ran into him from time to time, mostly at the Rainbow Grocery, when it was still on Mission Street. Every time, I would say hey Paul, whaddup? And he would answer something horrible about his knee, and how he was taking this or that or doing this or that. It was a fucking broken record, man. Eventually, after maybe a year of not running into him, I did again and he immediately went into the pain. And I just started laughing. I couldn’t stop. All the people looking at the index cards advertising room rentals or Spanish lessons in the foyer of Rainbow Grocery looked at me with furrowed brows, but I could not stop. The photographer yelled “it’s not FUNNY!” but fuck, after all those years of hearing about it, it WAS.

I guess my point is, I never want to be like that. After a few days of major discomfort, I see how it would be easy to kill everyone with your pain. And a pain that is there for always? Deadly for the bearer, deadly for everyone else.

Summertime, and the living is…

Friday, July 8th, 2005

I got some email about my apocalypse entry today. Seems I’m not the only one I know with intense dreams/thoughts about the end of the world. Tanks rolling down Newport Street. Cities nuked one by one. The rest of the world choking.

I’m in an in-between place. Half of me thinks there is no way to change the course. But half of me thinks, if we can change the energy, we can change the world. It’s kind of bizarre that I have this half totally morbid and half new-age way of thinking. Or is it? Maybe I am just one of katrillions that have this same half and half thing going on. I wouldn’t want to be all morbid (or I’d be dead, for sure) and I certainly wouldn’t want to be smelling like patchouli, either. There has got to be a balance. And the same goes for the earth, and for the universe. There has got to be a balance, and there is not.

Sadly I am just one of most who do absolutely fuck-all about this.

Most people – me included – will do nothing until their own well-being or the well-being of their families is threatened. Well, maybe we’ll all send a check. Whatever. It’s not enough. And even if we were to all actually DO something to change the course of the world, would it work? Maybe the course is already plotted by forces way bigger than us and there is nothing we can do. Or maybe it is all a big game of karma and we are all failing miserably.

Twenty years ago I thought I’d be a leader of the new age. What shit is that? That’s youth, I guess. The only way I’ll be a leader is if someone blows up a bomb in my ‘hood and I’m forced to. And the morbid half (borderlining on nihilism) says, that’s what it will come down to, so just fucking wait.

Readying for the Apocalypse

Thursday, July 7th, 2005

This morning I had a very intense dream about the end of the world as we know it. Basically we had two weeks left, and then, poof. I ran around trying to figure out what to do. Get in the car and drive to the mountains? Stock up on food? I got mad at my mom because she wouldn’t let me come to Santa Fe. Everything was crumbling, falling apart. It was so colorful and real. Two weeks left until the end of the world.

I woke up thinking, exactly how much time do we have? Is everything going to go down in this lifetime? And my answer to myself was, like it has been since I was eighteen years old, yes. It is.

Then I turned on the computer to the news that there are bombs and sirens and mass confusion and people dead and wounded in London. It’s all so sad and fucked up and scary. People just going to work.

I’ve never believed much in the future, but on days like this it really sinks in. I am totally bummed.

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.

Minds (Not) On Fire

Friday, May 6th, 2005

OK, so a little more about San Francisco.

I lived there for so long, that it doesn’t really do anything for me when I go there. I mean, I am not dying to be there; it isn’t like an exciting vacation destination for me (plus I am always working when I am there.) It’s like going home, just ’cause I know it so well. It always feels like I never left.

I ate Thai food twice in four nights there – both times Tofu and Spinach with Peanut Sauce. For some reason they can’t get that dish right here in San Diego. They always throw some broccoli or baby corn in it here. Or they make the sauce too thin. So that was pretty awesome. Now I am thinking about it all the time. That is one of two things I am thinking of.

Staying at the Phoenix Hotel was cool, but MY GOD, was it noisy. I knew it was going to be kind of noisy, but it was like being inside of a club until 2:00 A.M. and then being in the parking lot of the club for the hour after. Cool rooms, uber-nice staff, killer pool. But I’ll only stay there again if I seriously don’t want to go to sleep at night. Well, maybe not. I’ll probably stay again next year, knowing me. Even with the loud bass & drum coming from the bar area, even with the crumpling of beer cans and gay guy giggles at 3:00 A.M.

One night I went to the Edinburgh Castle and had Fish & Chips with Paul, the designer of my book. Do this next time you are in San Francisco – tell anyone who has lived there more than two years you went to the Edinburgh Castle. They will ask you, “did you have Fish & Chips?” Every single person will ask you that. But they are really good – they deliver them from someplace else, all hot and wrapped in paper. Everyone there seemed like 12 years old but they still have The Bends on the jukebox. That place rocks.

Our big wine tasting thing was great this year – after fourteen years, we are kind of getting the hang of it. Plus I must say Andrea Immer/Robinson (she just got married and popped out a brat) is totally cool. She actually came to my table at dinner and thanked me & Chad for working so hard all day. (Don’t know what she was thanking Chad for, hee hee.) THEN she thanked us when she made her speech accepting the award. This is the first writer in fourteen fucking years that did this. Wine writers don’t thank me, though I have probably sold more of their books than any other single person on the planet. It doesn’t do a wine writer any good to piss me off. Let’s just put it that way.

After the dinner a bunch of us went back to the Phoenix and drank many, many bottles (more) of wine, hence the drunk chick picture in the previous entry.

This entry is pretty scattered and needs editing but let’s face it, I am still totally wiped. This is the sucky thing about having a blog, that constant pressure to write something good. Sometimes I can’t, it’s hard, but I have to write SOMETHING or it wouldn’t be a blog, right?

I do have something really cool to write about, the awesome thing, the better than sex thing, the I can’t stop thinking about it thing. But I have to get my head around it a little more. Before the end of the weekend… though I have a feeling only two other people are going to get it. We shall see….

In the meantime check out this interview with Paris Hilton. Man, there’s more to her than meets the eye!

I thought the whole ditz thing was suppose to be an act. Whatever.

Finally home but…

Thursday, May 5th, 2005

Totally Exhausted. I have lots to write about when my brain returns.

Something really cool happened in San Francisco. I knew something awesome was going to happen, and something awesome did, but it was a different kind of awesome, a better awesome, than the awesome I was thinking of.

OK you can see how tired I am. Until tomorrow, here is a shot I took in the Shenandoah Valley in the Sierra Foothills.



And here are a bunch of drunk chicks on a bed.


Good memories, but awesome to be home.

Gotta give it time

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

Tomorrow I am taking off again, for two weeks. I seems I just got back. It’s a familiar scenario. I seem to be forever moving.

I can’t believe it has been a year since our last Big Event at work. Today, I have to drive to Lodi, and I’ll spend a few days in the Sierra Foothills before I head back down to San Francisco. This year’s winner is Andrea Immer. I bet SHE won’t give me any “oh you’re not Gloria Swanson looks.” (You’ll have to read that first link to get what the hell I am talking about here.)

San Francisco will be hella fun – I am staying somewhere I have always wanted to stay – the Rock N Roll Hotel , also known as the PHOENIX. SWEET. And on May 1 there is the Doves & Mercury Rev show at the Fillmore Theater. Two of my favorite bands at one show – bonus. I am bringing earplugs on this journey. Last time I saw Doves they played an old Sub Sub song that did serious and permanent damage to my hearing. It was truly and unbelievably LOUD.

Other than that:

There are themes in life, and they fluctuate, but are also impossibly present. It’s either great, or fucked, depending on where you are at the moment. It’s fun, and heartbreaking at the same time, not to make any sense.

Whatever. I’ve long given up that I actually have any control over anything. I learned that I don’t a long fucking time ago.

Poped Out

Monday, April 4th, 2005

I arrived in Rome on Saturday afternoon. The Pope died on Saturday night. I knew the Pope was going to die when I was here.

Where I am staying, in Trastevere, things seem as normal. It is beautiful and sunny again. I have not used my umbrella once on this trip.

Yesterday I walked up to and along the Gianicolo and then down to St. Peter’s to watch part of the Post-Pope Sunday Mass. There were a gazillion people there, of course. I get panicky in crowds these days so instead I sat on a little wall right outside the Piazza. I could see part of the choir and the mass of bodies packing the Piazza and up the street that leads into the Piazza. The choir sounded beautiful and I almost started crying, though not for the Pope. I think I was crying for humanity. This always happens to me when I am around so many people.

I can’t believe I am here for this.

After I left the Vatican I walked over the bridge and into a cool enoteca on Vittorio Emmanuele for a glass of prosecco. The woman there told me there will be more people here for the viewing and the funeral, than there was at the Jublilee. Something like two million people.

Last night there was a get together with some slow trav people. We ate and drank until almost midnight. So, because of this I got a really late start today… it is pretty embarrassing, how totally lazy I am.

Pretty soon I will be heading back to Ocean Beach. I am ready, I think… I miss the Pacific, I miss my bed, and I miss The Vine. I’d say I miss work but I would be lying. I don’t miss work quite yet. I miss tortillas.

In a few months though, I’ll miss traveling again. So it goes.