Thursday, July 31, 2014

Morning Phase

i caught a bad case of Beck last thursday.  my doctor said it's nothing to cause concern; it's not contagious and i should be back to normal in a week or two.  until then i'm just supposed to rest, take plenty of aural and video therapy, and write a blog.  and air jam to "Sexx Laws" in the car at high volumes at least once a day.

as i mentioned in my last post, i would never have considered myself a Beck fan.  mainly because i don't have any of his music, don't listen to it beyond what's on the radio, and also i have to admit i was kind of skeeved out by his scientology connection.  (which spell-check wants me to capitalize. um, no.) i think i pretty firmly believe that you can't call yourself a fan if you don't even own any of the music. that's like, poser status, right?  (edit: i lied. i just remembered i did have a cassette of "Odelay" but i hardly ever listened to it, so i'm not sure that counts.) so yeah, while i like most of what i've heard on the radio (going waaaay back to "Loser"), i can't say i was ever like, "whoo, beck rocks!"  but this week i've been checking him out, watching some videos, downloading some songs, reading some interviews (and not caring about the body thetans), and basically thinking he's really interesting and cute as a button. and kind of gorgeous at times?

..... flashback thursday.....

when we were in the outer banks last month, we went to Roanoke Island, which i'm gonna call Manteo, because that's the town there.  Roanoke Island is between the outer banks and the main coast, about a 5-minute drive from the outer banks.  the place isn't big is what i'm saying.  anyhow, the plan was to drive to manteo (lowercasing for convenience now), and maybe rent a couple of bikes, check out the lost colony stuff, and hang out for the morning. (btw, the story of the lost colony is pretty interesting: long story short, england lost tabs on a group of it's people out here in the late 1500s, and no one knows where they went or what happened to them.  this is one of those burning questions i want answered.)

instead, it was raining.  it went from misting at the hotel to full on pouring sheets of water as we watched from inside the lost colony visitor's center.  and there's really only so much you can do in there.  they have a couple of small exhibits (a "room" with wood paneling from the period in england, a few shards of pots and beads, some old tools, that sort of thing), but once you've looked at those and stopped in the gift shop, that's pretty much all she wrote.  (uh oh, speaking of gift shop and writing... i never sent those postcards i bought.  i am literally the worst at sending postcards i buy. i have a collection. it's a disease.)

so there really wasn't anything we could do in terms of sightseeing. i tried to go to the aquarium, but the parking lot was packed and the line was out the door. obviously the entire island had the same idea - go indoors to get out of the water to look into some water.  so that was a no go. instead i drove around the island a little bit. and that's where beck comes in.

as we left the hotel, mark popped in a new cd, as he is wont, and it was beck's new album. and you guys, it really fit the scene. a way back when, when i was first talking to mark online and not going to school and basically being an anxiety-ridden barfing-all-the-time slug, i'd pretty much stay up all night most nights. when i wasn't chatting to mark until 4 in the morning, night was scary. and i don't mean boo monsters, i mean filled with dark, oppressive anxiety that came close, face to face. we lived in a small house and i couldn't watch tv or do anything much without waking my mom, who, as a contributing member of society, needed sleep to do those contributions. so i stayed in my room, mainly reading or listening to music.  i dreaded turning out the light and having nothing to distract me. those were the times when the thoughts would come, about how i'd never get over the anxiety, how i'd be a bag lady on the street, eating my hair and throwing up every five minutes, wishing i were dead, basically.  and then, as anxiety feeds on itself, and the mind controls the body, bam - i'd be sick. so in order not to go there, i'd stay up until i knew i'd sleep when my head hit the pillow.  and even though it was a really rough time in my life, there was something about those sunrises out my window, watching the night get less dark, more details in the trees, the street, and other houses appearing, the porch lights getting less bright, the sky lightening in increments so slow but so fast that if you looked away for even a minute you could almost tell the difference.  birds would start chirping and life would move again, just for you because no one was awake just yet.  and in the night i felt alone, but the sun was like company and would keep me safe while i slept.

i have kind of a thing about that little house anyway (a whole other story), but those sunrises are one of those touchstone things that i remember the best of.  i don't feel about them in a way that reminds me of the anxiety, although i certainly have enough of that to last a lifetime - they're not tainted by that the way other memories are. i can remember them and feel just the good.

anyhow, all that was a long way of saying that driving around on manteo in the rain in the morning, with the perfect album that fit the scene, gave me the same feeling as those morning sunrises. and manteo even has little old houses that are like my old house. and once we went past a certain point there was like, nobody on the main road, out past the town, where there were just trees and rain and grass and water ahead, and a looong bridge that went to bfe who-knows-where, and mark was dozing in the passenger seat and i was alone but with company, and i took that bridge and drove across and back and even stopped in the middle to take some photos. and i felt alone but content and safe and it was a beautiful rainy morning.  and i played the album twice. (and in an obvious not-twist, which i didn't know at the time because i didn't learn until after it was all over, it's called "Morning Phase." how absolutely perfect.)

view from the hotel deck

returning to roanoke island from who knows where on the bridge to bfe.

rainy bay

back on the island

i didn't listen to the album again for another month, but we busted it out on a winding moonlit night drive on the colonial parkway from williamsburg to yorktown, through the woods and on the river, and it held up (almost) as good. (the fitting-the-scene feeling, i mean. the album is the shit, but i don't think anything's going to beat that rainy morning.)


all this to say that a few weeks ago when i saw that beck was playing near(ish) and that ghost of a saber tooth tiger was opening, AND that jason falkner was on guitar for beck, i kinda sorta wanted to go, but made no plans. and then i took three days off, had two nights of concerts, remembered about beck and jason falkner, and then i really kinda sorta wanted to go.  mark and i had that conversation that goes, "i don't know what to do!! let's go!! no, let's stay home and relax!! aaaargh!!" we tossed a penny in front of our lunching pizza place. tails - no go. "best two out of three?" mark said. heads - go, heads - go. "but should we go?" we said.  (proving to us, again, that flipping a penny is really worthless for making a decision.)

i was like

so i posted on facebook asking for a decision and giving a pro/con list.

Pros: loving his new album
Ghost of a saber tooth tiger's opening
Jason Falkner's on guitar
Third concert in as many nights (awesome!)

Cons: expensive, outdoor hot venue
It's in BFE past DC
Don't know Beck's stuff that well
Third concert in as many nights (tired!)

my mom said no, there'd be another chance. (um, when exactly?) and i felt, "eh." then a friend from hs posted definitely go and i was like "whee!"  so we decided to start driving and see what happened.  and then we did that decision, like actual adults who make plans and then do those plans. 

after driving for 14 bazillion hours (dc is a black hole, so it takes a little longer to get around it), and detouring for cash and food items for our mouth parts, we ended up at the show. 

it always gets more serious when state lines are involved.

i was pretty punchy at that point.

beck was awesome. he has moves for days, energy like the sun, and the charisma of a holy preacher.  and he's funny!

jason is right there! (second guitar from left)

i had to take a little break during one of the songs i didn't know. beck wears me out!

the background for "blue moon" was gorgeous, and it slowly got darker and the little village (i assume) lights (at the end of the shaft of light) got brighter and brighter.  it reminded me of my morning drive a tiny bit. i loved it.

and that is how you end up paying $75 a ticket for pretty good seats at a beck show.


i really wanted to say hi to jason falkner afterward - people have been posting photos with him on facebook, so i thought i might be able to - but it didn't happen.  i waited at the gates a little bit, but there was no activity. the guard told me no one ever comes out, and there was an after party besides.  well then.
i'm a loser baby... you know the rest.  i took this just for you, even tho the guard is looking at me.
i could, however, have comforted myself with a partner and this wide selection of intercourse-enhancing products available at the local gas station. (i declined.)

right by the cash register because maryland keeps it classy.
the drive home sucked for about 1.5 hours, including a half-hour/1 mile construction zone that was awwwwwsomme! (sing it out like oprah), and then mellowed out enough to play, what else "Morning Phase" while i sat back and stargazed/took photos of blurry highway and nothing else that had enough light to come out. we tried a few off highway places to stargaze when we were close to home, but nothing good came of it.

and then it was 3am and we were home.

in case my novel made you curious:

nicer photos
Lost Cause live
Blue Moon live

Sunday, July 27, 2014

so that happened.

so. things have been quiet around here, huh?  i'm a bad blogger, but i've been doing a pretty good job with the living part.  this has been the most busy summer in years, and i'm loving it. i've actually been doing things and enjoying things, and it feels really good.  

i intended to blog about every single one of these things, but in the spirit of catching up, i'm going to just dump it all here. i may go into more detail later on, maybe not, but here's what i've been up to this summer.

my mom turned 60 and we went to the zoo. we did this adventure ropes/zip line course, and it kicked our butt. but we kicked it's butt too, so it's all good. everyone's butts were kicked.

i got married!

it was a small ceremony with a few family members, lunch at olive garden, and cake back at our house.
and it was great - a very very nice day.

 we went to nags head in the outer banks for two days our "mini-moon." 
(we're going to disneyworld in the fall for our honeymoon.) we got upgraded to an oceanfront balcony,
ate lots of good seafood, and even a rainy morning didn't dampen our spirits.)
we spent a lovely evening eating and cuddling under the aptly named Honey Moon.

we left nags head and headed to carrboro, nc to see First Aid Kit at cat's cradle.
they. were. amazing.  i was astounded by how good they were. 
and then i kind of got obsessed for about a month. (they're coming back in the fall..
and we pretty much planned our honeymoon around their tour. haha.)
Johanna and Klara

i also got obsessed with the whole gold thing they had going on. (their new album is called Stay Gold.)
especially the shoes... i had a front row seat to these shows, and i couldn't stop thinking about them. 
i had gold shoes on the brain, found johanna's shoes on amazon for a song (and i had a gift card) and now they are mine to be on my feet whenever i like.

FAK's instagram
i took them to work to show mah ladies.
  spacehog came to town, and rock was had. i was so stoked they were in my actual town, 15 minutes from my house, that i wasn't even mad they only got to play 5 songs. (it was a 4-band show and they were the low band on the totem pole.)  and there was even an upside to the short early evening set... we were home in time to eat chipotle in front of the tv! haha... (we watched some eve 6 too.. i felt simultaneously ancient and a teen again.)

Jonny Cragg and Royston Langdon
mark had to work, but i got us some sparklers and those bomb snap things you throw on the street.

the next day i also bleached my tips, relaxed at a local park, went to the library, made smores (ok, one smore) in the backyard, and picked mark up after work for a stargazing country drive.

the next weekend we drove down to the jamestown area (across the river from there) to this state park pool we like.  it's huge and never crowded.  the drive down through the country is so relaxing and sweet.

it's never a bad time for L.M.M.
we also get to ride the ferry on the way back.

Jamestown ships reproductions

i took off a few days this week.. wednesday through friday.
first up, old 97s. in town!  so yeah, my two favorite bands came to town this summer, no big deal.

wednesday, we drove up to charlottesville to see this english band mark likes, The Clientele.
they have a very laid-back 60s pop sound, but very shoegaze-y.

i amused myself before and after the opener (Borrowed Beams of Light - not bad) taking selfies in the stage lights.  i really like the Southern (venue). it's pretty much a basement, but with paper lanterns, lots of places to sit, and a low stage. we saw Rhett Miller there in april and it was fabulous.
i kept trying to sneak photos of mark. he wasn't terribly amused.. haha.
thursday, my heart was conflicted between staying home, saving money, and not driving to BFE, or driving to BFE, spending lots of money, and seeing Beck. with Jason Falkner on guitar, whom we happen to love big time. but man, it was up near Baltimore, and i didn't know if i was up for it.

so we went.
these are the faces of people who are just happy to effing be there already. mark's is the face of one who is finally getting sustenance (in the form of panera), and mine is the face of just paying $75 a seat because she just drove 3 hours and spent another almost hour trying to get cash and food, and honey badger does not give ANY effs.

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger opened, whom i was looking forward to, but they didn't play anything off their first album (that i heard - we were a little late).  our seats were flipping fabulous though, and worth every penny.
the photos we have don't do them justice - they actually looked closer than this IRL.

i'm not the biggest Beck fan, or really a fan at all, i guess.  i liked his singles, but don't have any of his stuff myself, so i feel i can't really call myself a fan. i had a slightly holy experience on Manteo island that rainy morning on our honeymoon, driving around listening to his new album, Morning Phase, while mark napped in the passenger seat, and it really stuck with me. it's just a really, really good album. 

but let me tell you. Beck puts on a Show. it was really fun and entertaining, and he's so energetic, and funny!  who knew.  i would definitely, definitely see him again.  and it was especially fun to see Jason play again, even if it was only as support. and we didn't get to see him after, like a bunch of other people on facebook are posting about (disappoint!) but i'm glad we went up for the show. (even if we did get home at like, 3.  effing DC traffic, snarling up the roads at 1 in the morning.  *siiiigh*)


so i guess that's it.  i'm sure i'm forgetting something, but that's pretty good for two months, right?  especially two of my months, as i'm usually a lazy couch potato/sloth creature. it's a new me, people! 

here's to more summer adventures, and time to write about them all!