Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Have you ever loved an album so much, but knew you would never ever get to see any of those songs live?  This can't be that strange of an occurrence, especially if you are a fan of bands that broke up decades ago (like my sister, Bear, the Zeppelin superfan).  But since I tend to like smaller, more accessible bands, and since I live outside of SF, I've always been very lucky in this respect.

Boyfriend's favourite album of all time is In the Areoplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel, and by the time he really started to listen to it, they had already broke up. So, when Jeff Mangum (the singer/songwriter) was touring this past spring, he was so excited.  And were blown away – he played 90% of the album live!  A dream come true for Boyfriend, who thought he would never ever hear his favourite songs live.

Tonight, we're going to see Desaparacidos and The Velvet Teen, which will be a giant musical blast from my past.  They're touring for the first time in 10 years, and goddamn and I excited.

Desaparcidos is best known for being fronted by Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes fame.  They formed in 2001, released Read Music/Speak Spanish in 2002, and then disbanded.  And in those 10 years, I have listed to their one album over, and over, and over.  For me, there's just something about it that album that I can't get enough of.

I've seen Bright Eyes live twice, and nearly back to back – once during the I'm Wide Awake it's Morning tour, and once right after for the Digital Ash in a Digital Urn tour.  And based on those performances, I imagined that Desaparacidos would be just as amazing, louder to be sure, but amazing.

And tonight, I finally get to find out.

photo from

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vicious & Wreck: Road Trip (Part 1)

Ten years ago, on 8 July 2002, I set out for a study abroad program that took place at University College Dublin in Ireland.  That experience in itself is a whole other story, but it was on that trip that I met one of my best friends, Vicious.
Dublin, Ireland – Summer 2002 – Vicious (20), Wreck (19)
The Vicious & I got our nicknames when she lived across the hall from me at UCD and one night, she and I and about 6 others in our building got very, very drunk and thought we were in a band.  While we were there we spent most of our time drinking, swearing at each other whilst playing Thirteens, harassing the French bartender at our favourite pub, listening to the Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels soundtrack, and laying on the floor reading Trainspotting out loud to each other in Scottish accents (of varying accuracy).  We also apparently went to class once in a while, because both of us actually passed our courses.

When we returned state-side, despite not living across the hall from each other any more, and despite periods of large distances, various boyfriends, schools, and other crazy life stuff, she and I stayed in touch, unlike almost everyone else in our program.  And no matter how much time passed between hangouts and adventures, we've stayed close all this time – and even more so in the past few years once we were both back in the Bay Area on a permanent basis.

In April, this email arrived: I'm wondering if you bitches were free the days around July 2 to go on a trip.  I'm thinking maybe a weekend in Los Angeles? Or Las Vegas? Or somewhere new like Ukiah?  Portland?  Boise?  Klamath Falls?

I will be... the big three-oh.

So awful it cannot be comprehended fully.  

In other words, I wanna run away for my birthday, and I'd like you grrrls to be my accomplices (or kidnapped whores, your choice).



ps- Texarkana?  Montreal?  Orlando?  Milwauake? How do you spell that?  Carmel by the Sea?  Mendicino?  Reno?  The place where dreams go to die?

I immediaty wrote back with: EFF YES. I am totally in.

We hadn't traveled together in nearly 10 years, but I knew that wasn't going to make a difference.  I started working on a very specific road-trip mix for the occasion.  This was going to be epic.

Based on that first email Vicious sent, there was a lot of talk about where we could realistically drive to in the approximately 72 hours we had blocked off for this trip (leaving after work Friday afternoon and being back for work Tuesday morning).  We went a little google maps crazy and may have forgotten that we'd need to calculate in sleeping – at one point, I think we were talking about making it to Canada and back... But ultimately, we decided to drive Hwy 1 towards the Lost Coast, and see where we end up.

That Friday afternoon we loaded up my car, Kingsley, with way too much for a three day trip (since we had no idea where we would end up, we each brought about 4 pairs of shoes, swimsuits, a dress, jackets, shorts, jeans, and of course, a towel), and headed for our first and only real planned stop on our trip: Mill Valley.

Vicious and I had decided to spend the first night in the Bay Area's back yard for a couple of reasons:
  • We didn't know how late we would be leaving or what the traffic would be like, and it would give us a fresh start in the morning.  
  • We knew we would be able to eat there – she's a vegan and I'm gluten free! – and we ended up finding a Thai place that catered to both of our dietary needs.  
  • We tentatively planned to start our adventures in Muir Woods the next morning, complete with references to Vertigo and 12 Monkeys.
So, that night we settled into our motel room over an Indian restaurant and giggled ourselves crazy late into the night.  It was just like old times, minus the booze and plus Avengers snap-bracelets.


It was quickly apparent that Muir Woods was not going to happen on the Saturday before 4th of July.  We were directed to the overflow parking where we were going to have to wait for a coach to bring us to the park.  As we scarfed down some nut bars, we were ushered into a queue of hikers, tourists, and families.  Now, Vicious and I are very good a queuing (owing, we think, to time spent in the UK and Disneyland), but as we looked around us, we realized that this was dumb. We had driving to do, the coast to see, and Muir Woods is so close, we could get to that later.  So, we hopped back in Kingsley and headed towards Stinson Beach.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I am a nerd, and I don't care.

On July 14th, I attended Pink Prom IV: May the Fourth Be With You.  This is the 4th annual party thrown by my friends to benefit the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and WomenCARE.

As I have the past 3 years, I had a wonderful time and danced the night away. There were amazing Star Wars themed decorations, souvenir pint glasses, and puns everywhere – my favourite: Admiral Snackbar!  Plus, there a photo booth that would be placing us among the stars.

If you didn't think it could get nerdier than a Star Wars themed event, you're wrong.  When I saw this photo of me and Boyfriend, I couldn't help myself... I had to make one small adjustment.

The Twelfth Doctor and his companion, Meggie Stardust!

Photo by Jon Sawyer Photography 
edit by me :)