Wednesday, October 31, 2007

ted leo rocks my personal casbah

this week, it seems, the universe has aligned itself in such a way that everything really is going my way. one example of this was manifest in tonight's activities; a stroke of luck had ted leo adding concert dates in los angeles, another stroke had me find out about them two days ago, and yet another stroke sent every one of the students in my class tonight home for some reason (and telling me about it in advance) so i was free to go to the show!

for those of you who don't understand, ted leo and the pharmacists are certainly in my top five favorite bands list, and i was absolutely blown away when i saw them live at stanford in february. the chance to see them live again was, in short, mouthwatering. (editor's note: if you don't know ted leo, i'd start with "counting down the hours", "me and mia", or perhaps "under the hedge" for a fairly accurate introduction to their rock/slightly punkish style)

my ears are still ringing and my eyes are drooping, so i fear my analysis of the show won't do it justice. however, let me say that it was, in pretty much every way, the perfect concert experience, in spite of my going alone and being sleepy, hungry, and a bit uneasy about being in downtown los angeles past midnight. it was at el rey theatre on wilshire, recently remodeled and beautiful with its velvet and chandeliers. i found free (!), safe (!!), close (!!!) street parking, with a pleasant brisk stroll getting me to the theatre 45 minutes early (in spite of nasty traffic). the venue has a lovely cafe, which actually offers appetizing vegetarian options (huzzah!), so i was able to eat. the first opening act (redundant, i know) was quite good: shortstack, from the d.c. area. the second was bizarre, and i wasn't really feeling it: quasi. now, i will say that i was slightly bummed at how late the show ran...i thought it started at 7:30, but it turns out doors weren't until 8, show started at 9, and ted didn't even appear until 11...so after the second band, i was getting a little exhausted. thankfully, el rey has lovely, comfy, plentiful seats lining all the walls, so i just chilled and waited for ted while watching the acid trippish light shows. finally, some random person starting talking to me, which i was happy about since i was alone and bored out of my mind. nice gentleman from russia who knew nothing about anything but had plenty of opinions nonetheless. after he got tired of me, i stared at the walls some more, pondered the merch booth, somewhat dreaded what would happen next...

you see, the last time i was waiting to see ted, i was sitting patiently front and center in kresge auditorium on stanford's campus. the auditorium, designed for lectures but equipped with a small stage, has approximately two feet between this front row and the stage. perfect. i got there early enough to secure this beautiful post, and suffered through a few terrible (and some awesome!) songs to make sure i wouldn't lose it. looking behind me, i saw the (lame, uncommitted) stragglers relegated to the back rows. ha, i said to myself, with just a hint of smug righteousness.

until ted started playing.

at that moment, every snot-nosed freshman who had been previously sitting in the back rushed to the front of the room and stood literally in front of me and partially on top of me, bouncing up and down in front of ted. worse, they were bouncing...and didn't know the words. THESE WERE NOT REAL FANS! these were IMPOSTORS who also thought it was okay to wear wooden wedge heels to this concert while jumping in front of/on my unprotected toes. ow. i almost got in a fistfight with a particularly rude girl who consistently elbowed me after stepping in front of my seat, then had the audacity to mock me and tell me i didn't know how to enjoy a concert. ugh.

shortly after this show, i went to see the faint, another band i really enjoy, at the house of blues in vegas. long story short: more snot-nosed kids, this time with swoopy bangs. i was knocked off my feet for almost the entirety of the show, fistfights kept breaking out, and everyone was stupid and mean. my toes got severely bruised, i literally couldn't keep my balance (much less see), and i decided i hated concerts...what was the point of dancing around like an idiot and getting hurt?

then, of course, i realized i have become An Old Person. that, however, is a different matter.

the bottom line is, i was scared to get beaten up at the ted leo show again. however, i am thrilled to report that his fans in l.a. were just as awesome as he is. the band played an AMAZING set (i love love love all of them, but especially chris, the drummer who looks exactly like my brother and grins demonically while talking to himself through the show), lasting about an hour and a half with the encore. i knew every song and sang along happily, could see perfectly, and didn't get bumped once, but everyone was still really into it and even dancing along (just...reasonably). i even sang along with "hybrid moments", which he sang with nicole from tra la la, and fantasized about him someday asking me up on the stage. also, couldn't help thinking he was singing a few songs (timorous me, anybody?) just to me, but...his eyes being closed kinda broke that dream for me. oh well.

he said many funny yet witty things, like he always does...dedicated a song to lance, his friend who passed away this past week...made a joke about how the whole band was going to dress up as chris to surprise him (beards for all!), but the real surprise was that they were just all lazy. anyway, i got a lot more out of the songs seeing them live...some of them i really connected with in ways i never had before...so my faith in concerts was reaffirmed. little dawn is my new theme song.

bought my mom a shake the sheets shirt at the merch booth (she named our new puppy "mia" after her favorite song on that album, "me and mia", which i'm totally stoked about). got myself some pins; one will be donated to darryl in gratitude for him turning me onto them. ah, darryl...best thing you've ever done with your life.

finally got home in spite of stupid freeway closures and stupider detours not having signs telling me where to go...thanks to my mom and my gps, i ended up winning that battle. take that, caltrans.

am now exhausted, and have 13 major things to do before friday morning, so should probably get some sleep...although, who am i kidding, i won't wake up anytime other than 9:30 no matter when i go to sleep or set my alarm...my body is just totally rebelling at this stage. "all nighters? nope. waking up early to study? not happening."

ah well.

long as i keep up the grades i've gotten so far this semester, i won't complain. ;)

next time: updates on the prospectus and NCA, since i know you're all DYING to know. sneak preview/hint: I'M FINALLY DEFENDING! MONDAY AT 3! THINK GOOD THOUGHTS!!!

and with that i, the happiest of clams, promise to hush until i get some sleep. ;)

*set list from memory and out of order: the sons of cain, me and mia, army bound, where have all the rude boys gone, the high party, the unwanted things, annunciation day/born on christmas day, bomb.repeat.bomb., the angels' share, i'm a ghost, a bottle of buckie, counting down the hours, colleen, who do you love, loyal to my sorrowful country, little dawn (with interlude of "one more time"), hybrid moments (misfits cover), timorous me*

Thursday, October 25, 2007

a midday laugh

whenever i need a laugh, or at least a bit of perspective, this dramatic reading always seems to do the job. thanks, lauren, for reminding me of it! :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

again, a brief update

1. the fires are terrible, horrifying, and traumatic, and my heart goes out to all of those who are in danger or have suffered loss. i am safe, my family is safe, my home is still several miles from the flames and is tentatively okay, but my parents' new home in arrowhead is only about a mile or two from the flames. there isn't much to do but wait. we can't get up there to save anything, but we have very good fire insurance and are hoping for the best. thank you to all who have contacted me in concern; to those who have not, i realize you don't love me/live under a rock, but i love you anyway.

2. i am not sure if dr. casey is still alive at this point; my best guess is that he has passed away, ending the unbelievable pain he was suffering from this weekend. the last i heard, his liver had failed and he was on high doses of morphine to try to make things bearable, but the prognosis was not positive. i cannot begin to imagine the heartache his family is going through, with their home threatened as well. my deepest, sincerest sympathies go out to them.

3. in more mundane news, all of the schools in the area have been cancelled due to the fire/road closures/smoke, so i've just been working hard on packing and the thesis all day. will be continuing throughout the week. we left the tournament in a panic yesterday to get the students home to the dorms (thanks to a police escort), but it seems like it was all a large game of hurry up and wait.

4. it was wonderful to see so many of my debate friends yesterday, especially my old teammates. keyon and kasey really mean the world to me, and i've missed them a lot. i know i'll forget someone if i try to list everyone, but...it was wonderful to see so many people...i was surprised and happy to see nicole, and really enjoyed getting to know/work with matt and chris a bit more. as for the rest...you know who you are. thanks for reminding me how much i appreciate this community.

5. as a final thought...i've been thinking a lot lately about happiness, and what makes people happy, and specifically what makes me happy. of course, i derive happiness from a lot of things...personal success, knowledge, my environment, and other people. at the moment, though, i have a pretty simple answer for something that always makes me happy, and that i'm incredibly grateful for: knowing that there's someone who can make me smile, no matter how bad things look. that's pretty wonderful, and i feel lucky. i have good friends; thank you.

so, even as everything burns down around me, and as i hide in my room buried in presidential rhetoric...

i'm smiling. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

various sundries

a quick update, before getting back to work...

- a little bummed that i have to miss both chromeo and electric six playing this week because of work, but if anyone's around tomorrow night they should go to the electric six show and tell me how wonderful it is.

- i have recently become rather obsessed with these videos. the first three are songs, the last two dance. these are the things that i've been playing on loop for a week.

chromeo: bonafied lovin (yes that's how it's spelled on the record)
chromeo: needy girl
bats for lashes: what's a girl to do
wade robson's ramalama bang bang
heidi and benji's black mambo

- we should be all moved within two weeks. the process of uprooting 17 years of memories has been more intense than i expected; finding evidence of what my life used to be like can be pretty hard, but also entertaining. i am suddenly thankful that my mom choose to record amusing things i used to say as a child. i will not share them here because nobody other than me and my mom will find them endearing/funny.

- i went dancing last night for the first time in months, back at my old salsa haunt. it's amazing how many people i knew; i barely had a song off to rest, which made me feel good about my dancing. overall, i had an absolutely incredible time and danced more/faster/harder than i have in years. usually, i get pretty self-conscious about my dancing, but for some reason last night, everything just felt...great. it was also interesting seeing my old teacher/mentor and some of the dancers i used to work with...reminded me of a very different, notalwaysgood time in my life. also got kind of upset by the dirty dancing side of the community (the actual style of dancing, not the movie). i'd forgotten about it...and i guess i've just turned a bit more modest in my old age. maybe it's just me.

- i won something last night. that was nice. some national academic thing. i wasn't expecting it. it made me feel a lot better about what i'm doing in school/life. it was also particularly touching because i had to be nominated/supported by a faculty member to do so, and apparently somebody cared enough to do that for me (i certainly didn't ask/apply)...good feeling considering some of the concerns i'd had about not getting along with people in the department. anyway, it's not a big deal, but it came at a really good time for me. yesterday was a hard day (saw one of the professors in my division who had to leave this semester because he has cancer and may not live through the year...he was back to get things from his office, but the chemo has made him look like a completely, utterly different person...literally a skeleton...one of the most awful things i've ever seen). so, there's that.

- i'm pretty sad that it looks like i won't get to have a halloween this year; nobody i know is really that into pumpkins/costumes, nor do i have time to put something together. tragic, because i really, really love halloween. however, i absolutely will not miss nightmare before christmas 3d, even if i have to go alone. if you'd like to join, let me know! i'm SO excited!!! (also: may end up going to see "the seeker" even though i know it's horrible, just because i loved the book so much...)

- i've decided i want to roadtrip across the country when i graduate (may). am now accepting requests for stops along the way, as well as applications for companions for any/all legs of the journey. remember: i have a convertible. i can't wait.

i have far too much to do to justify blogging anything more interesting; for that, i apologize. hopefully things will calm down in a couple of months. just 192 days until graduation!

Friday, October 12, 2007

shelfari!

man oh man am i excited about shelfari.

a variety of factors have come together recently and made me decide that i really wanted a way to catalogue my books, preferrably online. first of all, i have a whole lot of them and tend to forget about ones i want to read; i've had a few for years that i STILL haven't read. secondly, in the process of moving these past couple of weeks, i've come across literally dozens of books that i'd completely forgotten i had, and i'm really excited about reconnecting with these things that were such a huge part of my life for so long (and still are!). finally, i feel like few of my friends ever tell me about good books that i should read, and, conversely, i'm rarely able to spout off my favorite books when asked, so maybe a social networking implementation of my library would help.

so, after a bit of research, i decided on shelfari. so far, i love it. it works with amazon and google's library features, and interfaces with facebook as well. the design is pretty and flexible, i can (and will, soon) put it in my blog, and it has TONS of different editions so you can meticulously recreate your library!

i know i'll give up on the daunting task of entering EVERY one of my books soon, but it's fun for now. i plan to add more once i finish moving and unpack everything; the books i've input already are just ones i can currently see/remember/remember packing. anyway, i'm frescasaurus on there, if you're interested.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

sad truth of today

girl from class, seeing me in parking lot: "oh, hi! i didn't recognize you!!! your hair's so...small when it's wet..."

...

:(

Sunday, October 7, 2007

cnn.com skippeds grammar lessons

front page headline for this story: "Heat strickens 300 marathon runners".

hahahahahaha, as i was typing this draft, they changed the copy to "300 marathoners stricken by heat". good to know someone was paying attention.