Thursday, January 31, 2008

crossing boundaries

So by far the coolest thing I did recently was to go see my friend Connie's Tool cover band, Sinfist. Connie and I play contemporary classical music together (she's a great flautist), and it amused the shit out of me that this was her side project of sorts. I've never been the hugest Tool fan, but the band was quite energetic; it was kind of entrancing. They had somebody make a bunch of videos that were very close to actual Tool videos in terms of style (ie., claymation-esque and utterly without plot, at least for me, but creepy and cool to look at), which they played on a screen behind the band. There was a bellydnacer for several songs, and an aerial performer who did an incredible routine above the stage using silks. Near the end, she wrapped herself securely in and upside-down pose and Connie climbed up and sat on her while she finished the song.
Afterwards, there was too much beer and rum from my flask, and fun discussions about whether Mulholland Drive is amazing or terrible. I think we're having a David Lynch dinner party soon.
I've also read some really great books lately, but that will have to wait for another day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"I'm not asking to go dancing"

I forgot completely that I finally saw the Dresden Dolls live! I gained a lot of appreciation for this goth-cabaret-whatever duo when I realized they write fantastic angry breakup music, and Tabitha is full-on obsessed with them, so it was time to shell out and go see a live show.

There were two opening acts, but due to a haircut emergency we missed the first and only saw part of the second, Two Ton Boa, but they were really awesome and I wish I'd seen more of the set. Then a local dance troupe did a nifty lesbian dance version of "Romeo and Juliet" and Amanda (the pianist and vocalist) introduced this 17-year-old who played a song that was apparently about watching a Dresden Dolls concert (I was in the bathroom, my bad).

The Dresden Dolls have some awesome energy, for sure. You can totally see them interacting while they play, and they're both extremely theatrical. They played a lot of new songs, but there were a smattering of older ones, like "Girl Anachronism", "Mrs. O", "Miss Me", "Coin-Operated boy", and "Half Jack". The encores included a cover of "Fight for your Right" where many audience members jumped onstage. Amanda also, at one point, quit the stage and went into a balcony and continued singing. It was nice to see people interacting with audiences, with each other, and obviously having a great time playing for us.

And here's a link to a funny music video :) Sorry I don't know how to just make it be on the screen. When did I become so mechanically inept?

Friday, January 18, 2008


I watched the documentary "The Yes Men" last night while I attempted to make a far too labor-intensive vegan macaroni and cheese. I've always like the concept of the Yes Men (they basically impersonate corporations or identities that they feel present themselves wrongly--like the WTO or FEMA--and represent them in a more accurate way), and it was pretty fun to see them in action. The film followed them around the world as they gave presentations as the WTO in Australia, Switzerland (I think) and a college in New York. The college students were the only ones who questioned the completely out-of-control speeches that they gave; the corporate people looked slightly confused but tended to go along with things like a "leisure suit" that included a phallic pop-up tv screen to show a businessman what his "remote workforce" (ie., sweatshop workers, in no subtle terms compared to slaves) was up to. Anyway, for all the humor, there was a also a lot of good political discussion and self-reflection to balance things out a bit. (At one point, one guy remarked to the other that "it was more fun being satirical than serious, right?") I enjoyed it.
I'm going to try and get internet soon, because I've realized I feel more isolated without it. And I miss my blog. But isn't that sad that I need to internet for my human interaction?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

and only a week late!

The inevitable new year's blog.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
Ummm, owned a cat, worked in a flower shop, ate fish after a 5-year hiatus, lived in three different houses, drove a U-Haul, suspected I had an anxiety disorder.

2. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
A steady job, enough money, fucking internet access! Friends who I see regularly.

3. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hmmm, I got back into Civic for a third year. I can't think of much I did, although I'm sure there were some other things, I hope?

4. What was your biggest failure?
I don't really want to go there.

5. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Erica for being a good friend and distracting me with her tales of woe and humor, Tabitha for calming me down when I freak out about things, Jesse and Lauren for sending me jam! Kenny for always making me laugh. Aaron for still using IM.

6. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
my stand partner (put on your damn mute and play the right damn part of the music!), as always the government. Certain significant people who I don't want to name.

7. Where did most of your money go?
food, alcohol, christmas ornaments that have yet to be mailed.

8. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Books, cooking (again, yay!), porch parties at my old place.

9. What song will always remind you of 2007?
A lot of Fiona Apple (as always, I'm roughly a decade behind the times), "Soda Shop" from the Shortbus soundtrack, the "Comfortably Numb" cover from the Scissor Sisters.

10. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
happier most of the time with pronounced periods of sadder.

ii. thinner or fatter?
The same, I think. Damn it.

iii. richer or poorer?
Poorer, mostly anyway. But I have a savings account!

11. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Talking to other people, reading good books (as opposed to just re-reading things for a while). Been outside.

12. What do you wish you'd done less of?
drinking and having long embarrassing phone conversations

13. What was your favourite TV program?
I really only saw the L Word. And Weeds, which I didn't like anywhere near as much as I had hoped to.

14. What was the best book you read?
On Beauty, The Botany of Desire, many many others. It actually was a good book year, I think.

15. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Fiona Apple, probably.

16. What did you want and get?
A colander. Seriously. And several jobs, based on nothing more than my winning smile as far as I can tell.

17. What did you want and not get?
the Tucson Symphony job.

18. What was your favourite film of this year?
I loved... Stranger than Fiction, Notes on a Scandel (because Judi Dench was so unbelievably creepy), lots of others.

19. What did you do on your birthday?
Had brunch at Tabby's restaurant, went to rehearsal.

20. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
more human contact. Also internet.

21. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
I wore a lot of Donna-Reed-esque dresses this summer... Also one that was more Laura Ingalls Wilder.

22. What kept you sane?
Tabitha, Erica, my cats.

23. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Oh, I don't know... I wish I got more crushes.

24. What political issue stirred you the most?
Racism, if that counts.

25. Who did you miss?
Erica, Greta, Aaron, pretty much everybody at some point.

26. Who was the best new person you met?
Kenny, Debra, the boys upstairs, I'm sure there are more...

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Animals are infinitely more engaging than I ever realized before.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"On the roller coaster of all these years..."

41. Where did you ring in 2008?
Chicago, at a giant house party that I felt intimidated by.

42. What was your status by Valentine’s Day?
in a relationship, eating a late night dinner in a hipster cafe.

43. Where did you go on vacation?
Just Arizona. Nebraska, although it wasn't very relaxing...

44. What did you purchase that was over $500?
Nothing I can think of.

45. Did you know anybody who got married?
Emily and Jason, Valerie and Dustin. Maybe others?

46. Did you move anywhere?
Just from house to house within Chicago.

47. What’s the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2007?
Ate fish.

48. What is one thing you regretted this year?
Mood swings.

49. What’s something you learned about yourself?
I really have no idea what my future will be like.

50. What was your best month?
Probably May. Early summer, late spring.

51. What pop culture event will you remember 2007 by?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Jesus H. Christ

Hey, anybody know what the "H." stands for? I'm assuming something boring like "holy" but I'm not sure.
It's been about a week and a half since I checked email, and now I'm feeling overwhelmed with the backlog of messages and blog posts by other, more hooked-up and diligent people. Suffice to say, for the moment, that Christmas and New Years were both decent-to-good, and I got to see friends from Arizona (yay Jason and Emily). And now I'm going to go home and relax for five minutes.
Next time: Ye Olde Traditional Year-End Blog Survey.