I like to "organize" my computer desktop because it makes me feel productive and it involves no body movement. I can't fully express the feelings of confusion/desperation left by the sordid nuggets uncovered during tonight's long-overdue desktop cleaning, so I'll just post them here for you to squint at or ignore. First off, there are these pictures to your left, which defy description or explanation. Is this somebody's dad? IS THIS YOUR DAD? We must now assume that there is a video of your dad on the internet where he is the proud owner of a high-stepping Palamino or Polar Bear (it is blurry, isn't it?) and then has to make a quick getaway in an alternate pair of pants. How well does anyone really know his or her parents? Then there was this list, titled "Business Ventures," which serves as a lesson for me, namely, that I should always collaborate with others or at the very least ask for a lot of advice whenever I get bit by the entrepreneurial bug.
1. Make Flesh Toned Scarves
cons: from afar, makes neck look like it has a growth
2. Van That I Wash Dogs In
cons: I can't drive and I don't like dogs that much so every day I'll crash into a fire hydrant or garbage can while wet dogs bark at me
I have returned, not entirely unscathed, from a weird vacation in the Pacific Northwest, a vacation with, as far as I knew, one objective: attend the SMMR BMMR music festival in Portland, providing hometown support to friends appearing in various bands (MOM, Ganglians, Mayyors) by drinking cheap swill and sort of bopping around near them as they played. I write you this blog post from my sickbed. Let me explain:
After slipping into the late-night travel delirium vortex found between an SUV, liscensce plate "BOOMPY" and a motel room floor in Grant's Pass, Oregon, where Sharis restaurants are pronounced alternately SHARE-iss or Chairs, and a fictional musician named Carlos Fiancee plays rumba versions of your favorite songs at dinnertime, we shook free from our sleeping bags and drove to Olympia, WA, where our friends were slated to perform. Olympia is just like the Santa Cruz-Sacramento hybrid familiarized in dreams, only more haunted and less familiar. The show begins not long after arriving and immediately the origin of the puzzling garbagey stench plaguing the car for the last 800 miles is revealed when MOM, mid-performance, unleashes the unsavory contents of her suitcase: dead frogs and spoiled milk. Mystery solved and let's get her in a different car on the way back! We track rotten milk and dead frogs in and out of the house all night. Meanwhile, as I'm pleasantly sipping on a stout, trying to avoid both getting pummelled by some 7 foot tall avid Mayyors fans and slipping on a frog, our teenage acolyte Dylan is downing vodka in some totally unsupervised zone, and our fearless driver Liz is struck down by the flu. Dylan pukes, drinks more-- I'm making that Marge Simpson noise and frowning but am otherwise inert and waiting for the houseparty's lonely and attention-starved stragglers to quit talking about what great sandwiches they make so that my bf and I can roll our sleeping bag rig onto the spoiled milk and mud stomped carpet and just LUXURIATE in this unique aromatherapy opportunity. I put most of my clothes from that night in a scented garbage bag that I stole. ROCK! We all wake up in the morning and go to an adorable breakfast restaurant staffed by cute girls with dirtier permutations of my own foolish haircut, all except Dylan who doesn't wake up at all and has to be dragged into the SUV. Idle talk of buying him a big gallon of water at one of over 74 gas stations stopped at amounts to nothing, and he stays in the car as we ascend the stairs into SMMR BMMR land to begin smoking and drinking copiously out on the charming back patio of the venue. We were sloshing around and conversing and dancing and were not sober. About 15 hours of this rolls pleasantly by when Holy Smokes we forgot about Dylan. We find him with his feet hanging out of the car moaning. The BF and I, in our feeble fashion, decide to rescue him first by trolleying out little glasses of water from inside for him, then with tater-tot casserole in a paper cup and finally by finding a real adult to go take care of him. The OhSees played on the back patio, which was rickety and elevated several feet and covered in hundreds of bloodthirsty white people with haircuts. "We're going to die!" Julian turned and said to me, and "Yeaaahhh!" was my reply. Enough has been written about the transformative powers of sweet-ass rock n' roll and I will leave it to the professionals, but those transformative powers were present. Then it was over, all of us disappointingly intact. Through strategic artistry and a convincing decisiveness Liz rustled all of us into cars dumping us off at Eat Skull's house, a largely undecorated home of unspecified Oregonian time period where everyone smokes indoors and no one goes to bed/stops yelling till 5AM. I dreamt that night that everyone laying on the living room floor there was connected to a giant masterlung through tracheal tubes. As we slept, the lung was failing. I woke up with the flu-- aches so severe that I burst into tears at a dim breakfast restaurant called My Father's Place. The Ganglians and The People who Live In the Eat Skull house all went to go swimming in the river even though it wasn't even 90 out, probably having a sun-drenched and by all cases romantic time, basking in the glow of the magnetism that is Rob of Eat Skull, and we non-band members stayed behind, wandering onto Hawthorne Street which was reminiscent of Haight Street but less bummy-- a vanilla time was had by most. The Romance Partner and I continued to wander the through the luxuriant verdure of the neighborhood, mainly to avoid the house because a) it was gross, b) we felt as if we were imposing c) walking is free. As we passed through the frontyard foliage we heaved a collective sigh and shared a shoulder shrug over the supposed magnetism of this city. As a 24 year old white girl in a rayon 90s hawaiian shirt obsessed with my own childhood memories and the creative possibilities inherent in their reification, no other city has ever needed me less. It also rates high on the too good to be true spectrum, with the lush overgrowth tending toward permaculture Garden of Eden smorgasbord status (herbs! fruits! free and in the street!) and outrageous affordability for seemingly all things leaving me asking, "What's the catch, Portland?" When we left it was really time, most of us having caught some incarnation of the flu, all of us having woken up at some point with the smell of Pall Mall's hanging thick in the air, the sound of unmitigated puking ringing out like perverse churchbells to herald another day of much the same.
So that's how I got the swine flu. It's not going away.
I really love the songs "I've Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison and John Lennon's "Jealous Guy." I first heard these songs in the movie Look Who's Talking Too, which reminds me, today is the 12th anniversary of puberty's onset! Let's revisit my singular, all-consuming obsessions of tweenhood in several easy to digest installments. Let me explain about the talking baby movie.
An obsession with John Travolta meshed with a watching-movies-repeatedly-in-order-to-memorize-them obsession and coincided perfectly and inexplicably with my first hormonal rush. Why I chose John Travolta as my initiate into carnal preteen lust I still don't fully understand, but the issue was compounded by my discovery of a copy of Look Who's Talking Too in a friend's family room, unreturned to Blockbuster many years prior, which I pilfered. This VHS quickly became the cornerstone of a ritual which I performed nightly, at around midnight and with my parents' bedroom door closed. The opening scene involved some muppety-looking sperm fertilizing a similarly muppety egg to the tune of "Sea of Love"-- pretty innocuous stuff, but not when I was 12. I was convinced that I was watching an Adult Film. I would then proceed to watch certain Travolta-laden scenes in the movie over and over again, rewinding seemingly hundreds of times until the dialogue became unreal and musical, and I felt dirtier and dirtier. So, in effect, Look Who's Talking Too, a comedy about 1)talking babies voiced by Bruce Willis and Roseanne 2) a crumbling marriage and 3) oldies functioned as a sort of pre-pornography for me and I still feel weird about it. Have I shared too much? Furthermore, have my habits even really changed? Your answers in the comments field will be much appreciated and immediately deleted.