home-ish

I will miss my porch when I move. I miss sitting on the glider on the weekends with Shawn, drinking coffee and reading. I miss lying on the steps in the middle of the hot autumn nights talking to Paul. I will miss just being there, watching life go by. I will miss walking around the corner of the house and seeing my things – my candelabra mounted on the wall, my wind chime, my pirate comic on the door – and knowing I’m home. I was worried when I moved here – especially after the break up – that this would never feel like my home, that it would always be his. There are still traces of him here – I lie in bed and watch the mobile and remember him fixing it for me when I thought it was ruined – I try to rearrange the furniture and remember stacking all his books on the floor the night we built the Babbitt’s bookcases – and so many more intimate things I don’t want to remember but sometimes flash in my head like a movie I can’t stop – but this is my home. Everything about it feels like mine, and while I’ve been so unhappy (for a variety of reasons) and cramped, I will miss it. But that’s a long ways off.

I’ve started to really like the idea of having a dog. I think it’s the weather that does it – the weather and my parents’ insanely ridiculous puppy. On a side note, she apparently is doing well in obedience school, though the blind and deaf dog did better at the “come” command today.

My small brother turned nine today. Nine. I can’t believe it. We had a conversation on the phone this afternoon. It’s so strange.

your face has faded but lingers on

Another night of nothing accomplished. It will be past one when I finish this post, and I’ve barely touched my readings in two days. Instead I’ve traded my focus for 24, baking, talking to friends online, coffee with a boy, and reading Galatea on the bus.

Today in lecture we talked about the ways wireless technology – specifically mobile phones – has become integrated into our day-to-day life – and the challenges and excitements inherent therein. We talked about the blurring boundaries of personal and public spaces. I stood on the corner waiting for my bus and a girl passed me by, messenger bag thumping on her hip, phone clutched to one ear while she brushed tears out of her eyes with the cuff of her denim jacket. On the other side of the street, students walked with phone in one ear and iPod in the other, animated anonymous convos in the midst of a crowd. While we sat at the coffeeshop, his phone rang and mine vibrated. How is it that this technology with the potential to be so unifying instead makes us marginalized?

He said when he first moved to Urbana it was like moving to New York City – so many new people, so many cool new places, the anonymity of not knowing. Now it has all grown familiar. For me this landscape is still being written, but it does seem a place out of time, or at least out of place – this hotbed of technology and thought in the middle of the fields. Every day a reminder that we’re not the norm, and that’s strange to me after years in a city that embodied the status quo.

I’m rereading Galatea and listening to Iron & Wine’s “Each Coming Night” on repeat – both about memory, being remembered, what we keep and what we lose. I’m imbued with this quiet thoughtfulness, with this apartness. I am – still.

Today is the birthday of one that I love, and my own has just passed. So often I feel as if I am living both the past and the present at the same time. My beloved friend, true brother of my friend and love of my sister, has married without telling us, those for whom he is as close as blood. My heart is full, full to overflowing, and I am quiet.

The archives are coming back online, slowly but surely.

I’m at Za’s eating lunch – fettucine with mushrooms, black olives, and grilled chicken in a cream wine sauce. There’s a group of girls sitting half a room away talking all pretentious-like, and it makes me laugh. They can’t be more than 15 – they’re talking about “fourth period” – and I wonder if I was that pretentious when I was that age. I’ve always been a stuck up sort of bitch – I’m friends with everyone but still look down my nose at people on occasion – but I don’t remember trying that hard when I was younger. Maybe I did. *shrugs*

Work is hella busy. Hella busy. Normally I have about 20 things to run in the morning – this morning we had almost 60. Thank god Ron is in today.

But back to the archives – reading all these entries, changing them for the page, updating links – it’s both good and difficult. There are things I’ve forgotten that I’m now reliving – and things I wish I could forget, but there they are, on the screen in front of me. It’s hard to encounter the person I once was – in many ways she is so different from the person I am now. Part of me wants to excise all proof that she existed, but the rest of me knows that I can’t, and that I would regret getting rid of that part of my past.

rock

What a great week. I’m tired but hap-hap-happy. With the random things that happen to me – why don’t I go to more shows? Last night was Ludo at the Liquid Lyrics Lounge in Madison. Noelle and Brandi met me there – nice to see them – I’m so glad I made it out despite the previous night’s exhaustion. The Ludo boys were super cute and excited that I was there (if you’re reading this, hi!) – the show was a lot of fun and I’ve been listening to the album since I left.
Thinking about shows and Almost Famous the last two days. From an interview with Damien:

“When I go onstage, and I get this from when I went busking, I love the gigs most of all when I get so lost inside, that the audience doesn’t matter. But actually I’m doing it for them. When I go see someone play what I want to see is someone who is not trying to impress or entertain me – they do what they do so truly that I am lost in them, because they are lost in themselves.”

That is why I love music. The scene in Almost Famous that always, always gets me is towards the end – Fairuza Balk’s character is talking to Billy Crudup about “the new girls” – how they don’t take birth control and eat all the steak – but more importantly that “They don’t even know what it is to be a fan. Y’know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts.” And at that point, I’m reduced to tears. I know – I know. I know what it is to love a silly little piece of music so much that it hurts. How else to explain the visceral memories of Amsterdam, the fact that I’m still writing and rewriting those days and adventures – the way the right chord sequence or soaring voice will just rip my heart out – the way I get totally lost in the moment, in a concert, in a cd – the way that “Sister Awake” transfixes me every single fucking time? Sometimes I find it incredible that I didn’t/haven’t ended up in a career that involves music because it is in so many ways the currency of my memory.
So, in honor of all this, my top ten shows:
1. The Tea Party – Melkveg, Amsterdam – 9 February 2000
Hands down the best musically – on the list – front and center – my whole body shaking
2. The Tea Party – Nighttown, Rotterdam – 10 February 2000
After Amsterdam, before the jam, having spent the entire night out with Trevor – my last Tea Party show for so so long
3. Damien Rice – Park West, Chicago – 23 September 2003
Amazing – the album means so much to me that the intimacy of the show only heightened the emotional effect
4. VAST – The Metro, Chicago – October 2000
My first VAST show – Jon is commandingly intense and insanely beautiful – feels like he’s only looking at you.
5. Tool – Alliant Energy Center, Madison – 8 September 2001
A driving, pounding intensity – several thousand people held in their sway – just dancing and moving near the front, letting the music move me
6. The Tea Party – Brixton Academy, London – 6 February 2000
A night of such joy – the first night on the list – so so many people there for Queensryche that leave raving about Tea Party.
7. VAST – House of Blues, Chicago – November 2000
VAST is headlining a sold out show – up front in vinyl – the music is fun, the audience is better, a guitar pick from Jon and a bag of pretzels from Justin – they remember me next time.
8. Pigface – The Rave, Milwaukee – December 2001
What a great time – always unpredictable, always super cool – Seibold and Curse and Godhead – and oh fuck, they’re playing “Suck” and the entire venue is bouncing and screaming.
9. Arlo Guthrie – Milwaukee – April 1999
He plays “Amazing Grace” and Kevin and I just cry.
10. The Tea Party – Barrymore Theatre, Madison – 17 November 1997
The first introduction to The Tea Party and the bass is so heavy I have to go outside or get sick. Moved physically before emotionally – the beginning of great things.
So my conclusion is that there needs to be a better term for “female fan that follows a band around but doesn’t necessarily sleep with them” than “groupie.” I’m not a groupie, not even with some of my sketchier band-related adventures. I like “band aid” better – but there has to be something better still. I’m a fan. That’s all.