Monthly Archives: April 2004

gettin’ hitched

Today the good people at U-haul installed a hitch on my car. The hitch will allow me to pull a U-haul trailer, dragging every object I own across the country to my new home. Something strikes me about this. I mean, it’s so permanent. They install the hitch and it’s there forever. I have a hard time committing to a magazine subscription and now I’ve got this hunk of metal for life or longer.
I was thinking today about why this move is such a big deal for me. People move all the time, right? They ditch one city and go to the next, burn through jobs, houses, schools, relationships, just keep moving. I’ve only moved once. It was from the house where I was born to the city where I was educated. That was nearly ten years ago. The education part, not the birth part.

Continue reading gettin’ hitched

How the West was Won

I watched the Space Needle glisten in the early sun as my plane slid through a cloudless blue sky. The whole time, Robyn Hitchcock’s song “Viva! Sea-Tac” played in my head. “Viva Seattle Tacoma! Viva viva Sea-Tac! They’ve got the best computers and coffee and smack!” I’m giggling like a moron.
The bus from the airport picks up at the baggage claim and drops you off in the middle of downtown. It costs $1.25 and takes fifteen minutes. The previous evening it cost me $35 to get from my apartment to the airport – roughly two miles.
A block from the bus stop is the Green Tortoise Hostel. I see the little door and climb the stairs. And unwavering beneath the weight of my borrowed backpack, greasy and aching from eleven hours of travel, a giant smile is plastered across my face. Damp hair stuck to my forehead, Dramamine crusties at the corners of my eyes, I’m grinning like a lunatic: they’re listening to John in the Morning in the lobby of the hostel. On the actual radio.
DJ John Richards, of KEXP, the independent Seattle radio station I’d been listening to religiously for years online. I fully worship John Richards on my knees. He is a legend, and tens of thousands of people all over the planet listen to him every day. We’re called the Morning Faithful.
I meet my first Seattle boy, who is characteristic of the rest of the Northwest boys I meet while here. He is behind the counter of the Hostel, smiling broadly at me as I struggle out from under my backpack. He looks healthy and strong in an “I play outside” way. He’s eating an apple and his eyes twinkle. I look to the side of the counter to see if the rest of the room is on a slant. Nope. He really is 6’3″. Just like his two coworkers, broad-shouldered and rosy-cheeked.
I point to the radio. “John in the Morning! In the morning!”
“Strangely enough, yes — in the morning.”
“It’s… I… I listen to him at night. In Boston. It’s night time. John in the Morning. At night.” I can’t see through the stars in my eyes.
“Are you here for business or pleasure?” He has very shiny white teeth. Eating an apple. Wearing a Supergrass t-shirt.
“Well, I’m moving here in June and I thought it would be a good idea to come check the place out first,” I tell him.
“Moving here? Excellent. What brings you to Seattle?”
I stood for a minute. Over the radio, I heard John in the Morning greet the Morning Faithful and toss on a Death Cab for Cutie song. They’re playing three shows next week.
I answered him, simply and honestly:
“The music.”
He smiled, white teeth, enjoying his Washington apple. “Well, you’ve come to the right place.”

Exit Music (for a site)

Happy anniversary to joyful thing. It’s been two years since the birth of this site and I think it’s progressed swimmingly. You guys have been wonderful. Well, sometimes you were mean, but mostly wonderful.

This is the last broadcast.

On this, my two year anniversary, I bid adieu. Dear readers, your narrator is retiring.

This site began as an exercise in showing up on the page. I’ve done that for two years. There’s few things I’ve done consistently for that long. Dishes, for example.

I feel that plugging up this area of my creative flow might allow me to dig deeper into other projects I’m working on, some that may actually make me some mula. I’m dragging out my Journalism Degree and dusting it off. In other words, I’m going to be a journalist. Scary, huh?

Plus, you’ve got to be sick of me by now.

Feel free to peruse the archives if you miss me. (Did you know “peruse” actually means “to read thoroughly”, or “to examine closely”?)

Also, check out my favorite diarylanders. They are all quality reads. Most of them significantly better than mine.

I have designed a blog that will be live in the beginning of June. It will largely be a way for my friends to keep track of me in my cross-country travels and as I carve out my new niche in Seattle. You may not find it very interesting unless you’re a voyeur — or my mother. But there might be juicy photographs from the road.

Please get the new Snow Patrol album. It’s transcendent.

As an old friend of mine used to say:

Rock safely.

the joyful thing

And You Think Freddy’s Scary

I officially have Brit-pop hair.
Speaking of Brit-pop hair, what was that Charlatans song? “Jesus Hairdo”. Yeah. And Beck sings “Devil’s Haircut”. Isn’t there an earthly medium?
Speaking of Charlatans, those slackers have a new album out May 17th.
Speaking of slackers, both Death Cab for Cutie shows are this week. (commence pants-pissing)
Speaking of Death, I had some sincerely disturbing dreams last night. Always, always animal dreams.
I must tell you that for the first time in roughly 15 years, I have reconciled the parakeet dream. Along with trains, it’s been a recurring nightmare most of my life and the parakeets appear at least once a week. I’m always killing them inadvertently by squishing them or tearing their heads off or drowning them. I always wake up in a panic, filled with guilt. There are less violent ways of doing away with them, such as starving them to death. In the starving version, my hands are missing and I can see the empty seed cup in the cage but it’s impossible to get it. I keep trying to put more seed in but I can’t hold the bag and it all spills on the floor. The birds die a long, painful death and I watch.
Not too long ago, I had the final parakeet dream. It was one of those dreams with a cast of characters and a plot, broken up into individual acts. Scene One: Maternally-Induced Guilt. Scene Two: Fear of Rejection. Scene Three: Shame of Sordid Past. And so on.
The Maternally-Induced Guilt scene was bloody. I accidentally left the front door open, and the neighbors wolfhound broke into our house and attacked my mom and my sister. My mother took out a rifle and beat the crap out of the dog with the end of it, shoving the door closed. (As a side note, when I was growing up, my mom actually kept a BB gun in the garage. She used it to shoot this Scottish Terrier in the ass because he tried to bite me whenever I was getting on the school bus.)
In the next scene, I was in my room and I knew my ex-boyfriend was coming over. He was one of the Eternal Boys — those I will always be drop-dead attracted to no matter how much time has passed — 6’3″, blond, Greekgod body, translucent blue eyes, total Abercrombie and Fitch model. Ugh. I broke him in before he realized he was good looking — I think he was 15. So over the past twelve years we’ve been in varying states of contact — he’ll show up at my apartment unannounced and we’ll stay in my bedroom for a week and then he’ll leave. So the dream was a total rejection of that relationship, because I was putting on red lace lingerie in preparation for his arrival and then when he showed up, I was all, “Fuck you, you inhumanly beautiful devil. I’m not that person anymore. Out of my house!”
In the dream, my sister had a baby. It was at this point that my sister’s baby started climbing up the stairs. We had hardwood floors, so the ascent could be unlucky. The kid could barely crawl but it was climbing up the railing of the staircase.
Enter Soleil, my bright yellow parakeet. She swooped down from the rafters and then back up. I couldn’t see her, I could only hear her flying back and forth, thumping into the walls, and I saw the ceiling fan on and the window thrown open to the wind. Panicked, I turned around to see a little girl with her arm outstretched.
Soleil flew down carefully and landed lightly on her hand. “It’s okay — I’ve got her,” she said quietly, smiling. She looked exactly like I did as a child. I was looking at myself.
My attention was turned back to the climbing baby, which promptly fell and cracked its skull open on the wooden stairs. I jumped to catch it, but I wasn’t fast enough, and instantly felt the guilt.
The little girl passed the parakeet onto my hand, smiled, and said, “That one didn’t have wings.”
* * *
In my dream last night I got in the back of a pick up truck with a dozen identical dogs — Springer Spaniels like my friends’ dog Sam. All the dogs had the same markings and the same dour expressions. We were headed somewhere awful, and they knew it.
The truck stopped at the edge of the woods and the back opened. The dogs filed out one by one and stopped, lowering their heads. I looked before us and there was a metal pipe a hundred feet long with dogs tied so close that their heads were resting against one another on the pipe. The Springer Spaniels accepted their fate and I looked down the row of dogs in dozens of matching groups. I still wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but then I saw the giant sliding double-blade at one end of the pipe. I realized that all these dogs’ heads were going to be violently chopped off. They knew it. And they accepted it. They were the dogs from the Humane Society that didn’t get adopted. And I couldn’t save them all.
Oh my god. It was so awful I can’t even put it into words. But I’ve become very absorbed in the world of animal welfare, and signing up for a volunteer position as writer/web designer at the Washington animal society. Though totally off base, this dream was a reality check; the animals that aren’t loved enough are euthanized. It’s one of those dreams that’s so vivid it’s going to sit in my stomach all day as though it actually happened.
But at least I have the parakeet dream under control. I honestly think that dream was some sort of marker for my mental health. Though if last night’s dream was a marker for my mental health…
I’m frightened that I’ve exposed too much of my warped mind. Forgive me. Please go save an animal ASAP.

Nobody’s Fool

I was going to compile some clever April Fool’s Day joke yesterday but I haven’t been extraordinarily creative and figured the old “I found out I’m pregnant and getting evicted” would inspire neither shock nor laughter. I was hoping my silence was the holiday leg-pulling. When you don’t say anything, people always assume the worst.

I staged a great joke at work where all the staff assistants were going to call in sick but then come in after the staff had sufficient time to freak out. But then I realized it wouldn’t be so funny if we strutted in giggling to find temps sitting at our desks and termination notices in our mailboxes. In the end, half of us were 40 minutes late anyway because the subway broke down. I should have stuck with the plastic wrap on the toilet stunt that worked efficiently in the third grade.

Since I haven’t been creative this week, I have nothing to discuss other than my lack of creativity.

Instead, I’ve become addicted to Smallville and eating bananas and almond butter with a spoon.