Entering into a poker game at 2 a.m. is a dicey proposition at best. When the game is at your local, and involves several die-hards, it's worse. And if you're playing midnight baseball with a black mariah rain-out, expect to be there until it's 7 in the morning and you no longer care how much money is in the pot. Except for hoping that if you don't win it, the person that serves you the most drinks will. Which she did.
Note to self: wait, never mind. That was fun.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Since I've spent the last several posts extolling the fabulousness of my family and friends, I'll spare the sap this time and just reaffirm that yea verily, while moving is a bitch, it's the logistics that really kill you. Once the movers came to take the majority of my things away in a container last Friday, I really felt a whole ton better. Saying goodbye is still sad, but I'm moving to London, which is really pretty fucking cool.
Anyway, in light of my recent baby steps back toward the land of stability, I'd like to share some random thoughts, Mimi Smartypants-style...
I've had a really good year, show-wise. There was Bowie in January, Gomez in February, Elvis in March, and now this. The last time I saw Frank and Kim do it up live was way back in 1989, at the tiny, Double-Door-esque Peabody's Down Under in scenic, exciting Cleveland, Ohio. I'd recently come back from a post-high-school, pre-college sabbatical in France, and at 17 I remember how limitless the world felt, and the enormity of their sound was so fitting for that time. This time, it's no less perfect. I spent the entire show with an enormous grin on my face, which during several songs was accompanied by tears streaming down. Reminded me of Homer: "smiling through tears". It was cathartic and totally rockin' and I am so glad I went. And speaking of Mimi, it was great to run into her and finally meet the elusive LT.
While I was stapled to the sofa yesterday, I saw a preview for the show Fashion Police (the latest from TBS' crackerjack reality TV factory), and while the voice over explained that the next installment would cover the worst red carpet fashion mistakes in (presumably recent) history, they showed a shot of Björk in her swan getup. Now, respect where it's due and all, I'm not that big a fan of hers. She's done a whole lot of interesting music, sure, and Dancer in the Dark was a fascinating piece, but overall I pretty much think she's a crackpot. Which is why I wish people would stop expecting her to appear anywhere looking normal. Clearly, most of Björk's life is a piece of performance art, so why should her red-carpet clothing choices be any different? The woman's not wearing Vera Wang, she's wearing Odette, for crying out loud. Take it for what it's worth. She's odd, she's pretty, and she's got enough cash on hand to get someone to make her a white feathered contraption. If anything, fan or not, I'm inclined to give her props for having the balls to take it out in public.
OK, so I lied.
For the past ten years or so, with the exception of one year when I was out of the country, Thanksgiving has been held in my dining room. We've always called it the Orphans' Thanksgiving, my mom and I (my mom started it years earlier) - if you're too far from home to get to your family, or you don't get along with your family, or you don't have anyone else to go see, come on over and get your food on, get your drink on, and have a good time, we say - but this year, my dining room is the only furniture left in my cookware and china-free former home. So we accepted an invitation, my mom and I, from friends of mine. And it was great. We all went around the table, talking about what we were thankful for. We all more or less said the same thing: our families, our extended families of friends, our good fortune and the strangeness of coincidence and good fortune that's shaped the finer things in our lives. And I really thought it would be hard having this holiday outside of the cocoon I'd grown accustomed to, but it wasn't. It was warm and welcoming and fun and delicious and utterly, completely lovely. And I'm thankful for that, too.
Gobble gobble yeah.
The packing is finished, with deepest thanks to Jin and Travis, without whom I would have been caught metaphorically somewhere between a chicken sans tete and a deer in headlights. If I haven't by now sorted out what I need for the next four weeks, I'll just have to make do; if I've chosen to bring too much with me, I'll have to sell it on the streets when it gets there. As Travis said, perhaps I'll make some new friends that way... "wanna buy a bookcase?" Men will come to pack and take my things in just a few hours, and in the days that follow, my friends will take what's left or help me put it in storage. It's beginning to set in, and with it, the panic is slowly (oh so slowly) morphing into excitement and anticipation: I'm moving to London!
The real setting-in moment tonight was when my cat moved to my mom's house. It's true that I'm not just leaving her - I feel the same ache for mom and my friends, whom I adore and whom I can't possibly thank enough for all the love, support and (most of all) tolerance, but to leave the kittenhead is the closest thing I can fathom to leaving a child. As a result of the fact that she's a tiny fuzzy creature with no opposable thumbs, she can't send email. Or perhaps she can. I did get an email earlier complaining that she was annoyed with her new home because she fell into the trash can whilst trying to get up on the counter. I'm hoping she'll keep sending me stuff on the sly. I'll miss her, and everyone else, more than I can say.
But hey, kitten? Try not to fall into the trash again, OK? It's just not dignified.
In other news, the Pixies show last night was absolutely amazing. More on this later, when I have the presence of mind to string two thoughts together. In the meantime, thanks to all who have been kind and tolerant and supportive and forgiving. I've been coming apart at the seams a little, I know. But I promise, it's all for a good cause.
Dang, this blog is getting sappy.
Yep, it's begun. The wake-me-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night irrational paranoia that I won't be ready for the movers when they get here, the completely insane worry that I won't pack enough appropriate clothing to get by during my first two weeks of work, the general creeping dread... I think this is what's commonly referred to as panic. It's not a state I spend a lot of time in, so I'm not quite sure how to cope. Making lists seems to stave it off a little. So does having other people around. And funny shit helps a lot.
Which brings me to my point. What the hell is sth doing in this picture, with the big red cowboy hat and the dreamy look and totally surrounded by children under the age of 10? Why, the Macarena, of course. Let the rhythm move you, babe. Let the music take control.
Carla was right. $2 bourbon is a recipe for disaster. I'm sure there are stories, but I don't remember them.
Also: T minus three weeks.
As the sorting-out of my life in transition continues, I'm afraid I've become something of a broken record. It has been pointed out to me that it is not only okay, but in fact more or less mandatory for me to be freaking out at least a little about this change, so I've resolved to allow myself to do so. I'm trying to strike the precarious balance between admitting that this is a huge deal (and exciting and daunting and fabulous and scary and wow all at the same time), and wallowing in the state I like to refer to as complete and utter train wreck. I'm listening to a lot of cheerful punk, and spending as much time as I can with my wonderful, fabulous friends, and sorting and packing (less of that than I should be doing, really) and looking at London real estate that I'll never be able to afford. As a result of all this, the only things I seem to be writing are saparific odes of thanks to my friends and family, and even schmoopier poetry of the same ilk. Which I am far too polite to subject you to.
I can promise a little amusing imagery in the next few days, provided I remember to pick up a certain photo off a friend's kitchen table and scan it in, and there's another girls' night tonight which may or may not produce some anecdotes fit for public consumption, but other than that I'm afraid there may well be a whole lotta nothin' going on here. The one bit of hard news that I can share is that my ticket is booked: I'll be leaving on November 30. I'll be back for Christmas and New Year's, but by then I'll be officially living in London. Whoa.
It's unbefuckinglievable. Then again, is it? It's appalling, that's for sure. I'm not the first to say it, and I won't be the last. I've been getting one-word emails from friends across the globe. "Satisfied?" they ask. No. As a matter of fact, I'm not. I'm depressed, and also thinking hey, great timing on my leaving the country. I may not be as eloquently bitter as some of my friends, or as amusingly dour as others - in fact, it's hard to pinpoint how I'm feeling about this. Disassociated, certainly. The plane ticket and the job in London make that easy. Disappointed, absolutely. But not really crashingly disappointed, for all that - I don't think I ever had quite the optimism going that a lot of my friends and acquaintances did. JT again made the point about red/blue being mirrored by rural/urban dispersion, and I suspect that it's a lot easier to be broadly optimistic when you live in an urban center, surrounded (more or less) by like-minded folk. But I met some young, educated urbanites this very summer who thought four more years sounded like a good idea. Maybe what I'm feeling is just plain old fashioned resignation. I did what I could - I made good points in political conversations; I thought I closed my arguments. I voted. I encouraged others to do the same. And still, the problem remains.
Or maybe it's the resignation born from bewilderment. You want to vote BC04? Because you think things are good and going to get better? Well, OK then. I suppose there's no arguing that logic, largely because there is no logic there.