Sunday, January 29, 2006

i'm shiny, captain...a-ok.


I'm singin' again.

After a good many glasses of the most scrumptious sangria and attired in my finest naughty-schoolgirl getup (the Fluevogs and the My Filthy Pony really perfect the tone), I don't think I've laughed as loud or as long as I did Saturday night, celebrating Jeff's birthday party. The house was full to bursting once again - with dear friends and new friends and a couple of wonderful erstwhile strangers. People really got into it, dressing in the return-to-childhood theme with abandon (so rare for L.A.!) Imagine my elation when the first guest showed up dressed as Batman-with-a-towel-cape-and-Scooby-slippers.

We'd rented a big ol' moonbounce for the soiree, which went over swimmingly - so swimmingly, in fact, that the police stepped over and asked us in their most authoritative voices to please cease and desist with the deafening wall of elated sound. It was completely riotous and utterly out-of-hand, with several of us careening wildly around inside it at all times. I managed to get in at least three twenty-minute-or-so shifts on the thing - and, at one point, answered a major question I had regarding the contemporary application of the modern moonbounce.

Anyway, last night only went to confirm my hypothesis that I'm the luckiest girl there ever was - fuck Friday's uncanny black mood. I danced my ass off, sat down with the incomparable Libbie Schrader to Gizoogle her official bio and laugh ourselves sick (please chizzay it out, my niggaz, and l-to-the-isten to 'War On Science' and 'Come When I Call'. She is the SHIT, yo.) I found out that the lovely Elizabeth Stone is a budding trapeze artist! Oh - and we noshed on tarts crafted of feta cheese and caramelized onions, drank Sarah's fabulously frivolous framboise-ginger cocktails, and consumed all manner of chocolates in giddy quantity.

Today, I woke up hoarse and moonbounce-bruised and smiling from the mad caterwauling of the night before. It was great - today was a tremendously restorative, cuddly day full of connections and sundry treats. We and those charming parties who had stayed the night ambled over to a big, lingering breakfast at a Coral Cafe sidewalk table. The rest of the day was split between a big, warm bed, a shortish hike in the crisp winter air, and a well-taroed Chinese New Years' feast at Happy Family. Fresh bamboo shoots, how I love thee.

I love food. I love conversations. I love bouncing. I am a happy, happy girl.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Tonight, I was overwhelmed by an oppressive, unnatural sense of anger and sadness, unquelled by alcohol and good company.

I found myself digging frantically for the roots of the feeling, trying to pull it up - and finding nothing. I wanted to ask them for help - make me stop feeling like this, please. Take the cruelty out of my voice. Stay my tongue. Empty my quiver. Hold my hand. But I was already chest-deep in it. All my wants turned black; all my wishes rusted. All I could remember was all I can not have.

If god has made me in its image, we are ruled by a restless and unmerciful god.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hello, my darlings - I've been tough to pin down today, but this is just a quick note to say that I'm hooked on you.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Damn you, Dan!


It's not fair to show me these things.

And, as I look at these, I think, "Wow! Somebody understands!"

Heh.

conquistadores del 'net


Dan: I think the world would have been explored faster if maps had, "here there be mermaids" on em' instead.
Dan: of "here there be dragons"
self: or tygers
self: as it were.
self: here there be hott girlz
Dan: no button for that on google maps.
Dan: "google crashed today after the addition of their "chixxor tracker" app."
Dan: "Though they have been offline for three days straight the stock has quadrupled"

Hey, Bostonians!


Yeah - you!

You'd better go to this. I wish I could be there, too.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Finally saw Real Genius tonight. Yes, for the first time. Yes, I'm aware I am a statistical anomaly in this. Yes, I'm still smiling.

But what I really want to know is this - yo, Toes! Does it hurt to be that cool?

And there were chocolate truffle cakes and hungarian paprikash with perfectly carmelized onions and flurries of fine-grated parmesan, and a brand-new nubby blanket, and Rheanna burned me a copy of Mitch Hedberg's Strategic Grill Locations. I want to share. Do you want to be shared with? Then we can forever be retelling the one about the koala infestation. It'll be great.

would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?


Skewed logic - between the headache, the toothache, and the pneumonia-like symptoms, it took five aspirin, a cold pack, and a monstrous effort...to leave the house for a twelve-mile hike up and around Mount Lowe. All by myself.

At this point, I'd like to offer middle-finger-bearing thanks to my beautiful marines, who long ago engendered the kind of hardassiness in soft little me that would have called me a foppish little pussy for staying home today. Semper fi, and fucking ouch.

You guys will be happy to hear that the hike seems to have cleared me right up. Que miraculo, eh? Doesn't make a lot of sense. It must be the magic that's up there...again today, I didn't feel alone for one step.

At the very top of Mount Lowe, I looked down upon my lovely city, spread before me; I could see the wind come down and tickle the belly of the valley, and the same sun that turned the spindly yucca to the colour of my hair was spilling red over the ocean. And it happened again...a sense of home - of belonging - washed over me like a warm wave, evening my sands again as it pulled away. The word "home" is hard for a girl like me; it's deeply foreign in many ways, and more of a moment than a constant, but those moments are worth the wait.

los angeles, my love


los angeles, my love
Originally uploaded by annette_oneil.
Okay -

I find reading other peoples' long retellings of great rock shows pretty insufferable, so I'm going to toss this into the ether as a post that only I will ever drink in its entirety. However, I've got to get some of this down in my rapidly-more-exhaustive records, 'cause I haven't had magic live-music moments like this in a while.

There's a commonly held (and often true) belief that Los Angeles shows are full of pissy-looking shoegazers and pulseless hipsters, incapable of rocking out, even just a little bit, to support the good folks that are up there wailing away on their instruments on our behalf. Let it be written that such a preconception was shattered there, tonight, at the El Rey. Y'know that sought-after moment when the experience is so pure that everybody standing around you becomes a friend? Like, you're all turning to each other and smiling and laughing and casting wistful looks? Yep.

Colin stands on his tippie-toes to tune. He asked the audience to stand on tippie-toe, as well, and boom - as one, the entire crowd raises a uniform four inches until he goes back down. I never knew what hundreds of people raising to tippie-toe together would sound like; now, I know. It's lovely.

He played the worst song he's ever written, stopping occasionally to footnote it with self-deprecating commentary. It's called "Dracula's Daughter". It's so awful you kinda want to kiss him.

'Los Angeles, I'm Yours', since it's really just for us folks, had us all dancing together and singing loudly along...and, at the bridge, the crowd did a really hilarious job of singing out the instrument solo. It happened again with 'Red Right Ankle', but to extremely tender effect. The darkness, clasped in warm arms, the crowd softly humming the guitar part...I felt laid bare in the most poetic way, with the music sweetly sifting under my skin. The last verse nearly raised tears - it's always so nostalgic, but in the spirit of the moment it had a sharpness and vividness I've not felt.

this is the story of the boys who loved you
who love you now and loved you then
and some were sweet and some were cold and snubbed you
and some just layed around in bed
and some they crumbled you straight to your knees
did it cruel, did it tenderly
some they crawled their way into your heart
to rend your ventricles apart
this is the story of the boys who loved you
this is the story of your red right ankle


It melts, me, y'know? So terribly beautiful.

Oh - and we, we (the audience) named the sheep that sits on a table on the stage next to Cheryl the skull and Maya Angelou the clipper ship. He's now "Erick-With-A-K".

Friday, January 20, 2006

Y'know what's great? Comic book art that proves you're as base and perverted as you always thought you might be.

i love my job.


just shoot me!
Originally uploaded by annette_oneil.
no, really. it's three in the morning, i just got home from the bars, it's thursday, and i'm goling to do it again tomorrow. damn, it feels good to be a hamster!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Like riding a mechanical bull in the middle of a sea of tacks



...the ride is fun, but it's gonna end sometime.

So one of my last safety nets turned to dust in my hands today, and I feel very exposed. It's not going to be as easy as it was - and lord knows, it's never been that easy.

That, and I've been sick since New Years' - this cough isn't going away, and I certainly don't have the luxury of sleeping until my white blood cells catch up to me. And hey, white blood cells - where are you guys, anyway? Can you wake up my lymphatic system on your way over? I hardly even have the energy to read.

I'm bouyed through this roughish patch by the promise of great things around the bend - Joshua Tree rescheduled for early February (and this time with even more good folks coming along - some that I haven't seen in years, that I've quite missed), San Francisco for a nice, long weekend in February or March, Spain in the summer (mmm, Menorca), and - a long way off, yet, but still pulling me forward - Cambodia in the late year.

I've been thinking about what's happened to me this past year - why there's so much in me that's new; why I now feel in all honesty what I had to fake before. Why I'm braver; more willing to take myself at face value and go after what enriches me, unafraid. And then, the other night, I was reminded that I have an anniversary coming up. And it all started to make sense.

Y'know what? You made me better. I owe you (and the near-ludicrous mismanagement of America West) a lot for that.

Okay, I give up. With my darling lizardboy three sheets to the wind on NyQuil in the other room and a heaping helping of pre-shoot-day jitters, I'm going to have to find some way to relax. And fast - my call time is 6:30am.

In other news - hey, wasn't I talking to somebody about this fairly recently?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I believe in everything


Isn't it funny that you can say yes to one *tiny* thing and your world expands in an exponential flash, growing unexpectedly massive like that globular creature at the end of Akira? Or snap off in another direction like a spooked horse, leaving you white-knuckled and staring on the saddle?

Every day, little miracles are waiting. All over the place.

fingers


your shadow chased the sun
from east to west today
falling lightly on my face
from time to time

i see the years have
fallen on you
like dust and
i am compelled to trace my name in it,
none too softly

Sunday, January 15, 2006

You fell asleep on my shoulder at the party last night. You, in your Donna Karan suit, threads smooth and gleaming under my sweeping fingers.

Us, together, nuzzled deep into the corner of a red brocade couch of aircraft-carrier proportions, the muffled clinking and carryings-on of a party in full swing curling around us.

Moonlight on beaded curtains. Brindle cat pressed against my neck, midway between breath and purr.

Your hair, ink-dark, mussed against my cheek, still smelling subtly of fire-pit smoke...and it stokes the happiness in me, as when your hair smells smoky it means we've had a good day. Beach bonfires and forest cookouts and cabin hearths and playing with matches on the porch.

I watch your face - a perfect Portugese cheekbone turned towards the low light coming off the foyer, the skin of your chest peeking out from your black silk collar. I've watched this face for so long - years, I've spent, memorizing its tiniest creases. And yet it's new, here, moving with your sleeping breath.

I remember recalling that awful dream, still an open scar just under my conscious thought - that you need your medicine, and I can't get it, and you're gone when I return. That I pulled you closer when I thought of it, and almost woke you.

You're a gift. I've never forgotten that; never will.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

baby's first non-ear piercing

and now i set about soaking my little nose in saltwater twice a day for a fortnight or so. small price to pay for such a nasal upgrade.

Friday, January 13, 2006

"Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told, 'I'm with you, kid. Let's go.'" - Maya Angelou



I get my first piercing tomorrow.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Because nothing says "lovin'" like zombies


Me: "God, look at me! I look like the living dead!"

*beat*

Them: "I want to shag the living dead."

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

the one i love
and the one i hate
live in adjoining houses

whenever i go
to visit one

i always see the other

watching us from a window

An Open Letter To Figleaves.com


My darling:

It's been weeks, now, that we've been locked in this delicious dance: you send me postcards...I come to visit you...I leave, spent, only to jump up at the mail truck and wait eagerly for the fruits of our congress.

I know you only want the best for me - that I always be utterly strippable in the best possible way, clad in the finest underfinery one can find - but my sweet, please understand: I don't have time for this relationship right now. We have to slow down.

I can hardly take it anymore. I'm gonna miss you, baby.

Until my next big paycheck, that is.

XOXOX,
Annette

Monday, January 09, 2006

The roosteriest rooster there ever was


I was off my game on Saturday, but I attributed that fact to the rigors of an uber-procrastinated housecleaning. Whoops - yep. Really was sick, and here I sit on a Monday with my head in a vise, up to my eyeballs in yogi tea and kleenex.

It was interesting meeting Buckner after the show on Saturday - I only wish it hadn't been at, y'know, two in the morning. Or close. Poor Austin and Eric, held prisoner as I tested the very limits of my live-music endurance. I've got to make it up to you guys.

I was chatting with an old friend yesterday, and they were laughing that I'm very nearly the eponym of the Chinese rooster sign. Heh. Ca-caw.

So now I return to finish watching Ewan and Charley slurp carbonated camel yoghurt on The Long Way Round, finally get around to finishing a couple of good books, and curse the gods for bringing this scourge upon me, like, today, when I had some very important things to do that can't be done with a band of raw pain wrapped around one's temples.

Urgh. Argh.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

if you weren't already


Before I started writing here, I would keep lots of private writings - on napkins, ATM receipts, coasters, freebie notepad tearings. When the valve started to whistle, there I'd go. And those snippets would be mine and no one else's...a silent, crinkled, unshared testament to the moments I couldn't help but give form to.

Now, the bits don't crinkle. You can watch them in realtime as they crawl from my head to my chest and out my fingers.

But I've discovered something else - that I can't share everything. There's a post that's been burning a hole in my pocket for days, but it has to stay here in draft, unread. Just mine, like the manila folder of scratchings in the file drawer. And there's a part of me that's real lonely about that.

Well, that's odd.


In the car, futzing with the cords, trying to get some Maximo Park going.

And I hit the radio button. And, suddenly, it's Lionel Richie. And it touches me. Like, sink-my-fingernails-into-the-steering-wheel-and-bite-a-lip-and-kinda-sorta-sadly-smile touches me.

This happened a couple of months ago with Gordon Lightfoot, to the point of singing along quite seriously.

And I thought I was a hipster. My street cred just tanked. Somebody get a These Arms Are Snakes I.V. up here in this mo-fo.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

rotari


I was watching a girl in a coffee shop, hard at work on a leatherbound journal, and when she peeked up at me I remembered how much I love this painting.

Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness


Today, I've been making up for lost (okay, freely given) time. Filling up. Sorting through. Trying to make a dollar out of ninety-nine cents. Music has been sharp on my ears - every lyric a prick to the skin, even as I pound the buttons to keep the sting coming; keep it edged. You're so far under my skin, all my connective tissue must smell like you at this point.

And still it comes - the waiting eagerly for Rhee's return, the barrage of well-wishes and post-holiday salutations and promises of delicious moments on the horizon - of axemen and deserts and ceiling paint. Of cabbages, and kings. The return of a self that obeys gravity, and not just to fall. Inspirations to action. Compulsions to engage.

My to-do list reads like the E.U. constitution, and I've got to sort out this new Treo to make it work. Wish me luck...I'm going to try to use this upcoming.org module to make sure I see more of all of you, so don't be shy about chasing me down.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

OK, so here's my project - anybody want to help?


I want to write an indieish singer/songwritery cover of 'Weak' by SWV. Who's in?

Can't explain, but your love - it makes me weak.

Barbies still really dig M.C. Hammer.


ethnic_doll_party
Originally uploaded by geo_3891.
They've been throwing him a party since the mid-nineties, documented here.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Training For Bathtime


netty_at_BCM1
Originally uploaded by geo_3891.

'Nette Blows The Big One


netty_hoola_hoop_bubble_BCM
Originally uploaded by geo_3891.
My choice of jewelry here rocks. If it weren't for all the children, I could spend all day in a childrens' museum.

this won't be a sad song/there's gonna be claps and singing along


For two weeks, the world's been grey and filmy. I had been itching for the persistent greenness of my coast, but San Francisco's bearing the same silver shroud as Boston (sans, notably, the satisfying crispness of snow.)

The flight to Burbank is leaving irritatingly late, but not long enough to call some folks and go stomping around in the soggy foggy city. I hate the enforced meditation of the terminal.

This Treo unceremoniously dumped all my data on the first morning of my stay in Tennessee, including the MP3-player component I've become so dependent on. The result: a funny sort of unwitting experiment, as the popping of my little bubble of music forced me to pay an almost painful level of attention to the outside world, and to the patterings in my own head that I prefer to tuck up to the chin in string instruments. I've really learned something from the experience, as what's left when the earbuds are gone is to be actually, visibly alone - vulnerable, frankly - and the necessity to make connections I otherwise would not have made. In a few hours wandering Harvard and its inherent choclatey wiles, I had a string of smile-bringing happenstances. There was a sincere (and very flattering) compliment from an old-souly little boy, a conversation over lunch with a charmingly overserious comp lit major, and a the classic "L.A. - Awesome City or Fetid Cesspool?" runaround with an expat. I think I'll start losing the 'phones on purpose occasionally.

Met some great people in Boston, courtesy of Chris (who, technically, I was meeting for the first time as well. Longer story.) I had been aching for the incomparable sweetness of schedulelessness, excellent company and the pleasure of not spending any time whatsoever as a practicing biped. I'm unbelievably refreshed, and hoping it won't be long before I can return the favour.

Note for the record: when the shabu-shabu waiter tells you you haven't ordered enough food, for the love of God do not believe him.