Cowboy Movie

When I was little, there was a day when my second grade class took a trip to a place called Deerfield in Pennsylvania, on the edge of Allegheny National Forest. It rained that day, and so the very wet group of us settled down in a big round room with all sorts of taxidermied birds hanging from the ceiling and watched it pour. It’s the earliest point in my life that I remember feeling overwhelmed by all of the beauty that could be packed into one single moment in time. Some time after that field trip, my dad was listening to a David Crosby album – If I Could Only Remember My Name, and I told my parents that the song Laughing reminded me of that day.

There were a few albums that he used to listen to when I was a kid that really stuck with me – Pink Floyd’s Animals, Paul Simon’s Rhythm Of The Saints, Bonnie Raitt’s Nick Of Time, Steely Dan’s Gaucho. Crosby topped that list because, even when I was very young, I noticed that every song felt like something I had seen or heard or felt.

The song Cowboy Movie always reminds me of spring. When the snow finally melts on Pierce Hill, there’s a tiny stream of water that runs alongside the road, all the way down the hill. One year I  found an itty bitty waterfall and so I made a little sign for it and I used to bring my notebook down the road and sit by it and write. Cowboy Movie reminds me of that.

Imagine my excitement when David Crosby announced 5 shows in late February at The Troubadour, my favorite place to see a concert, to promote his new album Croz which is FANTASTIC by the way. Imagine my disappointment and worry when all 5 shows were rescheduled because he had to have a heart procedure.

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Imagine my excitement when I finally got to go. The show was on April 13th. I texted my mom while I was waiting outside to tell her that the line was full of old guys smoking weed on the street. Imagine my slight disappointment when he didn’t play a single thing from If I Could Only Remember My Name on the first night. I bought another ticket for the Tuesday night show on a whim and went alone. The Troubadour is a tiny venue, so there’s no escape from having a great spot, but I sat 10 feet away from the stage and just zoned out.

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Imagine my excitement that night, when, after a beautiful first set of the new album with an AMAZING group of musicians and a great second set full of older stuff, they played Cowboy Movie as the encore. I cried a little, lol. My reaction to that song was noticed and gave birth to a crazy series of events that landed me back at the Troubadour for the final show on Friday night, sitting on the stage while they set up, and then sitting on a couch upstairs at the afterparty with Crosby’s crazy white Santa Claus hair brushing up against me as he mingled. It also gave birth to an arguably even crazier series of events that led to me sitting on the beach last night with someone I’ve known for less than a week, feeling so comfortable that it was like I was having a conversation with myself. There is so much beauty in my life because of one song. Everything is blooming; everything is aligned.

(sorry for the shitty photos, I’ve only been workin’ with an iphone for the past week! You can’t take a camera everywhere.)

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My one and only spiritual belief is that the best way to go through life is to just kinda float along, only doing what feels right, and letting the universe balance things naturally. I float a lot. I am a fucking walking article on how to be in the right place at the right time.

Free Information

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A couple weeks ago Morales and I saw The Grand Budapest Hotel. Eeeeeeeeeeee. I say this every time I see anything from Wes Anderson, but it’s just SO MAGICAL. Everything he does is candy to my eyes. I want to only be around people that understand how important color is. I want to only be around people that can bring that sort of color into my life. I’m gonna put screenshots all through this post, just because his use of color makes me feel so affected. Totally unrelated imagery is completely acceptable when I’m making my own rules!

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I asked for this. I took a nicely wrapped package full of thoughts about what I wanted most out of life and sent it up into the atmosphere and the universe took it and said, “Well let’s see what we can do for you.” If my personal alternative were to become true – if I suddenly became the type of person that was always surrounded by romantic happy endings but struggled to find career fulfillment or talent in anything, I know I’d be completely miserable. I never wanted to get married and have kids (I still don’t). I wanted to do something creative every day and I wanted to travel. So that’s what I’m doin. I should be thanking life for being so good to me. And I am. I think I just had a brief rough patch, that’s all.

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A few months ago I found myself surrounded by a whole lot of feelings for someone. It happened very quickly and to a surprising extent considering the small amount of time that it was A Real Thing. There was more chemistry there than I had felt in years – possibly ever. It felt easy; it felt like home. Letting go of that crushed me. I’m always pretty bad with goodbyes of any sort, but I think I handled this one especially poorly. Instead of falling back on friends or my family, I retreated because I felt like everyone was sick of listening to me or that no one would take me seriously if I showed how upset it actually made me. I talked to very few people, and when I did talk to my friends, I purposely talked about other things (Except for Rhiannon, who basically listened to a CD of my feelings on repeat for 400 hours straight SORRY! And also thankyouthankyouthankyou!) which made me feel about 500% worse, which seems like an obvious conclusion, but you know, I ALWAYS need to learn the hard way, sooo…

I feel free from it now, and it’s great to have the breathing room. But if you asked me to trade the breathing room for one more day, my answer would be hell yeah. Still waiting/hoping for that part to go away.

What’s really worth mentioning here is the fact that it made me want to be so good. I wanted to be good to him. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that before? I know it’s terrible, but I am 27 years old, with a couple serious relationships under my belt, and I have never thought that for anyone else. Think of that what you will. I’ve only been concerned with how a person could make me feel, and this made me think, “well I’ve got what I need, I’m good, what about you?“ It has nothing to do with depth or length of feelings, either. I think I would’ve felt it even if nothing had ever happened. I noticed it very early on. It’s just human chemistry. People so rarely feel that right that when they do, I go way overboard trying to keep them in my pocket so they don’t leave. People always leave. I always leave too.

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I suppose my point is that I’ve spent the majority of 2014 regrouping and only allowing myself to do things that I know will make me happy. I think I went through half a Moleskine in 3 weeks because sketching and drawing felt so good. I just paid a fuckton of money for taxes and won’t be able to afford a damn thing for the rest of the year, but I’m going to London anyway because I know it needs to happen. I’m finally making myself a portfolio for all the things I’ve drawn and designed over the past year and will start selling prints/possibly originals when that’s finished. I’m watching the TV shows and listening to the music that make me laugh and feel good. I walked to the park last weekend and spent Saturday in the grass, reading Lolita, and it felt so good that I think I’ll do it again this weekend. I cut back quite a bit on the frequency of my drunken nights, not just because I can’t afford it but because the hangovers the next day are never worth it. And it’s sad to say, but some people just have to go. In real life. Also online. Every day I find myself following fewer of the people I know in real life. I look to social media, especially Instagram, for visual inspiration, so clearing out the clutter of people who don’t use it in the same way makes me feel really good. It’s such a small thing, but it makes such a huge impact on my day, ya know? NNNOISE.

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Images: The Grand Budapest Hotel (here), The Darjeeling Limited (here and here), The Royal Tenenbaums (here), Moonrise Kingdom (here and here).

 

 

Hey Hey Ho Ho Portland’s Got A Pregnant Glow

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Everyone in Portland looks like they’re on drugs. Everyone in Portland listens to Neil Young in restaurants and says Thank You when they exit the bus.

Before I flew out I made the supremely fucking stupid mistake of getting my hopes up, which resulted in…a very innocent nothing, which of course ended up feeling like a very severe everything, because that’s what happens when you hope as hard as I did/do. Honestly will I ever learn? I am 27 years old and I haven’t learned a damn thing. I will not learn. I am cement. I don’t make progress, I just develop cracks. And so I felt especially thankful for a 3-day escape to a shiny (and rainy) new place.

The strange thing about Portland is that before I went I felt like it was somewhere I could just move to and be happy forever, and now that I’ve been there I don’t feel that way at all. It was fun and really refreshing, though. What a perfect little bundle of poorly labeled streets and lush greenery and  regular drizzle. For some reason I was expecting it to remind me of London, and it did not. It reminded me of a cleaner, more artistically and culturally relevant Buffalo with better public transportation. And no Polar Vortex.

By the time Morales and I landed at PDX at 11am we were starving, so we dropped our bags off at our airbnb apartment and went on our merry way. Our merry way ended up being Bridges Cafe and Catering, which is where I had this Bloody Mary that is, so far, my favorite that I’ve tried.

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After we left Bridges we went to Powell’s and got lost in 25,000 floors of every book ever written. I put at least 5 books back while I was searching, and walked up to the counter with $70 of books in my hand, still debating on what I could give up. I only spent $38, and so we rewarded ourselves with Voodoo Doughnuts, because doughnuts should be a reward for every kind of success in my opinion.

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(DOGE)

Sunday morning we woke up ready to eat, drink, and explore, so we put ourselves on the list for brunch at Tasty N Sons and the 45 minute wait allowed us some time to walk down Williams St until we found Eat, a New Orleans-style oyster bar that had live jazz. We decided we were brave enough to try the chili-infused bourbon oyster shooters, which were so spicy that I cried. The build-your-own Bloody Mary bar was great, but a bit too Worcestershire-y for my taste. The bartenders were beautiful, friendly men that ended up singing songs from School House Rock with us. Conjunction junction, what’s youuur fuuunction :)

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Brunch at Tasty N Sons ended up being one of the best meals I’ve ever had, if only for my 3rd Bloody Mary – the Belladonna, that just tasted like blended green peppers and THE BEST DESSERT EVER. I ordered Vanilla Panna Cotta with Rhubarb Caramel and it was life changing. Morales ordered a fucking waffle sundae. On top of the omelette and the pan full of potatoes and eggs. On top of the drinks/oysters we had while we were waiting for our reservation. I don’t think I’ve ever been so full in my life.

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We explored the Kennedy School for a while after that, and ate & drank some more, cause why not? And then we ate Italian food, cause why not again? By the time we should have been ready to go out that night, we were basically hungover (lol) so we just gave in and went to bed at 10pm and I enjoyed my book of Kurt Cobain’s notebook pages that I bought at Powell’s.

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Our last day gave us a little break from the rain, so we went back downtown and got coffee at Stumptown and then spent a solid amount of time in Jackpot Records, which, for its tiny size, had a faaantastic selection. I found Santana’s Borboletta album in perfect condition for 4 bucks. We tried going to the Tardis Room (We are both Doctor Who fans), and made the long-ish trip to a somewhat isolated part of town, only to find it closed. Not a total loss, because on our way back to the yellow line we stumbled upon a ZINE SHOP (how the fuck does a zine shop stay in business! I can’t even fathom their sales vs the cost of having a shop) and I walked out of there with 6 zines for $10; one of which was a 50 cent, 4 page booklet called “Freaky Lisa Frank” that just has drawings of bunnies next to meat cleavers. I love Portland.

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Necessary trip. Last year we did Vegas for Cindy’s birthday, this year Portland…next year NEW ORLEANS? EUROPE? ROSWELL NM? …Kansas?

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My own birthday trip this year will be back to London, as the Young Vic finally announced dates for A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson playing Blanche. When I got back from the UK last year I bought a theatre membership and paid for my ticket in advance, so all I had to do was pick a date and smile when they told me I had a front row seat. I’m adding Paris to the itinerary this time and I caaaan’t wait. Plenty of time to save and plan! Happy Birthday to me, indeed :)

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