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[ profile] lakeeffectgirl's summary of this show was, "Saw The Sounds last night, and Maja showed everyone her underwear." This is a good summary. Another good way to get the sense of this show is to know that what convinced [ profile] lakeeffectgirl and I to go was [ profile] schuyler's insistence that "you can't be a proper lesbian if you haven't seen Maja's thighs in person."

Now, there are people other than Maja in the band. Four of them, to be precise, all Swedish boys, and if The Sounds were a band anyone cared about in a fannish way, there would be a lot of fic about them. Really, though, Maja is the star of the show. For this show, and for many other shows, going by a quick Google Image search, Maja looked like an immodest 40s chanteuse: hair pulled into a chignon with feathers at the top of it, high heels, and a sparkly, knee-length dress with armholes wide enough that we could see her bra and a slit all the way up the front. Because the cut of the dress wasn't good enough, she kept pulling her skirt up, just to make sure we got a good view of her legs and underwear. She also did high kicks. Her thighs, which are basically the fifth and sixth members of the band, are amazing, but I have to say I found her attractive the way I sometimes find men attractive: I understand it intellectually, but she's not really my type.

The audience for the show was interesting. I'm usually completely out of place at shows because I'm (a) too old and (b) not cool enough. This show had a more varied audience where I didn't feel quite so much like the odd one out. The audience was also at least half men. My companions said they'd never seen that many men at a Sounds show before. My favorite was the man with the shaved head in the second row from the stage who was at least a head taller than everyone around him and kept throwing up the horns. Our other favorite people were the person with the cardboard sign that said, "MARRY ME MAJA," and the person who brought Maja a Swedish flag, which she wore as a scarf and signed before returning. At one point, Maja took a sip of a drink offered to her from the audience. My only thought was: "That would be a good way to get DNA from a rock star who won't submit to a paternity test." It's possible that I've watched too many crime shows.

I don't know what else to say about this show. Maja was very high energy. They played the one Sounds song I know ("Something to Die For"). I had a moment where I had to stop moving and breathe very deeply because I thought I might pass out. At the time, I attributed it to the smoke effects, but since I came home and got sick, maybe that was just the beginning of that. We called the venue for set times so we could skip the openers and only saw part of Kids at the Bar's DJ set between acts. I know nothing about DJs and have no opinions on the set, but I liked the energy of one of the guys.
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We arrived in time to catch the second half or so of Colour Revolt's set. This was not a good decision. Colour Revolt is a lot of very loud noise. They really like their reverb at the end of songs. Lucky for me, this was the second show in a row where I remembered to bring earplugs. Unlucky for me, Colour Revolt still sounds like a bunch of noise even with earplugs.

Let me pause to describe the venue. After they check IDs and the will call list, they slap a wristband on you and send you up the stairs to the venue proper. It's about a third as wide as it is long, with the stage at one end and the bar at the other. There's another staircase to the U-shaped upstairs. There's a second bar, merch, and a railing around the inside of the U where you can lean and look down. There's a wooden sculpture above the stage that you can't see during the show because it's too dark. There's a spiral staircase that comes down from upstairs onto the stage.

When it was time for Empires, [ profile] siryn99 led the way into the crowd so we could get closer. We ended up about seven rows back, slightly to the right side of the venue where all the other short people were. It was an interesting height division. I could barely see Ryan, and I didn't know the bassist, so I wasn't paying much attention to him. They are Sirs Not Otherwise Appearing In This Entry. Tom looked better than I've ever seen him. His hair was still messy, but more like he slept on it than like an unkempt werewolf. Sean started the show in a leather jacket, but eventually stripped to his black Henley. The rest of our group was not thrilled with Sean's dance moves. The literal choreography is pretty ridiculous - and I couldn't see what his hips/legs were doing from my vantage point - but I thought he was better than he was when I saw him in May, and yet I wasn't quite was willing to follow him off into his cult. There is a possibility that both of these are opinions brought on by seeing him from a slightly larger distance. What I really liked were his interactions with the crowd. The stage has a block with monitors on it in front of it, and Sean kept stepping down onto it. He came all the way down into the crowd to start "Hello Lover," and then kept pointing up into the balcony. He came down again for "I Want Blood," and that time he came so far into the crowd that he stopped right in front of us.

I'm not sure if it was them or me, but it took two songs through - "Bang" and "Damn Things Over" - for me to get into the show. Then, though, I was hooked, at least partially because they played a lot of my favorite songs (this is out of order, but will give you the idea): "Hello Lover," "The Night Is Young" (which they started out soft), "Voodooized," "Spit the Dark," "Hell's Heroes" (which also had an amazing opening), "Hard Times," "Shame."

Tom looked happier and more into it than I've ever seen him. Sean sang a whole round of "Does anybody else know / does anybody else know / does anybody else know you like I do?" to him. On the other side of the stage, Sean went over to sing to Max a few times - including a block of "b-b-b-baby" - and every time, Max tossed his hair out of his face and just beamed at him. Where is the Sean/Max fic? Or even the Tom/Sean/Max fic?
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Foxy Shazam is a lot of people, and from what I could see from where I was standing, a lot of weird people. They have some not quite coordinated dance moves that made me see how they fit into a tour with Bad Rabbits. (I still don't understand why The Young Veins were on that tour.) They were entertaining, but I wouldn't see them again unless they were opening for someone I wanted to see.

The second act was Patrick Stump, and when I say "Patrick Stump," what I really mean is "Patrick Malfoy as styled by Flock of Seagulls." More about Patrick. )

And then there was Panic!. We moved down to the floor for them because I wouldn't have been able to see Spencer from the bar area we were in for Foxy and Patrick. We kept ending up in the dude sections of the place because [ profile] idahophoenix is tall and was trying not to be in people's way. But it was fine! We were right at the back of the floor, and for most of the set, I could see right between people to watch Spencer. More about Spencer. And those other dudes he plays music with. )
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A note to those of you who have arrived here via Google Alerts: I am the fan fiction writing variety of fangirl. The plot bunny section of this post is wholly imaginary and meant for fun, not as either reality or an insult.

Concert! Experience! Plot Bunnies! )
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In case you missed it, I spent a long weekend visiting friends in New York. This involved a movie premiere, a concert (the reason I went this particular weekend instead of some other), other fannish delights, and food. Plus a lot of just hanging about with some of my favorite people in the world.

Talihina Sky

Thursday night was adventure number one: Talihina Sky. In case you have never heard of it, it is a documentary about the Kings of Leon. We did not just see this movie; we attended the premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Premiere adventures. )

My Chemical Romance

On Friday night, we went to see MCR. You can read an actual review of the show here. My thoughts on the experience. )

Other Fannish Viewing

We watched a bunch of fannish things, as you do when spending a long weekend with fangirls.

Panic!, AAR, MCR, Community )


One of the promises about this trip was that we would go to BabyCakes, which is a vegan, gluten-free bakery, so on Saturday night we did just that. I bought a cupcake and an apple crumble thing (kind of like a coffee cake). The cake part of the cupcake was fine. The frosting was amazing. It tastes like a cream cheese frosting, but it's vegan. I had the apple crumble as part of my breakfast on Sunday morning, and then promptly started googling vegan, gluten-free apple cake recipes. I may have to buy one of their cookbooks. We also went to Risotteria, a gluten-free Italian place, where we each had a different kind of risotto. I may also have to learn how to make risotto now.

Concluding Note

Fangirl weekends are the best. You should have them if you don't already. ♥
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Having learned my lesson from the last concert review I posted, a note to those of you who have arrived here via Google Alerts: I am the fan fiction writing variety of fangirl. Anything in here about the possibility of people mentioned sleeping together is wholly imaginary and meant for fun, not as either reality or an insult. (If you're a Vizzy fan, being upset that I didn't like him is a perfectly valid life choice.)

Liveblog, etc. )
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Christian Kane is at the top of a new list: bands I would go to Sacramento to see again. The concert was fucking awesome, and the experience was tons of fun.

The Stoney Inn is a funky place: you come into the small front bar, which has karaoke, stairs to a tiny upstairs area, bathrooms, and the door to the back bar/performance space. In the back bar, there are tables and bar-height seating around the dance floor that's right in front of the stage. (If you paid for either level of expensive tickets, you got a reserved seat. The rest of us stood, which was fine with me and [ profile] norwich36 hung around the edges and sat when someone either didn't show up or vacated their reserved seat.)

The first opener was a girl named Pammie Lowe. Everything she was wearing sparkled. Her bassist and drummer were about as young as she was (I found an article saying she was 21 as of November 2010). Her two guitarists (she was also playing guitar) and the keyboardist were all old enough to be her dad, or possibly even her grandpa. (If you've seen Country Strong, Pammie Lowe reminded me a bit of the first time we see Chiles on stage, only with less stage presence and no stage fright.) There was a woman on the dance floor trying to get people to dance. I assume it was Pammie Lowe's aunt as mom was probably the woman right in front of the stage taking pictures. There were a few truly skilled couples who did some country swing dancing, and the people who seemed to be Stoney Inn regulars eventually started line dancing. After the first one, I joined in even though I didn't know what I was doing - the regulars were used to this and kept pointing us newbies in the right direction - which was tons of fun.

Picture )

The second opener was the Brodie Stewart Band. They did a couple of covers that were fun - including Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive," which only made us feel more like we were in a J2 AU - but that's really all there is to say about them. The most notable thing about their set is that there is a teeny tiny balcony area up above the stage, and Steve was up there watching for part of it. (I decided not to be ultra creepy and refrained from taking a picture of him up there.)

Between sets, there was line dancing, and I mean serious line dancing. The dance floor cleared enough space for a large group of people to line dance and then the DJ called each dance and counted everyone in. There were two women I couldn't stop watching.

Picture )

This is not the best picture of them, but you can get the idea. They spent a lot of time dancing together, which was interesting in that it wasn't quite the girls dancing together for the attention of men thing (although the two drunk guys with cowboy hats - Jared and Jensen in the AU - did come dance with them a bit later, which kind of ruined my enjoyment of them for those brief periods of time), but more that they were just having fun. Both [ profile] norwich36 and I hope they're actually lesbians and not just friends out having fun together. (In the AU, they're Danneel and Katy Cassidy. Alternately, I now kind of want to read or write a country novel where there's a lesbian couple and a gay couple and they go to shows together because it's less dangerous/more socially acceptable.)

Kane (at the very end, Chris said, "We're Kane," which was awesome since I thought they'd abandoned that as a band name and were doing everything under Christian Kane) finally came on around ten. They were so fucking awesome. I'm an Original Kaniac (as silly as the term is), so obviously I was going to think they were awesome, but they really were totally awesome. I worked my way up so I was in the thick of the crowd (maybe five or six people deep from the stage), and despite being short, I managed to see both Chris and Steve. People, I don't know how to tell you how much I loved this experience, so let me stick to highlights:

This got long. )

Pictures! Kane on stage and me with Steve. )

Out of order (but complete, I think) set list: The House Rules; Callin' All Country Women; American Made; Let's Take a Drive; Let Me Go (Chris said this is going to be the next single); Thinking of You; Whiskey In Mind; Seven Days; Middle American Saturday Night; Luckenbach, Texas; something of Jason's that I didn't catch the name of (maybe "Faith"? It was the one song none of us knew); Blaze; and Rattlesnake Smile as the encore.
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Very few bands come to Chico (Snoop Dogg does, which baffles me every time), but a lot of bands come to Sacramento. Sacramento is an hour and a half drive each way, and really, there is a short list of people I'd be willing to make the drive for: Christian Kane, Empires, MCR, Black Cards, Mark Rose, and maybe Panic! depending on where and who else they were playing with. This spring, I'm in luck! Christian Kane said on Facebook this weekend that Sacramento and Bay Area dates are coming soon. He said SoCal in April/May, so the Sacramento/Bay Area shows must be February or March. I'm totally going whenever it is he's in Sac. The Black Cards are also coming to Sacramento on Travie McCoy's tour. I bought my tickets through the pre-sale yesterday, so not only am I seeing them on April Fool's Day, but I'm seeing them at a venue called Ace of Spades. (MCR is in Oakland on March 31. If I were more dedicated/willing to spend more money, I'd go to that, stay overnight there, and head to Sac for the Black Cards on the first. I'm not that dedicated/willing to spend more money, though.)

All this blather is really to say: if you're going to or interested in going to either of those shows, I would be happy to drive/have dinner/hang out!
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I'd been seeing posters and TV ads for Ani DiFranco, and thinking that if I had the money, I would totally go. I saw her about seven years ago in Paradise with my parents, and it was amazing. When I sent out an email letting people know I'd changed my email address, my dad wrote back and said that he'd heard a beautiful song of hers on the radio and she was good last time we saw her, so if I wanted to go, he would buy me a ticket. So last night my dad and I drove up to Paradise to see her.

Last time I went to something at the Paradise Performing Arts Center, there were so many people there the parking lot was full and we had to park on the side of the access road behind the place. This time, the parking lot wasn't even half full, and the theater, when we got there, was barely a third full. People continued to filter in during the opener and intermission, so it was about three-quarters full by the time Ani took the stage. To get a sense of this, you might want to look at a picture of the theater.

I was on the young end of the scale for the audience. There was a fairly large contingent of people in their late twenties to mid thirties (I'm 29), and another large contingent of people in their sixties (my dad is 61). There were a couple of kids with their parents (one of said kids would've fit right in with the TAI audience), and a couple who was probably in their seventies or eighties.

The opener was Anais Mitchell, who I'd never heard of but is on Ani's record label. I thought of her look as somewhat Zooey Deschanel-like, but it might just be the haircut. She was wearing cowboy boots, what were probably skinny jeans but could've been denim leggings, a turquoise wrap skirt that was flat across the front but appeared to be pleated underneath, and a gray Obama t-shirt. Her music was good, but not quite good enough for me to go seeking her out now. As a performer, she was interesting to watch because she bounces her left knee in as she plays.

She did a couple of songs, and then told us that she was next going to play a couple of songs from the opera she wrote. It's a retelling of the Orpheus myth that takes place in a post-apocalyptic America in a depression, and it's called Hadestown. The first song from it was the best. In it, Persephone runs a speakeasy behind Hades' back, where she peddles such things as wind and sunlight.

There was an intermission, and then Ani came on. Her band is a guy on drums and another guy on upright bass. Three songs in, a guy from the audience came down the aisle and sat on the floor at the front of the theater. In less than a verse, fifty other people joined him. It was the weirdest pit I'd ever seen. They sat politely on the floor and danced with only their upper bodies. They were all the people my age, and if I'd been alone, I would've joined them.

I didn't know most of the songs in Ani's set. The only one I recognized was "Which Side Are You On?" which I only knew because I listened to the music on her MySpace yesterday afternoon.

Her last song was a good one for dancing, and the pit stood up to do so. A few more people from the audience joined them, and they stayed standing for the encore.

After Ani and her band exited stage left, her tech trailed across the stage from the other side carrying a guitar. She came back out and did "Fire Door," and then the rest of her band and a pair of previously unseen women joined her to do Gillian Welch's "Barroom Girls," which was a riot. I'm sure my dad particularly liked it because he saw Gillian in concert earlier this month.

Incomplete and out of order set list: Red Letter Year, Whose Side Are You On?, Do-Re-Mi, Promiscuity, November 4, Fire Door, Barroom Girls.
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I should very definitely have gone straight to bed after the show, but I was way too keyed up for that, so instead I stayed up to type my concert report while it was still fresh. Some people liveblog while they're at concerts. I don't have a cell phone so I couldn't quite do that. What I do have, however, are a pen and notecards which I took out mostly between but sometimes during acts.

The short version: it was totally worth the $17, and [ profile] stevie_roch is awesome for lending me her camera.

The Long Version + Pictures )
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Pre-Show )

The Show )

Post-Show )

We have now safely arrived at WisCon. M's not feeling well and skipping out on the slash panel to lie in bed, and I'm feeling settled in and more inclined to write, so I'm skipping it too. I'll have to read reports later.
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So since the universe answered me, I've been working on clearing out room in my life for writing time. Clearing space has been fairly easy. Writing not so much. Instead of writing, I'm not writing and feeling anxious about it (and damn Unclutterer for introducing me to Chain Factor). So here's an LJ entry full of miscellaneous things.

There's a special place in my heart for Canadian fiddlers.
All fiddlers tap their feet when they play, but Canadian fiddlers chair dance while they play. Some of them even get up out of their chairs and dance while playing.

Exhibit A: The Pilatzke brothers (also here and YouTube results here), who I saw with the Chieftains last year.

Exhibit B: Andre Brunet (YouTube search results here), who I saw with Celtic Fiddle Festival earlier this month.

Monday Night CBS
Britney Spears on How I Met Your Mother: Eh. Melanie Lynskey back on Two and a Half Men: Excellent. Also, The Big Bang Theory sounds like a good idea, but isn't. (I also have a HIMYM theory. Hmm...)

I do have a sugar limit.
I think I reached it today. Coworker O made Boston cream cupcakes, Coworker R brought in a chocolate-covered fudge egg, and I brought in my cousin's sugar cookies. I came home and had a very salty dinner. (I have not [yet] stooped to pouring salt in my hand and licking it.)
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Okay, so I could look it up and tell you how long it's been, but that's not as entertaining.

Part 1: Watching

The Classics
I watched The Godfather for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I had the same problem with it that I had with Star Wars and The Silence of the Lambs. All three of those movies are so embedded in our common culture that the original thing just isn't that interesting. Also, it's really dated. There's a sex scene, and I figured they'd fade to black before she got her top off. But no, they let her take of her top. And she has no nipples. I was too startled to even laugh.

I watched Singin' In the Rain for the first time on Saturday. It was pretty good, but the scene with Cyd Charisse in green made no sense. I don't know if I missed the set-up or if it really doesn't make sense.

The Other Kind of Classic
I wasn't paying attention to my queue and ended up with both discs of The Tick at once. I'd forgotten how funny it really is. I had to promptly watch the live-action version. I have to admit that in the long-term, I prefer the live-action version. It's much slashier overall, although you can't deny the Tick/Arthur-ness of "The Tick Vs. Arthur's Bank Account." Even Dot tries to help get them back together!

I also Netflixed some Murphy Brown. It's still hilarious.

At The Movies
I saw the last showing of Flicka. I loved it! I also cried through a lot of it, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't just because I was PMSing. There's a reason I take Kleenex to the movies with me.

The boys and I saw Stranger Than Fiction. I was the only one who'd wanted to see it since we saw trailers, Brad was convinced by the reviews somewhere he reads, and [ profile] fuseji was skeptical. We all loved it, so much so that I think I've regained some credibility with the boys. I'm amazed by how good an actor Will Ferrell is when he's not totally over the top.

I'm completely taken with The Class. Between the geeky couple in love, the gay guy and his partner who hate the woman married to the stereotypically gay guy, the guy in love with the woman married to the football player, and Jason Ritter and the tough girl, it's both hilarious and touching.

Name That Show
For some reason, I keep remembering a scene from a TV show, but I can't remember what show. I think it takes place in a bar. There are three guys and a woman. They're all friends, and the guys have made donations so the woman can be artificially inseminated. She comes to tell them the results. One cup had no swimmers. The guy has to admit he's had a vasectomy. One cup was empty. The guy (the young one, I think) says that, these days, he doesn't do anything without a condom. And then it's the third one who has viable sperm. I have no idea why I keep thinking about this, and I have no clue what show it was.

Part 2: Reading

A Real Book
I read Catherine Asaro's The Veiled Web last week. I bought it for $.01 plus shipping from Amazon marketplace; I figured that even if it was a scam and I never got the book, the most I would lose is $3.50.

Anyway, the book is not very good. The main character alternates between being completely stupid and knowing too much. She doesn't get it most of the time, but she can identify machine guns. It makes no sense. There's also an issue with the technology of the world. It was written in 1999 and takes place in 2010. Her projection into the future not only doesn't hold up (very few people in her future use the internet), but the technology is way over-explained. Anyone who's read even a little bit of AI sci fi will catch on way before she even gets halfway through any bit of explanation.

What was interesting enough to keep me reading was the relationship. It wasn't very good either, but interesting as part of Catherine Asaro's oeuvre. It's the same relationship pattern you see in a lot of her work.

Boarding School AUs
I recently read what there is so far of [ profile] bethynycfics' School!Verse, a Giles/Wesley boarding school AU. I love it!

An AU that must be: Spike/Angel boarding school AU. Please tell me if there is such a thing, and where I might find it.

Part 3: Listening To

Arabic Pop
Remember how I liked the Natacha Atlas song on Arabic Groove? Well, I went back to Tower and bought her Mish Maoul, and I really like it. I discovered as I was in my period of listening to it all the time and left the CD at home that you can listen to the whole album online. "Feen" (track 2) is my current favorite song.

Aubrey Debauchery
I went to see Aubrey on Friday night, at the Coco Caffe, which is itty-bitty. Aubrey's parents were there, sitting near me. Some other people came in, and her mom moved from the couch to sit half on her dad's lap. Aubrey, of course, sings a lot about sex. (In her newest song, she says, "I want to introduce you to my kitchen floor.") When I got home, the neighbors were having sex in their living room with the windows open.

Fiction Like Candy
There were two other bands playing with Aubrey. I stayed through Aubrey's set and two and a half songs into Fiction Like Candy's set. I was sick, and they weren't good enough to sit through. And I burned my tongue on my tea. I think I've burned my tongue every single time I've ever had tea. Anyway, Fiction Like Candy's lead singer sounds like somebody, and it's driving me crazy. If you have a moment to listen, let me know who she sounds like.

Monica Schroeder
At John Scalzi's behest, I started listening to Monica Schroeder at MySpace. I'm trying to decide if I want to buy her CD or if she's just a Sarah McLachlan clone.

The local Top 40 station switched to the Bob format. "We play anything." I thought it was dumb at first. But then I heard "Ice Ice Baby" three times in the first week. I've heard "The Right Stuff" a couple of times recently. They keep playing "Friends in Low Places." It's growing on me.

Part 4: Doing

My current favorite food is pita with hummus. I was not happy with my pita options at S&S, so I've been making my own pita. It's pretty good, and I'm sure it'll be even better now that I actually own a pastry brush and they shouldn't get over-oiled.

I've also attempted to make wheat bread, which isn't going so well. The first time, it didn't rise enough and it was too salty. The second time, it was better, but still not quite right. Now I have an 8-inch loaf pan instead of a 9-inch loaf pan, and I'm hoping that will help.

Shopping - Holiday
I know what I'm getting almost everyone on my list, and I'm ordering most of it online. I keep debating with myself. I could do it now, and get it over with. But I have an issue with doing my holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.

Shopping - Clothes
I'm looking for a dress for my cousin's New Year's Eve wedding reception now. I liked a couple of things at Weekend Wearhouse (warning: their website has a godawful fuchsia background), but the L was too small and the XL was too big. (I think the one I really liked is this one, in burgundy.) I have had no luck anywhere else. Luckily, I have to go to Sacramento for a meeting in two weeks, so I can go shopping there then.

In the process of dress shopping, I discovered that I've gone down yet another size. Like last time, my pants being too big didn't bother me until I noticed it. Now it's driving me crazy. I'm half-tempted to stop exercising and start eating junk food just so I don't have to buy a new wardrobe all over again.
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No One Is Born
Last Saturday, I went to a celebration of life/memorial service at One Mile at 1, and a wedding at Five Mile at 4. I kept joking about how it was a good thing we don't know anybody pregnant, because they'd be having the baby that day.

QVC Saves the Day
As tacky as it might seem, I wore the same outfit to both the memorial service and the wedding. There was only one person other than our family who attended both, and I don't know if he noticed us at the memorial.

I wanted to wear my fake pearl jewelry (the only matching set of jewelry I own; it's from Claire's, and I always get compliments on it). I wear jewelry fairly rarely, which means it had been a really long time since I'd worn this set. I can never remember how to work the clasp on the bracelet from the last time. Being the resourceful girl I am, I turned to Google. Once I discovered the clasp is a fish hook clasp, I googled for how to work that, and came across this very helpful page from QVC, which has video clips of how to work a few common but complicated clasps.

I Buy CDs I
I went to Sultan's last night to watch BDTT and BDCC dance. I had already planned to go over to see what I could find at Tower afterwards anyway, and I was totally inspired by their dancing to buy some belly dance music. I ended up with a DVD (Kissing Jessica Stein), a used CD I wanted anyway (Trisha Yearwood's Songbook), and three belly dance CDs (Arabic Groove, The Rough Guide to Bellydance, and Night in the Casbah) for $41.24. There were another two belly dance/Arabic music CDs I was contemplating that I may go back and buy. One of them is Natacha Atlas' new CD, which looked interesting, but I wasn't willing to invest in a whole CD of one artist I didn't know anything about. One of her songs is on Arabic Groove, and I really liked it. It makes sense, of course, because her song is categorized as "Egypt/UK" in the track listing. I tend to like British pop, and we hear a lot of Egyptian style music in class.

I Buy CDs II
Tonight, a friend and I went to Teaz Me to see Aubrey Debauchery and Jon Leroy play.

I started listening to Aubrey because of Franz, whose memorial it was that I attended last week. He was a regular at Peet's, which is where she works, and he finally got her to tell him when she was playing. He took his wife and K and C (C, Franz's wife, and my mom are all in the book group that doesn't read together) to the show, and they all came to breakfast the next morning where they told us how great it was. C said, "Ruth, you would have loved it." I was initially skeptical, because I wasn't sure if C knows me well enough to know what I'd like, but I tried listening to Aubrey's stuff on MySpace, and I loved it.

In person, she's this tiny little thing, and she's light when she speaks, but then she starts playing, and there's this incredible, deep music that comes out of her.

At her show tonight, I bought a copy of her CD, which I'm listening to as I type this entry. I highly recommend listening to her music, with the caveat that "love song for no one" is not safe for work.

The Movies
Last weekend, we went to see The Departed. Spoiler-ish )

Today, we went to see The Prestige. We had all hoped it would be better than The Illusionist, and I hoped it would make a better movie than book. Did it live up to our hopes? )
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Indigo Girls
My parents and I went to see the Indigo Girls a couple of weeks ago. Their opening band, Three5Human, has what we later found out is a great singer, but their sound mix was off so you couldn't hear her and their sound itself is pretty generic rock.

But after them was the Indigo Girls, and they were awesome. Just awesome. Their whole show is just the two of them with an ever-rotating selection of guitars against a colored background. And they were fantastic and the audience was totally into it.

The audience itself was interesting. We saw Ani DiFranco a couple of years ago, and the place was full of lesbians my age. The audience for Indigo Girls was full of middle-aged lesbians with an additional assortment of families and straight couples.

There was some moment of their performance that made me think of the scene in Arrow's Flight where Dirk and Talia sing "Sun and Shadow." So I went to Barnes & Noble to read that scene and any other good bits of the trilogy. They had Arrows of the Queen and Arrow's Fall, but not Arrow's Flight.

John Cleese
Last week we went to see John Cleese, who, like the Indigo Girls, came to Chico State. I expected him to be a lot better than he was. He was good, but not awesome. The best joke was at the beginning: "This is the first time we've played at a college named after a comedian. On Tuesday we'll be at Harpo and next week we'll be playing Karl." The audience didn't get it.

Guys and Dolls
Last night's cultural experience was the Chico Cabaret production of Guys and Dolls. The chorus was a little weak, but it was a ton of fun. Adelaide was especially good.

I also realized something during "I'll Know." Back in the day, we saw the Chico City Light Opera production twice, and I had a huge crush on the guy playing Sky Masterson. But last night, I realized that I'm really just in love with Sky Masterson. If he were real, I'd go to Havana for dinner with him any day.

History Sneaks Up On Us
One of the things we have to remember as writers is that people are always going to bring their own stuff to our stories. I know this, but I sometimes forget how that applies to things other than writing. I've had a couple of those kinds of experiences recently.

Experience 1 )

Experience 2 )

Something New
I went to see Something New last week. Spoilers )

Second Sight
I've been watching Second Sight. Spoilers )

Computer Maintenance
Today I disassembled and reassembled my computer. (If you got email from me dated July 19, 2001, it's because I didn't realize the clock had reset itself.) This was not just a random thing. I bought a new and prettier case, and a quieter power supply and CPU fan. I also bought a DVD burner, but it remains in the clutches of UPS. I had planned to go buy washers to cushion the hard drive (the hard drive vibrating against the case is one of the big sources of computer noise), but my new case actually came with them. My computer is now much, much quieter, and much more attractive. It also fits under my desk, which means I have more room on either side of the desk to get to my bookshelves and couch.

Complex Chore Chart Dilemma
Note to those of you trying to parse this section heading: it's the chore chart, not the dilemma that's complex.

In an attempt to get into a regular exercise schedule, I've created myself a chore chart. It has various yoga and belly dancing things as well as lifting weights, and I assigned points to everything. My goal is 93 points a week, which I could get by doing each thing on the chart three days a week. (In reality, I'm doing the yoga stuff way more often, doing nothing on days when I have yoga class--class doesn't count for the chart--and catching up on the weekend. I may need to adjust the point values next month.)

Here's my dilemma: Some of the things on the chart could be done while watching TV. On the one hand, that would help me actually do them more often. On the other hand, if I do them while watching TV, I'm not really focussing on my body, and I somewhat think that's part of what I should be doing.

My Target shopping trip was largely successful today--Bewitched on sale for $10, new shower curtain, two-pound weights, and vacuum cleaner--but the hot security guard wasn't there today. Every time I see her, I think, "If I were a different kind of person, I would totally hit on her."

Slightly Better This Year
I've made some Valentine's Day cards, which is better than last year, but I don't actually have the right size envelopes and I didn't make it to the post office today, so very few people will get valentines from me on or before Valentine's Day.


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Ruth Sadelle Alderson


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