Thursday, January 25, 2007

Let's talk about something interesting...


It's all about me right now. I got home from work last night and for once I did not feed the cats first thing. Instead I took out the can of food and set it on the counter while I took care of me. (As you can imagine, there was a great deal of howling.) First I put some chicken in the microwave to defrost because I was too out of it in the morning to think of putting it in the fridge. Heck! In the morning I could not even think about lunch, let alone dinner. I then poured myself a glass of wine. Then I fed the cats.

As I was typing this, the cats finished their meal and began a round of smackdown. I really must capture this on video one day. Of course, it's not nearly as much fun as it was a year ago when they liked to come flying at each other -- yes, it was really like flying -- from opposite sides of the room. They would actually meet midair. I miss those days. Now I have to content myself with television for evening entertainment.

I think this evening I will break down and do laundry. It's not that I don't have clean clothes; it's just that all my favorite things are dirty. Oh, the joys of owning over a month's worth of underwear. "What? It can't possibly be time to do laundry. I still have clean underwear." Of course, doing laundry requires energy (and time) that I haven't had lately. I really must do it because having my fave stuff clean always makes me feel better.

And I need to come up with things that help me to relax. Like maybe I should start working on my knitting projects some more. And after reading Neil's post, I think that maybe I should spend a nice afternoon at Home Depot. (My mom and I spent a lot of quality time there when I was growing up. In fact, my mom still drools over the power saws. We'd go there with nothing specific in mind and check out all the things we could do.) I could stroll down to the library, but then I'd have to pay off those fines I still owe. But that could work -- except for the fines -- because it's warmed up enough that I can justify a stop at the gelato place.

I have started listening to music again in the evenings. Headphones on so I don't have to hear the cats. Well, so I don't have to hear Boris. Natasha is huge on napping. Because I have been feeling the need to escape "middle America," I've been listening to a lot of old garage/house. Because that's the kind of chick I really am. And how can you be sad while listening to "Happiness" or "Pra Manha." I'll admit it that last night I did end up diving into the 80s as I usually do. And got a chance to reconnect to my love of Teena. And then somehow I slipped into Afrika Bambaataa, Marshall Crenshaw, Art of Noise, Bronski Beat (Isn't normal for a guy to sing Cole Porter in falsetto?), Kraftwerk, Oingo Boingo (How would I have survived senior year of high school and my mom pissing me off if I had not had "Who Do You Want to Be? And Danny Elfman still rocks in my opinion.), Shriekback, Suicidal Tendencies (I fell in love with "Institutionalized" the first time I saw "Repo Man."), Violent Femmes, The Talking Heads, Siouxsie, Ofra Haza (For fun, you should play Ofra back to back with Public Enemy. Oh, and the two best albums with which you may torture drunken souls requesting a ride home -- as I learned living in Virginia -- are Ofra's "50 Gates of Wisdom" and "The Best of Patsy Cline."), Peter Gabriel (In the 80s I thought that either he or Sting would be my future husband. On some days Bryan Ferry was thrown into the mix.), and then Ultravox. But of course no tour of the 80s would be complete without my theme song -- Ministry's "Everyday Is Halloween." From the 80s I somehow segued back into a Brazilian sound -- "Samba de Flora" by Airto Moreira, "Samba de Verao" by Marcos Valle, "Batuacada" by Towa Tei (from Deee-lite) along with Bebel Gilberto. How can you go wrong with Bebel? Also, maybe I should stop reading liner notes. Nah. I would have kept going but then I thought that I should get some sleep at some point. The good thing is that I managed to stay awake for the first time in weeks past 11 which meant that I was actually able to sleep through the night.

My friends in college mostly worked for the radio station and were art majors. They DJ'ed at underground clubs or they ran their own clubs. While briefly in law school, my friends worked bars or were musicians. Actually this group often overlapped. I went to frat parties because there was nothing else going on. Or perhaps because I needed a good laugh. This is why I pierced my nose last summer. Because that's what the person who still lives inside of me would do. I've also made a pledge with this person that as soon as I get tenure, we're going to get some ink. And it's going to be visible. Maybe I'll go even wilder and go even lighter on my hair. It's just hair and it will grow back. Or can be re-colored. Some days I hate having to conform and I think about doing something that won't require me to make compromises about my appearance. But then I like the stability of my paycheck.

One of my coworkers is trying to get a bunch of us to go out dancing tomorrow night. At first this sounded appealing but the more I thought about it, the worse the idea sounded. First of all, I have to attend a workshop on Saturday that starts at 9 a.m. Then there's the whole 80s theme. Now don't get me wrong. I loved the 80s. But I looked at the bands playlist. Reminded me of a frat party. As in the only Simple Minds on their list is "Don't You Forget About Me," a song that the band has said in interviews that they hated. I was more a "Sparkle in the Rain" and "New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)" kind of girl. I think I've done enough of the "frat party" kind of scene in the last few months. I think this is part of what has left this empty feeling in my soul. Because frat parties? They lack soul. And I don't mean the music because your average frat party these days usually includes some soul music. No, I mean the vibe of the folks around you. As my friend, La Nicoya, would say, the vibe is definitely lacking in flavor. And before you jump all over me, I do have friends who are pigment-challenged with plenty of flavor. Case in point is Kate. Damn. Why did I have a flash in my mind of folks who say, "You know I have friends who are black/latino/Asian." But I still believe it is different if you are speaking from a position other than that of the dominant group.

So that got me thinking on Wednesday night. Because I remember a time when my life was filled with people of all ethnicities, religious backgrounds, socioeconomic backgrounds. Our common bond? The groove. I discovered that one of my old favorite haunts, the End Up, is having a special night the Sunday before President's Day. Now that is definitely my kind of scene. So my thought is that I will save up my energy so that I can go there. And maybe in between I'll head into North Beach one weekend so that I can go to the Royale. Omigosh! I was just catching up on the latest happenings at the place and discovered that on Wednesday nights that they have live hip-hop and on Sunday nights, it's hip-hop open mike. I have always been partial to this place since the first time I went there back in '01. That was the first night I wore the infamous skirt in public and was told that I looked like "a Catholic schoolgirl gone bad." My friends had flaked on me so while I was smoking at the curb, the guys seated at the table near the window told me that I was welcome to join them. After getting seated, they explained to me that the table was the owner's table and that he would be coming in soon. Maybe I had a strange look on my face because they then added that he wouldn't mind. He didn't. I think I left the place sometime between 3 and 4 that night. Yes, they close at 2. One of my friends who had flaked that night marveled at my ability to always get to know the folks in charge. Yeah, it gets crowded on weekends but from what I remember the music was always on. Back in 01-02, when I hung there hardcore, it was the kind of place where you knew you were hear stuff like Mos Def and The Roots. And if you haven't figured it out yet, I love to dance. So yeah. I'm going to pencil in a night at the Royale because it is sure to cure some, if not all, that ails me. If not, I'll hit some places in the Mission. And maybe I'll end up going to the 80s night after all. Because the place is across from the bar that used to be my home away from home. The place in which I am usually worshipped properly.

And so maybe Queenie is pissed off with me over Monday's post. Paraphrasing what I said on yesterday, "No regrets." And maybe now she has a better picture of my San Francisco. Because I know that our views of the City probably differ radically. Tomorrow I'll explain why -- because I have a feeling that Queenie has no clue as to our differing viewpoints. So think as a lesson for all.

And to eleviate some of my stress, I am thinking about "coming clean" with the kids. Because I realize that in some ways, they have might been the victims of my fluctuating moods. Not that they have not behaved in a way deserving of a pissed off mood. I just think that they may be, at times, be taking more then they fully deserve. (Of course, if you saw my kids, you would probably say that I am too easy on them.) Like I said, probably not. This thought does not stop my feeling of guilt though. Part of the reason why I have thought of taking "mental health" days. I have managed to reach kids who last year did not show any respect. I'd hate to damage all of the progress that I have made with my current emotional state. And yes, I actually shed a few tears as I wrote these last words. The first tears I have shed in the last two weeks. The scary thing is I know there are so many more left inside of me. I've just been holding them in for so long that I'm not sure that I can get them out at this point without a complete meltdown. And I know that I can't let things get to that point. Because I may have made it back from that point before but I just don't think I have the strength to come back from there anymore. It was kind of like a one-shot deal. Maybe I needed to acknowledge that because suddenly the floodgates have opened.

So today I will say no to a request that was made of me because even though it was put in a way that it would be a benefit for me, right now it really isn't. Right now it's about taking care of someone else's needs, not mine. Right now more than ever I need to really look at these kind of requests. And maybe I'll change my mind about the whole 80s night thing tomorrow night.


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  2. Great Post!!! Its nice to read something from somebody who knows about GOOD music. My boys are trying to help bring some great music,some true hip hop to the bay area. They are having a DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad of Tribe Called Quest show Feb 3rd at the Mighty. Tickets are only 10.00 presale just go to Come out an support as we try to bring some true hip hop to the bay area. I looked forward to reading your blog and hopefully you come out and have a great enough time to write about it.