Fine line you say? Depends on how big your foot is. The rush of the holidays are finally gone, even my poor Ficus has had all but the Christmas lights and one last glittery shoe ornament (I think these will remain on the tree, as a reminder of my love/lust for shoes) stripped from it, a definite herald of the passing time. Winter is the time of year that brings me to a mental standstill. I admire the frost laden ground and trees, enjoying the crunch of the ground under my feet, and never lift my mind to think anything deeper than how grateful I really am for living and experiencing life. I could be more ambitious, use my degree, work in a lab altering plant genes to better serve humanity, have a better apartment, live in a bigger city, know more glamorous people, and hang out in better bars. But I think it would be all the same, with more pretension. My unpretentious current company may say I live like a hippy, but I watch them relax almost instantly when they enter my humble home. It’s the magic combination of warm food on the stove,  beautiful plants in the windows, Christmas lights, a clean home, and a cozy sheepskin to sit on. Sure, it isn’t fancy, but my home puts people at ease. That, and I don’t have a couch still, which deters a lot of visitors at once. Thank goodness.

I had this vision of myself when I was about 16. Unlike most girls, I didn’t dream of marriage and a family, my ideal self lived alone with a fluffy grey cat in a highrise apartment in some metropolis. I can still see that image, burned for years into my mind. Shockingly, I find myself in a 2nd story apartment (top floor!!), living alone, with a fluffy grey dog. When this finally donned on me that I am actually living my dream from when I was 16, I had to laugh at how ridiculously easy  simple dreams can be fulfilled. So, I’m not settling. I’m just settling into my dream life… thank goodness it includes fabulous shoes!

happy holidays!

masquerade style bunny rabbit mask

handmade by yours truly!

As a fashionista, I always pride myself in showing up late, fashionably, of course. Dressed to the nines, featuring a BCBG wool dress with a  tail pinned to it, a handmade mask, bunny shoes, and my favorite thigh high leg warmers, I was a toasty addition to the party of everything from a stewardess, Lady GaGa, Snow White, and cross dressing men, showing exactly how terrible Uni boob really is, and some poor boy attached to a horse costume. Entering the party on the later side, I missed my usual carousing with the drunken boys I am familiar with, and found myself engulfed by family and friends that were neither my friends or my family. Needless to say, feeling out of place, considering I only knew a few of the people, and all of them not well, I was immediately glommed onto by what I would consider the most slimy of gentlemen, and I am using that term lightly. This particular gentleman struck me so much as a car sales person, I couldn’t help but wonder if that was his costume, considering he was wearing a just ill fitting suit and tie. Since I had no romantic inclinations, I tried to dodge him the rest of the evening, but everywhere I turned, bam. There he was in my grill. At the end of the evening for me, this poor gentleman makes the worst mistake ever: has one of his girlfriends approach me for my number. So unclassy it hurts. At this point, I am irritated, not in the slightest bit tipsy, and very grateful I live just two blocks away. I bid adieu to  my hosts, and wish her family and friends a safe Halloween, and headed for the door. Bam. Again. Now the bastard wants to try to guilt me out of my number by asking well, how am I supposed to see you again? I simply said chance. If it is meant to be, we will see each other again. But since I have control over the situation, it won’t be anytime soon or intentional. I felt rude, and flushed from saying something so heinous to someone else, but I felt the colder I was about it, the less likely he’ll keep up the efforts to win me over. Fortunately, it worked this time. The poor dear went off with his tail between his legs.

To make the hook up scene worse, the hostess’ husband kept on trying to tell me how much more wonderful my life would be with a man in my life. Being at the moment a devout singleton, I had to give the “oh, brother, how confused are you” look to the guy, and tried one last time to explain that if you are lonely because you have no one to “share your life with” typically means you live an unfulfilling life not worth sharing with anyone. Managing to fail to penetrate his alcohol laden skull, he tries to hook me up with two of his brothers, neither one catching my interest. After all this, I decide it is high time to leave.

So all in all, my Halloween was hi jacked by a not so great party highlighted by crappy costumes, girls complaining about how poorly their shoes fit (suckers, i tell them where to get good shoes, and they try to defend Nine West. Nine West has terrible shoes, really.), nasty looking desserts and snacks (kitty litter cake, with brownie poo. not the best to look at, and a culinary shamble), terribly behaved men, and some really awesome decorations. The hostess was fabulous too. Next year, it’s off to wherever the most people flock to… no more house parties with strangers with candy.

and couldn’t be happier. Sure there are probably hurt feelings, shapes that are bent out of, and a little piddle accident on the floor, but I am back to some of my old favorite companions, Me, Myself, and I. Ecstatic to be on my own, truly alone, has been feeling like a pipe dream. Not just because I can can pursue my own life as I see fit, I get to be with my wonderful self!

          When someone asks about my weekend, I admit freely I spent most of the time with my three best friends, me, myself, and I. A very familiar look I have seen on many people’s faces over the very same subject, almost asking aren’t you lonely? What can I say? I truly enjoy my own company. I prefer it to a crowd of four people, where I tend to clam up, because everyone’s life is so much more interesting than mine. At least more dramatic. Clinging to the low key, the easy going (unless I’ve misplaced my keys… again), and the lack of emotional attachment that people have for, well, everything, my life is fairly mundane. Don’t get me wrong, I would go ballistic on your ass for intentionally messing with my shoes, so I’m not that mellow. So when I get that typical “oh, poor girl with no company” face, I can’t help but wonder how they are getting on with themselves. Can they stand their own company? I have found it quite easy to find another person to fill that little void, that hollow feeling when you are lonely. Just about anyone can do it. You can settle. Go ahead.  But all those unanswered existential questions of what the hell am I doing here seem to fade into the distance…

              The busier you keep yourself, the more you surrond yourself with the outside noise, the more your thoughts are tuned into the  of everyday comings and goings of life, but not really life itself. Got to pick up the kids, the dry cleaning, make dinner, and best get those pansies into the soil… a constant list of have to’s, honey do’s, and I’m out of this’s, running through your mind. What happened to all those thoughts of grandeur, fleeting romances, day dreams, fantasies of a different lifestyle, the day trips into the woods to contemplate the inevitable of life, love, death, and taxes? Long time gone, and it’s been years since your last communion with the very people who should make the core of your fan base. Your journey to find that soul mate has been answered with another person, and you have fully dissolved away into a we, but your long lost friends are still laying in wait. That one chance they get, you’ve gotten lost on a detour from the main highway, the kids are taking themselves to soccer practice, your spouse is elsewhere, and all of a sudden they are back. Your thoughts casually turn away your perfect we, and all those Me’s, Myselve’s, and I’s have come back, and only you will know whether by this time they are friend or foe, or how sore they are you have forgotten them.

new shoes for fall... seychelles all the way!not the island chain, I am afraid. Another quick dip into the shallow end , these are the latest in Seychelle’s line for fall. Of course I had to get them. What is more classy than a sophisticated pair of black heels? Mustard yellow. Definitely unexpected, and neutral enough to go with any outfit, and still add a nice, oh, how lame is this vernacular, pop. Yes. I said it. For all of you who are really expecting serious writing out of me today (or ever?), I am so sorry for this blatant fascination with fashion. Or at least with the shoe department….which is odd, considering I couldn’t  manage to throw a decent outfit on until two years ago. For some strange reason, one day I got out of bed and decided it was about time I started dressing like a girl. It took me a while to navigate (and am still navigating) what I like, what actually looks good, and oh crap, I found the world of “fancy” shoes. So pardon my dips into the la la land of fashion, it’s not where I live, but I sure like to visit.

Lauryl and Hardy moving an upright quite like mine....

I have a piano that is destined to climb a flight of stairs. I don’t know how I am going to manage this, but I have a funny feeling it will involve baked goods. Not having extra money to hire professional movers, I do at least have the power of brownies, cookies, and good italian food. The magical powers of my cooking can move mountains, so why not a piano?

bellingham sunset

Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.     Confucius

subdued

Bellingham, Washington. It’s the self proclaimed City of Subdued Excitement. This poignant statement has been proven again and again as a newcomer to the Bellingham music scene. Mind you, I have been recently released from a prison of a relationship and now have a feverish desire to go out and grab the night by its horns. Grab I did, this past holiday Sunday night!

Normally, on a Sunday, you are more likely to catch me sitting at home and twiddling my thumbs bemoaning the inevitable nothing to do blues. I don’t care what you say, laundry and chores are NOT fascinating, and you can only stumble for so long until your ass fuses with whatever you are sitting on. So this time, I was excited that I got a message from Yogoman himself that they were playing a show for WHAAM, at their venue on Maple St, the Foundry. I had no idea what the venue was like, but I was at least armed with the knowledge that it was indoors. All else I knew was there were 3 other bands I have never heard of, and the show started at eight. At the last minute before I had to leave for work, I checked in what on earth WHAAM was. Oh crap. All ages events. This means no alcohol on the premises for sale, which also means no collegiate riff raff. At this point I am thinking it’s bad enough I go to shows populated with collegiate riff raff, there’s only one thing worse. Teenage riff raff. It’s for Yogoman, I tell myself. Just show up for Yogoman Burning Band, you will dance no matter who’s there, and it will be all good.

I pulled myself together after an almost dull day of work, deciding that since Yogoman Burning Band wasn’t playing until 10, I could easily take a nap, make a little dinner, and take my time getting to the show, not really caring whether I saw the other bands or not. I relished in my delicious nap (and it was delicious), had a wonderful dinner of sockeye and spinach, walked my 5lb dependent, and hit the streets. I went shopping, got involved with a pair of skinny jeans, and found myself running a hell of a lot earlier than I thought. It was not even nine o’clock by the time I had gotten back to my car and headed out to find out where the hell this Foundry was.

foundry!!

I pulled up to the general area, and figured, easy. Just follow the music, and look for teenage riff raff. I got out into a down pour, which instantly ruined any straightening attempts from earlier (yay for natural waves?) and curbed the milling around of teens. Now that my tactics were narrowed down to one option, I could still hear loud music. Nope. Not the garage punk sound I was listening for. Oh no, no, instead Boundary Bay’s noise over spilled from their own show going on (have no idea who was playing) took out my standard “follow the music” trend to find a good time. Time to use my address knowledge. “No way.” I say out loud to myself. Grateful as I always am for a great parking spot, I had actually parked really close to the venue on accident.  It can’t be in here… it’s so TINY! Once inside The Foundry, one could see it was about the same size, if not smaller than the tent for Boundary Bay’s beer garden. Maybe it was because the holding capacity couldn’t possibly exceed 200 people packed in like sardines, maybe it was because there were only 10 people in the room, most of them being band members of some sort, but I had a feeling this was going to be the smallest crowd I ever participated in.

After a few minutes, I spotted my drummer hero, Jordan Rain (aka Yogoman). I noticed a few members of the older than me crowd milling about telling dear Yogoman they would be back for his portion, but were going to get something to eat, or some excuse to skip out on the more punkier bands that showed up to play. I felt almost a sense of pity for these other bands playing (having missed Frozen Cloak due to my romance with my new pair of skinny jeans, I felt a little guilty). All these people showing up and ditching out until 10, I had to stay and support these previously unknown to me bands, for they came a long way to get here. These folks need a crowd, even if it was just 10 people. JEFF the Brotherhood had their instruments set up, and what caught my eye was the sad disheveled drum set. I started to giggle. I wasn’t sure what was funnier, the Jeffro Tull on the drum set, the enormous chip taken out of the high hat, or the fact the band comprised of two people. The two skinniest damn boys, wearing skinny jeans and faded old t-shirts from Nashville started playing the hell out of their instruments. Lack of crowd be damned, these kids were going to rock the shit out of this intimate venue. Not being able to resist dancing to the punk grooves these two were putting out, Jordan and I were groovin, and a couple across the band started to do their thing. The rest of the crowd (yes, at this point, a dozen other people) pretty much nodded their heads in rhythm , a very common sighting here in the City of Subdued Excitement. Never minding the crowd, or lack thereof, the brothers from Nashville still played a great show, and I still danced.

Jeff the brotherhood

Next up was a band from San Francisco, or rather one guy with a couple of band members, Ty Segall. By this time I had regretted not wearing stockings. My faryl’s haven’t been out dancing before, and no shoe is perfectly broken in until I take them out for a 3+ hour romp on the dance floor. Bearing with what I knew was going to be a blister on my heel, I took it in stride and went outside to hang out in the dryness of my car and put my feet up. After surfing through the radio stations, I landed on firm blues ground, and was startled by a guy dressed in a black leather coat, mid length jet black hair parted deeply on the side tapping on my passenger door. I rolled down the window slightly to see what he wanted. He half yelled at me, “Hey, are you Ecstasy Ellen?” After confirming that I was not who he was looking, for he went on his way. I don’t know about Ellen, but I am not sure I would want that particular man looking for me.

Ty Segall

Back at the venue, more people have arrived, but the crowd is still in the low twenties, never mind the average age was still somewhere around there thanks to the mix of older folks and a bunch of teenagers. Once again, a very perfectly cracked hi hat was featured on the drum set. A very hoarse Ty managed to pull off his Surf garage band sound without a hitch, and I personally felt his hoarseness did justice to his already gritty sound. Ty Segall and crew put on a great show, finishing the set with the members of JEFF the Brotherhood. Definitely worth the blister at this point, and my main attraction still had yet to play. I understood after watching both garage style bands play why their hi hats were cracked. They got kicked, bumped into, and generally abused to the point the poor hi hats just fell to the floor.

cracked hi hat ala Ty Segall

I am usually too busy getting my groove on to take pictures, and unfortunately this night, Yogoman Burning Band remains gleefully unpictured. At least by me. The set tonight featured mostly of new music, and even demonstrated what they called a beater. A beater is a drumstick that is half broken, and is primarily used against all invading cowbells. So, no pictures of YBB this time, and I will give them a minmal review, beacuse words do them little to no justice. They are a reggae influenced band, with a sense of fun, and a craving to see their fans dance. There is a reason they are the main attraction here in Bellingham, as they embody the excitement half of the subdued excitement of Bellingham.