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The WASTRAVAGANZA

11 Aug

Here’s my vlog from the first two parts of WASTRAVAGANZA so I don’t have to explain anything. So if you feel like experiencing these things in order, watch the video below first before reading the rest of this.

Otherwise, I don’t give a shit if you read before you watch or watch before you read.

So now that you’ve been completely caught up on the awesome that was the last week of July, let me tell you about the how even the last 5 days of my life were better than that stuff my face talked about up there.

Thursday afternoon I drove to Adrian’s house in the Couve. We ate corn dogs and watched a Scottish b-movie called Dog Soldiers about werewolves. It was ridiculous. Then we went to Costco to get some food for our trip. It didn’t occur to me that you can’t really get normal sized portions of anything at Costco, so we bought a 50 pack of cream cheese packets for our bagels. We ate three. Because we failed to put ice in the cooler. Thankfully it was only about $4 so we didn’t waste much money. We literally left Costco five minutes before it closed. Then I put more gas in my car. The next morning around 8:15 we left to pick up Ash from Voodoo Too before we set out on our trip to San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO, YOU SAY?

Yes, my friend. In case you didn’t know – I traveled 800-ish miles south to San Francisco to see We Are Scientists, along with some of my other favorite people. A few of which I’d never met in person, so this was definitely a new experience.

But I’ll get to the really cool stuff in a minute, after the clusterfuck that was my car.

No, really. My car drove wonderfully because we’d just maintenanced her the day before so Janice was good to me. I just wasn’t good to her. We didn’t stop (besides pissing at rest stops) until we got past the OR/CA border where some border patrol thing stopped us to ask if we had fresh fruit or plants. I wanted to be like, “no, but we’re harboring illegal aliens from Canada and we had an endangered species of ape shoved in the trunk.” I don’t think they would have been very amused.

So that was weird.

But then we stopped in…Redding I think…to go to In N Out, because I’ve never been to one. Because it was around 5:30 p.m., as soon as we stepped out of the car the sky breathed its hot, humid breath on us pale out-of-towners. Seriously, everyone who walked into that place was tan, thin, and mostly blonde. Weird. But I never realized that the In N Out menu was so limited. I hoped for chicken, but because they only sold hamburgers, Adrian and I got french fries while Ash got a cheeseburger “animal style.” Apparently that means that the bun is toasted or something, but “animal style” it sounds like they just ran outside and slaughtered a fresh cow and stepped all over the meat to make the burger. Ack. But it looked tasty. Our fries were really good. I can say I’ve eaten at In N Out now, but it’s a bit of a cop-out getting just the fries. Oh well.

Several more hours went by, and we were literally like 60 miles from our destination and I had to stop and get gas. It was a good thing we did though, because there wasn’t a station for about a gazillion miles after that. I turned off the highway, around to get into the station and went over a giant curb, bottoming out, and Janice made angry noises at me while I drug her undercarriage along the road. Freaking out that I’d busted my radiator or something like that, the LEAKING coming from Janice almost made me piss myself. Thankfully this nice woman came up to us and reassured us that it was our AC letting off condensation because, ya know, it had been on for a good 600 miles. I didn’t kill my car, yay!

Because I was so startled by our near run-in with car trouble, I failed to realize that I’d set my phone on top of my car when we DROVE AWAY. Coming around the turn to get on the highway, Adrian and Ash noticed that something fell off my car. We backed up in the freeway entrance and parked my car and looked. And looked. I was worried that I’d run over my phone and the pieces from lodged in my tires. Tremendously, they weren’t. The back cover came off and the battery flew out, but we eventually found the phone part and Adrian put her hand into the prickly bush to retrieve it for me. I love her. In the car Ash looked for “poisonous california plants” from her iPhone just to see if what we were stepping through wasn’t going to give us a rash or kill us or something.

I’m obviously not dead, and if I’d gotten a horrendous rash, I’d have already mentioned it. So no poisonous plants.

It was so weird once we got to the bay, because this heavy sheet of fog that reminded me of Mount Doom hovered over the city, but with a layer of clear sky right below it. It looked pretty creepy. And this was about 8 p.m. I think. Yeah. Cause we got to the hotel at 8:30.

THE HOTEL THAT DOLORES GOT US. We stayed at the airport Marriott that night, and Adrian almost finished up her dolls that night. Aren’t they awesome?

Not creepy in the slightest. Mine are the big ones in gold jumpsuits on the left. Original Keithdoll is the really big one with pink eyes and a Tapper pin. Aarondoll was added after this, because I got to perform surgery on an extra Chrisdoll so Adrian could stuff Aarondoll with Chrisdoll’s stuffing.

That sounded dirty.

That night at the hotel I also learned the Fresca is Adrian’s favorite drink, southern flight attendants with those ridiculous accents actually do exist, and hotel porn is really expensive. Nah, we didn’t actually buy any. We watched Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and That’s So Raven the next morning. We’re cool like that.

Also that night at the hotel, we got to meet up with Dolores, who was one of the people whom I was dying to meet in person because before she solely existed to me on the internet. She’s so funny and feisty. She stuck around at the hotel for awhile after we drove around Millbrae for a bit and got pizza. We watched more Ace Ventura, ogled at Adrian’s dolls, and talked about Kings of Leon and Amanda Bynes.

Real quick – OUR HOTEL ROOM HAD A BOTTLE OPENER IN THE BATHROOM. MOUNTED ON THE WALL.

Since the hotel didn’t have free Wi-Fi, we went to bed relatively early. The next morning we ate bagels and showered before we departed to our Slorestravaganza at the Metro Hotel. I didn’t drive this time, because I don’t like hills. So Ash got to check parking up a hill in San Francisco off her list. It was kind of awesome, because literally the San Fran hills are horrible. Well, we first parked right outside the hotel to unpack our shit. I noticed that there was a sign in the window warning people about recent sneaky thieves, and then saw that our hotel was on the most adorable block (save Haight/Ashbury). We were next to (and our room was actually above) a Comic book store, a vintage clothing store was to the right of the Metro, then a vintage record store, and a cute little grocery store. Can I move to San Francisco please? Once we go all our Fresca, doughnuts, and dolls unpacked, we noticed that our hotel room had a tiny back room. The walls were all painted red, and a queen-sized bed sat raised up two steps. There was a mirror too. That’s all that was in the room. I wondered what one would do in that room, so we started calling it the sex dungeon. Then someone said that we needed to get Aaron Pfenning back to our sex dungeon (with how wasted he was, I’m sure he would have obliged if we asked).

While Adrian stayed back to finish the dolls, Ash and I walked .7 miles (which seemed way longer up and down hills) to this tea place that she’d heard about from Kevin Rose of Diggnation. He’s her idol, and he’s apparently a master of tea.

This is where we enjoyed our English breakfast (me a chai) and stumbled upon Kevin himself.

Ash about vomited, because she loves him so much. We were sitting against the window near the door and Kevin was up in the back nook area. So after…about an hour chilling, freaking out, drinking tea (because I’m such an Anglophile) Kevin was leaving, and as he walked by our table, Ash said “Kevin, I just wanted you to know that I’m a huge fan of Diggnation.” “Oh thanks, what’s your name?” “Ashley, would it be alright if I got a picture with you?” Ash was fangirling so much she said her full name. Kevin was very friendly and gracious, and when he left the waitress said that it happens a lot. So Kevin probably didn’t feel as weird as we did.

After this happened we wanted to run into Steve Jobs so Ash could punch him in the face. I really wanted to see that, actually. Ash had terrible reception on her new iPhone, so Jobs deserved it.

Because it was warmer outside than we expected, and Adrian had texted me letting me know that Renee and Meghan had gotten to the hotel already, we took a bus up the hill to the hotel. It was so nice seeing Renee again, after our fantastic Spoon encounter in April….awww after show passes…but this was SO MUCH BETTER. After sitting around for awhile, Ash and Adrian (who’d finished Aarondoll in the time we’d been gone) went in my car and Meghan and Renee went in their rental car. Because Adrian’s hardcore and a bit paranoid, we dropped her off at the venue early before heading over to Amber and Scott’s loft (!!!) There was already a girl waiting outside Slim’s but only one, so Adrian got to save our seven spots in line. Yeah. Seven. But it turns out that Slim’s stage is very long, so there was plenty of room. If we’d been at Neumo’s we would have covered the entire front of the stage.

So we left Adrian is this sketchy-looking area, wearily…but it’s okay because she was there when the guys got there for sound check. And she got to give Aaron and Danny their dolls, which they very much appreciated.

Uhhhh, Aaron’s so hot.

But Ash and I drove just over a mile to Amber’s loft, and they had to ring us up. I think I was the most excited I’d been all day, actually, because I’d never met Amber in real life and she’s one of my favorite people in the world. One of my favorite tiny people. They rung us up to the fifth floor and I giddily hustled down the hallway and Amber greeted me at the door with her cat to a wonderful hug. I can’t for the life of me remember which cat it was. There were three, so it’s hard to keep straight. Let me tell you – the Gregorys’ loft is pretty sweet. We didn’t have penis pasta, but we did have tasty basil pasta with parmesan cheese – and Pirate Booty. Amber said that even though she couldn’t get penis pasta, she would have other food that had either a sexual-sounding name or was phallic in shape. Pirate Booty and summer sausage. I love her.

Ash and I were the first ones there, and by that time Ash had gotten a damn ear infection, so Amber got her some benadryl, then Renee and Meghan got there so we sat around and ate food and talked for about an hour before leaving for the venue. Because Renee’s awesome, she got these plushy mustaches from Comic con for Meghan and Amber, because we all know how much they love mustaches. I’d taken Adrian’s cat bag with all her dolls in them, so Amber could pick out her dolls and Dolores could get hers.

Amber’s dolls.

Dolores’ dolls.

My favorite part about Amber’s dolls is that Keith has a v-neck and Chris has a crew neck. Adrian, you’re awesome.

When it got to be around 7:15, we all left Amber’s house in car my so she could get dressed in her snazzy show garb and Scott could get some work done before heading out. We got to the venue and there were probably about 10 people in line after Adrian, but we stood up front with her because she saved our spots. That was after I got my will call and Renee got her guest list spot (even though at first her name wasn’t on it because Keith and Chris suck). She called Chris (I think) and got it all squared away, because Renee’s cool like that.

We got into the venue at just after 8, and went and took our spot in front of Keith. I was between the speaker and this obnoxious pole, but the pole kept me cool…and something to drum on. Amber was to my left taking pretty pictures with her magic camera and pretty f1.4 lens. I’m still waiting for those pictures, too. You can hear us in several of the videos I took, because we didn’t stop talking. Meeting everyone in person was so not weird. I was expecting to have this awkward feeling of “oh right, you exist. What should we talk about?” But it was like, “hey I know you!” It wasn’t like meeting someone for the first time, more like seeing someone you haven’t seen in a REALLY long time. That’s how it was. And also kind of how it was when we talked to Keith and Chris that night. Even though we’d seen them the week before.

Aaron Pfenning came on stage around 9, and he was dreamy. Like…hnnng. I still get a girl boner watching videos back. And even better, he spent quite a bit of time over by us during his set. After all, we were most definitely his biggest fans in the venue. At one point I was looking over at Renee and Adrian, and failed to realize that he’d stepped up on the speaker and wrapped himself around the pole I’d been clutching all night. Renee laughed and gestured for me to look up, and I found myself looking right at his Marty McFly sneakers above my head. Again a little later during “Come Close to Me” (that song makes me thing dirty things) I was singing along because I’ve listened to that song so many time, and he came right up to Amber and me and sang to me with his floppy blonde bangs in his face. This made for quite a good photo opportunity for Amber though. It just made me awkward, still singing along and smiling a HUGE fangirly smile. *Sigh* He better tour with more people and come back to the northwest, cause I bloody love him.

All this time, I’d been filming little clips of a couple songs as to avoid getting caught with my camcorder. But when Keith stepped up to the drums and Chris grabbed his bass and Danny put the SG around his neck, Aaron was like, “if you have a camera, it’d be really cool if you filmed it, because I’d like to see it.” He wasn’t talking directly to me, but to the whole audience. So naturally I shot the whole thing.

Yeah, isn’t it wonderful? I was pretty happy with the filming I did that night. And I didn’t get caught EVER. Now I just wished I’d filmed more of Pdreamy (which is what we all started calling him). Chris even called Aaron Pdreamy the night before when they were in LA.

OH MY GOD I FORGOT.

When Adrian, Ash and I got to the hotel the first night, we were getting constant updates from Renee in LA, and he told us that WAS had a special guest playing with them. Automatically Adrian and I thought “TAPPER!” Because he lives in LA, and we got all nachos. We would have cried if that had been the case. It wasn’t sadly, but not so sadly – Max played two songs with the guys in LA and Renee got to see him again. Max has been playing with Katy Perry lately, because he likes money. But when we heard Max, I thought “LETHAL ENFORCER” because Max plays synth, and that’s all “Lethal Enforcer” really needs that WAS doesn’t have regularly now. To our dismay, he didn’t play LE, but he did play “After Hours” and “Jack & Ginger,” with its awesome synth line, definitely the best synth line on Barbara.

Back to now (well not now, but chronologically correct time).

Um…so Keith drumming is one of the greatest things ever. What made it even better was that he was wearing a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. So he looked even more like a 13-year-old boy.

After Pdreamy (I love how we’re not even calling him Rewards, because we’re all BFFs now) was done, we had a short intermission where Keith was peddling his merch again. There was a huge line so I wasn’t about to go wait in it. I needed to get a shirt, but I waited to do it until after the show was over.

I got video of a lot of the songs they played that night, but I don’t remember the setlist. Thankfully Adrian has a fantastic memory – so it went like this:

Nice Guys
Nobody Move
Rules
Carol (I Don’t Bite)
Scene is Dead/Inaction
Impatience/Let’s See It
Pittsburgh/Ambition
C’lit
Jack & Ginger
It’s A Hit
Dinosaurs
The Great Escape
After Hours
Cash Cow (Encore)

Even though “Impatience” isn’t my favorite song, it was one of my favorite moments of the night, because Pdreamy got up in stage all nonchalant in sunglasses lounging in a chair to play tambourine.

Here you can definitely hear me and Amber laughing like crazy people.

Honestly I don’t want to include excruciating detail of the show because you can see a lot of the clips below. But I will definitely say that when they started playing “It’s A Hit” I jumped up and down like a 10-year-old at a Jonas Brother concert. What can I say? I didn’t get it in Seattle and Portland. The stage was really tall though. And I’m relatively tall, so this was different. It made the Neumo’s and Doug Fir stages look short. It was funny though, because I kept looking over at Adrian after Keith would tune his guitar to see if she knew which song was coming next. She didn’t. But that was another reason why this show was so much better than Seattle and Portland – all of us were there, and since this was an all-ages show, Adrian got to see it with us. It was all of us sharing in our love for We Are Scientists, we slores came together in San Fran-fucking-cisco for the WASTRAVAGANZA.

Once the encore came, I got all sad. I mean, I knew that the night was definitely not over, but still. “Cash Cow” is the last song I’m going to see them play in a long time. I don’t even know how long. If I wasn’t in school I’d be booking a train or something to Texas for Ghoulsfest. But it turns out that Sufjan is playing that same night in Seattle, so that will be good I guess.

After the show was over, we stood around by the stage (well, Adrian and I sat down because we’re lazy) before the venue people kicked us out. So instead of leaving, we went and stood in line for merch. I needed to get my t-shirt, damnit! The line was ridiculously slow, because Keith talks too much. But we still love him. We finally got to the front, and Dolores showed Keith her doll. He made a comment about his hair not being the right color. Keith, don’t deny it. Your hair is going to be that grey one day. Then Dolores said that it was Apocalypse Keith, but Keith exclaimed, “Post apocalypse you wanna cover all exposed skin!” And he got all fired up. Once I got to the front, I slapped down a twenty and asked Keith for a medium of the one of the new WAS logo shirts. He said they were out of mediums. Damnit. I asked, “which shirt DO you have a medium in?”
“The bass your life on Chris shirt… you want it?”
“Ummm, sure! Give me one of those!”
And then he leaned on the table closer so I could hear clearly. “Okay, I’ll sell this to you on one condition. Will you follow the prescription? Will you base your life on Chris?”
“Absolutely.”
“Well alright then!”

So now I think I’m the only one of us that has that shirt. Next time I’ll have to have Chris sign it, as well as my dolls.

At that point Scott took Amber home, because she’d been to three shows in the last three nights and was really REALLY tired. It would have been nice to have her stick around for awhile, but it was really fun to have her shooting right there in front of me. Amber’s short, so it’s not like she got in my way or anything. Right before the show I realized that this is the first show I haven’t SHOT since October (besides Muse in April, which was a last minute thing and their photo policy was rubbish). I mean, I was videotaping a bunch of it, but as I was recording it I kept seeing photos in my head. This was the first time I haven’t had to worry about getting good photos, and it was kind of freeing. Besides, if I’d shot it as well as Amber, I’d have been comparing our photos the whole time and I’d feel inferior.

After the show we waited for quite a while before the guys came outside. There were other people out there too, but I’m not sure if they were there for the same reason as we were. I filmed a little bit of it, but it was way too dark to get any good picture on it. The guys were packing up there stuff, and at one point when they were shoving things into the van, Adrian yelled at Keith.

“KEEEITH!” No answer.

“You should try again.” I said.

(IN A MANLIER VOICE) “KEEEEEIIIITH!”

Then Danny joined in. “KEEITH!”

“Just a second!” And Chris came and talked to us. Renee asked him about his different glasses, because he’d been wearing the sexy horn-rimmed ones recently, but that night he wasn’t. I think he called these ones photochromatic or something.
“Transition lenses?”
“Yeah, but I like the way I said it better.” Then Adrian accidentally called his other glasses rim-horned, and Chris smiled and laughed. So I proclaimed that it would be a good name for a band – the Rim Horns. We’ll do Chairlift covers, and I’ll sing the high parts that Caroline does, and Adrian will sing the really low parts that Aaron does, and Keith will play drums, and Chris will be our manager. We’ve decided.

Danny told Adrian that he’d been protecting his doll with his life, because he’s worried that someone might hurt it, in turn hurting him (they’re not actual voodoo dolls, guys!).

“Like that guy!” Adrian pointed over at Keith.
“Hey!” Keith said angrily.

Keith eventually came over and gave Adrian the most epic hug in the entire world. I was jealous of that hug. They literally didn’t let go for…forever. It was magical.

I’m not going to try and rewrite everything Adrian wrote, because she already wrote an awesome blog about it.

But I will include the photo we all got. I handed my camera to this guy standing around outside, and he failed in pressing the button so the second photo is not focused right, but it’s still awesome. We all knew what happened there, and we all knew how amazing everything in that photo is.

Aaron’s nomming Renee’s shoulder, and Danny is nomming Keith’s leg.

Then Chris jumped in, which is when the focus fucked up. CHRIS FUCKED UP THE FOCUS.

Can you see Aaron in the corner there? Yeah, he was drunk. Adorable Aaron Pfenning drunk. Adrian and I came up with that new description for adorably drunk after that night.

As the guys were almost done packing their stuff, Aaron gave Adrian an epic hug himself. He went in for the normal hug, but then they stumbled off the sidewalk and into the road, and into me. I think I helped keep them from falling. We talked to Aaron for awhile, and Renee asked him when he’d be touring again. All the while, he was struggling to stay standing so his feet kept shifting around. “I might…tour with them down…New Orleans…to make music…down…” And he pointed to the ground. We all laughed. Then Adrian said “down on the ground? that’s a good place to make music.” So then he smiled and giggled, all drunkenly and adorable-like. *Sigh*

Before they all left for the bar called Butter, Adrian told Aaron that he had to sign her Talkboy. That got him really excited. She pulled it out of her bag and he was all, “I can’t believe you have this. Oh my god (giggles).” She handed him the Sharpie and it took him forever to finish drawing what he was drawing. It was his name, quite illegibly (not as bad as K-squiggle) and another random squiggle. He said it made him feel nostalgic. At this point we were all standing in a circle on the sidewalk in the cold, possible misty rain. So it called for a hug huddle. Me, Adrian, Aaron, Renee, and Ash (Dolores had gone to get her car) all put our arms around each other to keep warm. Apparently Aaron’s hands were really cold because he had his hand right on Adrian’s neck. He said, “It’s so cold, but it feels so good!” I love him so much.

What was next?

Oh right, Renee had gone to put her stuff in Dolores’ car while Adrian and I kept talking to Aaron.

“Aaron, I got really good video of your last song with Keith on drums!”
“What?” He didn’t hear me and leaned in closer to hear.
“Two Cardinals, I got really good video of it!”
And his eyes lit up, “Where can I see this video?”
“On YouTube in a few days.”
“Awesome.”

Then they were all getting ready to go to the bar. Aaron started getting really excited and jogging drowsily in place

“Can I go in? Will they let me in?” Like an anxious 7-year-old.
“I don’t know if you should drink any more.” (WHO SAID THIS? I CAN’T REMEMBER)

And Keith and Chris were like running, gesturing Aaron to hurry up.

(Still running in place) “I’ll be RIGHT BACK!”

He didn’t come right back, but they did all invite us into the bar with them. Since Adrian didn’t have a fake ID (which disgusted Keith), we sat outside and got some crepes. But at one point Ash and I did go into the bar to see if Aaron was okay, and to make sure Keith wasn’t taking advantage of him. It was so weird being in that bar. I handed the bouncer my ID, and we walked in to like three chicks dancing on the counter. We didn’t get up from the table for like ten minutes, and just kept staring back at Aaron and Keith giving flirty eyes to each other. I guess I can say that I went to a bar with We Are Scientists. That’s cool I guess.

We left eventually because it was weird, and Dolores, Renee and Adrian were outside eating their yummy crepes. I think about 20 minutes passed before the guys came back outside because APPARENTLY they needed to go to this burrito place that closed at 2 a.m. So we were in front of the crepe place, and they were down just a little ways, and when they stumbled out of the bar and saw us down the street and pointed at us all excitedly. We pointed right back at them.

“You guys are crazy!” Chris shouted at us.

So we all ran up to them before they could leave, and there was another round of hugs.
Adrian went up to Keith and said, “One more hug?” And then there was another epic hug.
“You’re making a mockery of my hatred of you!”
“You love it.”
Before they skipped out to find the burrito place. I went in for a Chris hug and he said, “It was nice to see you again Abby!”

I just about died.

I know that it was like a week and a half before when we’d seen them, but it was one of the best things that had happened all day. Well, that whole day was the best thing that ever happened.

We ran across the street in front of the van to get to my car, and waved at them as we departed.

I really hope that it doesn’t go another two years before I see those wonderful guys again. Hopefully Aaron will tour with someone else so we can see him again too.

We drove back to the hotel, and it took up about half an hour to find parking, and Ash went up and down the craziest hills ever (I’m pretty sure one was at least 45 degrees). She had to piss like a racehorse, so it made the searching all the more stressful. But we eventually found a free spot in a non-tow-away zone, but we had to walk at least 6 blocks back to the hotel at 2 a.m. in downtown San Francisco. We did see a guy standing on top of his apartment building and he waved down at us. I’m pretty sure that he was drunk, so I was worried that he might fall off, but he was okay.

Back in the hotel room, we stayed up for quite awhile, and reflected about the awesome night and Pdreamy’s dreaminess and how he gave us all girl boners. And how much we love Keith. And Chris. And Danny. Adrian and I were the last ones to go to sleep at around 4 a.m. Laying in bed after the best night of my life, I cried just a little bit because it was over. I wondered if Adrian was doing the same thing, because I was listening to my headphones and couldn’t hear anything.

The next morning we took Renee back to meet Meghan at Amber’s house and so that we could properly say goodbye to Amber and Scott. And get rid of some of our doughnuts. We still came home with quite a bit. Four-day-old doughnuts. Yum. We said our goodbyes and set off to find Amoeba Records before we officially left. Amoeba was as epic as I remember it. They didn’t have any copies of Brain Thrust Mastery, which was kind of lame, but they did have the Deftones! And an entire row of Bright Eyes, and an entire row of Mountain Goats.

Our final goal for San Fran was crossing the Golden Gate, because we had to do one touristy thing while we were there. It took us FOREVER to find the damn thing, because my GPS is a piece of shit, but we eventually found the exit, where we met lots of traffic. It was okay, we danced to the awesome playlist I’d made for the car ride. It was quite awesome. Adrian and Ash can vouch for that.

The Golden Gate is so long. Like really really long. Once over the bridge, we stopped to take touristy pictures.

I have the best friends in the world.

The drive that night seemed way longer than the drive there. For some reason. We stopped at In N Out again, where we found out that there are veggie burgers, but after Adrian and I ordered our fries. Fail. But I’m pretty sure i can write a travel guide to all the rest stops up the west coast from San Fran to Seattle. Most of them are quite nice, which makes me feel like an idiot that I stopped and peed at a gas station bathroom when we got gas. I walked over to the bathroom on the outside of the building and this little boy was just getting up from the toilet WITH THE FUCKING DOOR OPEN. I didn’t need to see that. It was awkward, and the bathroom smelled like piss really bad. I’m surprised I didn’t get any diseases.

As we were getting to Ash’s house in Tigard, I was literally on my last gallon of gas, so once we got over the border to Washington, I immediately got gas. I like filling my own gas tank. But once we pulled out of the gas station, I was going the wrong way down a one-way street. Thank god it was 2 a.m.

Adrian and I didn’t go to bed until like almost 5 a.m., when the sun was coming up. We were up reading all the tweets from the Visalia show and I uploaded the photos from that day. I didn’t want it to end.

You know what I said in the vlog about about Seattle being the best day of my life? Well, I lied. San Francisco was the best day of my life. I tear up a bit thinking about it now because I want it to happen again, and I never want WAS to stop touring, and I want to see Aaron Pfenning again, and I want my friends who exist most of the time in my computer box to exist in real life more awesome. Now all I have to do is see all Y’ALL over on the other side of the Atlantic. That’s my next goal. I honestly cried in the car on the way home from Adrian’s house on Monday. I was driving by myself for 2.5 hours, Keithdoll was sitting on my dashboard and Chrisdoll in my lap, and when “Foreign Kicks” came on I started singing along and couldn’t keep my voice steady. I wish I had a TARDIS so we could all do it over again. Exactly like we did it before, because it was perfect and if we changed anything it might make a crack in the universe.

Seriously, I do. I love everyone.

❤ Abby

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^^^^Ezra is adorable^^^^

8 Jun

I changed my header. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here, but I’m procrastinating finishing my paper for David’s class, so I figured where better to go than my own blog, right?

So as you can see, I have a new photo of Ezra. And it’s from Sasquatch. And I really don’t want to write all about it because I already have.

But I’d gladly marry Ezra Koenig, because not only is he adorable and dresses well, he writes catchy awesome songs about crazy-ass cousins and the oxford comma (which I do give a fuck about), AND HE’S A FONT NERD. Seriously. Both Vampire Weekend albums use Futura for the cover. Futura, as in Wes Anderson’s font of choice for EVERYTHING. Yeah. Ezra, it’s destiny.

Here are the recaps from the ‘Squatch though: Monday, Sunday, and Saturday. I have more pictures here too. I took over a thousand photos at Sasquatch. Close to 2000, but I deleted a bunch in my free time while I was there, whatever small amount of free time I did have.

But I will say one thing – I’ve never felt cooler in my entire life. I’m serious. I was standing in line with my camera and camera bag, and several people kept saying “they’re not gonna let you in with that.” I just rolled up my sleeve, showed them my wristbands and they were all, “yes they are!” I thought Deck made me feel cool – that was nothing. I sported my wristbands for many days after I got home. Including my “Drinking age verified” one. I should have taken a picture of my arm. Oh well.

Wait, did I just say “drinking age verified?”

I sure did, Abby!

So yes, I’m 21 now. And I can’t say anything especially 21-ish has happened. I didn’t go to a bar. I haven’t drank a beer yet. Libby kept insisting that I get a PBR, which would have been ridiculous, because I hear that they’re disgusting, and the alcohol at Sasquatch was horrendously overpriced. I have looked through all the show calendars in Seattle, and sadly enough I haven’t found any particularly awesome 21+ shows for the month of June. I did find a Portugal. The Man show at the end of the month though, but it’s all ages. Oh well. I still have my 2 (or possibly 3?) WAS shows this summer. They’re going to be awesome. I just have to think of a gift to bring them. Something cool. As cool as I felt at Sasquatch.

Okay. I’ll stop talking about it now.

School. Ledger. Finals. That’s what I’ll talk about.

I don’t think I failed my final yesterday, which is good. I actually feel quite pleased with my performance, insanely enough, because I had barely any time to study this weekend. Literally, I studied Saturday night from about 1 to 4 a.m., but only because the coffee I’d gotten at 10 p.m. hadn’t worn off yet. I would have liked to have at least ten more hours in each day this weekend, because the most… can I say unbelievable? Yes, because at the time it was unbelievable. It’s still pretty damn hard to believe, but kind of funny. I won’t detail it here, (I’ll link you!)but I’ll just say that it was the hardest thing we’ve had to deal with on the newspaper…ever. At least since I’ve been there. And I hope that nothing like this happens ever again.

Ugh….

Deadmau5 is giving me energy right now to finish my subculture feature, which is due tomorrow night by 5 p.m. by email to Chris. And I still have to write my final essay for David’s class, which is – get this – about why it’s important to study advertising and consumer culture. Seriously. And we only have to use 4 of our assigned readings in it as back up. It is 5 pages, so I should get started writing. But David’s so lax with his grading I’m not even worried about it. I got 56/60 on my midterm, and 58/60 on my final project, and like 10/10 on every insignificant assignment. I think I’m good.

Off to listen to Deadmau5. The Mountain Goats aren’t nearly as energetic as I need right now. And I’m afraid if I start again on my Local Natives binge, I’ll forget to actually write my paper, because I love Gorilla Manor THAT MUCH. It’s SO GOOD. I just wished someone would have recorded Taylor Rice’s super sweet dedication of “Who Knows Who Cares” to his super awesome girlfriend on her 30th birthday as Sasquatch (which also happened to be my birthday, and Amber’s dad’s from the Dirty Projectors. It was weird.)

This is one of the best ones I can find. The sound is relatively good. Even though “Sun Hands” and “Who Knows Who Cares” are my jams, “Airplanes” is still pretty damn good.

❤ Abby

it was so jokes

9 May

This post is a day too late, but it was super late when I was getting to bed. But then again, it’s almost 2 am right now. But who needs sleep? NOT ME! Hell, it’s layout weekend. I bet Sarah, Alexis and Lana aren’t sleeping right now. So I don’t need to either!

Plus, I went and saw Iron Man 2 tonight, and it was AWESOME.

But that’s not the point of this post!

Last night was w00tstock. Wil Wheaton, Adam Savage, Paul and Storm, MC Frontalot, Loading Ready Run, Stepto, Molly Lewis, and…wait, what’s this? HANK GREEN!

Yes, it is a Hank Green!

But I’ll get to that later.

I’ve never been in a bigger gathering of awesome nerds in my life. It was funny, because it was a COMPLETELY different crowd than I’ve ever been in at any venues in Seattle. Normally I’m surrounded by 18-year-old fangirls and hipsters. But then again, nerds don’t usually leave their house unless they have to. And this was one of those times.

I sat down next to this girl and her dad. I didn’t say anything but “hi” right off the bat, but I soon learned that I’d been seated next to another legitimate nerdfighter. When Wil Wheaton came out on stage and announced all the people, the girl to my right cheered the loudest at Hank’s name. Another nerdfighter? Awesome! I thought to myself. Eventually I found out that her name was Katelyn, and she was from Monroe. She complimented my “I Are Scientists” tee shirt, as did several other people throughout the night, which felt pretty cool. But Katelyn told me that Hank was the main reason that she drove down from Monroe that night. And we both kind of sang along to Anglerfish, which was so jokes. I wasn’t expecting to find anyone else there, because no one responded to my posts at the Ning, but it was all fine in the end.

But I won’t jump ahead.

Wil Wheaton is so cool. Like, so cool. Throughout the night, we had ceiling cat staring at us from the projector desktop.

This ceiling cat. He was on the desktop of the laptop controlling the videos and introductions for each act. At one point the screen saver came on and everyone started laughing.

Wil said several times throughout the night when the audience laughed at EXTRA obscure nerdy references, “I love you guys.” And he made several Doctor Who references, my favorite being how he called the theater he first saw Rocky Horror in “Tardis-like.”

“It seemed bigger on the inside.” Hehe.

Speaking of that, Wil told us a story about the first time he saw Rocky, and how he lost his Rocky virginity. And Paul and Storm provided the soundtrack for that story. It was adorable.

Molly Lewis also played last night, 4 songs I believe, the last one being “Conjunction Junction” with Jason Finn from the Presidents of the United States of America. I got lots of video of her, but I haven’t uploaded it to Youtube yet. Once I do, I’ll add it here. It was funny, because when I heard about who was going to be at w00tstock, I was like, “hey, Molly Lewis opened for Chris Hardwick last month!” She was pretty cool, with her Wikipedia breakup song and another one about how she wants to have Stephen Fry’s babies.

So I’m not going to explain the entire show, because that would be really long, because it was a good 3.5 hours of awesome geeky nerdiness. The intermission came and I went to see what kinda merch I could get. I ended up getting a w00tstock tee shirt, which came with a poster. The girl at the merch table was one of the people who complimented me on my WAS shirt.

I can’t remember if Stepto was before or after the intermission, but Stephen Toulouse, the director of Xbox Live, came out and gave a “sermon,” if you will, about all the douchebags on Xbox live. It was the story of the aptly named “p00nhun+er” and his asshole gaming ways and vulgar video feed. I don’t have an Xbox, but I’m guessing that it’s a common problem. Two of the members of Loading Ready Runs stood next to Stepto in brown hooded robes, and there was a giant ancient-looking book that he read from.

“Be thou not a dick,” he said. Guaranteed that bit got some of the biggest laughs. Because even if you don’t play Xbox live, you understand the internet assholes. It’s the whole freaking internet, and there are bound to be dickbags.

Now onto the best – well, most anticipated – part of the night. Wil, I think Wil introduced him, got up on stage and mentioned something about Youtube and DFTBA records, and Katelyn and I cheered madly.

I’m pretty sure at that point in the night, he did. I doubt that the most people were there to see Hank, but the people who were there to see him were quite possibly the loudest. I only got video of “Quarks,” because I saw my LOW BATTERY signal, and didn’t want it to die if I was going to take a picture with Hank afterwards. Idiotically enough, I forgot to get a picture with Hank at the end, but what I got was so much better. After my marvelous filming, Hank played “A Song About An Anglerfish” and “What Would Captain Picard Do?” And Hank mentioned how weird it was to be playing the latter song in a room with Wil Wheaton (most famously known as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: TNG, if you don’t know). It was so cool sitting there with Katelyn singing along to Anglerfish and being completely enthralled by one of my favorite Youtubers. I couldn’t stop smiling. In fact, I couldn’t really stop smiling the whole night, except for the sudden “ouch” faces I made when Adam Savage showed us extra special footage of an upcoming episode of Mythbusters. I gotta tell you, it’s gonna be SO GOOD.

In fact, Adam did bust the myth that Jamie isn’t intentionally funny. He told us about this interview with Billy Bob Thornton, who said something like sleeping with Angelina Jolie is like fucking a couch. And Jamie said, according to Adam, “If my couch looked like Angelina Jolie, I’d fuck it.”

And just picture those words coming out of THIS FACE.

Jamie doesn’t try to be funny. HE JUST IS.

After Adam’s hilarious stories about latex jumpsuits, drunken treadmills and Jamie’s junk, there was one final song from Paul and Storm, about Pirates. What made it so great was that when the audience was cued, we’d answer with a resounding “ARRRRHHH.” But say they asked us a question like, “what was your favorite science fiction film?” “STARRR WARRRRS.”
“Who was your favorite character?”
“ARRRTOOODEETOOO.”
“Who was your least favorite character?”
“JAARRRR JARRRR!”
Apparently most of the crowd was very hateful toward Jar Jar Binks.
And the song went on like that for about ten minutes.
“Who’s your favorite host of the Tonight Show?”
“CAAARRRRSON!”
And this was perfect. Wil Wheaton answered that question with, “Conan O’Brien!”

It made me smile. Like I wasn’t already smiling, right?

So at the end of the show, I went and got my tee shirt, went to pee chatted with Katelyn for a bit, thinking that the line was to have everyone – including Hank – sign something. After I got at the end of the line, cause I wasn’t about to cut in front of people, I saw that Katelyn had already gone to the lobby floor and was talking with Hank. I ran around the long line, too impatient to stand in line for that long, even if it was Adam Savage and Wil Wheaton. But at that point it wasn’t even them in the lobby signing things. It was Paul and Storm.

I walked over to Hank and Katherine, who were talking with Molly Lewis at the time, and another girl walked up next to be and had him sign something. I said hello, introduced myself, and right then and there Hank gave me a hug! Like, I didn’t even say anything but my name, and I was in Hank’s hug bucket! I must say, he’s way tall in person. You don’t really get to see on Youtube, because he and John are always sitting down, and they’re in a tiny video screen. I told Hank how excited I was to be there, and that I wasn’t going to go, until I heard that he was going to be a part of w00tstock. Totally true. And then in seeing his large black Sharpie, it hit me!

“Could you sign my bag? I’m gonna try and turn it into a thing, where I get really cool people to sign it!”
“Who do you have so far?”
“Chris Hardwick.”
“Is that a cat, with a gun?”
“Yes, it’s a gun-wielding cougar.” I didn’t bother trying to explain it, because no one but us Sci-Cavers would really get it. Actually Markas pointed that out to me today.
“That bag is so indie.”
“Yeah, but unless you get the reference!”
“No one will get the reference. That’s why it’s so indie.”
“But that’s not a bad thing. I didn’t spend $40 on it at Urban Outfitters!”
“That makes it even more indie!”

Anyway, so I had Hank sign my bag (he has beautiful handwriting, btw) and I thanked him profusely for coming to Seattle on this glorious night of geek and awesome. As I walked back to my car, I literally wanted to skip. Seriously. But it was about 11:30 on a friday night on 2nd street, and I could have easily been accosted if I started skipping. But once I did get to my car at the garage 4 blocks over, I did squee quite a bit sitting in the driver’s seat. And I did all the way home. I texted Adrian while I was driving, which is a terrible idea, but I had to tell someone, and no one else in my contact list would understand my excitement. And it was damn exciting, damnit!

I’m in Hank’s hug bucket now!

Look!

Okay, I’m done.

❤ Abby

Another week of FREAKING AWESOME AWESOMENESS

22 Apr

I took that video. Eddie Vedder. Fuck yeah.

But I’ll get to that in a bit.

I’ve told quite a few people this, but I feel like something bad is going to happen to me soon. I mean really. It’s like the stars have been doing a conga line in my favor for the past 3 weeks. I’m serious. I don’t mean to gloat, but this is a list of everything good that has happened to me in the last 3 weeks.

1. I got editor-in-chief.
2. I got press-passed to Spoon.
3. I inexplicably got after-show passes to Spoon, in turn, meeting them.
4. I got groped by Chris Hardwick, then met him, and he signed my gun-wielding cougar bag (yes, in that order).
5. I got press passed to Florence + the Machine, who was amazing.
6. (THIS IS THE BIG ONE) I GOT CREDENTIALS FOR SASQUAAAAAAATTTCCCHHH!!!!
7. Mom and I went and saw Conan on Monday, which was already awesome…
8. …but then he brought out special guest EDDIE VEDDER. WHAT THE HELL?
9. And mom got out of a ticket for a moving violation after Conan’s show in Seattle.

Now my car needs to explode or something. Or my hard drive will die. Or we won’t get all new technology for Ledger next year. Oh god please not that.

Or maybe karma is coming back around after all the crap that happened from 2006-2008. I mean, I got a life-threatening disease for no apparent reason and the first college I went to sucked ass, and a 5-year friendship ended in a ridiculous clusterfuck. And 2009 was pretty scary too. Mom got in a car accident, Dad collapsed, Gary crashed his car, and we had to give him Cedric back. I don’t know. Hopefully all this good stuff is my return for everything shitty that has happened the last 4 years.

Okay, so I filled you in until last…fuck it was ten days ago!

Florence. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get a press pass for her until literally the morning of. It hadn’t been that close since Deck the Hall Ball, which was 5 hours before. So I got on Holy Hail’s guestlist, but once I got there they said I couldn’t take pictures after Holy Hail or else they’d take away my camera or something. So I had to be shifty. I literally had to prop my elbow on Libby’s shoulder so her head would block my camera from the security guard’s view. I mean, I got on the list, so I wanted to take pictures of the whole set. Libby was happy though, because Florence in her new favorite, and if she didn’t have to be to school the next day, I would have wanted to stay after and say hi, because Florence Welch is absolutely adorable.

This was one of my favorite shots from the night.

Um…

Saturday. Saturday morning I emailed Jaime from the Sasquatch people asking her if she got the email I forwarded from Josh with my assignment letter. She emailed me back a little later telling me that she had, and ten minutes later, she sent me this:

You are all set by the way. Approved!

That was it. And I started to cry. Crying and laughing and shaking and jumping up and down. Millie looked at my like I was a crazy person. I probably sounded like I was a complete nutter, but I didn’t care. No one was home, and I got credentials for the Sasquatch festival. Libby gets my tickets now. She gets to go. I was so nervous that my mother would have to buy her Stubhub tickets for a kajillion bucks, but she doesn’t have to. AND I can sell my Saturday ticket because Libby has prom that day, and I can probably make back any money I use to rent out the badass lens I want. I’m sure I can manage with my 28-135mm, but I REALLY want to rent the 70-200mm from Glazer’s. It’s so badass. And beautiful. And heavy, but I have a monopod that will help with that. Oh god I can’t wait. Just over a month….oh god. 5 WEEKS. 5 WEEKS AND I’M 21. REJOICE, HALLELUJAH!

Okay, I’ll calm down now.

But seriously, 5 weeks isn’t all that far off. I don’t even want to focus on school right now.

There is one buzzkill, but it will turn out better anyway. Laura’s peeps won’t let guests stay, so if I were to go to NJ in July, I’d have to pay for a hotel, and when I heard that, we were like, “hell naw.” So Laura’s gonna come to Portland for her birthday and we’ll party in PDX. I’m kind of gutted that I won’t be able to hang out with Susie in NYC while she’s there, because it’s always nice to meet my WAS peeps in person. And it’s too bad that graduation is the day before Barbara comes out, or else I’d be all for driving to San Francisco to Amber’s for a Barbara release party with penis pasta. D’aww that’d be great. But Libby’s graduating. We’ll do some cool stuff of our own.

Oh my god Libby’s graduating in less than two months. Holy shit.

I have such ADD. What was I saying? OH CONAN. Wait, I wasn’t quite to Conan yet, but I think I got the point across about Sasquatch. It’s awesomely awesome.

Now to Conan.

Mom and I got the cheap seats for Conan’s show at McCaw Hall in the Seattle Center on Monday, and I left before my third class, which is my favorite class, but Conan’s worth it. We got there way too early, so we hung out in the Center for 2 hours before going to the Sport for dinner. I got a turkey sandwich and salad, and the bread I had was so stale. I swear. It was chewy and hard to eat, and dry. Ack. The salad was good though, with crispy fried onion strings. Mmmm. Mom and I didn’t get any Conan merch, but the tee shirts were like $30. And we already paid $37.50 for the show. But now thinking about it, it was worth even the expensive seats at $77.50. If I’d known what was going to happen, I would have paid the $77.50.

Conan’s “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour” was awesome and funny, and we got to see the Masturbating bear, which is now the Self-Pleasuring Panda, which is ridiculous because apparently the Masturbating Bear is NBC’s “intellectual property.” INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. It’s a MASTURBATING BEAR for Christ’s sake! What is NBC going to do with it? And the Chuck Norris lever is NBC’s too, so Conan had to rename it. But we did get some great oldies but goodies. Mom and I would have liked to see “In the Year 2000,” but it was okay that we didn’t. Andy Richter was there, and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was there, and Reggie Watts opened the show. That reminds me, I have to download some of his stuff. He’s hysterical. But the entire theater gasped in awe when towards the end of the show, Conan was like, “I’d like to bring out my very special guest, Eddie Vedder everyone!”

Wait, what?

No.

Really.

It can’t be.

That was mine and mother’s short dialogue as everyone was equally confounded and excited.

And Mr. Vedder walked out on stage and the audience rose into a standing ovation. It was just him and a mandolin. And after everyone sat back down to realize that he was actually standing on that stage, it was silent. He played “Rise” from the Into the Wild soundtrack, and it was so beautiful. So somber and epic, it made mom almost cry. “I want him to sing at my funeral. No really.” Mom and I talk so alike. I got video of the second half of the song, but haven’t uploaded it to Youtube yet. I should probably do that, because I have video of Conan singing too, and a great “local commercial” Andy did for the Fremont troll. “Come see what has mildly impressed out-of-towners for decades, the Fremont troll.” I love Andy.

But Conan can actually sing, and his Strat is wicked.

See! Eddie!

He has aged so well. He’s way better looking now than he was in the 90s.

OH MY GOD THAT REMINDS ME. Soundgarden played a secret show at the Showbox last friday. That was the one piece of fail I incurred this week. I failed to get tickets, but Anna got one, and she said it was amazing. The first show in 13 years, dude that’s amazing. Okay. I think I’m done. I’ll add more videos from Conan’s show if and when I get them posted to Youtube.

For now, I’ll leave you with this wonderful La Blogotheque video of Grizzly Bear. I love them

❤ Abby

Who needs sleep? Not me!

12 Apr

ADDENDUM: OH MY GOD WHEN I POSTED THIS THE FIRST TIME I FORGOT ABOUT DOCTOR WHO. D: So it’s down at the bottom now.

I figure since I can’t really get the reading done for my next class done, I’ll fill everyone in about my abso-freaking-lutely busy week.

No seriously. It’s the busiest my weekend has ever been, and I didn’t even do everything I could do. I still have an ass-ton of homework due Wednesday. So I’ll start from last Wednesday. Wait, no Thursday.

No, Friday. Thursday wasn’t all that exciting. We started layout early, which was nice, but it didn’t really save us any time, because we still didn’t get done yesterday until 10. But anyway, FRIDAY. Friday I had the following tasks: pack for Saturday, purchase two maple bacon doughnuts, drive to school, lay out pages, edit photos, drive to Seattle, find parking, meet Renee, give her a maple bacon doughnut, and see Spoon.

Mkay. Lemme tell you something. I thought I found amazing parking that night. It said $6, right? I paid on the way in, I thought I was done. Not quite. It turns out the next morning I had to pay an extra $24 for the night. $30 for parking. Balls. But now that I think about it, I don’t even care. It was totally worth the next two days. Because while they were ridiculously busy and kinda stressful and I got like 8 hours of sleep over the course of those 2 days, they were terrific. Like, really really really terrific. So after naively parked at the Warwick hotel next to the cute old building Renee was staying in, I walked over to the Moore to get my ticket and photo pass. I got there before Renee, but when she did get there we gorged on doughnut. It was awesome. But when I went to get my photo pass, I walked up to the will-call, gave them my name and said that I was supposed to be on the guest list for a ticket and photo pass. She took out an envelope and pulled out 3 stickers. One of which was my photo pass, but I had no idea what the other two were for.

Well,

Needless to say, I squee’d. I was quite confused, like “why do I get these? Why am I here? I’m not this cool. Oh my god life questions!” But I handed one to Renee and it made us even more excited to see Spoon. Like seriously. We got after show passes. How? But then I realized that I didn’t have my ticket, so I went back over to ask if I had a ticket. Thank god I did, so then I was all set. I love the Moore Theater. They don’t check your bags and let you bring water bottles in. That’s the one thing about the Showbox that drives me crazy. You have to pay $1.50 for a water bottle you could have just brought yourself. BUT, when we got inside the theater, no one got there for a good half an hour. Well, it was still pretty empty until like halfway through Deerhunter. Poor Micachu and the Shapes. That’s one thing I hate and love about seated theaters. You don’t have to get there first to get a spot, because you have an assigned spot. But it leaves the theater pretty empty for openers. It’s a shame that not everyone got to see all of Deerhunter’s performance, because it was awesome. Casual, and epic, and awesome. Bradford broke into this long, almost poetic story about being 27 in Seattle at the anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. And how when he was 12 and it happened, he would say, “I’ll never be 27!” And other things. But that was pretty cool. Then this girl jumped up on stage and started beating Bradford’s guitar with maracas, shaking around the floor like a crazy person and dancing with all the band members. It was adorable. Too bad it was after the 3rd song, it would have made an awesome photo. But I was going to be bad this time. I adhered to the rules. Um…what else? Oh, Bradford kept saying, “this is fucking ridiculous, like what are we doing here?” (Hmmm, I know how he feels.)

After Deerhunter was done, the seat next to Renee’s was still vacant. I could have EASILY sat down right there, but I found my seat. All us photogs (the same ones I always see) piled up to the front to shoot Spoon. Again, we swiftly moved across the non photo pit, and oddly enough, as I was shooting, my phone vibrated telling me that I had an email. One of the other photographers, right across the stage, started following me on Twitter. ??? I dunno, it was funny.

And then they came onstage, and people went apeshit. Which is fitting, because, you know – it’s SPOON. I don’t want to go into too much detail because I still have to write my review for Popwreckoning, and it’ll get really tedious coming up with more adjectives to describe how awesome it was. I’ll just mention that everyone – including all the photographers – started dancing during “The Underdog” like silly fangirls at a Jonas Brothers concert. Okay, maybe I’ll use that description in my feature. It was fun to participate in the dance party. You can’t not dance to that song anyway. It’s so freaking danceable.

ABBY, STAY FOCUSED!

I think it was about halfway through Spoon’s set when Bradford came out to play guitar – OH WAIT! Michael Lerner (aka Telekinesis) played snare on a bunch of songs, which was a nice ‘lil local flavor. Back to Bradford, he came out and shimmied across the stage, dancing with Rob like goofballs, and I think it was during “Who Makes Your Money” when he snuck up behind Britt and thrust the guitar neck between his legs. Britt didn’t notice it for a bit, but then he stared down at his crotch and shoved Bradford back and they stumbled and giggled and it was awesome. And I don’t even know when this was either, but Britt looked down into the audience, and this was after I went back to my seat and I couldn’t see what was going on. He took his guitar off and jumped off stage to go into the crowd. Like, right into the crowd. Apparently some old dude was literally sleeping. Out like a light, and Britt went to go wake him up. Again – awesome.

Needless to say – it was all awesome. Afterwards, I made my way back up to the front of the stage to find Renee when she grabbed the set list, because she always gets the set lists. And we went out to the lobby to wait for whatever came next. As soon as the security people started shooing everyone away, I wasn’t sure exactly what we were supposed to do with our after show passes. Good god even when I say it now it sounds so flipping cool. What the hell? So it was us and a few other people who looked legitimately worthy of going backstage into Spoon’s FUCKING DRESSING ROOM. We were led behind the stage, and I turned around the glanced into the empty theater and I almost pissed myself. We climbed a steep set of stairs past Deerhunter’s tiny-ass dressing room where Jim Eno was talking with Micachu and the Shapes, and we heard a bustle upstairs. Spoon’s dressing room was small, but not obscenely small like Deerhunter’s. But still, we were in their dressing room. Renee wasn’t quite as all, “d’uh…I’M NOT WORTHY” as I was, because she’s met them like a gazillion times before. Literally, she’s following their tour right now. And she’s going to make cupcakes for Rob’s birthday this week. At least that’s what she told him. So we stood around for a bit looking like fools who for some reason got after show passes. I still was like, “I’M NOT WORTHY, I’M NOT WORTHY…WTF.” But eventually all the members of Spoon made it our way and we – and I mean Renee mostly – talked to them for a short bit before asking them to sign her set list and my ticket stub. Oh, that’s right here.

So completely running on adrenaline, endorphins and bacon doughnuts, we walked around the corner to Renee’s cute ‘lil rented apartment. $45 a night for cozy dorm-like room? WIN! I don’t know how the hell she finds these places. But I managed to upload and edit my photos that night, because I didn’t feel like sleeping. I couldn’t post them to Flickr until the next day when I found a Tully’s because the internet at the apartment was uber slow. And I didn’t notice this until I uploaded my pictures to Flickr, but I shot most of Spoon’s set in 400 ISO. What the hell? I was so confused how it got to 400 ISO. I shot Deerhunter and Micachu and the Shapes in 1600 ISO, which is what I normally do, but miraculously the pictures on 400 ISO turned out awesome. No wonder they had no noise. I’ll have to shoot shows at the Moore more often. Brilliant lighting = brilliant photos, not to mention much easier. No need to shoot in black and white to relieve the super-saturated red light. Nope, theater lighting is pretty.

Before I move onto Saturday, I’ll post some of my favorite pics from the show. I’m so happy with this set!





Now I can the difference in noise on the Spoon and Deerhunter pics. Britt and Rob are SO CLEAR.

Friday, done.

Saturday, begin.

Saturday morning came way too early. I woke up at about 6, because I couldn’t fall back asleep. So about 4.5 hours is all I had, which actually was probably better than getting 6 hours. I always seem to be really really sleepy on 6 hours of sleep. By that time I’d reached the deep REM cycle. 4.5 hours it’s still nap-mode. But anyway, I woke up and got ready, didn’t take a shower because I was lazy. Just put my hair in a ponytail. I didn’t really know how many blocks I’d have to walk. Turns out I didn’t walk. It was 8 blocks away technically, but you couldn’t walk there without passing through a drug-dealer-infested street. I learned that when I was driving and a bunch of crackheads tried to flag me down in my car. IN MY CAR THEY WERE TRYING TO DEAL. But I missed the turn and ended up going like 5 miles out of my way down to the industrial area, and I got to the Bell Harbor Conference Center with like 2 minutes to spare when I left with 40 MINUTES TO SPARE. Boy do I suck with directions. Really.

I got to the conference center at the exact same time Niki did, and I was still pretty high from endorphins from the night before. Who needs sleep? Not me! We took the elevator up the third floor where everyone else was waiting, and they had free food. FREE BREAKFAST. I was so happy, because when I woke up it was too obscenely early to eat breakfast. 8 am is perfect for breakfast. So we ate our breakfast and I told everyone about my amazing night before, and tried not to sound like I was gloating. If I sounded like I was gloating you guys, tell me. I’m sorry. I like sharing my excitement. And I took my ticket stub out and they all – well some of them – ogled at it. And I squee’d again.

We went to a few sessions, learned a few lessons, and met with some of the Daily staff. Only about half of them came and introduced themselves, but the ones we did meet – Andrew, Lexie, and Nicole – were pretty cool. I can’t even fathom having just one job to do on the paper, which is what they do all the time because it’s daily and they have over 100 people on staff. ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE. We have TWELVE. That was my favorite part of the conference, meeting with them – because they are people that we can legitimately collaborate with, even though I’m starting to hate that word.

Here are some shots of us, sans me, since I was taking the pictures.




We got free lunch too, which was nice. After the conference, I tried to convince any of my fellow Ledgerites to join me at an awesome comedy show with Chris Hardwick, but no one obliged. I actually contemplating not going because I had so much homework due for Wednesday (which I still have not done yet), but then I thought that I’d regret not going. I’ve done that too much this year, and since I’m going to get paid more this quarter, and I might not even go to New York in July, I didn’t feel bad about spending more money on tickets and parking. I found an $8 parking garage a couple blocks away from the Showbox, which was great because it was half the price that I normally pay for parking. Definitely not parking right next to the Showbox anymore. Just let me tell you, I know my way around the Market now. It took me forever to find a place with free wi-fi for me to upload my Spoon pictures. I went into Starbucks naively thinking that I’d get wi-fi since we get it at school, but you needed AT&T. So I left and searched “free wi-fi pike place seattle” on my phone, and they gave me 3 locations. Tullys was about 5 blocks away, so I went to Tullys and uploaded my pictures, bought a chai and waited a ridiculously long time to use the bathroom. I swear this girl spent like 15 minutes in the Tullys bathroom. It pissed me off.

Oh well, because the rest of the night was totally worth waiting to pee and paying $30 for parking the night before and not doing my homework. I just wish I could have shared the experience with someone else. GAH I need to find people to hang out with who live in Seattle. It would surely make my spontaneous trips less lonely.

I stood in line for about a half an hour before they opened the doors, and alas, there were still tickets available! The Showbox set up chairs. CHAIRS. There are never chairs at the Showbox. It was weird. I sat right up front, because no one else did, but I was just a bit off to the left side, near the bathroom and the speakers. I think they started the show around 8-ish. Possibly before that. I dunno. Molly Lewis started the show with funny ukulele songs about breaking up with Wikipedia and a cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” Apparently she might be playing at next month’s “w00tstock 2.0.” Yes. Three hours of nerd and music, featuring WIL FREAKING WHEATON and ADAM FRAKKING SAVAGE. To borrow from Trenton’s vocabulary – ADAM’S A SAVAGE. Okay, nerd tangent over.

Wait, no, nerd tangent NOT over. It’s FAR from over.

After Molly Lewis came Mike Phirman who told some jokes and played some songs. The mic kept cutting out, which led to some funny jokes – both from Mike and from Chris. My favorite joke was about how Mike wants marijuana legalized merely because he has an idea for a business venture. A pot cookie company called Chips A-huh. It’s better when you hear it, but it was funny. I didn’t take any pictures because my crappy camera was dying, but this guy did. Apparently he was part of the Street Team that Chris put together from his Nerdist website.

Here’s some of my favorites from his Flickr page.

So I have even more of a total nerdy fangirl crush on Chris now. It’s ridiculous. He came out with a tiny polo on, and told nerdy jokes about the south, G4, Cracker Barrels, Motorhead, Tacoma, his nerdist street team and tentacle porn. No seriously. Right when Chris got on stage a couple of his street teamers held up signs that said “Hard for Hardwick,” and “You’re my Palate Cleanser.” D’aww. And then a guy who was sitting behind me threw a rolled up poster to Chris on stage. Curious as to what it was, Chris opened it up and it was hentai tentacle porn. And he proceeded on a tangent about how ridiculous hentai is.

This is the only video I found on Youtube from it. They were kinda prohibidado about filming, but this guy didn’t care.

Some girl sitting at the bar kept shouting like “my kids love you on Barnyard!” Chris asked her where she was from, and she said Tacoma and people laughed. It turned into a theme. Apparently Seattleites hate Tacoma. I gotta admit, if I had Seattle all the time, I’d hate Tacoma too. One girl in the front had an awesome purse made from the face of Animal from the Muppets. At some point Chris was like, “oh my god is that your purse? That’s awesome! Can I see that?” And she walked up to the stage and showed it to him, and he proceeded to make noises like Animal, and the girl walked up a little closer and told him that his zipper was down. This was halfway through the show, and his fly was down the entire time. So hilarious.

And toward the end of the show, he brought Mike back on stage to sing some songs – INCLUDING THE PI SONG. At this point there were 3 mics on the floor after they died. The awesomeness of the show KILLED THE MICS. So I think this was the second song they played, but during their “Anything” song, where it’s all about determination, how you can do anything, fly like a bird, unless you’re a girl – Chris decided that he’d croon to the audience. Since it’s a power ballad, he got all up in people’s faces and sang right to them while Mike played guitar onstage and kept singing. Chris started on the right side of the stage, being all ridiculous and serious, and as he got closer to the left side of the stage, he got more and more intense, grabbing people and almost seducing them, right? So he walked up to the guy sitting two seats down from me, and he grabbed his head and shook it around while belting out this song about perseverance.

Then he got to me. Seriously. I kinda got molested by Chris Hardwick. Seriously. He got right up in my face and sang right to me, grabbed my face and started to crawl on me, grabbed my ponytail and I got a faceful of Chris’s chest. I have to say that I awestruck with the WTF-ness of it all, but I kind of enjoyed it. Okay, I was really excited when he grabbed my face. I mean, I see him on TV every week. And he was like, crawling on me.

Come on, stop looking at me like that.

So after the last song, Chris announced that he’d be in the lobby signing stuff and taking pictures, because “apparently people like that.” I stood line in front of these two high school guys, who were clearly nerds themselves. Except in all of this, I didn’t have anything for him to sign. I had $20 bills and the Ledger business cards. But I had my purse. My gun-wielding cougar purse.

I swear, it’s the only thing I had. But maybe I could turn it into a “thing,” where I get all the famous people I meet to sign it, so it’s not just Chris Hardwick and then WAS. I almost felt kinda bad for having the first signature on my bag to not be from WAS, but then I saw what he drew, it made me happy.

And the first thing I thought of to talk about was Spoon, because he mentioned earlier in his set referencing a hypothetical heckler, “hey if we leave now, we can make the last ten minutes of Spoon!”

So I said, “I was strategic and saw Spoon last night so I could see you tonight!”

“Ah, great! I haven’t seen them in a long time, how was it?”

“Awesome. And Britt totally jumped into the crowd to wake up an old guy who was sleeping.”

And Chris looked up from my bag for a second and said, “what the hell, who sleeps during a Spoon concert?!”

“I know, it was ridiculous.” And I said some sort of thank you and asked for a photo, and the guy standing behind me took it with the crappy coolpix.

“It’s really bright.”

“That’s what Photoshop is for.” And Chris laughed. And I squee’d and said thank you again and walked away.

Eeek yay.

I just have to say that there weren’t enough Doctor Who fans in the audience, because when Chris made a DW reference, “Doctor, are we going to take a trip in the TARDIS?” in a British accent, and like four people shouted. I screamed so loud. Seattle needs more Who fans. We really do.

LAST WEEKEND was the Doctor Who series premiere. I have to say that I love Matt Smith. I felt really bad for a bit that I liked him because I felt like I was cheating on Ten, but now I don’t feel as bad. Matt did such a good job. Like a really good job. I so excited for this season. I was house-sitting for Andrea’s old neighbor and their horrific dog, and I downloaded the episode while I was doing nothing surrounded by an incredibly windy day. Heck, I was getting paid $20 a day to do my homework and make sure the dog doesn’t go too apeshit. I’m all for that. So what else better to do than watch Vlogbrothers videos and download Doctor Who? Ahhh, spring break.

I mean, look at Matt. He’s adorable.

I love him. And I love Karen. And I love what Moffat has done so far. I still feel a little nostalgic about the old Tardis and sonic screwdriver, but it’s still early, and I’ll probably end up loving both of them. We need more Doctor Who love, seriously. At least Nerdfighteria is all for the Doctor Who love.

I think I’m done now. Holy hell that was a long, photo-loaded post. But I told you it was a busy weekend. Was I right?

I was right.

❤ Abby

Your English is Good

30 Mar

I completely forgot Spring Break. It’s almost April. Like, tomorrow is April. I’m getting kind of annoyed that the Florence and the Machine people haven’t emailed me back about a press pass, and at least Spoon’s people told me to remind them on APRIL 5TH, FOUR DAYS BEFORE THE SHOW. I don’t see why they wait so long. It just makes us more nervous.

Today was a nervous day.

I won’t say why just yet, but let’s just say the nervous ended well.

Right, spring quarter started yesterday. About that…

I LOVE (two of) MY CLASSES! The other one will hopefully be a piece of cake, but so far I know that I’ll definitely need coffee before each Earth History class. It was the only Natural World credit that fit into my schedule without a lab and an extra lab fee. Plus, it’s only a 200-level course, so it won’t be too bad. But my other classes are the ones I’m excited about – Feature Writing with Demaske and Advertising and Consumer Culture with Coon. And it’s nice that they bookend the day. Lots of creative thinking in the morning – but not too early morning – then my boring after-lunch class, then the critical thinking theory class. It’s perfectly set up for my brain. We already talked about our final assignment in my feature writing class yesterday, which sounds quite awesome actually. We have to study a subculture over a long period of time and do an in-depth, 8-10 PAGE ARTICLE about it. That’s a lot of words for feature stories. But I’ve already thought about what subcultures I could do. There’s not a lot of subcultures in Gig Harbor that would make for an interesting story. There are lots of subcultures, but they are boring. In terms of Gig Harbor, I’m pretty sure all I could choose from would be pot smokers, old people, crafty people, snooty people, and high school kids. Wup-de-freakin-do. And the subcultures I’d really like to study would either a.) be in Seattle, so I’d drive way more than I’m willing to, or b.) not let me, because I’m not 21. So I’m considering doing the subculture of straight edge. There would be no danger involved, so that’s good, and it would only be in Tacoma. But I’d have to endure local hardcore music at The Viaduct. Not sure how keen I am on that, but I think it might be an interesting experiment in my will power. And I’m doing it for a grade, so that’s kinda worth it. Once I sift through all the subcultures that I don’t consider myself a part of, I might think of a less excruciating one to do. If you have any ideas, I will accept anything right now.

What else?

Nerdfighters. I had such a boring spring break that over the last 2 weeks I’ve watched approximately 250 Vlogbrothers videos. I started out with random ones from the last two months, but after feeling like a lame Nerdfighter, I started from the beginning. I’m up to November 13 of 2007. If you have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m talking about, I’ll quickly explain. In 2007, John and Hank Green, two nerdy brothers decided to embark on a year-long project where they would post alternating video blogs every weekday for a year, called Brotherhood 2.0. Their viewers are called Nerdfighters. But the Nerdfighters don’t just watch, they participate in Brotherhood 2.0, posting video responses, donating money to the Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck, that Hank and John then discusses with either other and the Nerdfighters on what to do with it. I’ll stop explaining now. Well John is an author of young adult fiction and Hank runs Ecogeek.org and writes nerdy songs about nerdy things. Since I started watching their videos quite religiously, I feel kind of a part of it. These are a couple of my favorite vlogbrothers videos.

And of course there’s Accio Deathly Hallows.

The other day after watching one video where John went through his old notebook, I delved into my old journals and started my own project – to journal more. I think that may have been why I avoided blogging for the last eleven days. But I went into my old journals and did a vlog reading of an entry from when I was 11 years old and in put this fire inside me that I’d journal more. Blogging is one thing, but journaling is just for yourself. Truly for yourself without an audience. Not that I have a significant audience here, but my journal is private. Also the fact that Disney put out their own sucky remake of Harriet the Spy called “Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars.” See, that’s my point. Harriet wrote in a notebook, for no one else but her to see. Blogs aren’t truly private. Sure the names are the same and Harriet wants to be a writer, but it takes out the central conflict devise from the original novel. Harriet’s classmates read her notebook and it ruined her. Temporarily, but Disney has taken it and morphed it into something that is surely not made of awesome. It is made of suck.

Basically, Nickelodeon pwns Disney.

So that made me upset, which partially led to my reinsertion into my journals and the vlog that followed.

I think possibly my favorite part of the early videos of Hank and John is John’s process in writing his third novel, Paper Towns, which I haven’t read yet, but I’m reading his first book now, Looking For Alaska. It’s funny now, as I’m about 35 pages in (I just started reading it this morning after my Editor-in-chief interview), but when I read it I hear it in my head in John’s voice. It’s kind of eerie, but it gives another dimension to the book. I don’t think I’ve ever really heard the voice of an author of a book that I like. Except for J.K. Rowling, but when I read Harry Potter I just hear it in my head with a British accent. And I hear Harry’s voice and Ron’s voice and Hermione’s voice whenever they speak. It’s different. I’ve never heard Megan McCafferty’s voice, and I got almost as invested in the Jessica Darling books as I did with Harry Potter. I think I’ve heard Chip Kidd speak in a video he posted on his website from Comic-con, but this was after I read The Cheese Monkeys and The Learners. I wish John Green were coming to Seattle on his book tour for Will Grayson, Will Grayson, his new book, co-written with David Levithan, who also co-wrote Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. I’ve been so void of books that I actually read for pleasure these last two years that I kind of forgot what it was like to like books. And I’m glad that I’m reading Alaska now.

Watching these Brotherhood 2.0 videos has made me realize lots of things. I won’t go into detail about all of them, but I’ll just let you – I’m a Nerdfighter.

Oh, my title refers to my favorite Tokyo Police Club song, as well as all this talk of books.

Don’t forget to be awesome,
❤ Abby

Rules don’t stop me, forget about it

8 Mar

I’ll start off by saying-

So…yeah.

Keith’s looking PRETTY fine lately. Gah I need WAS so badly.

BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT RIGHT NOW.

It’s been….shit I don’t even know how many days it’s been since I last posted because of February’s fucked up 28-day month. Anyways, last week I went to a show after requesting press passes like the day before. Cutting it really close. But the pic ^^^^ up there is of John Van Deusen of the Lonely Forest. I got some REALLY good shots of him, and it didn’t hurt that I had the best view of him.

But it was at Neumos. Such a weird experience going up there for the first time since seeing WAS in July of 2008. I’ve driven by it a gazillion times, but I haven’t gone to a show there since. That could be because all the good shows at Neumos lately have been 21+. Only 3 more months and I’ll be free to go to any shows I want to! YES! ‘Twas a good show though. As I was waiting up front for my photo pass, I introduced myself to Alex, another photographer whom I’ve seen at a couple other shows. He has a wicked sweet camera, hella expensive, but it has 21 MEGAPIXELS, AND HD VIDEO. It’s the Canon 5D Mark II. I’ve been salivating over it for bit, but I know I don’t need it, and I can’t afford it. But the 5D Mark I is within reach, as the Mark II replaced it, so you can get good deals on Ebay. I found one for under $1000 the other day, and they retail at $2500-ish. I know, GOOD LORD. But I felt so accomplished after leaving Neumos that night because a.) I got sweet pics, and b.) I finally met another Seattle photog.

As far as after Tuesday, I’ve been busy as all hell. School, Ledger, and now I’m sick. Great. A week before finals and I get sick. AND IT SNOWED TODAY. March 8th, and it’s snowing. Way to go weather.

I want spring break. Right now. I’m way too ready for winter quarter to be over, because Beaufort’s class is driving me absolutely bonkers. I did write my final revision of one of my papers today, which will hopefully give me a good grade. I’m totally gonna lie in my cover memo and say I cried when I wrote it. Beaufort will eat that shit up.

Okay, I’m done now. Watching Signs. And my tasty tasty pork roast.

❤ Abby