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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.


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.


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.


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
Carol (I Don’t Bite)
Scene is Dead/Inaction
Impatience/Let’s See It
Jack & Ginger
It’s A Hit
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?”
“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.


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.”

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

Who needs sleep? Not me!

12 Apr


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.


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.


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

My two-day PDX extravaganza

1 Nov

I needed to get out of this house. Yes. I had class on thursday. Yes. I skipped class. But I did turn in all my work, and even turned a paper in early because I was an idiot and thought it was due thursday instead of this coming tuesday. Oh well, one less thing to me to worry about.

So what exactly gave me the impulse to drive 2.5 hours south of Gig Harbor for a couple days?

Well, I wanted to hang out with my WAS buddies, and going to Portland was my chance to do that.

Aren’t we cool?

But I also went to go see a great show – a benefit for Portland’s PDX Pop Now organization, which celebrates the local musicians of Portland. It’s pretty cool. Actually, when I emailed a woman from PDX Pop Now about the photo policy of the club, Mississippi Studios, she said I wouldn’t be able to get on the main floor since I’m not 21, but she did say that she could get me on the list for the festival in the spring.

Portland people are so damn nice.

The guy taking our tickets asked me if I had a photo pass for the show. I told him I didn’t, but then he said, “I don’t wanna give you any grief. Just don’t use any flash.”

I never use flash if I don’t have do. And I didn’t.

See. I made this one my desktop.

I’m finally proud of my concert photography. It feels nice to actually have good pictures to send to PopWreckoning instead of the shitty ones I’ve been sending from my Coolpix. YES!

Here are a couple more of Britt Daniel and the other bands, IOA and The Robinsons.

It was a great show, and the balcony had some pretty sweet seating. It wrapped around the stage on three sides, which gave extra room for us youngins. We were the first ones to get to the balcony, so we got the best seats out of the 35 seats upstairs. 35 seats. Isn’t that cool? We need cool clubs like that in Tacoma. Because Tacoma’s lame, and only has The Viaduct that plays shitty-ass hardcore music and Club Impact that caters to 16-year-olds.

After the show was over, Laura and I drove to Sabrina’s to stay the night, and hang out with her cool baby, Curtis. He’s like a monkey, makes gremlin noises, and he head-bangs. Or he’s just squirmy. Anywho, he’s funny. We stuck around there for a bit the next day and had children climbing on us for a good two hours. We watched Cinderella and ate bacon. Then it was time to meet Adrian and Renee, and Renee’s friend Ahmad.

Another reason why Portland people are so nice – the guy running the parking garage gave us the code to open up the door if we needed to get to our car after 6, which is when it closed. See? Nice.

We walked over to the Burnside Powell’s. And let me tell you, up until then, I felt like a terrible word nerd for never having been to Powell’s. It’s an entire block of books. Four corners of shelves up to the ceiling of books. It was overwhelming. Like a labyrinth of new releases, old classics, an entire nook of moleskines, and room filled with sci-fi. The first thing I did was go find the new Postsecret book to see if my secret made it in. It didn’t, but I did find this.

It says, “I called in sick to work today so I could buy this book.”

It made me extremely happy. I almost bought it just because of that, but I was being cheap, so a photo sufficed. About 20 minutes after Laura and I got there, so did everyone else. And we browsed the many rooms of Powell’s, and Ahmad had a certain interest in girl gangs.

“Wouldn’t it be great if when you went to heaven, everyone was in a girl gang? No one would fight, but we’d all be ready to fight. And we’d have great matching outfits? That’s be perfect.”

We asked the woman working at the desk if there were any books on girl gangs, but sadly enough, there weren’t.

Actually, I didn’t spend a lot of money this weekend at all. I only spent it on food and a new sweater. We ate some pretty interesting food while we were there though. I had a couple new culinary experiences while in Portland. One being lamb meatballs at a mediterranean restaurant, and saffron rice at that same restaurant.

This one. Doesn’t it have a ridiculous sign? What are those purple claws supposed to be?

Lamb was really good. I can say that now.

But the true wonderment of culinary confections was where we went later that night. No, we never got to hit up Pine State Biscuits, because we had no idea where Belmont St. was, and we walked about 8 miles that day back and forth from Powell’s to Renee’s hotel, to Everyday Music, to Am App, to Buffalo Exchange, and then Voodoo Doughnuts.

Yes, Voodoo Doughnuts opened my eyes to the most confusing, most tasty doughnut I think I’ve ever had.

You may think this looks disgusting at first glance, but trust me, if you ever get to chance to go to Voodoo Doughnuts, you need to try one. YOU MUST.

The Maple Bacon Doughnut.

Just think about it: sweet and salty is never bad; candied maple bacon is tasty; don’t you always dip your bacon in syrup? I know I do.

Once we’d walked to and from Voodoo Doughnuts, Ahmad found some sweet tights for his Halloween costume and we sang down the street back to Renee’s swanky hotel.

As we sat and watched the rerun of thursday’s Project Runway, Ahmad came up with a great idea. We’ve started a band. And we’ll look like a girl gang. And we’ll be called Hot Carl. Laura will play keyboard, I’ll play guitar, Adrian will play bass, Ahmad will sing vocals, and Renee would be our band manager. We wouldn’t need a drummer, only a drum machine. Because that’s how we roll.

Hot Carl.

And yes, we know what Hot Carl means. I can’t remember who suggested it, but once they did, I knew it meant something else, but for some reason, it slipped my mind. So I googled it. And then we all laughed. It was PERFECT.

So…. when we left, Laura, Adrian and I walked literally for almost an hour trying to find our damn parking lot. I’m pretty sure we went around the same block three times.

Hot Carl.

But eventually, we found it, opened the door, and made our way through Vancouver to drop Adrian off, since it was on our way.

Hot Carl.

We stopped at a restaurant called Elmer’s for dinner. We got there at about 8:40, but it closed at 9. The waitress who seated us didn’t really care because she worked the bar later, so she let us stay after hours to finish out sandwiches and fries (and onion rings).

Hot Carl.

Seriously, if you don’t know what that means, google it right now. Urban Dictionary will be the first one that comes up, and that is the definition. Seriously.

We drove back to Sabrina’s earlier than we had the night before, so we got a little bit more sleep than the previous night. The next morning, we went to this restaurant – I’m not kidding – called Fatty Patty’s in Battle Ground. And we ate – I’m not kidding – slop. Well, it was hashbrowns with bacon bits, ham, cheese, green onions, all covered in white gravy. I like my hashbrowns a little bit crunchier, but it was pretty tasty. And even after my coco-puff doughnut I’d had when we first woke up.

Yeah, pretty much the food was the best part of the trip, other than the show on thursday, and how fucking huge Powell’s is.

I’m off to listen to Child Star some more. 😀

ADDENDUM: My review’s been published! Click here to go to PopWreckoning.

❤ Abby

A road comedy with some bite

12 Oct

One would expect a film about bloodthirsty undead monsters to be riddled with cheap shots and clichés, as we’ve seen zombie movies for a good thirty years. But the genre is far from dead, as evidenced by one of this year’s best comedies, “Zombieland.”

The movie follows Columbus, a recent college graduate with problems with paranoia, played by Jesse Eisenberg, and Tallahassee, a gun-wielding tough guy with a strange fetish for Twinkies, played marvelously by Woody Harrelson. Along their travels they get duped by sisters Wichita and Little Rock, played by Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin. Eventually they all team up against the zombies, and then laughter ensues.

What made this zom com different from other zom coms was that they all had a plan. In fact, all the characters nicknames came from their goal destination. The film started out presenting Columbus’ rules for surviving zombieland – including “cardio,” “beware of bathrooms,” and “doubletap,” just to name a few, and you get to see how unlikely of a hero Columbus is. Sure, Eisenberg is playing pretty much the same character as he did in “Adventureland,” but here he isn’t as pitiful. I mean, he’s fighting off zombies with a double barrel shotgun. And his love interest Wichita, is pretty badass herself, conspiring with her 12-year-old sister Little Rock to hijack both of the cars Columbus and Tallahassee acquire.

What’s also different from other zombie movies is how wonderful this movie was shot. The opening credits play over a backdrop of artfully crafted slow-motion zombie pursuits, blood spewing from their mouths, and a manic deadness in their eyes. In terms of an extra, being a zombie would be a pretty fun gig if you ask me. Somehow throughout the director found these barren locations to shoot as the empty wasteland that is zombieland. Los Angeles couldn’t have actually been Los Angeles. There would have been no way they could have cleared out that much space to make it look authentic. And if they did, kudos to them. Bravo.

But let’s talk about Woody Harrelson. Being the versatile actor that he is, Harrelson was at the heart of this film’s quirkiness. His treatment of zombie killing as sport, his constant quest for a Twinkie, and his laugh-out-loud dialogue brings this zom com to much more than just that. His motto, “nut up or shut up,” could be perhaps the most true slogan of bravery we’ve heard in a film in a long time. As well as the last line in the film, “not bad for a whiney little spitfuck.” He provided a lot of the cackling within the theater. But my favorite was “I’m not good with goodbyes, so…that’ll do pig.”

The best portion of the film was largely attributed to a certain cameo that the filmmakers tried to keep quiet. In honor of the element of surprise, I won’t spoil who it is here, but when reading about the cameo, director Ruben Fleischer said that he originally wanted to have Patrick Swayze make an appearance and do a “Dirty Dancing” sequence, but that option fell through. Other options were Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Bacon and Matthew McConaughey. Personally, whom they got for the scene-stealing cameo is way funnier than all of the other guys they considered. You won’t be disappointed.

As much as “Zombieland” was a comedy about mutilating zombies, it was also a love story – about Columbus and Wichita, and also about the family unit that the four of them build while they’re running towards the unknown human sanctuary. There is a very tender moment when the four travelers shack up in a Hollywood mansion where Tallahassee breaks down and cries when talking about his family. And as far as other humans go, the audience never gets to see if there are any other people left, but after the epic shootout in the movie’s climax, you can’t help but feel like it’s a victory for the living.

The last time I enjoyed a zombie movie this much was the British comedy “Shaun of the Dead,” but by the end of “Zombieland,” I honestly worried about any of them dying. Fleischer opted not to have unimportant secondary characters that will die anyway, in favor of building the story of the four main characters to where you really cared about Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita and Little Rock.

And to tell you the truth, by the end of the movie, I was really craving a Twinkie.

❤ Abby
(check this out in this week's Ledger on tuesday.)

DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake

28 Sep

This has nothing to do with DC comics. Or chocolate milkshakes. Although I did have a glass of chocolate milk this morning.

Nevermind. I just figured that’s one of the songs I’ve been listening to for the last few days that has the most extraneous title. From Art Brut vs. Satan. It’s been that album, Erasure’s Greatest Hits, La Roux, Boy Kill Boy, Editors, and Phoenix – that haven’t left my ears. And of course Muse. You can’t forget Muse. And I have been listening to AFI, mostly just because I reviewed their new album, “Crash Love,” which isn’t that great, BTW. I reviewed it HERE. Hopefully my La Roux review will be up in the next couple of days. Other than music, I’ve just been at school. And you know that school hasn’t started yet, right?

Yeah. The first issue of the Ledger always takes the most willpower to not procrastinate. We had two separate orientations last week, a freshmen lock-in, and lots of layout. And not the mention the fact that there are 6 of us. For most of last week, there were only three of us, as the other three of us were in Europe somewhere. I wish I could go to Europe. Seriously, if I win the lottery, or somehow get a huge amount of money, I’m putting some of it away to keep me out of debt once I’m off my dad’s medical insurance, and taking the rest of it to go to England, Germany, Scotland, and Sweden. And possibly Italy. But I’m pretty sure there’s a higher ratio of people in the four latter nations that speak English rather than in Italy. I like understanding what people are saying, so Italy’s a question mark at this point. But they do have the best food. Hmm…


OH MY GAWD I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT PREMIERE WEEK! Holy balls. Okay – monday: Big Bang Theory was AMAZING. Raj + beard = <3. And Leonard + Penny = <3, even if they had awkward sex. How I Met Your Mother was so much awesome, I don't even want to go into it. I'll just say that it made me really happy that new television is back. Speaking of new television, Accidentally on Purpose was pretty cute, as was Jon Foster. Damn, he's adorable. Hopefully people liked it, because I'd like for it to stick around. I'm sick of Two and a Half Men. We need a new and fresh comedy on monday nights. After the laughter came…well, some more laughter and other stuff with Castle! Uh, I was so excited when it go picked up again, because Nathan Fillion always needs to be on television. He's too good just to be on cancelled SciFi shows and internet sing-along blogs. Um. Nothing good on tuesday. Wednesday was GINORMOUS, with new Criminal Minds (Gubler broke his leg!) and CSI:NY (Danny can't walk!), and Top Chef and America's Next Top Model started a couple weeks ago. But I was happy that Ashley on Top Chef was in the top again. I'd really like to go to her restaurant in Seattle one day, but I've heard that she moved to Brooklyn, which is kind of depressing, but whatever. What else?

OH FUCK. Thursday. Thursday was the day I was so damn anxious for it was kind of ridiculous. New Office, 30 Rock, SNL Weekend Update Thursday, and Grey's Anatomy. Let me tell you, I'm glad I waited to watch the comedy shows after Grey's Anatomy, because I needed something to suppress my tears, because there were a lot. Literally, there was on-and-off tears for the first hour, and at the end of the second hour, more tears came. I, being a Grey's fangirl, reacted differently had I not been so involved in the characters. It didn't make my mom cry. And to be honest, retrospectively, the premiere was not that good. It should have been just an hour. Two hours was too jumbled, and had too many storylines that had nothing to do with George's death. As my mother said, "ER would have never done that!" referring to a couple scenes that were incredibly disrespectful towards George's memory. Sure, George is a fictional character, but it's not that like it's been 2 seasons and he's dead. He's been there since the beginning, and this is season 6! They should have had one other patient storyline and left all the sexytime drama to next week. It wasn't fair, and it didn't seem to honor George at all. I know it was messy departure for TR Knight, but Shonda could have at least done the character justice in his death. The only character that seemed to speak of him not in this distant manner was Owen, who told George's mom how much of a hero he was, and how he was a great doctor. And Callie was the only one who seemed to react completely appropriately. Yes, I know Izzie just died and woke up again, and she's kind of a nutbag right now, but laughing at the funeral? Gain some tact, Shonda. And Bailey was completely void of emotion that you almost forgot it was Bailey. So I guess I was crying for two reasons – 1: George is actually dead now; and 2: He didn't get a proper sendoff, and as a diehard fan, that hurts.

Okay, enough of Grey's talk. You probably don't care.

Now, onto Saturday Night Live. Wow, this is turning into a tv-centric post. Oh well. I'll just mention a few things – Megan Fox was great, "Arkansas: where being pregnant doesn't even stop you from getting pregnant," and this:

HAHAHA. I frickin’ loved it, but who knows what the FCC will do. But what’s weirder is that we’re on the west coast feed. I’d understand if they missed it in the midst of all the friggins and freakins on the east coast feed, but they have three hours to catch that to bleep it out for our timezone. Sounds like someone at NBC will be getting in trouble, not Jenny Slate, who sadly enough, wasn’t all that funny – and this sketch was her DEBUT. Yeah, way to mess it up. Hopefully she won’t get in too much trouble, as I’d like to give her a second chance. But like always, Kristen Wiig was on top of her game, not even missing a beat after the f-bomb. Love her.

Oh, and guess what starts in three months??? SKINS! I saw some new pictures from the series 4 set, and I’m so anxious. Without True Blood, what else will fulfill the naughty factor for my television viewing other than Skins?

Oh Freddie, you’re so sexy.

Guess what my mom did yesterday? I burned a photo disc with all the pictures from last weekend for my uncle who’s leaving today for california. I told my mom to write his name and what’s on it on the CD. I got home from layout last night, and she told me that she wrote on the silver side. It’s a pink disc. She wrote on the wrong side. The side that the laser reads. Wow. I literally almost pissed my pants I laughed so hard. Then I grabbed her hand to slap it because she’s so dumb sometimes. And the dog got up like I was hurting her. She stared me in the face like, “don’t you touch her!” Millie does that if anyone hits any of us. Or if we dance.

Now back to music, because it’s mah laahf (yay Sookie Southern!) I found out YESTERDAY, that Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, this band:

is gonna be at the Showbox at the Market tonight with Ladyhawke:

Yes, THAT Ladyhawke. And Semi-Precious Weapons, which I haven’t heard much of, but they aren’t bad. I hate Perez Hilton, but he puts together a killer tour. Apparently, NPSH filled in for Ida Maria last week when she had to leave the tour. That’s why I didn’t hear about this until now, and I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanna go. It’s $23 at the door. Hopefully everything goes well and I drive up to Seattle tonight for a dancetastic finale to my summer. How perfect would that be? Go see an awesome show and possibly meet NPSH and Ladyhawke, then start school! And it’s an all-ages show! Which is something the Art Brut show didn’t have, which made me very sad last week. But what DID make me happy was when I mentioned something to Eddie Argos on his twitter page about it, and he tweeted me back! I’m such a fangirl. But I’m okay with that.

I’m just shaking in my boots with excitement!

Now I think I’m done. See, I told you this one would be random. Yay tangents!

Oh, and listen to this badass Neighbours remix of Rome by Phoenix, featuring Devendra Banhart

❤ Abby

Unicorn = Rhinocehorse

4 Sep


I’ve driven so much in the last week, that I’m all Altima’d out. I’ve spent more money on driving and parking in the last week, it was nice to do something that didn’t take any work or money. Well, driving to Lacey took some gas money, but I haven’t seen any of my friends from SMU in way too long, and I wanted to see a nice, small comedy show. Two weeks ago, the Demetri Martin show didn’t go quite as planned, and I’ve driven up to Seattle a lot this week for volunteering.

Not that I haven’t liked volunteering. I have. Everyone’s really cool – Taylor, Corina, Charlie – I was working with them for the most part the last 3 days of volunteering. And it was nice to work with a smaller group of people, which made it much easier to get to know everyone. Fun times. I might try for an internship next year, who knows? Maybe it will work perfectly for the comm. major.

But that’s not why I wrote this blog tonight. I went down to St. Martins tonight to see Christina, Jacki, Aimee, Amanda, Emilee, Tara, and everyone else. I hadn’t been in… way too long. Since December I think, at least since when everyone was there. I missed them all. A lot. I needed some time at SMU, because it’s relaxing, and fun, and stress-free. And it’s nice to know that people remember me and say hi, even though I was there over a year ago. And to be completely honest, even though I love still going back there for visits, it makes me realize how right I was to leave after a year, and makes me appreciate having privacy, and having UWT.

But again, as you can see by the photo I posted on top, and the headline – the reason for this post is mainly Jeff Dye. His gig was why I went down today specifically to hang out. If I get a free comedy show out of it – it’s doubly awesome.

“Hello Catholics!” Silence. “I really thought that there’d be more Catholics. I have 45 minutes of jokes about Catholics. Hmm…”

Let me tell you, none of the comedians who came when I was a freshman had that big of a crowd. Like, they had to bring in more chairs. And that room is tiny. Like Jeff said, it’s the side room of a building in the middle of the woods that you can’t find. Haha. SMU is kind of inconvenient to get to – especially in rush hour. Jeff made a joke about that too – how ridiculously slow the traffic is coming south on I-5 from Tacoma to Lacey. Fort Lewis and McChord AFB traffic is the WORST. I can’t remember exactly what he said, I just remember thinking – TELL ME ABOUT IT!

It was so much fun. Jeff had a mixture of the bits that I remember from LCS – the gym on ecstasy, guess who – and…interesting banter with the large, albeit small, crowd. Four girls sitting in front – who actually were in charge of booking comedians – kept whispering and talking while Jeff was talking, and every time he caught them, he called them out. It was awesome, but from what I remember, they were annoying as hell when I was a freshman. At one point, Jeff said that he hated them, and he wasn’t going to tell anymore jokes because of them. He just stood up on stage for a few minutes, staring them down, making them feel worse about whispering. Then they said, “we’re laughing.”

“That’s not how people laugh!” (and he motioned the whispering hand signal and laughed ridiculously into his hand) “Oh, you’re not laughing, have some of mine! You don’t laugh into other people’s mouths.”

But my favorite bit, at the least the one where I laughed the most was when he was talking about the huge burly guys at the gym and how they make grunting noises when they lift weights.

“So just to mess with them, I grab a five pound hand weight, because that’s what I’m working with, and go like this,” and Jeff lowered the mic and screamed as he mimed lifting weights. Like actually screamed.

“What are you doing?”

“Oh, I thought we were all making noises….”

I laughed so hard, I almost peed my pants. I actually almost did several times, especially after this one joke about how Unicorns are actually really scary and badass. “It’s a horse, with a horn coming out of it’s head. It should be called a rhinocehorse!” I really had to pee, and I didn’t want to get up during the show, because then I would have been singled out and had to explain that I needed to go to the bathroom. Nah, I just sat and held it. For a good hour and a half. Oh well.

After the show, Aimee, Emilee, Cece and I all asked if we could have a picture with Jeff, and I haven’t felt that short in a long time. He’s so tall. I was actually kind of nervous to ask, because I guess you could say he’s the most famous person I’ve ever met. Waving to Ryan Stiles at a Mariners game when he walked by us doesn’t really count. But I didn’t act all goofy and be like “I follow you on Twitter!” because THAT wouldn’t seem weird at all. :/ He was really cool, and when I told him that I didn’t go to that school, he said, “well that’s what I call cheating.”

I USED to go to that school. I gave enough of myself to that place in one year that I can come anytime I want and enjoy free entertainment.

Hopefully I’ll get to see Jeff’s stand up again, because it’s the kind of stand up you can’t get embarrassed about laughing at. It’s not dirty humor, or low brow, the kind of humor that everyone can enjoy. Now I just wish I could find Jeff’s comedy CD somewhere. It’s impossible to find.

Jeff Dye – you rock. And you’re not an asshole, the “triplets” did need to shut up.

❤ Abby

“Where the fuck is my Tambourine?”

23 Aug

I’m going to halt from talking about the UWT Leadership Retreat for a bit, because honestly, last night was way crazier.

That’s Demetri Martin up there. He’s a person. And Libby and I went and saw his comedy show last night at the Moore. But it took us quite a lot to get there.

After getting home from the retreat, Mom and Libby and I bolted over to Grandma’s so I could take a shower and Mom and Dad could meet up to go to the Seahawks game. Oh, thank god they were in Seattle.

We got going right on time to our night of hilarity. It was about 7:30, and we were on Second Ave. but as we were turning on to Virginia Street – I shit you not – my car died. Like, right as I turned the corner, and stepping on the brakes a bit, it stalled, then died. I could see the Moore in front of us. Literally, it was like 200 yards away. The parking lot was…maybe 50 yards away. People started honking, but it was a one-way street, so we were lucky at least in that. Libby got out and told people to go around, because my emergency lights wouldn’t go on. We sat there for a minute, I’m freaking out, and then a few guys and this girl with pink hair helped us parallel park by pushing. Seriously. My power steering was dead, so it was really hard to turn the wheel, but we actually got it out of the road, with the help of these great people randomly on the street. One of the guys actually was at the Demetri Martin show and we saw him leaving right as we did. But as we were almost into the non parking spot, a cop pulled up behind us, and told us that he wouldn’t get us towed, because we were in a bit of a jam. But he told us that someone would eventually tow us, because we were in a no parking zone.

This is where Mom and Dad came in handy. Since Libby didn’t answer her phone, Mom and Dad drove down to the Moore to see what was up, because they’re that weird. It was 20 ’til 8 o’clock, and I was starting to think that we weren’t going to be able to go to our show, and I was really starting to freak out. Once the parentals arrived, we jumped it, and Mom and Dad told us to go to the show. Little did we know, once they got my car started again, it went merely 20 yards up the hill. Dad had to call our AAA tow truck, and they couldn’t leave the car alone, or else it would have been towed. So Mom and Dad didn’t get to go to the Seahawks game.

Thank god I didn’t know that while I was in the show, or else it would have made me feel REALLY REALLY fucking guilty. I mean, I still feel kind of guilty right now, but at least I got to enjoy the comedy show.

And it was PERFECT.

We had the same view as that photo up there ^^^^ I haven’t uploaded my pics and video because I was too tired to go find the camera cord for the new Coolpix. I’ll upload them as soon as I find the cord.

Demetri had everything from the Large Pad to the keyboard, his guitar, his harmonica, more drawings and the laser pointer, and a new part of the act that was so freaking funny. Demetri painted an army man, set him on a stool, mic’d him, and “interviewed” him by stepping on and off a voice changer to basically talk to himself. What was so perfect was the high voice his tiny man had. And his shoe had a very deep voice.

“Hey man, can you not take me off using Steve?”


“Yeah, Steve, the other shoe. You just did it on stage, his face goes right into my ass.”

“I’m sorry, man. I’ll try not to do that anymore.”

“Cause we gotta hang out, like, all the time. It gets awkward.”

And picture the shoe talking in a REALLY REALLY low voice.

And speaking of awkward – Demetri did a great song about ways to end an awkward silence.

Jazz hands.

Wicka wicka wicka.

Awk-ward si-lence. CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP.

Shhh….shhh… and you touch their lips.

Those are just a few, but there were many more. I just can’t remember them at the moment. My favorite part, actually, was the random banter with the audience in the front. There was this girl celebrating her Sweet Sixteen right in front. “Happy Sweet Sixteen, how old are you?” He asked. And at one point, that same girl shouted out, “do you want to go into the bathroom with me after the show?”

“A sixteen-year-old is asking me to go to the bathroom with her.”

“There’s a keg by it.”

“There’s a keg in the bathroom?”

“No, outside the bathroom.”

“Well, that’s a good way to remind people that they have to go to the bathroom. ‘Oh look, here’s a keg…fuck I have to pee.”

And there was a woman who brought her 6-year-old to the show, Rhiannon. I’m just guessing how to spell that. It didn’t seem to stop Demetri from swearing though. It was weird hearing him swear, because he always kept it clean on Comedy Central specials and on the CD.

Speaking of swearing, that quote I used for my headline was in the encore. Demetri was talking about a point in your life when a sentence that comes out of your mouth that sums up exactly where you are in your life. And his was in his New York apartment a few years ago – “Where the fuck is my tambourine?”

Apparently he needed a tambourine.

The encore was my favorite part though, because he was taking requests for “oldies but goodies,” and just random questions. Some girl asked him to marry her, people asked a lot about the movie, Taking Woodstock, which comes out on friday, and about “Important Things,” which isn’t going to air until next spring.

However, the last two questions were asked in perfect unison from two opposite ends of the theater, which is HELLA tall, BTW. We were in the first balcony, and we already thought we were high up. The second balcony must have been in the fucking ceiling.

“What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?”

“Where are you staying tonight?”

“My favorite flavor of ice cream is the Four Seasons.”

So funny, and so worth the frustration of a dying car battery. I was just kind of pissed that we had to leave right away afterwards, and I REALLY wanted to stand outside the theater and see if he would come out and take pictures with people. After Lindsay and I missed out on that at the Flight of the Conchords show in May, I didn’t want to miss out on it for Demetri. But sadly, my car wanted me to miss out.

Oh well, Demetri was amazing. Libby and I had a blast…ladies.


❤ Abby