Date Archives September 2010

You realize that life goes fast, it’s hard to make the good things last



Yesterday, I woke at an ungodly early hour in order to complete my ten hour workday in time to snag an early spot in line for the Flaming Lips show at the Paramount Theater. Before I got in line, I stopped at PoDog and got myself a Seattle Dog and some fried pickles in order to sustain my body for the long evening ahead. I suppose I could have eaten something healthier, but I believe I read a study somewhere that indicated that the amount of cream cheese and scallions consumed is directly proportional to the number of hours someone can stay up past their bedtime, and that spicy pickle sauce enhances the effect. You can’t argue with science. That would be like trying to argue with a clown–in the end, you just look foolish, so instead you should just eat the pickles and let your stomach be filled with happiness. I contemplated stopping at Molly Moon’s, but as it turned out, I had reached my stomach’s capacity for happiness at that point in time.

I ended up getting in line for the show around five thirty; the doors were set to open at seven, so I had a rather long wait ahead of me. I didn’t mind, however, as I was approximately fifteenth in line, which practically guaranteed me a good spot so long as the line didn’t explode into a frenzy of running, shoving, and elbows when the doors opened.

When the doors finally did open, there were some people toward the back who didn’t quite understand the concept of a line and who ran and shoved their way to the front, and while I do feel it should be legal for these people to be tasered to serve as an example to others, we still got an excellent place along the front rail next to the stage.

Having secured such an excellent spot, we were not about to move, even when the opening act, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, proved excrutiating. According to what I just now yanked from Wikipedia, “Pink’s solo tours have generally been met with much negativity, primarily because his music was never intended to be performed live for commercial audiences.”

Here, have a quote: “People boo me everywhere…They don’t even hide their contempt. I’m used to it now…Hey, I’m giving audiences the real thing…For better or worse, I’m out there, and those are the circumstances. People don’t like it when it seems like you don’t know what’s happening, or I’m getting bummed out with certain aspects and I can’t hide it. I think people feel that pain and just think it’s bad.”

Or people think it’s bad because it’s actually bad. Painfully bad. The first subtle cue that we were in for a long opening act ride was when they first came on stage, Ariel Pink dressed in hobo couture–what appeared to be a red and black christmas sweater cinched in with a mirrored belt over silver lurex pants and clogs, the rest of the band so mismatched it appeared they were trying for redux Village People.

I couldn’t focus all of my scathing remarks on the band, however, as I was distracted by the mess of photographers who had appeared to take up the space inbetween the rail and the stage to block my view. No, this was not the band I had come to see, and in fact, worked to spare my eyes and ears, but I didn’t wait outside for an hour in a half in off-and-on rain to have to stare at someone’s backboobs or crop circles the whole night. The most obnoxious one turned out (to the best of my deductive abilities) to be from the Seattle Weekly–she appeared to be too bored to take any more photos but clearly felt it was her solemn duty to continue to stand in my way. What is it with the Weekly and total douchebags? Once the editor, Mike Seely, pretended to offer me a job as a prank because he’s a classy guy, then tried to forbid me from talking about it because he didn’t like the idea of the things he said coming back to haunt him, and to this day, I hope he goes blind and develops a debilitating disease that rots him from the inside out. Syphilis, maybe.

Eventually, the photographers were shooed away, and I was able to refocus my searing laserbeam eyes of hatred back at the stage for the remainder of their set, which thankfully was not overly long.

Afterward, while the stage was being set for the Lips, Wayne Coyne came onstage and warned the audience that the band uses a hell of a lot of strobe lights and that things could get quite intense for the people closest to the stage, that people often aren’t aware that they might have a bad reaction to an experience like this until it starts to happen, and beseeched anyone who felt like they might be getting ill to look away from that part of the show. For all his warnings, there was an ambulance outside after the show, so at least one person did not take his caution to heart.

After the stage was prepped, an enormous screen started playing a video of a nude woman dancing. A few minutes later, light started pulsating out of her nether regions–I leaned over to Tristan and said “…I could do that, but I don’t wanna.” Eventually, she laid down, the video zoomed into the pulsating light, and from the center of it, each member of the band was birthed.




Wayne was last, and rolled out into the crowd with his inflatable hamster ball.






When he got back onstage, the sky exploded with balloons and confetti–simple, childish elements that combined with the sound into a cacaphony of beauty and magic.







The show nearly defies description, save that it encapsulates nearly everything weird and wonderful about the Lips. It encourages you to find and revel in moments of joy because life is short and love is fragile, and beauty can be found everywhere. I found myself crying with happiness during the encore performance of “Do You Realize??” because the moment was so perfect and the song itself is so uplifting. I could not have wished for a better concert experience; I have my doubts that a better concert experience is possible.

When I got home, I found confetti in my pants.

I’ll pile high to the sky, the bodies of my ex-lovers’ lovers, dye dye dye dye dye dye

I spent most of Sunday dyeing fabric for my Halloween costume–I started out with one box of dye for ~5 yards of fabric, which isn’t enough for solid, dark color, but I was looking to try and get a more mottled, aged effect. Dyeing turned out to be easy enough and relatively mess-free when one is careful, and while the fabric mostly turned out with the effect I’d hoped for, it was not nearly as dank and gross-looking as I wanted, so I ended up buying four more different-colored boxes of dye and putting it through two more dyebath processes. The result is fabric with a wonderful amount of color depth and variation and it should go nicely with the other fabrics I purchased.

I’m starting to get things pinned to my life size Mellzah voodoo doll, and while I don’t want to get my hopes up too high this early in the game when so very many things can go wrong, I’m thinking that this year’s costume should turn out to be pretty cool. I’m going for something of my own design instead of a cultural touchstone, which is sort of iffy because costumes tend to resonate more if it’s something that people recognize, but this way I get run wild with my imagination instead of trying to copy what someone ELSE’S imagination already conceived.

Tonight, I go to see The Flaming Lips at the Paramount–I’ve been a fan of theirs since 1997-ish and this will be the first opportunity I’ve had to see them live, so I am quite excited! I would be MORE excited if I hadn’t gotten up at the godawful hour of four-thirty am in order to get my ten hour workday completed in enough time to get to Seattle and hopefully get decent seats as the show is general admission, and also maybe cram a PoDog in my face on the way.

This is going to be a scream! (AAAAAAAAAAAAAA) Whoa! Good thing I didn’t say it would be a gas…

Today, I went to a makeup class for the Dark Hollow Haunted Forest in Maple Valley. It’s expected that you’ll be present to apply makeup to the actors for at least one night of the haunt after taking the class; I committed to five. I would have committed to more, but October is a busy month for me, and I’ve got to work on my own Halloween costume and figure out how to do the makeup effects I want for myself (we’re going to a party with a big prize this year and I’ve got my sights set high (oh lord I have to dye fabric tomorrow and my kitchen will never be the same(goodbye deposit(hello obnoxious nesting statements(help me I can’t stop!))))), plus I’ve got the pumpkin carving party and an insane amount of food to prep because I can’t seem to throw a party half-assed. It’s whole ass or nothing!

The makeup style they’re doing is completely different from the style that I’m used to, and in the test application today I struggled more than I’d like to admit. It didn’t turn out as something I was pleased with, and so in my copious amounts of free time (uh oh) I am going to practice on myself until I’ve improved in both speed and technique. I was frustrated with myself because I feel like I should have done better–I’m one of those that wants to do something exactly right the very first time and those expectations rarely work out well for me.

The instructor/lead makeup artist is extremely knowledgeable, and another very talented artist showed up today as well–I am going to stick tight to both of them, as there is so much I could learn from them. Today, I asked a lot of (probably) really annoying questions about making prosthetics, GM foam, and whether working with it in my oven will kill me or just drive me out of the apartment, away from the smell of Satan’s Buttcrack emanating from the kitchen. I learned that while it probably WON’T kill me, the stench is almost unbearable and that it takes a LOT of time and effort to get the mixture correct so I’m probably better off not trying to experiment with it for myself this Halloween unless I’m looking to deal with a lot of mess and frustration with limited time.

I’m really looking forward to this experience–I’m definitely going to take a lot away from it. Experience PLUS contributing in my own way to causing someone to tinkle their undies in fear. This is the life! They encourage the artists to stick around for the haunt and act themselves, but I’m on the fence about it. I am simultaneously wooden and a laugher, which doesn’t bode well for scaring people wee-less.

I have also been informed that I sound exactly like a character from Daria when I talk. I haven’t seen the show and now I’m curious as to which one. If there’s an obnoxious one, it’s probably that one.