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Archive for the ‘Mikel Jollett’ Category

End of a Hair-a

I’ve taken many adventures in 2014.  (Soon, I will do wrap up and wade through successes and failures.  Cross fingers for more successes.)  However, one thing I strove for relentlessly in the last several years was not on my resolution list this year.  I’d given up on it in 2013 after failing miserably several times over.  There seemed never to be a conclusion to my own personal big white whale hunt.  I conceded to forever be outrun by my unrealized dream, only to be shocked this year.  Finally, I harpooned that fucking beast.  I took a good hair picture with Mikel Jollett.

It started back in 2009 when I saw them in Seattle.  At that time I didn’t even get close enough for a picture with him and my shitty camera phone.

old-mikel

It didn’t matter, the hair situation was a disaster.  Even with a smaller crowd at the venue, I sweated myself right into grossness.  In 2011 when I saw them again, I didn’t realize pictures were something I could get pretty regularly.  I danced the night away madly and ended the night looking like this:

blog1

My hair tried to recover by the time I ran into Mikel at a bar and we took this picture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I like to believe we shared a moment here.

I didn’t give up.  At the end of 2011, they went on tour again and I loaded up the lady friends to travel the seven seas to Sacramento in search of that mythical creature.  It started out on rocky water when I popped open the lemon drops when we rolled into town at 3:00pm.  (It was a girls’ trip, what did you expect?)  After much drinking:

I've been dying to use this picture.

I’ve been dying to use this picture.

And dancing:

dancing

The situation was dire.  (Mainly due to Bestie forgetting her ID and we were banished to the pit. Oh yeah, I said it.)

worst pic

Once again, the hair tried to recover.  It was no use.  The damage was done.

Mikel ass grab

In 2013, I was determined.  Nothing was going to stop me.  I convinced Bestie to go on a two show trip to Portland then Seattle.  A back up plan with a spare city.  The first night I kept the hair pristine waiting for Mikel to greet fans and pose for pictures.

Oregon, why do you try to ruin my hair with rain?

Oregon, why do you try to ruin my hair with rain?

I was ready for my close up.  My only shot.  I waited.  And waited.  Only that elusive white whale flipped its tail at me as he dove back under the waters (really, he jumped into a cab) and got away from my grasp.  It was after sacrificing a show experience to try to capture a picture, I vowed not to miss the fun again  In Seattle I embraced my crazy sweat and felt satisfied with the terrible photo at the end of the night.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We both look tired and terrible.

When 2014 came around and there was the promise of three shows in San Francisco, I didn’t hold out much hope.  Do I sacrifice my love of the show for the photo to commemorate it?  Or do I go all out and wreck my hair?  The first two nights I didn’t even try.  I wanted to experience everything with the people.  Smashed close together and sweatin’ each other up.  (Totes worth it.)  I accepted my hair disaster with open arms.

On the third night, Bestie was tired and wanted out of the crowd.  We watched from above in the balcony seats and I thought it might be my best chance to have reasonable hair.  Not my best hair because San Francisco hates naturally curly hair trying to go straight.  I had to let the wave out.  At 3:00am, my white whale crested the waters and posed for a few pictures.  He was gracious, smiley, and I thought I finally had the best I was going to get.

He is damn fine looking.

He is damn fine looking.  Me?  Uh…not so much.

Two months later when I saw The Airborne Toxic Event again in my two city adventure, I wasn’t looking for anything.  The good hair picture was proven to be a myth and I had my travels to keep my heart company.  The seas were calm.  In Portland, I didn’t even try.  I headed to the hotel after the shows without the second thought to get pics.  In Seattle, I wasn’t even looking for my Moby Dick.  I was snapping shots with someone else when I happened to see the band gathering near their bus.  We went to check it out and that’s when I finally got what I’d always been chasing.  A picture where my hair didn’t look like a fucking mess.

mikel me

Someone once asked me why I didn’t Photoshop my perfect picture.  I wondered “where is the fun in that?”  That would have been like Ahab shooting fish in a barrel.  Sometimes it’s about the chase versus the end result.  Now that I have my picture, I’m kinda lost to find what’s next.  Do I look for a picture with great hair and one of those prize winning Mikel smiles?  Or do I relish in the fact I have what I came for and move on?  As Ahab, I’m kinda lost if I don’t have my Moby Dick.

I’m not quite sure what the future brings for Mikel and me.  I do know I’m different for it.  I don’t have the same drive I did when I started 5 years ago.  Maybe it’s age.  Maybe it’s time.  Or maybe it’s the end of an era.

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The Airborne Toxic Event fans, are you ready for some more cookie love?  Something a little sweet and a whole lotta sexy?  One lovely fan Instagramed, “It could arguably be said this is the 6th member of the band.”

The day is finally here where Mikel’s Gretsch guitar makes its cookie debut.  I can write more words about it, but I don’t think I will.  Instead, lookie at the cookie.

mikel guitar copy

mikel guitar 2

Do you want to get your hands on one?  Just wait.  Your chance is coming soon.

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While pictures fly from The Airborne Toxic Event’s east coast tour, this Oregonian gets to sit at home with her cookies.  With Half of Something Else playing in the background, I continue to frost through more TATE memorabilia turned into baked goods.  Today we have another pick in the collection.

Actually, I’d thought about making this pick for some time.  Remember Colleen from the virtual baby shower?  She’s completely a Jollettian to the core.  Okay, that’s not really a word or even a real thing, but I wanted something catchy.  Justin Bieber stole the best with Beliebers, I gotta say.  Anyways, she does like the Mikel.  So when I realized I couldn’t cram three cake tiers in the mail to celebrate her son’s birth, cookies needed to do the trick.  She also needed something I hadn’t made before.  And with that, Mikel’s “La Sirena” pick was created.

mikel pick

There was trial and error with this cookie set.  Obviously the image couldn’t be as small as the actual one on the pick.  This is still frosting, people.  Also, the ones I liked better didn’t have any marks on the face.  I think everyone remembers how much I detest piping eyes.  Each of them are slightly different as I tested what looked best from the waves, to her hair, down to the belly button.  By the time I got to the end I was pretty satisfied with my rendition of Mikel’s mermaid muse.

mikel pick2

The full set traveled across the states to Colleen who also won’t be attending this tour.  Instead, her son’s debut will upstage Mikel. The cookies will have to hold her over while she delivers her son today and me while I wait for the band to travel west.

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Ask Me Anything

The other morning a fellow Airborne Toxic Event fan sent me a message about Mikel doing an AMA on Facebook at 11:00am.  She suggested I could get my questions answered.  It took me several hours to understand she wasn’t talking about the American Music Awards.  Needless to say, I missed my opportunity.  This did however leave me with the curiosity about what fans would ask if anything was on the table.

My informer sent me a message when Mikel answered one of her questions.  There was a definite squee in her words even though she didn’t type it.  Her question was thoughtful and evoked a well-thought response by Mr. Jollett.  I read through some others and they too had some good questions burning in them.  This encouraged me to dive into the rest to see what the world discovered about the lead singer.  In the end there were 1,748 comments on the thread.  It was a rambling mountain of hope, love, and admiration.  Mikel answered 293* questions.  How do I know the exact number?  Because I read all of them and put them into ten categories.  Here is the legend of things people asked Mikel Jollett.

Albums/Songs/Lyrics — 68

Fans are obsessed with knowing the why behind the art.  They say it in different ways.  Ask about different songs.  Share what it means to them.  In the end, they want to know if the meaning they pull out from the song is what he intended.

Literature/Writing Novels — 20

I shouldn’t be surprised people want to know about his thoughts on literature and writing.  It’s the area I fall into.  My questions around self-doubt stem from this topic.  I was surprised with the requests about what they should read.  I gotta be honest, I’m intimidated by people like Mikel because I view them as literary snobs.  I never hear them admit they enjoyed 50 Shades or a good Harlequin for fun. It’s always something smart sounding with complicated themes.  I’m not saying he’s wrong for his tastes, I’m only finding it funny how people flock to it.  Don’t believe me?  When you meet an Airborne fan ask them if they’ve read White Noise?  And then  ask them why.

Touring — 48

First, England seems pissed.  They want a tour and they want it now.  Several questions from the Brits were around “WHEN?”  I can’t blame them.  TATE is pretty awesome live.  It does make the experience.  Other touring questions were about why he did things at shows and if they were going to return to place X.

Random –26

They have no correlation.  They are random.

Gushing/No real question — 15

Let me go ahead and tell you the answer if you want to write about how much you love the band and their music.  It’s “thanks.”  Save the space for questions people.

Wasted Questions — 8

This was another group of throwing out lameness to take up valuable question real estate.  Things like “do you like my name?” “how are you feeling” “are you still answering questions” and “will there be Bombastic videos?”  The last is my favorite because the answer was “There are four.”  That answer could’ve been easily answered with a trip to their website.

Attempts at wit/jokes/originality — 28

This is an interesting category.  I think it’s the one we all wish we could do.  Successfully.  We want that one question he’s never answered before so he can tell us “Great question.  You’re special.  Wanna be BFFs?”  Oh wait, is this just me?  What ends up happening is an awkward train wreck.  Do you really want to know “pancakes or waffles”?  Or “When are you going to sing Elizabeth to me again?”  Or “Are you mad bro?” And “Do you love me?”  Maybe these were burning questions.  Spoiler alert — I didn’t see one response from them with hook up for beers.

What’s your favorite — 36

Ahhhh, the classic questions.  It’s timeless in all Q&A settings.  Fill in the blank at the end with something meaningful to the individual.  Maybe even something where you can find out something you have in common.  These are always fun.

Backstory —  36

Here’s another favorite of mine.  I love backstory (for anyone by the way, not only Mikel).  These are the questions which fall into learning about him as a person outside the lead singer life.  They encompassed things like the origin of his name, hobbies, possibly running for office, childhood memories, when did you start playing, and how did you get over her.  They are those interesting tidbits we wished we knew on a personal basis and not a small piece from a Q&A.

Marriage proposals/You’re so hot — 8

Really ladies?  (And with the Supreme Court’s ruling on California’s Prop 8)  Really gentlemen?  Marry me?  This kinda goes along with the olden days of “sign my tits” or throwing panties on the stage.  Aren’t we a little bit better than that?  He’s a person.  A man.  He goes home and annoys the shit out of his partner just like all our spouses do (me included to Hubs).

Here’s how it breaks down:

mikel questions

Although I didn’t keep track, after Mikel responded to a question about 99% of people commented on his response.  Over 1,40o requests went unanswered.  I didn’t go into those.  (Please people, I wanted to quit after 100.)  I’m going to guess they would probably still fall into these categories.  Which means your answer is probably out there.

This experiment didn’t answer my question.  Not because he hasn’t shared the information before, but because I realize I want the conversation experience.  I want the ability to ask the follow up and hopefully drag out a real answer.  No ones getting that on FB.  I don’t want it there either.  Because aren’t we looking for that original moment where we discover the meaning behind our favorite song while we find out something no one else knows in hopes it ends with a marriage proposal?  (Or at least beers.)

*There is a margin for error.  When I went back for quotes I read stuff I hadn’t seen before.  I blame this on FB’s difficult process to read a thread and the lemon drop I enjoyed while reading.

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The plan was simple.  Get a picture with Mikel.  And have good hair while doing it.  If you wonder how a person could make such a shallow goal for a New Year’s Resolution, you can read about it here.  Many discussions held prior to the road trip detailed how to keep hair in a good state for the several hours it took to get to the end of a show.  Precautions and hair products were put in place.  What could go wrong?

Rain.  Freakin’ rain.  You think I would’ve guessed since I do live in the Pacific Northwest.  The morning of the show, I did a little experiment on well how my hair could stand up against light drizzle in the air.  For any of you out there with natural curl to your hair, you get me, right?  Even the hint of a rain cloud can cause stray hairs to pop up in every direction in the battle between straight and curly.  I brought product to smooth out the strays and keep a slight barrier to the drizzle.  I was not prepared for pouring sheets.  I knew it was bad when BFF grimaced and begged me to buy an umbrella.  When we returned to the hotel to get ready, I saw what heavy rain would do to my expected picture later that night.  Oh the horror.

After another shower, more blow drying, and quality time with the flat iron, we left for dinner.  In downtown Portland, you walk.  In our four block adventure to dinner the rain stopped but the wind picked up.  Determined not to seal my hair fate on the half mile walk to the venue, I paid for a cab.  Things looked good when we pulled up a half hour before the show.  We stopped in for our ceremonial Jagerbomb and then headed to the back of the line.   Everything supported my quest until the line moved and we lost the awning coverage.  At the same exact moment, the rain picked up into drops the size of water balloons.  Remembering the disaster from the afternoon, BFF offered her jacket.  I declined.  She insisted.  I scoffed at the vanity even though secretly inside I panicked about yet another bad hair picture.  She begged.  (She loves me.)  I finally relented.  And I looked like this to the hundred or so people in line.

Once in the venue, the roof provided safety from Mother Nature, that sneaky hair ruining bitch.  We took our places at the back of the beer garden.  When the show started, the front pit section edging the stage bounced in rhythm.  It killed me not to be flailing my arms, jumping around, and loosely calling it “dancing”.  No one in the beer garden even swayed.  Unless you count the guy grinding on his girlfriend in an attempt to give her a colonoscopy through her jeans.  Anytime I started to get lost in a song, my face flushed, and I remembered bang-ruining sweat was on the way.  Instead, I calmly sang along to all the songs.  When it was done, the hair status was this:

Post Concert Hair

Still good.

After the show, I lurked around.  Waited casually.  Nothing.  I walked to the bar around the corner where I ran into them before.  Nothing.  More waiting around the front.  Not a soul.  BFF and I went to the bar and had a cocktail.  Worst. Lemondrop. Ever.  Defeated, we decided to walk back to the hotel.  We went by the venue on our way and BAM!  There’s Mikel talking to a couple friends.  To avoid the same disaster as the last time I interrupted, I waited to the side.

It took all of five seconds for Mikel to hug his friend, say good-bye, run across the street, dart into a cab and drive away.  (That sentence took longer to read than the time I had to grab him.  Not literally, of course.)  Too bad there isn’t a picture at this point where my jaw actually hit the ground.  I missed it.  My good hair opportunity disappeared into the cold Portland night.  I should tell you there was a split second I thought about jumping in the cab.  Thank God I didn’t have fast reflexes.

Instead, I moped back to the hotel in the middle of the night.  I cursed myself for missing the front line action for a photo that didn’t happen.  I replayed how I lost out on the one opportunity I did have.  Anger coursed through my veins.  Actual anger.  How crazy.  Silly.  Downright stupid at being so upset about a picture.  But I realized it wasn’t the picture that made me so mad, it was what I sacrificed for it.  I gave up the actual “living” part to capture the “memory.”  The destination became more important than the voyage.  An important reminder for a writer worried about getting an agent when she should enjoy every day she has a chance to write.

Luckily, I had another chance to replay the night.  The next night was Seattle.  I vowed I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

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And you probably didn’t think it was possible for someone to work in a Limp Bizkit reference in 2013.  Wait, don’t leave.  Hold out.  There’s a contest at the end.

After months of talk, the day has finally arrived where I unveil my Mikel Jollett cookie.  Have we all been dreaming about this day?  Wondering what it would be like?  Guessing what cuddly words I’d add to it?  I know!  I felt the pressure too.  What blog could really accompany such a build up to a cookie?  It could only be matched by a fantasy sequence.  Wayne’s World sounds — Doo doo doo doo.  Doo doo doo doo.  (And a Wayne’s World reference?  OMG, we are in the nineties!)

Without further ado, please welcome Mr. Jollett to the blog in his awesome cookie self.

mikel

In my fantasy, a short encounter with Mr. Jollett gives me enough time to say something so intriguing, he agrees to sit down for a few beers.  Because we know we are going to be BFFs, there’s no reason for games.  He says, “if our relationship is going to be anything of substance, let’s cut through the bullshit.”  I completely agree and pull out my list of oh-so-original questions to knock his socks off with.  He’s floored by my uniqueness and agrees to answer all of them without hesitation.  He doesn’t worry about the long-term consequences of bearing so much of himself in his answers because it was all meant to be.

Here are the questions I’d ask him:

  • In the world of writing, are you a panster or a plotter?
  • How do you keep your creativity after the grind of working all day and maybe all night?  (And if you say exercise I think I’ll have to kill you.)
  • How do you measure success?    Raise the stakes follow up:  Then what are you chasing after?
  • How do you deal with mind-crippling self-doubt?  What does self-loathing look like to you?  How do you crawl out of that dark hole every day to give more?
  • What’s your revision process?
  • With constant touring and creating new albums, isn’t it a lonely life?  Writing is so lonely and consuming at times, I can only imagine what it would be like paired with touring.
  • What are you running from?
  • What’s the day look like when you consider giving it all up?  What goes through your mind?  Then what keeps you in the game?
  • How do you feel about fans (like me) who take their piece because they think it will make them special?
  • Don’t you find people who make cookies decorated with your face the most interesting people of all?
  • How would you like to KIT?  Facebook chats or Twitter DMs?

I’d thank him graciously for his time, give him my number so we can drunk text, and pick up the tab, of course.  I’d leave the night on cloud nine and then follow the band to Seattle to watch him do it all over again.  We’d make eye contact from stage to audience, I’d smile and probably give a freaky jazz-hands wave hoping we could repeat our previous night.  His view would keep sweeping the crowd, spotting another friend for another night, and then move on to another town to do it all over again.

Hey, how did this fantasy go horribly wrong into reality of Mikel leaving me in the dust?  Nevermind.  At least I’d have my one night.  My interview.  And my cookie of his face.  A cookie without legs.  A cookie that can never run away.

eating mikel

Contest:  So what would you ask Mr. Jollett?  Leave your question in the comment section and I will add it to my list.  On April 4th at 6:00pm PST I will randomly draw from the comments and you will win a $10 iTunes card to purchase Such Hot Blood.  Also you will win a surprise from my concert trip.  It could be an autograph, a guitar pic thrown at the show (I did get that last time), or another sweaty picture of me with a band member.

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For the last few years in my writing journey I’ve decided to take on New Year’s resolutions.  Most scoff at setting goals at the beginning of the year like it’s begging to be broken.  A fad some say.  Pointless, others huff.  I disagree.  My resolutions have kept my determination high.  They’ve challenged me to continue reaching for the seemingly impossible and hold me accountable to what I set out to do.  Here are my resolutions for 2013:

1.  Read 25 books.

Okay, I tried this one last year and I didn’t make it.  In the beginning of the year 25 sounds like such a small number.  Hell, I have 12 months to do it.  How hard can that be?  Especially if you’re friends with an overachiever who gets through 100 in a year.  Yeah, I’m looking you, you know who.  I’m getting back on the horse.  I have a new plan.  Usually I keep my writing time separate from reading.  This year I’m going to incorporate the two when possible.  Even though the resolution wasn’t written until now, I already have 3 books done in January.  I’m off to a strong start.

2.  Be more active on blogs.

I’m a lurker.  I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis.  There have been fantastic articles, experiences, and stories, but for some reason I chicken out before leaving a comment.  My paranoia about saying something stupid/cliché/misspelled/boring/unfunny/catty/unintentional/ridiculous/etc. keeps me from pinning anything.  This year, I’m leaving my worry and my arrogance at the door and will try to engage with the writing community more.

3.  Have good hair in a photo with Mikel Jollett.

I went a couple rounds with all sorts of Mikel ideas.  Have a beer with Mikel, interview Mikel for the blog, or get Mikel to be my BFF were all considered.  In the end I went with the most important and didn’t result in a restraining order.  It’s a known fact I have not taken one decent hair picture with Mikel.  Our shots came after the shows where I couldn’t control my need for dance.  Each time, the show ends in a disgusting pool of sweat and terrible hair.  Frizzed out locks and warped bangs for each of my pictures with Mikel.  This year I hope to show some restraint and maintain a nice do for the picture.  Then when I have the photos on my desk people won’t feel the need to ask who rolled me before I met the band.

4.  Get an agent. 

As I discussed in last year’s roll up, this is a simple sentence for a complex resolution.  Every day I learn something more about the writing world.  I go back and work on the craft with the determination I’m not giving up.  Every year I believe this is the year.  I gotta be right some time, right?  Well, let’s hope so.

5.  Do something daring.

Age brings many lessons.  Lessons are the stepping stones of maturity.  Maturity brings a sort of wisdom.  All good things.  Important things.  It also brought a byproduct I didn’t expect.  Fear.  Crippling fear.  Things like embarrassment, self-doubt, failure, edge their way into new ideas.  “What if?” stamped out by “Probably not.”  My fancy free feeling of “who gives a fuck?” from when I was 18 replaced with “I guess I should because I’m a responsible adult.”  This year I’m channelling that fearlessness from my youth.  I commit to do something out of my comfort zone each month.  The intention is not to get arrested, but to free myself from limitations I create in my own mind.  “Creativity takes courage.” —  Henri Matisse

Wish me luck!

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