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A few short weeks ago, I posted about how I had no story on The Airborne Toxic Event’s Noah Harmon to go along with his cookie.  I should clarify, I don’t have “interesting “stories on any of the band members.  It’s more like awkward run-ins and Tourette like questions barfed at them in the few short seconds they make eye contact.  Armed with two shows to score some kind of interaction, I came back with a whole lotta love for the charismatic bassist.

On night two in Seattle, I crammed myself close to the right side of the stage designated for Noah.  This wasn’t entirely planned or by accident either.  I’ve been on Anna’s side before and while she is very entertaining, I wanted to mix it up a bit.  It didn’t hurt my position sat right under Mikel’s mic stand too.  It’s quite the feat to tear my eyes off of the gorgeous smile of the lead singer.  Mr. Harmon was going to have to bring something special.  And he did.  He stole my heart.

I think it was the champagne.  Mr. Harmon sauntered on stage with a champagne glass dangling from his fingers.  Not a bottle of water or a red kegger cup filled with a microbrew.  A glass of the bubbly.  Hmmm…I said to myself.  This is interesting.  And so I watched.  I watched all night while he played from this dark spot of the stage while Mikel worked the room.  I watched Mr. Harmon make eye contact with many of the fans and hang over the edge to pluck a strong baseline.  On small breaks, he’d glide to the back of the stage and sip again on that delicate edged glass.

Noah bounced around the stage with an infectious high energy.  He threw out his pics to all of us yearning for a small piece of memory.  I felt like a superhero when my hand shot up and I brought down one of those plastic triangles with their bird icon.  Invincible.  Even in the dark, I synced up with the rhythm of the room to capture my piece of the action.  And then it happened…

Eye contact.  Followed by a subtle smile.  (Insert the sound of my heart melting.)  A simple sign of appreciation that I had traveled eight hours, three hundred miles, and shelled out my year’s fun budget to watch the band do their thing.  It was all worth it for that moment.  The second I fell into instant-love.

I wanted to buy Noah another glass of champagne.  I wanted to make him bass shaped cookies.  I wanted to ask what’s his wife’s favorite thing so I could make her cookies, too.  (I am completely smittened by the fact I see a wedding ring on him every show.)  I wanted to thank him for the brief moment he probably forgot the second after it happened.

Unfortunately none of that happened.  I didn’t see him after the show.  No picture.  No autograph.  No champagne sipped together.  However, I did go away with this:

Noah

Noah

Dude in the glasses, I’m feeling it too.

Noah

Oh, Mikel who?

Noah

My favorite.

So there’s my Noah story.  But it’s not just mine.  He had the same impact on others.  Noah gave a head nod and flicked a pic to the three lovely ladies in front of me who followed the band for three shows.   He tried to arouse the young twenty year old next to me who looked to be in a coma the entire show.  (Why is it everyone under the age of 23 likes to stand around at a concert like they are too cool to dance?  Another blog topic for another day I guess.)  Another example comes from a Portland show tweet.

noah tweet

And there will probably be more and more as the tour continues.  I still hold out hope that one day I will be able to buy him that glass of champagne and thank him for the excellent show.  Until then, I guess I will have to be satisfied with a retweet and start working on some cookies.

Twitter Love

Who doesn’t want to be called “amazeballs”?

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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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I’m the first one to admit there are enough hours in the day.  If you’ve read here before, you know I have a strong reaction to people saying they don’t have the time to do something.  But there are times where I wonder where they all went.  And now is one of them.

The real reason comes down to, I want too much at once.  A month and a half ago I got back the first set of feedback from my critique partner and then a few weeks later I got the other one.  While my head tells me it’s great that I got so much info about things that weren’t working, my heart felt a little broken.  I’ve come to realize this is a very natural reaction for feedback about an art.  This is real progress for me.  A couple years ago I would’ve been a crying mess.  Or worse, a defensive know-it-all who didn’t accept any of it and queried anyways.  Only to get a slew of rejections from obvious holes in the story.  But now I’m trying to be patient.

I needed time to process.  So I turned to baking.  I’ve been thinking about baking, talking about baking, and creating cookies in my head for a cool book that is going to release in a couple months.  I’ve been trolling Pinterest for new recipes and even started another blog about baking.  I’ve pretty much gone off the rails.  To add to the crazy, it’s a busy time in my “real work” life which is leaving me exhausted at the end of each day.  How do I deal with this?  I cram more stuff in like going out with friends, planning play dates for the kids, or do some more baking.

But today I realized the time I’d been giving myself away from the novel was actually getting me off track.  I’d even started to sneak around with my mistress “television” and watch a couple shows here and there.  It was during an episode of “Discovering Bigfoot” where they were talking about the area being “squatchy” that I realized I’d hit rock bottom.  The book needed me and I needed the book.

Two nights ago I went over notes, studied what I’d learned at a recent workshop, and storyboarded the book in its current form.  Last night, I started slashing and cutting; scenes dropping dead or moving to a new area to be something completely different.  You probably are waiting for me to tell you it felt great.  Sorry to disappoint, but it was terrible.  I was more lost than ever.  I cursed my changes, thought about burying my head in the sand, and going back to what I had.  I tweeted a single word, “Lost” and updated Facebook to read “Doing major edits is kinda like amputating one of your own limbs with a dull knife.  In the middle you’re kinda like what the fuck am I doing?”

Then I paused for a moment.  I inhaled a deep breath and turned on Innocence by The Airborne Toxic Event.  This is the acoustic version I can’t find anywhere except YouTube.  It’s the soft staccato strings at the beginning that slow my breathing and give me the minutes I need to enjoy a good song.  (Yes, it’s a nice 8 minute version.)  I use this song at work when people are driving me to the edge and it even works wonders on the weekends when I’m forced to do laundry.

Why am I blogging about this song?  (Besides the fact I love Mikel.)  Because no matter what you do, how little time you have, or how crazy you feel, it’s important to find the thing that takes you back to your happy place.  It’s the reminder that whatever you’ve decided to do, it is all worth it.  You’ll get through the tough times and know you are working to get to the real place that makes you happiest.

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A few weeks ago, I was in despair about the fact it was quickly coming up on month three of the year and I did not have one concert under my belt.  Worse than that, I didn’t even have one planned.  There was a battle cry put out into the world through Twitter and my friend, The Tragic Spinster, answered the call.  (Yes, I’ve moved to only saying friend because she hasn’t rejected any of my drunk tweets.)  With her recommendation, I now know the ‘Canadians are coming, the Canadians are coming,’ and I plan to see them.

Whose the new band?  They are called Elliott Brood and in my head they’re of the same sound as Mumford and Sons.  It’s a folky trio with lots of acoustic guitar and a raspy voiced lead singer.  I’ve already picked out the one I’m going to drop Trag’s name to see if he wants a homeland hookup.  He meets her qualifications of having a beard.  (I know, she’s tough.)  I can’t wait.

As part of any good pre-concert agenda, I’ve been listening to them regularly.  This has been a bit more difficult since their US album won’t release until the day before the concert.  But as always, You Tube saves the day.  I’ve been able to hear their most popular tunes by watching their videos.  I’ve even signed up to follow them on Twitter for updates and get my friendly stalking underway.  One update talked about tweeting your favorite live video to be entered into the contest to win tickets.  When perusing through the options, there’s been a bit of concern raised about this upcoming concert.

Elliott Brood fans are white.  Let me clarify, they are whiter than white, whitest folks who cannot dance.  Please don’t misunderstand.  These are my people.  I’m the worst white dancer in the world and I embrace this.  But usually there are a few white peeps in the crowd who add energy and rhythm with their moves.  Watching videos of Elliott Brood’s audience showed me those people do not attend these shows.  (BTW, you people in the “Beer Tent” are giving a bad name to us drunks everywhere who are extra loud and obnoxious after mixing alcohol.)  If you don’t believe me, check this out:

Now in another video filled with a white-faced crowd, there is tons of energy.  They’re beating their maple leafed drum and having a helluva time.  This is the crowd I’m hoping for on Wednesday to rub my Urban Girl elbows with:

Either crowd, I’m super excited to check out a concert and get the feeling of live music back in my bones.  It’ll also be a good time in the big city with one of my besties.  (Yeah, I said besties, so suck it.)  If all things go well, hopefully I’ll hook up Tragic Spinster with the bearded guitarist so she can showcase her awesome collection of jokes aboot BJs. (That’s all the Canadian I speak.)   If you doubt me about her awesomeness, check her out here.

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There are times where I can play the same song about twenty times in a row for days straight.  This Gotye song has been that for me over this weekend.  Although I haven’t really figured out the symbolism of the painting in the video, I can tell you there is something addicting about the emotion.  The way his brow raises with the suggestion of still being friends, his shoulder rising in a heavy sigh, and the turn of his head in shame when she sings.  It’s pretty fabulous.

There is also this freaky crush I have on the singer because he matches the description of the boy from my work in progress.  It isn’t the boy I see in my mind, but very close when you read the description.  With little else to say today, I give you the video.

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