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[Links:| ***intelligent writing* rockout with rockfeedback* SAVVY LONDON a humble label* editor and punisher*** ]

boys bands & chaos [Mar. 18th, 2008|06:45 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[latest sounds |love like fire: from a tower]

so i'm back from sxsw. i've blogged about the festival in general on www.fugitempire.com, so check that for more updates.  i will do a proper band/photo update on there, starting later tonight.  i wanted to cover some stuff about the festival/conference itself though so that's what the 1st post-fest article is about.

i have innumerable mysterious bruises, i lost my voice the day i arrived (throat was sore before i even got on the plane), and luckily all hickeys are below my neck.  i haven't counted the number of bands but it's over a dozen, met at least twice that many fabulous people, and at least 3 pairs of stunning eyes and had rachael ray stumble into me a few times at her own effin' party (yes i went to THAT party everyone made fun of before the fest and everyone tried to get into afterwards).

currently i'm on horse pill antibiotics, coughing up phlegm (streaked with blood-yummy), and two decongestants.  my right ear still hasn't 'popped' from the flight yesterday and my ears are still ringing (more than they usually do).  but it's ok.  i was more inspired than i've been in a long time just by meeting new people and seeing and hearing so much new music.  travel travel travel even though i know austin fairly well, travel is just the most wonderful thing.  ever.  next to music and art of course.  well it all goes together.

apologies i'm obviously not very coherent right now.  i'm still too excited and simultaneously bummed. i want to hit rewind and do it all over again, socialize more, maybe give up one or two bands for more networking, etc. etc.  ah well, you can't have it all.  i still walked away with some cool business cards and all that jazz. 

some of my most fabulous times were had hanging out with my dad's cousin (i.e. cousin eric's dad), and quining_talia.  i was so happy to share some of my favorite music with her (she got to see 3 bands with me!), and to have her around for perspective on some mild boy drama.  i hope she enjoyed herself as much as i did and didn't get my germs. yikes.

something more coherent soon. i'm home. i'm still buzzed.  i'm ready for more.
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fug it empire [Mar. 6th, 2008|07:48 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[captain's log |exhaustedexhausted]


kendrad was right.  i think it is better.  hopefully more updates soon, including full pictures non-cropped (only one got cropped, the 'holy fuck' picture).  anyway so far so good. i wish it looked better but wordpress doesn't give you much flexibility with the templates. i wanted it to work with 'fugitempire.com' and wordpress offers the cheapest (that i could find) blog publishing tools to offer that and other things.  i suppose if i ever get the hang of and make time for learning CSS i can do more stuff. i'd like it to look as professional as you ain't no picasso but it'll all take time.
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i hate wordpress [Mar. 3rd, 2008|10:55 pm]
my first music review for fug it empire has just been given the message 'attempt to upload failed.' i was attempting to SAVE A FUCKING DRAFT and i hit 'back' and it was ERASED. even my FUCKING YAHOO MESSAGES remain when i hit the 'back' button, and LJ saves drafts without you even asking it too.  i was 99% done and i HAD some of it pasted in word earlier, but thought 'oh no i'm almost done, i don't need it now,' and closed the file without saving it.

dumb as dumb dumb dumb ass lauren.

there was no reason for wordpress to fuck it up. my signal is fine, etc., and it saved the 1st draft FINE.  but of course, not the one that mattered. i had some wonderful adjectives and it flowed like an actual article.  i don't think i'll be able to recreate it. 
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catatonic [Feb. 20th, 2008|08:42 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[latest sounds |caribou: sundialing]

my thighs feel weighted.  they are heavy, and anvil-like.  they are at the physical equivalent of post 12-hour jetlag.  with each step i feel a giant, rotund mass at the top of each leg, ready to implode due to their own weight.  and my head...oh my head....like my post-morphine drugs but without the drowsy pleasure, and just the blank gummy wad of the post-workday mind.

today was better in the classroom.  i substituted for a teacher i've known since i was born, and in the same hall my mother taught in for over 30 years.  it was like coming home.  i breezed through the science building and ran into yet more friendly faces, and visited a few pet teachers, only to see them drowning in work, deafened by insolence from both students and administration, and left powerless with pointer in hand.

you could hear a pin drop in all of my classes except for a few brief moments in 6th period, which resulted in a referral for the one disruptive and disrespectful student.  the referral was given not specifically for his disruptive behavior in class but for something he wrote afterwards and turned in as his 'work.'  it was an ill-written missive regarding substitute teachers being 'grouchy' and suggested 'bringing it up with the board' so that the matter could be 'resolved.'  this was what he wrote instead of doing the assignment i gave him.  i received 2nd opinions from trustworthy and long-time teachers before deciding to file the paperwork.  i got home and found out my mom gave him three referrals in one year and had him suspended. he was escorted out of her class by the vice principal.  she said i got lucky he had behaved so well.

i got home long after the bells rang for the final period, due to running into more members of the 'language arts building' family.  after being dropped off at home, i sprawled out alongside our upright piano, and couldn't move for 20 minutes.  i did some ballet stretches after and felt no better.  i took a bath, still nothing.  mom screamed something about the lunar eclipse, and she and dad went outside to look at it.  i had just seated myself down at my desk, and felt unable to move with the necessary amount of velocity to get outside in time.  we ate dinner and i received no rebirth of my normal functions.  while mom and dad watched a 50-year old quiz show, i curled up and retreated further into my hoodie and swishy track pants. 

mom looked at me and stroked my leg. 'i feel so bad honey, i'm so sorry.  we need to find you a rich husband, you're just not built for real work.'

the great consolation from working almost full-time again is the pay.  duh.  despite waking up 3.5 hours earlier than necessary for both days of substitute teaching, i fell asleep more easily by thinking about the money i would be making.  sad but true.  i have now paid off a decent chunk of recent debt simply between this paycheck from the bookstore and 2 days of subbing.  i still have a long way to go though.  now that i am less drained by bookstore activities (i'm looking forward to the next 3 days in the shop compared to the teaching) perhaps the subbing could become routine, at least for certain teachers.

i am so much more in love with caribou/manitoba than i have ever been. if you were ever a fan of The Association, Mamas and the Papas, or even the oddball swoonfest Stones such as Ruby Tuesday, i guarantee you'll fall head over heels for 'Andorra.'  and if not, listen to it anyway.  i'll give you a referral if you don't, and remember, after the 3rd one you get suspended.
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ode to a mumu [Feb. 18th, 2008|05:42 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[latest sounds |probably vampires: morning comes]

a frivolous little thing i wrote as inspired by my 70 cent mumu from madera's salvation army.

Ode to a mumu

I never feel more
Than when I am in you.
You are soft enough-not silk but
Sturdy and flammable-
Adding to your femininity and mine.
Your chrysanthemums: fertile colors of
Deepest rose, crimson, and pink,
Against a backdrop of dark vein blue.
You frame my shoulders well,
And neck-
The bow I tie myself
When I want to feel like a pretty present.
The thin elastic at the end of your sleeves
Give that mild flounce,
Making my wrists look delicate in tonight’s
Pale winter light.
The freedom you give me to roam and sway,
No boundaries for me are made.
‘Too big’ mother said,
But I know it is just right,
Beneath you
I could secretly birth a nation (or two).
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too tired for details 3 days in bullet points [Feb. 17th, 2008|12:06 am]
[Current Location |home]
[latest sounds |caribou: eli]

friday 15 february:
  • have billionth quarter-life crises breakdown lying flat on my back in my 70 cent mumu in the darkness of my former algebra ii classroom listening to beirut and the warlocks. 
  • catalyst for aforementioned breakdown- 35 tenth graders against me-english ii, 3rd period.  600-page hardbound books flying, pages/books ripped/destroyed, students standing on desks, paper snowballs flung across the room, at the walls, and at the now voiceless me
  • additional catalyst: having to call for 'security' as a result of aforementioned disaster.  my 'savior': my former algebra ii teacher, who has now been promoted to vice principal.  humiliation.
  • have friend pick me up with a smile and take me to mcdonald's.  sundaes before a drive back to her place to watch the first episode of lost.  it stressed me out so much i needed a tranquilizer.
  • phone call from mother: have to meet her at the ER with my dad, because her cousin (86 yrs old and with severe dementia) needed immediate hospitalization and surgery for a hernia
  • join mother and proceed to spend 2 hours in absurd conversation with aforementioned 86-year old recovering patient, hopped up on vicotin
  • return home after successful re-installation of mom's cousin in her home (she appeared to be in better shape than me)
  • check email and receive some unfortunate news from a good friend very very very very very very very far away and...
  • find out one of my best guy friends, perhaps the best, has most likely found 'the one' in his current girlfriend, whose father has a grave case of cancer
  • finally crash after having been awake for over 20 hours
saturday 16 february:

  • start to write something decent and have to jet to work at the bookstore with only one paragraph written
  • damn
  • quiet day, quiet shift, all is well
  • closing time: count out the 2nd drawer (not my drawer) and come up $60 short for no reason i or the other employees on my shift can understand. 
  • count the drawer for the 5th and 6th times and get same result
  • call the boss
  • get yelled at for the other employees
  • have to write up other employees despite there being no proof they had anything to do with it
  • count the drawer again with no better result
  • come home an hour later than normal
  • eat greasy chinese
  • note massive headache and clogged sinuses, dizziness and chills
  • cold war here i come
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from the summer of 3 jobs [Feb. 11th, 2008|08:41 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[latest sounds |beirut: gulag orkestar]

i just stumbled across some stream of consciousness rant dated 27 june 2001. it was the summer in which i lived in the peach house on 'vatican row' (a row of victorians owned by an insane orthodox catholic couple) with 3 of my girlfriends.  i worked around the corner at USF's KORET gym, i interned at the SF examiner in their arts & entertainment section, and worked in West Oakland for Dance Magazine as their secretary.

this was written while managing the equipment desk at the gym.  i basically took id's and handed out towels, basketballs, weights and jump ropes.  it was the only desk in the entire gym where music was allowed to play, and i could read, write, or draw during my shift.

"ok so this whole 3 job thing is ridiculously exhausting. it's great experience, but i'm really tired.

the last few days on my walks to the magazine (through the warehousian ghetto of west oakland) i keep smelling this wretched odor which just smothers the whole side of town. it smells as if someone heated up a vat of manure and poured bourbon and rum into it.  i was informed later by a woman who i regard as someone who can be depended upon for accurate information concerning such matters as the current scent of the town, that it was a yeast factory.  for joy for joy. normally it just smells of the morning warmth of whinos, a combined scent of fermented vomit and well, actually i think that about sums it up.  the walk isn't too bad i supose, it's actually kind of interesting. as i descend from the BART escalator, the fumes of a dilapidated public transit system greet me: fatigued metal, old rubber escalator hand rails, and the sticky change machines....& the rustily jointed attendants who wouldn't show any increase in reaction from a pen dropping to a volcano erupting.  blase about everything to the inth degree dealing with everything from the most obnoxious drunk to teh most obnoxious yuppie who insists that he paid in full fo rthe ticket which is now jammed in the ticket reader with a triumphant air that it has successfully delayed over 30 people in their upcoming arrival at the institution which helps them contribute to the rat race...."

wow...some major run on sentences there...i wonder why i stopped?  i didn't get to the crazy pink-haired/dreadlocked/pig-tailed driver of the VW lonely planet bus which would sometimes drop me off at dance magazine from the bart station.  nor did i mention that i usually slept through most of my bart stops.  i remember spending a good deal of that summer on a positively narcileptic couch, in the attic space upstairs, facing an image of the sacred heart of jesus with a row of bright red lights around it (flashing).  curled up with a large box of tissues.  i remember the smell of that room at the back of the ground floor, the painted wood and plaster, and the way my wispy white curtains would float over the desk and chair, making a soft almost sandy sound as it brushed over any papers or the wood.  i remember one of my roommates sobbing to me at the back of the flat, in the sun room/kitchen nook in which we ate breakfast, confessing her battles with anorexia and catholicism.  i remember making phone call after phone call on the carpet in the hallway to dance magazine, asking every two days if they had any job openings.  i remember the first time i talked to rachel, at the examiner.  i was lying on the hideous carpet in the hallway then too.  i remember our 4th of july party on a very windy, overcast san francisco day, wherein the barbeque we borrowed from sister ignatius (2 doors down) tumbled down the hill in pieces.  i remember saving the day by welding it together with duct tape.  i remember the stickiness of the kitchen floor and the squeakiness of the wooden floors beneath us. i remember the day the downstairs neighbors telephoned enraged that i'd practiced irish dancing on our kitchen floor.   i remember making absurdly sweet mochas for my roommate who was doing biology-related summer school at USF.  i remember many of my gym clients, one in particular who dashed off his treadmill mid-work out and stammered to me for a pen and paper. i tore a plain sheet out of my notebook and handed it to him. he scribbled something down briskly and with grave intent, before handing me the pen back and running back to the treadmill with his paper.  he looked like clive owen.  after his workout he returned to turn in his towel at the desk.  'writer?' i queried. 'yes, how did you guess? you draw very well.'

and yet i don't remember his name....
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plaid skirts and crabgrass [Jan. 27th, 2008|11:10 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[latest sounds |beethoven piano sonata #23 alfred brendel]

today was an eventful day for my former principal of my k-12 school, st. joachim's, in madera, california.  sister encarnacion, sort of the head of our little batch of spanish sisters, was part of the blessing ceremony for the new school buildings, the funding for which has been a long time coming, since she started at the school in 1980.

i also saw sister angeles, a stout, teapot of a spanish nun, well-endowed and plump.  not known for her weak or timid nature, 'sister a' used to play double dutch with the girls and made touchdowns with the boys.  i had her for 2nd grade and my sister had her for kindergarten and 2nd grade-damn lucky too.

after the bishop celebrated mass, everyone hustled out of the church and onto the sidewalk, huddling under coats and umbrellas in vain attempts to shun the rain and the wind.  the priest's green and ivory vestments all fluttered up in holy ruffles while they waited to be ushered across the asphalt by the traffic warden.  in the new hall/gym the bishop blessed the present congregation and various parishoners and contributors to the new buildings made various speeches congratulating everyone else who contributed, and most of all to the sisters and the oblates of st. joseph who are our resident priests.

the nuns congregated like a flock of little ducks in their blue and white habits, SAS nun shoes, and tan stockings.  they stood there smiling, chattering in soft spanish accents with pale faces and dark hair, students young and old coming up to them and thanking them for all their years of dutiful and loving service.  there is something incredibly special about the knowledge gained over such a stretch of time with the same students, teachers, and families.  at church sometimes on sundays i can still spot a few former classmates in the pews in front of me, based simply on how they scratch their head, stretch their arms, or brush their hair.  those things never, ever change.  i also ran into our former cafeteria mistress/choir director, mrs. a.  mrs. a. remembers every damn student that came and went from that school for over 15 years and then some.  she remembers me, and my sister claire, and our parents and what we all do and have done.  parents of children i went to school with said hello, and the new st. joachim's parental mob know me now as 'the bookstore girl.'  the st. joachim parents seem to be regular customers at the shop, buying lots of Narnia and Captain Underpants books for their kids.

on our way to view the new classrooms i had to walk around several cars on the asphalt, part of the new parking lot which has paved over the former 'lower wing' playground.  the latter housed two jungle gyms, and two separate swing sets, one older and one 'newer.'  the boys in the grade above me used to swing on them so high and hold so tightly to the chain metal that their knuckles would bleed.  they'd jump off the swings when they were at a 90 degree angle to the ground.  my best friend's older brother broke his wrist that way.  my friends christina, antonia, jennifer and i would dangle from our knees on the monkey bars, let our plaid jumper skirts flap over our heads and talk about cities we'd visit when we were 'all grown up' (and crushes on boys of course).  unfortunately the grass upon which all these memories took place is no longer, but i suppose the new students will appreciate the gym and more advanced facilities.

i saw a pile of a few hundred desks near the fence by the railroad tracks, between the old shed and what used to be the start of the old playground.  although i graffiti'd many in my time all my markings were anonymous, but i still felt the need to open one up and smell the inside.  i inhaled the familiar scent of the brown painted metal and cheap particle wood used for the lid, which id pick at with pens and pencils before lifting them up, and letting them swing back at well over a 90 degree angle, hitting the head of the boy sitting in front of me, usually chad jorgensen or dave corona or doug marmolejo.

the new classrooms were all very nice and clean and wonderful, i suppose. they uprooted the red concrete pathways along the classrooms though, with all the cracks we would skip on our way to the principal's office.  on our way back to the car mother and i walked along the concrete pathway which was put down for the 'new' cafeteria back when my sister was still in grade school there (she is 4 years my elder).  a vague memory of wet cement came over me, and of some mild defiance.  i remembered being forced to put my hand in wet cement and placing it into the pavement with my initials. we were walking over hundreds of hand imprints 'class of...' scrawled with a stick above them.

i found 'class of '95' and found 'LG,' and placed my name over the imprint. my hand is almost exactly twice the size it was then, what year it was done i do not recall.  i named off the names of most of the initials of my fellow classmates, surprised at how ingrained full names can remain in the memory when they are rooted at an age so young.  i smelled mrs. bishop's brownies and the 'sloppy joe' of days goneby as we walked out to the parking lot, where a memory of mom showing up in grandma's kermit green 'woody' bobcat stationwagon (the 'sister' to the pinto) made me cringe, and laugh, sensing the bouyancy of the chain link fence against my back and hearing it squeak.
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channeling...what? [Jan. 25th, 2008|04:32 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[latest sounds |brian jonestown massacre: anemone]

'i have much to say but not for the public here.'

the above-statement is both true and false.

currently in the works:

1) a song i started writing (melody only.....no lyrics)
2) a new short story
3) working on an old short story
4) a memoir piece
5) ideas/designs for future publication/website

i have tried to focus on just one of these at a time, and i'm doing all right i suppose, but ideas come up out of nowhere (i.e. the melody for a song that is actually listenable) and it makes it difficult.  they say multi-tasking is unproductive, and to be talented at more than one thing is a curse more than a blessing.  i am not saying that either of those things are untrue, but it just sucks sometimes to feel trapped in some sort of multi-media mediocrity.  most artists i know/love are active in more than one area so i should take that as a comfort. 

it is extremely windy outside and i'm afraid the palm tree outside is going to come crashing through my window.

more on l.a. shenanigans and their mediocrity in a while.....i don't know that i'll ever have the energy to post about that properly.  every time i try to start writing about it the energy gets sapped out of me....except when i turn it into fiction and kill off one of the characters:) yummmy......
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writer's break [Jan. 13th, 2008|04:35 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[latest sounds |crosby stills & nash: shadow captain]

i shouldn't be typing this because i'm sort of on a roll.  wordwise i'm still only at a little over 1,000 words for the short story i'm working on, but that's actually more than enough. perhaps too much, for the point at which i am taking this break.  more editing will tell.  i am excited though because a plot idea i have had seems to have more meaning embedded in it than i initially anticipated.

the more i draw out plot ideas and then attempt to give them life, the more i'm convinced that a lot of writers are probably a lot like musicians in that they write things because it sounds good.  there is not necessarily a 'reason' why you may choose to play a cmajor chord and then an f major chord except that it sounds good.  it is a wonderfully freeing thing when you find there is not necessarily anything wrong with that.

i am talking here about only the simplicity of a plotline and potential underpinnings therein, not the language with which i tell it, per se.  i had an idea, partially inspired by personal experience, and i started to go with it.  it is odd, weird, and somewhat a surreal/fictional circumstance perhaps to the rest of the world, but a very real circumstance to me.  at any rate, i was wary of 'going with it' because i thought 'what if this is just a story which is interesting to me because i relate to part of it in some way.'  what if it has no potential for more developed, human-related connection within the text? 

when asking a friend for information about medical equipment (it relates to the story) i started to explain the plot.  he said it sounded very interesting and in the explaining i unfolded layers of meaning i had not even considered, but they were all directly related to the plot.  it had an inherent meaning simply with the plot, which i can now bring out a bit more now that i've picked it out.

i don't want to elaborate any more because i actually don't thin it's healthy to discuss writing too much, lest it get in the way of actually writing and having too many people comment on your work prior to it reaching its full fledged state of fruition.  i'm going to keep things close to the chest for now save for one or two opinions as i go along.

sorry that this seems to have become a bit of a vent for my writing process but i am not only excited, but relieved.  although i did not outwardly construct the story consciously with the knowledge that it would have this new sense of meaning/focus, i WANTED it to have such meaning.  now i have to go back and do the prose 'justice' to the plot.....


p.s. mother has not been home all weekend. HMMMM..........and i'm WRITING....hmmmm...something must be done.....
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