Thurston Moore and John Maloney at Space 1026 Last Night / Intensity

Last night I went to see Thurston Moore and John Maloney play in a very small space in Chinatown.  I may or may not have been mildly intoxicated.  And he may or may not have simply played nonsensical noise for 45 minutes.  The only thing I know for sure is that it was amazing.

There were a lot of people in the front room of Space 1026, an art studio and gallery space.  I had never seen a show there before, but I had been there a few times for art auctions and openings over the past few years.  The space was cramped but not hot.  The people mostly looked like they all just stepped out of the 90s, with knit beanies, flannel shirts, ratty sweaters and unwashed hair.  In between sets, the crowd was talking music, looking down, eating weed cookies and anxiously anticipating the start of Thurston's set.  The lights were bright and pointed right at us, as we were against the wall where art was currently being displayed.  It was oppressive and we ended up looking down, just like everyone else.  The air was thick, tense.  

Suddenly I caught a tiny glimpse of Mr. Moore, standing in front of the room, motionless.  "Hey, isn't that..." and the lights went down.  I was standing all the way in the back of the room, which was fine for sound but I couldn't see a thing, as there was no stage.  There were disco lights, dancing around the back walls and ceiling.  I could see those.  They seemed to be going along with the chaotic beat of the drums.

The set started out with light drum sounds, Thurston pulling on his guitar strings to make chirpy shrieks that cut right through the air.  It was so loud.  I waited for it to turn into something more palatable.  It didn't.  The guitar went one way, the drums the other.  The tempo was all over the place, crescendos coming in waves and tugging at my breath.  Sometimes the drums and guitar would match up, for one fleeting moment, but the snarl would soon return.  The whole room seemed to be anticipating this brief connection, it was like we were all holding our breath the whole time.  I began to be swept away by the sounds, which jumbled my thoughts and I started thinking about eternity. 

At some point, I realized that in the dancing lights on the back wall, the black outline of Thurston Moore, flailing about with his guitar, was breaking through the colors, creating visuals that added to the complete body intoxication that the sound was already providing.  I was reminded of the sounds Jimi Hendrix made on Woodstock recordings, burning his guitar.  The music had become a drug for my senses, which started to switch roles:  the sights and sounds became physical and I could feel them touching my face, my stomach, my eyes.  My vision began to blur and I realized that I was in a sort of meditative state and although involuntary, it was perfectly welcomed.  I felt warm and calm and synchronized with the music, lights and everyone around me.  I stopped thinking about when it would end and began hoping it never would.

People all over the room were holding their cell phones over their heads and snapping photos of the light show.  I couldn't move.

When the music stopped, 45 minutes later (I think), the performers put their instruments down and simply walked off up the stairs.  The whole room was silent. 


Misha died

This kid died.

I knew this kid, Misha.  Skateboard baby when we were all older and he always acted so tough.  He and his tiny friends used to ask me on dates, even though I was in high school and they were only up to my waist.  Tiny baby Misha, who grew up drunk.  Used to sit in his front yard and get loud on the internet, holding a bottle of cheap vodka and a big knife.  Had a fucking concrete skate park in his back yard.  Home schooled.  Different.  Mom was a Buddhist.  Had a brother.  We made out in a bar bathroom.  My earring was never recovered (real diamonds too).  He tasted like oreos.  But that was a long time ago.  

About a year ago, he told me over an internet chat that he was going to kill himself.  I spent several hours of my work day talking with him, trying desperately to give him some advice.  The next day he checked himself into rehab.  He was alone.  His father was dead.  He lost his house.  

A couple of months ago, right around my birthday I think, he told me he was living in Kenzington with some dude and had over-dosed a few times.  He said he wasn't addicted, he just didn't know how to do it right.  He asked me to leave work to drink vodka with him.  I didn't.  

Last week Misha told me he was doing great.  He moved to South Philly, to live with a friend from AA.  He got a new job at a fancy restaurant.  He had 60 days clean.  I told him I was proud of him.  I told him about my friend's yoga studio, a block from his new apartment, and he said he would go.  

Yesterday I got a call.  They found Misha in a hotel room on Sunday or Monday, he is dead.  

I will miss talking to him.  I will miss his rhymes, his off-color humor, the funny faces he made in pictures.  Even though I haven't seen him in person for a very long time, I will miss Misha.


Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

My mom is home from the hospital.  After my last post, she went back in.  More back pain, more fractures, even after the surgery she had to repair the first two.  I have been commuting back and forth across the bridge to see her every night after work.  These days are long and hard.  It's so hard to see her in so much pain.

She has a brace now, in lieu of another surgery, which will help to correct the pressure on her spine.  She has to wear it for three months (at least) and she is starting an aggressive Osteoporosis treatment soon.  This involves daily injections for 2 years and the website for the medication had a flashing yellow and red warning that this medicine CAUSES bone cancer.  Not may cause, DOES cause.  Six of one and half a dozen of the other? Maybe.  If she doesn't take this medication, she will continue to fracture bones and (in the Dr.'s words) "have a very miserable rest of (her) life."  She has the bone density of a person in their 80s at age 58.  The Dr. wants me to get tested for Osteoporosis in 10 years or sooner.  75% of this is heredity.  I'm scared (for both of us).

I have been carrying on, despite everything.  Going to bed late, getting up early and going to work, squinting a lot.  Today I get to go home and do nothing.  I already know what I'm going to watch on television, eat for dinner and wear while lounging.  I have been planning this night with myself for two weeks.

I realized the other day that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer one year ago this month.  I can't believe I've been living in this haze for that long.

I've been trying do little things for myself on a consistent basis, such as washing my face every night before bed and applying moisturizer (I know everyone does this, but I never did until now); putting heel repair creme on my weathered (understatement) feet and elbows; keeping dark chocolate in the house for nibbling (this is very important).  It's sort of working.  It's nice to have some consistency while the rest of my life is in (what seems like) a constant state of flux.  I have my little routines that make me feel like I'm in control.  These routines are so important to me right now.

I have to mention that I would never be able to do this without my boyfriend.  He has been by my side through all of this:  coming with me to the hospital and to visit my mom at home, holding my hand when I get phone calls with bad news, totally understanding when I have to jump up and leave without any notice.  He knows when I'm feeling bad, and quietly does something to help me or cheer me up, on his own, without my asking for anything.  He's really amazing and I'm so lucky to have him by my side.  (OK mush time over.)



I've been making jewelry from broken pieces of my grandmother's vintage costume jewelry.  Earrings mostly.  It's really relaxing and I'm getting some great feedback on it.  So far I've just given them away but I plan to sell them in the future.  While browsing Anthropologie's site today, I found some really great inspiration for my work.

I'm trying to figure out how to make these, specifically the manner in which the yellow beads are attached.  I'm also trying to picture how the back looks.

I really like the colors and the mismatched parts.  That is what I try to do.  I need to get some rose-shaped beads.  Like now.

Great color repetition and form.  It sort of looks like a bug, but really reminds me of Shiva.


I would like to try something like this.  I am guessing I would need to solder these together.  Or maybe I attach strands of something to wire and shape the wire, each bead being independent of the others.

I like the mix of texture and the slight color variations in this one.  I also like the striped pattern, and the way it changes directions.  I also need some of that tiny chain.

Shapes, shapes, shapes.  I love shapes.  This is half feathers and half bones to me and I picture it moving all the time, as all the pieces are only connected in the middle and balance like a mobile.

I could totally do this.  Why haven't I done this yet?!!!

All earrings can be found at www.anthropologie.com

The Stress Diet

It's nice to buy new clothes.  If you can afford it.

I bought these pants yesterday, as I am down to one pair of pants that fit me (all are too big).  I'm on the (unintentional) stress diet:  get very stressed out, eat fewer/smaller meals, extra pooping, lose weight.  This is a diet brought on by high stress situations:  breakups, moms with life threatening illnesses/in the hospital/surgery, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I like losing weight.  I could definitely stand to lose some pounds and I am certainly not regularly exercising.  It's just the knowing that this is why it's happening, the running to the bathroom every few hours, the inability to enjoy food that bugs me.  I like food.  I want to taste it, smell it, enjoy every minute of it. 

On Monday, my mom texted me that she was headed to the emergency room, that her back was too painful to stay at home with her battery of ultra-strong pain meds.  She was headed to the emergency room for a Delaudid drip. 

So I got up from my hangover couch (I drank my weight in sangria the night before at a BBQ), got in my car and my boyfriend and I drove over the bridge to the hospital.

When we got there, we saw my mother, eyes closed, being wheeled down the hallway by a hospital employee.  In her empty "room" (the tiniest, wall-less excuse for a hospital room I had ever seen), sat my step-father ("dad"), staring at his ipad.  He filled us in on the progress (there was none) and told us that she was getting a cat scan.  She would be back soon.  So we waited.

When she was wheeled back, my mother looked pale.  She could barely open her eyes or move in any direction.  She was completely miserable.  She held my hand and we talked a bit, mostly about the terrible movie that was on tv.  Until her pain meds kicked in, at which point she became silent but agitated until she finally closed her eyes.  It was at this point when I started to have a panic attack. 

A surgeon came in to tell her that her best option was this surgery where they inject concrete into your back to repair your compressed vertebra.  She's doing that surgery today.  In an hour and a half.  Supposed to wake up pain free.  If this is true, I am going to eat a whole pizza for dinner tonight.

When I left the hospital on Monday, after realizing I was having a panic attack (from seeing my mother nod out on synthetic morphine), I was so relieved to be back in my car, back at my house, back in my comfort zone.  Mine.

I took a couple of "down calmer" pills and watched television until after midnight. 
Getting up for work was hard on Tuesday.
Getting up for work is hard most days.


my mom has cancer

My mom has cancer.  I guess I should have started getting this shit out when she was diagnosed months ago, but I was too busy freaking out.  I developed an ulcer, missed work due to back spasms, had a lot of trouble with food including not being able to eat it, keep it down, etc.  I have never had such a physical reaction to stress before.

I guess I just wasn't letting myself freak out completely.  I felt guilty when I got emotional about it because I thought I had no right to feel sorry for myself.  I don't have cancer.  Why am I the one crying?  So I took on physical pain in order to block the emotional pain.

I tried to quit smoking.  It didn't take.  I smoked more.  Surprisingly, I didn't drink more, but that's probably because my stomach was on fire every day.  There are better drugs for such ailments.  I took those.  A few weeks ago I tried to quit smoking again, that also didn't take.  So I'm smoking.  A lot.

About a month ago, my mother started experiencing horrible back pain, which eventually landed her in the hospital.  She contacted her regular doctor, who gave her shitty pain pills that didn't work and the run around when she asked for something else.  So she called her oncologist, who gave her something better and told her that the pain might be due to metastasized cancer in her bones.  (Smoke, smoke, smoke)
Turns out, she fractured a couple of vertebrae.  Better, but not really.

I've been sporadically taking her pain pills.
I feel like I'm not in control of my mind.