I'm on spotify listening to Amy Winehouse (like everyone else on spotify, probably), but I'm listening to old b-sides from her first record--it appears to be mostly demos. I can't get over how different she sounded back then. Fresher, less affected, healthier voice, so much finesse. I wish you were all listening to it with me right now. Everybody saying she was a one-hit wonder, or not such a great talent, needs to STFU.
There's another thunderstorm going on right now. I used to try not to blog about the weather, but this entire year has been wild and it's one of those external factors that affects my (and everyone else's) mood in a huge way. At one point in the past week, Moorhead, MN was literally the hottest/most humid place on the planet. That's up by Fargo, dontcha know. In other words, really fucking far north. As for the Twin Cities, the air has been thick, heavy, and sweaty, and I've been living in climate control. I get antsy, though. So I've been running and biking in some serious heat, and lord have I sweated. I try not to complain, but you know: we had 40 below as well, so that's like a 160 degree spread up in here when you factor in the heat index and the windchill. How are we not all reeling all of the time?
This morning I was up early to go escort at the clinic. It was hot and sunny when I left, so I dressed for heat and slathered on sunscreen. Then as I stood downtown the wind picked up and everything went dark and the temperature dropped. I could see the weather swirling past overhead, between the tall buildings. The wind was blowing trash out of all the dumpsters and garbage cans and I watched a plastic bag get caught in an updraft and go swirling above the street, like the detritus in the Wizard of Oz cyclone scene. But the rain never really pounded down, which is good because you can't hide out in the doorway if you're escorting. Charlie the anti was there as usual, dressed in full raingear with his giant droopy bags of propaganda. One thing he does sometimes after yelling at women to watch their ultrasound is position himself near the windows, presumably so that whoever just went inside will look at him as they wait for the elevator, and he holds up this wee dolly--I don't even think it's an illustrative plastic fetus, just a tiny, caucasian baby that I'm sure is much appreciated by the diverse clientele--and makes sad Muppet face (or puppet mouth) while staring meaningfully into the window. And I look off to the side and laugh because the Muppet face KILLS me. And then I go inside and close the blinds.
Anyway, it started pouring as soon as I got into my car to scoop LA up for brunch when my shift was over. But then it was perfect outside when we were done with brunch. There was even a delicious coolness discernible in the breeze. Thanks, universe! So we snooped around a few NE boutiques, including one that was totally for arty ladies of a certain age. Who can spend $300 on artisanal linen overalls. And there I ran into a choreographer (arty lady of a certain age par excellence) who used to be my sister's teacher, and who I had JUST been talking about at brunch, which was weird--weird that I mentioned her in the first place, and weird that I saw her when I've literally never run into her anywhere in the cities, ever. I should work on manifesting something more useful to me than choreographers, right?
I think I manifested a kickstand earlier this week though. I woke up Monday morning thinking about how I need to put a double kickstand on my bike if I am ever to load the thing properly with groceries, and then when I got on the internet a Craigslist ad popped up in my feed listing a Civia double kickstand--in other words, the double kickstand made by the same company that made my bike. I don't even have a saved search for "kickstand"; why would I? I'm going to pick it up tomorrow morning.
Then I'm going to go visit my friend/mentor/former teacher Glenda, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer this week. This is cancer number three, for those of you who are playing along at home. Naturally when I got the news my first thoughts were of myself, and what a shite friend I've been the last six months. I never write, I never call, etc. I've gotten over my cheap self somewhat but when I finally got ahold of her yesterday, practically the first thing I said was "I hate that I'm calling you because you're in the hospital." Call the people you love, I guess is what I'm saying. Now I have to do some googling for her because I said I'd help with research about treatment. She's staring down the barrel of surgery because I don't think she can handle chemo or radiation. She'd unintentionally lost 120 pounds in the last several months leading up to this, which should have alarmed the hell out of somebody. I can't imagine.
My folks are leaving for their annual Montana trip this week, so I might try to see them tomorrow too. Just drive all over the cities (I'm not biking 10 miles to pick up the kickstand, then 25 to visit G, then 20 to see the parents, hail naw). They're going to take a circuitous road to camp and luxuriate in some hot springs and at some breweries on the way. My mom has contrived to end up in hot springs on many of her birthdays in recent years, and this year won't be an exception. It all sounds dreamy, and makes me want to get out of town. My car AC is on the fritz, which has been unpleasant in this weather, I can tell you, but it's meant driving with the windows down, with my left arm hanging out the window and flapping in the breeze. I can hardly think of anything else that makes me want to hit the road and head north more than that.
I'll try to content myself with some long bike rides around town and hope that I get conducive weather.
Did I mention I did karaoke on a schoolnight this week? Monday was my friend Leah's birthday eve and she and her neighborhood mom friends picked me up in someone's giant luxury SUV for the festivities. I got to sing "Easy Lover," a longtime desire, and crossed it off the crazy list in my little notebook. I should really scan those pages to show you. I discovered that I have written FOREIGNER, emphatically, on two different pages. One page is just entitled "Party Killers" and has all the sad sack songs you would only sing on a typical Monday night at about 9:45, like "I Can't Make You Love Me" and "Nothing Compares 2U." But this Monday was hoppin'! People were killin' it, and not in the party killer way. The Vegas has a great mix of people who are serious closet rock and/or country stars, people who just like to sing, and then drunk people destroying everything that is good about music (in a fun way). I closed out my portion of the night singing Cee-lo's "Fuck You," which is as super-fun to sing as you are imagining. SO FUN. Also, a woman my age who I did not know and who had just had back surgery showed us her bandaged incisions and, incidentally, her entire bare ass, in the bathroom.
As I often say, I still know how to party.