Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Times They Are A Changin'...

So, I will soon be able to update you on all happenings and goings-on.

But for now, you can read about me and Lori's crazy weekend (or, the Friday bit of it) over on her and Scott's blog. I'll add witty comments and additions soon.

I liked the part where she fell on her ass.

She also forgot possibly the funniest part:

14 year old girl to me on the street: "Can I have a cigarette?"

Me, overly cheery, with a smile: "No!"

But perhaps you had to be there.


Michaela @9:53 AM :: Comment

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Me and Lori

Mic and Me
Originally uploaded by superlori.

How cool are we?

I'll answer that for you.

Very cool.

Lori and Scott came through to Edinburgh on Saturday and we played The Movie Game with Jonathan and Sarah (Stella was busy pooping and sleeping) for something like 8 hours. It was crazy.

Good times.

Michaela @10:08 PM :: Comment

Monday, April 10, 2006

I'd love to know who was reading my blog from the BBC.

Michaela @11:09 PM :: Comment

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Never See A Split-Bill Show
(Or: "Are we on a date?")

I’ve recently come up with an idea.

Like I said, there are few eventful things to write about (that you, my friends, would wish to read about) when you spend the majority of your time working at Corporate Coffee Giant. Or, maybe you would read about it, and I just don’t want to write about it. It’s kind of like going to sleep and dreaming of work – you never really rest.

Maybe one of these days I’ll write about my favorite regular customers, like John, the almost certainly homeless guy who just got his teeth replaced and has to spend at least 15 quid at CCG each week. Or maybe I’ll tell you about Hugh, who comes in at least three times a day. The fourth time, I generally have to tell him I’m cutting him off and calling him a cab. Or maybe I’ll write about the one straight male I work with whom I have a *tiny* crush on. (Miniscule, really.) Or maybe I’ll tell you about my conversation with Ian Rankin about being hung-over at work. (I was not actually hung-over at work, however.)

But not today.

In lieu of “today” stories, I have a quiver full of “yesteryear” stories that I’m sure I haven’t told you about. And if I have, I’ve forgotten that I have, so perhaps you’ve forgotten them too.

You may or may not know that I did not have an “official” boyfriend (“Do you like me yes or no? Circle one. *Write in: Maybe, circled*) until just after my 19th birthday. This was closely followed (6 hours) by my first kiss, to the mental tune of “Anna Begins”, and musings about moving to England and living happily ever after.

But before that, I had several “quasi-boyfriends” (or, “pseudo-boyfriends”) which were usually long-distance affairs. There was Jason, my first prom date, who arrived at the door that evening with the single largest pimple known to mankind on the end of his nose, and danced with me only once (to, of course, the number one song of the year, "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion) at the “Titanic”-themed prom in his high school gym.

He also set fire to things using the candle in the middle of the table.

I was never totally sure if I liked him. He was funny, and he was the first guy to be utterly crazy about me, but I still wasn’t sure. In any case, my mother always said that he would grow up to be incredibly good-looking, so I should keep him around. Sure enough, he’s now 25 and incredibly good-looking. My mother is usually correct.

But this story is not about him.

Nor is it about Stephen, who kinda sorta broke up with his girlfriend of over a year for me, the first and last time that ever happened. Note that he didn’t break up with her FOR me, just because of me. We then took turns hating each other for the next few years, and now he’s married and and we’re good friends. But this story isn’t about him either.

The weirder ones are the guys you actually managed to forget over the years, until one day you’re telling a story over cigarettes and a half-empty bottle of 5 dolla sparkling wine, being drunk straight from the bottle, and he’s returned to memory.

Such was the case with Joel.

Joel was either too old for me or I was too young for him. Probably both, I don’t remember.

I knew Joel through the youth ministry organization I grew up in – he worked for them as their website guy. I was 18, and was volunteering at the ministry camp that summer, which made the whole situation only slightly less dodgy, since he was somewhere between 24 and 27 (I don’t remember that, either).

So, one fine evening, I’m over at my friend Nick’s for what I believe was his birthday party. "Partying" meant sitting in his basement on Lay-Z-Boys, drinking cokes, since we were good Christian kids.

At the time, I was fully in love with the Counting Crows, and definitely in love with Adam Duritz. All my friends at the time were emo or punk or somewhere in the middle….something that would be close to “scene” or “hipster” these days, but those words were not part of our vocabulary then. In any case, they weren't all that keen on Counting Crows. At said party, Joel and I were getting along really well. Like, to the point of it being bizarre. There was way too much laughter, and not even the fake kind that you put on when you quite obviously like someone.

I was lamenting the fact that I had no one to go with to the Counting Crows and Live split-bill show at Sandstone Amphitheatre, which has since been renamed Generic Cell Phone Company Amphitheatre, Sponsored By Generic Cell Phone Company. This honestly wasn’t a “hint” of any sort, since I wasn’t even sure if I was attracted to this guy, or even what his music taste was. Of course, he liked Counting Crows, but he LOVED Live (I liked Live, and loved Counting Crows). We swapped emails and said maybe we’d go together. I was pretty certain that it wouldn’t happen, since these things tend to just not happen.

A week or so before the show, I remembered it was coming up, and I emailed him from the library I worked at. We swapped no less than five emails, and by the end of the shift he’d bought us tickets.

Wait, was this a date? Did I have a date with a 24 year old? Or a 27 year old?

The day of the show, he came over to the house to prove to my mother that he would not rape, murder or kidnap me, and managed to leave with all his testicles in tact, as far as I know.

We leave in his red Tracker 4x4, and head to the show. We stop for eats at Taco Bell and he let me pay for my food.
Wait, maybe this isn’t a date.

We go to the show. And it was good, even if I was a little pissed that they didn’t play ANY of my favorite songs (Anna Begins, High Life, or Round Here), which just goes to prove you should never go see a split-bill show. I didn’t learn my lesson, and paid for it when I went to see them again with John Mayer in San Antonio years later. (“I though everything was bigger in Texas?”)

Several girls threw underwear at Ed Kowalczyk, something that I still don’t understand.

The show was over, and we left. He opened the car door for me.

Wait, is this a date? Crap, now I’m so confused.

We decided to head to an all-night diner in the city, which was about a 45 minute drive away, and about halfway back to my house. About 30 minutes into this drive, I realized I’d left my mom’s cell phone back at the amphitheatre.

I felt AWFUL. This meant another hour of driving for Joel. He was really, really gracious about it and promised that he didn’t mind at all. We spent the time telling our life stories. Actually, I let him do that, since it was ridiculously funny. All I remember is something about a tiger, a cave, and a waterfall in the jungle. I’m sure it was all true.

We miraculously found the cell phone.

We still went to the diner. I forget the name of this place, which bugs me since it was one
of our favorite places to go back in high school. (Rachel, do you remember the name of it?) It was staffed entirely by overly-tattooed and pierced waitresses and you were frowned at if you weren’t smoking. They made HELLA good greasy spoon food, and milkshakes, and were open 24-hours. I never went there before midnight.

And so we stayed and talked some more and ate that greasy spoon food. I think he paid this time. (I give up trying to figure out if this is a date.) We stayed til 4am, I do remember that much. And we seriously got along really really well. I’m not sure if there was any talk about ages, but I seem to have the impression maybe there was.

He dropped me off, and there was no indication given if there would be a second meeting/date/thing, and I wasn’t heartbroken. Like I said, I could never really figure out if I liked the guy. I probably would have gone on a second date though.

A few weeks later, we went with the same group of friends to see Shanghai Noon at the drive-in theatre. The only thing I remember is ending up in the back of his Tracker in a sleeping bag, with the window and gate up, watching the movie. He was next to me – not in the sleeping bag and we were surrounded by our friends so quit looking at me like that, it wasn’t at all dodgy – also laying down watching the movie. All I remember was wishing he’d make a move, yet realizing he was either a) too scared, b) thought I was too young or c) completely disinterested in me. As the evening wore on I defaulted to answer C. But I also remember being a little ill, and falling asleep, so maybe that also had something to do with it. I don’t know. In any case, I don’t think we saw each other after that – maybe once? – and I forgot about the guy. Till recently.

I looked him up, and he just got married last month…to a TOTAL hottie. Seriously, she’s a babe. And they look way happy together. High-five, Joel.

By the way, were we on a date?

Michaela @8:11 PM :: Comment

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Excess is the new moderation

OK, blog writer’s block over for now.

So I haven’t written for what, two weeks or something? I wasn’t really getting any complaints though, so I’m not sure what that says about my blog. Gone are the days when I couldn’t go five days without a whiner. My popularity waines.

But seriously, who wants to hear about another day working at Corperate Coffee Giant? Not me. But that’s pretty much all I’ve been doing, and driving myself insane in the meantime. I had something like 50 hours on the schedule last week. That’s a lot of coffee. But that doesn’t leave much to write about. Oh, I’ve also been watching Season Four of 24, but you’ve probably all seen that so there’s not much discussion to be found there either. That said, I was probably the only person disappointed when Michelle and Tony hooked up again. There go my chances with Tony and his newfound beer gut. (There's just more to love!)

And so, I shall tell you about my recent excursion to Glasgow and Greenock last Sunday night.

I plan to meet up with dearest Lori at Pizza Express at 6:30. Going to the Imogen Heap show with Lori is a gamble because she always looks cooler than me. This is probably because she is actually cooler than me. I mean let’s face it, going anywhere with Lori is a gamble. I should really start hanging out with people who are uncool, so that I can look better.

I am only a few minutes late, which is amazing since my earlier bus never showed. Well, it showed…but only RIGHT behind the later bus. Amazing. God bless public transport. It needs it.

I change in the bathroom, only then noticing the stains on my newly-cleaned shirt (it was washed in cold water, I think this is the problem). It’s a good thing the gig is in the dark for the most part. I return to the table where Lori is, and Lori says I look “gig-tastic”. We proceed to eat pizza and catch up on things while Lori drinks apple juice that looks EXACTLY like orange juice. What kind of country IS THIS?

I often wonder, when I go out with girl (second-word) friends whether other people think we’re a lesbian couple. I love Lori of course, but not that way. But let’s face it, we ARE sitting at a rather romantic-looking table in a rather romantic pizza place. (If you’ve been a Pizza Express, you understand. It’s the only place where it feels improper to eat your pizza by picking it up.) And we’re both pretty hot, so it would make sense. Lori and I have talked about the fact that we’d probably make pretty good lesbians, if we agreed with that sort of thing…and actually liked girls (we like boys). I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say this, being a good Christian girl and all. But I’ll say it anyway.

Lori and I also buy MASSIVE desserts. If I had any suicidal tendencies, death by this very dessert would be the way to go. And I’m pretty sure the end result, if we were to actually finish them, would be death. I can HEAR my arteries clogging. But I paid a tenner for this show and I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss Imogen due to my untimely dessert death.

Lori and I walk in the rain to try and find The Arches, where the show is. We give up and Lori asks some random guy if he knows where it is. Actually, first she asked a security guard. She has some sort of reasoning behind asking the security guard, but I forget what it was. That fails, and she asks the Local Drunkard, who magically does actually know where it is. (We had just walked past it.) He kinda stumbles around his words, until he realizes we actually speak English, then he rambles on in a Glasgow accent. It’s a good thing I’ve lived here for three years and that Lori is married to a Scotsman. There’s no way an American tourist could have understood a word he said.

We find The Arches. Lori walks in with her umbrella and the doorman says: “Sorry, no umbrellas in here.” Lori immediately has a freaked look on her face, til the entire door staff (four of them or so) start laughing. Cheeky doorman.

The Arches is a VERY cool venue by the way. I highly recommend it, even if it has a pretentiousness about it, as Lori pointed out. It’s a lot like the Caves in Edinburgh, methinks. It’s pretty perfect for an Imogen show.

But Imogen is not yet on stage. Zoe Keating is on, with her mass of dreads and cello. It’s great, but not GIG music. More….peaceful driving music. Or going to sleep music.She makes a sort of attempt to get people to not talk during her performance, something about the sound resonating from her cello, I dunno. Apparently, no one told her that people have to talk during the opening act…it’s pretty much a rule. If you want people to be quiet, get your own show. In any case, it doesn’t work. Lori and I reminisce about Ye Olde Gig Days, when we used to go to shows every weekend, whether we’d heard the band or not. We lament the loss of our “gig legs”, which are not unlike “sea legs”, as we now feel we are officially getting old and cannot properly stand for 3 hours at a go. We’re willing to give it a shot though.

Just before Imogen comes on, two Irish guys start chatting us up. One guy looks just like our friend Bryce, but much taller. I don’t remember the actual guys’ names though, so we’ll just call him George and the other guy Bob. George seems interested in Lori til he finds out she’s married, and me til he finds out I’m a Christian. It’s actually humorous to see the immediate reactions when he learns each of these things. Bob tells us that he has a friend who’s sister used to room with Imogen in London. Somehow this is kinda cool. Six Degrees of Imogen Heap.

So the show starts and it’s great.

And now comes my favorite part of the night.

I basically had to break up a fight at an Imogen Heap show. It was awesome.

I think it’s somewhere in the middle of “Loose Ends” or maybe “Headlock” that some girl who is about 4’5 and standing next to Lori (who is in front of me) starts singing loudly along. Now, this is annoying, but not rare at shows. Lori can tell this part of the story much better than I can, because she heard it all, but from what I gather, Chubby Blonde (who is next to Goth Midget) turns to her and says something about not having paid 10 quid to hear HER sing off-key. One thing leads to another and Goth Midget (or Goth Midget’s friend? I’m not sure…) is knocking CBs drink out of her hand. This was where I started to notice. CB GLARES at Midget in a way that I can only describe as FANTASTICALLY hilarious. I’m like…seriously, girl, you need some lessons in the Art of Tough because that ain’t it. Then there are some words exchanged along the lines of “Want to take this outside?” to which I ALMOST say: “Actually, please DO take this outside, because I sure didn’t pay MY 10 quid to have to drunk girls fight so loudly I can’t hear Imogen.” But I don’t. Then there’s some shoving and more shoving and CB’s boyfriend steps in front of her and I step in front of Goth Midget to separate them. It’s more like I’m protecting Goth Midget though because CB could have seriously kicked her ass. Goth Midget was scared at this point it seems, and (thankfully) her and her friends moved back.

I’m like…dude. I just broke up a bar brawl. At an Imogen Heap show. I’m not sure if that’s pretty cool or really lame. Let’s go with really cool.

Anyway, like I said, the whole show is amazing. If you haven’t heard or seen Imogen, it’s hard to explain how great she can be. She’s basically a one-woman band, with all sorts of electronic stuff…beat boxes and her PC and loops and harmonizer. My only complaint really was her version of "Let Go" just didn’t do it for me like the original version. But everything else was incredible, including "Daylight Robbery" which is one of my favorite songs.

Actually, there was one more thing, and that was that…no one moves. Like I said, Imogen is kinda….electronica. And yet….people just basically stood still the entire time. It makes sense on her slow songs like “Hide and Seek” or “The Moment I Said It”, but not when she seriously rocks the house with “Daylight Robbery”. She even warned us that on this song she may break out “in a boogie” and that we were invited to as well. Well…only me and Lori take her up on the offer. Spot the Americans. But it’s actually outside of my control. I do not understand how anyone can hear “Daylight Robbery” live and not at least move a little.

Lori and I walk to her car in the rain and drive to her house in Greenock, where Scott is up waiting for us. He was a good boy and made my bed in the guest room as Lori asked (it seems). Lori’s cats are ridiculously cute, and I’m glad to call them friends on MySpace. (I’m not joking, they actually have their own MySpace.) Lori breaks out “The O.C.” DVDs in order to confirm her notion that “Hide and Seek” was the song playing at the end of the season when whatsherface shoots (but apparently doesn’t kill) whatshisface. Yep, that’s the song. We can all sleep peacefully now.

And then we go to bed and get up the next day and Lori drives me into Anniesland where I get a train to get a bus to get to work in Edinburgh….which makes for a very long day. But it was totally worth it. I look forward to our next time together in hopes that in will include Felicity and cheese.

Oh and Lori gave me a WHOLE ROLL of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies! So I went ahead and forgave her for that whole “seeing Rent without me” thing.

So there you go. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Enjoy it, because I may not have anything fun to write about again for a while. And you thought Scotland was such an exotic place to live.

And Imogen is about to tour the U.S. again. If you can see her show, PLEASE go see it. It's simply stunning.


Michaela @9:01 PM :: Comment

"In the city you will find that the poor and the broken are often much, much more open to the idea of Gospel grace and much more dedicated to its practical outworkings than you are." (Tim Keller)

"Always On Your Side" by Sheryl Crow