Archive for November, 2012


A Week of Blahs

It’s been quite some time since I wrote anything in here. I’m currently in the last throes (I hope) of a really annoying sinus infection, most likely triggered by the 30+ degree temperature swings we’ve had in the past few days. Seriously Mother Nature, 67 in the afternoon and 29 at night is NOT COOL.

I can briefly (for me anyway) retrace the major events of the past week. On Saturday I went to the Mountain Xpress Bash with Sarah. It was pretty cool overall. The food at the taco stand in the Grey Eagle is amazing, I’d go there on a non-show day just for some cheap grub. The Secret B-Sides played and were great as usual. There was a drag show and a comedian and a “Bathrooms of Asheville” trivia contest, all of which were fun. The final act was a rap group; neither of us are big rap fans and she was getting tired so we left. All in all, not much to complain about.

Sunday after work I hung out with the other Sarah, my friend who will shortly be leaving for South Korea. We ate at this Thai/sushi place in Hendersonville and then I helped her get a little packing done. She sold me her old laptop for $10, which I will use to better familiarize myself with Linux and to play streaming movies on my TV. She also gave me her dresser, which my neighbors had wanted. When I got home I helped them get it inside and then made a quick run to the store and went to bed.

Monday I saw what I thought was great news on my Facebook feed. Sarah posted something about “finding a keeper.” I texted her asking what that was about, expecting her to play it off and digitally whisper sweet nothings into the phone keypad. But as it turns out, she was referring to someone else. Again we have the complete lack of communication that has plagued me for years. If you’re seeing multiple people, and you think one of them could possibly turn into something more serious, you should tell the others. Don’t just go along with their flirtations and act as though things are great and then let them discover a bombshell on their news feed. Be open, be blunt, speak up and make things easier on all of us! I don’t know how I always wind up in the exact same situation, but it’s really getting old.

The rest of my week was rather uneventful, aside from doing a lot of painting and getting really sick on Thanksgiving. I had a nice dinner of Tofurky, stuffing, and sweet potato casserole, but what I really needed was some TheraFlu. The past few days I’ve been getting slowly better, so hopefully this is the end of it. I would like to make a full recovery soon so I can see some of my friends whom I haven’t seen in forever and would like to not infect.

Today on my lunch break I stopped by the video store downtown that is closing and picked up a few movies. I just watched Your Highness, not really knowing what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it was stupid. But in a good way. My roommate just got home from ten days in Puerto Rico. As soon as four hours has finally passed I’m going to have another dose of TheraFlu and pass the fuck out in preparation for my next-to-last weekend as a CitiStop employee. And that’s really about all that’s going on. The End.

 

Milk, booze, and phlegm

Thursday morning I braved the bitter cold to stand outside of Harvest Records for over two hours to get tickets to see Jeff Mangum (of Neutral Milk Hotel) at the Grey Eagle. The show isn’t until February, but it became the fastest sell-out in Grey Eagle history. Harvest ran out of tickets in fifteen minutes. The Grey Eagle’s website was sold out in four. Tickets went on sale at 11:00. I got there at 9:00 and was sixth in line. The girl who was first said she spent the night there. Evidently a lot of people still love Neutral Milk Hotel. But yeah so I got two tickets, and while I was there decided to pick up some new music. I got the new Menomena album on double vinyl (but the download doesn’t have any of the vinyl-only bonus tracks, wtf???) and a few used CD’s. A pretty productive morning.

Today I woke up with a sore throat and felt pretty blah for most of the day. A girl I know was having a birthday pub crawl and invited me, but I decided to decline. I watched a little TV and downed a mug of TheraFlu. Hopefully I’ll feel better soon, because tomorrow is a big day…

I’ll be going to the Mountain Xpress Best of WNC Bash to represent True Blue. And I’ll be taking Sarah. She doesn’t know how to get there, so we’re gonna meet somewhere after I get off of work and then take one car over. We’ll probably grab some dinner at the little taco stand inside the Grey Eagle. My boss wants me to be social with her for the first hour or so and then I’m free to do whatever. It’ll be a good chance to meet some local business owners and employees and do a little networking, and as a reward I get to hear free music and spend some time with Sarah. Should be a pretty fun evening.

Sunday is our Customer Appreciation Party. I don’t have to be there at any certain time, but I told her I’d come by for a little while. Other than that I pretty much have the day to do nothing. Sunday night I’ll be getting together with my other friend Sarah, the one who has been my concert hookup for the past year or so. She’s getting ready to head to South Korea to teach English and is trying to get rid of all her stuff. She’s selling me a laptop for $10. I don’t know anything about it, but the price is right. And I still owe her dinner since she bought me dinner on my birthday and then had to cancel when I had agreed to buy her dinner for her birthday. Should be yet another fun evening.

Monday I will get to give my two weeks notice at the gas station, which is most definitely cause for celebration. In addition to a much lower stress level, I’ll have an extra free day each week. And I’m joining a credit union, since I won’t have that gas station direct deposit to keep me from having to pay BB&T’s new monthly fee. Anywho, it appears this TheraFlu is starting to kick in and I’m feeling a bit woozy. Off to bed!

 

New(ish) painting…

About two weeks ago I finished a painting that I’d been working on for almost a month. Maybe it was working two jobs, or maybe the election, or being busy with a million other things, but for some reason I never got around to uploading it anywhere until now…

 

 

The piece is called “Al-Fatiha (Supernova I).” As you might suspect, it’s part of my “Supernova” series of weird landscapes with gold leaf suns. It’s pretty big (24″ x 36″) and is currently on display at True Blue as part of our staff show. As far as the process and whatnot, to save time I’ll just copy and paste what I wrote in my Deviantart page:

I started with a simple desert landscape, with dunes made of contact paper. In the background of the sky I wrote out the first verse of the Quran, then applied a lot of Golden heavy gel and painted over it. The sun is done in gold leaf. I then used ink to add shadows and textures on the dunes and the sun.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I took pictures at each step, one day I might make a collage showing it all and upload it.

So yeah, that’s my most recent work of note. I have a few little things I’ve been messing around with, but not really anything that necessitates a blog entry. Hopefully I’ll be having three days off in my near future (see previous entry) and can devote more time to art and to actually uploading and blogging about it. Anyways, that’s it for now.

 

I attempted to post this yesterday, but WordPress was being a little bitch. I clicked the preview button and somehow I had been logged out. When I logged back in, everything I had typed was gone, and the auto-save had only saved up until the point when I was logged out. I tried to refresh the page and all of a sudden it was completely blank. So yeah. More or less, this is what I had written about…..

My art opening at Blend last Thursday didn’t happen. Evidently earlier in the week someone had called to complain about the noise. When the cops came out they realized that Blend’s liquor license and paperwork weren’t up-to-date. They shut them down until they got everything taken care of. As of Friday night they were still closed. They’re open now, but that’s about all I know. Joel, the “curator” guy, texted me Thursday morning to tell me about the cancellation, and then called me later in the day. He said we could reschedule the opening for Friday, when they should be open again. I explained to him that you just can’t do that sort of thing. People have jobs and schools and schedules, and they just can’t drop everything and come out to an opening with one day’s notice. I told him that if we had another opening, it needed to be a month from now. He talked about possibly the first weekend in December, but I’m honestly not sure my stuff will still be there by then. I’m going to try to get ahold of the owner when I get some free time and have a little chat with him. If he doesn’t give me sufficient reason to be confident in the future of his establishment I’ll take my stuff off the walls and go home. I’m honestly too frustrated to deal with these idiots. They are the worst organized and least professional organization I have ever worked with, and quite frankly, I’m done.

Also in the non-happenings category, I was supposed to have a date on Saturday with Sarah, the girl I went out with last week. I was going to head to Hendersonville, where she lives, after I got off work. I texted her to get directions and she apologized for not telling me sooner, but she had to cancel. Her dad is an epileptic and he had a seizure. She had to take him to the hospital, and as of late Saturday night she was still there with him. It’s probably the most legit reason anyone has ever given me for breaking a date, so I can’t be upset. No matter what, family should come first, especially in a situation like that. I talked to her on Sunday and she said her dad was doing a lot better and not to worry. I’ll probably see if she’s free this weekend, seeing as how I have several things going on that could potentially turn into dates. Fingers crossed.

As far as things that are happening… It appears I will have a slight change in employment. My boss at the art supply store fired a few people and is realizing that I’m one of the few she can depend on. She talked with me about potentially “taking on more responsibility.” I wouldn’t actually be doing much more than I am now, but it would come with a significant pay raise, and a guaranteed four days a week. That would be enough for me to be able to afford to quit the gas station, which means I would make about the same amount of money, have an extra day off, and not have to deal with all the bullshit that comes from working at a gas station. It’s not definite yet, as there are two things I want to make sure she’s okay with before I agree to this. For starters, I need to be sure that Sunday won’t be one of my usual workdays. We’re only open five hours, and I’m not sure that would be enough hours a week to make it worth my while. No sense taking a pay cut if I don’t have to. Second, I want her to understand that if I finish my online classes and find a better paying job as a veterinary assistant, I could potentially cut back to part time or quit altogether. If she’s comfortable with both of those things, then it’s pretty much a no-brainer. Especially after all of the annoyances I had to deal with this week at the gas station.

And as for this upcoming week’s happenings… On Friday a girl I know is having a birthday pub crawl through downtown Asheville. Saturday is the Mountain Xpress Best of WNC Bash, and since we won best art supply store we got free tickets. My boss has already told me that she wants me to go, and that if I wanted to bring a date she would buy the extra ticket. So that’s two potential things I could possibly ask Sarah to. Also on Sunday we’re having a customer appreciation party at the art supply store. I asked for the day off from the gas station so I could show up for a little while, but it’s not like I need to be there the whole time. I basically have the day off, so I’m sure I could think of another potential date scenario. But yeah so, that’s pretty much what’s going on in my life at the moment. The End.

 

I’ll do some post-election posting soon, but for now, a quick little post about my dating life… Continue reading

Chris’s Election Predictions

Based on the various polls, the blogs I read, and my own observations, here’s what I think is likely to happen tonight. Check back soon and see how well I did!

 

1. Obama will narrowly lose the popular vote, but win the Electoral College. In the wake of Sandy, enough people in NY and NJ will stay home, causing the total number of Obama votes to drop. But both of those states are so solidly in his column that it won’t affect the EC.

2. Early on, NC will be in the “too close to call” column. In the wee hours when all the votes have been counted it will go to Romney, but not by a big margin.

3. OH, NH, NV, and PA will be such huge Obama landslides that everyone wonders why they were ever called “battleground” states to begin with.
4. FL, CO, and VA will break very slightly to Obama.

5. The major networks will spend a lot of time talking about accusations of voter fraud in FL and OH, but not much will come of it.

6. Obama will win big, with something to the tune of 303 electoral votes. Republicans will be the ones whining about the EC this time out. “Good riddance Mittens” will be the new marketing slogan that takes the country by storm. Joe Biden will be seen ironically sporting a Romney hat and a very large flag pin.

Alright, game on!

So the last time I wrote something in here I was anticipating going to see A Place To Bury Strangers with my friend Rhiannon. I took Monday off and we decided to meet around 1:00, which would give me a chance to (finally) sleep in. Of course, life had other plans. My landlord called me around 9:00, then again an hour later, and another hour or so later. They decided to send their “other” maintenance guy out to look at our fridge. He works mainly on their other properties, and basically if he says it can’t be fixed, they take his word for it. He looked at my fridge and came to just that conclusion. Hopefully that means I’ll get a new fridge soon. Fingers crossed…..

Also during that I-really-want-to-sleep stage between 9:00 and about 11:30 when I finally got out of bed, Morgan texted me. We chatted a bit and then I had to start getting ready. When I got out of the shower I saw I had a text from Rhiannon saying she was running behind. I took advantage of this extra time by doing a little shopping. I kept texting Morgan, who said she hoped I didn’t get stood up again. I assured her that wouldn’t happen and I tried to find other ways to occupy my time until Rhiannon finally got there.

We arranged to meet at Waffle House. Her car was messing up so she got her roommate, a guy named Ryan, to drive. He bought a ticket at the last minute and they headed to Asheville. It was around 3:00 when they finally got to Waffle House. We talked for a while and caught up, and then we went to the mall so she could look for some new running shoes. Along the way we went to Hollister, where she “ordered” a sex on the beach and I suavely asked the girl at the counter if she came here often. Oh, and Rhiannon freak-danced a mannequin.  After the mall we went to Goodwill. She found a HUGE bra and insisted we pose for pictures with our heads in the cups. One such picture became the most-liked picture on my Facebook page in years. Then we had dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. When the waitress brought out celery, Rhiannon asked her if she had any peanut butter. She’s a complete and total lunatic. Which might be why we’re such good friends.

Finally it was time for the concert. I could write a detailed review like I usually do, but I don’t really have the time. Maybe another day. The short version is this… The opening band was a group called Bleeding Rainbow. They had a girl and guy who sang lead, a guitarist who mostly made random noises, and a drummer who frequently changed beats in the middle of a song. Their overall sound was kinda like if Courtney Love would’ve hooked up with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine. They were pretty good; I wound up buying their newest album. Turns out the release got delayed and it won’t “officially” be out until January, but they had a few vinyl copies for sale, even though the mp3 download won’t work until the official release.

There really aren’t words to describe A Place To Bury Strangers. I love their first album, and the songs I’d heard of their second, but I wasn’t prepared for what I experienced. They were loud. Very loud. So loud their merch table sold earplugs. So loud that I wish I had bought said earplugs, because nearly two days later my ears were still ringing. We were right up at the stage, so that might have something to do with it. At that point the acoustics worked so as to make the guitars many decibels louder than anything else. Their guitarist/singer/songwriter is actually an engineer who makes all of the effects pedals he uses. And boy is he good at what he does. He created beautiful chaos, waves of sound and noise and feedback. The songs tended to blur into each other because of the sheer power of the guitars, but the band clearly put their hearts into their performance. I don’t remember the last time I saw a band play with such passion and energy. This might actually be one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. In the tiny confines of The Emerald Lounge, their noise-rock sounded positively humongous. The light show was definitely the best I’ve ever seen, with projectors flashing up colors, patterns, flowers, TV clips, you name it. They had strobes and smoke machines galore, creating a beautiful visual experience. The vibe was amazing, and the crowd was mesmerized. For the finale, the guitarist guy put his guitar on the floor and let it feedback and echo, while he went around turning off the projectors and turning on more strobes. He took a strobe and held it up to his guitar, causing all sorts of interference and noise. Then he rubbed it up and down on the strings, creating a cacophony that was epic in every sense of the word. This was a show you truly didn’t want to miss a second of, because there was no telling what would happen next. It seemed like everything was total chaos, yet the band members were fully in control of it all. I don’t know what else to say, except that they are a must-see band.

After the show we drove around looking for bars, but evidently because of the unexpected winter weather they were all closed. We came back to my house and decided to drink there instead. And drink we did! Rhiannon is a bit of a lightweight, but I totally showed my tolerance. I had two ciders at the show, then two big glasses of gin and ginger, a glass of absinthe, a shot of absinthe, a shot of brandy, and half of one of those tiny bottles of flavored vodka. I got a little tipsy, but for the most part was my normal self. Rhi on the other hand got drunk off her ass, on about a third of what I had at that. If you think she’s crazy when she’s sober, you should see her drunk. Easily the most fun night I’ve had in years. The actual sleeping part of the night didn’t go nearly as well, as she’s a bed-hog who kept rolling over in her sleep and pushing me off the bed. We finally got out of bed around 1:00 to find everyone else already up and around.

Rhiannon and Ryan headed back to Charlotte and I headed to Blend to show my stuff to Joel, the guy who is coordinating things. Evidently he didn’t know what time they opened, and when I got there it was locked. He suggested going into nearby Loretta’s while he tried to get someone to come open up. No one ever came, and he liked every piece I brought. Since we couldn’t get into the bar, he took my stuff home and brought it back the next day. I stopped by after work to drop off my tags and sign the insurance waivers and whatnot. Turns out one of the other artists is out of town, so Sunday won’t work for the opening after all. He suggested Thursday, and even though he never said 100% that’s when it would be, that’s what I put on my quickie promotional posters. Hopefully nothing changes and I can actually get some people to come out to this. I’ve never worked with someone this disorganized, so it’s pretty frustrating. But it’s exposure, so hopefully it will be worth it.

Today was my day “off,” but I spent the whole day running around. I got my mini-posters printed and brought some to True Blue, along with a painting for our staff show this month. The rest of my evening was spent eating Chinese takeout, watching TV, and relaxing for a change. Tomorrow and Saturday I have to work, but I’ll be off Sunday. I originally took the day off because of the opening, but now that it’s been moved I have a free day. Morgan said that she might want a break from her studying, so perhaps we’ll get together. I’ll probably spend the rest of the day taking the final exams for my online classes. And that’s about it. The End.