Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lydia returns-back to the short story!

Five summers after the “fortune teller” incident, Lydia finally decided to return to the carnival. She had been so shaken up by the incident that she couldn’t sleep for months after. Her brother had to take her to some doctor lady who didn’t take her temperature or blood, but just sat there asking her questions about her sleeping habits. A few weeks after, people starting whispering about her. It didn’t help that Daddy was never around to take her. He was always “working.” She winced as she pictured her father passed out in his office chair, hands poised over the typewriter mimicking an actual workingman.

            Lydia stood motionless at the entrance to the carnival, her long blonde hair blowing in the summer breeze. It was amazing how carnivals were really the only things on Earth that never changed. Every year the same rides were set up, flashing bright lights and catchy music to attract passersby. Every year the same popcorn was sold, the cheap circus kind and sweet caramel. Even the guy that sold it was the same hairy guido with a wifebeater spotted with yellow butter popcorn stains. Or if it wasn’t the same guy, it looked exactly like him. Lydia tried to hide the enormous amount of tickets that she got for free from her father in her pink backpack. You would think that having a father who owned a carnival, even if he was a drunk, would make her popular but it just made things worse.

            “Hey Loopy Lydie! Give us some of your tickets! I only got four left, and the Zipper costs five!” Lydia turned around slowly to face a crowd of kids from her school, all with outstretched, grubby hands and a mean look to their sunburned faces.

            “You know you can’t keep ‘em all in that backpack of yours!”

            “If I had a rich Daddy I’d keep ‘em to myself too!”

            One of the bigger kids hushed the group, pulled his baseball cap over his eyes and bellowed, “Maybe we have to tell her fortune first! Then she’ll have to miss another week of school!”

            Lydia rushed through the crowd, trying not to remember. Damn it! That kid had to bring it up! She couldn’t see in the bright sunlight, but it must have been Stanley, she thought as she pushed through the crowd of carnival-goers. She concentrated on making it to the new Zipper ride before they realized that the object of their teasing had slipped out of sight. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

All Points Wet-A muddied review

I am not a huge concert buff-mostly because I can't afford to go to more than 1 or maybe 2 concerts a year-I mean seriously, Ticketmaster is a greedy monopoly! But I bought a one day pass to All Points West-mostly to see Coldplay-because I love their new album....more on that later. So after shelling out 100 bucks-with charges and tax and freaking out because Ticketmaster didn't send the tickets on time, I left with my boyfriend to go to this festival. We packed for heavy rain-ponchos,blankets, etc. but not umbrellas because you weren't allowed to bring umbrellas. Or food. Or water. Yay for 6$ pizza slices that they sold! All of these small complaints aside there was mud. Lots of it. In the beginning of the festival the scattered mud puddles were deep and annoying, but like a team of super villains, they joined together and became one giant mud path. Some of the more drug-induced stunts of the evening included stoners flinging mud at the crowds. Not so funny. 

On to the music. The music honestly lit up my evening and made the mud puddles figuratively go down the drain. My top picks-and the only bands whom I saw the full sets of were We Are Scientists, The Black Keys and of course Coldplay. We Are Scientists was entertaining, but a bit forgettable. In short they completely met my expectations- though I found some new songs by them that I will probably download. The highlight of their set was most definitely "The Great Escape"-a real sing along. Low lights include stoners throwing mud on me and grabbing my hand. Thanks guys.

The Black Keys was very interesting. I am short so I couldn't see them well-but I kept going on tippy toes to check if they were really a 2 piece band. They were not only fun, entertaining and talented-but they put on a great show. I honestly don't usually like bluesy music-but they mixed blues with some alternative and some good old rock and roll for a great outcome. I particularly enjoyed 10 AM automatic and the band's unique "I don't care i we look like a band or not" appearance.

And now for Coldplay. I'm sorry in advance for being a bit biased but seriously Coldplay is awesome. They are wonderful musicians who really have a passion for their music. Most of their stuff is more than a bit more mellow than the alt. rock and metal bands out there-but they play every song with the passion of a hard n heavy rock anthem. Their lyrics are beautiful and I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute of their set-even the "oldplay" songs that I'm not as familiar with. Some highlights include Yellow-where the lights were a brilliant lemon color and the band tossed yellow balloons into the muddied crowd; Viva La Vida of course, a "Coldplayized" version of You gotta fight; Lovers in Japan which was a great show of culture, light and sound; and Chris Martin's sweet British accent.

Overall All Points West was well worth the wait, mud and the stench of a few hundred hourses. I just wish I could have seen more bands-it was so hard to pick and choose!

Peace, Love and Rock n roll people.

Lavender and Rose

 “Ugh Rose, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I feel so crappy lately.” Rose stopped dusting the end table for a moment to stare at her sister laying on her bedraggled old blue futon with the stuffing poking out of it.

            “Are you sure it’s not the two packs you smoke every day? Look, I’m not gonna pay for your medical bills if you have lung cancer or something.”

            “It’s not that kind of sick…and will you stop dusting my furniture! I don’t need you to be my housewife! I’d probably be a pretty sucky husband.”

            “No, you’d be perfect. You sure act like him, laying around all day. But seriously, what’s wrong with you if it’s not a black lung?"                                                                                                   

            “I told you already! It all started when I touched that little girl’s hand! I haven’t slept in a week! Ya think she’s a witch or something?”

            “Oh yes, I heard the devil likes to have six year olds do his bidding, especially at carnivals.”

            “I think she was seven.”

            “Oh right, because you read her mind. Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis?”

            “It’s telling the future! Not reading her mind. Am I crazy?”

            “Same difference. And no, you’re not crazy, you’re just extremely untidy. Ugh! I swear it gets worse every time I come here! Just because you never married what’s-his-name doesn’t mean everything goes down the drain!” After a moment of stifling silence accompanied by the faint swish swish of the feather duster, Rose continued.

            “Shouldn’t you be at work, Miss Lavender?” Rose emphasized the name in a way meant to tease her sister and erase the words that mistakenly spilled out of her mouth just moments before.

            But Lavender was staring at the untwisted turban, her fingers exploring the cotton polyester mix and her mind exploring the deep recesses of memory. Her thoughts alternated between the recent memory of the images that invaded her mind after touching that girl’s hand and the more distant past. John, Johnny. He was her high school love. It was kind of clich├ęd, but true. But she hadn’t been pregnant or anything; she had that bit of luck over Sally James; that hussy had to drop out of school. It still hurt thinking about him, how he left her two weeks before they were supposed to get married. Damn it! Rose had to bring that up. Rose had a husband, a few kids and a plastic covered couch. She had a midlife crisis, complete with hallucinations and possible premonitions of the future. Maybe Rose would be willing to trade.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lydia is spooked by Lavender

Lydia’s eyes widened in fear as she tried to understand what the old lady just whispered to her. She began to run far away from the lonely old stand next to the Tilt a Whirl, shrieking as loud as she can. Real tears streamed down her cheeks as she struggled to find her Father through blurry vision and soggy eyelashes. She found him sipping beer and laughing with some of the weird old men that he worked with. Lydia tugged on her father’s suit jacket, still amazed that she did not have to conjure fake sobs for his attention.

“Daddy I…”                                                                                                             

Her father spun around, seeing his daughter he smiled broadly at her through his alcohol-induced haze.

            “Lydia! Sweetie! I’m having a professional chat with some important people…don’t you have enough tickets?”

            “Daddy really! You should hear what this crazy old lady said to me! She told my future and it was really scary and she said…”

            Lydia’s father bent over to meet Lydia’s eye level. She winced as she smelled the stale beer on his breath, a familiar smell to her by now.

            “Look sweetie, I’m really sorry you were scared, here’s some more tickets, ok?”

            “No! I don’t want any more tickets I already went on all of the rides…”

Friday, July 31, 2009

My story continued

A young girl around seven years old wearing a cherry red dress and blonde pigtails came skipping up to her booth, her chin barely reaching the counter.

“Hey lady!” The voice squeaked, as high pitched as the tilt a whirl’s annoying rendition of “It’s a Small World.” “Can you really tell the future?




            Lavender cleared her throat and in not a very convincing Russian accent drawled, “Yes my dear, I can tell you your future, or anything you want for just two tickets.” The little girl handed over two blue “admit one” tickets that were tainted with a sticky cotton candy residue.

            “Give me your hand.” The little girl placed her hand over the counter as she nervously chewed her pigtail.

            “What the hell?” Lavender thought to herself. The coolness of the child’s hand seemed to melt her own spider veined one. Her thoughts faded out one by one, as images formed in her mind. The carnival was gone, even the nicotine addiction had ceased to claw at her subconscious. The images were appearing and disappearing rapidly. A couple walking. A piano. A church. An empty liquor bottle. A wheelchair. Lavender yanked her hand away. She frowned as the blinking lights and the girl’s yellow pigtails bobbing in front of her came back into focus. She bent over the counter and whispered in her customer’s ear….

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lavenders by Moonlight

My short story- I will publish some chapters every few days or so. Let me know what you think!!!!

The harsh blinking of the carnival lights had stopped hurting Miss Lavender’s eyes over an hour ago. But the combination of the light bulbs blinking in time with the tinny music and the salty sweet smell of caramel popcorn still gave her a dull headache. It was supposed to be an easy summer job, a way to support herself between careers. But the damn carnival paid her a hell of a lot better than a career in piano performance did. She began to wish she were allowed to have a cigarette. “Stupid rule,” she thought, beginning to feel the nagging crave for nicotine, “not supposed to smoke around the darling children.”

            Miss Lavender adjusted her turban, a white sheet she had just picked up from the cleaners. The sign in front of the booth where she sat bragged about the “Mystical Miss Lavender: Fortune Teller and Palm Reader Extraordinaire” in bold purple and gold lettering. “Miss Lavender” she snorted, “the name sounds like something out of a fairy tale….I want my happy ending!” she thought. “This is more like hell.” The sweltering heat agreed with her statement, and Lavender half expected the sky to burst into flames.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

21st Century Awesomeness-Hooray for Green Day!

I recently bought the new Green Day album on Itunes. I wish I could've gotten the album but I hate Best Buy, and alas Tower Records went out of business. Anyway, I thought it was pretty top-notch, even though the singles suck. Honestly the two singles-Know Your Enemy and Restless Heart Syndrome aren't that great. "Enemy" is repetitive to the point of becoming broken-record status and "BHS" is just not memorable. Do not be intimidated by the length of the album- 22! It loosely follows the idea of a concept album-with motifs such as love, religion, politics and non conformity. This seems to be nothing new for Green Day especially since the, in my opinion pretty good to mediocre album American Idiot. I especially enjoyed the songs 21st century breakdown, before the lobotomy, last night on earth, east jesus nowhere and horseshoes and handgrenades.

For Green Day this is a definite step up. I'm not the biggest Green Day know it all, but when was the last time Green Day had a love ballad like Last Night on Earth? The instrumentals go beyond the normal simple punk riffs that Green Day steers toward, and is more complex. The only complaint I have is the lyrics. It's the same complaint I have with Pink Floyd. The anti-establishment lyrics are a bit too obvious. However the lyrics are much more tolerable than "Idiot's" Give Me Novocain. I honestly can't stop listening to this album. I really wish I had tickets for the tour.