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Posts Tagged ‘Anna of Green Cornfields

Mood: Mostly bad
Music: sHeavy-Spy vs. Spy


The following is the third and final installment of my “award-winning”, road trip-alogue:  Anna of Green Cornfields; or How I Wrote ‘Summa Vaca ’09: Burn Midwest Burn!’ The previous installments can be found here and here and here (jk).

So, there I was, frantically fleeing Iowa towards a date with Omaha destiny.  As I mentioned before, I actually like Omaha.  I lived there for four years during high school and junior high and it somehow managed to charm its way into my blackened little heart.  There’s a lot to dislike about Omaha and Nebraska (Nebraska Cornhusker football, beef eaters, corn, that f&@*ing speeding ticket, etc.) but there’s also lots to love (Nebraska Cornhusker football, The Old Market, Nebraska beef, Saddle Creek records/Conor Oberst, Cellophane Ceiling, Elliot Smith, Homer’s, The Ranch Bowl, Drastic Plastic, Matthew Sweet, Sokol Hall, etc.) .

Since Omaha and I are old friends, I wanted to, you know, drive around, see the sights, scratch the lottery tickets, smell the smells.   Well, the show started at 8 and I didn’t get to town until like 5:30.  I had the problems leaving Des Moines (what is it about me, packing, and leaving on time?) and I felt like a nap before the show.  I could have done a little sight seeing before leaving town next morning, but apparently I felt more like drinking a lot the night before and waking up late the next day.  C’est la vie.

I checked into the hotel, The Magnolia…

web front

…and had one of the nice young fellas park my car and take my bags to my room.  I was funny on that trip.  I’m usually a frugal sort of gal, but I didn’t feel like having to deal with bags or parking at all the whole time I was there.  Even though it’s a nicer hotel, it doesn’t seem like they were accustomed to that…like I got a “Ohhh, kay” when I called the front desk asking to have my car brought around and bags brought down.  That, and the fact that they charged me $12 for overnight parking, made me think a little less of the place.  The people were nice though.

After a short nap, I got dressed and did my makeup.  This was my first, post-transition concert and I was having the kittens about what to wear.  In the bad, old days, I would have worn some cargo shorts and a band t-shirt.  After a lot of fashion show, I decided on a heavier eye makep, pair of nicer jeans, a Melvins t-shirt (represent!), and my black Chucks.  So, it wasn’t a radical departure, but I felt like I looked ok.  After pysching myself up for a few minutes, I left my room and drove a few miles to Sokol Underground, et voila!

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Gymnastics after every rock concert!

Somehow, I managed to be late and miss most of Eagle Twin.  They were loud and heavy and not unlike Sunn O)) (even more like Khanate), but I was a bit disappointed.  Sunn O)) takes care of the heavy and loud so well that it would have been nice to have some counterpoint to all that heaviosity.  Here’s some video…

Ok, I know the sound quality isn’t great, but that’s kind of what they sounded like…slow, droning, sludge.  When I was filming the first part, I was standing right next to an 8′ tall PA/FOH speaker stack and the sound coming out of it was scary loud.  I’ve been to a lot of concerts and have stood right next to a lot of FOH speakers and that was the first time I’ve ever feared for my safety.

Sunn O)) was up next…

Ok, you watched the video the video and I watched them do it live, but I’m still at a loss for how to describe the experience.  Here’s some illustration…

-they kept the three smoke machines on the entire time

-the sound from the amplifiers was louder than Eagle Twin, but more clean

-they only played one song for…I don’t even know how long.  It felt like at least 90 minutes, but it could have been two hours

-unless it was one of the quieter, creepy as fuck passages,  you couldn’t hear the vocalist at all., but he barely stopped singing

-I’m pretty sure I entered a trance at one point

-it felt like my ears were stuffed with cotton for hours after the show

-we never saw any of the performer’s faces until after the show

-there was no encore…at the end, we all kind of stood around, clapping occasionally.  They weren’t coming back, but it’s like we were trauma victims in shock and needed to be told where to go

This is going to sound hokey and weird, but we communed with each other in a way that was far more profound than the usual transformative, live-music experience.  We bathed in unhealthy doses of perfect, pure sound and journeyed to distant planes and the edges of every map.  It was prayer and meditation cloaked in the guise of avant-garde, doom metal.  So, um, yeah…I liked it a lot and I’ll definitely see them when they come to Denver.

Still though, the live show experience might be passing me by.  I was prolly the oldest person there by five years and the oldest woman by ten.  I went alone and left alone.  A lot of Jagermeister and Pabst Blue Ribbon (turns out, I’m a hipster after all!) helped me feel better about being there, but it’s not as fun as it used to be.  Maybe it would be more fun if I had someone to go with, but since most of my friends are married/shacked-up/lame/fucking jerks/have horrible taste in music/imaginary, I doubt this will change any time soon.  Maybe I should just move to Chicago, Becca?  We’ll see…

That’s about it (ja, I know, 10,000 words later).  I drove back the next day without incident…had a Runza.  I was kind of worried about mah kitteh since I’d left her alone for five days, but she somehow managed to survive and greeted me warmly upon my return.  I went to bed about an hour after arriving home and dreamed of you, gentle reader.

I am so sick of writing.  Goodnight!

Mood: Tuesday, y’all!
Music: Fire + Ice-Weirdstaves (Fyrstr Aettir, Annar Aettir, Thridi Aettir)

Oh Mylanta!  It feels like I’m never going to finish this story and it’s beginning to feel a lot like a burden.  So, I might as well just get it over with already.

Where were we?  Right…farmer’s market, not moving back to Iowa.  So, after driving around for a bit, we went to breakfast, bought some wine (Joel Gott 2007 Zinfandel.  I overpaid for it, but it is, by far, the best Zinfandel I’ve ever had.  You should buy it.), and then went to my Stepmother’s favorite witch shop.

For some reason, I’ve wanted to buy some tarot cards for a while now.  I’ve looked a few places, but hadn’t ever felt like it was the right time to buy.  I told my Stepmother about this, and she proceeded to tell me all about how she’d been taking tarot classes.  Weird, no?  I ended up buying this one (Golden Rider)…

…because it literally fell off the shelf at me and I like the art.  I bought the cards because…I think I’ve mentioned my interest in things occulty.  I’m too much of an engineer to take much of it it too seriously, but there’s no harm in study.  My theory on the tarot is that if anything positive comes of it, win.  Like, even if it just shows me things that I already know (but haven’t been able to verbalize or admit), then it’s money well spent.  Also, I feel like I’m in a place where I have some insight into my self and my life.  So, don’t be surpirsed if I start putting up today’s card under the song and mood.  I have a lot more to say about the occult, spirituality, and metaphysics, but we’re veering dangerously close to off-topica.

Amway, the shop was really cute and funny.  It had “serious” magick stuff (potion fixin’s, candles, Eye of Newt (she turned me into a newt!, lol), etc.) but also a lot of Harry Potter and fun things.  There were three women (owner and employees) in there and they all had this sort of knowing aura about them and I’m sure I could have learned loads from them had I stuck around.  Anyway, I could have spent hours in there.

Here’s the teeny, tiniest side story–the witch shop is located in the same neighborhood that two friends of mine used to live.  There was a dive bar in the neighborhood and when the mood struck, we’d amble down for cheap PBR’s and earthy aromas.  This was the kind of dive bar that had a jukebox with Mountain Jam” by The Allman Brothers on it, and I would play it every.time.I.went.to.the.bar.  For those of you that don’t know, Mountain Jam” is a 33 minute long Southern Rock epic of improvisation.  I’m not really a fan of the song (too long, too Allman-y), but playing that song for the bar would amuse me to no end.  The same cannot be said for the other patrons…let’s just say we had to leave the bar earlier than we had hoped one night.  I also used to play the Beatles’ “Revolution 9” when I played darts with my friend Shari because it would to drive her bat shit crazy.  Ah, good times.

After the shop, we headed back to my parent’s place and did a whole lot of nothing.  My Stepmother had been having problems with her laptop, so I played at trying to fix it.  Later, we made dinner.  Dad did a dramatic reenactment of Best Steaks Eva and I sang the crowd favorite cucumber, hairoom tomato, and onion salad (with handmade vinaigrette, no less)  song.  Après dinner, we drank and talked and watched the backyard neighbors light fireworks and shoot Roman Candles at each other…seriously.  It was just like an episode of Jackass…amusing, dangerous, homoerotic.

The topic of me and my transition did come up during our al fresco dining and drinking, but it wasn’t as heavy as you might imagine. Basically, we talked about some of the mechanics of the transition process and how things had been since going full-time, but that was it. I’m not sure how my Dad and Stepmother were so cool and accepting (or at least acted that way, which, at first, can be good enough), but I credit them with making the trip fun and successful (in terms of getting reacquainted).  In other words, we were able to just talk to each other and enjoy each others company.  To me, that was the best part of the vacation.  Except for the farmer’s market, we didn’t go watch fireworks or do anything other than hang out and talk.  I’d forgotten how nice that can be.

Regarding names and pronouns…my Stepmother, bless her, never slipped up….which amazed the sass right out of me.  Dad was another story.  He’s been a salesman his entire life, so the Dale Carnegie friend-winning method of always addressing a person by their name is as natural to him as breathing.  So, he hardly ever said the wrong name.  But, try as he might, he could not seem to get his head around the new pronouns.  Stepmom and I corrected him as much as we could, but it didn’t seem to sink in until the last day.

And you know what?  It was ok that he messed up all the time.  When I first came out to people, it was a big deal for me if they made a mistake.  Like it was my fault because I wasn’t presenting myself well enough, and those mistakes really hurt my feelings.  Now, I’m a lot more confident, and I realize that this is a process that we’re all going through.  Of course, I’ll be upset if the situation never improves, but that seems like a remote possibility at this point.  And like I said, Dad was almost perfect by the time I left.

At some late hour, we moved into the house to watch television.  Dad promptly fell asleep and Stepmom and I started talking about all kinds of things, but a lot of it was about Dad.  He’s just turned 60 and has always enjoyed food, drink, and cigars probably more than he should.  So Stepmom and I worry about him and wish he’d take better care of himself, but he’s not the kind of guy that you can just make healthy.  He has to make his own choice, but I think time might be running out.  So, that was kind of a sad topic, but it was nice to bond with Stepmom about something.

Sunday was more of the same.  Stepmom and I took the dogs for a long walk, Dad made hamburgers, I made Sangria, we watched True Blood, we drank the Sangria, we talked, we watched The Women, etc. Dad had to work late Monday morning, so we said a quick goodbye and I packed then drove to Omaha.

Jeez!  I feel like I’m serializing a novel…Anna of Green Cornfields:  My Shocking, but True Midwest Adventure. The tale isn’t done yet kittens, but we’re close to the end.  Tune in next time for fawning accounts of modern rock and roll music and more, less-than-amusing anecdotes from the road.


an introduction





Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really me...it's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.

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All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

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