Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Asimplegirl Jones November 23 at 10:11pm
"in the weeds" aka...

under an enormous pile of...jambalaya - i actually just like to say the word "jambalaya."

pretend that you are under a mountain of randomly strewed...books (how fitting)

there is no light.

you are protected only by a shabbily constructed support system that you have managed to build high enough to accommodate your body, although your legs must stay crossed and you are hunched, the shape of your back a perfect bow just below the roof of your protective literary sheathing.

your only source of air comes from placing your mouth around the straw-like outlet you created from tearing pages out of a glossy paged book and rolling them up like a straw, leading them out through the tiny little glimpse of light you'd seen days before...or lifetimes ago...

your only steady stream of oxygen.

"they" say people can go crazy confined in a dark and crowded space for and extended period of time, eventually losing the ability to track exactly that:


you can get out.

it is possible.

but you must arrange and organize strategically and meticulously from the inside, causing things you can't see on the surface to shift with each of your buried movements.

sometimes a space appears that you can just barely reach an arm through and feel books on other layers above you...
the absence of light when this arm-width space is created only reminds you that the layers are deep...they are heavy.
you reach, blindly, feeling...touching...sending images to your brain as you try and construct the appearance visually without the use of you eyes...
flashes of light separate these images in your head as you try and construct and document the details of what your fingers touch.

you must build your way out, blindly, risk as your only lead and your only threat, knowing that each move you make in the process could cause the demise of your protective nucleus, leaving you once again without oxygen, foundation, support, or beginning.

but i always welcome a challenge...

...such is life...

Friday, November 6, 2009

blue canoe...

November 1 at 11:52pm

this is what just happened on the back deck...

Liz and I go outside for a cigarette (i randomly smoke and i like it but only on special occasions...this one, being "amanda and liz are together")

She just came back from the store so when we've both lit our cigarettes, i look to her for the much anticipated "I was gone for 5 minutes and i have at least a good 39 minutes of adventures at the Blue Canoe" story.

"OK, so my Blue Canoe story. Are you ready for it?"

I'm almost actually dancing with 12 year old excitement...

She begins to describe how it must have been "shift change" because one girl was "doing her drawer..."

Then she went on to try and explain to me that from what she gathered without actually INQUIRING about the "cash-up methods" of shift change under 6 different cameras in a venue that would be an easy target for the amateur criminal, with easy access to Interstate 295, the Maine Turnpike, Route 1, and into a major shopping extravaganza of roads and parking lots, etc (i typed "internet" first by accident just then - then i laughed, wondering what you'd think if I hadn't caught the mistake...then i laughed again). Easy escape. Common target.

So she didn't inquire. But, from the initial run on sentence, she THINKS that from what she could SEE, the SAFE at the store had one of "Insert dollar bill here, face up" type of apparatus instead of a...door? padlock? built in combination?


And just before we then bury ourselves into a completely pointless yet always entertaining analysis of how badly that would SUCK if you have to cash out a drawer through one of those devices, ONE BILL AT A TIME...

and a conVENience store...fuck.

that would suck.

you KNOW they are overLOADED with ones...EVERYONE uses ones at a convenience store...


do we?

this then lead to the analysis of IF we do...

and what are you buying?

because SOMETIMES i would be more apt to produce two-one dollar bills for a typical 20 FL OZ of Dragonfruit, which comes in at a nauseating $1.59 on a GOOD day. especially if i entered the store with the intention of getting my Dragonfruit fix, coupled with a strong, physical need to rehydrate, which then means I would've had the 2 bucks in my hand by the time I put the truck in park, because I was centered.



HOWEVER, somewhere before that entire segment began, I somehow interjected a complete 10 minute narrative, with motions, and SERIOUS gestures because i'm apparently compelled to say how Liz and are are always tired between the afternoon hours of 3 and 5pm and how today i was violent.

she never spoke.

she sat in silence while i paced and circled the patio, leaned on the bricks, walked around waving my arms because I'd normally be screaming with my sometimes "excitement and drama directly reflected by volume and this has a shitload of excitement but actually...none,* "story telling" voice,


condo development.

two levels of living directly above us.

therefore, i have to settle (INSERT HERE: another story (LMAO) about how offensive a random Quizno's television advertisement that we'd just both witnessed which then was within seconds, centered around how when the kids are all grown up, will the people of the world be more accepting and ever equally respectful of humanity as a whole

or will we just continue to segregate until the pre-requisite list of characteristics is so specific and absolute lunacy in content, that the groups are small enough and now can only begin to wipe another one out in order to gain more members...

and the cycle begins to repeat itself...

a wave

totally consistent from a distance

have to zoom in through light years of time and space to get to the "nitty gritty" which tends only to differ in technology and degree as time passes, with a reflection in increasing complexity due to the "added features" of science

but at the base of the people, each chapter has only ONE main idea.

the mind

starvation/obesity in a "world of people,"

...not a "people of this descent," region, climate

only half of that was actually part of the spoken interjection.

the rest of it just fell out while i was co-analyzing the first portion as I typed it just minutes ago...

and then i just dropped it because I think i"m three layers deep now and now i have serious potential to lose all of them if i add more)



I'm actually still pacing around outside about the gestures, as exaggerated and sometimes what a "normal" person would consider to be "crazy" movements (i'm animated. shut up) attempt to equal out to the volume that i can't utilize to my advantage.

so i throw in the pointless and failed whisper attempt

...about afternoon sleepiness & violent afternoon emotion.

i randomly, probably mid-sentence, decide somewhere along the mind, that i realize i'm even TELLING a story...just stop talking...

there's a comfortable silence...we never actually HAVE to speak in order to talk...she and I share flesh in another life. it's creepy sometimes.

still quiet.

probably taking a drag, listening to hear if the airplane engine at the Portland Airport NEXT DOOR is coming in or taking off, doing this often enough to be able to recognize the status faster each time you do this within the realm of these comfortable silences, observing the rollerblading man that just travels back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and always carries an orange water bottle, perhaps trying to create a pneumonic device via song, or maybe an acronym for the groceries i need to get on Monday night...thinking about how the time change SUCKS when your kid is three

and then finally,...after a fair time designation for completion of one of the latter (maybe even more) passes,



and she says:

so i tried to watch nonchalantly to see if the girl was going to try and slide some of the money from that drawer she was tallying, INto the "insert your bill here, face up money thing* or...

...or what?

but (her words speed up as a direct result of the battle that rose within her)

OHMYGOD my turn at the register is almost OVER! am i even going to be able to find OUT if she sticks a bill into that thing before he gives me my CHANGE? holy shit i'm going to miss it!

she was going to MIIISSS IIIIIIT! Nooooo! (echo of distressed Nooooo, echo of distressed Noooo a little bit lower in volume, echo of distressed Noooo a little bit lower than the last "little bit lower" in volume)

I'm about an inch away from her face by now with "anticipatory jubilee" and



no unexpected yet happily ending SAVE at the end where the guy drops her change all over the counter and some rolls on the floor, and then after an awkwardly awkward attempt at gathering, remembering how much you were getting in change... the meantime, you've been gifted with more time to observe...


nothing even like that.


END LIZ's Blue Canoe story

i finally speak:

"ok, sooo...*eyes look left, eyes look right, looking for what i missed* did the girl put any money into the "insert bill here, face up thingy?"

"Oh! oh. l don't know."

"what do you mean you don't KNOW?"

"i left."

"what?! you didn't impromptu tie your shoes to linger? appear as though you remembered that box of NERDS that you meant to buy? you don't even know what happened, ...? there's no..."rest of the story?"

"no, buddy," she chuckles. "that was the story."

*shaking my head*

"what the FUCK, buddy*

"SORRY, buddy. i just couldn't figure it OUT so i was sharing the story!"


"i'm freezing."

"me too."

"let's go in."

Monday, October 19, 2009

don't call me

it's snowing. real snow now. like a the New England game kind of snowing...i have love/hate feelings
about it...that's all i dare to say...
40 minutes ago from TweetDeck

to help you hit rock bottom...
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
and if that IS the case, i will be MORE than happy
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
...unless you're at the "relapse" part of the cycle...
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
Don't call me
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
If you need help or support?
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
*puts my hand on your shoulder, raises my eyebrow, slight frown, serious look* YOU'RE A GREAT
FRIEND & a GREAT PERSON...but i need U2 know:
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
Don't say I didn't warn you...
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
*looks very seriously through the crowd of my tweet loves*
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
tell them i sent you ‐ for everyone that says i referred them, i get to have a visitor on Friday's for 15
minutes...and even BETTER!!!!:
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck're late...
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
and you're on your way to their house...for dinner...and the birthday celebration...
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck tampons. ... ... and no birthday card for you mom... ...
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
BAM! $20 DOWN, A CART of CANDY, a fresh prescription of SEROTIN adjusters, and of COURSE:
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
...until you walk into Rite Aid or Walgreens and see what appears to say: "BUY ONE PACK OF "every
candy you like on the list" GET 738 FREE!*
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
and then, the skittles will be gone...gone forever...
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
Stear clear of the soda. The whole fluffy carbonation thing? ...gross. don't be stupid...find something
salty and go with your heart...
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
Accept and Welcome all steps. Even the canker's so...yummy. Finish them. Tomorrow
whatever's left WONT. BE. ENOUGH:
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
In my Expert opinion, lack of knowledge, child‐like behavior and love of candy & soda, I would
recommend the following:
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
Carbonated. Acidic. Extra flavored light puffy ‐ creepy. Now you will smell them every time you
inhale for the rest of the day...
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
CARBONATED. ACIDIC. EXTRAFLAVORED, yet light & fluffy...not the carbonation that makes your
eyes water...lighter. no residual iquid form
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
myself and maybe you too...and if it's my lucky day, it'll go partially thru my nose...AWESOME.
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
if you think it fun pretend you're CHALLENGeing or "daring" the soda "HEY, betcha can't explode in
my mouth & make me choke, spit all over
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
Take a drink of soda after the LAST SKITTLE (remember, these are CRAZY CORES ‐ orange bag)
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck this until they are gone... THE END
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
if you score yourself some granule, go HERE: LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT as many times as needed
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
swish ur tongue around, thinking u might find a couple hidden granules that would be so kick ASS to
crunch btwn ur top & bottom front teeth
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
you swallow the last of the goodness
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
the "SAND PAPER on the SLICED UP CANKERS, that have just been formed, sliced up and DOUSED in
an acidic river of sour yum flavor" stage
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
.....through the pain...& you're chewing down to that last little collection of grainy sugary goodness,
and the last , exit stage starts:
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
...but you JUST....... CANT...... STOP.......
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
...all of the latter w the addition of itty bitty razor blade shards that CAUSE the trauma (cankers) &
then the slicing of the cankers...
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
CRAZY CORE SKITTLES 1: so fkn yummy 2: ferocious salivation w BAM! flavor 3: after u eat 2 many
but can't stop, they exponentially become:
about 2 hours ago from TweetDeck

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

by Victoria Redel

Tell me it’s wrong the scarlet nails my son sports or the toy
store rings he clusters four jewels to each finger.

He’s bedecked. I see the other mothers looking at the star
choker, the rhinestone strand he fastens over a sock.
Sometimes I help him find sparkle clip-ons when he says
sticker earrings look too fake.

Tell me I should teach him it’s wrong to love the glitter that a
boy’s only a boy who’d love a truck with a remote that revs,
battery slamming into corners or Hot Wheels loop-de-looping
off tracks into the tub.

Then tell me it’s fine - really - maybe even a good thing - a boy
who’s got some girl to him,
and I’m right for the days he wears a pink shirt on the seesaw in
the park.

Tell me what you need to tell me but keep far away from my son
who still loves a beautiful thing not for what it means -
this way or that - but for the way facets set off prisms and
prisms spin up everywhere
and from his own jeweled body he’s cast rainbows - made every
shining true color.

Now try to tell me - man or woman - your heart was ever once
that brave.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I love. I enrapture who I have conceived, yet who breathe, more than I have ever loved the indubitable. often a lonely place...

Thursday, August 27, 2009


i like to say that i live under water...because i don't consider myself to be a "surface skimmer." I weeded my way through thousands of surface skimmers and here and there, i finally got the courage to go under water and holy fuck...there is life way down there near the bottom.  there's no natural light from a natural source like the sun illuminates the surface.  The light on the bottom is created by reflection; reflections that can only be created deep beneath the superficiality of that top layer.  

they all taught me to breathe underwater... i rarely go up to the surface for air anymore...

don't get me was a long fuckin' journey...but i realized eventually that it IS worth it to leave the surface skimmers to their fast and dissatisfying ventures...because one person at the bottom can supply me with enough insight to maintain hope in faith - faith not in something divine, but faith in other PEOPLE, which, in my world, is very powerful. It only ever became that important when after years of slithering about the surface layer, i stopped one day. 

i tried to find the exit to my box. 

no creases, perforations, air.

can't see in if you can't get out.

*pause for effect* 

i couldn't get out.

and then i began to fall...

a weight suddenly wrapped around my ankle, pulling me under. I went down...struggling the entire time at the thought of unfamiliar territory, struggling to breathe, fighting to free my foot from the entanglement. the water was getting colder and the light, more distant.

i finally freed my ankle, somewhere in the midst of the cold darkness of the water. the concept of the ocean in general is beyond what my mind is able to comprehend. there were people present here in this midsection. i'd interacted with the type daily. very dimly lit. I call them the "settlers."  there are many times where i have been a "settler."

"settlers" settle. they linger in the dimly lit water, yet still have to go to the surface to refill their lungs with air.  they go through the motions, stay in a relationship or a marriage because it's just easier, yet starve mentally & physically for some sort of external stimulation, worry that they won't be able to support themselves alone, don't want to leave a job or a relationship until there's another job or person to replace that security or codependent need to be with someone...ANYone just as long as it's someone...

i do not pass judgement. I walk only in my own shoes. but i am a quiet observer of humanity. and the dim light in that region of the ocean makes me TIRED. Its full of overcompensation for insecurity with arrogance, insults and social hierarchies, secrets, racism and hate, false embellishments and disappointments (see future book that I write entitled "I Have a Big Dick"), shitty parents and abused and neglected children. 

i feel sometimes like i seek something that no one believes in anymore. like my quest for "REAL" can be shrugged off and laughed at. 
"Ha! Good luck with that, Amanda."

Why, though? Why is it so off kilter to seek real people? And why is it so rare that I do?  I sometimes wonder to myself if I'm the pompous ass, thinking to myself: if i could actually find that person to be in a relationship with, who had nothing to hide and found comfort and solace is existing as nothing more than the person that they are, i might have a shot at everlasting love...

but maybe that's just me...

I was able to free my foot from the weight and was beginning to feel the growing need for air. i looked to the surface and it's easy light and it's endless supply of clutter and madness and i headed there,... and  just when i thought i would fill my lungs with water and drown, something caught my eye. 

from far beneath me, resting comfortably on the ocean floor, was a split second flash of light...

i hesitated, with less than a fraction of a second to weigh the opportunity cost - and although the surface light was offering a quick and easy fix of air, the luminescence of that little tiny spark captivated me...and once my mind decided to go deep for the small light, my physical being seem to accommodate the capacity to maintain some form of oxygen

...and i descended.

And on the way down, i seemed to shed the fear of how i would get back up to the surface as that vast and endless light faded and the sounds of the trite and superficial became easier to disregard.  

as i got closer, which seemed to last for a lifetime and for a moment, i realized that this scintillating flash was the result of the a very small collection of the most authentic and genuine people, extracted at random points from the timeline of my life, together holding up the very weight that had dragged me to the bottom.

the real people...

...together, they were tilting this weight in such a way that it yielded an irrefutable and very powerful light... emanation from the reflection of pointing that weight...

...directly at me... was here that I began to discover myself.

Friday, May 1, 2009

the story of marry and ilo

I’m not one to complain...

...unless I’ve been given a reason. For instance, when situations arise where I or someone I consider to be my friend becomes the recipient of someone else’s lack of thought or the target of some asshole’s disrespect. Most likely and most commonly (and in this particular case), circumstances occur where I find myself unable to squelch, even when the issues originate only as a result of crass, unrefined, and witless absence of knowledge. Not to say that I’m unaware that far too many people (or men, in this example) still base their social status on penis size and deny their own insecurities by shamelessly overcompensating with mockery and rudeness toward others; however, on occasion, the vilification of others puts me over the edge, especially when I did nothing to provoke it, and frankly, I don’t deserve it.

How does that all lead to Gavin Degraw? Well, it doesn’t – directly. I have had the pleasure of meeting Gavin on a couple of occasions, none of which have exceeded a 39 second frame of time, most recently, on April 24th in Boston, Massachusetts. He shook my hand, he looked me in the eye while he waited for me to introduce myself, and then when I asked him to sign one of the three pictures that I had taken at the beginning of that week at a New Hampshire show, he graciously obliged and signed all of them, actually stopping to LOOK at them before he did so. Fact of the matter is, his actions within those 39 seconds appeared to be sincere – and if they weren’t, he’s a good faker. That DOES matter too, in the end, especially to those who assess character well (I consider myself to fall into the latter category of ‘assessor’).

Now that we have that out of the way...

I rolled my eyes and laughed at myself a little the first time I made a payment to become a member of the Gavin Degraw fan club. I’m 34 years old, and it’s not like Queen, Van Morrison, and the endless list of other (dead or over 50) classic rock artists that I admire and respect advertise their fan clubs on a regular basis with the promise of first access to show tickets upon receipt of your payment. When I went to Ticketmaster to get tickets for a show at Paradise Lounge a couple years back, I instantly became a sucker for just that...first access to tickets. Ok, so I don’t like others to get ahead of me – and I don’t like to scan the friggin’ continent for tickets to any show, but especially for a performer that holds such merit with me personally on all levels of talent, voice, piano, and writing. To me personally, Gavin has become someone who possesses those characteristics on a musical and professional level. As much as I like to pretend that I’m still 12 on most days, I was taught throughout my life to appreciate and recognize good music (thank God for my parents rocking out).

Once I paid my $40 and saw Gavin live, it was like my first needle of heroin (assumed comparison, no I don’t shoot up drugs). I couldn’t wait to hear the voice again, and my respect for him as an artist grew. Thankfully, more albums followed after that show and with it, more performances. And with my fancy little fan club membership, I always got tickets that I attempted to get. I took advantage of my membership and actually visited the website to make sure I didn’t miss any shows in my area. I even scanned a section that said I was going to get a little “members only” care package...awww...that’s fun! Tote bag and t-shirt or poster or something of the sort... I don’t even remember – why? Um...

...never got it. I do recall seeing some surveys where you could VOTE for the things that would be included. Needless to say, I left the voting up to the other members, but actually, the items in the final decision never made it to me. I didn’t really care, as I didn’t become a member to get a tote bag, but I always DID wonder why it never came...i like bags...jeans and t-shirts comprise most of my wardrobe, so I thought that would be fun to be able to wear a shirt with my boyfriend on it.


Oh, right. I forgot to mention that I tell most people that I cross paths with the Gavin is my boyfriend, so I figured I should at least have a t-shirt if I wanted to really try and convince anyone...but the boyfriend thing...although extremely fun, especially when people believe me, is quite removed from the point – but I’m good at it, so I felt it should be included.


The year 2009 rolled around with another album and another tour. I was excited like the 12 year old that I am at heart...although the fan club had since been taken over by a new management, I renewed my membership again to keep my ticket perks. Gavin’s fame was rising and even slightly mainstream, which I guess is probably the GOAL of a musician, but I had previously enjoyed being surrounded by loyalty at shows, and now found myself surrounded with more of the “average age 17, skirt too short, going to get on him after the show” crowd or the “Eileen/stalker type” who told my girlfriend one night that she was really tight with Gavin’s family and that she had really done a lot for them...

Um,...wait a minute, sister. I don’t think so...

Turns out, my fan club membership also gets me the ability to order and pay for the latest album in advance, before the general public, and I even get to download one of the songs immediately, before the release of the me a sucker but sure, I’ll bite. I buy the digital album AND the actual CD, which I was assuming I’d actually receive ON the release date (if not, within a day or two). I knew I’d at the very least, be able to download the digital version, which is the easy way out, but why the hell not? I love easy. Release day rolls around, I download, I’m happy, I’m singing, I’m anticipating the music as it is going to sound it.

That was what...March something? Yeah, I actually decided to find my email receipt and look UP where the hell the hard copy is the other day and amazingly, it’s status was listed as “leaving the warehouse.” Wow, that’s a serious exit...shocking. I wonder if it’s leaving the warehouse in a tote bag with the t-shirt on...or was it a poster...

Just before the New Hampshire show on April 19th of this year, I got an email stating that along with eight other people, I had won the Meet and Greet contest...

Oh yeah, I submitted an email. I have no fear. I actually think I submitted the email for a press pass so that I could take pictures, but either way, I was so excited! And naturally, I had exceeded the 50 word limit (who can stay within that proximity?), so I had to redo it (damn!). I’d read other people’s stories at some point about how they had attended sound checks before the show and hung out, asked questions, etc. I download a lot of video online of Gavin playing and singing (during those meet and greet sound checks), some of which were really clear recordings, and the live sound of the music just can’t be beat...sounded awesome. The anticipation of my own meet and greet experience, although overwhelming, was so exciting, I could barely even comprehend that it would happen...

...good friggin’ thing...

I was really like, “screw the fan club tote bag, screw the hard copy of the CD, I’m going to get to pick his brain a little, actually SEE and/or photograph his fingers on the ivory (WOAH), perhaps even HEAR his voice without having to drown out the kids next to me talking about the cute boys on the other side of the stage (go home).” That just KICKS ASS. And, as an added bonus, I had already had plans to meet one of my girls from college that I hadn’t seen, but had stayed in touch with for 11 years (that’s a LONG time). She is probably the only other person that I truly cherish with a REAL appreciation for music like the appreciation that contributes so much to who I am as a person. She ALSO happens to be educated, intelligent, and SO FUN! The irony and the coincidences were seemingly to complimenting each other perfectly as they fell into place...

Since the beginning of my time on Facebook, I’ve always said that Gavin was my boyfriend. Some days my status says things like, “Hangin’ out with Gav while he’s on break from touring...catching up on the road stories...”

Not because he is my boyfriend (I’m not delusional), not because I stalk him, not because I even want him to be (um, but really, who doesn’t?).

HowEVER, because I’ve already travelled the path of ‘real life,’ love-encompassing characteristics and the associated drama, at this point in my life, I find it MUCH more entertaining to not only HAVE an imaginary boyfriend, but to screw with all of the people who aren’t actually SURE if I’m lying...

Some of my girlfriends actually play along, which is naturally, quite entertaining when it catches someone else off guard. Yeah, yeah, I always come clean and yeah, yeah, I DO have better things to do, but if I did all the things I was really supposed to be doing, why would life be fun?

There IS, of course, a point to that story, as it is important to note that because Gavin and I have already been “going steady” for 6 or 7 years, you can imagine the shit my “concert pal” and I were coming up with for our Meet and Greet...

And of course, all the fun would occur after we got ‘attention competition’ (the eight other people) out of the way by hanging the sign labeled “Meet and Greet Winners THIS WAY” with an arrow pointing to our imaginary location of the hour...we had at least 10 different places, and every time we conjured up a new one, we thought we’d outdone the last...

-the swinging door room with automatic lock behind you (but that’s mean so there’d be a monitor so they could watch the show while they were in there)

-the building next door with a room that had one of those doors with the little square window in the center of the top half, which we’d cover with a picture of Gavin waving (and that was just the beginning – I can’t reveal the rest or I’d have to kill you – we might need them again someday)

Oh how we just laughed and laughed...(sigh) it’s great to be immature...

The stories continued as the days passed, and by the time I went to the New Hampshire show, I was PSYCHED to see it again in Boston even though I’d stood behind a HUGE front row of “cock blockers” (um...the Eileen stalker girl), I got great photographs, and at the end of the day, all that really matters in the MUSIC. The sound was just as I had remembered- hair raising, leaving me bewildered and filled with respect and admiration all over again...that voice...

April 24th - Boston

We didn’t want to be crazed, and we didn’t want to appear stalker-like in fashion, and we didn’t want to ask redundant questions...but we wanted to be and have FUN. And of course, we were already riding on the preconceived notion that we were funny (which we are), we just weren’t sure if our ‘Gavin ideas’ would be deemed appropriate. OH, what fun we had anticipating the events...

I was even ready to have a full fledged Regis and Kelly bashing fest due to the fact that I unFORtunately had the experience of overhearing a show one day on the TV. The only good thing that came from it was that Gavin happened to be performing that day and after he sang, Regis kept calling him KEVIN (?!?) and as Gavin was explaining that his NYC bar was opened with the intent to benefit and promote rising artists, Kelly says something like, “Yeah, but more importantly, what’s the best drink you serve there?...”




That did not just happen.

I sat there, jaw dropped, frozen, offended, repulsed, dry heaving (not really dry heaving, but it fits)... did she just say that? Gavin is talking about something that matters, obviously to him, AND he’s being called Kevin, and then he gets THAT for a question?

I HATE FAKERS. If you don’t have a clue, just reFRAIN from us all a favor.

Just confirms my long list of reasons for keeping life simple...

For a moment I tried to imagine what it would have felt like at that moment to be Gavin... More importantly, what’s your best DRINK?!

There is a method to my madness...

So after a GORGEOUS sunny day of pounding the pavement in Boston, I actually CARED what jeans and t-shirt I chose for the first time in like...10 years, even though I really didn’t care, and I had my pictures, my camera, my Meet and Greet email. The short jaunt that we’d intended on had turned into like 5 hours of walking and laughing as we conjured up scenario after scenario of our experience to come...

Get to Paradise, get the green circles, go inside, look at my phone 33 times until it’s time to congregate in designated area, go there,... congregate. PERFECT time for observation, assessment, people watching, and eavesdropping on the nights buzz...I leaned up against the lighted Miller Lite (ew) sign for the next 45 minutes or so...

Thankfully, my partner in crime kept me sane, and as always, entirely entertained as we approached “sheep status.” We looked around, evaluated who was packing the other eight passes, who was hugging the guys with the laminated cards hanging around their necks, who had walkie talkies, who was getting yelled at, who was already bombed and trying to find the bathroom (and of those, who wobbled, who was really a man, and who walked into the wall en route – there were 3 wall hitters during our watch, just in case you were curious- SO funny). Time seemed to be getting closer and closer to...


We saw one couple go in ahead of us with a “laminated card guy” as we “green circles” got the “yeah, yeah, they can go next.” And the young couple was lead down the hallway. They had already been asked, “so what’d you guys think of this afternoon?” which we determined to be some private performance or sound check that we’d imagined that WE should have attended,...especially when she said “it was AWEsome...” in a “Gavin rocked” kind or way, and then “laminated card guy” discussed with them how long he’d been working with Gavin...

But as jealous as we were at the story that we’d made up in our heads, we’d also determined that “laminated card guy” (that one ONLY) was nice and we “liked” him and he sounded as if he enjoyed his job and respected Gavin, etc, and they seemed like a nice couple, so we rose above shallow for a moment...

Then we saw three girls pass in front of us, straight from 90210, who then got hugs and love from a “laminated guy,” went down the hallway, and came back out shortly after, giggling and ooh ahh-ing as they admired themselves on the 2-inch digital camera preview screen...where are THEIR green circles?

So out comes “bearded dude with laminated badge” and does like a “all of you come on” motion with his hand to the ten of us. We proceed down the dark, 3 foot wide hallway, through the squeaky rear door on the right across from the ‘boy’s room,’ and through one more room with ferocious fluorescent lights compared to the blackness of the rest of the entire establishment, and eventually, we get ‘the hand.’ You know, the “stop here and wait your turn, arm out, palm pointed toward your chest,” like the red and white bar that comes down in front of your car at the tracks when the train is coming...

Two in, two out.

18 seconds.

Two in, two out.

mmm...maybe 25 seconds.

We get the “come on” motion and enter into what I can only define as “the holding tank-” and there he is...the man behind the piano. I’d actually been this close to him on other occasions, but with the atmosphere of the holding tank and the ‘herded sheep’ treatment, it seemed weird, and as we were on the brink of entering, I whispered to my girlfriend that I felt like we were going back to the room where your money pays for more than a lap dance...

I could smell only the leather of Gavin’s black leather jacket as he stood almost directly in the center of the six to eight foot wide room (which if we average to seven, would put him within centimeters of 3.5ft on either side). His skin was flawless, and of COURSE, my girlfriend introduced herself as ILO (EYE-LOW), which was one of the names we were going to have Gavin make one of me pictures out to (when he signed) in our imaginary scenario (yeah, we KNOW no one does the whole “who should I make it out to?” anymore, but we were PLAYing):

“First name ILO, last name VEE YU...” (sigh) the fun we had was really all that’s important...

I was “MARY with 2 Rs...”

“...and then you can just write my last initials: M. E.”

And yes, as I was just typing that, I totally cracked up again, not necessarily because I think you (collective) will find it humorous, but really because I don’t care...again, all that matters is that it made us laugh so hard, we were bent over on the streets of Boston, holding our waists, laughing our asses off...

So anyhow, she says her name is ILO as she shakes Gavin’s hand, which of COURSE he asks her to repeat because who the hell’s name is ILO, but he was so sincere, and of COURSE I’m pissing my pants and can barely say my own REAL name through laughing, shaking my head, and muttering “I can’t, I can’t” (I think out loud, actually), trying not to puke, and holding onto my pictures...

I manage to get my name out and make eye contact, which Gavin is very sincerely doing, and I can already tell, with bearded guy leaning back and cocking his head to check if the line had grown during the first 4 seconds of our visit, that due to my laughing at “ILO,” and the extra second it had taken to get my name out, I’d already pushed the clock. So I gain composure and I manage to find the balls to ask Gavin if he will sign a picture for me. He says yes, amazingly and without delay, pulls out his own Sharpie (out of nowhere), and helps me whip out my pictures, which I tell him I took the prior Monday night. I can’t help but point out that in the second one, he’s looking right at me (he totally was). I DID actually see him LOOK at them, which as I also said earlier, he was either genuinely looking, or really good at faking it, and he signed them all (thank you, Gavin). I heard “bearded dude with laminated badge” say “Woah, you took those?” behind me, which made me feel a midge more like Gavin was actually SEEING them (the difference to a musician, I would guess, between HEARING and LISTENING) since being a photographer really defines me, and my pictures WERE pretty good (they were awesome *smirks with pride*) and all of this is happening as ILO decides to point out with COMPLETE MERIT that upon exit, we are now going to be the last people to enter the venue and she is probably one of the shortest people there...

Bearded dude with laminate badge gives her some type of questioned response initially, inquiring as to whether he wants GAVIN to deal with her complaint or HIM to...

Being the scholar that the is and given the top level of wit that she holds title to with ease, she makes a comment that includes “cock block that” as she nods her head in my direction while Gavin signs my photos (hehe – crazy girl) and bearded dude with laminate badge decides that ILO has eyes for HIM – so he responds with, “Yeah, I’ll hook you up, just wait back by merchandise.”

And like the sheep that we were, our 39 seconds was UP, and we were herded out of Gavin’s holding cell and back out into the general population. I’m pretty sure there was a picture in there’s all such a friggin blur...

And once again, I’m leaning on the Miller Lite sign by merchandise.

It was over.

The Meet and Greet.


No questions, no bonding, no “Can I just sit right here on your lap?,” no “ILO and MARRY’s list of questions that no one has ever asked Gavin before,” no pictures of his hands on the ivory, no acapello voice that makes goose bumps on my face, no talk about how he needs to leave Ilo and Marry in charge of merchandise because the t-shirts need new designs (by us, or course) and even though the Free T-shirts are pretty cool with Gavin playing the piano, the placement is all wrong and those who find it necessary to tuck their t-shirts IN (I know, but people DO that) are going to tuck Gavin in, which is therefore, an automatic decrease in Facebook boyfriend stories, no Regis and Kelly bashing, not even a statement of respect and admiration for who he is as an artist, writer, musician...

And as I sit there in shock, once again, leaning on the damn beer sign, thinking about how I was just a sheep, herded amongst the crowd of other sheep into what I could only think of as an obligatory holding cell in which Gavin is contracted and INDENTURED to stand and shake hands and smile, I notice the sign...

SPEND $30 in Merchandise and meet Gavin after the show!

I shrunk. I was a shrunken sheep and the herd instantly multiplied exponentially.


That sucked. I was just disappointed. Not in Gavin, not in the performance that I hadn’t seen yet, not in the music. But it still sucked.

THEN in walks “super tall black guy with striking blue eyes” and he makes his way over to the merchandise area and (I’m still leaning on the lighted Miller Lite) consults with the guy at the table who is on his Apple laptop...

“Yeah, we’re here for the meet and greet?”

Guy with walkie talkie, “Meet and greets are done with, over with, finished.” He looks at super tall black guy with striking blue eyes, “Sorry, you just missed it, it’s done.”

Super tall black guy with striking blue eyes says, “Yeah, we’re friends. Can you tell him... Blake? We’re friends with Gavin.”

Soon after guy with walkie talkie goes down the hallway, confirms the “name drop,” comes back up the hallway, and before you know it, I’m looking at the back of super tall black guy with striking blue eyes as he and his two pals are headed toward the holding cell.

...and they’re gone for WAY longer than 39 seconds...

I feel compelled to approach bearded dude with laminated badge and ask why super tall black guy with striking blue eyes gets the love now and we got 39 seconds...just curious, and maybe a little “gutsy” with residual disappointment.

Bearded dude looks down at me like the sheep that I was and says, as if I’m a complete idiot, “Um, his brother’s a famous tennis player! Duh!”

Well, excuse me, DICKHEAD, I didn’t realize that a racket and a ball in the family also came with “music appreciation.” Nor did I realize that I was the piece of shit you just talked to me like...

Bearded dude’s response prompted ILO to sarcastically say something ‘to the tune of’ (no pun intended) “well you’re doing a really great job” as a comeback to Bearded’s next wisecrack, which THEN lead to the hit of the night:

Not only did Bearded give us the finger, he then squealed a little “Fuck you!! You can forget THOSE SEATS, bitch.”


So here I stand, shrinking and falling deeper and deeper into a RAGE, drowning in the disappointment of what was supposed to be a night with one of my most respected musicians EVER, and here I was, leaning on the FUCKING lighted beer sign...

ILO is fuming in the awe of receiving such blatant disrespect from someone who is OBVIOUSLY just jaded by the girls who don’t give him the attention that he so desperately wants on a level that is at least comparable to Gavin’s attention, and thinks it’s appropriate to lash out with rude and crass bullshit when he loses his chances of getting it.

Way to REP-RE-SENT the musician – prick.

I will say, that as I continued to lean up against the beer sign, starting to realize that yes, ILO was right, we ARE going to enter the performance lounge as the winners of a 39 second Meet and Greet, in the ABSOLUTE BACK, when realistically, we could’ve just stayed in there from the beginning, had the same experience AND good seats if we’d purchased a t-shirt (ALL of which were shoddy at best in design except for the ONE shirt that has only Gavin’s name and is charcoal-ish gray in color that I actually bought on Monday in New Hampshire), (! Phew! Out of breath – exhale – and big INhale again for the second half and main idea of the initial sentence...:) I have a special little moment of my own as I stood there, STILL leaning on the STUPID LIGHTED BEER SIGN when Gavin suddenly and abruptly LANDS dead center in the middle of the hallway, which is exactly parallel to my ‘beer sign perch.’ He just kind of LANDED there, as the squeaky rear door to the room with the super overpowering fluorescent lights closed a LOT faster than what he expected (I’m guessing, but it sounds good) and kind of PUSHED him out the door and BAM! – there he stood, totally exposed, looking like he’d just been caught standing there naked or maybe just surprised that the door had just ejected him into the hallway so harshly...

He looked at me.

I looked at him.

He looked left.

He looked right.

He looked at me.

He looked confused.

So what do I do?

Well, I didn’t scream down the hallway, “I’m a SHEEEEP!”

And as unfortunate as it is, we didn’t all of a sudden PERISH every other externality that exists in the world (cue music), drop everything, and ‘slow mo’ start running toward one another with hair blowing behind, and then just as we (didn’t) approached one another, I didn’t jump into his arms, and we didn’t have this amazingly long and passionate embrace...shit.

And by the way (**sound of needle scratching across record as entire, sappy scenario is interrupted and rewound back to the ‘cue music’ point...,**) it SO would’ve instead been the two of us running down the hallway, me pushing over drunk and unstable girls left and right, who were trying to find the bathroom, and then screaming, “CAAAATCH MEEEE!” as I jumped into the air and gave Gavin the full body wrap with arms around the neck and legs around the waist (duh) and then...

But oh yeah, none of that shit happened either way...

Cuz I’m a sheep, actually.

So I lifted my non picture-holding hand and as we stood there looking at each other for that brief moment, I used my index finger like the little kid does in The Shining (Danny), and I pointed, pointed, pointed...

...To the bathroom.

I guess I instinctively assumed he had to pee...why the hell else would he come out of the holding cell...which, after I bashed my head off the beer sign a couple times, realized that the stairs lead (I think) to the area where cool people who have been freed from the holding cell hang out...because I never saw him again until he came out on the stage...

****ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! (that’s the sound of tires squealing as I slam on the brakes and realize that 5 seconds just passed and I was just Danny from The Shining and I’m a sheep and some asshole just gave me the FINGER!)****

And I just got a FUCK YOU, BITCH! - to wrap up my contest win!

CONGRATS! (applause)

I will say, on top of it all, that although I will keep going back for the drug of the voice, GAVIN, and the music will always be something I respect and love and continue to be dedicated to, it’s not actually because I want to get in your pants (wait, aren’t guys supposed to say that? – reverse it) or because you’re my Facebook boyfriend (ok, fine, those both compile 2% of my motive).


Music and photos make up my core, my are part of that music. So at the sheepiest (made that word up) attempt to tell you that within the sea of girls (and a large amount of gay guys, too) that attend the show or want to meet you so they can say they did you (that was one of our questions,...(and I can’t say I haven’t wondered if you’re good in the sack – ah! Couldn’t squelch)) there are dedicated souls out there too, that admire and respect your talents.

So many people have asked me “what are you going to do with the pictures?”

I’m going to appreciate them.

Thank you, Gavin, for your time. I know that you had NOTHING to do directly with any of the things that I bitched about. For you, Marry and Ilo have nothing but love...and we’re still singing and dancing and echoing to “CUPID...”

Our imaginary stories have now been upgraded to: Marry and Ilo –Degraw documentary photographer and merchandise operator and “chicks with laminated badges that show RESPECT.” We’ve decided we’re better off with the fun we created. Keeps things real. Exciting. Simple. FUN. That’s why we’re here...

I can’t help but wonder what it’s like to be Gavin Degraw. I would’ve enjoyed the chance to pick at you (him) at least a little bit...and I have always wondered if life is lonely, if you have less control with more fame, if YOU ever feel like the sheep, if you HAVE the love you sing about, what you imagine your life to be like in the future, if you had the voice as a child when you were learning to play...the list really does go on forever...but I’ve settled on wonderment. The wonderment and mystery is always an added bonus upon leaving a live awe. I truly leave in awe...

The point of my novella is not to disrespect the musician. And I could really give a shit about the material things...although I don’t necessarily believe that it’s ok to take someone else’s money and not deliver, no matter WHAT it is. It IS to voice the disappointment of the experience toward whoever is in charge of the absence of delivery, the falsities, and to let Bearded guy know that disrespect will get you nowhere. And I believe that:

“...behind every BEAUTIFUL girl, there is a DUMBASS boy who did her WRONG and made her STRONG!” (-unkown)

Therefore, Bearded, thank you for contributing to my STRENGTHS with your weaknesses.


If you have a contest (and go as far as to make me do my entry over because I exceeded 50 words) and you are just going to give away the same thing to any random ticket holder at the venue, at least tell the contest winners what they should be expecting. And if I had to write 50 words, they should at least have to buy $50 worth of merchandise.

If you win a contest, don’t set expectations based on the experiences of others past because consistency doesn’t exist.

If Gavin doesn’t want to experience the Meet and Greet that people like me would’ve wanted, then don’t run the contest. It’s that simple. He’s the artist. And you’re misrepresenting. Not fair. Just offer everyone a hand shake and a picture for buying a t-shirt. That would’ve saved me a lot of griping. I can’t really be convinced that he’s that interested in the concept (without the obligation) if he barely exchanges words with the people. And people expect (and deserve) consistency, don’t you think? If you aren’t going to be consistent, say it. It’s that simple. Just say it.

Don’t screw with people’s love of music.

Don’t disrespect other people because Karma lives and bad Karma sucks and what goes around does comes around (YEAH! Bearded guy...).

If you have a small penis, you should try overcompensating with good lovin’...there’s a way around all things if you are willing to learn...(which means we all now know that you suck in bed too,, too bad, so sad...)

Music (and pictures, for me) moves the one can ever take that away.

Merchandise needs a makeover. I’m game...

When you sell something, you should actually deliver the item purchased. Again, I don’t care about the money certainly doesn’t grow on trees around here and I actually work hard for it, but to whoever is in charge of the transactions: donate it. I’m over it.

Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one's own person is its ultimate reward. -Patricia Sampson

GAVIN DEGRAW, his voice, his artistry, his fingers pounding the piano, his SWAGGER, his MUSIC – ROCKS MY WORLD.

I have tons of amazing photos from the two shows...if I even have the opportunity for another 39 seconds, I’ll be sure and bring some. I won’t hold my breath...

And I think from now on, I’ll probably just take my chances on the wind and stay where I belong...away from the crowd, eyes closed, a little space to get my groove on (or I believe, my “swagger”), just me, the piano, the sound, and the voice...




MARRY with 2 Rs