Tuesday, December 25, 2007

on this x-mas eve

i've noticed i'm getting into a really nasty habit.
i'm not posting when i feel like it because i keep stock-piling photos and long, complicated blogs involving all this media - and much like tons of other shit in my life, i lose the forest for the trees, get sidetracked and leave the shit hanging.

so fuck it. i'm just writing with no plan. i'm just writing because it's xmas eve and i'm feeling reflective. and just took a two-hour bath, which gave me time to think. it's 3 am and i'm still a little jetlagged from australia.
i'm at my parents house, the house i grew up in. i love coming here. i know the sound of every door latch and every floor creak, i am overly familiar with the rattle of the bannister (which i incidentally fell over, 13 feet, when i was 7) and the ticking of the clocks and - my favorite sound - the gurgling banging of the radiators. i've tried to explain this many times to many people: the only way i can describe the relationship i have with this house is to say that i had very few friends when i was little, and that the closest thing i had to a consistent "best friend", who protected me and played with me and guided and amused me, was this house. some kids had a dog. whatever it takes.

the bath, unbeknownst to me, hadn't been used as a bathtub in some time covered in Cat Hair, presumably because the Cat (and affectionate jet-black boy named shadow, he's on my lap right now) likes to hang out in there and sleep. and shed. by the time i was fully immersed and noticed it, it was too absurd. there were thick clumps of it floating everywhere. instead of being grossed out it was sort of fun, i played a game to see how much floating Cat Hair i could wrest out of the tub and ball into a giant collection on the side of the tub. then i got the idea to go outside and feel the snow on the ground, sort of like when you run from a hot tub to a cold plunge. so i ran the shower as hot as possible, scalded myself, then wrapped myself in a blanket and ran (quietly, as to not wake my sleeping family) out to the back porch steps. they overlook a totally isolated wooded area, and i went for as long a walk in the 1-foot snow as my burning little pink feet could bear. i only got about 6 feet from the porch, the snow was very cold, and icy-sharp at the top, and my little feet froze. i waled back up the the porch and felt the relatively warm planks of wood under my feet. the blanket was keeping me warm and there was a very, very slight wind. the sky was crystal clear. the moon was casting really stark, bold shadows off of the bare craggly trees onto the blank-with-snow yard. it was a really astonishing sight. dead quiet.

i've canceled my life.

i'm leaving in two days for a short, killer dolls tour in cities where we know we can just rock out and have fun, and then i'm coming home with absolutely nothing on my schedule. i had a spring tour planned, i just canceled it. i was going to put the record out this spring; i canceled that too. everything around me has suggested that it's time to stop, assess, re-start and then blast off.
i'm not going to go live in an ashram somewhere, don't worry. i'm going to take an Actual Break. a real one, this time. not that fake shit where i say i'm going to do it and it turns into a five-day affair at home. this is It. i'm stopping., i swear. for at least two months. my apartment, my apartment is crying for it. it's crying Amanddaaaaaaaaa pleeeeease clean meeeee. i've been dumping all this tour shit in it for 5 years and never sorting through it. i've done a dozen photoshoots int he past 6 months and havent gone through the shots. i have emails waiting to be answered that were sent to me in august. so it will be a cleaning, sorting, re-vamping, re-structuring the framework of my life and business kind of break.

the minute i decided all this, things changed. that saying about Jump and the Net Will Appear?
the moment i realized that i had my own decisions in my hands, that i could plan my life the way i needed....that i could stop depending on my old blueprint for life: Bam. not only did my head clear and the realization that a break was truly in order really hit me, but the possibilities of how i can re-structure my life also appeared. the right things and people appear when you start trusting yourself. that's exactly what's happening. it's the exact same way with love-relationships. you can say that you want to start dating again in theory, but if you're hung up, you can wander through life for YEARS and it's not until you truly get over someone. then that the new lover walks into the party and your eyes meet. life is astounding that way, but it certainly makes sense. the phone starts ringing when you get off your ass and start doing dishes.


i just finished reading anthony kiedis' (the lead singer from the red hot chili peppers) autobiography. what a fucking frightening life. i had no idea that up until really recently he was such a junkie. terrifying and the stories of how poorly treated everyone in that lifestyle gets when there's drugs just ruling. to me the idea of not showing up to rehearsal because i'm out getting loaded is just simply unimaginable. my brain doesn't even go there, neither does brian's. we simply rely on each other in a way that excludes shit like that. i said to him today: we may argue, but at least we're sober when we do. arguing with someone who's been in and out of rehab 6 times over 15 years and just happens to be trying to kick that day after a week-long smack-and-coke binge. not quite fun. it's enlightening reading how other people Do This Life. it's the same lifestyle, give or take a mansion, motorcycle and tattoo or two. tour, band, rehearse, write, interview, assess, fight, make-up, perform...it's a grind. but everybody find a different way of turning it into a Life of some sort. there's so many different ways of doing it. but the similarities between bands are becoming more and more apparent to me. for the record, in most cases: i am anthony (minus the smack habit) and brian is flea (minus the mohawk).

they were so like us in their early days, though, just total freaks excited about being freaks and doing crazy action for no reason other than....they could. i had always assumed that their early fanbase must've been a real skate-punk crowd but from the way anthony describes it it was really similar to the early dolls crowds...a punk here, a goth here, a total rag-tag motley crew of whoever was into these crazy cats getting up on stage and being total clowns. the first tape i had was in 7th grade, i remember distinctly buying it at newbury comics, it was the self-titled album and i bought it because my best friend holly young and i had had a cafeteria discussion about how you could Just Tell if a band was Cool and Alternative from their name. we tried to think of good examples and we came up with Nine Inch Nails and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. but i actually had no idea what either of those bands sounded like. so in order to inform myself i went out and bought the tape and was hooked. blood sugar sex magik came out the year of 9th grade, and it was our summer theme CD. we would go to the meadows, smoke pot and blast that shit. that same bunch of friends and i went to see them play on new years eve. they blew me away with their live energy. we were crammed right up against the stage at some sports arena, about 20 people in from the front, really close.

the most memorable events of that new years eve, however, weren't during the chili peppers set. the two opening bands were at that time totally unknown: Pearl Jam and The Smashing Pumpkins. Eddie Vedder crowd-surfed from the stage to the sound-desk and i remember grabbing his leg and making a mental note to remember about that in case he became famous and i could claim leg-touching bragging rights. the circle is now complete. the other very memorable moment was when we were waiting for the chili peppers to take the stage and this song came on over the PA. this guy in a baseball hat turned to me and said, "i love this song. this songs fucking rocks." what is it? i asked. he said, "it's this band called nirvana. they're the shit." the song was smells like teen spirit. i was witnessing the birth of grunge.


i am going to try to post my complicated blog about australia (i still have my fall blog, getting more obsolete by the second, sitting in my drafts folder with 25 pictures attached) within the next week or so. i can summarize the trip: FUCKING AMAZING. what a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. the fans in australia are unbelievable. the theater group o worked with, the danger ensemble, was a total fantasy come true. i'm hoping we can do more shows in more places together. and seeing everybody and talking with all our fellow freaks.....it made me hungry to get back on the road and re-connect with everyone on this upcoming tour, i had forgotten how much i miss it until i did it. this upcoming tour is going to be such a perfect love-fest with all our friends on stage with us...sxip and luminescent, my new soul-mate meow meow, our trusty crew....we're so excited.

it's time to go to bed. i have a flu to kick and exactly two days to do it.
please send garlic vibes my way.

i can't wait

merry xmas, happy everything, be safe, drink lots of water...i love you guys.



cheers said...

You're not the only one who enjoyed the australian tour. We had a bit of fun watching.

heroesobsessed said...

hmm. haven't commented your blog ever, too crazy and too damn shy. just wanted to let you know that if you're ever in a hot tub with snow on the ground, actually rolling around in it is almost more satisfying than walking in it. though in a blanket and out of the shower is a bit more liberating, bathing suit is interesting and jumping into the hot tub after again makes your skin steam.

I got tickets to see you in Boston on the 29 today. Not Australia with kangaroos fucking, but hopefully the fans will be interesting.
Fourth row, left center. Look for me? I'll be the girl with a crazy old guy with a beard and mustache, another girl with half blond and half brown hair, and my aunt. Most likely fangirling. Eh, I'm from NH, two towns over from Brian's makes me feel special.

Marthe said...

during winter, my parents always dared me and my little brother to run around the house naked, when the first snow fell and it was still soft and not crunchy. We always made it through, every year. But we stopped and since that things like that only happens when bets are lost or on a dare. And now, though i am visiting my parents there isn't any snow. Things lose their innosence when you grow up.

Marthe Glad

Adam Douglas said...

you should write a book.

and then an autobiography.

David said...

Thanks for this lovely post Amanda. Nice to hear you sounding so sane. Nice reminiscences on being at your home too. Cancelling your life sounds like a great idea, to whatever extent you can really do that. Return to your nest and take some deep breaths. Join Netflix and watch The Big Lebowski again. Have fun on your Dolls tour. Be safe :-)

lentower said...

thanks for the Christmas present!

first time i got a blog entry!

girlwithacamera said...

I canceled my life for about a week earlier this month, then hid at my mother's house in rural PA for another week. It turned out to be just what I needed. There is a lot of power in putting your foot down and saying, "Stop." I hope it revives you.

This blog is beautiful. So often we all wait around for the pyrotechnics when simplicity can speak. (I still want to see the pyrotechnics, of course.) Thank you for letting us in.

I will be seeing you on New Year's Eve in NYC, the end of the whirl-wind tour. Can't wait.

Non-sequiter: in your copious free time (hahahaha) these next few months, you should read 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane. I saw an image of the poster for your senior thesis and it reminded me of that piece. I think you would really connect to it--it's a beautiful, poetic mess reflecting a ragged mind. You will love all of the Kane plays, but start with 4.48 and work your way backward.

eleanor ruby said...

oh man. i fucking love the chili peppers. i still have yet to read anthony kiedis' book, though.

anyway, as it turns out, i have very little to say. i could totally relate to your cat hair bath, as i have been taking care of my own two cats as well as a coworker's dog and two cats while she is away for the holidays, and all of this animal-contact inescapably yields ridiculous moments. i have been licked more times in the past few days than i can remember... which is a nice thing, i suppose.
i will be sure to spread the love this weekend at the boston show. can't wait to see you again, dear. sleep well and drink lots of tea in the meantime.

June Miller said...

My friend just hooked me up with some old school Chili Peppers, actually. I need to get to checking it out. I like them, but I haven't heard too much of their really early stuff. I look forward to it.

Your kitty sounds like my kitty. 'cept I named mine Blixa. He's nice to cuddle with.

You deserve a break, mate. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bummed you're not going to tour/release the album as soon as spring, but it's really understandable. You've been pretty damn busy. Really damn busy. Breathe.

I, on the other hand, need to start kicking shit into gear.

I was unbelievably jealous when I read that you guys were exchanging ghost stories while in Ozland? On a ten day slumber art party? Oh my god? Shit. I think it flew past jealously and into plain delirium.

How can you make yourself take a scalding shower and then run out into the snow, even if briefly? I can't even run out to my garage to grab a drink without doing the 'It's REALLY cold' song and dance.

Even so, it sounds very beautiful out there. I understand what you mean about the relationship with the house.

This is a photo I took up in Eureka recently that I decided to give to my father for xmas. A bit more cleaned up than that, though. He and I are into the same things, artistically, so I figured he might like that one. He did. Maybe you might dig it, too.

And good tidings unto you, ma'am.

Marti said...

Heh...Marthe...I dared my brother to run outside either naked or in his underwear...he did...and I locked the door. I guess I was devious enough that I had no innocence as a child.

Marti said...

I loved the RHCP's back when they were doing Yurtle the Turtle and Fight Like A Brave.

It kinda bothers me when artists write about their substance abuse. It almost makes it seem cool (even though it's not meant to). My brother has destroyed his life with meth... and it's one of the most ugly things I've ever seen...there's nothing glamorous about it.

It's pretty empowering when you take your life into your own hands and just say...this is what I need right now.

Oh, and Merry Hanikwanzimas.

Shauna said...

It sounds like a break is just what you need, and have time to actually tidy/sort/order things, just my cuppa tea. And relax.
My parents just got a new kitchen and when i came home for Christmas, on the first night, i organised their cupboards for them <3
I think the best thing about having time off is being able to rememeber your dreams without having to set your alarm and be up and out and forget them.
I hope you had a lovely Christmas and get rid of your flu soon *sends garlicy vibes wearing christmas hats*. Enjoy your time off x

lentower said...


i've lost someone to substance abuse,
though it's addiction not abuse

for some people, once they have had an evil substance, they can't not have it


Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Amanda, enjoy your time off, it is well-deserved.

I just posted an interview with your pal Sxip on my blog. He had good things to say about you and your fans - check it out:


Marthe said...

Did I get deleted? Hm. Sorry, whatever the offense was...

Vivian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vivian said...

Tampa January 10th!!! My first Dolls show!

I use your DVD A Life in the Day to pump up before every show and I've been reading your blog ever since. Half Jack makes me cry, so I have to skip it as well as War Pigs because after you make Brian start over because the tenseness is too much.

My duo, Phantom LImb Syndrome, will be at your concert. I will be Mezzanine middle-right with my 6'1" blue haired ladyfriend. My bandmate (keyboardist/vox) will be there as well. He turned me on to you mid-this year (07). You're my "I wanna be as good as" band. We started in May 2007 and are doing well.

Need tips on where/what to do in Tampa or where not to go? Contact me thevivianoblivion@gmail.com.
Break a stick and can't wait to see you! It's my birthday present!!!!

Bobbing_For_Applesx said...

As much as I'm bummed out about the cancelation of the spring tour/new record, I can understand.

Sometimes I wonder what it's like to wake up every day and think "I have to put on an exciting show today" it has got to feel a little bit repetitive, right?

and it's funny how those insticts work. i believe that's the reason why we get the common cold and other sickly things. Our body is telling us to just STOP for a second and just focus on our well being for the moment.

I hope you feel better, and I can't wait to see you at the Orpheum on Saturday!

misty said...

Come back to Australia.

We miss you.

You can camp on my couch if you like. It's totally comfy.


Heather said...

my god...you touched eddie vedder's leg? back in the day when he was super super super sexy before pj became famous? that is so amazing.

muruch said...

Venue suggestions: NPR's Mountain Stage or The Purple Fiddle. Both are in West Virginia, and you don't get much smaller and weirder than that. :) I hope to see Luminescent Orchestrii when they play at The Purple Fiddle in February.

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