Archive for July, 2012

Wizard Rifle, part 20: FINAL

July 6, 2012

The tour was over.  Arcata was the last show.

We had a really early breakfast with Sam’s uncle and cousins.  His uncle told us how pissed off Grandma Ford was at the Arcata Hotel for screwing us over the night before.  Sam’s cousin told us he’d tried to do some modeling.  Sarah and I both thought he should get his ass to a big city.  He was clearly bored where he was.  Sarah and I split a big pancakes plate; Sam and Max split an omelette.  We lulled around afterwards, then took off north.

We got into Oregon, went through Grant’s Pass to get from 101 to I-5,then went straight up.

Except for one detour… which took two hours.  Sam the Idiot wanted to get his antique bobble, but our way was blocked by big fucking river with not-working ferry.  So we had to find the nearest bridge, which was way back down in Salem, a good while backtracking.  We got it.  He was pleased… but he never said sorry.  The detour was an epic culmination of a sort.  We were so close, and yet we were held up.  And I would blame fate – surely it’s just fate that is keeping my desire from being realized.  But no, it’s always other people.  No grand finale, no grand return.  Just a wet impasse.

I loved my time on the tour, but this isn’t the time to express my gratitude and ruminate on my luck.  We unloaded in Portland, Oregon at the practice space, then got a ride to the Pearl where we checked into our swanky Condo we were housesitting with Ian for the next several days.  It was heaven.  For a day or two.

And then it was time to call a spade a spade, see big things to their logical conclusion, and then grow up with a humor that’s sharpened by suffering, all while realizing that the meaning of life is other people and everything else, all of whom and all of which I will love first, and best.  Ah-men.

-for Tuesday May 15th, 2012

Wizard Rifle, part 19: Arcata

July 6, 2012

This was possible the best day of the tour.  My words won’t do it justice.

Sarah and I woke up in the Andrews Hotel.  We took some continental breakfast (which was served on our floor, nicely) and enjoyed the Frisco Botanical Garden right there in the room.  Sam and Max asked if we wanted to go see Haight-Ashbury, but we opted not to.  They picked us up from a nice coffee shop right nearby at noon and we said goodbye to that golden city.

We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and opted to take Highway 1 up the coast.  I didn’t know it was just an incredibly curvy road, which we couldn’t go more than 30 miles an hour on.  We stuck with it for awhile, even stopping at a beach.  It was an overcast day, but everything was so blue and green and warm that I wasn’t worried at all.  We were all warm ourselves, with joy that is.  After getting some gas in a small coast town north of Bolinas, we went back inland to Highway 101.

It was less beautiful, but faster.  It still took us into the heart of the Redwoods.  Before that, we pulled off and checked our oil in a church parking lot.  While Max did this, and shot some hoops (with a basketball we’d had the whole trip but never used), Sam got the telephone number of an antiques shop south of Portland.  He called them and made a reservation for a bobble.

The drive through the Redwoods really was nice.  We had been listening to Black Sabbath’s Volume 4, but switched over to Harvest by Neil Young.  I said “Heart of Gold” was today’s theme song, and we cheered when he said he’d been to Redwoods.  After that we did After The Gold Rush, which Sam and I go way back with.  We sang along to most of it, and really did it for “Birds,” which I got misty to and I’m not ashamed.

We got into Arcata and had a meal at Sam’s grandmother’s, with his uncle and cousins around.  Then we got a text from Nate saying we were late to the show.  Sure enough, I’d been emailed about it weeks ago.  I’d dropped the ball.  I told him we’d fired the tour manager.  We got to the place, the Alibi, which was interesting.  It looked like a white bread dive bar, but it had all these crazy paintings, especially the bazaar one in the girl’s room of these men washing the feet of Nubian princesses.

The boys played well.  The next band wasn’t worth much to me, so we loaded the gear up and Sarah and I slept in the backseat cuddling.  We were only interrupted twice, once with them thinking we were making love.  But it really was sleep, for it was in the wee hours.  It was a truly lovely time.

We got to the hotel, except they wouldn’t honor the reservation.  Apparently, the card holder needed to be there.  It was really fucked up, but the man at the desk was steadfast.  I hear he got fucked up by Sam’s grandmother later.  It was a really stupid, sort of senseless policy.  What happened was we paid to sleep there.  It was alright.  I think we got refunded later…  I think.  Mm.

-for Monday May 14th, 2012

Wizard Rifle, part 18: San Francisco

July 6, 2012

We ended up sleeping at Noah and Emily’s in Berkeley, CA.  I was tired and feeling flustered, but I managed.  I’m uprooting bad memories just writing this.

Sam was gone, he went for some walk.  We found him and Max and Noah got some coffee at a shop nearby.  Sam was on the phone with a friend of his mother’s – Auntie – who was hooking us up with a nice free hotel.  I came to find it was two hotel rooms – one single for Sarah and I, one two-bed for Sam and Max.  Also, while on the phone, Sam was accosted by a surprisingly insane sane man who was angry at him for talking on his cell phone.

We went into San Francisco – it was beautiful.  We checked into our hotel, the Andrews, then went into the Mission.  They ate some tacos, we looked at record stores, and I tried to have fun, but I was being inhibited – by myself.  We settled on a hill Dolores Park.  It was Mother’s Day; I called mum.

Sarah and Nicki met up with us, and Noah and Nicki parted from us shortly thereafter.  It was again the core California foursome of Sam, Sarah, Max, and I.  We walked up a great big hill to get to Auntie’s.  It was a grueling climb, but a glorious household, and I wish I’d captured more of it.  Auntie gave us jellies and a pot brownie, then we drove to the sushi joint.

I don’t remember the name of it.  I wish I did.  Auntie and her hubby showed their affluence beyond just having a nice house…  They fed the four of us an eleven course meal that never stopped coming.  It lasted multiple hours.  They said you’re remembered when you tip well.  I’ll keep that in mind when I’m made of money.  Auntie talked about how they’d just been traveling; I think they’d just returned from India, which gave her and Sarah much to discuss.  Also, I recall the bathroom being the most digestive room I’ve ever been in.  Finally, we had to tear ourselves away.  I’ll miss them.

We arrived at Knockout, owned and operated (I think?) by Samuel’s godfather, who was an old badass.  The show was fine.  Bryce showed up.  Not many people purchased anything, and the sound was kind of shitty.  Sarah and I ended up taking off early to go back to the hotel.  I personally thought San Francisco was and is a beautiful city, and I’d never really known their food to be round and round exquisite until this very trip.  Despite any heart murmurs I may have been having, I still fondly remember how sweet it was to be there, and I hope to visit again soon.

-for part of Sunday May 13th, 2012

Wizard Rifle, part 17: Oakland

July 6, 2012

Where was I…

I didn’t spend as much time in Los Angeles as I would have liked, but I wasn’t particularly impressed, and my spirit was twisted and beaten to such a measure where I wasn’t sure if I had any heart left to enjoy it.

We awoke at Max’s sister’s and had juice and some stuff.  It was decided that Sam, Sarah and I would go to Venice Beach while Max and sissy-poo and other friends would go off and do what they had to.  Slowly the plan was brought into fruition.  I don’t know if I had an inkling of how long it’d take to get to West LA but, surprise, it was a long drive. Sam seemed agitated; he was worried about getting to Oakland late.

On the beach, Sam and I had a nice heart to heart about sorrow, anxiety, and the future.  It was one of several we’d had before.  Sarah disappeared for a little bit, but we found her later.  The day was gray but warm.  Our time was sadly short, but I actually felt okay.  There was a deep pain inside of me that I couldn’t shake.  We made our way to the car, linking up with some disgusting body builders and some ex-NBA tryouts.

We drove slowly across town, under the finally-emerging sun to where Max’s was, at a restaurant called Philip’s (I think).  We picked him up, said goodbye to Sister Dameron, and drove off talking about five cent cups of coffee.  We stopped at a In-N-Out Burger, where we did not break down.

Then it was goodbye LA–

–hello to the San Fernando valley, hello to endless fields, hello to playing CONTACT and hello to another In-N-Out Burger, which we also did not break down at.  Probably because they thought we were of their kind.

We pulled into Oakland somewhat late.  The show was already underway, but Wizard Rifle was last.  We loaded in and Sarah took off with her friend Nicki.  I hung around at the show and we crashed at Noah’s.  I have no strong memories or opinions or feelings of that night, except for this vague and secretly totally identifiable rage in my breast, which I’m declining to divulge so as to protect myself from ridicule from myself for making myself known to strangers who might rubberneck here at any point.

-for Saturday May 12th, 2012