Thursday, June 29, 2006

Free to Lizz-ance

Got my first assignment for the Onion AV Club yesterday.

Denver/Boulder readers can catch it in the Aug. 10 issue. My birthday present to me will be my first legitimate attempt at Rock Journalism.

Happy 25th to me, indeed.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bajaj the night away

Last night I got some Bajaj practice in- and it was so different than the motorcycles we'd been on for the class. If I'd had Uma (yeah, that's the name I'm going with. Uma.) at the class test, I'd have aced it. No problem. She's lighter, less touchy, and she's mine. There's a lot to be said for that.

I made a few figure eights around the handicapped parking signs at the local Elementary school, did a few hard stops, and even got up the guts to cruise around the old neighborhood. I did fine. I was confident, comfortable, and I looked good.

Can't wait to get her licensed. I'm gonna fly around Capitol Hill like a real European.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bruises to the ego . . .

Totally failed my motorcycle test today. Shame. I aced the written portion and actually did really well yesterday and during practice today, but ate it right when it counted.


I'm OK, not hurt at all, just embarassed. Looks like I'll have to do some more practice on the Bajaj before I'm street legal.

In other news, went to the Everything Absent or Distorted show last night. Beautiful, beautiful. The CD is out July 7, the party is Aug. 12 at the Hi-Dive. That is one day after my 25th B-day, so be there. For the music, for what will undoubtedly be a beautiful August evening, and for me, the birthday girl.

Maybe by then I'll have a licensed, insured scooter that I can actually ride without being a danger to myself and others.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Dad

This is my dad.

My dad taught me that being a liberal meant having humanity. He taught me that real rock stars never sell their songs to commercials. He taught me that love is the most important thing you'll ever feel.

My dad reads my blog. He reads the New York Times and watches BBC news. He wears cool bowling shirts and likes to spend his weekends grilling something, building something or fixing something.

My dad and I get along pretty much all of the time. He doesn't like that I will take a "day job" rather than a dream job but that's only because he wants what is best for me. He has made it very difficult for me to find men whose qualities stack up when compared to Dad. He did this on purpose.

My dad spoils me. He and I like to have dinners at Pete's on University and talk about life. I can talk to him about just about anything. So thanks, Dad. And a happy belated Father's day from the difficult older one.

possibly . . .

I had a very promising interview this morning. We'll see.

Otherwise, life is really pretty good all around. I'm spending my severance check on cover charges, beer tabs and American Spirits and I'm spending my mornings at the coffeehouse applying for jobs. I spend my afternoons however I please and when evening rolls around, well, there's a new someone who seems to be willing to take me out if I want to go out.

So yeah. Things are OK. And I might have a job by the end of the week.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mandatory Vacation

You know, it's almost weird how *not* freaked out I am right now.

So far, unemployment has been kind of relaxing. I really went nuts yesterday and went out to the department of labor unemployment center (depressing) and to the temp agency (they make you take really silly tests). And other than that, I've been going out to Gabor's and sleeping in till like, 8 a.m. each morning. I've gotten so much done, actually.

I've got some bills due at the end of the month, but hey. The severance check is there for that. I haven't had to drive to LoDo in days, I haven't had to suffer downtown parking, I haven't had to deal with the chick at work who liked to *sing* parts of sentances.

I already have a very promising prospect out in Golden through the temp agency, so that's good. I'm really not all that worried. And if all else fails, I'm working on applications for grad school, so I can just run away and do that if I just can't find anything here.

But thanks to all of you who have sent along good wishes and are keeping their eyes out for work for me. It is much appreciated.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Interesting television programming tonight . . .

My mom called me to alert me that The Deadly Mantis and George Carlin were going to be squaring off on Leno tonight. This should be interesting.

I hope she cries. I've seen her pout before, but tonight I wanna see the bitch cry. Homegirl deserves whatever's coming to her.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose

Lost my job today. Laid off. Just like that.

But you know what? I don't feel all that badly about it.

An opportunity for growth, I guess.

Doors closing, windows opening and all that.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday, Monday . . .

Back to the grind.

For me, for you . . . and apparently, for Al Qaeda, too.

But I can't be bothered by terrorists today.

Why? Because while we continue to lose the war on terror, things in my life are getting better. And I just got the photos from the EAOD photo shoot. Which was probably the best time I've ever had in a cemetery.

And I have two shows to go to this weekend. And a promising new freelance opportunity. And I've started to look seriously at library programs and at the whole Academic Librarian "thing." And I have scooter lessons coming up.

And it's gorgeous outside.

So there.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

And just like that, she was gone.

I had managed to put the pain off for so long that when it came, when I hugged her good bye for the last time at that gate, it came in waves, each one a little harder than the next.

She'll be in Philadelphia for the next few days for training, then she'll take a grueling 2-day air and land excursion into Lesotho.

As I held my family, all four of us, complete, for the last time in two years (and a little more), it was almost like I had never known how much a goodbye could hurt until just then. And then when she looked back at us one last time as she handed the attendant her boarding pass, it hurt again.

I'm sure innocent bystanders at the airport were wondering just how awful her business in Philadelphia must be that we were all crying so much . . .

I'm at Pablo's now, and Neko just sang "better times are coming still." While I know this to be true, it still hurts now. I know that I'll hear from her, hear of her adventures, her encounters, the ugly parts and the good parts. I know that I'll have my own adventures here, albeit much smaller and more domesticated. I know that I have wonderful friends here for me, and more friends come into my life as I go on. But there's going to be this time for a while where it just hurts and there's an absence. It's a hole I need to fill up with new things, new friends, new craziness, new stories to tell. This is the work I need to do . . . but right now it's like the earth has shifted beneath me. I need a moment to regain my bearings.

But I also know this time will go fast . . . and that I need to get as much out of it as I can. I need to really understand who I am without her . . .

Friday, June 09, 2006

It's getting hot in here.

Dex and I were supposed to go see "An Inconvenient Truth" last night at the Mayan. But it was full.

A screening of Al Gore giving a PowerPoint presentation was . . . full. In a cowtown in a Red State.

Tell me again how global warming is a wacky left-wing conspiracy theory.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Funny, I don't *feel* any safer.

Richard Clarke, smart guy that he is, noted that we are truly no safer now than before Zarqawi was killed. He's right, of course. We are no safer now, we were no safer when Uday and Qusay got greased, we were no safer when we got Sadaam. But what's so interesting is that over at the Free Republic, they greeted Clarke's statement with comments like this:

"We heard this same rap when Saddam Hussein was captured....."

So . . . yeah, we did hear the same rap. Because it's true. But why do the Freepers bring this up as evidence of something?

Obviously, they feel something we don't.

Death and pink

Some photos from the EAOD photo shoot are up at my flickr page . . . In case you wanted to know what it looks like when about 40 hipsters dress in pink and hang out in a cemetery.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What's next?

Not sure quite how to take this news.

On one hand, I'm glad it seems that some headway is being made. And it looks like the Bush admin's people involved have finally made some progress and has engaged in what both sides are calling "constructive" dialogue. But what pisses me off is Bush's pouty "breakup" type language here:

"We will see if the Iranians take our offer seriously," Bush continued. "The choice is theirs to make."

It's their "on" to "bring." Yeah. So there.

It seems that the only person who thinks that Iran is gonna be easy is Bush himself. Good thing most people around him know better.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It's a small town, after all

In the past month, I've been hard at work trying to meet as many people in Denver's music/writing/activism scene as possible, and with a little help from MySpace, I've been doing pretty well. But what I've found is that the above-mentioned 'scene' is very very small, very intimate and very incestuous. I keep meeting people over and over again. Like the guy from the sandwich shop by my friend's coffeeshop, who also happens to be a poet and a friend of a friend from college (in Iowa. Weird.). Or the coffeeshop guy from down the street who I ran into at the Hi-Dive and at the Walkmen show last night. And the woman from the EAOD photo shoot who I saw was on the friend list of a person I met at Gabor's who works at Videotique. Currently, my social Venn diagram looks like a Spirograph.

Tiny scene. Small town. But it's comfortable and I like it.

Oh, and check the new profile pic.

It is mine. Oh yes, it is mine . . .

Monday, June 05, 2006

Long before he was "The Dude"

In my neverending quest to see every good movie ever made, I caught "The Last Picture Show" last night. It was jarring and beautiful- such a low-budget-looking flick with such impressive star power. But what I loved so much about it was that it really spoke to the dilemmas of small-town life that were relevant in the fifties, in the seventies, and remain relevant today. The film captures perfectly how small towns trap young people with a set of limited decisions and no preparation for real life. Even smart kids are more than likely to stay in their hometowns, join the Army, or just get married for the financial security. It happens in small towns today. It happens in my small hometown every day.

We are the rare ones- the ones who make it out and manage to use what few tools our hometowns gave us to hack it in the bigger cities.

My favorite character was the older woman, Cloris Leachman, who takes Sonny as her lover. She is the perfect small-town woman. She tells him that she can't do much of anything without crying about it . . . everything feels disappointing. And there are shots where she (Cloris Leachman!) is sublimely pretty in this eerily tragic kind of way.

The real heartbreak, though, is when Duane leaves for the Army and tells Sonny he'll see him in a year or so, if he doesn't get shot. He delivers this line with such stoicism that you just know he's thought of the options- returning home or getting killed- and both sound equally appealing.

And fifty years later, we're still giving kids that choice, and they are still (though in ever-dwindling numbers) choosing the possibility of becoming a casualty.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I forgot my own anniversary

Does this make me like a deadbeat dad or something?

Yeah. Vestal Vespa (in blogger/blogspot form) began three years ago as a little venting tool during my senior year at Coe College. Technically it is now closer to three years, one month old, but it turned 3 on May 7.

Looking back at the archives is interesting- most of my misguided opinions from back then are pretty classically adolescent in nature, but they evolve and change and get more mature. And I noticed that I, too, have changed a lot in these past three years. People have always told me that your early 20s are the time when you change the most. I now have to agree. It's been nuts. The highs have been so high, the lows have been devastating. And it seems there is no end in sight.

But the blog has been a great catharsis. For me, it has meant meeting new people, gaining a modest amount of notoriety in the online community as well as in fleshspace, a place for me to air grievances, to broadcast successes and to recuperate from failures.

I was discussing with someone the other day how it was once so secret, these diary thoughts. Time was, you'd write your deepest secrets and fears in a book and lock them away with a little gold key. But I've found it tremendously liberating to put these thoughts here, for all the world to see and scrutinize. This blog is me. Vestal Vespa is Cassandra Schoon. It is my secrets, my hopes, my fears, my opinions, and for the past three years it has been my story of growing up in a world that alternately tortures and delights. All of the people I have met through this have been people who knew me before they knew me.

All in all, it has been an amazing ride. I have said before that I believe the blogging revolution (if you can call it such) is the apogee of the Internet's humanity. It is a way for people to share themselves with the world. And so I have shared myself with you all. Thank you for continuing to let me do that.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Wisdom from Spam

Today, from my bulk email box:

"Subject: No matter how badly idiots outnumber you... they are still the idiots!"

Somehow this doesn't comfort me much.

Uppity chicks

I have to think that if the Dixie Chicks were really the Oak Ridge Boys and were equally outspoken about their disapproval of the Preznit, the uproar would be less, well, uproarious.

I really think that at least half of the indignance being expressed by right wing idiots towards the Dixie Chicks (and towards Jane Fonda and to a greater degree Hillary Clinton) is due more to their gender than anything else. Women are supposed to submit, if you buy into the whole conservative M.O., so women who are active and vocal about their dissent are seen as doubly freaky. Add to this the fact that the Chicks are young, attractive women and the old dominionist hackles REALLY go up.

I guess I should be somewhat grateful that we're past the point of burning such ladies at the stake, but I think the rationale behind the right's rancor is about the same. Women with a good head on their shoulders who refuse to eat what they're fed are not just bad Americans, but bad people. Dangerous. Evil, even. Posessed by demons! Unnatural! Burn her! Burn the witches!

Now, Faith Hill, there's a woman.