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I met Amanda Palmer last night, kind of, in a flurry that lasted about seven seconds. Amanda and her husband Neil Gaiman were on a short West Coast tour, performing a mash up of songs and readings, sometimes alone, sometimes together, sometimes alone but with the other adoringly watching. To put it less clearly, here’s a video of Neil Gaiman eating a banana.
I got free tickets to the show because of my ex-girlfriends, Twitter, and my amazing friend Jamie, who mentioned me to Amanda at Wednesday’s show. The long version is: Back in June, I wrote an AfterEllen column about my tendency to pursue unavailable women.
“I think we also tend to chase after unavailable women because we aren’t necessarily in a place where we want to settle down. And that’s OK. Friends are quick to point out patterns in our love lives — Curiously, these friends are often happily coupled — but patterns don’t always mean anything, nor do they have to become self-fulfilling prophecies. I’ve dated a crap-ton of Sagittariuses and almost all of them have been in love with Amanda Palmer. Is that a pattern? Yep. Does it mean I am doomed to forever live in the shadow of Amanda Palmer’s awesomeness? Probably. But it’s not the world’s biggest deal breaker.
This was not an exaggeration. Approximately 90% of girls I’ve dated have been die-hard AFP fans. One even had an orgasm from merely LISTENING to one of her songs.
Anyway, Amanda Palmer somehow read that column and asked me out on Twitter, thus appropriately reaffirming my habit of chasing married women. Then I tried to start a rivalry with Neil, but he was just like, “Have fun on your date! Amanda’s swell.” And, “Take her to a a crowded, interesting bar.” So I told her that I would take her to a bar where the patrons only speak Russian and will take their fake eye out for you. (Ed. note. I may have lied about my ability to procure Russian cyclopses to impress Amanda Palmer).
Then I was like, Wait a minute. I work at Mother Jones! I should totally interview her and get her to confirm our date in a legally-binding matter of public record. And, like, ask her about music and stuff. So I did that. And it was a video interview, and she was topless. Here’s a snippet of me harassing her.
Then she came to San Francisco for two shows, and Jamie and the very talented Eliza Rickman scored tickets to the first show at the Brava Theater. After the show, in the signing line, Jamie was like, “Hey Amanda. Remember that girl who promised you a one-eyed, Eastern European bar experience?” And she was like, “Oh right. Email my assistant and she’ll hook her up with tickets to Friday’s show.” Once I found that out, I promptly contacted several of my ex-girlfriends and was like, “I bet you wished you hadn’t dumped me NOW, HUH?” (Ed. note: These conversations didn’t actually happen in an arena involving actual people, i.e. out loud.)
So Jamie and I went to the Palace of Fine Arts, and I made Amanda a merkin out of one of Jamie’s thongs, a cut up, hand-knitted beanie, and about 20 staples. Because, yeah.
And then I wrote a limerick and stuck that in there as well. Then Jamie was like, Amanda Palmer only gets one limerick? And I was like, You’re right. She deserves at least 12 limericks. But we were short on time, so together we wrote her just one more. It went something like this:
On this tour, so hard you’ve been workin’,
with barely enough time for jerkin’.
We hoped to torpedo
your ailing libido,
by giving you this sexy merkin.
The show itself was incredible. It was like a love letter personified, directed both at each other and at the audience. Afterward, we got confused about which line we were supposed to stand in to meet Amanda and Neil, and ended up at the very back. It was after midnight by the time we got within spitting distance of the pair, and by then, they were moving through people at SPAM factory production line speeds. Suddenly Neil was standing right there. He looked at me, then we both looked at the merkin I was holding, and then he moved on to the next person. Amanda followed milliseconds later, and this is what I said to her.
Thank you for the show. I’m from Twitter. Here’s a merkin.
I’M FROM TWITTER. HERE’S A MERKIN.
I’m sure she had no idea who I was, but hugged me anyway and said, Thank you. This is what that looked like, if one were viewing the scene after having done a few shots of Jaegar and then spinning around wildly.
And then we were whisked out of the line and into the parking lot.
Russian cyclopses or no, it was obviously one of the better dates I’ve been on.
I am so unmotivated today, I couldn’t even post a Facebook status update about how unmotivated I am. Also, last night I went to a public insemination ritual / performance art show / orgy and I’m probably the only one in the world who thought bringing their ex to that would be a good idea. “I kind of hate you right now” is a quote from her. But then she ended up having a good time, so sucka that. (Article for The Bay Citizen on the show forthcumming!) Plus, we drank coconut water out of actual coconuts, and then someone took a hammer to mine to get the meat out, but she effectively bludgeoned it to death and I kind of wanted to take a picture of it, but they took our phones for the night, so I couldn’t. I have no idea where I was going with that.
Anyway. I figured I could probably at least post some links.
I interviewed my east coast bestie Jami Howard on how to make a kickass Facebook page.
Before that, I quelled the world’s nerves by confirming that social media is not, in fact, ruining our lives.
Before that, I invented a southern cooking show called Squirrels Gone Wild. It’s about Twitter, obviously.
I wrote a pot roundup for 4/20 because we really try to buck the stereotypes at Mother Jones.
I went to Facebook headquarters and took pictures of hardboiled eggs and their parking lot. It was much more amusing than it sounds. I think. But I’m too lazy to write about it. You can watch the panel though that my coworker was on, about social media and journalism. I get a brief shout out somewhere in this hour-and-a-half long video, so, you know, totally worth it to watch the whole thing. Also, if you want to see pics from my Aorta Mag reading at Million Fishes, whereby I manage to look both stoic AND possessed, then do so here. And like me!
My plan to irrevocably entwine myself with Amanda Palmer electronically is working. Now if only I could deliver on my promise to demystify pulley sex. Maybe I should ask this guy.
I can die now.
Then I was like:
And then I tried to start a fake rivalry with her hubby, the amazing Neil Gaiman.
Then Geek Pondering was like, Amanda Palmer threw a lemon at me! Like that would deter me, pfft.
So I was like, Oh snap!
And Neil was like, Nuh uh.
And then I imploded.
And here are some posts where I reference either one or both of them, just because:
- The Hook Up column that started all this
- 9 Stupid Myths About Bisexuals That Will Make You Laugh
- Greek Face
- Erin K and Tash on “Gooches,” “Choads,” and the Zombie Apocalypse
- Stuff Bisexuals Like: Reclaiming Bisexual Celebrities…Except Anne Heche
- If you kiss me mister, I might tell my sister
- High Waist Shorts Is Inspired
- Don’t tell me I can’t reference my songs within my songs
Ed. Note: These haiku aren’t ALL about me. Sometimes they are just sentiments I enjoy, events/situations I find amusing, or shit I think will impress people. In other words, stop worrying that I’m Atilla the Slut with a drinking problem and no wherewithal to feed and clothe myself, Mom! Now that that’s taken care of, ONWARD.
Work picnic. Drank for
12 hours. See, Mom, I don’t
always drink alone!
“You smell like a bowling
alley.” Does that mean
you don’t want to make out?
Been single four months now.
Ate croutons for dinner.
There’s no connection.
What I wanna know,
Random Drug Dealer: Are these
Dreamed about Twitter
again. Self-quote, plus the hashtag
(I pun in my sleep)
- Haiku for Adulthood #4
- Haiku for Adulthood #2
- Every (Twitter) Rose Has its SCORN
- Don’t tell me I can’t reference my songs within my songs
- Haiku for Adulthood #47-#51
I learned a very valuable lesson today. It’s not all roses and free lube on Twitter, folks. Sure, sometimes you get marriage proposals, but other times you get SCORN. Other times, you will be following someone on Twitter and they’ll say, “Hey, does anyone have this really expensive software that I need for my design business?” And someone else (me, the protagonist) will say, “Why surely, fellow queer blogger! I will totally help you in the nice, selfless way that strangers on the internet have come to know my philanthropic tweets.” And you’ll do it and you don’t ask for anything in return, except “a good word to help another struggling, recently unemployed writer,” which doesn’t even mean anything if you think about it, but it’s definitely not monetary gain or a request for hookers or anything remotely outlandish. So then this person follows you back and tweets this:
And the little piece of you that lights up inside when others validate your self-worth on the internet lights up (It’s the spleen, I think) and Oh, you think, will the wonders of the internet EVER cease? No, not ever! Not in the same blessed space where you can make yourself into a Jersey Shore character and where anything involving cats rules with an iron fist!
And then you forget all about the software and the nice tweets and go about your selfless, philanthropic existence until a few months later, you see a tweet from this same someone in your past about a new hairstyle they are adopting and think, My God, I need to comment on that! So you go to their page to retweet the whole glorious 140 characters and see THIS:
And you think, I HOPE YOUR NECK GETS CHILLED FROM YOUR FORGETFULNESS! And ponder whether the “cry-baby” part of the tweet is also mocking you, somehow. You’re pretty sure it is. And that you’ve been SPURNED on Twitter, which leads you to believe you’re annoying, until you go back and examine your tweets for the day. They include:
- a delightful Facebook app where you can turn yourself into butter
- a link to a fart-neutralizing underwear insert
- informative news about climate change
- and of course a few links to everyone’s favorite After Ellen column, The Hook Up
Which are all awesome and totally deserving of the 20 seconds that they appeared on everyone’s Twitter feeds. What The Fuck, Mr. Smither of Sexery?! You can’t BEAR to look at my 15 tweets a day, which is actually probably more like 3, unless you are on Twitter at the exact moments I hit the “tweet” button?
It is at this point, that you write an incensed blog post, which you will surely tweet about as well (and Facebook), all while cradling your hashtag marriage proposal (in your mind, it’s not like you printed it out or anything…like that) and wondering when it all went so terribly awry. #namastebitch
Related (like you care):
- Don’t tell me I can’t reference my songs within my songs
- Sex Dreams: or I owe Steve Buscemi an apology
- Blaming hormones
- Off the charts – a made-up astrological reading for Leos
As I was deleting songs from iTunes, to further diminish my hipster street cred of Pitchfork-approved tunes to make way for as many Disney soundtracks as possible, I came across Le Tigre’s “Deceptacon,” which was a song I was singularly obsessed with for many months. How obsessed? Well, one time I took a four-hour road trip and only listened to that song. It was Le Tigre, y’all! I was all, Women’s Studies! </patriarchy>! Who took the bomp from the bomp a lomp a lomp? It was Kathleen Hanna, riot grrrrls! Also, I had recently become very gay.
While it took me several more years to get the hang of monogamy, when it comes to music, I am always enthralled with the ONE (song) at a time. To the point of breaking whatever tape/CD/hard drive where it resided.
Some of these obsessions have included Jewel’s “Angel Standing By,” (stop judging me!) Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Oh Comely,” Rilo Kiley’s “Silver Lining,” Regina Spektor’s “Samson,” Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” and way more Evanescence songs than I would ever admit to listening to in public. Currently, it’s “Under your spell” from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical. I know. But the song is about witches! In love!
Tangent: I never know what to say to people who ask me what kind of music I like. I can’t tell the truth without then giving a speech about how pseudo-goth pop is really quite moving if you can just think of all the corpse references as “metaphors for life.” I also can’t lie about it because I’m a terrible liar. During jury duty last year, I accidentally said I was married and then tried to roll with it until they asked me what my husband’s name was and I said “Eleanor.” Another time, during my first and last guitar lesson, my teacher asked me what music I liked and I lied and said Pink Floyd for reasons that STILL aren’t clear to me. We spent the next hour playing Pink Floyd songs that I had never heard of, nor knew at all how they were supposed to sound. The experience was similar to how I imagine karaoke in hell would be like.
Any shitty music lovers have advice on what to say to people when they ask you about your “taste”?
Anyway. Obsession can be really motivating. It can also be really destructive, as my ruined mix tapes and friendcestuousness have demonstrated. But I can’t stop! It’s like an OCD form of meditation. I have to keep listening and obsessing over things like music and people who might want to sleep with me if only I can be clever enough on Twitter and CSS tutorials and how to make a meal out of celery, prunes and salsa.
Obsession gives us something to look forward to, an especially inviting premise when one is unemployed. And while spending hours looking for a rice cooker on Craigslist isn’t going to get me a job or anything (it’s just an example!), it is something I can pursue and feel a sense of accomplishment about while I am looking for the ONE (job).
I will leave you with Kathleen Hanna, who said,
“I’m outta time
I’m outta fucking time
I’m a gasoline gut
with a vaseline mind
but wanna disco? Wanna see me disco?
Let me see you de-politicize my rhymes!”
- Once more, with feeling
- Plan B, the employment kind
- Déjà vu, or how I got kicked in the face by a stripper in Gary, Indiana
- It’s official