>Saturday afternoon I drove Julia to Spokane to put her on a plane early Sunday morning to attend some bigtime bellydance training thing with Suhaila Salimpour. She’s been working very hard to get ready for it, and now it’s on. Pretty cool. That leaves me here in a filthy house with a bunch of filthy pets and a filthy teenager. The upside is that it’s not like there is a big thing about it getting trashed while she’s gone because it was trashed before she left. The downside is it sucks to come home to a mess, so sometime in the next few days I need to knock it into shape.
She called yesterday telling me it is every bit as horrible as her worst imaginings, but that it is also awesome and she is so glad she went. This is the Big Time for bellydancers; our friend Geneva has gone through this training regimen and now teaches all over the world. I don’t know if that is what Julia ultimately wants to do, but it is cool no matter. She also had to point out that Zoe Jakes is in the class, who we last saw in Missoula as part of Rachel Brice’s Indigo Dance Troupe, opening for The Yard Dogs Road Show. Zoe is also a member of the Yard Dogs, and a member of the Black and Blue Burlesque. Here is a picture of Zoe:
Here is another picture of her that exemplifies what we think is so great about her; she’s a total nut and makes these great facial expressions when she dances. It’s hilarious, actually. There was also a part of the Yard Dogs show where the skit was referencing a dream of one of the characters, and it was supposed to be of a sexual nature; the curtain came up and Zoe was running around in a bearded old man’s mask, wearing just a bra and chonies, running around grabbing everyone on stages legs and humping them vigorously. Trust me, it ruled.
The other name Julia had to drop was Margaret Cho, who is also an avid bellydancer and a participant in the class. Julia said she looks really good, and after googling her for this blog I’m inclined to believe her. In the past people who don’t like her would inevitably make fat jokes about her; they sure can’t any more.
So I’m gurgling with envy. No celebrities or interesting people around here. I just have a soccer game to go to, in which I will be further humiliated. I’m happy for Julia, even though I’m really, really jealous. What’s weird to me is how interested I’ve become in bellydance for reasons beyond the obvious ones that have a little to do with my lecherous nature. It really is an intriguing and beautiful art form, particularly the style of these saucy and creative women doing the American Tribal thing.
Julia was bummed that she couldn’t attend the Melvins show at The Other Side with me on Sunday night. It was awesome, the kind of show that makes a guy question every musical decision he’s ever made. I had never seen them before but she had. I wrote an article for the Independent about the show, and got to interview Buzz Osbourne for it. It was one of my favorite interviews ever because he was a great subject and a more than willing conversationalist. Definitely well worth the effort. And Big Business was also mindblowing; I’ve been thinking about fiddling with my bass tone ever since. Definitely a fantastic night of music. Here’s a shot of the Melvins I stole off the internet:
Hanging out during the show was fun because so many people I know were out for it. I used to be able to move around pretty anonymously, but I’m flat out getting to know too many people. That is pretty cool, really. I spent a lot of time talking to my buddy Hank and heard about a truly magnificent video documentary project he is working on that I can’t wait to be able to talk more about. Really awesome stuff, Hank is a great guy; he is going to join the Lazerwolfs for a special one-off rock show we plan to do to before long that is a Secret.
Also spent a good amount of time chatting with Erika, the Arts Editor for the Indy. She and I had spoken a lot but never met in person. Turns out her boyfriend, Dave “The Snake” Knadler is the unknown entity who actually named the Lazerwolfs. More on that later, that is a story in and of itself. It was cool spending some time with her and Dave as well.
The evening wrapped up with me getting to speak with Buzz Osbourne in person. He was as nice a guy in person as he was in the interview. In fact, chatting with John Campbell, the sound guy at the Other Side, he revealed how easy the Melvins are to work with, which is saying something, believe me. And their setup, with two big drum kits and all their noisy amps and weird gear, has got to be a challenge. Knowing they treat people so well makes me like them even better.
It All Nearly Ends Badly
So it was after 2 AM by the time I pulled out of the parking lot and headed for home. I was giddy with excitement after talking to Buzz, sweaty from the show, and pretty tired after a high octane weekend of running around. As I left, I was the only car on the street, though a set of headlights was coming up behind me. I signal to change to the left lane, move over, and cop lights go on — I was being pulled over.
So I pull over. Cop, who was nice enough, says I ran a stop sign. Which was bullshit, but I didn’t argue. Then he asks if I had been drinking, because he can smell it. Yes, I had a couple, but it’s been a while. And I’ve likely had more spilled in my vicinity than I drank. And yes, I’ve been in a bar for 7 hours, so I probably reek. He gets my license, registration, insurance and all that, then does the “light in the eyes” thing, then goes back to his car. Meanwhile, I’m freaking out. No, I don’t drive drunk, and I’ve never had this happen to me before. I’ve also heard all these stories about guys being over the legal limit after about 2 or 3 beers. Now I’m certain from about 8:30 until Midnight I had maybe 4 or 5 — most in the 9 – 11 time frame — but it’s been 2 hours easy since I touched any. Is 5 beers over 6 hours too much? I feel fine, but I’m nervous as all hell. I mean really, really nervous.
Cop comes back, asks me to step out of the truck and he’s giving me all these detailed instructions. My voice keeps breaking because I’ve been hollering, plus I’m nervous. I have to stand in place, feet together (knees shaking) and watch him wave his light around, following it with just my eyes. Where he stops the beam is silhouetted by a big sign on one side and a smaller neon sign on the other, so my eyes really water when he holds it in position; I’m scared to even blink. It is like being at the eye doctor. This goes on for a few minutes. What really unnerves me is there is a second cop there, and he is just kinda lurking behind me, pacing back and forth on the other side of my truck. It feels very, very threatening.
Cop tells me to get back in my truck, goes back to his car, comes back and apologizes that he seems to have lost my proof of insurance and sends me on my way. After telling me, of course, that I was “real close.” I thank him for scaring the shit out of me and home I go. I don’t get any ticket or anything, though I do need to replace my proof of insurance.
I’m certain I wasn’t even buzzed. Tired, yes. Unsteady after rocking out for 3 hours, yes. But drunk? Definitely not. I understand they were doing something that needs to be done, but it still felt very threatening and I didn’t like it one bit. Not one. I felt like my fate was totally in someone else’s hands and it stressed me out. Especially since I’ve vowed never to be taken alive. Maybe they were the ones who got “real close.”