Monday, April 30, 2007

Rainy Party Weekend

This weekend I had many things to edit but instead, I found myself traipsing to an art opening at SPA in Barre, attending parties at Pamela's and Laura's houses and rocking a show at Parima.

I managed to get a little bit of work done as well and even managed to solve a technical problem that has been haunting me....mohawhawhaw!

It is so much fun to snoop around other people's houses. Pamela has a lovely home with a sort of '50's, uber-hip, nick nacky, classy Pottery Barn sort of a vibe. Laura's home was also beautiful with a '20's, draped-curtains, gilt-mirrors, glamorous, walk-back-in-time look.

Both parties had a very different mix of people, most of whom crammed into their retrospective kitchens. What is it about kitchen's that draws people to them? What is so intimidating about a living room or a back porch?

I pigged out on tasty snacks at Pamela's and drank some hearty red wine at Laura's, then headed to Parima to bop about to the bubbly sounds of The Icicles and The Smittens. It is so nice to dance to live music and shake your dusty tail feather.

It may have been rainy outside but that did not stop the girls (Brookezilla and Alison and The Icicles who were wearing homemade outfits) from wearing cute summer dresses and smart high heels. Awww.

And what was the last song The Smittens played? "I Hate Vermont" and the crowd cheered because even on dismal spring weekends like this one, most of us love Vermont very much. The magnolias are blooming!

Oh, and I have a new nickname (thanks Mathew, my new economist - he is gonna crunch the #s and make "it" happen for me), "The EL." I am not sure what it means but I'll take it.

Happy Monday, M&%$er!

There is no feeling worse than walking bleary-eyed to your car and finding another car in its place.

Your mind races, "Did I park here?"

"Maybe I am on another street?"

"Did I ride my bike and space it?"

Once you backtrack and assure yourself that you did indeed park your car in this spot late last night, you realize it is one of two possibilities, you got robbed or towed.

This is the second time I got my car towed in Burlington and, like the first time, it was surprisingly not too awful (and was oddly around the exact same time last year).

But why is it that every time I get my car towed I am dressed entirely inappropriately?

Exhibit A: Note the same pair of fuzzy pink boots that must inspire tow trucks to nab me.

Last night they swept the streets of Burlington. Apparently, most people who live IN Burlington knew about this but living in South Burlington, I was totally clueless.

The city put up little yellow signs on 3 feet high sticks around town. Of course, the street I parked on did not have any little yellow signs but that didn't stop them from towing me.

I listened to the sweepers driving up and down the streets late last night and it made me think of the Bay Area where they have year round signs alerting you to street sweeping dates.

When you park anywhere in the Bay Area, you make a point of reading the street sweeping signs to make sure you don't get a ticket. They don't bother to tow you but who wants a ticket.

This is partly why I check signs so carefully when I park anywhere. I am trained after many years and many tickets in Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco. I ain't no dummy. Well, a bit of a dummy.

This morning the City of Burlington towed my car down to the Coast Guard's lot at the waterfront and left a nice orange $95 ticket on the windshield. Am I contesting it, you bet your pink silly shoes I am.

It wasn't that far of a walk and it was an excuse to cuss out loud and stroll down by the water where the clouds were fittingly petulant and stormy.

From this day forth I will just assume that every time I wear my pink fuzzy boots and silly around-the-house-clothes, my car will be gone and I will have another towing adventure ahead of me.

Hopefully none of them will be as awful as getting towed in Oakland which will always be remembered as one of the weirdest days of my life (remember Nessa?!).

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Alec Baldwin and Rude Pigs

I am not sure why but this phone message entrances me. I am sure I was a rude pig when I was 12 years old but my pop never left me a message telling me so in such scathing terms. Alec Baldwin, I think I love you just a little bit more now. You are the creme de la creme of fathers.

"Hey Sara, what color undies?"

Yesiree, the internet is a dangerous place full of men and boys who want to know what color underwear you are wearing. Yep, this is pretty much my life in a nutshell...oh, it is so hard being a "Sara..." And the answer is black, duh.

This video is courtesy of my sister and The Hater.

Hello Spring

In the spring, at the end of the day,
you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

April is the cruelest month,
breeding lilacs out of the dead land,
mixing memory and desire,
stirring dull roots with spring rain.

T.S. Eliot
Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.
Dorothy Parker

It's spring fever.... You don't quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
Mark Twain

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes,
and the grass grows by itself

Zen Proverb

Friday, April 27, 2007

Supermarket Reunion

It is all fine and good when you have 45 minutes to do a shop before yoga but sometimes the best laid plans...well, let's just say I missed yoga but it was worth it!

I was rushing through the vegetable section yesterday trying to decide what to cook on the side of the steaks when I ran into Bert who works backstage at the Flynn. We got to talking and one thing led to another and we were reminiscing about the Flynn and what not.

Then I saw Kelly out of the corner of my eye. The very same Kelly who used to work at the Flynn and also had lunch at my house earlier in the day! So I called over Kelly and we had a mini-Flynn reunion in the vegetable aisle. Bert suggested greens on the side and Kelly suggested fresh mozzarella and tomatoes ( I got both). Mmmm...

Then a pretty smiling girl walked up to me and said, "I know you."

"No autographs," said I. Yuck, yuck.

"You used to know me as Jen Cole," said the still smiling girl whose face all of a sudden clicked into focus. It WAS Jen Cole, my best friend in 8th grade whom I have not seen in, let me count - crikey - almost 20 years!?

Jen and I used to write lots of poems. In fact, we even started a poem book which the other literate girls in our class helped us fill up. I think I may have dedicated one of my poems to either Peter Cetera or Ralph Macchio (I was all about the Karate Kid, in fact, we sang a good rendition of "The Glory of Love" at a party last weekend, I was touched!).

Jen and I also wrote each other epic notes - 10 pages long. What did we talk about? What did we have to say? God only knows. We were young, bored, creative and there was NO INTERNET!!!!!

Being a teenager in Vermont in the 80s sort of sucked. There was no alternative culture and without the internet, you had no way of knowing it even existed. It was like living in a desolate but pretty cultural vacuum. We couldn't hang out much because we lived in different towns and were too young to drive. So we wrote long notes, talked on the phone a lot and shared all our hopes and dreams.

We also went horseback riding at Jen's house, usually we rode bareback. Her horse had a white star on her face and a sweet temperament. I remember one rainy day when we were meandering through the forest and my horse slipped and we slid down a wet hill - with me still attached to her. We both had the wind knocked out of us but were only slightly scratched.

Riding horses bareback was thrilling and terrifying at the same time. When galloping through a field at crazy speeds, sometimes I would pause to wonder what might happen if my horse stepped in a rabbit hole, sending me sprawling high in the air. After riding we would balance lazily on the backs of our sweaty horses and bask in the sunlight. A girl's life, such bliss.

I still always note the Cole's house when I pass by it on my way to Johnson (as anyone who has ever driven there with me can attest to). Down the hill is her grandparent's house and across the street, her family's farm. Further down the road, their family friend's farm. It is truly beautiful countryside.

So after 20 plus years, what do poetry/horseback riding friends talk about? We will find out as we are doing lunch. This is one of the reasons I moved back to Vermont, to run into people I know at the supermarket and to find my old friends from high school.

Now I just have to make sure not to lose my friends in California. A trip out there in June may be just the thing to ensure it! I bought my ticket, California, here I come! OH BOY!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Edie is Hung Up

I've always been a HUGE Grey Gardens fan so the prospect of Edie and Madonna mashed up, well, that is like a dream come true for this little panty hose wearing, somewhat shut-in, dances by herself superfreak. Thanks to Digibudi (my Belgian doppelganger) for the heads up on this vid. To quote U2, "Two hearts, beat as one..."

PS As I get older, I become more and more comfortable with the rather creepier Edie-sides of my personality. Sure, in some respects they are weird and crazy but in others, they are refreshing and all my least, that is what the crazy agorophobic, absurdly dressed, lives with her sister, cat lady shouts to herself when walking alone down the street...

Stuck in Vermont Gets Some YouTube Luvin'

Aww, there is nothing better when you are pulling an all nighter (as I do every Monday - just look at the colorful bags under my eyes, they can prove I am not lying) when you go to upload your vlogs to YouTube and find out that your channel is featured on the YT home page (lower right corner).

Thanks YouTube! Unexpected luvin' such as this really brightens a girl's morning when she is about ready to have a nervous breakdown from sleep deprivation, sensory overload, and obsessive compulsive Final Cut Pro-I-will-not-sleep-until-this-vlog-is-finished-disorder.

Being a featured YouTube channel has not, sadly, created a massive spike in subscriptions for Stuck in Vermont, but it has gotten a lot more channel views (over 3,500) and some nice messages/comments. Still, STVT is happy for any and all sorts of luvin' cause she works hard for the money honey....just wait 'till you see her new vlogs hot off the compressor, zowie!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Exposure and Mail Art are Stuck in VT

I gotta say that I really enjoyed shooting both of these vlogs. I had never been to the Billings basement to see WRUV before and now that they are moving, I am really glad I got the chance. Jeremy and Scottum are so chill and The Hero Cycle are a great band (John even made me a little cheat sheet with band member names, awww).

It is so cool meeting hard working, dedicated, creative people who are doing what they LOVE, not for any reason besides the way it makes them feel inside. After Exposure, I walked home across campus totally amped and hyper, like I had just been to some amazing show that no one knew about but me.

Friday I drove out to Barre to meet the Mail Art ladies. I was late and drove really fast and arrived feeling guilty. From the moment I walked in the door, Gabrielle and Delia (and her dog!) had me laughing my head off (how to hold the camera steady!?) and feeling totally inspired.

When you meet people so full of life, guts, art and creativity, it is impossible not to feel hopeful about the future and the present. It is a great show and everyone should go to see it Friday in Barre at Studio Place Arts:

Friday, April 27, 5:30-7:30 PM
Opening Reception for 3 new shows at SPA

Main Gallery: Window Jazz Inventions: New paintings by James McGarrell
Second Floor Gallery: Mail Art Show
Third Floor Gallery: The Need to Conceal: Works by James Juron

More and more, I am realizing this vlog is about creativity, obsession and happiness. Why did Gabrielle and Delia mail each other dog toys when they were neighbors? Why do the 7 members of The Hero Cycle cram into a tiny van and drive across the country for pennies? Why do Jeremy and Scottum spend 5 hours every week untangling cords? Why do I pull an all nighter once a week to finish these vlogs when it is surely shaving months off my life?

The answers to all these things are, of course, something only Anais Nin really knows:

Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.
Anais Nin

The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.
There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
Anais Nin

Monday, April 23, 2007

When to Call it Quits

Two hot and delicious Stuck in Vermont vlogs fresh off the presses are being posted late tonight (some last minute improvements to come) and in the meantime, when to throw in the towel, in some easy steps...happy Tuesday everybody!

How to Tell When a Relationship is Over
Uploaded by sabo-tage

PS Check out the YouTube homepage, Stuck in Vermont is a featured channel - yippeeee!!!

Moonriver Revisited

Turntabalist Kid Koala is playing at HG tonight. Two minutes into this video, the song gets heartbreakingly pretty. Moonriver like you have never heard Audrey before:

PS Thanks Fancy.

4 Sunsets, Oh Boy

Ever since Spring HIT Vermont with the force of a semi-truck, inhabitants have been shedding clothes and spending every spare moment of their time out of doors - and I am one of them.

With the exception of a Friday drive to Barre, I have been getting around town on my trusty stead, my Pee Wee Herman knock-off red bicycle. She needed some air in her tires after many long winter months of misuse - I sort of know how she feels - but now she is ready to go.

Between rehearsals, blogger meet-ups, freelancing, vlogging and social engagements, there has not been as much outdoor time as I would like. But I take a moment here and there to soak in the sunshine and the delicious smell of spring.

And as luck would have it, I got to watch the sunset FOUR times this weekend! HELL YEAH! Last night was the best one at Adam and Sara's house on the lake with grilled meat and a lawn that lead right out to the water. Wow, sign me up. And welcome back spring, please never leave us ever, ever again...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Let's be Friends!


Are you on MySpace? Are you my friend? Well, what are you waiting for? Add me silly!

Also, isn't it time for you to be friends with SpielPalast Cabaret and Seven Days Newspaper? Don't you think? Huh!?

These are the sort of friends that bring you chicken soup when you are sick, entertain and titillate you when you are sad and stimulate your brain with all sorts of sassy bits. Come on, add us! Kisses!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Hero Cycle Rocks WRUV

I have long heard tales about WRUV's Wednesday night show, "Exposure" (90.1FM, Wednesdays 8-10pm) and finally got the chance to check it out for myself last night. Walking across the UVM campus in the warm-ish weather, I got one of those surges of happiness that only spring and college campuses can inspire.

I rode my bike downtown earlier in the day and felt rusty and out of shape but glad to finally be out of doors. It looks like Spring is finally, knock on wood, almost, sort!

The Hero Cycle (MySpace) drove up in a green van nicknamed "The Cage" which is outfitted with lots of Mad Max style mesh grating to keep their equipment safe whilst they are on tour. Sadly, it didn't do the trick and on their last tour they got their GPS ripped off (it has since been replaced with a handy dandy compass).

The Hero Cycle is effervescent indie rock at its finest and their new album, Lakes and Ponds has an Australian distributor which is sure to get them the exposure (no pun intended) that they deserve. 6 guys and 1 girl will be hitting the road this summer, crammed into The Cage along with all their all equipment (I still don't believe this is possible) - they sleep sitting up with pillows on their laps. You should definitely check 'em out if they come to your town (or get proactive and book them in your town).

Jeremy and Scottum are the masterminds behind Exposure, a show which brings local bands live to your airwaves. Exposure is a labor of love and Jeremy and Scottum obviously dig what they are doing despite how exhausting it can be at times. Wednesday was particularly rough - cramming 7 band members into a tiny cord-covered room and using every single one of the available 16 tracks to make 'em sound awesome.

The WRUV space is currently in Billings basement and is distressed in the best sort of way with every inch of space covered with a sticker, a poster or graffiti. The walls are lined with hundreds of albums and CDs which are carefully labeled by genre. It's a well-lived in and well-loved space and I hope the magic isn't lost when they move to the new building.

Once all the sound checks were finished, The Hero Cycle exploded into 2 sets of delicious bubbly music. It felt like being in a club, a very private club with two empty fluorescent lit corridors on either side of you. As Scottum said, "It is like having bands come and serenade you."

When Jeremy was interviewing the band on air, he asked them about their lives and their day jobs. They all agreed that you have to love what you do since the pay is usually non-existent (I can relate) and that they think of their time playing together as a vacation. The best kind of vacation with long nights, sweaty, claustrophobic van drives and hours of setting up and breaking down equipment.

Last night was one of those shows that reaffirmed why I love making Stuck in Vermont and the core of what the vlog is about (which seems to organically be evolving over time). At its heart, Stuck in VT is about people who obsessively love what they do - usually without monetary gain. People who are fixated and hard-working and have a clear vision of what they are making/creating.

In a world where so many people are depressed, aimless and addicted to TV - it is refreshing to find motivated people who have found that secret happiness button and are pushing it repeatedly. I guess that is what Stuck in Vermont does for me. Like the very best kind of morphine drip - push, push, ahhhhh.

Exposure and The Hero Cycle will be Stuck in Vermont next week on Tuesday. Check it out! In the meantime, listen to the 4/18/07 Exposure show of The Hero Cycle here! Read Casey Rea's most awesome article about Exposure here! PS Thanks to Jeremy and Scottum for letting me visit and to The Hero Cycle for rocking us out (and for the t-shirt which I am wearing right now!).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Latin Day Steps It Up at Stuck in VT

Greeks, togas, head-gear, spear-thrusting, Bernie Sanders, Minerva, climate change, a forum made out of ginger bread, free ice cream, Cronos eating babies, and gaggles of screaming hordes, what more could you ask for?

Monday, April 16, 2007


I am supposed to be editing but instead, find myself surfing the internet for news about the school shootings at Virginia Tech. I am afraid to turn on the TV to see the endless hours of talking heads bemoaning the horror and endlessly looping the little snippet of footage captured by a student. But it is a horror...a sick, freakish wasteful horror.

This list of fatal school shootings is creepy. It does not mention the 1992 school shooting at my college, Simon's Rock. But whenever I hear about a new one, it all comes flooding back to me in a sickly wash of unpleasant memories: crouching in our dorm room, waiting for the phone to ring, avoiding the windows, not knowing what the hell was going on.

We didn't have cell phones back then, there were no text messages to spread the word. All we knew was that someone was dead...and that the shooter was roaming around loose on campus, and that our housemate Rose was working at the library where the shootings took place.

Molly and I were planning on joining Rose at the library that night. We wanted to pick up a movie to watch. If we had, who knows what would have happened. What might have changed? Who might be dead? Life is so funny that way, a string of meaningless coincidences.

As fate would have it, my Spanish teacher Nacunan Saez was shot and killed on his way into campus that night. Nacunan was a flamboyant man with his initials monogramed onto his hankies. He was a tiny spitfire with European flair and he used to lock us out of class when we were late - which was often, class was every morning at 9am!

Galen Gibson was just a kid when Wayne killed him, a really sweet kid with this wistful smile and an open heart. Everyone loved Galen. Even the shooter, Wayne Lo, who didn't like much of anyone, seemed to get along with Galen. In a school of 300, everyone knows everyone. Galen's dad wrote a book, Goneboy, about the aftermath of his death:

At the beginning of his walkabout, he is driven primarily by anger; getting the facts about the college's apparent failure to prevent his son's murder is really about getting even. ''I would assemble an airtight case against the college and send it to my lawyers or get it published in The New York Times,'' he writes.

Over time, though, his need for retribution fades, and Gibson realizes that no one -- not the college, not the gun store owner, not Wayne Lo's family -- is really deserving of revenge. He writes: ''There had been a shooting. There was a shooter and he was in jail. Everyone else was a victim.'' At that point, the book becomes an end in itself, ''a single thread of purpose'' that gives Gibson the opportunity to process his grief and reclaim his life. -
New York Times by JASON ZENGERLE

Days like today make me remember Nacunan and Galen. I didn't know them intimately and chances are, we wouldn't be in touch today even if they were alive. But I know that if they were still walking around amongst us, they'd be doing wonderful things in the world and having a positive effect on people around them - that's just the kind of people that they were.

So I guess those of us that remain have to work twice as hard to make up for their absence. But it will never, ever make sense. It is insanity.

April's Winter Weekend

These days, if it isn't snowing, it is raining and if it is neither raining nor snowing, it is dismal and gray. Is this April? Right now in California, the yards are blooming with flowers and color, the air is fragrant and breezy, the sky is blue and the sun is beating down...sigh, I need a vacation (preferably one which involves non-snow-covered deck chairs).

Still, since I am not allowed out of town until June, there are some good times to be had in this chilly, gray, slush-coated land. Sadly, most of the goings on I am not allowed to mention.

Suffice to say, they involve glamorous costumes, lots of flesh, sequins, fringe, flashbacks to the 30s, juggling, singing, dancing, and sassy theater all coated with an air of bohemian je n'est sais quoi....say no more! No really, shut up Eva (no small task mind you...)!

On a less secretive note, I got to see Lyric's awesome production of Guys and Dolls Friday night with Fancy Dancy and ate at American Flatbread TWICE (hot fudge brownie sundae, pinot noir, fresh mozzarella/basil/tomato pizza...mmm).

Plus, both my mom and sister and friend Travis ALL had b'days this weekend! Happy birthday guys! Glug, glug. And what did I get my 73 year old mom? A purple bathing suit from American Apparel which she then returned for another suit, that just cracks me up somehow. Sounds like an SNL skit.

Oh, and there was that charming 3-way IM Friday between Travis in California and Parisa in NYC - so naughty! Days ago, Travis was jogging in the hills of San Rafael. No fair!

When I projected at the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, I would marvel at its delicious climate which was never too hot and never too chilly but JUST RIGHT - all year round. San Rafael is perfectly placed inland with warm breezes, hot summer nights, farmers markets, indie films, a quaint downtown and the feeling of La La Land. No wonder Sean Penn lives there. Sigh...

Now if only the Vermont weather would realize that IT IS APRIL and it is time to cheer up, just a little bit, please! Weather like this makes me want to curl up with a good book and not leave the house all day, slowly work my way through my movie collection starting with the tropical Romancing the Stone...sigh...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ides of April

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.
Kurt Vonnegut

Today is Friday the 13th, also known as the Ides of April to the hordes of toga-wearing Vermont high school students that filled Patrick Gym to celebrate Latin Day in style.

I won't say much here as I am vlogging Latin Day next week but the students energy and excitement got me all riled up and now I have to blow off some blogger steam as a result.

Latin greetings and responses during the opening ceremonies are as follows:

Magister: Salvete sodales omnes!

Omnes: Salve, magister!

I highly doubt that the Greeks and the Romans had snowfalls on the Ides of April but I guess that is what makes us so unique. Will spring ever come to Vermont? One wonders.

Spending a morning/afternoon in a gym packed full of obsessed and costumed people is such a treat for me. And Latin Day is one of those events that I would have nothing to do with, would not even know about, if it wasn't for my Stuck in Vermont vlog.

Today I interviewed a student who wore his toga with a confident ease and resembled Caesar when he looked out at the crowd and said, "These are my people. I feel at home here."

That is how I feel about the Stuck in Vermont vlog. It is like finding "my people." As fast as life goes these days, I am so lucky to be able to take a moment to see into people's lives and obsessions...I think Kurt would understand what the hell I am so clumsily trying to say...

Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.
Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Man Without a Face

A man finds room in the few square inches of his face for the traits of all his ancestors; for the expression of all his history, and his wants.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Conduct of Life

"Hey, you wanna come make a mask?" And the next thing you know, your hands are covered in plaster and you are slowly, bit by bit, covering Seth's face until all that remains are two little air holes.

We didn't really know what we were doing and Seth could only communicate with a strange wordless language once his mouth was plastered over (Jesse was somehow able to understand it though...) - we were sort of winging it.

"Ok, I'm going over your eye now..."

"I am about to cover your nose, is that ok?..."

It took a great deal of trust on Seth's part to lie there calmly while we slowly buried him with wet strips of plaster that stuck to his face like glue.

I am not sure if I could muster this sort of inner peace. It is more than likely that I would start itching like a madman and then rip the thing off me half-formed.

We didn't talk much and it felt almost meditative smoothing on layer after layer of wet plaster and massaging out the air bubbles. It was like we were creating this new creature and couldn't wait to see what it looked like.

When the time came to finally detach Seth from his new face, we very slowly began to apply pressure. Bit by bit, little by little, the mask detached and became a separate entity.

Later, Seth said that it felt like being born as his new layer of skin was slowly peeled off. I love random days that involve the creation of new faces.

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.
~William Shakespeare