Most days, my time living in Florida feels like a hazy, forgotten memory supplanted by a second lifetime living in Massachusetts. But for a few days last week, I felt like that kid from Miami, nearly forgetting I’d spent any time living in Boston at all. Jen and I spent most of this past Sunday glued to WSVN’s live stream. It’s been 25 years since Andrew, but memories of my eyes fixed on an old black and white battery-powered Emerson VR-22 became vivid. Terms like feeder band, storm surge, and eyewall became part of my lexicon once again. We pored over flood zone maps. Family and friends were contacted.
I was stressed out. Irma wasn’t just coming in strong, but it was massive.
My folks, my cousin Andy, abuela, and a veritable zoo holed up at my sister’s house in Gainesville to ride the storm out. I FaceTimed with her on Sunday to see if they’d gone all Lord of the Flies yet. In the course of our conversation, we shared our memories of Hurricane Andrew, as you do. Because she and I are the kind of people we are, our tendency with most things is to shrug it off and say that’s just life; a funny anecdote about a thing that happened after I turned ten years old. Actually talking to my sister about it all on Sunday made me realize how goddamn traumatic the thing actually was; I had recurring nightmares about tornadoes for years, for a start. Then there was the time—not long after Andrew—we got caught in a supercell and were stuck beneath an overpass for at least 30 minutes. We straight up thought we were going to die.
Living in Florida ain’t no picnic. But hey, at least you get a resident discount for Disney World.
Our families are okay, by the way; we appreciate everyone who reached out over the weekend to check in. My grandma’s yard is a little worse for wear, my parents’ backyard fence is toppled over, and my sister’s house got knocked around a little. Mr. Poops and Jimi Pooh seemed to love it, though.
Jen and I send our love to Florida, to the folks in the Caribbean, and to Houston.
(Also: please do not donate goods unless specifically asked.)
Because we’d already purchased tickets—and had the luxury to take our minds off the world’s ills for a moment—Jen and I headed over to Santa Monica to ogle houses we’ll never be able to afford and catch a Jeanne Moreau double feature at The Aero. They were showing The Bride Wore Black and Elevator to the Gallows. Jen saw Elevator to the Gallows some time ago and, quite rightfully, loved it. It’s a great movie, and it’s so beautifully shot. Really makes me wish a) I took up French in high school, and b) we went through with plans to shoot that noir video idea we had for “Complicity”. C’est la vie.
Neither of us had seen The Bride Wore Black, but it bears a strong resemblance to Kill Bill. (Shockingly, Tarantino claims to have never seen this movie.) Far from Truffaut’s best, but entertaining as hell to watch. Plot’s as straightforward as they come: Jeanne Moreau methodically icing a bunch of dudes.
It’s been nice setting a day a week to do shit like this. It’s so easy to get caught up in day-to-day bullshit, you end up draining yourself of inspiration. You can only spend so much time updating Twittergrambookchat before you just want to stare at a wall for hours.
(I’ve also been reading the Amazing Spider-Man run, but I’ll save all that for another post. I’m at issue #112.)
Earlier in the week, we visited a venerable Los Angeles institution: the Rainbow Room. Unfortunately, we did not run into Ron Jeremy. (Sorry, Rich.) However, we did catch up with our pal Taylor Barefoot and worked out some arrangements on borrowing his studio space for rehearsals. Yes, this means the answer to “When the hell are y’all playing next?” is at hand. Once West Coast Chuck is up to speed, we’ll be imparting more concrete information. Feels good to see a stage on the horizon, though. Going out to all these shows has been great, but goddamn, is it frustrating. Any fantasies I may have ever harbored about taking time off from playing live have been thoroughly quashed.
On the studio side of things, we’re still receiving the first round of mixes for the record. I’m so damn excited for this thing. Still don’t know when we’ll be able to share any of it with you, but I cannot fucking wait till we can bring you in on it. In the meantime, you’ll have to settle for my nebulous descriptions and the occasional slip in the ephemeral ether of Instagram stories.
Also ended up hanging out with a new friend Chris Sousa, another Boston expat. Jen and I entered new territory, wherein we all got together to jam at some point in the evening. Things frequently veered into Floyd territory, and it was all very fun. We may or may not have run through a version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as well, a song I haven’t played—even in jest—anywhere near the current decade. I was surprised how much of the muscle memory I retained.
I guess you never forget your first power chord.
Stupid and contagious,