My entire weekend was one big loud blur of awesome mixed with equal parts angst, blushing, superheroism, indecent exposure, and baffled amazement – all in all, a smashing success.
On Friday night, I dragged Ed and Shan out to see Astronautalis play at the Fortune Sound Club. The show was great, and the two opening acts (Busdriver and Jel) were really cool. I stood right at the stage for most of the night which was awesome because I was front and center for the show, but also awkward because I was precisely at dick height and the stage was really small. I spent a lot of the evening very conspicuously straining my neck upward to as to not be really obvious that I was checking out packages (and to avoid getting a faceful of rapper junk – we were one emphatic thrust/head bounce away from a Serious Situation). It wasn’t a super late show because apparently the venue turns into a stereotype at 11pm: we turned around when the lights came up and were amazed to see the place filled to the brim not with nerdsters (nerds trying to be hipsters but not quite hitting the mark) but with completely non-ironic club girls dressed in very little clothing. We fled the place after that because nightclubs are my kryptonite, so we drove Shan home and returned to Sparta to pack – we were heading to Seattle in the morning.
Also, I totally rescued the tour van at the club. While we were waiting for the doors to open, I noticed a black van with Texas plates being towed away. Figuring there was a very good chance the van belonged to the people we were there to see, I reached out on Twitter with the info and the towing company name. Long story short, I was totally right and the venue was able to get the band’s van back before they packed up for the night – hooray! I am Nancy Drew and junk!
I didn’t get nearly enough sleep on Saturday night, so we made our way south at a fairly leisurely pace. The border wait wasn’t outrageous, and although the crossing guard was suspicious at our claims that we were going to see a rap show (apparently we do not look like hardcore rap fans), he let us through with no further hassle. We stopped at Target for essentials (iTunes credits, gum, and socks), then onward. We were less than an hour away from Doug and Ali’s place when an SOS came out: Ali had misplaced her car dealie and couldn’t leave her destination. We set out for another rescue; driving to the house to look for her car fob (it’s keyless and she had misplaced the wireless starter thing by leaving it on top of the car and driving away), then taking it to her in Seattle. Doug managed to find the fob before we arrived, so we collected it and said a fast hello before driving out to save Ali and the girls from the elements. It was here that the collective decided that Ed would accompany me to that evening’s show instead of Ali (there was simply Too Much Going On), so we went our separate ways: Ed and I to shop for some presents and get some dinner, and Ali and the girls to a birthday party.
We thought we had a lot of time to kill, but it took us a really long time to get to our destination: every single person in Seattle was at Key Arena that evening, and traffic was brutal. All the one way streets made life very complicated, but we lucked out and found a spot a block from the venue plus there were ample things to do in the vicinity, such as:
After the awesome Bollywood music that was coming from nowhere ended and was replaced by boring Christmas stuff, we went to line up at the doors to the Vera Project where Astronautalis and company were playing that night. This was the second time I had followed an act from Vancouver to Seattle to catch back-to-back shows (the first was for Amanda Palmer’s solo show in 2008), and I was excited: I’ve been utterly infatuated with Astronautalis since we first saw him open for Tegan and Sara several years ago at the Orpheum. His voice makes my insides go all squishy, and he is very, very, very nice to look at. I don’t swoon over people often – I’ve never been any sort of fan girl over anything except Optimus Prime – but daaaaaaaang.
Anyway, we were in line when it suddenly got really, really busy: the event going on at Key Arena had just let out. Not a big deal, until we noticed that every person that passed our line was cast from the same mold: short hair, a lot of testosterone, tribal tattoos, and unintelligible grunting. A quick Google confirmed the formal gym wear: we were crotch-deep in a seething, hollering throng of UFC fans, fresh from a live bout in the arena. It made for really interesting people-watching (and listening; there was a woman screaming like a chicken somewhere off in the distance), and I learned that UFC fans look an awful lot like what you would expect UFC fans to look like (often accessorized with a taller, high-maintenance trophy girlfriend on one arm). It was all very surreal and hilarious, but I was glad when the doors finally opened and we were able to go inside because it was colder than balls and my boobs were very exposed (even more so than the previous evening; I was a bounce away from a catastrophic wardrobe failure and that’s kind of how I roll).
The Vera Project is a very cool all-ages venue, and was even more intimate than the previous evening (in more ways than one). Before the show started, I headed off to the washroom to pee. The washrooms in the VP are gender neutral, so I turned left at the entrance and thought nothing of the urinals I passed on the way in. I did my business, adjusted my boobs for maximum inappropriateness, then exited the stall to wash my hands and primp. It was then that I noticed that two people had entered the bathroom while I was busy with pee: Jel (whom Ed and I had said hello to an hour earlier), and Astronautalis, who was at a urinal.
Apparently, accidentally interrupting famous people’s pee makes me blush like a motherfucker. I felt my face burning and I immediately became really interested in the floor tiles as I sauntered out of what had once been the men’s washroom. I was fairly proud that I didn’t flee in haste but rather made my way out nonchalantly as though I wasn’t mortified and feeling like a creepy stalker for not only leaving the country to follow my mega-crush to Seattle but also show up in his goddamn bathroom (although to be perfectly fair I was in there first). When I got back to my seat I told Ed what happened, and he (and Shan) proceded to make fun of me all night. I got over my embarrassment in time to thoroughly rock out and enjoy the show though, so at least there’s that.
We hung out for a bit afterwards and I got to say hello to Astronautalis, who thanked me for the van thing (yay!) and didn’t file a restraining order against me (yay! – I live in fear that people find me creepy, because I do not mean to be creepy). We conversed a bit, he posed for a picture with me, and then Ed and I took off for the night. Two amazing shows in two nights, and I get to do it all over again in March – hooray! Maybe there’s something to being a giddy fangirl after all.
Sunday was much more low-key: Ali made us yummy breakfast and we all sat around chatting (Hazel screamed instead) before it was time to go. A quick stop at Trader Joe’s for All the Snacks, an uneventful border crossing, and we were home by 6:15 after an eventful couple of days of much-needed adventure.
The week ahead may have a lot less rap in it, but it’s going to be a busy one: multiple birthday events, two work-related parties, and I must find things that are not porn to wrap presents in (only because I can’t haul porn-covered presents in to work), plus all the projects ever at work. I am busy, which is good – it gives me a lot less time to think about the trouble I’d like to get myself into.