Merry Christmas. The world didn't end, I guess. I'm at my parents' house in Alameda and I'm totally sick. I had been feeling like I was going to get sick all last week, but my circumstances this month didn't leave for a whole lot of down time to take care of myself. And now I'm totally sick. Probably yesterday was the worst. I really resent being sick while I'm on vacation, because I should be out having fun or giving all my focus to relaxing, but I can't do that. I guess staying at my parents' house isn't really vacation either. To my mind, it's not vacation if I can't pick what to watch on TV 100% of the time. Is that spoiled of me? Probably. My parents are adorable and dote on me constantly so I am very lucky to be sick here. I've actually never been on a vacation where I got to pick what to watch on TV 100% of the time. That's an impossible goal.
Thursday night I went to the Uptown, this bar in the newly swanky downtown Oakland, to see the Younger Lovers perform. They were so great! I'd only ever seen Brontez perform in New York either by himself or with a band of New Yorkers. The full Younger Lovers experience was so good! He said that they have a third record coming out soon. If you haven't heard it yet you should definitely get their newest record, Rock Flawless. My favorite parts of the show were probably the parts where the guitar and bass dropped out and it was just Brontez wailing over the drums. The drummer was sooo good.
I saw Loren Hell from the New Earth Creeps at the show, and I haven't seen him in YEARS. I've been thinking so much of the Alameda kids I knew as a young punk. Loren's Twitter Account is maybe one of my favorite's ever. HSe gave me copies of some of the newest New Earth Creeps LPs, I am so excited to hear them. I remember seeing them play at record stores, backyards, living rooms, punk clubs all, when I was younger. And being so impressed. I still am, I guess, but the whole project of punk rock.
After the show Brontez and Cotton and I went around the corner to a bar called the Layover, where there were those ubiquitous green lazers, along with some red lazers, which we both thought was really christmassy. We danced to salsa remixes and ran into Victor from Alameda, and then we all hung out in his friend's car outside the bar and then Cotton had to get the last BART train and I had to get on the bus to Alameda so that's what we did. Such a fun Oakland adventure. This new redeveloped downtown Oakland is such a trip. So much of my youth was spent riding busses through the bombed-out wasteland of abandoned department stores in downtown Oakland. It's totally bizarre to see these spaces re-imaged as upscale cocktail lounges, microbreweries, etc. I like it, but it just makes me feel a little disoriented. I think that making peace with feeling disoriented is a very Californian philosophical agenda. Probably not even refer to it as disorientation, I guess.
Friday I did some window shopping in San Francisco and Berkeley. It was raining the whole time, incredibly stupid of me to be walking around outside. Waiting for the 51B in Berkeley I had the really clear thought: "This is such a bad idea." I came home to rest for a minute, then my parents and I went to Cafe du Nord to see my little brother's band perform. They were so good! They opened for a David Bowie tribute band with three really rad girl singers. I liked it a lot, but I was feeling pretty ill by then. My darling elderly parents got to the club about an hour before the doors opened, so we had some time to kill. They came with me to the Walgreen's in the Castro to buy cold medicine. There was a really angry junkie there, screaming at the staff lady that none of the pills on the shelf were strong enough for him. He asked me what to take if I had pain and a fever. I said: "Aspirin?" He didn't believe me. I bought some decongestant and ate it with whiskey at my brothers' show. I had wanted, so much, to go to my brother's show then skidaddle over to the Mission to see NGUZUNGUZU and oOoOO and Boychild perform at the Elbo Room. But I felt super shitty, and I didn't want to have to hustle to the last BART train home, while I was so sick. And I tried to console myself by thinking that Nguzunguzu performs in NYC a lot and oOoOO was I imagined just DJing and Boychild comes a lot. Not a once in a lifetime opportunity. Still, a bummer.
Yesterday I did actually intend to do a lot of hanging out. Loren and Victor's new band Party Animal played yesterday in Oakland but I was too sick to go. I spent most of the day on the couch. I walked around downtown Alameda for a while. Bought my dad some leather gloves for Christmas at the hardware store. Went to a bunch of the fairly disgusting thrift stores. I used to find some T by Alexander Wang at the Salvation Army down by the bridge. So many gross 1990s prints, it was like a Rihanna photo shoot. I didn't buy anything. I came home and ate lots of cold medicine and stayed inside. I slept a lot. I guess I feel a little bit better today. There's so much I want to to do while I'm here. Mostly hang out with people. I hate being sick.