Dulli downer

Thursday, September 29, 2005
A big part of why I moved to Cincinnati three years ago was the music. Bootsy Collins lives there. Peter Frampton too. The fantastic WOXY was on the air. There's a rich history there with King Records. And, of course, it's the city that spawned the Afghan Whigs and my rock god, Greg Dulli.

What a rockin' town.

During my time in Cincinnati, I saw Greg Dulli at a couple shows with the Twilight Singers. They were fantastic shows at a cool venue. But it certainly wasn't the intense Afghan Whig experience I anticipated when I moved to town.

So I'm really bummed to have missed this year's Midpoint Music Festival, during which it was all Dulli, all the time. He was the keynote speaker for the festival. He also did a few songs with the Staggering Statistics (great band) at Neon's (great bar). And he was just all there in Cincinnati -- and I wasn't.

I can't believe I missed so much fantastic live music AND Greg Dulli. And now I'm stuck in this place that doesn't seem to understand the concept of quality local music. Every performer I've seen here is a Yanni wannabe, which is precisely the opposite of what I want to hear.

Boo. Why couldn't I have moved just a few weeks later?

L.A., baby!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Hey hey, L.A., originally uploaded by Maggiejumps.

Here's the Fox News building at Twentieth Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles. I was on my way to lunch at the News Cafe.

Their tuna sandwiches are good, even if their news judgment is questionable.


Friday, September 16, 2005
Last night I went to the Village Fest, a weekly open air festival with crafts, art, food, music, dancing and so much more. It's an amazing, beautiful night, where most everybody in the community comes together under the palm trees of the main strip. Everybody is very kind and friendly, and there's a lot of laughter in the air.

There are also some stunningly wacky things here, too. Funny new age musicians, old couples walking their tiny teacup dogs, a beef jerky salesman, an ask-the-rabbi stand.

I stopped for a while to watch a magician, who was doing this levitating princess trick -- using a tiny princess doll on a playing card.

"Come on, princess. Levitate!" he commanded.

She didn't levitate.

"Come on, princess. Levitate."

Again, no levitation.

"Levitate. Levitate. Levitate."

He went through this bit for about five minutes. He was getting visibly sweaty and looked all awkward. Finally, people started to walk away. What was once an enormous crowd had become a few stragglers.

I had so much hope, I waited for a few more minutes.

"I guess she's not going to levitate," he finally shrugged and began to pack up his things.

I feel like the not-so-levitating princess a lot lately.

I made this incredible move and took this enormous leap of faith to come here, because it's what I thought would be best for me and my future. I should very well be flying, soaring, levitating.

But as much as I try to remain positive, I'm filled with so much sadness. I cry for New Orleans, a city that is part of my soul. I cry for Jason, my boyfriend who alone with his nightmares and his severe physical and emotional pain. I cry for the people who lost loved ones, who have to wake up every morning and remember their loss all over again.

More than anything, I'm still burdened by this accident that hurt Jason and killed a fellow skydiver. It reminds me of the Jesus prayer in "Franny and Zooey" -- it's an ancient meditation that, if repeated incessantly, becomes a part of you as regular as a heartbeat.

Sometimes I think this accident was my Jesus prayer. I don't draw a breath without this accident. I don't go a moment without thinking about it, without thinking of that skydiver's family. I don't go a day without sending love and prayers their way.

One day maybe I'll wake up and my heavy boots will be lighter, the sadness lifted, the ability to levitate returned.

"Come on, princess. Levitate!"