Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dark City

Well, I'm gonna give this thing a go. When my mom asked me to guestblog, I thought, "Why not? Can't be that hard." But now I've spent the last two days trying to figure out how to even start -- school? band? book trailer stuff? someone side-swiping the mirror off my car and not leaving a note? I guess I almost deserve it, it is my choice to live in Minnesota in the winter afterall. Like I deserve to never see the sun, or how every winter I forget what the color green looks like. It all sort of meshes into one big brown blur -- ugly, leafless trees juxtaposed against piles of brown muck that used to be snow. Get up, trudge through it then trudge home again. It gets a tad bit monotonous and makes even the simplest tasks seem ridicuously hard. Swedes do a good job combatting the darkness and depression that sets in -- cute little lamps in every window, cozy cafes every three blocks, light, light, and more light. I was half-expecting a similar approach when I moved to Minnesota considering the heavy Scandinavian heritage, but found the common combatant here seems to be excessive drinking and way too much time at the bar. It certainly doesn't help that the band I'm in plays the bar circuit -- it's starts to feel like that's all there is and suddenly I imagine myself white-haired and toothless, spouting off about the glory days between hacking my lungs up and pounding my fifth beer of the night. No. I definitely need to find some other way to fight the SAD that descends every year about this time. It's funny, every time I turn on the tv, I see that Alan Thicke ad where he's knee deep in some giant pool of water saying, "What happens in Las Vegas...should be happening to you." It's lush, green, and warm -- everything I seem to be missing. But funny enough, it makes me glad to be where I am.




Bill Cameron said...

Hi, Martha, and welcome! The photo is very lovely and haunting and alluring. Thank you for sharing it!

I feel your pain about winter, though here things are a little different. We rarely see snow or ice down in the lowlands, but we also rarely seen the son. Some years, we can have clouds for three months in a row. And yet the green never really fades. It takes on a kind of sodden oppressiveness in the absence of direct sun, however. I know many people struggle through the winters, including myself some years.

And yet then the spring comes and the sun peeps out here and there, and maybe we start to feel our spirits refresh a little.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

I got hit with temporary dyslexia and thought you'd written something about Alan Thicke getting kneecapped in Las Vegas. That made me all warm and happy for a few seconds, but then I reread it and now I'm back to normal.

Anonymous said...

Martha, well, I see your mother's gift of blogging with raw honesty and heart is genetic. Great post!! (And great picture. Yours?)

A couple years ago when I first stayed in an off-grid cabin in December, I was struck by just how anemic the days become. The sun rises late, never fights much higher than the mountains, and before you've really shaken off sleep, it starts to fall again. Amazing. I have difficulty imagining what it was like to be snow bound for the winter. Those were some hardy folks back then, that's all I can say.

In the meantime, for yourself, perhaps you might trade that fifth beer for a tequila sunrise. ;)

Kelly Parra said...

Hi Martha, loved your book trailer for Pale Immortal!! =D

angie said...

Oh thank god. I was starting to feel like one of those damn lab rats that keeps hitting the button for more coke. So, so happy to see new stuff here - and how cool that you agreed to blog while Anne's off enjoying sunshine!

I lived in Chicago for several years & loathed the long, gray winters. Dig the snow (except for the nasty slushy crap it becomes in the city), but cannot tolerate the relentless gray. 'Course, now I live in AZ and I actually look forward to cloudy days. We don't get many of those here.

Also wanted to add a huzzah for the photo. Gorgeous tones & evocative comp. Not surprised, though. I also really dug the Pale Immortal vid. You did a great job!

Alex Adams said...

Welcome, Martha :)

*I* wouldn't want to be anywhere Alan Thicke was lurking either!

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Welcome to the insanity, Martha.

That's a beautiful photo. Medium format or did you crop it?

Personally, I know bupkes about winter. If we get a drizzle of rain it's "Storm Watch 2007!" and "Look out for the fog!"

If you're looking for something to talk about, would love to hear more about your band.

Jaye Wells said...

Hi Martha,

Every summer in Texas I dream about living in a place like Minnesota. Then in the winter, when it hits about 40 degrees, I remind myself that I am a complete whimp when it comes to cold weather. I admire your fortitude.

Also, just wanted to say I won a Chambermaids album from your mom a few months back and I really enjoyed it.

Martha said...

Hi all, I'm not sure if i can respond to individual posts so I'm winging it, ha. I'm glad you all like the photo, but unfortunately it's not mine. I found it floating out there and coudn't resist including it.

Bill - where do you live? I've heard many people say that an absence of snow and cold is worse than anything else. That the fog and drizzle just chills you to the bone.

Patrick -- Ha, someone should kneecap him! have you SEEN than commercial?

Jason -- thanks for the kind words, i'm totally new to this so I feel sorta like I'm flailing all over the place. Good idea on the tequila sunrise, but then again Summit EPA is simply my favorite beer in the world. Kinda crazy that I moved to the place wehre they brew it. Carzy and dangerous, ha.

Kelly - Thanks! it was so fun to make! I have another one coming out for a different author, I'll ask mom to post it when it's available. They are a blast to make.

Angie - Glad I can help feed your addiction, ha! Yeah, i've never been a fan of chicago. Too big and dirty and dark for me. I know lots of people who love it there, but at least in minneapolis we have relatively clean air and a few trees here and there. But then again, maybe it's cause I had to go to chicago on my 8th grade field trip and the greyhound bus trip was a total nightmare, ha.

alex - thanks! i feel like the new kid at school but not in the whole "i'm gonna steal your books and pull your pants down in the cafeteria" kind of way.

stephen -- ha, a friend just emailed me from holland, he's on some eurorail megaadventure or whatever and he said holland was literally shut down after a dusting of snow. He made it sound like an apocalypse -- alarms sounding, women screaming, that sorta thing. I like to think he's not exaggerating.

jaye -- and every winter i want to move to austin! (I love that city, only been briefly though and it was in march during prime visiting months -- seemed like heaven after leaving minnesota.)but i'm an opposite wuss, I can't handle hot weather. Complain complain, ha! Glad you liked the cd, btw!

Hey, thanks for being so welcoming you guys! i'll try and think of something else to talk about, maybe band stuff. Maybe by the time mom gets back, I will have totally hi-jacked her blog and claimed it as my own.

Heather Harper said...

Welcome, Martha.

I won an auction for two of your mom's books, your CD, and the trailer on disk. Love the music, especially the song on the trailer.

Are you going to start doing book trailers for more authors? From all the ones I've seen as of late, The Pale Immortal trailer is my favorite.

I hope you are finding safe ways to stay warm. ;) I wouldn't be able to habdle it. It dropped to the 40's here today in Texas, and I'm chilled. I'm also a serious wimp.

Again, thanks for filling in for Anne. :)

Bill Cameron said...

Hi, Martha! I'm in Portland, Oregon. Today it is grey and dreary, but not too cold. I can't complain though. It's actually been very nice over the last week or so. I've seen a lot of sun this winter. I do fine so long as there's a break in the overcast every now and then.

I'd love to hear about your band. I have a copy of your CD -- well, technically my daughter has it right now -- but it's very good! It even starred in a little video she made. You can see it at:

Jeff said...

Hi Martha. It's nice of you to fill in for your mom while she takes a break from the freezing weather you described.
Great job on the book trailer for PI!
I told your mom she did a good job with the "cemetery ballet" photos she took of you. :)

Daniel Hatadi said...

Hey there Martha and welcome to Blogland. We hope you enjoy your stay. If the cabin is suddenly devoid of oxygen, pretend you are breathing and all will be well. Behave your way to success.

Sometimes I wonder why I'm allowed to comment on blogs. But you can trust me, I'm a regular.

Martha said...

heather - thanks! I hope to do more trailers, but since it's a one-gal operation, it takes a lot of time and I seems to be out of that lately. just talked to Mom, she said it was 72 where she is. I'm seething.

bill -- i really like your daughter's video! Very nice. I thought i busted you for a second there though, looked like the chambermaids cd was still in shrinkwrap...then i realized it was a reflection, ha!

jeff -- i had forgotten about those photos in the cemetery! so funny, i was waiting for someone to come kick us out or for me to snap my ankle on a tombstone.

daniel -- a regular huh? and i'm supposed to believe that? haha

On another note, I just got hit by a car. I sorta jumped up on the hood with my butt and managed to keep a hold on both my bags and my coffee and came out of the whole fiasco uninjured. What a day.

Hulles said...

Hi Martha. I'm really happy you're filling in, and it's fun to hear what you have to say. I vote about the band too. And I also like the picture, even if it's not your own. The good taste is.

I'm really sorry I missed the Chambermaids on the Current last weekend. I put it on my calendar but I forgot to look at my calendar. Please let me know if it's rebroadcast, I would love to hear it.

By the way, I live in Saint Paul. I've heard about the winters where you live but they can't be as bad as they are here. And on behalf of white-haired toothless hacking people, I really have to say that we really can talk about other things besides the glory days. Like the shitty weather, for example. But you know, it was never this cold and gloomy and gray back in the glory days... Oops.

Welcome. Please keep posting.

Anne McAllister said...

Hit by a car and didn't spill your coffee, Martha? Good job. Maybe you should go back to bed before the day gets worse!

Good to "see" you blogging here! Say hi to your mom for me.

Jude said...

You've done a good job of guest blogging Interesting insight to life in Minnesota

bekbek said...

I miss slush. Isn't that awful? But it's true. Maybe you'd have a different experience, but I have to say, as a former Toronto girl, I miss dirty, smelly, brown-gray slush. Yes.

Mind you, I live in middle Georgia, and all year round everything is pretty much a dirty brown-gray. A color more clearly described as: Strip mall.

It's the new Evil.

Meanwhile, congratulations on the car accident. One can never fault a good car accident. So much adrenaline, so little actual damage (if it's the good kind --I don't count the Bad Kind with the Actual Damage).

Tell us more. For instance, what's your favorite "My Mom Got Drunk And--" story?

anne frasier said...

martha: "I'm walkin' here!"
good move to plant your butt on the hood of the car. you must have gotten that coordination from your dad. definitely didn't get it from me! i was counting the people i know who've been hit by a car in minneapolis and i'm running out of fingers. a couple of them were extremely serious accidents.

thanks for blogging for me while i was skipping through flowers and sunshine.

bekbek: strip mall as a color? i LOVE that! and since i've just come from the land of strip malls, i know exactly what you mean.

anne frasier said...

oh, and the mom got drunk story... this is sad, but i don't think she has one. i've been saying i need to practice my drinking.

i could tell a few about her though. got drunk, danced, and ended up in the ER. got drunk and got mugged. things like that.

angie said...

Hey, welcome back, Anne! Hope you had a fab vay-cay in Flori-day!

anne frasier said...

hi angie! it was wonderful!
i'm going to try to put up a new post, but blogger is making it difficult. i know i need to switch to new blogger, but i don't want to do it until i have plenty of time.