Several years ago, in my tiny one bedroom apartment on Princeton I was having coffee with Julian. I believe they were going to go see Jane’s Addiction soon, or maybe they had just been to a concert. I was probably musing on how in 1994 I thought that I would never get to see them in concert, but there was this movie*. It included concert footage, but it wasn’t a concert movie. It had what appeared to be real footage of Perry and the band’s life, but it wasn’t a documentary. It had interludes that were funny, but I wouldn’t call it a funny movie in a million years. It was so strange and beautiful and real and terrifying and repulsive. It was called “Gift.”
I only knew one person with a copy and I remember watching it in her basement. So the time and place were tremendously formative of my impression of the movie. I was never exactly sober either. Was the movie everything I remembered, or was I an impressionable teenager? Just mentioning it let me know I needed to watch it again.
Julian and I made a pact to figure out a way to watch it ASAP.
If you do a search for “Jane’s Addiction Gift” on Google you’ll come up with a lot of writing from people who were teenagers in the 80s and 90s talking about passing around VHS tapes and endless generations of copies. It seems that in 2010 Perry promised that it was going to be released on DVD. That never happened. I mean really, even at the first release in 1993 the band had already broken up two years earlier. On Amazon you can pay as much as $200 for a used VHS, which breaks my damn brain. You can get one for 10% of that on ebay, but it is still a VHS. Do you have a VHS player? I don’t.
So, maybe six years went by and the pact to watch “Gift” went unfulfilled. “Hey, we need to watch that movie,” Julian would remind me. I’d look online again for the DVD version to no avail and let the pact slide. Finally Julian laid down the law. “This year, for my birthday I want you to watch that Jane’s Addiction movie with me. Enough is enough.” OK, what else could I do? I had to send Dave to the internet to find it in a watchable format.
Ten minutes later I had it. Why didn’t I do this years ago? Who even knows?
This is how Julian and I found ourselves sitting on my Ikea couch in my very respectable house with a mortgage, across the living room from the spot where soon some newly upholstered chairs will sit watching a movie that I watched when I was 17 and assumed that I would never want any of these things. Oh life. Not that I’m that different than I was then and it turns out I still really enjoy weird avant garde films about my favorite bands.
You read that right. I still like the movie. Sarah asked me last night if it stood the test of time. I honestly don’t know. Yes? I guess? I’ve watched some movies as an adult that I loved when I was younger that I definitely didn’t love anymore, I’m looking at you “Lost Boys,” but I don’t know if I ever loved “Gift.” It was every bit as pretty, confusing, fascinating, and bizarre as it was before. I noticed nuances that I hadn’t before and I think I really changed my understanding of what the hell is going on with the “plot.”
Did Julian like it? I think so, maybe? You’ll have to ask them. It seems that maybe they fell into the category of “probably should have seen it in the 90’s, but luck did not favor it.” As Sarah said, “How the hell does that happen?”
If you’ve made it this far you might think I’m going to recommend that you watch “Gift.” I’m really not going to be responsible for making that recommendation. I’m just not. However I will say that if you feel compelled, based on this description of my experience to see it, you can find it on line. It isn’t easy to watch. The content is very real and sometimes graphically bizarre and stomach turning. There’s a whole lot of uncomfortable language and attitudes. If I only just saw it now I don’t think I would be writing quite this post.
*Incidentally, I did see them in 1997 at the Fillmore in San Francisco. It was every bit as great as I hoped it would be.
I’m feeling a bit tired from allergies and a busy weekend, so I’m just going to give you a few photos that didn’t fit into other posts. Soon there will be a garden post since the garden is definitely happening this year.
My jerkface of a cat likes to claw up my furniture. Before we realized that she will sit quietly and let us trim her claws we tried the spray bottle, redirection, and spraying clove oil on the furniture every day. This was all for naught. As you can see she clawed up the cover on the arm of the couch pretty good.
In the past we had purchased a new cover from Ikea. At $200 a pop that’s a super expensive solution and I REALLY like the color of this current cover. Recently some pictures have been circulating the Pinterest world where someone has repaired similar damage with the application of several doilies, but no instructions on how to do it. With no time to sew things on to my couch before my dad and Rita came to town, no doilies on hand, and no upholstery needles I decided I would just do it my own way.
After choosing some ribbon from my massive stash I visited my favorite website about glue, this to that, and found that the best way to attach fabric to fabric is hot glue. DUH! Haven’t I watched enough Project runways to know that?! Ah well no time to beat myself up I measured my ribbons and I was off to the races.
All in all I’m pretty happy with the outcome. Rita, my stepmom, walked in and said, “Oh you have a special thing on your couch! Wait, what is that?” I think that is the perfect reaction. I also think she loved it. It is pretty enough to be special and weird enough to suit me.
And now to go about making the rest of my house just a bit more weird.
Meatballs, takoyaki, falafel, and abelskeivers, what is better than food in ball form? Nothing I tell ya! These Buñuelos de Bacalao (Portugese fish and potato balls) definitely did not disappoint.
I would never lay claim to some sort of genetic Goth spirit, but I will easily lay claim to genetic weirdness with a taste for the macabre. I was raised in a household where bringing home snakes, turtles, bugs, and the occasional sun bleached bone was not cause for worry, but rather a really neat addition to the household (even for just a day or two in the case of living things).
I was also raised on the works of Edward Gorey, especially The Wuggly Ump.
This well worn copy was given to me by my mom and given to her and her siblings by my Grandad, John Lohman. He bought it the year it was published, 1963, when my mom was 13. He even inscribed it at the time. (I added the bookplate later.)
This is definitely what I would call one of my prized possessions. There have been several reprints, if you find you need your own copy or want to get a copy for a kid in your life. Be warned though, it isn’t a nice story, with a happy ending for kids.
BTW, today is Edward Gorey’s Birthday. You can learn more about him here.
It isn’t OK and it isn’t normal. Things are pretty surreal and terrifying. I think my country jumped out of a plane with no parachute. My friends, family, and I are struggling to hold it together. I recently realized that prior to December my phone did not know the word “fascist.” That’s how things are on the macro-scale of life.
On a micro-scale, there’s comfort food, wine, laughter, cats, and garden planning. The weather is warming up and taking the bus to and from work is no longer a trial most days. Albuquerque stepped up and voted for good candidates in our local school board elections. There are a lot of phone calls to be made to political offices. In about a month I will have been at my day job for four years, which means it is time to get serious about figuring out what to do with my life when my student loans are gone (all things being equal). Somehow blogging fits in to that, so here I am again.
I’ve been cooking a whole lot. The 4th Base chest freezer is almost empty of everything other than the turkey meat we acquired in November. After this weekend we’ll have 1/2 a lamb too, but I’m holding us off on using all that until we clear out the delicious clutter. In service of this goal the crockpot is getting quite a workout.
As you can see above the chile verde didn’t turn out so verde, but it was so very yummy. Chile verde, in my experience, is not a New Mexico thing. That doesn’t stop it from being delicious though. With tomatillos, chiles, 2 giant cooked turkey drumsticks, and pinto beans in the fridge it was a perfect choice, so I used this recipe from Serious Eats.
I frequently don’t mess with garnishes, but sometimes the garnishes make the meal. In this case not only did they make the soup beautiful, but they also added extra deliciousness.
I had no idea we had a hockey team at UNM! What a tremendous oversight on my part. I could have been enjoying fun, funky, cheap, local entertainment all along. Ah well. Friday night we went and checked out an Ice Wolves game. They played against the Air Force Academy. Because of Kirtland AFB there were nearly as many fans for the visiting team in the stands as our Lobos.
While the first period was a dud with no goals scored, things got exciting in the second and third periods. The end of the third saw a tie and the game went into sudden death overtime. Air Force took the goal and the game, but it wasn’t for lack of enthusiasm on my part. I even wore Lobo gear.
At $5 a ticket and hot chocolate for $1.50 with $0.50 refills the games are a cheap date, though you do have to drive all the way up to the Outpost Ice Arena, which is a significant distance from UNM. Dave and I had so much fun and plan on attending the second to last home game on January 13. The schedule and more information are available online.
Well, that escalated quickly. We went from temperatures in the 60s to 70s last week to 15 degrees below average for November this week. It even snowed a little last night!