Andrea Coller's Blog
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Well, I've been to work and back, and I'm still a bit bummed. I will be all right, but I totally want to still be at Falcon Ridge. I had a really good day at work, though, and was reminded why I love my job. My dream would be to live at Falcon Ridge and have a portable salon there. But, alas, that is just a dream...

Wednesday, Brandy and I got to Facon Ridge, and immediately saw George and John, and had a big lovefest in the parking lot. Soon after I was dropped off at the top of the hill, Teresa and Nichole arrived, and I got a big lump in my throat. I saw Larry and DjP and the whole gang of usual suspects. Just typing the names out now is making me pine. On Thursday, we had a great day, with the Kennedys coming to the GFP for a workshop. They played many, many new songs, and rare songs, and I walked aroud taking pictures of my happy, mesmerized friends.

On Friday, the rain came. It had been threatening rain for a while. It drizzled mildly all morning. But two people into the new artist showcase, It began to pour as hard as I've ever seen rain pour in my life. I cowered under the food tent, venturing out only long enough to see my friend Jerree Small play. After that, I cowered under the food tent some more. I had gotten separated from my friends, and I began to sink into sadness. After an hour, it was still pouring, and I decided to check the dance stage, which is also under a tent. No one was there. My flip flops were getting sucked off in the mud. I saw no one in the dance tent. I started to cry, not that anyone would have been able to tell. It was incredibly muddy, and the buses would not be running up the hill. I had no idea what to do. A few minutes later, I heard the bus coming around the corner. I ran as much as I could with the mud sucking at my footwear, and got on the bus. When the bus got to the top of the hill, it began to spin its tires. That was the last bus that made it up the hill during the storm. When I got to my tent, I found out that the flap had blown open and a few things, including my sleeping bag, had gotten wet. My mood worsened. I went over to the GFP and snapped at a few people before calming down. We were all in the same boat, and so we sat under the pavilion and ate lots of chips until the rain subsided late that afternoon. We ventured down the hill later to see the Nields rock the mainstage, and all was well again.

We woke to mist on Saturday morning and I prayed that there would be no more rain. Around 8, the sun started to peek through the clouds, and by noon it was completely sun-drenched, and stayed that way for the entire rest of the weekend. Sunday morning's gospel wake-up call was one of the highlights of the weekend. I never feel closer to God, or whoever's watching the mad goings-on down here, than when I'm at the gospel workshop. "Gospel" meant anything from Stevie Wonder to Son of a Preacher Man. It made me feel loved, and warm, and I was surrounded by wonderful people.

The hardest part was saying goodbye, and there were some people that I didn't even get to say goodbye to. I hope that I don't regret that later. Regret is a terrible emotion. Tracy Grammer closed out the festival. During Farewell to St. Dolores, I started to tear up. Then Nichole started to cry, and I embraced her, and we cried like the sad, sensitive wusses we are. We cried on and off through the rest of her set, and when it was time to say goodbye, we hugged and kissed and promised to call. I called George a motherf*cker jokingly and felt bad that I left on that note. But still I went home, and have regretted it ever since.

In better news, I am getting a second job at PACE, my favorite place in the whole wide world. I'm happy that they're finally able to pay me, but feel kinda guilty cause I know they don't have a super-lot of money. I will likely have to get a third job to supplement it all, but I really don't want to end up working more than six days a week. I need at least one day off.

well, it's time to get going... If you're in my Falcon Ridge posse, I miss you like crazy!Keep in touch!
I am sad because I am happy. Or I have been way too happy. Well, I think I just don't understand my emotional state yet. I want to cry, yet I am laughing every other second. My heart is broken, yet completely full. I'm reminding myself that it is good to feel all of these emotions, and to let myself just process them. But this is just silly. All I really am is sad. And it's all because of that damned folk festival.

Yes, I just got back on Sunday night from the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. There, I see friends that I only get to see once a year, hear some music, play some music, and find a sort of peace that I don't find anywhere else. It's become less and less about the lineup, which was weak, according to many. This just meant that I spent much more time at the campsite with all of my wonderful friends at the George Fox Pavilion.

Our honorable mayor, Trapper John, orchestrates a grand little shanty-town for us, complete with said pavilion, Club Century, a full bar, and the Dharma Cafe. The food was unreal, as we had blueberry pancakes, veggie and meat chili, korean beef, indian dahl, s'mores, chicken kebabs (courtesy of DjP), spaghetti with portobello mushrooms, fresh guacamole, and much more. We eat a lot at that camp. The family that eats dinner together is closer, they always say. I think this is very true.

I wish that I could adequately describe the feeling that washes over me when I step out of the car and on to the grass of the parking lot at Long Hill Farm every year. It's the beginning of a huge release. I take a deep breath, and when I exhale, most of my tension leaves me. Through the next day or so, it leaves in little whispers, every time I see and embrace a good friend that I never get to see, or am moved to the point of tears by a song.

Falcon Ridge seems to be a landmark of where I am in my life. My second year, I was just exhibiting symptoms of being sick. My third year, I was terribly sick and didn't know it. My fourth year, I came the day after chemotherapy. My fifth year, I was in remission. My sixth year, this year, well... you know. This might be why I am always a little comtemplative, and always go away from the crowd for a little bit each day. I wanted to touch every pretty dress the vendors were selling, absorb all the sunshine and rain that I could. Every year since I first got sick, I've wanted to memorize everything at Falcon Ridge. I kind of go there in my mind when I need to find a place of peace. I'd like to think that when I was in the hospital being poisoned for three weeks, my mind was at the farm, wandering around, smelling the hay and feeling the sun shine.

to be continued... i must go to work...
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
well, folks, i will be away for almost a week at the falcon ridge folk festival. i will be back relaxed, and armed with a long post about how much it ruled.
Monday, July 12, 2004
well, i am quite amazed, actually, at the complete lack of news that i have to write about. i apologize in advance. i am pondering quite a few things, though...

i think i may become an evil, corporate pig and take a second job at starbucks. while i would be peddling overpriced coffee that tastes like burnt lichate, i would be making at least OK money, with benefits. starbucks gives their employees health insurance and a whole mess of other good stuff at 20 hours. and since i'm only taking 20-25 hours a week at my real job now, that would be kind of perfect. i have quite a few salon clients who are former starbucks employees and all of them spoke of it as a decent job. so hey, if i'm going to go corporate, i figure it's best to work for a corporation that treats its employees well.

i do worry about the state of downtown noho, though, what with the rumors of a quizno's going in to what used to be bart's, and a cold stone creamery going in to the old poster shop. if rents here stay as high as they are, then corporations are the only things that will be able to afford to occupy those spaces. and since i do believe that he-who-must-not-be-named owns most of the town, i can't help but think we're in trouble. small businesses will be foorced to drive up their prices, driving people with not-so-much money to the chain stores, which can afford to make prices cheaper. sigh...

in related news, the good thyme deli has begun to charge for their salad bar by the pound. i only find this unusual because they used to have a big sign that said, "WE don't weigh salads." now they do. perhaps it is because of my long salad bar hiatus that this is news to me. but i'm in favor of them doing whatever they have to do to stay alive in downtown. it's a cool place with unique stuff in the salad bar and political stuff in the windows.

so here's another thing, and this probably should fall into the category of "too personal to blog about," but i, just like almost every single woman i know, have multiple eating disorders. this does suck. a lot. it's funny what passes for personal information these days. you ask me the last time i got some, i'd tell you about a month ago. ask me what i had for dinner last night, and i'd be thinking of how best to answer, what to ommit or add to the truth, in order to make me look like i'm not a massive pig or an anorexic, when actually both of those things are probably true about me. and since the last time i got sick, i vowed to myself that i would never, ever deprive myself of anything for a stupid reason. but then i think how i still need to keep my body at its healthiest, and that means eating less of what i want. and since i used to weigh 300 pounds, and consider myself a true foood addict, this makes the balance absolutely brutal. i've maintained a fairly steady weight for about 3 years now, but it's only because i go in spurts of pigging out, and then go through a purification, where i only eat super-healthy. i don't think i need to go on about the causes, it's genetics, both of body type and of addictive personality, and the fun media-soaked, britney-spears-got-chubby-so-she's-not-sexy-anymore culture that we live in. anyways, i'm not sure why i'm telling y'all this, except that it's been on my mind a lot lately. i just need to remind myself that no matter how "fat" i feel, i've come a long way from where i was. my friends love me anyways and would still love me no matter what i look like.

anyways, i'm starting to feel less bald. i finally found a prooduct that makes my little baby hair stick up a bit, (head games' wound up) and look more intentional. my clients and friends have all loved it so far. probably mostly cause i'm much less cranky without a big pile of fake hair on my head.

falcon ridge folk festival in a week and a half!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
so, a few things have happened since i last blogged to you wonderful folk who read all about my strange life. but before i tell you all about them, let me first plug my show at PACE on friday night at 8. it is a tribute show, featuring a 70's disco-funk theme. click here for directions and more info. there are a few new faces, as well as old favorites from the tribute nights of yore. it will be very, very fun, i promise, especially if i learn my song by then. but if i don't, i at least have an outfit picked out. and that, my friends, is the most important thing of all.

so the super big deal thing that happened is that the 100-day mark came and went last friday. my buddy joe and i went to see the hilarious jennifer myszkowski have a great comedy show in brattleboro, vt. on the way, we stopped at the black sheep in amherst and i had my first salad, dear lord, a brilliant, delicious spinach salad with real goat cheese. oh, yeah, baby. i got my salad on, and it had 3 (previously) forbidden things in it- spinach, goat cheese, and almonds. it was the best thing ever.

then, day 101 came. i walked to work, and was sweating profusely under the godawful thing that is my wig, when i remarked to my coworkers about the intense heat and discomfort. they sympathized, and i felt better. business was crawlingly slow that day, as it was july 3, and people were busy traveling or visiting people, or doing whatever it is people do when they aren't in a hair salon. we stylists were bored, and what that usually means is that someone gets their hair done. i called for a conference in the back room, and pulled off my wig. i asked them if i had enough hair to pull off not looking sick. they said, "definitely, let's do it now." so i mixed up some color (a darkish red of my own creation) and my boss applied it, then when it was done, she fixed the cut, just cleaning up my neck to try to make it look intentional. i walked home that day with the sun on my little, freshly-colored baby hairs, and my wig in my graham webb bag.

so i took off my wig, and the world did not end. i was nervous to debut it the next day at david and sonia's fourth of july barbecue, but if anyone thought it was boyish or ugly, they didn't say anything. (not that i would associate with anyone who'd tell a cancer patient that her hair looked like crap growing in...) i asked people that i knew would honestly tell me how it looked, and they all say it looks both good and intentional. so ::phew:: for that. thank god for the weather and good hairstylists and friends, or i'd likely be hiding under that wig forever.

at open mic last night, i bought a button that says, "have you registered to vote yet?" and affixed it firmly to my graham webb bag. i hope that it's a "preaching to the choir" situation in this area, but i figure it's worth the 2 bucks if it reminds just one person to re-register or register for the first time. kerry picked edwards as a running mate, thank goodness. i felt him leaning toward gebhardt, and felt the ship sinking. i think this ticket gives us a better shot of getting the evil clown out of office. (think killer klowns from outer space, but dumber, and you have my picture of our current president.)

i've decided to write songs that appear to be about things they aren't about. this idea came when i decided to write a veiled sappy love song to my hair. i figured i would sing it on american idol or superstar usa and i'd get famous and it would all be because of a song about my hair. nice.

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