"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Monday, October 29, 2007

this is the dream of Stephanie Lee

dear gentle readers,

it's been a mission of mine - one not so much chosen as thrust upon me by the coincidences of the universe and time - to see Jens Lekman perform, ever since i missed his Pitchfork performance to accompany my friend Dylan as he slowly ate his breakfast at the pancakes house - i ran 3 blocks to the festival from the train stop only to catch the last half of Black Cab - a moment that still makes my heart quiver with sadness and regret.

then i discovered his blog last summer and felt like i'd found a long-lost friend. you know how kids feel misunderstood, they just want someone to talk to, to not feel judged, to feel less alone? that's how i felt when i discovered Jens' music. our lives were coinciding and he was providing a soundtrack - i was unhappy with school and life which had become routine, Jens was sad in his neighborhood and thinking about moving out. i found a ditty kind of delight in his writing, felt less alone for it, and wanted to feel that way all the time. for a whole month maybe, the only thing i wanted to hear in the morning was Jens singing about Jehovah's witnesses and casanova sweaters. it put me in a swing-song kind of mood. it made Sweden seem like the happiest place on earth, if Jens was there.

so here we are now. a year and a half since that moment i ran gasping over the Union Park lawn to realize i was madly in love with the sound of Jens Lekman and his boppy pop band. and now, in a matter of mere days, i will be living in a dream: i was so close to having to give up, when i couldn't find a friend to drive with me to chicago for the weekend, and all the trains and buses from Cincinnati to Chicago were leaving either too early or too late, and very expensive. i was ready to book a 3 am train out of indiana on wednesday to make it to chicago. and then i had no where to stay! the hostels were booked, completely full, and none of my contacts in chicago got back to me. even then, i considered sleeping in parks and on benches, in dark alleys, sleeping in all my clothes and using my backpack as a pillow. the way i saw it, Jens is coming all the way from Sweden to play his songs, i just need to make it to chicago. i had to find a way.

i've had a series of happy coincidences fall upon me: i met with my thesis advisor on Monday morning and told him how i was stressed trying to get work done before i try to catch a 3 am train to chicago. and then he said he was also going to chicago with his wife that weekend and could give me a ride! wow, that's fantastic! i can go up on Thursday and come back with them on Sunday! wow and gee, a weekend in chicago!! this is amazing.

then, i go to try to find a place to stay. i check all the hostels - all full. i'm freaking out, where to go? i email the Western Alum listserv and a friend i know is working at the school of the art institute, and soon enough, i have 3 potential places to stay - with my friend Dave in the loop (that's prolly where i'll end up), my friend Eric who works for some law firm and treated me to heirloom beets when we first met 2 summers ago when i was working at the Field Museum, and then my friend Jason who teaches in Chicago and lives practically across the street from the venue where i'm seeing Jens (where i'll prolly crash on Friday night rather than try to take a train or bus back to the loop from Logan Square - that's how i got stranded in a really bad part of town at 3 am one night 2 summers ago and had to wait at the side of the street for the buses to start running again at 5 - not fun!)

i've been getting calls out of the blue from ppl in chicago looking for indymedia. it's been 2 years since i worked there and suddenly i get 2 calls from people in the last 3 days asking for help on audio podcasts. weird!

there's changes being made to the CTA this weekend, i'll be there right before they put the new fares into effect.

and the weather in chicago is looking beautiful this weekend.

and, i just discovered that both Broken Social Scene AND Sunset Rubdown are playing in chicago this weekend! what are the odds??!

the universe wants me to go to chicago this weekend.

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