Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Cocoon" and Torchy's Breakfast Tacos

We had plowed through Prince, The Afghan Whigs, Stevie Wonder, and Phoenix in between conversations about Dave Ramsey, health insurance, and how many times we had been the "dumpee" or the "dumped" in romantic relationships. After we had exhausted our collection of alluring records, and our throats were scratchy and dry from talking, I decided to do the inevitable, "O.k., let's listen to it." With questioning eyebrows followed by a stern nod, Nick slid "Cocoon" into the cd player.
I don't listen to Meg and Dia records immediately after we record them. Not because I don't fancy them, quite the opposite actually. I have so much affection for them, and have come to understand them so intimately, that I can't bring myself to listen to them. The record is too tender and raw to my ears. It must have time to settle in me.
I sat there quietly allowing the music we had created in Tillamook, Oregon to fill me up. This would be the first time in months that I had listened to "Cocoon", and the very first time I listened to the "mixed and mastered" version in proper track listing order. With each new melody, memories from the "Cocoon sessions "flooded my mind, and I thought, "How did we ever manage to get THIS record out of THAT experience?"
I remember coming to the recording sessions empty handed. My brain works in slow, meticulous circles when it comes to the craft of song writing. It is necessary for me to spend long hours meditating over melody, rhythm, and words in a secluded space. But, this wasn't the case recording "Cocoon". We had decided before hand that we would write songs as a group "on the fly".
There were fabulous "ah-hah!" moments of success, triumph, and collaboration as well as farces between like minds. There were disagreements, heightened emotions. Sometimes one of us would be struck with a fabulous idea. Feverishly we would all begin adding to it, removing from it, expounding upon it, only to find ourselves stuck only a half an hour later. Charlie would try to keep our spirits up and suggest that we try to play songs based on whatever words he called out from his upstairs producer's cubicle. "Country...swung...funky" he would shout. Clumsily we would watch each other with wistful eyes, each trying to follow the other band member's lead only to find that no one was leading.
At this point we found that the best way to move forward was to stop gritting our teeth in frustration and to put our instruments aside and take a little stroll down to the water. We would sit in our dimly lit corner booth at "The Schooner" and feast on ill-smelling chilled oysters and a mug of frothy pale ale. The Schooner always played classics. "Tom Petty" and "The Rolling Stones" vibrated from the boomy speakers. It was hard to tell which was more inspiring: Tom Petty or the oysters.
This method was how "Bandits" was born. This song literally came out of nowhere, just the five of us jamming in the living room. Dia started humming this song about this runaway couple, so madly in love with each other that they would turn themselves in, suffer forever behind bars, and promise that once they got out, they would find the other again. Of course, after I payed closer attention to the lyrics, steady tears streamed down my face, and I had to distract myself with old reruns of Southpark, and Nick's monteray jack bagel sandwiches.

Nick is driving and not like his usual self at all as he slumps in the driver's chair, silent, his eyes glued to the never ending highway ahead of us. We are exhausted. The dark night envelopes us, and there is not much to see aside from the occasional glowing eyes of wandering deer. We are on the final stretch of this journey. I peer ahead at all the forest green road signs as we pass them by, their snowy white letters blurring with the speed of our trusty vehicle. "Waco", "Lubock", and a small town called "Abeline". I could sense that we were nearing our destination. Finally I saw the word: "Austin". And suddenly, to my surprise, delight and excitement were not the first emotions that crept into my insides. The first feeling was "panic". I was ecstatic and happy while we were munching on bad huevos rancheros earlier in the morning, but now that our destination was drawing near I found myself second guessing my plans. I felt like telling Nick, "Well, this is nice. Now if you please, let us turn around now and head back home" Home, I thought to myself, where I can wake up tomorrow safe and sound in my comfortable and luxurious pillow-topped bed, and where my mother will call up to my room from downstairs, "Meg, would you like some roasted honey and fresh blueberries with your oatmeal?"

I forced myself to allow my worries to evaporate and focus on our creation: "Cocoon".

Earlier on in the drive, somewhere in the great barren stretches of New Mexico we passed a fleet of modern windmills. Those great giant beauties reminded me of Don Quixote's giant dragons and the lovely epithet that story contains. They were giant planes of glistening white metal. Their arms were supposed to be pounding and orbiting with the wind. On this particular drive, for the first time, the propellers were still and lifeless, instead of a giant army of powerful machines intended for a specific task and fulfilling it beautifully. They were lonely. They were bored. They were still. I imagine this might have been my lot had I not gone after my passions, had I not driven all this way to fulfill my desires, to battle my imaginary dragons.

"So, what do you think of our record?" Nick asked me. I looked over at him, barely able to spot his glowing irises in the dark.
"I think it's good" I said firmly as I returned my gaze back to the comforting headlights in front of us, a faint grin growing on my face as Austin's city lights began to glow in our field of vision.
"Me too".

Monday, March 28, 2011

???

In a few days I will be releasing a new piece. And the contender is... a Cocoon! What else?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

These fellas are kind of shy, but...


...They like it when you smile.

"Nick's Toys" and "Arnold the Robot" are not available on my blog. To order "Nick's Toys" or "Arnold the Robot" please visit my Etsy store @ www.chandlertherobot.etsy.com

"Nick's Toys" can also be found in New Jersey at a charming camera shop called: Bergen County Camera. It is located at:
270 Westwood Ave
Westwood, NJ 07675

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Place Where I Feel the Most Like Me

Only 9 days until I make another huge life change. Geeze, can't I ever just hold still for a minute? Nope!

I'm going back to Austin. I know I keep rambling on about "Austin this" and "Austin that", but I want you guys to understand it's not really "Austin" that I'm so excited about. It's what Austin stands for to me. Maybe your Austin is Cincinnati or Denver, or your dog for all I know... To me Austin will be my spring board into my future plans, my future life, the more "adult" and "responsible" Meg. (And I know what you guys are thinking. "Yeah right! How is she going to be more responsible with all that Lonestar and Shiner bock beer, and rebellious country music floating around?)  Well, I'll tell ya I'm only going out every OTHER night!

To move things along and to be prepared this time, (I no longer do the "show up and pray" technique when I move somewhere), I'm doing the usual craigslist searches, and contacting people to see if they would consider a crazy asian woman who can't cook to be a possible candidate for a roommate.  I'm also going over how many holey t-shirts I can fit into my trunk, along with my jewelry-making supplies and guitars, of course.

And while I'm absolutely sure (well...pretty sure) this is the right move for me to make, I'm a little scared and anxious. I've had horror-story roommates in my past, stayed in studio apartments that actually caused my nice mormon girlfriends to break into tears out of terror (true story). I've poured money down the drain. I've made and broken important and meaningless friendships. Found jobs, lost jobs. Done all that, and the main thing I've learned is that: eventually the hard times get better, but there ARE hard times. I wanted to write a little "note-to-self" if you will, to read if I get lonely, sad, or am going through some tough times. I think that letter would go something like this: 

Dear Meg

I know you may be having a difficult time right now. Perhaps you are upset at something somebody said. Maybe you are upset at something you said. Maybe everything hasn't gone exactly as planned, but listen to me HERE and NOW because I am younger and less experienced then you: Don't take life so seriously. Don't let anything get you down. When you are around somebody enough, anybody, they are bound to get on your nerves, just like you are bound to get on theirs.

Remember what you wanted to accomplish when you made the journey down here? Remember that you fantasized about sweet tea, the sweltering Texas sun, and mouth-watering barbecue made the way that only Austin can make it? Remember how you left: hopeful and excited?

Accidents happen and "perfect" never does. You aren't the type to roll-over and give up. Get up, because you've got it pretty good.

Honestly,
Meg


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dude Bots

Hello friends,

I have been getting a lot of requests lately for more "male-friendly" pieces. Now I'm not picking on any of you for suggesting this option. I love the idea. Joey the Robot with Headphones was my answer for a more "male-friendly" piece, however it seems that's not quite what a lot of you dudes have been looking for.

Will some of you boys and men please shed some light on what would be a more "male-friendly" piece? Does the chain need to be thicker? Should there be less color variation? Not so much of a "character" and more of an object?

Let me take a little peek into your masculine minds:)

Your comments are greatly appreciated,
Meg

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rockin' Out Joey


Joey was feeling left out... So I gave him headphones too!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

CTR News and Updates

You guys are better at updating my blog then I am! That's why you all are the best! Thank you. Thank you.

-We recently did a stellar interview with halfkorean.com. (Thanks for reminding me Kalli) You can check out that here: http://www.halfkorean.com/?page_id=5052
(I sort of call Carlo out for drinking too much Korean beer in it, but he still loves me)


-I have uploaded a lot of "never-before-seen" photos to my flickr account, as well as the "Atlas Shrugged" pieces that some of you have been asking me about. My flickr photo stream is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chandlertherobot/ 


 This is the "Chandler Group" photo stream site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chandlertherobot/
I love, love LOVE seeing the cute photos you guys put up of Chandler, and so does everyone else, so please put them up at your earliest convenience.


Let's see...

-I will now be doing customized pieces, anything your little heart desires, whether it is for you, a friend, or a loved one. Throw it at me. Just as long as it's not reconstructing the Eiffel Tower in jewelry form, I think I can handle it. There may be a price adjustment if the piece takes little time or if it is a more complicated idea. Mostly the price will remain the same. Please email me: chandlertherobot@hotmail.com with inquiries and we can work out the details. I will begin working on the piece after you place your order. To order a customized piece, simply use the shopping cart on this blog and choose the "customized piece for you" option.

-Meg and Dia will have new merch soon. I will let you guys be the first to know, and I'll post the storenvy site when that time comes.

-As for now, the Rock For Justice tour is still happening. (Can I just mention here how sad I am that we are not playing South by Southwest anymore?! Oh well.) We should know in a few days about the certainty of the RFJ tour

-We just got our final mixes of the new album back from Charlie (our producer) a couple days ago. I'm SO excited to release this album. I came up with the album title. I just wanted you all to know that, and you will know the title and the concept behind it very soon!!!

O.K. I don't think I left out anything.

Honestly,
Meg

P.S. I love the questions you guys asked me. I'm excited to do this video blog!

P.P.S. I'm leaving you with a pic of my toaster oven. Yes, this is where all the "magic" happens!





Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Next Video Blog Brain Storm

Dear friends,

I'm planning on doing another video blog soon. Hopefully, it will be filmed in down town Salt Lake City. If you have anything you'd like me to talk about or questions you'd like me to answer in the blog, let me know in your comments. Even if you want to know what I think about squid. Ha ha. Hey, I'll do it:)

honestly,
Meg

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lonely Hearts Chandler Necklace

Poor Chandler! He has a lonely heart!

I am missing someone that I love very much. So I decided to make a Chandler inspired by my "lonely heart". His little robot head is droopy with sadness and longing, and he is dragging his heart in his copper hand. This would also be a perfect gift to say you are sorry with. How could you not be happy if someone is apologizing with an adorable broken-hearted robot?!

Also, this is NOT an attempt to be "emo".  Please. It is an expression of being human, and helping everyone's hearts feel lifted, because I know you all feel this way sometimes. How could you not feel better if a sad Chandler was feeling and understanding the same sentiment with you?

Honestly,
Meg

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Monk

My mother came into my room just now. She explained that a terrible event just took place in the country she was born and raised in, her old country (Korea). She explained that a very important and respected man just died. She said he was a monk, but not just any monk. She compared him to the pope, and explained that the position he had held in his life and in his religion was just as high. She said that he wrote a letter on his death bed, moments before he passed. Somebody put the letter on the internet and it has become an instant sensation in Asia. She wanted to translate it to me because she thought his words were extremely important and her daughter should hear them. So, I put my jewelry making tools aside, prepared my laptop to type these very "important" words as she spoke. 
     My mother is a great English speaker, and has come very far since she moved to the United States, however her English is still a little "broken" at times, and she had great difficulty translating some of the Korean thoughts in this letter. So keep in mind, this is a translation from Korean to English by my mother, and then a translation from my mother's version of English to English by me. I tried my best to type it just like she said it, but I had to change a few words around to make the script make more sense. In doing so, I got a great kick out of this letter (or my mother's version of it), and laughed out loud much to my mother's offense. 

The letter read as follows:

"Friend,

As you get older. Don't rush anything, and don't say mean things. Don't wine. If you hear gossip, don't get involved, even if it does happen to be true. 

Don't try to win all the time. Try to lose sometimes. It may bring you comfort. Take one step back and yield. That is how you live your life so wise, and that is the secret of the wisdom of your life. 

Drop the greed of money. It doesn't matter how much money you have. When you die you cannot take it with you. And if you leave so much money with your children, your children will fight over it. So while you are living, try to use money here and there and reward yourself.  You have to hold some money until the moment you die. You have to hold it really tight. If you meet your old friends you have to be wealthy enough so that you can buy them a drink. Save money for grand children for presents and stuff.

And as you get older, you should have enough money to take care of yourself, and that's when you get respect from people around you. Friends, try to forget all the things that happened in the past and don't try to brag about yourself and how you did good in your life. It doesn't matter how hard you try, you cannot stop the time. Time will just go. When that happens you have to have a feeling like the sun is trying to come up, and the sun is going down. Our time is walking away from us, far and far. It doesn't matter how hard you are trying to hold the time. It will go and don't waste your energy trying to hold the time. 

Always have a good relationship with your children, your grand children and neighbors. Live your life as a good person. You cannot get sick . Try to stay healthy. Because when you get sick people will ignore you and disrespect you."

And then she looked up at me, scrunched up her face a bit, and said:

"that's it."

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sherbot Holmes Necklace



I never used to wear jewelry. I always thought, "why is there a need for me to place this gigantic yellow plastic bracelet on my wrist?" I've come to realize, through these projects of mine, that jewelry is another opportunity to express myself artistically, and THAT makes a lot of sense!

I designed "Sherbot Holmes" with the intention of creating a piece of wearable art that was adventurous and exciting,  with a pinch of "slightly dangerous". I wanted to feel motivated while wearing it, so my jewelry could give me that extra "push" and sense of "go for it!" throughout my day. I think I succeeded!

Sherlock Holmes stories are always full of mystery and so witty, and so I thought I would make a tribute to such an important character by making Sherbot Holmes!

Honestly,
Meg

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tick Tock


Like Captain Hook, the ticking of a clock drives me insane. After I started up "Chandler the Robot", my mom gave me a two-foot tall,gorgeous robot clock. Don't ask me where she finds these things. I was happy to have it displayed in my room on my dresser, silently adding charm to my daily surroundings. The first day I came home from our last college show, as I turned off the lights, I realized my perfect silence was disturbed by this mysterious "tick, tick, ticking" in my room. Along with cleaning my sheets and vacuuming, my meticulous mother placed batteries in the back of my giant robot friend. I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so instead of taking the batteries out (she would notice if I did this. Nothing misses "the eye of mom"), I began placing my robot clock out in the hallway each night before I slept, and routinely returning him to his faithful position atop my dresser each morning before I began the "brushing of the teeth" routine.
     I don't need to be reminded that each second is going, going, gone. One of the first things I realized after I turned twenty two, and my entire year of partying after being legal had passed, was the world isn't going to wait for me to get in gear. My goodness, doesn't anyone ever get a little afraid about how quickly the days do go by. I'm starting to sound like my father, geeze.
     Lately, I've become a little disheartened. I'm sorry to admit this in my blog. I know, being in a band, we are supposed to always be cheerful and somehow immune. My life's events have recently been changed around. "Life Plans" are like those alphabet magnets that you hang on your fridge. Sure, you can spell anything you want in those bright colorful letters. You can make that plastic mean anything...and then the dumb kid from around the block waltzes in your house and spells out "fart". You know?
     Your twenties aren't static. I think the trouble lies in being enthralled at the constant change of your early twenties, loving the unknown, the excitement, the adventure. I think once you pass 25 you think. Woah, hold on! I kind of like this stop on the train. Can't we stay here a bit longer, sip a cup of coffee, have a conversation with the locals?
Change is a natural part of hectic life. I know I won't stand a chance if I can't get onboard the changes, and not dwell on how life was "supposed to go" for too long. 

I guess I was really excited to go on that last tour. We were staying in Salt Lake practicing, preparing, and then...changes. It's not so much the fact that we won't be able to play music together for awhile more, or that now we won't be able to play "gas station tag".  It's not that. It's just...my future was set one way, and now it's not. It's just unsettling that's all, like a little glitch in the vortex, like a little fright, a spook if you will.

But, if I hadn't stayed home, I wouldn't have been able to exchange made up languages with my little sister on the way home from her Middle School. I never would have had a very rare, bonding conversation with my parents, in a cheap buffet, about how simple life really could and should be. I wouldn't have been able to be reading in my room, listening to my little sisters in the next room listening to really really bad Meg and Dia demos over and over and over again. Thank god for the changes.

Moving to Austin is another curve ball. I was planning on staying home for awhile longer. I was hoping to save money and be a responsible adult, but now I'm moving back to my huge crush of a city: Austin.

Changes, changes. Embrace them. They can hold you up if you let them.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tour News

Hello friends,

Our tour with Kinch has been canceled due to an opportunity that came Dia's way. Can't tell ya'll what it is, but you'll find out soon enough. We are very excited for her.

honestly,
Meg