I regret not writing more about Helms Alee. They may be the best band in Seattle right now. Their set at the Crocodile for Heather Duby's benefit on November 26 was so tight, so perfectly loud, and so ominously on, that the change in my pocket literally levitated out of my pants and floated around my head in the shape of the spider geoglyph from the Nazca Lines in southern Peru.

I regret not being a gumball in a gumball machine. Orange and coated in a sugar shell, I'd sit there for days, maybe weeks, or months, or years in anticipation, waiting and wondering: Who would put their quarter in the slot and have me fall out? Maybe it would be Jimmy Page's wife buying me as a surprise for Jimmy while he shopped for two-by-fours at Home Depot. He'd be so touched by her gesture, he wouldn't chew me. He'd take me to his castle in the English countryside and put me on his guitar amp while he played the songs off Physical Graffiti to me, an orange gumball.

I regret not being able to travel back in time to Las Vegas, Nevada, on the night of September 7, 1996. Because I would make Tupac Shakur wear a Kevlar vest. Think of all the music he would have put out by now, the cultures of flows he would have induced, fanned, and led.

I regret not being a red-tailed hawk, playing in dangerous and sheer currents of air with ease. I'd gain height against the wind, then dive in mile-long, slightly curving trajectories to pluck dinner mice off fields with my telescopic eyes and razor talons.

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I regret that the October 23 Portishead concert at WaMu Theater had to end. I wish the concert were still going. In my head, it is. Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, and Adrian Utley are still playing there, splicing out the most pristine audiovisual combinations and Poseidon-homage imaginable. I guess I should let them stop playing or at least give them a water break and some pita bread. I've had them locked in my head for two months now. Sorry about that, guys. Here, have some gift certificates to Pita Pit.

Lastly, I regret being so nervous during my Yanni Time™ at the Yanni teleconference. I regret not having more confidence in my questions to him. When I asked him about getting high and putting his balls on a gerbil, I should have owned it and not acted like I was fumbling for words. I should have stared into the computer screen like the world really wants to know. Next time my Yanni Time™ comes, I'll be solid. recommended