Wednesday, October 31, 2012

spooky noochies

Not as into the Hallow's Eve as much as others, surprising given the melancholic persuasion. Not so much into the macabre, I guess, which makes me no fun on movie night sometimes for not being so much into cinematic excursions like Cannibal Holocaust, though we did watch the following and I enjoyed it immensely and was glad that my CD player worked well enough to drive home through the dark streets listening to choice cuts off Bloody Kisses.
It's been a straunge week, what with these storms and the dark streets, the breakdowns in communication and the kafkaesque absurdity of human resourcing and Infernal Papers of Doom. Thinking of The Children means the postponement of trick-or-treating til the weekend especially since there still isn't electricity at church and therefore no way to see much inside. My lights are back on and there's some feline lurking in my stairwell meowing back and forth with my cat, not sure what the story is there.

Never liked a lot of horror outside the Hawthorne/Poe/Gorey some bits of Calvino and mythology and folklore, preferring spooky to slashy. Lafcadio Hearn's Kwaidan ghost stories from old Japan are highly recommended, as is anything having to do with Baba Yaga. That being said, swank art redux:

 And for those who prefer to call it Reformation Day, you can insult scurvy popery like Martin Luther who had a potty mouth indeed.

Also, tuneage.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

eyes and storms

So last night I was postponing the Halloween shindig and the getting my sister out of the apartment where she lives with some stupid druggies and giving her lots of advice culled from years of living with roommates who were crazy or just plain crazy people (those times when I left my musical gear in friends' apartments and kept my laptop, cash, and a change of clothes in the trunk and hid the Cutco knives in a pile of clothes in my bedroom closet, I don't miss those days at all)...

The advice to get everything out of the house you can now rather than later (which can be tough going if you don't even have a key despite paying rent), letting your landlord know that things aren't good, that the friendship that will be lost never really was one in the first place.

And then, that being figured out as much as humanly possible, I chilled out with a pile of books and choice tuneage on the stereo until the lights went out, incense burning and all the candles at my disposal lit, tapers, tealights, lanterns and votives. Those novena ones from the supermarket with the Virgin on them were especially useful since the glass keeps the flame contained and those things burn for days like a nightlight, so I went to sleep curled up fetal in the loveseat wrapped in blankets and listening with awe to the wailing wind.

I've never heard a sound like it go on for that long and that loud until it became white noise and I woke up to go to the station and realized I didn't want to drive in that wind and opted for a couple extra hours of sleep and a bus ride downtown in almost absolute darkness, making the morning commute something dark and surreal.

I find out upon arrival that I could have played hooky with no repercussions, and of course it's just the way it goes that the schlubs who schlepped it down here get the satisfaction of being good little cogs and the lazy punks get a free day off. Because that's fair.We're told it'll come back around and of course we'd want to be here anyway because wouldn't you rather sit at a desk and stare at a computer instead of chilling at home with a cup of tea and a pile of books? I know what I'd rather do.

Though the rest of us had to do without, and if I had punked, I would have screwed over the only peons left, and there was ample amounts of swank free leftover food and a couple hours of easy overtime so no complaints from the peonage besides eye-rolling with MaggiesFarmisms of those who think they work so hard.

The paper's almost done, the pigeons have returned, and it keeps getting darker and more comfortingly phone calls involving dinner and warm places and movie nights, part of me wants to return to my cocoon but it's not every day day demi-disaster brings us together.

Monday, October 29, 2012

scary monsters and super creeps

While the east coast prepares for the storm of doom, we just get a lot of rain, and I was running through the West Side Market Friday night a few minutes to closing time in search of a bag of sweet potatoes and some cilantro. Hung out at the usual spot with the usual suspects talking music and sundry geekery, listening to punk 45s. Kids were running around and playing with balloons among aisles full of records and CDs covered with ersatz cobwebs.
Helped decorate for the big radio station party we throw every year with a night of free tunes and general revelry. Did lots of random finishing-touch kind of stuff, last-minute runs for art supplies and lighting and rock band tour rider items, by the time we were finished, it was time to start, and I didn't bother wearing a costume, just the flannel shirt and the black leather jacket, no makeup, nothing weird. A few people said something to me but they were drunk anyway.

The people-watching was of course fabulous, I had to wonder if some people are just really like this all the time or if they were just playing up that other part of their nature. Not as many unoriginal skanks as a Kent Halloween, a few of the local creepers, enough people I knew that I could mingle freely as both Glenn Danzig and Beavis shilled for votes.

And The Avengers sounded great. I'm a huge sucker for female-fronted punk rock though after taking a hit to the sternum by some crusties, I got out of the pit area after four songs, being too old for this kind of thing. 
The end of the night, we were caffeinated and some of us were buzzed, plans to go nighthawking at the diner down the street deemed irrelevant with the presence of leftover pizza, swank soda, and booze. Conversations about the existence of God, colonialism in Africa, and life, the universe, and everything ensued that kept us laughing and loud until 4am in the dark theater.

And now the daily grind, and bailing my sister out of her apartment situation so that she's not stuck living with some real jerks, and wondering what to do if we've got Halloween shindigs planned for The Kids and the city's decided to cancel it. I fell asleep in class today, but there was so much good time with good people that I'm still buzzed on all the love.

Friday, October 26, 2012


It's hard to go to class when there's nothing to learn, when the motivation is kicks and giggles rather than graduation and there are few kicks and giggles to be had. The people in the class are pretty cool overall, the subject matter should be treated as something way more interesting, but since it isn't, it's hard to get motivated.

Instead, a walk to the cemetery, and the cathedral in the misty rain as it gets cold and autumnal. Frustrations of the political kind are tantamount and better articulated by others. It feels wrong to escape, too absurd to ruminate. Maybe when I get out of here my neck will feel less stiff and my soul will re-quicken...

the morbidity and mortality weekly report

As a lowly undergrad, I used to shelve the government documents on a dark and spooky tenth floor of the Kent State public library while listening to mixtapes in a seemingly indestructible cassette walkman that went through a pair of double-A batteries once every two months. Most of the items were congressional hearings in paper that was falling apart but there were also volumes of statistics involving Schoolbus Rollover Fatalities, a journal called The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,the PRMC hearings featuring testimony from Zappa and debates about the cultural merit of Twisted Sister, and Reagan-era coloring books to educate The Kids about drugs.

 Ephemerals are one of the reasons why I've opted for low-level bibliothequery, and why thanks to Arabella, I ended up at the medical museum last night for a free lecture involving swank and morbid photos from the Burns Collection of opium dens, world leader pretends, and dead folks. I get to see some of this stuff in my line of work, but not much on this level of swank. Most of the ones from last night are in this slideshow (be warned, there's some ickiness in there)

After the talk, we noshed on good food (because fresh berries, pear tarts and pumpkin ravioli are not regular things in my world) and wine while looking at archaic and disturbing methods of contraception in the medical museum (what the hell people shoved that up there?), straunge and vvonderful tomes about monstrous beasts from the Elizabethan era, and surgical implements of old.

Was in no mood to be inside on such a beautiful almost-summer feeling night so I called my partner in adventures and diner geekery and we met up at Algebra to catch up, talk girlstuff, and play scrabble and jenga, which quickly became slap-happy constructions of blocks and chess pieces.
It was almost balmy outside and the air was so fragrant with autumn leaf musk that we took a long walk through Little Italy looking in shop windows and soaking in the beauty of the last warm night of the year. Everything felt just a little bit magical.

Drove back to the west side, stopped up at the radio station to guest DJ a fill-in slot, played absurdity, no one called in. Reduced to giggles with the selections "Baby Bjork" and Old Skull. 
Somehow not ridiculously tired. Looking forward to the weekend, need to find the little sis a nice birthday gift and get into the whole Halloweenish thing. Nights like yesterday remind me of why I'm glad I stuck around Clevelandia.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

standing in the rain

Clutching a cup of yerba mate, sitting at an ever-widening circle at a coffeeshop, tapping my fingers to the Husker Du and Joy Division played by the baristas and thinking about so many other things than the topics at hand, knowing that there was much rocking I could be doing but feeling utterly unmotivated, instead doing pedestrian things like going to the grocery store for pasta and beans and stopping by the bar down the street where some friends were outside smoking and having a drink, coming home to sleep as Randal and his lovely got their doom on further down the block. Not even caffeine could keep me up after some bouts of insomnia and the 4am call of college radio even if the tuneage is good.

This weather makes me want to take long walks through crumbling leaf-fragrant October mist, and sit by fires and drink warm things.

In the meantime, watch this. It made me tear up a little bit, what with baby dinosaurs wanting to be free and all, probably the most poignant expression of dissent I've seen in a long time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Too many things I could do, free in twenty minutes, one obligation hopefully brief, because introversion is calling, the lack of sleep is starting to nip, the need for alone-time palpable. I'll be housesitting this week back in the old almost-hood, with the Jungle Puppy and the two cats. It's a good night for tuneage in Clevelandia, with Dinosaur Jr. on one side (being a grunge kid, I should worship the guy, but I just haven't gotten there) and chick fronted doomeriffery a bit closer to home. I need tea and sleep and time to meditate... hopefully that comes.

Monday, October 22, 2012

glasgow school

harvest moon

textile pattern

john d batten

One of my pet peeves with tumblr and pinterest is that while it's got a plethora of swanky imagery, I kind of like having some context for the pictures, like who took them or where they came from or what exactly they're portraying. Maybe it's the inner bibliothequer in me, I don't know, but I like having backstory and all, but if there's a starting point, it's a welcome thing, to find other rabbit holes to tumble down. Not much about him out there, but these were the kind of things that enthralled me as a kid.

color and sound part 2

No high school reunion for yours truly, no wine bar and appetizers, none of my slacker friends were there if the photos were any indication. Instead I had dinner with the folks and extended family and went down to the radio station to play two hours of riffage. Usually the audience is too busy toking and/or driving to call in and request anything, but there were a lot of listeners online, including France and Germany, and a few people called in to know what I was playing, which is always kind of gratifying. The following's what I remember, though not in this order.


 Drove out to meet up with some of the garden folk for some unknown factor free show involving a Chi-town metal band with violinists at a social hall in Slavic Village. Walked in to behold a fog machine, sundry flashing colored lights, a rendition of "Raining Blood" performed by two ladies in leather on electric violin playing to a crowd of senior citizens in white plastic lawn chairs clutching glowsticks. I wish I had my camera to document this, but having been on the run all day, that didn't happen.

It might be the only show I've ever been to where the definitive opening riff eliciting little response, and after its conclusion the audience clapped as hard as they did for Vivaldi and a similar rendition of Metallica's "One." It was surreal to say the least, but I found the best acoustics were just outside the door at the fire pit where I ended up chilling with the other band members and a nanny and some other sundry folk.

The next morning, we had a full band and as the sun came through the windows and it felt so good to just play guitar and not have to sing, to noodle around and lock in with a fabulous drummer and one of my favorite bassists, thankful for the artistic freedom in a liturgical setting to send out waves of Gibson SG reverberations through my beloved 1950s tube amp.  The Queen of the Bondo was in the mood for a cemetery jaunt as was I, so we went over there for the afternoon a few hours after Randal as it turns out, though we detoured through East Cleveland past storefronts selling insecticide and hymnals and the abandoned observatory once visited in an earlier dumber time before the blossoming of Reflective Powers. While everything inside was intact upon our clandestine entry a few years back, now the copper's been stripped off the domes and doubtless the green marble and the chandeliers are long gone too...
The cemetery's lovely pretty much all the time, the colors came damn close to stealing the show from the gorgeous monuments and angels. When the sun broke through the clouds, it was dazzling, all the orange and yellow, multiple colors on each leaf. We parked by the chapel and wandered up to the Garfield monument, up and down the hills out to where the more recent mausoleums for former sports team owners were that she referred to as the "exurbs of the dead," with their water sprinklers and long paths and bland richness. Still, one couldn't ask for a more perfect day to get the inner goth kid on. 

color and sound, part one

Was antisocial in the art studio, working out my frustration of the day into a hunk of stoneware clay, cutting away at the excess, wrapping it up for the night. It's a good refuge, enough of a friendly hum, a good place to be introverted among others. Still feeling melancholic, checked email, indulged in retail therapy at the Best Record Store in Clevelandia and shot the breeze about sundry bands and was outed on my cinematic wussitude. Some people hang out at the bar when they need to be out somewhere, I hang out here because it's inevitable that I'll hear some good tunes and run into someone I know.

Tunes acquired:
Zambian psych lo-fi as heck, but the songs are there and so is the heart. Some homies diss on the whole kitsch of non-westerners playing western music, but there's something I totally love about this.

The new record didn't even have the sticker on it yet, and comes with a hearty endorsement from Phil Anselmo but this sounds like a band my dad would like in the best way. It's a little less heavy than some of the old stuff, but it's been spinning in my car all weekend and probably will continue to.
the first song has lyrics about flowers in our hair which is kind of cornball but it's Dead Can Dance so it's completely different. A little more synth-heavy than previous outings, but it's fabulous for those introverted nights when I want to burn incense, light candles, read books and paint and hang out with the cat. Lisa Gerrard's voice is incredible and Brendan's has grown on me too.

Next morning, me and one of the gardeners drove a pickup truck out to the burbs to pick up humus and the fall colors were gorgeous even in the rain. I actually like driving a truck, go figure, maybe it's that Appalachian blood or something. Stopped by an estate sale two streets over where there was lots of stained glass and funeral home stuff (those glass sconces and the velveteen kneeler), lots of statues of angels and Virgin Marys and crucifixes and the Infant of Prague and then, since it's my neighborhood, kitschy Christmas decor, arty photos of male nudes and Klimt posters. Everything's half off so I walk home with a silky crazy quilt, a candelabra heavy enough to kill someone and a small stained glass window for the kitchen before heading over to the college radio meeting and so Randal can hook me up with tunes for the fill-in slot I do that night. To be continued. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

30 minutes to freedom

A headache, a cup of green tea, coming down from the stress of midterms and the aforementioned mutual destruction of dumbassery. Thankful that life has a way of just kind of going on. Perfection is unattainable, learning from mistakes and growing as a person's hard but more realistic. It's the end of the week, I'll get my doom on the airwaves tomorrow night, distance provides a better perspective.

Before the fiasco at the desk, I spent yesterday roadtripping with my dad down to the ancestral homelands of Appalachia. The fall colors were beautiful and therefore uncapturable on a mediocre digital camera aimed out the passenger window, but we talked and listened to Creedence, Elder (which he'd never heard and liked) and whatever was on XM radio which got boring really fast just like the terrestrial airwaves.
  We took our time down the back roads, and this time I noticed a lot of signs about the "War on Coal" which gets way more press down here than any other wars on entities. Also, fracking down here is huge, with trade publications touting college scholarships and economic revival,  billboards advertising good deals for your mineral rights. Some combination of lottery and gold rush and the company town at least from outside observing. These things are the only things really going on here besides the prisons, and while the scenery is beautiful, I know the soil isn't great and the water isn't either because my dad's cousin won't let me touch the tap.

My great-uncles all worked in the coal mines, they and their sisters had eighth-grade educations. They were smart as hell but didn't have the chance to show it, saving the wit for storytelling, morbid humor, and self-deprecating Catholic and Polish jokes and messing around with their city slicker relatives from Clevelandia. They're always happy to see us, and my head hurts drinking all this diet soda, but I learn something new each time, some tale of those departed, something else about the land around here.

Every year another one or two pass away, and there's fewer people to visit. We stop by the old farmhouse where my grandma was raised and it's locked up now, the garden empty, the canna bulbs probably still in the root cellar. Some other people are looking at it, they say their house burned down due to some bad wiring. It and the hundred acres behind it, the barn with the grand piano falling apart, for rent now.

It's beautiful out here, but I think I'd get lonely and miss my art museums. I see the occasional spraypainted black van doubtless owned by some metal kids, the occasional band t-shirt on the street. The music store down there carries more banjos than up here. It hits me how different the issues are out here. How if the bridge is out, it's unlikely to get replaced, these roads are so narrow and full of pebbles I understand the need for four wheel drive and pickup trucks. Abandoned baseball fields and stripped houses, railroad paths to nowhere, meandering roads between the hollers. At least in Clevelandia, a few people stick around, I wonder who will be in these towns in another 30 years.
We eat dinner at a diner near the casino. It's raining as we drive home, and I'm too tired to really think straight so we listen to riffs and nod along. My best memories involving my dad have to do with these kinds of things, traveling with no hurry, lots of music and being able to laugh at the same things.

my bad.

“Settle matters quickly with your adversary... Do it while you are still together on the way... "
So I got a little huffy with someone today, and while they were being a little ridiculous, I totally didn't treat them with the respect that I should treat even the most absurd people with to the point where even Randal said I screwed up. It was that stupid. So on top of feeling like a hypocrite (because I've been known to call out my comrades in customer service on this and students who get into arguments with our more mentally unhinged regulars), I feel foolish and jerky and everything I can't stand in other people. I know this is probably overreaction and not the end of the world, but I hate when I do this and upon regretting what I say, I apologize, and own up to my lack of kindness. This goes unheeded and so hopes of resolution are at the very best deferred.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Even though this isn't a big deal in the great scheme of things, I still feel awful. I don't want to deal with Powers That Be on this though it may not even reach them (though she seems like the type that'd go to the top). For all the thousands of interactions where I'm a class act and then some, it's going to be That One Time I Fuck Up Every Three Years that overshadows all other things.The Powers That Be tend to turn every molehill into Everest, especially when image is tantamount. Being so low in the hierarchy, it's hard enough when it's your word against someone higher up in the foodchain when you're in the right, let alone when you're dead wrong.

"...Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,  because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires..." 

 I wonder how many less hurt feelings and frayed dynamics there would be if I just learned how to shut the hell up once in awhile, keeping those thoughts in check. It's hard not to extrapolate this into some of the other relationships I've had where one the or another has happened and the tongue-lashing begins. Most of the time I regret what I have said more than what I haven't. I just hate when things get volcanic. 

So yeah, Reflective Powers... learning to not let it happen again, to be more gracious than automatic, to treat others the way I want to be treated, and not beat myself up too badly for not being perfect all the time. It's hard as hell, but at least it's not the end of the world like some things could be.


best of the blotter: yard signs, shrimp platters, and trying to pick up chicks.

ASSAULT: Customers at BW3 called police Oct. 10 after they witnessed a fight outside of the restaurant. A man said he was head-butted and believed his nose was broken but declined medical attention. He and his co-workers had a few drinks and were in the parking lot when a fight erupted over someone “calling shotgun.” The co-workers left the man at the bar and he had called his wife to pick him up. He did not want to pursue charges.

THEFT, BRAINARD ROAD: A woman reported Oct. 11 sometime overnight, someone had stolen two Obama election signs from her yard as well as her neighbor’s. She told police she had paid $20 each for the signs, and others appeared to be missing along the street as well. 

THEFT FROM YARDS, CHARDON ROAD: A woman reported Oct. 5 somebody stole her Barack Obama campaign sign from her yard. She said she purchased it four years ago for $29.95.
The next day, a man said three Obama signs were taken from his yard overnight.

DRUG POSSESSION, EAST BRIDGE STREET: A motorist did not help matters by telling police he had “soft hands.”
An officer stopped a vehicle at 1:15 a.m. Oct. 14 for a traffic violation. The driver was asked why he cut off another car. He said he was busy eating and was nervous when seeing three police cars in the area.
The officer asked the driver if he had been smoking marijuana, since there was a strong odor of the drug inside the vehicle. The motorist said he had not smoked marijuana since he was arrested by police last month. He said he rolled joints for his friends who had been in the car earlier. He said he did the rolling because he has “soft hands.”
Marijuana seeds and a small bag of suspected marijuana were in the driver’s-side door pocket. A large amount of alcohol also was in the car.

UNDERAGE POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL, DETROIT ROAD: Shoppers at Giant Eagle told police Oct. 7 a man in a car was following women in the parking lot as they exited the store. Officers located the suspect, a North Olmsted man, 18, who claimed to be practicing his night driving skills. When pressed further by police, the suspect eventually admitted that he was actually trying to pick up women, but none ever spoke to him. He was arrested when police found beer in the car. 

COMPLAINT, MADISON AVENUE: A woman told officers that a man she has a protection order against kept walking past the bar where she was Oct. 13.
She added that he was flexing his muscles and making faces through the windows.
Officers noted that they found the man across the street, nowhere near the bar.

ASSAULT, ORANGE PLACE: Three diners at the Red Lobster were arrested Oct. 10 after they went after employees who told them they could not share one “All-You-Can-Eat Shrimp Platter.“ Police were dispatched about 6:30 p.m. for a report of a fight in the lobby and arrived to find three women in the parking lot who matched the suspects’ descriptions. They told police they were assaulted by several Red Lobster employees at the hostess stand. But the restaurant manager told police she had informed them they would have to purchase two more platters, at which point they became aggressive and were asked to pay their bill and leave. They continued to yell profanities on their way out, then one of them came around the hostess stand, with one employee being struck in the chest and another in the face with a blow that knocked her to the ground. When other employees attempted to break up the fight, at least one more was struck in the mouth. Two of the suspects were charged with simple assault, while the third is facing a disorderly conduct charge. Each posted a $250 surety bond. 

HARASSING TEXTS, EAST BEND DRIVE: A resident received a string of text messages asking if they wanted to buy bath salts just after 1:30 p.m. Oct. 12. When the person responded "wrong number," they received another message saying the seller wasn’t law enforcement.
Again they responded wrong number, but then were told they better buy them. The resident just wanted police aware and will ignore any more text messages from the number.

MULTPLE CHARGES, RIVER OAKS DRIVE: Two men were arrested just after 2 a.m. Oct. 6 at an apartment complex on River Oaks Drive. One man was stabbed during a fight over an AC/DC CD, according to police. Dana Petty, the man who was stabbed, was found kicking a glass door in an attempt to break in to an apartment.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm on a mission to never agree

When argument becomes pointless, because delusion and tribalism and More and Better Democrats is the god of my other nonbelieving compadre, only choice four letter words saved for special occasions in the theatre of the absurd can really suffice at this point, with disdain being too much to really say much else. It's only ok for heads of state to have kill lists, not high school janitors. That's completely different, pot calling kettle black, some straw men are more substantive. Same as it ever was. In Russia it's just another gulag and re-education, here we get the endless repetition and drone away in conversation and practice.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

make a cup of tea, put a record on...

I rolled over after strange dreams involving bit part acquaintances to the alarm on my phone, stumbled out the door with a bag full of music to the station, the show was an extended edition this morning due to the other disc-spinner's car trouble. Since the laptop died, I'm unable to make mix CDs, but shifting the show back to analog/digital before the imminent demise has tempered that, though I was scatterbrained this morning and sometimes wonder if I really do just play different rotations of the same 50 favorite bands that sound good at 5am, leaning heavily on Aging Alternative Rockers and all.

The annual station shindig is coming up in a matter of days now, I bought a beautiful bass guitar off a former bandmate and haven't even had a chance to play it. I still find the whole lack of similarly minded people to jam with occasionally vexing. Now that I finally have instruments I like playing I've got less and less people to play them with, not that the social life and creative pursuits have been wanting in any way but I miss the heck out of creative noise making.

Meanwhile, there's homework, and so I'm at the computer lab at the public library procrastinating and being a bit creeped out. I forget how much worse this segment of the public is and that I'd rather deal with The Kids than the Creepy Old Men. Just because we serve you doesn't mean we like you, and this paper might be even more stupid than the last one. I feel like a creep just being here. .