Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Hung out at another college station last night, one even more red-headedstepchild than our own, with the most bare of setups, one turntable, one computer. I'm sure being smack in the middle of the student center across from the bibliotheque doesn't help, as the general aesthetic of snarky ephemera, antisocial tuneage, and concert posters doesn't always correspond with said college's personal brand that they wish to preserve, which is probably not furthered by the format that night of Morbid and sundry punk. Still, that's no good reason why the LARP club got more scratch than the station as far as student funds, go figure.

While we were there arguing about the relative merits of punk vs black metal vs U2, some prof dropped off flyers for some class for The Kids to build their own drones. While one of my friends on the interwebs suggested that I overreacted to this, saying it's just like robotics, I wish I had the flyer itself, because, as Vitaly described it, "It looks like the cover of that one Carnivore album." Or an ad in Brutal Mercenary Magazine. (it's about damn time, MTV getting those episodes back to the masses!)

 I almost got lost on the way back to Clevelandia, got turned around a little bit, with the weather being all misty and beautiful but messing with my inner compass. Wasn't ready to roll out of bed but the misty morning air was refreshing and the show went decent today despite not having brought any tunes from home.

Monday, January 28, 2013

the eternal cycle

The dog I'm watching is nearing the end of his life, blind in one eye, almost blind in the other, he bumps into things sometimes, and while he was once so assertive, he seems lost and has grown stubborn as if he knows he's only got so long to get what he wants. Last night he sprawled across my lap and cuddled with me and he shivers now. Even though the apartment is kept warm, my hands are too cold for him.

and it seems that the marital bonds of my friends are fraying quickly if they haven't already, all over it seems like this. Some still ask if I want to be with someone and I look at what they're in and wouldn't want that for the world. I avoid people who want to talk about this because it's boring and I feel embarrassed at their vulnerability, maybe because I don't want to be that way someday. Maybe I'd be more jealous if I saw more instances of bliss, but I don't. 

It's probably boring for you to read about too, and I kind of want this day to be over so I can go back to the place I'm staying and drink some tea and do my homework. It just feels like a good day to hermit.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


At the teahouse with the background conversation in Arabic, the jazz music and the black tea, working on papers, feeling like this weekend is swirling away fast. I have another nephew born this morning, small and beautiful and already knowing what to do, so alert. In the meantime, a bunch of friends' relationships imploded and there's culpae on certain sides and I'm kind of thankful to be unattached. Another week of housesitting at the old apartment building where all the drama once went down but I'm so far removed at this point. It feels like another time. It feels like an escape here it's so peaceful.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

longing for perfection

That time of the day when the blood sugar plummets, the clownery escalates, and yours truly fails to suffer fools gladly, the effervescent smile fading and I fail to camouflage emotions well without it, especially when dealing with all manner of absurdity in the form of general creeps or dudes whose game is being needy as hell which is not cute or endearing and gives me the airplane ears like few other things.

 When it's nothing too awful I should really suck it up, and I always feel so guilty after being bitchy even if it's warranted, there's no excuse to dish it back and no one looks good. I don't consider myself a perfectionist but I guess I am, in the sense that I really don't want to be a jerk and also I really don't want to get blowback from further ups who make mountains out of every available molehill either because that does happen, and the insecure's ego gets bruised most easily. So I'm sorry dudes. I should be more patient and gracious and hope that someday you grow up. And on my side, I need to not beat myself up so much and just try to minimize the jerkitude on my end. It was nothing bad, it just could be better.

into the white

The highway a toboggan chute, the sidestreets unplowed, somehow amazing that I got to the station in one piece and time this morning, new tires are a wonder in this case. Started out punky, moved pretty fast into the wintry shoegaze and doom. Mad props to Lupe Fiasco for truthtelling even if his creative output since those first two records isn't very good and the rant could be more articulate. No such mad props to Soundgarden, especially for playing that godawful song "Imagine." What a stupid song. I get that not everybody digs the organized religion but seriously, that song sucks almost as much as American Pie. Here's some tunes that don't suck instead.

Anyways. It looked really amzing out there, even if it's nine degrees fahrenheit and my hands were freezing even in gloves. Ghostly sheets of snow blowing off the lake between the buildings downtown, streetlights glimmering and purple sky over the cathedral and the housing projects.

Monday, January 21, 2013

king conscience is dead

Overslept, met some friends and their schoolkids at the art museum, looked at some swank art, admired the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum and learned a lot about owls, skunks, and snakes at the animal show, thankfully that supplanted the footage of the inauguration and while the santa biblia's just a book, it offends me that someone needs two to swear with two fingers crossed that he'll uphold the law. I'd rather have someone swear on a pile of Harlequin romances and at least not be evil. I keep thinking about how in Animal Farm, the new regime keeps everyone cowed by scaring them about the farmer they ran off or the farmer next door to justify all sorts of awfulness.

  Anyways, I'm trying to refrain from the expletives because of the crowds of people and kids but it's hard. Maybe this is how folks felt with Reagan second time around. My friends on Facebook are quoting their favorite parts of the speech and it's all wonderful-sounding bullshit so far from reality. What? The wars are ending? The economy stopped sucking? What? Ah well. It's the same broken record spinning for the last 6000 years.

cats and dogs and...

I broke down and got a new laptop and naturally the old one resurrects itself just a little longer, go figure, though this was useful given that the other creaks all geriatric (planned obsolescence is maddening in this regard) and won't update or enter the Internets willingly.

It's been a week of petsitting, another week to go and then a week with another pup after that. I took the Jungle Puppy out to the woods with one of my college friends to Tinker's Creek Gorge yesterday before the cold snap hit (because neither of us really like it that freezing).  I was warm in a hoodie and thermal and it felt like April. The ground was muddy but there were waterfalls and pines and I think about how sanitized and unwild all this nature is around me, that civilization is so close, the paths are clear, the only wild animals afoot for the most part are squirrels (though the coyotes howl in the ravines come dusk), it's only a phone call and a hillside away from city. 

Last night while drinking tea and watching old British comedies, I could hear the cold winds blowing in and woke up thankful I'd grabbed a winter coat from the house. The tubes in my amps have been temperamental but music sounded excellent this morning, with a fellow DJ at the station who's similarly aligned in terms of religious affiliation and musical taste playing the heck out of the drums and my regular bassist extraordinaire and someone else to sing with who's refreshingly free of ego. I would have loved more reverb on my guitar than the substitute amp provided, but people sang and maybe it was some combination of spiritus sanctus and caffeine and those of us just clicking together so well.

And today, slacking, cooking, walking the Jungle Puppy through the cold streets of Clevelandia, running into an old friend and feeling like it took some time for my face to thaw into speaking. There's not much to say really, just the usual things swirling around as always. I just keep wondering how the snow is going to be. I don't feel accustomed to it anymore.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

small volcanics

Everyone's a little extra tense around me, and maybe I am too, though I try not to be. None of this is the end of the world, these space cadets and ego trips and drama queens and those who play with others' souls all too casually. I find I regret the things more that I say than what I don't, the sins of omission tend to be afterthoughts, so I try hard to hold my peace. I crave greater wisdom in these day-to-day dealings, attempting to navigate through myriad motivations and sundry factors.

We watched this last night and it was good. I find Kurosawa more satisfying than most things and Toshiro Mifune fantastic all around, I feel that fangirlism is nearing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

it's always too early for this

A couple glitches here and there, but it was a good show overall, I couldn't sleep last night, didn't really prepare, but I knew I was in the mood for cranky and cranked up this morning. That mood has persisted as I try to refrain from telling off certain folk who like to take down others to sound superior and end up looking like the bigger fool. Their own words hang them as it is because we all know this and at a certain age, there is an even slimmer possibility of gaining reflective powers, because those involve some degree of humility and self-examination which in this case is nonexistent.


Monday, January 14, 2013

descent into the maelstrom

The beginning of each semester, especially with new improved glitches, is always rife with chaos, but there's a potentially swank medieval history class for the lunchbreak, and the people I housesit for leave me ample provisions along with pay for watching the Jungle Puppy and the two cats and I've got a ticket for Opeth and Katatonia in May. Reading at least two or three books a week, sleeping a little more, hitting up the art studio more frequently and trying to walk and shake the cabin fever. Snow's so much easier than cold and rainy.

Friday, January 11, 2013


The January thaw's come every year that I can remember, when the snow evaporates leaving behind hillocks of rust-inducing salt. I'm shedding layers on the lunchbreak walk downtown, attempting to resurrect my creative writing side of my brain, wanting to walk down to the lake to gather driftwood to do something with. I was getting frustrated with my landlady and the pile of junk in the driveway that keeps me from parking my car in the spot I lease, though she's at least making some concessions that keep me from contemplating moving and feeling sick of moving all the time, dreading the thought of lugging records and books up stairs yet again especially since this neighborhood has been so good to me.

The thaw reminds me that winter is not forever, though these months have been so mild when they're not screwball. Some friends are leaving for Jordan and it's blizzarded there but not here, and I'm contemplating garden plans for the coming year, hoping I can get a bigger plot for more kale, more peas, more peppers, more basil, more sunflowers.

I was on an operating table this morning getting my earlobe stitched back together, conscious, hearing the instruments, feeling the needle going in and out, it didn't hurt then, it itches now, I didn't watch. I can't imagine why women would do this in more invasive ways or anyone for that matter. I kept trying to distract myself and felt half asleep until I took a walk this afternoon and converged with some of my garden folk and then glazed pottery for awhile. It felt like a Saturday and then I realize I have a whole extra day off tomorrow and it's supposed to be nice out. I think I need more escapes from the Slab more often. And more live music. Though that seems to be starting to happen early on this year.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

linky linky

Not much to say today, but I like what certain folks do with linking to the swank of others because those of you not Fake Internet Friends on the facebook or the YouFace might want to share in the fun.

Currently jamming this album that if I hadn't slept on it, would have been on my best of 2012, long songs with big guitars, powerful female vocals, in a perfect world this would be played on the radio instead of Hinder. There's enough Skynyrdian jamming and Zeppelin-esque builds that my dad might like it.

Buzkashi, which pretty much is polo with a headless goat carcass and a means for bragging rights in the 'Stans gets the swank photo series treatment here.

The Kids, probably the same ones responsible for the Hitler hairdo that makes me feel ill, have decided that Mussolini is cool again.

This comments section is hilarious in its respective provincial hissy-fits. My last few places of residence have rent that's made Randal jealous (my almost-hood apartment was $300/month for a garden patch and entire second floor). Regional snobbery, Internet trollery, the rent is too damn high, y'all.

Cathedral of salt in my ancestral homeland.

Questionable advice from the olden days

Skateboarding in Kampala

Solzhenitsyn on lies and violence as a political system and spiritual death.

Monday, January 7, 2013

dead trees and dirty riffs

The relative thaw that leaves the streets less icy and yours truly fighting cabin fever had me out at the art studio glazing old projects and working on new ones, driving out to see some live local free tuneage and ended up hanging out with some of my favorite Clevelandian metalheads who I don't get to see nearly enough. Conversations involving Dave Mustaine, general fundieism, and yours truly suggesting road trips to the Ernest Angley Wax Museum south of Heaven Cleveland and making the distinction between televangelist/political dumbassery and That Jesus Guy's words.

Anyways, Megachurch for the uninitiated is mostly instrumental low-end riffage that would be called sludge or stoner rock by some but a little more anthemic, two basses and a drummer who are technically excellent and super-tight without resorting to Dream Theater wankery. The added dash of sampled audio of faith healers and televangelists works without being too overwrought.

One of my homies is an excellent bass player and loved this song in particular, though we're all oldsters now and hang out in the back and watch The Kids do their moshing thing. Most of them cleared off by the time Keelhaul hit the stage and we felt like the crowd was actually our age for a change even though I don't stand for hours nearly as comfortably as I once did, but I loved the complicated riffery and time signatures and whatnot.

Drove home, slept in late, woke up for a text from a friend asking me if I could make a run out to grab a Christmas gift for their daughter at Justice, which I've heard about and never been to and I think I went a little bit into shock with the candy-colored glitter sequin feather Bieber general aesthetic, having rolled out of bed to drive over in all black concertgoing clothes from the night before, still bleary eyed and the caffeine having not kicked in. A gift card and a pink fiber optic lamp later (because I'm not going to buy this kid anything that says DIVA or PRINCESS or a tweeny Victoria's Secret-stylee lacy bra), the salesgirl says "you probably don't need to be on our mailing list, do you?"

A quick stop at the sister's to hang out with nephew, check email at the bibliotheque, a wander down to the lake with the neighbors and a drive out to the suburban wasteland of the whiteflighted eastern lands for bar food and catching up with old friends, avoiding politics for absurdity. I don't eat out much, don't go to chain restaurants hardly ever, and so generalized American culture always seems vaguely absurd and that sense was reprised the next afternoon with some others. It's more about the conversation than the food as it is. I got a text from the Queen of the Bondo that our beloved Half Price Books is closing (this particular branch lost its lease) so we heard the laments of Clevelandia readers as we trawled through the dollar paperbacks looking for gems.

Came home with a bagful of goodness that won't fit on the bookshelf, Czech magic realism, possibly Azeri love story, sundry fantasy I loved as a child that I wanted to re-read and share with the nephew who already wants me to read him books, Ursula Le Guin, Lloyd Alexander's Westmark trilogy that probably influenced the way I look at the world now more than I ever knew, other bits and pieces.

There's already a pile from the public library and a pile from the academic at home. Books piled up in front of the TV I haven't turned on in over a year, books on the dining room table, books in the kitchen, books in the bathroom. Not in a messy way, just that the eternally curious brain has a certain level of comfort here, and I end the weekend wrapped in blankets, drinking herbal tea with the cat on the lap, thumbing through paperbacks about the Middle East and Central Asia. It makes coming back to the daily grind infinitely easier to have a trove of paperbacks for the wheelie bus, and a semester of learning to look forward to.

Friday, January 4, 2013

sweetest chill

So much tea has been drunk to warm me from the inside, layers upon layers all Seattle-style, the cold a perfect temperature, attempting to find a place on the iceslicked street to leave the car, trying not to slip on icy sidewalks heading towards the bus, returning to the beautiful regularities of art studio and movie night. Watched my first Kurosawa flick last night with the usual suspects and wonder where he's been all my life.

The usual peeps are wack, the usual party lines towed, I fear suburban goofballery less than kinder gentler machine gun hands, which confuses folks. I guess it is what it is. 

Much redacted due to the Internets being forever and for lacking the desire to whine too much. The sun is out, this truncated holiday week makes it feel like it's only half-over, but hello weekend! Hopefully getting some hiking in, and some live tuneage tonight with some radio people since Keelhaul's playing for free on the other side of town. Who knows?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

best of the blotter: Return of the Cleaning Fairy, Cult Members, and Darn Kids

The gift that scares people - Suspicious packages in the form of a Christmas presents created quite a stir at Theodore Roosevelt High School on Dec 11.
High school administrators couldn't account for the packages, so they called Kent Police to make sure the packages weren't some kind of threat.
Canine units responded and students, who were arriving for the start of school at about 7 a.m., were directed away from the school entrance.
Ultimately, school officials learned that the packages were used as props in a holiday play by students at the elementary school and they were dropped off at the high school after hours Monday.

CLOWN SIGHTING, BASSETT LANE: With Halloween a couple weeks in the past, a clown dressed in a neon outfit caught the attention of a resident at about 2 p.m. Dec. 14.
Officers responded to the report of a female in a clown suit, who was unable to get residents, at three different homes, to answer their doors.
It took about 30 minutes, but police finally found the clown. The woman, who lived in the neighborhood, explained that she was getting ready to go to dinner with a friend and decided to wear the clown outfit. Unfortunately, she was unable to zip up the back of the outfit, which led her to seek help from her neighbors.

POSSESSION OF DRUGS, MARMORE AVENUE: A 22-year-old North Olmsted man was arrested at about 1:50 a.m. Dec. 12 after police reportedly found him with psychedelic mushrooms and a substance he called “napalm.”
Police saw the man in a car parked in front of a Marmore home. When police returned an hour later, the man was still there.
Then someone crossed the street and approach the car’s passenger-side window. The officer activated his cruiser’s overhead lights to investigate.
The man told police he was sitting in his car because his parents had kicked him out of their house. He said he was trying to contact his cousin, who lived in the Marmore home.
The license plates were expired, so police cited the man. The man said he did not have drugs or weapons but he allowed police to search his car.
Police believe the man might have been sniffing the “napalm.”

SUSPICIOUS, LAKE AVENUE: A resident reported Dec. 20 seeing a vehicle driving four to five miles-per-hour on the street. He said the vehicle went northbound on Erie Cliff Drive. The people were just looking at Christmas lights not casing the neighborhood.

SUSPICION, WARREN ROAD: Police were called when a woman and two men were taking items from a house and loading them into a white truck. The caller did not recognize any of the people. Everything was okay, the woman was moving out of the residence and the men were helping her. 

DISORDERLY CONDUCT, CEDAR ROAD: After running full-speed through Nordstrom in Beachwood Place with a Batman mask and red sunglasses on his face and a hood covering his head, a Northfield boy, 17, was arrested Dec. 23 for alarming shoppers.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF, BRADLEY STREET: Someone spray painted a blue donkey on the
side of a man’s house. The incident was reported on Dec. 22.

INDUCING PANIC, INWOOD ROAD: Two boys, 15, trying to “out-rap“ one another when a disagreement spilled over into social media, may now face not only disciplinary action at Solon High School but possible juvenile charges as well, after police were called in Dec. 19. Apparently, one of the boys made a rap song via Facebook that was disrespectful to the other boy, which caused the other boy to make his own rap song, which was not only disrespectful but threatening in nature.
The recipient of this forwarded it to several friends’ media sites, which ultimately caused students to come forward and alert school administration. The issue will be dealt with internally by the school, as well as forwarded to the Solon Police Juvenile officer for review.

SUSPICIOUS VEHICLE, WALKER ROAD: A caller reported about 7:40 a.m. Dec. 14 that a suspicious black car was stopped behind a bank, and the occupants apparently were watching something. It was the second complaint police received about the suspicious behavior of the car’s occupants. Police spoke to the car’s owner, who explained she goes there to feed the birds every morning. 

UNDERAGE POSSESSION, HOLLAND ROAD: A student at Ford Elementary School was taken into custody Dec. 20 after he brought alcohol into the school and attempted to sell the liquor to other students.
The child made threats against a teacher. He said he did not care if officers arrested him and said he hated police.
He has been suspended from school while the school board makes a decision on his case. Charges will filed with Juvenile Court.

Shoplifting, Parma.
Parma police are looking for a would-be shoplifter who might be advised to lay off the energy drinks.
At about 4:30 p.m. Dec. 21, the man tried to leave Acme Fresh Market, 1225 West Pleasant Valley Road, with a cart full of Red Bull, crab legs and sea scallops. The total value of the merchandise was $400.
A security guard noticed that the man did not pay for the items. He confronted the man outside. The man started wrestling with the guard and the two fell to the ground.
During the struggle, the man threatened to stab the guard, although he did not show a knife. The guard let the man go and the man ran away without the merchandise.

SOLICITOR COMPLAINT, DETROIT ROAD: A resident reported on Dec. 20 that the “cleaning fairy” came to her house and said she needed money and was looking for work. The resident investigated online and learned that the woman has been charged with breaking into homes and cleaning them.

SOLICITATION, MARLOWE AVENUE: Several residents reported a group of teenage Christmas carolers coming to their homes Dec. 19 and asking for money. Police caught up with the carolers on Roosevelt Avenue. The family of four was advised and sent on their way.

Just say ‘no’ to drugs
A man knocked on the door of a home in the 1300 block of Beach Avenue and asked the resident if he wanted to buy some heroin at around 9 p.m. Dec. 28. The man told the would-be dealer that he had the wrong house, and the resident called police. Officers were unable to locate the suspected dope dealer

ALIEN ENCOUNTERS: A woman, who had called Mayfield Heights police on several occasions in 2011 to report a variety of incidents, called once again Jan. 11. This time she complained somebody had been tampering with her mail as she had found the address label torn off her Allure magazine. She believed either her husband or the postman was responsible. She also told police aliens are watching her and reporting their findings to her half-family.

A ‘PLAYFUL’ DEER: A deer roaming around Highland Heights was seen with some interesting objects lodged between his antlers.
On Feb. 5, police were told a deer was found on Longspur Road with an entire swing set on his head. Eight days later, a resident reported the deer was seen with a single swing between his antlers. The deer didn’t stop there. He was spotted Feb. 17 with a playground slide crowning his head.
Every time police were notified of the deer’s whereabouts, they failed to find him. Though the antler decorations were not pleasant for the animal, they were a sight to see.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT, AURORA ROAD: While officers were handling the physical control arrest about 8:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at Solon Square, one noticed two individuals walking through the parking lot swearing loudly and kicking construction barrels around in the presence of others and near businesses and a children’s dance class. Arrested was a Cleveland man, 49, as well as a Solon woman, 41, who had an active arrest warrant through Twinsburg. She was taken to the Solon Jail to await transport to their custody.

FIGHT, PEARL ROAD: Police cited four men for disorderly conduct and a fifth for obstructing official business following a fight at 12:19 a.m. Dec. 15 at Dick Hoover Lanes. The bowling lanes manager told police that the four men, who were at the facility during open bowling hours, began yelling obscenities at her regarding lane maximums. The fight broke out when a league bowler stepped in to defend the manager.

MISCHIEF, INDIANHEAD LANE: A man had had enough of neighborhood children’s mischief at 9:15 p.m. Dec. 15.
He followed three youngsters who rang his doorbell and ran to a home, and when he spoke to a woman in the home she denied his accusations. The man wanted an officer to respond to advise the woman.
The officer did so, and also gave the three boys an "educational session on mischief."
MISCHIEF, FAIR ROAD: Police were told of five or six kids hiding behind a fence in a front yard throwing snowballs at passing cars and houses at 9 p.m. Dec. 26. Officers found the kids, who admitted to throwing snowballs and said they would stop.

THEFT, MAYFIELD ROAD: A Cleveland woman, 22, was arrested at Party Place around 11 a.m. Dec. 11 when she was caught placing items in her purse and bra. She paid for approximately $50 in merchandise but stole $55.42 worth of other merchandise. That afternoon, some of her family returned to the store and tried to return the merchandise she bought. They were told by store employees that the merchandise could not be returned because a theft was involved. The family became upset and began hassling the employees, reportedly calling them “dumb white people.”

DISTURBANCE, MARSOL ROAD: A man was assaulted Dec. 9 in a laundry room at the Marsol apartments by another tenant who pushed him against a wall. The assailant, a 39-year-old man, said the other man disrespected him by taking his clothes out of the washer and placing them on a counter. The victim claimed the clothes were left in the washer for three hours.

SUSPICIOUS VEHICLE, FOLTZ INDUSTRIAL PARKWAY: A man called police after he saw two vehicles parked at the dead end of the street at 4:45 p.m. Dec. 26, with tracks leading into the woods.
One of the trucks had a “roadkill plate” on the back, and it appeared there was a track from a sled. When people finally came out of the woods, they were just pulling their kids on a sled.

DISTURBANCE, ATLANTIC ROAD: A woman told officers she came home at 12:20 a.m. Dec. 24 to “a mess” and found a vial of an unknown substance she wanted Strongsville police to analyze.
When an officer arrived on the scene, the vial of the unknown substance turned out to be an unopened bottle of beer, and the woman told officers the mess was from her husband who frequently trashes their home.
The officer advised the woman that it’s his house too.

SUSPICIOUS SITUATION, CAMDEN CIRCLE: A family of 11 walking around in black robes caused some concern for a resident at about 10:40 p.m. Dec. 23.
An anonymous caller told police about the family, and that she was concerned the group belonged to a cult. Officers spoke to the family, which was actually throwing a Christmas party. The black robes were tuxedos.
Officers responded to the same home at 11:57 p.m. that day after a noise complaint that they were blasting music in the street. The officer found some guests packing their cars up and heard nothing but someone saying merry Christmas.


No jaunts across the pond, heck, no major trips through Ohiostan, the generous snow that I haven't seen in two years made me unmotivated to drive too far, except to go to the Metroparks and hang out in the woods multiple times and skiing along the old canal with my friend's dog hooked to a belt loop, letting me glide along the trail. When I force myself outside, I feel invigorated in a way that summer doesn't do and the quiet of this world of water, trees, and sky recalibrates my soul to praise and meditate. When did I fall in love with evergreens so much?

So many pots of tea were consumed this week, with the exception of half a glass of wine on Christmas, no booze at all. So many good books read, good conversations had, and listening to tuneage and returning to the art room to make a first attempt at mosaic (which came out awesome, even if part of it fell off when I pulled it out of the mold).

I was almost asleep by the time the year changed over, but my landlady called me back on jetlag time and communication regarding the giant pile of debris in front of the garage being tantamount, somehow I mumbled incoherently through a conversation. She didn't recognize me when she came home, demanded to know what I was doing in her yard, which was awkward, because I have a key to her part of the house too, and I've lived there for a year now. I've been a good tenant though, and despite the occasional minor vexation it's been a good place.
It's been a year since I bailed from the almost-hood for the new digs, and it still feels liberating to walk somewhat freely after dark, to shed the fortress mentality that living within walking distance of several psych wards engenders. I survived election season with all friendships intact, and I like everyone a little better now that the whole business is over. Played some good games of softball, met new folks, feel like I live somewhere where I know and like my neighbors, and saw a lot of great live music. Getting old could be so much worse.