Wednesday, February 27, 2013

best of the blotter: Batman, Gatorade, and Gospel

SUSPICIOUS SITUATION, ROYALTON ROAD: A woman at the Ehrnfelt Recreation Center’s caf was drinking a Gatorade at 12:25 p.m. Feb. 19, when she left her drink unattended and returned to find it was a different color.
An officer entered the bottle into evidence, and the case is under investigation.

PHONE CALLS, LAKE MEADOWS DRIVE: Some scam artists are creative, but few are as honest with their victims as a scam targeting a Strongsville resident reported at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 18.
The man told police he had received three calls from an unknown number, which he didn’t answer. But when he called the number back, he got a voice recording stating “it was a fraud and they want his money, but if he reports it they’ll just change the number.
The man was advised not to call the number or answer calls from it again.

POSSIBLE DUI: Dispatch received a call about a driver who looked like he was under the influence at approximately 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23. The officer discovered it was a student learning how to drive. 

WELFARE CHECK, WHITNEY ROAD: A group of children was standing on the tree lawn at the West 130th Street intersection at noon Feb. 18. But what spurred a driver to call police was one of the children, dressed in a Batman costume and holding a sign that read “Need Parents.”
Police located the children matching the description, and the boy dressed up as Batman said it was only a joke, “because Batman doesn’t have parents.”
The children were taken home, their parents were notified and the children were warned of standing in the street.

THEFT, BARTHOLOMEW DRIVE: A Middleburg Height’s man’s collection of Hawaiian girls calendars was stolen from his front porch Feb. 11. The calendars had been delivered to his house and before the man could retrieve the package, it was stolen. 

DISTURBANCE, COLORADO AVENUE: A clerk at a gas station reported two truck drivers were fighting in the parking lot on Feb. 21. The report said they were fighting after one driver cut in front of the other at the gas pump. One of the drivers brandished a window squeegee to defend himself. Both parties were advised on their actions and left the premises.

DISTURBANCE, CLARENCE AVENUE: A call was received at 5:15 a.m. on Feb. 20, complaining of a woman yelling in the boiler room in the basement of an apartment building. When officers investigated, they found the woman was not threatening anyone, and lived in an apartment in the basement. The woman told officers she was singing gospel songs. She was advised by police to keep it down. 

COMPLAINT, MADISON AVENUE: Shortly after 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 21, a man called to complain that there is an elderly woman leaving disturbing mail in his mailbox, and he wanted officers to ask her to stop. The man said she walks around everywhere, and writes on scrap paper and leaves it in mailboxes. The man said he thinks the woman believes this is a church, and that is why she writes religious propaganda and puts it in his mailbox. He said he would call back if he saw her again.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


It's been awhile since I've seen a good friend of mine, but our opposite work schedules defer hanging out and catching up. He calls when he gets off of work and I'm more than half asleep and realize I'm not as young as I used to be, more tired but maybe more wiser (hopefully?) to realize that a very late night and a very early morning and having a day job aren't compatible.

But I played music this morning.


Friday, February 22, 2013


 so I saw that it was the maestro of black-and-white straungeness' birthday, and was then reminded by unlikely sources who usually aver from anything kind of morbid. But anyways, I dig his stuff. Kate Beaton does too. And there's more here. And here. And still more here. And here.

I was first introduced to him a bit late, despite the multitude of John Bellairs books shelved as a library teen, by a guy I semi-dated my freshman year of college, with whom I snuck off to Bamgier to walk around a real-looking college campus, and with whome we ditched our friends who went to see some Tom Green movie and spent the evening giggling at Dogstar CDs in the bargain bin at a suburban Columbus Virgin Megastore, and geeking out at Borders. I think I remember us listening to the Breeders on the drive home. He was kind of an intellectual snob and said some kind of homophobic things to one of my friends and we stopped talking after that. But still, he did introduce me to Gorey and Blind Melon and Ghost World and we parted amiably.

missing verdant

While I love the near-perpetual greyness of Clevelandian climes, and the stark beauty of blowing snow and bare trees, I am starting to really miss the greenery that comes with summer, resisting the urge to spend way too much on seeds for flowers now for sale at the drugstore when I've got so many left over from last year. In the meantime, I am reveling in the gloom, attempting to keep the houseplants alive, and dreaming of verdant hues returning.

(tunnel of love, Ukraine)
Peter Steele's Tree is not as cool as Thomas Hardy's Tree
Stan Hywet and its birches are closer to home.  Come to think of it, it's been a few years since I've gotten down there.

best of the blotter: weird looking fools, bodacious women, and Van Halen

So the local suburbs have been bereft of strangeness as of late, but by the good fortune of the Google, I've stumbled across the Call and Post blotters, which serve the three major cities of Ohiostan. The combination of colloquialism and general lack of innocent-until-proven-guilty objectivity make the most banal of city crime a bit more interesting.  A few of the more tame examples.

Who in the hell shot John and Jamon at the Motorcycle club: On Feb. 10, at 3:15 in the morning, a big argument broke out between some dudes in the Toros Motorcycle club over on East 5th Avenue.  During the argument some clown pulled out a pistol, began firing and some shots hit John and Jamon in the legs. Dang! It could have been worse, and both fellas were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for their injuries. The matter is under investigation.

A tall goofy White man tried to snatch Sarah’s pocketbook: Around 11:26 p.m., on Feb.14, Valentines Day, a young lady named Sarah Shepherd pulled into the Speedway Gas Station at East Dublin and Grandville Road. As she was getting back into her car after pumping her gas she said a tall White man ran over and tried to pull her out of the car and when he couldn’t he punched her and then tried to snatch her pocketbook. The suspect is a tall White man, about 30, with a receding hairline that went all the way back to his ears. If 
you know this weird looking fool, tell on him by calling Crime Stoppers at (614)645-4665.

A big, bodacious woman found her stolen car and took it back: On Jan. 15, around 10:15 pm, a woman named Rhonda, who lives in the 1800 block of Crawford Road, called police and reported that she had found her 1998 Ford that had been stolen and that she had taken it back from them damn thieves. She said that she just wanted to report that she recovered her car and ain’t no need for ya‘ll to continue to look for it.  A car was sent out to close out the missing auto report.

Rotten rogue robs family of all their Christmas stuff: You got to be a low-down, dirty crook to break in somebody’s house on Christmas Eve and steal all of their presents. This is an unconscionable bastard and he should be in locked up forever. Back on Dec.24, at 4:30 p.m., it was reported that a rogue had kicked in the back door of a house onSouth Roys Avenue, and took all the family’s gifts. Please! If you know something say something and call Crime Stoppers and get paid. 

 Anyways, back to the burbs...

CONSPIRACY COMPLAINT, LAKEWOOD HEIGHTS BOULEVARD: A man called shortly after 8 p.m. on Jan. 25 stating he wanted to show officers a smear mark on his hallway walls. The mark leads to the back door, and the man said it had been there since he moved in three months ago. He was worried it was linked to an unsolved mystery in the city. Officers reassured the man that it was just a smear mark.

A couple was arrested after their argument over who was the greatest guitarist of all time became so heated that Motel 6 staff was forced to call the Brook Park police.
The boyfriend was screaming on behalf of Slash, lead guitarist for Guns and Roses. The girlfriend was jumping for Eddie Van Halen, namesake of ’80s rockers Van Halen.
When police arrived, they calmed down and agreed to be quiet. However, their names were run through a database that revealed they had outstanding warrants in other cities. Both were arrested.

Uh, Thanks But No Thanks
Workers at the Salvation Army store on Pearl Road came across an unusual donation in their bin Feb. 5 -- plastic-tipped bullets from the 1960s.
They gave them to the police to be disposed of.

A dangerous disturbance
A woman in the 2200 block of Bunts Road told police that kids were jumping off the roof of her neighbor’s home into a snow pile at around 5 p.m. Feb. 4. Officers showed up and told the kids to stop. No injuries were reported.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I love you Walker Percy

This might be my favorite part of The Moviegoer

Being a creature of habit, as regular as a monk, and taking pleasure in the homeliest repetitions, I listen every night at ten to a program called This I Believe. On the program hundreds of the highest-minded people in our country, thoughtful and intelligent people, people with mature inquiring minds, state their personal credos. The two or three hundred I have heard so far were without exception admirable people. I doubt if any other country or any other time in history has produced such thoughtful and high-minded people….If I had to name a single trait that all these people shared, it is their niceness. Their lives are triumphs of niceness. They like everyone with the warmest and most generous feelings. And as for themselves: It would be impossible for even a dour person not to like them.
Tonight’s subject is a playwright who transmits this very quality of niceness in his plays. He begins:

I believe in people. I believe in tolerance and understanding between people. I believe in the uniqueness and the dignity of the individual—

Everyone on This I Believe believes in the uniqueness and the dignity of the individual. I have noticed, however, that the believers are far from unique themselves, are in fact alike as peas in a pod.

I believe in music. I believe in a child’s smile. I believe in love. I also believe in hate.

This is true. I have known a couple of these believers…On This I Believe they like everyone. But when it comes down to this or that particular person, I have noticed that they usually hate his guts.

I did not always enjoy This I Believe. While I was living at my aunt’s house, I was overtaken by a fit of perversity. But instead of writing a letter to an editor, as was my custom, I recorded a tape which I submitted to Mr. Edward R. Murrow. “Here are the beliefs of John Bickerson Bolling, a moviegoer living in New Orleans,” it began, and ended, “I believe in a good kick in the ass. This — I believe.” I soon regretted it, however, as what my grandfather would have called “a smart-alecky stunt” and I was relieved when the tape was returned. I have listened faithfully to This I Believe ever since...’

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

things I played today

We were talking yesterday about how there's certain bands and songs we love that we play all the time. I don't know if I get too anxious about that, no one's ever complained, and half the time, someone wants to know what that Kristin Hersh-related song is so evidently they're not listening every week. Also, I played that new old Mad Season song which will probably evaporate from the Youtubes soon, but it's quite excellent. Of course take that with a grain of salt since yours truly fangirls the Lanegan and he showed up in three songs in two hours oh well. This isn't everything, and not in this order, but it's what I can remember.

viscous time

Some weekends fly by, and the others are mercifully long-feeling, amazing what that extra day can do. I forgot my camera so I have no pictures to post but there were a lot of photos taken this weekend, of the interior of my favorite glass studio in Clevelandia, where the Queen of the Bondo got a freelance journalist interview gig that I tagged along for, and most things interacted are redacted to protect the innocent, but any chance to hang out in a space where there's ample creativity is welcome. Here's some old shots of the place, my newer ones on the swanky camera are a little better.

 And then there was the family gathering, where I got to hold babies and argue politics with the family. It's reassuring to hear anxiety about drones and the lack of humanity and due process from my relateds, both with the geopolitical and the local. It seems that the seamless-garment-Catholics and the Kucinichistas might have more common ground than some would think. Though I'm evidently in the minority at my dismay at LAPD business-as-usual. I still have some weird belief that no matter how big of an awful scumbag person you are, you should still be treated with humanity and not burned alive. Then again, I don't watch much in the way of action movies except for kung fu and I don't have much in the way of revenge fantasies and have turned into a bit of a freako peacenik.

I was invited out to this winter festival thing but the roads were awful, and I spun out on a Parmastan sidestreet mercifully free of parked cars, and my friend who extended the invitation texted me to say not to bother coming down.The streets were slick, but the slow going was soundtracked by swank stoner rock so all was well.
Came home after church and slept awhile, felt kind of gross, weird stuff coming out of my nose sent me to the bibliotheque to self-diagnose and concluded that death wasn't imminent. Watched an Iranian movie about footie that was good.
Got all super domestic, cleaned most of the apartment, cooked a bunch of really good food, went up to the radio station to guest on a friend's show. Played lots of noisy music, took advantage of the almost-balmy temperature to walk down to the beach where there were a bunch of Cleveland cops on the shore, who knows what was going on but I was trying not to chortle too much watching the cruiser spin its wheels in the sand and resist the urge to break out the camera.

Friday, February 15, 2013

friday night's all right

The hum of conversation, the woodburning stove, the overheard conversations of college kids, the background music that's almost always swank, a cup of tea and a huge bowl of fragrant lentil soup, banging out homework assignments, chipping away at this paper, about two pages of skeletal framework with the occasional fleshed out paragraph. I needed a night to get out and do this, this is the place where I relax most and write best, where I can hunker down and have long conversations, play scrabble on New Year's, and relish the atmosphere that reminds me of somewhere far away.

My friends are watching local metal bands play downtown, some fellow DJs are kicking out the jams all lovers-rock and world-style down the street from there, but it doesn't feel like that kind of night. If I was to go out, it'd be to be seen, and I don't want to get home late or try to find parking, and I'm sure there's conversations to be had, but I'm an introvert at heart and I need these times of solitude. There are other times to get one's eardrums blown out or mingle. It doesn't feel lonely when you will it for yourself, it feels like bliss.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

sirens and rusalka

Sirens of the riverbed, dead souls of the woods....

all the love in the world

My sister's having me over for dinner tonight, so I'll get the love of my nephews and hang with the folks and maybe decamp to Algebra or a greasy spoon for some homework time and tea, we'll see. Life is pretty damn good, no need for single awareness days or gross candy or self-indulgent pity. Just big riffs and little babies. I see way too much drama around me to desire anything more than what I've got.

Though I love my misanthropic yearningish tunes. I don't think my inner teenage goth kid will ever grow out of it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

really I did learn something today.

This bibliotheque is quiet, and I'm downloading openoffice to type my paper, trying to get this paper started, feel like I'm talking about bones an awful lot. 11,000 virgins' bones for that matter, because I want to combine my love of Hildegard's tuneage, morbid churches, weird old stuff, and swank art into one fine piece of 8-page scholarship. Or something.

So in class today we were talking about relics getting tricked out, and saints, and everyone getting really into the Virgin Mary and the God of the Universe being so intimidating that we needed to make him a cute little baby to deal with it better, and the construction of giant cathedrals that sometimes fell down when they were trying to one-up the town over, which led to sundry absurd scrawlings in the margins of my notes along these lines.

ugly renaissance babies, yo.
some martyr holding his intestines wrapped around a stick. Can't find a photo but it looked like his inside were some kind of carnival food.
and of course Lee Dorian how could I forget you

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


On the days when my curmudgeonly colleague is enjoying his time away from the slab, I get less scowling and occasional pithy discourse on existentialism and heshery and more, well, chick stuff that's not quite as generally interesting. I know I'm in the minority on this business of matters of love, which I'm more and more okay with, but it's amusing to see how other people view this stuff and more than a little disconcerting.

You've got to look like you want it more
You've got to join the activities where there's lots of men
You've got to stop acting like you're so independent,
How do you get all that attention? I wish I had some...
I've got one guy taking me out to dinner and another one sending me a bottle of wine and another getting me flowers. 

 I think of that line from a Morphine song, about you get what you pay for with free advice and it makes a world of sense listening to such absurdity. I guess it boils down to what you want, and what your wants have been influenced by, or something, I don't know.

And I have no plans for that day. I never do. Not even the platonic let's be single together kind of plans.Which is fine because usually that's weird anyway. It's ceased to be a point of frustration long ago except for that one time I wanted to go see Henry Rollins and then those plans fell through, but that had to do more with Henry Rollins than a superimposed-over-pagan-apocryphal-saint's-day.  

There is Movie Night tomorrow, there are friends coming over for dinner tonight, for our monthly pondering and planning and talking til late in the night bringing out the upstairs neighbor's atheist rage, because evidently it's ok for me to have people over and be listening to Opeth and Tom Waits late into the evening (they're my age and from what I hear through the ceiling watch a lot of movies), but it's totally not okay if it's 8:30 and we're embroiled in theological matters. That's when I get the banging on the ceiling and the complaints that I'll try to avoid this time, knowing that the whole thing is ridiculous, but hey what can you do?

Oh, and this in honor of the festivities.

Monday, February 11, 2013

icy grey

Two times this weekend, when the weather warmed up slightly and the cabin fever became too much, I got outside and wandered on the deserted shore of Clevelandia. Sleep can wait, naps can be taken later, I love the beach at all seasons, but especially now, when there are skeletal driftwood trees washed up on the shore, the surf crystallized crunches under my shoes, and the water gleams silver under winter sun.

 And then yesterday I went out with my camera on a drive, which I haven't done in awhile but there's something that stirs me about the rust-colored palette under grey skies. I would have gone under the railroad trestle to shoot what would have undoubtedly been good graffiti, but I was alone, and occasionally I've come across men sleeping and starving feral dogs so I slowed down, turned the music low, and shot what I could from the side of the car.

The Flats were quiet as anything, and I got out by the bridges and walked down by the old warehouses and wished I had the bigger camera with me. Still, I'm happy enough with these shots.

And then I went down to the park on the other side, and the breakers must have caused the piles of ice that were everywhere, these broken sheets piled up against the shoreline, swirling out into the lake all Goldsworthy. There were a lot of people down there, maybe the warmer weather, maybe the cabin fever. Some guy dressed as Mario in tights with pompoms, a bunch of The Kids, including a big Moroccan contingent, mugging for the their iPhone cameras with the pastel sky and sheets of ice behind them, young Muslim couples and old men.

I'm sure with the sun out and the forty degrees, this has all melted, but to catch that transient moment at its most beautiful feels like some kind of little accomplishment.

Friday, February 8, 2013

soul restored

a return home the other night to seek to recalibrate, to listen to what cannot be heard and to mingle with common-creeded souls. There were crafts going on and we women from all walks sitting around a dining room table, I was drinking herbal tea and feeling uncreative so I sat and talked and listened and it was what I needed to realign my soul and attempt to be if not more graceful a little less surly. Not having a nasty cold does help, I guess. I've cut down on the coffee and been drinking more tea and that seems to help the mood too.

There is absurdity of the enormous kind and the small fiefdom kind and the sometimes people just suck kind. We Social Workers For the Damned get burned out sometimes. One can only take so much constant jerkitude. For some reason the mid-afternoon, post high-fructose cornsyrup consumption, brings out most of the clowns, and it's the time of the day when we're most tired on top of that.

The Chinese class left me some potstickers and fortune cookies and all the fortune cookies involved my lofty ambitions, my amazing management skills, and the great opportunities that await on Monday. Monday can wait. I'm ready to go home and hunker down as the snow blows in.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

the drag

It's the time of the day when I'm most tired, the blood sugar plummets, the caffeine starts exiting the system, and I've been feeling like I'm swimming in a fishbowl way too long, and everything just makes me a little more nervy than usual and I find myself trying harder to maintain this smile, which turns to scowling when crossed with too many space cadets and the usual clowns. I don't want to make conversation, your attempts at chatting up are as unwelcome as a middle finger.  Those who don't know me very well think I'm happy and kind and gracious all the time. I wish I was. That mid-afternoon is always my low-water mark. I haven't been what I want to be, and the harder I try to not be a jerk, the more exasperated I get all around.

I am so tired, and maybe a little burned out. The world depresses me and sometimes it's hard to believe that God is good when I see what I see. I haven't been sleeping well, which doesn't help, neither does the runny nose, the stuffed-up brain, the ennui of winter and illness and not enough sunlight.  So yeah, that double-whammy of emotional and physical and maybe some spiritual weariness thrown in for some good measure.

I am thankful, I guess, for divine intervention into my suckitude, for tuneage, for naps, for herbal tea, for coworkers who are honest enough to tell me when I'm wrong and kind enough to not make me feel worse, who put up with my strange strain of crazy and the fits of melancholia. I'm thankful for movie nights and friends and that soon the days will be longer again. I can't wait for those days.