Monday, August 18, 2014

if there's hell below...

Ever since the last couple weeks of sportsball season, it's been an angry 80's party in my car. Thras, punk, hardcore. My mood's been more surly. I have argued with family members and friends over Palestine, Ferguson, Kurdistan, Cleveland.

The current events of slaughter abroad and overreach at home don't help. The anger is helpless and pathetic like most sentiments. I am as unsurprised by the massacres of fellow believers in other parts of the world as I am another young kid now dead but the wrongness still rattles me. I have nothing to say that hasn't been said except I think of all of my friends who've got skin a few shades darker than me and the additional pressures and frustrations that they experience.

I played rock and roll on the radio the other night, brought something a little more ballsy to the rock rotation, including the tunes below. People seemed to like it okay I guess. Sometimes this is the only therapy I have.

Monday, August 11, 2014

oh the summer

the leave of absence was a combination of increased work duties, and also increased time outside when not at work. It has been a swift but sweet summer, cooler than most, spent in woods, next to water, in the garden, outside as much as possible. I crave the outdoors after being under flourescent most of the day. The world is sad and the constants of companionship and nature are reassuring.

Bicycling through the west side to go to the beach, to eat ice cream, to mingle at festivals, backpacking through the mountains of western Pennsylvania, playing softball on the weekends and tennis on the weeknights (who knew I'd be doing this at 30), swimming in the not-yet-green waters of Lake Erie, getting scowly at the park system turning it into a beach party with expensive beer and cover bands and food trucks, while having K-9 dogs roam the beach and checking the trash cans extra often for poor folks' booze.

There have been late night drives and diner coffee, a magical night seeing Failure in Detroit (it's been almost three months here, forgive me all three readers), a night of moshing at 7 Seconds in which I felt 19 again with all the other old punks, watching a bridge blow up and eating a picnic breakfast in the industrial valley after the clouds of debris blew away, drinking blueberry margaritas with Neighbor as the tornadoes hit, long walks with no destination, porch nights, dirty hands in gardens, helping friends move, realizing that 'watching a movie together' or 'hanging out and listening to music' with a male friend doesn't mean what it did when we were younger and that I am if anything more cautious now than I was.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

festive and restive

Of setting off the fire alarm (good thing that it works I guess) while grilling pineapple in the kitchen with Neighbor, of waking up feeling awful and rolling back over to sleep off the mess for another four hours, of drinking ginger beer on the balcony and conversation, of Asian festival festivities with a few of my social worlds converging in one place, of birthday parties and bicycle rides, of being thankful for the untethering, that life will continue, because if the last four years have taught me anything, it's to let things come and go with ease.

A group of us went down to the river for Alice in Chains last night, and while the sound quality took a little bit of time to right itself, we basked in the glow of the bridges and lights, noshed on snacks, and indulged our love of 90's-era angst, singing along to our favorite songs, shaking our fists at the unused train rolling through, and just enjoying a night of free entertainment on the dirty banks of the Cuyahoga.

And this morning I played songs of catharsis, most of which were in the previous entry and it felt good.

Friday, May 16, 2014

eat my dust.

Redacted rants substituted by passive-aggressive folkies who say it better than I could, plus bonus extra tunes..

it's gonna be sudden
it's gonna be strange
i'm gonna turn on a dime
give you 5 cents change
it's gonna be long
it's all gonna come out
out of me, on to you

out of me
on to you

one of these days you're gonna push too hard
we'll go on like we've always done
till you go too far
one of these days it's gonna reach the top
then it's gonna start to spill
and it's not gonna stop

out of me
on to you...

no more

some people wear their smile like a disguise
those people who smile a lot watch the eyes
i know cause i'm like that a lot
you think everything's okay
it is till it's not

out of me
on to you...


Thursday, May 15, 2014

waking up and getting up has never been easy...

I don't know if it's the rain or the ennui or the fatigue. I woke up not feeling like rolling out of bed and going to work, getting here is fine, the ritual of caffeinated beverage and big riffs, getting things done feels all right. The attempt to walk it off feels unsuccessful, maybe it's the relentless rain. Maybe it's the realization of other things.

I woke up angry this morning, replaying the events of last night, which started out out amazing, but which soured by the end of the night when basic shit like chivalry and seeing me home end up being cancelled out by too much booze affecting the other parties involved and other factors which led to me probably getting more angry than I ever have in my life and letting my feelings be known with a hefty dose of FCC-unapproved language. I shouldn't have to shame someone into doing the right thing. It's not because I'm crazy or jealous or bossy, it's pretty much a can you keep your word and can I please care about my basic safety. I am now reconsidering everything about the friendship and pondering grace and forgiveness and also trying to be rational about my frustration and resentment at always being the heroine and the strong one and the hardass when I know my vulnerability and it makes me feel profoundly alone, angry, and constrained.

People who think bike culture is a viable substitute for cars in gentrifying urban areas are almost undoubtedly not single females who view cutting back alone through almost-hoods as a recipe for being a potential crime statistic.

Dammit, I'm pissed.

Monday, May 12, 2014

your wants make me nervous

The tiredness has kicked in, attempting to extricate oneself from plans, because it's Monday and I'm exhausted already. This weekend was diner food and helping a friend move, an amble through a hipster craft fair full of stuff that all looks mostly the same and artisan ethnic food where the dudes were walking around wearing giant vintage cameras around their necks like Flava Flav does clocks, and there was so much seeing and being seen and general overpriced tchotchkes that we left relatively quickly for sportsballing and snarking far from tiaras and way-too-expensive trust fund home furnishings.

I gave props to all the ladies of my life, am super-hyped about seeing Failure in Detroit in a couple of weeks, worked in the garden and had a laundry night with Neighbor up the street at the laundromat where we washed loads of work clothes and black band t-shirts, ate junk food and sang Dead Milkmen songs and made up blues songs and loitered in the parking lot as the machines spun around. Something about the laundromat makes you feel like you're not all that well off even if you're doing reasonably okay given the circumstances.

All the caffeination took awhile to wear off and I woke up sleepy this morning, thinking about how I'd rather be out in the garden than getting a stiff neck, wondering why I commit to things at all, and being all the more relieved that my life is not tied to some goofball even though I don't want to live alone in an apartment forever and the concept of solo homeownership is profoundly intimidating. I just need the brain to slow down, and to plant my peppers and eggplants, and read some more books and remember to slow down. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

the thin lines

What's the difference between love and lust? 
He asks me this as we're sitting at my kitchen table, thinking about going to see Slint, but deciding we could save the money and take in the beauty of a warm spring night on my porch instead, talking about love and life and what we're reading and what we're thinking about.

sometimes it's good to know that guys feel just as lost about this stuff as we do... I say this, laughing that they sometimes google these existential questions too for lack of someone to talk to .  We are so strange.

 I don't have a good answer initially, in part because we were in such murky waters for that time and are no longer there and I don't want to say too much because of the motivations I've so often questioned and the ambiguities that were unanticipated. We are firmly back on the ground of friendship, which allows for more honesty and less awkwardness and I return to my usual more candid self.

And then I wake up this morning thinking about this question. That we all have lust if we're honest with ourselves, that our love is imperfect. But that maybe the main difference between the one and the other is that the one involves acting on a taking of pursuing one's own pleasure and happiness whether or not that leads to the happiness of the other, perhaps a mutual taking for that reason, and the other is borne out of a mutual giving that leads to receiving what we've desired. Sometimes one in the relationship is motivated by one or another, and our imperfect ways of relating mean there's a little bit of both. I tell him this, and he says he agrees, but I wonder if he understands what I mean.

Monday, May 5, 2014

solar dip

There are redacted thoughts, that may have been spilled ten years ago but discretion says not so much. Strange what crossed signals are sent, that is all, and nothing too major. I will answer the phone for anyone at 3am if they're in a jam, I've learned, and it's nice when someone buys you breakfast as a thank you, and it feels good to be making art again with acquaintances turning into friends.

 Neighbor came over and told me that the chandelier lighting ceremony was stupid, as we knew it would be. Because nothing says provincial-as-heck like having a "World's Largest" something. We drank High Lifes and ate egg rolls and laughed, and I can't remember what genius ideas we came up with now but they were genius, for sure. 

Meanwhile an art gallery got raided the same night for not having a booze permit. I don't know enough to comment either way but it's all ridiculous.

Sportsball was rained out, but some good folks had us over for a cookout and we listened to bluesy whiteboy music of the best kind (Zeppelin maaaan) and then there was frisbee-throwing at the park and me and Tangerine took off because she wasn't feeling good and chilled by the beach for a bit because the sunset was gorgeous and talked about the general confusion of growing up and getting older, and realizing that our tendencies aren't always healthy. I guess it's good to know these things though I would have thought we'd have more figured out by now.

And some friends from church got married yesterday and asked me to take photos of their wedding which filled me with trepidation because usually I shoot things that are outside that don't move and this is kind of a big deal. But the light was good enough, and I got some beautiful shots of everyone mingling together and the ceremony.

I got all sappy watching everyone laugh and eat good potluck food together, because we all come from such different places and are together here with God and mutual friendship in common. Some of us had normal suburban existences and others grew up in crackhouses and shelters but we're all eating together, celebrating together, laughing together, everyone's kids are running around together and it feels so beautiful and right.

Neighbor and I wandered down to the lake and up the street for pizza and coffee, sat at tables outside overlooking the street and realizing we look like a pair of damn hipsters with our lattes and band shirts, before wandering back down to the lake to watch the sunset and snarking about overly earnest causes that seek to remedy the inevitability of human nature. Life is strange and beautiful.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

my head is full of flowers and I'm dressed in shining gold...

People complain about the rain but I think of all those places where the rain doesn't fall, and how there are little green shoots coming up all over the garden, and a bag of potting soil on my back porch that's now waterlogged and simply too heavy to haul up the stairs.

And I think about how now the rain is warm, and I walked last night to the coffeeshop to study for a final for a class where I could completely flunk the last test and still pass, and came home and piled up music for this morning's show which bounced a little bit all over the place but not as much as it could have and are below in no particular order.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Me and neighbor planted potatoes last night in a giant sterilite bin from target because trash cans are expensive, and then I went to the Kentinistas' for rifftraxing of the godawful Star Wars Holiday Special which was astounding in its wtfery. 

A morning of dogwalking and garden stuff, and bike riding to sportsball and getting on base more in one game than I did all of last season, scoring the winning run and feeling awesome, celebrating with gyros up the street before heading out to a friend's wedding when I drank way too much coffee and got profoundly existential by the end of the night thinking about human interactions and the fleetingness of infatuation juxtaposed with the professions of undying love. My body is tired by my brain's still firing like crazy. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

The direction of the eye, so misleading...

It's the end of April and seeds are being sown in the garden, I go down there at sunset and listen to the hum of the neighborhood, and there's girl-time and movie time and coming home to be introverted. The garden is a continual place of centering for me, a continual learning process and a way to feel like I'm doing some good with my time on this earth.

I reread my journal over the last year that I write in every so often and it amazes me to see how wrecked I was that summer four years ago and how even the emotional rollercoaster of not the most healthy relationship wasn't much of anything compared to that, I don't know what means. But I have become profoundly comfortable with solitude, of sleeping alone, of coming home to an empty house in a way I never dreamed I would.

When I see what other people say, how they want someone to complete them, that their life is terrible without that special person, I don't understand that, because no person can do that, meet those emotional needs all the time.  We all have our moments of loneliness, but I am not lacking when it comes to companionship with kindred souls and that's a beautiful thing.

Monday, April 21, 2014

of gyros, brawls, records, and resurrections

Things that happened this weekend.

driving around running errands, listening to Subrosa with a fellow lover of big riffs who's not so much a friend so much as an enjoyable occasional acquaintance because we only hang out when circumstantials bring us together but when they do we have a great time.
Worked Record Store Day again this year and marveled at the weirdness, got paid in vinyl and was introduced to this fine band.
Ate gyros and skipped stones at the metroparks with the Kentinistas, listened to Creedence, basked in the sun, plotted future summer adventures mostly involving baseball games and MST3K nights.
 Hung out with family.
Found out there was a pretty big melee up the street from me thanks to some crazy-ass hardcore youth crew kids, not, as the commentariat on the local media newsrag suggests, "death metal wannabe thugs and their groupies." Sad that Metalsucks has a better summary than the local news outlet. Somehow end up on an 80's hardcore kick anyway even though my days of those kinds of pits are far behind me.
Me and Neighbor heard about the incident via the cops at our favorite diner, decided to drive past the aftermath, being all nosy and making Warriors and Outsiders jokes because no one got killed as far as his Spacephone told us and there were a bunch of straightedge kids carrying on a scene that I came late to ten years ago but they still like all those bands with the breakdowns. The party antics of The Supersuckers opening for the Toadies promoted a more traditional rock and roll lifestyle and Eddie Spaghetti live comes across as Lemmy Via Texas and it was fantastic even if we were all the way in the back and the crowd was mostly there for the headliner and wasn't sure what this tongue-in-cheekness was all about.

Sunday morning I wished I was in a better mood playing songs but such is life. Came home and slept on the porch, went to the folks' and ate too much, came home and slept early. Monday doesn't feel so bad.

Friday, April 18, 2014


I didn't know him that well, but he was always nice to me, we never had any deep conversations, he was a friendly face at family gatherings, sometimes I'd run into him out and about, he was dating my sister-in-law, he was the one that got my sister to the help she needed and then out of nowhere I get a phone call that he's dead at 22, that it was heroin, and I redact an impulsive bit of internet sadness and decide to grieve and process here pseudonymously and feel guilty a bit for being so raw and just want a hug and to be able to cry because I'm sick of watching everyone destroy themselves and I can't even understand it because it's never been the struggle for me.

It was so beautiful outside when I got home and I sat on the balcony and sobbed and texted my sister to see how she's holding up because I'm afraid she will relapse too. I felt strangely alone, and I just wanted to be around someone, anyone who'd remind me that this world isn't always cold and sad and get frustrated when the people who will vent all their sadnesses to me are distant when it comes to my own. I wouldn't have to talk about it too much, I just want the comfort of presence, for empathy, for a shoulder to cry on, but sometimes it seems like I'm asking for too much. 

 I had commitments that night to practice for the Easter morning service at church and I go there and break down again, because it's safe there, it's where people in my world have known me long enough to know all sides of me, and there's enough hugs and listening ears that I feel better even if I don't stay for the entire thing and retreat to the lake where I sat in the darkness watching the water swirl and silently poured out my thoughts and questions to God before heading home. It was good enough for my soul that I was able to fall asleep, and I realized last night who the ones I can lean on are, and maybe that's a good thing to know those things.

I don't really want to go anywhere tonight for Good Friday.  I don't really want to spend time with family members. It's hard to celebrate the concept of resurrection when death feels so real. I don't even know what I want, just that things feel sad right now and the world just feels too heavy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

cathartic sonic

I went to sleep early last night, passed out on the couch, not bothering to cook dinner, maybe it was the rain, who knows, and it was too cloudy to see any awesome astronomic phenomena.

I played music this morning though, and this time it veered a little more heavy, but I make the listeners happy, which is always good.


Monday, April 14, 2014

the warmth

Hovering between fits of melancholia over tea and moments of utter bliss was this weekend. I'm considering seeing what kind of supplements or what-have-you are worth taking because I get weirded out by serious meds and most of the time it really isn't all that bad.

I'm sure part of it has to do with some draining interactions this past week, of lonely seniors and those on the road to sobriety whose perceptions are profoundly clouded. You're judgmental, you really don't like me and just pretend to. And if I didn't like someone, I sure as heck wouldn't bother trying to meet up with them because I make time for the people I love. Also, evidently others don't see it that way, because evidently I'm just so chill that it's okay to cancel plans for bullshit reasons and then mumble 'sorry' and pass the buck to you when you call them on said bullshit. I'm cool with forgiveness, but I also believe in making clear that I don't expect much, and basic common courtesy of keeping your word and not blaming me for your bad behavior is pretty basic.

But I played tunes on the air this weekend, played requested Sleep and Opeth and The Sword and other duderific riffy tunes for the Saturday night masses. Got back in touch with an old homie who I haven't seen in almost a year thanks to his work schedule and seasonal ennui.

I forget the ease of our friendship, the way that we don't have to do much but just be together, and we spent a Sunday afternoon walking down to the lake, drinking smoothies on the jetty, eating ice cream on the pier and people-watching before taking the long way back to my neighborhood. It felt like summer, us in t-shirts, everyone being friendly to us in a part of town where interracial tends to bring more smiles than dirty looks.

I came home and cleaned off the balcony, talked on the phone with one of the neighbors and revelled in the warm breezes coming through my windows. It's cold again today but for everything I lose, I always seem to gain something else and that's strange and beautiful.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I don't wanna to be me

I admitted exhaustion today, exhaustion of being responsible for anything more than the paycheck, of coming home and feeling profoundly uncreative, feeling unable to do much besides share a meal with others and maybe read or stare blankly at the lake. The babies are easy because they don't ask for much. Of being unable to write songs, unable to paint anything beautiful, unmotivated to even cook, to plant seeds, to do anything, there are clothes all over the floor of my room that need to be put away, and every conversation has been exhausting, and sometimes the cloud lifts and then it descends again. Depression sucks. It's beautiful outside, I should be celebrating.

of time and sharks and internet

We've been reading 'The Time Regulation Committee' by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar for book club, of which two other members showed up at the house on Friday and we talked about sundry things and I drank tea instead of booze because I developed some kind of nasty cold or somesuch and woke up the next morning barely able to to get out of the driveway to go and try some kind of weird 19th century homeopathic business that worked quite well coupled with garlic and ample amounts of ginger tea. It was really good, reminded me of a less dystopian Kafka with a bit of wry Vonnegut thrown in and a lot of Turkish cultural references that I'm not sure I completely got.

And I spent the weekend holed up in the house listening to Nirvana and Alice in Chains and bringing order to my kitchen before finally feeling good enough to go over to my sister's to hang out with the little dudes and read science books about sharks to them which were mostly about how they kill and eat humans and whatnot, which inevitably led to me narrating about great whites and hammerheads in the Daria voice. We met up last night for Indian food and to walk down to the lake and let the rugrats run around the park, where fun was had by all.

FACT: The Vampire Squid is neither vampire nor squid!

 I also dipped my toes into the internets dating pool just to say I've tried it, because for as many people as I know this town and as many circles as I run in, most of my friends with similar beliefs are married (I am the only single 25-35 year old in my admittedly small congregation), and everyone else is drunk and there'd be other compatibility issues anyway (religion still being a dealbreaker, especially in these times where people make it more polarizing than it needs to be). It's a little disheartening to see how semi-literate and sports-obsessed everyone seems to be, and no I don't find your love of golf and television appealing at all and what kind of craft beer you drink doesn't automatically make you interesting or cultured.

I go hiking with one of the homegirls and we talk about this, she's met someone wonderful that way, but maybe it's easier for my progressive friends to find each other, such is life. At any rate, I'm not bored, and life stays interesting, and at least I know I won't settle for being bored with someone else.

The Internet's a strange beast and I realize that I don't like the way it makes people treat each other. I watched someone go vigilante being all big man behind the computer, knowing full well all the dirt on him and the way that he's treated others, and feel that sending incriminating internets dumbassery to the offenders' coworkers is a particularly low move, but also maybe I'm not much different by the sheer act of even writing this.

but we project these images of virtue, and kill each others' reputations so easily as plot points in our stories, and if anything I feel somewhat validated that my initial assessment was not far off at all, that all my gut feelings were right, that I did not want to partake in any association with this person.Others may disagree and do but the hypocrisy and vindictiveness and the projection of righteousness from those who I know have skeletons in the closet is a little hard to swallow. Maybe we all have these things and should be mindful.