May 3rd, 2004.

Today is a frustrating day. The last week has been fantastic. We have played many a gig – we played outdoors in Frederick, indoors in Frederick – now we’ll go BACK to Frederick THIS week… but today has been frustrating.

I finally have my fancy computer back from Alienware – and that’s awesome, but they also sent it back with a huge bill, and as of yet STILL haven’t explained what work was done. My brain is reeling from that – my internet connexion keeps crapping out – my head isn’t currently able to wrap around the fourteen billion things I’m trying to accomplish all at the same time…. it’s like – every time I think I’m just about to get a handle on things, something else crops up. Either Heather asks me if something’s done, or I run across the damned brown envelope, reminding me that I need to get my Saturn inspected to make sure that it’s at least as environmentally friendly as the SUVs everyone’s got.


rob and Sharif in the WOBC archives o records.

Sigh, it’s a grumpy day. On the other hand – I like reading our new forums, and we just landed a gig at a Nudist Colony. Life is just weird. Sorry – Clothing Optional Resort.

A frustrating world we Live in. I just don’t own that much… a car and a computer and a couple of guitars… which I guess, when I think about it, IS an awful lot – but it seems unfair that I can get hit with repairs for one and upkeep on another. I don’t know how people survive.

Sunday, we went to the Sheep and Wool Festival and watched the fantastically fantastic sheep dog demonstration. I kept having flashbacks from Babe, though - and wanted to see a sheep pig. Or perhaps a shig.
Sunday, we went to the Sheep and Wool Festival and watched the fantastically fantastic sheep dog demonstration. I kept having flashbacks from Babe, though – and wanted to see a sheep pig.
Or perhaps a shig.
I don't think he did this on purpose. I'm sure he was pushed.
I don’t think he did this on purpose. I’m sure he was pushed.

Now that I no longer have a day job, I feel like I can legitimately keep up – I mean, there are certainly days, like today, when I feel overwhelmed – but when I still had a day job eating up x hours a week, I really felt like I couldn’t keep up. How does someone deal with the MVA if they can’t take a whole day to do it? How do you get your car repaired? How do you meet other people?

What happened to all that leisure time we gained when our ancestors started clubbing buffalo and we no longer had to spend all of our waking hours grubbing for berries and bird eggs? Sigh – I guess what I’m saying, is I just don’t have enough time to procrastinate like I’d like to.

So, I’m thinking about this Clothing Optional gig now – and I’m reading what Christine Lavin had to say about playing there (they didn’t buy many CDs, since they had no money with them, since they had no pockets)… and I’m reading about the fact that they have a folk festival (which We’re About 9 is playing) and a regular coffeehouse music series (which the Dreamscapes Project is playing)… and … well… everyone’s played to naked people but us. Time to get on the ole naked bus…. I guess. Hrm.

 

May 4th, 2004.

A couple more pics from the Sheep and Wool Festival… Mitzi and I kept poking him because he was just so… floofy and irresistable, really. Fantastic creature.

You know rob didn’t take this picture because there’s children in it, but I couldn’t resist. I passed the lemonade kiosk at the Sheep and Wool Festival to find one of those images that just makes you think that God must be a photographer. Twin red heads working hard making the lemonade. Can you tell which one thought I was a weird lady for taking their picture?

We played the Mojo Room tonight. Last night I got an email from their booking agent, asking if ilyAIMY would play a couple nights later, and so we figured we’d better go check the place out.

I actually kind of liked the place… a lot. A cool vibe, and the people there were… colourful. People who looked like they should fit into particular stereotypes, and then completely screwed with your preconceptions.

Great spiral staircase, as well.

Dave Morreale getting assaulted by a parrot at the Frederick Coffee Company. It ate his button
Dave Morreale getting assaulted by a parrot at the Frederick Coffee Company. It ate his button.

Freakish dreams last night. I don’t think I should talk about them. The new quote on the quotes page really tells the whole story.

May 5th, 2004.

More freakish dreams tonight – riding home with Snoop Dogg – he knew Cypress Hill and hooked me up with an illustration job doing their next album cover before dropping me off at my parents’ house where my old VW bus was waiting…

But even more freakish things awaited me in the news today:

Heather frequently drops the comment that she “never expected to Live in THIS country.” She’s referring to the current era of censorship and … is it fear of stating one’s mind? And the fact that no-one has anything to say about it… news stories just come and go and make very few ripples.

I guess the first moment where I’d really started paying attention to our native complacency was with the whole child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church… I mean, imagine what would’ve happened if children had started coming forth about rampant molestation in the Baltimore County school system… that teachers who had been discovered raping their students had then been quietly transferred to other schools where the community didn’t know them …and then the head of Baltimore County Schools came out and said “don’t worry about that, we’ve known about it for quite a while and we’ll take care of it.”

The fact that there is even the QUESTION as to whether or not Catholic sex offenders should be turned over for prosecution…

More recently, stories keep surfacing – and not on the conspiracy pages – on AP distributed news stories! I read them over lunch, and Heather goes berzerk… and we go berzerk that no-one else is going berzerk!

A couple of weeks ago it was reported that NASA scientists had been told to not comment on the science in the new disaster flick “the Day After Tomorrow”. The stated reason is that NASA didn’t want to make any of George Bush’s environmental policies look bad….

And today, Christy Lemire, AP Entertainment Writer – writes that Disney has shut down Michael Moore, refusing to distribute his new documentary, because it’s critical of Bush’s handling of 9.11. And this I can understand – companies SHOULD be allowed to decide which sort of political agenda they support… but then they give their reason: it’s not that they disagree with Moore’s point of view, rather they are afraid of endangering “tax breaks the company receives from Florida, where Bush’s brother Jeb is governor.”

Heather and I at the Mojo Room.
Heather and I at the Mojo Room.
Award for weirdest instrument I've ever seen at an open mic goes to this guy at the South Beach Cafe. Don't ask - I have NO idea what it was - sounded like a cross between a sitar and a didjeredo.
Award for weirdest instrument I’ve ever seen at an open mic goes to this guy at the South Beach Cafe. Don’t ask – I have NO idea what it was – sounded like a cross between a sitar and a didjeredo.

The world is getting unfriendly, rapidly. Good thing I’m not some sort of revolutionary.


But on the other hand, after an angry letter, Alienware has decided that the $700+ bill for my repairs were a mistake. Score for me! And I get to go back to telling people that I LOVE my computer again.

May 7th, 2004.

Last night, lost and wandering in Bethesda, eventually we reached our goal. We set up and played out and strained to make ourselves heard to the rapidly emptying South Beach Restaurant. We did ok – met some good people.

But the drive home was the wonderful thing – I find that the best thing in the world is driving home from gigs with Amy and Heather in the car – playing CDs and letting them fill the cabin with added harmonies. Heather with her lilt and Amy with her husky throatiness.

A good night.

Today it’s been a slow start, it’s 4.17pm and we’re JUST getting on the road. Not a big deal, I suppose, as there’s nothing in particular on the schedule at the Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival that I NEED to go see right this minute, it’s more a matter of the way my brain works and WANTING a coherent schedule.

As it is, we’re racing North to run away from the thunderstorms. I just bought a new power inverter, and we’re testing to see if it will ACTUALLY charge my Alienware monstrosity off the car battery, or if the Alienware monstrosity just THINKS it’s charging off the car battery.

Heather type roads - over grown and green and curvy. Soo curvy.
Heather type roads – over grown and green and curvy. Soo curvy.

In the meantime, we’re taking backroads all the way out to Darlington – third gear and two hands on the wheel. I always forget how rural Maryland can be – how beautiful just a mile or two out of suburbia.

DCF 1.0

What can I say? The day turned to shit, but it’s the other guy’s fault. Heather’s mom picked us up off the side of the road after a State Trooper and a guy with a broom cleaned the remains of Heather’s Saturn off of state road 165.

But Heather and I are alive. A silver Volvo turned across traffic in front of us and we plowed into it at around 40mph. I didn’t see it happen. I was working on the website, typing the above and Heather said “Oh shit.” A very calm statement, and I looked up very calmly – and there was a silver Volvo coming through our engine.

God, my body just hurts.

Heather and I are bruised – Heather’s burned from the air bag… I was aware for a long time of sitting in the car as it filled with smoke, Heather was calling me from the side of the road – and I just couldn’t get myself to move. I remember falling out of Aunt Penny’s cherry tree and winding myself… it felt like I was detached from my body and I just felt too tired to answer.

Heather and I are alive, but I felt like we failed or something, being dragged back to start, watching the road roll back in reverse as Mara drove us home. We hadn’t played, and I just felt like we’d been caught and were being dragged back by the scruff of our necks.

And my chest just HURTS.

Heather says she feels like she had a makeout session with sandpaper.

This fucker pulled out in front of us - looking at it after the fact, I don't see how he failed to see the big red Saturn flying down the road towards him. About eight EMTs showed up on the scene - one was driving behind us, one Lived in the house we had the accident in front of... other passerbys stopped to check on us, and most of THEM were medics of some sort or another. We had firemen and ambulances... and one State Trooper who showed up and wrote the other driver a $300 ticket for negligent driving.
This fucker pulled out in front of us – looking at it after the fact, I don’t see how he failed to see the big red Saturn flying down the road towards him. About eight EMTs showed up on the scene – one was driving behind us, one Lived in the house we had the accident in front of… other passerbys stopped to check on us, and most of THEM were medics of some sort or another. We had firemen and ambulances… and one State Trooper who showed up and wrote the other driver a $300 ticket for negligent driving.
DCF 1.0
DCF 1.0

It sucks to be heading to page 300 – a turning of the third hundred and we watch our Saturn get swept up by a tow-truck driver.

Heather is sprawled on one couch, I’m huddled on the other. Tomorrow is just going to be worse. I think we’re going to play a really gentle set in Frederick tomorrow.

Sigh. Let's try to look on the bright side... on the way down to the South Beach last night we passed a cat in the back of a car. It was big and white and fluffy. Amy snapped this, but unfortunately didn't roll the window down. The driver turned when he saw the flash and Amy did a delightful little tinkly wave - smiled... and then we passed him.
Sigh. Let’s try to look on the bright side… on the way down to the South Beach last night we passed a cat in the back of a car. It was big and white and fluffy. Amy snapped this, but unfortunately didn’t roll the window down. The driver turned when he saw the flash and Amy did a delightful little tinkly wave – smiled… and then we passed him.

May 9th, 2004.

We played last night – and maybe that was a bad idea – Heather hurts a LOT today, and we headed out to the hospital to do what…. to do what we knew we should’ve done right at the beginning.

We were poked and we were prodded, we were told to push and squeeze, and much as expected, all of the above activities hurt in one way or another. Heather got x-rays, I got drugs – and now we’re exploring our options… horribly aware that everything we do relies on having a viable vehicle, and horribly aware that we no longer have one.

We’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, I’ve loaded a new recording of Will up to Garageband.com, and I’m frustrated because at the last second it ended up in “Alternative”, which I’m not sure I agree with. I’m worried that that will screw up our already difficult to categorize world.

It’s been a rough weekend.

I’m sorting through music – listening to forgotten things, hidden on my harddrive. I’ve just run across an act I only vaguely remember having heard of – I have no idea where it would’ve come from – “Black Lab”. Gorgeous, gorgeous song “Gates of the Country”.

May 12th, 2004.

Erf – well, the Journal hasn’t got much to do in the way of upDating right now, as Heather and I aren’t really DOING anything other than sitting around waiting for our next doctor’s appointment.

It’s frustrating, and we hurt – and if we ever get an all-purpose full-out agent, he’s dealing with medical shit as well. Any second now, I’m going to get up my gumption and go pick up the latest batch of painkilling muscle relaxing prescriptions – and then the Journal ought to get REALLY interesting.

Doing some initial artwork for Symbiont's new album cover.
Doing some initial artwork for Symbiont’s new album cover.
Well, that's gonna leave a mark...
Well, that’s gonna leave a mark…
Well, that's the sign of a good pack, right? This is the only damage to the gear...
Well, that’s the sign of a good pack, right? This is the only damage to the gear…

May 14th, 2004.

There are too many remotes in this house. Last night’s show undid all of my shoulder healing, I fear, and all I want to do is lie on the couch with my laptop and see what’s on the Scifi channel… but I’ve found five remotes so far, and none of them will turn the television on.

Shortly after the accident, we did get a visit from our favourite creature - Sheila pulled up with Caramia, the Lovin cat. It's amazing how much she's grown - before we left on the Trip, she could fit in the palm of my hand. Now she's a full-grown cat, but she stalks our hand and needs our affection, without any of the haughty contempt so freely available from other felines... Cara LIKES people - even the ones who don't feed her.
Shortly after the accident, we did get a visit from our favourite creature – Sheila pulled up with Caramia, the Lovin cat. It’s amazing how much she’s grown – before we left on the Trip, she could fit in the palm of my hand. Now she’s a full-grown cat, but she stalks our hand and needs our affection, without any of the haughty contempt so freely available from other felines… Cara LIKES people – even the ones who don’t feed her.

Oh my God. This is excruciating. Why can’t I have rockstar problems? You know – a lot of women trying to follow me home, too much fanmail to read, the roadies got the wrong colour of M&Ms into the dressing rooms… instead, my shoulder hurts too much to move, and my dandruff is kicking up.

Death.

And I have the hiccups. Nothing hurts more than hiccups. Unless I sneeze. I’m sure I have a razor blade around here somewhere… just in case I feel like I’m going to sneeze.

Razor blade… but no damn remote.

Ok, now, lest thee pass judgement on my choices – I want to make it clear, that from 10-4 on most weekdays, the Scifi channel frequently has some sort of marathon on. On good days it’s classic Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica is a particular favourite, and what I’m hoping for – what I’ve had a craving for – is Buck Rogers.

However, on bad days it’s Crossing Over, the Incredible Hulk, or in extreme cases… like today… Sliders.

Damn. FX? Crap. Toon? Crap. TNT? Crap. AMC? Crap. TCM? Crap. OnDemand? Crap.

Crap.

Guess I’ll just type away then.

So, it’s amazing to me that it’s been a week since the accident now. My chest feels a lot better, my knee feels a lot better, elbow – better, foot – better, back – could be better, but my left shoulder is soo much worse that I can’t bend enough to check it out. I pretty much slept through most of last weekend, with the exception of a gig, so that sort of explains the lost time, but – I guess I measure our time by how much we play – and if I want to find a reasonable clock to measure the last week, it would have to be doctor visits and pills.

Sunday, after Saturday’s show, Mara finally talked us in to going to the ER to get our aching bodies checked out. We were poked and prodded and tested for breakage. We squoze and were squozen, and in general, left feeling worse than we had when we went in. We were prescribed pain killers and muscle relaxants, and diagnosed with strains and sprains and (in my case) “cervical strain” which turns out to be whiplash under a weird name.

Mara went out to get the mail on Saturday - and spotted a note on MY car. Fearing the worst, she was relieved to discover this care package left by Ray. Cookies and tiger balm. The former we ate, the latter I could really use right now... but I can't... quite... reach.
Mara went out to get the mail on Saturday – and spotted a note on MY car. Fearing the worst, she was relieved to discover this care package left by Ray. Cookies and tiger balm. The former we ate, the latter I could really use right now… but I can’t… quite… reach.
Audience creatures gather around Sharif and Heather at the Frederick Coffee Company. Sarah we haven't seen in two years (she left us for Panama... psh!) and then we've got a couple of newbies too - the guy on the right has the coolest stance in the world, and I think Heather and I might have to argue a bit and try and remember if he had an accent. At times he did, and at times I don't think he did... but he's the kind of guy who really, really needs one.
Audience creatures gather around Sharif and Heather at the Frederick Coffee Company. Sarah we haven’t seen in two years (she left us for Panama… psh!) and then we’ve got a couple of newbies too – the guy on the right has the coolest stance in the world, and I think Heather and I might have to argue a bit and try and remember if he had an accent. At times he did, and at times I don’t think he did… but he’s the kind of guy who really, really needs one.

Later, we went to another doctor, in the hopes that he could give a little more detailed info on what we should and shouldn’t be doing – the hospital had been somewhat reassuring, but truthfully, we’d had the opportunity to talk to a doctor for about 5 minutes total, and now I was getting some really frightening numbness in my left arm…

So, more prodding, more poking – and new prescriptions for strong painkillers and stronger muscle relaxants – and a new prescription for physical therapy. I’m assured that the numbness should go away as my shoulder heals.

I’ve always, always been afraid of something happening to my left hand. In tae kwon do I favoured my right arm to the point that you can now literally see a difference in the musculature… I can lift whatever I damn well please with my right arm – but my left hand is where alll the drawing and guitar and… well, my right hand is good for throwing frisbees and scratching backs.

And there’s something to be said for that – but it was really good to hear a doctor telling me that that sometimes happened, and that it’s the muscle in my shoulder pinching around nerves, and that the physical therapy especially should really help.

Now listening to the Bangles, “Following”. If you don’t know this song, you really should. It’s not anything like their “Manic Monday” or “Walk Like an Egyptian” anthems. This is truly one of the best songs ever recorded.

Well, when we missed a turn while searching for the salvage yard that held the Saturn, we finally made it to Darlington - our destination last Friday.
Well, when we missed a turn while searching for the salvage yard that held the Saturn, we finally made it to Darlington – our destination last Friday.
This is me trying to salvage our CD changer. We eventually had to rip it apart to get the CDs back out - afterall, it had one of Amy's mixes held hostage inside. Unacceptable.
This is me trying to salvage our CD changer. We eventually had to rip it apart to get the CDs back out – afterall, it had one of Amy’s mixes held hostage inside. Unacceptable.

If you can’t find it, get it from me – The Bangles – Different Light album was one of my very first cassettes. I got it and Boston’s Third Stage for Christmas from my parents one year. It was my first foray into the world of owning my own music, and I played this cassette almost to death.

Up until recently, I’d run across the tape once every couple of years, and be struck by the last song on the second side. I’d know a little more about guitar every time I rediscovered the song – and could appreciate a bit more of the hammer-ons and the harmonics – but all in all, it truly is one of the most haunting songs that I’ve ever heard.

Heather has stumbled downstairs, and now we’re filling the Living room with little grunts and moans… and not in a good way.

We tried to get a sponsorship from Saturn cause it had served us well. They were unimpressed.
We tried to get a sponsorship from Saturn cause it had served us well. They were unimpressed.
The Mojo Room and Lounge... there's that gorgeous spiral staircase in the background.
The Mojo Room and Lounge… there’s that gorgeous spiral staircase in the background.

Last night’s show at the Mojo Room was made worth it by the other acts. Here, finally – a REAL night of spectacular performers – and we played to an audience of 13 people, including one another, the bartender, and the booking agent.

Now THAT’s just not right. Austin Stahl / Private Eleanor’s CD, Deciduous remains one of my favourite overall albums. From it’s handcrafted exterior, to the low-fi four-track recordings that make up it’s sadly short playlist – it’s just a heartbreakingly passionate thing. And the Mojo Room is the first place where I’ve seen him that had a soundsystem capable of supporting his whispering vocals.

The Chris and Jolene show, other Baltimore natives and Jahva House compatriots – ended the night, playing to a slowly emptying room just after midnight. I felt so guilty exiting that room, but the pain was settling in from our set, and we NEEDED to go…

But thank goodness (or thank Erica, as the case may be) that we played that night, if only to see Porterdavis – a fantastic duo out of Texas. Their mp3s don’t do them justice – and their vocal harmonies and spectacular percussion are well worth seeing. Shame they just left the country.

Heather bought their latest EP, and I just hope hope hope that it sounds like what we heard last night.

Folk musicians all have too much time on their hands, and screw up their albums with useless and distracting extras.

So sad.

Listening to Ani Difranco – Sorry I Am”. Remembering old girlfriends.

Making a mix to remember lost Love.

Austin Stahl as Private Eleanor - the opening act of last night's gig.
Austin Stahl as Private Eleanor – the opening act of last night’s gig.
Porterdavis, of Austin, Texas. It took them half of one song to hook us.
Porterdavis, of Austin, Texas. It took them half of one song to hook us.

May 16th, 2004.

Saturday, Heather and I wandered around Ellicott City - blowing bubbles, window shopping, and slipping on rocks. Waving the bubble wand is actually spectacular therapy, and we got the first smile out of Heather practically since the accident.
Saturday, Heather and I wandered around Ellicott City – blowing bubbles, window shopping, and slipping on rocks. Waving the bubble wand is actually spectacular therapy, and we got the first smile out of Heather practically since the accident.

Sitting through movies while the body knits. Well, Mara knits – rob and Heather heal. In the past few days we’ve watched Troy – Brennan and Tori came by and picked us up and dragged us out and it was vastly appreciated. Unfortunately, the movie was crap.

Then last night, we sat and watched Catch Me If You Can – which was awesome and I suggest everyone run out and watch it RIGHT NOW!!! if only for the opening sequence…

And today, Justin and David and Heather and I all went out to see Van Helsing. That one’s awwwesome.

We chased fish and tadpoles and fooled with freaky moss gunk. Beautiful day down by the river in Ellicott. Heather actually had wanted to go get measured for her industrial, but the place was closed - so we were forced to amuse ourselves.
We chased fish and tadpoles and fooled with freaky moss gunk. Beautiful day down by the river in Ellicott. Heather actually had wanted to go get measured for her industrial, but the place was closed – so we were forced to amuse ourselves.
DCF 1.0
Heather and I at Caribou Coffee in Owings Mills. Great show - great photographs by Justin Lloyd. We had begun the evening playing outside, competing with the fountain and the traffic and the strip-mall speakers spouting disco tunes and easy listening favourites. Half-way through the night, dodging wind-tossed umberellas, we moved the gig inside - and then the storm struck, with rivers of water pouring through out of the sky, sending parking lot wanderers scurrying.
Heather and I at Caribou Coffee in Owings Mills. Great show – great photographs by Justin Lloyd. We had begun the evening playing outside, competing with the fountain and the traffic and the strip-mall speakers spouting disco tunes and easy listening favourites. Half-way through the night, dodging wind-tossed umberellas, we moved the gig inside – and then the storm struck, with rivers of water pouring through out of the sky, sending parking lot wanderers scurrying.
After the gig, Heather displayed her spectacular slug-wrangling skills and caught me about five of the beasts. I'd been wanting to get photographs of them, and had been calling them for days, but I guess it was the cool night and low-lying fog that brought them forth.
After the gig, Heather displayed her spectacular slug-wrangling skills and caught me about five of the beasts. I’d been wanting to get photographs of them, and had been calling them for days, but I guess it was the cool night and low-lying fog that brought them forth.
Beautiful, beautiful slug. I was immediately entranced. We brought them inside after a while, and played with them on a plate on the kitchen table. They tried to make their escape, but Heather harassed and coralled, till they collapsed into broken, trained, tame little slug lumps.
Beautiful, beautiful slug. I was immediately entranced. We brought them inside after a while, and played with them on a plate on the kitchen table. They tried to make their escape, but Heather harassed and coralled, till they collapsed into broken, trained, tame little slug lumps.

 

May 17th, 2004.

First day of physical therapy. I’m sitting in the waiting room, waiting. Heather will be due out momentarily, I suppose – in the meantime, my brain is probing my body – like a tongue looking for a missing tooth (half-remembered memories of being… eight?)… I’m looking for what? Pain? Relaxation? For the tingling to stop?

The skies have turned glowery while I was in the dark, contemplating the electrodes on my back. It looks like we’ll be driving home in a storm – perhaps more electricity for us.

 And I hate the way that all the questions you want to ask the doctor occur to you the moment after the doctor retreats past the receptionist, back into the inner-sanctum.

I wonder what impressions I leave with these medical professionals who see me so nervous, so vulnerable. Does a doctor realize how nervous we are when we come in? Everything everyone has told me about “physical therapy” is that it’ll probably hurt later… so I’m wary in approaching.

“Rehab At Work” is a dingy sort of looking suite – more akin at first glance to the clinics I would visit back in Baltimore, or an office basement gym. A lot of towels are used here, and there’s even a washer-dryer in constant use just outside of the reception area. The women who work here remind me of laundry women – with strong hands `that I guess, in this context, are more calloused from moving over-stressed limbs back and forth than broom handles and laundry baskets. Practical women with practical manners.

There is thunder in the distance – and summer heat waiting outside the windows. Yup, might be a rough drive back.