March 5th, 2005.

Last night was a rough night. We played the College Perk, perhaps for the last time… that’s not a jibe at the Perk, that’s just an acknowledgement that they’re building a new venue in their backyard, and I’m eager to move into it. Before the gig, however, I went over to my parents to drop in and say hey.

My Dad transferred an hour plus of home videos to DVD a little while ago, and gave me a copy for Christmas. However, it was given with the disclaimer that I ought to wait and let my Dad narrate.

Well, we sat down for about an hour before I had to run over to the College Perk, and my Dad walked me through a collage of 8mm films beginning sometime in the early 70’s. I think we got about as far as 1977 or so, where my brother is still nothing but a squint-eyed lump sleeping on the floor, a puddle with a patch of hair on top that I toddle over to and poke periodically.

These dollar bills and three others like it were left in our tip jars at the New Deal Cafe. They declared “Life”, “Humility”, and “When will I be aware of your Love again?” All sorts of good stuff. A number of lines in what Heather recognized as Hebrew, as well. I’m going to have to look around and figure out whether these are specific lines or simply phrases scrawled on bills.

I must admit, looking at 30 year-old images of my parents tugs at me in a way that’s hard to explain. There’s a visceral knowledge that I’m seeing them then at the same age I am now. My mother is so beautiful, and my dad’s invisible, constantly behind the camera. Half-remembered textures swim out of the washed out colours on the tv screen and suddenly become almost tangible. Things like our old couch, or my old highchair – things that I don’t even remember that suddenly leap back into my skull…. things I haven’t seen since I was two years old.

So, I start thinking about my Life. I’m intensely thinking about where I am in my Life, if I’ve done enough, where I’m going, if my parents are proud of me, et cetera – not where I needed my head to be just before a gig. I was really upset, had to pull over on the way there.

So, arriving at the College Perk, I was trying hard to be personable, to be a happy fun rob, but it was hard enough to focus. And then I broke 6 strings.

This note was left in our tip jar at Java Mammas in Reisterstown this Saturday. I want to be banging. Sigh. I mean… not neccessarily with the Amandas – I mean as an adjective. Not as a verb. Or at least, well… now that I think about it….

Snow from last week. Heather got to romp around as it came down. I have any number of shots of this streetlight in the rain from when I was in highschool. It's one of my favourite light/tree combinations.
Snow from last week. Heather got to romp around as it came down. I have any number of shots of this streetlight in the rain from when I was in highschool. It’s one of my favourite light/tree combinations.

The Rabbit Army marches on Hyattsville. Has anyone else seen stencils like this?

Not all at once, of course – but still, it’s a record. Between that and Heather’s guitar going crazy, not to mention the fact that my new boots are slightly wider than my old boots, it was a night of chaos and discomfort. The second set was awesome, but the first set was an excercise in Hell.

Of course, what I’m forgetting to talk about was Seth Horan‘s set.

Now, I must admit, I didn’t get the chance to watch Seth’s WHOLE set. Rob the violinist popped up at the beginning of the night and I dragged him away to learn him some tunes (later, he sat in with us on Will, Molotov Swell, and Spiral).

But Seth is truly spectacular. We got to see him on Tuesday night during the open mic, and I even ended up driving him back to the Metro station – got an opportunity to really see him as a human being, as opposed to a touring singer/songwriter creature.

Coincidentally identically dressed ladies of Perk. Methinks that Rachael, Heather and Mitzi ought to form a girl band.
Coincidentally identically dressed ladies of Perk. Methinks that Rachael, Heather and Mitzi ought to form a girl band.
Russ, formerly of Milk Machine, showed up at last week's College Perk open mic. Haven't seen his unique stylings since the Java Head.
Russ, formerly of Milk Machine, showed up at last week’s College Perk open mic. Haven’t seen his unique stylings since the Java Head.
Ed Sheets on the left, and on the right, one of the most amazing bass players I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. Seth Horan, our opening act from last Friday night - in mid-wail.
Ed Sheets on the left, and on the right, one of the most amazing bass players I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. Seth Horan, our opening act from last Friday night – in mid-wail.
After the gig, I had no choice but to attack miss Amy Law. You know, for the sake of my sanity after all those technical difficulties. Not to mention my general overflow of post-gig tension. Poor Amy, she should've known better than to leave so much lap space available.
After the gig, I had no choice but to attack miss Amy Law. You know, for the sake of my sanity after all those technical difficulties. Not to mention my general overflow of post-gig tension. Poor Amy, she should’ve known better than to leave so much lap space available.

On Friday, he went ahead to demonstrate that he’s just a great performer. Everything his website claims and more. I think there’s some excellent mutual admiration going on there, and I’m really excited to play with him again. He just broadcast these rolling waves of 5 string thunder that roiled aroudn and through me. And then he threw his voice right through the middle of it. Definately someone you’ve GOT to experience.

Amy is the Imperious Leader that commanded this Centurion to bring me flowers. I can only imagine it must've been part of some vast anti-humanoid plot. Amy must be nuts. (HA!)
Amy is the Imperious Leader that commanded this Centurion to bring me flowers. I can only imagine it must’ve been part of some vast anti-humanoid plot. Amy must be nuts. (HA!)

March 8th, 2005.

Ha.
This time it made me cry
Because in the eyes
Of the mammoths that cling to the walls
I’m just one more pile
Discarded and dangling
Waiting for sorting
And sending away
God I’m so tired
Of hunting for signals
I’ve searched their eyes for an answer
But I am in danger
Of disrupting a schedule
With his rupturing liver
And his riddled Life-leaving
Leisions hungering piecemeal
For every part of his body
This time he made ME cry
As everything’s sinking
I’m sighing
And wishing
The heater would warm me
The warm red glow that I don’t care to turn off
Because maybe it will take me
Like God in my slumber
I’m too numb to wonder
I’m too tired to care.

March 10th, 2005.

And I am too tired to care. My head is unfocused, worried about so many different things. I’m scattered, and I feel like things are crashing down, crushing in. I want that tiny, tiny corner in the back of some basement room to open up and swallow me. I was listening to Seth Horan‘s album Conduit and realizing that I just don’t listen.

I somehow missed them when I saw him perform, but as I was heading up the slope of the Earth on I-95, the words of his tune “Anonymous” shook me.

You’re not a quitter just because you hate this chill.
Cause Even Ani flies South for the winter.
and Johnny’s long gone to the Hollywood Hills
You’ll be bitter if you wait around here too long
watching all your ex-lovers and all your friends
and recycling the same old songs
all alone among all these clones
growing slower than I ever planned
and even standing still

And I’m thinking – isn’t this me? Heading for anonymity? I suppose this isn’t going to be a popular entry, and I don’t mean to say that I don’t value my friends, because I do – I Love them deeply. But I’m tired of watching every word that I say. I guess the smart solution would be to shut up. Don’t sing, don’t write, certainly don’t publish it rantingly on the world wide web. But it’s the only quiet 3.30am outlet I’ve got…

I’m afraid I’m closing myself in concrete and stagnation. I’m sitting so still and bogging myself down in politics and website mechanics and trying to be so nice.

This isn’t the way I want it to end, with me slowly winding down, getting nowhere and just getting tired of scratching the same circles on doors and walls, watching people getting sick of my constantly recurring face. Inertia and momentum are dying, and entropy really is gripping me, and daily I feel less and less energy in my muscles – a failure, a slip, and it will drag me down into the quicksand of the everyday.

I was driving to the beltway exit near my parents’ house, leaving Seabrook behind again. There’s a homeless man that Lives beneath the underpass there by 495 – his darkened, leathery skin is a stark contrast to the bristling white of his hair and his beard, and ir’s 11 degrees outside. His sign has occupied any number of different sheets of cardboard. They must decay and blow away and warp, and that and survival are his never-ending ever-repeating tasks.

[I apologize for the photo dump. These are pictures from March 10th 2005 while visiting my parents, and they’ve got a lot more import as I’m redoing this – with the loss of my father, it’s good to see these pictures again… even if it’s just a weird picture of my mom’s cat, Rocket. – rob 2/4/18]
A “mouse mobile” I built for Odyssey of the Mind in elementary school. It was during this project that my science teacher put a drill bit through my finger… ah… memories….
I think my Aunt Laurie made this for me? I might be TOTALLY mistaken.
As we all remember from earlier in the Journal, walking cats doesn’t work. This is just a shot of my family (my brother, George and his fiance and my Dad) all NOT walking the cat. Lucky Luka.
George decides to go sledding.
More sensibly, George decides to go sliding.
George and my Dad and I rambled down to my old elementary school where we had to avoid the lava. With flaiming boots I naturally had the advantage. It’s strange. Not much is left of the original playground, and the entire thing has been moved. This new, brightly coloured monstrosity just isn’t the same.
Dee doo…
Cat hiding.
Mammoth hiding.
Feeling flush, I bought about a dozen of these woolly mammoths at a Target while I was working for Glovia – simply because I wanted to see the cashier’s expression as they all marched towards her on the conveyor….

I’ve long been fascinated by the homeless. Scratching a Living beneath the radar of the world. And this man has been a steady feature of the 495 underpass for at least a decade. I remember him from the school bus in high school, though then I think I was only dimly aware of what his existence really implied.

I remember him from as far back as 17 years ago. He’s almost always been there. I wonder where he came from, and how he gave up. And if I had the courage that I imply by my chosen existence, I’d know the answer already.

March 21st, 2005.

Ok, just a quick note. First day in the studio today. We recorded Will and Valeri and… well, they’re already better than anything else we’ve ever committed to tape/disc. Jason Slanga sat in the studio with us and helped us critique. Awwwesome.

Also, Heather and I have both been INDIVIDUALLY and separately selected as finalists in the Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival‘s singer/songwriter contest. There are only 10 finalists selected every year, so it’s pretty flattering, and for 20% of the contestents to be ilyAIMY…. that’s weird. Good, but weird.

The hallway at WRNR with Jen of Eighty1South.
The hallway at WRNR with Jen of Eighty1South.
All crammed into the elevator after the show at WRNR with Caitlin (of Eighty1South), Ward Morgan (in the back), Russanonymous (in the cap) and Hudson, of Hudson and Prout.
All crammed into the elevator after the show at WRNR with Caitlin (of Eighty1South), Ward Morgan (in the back), Russanonymous (in the cap) and Hudson, of Hudson and Prout.

March 22nd, 2005.

Exhausted. Oh so tired. I haven’t slept that bad in… I don’t know HOW long. I have the impression of having tossed and turned all night with this invisible pressure on top of me, choking the breath and the will out of me.I know it must have been obnoxious for Heather. I know she sleeps in between my thrashing harassments but every time I’d roll over she’d ask if I was okay. I can’t imagine she slept much better than I did.

Yet I don’t know what’s stressing me out.

For all intents and purposes, the world is full of good news. Between the SMAF stuff and our first two days in the studio, Life’s pretty good.

But my night was full of nightmares. My Father climbing on tables and applying scotch tape to the ceiling fan in my parents’ kitchen. Crouching mantis-like, he had seven rolls, and he kept selecting lengths of tape carefully from different rolls. Cats fighting, spitting and brawling. Arguments with strangers while lost in parking lots – driving up route 301 over and over again, driving back. People telling me that they recognize me from “that obscene Pikachu journal” that they’d linked to from Amazon. Scattered thoughts, broken imagery, my brain hurts.

Did I eat weird foods before bed? McDonalds and popcorn could be to blame. Weird movies? We watched Disney’s “Robin Hood”, and though some early 70’s flicks have some pretty bizarre mindtrips in them, “Robin Hood” gives nothing but Oodelally Golly What A Day. Didn’t even watch any Adult Swim. Ugh.

March 27th, 2005.

PLOJ XXXII went down last night. It was awesome. Sort of a Start of Spring Music Thing – there was an incredible energy there that hasn’t been around for a long time. A lot of people showed up that I hadn’t seen in a while, and …. well, also it was the first PLOJ in a long time – fucking fantastic night. Actually started a little earlier than usual, with people showing up and starting up at around 7, and we stayed up and playing later than usual. I went upstairs to bed at around 4am.

ilyAIMY at Puresound Studio in Odenton, MD. I’m not going to put much about that in here as that will be part of the new Studio Journal. Ignore the fact that Rowan is reorganizing Magic cards. He’s not a geek. Any other Magic players out there?

rob in the studio.
Heather in da boof.
[A lot of these photos were included in a separate “studio Journal” which I’m NOT transferring! – rob 2/4/18]

Sing into ROB.
Well, it gets hot in the studio….
This is Katie. She's 9, and apparently just a baby. We were told that she'll eventually weigh 11,000 pounds. My old VW bus weighed 1800lbs. That's unimaginable to me.
This is Katie. She’s 9, and apparently just a baby. We were told that she’ll eventually weigh 11,000 pounds. My old VW bus weighed 1800lbs. That’s unimaginable to me.
Last Wednesday, my Mom gave Heather and I tickets to go to the Barnum and Bailey Circus. We weren't quite sure what to make of the Greatest Show on Earth at first - but then as soon as Heather got her nose things relaxed.
Last Wednesday, my Mom gave Heather and I tickets to go to the Barnum and Bailey Circus. We weren’t quite sure what to make of the Greatest Show on Earth at first – but then as soon as Heather got her nose things relaxed.
At the circus. Very noisy kids behind us really took aversion to the singing of the National Anthem. I must admit I'm not terribly Nationally Anthemic myself, but still. It WAS one Hell of a show.
At the circus. Very noisy kids behind us really took aversion to the singing of the National Anthem. I must admit I’m not terribly Nationally Anthemic myself, but still. It WAS one Hell of a show.
The ringleader (Kevin Vernados) singing his little heart out at the circus. I was amazed by the show they put on. He had a very good voice, and sort of sang us through the entire night. Stilt-walkers, horses, ponies and sheepdog choruses. Motorcycle insanity and the fantastic Crazy ... Milton... or something. Wilson! Crazy Wilson. He sure was crraazy!
The ringleader (Kevin Vernados) singing his little heart out at the circus. I was amazed by the show they put on. He had a very good voice, and sort of sang us through the entire night. Stilt-walkers, horses, ponies and sheepdog choruses. Motorcycle insanity and the fantastic Crazy … Milton… or something. Wilson! Crazy Wilson. He sure was crraazy!

March 31st, 2005.

The time is slipping swiftly, and inevitably, as the days pass by, more and more of you complain about the lack of Journal entries. The ilyAIMY Journal seems to be a popular item to do for the Bored-At-Work crowd, and this… this I understand. Afterall, I would become truly frustrated with web comics that petered off – Sinfest? You know who you are. You got less funny. And I got tired. Sexy Losers? Oh your perversity has always been grand – to the point that I was somewhat afraid of viewing you at work… but then updates were only once a month, and then rarer and rarer – and eventually I stopped checking. Maybe I’ll check today.

In any case – let me upDate you, dear reader…
now, again – a lot of what’s been going on in my world has been family-oriented. I can’t really go on about it here. Those of you who know, already know, and for those of you who don’t, let’s just say me and my family are grateful for any positive energy you choose to send us. In any case, because I tend to just type whatever’s on my mind, and my family has been occupying my brain to my brainhilt recently, that’s why I’ve been bad about writing.

Heather in a pot…
We’ve spent a LOT of time at my parents’ recently, and Heather’s been bonding with Luka… Or at least she’s been grabbin’ him.
Preparing for PLOJ by cutting up ze peppers. And making sure my camera's working.
Preparing for PLOJ by cutting up ze peppers. And making sure my camera’s working.
PLOJ XXXII. Heather's insane. Also pictured - Kali of the Folk Art Studio, Allie - the best local voice around, Amy Law - her artwork. Heather's mom's a knittin in the foreground. No massive knitting circle this time around, which was a shame. It was kind of cool doing the PLOJ during Amy's art show - it made it even homier, doing all this music, seeing all these people while surrounded by her artwork. It lent something really incredible to the ambiance of the night.
PLOJ XXXII. Heather’s insane. Also pictured – Kali of the Folk Art Studio, Allie – the best local voice around, Amy Law – her artwork. Heather’s mom’s a knittin in the foreground. No massive knitting circle this time around, which was a shame. It was kind of cool doing the PLOJ during Amy’s art show – it made it even homier, doing all this music, seeing all these people while surrounded by her artwork. It lent something really incredible to the ambiance of the night.

Last Saturday was PLOJ XXXII. That means the next one gets to be three x’s and three I’s, and that’s appealing to me. Numbers have a lot of power in my head, and I’m always a bit overjoyed when they add up just right. The beauty of rounded figures in Life and arithmitic is something programmed into me at a visceral level. It explains a lot, really.

PLOJ XXXII was one of the best, I think. I’m afraid I might say that about ever PLOJ, but this one especially just fit my head well. There’s a wonder to things that happen at just the right time. This PLOJ brought together a lot of old friends, and a lot of people that I hadn’t seen in a long time – I was overjoyed to have a night so full of flirtation and music. It could have been perfected by old-school presences like Syl and Audrey and maybe even Little Michael, but it wasn’t destined to be.

Waverly Milor came over from an earlier gig with JR. Mark Sylvestor also showed up. A lot of surprise visitors. PLOJ XXXII really was one of the absolutely best PLOJes ever.
Waverly Milor came over from an earlier gig with JR. Mark Sylvestor also showed up. A lot of surprise visitors. PLOJ XXXII really was one of the absolutely best PLOJes ever.
Surprise visit from JR Robusto. He moved to Sedona, AZ a couple of months ago, and has really inspired me to figure out our way back into the desert. It was so awesome to see him again. He came out and tore my guitar apart, and reminded me that I have sooooo much to learn. I just sat there soaking it in. With my jaw hanging open.
Surprise visit from JR Robusto. He moved to Sedona, AZ a couple of months ago, and has really inspired me to figure out our way back into the desert. It was so awesome to see him again. He came out and tore my guitar apart, and reminded me that I have sooooo much to learn. I just sat there soaking it in. With my jaw hanging open.

In the process of setting up the Exclusive ilyANGEL stuff, I’ve been sorting through old, old recordings. Things made in dorm rooms, and even recordings made from the first rwo Pot Lucks. I worry about the NSA as I’ve been playing SOME of these songs for a long, long, looong time.

In any case, I’m truly amazed that Chuck (Chelsea’s Dad) came all the way up from Richmond. He’s made us a regular stop now – he doesn’t miss the PLOJes, and I think that that’s awesome. JR even stopped in – he’s visiting breifly, back from Sedona. Arizona has really agreed with him. He’s vibrant and frenetic and his fingers (if possible) are even FASTER. We played an awesome, jaw-dropping version of LooseN.

In any case, the PLOJ went on till around 3am, and then we hung out (actual friends!!! ACTUALLY hanging out!! – when did I get so old that things like THAT didn’t happen anymore?!!?). (that’s the wrong question, as I think it’s now that most of my friends have day jobs, and THEY can’t do it anymore…). It was a good feeling, collapsing on couches and wishing the mess away.

Nathaniel in the middle. Bill Mulroney playing guitar on the right there. I think it's guys like this who have a real repetoire of songs under their belts that often hold the Pot Lucks together. They have material that the rest of us can follow, and often even sing along with. Unfortunately, I'm also suspicious that one of them started American Pie. Ohhhh... SOMEONE's in trouble. On the left is Derrick. Really good player. I hadn't seen him before, was really pleased to meet him.
Nathaniel in the middle. Bill Mulroney playing guitar on the right there. I think it’s guys like this who have a real repetoire of songs under their belts that often hold the Pot Lucks together. They have material that the rest of us can follow, and often even sing along with. Unfortunately, I’m also suspicious that one of them started American Pie. Ohhhh… SOMEONE’s in trouble. On the left is Derrick. Really good player. I hadn’t seen him before, was really pleased to meet him.
In the foreground - Rob on fiddle. Behind him you've got Sarah also on fiddle. The two of them together were a really cool combination. There's Chuck on guitar (Chelsea Kerwath's father). I'm really flattered - he regularly drives up from Richmond to attend the PLOJes.
In the foreground – Rob on fiddle. Behind him you’ve got Sarah also on fiddle. The two of them together were a really cool combination. There’s Chuck on guitar (Chelsea Kerwath’s father). I’m really flattered – he regularly drives up from Richmond to attend the PLOJes.

In the far, dim, back of some of these pictures you can see Rachel. Oh Rachel of the fanciful dreadlocked hair… we met her in a bar in Fell’s Point, I think. She was there to see another band, and worked at a Starbucks. Now she tours the country further than we do, supporting another acoustic act. She Lives at a farm and radiates freedom and carefree – beyond that that I can even aspire too. I just get too uptight.

And yet she’s melancholy, sometimes. She watches from the back. Always so quiet. She’s a Lovely presence, and falls into the category of People That I Never Expect to See.

Upright bass player - Jamie, she came with Eldritch. She let me play.... shit... I don't remember the name of the bass! But she let me play her bass on a couple of tunes. I'm really out of practice and I've got a huuuge blister to show for my trouble. And in the background - another surprise visitor - Rachel just got back from touring with another band. She's radiant.
Upright bass player – Jamie, she came with Eldritch. She let me play…. shit… I don’t remember the name of the bass! But she let me play her bass on a couple of tunes. I’m really out of practice and I’ve got a huuuge blister to show for my trouble. And in the background – another surprise visitor – Rachel just got back from touring with another band. She’s radiant.
Sleepy Sharif. Janna taking advantage of a soft surface.
Sleepy Sharif. Janna taking advantage of a soft surface.
Sharif asleep. PLOJ ended at around 4am. He was all tuckered out.
Sharif asleep. PLOJ ended at around 4am. He was all tuckered out.