April 24th, 2004.

Oberlin Ohio, as has been related, is absolutely beautiful, though perhaps too small for my taste. It’s bigger than California (7 numbered streets and three cross streets named after fruit), but not by much.

Our host, Aaron, gave us a patch of floor and a tour and then let us loose, as he was neck deep in preparations for the upcoming festival… all of this was actually in the couple of hours before Sharif made it up, so we got to be all knowledgeable at him when he arrived.

Aaron took us on a tour of he Oberlin campus, which is filled with an eclectic collection of buildings, many of which resemble churches, but aren't.This is "Fairkid" Chapel.
Aaron took us on a tour of he Oberlin campus, which is filled with an eclectic collection of buildings, many of which resemble churches, but aren’t.This is “Fairkid” Chapel.
Another beautiful Oberlin building. This has a big domed observatory on the other side.
Another beautiful Oberlin building. This has a big domed observatory on the other side.
Beautifully lit churchy parts.
Beautifully lit churchy parts.
Oh, the insolence of those nutsy college kids.
Oh, the insolence of those nutsy college kids.

The Beltane Festival itself was fantastic. Smaller, perhaps than I had hoped, but all in all it was an awesome time… so many moods over the course of the day. Aaron has yet another house-guest on his floor for the night, and we’re rehashing the festival, rehashing the moods. We’ve both retreated back to the house, tired of all the people… Miriam is crashed on the OTHER side of the floor (I explained that THIS patch of floor was the ilyAIMY side) with Aaron’s little cat. She has latched her claws in to Miriam’s sleeping bag and has decided that YES – this is where she shall clean EVERY part of her body. (the cat, not Miriam – all of that made sense, right?)

Sharif and I celebrate the grass and the overwhelming yellow of dandelions. Both of us ended up dusted in pollen and attacked by bees. We spent most of Friday night like this, wandering around before heading over to the drive-in. We lead a particularly good Life at the moment. We’re not QUITE worried about money, balancing on a fine edge between scraping by and… not. I could very much Live the rest of my Life like this, but am worried that I won’t be able to in a couple of years – that I’ll be too old for people to let me get away with it. But by then, I hope to be moving on to better things… hrm.

Anywho, the day started with sunshine and COLD. It’s SO cold up here, which just isn’t right, I mean – it’s not like we’re North enough to warrant Arctic freeze – but here we were, well into shriveledge temperatures, making me SO glad I’d not gone with Aaron’s style-sense – i.e. wearing a kilt. He came to really regret his wearing of such garb, or at least he came to regret wearing it in the traditional matter, as I wrassled him a bit after the show and …. well, I let his dangly bits free. They got all over. It was very sad and I scared some of the locals permanently, I fear.

The festival in full swing. Numerous booths of candles and books and jewlery and knives. No food though. Sigh.
The festival in full swing. Numerous booths of candles and books and jewlery and knives. No food though. Sigh.

We played okay, considering I couldn’t hear anything… but we had bellydancers, and that generally makes everything better. They breed them beautiful in Oberlin.

Our sound check gathered a huge crowd, and we should’ve figured a way to start our show then, but we waited till our assigned slot – still drew a crowd (perhaps everyone who was there), but the bulk of the peoples had meandered home.

Aaron, all disheveled after the dangly bits freedom moment.

Knife throwing - unfortunately, it was just a demonstration, rather than a come one come all sort of situation - and Sharif had to sit on the side-lines and watch, his knife wiggling eagerly, but sitting ignored in his pocket.qKnife throwing - unfortunately, it was just a demonstration, rather than a come one come all sort of situation - and Sharif had to sit on the side-lines and watch, his knife wiggling eagerly, but sitting ignored in his pocket.
Knife throwing – unfortunately, it was just a demonstration, rather than a come one come all sort of situation – and Sharif had to sit on the side-lines and watch, his knife wiggling eagerly, but sitting ignored in his pocket.
In the future, we suggest squirrel-throwing as an amusement. They've got a couple big fat ones in the park there, and a couple of albino ones which should be easy to catch, easy to hold, and easy to chuck a pretty good distance.
In the future, we suggest squirrel-throwing as an amusement. They’ve got a couple big fat ones in the park there, and a couple of albino ones which should be easy to catch, easy to hold, and easy to chuck a pretty good distance.
DCF 1.0
Squirrely squirrely - you can't tell from the pictures how orange he was. His fear is unrelated to Sharif and ze knife.
Squirrely squirrely – you can’t tell from the pictures how orange he was. His fear is unrelated to Sharif and ze knife.

Poor Sharif, wants to be in Heather and will take her any way he can get her. Whoa – I didn’t mean that. This is us just sprawling in the dandelions together. Then we were ALL pollenated, and we were ALL attacked by bees. Sigh. So sad.

Fittin shit in the car. Sharif in a "you want that where?" moment.
Fittin shit in the car. Sharif in a “you want that where?” moment.

April 25th, 2004.

It’s a lazy day. Exhausted from carrying far, far too much musical equipment back and forth and back and forth and back and forth across the Oberlin campus, we find our heroes crashing on couches in the Aaron Abode. Aabode? Hrm.

Sharif has to be back for work, so he’s on the road, driving steadily homeward, but Heather and I are just draping ourselves like lazy kittens here and there through out the town.

Heather’s hunting through Aaron’s hard drive for old We’re About 9 music that she hasn’t gotten her hands on yet… she’s found a lot of it, but as of yet can’t figure out how to move it from point a to point b.

Anywho, I’m not really sure, but this trip out has been extra exhausting. I think mostly because we haven’t had any beds to sleep in. We’ve gotten uber-spoiled, in that almost every place we’ve gone, up till now, has had a guest room or something for us to crash in. Unfortunately for our current predicament – Sarah’s place only has the worst foldy outy bed in the history of man’s creation of foldy outy beds, and Aaron has hardwood floors. I’ve become a pansy, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Gosh, I want softness.

In the “good things” category, we have the publication of Heather’s post to a body modification ezine – Go to http://www.bmezine.com/pierce/01-ear/A40422/earillus.html. That’s my story. Two more weeks and I go back to get measured for the barbell. Yay! as well as a new article about us in the Prince George’s Community College OWL (look for the entertainment link on the left).

Audience at the Beltane Festival. Calmly attentive. Later there was a mosh pit. With daggers.
Audience at the Beltane Festival. Calmly attentive. Later there was a mosh pit. With daggers.
Belly dancers attracted more people to the show - this one in particular did this wiggly thing that made me forget my lyrics.
Belly dancers attracted more people to the show – this one in particular did this wiggly thing that made me forget my lyrics.

Since we’re just putting some weird links up in the Journal at the moment, I also feel it is important to post a link to monstrous thing that inspired soo much conversation last night – the horrid camel spider. Sweet mother of God. Amy, those bastards are ALL yours.

Today we went over to WOBC and did a little half-hour with local DJ Cosmic. Things were a bit chaotic, but it was awesome to find a radio studio big enough that it had an actual piano inside. We held our collective breath as Sharif checked it out – he played… and played… and proclaimed that it was good. So happy.

More dancing. Gesturing. Their CD player eventually died and Heather got to play some djembe for their hips.
More dancing. Gesturing. Their CD player eventually died and Heather got to play some djembe for their hips.

And so we used WOBC to record a couple of songs that we really wanted on tape – Will, PUSH, Steel, and the much demanded In the Water.

Well, some other kids popped out the feeds for our recording mix really close to the end of PUSH and played hip hop until well into In the Water – so we’ve got really interesting remixes of that… now. My heart sort of really sunk when we heard that. It’s been kind of a rough day of technical glitches and rushing and finger-pointing. Pleck.

Then she played for Sharif's SUPER hips.
Then she played for Sharif’s SUPER hips.

Hrm. Well, I’ve sort of glossed over the whole point of the festival, but now that their speaker is sitting in the Living room with us, speaking of energies and magiks… I never know what to say. It’s not that I disbelieve, it’s just that I’m not particularly a believer in anything.

Sharif doing a soundcheck at the Beltane festival –>

It seems that everyone else is so much more vastly educated that I am – I can’t bandy around the terminology that ANYONE in Oberlin seems to be able to… I feel perhaps… ignorant. Aaron seems entranced, and they now have moved to biocomputing and genetics… and now the photon emissions of DNA. I’ll have to ask this guy’s name again and put up a link. He’s fascinating to watch – his energy and his charisma, it’s obvious why they flew him in to speak. It’s funny, he reminds me (visually) very much of Gary Oldham from that movie with Harrison Ford as the President of the United States, where Gary is a Russian terrorist zealot. Amazingly charismatic, and burning.

Playing Beltane.
Playing Beltane.
New friends at the Beltane festival - the woman second to from the right asked me many a strange question. Also a singer-songwriter, she gave us the fantastic compliment "You didn't give me a bad feeling"... she later clarified that she felt we didn't broadcast the kind of unkind arrogance that most other musicians did. A good compliment indeed.
New friends at the Beltane festival – the woman second to from the right asked me many a strange question. Also a singer-songwriter, she gave us the fantastic compliment “You didn’t give me a bad feeling”… she later clarified that she felt we didn’t broadcast the kind of unkind arrogance that most other musicians did. A good compliment indeed.
Later in the night there was a bonfire - this guy was amazing. Firedancer with glitter all over his body. He had lost his lampoil earlier - and had to hunt it at the local Drugmart, which didn't carry it. I don't remember what happened after that - lots of stories told around the BURNING FLAMES!!!
Later in the night there was a bonfire – this guy was amazing. Firedancer with glitter all over his body. He had lost his lampoil earlier – and had to hunt it at the local Drugmart, which didn’t carry it. I don’t remember what happened after that – lots of stories told around the BURNING FLAMES!!!

April 26th, 2004.

Yes, the pagans. So many conversations, so out of my depth – the speaker’s name was Sam Webster – Google him and read. I don’t feel that I’m dumb, but I certainly couldn’t comprehend half of what it was that he was writing. Maybe I was only half paying attention – but even half paying attention, I usually do better than most, and I wonder at the effectiveness of trying to spread a viewpoint when that viewpoint is incomprehensible to all those not already in the fold.

Flame breathin fire ballin exploding men.
Flame breathin fire ballin exploding men.

It’s become one of those nights where you realize you shouldn’t have taken the nap. The trees are blowing back and forth with unrealized electric energy, destined to be denied, as it looks like the storms that were teasing our horizon earlier have decided to shun us. It’s 3am and it’s just about as dark as it can get.

There’s something tender about sharing a room with someone you don’t know. You listen to a stranger’s sounds, and wonder if they don’t snore, or if they are lying awake, thinking. I don’t even know her name, but know she has to be up in an hour to catch a bus to catch a plane – and the upstairs tenant (unseen and unknown) has an alarm clock that starts just about every half hour. I’m wondering if they have a paper to write? Or if they just don’t believe in sleep.

Heather dozed off hours ago. She was tired from exploring the edges of Lake Eerie. She captured glass and stones and found the rotting remains of something long dead. I wonder if she remembered in her dreams – rolling over, making moaning night sounds. She quieted when I put my hand on her cheek.

The world is 100% adventure.

Except for me, because I can’t sleep.


Today Heather took me to Lake Eerie. She had gone out yesterday, while I was crashed on the couch, all a nappin – She had escaped out to the beach and watched the sun set over the water, and the returned in the gloaming, just after I’d regained some semblance of consciousness.

Today we drove out and back before heading back to Pittsburgh (I’m writing from I-80 in Ohio) and picked at shells and stones and the dead things on the beach. We have quite a collection of beautiful things for Amy to build from.

Avoiding waves, searching for the beautiful things.
Avoiding waves, searching for the beautiful things.
Heather on the beach of Lake Eerie, exploring the rocks, wandering the apparent edge of the world. The Great Lakes always amaze me - hard and cold and grey like the ocean.
Heather on the beach of Lake Eerie, exploring the rocks, wandering the apparent edge of the world. The Great Lakes always amaze me – hard and cold and grey like the ocean.
Heather finds a coconut.
Heather finds a coconut.