July 18th, 2004.

with the pot” – I returned to the Lloydholme exhausted, elated, and relieved.It doesn’t FEEL like July. It’s grey and the air conditioning lets us forget what kind of temperature might be lurking outdoors. Chelsea’s dad doesn’t sleep. I’m seeing morning for what feels like the first time in weeks. Months. And the grey weather is keeping my eyes from glistening with consciousness.

9.30am and Chuck and David are up and frolicking in their morningness – David’s making bacon, and Chuck is talking about amplifiers and guitars and African rhythms. I’m just not ready for it yet.

My thoughts are still whirling from that kiss. Damn you Jason. Damn you Slanga.

Andy Zipf at the Vault. He ran his beats off an IBook and generally was okay.
Andy Zipf at the Vault. He ran his beats off an IBook and generally was okay.
For those of you who missed the Vault show last Friday. These women were dancing on the bar. That's really all I should have to say. Don't miss another.
For those of you who missed the Vault show last Friday. These women were dancing on the bar. That’s really all I should have to say. Don’t miss another.
Pookie and Heather having a moment at the College Perk. There are many pussy jokes that an uninhibited rob could make here, but luckily, he is reigning himself in.
Pookie and Heather having a moment at the College Perk. There are many pussy jokes that an uninhibited rob could make here, but luckily, he is reigning himself in.

 

 

Says it all really. I don’t even remember why it happened. But Jason kissed me. He needs to quit smoking before he gets any more sugar from me.

Yesterday was a long day. The yardsale, making food, preparing for the night. I had my first art opening in four years. It was an incredible night.

Daniel Lee has possibly the most spectacular voice I've ever heard. And weird pants. Weird shoes. I hadn't noticed those. Good lord.
Daniel Lee has possibly the most spectacular voice I’ve ever heard. And weird pants. Weird shoes. I hadn’t noticed those. Good lord.

The opening itself, at the 1448 Gallery, was a great success. Michael Vain and Kali were just – immensely wonderful to invite me to show with them, and then to have the opportunity to play as well… Audrey and I once had a show like that, at a Borders Books. Her watercolours covered half the space, and my scary scritch art covered the other half, and then we played a show at the end of the month, with her in front of her work, and me in front of mine. I remember it being a Lovely night. I did something similar in a gatehouse show back in the Commons at MICA, and then again at the Moon Cafe in Annapolis, but eventually the shows petered out because I was having too much work stolen.

Oh yeah, the ladies of Perk. Perky ladies.
Oh yeah, the ladies of Perk. Perky ladies.

So now I’m reinvigourated. The show went so well – not many familiar faces, but a decently filled room – and the faces that WERE familiar were old favourites. It was strange to think that Kali and Terri and Michael have known me from the Beginning. Back when I ONLY played shows at the Rabbit and the New Deal Cafe, they came to each of those shows, and encouraged me with accolades and cake. It’s strange to think that it’s been so long, back from the Audrey era.

Amy's face's guardianship from the corner made the show complete.
Amy’s face’s guardianship from the corner made the show complete.
DCF 1.0
Performing next to a rusted out gate covered in my art. A very good feeling.
Performing next to a rusted out gate covered in my art. A very good feeling.

It was good to see Michael, usually so serious and unapproachable, really getting into Will – rocking out in the back of the room. It’s one thing when one can move the audience, but when one can move the artists around you – and KEEP moving them years after their first exposure – that made me feel really powerful. Like I was accomplishing something GREAT.

Terri watched from the back, like she always does. She’s an unobtrusive willowy creature of eye-contact and hair. My parents are the opposite – smack-dab in the middle of the room, my mother mouthing the words. Yeah, a room full of People from the Beginning. It felt like some sort of anniversary, or a birthday, or … I don’t know. Very much a celebration of accomplishment.

I'm holding one of Kali's pieces. It would be really cool if a guitar could be made up like that and still be playable, and not be godAWFUL heavy.
I’m holding one of Kali’s pieces. It would be really cool if a guitar could be made up like that and still be playable, and not be godAWFUL heavy.

It was almost like a big thank you show to the people who’d REALLY supported me over the years. Longer than almost anyone else, with the exception of Amy. The room felt incomplete until I noticed that my portrait of Amy had been set unobtrusively against the wall, facing the stage. The beautiful Raven Jen even appeared from my past and wandered in near the end of the night.

A very good night.

And then we had to race to PLOJ.

Chelsea and Beau up from Richmond, VA for PLOJ.
Chelsea and Beau up from Richmond, VA for PLOJ.
The crowd at PLOJ XXIX. I think this was our first Pot Luck with two fiddles. Or perhaps the first one with two fiddlers. And three or four banjos. I think the guy right in the middle there is from Florida!
The crowd at PLOJ XXIX. I think this was our first Pot Luck with two fiddles. Or perhaps the first one with two fiddlers. And three or four banjos. I think the guy right in the middle there is from Florida!

I don’t think I’ve ever been very late to PLOJ before. I usually aim to get there by 4, and I’ve frequently been later than THAT – but I don’t think I’ve ever arrived AFTER things had gotten started. Until last night.

It was bizarre walking into things Already In Progress. It was hard having to greet everyone all at the same time, rather than getting my greet on one by one as people straggle in. All in all, I’d say it was probably (as much as I hate to say it) my least favourite PLOJ. Very formless, meandering, drum heavy… and a pathetic spread. Almost no food at ALL! Thank God my tabouli rocked as hard as it always does. Thank God Dan’s chili was as scrumptious as it was… thank Richard and Kelly for THEIR chili. And of course, Mara’s chocolate chip cake. I guess, really when it comes down to it… that made everything okay.

With PLOJ XXIX ending at 2.30am or so, returning to the Lloydholme with the Kerwaths in tow (Chelsea and Beau and Chelsea’s WHOLE family!!) and being awakened by David making breakfast at 9am (no complaints mind you, some of the finest bacon I’ve ever had… but 9.30 am isn’t REALLY a time to me anymore) – today’s band practice was a threat on my personal horizon. I was eager for it, but going INTO practice exhausted isn’t a good start.

Because of random circumstances, Heather and I actually end up arriving at Sharif’s house for practice separately. I navigate my car into his little Bowie neighbourhood, pick my parking space with care, and avoid a tiny obstacle.

A tiny, grey, furry obstacle. Rumpled fur and a trail of viscera that stretches almost to the curb – there’s very little in the world that’s as sad as a roadkill kitten, and I was thankful that I’d gotten there ahead of Heather. I knew it would break her heart to see the tiny body, and I didn’t know WHAT to do. It was right in front of the house, and there was no way she was going to miss it when she arrived – Sharif didn’t have a shovel or anything, and I’m not of SUCH a strong constitution that I’m able to pick up a dead kitten and throw it in the trash, or even a bush.

I’m not sure if I did the right thing. When the neighbours weren’t looking I stole a big empty pot from the yard and overturned it over the kitten in the middle of the street. It’s not the right thing, really – but it meant that Heather wouldn’t see it, and no-one else was going to smear it further along the street.

The pot wasn’t QUITE large enough, and the emotions that roiled through me when I felt the giving squish as I set it down on the kitten’s tail are indescribable and unpleasant.

Band practice itself was fantastic. A great day spent with friends, jamming on music that you Love. That’s the way band practice is SUPPOSED to be, and I don’t think it’s BEEN that way for a long time. It’s made me all the more eager for Tuesday’s Funk Box show. I was fearful everytime that Heather stepped outside – I was afraid she’d move the pot, but I didn’t want to tell her, and I couldn’t just say “don’t mess with the pot” – I returned to the Lloydholme exhausted, elated, and relieved.

Heather selling dolls at her parents' yard sale. How could I have let THIS Lovely Heatherbeest see a dead kitten? I knew it would ruin the day... there is also an evil side of me that will be amused at whoever lifts the pot. As long as it's not Heather.
Heather selling dolls at her parents’ yard sale. How could I have let THIS Lovely Heatherbeest see a dead kitten? I knew it would ruin the day… there is also an evil side of me that will be amused at whoever lifts the pot. As long as it’s not Heather.
Brennan and some new friends at the Royal Open Mic, back on last Thursday. It was awesome to see this table bobbing their heads and dropping their jaws when we ripped up the stage. Unfortunately, the owner was unimpressed.
Brennan and some new friends at the Royal Open Mic, back on last Thursday. It was awesome to see this table bobbing their heads and dropping their jaws when we ripped up the stage. Unfortunately, the owner was unimpressed.
Heather's working on making found-object necklaces. This is the first product of her creative wiles - she's got a couple of them by now, and soon she'll be pooping these things out left and right, and hopefully selling them at shows. I'm in Love with this key - I think it was one of the random ones from inside my Saturn. Maybe my Dad knows what it was for, but I sure don't.
Heather’s working on making found-object necklaces. This is the first product of her creative wiles – she’s got a couple of them by now, and soon she’ll be pooping these things out left and right, and hopefully selling them at shows. I’m in Love with this key – I think it was one of the random ones from inside my Saturn. Maybe my Dad knows what it was for, but I sure don’t.

July 20th, 2004.

Tonight we brought home a stray. Not a kitten bent on flight and skies, but a fellow rockstar.

Daniel Lee has been on the road for four years – and for the past several months I’ve been hearing about him from Brennan, from Mitzi, from Amy. He’s spectacular, and deserving of a better following than he’s got. But I base that on the fact that his following is made up merely of people that have heard him. I don’t think there’s a human alive that can listen to him and not be moved. He makes me want to set my guitar down and step back from it slowly, nonchalantly… as if to say… who me? I don’t play guitar… why?

Daniel, Gail and I eating sushi on the streets of Baltimore, waiting in line for the Funk Box open mic.
Daniel, Gail and I eating sushi on the streets of Baltimore, waiting in line for the Funk Box open mic.
Daniel Lee on stage at the Funk Box.
Daniel Lee on stage at the Funk Box.

He asked me if I wanted to join him on a song – I’m glad I didn’t. I Loved being able to wander the Funk Box open mic and watch people’s reactions. People didn’t even notice me as I moved through the multicoloured light, they were transfixed by Daniel’s ferocious onstage presence.

There was a moment at the end of a song when he brought his fist down to his strings like a death blow. Silencing the feedback like he’d knifed the guitar.

Far better than Jimi Hendrix and his pansy-ass guitar torching.

We played the Funk Box open mic tonight, and by chance ran across Daniel, as well as Prout of Hudson & Prout from Mick O’Shea’s. Prout showed off what he does solo – lots of reverb and spectacular looping tricks… he turned a Howie Day cover into a techno tune worthy of a rave.

But we’ve retired from the muggy Baltimore night and have retreated to the Lloydholme. Daniel’s making three foot tall Love letters with which he plans to woo someone at dawn. Heather and I are reciting Lord of the Rings lines and getting the CDs together and being branded geeks by the Love-lorn Daniel.

And we’re ALL soooo high on marker fumes.

July 26th, 2004.

I’ve got to admit, I don’t even feel tired. At the moment. It’s closing in on 4am, and my mind is whirling. I was exhausted moments ago, but the computer screen perks me up a bit. I AM tired of being up all night (and there’s the balance – I can feel the fatigue creeping in) – I’ve been tossing and turning for days (well, nights) it seems. Since my last Journal entry, perhaps, I’ve been unable to get comfortable, and my brain hasn’t SHUT up to allow me to sleep. I’m lucky, I get to sleep in, but there’s something a WHOLE lot less than satisfactory when you “go to bed” at 2am, but are still fully conscious for sunrise. By the time you wake up, you realize that you’ve spent the past 10 hours in bed or something, but only 3 or 4 actually sleeping. And those hours are fitful, and you wake up with the traffic, and with the birds.

We got to play Pocketing to a big room. Not usually an option. An amazingly freeing night. It's perfect with the piano and Rowan's brushes.
We got to play Pocketing to a big room. Not usually an option. An amazingly freeing night. It’s perfect with the piano and Rowan’s brushes.

The four-piece act seems to be the new favourite. The sound was crisp, clean, and thunderous when both Rowan AND Heather were on the djembes.

Insomnia is nothing new to me (I know, I know – I can’t really claim “insomnia” if I’m still getting a whole 4 hours). I ALWAYS have trouble falling asleep, always have. I hated having a bed time when I was younger because I knew I’d just lie there in the dark… waiting. My head’s always full of THINGS. I remember I used to lie awake in terror because I didn’t want to be conscious when midnight came. The first time I realized I was going to just HAVE to see the Witching Hour, I covered my head with my pillow so it would look like I was a victim of foul misdeeds. I’m not sure where I got the idea, but I think I spent much of my early childhood believing that the Headless Horseman (as visualized and animated by Walt Disney) would ride out of my closet at 12 o’clock and strike off the heads of whoever he found.

By now, it almost feels like I’ve seen more midnights than noons, and almost ALL of the daybreaks I’ve seen, despite the romance, have been involuntary.

So, tonight my brain has it’s teeth into monetary fears, Living plans, and the Future. I have an insurance bill due at the beginning of next month, and it will scrape me dry.

Now, I’ve been scraped dry before, and I know that I’ll recover. I’m not really afraid of running out of money – because things always seem to work out. I have Gallery moneys coming to me, and uncashed checks, but there’s still that nagging feeling that things are undone, and that I should be doing more. That launches me into wondering if I’m doing the right thing, if there’s any future in what I’m doing. I start thinking about how much I wish I’d never sold my Volkswagon, how nice it would be to have a camper of some sort.

I’ve been looking online, finding prices – and wishing I had a spare couple of thousand dollars. I’d kill for a new Vanagon camper, and seriously maim people for just about anything with a bed in it – as long as it runs, looks like it’ll be running for some time to come, and preferably has air conditioning (cause I’m SPOILED!!!)

Jason takes flight during Bulldozer. We've got to rearrange some of our set to take advantage of the sheer exotic acrobatic nature of some of our fans. There was a moment where we're waiting to go to the fast part, and I'm pounding on my guitar, and the djembes are pounding, and the bass is just pounding - and the crowd was stomping and clapping and I'm screaming at Jason "NO - YOU COUNT IT!!! YOU COUNT IT!!!!!" It was like Metallica screaming "DIE DIE DIE DIE!!!"
Jason takes flight during Bulldozer. We’ve got to rearrange some of our set to take advantage of the sheer exotic acrobatic nature of some of our fans. There was a moment where we’re waiting to go to the fast part, and I’m pounding on my guitar, and the djembes are pounding, and the bass is just pounding – and the crowd was stomping and clapping and I’m screaming at Jason “NO – YOU COUNT IT!!! YOU COUNT IT!!!!!” It was like Metallica screaming “DIE DIE DIE DIE!!!”
Daniel's crotch at the "after party". This WAS going to be a really AWESOME ass shot - but... he moved. Sigh.
Daniel’s crotch at the “after party”. This WAS going to be a really AWESOME ass shot – but… he moved. Sigh.

It would just be nice to never have to worry about where I was going to sleep ever again, you know? AND my stomach’s bothering me, AND my boxers are riding up, AND my shoulder hurts…. man, moments like this, I wish I could still be in school. I envy Justin his pending departure. I never appreciated it at the time, but MICA was SUCH a haven from the real world.

Daniel Lee on the phone and preparing for home. It was good to see that he spends his days much as we do. Watching some tv, making some phone calls, and IMing friends from home.
Daniel Lee on the phone and preparing for home. It was good to see that he spends his days much as we do. Watching some tv, making some phone calls, and IMing friends from home.
Spider Living between David's truck antennae and the garage. Damn the flash, he was actually yellow and black and quite fierce.
Spider Living between David’s truck antennae and the garage. Damn the flash, he was actually yellow and black and quite fierce.