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.

September 18th, 2004.

We’re making our way through rain and weather and wind, returning from “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”. I haven’t been this satisfied with a movie since the last Harry Potter flick. Add in a decent open mic full of familiar faces (though just enough new ones to sell some CDs) and a group of friends to see the move with, and the only thing I could ask for would be a pleasantly full belly, as opposed to the clamouring, cavernous one that I now contain.

   Re re-encounter the ilyBaby at the Spirit Gallery in Frederick. Heather's amazed by his rapid growth. I, however, am merely made uneasy.

Re re-encounter the ilyBaby at the Spirit Gallery in Frederick. Heather’s amazed by his rapid growth. I, however, am merely made uneasy.

Anywho, the day’s been grey, with rain showers striking frequently, stabbing from the sky rather randomly. Grey and ominous, everything is hanging low, and driving in air conditioned comfort (thanks Jeff!) allows me to imagine that Fall has us a little more firmly in it’s grip than is actually the case. As the wind picks up, there’s one leaf in particular the spirals down as we navigate the wooded roads of Olney, and it catches itself on the windshield before deciding upon it’s future home.

There is an industrious and monstrous spider that keeps rebuilding his web outside of Heather's parents' house. Just last night it's probably gotten too cold. I like teasing Heather about where she thinks he plans to move now that it's getting sooo frigid. I'm thinking he'll LIKE it inside.
There is an industrious and monstrous spider that keeps rebuilding his web outside of Heather’s parents’ house. Just last night it’s probably gotten too cold. I like teasing Heather about where she thinks he plans to move now that it’s getting sooo frigid. I’m thinking he’ll LIKE it inside.
DCF 1.0

Unfortunately, far from bundling in flannels and seeing our breath, when we stepped out of the car the atmosphere crowds in on us oppressively, and we’re reminded that the rain is driven by tropical storms and the moist, swamp-like breath of Ivan is what we’re facing.

Sheri Lynn at the Spirit Gallery in Frederick. A fantastic vocalist - and even better than I remember her being. It's been beautiful to see her again, watching her play, watching her energy - she's like I don't know, too many cliches launch into my head - butterflies and sunshine n shit... I'll have to think of something a LOT better to do HER justice.
Sheri Lynn at the Spirit Gallery in Frederick. A fantastic vocalist – and even better than I remember her being. It’s been beautiful to see her again, watching her play, watching her energy – she’s like I don’t know, too many cliches launch into my head – butterflies and sunshine n shit… I’ll have to think of something a LOT better to do HER justice.

Michelle Murray’s new SAW open mic at Caribou Coffee was really nice – she was lucky, I think, at the mix of people that came out for the debut. I like to think that that first impression will build on itself. Despite the occassional (and unavoidable) annoyance of coffee grinders and espresso machines, there were moments of magic hidden in that coffeehouse. Andre, especially – Andre Cutair is a rare creature on the local music scene… seldom seen at all. I was surprised to encounter him all the way out in Olney, and he gave a beautiful performance with his fragile voice. A night of Songs:Ohia, Mountain Goats, and Neutral Milk Hotel had put me in the perfect receptive mood.

ilyAIMY at the Spirit Gallery.
ilyAIMY at the Spirit Gallery.

It shocks me to realize I’ve known him for perhaps ten years.

The movie was a somewhat spur of the moment decision. I’d known that Jason Cox had planned to gather and gander, but I was sort of envisioning just Heather and I in the darkened theatre. Events conspired against us, and we ended up being in a darkened theatre with a couple of my really old friends, and a lot of people I didn’t know… but they were a VERY good movie crew… I think I’m going to ask Jason to orchestrate such gatherings more frequently.

Well… as frequently as the sorry state of modern Hollywood will allow.

December 26th, 2017.

Yesterday Kristen and I went up to Longwood Gardens to take advantage of the fact that they didn’t really see Christmas Day as one of their peak days – and celebrated Christmas with… A BILLION PEOPLE I MEAN LIKE HOLY CRAP IF THIS ISN’T A PEAK DAY I HAVE NO WISH TO EVER SEE WHAT IS HOLY CRAP ALL THE PEOPLE WERE HERE!!

Friday December 22nd saw Heather and I hitting up something we'd been eyeballing for quite some time - the Roads and Rails Museum in Frederick, MD. I won't ruin it for you, but it's kind of amazing.
Friday December 22nd saw Heather and I hitting up something we’d been eyeballing for quite some time – the Roads and Rails Museum in Frederick, MD. I won’t ruin it for you, but it’s kind of amazing.
Okay - ONE spoiler for the museum. That's the 9:30 Club... and Cool Disco Dan is NOT in the house. But Fugazi IS.
Okay – ONE spoiler for the museum. That’s the 9:30 Club… and Cool Disco Dan is NOT in the house. But Fugazi IS.
Roads and Rails... and FREAKIN LEGOS!!!
Okay – TWO spoilers for the museum. Roads and Rails… and FREAKIN LEGOS!!!
After visiting the Roads and Rails Museum, Heather and I wandered the Christmas-laden wonderland that is Frederick for a bit before heading over to our gig at Vini Culture. First time at a new venue and ... well... I think we'll be back!
After visiting the Roads and Rails Museum, Heather and I wandered the Christmas-laden wonderland that is Frederick for a bit before heading over to our gig at Vini Culture. First time at a new venue and … well… I think we’ll be back.

Still – we had an absolutely delicious Christmas wandering around and looking at the lights the plants and also the lights – however there NEEDS to be some social training on how to take a photograph in a crowd. Like… since people aren’t actively trampling others nor are people generally falling into pits filled with famished tigers, Darwin’s not going to take care of the obnoxious behaviour of people more interested in their phones than their surroundings – so it’s up to us. And I’m not quite sure what the socially-accepted method of saying to those around you “my experience is just as important as YOUR experience, so fucking move along” or “watch where you’re backing up to” or “no, I imagine navigating with the glaring white light of your phone pointed at your eyeballs in an otherwise mostly dark environment ISN’T easy but surely you must be at least partly at fault for our collision because I wasn’t the one ruining your night vision”… or other like phrases.

December 23rd found me doing some video work for Anthem Strings... and chasing super cat around the house. Don't judge.
December 23rd found me doing some video work for Anthem Strings… and chasing super cat around the house. Don’t judge.
Chelle and Kristen working out what we'll be doing for their video shoot.
Chelle and Kristen working out what we’ll be doing for their video shoot in Gaithersburg, MD.

Also – don’t pull on the plants. Don’t grab handfuls of fragrant herbs. Don’t squeeze the blossoms. Dude. Were you raised in a barn? I doubt you were raised in a barn. Because if you were raised in a barn you’d know that you CAN’T MILK PLANTS!!

Sigh.

I hate people.

But I Love Christmas. Happy first-married-Christmas Kristen Jones!

What else is there to do Christmas morning but to dress the neighbour's cat with leftover Christmas wrappings!
What else is there to do Christmas morning but to dress the neighbour’s cat with leftover Christmas wrappings!
Ha - ran across this book about a unicorn amongst narwhals while roaming Frederick on Thursday... thought about getting it for Joanna and Lex - and it turns out my instincts would've been right!
Ha – ran across this book about a unicorn amongst narwhals while roaming Frederick on Thursday… thought about getting it for Joanna and Lex – and it turns out my instincts would’ve been right!
Ha - not a peak day. So much so that all the parking lots were full and we were shuttled in from a whole other lot. Still - it meant we got to ride a school bus! I think it was my first time on one since high school!
Ha – not a peak day. So much so that all the parking lots were full and we were shuttled in from a whole other lot. Still – it meant we got to ride a school bus! I think it was my first time on one since high school!
Kristen and I at Longwood Gardens.
Kristen and I at Longwood Gardens.
Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.
Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.
Ha - something new for this year! Patterns made from gilded walnuts, apples and cranberries all floating in water.
Ha – something new for this year! Patterns made from gilded walnuts, apples and cranberries all floating in water.
A lot of the same cacti were used in Kristen's bouquet for our wedding.
A lot of the same cacti were used in Kristen’s bouquet for our wedding.
The sun's going down, the lights are coming up!
The sun’s going down, the lights are coming up!
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!

More trains!

Kristen surprised me by demanding hot chocolate, tequila and Aliens, not necessarily in that order. Not Our Cat was down with it.
Kristen surprised me by demanding hot chocolate, tequila and Aliens, not necessarily in that order. Not Our Cat was down with it.