October 29th, 2003.

All sorts of homecomings. Home comings to my parents’ house (is it strange that I find all of the familiar mugs on the shelves so comforting), home coming to College Perk (all of my friends are there), home coming to the band (band practice tonight was a LOT of fun)… Home moving – moved ilyaimy.com to a new hosting service, spookymedia.com, today. THAT was a pain in the ass. Jeezoflip AND sigh.

Yeah, sigh TWICE even. My parents probably think it strange that I went into the bathroom with my laptop. I guess I better quit typing, flush, and exit. ttfn.

May 30th, 2004.

This morning started with a jumo. I’m not quite sure how it happened visually – reflections and blurs and half-remembered dreams conspired to rearrange my view of the side of Heather’s head into Brennan staring wide-eyed at me from across the pillow.

Before heading out to the woods, there was a momentary flirtation with the idea of taking the cat for a walk. I'm not sure what we were thinking.
Before heading out to the woods, there was a momentary flirtation with the idea of taking the cat for a walk. I’m not sure what we were thinking.
My Mom came and retrieved Luka after he decided to use Martin Luther King's passive resistance techniques on us. My mom came out to find that "walking the cat" had turned into "dragging limp cat across the lawn". Oh, and don't worry - the cat's on a harness, not a collar - so it's not like we were choking him. But if you ask him, he'll probably say we were - just for sympathy's sake. Bastard.
My Mom came and retrieved Luka after he decided to use Martin Luther King’s passive resistance techniques on us. My mom came out to find that “walking the cat” had turned into “dragging limp cat across the lawn”. Oh, and don’t worry – the cat’s on a harness, not a collar – so it’s not like we were choking him. But if you ask him, he’ll probably say we were – just for sympathy’s sake. Bastard.

I jerked away and things resolved into Heather’s earings. Not quite sure what happened there. Very disturbing.

So much happened yesterday. Unbelievable amounts of stuff. There are SO many pictures. Today I’m sitting happily in my orange pants, half-heartedly watching some Cameron Diaz movie and organizing photographs.

Last night, after watching Aoutar, we went back to my parents’ house to crash. Then we ventured forth into the world, slowly – the bright lights of the shining sun certainly somewhat discouraging ME from emergence. But my mom made me scrambled eggs the way she used to (with cream cheese), and that was reason enough to regain consciousness.

So, my mom went out to weed the garden, my dad lamented about his computer, Heather slept, and I played games until about 1 when my dad tried to get us to go out to the woods for a walk. He had the right idea – the weather really was perfect yesterday… perfect for frog hunting!

And THAT, my friends, is where our story begins.

We’re sitting on the Lloydholme back porch. Heather’s writing poetry, and I’m writing letters and Journal entries. Worrying that yesterday has produced ten pages of pictures. I’m reading emails from new fans – newcomers to the ilyAIMYite fold. The listeners of the Folk Art Cafe are more vocal than most… and I have a tonne of what can only be described as “fan mail” floating through my inbox.

I feel exhausted, and happy, and good. The theramin thrum of the cicada song continues unabated, and I’m hoping for a thunderstorm before the evening’s out.

Last night’s Folk Art Cafe gig was a success. Sort of a success. I’m not being a good independent musician, and we forgot to put out a tip jar and advertise it’s presence.

My Dad took us a wanderin' through the woods and to the lakes. I feel sort of bad describing Maryland as a place of asphalt the other day... but...not TOO bad.
My Dad took us a wanderin’ through the woods and to the lakes. I feel sort of bad describing Maryland as a place of asphalt the other day… but…not TOO bad.

I thought about it once, and then didn’t think about it again. My fault entirely. But it’s not something that I can do again. Gas prices are beginning to legitimately scare me, and I don’t think people are taking it seriously. I mean – we’ve all grown up groaning about fluxes in the price of gas. Ten cents here, twenty cents there – but I’ve been reading newspaper articles about the reality of $3.00 a gallon gas.

And sometimes they never get a chance to become their full-fledged cicada selves. Sometimes alien beast-spiders come and slorp them out of their skins.
And sometimes they never get a chance to become their full-fledged cicada selves. Sometimes alien beast-spiders come and slorp them out of their skins.

Now, I’m sure our two European fans are reading that and scoffing – but for us that’s about a 200% increase, and that’s a huge number. I’ve been budgeting for gas for a while – and overbudgeting, to make sure we don’t fall short. You know, it’s always a nice surprise when you realize you have more money than you thought. But here we’ve gone from $1.80/gallon being a “high” estimate of the cost of gas to $2.05/gallon being woefully inadequate. With the majority of our expenses being car-related, I’m worried that we’re about to see our expenses effectively double without any possibility of something similar happening with our income. That’s really frightening. How to we like the idea of small independent artists effectively being eliminated by something as stupid as the rising price of gasoline?

And the cicada shells cover the underside of all the leaves.
And the cicada shells cover the underside of all the leaves.
For people from far, far away - this gives you an idea of what like the cicadas have been like this year. The world looks like someone's been walking around emptying a 12 guage into it. It's insane when you think about it... x million cicadas coming out of the Earth per square acre. Someone told me that currently the number of cicadas in the state of Maryland outnumbers the number of people on the planet, which I find unbelievable. Man - what a resource though, there must be SOMETHING that we can do with the cicada layer!
For people from far, far away – this gives you an idea of what like the cicadas have been like this year. The world looks like someone’s been walking around emptying a 12 guage into it. It’s insane when you think about it… x million cicadas coming out of the Earth per square acre. Someone told me that currently the number of cicadas in the state of Maryland outnumbers the number of people on the planet, which I find unbelievable. Man – what a resource though, there must be SOMETHING that we can do with the cicada layer!

And so we come to the hope of finding alternatives… but what are they? There are conversion kits – good for converting your DIESEL vehicle to run on vegetable oil. Heather’s looking at getting a hybrid, if the settlement for the accident ever comes through – but the chances of THAT kind of money falling into our laps, I think, is slim to zero.

Heather goes frog hunting.
Heather goes frog hunting.
And catches one. You have to squish the head a little or they run off.
And catches one. You have to squish the head a little or they run off.
We found two snakes. This is the one that didn't make me jump out of my skin. You EXPECT to find them out and sunning themselves. The other one was under a log that I'd lifted up... I saw something interesting and glisteny, so... naturally... I poked it. You know, like you do. And it was really unhappy.
We found two snakes. This is the one that didn’t make me jump out of my skin. You EXPECT to find them out and sunning themselves. The other one was under a log that I’d lifted up… I saw something interesting and glisteny, so… naturally… I poked it. You know, like you do. And it was really unhappy.

The way our world works… it makes sense to me in one way, but… it’s so spectacularly short-sighted. The Baltimore Sun writes something to the effect that it’s not that the price of gas is getting excessively high, but that the price of gas HAD been too low. This front-page article goes on to assert that this is actually a good, thing – that there is always the possibility that the thinning supply of oil is actually a percursor of a shortage – not caused by supply and demand or those pesky brown-skinned AY RABS that we’re all supposed to hate… but caused by the very real fact that the planet may be drained of this not-very-renewable resource.

And so, the Sun asserts – running out is a good thing, as this will teach us the value of conservation.

SO many frogs.
SO many frogs.

That’s excellent ladies and gentlemen – but while we’re learning that lesson, how are we getting to work? How are we making our plastics and latex and rubbers? Hehe – we’re all stuck at home with nothing to do and no condoms. THAT will teach us our lesson, won’t it? I’m not a doom-sayer – but I also wonder how much warning there would be… or if the pumps would just go dry one day, and since the government of the United States (and as far as I know, just about every other government as well) hasn’t exactly placed a high-priority on alternative fuel sources, and in most cases, has actively discouraged it’s exploration… well, what happens?

I don’t know, it’s an awful lot like a man taking his sixty foot ladder, chucking it down a dark hole, and hopping down after it. Plus or minus surviving the fall, it’s hit or miss whether or not that ladder’s going to get him back into the light again.

hen we started finding really tiny ones.
Then we started finding really tiny ones.

And so… here we are… I can worry about it – and it would certainly be impolitic to purchase a Humvee at this moment in time. Perhaps you place solar panels on your house, but they haven’t been good for much other than heating water up till now. You could vote for the politician that is interested in green sources of energy… but when it comes down to it, we’ve built a system where money talks, and little else has any sort of voice whatsoever.

So we nabbed two and made a run for it.

Buy the hybrids? There are like… four on the market. There will be another four next year perhaps… but there isn’t much to choose from, and the current nine month waiting period (shouldn’t that be signal enough that these are in demand and that supply should follow? or is that waiting list why car companies feel so confident charging $10k+ for a two door compact car?) is reason enough for most consumers to turn their eyeballs elsewhere.

This moth was huge, maybe 6"-7" across, and very disinterested in leaving the path where we found it. The body was big and fat and juicy, like a tarantule with wings - and the "eye patches" on it's wings weren't black at all, but completely transparent. I pet it for a little while (which I know you're not supposed to do, but I only used the BACK of my finger) and Heather poked it with a stick.
This moth was huge, maybe 6″-7″ across, and very disinterested in leaving the path where we found it. The body was big and fat and juicy, like a tarantule with wings – and the “eye patches” on it’s wings weren’t black at all, but completely transparent. I pet it for a little while (which I know you’re not supposed to do, but I only used the BACK of my finger) and Heather poked it with a stick.

Perhaps you purchase the diesel vehicle and buy the conversion kit. That sounds very viable, and the more reading I do, the more it seems smart. Am I ready to start asking at the back of restaraunts for their left over cooking oil? Not, I think, until I’ve met someone who runs one of these cars and they show me their modus operandi. My ideal world, right now – would be to get a diesel VW Westfalia, perhaps – get the conversion kit, and have at the world…. but at the moment, this is all just dreamin.

Hehe - many distractions while running off. This is what I REALLY wanted. When I was younger, every year we'd catch a toad in the drainpipe in the backyard, and we'd keep him for the whole summer, taking delight in catching him bugs and petting him and washing our hands. We'd let him go at the end of the summer so he could hop off and hibernate - but I really miss having a little amphibious friend.
Hehe – many distractions while running off. This is what I REALLY wanted. When I was younger, every year we’d catch a toad in the drainpipe in the backyard, and we’d keep him for the whole summer, taking delight in catching him bugs and petting him and washing our hands. We’d let him go at the end of the summer so he could hop off and hibernate – but I really miss having a little amphibious friend.
And then after such a fantastic and satisfying day, rushing back to the car so's not to be late for the Folk Art Cafe gig - and then my Dad's tire was flat! Erf. Ha - speaking of oil shortages, that wipes out tires, too, doesn't it?
And then after such a fantastic and satisfying day, rushing back to the car so’s not to be late for the Folk Art Cafe gig – and then my Dad’s tire was flat! Erf. Ha – speaking of oil shortages, that wipes out tires, too, doesn’t it?
The fantastic Folk Art Cafe.The show itself was excellent - pretty low-stress because Brennan is wooing us with his manager/roadie skills and took care of much of the set-up (and break-down too).... and then the gig itself was just a whole lot of fun. I had all my favourite people to croon to right up front, and the audience was packed full of newbies as well. Very pleased. We had some technical difficulties, and some rough spots on the set-list, but all in all, the night went down beautifully, and I've gotten more emails about this one gig than I've gotten correspondance about ANYTHING we've done in a long, long time.
The fantastic Folk Art Cafe.The show itself was excellent – pretty low-stress because Brennan is wooing us with his manager/roadie skills and took care of much of the set-up (and break-down too)…. and then the gig itself was just a whole lot of fun. I had all my favourite people to croon to right up front, and the audience was packed full of newbies as well. Very pleased. We had some technical difficulties, and some rough spots on the set-list, but all in all, the night went down beautifully, and I’ve gotten more emails about this one gig than I’ve gotten correspondance about ANYTHING we’ve done in a long, long time.

Random note – Heather just caugnt me a ligntning bug. She demands that it LIGHT UP NOW!! Hrm – she just brought me a chocolate covered banana. She’s dangerously close to being sweet, and I’m naturally suspicious.

The fantastic Folk Art Cafe.The show itself was excellent - pretty low-stress because Brennan is wooing us with his manager/roadie skills and took care of much of the set-up (and break-down too).... and then the gig itself was just a whole lot of fun. I had all my favourite people to croon to right up front, and the audience was packed full of newbies as well. Very pleased. We had some technical difficulties, and some rough spots on the set-list, but all in all, the night went down beautifully, and I've gotten more emails about this one gig than I've gotten correspondance about ANYTHING we've done in a long, long time.
The fantastic Folk Art Cafe.The show itself was excellent – pretty low-stress because Brennan is wooing us with his manager/roadie skills and took care of much of the set-up (and break-down too)…. and then the gig itself was just a whole lot of fun. I had all my favourite people to croon to right up front, and the audience was packed full of newbies as well. Very pleased. We had some technical difficulties, and some rough spots on the set-list, but all in all, the night went down beautifully, and I’ve gotten more emails about this one gig than I’ve gotten correspondance about ANYTHING we’ve done in a long, long time.

February 28th, 2005.

Well, I’m not really sure what happened to the text that had been here before. It wandered off and got a drink, perhaps. Vanished into the dark depths of silicon memory, overwritten by something, somehow. Sorry about that.

Heather and I are snowed in at my parents’ house, trying to help my Dad where we can, even if it’s just emptying the dishwasher or (in Heather’s case) rearranging furniture. My Life is oddly like a movie at the moment, and I’m not quite sure how to deal with it. Mostly, my brain just feels slightly fuzzy, not really on top of what’s happening. Maybe it’s all the cat hair, or the discovery of sweaters long-lost in my parents’ basement, resurrected but not dedusted, clogging my mind and my hair and my nose with long-hidden dust.

Sunday afternoon, my family gathered for a big lunch at the 94th Aerosquadron in College Park. Good food, scary fish. I should've taken a picture of it but it threatened me and then Heather stabbed it with a fork.
Sunday afternoon, my family gathered for a big lunch at the 94th Aerosquadron in College Park. Good food, scary fish. I should’ve taken a picture of it but it threatened me and then Heather stabbed it with a fork.

It’s cold outside, cold and wet – like being immersed in a dog’s nose? Perhaps. Unfortunately, it’s always so very hard to focus here, I’m amazed by Heather’s ability to bury herself in her work, vanishing from the world. I’m just caught in between. I’m tired, but I can’t sleep, and I want to focus, but my brain just won’t be brought to bear. That’s probably how I deleted the text that was here in the first place. I just want to curl up and be warm! Just for a little while. It would be nice to resurrect the fireplace.

At the moment, my mom’s watching some underwater Australian SCUBA cop drama. In Australia, aparently they don’t have “bikers”, they have “bikeys” (no, I’m not sure how the SCUBA divers are going after big guys on bikes – the image of men in flippers yelling “oy mate!” comes to mind). Unless I’m just mis-hearing them. I don’t think I could take a Hell’s Angel seriously if he was a “bikey”. They’d have Bikey Boots. Hee! Ah – and they’re not a Biker Gang, it’s a Bikey Mob.

I’ve been spending a lot of time wandering my parents’ basement, taking photographs of my old environment. Lots of things that won’t mean a thing to others, but that act as triggers for my head.

For example - a photograph of a flourescent light in the basement - but to me, this was just the right shape that Lego spacecraft would dock with it just a couple of years ago. Of course, the perspective wasn't right unless I closed one eye and squinted just right.
For example – a photograph of a flourescent light in the basement – but to me, this was just the right shape that Lego spacecraft would dock with it just a couple of years ago. Of course, the perspective wasn’t right unless I closed one eye and squinted just right.
For my 18th birthday, a couple of friends organized a surprise party for me and invited some of the Cool Friends that I would never have thought to call... My Friend Michael Fisher and Kait MacDonald (my first infatuation with an Art Chick) were two of those creatures - members of the Suitland Centre for the Arts University High School elite - and as I feared, the party wasn't cool enough for them. They spent much of the night locked in my bathroom together, illustrating post-it notes and leaving them all over the walls and ceiling. I can't imagine how shocked they would be to find that the things still exist...
For my 18th birthday, a couple of friends organized a surprise party for me and invited some of the Cool Friends that I would never have thought to call… My Friend Michael Fisher and Kait MacDonald (my first infatuation with an Art Chick) were two of those creatures – members of the Suitland Centre for the Arts University High School elite – and as I feared, the party wasn’t cool enough for them. They spent much of the night locked in my bathroom together, illustrating post-it notes and leaving them all over the walls and ceiling. I can’t imagine how shocked they would be to find that the things still exist…
My Dad’s piano on which he was able to play a couple of rolling blues tunes. Unfortunately it has been long-abandoned and is maddeningly out of tune now that I’m ACTUALLY interested in it!

[inserted years later – it’s funny, I remember this box and loosely associate it with toys of some sort, but have no specific memory of its contents, just its exterior – rob 2/3/18]
Last night I went for a walk, wandering the neighbourhood that I'd grown up in. In high school I would pass this fence every morning at around 5.30am on my way to the bus stop. That's a lie. I'd walk on the other side of the street to avoid the huge dog that ruled this yard, barking and snarling and ripping the flesh off the bones of children less fortunate or perhaps merely less intelligent than I. As I walked past the fence, I willed myself to walk on the Dog Side. Ten years later and I could still feel my stomach still tighten in apprehension.
Last night I went for a walk, wandering the neighbourhood that I’d grown up in. In high school I would pass this fence every morning at around 5.30am on my way to the bus stop. That’s a lie. I’d walk on the other side of the street to avoid the huge dog that ruled this yard, barking and snarling and ripping the flesh off the bones of children less fortunate or perhaps merely less intelligent than I. As I walked past the fence, I willed myself to walk on the Dog Side. Ten years later and I could still feel my stomach still tighten in apprehension.

Monday afternoon, our plans thwarted by persistant snowfall, Heather and I walked down to my old elementary school and wandered about. This is sooo what I get for scoffing at the weather in the upDates.
Monday afternoon, our plans thwarted by persistant snowfall, Heather and I walked down to my old elementary school and wandered about. This is sooo what I get for scoffing at the weather in the upDates.

 

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 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.

April 20th, 2005.

A sunshiny day for my Dad's departure. Since Wednesday, we've barely had a taste of the sun. It's been fitting my mood.
A sunshiny day for my Dad’s departure. Since Wednesday, we’ve barely had a taste of the sun. It’s been fitting my mood.

My father died in the sunshine at 4.35pm today. Thank you to all the friends and family who’s been propping us up for the past several months, and through his fight with cancer over the past five years. I’d prefer not to be called or emailed right now.

Thank you.

An exhausting week. I swear, there’s got to be a better way. During the death of a family member, the actual death should be the most stressful event. Everything else should be smooth, should be taken care of. The paperwork should be straight-forward, designed to be comprehensible to someone who’s in the midst of dealing with the loss of a Loved one.

So, very tired. The beginning of allergy season. The end of so many things.

August 11th, 2005.

Today would have been my Dad’s 61st birthday – and as such, I knew I was going to be spending the day with my mom. It’s also just really convenient to be staying down here right now, and though sometimes she drives me crazy, there IS a sense of home here that I don’t neccessarily get other places… so it’s good to pull into Seabrook and round the corner and see the big old blue van.

There’s usually space for my weathered Saturn in the driveway, and I used to really enjoy pulling onto Wellington Street at a pretty good clip and letting my momentum carry me right up the driveway. I’d learned to be a little more cautious over the last year – once my Father could no longer drive, my mom took advantage of the situation by parking casually (and diagonally) across the whole driveway.

This time, as I rounded the corner, the parking hazard wasn’t in the form of my mom’s Saturn, but in the form of the kitchen. It was in the driveway. All over the driveway.

Apparently my Mom had gotten sick of the kitchen last Saturday. She’d called her brother and her father. They came over with some beer, some Chinese food, and apparently some crowbars. The kitchen was in the front yard by 9pm that night. Barring the kitchen sink, which was (of course!) in the dining room.

At Tuesday night's College Perk open mic, I met a guy who's Living the Life I want. Tony is wandering making a documentary (rockumentary?) about open mics across the country. He travels in the above beautiful bus (with kitchen, lounge, bedroom, air condirioner) with his beautiful dog. He interviewed us extensively for his project. I didn't work up the courage to mug him for his keys.
At Tuesday night’s College Perk open mic, I met a guy who’s Living the Life I want. Tony is wandering making a documentary (rockumentary?) about open mics across the country. He travels in the above beautiful bus (with kitchen, lounge, bedroom, air condirioner) with his beautiful dog. He interviewed us extensively for his project. I didn’t work up the courage to mug him for his keys.
At Tuesday night's College Perk open mic, I met a guy who's Living the Life I want. Tony is wandering making a documentary (rockumentary?) about open mics across the country. He travels in the above beautiful bus (with kitchen, lounge, bedroom, air condirioner) with his beautiful dog. He interviewed us extensively for his project. I didn't work up the courage to mug him for his keys.
At Tuesday night’s College Perk open mic, I met a guy who’s Living the Life I want. Tony is wandering making a documentary (rockumentary?) about open mics across the country. He travels in the above beautiful bus (with kitchen, lounge, bedroom, air condirioner) with his beautiful dog. He interviewed us extensively for his project. I didn’t work up the courage to mug him for his keys.

And so, when my mother asked what I wanted to do for Dad’s birthday, I figured there was nothing he’d like better than to know we were finally getting the house into shape.

I think this house was the bane of his existance for the past 35 years, and that if I DID have any belief in the idea of his haunting anything, it sure as Hell wouldn’t be this house, cause I’m sure all he ever wanted to do was escape it.

In any case, I woke up this morning to pounding, scraping, drilling. My Uncle Marty was already busily scraping the Hell out of the remnants of the kitchen, and within an hour of consciousness I was priming walls and pulling trim. Oh, and then I learned about “cutting in”. Heather was over pretty early in the day and then things went into full swing.

The daughter of DIYers, Heather’s a monster with a paint brush.

It’s been a long day. Tomorrow we paint the whole thing blue. If I’m up for it. There’s other important things that happen on Fridays after all – Battlestar Galactica for one.

August 14th, 2005.

I’m staying with Rowan tonight, perhaps in danger of giving meat to all those rumours. I’m glad I’m here. He’s off with his lady but will come back in time to do some hanging out before it’s time for unconsciousness. Well… officially time… it was time to be unconscious hours ago, but I persevere for the sake of cartoons and silliness.

The horror of 50's wallpaper uncovered and discovered while gutting the kitchen at my mom's house.
The horror of 50’s wallpaper uncovered and discovered while gutting the kitchen at my mom’s house.
My mom's kitchen. In the driveway.
My mom’s kitchen. In the driveway.

I really miss Living with Rowan – and one of the biggest reasons was that we discovered the absurdity that is Adult Swim together – and it’s somehow just not the same, watching it with out his huge laughs or his “ohhhoho”s of horror.

In any case, I’m just barely staying awake, no matter how eager.

It’s been a long couple of days. And the kitchen has just been the start of it. I’ve been doing a lot of painting of kitchen ceilings and walls. I’ve been avoiding flooring. I’ve done a lot of hauling of kitchen parts into and out of my Mom’s house. And I feel bad, because I’ve made my escape, but my uncle is still hanging in there.

Yesterday was the infamous College Perk 8.13 Festival. It’s a long story about the name . It doesn’t actually involve my hamster. That was a lie. Let’s just say that 8.13 is a number of great significance, and has been for a long, long time. Vast occult significance it has. I fear though, that Brennan’s useage of it could make the gods angry and he might be struck with lankyness…. oh. Yeah, well, it’s MEANT to be FUNNY.

I have no record of wtf – I think this is Heather in a ballpit at Ikea?
A weird side-effect of working in my mom's house, of course - is that I'm running across reminders of my father and remiders of things from so, so long ago. Lightning hir the tree across the yard when I was 9 - zapped along the clothesline, disintegrating it, and into the house. My Dad had had a couple of weird lightning experiences, including one with ball lightning that came down the chimney at his mom's place, and then hovered there in front of them, shedding sparks.
A weird side-effect of working in my mom’s house, of course – is that I’m running across reminders of my father and remiders of things from so, so long ago. Lightning hir the tree across the yard when I was 9 – zapped along the clothesline, disintegrating it, and into the house. My Dad had had a couple of weird lightning experiences, including one with ball lightning that came down the chimney at his mom’s place, and then hovered there in front of them, shedding sparks.
One of the first acts of 8.13 - the Making. God they rock my world. Dave just has an exquisite voice. They'd come with a full band, but the heat pushed them indoors, which was a little difficult volume-wise, but everything worked out just fine. They just dripped alot. But then again, so did we. S'all good.
One of the first acts of 8.13 – the Making. God they rock my world. Dave just has an exquisite voice. They’d come with a full band, but the heat pushed them indoors, which was a little difficult volume-wise, but everything worked out just fine. They just dripped alot. But then again, so did we. S’all good.

The 8.13 Festival was a marvel of musical collection. Brennan’s a genius when it comes to dragging cool people together, and it was stupid, stupid, dumb luck that the weather conspired against him so heavily. I just don’t think that any of us were going to win against a 105 degree heat index. The bands actually ended up starting indoors to avoid the heat, and then eventually moved outside when things got a little less oppressive.

I was in a weird mood, mostly from the heat. Just …. artistic… you know, ups and downs for no apparently reason. I fear I was a bit of an asshole here and there. If I could’ve fucked the air conditioner I would’ve, but even if it was putting out, I still wouldn’t have treated it well..

But the show was awesome. We didn’t let the heat stop us, and I feel like we put on a pretty damned good show.

Same thing went for today in Richmond. The heat was INSANE. Hell, at 8pm, driving to Rowan’s, the bank thermometers were STILL reading 98 degrees, and that’s just not RIGHT. I Love watching people preparing for a boring little acoustic set and then getting their asses handed to them by strings and drum.

It’s arrogance, but I’m beginning to think it’s earned. In any case, fatigue is setting in, so I think I’m going to stop babbling, post a picture or two, and take a nap so I’ll be fresh, so fresh for Rowan.

Velvet at the 8.13 Festival at the College Perk in College Park, MD. I get the impression that they MIGHT'VE thrashed around more if the heat wasn't endangering their very souls.
Velvet at the 8.13 Festival at the College Perk in College Park, MD. I get the impression that they MIGHT’VE thrashed around more if the heat wasn’t endangering their very souls.
There was also Smash Day at the Perk on 8.13. Later, all of this was on fire, too. That's Brennan, ending the Life of something that no-one wanted at the yard sale. Unfortunately, just as I snapped this photograph, my friend Tyler remarked "oh, I was just thinking how I needed a desk". Too slow, Tyler, too slow.
There was also Smash Day at the Perk on 8.13. Later, all of this was on fire, too. That’s Brennan, ending the Life of something that no-one wanted at the yard sale. Unfortunately, just as I snapped this photograph, my friend Tyler remarked “oh, I was just thinking how I needed a desk”. Too slow, Tyler, too slow.
Daniel Lee - exquisite voice and fantastic guitar - possibly the best male vocalist I know of. Period. Soul and soul aching and with a great sense of humour. He was experimenting with playing a kit at the same time, but I fear it stole away from his standing spectacular rock star qualities. Still, the version of "Case of You" that he and Heather did was heart-breakingly beautiful.
Daniel Lee – exquisite voice and fantastic guitar – possibly the best male vocalist I know of. Period. Soul and soul aching and with a great sense of humour. He was experimenting with playing a kit at the same time, but I fear it stole away from his standing spectacular rock star qualities. Still, the version of “Case of You” that he and Heather did was heart-breakingly beautiful.
Heather's little brother playing headball. As you can see, he merely tipped a foul on this one, with the mannekin head ricocheting near his feet. After this they moved on to apples. After being sprayed with apple chunks, however, the audience forced them to move on again.
Heather’s little brother playing headball. As you can see, he merely tipped a foul on this one, with the mannekin head ricocheting near his feet. After this they moved on to apples. After being sprayed with apple chunks, however, the audience forced them to move on again.
Dan Zimmerman heads up Dr. Rocksinger and the Age of Longing. Brennan grinning cheesily. I think this was Phil's last percussive performance at the Perk, as he moves to Arizona in a couple of days. We'll miss him muchly. Go to Dan's website. It will make you laugh.
Dan Zimmerman heads up Dr. Rocksinger and the Age of Longing. Brennan grinning cheesily. I think this was Phil’s last percussive performance at the Perk, as he moves to Arizona in a couple of days. We’ll miss him muchly. Go to Dan’s website. It will make you laugh.
Hrm. There's me, still covered in the remnants of my mom's kitchen. Glaring at the 8.13 Festival at College Perk in College Park, MD.
Hrm. There’s me, still covered in the remnants of my mom’s kitchen. Glaring at the 8.13 Festival at College Perk in College Park, MD.
We're About 9 performing as We're About 6 at the 8.13 Festival at College Perk.
We’re About 9 performing as We’re About 6 at the 8.13 Festival at College Perk.