Sept. 13th, 2003.

Whee! Us being all touristy.
Whee! Us being all touristy.

“After rob goes to bed INDEED!!!” I lie awake for hours, waiting for Heather’s return. The cool weather of fall has arrived, making New York beautiful like Baltimore after a rain. Heather’s a creature of exceeding warmth and I lie huddled under flannel sheets, shivering, waiting for her return.

Chocolate Heaven in Times Square. Heather took me around Times Square and ... well, being downwind of all the candy places was the best part.
Chocolate Heaven in Times Square. Heather took me around Times Square and … well, being downwind of all the candy places was the best part.

Today we wandered out to see a movie. Something out of a distant past, almost. We’re trying to be so careful about money, but Jayson dragged us out for lunch, a movie – and just to see the town. He’s an excellent guide, and we saw vegan cookies and steam vents and toy stores and book stores. I finally saw the new Oz series by McFarlane! Soo pleased. The Lion’s awesome! (removable entrails!)

Anywho, we went and saw the Order, which would make a great Episode I for some strange and distorted superhero series – but lacked a certain something as a movie in it’s own right. But it had all the important elements for a good flick: distorted Catholic imagery, a cult, good voices, a hot art chick lead, blood and paint, and a pretty unexpected twist. Great idea, it just sort of floundered in it’s realization. In the same vein, I told Jayson to go check out Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Catholics and blood, man. All I need.

the huge ferris wheel in the Times Square Toys R Us.
the huge ferris wheel in the Times Square Toys R Us.
Sometimes we're working. Sometimes we're watching Legend.
Sometimes we’re working. Sometimes we’re watching Legend.

So – the return to the apartment. We sauteed ourselves up some lime shrimp, and made ourselves some couscous, and this, combined with English Muffins, made for an admirable feast. All made from the raiding of Jayson’s refrigerator (which I think I can’t spell…)

“This shot be just as sweet as pie”

Ah, Legend. Heather’s discovered the joy of watching DVDs in bed on her computer. If I get derailed, it’s cause the unicorns are all making weird whaley noises, and lil TImmy Cruise isn’t controlling his girlfriend enough.

Anywho, despite my initial fears, the infamous Jayson Blair has turned out to be a fantastic host. A friend of mine, also in New York, had offered us his floor just in case Jayson turned out to be “a classic new york shitgrinning partyboy fuckup leech”. I was initially really turned off by both Heather’s description of him and some of his New York Times exploits… lemme ‘splain.

First off, I couldn’t care less about plaigerism at a major newspaper. It seems to me that anyone who believes everything they’re being told from any particular source is either inexcusably naive or inexplicably stupid. Anyone who believes that the NY Times isn’t just another business out to move product, well, the same adjectives apply. (“A world turned to ICE!! It be goblin PARADISE!!!”) I was nervous because Heather described Jayson as a fantastic journalist, with an inquisitive nature and an unstoppable intellect. Heather’s opinions of people, I don’t usually trust them at first… (well, that goes for MOST people’s opinions of other people) and in this case, my take on what Heather felt was a fantastic journalist sounded like a nosy, parasitically curious person, who perhaps believes highly in the Truth, but only at the exclusion of morality.

Below that is Soul Plane from Drexel Hill, PA. Hrm, should’ve made that picture bigger, but space is becoming sparse on ze server. Death.

[note that stuff like that – about making the pic bigger? EXACTLY one of the reasons I’ve started moving things over! It HAD been displayed like…

… so I think I’m making good choices! – rob 12/11/17]

Also, in finding out more about Jayson, I found that one of the stories he’d failed to show up at, but had still “reported on” was the Sniper Shootings. That was my neighbourhood – people died – I passed one of the victims and watched her bleeding out in front of a Shell Station. I didn’t even know it at the time, but I was watching a person die from absolutely senseless violence… AGAIN.

People died. Jayson treated it as a work assignment that he wouldn’t, or couldn’tĀ face. That’s great when you’re covering a horse race, or something even more useless and prone to fabrication, like a presidential race – but these were genuine human Lives. They were not treated justly – I was up in arms about that.

But Jayson Blair the person? I think I understand why he’s done what he’s done, and he’s amazing to watch in action. Tonight he got a phone call – a possibly million dollar movie deal based on his upcoming book. He’s using all this as a platform to speak out on journalism and the culture eating away within the profession. I don’t like the way he handled his dissolution, but the revolution he’s planning in it’s wake is admirable.

Jayson Blair IN person? He’s dynamic. Hyped on coffee and purpose. He’s perhaps a little crazed, but that’s nothing new to me. The apartment is an education. Sparsely decorated. It’s mostly books. Tom Clancy and Roger Zelanzy, a dozen biographies, dozens of novels on conspiracy theories, the debunking thereof, CIA spy books, black ops and black history. Books on French made easy. The Smack’em Frog (Golden Grahams? something like that) lies deceased across a shelf, his verdant hand pointing to “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order”.

His current obsession is Hitler. His girlfriend says he mentions him in his sleep – “Who killed the Jews honey?” “Hitler did.” A conversation held unconscious after a crazy marathon of writing… not a chain smoker, but a man who wishes perhaps that he could be mainlined into a coffeepot – minus the fact that he brews it six times over, turning it into a thick sludge of concentrated caffeine. There’s a crusade embedded in his head. Drive.

It’s strange, hearing the phone calls, then seeing the headlines the next day. It’s strange to see the press in action against its own – well, not really AGAINST, I suppose. They’ve been pretty fair recently. (though while going through today’s papers,k of which Jason bought about four on our tour of the city, one writer referred to Jayson as ‘Mr. Liar Liar Pants on Fire”). Mr. L.L. Pof takes all of this in stride.

It’s strange to realize that I genuinely like the guy. My taste in people tends to run immediately contrary to Heather’s, but Jayson – he’s relaxed, calm, confident. Oh, and twanging with excitement. Those two sentances should be mutually exlusive I suppose, but really it depends on the moment you catch him.

Recently, he’s taken to leaping on us while we lie unawares in bed. There’s that horrible moment when I wake up, Heather snuggled snoozing comfortably in the crook of one arm, and there’s a slowed down moment in time as drowsing eyes look upward – and Jayson Blair, of the cover of Newsweek, is involved in an incredible feat of hang-time above our bed, grinning maniacally. He has leapt from the door, and time rushes back in as he comes crashing down upon us. All sorts of affection.

It’s cause he hates people, I’m assured.


Dinner was an education in power consumption, like in Apollo 13. Slowly switching appliances on one by one, blowing the breaker, shutting everything down and starting over again. Eventually, we used the hotplate to cook the shrimp, the toaster oven for the muffins, and the microwave for… something. I don’t remember what we microwaved.

We had dinner steaming and then went about turning the coffee maker back on, the lights, plugging the refrigerator back in. New York plumbing and electrical wiring leave much to be desired.

And that’s all I’ve got to say. I want to catch Annabelle Lanyon’s last scene. Have never been able to decide whether she’s attractive or not.

Well, that’s a lie, the best part about Times Square was that we were truly allowed to be tourists there. People were filming themselves crossing the bloody streets. It sucked, cause we treated ourselves to our “last fine dining out experience” in Times Square at the Macaroni Grill there… I lie… the Garden whatchamacallit that WISHES it was Macaroni Grill. – anywho, I figured it would be… nicer, somehow, sitting in Times Square. But the bathrooms were SHIT. Literally.

Heather in the window at Jayson's.
Heather in the window at Jayson’s.

Erf, enough of this… time for bed. Maybe. Maybe chocolate. Mmm, I wonder if Jayson has any chocolate in the house (raid raid raid).

February 16th, 2004.

Long time, no mention – nothing really to mention today, either. I think I’m just going to post a bunch of pictures and narrate a bit to make up for it. We’ve begun to get responses from the summer festivals, and we’re beginning to plan around such things as Pagan festivals in Ohio, and Singer/Songwriter barcrawls in Illinois.

After the Dawson Street Pub, just about anything else was going to be a bit of a letdown - but this ceiling fan at Donavan's the next night WAS pretty damned cool. I guess the whole bar had a kind of reef, tropical kind of motif going on.
After the Dawson Street Pub, just about anything else was going to be a bit of a letdown – but this ceiling fan at Donavan’s the next night WAS pretty damned cool. I guess the whole bar had a kind of reef, tropical kind of motif going on.

I’ve been really sick for the past couple of days, caught something from AlfredĀ  last Tuesday. I helped him carry his drums into the gig that night, and he had something really nasty, and he shared.

Rick and Dave, respectively.
Rick and Dave, respectively.

Bastard.

The next night, we went to play with Soul Plane, and got stuck behind a trolley.
The next night, we went to play with Soul Plane, and got stuck behind a trolley.

So, I brought it home to Mara. And I think we shared it with Janna. The world’s been sick. Mitzi’s had food poisoning, Tyler’s been feeling poorly, Sharif threw up and Jon’s been depressed. Didn’t want to write about THAT… see?

Soul Plane, one of the coolest bands I've seen in a long time. A wonderful, high energy, intense act out of Philadelphia.
Soul Plane, one of the coolest bands I’ve seen in a long time. A wonderful, high energy, intense act out of Philadelphia.

Anywho, many things, including my 29th birthday, which was a whole lot of fun, one of my best ever. A WHOLE lot of Magic – almost nothing better to do when you’re feeling really poorly. Nothing to do but play Diablo and Magic… which, of course, is how Janna probably caught it. Sigh… Pestilence alll over. I sit here writing – Heather’s dad is running around with many a household chore – cleaning and replacing batteries, to the accompaniment of the Beatles. He keeps trying to give me fuzzy hats and camel hair coats – I try to explain…. it’s just not flannel. Sigh.

Their bass player specifically, is like a little dancing version of Rowan Atkinson - playing bass like a ... well... precisely UNLIKE a little dancing version of Rowan Atkinson. More like a versionof John Paul Jones who happens to look a little like a manically grinning, probably completely deranged, youthful and slender - Rowan Atkinson... Bean? What Bean? Oh - THAT Bean - oh God no!
Their bass player specifically, is like a little dancing version of Rowan Atkinson – playing bass like a … well… precisely UNLIKE a little dancing version of Rowan Atkinson. More like a version of John Paul Jones who happens to look a little like a manically grinning, probably completely deranged, youthful and slender – Rowan Atkinson… Bean? What Bean? Oh – THAT Bean – oh God no!
And their guitarist is God. Nothing else to say there - nothing else needs to be said.
And their guitarist is God. Nothing else to say there – nothing else needs to be said.

It turned out the open mic we were playing was actually run by a guy we knew from before – we’d met Rick at the Coffee Club (in Media? I think).

We sold a couple of CDs, and met some cool people – specifically – Dave – the Johnny Cash impersonator. Great Man in Black Covers. Very pleased.

The sound here was gorgeous, but other than that, I was kind of distracted by all the hockey.

Philadelphia didn’t treat us as well this time around, but I think a lot of that was attitude. We, of course, Loved hanging around with Shane, and he hooked me up with a new copy of Diablo II, which made my Life pretty complete, but – we hung around in Maryland because of my father’s cancer surgery, and that was kind of difficult. I’m just so glad that that’s over with. All that’s left is recovery…

“All that’s left” – I know it’s not that simple, but I have to think of it that way lest I just go crazy.

We didn’t get much out of the night – the crowd just couldn’t be distracted from their sporting events, but Soul Plane made up for everything. They were spectacular.

And JUST as both Heather and I were thinking “they could do awwwesome Led Zepplin covers” – they did. Not many bands can pull that off. They’re guitarist, specifically, would be capable of making Jimmy Page look up from his diabolist dabblings and say “whut?”

We came home for my birthday, the night after the gig with Soul Plane… I gloss over the whole me getting the address of the gig wrong, so we advertised the wrong address the whole week we were in Philly – and ended up at the wrong place ourselves… and God – it was a disaster.

DCF 1.0
But I got the coolest toy that ever existed for my birthday.

A Matrix Sentinal.

Now, the coolest gift EVER was what my Father gave me – successful cancer surgery while at the same time paying off the last of my school debt. It’s taken me 7 years, but it’s finally gone, and it’s an incredible feeling – but it’s harder to photograph.

DCF 1.0

DCF 1.0

It has been such a weird month. Back to the Dad in the hospital rambling – I went and visited while he was there, I was lucky enough to have Audrey come with me – and the hospital was dismal.

I don’t expect hospital patients to be cheerful and leaping and throwing back their sheets and jumping from bed to bed or anything – but I expect the damned hospital to be clean, and to be able to really understand the English of the nurses, and for the faucets to work, and for them to clean the spilled Jell-o off the floor. GW Hospital was just a multi-tiered lump of dinge. I was pretty disappointed with its existence in its entirety. Pretty fucking disgusted, to be truthful.

Later that night, we went back to Amy’s house and watched zombie movies and ate ravioli. It was probably my best birthday ever.

ilyAIMY at the Vault for my birthday.
For my birthday, we played the Vault. Here's a random shot of Jason getting his groove on with a ferocity which was to be admired. Oh and Bia's head. She smelled sooooo good.
For my birthday, we played the Vault. Here’s a random shot of Jason getting his groove on with a ferocity which was to be admired. Oh and Bia’s head. She smelled sooooo good.
And the Lloyds, in addition to their coup with the Sentinal, brought me bunny cake. Unfortunately, I only got a half a piece out of the whole thing, cause I was so busy running around and being a good birthday boy.
And the Lloyds, in addition to their coup with the Sentinal, brought me bunny cake. Unfortunately, I only got a half a piece out of the whole thing, cause I was so busy running around and being a good birthday boy.
Alfred's kit at the Vault in Baltimore, MD.
Alfred’s kit at the Vault in Baltimore, MD.
Alfred's kit at the Vault in Baltimore, MD.
Alfred’s kit at the Vault in Baltimore, MD.