Friday, March 31, 2006

Comments removed.

I have removed Enetation comments because of the amount of spam and flames this archive has received lately. If you need to contact me, please fill out the contact form at Here Is No Why.

I'm back. Oneidine 7 - 11, 28.


- LAST WEEKEND - I was coming down from Spring Break, which had been sufficiently productive, though only barely. On Friday, I went out exploring and visited the Middle Eastern enclave on Atlantic Avenue. I poked around Cobble Hill for awhile, and wandered south into Brooklyn Heights. When I got home, I read a little of Northanger Abbey, but fell asleep with my face on the book. Jess woke me up when she came in. We had a london broil for dinner.
On Saturday we got the news about my grandma. I didn't tell Jess right away because she was sleeping and I didn't want to wake her. I didn't have a lot of energy for the rest of the weekend, which means that I didn't finish my written critiques for workshop, nor did I finish Hopskotch. I can finish Hopskotch this summer, but I have to get on the critiques right away because I'm slipping further behind. I only have to stay afloat for one more month; then the semester and the year will be over.
On Sunday, Jess and I went to church at Sacred Heart in the East Village, but I got the time wrong, so we arrived a half-hour early. Afterwards, we walked down to Odessa and got dinner. I wasn't permitted to sit at Sympathy for the Kettle before the reading, so instead I rode the subway back to Brooklyn with Jess, then turned right around and rode it back to Manhattan. At 2773, I read Mr. Mouser and the Land of Dusk, a short piece I'd composed while thinking about my grandma, and it was very rough hewn, but I was pleased overall. It was an eventful night. Melissa read from her memoir, and Daniel rapped.

- MONDAY - On Monday I went to work as usual, except with all of Jess' and my luggage, and I got permission to take Tuesday and Wednesday off. I left work early, at about four and walked down to 24th Street, and picked up my rent-a-car from Enterprise. It ended up coming to about $230 (not including gas), but I'm paranoid and always go in for the insurance packages... so not a bad deal, overall, for three days. I left right away, heading out to Orangeburg to pick up Jess, but I got caught in traffic on the Westside Highway, and didn't make it to NKI until after six. We stopped at the bathroom, and continued out toward Rochester, where we were pick up my brother. By having to pick up Jess, however, I discovered (almost accidentally) a wonderful and scenic shortcut across the state. Instead of navigating the mazes of New Jersery tollways intersected with inlets, and that bizarre Pennsylvanian policy of ignoring cities outside of their own state, we went as follows:
- THE TRIP - North on Palisades Parkway to highway 6 west. Five miles later, 6 encounters a strange circle intersection in a field surrounded by trees, and becomes limited access 7. #7 actually continues for 130 miles of beautiful countryside all the way to the Catskills, and since it isn't an interstate, and its final destination is the thriving metropolis of Binghamton, there wasn't a lot of traffic. We made a stop at Taco Bell, and continued on. At Binghamton we switched to I-81, and at Syracuse, the I-90 tollway. We pulled into Rochester at 11:45, and I manage to navigate my way to Cody's dormitory by memory from a visit I'd paid four years ago (the ultimate of macho direction-finding pride). We picked up Cody, and continued onto Niagara Falls. After crossing into Canada, Cody took over, and Jess and I slept most of the way through Canada. After the crossing at Sarnia (I said to a sleepy Jess - "Hey, we're at the Bluewater Bridge," Jess - "I love you too,") Cody and I switched again, and I drove the last hour through Michigan into Flint, taking 475 to Clio road and finally, home. We were asleep fifteen minutes after our arrival.

- TUESDAY - My grandmother's funeral took place at the Brown Funeral Home on the Eastside, which shows the loyalty people have to funeral homes, since I think my grandma liked Flint about as much as my mother does. Still, the viewing arrangement was very nice. My Grandma Coyne and Aunt Georgia arrived, and we all visited together. My mother and sister had made a memory board with some wonderful photographs, going back as early as the 1920s.
- MY GRANDMOTHER - My grandmother had lived a very active and imaginative life. She'd only barely finished high school, and late, but later inspected electrical systems for the Mercury space program. She divorced her first husband in the 1950s, got a mortgage and purchased her own home. Later, she became a successful realtor in the Flint area and was also a certified pilot. My brother and sister and my cousins and me are featured in the later photos. The earliest photo is my grandma with a toothy grin standing next to her frustrated older brother, my Uncle Willy. In between, images of her with my parents and my Aunt Bonney and her first husband.
- MORE TUESDAY - After the viewing we went to Bob Evans on Center road. I had the whitefish sandwich. We had to do shopping for the next day, so my mother offered that we could miss the second part of the viewing and go shopping. As it turns out, my cousins arrived along with Aunt Bonney and her husband Tim, as well as some of my mom's coworkers. Caitlin and Cody and I drove out to Genesee Valley.
- FLINT - Here's something genuintely startling to me. Ever since I was a teenager I've been aware of Flint having a negative reputation, and I've also been aware with it's deprewssed appearance... the litter, abandoned buildings, the broken infrastructure, and all that. But I was genuinely startled and saddened by how rapidly the Eastside has declined over the last several. I wasn't a nice neighborhood when my friend Paul lived there as a child, and was even less so when I lived there myself in 1999 and 2003. But I never expected to see such a magnitude of abandoned houses, vacant lots, and burned out wrecks. Several businesses I've frequented have vanished, and roads I walked down just two years ago were almost unrecognizeable.
That said, Genessee Valley has gone in an equally bizarre, upscale direction. New soft incandescent lights with cylindrical brassy shields have replaced the earlier fluorescents, and the halls have been covered in carpet, a muted brown with bright flecks. I wonder where this leaves Courtland?
- LYN AND JOHN - Initially Jess and I were looking for Caitlin and Cody. We found them outside Payless where I was to buy my shoes, and just as I was about to say something, another voice said: "Connor Coyne!" I saw Lyn, one of my oldest and best friends walking toward me. At first I thought, "doesn't she live in Tennessee?" but then she was probably thinking "doesn't he live in New York?" and "Why is he always wearing a suit?" The last time I saw her was at my wedding. Lyn explained that she had moved back with her parents who lived just outside of Flint. She introduced me to her friend, John. We talked for a few minutes, and moved along, since I had to buy shoes and Caitlin her dress. But I realized at once that it would only take me a few minutes to get shoes, while the dress could take quite awhile. Ten minutes later, Cody and I walked out of Payless with a pair of dress shoes and tracked down Lyn and John. We moved to the Food Court where we talked, progressively, about cities and progeny and friends and jobs and art and politics and Japanese culture. Then Caitlin and Jess arrived, and we headed out for good.
- THAT NIGHT - Back home we stayed up and watched Pride and Prejudice - the new version. It was a good night.

- WEDNESDAY - The morning was spent getting ready for the post-service brunch, though I did have enough time for a bagel with cream cheese. Mr. Buck, a Methodist minister, presided for the service, and did a marvellous job. I read from a collection of memories that my mother had put together, and my Aunt Bonney and Caitlin and Cody each played a piece of music. The closing piece was Silent Night, my grandma's favorite song. We paid our final respects. After the service, I spent several minutes talking with my cousins and aunt, whom I have not seen in about ten years, and Uncle Tim, whom I'd never met. We drove back to Flushing, and I indulged in the local roads, avoiding the expressway. We drove down Kearsley street past the Cultural Center and past my own house, then we took Court to Beecher to River, drove through downtown Flushing. Gymboree was holding a closing sale... their "eqipment" was an sale as advertised on the front door. For the brunch, fifteen of us gathered at my parents: my Grandma Coyne, Aunt Georgia, Aunt Bonney and Uncle Tim, my cousins, Andy, Ben, and Nathan, and Andy's girlfriend, Dara, our family friend Peg, my parents, Caitlin, Cody, Jess, and I. I don't remember the last time there were fifteen people at my house... possibly my brother's graduation open house, which would have been four years ago. The brunch was wonderful, with my grandmother's Swedish Meatballs the most spectacular moment. Ben showed a video he had made of his snowboarding in Colorado, and we showed everyone some of our wedding pictures. After my cousins left, Jess and I took a short nap, and we visited for awhile after getting up. We finally headed out around six. These visits are always far too short.
- THE TRIP BACK - I talked Cody and Jess into stopping at Atlas for coffee and coneys to go, and then I stopped at an ATM to get cash for the tolls on the ride back. As before, Cody drove through Canada, and I tried to get some sleep in the back seat. Jess had to work the following day, so we did not ask her to drive. We dropped Cody off at Rochester at about midnight, and continued on. I got very tired on the drive back to New York, and actually stopped in a parking lot to close my eyes for a few minutes around 4. I made a wrong turn and missed the #7 becoming the #6, which led to a detour that cost us more time. Traffic wasn't bad until we hit the George Washington bridge and rush hour was just picking up. I'd also planned to save time by cutting through the Bronx to the Triburough bridge to the BQE. I didn't count on the traffic and lane closures in Brooklyn. We didn't make it home until 8 AM. At a little after nine, Jess left for work. I slept until noon.

- YESTERDAY - When I got up, I worked on my pieces for the Fiction Flask reading. I went downstairs and found we'd gotten a parking ticket. I also found that I had left on the headlights and killed the battery. After getting a jump, I gassed up the car, drove into Manhattan, and dropped the vehicle off. I walked to New School, finished my writing, printed out, and started down to Junno's. I stopped at the NYU library to renew my library book, but they told me they could not do so without my bringing in the books (which means I'm currently running up a hefty fine). Finally, I ran into Mac who was on the way to my reading. We walked together. The reading went well and felt cathartic in a way. I read a short sample of Urbantasm and a revised version of Mr. Mouser and the Land of Dusk. Afterwards, Marko and Reinhardt, Christine and Rosemary showed up and we visited for the rest of the night. Josephine, Sara, and Dani also read and each did a fine job. After the reading, I visited for awhile and walked to the subway. When I got home, I had some leftover meatballs for a late meal and went to bed.

- WEATHER - Today New York is supposed to get up to 72, while fierce winds are spiralling aross the upper midwest. Also, a storm is moving east across the country, having drenched Chicago yesterday, currently over Michigan and Ohio and sinking onto the East Coast for tomrrow before rolling out to sea. This is the way April is supposed to begin.

- WEDNESDAY - Was the day of the Eclipse.
- TODAY - Is Cèsar Chávez day.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Monday: Edward Gibbon, Mary Wallstonecraft Shelley, Ulysses S. Grant, Casey Kasem, and Ausust Wilson. Tuesday: Jan Oort, Jay Leno, Jessica Alba. Thursday: Francisco Goya, Paul Verlaine, and Sonny Boy Williamson I. Today: Rene Descartes, Liz Claiborne. Tomorrow: Lon Chaney, Sr and COLIN! Sunday: Giacomo Casanova. Also, SKYLAR in there somewhere...

The New York Times: In Dazzling Eclipse, Bashful Sun Allows Glimpse of Its Wild Side.

"A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow."
- Charlotte Bronte

NASA: The eclipse from space.

NASA: Eclipse in a different light.


Where would you like to be in five years?


Monday, March 27, 2006

Question, Monday.


What's your favorite kind of tea?


Sad news.


This passed Friday my grandma Mascroft passed away. She was eighty five years old and had a long and eventful life.

I will be attending her funeral viewing and service in Michigan this week, and will not be posting much until Thursday or Friday. I might put up some questions for general amusement, since those seem to go over well.

I hope everyone had a pleasant week, and please keep my grandma in your thoughts and prayers.




Saturday, March 25, 2006

Today is Lady Day.


Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, or: "Lady Day." It marks nine months before Christmas, and commemorates the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary in Nazareth. For many years it was the beginning of the new year in England and Ireland, since they regarded anno domini, the "year of our lord," as begining with Christ's conception as opposed to his literal birth. "Lady Day" is also a nickname for Billie Holiday.

Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation, which is less and less updated as time goes by, indicated that Sacred Heart has a mass at 9 AM on Saturdays. After hurrying through my morning routine today, I walked down. The church is a distance of less than two blocks from my apartment, and is situated between the Navy Yard, the BQE, and a fenced-in gravel enclosure.

This is a picture of Sacred Heart I took last autumn.

I found the gate open and the door to the narthex open, but the basins were empty and so was the church. I spent several minutes looking through the rounded, porthole like doors to the nave, and saw that it too was empty. But the inside of the church had a dull bluish-gray light to it. It's a cloudy day, so the sunlight was diffused and scattered somewhat evenly among the stained-glass windows. After awhile, I decided to enter and perhaps to sit for awhile. I stepped inside; the church was much more imposing on the interior than on the outside. The outside was red brick and seemed to have taken the same nicked and weary feel as the rest of the Navy Yard. On the inside, the statues were dusted and pearly white.

I was about halfway toward the sanctuary, when a man entered the room up front.

I introduced myself to him, and asked if there was a Saturday mass. He explained that there was not, that the church was open to provide access to a clothing drive, but he gave me an updated schedule. We spoke for a few minutes about adjacent parishes, most of which I was somewhat familiar with. The man's name was Father Gildea, and he told me that there's a severe shortage of priests in the area. We walked outside, and he pointed out the enclosure across the street. We talked about how the neighborhood is in a time of rapid change. The enclosure, he said, used to be a barracks associated with the Navy Yard, but that it had been sold to the city, demolished, and now would be used to build additional housing.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Oneidine 4, 27.


- YESTERDAY - Pretty efficient. No complaints. Might try to actually leave the apartment today. But I wrote long emails to Hallie and to Paul, and later, I went to see my friend Frederic read at a new bookstore in SoHo. Which looks bustling and exotic enough, whatever might be said. At home, dinner was ravioli and the O.C. has been improving lately, marginally.
- WEATHER - West of the Mississippi, temeratures are rising to their seasonal norm. A southerly jet stream, however, will keep the eastern midwest and the East cool, at least through the weekend.

- MARCH - Is the month of youthful artistic enterprises.
- SATURDAY - Is the day of the fall of Sauron.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Harry Houdini. Saturday: Catherine of Siena, Bela Bartok, Flannery O'Connor, Aretha Franklin, and Sir Elton John. Sunday: Leonard Nimoy, Diana Ross (always just a moment behind Aretha), James Iha, Keira Knightly, and Zarathustra.


Where are you planning on sending your kids to school?


Thursday, March 23, 2006

New Blog: Gyda's Song!


As it turns out, my sister has a blog too:

Gyda's Song -

It remains to be seen in which direction this one will head off, but it's off to a fresh and potent start!


Oneidine 3, 28.


- YESTERDAY - After work I bought dates and index cards and light bulbs. I cam home and decompressed by taking a shower and downloading YTMNDs. I'd gotten some frustrating news during the day and it filled me with peripheral ennui. But Jess got home and fixed us pasta and everything felt better. We watched Idol, I made some phone calls, went to the deli for pop and ice cream, and I did some reading before bed. I think this is going to be a good weekend.
- WEATHER - Here.

- MARCH - Is the month of Optimism.
- TODAY - Is the National Day of Meteorology.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Akira Kurosawa and Ric Ocasec.

The Capcom Strike Force.

How old would you be, ideally, when you first have children? (Already parents can answer for when you'd like your next.) (or... if you're not expecting to have any more kids, when would you like to be a grandparent?)


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dear Billy.


Dear Billy,

While I am genuinely touched by the solicitude you've exhibited on my behalf, I want to immediately warn you against expending too much energy. First, the effects of your efforts are not informed by your intentions or affections, but by the surrounding circumstances, and these have determined that I shall amount to nothing, shall build nothing, shall ultimately appraise and debase only myself. Your gesture, then, must remain only that. A gesture. And second, you need to keep your energy and capital in store for the days to come. We're living in overwhelming times, when every Patricia is reduced to a paddy wagon and every wagon must find its way to go on. It's a whelming, isolating time, in a very crowded way, and lonely, so much so that we see through the blue skies not like the sheening surface of a swan's beak or a robin's eggshell, but as the drag on radiation that it is. They might as well be gray, those skies, at least then they'd be a sign of some atmospheric content as opposed to some pitiless and hungry bowl aswarm with vindictive stars hiding in the electric haze, too small, too far, by-and-large, to really pour their hearts out, and all dying off all the time, just like we are.

Every two or three days I'm shaken by a shudder of realization that I have failed and am failing at everything which I have set out to do. And yet, as bad as things get, you don't see me lifting my finger to exert help upon you that I know perfectly well will serve no purpose.

Take a neutrino.

If you are truly desperate for passion, affection, affectivity, you can beg a neutrino for recognition. You can compose sonnets for it, sing it songs and give it flowers. You can write bright sharp sears of rhetoric that slash through the discourse like lightning. You can grasp for it with your fingers arrayed like zombies' claws, ready to dig into the slippery invisible flesh, to hold it still, to just get it to listen a moment. You can ask and impore and beat the ground with your fists.

You can do almost anything you want. It will not react.

If you don't dig in and do something substantial with your time, all of your affection and appraisals are transparent and insubstantial. Insignificant and of little worth.

So no, you won't see me lift a single finger to exert help upon you.

I'll be too busy using my own energies to augment your own.

~ Connor

Orbital #5. The Brown Album: "Impact (The Earth is Burning)," "Remind," "Walk Now...," "Monday," "Halcyon + On + On," and "Input Out."


In actuality, there is no full interruption in sound throughout almost the first two thirds of the album, although an almost-pause between Planet of the Shapes and Lush 3.1 might serve. For the most part, however, if you don't watch the track sequence, each song seems to move onto the next in stages; serrated cuts and additions morph the sounds over several minutes. These song groupings are demarcated on the liner notes with extra line breaks.

* * * * *

There are no lyrics throughout this whole section, with the exception of a brief burst of passionate words:

"It's it's it's it's... like a... like a... like a cry for survival. A cry for survival. Survival's the (end of the earth?) It's it's it's a cry. It's a cry for survival. Cry for survival. For their survival and for our survival."

Lush 3.2 shifts into Impact (The Earth is Burning. Despite the song's title and the lyrics cited above, it has a more optimistic sound the most of the rest of the album. The lighter tone is disrupted by an intrusive bassline, disonental "horn" synths, and oscillating acid, but then is alternately build back up with an organ effect. This sort of effect, a dense layering of a number of sounds, not all working together but often in tension with each other, built in, added and subtracted, is I think what people speak of when talking about Orbital's "signature" sound.

The words are said. The acid grinds down, just afterward. So is it a song about global warming?

It's the longest song on the album. After ten minutes, it takes another two to chime down into the much more sinister and insidious Remind.

Remind is almost identical to Impact in BPM, but the instrumentation is more stripped down with the occasional flourish of panicked synth and a more-or-less continuous seep of acid. The effect is claustrophobic; this is a paranoid song. It fades out completely at the end.

* * * * *

Towards the end of the album, each song is separated by a moment of silence, which also plays into its (open-ended? directed?) exploration of sequence and chronology.

Walk now... is just as insidious and morbid as Remind and seems to replace the latters constrained paranoia with a building and then bursting (at exactly 2:16) frenetic panic.

Monday isn't a cheerful song but, after Remind and Walk Now..., it acts as a sort of kinetic release. It doesn't brood. During the more urgent synth-informed moments (around 2:10), the sound becomes positively striving. It's the sort of song that makes you want to write a manifesto that will save the world.

Pianos similar to those on Monday will make a striking appearance in the next album, Snivilisation.

* * * * *

But now, the moment you've been waiting for... assuming anyone's actually reading this.

By the Wikipedia article, Halcyon was written in reference to "Halcion" or "Triazolam," a sedative drug used by Insomniacs and the Hartnoll brother's mother. Rarely prescribed these days, the dosage of the drug is a critical concern and it has been known to cause hallucination and amnesia with frequency.

I've not actually heard this song... the version everybody's familiar with through The Brown Album is the dance remix Halcyon-and-on-and-on. Which is the point of the album that showcases the reversed Hawkshall samples, and still manages to be profoundly sad and serene.

There's little to say about the song: it's absolutely incredible. While the albums I compared the Brown Album to in the last post all are compiled of mighty giants and trees of song, the whole Brown album seems to build toward, or better, revolve around this point. The song has a persistant and addictive beat, worthy of Chime, but the gloom and tranquility of the music itself is also consummate.

The song would be a good argument for anyone arguing that the repetitiveness, commercialization, or new-fangledness of Orbital rules it out as a candidate for "high art."

But we've already dismissed such segregations, right?

One last note: the title of the song: "on and on and on" throws back explicity to the them of circularity, sampling, and repetition. I won't insult you with an explanation.

When the vocals finally shuffle and fade away, Input out (notice the last dig / final inversion) mirrors the first track in effect if not lyrics ("Outward Rotation / Info Translation"), and we're right back where we started.

It's an album worthy of Flann O'Brien.


Oneidine 2, 28.


- YESTERDAY - After work I walked up to the Public Library. It was first time on Fifth Avenue north of about thirtieth street, and was somehow remeniscent of the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. Or perhaps the Magnificent Mile is remeniscent of Fifth Avenue. Regardless, I ended up at the Mid-Manhattan Library where I heard Jeff Allen, my seminar teacher from last semester, and a poet friend of his, read from their new work. Jeff is developing a new novel, and it sounds like it will be just as epic and sprawling as his last, Rails Under my Back. Several classmates of mine attended, and afterward they all headed out to an Indian restaurant. I walked there with them, and then continued to Times Square where I took the Subway home. The rest of the evening was uneventful; reading, etc.

- WEATHER - It's cold everywhere. A high pressure over Canada has been flowing and spreading to the south. Now that the storms have dissipated in the south and the jet stream on the West coast has moved, there nothing to stall the advance of arctic air. Hey: You had to have your warm January!

- MARCH - Is the month for Talking with your Teen about SEX!
- TODAY - Is World Water Way.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Bahá'u'lláh and William Shatner.

Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Foruma: Bluebell Wood.

Oh, come on now. I know you have an opinion on this. Really, how many kids would you like to have?
What names would you like to give them?


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Nothing new in Belarus.


Dozens of Protesters Arrested in Belarus.

That's the New York Times, reporting from Minsk.

While I do believe that, as I've heard from many sources, Lukashenko is a dictator refusing to relinquish control, this article illustrates how even a "straightforward" issue is thorny and problematic in the real world.

Not knowing much of the situation beyond what I've read here and there, it does seem that Lukashenko enjoys a broad base of support within his country. That's a difference that separates him from Milosevic, Yanukovych, and Ceausescu (other former Eastern European dictators), and it looks likely to be a decisive difference. Opposition protests seem to be losing momentum as time goes by, the opposite of what occurred in the Ukraine in 2004. A possible upshot: editorially, perhaps we don't object to the notion of a dictator as we might like to think. Perhaps it is not enough for a dictator to intimidate and coerce his opponents; we require some more accentuated combination of gratuitous disenfranchisement and low standard of living.

On that note, however, I am even more intrigued by the reception this has gotten abroad, or rather, I'm interested in the little moments that can slip through in a brief article.

In the White House profile:

Scott McClellan, said on Monday that the United States does not accept the results of the election. "We support the call for a new election," he said.

And how fascinating given the Bush administration's own questionable record of disenfranchising voters. There's a suggestion, then, that the difference is in having disenfranchisement circumlocutioned by lawyers and upheld by the Supreme Court instead of Slavic mafioso types and the KGB. Follow up question: what rhetorical force can we possibly impose upon Belarusian evildoers given this contradiction?

And finally, the last comment of the New York Times, the bastion of American journalism:

In Moscow, underscoring the widening gap between the West and Russia over the conduct of elections and the state of reform in former Soviet republics, the Kremlin rushed to applaud the result. The Foreign Ministry said, "The elections were testament to a high civic awareness and an interest amongst the Belarussian people for stability."

The statement made no mention of the mass arrests, wide-scale intimidation and the fawning official media coverage of Mr. Lukashenko and his policies.

Yes, and there's nothing repugnant or extravagent about the article's last unattributed, unsupported, and unspecified statement.

I doubt we'll see any startling changes in Belarusian policy in the upcoming weeks, and if our moral declarations fail to bolster our economic sanctions, well, we've only ourselves to blame.


New Blog: Unieuph!


I have a particular bias here: he's my brother.

That said, his blog which looks like it will encompass art, music, and politics, is already more advanced in several days than mine was after half-a-year. I'd probably link to it, even if he was just another eccentric huming Herman Ives whilst wandering the streets of Rochester, NY.

It's been awhile since I've linked to anyone new. This seems a good way to kick it off again.

Give it a look: Unieuph: Universalist, Euphoniumist -




This is the time of year I like to be overhwelmed with rain, and while New York has let me down where snow is concerned, thanks to the balmy North Atlantic, I have every hope that it will trump both Flint and Chicago in liquid precipitation.

Of course, last year for Oneidine I had great rainy pictures... There was an admixture of rain and sleet that night, and at about 1 AM, I walked with Sky up to Thorndale, and continued alone on to Loyola. The lack was black and inky and the wind was killing my ears... it really was somewhat painful, but wet and dark and springlike and magnificent.

Here's it's just a cold March dreg right now. Not feeling that I could take any pictures that would do justice to the month, I ripped the background from the opening to the SNES game The Legend of Zelda III: A Link to the Past. The main panel at top is sampled from an attributed license at Wikipedia Commons and the three side panels are my own creation. (Pretty, aren't they?)

The links this month:
1. Northanger Abbey is supposed to be (I'm reading it now myself) one of Jane Austen's more relaxed and humorous novels. Her target is the early English gothic movement (which I find worth time all on its own) and especially the lovely and inimitable Ms. Ann Radcliffe.
2. This link connects to an article with suggestions for spring cleaning. I selected it as the best of many.
3. And this leads to what appears to be a great recipe for Cream of Mushroom soup. I haven't tried it yet, but I expect to. It requires Sherry.

There's a common thread here.

These all involve things you may want to consider when it's raining out and you don't want to leave your apartment.


Oneidine 1, 28.


- YESTERDAY - Not bad, but of course, I'm an advocate of the forty-hour day (the only way to get everything done) and the legislation just isn't promising. I went to work then church, then home. Jess arrived not long after I did, and we went to a Thai restaurant up the street. I tried the noodles and squid. It wasn't bad, although this wasn't the little inoffensive squid that comes as calamari or in little tins at tiendas... this was substantial, rubbery suckered strips of what must have been quite a significant beastie. We went home, I took a nap, then got up and worked until about two. So I'm a little tired today. But not bad, not bad.
- WEATHER - More of the same. This March is playing it to the hilt. Down south, Florida, Georgia, and the Carolina coast are next up for thunderstorms. It's chilly on the west coast as the jet stream makes an almost straight north-south plunge along the Cascades and Sierras. The system will move east, but should be mostly depleted of snow by the time it reaches the Mississippi. Except for West Virginia. They could get half a foot.

- MARCH - Is the month for Playing the Recorder.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Johann Sebastian Bach, Gary Oldman, as well as Matthew Broderick, Rosie O'Donnell, and yes, Kevin Federline. In 1978. My year.

"Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It's called 'rain.'"
- Michael McClary

Are you planning on having children? How many would be idea from this oh-so-speculative point (for some of us)?


Today, Pat Oliphant is Gothic Funk.



Monday, March 20, 2006

Orbital #4. The Brown Album: "Time Becomes," "Planet of the Shapes," "Lush 3.1," and "Lush 3.2."


There is a theory of the Moebius...
a twist in the fabric of space
where time becomes a loop."

In my own annals, this warmly human, passionate, and mechanical sounding album is one of the greatest pieces of pressed music that I've ever heard. That ranks it alongside Automatic for the People, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band, Led Zeppelin IV, and Siamese Dream.

Solid and shimmering, beginning to end.

* * * * *

Time Becomes and Planet of the Shapes

The album begins with a three minute sample of a seven second clip from Orbital 1. Not only does the sample itself do exactly what the quote it contains suggests - looping time around until it arrives back at its starting point - but it duplicates this on a third level... by sampling Orbital 1 they create a continuous loop between their present (in 1992) and past work. This album will end with a fourth level; the same sample played backwards, making the feature symmetrical on Orbital 2. Add to this the name of the band: Orbital, which describes that which is constrained to a loop. Add the source of the name, which was the Oribtal expressway which loops around London (and was, thus, a convenient route to London's innumerable raves in the late eighties). Add the interesting choice for the cover art of both the first two albums (incorporating the same image) to instead utilize atomic orbitals, which are not only the most fundamental application of the word, but also an fundamental aspect of the structure and behavior of matter.

It's astounding to me that after their debut, which was not so much an album in the organic sense as a series of singles and popular dance hits cobbled together, the Harnoll brothers would put together one of the most minutely and meticulously structured albums I've ever experienced. I doubt anyone has accused Orbital 2 of being a "concept album," but it deserves the title in the most-encompassing and least-pretentious sense.

Planet of the Shapes is catchy, and long enough to really fall into, but the bulk of the song sounds standard for Hindu-influenced trancefare. Two things make the song astonishing. It begins at the conclusion of the sampled quote with the sound of a record needle loudly running along the vinyl, a trunchated dance beat, and stereo effects (the first two minutes of the song only play through one speaker). The second is the quote that plays at this point:

"Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day."

Sci-fi fare and loose philosophical ramblings are ubiquitous to electronic music, but these selections have been more carefully selected:
"Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day" is transparently true.
Step on to connect the quote with the earlier sample of the moebius... if we take literally the quote's observation of looped time, of samples, then the stopped clock becomes a mechanical manifestation of this fact. The two songs are then linked through their thematic engagement of time.
Step on: What else is a "mechanical manifestation" of looped time? Samplers! Mixers! Everything used to make good house music! So the discourse of the album now takes in time and space and the production of music. It has effectively become self-conscious.

Moreover, the quote doesn't "stop" or "start." It fades in and fades out, repeating over and over the whole time. Looping. Presumably repeating somewhere in the background. And, the timing of these fades are one cycle at the top of the song and one at the bottom, meaning that the song is bracketed by the sample.

Finally, there's one more interpretation that can be drawn along this line of thought: The sample that kicks off the album is clearly a sci-fi reference. However the second reference seems antiquated. Not buying it from the voice? For a stopped clock to tell the right time, it must be an analog clock with a face; not quartz. The fact that it had "stopped" in a day and age when watch batteries could essentially run for years also antiquates the clock. The album, then, refers to both the past and the future, which brackets and encompasses the present, just as suggested by the first and last tracks.

We're still only three minutes in.

* * * * *

Lush 3.1 and Lush 3.2

The record player shrieks and skips, and now we're on to Lush 3.1 and Lush 3.2, interconnected (demurring for the theme), and the are easily the most addictive dance songs on the album.

For all of their energy and their fast and contagious beats, there's something melancholy about these tracks, especially 3.1. A melody is carried along like whalesong and is overlain with others as if by a whole pod.

3.2 is more stripped down and agressive. It does, however, open for Kirsty Hawkshaw's vocals, which are immediately haunting and dark, a sort of sinister second to the whalesong on 3.1.

Both of these songs demonstrate how great dance music can be sad and angry and happy at the same time. But above that, they're pure wonderful. You should go listen to them now.

Lush 3.2 moves at once into Impact (The Earth is Burning) where I'll pick up next time...


The Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Today is both the first day of the Spring and the Solemnity of St. Joseph. The coincidence of the two is atypical; St. Joseph's day typically falls on the nineteenth but is bumped forward every so often when the nineteenth is a Sunday. As a solemnity, it is the one occasion to trump the Lenten Friday rule. Except today's Monday.

March is a confounding month to me; everywhere I've lived it's exhibited all the pains of winter (with the expection of extremely short days), and seems to behave as a very abortive, jerking, stop-and-start approach to spring. Thinking forward to September, it's usually still warm enough to go swimming, or at least think about it on the Autumnal Equinox. Would any of you contemplate taking a dip outside these days?

A lot of that, of course, is just weather and physics. Water has excellent retention of heat, and by September the lakes and oceans are still oozing with energy. Whereas by now, their store is depleted. I realize this is an unfair comparison.

In August we celebrate the solemnity of Mary. The summer is still winding down but the sun is still a blaze of glory in the skies. Mary is associated with virginity that seems to supercede a sex act... it seems to touch on transcendence. And, of course, her literal role in the Bible suggests both intimacy with and proximity to God. So there is that.

I'm always struck by how analagous these two feasts run to their respective season's. What can be said of Joseph. While Mary is present throughout several of the gospels, Joseph is gone not long after the nativity, possibly (and some would say, implied) even dead. He was a carpenter, an honorable and pious man, and one who foreshadows the gospel message in his trust in and fidelity to Mary. And of course, we call him a carpenter, though it is just as reasonable to surmise that he might have been a skilled artisan, and thereby, a person of some means.

What else can be said about Joseph, though?

According to the Christian tradition, the promise of the gospel is not fulfilled until the moment of resurrection. Even so, it is explicitly discussed throughout the period of Christ's ministry. It is telling, then, to me that Joseph's feast day arrives at about the midpoint of Lent, in proximity to Spring but without really bearing witness to the fruits of the season. Those will come later, as will Easter.

The holiday has some rather bizarre and far flung traditions around the world. If you know someone named "Joseph," you can pinch them on the ear for their own good luck. Some areas consider it to be the end of the Carnival season (though they've already been fasting for several weeks) and go for one last parade. My favorite interpretation, however, is Filipino. A poor young girl and boy are decked out and seated at the table with the families' best servingware, and are led (literally spoon-to-mouth) by the elders of the family. I'm not exactly sure what this all signified; throughout most of the world the holiday seems to slip through the cracks.




- THE WEEKEND - A lot of the weekend early on kind of sucked, but it got better throughout, and by the end I was having an evenly good time. On St. Patrick's Day, Jess and I went out to a bar in TriBeCa, very loud and boisterous, but they were giving out free corned beef and cabbage, and Guinness was $4.75 a pint. That's right, I violated my Friday fast, but only very late in the day (it was almost midnight anyway) and priests around the country had been encouraging their parishioners to do so.
On Saturday I was feeling sick so I missed my two workshops, but as the afternoon drew on I started to feel better, and that night Jess and I went out to see Grey Gardens at Playwrights Horizons through the package that Hallie got us for our wedding. The play was utterly bizarre but increasingly wonderful throughout, and both of us had a lot of good things to say about it. We stopped at a Papaya Dog on 9th Avenue and 42nd Street on the way back, and it wasn't all that late when we got home. On Sunday I read and worked on assorted projects, and finally left the apartment at about four-thirty. I went to a church in the East Village, very dimly lit and with unenthusiastic parishioners, though the space itself was lustrous white walls and black ebony supports. After that, I went to Odessa on Thomkin's Square and worked on my reading for the 2773. I decided to write something out of character: straightforward and psychologically driven. It was better received than I had expected. I walked back to the subway with Daniel, and got home a little after midnight. Although I didn't get to sleep until one in the morning, today I feel surprisingly well-rested.
- WEATHER - More of the same everywhere. Snow ranging across the midwest, chilly out east, and drenching storms across the whole South.

- MARCH - Is the month of Women's History.
- TODAY - Is the First Day of Spring.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Spike Lee, Henrik Ibsen, and Ovid.

The one you've possibly heard about:
New York Times: Belarus Poll Seen Unfair, Lukashenko Rivas Protest.
The one that's been less agressively covered:
The Boston Globe: Misery follows an influx from Chad.

What’s the most excruciating physical pain you’ve ever experienced?


Friday, March 17, 2006

Occludine 26, 28.


- YESTERDAY - Slept in a while. I worked on cleaning and Spanish and had the opportunity to catch up on some reading. This is officially the beginning of "spring break," but I'm working next week, so it's really only a break from school. Still, I'm hoping it'll be a chance to make up some ground I've lost over the last couple months. It's mid-March... mid-March.
In the evening I went to the MFA reading and met Jess there. We came home and I did some more reading. And now it's today!
- WEATHER - This is funny. And essentially true. The Midwest will continue to get old snow, the Rockies, new snow, a collision of fronts over Texas will move east bringing storms to the South. On the east coast it'll be chilly due to the southward plunge of the jet stream. It will also be cool on the Pacific coast.

- MARCH - Is the month of the Irish!
- TODAY - Happy St. Patricks day!
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Nat "King" Cole.

"You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was."
- Irish Proverb


What's your Irish heritage? (Remember, the Irish are meticulous about always telling the truth; therefore if you don't have any Irish heritage, it would be sacrilegious and easily detected for you to fabricate a story about the nonexistant Irish heritage that you claim to possess.)


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Occludine 25, 28.


- YESTERDAY - Good. Solid. I had to scramble about during the day to finish Naked Lunch and the assignment, but both were complete when I finally made it to class. The presentation was fun, thoughtful, and very well-researched. We touched on Lacan/Freud, but not to the extent that it spoiled the fun for skeptics like me. I've noticed that when this class goes really well it's able to turn me on to books I wouldn't otherwise like. I can now say that I genuinely appreciate Naked Lunch.
- WEATHER - Parts of the midwest will top out at about six inches of snow. The wildfires in Texas has slackened. Otherwise, there's not much to talk about.

- MARCH - Is the month of Music in our schools.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - James Madison.

The Discovery Channel: The Perfect Disaster.

Do you own an autographed book, and if so, what is the context?


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

In March, 1999...


I was a second year living in 529D, the creepiest room in Mathews House. It was a haunted year overall, and by this point many catastrophes had passed and many others were on their way.

There was a break in all this, however...

My friend Armand had received an extra ticket from Vanguard, the airline he took from Chicago home to Denver, and he offered it to me. Instead of Michigan, I'd went to Colorado for Spring break.

It's been so long since this happened that my sequentiality has to be a little bit messed up, but I remember that it was freezingi n Chicago when he walked up Ellis to the 55 Street bus. Our flight left at 10:30 and we'd made the busstop around 8:30... We were a little edgy and nervous. I'd packed my suitcase too tightly, and it was a struggle to carry it the full distance. Moreover, there weren't any Express buses on Garfield at the time, meaning the crosstown ride to Midway might take fifty minutes or an hour. We made our flight alright, however, and it may have even been delayed. I read half of the flight and slept the other half.

Denver airport was oddly over-the-top. While complete with it's own internal subway system that seemed imported from the future, or at least Disney world, and all the polish and poise you'd hope for in an airport, it also had a strange extended dome that meant to suggest the mountains and instead came off as a furtive imitation. Armand's father picked us up and we drove to his home in Aurora. The airport was some distance from the city, and Denver is situated on the eastern bank of the Rockies, so the approach was actually quite level. I was able to see the whole metropolitan area sprawling off to my right and left. After a ten or twenty minute ride, we arrived at his house in Aurora, a looming corporation half the size of Denver itself. Aurora has it's own history and interesting parts, though some of it has blossomed out with houses and not-much-else, much like the area outside Detroit.

I believe it was the very next morning that I woke up before Armand and went for a walk to the Aurora mall and back. The scene was half-familiar and half-exotic. The rows of brick suburban houses could have been from outside Chicago, or Detroit, or Flint, but I'd never seen anything like the Prairie Dogs the scurried in and out of hundreds of holes in any unnocupied land.

Later that same day, I think, we went to a famous bookstore, and there I bought On the Road by Jack Karouac, more because I associated the story with Denver than anything else. It turned out I could just as well associate it with New York City, with Chicago, with San Francisco and with Mexico City.

We went to a radio play with Armand's parents.
We went out with a number of Armand's friends on several occasions; Jose who related his yule adventures in TJ and Julia who, when I said 'hello' gathered from my accent that I must be from Michigan or Minnesota. Mark (?) who drank 40s with us and tried to come up with the most offensive rap lyrics we could remember. And Marcell. There were a few others that I do not remember. One night, maybe halfway through our trip, we went out to a frat. I drank too much and the frat brothers asked us to leave. Armand wasn't too happy about that. Another day, we met with Judd and his roleplaying friends and went to see 8mm, which I defended as "pretty good," a memory I'd disown now, if I could.

On the morning of the third day, I believe, I went out for a long walk, weaving through Aurora in vicinity to I-70, past the Aurora mall and Del-Ray park, up to Colfax (the Dort Highway of Denver). I followed Colfax into the city past lots of goregous fifties motels, flattened and pastel, and the immaculate East High School, which I have to rope into Urbantasm somehow. I remember I entered and asked if I could take photos; they said no. I countinued through downtown and waited at a diner on Federal. I'd walked some twelve or fourteen miles. Armand picked me up, and we went to meet his father at a Vietnamiese dive with some of the best coffee I've ever had.

On the subject:

A subplot to this whole story was my staying up for most of the night each night. I'd recently switched my concentration from... who knows, G.S. Hum?... to Physics. But I was already behind by nearly two years, and I was determined to make if work, if possible. I'd entrolled in Calc 153 with Martin Pergler, who I knew from 151-152 my prior year. Each night I played catchup, covering as many pages of the Calculus as I could. I should have guessed the way the wind was blowing in the sheer difficulty I had grasping at derivatives and integrals my friends were solving in my sleep. But this would be part of the drama to play out Spring quarter. For now, it was nice. Each night, Armand's mom prepared me a pot of coffee and I sat at the kitchen table and looked out into that bleak Colorado-ness, and tried to solve the problems. I usually went to bed around four or five.

We left Denver three times on the latter half of the trip.

The first day, out with Armand's friends again, we drove up to Boulder with its pedestrian walkways. It was sparkling and hippiesh and I was asked for a loan from the most attractive bunny panhandlers I'd ever imagined; it was ephemeral, like anime. We looked at the red rocks, a favored place for suicide, and the observatories perched on the banks of the mountains.

Later, Armand's father took us through Denver, through Golden, and into the mountains themselves. Denver had been one of the most high-tech and pristine cities I'd ever seen but the mountains felt rustic and rusted and ancient in a way the Appalachians do not. We wound our way past massive casinos owned by the indians and arrived at a cemetery where some of Armand's family had been buried, in the 1800s, during the Gold Rush era. Then, we climbed further, and not far below the timber line there was a huge, mirrored lake with picnic tables, marshy at the margin, but clear and smooth as glass. One the drive back, we stopped at a Coney Island (the second Armand has sited outside of Michigan)... a strange little hot dog stand in a tiny building shaped like a hot dog and bun, up in the middle of the mountains. We drove past the McMansions that strung their way up into the mountains like sinous roots. On the final leg, we passed Columbine high school in Littleton ten minutes from Denver. In just a couple weeks, that school would make news.

Our third trip, and probably the last, involved an expedition we took with Jose south to Colorado Springs where we toured the Garden of the Gods, giant, vertical plinths of smooth red stone. Since a road-trip to Albuquerque was unfeasible, on the way back we drove out into the planes which rolled out in front of us like a massive carpet. The sun had sunk behind the mountains, and all that was visible to either side were little lights on distant farming apparatus, and very occasionally, a homestead. We drove out to Limon and caught dinner at a family restaurant. Then we made the long drive, some eighty miles back to the city.

I'd visited southern California in 7th grade, but for some reason this trip more concretely gave me a notion of the West and being in the West. The huge reservoirs and modest waterways that moved throughthe city, the looming presence of the mountains and knowing that the mountains rolled on in some form or other, for the last third of the continent, and above all the fifties car culture and ninteenth century saloon culture that didn't seem to have quite eroded all made a distinct and forceful impression. I've only been to Denver that once, but the memories of that trip are disproportionately striking.

Where were you in March, 1999?


Occludine 24, 28.


- YESTERDAY - Tuesdays are in theory relaxed, but in practice I'm reeling from Monday while gearing up for the chaos of Wednesday. I was tired most of the day long, and by the time I got home, all I wanted to do was lay around. (I beat both Megaman vs. Metroid and vs. Ghosts and Goblins). From about ten to one, I was reading Naked Lunch. It's a frustrating little beast of a book.
- WEATHER - And suddenly the interesting weather week has become relatively dull. The snowstorms that bothered the Midwest yesterday have moved over the Appalachians. And Florida is enjoying a perfect day in the cool seventies. That is all.

- MARCH - Is Athletic training month.
- TODAY - Is the Ides of March.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Andrew Jackson and Sly Stone.

Jan Curtis' Aurora Page: Looking up the ray-filled curtains

Would you describe yourself as benthic or pelagic?


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Orbital #3. The Green Album: "The Moebius," "Speed Freak (Moby Remix)," "Fahrenheit 3D3," and "Midnight".


The Moebius

"There is a theory of the mobius; a twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop."

Whirs, clicks, and whistles. It's fun and it does have a sort of panache to it, but after Belfast I think the function of this track is really to get you to the good stuff. That said, the "Moebius" quote at the beginning of the song will be sampled and resampled by Orbital in their later albums (and everyone else, too). The repetition of the song, it's circularity, the overlay of sounds and their gradual removal without a gradual sense of build to it. I think this song achieves somewhat what Trance strives towards through the ommission of everything Trancey... not necessarily a literal trance or meditation, but an acute awareness of what is present at that moment.

Speed Freak (Moby Remix)

The Moby is not only noticeable but conspicuous. Still, I don't know that he could ever cook up something quite this scary on his own, and it's done... it has the Moby driven-ness, but the weird Orbital wacky sci-fi dystopia overtones. Around the two minute mark it even shifts a little toward Earthbound battle music.

This is a fun, unpradictable, almost paranoid thing to move to.

Fahrenheit 3D3

Pure ass-shaking psy-fi Orbital fun. A sampled feminine voice, far from the lilting thing in Belfast is now chopped up as if by an oscillating fan or the helicopters from Desert Fan. The beat keeps pace like a heavy wave and the mid-ninetites piano and hand-claps scuttle like mollusks along the seafloor. Over the top, I know, but I like this song, and when I hear it I'm inclined to not take things with utter seriousness, even though there's something sinister moving against the background.

It's a Blue Whale.


Gorgeous and a little creepy with question-asking chopstick sounds moving up and down the scale, and Dracula organ-sounds intoned behind. This song also points toward their later work.

Of all the Orbital albums I'm aware of the Green album is the most dance-heavy. It also has a germinal sounds to it, that I think the best first albums do. This isn't derived from a lack of skill, but from inexperience. There's experimentation, but naive experimentation; that which resolves from a first gimpse at the possibilities a sound affords.


Occludine 23, 28.


- YESTERDAY - It sucked, mostly. The day was alright... I managed eight entries at work, typed up some comments for my classmates. At workshop, though, Adrift was eviscerated with croquet mallets and sledge hammers, and I let it slip how frayed I was getting about the whole thing. But I had a good time at Spain afterwards, and tonight's going to be a nice night as well.
- WEATHER - The storms of last weekend are moving out over the weekend leaving a much cooler anticyclone in their wake. As a result, the South and East will remain cool and drizzly for the next several days. Weirdness in the midwest. With cold wind descending from Canada and colliding with remnants on the storm front on its way out, temperatures in the twenties and the sixties will be separated by about a hundred mile wide swatch of thick snow, fluttering approximately over Chicago and east and west from there. Everything is very gusty right now, which is a problem in Texas where there are wildfires.

- MARCH - Is Frozen Foods month.
- TODAY - Is Purim and Pi Day.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Michael Caine, Billy Crystal.

"It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls."
Epicurus (341 - 270 BCE)

What cheers you up when you're feeling lousy?


Monday, March 13, 2006

Occludine 22, 28.


- THE WEEKEND - Highs and lows this weekend.
The high was undoubtedly Friday night. Jessica and I were celebrating our six year anniversary (from when we started "dating") and we'd agreed to spend the evening out on the town. At a little after five I put on my bright stripe shirt that Jess likes, walked and took the Q to Union Square, transferred to the 6 and rode up to 86th and Lexington. I picked up our tickets to Walk the Line and went all out on pop, popcorn, and candy. I met Jess at the entrance at seven exactly, and we made the film in time to see the previews.
Walk the Line wasn't exactly a "fun" movie... I spent a lot of the time frustrated with the repetitiveness of Johnny Cash's mistakes... understandable in life, but this was film; it could've been tightened up a bit. Still, the climax was worth waiting for and I agree with assessments of theacting.
Afterwards, we walked up and down Lexington and 2nd and 3rd for awhile, finally stopping for dinner at an Italian place - Divino at 1556 2nd Avenue. The prices were quite reasonable (even considering that this was the Upper East Side) and the food was wonderful. A singer arrived, and while she was singing an admixture of wedding favorites, old showtunes, and cheesy dance favorite, she did get the whole crowd involved, which was impressive, being maybe one part recent grads, one part Upper 80s dames, and one part Asian tourists.
We took the trains back to Fort Greene, just in time for Conan O'Brien's special trip to Finland. I'd had high hopes, but the episode was even better than I'd expected. We sipped from our last bottle of champagne. It was a marvelous night.
Saturday was more typical; I went to my classes with Frederic Tuten and Sharon Mesmer. I did have an aggressive hustler threaten to beat me up... always fun... and that night Jess and I went to a Karaoke Bar with Sara Ross, Reinhardt, Dani, Justin, Sara, and a couple kids from out of town.
Sunday I missed church. I've been awful about church attendance this Lent, and I feel kind of wretched about it. But I did have a reading that night at an East Village tea bar, Sympathy for the Kettle and I knew almost all of the readers. It was fun.

- WEATHER - Over one-hundred tornadoes reported this weekend, mostly in Misourri (it was mildly irritating that the NYC news resported violent storms over "five midwestern states" but steadfastly did not name which states). Three people killed. The storm is now splitting into branches, as the cyclone moves north to Michigan and a number of fronts distort each other. The south will boil as a result, experiencing Thunderstorms weaker than those of this past weekend. The northern branch of the storms, will primarily move east into the Appalachians bringing rain to the east coast. Meanwhile, in the far north of the midwest, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota could get a food of snow. Welcome to March.

- MARCH - Is the month of Hidden Booty.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Joseph Priestley and William H. Macy.

BBC News: Milosevic 'took the wrong drugs'

What three years of your life would you class as being the most 'eventful'? (Feel free to err on the side of two or four, if that will float your boat...)


Friday, March 10, 2006

Occludine 19, 28.


- YESTERDAY - Slept in and read a lot.

Actually, that's not the literal truth; that photo was taken on a February day in the sixties, whereas today is a March day in the seventies. I'm not reading The Monk, but Naked Lunch. I'm not drinking beer, but orange juice. Still, you get the point. I've been up on the roof, reading.
A decisive factor in my posting sucking all week.
I will be serious about this blog again come Monday.

- WEATHER - It continues. Polar winds have access to the Pacific Northwest. It's balmy and fine on the East Coast. All hell has broken out in the Deep South and Midwest. You got crazy storms yesterday? You'll get some more tomorrow.

- MARCH - Is the month of listening.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Harriet Tubman.


What is something that others would consider to be a guilty pleasure, but of which you are actually fiercely proud?


Thursday, March 09, 2006

O.C. Reflection: Stupid Punk.


Yeah. You better look sullen you little punk.

Spoilers ahead:
There was lot's to wring hands about in the last episode of The O.C.*, in a good way, but the best of it was unfortunately engaged in marginal subplots. The big motions, however, were objectively disordered**, in the sense that made me want to throw a forty, or a shoe, or at least a pillow at the TV.

Paging Atwood:

You do not do this.
It's a crummy motion if you happen to live across the country.
If, however, you live across town and have a swank SUV to make the five minute drive, its quadrupally unexcusable.

You're a tool, Ryan Atwood. A tool.

This episode revealed big disappointments from two of the show's two most rational and reasonable characters.

* Something else to add to the next Gothic Funk statement; now we're officially talking about Lacan and The O.C..
** Henceforth I will use this phrase to conveyed exaggerated and ill-conceived indignation.


Occludine 18, 28.


- YESTERDAY - Uneventful, except for class, where we discussed Barthelme's The Dead Father and had a rousing debate on Lacan. I don't know enough of Lacan to offer an informed opinion, but I offered the perspective that anything necessarily hingeing on Freud is whack. As whack as Ptolemy. I'm going to do a Gothic Funk statement sometime on just how whack it is. And after sitting on it for a couple years, I've firmly decided I don't buy the "it's talking about art, not psychology" gambit. If his theories weren't considered to have bearing on some basic functioning of the human mind, people wouldn't be citing him and his disciples in their literary essays. The reversion to Freud is an embarassment to the whole artistic community, is still ridiculously pronounced in literary criticism, and one of the most reasonable answers the mainstream provides for not taking us seriously. You think you can take me? Go ahead. I dare you.
- WEATHER - Cold out west. Mild out east. Deep south and midwest; big storms. Aah! Winds! Floods! Tornadoes! I mean, giant phalluses descending from the sky! Run! Run, you fools! Run!!!

- MARCH - Is the month of Umbrellas.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - My friend, Brian Spurling. (He doesn't read this, so he probably won't know I'm wishing him a happy birthday, but I wish it all the same.) And Amerigo Vespucci. And Yuri Gagarin.

THE Inpsector Gadget Web Page

Give us a guilty pleasure. (But it has to feel guilty.)


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Occludine 17, 28.


- BLOGGING - Last week was dull and this week is shaping to be dull. I promise to post more interesting stuff as soon as I'm just a bit less overwhelmed, which I expect will be... next week.
- YESTERDAY - Stopped by church after work, went home and had a pizza dinner with Jessica, then a nap until nine. I stayed up late finishing The Dead Father by Barthelme for Shelley's class, typing up comments (belatedly) for Jared's piece, and revising Adrift on the Mainstream. I did the dishes and went to bed a little after three. Don't worry, don't worry, I'm fine, I'm fine, no really.
- WEATHER - Our interesting weather week continues. The jet stream, as predicted, has plunged south across the center of the continent, though it still licks up both coasts. The coastal effect of this is the preserve, at least for awhile, prevailing weather conditions, though it opens up the Pacific Northwest to share gales, wind and rain. The real drama, however, is happenning just inland and in the midwest, where monstrous storms are brewing today. From the Mississippi around Arkansas, the sorms will be pushed north and east, taking in a broad swath just west of the Mississippi. Meanwhile, cold winds coming in from Canada will interact with the storm system and form an inland cyclone. This means that Denver, which as enjoyed temperatures in the seventies will lose forty degrees and take on a lot of snow, while Chicago will warm considerably and find itself drenched in rain.

- MARCH - Is the month of Mirth.
- TODAY - Is International Working Women's Day.

Illustrations of Greek Poleis: Modern-day Trireme.

Dude, I had an awesome QOTD yesterday, but only Christian answers it? If you want to make me smile, let me know how it falls out with you and your watery sovereign.

How are you dealing with your recent frustrations?


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

If life were but a film...


Got this from mxzzy.

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Black Comedy

In your life, things are so twisted that you just have to laugh.

You may end up insane, but you'll have fun on the way to the asylum.

Your best movie matches: Being John Malkovich, The Royal Tenenbaums, American Psycho


Occludine 16, 28.


- YESTERDAY - Whatever. I got some inordinately good news, 90% solid. (I'll report when I hit 100%). But I also wasn't able to finish my comments on Jared and Erica's writing before class, meaning my thought hadn't quite gelled for discussion, plus I need to make them up soon so I don't get overwhelmed. It was a day of exhaustion and exultation. Your typical Monday, heightened a little.
- WEATHER - Yesterday's prediction holds. The West coast will continue to get rain for several days, reaching as far as Phoenix (which has been combating was record-length drought). The East Coast will stay cold through Thursday and Friday, but could eventually break the upper sixties. The midwest is where all the fun is though, mainly in states bordering on and just east of the Mississippi. Rain, thunderstorms... tornadoes?

- MARCH - Is the month of Honor societies.

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone."
Anthony Burgess (1917 - 1993)

Run with this. (If you like, answer more than what I ask)
First, do you pledge you allegiance to the Queen of the Coral Reef, the King of the Kelp Forest, the King of the Hydrothermal Vent, the Queen of the Coldwater Seep, the King of the Seagrass Meadow, or the Queen of the Mangrove Swamp?
Second, what is your function in his or her kingdom?
(Feel free to involve Cnidarians, if you wish.)


Monday, March 06, 2006

In March, 1995.


I have assorted, almost-disconnected images, but this was a striking year for me. From October through July I was involved six different productions and one rock concert (a record), I had gotten a girl to call herself my "girlfriend" for over a week (a record) at which point I broke up with her (also a first). Most significantly, in bright green shade of the sole coffee outpost at the Michigan Renaissance Festival, whilst sucking on a cinnimon stick they placed in my hot apple cider I was inexplicably and incontravertably convinced of the immeasurable wealth and depth and richness of alternative music. An upwelling of noble distortion... I sent in my BMG flier and ordered The Downward Spiral, The Crow Soundrack, some Melissa Etheridge album, Siamese Dream, and Core. By early October, the Smashing Pumpkins had become my new religion. In October, I was into Katie, with the aforementioned outcome. In November, it was Kate, but that didn't work out. Several months of stomach aches. In February, I performed in Marvin's Room as Charlie at U of M, and when I started The Flame of Peace at Flint Youth Theatre I fell for Claire, which was an embarrassing and self-effacing development. Mainly because she was very young, and I was fawning and pleading in a way that was almost apalling.

That puts me at about March.

March was the height of the Claire phase. It was the Flame was performed, involving an obligatory week off school to perform for other school audiences. This play... how shall I describe this play... many of the cast disparaged it, and I was a little skeptical myself, though probably more in retrospect than in the moment. One friend went so far as to call it "the flame of crap." All that said, it was intended for younger audiences, and while we were performing for seventh graders, I wonder if many of the cast (primarily in high school at the time) misinterpreted the intended dialogue the show put forth.

That said, this is a funny production to describe. The stage was divided into a series of ramp and ramparts. The hero, Two Flint, (the name was a coincidence, I swear; the work was adapted) had been sent on a mission to rescue his Aztec tribe from invaders. There were then, two tribes, on operating on the basis of their position in Two Flint's journey. One tribe was the 'Village Tribe' comprised of the actual people involvedi n Two Flint's life. They were dressed in skin-colored unitards with headdress, loincloths, tunics, etc. The second tribe, of which I was a part, was the 'Journey Tribe' comprised of the specters and spirits Two Flint enountered on his way. We wore bright yellow unitards and red metallic headdress, loincloths, tunics etc. and wielded metal poles against one another and the hero. There were accidental onstage antics probably at every performance, as the costume pieces were all attached with velcro. When you're fourteen or fifteen or sixteen or seventeen, you feel that you might as well be naked to be standing in front of three-hundred seventh graders wearing nothing but your cottons and a skin-tight unitard.

The life the play inspired (mesopelagic) was energizing... this was the play that, more than ever, solidified the FYT-group of my friends that held together four about four years. People came and went, some very early, but at this point I think we all gravitated to this one source from our different schools. Most of these kids were from Flint Central, Flint Southwestern, or Powers Catholic, which the most cohesive group coming primarily from Powers. An early form was a "love puddle" which, (weirdly enough, I never realized it at the time, but would have been a playground for all sorts of nervous speculations) involved ten or twenty of us laying in a heap against a wall and talking dazedly. But we were usually more typical... we ate Italian food on Linden Road between productions a lot.

Everyone's exasperation with the whole Claire situation finally mounted and broke; it wasn't as if I was having any luck on my own. I gave up. After the last performance, a bunch of us gathered and visted at Amy's house. Greg was there, Jonathan, Katie, Kathryn, Greg and Chuck, Joy and John. Eventually, many of these people would be alientated from each other, and evidently I'm alienated from many today. It was late March, but a gray and still and frosty day. Later afternoon. We laughed and talked in the living room for awhile, and then I had to head home. I took I-75 to Mount Morris road instead of Pearson, which meant the sun was starting to slight down (long shadows) where the clouds broke behind old barns and corn field, and rows of still-skeletal trees. In Michigan, there's little hint of leaves or life before April.

I got home, and that was that.

What were you up to in March, 1995?


Occludine 15, 28.


- THE WEEKEND - The weekend sucked hard, not just for me, it seems, but for a lot of my friends as well. One bright spot, however, was my Prose-Poetry workshop on Saturday, where we discussed a chapter from Urbtantasm. Overall, it had a positive reception. I was happy.
I don't want to dwell on the rest. Let's just proceed to a happier, more productive week.
- WEATHER - Over the course of the week, the jet stream will shift its shape over the continental U.S. from a lower case 'n' to an anycase 'u'. What does this mean? The East coast and eastern Midwest is chilly right now, and the entire West coast is wet and rainy. The western Midwest and montains is comparatively mild. As the week moves on, however, temperatures will rise on the whole, though the Northwest will retain its rain and New England will remain cold. The dip, however, will cause a collision of fronts in the Gulf region, bringing some of the first sharp spring storms to the Deep South.

- MARCH - Is the month of Ethics.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Michaelangelo.

The Detroit Free Press: TERRY LAWSON: 'Crash' surprises as best picture.

Which film would you have picked for best picture?


Friday, March 03, 2006

Occludine 12, 28.


- YESTERDAY - Lovely relaxed day. Got a fair amount done. A pleasant evening with Jess.
- WEATHER - In the east and eastern midwest, the aftermath of the recent storm is felt in cold winds and some snow and sleet. The real excitement this week is going on in Texas, where fronts are vying to give the state days of rain. This is a good thing, since the winter has been excessively dry.

- MARCH - Is Eye donors month.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Alexander Graham Bell.


How you written your will, and are you planning to be buried, cremated, or something else?


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Occludine 11, 28.


- TODAY - I slept until 12:33 PM (on account of having barely slept at all earlier in the week). As a result, everything is far behind today. I'll try to catch up tomorrow. I cannot spent long posting now, so I won't. Everything will be saved until tomorrow.
- YESTERDAY - A success! In that I survived. During work I was somewhat (literally) subsumed in the doldrums... I only made it through five articles, albeit long and complicated articles. I went across the street to the Church of St. Francis, then went to New School where I slept in a comfy chair for an hour before readying myself for class. I had a few minutes to talk to Marko and Reinhardt before hand, which calmed me down somewhat. My presentation, I thought, didn't live up to any of its "extra elements" -- in that they were all underdeveloped, and I had only managed to burn one soundtrack to Ryder. But I still think it went well, and I made up for a lack of organization with copious amounts of information, including about a third of the Djuna Barnes canon and photographs. Most remarkably, there is a string of Cenci references in Ryder which were both delicious to discover and which I easily incorporated. After the presentation I toyed with the thought of stopping by Spain, but I really was exhausted, so I started home. Unfortunately, the B wasn't running because it was after nine, and the V wasn't going past 2nd Avenue. After all of my maneuverings and unexpected transfers, and walking home from Pacific instead of DeKalb, I might as well have stopped at Spain. And then I went to bed and slept for about thirteen hours. I never do that.
- WEATHER - Today is the sort of day that makes winter gorgeous, and I really do feel a sting that it's one of the first days like this I've seen, and soon there will be no more for the year. I miss cold. They sky is dim and gray and mottled, like mold, with big bulbous fat flakes drifting down and rain that piles on the road, and the lower layers melt, not into ice, but water. And so everything is white and piled or gray and wet, and the ideas of air and water seem mixed. It almost feels like walking underwater, in a weird sort of way.

- MARCH - Is the month of Helping Someone See.

Coral Reef fishes.

What is your favorite kind of fish. (If they are sharks, list a second, because I expect a lot of people to say "sharks.")


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Today is Ash Wednesday.


For some of this it means a day of soot-streaked foreheads, for some over a month of fish stricks, and for some absolutely nothing. Bu if you partied it up during Carnival and Mardi Gras, it's appropriate, gratifying even, to rest for a little while. To take it easy, tie up loose ends, clean your house, talk to people you don't talk to enough, and focus on listening to the world around you.


Occludine 10, 28.


- YESTERDAY - Stayed up all night working on my Ryder presenation. Today I am exhausted.
- WEATHER - It looks as though, for March, the Central, Southwest, and South of the nation will be warmer than average. Both coasts, the Rockies, and the eastern Midwest will be about average. Parts of Eastern Canada will about about normal. Bear in mind that long-range forecasts are highly suspect.
- Also, the storm system that has been troubling California will be breezing through the Midwest and East Coast during the next several days, bringing snow (to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, and New England) and rain (to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia).
- Is this in like a lion? I'm not fully convinced.

- MARCH - Is American Red Cross month.
- TODAY - Is Ash Wednesday.

You are here. (In Antarctica?)

The end of a series. Tell us what you ended up doing yesterday (either in response to yesterdays "question" or in general). You can post the comment anonymously. Or not. It's all up to you.