Friday, January 1, 2016

THIS BLOG IS RATED WWW-MA.

Lucy in Cyberspace is by no means chicken soup for the mind. At best, it's a butternut squash loaded with spice, very much an "acquired taste" and not for everyone. Sometimes you may encounter some particularly strong spice, and you may be irked and perhaps offended by it. Should that happen, I urge you to not give up on digesting what I have to offer, but rather to keep going and hopefully come to have enjoyed it when you've finished, or at least have gained a certain degree of nourishment from it.

I get intensely personal at times, stroking intimacy in remote and utter darkness. Once in a while, I'll reinforce my thoughts with the sort of words that the creators of the FCC would prefer to have stricken from existence. I realize this is not everybody's cup of tea, or indeed, bowl of butternut squash; I hope nonetheless that enough people will at least signal to me somehow their acknowledgement of my transmissions that I may feel not so remote and dark.

This blog also doubles for me as a general opportunity for me to display my writing skills to the world in the hopes that somebody new may find them, consider them valuable, and in some way employ them (and me). In an effort to seem more "professional" than I am, I present three documents from my days in academia. May they appeal and endear.

Spacial Frame: A Poetry Anthology

C'est la Feline: A Short Story

And For Some of Us, the Only Way: A Creative Nonfiction Essay



I encourage you to contact me with anything you might have to say. You can e-mail me here, here, or here, follow me here, befriend me here, encircle me here, or simply comment on any post where you are now.


(This introductory post composed on 2012-12-17.)

(P.S. Lest any veteran readers miss the old video post, don't panic; it's in the archive.)

Hear Me on SoundCloud!

I shall also claim here an opportunity to flaunt my musical skills. I create on an ordinary acoustic six-string a neatly decorated and flourished array of simple structures, emulating styles ranging from rock to space. I've also written a handful of my own pop-style compositions — a songbook that I hope to expand soon and often. Meanwhile, I submit for your consideration and approval these three collections of recordings, featuring eighteen original songs and a cover of a timeless radio staple about western life best known for its soaring sax (naturally absent here).





Click each original song for lyrics:

Going on Noon
Screens
Purpetule Haze
So Far From Home
Sweet Release
Thirst (Ambrosia)
A House With No Walls
Drive On
Society's Waste
Large Outside, Kitten Inside
Frequent Flyer
Down From Me (instrumental)
Blue Ballots (originally lyric-only "Pseudo-improv for a Grey, Post-Election Wednesday")
Beckoned (instrumental)
Vicious (not my image, but yes my music and lyrical embellishments)
Colds Suck
Objectionism (instrumental)
Now What
Baker Street (Rafferty)
Spin
Pointless Lament
Unemployed on Labor Day
[instrumental]

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Old Quick 'Book Blurb About Religion

Maybe there's a deity; maybe there isn't; maybe there are eighteen; maybe there's just a blue ball of fluff. MAYBE....there's a group of mortals who merely THINK they're deities. I wouldn't count on anything. If I want results, my best bet is to do something myself.

And it ain't no use talkin' about heaven or hell; the only existence of which we can be REASONABLY certain is this one right here. May as well make the most of it. Maybe even enjoy it a little bit.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, Same Blogosphere

Hi! I haven't posted here in some time, but I thought I'd peek in, in the odd event that people who don't follow my other online outlets do follow this one. Σ:+)

Last year, I recorded "Purpetule Haze", the lyrics to which are a few posts below this one. And I failed to include the recording in the "demos" set that I have embedded here. Oops! That's rectified now, so that Lucy in Cyberspace visitors may now enjoy the multi-layered recording that features a plastic, glow-in-the-dark Slinky and the ASMR-inspired tapping and scratching on this same keyboard that I'm using to type this, for percussion. Also, there's vocal harmony. Still only one guitar track, though.... Sixties-inspired sounds with contemporary lyricism await you in track 3 of the first set above.

I notice that my photos in "recent" blog posts aren't displaying. I'll work on a fix when I have a moment. Everyone needs cat and Dinah pictures.

Not sure what else I have to say right now. I found part-time work in October and managed to ring in the new year there, so yay for being valued! But it is part-time (and low wage), so I still have a majority of time to wallow in loneliness and existential angst. (Purpetule Haze and Screens both touch on this latter subject...)

Thus concludes my summary of noteworthy recent developments. I wish you a year full of health, shelter, peace, and loving ones — particularly and especially loving ones in person.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pseudo-Improv for a Grey, Post-Election Wednesday

[Originally typed up in Facebook. Transposed here intact, with font formatting added.]

Seems so quiet
I know there's life here
wasn't so long ago
it strode plain

towering Hyatt
pierced the stratosphere
room to grow
to a new plane

who would buy it
it would disappear
a seaward flow
as of rain

reverse riot
lyingly severe
a bush aglow
the flaming brain

heat will fry it
cracked and sere
perfected so
it can only complain

who could deny it
meiosis of fear
creeps from below
and will not abstain

who dares to try it
a radical shift
a bent timeline
to a better course

scattered power
perform this lift
seek to combine
each disparate resource

hour follows hour
the widening rift
the slopes decline
void of remorse

to survey and scour
to gather and sift
and fall with a whine
from soul-crushing force

and sit recessed, sour
and just vaguely miffed
to find nothing fine
that one could endorse

each passing flower
may perchance be sniffed
or wither in sunshine
doting energy source

or have weeds devour
all that's far and near
how I long to know
we can break this chain

Seems so quiet
and easy to drift
if I can just hear
even sounds of mine
then I could go
like a whipped horse
bolting from pain
to a gentle shower
and new territory
without restriction

an alien story
fact or fiction?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Krowpseed Oil (or, Channeling Carlin Again)

You know something I think ought to be done about rape? Change its name. "Rape" just isn't a scary enough sound. That long "A" actually sounds kind of pleasant, like plāying on a sunny dāy with my bāby, hoorāy! We need a rougher vowel...something like "rowpe". "Ow" is a nicely rough sOUnd, like someone getting astOUndingly pOUnded into grOUnd meat in DachAU. OUCH! And maybe stick a K in front of the whole thing. K is a nice, aggressive consonant. I think people would be more likely to think twice before committing "krowp". Which sounds a little like its cousin activity, "grope", but worse. Of course, this is a rough draft; I'm open to better suggestions. (Such as, teaching and telling our peers and children not to krowp.)

Purpetule Haze (draft, but aren't they all)

colors
burning brightly
a conflagration
screaming nightly
collide, a scope
turning slightly
its cyclic nature
seeming rightly

pressed up
against a thick pa(i)n/e
efforts to break which
all loom in væin
depression
tolls(; a/my/like) big Bane
a chain that contains
and squeezes my flailing brain

and I can't stop thinking
it does its own thing
plunging flight
to plight

and I can't help thinking
if there were just one thing
I could want
I'd be all right

(↑ ×2 with instrumental break between)


so I
gaze at the dark (light) show
the green and violet
embraced in constant flow
call it
furtive vertigo
sight that's best viewed
from so far below (in woe)

I composed a thing for an online political petition.

[slightly edited to obscure recipients' identities and better fit the blog format]

To whom it may concern:

Should you allow the use of neonicotinoid chemicals to continue, I would have to wonder if, somewhere in the last seventy years or so, some ignorant young white boys got stung by brave and innocent honey bees that they provoked, and thereafter vowed as a clan that they would exact their revenge and then some on this species that caused them a temporary physical inconvenience. Then, of course, being the ones with all the money that they made up, they dragged everyone else with them in their rush to interspecies war. The bees stung us; what would they do next? Take on a human form and kill and replace our wives?*

I'm not much interested in picking petty fights with helpless species. Nor am I much interested in "pure" suburban lawns and sidewalks. Frankly, I find these latter rather repulsive. And I certainly don't have much use for "frankenfoods" when perfectly natural fruits and vegetables do the trick just fine. I quite enjoy a good, fresh, juicy peach or nectarine. But someone has to pollinate those plants to keep them around. Who's it gonna be? Us?

I suppose it could be us, in an indirect way. Prevent the deaths of the pollinators by banning neonicotinoid pesticides and similarly harmful chemicals. Otherwise, soon, the phrase "the birds and the bees" will become completely meaningless — perhaps in more ways than one.

Natural food for thought.

Cheshire Adams
United States of America



*Perhaps they too saw that episode of the original Outer Limits. IMDB/Hulu kindly hosts "ZZZZZ" for our education, although I wonder about the scientific accuracy of the "murder" scene.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fifteen or Sixteen Songs That Classic Rock Radio Needs to Forget (2014 edition)

In May of 2012, I posted this. Well, my tastes evolve ever slowly, and maybe the national classic rock selection also very subtly evolves, so I'm revisiting the list. Especially now that I've moved house to a completely new metro and have been running many errands with a short enough commute that it takes as long to boot my music player as it does to actually get there, I'm getting a fair dose of "One oh five nine, The Rock" and an excessively self-deprecating channel called "Jack eff em" (which looks like "Jack off 'em", when I write it that way), which seem to be the best in driving music that Nashville has to offer, in addition to a limited-selection oldies channel that brands itself rather inaccurately as "hippie radio". I have no idea what I'm going to put in the other three channel slots in the car; they're still set to central-Illinois frequencies. Urbana has better radio than "Music City". How is this possible? Nashville's native "country" music ain't even real country music these days; it's corporate vapid pop with a twang.

Anyway, here's my updated list of "classic rock" songs that I don't need to hear again. Some of the entries, especially the first few, remain unchanged from the 2012 list. Yay for copy-pasting! But, once again, I am trying to pick evenly from the master playlist — only one song per prominently featured artist.

{Oh, and as a side note, when did everyone start censoring Who (the fuck) Are You? They never did that in the old days, although they still totally excised the third verse on occasion. And hearing Gerry Rafferty sped up at that high pitch sends me into the fetal position, which is just a little awkward in a car. I despise unwarranted edits for a sanitized, corporate agenda. If those companies ran art museums, the paintings would have their bottom thirds chopped off and maybe some middle bits ripped out. Can you envision Mona Lisa with a jagged white strip where her smile should be? RESPECT THE MUSIC, PEOPLE! Man, I'm so glad when I get to drive a longer distance and can plug in my player. Totally worth the gasoline. *pant pant* Okay, here we go.}


Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

I can hear all the Queen lovers and Wayne's World fans getting up in arms over this choice. The truth is, though it's a fine song on its own, cinematically sewing styles together, it has simply been played and heard far too often. Believe me, back when I was making my own mixtapes on cassette (I think I got up to eight and a half), before I discovered the blogosphere, this was on one of them. Alas, the commercial world has utterly robbed this song of its luster and rendered it a mundane lump of rock in a volcanic wasteland. But I may still listen to Weird Al's Bohemian Polka on occasion.


Foghat - Slow Ride

Oh my holy Zarquon, does this song ever end? It just goes on and on and on. It was only so good to begin with. This song has nothing to hold my interest, despite the ending that gradually speeds up as if approaching orgasm. No orgasm here, though; just another mundane "classic rock" radio song.


Foreigner - Cold as Ice

Foreigner left a few candidates for this list: "Hot Blooded", "Feels Like the First Time", "Jukebox Hero" ... but I think this one beats out the other hits in the forgettability department. "Hot Blooded" at least is cheesy in that Seventies style that never gets old. And I suppose I can grant "Jukebox Hero" its "pomp" value.


Elton John - Rocket Man

I don't know; I just feel like I've heard this song a few times too many. You'd think I'd dig it more with its space theme. It might have something to do with Sir Elton having a lot of kind of slow songs with the same uninteresting piano sound. You know what EJ song I'd like to hear on radio? "Teacher, I Need You", off Don't Shoot Me. Can you imagine anyone trying to release a song like that today? (Maybe some stations play Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" in that lyrical vein. Say, I don't have any VH on this list. Oh well.)


Blondie - One Way or Another

Commercials picked a song that was never that great to begin with and pile-drove it deep into the soggy earth. I'm giving this song the (pink) slip.


Bad Company - Can't Get Enough

Another band with plenty of choices — "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "Rock & Roll Fantasy" come to mind. This one, I decided, wins the blandness contest among Bad Company's big splashes in the classic rock cesspool.


Aerosmith - Come Together

We already have the Beatles doing this song. We already have a solid selection of Aerosmith tunes. This thing is just redundant.


The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want

Use the "world's greatest rock & roll band" protest all you want; this thing is a snoozefest. "Sympathy For the Devil" is cuttin' it close as well.


Cheap Trick - I Want You to Want Me (live at Budokan)

I've just never liked it.


The Eagles - Take it to the Limit

Much too slow for a classic rock playlist. They made a valiant effort in making the 6/8 time signature acceptable in pop music, though.


Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight

Slow AND sappy! Piss off.


Stevie Nicks - Edge of Seventeen

Good God, this song just goes on and on and on. Stevie should have stayed with the Mac.


Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Blinded By the Light

This kind of long Springsteen cover is played out. And cutting out the solo doesn't make it much better; it's just kind of there. It could have been all right with lesser airplay, like the Earth Band's other Springsteen cover, "For You". That one has a certain freshness yet, although I think they chickened out replacing "lick my sores" with "fight my wars".


Electric Light Orchestra - Don't Bring Me Down

For a non-overplayed take on the main riff here, may I suggest Atomic Rooster's "Can't Take No More"?


....Finally, Journey. I sense some of you have been eagerly awaiting a Journey entry on this list. And I ain't one to disappoint.

Journey - Any Way You Want It

In addition to being mundane radio noise with all of "Don't Stop Believin'"'s chord progression and none of its catchiness, this song also gets regularly whored out in commercials. The dominant newspaper in middle Illinois was using it in their ads right before I moved here, just after some TV commercial or other featured two guys having a phone conversation consisting of the refrain lyrics. And then, of course, they play a snippet of the actual song, just for those few of us that may not have been exposed to it so much that they're permanently damaged from the radiation. Just — ENOUGH! I'll tell you the way I want (and therefore need) it: the fuck away from me! Begone, and never dampen my minor errand runs again!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Choice Chirps, Part II

Long time no choose chirps for the blog. Hence, this'll be a long comp. I may play with the formatting a bit. Now, since the last time I did this, my approach to Twitter has evolved some. I'm dabbling more in micropoetry (don't panic, I don't do soft erotica) and random wordplay. (Also, sex/gender issues and meridian, but except for the #YesAllWomen tweets near the end, I am excluding those here.) It's getting more difficult to make my definitive choices. I'm not quite ready to admit it: I need another editor. Or six.

Or you can just follow me.

****

Nineteen Angels of Anaheim dance on this tweet.

[...because that tweet was "pinned". —lack of ed.]

What's an obstructionist's favorite type of sex? Anal.

Austerity jewelry: those white, plastic pull-thingies from juice and milk cartons.

thy will be dumb

Dear dogs: The expression "Eat shit" is not meant to be taken literally. Serenity, Cheshire

information superhighway robbery

I prefer people who are doing good in the community over people who are doing well. Especially when the former are doing their good well.

Don't you get kinda discouraged when you realize you gotta clip your fingernails again?

Nothing seems to rhyme with "bulb". Or "film".

Do people who write/type out "G-d" do something similar for "S-tan" or "L-cifer"? It would seem only fair. And who would censor the name of their deity, anyway? Someone who thinks their deity really extra-horrible, I would think.

We've reached a dystopia foretold in classic literature. *sigh*....Or, well....

Maybe Eurasia and East Asia qualify as "proles"...........


freedom of depressed

it takes one to no one

just following hors d'oeuvres

Sudden Clarity Clarence: The word "pee" ..... is just the spelled-out first letter of "piss"

Austerity expressions: "This isn't really my cup of Ramen."

Play on
words from
a songwriter


You can't say "MTV" without "empty".

Prediction: Someone, somewhere, will think it a good idea to replace car windshields with computer screens that show what's in front of the car. When the computer system "crashes"......

The name "Osh Kosh B'Gosh". I just don't care for it.

Propaganda: To place a waterfowl in a strategic place.

Why is the "selfie" such a big phenomenon? No one wants to associate with cyber-addicts enough to take their picture for them?

outcast
ain't healin'
the pain inside


I forgot how to human.

Beloit Mindset List: All my life, my parents have occasionally said "Hey there, ho there, mouseketeer". I have never known what this means.

Subversive: Not quite poetry....

Maybe would-be employers think I'm a bit off. Well, with each job offer I don't get, I get offer.

Beloit Mindset List: Only through certain comic illustrations do I have any idea what a "dunce cap" is.

The sound of all those crows is driving me bats. Caws and effect.

Technically, every time we eat, we're breaking our fast.

Beloit Mindset List: "Rock" has never been a physical, inanimate object.

malicious
militias


In Boggle, the lone X, Z, J, K, B, and Qu are all on the same cube, thereby making certain words impossible to ever get: joke, baby, banquet, pizza, kayak, jazz, boxes, jinx.......

....and that's the current state of my life.


Beloit Mindset List: Trash cans have never been round, metal affairs.

We have "palindrome" to describe a word that's still itself when reversed, but what about words that are different words when reversed? (e.g. lived ←→ devil) What's the word for that?

Warmth smells funny.

"Contempt of court" seems an unnecessary thing. A good system shouldn't need a self-esteem booster.

Why is that show called "Dateline"? I wouldn't date any of those people. They're either murderers or dead.

The Landline's Down on Broadway

Idea seeking illustration: A child-drawn world map, with one bit labeled "Isreal" and another labeled "Isntreal".

language in pain

"Curiosity Rover" is a verified account.

Sudden Soul-Crushing Clarity Clarence: "Mommy" is almost certainly derived from "Mammy", or "thing like us but with boobs". Such high regard for our female just-over-half!

working for the weakened

Today I learned that it is now taboo to ask the names of people's pets, because those people tend to use those pets' names as their online passwords.

I could never get into a sport where "traveling" is against the rules and gets you penalized.

The passive voice shall forever be supported!

In adulthood, you have to burp yourself.

daybreaks
peaces of
the night


Here's a golden marketing opportunity: A home theater system from Apple. It would be called "Apple Cinema".

a Kafkaesque soulless
solace beneath the
ether impenetrable
limpin' in trouble


Cartoon seeking illustration: Nashville party: "Wear your best boots!" Northern boy shows up in heavy-duty winter shoes.

I hear classic distinct voices like Louis Armstrong and Jimmy Durante, and I realize: they would never become famous today.

Sane. Insane. Guess which word I learned first in my life...?

"Is this sponsored by Kraft? 'Cause it's the CHEESIEST, baby!"

No wonder Colorado approved medical marijuana. It relieves the pain from all the gunshot wounds.

Sleep apnea is hereditary. My father snores and knocks all around in the next room, making all kinds of noise, and then I can't sleep.

I never got into the Muppets.

The aggressive
flower seller
pushing daisies


the holiday seizin'

I like to make up my own slang for "awesome", "cool", etc. Novel. Angelic. Innovative.

The system is simultaneously fixed and broken.

Any time you encounter the word "party", replace it with "potty". "I can't sleep; they're havin' a loud potty across the way." It's especially accurate when describing the political potties.

My annual New Years jokes: "My resolution: 1280 × 1024" ; and "Now that the ball has dropped, maybe New York can start to grow up."

A quick shout-out to the people who will active MAKE this a happy year.

FLAC: Audio files for audiophiles.

A bread indeed. A bread in knead.

Her hair looks wavy. But it doesn't wave.

I was a big fan of the Road Runner as a child. Now, I cruise the information superhighway. And Street View.

You may be a cyberaddict if you think you recognize an acquaintance in Street View — in a city more foreign than your best friend's thoughts.


viewers nothing whatsoever like me

the silence of complete and utter strangers

the silence of the sheep

the BAAHing of boors

in the slaughterhouse queue


Frustration is sexy.

I'm not a big enough fan to create it, but there should be someone with the Twitter handle "lantarhythmsection".

I keep thinking the word is "stagnance", rather than "stagnation". Why can't it be "stagnance"? More to the point, why can't it be vibrancy?

Can you television from a hunch?

Odd number: A song that doesn't follow the Axis of Awesome "four-chord" structure.

How great would it be to be named Simon? No matter what you say, people would have to heed you. Simon said it.

a search engine that focuses exclusively on Jewish recipes, named "Kugel"

"Start over again" sounds like we're starting for the third or more time, doesn't it? Maybe we should just admit that what we're doing isn't working.

Why, in 2014, aren't washers and dryers combined into one appliance?

damn soul in distress

Schwinn salesman: A bike peddler.

"I'm trying"
words from
a nuisance


eke a mouse from the floorboards


It takes one to call one that ........, friend.

Amen: A phrase shouted when trying to get the attention of some guys.

Cartoon seeking illustration: "We asked you to make a new APSE for the church, not an APP!" (monitor reads "ERROR 404 GOD NOT FOUND")

The percent chance for precipitation is always a multiple of ten.

Oh, rivet a guest already!

time marches ana

flying so
              lo
to the ground


Thanks to Joyce Carol Oates for the phrase "concatenation of experiences". I'm just...so in love with it.

Say No to the Show

taking a bitch-slap forward

Alas: what an Irishman exclaims upon spotting an Irishwoman.

"OKCupid" sounds like an admission of defeat, doesn't it? Like a last resort. "....UUUGGGGHHH....oKAY, Cupid. May as well get this over with. God fucking dammit."

I was all prepared with the response, "Lonely." But they never asked me how I was!

Smiling fazes.

practicing moderation........in moderation

from a new point of you

Adults don't get to wear "onesies".

I want to be loved. How fucking original.

open window to
a writer's soul
it's very drafty


the Love Song of J Alfred E Neuman

In chess, the king, although especially vulnerable and limited, can still kill.

Sudden Clarity Clarence: His name is Mercury. Mercury is used in old-school thermometers, which measure temperature in degrees.........FAHRENHEIT!

Life is a death threat.

Current popular television in a nutshell: Hunger Game of Thrones

Game of Throwin' Up


adding insult to imagery

I stumble from a long line of klutzes.

Potential baby names: Madeline Rain, Empathy, Ellie Delights, Dusk. Boy or girl, I don't give a shit.

I have a square magnet from the postmodern art museum. I have no idea which way is up.

T Women and a Truck

Take me to your two-liter.

She's like soft-serve. Cold and flavorless.


Much .edu about nothing

[I hat-tipped Nein Quarterly on the above tweet and earned a retweet with it, thus it has become my biggest hit tweet so far. And possibly my only hit tweet. —lack of ed.]

Re "The last man on earth sat alone in a room"... I might not mind being the only man in an otherwise all-female world. Σ:+)

You can't spell "lifeline" without "feline".

Beloit Mindset List: TLC has never stood for "Tender loving care". ....OR "The Learning Channel", come to think of it. But! It just might be a pop group.

What do I call someone who thrusts their obsession with small, annoying dogs on everyone? A terrierist.

Falafelsophy: Life is all about food.

Hope never dies, but it does remain comatose on life support indefinitely.

masturbaderoom

straitjacket on a crooked mind

the scene of the cryin'

her birthday she
pulled a Shakespeare
Willie reached
la petite mort


political science

poli sci

polizei

nothing's gonna change


Radish: Kind of, sort of, cool.

Beloit Mindset List: Many kids probably have no idea what that (2001: A Space Odyssey) music in all the ads is from.

Enjoyment of court-oriented TV shows is a "guilty" pleasure.

Fairy cries for mercy

waking up to
the barking of dogs
I don't love


devil-may-be-wholly-apathetic-like-the-rest-of-us

Miles and miles of dry land are what separate the men from the buoys.

Firedfox

baruch ata I dunno [Deepest apologies if anyone takes offense at this one. —lack of ed.]

entree the giant

#YesAllWomen. Because maybe not all men, but still clearly way too many of us.

People: Respect every human. Never rape, abuse, or harass anyone. It's that simple. ☮


My male feminist views are dissenting ones that will get me nowhere in this society. #YesAllWomen

And #YesAllPeople are impacted by our societal values. Women and men alike perpetuate harmful standards.

Concurrent trending hashtags: #YesAllWomen; #ThingsGirlsSayDuringSex; #MemorialDay. Yay, 'murica! And where was #ThingsBoysSayDuringSex? See the first hashtag...


Saw the media
shower. A shooting                               star nowhere to be
found


A photoshop error is a manip-slip.

just in headcase

Contemporary TV comedy in a nutshell: Modern Family Guy

corned beef hashtag

patience runs out
just for a quick err
                               and
takes a
            long
time to return


Love me in the FACE.

vitamin D-ficiency

All right. Grab your torches and head back to the cross. ▲

Monday, June 9, 2014

8 Utterances That Tell Me I Can Never Associate With You

Hello from middle Tennessee! I'm finally moved from flatlands, and for this quality's youth, it feels good.

As a natural part of moving, I was without internet for about a week. During that time, I typed up most of this — a web-inspired, typical "listicle" (i.e. an article that is formatted as a list). At least for this particular list of utterances, I am purposely avoiding things like sexual slurs and other blatant bits of name-calling, and sticking with just general things people say that turn me off. Things like....

1. “I hate cats”

During my last part-time job in the flatlands, every time I mentioned my love of cats to a coworker, no matter who it was, this was their response (usually preceded by an “ugh”). It is a sure indicator of a closed mind. Every cat is different. Every cat has a distinct personality. The speaker could probably get on quite well with a feline whose personality was a good match. On the other hand, maybe antagonistic, touch-averse, hissing characters are their best match. It's just a crying shame; my coworkers all seemed otherwise like such nice people.


Seriously? You hate this?

2. “I hate jazz”

Another blanket statement from a blank, closed mind. “Jazz” covers a tremendous variety of sounds, ranging from soft pop to frenetic improvisation, from traditional song structures to experimental chaos. In this sense, jazz is basically synonymous with music. You wouldn't hate music, would you? Ergo, why should you hate an arbitrary subset of it that focuses on real people playing real instruments? Unless, of course, you're a total misanthrope......

3. “Oh em gee”

It's annoying enough when people say “Oh my God” four times a minute, reflecting how much trouble they have accepting any minute difference between them and whatever it is they've encountered in their limited travels, but hearing this “trendy”, cyber-influenced spelling aloud just....makes me twitch a little extra, somehow. I lack the words to provide reason here — something to do with sheepishness, probably.

4. “Ooh, Law & Order is on”

The perverted showcase of self-righteous law enforcement (sometimes with bad puns!) is ALWAYS on. I've watched enough of my life go by with this show and its spinoffs in the other room. Please try to find some life beyond the screens.

5. “it is what it is”

This one's appeared in many a “detestable phrases” list. By golly, I happen to agree with the nomination. “That's just the way it is” would be a much better way of getting that point across; at least it actually says something. “It's pretty obvious” would also work nicely, depending on the context. “It is what it is” tells me, if anything, that nobody, certainly not the speaker, has the mind and passion enough to do anything about it. Surely that can't be true. Please don't let it be true.


It is, in fact, something else entirely.

6. “just sayin'”

This all too common utterance implies that there is no thought or substance propelling the speaker's words. There's just an empty echo of forgotten, and therefore forgettable, sources. No heart or soul. Just “sayin'”. I'm just conveying my thoughts about this expression.

7. Unprovoked, earnest mentions of God or Jesus

I apologize for this; I'm sure you mean well. I simply don't go for the religious scene. And sure, I may be going to hell, but at least I'm attempting to enjoy the ride.


Music helps me immensely in that endeavor.

8. “I don't care”

…oh. I'm sorry to hear that. I was caring, under the condition that you would do the same. My incentive to regard you as an equal human being deserving of respect is now gone. Except that you at least had the courtesy to admit that you don't care.

All right, back sometime with more. Cheers, cyberspace!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Gentle Platonic Touch — An Article That Resonates With Me of Late. Also: Dinah.

Note: The first bit of this blog post copy/pasted from my own Facebook, with minor modifications.

By Mark Greene: The Lack of Gentle Platonic Touch in Men's Lives is a Killer

I posted this link in a private group on what turned out to be the day before my beloved Dinah was discovered, via the nosebleeds, to have a cancerous tumor and was consequently spared any suffering................on her fourteenth birthday. Always a poetic occurrence this last, as any Shakespeare lover will know.

It's possible I doted on "the Bear" some. I'm not a natural dog lover. The Bear was, and is, pretty much THE exception. Docile (not hyper), melodic (not just yappy and loud), capable of learning certain things (like how to dodge people's feet in the kitchen), so delightfully soft, and a true love for her world that shone in her deep, brown eyes. I gave her rather too many kisses, snuggles and hugs for at least my mother's taste. (Especially since I largely ignore the other dogs. Not a dog person, like I say. Please try not to hate.) I wanted to keep my head buried in her soft shoulders for good chunks of time at once, the way I had done with Linus the cat in years prior, but Dinah wasn't quite built that way. It was always a little bit physically awkward.

And I can only really speak on snuggling pets in such a manner.

I ain't ever had a girlfriend at a month and change short of 28. I'm an only child. My mother pretty routinely refuses me when I want a cuddle, hug, head scratch, and so on, usually claiming to be "irritable" or some such thing. (We'll exchange hugs many nights — some of them sincere in the moment.) I don't even attempt to approach my father for such things; he ain't interested. Lately my aunt in Chicago has hugged me with sharply decreasing frequency; I don't think we made any contact last visit, not even upon arriving or leaving. (Maybe in part because the trips/visits have become so routine?) At least my one cousin and her husband give hugs when we visit from ~350 miles apart. Will they still when we're merely on opposite sides of the same metro, meeting for a meal every week (as has been discussed)?

Pretty much all I had to turn to for snuggling (my choice form of gentle platonic touch) was Dinah. I don't feel the connection with the other dogs to snuggle them. This leaves me nearly completely............touchless.

It's not liberating. It's fucking cold and isolating.

I get by, sort of, on the "virtual touch" of ‪ASMR‬ videos, played with headphones on. Read the post below this one, if you haven't already, for more on that. As fine as that simulation of an actual human being around me may be, there remains a gaping void in my living. The society I call home does not like touch. I wonder how it feels to the customers I serve at my job when I manage to make the slightest contact with their hands as I hand them their change. It feels.....a LITTLE awkward, right? I have dared to make the briefest hand-to-hand contact, just to complete an ordinary business transaction. Is that okay?

Are we?

I am decidedly not. Now, minus the Bear*, more than ever.



*I realize there's a band with this name; sadly, I don't know their music.

****



Somewhere in the first night AD (after Dinah), I found the actions — but not the words, so much — to make the Bear my profile pic (linked above) on the 'Book, and also to slowly post captionless photos from different points in her life. A couple of Facebook friends "liked" the pictures as I posted them; I wonder if they understood what I was trying to convey at the time......? Anyway, I've decided to include here the pictures of the only dog I've ever loved. Now with some captions.

My angel.....gone home.....

(...not that I believe in that kind of thing, but, you know...)

Baby Bear. December 2000. When cassettes were a dominant audio format in the house of Adams. (Also, the endless election recall. But, DINAH!)





October 2001. One who knows to stop and smell the flowers. (It occurs to me, the physical photographs that I scanned might be stamped with their "developed" date, not their "taken" date.)





September 2002.



July 2004. Champion of the pillows. Also, ha ha, Ikea project on the floor...



June, 2006.



July 31, 2006. Ten minutes after this picture, I was in a car bound for the airport to England for the only time in my life so far.



That autumn, I let my own beard grow out.

September 21, 2007. So soft.......



December 5, 2007.



January 31, 2009. "Yorkie and Porky", I called them. ("Yorkie"'s name is Stella.) Later, Dinah slimmed down, and newer mini-schnauzer Teddy turned out to be the "porky" one.



July 4, 2009. Hiding from the fireworks on American Independence Day. Only this once did she ever go in the closet like this.



I love those eyes.



Flash forward a couple years, she's lucky if she can hear anything at all.

December 24, 2009. Newton and Dinah. Life is good.



February 14, 2010. PASTA NIGHT! The pasta that hasn't already been served to humans is in the white colander on the counter.



June 3, 2011. Biscuit?



June 11, 2011. Breakfast? Dinner?



January 6, 2014. In prep for selling the house, all the carpet was done away with in favor of hardwood. Soft places for dogs became mighty precious. Kinda like Dinah.



Her final photo appearance: February 22, 2014.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Speak Our Consciences in a Soft, Sharp Whisper

(Previously: Speak of it Only in a Soft, Sharp Whisper (September 2012), and Speak of it in a Soft, Sharp Whisper Some More (August 2013))

Two passing thoughts on the subject of meridian, or "ASMR", before I get to the meat of what's in my mind:

• I have never been terribly keen on describing the feeling of meridian as a "tingle". "Tingle", in my mind, suggests a sort of neutrally extraneous sensation — something like the strongly minty, lingering taste in one's mouth after using a good mouthwash. Meridian, I think, is better described as a euphoric PULSE or spasm. But, I suppose a two-word, four-or-five-syllable phrase is a bit awkward in casual conversation and YouTube comments, isn't it.....

• Although the sensation is more easily triggered on my right side — that is to say, the right side of my back, usually — it tends to be more strongly felt on the left side, once the left ear has heard enough for the sensation to sort of "break through". I guess my left needs to be "primed" a moment before it kicks into full gear. If the "video" to which I've meristurbated (for those who missed it in part two, link above, this original word means "indulged in meridian") has been sufficiently effective, I'll sometimes be unable to fully lean back into my chair without the euphoria in my left mid-lower back asserting itself, a full minute or two after the video has finished. Somehow, my right prefers it quick and immediate; it's yet to linger post-trigger the way it does on the left.

Now, then...

There's a quality, or a trend, I've noticed of late in my lonely, after-hours meridian pursuits, and it rather ties in with my personal politics, which I've revealed on this blog on a number of occasions. It is this: the videos that I'm finding provide the strongest and most effective triggers, and therefore the videos I'm pursuing and "favoriting", are the ones that are crystal clear and unfiltered — breaths go directly in the ear, so strongly that I can practically smell the ASMRtist's breath. Also, I can easily hear and know when they are moving from one ear to the other; they're not just staying totally in one place while they deliver a line or two.

Summarily: The videos that best simulate an actual person being with me, the viewer/listener, are the best.

Try this one on for sighs (sic). (Embedding disabled by request: Air Light - Inaudible, unintelligible binaural whisper 3D)

Despite the Zappa-esque artistic style where different recorded bits are repeated and overdubbed throughout the piece
(Zappa's "Freak Out" especially comes to mind on the grounds that I get meridian off "It Can't Happen Here", which has an up-close backup vocal in the right channel; "No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no, man you guys are gonna be SAFE, everything's COOL."), it is delightfully obvious that the recordings are done by an actual human being. (Not that some ASMRtists aren't human, mind you.) She audibly moves from directly in one ear, to more the back of the neck, closer back to the ear, then to the other ear, and so on. I smell her breath at certain junctures with P and K sounds; as poorly as our language puts names to scents, her breath is simply authentically human — not wholly foul, nor quite the aroma of a good meal freshly prepared in the kitchen — just simply human. Perhaps I remember the smell from somewhere in my past — a casual, unmemorable encounter in my far too numerous days of academia wherein I was in enough distance of a young girl speaking to catch a whiff. It's lively. And real. The combination of humanity, artistic endeavor, and, of course, super-effective meridian triggers, make this quite probably my all-time favorite "merideo" (ASMR video).

And so my political side flares up. Where are all the people in my life who would be willing to speak to me so intimately and closely? Our culture doesn't quite encourage that, does it? Occasionally, somewhat rarely, I feel meridian wholly by accident when being spoken to normally from about arm's length, as happened while I was receiving instruction on working with produce on the opening day of the discount grocery at which I'm working for about three more weeks until I move to greater Nashville. How did I manage to feel meridian in a joyous, happening atmosphere like that of a store's grand opening? I don't know. But, anomalies like that aside, nobody's exactly going out of their way to be in an intimate setting and tone with me, are they? And it's totally weird and un-American to sort of "nudge" anyone in that direction. Ideal meridian conditions do tend to lean toward the same kind of conditions that are often reserved for romantic endeavors — two people otherwise alone, in a close, quiet space. If I've ever been part of anyone's romantic endeavors, they have failed to tell me about it in all my nearly twenty-eight earth years.

I'm reminded all over again of how I'm completely alone and how our society seems to encourage that kind of thing. Get a steady job sitting at a desk all day. Drive to and from that job — the lone occupant in your vehicle. Squabble with your spouse, kids and parents at home; your connection is purely biological. Modern western culture, with all its endless flavors, passing technology and varieties, has pretty much fragmented us as people. We see too many differences between each of us for us to overcome them, and we don't make good connections anymore. At best, I get generally friendly people giving generally friendly greetings and offers on which they'll never follow through. We're just going through the motions, cogs in the machine, our teeth slowly eroding.

I wonder about the lives of the ASMRtists. The ASMRtist ranks are pretty well dominated by women — just an occasional male along the way — making videos in their own rooms or studios, with only themselves in them. What kind of families do they have? Are they romantically involved with anyone? They most all seem like they could easily sway a mate or two from the crowd, such kindly faces with sweet, soft voices. Do they often get to experience an actual live-action trigger from a human being in the same room? Will I get to meet anybody like this? ASMRtists are spread all over the globe. Air Light, who undoubtedly knows and understands the basic mechanics of meridian, is......Ukrainian, I believe....? I follow people in Russia, Deutschland, the UK, Australia, and probably some Americans, although that doesn't exactly narrow anything down. Is anyone near Nashville? Meet for a malt at Mike's some time?

I'm a lonely meridiot—
fringe and unfocused
a random poet
a runaway train
without a platform
a purple square
on a Rubik's Cube
a round peg
on an unstrung guitar
I got a
        way with words
a cat
      burglar
in an open desert
I adapt to survive
but can I live?

Um.......what the hell just happened to me? All right, yeah. So, I think I may attempt to produce a piece of ASMRtwork for YouTube. I may just read this series of blog posts. My microphone is horribly cheap — and naked. Listen for breaths that pierce. And hopefully trigger. (I have, in the past, gotten meridian from my own voice on "Thirst (Ambrosia)". Is this okay?)

Swell Saturday, cyber citizens,
~C.A., from Chicago~

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Going on Noon

Coming soon to a SoundCloud near you. (Providing said SoundCloud is behaving properly.)

Good morning hills
so deeply green
it takes some rain
to make that scene
so glad we made it
through that torrent
went so long
felt abhorrent
but it's all done now
at least for a little while
it's time to rise
and shine like a smile

all the damp and grey
feeds a perfect day
time to run and play
strife makes life

it takes some rain
to make things bright
the sun alone
got finite might
harmonic balance
meets desire
we gotta try it
lift us higher

if we sail too high
we will lose our minds
and if we stay too low
...well, I think we know.....

across the boulevard
folks are stretched so hard
they play their calling card
join in

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Screens (draft)

This new song is posted and incorporated into the DEMOS set above!

waterfalls over rocky walls
I've only seen
them on a screen
exotic animals beyond the malls
mere projections on a machine
and war and poverty
recurring themes
they may well be
where I can't see
and if there were none
just simulation
well that would be
all right with me

but

don't let love be a media manip
a distant ego trip
on open arms and lips
I'm not at all convinced
the real thing exists
I'm a mister who's missed being missed

don't let love be a photoshop piece
on feelings long deceased
forever unreleased
I'd be more serene
if I could just feel instead of seein'
it on a screen

a face to face
warm embrace
I've only seen
it on a screen
a shared space
a shared grace
a fantasy
it seems to me
the folks I meet
on these city streets
they barely greet
they got no heat
my local scene
it's more routine
they're all staring into tiny screens

oh!

don't let love be a media manip
a distant ego trip
on open arms and lips
I've never been convinced
the real thing exists
I'm a mister who's missed being missed

don't let love be a photoshop piece
on feelings long deceased
forever unreleased
I'd be more serene
if I could just feel instead of seein'
it on a screen

who am I talking to
is my point piercing through
we need to see
empathy
a good foundation
for new relations
so we may be
a society
I hope you'll pardon
my intervention
but we are more than
two dimensions
when we start seeing
into our beings
we will begin our minds' ascension

don't let love be a photoshop piece
these feelings will not cease
until they are released
I'll be more serene
when I can fully feel instead of seein'
it on a screen

don't let love be a media manip
a distant ego trip
on dreamt-up arms and lips
I'm not yet convinced
the real thing exists
I'm a mister who's missed being kissed

and I wonder
when I'm gone
will I be missed!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Eight Further Favorite Albums

The Beatles - Rubber Soul

Cyberfriend Wim Oudijk's post and subsequent thread on Facebook ⒜ inspired me to compose a new "eight favorite albums" list after nearly two years, and ⒝ let me know that I had yet to include anything by the fabs. I think this last is because I was trying more to showcase my writing and display my eerily balanced love of musics mainstream and lesser known. I figured within the depths of my conscience that no one really needs to read anything more about the Beatles; they've heard and read it all. But, I think of the younger generation and wonder what they know about the fabs, even as a "Grammy Salute" airs on the network television in the next room. So, I pick a Beatles album to submit for this list, and it's a toss-up between this solid, varied songwriting showcase and the one that followed, Revolver.

"It's so fine; it's sunshine..."


Perry Leopold - Christian Lucifer

Acid folk at its finest. Of course, I'm a sucker for themes of subverting religion. Combine that with extensive lyricism (the lyrics are included in the liner notes and MUST be read) and drench it in lysergia, and we have a true, captivating listening "Journey".

"Eye am free
From the bondage
Eye am one
Within my kingdom..."


The Association - Birthday

Ever slightly psych-tinged harmony pop, and such fine harmony pop it is. Great, heavenly songs and sounds.

"I took off my watch and found I have all the time in the world..."


Ivy - Long Distance

Something a little newer here. This is pretty much pure pop music and production from 2001, with tinges of a vintage hip-hop sound and such wonderful dreamy French vocals. Looking at AMG to verify the year this came out, I have to disagree with the review, which dismisses this as "trendy". Some of the songwriting may be a little iffy, sure ("While We're in Love" comes to mind), but this is just so well produced — dreamy, melodic, poppy without being a clone of everything pop in the third millennium — everything I dig in an audio experience. The trumpet on some songs is a nice touch.

"At the edge of the ocean, we can start over again..."

The Firesign Theatre - I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus

Spoken word/counter-culture comedy, anyone? This trip to the Future from 1971 is unique. I suspect most people lack the facility to appreciate a work of art like this, but within the particular realm of spoken word that only Firesign Theatre occupy, they were at the top of their game here.

"We're glad you made it! Welcome to the Future!"


Kaleidoscope - Tangerine Dream

An inexplicable omission from my previous lists, and a staple of classic British pop-psychedelia. There's kind of a childlike storytelling to some of these songs, even when the subject turns to plane crashes or murder.

"And the king lived on his dreams — and died on them"


Gjallarhorn - Sjofn

Finnish folk music. Released in 2007. Heavenly vocals. So well done, and so good.

[This is where I usually include a quote from the album; sadly, I don't know the Finnish language enough to do so here.]


The Grateful Dead - American Beauty

Finally, for this "favorite albums" installment, I bring that truckin' home to the first album I ever knew by anybody, and an American beauty it is. Though best known for their decidedly self-indulgent live shows — legends in their own right — the Dead largely dispensed with jams for this album and concentrated on songwriting and great harmonies. They had taken a similar approach in their previous studio outing, "Workingman's Dead", which was a little folkier and maybe slightly country-tinged. As fine a collection of songs as that was, this 1970 release is as focused and "tight" as they got, and it is great. Anyone who would dismiss this album before they heard it, just because the Grateful Dead's name are on it, is a bloody fool and missing out on great stuff.

"When there was no dream of mine, you dreamed of me."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger 1919 - 2014

I suppose the day eventually had to come.

It's that kind of feeling we get with family pets, or maybe human family members. We always know it'll happen, yet we're still bummed when it does. That was a spiritual anchor, that knowledge that they were there. An anchor that kept us well-grounded and out of danger from floating unprotected in erratic waters. Suddenly, we need to know that we can swim — that we've gotten in some practice along the way. That anchor helped give us our swimming lessons.

I don't usually comment on celebrity deaths these days, or even most musician deaths that take a healthy bite of my 'Book feed, but I did want to acknowledge this one, some way, somehow.

"Social music" seems to have evolved into a completely different meaning from what it once was. Do we sing along in harmony at live shows much anymore? Maybe we all just sing to ourselves as we stream via cyberspace....? Sometimes I do. Not always. I can't remember clearly whether or not I was singing along when I spun "Viva la Quince Brigada", from "We Shall Overcome: The Complete Carnegie Hall Concert, June 8, 1963", for my 15k-point spin on Turntable.fm (itself a bygone trailblazer of sorts). I totally sang along with whatever I could at Psych Fest this past Friday, but even I couldn't hear me when I did, the bands and records were loud. Or maybe I just have a weak voice. I don't know. I have original songs — one man with one acoustic guitar; maybe you can tell me. I totally need to play open mics. I may not be sung along with — those really aren't the kind of songs I write — but at least there'll be a sort of gathering around. There's an open mic in town by me happening about now, as it's done every Tuesday for some years. At least, I think they still do it; I haven't gone to one in about two and a half years.....

I never came at all close to meeting the man in person. (What else is new?) I only sometimes tune in to true "folk" vibes amidst the psychedelic, the experimental, the smooth pop, the classical-style epics, and all the wondrous and absurd choices available to us in this age. But I know where we came from. I know where the "pop" in "pop(ular) music" is rooted. And I know one name and voice that was supreme in uniting the populace in harmony in every sense. In that way, we have gotten to know him, even if we didn't meet him personally.

I've been typing this up for a little while now this evening. As I was scrolling earlier, I saw Scott E. post a quote: “My job,” he said in 2009, “is to show folks there’s a lot of good music in this world, and if used right it may help to save the planet.” (from the New York Times) Seeger used his machine to surround hate and force it to surrender. We have this particularly global and powerful machine, or network of machines, at our command. How do we use it? What, or who, is surrendering in surround sound?

My copy of "We Shall Overcome" has inexplicably vanished, but my father's vinyl of 1979's "Circles and Seasons" remains. Here's an all-too contemporarily relevant song from that album (not my upload).

Peace and love for the man whose idea it was to change "I" to "We". *We* shall overcome. Some day.

(This was originally posted to Facebook. Minor edits brought it here.)

(Also, I'm including this song, which was suggested by a friend.)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

NEW RECORDINGS!

Yes, friends, the rare time when I unleash newly recorded songs is upon us again. The new songs are embedded above.

"Spin" is rock-driving weirdness.

"Pointless Lament" is an easier pop affair which ideally has a longer instrumental break, but my solo guitar skills can only go so far.

"Unemployed on Labor Day" is a folk song — done, of course, with a pop beat. I hope the edits I performed on that one aren't too obvious.

And, finally, a yet-unnamed instrumental piece, of whose time signature I am uncertain; I think a "10" may be involved.

Enjoy!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Thanksgivember"

Seems I haven't blogged in a little while. So as not to give the impression that I'm dead, here is what I was doing on Facebook in November, with edits kept to a minimum.

Oh, and do read that article I mention in the twenty-eighth entry. Many things I wanted to say on here but couldn't figure out how to express.

****

In past years, my cousin, among others, has done this "Thirty Days of Thanksgiving" thing wherein each day in November, the participant comes up with one thing for which they're thankful. Given the way I've been feeling of late, I'm going to at least make an attempt at this, just as my own exercise in knowing what's good. See how I fare. Starting with....

....well, how 'bout my aforementioned cousin, who did this the past two years and managed to keep most every entry engaging. Always one of my favorite people — an honestly loving fan of peace, cats, and all things good. Sense of humor, too. Hope to soon be in your metro, cous'. (I keep these statuses "public"; I can tag you if you like.)


Today on Thanksgiving Theatre:

The 1971 Alvarez acoustic six-string that is nestled inside my gig bag just behind me to my right. I feel so naked and incomplete when it's not with me. (I'm still incomplete, but I'm much better.) Sometimes I even get to play it, and I think I do pretty well, considering my wholly unorthodox style.


This fine extended Sunday in the land of Thanks: An extra hour of sleep. Pity it only happens once a year. This orb spins far too fast for my taste.

I will also cast a vote for bagels and lox.


Forth comes the fourth:

One of the few upsides of being forever unemployed is that I'm generally not bound to routinely rising at obscene hours of the morning. I honestly have no idea how I ever made it through middle and high school. College, though better with scheduling, remains an enigma in my head, despite seven and a half years of imprisonment there. My natural circadian rhythm seems to be that of a different planet, drifting through all bits of the Earth day through the days. I rather do prefer to stay true to (my) nature.


Harmonic Fifth:

In some years, and perhaps in some places, this would be Election Day here in the States. Traditionally, I've kept my politics on the blog and off of here, but I want today to acknowledge "the good guys" — the ones who believe in, and work toward, equality, opportunity, basic health and dignity, and peace, for everybody. (Here's a hint: Many of the "good guys" are not guys.) I do believe, conceivably naïvely, that we're going to see more of them in power fairly soon — maybe even enough of them to make a difference.


Sixth and stones may break for a few minutes:

The fact that I am done with college and academia. I speak from eight years and five or so varied majors of imprisonment there: It is a cold, lonely, isolating experience that is absolutely not worth twenty thousand a semester (unless you're really really really into being cold, lonely and isolated). Now I'm still cold, lonely and isolated, but at least I'm not rushing into deadlines for a price that a corporation would be lucky to afford (because corporations are totally people who go to college and everything). Something went terribly, terribly wrong with our education system somewhere along the line.


Unseventhed bread:

As sort of a follow-up to yesterday's entry in the "thankful" series (the relevance will become apparent), I remember my aunt Cookie. For the bulk of her story, you can check my archived blog entry. About half a year after I posted that entry, she was finally, mercifully, relieved from her earthly condition and memorialized in typically cold Chicagoland winter sunshine. She had no children, thus leaving my cousin and me as beneficiaries. Though my memory of her actual personality fades — she was sweet, I can say that much — my inheritance from her just about exactly satisfied my student loans, therefore relieving me of all but health insurance payments to haunt me all my days.

So, Cookie, many thanks for memories of happy times (I don't much mention them on the blog, but we had good holidays together in the old days) and for a significantly less dark time now. I hope you are enjoying peace and happiness in the next world, whatever it may be.


Livin' on th'eighth:

As long as I'm on aunts, I gotta shout out to my "main" one — my one remaining immediate aunt, who has stayed close with me and mine, lending graces, support, advice, and all things good through the years. Excellent host, award-winning care professional, mother of my cousin, and all-around solid-minded person. Also, she's on here (in tastefully limited doses). Hi Auntie dearest! Σ:+)


Number nine.... (repeat a few times)

("Ninth" is a really awkward word. Nothing appears to rhyme with it. I cannot think of anything clever to do with it.)

The fact that my family finally has something in the works to get the %$@& out of these flatlands. No offense to my friends who live here, but this town has nothing to offer me — no jobs, no truly close friendships, never mind romance — nothing. Yay for change! And yay once again for my cousin, who essentially led the way to the new metro! In fact, most immediate family is at our destination this weekend. Hi family! Snuggle the cats for me!


For all in tenths and purposes:

We are living in an age where technology has made it such that quick, clean transit to different pieces of geography is very much possible and nearly always at hand.

This is, of course, a doubly-edged sword that requires a sure, steady hand.......


The eleventh in the room:

Given what my feed on here looks like right now, this must be Veterans' Day. Now, I've honestly never quite figured out how I feel about soldiers past or present. I'm sure historically a great many fought for things they actually believed in and were genuinely convinced that they, their nation-state, and their actions were right. I'm sure they generally don't deserve to be stripped of domestic dignities, as seems to be a thing in the political world here. And I realize, from the back of my mind, tales of my grandfathers fighting in the second "world war", an event that is probably more talked about and referenced in culture and contemporary life than any other.

So in an effort to keep my offense to a minimum, I will respectfully acknowledge everybody who played a role in shaping the world into something we can recognize today (It's not easy). I wish you peace, love, happiness, and perhaps even some *tangible* survival benefits.


See for your twelfth:

This is my parents' wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a nice meal out this past evening — stuffed mushrooms, calamari, salad, shared entrees including creamy rigatoni and chicken piccata, crème brulee — majestic stuff. We celebrated the evening *before* the actual day, because later today, my mother must leave me, father, and the dogs alone for a while to look after *her* mother, who lives on rather a different continent. So the time seems just appropriate to dedicate an entry in my "thankful" series to the folks — especially..........Mom.

Mom is undoubtedly the brains of our little three-piece vehicle in the cornfields. She has our finest financial sensibility; she seems to instinctively know all the little things in domestic life that simply don't come naturally to father or me; she showed the lion's share of interest in and attention to me as I developed; she "sure can cook!"; and, as we and time have evolved, she greatly splits with me the task of looking after father (while she still looks after me to an extent).

We don't always see eye to eye on things. She still scoffs at the "Cheshire Adams" moniker; I suspect she always will. Our world views and basic philosophies are forever at odds with each other. Our mutual tastes are next to nil beyond the realm of food. But at the heart of the matter, she's kept me sheltered, fed, clothed, and comfortable. And those are pretty damn advantageous qualities.

So here's to Mom, a 'Book dweller among my friends here. I bid you a safe and pleasant journey across the globe, as well as health to Grandma and everybody. I'll be waiting for you over here......alone.....with father......and the dogs......and.......



OH GODS PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME


Lucky thirteenth: Mother is at grandma's place intact. Yay!

Fourteenth or againtht them?:

A bot cannot replace me.

Σ;+)


(Editor's note: At the time of the fourteenth entry, the 'Book feed was flooded with people playing with an app called "What Would I Say?" that read the users' statuses and produced mostly nonsensical word strings based thereon, signed "-[user]bot".)

Out of my brain on this fine fifteenth:

A day shall come when I will never again have to do suburban yard work.


Sweet sixteenth:

Hugs.

Most any time I can get 'em, I'll give 'em. This culture is nearly devoid of friendly physical touch — much to its detriment, I firmly believe. We're hardly close with anybody anymore. Physical proximity just may promote mental/spiritual proximity. And if nothing else, it's something I can give in the absence of items or funds.

(Conceivably related note: family Thanksgiving tomorrow! Yay!)


Edge of seventeenth: These all-too-elusive *joyous* family gatherings.

(posted a considerable number of hours before the event, so that I may be enjoying the actual event rather than checking into cyberspace all throughout it. Ya dig?)


What I eighteenth:

Cranberry sauce, pickles, dark meat, shrimp, pasta, cake, pie, chocolate, and all other edible delights.

Thanks also to the family and friends that allowed me to partake in festivities this past day!


Nineteenth new-Facebook-down:

Music.

I can't imagine too many of you who are friends with me requiring an explanation of this, so suffice it to say that life would suffer greatly without it.


Where you twentieth (h/t EJ):

A follow-up to yesterday's entry: The fact that, so far, I have been able to freely engage in discovery and sharing of musics without legal consequence. Supposedly, some countries have essentially banned music altogether. So far, this country has managed to fight the suits to an extent. Keep it up.

Also, that there have been people with whom to share and discuss music in cyberspace. My tastes tend to not grant me many friends in physical proximity.

Here, for instance, is the song I reference in the heading, a light psych affair from Norway. Enjoy while you can; there's a message on the top of the page that reads "Hi, United States JUZP is upgrading. music will be filtered. sorry for rare interruption". (But I do assure you, Kaspersky doesn't mind the common site among Google Video search results.)


Twenty-first (Ambrosia):

One more in the music section: Not only that I can indulge in the music of others, but that I have also been able to craft a certain amount of original material. This, to me, definitively states that I am a unique being — passion incarnate — rather than a clone who accepts whatever trash the powers that be have decided is popular and right. Whose was that quote about having created something? It's made the rounds on here often enough. It's something like that. Create! Firmly establish yourself as alive in this world!

Also, natch, the contemporary technology that allows me (and many) to upload my recordings to a place where they can be heard anywhere there is internet. Given the heading, I cannot resist linking to my relevant song here once again......


Twenty-second to none:

This.

The only dog I ever cared for.



Twenty-third in the punchbowl:

I sense this series has worn thin. Either I'm running on a premise that was stale two years ago, or I've bared maybe just a little too much of my inner mind. So for your Saturday, I nominate feedback and honest discussion, wherever and whenever it may be offered. Too often we, as a species, ditch the truth in favor of "politeness" or some such thing. Truth is, there is absolutely nothing polite about silence as a response to a thought. Anyone who responds with silence may as well not exist. And lying through your teeth (or keys, or touchpad) is just bad for everyone. Speak your mind. Don't hold back. You look fat, and that's perfectly fine.


Packs of twenty-fourth:

Warmth.

Physical or personable, I thrive on 'em all. These flatlands are a bit short of the physical on this late November day; luckily, our house has nicely functioning heating. And I suspect you all know by now what I think of this country's overall personality these days.....


Twenty-fifth to serve:

Laughter. Science-proven natural medicine. However downward we may spiral, we must always remember (how) to laugh. Beware the ones who lack a sense of humor; they are a certain ticket to misery.

Here is a YouTube channel that features just about the entirety of the UK Whose Line is it Anyway (and related shows), a show that picks up after the first two or three seasons and is much less rigidly censored than the US version.

By the way, what makes you laugh? Comment away!


Twenty-sixth and tired:

I don't feel the pressure of deadlines and strict following of artificial rules, and so on days like this when my brain is a blank, I can post something quick and stupid like this. Or nothing.

:+)~


Twenty-seventh heaven:

Cats.

'Nuff said.



Twenty-eighth — Chanukiving, or Thanksgivukah, or "I'm not prepared for this!":

Just before I posted the link to this article yesterday, I tweeted the author, "To put it simply: Thank you for that piece." He courteously responded: "You're very welcome. Thanks for the thanks." And that just seems about right. So, for your once-in-seven-eons celebration today, I nominate for ...."Chanoveming"? (Thanksgivember + Chanukiving.... I dunno. Ain't portmanteaus fun?)......

Gratitude. It's easy to lose or forget in contemporary society, where everything is relentlessly slung at you in mass quantities. How do we react when we're stuck in traffic in our cars with climate-control and high-definition audio systems in a spot beyond cell phone signal reception? Or when a long-time bug-and-incompetence-plagued cyber-hangout that we frequented nonetheless is shutting down? How do we treat the conceivably imperfect families that took us in and accept(ed) us?

Some food for thought to accompany the food for the twice-over holiday.

Happy travels (I'm about to see to my own),
~C.A.~


Tie-dyed (not black) twenty-ninth:

A certain wit and wordsmithery. It's gotten me bugger-all in life beyond cyberspace so far, but it is such good free, noncommercial fun, ain't it?


Down and thirtieth:

Finally, in a moment of blatant pandering, I would like to acknowledge all of *you* for keeping me entertained and relatively sane in these trying times that don't have to try very hard, and for at least putting up with this Thanksgivember nonsense and some of my politics revealed herein. I don't have many places I can go, so it's nice to have a friendly virtual place.

I know you're sorry to see this series end, so I'll ask you: What would you like to see from me in your cybertravels? Little observations? Youtube Facebook DJing? Words and links of sociopolitical conscience? Or maybe just bad puns and cat pictures? Clue me in if you have a preference.

Decent December, descendants! (h/t Wim)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ten days to Halloween. Or is it "Hallowe'en"? Whatever it is, it allows certain novelty shops to exist in buildings that used to contain renowned chain stores. There's a meme floating around that shows one in place of what used to be a major Tower Records installment. Whether that's true or not, I don't know, but in my town, the former Circuit City building and the former Blockbuster Video building are now both Halloween "Spook-taculars" or some such play on words. Novelty shops make a pleasant disguise for the scary reality that is our gop-led country and economy, don't they?

"Spook-tacular". I'm awfully sick of these Halloween-themed puns. It's the same ones every year. Halloween's no fun anymore. Everything's been sanitized. Can 27-year-olds like me trick-or-treat? Probably not. Cops would be on me like Anthony Weiner on a mobile device. Or something. I used to be better at hip celebrity/politician jokes. But it's a shame; I think an adult desperately seeking free candy in a bad economy is wonderfully spooky and in spirit. Also a shame that I have no costume party to go to this year; I'd rent a suit and go as a gop. Just as well, though; I ain't got the dough to rent that suit.

Here, have a photo from last year's party instead. The "pharaoh" is a long-time friend and classmate's brother. I didn't really have any ideas, so I just took my old black cape that I've had since I was small enough to trip over it, stuck it over my best tie-dye Dead shirt, and called myself "Super Outsider".



Back to the future, which is murder. ("Live in London" version there; tremendous release, LiL.) How 'bout that government shutdown? I don't have much to say about it myself; it's all fast become a blur to me. Sequester, debt ceiling, shutdown, stalemate, congress — all these words are just noise now — like a parade of garbage trucks on the other side of the front door except nonessential. (Get it?) Things are bad; I know it. I don't have hopes the least bit high for myself when I go to test for a temporary, non-social job on Tuesday, let alone anybody else for longer periods.

Ah, but haven't I whined on here enough about my distaste for this anti-social, roboticized, outsourced western society?

Something I've noticed lately is this:

Almost everybody I encounter, be it in person or via media images, their faces look almost exactly the same. Same features, same demeanor, same style of movements — male or female, black or white, senior citizen or six-month-old. I don't know how well I can describe this face, or expression; it kind of seems like the wearer is in a deep haze of thought — one from which it's highly dubious that they will ever emerge. Often their mouth is hung slightly open; their head smoothly and very slowly bobs. I have no idea what this means, if anything; it's only the last couple weeks that I've really noticed it. Just a passing thought, perhaps, that I'm passing along to cyberspace with the fantasy that a fellow traveler will know exactly what I mean and excitedly say so.

These are the thoughts that flit through one part of my head as another feels nasty sinus pressure that helps prevent me sleeping.

I bid you as pleasant a Monday as you can experience in your current circumstance.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Is Feedspot a thing?

If so, and you're from it, please comment here.

I want to know that people are out there.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Spin (draft)

Country dawn
illuminates a scene familiar
rolling on
and ever slowly getting hillier

naked eye
will not suit up and scour this landscape
find out why
its trail would want to make an escape

pioneers
figments of a mass dreamt past
it disappears
these phone translations never last

big wheel keeps spinnin'
big wheel keeps spinnin'
big wheel keeps spinnin'
spinnin', spinnin'
in the mud

room to shout
with none to hear or heed the call
too far out
alike its host revolving ball

big wheel keeps spinnin'
big wheel keeps spinnin'
big wheel keeps spinnin'
spinnin', diggin'
in the mud

too blind to know it's stuck in place
unfed it just keeps on with its race
keeping up its frantic pace
the motions slowly wear away its face
without aid it soon will be erased
senselessly lain to waste
if there's help, it must make haste
someone, bestow your grace!

naked, I
will not fare well and likely perish
left to die
alone within this evening fairish

country dusk
renders all a single item
flea or husk
they hurtle on into the night

big wheel keeps spinnin'
big wheel keeps spinnin'
big wheel keeps spinnin'
spinnin', diggin'
in the mud

big wheel keeps spinnin'
keeps on spinnin'
diggin' deeper
in the mud..........

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I Got Dem Ol' Isolation Blues Again, Mama

(Mom, for once, try to read past the fact that I mention you.)

For those who have never met me in person, I occasionally meow.

Just like a cat, yes. Sometimes I'll meow just quickly as a reaction to a minor, unexpected stimulus. Other times, I'll give a friendly *rowr!* to the family as a short way of saying "I'm awake, sort of; Hi!" Sometimes I'll hiss in moments of passing irritation. And, sometimes, I'll meow loudly and repeatedly from the other room as a reaction to a major, twenty-seven-year ongoing stimulus. A few minutes ago, before I started writing this thing, was one of these latter times. After a few vocalizations, my mother said from the other room, "Why are you behaving like a cat?"

I was in bed, for having nothing else to do and no place to go and just being depressed, and it took me a moment to think of an answer for that question. The one I came up with was this:

I guess I feel denied status as a member of the humans, so I'm trying something else.

I wasn't invited to my family's dinner out tonight. They went with their friend in the only car I could drive, not long after my mother had asked me "Why don't you go out tonight?". So I stayed here, fed the dogs, and went for a sleep as I marinated some more in the knowledge that I am completely goddamn fucking alone.

Cyberspace just ain't cuttin' it. I need people. Close friends. I have no siblings. My only direct cousin is a six-hour drive away in a car I don't own. No one's hiring me. Never had a really close friend growing up. Maybe three or four casual friends at best. The average 27-year-old seems to have a job, a spouse, their own place, and maybe even a kid or two. I've never even had a girlfriend. I did have a minor job twice and a fraction, but no more.

I haven't posted anything purely autobiographical in a while; I'm sure all my readers have missed that. Here's where we (my family and I) supposedly are now:

My folks are aiming to move to a retirement community in the greater Nashville metro. "The 615" was selected because it's where my cousin lives (albeit way on the other side of the metro from the retirement community). It would — will? — be my greatest pleasure to not live in Bumfuck, Illinois anymore and actually be within earshot of a major downtown. Here's the thing, though: it won't be until next spring at earliest — if it happens. For all I know, we may lose on the bidding on the lots, which happens this coming month. (Parts of the community have not yet been built.) Then there's my undecided aunt, who might move into the same house, get a separate house in the community, or possibly just stay in Chicago; this will affect finances. But, any way you slice it, barring actual help from my cybercommunity, I'm stuck right here in nowhere at least until probably April, with no place to go and no one to connect with when I get there.

Earlier this week, I did actually try stopping by my old university "sanctuary" across town — the disability "rehab" center, where I worked for two years until I could no longer actually work at the computer. It's a shame; the people there were, and by and large still are, friendly and great. But though we worked in the same room, we didn't really work together most of the time, and my will to work alone just tanked. Since I seem to lack a natural social life, I need a social job to balance myself. Anyway, there were and are good people there, to the point where there was frequently dessert available. This past Monday or Tuesday (I forget which) was no exception; a more recently hired employee whom I hadn't met yet had brought in cake. With fondant — but cake nonetheless. Further talks with everyone revealed the reason for the cake: That employee had just ....... gotten married.

Married. Another one removed from my partner-selection pool in a happy ceremony of which I wasn't a part. Everybody and their mother is either getting married or otherwise participating in a wedding. The pictures intersperse sponsored posts by Facebook, music "videos", and pictures of food from my "food group" in my 'Book feed. That food group is chock full of playful, loose-tongued females, and I'm willing to bet my lack of funds that, despite the suggestive banter, every last one of them is married. (
Edit: Yay, one isn't!) (Although, really, what single person is driven to cook a full meal for no one?) But, their marital status is moot anyway, because, guess what? None of them live anywhere near me. One's near St. Louis. That's as close as they come. This applies to everybody. They're either buried in the deep South or on one of the coasts. Why the hell do I keep cyber-befriending people on the coasts? When I see people going on about how beautiful and perfect it is by the bay in California, I feel a dull rage, thrashing somewhat like a distant kettle drum roll, or possibly like how I imagine ocean waves sounding as they wash on the shore below in a place that has "ocean", "shore", "above" and "below". And I want so badly to punch Brian Williams every time he gets sentimental about some New York institution that "SO MANY of us" have enjoyed, from the Sandy-ravaged Boardwalk to today's retirement of the Yankees' long-time closer. Why the fuck does the Yankees closer get to be on the national evening news? If it were the Cubs, would they grant him so much as a brief mention? Fuck the Yankees and all these self-righteous New York humpers. Save that shit for your local broadcasts. The rest of us don't need to see or hear you masturbating.

But I'm rambling now. At least in language. Maybe someday I'll get to "ramble" in a more physical sense. While I was discussing my situation — guitar in tow — with the friendly staff at the rehab center, a couple different people suggested that, when I get to Nashville, I just pick a spot on the downtown streets — Broadway ought to accommodate nicely — and pick at my guitar. I can't do that here, but I can most certainly do it there. See who salutes and how strongly. I also mentioned the possibility of trying that "Go Fund Me" site I've seen going around; my State contact was on board with that idea. If anyone takes that seriously, I can have at least *some* sort of income in this awkward time where, in the unlikely event that I do get hired here in the flatlands, I couldn't stay for long before moving to greener pastures, so to speak. Greater Nashville does seem to be rapidly growing. I don't know if it can match up to the coasts in terms of potential friends I can fully connect with, but, with luck, I can find out for sure.....


Couple other thoughts on the subject since I posted this almost two days ago:

After a couple months in the Nashville metro, the family plan is to put me in an apartment. Don't you love that word, "apartment"? I'm apart enough already. What I need is a "togetherment". But that's not a thing in this country, is it? It's not even a thing in our language.

It's that independence motif again — the undercurrent in Western thought and culture that other people suck and that there's no point in pursuing, nay, being, a counterexample. The likely mass self-projected belief that everybody is out to "get" us, which we use to justify primitively selfish behavior: hoarding all the goods we can in our spaces, and never allowing anyone else into those spaces because they will undoubtedly rob us blind and possibly lifeless, because that's what we apparently would do. So the shut-outs get more deprived and desperate, violent incidents spiral through the ionosphere, and nothing is gained but loss. Even now, in my tiny corner of the flatlands from which I type, I'm hearing more sirens from beyond the window than I've ever done.

And apparently I — we? — should just sit back, accept, and be one with, the vile chaos.

There was something else I wanted to say here, but it escapes me just now.

Love.