Tuesday, August 26, 2008

planned obsolescence

My roommate and I went to Best Buy last night in pursuit of blank CDs. Both of our little stereos are on their way out and I decided to take a look and see if I could find a cheap, basic boombox for the apartment. Hers doesn't shut all the time, and mine won't play blank CDs anymore.

Evidently this is harder than I thought it would be.

See, I still make mixtapes on a regular basis for friends or for personal enjoyment in my car since I have neither a CD player or an MP3 player and am too cheap to bother upgrading at this point.

I couldn't find a single one that had a tape player, but they all had docks for your ipod or whatever. It's another one of those times when I start feeling like I haven't really adapted like I should be.

Guess I'll have to start hitting up garage sales or something...

coming forth to carry me home...

I forgot to set my alarm this morning and woke up at 3:30am instead of 4.

Sidestepper - Mas Papaya
Stone Temple Pilots - dancing days (I know this is sacrilege, but I think it's better than the original)
Amadou & Mariam - je pense a toi
Mogwai - summer
John Frusciante - water
Devo - gut feeling
Jawbox - ballast
The Chambers Brothers - all strung out
Eddie Harris - live right now
Primal Scream - burning wheel
U2 - the last night on earth
Sleater-Kinney - 02
Elastica - hold me now
BRMC - in like the rose
the Chills - pink frost
Massive Attack - dissolved girl
Flunk - see through you
Slowdive - some velvet morning
Pigeonhed - full sentence
Bad Brains - leaving Babylon
the Black Seeds - enough is enough
Joe Strummer - get down Moses
the Posies - daily mutilation
High Back Chairs - afterlife
Dizzy Gillespie - swing low sweet Cadillac (Gerardo Frisina remix)

I'm trying to branch out more and more, but my stash of library cds hasn't come in yet...

Monday, August 25, 2008

the world is just around the corner...

So I ended up checking out the graffiti festival down by the West Side Market. We were supposed to meet up with a friend but we ended up missing each other by an hour or so because we ended up walking around drinking half gallons of ghetto tea and enjoying the gorgeous day.

The artwork and breakdancing were cool and all, but the best thing was that we ended up hanging out with these awesome little kids from Burundi at this church where a good friend of mine teaches ESL classes. Most of them speak very little English, but we were able communicate with a combination of basic words and gestures and the universal language that is sports. The girls taught us hopscotch games and the boys played catch with us, when they weren't playing with my camera or running down to the Wendy's at the corner and getting free food by being super cute.

We stayed there for most of the afternoon and early evening playing games with them and then having dinner with the families and watching the kids dance and sing. I felt like I was in another country hanging out in this basement where everyone is speaking Swahili and we've been completely adopted.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I've been gone so much that I haven't dug out the paints in a long time, but I finally did so last night. Played around with mixing acrylics with glittery puffy paint to get some dimension. Need to organize my ephemera so I can find my stuff when I need it. I'm one of those people who doesn't find time to do such things, and when it does, entropy inevitably sets in and disorder begins.

Speaking of art, I'm planning on checking out the annual "aerosol art" fest down by the West Side Market, for spray paint, breakdancing, and other such things that I admire aeshetically and also in the sense that I do not know how to do such things...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


So I'm walking back from the bus stop and cut down a side street under the bridge. On all of the pillar underneath the I-90 bridge, someone had tagged MS-13 in blue spray paint.

Now, those of you who know me know that I'm more curious than paranoid by nature, but I really do wonder what the deal is. If it's kids being goofy, or the real thing. And, I guess, if it should bother me.

need to wake up...

Kinda glad I didn't end up watching the browns last night. My dad and I are going to the Indians game tonight, and hopefully we have better luck.

The show didn't go quite as smoothly as I would've liked but turned out all right overall.

here's today's playlist.

the saturday knights - 45
dr. israel - armagideon time
morcheeba - blindfold
amadou & mariam - coulibaly
senegal fast food
cecelia barraza - canterurias
lauryn hill - zion
sidestepper - hoy tenemos
daby balde - waino blues
tribe called quest - can i kick it?
the lemonheads - bit part
rodrigo y gabriela - tamacun
pharaoh's daughter - enpesare
ceu - concrete jungle
damian marley - for the babies
trevor dandy - is there any love in this world?
angelique kidjo - salala
the cure - a night like this
garland of hours - katie cruel
elvis costello - what's so funny about peace love and understanding
the posies - grant hart
the bellrays - making up for lost time
the bicycle thief - max, jill called
david usher - st lawrence river
mark lanegan - resurrection song
throwing muses - teller
jane's addiction - classic girl

Monday, August 18, 2008

i have no real fans...

So a couple posts ago, I said something about Tokio Hotel. And posted a picture for those who have not been acquainted previously.

Guess which page got 486 hits after that?

That's just messed up.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

in the city there's a thousand things i wanna say to you...

The party ended up being really nice. Not anything too crazy, but her friends came, and her boyfriend and his bandmates were bashing out Green Day songs in the sanctuary, which evolved by the end of the night into some kind of live karaoke where everyone was getting up on stage freestyling and belting out "My Girl," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Billie Jean," mostly off-key but completely hilarious. After everyone left, the kids were banging on the drums and rapping in Spanish while their older cousin rollerblades down the center aisle.

My kids, who prefer Lil Wayne and Tupac, and told me that the Roots are some "wack music made by white dudes" are rapping in Spanish and singing "Mississippi Queen." I'm wondering where they got their liking of one-hit 70's southern rock, but I guess the song is on Rock Band and it's their favorite song up there with Souljah Boy.

Go figure.

The rest of this weekend was spent hanging outside with good people, walking through the lower west side, checking out some street festival, watching the Indians lose with my dad, watching a sad bollywood movie with my roommate, wading into the lake at Edgewater with some of the kids, and just enjoying the breezes and the sun and the lady playing Spanish guitar and the kites that were flying. And, to end my weekend, drinking root beer and generic mountain dew floats with the usual suspects and watching 80's martial arts action movies.

I can't get over how fast this summer has gone, and how ridiculously good it's been.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

these important years

Being somewhat introverted, planning parties is not something I've done often. So when a friend of mine said he was throwing one for a mutual friend of ours, I jumped in to help, and realized that I'm flying blind.

Usually, my social gatherings tend to be small and low-key. In college, it was a pot of vegan chili, some chips and brownies. Maybe some dumpstered bread or gleanings from the Kent Social Services food pantry where I volunteered. If it was a larger gathering, usually it was more of a potluck.

I have never done anything remotely resembling a college send-off blowout. Much less one where everyone coming is inviting everyone they know and live music is in the works (courtesy of her boyfriend's band). So I've been making cookies at midnight, trying to figure out what kind of dip people like, still need to get beverages and fruit, maybe a cake? I'm not good at these kind of things, but like everything in my life, everything eventually comes together and I almost always avert disaster.

I remember the send-off my friends had for me when I left and I'd like to make it something really nice and meaningful for her too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

cut your damn hair

So I'm heading downtown to catch the rapid back to the west side when I see all these gothy looking pre-teen girls hanging out by the House of Blues. It looks like the Hot Topic Fashion Show and I'm wondering what on earth could possibly be this exciting and I looked up on the marquee and sure enough, Tokio Hotel is playing in my town tonight.

I really don't understand Tokio Hotel at all. Evidently the girls think the singer is pretty hot stuff. He's prettier than I am and that's scary. Teenybopper and glam or whatever the heck it is just doesn't register.

The rest of the band looks like rejects from all those nu-metal bands that were popular back when I was in high school and the music doesn't really sound like anything exciting. Kids these days...

then again, being a fan of heroin addicts who kill themselves isn't that much better

On the other hand, my show was pretty good this morning:

fugazi - by you
the editors - orange crush
the undertones - teenage kicks
matthew sweet - girlfriend
love - my little red book
neil young - rocking in the free world
idlewild - modern way of letting go
joey ramone - what a wonderful world
new order - age of consent
j dilla - ruff draft
natalia y la forquetina - amor es rosa
digable planets - rebirth of slick (cool like dat)
afghan whigs - citi soleil
telescopes - spaceship
curve - fait accompli
50 ft wave - golden ocean
primal scream - step inside this house
althea & donna - uptown top ranking
finley quaye & beth orton - dice
cal tjader - soul sauce (fila brazilia remix)
dj shadow - building steam with a grain of salt
haran - by way of haran
alvin youngblood hart & sharon jones - my soul is a witness
masonic wonders - i called him
john frusciante - omission
ceu - rada (bombay dub orchestra remix)
kristin hersh & michael stipe - your ghost

Monday, August 11, 2008


In other news...

My first fill-in show didn't go so well. The playlist was decent but the sequencing was awful. I was already exhausted by the time I got there and it showed. Such is life.

My new roommate has moved in. She is awesome.

So is Sweethearts Cafe over in Chinatown. No other place in Cleveland where you can drink green tea and watch the olympics to the soundtrack of slow jams and crunk hits. It's weird but for some reason it kind of works.

My family's dog isn't doing so well either. She's 14 years old so she's had a good life but the thought of her dying still makes me sad.

I went to the Ethiopian service at church yesterday with my roommate because she knows everyone there. They were all really nice, the music was on a pentatonic scale, and I loved seeing how they do things, especially considering that their traditions of Christianity predate most of Europe's and the country was never colonized by anyone.

We hung out with the kids downstairs last night and they were dancing in the rain and put a talent show on for us mostly involving new dances and the secret handshake from the cheetah girls. They came upstairs for some orange pop and I only had two cans so I had some small glasses I'd gotten from my great uncle and poured it in there to make it go further.

It didn't occur to me that three elementary school kids would be clued in that these were shot glasses and they proceeded to do shots with the orange pop, slamming the glass down on the table and telling me to "POUR ANOTHER ONE, BABY!!!"
saying they learned how to do this from Granny and the TV.

good things are coming

So I took my day off on Friday and got to be part of building one of those KaBoom! playgrounds and while I didn't feel very productive for the first half of my time there, I certainly did for the second part.

I used to volunteer at Nueva Luz my first year of college and I loved it. This was probably first time in my life that I knew I would be coming back to this city because I saw how much there needed to be done. For being a much more conservative denomination, there was a strong love for people in the community that I was drawn to and they did everything. HIV/AIDS counseling, referral, and emergency housing, food and clothing distribution, community development. There were thirty of us sleeping in the house next door, with almost no heat and one bathroom (no small feat when 25 of us were girls), living on spaghetti and peanut butter and bagels.

Sunday morning services were in Spanish and English and these old hymns I remember from my childhood were done with much more percussion and energy and people were dancing and when it came time to greet each other, it was done with hugs and welcoming in three different languages. In the mornings we'd help out with whatever projects they were doing and in the afternoon we'd hang out with the kids in the neighborhood who played in the yard at the church and at the parking lot next door.

Over time, I got to know some of the kids, got to meet their families, hang out on their porches, going to their high-stepping competitions and seeing what they had to deal with. I remember Andy, the pastor there, giving us $200 and sending us out to K-Mart to buy one family of kids Christmas presents because they weren't going to get anything that year, and while there was a TV in every room, there were no warm blankets or pillows on the beds or much of anything else.

All of them have moved away since there, but it felt so good to see this finally happen for the next generation at least, holding a swirly slide together so someone could put the screws in, painting designs and games on the parking lot, shoveling mulch and putting benches together to a soundtrack of latin music and old-school hip-hop. meeting people from all walks of life, from Keybank employees to construction workers and church people to the neighborhood pot dealer. It didn't matter who you were, just that you showed up to help and seeing this whole thing get put together and how excited the kids were about it... it was just great.

I remember thinking that if I could do stuff like this for the rest of my life, I would be completely happy. As it turns out, I have a job with pretty conventional hours, but I have vacation time and weekends and at this point, I'm going to keep on doing stuff like this in my spare time.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

adventures in pet-sitting

Evidently house-sitting is the national past-time for trustworthy and non-partying single people. Right now, I've got a weeklong gig in ohio city watching two dogs and four cats which has turned out to be much easier in practice than in theory. I don't even have to walk the dogs but I do because I'm at work all day and the hyper one is in a "crate" (the nice way that dog people say "cage") and I know I'd hate to be cooped up like that for 8 hours straight.

It's like going on vacation with pets and getting paid to do it, and I like these interludes because I can be relaxed and solitary. sleep on the couch, take random walks through the neighborhood, chill on the porch, write and turn the stereo up...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

miss ya...

kristy guest-dj'ed with me this morning. also got a call from a guy who said he was strung out on heroin and wanted to hear some cab calloway. couldn't find any and felt bad.

i'm going to miss her, as we've always kept in touch and been good friends for the last six years, from being next-door-dorm neighbors with a shared love of led zeppelin and cleveland graffiti to living with each others' friends and then roommates.

i was dead tired and stressed yesterday but now i'm feeling pretty good.

playlist - 8/5/08

the randy watson experience w/ donn - morning bell (exit music: songs for radioheads)
res - golden boys
charlatans uk - tremelo song
morcheeba - tape loop
coldcut - man in a garage
sublime - work that we do
ani difranco - amazing grace
sidestepper - deja
lafenstock - cookies
arrested development - tennessee
bob marley - african herbsman (king kooba mix)
sleater-kinney - nightlight
luna - sweet child o' mine
yes - long distance runaround
5 spiritual tones - bad situation (off of good God! a gospel funk hymnal)
damian marley w/ nas - road to zion
john frusciante - afterglow
el-p - get your hands off me, pig!
keith & tex - stop that train
curtis mayfield - if there's a hell below...
my morning jacket - touch me i'm going to scream
jeff beck - nadia
angelique kidjo - mysterious ways
diplo - summer's gonna hurt you

Monday, August 4, 2008


hanging out with yeliz, rosa, and other good people. thai food and lakewood park. lake erie was so beautiful and blue and we were all sitting on the rocks.

i seem to be ending up in coventry a lot more recently this time on friday night for a skateboard art show where erika was doing her dj thing. ran into a lot of people i knew, met new people who were awesome. john came up there around 11 and me him and paul went to my friends at 2:30 in the morning for food and continued good conversation. got home at 5am thankful that i had another day of weekend still to burn.

found some good stuff at the lakewood library booksale, hung out over at paul's, playing guitars and listening to music, talking on the phone on the front porch while danny is singing puccini opera numbers upstairs, green tea with ginseng, random good conversation, laying down good beats and gorgeous grooves for brian to freestyle over. creating yet another elaborate inside joke, this time involving "space midgets."

felt so relaxed and chilled out, just so good to be laughing and being creative and using each of these beautiful august nights for something beautiful and worthwhile.