Monday, August 31, 2009

good things

I really didn't do much this weekend, stopped by to see my parents and the in-laws for dinner, ran errands on Saturday and did some late-night painting, managed to make good fun out of yesterday's clouds and go out to Lakeview Cemetery again, this time with Lindsay.

We were looking inside the family vaults, attempting to piece together personalities and family history and of course giggling at the myriad obelisks and amusing names like "Elvira Nightingale" (sounds like it'd make a fantastic goth name or a writer of steamy vampire novels), and "Grover C. Good." We met up with Mukhtar and climbed up to the Garfield monument to get a great view of the city and the dramatic clouds.

Went to a party on the west side, good food, great hanging out and stories and I was laughing so hard. What keeps me here is the people, any magic that the city brings is secondary to that.

There are some people I know where I just want to give them a tape recorder and have them tell me stories because they've got incredible ones and the best way of telling them. Stories where you are thinking about the state of the world and laughing at its absurdity, stories about living in your city seen through the eyes of someone else, stories that get lost in translation when you try to explain them.

I broke my camera a couple weeks ago and took back the other one because the pictures came out so badly and I really wish I had it last night. The sunset over the lake was stunning, all the grey clouds turning purple and the city glowing almost neon pink. That and this song on the stereo and the euphoria of living and all the good things made me feel so thankful for where I'm at right now.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Sister's wedding was beautiful, good food, good people, fun dancing. I was so tired but I just kept drinking coffee and hanging out with relatives and friends... only two people asked the inevitable questions about why yours truly isn't hitched yet, but I was able to not think about it too much and have a good time, overwhelmed by the love and so happy for her.

I always think of this scene when I hear the word marriage.

Had a good time with Mukhtar at De La Soul, good show even if it was shorter than I expected for them being around for 20 years. My roommate's gone for the rest of the week and I miss her, so I've been finding ways to keep myself occupied in the meantime; girlness and chili with Megan last night, going out to the east side to hang out with Jerusha tonight, more adventures to follow I'm sure.

Debating Labor Day weekend plans... road trip to Columbus? Mission of Burma at Studio-A-Rama? KRS-One and others in Akron with the usual suspects? None of the above? We shall see...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

playlist 8/25/09

I love ending my sets with Marvin Gaye.

Manu Chao - mentira
blockhead - road rage breakdown
cibelle - so sei vivier no samba
brightblack morning light - summer hoof
pharaoh's daughter - haran
jeff buckley - lilac wine
martina topley-bird - soul food
morphine - buena
nightmares on wax - the sweetest
erykah badu - soldier (co fee remix)
outkast - liberation
joy jones - over
morcheeba - posthumous / tape loop
thievery corporation - vampires (feat. femi kuti)
MIS - drume negrita
massive attack - exchange
soulsavers - 7th proof / praying ground / can't catch the train
television - marquee moon
marvin gaye - right on / wholly holy / inner city blues (whole LP side)

Friday, August 21, 2009

of travels and broken phones

So with the exception of dropping my cell phone down the storm drain in front of my house upon my arrival back in the fair city, it's been a jam-packed and wonderful week.

Went to Lakeview Cemetery and indulged my inner goth by taking pictures of various mausoleums and tombstones. Never noticed all the Egyptian motifs before... everyone wanted to be Pharoah evidently.

My road trip adventures took me to Mansfield on Wednesday night to visit Ryan and go for a walk in the rain around downtown Mansfield, ending with a climb up to the roof of an abandoned building downtown to watch the remainder of a thunderstorm in the distance. It was good to hear about his adventures traveling across the country via bicycle and catch on everything.

Drove to Columbus on Thursday morning and took my cousin on a random drive where we went all the way down Cleveland Avenue and I realized that all my previous trips to Columbus have involved the interstate, the suburbs, the malls, and the Short North and there's lots of awesome African grocery stores where you can get Nollywood movies and pop music from Ghana and gorgeous wax cloth. We got milkshakes at UDF and walked down High Street before going to see the Rifftrax live "Plan 9 From Outer Space."

I always used to say that Columbus didn't have as much of that kind of thing as Cleveland but I guess I'm wrong.

So tonight was the wedding rehearsal, tomorrow's the wedding. I dropped my phone down the storm drain in front of my apartment so I'm kind of going through withdrawal right now... I'll have to get a bunch of numbers again I guess.

And, I'm going to see De La Soul on Tuesday! The awesomeness never ceases.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

playlist 8/18/09

groove armada - hands of time
tv on the radio - love dog
incubus - aqueous transmission
dengue fever - sleepwalk through the mekong
nina simone - black is the color of my true love's hair (jaffa remix)
keith & tex - stop that train
otis redding - your precious love
the bellrays - have a little faith in me
monobojo - cabidela
goodie mob - free
erykah badu - penitentiary philosophy
funkadelic - you & your folks, me & my folks
the chambers brothers - all strung out
sharon jones & the dap-kings - how long must I wait for you?
manu chao - por lo suelo
dennis brown - what about the half?
calexico - alone again or
U2 - dancing barefoot
soulsavers - revival
twilight singers - live with me
lamb - this could be heaven
kimi diabate - kode
oumou sangare - seya
salif keita - moussolou
group inerage - kuni majagani
amadou & mariam - coulibaly

Sunday, August 16, 2009

dog days

There was everything going on this weekend as far as fun city stuff goes, but it was enough for me to hang out with an endless succession of people who rock my world. My sister's bachelorette party was a success, and us girls had a lovely night at Lakewood Park eating hummus and watching the sunset. My cousin came in from Columbus and I got to see him the next day. English class started again for the kids, and it's now a little more structured, so far so good.

Some friends from Ethiopian church had a cookout at Edgewater that we went to, spicy grilled lamb and such. Muk rode his bike over after work and we hung out, lay down on the rocks to bask in the sun, were massively entertained by the little kids daring each other to pop 3 Warheads candies at once and telling each other "These are so awesome! They're TOXIC!"

Drove down to Kent for the wedding reception of some friends who are moving to Salt Lake City so it'll be awhile before I see them again.

I haven't seen everyone in forever and it felt like a family reunion. All the little babies I remember are running around and they've got younger siblings I haven't met. We're all trying to catch each other up on the last three years since I moved out of Kent and back to Cleveland.

The last time I saw some of these people was when I still lived down there, and others saw me last when I was dealing with some serious post-college underemployment-related depression so I was glad at least to be bringing some good news. And it was good to see everyone having a good time and doing well.

I only work two days this week, and then I'll be driving south with a stop in Mansfield to see my good friend Ryan and catch an MST3k movie with my cousin, who will be riding back with me for the rehearsal dinner for my sister's wedding. Should be good times. Wedding season has turned out to be fun.

Friday, August 14, 2009

day by day...

So it's been a good week...

Hanging out at Edgewater Park drinking Lazizas, playing music, chilling with the girls last night. My sister's bachelorette party is tonight, nothing crazy, just chilling at the park by the lake, good food, chocolate.

Tomorrow I start back with the Saturdays with the kids, and hope it's a little less chaotic than it's been. It's been almost a year since I met them, and they have really changed my life.

When I first met them, I just assumed it'd be 2 hours of my life every Saturday, like most of the other mentoring/volunteering I'd done in the past. I'm thankful that it's become much more than that, added an element of random and chaos that I thrive on.

There's other adventures this weekend... Edgewater with the Ethiopians, and then possibly the county fair, which I haven't been to since I worked the Ohio Right to Life booth in high school and got to watch everyone else have fun. Then, maybe driving down to Kent for a wedding celebration... we shall see...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

playlist 8/11/09

radiohead - go to sleep
autolux - here comes everybody
burial - archangel
metric - collect call
morcheeba - the sea
ollabelle - soul of a man
mildred clark - it's gonna be all right
massive attack - safe from harm
finley quaye - sun a shining
les nubians - brothers and sisters
sublime - work that we do
bad brains - leaving babylon
n'gata - eferinge
esau mwamwaya - kamphopo
bongo maffin - level
sidestepper - san juan
bajofondo - pa pailar siempre quiero mas
gilberto gil & caetano veloso - desde que samba e samba
cut chemist - the garden
da cruz - perdida
cafe tacuba - tengo todo
his name is alive - home (can't live in this world anymore)
john frusciante - ramparts
the duke spirit - dog roses
red red meat - variations on nadia's theme
throwing muses - surf cowboy
metric - gimme sympathy

I've got tickets to give away for HR (Bad Brains) on 9/25 and the Soulsavers on 9/26... so far no takers yet.

Monday, August 10, 2009

the last few days...

Meeting some of my favorite Cleve blog people
Continued preparations for my sister's wedding
Late night ice cream runs
Hanging out with Jerusha
Wandering around Ohio City checking out yard sales and drinking ghetto tea
My friend's baptism at a church on the east side
Reconnecting with the Ethiopians
Giving one of 'my kids' a ride and realizing that their housing situation has severe slum landlord issues
Feeling overwhelmed by that and being subsequently no fun for the rest of the evening.
Going back to work with a lot on my mind
Massive afternoon thunderstorms.
Dogsitting for my parents.

Really, late night solitary angsting aside, life is never dull.

"...So much on my mind that I can't recline
Blastin holes in the night til she bled sunshine
Breathe in, inhale vapors from bright stars that shine
Breathe out, weed smoke retrace the skyline
Heard the bass ride out like an ancient mating call
I can't take it y'all, I can feel the city breathin
Chest heavin, against the flesh of the evening
Sigh before we die like the last train leaving..."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

lock the door and kill the light...

I hate nights alone when I know that no one's coming home even though I have a fantastic roommate and this doesn't happen much.

I like having time to myself but I was never meant to live alone. I don't like cooking for just one, I don't like ordering takeout by myself, or watching movies alone. I don't like sharing my space with just a cat because that, and my occupation, seem to imply that spinsterhood is inevitable.

Solitude is good for curling up with books and making art, but when it gets late and everything is dark, I just lay there and think too much and wonder if this is what the future holds because this period doesn't last forever... eventually people get sick of each other or find a significant other or go onto other things and places. And I wonder if I will end up being alone once again.

I know I shouldn't think about it too much but I do.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

playlist 8/4/09

I didn't preview a reggae track thoroughly that had a pretty hefty profanity in it so I hope that the FCC wasn't listening... I cut it but that's the first time it's ever happened to me and it makes me nervous.


U2 - dirty day
ani difranco - amazing grace
soulsavers - sunrise
amon tobin - mighty micro people
finley quaye - it's great when we're together
martina topley-bird - phoenix
dandy warhols - sleep
me'shell ndegeocello - andromeda & the milky way
foreign exchange - house of cards
common - tears and sorrow
amadou & mariam - politic amagni

sizzla - hard ground / damian marley & nas / malatu astatke (ghetto palms mini mix)

dennis brown - man next door
arrested development - raining revolution
les nubians - embrasse moi
sebulon gomachal - uri paris
the green arrows - chitima nditakure
ngatukonje nagarijone - glorified
salif keita - imagige
abdel gadir salim - bitzid min adhabi
habib koite - cigarette a bana
chiekh lo - shakara
gilberto gil & caetano veloso - cada macaco no seu galho
joe strummer - tony adams
novalima - mandinga
the green arrows - chimaminga chamumba

Monday, August 3, 2009

wind and water

Attempting to learn how to make right... there's something in me that desires restoration. I know that this is not always possible but it's definitely something to aspire to. I can't stand drama and I'm no good at handling conflict. I tend to avoid it because I know that it's just so easy to make everything worse.

It seemed like everything was going on this weekend, but the only thing I made it to was a friend's housewarming party and the Lakewood Art Festival where I talked to an Orthodox priest for awhile about icons and found a Bob Ross-style painting for $2 at a resale shop that will be covered over with an art project in the near future, and ten CDs for a dollar at the Exchange (surprisingly good ones). I love the jewelry and pottery and paintings they have at those things but I can't afford any of them so I just walk around and people-watch and get inspired.

Took one of the families grocery shopping and then me & Alex went to Edgewater and chilled for awhile, drinking pop, skipping stones, watched the sunset, drove around listening to old dancehall.

Like last year, this summer has taken me places I never thought I'd be, and I haven't left Ohio yet. I've always taken things as they've come, and it always amazes me where I end up.