Tuesday, March 30, 2010

stupid internet

Making me laugh at stupid things.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I don't feel no ways tired, I've come too far from where I started from...

There's been too much crazy going on...

Avoiding awkward situations, shooting photos of bowling alleys and Ukrainian churches in Parma (I must be the only native who didn't know there's an Astrodome behind St. Josaphat's), walked up to the West Side Market, went to an art show at the Sachsenheim and then out for Puerto Rican food down on 73rd and Denison, came back and painted all night. Too much Cafe Caribe late at night does things to me. I can't find the usb cable for the camera so visuals will have to wait.

Yesterday while I'm at church I get a call from my sister saying that my mom's birthday party was cancelled today because she went to the emergency room last night and then I called her back to find out that my grandpa got hit by a car and then they were worried that he'd have a brain aneurysm. So I ended up spending a good portion of Sunday at the hospital and then zoned out watching basketball, trying to get myself back together.

One of my fellow musicians and very good friends got me and the roommate a hymnal from this store in East Cleveland that sells gospel music and pesticides. Since I grew up white and Catholic, I don't have the background in most of these, but I got some good history lessons about which ones were Baptist as opposed to Pentecostal, which ones were Underground Railroad codes, etc. I'm sure that many of these will be finding their way into Sunday morning.

It was good seeing the roomie after a week of solitude, and we were laughing and dressing up in fabulously ugly sweaters that were in the Goodwill box from her aunt while gunfire popped in the distance. So much stress, all you can do is laugh through the tears sometimes.

Also got this from the library while back to visit the family. No one I knew from there when I worked in high school is there anymore, and the Goodwill across the street where I used to score cheap alternative rock CDs and weird old t-shirts is gone now. I love the production on this album and with the rain and the general angst of yesterday it just fit so well.

Friday, March 26, 2010

best of the blotter 18

Dedicating this one to Randal

SUSPICIOUS, CHILLICOTHE ROAD: A mother of an employee called police after a man with black fingernail polish on his nails dropped his clothes off at Fussy Cleaners March 18.

He told the employee his name was Lucifer and his phone number included the number combination of 666. He asked if there were any young women who worked there.

The clothes were to be ready for pick-up the next day, and the mother was concerned for her daughter.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

best of the blotter, March edition

FRAUD, ELMDALE ROAD: An 87-year-old woman told police on Feb. 22 that a fraudster told her she would be arrested by the FBI if she refused to send a commission check to collect a phony sweepstakes prize.

THEFT, PEARL ROAD: A 36-year-old Valley City woman was arrested at 1:40 p.m. March 2 after being seen stealing razors, cheese and two packages of Steak-Umm sliced steaks from the Drug Mart store on Pearl Road.

SKUNK, LAFAYETTE: Police stopped at a Lafayette Road residence in reference to a suspicious person around 8:20 a.m., March 3. The resident was revving the engine of his ATV, hoping the exhaust would smoke out a skunk which had nested in the home’s foundation.

SUSPICIOUS SITUATION, ROUTE 82: Three Brunswick women were asked to leave the Sheetz parking lot on Sunday after they caused a disturbance. The women were allegedly telling customers they would dance for anyone who bought them beer.

BURGLARY, NORMANDIE DRIVE: A man got a text message from his ex-girlfriend March 6 that she was going to retrieve some belongings from the apartment. He talked with her later, and realized a number of his possessions were missing, including a computer, television, stereo, home theater system, 16 Atlanta Braves hats, shoes, personal checks and his debit card. He does not think the woman took the items.

EYE CONTACT: A male salon worker at a Medina business became irritated when a female customer would not make eye contact with him as he was working on her nails March 16. Police responded to the disturbance. Another employee finished the woman’s nails.

RECKLESS OPERATION, PEARL ROAD: A Strongsville man was advised Sunday for driving recklessly.
The man told police he was not intentionally driving carelessly. He was just trying to eat his Taco Bell.


I'm working late tonight and I've just been feeling so tired and bitchy recently that I needed that morning to sleep in guilt-free. My roommate's out of town so the cat has taken it upon herself to be friendly, waking me up with sandpapery kisses, hinting that I should be feeding her.

I don't mean to be like this, it's just sometimes all those little things pile up, the minor frustrations, ghosts of relationships past and current unwanted attention coming back to haunt me in the form of facebook messages and voicemails. It's nothing that bad, but also nothing I want anything to do with.

The emptiness of the apartment doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Hearing the sounds of the dog and the baby on the other side of the wall, the thump of car stereo systems pulsing down the street, the sirens fading into a texture that becomes white noise. I've found that absolute quiet doesn't exist. There is always something humming.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

what the thunder said...

When I was a kid, my dad and I used to watch the storms come in.

There is that smell that the air gets when rain is coming, as the wind picks up and the clouds begin to move more quickly. We would set up lawn chairs in the garage and drink Coca-Cola and watch the rain, admire the lightning, and listen to the crack of thunder.

I don't have a garage to watch storms in anymore, but I did get to catch the one last night, standing in the doorway of the apartment looking up at the sky as the sirens pulsed down the street behind me, feeling a sense of awe.

Friday, March 19, 2010


The weather's getting warmer, but it's not warm enough yet for things to get really crazy, but the stirrings are beginning.

The sirens didn't stop the other night. Usually I can tune out one or two but this was one after another after another.

Then last night me and a friend were walking down by Case's campus last night when some students came towards us and said that the campus police were asking if they'd seen a guy dressed in black wielding a machete.


So we walked the other way through Little Italy, where the streets are lit more brightly than the campus because it was too beautiful outside to run away.

I had a ticket for the RJD2 show last night but didn't see anyone I knew and was too sleepy to wait through the opening acts so I drove home and saw the firetrucks and bystanders watching an abandoned building burn.

Usually I would have stopped, but I was tired and didn't have a camera anyway.

When the weather heats up, so do the tempers, and things start to get a little more crazy.

None of this really scares me. If it did, I wouldn't live where I live, go to the places I go.

"The space between the dime and the dollar
The space between the city and the suburb"

Thursday, March 18, 2010


So marching in the parade was fun, never thought I'd be going up the middle of Superior Avenue with a green feather boa on... good times. So many people out and it's sad that it's such a dead zone 90% of the time, even during rush hour.

The amount of people was overwhelming so while I was waiting up for Corey, I hung out at the downtown Cleveland Public Library and read through a stack of National Geographics and wandered through the art books enjoying the quiet and the massive stacks full of knowledge all around me.

And it's almost the weekend. I'm dying to get outside and go somewhere where there's trees and nature to balance out the concrete... hoping to get down to the Cuyahoga Valley or Edgewater or the Cultural Gardens or somewhere,noticing that the price of gas is creeping up again and that my bike desperately needs some maintenance...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ethnocentrism is ok if it's you I guess...

So it's Saint Patrick's Day, which means lots of people getting more wasted than usual and claiming to be Irish and authentically Irish at that, claiming that they like Real Irish Music and Real Irish Pubs, even though people in Ireland didn't even drink on this day until the 1970s.

It's also the only time every year when you see a lot of pasty suburbanites downtown who ordinarily don't go there and who clog up the transportation system that they also only take once a year.

I will get to see them in their full green-painted glory, because I'm marching in the parade this afternoon, decked out in a bright green hoodie with the other college radio people. You probably won't be paying too much attention because the Burning River Roller Girls will be right behind us.

Like most people in this corner of the world, I'm an amalgam of immigration, half Polish from my dad, Irish and miscellaneous British Isles from my mom. When my mom buys stuff at the Irish stores on the West Side, she always pays in cash so they don't see the Polish last name on the credit card.

Despite any ethnic stereotypes, I think corned beef is gross and I'm not an alcoholic. But I will be taking pictures and enjoying the sun.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

playlist 3/16/10

red hot chili peppers - c'mon girl
ben harper - whipping boy
jimi hendrix - love or confusion / may this be love / I don't live today
amadou & mariam - coulibaly
bassekou kouyate - bassekou
tinariwen - tamatant
suprema kosa - suprema kosa
blind boys of alabama - you & your folks / 23rd psalm
the noisettes - never forget you
the police - bring on the night
sublime - work that we do
christy azuma - din ya sugri
sebulon gunachib - uri piri
samba toure - yawoye
mulatu astatke - green africa
rokia traore - kanan neni
manu chao - desaparecido
mariam makeba - pole mze
k'naan - fire in freetown / in the beginning
fela kuti - shakara (request)

Monday, March 15, 2010


weekends are good:

hung out with dad
went to the West Side Market
me & a friend were mistaken for Brazilians at Boricana ("Americans don't usually shop here.")
got to chill in the orchestra section for my roommate's gig playing "Fiddler on the Roof"
said goodbye to Nate, who's leaving for Albania
slowly becoming a domestic diva on my own terms now that I've got an amazing kitchen.

A lot of people have been showing up in my life that I wish were gone... I know Faulkner said the past is never dead and it isn't even past, but seriously, I want some things to stay there... If I wanted to hang out again, believe me, I'd be trying...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

sunny days and 90's nostalgia

I took a walk on the lunch break and basked in the sun that has decided to shine on this gray and rusted city. Everyone was outside and it almost felt like some kind of weird local holiday with us total strangers greeting each other with "Isn't this beautiful? Just when I thought I couldn't take any more..."

Ended up getting interviewed by a Plain Dealer reporter about my feelings on the weather.

I'm so used to gray skies and general ickiness that it doesn't bother me that much but days like this when the sun feels like your friend and not something that will probably give me cancer someday are just so awesome.

Kinda really excited that Pearl Jam is playing here in May though it'll probably sell out like it always does before I get tickets... my radio connections don't extend to the arena.
I wish someone more exciting than Band of Horses was opening, but I have an unashamed love of all things grunge and 90s since I heard this song on the radio when I was 15.

It did take me awhile to figure out what most of the songs on "Ten" were about because I never really paid attention to what Eddie Vedder was saying, I just loved the guitars and the energy and the way his voice does that squeal thing when he's trying to sound earnest and hit the higher range. For subject matter involving mental illness, school shootings, and incest, the song still sound, well, more upbeat than they should.

On a less upbeat note, evidently the surviving members of Morphine are touring and coming to the Beachland in May which I'm also pretty thrilled about... Since I'm too young to remember these bands in their prime, I'm looking forward to this too. Morphine's music gives me the shivers in the best way and I never thought the saxophone could sound so heavy.

And I'm totally looking forward to another summer of ill-advised Cleveland adventures, potential road trips, hanging out at Edgewater at every opportunity, wondering what this year will bring since it never seems like there's a dull moment.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

playlist 3/10/10

radiohead - i might be wrong
dj shadow - midnight in a perfect world
twilight singers - twilight
beck - hot wax
otis redding - ole man trouble
tinariwen - tamatant tillay
super eagles - love's a real thing (world psych classics vol. 3)
dengue fever - seeing hands / uku (live)
mahmoud ahmed - ene mela mela
death cab for cutie - movie script ending (request)
daby balde - kaye waxma
angelique kidjo - aruana
rjd2 - smoke and mirrors
neneh cherry - woman
the plastic wave - lost waves (iran)
gorillaz - rhinestones / plastic beach (w/ paul simonon & mick jones)
janelle monae - cold war
rjd2 - silver fox
badawi - suspicions
massive attack - girl I love you
nneka - walking
amadou & mariam - politic amagni / africa
k'naan - fatima
electra - israelites (desmond dekker cover)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Open Letter #5 : Dear Cleveland Part 2

Dear Cleveland,

The last time we talked, you reminded me of a lousy significant other, now you seem like a whiny teenager.

So the cool kids are dissing you again. They said you're lame and miserable. Are you surprised?

That + sign at the end of your name was corny to begin with because everyone knows that we don't have it all together.

And that's ok. Nobody does.

See, rebranding only takes you so far. It's like transferring to a new high school with a totally new wardrobe and identity as the prom queen or the hipster but then you run into someone from the past who remembers when you had a stupid haircut, played Magic and Yugi-Oh!, and listened to nothing but Korn and has the photos to prove it.

I just don't know if talking about how awesome you are on the Internet is going to do all that much good. It's like being one of those middle schoolers in Sticksville posting pictures of themselves on Myspace with their sweet new haircuts or whatever. You still have nothing to do on Friday night, not that many friends, and you're just calling attention to that fact. Making fun of Detroit only signifies how low on the pecking order you really are.

See, you just need to find your group of people that don't care about being in the top 10 or the popular crowd. You're not New York City, Los Angeles, Portland, or Vegas. You're not going to be one of the beautiful people so why even try? They've got their own thing going on and so do you. Do you really need a casino or a snobby music scene?

You've got a lot of great qualities that you ignore because you don't want to be who you are. You've got a great sense of humor, an unpretentious vibe, and great taste in art and music without being totally pretentious. You can cook anything. You can watch sports without being obnoxious. You're not the most glamorous or fashionable but you've got your own style and it's fun and the people that are going to be drawn to you are the people you'd rather hang out with anyway.

And that's just my two cents, my little motivational pep talk for you. Screw the facelifts on your downtown, go to some museums, dig into your local history, write a damn novel, support your friends' artistic endeavors, hang out with your awesome neighbors, chow down on those pierogis and thank me later.


that girl.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

the promised land

"Hey baby, wanna hang with me? I got a lot of money. I got everything you need!"


Sometimes I wonder if people really do fall for that kind of thing.

So me and the roommate are officially moved in now, thanks to good friends and friends who are like family. We're getting a bookshelf for our boxes of books that are still sitting on the living room floor and I already love this place. It's nice to be able to sleep in later in the morning and be near everything.

And it keeps getting warmer and things just keep getting brighter...