Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wandering Elephants

"Now tell me about this, hmmm, elephant", the psychiatrist said. His patient lay upon a clich├ęd Freudian couch looking dogged and anxious.

"Its been about a week now", the man started, "Every night at eleven-oh-two I hear a series of loud thumps. I go check to find the back door ajar."

"Mhmm..Do you have a habit of forgetfully leaving the door open?" interrupted the psychiatrist.

The patient turned his head, he looked desperate, eyes wide: "No! just the opposite in fact, I triple check my doors to the house every night, front and back...but, not only is it extremely peculiar that the door is left open, its not the usual small blue door that leads to my backyard. Instead its much much larger, engorged somehow."

"Is there any possibility you are sleepwalking into a completely different house entirely?" wondered the Doctor.

No, no, you see...I thought of that, but I checked and all of my possesions are still in the house, pictures still on the wall in their frames, fish in their tank. Everything is as it should be, well except the backdoor is at least twice its usual size and open"

The psychiatrist nodded thoughtfully, "A dream perhaps?"

"Well, maybe, I'm unsure, I honestly can't tell anymore. Oh! I haven't even gotten to the craziest part yet. So the door is open and in lumbers a big gray elephant. Just walks straight in as if he owns the place! He doesn't even seem to noticeme at all, just walks in, opens the cabinent, pulls out a large bag of stadium peanuts I didn't realize I owned and using his trunk he begins to pluck them out and plop them into his mouth. He finishes half the bag, replaces it where he found it, neatly closes the door behind himself and lumbers off. What do you make of it, Doc?"

"Odd indeed, hmmm. The Doctor mused for a moment, then dug around in his desk. He pulled out a newspaper read for a minute, then said "Have you seen The Sentinel lately?"

The man on the couch shook his head.

"Here, check out page 3"

In bold letters there was an advertisement that read:

Circus Arrives! Come see our Smarter than Average Elephant!

Show Me the Light

I'm a bit worn out, but that's just from work..I think. Today is the last day of June, can you believe it? It went by fast, but at the same time wow a lot got crammed in, I mean I was still in school at the beginning of it! Anywho enjoy some music:

Mystery Jets
Show Me the Light



See you all in July!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Arizona Skies

Renaldo walked next to the highway, kicking dirt up into the dry air. He held his head high, a look of utter frustration and a touch of desperation across his face. It was hot enough under the Arizona sun to cook an egg outside, Renaldo had only been walking for a few moments but already he was sweating profusely. The sweat and dust from the dirt were mixing together, caking on his skin in patches.

His blue eyes stared at the sky asking, "Why? why? why?". He had walked out here in the morning, excited with hope. Hope that had been crushed, smashed into a sizeable cube like a trash compactor. Overhead a vulture circled almost mockingly. It just wasn't fair! She had smiled and laugh so enchantingly a few days ago... he had thought for sure she'd say say yes, but...but... she hadn't..

Part of Renaldo wanted the vulture up in the sky to come down and eat him, though he knew that wouldn't solve anything. No sooner had the thought of the thought of the vulture crossed his mind, the great bird swooped down, plummeted and landed at Renaldo's feet.

"You have need of me, good sir?" The vulture inquired regally.

Renaldo, taken aback, stood silently for a moment or two. He looked back up to the sky to see if the sun was still there as well, indeed it was. "I'm really just a bit sad and frustrated at life right now, I don't really want to be eaten".

"Ahh, that's all right, you don't really look that appetizing anyhow. Anything I can give you advice with? or I could always circle menacingly over someone for awhile for you, that's always fun.."

Renaldo laughed, though he wasn't sure if the vulture was joking or not.

"C'mon," the vulture said encouragingly, "tell me about life's frustrations. I've seen more of life and death than you can imagine and anyway its not like I've got anything else to do today."

Renaldo looked at the vulture in the eye, decided he looked sincere or Renaldo was going mad. He chuckled again, shrugged his shoulders and began to tell his story. He told the vulture how he had know Maria since they were both little, that they used to go on all sorts of adventures together, climbing trees, running through the canyon together, getting in trouble together. Then growing apart in middle school. ("Middle school is a hard time", the vulture agreed knowingly), reconnecting junior year in High School, hatching that plan for the ultimate prank of releasing a few dozen flying lizards into the school... Then a month ago Maria had broken up with her boyfriend and this morning Renaldo had worked up enough courage to walk down the highway that connected their houses together and ask her out. She had said no, explained how she didn't want to ruin their friendship, told him she was sorry. Then he had walked out the screen door and back down the highway and here he was.

The vulture looked at Renaldo with his other eye, turning his head, cleared his throat, "That there is a sad story indeed, but you don't get friends like her everyday. Remember that. I'd say give her some time. She'll either come around or you'll be ready to be friends again by then. But now I think its time for me to take back to the skies. I'll be around if you ever want to talk. Thanks for the story!" The great black bird flapped his wings once and took off back into the sky.

Renaldo had an odd smile on his face and if he thought about it, he was less frustrated at life than he had been.

"Oh also! For future reference, I like mice!" The vulture shouted as he ascended into the blue sky.

Renaldo laughed for a third time that afternoon.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Solstice Party (Round III)

This past Saturday was busy. I mowed part of the lawn, we went to a city wide garage sale in the town over from us, then went to an art/street fair in Cleveland. At the Art/street fair I got to experience a rock-n-roll flea market which was rad. But wait there's more! After going out to eat we went to the annual Summer Solstice party at the Cleveland Art Museum (past mentions of this can be found here and here). This year they served tacos and little Chines carry-out boxes of noodles and vegetables (chicken optional).

When we first arrived there was a punk-marching band playing, they were pretty crazy! then there were two DJ's, the first had a few hula-hoopers on raised podiums performing, the second DJ had more hip hop style dancers.

For the duration of the night the exhibits were completely open and full of people. One of the the exhibits that was open included a new exhibit with work from Asia(I didn't get a chance to check it out sadly). Did I get yelled at for touching an Andy Warhol piece? Yes, yes I did. Was it squishy and soft? Yes, Yes it was.

All in all it was a wholly fun day and night, I can't wait to see what they have in store for next year. Now for a touch of summery music:

The Shins
Australia

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Toe-to-Toe

She said, "I think we could go toe-to-toe"

I laughed, "Baby, you ain't got toes, cuz you're a llama"

Quite insulted, she spit in my eye, I apologized then led her to the field. The sun was starting to set. I nodded to the farmer and he started to fiddle. Some birds added their voices and we had a song.

We danced all night, we danced the Rumba, the Tango, the Charleston. You named it, we probably danced it, and boy could she dance! phew! when the music finally stopped, we both smiled and bowed to each other. The rest of the people and animals hooted and hollered, clapped and wolf-whistled: what a show they exclaimed!

We bowed again. I turned to the llama and said, "Now baby, maybe you don't have toes, but baby you sure do have rhythm!" I tipped my hat to her and ambled down the road, whistling, with half a smile on my face.

That was the day Fred Astaire went toe-to-toe with a llama, her name was Genevieve.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wake and Be Fine

Ever have a night where you struggle to sleep, then find yourself trapped in a crazy or terrifying dream? if only you could wake up, but it took all that work to fall asleep in the first place...and then you wake up and the world is fine, but you go back to sleep and things only get crazier..sometimes that happens..but just remember that if when you wake up it will be fine.

Okkervil River
Wake and Be Fine

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rustling

Rustling through the crisp leaves, Lisa kicked herself a path as she walked to school. It was a brisk Tuesday morning in October. Crunch, Crunch went the dead leaves as Lisa kicked and stomped. She had a smile on her face, after all not much brings instant joy faster than crunching a crunchy leaf underfoot. Stomp-stomp, crunch-crunch, she went.

It was lucky about the leaves, Lisa had woken up in quite the rotten mood. She had missed her bus by 10 minutes, both of her parents hurriedly rushed out the door as she ate, saying how they were so busy at work and couldn't afford to be late themselves. On top of that she had completely forgotten about the project she had due today. Crunch-crunch, stomp-stomp, Lisa again smiled mischievously; at at least she could control something.

And so Lisa trod on, crunching all the way as the sun slowly made its ascent into the sky. There was a bit of movement, very small movement in fact, to Lisa's right. She stopped and turned - there on a nearby young tree was a caterpillar's cocoon. It was shaking back and forth, the butterfly inside was trying to emerge. Lisa's mouth gaped in awe: this wasn't something you saw every day. She stood in conflict for a moment, if she stayed to watch she would end up being even more tardy to school. On the other hand, she was already late so what difference would it make?

Opening her knapsack, she removed a blue notebook and a pen. With a little quick thinking, note-taking and sketching she might be able to pull off a quick science project after all. It took several minutes of waiting as the cocoon rocked gently, then a bit more violently, finally a crack emerging. Lisa took note of everything, especially when the wings emerged: they were a beautiful mosaic of blues, purples, and greens, well with maybe just a hint of pink at the tips. The butterfly flapped its wings once to test them. Then took off with a flutter, ambling across the sky.

Lisa smiled, maybe today wouldn't be so bad after all, and on she went: crunch-crunch, stomp-stomp, crunch-crunch.

You Are a Tourist

Today was the longest day of the year, and the official beginning of summer. I spent it with friends from college, relaxing, having a good time. We explored my one friend's hometown, I really liked it, from the waterfalls, to the bookstore to the centuries old gazebo.

I think really the problem is that we lose a bit of the wonder about our surroundings the longer we live in them, we forget that there's a lot of cool things there to see. There's always something else to explore, so keep going, there's more out there! Behind the hedge, over that bridge, around the turn.

Death Cab For Cutie
You Are a Tourist



the music video was shot in one take live for youtube

Friday, June 17, 2011

Laughing out Loud

Leslie was laughing quite unselfconsciously, head tilted back, tears streaming from her eyes. She was sitting in the middle of a large lecture hall. Most of the other students turned to see what the commotion was, the looks on their faces ranged from startled to curious to slightly pissed off. The ones who were curious had a right to be, not a joke had been uttered, certainly not by the professor who was famous for not diverging one iota from the subject material. The last thing he had said was an explanation of reverse osmosis; interesting? well at times, but hilarious? not by any means. The people closest to her shrugged at the rest of the class, they held no clue as to the joke anymore than the rest of the auditorium.

After several moments Leslie calmed down, regained her composure by removing her glasses and wiping her eyes. She then returned the spectacles to her face, picked up her mechanical pencil and scribbled down the last thing the professor had said about reverse osmosis before she had started laughing. The rest of the class was was thoroughly bemused, collectively shaking their heads in bewilderment. They too set back to taking notes.

No one noticed the smile that was still playing across Leslie's lips. Nor for that matter did anyone notice the tiny leprechaun who was still doing cartwheels on top of the overhead projector.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day of Appointments

Today is a day of appointments. I had a dentist checkup at 12:30 and at 7:30 or 7:45 I have a hair cut, so I will go from being kind of shaggy-red-headed-kid to better-groomed-and-cooler-in-the-heat-red-headed-kid. The Dentist appointment wasn't too bad, I always dread them like the plague, but they weren't as mean as they could have been.

What am I doing in the meantime? not much, I need to make lunch for myself. Possibly I will watch a movie..and I will share some more music with you all! It's been a long time since I've shared anything from my perennial favourite ukulele strummer Julia Nunes (two years in fact!). So here is a song complete with her own beat box stylings.

Julia Nunes
The Debt

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rooftops

Hank sat atop the roof, clutching his bottle for dear life; one hand on the bottle, the other on the edge of the roof:nails digging in. Inhale, breathe in, exhale, breathe out, inhale, breathe in. He shook his head to get his shaggy hair out of his eyes, raising his head slightly to concentrate on the moon. It really was magnificent tonight, full and so big you could count individual craters on the surface. It was also casting a faint orange hue onto the night sky.

"Yeah, maybe this will help" Hank thought, desperate to find some peace, his heart was still racing, thud-thud, thud-thud, thud-thud. Easy does it; inhale, breathe in, exhale, breathe out, inhale, breathe in, exhale, breathe out, inhale, breathe out. He sat there, eyes focused on the great orange orb in the sky; hands still in place, mind focused on breathing and nothing else.

Unconsciously Hank's hand rose to his mouth, he took a sip from the bottle. It had gotten a bit warm by now, but it was reassuring nonetheless. He took another sip then slowly replaced his hand on the roof, trying not to let his arm tremble on the descent.

Behind Hank the upstairs window opened then closed again. WIth two steps Jen sat next to him. She fold her hands on her lap.

"Beautiful night, isn't it?" She asked then paused, "Listen Hank, everyone was just joking. We really didn't mean any of it. For crissakes, you hate heights, why would you come up here of all places?"

Hank still sat silently, bottle hand rocking slightly back and forth.

"Heh..You're right, Jen, of all places..I shouldn't have come up here. Its just hard sometimes, and those people in there...they're supposed to be my friends.."

"I know Hank, I know. We're really sorry. Like I said, we were just giving you a hard time; we went too far. Come back inside, please Hank!"

Hank turned his head slightly towards her, away from the moon. "I'd like to come in, but I feel like if I stood up, if I moved at all...the whole world would crash down on me" His eyes were terrified, they pleaded for her to help him.

"Ahh, alright Hank, we can do this. Take my hand, good, there ya go. Now we'll take this inch by inch 'til we get back inside the window. I won't let you hand go for an instant." Jen smiled reassuringly, and they started to scoot backwards. Bit by bit, inch by inch 'til they were on the other side of the window again.

Hank collapsed against the inside of the wall. He sighed greatly, then asked "So you're sure no one will say anything else?"

"Not a peep, We'll grab you a fresh beer, just..stay off the roof, alright?"

"Right!" He smiled sheepishly, "No more rooftops"

LCD Soundsystem

I thought we could all use a bit more summery music, and its got a good summery video. I also think that the lyrics are great:

"Forget your past, this is your last chance now,
...
if you're afraid of what you need,
if you're afraid of what you need,
Look around you, you're surrounded,
it won't get any better"

LCD Soundsystem
Home

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Speederesque

"C'mon, we've gotta get back before it gets dark!"

"Why?! We've got lights on these things! Ya Sissy-nanny!"

And with that I shot off, throttle cranked.

SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

trees, marsh, swamp and fog blurring past on all sides. Two moons lit up the sky one white, one orange. The daylight was disappearing quickly and tease as I might, the troopers would be out soon, then we'd be in trouble. As if on cue I heard rumbles on engines in the distance behind us. This wasn't good...My brother was chasing after me, an anxious look on his face.

"Hey maybe you were right about getting back..Let's try the short cut up here!" I shouted, my brother gave a thumbs up of agreement. We both then bore a hard left straight into the midst of the forest. We'd be off the path and dodging tree trunks from here on out..

Then from behind came an amplified message, "Citizens, you seem to be taking evasive maneuvers, please come back to the designated path and present your ID's. Failure to do so will mean pursuit!"

Shit, shit, Shit! I revved up the throttle a bit faster, I could hear my brother doing the same. We continued to zoom through the forest, weaving in and out, in and out, avoiding trees and other obstacles. If we kept up like this we would be just fine....The daylight was almost gone completely, our speeders were getting pretty caked with mud (this would make us harder to spot by the troopers, but was slowing us down a bit too). The night wildlife was beginning to come out: you could hear croaks, buzzing and other assorted noises.

Fire-bats dimly light up the forest; blazing swooping trails of light for a few seconds at a time. I smile, we know this forest and all of its secrets. "Head for the Sunken Cave!" - I shouted

We darted like musk-rats, zig-zagging fiercely. I almost hit a tree once or twice and quick thinking allowed me to avoid the rising and sinking swamp knees that allow the trees to breathe; hopefully one would upend a trooper. Eventually we made it to the cave. We jumped off our bikes and covered them in hanging moss to camouflage them, then we crawled in the small cave to wait.

Hours seemed to pass by slowly, in reality it was probably only a handful of minutes. Finally our pursuers caught up, they slowed down in confusion, circling the cave oblivious to its presence.

"They must have gone the other way, I could have sworn though..Alright, let's go!"

watching them disappear into the distance we breathed a collective sigh of relief.

"I'm sorry Eduardo, its my fault we came that close. We should have turned around much earlier."

"Eh, maybe we should have, but we didn't get caught so what does it matter? That was kind of fun! he said as he slugged me in the shoulder good naturedly. "C'mon, last one home is a burnt fire-bat!"

Monday, June 13, 2011

Good Morning

Its 11:42, I should probably eat breakfast soon. Outside people are pounding upon the house. No its not a zombie invasion, no one out there desires to eat me...I hope. We had some damage to the siding of our house last year during a particularly bad hail storm and they are currently replacing it. But it does sound like the house is either under assault or being heavily fortified. bang-bang-bang, hammer-hammer, crunch-crunch (repeat)

Now for some 80's music. Slow down, relax, we're all just on a road to nowhere. We'll get there when we get there. Its alright.

Talking Heads
Road to Nowhere

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I believe

I believe in a thing called love. I believe you encounter it a number of times during your life. I believe that dinosaurs existed. I believe that there might be a god or there might not be a god. I believe oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies are awesome and that night bike rides are divine: especially if you turn off your light for a few seconds. I believe life is hard but we can make it easier on each other. I believe people can smile more, its not that hard.

I believe my dreams only get crazier, and I'm not sure they have ever meant anything. I believe that Kurt Vonnegut might have been right when he said that we're all here to just fart around. I believe exercise heals the body and mind, and music heals the soul. I believe nothing is stronger than imagination. I believe that if I hold my thumb up to the sky long enough someone will pick me, and with my towel in hand I could hitchhike across the galaxy. I believe the secret to flying is forgetting to hit the ground as you fall.

I believe everything changes, but at the same time nothing ever does. I believe that there are monsters in the closet and under the bed; if you spend a little time with them you can toughen up a little. I believe that I listen to way too much music but by no means am I going to stop any time soon. I believe that in my head I am a master swordsman, as well as a ninja, wizard, pirate and various super heroes depending on the day.

I believe that turning 21 is kind of anti-climatic. I believe that sunshine is necessary and outdoor naps are wonderful. I believe life goes by in the blink of your eyes, so never close your eyes or you'll miss it. I believe in campfires and ghost stories told late at night. I believe in steel drums in the summer time. I believe the best way to stay young is to go dancing and no one really cares how ridiculous you look while flailing your limbs about. I believe cartoons and animation in general are awesome and that you're never too old to watch them.

I believe we have one life to live and we should make the most of it while we are here...but there are also days when I feel like I've lived 20 times already. I believe guys cry too sometimes and that's okay. I believe some people know exactly what they want to do and some people take a very long time to figure that out. I believe we should travel as much as we can, even if its only to the edge of the city limits: get to know the world. I believe everything will be alright.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Its the Summer Once again

Its the summer, once again. Here I am, there y'all are across the sea. I finished another year of school and I'm not dead yet. No, not yet. A lot of things happened during that school year: made some new friends, walked around town, saw my first opera(which I ended up sleeping through parts of...I was very tired..), ate way too much late night food, got no closer to figuring out what I want to do with my life, danced a lot.

Now its time to write way too much, time to take bike rides all around, time to stop caring about anything and just let go. Time to have some fun. Time to kick a soccer ball around, to run and run and run until you collapse on the ground panting. Its the summertime again, and although it has never been my favourite season, I'm gonna try to take advantage of it.

Starting with some summery music:

Givers
Up Up Up

Through the Door

Through the door, through the window, he came in. Drenched in smoke, thirsty for fire. Two steps over the threshold, he lifts his head back and shouts with all his might. Stumbling into the kitchen, grasping for a drawer handles, throwing them out across the room one by one. Finally he encounters what he is looking for, a box of matches. One small stick is removed, flipped, and stroked across the side of the box, erupting the head of the stick into a small flame.

Greedily the man's eyes gleamed, mouth opening wide, small flaming stick flicked in. With a quiet crunch the match is broken in his mouth and his whole body seems to be aglow. He smiles in satisfaction. Closes his eyes and disappears.