Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nothing to see here, move along....

Whadderyou lookin at?

My friend Pat just wrote a smart ass account of his recent trip to Alaska- the Seattle Times ran it on Sunday!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Insect artisans
The Caddis Fly larvae makes a protective cocoon around itself for a protection, using assorted items it finds in it's watery streambed enviroment, and "glueing" them together with a type of silk substance... Several enterprising artists have offered up the Caddis Fly larvae fancy objects and a isolated tank in which to make thier fancy cases...and the results are pretty cool! Some people make jewelry out of the cast of cases, though unfortunately most of it is pretty hippie- looking.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Rick sent me an email about this music meme so here goes:
1. Total volume of music files on my computer:
1.7G I am an amateur I guess.
2. Last CD I bought:
The Dead 60's....They're Clash-tacular! (I also just snagged The Cramps " Bad Music For Bad People" and RevCo's "Beers, Steers, and Queers" out of K's "sell" pile.)
3. Song Playing Right Now:
"Just Like A Movie Star" - The 6ths.
I like a lot of Stephen Merrit's stuff, so I was excited to get this cd- but I actually don't like this record at all. I recorded this one song and the disc is now in my "sell" pile.
Last 5 songs played on my playlist while typing this thang... "Hall Of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg, "Rat Fink" by the Misfits, " Speilur" by Rammstein (that's right I listen to Rammstein), "Lovesong" by K-Os, "Same Old Scene" by Roxy Music.
4. Five Songs (or Albums) I listen to a lot or that move me:
1. Tom Waits: Alice
This was a toss up between this and "Frank's Wild Tears" but I've listening to "Alice" the most lately.
2. Screaming Jay Hawkins: Voodoo Jive
I listen to this record incessantly. It never ceases to entertain. Perfect for doing housework to, or watching the freaks on the bus during the ride home from work.
3. 16 Horsepower: Secret South
Mmm,MMM! Appalachian goth rantin' and raving. Incredible instumentation.
4. Conjure One: Conjure One
I loves me some Rhys Fulber. This is less "industrial" sounding than Front 242, and less prissy than Delerium (though I like that too)...Intermix is another project that is purely instrumental and world music sampling and it's really great as well. Both that album and Conjure One are perfect to write to...I find they are helpful for when I have to dream up ideas for projects. I like them mainly because I can pick out all their sources as I'm an avid world music listener (NOT Wo-pop mind you)
5. Tomita " Snowflakes Are Dancing "
I love Tomita- but this album especially- it's synthesizer versions of Debussy's "hits" done in the 70's...and it's infused with such personality and sweet humor that it makes you feel really great and cheered up. I listen to it all the time at work.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Shadows On Your Side
Sometimes walking home as a kid, I’d decide to run instead of walk. I have no idea why, but I would sometimes pretend there was a huge, slavering, demented werewolf chasing me. As I ran, I would envision the werewolf so clearly that I’d completely freak myself out, practically feeling it’s breath on my neck, only inches away from long yellow claws reaching out to rip me to ribbons. The last time I did it I thought I was going to give myself a heart attack from how frightened I made myself, and while impressed with the power of my own brain, decided not to pull that stunt on myself anymore. It was around this time that I started making deals with “ghosts” or disembodied, disgruntled spirits I occasionally fancied might be lurking around. I would stake my claim on the premises, and let them know they could stay as long as they could keep it dialed down- that I didn’t want to hear or see any spooky shit- and if I did I’d have a priest in there to excorcise their ass before they knew what hit them. Strangely, I’m one of the few people I know who has never seen a ghost. Scientifically, I just can’t understand why they would be. But I think my deals were struck with my own fervent imagination than anything else.
A lesson I took to heart was the stories my mother told me about leaving the path home from school when it got late, choosing to stride through the woods and deciding SHE’D be the scariest thing in it. This made a lot of sense to me, and I suppose is linked to my love of such campy treats such as the Addams Family, or TV Horror Hosts…what’s there to be afraid of when you are the monster, and you know you mean no harm? That said, my embrace of dark things is basically limited to the beautiful or the campy. I can’t take the truly horrendous nature of man ( I never got “into” serial killers, for example) -I can only take in small artistic doses. My fascination with death and its rites is directly aligned with my own unconquerable fear of death and loss. My love of movie monsters ,creepy stories, and funeral practices is to find a face to put on these fears in order to understand them and learn to embrace them, if only to a degree.
I’ve only really ever talked to two people who were getting ready to die- the first, my marvelous grandfather who I’ve talked about before…the other, my friend Stefan, a man who practiced ceremonial magik in a serious, scholarly way and who was dying of AIDS. Both felt ready, awaiting the inevitable, a slide towards the dark that no wild scrambling or fervent prayer and pleading could stop. I found their dignity comforting- and all the more impressive when I think about my own heart-jolting fear I get when I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, stuck between sleep and waking…when the certainness of my own death hits me like a truck, and I can feel the whole world around me, and I panic, because I don’t want to leave, and I don’t want my closest loved ones to leave when I don’t know where they are going…if they are going, or if they are just stopping.
The deep night has a velvety tone that is as comforting as it is lonely, as awesome (in the true sense of the word) as it is cozy. I lived in a 3 story townhouse once as a teenager, and my room was on the top floor, above the streetlight outside and the trees lining the sidewalk, as well as most of the other rooftops in the neighborhood. I would curl up in my window-seat in the dark and spend hours lost in thought, looking below at the circle of light cast on the street below, moths and other night creatures fluttering in the outskirts as sure as my own thoughts and dreams swooped like sparrows through my mind. It’s times like that all your artifices fall away, and you are left with your true self. For some people, that can feel like as worse a monster that ever can be imagined…but for some, it’s a link to grace.