All it takes is a little
weight thrown around
to make your own reality. I
 should have adapted,
adjusted, according to they
who do not speak
at things they see.
But if monkey see
then monkey do,
and I believe that is the rule,
they'll never make a
 monkey out of me.


The numbers
add up to other numbers
Equating solution with resolution
is a mistake I’ve made
and continue to make
when I feel less than
Greater than pain?
And I would kill my own brother
for a chance to please you,
I think you have to be told
about greatness, not shown.
The night
rises in the West
until dawn, and the dispute
isn’t settled, but when
conducted by a boy
it will rage.
Until the lady returns,
none of us are
getting out of here alive.


Head in the Clouds

I got three for free
but whatever you give
I’ll grab and want more,
it comes and it goes
but it’s always above or below
appropriate amounts.
Listen, because
this is when it counts,
whatever comes,
whatever shows
along the way,
I will surmount.

And look at it all from up here
 it’s all carried and doesn’t stick
it’s there without weight
and I really hate
to come down the mountain,
welsh on the bet I’m taking:
that when I try slaking
my thirst is when
I feel it worst.


Who's Gonna Sing?

So...it has been a while since I've posted and a lot has happened.

-I sprained my ankle playing football on Labor day. This meant that I rode around in one of those carts at Meijer, which was a lot of fun, and that I spent a fair amount of time on crutches, which was not fun. It has given me a new appreciation for the people who have a hard time getting around and has also left me with the fear that I will sprain my ankle again in the future.

-My beloved Celica is no longer with us. The timing belt broke and there were other problems. I could've had it fixed, but it would've been quite the chunk of change, so I scrapped it. But, my dad bought me a car for Christmas, so I am still tooling around. He got me a white 2004 Toyota Solara. It's very nice, though it's automatic and I really miss the Celica. So far, the car hasn't taken control and driven me off a cliff, though I hear that this is a possibility.

-Chris and I broke up. While I was the one who technically did the breaking up, I don't think it would be fair to say anything other than "Chris and I broke up." We're still living together, with all of my stuff in one room and all of his in another and I'm sleeping on the couch. I would like to have a bed, but other than that, it's alright and it will be like this until August. At that point, I'll stay in Lansing and he will hopefully have a job teaching at a university somewhere. I don't have any prospects beyond that at this time.

-I'm seeing a therapist. I have gone for 5 sessions now. It is alright and sometimes it seems like it's helping, though sometimes it feels like it's doing nothing at all. I'm trying to be alright completely on my own, to be able to make myself feel better and also to feel like everything will be okay, no matter what happens to me externally. I sometimes worry though that if I'm completely able to do all of these things for myself, if I don't need anyone to help me out and make me feel better, then I'll feel like there's no point to have people really close to me and I'll become bitter and cut myself off from everyone. Fingers crossed!

-I'm still trying to learn to play guitar and now I'm the closest to this goal than I've ever been before, which admittedly isn't saying much. However, I have learned enough to have recorded 2 songs which I've written. I have other songs with melody and lyrics, but I don't know how to go the next step and write the actual music to accompany them. But, here's the 2 I do have music for. Feedback is welcome.

The Flood:

Little Bee:


The Hazards of the Royal Oak Music Theatre

This past Tuesday, Chris and I traveled to Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit, for what we thought to be the last Decemberists' show we'd see on their current tour (it turns out that they announced another Chicago show--October 8 at the Riviera--while we were waiting in line). Chris had to teach that day, so we didn't make it out to the theatre until around 2pm (which was incredibly late by my standards). And, arriving so late, we did miss chatting with some Decemberists as they walked around the food and shopping district near the venue. Apparently, Colin, Nate, Jenny, and Chris had decided to some busking that morning and made $9.25 before they were told to move along by a member of the Royal Oak Police Department. Now, Chris and I were joined at this show by a few members of the Decemberists' message board: Lisa (who joined us in Indianapolis last weekedn)drove up and a British couple, Guy and Claire, who planned a cross-country train trip around this show and who were spending the night at our place.

So, while I was a bit disappointed for having missed saying hello to band members, I was incredibly disappointed and angered by the strange ticket policy of the Royal Oak Music Theatre. From the time we arrived, we were told that there would be separate lines for people with physical tickets and people who printed off tickets after buying them from the venue's website. There was much confusion as to why there were two lines and what would happen when the doors were opened and in the end, the whole line of printed out tickets (about 100 people or so) were let in before any of us in the physical ticket line. A couple of security people handed us some line about the printed out tickets being special and for V.I.P.s, but Guy and Claire were in this line (which was a good thing since they saved us spots) and this excuse was blatantly untrue. We did get to the front, although we were kind of squeezed in and Chris had to stand behind me, but this was a ridiculous policy and I will not be visiting this theatre again (though it's a really nice venue, physically). Another problem I had with the place involved the climate inside. By the end of the first set, I was starting to feel ill. I had tried to eat and drink regularly throughout the day, but perhaps I was a little dehydrated because it was really hot in the theater and I had been rocking out to Hazards. What started as just a pain in my stomach turned into full-on retching and holding in vomit for almost the entire second Decemberists' set. Luckily, I was able to hold it in, but that meant I spent half of the show concentrating on not expelling bodily fluid, which meant I was a very passive concert-goer and felt bad about the lack of enthusiasm I displayed. After the show, I got some fresh air and eventually felt much better.

Now, before the show, when we were looking to get dinner, Chris and I passed by a small burger joint which advertised their sliders. We were intrigued and went inside to discover that the place was incredibly small and that the Decemberists' roadies were all inside waiting for their food. We said hello and stood there for about 5 minutes being ignored by the sole proprietor before we decided that we didn't have time to wait and went to Jimmy John's instead. When the roadies were setting up the stage for the Decemberists show, one of them came towards the front and told us that we had made the right decision. Apparently, one slider went down well, but not so much on the next two or three. So, now we have chatted with not only the band members on this tour, but also the roadies that travel with them.

Afterwards, as we waited around for the band and I recovered, Guy and Claire bought the poster for that night's show and also bought one for us! It was a very nice gesture, because it's a great poster, and we subsequently got all but Nate to sign it for us. I must say, despite the bullshit ticketing and the near-vomiting, Tuesday night was spectacular! We talked to everyone but Nate and had really extended conversations at that. Chris even said that we shouldn't be paying for tickets anymore since we come to so many shows that we're like family now!! So, hooray for everything working out splendidly in the end.

In other news, I have decided that I'm not going to participate in the official triathlon that is going on in Kalamazoo. I have yet to register, and so the fee is now much more expensive than it was. Instead, I will run my own official triathlon with Chris timing me. Also, I have some thoughts on District 9 (which Chris and I saw last night and very much enjoyed) and Armond White's reviews of it, but this is getting a bit long, so I'll get to that later this week, hopefully.


Everything I Try to Do, Nothing Seems to Turn Out Right

Okay...here goes the recollection of all my weekend adventures.

Bright and early Thursday morning, Chris and I got up and drove to the Metro. Our Decemberists-show friends had arranged for all of us to meet out front at 10am to wait in line for the show that night. It was perfect timing, for not long after we arrived, Chris Funk and Colin Meloy walk by (looking a bit bleary). We say hello and they walk down the street. Throughout the day, we see all of the Decemberists (and the Diamond girls), and my friend Erica got all of their autographs on a vinyl copy of Hazards of Love (which one of the Decemberists' roadies gave us for showing up so early). But, their were a couple of definite highlights. Shara Worden talked with us several times throughout the day, which was lovely. And Chris Funk, who walked past us several times, stopped once and when Chris asked if he was alright (he was looking a bit surly), told us he was hungover and chatted with us for awhile. One of my friends semi-forced him to accept a cupcake and told him stories about her not having herpes. He pointed at me at one point and asked "Haven't I met you a couple of times?" So, the moral of the story is that Chris Funk remembers me and that he had (and basically initiated) a conversation with us!

Chris and his cupcake

The cadre outside Metro

Now, the day was sailing along, but it was a bit doomed. I bought two tickets as soon as I could during the pre-sale through Music Today. For some reason, the only option I had was to accept Will Call tickets. I was a bit nervous about this and found out that night that I had every reason to be. Metro had a terrible, baffling, and incredibly unfair policy of opening the Will Call office at the same time as the doors. This meant that the people who were there all day, who bought tickets as soon as they could, and had no choice about their delivery options were screwed. I went to the Will Call window as soon as doors opened and watched a lady fumble around looking through tickets. She didn't find mine and told me I had to go out to the box office (which is a separate office next door to the venue). I ran out, ducked under a barricade, fell on the concrete and kind of somersaulted back on my feet, went to the box office, and was forced to deal with a nasty troll of a woman, who took her sweet time and told me I had to go back to the Will Call window. Chris and I rush back into the venue (but not before being harassed by a couple of security guards who were overzealous as well as incompetent), and find that there are no tickets, Metro employees don't communicate with each other, and end up getting my name checked off a list that was held by a different employee before we are allowed to enter. We rush up and are able to cut thought and get to the front, but we are now a bit to the right of center on a barricade (which was disappointing--it seems the Decemberists have reached a level of fame where there will always be a rail set up and we won't be able to stand against the stage). This was okay, except that when the Decemberists came on their staging was slightly different than usual (it's a small stage and they have a lot of equipment), and we were directly in front of Chris Funk's amps, which meant that we could definitely hear Chris (and at some points only Chris) throughout the set. It was a great show that began with "The Tain," included a brand new tune called "The Calamity Song," and ended with a second encore of "The Mariner's Revenge Song." All in all a great day with some great frustration in the middle.

On Friday, we drove down to Bloomington, IN to see our friend Hatch and to spend the night on our way to Indianapolis on Saturday. It was a very fun visit and it was nice to see the IU campus (Chris and I had never been to Bloomington and we both thought it was a very charming college town--complete with chipmunks!).

We arrived at the Murat around noon and met up with a couple of girls from the Decemberists' message board (one of which was sympathetic to my recent troubles there, which made me feel a lot better about that situation).

Orate represented

We weren't expecting to see any Decemberists during the day since the door we waited outside was on the opposite side of the building as where the tour buses were so there was no need to walk past us and also there was nothing interesting near our side of the venue. Hatch had told us about about Mass Ave., which is a street next to the Murat that is lined with interesting things, so when we got hungry, Chris and I walked up and down looking for food and surveying the area. We stopped by the front of a shop and Chris peered in to check out its wares. I meanwhile, took a map of the street from just inside the door and was looking at it for a place to get food from. Chris turns around and I hear him say, "Oh, hey Colin." Colin Meloy walked up to us and began a conversation!! He asked us if there was anything we'd like to hear at the show, and I told him that we had just been talking about how none of us (Chris and I as well as the orate girls) had ever heard the band perform "Everything I Try to Do, Nothing Seems to Turn Out Right." He let us know he'd try to get it on the setlist but that it was a bit of a long shot since it had been many years since they'd ever played it together. Then, he left to go check out a record store and we went and ate some Subway. Later in the day, Chris and I decided to go to the music shop to stretch our legs and check out what an Indianapolis record store has to offer. While perusing, I looked up and saw Anne Briggs (her eponymous LP) faced out. I have been meaning to listen to her since Colin is a big fan and her EP The Hazards of Love had a hand in inspiring the Decemberists' album. So, I decided this was a pretty good sign that I should buy it and did. Perhaps Colin Meloy, while shopping there earlier, had purposely put that CD on display for someone to find or perhaps it was a coincidence. We walked back and waited some more, and then we were able to get prime position (no unprofessional and incompetent employees to deal with this time) for a great show. Hazards sounded amazing and Shara kicked a couple parts up a notch by belting out some extra notes. The second set was great and included Colin talking directly to Chris and I during the show. He told us that he tried his best to get our request in and someone right behind us in the audience caught it on film. This person uploaded several videos from the show and I think that all of them feature Chris' head in the right side of the frame.

We left right after the show to begin the four hour drive home and stopped in Anderson, IN to get some fast food. Now, I've seen some strange things in my life, but was pretty taken aback by this town not too far north of Indy. Every fast food joint in town was packed, both inside (if their dining room was open) and in the drive-thru. Every single place had at least ten cars in the drive-thru lane. Apparently, there had been a concert as well as some mixed martial arts show earlier that night. We finally got home and got some rest and now we await our last Hazards show on Tuesday in Royal Oak, MI. To sum up the weekend: a couple steps closer to having the Decemberists think that we're cool.