7.28.2011

07.28.011

well, i certainly wasn't lying when i said my blog would resume it's regularly unscheduled, sporadic updates, was i?

what has happened (we'll go in reverse chronological order):

remember when i was doing the clean food challenge last month and i broke my french press? i broke another french press tonight. i don't know. it's like the fates do not want me to drink coffee towards the end of the month. i am going to hold off on buying a new one until i can find one that is not made of such terrible glass (in related news, i am taking suggestions for brands that are good. the past two have been bodum's brazil models, so i am not necessarily wanting to buy another bodum, unless someone can attest to their durability [which i cannot do; tonight, a SPOON slid into the french press in the sink and broke it. i don't even know how that's possible]).

all this week, i have been dreadfully tired starting at around five until i go to bed (usually around ten). i don't know why. last night this was accompanied with a terrific headache that has lasted all day today and is still plaguing me. i don't know what is wrong with me (sidenote: this is a general theme in my life right now).

work is going well.

the weather has been really nice. it was wicked hot last week, but this week it has been in the mid-high seventies to low eighties, and it's been gorgeous.

traffic has been terrible. i've almost been hit at least three times this summer, which is way more than most summers. there is basically only ever one season when people don't drive like complete jerks in maine (autumn).

remember last year when julian koster was going to encourage saws to sing alongside the band organ at the paragon carousel on nantasket beach in hull? remember when it was canceled? well! it actually happened this summer! two saturdays ago (the sixteenth) hillary and i went down and aside from getting lost for a bit (both to and from hull [i was supposed to drop her off somewhere so she could go camping with her friends, but her friends gave us miserable directions, so we ended up on i495 somehow at like 10:30 at night? i don't know, it was awful]), it was a really nice day. we met up with alex, whom i had met at the music tapes show in durham, and met a guy named james who was also at the show (and who i had remembered seeing at that show), and were a nice little collective audience. it was a really lovely afternoon and evening. alex let us ride on her carousel ticket, and the band organ stopped working (only temporarily; the fellow who does the restoration work on the carousel got it back up and running for the next ride)! julian talked the folks who worked there into letting us ride again, which was really sweet of him and especially sweet of them. we talked about a plethora of random things (baby sharks and polish polkas and youtube and wire recorders, etc.). as we were saying goodbye (oh, such a terrible thing to do all the time; i would've liked to have stayed longer to talk to julian some more, but since i was planning on driving home after dropping hillary off, we had to leave around 9:30), a kid yelled "BYE MAGIC MAN." it was wonderful. watching the faces of kids riding the carousel and hearing this instrument that was very obviously not coming out of the band organ, and then seeing julian, wearing his top hat, encouraging a saw to sing, was just so endearing. they were all so awed. it was lovely. i'd like to go sometime again soon. i'd love to go in the winter. it seems as though they really otter have wintertime carousel rides. and it's always nice to see julian, although it never is for long enough.

THE OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL AND THE MUSIC TAPES ARE GOING ON TOUR IN SEPTEMBER. they're playing at the brighton music hall in allston. it is going to be ridiculous. it's nine/ten days after the jeff shows. seems very probable that i am going to get sick and die at the end of september. i hope this is not actually true, but it seems likely. i'm also secretly holding out hope for a maine date to be added. i am always holding out hope for a maine date to be added, but they're off the day before and the day after the show in allston, so it seems as though a stop to portland would fit in just so perfectly. i, of course, am slightly delusional in these hopes, but most of my hopes and dreams and wishes are slightly delusional things, so. you know. but then again, slightly delusional hopes and dreams and wishes are the best kind. you never know. the more improbable a thing may seem to be, sometimes the more likely it is to become true. i read something similar to that somewhere recently. not certain where.

hillary and i found a virtually deserted public beach earlier this month. we were planning on going to one beach, and on seeing that the parking lot was packed and that people were actually parking up the street in order to go, we searched out this alternate beach, where there were maybe five other cars at any given time. it's really nice and i might go again this weekend, if the weather is beachy enough (which it may be). it's nice because there are all sorts of good places to stop on the way to and from this beach as well. notice how i am not disclosing the whereabouts of this beach. it's nice to have secrets. it's nice to be a secret.

otter than that, i am just sort of crazy about things and my heart is warbley and weird and so is my head and yeah. i've been having a lot of really intense dreams that are not helping any sort of situations. i have clipped five pounds of images from books this summer, and am now trying to organize them before cutting up any other books, but i have problems with certain images (for example; a nice black and white image of a girl with an older woman inside of a house and a possum out on the windowsill. does this get classified as a photo of people or as a photo of an animal? do i start a new people with animals thing? but then where does that cross-genre-izing stop? because i can get wicked ocd about these sorts of things), so i'm not really sure what to do. i have made three friendship bracelets (like you'd make in summer camp, but i never went to summer camp, so i'm making them now because it seems like the right thing to do), two of which i wear, one of which i gave to hillary. i am going to be making more, but i feel weird about making friendship bracelets for myself. i am lonely and tired and i really want to make you some cake and take you to the chicken barn. and maybe wake up next to you. and kiss your face. ohhh deer. i am a thousand problems.



oh! i spent the week leading up to and all of my fourth of july holiday rewatching all the marx brothers movies i could find. i will probably be harpo for halloween AND christmas this year, to make up for all the times i said i was going to be harpo in the past (that one time).

6.27.2011

06.27.011; clean food challenge, day seven.

"finishing" strong today....

breakfast; fruit salad (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, peach, plum, kiwi) with oats and sliced almonds.
lunch; leftover lentil patties, red ants on a log.
dinner; baked tempeh with russet and sweet potatoes, carrots.
water; a gallon and a quarter as of 8pm.

i say "finishing" because i have decided that i am going to go at least another three days or so. at least until all the food i have runs out. maybe even another whole week! we'll see how long i can go. it'll be an interesting test of will power. i am not really craving anything right now (except for maybe chocolate, but that is probably just hormonal), so i don't know. i'm sure i will add bread and pasta and processed foods back into my diet in the next week and a half or so, but i will be more conscious of the things i am choosing to power my body.

with the exceptions of the few stupid things i did, this wasn't really that difficult for me. i am not sure why. maybe because i desperately needed a good cleanse? maybe because my body doesn't actually need all that wheat and other junk anyways? both likely cases. they do put so much crap into so many foods. i feel really good and properly hydrated. in all honesty, i had been feeling dehydrated since returning from seeing the music tapes in new hampshire last month, so i am finally feeling aqueous again. i'll probably keep the increased water intake up until i go somewhere again. well, probably not a gallon a day, but between half and three quarters of a gallon. although who knows. i might keep drinking a gallon of water a day.

my blog will now resume it's regularly unscheduled, sporadic posting habits. i'll post when i have things to write about that are not food related. but probably will be music related because you know. i love that musical stuff.



6.26.2011

06.26.011; clean food challenge, day six.

oh boy.

i don't know what it is about weekends.
sometimes i make terribly huge mistakes.

breakfast; a banana, a peach, cold brewed coffee with coconut milk, tsp sugar in the raw.
lunch; ....
snack; carrot upon realizing that i hadn't eaten since breakfast while dinner was cooking.
dinner; lentil patties, baked potato with oregano, garlic, and nooch.
water; one gallon as of 7:30 pm.

I DID NOT MEAN TO SKIP LUNCH. especially after having had such a light breakfast. i am not even entirely sure how it happened. i spent most of the day looking up chords to songs online for a project i am probably going to be doing, and then i went up to bangor to get groceries and flip flops (few joys greater than that of new flip flops), and then i came home, showered, cleaned the bathroom a little, started to make the lentil patties, and then i realized.

i hadn't eaten anything in eight hours. i was crabby, but not hungry at all. probably the water? but i don't know if that's true because i just got through the whole gallon while typing this up. but i did sleep in until around ten, so maybe that was it? weird.

lentil patties; makes about eight.

1 medium sized onion, finely diced.
between 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 cup boiled lentils (i used red, but you can use any sort you have around).
little less than 1/2 cup flour*.
between 3/4 and 1 cup shredded carrots.
1 teaspoon of some sort of seasoning (more or less).
salt to taste.
oil for frying.

*SINCE FLOUR IS A NO NO, i read online that you can basically puree steel cut oats in a blender or food processor into oat flour. so that is what i did instead of regular flour. i cannot tell you whether or not it worked as well as regular flour would, since i've never made these before, but the patties came out okay, so. i'm going to guess it did.

peel and dice the onion.
blenderize boiled lentils until smooth.
transfer blenderized lentils to bowl.
mix in all other ingredients until evenly mixed.
form into balls.
fry one side.
turn over and flatten.
fry the other side.



so, alright. i am not a very good cook. anytime a recipe calls for me to fry something, it never ends well (unless that something is tempeh and/or pan fried vegetables, and then things are usually alright). but i figured, hey, i bought lentils last year and never did anything with them, and i had all the other ingredients, and the recipe seemed simple enough, so it was worth a shot.

after "frying," my patties never really firmed up the way i thought they would. they were mushy and falling apart. so i baked them in the oven at 400 degrees for about ten minutes on each side, until the outside was slightly browned and crispy. they were really delicious AND i have leftovers for lunch tomorrow, so that is good.

i am going to eat something else after posting this. red ants on a log, probably, since they are quick and easy and yeah.



click it and trust me.

http://www.kylemaclachlan.com/viewer.php?id=4

6.25.2011

06.25.011; clean food challenge, day five.

last night, around eleven o'clock, right before i went to bed, i went to take an empty plastic tumbler out of the dish drying rack to start my cold brew coffee in. somehow, it had been hung up on the french press, and the french press came out with it, and fell on the granite counter and shattered (alongside my spirit). at eleven o'clock at night. i decided i would wake up early to go to target to buy a replacement.

but then it stormed all night and i had an incredibly difficult time falling asleep (cramps) and whenever i would start to drift off, the thunder would act up and it was just. awful.

anyway, i went to target after waking up around eight, without eating or drinking anything. i didn't get back home until around ten, so i've been messed up a bit today.

breakfast; grapefruit and cold brewed coffee.
snack; carrots, celery with almond butter and dried cranberries, which i am affectionately calling red ants on a log.
lunch; the end of the quinoa/salsa! i actually didn't have as much left as i thought i did, which was really wonderful.
dinner; baked fried baby eggplant (i used olive oil instead of dressing and used gillian's gluten-free italian breadcrumbs), roasted potato.
water; one gallon as of 8pm. maybe another 32 ounces before bed?

i might have some more red ants on a log, because they were pretty delicious. because almond butter is so damned expensive and because i had never had it before, i bought two packets of justin's almond butter at the co-op. i like that they're individual servings, so you can't overindulge. and apparently there is a maple almond variety. mmmmmm. do want.

i've been thinking a lot about what i'm going to do after monday. i am sort of half considering doing another week of this because i do feel really good, but i really want cupcakes (well, that's not entirely true, i'm doing alright without them, but my uterus really wants cupcakes. and pretzels. chocolate covered pretzels. oh gosh, chocolate covered pretzels!). at the very least, i am going to try to maintain these less processed habits for a while. like if i have to have bread, i should be making it myself. i like knowing exactly what is going into what i'm eating, but i sometimes a very questionable cook and sometimes i just don't want to spend the time it takes to clean and chop and prepare and i just want to microwave pasta while i'm showering and douse it in tomato sauce and call it dinner. i don't know. there's got to be some sort of happy medium, right? right. i'll figure it out.

there's a really interesting article about the future of food in july's national geographic. it's kind of depressing and scary, but it's really good.

anyway. i spent the rest of the day cutting up books and watching various things on netflix. oh, and i recorded twentysix minutes of audio during a thunderstorm. because that's something that i thought would be good to have. yup. this is how my head works.

i finished up watching fire walk with me, which was really disappointing and not very good at all. not enough special agent dale cooper. and it really bugged me that they didn't go into laura's relationship with dr. jacoby. and the new donna was awful. it left me with more questions than answers. bah.

i think i shall spend the rest of the evening watching marx brothers movies and continuing to cut up books.



i haven't seen this in years, but i imagine that when i do, i will still be terrified of the same parts that i was scared of as a child. but this song is so good.

6.24.2011

06.24.011; clean food challenge, day four.

my head is feeling better today, although i am still tired. but we're always a little tired.

today was almost an exact carbon copy of yesterday.

breakfast; fruit salad with oats and almonds, cold brewed coffee.
lunch; salsa and leftover quinoa (i microwaved this today, and it tasted a lot better than the cold salsa and quinoa i had yesterday).
snack; sugar snap peas.
dinner; leftover baked tempeh, roasted spinach with nooch.
snack; watermelon.
water; about a gallon and a quarter, as of 7:30pm.

i seem to recall having this problem last time where, because i am not very good at gauging how much food any given recipe will make, i get into these ruts where i have to eat the same things day after day because otherwise it will go bad and go to waste and i'm not very good at reinventing leftovers into amazing next day meals. plus i am a rather picky eater, so that doesn't help. the good news is that i ran out of fruit salad and left over baked tempeh. the bad news is that i still have a boatload of quinoa (i made a cup of the dry stuff) and salsa. it'd be nice to be able to mix things up a bit more, but oh well. i am still feeling good about the cleanse overall. hillary even bought chinese food today and it didn't make me hungry for it at all (of course, i have kind of lost my taste for chinese food this year. i don't know why). i've lost two pounds since tuesday.

if you don't have any interest in feminine issues, you should skip this part.

i started my period today, andso i kind of just want to eat a loaf of bread and a bunch of chocolate. i'm wondering if my cramps will be less terrible since i am more hydrated and eating cleaner. i have a theory that they might ease up a bit. or they will be completely unbearable. it will be an interesting few days.

resume reading.

today is my brother's 30th birthday. i am next up in the family queue to turn thirty. that seems weird. of course, it's not happening for another three years. i think the weirdest part is the thought that my parents are old enough to have two sons who in their thirties and two daughters who will be joining them in the next three-five years. i really don't understand how that's possible. time is such a weird thing that exists and doesn't exist at all.

i am singing some parts on a song for a friend of mine, and it is fun. i don't know what has compelled me to be less shy about singing or why it is happening right now, but it has happened, so i am singing. i should sing and spend more time trying to make music. as tom waits said, songs are just interesting things to do with the air.



6.23.2011

06.23.011; clean food challenge, day three.

this is going to be brief.

i woke up this morning feeling miserable. headachey and sinus pressured and tired and ugh. and it's lasted all day long. i am going to blame this on the change in the weather (it had been warm and sunny, but today it has been overcast and colder) and allergies. i am hoping that's all it is, weather and allergies, because i do not want to get sick. because when i am sick, all i want to eat is toast. actually, just writing the word toast makes me feel wistful for toast. bah. and also, being sick in the summer is the worst.

no photos today.

breakfast; fruit salad with oats and almonds, cold brewed coffee.
lunch; salsa and leftover quinoa, a peach.
snack; sugar snap peas.
dinner; leftover baked tempeh, roasted spinach with nooch (this was my attempt at making a crispy kale-esque thing with spinach, but it didn't really work. it was still delicious).
snack; watermelon.
water; about a gallon and a quarter, as of 8 pm.

and i mean, for feeling so scuzzy, i still feel good about the cleanse, and physically, i still feel okay, it's just that my head region feels awful.



people one misses all the time.

6.22.2011

06.22.011; clean food challenge, day two.

today was alright.

breakfast; the same as yesterday; fruit salad with oats and almonds, cold brewed coffee with coconut milk and sugar in the raw.

lunch; fresh salsa.


mango.


(i recently recommended dandelion wine to deer silk friendy fellow, and in trying to tell him which copy of the book he should try to meet, i described it as looking a bit like mango skin, which today's mango shed willingly for a delicious post lunch treat.)


dinner; overly spiced quinoa (which i would've loved if i hadn't put so much salt in), crispy kale (always so good).


water; as of 8pm, at least a gallon and a quarter.

epic fail of the day; so yesterday i posted about a thing i might post about today if it worked okay. it didn't work okay, but it was such a giant disaster that i have to post about it.

i mentioned yesterday that last year, i was trying to make whipped cream using coconut milk. well, the recipe for the whipped cream never thickened up, so i threw it in the freezer. and it turned into ICE CREAM. IT WAS AWESOME. i figured i would try to recreate last year's coconut milk ice cream. but i couldn't find the recipe. so i winged it.

one can of a taste of thai coconut milk, with maple syrup and a little vanilla, left to freeze overnight.



well, i took it out this evening, and it was rock solid. so i took out my blender and got out a very large knife....



i managed to get most of it out and into the blender and started blending. decided i ought to add some berries to it. so i threw some frozen raspberries and strawberries in a mug and put them in the microwave. however...



gah. but anyway, i got the thing to blend with what hadn't spilled all over the microwave, into something like a frozen smoothie sort of thing that was very tasty.





but then when i went to clean up the bowl, i discovered this had happened when i was stabbing the frozen coconut milk.




oh well. it's not as though i don't have five other mixing bowls.

so yeah. still feeling good, but i definitely wanted to put margarine on the quinoa when it was done. i am a little disappointed that the coconut milk ice cream experiment was mostly a failure. i was looking forward to having it over some sort of warm medley of fruits. maybe i should actually try to find a coconut milk ice cream recipe that doesn't require any sort of ice cream making device. maybe. i will need to get more coconut milk probably tomorrow.

anyway, i spent most of the day at work stripping this dresser, which i am either going to paint some ridiculous color combination OR i am going to base coat it white-ish and collage over it.



ALSO. the third fanfare for the elephant six recording company is out today! i did a transatlantic cover the music tapes' majesty with my friend matt, who lives in the uk. i sang and played xylophone, and he played guitar and drummed and assembled it. i'm pleased with how it came out. there are a lot of really really really wonderful covers on this. i'm impressed. hooray, covers!



6.21.2011

06.21.011; clean food challenge, day one.

today was the first day of the clean food challenge. and i must say, it was a smashing success.

last night i made fruit salad for breakfast, consisting of blueberries, raspberries, mango, peach, plum and kiwi. i measured out a serving (about a cup, cup and a half) added oats (quarter cup) and sliced almonds (a sprinkling) and let the flavors meld overnight in a separate container. and oh boy.



it was delicious.

i had also left a tumbler of coffee grounds cold brewing in the fridge overnight, which i pressed the grounds out of in my french press this morning.



(forgive the blurriness, pre-caffeine photography is not my strong suit.)

i added a teaspoon of sugar in the raw and topped off the tumbler with chilled coconut milk, which i opened from the wrong end.



last year, i was attempting to make vegan whipped cream for a recipe (i am going to assume it was for some pie), and the recipe called for chilled coconut milk. i left a can chilling overnight, and it hardly thickened at all. it must've been the brand i used because this stuff is so thick and creamy and good. oh boy.



it was one of the most delicious breakfasts i have ever had.

now, when i did my sad attempt at the c.f.c. in december, i had a really hard time getting a gallon of water into my system. i am determined to not have that be the case this time. i even went so far as to make a water consumption schedule.



i don't know what it was about today, maybe that it was warm, maybe that i was trying to be more conscious of the amount of water i was drinking. maybe it's that this time, i am actually carrying around a full gallon of water that i am topping of my water bottle with at various points throughout the day. as of 12:30, this was what i had left of the gallon.



(that's a 32 ounce water bottle on the right.)

i finished the full gallon by 5 pm. i've gone through another 32 ounces and am slowing down for the evening. i am trying to taper my water drinking in the evening because i really hate getting up in the middle of the night to pee.

and oh my god, have i been peeing. it was almost every fifteen minutes while i was at work. i can make it about half an hour or so now. i'm so glad i don't work in broadcast news anymore. i would've had serious issues today.

lunch consisted of spinach and onion and shaved carrot salad with balsamic vinegar. HEY ANYONE. i need a recipe for a balsamic vinegar dressing, because as it turns out, balsamic vinegar on its own is too strong.



i also had a plum and a fist full of roasted, unsalted peanuts, but i don't have photos of those items because i imagine everyone knows what a plum and peanuts look like.

after work, i went to the nearest hannaford to get a few things that my local hannaford did not have in stock (most notably, tempeh and cheap cucumbers), things that i didn't realize i needed but didn't have (frozen corn, paper bags, coffee), and things that i wanted to get but didn't get yesterday because i had a lot of food (watermelon, celery).

dinner consisted of baked tempeh, which is the fall back meal for any night when i want something substantial, but do not want to cook. basically, take one package of any variety of tempeh (i love lifelight's vegetable tempeh, but they stopped carrying it at my local hannaford, so i have to get it at other hannaford branches), and cut it into cubes. and then it's just a matter of adding vegetables that you like; tonight's medley consisted of cubes of potato, sweet potato, carrots and onions. i've also used broccoli, peppers, and jalepenos in the past. sprinkled with olive oil, whatever spices you enjoy (pepper and dill and paprika tonight), and mix together with your hands until everything is well coated. bake at 425 for about 25-35 minutes, depending how largely you cut your tempeh and vegetables, and how well done you like it. best when served on a plate you made when you were five.



so good. the leftovers will last me at least three or four more meals.

tonight i finished up making the salsa i started to make last night. the salsa is sort of an odd experiment because i really really really really really do not like fresh tomatoes. they smell weird and they are slimy and seedy and i just think they are disgusting. yesterday, i bought fresh tomatoes for the first time ever in my entire life. i seeded the three medium sized tomatoes and diced them, along with a can of organic roasted tomatoes, half an onion and a jalepeno, added a splash of white and apple cider vinegar and cumin to it, and left it in the fridge overnight. i let a cup of black beans soak overnight and cooked them this evening (with a little liquid smoke), and added an entire package of frozen corn in addition to the beans, and a little sea salt and a bit more cumin and oh my gosh. it is really good. i'm very excited about it. it will be part of (if not all of) lunch tomorrow.

i will probably make a brown paper bag of popcorn in a little while (i have never taped a brown paper bag of popcorn shut. that seems wasteful. it will stay shut if you fold down the top correctly). i haven't been hungry at all today. i'm sure all the water is playing a huge part in that. i feel really good tonight. maybe i will never have pasta or bread ever again! (this is very unlikely.)

oh, i am keeping certain processed foods in the mix, but not many. the first is sugar in the raw, but only a teaspoon at breakfast in the coffee. nooch (nutritional yeast) is staying in because it is the best popcorn topping in the world (add alongside dill and garlic powder and a little salt, and you've got a cheap ripoff of little lad's herbal corn [the nooch and spices stick better if you use a little oil, but i don't really mind eating all sorts of leftover spiced nooch out of the bottom of the bag]), and i'm also thinking it might be really good on quinoa (which i am going to be making for the first time ever tomorrow), and it's also a great parmesan stand in for emilie's crispy kale recipe (which i am planning on making at least twice; once using kale and a second time trying it with spinach, maybe as part of dinner for tomorrow night). the last is liquid smoke, because that stuff is amazing.

so yeah! i'm feeling really good physically and i'm looking forward to the rest of the week (i've got a thing i'm working on which, if it comes out well, i will probably post about tomorrow). i hope my fellow c.f.c-ers have had equally successful first days!

in other news, my music tapes kazoo arrived yesterday!



kazoos are still available through merge, as is the digital download. i implore everyone who is currently reading this because you are trying to find a free download of the ep to please just spend the $4-$6 to actually purchase it and to support these wonderful, kind, sweet people who put so much time and effort into making these wonderful songs for us to enjoy, these songs that enrich our everyday lives when things are well and provide safe audible worlds for us to escape to and reside in when those everyday lives become incredibly difficult and we need other places to be that are not necessarily places that exist in the physical realm.



6.15.2011

06.15.011

this blog comes in 3 parts.

part one; the clean food challenge.
i don't know if anyone recalls, but this past december, i half-heartedly partook in something called the clean food challenge that my friend and former teacher and current blogger challenged her readers to do. i say half-heartedly because my monetary situation was tight and i think i only managed to actually post for three days during the whole thing. WELL! emilie has challenged her readers again, and this time, since i am in a better financial situation, i am going to go 100% whole heartedly into this clean food challenge. if you are interested, you can read more about it here. i am still debating whether or not i am going to cut out coffee completely (i didn't last time, and thusly ended up consuming silk and sugar in the raw as well). or maybe i just go the special agent dale cooper route and drink it black as midnight on a moonless night. my reasoning for doing this more fervently this time is that i have been eating a lot of pasta and a lot of bread for months, because they are cheap. but now i have money andso it would be nice to kick those overly carby, overly processed habits. plus it's warm and there is a plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables available now that most places are not snowy tundras. and i haven't been drinking enough water at all. so, that'll be happening the twentyfirst through the twentyseventh, and i will be blogging every day, so you have that to look forward to!

part two; purim's shadows (the dark tours the world).
this should arguably be part one, because it is the most important thing to happen in the past month, but i wanted to get the business end of things out of the way before going on to the solely pleasurable aspects of everything.

SO. the music tapes released purim's shadows (the dark tours the world) yesterday. it is a six song ep that is only available digitally and on kazoo. well, by "on kazoo", i mean merge is selling music tapes kazoos that come with a download code for the ep that includes a bonus track, that comes along with some sort of special julian surprise. i love julian surprises, and serendipitously, i realized monday night that i have either lost or temporarily misplaced the kazoo that lives in my purse for kazoo emergencies, so i purchased one (i am not entirely sure that i want the music tapes kazoo to be subjected to the rough and tumble neighborhood that is my purse, though. i usually always am carrying box cutters and butter knives or serrated knives or scissors or other stabby things that could wound such a fine looking kazoo. maybe only for special occasions. i'm writing this as though i do not have any other kazoos. i do have another plastic one). it's already been shipped, and i am looking forward to it's arrival so much.

BUT. because for some reason merge didn't announce that they were actually doing anything for this release (i found out about it monday morning through a friend), i ended up purchasing the ep off of itunes at five am, after one of hillary's cats woke me up by pretending she was going to vomit on my bed. it was funny because i had stayed up well past midnight in hopes that it would be active on amazon, but since it got to be around one am and there was no activity, i went to bed. and then after the cat incident, i figured "well, i'm already awake. might as well check." and i saw that it was available on amazon, as well as itunes. i opted for the itunes route (it was cheaper, and came with a little digital pdf thing). so i ended up buying it twice. which is alright with me because oh my gosh. it is just. so good.

i have been likening it to a the most perfect teaser trailer for what will undoubtedly be the best release of the year. it is the tastiest amuse-bouche for the third imaginary symphony, which is apparently going to be in two parts; the first of which will be called mary's voice and will hopefully be out later this year.

all but two of the songs are shiny new music tapes songs that i have never heard before. the ep starts with so the day long, with just julian's warbling voice and the sound of a distant metronome (maybe not distant, but muffled, as though escaping headphones) before the guitar and bells and some other instrument that i am not entirely sure of kick in before the chorus, which just slays me. "show me the lonely room that really can't let the evening in." it all builds up to the ending and it's perfect. the seven foot metronome is back as the main percussionist on a lightning's cheeks (everything gets born here). sort of an in an ice palace-y feeling song, but much different. these first two songs sound as though they were written for some sort of movie soundtrack. the middle two songs are transitional pieces; 3 being an instrumental song sounding a bit like one imagines the band organ at a carousel run by tom waits would sound like. 4 being the sweetest, most sentimental 27 second song i've heard ever; jeff, jill, and julian serenading julian's dog rudolph on the beach at nantasket. the whole ep is dedicated to rudolph, who was one of the sweetest dogs i've ever met (and i have met my share of sweet dogs). i am glad it's only twentyseven seconds long, since i start getting really emotional around the halfway mark, but then it's over so quickly that i don't have the chance to completely break into tears (confession: i most definitely cried at 5 in the morning when i read the digital liner notes). the last third of the album consists of a re-recording of night and day (better than the single that was tucked away in the new york public library two years ago), and a recording of nantasket (best known for haunting my mind all during pneumoniafest 2k9). the ep as a whole is so well done and it has me so excited to hear mary's voice.

part three; other.
the past month has been odd. we had a big family yardsale memorial day. my parents have listed their house for sale. i sang and played xylophone for a cover of the music tapes' majesty that i did with a friend of mine for one of the elephant 6 fanfares, which was odd. the first time i've ever recorded and publicly shared my voice. ever. of course, it's like an entire chorus of me on the song, and it sounds really good. which is weird and kind of gives me the creeps. i've been cutting up books for craft purposes and watching random things on netflix. i don't see many people most days and i don't get enough sleep. i read dandelion wine recently and it is one of my favorite books of all time now. i am currently reading children of the albatross by anaïs nin, which i am enjoying. i just bought eat, pray, love, which i am planning on reading during the clean food challenge. i became friends with a butterfly today. my brother is offering to sell me a set of drawers that i am currently stripping at least seven layers of paint off of. if i buy them, i am pretty certain i will base coat the thing with white and collage it. the sunroof on my car is broken and i can't open it, but somehow my hair is getting lighter. i've been having some weird ear issues today, and i'm not sure why. generally lonely but mostly alright with it. i ended up bringing jenga home after the yard sale. i play by myself. i don't know how to feel about that. i am not writing enough.

anyway, the other of hillary's cats woke me up at five in the morning to puke this morning, so i am fairly sleep deprived and weary eyed, so we will solve that now.





5.16.2011

05.16.011

i've started at least three different times to write about what has gone on since the end of napowrimo. not much, but there were two evenings worth writing about.

a few tuesdays ago, i went up to bangor to run some errands with my sister after i got out of work. upon arriving home around six, i discovered an email from nesey in my inbox, saying that he was playing up on the campus of umaine later that night. i messaged my friend casey, who goes to school in bangor, and we decided to carpool up to umaine.

the evening was really nice; i guess he and his friend sam had been invited up by two fellows who attend umaine. sam played his set outdoors, by the jordan observatory. i had never heard his music before and was pleased to discover that he had a very adrian orange/thanksgiving-ish sound going on. he had one song about whippoorwills that i was really taken by. it was rather chilly that evening, but the spring peepers made for lovely hidden accompanists. nesey played a few songs outside before we decided it was too cold and took shelter in the lobby of the class of 1944 hall that houses the school of the performing arts. the acoustics in that hallway were astounding. they should let people play there all the time. there were some really sad but sweet and exquisitely beautiful things that took place inside. after he finished playing, we wandered around campus for a while (i wanted to take over the college radio station, as it was on autopilot and we totally could've made it happen, but no one else really seemed up for it) before parting. it was good to see him again (i hadn't seen him since september of 2009), and i hope he is doing alright.

earlier that same tuesday (the third), someone posted on the elephant 6 forums that the music tapes were going to be playing at a free festival on the campus of the university of new hampshire that weekend (the seventh). this was amazing for three major reasons. one) it was free. two) durham is within a reasonable distance to maine (a little under three and half hours). three) it was a music tapes show on a SATURDAY. i did not have to miss any work to actually attend this show! i had seen the music tapes in some incarnation five times prior to last saturday and that had never happened before. casey had wanted to go, but she had finals all last week and had to do a video project, so she decided against it. my sister had expressed some interest in going, so as of last friday night, she was probably going to be going with me. i was still sort of half hesitant about the whole thing, since it seemed to be sort of strange to attend a unh end of school year shindig when i had never actually even been to unh before.

however, somebody drank half a bottle of whiskey the previous night and spent the entire morning puking, so she couldn't make the trip. but the weather seemed to be okay (there was rain in the forecast, though), and i was feeling up for it, so i made the trip on my own. i hadn't been to a show by myself in a long long while (october of 2009, and even then it was only portland), so it was nice to make the three hour drive by myself and to stay in a hotel room by myself and to just be by myself for a while. it is so rare that i am ever mostly alone, and i love not having to worry about anyone else; whether whoever is accompanying me is enjoying themselves, having to make pit stops, etc. i had booked a room in portsmouth and left searsport after printing directions around 1:30. the drive down went well, until around freeport, when it started pouring. and didn't stop. and there was thunder and lightning. the entire time i was driving, all i could think was "oh, please do not let this thing be canceled," remembering how rain foiled last year's best efforts to see julian and the saws at the carousel. but by the time i reached portsmouth, the rain had tapered off. i checked into the hotel and ventured upstairs to refresh and refuel before venturing out to durham.

whenever i travel anywhere, i don't like to have to try to find some sort of vegan or vegetarian friendly place (especially when i am not entirely sure what time i will be heading back to wherever i am staying for the evening), so i usually pack bread and peanut butter (and usually snacks, although i didn't bring any with me on this trip, which was stupid) so i don't have to worry about foodstuffs. well, while unpacking the bread and saltines i had brought with me (saltines came with because i only had four pieces of bread left), i discovered that in my haste to leave the house, i had completely forgotten the peanut butter. a crushing blow to say the least. so i had a few slices of bread and ventured down the vending machines to get water (i have this really terrible habit where i dehydrate myself purposefully while traveling so as not to have to stop to use the bathroom), and score! through some mechanical malfunction, received two bottles of water for the price of one. i made mental note of the peanut butter and cracker sandwiches (which i later bought and was very sad to discover that they were incredibly stale and not very good) and left for the campus.

i made it out to durham around 6:15. unaware that there was actually a lot designated for festival parking, i parked at the visitor's center. i dumped four hours worth of quarters into the meter and walked over to the festival. upon arriving, i saw the designated festival parking and felt really silly, but after having spent four dollars on parking, i wasn't about to move my car (i should've asked if festival parking was a thing when i posted on the facebook event page, but i didn't think of it at the time. oh well). i recognized some folks from the townhall and previous elephant six events, but the fatal combination of me being painfully shy the first time i meet people and the fact that it is really kind of strange to introduce yourself to people you've never met before but know of from the internet kept me from saying anything until later in the evening. which was okay, because a few minutes later, i saw robbie and ian and julian coming across the road. robbie spotted me and everyone came over and greetings and hugs abounded. we discussed all sorts of various things (the new music tapes record and various maine happenings and cemeteries and the really awful johnny cash remixes that they were playing over the p.a. between sets) for a while, and they drifted and came back and drifted and came back. also of note; the first band that took the stage that i saw was this hardcore screamy sort of band, and i said to robbie in between songs "oh please tell me you guys are going on after this band, because it would be the most absurd juxtaposition ever." but i guess they had postponed some sets due to the rainstorm, so they followed a more appropriate act (mmoss, who are a sort of psychedelic sixties throwback band, and who were my favorite of the three non-music tapes bands i saw that evening). once the tape fellows took to the stage to sound check, i took the opportunity to introduce myself to heather and her boyfriend. they were both super nice (i've been in touch with heather quite a bit since the show), and sometimes it seems so silly to be so shy, but that's how it works. the music tapes set was a bit of an amalgamation of the holiday surprise tour and the lullabye delivery tour (due mostly to the fact that they had been working on the new album and hadn't really rehearsed much for this show), but with the additions of takeshi and elijah, an new introduction to a song from the lullabye delivery tour (that introduction was stunning. every new thing i hear out of the music tapes makes me so happy and warm, and i really cannot wait for the new record), and the television tells us. STATIC!!! it was so great to see static after a long two years of him not having performed at all. i really enjoyed hearing a music tapes set take place outdoors, having never had experienced such a thing before. voices and instruments resounding through the streets and the moon was quite lovely and there was a really nice clock tower on campus too (i should mention that unh has a beautiful campus that i would like to spend more time wandering around on sometime).

and then i basically spent the rest of the evening with the tapes after the show. i was pulled into all sorts of conversations about all sorts of things (new york and houses and maine and hotels and hats and carousels and tours and stories, etc. etc.) and met some nice folks. julian is always rather shy when i see him before a show, but then afterwards he is much more talkative. maybe it is nerves? i don't know. i do know that he is the most adorable, endearing, and kind friend in the world and i would marry him without a second thought if he proposed to me tomorrow. there was discussion about me possibly driving ian back to maine, but it was decided that they would drive him up that night and then drive back to massachusetts (since i was staying in portsmouth [although arguably, they could've stayed with me in the room i had since they had given me a room with two double beds, but i didn't realize that i never offered until later]). at one point, julian and ian went to move the van, and robbie refused to leave me alone, which was incredibly sweet. they are honestly some of the kindest gentlemen i have ever met. such elegant bachelors. i adore them all so much. and once we were all getting ready to leave, they offered me a ride to my car. and people say chivalry is dead. it was wonderful to see them, and i hope to see them all again soon.

i spent part of the next morning wandering around prescott park and an old cemetery in portsmouth. i had only been to portsmouth once before. i should go more often; it is so close and really beautiful there.

other than that, my existence is about on par with what it usually is. i found my ipod, which was pretty exciting, given that it had been missing for three months. i saw a baby chameleon and decided that it's probably the only sort of reptile i would ever want to live with (assuming i had to live with a reptile). i want some sort of fluffy pet. corgi, preferably, to be named special agent dale cooper, or cooper for short. i am feeling pretty lonely and like i probably need to be kissing somebody soon, but that would require either going out to meet somebody to kiss or finding someone to come over to kiss, and i am not sure either of those things are things that would happen. i keep wanting to spend more time making things and trying to be better about being musically inclined, but i enjoy sleep far too much. in fact, i should really be sleeping right now. it is supposed to rain a lot over the next few days. oh well.

i am sure i am forgetting things that i want to write about (birds, probably), but i wanted to write something about those two nights of lovely music before my memories start to get more fuzzy than they already are.



a kind soul posted this video of static's triumphant return to the stage, so i will leave you with that tonight.

4.30.2011

04.30.011

another-go-round.

we were enveloped in it;
the flash of lights kept time with the
music, swirled around all legs,
twirling against the green.

silent jockeys of painted mares,
the wind at our backs
and these valiant steeds
galloped on gallantly as
fingers twist into wooden tendrils
carved into their necks.

our veins tight, blood
throbbing against the skin,
the pithy pulsing red that courses through us,careens into the caverns
of our circulatory systems,
beats wildly against the blue,
our winterskins alternate between
pallid with cold,
flushed with warmth.

hoofed and bewildered in
the swill of snowflakes smiling across our faces.

never seen a more beautiful sight
than the white caught in your hair,
against the frame of your face,
in that light,
in the wind
by the sea.



sometimes you have dreams that are subconsciously based off of a song you heard once or twice or a-hundred-and-forty-one-odd-times, and they become a relatively nice thing to write about at the end of a month that always feels slightly nightmareish. the end. sorry if you read all of these. i had a hard time this year. i have a hard time every year, but this year seemed worse. a lot of haiku. of course, i like haiku, so. alright. thanks for reading.

4.29.2011

04.29.011

fingers intertwined,
zippered teeth, tumbled lock, key
pressed to palms, silent.

monger peddles brass
rings; skeletons of former
dwellings, abandoned.

cobblestoned twilight
above, uneven pavers
arch against our feet.



i should really stop writing about zipper teeth, but i like them a lot. okay. still not feeling very well. i hope to end napowrimo with a bang and not a whimper. i've been whimpering for a while.

4.28.2011

04.28.011

indicated.

originates in my tailbone,
an ache, as though having fallen recently,
but not having fallen recently,
the harbinger of something more nefarious.

the next hour it shimmies
shivers up my spine,
splits at the base of my neck;
slides down my arms, elbows,
tying into knuckle joints,
a game of uncle i never win.
slips sandpaper into my throat,
rasps, cheesegraters, etc.
ladders up the rungs of my neck
into the hypothalamus to cast
feverish nets across my face;
the big catch of the day,
one twenty seven year old immune system.



i am afraid that it is coming. i've got aches everywhere and i feel wretched.

4.27.2011

04.27.011

perforated.

pages of braille
high school handouts
train tickets.

snake bites
bowels and ulcers and eardrums and lungs
junky veins.

lsd blotters
books of stamps
drain pipes.

watermelon flesh
swiss cheese
wingtips.




i do not feel very well, so apologies if this seems half assed (it should). note to self in the future when all is not as it is now; this should be reworked as all things holey instead, but i love the idea of perforated lungs. that's normal. so maybe split in two.

4.26.2011

04.26.011

cohesivitiy.

pseudohalfcursive
scrawling letters tied, wispy
inked cobwebs cloud white,

meaning flows between
words, black rivers, wonderfalls,
wallop against rocks.

4.25.2011

04.25.011

eyes carrying baggage
over the weight limit
from spring's first pollen,
last night's dreams
of eating ravioli
in the room where i
spent four years singing,
never enough sleep,
trying to see something
better than this,
but blind;
half mooned,
heavy lidded,
and tired.



today was really awful, and thusly today's poem is also really awful. you'll all live, i promise.

4.24.2011

04.24.011

for four variations on thee theme.

midnight. fingers turn, tighten; turn,
untighten tuners. pick, pluck, strum
strings until the chord resounds just right.

if there were a night for instinct to fail, to forget how to breathe, this would be it.

curved blade bent over your lap,
trilled notes spilling happily through the air, swinging
arm keeps perfect time

philco predicta tilts face upwards,
ending the broadcast day with
static sung songs.



true facts; all the photos i took of my music tapes wintertime wandering invitations were imported to iphoto under the following event names;

2008: sleepy face project/music tapes finished.
2009: oh boy/absurdity.
2010; ahhhh, i'm sorry julian/sorry sorry sorry.

evolution is a funny thing with a loose definition.

4.23.2011

04.23.011

murked.

ribbon running down my spine
unzipped silently,
as in deep space,
black holed and inversed.

the teeth slid apart effortlessly
falling to the sides,
as in a dream.
step out and wait.

fingers traced constellations
across the ceiling,
perfectly cleared river black skies
suspended above the mattress.



madly losing steam and desire to write.

4.22.2011

04.22.011

time machine.

i coerce time out of
the broken russian
stopwatch i stole from a
previous life,
remnants of a cold war.

the portable comforts
of that soft consistent tick;
the heartbeat of the song
you played once when my
heart stopped;
the second hand kept time for me,
the wind did my breathing.

4.21.2011

04.21.011

communed.

notebooks spread out
paper petals plucked
from scoliosised spiraling spines,
splashing over the edge to the floor.

their crumpled counterparts cascading
out of the wastepaper basket,
their previously paled faces
smudged bruises of black and blue

like our fingers,
lilting across the table
clothed with red checks
cold hands quiet, nimble
creatures living in
the ends of our arms
wildly converting

synapse into
syntax.