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many thousands gone [Mar. 24th, 2008|01:03 am]
dear reader,

    look for new post to be exclusively at:  themimetiks.com/akie

    trying to turn over a new leaf.  or at least, let this space marinate for a while.  while i figure out what the hell?!

- akie
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[dis]closure iii: [dis]comfort [Mar. 17th, 2008|05:40 pm]
[dis]closure iii: [dis]comfort

the reason we work and write and read here is because we have no better place in which to feed these words.  even when life seems to be entirely too bizarre to write on... somehow it still becomes these words in this place.  it still dilutes and unwinds from its pungent purity and flows freely here.  words denote meanings.  meanings denote considerations.  and considerations come from?  where?

[thinking is being, i guess.  johhny recently wrote to me: "thought truly is living."  the exceptionally crafty mind of Jonathan Ronsani.  wide, open -- yet impregnable.  carefully we attempt to explain.]

it seems to me that before this year, january fourteenth would have meant very little to me.  certainly.  before now i had related to it only obliquely; as the after though of an afterthought.  like its the day before my Martin Luther King Jr's actual Birthday; also my parents' wedding anniversary; its a full month before valentines day; and a full seven months before my mother's birthday.  but other than that?  what significance did the day hold?  surely none.

and of course the day itself is an quasi-arbitrary concept.  not really being january fourteenth except to us greco-romancers.  and january being a sort of bizarre collection of thirty on days starting after the year's end -- which is also sort of arbitrary... it might make scientific sense if it occured on, say, the solstice... but nine or ten or eleven days afterwards?  whatever.  so the calendar is meaningless (but its kind of humorous to think about the Calendarized Bible i found up in the rectory: some poor fool had spend years of his life trying to reverse engineer the 'dates' of the bible from present day to give exact dates, months, and years for each event.  yea, each chapter... sometimes each verse.  and that dude had God moving on the face of the deep with creative intent... just a few days after the vernal equinox... late march, i think, some outrageous number BC.)

so really, why even call the day a day?  except, if we were to go through our lives keeping no track of place and time except by season and such -- we would be forced to give up some of the meaninngfulness that intellect allows us to appreciate/construct.  there are meaningful moments in our lives.  a birth here, a death there, love found, love lost, love almost found, love almost lost.  the forging of friendships.  the declaration of enemies.  and we are a considerate people.  so we need to be able to place things in a spot before us an look at them, observe them, and consider them.  so it is with our lives and times.  and we make a conscientious effort to define time as it goes rushing by.  using its little shifting discrete bite to make even smaller discrete bit.  smaller and smaller and smaller.  until at last we have nearly the smallest conceivable scrap of time denoted and set apart from the smallest conceivable bits around it evenly and measurably.  so that we may turn all of forever into an endless counting (counting being somewhat anathemaic to infiniteness. but so -- there you go, i guess.)  and so one may say to themselves.  my mother died.  and it is meaningful and painful to me.  and, though it is an unpleasant feeling, it is an important moment and i wish to mark it.  and i will.  it was this day.  the fourtheenth day in the month of january.  six hours and fifty-five minutes into that fourteenth day of the first month of the two thousand and eighth year since the birth of the christian messiah.  a meaninful moment -- to me.
   if the description of it is somewhat: meaningless.  but then, so is any attempt to break down and categorize life (and death) and time.  


i write these things as a closing of this chapter.   i have said as much as i am willing to say.  explained as much as can be hoped to be explained about my feelings.  and wished as much as one might have wished -- seeing some if it come true and others: not.  if i am sad, it is not from a lack of happythings.  it is from an understanding that this side of life is a touch less fulfilling than it might have been.  is this the magical heartening that families bring?  that redoubles the natural instinct to reproduce?  the need to fill up the whole left by a parent. mentor.  by becoming one, oneself.  how abysmal. in the weeks its taken me to finished this three part disclosure, i have looked back on the words, meanings, and considerations herein.  and have been borne up and torn down by their poignancy.  i have never really been moved by my own words -- it seems silly to have that be so.  but i have always been able to relate to them (it seems silly for that not to be so) and to understand the writer no matter how far removed me he seemed.  now, at last, he seems too far away from me to be part of me.  though he was me, we have evolved to this and one must be left.  for consideration upon future... consideration, i guess.  we are as we have ever been: one.  
but it is time we went our separate ways.  he and i would too often disagree.  his wistfulness is my crassness.;his care free soldiering is my dutiful plodding;  he smiles, i grimace; he laughs, i nod;  he thinks, he queries, he prays and prates, he brays and brags, he sings, he plays, he loves, and cries, and falls over into sleep -- i work.   i do the work that he so happily insinuates.  he was rock.  i am sand. i have been worked over by the powerful water of life.  now i too... grind away at this infinitum.

he used to call himself, many names.  and, in the end, he was simply himself.  he did not make a world bow before him.  he was no hero.  and he could not save her.  she dies.  and, tragically, he was saved. 

it is.
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[dis]closure ii: man on fire. city in flames. [Jan. 31st, 2008|05:20 am]
[dis]closure ii: man on fire.  city in flames.

1.31.08  454a.
raw.  raw in every way.  that is the sensation of being constantly on fire.  gone is the pain.  gone is the heat.  gone is the excitement.  what remains?  rawness.  the strained, crackled papery sensation.  that stiff, too sensitive state of mind.  every happiness, every disappointment, every ecstasy -- far too potent.  present and real.  how can a mind sleep?! 

one needs to spend several hours just unwinding to be loose enough to rest. 

i turn to my music to comfort me.  but it feels false.  false -- as it has never felt before.  and so, solace here?  is that our final option?  to write and write and write and fool the mind into being exhausted.  and then sleep as long as we can before rising. 


it is a funny thing for me to sit at a keyboard and be unable to think of a thing to play.  my old stand-by was: Stella by Starlight.  but i think less of it now.  or perhaps i hold it in the same esteem but now know greater extremes of emotion than i had before.  now stella just ain't cutting it.  some how i know what is needed.  i know what regiment will renew the man.  the heaviest music i have.  the most soul-searing morsels i can muster.  but i wait.  i'm not ready to contend with such power.  my mother protects us even from behind the curtain of death.  she left things in place to ensure our positions in the world.  to keep my father comfortable  -- if he must be lonely.  and to help my sister finish school guilt free.  and to keep the house.  and the car.  and food for the grandparents.  and perhaps, least of all AND most unexpected, to allow me to continue this foolish musician's dream.  why?!  in what name do we play? it galls me to think she thought of my life before hers.  it galls and embarrasses me.  it depletes me of proudness.  it robs me of strength.  and while it supports me, it increases the unpayable debt i owe her.  one she would never have let me pay in any case.

ah!  such frustration.  such an artistic shitscreen.  forget writer's block -- this is far worse.  a vacuum where ideas once were.  literally an implosion of too-heavy source materials.  collapsing in on itself.  the more i sit here, the more i think i believe grief is like that.  a weight that pulls down from and inward point.  like a fire consuming all the air in the room.

times like this i wish i were an accountant.  numbers.  clean, clear numbers would be a welcome relief.  and crisp sheets.  divisions, subtractions.  good, steady working.  i sit with loooooong days before my next real gig.  loooong days to sit and think and stew and be stewed.  to remember all too well.  the things my mother loved are become either too potent to deal with head on or too dead with out her here.  i feel that way here.  in her childhood home.  and out in the borough.  brooklyn which once held the starts for me.  now is as an empty wasteland to my eyes.  its all so new!  these buildings are all old, abandoned, and decaying.  every day -- several times a day -- i think of leaving.   its more tempting that i will ever admit.  to up and leave and start new somewhere else.  or even to find me a quiet place in the mountains where no one will look for me, and anyone who does won't find me without a bitch of time.  the dish and din; hustle and bustle; sturm and drang of the city has always been music to my ears.  in the most literal sense.  now i find myself enduring the sound of train running, or a car horn blaring.  i think the streetlight garish.  and i think new yorkers are sweaty, obsessive, overly fashioned prisoners of war. 

there is culture here, somewhere.

but leave i will not.  and tire i will not.  and stew i will not.  i fight for control of emotions again.  afraid i WILL lash out.  tear off.  act up.  so calm for so long, bermiss.  your friends did say you'd either be a genius or a psychopath.  in jest, to be sure.  but sometimes it feels very possible.  are we all traveling around so poorly shielded.  so barely in control?  i have never experienced anything like this in my adult life.  helplessness.  dishonor. and regret.

 oh.  i go to bed on that somber note.  who'd want to read this? 
(my favorite reader is gone.)
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[dis]closure i: in the late wind [Jan. 30th, 2008|11:27 am]
[dis]closure i: in the late wind

1.21.08 330a.

my mother died at 655am on Monday January 14th.  and, i think to myself, nothing will ever be the same again.  only the wednesday prior did Sekou tell me that the doctors gave her only days to live.  that we should all say our goodbyes, our last words to the soon-dead.  but when i came to her room thursday night.  i could think of nothing to say.  nor anything to do but sit there a moment hearing her fully alseep.  and kiss her head.  and say goodnight mother.  and returning early friday, i sat with her and tried to communicate through her pain-glazed eyes.  to some little effect.  mentioned what was happening, where i'd been.  what i was planning to do.  God, but did she hear me?  and understand?  and, if she did, what effect did it have on her?  hope?  gladness?  wistful satisfaction?  the mind of a mother is so very impossible to tell.  read.  understand.  and by this time she had no words.  and possibly only moaned when the pain was too great for her to stand.  O my mother.  your passing has left me quite unappreciative of the world you left behind. 


1.30.08 1042a.

there is not much left to say.  i have brooded.  i have wept.  i have shuddered and paused.  i have, it seems, lost my will to be poetic.  words?  lyrics? meanings?  lost on me in this place.  i write from a need to expel this disease from my mind.  it lays so heavily on my soul that i can feel it wrapped around my chest.  clinching, clenching, squeezing.  shortening my already short breath.

quite simply.  i am devastated.  and though many offer their services.  what i have to serve must be the darkest, foulest thing in the world.  there is nothing more evil on heaven or earth.  all this time i dabbled in the darkest darkness.  now i am the darkest darkness.  i can be festive, but not from a foundation of happiness.  i am perplexed by it.  i am always thinking: mom is not here.  and so?  there is little push to do much of anything.

no hunger.

if my father is the heart of the family, my mother was it's soul.  and she taught me to sing and dance.  and to spread my concern over the lives of others.  call it caring.  she taught me to cook and clean.  her love of jazz and classical informed my youthful sensibilities.  her love of american musicals informed my sense of drama and class.  her dry humor is much of my own sense of humor.  she could tell a hilarious joke and not laugh; tell a terrible joke and laugh for days.  and it was on her heirloom piano, i learned to HEAR music.  years and years.  a full decade perhaps.  before i start learning anything formally.  there i could pick out Do - A Dear.    and chopsticks.  there i would write maybe a dozen or so songs throughout the course of junior high and high school.

the sun shines for no reason on me.  i cannot shake the shadow of her pain and suffering.  and that, for all my skill, there was nothing I could do to better her.  yes.  well.  there is death and there is death, my friends.  there is skill and there is skill.  and i have been exposed a charlatan by the cosmos.  my little magic is hedge-wizardry.  it is meaningless spectacle.  there are much greater workers than i.  working.  working their heaven-sent skills towards the enlightenment of the species. but me, i fell hell-bent under all this weight.  i am driven, but the direction is new.  destructive, painful, flesh-grinding course.  perhaps to my mind, this is the only way to renewal.  in the footsteps of jesus.  to die and return.  i must obliterate this old Me because he is fully damaged.  the long haul is too far for him.  he is happy to sit in here and suffer in stagnation.  and he may.  it feels better than still trying to conquer and all but conquered world.  


i have addressed God directly.  as i have not in some time.  not since my mystical teenage days.  one experiences, first, a selfish "why hast thou forsaken me?" moment.  then a more rational: why must this be?  finally, one realizes this cup will not be passed over.  that this draught is for them.  and you must accept or deny the truth.  death is truth.  and the heart of soul.  and the object of any life.

we'll be dead sometime.


my mother's life was too short.  too short be far.  she worked everyday.  either at school or in the lives of her children and husband.  she brought us through our father's stroke in 97 (which came in the spring of my graduation from junior high to high school).  and since then, was the family driver, breadwinner, protector, and fixit-man.  

my mother solved the problems.  but, typically, her's was the problem that most needed solving.  and no one.  no doctors, no surgeons, internists... none could help.  finally: there was hospice.  and there was pain relief. and the heart-breaking agony of looking into her eyes when he vocal cords were to crushed to allow her speech and trying to understand her moans and gurgles.  those once brilliant eyes. turned to far-away, stone-dull things.  i hope she could see me.  but suspected not.  

sleep, mother.  oh sleep.  


one of her last words gives comfort to others (though it seems only to worsen my understanding of her condition).  my father sat beside her when we had to admit her to the hospital.  when we'd finally gotten her morphine for the incredible pain.  and a bed to lie on.  and the ability to sleep.  she told my father: "Emilio.  Smile and go home."

and so.  here we are in the future.  at last.  is it everything you'd hoped it'd be?  lonely, directionless.  amorphous.  i look back on this poor journal and i lose track of the number of lonely, soul-shocked nights.  the number of quiet nighttime sufferings.  drunken down-time fits.  and bitter stupors of frustration.  but, i recall that one could write, one could sleep, and one could rise to the shitfest one more time with confidence.  now, though, is the begun the longest night of my life.  from which there is no writing or sleeping escape.  

my mother sleeps.  and i, never again, will.  i keep the night watch, dear reader.  and i don't even have the strength to continue this poorly written, asscrap entry.  i am disgusted.  

i am alone.  i am on fire.
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christmas eve [Dec. 24th, 2007|01:11 am]
i feel very lonely tonight. it has nothing to do with being alone. but that feeling of being alone in oneself. i am being in my own future and my own past. so much so that it is dangerous for me to be cooking or driving. my mind simply departs. and loses itself in the many realms folded up with in it.

it is likely dark days ahead for me. very dark. very long days. and i am not sure how i will come out on the otherside. for better. or for worse. greater or lesser. i wrote to a friend today that everyday we live the past exerts a greater burden on us. demands greater attention. requires greater consideration. and its seems that as our past increases our future decreases. but who can tell when or where the end is to come?

not i, he whispers. certainly, i do not know.


brief blights of brightness in the coming months. this is what, i hope, will give me the strength to bridge the gap. this will provide a legend against the unmappable night of grief, and desperation, and worry. and to exercise this sometimes and seldom happiness. a dailyDose or two. here is another one then. from the road.

ain't misbehavin'


and that's all for now, folks.  brush my teeth.  and sink off to bed.
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Home Improvements (part two of three) [Dec. 14th, 2007|03:59 pm]
what are we to do? it is, finally, December and "the season" is upon us. i do, admittedly. get a little loopy around Christmas. i am reminded of many things -- good and bad -- that happened during this season. and, in fact, in the past week or so i have been finding old remnants of this or that. letters and and drafts of letters (the hand written kind) from the college years. especially my big letter writing period '03 to '06 (when i had ink for my fountain pen). old emails. old set lists. pictures. old gifts. mmm... live journal entries? holiday songs, anybody. been thinking about pies and cakes and nog and rum.
and its friday now. and a nor'easter (which always had a decidedly vernal ring to it, for me) is on the way. plus its been snowing in Brooklyn. as early as december swung in and gassed the whole sphere with her indelible groovitude. (funny typos: inedible groovitude. inedible juventude. illegible - glued and chewed.) no big worries for me though. i like snow. some of my best college memories are laden with snow. screwball disney song and dance at like 3 am.... on the hills of Blithewood (marie said "blightwood" in pronunciation) watching the meteor shower... how about that snowball fight on the quad. at first, tewks vs. the toasters... and then suddenly Brooklyn vs. Boston/NewEngland vs. the West Cost. that was a real slug fest. and it was Erin's first snowfall, i believe. there is, of course, the many years of caroling -- which this year is enduring its first ever interruption due to work, travel, and sickness. it is bad foreshadowing, but it cannot be prevented. and so we will hold fast to the things that bind in '08. giving up all our ghost for the center... which is the thing which must hold.

hold, hold, hold. i sing. i am all out of magic these days. but what sorcery is innate... i sing towards the holding of things.

otherwise, the old couch is gone. and shapel return at sunset on the third day. from the north. we are a'coming. and then that third room shall have its day. its due. its due day.

shall i make more notes here? of shelves and lamps and pictures and hanging. oh my own misfortunate loneliness in this grey hour? i am better than, perhaps, i could be. and there is much ahead to look forward to. happy, happily. i am of the faith, you know.

the faith. another good short word. with long meanings.

i look around me now and affirm myself of position. this. is home. and now i am open to the sad failings that come of such comfort... the discomfort of being away from home. as i have not felt it since the old days. of the rectory. (ah! suddenly a rush of new. forgotten. memories. comes parading down.) many bitter, chalky fruits, yule logs, the bare rush of of concrete under my tires as i cross the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge and hum to myself the three chord vamp over-which i could play most of nefertiti. mmm... naima.... ben and the greeney's, marvin and kesai, and i... playing juju at the blackswan for out hard-earned jazz at new years gig. smoking cigars on the back porch of 98 Broadway, in tivoli, in snow and cold and the freezing rain, finally. and suits. and bitter laughter. jack the quick and I pushing the volvo out... bill telling us his bawdy bull and cow joke, and the lion's share of evenings spent in quiet, meditative repose. and the smell of pine around us. with all the trees outside. i need to cease and be merrier. this memories make me still and joyous, but they are past things and cannot be reclaimed. no man may successfully live his life backwards. no man, save Kilgore Trout, perhaps. and he is many time the man i am. though doubly dead these days.

still. how can i keep from singing. oh wizards. bear me up when i can cast no longer. i am the fool who calls winters beginnings. have you the pattern for that? (those drums... those drums! sing those, singer. i know you would bleed cold before forgetting the song. so why don't you sing: this one?)

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akie dailyDose #8 - live at the Falcon [Dec. 13th, 2007|11:00 pm]
hello dear reader. more experiments in video this week. seems like since i can't get to my writing, i might as well bog you down with dailyDoses over and over... and over...and over. so this one's from an opening set I did back in October at Tony Falco's place up in Marlboro.

the main event was the Taylor Eigsti/Julian Lage duo, but i did get a chance to open up for them with a nice half-hour set. (that i just got on DVD today in the mail). the camera woman is Lynn Segarra. She often comes to the falcon to record the live shows there. In fact, i have a really nice Foundation DVD from two years back. which i think was the first time i'd met her. so she's started putting her stuff up on Youtube... which is excellent. and while i am trying to get what i've got over here up... i will kick you her way for your dailyDose # 8.

live at the falcon, baby.

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akie dailyDose #7 [Dec. 2nd, 2007|03:37 pm]
Working With Noah

as self-appoint (though co-agreed) executive producer of Mr. Weston's Soulkhan mixtape, i am the extraodinary pleasure of being at the studio session (the mimetiks studio, naturally) to discuss takes and presentation and all that good shit. well, with my new OSX Leopard i'm able to take videos with this computer now. insane, right?

i think so, at least.

any way a quick dailyDose. this is Noah working on this half verse. enjoyable footage of a man rapping with yak bone beads and, really, next to a big-ass fishtank. i'll leave this up as long as Noah lets me.

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akie dailyDose #6 [Nov. 28th, 2007|09:47 pm]
the short of it.  I been sick. 

the long of it: i probably slept too little and drank too much over the break.  i took the whole week off to dedicate it towards cooking, family, and friends.  drinks, late nights, and consecutive early mornings.  like i'm made of steel.  come tuesday morning -- i was completely out of it.  off my feet.  the heat and thick of it.  but it seems to be -- at least somewhat -- passing through.  still, sick as i am, i couldn't resist playing to make the evening a little more tolerable.  (its hard to sit up and play when your body just wants to fall over... but once i'm at the keyboard, i'm usually ok for at least  a couple of minutes.  good think garageband is so idiotsimple.  otherwise i'd not have been able to do this... literally like 2 minutes ago.

 now, without even checking to see if it sounds good i give you yet another dailyDose.  this one full of sick and succorlessness.  bilge and bile.  ire and ichor,  here's that rainy day.  (and still he tries to sing it, you see...)


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Home Improvements (part one of three) [Nov. 18th, 2007|09:01 pm]

it a return to serialism, folks.  forever and a day?  that hardly puts a head on it.  above this tumultuous beginning are the many remnants of posts left dead and decaying on my desk top.  having recently cleaned, i decided to consolidate the bits.  consolidate them into a pitiful whole.  and that pitiful whole?  

   ...is not this.

i guess i've decided that the music above is essentially pointless.  and aimless with bits dating back as far as 10.14 at "436 am" -- whatever that means, right?  and they're a little depressing too.  what's not depressing is some of this PRETTY HIP MUSIC* from the Live Cultures session at Bard studios this past janvier.  its fresh and exciting.  and we are trying to play in and out simultaneously.  and i certainly didn't have the chops for what i wanted to do.  but i don't think i've ever recorded myself soloing so unbridledly.  there is something truly wonderful about jazz and the blues. and i don't mean in a wynton marsalis kind of way.  i mean the blues essence that is the heart of the idiom.  when we're swinging, well its not happiness exactly.  not heaven... precisely. but its so damned close.  am i boorish enough to say its better than sex?  (you bet i am!)  its a precocious idiom.  a god language.  so wonderful and so independently magical that it threatens to override my corporeal existence at points.  and leave nothing at the piano but a wisp of smoke.  truly exciting stuff, man!  

[aside: once in a long argument with Kyle and Shapel on a thursday night over hookah, cigars, and other things... i argue long and hard that the evidence of advanced civilization in Africa need nothing more than the drums to shout it case.  but that one must see how they built pyramids and coliseums of time.  with sound as the mortar or glue or cement or whatever.  this is how it feels to be in the jazz house.  like entering a crypt thousands of years old and struggling to read the sacred texts on the walls...]

so that's that, i suppose.

now as to yesterday -- which is very important, mind you -- there is the small matter of what i did and stuff.  its all very exciting stuff, man! (that makes two)  like, for example, some mofokin' home improvements.  say what?, you say?  that's right.  home improvements.  so here's the deal (for those that don't know) i live in a real dope one bedroom apartment.  but its an old one bedroom apartment (like pre-war... the second one) so  though there is just one bedroom, there is a separate kitchen, a living room, and a frackin' dining room.  the rub?  well the bathroom is made for really small people.  which i, in nowise, am (unless you count that ever most important way for men, of course.   - gotta beat 'em to it.).  so its a bit of squeeze.  but i've fixed it up pretty nicely.  though the toilet never stops running.  and neither does the sink.  oh and the cold water comes out brown if you haven't used it in five or six hours.  the bathtub is pink (which i dig, cause it reminds me of the pink bathtub at the rectory...) and the walls are pink, brown, and and beige... so its like an awful ice-cream-from-the-70s kind of look.  the kitchen is great except the kitchen sink don't work at all... and it leaks from one drain (there are two).  there's a washing machine next to it, but its essentially acting as the microwave stand.  the stove is new... there's a small kitchen table that CAN be extended.  and finally, there is the little enclave of clutter, old ac's, the rusted garbage can, an old filing cabinet
*this was Hoffa's tune, but i can never remember the name of it.  it was from his fall semester senior concert ('05) and  it reminds me of a similar tune we did for his final senior concert called: beyond the rubicon (i think).  band is me, daniel beiber (doing the bass), elijah tucker (doing the drums) and hoffa himself (doing the saxophone)

11.9.07.   301am:
just briefly.  it is late.  not the normal late.  but  the real late.  you know how to gauge real lateness from pretend happy-dappy, just-staying-up lateness?  there's a couple ways. one is if you are thinking "Oh its late" but you're in pajamas or something like it... its only pretend.  another -- if you find yourself consistently at the 24 hour joint in your neighborhood picking some food up ON THE WAY IN from working... its late.  and finally, you just get that feeling. its not the good late.  its the baaaad late.  and you sort of just resign yourself to it.  there's nothing naughty or hip about it.  its just quiet and lonely and you know... its late.

11.17.07 643pm:
i finish this up saying that things are getting slowly better.  with each advancement towards a clean and organized apartment i achieve a piece of that zen that i so dearly covet.  that zen that so permeated the rectory days.  when messy was just messy -- not disorganized, afield, adrift.  the new couch is here.  the old couch stands... waiting for orders (or my brother to help me move it from the apartment to the alley).  the living room carpet is clean enough to eat off of.  AND the door way to the final room... is clear.  the dark recesses beyond call to me.  soon i will tie my hair back.  cover it.  and tend to it.  shapel is due soon and then, at least, i will be depressed and in company and not depressed and alone.

today i thought about wine again.  i used to drink it daily.  now... i haven't touched a bottle of red in ages.  i have nearly forgotten the flavor of it.  there is the matter of recording a little something something with Johnny.  you know... christmas style.
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