ones and zeroes

Better living through modern chemistry.

3.22.2005

here we go again.

If I was a bastard, I would bore you with the day-to-day details of everything that's gone on since I last posted here. But when have you ever known me to be a bastard? Perhaps that question should go unanswered...anywho...

Here's a quick rundown of what's gone on since the last time I frequented this strange cybernetic place. The night of my last post I saw a mediocre Apollo Sunshine show - the boys were WASTED and it showed. Their cover of Built to Spill's Big Dipper was beautifully messy. The next night proved to be a much better show as we caught the Epochs, who blew me away with what I thought was truly original sound, and then HOOD who played a mellow psychedelic set. Johnny gave me and Lucy a pot cookie to split for that one, but I don't know if anything happened.

I spent that weekend visiting my mom at home, smoking a late night bowl out my window and watching the Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. I shut it off halfway through and went to sleep, then woke the next day and decided to go to Bedford to visit Lucy a day early. I got really stoned before the train ride up there, had a burst of inspiration while listening to Explosions in the Sky, and came up with ... well, more on that some other time. Monday morning I woke up and snagged me and Lucy a couple of floor seats for U2 @ MSG which was definitely a nice consolation prize for poor Lucy who, that morning, had had all four (plus a bonus fifth) wisdom teeth pulled out of her mouth. So we spent the rest of the week doing NOTHING - hanging out with Gizmo the love-pod-dog while Lucy ate vicodin to numb the pain. For a true synopsis of Monday-Thursday, I give you the movies we watched, with brief reviews and links to iMDB:

Fatal Attraction - Always a classic, always fun to watch. Plus, Johnny Beach has a cameo in it, where could you go wrong renting this flick?

In the Bedroom - I had been waiting a long time to see this film and I'm glad I finally did. Some excellent insights into the nature of grief, and a story that moves slowly but surely.

Traffic - The first time I saw this film I was in the company of hecklers and simply could not enjoy it, but watching it with Lucy in front of the Beach fireplace was perfect and I absolutely loved it. Two thumbs up.

Riding Giants - Ever listen to surfers talk about surfing and wish they would shut up? Sometimes it drives me crazy. But this documentary was great and made me truly amazed by surfing. It focuses on breakthroughs in Big Wave surfing, and the last 20 minutes is PHENOMENAL!

American History X - Lucy hadn't seen this before and I was excited for her to see it but I must say it was the weirdest viewing of this I've ever had. I kind of realized that Edward Norton is disproportionately the single strongest aspect of the entire movie.

Ladybugs - 'Nuff said.

Shattered Glass - Hayden Christiansen was a big bag of SUCK in Star Wars Episode II but he totally rocked this movie. I've been resisting seeing it for a while but finally Lucy convinced me too and boy was I glad.

There were some others which I've now forgotten, and Lucy isn't around to refresh my memory, so I guess that's that. Lucy slowly recovered, eating apple sauce and mashed potatoes while I used my teeth the way they were meant to be used, ripping apart burger meat and chomping down on eggs and bacon and the like. Finally on Thursday night I headed home, renting the Sopranos and I finally lost my Sopranos virginity. What a cool fucking show! I really enjoyed it. Friday night Lucy returned to the city and we watched Collateral, which was awesome for about 40 minutes and then went down a vortex of suck. Like Lucy said, too much flies in that movie that could never really go down.

So then it was Saturday. And if you're ready to read about Saturday, then get ready. It's long, and it's intense. And I want you to read the whole thing, I think you'll find it entertaining. Ready? Step inside.

The Vernal Equinox (or
how i lost my mind)

It all began at one AM, but the waiting game had gone on far longer than that. Lucy's apartment, waiting to drop acid. She wasn't going to drop with me - but soon my friend Ani arrived, and with her a girl named Julia. Now all that was left was Larry. Larry, who was in town for the weekend from Pittsburgh, my best friend who I get to see about twice a year, who was also the first person I ever took LSD with. He was aiming to get to Lucy's about 10 PM and didn't get there until 1 AM, which meant it was officially the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring, a day for rebirth.

All night something strange had been in the air - outside you could hear people hooting and hollering, and after two bowls and a gin and tonic we all agreed that we felt fucked up in a way that was stranger than being stoned and a little drunk. There was energy in the New York City atmosphere, and you could feel it coursing through everything around us. Finally the clock hit 1 AM, we were all exasperated from playing the waiting game, and Larry rang the doorbell. When he came in, Lucy Ani and Julia grabbed him by the arms and restrained him. I approached him slowly, and he grinned, pretending to struggle as he opened up his mouth and I placed two tabs of acid on his tongue. Then I took my own 2, then Ani took hers, and Julia took hers. We were ready to begin.

We smoked a bowl, waiting to feel weird. It was about 30 minutes later that I first felt an undeniable quiver in the deep down center of my soul. I was restless and couldn't hang out in the kitchen with everyone just standing around. I wandered around the apartment, watching things, waiting for the slightest changes, while the Flaming Lips' Soft Bulletin played from Lucy's stereo. Things were definitely getting strange. I walked by the bar, which has a mirror mounted above it, and watched the reflection of a trippy drawing of the word "STRETCH" . . . as I walked by it, it did just that, stretching outwards into the mirror-world, and I knew that something was certainly beginning. Soft Bulletin ended, we listened to Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles, and then I put in The Arcade Fire's awesome album, Funeral.

At this point I was feeling what I can only describe as glittery and jittery. I was shaking a little bit, my heart was almost racing, and I felt it coming on in a rush. Antsy and needing a change of scenery, I suggested that we all move into the ultra-trippy living room which Lucy and Eileen had decorated to be a very chill smoking den. The CD was playing on the stereo in there, and the room was covered in psychedelic tapestries and posters, with no windows, and multi-colored lights. We were in a tripping box.

Once we settled into that room, the acid started taking full effect. Ani and Julia weren't sure if they were tripping, seemed to have a tough time settling into it at first, but Larry and I would make eye contact that silently said, "Wow. We're back."

Lucy was taking awesome care of all of us, just watching over us and making sure we were comfortable, and she gave me a necklace of hers - a suede necklace with a large glass heart hanging from it, full of bubbles inside. I knew immediately that this was my tripping toy, my buddy, the thing that would always keep me safe, and I clutched it, feeling like it was giving me such good energy. Then Lucy gave us her Game Boy Advance, and Larry and I started taking turns playing Ms. Pac-Man while Ani played Mario Kart Double Dash!! on the GameCube. As usual, videogames were fun while tripping but at the same time felt a little too artificial, and I soon started to be a bit annoyed by all the electronic screens I felt surrounded by. And then, as the Arcade Fire CD came close to its finish, everything went BONZO.

Eileen came home, and with her came a whole troupe of people, about six in all. I knew that this was going to happen but was completely unprepared for it. It was a really emotional moment for me, too, because as soon as Eileen knew that we were tripping I knew she was upset we hadn't done it with her. I knew she'd be relieved to know that Lucy hadn't eaten any, and I couldn't bring myself to say anything to her except that. Eileen and I had shared the acid experience so many times - half the times I've done it, actually - and I was completely overwhelmed by the very thought of her.

Lucy put on the Hockey Night CD, which bugged us all out during track 4 or 5, when a voice on the CD suddenly says "Hi Danny." We laughed a lot. Things were getting extremely visual. Eileen's DJ poster was vibrating with every single bass beat, and the tapestries in the room were shifting and flowing like wild, but our time in that room was soon to come to a close, because some of Eileen's pack of friends were going to go to sleep in there, so we moved to Lucy's room, which was to be our psychedelic headquarters for the next couple of hours.

Everything seemed really shaken up at this point, and everyone was sort of scattered, though I felt really connected to Lucy and really excited to see her playing DJ on the stereo in her bedroom, picking awesome rock music for us to trip out too, Led Zeppelin and the like. Like I said, the four trippers all seemed scattered, and suddenly Lucy decided to play that Parliament song that goes "We Want the Funk..Gotta have that funk, ow!" And it was like the entire universe converged on her room. Suddenly Ani and Julia and Larry were all near me and we were all bouncing and dancing to the song, and it seemed to me that we all understood that YES! This was our SONG! We want the FUNK! Larry stayed standing for a while but Ani and Julia and myself got comfy on Lucy's big bed, and I started really looking around, clutching Lucy's favorite stuffed animal, a beautiful soft white owl named Ivan. I was holding Ivan in one hand, and my good-trip glass heart in the other, watching her tapestry swim in its reflection in the mirror on her wall, and watching Bjork move in and out of her poster.

It was time to listen to another full album, and we put on Phish's JUNTA, disc one, and this my friends is when I truly had the absolute LSD experience. It is almost impossible to convey what actually happened, the conversations we had, people moving in and out of the room, but it seemed to me that in between every single word that was spoken, and every single note of every song coming from the CD, that a million other moments were transpiring just for the four of us on LSD. Sometimes the rest of the world would actually move in super-slow-motion and I would feel like I could do a dance in the time it took for someone not tripping to pick up a glass of a water. Everything was completely connected, everything flowed into each other and I just basked in the glory of it, feeling like I was traveling along the story that the songs were telling.

Lucy had been taking great care of us as I said, and anything I asked for she would get for me and didn't seem the slightest bit annoyed which made me so grateful, because I felt pretty useless beyond laying there and simply being. So I asked her to bring me a book I had brought, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and I started reading it out loud while we all watched the pictures. But it was as if I didn't even need to look at the pictures, because as I said the words the entire story seemed to be created in my mind - I felt like I was a caveman creating a story for the first time, and that just by saying it, the story was coming into being. It was beautiful.

As Phish kept playing I felt like entire conversations were happening that no one besides us could possibly here. It was like I was shifting back and forth between millions of possibilities for the same moment in time. We were amazed, looking at these Wildly Emotional Monkeys.

I took my first trip to the bathroom, and was immediately freaked out by the sight of the toilet and the sink. I knew that trying to aim while standing up was simply a bad idea so I resigned myself to sitting down on the toilet and waited what seemed like forever till I felt like I could comfortably go to the bathroom. While I went, I stared ahead at the bathroom door and put out my hands, staring at them, and revelation after revelation poured down on me, making me feel endlessly lucky just to be alive. It was there, in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet that I felt pure and utter ego loss, losing myself to the flow of things and feeling a true understanding of the light moving between all things.

Then I returned to Lucy's room, and took a spot on the bed beside her, clutching my glass heart while putting my head against her hip. Larry seemed absolutely normal, as if tripping on acid was equivalent to his state of normality, and he kept on talking about lots of things that were just kinda blowing my mind. Then Phish ended and it was time for another CD. And another world.

Ani was doing something at the stereo and then I heard her press play and the opening notes to Radiohead's Hail to the Thief began. I shot Lucy a sideways glance and she understood just from that one look that I did not want to hear this album..it immediately reminded me of the hardest mushroom trip I'd ever had, with Ani and Larry, during which I went completely crazy to that very same album. I took a deep breath and got ready to listen to it. When the second song started, it really scared me, and I laid down on the bed next to Lucy , putting my head next to her lap and hugging her legs. She was playing with my hair, putting me at ease, tickling me now and then, and when I just thought about the fact that I was holding her and she was holding me, everything would be okay.

I thought of Timothy Leary, and felt all my limbs, and how I was experiencing life down to its deepest level. I was no longer me at those moments, I was just the latest incarnation of this role that had been played for millennia - the male. The male being, amazed to be alive. And Lucy was playing the other role, the female, and it made me love that duality, that need for a complementary half to one's own soul, and in my mind I placed Lucy and myself in every role. Mother and son, nurse and patient, sister and brother, lovers, anything I could imagine. She was the all-woman and I was the all-man, she was the earth-mother and I was the first man to walk the brown soil and wonder at the grass, and she just stroked my hair and said "Explore."

But between those moments of ego-less bliss, Radiohead was freaking me the hell out. And then it happened - during track 3, Sail to the Moon, Ani started saying why she loved that particular song. And I listened to her, and then sat up and interrupted her and said "We've had this exact conversation before." And we had. That time I had a semi-bad-trip on mushrooms. And it bugged me out, so we stopped talking about it, but the album continued to scare me. Lucy would make me feel a lot better but I was getting nervous and nervous, and as Myxomatosis was playing, suddenly I got up and ran to the bathroom, dropped to my knees, and puked into the toilet.

I'd never thrown up tripping before, and frankly, it blew my damn mind. I looked at my chicken and vegetable soup sitting in the toilet, looking purple and disgusting, and leaned my head out to the door. "Lucy, could you come in here please?"

Lucy came and I was so grateful for her to be there, and I just wanted her to take care of me and make me feel better. She touched my head and smiled so sincerely that I felt like I was melting, and then she turned the sink on and started splashing water all over my face and my chest. She was literally just throwing water at me, and then smearing it across my forehead and my face, and it felt utterly beautiful. I felt like I was shedding skin, like she was washing away all these levels of myself down to this inner being, this inner child deep within that was coming out to the foreground. I felt baptized, ready to begin anew, and we went back out to her room.

I was still bugging out a little bit and we all decided it would be a good idea to go to the roof. Eileen and her whole big group of friends had all retired for the night and so we crept out onto the fire escape quietly and climbed up one flight of stairs to the roof and some of the most beautiful visuals that I have EVER experienced. The city was wild and from Lucy's roof you could see it stretching out forever in all directions. Buildings were rising and shrinking, stretching and shifting, and I walked arm and arm with Lucy across the roof to the ledge overlooking 9th st.

We hugged, and I opened my eyes looking over her shoulder, squeezing her tight, and I could see waves of energy rippling the entire city, rushing towards that one rooftop, that one spot where the two of us were standing embracing each other, like we were the center of all gravity. I cried a bunch. Ani Julia and Larry came over and we stood there watching the city in the early morning - at this point it was around 6 AM - and all the pigeons swarming over downtown. As the pigeons landed on the buildings they would turn the color of whatever paint they were nearest too and melt into the faces of the buildings as if they were a part of them. Then they would become themselves again and fly off. It was insanely beautiful.

Ani and Julia went downstairs and Larry Lucy and I stuck around on the roof for a bit, talking. Finally we rejoined Ani and Julia, and I was struck with a sense of need-to-get-out-of-here. I felt like I had spent so much of my soul in Lucy and Eileen's apartment that I couldn't bear to be there any longer. I had touched God there in that room and now I couldn't stay. We all got our shoes on and went down to street level and took a walk to Tompkins Square Park. We split up again, Larry Ani and Julia taking one route while Lucy and I walked arm-in-arm and talked. I cried a bunch more, and we sat down on a bench in the huge clearing near the southeast corner of the park, right in front of two humongous tangled arching trees, I wish I knew what kind they were. The rest of the crew joined us and Ani wandered around listening to her iPod while Larry, Julia, Lucy and myself sat there watching everything.

In the distance two men walked by, and one of them threw his arms up to the sky, saying "God! God!" and I thought, "I know exactly how you feel." All of us did. Finally we got up to walk on, but first, in girl-boy-girl-boy-girl order, we all hooked arms, and walked in the shape of an infinity sign around and between the two trees. When we were coming towards the intersection point that marked our making a full figure-8, we all braced ourselves and I swear you could feel that we were sealing some sort of grand and eternal deal.

We couldn't go back to Lucy's apartment - or at least, I couldn't - and so we just picked up our pot and our bags and headed to mine instead, which was just up the block. On the way I threw up water outside a deli, and felt pretty shaken up. We went to my apartment and smoked and Lucy made me some tea. I drank a couple of sips of it, crying (Good tears, Good tears) while Larry played Neil Young and Interpol and all sorts of good songs. I needed to lie down and I asked Lucy if she would lay with me and we went to my bedroom and got under the comforter, just laying there and thinking about everything that had happened, talking about all of it. I felt completely happy, but at the same time it seemed so hard at that moment to still be tripping, so I just clutched my glass heart in one hand and Lucy in the other and breathed deeply for a few hours.

We could hear the rest of them in the other room, listening to music and eventually watching I Heart Huckabees, but I only got up a couple of times to go to the bathroom. I had to stay in bed, I don't know why, but I just needed to rest everything, body and soul. Eventually Julia left. Then Lucy went home. I went to sleep, and woke up when Ani left and stayed up with Larry for a while, then left to rejoin Lucy and see how I could go about rejoining the real world. It turned out that Indian Food and a Led Zeppelin DVD were the answer.

I slept through my first post-spring break of classes, needing to recoup, and then finally felt like I was back in reality after a hearty Boca Chica dinner and a night of rock at the Mercury Lounge. Jay spun good tunes, The Big Sleep and The Mobius Band were great, and the Mobius Band had a nice big audience for their show. The Go! Team...well...whatever. It was a grand night. A grand weekend.

3.10.2005

we're not even halfway there

spring break. woooo.

After caving in to a night of marijuana and a shitty movie Monday night I battened down the hatches Tuesday and studied nice and hard for my double-midterm-frightfest on Wednesday. I skipped out on seeing Stars @ the Mercury Lounge, hunkered down with my Linguistics books and papers, reviewed some Hemingway and then got a good amount of sleep. The tests both went well, and now school is over for about 12 days of Spring Break. This is the first Spring Break (I feel like I've said this here before) that I'm not spending outside of the city but it should be fun. First some Bedford action at the Beach house, and then Larry's coming to visit, at which point paper will be eaten. Yum.

successful sister story


After hitting the halfway point in my semester (though I'll still have to take one more summer class before I graduate), I showered and then Lucy and I headed over to my sister Nika's gallery opening in Chelsea. This was Nika's first ever independently curated exhibit (correct me if I'm wrong on that one Nika) and it was done in tandem with International Print Center NY and the Museum of the City of New York. It was a blast! They had some decent white wine and the place was PACKED!

It was cooler than words can tell to be surrounded by one of your siblings' accomplishments, plastered all over the walls, all her hard work for months coming to a head and I was glad to be there to celebrate it. The entire family was out in full force, including my Dad and his fucking annoying easily-drunk-getting girlfriend, my Mom who was the star of the show, our great-aunt Mila, and at one point Miriam even called from Italy and it was like the circle was complete, and it made me with that she was right there with me, my mom and Lucy while we played dodge Daddy and scurried around the exhibit. A lot of Nika's friends and colleagues came out and everyone was really enjoying the opening. The single best print was called "Symphony Orchestra" and was a very cool psychedelic black and white print of an orchestra playing while a deer, an angel, a horse, and a goat-footed devil flew towards each other above them in a swirling cloud. Nika even got her hands on a Muhammad Ali print that he drew in 1970, and it was hilarious. If I can find a picture of it I'll link to it.

Big kudos to Nika not only for having such a successful opening but also for Getting Accepted to Princeton for Graduate School. WOW! Way to go Nika.

and then i was drunk and sick

After the opening Lucy and I headed downtown to El Nuevo Amancer for some damn good Hispanic food. Jay freaked the fuck out of me when he came up to the window scratching at it, looking like some hungry hoodlum with his fingerless gloves and knit cap. He needs a culkin. After the chow we made our way to Bowery Ballroom for the Hot Hot Heat show just in time to catch a set by Louis XIV who were really entertaining in a passing-fancy kind of way. They had one jam that was so 80's it hurt. Unfortunately, my headache grew, my coughing got worse, and I all around felt like shit by the time HHH was getting ready to take the stage, so I bowed out early and had a nice quick cab ride home.

lost and found

-Cat Shoots Man. Fuck the fact that the cat did it - who leaves a loaded gun with the safety off lying around his kitchen counter? Idiot.

-Iraq has been gripped by a new TV sensation - Terrorist Reality TV.

-I would not be at all surprised if this was true.

-The War on Drugs is a colossal failure.

-Anybody else notice that The Cube Is Missing?

3.08.2005

What Time Is Grey?

The title of this post comes from a Philip Glass song, and I find it's a very good question as I grumpily look out my office window at a sky that hasn't changed its grayscale hue one bit since I woke up this morning and most likely will not change except to go from grey to blackest black. Today wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't juxtaposed with yesterday's beautiful weather. Beautiful enough that it got me to skip class and take pictures of the city from Lucy and Eileen's rooftop.

studying for scaramanga

When I woke up Sunday I picked up some pancakes and eggs at Veselka and headed over to Lucy and Eileen's. Ei left to go to work and Lucy left soon afterwards to meet Johnny for their trip back to Bedford, and I set up camp in the girls' deserted apartment with the goal of studying for my Linguistics mid-term. Not much studying was accomplished - I was done in by the availability of the internet and no on else around me studying so as to set some sort of academic example. The only productive thing I did was to write the post before this one all about my salvia experience.

After wasting a good portion of the day I spent 20 bucks on sushi and tempura, bought some PBR, took a couple of resin hits and popped The Man With The Golden Gun into the DVD player, my second Bond outing in a matter of a week. What a fucking weird movie. I used to think that Roger Moore was my favorite Bond but he's kind of a jackass. The movie's saving grace (and probably the reason for the title) is its villain, Francisco Scaramanga, who is played oh so devilishly by the wonderful Christopher Lee, and attended to by a freaky little French midget named Nick Nack. Together they run a psychedelic pistol duel funhouse. Check it out sometime.

Yesterday I woke up and I felt like it was summer. I was warm when I got up but remembered that, knowing good weather was coming, I had turned the heater way down for the night. I checked, and it wasn't on, and I realized that I was warm because it was actually nice outside. I went to my first class, but after that since I was coming down with a bit of a cold and not really in the mood to learn anything at all, I skipped the remainder of the day to once again hang out at Lucy and Ei's. I took the camera and tripod up onto their roof and got some footage and some photographs, though most of it was washed out by the extreme amount of sunlight, which actually was making me sweat. It was t-shirt weather!

After a brief trip to the Tompkins Square Dog Run me and Lucy returned to her domicile for the purposes of studying. Feeling like shit from being sick, that didn't really last, and it wasn't long till we were eating Thai food and thinking of a movie to rent instead.

martin scorsese, you can be a real dick sometimes

Cape Fear: perhaps one of the most mismade movies ever. What I mean by that is here you have a remake of an old movie from the late 50's/early 60's, with a pretty great story to go on. But what the hell happened? This was not the movie I remembered and lumped into a category with The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and Fatal Attraction. No, this was some sort of weird damnation of the American prison system and ideas of male sexuality that was so convoluted that it confused itself. Not that the stories are anything alike, but if you compare Cape Fear with Shawshank Redemption, seeing as they both have the same ideas regarding prison as the backbones of their stories, you can't do anything but laugh at Cape Fear. Scorsese, what happened? You had Mean Streets, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and then you just started pissing it all away. Ugh. To quote Eileen, what a waste of 2 hours of my life.

better ways to spend your time than watching Cape Fear:

-The Village Voice has an awesome article dripping with cynicism about today's hip-hop scene, a social commentary under the guise of a review of The Game's new album. (Thanks Larry.)

-I can recommend a number of chemicals if you'd like to induce this phenomenon in yourself...but this lady's had it from birth.

-Invade MY campus. :(

-What the good god hell is wrong with New Jersey anyway?

-All the Calvin and Hobbes you could ever want.

-I saw this on ProductShopNYC.com and I am so confused...

3.06.2005

one day i was a pawn

It’s Sunday and I’m avoiding studying for mid-terms, so I thought I’d fire up the old’ blogger.com and write out a more detailed report of an experience I had a few months ago, something that’s been on my mind all morning while I walked around my apartment soaking in the sounds of Shpongle.

It was the evening of June 24th, 2004 and Lucy and I had made our way over to the Luna Lounge to catch some free music in the form of Sam Champion and These Bones. By all means it was a normal night, with normal beers and normal talks, though the fellow with the dachshund on his lap, seated on the couch in the barroom the whole night, was definitely a most welcome example of out-of-place-ness. There is nothing like a dachshund to make my day.

The regular cast and crew were out, I can remember seeing more than one familiar face – a couple RANA folk, Jay, Beach, Daylen, and of course Matt, who would bear witness to the insanity to come. After the show was over, a couple of beers having been downed, Lucy, Matt and myself made our way back to 9th Street and to my apartment where we were planning on taking a couple of hits before parting ways with Matt, who would go back to Brooklyn.

While we passed around the batty that I had picked up at one of the Saratoga Springs Phish shows just a couple nights earlier, the topic of conversation centered on the act at hand, as we bandied about stories regarding psychedelics of all sorts. Finally the conversation turned to Salvia Divinorum, some of which I had come into at the aforementioned Phish shows.

Salvia Divinorum is completely legal under US law, the bastards haven’t gotten to it yet, but in a way it’s more dangerous to someone’s mental stability than pot could ever be. I had never tried it, only read about it extensively, and Matt had tried it once before with only slightly fuzzy effects. Salvia, a member of the sage family of plants, is best smoked through a bong, with a deep intake of smoke that is held for something in the neighborhood of 30 seconds before being exhaled. Most people don’t have any sort of reaction to it (a break-through, it’s called) beyond fuzziness unless they try it many times, working up to a higher-powered strain of it, but some break through immediately.

Naturally, with my inhibitions lessened thanks to a couple of Brooklyn Lagers and Matt’s Brooklyn grass, I broke out both the salvia and the bong, which Matt and I resolved to each take part in. Lucy, more hesitant than us to quite possibly blow her own mind, decided to just watch. Looking back now it is painfully clear how wrong the set and setting were. I’d read enough about drugs and had the sensibility enough about them to know that if you’re going to do something, you should do it right. But I left the lights on, and I left Built to Spill playing, and eased the finely crushed black powder out of the long, thin plastic Ziploc bag that held it, filling the bowl to the brim. I had no clue what I could possibly expect.

It seemed so routine, so natural, like smoking marijuana, and I settled back into my chair with Major Tom (the bong) in hand and took a few deep breaths. Keep It Like A Secret kept on pouring from the speakers. I looked down into the glass barrel of the shotgun that was about to blow my reality to bits, torched the contents of the bowl and pulled a couple lungfuls of clear, white smoke down through the water and into my throat, cleared the chamber and held on to the vapors tightly, placing the bong back on the table. During the time the smoke stayed in my chest, nothing was happening at all, I was just concentrating on keeping it there as Matt filled the bowl up for himself since I had taken the entire dose to the dome. I remember, after what must have been between 20 and 25 seconds, leaning forward and expelling an obscene amount of salvia smoke into the air just as Matt was preparing to take his hit.

The moment the smoke left my mouth and my lips were parted, I started laughing harder than I had ever laughed before. It was senseless, meaningless, pure and utter laughter and I remember being struck by the absolutely uncontrollable nature of it. It occurred to me that no matter how physically or mentally strong I was, that the laughter had control of me and nothing was going to stop it until it was done doing whatever it wanted to do. Matt lit the bowl, and started taking his bong hit, while I leaned back in my seat.

Reality, from the top-left corner of my perception down to the bottom-right, was torn like some badly sewn silk curtain.

And in that moment, there was no memory of Danny, no memory of New York City, or earth, or any knowledge greater than the confines of my own body, which was now the body of a four or five year old child, sitting on a lush green couch in a living room somewhat reminiscent of the living room in the apartment I grew up in. The reality of it was absolutely pure. I could smell the smells, feel the couch, see just as clearly as I can see right at this moment, I heard the distinct murmur of a TV in the distance, and I could feel every inch of my body as being MY body. Beyond me, sitting at a table, were two adults who I could only see from behind as they were both simply sitting there and staring at a wall in the far distance.

I took in the deepest breath I could, and as I clearly, vividly felt my lungs expanding was stricken with a terrible panic the likes of which I have never experienced in all my life. Something was very wrong here – this was the wrong place, and I was the wrong person, and though 99 percent of me was there and then, that remaining infinitesimally small part of my soul that still remained knew that something had happened which was not supposed to. I remember thinking of the words “The Twilight Zone” and being convinced that those two adults would never believe me when I started screaming that I was somebody else, that they would hush me and make me be quiet and if they had to tie me down while I screamed forever that that this was wrong. All that thought, in the moment of a breath.

“No! This is wrong! This is all wrong!”

I started pushing back against the cushions of the couch, crawling against the fabric and the two adults rose and moved towards me with an eerie supernatural quickness. The entire world started shaking and melting away, breaking up into tiny particles the closer they got to me.

“Shhh,” they said, the one on the left putting her hands on my left shoulders, the other putting his hands on my right. Their faces were impossible to make out as the world behind them turned into a swirling mess and I could not escape the thought that this was death and that these creatures, be they angels or devils, were here to take me to my next stop, that the moment before death must be a return to childhood of some sort and now came the judgment. I tried to ask them if I was dying, but different words came out.

“Is this the moment of my decay?”

“No,” they said, shaking their heads and they pushed me down into the couch, which melted beneath me. I started sinking deep into it and it began closing around me, like they were pushing me down into some endless, hungry abyss.

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive.”

The phrasing of the answer from the male being somewhat comforted me, told me that I shouldn’t fear him or what was happening, but that was already essentially impossible. The couch closed above me, and what happened afterwards is almost harder to transcribe.

I fell, and was slipping through an endless array of lifetimes and lifelines and timelines. I was falling through an endless column of rows and rows of neon lights in colors that had never existed before, and every time I passed through one line of color it was as if I experienced eternity all over again. My mind began to associate each color as being a page of some great book, and it was as if every time I passed through a page I glimpsed some alternate life that I could have lived.

These lives are hard to remember and in fact the only one that comes through with crystal clarity was an instance where I fell into a light, and was suddenly some unknown item on the shelf of a department store, wrapped in packaging. A woman in a fifties-style poodle skirt was reaching out to pick me up and inspect me when I fell through that reality and passed on into another one.

This went on for longer than any of us will live, longer than any of us could possibly comprehend, and I resigned myself to the fact that it would never end and that this was death, and death was forever, when suddenly a voice was calling from afar. Some familiar voice was calling out to me from far below, from the place that I was falling to.

“You’re fine...you’re fine, everything’s okay. Everything Is Okay.”

Hearing that voice I knew that it was coming from my page, the right page, the page that I was really from, and it was at this point that I felt conscious of my body as being what was falling through the lifelines, as opposed to just my soul. I pivoted myself into a position that felt like I was swan diving straight down into reality and angled myself towards the voice.

When I fell out of the sky, and through the fifth floor of the building, straight down through the ceiling of my apartment and right back into my chair, I actually felt the impact. It was as if someone had dropped me out of space straight into my chair and though there was no pain associated with the fall, I felt as if I had just been thrown down hard into the chair. I could not move a single muscle except for my eyes, and that was when I looked down and realized that Matt was crouching in front of me and trying to calm me down and that it was Matt telling me that I was okay. At this point though, I still didn’t know who Matt was, or who I was, or where I was.

I heard a sound behind me as Lucy left the bathroom, where she had retreated after being freaked out from the “real” side of my experience. Matt told her to bring me water and she did. Nothing would sit still, and everything in the apartment was still slightly fluttering the way that pages down when you wave a paperback book by the spine. Matt was the only clear thing I could see, since he had called me back, and I looked suspiciously to my right at this blurry image of a person holding a glass, and I could not understand what was going on. Matt tried asking me questions, but all I could answer with was:

“Don’t ask questions...you don’t understand, you don’t understand . . .”

I was still convinced that I would never return to a state of normality. I took the glass of water, my fucked up barely-able-to-move mouth opening to drink it, and after saying I didn’t think I could drink it, I gulped the entire thing down at once. As soon as I had touched the glass it became quite real to me, and stopped moving, and soon that was extending to everything else.

And suddenly, just as the entire experience had started, some sort of razor tore diagonally across my reality and settled everything into its binary nature. The yins and yangs separated and balanced each other out. It is hard to explain beyond simply feeling that everything had settled into lefts and rights, ups and downs, and that when it was arranged that way reality was much easier to understand. I irritably asked them to shut the music off, suddenly realizing that I had heard it the entire time of my experience, in the far distance.

It took a minute or so for me to completely settle in and be able to move my arms and legs and again, and then the words started spilling out as I tried my hardest to recount the experience in the greatest possible detail, since I already felt it slipping away into incomprehension. Then I got their side of the story: I had leaned back after the laughing, and my eyes had rolled back into my head, at which point I gripped the armrests of my chair and started babbling a lot while rocking the chair violently back and forth, murmuring about how to get from A to B. The questions I had asked of the creatures they had heard – and answered, which made me realize that the entire experience essentially scrambled my brain and rearranged everything in my reality to form a new one, that the pushing into the couch was actually Lucy and Matt trying to soothe me. But of course, that wasn’t what it was for me, and that most certainly means something. When they told me that all of this had lasted only about one or two minutes, I wanted to weep.

I woke up the next day and I cried a little, then rolled around in bed soaking in the entire experience before going in to work. It was as if some indiscriminately tricky god had picked me up from my place on my chessboard and not merely moved me across the field but to another board entirely, to play an entirely new game for which I was not in the slightest prepared. I spent the day in a state of unease, riddled by the thought that at any moment everything could slip away and be shown to be a farce, that one day I could wake up and this all would be a daydream in some little boy’s head while he watched television with his parents. There is still more salvia in my drawer.

And it scares the living daylights out of me.

3.04.2005

static in the box


look ma, no hands

-In Roger Ebert's review of Be Cool, he not only convinces me where NOT to spend ten dollars, but also reminds me why he's my favorite movie critic. He's just so damn good about writing about why a movie does or doesn't work.

-NYU is warning its students not wear the trademark white headphones that come with iPods, claiming that they are thief-magnets for unsuspecting rich girls from the suburbs getting lost in the nitty gritty of New York. Not that they'll listen, since those sub-par headphones are more of an accessory than a utility . . .

-The issue of euthanasia is popping up everywhere these days...like Juvie death penatly, could this be coming to a head?

-I love the Mobius Band and it's good to see them get their just desserts in a spot-on Pitchfork review.

-Cool old RANA article I found through their website.

-Not only has our defense spending dug us into a hole of debt...the money isn't even being put to the uses we're told it is!

-Last night Matt (eg)G.(andcheese) blew my mind last nightwith this website that shows off some dude's homemade ultra-camera. This was made for some skyscraper-to-skyscraper peeping tom shit!

-According to the UN's Narcotics wing, the United States has the largest appetite of the entire world for illicit drugs, and recommends easing laws regarding recreational cannabis usage. Not that we ever listen to the UN...

-This guy's doing the program I'll be applying to eventually, JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program), and he keeps a hilarious blog detailing his misadventures with crotch-grabbing Japanese boys who think he must have a huge dick because that's what MTV tells them about black people.

repeat? smoke!

So, the last time we were together it was 11:30 AM and I was sitting in linguistics writing that last blog entry. Since then so little has happened that it almost doesn't merit mentioning its littleness, but then again, last night was a hardy helping of fun, and the night before, well, this is just getting off on the wrong foot.

Occasionally you'll read something I write about The Impending Future (capitalized here because it is also the name of an excellent mix Larry made for me which I am listening to right now). The Impending Future is my nearby graduation. I will be graduating on May 12th, though I'll have to take one last course in the first of the two summer sessions, and will officially be done with college at the end of June. I will be a 22-year old pot-smoking college graduate, and that is an eerie thought indeed. I've been getting sicker and sicker of school, but I think something happened - I hit rock-bottom when it came to hating school last semester when I took a midterm in which the essay counted for 60 percent of the grade. For my essay, I wrote a one-page treatise on why I felt I was unprepared to write said essay, and detailing my lack of enthusiasm for the class, accepting full responsibility for the results. I am such a dickhead.

Since then, I'm sensing a growth in separation anxiety as I near the end of my tenure as a college student. I'm lucky in that this semester, of my 3 classes, I really enjoy 2 and am only halfway annoyed by the third. I'm really enjoying learning and even more than that I'm realizing more and more that I'm going to miss being in a room with a bunch of English majors talking about nothing but one paragraph for an hour and fifteen minutes. I feel like the only place I'll have to do that after college is if I join some dorky reading group that meets for drinks, but I don't make friends, so I will never do that.

Wednesday night was a fun school night. It made me love being a student. Rather than go see M. Ward at the Knitting Factory, I grabbed coffee and some poppyseed cake from Veselka and headed over to the Palladium dorm's "Multi-Purpose Room" where my Contemporary British Culture professor, Patrick Deer, was having a screening of Dr. No, one of the novels we're reading this semester. We all filed in around 7:30 and the teaching assistants were late with snacks and drinks so Prof. Deer turned down the lights, turned up the volume, and that familiar Bond theme hit the screen, the silhouetted secret agent stepping out before the barrel of a gun and taking it down, head-on. I was giddy with excitement, it had been a long time since I'd seen a good Bond movie. Not to be down on Pierce Brosnan, cause Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies are smashing, but the last two were simply crap.

Dr. No was the first Bond novel ever adapted to the big screen, and Sean Connery was plucked from obscurity to play the role. He was a dock-worker when he was discovered and had to take classes in manners and, well, class, in order to play the suave secret agent. What was more fun than watching the film was the discussion afterwards. We turned the lights back up, everyone settled in with snacks and soda, and we had an extended discussion between the students, Prof. Deer, and Professor Cyrus Patell, another cool guy in the English department. Everything about the situation was just great. I found myself thinking - What else would I want to do on a Wednesday evening than watch a movie and then discuss it, analyze it, talk it down to death? The fire alarm went off, Palladium was evacuated, and I went back to Lucy and Ei's for some TV and then headed home to bed.

Thursday after work I had one hell of a bad excuse for a midterm review in my linguistics recitation, another debate about the infinity within the mind, picked up my paycheck and cruised over to 2A to enjoy the fruits of Happy Hour with Lucy. Matt called up and joined us mid-way through our first round, and after the nectars were drained from our glasses me and Matt headed to Sapporo East to grab some sushi-to-go while Lucy diverged in search of sandwich goodness. We picked up some rolls and six pints of PBR and headed to Lucy's where Ani had already arrived, and we all got nice and ready to watch the OC. Unfortunately (and this is where static in the box comes in, clever clever) the OC was on TWICE last night, back-to-back repeats. We all half-heartedly watched the first of the two episodes, back from the land of first season when I never watched the show, and I didn't really care at all. And I hate Paris Hilton. Most of the time we amused ourselves with conversation and once the show was over Lucy headed to Bowery to catch the Jayhawks show with Johnny, leaving me, Matt and Ani to our own devices.

Which led to me opening a drawer, packing a bowl, and we all took a couple of hits. Seeing as how I was already drunk when we did this, I was pretty far-gone once it all completely soaked in. We rocked out to the new Spin while talking about god-knows-what and playing an entertaining round of All Look Same. (Ani got 8, Matt got 6.) I was zonked out of my mind on the liquorweed combination when Matt showed me the link int he above section to the dude's crazy camera, and it was almost a bit too much to comprehend. I was grinning like a goddamn idiot. Ani and Matt escorted each other to the F train, and I went home, read some Dr. No, and passed on out.

3.02.2005

i woke up and it's yesterday

i am a scavenger

Blast! Foiled again! I was due to leave work yesterday at 4 P.M. but pre-sale tickets for NIN at the Hammerstein Ballroom in May were going on sale through musictoday.com, my newest nemesis. I shut down all my other applications so my computer would focus all its power on the imprtant task at hand. Much to my chagrin, starting at 4 P.M., I spent 25 minutes hitting refresh and screaming at my computer as musictoday.com was slowed to a crawl by hordes of fishnetted goths hoping to grab Trent Reznor's nuts from their spot crushed against the front gate of the pit. I came as close as "We're sorry, the configuration of tickets you have requested is not available, however this does not mean that tickets are sold out." Well, that had me pretty fed up.

I threw the mix I made for Larry into my headphones and headed uptown via the 2/3 to the fortress of wealth that is the Upper West Side. Usually I manage to catch the train earlier than this on Tuesdays but now I found myself packt like all too many sardines with the suits and ties, the short hair and the tired eyes. Balancing myself with just one in dex finger on a handrail, I went on reading Lucky Jim, chuckling beneath my breath and glad to find some British humor that didn't lose my interest too quickly. I caught the 1/9 and exited at 86th st., taking the routine weekly walk half a block past Greenberg's to the benches overlooking the Hudson. I breathed in the waves and then turned back and headed upstairs to Greenberg's study.

Yesterday I couldn't stop thinking that he looked like Fu Manchu, his facial hair having grown out a bit, and we talked about writing, marijuana, and love. That is the pyramid that forms our conversations lately, with movies floating inbetween all three. We had a good session, with a couple of those important moments that see me passionately and clearly stating my innate desire, and we talked about that primal urge to make things, to leave one's stamp upon the earth, no matter how small. Remember that awesome moment in 2001: A Space Odyssey when the ape picks up the bone and realizes, sans dialogue, that it's more than just a bone? That he can push the limit of his self out beyond the confines of his meager body and submit the material world around him to his will? Wow. Although, his first instinct is to beat the shit out of rival apes, but we don't all have to follow his example.

I headed back downtown where Lucy and I were to reconnoitre in order to fetch Gracefully sandwiches, but not before a brief stop at my neighbor's apartment. We hadn't talked in a while and he, Jason, told me about how he had just been laid off. We caught up and then, as if I didn't already have drugs on my mind enough, he told me that he had something I might like to see. Reaching into his little cubby of vicodin and pot, he pulled out a small baggy containing three small pink crystals. He asked me if I knew what it was, and I didn't quite know, at which point he told me it was DMT. DMT is a powerful psychedelic that actually already exists in every human being's brain! Our brain just doesn't use it the way it gets used if you synthesize it. Smoked, it induces a 30-minute trip that is apparently thousands of times more intense than LSD, and users often have similar experiences of encountering beings from other dimensions who guide them on journeys through fantastic landscapes. Jason asked me if I wanted to try it, and he'd videotape it. I told him to get back to me in a couple of months, grabbed Major Tom, and headed out to meet Lucy.

We got the sandwiches and after swallowing down my cheddar/pepperjack/tomato/cucumber/pesto hero I braced myself and packed Major Tom's eager-seeming bowl and took a solid binger right to the dome. And another. And another, passing it in a circle betwen me and Eileen and Lucy. Everything went bonzo.

stonerhawk

We scurried to the 2nd Ave. station in a timeless continuum, and I was walking three steps back behind my body, trying to keep up with everything around me. Luckily, the train was waiting when we got there; god knows what madness could have ensued in those dirty depths. Lucy and Ei sat side by side and I took my seat perpendicular to them, unsure whether I should look straight or left or close my eyes. The two of them were talking about Lucy's fresh haircut and I turned to watch them watch each other, watching as the textures of their skin shifted underneath the subway car's fluorescent lights, reacting also to the bars of light behind the windows as we went careening through subterranea in a quiet scream of metal grinding metal. They were telling me about the woman cutting hair; I thought, "My god, I'm tripping on cannabis," and nodded, trying dearly hard to turn the sounds from their mouths into facts and shapes within my mind. The space between stations stretched as long as all hell, shortening as we got closer to Rockefeller Center where we stepped out to a midtown never so magical to my eyes.

I felt like such a tourist, and a stoner, a stonerist, walking out on to 6th Ave with my neck craned back and my bloodshot eyes unable to do anything but take in the awesome scope of all these structures stretching up to scrape the sky, surrounded on all sides by the Moloch Megalopolis. Making our way down the block to the neon Radio City lights I found myself in love with NYC, that certain kind of love it's easy to forget in the middle of a surly snowy winter month.

Entering via the side door, Radio City looked nothing short of classy. We settled into our orchestra seats, the mezzanine overhanging us. It took me a minute to soak in the fact that there was a band on stage playing music. Blonde Redhead firmly reinstated and multiplied my sentiment that I was having more than your everyday cannabinoid experience Their music was so interesting - operatic, dark and synthy, very Sigur Ros-y, and I felt completely bathed in sound and light, sinking deep into my comfy chair as it was shaken at its very base by the deep percussive synth bass that pervaded all of their songs. To try and make out the physical features of the band members seemed a ludicrous feat to attempt, but the silhouette of her dress along with the rich tones of her voice (not to mention all the male hoots and hollers coming from near the stage) had me convinced that the keyboardist/singer was gorgeous.

Sitting between Lucy and Ei, serenaded from the stage, I slowly looked around feeling strangely locked within my senses yet aware that they were my only connection to the outer world. I let my eyes roam the innards of Radio City's architecture and felt as if I was seated deep inside some great and visionary bloodshot eye. The bands and performances that passed upon the stage over the years were like glimpses of some outer reality while the audience served as the collective mind behind the eye. With the building vibrating and the walls and ceiling stretched before me like this great ocular node, I now felt doubly locked within a world within a world. The lights came up and I was just too stunned to move. Lucy went to the bathroom for what felt like half an hour and then finally Interpol took the stage.

They kicked things off with Next Exit, the church-like keyboard filling every acoustic inch of the room, and Paul Banks' voice, the drums, guitars and bass fell in line soon afterwards in perfect time. They sounded beautiful. Strangely, the crowd stayed seated and though I wanted to stand I didn't want to be the lone wolf. Besides, I was comfortable and heavy as a rock. They moved on through the beginning of the set and eventually every body rose to their feet. The set was oddly paced and most of the first half, aside from Slow Hands, was comprised largely of the mellower side of their repertoire, and mostly of songs off of Antics. At a perfect opportunity to kick it into high gear they played Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down which was great but seemed a bit misplaced in the order.

The order of the rest of the songs is a bit hazy but the highlights remain crystal clear. They delivered a sick performance of Evil which Mr. Banks ended by saying, "Thank you, that was Evil," which I thought must be fun to get to say on stage. But it was then the touring keyboardist started playing this psychedelic, spacey wind-like noise that I knew I was about t witness the most rocking moment of the show. The sound, like some tempest from a digital underworld, made me feel like I was swaying though I was sure that I was still. Then Not Even Jail kick started with a huge bang of strobe light and music. The wall behind the band, which looked like crumpled parchment, had a huge grid of lights on it including none-too-painful strobe lights and they served the song just fine as it got me dancing between the seats again.

Interpol had 6 discoballs on stage and it seemed that they would never use them but finally the crowning moment of the evening came during a stellar performance of NYC. When, "It's up to me now, turn on the bright lights," was sung the mirror balls were shone upon and they flung little flecks of starry light across the hall as if the high-frequency picking of the guitars was the source of it all. They encored with some jams off of their first record, including a seriously bitching Roland. I love Interpol. All in all it was a great show but not the greatest I've seen from them. There were a bunch of points when Paul Banks really reminded of Lou Reed, and that had never occurred to me before somehow. Still though my favorite part of Interpol at all has to be Carlos D's bass, which can be described no more aptly then "cool." They also played an unrecorded (as yet?) track, Put Your Little Hand In Mine, which was really really good.

After that Ei treated me to a chocolate peanut butter milkshake at Johnny Rocket's. After some more bingers, and some Iron Chef and puppies on TV, it was time for bed. Today I woke up happy with my night but realized I don't care too much to smoke on weekdays for a long while. I got up good and groggy, got into the shower awful slowly, and headed to class antsy to write all this down, which was the greatest feeling of the entire experience.

3.01.2005

rib it to me, baby.



oh yeah, first of all:

The Oscars are a shitty telecast, but congratulations to Million Dollar Baby for taking all the awards it deserved. Kudos kudos kudos!

le friday


THOSE FUCKING KEYBOARD BUTTONS DID IT TO ME AGAIN! ARGH!!!
Anyway, Friday was a blah, Lucy and I just took a quick hop over to Sapporo East for a delicious-as-usual dinner consisting of loads of sushi and Yasai Udon. I took a momentary break from dinner to hop outside and say hello to David Briggs and pay him back a years-old favor of monstrously psychedelic proportions. Happy travels, sir. After that Lucy and I hit the video store (or maybe we did that first, meh, who cares) in search a movie and settled on Kalifornia, one of Brad Pitt's earliest forays into the role of a more than slightly crazy character. I just love the word foray, don't I? We didn't end up watching it that night, and in fact haven't watched it yet. We ended up catching the first half of Look Who's Talking, Too on TV which was pretty entertaining, though I'm a much bigger fan of Amy Heckerling's other two slambang successes: Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless, both destined to go down in history as classics of their times.

i had my baby back baby back baby back...ribs

Saturday was a day of highs, lows, highers, and mountaintops, so all in all that's not too bad now is it? While I would learn on Sunday that the biggest mistake I made on Saturday was not drinking enough water, the only real low on Saturday was overdrawing my account for 40 dollars and incurring a 30 dollar fucking penalty from my bank. Damn you, HSBC (when I'm pissed at them, I pronounce it hizbuck).

I started the day off startlingly early for someone of my immense level of lazy. I got up around 8 AM, showered, groomed, and headed off to Central Park armed with a bagel, coffee, my camera and my tripod. A fresh tape was in the videocamera and I was ready to record a good deal of the Gates for Larry, who's bummed that he's rooted in Pittsburgh right now and couldn't get up for the two-week stretch of orange art for everybody in the park. I know a lot of people who were pretty down on the whole thing, but I love it, and I especially loved the Gates while they were juxtaposed against the snow. Some snag in the charging process left my camera with only 32 minutes of battery power, which meant I'd only be able to tape about 30 minutes of the Gates, so I made the most of it, walking around while listening to a mix I'd just finished for Larry, another I'd finished for Ani, and another I'd made for myself recently. It felt great to be behind a lens once more and I fell in love with my camera all over again. I caught some great stuff on camera, including one thing that I captured right before my camera's battery died that I won't write up here so it'll be a surprise for Larry when he gets the tape in the mail.

After that adventure I scored some 5 dollar Walkmen/Features/Ben Kweller tickets at the not-too-punctual Irving Plaza box office and then met up with Lucy, Beach, Mandel, Noah, Builder and Shannon outside the 9th st. Path Station for our trip into dreaded Jersey. The PATH train let us out about 4 or 5 large blocks away from the brand new Chili's location where we met up with Jay, Cara, and some of her hoodlum friends, and feasted like fucking kings. Overdrawn account or not, nothing was going to stop me from having barbecue-basted baby back ribs, and I cleaned them all down to the bone while feasting on boneless wings, awesome blossom, and endless bowls of chips and salsa. The 3G's margarita went down nice and smooth and we all pigged out to the extreme. Our waitress gave us great service and next time we head there (which should be soon, considering it's an easy 20 minute, 3-dollar trip to get there!) I think we'll be glad for another chance to send the tip her way and give her another lesson in rowdy Chili's service. Since we took the PATH to go to Chili's...does that make us Bridge-and-Tunnel for Jersey? Weird.

As if the day couldn't get any more supreme, we coasted into the evening with gin-and-tonics, an America's Next Top Model marathon on VH1, and some light soup to drown the rumbly Chili's party happening in my stomach. After many proclamations of being drunk on my part, we headed to the Mercury Lounge to see Peelander-Z, possibly on of THE GREATEST BANDS EVER TO WALK THE EARTH.

DSC00183

After two or three beers I was wasted, which went hand in hand with Peelander's crazy Japanese punk spectacle from beyond the grave. Their costumed, nose-picking, thrashing antics were exactly what I could ever want out of a show and I had a huge grin on my face the entire duration of the show. Highlights were human bowling and getting to hear someone yell "Howa you like-a your good-uh steak?!" MEDIUM-RARE! Those guys have got it GOING ON! After the show I got home, sat down, and realized the room was kind of spinning.

and on Sunday, he puked

That's really all there is to say about Sunday, really. I puked. I puked a lot, so much that I missed the Luna matinee show which was a damn shame, and spent the rest of the night doing nothing but feeling slightly better, eating Thai food, and doing homework.

and the villagers rejoiced

But then there was Luna, which made it all better. A good deal of Monday was spent in pain and discomfort, though, because I puked with full freaking force on Sunday and my digestive system felt torn apart. I could barely eat, which didn't help things at all, and struggled to get through the day by getting lost in Lucky Jim, the book I'm currently reading for my Contemporary British Culture class. It made me laugh out loud a whole lot, raised my spirits, and then while the "blizzard" (more on that bullshit to come) slowly fell Lucy and I made our way over to Bowery Ballroom in the evening to catch the end of Tarantula's scary psychedelic Battles-esque set and Luna's last show ever. It was a sad show and like Lucy said at its close, it was really weird seeing a band's final show. It's hard to comprehend what that quite means, cause they're there, and everybody cheers, and then it's over. Highlights for me were definitely Moon Palace and 23 Minutes in Brussels, the latter of which was quite extended, and they rocked out a whole a lot. It was especially sad because you could feel this palpable connection between them at certain points during certain songs, these musical peaks where they were all completely on the exact same plane of space and time and something beyond, in a perfect groove together, and it was those moments that made you think "Well, damn...it's just...a damn shame." Beach, Daylen, Lucy, Mandel, Mia, Gigs, Sarah and myself all commiserated in the back along with Frank Bango who seemed to be really happy to be working that night of all nights and getting a chance to catch Luna's swan song. I still couldn't drink after Sunday's hangover hell, but it was a great show to be sober, mellow and melodic and thoroughly enjoyable. A beautiful walk home through the snow, and it was time to go to sleep.

stonerhawk

So here we are, it's March 1st and the Interpol show at Radio City Music Hall is tonight and it's the end of my 22-day Superbowl-to-Interpol break from smoking grass. Got a gram from Sam in the afternoon on Monday and I have to say, I'm not as excited as I was a couple of days ago. In fact, I'm halfway-hesitant, 50/50 split between wanting to smoke and not wanting to. The break has gone so well that I don't know if it's worth ending it at this point. Even if I do smoke tonight, I know I won't be smoking a lot in the month to come, that's part of the whole break itself, but I almost want to stay clean until Larry gets here the weekend of March 20th and then just go buckwild with him and laugh my ass off till dawn. I won't know till tonight whether I'm going to smoke or not, and you won't know till tomorrow, but either way Interpol is going to sound heavenly with Radio City's awesome acoustics and I'm glad for a chance to go back there after the awesome show Wilco put on there.

bits and bytes

-I think I'd rather lick a toad or even maybe surf the subway than do this.

-A step towards some semblance of moral sanity?!

-Good to see a good man cleaning up a bad mess.

-Buy your NIN Tickets today!!! Hammerstein Ballroom, May 15th and 16th!

-Hmm..maybe another reason not to smoke?

-According to Ambitious-Outsiders, former Spice Girl Mel C is collaborating with Franz Ferdinand, and hell has just frozen over.

-Snow storm my ass. This is worse than the other time when Bloomberg warned us all to brace ourselves for some sort of deadly fluffy snow assault. An ocean of slush on the city streets does not constitute a blizzard. Cars and buses are running, I had to go to work, and schools are in session. All meteorologists should be flogged for being sensationalist pansies. Except Sam Champion, he's cool. We saw a HILARIOUS commercial for him during the Oscars, it was great.