Wednesday, December 22, 2010

booze pilgrims

I desperately needed a roadtrip, and Caleb had read about Root, an organic, root-based, pre-prohibition-era-recipe liquor that purportedly like root beer, while simultaneously being 80 proof.

Oh my god, check out that website. They know exactly how to market to me. That font? Those precious hand drawn roots and handwritten ingredients lists? They are inside my mind in all the right ways, and I respect that.

Only problem is, because of its indie awesomeness, you can still only buy the stuff in Pennsylvania and this one random liquor store in Burlington, Vermont. (No, you can't have it shipped to Mass. Illegal. We checked.)


Of course, like a precious metal, its scarcity made us desire it even more, so we took a day and drove ourselves up to Burlington (4 hours each way -- have I mentioned how insanely busy we both are?), where I'd never been, and relieved The Burlington Bay Market and Cafe of their entire supply.

They never knew what hit em.

Success! Even the label gets me. Check out that font. And all-caps? Way to go against the ewwiness of the currently ubiquitous all-lowercase helvetica fad. <3<3<3

Burlington turned out to be lovely, and catered to my demographic with flying colors.

We ate some delish local by-the-pound veg food at the cutest cafe evar (wish I remembered the name, but awwww look at the picture).

And I bought some new old clothes to replace my old old clothes at a rockin attic vintage shop from a cute boy who told me how fur was coming back. Good thing I still have all my grandma's old fur hats and stoles.

These are men's Levi's from the eighties. Caleb took this picture for LATFH. I am what I am. I don't try.

Also, Lake Champlain.


Also, it was freezing.

But we got our Root.












Monday, December 13, 2010

where I am

listening to christmas music (the stone cathedral kind) on a pandora station while staring at a computer screen and composing html. no sleep for four days and I left my warmest sweater at the Slutcracker cast party on Friday. haven't had a day off in, like, god, a month? pain in my side and strange bruises. hypochondria gnawing at its ropes.

I need a christmas party, a fireplace, some hot cocoa, a road trip, a big pile of friends and/or family to sleep in, a statue of Buddha, an unexpected phone call, a hot tub, a quiet walk down a brick street, a kiss on the mouth with tongue, some good news, snow falling in streetlights, a kept promise.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Commonwealth of Entrepreneuria

I am uprooted, but in a good way. Last week was an amazing lovefest, starting with two incredible features in Portland Maine, an offer to teach a workshop in December at 826 Boston, a surprise mention of one of my hip-hop projects in a national magazine, and a disgustingly love-dripping Boston Poet Thanksgiving.

However, this was underscored by a general sense of loneliness and unease in my living situation. For financial reasons, I'd been sharing a large apartment with three other women, all of whom were perfectly nice, but who lived drastically different lifestyles than me.

I found myself coming home after a success and having no one to tell. A house full of people who didn't "get me" was really starting to depress me. It was bringing up some bad stuff from childhood. I was the weird girl again. The outcast, even though in most aspects of my life I was being met with love and acceptance.

But as my friend Jess always says, the Universe always opens a window. Turned out one of my good friends, who I can't name here because he's the founder and director of a biotechnology company and therefore (unlike my cah-rayzee artist ass) has to be careful what gets written about him on the ole internets, had a spare bedroom that already had a freaking bed in it, and had been toying with taking on a roommate for a while. I'm partially moved in now, and we're taking it in phases to make sure it's a good fit, but I already feel more comfortable and better about life.

An inventor/mad scientist/business executive and a poet/songwriter/performance artist living together as roommates? Is this a 70s sitcom? No, it's just Somerville.

Being around people you like, relate to, and can talk to is absolutely integral for any sort of anything called happiness. It's really so easy.



Picture from Thanksgiving! Sean Conlon and I playing "Ninja" into the wee hours of Black Friday:


Thankful.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shout-out in Heeb Magazine

Check it out: http://www.heebmagazine.com/chosen-video-drunk-in-public/

The Drunk in Public video was written about in Heeb Magazine. That's pretty freaking sweet. I love that mag.

"Jewish or not, swarthy rap troupe, The Delusions, sample from ye old yiddishkeit music pages, and are pretty f****ing funny..."

"Drake aside, Jewish rap is an unfortunately under-appreciated sub-genre, but The Delusions have definitely arrived, at a place where humor meets sincerity, and skill meets buffoonery. Indie-rap still has new places to go."

Not too shabby. Shabbat Shalom.

Also, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'm going to spend the day getting bloated with all my favorite poets and seriously thanking some very generous stars.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New music video!

Madame Psychosis's hip-hop collective (group), The Delusions, has released their first single: Drunk in Public (my mother continues to be proud of me).

Here's the video:



Cheers and thank you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Suicide, too, is a Cultural Construct

I've been really moved by the It Gets Better project lately. I think partially that's because I grew up feeling like something was inherently different about me, and was on the business end of more than my share of bullying, ridicule, and general nastiness. I went through long stretches without any friends, and was absolutely certain that I was completely unlovable.

For a kid or a teenager, this fucking sucks and beyond. You don't have the life experience to know that things CAN get better, because all you've ever know as a human being is feeling like a freak. What I'm trying to say is, I get why young people attempt and commit suicide, and the seemingly simple (to us old people) message, "it gets better," is an extremely powerful and novel one to a middle-schooler.

I was performing the other week and one of the other writers (someone I like and respect) mentioned the It Gets Better project, and followed it with, "I don't care how much bullying you put up with, anyone who takes their own life is a fucking coward." A few Facebook responses to this article, which I posted a few weeks ago (or a month or two, keeping track of linear time is sooo 20th century) seemed to echo the same sentiment. I didn't post any sort of comment along with the video either condoning or condemning the man's choice, just the link itself. Still, a few people seemed to become lip-quiveringly enraged over the very idea that someone would elect to take his own life. A few of the them did mention they had had friends or family members who had killed themselves, so of course that would make the concept of suicide way more personally charged. It's hard to divorce that type of emotion enough to discuss the issue in the abstract. I get that part.

What I don't really get is that the standard cultural American attitude regarding suicide is that it is inherently a selfish and/or cowardly act. I guess I could see situations where you could apply one of these adjectives, but definitely not always, or even most of the time. Of course, Americans seem to be more eager than most to decide something is "inherently," "always," or "absolutely" one way or another.

It's not just the dismissive blanket labeling of an extremely personal and profound act. It's the assumption of the people casting judgment that they understand a suicide's situation and inner landscape well enough to label their motivations. I don't think anyone comes to the decision of suicide lightly, no matter how old they are, no matter if they're a coward or not, or if they're selfish or not. It's not like, "Oh gee, I wonder if I should go to school today and maybe have Biff throw my books on the ground and give me a swirlee. Naw, I'll just shut the windows and turn on the oven and die." Suicide is literally a last resort for people in so much pain they can see no other way out of it.

Maybe you are lucky enough to have gone through a similar period of pain and have come out on the other end, and so you now have the perspective to see that yes, it does get better. Well, I'm willing to bet that you had family or friends who helped you through your darkest times. Or even if you didn't, not everyone's situation and timeline is the same. Some people get stuck in the darkness. That doesn't mean they are automatically weaker, smaller, or stupider than you.

I remember nights when I was younger when everything, everything was dark, cold, and screaming. The very fact of my existence, and of existence in general, was horrifying, and I don't mean because some kid pushed me in a locker or a boyfriend broke up with me. Breathing, moving, talking, walking around, the sky above my ceiling, the motion of the planets, was literally hopeless. One of the main reasons I didn't kill myself was because death terrified me even more than life.

Come on. Killing yourself is cowardly? Death is fucking consternating for most people. If you are in a situation in which you believe there is no hope (and I said "you believe" not "there is objectively and definitely"), then within that reality, taking your own life is braver than almost anything I can think of.

Does this come from something Protestant? I tend to blame everything I don't like about America on the Protestants, so maybe that's an unfair assumption. But something about this vitriol screams "USA! USA! USA!"

In other cultures (famously, of course, Japan) suicide has traditionally been regarded as one of the most noble and selfless acts a person can commit. It is, after all, the auto-destruction of the self as we know it. Maybe that's what freaks the hyper-egocentric Americans out so much.

Also, there's this idea in this country that the length of any given life is the most important part of that life. That anything at all that "cuts life short" is the greatest evil in the world. I had a professor in college who made the observation that Americans seem to be the only people in history who believe that if you do everything right, it's possible not to die.

I am in no way saying that suicides by bullied teens are noble. I'm just saying suicide is not necessarily cowardly OR selfish. Oftentimes suicides believe that their lives are a hindrance or curse on people they love. It may seem like warped logic to those of us on the outside of it, but to them in that time, the selfish thing would be to go on living.

Plus, who hasn't entertained the idea at one time or another? When people lash out against big-S Suicide in the abstract and start making generalizations about everyone who's ever done it, I often detect a hint of desperate fear in their speech. Anyone, after all, always has the choice to end his or her own life. For the determined, it would be relatively easy.

Holy fuck, that's terrifying, isn't it? We all know the Sword of Damocles is up there, lingering, but a simple hop on our parts would lance our cerebral cortexes with the same trueness as a snip to the blade's suspending string. Maybe that's why they're always trying to get us to keep our feet planted firmly on the ground.

Friday, November 5, 2010

#9


looks just like me


I haven't posted here in a while. Partially, it's because I've been so crazy busy with shows and projects and planning. These are all good things, don't get me wrong. I'm performing lots of places as myself and as Madame Psychosis, and it's super fun and exciting and I'm madly grateful, but it does leave little energy at the end of the day for detailed accounts or ponderings on the day to day. The closest I've been able to manage are regular Facebook updates.

Also, other than performing and spending time with close friends, I've really been in Hermit mode lately. Even though I've been super social for the last few years, this guy has always been my card. I'm a writer and an artist before anything. There is a sort of contemplative loneliness that is integral to these "professions." I do love to perform, but the performer is alone, just in a different, more public way.

So what am I doing, day to day? Writing, working, mentoring, doing yoga, making art, playing music, cooking, eating, making kombucha, figuring out how I want my life to look. My future is very uncertain in many ways right now, but while that used to terrify me, now it seems exciting to me. The world is so big and there are so many possibilities. I am fortunate to be where I am, doing what I am doing, and I may even have some control over where things go in the next couple of years.


Previews of things to come:

  • The Delusions are finishing up their first single and EP. Video to drop this month.
  • I'm finishing up the recording of my first folk-type album this month with the help of the Amazing Lee "Wizard" Wizda and a bunch of incredibly talented musicians.
  • Caleb and I own the domain, www.thepornomag.com. Be afraid.

Also, I'm performing all over in the next couple of months. Here's some places to say hi.


Sunday, 11-07-10: Madame Psychosis @ BIg Night Out, The Phoenix Landing, Cambridge MA
Wednesday, 11-10-10: 11:3PM, foik music @ Plough and Stars, Cambridge, MA
Tuesday, 11-16-10: featuring (poetry) @ Port Veritas, Portland ME
Wednesday, 11-17-10: featuring (poetry) @ Mama Crowbar, Portland ME
Thursday, 12-30-10: folk music @ Plough and Stars, Cambridge, MA

Sunday, October 10, 2010

faces

I've been hanging out a lot at Caleb's studio, which means spontaneous pictures sometimes happen. I used to hate getting my picture taken, but I like my face more right now than I've ever liked it. I'm nearing the age I always thought of as sort of the most beautiful age for women, whether I consciously knew it or not. The baby fat is finally gone, and there's that thing called "character," or something.

Last Wednesday Tara (check out her new website) and I went apple picking in the morning and spent the whole rainy afternoon baking pies and listening to Bon Iver. Ended that night with Dan Blakeslee's CD release party at Club Passim. This weekend was a co-feature with Jamie and Sam Cha's surprise birthday party. Life's so good I could burst.

Gearing up for a bunch of performances later this month, booking more, writing, playing music, and recording. I'm getting a new tattoo in a couple of weeks. I'll be sure to post pictures when it happens.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

beginnings

The last several weeks have been intense, but positive. Had the Analysis Paralysis (now on iTunes -- yay!), played the Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge Main Event the next night. I made it to the second round, which was my personal goal. Half the performers didn't even make it that far. Not bad for coming out of nowhere.

On a personal note, my relationship ended on the same weekend. I've had some readjusting to do, but I'm feeling very positive about the future. It helps that I'm doing tons of yoga at Samara. I feel very connected, and am seeing very clearly.

They played "Zombie Apocalypse!" on WFNX last Sunday. And the Zombie Apocalypse! music video will be screened at J. Cannibal's Feast of Flesh at the Somerville Theatre this Saturday. So much to do!




Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the Zombie Apocalypse music video is here!

Finally! Madame Psychosis's (and my) first real music video. Boston Band Crush calls the video "awesomely awesome" and the single "contagiously catchy."



Help spread the word by reposting, emailing, commenting, twittering, liking, talking to people, and whatever else you do on the digital and/or analog internets.

Monday, September 13, 2010

birthday post



birthday photo by caleb


Last Thursday was my birthday. It's been my tradition to do a sum-up/gazing-nobly-forward bog entry on or around my birthday for the past five years or so. No time to stop now.

This past year has honestly been the best year of my life so far. My first book was officially published, I went on two independent tours of the country performing, met incredible people, reconnected with the hippy parts of me, began writing songs to unbelievable support and response, and became so much less fraught and worried in general about where my life is going.

I have an insanely talented, giving network of friends who I am absolutely in love with. I have an incredible family who are weird and quirky and so, so smart and interesting and all of whom love me and support me. Right now I am healthy, have shelter and good food and a high daily laughter quotient. In so many ways I am the luckiest person in the world. I will try to go into this year remembering that.

I'm not saying things don't get hard. I'm not saying I don't have moments, hours, and days where I freak out and curl into a Kafaesque ball because I am still pathetically poor and nothing in my future is guaranteed. But, as my mom said, I am free. Yes, I am freer than anyone else I know, and that is worth it.



This is as good as it gets.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

This Friday is Caleb Cole's solo show opening!



Hello Bostonians and beyond. This Friday, September 10th, my very dear friend and artistic life-partner, photographer Caleb Cole, is having his very first solo show at Gallery Kayafas in the South End.

Caleb took all of the photos for the Madame Psychosis EP, and a bunch of other promo pics for me. His work is already gaining national renown, and I am so proud of him and happy to show my support. You should come and meet him so in twenty years when college fresh(wo)men have posters of his prints up in their dorm rooms next to The Scream and Starry Night, you can say you were there at his first solo show and shook his hand.

The opening is a day after my birthday. Last year I celebrated my birthday with the release of my first book of poetry at the Cantab. This year I can't think of a better way than to show up at Caleb's opening with a HUGE CREW of awesome people and cheer him on.

Come by the gallery (450 Harrison Ave in Boston [yes i just totally bolded something in parentheses]) this Friday, September 10th, from 6-8, say happy birthday to me, and help me support one of the only truly brilliant artists and genuinely kind people I know.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gearing up for the Madame Psychosis release



Finally, after over a year of working with LoWreck on this quirky, geeky hip-hop project, we are releasing the very first Madame Psychosis EP. It's mastered and everything, and will be available on all the major electronic distributors. Like Madame Psychosis on Facebook to get updates and make me happy.

The official release date of Analysis Paralysis (EP) and the Zombie Apocalypse! music video is September 14th, but it's already on Bandcamp.com. If you believe in supporting independent artists, please pick up a copy and/or tell your friends! If dorky hipster-hop isn't your thing, you can still buy my books, The Spark Singer and Backstage at The Caribou. Producing and releasing an album is expensive, and even artists need to eat and pay rent.




Tuesday, August 31, 2010

performing runs in the family - birth name spoiler alert

Many of you may not know that my great-great grandfather was a famous vaudeville ventriloquist. He toured the country for years under the stage name "Johnny Raymond" and later with his wife (my great-grandmother) as Raymond and Ann.

I apparently look a bit like Ann, which is weird -- seeing a physical resemblance in someone who lived a hundred years before you.

Anyway, recently, I was Googling members of my family as is my periodical wont, and I came across Ventriloquist Central, a major collection of classic ventriloquist dummies and other memorabilia. The blog post that Google found was on my great-grandfather. The collector, Dan, was very excited that he had obtained Johnny Raymond's very first ventriloquist dummy, and also ten of his diaries that he kept on the road. (I wasn't Googling my great-granddad, but he has the same name as my dad and my brother.)

It didn't say on the website where Ventriloquist Central was located, but sometimes I get these... feelings. Call them premonitions if you want, but however you want to describe them, sometimes I just know stuff. Something told me that this place was very close to me, and that I would be able to get there easily. This feeling was supported when I watched the intro video and noticed that the man speaking had a wicked Boston accent. I emailed him.

It turned out the owner of the collection, Dan, did in fact live fifteen minutes away from me. He was super friendly over email and seemed really excited to have me come over and see my great-grandfather's stuff. We made a date and I came by last Wednesday morning.

Have you ever walked into a room filled with nearly 200 antique professional dummies? This picture doesn't really do justice to the experience:

Dan and his wife Helen were extremely warm and friendly. We got along right away. Dan had laid my great-grandfather's stuff out on the pool table in preparation for my visit.

Great-grandpa's first dummy. He has a hollow head and a leather lower lip and smells like old books.


It was incredible to see his handwriting, and the meticulous (some might say obsessive-compulsive) documentation of everyone of his shows. An old picture fell out of one of the diaries when I opened it.


Hey! I know Central Square! I've performed in Central Square. Like, a lot. Funny. I wonder if he ever performed at the Cantab. I know it's been there forever.



An airplane ride must have been pretty exciting in 1930.


Here's me, Dan, and great-grandpa's stuff. I'm so glad all of his things are with someone who really appreciates them. Dan and Helen are wonderful, and Dan is really committed to preserving the legacy of the performance art of ventriloquism.

It was a great visit, and I hope to come back again soon. Thanks Dan!




Monday, August 23, 2010

passing time


Caleb and I were playing around with some 4X5 Polaroids the other day. The film itself is not produced anymore, and the stuff he had was a score - a partial payment for some barter work he did a while back. The film was expired, and it all came out with this creepy ethereal ghost-line through the middle.

Before digital cameras, Polaroids used to represent immediate documentation. The instant freezing of a fleeting moment in time. The fact that the film is not produced anymore and the eerie effect of the expired film got me to thinking about documentation and ephemera. Everything is so hyper-recorded right now, it's become the norm. Of course a country founded on Protestant Christianity is obsessed with the idea of eternity (specifically the eternal body and personality) but I can't help thinking the prevalence of documentation lulls us into a false sense of permanence, and that can lead to complacency, fear, and/or dullness.

In fact, more and more, I'm finding my friends and I consciously choose NOT to take pictures of really special events or moments, as if allowing the moment to exist in time and pass without being ravaged by Facebook and Tumblr was some sort of holy ritual. Even five years ago, it was the special moments that you were sure to snap pictures of.

The world of art and the artist is changing completely. When I began this blog, I had no idea most of the things I have done in the past three years were even possible. It's the Wild West in the working artist world right now, and we're all out there trying to navigate this wilderness while being true(ish) to our forms of expression.

My friend Jenee got back from tour a couple of weeks ago with nowhere to live. I offered her my bed and she seemed so shocked, but it was just the natural, right thing to do. So many people helped me while I was on the road, and all of us artists need to look out for one another.

It's never going to go back to the way it used to be. It's extremely hard, but it is possible now to make a living as an artist on your own. The difference is we artists need to support each other instead of cutting each other down. The old competitive, back-stabbing attitude just doesn't work anymore. There's enough room for everyone now.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

what lazy summer?

Show last night at the Whitehaus in Jamaica Plain. Good turnout for a Monday. Got to share a bill with Dan Blakeslee, who is out of control good, a lovely person, and a breakdancer.

My favorite music shows thus far have been super-crunchy, seated acoustic with no amps and a bunch of cross-legged smiling folks all around me.

Books of Hope youth workshop today at the Mystic Learning Center. We rewrote the lyrics to "Bad Romance." Then we got peaches and ice cream. Some of the BOH kids from last year performed outside to the whole community, and they NAILED it.

The boy's birthday is Thursday. Fried chicken in the park and a walk by the river awaits him. Among lots of other things.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

gulf cleanup charity calendar



You know your life is on the right track when a normal Sunday activity involves covering yourself in faux crude oil for a pin-up charity calendar to benefit Gulf cleanup efforts.

More information here. Preorder yours today!

Monday, August 9, 2010

back home in the Ville

I'm taking my time a little more than usual settling in after my trip. Making a few changes in my life - more yoga. More concessions to my hippy side. I bought a bike and have been riding almost every day. It's good for my leg and good exercise better for the world. Also, when I go zooming down the bikepath on a Sunday and smell wet grass, I'm jolted back to all the best parts of being fourteen.

I had a Shamanic healer draw the black spiderweb of my fear and loneliness that lived in my hip with a crystal. After that, all weekend, I was completing other people's sentences. There's a lot we don't understand.

Friday, July 23, 2010

southwest

I'm in California right now recovering from the awesomeness that are(?) the Berkeley and Oakland respective Poetry Slams, but here are some pictures from Arizona.


I finally saw the Grand Canyon.



Here's a clip from my performance at Arcosanti, an incredible community out in the desert in northern Arizona.



We went on a hike and found this cow carcass. Such an agonizing position. It was nearly hollow inside.

Bighorn sheep!

Clay!

Monsoon!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

scenes from Tucson

watched a mass trial of 60 illegal immigrants who wore jangling chains and saw the judge begin to cry. went to a punk-bluegrass show at an anarchist collective where the punks clapped along and stomped their feet while jumping into one another - there were little kids and dogs and a sink and the sweat flew in fat drops from everyone. went through the drive through liquor store on bikes and got a ice cold six of tecate - drank it in a church parking lot. dug swales in the hard, dry, red earth as the sun rose until my hands began to spasm. took a shower in the open air with the sun shining down - my shower had a rainbow in it. played music at the farmer's market as the sun set and the mountains turned purple and the whole sky turned red. performed poetry at an anti SB1070 rally by the courthouse. sang amazing grace at a tiny round adobe church. sweated a whole lot. discovered byrd baylor. ate watermelon and agave and prickly pear and really good mexican food and a sonoran hot dog. saw a dust devil and a tumbleweed and a lot of cacti.

more and pictures to follow.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cowboys and Gold Diggers

As I write this, I am procrastinating from packing for my trip to Arizona and The San Francisco Bay and trying to assuage my fear of flying. Aerophobia aside, I'm excited to be leaving tomorrow to snake my way up the Wild West to the Golden Gates for three weeks. That's a long time for lots of alliteration.

I will be doing some volunteer work with sustainable farms in schools in AZ, and working on a book in San Francisco. On the way, I also have some tour dates set up. Some are poetry, some are music, and a couple are mixed (I'm especially excited about the show at Arcosanti in Arizona.) I have dubbed this trip: Cowboys and Gold Diggers.

I'm not sure how much I'll be online while I'm out there, but I will try to update this blog and my Facebook pages as much as possible. There will be a lot to talk about. In addition to the volunteer work and book writing, Emily and I are going to stop at the Grand Canyon.

Hope to see some of you out there on the road!

Monday, June 28, 2010

MME Psychosis and the Zombie Apocalypse!

Madame Psychosis was so busy over the weekend filming her Zombie Apocalypse! music video she barely had time to sleep.

The video will be released alongside her full-length EP in the fall.

Check out a few behind the scenes shots in the meantime. (Photos © Caleb Cole.)








Sunday, June 20, 2010

back from the cape

Back from a much-needed week vacation on the Cape with my family. There was much eating and drinking on the beach. Delightfully generic and special and wholly relaxing.


I'm flying a kite in that picture, in case you can't tell. My kite is awesome. He's a shooting star with a tail and he soars skyward. His name is Lady Stardust.


We went to the whaling museum in Nantucket. I freaked them out with my Moby Dick geekiness.


Dad caught a big fish that we cleaned and cooked for dinner.



We all said thank you to Mr. Fish's spirit, but somehow, even though I know it's so much better to do it this way than to buy something someone else killed who knows how, it still made it harder to eat. Every bite was more weighty when you envisioned him alive and flopping around. I appreciated the flavor and the nourishment more. I think that's how it should be.



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

art and beer


From Caleb's art opening this weekend in Fall River. We showed up with Dunkin Donuts and found a tub of PBR. This was our kind of opening.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

big ol' update with pictures!

I've had a wild few weeks, so I figured I'd update in one long picture-ful entry. To start things off with some intrigue and excitement, today I was almost struck by lightening. See picture:

I realize I misspelled "scorch," but I'm honestly too happy to be alive right now to care. It looked like it was about to rain, and I had just bought this sweet tomato plant I was going to put in that pot you see, so I was digging out the roots of the plant that was currently in there when everything suddenly went very silent, and I felt this intense vibration/buzziness in my whole body. Then everything kind of went black for a second and then the powerlines above me sparked, and I was left just feeling kind of tingly and weird. These two construction workers who saw it pulled up in their car and asked if I was okay. It wasn't until I saw the scorch mark that I realized what a close call I had. My ears have been ringing on and off, and I'm a little shaky, but otherwise I feel okay. Whew.

Anyway, on to more predictable things.

A couple of weeks ago I finally made it to a Kitchen Sessions and Mike McGee's house in Worcester. It was such a wonderful salon-type setting with piles of amazing home-cooked food. I tried sweet potato pie for the first time and wow. How did I live without that?

The feature was RC Weslowski, a great surrealist from Canada. Everyone was rapt.


And Mike even managed to fit me on the swollen open mic. I read a new piece. I think there's video somewhere but I'm not sure where.


Madame Psychosis has been busy this month. She's planning her video for Zombie Apocalypse!, and has also teamed up with a few other highly talented roustabouts for a hip-hop group, The Delusions.

Making beats:

A few tracks are up on Myspace and Facebook, and here's an intro vid we just put on YouTube. (This song was inspired by Trololo, and is one of my favorites.)



In other news, a couple of Mondays ago I won first place in the Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge. I'm really psyched about this. Not only is that contest full of other extremely talented singer-songwriters, and not only did I win a whopping $70 bucks (no food stamps again this month!) but it means I get to play in the BIG contest that they have in September. First prize for that one? $500!

Someone snapped a picture of me playing at the Lizard:

And finally, some fun. A Memorial Day barbeque at my friend Dan's house climaxed when my friend Meaghan had the brilliant idea of making a lady pyramid. Behold:



photo by the awesome Mick Murray

So many muscles!