bleeps & bloops

50,000 Hits – What the Hell?
December 31, 2008, 12:10 am
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50,000 hits. How does it happen and why? It confuses me.  I suppose that most people find my blog through image searches. I mean, I do check my stats every once and a while (OK, that’s a lie. I’m kind of addicted to checking them because they’re so fascinating) but it doesn’t even show a fraction of the activity on the site.  Who are all you people? Most of you just want to ogle poor Rick Genest.  He is my little blog celebrity according to my stats.  Bless his heart.

The secret to blog hits- just add the word “tattoo” into your blog posting, preferably as a tag as well,  and add a really intense picture of a angsty young man with a really intense facial modification. A Foolproof Recipe!

Though these types of hits make me feel a little bit empty inside, a little violated. Like a whole string of people came running through my house while I slept, took photos of my thoughts, stared aghast at Rick (who is totally my hot boyfriend in this metaphor), and then ran away never to be seen again (or seen at all).  I can tell that they were here (muddy boot prints on the carpet in the living room, plus it was recorded on my surveillance cameras) but there’s nothing else there.  No relationship with these strangers passing through my blog along their cyber-journey. Hope you had fun. Come again? Listen to some music while you poke about, at least.

A strange modern phenomenon among many, this blog business.

OK, I’ve been tagged.
November 26, 2008, 11:43 pm
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This reminds me a little too much of a Myspace survey/ chain letter so I was hesitant to participate, but fuck it.

Carrot Quinn tagged me. Now I am supposed to tell you seven weird facts about myself and then I make seven other bloggers do this.  I’m not sure I know seven other bloggers.  Well, maybe I know seven bloggers total.  I think I am going to skip that part.

This is what procrastination on Wednesday night can do to you.

1. My right hand hurts when I have sad thoughts about my father.

2. I rode on a camel for 10 days through the desert to an ancient fort city.  One morning along the way, after sleeping in the desert, I woke up with eight spider bites all over my body.

3. I didn’t speak for 10 days while meditating for 10 hours a day.  Eight days into it my mind ceased to process thoughts with words until I began speaking aloud again after the eleventh day.

4. My best friend through high school was a parakeet named Zacharia.

5. A few years ago I watched a deaf woman shoot heroin.

6. I held the hand of my friend Dustin in the hospital after he had overdosed on heroin. He was braindead. They pulled the plug on his life-support machine a few days later.

7. I have no tattoos anywhere and I don’t plan on getting any ever.

Repost: “On My Mind This Week” by Liz Seymour

I love my friend Liz’s blog. Ever since I moved from Greensboro, North Carolina I’ve spied on her blog weekly (ok, daily) to catch up on events in the lives of my old community. She never fails to feed my curiosity with her regular posts related to local politics, life at her collective house and most recently words from Tim, a homeless friend who she met through Food Not Bombs.

I couple weeks ago she posted the following article in a section of her blog titled “On My Mind This Week”. I found it quite moving and helpful so I decided to repost it.

The original article is located here.

On My Mind This Week

Our collective house is part of a larger local community of people dedicated to living intentionally and intelligently. Jodi has become the first person people call when there are difficult interpersonal issues toseattle07.jpg address; watching her go out the kitchen door and off to another meeting, or off to take another walk with a scared, unhappy person in the middle of a messy break-up, always makes me think of an old fashioned country midwife with her black bag headed out in all weathers to deliver another baby. Jodi has opened a lot of people’s eyes to the many destructive ways the issues of power and control get played out: she reminds us that we can’t alter global power relationships if our personal relationships—even our relationship to ourselves–remain microcosms of the bad old world. All politics, I realize now, is as local as one’s own heart.A couple of years ago Jodi put out a zine called Athena about domestic violence. In the introduction she writes: “Domestic violence is a form of oppression based on artificial dynamics of power and control. The oppression goes far beyond abuser/victim relationship, and even further beyond learned behavior by witnessing or experiencing abuse as children. It affects us all as a society, even individuals who have not experienced violent relationships. It is hierarchy. This refers to a system of authority controlling basic resources such as food, property, shelter, medicine, transportation, education, money, and jobs. Hierarchy, combines with patriarchy (a system of authority that inserts gender into the dynamic), exists in just about every situation and interaction we have with others. It’s part of our workforce. It’s part of our organized religions. It’s part of our perceptions in our households and within the dynamics of ‘family.’ It becomes part of our friendships in some ways, as our personalities and conditioning allow us to fall into gender roles and power dynamics.”A friend gave Jodi permission to include a personal account of her childhood in Athena and Jodi has allowed me to reprint it here.

She told her mother she was getting married. Her mother said she was too young. She said she was in love, and he was a good man. Her mother said, “Marriage is a union in the eyes of God. If you get married now, and are unhappy later…you will not be allowed back in this family should you leave.” My mother carried those words with her through the next 20 years.


It was almost midnight, but I was wide awake. And excited. We were free. I got to watch TV. Our TV at home only had a couple of channels, and they weren’t very clear. This place had two big beds in the same room, and I got to share a room with my Mommy. There was even a swimming pool. We were special, fancy.
“Yes, Mommy?”
“How would you feel if we didn’t go back to Daddy this time?”
“I don’t want to go back.”
“But you wouldn’t see him very much anymore. You should have a father.”
“I don’t want to go back.”
“Don’t you want a family?”
“I want to stay here.”
“Go to sleep. We’ll talk in the morning.”
She’s on the phone and crying again. I hear something about not being able to do this anymore. It’s fading in and out. I’m so tired now. I hear her say, “You always say it will never happen again… Yes I do love you…. Okay, we’ll be home tomorrow.”
My stomach hurts.


I’ve been playing outside all day. I’m hungry. As I walk up to our door, I can hear them. He’s punching her again. She’s crying again. I don’t want to go in there. I walk to my grandmother’s house. As always, she’s baking pie. Her pies always keep me busy when I’m too scared to go home.
“Why does he always hit her?”
“What do you mean?”
“He hits her, Grandma. Why does he do that? I’m scared he’s going to really hurt her. Why?”
“Well, it’s just the way menfolk are. It’s our place to keep quiet and keep ‘em happy.”


They’re fighting again. Now he’s screaming in her face, spitting on her and saying he’s going to get the gun. I think he means it this time. He heads for the bedroom, looking for the shells to the rifle. My mom’s on the phone, screaming, “Please! Help us. He says he’s going to kill us. He’s your son! If you come talk to him, he’ll listen. Please, you have to help us!” Nobody ever showed up to help us. But for some reason, we didn’t die.
Twenty years later I’m able to ask her about the rest of that story, what she heard on the phone I couldn’t.
“I’m sorry. We just can’t get involved. But we’ll pray for you.”


She was backed into the furthest wall of the bathroom. Her mouth was opened in a silent scream, but only small whimpers escaped her. Snot and tears trailed down her face. He held a blade to her neck, one of the longest knives from our kitchen. His body shoved against hers, slamming into her over and over. He was screaming at her. “I’ll fucking kill you, bitch! I’m sick and tired of your shit, all of your shit! Do you hear me, you fucking bitch! I will kill us all!” The veins in his neck popped as he screamed in her face. Strands of spit trailed between his lips and down the side of his mouth.
Me. I’m standing there, watching. My arms are wrapped around my body, hugging myself tightly. I can’t stop crying. I’m screaming too, “Please, Daddy, let her go! Stop it! You’re hurting her!” For an instant, her eyes lock with mine. It’s like I can hear her inside my head.
“Run. Get help.”
I run to my brother’s room; he’s home from college. He’s wearing headphones, drowning out the rage. I bang on his back. He takes the headphones off, and I scream, “Stop him! Stop him! He’s going to kill her!” We run from his room in time to see my father pulling her by her hair across the floor. He lunges over her and straddles her body, arm and knife raised high above his head. As thee knife starts falling downward, my brother tackles him from behind, sending them both to the floor. We all run.
That was the last time. I think I was twelve.


What changed this time? Why was it the last time? I found out later that it was my brother. He took us to her mother’s house that night. He told my grandmother what was happening, and demanded that my mother and I be able to stay there. Then he sat my mother down and said, “You will not go back. This affects me and your daughter. This is not normal. This is not healthy. You will not go back.”
She tells me that it wasn’t his being so demanding about her not returning. It was that someone was finally saying she wasn’t crazy, that she didn’t deserve it, that she didn’t have to live up to family structure, religious ideals, or society’s standards. But that she was only required to take care of herself and her children. The spell was broken.

If you suspect someone is in an abusive relationship, let her know you are concerned about her safety. She may not be ready to talk. If that is the case, let her know that you are available for her should she choose to come to you in the future. If she does come to you for help:

DO: Let her talk, and let her know that you believe her. Offer her eye contact.
DO NOT: Wince or gasp when she’s telling you her story. It may be very graphic and difficult to hear. (Survivors are often scared of tainting your perception or not being believed.)
DO: Thank her for sharing her story. (This is n honor for you that she would trust you this much.)
DO NOT: Tell her she is crazy for staying with him or crazy for loving him.
DO: Let her know she is not responsible for and cannot control it or keep it form happening again. Let her know his feelings are about him, his fears and frustrations with himself, and not about her. Make sure she knows she does not deserve abuse.
DO NOT: Approach the abuser. Most abusers are paranoid and will assume she has told someone. They are likely to retaliate against her, and this will also cause her to lose trust in you.
DO: Let her know there are places that provide help. EMPOWER her by providing her with solid information and moral support.
DO NOT: Try to intervene and accidentally dominate her by telling her what to do. Give her back some control over her own life.
DO: Let her make her own choices. (Forcing her to make a decision only relates her to the force her abuser uses.)
DO NOT: Blame her or berate her if she chooses to return to the abuser. Again, this only reinforces the control and intimidation she is already experiencing.
DO: Remind her you are available for support should she change her mind.

A survivor may attempt to leave her abuser, on average, 7 to 14 times before she is able to leave for good.

Jodi also introduced me to the Duluth Power Wheel, a model developed by a group of activists in Duluth, Minnesota. It’s obvious to me now, but the wheel helped me to understand that violence is the endpoint of a continuum that can begin with small coercions and power plays, and that it’s better to recognize and address things when they are at the stage of belittling remarks and petty manipulations than waiting until they have escalated to guns and knives—or for that matter, to teargas, rubbers bullets, and plastic wrist restraints.


A lot of my MP3’s got erased…oops
January 15, 2008, 6:21 pm
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I’m very new to this blogging thing. I posted a bunch of MP3s over the past few months since I started my blog and I hosted them with one of those big free file hosting sites. I didn’t realize that they erase your files 30 days after you post them unless you have an account with them that you visit at least once every month. Boo. I’ll try to figure out a way to get those back up. Sorry about that.

Potatoes and Onions are a magical combination
January 11, 2008, 10:15 pm
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Nuff Said.

{photo credit: alf07}

A blog post! At last!
November 17, 2007, 11:17 pm
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Well, I thought I might not get to write another one for a few years but here I am at the coffee shop a couple blocks from my house working on the Wierd Records website. Just some maintenance issues. The FTP is being totally wack and I can’t access the server so how to spend the time waiting? Writing a blog! Yay. I have stopped allowing myself to wallow online in my free time these days. I spend so much time looking at the screen as it is. It has become too comfortable a position. I experience this wave of satisfaction whenever I lean back into my couch, laptop on my thighs. I sigh of joy. Scary shit, if you ask me.

But I have decided to help out with the Wierd Records website. They need some help updating the site and I really appreciate what Pieter is doing in this vast hairball of New York City. I only hope to someday be able to contribute to the great swirling, writhing masses with some new fan-dangled dance night or {gasp} band, artwork or extraordinary project. But first it’s helping others with what they are doing and getting financially stable by working a lot.

Speaking of which, I have quit my job. Quite exciting. A new beginning- and some free time to boot. I will be getting work again in January but until then I am so excited about heading South for the holidays. I’ll get to spend some time worshiping the mountains of West Virginia with my family. And eating lots of yummy food by the fire and sharing stories of our separate lives. Sounds dreamy in comparison to my solitude amongst millions here in the city.

FileZilla FTP connect already! Geez! Anyways..

I have been having emotional breakdowns in combination with revelations about my life about every week these days. It usually entails me freaking out about what the hell am I doing here totally miserable in this city? Well, not totally miserable by any means- there are lots of great things about being here- but I generally am incredibly lonely and I suffer from a sense of hopelessness, lack of control and frustration that I haven’t experienced since I was a teenager. I am impatient to have a kick-ass life. Why can’t I get it together? I have been trying to have more patience with this- New York City is a hard place to live, they say. Give it time. You’re doing great for six and a half months in. Hmm.

… a couple hours later…

Well, I was going to state my favorite things about the city thus far to cheer things up, but the FTP started working again and I finished my work for the site for the evening so I am out of here and into the real world.


I have stopped writing because I work too much. I am now officially brain-dead. Even my inner social commentary has just gone kaput. When I see something entertaining I don’t even shoot sly remarks at things in my head anymore. There’s no more “remember that for later” or “when I’m finally free I’ll….” Nope. It’s just trudging forward through lack of sleep and interest in life these days.

I’m giving the 9-5 a go again, or rather, the 9-6. And I think it isn’t for me, again. No Sir. Surprise. My joy in life has just turned to a sludge similar to what you might find in the drain when there’s a lot of hair and soap residue built up down there. Not a pretty sight. Especially when the water gets all scummy and won’t go away like the people, interests, bills and all the clothes on my floor that are just waiting for me to care.

I’m tired of it. I miss art’s constant magnetism, freaking out listening to music, feeling a mystical religious experience every once and a while, the highs and lows. A natural Prozac substitute, this full-time work business. Maybe once you do it enough then you need the real stuff. Right now it’s just a mellow lack of feeling. Well, a lack of all feeling except frustration.

I plan for it to be over relatively soon with a drop to part-time-ish work, but damn, New York City is a hard place to live in and actually have a creative moment. When I get home I barely have the energy to make dinner.

I’m lucky if I get home by 8pm, so I generally rush along and just bike the 6 miles from Chelsea to Brooklyn with my eyes scanning the horizon and potholes, not stopping until I flop on the couch in my room. Occasionally I get a wild hair up my ass and actually look around me and then I remember why I actually live here.

Like tonight. I saw some things that made me glad. And that was a feeling I had missed for a while. Biking along 20th St towards the Lower East Side I got behind a man on a bike with one of those little add-on back bikes where a little blond girl was perched, peddling along behind her Dad, probably contributing more to fun than peddle power. She was maybe 6 years old. My immediate reaction was shock especially when he barely slipped in between two taxis. Peddling behind them, I envisioned the little girl getting quickly crushed. The Dad navigated along the bike lane until they came upon the NY cyclist’s favorite obstacle- a taxi in the lane. (They should seriously be called taxi or delivery lanes, why lie.) He biked up to the driver’s window and asked him rather nicely to get out of the bike lane. The taxi obliged and slowly pulled out of the way. As they biked by the little girl turned and yelled “get out of the bike lane!” in her squeaky high voice with true conviction. I was so impressed.

On my way up the bridge, I passed a girl weaving her way up the bridge in an “8” formation, going up the bridge circling back and forth horizontally, slowing ascending and smiling to herself. This is quite a difficult way to go up a bridge, but noble none the less.

And then lastly I stopped at the top of the bridge on the Brooklyn side to remove my hoodie as I had worked up quite a sweat by that point and I finally took a breath and looked around me. The city was absolutely perfect- everything had this bright aura around it because of the humidity and the moon hung like a sliver above the skyscrapers. I heard some noise and looked down onto the street far below, close to the giant SCREWRENT graffiti that I love so.

There were some kids skateboarding off a concrete barricade. They had taken some more concrete and smoothed out a spot where the barricade touched the asphalt to create a better ramp. They were having a blast jumping off the thing.

A friend I really like is coming to visit soon. I envision dancing at Weird, playing music together and visits to the Natural Science Museum among other fun things. Having guests helps me take time to enjoy the city again and refreshed my memory of who I want to be.

One reason I like New Yorkers
September 26, 2007, 8:20 pm
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I was biking across the Williamsburg Bridge tonight, coming back from my new daily-ground life up in Manhattan and I was busting ass. Most of the time I haul my laptop around plus a book, water, my lock, some clothes, food and whatnot and I move into a higher gear to make the long incline a bit easier- especially on my way back from the big A because there probably were a couple near-death experiences that kinda got the old blood flowing and now I’m crashing from over-stimulation and coffee.

But in any case tonight, maybe it was the coffee or maybe it was just the sense of post-work freedom, I was in one of my lower gears and I was sailing past all the fixies, charging up the bridge. I get whims like this- bursts of energy, invulnerability, invincibleness, what-have-you, and it feels nice to expend my energy while I ride my bike. I guess it’s like running really really hard on a hamster wheel.

In most places I have lived I cycle up a steep hill with all my might and men whistle or cat-call “damn girl”or “can I get a ride?”- hoping I might just pull to the side so they can swoop me off my feet with their love-skills. Other times people just look at me like I’m a quack.

As I cycled up the bridge tonight, leaning hard on my handle-bars, breathing rhythmically, feeling triumphant and just a little quackish, I passed others coming up towards me biking just as furiously and with just as much passion, if not more. It was an army of passionate people, unafraid of over-stimulation and pushing themselves harder just for the sake of it. Maybe I’m romanticizing it but it feels good to be surrounded by strangers who give a shit about their lives and who aren’t settling for boredom.

First day at the new job
September 24, 2007, 7:55 pm
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Oh. My. God. My ass got whooped. Like majorly…

I started my new job at a large web firm in Chelsea this morning. I put on a crisp new t-shirt and my clean-enough jeans and loaded on the crystal deodorant which I knew would be useless against a first day at work so I brought it along for later.

I took the train, which I never do, only because, well, it was my first day at the big firm and I wanted to smell kind of presentable and not be all disheveled and sweaty first off. But the Iranian president foiled my plans by being in town and slowing the trains to a grinding halt because of heavy security. I got there 20 minutes late. Never will I rely on a good first impression by taking the train.

But no one noticed. The punk-looking girl in the elevator just started recently too, it seemed pretty cool to her. And when we got buzzed in through the two layers of glass and hardwood doors, the place was pretty empty and some nice folks showed me around. I was then showed the basics of how the plethora of files are organized and the systems that are involved at my swanky little stainless steal desk and double flat screen monitors. No sweat, I thought. And then I waited to be told what to work on. And I waited, and waited and….

Went to lunch. Had yummy falafel and Turkish coffee and then went back. I was then presented with my tasks, which didn’t seem too rough. Templates existed, just copy them and fill in what hasn’t been created yet. Here are the file names on this piece of paper. That piece of paper took a while to get copied for me and then I was off to work, sort of. Navigating the system of preexisting files and images took me HOURS. I won’t bore you with the details but at one point I had almost completed a page, and then during a search, discovered that it had already been created by someone else.  I almost completed something by the end of the day today. It’s all due tomorrow and then I’ll be on another project.

I walked to the subway, a zombie in a stinky t-shirt, brain-hurting. The subway was fun though. I would close my eyes, wait a few stops, then reopen them to find the whole scene had changed. The closer to Brooklyn I got the more intriguing it became. For the whole ride I sat next to a rad looking black fellow wearing a kufi, baggy bleached jams, jewelry and sunglasses reading muslim literature about the Hajj. Standing next to us was a young Hasidic jew with scruffy eyebrows. They never fail to captivate me. When I opened my eyes again the jew had disappeared and a large woman in a big pink knit sweater had materialized. She was smiling like she had a secret, and I guess she did cuz she was listening to her mp3 player and was really enjoying what she was hearing. She kept trying to be chill about it, but her smile kept creeping back and I couldn’t help but smile too, sharing her joy.

When I stepped out of the subway station, the air was crisp and the sky was pink and the moon, almost totally full, was hanging there straight down Fulton St. Everyone seemed very alive and then I heard the adhan from the Fulton St. mosque and felt like it was all worth it.

Latest obsession among many… Martial Canterel
September 23, 2007, 4:27 pm
Filed under: Music, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

confusing outsides
(cover for Confusing Outsides)

I never really gave a hoot about this local fellow until I heard him DJ at Wierd at Home Sweet Home a month or so ago. I was enjoying his set which was full of carefully selected unique minimal wave tunes and then there was one that seemed like it had just landed from another planet. My friend and I turned to each other with a mutual look of “what IS this?!” and ran up to the DJ booth to ask him. In a humorously humble way he showed us his own record thinking we didn’t know who he was or that he had created it.

This isn’t the same song because I have now overplayed it to high heaven, but here’s another one I like:

Martial Canterel- “New Death” (from Confusing Outsides, 2005)

News on the street is he’ll be performing live this Wednesday at Weird at Home Sweet Home (131 Christie) with his friend Liz as Xeno and Oaklander. I am so there.

Speaking of Minimal Wave, don’t forget Veronica’s incredible minimal wave radio show on East Village Radio tonight at 10pm (or you can download the show and listen to it later).