The Daily Life Challenge

Opinionated Man created a blog challenge for people to talk about day to day life in their locale. This seems especially challenging to me because:

1) What hasn’t been said about New York City? It’s legendary. There are lots of websites devoted to photographs of this place in all different eras. What can I really add?

2) Despite this, there’s not much outside of the mental health program and caring for Abue that constitutes “daily life” for me. This is due to the fluxing, frenetic nature of NYC, and the erratic nature of my personal lifestyle and choices.

3)Today hasn’t been the best for photography. We’ve had slush rain. But here goes:

We start our day stepping out of our dilapidated but mural-covered factory into the world:

Eric and our empty-for-now side street.

Winter may find you by waving hello with ominous white gauze in bare trees.

It would be wiser to join nature’s meditative sleep until spring…

But that’s no reason to not keep a sense of humor…

Even when the cold got you like…

Cuz winter in New York can be snow falling from the sky…

Or snow dropped on the floor! (No, it’s not ours. We saw it in the subway. NY-Fuckin’-C !!!!)

Astral Knife – Sick As Can Be

This is the track we created for Kurt Gottschalk’s WFMU show…I decided to put it on Soundcloud until some other things get done.

Today Eric and I were eating soup and bagels for lunch and I came up with a love story about an apotemnophiliac (one who gets aroused by having limbs severed) who meets a “devotee” who agrees to sever one part of them on every anniversary. I thought of this because in the bagel place they were playing that 80’s song “every time you go away you take a piece of me with you.”

Subway Shaman & Shadow People

shamanI don’t know that s/he was really a shaman, but s/he was the most likely candidate for one in that subway car, two-spirited, maintaining garland pose no matter how the train lurched or jolted, carrying a hand carved wooden staff adorned with beads, ribbons and feathers. And the only person besides me who could see the Shadow Person (for lack of a better term).

I learned that term “Shadow People” after posting a sketch of a hallucination (again for lack of a better term) I saw one night in our Qlipphotic cesspool of an abandoned factory.

Someone brought up this apparently worldwide phenomenon on Facebook. If you do a search on “Shadow People” you can find a whole number of theories about them. I don’t know if I believe any of them, but it’s entertaining reading on a cold winter night.

Anyhow, this was a biting winter day, which wasn’t stopping the hipsters from their annual January no-pants subway ride, icicles dangling off their ass-cheeks and all. Designated Subway Shaman was taking the opportunity to curse at them and their stupidity. Loudly. And I was enjoying their desperate attempts to appear to be ignoring him/her while scooting to the other end of the car in a jiggling cluster of cellulite and happy trails. Eventually s/he relaxed, conversing with the Shadow Person in more hushed tones. I guess that part was private.

Just some Astral Knife pics

…posted by the lovely Nikki Sneakers at Nothing Changes.

And of course many many pics of headliners Cult of Youth, kicking off their tour.

Yes,I am a southpaw fiddler. Though apparently many violin instructors discourage this, despite there being a list on Wikipedia of accomplished left-handed violinists. I guess it’s a good thing I’m teaching myself.

Mandrill Burlesque

outAdmit it. She’s your dream girl.

So, art show went well, though at times it was overwhelming, low grade social anxiety, overstimulation…whatever, I lived. It was mixed in with elation. I’d only that afternoon re-acquired my needed medication. A clean cut young man who didn’t realize I was the artist told me he found the work “disturbing”. I may have told him that the artist was a psycho feral child rescued from sewer rats and taught to do art to prevent her from practicing cannibalism on her fellow humans, which, as a feral child, she believed were food. I may also think “disturbing” is a compliment, depending on who’s disturbed, by what, and why.

I’ve been running around in near Arctic weather since then, dealing with Medicaid, A disinterested clerk in the dingy green-grey office near Chinatown told me the computer said my recertification has been “pending since December” though I’d not received the notice. The code for where it was “pending” was a Medicaid center in Jamaica, Queens, that I’d never been to and no longer exists as of 2015 anyway. The whole thing was frustrating, so I decided I needed to unwind by walking over to Unimax and buying new ear plugz to replace the can that fell out and some 20g sterile needles for play-piercing.

Me and Eric from the opening night. There’s also a slideshow of the work at Art on A’s site:

Pop Up Punk at Art On A

popup_punk_A_webThis is what I’ve been preparing for lately…the show opens tomorrow night. I dropped off my work yesterday between my Medicaid disaster-centric counseling session and going to cook dinner. I’m still unmedicated at the moment. But then…Abuelita is medicated and she spent several minutes in a panic believing I was Santa Muerte. Being medicated might even be the reason she thought that, for all I know.

Kama Rupa at the Acheron

This is the footage from when Kama Rupa played last November in Brooklyn, with Eric on drums. Though he’s sitting and in the back, so you gotta watch for him in glimpses. :) Video taken by Miro Snejdr, uploaded by Ava Sirin.

Medicaid screwed up, accidentally-on-purpose I’m sure, with my recertification notification, and then sending the wrong paperwork, and I’m currently unmedicated…it hasn’t been more than two days but twice I’ve been told it’s noticeable in one day. I’m not sure why. I don’t think I’m doing anything differently right now. I dropped off my work at the gallery and then went uptown to make dinner for Abuelita (and mushroom stew for us.) I remember playing with a toy rat that was in one of the offices at my current mental health center. I don’t feel depressed or angry or anything, just disoriented.

There are teenagers alive now who have never known a time our country was not at war.

Miniature Minotaurs & Astral Knife

So what makes a luscious Lupercalia better? Being preceded by my lucky day, a Friday the 13th. And what makes Friday the 13th even luckier than usual? Having a new never before heard Astral Knife track debut on Kurt Gottschalk’s “Miniature Minotaurs” show on WFMU.

Sharing radio waves with greats from Bob Bellarue to Black Sabbath on a special Friday the 13th themed show. Astral Knife comes on around 2:16 into the show. Or you could just jump straight to it:

But really it’s better to stream the whole show, because it’s all really good.

Eric Collaborating With Gorpy

yeah, our friend Gorpy from Man Vs. Nature and Eric have put together this track in the past week. You should hear it, it’s good. Eric & I also still continue to work as Astral Knife.

Last night the D string on my acoustic violin broke during practice…this was up in Hell’s Kitchen, where many of the music stores I remember are now gone, except a couple of places that specialize in guitars. So I decided to check out the latest of the Guitar Center chain store, that opened recently in nearby. The first three employees I was directed to didn’t even seem sure that they carried violin strings, and at least one looked at me as though she wondered what on earth I would want with a violin. Or maybe she wondered what anyone would want with a violin. The forth knew where they were and led me to the back of the store  to a meager selection that were a) not in my price range and b) not in the right size for my 3/4 violin. It reminded me of the Guitar Center parody on the Simpsons recently where the brass section is four instruments amidst a sea of guitars, fog machines, special effects lights and sales people searching for aimless mid-life crisises to sell unnecessary gear to. The whole thing was actually pretty funny.

Oh well, tomorrow we can go by Sam Ash. My former manager there heads up the orchestral section and knows exactly what I’ll need, especially since he was the one who sold me the secondhand violin. So that’s what I’ve managed to not accomplish today.

Hold the Phone! Maroon’s Getting Treatment because of YOU!


An update to the story I re-blogged the other day. Thankfully Maroon will receive treatment for cancer.

Originally posted on Free Russell Maroon Shoatz!:

UPDATE:   Human Rights Coalition sent out an action alert Tuesday morning regarding Russell Maroon Shoatz, the former Black Panther and political prisoner. Maroon had been informed that he has prostate cancer on December 9, 2014, and treatment has not yet begun.

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PADOC medical contacted the Shoatz family this morning and informed them of the course and schedule of the treatments that Maroon is going to be receiving for his prostate cancer. The treatment is set to begin this week.

THANK YOU to all who answered the call and advocated for Maroon. At this time we are asking supporters to hold off on further phone calls and letters. Maroon’s family and legal counsel will be in communication with him to ensure that he begins receiving the treatment without any further delay.

We cannot thank everybody enough. Hold off for now on further advocacy, but remain vigilant in the event that further…

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