Michigan Ambience

I bought three albums this morning: Two-Sawn Forrest Recordings by Sound Psychologist, In My Neighborhood by Julia Bondar, and obsolete machines by radius. The last one cost me $23 but the album is almost three hours long and I also got the limited release CD’s as well. All of these are Michigan electronic artists.

I had to talk to my probation officer this morning about being allowed to go to my sister’s graduation ceremony in Interlochen on Sunday. Of course he said this was okay. I also told him how I’ve been talking to Mr. Paul Deering, the owner of Deering’s Market on Union Street, and how I’ve been talking to him about renting a room out of his house on Union Street. He said he’d consider it.

Hometown Reunions

I’v been seeing a lot of people that I knew in high school. Even though we usually don’t exchange more than a nod, people who I knew in high school, no matter where they’re at in life, seem generally friendly. There always seems to be an unspoken communication of, yes, I’ll acknowledge that I know you still exist and even present a smile, but I don’t want to talk.

Last night I changed this blog’s privacy from hidden to public. I didn’t even know I had it on hidden, the setting that prevents the site from showing up in searches. My last post got a half dozen likes, the most I’ve gotten so far. I’m going out on a limb and saying that’s a direct result of making this blog public. I appreciate the likes, I’m sure a few of them were just people trying to get me to view their own blog. I hope my blog isn’t soon to be inundated by spam. 

I went to Goodwill today and picked up a CD and two tee-shirts. The CD is Front By Front by Front 242. I’ve never heard of Front 242 but once I learned from a Google search that they’re an eighties/nineties industrial band I didn’t hesitate to take it with me. I also picked up two Croft and Barrow tee-shirts. They’re really nice, soft, gray and white tee shirts with vertical textured lines. I have a red Croft and Barrow sweater with a similar texture and I love it so these shirts were picked up without thought. When I got home, after having a phone conversation with my mother, I ripped and listened to Front By Front and it was pretty good, lots of synths and weird eighties vocals. It definitely will add some color to my iTunes library.

The weather was truly wonderful today. I broke a sweat wearing a tee-shirt for the first time this year. I even had an urge to go jump in the bay. I had a stupid grin on my face walking around town. Bought myself a pair of cheap sunglasses.

Nat’s

Last night I bought Discourses of the Withered by Celer. Celer is proper drone music, and there’s enough of it to last a long time.

Unfortunately for me and my unhealthy, autistic obsession to have this Black and White project be as organized as possible, the Camera Shop’s scanner is broken. They didn’t get the right part they needed to fix it so it’ll be another week before I’m able to see my photographs. I stopped into the shop to just pick up the film. I was going to have 4” x 6” prints printed at Meijer and scan them at The Copy Shop but they didn’t even have the film processed yet. I don’t necessarily trust Meijer and the resolution of the scans wouldn’t be as good as the rest of the rolls. So I guess I’ll just wait until next week and post Roll 4 & 5 together. It’s bothering me. So it goes…

I took yet another walk to the AA meeting on Sybrandt Road. Instead of just walking up the railroad tracks like I usually do, I walked along a path near Boardman Lake. There are some really nice condos on the lake and a couple really nice houses.

On my way back I stopped by the Marathon station to get some cigarettes and I noticed they finally had Nat’s. I love Nat Sherman Classics. When I was living downtown in The Whiting Hotel, living off of student loans, I’d buy Nat Sherman’s from Nolan’s cigar shop. I loved those cigarettes. The smoke from a Nat Sherman Classic is slightly ashy and sweet, not to mention the design of the packaging and filter is wholly debonair. So as soon as I saw the gas station advertising Nat’s “coming soon” I knew I’d be getting a pack. Right now, they have the promotional price of about five dollars although I think once that’s over they’ll be more on the level of Parliaments. I don’t know yet if I’ll make these my go-to cigarettes, besides the price, I don’t believe they’re going to be sold everywhere and I like to buy a brand I know I can get at any gas station in America, because, you know, cigarettes are a comfort, and you grow to love your brand like you love your wife. Maybe you have an affair with another brand but you need that one brand to always be there for you.

Ambient Light

I got a few albums today, including In Motion by Memorex Memories and the absurdly named SsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSs by the absurdly named SHXCXCHCXSH. I also got Endless Falls and Bonockburn by Loscil. I get very nostalgic listening to Loscil’s music, it never gets old even after having had listened to every one of his albums over and over for years. I was living on Mackinac Island with an iPod nano and no computer with his entire discography, I don’t remember where it came from. On that same iPod I had Drift and Home by Nosaj Thing, both of which are now back in my library. 

Andrew Borowiec says at the end of an interview that he would love to investigate a European town in the same way he investigated Cleveland. I’d love to have his same spirit with my town. His photographs of the rust belt are without discrimination or distraction. In a way, I often make shady symbols with my photographs in a manner that seems to purposefully dissuade anyone from seeing them for their subject’s real nature. I want the photograph’s identity to be anonymous. I want the photograph to see the forms without projecting any lust or aspersions.

Window Shopping

Today I had to pick up some medications from the pharmacy and used the opportunity to browse a few stores downtown. I was looking specifically for a music box, a device that contains a tiny metal drum with little spikes that prick different sized prongs and plays a little tune when you turn a crank. The store I saw them in before while I was drunkenly wandering about, Toy Harbor, was out of them. Another store had three of them but they played Christmas tunes like “Deck the Halls” and I’m not into that, especially not this time of year. 

I went into Brilliant Books and almost bought The Bell Tolls For No One by Charles Bukowski, but ultimately decided against it. I want to read that book someday and since I can’t drink right now I thought it’d be better to save it for a day that I can sit down and have a beer while I read it since Bukowski is such a famous alcoholic. 

It’s funny that the name of his most well known book is an obvious play on For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway who himself was an alcoholic. I’ve read a few of Hemingway’s books including For Whom The Bell Tolls and I really think his novels are over-rated. He must’ve been shit-faced when he wrote them. It doesn’t surprise me that he killed himself in Idaho. His books are silly and the characters are so shallow and short-spoken that it’s almost impossible for me to distinguish them. If I had to pick my favorite Hemingway it’d have to be A Farewell To Arms just because of the jarring ending. I’m not going to spoil it for anyone who’s never read it but I’ll say it surprised me in a similar way to the death of the woman in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I guess they would share a lot of similarities both being written by American authors in the early twentieth century. The Great Gatsby is another over-rated book in my opinion. Again, it seems like the author is trying (too hard) to make these colorful characters but god are they shallow. It’s not like I’m spoiled with the vast variety and advancements of modern literature because some of my favorite American classics, like Moby Dick or Huckleberry Finn,were written in the nineteenth century.

I did end up buying a couple of things today after all. I bought the albums Optimal.LP by Shuttle358 and untitled by Loscil. I’m getting closer to owning every album Scott Morgan’s Loscil project has released. Once I’ve got them all I’ll move on to some other ambient artist, maybe Shuttle358.

All Day I Dream Of Peace

I’ve never ridden a proper train before. Not like most people have used trains throughout their existence— going from city to city. The first train I’d ever ridden, at least that I can remember, was the El train from Evanston, Illinois to downtown Chicago. In my birthplace of Owosso, Michigan they keep the steam engine that the train in the animated movie The Polar Express was modeled after. I remember my family watching this movie at an IMAX theater in Lansing then taking the train to a winter themed carnival in a field somewhere. My favorite train that I’ve ridden is the WES commuter rail between Beaverton and Tualatin, Oregon. This pudgy little train carries its occupants in comfortable seats, listening to its soft whistles and the heavy rumble of its diesel engines, with a soothing female voice announcing the stops, “Hall, Nimbus. Doors to my left” as it bounces through sopping woods and over deep, emerald rivers.

The mass transit system of the Portland metro was essentially my home for about eight months. I’d ride it from neighborhood to neighborhood, sleeping, drinking, and listening to comedy podcasts. I would daydream of getting a job and saving for a van or something to keep me comfortable and safe at night, to wake up and sip a fresh pot of coffee while cooking eggs over a propane stove, cruise through the Rocky Mountains, and grill fresh fish next to a roiling river.

YokoO – All Day I Dream Of Peace