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Bad Things About Monday

♣ Not being in Berlin.

♣ Being late for the J Mascis and the Fog Gig.

♣ Having to leave the gig at 11 to get the last train.

♣ Having to walk away hearing everyone else cheering the band back on.

♣ Missing the last train home. Actually, getting to the bottom step just in time to watch it leave.

Good Things About Monday

♣ J. J. J. J being amazing and God and just omg.

♣ The rhythm section - "The Fog" - Dave Schools and Kyle Spence. Kyle Spence is totally cute and the drummer. Who even knew that was possible? Either way, they were tight and sweet. Lots of lovely little bass embellishments I've never heard/picked up on the cd's.

♣ The keycode on the "dressing room" not wanting to play and keeping everyone on the outside. Highly amusing watching grown men trying to kick a door in.

♣ That despite leaving late I still managed to catch the end of the opening act, and they were good. Just need to find out their name now.

♣ The way, when J would kick a switch, it felt like I was being driven over a hill too fast. Never ever had that happen at a gig before. Insane.

♣ Getting right in front of J being surprisingly (or not so, it's not a push to imagine most of the crowd were smarter than me) easy. 6 foot away from God. His arms actually are that nice. But his hands are amazing. He doesn't make it look easy, which would be forgiveable, he makes it look obvious, for which he is a rat bastard.

♣ the lung
blowing it
everybody lets me down
so what else is new
the wagon
and the others I can't remember.
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In fact, I wasn't even 100% sure it was an earthquake until this morning. That's how English it was. "Oh, hello. Terribly sorry for the inconvenience, I do hope that roof-tile isn't too badly mussed. Must be off, toodle-pip!"

Helen is watching television. The sound is low so no one is alerted to the fact that she isn't asleep.

House twists violently.

Helen sits quietly through it all and is pretty sure that the winds can't have gotten that strong.

Helen goes to take her shower.

It was amazing.
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I forgot about these. As usual, sub-par photograpy inside. I make no apologies for it, just a note to let you know that I took all the images that really made me dizzy out.

Also, I seem to have fixated on the Astrological Clock. I don't know why, but it was cool.

The Astrological Clock. I liked this. )
The bottom half of the clock has the days of the year written around it. And when the hour strikes there are some little "men" (not pictured) that come out of doors and move. Of a night crowds would gather to watch it.

A really cool building front. That is St. Wensleslas on there. He's very big in Prague. )

We visited much more cool stuff, but I forgot to pack a memory card, so other than the really bad ones I had to delete, these are all the photos I have.

My sister let me take a picture of The Synagogue where the Golum lives* using her camera though, so that was cool. Maybe one day I'll be able to get hold of those photos.

(*I touched it. My geek-heart still beats a little giddy beat about that. Yeah, I think I need to get a life too. God help me if I ever get to Venice. That was the pavement! I licked it!...)
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And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

-raymond carver
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Dear Editor:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

-Francis P. Church
First appeared in the The New York Sun in 1897.
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Just got the phone call.

My Aunty Frances died this morning.
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My Auntie Frances is dying.

She has lung cancer and probably four weeks at the most.

I'd like to say I'm shocked but she's 83 or so and has smoked like a chimney for as long as I can remember.

She's the only other ginger women in my family.
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All the little birds
where you are.
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"i know you. you were too short. you had bad skin. you couldn't talk to them very well. words didn't seem to work. they lied when they came out of your mouth. you tried so hard to understand them. you wanted to be part of what was happening. you saw them having fun. and it seemed like such a mystery. almost magic. made you think that there was something wrong with you. you'd look in the mirror trying to find it. you thought that you were ugly. and that everyone was looking at you. so you learned to be invisible. to look down. to avoid conversation. the hours. days. weekends. ahh the weekend nights alone. where were you? in the basement? in the attic? in your room? working some job just to have something to do? just to have a place to put yourself? just to have a way to get away from THEM? a chance to get away from the ones that made you feel so strange and ill-at-ease inside yourself? did you ever get invited to one of their parties? you sat and wondered if you would go or not. for hours you imagined the scenarios that might transpire. if they would laugh at you. if you would know what to do. if you would have the right things on. if they would notice that you came from a different planet. did you get all brave in your thoughts? like you were going to be able to go in there and deal with it and have a great time? did you think that you might be... the life of the party? that all these people were gonna talk to you? and you would find out that you were wrong? that you had alot of friends? and you weren't so strange after all? did you end up going? did they mess with you? did they single you out? did you find out that you were invited because they thought you were so wierd? yeah. i think i know you. you spent alot of time full of hate. a hate that was pure as sunshine. a hate that saw for miles. a hate that kept you up at night. a hate that filled your every waking moment. a hate that carried you for a long time. yes. i think i know you. you couldn't figure out what they saw in the way they lived. home... was NOT home. your room was home. a corner was home. the place they weren't. that was home. i know you. you're sensitive. and you hide it. because you fear getting stepped on one more seems that when you show a part of yourself that is the least bit vulnerable someone takes advantage of you. one of THEM steps on YOU. THEY mistake kindness for weakness. but YOU know the difference. you've been the brunt of their weakness for years and strength is something that you know a bit about because you had to be strong to keep yourself alive. you know yourself very well now. and you don't trust people. you know them too well. you try to find that special person. someone you can be with. someone you can touch. someone you can talk to. someone you won't feel so strange around. and you've found that they don't really exist. you feel closer to people on movie screens. yeah. i think i know you. you spend alot of time daydreaming. and people have made comment to that effect. telling you that you're self-involved and self-centered. but they don't know do they? about the long nightshifts alone. about the years of keeping yourself company. all the nights you wrapped your arms around yourself so you could imagine someone holding you. the hours of indecision. self-doubt. the intense depression. the blinding hate. the rage that made you stagger. the devastation of rejection. well... maybe they do know. but if they do they sure do a good job of hiding it. it astounds you how they can be soo smooth. how they seem to pass through life as if life itself was some divine gift. and it infuriates you to watch yourself with your apparent skill in finding every way possible to screw it up. for you life is a long trip. terrifying and wonderful. birds sing to you at night. the rain and the sun. the changing seasons are true friends. solitude is a hard one ally. faithful and patient. yeah. i think i know you."

~henry rollins
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And oh! It was such a nice day today. I got out of work early, my hayfever held off and the sun was perfect and I could smell it everywhere.

I felt like a garden on my walk home.
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Long ago, there lived a fair young maiden who was the daughter of an earl. Her name was Janet and she lived in a grey castle beside the forest of Carterhaugh in Selkirk, Scotland.

One day, she realized that she was bored to tears with sewing in her bower or playing silly games with the ladies of her father's house. So, she set off to explore the forest.

It was a magical setting. The sunlight shone through the trees and beneath her feet, the forest floor was covered with bluebells and briar roses. Impulsively, she stretched our her hand and plucked a white rose. No sooner had she done this when a young man suddenly appeared on the path before her.

Softly, he spoke. "I am the guard of these woods, sent here to make certain no-one disturbs their peace - who are you to pluck the roses of Carterhaugh and wander here without my leave?"

"I meant no harm," Janet answered. The young man smiled, as one who has not smiled for a long time, and plucked a red rose that had grown beside the white one. "Ah, but I would willingly give all the roses of Carterhaugh to one so lovely as yourself," he said.

Taking his rose, Janet shyly asked him who he was. "My name is Tam Lin," the young man replied. "I have heard of you! You are an elfin knight," cried Janet; and in fear she cast the flower away. "There is no cause for alarm, fair Janet," said Tam Lin. "For though men call me an elfin knight, I was born a mortal child, just as you were. Here, let us sit together and I will tell you my story.

'My father and mother died when I was but an infant and so my grandfather took me to live with him. Years later, when we were hunting in these very woods, a cold, strange wind came up from the north and blew through every leaf. I became very sleepy and began to lag far behind my hunting companions. Finally, I fell from the horse and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. When I woke up, I found myself in the faery land, for the Elf Queen had come and stolen me away as I slept."

Tam Lin paused as he thought of that green enchanted land. "Ever since then," he continued, "I have been bound fast by the spell the Elf Queen put upon me. In the daytime, I guard the woods of Carterhaugh, and at night I must return to her kingdom. O, Janet, I long to return to my mortal life and wish with all my heart that I could be rid of my enchantment!"

He spoke with such great sorrow that Janet cried out: "Is there no way this spell can be broken?" Tam Lin caught her hands in his and said: "Tonight is the feast of Samhain, and only on this night of all nights, is there a chance to win me back to mortal life.

"Tell me what I should do to help you," implored Janet, "for I want to win you back with all my heart."

Tam Lin explained what she must do: "On Samhain, the faery folk ride abroad, and I ride with them."When midnight comes, you must go to the crossroads and wait for the faery troop to ride by. As the first company approaches, stay still and let them pass; as the second company draws near, let them pass too. I shall be in the third company, riding a milk-white steed and wearing a gold circlet on my brow. You must then run to me, Janet, pull me from my horse, and throw your arms about me. And no matter what spells the Elf Queen casts upon us, you must hold me fast and not let me go. That is the only way to win me back to earth." Janet promised she would be there. With that, the young man smiled and disappeared.

A little after midnight, Janet hurried to the crossroads and waited in the shadow of the thorn hedge. The ditches gleamed in the moonlight, the thorn bushes cast strange shapes upon the ground, and the trees rustled their branches eerily above her. Faintly on the wind, she heard the sound of bridles tinkling and she knew the faery troops were on the move.

Shivering, she drew her cloak around her and peered into the darkness. First, she saw the gleam of silver harness, then the white blaze on the forehead of the lead horse. Soon, all the faery troop came into sight, their pale faces upturned to the moonlight, and their flowing tresses windswept behind them as they rode.

As the first company passed her, she spotted the Elf Queen herself, mounted on a coal-black steed. She stayed perfectly still until they had passed her; nor did she move when the second company went by. But, among the third company, she saw the milk-white horse that bore Tam Lin, and the gleam of the gold circlet around his brow. Janet ran from the shadow of the thorn hedge and seized his bridle. She then pulled him to the ground and clasped him in her arms.

Immediately, the cry went up: "Tam Lin is away!" The Elf Queen's black horse reared and she pulled him to a halt. Turning, she cast her mesmerizing emerald eyes toward Janet and Tam Lin. As Janet held Tam Lin fast, the Elf Queen put a spell upon them. Tam Lin shrank and became a small, scaly lizard which Janet clutched to her breast. Janet then felt a slithering sensation through her fingers. The lizard had become a cold, slippery snake which she gripped tightly, even as it coiled around her neck. Suddenly, a searing pain ran through her hands. The snake had been turned into a red-hot iron. Tears of agony ran down her cheeks, but still, Janet held on to Tam Lin and would not let him go.

At last, the Elf Queen knew that she had lost Tam Lin because of the steadfast love of a mortal woman. She then shaped him in Janet's arms in his own form - as naked as the day he was born. In triumph, Janet covered Tam Lin with her cloak.

As the faery host prepared to ride once more, a slender ghostly hand came forth to lead Tam Lin's white steed away. Janet and Tam Lin heard the voice of the Elf Queen raised in a bitter lament:

"The fairest knight in all my company is lost to the world of mortals. Farewell, Tam Lin! Had I but known that an earthly woman would win you with her love, I would have taken out your heart of flesh and put in a heart of stone. And had I known that fair Janet was coming to Carterhaugh, I would have taken out your two grey eyes and put in two of wood."

As she spoke, a faint dawn light could be seen on the horizon. With an unearthly cry, the faery raiders spurred on their horses and vanished with the night. As the sound of their bridle bells died away, Tam Lin gently caught hold of one of Janet's poor blistered hands, and together they returned to the castle. There, it is said, her father blessed their union and they lived a long and happy life together. But they never forgot how they first met. Always, on Samhain, Tam Lin would take Janet for a walk through the woods, pluck for her a red, red rose and plant hundreds of soothing kisses on the brutally scarred hands that had saved him.
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The white horses hoof hit the flint and sent a shower of sparks flaring though the dark.

It was just one of those amazing things you see occasionally. Beautiful.
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