alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
One good thing about driving a car, even--maybe especially--in horrid rush hour traffic is that you get the chance to listen to college radio, and hear over the course of a couple of hours alternative news, Native American music (powwow, rock, blues, whatever, so long as a Native American made it) and a show whose only unifying theme is that all the songs are sung/rapped/chanted/otherwise enunciated by women.  Need to find out what that Portuguese techno was...

I'd kind of forgotten just how damn funny powwow music can be.  Humor, as Sherman Alexie said in Indian Killer, may be born of a survival strategy, but at least it's smart, provocative strategy that works the brain.  I do miss the days when I spent a lot of time in that world.  Not long ago I googled some of the people I knew back in Chicago and Canada, and it was so wrenching how many were dead in their 50s and 60s--cancer, complications from diabetes, a mysterious death in a bar.  Here on the US East Coast we don't see Native American issues that immediately, except for casino negotiations, and it's easy to romanticize reservation life in many ways.  And indeed, it isn't all horrible, there is strong community and the continuation of traditions and values, but so much of it is truly grim, in a way that surpasses anything I've ever seen in urban settings.  One of those who has passed away told me back in my anthropology student days that I would sooner or later leave Native American issues behind, because all the students eventually do.  I was a bit insulted, and insisted no, I was in it for the long haul.  But here I am, just as he predicted.

So for Columbus Day,as it seems timely, I'm going to try to put together a list of books, movies and some music that I think every American ought to read/see/hear.  It will just be my white girl's opinion, but they will be sources that educated me, and that I know ring true to the Ojibwe, Menominee, Hochunk, Kanienkehaka, Cree, Inuit and the other peoples it has been my privilege to meet over the years.  I can--should, must--do that much, share what I have been given.  Because that's the spirit in which it was given to me.
.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
This morning I put sunscreen on my arms for the first time this year and a lifetime of memory jumped up and shouted "yay!  we're going to the beach!"  Sadly, we went to work instead, but I can't shake that feeling of ought to be on vacation.

(I use sunscreen on my face year round, but that's the expensive fancy stuff--the rest of my body gets regular drugstore brand that smells just like sunscreen is supposed to smell)

My new silk veil was waiting for me when I got home last night and the color is perfect with my costume--yay!  It's nice when things work out like that.  It's a little greener than I think of teal being, but that actually makes it a better match.  The care sheet that came with it made me laugh:  "Your veil will frequently be wrinkled."  Ya think?

Lost, spoilers within )

Last year my first day of weeding left me in pain for several days afterwards, but today I feel pretty good.  All those yoga bends and twists have some practical application!  The yard looks quite neat and lovely now.  I'm still going to hold off for a couple of weeks on herbs, I don't trust the weather.

I met our friendly neighborhood pit bull while working on the garden.  I was crouched on the sidewalk ripping out hunks of vinca vine when I heard a dog come up behind me.  I like dogs very much, but when I turned and saw it was a pit bull or pit bull mix I was a little concerned about the fact that I was crouched down--that's not the best way to meet a dog of a strongly hierarchical breed.  So I said, "hi, dog!" and the dog went into an explosion of butt wagging--having not much tail to speak of--and licked my arms all over.  Good puppy! 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
This weather really, really makes me miss Alaska in the summer--this is like an early August evening in southeastern Alaska, with the wind moving restlessly high among the treetops and the air neither hot nor cold.  I feel a little pretentious saying I miss it, because I was only there for that one summer, always as a transient and never as a real resident, but it gets into you.  In that place I held an eagle in my arms, its head to my heart, how could it not lodge itself within me?

Despite the rugged Alaskaness of the weather, today I was a total city kid, going to Liquid to become gloriously orange again, Chinatown for fabric shopping and downtown for dress and sweater shopping.  No dresses and sweaters were to be found (well, I found sweaters I liked but was disciplined and wouldn't buy one if it wasn't exactly the sort of I-know-it's-out-of-style-but-I-want-one-anyway long cardigan I was looking for), but hair is orange and I have fabric, though I'm second-guessing myself on the fabric now.  I want to revamp my look a bit for Raks Spooki, in black, silver and orange because I have orange hair flowers, so I was looking firstly for orange glitterdot fabric to make a fringe belt out of and secondly for interesting fabric for some kind of panel or overskirt.  No orange glitterdot, but I did get a black slinky knit full of orange glitter for the skirt deal.  Except I keep going back and forth over whether it's really orange, or just brown.  I am hoping that with the orange glitterdot next to it, it will be orange enough.  I wanted to buy a rotary cutter as well, but the man at Winmill reacted in horror when I said I didn't have a board and could i just use cardboard instead, and I wasn't brave enough to buy the cutter anyway when he said absolutely not, you will dull the blade too quickly.  It's not like I cut up enough fabric to make that really an issue--i'll just get one online, and he'll never know.

Listened on the T nonstop to the song I'll be doing with Walter Sickert and His Army of Broken Toys on Thursday at the Skybar--I'm really looking forward to this.  Did I mention before that the song is about Tituba, the slave upon whom the blame for all the blasphemous misbehavior of the white girls was laid at the Salem Witch Trials?  I have a total narrative in my head for the song, which may or may not fit the actual lyrics, but I'm finding it profoundly satisfying to act out this particular story.  I hear in the song the spirits finding her on the ship from Africa and staying with her and betraying her in the New World, or perhaps not so much betraying as letting her down until she has nothing left but herself, and even that isn't her own, and then she perishes.  I'm working in a little zaar stuff in the part where I think the spirits have left her, she performs this ritual in her distraught grief but it brings her nothing except perhaps more evidence against her.  Well, I never said it was a cheerful narrative, did I.  Some of my ancestors were longterm New Englanders so I look at this as a way of acknowledging and maybe in some small way apologizing for her pain and mistreatment and that of countless others like her.  Up here in the North we like to forget that slavery was legal here once too.

Well, on that cheeful note, time for dinner, and then off to a party, continuing my day as a city kid.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
This morning I was thinking rather sadly that it was seven years ago today that Cully passed away--and what does my mp3 player serve me up but the Pogues' The Sick Bed of ChuCullain (Cully was short for ChuCullain). 

"the ghosts are rattling at the door
and the ferret's in the chair"

He loved to lounge in my wireframe butterfly chair, hence I would sing that song to him.

photo of Cully, when he was about four )
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Somewhere in Cairo, somebody has been handed all my measurements and this dress is now getting underway.  At least, that's what I am optimistically believing; at any rate, I've placed the order and made my deposit.  In three or four months I'll be wearing it!  I am hopeful that it may take less time, since the costume isn't heavily beaded.  Can't wait--I'll be the bintiest bint in the beledi!  Binty fresh, even.

While poking around at emusic.com, I found an official bootleg release of a Sonic Youth concert in 1987, the Sister tour.  I downloaded it on a nostalgic whim, and man am I glad I did.  I saw them for the first time about a year before that, on the Evol tour, at the Living Room in Providence.  This was back in the day when it wasn't incongruous to see a teenage death rock chick at a Sonic Youth show with her skater boyfriend, when it was not unusual for boundaries to be blurry and nobody thought twice about it.  I'd only heard a couple of their songs before seeing the show. but they--and more specifically Kim Gordon--had me from the first cacophonous note.  Kim Gordon was just this amazing force, all roped muscle and intensity, and I wanted to be her when I grew up, I just wanted to go up on stage and melt into her and be her.  Listening to this recording, I'm right back there again, looking up starstruck at these very real, messy yet focused human beings unleashing beautiful walls of ugly sound, ugly walls of beautiful sound, washes of surprising gentleness in the midst of angst-ridden storms of noise and hard urban citified yet surreally mystical words that I find I still remember in their entirety--occasionally remembering them better than Thurston Moore, who partway through one song had to stop with "Oh fuck, I got the words all wrong."  The band lost me in the mid90s when everything they produced started sounding the same--each album was good, but I couldn't really see the point in buying the same thing over and over.  But this recording--this is what it was when it was glorious.

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