Core Sample: Febs

I like February, it's a sort of elusive feeling, and days in February ("Febs") are more rare than any other monthly type, giving them a special feeling. I'm always trying to put my finger on this feeling but I can't quite get there. This week I was thinking about it and I realized that I have enough personal data to attempt a pointilist approach-- I'll just take a core sample of moments from the second week of February in previous years, and see if they hang together, or what. I don't know, maybe this is just "some stuff" and the vibe can't be relayed in lists of events. Maybe the vibe is for each person to assemble with their own parts, and only that, truly, is "a Feb". In any event, here's some Febs of yore. This is where I was on the wheel the last time it spun past this way. I scrambled the year order to obscure any larger pattern.

This core sample is pulled from any sort of intentional computerized record keeping I've made in the past 15 years-- previous versions of this website, other blogs, photo sites, twitter, tumblr, bookmarks, screengrabs, misc writing, and my personal diary. To limit the size of this document I tried to only grab stuff from the second week of February, not a day earlier or later, even if it was good. That's this week, if you're reading this the week it was posted, or if you're reading this exactly one year after that (or plus one years after that). If you're reading this the week after then it's the week before but that's still February and that's close enough.

If this was a folk song I'd put "That's a Feb" at the end of each verse, but it's not a song it's an html document, so I'll just paste in some dingbats and you can interpret the refrain as you wish. Similarly you may have your own moments this month when you experience what you consider "a real Feb", and whether you echo a refrain or not, I hope you enjoy it, in its way.


on separate days:


I took my stereo apart-- it was dust that was making all those weird sounds. And if dust is largely skin cells... it was me in there???


Went to a party and spilled French onion soup dip on my Wallabees. Never recovered from this.


Played a show (as "Plasma TVs") on a Tuesday at the Firehouse in Worcester with Geoff Mullen and Eli Keszler. I was worried that maybe people wouldn't come out to a noise show on a Tuesday and probably wouldn't get there early (or on time) so I made dim sum-- tons of dumplings that were free if you got there by 7. It was a great show, Eli and Geoff were both great and Geoff was backlit like the T Rex "Electric Warrior" LP. Dim sum is fun and advertising free food is a great way to get a show to start on time. I talked a lot with Eli about the Goonies (band), his favorite band growing up!!! He couldn't believe that I knew who they were and that I was good friends with them! I updated him on everyone's whereabouts and new bands, to the best of my knowledge.



RT @AP: Death of largest crocodile in captivity _ 1-ton _ saddens Philippine town where it drew fame, money: http://apne.ws/124B797

(NB: link destroyed by linkrot)


saw Lazy Magnet / State Nature Of Defect at Operatheque, perfect candle / laser lighting combo for this sound:



The covering was off the window so I peeked in on the space next to Dulgarian's, where Tom had an art show in 2011. His mural is still up?


(2021 update: it's still still up)


Ran into Nik P and Jess VW in the street so I hopped in their car and went on errands with them. We went to the Mid Town Mall to look at bling in the bling store, and then went to Building 19. My notes indicate that I bought "the second and third volumes of Remembrance Of Things Past, a video featuring 'Scatman Crothers as Beethoven', a bunch of colorful fishing lures, many empty coconut halves, and a dvd of 2 Italian 'sword and sandal' movies starring Steve Reeves".

Went to the junk shop later and it was freezing cold and some of the snow globes that Jess made months ago had frozen and cracked. One of the jars was just wet money, and when it cracked it smelled "like sour milk and animal diapers". I put the coconut shells on a high shelf, in a box marked "horse sounds".


I had a temp job in telemarketing, selling teddy bears in a Valentine's Day promotion. Quit after a full day of training and only a half hour of the actual job, because you had to walk the customers through writing a Valentine's card to accompany the bear, and I couldn't say the supplied suggestions ("Horny Devil", "Hunka Hunka Burning Love") over the phone.


Had a crazy dream that my actions started a riot that killed two cops, and I was on the run, afraid to turn myself in and "clear the air" because I was convinced the cops would kill me while I was in holding. I kept trying to get advice from my friends about what to do but they were too distracted. It was morning in the dream and I was talking to Adam M but he said he couldn't do "light stuff" in the morning, pertaining to conversation (I was leading off with "hi, how's it going"). So even though I was in a pretty heavy situation I was trying to think of a more metal/industrial transgressive factoid, ala "skull chunk necklace" (Mayhem, Norway) or "huffing a dead crow in a bag between songs" (Crow, Japan). All I got was "a hippopotamus's blood doesn't coagulate" (this is not true in life nor did it seem true in the dream, it was just the first thing I thought of). Adam took a sip of his coffee and then lightly shook his head like no, that's not going to work.


I gave a truncated version of my Dracula lecture at a high school where a friend of mine (PKP) works. She told me a lot of her students are into vampires and stuff, and it was troubling some of the staff, but she wanted to cast it in a positive light, so there I was. I was worried at first about rambling, but pretty soon it turned into a Q & A free-for-all, which was fun. I was treated as "an expert" on the subject of monsters. One kid (in an Indiana Jones hat and mirror shades) kept trying to call me on my shit w/r/t what would ACTUALLY happen if a vampire bit a werewolf, which I appreciate. Same kid asked me "what information do you have about imps, goblins, minotaurs, and ogres?". Imps and goblins lots, ogres not so much, and for minotaurs I have a beloved conjecture-- Ovid states that the minotaur is part human part bull but doesn't say which part; Dante suggests that it's a human head on a bull's body, which I find more terrifying. A human with a bull's head is awkward, lumbering, melancholy. The other way around is furious, shrill, insensate.

The talk was totally fun. Great eyes lit up when I mentioned metal (the genre, not the type of matter), Suicidal Tendencies (the band, not the actual tendency), and when I casually said "shit". At a certain point the teacher asked me if I had any good gross words for them for a project they were working on, and I tried in vain to remember the lyrics to any track on EXHUMED "Slaughtercult" LP, but I had to bail. I pulled some from my own repertoire though. My dream for a talk like this is that afterwards some of the kids might take a slightly different "anything goes" look on culture and learning, and that may have been the case in this instance, but I think most likely I was just the guy that started everyone in Ms Kirkpatrick's class using the words "fetid" and "fecund".

artist's rendering, magazine for scale


Sometime in 2010 I started a weeklyish "Drawing Day" event where on Tuesdays people would hang out in my room and draw, and drink coffee, sometimes beer. The usual crew included Mickey Zacchilli, Carlos Gonzalez, CF, James Kuo, Tom Bubul, Charlotte deSedouy, plus special guests.

This week in 2010 I drew this really nice frog:



Worked for a while yesterday at the record store, caught up with Dave, and paid rent for Feb. After work I went to the pasta place in Silver Lake with Scott and Ian, which is something we'd been trying to arrange since the new year. It was incredible.

The food, as always, was extremely good- everything pretty simple but done to absolute perfection. We ordered family style and got a pound of penne, spaghetti with clam sauce, cheese ravioli, and orchetta (little ears). The decor is classic and nice, with plants, fake marble statues, and old bottles of Chianti-- it's like if you took an old hall and made it fancy, but you stopped making it fancy just as soon as the fanciness started to feel unwelcoming. It's a very welcoming place.

The guy that runs the place is cherubic, and as sweet as sunlight in the spring, flitting about from table to table checking on people and saying little jokes. It seems like his whole life is people constantly telling him that the food is incredible, and he has met this love in kind. Him and Sakiko talked about names and their meanings a few years ago, and Sakiko told him that her full name translates to "blooming child of the forest". Since then when we go in he says "here's my blooming child!", and when we leave she gets a hug and a kiss on the cheek (everyone else gets firm handshakes).

We've been going there for years and seemingly every time we go the guy tells the same story, about making a frittata with the leftover pasta. The story is as follows: a group of three friends meet at the restaurant regularly and each get a pound of pasta (they're big eaters). Then one day one of them doesn't finish. His friends give him a hard time about it and even the restaurant guy messes with him a little, but then he says "go home, and in the morning, make a frittata- take a couple eggs, scramble them up, add the pasta, add romano cheese because the parmesan is too salty, flip it over, there you go". The customer does just this, and loves it, and after that, every visit, he'd leave a little extra to take home. When the restaurant guy tells the story to a lively audience, there's an optional ending, delivered in sotto voce-- the customer's mother is very foul mouthed, and when she saw him doing this she said (this is the guy telling the story) "What the eff are you doing with that effing pasta? You're making an effing mess it's gonna taste effing lousy", then the guy says "Do you want to try a piece, Ma?" and when she does she pauses a beat and then and says "That's effing good! Next time get more effing pasta!".

The way the guy says "frittata" is immaculate, you can hear all 3 t's, and he sprinkles the word about freely and without hesitation. I think I've gone there 6 or 7 times and I've heard different variations of the story each time. One time I was there for a gala function and I switched tables during the meal and heard the story twice.

This time around, the story grew both inward and outward, adding details, reprises, and a touching coda-- we learned what all three original guys regularly ordered, and little details around the initial telling of the recipe-- the guy couldn't finish because he was sick, he didn't want to take any to go because he had to go to work in the morning and didn't want the pasta to just sit in the fridge getting hard. We learned what kind of pan to use (a big heavy pan) and how to flip it over (slide it onto a plate then flip it back into the pan). We heard a little more from the mother, and that she was Portuguese (and the father was English). Most surprisingly is that the story kept going. One day one of the customer's friends came in without him, and the restaurant guy said "Where's your friend?" "He left us" "Oh, where'd he go?" "No, he left us". "I heard that part, where'd he go?" "He died". The guy got very red (at this point he pointed out that he had goosebumps telling this story) and it seemed to me like he was embarrassed in the story and also a little embarassed telling us, embarrassed to have strayed so far into serious topics, but he had to see it through. There was a woman with the friend and she stood up and said "I am his mother. He loved this place and talked about it all the time. Thank you for giving him a warm and loving place where he felt like family". They hugged.

It was a bravura performance, hitting notes from happy to sad, joyous to melancholy, vulgar to tender. His use of other voices telling sub-stories, or repeating parts of the story with slight variation, was incredibly effective-- he flowed between the story's interior, its structure, and its exterior in a way that made me feel wrapped up in it and part of it. He got rolling and just put everything into it, beautiful.


I was asked to exhibit Mothers News in a group show at Harvard, in a show that "surveys groundbreaking works from around the world that together register one of the most important developments in recent art history: the rise in the last twenty-five years of a renewed sphere of artistic practices that blur the lines between art and everyday life in projects emphasizing political concerns, participation, and forms of dialogue".

On opening night I had to keep guarding my stack of papers because people kept leaving flyers for their DJ nights on top. No one else seemed to be having this problem but also no one else made artwork that you could directly take home for free, that's the tradeoff.



Hung out with singer and composer Chrissy Wolpert at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. I know Chrissy through music- she leads the Assembly of Light choir and was one half of Bone Dust, a metal two piece with Pippi Zornoza. We both got hot coffee and talked for a long time, about having a morning routine, drinking coffee, sharing food, music, strategies of lyric writing, the Shirelles, playing drums, improvisation, jobs, jobs where you have to cover up your tattoos vs jobs where you don't, what is success in the arts, how being a rock star is actually a lousy job, singing, the spiritual utility of music, and JJB Buckmaster (world's greatest guitarist). The coffee was good. I got a regular cup of coffee, but when I got a refill I got decaf. Chrissy abstained from the refill.



My first full day working a regular job in 12 years and I'm pretty sure my zipper was down the entire time 🌼

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other posts you may enjoy (chosen at random) :
Roaming Around A Destroyed House
Some Sights and Sounds of Summer
New Rooms Update