it was 'first rain' here (of the autumn), when generally people here go running naked. about 9pm there was a big siren that went off, but i didn't go to it. i was busy. tit is getting quite chilly here, more so than i thought. the forest smells so different and lovely now though.
the most productive things i have done all week are buy a bike, some honey to go with my frozen yoghurt, and done an hour of volunteer work for the food coop. i was like 'can i volunteer for the coop?' and the girl was like 'take out the trash' and then 'sweep up' and then 'do the washing up' i was well chuffed. who says anarchists never take the bin out?
had a pretty great night the other night. it was friday, and me and max both had bikes (i got a bike!) for the first evening and we were going to head down to the guerilla cinema then maybe jam on the beach, so strapped sax to back and rode off, but didn't get far before saw man with drum, so had a jam with him, then a adrenaline pumping ride down a long fast hill(at loeast 2 or 3 km) with no lights int he pitch black and cars whizzing by. then i tried to use my fake national railcard id to buy some wine, didn't work, so we went into the safeway car park, got out instruments, and played until a random norwegian guy came and agreed to buy us some wine. then down the train tracks to the cinema, it was 10pm by now and it was meant to start at 8, but you know what anarchists wer elike, and we were just in time for the beginning of the feature, called 'life and debt', all about the IMF and WTO effects on jamaica. it was really eye opening; ever time i hear about the IMF i remember how TOTALLY and holistically they fuck over countries and leave them with no options. it was done by starting off with US tourists and it took you through their bubble existence and then would spin off to the issues, so the tourist eats a banana and it goes off on one about how the banana trade has been destroyed etc etc. but some intense images- beautiful milk being poured down the drain by the gallons because of US subsidised powdered milk (the us subsidise it 134%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) whilst down the road rastafarians go through the open cast rubbish.
an old bearded man called 'the mule skinner' started talking to us, i think primarily because we had some wine, and he had some weed (i had left mine at home by accident) so all were happy. he told us stories like a proper american, "i was the fastest mule skinner north of santa rosa", and i was like 'are you a travellin' man?" and he was like 'ahhh, i need to git me a mule, then we can go up to the north country! hahaha i ain't never left here before" and then for ages when he figured i was english he was like "hahahahahaha!!! you from eeengland!!! hahaha, well ain't that something". all this time most of the people watching the film could hear him, and i am sure were getting pretty pissed off with him, so eventually iwas like lets go to the beach after this and talk but now lets watch the film etc etc and then another hobo came called bruce, and when the film finished (i woudl really recommend the film) me, max and bruce went to the nearest beach (one straight road away) nd by now i was rushing and excited by the sea and sang a song abotu the sea
and bruce got int he spirit and sang along, and then had some really lovely (but slightly impatient) moments playing the sax loud to the sea and dodging waves whilst still playing, was amazing, then max played some gypsyish guitar and i danced and realised i hadn't dance for ages and had missed it without knowing and then we spoke, and then we were meant to be meeting one of maxs friends who had a beach hut and was a having a bit of a do and he rang them and they were heading to another beach up the coast, but bruce knew wehre it was, and then i was like 'so are you coming bruce?' and he was like 'do you feel comfortable me coming?' and i was like 'well, ofcourse i do, cos we are having a great time, and so does max, but we both know that when we get there the preppy punks who are there weill be like 'who is that hobo?' and might not be top class' and he was like 'yes... i know when to say goodnight' and he was going to take us fishing and we said goodbye. then we headed int he direction we were told, biking and feeling free on the quiet coast road and then this stupid 4 by 4 drove past and someone shouted out of the window 'I LOVE YOU!' and i shouted back 'GET A SMALLER CAR!" and then we chased the car and then we lost it and then it was behind us again and it stopped and we asked them where X beach was and they were like 'do you want a riattade?' and so we put our bikes in their ample boot and got in. and anyway it turns out these people are sort of in a way the people i have been waiting to meet for a while- one of them was JUST LIKE commie cath, looked like her and was an artist but younger and less cynical and without a cackle. and can't remember the names of her two friends but anyway, they were all about telling everyone they met that they were beautiful and went on 'vision quests' where they go out into the desert and fast and have thoughts, and live in a buddhist commune (which has space and is really cheap and is close to campus...) and have medical cards for medicinal amrajuina and it was lovely chilling with them on the beach etc. we went for a spontanious naked swim!! and long chats. but even in that situation i was a bit cynical with all their hippie chatter, not that i doidn't agree with an of it, but i dunno, i guess maybe i am just more conciouos of all the shit outside (and inside) of the lovely beach town. maybe just anger at myself for being troo politically inert. but anyway, every event of the evening seemed to conspire together to make for a wonderful evening
but then max lost his bike lock so our bikes are still at the beach till his mum mails him the spare! bit of a shitter. we were meant to go today but he didn't pick up his mail in time.
on friday daytime i had made a 'decoupage flowerpot' (i think decoupage is the act of sticking things together with half pvc glue, half water) out of an old big tin can and a few copies of the new yorker and other papers. then put the paper-with-seeds-in that lauren gave me in the pot, and soil, and poked some holes int he bottom, and now i am just waiting for flowers
but anyway, i digress. the people we met on friday invited us to a birthday party near campus for the next day.. got there, and was treated like a wierd smelly party crasher by the people int he room that opened the door to me. was a bit wierd, but then went into the garden where the people who we met the other night were at, and it was really great, met some really top class guys and gals. there was a guy with a tshirt saying 'save dafur' and i asked him 'how would you save dafur' and he said somethign like 'well, the UN won't do anything and the arabs are too unruly to sort themselves out so america should take unilateral action " and i was like 'do you want america to invade dafur" and he said 'well, the word /invade is a /bit troublesome...' and i was like 'are you jewish' and he was like 'yeah and also a zionist'. but at least the conversation was stimulating. i met a guy who i had previously met at a bike coop, and we chatted about music when we met again and then i went and chatted with someone else and sparked a fat spliff, and he tapped me on the shoulder and said 'do you know that gives you cancer?' and wow, i didn't smoke again at the party i got a bit noiad. then later am Mbira jam with 2 beatboxers and 2 really great MCs, possibly the most intelligent, relaxed MCing i have ever heard from this guy who just looked and behaved like a sort of skinny tall george. he rhymed rasputin with disputin'.
adn they had 2 kegs of newcastle brown ale!!!! hahahaha that was all the alcohol there was, great eh? tasted great. but the best thing there was the conversation, it reminded me of how bubbled up campus is;because they were in a stimulated environment the conversation was just so much more significant.
and there was talk of a buhhdist coop just outside the campus, and also two coops in the town, both of which are dirt cheap and have spaces... i think maybe i will move out of my campus bubble at christmas. it is ok here, but i had a bit of a revelation last night remembering that i was here to experience AMERICA aswell as uni life in america, and i have seen plenty of uni life here and it isn't THAT cool, even thoguh it is very beautiful and easy. and i thought if i had the same militant attitude as 2 years ago when i properly was intent on smashing the system then i would be actively seeking out somewhere else than a campus to live on, i would be trying to be in a coop from day one, and i think i have been a bit blinded by convenience here. the only drawbacks to living in the town would be thats its a mission to get into uni every morning and i might do less work, but i will be in a town with a proper social structure not an imposed, artificial one. so i am going to get someone to take me to one i hope. what do you think? it will be difficult to say goodbye to max and a fewothers, but i think he will understand and it makes social if not logistical sense. i was thinknig last night this is my first chance to do the proper alternative living thing, and it has taken so long to be in this position that i have forgot i wanted to do it!
then , sunday, alice and her flatmate tess cooked a delicious sunday dinner. tess's thing was to cook her flatmates sunday dinner back in dublin where she went to uni so it was all carrot and cream cheese, chicken stock, sausages, roasted veggies , apple crumble and cream. tasty to the extreme. it was so nice to eat a meal around a table with good quality food and drink and pride taken in the cooking. then some Mbira with alice, then went home and cleaned the bath (as according to our new cleaning rota, as part of our 'living agreement', where we had to decide by what time of the evenign our chores would be done, and how long we can leave things in the drying area and for fucks sake man, there haven't even been any issues since we got here!!! stupid.)
then practiced john coltrane's mr PC on guitar and clarinet, then went off to the piano at the nearest dining hall but it was pitch black and we didn't have light so we just played in the pitch black improv, not coltrane, and it was going nicely and then these two guys appeared and asked if they could jam, and we said yes, and then a minute later like 8 people came dancing down the stairs, one with a flute and one with a violin, and it was all very dark so we couldn't really see each others faces so i just went over and was well intense with the flute player and she was into it and we swapped ideas and managed IT at times and all the others danced and sang and whooped and max kept banging out the chords on the piano and it was AMAZING!!! and it went on and on.
most common questions people ask me - 'where are you from' england 'which part?' yorkshire... in the north east. and generally peopel don't know ANYWHERE in london except for london and manchester united, so why do they bother asking?.
so that was class, then they had classes int he morning, so did max, but earlier i had given $10 to some people visiting a flat furthur down who worked for UPS to get me some wine. so went to pick it up, and we headed down to the 'meadow', where everyone gathers on a night but where i have never been to yet, and there was noone there cos it was 1am on a sunday, but we sat down, 4 boys and 3 girls who all knew each other and me sort of, and they smoked a BLUNT ala kids and the north bay, and i smoked, and there were only 3 of us smoking and i got SO STONED, like very very stoned, and then we were walking and i was suddenly like 'who the fuck are these people who i am with, i cna't remember what i am doing here at all' and noone was talking to me, and then they did and i was so stoned i could only say yes and no and so they left me alone and i withdrew into muself fast and it was proper all encompassing paranoia but i didn't know where we were and didn't have a torch of my own so i had to stay with them and walk behind them and then left at the first opportunity, but it was HORRIBLE. and then i came back to my flat and fortunately giancarlo had gone to bed, and i really battled hard not to be noiad with my flatmates, and once i had managed to tell them what had happened it was ok and we watched cartoons then slept, but SHIT MAN i was so stoned, i was lying in bed tripping for about an hour. all the signs are pointing to me just stopping smoking (lots of) weed.
and now it is tuesday and another day full of music. jazz today was excellent again, i feel inspired every lesson, but music of india is a bit slow. this evening we had a lecture on 'how to make an atomic bomb' in our UC and the bomb lecture. we are going to los alamos, where they design all the US bombs, to have a look around, should be quite good. someone walked past me outside the music centre in a tshirt with 'ISREALI AIRFORCE' and the crest in big letters on the front.
what is the point of itunes? i only realised recently that when you convert a song on your laptop to itunres format or rip a cd in itunes, it doesn't let you share it freely, and you can only give it to a certain amount of people. what a load of shit!especially at a time when music is becoming freer and freer. why do people not just boycott itunes and use any of the other thousand ways of playing music on cd players, computers and mp3 players and just use MP3s? i guess it is something to do with the aesthetics of the ipod. mayube one day it will be impossible to sell music because it will all be on the internet, so musical artists and groups will have to earn their money by PLAYING music live to people. having said all that, it is possible her (if you have itues) to listen to anyone elses itunes collection in our college who is on the network, which at any one time is massive. that is cool.
so another week has passed by, and i do feel more settled and with purpose. once again there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things i want to do, and i think i prefer it this way. i do want to get off campus more though and meet a more diverse group of people. i am going back to san francisco this coming weekend to a free bluegrass festival, so that will give me a weekend away.
attached is a photo of my three flatmates, from left edmund, giancarlo and max. their expressions are to an extent reflective of their personalities.
it is late.
sam sent me an email about his first throes in Dinwiddy, and i wanted to be there with him. when i read emails sometimes i am back in england.