Saturday, December 29, 2007

I will have something worth posting in 2008. Have to get through the weekend at work. The mild temperatures have made the holiday season much less irritating.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

to live deliberately
and do the chicago promenade

[almost done with exams]

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Property Tax

The problem with the industry is simple: we treat music like real estate. It is a package deal complete with property rights, sales agents, mortgage lenders, appraisers, foreclosures, auctions, and demolitions. Except in music, there are no property taxes, which means the product is not appreciating in value. There are licensing and performance fees, but those are not comparable. Music is not a necessity. It is a luxury. There may be factors that influence its progression, like the advancement in technology, but predictions on how listeners and the industry are going to react cannot be made. It is not a housing market. Music is an art and art is a subjective matter. Nothing will change for the better until music is treated like a valuable.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Almost, it's almost over- the exams, papers, projects, stress.

I have a twenty page paper due on Monday, worth fifty percent of my grade. It's about the music industry and my role, what I plan to do after graduation, the current condition, the past, the future, and everything in between. It's coming together, slowly, but steadily. Through this semester, and my continuum as music director, I have come to this conclusion:

No matter what- fill in whatever necessary to define the what- it will always be about the music.

The sound, the feel, the tone, rhythm, lyrics [or absence of], pitch, crescendos, fades, beats- its music and its why I do it. I do it because I love music.

And just because everyone is doing their best of 2007 lists, here is my most anticipated album of 2008.

Okay, so I've already listened to it- Thanks Yep Roc Records.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Below is section of a creative project I did for my 19th century American Poetry class. I chose selected portions of Leaves of Grass and brought them to a 21st century perspective.

"Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs, a kosmos,
Disorderly fleshy and sensual . . . eating drinking and breeding,
No senimentalist . . . no stander above men and women or
apart from them . . . no more modest that immodest."

~Walt Whitman,
from Leaves of Grass

Kelly Reid, a ­­­­­­­­­­­_____________ , one of the escapees, an indie,

Deliberately exhausted and insoluble . . . working enduring and maintaining,

No refugee . . . no more weathered than any other product

of an unbalanced formula . . . no more impeded than abled.

And as an added bonus- two records I picked up this weekend

Saturday, November 24, 2007

30degrees on a friday night

Jump at the chance, jump high, and fall hard. This time investigate, assess, analyze.


Titanium has a high resistance to corrosion. I should be fine.

Busted car.
Wonder woman.
Why can't you just be nice to me?
Two nights of vacation.
Four days of no smoking.
Eye make up remover.
Exceptional drought.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving is on Thursday. It will be holiday season again. Wonderful holiday season. I will be having dinner at my sister's apartment, both my mom and dad will be there. They have been divorced five years and somehow, for some odd reason, we still eat together as a family on holidays.

Why? I don't get it. They are divorced. I am supposed to spend time with each separately, not together. Two years ago for Thanksgiving they rode together for the trip to Raleigh. My divorced parents in the same car for over two hours. Big mistake. I had to mediate for two hours so that they would at least agree on riding back together. They got divorced for a reason.

I will make it through another day of thanksgiving. Thankful for the semester almost complete. Thankful for holiday party season at work. Thankful for music.

I don't want another lonely Christmas. Another December of working late, drinking wine by myself at the bar, and coming home to cold hardwood floors. Even the best of music can't warm a solitary gray winter night. I will probably just work more. Put in more hours at the radio station.

Someone, the other day, told me I was beautiful. It sounded so simple and sweet. Maybe it was the beers. Maybe it was the hairstyle I had paid a lot for earlier that morning. Maybe he meant it. Maybe he will act on it. Regardless, I took the moment and added it to my memories not to be forgotten.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I love music.

I love how it finds me- Gambling the Muse

I love how I find it- Wax Fang

I don't care if the industry is in a crisis. Numbers lie. It is not possible to predict the future of a business based on numbers. You may be able to in car or home sales, but not in music. Music is an art, and the business that has been created by music is unpredictable because art is unpredictable. And most importantly--- radio is not dead. Music lovers still desire an organic, unfiltered way to discover new music, and that medium is college radio. The bloggers will continue to strive to be tastemakers, but radio will prevail. Building a set of songs, a playlist, live on the air, no preprogrammed bull, is one of the best feelings. It is different than a blog or pitchfork. It is art through art.

Rock out with your heart out.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I am at the office, feeling restless, and so I decided to write. Actually, I was listening to another new record, trying to catch up on some albums- I always feel like I am playing catch up- and I was almost done when I listened to "Smoke Rings" from the artist, Dri.

Who's in your heart is not always who's in your bed.

The first line of lyrics made me want to write. So I did.

I won't write about who is in my bed, or who is in my heart. I am not that kind of writer. I can't put my feelings of love into words, on paper or in person. It's probably why I am habitually, by choice, single. The songs on "Smoke Rings" held me past the first piercing line of truth. Although the sequencing of tracks is disjointed going into the second track, I got past it- but artists make a note that sequencing is important, especially if you claim to make albums and not just songs.

Indria is a radio and Itunes commercial ready track: catchy beat, dreamy vocals, texture through out. Inspiration has the soulful sound of 60's Motown. Skip Free Tonight; its a bad feel of Paula Abdul meets indie. Well I might take back everything, the album has declined, and the title track Smoke Rings, written by Ned Washington, barely saves the ending.

Just as everything else I examine lately- promising, disappointing, barely making it by, and left with a mediocre Ehhhhh.

What to do. Expand on the dissatisfaction and disjunction of my current status.

---> Turning points are supposed to hold something better and different around the corner. But I can't get myself around the corner. I am stuck. I can feel a change. I know I need something different. Nothing. Just anxiety.

Maybe it's the weather. Or maybe it's just me.


Not wanting to write. Feeling blase. Spiraling. Hangnails. Heavy shoulders. Fog. Frustration. Why. Cause. Effect. Cure. Persistent. Frigid. Unhealthy. Determination. Hindrance.

Independence is a nice way of lying about being alone.

I have got to get out of here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I don't want to give up my creative writing degree, but if the money isn't there for the bill from N.C. State then I can't pursue what I really want to do.

I am so fucking fed up with this lame ass excuse for a public education system, and health care for that matter.

If you are poor they give your money for school/healthcare to earn a degree/go to doctor. If you're not poor, but middle class, your are stuck--- stuck with student loan debt straight out of college/with no healthcare.

I know that I've ranted about this before, but I can't help it. It is something that dictates my education, and life, so strongly that I can't not write about it.

I don't want to graduate with only a chemistry degree. I want my creative writing degree, I want an unpaid internship at NPR this summer, I want to follow my passion.

Its always about the money. Because it is. You can't do much of shit in this society with out money.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


New York City.

It will suck the energy right out of you. It makes me appreciate my lazy old South. I am almost too tired to write. But I'll try.

The people are interesting. Everyone is hip, or trying to be. Eccentric is standard in the city.

Okay, I can't do it. I have to go back to the apartment, and drop the laptop off, and go to some party. Parties parties parties. I am too old to party. I rather sit and drink wine, or eat sushi. Relax and attempt an intellectual conversation. I still have a paper to finish for an English class.


[Fashion update for all ladies in NC- BOOT BOOTS BOOTS, get a good pair and wear them everywhere. Flats or heels, but they must come to knee. Outside the pant too. And if you're feeling courages- ankle boots with tights. That is the report from NYC.]

Sunday, October 14, 2007

In 36 hours I will be at a panel for CMJ. In 24 hours I will be in New York City and my flight will have taken off and landed safely. The keys that I received in the mail will have let me into the awesome apartment in Greenwich Village. And in 12 hours my papers will be completed and turned in.

The stress levels will subside


Saturday, October 13, 2007

I have to
figure out how to get invited to this infamous ASCAP party that boasts steak, bacon, whiskey, and the top dogs of the industry. I have heard it is invite only, no plus ones, and held at the best steakhouse in NYC.

I am doing CMJ week, and I am going to do it right.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

he's got a point. and a I am sure many will agree, many but no me. I can sing a long with the song, but I can't quite put myself there. because the best thing in the world, for me- right now, is to have health insurance. love doesn't help you get your wisdom teeth taken out.

it's a good song though, So Long by Jason Anderson

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What am I doing? I am a dork. I am putting myself out in the music industry. Putting what I have to say out there, which makes me a little scared.

When I say dork [this is a terrible word. it sticks to the top of the mouth when spoken]I don't mean music nerd. No, oh no.

I am that person that never quite held on to one scene or genre. Chameleon is what I go for in the social structure. A comfortable, never permanent, always unsure about everyone, position. I rely on being a dork, it lets me float about the ranks and then brings me back down.

I figured out what is wrong with music these days. It came to me, while sitting on the grass, underneath a street light, outside of a friend's apartment, trying to pick up a wireless signal on his computer, listening to another disappointing album-

"Meh, meh, mewh, mewh, mewoh. That's the problem with rock these days, it's all Meow Mix."

But what do I know? I am just a dork.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

this is old. it is from my wknc profile.


For me, music is everything. It is the sound of emotion. It's hearing the right song when you need it the most. It's being there when the songs you love come alive on stage and you couldn't imagine being anywhere else. It's knowing that one of the songs I play might help someone get through their day. It's why I do radio.

I don't have an I-Pod. I don't assemble playlists prior to my shifts. I wake up Thursday mornings, wash my face, brush my teeth, look outside my window and think of one song that can sum up my current mood. I grab that CD, pull whatever others catch my eye, pick through my young collection of vynil for a few records, and make sure I leave the house with a cup of coffee.

When I DJ I empty my bag on the counter and usually start with the song from the window and then I build on that. I play songs that feel right. I do my best to play requests. I always take my shoes off and leave them outside the studio door. I started doing my shifts shoe-less last semester when I had a four hour shift. Taking my shoes off relaxes my mind and lets me forget about everything else I have to do that day- I only think about the music

Monday, October 01, 2007

Advice for bands

What not to put on your bio sheet that accompanies the CD you send a radio station:

"Originally a cover band, [band name omitted because I am a nice person] played music ranging from Pearl Jam to Radiohead to U2 while developing its own sound.

Influences: Radiohead....U2.....Pearl Jam.... [and other bands that everyone lists in hopes to appeal to college radio]"


Lesson number one- please do not admit to being a cover band. I despise cover bands. They make me want to puke.

Lesson number two- don't give typical bands, throw a little something unique in the influences or "sounds like" line. Put a little effort into it. If you can't think of anything original then reconsider why you are sending your record to college radio stations.

Lesson number three- if lesson one and two are ignored, for the good of humanity, don't list the bands that you covered under influences. LAME-O. Lie to me and tell me you were a polka cover band, something, anything.

Class Dismissed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I am remembering again, remembering why I love music.

It's because at the end of a stressful, argumentative, menstruating, exhaustive day there is an album that takes me away from it all. The corners of my lips curl up into a semi-smile, I quit picking at my cuticles, my mind stops racing- the music has taken me away from it all.

Calm. Enticing. Complete. Splendid. All I have to say is thank you.

It is the new relase from Two Gallants, in stores today.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I am in an exceptionally pleasant mood today and I can attribute this to hearing good music, such as

Standing at the Threshold, by Deer Tick

The song I thought of this morning, before all other songs:

Utilities, by The Weakerthans, from the album Reunion Tour

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Overbooked. Overworked. Not over the edge, not yet- not ever.

Taking the time, ten minutes or so, to breathe. Write. And listen.

Emails before class, before bed, always an email to be read.

To do lists here. Sticky notes everywhere. Waking up to remeber that I forgot to wash my clothes for work. A warm wash cloth and an iron press will leave my pants almost fresh.

Need to leave the elementary ryhme skills and make phone calls.

Monday, September 10, 2007

rules for managing stress levels:

No more than one drink on Thurs, Fri, or Sat.
Do Spanish workbook before class EVERY DAY
No spending money till I have found accommodations for CMJ
Walk fat ass to school every day, no exceptions
Daily updated to-do list
Do one thing for self every day, no matter what

[Listening to Left Outlet 's advance demo. It's keeping me grounded and composed.]

Saturday, September 08, 2007

cmj music marathon

its a party* of, by and for the industry

*party may be interpreted as an informal business meeting with a heavy focus on networking

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The time has come. I may have to succumb to the reign of Apple.

My mp3 player is on its death bed. The screen is busted, the left headphone barely works, and the most detrimental malfunction of all- the FM tuner does not pick up WKNC. I can't listen to my radio station (Yes, MY radio station! I work there enough to call it mine. Hell I might as well call it my significant other.)

Do I get an iPODnano with a 4 or 8 GB capacity? Then I would need to buy an FM adapter. Do I buy a less expensive mp3 player and compromise space and durability?

This is not in my budget. Wait, I don't have a budget. But it definitely cuts into my trip to New York City. But I literally cannot live with out a music device. It's not so much that I have to be listening to music, in a manner of addiction, but rather I have to and need to be listening to music. Every spare moment I have to listen to a new album and check up on the DJs is crucial.

This brings me to a point that has been bothering me. When you have to listen to music and you have to listen to it critically versus listening simply for pleasure, music loses its appeal. It becomes a duty rather than recreation.

When an album can take me away from the duty, into the sound, into the art, and make my ears tingle then it is TRULY a good album.

Check out PLANE. Their album "I See Love In The Future" takes me away, makes me smile, and I even groove a lil.

Monday, September 03, 2007

I am having a hard time starting this. My mind isn't being kind, but then I am not being kind to it. My brain capacity is spread over my long list of things to do. I would like to sit down and write a wonderful entry about music but I can't right now. Not in a complacent mood. Rather, more fidgety and anxious.

This however, is a half-written piece I had to do for my creative non-fiction class. The subject was PLACE. I avoided writing this piece, and avoided developing the piece, as much as I avoid going to that place.

Where are you from?

It’s one of the three main questions that are asked within the first three minutes of meeting someone new while living the forever remembered, life directing, hallowed college years.

And because I’ve accumulated so many of the supposed famed college years, I have deciphered a keen translation of North Carolinian accents into their respective regions. The thick, deeply drawn southern accent places a person in the eastern part of the state. A good example would be a young man saying he is from “Whhhyt-vil.” Translation: he is from Whiteville- a small coastal area south of Wilmington. There is notable latitudial difference in coastal dialect. A person from the outer banks or northern coast of the state could be mistaken for a Yankee, and on the extreme a Bostonian. The mountains of North Carolina produce a different twist of southern twang, one that tends to be rapidly spat and slightly mumbled. And then there is the red flag- being from a county. The person has neglected the town, or community name, and rather referenced the county- in hopes that it will strike recollection of a highway sign or two.

Where am I from?

If someone were to ask me this in ten or fifteen years I would tell them Raleigh. But for right now, I am from Concord. It’s in between the two extremes of dialect, a comfortable medium. It is a large town with growing problems, and it continues to act like a small town. This creates issues, issues that are fueled by facades of a wonderful life. These facades are what hide generations of people who never left.

Technically, I am from Cabarrus County. It is very easy to get to ‘my house’. Simply take the exit for Dale Earnhardt Boulevard from Interstate 85, follow this till it intersects with Highway 3, head east bound till you pass the Food Lion and then take a left at the Sun-Drop bottling plant. Go north on Old Concord-Salisbury Road, passing over Rocky River Creek into Cabarrus County. ‘My house’ is in the measely- excuse-for-a-neighborhood on the right.

But I don’t need to say Cabarrus County; all I need to say is Concord. This gets the immediate response of: “Oh yeah, Concord Mills.” As deceiving as it may sound, Concord Mills is not a preserved historic site that represents the great wealth of textiles that flourished in the area. Rather, it is a 1.32 million square foot shopping mall. It is widely known for the giant Bass Pro fishing and hunting mega-store and is located a convenient five minutes from Lowe’s Motor Speedway. It reigns as the most visited attraction in North Carolina; beating the outer banks and Blue Ridge Parkway. Yes, more people rather go to a mall then experience the outdoors.

But the mall, the Nascar, the four-lane renamed highways with too much traffic are characteristics of what Concord is now. It’s not what I am familiar with. Its not what I choose to remember. My Concord is different. And those directions are not how I get ‘home’.

I take the back roads to get home- I don’t go inside the city limits. From Highway 73 I take Irish Potato to Gold Hill road. I wind down the turns of Neisler, passing the Bosts’ small farm, and hit Old Concord-Salisbury Road north of where my house is. This route gives me time to prepare. The air is clean, the traffic is light, and the grass is green. I can smell the earth.

And I still go to the diner where I worked during High School. The name is different now. It’s no longer Ted’s Family Restaurant. It was sold to the brother of the Greek family who owned it. The food is the same at the newly named Parkway Diner- country style steak with rice, baked chicken that is somehow as greasy as fried chicken, and pinto beans remain exclusive to only Sunday.

You see, I make Concord what I want it to be. It depends on how long I stay there as to what it will become. A few hours, one day, maybe two, but never more than three. Concord is why I remained in Raleigh the summer after my first year in college. It has sticky tricks to it, a capability of dulling a personlity, and a way of sucking all motivation or ambition from someone’s spirit. It is a trap.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


23 hours at the comedy club this weekend, classes began on Wednesday, and radio work was busy as the industry prepares for Rock-tober. All I want to do right now is sleep, and cry. I am verry worried about my foot. I hyper-extended my left foot in May and it is bothering me quite badly. I went to the health center in June. The x-rays revealed no fractures or chips. I apparently just bruised the ball of my foot, which now hurts 85% of the day. I get upset when I think about it. It's a mixture of fear and confusion.

I don't have health insurance so I can't afford to see and orthopedist, the best I get is Ibuprofen and the student health center. And so I cry. Because all I want is to see a doctor. I want to know what is wrong with my foot. I want to continue to live an active, happy life. I want my dad to know how upset I am with him for failing to provide health insurance on a regular basis. I want ReFuel America to know how their pitiful and unsuccessful attempt at distributing biodiesel has effected my father, and me. I want "President" Bush to know that the health care system in the Land of the Free is fucked. I want my wisdom teeth out. I want to see the neurologist for my annual check up. I want to see my psychiatrist.

I guess I want too much.

So, rather, I listen to Una and read Emerson's poetry for class in the morning.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Quote of the day, coming from the AP story "Surf's Up in Gaza; good will, too" written by Aron Heller, extracted from the News & Observer, picked up outside the mini-mart on the corner of Hillsbourgh St. and Ashe Ave.

"God will surf with the devil if the waves are good."

Dorian Paskowitz,
a retired doctor who has been surfing for 75 years

New records are arriving in waves, high tide on Mondays and Tuesdays. Excited about the new Aseop Rock, not excited about the new Talib Kweli.

The new Liars album is on point, accessible, and rock-orgasmic. Rilo Kiley is good, in a new-commercial-for another overpriced electronic device- kind of way; its just a matter of time. New Josh Ritter release: eh, it's alright, but it's like someone is pushing him in the wrong direction. Josh, it's okay to follow up an album with one of a similar sound, don't over produce what isn't there.

I'm out. Another English class to be attended.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Its coming.

The entries will return soon. I've been busy lately, on purpose. Staying busy is my therapy.

Reflections on five years in Raleigh.

Diving into the INDUSTRY.

Revisiting, "Fault Lines"

Worth A Listen


It's all coming. Soon. And I am not taking any chemistry classes this semester so maybe my writing will finally come to life, until then go check out Oliver Future. You will not be disappointed. I have tables to wait on and money to make. Oh yes, and a haircut tomorrow.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I don't know where to start. It has been too long. Life has been chaotic, stressful, and disapointing. Writing has been neglected and now my fingers find it hard to translate the muck that is impeding a necessary level of functionality. Such a sloppy sentence.

The Oliver Future album "Pax Futura" came in today. A gorgeous blend of progressive rock, soulful lyrics, dancy bass lines, all wrapped with a retrospective tone. Lovely.

Started reading Tuesdays with Morrie. I hope it gets better, the writing is bland. A good story deserves excellent writing, never vice versa.

I need, want, and will be doing a blog about this whole internet radio- royalty rates hike- crap fest currently playing out in the music industry. I am quite pissed about it all. I fear it will, if it hasn't already, spill over into traditional radio waves. Since when has it been okay to control what I do with my speakers? Never, and it needs to stay that way. If a business or person wants to play WKNC 88.1 FM, or any other radio station, for all to hear then they should be able to do so. Radio stations should not have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to play songs. The music industry needs to fix their broken business model and find another form of income. Radio is a public service and a form of press. Heard of the first amendment? I guess not, freedom to hear wasn't included.

Oliver Future---- "I'm not afraid of my head anymore."

There is a meeting I should have been at thirty minutes ago. I need to leave soon, but I am still in my bathing suit- it's cold, damp, and another reason why I don't want to go.

Definitely check out "Pax Futura." It would be injustice to pick three tracks worth listening to. The whole album is worth listening to, a rarity these days.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

my philosophy is that if I work enough, and stay extremely busy, then there is not enough time to think about shit

which is why i am working on the fourth of july

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Playlist for 6/21 while the server was down

3:08 Tenement Teeth/ Pela
3:13 Hide Another Mistake/ The 88
3:16 Make It with chu / Queens of the stoneage
3:20 The Chair / Greenskeepers
3:24 I used to dance with my daddy/ Datarock
3:30 Rainbow Warriors / Coco Rosie
3:33 You don't know what love is/ White Stripes
3:37 Brother/Sister / Hymns
3:47 Sufidrop / Sean Hayes
3:44 why did i drink so much last night?/ Fourth of July
3:45 Cascade Range/ The Strugglers
3:51 101 Miles and Runnin/ Je Suis France
3:54 Summer Snow/ Honored Guests
3:57 Conventional Wisdom/ Built to Spill
4:03 The A-bomb Woke Me Up/ Swimming Pool Q's
4:07 Crumble/ Dinosaur Jr.
4:11 Waiting Room/ Fugazi
4:17 Threshold Apprehension / Frank Black
4:22 Short Memory / Midnight Oil
4:25 14th St. Break / Beastie Boys
4:31 Nothin' No / David Vandervelde
4:34 In Each Thursh, A Finch / Heads On Sticks
4:38 Mr. Violin and Dancing Bear / Page France
4:40 John Harper's Heartbreak / Hearts and Daggers
4:46 Breathless / Jerry Lee Lewis
4:52 Summertime Bossa Nova / Seth Kauffman
4:56 Under The Moonlight / Travis
4:58 Buttoned Down Pt. 2 / The Patsys

Monday, June 18, 2007

why do i drink?
- to dampen reality

why do i pick at my cuticles?
-because i am nervous

why did i meet him?
-because i went to the pool hall to drink

what can i do to make this week better than the last?
-exercise, clean, listen to new music

why am i nervous?
-the upredicability of life can be fearful

i need something new, fresh

Friday, June 15, 2007

Accepting Donations

I could use a set of speakers. Tuesday I drove out to Carboro and bought a turntable. It's sitting on top of the early 70's-era stereo receiver that my dad gave me, which is perched on top of a small orange-plastic cooler.

[I just got very distracted. Check out a blog I did about the White Stripes on my myspace blog. Who's the immigrant now? ]

Thursday, June 07, 2007

DUNCE for the week goes to KELLY REID
self nomination, self-awarded

I won't even try to defend myself. I deserve the award, plain and simple. The following email will explain my situation.

TO: [my teacher]
SUBJECT: class at 10:20

Professor Warren

So it is 9:50 and I do not know if I will make it to class on time, or at

Last night I came home to find my petunia infested with whiteflys, which
were beginning to take over my gardenia, which is right next to my jade
plant and on the same ledge as my pineapple sage. My indoor garden ledge
on my third floor apartment.

So I went to home depot, got some nasty pesticide for the flowers and then
took care of the jade plant and sage by washing them with a biodegradable
all natural soap, which I did in the shower. Which caused my drain to
clog up.

Not my smartest move, letting dirt run down the drain. But I was not
about to let my mature jade plant and thriving pineapple sage to become the
victims of whiteflys.

I have been up since 8 AM and the maintenance guy is still working on my
drain. I have not taken a shower. And I cannot leave my dog here in the
apartment with him working on the drain. She's not to kind of weird guys
here when I am not.

Hopefully my drain will be fixed very soon and I will come to class as
soon as possible. I really want to talk about fuel sources.

Kelly Reid


Currently, the shower is fixed but the kitchen sink is now broken. I can shower and get ready for class but he has to come back and fix the kitchen drain. Apparently, the two are connected.

I don't want to get hat-hair from this DUNCE cap. Total bummer.

On a not so DUNCE cap move, check out the article about Local Beer Local Band night that is currently in the Independent Weekly .

Friday, May 25, 2007

Today I was reminded, yet again, why I love music so much.

It's hearing a song when I need it the most.
Listening in awe as to how much it stirs the emotion.
The lyrics tell, the keys push, and the tone hurts- it is almost too real.

"Almost Lover" by A Fine Frenzy
is what I needed the most.
With everything that has happened this week: the heartache, the tears, the pain, the frustration, the fear, and finding out the truth; this song was the hug I needed.

It may sound sappy, but I don't care. Because even the closest of friends don't always have the right advice, the dog or cat offers a limited level of comfort, therapists have a formulaic right answer for every problem, and the more drinks consumed the emptier the heart feels.

It's hearing that song that makes it a little easier to push on. It's why I love music.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Maybe I will win the lottery

Because that might be my only chance I have at finishing college.

I was talking to a friend earlier this week about college life. I had just been approved for more financial aid, a result of my father being denied a PLUS loan. My friend, thirteen years older than I, was telling me about his series of college transfers and degree changes and in the back of my mind all I could think about was my five-figure amount of debt. He continued to tell me about about being a in a fraternity, blah blah blah, and then he asked me what I thought about sororities. In one answer, it all came out, perfectly.

"You know, it's not the designer jeans and purses that I envy. I'm not jealous over the SUVs or the fancy get-togethers. I don't care about that, it's just stuff," I said. And then with one sentence, I heard myself say what I really felt about the situation,

"The only thing I envy about people like that is that when they're done with college they will be debt free and I will be twenty grand plus in the hole."

I am not angry at them. No one chooses what financial situation they are born into. What I am most upset about is the system.

Financial aid, on both federal and state levels, is determined by your parent or parents income. In my case, I am awarded financial aid based on my father's income. I am not rich enough to have my father pay for it and not challenged enough to qualify for grant (free) money. About a year ago I did receive some grant money. My father had lost his job and was unemployed for almost a year. When we filed for aid it opened the door for grant money- a whole year after he had been without health insurance. This grant money came after my grades suffered because I was working to make sure I could afford to see my doctor, eat, pay rent, and buy my prescription. And grant money is considered a source of taxable income. I had to pay taxes on the grant money--- money I received because of a financial hardship. Thanks Uncle Sam!

The bottom line is this: I am going into debt to earn more money.

Oh, but student loans, that's good debt.

Debt is debt. Interest rates, low or fixed, still create interest. You have to pay the loan plus interest back, no matter what. Declare bankruptcy and student loan debt is still there.

Now, I am facing the point where I am quickly approaching the max amount of student loan/financial aid given for obtaining an undergraduate degree. I've been in college since the Fall of 2002, withdrawn from two semesters, and struggled to make it through each semester. College hasn't been easy. I've had friends and family die, personal health issues, and financial situations hinder me from being the academically gifted student I was in middle and high school. I could write, and need to write, a separate essay about my first three years at NC State. But that shouldn't be the focal point of my financial aid evaluation. I am still in college. I've finally figured out what I want to do. I am making progress towards earning two degrees. And, I will graduate.

I will find some way to pay for college. And when I am done, out in the real world, and have my student-loan debt payed off I will start a scholarship fund. There will not be a focus on academic performance or extreme financial hardship. I want to be able to give money to those who have no other option except student loans. I want to encourage and help someone to finish their education, perhaps give them an opportunity to study abroad- something I won't be able to do. I want to help prevent their debt from reaching the twenties. So they don't have to cry, and stress, and worry about how college is going to be paid for.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"I feel like I oughta come to at least one of the thousands of concerts you've told me about"

quote of the day

~Avett Brothers at Schoolkids at noon in Raleigh NC~

Monday, May 07, 2007

I came into the office today to get the mail. I was hoping that one of the prisoners had written me back so that I could add another level to my paper. No letters from prisoners, so I dug through the overflowing box of envelopes looking for any packages that seemed suspicious. "Sky Blue Sky" was supposed to be here last week. I grabbed three cardboard envelopes that seemed too generically corporate. Checking my email I opened the first one- no luck. Steve walked in and opened one and shouted,


"What, really?!?"

"Hah, just kidding." Freaking bastard.

"Man, if I don't get that Wilco album today I am not going to play it at all, " I said in exaggerated frustration. "It was supposed to mail out two weeks ago, or at least that's what they told me," I complained as I began to tear open the last envelope. I pulled the CD out and removed the piece of paper wrapped around it,

"WILCO!!!! It's about damn time. Woooo-hoooo, WILCO!"

I would have played it even if it didn't come today- I just don't like being at the mercy of larger labels, especially when I could have very easily downloaded it. But I waited and it has made for a wonderful start to the week.

Time to write one hell of a term paper. It's due at 4. I guess Nonesuch Records and I do have something in common- professional procrastination.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The end is near

Two exams down and two papers left.

B- in Spanish 101, which is pretty good considering I didn't do any of the homework
C+ in Quantitative Analytical Chemistry, not my favorite class so I'll take the C

I have a paper due tomorrow by four o'clock for my journalism class. It is about the relationship between WKNC and the area prisons. The station has a dedicated listener base in correctional facilities which has provided for an interesting history of fan mail.

My last assignment is due on Tuesday at 1 o'clock for my memoir writing class. I will be reading a two page excerpt of my revised memoir. Because of this class, I now know what I want to do with my creative writing degree. Through out the course of the semester when I would run into people and talk about how classes were I would always say, "I'm loving my memoir writing class." Everyone would respond the same way- they would ask how I was writing a memoir a such a young age. You don't have to be in your fifties, or thirties for that matter, and have led a daring life to write a memoir. I am twenty-three and have enough content to fill a book, but content is only half of the equation. You have to know how to recall your memories and recreate them, bring them to life. The writing skills must be strong and there has to be a certain sense of fearless exposure. My memoir I am revising for my final assignment spans many years of my life and focuses on a feature of my skin. I am hoping to have my professor help me fine tune it and then I will send it off for publications. I will post it on either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

Until then, here is a quickie-playlist I threw together. Get your poolside drink on and keep one cold for me.

[Dream job- poolside DJ]

Yes, there is a Fountains of Wayne song on there, and yes, I despise Stacy's Mom, but I'll be damned if Traffic and Weather doesn't just make you want to dance. They are pretty damn good at making catchy pop songs, those bastards.

Fountains of Wayne Traffic and Weather

Muse Supermassive Black Hole

The Gossip Your Mangled Heart

The Ettes Soft Focus

The Fratellis Flathead

Elevator Action Start a War

The Majestic Twelve Condoleezza, Check My Posse

Love Of Diagrams The Pyramid

I’m From Barcelona This Boy

Honeycut Tough Kid

Just Jack Starz In Their Eyes

LCD Soundsystem North American Scum

Joakim Lonely Hearts

Lily Allen Take What You Take

Louis Armstrong I Still Get Jealous

The Love Kills Theory The Love Kills Theory

The Low Frequency Jimmy Legs

The Knife You Make Me Like Charity

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I really need to be studying

But I am not. Rather, I am in the east wing of the library on one of the new Mac computers. I discovered someone's library of music on iTunes and I am fairly impressed. I found what I thought were a few old songs from Wilco that I weren't familiar with. I googled a track title and it turned out to be from their upcoming release "Sky Blue Sky." Now let me clarify, I did not download the new Wilco album. I have been waiting patiently and eagerly for it to arrive in the mail. I could have downloaded it. I've heard it's all over the web. But I haven't. Rather, I called Nonesuch records and Warner Brothers and reminded them that WKNC is one of the top 12 college radio stations in the nation, we broadcast at 25000 watts, and to please make sure that we get the new Wilco. Still no album.

Hmm, for some reason that library of music just disappeared. I guess that person logged in on another computer. Go figure. The Wilco tunes were good while they lasted. Maybe "Sky Blue Sky" will come in the mail today. It's supposed to, that's what Warner Brothers told me.

Maybe, just maybe, they will send the 12-inch. Probably not, but after listening to those songs I would love to hear it on vinyl. Ear pleasing, vintage dancing, sweet soothing summer vinyl.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Daydream of waitress

"I can't come into work today, I've got bad allegeries and my head is killing me,"

It would be perfect.

Holding onto his waist and leaning into the curves. My ponytail hanging outside the helmet, dancing in the wind. The strings from my cut-off jeans shorts whipping, tickling my thighs. The sun blaring on my shoulders. I squeeze tighter and chuckle when he drops gears and pushes the speed limit.

Drinking cold beer after a dip in the lake. A slow dance while he hums a tune from The Band or Bob Dylan. Ringing the water out of my hair. Wearing the musky, flannel shirt that was stowed away in the saddle bag. Goosebumps the whole way home.

Friday, April 20, 2007

7 minutes of being 23
Analytical Separations
Solvent Extractions
Gas Chromatography
High Performance Liquid Chromatography
large redeye
blueberry bagel
dEUS, "worst case scenario"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

That's me. I remember dancing on the pool table. I don't remember being slouched over on the side of the pool table. And I don't know which happened first. You can read Grayson Currin's review of the last night of King's at (Image taken by Derek Anderson)

I miss King's

My birthday is on Friday and I have no where to celebrate. Well, there are plenty of places I could go. There is the Jackpot- not my crowd on the weekends, somewhere on Gleenwood Avenue- too fake, the Alibi- almost like the Jackpot but in a basement, Slim's- too smokey. I could list many more bars or clubs and I would find sufficient reasons to rule them all out because the only place I want to go to is King's. I want to dance and thrash my body to rock n' roll. I want the bartenders to tell me happy birthday. I want to drink one too many PBRs and wash my hands with terribly cold water. I want to chat with Mike D or Dave. I want to run into people and talk about music. I want to feel at home. I want my King's back- that's all I want for my birthday.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I am cranky and frustrated, and leaning towards extravagant. I want to take my blog title and have it plastered on a towering brick wall, construct a water balloon sling, and decorate. Paint-filled balloons would burst on impact and add a bit of artistic, stress relieving flare- chartreuse, electric blue, deep teal, pale pink, faded yellow, vintage orange, perhaps a light latte.

But rather, I will dive into the box of mail and search for new music.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

confessions of a dj

record sales are down, file sharing is rampant, the future of internet radio is bleak, my favorite local music venue has closed--- lord please let me have a future in the music and radio industry, i really don't want to have to use my chemistry degree [insert sounds of frustration with quantitative chemical analysis lab]

Monday, April 02, 2007

This is an assignment I had to do for my English 315 class (Advanced News Article Writing). The assignment was to describe the brickyard, a central area on campus.

Kelly Reid

ENG 315 Reavis


It’s ten past nine o’clock and my cowboy boots are soaked. My feet feel cold and heavy inside the wet leather, but they still move. I can’t stop myself from dancing to the music. Bombadil is playing a toned down set in the breezeway of Harleson Hall. Their charming, honest folk music tries to warm the cold air but the fierce rain fights back with gusts of damp, chilled wind. It’s the last night of Shack-A-Thon and a thunderstorm has left this area of campus deserted, except for three musicians and audience of four.

Hours earlier the middle of North Carolina State’s campus was bustling with students. The large brick lain field sprawls out almost 75 feet in every direction from the center and is the plaza of central campus. This week eleven student organizations have built shacks in the middle of the brickyard to raise money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity. The shacks are in four rows; assembled like a village with brick allies running between each row. Most of the shacks resemble traditional houses, but there are two that stand out: a tee-pee and a giant rectangular prism that looks like a radio.

Two students from each organization are required to be at their hand-built, temporary housing 24 hours a day for five days straight, which entails spending the night. Three nights ago I suffered through a long night inside the radio. My dog and I spent the night in the shack for WKNC. I went to sleep on top of a four-foot long mattress with my pillow and quilt. I awoke with a backache and the cheek of my face planted on the cold bricks.

Thunder rumbles and the last notes of “Jellybean Wine” chime from the xylophone. The rain is pouring from the sky and small creeks run through the brick allies of the shack village. I clap my hands and cheer, lighting flashes. I turn to my buddy Nick,

“You ready to go see Valient Thorr?” I ask. He looks at the brickyard. Our cars are parked on Hillsbourgh Street- at the top of the hill, on the other side of the library, past the brickyard.

“Yeah, let’s do it,” hey says. We roll up our jeans, pull our jackets over our heads, and make a dash for our cars. The water has made the bricks slick. Running up the brickyard the toes of my boots cut into the streams of water and I can feel the cold liquid leak through the stitching of my boots.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

MY BROTHER IS IN THE ARMY [and he is still alive]

I parallel parked perfectly, as usual. Grabbed my book-bag, cd's, and purse and made my way down the side walk. Two guys were walking towards me, both in base ball hats. The guy on the left was short and had a St. Patty's Day green t-shirt on. He was smoking a cigarette and his footsteps were wide, like a faux cowboy. The other was tall and wore a pitifully-pale yellow polo shirt. He had a lanky body that weighed his shoulders down, and the centerpiece of his face was an obnoxiously large nose. As I approached them they continued their travels and conversation,

"I didn't vote. I'm not even registered," the tall one said. I couldn't help myself. Maybe it was the PBRs, maybe it was Valient Thorr.

"That's pitiful," I blurted out.

"I serve our country, that's more than you do," the tall guy responded as I passed them. I rounded the corner of the sidewalk, turned my head and yelled back,

"My brother is in the army, and he votes. He's got two up on you."

I won't point fingers. I won't blame an elected official. But I will get mad and further the debate:

Does democracy depend on journalism, or does journalism depend on democracy?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

confessions of a dj

goal- be successful in NPR
hopes- work for KCRW
dream- arrange soundtracks for movies
ambitions- all of the above

Monday, March 26, 2007

Please Don't Take My Sunshine Away

I am doing pretty good these days. I've learned what I need to do to keep myself functioning. And lately, my mood has been exceptional. Maybe it's the creative writing classes. Maybe it's my growing involvement with music and WKNC. Maybe it's the meds. What I really think it all comes down to are the rays of sunshine.

The weather has been gorgeous. The windows at my apartment stay open. It's officially spring and the sun is evaporating the drab grays of winter, and it feels so good. I want to stay outside all day. I walk around campus and I hold my head slightly higher than usual- so I can feel the sun. I close my eyes for a few seconds. My face feels warm, I smile, and I feel better. I truly believe that the sun helps my mood. I am a proof.

I am anticipating this summer. Summer school shouldn't be that painful. Classes are everyday, which prevents forgetting material, and then after five weeks it's over. I plan on spending plenty of time at the pool. I love the sun so much that I've learned to get over being uncomfortable in a bathing suit. Yes I will be wearing sun block. I am of Irish decent and my skin takes time before it tans. I know- be careful, skin cancer is a serious risk. But, I don't go to the tanning bed, I use a lotion with an SPF when I go to the pool, and I think that the benefits I get from the sun far out weigh the risks.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Dear Asshole who lives in my apartment complex,

Don't take it if it's not yours. I don't understand why you felt the need to take my jeans out of the washing machine and keep them- my white J. Crew jeans with a hint of stretch and a 35 inch inseam, the tall size that never goes on sale. I work hard for my money. I am not some daddy's girl that gets to go shopping whenever she wants. I am a full-time student that takes out student loans, works for very little money at the radio station, and waits tables to make sure my bills get paid. And you--- you had the nerve to go through my load of laundry in the washing machine in the locked laundry room of our apartment complex and take my white jeans. You left the other clothes, how considerate of you, asshole. I just don't get it. I earn a little bit of extra money and buy myself a nice pair of jeans, wear them twice, and then you come along and take them. If I see you with my jeans on I am going to teach you a lesson your mom didn't: it's called STEALING and it's not right. You are now an official thief. You have stolen my jeans and stolen my faith in people being honest and good. I now know that there is no community or sense of neighborhood bond. You have given me one more reason not to trust anyone. You're an asshole and you made me upset. I know jeans are a material thing and can be replaced, but for me it was more than that. They were my white jeans. They made me happy when I wore them. They signified financial independence, confidence, and individuality. They were my rock concert jeans. I hadn't even gotten the opportunity to wear them in the glory of summer, my favorite season. You took them, you didn't earn them. You can't wear them the same way I did. You will never know the feeling that swells up when the brain chemistry is in your favor, the music blaring from the stage is lifting you higher, and the white jeans are gleaming in the sea of people. When you wear them I hope that feelings of guilt, depression, and shame paralyze you- that you quiver with fear of being caught and run from the apartment door, making a pathetic dash for the car, avoiding contact with others. What I really want though is for you to realize what you have done in a sociological perspective. The world if full of crap, and most of it we are unable to control, but the thing we have complete control of- being nice to others- you fail at. If anything that I have said makes you decide to relinquish your wrong doings please return the jeans to the leasing office.

Upset, poor college student

Monday, March 12, 2007

SXSW Jealousy

To all that will be in Austin, TX this week for South by South West, drink a beer and scope out new music for me. Lack of financial and faculty support from the University has prevented WKNC staff from being present for the conference. I had a lofty goal that I would go on my own and planned on bringing business cards to hand out to all bands that caught my ear. I wanted to come back from Texas with the hottest newest music and freshen up the rotation. It's just not going to happen. I can't afford to fly or drive down there. I can't afford the pass, even at the discounted student price. I can't miss that much class without having the absences excused by the University. I can't afford to miss work. So, I will be tuning into KEXP's live broadcast and listening with envy.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spring Break has sucked. Bad.

Classes resume tomorrow and I couldn't be in a worse mood. I am in a state of upset, pissed off, twitchy gloom. I think it is mostly due to not walking as much. I walk to class every day and with not having class for a week I've done a lot of drinking and sleeping. If I remember correctly from eighth grade health class, alcohol isn't loaded with dopamine. So after a week of nothing, my parents came up for my little sister's birthday. They have been divorced for almost five years and manage to sit at the same table and eat a meal, in public mind you, in peace. However, I made sure that they didn't sit next to each other and somehow ended up between them; the glass of wine helped. Then, to add to that I come to find out my mom has a boyfriend- my MOM! I am happy for her, I really am. I can't imagine how it feels to be divorced after nineteen years of marriage and then to find out through your kids that your ex-husband has numerous girlfriends. Her having someone is long overdue. But it upsets me a little and re-affirms my notion that I have written across my forehead, in ink only visible to the male eye, DO NOT DATE ME. I just don't get it. My friend Rachel tells me I don't put off the right vibe; a vibe that says 'yes talk to me, yes I am single, yes date me'. What the hell? Does that vibe include layers of make-up, a low cut shirt, push-up bra complete with gel-filled inserts, and an annoying laughter? If it does, count me out. I prefer rock bands, Pabst Blue Ribbon and bourbon, shooting pool, and being independent. Maybe my problem is that diagnosis plastered at the top of the page. I have been successfully avoiding writing about that. I have mixed feelings about it being there. But I know I started this blog for a reason, so I will leave it there. Eventually, I will write about why I choose to put it there- when I have time to figure out why I did it.

Enough. This is what happens when you sit at the keyboard and just type. I have class tomorrow and school work to do.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

At the end of the day, I am almost okay

I got through it. I sat in front of sixteen of my peers and my professor while each discussed my first attempt at a real memoir. For the past three weeks I had been criticizing others' writings, and now, today was my day. I faked two yawns to hold back tears and cringed when the word courageous was spoken three times. But I did it.

The day started out early with a doctor's appointment and a new prescription. Through coffee, breakfast, and e-mails I remained collected. When I started to do the pre-lab assignment for chemistry I got fidgety and shaky. A slight sense of nervousness set in so I switched gears and read the memoirs of my classmates who would be sharing the spotlight with me in a matter of hours- six hours, 20 minutes and counting. After the second piece, I was at full blown freaking out. All I could think of is what everyone would say, what they were thinking, and what they wouldn't say in front of me. The words I can't do this came from my mouth faster and louder. I envisioned myself getting up and leaving class to smoke a cigarette, letting cuss words slip out on my way through the door. I contemplated taking a shot or chugging a beer to ease the pain. But I decided not to; that would be the easy way out, I can't get stronger if I keep taking the easy way out.

When I looked at the clock it was 2:45. I should have been at my chemistry lab at 1:30. [Insert feeling like a big fat looser here] An hour and ten good songs later I had regained composure. I finished critiquing the last memoir and washed my face. It was 4:15, class was in fifteen minutes. From the time I left my apartment till the moment I walked into Tompkins Hall I talked to myself. It started out as I can do this, and then when I realized what was actually going on my dialogue changed to I am doing this.

It went pretty well. It has given me enough encouragement to finish the piece, or at least to push through the lows. I felt like my classmates look at me different now, even though I don't want them to. I want respect for my writing, not for what I've been through; bad shit happens to everyone.

Below is the raw version (expect mistakes everywhere). It is the same thing my class had to read.

Kelly Reid ENG 381

Just for a head’s up: While I was in Chapel Hill on Saturday night I ran into somebody that I hadn’t seen for a little over five years. Seeing her again, talking about what happened and where we each are now in our lives affected me so much that I chose to put what I was originally writing about on hold. I used Saturday night’s conversation to propel myself into a memory I had almost buried completely in the back of my head. I knew that I eventually wanted to write about it but knew that it would take time and guts to get it down on paper. Now, after Saturday night, I can write about her, that period of my life, and everything surrounding it. This is only the beginning of this section so I will e-mail you the rest this weekend.

Mark and Darla

“Is your name Kelly,” she asked me.

“Yeah,” I said. I began to process as to how she might know me. I was in Chapel Hill at the Local 506, the Everybodyfields were playing their last song, and I was chugging a bottle of water in an attempt to dull my buzz. Her face looked familiar but I couldn’t place it. I started to make a mental check list of all of the bands that I had interviewed and any of their girlfriends that had tagged along. Her face still remained unfamiliar. I thought about how I might need to take my picture off of my blog and Myspace. She motioned me over to the bar area, away from the music. I became slightly annoyed. I had waited all night to hear this song and she was ruining it. We stepped into the light, and I took a better look. As she started to talk I almost choked on my water,

“I just wanted to let you know that I am sorry for everything that happened with Mark and Darla, and church.” In less than a second I remembered who she was. I forced the water down my throat, past a ball of emotions and replied,

“Oh my God.”

For some, closure comes when they burn pictures, give away belongings, or find a song that leaves them complacent with their current situation. For me, closure came at almost two o’clock on a Sunday morning in the middle of a smoke filled music club.


I met Darla before I met Mark. It was the summer after my junior year in high school, my parents were temporarily back together after a dramatic separation, and I was living with a pathetic excuse for a drug-dealer boyfriend. I worked at a restaurant doing whatever they would let me. I waited tables, washed dishes, cleaned toilets, and swept the parking lot. I worked every day except Monday; Friday through Sunday I did dinner, Tuesday through Thursday I did lunch and then on Thursdays I stayed until the first girl for the dinner shift came in. It was late into a typical Thursday afternoon, I was sitting in the back of the restaurant smoking a cigarette and rolling silverware. The front door opened, letting in a sliver of sun light in. I stood up and yelled towards the door,

“I’ll be right with you.” I took a long, strong drag from the half smoked Newport and rolled the burning cherry off the tip into the ashtray. I set the stub on the table next to my cell phone and walked back to the kitchen window, “Hey Mikey, you got that order for Suburban Pediatrics ready?” He nodded his head and put the last Styrofoam box in the window. I pulled down the ticket, bagged the boxes and grabbed her sweet tea. I walked to the front, nearing the cash register, and curled up the corners of my mouth. It was hard to smile at the end of the day but she always tipped me at least three bucks in cash so I tried a little harder. I put the bag on the counter, began punching in the prices on the register and initiated the routine script, “How are you doing today?”

“Very well, and you,” she replied. Her voice was comforting and she had round, rosy cheeks on either side of her large smile.

“Ah, you know, the usual,” I answered back. I told her the total and took the Visa card. As I ran her card through the machine she didn’t say anything. I laid the receipt on the counter and handed her a pen. She signed her name in an illegible feminine cursive and looked up at me,

“Are you Kelly,” she asked.

“Yeah,” I replied. I became puzzled. We didn’t wear name tags at the restaurant and my name wasn’t on the receipt. “Why do you want to know,” I barked at her.

“My name is Darla. Your mother told me you were probably working here. I go to church with your mom,” she said. Well that didn’t do much because everybody went to church with my mom. My mom went to numerous churches. She would go to whichever church God led her to on Sunday morning, whether it was in Concord, Kannapolis, Greensboro, or South Carolina for that matter. She continued talking, “My husband is Mark. We came and changed the locks at your house when your dad moved out.”

“Oh, okay,” I grunted back. She knew about my parents’ separation. “Yeah I’m not at home much,” I said to her. She still had that smile on her face, despite my obvious attitude. She opened up her wallet and started back again,

“Well I know you’re not in a good situation right now, and things may be hard, so if you need anyone to talk to, or if you just want to get away from things for a while,” she pulled a five dollar bill from her wallet, handed me a piece of paper with three phone numbers on it, smiled even more and said “just call me.”

“Thanks,” I replied, taking the money and slip of paper. She walked back out into the daylight and I put the money in one pocket with the rest of my tips and crammed the piece of paper in my back pocket. She had left a bad taste in my mouth, but she was right, I wasn’t in a good situation and things were hard. I was working over forty hours a week, barely making enough money to pay bills and buy toiletries, and my living conditions were deteriorating exponentially fast.

I would usually pay the other girls at work to take me to the house on Pinecrest, but on Thursdays my boss lady would take me home. Regardless of who took me there, what I walked into was always the same. In the living room empty bags of chips were scattered on the floor, Bud Ice bottles sat on top of porno magazines stacked on the coffee table, and some number of guys were smoking blunts and playing video games. In the kitchen there were boxes of Hamburger Helper, Ramen Noodle wrappers, spilled cat food, and a barren broken fridgirator. Pixie was in her and Charles’s room with the door shut; meditating, masturbating or sewing. And Shaun was in the computer room, our bedroom, sitting on the mattress counting money and weighing out bags of weed.

The first thing I would do when I got back to the house on Pinecrest is take a shower. I would lock the door to the only bathroom in the house and shut everything out of my mind. I had a methodology to my decompression. I would stand underneath the stream of scolding hot water and wait until my heart beat so fast that I had to step outside of the shower and catch my breath. I would repeat this until I could feel the water temperature teeter too close to warm-almost-cool, then I would do the washing required. This was my after-work ritual. It prepared me for the nighttime.

My time at the house on Pinecrest, despite it lasting only a month, is something I don’t like to think about. If all of the drinking and drugs are averaged out over the course of thirty days, then it really wasn’t that wild; however if the focus is on the last ten days, then it comes across as something along the lines of hellacious.

It was day three with no sleep and when I came home from work all I wanted to do was collapse. I walked into the house to smell the usual stench of blunt smoke, spilled beer, and an overflowing trashcan, yet no one was in sight. I headed straight for the computer room. All I could do is put one foot in front of the other; my eyelids were heavy and my brain was ready to shutdown. I opened the door, which was usually left wide open, to find Pixie and Charles intertwined on top of my mattress. Disgusted, upset and thrown off guard, I turned around and stumbled outside to the front porch to smoke a cigarette. Finding myself out of cigarettes, I stole the change out of the Mason jar in their room and made my way to the Circle K.

It was a half mile round trip, and felt like a century of walking the earth. When I got back to the house it was dusk, I remember climbing the three stairs to the porch and collapsing against the side of the house. I awoke, sometime later that night, on top of my mattress with a blanket strewn across my legs. Charles was yelling, “Someone stole my Goddamned PS2.” A bottle broke against a surface and he kept screaming, “Someone stole my fucking Play Station.” I eventually fell back asleep until Shaun woke me when he slammed the front door and began ranting to his buddy on how they were going to be back in business.

Shaun was not the brightest crayon in the box. He would often ask me simple mathematical questions and never caught on to why his supply was always seven grams short. When he walked into the room where I was lying on the mattress I continued to act like I was sleeping. He began to brag to his buddy how he had pawned Charles’s video game system for cash. The more information he rattled off to large my stockpile of ammunition grew- it was leverage for getting him kicked out. Shaun and I paid rent to Charles. I paid fifty bucks a week and Shaun paid fourteen grams of schwag weed a week, but he was one ounce behind on rent.

Shaun was irate with he left the house on Pinecrest. He was yelling and cursing at me, and threatened to have me beaten up. He had a right to be upset. He lived there before I did. It was his room before it was ours. But now it was mine.

I thought everything would be okay after this, until I realized I no longer had any connections. A few days after Shaun had left he called me from one of his buddy’s phones wanting to see me. At fist I just said no and hung up, and then when he kept calling and I eventually gave into his sweet voice and coaxing. I said yes. His buddy Mike picked me up and took me to the Holiday Inn where he was staying.

When I walked in the room I felt like I was walking into a rioted prison. The mattresses were tilted against the walls and there were beer cans everywhere. One lampshade was torn to pieces while the other was in the sink. Ricky, six-foot-four and two-hundred-fifty-pounds, was ripping chunks out of a Bible while Shaun sat at the table, calm and collected, counting his money. Shaun looked up at me and said,

“How have you been Kelly?” Mike shut the door and locked the dead bolt.

“Fine,” I said.

“Yeah I bet you are,” he said and then nodded to Mike. Mike pushed be against the wall and pinned me down with his forearm across my collarbone. I kneed him in the balls and tried to push him away, but Shaun came over and held my arms against the wall. I had never been afraid of Shaun, but now I feared for my life. I spit at Shaun and Mike slapped my face. I squeezed my eyes shut and felt one of them put a cigarette out on my right arm. The pain shot up my arm and burned like hell. I could feel and smell the flesh disintegrating. As I gasped for air they released me, threw me out the door, and before the door shut, Shaun yelled,“Stupid bitch, that’s what you get.”When I walked up to the house on Pinecrest it was almost dawn. The cab driver would not take me any further than what I could pay for. I went inside the house and looked for my work pants. I pulled the jeans from the corner of the computer room. They stunk of grease and bleach, and from the back pocket I pulled out a piece of paper with three phone numbers on it, dialed one of them, and waited. A sleepy woman answered,

“Hello.”I was crying so hard I could barely catch my breath. I sat on the mattress with my legs pulled to my chest, rocking back and forth, and uttered words between the gasps of air,


I moved into Mark and Darla’s house two weeks before my senior year of high school started.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

confessions of a dj:

If music is limited only to a certain scene, venue, and corresponding crowd then it's not art. It has transformed into an act, and I shall have nothing to do with it. Music, for me, is the sound of emotion. Everyone has emotions, even hipsters.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"Love is just a four letter word"

In light of the only day of the year where hell collides with a holiday, I will being transforming my shift this Thursday into a Post-Valentine's Day-Disorder Expos'e. For all of those who are single, required to work on Wednesday night, or like myself- both single and working on Wednesday night, I will be dishing out songs reflective of washed-up, hung-over, anti-kissy kissy mushy mushy tainted-love. So if you have any suggestions please send them to,

Who needs all that lovey dubby mess when you have WKNC

Saturday, February 03, 2007

One down, One to go

Last night was great. Four wonderful bands, all unique and memorable in their own way.

Three-fourths of DeYarmond Edison returned to the DBB as newly formed Megafaun, now consisting of mostly harmonies. They paralyzed the crowd and defined what improvisational-jazz-rock-creative juices flowing out from every orifice-music really is .

The Old Ceremony, even though they didn't play "Morning Glories", reaffirmed my notion that Django Haskins is a long lost son of Frank Sinatra and that swanky rock assembled with keys, vibraphone, violin, and cello is hot- along with being oh so danceable.

The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers [due to the lengthy name reader may need to take another breath in order to finish sentence] brought to life songs that are so rich and perplexing it makes me wonder if the house on Buchanan, where the collective resides, isn't built on top of an Indian burial ground- allowing for the spirits of the wise to embody these artists.

And then closing out the night, The Mountain Goats delivered a solid set of songs that was everything that I had hoped for and more. John Darnielle fed the crowd tidbits of personal history between songs and picked up the electric guitar more than twice, something he commented as not doing that often. And from the way his energy was steaming last night, I would like to put a lock on his acoustic guitar case just to see what would happen to their next album.

Tonight should be just as good. This time though, when I walk backstage to thank all the musicians for donating their time, I will keep a good eye on that oddly placed step, because last night went something like this-

Walking up to Peter Hughes and Jon Wurster backstage, not heavily intoxicated by alcohol but overcome with excitement, I reach out my hand to introduce myself, "Hi, I'm..." - eating a face full of guitar case.

Yeah, I tripped. I gathered myself quite well though; brushed off my new white jeans, commented on how I was probably an idiot for wearing high heels but that I couldn't resist, blamed it all on the concrete step, and thanked them once more.

It's lunch time at the Rockford, I've got a pimento cheese sandwich with my name on it. I need fuel for the second night of the Concert Event of the Year.