On our way to Husk, Google Maps directed us to a very out of the way detour that saved us hours on drive time. Apparently there was a terrible accident that backed up the highway for miles and miles. This detour was a complete blessing, I loved being off the interstate and driving through cotton fields. They were everywhere, right up to the road. As this was our adventure of a lifetime and the cotton just called out to me; I told Bowerbird to pull over. It was time to pick some cotton. I felt like a child stealing a cookie from a school bake sale. I pictured a man with a shotgun coming out from the field yelling at me to get off his land. So I quickly pulled a piece of cotton that was practically falling off the boll. Soft and white, apart from the seeds inside, my fresh piece of cotton was exactly like the little balls I’d buy at the drug store.
It’s October!! My favorite month of the year and clearly fall. I was holding on to my ‘End of Summer’ playlist till September 23 when it was officially the start of fall, but time got away from me and I never posted it. It’s a mixture of melancholy and fun summer songs, but mostly melancholy.
“Surfs Up” – Brave Shores / “Break the Chain” – Ultimate Painting / “Crying – Live” – Roy Orbison / “Everday – Single Version” – Buddy Holly / “As a Bell” – Ofelia K / “Exotic Realms” – White Poppy / “A Million Days” – James Supercave / “Other Side of the Boundary” – Springtime Carnivore / “Girls” – Widowspeak / “Super Rat” – Honey Blood / “Texas Reznikoff” – Mitski / “Nevermind the End” – Tei Shi / “Wicked Game” – Widowspeak
Andrew Hem’s Mural
OCTOBER 16, 2014 | DAY 15 of #ONTHEROAD1014
In the gallery world when a piece of artwork is sold it is marked with a red dot. Knowing I would be visiting some major murals in Richmond, I had to bring a red dot with me! Our time in Richmond was short due to the reservation at Husk that night, a 6-hour drive from Richmond, VA to Charleston, SC. So Bowerbird and I woke up early, showered, grabbed a cup of coffee from a vending machine in our couch surfer’s apartment building and went mural hunting. Luckily, a handful of the murals from the Richmond Mural Project curated by Art Whino were right around the apartment. So we didn’t even have to move our car to find murals. We walked the streets of Richmond, putting the address of the ROA’s turtle tower in my gps as our initial destination. On the way to ROA we found the Angry Woebots mural. And the rest of the mural hunting was very similar, just stumbling on them while walking down this street and the next. It was really fun just discovering the murals. I was super excited to find Andrew Hem’s mural!
Time was ticking and our stomachs were grumbling. So after about an hour of searching for murals we looked on Yelp for a breakfast spot next to my bank. I had to finally get a cashiers check for the speeding ticket I received back in Colorado. We found a delicious spot in the downtown/business area of Richmond and fortunately a mail person was right in front of the building! I didn’t even have to look for a mailbox to send out the speeding ticket. I really appreciate the little things that make life magical.
Here are the murals I red dotted in Richmond, Virginia.
It’s not uncommon for me to find musical similarities in songs. And I don’t mean noticing clear sampling like Sir Mix Alot in Niki Minaj’s Anaconda. But I tend to connect really obscure songs together, like Bastille’s “Bad Blood” and Lost Boy’s title track “Cry Little Sister” by G Tom Mac. I like to think I have a talent for patterns. But this Selena Gomez and Duran Duran random musical connection was discovered by Bowerbird!
I love Selena Gomez. She is seriously one of my top 3* favorite pop singers. So when I was professing my love for Bowerbird by singing “Love You Like A Love Song” it was only natural to then play the rest of Selena’s hits. And as we were in the Starbucks drive-thru and he was trapped in my car, I played him “The Heart Wants What It Wants” explaining the deep meaning behind the song. Then as Selena hits the chorus he says she ripped off Duran Duran’s “Come Undone”. Of course I jumped to Selena’s defense (more like Selena’s producers defense) and say “No, she did not!!”, but as he hummed the earworm I quickly heard the connection.
Now as I write this post I’ve played Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer” and I think the song has more similarities to that tune.
Are we both crazy? Thoughts?
- Katy Perry
- Selena Gomez
- Taylor Swift
OCTOBER 15, 2014 | DAY 14 of #ONTHEROAD1014
I’ve had a love for Colonial Williamsburg since I was thirteen and visited Virginia during an 8th grade trip to Washington DC. It was during my adolescent trip that I discovered how closely packed together states are on the East Coast and my love for pineapples. As Bowerbird had never been to Colonial Williamsburg I wanted to introduce him to the rich history and old buildings. It’s a 7-hour drive between Wheeling, West Virginia and Colonial Williamsburg on a good day and we were driving through a torrential downpour. We left for Williamsburg super early in the morning and arrived at the visitor center 2 hours before everything closed down. Since we were on a budget-friendly adventure we opted to just get the day pass minus all the fancy tours that get you inside the buildings. We walked around the grounds and popped into the open shops, Bowerbird and I are pro-window shoppers.
Apart from both Bowerbird and I’s general love of old building and history, the day was pretty mellow. Except I was tweeting the chef of Husk hoping to get a table for the next day, which you can read about here. The day pass does include access to the museums and we checked out the colonial asylum and art museum. I loved them both and ended up taking lots of pictures of furniture. I’m fascinated by craftsmanship; the artistic wooden carving and intricate inlay patterns all done by hand! I was almost not even going to share this post, but I can’t be the only one that freaks out when they see a gorgeous set of velvet chairs and foot rest.
Illuminate stuff right here….
Before there was Netflix & chill, people had needlepoint. This is a wedding needlepoint tapestry.
We booked a dinner at one of the Williamsburg restaurants, Chowning’s Tavern, for the novelty of the meal. It’s expensive for mediocre food, but in all honesty you’re eating dinner there for the town troubadour to come to your table. The website says you don’t need a reservation, but I say book ahead, we called them while we were in the museum. Plus we did hear people being turned away at the door because they didn’t have a reservation. The service was fantastic and the little pitcher of cream for our coffee was just my style. At dinner we were checking on the neighborhood of our Couchsurfing host and found out it was one of the most violent areas of Richmond. YAY! – not. But as we google mapped the address and studied the street view, we were able to talk ourselves off the ledge. I could only imagine what travelers think of when they google Echo Park. Our Couchsurfing host is a medical student, like most people in that part of Richmond. It’s a neighborhood in flux. We chatted about music and our travels with our host and his girlfriend before heading off to bed. During that time I was still feeling anxious and was in a funk as explained in my Wheeling post. But Michael, our host, and his energy just wiped away all the bad moe joe and after that night I was starting to feel a lot better.
Michael – you’re the bomb dot com.
If you’re a furniture nerd too, leave a comment below, I want to feel less alone!
I made a wish in the well and this handsome fellow appeared.
OCTOBER 14, 2014 | DAY 13 of #ONTHEROAD1014
It’s important for me to express, as I go into this post about the haunted hotel in West Virginia, that the staff at Aspen Manor was very nice. I paid $60 dollars for the room we stayed in and now it’s just another interesting story for me to share.
I had booked our room at the Aspen Manor a few hours before driving into Wheeling, West Virginia. On my hotel.com app it stated that it was a nice B & B and former Catholic retreat. As a bad Catholic and someone who had her road trip blessed by a priest days before traveling, I found this information to be comforting. But as we drove up the long dirt road to the main house, passing smaller homes on the property, it was beginning to feel incredibly creepy. I tend to be able to separate heebie-jeebies and actual paranormal activity pretty well, and I was getting some weird energy from this place. A former mansion of sorts, that unbeknownst to me had been converted to a convalescent home at some point, was inside lit with hospital florescent lighting.
The lobby had a nice big-screen tv, that had the Discovery Channel playing in the background. It’s a pretty modest establishment. They had to photocopy my ID and credit card for later processing. Usually this would really weird me out, but then we were in the middle of West Virginia at 9:00pm at night. My identity and impeccable credit is still intact. The receptionist was a young friendly man, he definitely had the energy of someone juggling a million little things, but managed to still keep a smile on his face.
He took us down a long hallway, past a cafeteria-style icebox (you know the kind that serial killers store bodies in their garage – I’ve watched too much Criminal Minds) to our room; explaining how this portion of the manor had once been a convalescent home. I was sleeping where old people could have potentially and probably died!!!
I believe as the East Coast is much older than the West Coast its paranormal activity is off the charts. There are pissed-off spirits all up and down the east coast, heck the Warren’s home of possessed items is in Connecticut; and although I deeply respect the work of Ed and Lorraine Warren, I have no desire to ever visit their basement.
Our room was basically a hospital room converted into a hotel room. A dresser and matching queen bed were in it. To the left of the door to the room was a white sink affixed to the wall like you’d see in a public restroom room and the toilet was in a closet. I refused to use the toilet and close the door, afraid of being trapped inside, so I just told Dan to not look. The door to the outside grounds seemed to not lock, I couldn’t figure out how to lock the door and prayed we weren’t murdered in our sleep. My cell phone caused the turned-off TV to make weird sounds and I swore to Bowerbird that we would be going to sleep with the lights on. I never took off my shoes. There was something incredibly “off” about this place…
I wanted to post on this blog, so I went out to the lobby and tried use the wi-fi. This is when we had a little more time with the front desk/manor manager. He showed us the built in chapel on the property, and expressed he’d personally never had a paranormal experience, but other people said that they had. He told us bones has been found in the basement and paranormal investigators had come to the property before, but he didn’t know the results. The chapel was nice, but had limited lighting and did look like the perfect backdrop to a scene out of American Horror Story. He also pointed out the rest of the main house down a dark and hardly lit hallway that resembled the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
I’ve later read it was only chicken bones, but I still think the property harbors spirits that those sensitive to energy and aware of dark energy can feel. I know I might sound like a crazy hippy, but this is my truth.
As we were walking back to the lobby another older couple came in who were traveling to Pennsylvania from Ohio for a wedding and were caught in the storm outside. A storm outside!! Classic horror movie set up. It was nice knowing there was another couple staying in the creepy senior citizen side of the bed and breakfast, but it wasn’t any less weird. Deciding to leave at the reasonable hour of 5am, Bowerbird and I went to sleep fully clothed (me with my shoes on). I slept ok and at one point turned off one of the bed side lamps, I was getting slightly more comfortable. But the second our alarm went off, we were up and out of there. I didn’t put on makeup. Bowerbird put on his shoes. We dropped our key off at the abandoned front desk and were on our way. The sun wasn’t up yet but we were ready to leave. Driving away we saw a few deer grazing on the grass beside the road and it made the tense experience better.
Nothing floated by me and I didn’t see any apparitions. As I’m writing this out I know I could seem like I’m just being sensitive, but there are spirits on that property and their energy is affecting this plane of existence. The rest of the day our phones would never hold a charge. We always charged our phones in the car, no problem, but that day they just wouldn’t charge and completely died on us later that day. Also when I went to change at a McDonalds somewhere in Pennsylvania and put on some makeup, my face wash had leaked all over my toiletries bag. I had this bag zipped up, there was no reason for the face wash to have leaked – except for maybe some spirit mayhem.
I’ve read reviews of Aspen Manor and people go on about the beautiful grounds and how nice the house is. I didn’t get to experience any of that. I arrived in the middle of the night and stayed in a hospital room. When I purchased the cheapest room, I thought I was getting a small bedroom with a shared bathroom situation, not the last days of the Golden Girls. I don’t discourage anyone from going to Aspen Manor, but I do think I need to work on my spiritual strength before I decide to spend a long period of time on the East Coast. It totally messes with my West Cost vibe.
Sorry, I have no photos. I was really creeped out. I didn’t want anything to come up on my camera.
I find a great sense of validation when a band or artist I interviewed goes on to bigger success. I started my art and music blog for fun and to expose people to the things that I love. When artists then go on to show at bigger galleries (Kevin Petterson now represented by Thinkspace Gallery) or play huge festivals (White Arrows at Coachella), it’s like seeing a child go off to college. My heart swells with pride, not that I had anything to do with that success, but I’m excited for them and I give myself a gold star for good taste.
This morning I read Car Seat Headrest as been signed to Matador Records and will be releasing his first studio album. YAY!!!! I interviewed this dude back in 2013 and wanted to share it on the main blog. Also, just a scroll of his Facebook page will show a growing interest on the internet from NPR to Stereogum…eeeps!
Published on My Favorite MAOI – June 16, 2013
Name: Will Toledo
Nickname: No regularly-used ones, though I think it’s cool when people call me ‘Car Seat Headrest’.
Sign: right at the tail-end of Virgo
Cookie: any kind that is provided specifically for me that I don’t have to pay for.
Color: Colors work best in interplay with each other, I refuse to choose! Better to be surprised by vision.
Time of Day: 9 AMish, when I’m getting up. The day is all bright potential, which I usually choose to waste.
MAOI: Do you believe in horoscopes and zodiac signs?
CSHR: You know, in a rational sense I do – humans are more reducible to a formula than we’d like to believe, so anyone with a decent grasp of the species can make pretty accurate predictions! I don’t think our fates are dictated by the stars, but I do think it’s pretty telling that over the past few millennia we’ve kept connecting the dots in the same way.
MAOI: Most wild and crazy thing you have done thus far in your life?
CSHR: Taking a 30-hour bus ride to spend a week with a romantic interest about 900 miles away from where my parents believed I was.
MAOI: If you could morph into any animal what would it be?
CSHR: A human. Say no to body dysphoria!
MAOI: Biggest Pet Peeve?
CSHR: People throwing away recyclable stuff or blatantly wasting water/limited resources. Not conserving is kind of the worst crime imaginable, as you’re screwing over literally everyone born after you.
MAOI: Best show you have ever been to?
CSHR: Jeff Mangum was pretty good, but I kept coughing. R.E.M. was excellent, but I went with my dad, so that doesn’t count.
MAOI: Whats the most interesting thing you found lying on the street/sidewalk/ground/random place?
CSHR: This one is unfortunately stumping me; it seems foreign objects don’t usually enter into my atmosphere. I will say I was surprised to find myself lying on the floor of my dorm’s bathroom at the end of a particularly hard-hitting night a couple weeks ago.
MAOI: Did you have an imaginary friend as a kid, what was their name?
CSHR: There was someone named John Russel, but it’s not like we were ‘friends’. He was just some dude that was in The Beatles and then The Who and then The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and who made wry comments about everything.
MAOI: If you could go anywhere in time where would it be and why?
CSHR: Now is pretty good, but I’d be interested in living in an era where it wasn’t the social norm to be depressed. I think I’d function pretty well under a more repressive regime.
MAOI: Do you have a lucky charm?
CSHR: There’s a scrap of paper that says “FREEDOM” on it that I’ve been keeping around for the past few months. I need to be reminded.
MAOI: Do you have a phobia? Or what is your most irrational fear?
CSHR: Probably the fear of fear. I dread having nightmares – being trapped in my own head, unable to escape my attacking emotions. Usually my nightmares never get to anything specific, I just drop into an abyss of fear as soon as I realize the limitless potential of terror ahead of me.
I’ve been holding on to this interview with Will of Car Seat Head Rest since February. And as I am listening to the music again to do my mini review I see how timing can be everything. The warm noise pop of Car Seat Head Rest with an underbelly of shoegaze fits the lazy days of your summer playlist better than the cold months of winter. With dreamy reverbed vocals that blend with the music as another interesting layer add to the songs instead of drive them. A purposeful lo-fi quality which shapes the sound, I can’t help imagine the music of Car Seat Head Rest being created in a dorm room between classes.
(above was written before below music video was discovered)
from original post
fancy car seat headrest music video
Find out more about Car Seat Headrest being signed to Matador Records blog and his upcoming release.
Lately, I’ve been really wanting to buy crystals. I imagine my windowsill being a little beacon of light and color, the crystals charging under the sun. When Bowerbird and I were walking back to our car from Echo Park Rising, we heard echoing meditation music coming from the hidden speakers of The House of Intuition. An actual house on top of a hill, we scaled the cement stairs to peek our heads inside. It’s pretty adorable as at the top of the stairs there is a sign that says, “your intuition led you here.” It’s a new age shop, or as their website states a Metaphysical and Spiritual shop, filled with the scent of a relaxing incense and lots of crystals. We walked in each room looking at the objects that help to enlighten, guide, and ground our spiritual being. The sales girls were nice, open to helping us and didn’t give off a superior vibe at all. They really seemed down to earth as they discussed being spiritually grounded and the meaning of dreams amongst themselves. When I went back to the car I told Bowerbird how I want more crystals, and he replied by saying he dosen’t believe in crystals, he’d rather have plants.
I really want Bismuth Crystals – aren’t they crazy beautiful!!
Smoky Quartz – helps to turn negative energy into positive energy
Crystals are so amazing. Nature is an artists and crystals are the sculpture.
Most of these photos don’t have a strong source that I can reference. But they are all pinned to my Random Loves board if you want to click the link attached to the photos.
**I wonder how many blog posts exist with the title Crystal Visions. It has a nice ring to it and a familiarity of ‘knowing’, plus you’re automatically besties with the other Fleetwood Mac fan that stops by your page.
How is it the end of August and we are now creeping into fall? This year I ventured into a full-time freelance career and by November it will be my one year anniversary. The end of summer is stimulating my drive and motivation to step up my game. Also, Bowerbird and I have been planning another mini-road trip for October; that is lighting a fire under my bum to get all my OnTheRoad1014 stories up before we start our next adventure.
This month was crazy busy and expensive. September will be spent indoors, writing, reading, and generally being ‘boring’.
Here is what I’ve been listening to this month!
Battles -‘Atlas’/ Marnie Stern -‘Noonan’/ Cloud Nothings-‘Wasted Days’/ Wavves -‘Post Acid’/ Ringo Deathstarr – ‘Tambourine Girl’/ A Place To Bury Strangers -‘Straight’/ No Joy -‘Blue Neck Riviera’/ Tamaryn -‘The Waves’/ Jackon Scott -‘Ripe for Love’/ Foxygen -‘San Francisco’/ Film School -‘Waited’/ Blonde Redhead-‘Penny Sparkle’/ David Bowie -‘Oh You Pretty Things’/ Dirty Beaches -‘True Blue’/ Yo La Tengo -‘Our Way to Fall’/ The Flaming Lips -‘She’s Leaving Home’
OCTOBER 14, 2014 | DAY 13 of #ONTHEROAD1014
In the sidebar of this blog you will see I am currently reading “Drinking, Smoking & Screwing: Great Writers on Good Times”. It takes me an embarrassingly long time to finish a book, so that has been up there for months. And just last week I finished a passage where Wheeling, West Virginia was mentioned. Here is the section “-knock out drops, which had been familiar in American criminal circles since the first Grant administration. My own great-uncle, Julius by name, got a massive shot of them in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1870, and was never the same man afterward.”
I myself have visited Wheeling, West Virginia; and I would have never imagined coming across the name of this Ohio River city in my little bedside book. Having not written about my road trip for weeks, possibly months, and West Virginia being the next stop in my story – I took it as a sign it was time to make time to write the story of Wheeling.
After Louisville, my intention was to drive up to Chicago and see the David Bowie exhibit and then drive diagonally to Richmond, Virginia. That was until my mother, aghast, said “you’re not going to Wheeling, West Virginia.” Confused, I asked “What’s in Wheeling?” Well, my grandfather on my Dad’s side was born and raised in Wheeling, West Virginia. As I am a curious person, who is close to my family and interested in historical roots, I decided to skip Chicago and go to Wheeling. I don’t regret this decision, but I think the David Bowie exhibit would have been more fun and light-hearted.
We left the Brown Hotel early on October 14, explored Louisville for a few more hours, and then was on the road. Driving through Ohio on a very cloudy day, the fields and water droplets made for a scenic backdrop to the Sun Kil Moon album I insisted on playing. I sung about a whoopee pie I had purchased at Whole Foods and wrote in my moleskin journal. I was in a frightful state of melancholy, a dangerous place to be as I was supposed to be on the road trip of my dreams and yet I couldn’t shake this negative energy that lingered over me. Plus the gloomy weather seemed to feed my hum drum attitude.
It’s a 5 hour drive from Louisville to Wheeling, and we only stopped for gas, where I purchased some Popeye’s fried chicken. That chicken happened to be our only sufficient meal past noon. By the time we got to Wheeling, it was sunset. The gray clouds cast a blue shadow on the city. My aunt had given me all the details of my grandfather’s census records and we were searching for 48th street. Initially, we made a wrong turn and landed on the wrong side of the Ohio river on 47th street and could not find 48th, so we got out of the car to walk around.
Being from Los Angeles, I don’t think I’ve even seen the real effects of the downward economy. It seemed the bad neighborhoods were still bad, and the good neighborhoods just slowed down. It wasn’t till I visited Wheeling, did I truly grasp and feel what it’s like to be affected by a downwards economy.
The homes on the street we explored were old and beautiful in their own right, like an aged ballerina who was stunning in her youth, but now walks hunched and weathered from years of strain on her body. Paint chipped and walls likely creaky, they were solid homes in what felt like an unstable city. We drove to the other side of the Ohio River crossing a bridge where I attempted to snap photos of the West Virginia sign. Following our GPS, we finally arrived to 48th street. There was a historical marker on the street and a welcome sign, you could tell had been there a long time. Only about a few blocks long, between the river and the highway, we tried to figure out where my grandfather could have possibly lived and if the building still existed. The only buildings that looked old enough to have been around when my grandpa was a child, was an abandoned apartment building that sat across from a sad looking long house, and at the end of the street a factory.
We saw a few gentlemen attempting to fix a broken electrical box at the river’s edge. One man in his seventies and two younger guys probably in their forties. The young men left the older gentleman to grab tools and a few beers from their house, and the old man guarded the broken box. Seeing an opportunity to talk to a local, I asked the man if the factory had always been there, wondering if at one point it could have been homes. He told me that for as long as he remembered the factory had been there. It’s switched manufacturers a few times, but when he was a kid it was a potato chip and pretzel cannery. The factory would throw out dented cans, and he would grab them to use for fishing with his friends. I could see the warm memories come to his mind, to be dashed by the current state of Wheeling. He shared things were better than, “the good ol’ days, when we didn’t make much money, but everyone had a job.” –“gas was cheaper too.” He shared with us how the box had been broken and it was a hazard, they had to fix it, not placing responsibility or blame on Wheeling for it not being fixed yet, but that it just needed to be done.
When the younger guys came back, Bowerbird and I received, are these strangers bothering you eyes. So I thanked the old man for telling me about Wheeling, and we walked back to our car. Under the glow of the street lights, the melancholy I had been feeling on the inside was now full blown manifested in a city.
I had been trying to find lodging in Wheeling, which was difficult, but finally found a reasonably priced B&B thirty minutes north. We drove along the Ohio River to the hotel. At one point in the darkness we saw a huge flame illuminate the inside of a steel factory. It was a dark. Even driving through neighborhoods it was dark. We were hoping to find a restaurant to get dinner but it seemed everything was closed. The two illuminated signs I remember, was one announcing the new talent Candy at the local strip joint and a men’s homeless shelter.
When we finally reached the hotel, it was like a scene from the Shining, and it didn’t get less creepy from there.
I promise not to leave a month between describing the haunted hotel in Wheeling, West Virginia and now. But that experience needs its own post. This is only my experience of Wheeling, West Virginia. If any local happens to read this and I have completely gotten the sense of the city wrong, I sincerely apologize.