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December 19th, 2010

06:34 am - Set List - Up in the Aether: A Clockwork Christmas Carol - Phoenix Cafe, Hazel Park, MI - 17 Dec 10
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December 6th, 2010

10:51 am - Writer's Block: Television! Is there anything it cannot do?
What is the best new TV series of 2010?

"Boardwalk Empire"

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November 26th, 2010

12:45 am - Set List - Up in the Aether Pre-Turkey Day Party - Phoenix Cafe - 24 Nov 10
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October 17th, 2010

07:11 pm - Set list - Up In the Aether - Phoenix Cafe - 16 Oct 10
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October 5th, 2010

10:42 am - Spirit Day
Originally posted by neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

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September 15th, 2010

12:37 am - Set list - Up in the Aether - Phoenix Cafe - 10 Sept 10
This is what was played at "Up in the Aether", our Steampunk event at the Phoenix Cafe in Hazel Park.

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And now a question or two for all who have come out to the event....what do you think of it? Is there anything you'd like to see/hear different? Any recommendations to make our event better? Please let us know...!

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September 8th, 2010

07:48 pm - The Mask & Mirror
With all of this talk about the mosque near Ground Zero, and the asshat that wants to burn copies of the Quran in Florida...my mind goes back to the day itself. 9/11.

I was living in east Dearborn at the time, the home of the largest Arab population outside of the Middle East. There were quite a few Arabs living on our block. One in particular lived (and still lives) right across the street.

We called him Sanford. Why? Cos he was a junk man. He had a pickup truck in front of his house that was always loaded with junk. But he was a rather impressive and regal looking man despite his occupation. He was very tall and slim, and slowly walked with a princely air about him. There must have been 10 or more people living in his house; women and children, but you could tell he ruled his castle. I never heard him raise his voice. The same could not be said of our neighbors, or even those of us who came in and out of our Looney Bin.

Being fairly ignorant of Islam and Arab culture, you could still tell that he and his family were pretty hard core about it. All the older women wore black dresses called "Ayabah" that cover everything (but they could, and do, wear the latest fashions under it). All the women and young girls wore the Hijab, the head dress that you commonly see. Sanford even had guests in full ceremonial robes and turbans come to his house. And Sanford would be there, head and shoulders above everyone else, quietly ruling his roost.

I have to admit, I was leery about Sanford. All of those people jammed into that house, all the guys with turbans coming by, all the women in the black dresses...it was weird. But indeed I was ignorant of the Arab culture and of Islam. I bought into a lot of the propaganda that had been spread about their culture. There are certainly a LOT of things I don't agree with in the culture...but in the end, I found that it was individuals being idiots, and not the culture itself. Still, at the time, it was enough to raise an eyebrow.

Sanford and I never talked. Hell, we didn't really look at each other for a little while. Eventually we got to nodding our heads at each other or waving as our paths crossed, usually when both of us were getting into our cars (which seemed to happen a lot).

Then came that horrible day...September 11th. I was working a temp job at Ford, testing brake units for the (then) new Thunderbirds. After the World Trade Center was hit, Ford closed up shop...except for our department. We all knew what had happened, but none of us had seen anything yet. It all seemed unreal. So when I got out of work that day, it was quiet. Deathly quiet. The building we were in was right in the flight path to Metro Airport, and it was errie not seeing or hearing any airplanes in the sky.

My roommate Erin picked me up from work that day. We were both a bit quiet on the ride home. Finally, I asked "Is it as bad as I think it is?" Erin paused. "It's worse than you can possibly imagine" she finally replied.

I saw the horrible images once I got home, being replayed again and again on all of the networks. It was worse than I could have imagined.

After awhile, I stepped outside. I had to get away from those images that were burning into my mind.

That night was the quietest night I ever experienced in Dearborn; even quieter than the Big Blackout. There was no sound. There was no traffic. It was eerie.

Then, as I stood out on our front lawn, smoking a cigarette (I had quit 3 days before...yeah, it ended that day), there was sound....Sanford's junk truck came rolling onto Curtis Street, pulling to a stop in front of his house, across from where I was standing.

He climbed out, and we waved and nodded to each other. But for the first time, we actually made eye contact. He went to go walk away, then stopped and turned to me.

"Not my people." he said in a thick Arab accent. "This was not my people."

This princely, regal, proud man was standing there, and I could see his eyes welling up. I stood there for a moment, dumbfounded, not knowing what to say.

He then looked me straight in the eye and with literal hand on heart, said "I am an American."

I crossed the street to him and held out my hand. "I know." was all I could say.

We shook hands and stood there for a moment. Then he turned to go into his house. Usually there were lots of people on his porch, women and children usually, waiting for his arrival. Not this night.

I turned and went back inside as well. This was the only time Sanford and I ever spoke, outside of a few "hellos" when our paths crossed.

In the years that followed while I lived in Dearborn, I had quite a few discussions with some who are followers of Islam, and got a little bit of an education on the teachings of this religion. In fact, I was invited to a mosque to witness what it was all about first-hand, but alas, it never happened. All of the folks I spoke with agreed: the violence, terrorism and rhetoric that we all know is NOT what Islam is all about. As one co-worker said to me, "You Christians have your fundamentalists, like that Phelps guy who's protesting at the soldier's funerals. Islam has the same thing. Sadly, they are much more militant and violent. And they make us all look bad."

Now, you would think that all of this anti-Islamic rhetoric we hear now would have exploded in the days following 9/11. But it didn't. I spoke with another neighbor later who expressed his fear that angry mobs were going to come to Dearborn after all the the Arab folk. I had the same concern. That never happened.

So here we are, 9 years later, and all of this hatred and bile is being unleashed. WHY?

And when I hear all of this, I see Sanford. A man of Arab ethnicity and Islamic followings. And who is he? He's a hard worker, a small businessman, a father, a person. Just like you and me.

And an American. Just like you and me.

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August 8th, 2010

05:16 am - Up in the Aether - set list
So by request...here's what you heard (or missed) at our inaugural steampunk event at the Phoenix.

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June 8th, 2010

12:17 am - Shoot Out the Lights
This past Saturday, I met (cue Keith Olbermann here) the Worst Person in the Worrrrrrrrrrld!!

Not to make light of the situation, but I did meet someone who was genuinely disturbing.

I'm at my gig, all ready to go. The cocktail hour was in another room, and the bride and groom were off with the photographers, so I had about an hour of nothing to do. So I went outside to have a cigarette.

Now there were three weddings going on in the hall that day. Mine was an Anglo/Vietnamese wedding (bride was Caucasian, groom was Vietnamese). Another hall had and Anglo/Asian Indian wedding going on. The third hall was what some of the staff had described as a "redneck" wedding.

I thought they were joking.

I went to the "designated smoking area" and sat down on the bench. A bit later a man, I'd say in his mid-50's, came over and sat on the other side of the bench. Some pleasantries were exchanged, and we proceeded to complain about the new Michigan no-smoking law (which is pretty much the conversation topic nowadays in smoking areas). The guy said that he thought he'd open up a bar in Montana in the middle of nowhere...a beer and shot joint and you could pretty much do what you want. I said that sounded like a good idea, but that it was probably only a matter of time before these smoking laws hit the rest of the country.

At this point, three Asian Indian gentlemen walked by, all dressed rather nicely and conversing in their native language. No big deal.

So I watch them walk by...and I heard the guy sitting next to me. "Pop....pop....pop...."

I turned to look at him. "N.R.A.", he said. "Thank God for racism!"

I wish I was making this up, but that's exactly what he said. I sat there, shocked, and unfortunately unable to come up with some sort of a reply. The only thing that was running thru my head was "you mean they still make you?"

Betcha can't guess which wedding HE was attending. Fortunately, the Indian gentlemen didn't hear him and kept on going.

"Yeah, Montana is sounding real good right about now." he said. I sat there in silence, wishing he'd just go away.

I kept thinking about the wedding I was DJing that night. Half of the room was Vietnamese; most of the probably came here from Vietnam during the war, running from the terrorism there. And 7 of them had become doctors. The groom himself had just graduated from medical school two days before. Both his siblings were doctors, his father was a doctor, and 3 of his uncles were doctors. It's not like they came to this country to live off of the system. They took advantage of the possibilities given to them, made something of themselves, and have obviously gone on to contribute something positive in return. Isn't that what our country was founded on?

Finally he stood up. "Well, I'm going to go back in."

"You do that." I said. "Oh, by the way..."

He turned to look back. I pointed my finger at him.

"POP." I said.

He threw me a dirty look and went back inside. I lit up another cigarette.

I'm not racist...I just hate stupid people. Stupidity knows no color. And this guy was certainly one of the stupidest I've ever met.

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January 1st, 2010

07:45 am - Decade
Ten years ago, if you would have told me...

...that I was going to be working full time as a DJ, with some of the finest DJs in the area, and that I'd be one of them...

...that I'd be living in both Roseville and Ann Arbor...

...that terrorists would attack us on our own soil, and that the World Trade Center would be no more...

...that I'd finally mend fences with my step father...

...that I would spend over a year unemployed...

...that I'd STILL be DJing the Renaissance Festival party...

...that GM would go bankrupt...

...that Pink Floyd would ever get back together, even for just a one-off performance...

...that my sister and her kids would be living in Northern Ireland...

...that Bush would get re-elected in '04...

...that I'd actually have a working car...

...that I'd still be smoking (please, no comments from the peanut gallery on this one)...

...that I'd work at Home Depot (given my skill with tools, I still see this as a big cosmic joke) and Starbucks...

...that I'd have 3 more nieces and nephews, in addition to the niece and nephew I already had...

...that my mother would re-marry...

...that not only would I get past 40, but that I'd actually kinda enjoy it...

...that I'd actually prefer my hair short...moreover IT would prefer it...

...that some of my friends would actually get married and have kids...

...that some of my friends would get divorced...

...that some would do both...

...that George would be the next Beatle to go...

...that I'd still be in touch with a lot of the guard kids (and DJ & officiate their weddings)...

...that I'd be in touch with as many people from my past lives as I am now (gotta love facebook!)...

...that I would actually do mushrooms (ONCE)...

...that I would live with my mother as long as I did (this is not meant to be derogatory toward her at all, BTW)...

...that I would "adopt" a cute little girl, who is quickly growing into a fine young woman...

...that I would write a story for said little girl...and it'd be pretty good...

...that I'd DJ a wedding where nearly all of the Red Wings would attend, and that the Captain himself would compliment me on a job well done...

...that I'd finally get my head out of my ass...

...that the entire eastern seaboard would blackout...

...that Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel would actually release new material (keep in mind, only one album from each all decade)...

...that I'd live in a trailer park...and actually LIKE it...

...that some of my friends, relatives and mentors would no longer be here...

...that a Black man would be president...

...that I would end up with the woman I have now (this is NOT a complaint at ALL, but keep in mind...10 years ago she was 15)...

...that I would have a child of my own...

...I would have laughed at you. A LOT.

What a difference a decade makes.

Here's to a Happy New Year, and a Happy New Decade...let's hope it's a good one!

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