Archive | March, 2011

Nature Journal Entry #2

31 Mar

When I think of Nature

I think of trees,

I think of Squirrels

scaling boughs.

 

A Hawk in the sky

sporting with an eagle’s eye.

 

An actor bathed in dying light

whose image finds clarity

as he fades from sight.

 

Laughter in the trees,

honey hollows for the bees.

Pleasures sleeping in simplicity.

 

…but a plaintive dust settles everywhere

and pollutes the morning air.

 

Little things may have their fun

but humans age beneath the sun.


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Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier by Sun Airway

30 Mar

Yes, for happy withdrawal

Does anyone remember that tiny 2009 album Merriweather Post something? Yeah, well 300 plus listens after that album which remains untouched in my mind as the greatest achievement in modern music. The dark nature AC often employ perfectly reflects my life, but isn’t always comforting. And if you combine the exhaustion from over-listening to AC with a need to relax without letting my mind melt into Baths or Toro y Moi. Enter Sun Airway, an overproduced, rangy, and sometimes meaningful band whose work recalls Panda Bear on You Can Count on Me (Noah’s mix) and Tanlines’s Reinfo. I can’t say Sun Airway is doing something new, but I can say they are doing something well. And luckily that something is the sort of chamber harmony synth-electro nonsense I can’t say no to.

What Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier does well, it does within the confines of a track. This is good for listening pleasure as tracks like Waiting on You and American West which stand strongly alongside this ‘genre’s’ best. Waiting on You stands as the magnum opus from the album and it’s ‘reach for my hands;
they’re seldom so open and reckless with hope’ and ‘forget about the past—it’s all wet and rusted’ are, combined a sort of working thesis. Mostly though, the lyrics are a bit overwrought such as ‘every word my lips suggest, that’s between my lips and the American West’. The album doesn’t seem to cohesive, but the music itself is a euphoric dizzy rinse that when combined with the odd lyric shouldn’t be passed over.

Ultimately you can’t hide the mistakes on Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier. Sun Airway are still building. At the time of writing they have no Wikipedia page, and no distinct sound to get them out of the shadow of AC. But the shadow of AC is getting lighter and lighter as we wait for something new, so maybe taking a few steps back to Feels era is what we need. Or maybe when we’re all beat up and feel like ‘trying not to die is so taxing’, we can ‘bury our limbs underneath all these hands until we see those days again’, or we can just listen to a little Sun Airway while we wait for MPP and life to sound good again.

Getting Psyched

30 Mar

I feel a little like the guy saying ‘hey look I found this awesome new band called Radiohead’ with this post. Nonetheless I have two goals: document my experiment with wormwood and write a sort of minimalist psychedelic manifesto.

Before I left for England, my main goal was to learn about myself. It might seem odd, but it has been successful and I’ve redefined both what it means and how to be an American. The country of my birth has a lot of culture, and what else is good art/history but a mirror toward yourself? So having led an exploratory yet introspective life here, I can summarize my findings in two stages. First, the mantra ‘Only Connect’ from the novel Howard’s End is one of the cornerstones to understanding the world, other people, life in general. Making connections is one consistent feature of tripping, at least for me. I would go so far as to say connection=life, disconnect=death. Secondly, living in a constantly overcast country which is often times highly pastoral, even in the center of the paved city, has left me oft in a waking-dream-like conscious state. I ask myself often ‘what can i do to really convince myself i am alive’? But I am seeing more and more the importance of dreaming and states of consciousness far away from our status-quo. Modern American society puts less emphasis on dreams than any other. Why? Do dreams come from some nonsense dimension within us? I must say anything that my brain produces I put high importance on. Some of the most life-affirming, powerful messages that really understand how I feel are fantastical and fictional. They come from the mind, dreams, creativity. It is why I am an English major. And so this ‘second world’ of dreaming and creativity lies mostly dormant. I am convinced there is a connection to be made between the dreaming and waking state and that there is some exploration necessary in the psychedelic world.

I

Last night I had a brief foray into Wormwood. I bought 25 grams from a tiny but official health store for tea. The reported effects are very mild lucid dreaming aid or more graphic dreams. Some people report slightly more conscious effect, but nothing serious. It is the substance used in Absinthe and it contains small levels of Thujone. There is a lot of contradictory, incorrect, and misleading information about psychedelics, and Thujone/Wormwood is no exception (I even read a site that said it was deadly poison. On another note I’ve read some terribly incorrect articles about nutmeg as well). I pressed on nonetheless, brewing the dried Wormwood as recommended, that is, 15 minutes in boiling water. The tea was bitter to a near undrinkable extent as I’d read be. That remains the worst of Wormwood. I downed it and chewed some of the leaves just to ensure maximum torture. Result? Maximum torture.

About an hour after sipping it I noticed a slight elevation of mood and my peripheral vision was slightly clearer. I am unsure if this was a mental construction, but hey, isn’t being high a mental construction? I went to bed feeling highly relaxed. When I woke up this morning I felt as if I had enjoyed a pretty hefty night of drinking. My muscles were really relaxed, but I had none of the nausea of the typical hangover. I also began to remember my dreams. I can say positively I had at least four extensive dreams all which ran their course and lasted a long time. I don’t remember very well any of them, but I know through personal experience that one can train to remember dreams. (I’ve since stopped, but when you write down your dreams everyday after waking, you begin to consistently remember them). My final say on the light-weight Wormwood is that if you can stand the bitter hell that is drinking it, it’s well worthwhile as a sleep aid/dream enhancer. Mugwort does the same.

II

Note: I am going to sidestep directly condoning illegal activity here. Put frankly, nothing illegal should occur, the government is king, etc etc.

I have no intentions of making this blog a mini-Erowid, since Erowid is already a maxi-Reelslow. However I must say I have been obsessed a long time with drugs even when I had the stance ‘all drugs are bad no matter what forever’. This summer I am highly interested in exploring some psychedelics. I should hope I get some thumbs up on this and willingness to see what there is in world two. Before outlining which seem like good ideas, I’d like to say I am still not a fan of smoking anything. It doesn’t feel very nice and tastes yucky! So there will be more opportunities for those people with a better lung for smoke. I would limit the list to psychedelics, because it seems anything that doesn’t fall into that category can and should still be enjoyed if safe, but recreationally and not exploratatively. I am wary of Morning Glory Seeds but would try them possibly, mushrooms I have plans for, acid seems scary and I am yet unsure. The argument for me is really: is it natural, what are the negative side-effects, what are the dangers in trying to get it -vs.- what does it do?. Reading Erowid has shown me some people who really sit down with a meditative question and use psychedelics to help them answer. Aldous Huxley who actually had a big role in the coinage of the word ‘psychedelic’ was a heavy user of what I would propose to you boys as the kicker this summer. If we can find them (i’ve read often sold at walmart, target, lowes) I would very much be open minded toward San Pedro cactus.

So tell me your thoughts/opinions on psychedelics and any goals you have pertaining to second world exploration/personal revelation. Love you guys.

Megan

28 Mar

This weekend I was surfing some articles by our friends at Erowid via boredom and I came across a few about Nutmeg. With the Friday alcohol buzz wearing off I decided to be an experiential learner and thus forayed into a Nutmeg high. Here is how it went:

Firstly to see that something this common, cheap and legal being touted as a serious high left me reasonably skeptical. After all I put nutmeg on my coffee, enjoy it in eggnog, in breads and cakes, and never have I attached an altered consciousness to the spice. My thoughts were that it would be a ‘terrible high’ or ‘disgusting’ or ‘made up’ or that I’d have to take ‘an insane amount’ or that it would have to ‘be prepared in some obnoxious way’. All wrong. Nutmeg isn’t some glorious discovery, but it isn’t to be scoffed at as a recreational drug in the strain of marijuana.

Weighing in that night at about 140 lbs and operating on a mostly full stomach I measured out 4.25 teaspoons of ground, expired, store-bought nutmeg. I had about .75 teaspoons in some apple juice which tasted fine. I didn’t feel too different after about an hour and a half, maybe a little goofy, so I assumed it was safe and not some idiots trying to kill me. I took the rest just before bed. I had read that it takes about 6 hours to kick in. I slept 8. Upon waking up I was certifiably high. I felt exceedingly relaxed a few times I almost went back to bed. I noticed how bright the sun was and it recalled memories of Easter morning as a kid. I watched some comedy videos and laughed pretty consistently and out loud, sometimes not even at jokes but at people’s expressions. I felt in listening to music I really knew where Panda Bear was coming from. I felt connected to what he was doing with his music. I continually escaped into media and had daydreams completely shaped by whatever I was listening to or reading or watching. The best part of everything was also the worst. I felt really relaxed but sometimes a little too tired for the ideal high.

I didn’t fall asleep and I was able to walk to the store quite easily and buy something as well. Unfortunately, I had a terrible case of the munchies and what I bought was shameful and consumed almost in its entirety that day. I didn’t have too much of a problem with how I felt physically the first day, but today, which is the second day, I have a little gastro-intestinal discomfort. I don’t know if this is from the nutmeg or from the 3,000 calories I consumed.

The high lasted in it’s heaviest form from the moment I woke up until the moment I fell asleep. Today I just feel somewhat detached from myself but much less high. I went outside and was able to concentrate nicely on juggling the football.

As for dosage it’s about 1 gram per 10 pounds body weight. This was for me 4 teaspoons. In terms of dose I enjoyed the effects but would go for slightly more next time. I would say 5 teaspoons and see if using freshly ground nutmeg improves/changes anything. I would like to warn against going over this. It’s a powerful substance! It kicks in slightly after about an hour and completely around the sixth hour.

The negatives were dry mouth (which I get in the same amount smoking marijuana), slight gastro-intestinal discomfort, feeling too tired, being hungry constantly, the taste of the nutmeg, how long it takes to come on, how long it takes to wear off.

Positives: price, legality, euphoria, feeling ‘connected’, happiness, giggling, relaxedness.

I would recommend trying it. I’ve read it is possible to trip, it is almost impossible to overdose in a medically dangerous sense (4-5 ounces might take you there), and hell it’s not like you can get in trouble for being happy because you ate nutmeg. There has to be a reason it isn’t more popular, so I would say be careful. Some people get bad gastro-intestinal issues. It takes horrible so hold the nose and down it in a sand textured liquid, then go to sleep and wake up Megan.

EDIT: A lot of the posts I’ve looked at have to do with an empty stomach. I will say because I binged yesterday I really didn’t feel high too much this morning, but having eaten lightly today I can attest to remaining high a full 48 hours after consumption. Blocking out time has become and imperative!

BONAROO!

10 Mar

it looks as if this year I’ll be doing it.  expect to return to lala-land someday but not this summer.  i’m posting this because i want you lot to come also (its june 9-12).  xoxo

Nature Journal Entry #1

3 Mar

This is the first entry worth sharing out of my little blue book of big ideas (fyi: the journal is literally blue).

Leaves, piled on the ground,
strewn like withering hopes
of a forgotten season.
How sure of a promise is summer?

But leaves! You’ve seen the Sun
and are going home,
way down, deep
into Momma Earth.

I’ll see y’all on the other side
of the winding tunnel,
where we’ll live forever.

What child wouldn’t believe that promise?

Announcement!

2 Mar

What’s up y’all (a Briticism)? Who of you would be interested in seeing Okkervil River, Titus Andronicus, and Future Islands (??) at the 9:30 Club on June 2nd (a Thursday)? I would! Tickets go on sale April 21st and considering that My Chemical Romance is coming in late May and already sold out, I have a proposition. If you guys RSVP to this event (Facebook?) by commenting I will go ahead and buy your ticket if I can snag one and you can pay me back in US Dollars. Okay, just throw up a comment in you’re interested, there’s plenty of time.

Just a warning: Yeasayer in on the way to 930 June 16th, so keep an eye out for tickets May 5th!