Perils of assimilation

If only life came with subtitles.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Midwest Slacker: The Kingdom of Talossa

The Kingdom of Talossa is a Micronation situated on the East Side of Milwaukee. Yep, a whole 'nother country. The US government has never complained about it, so it can only be assumed that they are a-okay with it.

It was founded, as the story goes, sometime in 1979 by a 13-year-old kid, who declared his bedroom to be his own personal kingdom. Through out the years, Talossa has annexed most of the East Side, and gained about one hundred citizens. It has also laid claim to UWM, renaming it the University of Talossa. This glorious micronation's history is not without strife, however, as some succeded to form the Republic of Talossa.

I'm not kidding.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A letter

I know better than to open e-mails that look suspicious. But I opened this one, and this is what it said: I'm a sidewalk stain photographer and I'd just like to say that you've captured the essence of my work. Thank you and goodbye.

Umm, you're welcome?

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Yeah baby. Nothing is scarier than milling about a men's room in a rural Wisconsin Wal-mart waiting for a little stick to change color.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Midwest Slacker: Urban Legends

So begins what I hope to be a regular feature here at Perils, Midwest Slacker. I hope to bring attention to the quirky, cool stuff that the midwest has to offer (by Midwest, I mean Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and maybe Iowa. Not Indiana though, no one likes Indiana), and elighten people to the esoteric, wierd, and sometimes soul-crushing culture that we live in.

Wisconsin is brimming with urban legends. I live a few miles from the location of the most famous Wisconsin legend: the Best of Bray Road. This started in the 1980's with numerous werewolf sightings, which continue until this day. It's a favorite pasttime of locals to go out to Bray Road on Halloween to try and catch a glimpse of the beast, and a year round good time to just get stoned and scare yourself. It's been glimpsed on Bower's road just outside of East Troy, and it's even inspired a really awful movie! In cryptozoology, there was a creature that in the language of the local Native americans, meant "carrying-off dogs," and was said to be sort of a hyena-wolf breed, and existed throughout the midwest. There have been werewolf reports in Southern Wisconsin as far back as the 1930's. (My dog just howled. Bad timing, dog.)

One legend that I think may have had some truth to it is the legend of Haunchyville. Haunchyville, in Muskego, is supposedly the home of many midgets, well-armed, deadly midgets. Seems silly, right? Take into account P.T. Barnum's circus started here, and WI is home to the Circus World museeum, is it so inconcievable that circus performers might choose to retire to the place where circuses call home?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Alice in Chains Girl

I've never been much for trends. When I would go get my hair done at the salon that my roommate worked at, the stylists would talk about how bad they felt for me because I didn't care about my appearance. I've been rocking the grunge aesthetic for about 10 years now. When a girl finds a formula that works, why mess with it, right?

Maybe I am a little stuck in the nineties. When it comes to the trinity of grunge, I would like to publicly side with Alice in Chains, but if you like Nirvana or Pearl Jam, that's ok too. But let's take a loving look at the fabulous ladies of the decade:

Kim Deal: One could only hope to be as cool as her. Bassist for Pixies (no the in the title, please!) and founding member of The Breeders, she had style. Layers and layers of sound that obscured her vocals, there was no one else with such... je ne sais quoi.

Kristin Hersh: There is no mistaking her voice, growling, purring, breezing through time signature changes and interesting chords. You may know her from Throwing Muses, 50 FootWave, and her solo projects. This woman is a real superstar, she has four kids and continues to have an amazing creative output.

Kim Gordon: I really can't talk about music from the nineties with out at least touching on the Sonic Youth. They played cheap-ass instruments and they knew it. They mashed screwdrivers and drumsticks under the strings and invented their own tunings, did whatever they could to come up with a sound that was entirely theirs, entirely new. She's has so many side projects, it's hard to keep up. If it wasn't for the Sonic Youth, we wouldn't even have heard the Seattle sound!

D'arcy: another sexy bassist in our lineup: Ms. D'arcy Wretzky. She lent the Smashing Pumpkins an untouchable flair, that, though Melissa Auf Der Maur is an excellent bassist in her own right, the band could never really recapture after she left.

Zia McCabe: With no prior musical experience she joined The Dandy Warhols and taught herself keyboards, and off she went. Props.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Radiowaves to Blogwaves

One of my favorite artists is also one of my favorite bloggers: the lovely Mike Doughty.

In other news, I am a chicken. I have, once again, backed out of finally reading Titus Alone. The Gormenghast novels are amoung the most important books I read growing up, along with the Narnia books and The Neverending Story. They are books I am so attached to, that the thought of anyone else reading them puts me on the defensive, protecting the stories I will forever think of as mine.

The first two books of the series, Titus Groan and Gormenghast, are the greatest examples of the Modern Gothic (though Lolita comes close). It contains the typical hallmarks of the genre: a moldy castle, a bloodline that needs preserving, a protagonist emotionally orphaned, and an Otranto-esque menace to the rightful heir. But they are so much more than the tradional trappings.

The beauty of the writing is its ability to draw me into the world of Gormenghast, With the first chapter, I can smell the ancient dust, see it plume out with every step of Flay’s feet on the stones. I fell in love with Fucshia, the lonely lost girl, played in her attic labyrinth. I was mesmerized by Titus’ tenth birthday celebration, saw the strange dance of the lion, wolf, horse, and lamb. I grew to love Steerpike, easily the best character present, was glad and sad that he died, angry that he wasn’t any longer the focus of the book, laughed at Irma’s relentless pursuit of a husband, an errant effort that rival’s Panurge’s quest for a wife in it’s comedic appeal. I miss the characters, I miss the silly Doctor, Nannie’s aches and moans. That’s the mark of a good book, I suppose when you miss the caracters after youre done, your friends for so many pages and that you have to part ways with.

I hate to see the characters go, but there is a third book. Titus Alonecontinues with the adventures of Titus outside of Gormenghast castle. Titus is my least favorite character, he's a dull boy. I think it was Anthony Trollope who said that the interest of the story lies with the wicked and foolish people. Oh, how right he is. But that isn't the entire reason for my reluctance to read Titus Alone, I love the world Mervyn Peake made, and by not reading the last book he wrote about it, it can still live in my mind.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ohhh, Life

I'm in the wrong business. You see, I have a job that requires me to deal with people, and I HATE people. They're needy and rude. I used to be incredibly shy, and I couldn't talk to people. I hated talking to teachers, I hardly talked to classmates, which meant I got picked on more. Eventually, around the time I started high school, I got over it. Now, I seem to have developed mini panic attacks everytime I have to talk to someone. I go to into the kitchen's walk-in cooler to hide from everyone, even my co-workers. Eventually the cooks come and find me to boot me out of their cooler, and out I go! They're starting to catch on to my hiding habits, I think. I wish I worked in the kitchen, less people, better music. And you would think spending time at home would be better. I hate being home because of the anxiety I have even talking to my family. I can't handle being around people, it's enough to make me adopt the ways of a hermit. I don't know what to do about this, because I can't talk to anyone about my silent panic attacks BECAUSE of my silent panic attacks.

Conversely, I am even lonelier than ever. I don't have many friends here, Lila lives in Racine, Marc and I never hang out if it's just the two of us, and Adam... let's just say I need more responsible friends.

You know the R.E.M. song "Losing my Religion," with Micheal Stipe wailing, "Ohhhh, Life!" Someone I used to work with used to wander around moaning that line. I get it now.

Ohhhh, Life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Big Sister

I did not start dating until I turned eighteen, a little later than most, I guess. I've only had one relationship which lasted for the better part of two years when you ad it up, and when it ended it tore me apart, I'm still not comfortable talking about it.
My little sister started dating a year or two ago, which is ok with me, but what worries me is how immature and insecure she is, and it sounds like her new boyfriend is moving a little too fast. I think she should make her own mistakes, but I feel if I don't voice my opinion she might end up getting hurt badly like I did. I don't want to be the one to talk to her about sex, but I would feel better if I at least knew what was going on. Trouble is, we aren't very close and never have been, we're strangers to one another. I don't want to get involved in her emo world, and she doesn't care about my life, which is how I like it. Having a serious talk might tear down some walls, walls I have spent a lot of time building up.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wisconsin Against 2016 Chicago Olympics!!

Who cares if it puts the Midwest in the spotlight? It means years of construction and increasing numbers of Chicagoans ruining Wisconsin. It's bad enough that people want to come and visit, but this time some of them might STAY. Be very afraid.

Monday, June 02, 2008

We're 2!

I've been whining for two years now. Onwards upwards and outwards!