Mr. Chiotos' Record

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ready to Go! Ready to Sleep...

Here I am sittin on the Marc Train at the Brunswick (Maryland) Station watching people gloomily board the train. Kinda hoping no one sits next to me so's I can put my feet up & stretch out & take a nice long nap. Either that or a gorgeous Italian woman sits next to me with a pint of Guinness. Those are my requirements - Italian Guinness lady or nothin.

Train ticket fella just walked past and took tickets - kinda looked like Santa Claus in a train guy outfit. I mean, I would expect nothing more nothing less from train people...

So, I'm riding the Marc train into DC - Then the Amtrak to Charleston - I have a lot of work to do today, but a lot of reading and sleeping as well.

Oh, it feels good to not drive - the Marc left on time and I so far have the seat to myself (haven't stopped anywhere else.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Short on Time - Breakfast is Comin

well, here I am sittin at home gettin ready to take a (refreshing) shower and meet Tominda for breakfast in Charles Town.

Shortly - I'll write more later -

-Amazing last weekend at the SEAC National Council meeting

-Great week in a mix of cleaning, SEAC work, relaxing, and hanging out with family

-Riding the train down to Charleston tomorrow (got an 8 hour ride, plenty for a lot of reading, writing, and SEAC work)

-The weekend in Calhoun County is coming together nicely, keeping focused on building the WV network through having a great time and growing relationships/inspiration

-Found my old notebooks from High School with journals, writings, yearbooks, and the rest - that was real badass to read & remember the good & the hard

Well, I'm off to take a shower - I'll write more later...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

no more beard



Cut my beard - ha ha ha!

holy crap! i forgot that i had a face under there!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Documentary to Reggae to Brewin - Wowza

How many woodchucks could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? I don't know that one but I do know how many seemingly unrelated activities could be stringed together to form a weekend and a Monday. From hiking to seeing a documentary to reggae to brewing beer to disappointment to work to sitting here in Calhoun County - add all that up together and ya get a Saturday Sunday and Monday in my life, hot damn.

After the hike, I headed directly into Charleston and missed meeting up with Larry to talk about summer music (i'll miss meeting him both Sunday and Monday too, we're real good at not talking to each other apparently). I made it there in plenty of time to do a bit of email work and head over to the Rise Up West Virginia (www.patchworkfilms.com) film showing. It was in South Charleston and there was a great turnout of organizin folk & speakin folk & supportin folk for a film that traces one Pocahontas County woman's journey to find the effects of mountaintop removal on the people of Southern WV. It was a great film and it brought a coupla tears to my eyes when I say how crucial the Mountain Keepers Music Festival that I coordinated was to the making of that film. It's pretty amazing when you really do see yourself as an imporant part of something big and something moving and something powerful. Especially seeing this one woman, Atherine Spurlin (an old-timey church singer from the Kayford Mtn area of WV), that wouldn't have gotten the attention that she got if it weren't for Mountain Keepers, is amazing. I remember being moved by her singing that day and showing people the recording of her singing over the course of the past 10 months. She was invited on stage and sang a couple of songs before the film & sang a song during the film. It was an especially moving film for me...so I bought a copy...hopefully I don't lose it...I think you can see me fixing my hat in the background of a 3 second scene while I was running all the hell over Kayford that day fixing little things and keeping the day moving (I'm a famous dude - get my signature).

After that, Matt & Trevor & Jordan & I headed on over to the Empty Glass for beers & music & talkin. I had a headache and I thought I should avoid and hangover - so I went home at maybe midnight or something like that. BUT I had a beer that I hadn't had before...maybe a sharky beer? I dunno...it was pretty fancy though.....

The beer making was pretty incredible - finally did it after 2 years of talking about ! yessssss! Got an Irish Stout and a Nut Brown a-brewin in the SEAC office right now. I mean its sitting right next to my desk, doing work and then glancing at what will soon enough be a party is not too shabby. I'm gettin pretty tired, so I'm not gonna write so much about this even though there is a lot to write. Whenever I get off this dial up internet and connected up to broadband, I'll post pictures.

Sunday was a real great day right up until evening, then it got hard - a kind of hard that I could only describe with the word HeartHurt (not heartbreak but hearthurt) - I wrote about that in my own journal....

Monday morning kept being pretty tough, but Dana & Jordan & Matt & I all went to IHOP and then watched part of Lord of the Rings. That made me feel a lot better - I'm really glad Dana & Matt are here - good folk, comforting folk.

I'm thinkin tomorrow I'll stick around here unless I end up heading over to Glenville - but I definitely have enough SEAC work & personal reflection to keep myself busy tomorrow. Figure that I'll leave again Wednesday to either up to Buckhannon to be at a documentary or down to Charleston to be at an Environmental Council event.

Here I am.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Heck of a Mornin

Just got out of the shower and am gettin ready to head down to Charleston - a bit later than I expected, but it's been a fuller morning than I expected, so no worries there.

Oh, hot damn, the hike I went on earlier was epic. Well...maybe not epic, but it was pretty incredible. I'm trying to upload a video of it, but it doesn't seem to be working - especially not with dial-up. I'll put pictures up instead later on when I have a quicker connection down in Charleston.

I am so proud & glad that I took the morning and went on a hike with no one but Bob's dog Mia coming along with me. This kind of hike was something that I thought was out of the question last January when I was thinking a lot about the limitations of diabetes - but, I survived. It was a basic 2 hour hike up to the ridge and along the ridge to the natural gas pipeline cut back along and down the same ridge back to here.

Once I got up to the natural gas pipeline, I walked along that for a bit & eventually reached the other ridge. But - wasn't sure whether that was the right one and I hadn't packed enough food to potentially get lost so I just came right back along & down the ridge I had come up. Next time I'll video pack a whole bunch of trail mix & get it measured out for a full meal and try out that other ridge. I should know how to get around this place and Mia's a helluva companion.

Dogs are pretty amazing - she just stays within 500 feet of me the whole time. Whether she's up the incline or down the incline, she keeps herself within hearing distance of the leaves crunching under my feet & the breaking underbrush I plowed/ducked my way through. At one point she got a smell of something, jogged off, looked at me (saying, "hey, stay here, I'll be back), and went down the incline for 5-10 minutes then came right back. So, I just sat down on a wet log, wrote in my journal, and waited until she got back. It was pretty incredible, dogs rock. Most of the time I wasn't sure who was leading who...she was in front then I was in front then she was in front looking back to check on me to make sure I hadn't collapsed then I was back in front. Good hiking buddy.

Didn't stay too much to the path - tried to- but was oftentmes climbing up 60 degree slopes it seemed like beating my way through the underbrush and fallen trees. I'm real glad I didn't get bit by a snake. There were nat gas/logging roads that I could walk on - but they would all of a sudden come to a big pile of fallen trees or there would be a trail that lead up the incline.

Before going on the hike, I gathered up some kindling for the next time I/other folks go in the hot tub, starting to run low on wood - gotta get more than we have.

So, all in all, great morning and great pace to head into Charleston for the movie...I think Viv Stockman is getting some folks together to see a reggae band at a bar in town - so I'll probably do that afterwards.

Hot damn & hittin the road!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Old Poems

These are poems I found when I was rummaging through my box & bag of things that matter...figure I'll put em up here....



Abandoned Lover


A star falls,
a tear from
an abandoned lover.
He makes a wish,
a wish for love
and a wish for hope.
The meteor dissappears,
but his love will not sunder

He stays in their field,
staring at the sky,
cannot find her.
He can feel her breath,
her touch,
her cherried lips upon his.
He hears footsteps and
jolts to his feet.
He stares at nothing.

Falls asleep,
snug with his thoughts,
a warm blanket.
Awakes,
(its two A.M)
to the fading sound
of breathing.
No one is there.

A thousand nights
spent like this,
all of them wasted.
With the rising sun,
he knows
what he would not remember the nights before.
The doctors could do nothing,
she was gone.


Aphrodite's Fate

Jet black runs through your hair,
resisting it I could hardly bear.
I can see ages past in your eyes,
all the broken words and the lies.

I pledge to honor our relations,
and will not commit to intimidation.
You will receive only respect,
and only my personal best.

Your presence creates a print in my mind,
and I have never had any of this kind.
I can see you strolling through my head,
in this dream that I cannot shed.

I can see the two of us driving down the sun-swept
highway,
I can see the two of us swimming in the bay.
I can see the two of us up in the mountains,
I can see the two of us drinking in those spring
fountains.

Aphrodite’s fated hands have brought us together,
and have made my heart as light as a feather.
Are we to turn away fate,
or could I just be too late?


Church vs State

What if I was allowed into Heaven
could i touch the soil
What if the Church went to war
would its people remain loyal

Who will question blind faith
Does it have to be a martyr
Should he make a deal with the Heavens
And will he have to barter

Ares raises his mighty sword
and shaves off Aphrodite’s head
He looks at her in sorrow
As he pumps her full of lead

Ares was a sad man
who didnt like to cry
Mars was a crazy man
Who always had to lie

Jesus comes face to face with them
Keeping a stern brow
He was pledged to nonviolence
But that has ended now

The Church has been mobilized
Its believers will fight
They’ll keep their Revalations
And try to see the light

Across from them sits the Government
Which will meet its fate
The Court ended long ago
Church vs the State

You may call this a Holy War
Crusade if you will
But I’ll call it what it is
Nothing vs Nil


Future Unknown

Let us take a trip
into the future unknown
Let us see whats beyond
every corner
and behind
every shadow

I can see the great master
beckon us,
come if you will

I can see the mechanical man
beside us
take this pill

Your terrified face
comforts me
you want to stay
on this border between fiction
and harsh reality


Haikus

Material Comfort
Surrounded by things
None of them have a heartbeat
They still comfort me.

Social Classes
Red-Blooded worker
Red blood dreams of being blue
Blue blood is not real

Capitalism
The dollar is king
In the world of businessmen
People are the pawns

Doctors Creation
The created face
A mask over true beauty
True beauty is real

Conforming
Majority’s rule
constricting minorities
breathless free-thought dies


Highway's Roar

Dark, Desert,
Highway roars
Screaming pavement
Scorpions adore

A man is laughing,
a woman cries
She looks out her window
into his eyes

A fist comes through
shattering fright
A woman sprawls
into the night

Searching for anger
Searching for fear
Seaching for anything
She is near

A crime is done
time has past
The future holds
only what will last

Dark Desert
Highway roars
screaming pavement
scorpions adore


Grandma

Eighty years,
many will not live that long.
Eighty years,
few will survive it
with the strength that you have.

If it were not for you,
none of us would be here
If it were not for your attitude,
wise yet silly and disciplined yet humorous
we would never be the same.

You have kept this family closer knit
than any I have seen.
You have built a dynasty that
will endure until the last of us
has gone.


One more suicide

Things like this happen every day
Somewhere, somehow
One more Suicide, One more Dead
The Facts and Figures,
they’ve already been said

Yesterday one more killed himself;
jumped off a Bridge he did,
and to these tears
there can be no lid.

I found the news sitting on a table;
half a page devoted to the “crime.”
It was about the road and traffic,
and how those waiting
wasted their time.

Too many wet eyes
not enough shoulders.
Too many friends
trying to move boulders.


Empty Chairs

empty chairs
now filled
with friends and lovers
who seem to change with the seasons

circle of friends
now ever-changing
as they rise
to let others sit

rising to leave him
to the strangest strangers hand
rising to leave him
to the deepest depths he’ll find
rising to leave him
to the empty chairs of friends and lovers

friends and lovers
now rise
now gone
as they stand and walk
to let others come in

empty chairs
now new
but changed to old
again
the old chair stays
but made of wood it rots
to recharge the system
old chair now new
new chair now old
I Will Never be the Same Again


Our Home

Green Trees,
Flaming Blades,
Screaming Saws,
Lumberjacks.

New labor,
New jobs,
breaking ground,
losing homes.

Birds fly,
Animals run,
nothing left
but our homes


Empty Chairs

Empty Chairs surround me
once full now empty again
Friends and fake lovers rise
to make room for oncoming others

New faces
pale and blank white
I do not know them
nor will I ever know them complete

Like a never ending wheel
the chairs turn empty
now full again
As the wheel turns
to reveal new
friends and fake lovers
ever changing
to be back again




Condemned to Death

My legs pump
my arms run
even my heart sweats
The wolves are behind me
tearing away the safety nets

Outreaching branches
tear away my skin
Just like the sharks
tore away my kin

Terror is visible
to my naked eye
I will not let them win
or I shall die



Bases

First base is a hope
second is a dream.
Third lies a-waitin
with home already gone


Cut it Down

Nature flows
and nature grows
but nature never dies

Cut it down
and it'll grow back
right on through your eyes



Forlorn Lovers

Like two forlorn lovers
we will run from the law
they can never catch us
as long as we don't fall

We will jump into my car
go for a little ride
and push that speed needle
to the other side

I look into your eyes
salvation I do see
blue and red behind us
but fireworks inside


Break Up

I remember the day when my love,
my one and only true,
sat beside me.
My arm locked in hers
and our lips intertwined
I can remember the feel of her bosom
and her eyes dancing with pleasure
Green beautiful eyre
Emeralds remain in my head
for true beauty cannot be forgotten
I knew how her heart feels
as it beat only for me
I know how my heart feels as it sends out signals
like morse code with no receiver
There is nothing I would not do
just to hold her again
I have gone a thousand miles across land & sea
but I am left to remember
when she would come looking for me
For she will find another
who could do more than I
and leave me in his wake
I do wish it now
I wish to be anyone
Who can see her eyes dance with please


Die Like a Martyr

Die like a martyr
Die like a martyr
for all those you love
Die like a martyr

Your country needs you
religon too
So for your God
kill your brother

No man shall wait
and neither will fate
So if it's peace you want
Die like a martyr

Settling in for the Night

Dogs are barkin in the background - the fires going in the gas heaters around the house - I'm typing on the computer - and there's a helluva quiet in the air. Well, except for the dogs there's a helluva quiet at least.

Back in Orma at the OARS house - pretty glad I didn't leave one of the stovetop burners on and burn the house down - it was a big relief seeing it still standing when I rumbled up the driveway. I got back here at maybe 6:30 and have had a pretty chill evening. Did a bit of online work, read about 30 more pages into my Hawk's Nest book, made & ate a pretty nice dinner - definitely been a chill evening. I'll be staying here until around noon or one or two tomorrow before I head back down to Charleston.

May meet up with Larry Gibson tomorrow to talk about the music for his wedding and his July 4th festival. I'm still kinda fluttery inside about planning the music for his wedding, it's a responsibility, definitely when it's a person as outstanding as Larry too...maybe I'll get Elvis to play...I mean, we're 6 months out from the July 4th festival and 7 months out from his wedding - gotta start planning - holy crap!!!

There's a mountaintop removal movie showing in Charleston (another one??? they just keep rolling them out...) that I'm definitely planning on hitting up. May look to gather a small crew of good folk from the CAYEN network to head on over to it - only know a coupla peoples' phone numbers but I'll give them a call when I get into town.

Sunday is the BIG BIG beer brewing day at the E-Council's office - we're gonna have Nut Brown & Irish Stout brewin away that'll be ready sometime in February. Under the steady direction of Mr. Matt Noerpel and with the hard labor of me and one fine Trevor Swan, this should be a great batch. The release party'll be up here at the OARS house in late February before Mountain Justice Spring Break. That'll be 2 parties from now (if you're keeping track) and we should be ready for a great weekend...hopefully there'll be some new faces to add to the Calhoun County Hike n' Hang Out Weekend regulars by that point. Well, actually, hopefully we don't blow the E-Council office up when we brew the beer - that's the first victory.

Suppose I'll be staying in Charleston Saturday - Sunday and heading back here Sunday night.

Headed into Charleston for the press conference for the outline of the Citizens' Energy Plan that various progressive groups are coming together around. Baloney Joe Manchin wants more coal and we're saying that we want green jobs & renewable energy - so the press conference went pretty well (coulda been done better). Dana spoke for SEAC and I did a little impromptu speaking off the cuff when I raised my hand and meant to answer a question but started preaching a bit instead (shut myself up quick & got back on track). CRMW, OVEC, WVCAG, WV E-Council all spoke and it was a pretty well attended events with maybe 7 delegates and a couple of state senators there. John Doyle (delegate from Shepherdstown) set up the room (go John!) but didn't end up making it to the press conference.

Was in a funk for the rest of yesterday - have a few ideas why, but a lot of it comes down to the weather. It was a grey rainy day & I can never feel quite right on those days...sunshine is badass.

When I went back to Dana's apartment to unload my remaining crap (clothes, guitar, fiddle) from there - I definitely took some mega cute pictures of her cat with a SEAC pin on its collar. It's a bird, It's a plane, IT'S A SEAC KITTY!!! So, yeah, I'm pretty satisfied with myself...check em out...




Maybe I'll go on a hike tomorrow morning.....then gather up kindling for the hot tub.....I have high hopes for tomorrow morning - I'm scared to check the weather.

I just called for one of Bob's dogs to come in...but it didn't come.......I hope it's warm enough...Mia is laying out on her rug in front of the gas heater in the workroom....wish I could remember that other dogs name...it doesn't respond to "other dog" very well.....

that's it for tonight.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Own Personal Kingdom
















ha ha ha! I am king of Orma, WV - self proclaimed & sovereign.

Bob left for at least the next week earlier today and I'm looking after the place at least until he gets back in probably clear through January & February and maybe long after that. It depends on how I like the place, whether people visit (whether it gets too lonely), and how much he's sticking around. That's the place above & I'm looking to take full advantage of being here.

I am planning to grow veggies (tomatoes, peppers, gourds, etc - under Sarah Kidder's kind direction), hunt (eventually), fish (with Tadd), chill, read, sing, and have all the damn get togethers I can. This is a helluva place to grow relationships among folk in the WV youth environmental network. So - a gathering a month is what I'm planning - grow relationships among organizers to grow power in our organizing. That's what I say.

Had a real solid & nice day - it's hard to get stressed here. Bob showed me how to fill the wood-stove for the hot tub & I got a pretty good fire going (coulda been better) - so I had a nice afternoon dip in the hot tub. Chilled there for a while, then made lunch - read a few chapters - went on a walk - came back here and have been chilling ever since.

While I was reading on the porch, I watched the sun go down in the nook between the two mountains & that was pretty damn cool. I like it when it's fun to watch the sun go down - I remember doing that in Monroe County...it's a good scene.



Spent yesterday in Glenville with Sarah & Tadd & Ivan. Holy crap - I never play so much NBA Jam as when I go over there and that jerk Tadd beat me in a coupla games...gotta get him...We went on a nice ass hike around the ridge behind their trailer & there's a coupla photos from that walk below. Sarah's dogs came with us - dogs are so amazing, they just stayed right along with us - running & zigzagging everywhich way - and came whenever Sarah'd call out "good girls stay close, good girls get treats" That's way more than most people do....damn....maybe we'd stay closer if we got treats........we really need to start rewarding each other with candy. We were on our way around the ridge, more on our way to circle around it than climb straight up it, until we got a good view (i.e. i got tired) and sat and talked for a good half hour before heading back.

It was such a damn nice day that I'm glad I went and walked around and got out in it. One of the best things in the world is taking in the enormity of the hills when you see friends a couple hundred feet away on the side of a huge incline. Can really take it in when the leaves are on the ground & not blocking the view - it's an impressive thing. These two little moving figures with a backdrop of brown & gray & red, its quieting. Saw some damn cool mushrooms too...




Tomorrow, I may go on a hike, I may go down to Charleston for a press conference (WV Environmental Council is releasing our "Citizens' Energy Plan" to counter the government fossil fuelish energy plan). I'll see - I haven't gone on a good hike by myself in quite some time & I haven't gotten a good feel for the place yet...I'll see.....

Talked with Bobby earlier about making it over to the Kanawha Forest sometime here to hit a shooting range & try out his shotgun & .22 - I haven't shot a gun since I went down to Levi's when I was like 2 so I should shoot one again - especially if I want to go turkey huntin with Rhett this spring, I need to have good aim.

Looking forward to brewing beer this Sunday in Charleston - have been talking about it for the past 2 years & now we're actually doing it. Hot damn, I hope that'll be a good day - there should be very good folk there.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Back in Blogging Action

Well, here I am in a Long John Silvers in gorgeous Gassaway, WV posting to a blog and looking at a big plate full of crumbs. This is exactly where I thought I'd be 10 years ago ("mommy, can I grow up to email people from random fast food joints in West Virginia?" i think those were my words...)

So, I've been looking at the computer a bunch today & have had a couple of low blood sugars (remedy: candy) so I have a little headache & am going to be quick in this post.

Here's where I'm staying: www.spectrumz.com/villa - a veritable back to the lander paradise that I'm going to be living at/housesitting for at least the next coupla months. It's not too shabby of a life to sit on a porch, eat lunch, see a church sitting across the road set in between two brown fuzz covered hills (no-leaved winter trees are fuzzy looking) and listen to the wind chimes blow in the breeze. I moved my clothes & papers & books & whatnots into the house earlier today and set camp pretty well.

We had a gathering last weekend of about 15 folks from around Central/Southern WV parts of the wv youth environmental network and it was a helluva time. Hiking, talking, singing, dancing, growing, drinking, and building community was the name of the game & the game was good. This is our second such gathering and I feel a strong community being built among organizing folk and I feel our work growing stronger & more powerful. There was one part of the weekend right at the end that was best and I feel great about and still makes me smile.

It was a hard weekend too as Sara Chroussis passed away last week. I've written about that in my own private journal and don't feel the need/want to rewrite what I've already expressed...but it made it a hard weekend as well. At one point I could only see her face as I looked into the brown fuzzy hills.


I'm excited to write in this thing again & I'm hoping to post to it every week and oftentimes everyday.