Travelin’ By Tunes

Where in the World Was Cassidy Frazee on Sunday evening.  Well, I was in Baltimore.  Why?

Skating, of course.

Actually I wasn’t skating, but a metric shit ton of other women were, as we were all there for a clinic hosted by World Champion Laci Knight of the Angel City Derby Girls, which was the first woman’s flat track derby team and generally considered one of the best leagues in the world.  Since I’d love to become a pivot, I signed up for this clinic back in January and was waiting for the chance to be on the rink with another person from whom I could learn.

Of course I was there to observe only as I’m not certified, but those be the breaks.

So I cut out of The Burg about 4:30 PM (or 16:40 if you are from outside the U.S. and/or happen to be a witch attending a special school in Massachusetts) and drove on down to Baltimore, which put me there right before 6:00/18:00.  This gave me time to grab a bite before getting to the clinic:

Dining on the best the city of Baltimore has to offer.

 

The clinic was fun.  Even though I couldn’t skate I was allowed to stand in the middle of the rink and watch all the craziness going on about me.  I shot video for my time, though I’m not allowed to post any of it here.  We did, however, get a team shot at the end of the night.

 

Yes, that’s Laci’s doing the handstand while still in skates.  I’m over on the right not in skates and wearing my HARD shirt.

One of the things I had with me while traveling is my portable speaker, which I linked to my phone so I could play music from my various YouTube playlists.  The radio in my car doesn’t work, and even if it did, it doesn’t have all the snazzy Bluetooth features that so many vehicles have today.  Therefore I made do the best I can, and this is how I do so.

It’s no secret that I’ve been in a massive funk for a while–at least three months with January being The Month From Hell.  There was a time when music used to alleviate these feelings, but it hasn’t happened in a while. But Sunday afternoon and through to the night–yeah, there were a few magical moments that caught my attention and set my mood to “Yeah, this is Cool.”  And I’d like to share those moments with you, ’cause they’re sharable.

The first song that caught my mood as I was crossing into Maryland while the sun was setting was this: Sukiyaki, which was released in 1963.  Performed by Sakamoto Kyu, the actual title is Ue o Muite Arukō, which translates as “I Look Up As I Walk”.  When it was released in the U.S. it was given the name Sukiyaki because they rightly knew no one who wasn’t Japanese–or at least understood Japanese–would be able to pronounce the title.  This was also the first single from Japan to chart on Billboard, making Sakamoto Kyu the first Asian on the U.S. charts.  This is always been one of my favorite songs and I can remember hearing this as a young kid way back in the day, as they say, and when I need something catchy and soothing, I go here.

 

A point of trivia:  Sakamoto Kyu was aboard Japan Airlines Flight 123 when it suffered cabin decompression, lost its vertical stabilizer (aka, the tail), and crashed on August 12, 1985. 520 people were killed and this remains, to today, the worst single aircraft accident.

The next one came as I was making my way out of Baltimore, specifically as I was heading north along I-695, the Baltimore Beltway, heading into the massive interchange with I-95.  And what played as I rolled down this stretch of highway was Elvis’ Burning Love.  Now, full disclosure: I am not an Elvis person.  I don’t consider him the King of Rock and Roll, and I don’t have a lot of use for the majority of his catalog.  There are, however, a few of his songs that get me going, and this is one of them.  And with the darkness around we on a somewhat empty section of highway, this was the perfect tune to set the tone for my journey home.

 

I stopped off in York to pick up a few food items before continuing home.  Being in York generally means I’m about a half-hour from pulling into the apartment complex, so when I finished up the play list I had going I popped in the next song: the just over eleven minute Elton John epic, Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding.  The album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was the first actual pop/rock album I bought with my own money and it got good and worn out on my turntable, with this opening track getting the most play.

Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding is best known for the grandiose opening, which was not recorded by Elton but rather by album’s engineer, David Hentschel, who spend a considerable amount of time on an APR 2500 synthesizer overdubbing track after track to achieve the orchestral effect.  It wasn’t supposed to actually be part of the song, but after Elton heard the playback he told Hentschel to add it to the track.

Mentioning the ARP 2500 allows me to bring up the photo of Phil Dodds, then VP of Engineering at ARP, installing the 2500 used in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  I believe this very instrument now resided in a private school for witches…

 

I timed this nearly perfectly: the tune was coming to an end just as I parked my car right around 12:10 AM on Monday morning.  Do I know how to do this, or what?

 

Music hasn’t actually touched me in a while, so it was great that my mindset was such that I felt so good going south to the City of Chicken and Waffles (true, this is where it’s really supposed to have started), enjoyed a skating clinic, and then had a nice time driving back in the darkness.

Let’s hope I have that same feeling today as I head to Jersey to visit with my doctor…

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All On Me

And yes: I am doing a riff on an REM song title.  Watch the video and find out why!

 

My two jerseys:

 

Everything’s Got a Moral, If Only You Can Find It.

Today I have something a little different.  It’s about social media–but not in the way you think…

My fellow The Snarking Dead TV Recaps writer Rachel Tsoumbakos recently had her Instagram account hijacked, so she did what most people would: she contacted Instagram and told them.

It wasn’t long after that things… didn’t go well.

Why don’t you read about Rachel’s Bogus Journey here

Projections of the Astral Kind: Seeing Not All

I know it’s gonna seem strange, but–here I am with another excerpt.

I’m slowly getting back into writing–with slowly being the operative word.  The story is coming out, but it’s doing so in fits and spurts, as the words don’t flow as smoothing as once before.  But sitting down and making a concerted effort to write close to 500 words is something I haven’t done in a while, so doing it makes me feel better.

And where are we now?  Well, the kids were going to try doing a little astral projection.  And if one of the two were to actually craft the spell correctly, it would probably be this one…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

The moment Annie’s eyes opened she felt disappointment. The ceiling to the room looked the same and upon sitting up she say the rest of the room was just as she’d left it prior to trying to project. She let out a big sign and folded one arm under her breasts so she could rest her other arm against it as she pressed a fist against her mouth. It didn’t work. She shook her head. It should have worked. I know I was in a trance

It was in that second after her last through that she began to reevaluate her disappointment as she quickly noticed two things: one, she wasn’t wearing any clothes—and two, Deanna was sitting up in the middle of her reclining body.

The seer smiled as she took in her student’s discomfort. “I see you made it.”

Annie examined her surroundings slowly. “This is the Astral Realm?”

“Of course it is.” Deanna stood and everything from her thighs down vanished inside her body and the recliner. “Though I’m going to guess that what you’re seeing is really nothing more than the room as you left it before projecting.”

She nodded. “Yes. Everything looks the same—” Annie looked down at herself and spoke with a tone of disgust in her voice. “Why am I naked?”

“Let me answer those questions in order.” Deanna stepped away from the chair and stood in the open. Now that Annie could see her whole body, she noticed the slight glow surrounding her. “First, the reason everything looks the same is because you are now seeing the Astral Realm with a completely new set of senses—”

“It didn’t look like this when we walked physically into the Realm.”

Deanna projected a warm smile. “That’s because you were seeing things with your physical eyes. Now you’re not: you’re seeing things with your astral eyes, which are nothing but projections of your real eyes. In order to see the Astral Realm properly while projecting, you have to learn to project everything around you back to your eyes.”

After a few seconds of considering the matter, Annie felt she understood what Deanna was saying. “I have to use Astral Sight, don’t I?”

“Why do you think I was teaching that before Astral Projection?” She motioned towards her student. “Go on: try that.”

Annie began crafting as if she were really in her body and not a conscious mind linked to her astral form—as she now remembered Deanna explaining weeks before, there wasn’t a difference—and five seconds later the Astral Realm flashed into existence…

 

So, as we’ve seen a few times before, Annie is the first one to figure this spell out.  And damn, but Annie’s nekked again–trust me, though, there’s a good reason for that.

And if you’re lucky you’ll find out why tomorrow.

Projections of the Astral Kind: Settling In For the Trip

What is this madness?  In case you’re wondering, it’s an excerpt.

Yep. I finally sat down and did some writing.

Now, before you get all giddy: I didn’t do any of the writing I said I was going to do yesterday and for good reason: I was in Carlisle yesterday for their winter ice festival where there were all kinds of ice sculptures in front of businesses eager for your money.  I was there with two of my teammates–Shannon and Kellie–and Kellie’s girlfriend Sarah, and we were helping pass out team literature with the intention of finding businesses who could be interested in sponsoring the team for 2018.

We also drank.  As in like booze.  Because it was cold.  Yeah, that’s why.  We also took over the Carlisle version of the Iron Throne.  I didn’t have the heart to tell these ladies they needed to address me as Khaleesi after this:

Shannon, Kelli, Sarah, and me out doing their HARD sell. #HARD #DerbyGirl

A post shared by Cassidy Frazee (@cassidyfrazee) on

 

This morning, however, I decided I needed to get back into the last scene I started and put a finish on it.  And there’s a reason for that–

‘Cause it’s been a while–

 

I checked the dates and it’s been exactly two weeks since the last time I worked on this post.  Which is to say it’s been two weeks since I’ve written anything.  That is nearly the longest I’ve went without writing anything original.  Well, not really: I’ve gone longer than that after finishing a story, but before now the longest I’d gone without writing anything original was a couple of days.

The time was needed.  I had to finish this.

And I’m of the hope that now that I’ve gotten Chapter Twenty-One going, I’ll have the inclination to sit down and finish the sucker.

So, what is this chapter about?  Well, the title should give you an indication.  And the except–which is all of the first scene of this chapter–will set up the action:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

Contrary to what most Salem students believed, the Projection Room at Memory’s End wasn’t a small theater where instructors could relax while watching movies: rather, it was where Deanna went whenever she taught students how to develop the art of Astral Projection.

The Projection Room was also one of the few rooms in the Numerology Building used for non-numerological purposes. Deanna’s reasoning was that since the Numerology Building was seldom used these days—there were only six E and F level students studying this particular art—using a room in a far corner of the first floor of nearly abandoned building allowed her students the maximum amount of privacy with nearly zero distractions.

Like many of the rooms at Memory’s End, the Projection Room was functionally spartan. There were a few cabinets along one wall containing supplies, maybe a dozen pillows of various sizes on the floor, and six plush leather recliners that could stretch out flat should one want to take a quick nap. The lighting was constantly subdued and a soothing soundtrack often played just at the threshold of hearing to help place students in the proper frame of mind for projecting their astral forms.

After a month of study Deanna believed both Annie and Kerry were ready to attempt Astral Projection, though privately she suspected that Annie would likely be the first to accomplish this task. It wasn’t that Kerry wasn’t up to the task, but as he did at times, his approach to Astral Projection was a bit clinical, whereas Annie jumped into the art with her heart and soul as she developed her crafting, and that always gave her a bit of an edge in these matters.

Both students arrived promptly at 13:00 and Deanna went right into what she expected from today’s lesson. Annie and Kerry both knew that today was their first attempt at disengaging their astral form from their physical one and she wanted them as relaxed and focused as possible. There wasn’t any need to say she wanted them to do their best: that was a given. She only wanted them to have the correct mindset so they’d succeed.

At 13:30 Deanna figured there was little more she could say about how to project and decided it was time to move on to the next step. “All right, then.” She motioned to the line of recliners against the back wall. “Let’s get started.”

Kerry was sitting almost immediately. He’d told Deanna that while he didn’t think he’d project the first time, he figured wasting time getting ready wouldn’t help. Annie, on the other hand, was methodical about sitting down and reclining the chair to the correct position before getting comfortable. Privately Deanna agreed with Kerry that he likely wouldn’t project the first time, but as far as Annie was concerned…

“Are you ready?” Deanna dimmed the light even further with a wave of her hand.

Annie stared up at the ceiling. “I’m ready.”

Kerry gave a quick nod along with a slight wave of his left hand. “Imma go here.”

Deanna took her own chair, one facing her students, and reclined just enough that she could relax while still keeping an eye on her students. “Close your eyes and clear you minds. You know the process: imagine decoupling your astral form from your physical form and taking control with your conscious mind. Harder to do than it sounds, but as with any crafting, it’s a matter of exerting your willpower over the reality of your dual nature.

“Lay there: don’t respond to any of my comments.” She quickly opened one eye to check on Annie and Kerry. Both lay back with their eyes closed, appearing comfortable and deep in a trance. “Separate one self from the other and you’ll find your minds going free and bringing your astral form along for the journey…”

 

Astral Projection.  Not the same as dreamwalking, because when one dreamwalks they are limited to the space inside their dreamscapes.  With Astral Projection, you are limited to–well, the Astral Realm.  And that’s a lot of space.

But first, you gotta get in there–

Seven Days Out

And here’s where I get to talking.  Enjoy!

 

Here’s a photo of me at the showing with the artist:

 

 

Here’s the video of the pace line I mentioned: