Spiders and moths and death, oh my!

Greetings Strange Fam,

I haven’t bloggity-blogged it up in a while because I’ve been up to my bloodshot eyeballs in work.  However, so much is happening in my life and in the world that I need to address it  in one big swoop.

1) RIP to Michael Jackson.

MJ was the biggest star any of us will probably ever know. The reason we’ll hear about him until the day we die is because his impact spanned so many generations. Thriller is the first tape my mom ever bought me. I played that tape front to back more times than I care to admit. I was at my house rehearsing with B. Dolan when the news broke. We were both in shock as we sat in front of the television in a total state of “What…the…fuck.”  I could go on and on about MJ, but I’d rather not get lost in a tangent. There is a song about him that’s been sitting in my notebook for years. Since I never could figure out how to finish the song, I’ll just share the one line that keeps repeating in my head (in reference to his plastic surgery):

“It had less to do with race, and more to do with removing traces of his father from his face.”

I guess that sums up the whole purpose of the song. No need to record it now.

The day after MJ’s death, B. Dolan and I were greeted with Tech N9ne’s tour bus at Chicago’s “Rock the Bells” concert.

promo gone wrong

promo gone wrong

It should be known that this album title and image was created 6 months before MJ’s death. I don’t want people thinking it was a spur of the moment decision to capitalize on a tragedy. Tech N9ne is the homie.

2) RIP to Walter Cronkite.  He raised a bar that journalists should aspire to match rather than just play limbo with. Lets see one of these robotic talking heads we now see on TV every day earn the title of “The Most Trusted Man in America.”

3) RIP to Anne R. D’Antuono.

Not many people know of her as her story isn’t on every news channel (or any news channel for that matter.) She was my 5th grade teacher and she died at the age of 83. Her obituary mentioned the basics of her life;  birth date, death date, relatives, and nothing else. That’s not a proper send off.

Mrs. D’Antuono seemed to come straight out of a black and white movie. She was tall and lanky, often sporting a trench coat and bucket hat. If you were chewing gum in her class she would stick it on your nose. If you weren’t paying attention she would put her nails to the chalk board. To put it plainly, she was a no-nonsense mofo. Mrs. D’Antuono was a stickler for the English language, cramming sentence diagrams down our throats almost every day. In fact, I found myself in accelerated English classes for the rest of my scholastic career because of it. Most of the kids in class, including myself, were scared of her.  There were also sweet and endearing moments throughout the year, all of which stick out in my mind much more than the ruler being slapped against the desk.

Our 5th grade class was the last she would ever teach. When she announced her retirement I wondered if it was because we pushed her over the edge somehow. It’s unlikely, but I do think that we were ushering in a new generation of kids who lacked the discipline and attention span that her particular teaching style required. She wasn’t there to baby sit. She was there to teach. Her retirement must have weighed heavy on my conscience, because on the last day of school I wrote her a poem and slipped it onto her desk without anyone noticing. Just a little show of appreciation for her hard work. She photocopied it, laminated it, and sent it to my mother…so…ya know…I’m pretty awesome. And I’m probably going to heaven.

The only reason I learned of her passing this past weekend is because my Grandmother was her bridge partner. I attended the wake and had the opportunity to tell her family about the lasting impression their mother had on me. I’d post a photo, but none exist online. This is just a heart-felt shout to an unsung hero. You were a bad ass, Mrs. D! May your red pen strike me down whenever I end a sentence with a preposition.

4) SFR’s CD manufacturer is based in Texas. Boxes are delivered to my driveway in Rhode Island. The last large shipment of boxes was Sleep’s “Hesitation Wounds” album. As I was carrying one of the boxes to my van a spider fell out of it. It was large, hairy, and it tumbled down my body onto the ground. I tossed the box I was holding and hyperventilated for a minute while I stared at this nightmare of a bug.

This picture is the best I could take with my phone, but it doesn’t do the traumatic experience any justice.  Listen…I live in RI. I’ve never seen a fucking bug like this ever. It wasn’t as big as the tarantulas that I see in horror movies, but it was hairy and huge. As you can see, it was on its way to eat my cat when I mustered up the courage to take this photo.  I then scooped up my cat and ran into the house. I apologize for introducing this creature into RI’s ecosystem. Good luck with that.

5) In other Stephen King-esque news, I was sitting in my living room tonight when I heard something knocking against my door. I opened up the door and was greeted by a moth that was the size of a baby bird. What the fuck is going on here? It’s the biggest god damn moth I’ve ever seen in my life.

big ass moth

big ass moth

Again, my camera phone is not doing this thing justice.  The picture below includes my finger in order to give perspective.

What is that, a little baby finger next to a regular sized moth? Nope, it’s actually my fat sausage finger next to a monster sized moth.

I picked it up by its wings and tossed it away from my door but it keeps coming back. If I need to save this Jurassic beast in a jar for scientific study I hope someone tells me soon.

6) I’m not a particularly spiritual person, but sometimes I get caught up in superstition. It’s shameful, really. But as I encounter these creatures that belong in the Guinness Book of World Records, I start to wonder if they’re omens.  I haven’t even mentioned the big toads hopping around my lawn, but they’re there.  So I start obsessing over these encounters with strange nature beasts and then I connect them to things that are happening in my life.

The other week I woke up and my eye inexplicably looked like this.

Did someone fart on my pillow? Did that big spider lay eggs in my eyelid? No…it’s a stye. It went away after two days with no treatment. As soon as it went away I had gland pains in my neck. It  hurt to speak and it hurt to turn my head. Once that went away I had so much pain in my right arm, wrist and fingers that I couldn’t sleep. So, OK, my body is going crazy. I’m recording my new album and there’s a spiritual war going on in my arteries. That’s what the doctor told me anyway…after taking my blood and shipping it off to the government for testing.

I’ve been sworn to secrecy, so if you’re looking for an explanation then you’ll need to wait for my autopsy.

“That’s the way it is.”

-Francis

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D1SC0 says

hah! my girlfriend gets those sty's all the time.
hers are from going to sleep with eyeliner still on though...>_>

Prolific Memorie says

Yea fuck spiders, if you wouldn't mind can we keep to kittens!
You probably already have seen /read what i had to say about Walter.I'll still be learning from him as i study.And am admirable of him.

As for the stye that was also talked over when it happen.Glad it's over!I just recently had a teeth removal gone horrible.10 days ill, worthless and in the worst pain i've ever been in. I remember at one point writing down on paper. "If they say childbirth is the most painful experience a women will go through, then count me the fuck out. Cuz this dry socket damn near made me drive off a bridge.

Congrats at R.T.B.'s my man!

pieces of later,

mem

Brett says

Glad to hear you're recording again but that spider is terrifying.

Nick A. says

You've got balls taking pictures of freak sized bugs.

I applaud you.

Jennifer says

Dude, that line from your MJ song gave me chills. More chills than that big spider, which I am deathly afraid of.

Jarrod says

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antheraea_polyphemus

I was too afraid to look the spider up.

albinored says

Mrs. D’Antuono:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zvDEKunfSU

Adrian says

Regarding that horse of a spider... "The phone on my camera doesn’t do this nightmare of a bug any justice". Listen man, I know the spider is big, but you didn't seriously try to call the son of a bitch, did you?

Sam says

Tech N9ne is a god-damn fool for pulling that shit, he would lose a fan if I was one. Great blog and I can't wait to hear the new album.

Ginger Ailment says

The hardest workers in showbiz need no diamond studded glove.
"His time is up!" He's still the type poised to make a come back.
Kill the white noise until the sun's black. Moonwalk around New York City and get murdered by flocks of sheep... I never thought about those lyrics until sage mentioned the unrecorded MJ song. Guess we'll never know if he was poised to make that comeback.

Kryxta says

Spiders are a symbol of wisdom and knowledge. The webs they weave are representative of the ability to create things, create our own lives. Also, spiders, with 8 legs and 8 eyes, are a symbol of infinity as well. ( 8 = ∞ )

Maladjusted James says

I can't thank you enough for what you've created. Your lyrics affect me on a level that no other artist has. I'm excited to learn that you're recording a new album! As for the line about MJ.. You are one clever fuck! Always astonishing. Pay no mind to those insects, you get back to work! Can't Wait!!

Jack ~ Osiris says

Next time that spider comes into your house, give it a karate chop!

Nice to know recording is ongoing as well, I'm looking forward to your next album already!

Decoy says

We had moths like that in Belize in the jungles of Toledo, and just outside Placencia. The fireflies are about 2 inches long too. I have no idea why that moth would've migrated so far up north... the effects of construction, deforrestation, and a mild natural warming (not the anthropogenic global media tripe) maybe.

AdamBomb says

That would be cool if you finished the MJ song. I'm sure it would be a lot more powerful than the Ron Artest tribute.

Oh, and yeah...the bugs are big down south. The roaches down here can lift manhole covers.

Morlocks & Bridges says

Glad a new album is in the works. Still looking for fan beats? I missed the first round. Keep the best hip hop in the world a-comin'.

Spiders talk to each other, kill one and the rest will seek you out. Save one and you'll never be bitten again. True story.

As for moths....They are some truskool hip hop heads. and ward off spirits in many native cultures. and taste horrible.

Missed you on E & A's new album. Seemed like Eyedea was taking a page from your journal. You are an Inspiration to other great artists.

                                                        Forever Gay With You,
                                                             Knoxville, TN
Behrooz says

greetings from tehran iran.

i found your songs very uplifting and relevant specially after the election riots took place...god bless and rock on....errr rap on & keep the flow coming.

albinored says

Calling it now (and I did not cheat):

FELT 3 Tribute To Kristy Swanson (The Only BUFFY Worth Mentioning)

With Blueprint of Weightless on Production

albinored says

Don't Let Life Pass You Over (Kristy Swanson With A Prayer):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l9BMEJL-N8

Thotsoe says

I've had that same kind of moth on my apartment deck, they are like baby birds! Something out of hitchcock pehaps. When you coming back to the CO man, we miss you out here! One.

-W! says

so i guess what i wanted to say was pretty irrelevant to this particular blog. but i didn't look around hard enough to find a place to publish general comments/statements and i just kind of landed here so i'm gonna roll with it. I hope you actually read this because i've got some good things to say. It's not like i'm expecting a response or anything but i guess i just want you to be aware of the changes that have occured in my mind since i heard your music.

I was introduced to you through some magazine who claimed you were one of the best underground rappers out there. So i hit you up on iTunes and started listening. At first i looked at what was on the surface; the beat, the rythm, the rhyme. It was good... i liked it. Not to sound completely cliche, but as i started listening to the lyrics i became completely invested in your music. Your song, inherited scars, hit me way fuckin hard. And once again, at the risk of sounding cliche, i related to it. I'm not trying to kiss ass or act like i know you on some personal level, i guess i just wanted you to know that your lyrics are incredibly insightful, and i appreciate the level of personal experiance you include within your songs.

I guess thats it...

albinored says

Many more feel the same way...

albinored says

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRVhtVCfzo8

albinored says

A very young Sage Francis:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FUB8SrlQAE

JVargas says

Were you lookin at a Dog take a S*** cause thats how you get Styes! I try not to look when I walk my dog but he always catches me off guard and BAM!!!! I got a Stye the next morning

albinored says

Mrs. D’Antuono = my Sharon Murphy (best teacher in the world)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcyX8AFCZ8I

saintrock55 says

just to say sam.
Tech N9ne did that waay before mj died. and Tech N9ne Did that to pay tribute to mj. just like he does a song wit a remix version of billie jean every concert. hes just paying respect