Category Archives: Performance

These posts have to do with the various performances that Johnny Unicorn does.

Johnny Unicorn and Jam Unit 2013 Tour part five: Budgeting

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It sure is odd to write a tour blog about an old tour while on a different tour. But it MUST be done.

Minneapolis was our next stop. The Mini-apple. It felt good to arrive in a city with a skyline and a Trader Joe’s. Last time I was in Minneapolis I had a great time with a band called the Drug Budget, so this time I made sure to set up a show with them again. This time it was at the Kitty Cat Klub. If you haven’t been there, you only need to know one thing: it has a gigantic unisex bathroom that takes up the entire bottom floor. The toilets are located in tiny stalls along the wall with doors that you can’t peak under. The sink is sort of just a bird bath in the middle of the room. There is a lot of red light. It is LOUD.

The show opened with a bunch of comedians who were funny and enjoyable for the most part. The Jam Unit played second, and we were loud as heck, but we had a good time and we got some people dancing. The Drug Budget closed the show with a knock-out set that was fully entertaining, and probably even louder than our set. The lead singer, who’s name I can never remember, really knows how to entertain a crowd. The Drug Budget plays metal and horn-infused pop music and are unlike most bands. This band goes beyond entertainment into something else entirely. Most of the crowd was partying hardcore, but I was fully entertained just standing and watching. I’m always very happy to share a stage with these people, and on top of that they’re all super nice. If you live in Minneapolis, I fully recommend going to their show. They make a Tuesday night feel like a Friday night.

The following night we played a disappointing show to a couple of people in Milwaukee. We made enough money to pay for a tenth of the drive to the venue. Afterwards, I insisted we drive the five hours back to my hometown of Holland, MI to get some hometown comfort. I’ll talk about that in the next installment.

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JU Summer Tour 2013 Part Four: Remembering People’s Names in North Dakota

North Dakota, the West-midwest. From Bozeman to Bismarck is a long, tedious drive. We had to rise early in order to make it on time to our show at Rhythm Records. Fortunately the caffeine-fueled Jam Unit was up to the challenge. I cannot remember what happened on the drive. Most likely it was a lot of silent staring at the flat, featureless landscape. I may have had earplugs in (don’t worry, I could hear just fine, we live in a really loud world). After an uneventful nine hour drive, we arrived at the record store and set up in the tiny space. I was not expecting there to be very many people there, so I promised that the band would improvise a song based on the names of every person in attendance at the show. The people showed up, probably about 20 of them, and sat down and listened to us perform our music. Many of them had seen me perform as a one-person act before and seemed glad to see the addition of a live band. As promised, we performed improvised songs based on the names of every person in the audience. We went as quickly as possible, and it took approximately five minutes. It was absolutely wonderful to play rock music at a reasonable volume level to a bunch of polite sit-down listeners in a shop full of vinyl records. Thank you to Robbie for letting us do it, and please, if you’re ever in Bismarck, stop by Rhythm Records. They have coffee and their selection of vinyl is small but good quality. I always find something I want there.

That night we stayed in a campground that was full of weirdos, and we couldn’t find firewood, so Naomi just took a bunch of cut-up trees from a pile. Later that evening, I decided I cannot eat veggie dogs while wearing a mustache. Also we snuck over to the RV section to use the bathroom, although, I think we were allowed to.

Then it was off to Fargo and the Red Raven Espresso Parlor! I had played there about four times before to extremely small audiences. But they were so nice to me, I just had to keep coming back to play, and I was determined to build up a small following, even if I had to do it one person at a time. But I like it that way, because I’m fairly picky about my fans. I want to make sure each one of them is okay with being part of a large group all looking in the same direction. I want to make sure they aren’t developing cult behaviors or anything like that. I want to make sure they are there to enjoy the performance. Anyway, I was expecting a small chunk of people to show up, but it turned out that the audience that came was about five times larger than I expected. That made me happy, but also a bit nervous, because I had also promised the audience of this show that my band and I would come up with improvised songs based on each of the audience members. Well, we played the show and people enjoyed it, and I think I even saw a few people dancing. We improvised everyones names and it took a really long time, but we got through it unscathed. I was very pleased with the way it turned out because Josie, from Bismarck, was at this show and the previous show, and we remembered how to play her song from the night before. Then, because it was Ian and Max’s (our guitarist and drummer) birthday (they’re twins), I surprised them with a birthday song, which I forced them to play without having rehearsed it. That was one of my favorite moments of the tour, just because I actually remembered someone’s birthday (edit: actually, I was just told that in fact I didn’t remember, Naomi told me. but I still remembered what she told me long enough to mention it on stage, which is quite an achievement). I was feeling really good about my own memory recall by the end of the show, and when I went out to push our merchandise on people, a very nice audience member who had come in with her teenage kids introduced me to them, and this one kid quizzed me on his name and I couldn’t remember it, even though twenty minutes earlier I had written a song about it (along with 35 other people). He seemed a bit bummed out. If he had known he was going to be talking to an absent-minded person, maybe he wouldn’t have felt so bad about it. Anyway, if you’re listening, kid whose name I couldn’t remember, I hope you’re still listening and enjoying the cd (as you might expect I once again can’t remember your name, but I do know there was one kid in your group named Chase…is that right?)

That night we got treated to a first class suite in an actual hotel. Thanks Brandon!

Stay tuned for the next entry, in which I will describe the nicotine antics of The Drug Budget and one show that went horribly wrong.

Movin’ To Montana – JUJU Summer Tour 2013 Entry Number Three!

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After months of doing things other than finish writing about my Summer 2013 tour, I am determined to finish these posts. They may be quick, and I may forget some names, and there will be typographical errors. Deal with it.

Now, here is part three, in which I discuss the Jam Unit’s entire first stay in the Big Sky Country:

After waking up and having a delightful breakfast at a vegetarian place in downtown Spokane, we hit the road to get to our next show, which was to take place at the VFW in Missoula, Montana. This was an exciting show for me because my good friends from Lansing, Michigan, the Plurals, were kind enough to get us a spot on their bill that night. I love sharing shows with them, because every show they play is a party. When we arrived, the guy who put the show together, Marty, greeted us with veggie dogs and a relaxing patio cookout. The Jam Unit and the Plurals hung out for a bit, talking about the past, the future, and pre-history, then we packed a PA system in their van (somehow) and took off to the venue. We had a few moments to spare before we needed to set up, so we took a walk around the great city of Missoula. We went to an ice cream shop, but the line was so long that ice cream suddenly lost its importance for everyone. On our way back, I found a copy of the free local Missoula entertainment magazine, in which there was an article about my album, that sounded like a bad review, but at least admitted that the album was listenable. Don’t worry about me, I’m happy anytime someone actually takes the time to listen to my album and say something about it. And it was clear this reviewer had actually listened to it. When we got back to the VFW, the show began. It was a raucous night of fun with local bands Needlecraft and the Hounds bookending the show and the Plurals and JU in the middle. The crowd was great and hung out the entire time, and everyone enjoyed themselves. A successful show. Later that night we ate more veggie dogs and talked ourselves to sleep. The following day, the Jam Unit drove up a long, dusty trail to a campsite with almost nobody nearby. There, by a beautiful flowing river, we ate slept and ate sandwiches and never got bothered by a bear.

Next:

Then it was off to the wonderful city of Bozeman. Thanks to the fantastic efforts of Ron Gompertz, we got a write up in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and a live session on the Coffee Show with Keith Suta. We also played at Cactus records to a handful of people and on the street to the hundreds of people that were walking by during Music On Main. We met a baton twirler named Poppy, who loved our music so much I decided to use her name in a song title. This was all leading up to our final show at Wild Joe’s coffee house. A bunch of people who saw us on the street showed up to the show, and we sold a surprising number of shirts that night. It was a great evening, and a great few days of music, and we couldn’t wait to come back (which we eventually did).

Stay tuned for tales from North Dakota.

A Brunchtime Performance by Johnny Unicorn’s Universe Music Concept Band

Would you like to see an entire Johnny Unicorn show from the comfort of your own home? Well, here you are! Shot in beautiful HD by  Seattle musician and friend to musicians everywhere, Mingus O’Bannon, this video captures a 2pm Brunch show in a living room in North Seattle. Click on each of these videos in order to see the full performance. Thank you!

click for playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDA6F53DAF20AF9FB

Johnny Unicorn’s Universe is:
drums – Rogelio G Garcia
synthesizers – Naomi Adele
guitar and vocal – Johnny Unicorn

1. “The River Grand” – Turn the riverbed to concrete; direct the flow of the river to the heart of the steaming city; pray at the bank of the river for more revenue in your bank account. But the river makes its own choices. From the “Riversongs” album: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HMzbvXieFs

2. “Science” – This is a very concise progressive rock epic from 2010’s “Sweet Edith Manton.” Don’t worry, the chorus has that pop feel that will get your hips a swingin’ and your head a bobbin’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvT_78kMdB4‬

3. “River Come My Way” – A real rockin’ jam from “Riversongs.” If you listen carefully, you might hear some music by other bands in the middle of the song. Talking Heads and Lynyrd Skynyrd, I thank you for allowing me to provide free advertisement for your music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGEp-eSgJZ4

4. “White Man Red Hand” – From “Thinking Hard To Overcome Nervousness.” A real fun tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N20GfLbVdzU&feature=related

5. “I Can’t Believe It’s Christmas” – From “Thinking Hard To Overcome Nervousness” originally written for Lansing, Michigan’s “Bermuda Snohawk 2” Christmas compilation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMabBXma42U

6. “Aware Of the Bear” – From my latest album, “Thinking Hard To Overcome Nervousness.” Good grief, buy it already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA53g2S5X4I

7. “The Last Day” – You can hear this song on my album “Sweet Edith Manton” if you listen carefully: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmqFnN-x6T4

8. “Could It Be Wrong” – this cheeky little number is off my upcoming 2012 album, “Heavy Jugs To the Moon.” I hope you enjoy it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg3KACjdexY

9. “Sapphire Bullets Of Pure Love” – here’s a little arrangement I’ve done of one of my favorite songs by They Might Be Giants: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBAyBtHmmYs

If you liked that show, you might like my live performances. As of this moment, in Seattle, I usually perform with this band, and am always looking for more musicians to join the line-up. Currently, my tours are myself only. I thank you for listening.

Summer 2011 tour part one conclusion / part four part five / epilogue

Photo taken by Ryan Schweitzer at Rhythm Records in Bismarck, ND

Hi there, my little Unis,

I have now finished telling you all about my 2011 Summer tour. Are you satisfied with the information? Well, if you aren’t, I’ve got a little bit more for you before I start posting about recording my upcoming album, “Heavy Jugs To the Moon.”

1. I would like to add a little bit to part one of this summer’s JU blog tour posts:
I wanted it to be clear that [the post] was intended as informational for those who imagine traveling around and performing music as some sort of a non-work-party-thing. I love performing, and while sometimes it can turn into a party, it is most certainly work. It’s composing, recording, contacting people, mailing stuff, making artwork, putting together stuff to be printed, driving, carrying equipment, and for a wonderful 45 minutes a night, performing. There is little time for fun adventures…i save that for my days off (just like when i have an office job during the other part of the year). There is no time for drinking or drugs…I certainly would not be able to do what I’ve been asked to do if I were intoxicated, and it would be difficult to make it to the next gig in a punctual fashion if I were intoxicated after I performed. I am absolutely in love with making music, and I’m slowly learning how to make it work as a career. I don’t want the fact that I live on the road for a few months and “get weird” for 45 minutes a night instead of working a job to be confused for laziness on my part. Soon, I will learn how to streamline some of the work, or perhaps delegate it, and then I’ll be spending just as much time working on something else that I’ve been neglecting. I’m working on turning my music into a smoothly running machine. At some point in the future, I might be able to afford the party lifestyle that goes with some musical careers, but I will not choose it. I will use that time and energy to develop art and other things in my life. Please do not read my explanation of what it’s like as a no-name touring act as a complaint. I’m bringing this on myself for the purpose of learning; learning how to do what I want to do, and learning what other people think, and I don’t even know what else.

2. In the interest of continuing being transparent about things, I will let you in on a little secret about my performing: I always play music that’s easier to play than I am capable of. A short search on youtube will reveal that I often make horrifying mistakes on stage. Many of these mistakes are indelibly archived by people who happened to be in the room at the time. These days, I try for perfection…and that means only playing that which I am sure I can successfully pull off. I do leave about 20% room for experimental material, though. Another trick is that I get the audience involved. Once they are complicit in the performance, I can shift blame to them if anything goes wrong. “Why did I sing a crap note? Because there were at least two guys in sector 3 of the audience who could not hold a tune!” The other good thing about involving the audience is that it lightens my work load. And having an audience do some of my work for me is more cost-efficient. At the end of the tour, when I add up the numbers, I find that I’ve made more money if I subtract the minutes saved by making the audience sing. Also, you may notice that there are times when I stop doing anything for long periods. This serves two purposes: a. it’s my break time, and b. it creates tension for the audience. and when that tension is released, the audience feels like it got something from it. At the end of the show, I have done 30 minutes of work, and the audience has got 45 minutes of entertainment. Now that’s efficiency! And it’s necessary when, like me, you’re working on a very tight budget.

3. I’m a “multi-instrumentalist.” That means, I play many instruments badly. A lot of people come up to me and ask “what’s your main instrument?” Well, that’s a really hard question to answer, because they all seem like secondary instruments to me. I mostly just try to keep my head above water as I struggle to make my fingers press the buttons that will simulate most closely the music I have written. So, I suppose my main instrument is my own brain. In my head, I play music that will blow your mind. By the time it gets to my stupid fingers, it turns into something a little less amazing. Even if I can get one section from my brain to my fingers, by the time I have learned it, I have forgotten the other parts. I guess maybe I can’t answer that question properly. Maybe singing is my main instrument. I wouldn’t have said so a couple of years ago, but it seems to be the thing I have the most control over. It’s certainly the thing I “feature” at my shows. But I’m hardly a “singer.”

4. My second tour is over. It was twice as big as last year, with bigger audiences, and it seems like I even have a fanbase in a few places. The situation looks very optimistic for this music making venture. If you are a fan of my music, please be on the lookout for shows in your area in the next decade. And wear a horn to the show.

Thank you,
Johnald Hibiscus Unicornopoulos

Johnny Unicorn Tour 2011 Summer Final Part Four Part Three

After the haircut

I found myself at GTG Fest Part Three, watching 11 bands over the course of an evening. They asked me to perform in between bands to an audience that was hanging out in the alley behind marxist art gallery Basement 414. I did not know I would be performing, so I had no instruments or stage outfit with me. I performed in cargo shorts and t-shirt (a no-no for JU performances usually). What an audience this was. One section at a time, I got them to sing a four part backing track, while I sang “River To the Sea” and they got it perfect. I don’t know what it sounded like out in the alley, but from the stage it sounded great. They took direction very well.

Next, I found what during the school year is an open mic in Bloomington, IN. Since it was summer, there were no musicians. But they still had a stage and a PA, and when I asked if there was the usual scheduled open mic, they said “yes, but you’ll be the only one.” So I set up and performed for the six people who were there. It was a shame I had not had a real show there, because the sound system was good and the acoustics were decent.  I plan on booking a show there in the Spring if I can remember the name of the place.

Then it was off to The Mill in Iowa City to perform at their usual Monday open mic. What an appreciative audience. And a nice room, completely separated from the main bar area. J Knight’s open mic has been happening there since the seventies, or so I’ve heard.

Then, I had a scheduled appearance at Roxie’s Patio in Sioux City, IA. Now that I’ve been there, I understand the name. All the furniture inside is patio furniture, and there are umbrellas at the tables. I gave them the full performance, and I made a few fans. Someone even bought me a root beer!

Then the northern road to Fargo and the Red Raven. I’ve been going back to the Red Raven and building up fans a few at a time. A great coffeeshop, in a new location since last year. Nice stage and sound system, although the room is a little verby. Really cool people there. Bicycle people, artists, gamers…my kind of people. Folk duo Kaboom Rawr opened the show with their guitar/accordion rock songs, and electronic act  Lava Proof Boots did the middle slot and hypnotized us all with hard-hitting rhythms and electronic noise.

The next day, a scheduled appearance at the Thursday open mic at Rhythm Records and Cafe in Bismarck, ND, one of my favorite towns. The thing that separates Bismarck from most other cities in the country is it’s vibrant “strip” straight out of the fifties. Standing on the sidewalk outside the record store for an hour, I saw no fewer than 20 big trucks with a bunch of people in the truck bed screaming at people in the sidewalk. If you haven’t been screamed at from a passing vehicle, then you haven’t truly experienced the city of Bismarck. The show went well. Some of the regular people from previous Bismarck performances were there, plus a bunch of new people. Ryan Schweitzer did a poetry set, as usual, but this night in particular he was dead on. Man, what a performance! I purchased Weird Al’s first two albums and Paul and Linda McCartney’s “Ram” on vinyl. Records are arranged by price, and in no kind of alphabetical order. You simply have to look through every single record each time you go to the store. That night there appeared to be about 50 people, and it looks like about half of them were purchasing vinyl. I don’t know how well the store did that night, but it sure looked like it was going well.

Off to the three-day Why Not? festival in Minot. Three days and about 6 million bands. Highlights: the joke band Gallons of Bacon put on a stellar performance at 62 doors to an audience that was singing along to every song. I enjoyed their song structures and their sense of humor. Progressive Metal band from Australia, Dead, performed a bit after me, and I was transfixed. I bought their LP. And then there was the highly impressive Atom’s Rite. Honestly, listen to their music…it’s up there with Tortoise. They played a disappointingly short set. My show went as well as it possibly could have. My fanclub showed up wearing unicorn horns. People sang along. Everyone had a good time. And once again, the people in Minot showed me more hospitality than I could have asked for. It was the last show of the tour, and it was the best possible end for the tour. The floodwaters have receded, and the city has begun to clean up. The art community there remains as vibrant as ever!

Thank you everyone who helped me get in the black on this tour. Stay tuned for next year!

Johnny Unicorn 2011 Summer Tour Part Four Part Two

Michigan, U.S.A. – In the muggy mists of Michigan’s musty west I take a rest. With family, friends and foes from distant pasts I reunite. Mosquitoes thirstily drink my blood. Growls and tiny bleeps in the blackness of the nightwoods betray either terrible animal murder, or something much nicer; I never find out. The lake never has waves; I am forced to wade in still water so cold my feet freeze and returning to shore becomes difficult. Deadly solar heat only breaks for a horrifying storm: rain that sounds like a million frogs falling onto a lake of maple syrup and lightning that is as bright as the sun and almost as frequent. A small pool of swamp water builds on the floor of my car.

Tour: Eastern leg:

GTG Fest part two: Lansing, MI’s GTG throws their second of three shows. It’s Josh David and the Dream Jeans (check out “Aware of the Riverman”), Cavalcade and me. The audience is so good that it’s overwhelming, and I’m not even sure what to do. I fear that I could have done better for them. But they get to see part of the Universe music band. Naomi plays synth for half the set. The Plurals’ Hattie Plural sits in for a couple of the songs also!

Next I go to Lawton, Michigan’s Old Hat Brewery, where I play a long solo show. The audience is the best first-time audience ever. The show puts the whole tour in the black.

Bozart’s (a really cool gallery) in Toledo allows me to perform for unwitting art-lover’s during the city’s artwalk. Some of them enjoy the show. Some seem indifferent. All stay to watch the entire show, which is more than I ever hope for.

Jamestown, New York’s Labyrinth Press Company let’s me play a show at their coffeehouse, opening for progressive metal band Exemption. A great show, but a small audience. Afterward I go to a dance party and regret not dressing up.

Next, I backtrack to Erie, PA and the Crooked I. A bigger music venue / bar. It is their open mic, and they have given me a special slightly longer slot. I perform for a room full of people who have no idea what to expect. And as far as I can tell, a decent amount of them are impressed. The next 8 hours are the weirdest of tour! For legal reasons I will not talk about it publicly.

The next day, I go back to Jamestown to retrieve a cable I left there. Then it’s off to Buffalo, to host “Monday Night Inventory,” an open mic that takes place at Allen Street Hardware…this place has nothing to do with Hardware. There is not even a hardware theme or anything. It’s a restaurant. I spend most of my time being confused about this fact. The open mic allows me to just talk, without having to think about a big set of music. I meet some interesting people and hear some very interesting music. The artist who particularly stands out in my mind is Forevra Evra. just click on the link and listen. You’ll know what I’m talking about.

That leg of the tour complete, I drive through Canada and up to Alpena, MI to spend some quality time with my friend and fellow artist, Jamie Grefe.

More soon.

Johnny Unicorn Tour 2011 Summer Tour Part Four

U.S.A. – My tour from Minot to Michigan.

The “scheduling gods” had me going from the submerged Minot to the distant Fargo/Moorhead megalopolis. Standing floodwater in the roadway nearly aborted one preferred route, but trust in the truth of the sun’s shining light and a trust in my own sense of sight was enough motivation to drive very carefully through. The drive after that was uneventful at its most exciting.

The blistering sun of Fargo had me running for the shade. At the Red Raven I put on a fun show and lost some important equipment. Saw the act entitled Jesus or Genome, which I very much liked.

In the Twin Cities I swiftly procured the replacement equipment, which immediately and irrevocably broke. The only person who could fix it now is a master welder. Fittingly for the Twin Cities, I had twin shows. One at the Acadia Cafe with the wonder-band Drug Budget, and the one-piece punk outfit Frederickson. The crowd was large and friendly. Then, at the secret Psychic School, I played another show for a smaller, but more packed crowd with a lot of other bands whose names I cannot recall at the moment. One person laughed hysterically throughout the show. For that, I gave her merchandise.

Then it was off to Wisconsin, where I performed for a handful of very nice people, and some children, at a place called the Latte Cafe. For them, I took out the swears.

My car continued to not fall apart, so I moved on to the White City, where I performed at Reggie’s for a group of people who had just come from a baseball game. Some of the crowd got my act, and some of them looked at my act the way I look at baseball: questioningly. It was an early show, so I was able to make it to the very end of Mark and Reyna’s “Music in Widescreen” where they gave me a brief interview and played a track off my new album. The next day I performed an acoustic show at the Elbo Room’s upstairs lounge with Rich, Rob and Nan, and a metal group called Skinwalker (which for that night had wonderfully gone acoustic). Musically a happy time for everyone. Also present were the “Miller Lite Girls” who actually appeared to be adult women.

After that, it was up to Michigan, the South of the North, to rest and relax with friends and family. More about that in part three!

Johnny Unicorn Summer 2011 Tour part three – North Dakota

Minot, ND – The town is built around the Souris River. Little shops and houses line the streets. Some lay at the river’s edge, while others still lay up the shallow hill. A few days into my tour, I got the warning that large sections of the city of Minot had been evacuated due to flooding, and that I might consider contacting someone up there to see if the two shows I had scheduled were still happening. The Pangea House was not flooded, and the show was quickly retooled into a benefit show. The second show, at the Blue Rider, was sadly cancelled. But they were up and running shortly after that, thankfully.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Souris_River_flood

The flood waters had creeped into a large section of the downtown area, halting a number of local businesses, and flooding the water treatment plant, which resulted in some possible contamination of the water supply. I have never had to fear tap water before. I have become so accustomed to the running water being clean. To suddenly have to worry about the water getting in my mouth or eyes is quite a shock. On close examination of the flood water itself, it was not the beautiful river water I have come to expect from a river. It was brown, and a little foamy, and it smelled worse than it looked. I noticed city silt on the city streets. Deposits of dirt and rock and small objects on the dry street where flood water had been. I had missed the worst of the flood. The waters were receding. Now I took notice of the flood lines along the edges of the buildings. A much larger portion of downtown had been flooded than I had thought. Some of these businesses could be permanently shut down as a result of this disaster. Frustrating to say the least. This was on the southside of the river.

The northside of the river suffered the larger portion of the flooding, or at least that’s what it looked like on the map. We (I was traveling with a group of friends) arrived at a ballpark, which now looked like a lake. Behind us were park benches that had been deposited on the street. Across the ballpark-lake we could see hundreds of roofs peaking over the surface of the water. I knew some of the people in those houses. Hopefully they got their most important stuff out. I know they did not have that much warning. They told me that four thousand houses were underwater. 11,000 people were refugees. All but a couple hundred of those people were able to find a place to stay among friends and family.

We saw someone’s porch that had ended up under a bridge, washed up by the fast-moving river.

For Independence Day, I traveled with some other people to a house far out in the countryside. A family of absolutely insane people shot giant fireworks directly at each other, and I spent a majority of the night hiding behind a couch to escape the blasts. Between explosions, I noticed the stars, brighter than I had ever seen them, exploding in their own way, light years distant. I became lost staring into the center of our galaxy, wondering what my place was in this seemingly infinite universe. Then, a horrifying explosion, and I was back behind the couch. The night continued like that until we left at three in the morning.

I left Minot with an incredible respect and fear of nature, and some other kind of feeling for those who arrive in the wake of disaster and make money off of those who were affected by it. Indiscriminate nature, and bloodthirsty predators. It never changes.

Johnny Unicorn Summer Tour 2011 – part one million

EXT. CITY STREET – NIGHT

Johnny sits in his parallel-parked car, carefully putting together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on his lap by the orange light of the streetlamps. A group of youths pass by on the sidewalk. One hesitates and peers into the car in which Johnny is sitting. Johnny looks over to see the young man bending over, looking into the window from just a few feet away. Seeing that the youth is smiling, Johnny politely waves.

YOUTH (to his friends)
Hey, this guy’s making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

EVERYBODY (dancing away into the night)
Peanut Butter Jelly! Peanut Butter Jelly!
Peanut Butter Jelly! Peanut Butter Jelly!
etc.

THE END

This actually happened to me in Erie, PA on July 24th, 2011. This entry is typed in the default font. I do not know how to change it to the proper font, so until someone can figure out how to explain that process in clear language, you will have to look at this scene in THIS font.