|Out On a Lim|
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|Out On a Lim (5.19.06 - 8.3.06) >>|
|Living is easy with eyes closed
Seven hours later she takes the elevator to the 2nd floor to the underground committee
Misunderstanding all you see
That's where they'll decide if you'll be praised or you'll be tied up to the bathroom floor
It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out
As you scream for more
It doesn't matter much to me
No one I think is in my tree
All the souls are dying while some idiots are trying to convince you that they're cooler but they still don't know
I mean it must be high or low
They're about to lose control
That is you can't you know tune in but it's all right
And they'll be saying now
That is I think it's not too bad
Always you know sometimes think it's me
Get out of the black car on the sidewalk of the big stars of the now and then
But you know I know when it's a dream
Kinda feels a little late
I think a "no" will mean a "yes" but it's all wrong
Someone had a bad day so they sell your soul on eBay with an 8x10 autographed pen
That is I think I disagree
Calling Radio Tokyo the lines are down you're good to go
Let me take you down cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields
This is real
Nothing is real
Can't you feel
And nothing to get hungabout
Calling Radio Tokyo the kids are feeling way too low--they're on their knees
Strawbery Fields forever
Won't somebody please just bring them home
Last night, I had a dream that I was going down a water slide with Avril Lavigne. It was at a generic amusement park that was located, I'm guessing, somewhere in the boondock woods of Canada. Cause I sorta remember the maple leaf trees in the background during the plunge. Excuse my memory--it's kinda cloudy on account of she gave me a kiss before our turn.
The GE999 has briefly stopped at the planet Gun Frontier. Maetel and I are gonna join up with Tochiro, Harlock, and Shinunora on a 13 episode adventure.
In Japan, all devices capable of taking photographs are required by law to make, or digitally recreate, a "click" sound. This is due to the rampant panchira (upskirt) snapping incidents. Panchira is illegal in Japan. However, since the noise is artificial on digital cameras (technically, they lack mechanical parts that are needed for physically rolling the actual film), dedicated panchira freaks hack and delete the "click".
Today, we visited the town of Lebowski to meet up with Susila at a bowling alley. Avril's video for "I'm With You" played on the monitors between the scoreboards. Tochiro pointed to me and told Susila that I'm in love with Avril. She reminded me that the punk singer is married.
"It won't last," I deviously predicted ever so hopefully.
Susila fiddled with her engagement ring.
Sakura (cherry blossoms) are practically worshipped in Japan. They're an age old symbol of transitory and cyclical bloom. The academic and fiscal year is timed to begin with the sakura's blooming season--April. I've yet to travel there during those near sacred days of the calendar. Maybe we'll go someday...
Anyways, I hope you're having a cool summer.
And say "hi" to Veronica.
Since Puffy's 1996 debut album AmiYumi, they've included at least one solo song for each singer on their CDs. Their whole-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts harmonies notwithstanding, these showcases for their isolated voices promoted Ami and Yumi's contributing personalities--their anime representations are accurate exaggerations, namely Ami's the cute one and Yumi's the cool one. Of course, both of them rock.
I bought the Japanese edition of their latest album Splurge cause I prefer to hear them sing in their native language. Also, the order of the American edition's tracklist is mixed up and comes with alternate bonus remixes. Besides, my ears've been listening to them for the last decade in their original formats. I don't care if the imported version costs twice as much--my obsessive reasons aren't supposed to make any practical sense.
Ami and Yumi's solo song trend seemed to've bucked on their last two albums, Nice and 59. It's been four years since they've let their individual tones break from the duo for an entire tune--Ami's got a nasally voice, Yumi's is rounder. In the meantime, their personal lives've been in the press--Ami had a daughter, Yumi got a divorce (assuming that you believe headlines aren't fabricated).
The American edition of Splurge excludes Puffy's cover of "Basket Case". Actually, I could do without it--I never understood Green Day, nor are they helped by Puffy's redundant remake. However, I burned a copy of the album that replaces the odd tune with their version of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" off of the Lennon 65th birthday tribute album featuring J-Pop acts. I can dig Puffy doing the Beatles.
One of the highlights of Splurge is the return of the solo songs. Yumi goes first with the dirge "Rakuda no Rin". She sounds like she's been increaseing her cigarettes per drinks--her voice, which previously projected tough warmth, now whispers with uncharacteristic melancholy. It's the saddest song I've heard in some time. Ami follows with the uplifting "Security Blanket". She kicks ass on the wildly produced track that's got the most three dimensionally distorted guitars I've ever heard. And her voice sounds stronger than ever.
Well, I think Puffy's got the lock on my favourite album of 2006. I can't imagine anyone topping it anytime soon. I mean, the solo songs alone seal their number one position. But per their usual high standards, the rest of the album is loaded with their catchier-than-hell melodies. Even the singles, which are all great, don't compromise the quality of the "filler" songs. Plus, ten years later, the girls've grown up and still rule.
dimanche (nichiyoubi) = shave
lundi (getsuyoubi) = work
mardi (kayoubi) = work
mercredi (suiyoubi) = work
jeudi (mokuyoubi) = work
vendredi (kinyoubi) = work
samedi (doyoubi) = laundry
Dear family and friends,
My sister is getting married in September. She commissioned me to make a LEGO portrait for the wedding. And so I did:
However, I kinda felt cheap accepting her money. So this'll be my gift.
Congratulations Susie and Chris
One of the coolest words in the Japanese language is "kunoichi". It's slang for "ninja chick".
I got another yellow delivery slip from the USPS about a package being held for me at the post office. It was the soundtrack to the anime Gun Frontier that I imported from overseas. I special ordered the CD for the end credits song "Ame to Sanbika" sung by Umeno Yoshizawa--it sorta reminds me of Shinunora. ..
Overlaying the hiragana for "ku", the katakana for "no", and the kanji for "ichi" forms the kanji for "onna" (woman).
So I went to the post office on doyoubi. As I waited in the short line, I checked out the postal workers to see if any of them were cute, and if so, hoped that I'd get called to her counter. Luck was on my side--there not only was a pretty girl working that day, but she helped me.
I had a dream that behind my TV was another room. It's been there ever since I moved in, I just never accessed it before--nevermind that logically, the other room would be my bathroom, but spatial dimensions seem to bend when I'm asleep. Anyhow, I stepped into this room. It was filled with books left by the previous occupant of my apartment. However, of all the titles, I only seemed to remember the Japanse dictionary.
"May I see your ID?" the post office chick proceeded. I pulled out my wallet from my doyoubi shorts (my jeans were being washed). And as she matched my identity I read her name tag--"Jerica". I've got to admit, that's the first time I ever came across that name.
My sister asked me to make a mix of background music for her wedding's cocktail hour. She gave me some parameters--it should be my own music, but no singing, and about an hour long. So I compiled some instrumental tracks, mainly piano sonatas, film scores, and remixed songs. I also programmed an arrangement of some Chopin on electric piano, guzheng, dizi, and erhu. Cause I think my music ain't frilly enough for weddings.
Maetel and I've got six more episodes to go on Gun Frontier. It's a hoot. We also started to watch the first season of Carnivale. It's still too early to tell where it'll go, but so far it's not unwatchable.
I found a dealer who had a copy of Sayonara Ginga Tetsudo Three-Nine. Someday soon I'll be back at the post office.
So I randomly flipped thru the Japanese dictionary. I found the kanji for "onna". But instead of reading it correctly, my eyes deconstructed it as "kunoichi". Like there's a difference...
"Hey Mac," Veronica pestered.
"Yeah, Veronica," Mac answered, "what's up?"
"Did you get an email from Henry?"
"Uh, no, I don't think so, why?"
"Come on, Mac, spit it out."
"I know that idiot is on some crazy space train making a fool of himself with Japanese pirate bimbos or whatever. I'm not stupid. I read his silly little blog. And you're not a good liar."
"I didn't lie."
"Ooooh, ok technically, you ain't lying cause he signed it 'Larry' when you and I know that that's only his wannabe rockstar pseudonym."
"What do you want to know?"
"I knew I could count on you, Mac. Um, uh...so what's all this crazy space train bullshit? Is he stoned?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about..."
"Again, you're not a good liar."
"Isn't that an oxymoron?"
"No, I don't think a 'good liar' is a contradiction of terms, at least not by the moral definition of the word, but based on performance--everyone's either got a good or bad track record for their tasks, be it a good private investigator, a good friend, or whatever. The point is they're good at what they do. They've perfected their skills, so to speak. Thus, a 'good liar' is one who's proficient at the art of lying."
"I'm being sarcastic."
"Ok Miss Private Investigator Par Excellence, how would a 'good liar' claim her title?"
"Well, for starters, a 'good liar' will always tell the truth AND a lie, and the recipient'll be none the wiser. Cause lies are used to hide the truth. No one expects the truth to be revealed, even when it's been spoon fed to them. So back to my original question--what's all this space train nonsense? Is he serious?"
"As serious as he's been in the past."
"Who's this Emeraldas chick that he keeps mentioning?"
"Don't ask. He's just being an otaku."
"No, an 'otaku'. It means anime freak."
"You could say that."
"So 'Emeraldas' is his pet name for some chick that's obsessed with cartoons."
"No. You're close, though."
"It's a codename for his cousin."
"Sometimes. No, Emeraldas is the twin sister of Maetel in the anime Ginga Testudo Three-Nine--it's about a train that travels thru the galaxy."
"You're kidding, right?"
"Nope. Look it up. Besides, you said it yourself--I'm a 'bad liar'."
After Marie and I performed "When You Wish Upon a Star", the lights were turned back on--we'd accompanied my cousin and her groom as they lit the candles. The reception guests politely applauded. I was then given the microphone, into which I gave a congratulatory speech. Another round of claps later, I did a solo on the electric piano--a little waltz that I'd composed.
Before the beginning, after the great war between heaven and hell, God created the Earth and gave dominion over it to the crafty ape he called man. And to each generation was born a creature of light and a creature of darkness. And great armies clashed by night in the ancient war between good and evil. There was magic then. Nobility. And unimaginable cruelty. And so it was until the day that a false sun exploded over Trinity, and man forever traded away wonder for reason.
The opening credits for Carnivale are kinda trippy. The camera dives into some fortune teller's cards. And the mythological illustrations morph into newsreels from the Depression. It's supposed to remind the viewer of the historical context of the series, as well as tie in the magical symbolism. My favourite image is of the Queen Emeraldas-esque zeppelin. And before the title of the show is revealed, three cards are briefly focused upon as they get blown away by the wind--"moon", "sun", and "judgement".
Picture yourself on a train in a station
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes
Whilst in Japan, I watched the movie Shinobi. It stars one of my favourite actresses, Yukie Nakama (of Gokusen and Trick fame). She's really good at comedy. However, in Shinobi, her character wasn't so funny--the movie was an action/tragedy set in the Sengoku period and looked suspiciously like a video game. Anyways, she played a kunoichi named Oboro who possessed, literally, a deadly gaze.
You're sword technique is sloppy and you aren't particularly agile. But those eyes, you have those eyes.
In the Japanese language, nouns are neither singular nor plural. There are, of course, words that can describe quantities, but intrinsically such distinctions as "eye" vs "eyes" aren't in their vocabulary. Needless to say, this cultural difference confuses English speakers who are learning Japanese, and vice versa. For example, on Puffy's cover of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds", their pronounciation struggles with the chorus--it sounds like they're singing "Lucy in the sky with diamond".
Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of their secret longing
Speculations've been made about a star that orbits the sun. Every 26 million years it passes thru the Opik-Oort cloud, which is located about a light year away from earth. The gravitational disruption of the speculated star causes the comet rich region to shower them across the galaxy. Astrophysicists call this star the "Nemesis".
In Westwood Village, businesses come and go, if their lucky, at a similar rate to the student turnarsound at nearby UCLA. Shops constantly open and close within an academic quarter. Lasting four years is an accomplishment. I mean, over the last 12 years, I've seen the effects of corporate competition, business trends, and bad luck within that transient environment.
The Greek goddess Nemesis was in charge of retribution. Mainly, she'd go after the greedy ego trippers, who according to the stories, "deserve" to be punished. Her namesake star is theorized to be linked with the 26 million year cycle of extinction on earth--patterns of life seem to correspond with regularly scheduled meteor blitzkriegs.
"There used to be a disco here," my departing colleague pointed out to us--he took a group of recording technicians to the Village for his last meal in LA. "Remember that?"
Only one of us was here that long ago. "Man, this place looks totally different from when I first got here. Everything's gone. Well, almost everything. That palm reader's been here forever."
"That's such a front," someone laughed. "She's got to be doing something shady to've stayed here so long. And has anyone ever seen anybody go in there? Yeah, it's always empty."
"She's either doing something illegal," I assumed, "or she's really good."
The last extinction interval was about 5 million years ago. So sometime around the year 20997994, life on earth should expect another cosmic downpour. However, the Nemesis star is only a hypothesis--its existence has yet to be proven.
Contrapunctus XII, a 4 (rectus et inversus)
Whilst taking a leak, I noticed what appeared to be a speck of dirt on my bathroom floor about a foot away from my toes. It was thin enough for me to initially assume that it might be a small piece of bark that my shoe dragged in. After I flushed the toilet, I kneeled to get a better look at the stray object. It still looked like a tree crumb. However, upon attempting to pick it up with my fingers, it unraveled its legs and zipped behind my bathroom sink.
Silverfish like to dine on glycosidically linked monosaccharide polymers--such as glue, photographs, sugar, and hair. My bathroom has the last item in abundance due to the curse upon my never balding head. I mean, my hair is constantly falling out in fuzzy clumps, yet I'm forever damned to keep sprouting follicles. Every week, I perform the humiliating chore of picking up fallen hairs. Otherwise, my bathroom'll be infested with silverfish.
The feisty silverfish's escape from my clutches proved to me that it possessed a worthy determination to stay alive. So I named it Fishsilver and allowed it to feast on the hair in my bathroom. Every since then, whilst drying off from a shower, shaving, or relieving myself, I'd see Fishsilver kicking back on the wall or floor. I'd say "hi" and let it do whatever it's supposed to do.
I HOPE IT'S A LOST PILOT (copyright 1988 Henry Lim)
It was late one summer day, after Larry McFeurdy finished his dinner and went to his room. Peering through his glasses, he fumbled around with the knobs of his transistor radio. Static and high-pitched screeching whirled with each turn.
"This is the Wonder Birdy," he said through the microphone.
A sense of importance went through him as his voice was sent out through the wires of technology. Who knows? Maybe he was transmitted out into space for some alien to receive. He repeated the message.
After several hours of nothing, he apparently tuned into a conversation...
"Uh, Lieutenant, do you think it's the Russians?" said a deep voice. "Could it be some secret spy mission?"
"Beats the hell out of me," replied the Lieutenant. "Its pattern on the screen isn't American. Have the base check it out."
Larry was happy he found something, but curious of his finding. It must be some kind of military wavelength. But there was something wrong with the tone of the voices. There was trouble. Something uneasy was going on. After a brief pause, the voices came back...
"Squad 2 has already checked it at the midpoint," said the deep voice in a concerned manner. "They say they pick it up, too. They don't know who it is either. They also think it might be the Russians, although it could well be some lost pilot. They're going to call the airport."
"Alright," said the Lieutenant, not so much in assurance. "Keep an eye on its position."
"OK," answered the deep voice. "You know, Lieutenant, with all this suddenly happening, I've been thinking. This could be the beginning of a war. That blip on the screen could be the Russians and some secret attack. And to think how small this world really is. I mean with TV and radio and newspapers whatever, we are the first to witness the start of a war. No one else knows for sure, but if it is true, we are the only ones who've seen this. And with nuclear..."
"Uh, Thompson," said the Lieutenant, "I hope it's just a lost pilot, and maybe we're the only ones seeing that. You've been watching too many movies. I doubt the Russians will attack. They're just as afraid as we are. Hell, I bet some Russian Army Checkpoint Guard is watching his screen and seeing a blip saying 'I think it's the Americans'. And it'll all end up being some lost pilot."
"I hope it all ends that way," said the deep voice in return, yet afraid. "I hope it's a lost pilot--uh, Lieutenant the airport sent a message saying 'No airplane is in sector 4 that is listed with the airport' and wait the base says 'RUSSIANS! RUSSIANS! The Russians are attacking! Immediate retaliation is commencing!' Lieutenant..."
The air was cut off. Larry turned the knobs. He sent his message. He desperately tried to tune back in. The Russians were attacking. War was happening. Larry was afraid, but all the more wanting to know. The deep voice and Lieutenant were not the only ones who knew about the Russians. But then he found the wave...
"Lieutenant," returned the deep voice, "the police say they found a space ship--a UFO. They hit a damn alien. It wasn't the Russians! Boy, was I scared for a while. But think about it. A space ship. I bet there's little aliens in there--hey, wait, Lieutenant, do you see what I see?"
"What the hell!" screamed the Lieutenant. "It's a million blips coming this way! And it's not the Russians..."
"It's not the Russians," yelled the deep voice, "but more of those space ships!"
Larry died from a laser beam shot by the alien who, along with the others, took over the earth.
I remember once reading an interview with some electric guitarist who mentioned that he'd heard a story about how Robbie Robertson developed a certain signature style of playing. Accordingly, Robertson imitated riffs from old blues records off the radio, unbeknownst of the slide apparatus that was being used by the unseen guitar players. The slide apparatus, oftentimes the neck of a beer bottle, was utilized for the purpose of creating a sound that extends the natural capacities of the human finger. So Robertson in his ignorance perfected a technique that pushes the limits of bare handed string bending.
A friend of a friend studied animation at the postgraduate level. Over dinner at Dragon Street with his wife and kid, he explained his negative opinion on the "animated" film A Scanner Darkly. The computer assisted roto-scoping makes him barf after a few seconds--his wife reminded me that he puked during a commercial that uses the same faux animation method. "My professor says," he said, "that if something can be shot in real life, there is no purpose for animating it." I got the impression that had his kid not been there, his language wouldn't've been so G-rated.
During my travels aboard the GE999, I did some research on the Leijiverse, whereupon I found an article written by an otaku chick who reports, based on self proclaimed data gathering, that American anime geeks tend to worship fearless Emeraldas, whilst her docile twin sister Maetel is favoured in Japan. Of course, the two are the "most beautiful beings in the whole entire galaxy" and share similar visages--long hair, big eyes, perfect bodies, and sexy outfits (Emeraldas wears a tight red space pirate suit, Maetel a fuzzy black funeral coat and hat). So the writer supposes that there're some cultural assumptions about the "ideal" which've skewed personality pecerptions.
In my world, XXX-rated actresses are akin to superheroines. Cause they go beyond the average mortal's behaviour, namely in the practive of pleasure. I don't care if they're cosmetically enhanced--makeup, surgery, whatever. The illusion is enough to raise the bar of my filthiest fantasies. Like mythological angels, they're an inspiration to all who believe in their exaggerated powers. And coincidentally, like fictional superheroines, most pornstars stereotypically come from tragic origins.
If they ever make a live-action version of Ginga Tetsudo Three-Nine, they should cast Lexus (aka Lexa) as Maetel/Emeraldas. No doubt she'd be more than qualified physically. However, based on her acting skills, she might lack the chops to pull off Maetel's subtle aggressiveness and Emeraldas' hidden affectionate side, let alone be able to speak in Japanese--the dialogue sounds lame in English. Nevertheless, I can dream...
So I'm not hip on Love--the Circus of the Sun show based on Beatles songs which recently opend at in Vegas. I mean, I've only read the publicity stories and seen some of the reunion photos online of the surviving members of the band plus the wives of the departed. Paul's divorce drama should've gained some fodder from his solo appearance on the red carpet. And his fake smile is despressing. Ringo was Ringo. Barbara was looking hot. Somehow Yoko and Olivia manipulated my emotions to the point of remembering a time when John and George were still within our realm. Yet I'm not running to buy a ticket. Cause it seems to be a weak echo of the bang they boomed on the planet when they were contemporaneously relevant. Not that I don't dig their music, but I'm kinda content with what they recorded in the studio. No fluffy choreography, freaky stunts, or frivolous multimedia could possibly add to what I can hear in their magnetically encrypted sound waves. That isn't to say I won't check it out after I get bored with strippers. But I'd attend foremost to experience the new surround mix. Supposedly it's killer diller.
Besides, I'm riding the GE999 right now--dimensions away from that solar system, let alone Vegas.
Maetel gave me a JPOP covers Lennon CD that was released last year commemorating the 25th anniversary of his assassination. Overall, it's not too silly, which is kinda a shame, cause I think John was the funniest Beatle. The Japanese accent on the lyrics isn't as annoying as I presumed--but that might just be my familiarity with undistinguished L and R's. Anyways, the Lennon-McCartney songs, as usual, gain most of my attention. Cause most of the post-Beatles Lennon catalogue seems too personal to be performed by anyone else. For example, the line "I don't believe in Beatles" doesn't ring with the same significance. So standout tracks for me are Tamio Okuda's heavy interpretation of "Hey Bulldog" and those zany Puffy girls doing "LSD". I mean, forget Love--Ami and Yumi jumped the shark on that number.
The three Ginga Tetsudo Three-Nine movies, per the generally applicable theory of sequels, peaked with the first film.
Sayonara Ginga Tetsudo Three-Nine is a brain teaser--is it real or a dream? Despite the cool animation (most of the same crew that worked on the original returned for this installment) it seems a little redundant to revisit events for the sake of twisting themes. Which is a whole lot more entertaining than the footnote last movie Ginga Tetsudo Three-Nine: Eternal Fantasy. Granted, I got a crummy bootleg DVD which looks like it was dumped from VHS, but the story seems to hammer the circular point for anyone who didn't nail it the first time around. It also hurts that Emeraldas gets lesser of a role in each progressive movie. I mean, she was iconic in the first film, a mere cameo in the second, and nigh absent in the third except for a glimpse of her ship during the final frames. If anything, Eternal Fantasy has some novel imagery--sweet Maetel firing her Cosmo Dragoon and the indestructible GE999 taking some serious hits.
Sucker for overly sentimental music that I am, I ordered a CD that compiles the songs from the trilogy.
The oldest track dates back to 1978 (the theme song from the original TV series) and the newest is from twenty years later (Eternal Fantasy). Yeah, I smell the cheese, but hey, I can't fight the nostalgia factor--especially when I'm away from Maetel, the tunes instantly take me back to our galactic adventures, moreso than the movies themselves. I suppose my appreciation for soundtracks might be slightly more prevalant than most. It also helps that there's a Beatles tinge to some of the songs (chord progressions, descending bass lines, orchestral accompaniment, etc). Of course, the trends of the decades show up in the styles (disco in the '70s, metallic reverb in the '80s, and retro progressive rock in the '90s).
Here's a music video to the song from Eternal Fantasy.
My staff hates it when I post links on my blog. I've constantly told them to keep a watch on any that're broken. But they'd rather practice their cheerleading routines than bother with fixing dead links. I can't argue with them--jumping around with pompoms is definitely a greater cause than my web journal. So I apologize if the above link doesn't work. As of this writing it did. I can't vouch for the future.
Praeludium, BWV 846
I'm not on MySpace--the popular online social networking site which is all crazy popular with the kids today. Well, actually, I'm technically signed up--I got suckered into registering, cause access to certain parts of the site, such as photo galleries and blog archives, is granted to those who've got logins and passwords. However, I'm a passive member. I didn't fill out my profile nor collect any friends. I just browse the teenage runaways with the hopes of finding one that's both cute and in need of help.
Whilst checking in the latest periodicals at work, I stamped the music library's property stamp under the title of an article in Film Music magazine--it was about the pros and cons of sampled orchestras. Since I'm a supporter and victim of the latest advancements in virtual musical instrument technology, I thought I'd kill some time and read further. It sorta balanced perspectives, with the author moralizing about the value of human imperfections and what will be lost if symphonies are shut down.
Maybe if I didn't've www.henrylim.org I'd be more serious about my identity on MySpace. Cause, I get enough attention here--I don't need any more emails from lonely people. Sure, I'm paying a monthly fee to keep my site up. But I think the freedom from being connected to the in-crowd is worth it. Call me an old fart, but back in my day, having a personal webpage was for freaks.
As much as I prefer a real orchestra over a sampled one, I've got to admit that the symphony as an instrument has been played out. It's not as impressive anymore to the average listener who's been oversaturated with a million different sounds. And with the high costs of maintaining an orchestra, it's either come up with some fucking brilliant new shit or die. Cause evolution, for better or worse, is the name of the game.
|I noticed an elderly lady dressed in a business suit walking towards me from the opposite end of the sidewalk's horizon. From her distance, she miraged into a mythological troll in charge of some metaphorical bridge that I was about to cross. I could've changed my course, but somehow I thought that it'd be educational to see what she looked like up close.
Last week, I shipped off a copy of Larry McFeurdy's CD to yet another Hacienda Heights resident. Whilst at the distribution center, I noticed the friendly efficiency of a helpful clerkette, in particular her goofy glasses and her nerdy body carriage. However, as I was about to tease her, she committed a serious faux pas--she praised my Serenity shirt.
Tonight after work, I left the music building thru the basement. I usually exit directly from my office to the open air so that I can quickly light a cigarette. But according to my spies, there's an incredible CSO chick that's been staffing that guard desk.
Fart jokes still kill me despite my intellectual understanding that they belong in the "low brow" categorization of humour. I mean, there's something primordial about the release of gas, especially when it comes from an unexpected moment in time and space which instinctively makes me laugh.
A bum approached my car as I was leaving the parking lot of the Thai fast food joint. The ongoing traffic trapped me, so I rolled down my window. "Can you spare some change," he begged. I retrieved my wallet and searched for a dollar. All I had were fives.
My choice of clothing is a litmus test whereby I can weed out idiots, or at least those that I feel seem a little too preoccupied with such superficialities as the commercials printed on my t-shirts. Cause no one in their right mind ought to be paying any attention to what I'm wearing. Thus, I ignored the clerkette.
Sure enough, the CSO chick followed up on her reputation. All I remember were her eyes locking mine and pulling me towards her backlit bowed blondness. And then I reminded myself that I'm an outlaw. True, she's not legally a cop, but I don't think it'd be cool to take advantage of someone who could bust me by association.
I should've lied to the bum--"Sorry, I'ven't got anything for you." Instead, I gave him a five, which was actually a bigger fib cause I really didn't want to give it to him. Ideally, a dollar would've been all that I'd donate but the circumstances were against me. It's difficult to be a selfish bastard thesedays.
The closer I got, the more the troll morphed back into the elderly lady dressed in a business suit. There was nothing surreal about her boring appearance--she was probably some lost administrator. Her footsteps were elegant enough to suggest that she was probably prettier in her youth. But before I could pass her and any judgement, all my conclusions were mocked as she ripped a nice loud fart.
Turn off your mind relax and float downstream
In 1887, Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof published the Unua Libro under the pseudonym Dr. Esperanto. The book proposed a "secondary universal language" which could be utilized by citizens of earth as an auxilary to their indigenous tongues. His goal was to promote "peace and understanding" thru shared communication. The language is officially called Lingvo Internacia, but is popularly known as Zamenhof's fake surname.
It is not dying
The Bardo Thodol ("Liberation thru Hearing in the Intermediate State") is recited by Buddhist lamas to the dying. It outlines the passage of the consciousness between death and rebirth. The 8th century Tantric guru Padmasambhava is often credited as being the author of the text, which is commonly known in the West as the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Lay down all thought surrender to the void
Fittingly, for my last adventure aboard the GE999, I watched Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru ("Night on the Galaxy Express"). It's a 1985 anime based on the 1927 short story by Kenji Miyazawa. And is, of course, the inspiration for Maetel's train. The anime depicts the main characters as anthropomorphic cats that go on a celestial ride. All the signage in their world is written in Esperanto.
It is shining
In 1964, Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert adapted the Tibetan Book of the Dead into a manual for acid trips called The Psychedelic Experience. They likened the stages between death and rebirth with those of an LSD induced "jouney to new realms of consciousness".
That you may see the meaning of within
Although my GE999 pass is unlimited and I never did settle on any schedule for my return, the end of my ride couldn't come at a more convenient moment. I mean, I gotta get back for my sister's wedding this weekend. Plus, my cousin'll be staying with me--that should be fun. She's also been watching the Ginga Tetsudo Three-Nine films. So we've got plenty of notes to compare.
It is speaking
John Lennon admits to borrowing the song title "Tomorrow Never Knows" from Ringo Starr. He thought that the Tibetan Book of the Dead based lyrics were too "heavy and philosophical" so he "took the edge off" with a malapropism of Ringo's. During the recording sessions, the song was listed on the tapes as "Mark I".
That love is all and love is everyone
By no means have I even come close to exhausting the anime and manga that takes place in the Leijiverse. But I think I've hit most of the major works, in particular those directly connected with the GE999--there's nothing left on Netflix and the online vendors that I've used to acquire out of print titles. It's time to move on.
It is knowing
Most Beatles scholars cite "Tomorrow Never Knows" as a milestone in the band's studio experimentation. Indeed it is a marvel of engineering--tape loops, processed effects, and backwards sounds. It's almost like a bridge between the innocence of their early songs and the mind bending abandon of all that followed.
That ignorance and hate may mourn the dead
If there's one thing that resounded from my experiences on the GE999, beyond the sappy "as long as my memories are alive in my heart, they'll never die", is the impending end of my travels, however temporary. I mean, I remember the galactic train from my youth, and yet somehow I've returned to it nearly three decades later. I'll leave for now, but I'll be back.
It is believing
Other than Twin Peaks, I'ven't fully seen the second season of any television show, mainly cause the ones that I've watched so far only lasted for one--such as My So-Called Life and Wonderfalls. Now that I've gotten hooked on several TV series via DVD (Lost and Carnivale), the anticipation to see what happens next is hitting me like never before.
But listen to the colour of your dreams
Although the trains in Ginga Tetsudo Three-Nine and Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru are technically different, I got the same thrill every time they made their entrance in their respective anime. There's something about first seeing the headlight twinkle amongst the sea of stars and then the rush of locomotive wheels on its way to pick up the protagonists. It's almost too inviting to remain on board.
It is not living
Next up on my Netflix queue is what I've been waiting for all summer--season two of Veronica Mars. I suppose this whole GE999 affair was a means to keep myself occupied in the meantime. Nevertheless, it was all in good fun, not to mention it didn't hurt to brush up on my Japanese. Anyways, Veronica, I'm comming home...
Or play the game existence to the end of the beginning
I've never been to Poland. Nor've I read the Bible. My only association with the Polish language is via music scores published by the Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne. I'm somewhat aware of the Biblical highlights, at least those that've showed up in pop culture. I take it Polish is related to the Slavic vocabularies and grammars. It's my understanding that the Bible and certain sections thereof are accepted by various religions, including Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Not that I've got anything against Poland, it's just never grabbed my attention--as well, I've yet to be acquainted with any Poles or Polefiles. I wasn't raised with a religious background, although my grandparents on my dad's side supposedly took the Bible seriously--personally, I think it's none of my business what faiths others practice, which makes me all the more thankful that I wasn't forced into any. Nevertheless, I'd like to visit Poland someday, given that it's conveniently en route. And I think it'd be worth my time to read the Bible at least once before I die, if anything to trace back literary themes. Maybe I'ven't seen the commercials, but the Polish bureau of tourism ain't doing a good job attracting me to their country--I'm sadly guessing that most people in LA figure it's just another generic location in Central Europe. Besides my lazy shallowness, I think that my excuse for not reading the Bible has to do with my flippant assumption that most of its teachings are common sense--be good, don't be an asshole, there are consequences for your actions, etc. I can't recall seeing any Polish movies--certainly no courses were offered in college, which is where I got most of my education in foreign films. I mean, I don't've the Ten Commandments memorized, but I'd like to think that I get the gist. A friend lent me Kieslowski's Dekalog--it was produced in 1988 and gave me a window into Poland during that time. It's a ten hour, ten part miniseries based on each of the ten "Thou Shalts". For now, it'll do.
Editor's note: Henry's not writing an entry today cause his cousin from Japan is arriving at the airport and he'd like to wish her a happy arrival. Tomorrow is his mom's birthday and he'd like to wish her a happy birthday. Sunday is his sister's wedding and he'd like to wish her a happy wedding. Labour Day is on Monday and he'd like to wish whoever observes that holiday a happy Labour Day. And so there'll be no OUT ON A LIM til Tuesday--he'd like to wish his readers a happy til Tuesday.
"You inherit $5,000,000 the same day aliens land on the earth and say they're going to blow it up in two days. What do you do?"
Is it all in that pretty little head of yours
Llevo mas de cuatro dias en la casa sin salir
What goes on in that place in the dark
De fumar y dormir
Well I used to know a girl and I could have sworn that her name was Veronica
Empiezo a sentirme encerrado
Well she used to have a carefree mind of her own
Quiza si pueda despegarme del televisor
And a delicate look in her eye
Meterme en el ascensor
These days I'm afraid she's not even sure if her name is Veronica
Me sienta un poco mejor y
"All right, shut up a second and I'll tell you. Jesus, I didn't freak out like this when you told me how many girls you fucked."
Did the days drag by--did the favours wane
Bien sabes que soy del tipo callado
Did he roam down the town all the while
Ya te lo he demostrado
Did you wake from your dream with a wolf at the door reaching out for Veronica
Asi es que comienza tu interrogacion
Well it was all of 65 years ago
Yo se que tienes derecho a
When the world was the street where she lived
Mucho mas que sexo
And a young man sailed on a ship in the sea with a picture of Veronica
Por eso te pido perdon
"You look like a blueberry."
On the Empress of India
Siempre estoy diciendo todo tiene su momento
And as she closed her eyes upon the world
Bien podemos esperar un dia mas
And picked upon the bones of last week's news
Pierdo si al pasado has esperado demasiado
She spoke his name outloud again
Y me sorprendo al darme cuenta que aun estas
"I wasn't a sex symbol, I was a sex zombie."
Veronica sits in her favorite chair
Despiertame Veronica al romper el dia
She sits very quiet and still
Y hazme sentir la alegria de volverte a amar
When they called her a name that they never get right and if they don't then nobody else will
Dormido entre las sabanas halle tu aroma
Well she used to have a carefree mind of her own
Tu presencia que se asoma un momento nada mas
With a devilish look in her eye
Yo se que las canciones se las lleva el viento
Saying you can call me anything you like but my name is Veronica
Es lo unico que tengo que mas puedo dar
Do you suppose that waiting hands on eyes Veronica has gone to hide
Acuerdate Veronica despues de todo
And all the time she laughs at those who shout her name and steal her clothes
Debe existir algun modo en que yo te pueda pagar
"You're a little obsessed with me."
The third installment in the Halloween franchise is sorta an oddball sequel cause it diverges from the series' central story. Even the trademark villain, Michael Myers, is missing from the cast. Instead, it's a standalone horror flick that happens to be set at the end of October--it was about Halloween masks that killed kids when they watched TV. Or at least that's what I remember.
According to its website, the LA Shorts Fest is the "largest short film festival in the world". It's accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and blah, blah, blah. Anyways, it's being held at the ArcLight in Hollywood from September 5-14. I'm planning on attending.
Halloween III was released in 1982--when I was 10 years old. It was, of course, rated R. However, I snuck into a lot of movies. And not really paying attention to the suggested parental guidance warning, I entered a showing. It was the only time that I've ever been scared shitless from a movie. When the credits rolled, I was in the fetal position on the floor between the rows of seats.
Click on "Schedule" (under "Films") to see a list of the shorts that've been selected for the fest. Scroll down to the "S" section of the alphabetized program. On Thursday, September 7th, during program 17 (which begins at 10:45am), in theatre 12, Sven Stromson Blue will be shown.
Sometimes I can trace my television watching reluctance back to that traumatic Halloween III experience. I don't think I've fully recovered from those gruesome images that equated death with watching TV. To this day I still believe that avid boob tube viewers are being brainwashed and might as well be dead. And then I remember that you've gotta be wearing special masks which trigger telvision's killing powers. Yeah, I know it's silly, but the fear instilled in me was beyond my control.
A few of the movies that I've scored've been screened at various short film festivals. But they were either out of state, country, or convenience. So I've yet to see one on the big screen. I mean, I've seen some in classrooms since they're mostly student films, but never in a real movie theatre.
Feeling frightened disturbed me. Nothing, especially movies, should make me so uncomfortable. Maybe I was too young to appreciate horror movies, but I figured that the only way to get rid of my fears was to face them--I rented every scary film that I could find. At first, I covered my eyes during the gore. But eventually, I braved thru it until I became desensitized. Ever since that marathon of fear, I'ven't been remotely scared at the movies.
She's in my eyes but she's only an illusion
We used to be in vain
And now no one's gonna get tricked into saying
"I don't want to see you"
I can still hear her voice when I gave her a call
But it's all over now
And I don't know what she had to complain about
She's not the one that's ruined
She's the best
Unless she returns I won't give her the pleasure
I never should've tried
Cause now all her smiles seem to be just in my mind
Why do I still think of you
She's looking good
If I could I would try to get her attention
And then she might say "yes"
And our luck might turn into success
And then I would wake up
"Screw her" I tell myself
But it doesn't help
I'm through with her
You can do without me
With all due respect, I've been waiting for Bob Dylan to croak. As I wandered my apartment, my bare toes caught a torn corner scrap of foil wrapping that once protected a confounded pharmaceutical product somewhere between the bathroom tiles and bedroom carpet. On the first night of our four day weekend, she ordered me to drive to the drug store to pick up her "beauty needs"--including lotions that were confiscated by airport security. We calculated the costs of each variety hanging from price tagged hooks, with a finger count reminding us of the number of days we had left. I'd preordered Dylan's new CD about a month ago. After parking in my garage, carrying her suitcase up my complex stairs, and letting her wash up, I checked my mailbox. Modern Times had arrived.
But I didn't get to listen to it til after her departure flight. Cause I kept forgetting to find a moment to slip it into my stereo inbetween our nocturnal activities. Perhaps subconsciously I didn't think it would be appropriate to associate Dylan's English lyrics during her stay, which would've thrown off my Japanese linguistic rhythm. Besides, his songs tend to resonate with my memories more than the present tense. I remember hearing the first Dylan album that hit the streets whilst I was conscious of his existence in our contemporary world--the traditional blues and folk song collection Good as I Been to You back in 1992. Previous to that, I thought he was a much respected, yet historic bard whose repertoire of old contained his better tunes. He was a ghost singing about the past.
Temptation takes the form of her leftover scents. I could linger in their wiffs or crank up the volume on my headphones. If Dylan'd died right after Good as I Been to You and never released another album, he'díve gone full circle--it connects with his first album in that they both employ the same instrumentation, namely solo voice self accompanied on acoustic guitar and harmonica, not to mention've similar genre roots, albeit from a bookended perspective that spans three decades of prolific observations. To her credit, I never once felt anxious to hear Dylan's latest album when she fell asleep. After Good as I Been to You came the sinister World Gone Wrong in 1993, the wicked Time Out of Mind in 1997, and the hilarious Love and Theft in 2001.
In my opinion, a good songwriter says exactly what I want to hear. My only goal whilst in her company was to count the number of times that I could tease her into physically abusing me. I'm happy to report that this year's vintage ain't a disappointment. If I were to sum up Modern Times, I'd use the words "cautionary" and "sentimental"--it was just what I needed to clear my brain off the runway of overreaction. Actually, after waving goodbye to her from the international terminal's crosswalk, Dylan didn't pass thru my mind. However, when I shut myself in my apartment, took off my shoes, got a drink, and snagged a reminder of her visit on my clipped toenails that I needed to hear that froggy voice telling it like it is.
If it wasn't for my lawyer, I'd still be ignorant of BMWs. Before hearing his pedantic testimonial on the fine crafted luxury automobile, I was completely unaware of their presence on the road, besides being arrogant symbols driven by idiots who've sold their souls for status. But after convincing me otherwise, I began to take notice of the value of each individual BMW that's been clogging up the freeways.
If music never existed, I'd've probably grown up to be a paleontogist--not one who sat in a museum, but one who dug in the dirt for fossilized dinosaurs. There's something about hunting for the dead that, although is contrary to my current lazy personality, seemed like a worthwhile job. I bet discovering a skull ranks up there as one of the top money shots in that field.
If it wasn't for me, my cousin would be oblivious to the coolness of pirates. Of course it helps that there's a pirate fad currently going on, insofar as I could point her to the widespread skull and crossbones displayed all over town--on bumper stickers, t-shirts, billboards, and album covers. My sister gave me a pair of cuff links with the familiar insignia for me to wear at her wedding. I pulled up my sleeve to reveal and prove to my cousin that pirates are everywhere.
If dinosaurs and music were never part of this world, I'd most likely be driving a cement truck for a living. I remember smiling like the happiest kid in the world whenever I saw one spinning. And I pictured myself at the wheel towing the mix for the rest of my life. There's something about pouring cement that, although is an inversion of paleontological methodology, seemed satisfying when I was growing up. One of my favourite toys was a big yellow cement truck.
If I hadn't placed a bid one hour and 23 minutes before the auction ended, I might've won the Veronica Mars poster--the one that's promoting the upcomming season on the new CW network, with the "FREE TO BE FEARLESS" tagline. Cause mirroring the countdown clock, I restricted myself to submitting a maximum bid of $123. I mean, it'd look so sweet hanging on my bedroom wall, but I thought that it'd be less stressful for me to leave it up to luck to decide if I could guess its worth. Maybe if I'd've bid earlier or took the matter seriously, I'd be more regretful.
"Rotation," moaned Ms. Quotation, "is a formation of furthermore's sinful insinuations. Would you like my enamel to be where you're bare or my camel toe hair to be prepared for a double dosed dare?"
"Whatever's better for least upsetting your dishonourable increases during the final spinal scream," I dreamed.
She handed me the latter on a platter til the batter splattered on her caterpillar silk pillow case laced with stitched disgrace. The morning birds sang in parallel thirds disturbing my waking state as my eyes followed her lulling skin into hollow sleep. Nothing sings like songs belonging to winged beings...
There was a room where the afternoon went backwards, for lack of a better discernable concern. I mean, I've seen obscene passages of sublime time that by all standards defers to dignify chronological logic, but this room consumed what I remembered to resume before the minutes that spin its turns loomed. Pretty soon I didn't wish for anything that I was going to miss. And then the walls crawled away like diverging waterfalls.
I awoke before she spoke.
ďAme to SanbikaĒ
Some of my coworkers've been tossing a Frisbee during their afternoon break. The fall quarter hasn't begun yet, so the quad by our building isn't crowded with students, business is slow, and the weather's been nice for standing in opposite grass patched corners between the trees and throwing the flying disc amongst them.
The other day I heard a rumour about a certain composition professor in the music department that apparently was charged with sexually harassing a student--this happened before my time. And whether or not any crime was committed, a rival professor supposedly led an investigation to drag the accused down.
Sometimes I join them. I figure that it's good exercise. I mean, it's probably better than sitting on my ass--especially since I'm a lazy bum most of the day. Cause there are many factors involved with a bad throw, such as a misjudged angle to compensate for the wind, which'll make the catcher exert energy. It's more running around than I'd prefer, but a little sweat can't hurt.
I caught an episode of To Catch a Predator. It was cool to see a pedophile get busted--from the online chat bait to the handcuffed arrest based on the resulting transcripted intent. However, the show got boring fast. It was the same series of events over and over again, just with different perverts. Not that I don't appreciate the public service that the undercover sting artists provide, but I've got better things to do than to watch sex offenders get registered.
I'm still a novice so I've been testing different methods of throwing and catching--spins, grips, alternating hands, and fancy index finger tricks. They add some fun to the otherwise repetitive Zen motions. Of course my goal is to throw the Frisbee straight to someone so that they don't need to chase it into a bush. And to not drop it when it comes back to me.
The funny thing is it was soon discovered that the rival professor was himself sleeping with an underaged partner. This might've been a glitch in the subtly of the universe's sense of humour, but I laughed at the glaring absurdity. Maybe the guilty want to be caught.
"Hello," I knocked, "Veronica, I'm home."
"Well if it ain't Mr. and Mrs. Space Pirate," Veronica greeted.
"Veronica," I introduced, "meet Emeraldas."
"Konichiwa," Emeraldas bowed.
"Hello," Veronica returned the gesture.
"Yeah, Emeraldas doesn't know too much English, so be nice to her," I instructed.
"Where are you going?" Veronica questioned.
"I'm going to the bookstore," I proclaimed.
"Uh, why?" the little detective pouted.
"I need a new dictionary," I pointed to my old one. "Mine's falling apart."
"Nice excuse," Veronica deduced. "OK, go to the bookstore. And don't look up any skirts while you're there."
"Defined," I promised as I left.
"He's such a pervert," Veronica accused.
"In Japanese we call him 'sukebe'," Emeraldas translated.
"Ah so," Veronica faked an accent. "So you're the Emeraldas he's been writing about in his blog. Now let me get this straight--you fly a zeppelin space pirate ship, right?"
"You are from American TV show?"
"Uh, do you want anything to drink? I've got some wine..." Veronica walked towards the kitchen.
"Yes wine please," Emeraldas took off her boots.
"Oh no," Veronica remembered, "we don't've any beer for Henry. I better call him. Where's my cellphone..."
"I need to call Henry to tell him if he wants something to drink when he gets back from the bookstore, he'd better pick up it up on his way," Veronica found her cellphone and dialed. "He likes beer, you know, beer..."
"Ah beer yes--Henry like drink beer very very much."
"What?" I answered.
"Dude," Veronica talked whilst opening a bottle of wine, "we don't've any beer."
"You knew I was comming back," I couldn't believe her stupidity.
"I'm sorry," Veronica sobbed. "What with solving mysteries every week, I kinda forgot to get some."
"Well," I forgave, "thanks for telling me. I'll get some on my way back from the bookstore. How's Emeraldas?"
"We're gonna drink some wine."
"'Kampai' is 'cheers' in Japanese," I hinted. "Ja sayonara."
"Bye and thanks," Veronica hung up and poured the wine. "Kampai."
"Kampai," Emeraldas clicked glasses.
"So you're twin sisters with Maetel?" Veronica resumed. "She's the one who took him on that galaxy train whatever?"
"Hai," Emeraldas's anime eye twinkled.
"Oh, how do you say 'excuse me' in Japanese?" Veronica asked as her cellphone rang.
"We say 'sumimasen'," Emeraldas provided.
"Sumimasen," Veronica pardoned as she took the call. "Hello, this is Veronica Mars."
"Hey 007, this is Q."
"Oh hey Mac."
"Is Henry back yet?"
"Yeah. But he went to the bookstore. I'm hanging with Emeraldas right now."
"Oh, I'm sorry to bug you. It's nothing important--just wanted to know if he returned safe, that's all."
"Yeah, he's back safe. Come on over."
"Uh, I'd like to...uh, but I've got like...a ton of homework. Hey, I'll talk to you tomorrow, OK. Bye."
"Sayonara," Veronica put down her cellphone. "Hmm, that was weird. She seemed kinda in a hurry. I bet Henry's over there right now..."
"Is everything daijoubu?" Emeraldas politely concerned.
"Do you have a cellphone?" Veronica drank. "Um, what did Henry say 'cellphone' was in Japanese? Was it 'keitai'?"
"Hai, keitai," Emeraldas flipped hers from her cloak pocket.
"Neat phone," Veronica admired.
"Arigatou," Emeraldas scrolled thru menus. "Here is picture of my sister."
"That's Maetel?" Veronica held the camera phone photo. "She's pretty. Is that a beer she's drinking in this picture?"
"I can see why Henry's in love with her."
On my drive over to the bookstore, I mentally rearranged the movie posters in my bedroom. I've got six--(going clockwise) Alien 3, Edward Scissorhands, The Big Lebowski, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (French edition), Amelie (Japanese edition), and The Empire Strikes Back. One of them's gonna've to go. I've gotta make room for my new Veronica Mars poster.
I really do need a new dictionary. All these big words don't come from nowhere. I've had my last one since high school--Webster's New World Dictionary (second edition). It was published in 1987. So I used it during the original OUT ON A LIM columns back in 10th grade journalism. And I've killed it's binding thru the hack years of term papers and my current blog.
My cellphone rang. It was Veronica.
"What?" I answered.
"Dude, we don't've any beer."
"You knew I was comming back," I couldn't believe her stupidity.
"I'm sorry. What with solving mysteries every week, I kinda forgot to get some."
"Well," I forgave, "thanks for telling me. I'll get some on my way back from the bookstore. How's Emeraldas?"
"We're gonna drink some wine."
"'Kampai' is 'cheers' in Japanese," I hinted. "Ja sayonara."
"Bye and thanks," Veronica hung up.
I didn't rebid on the third season Veronica Mars poster. Although I get the urge everytime I see one on a billboard or bus. No, the poster I ordered is cooler--it's from the first season and is a mock film noir one-sheet complete with deco style fonts for the credits. For one, it maintains the thematic continuity of my bedroom decoration, even though it's really just a television show. But mostly, cause I think it pays homage to the gumshoe perfectly.
Yeah, I still use a paperback dictionary. I try not to go online too much at home. And even when I do, the free virtual dictionaries that I've played with don't seem to've browse features. Personally, I like to stumble upon other words on the page. Cause sometimes what I'm searching for is right next to what I thought I was looking up.
So far I've watched four out of the six discs of Veronica Mars season two. And I gotta say, it's been worth the wait. I had my doubts during the summer--that maybe the first season was clouded by the concept of watching a show based on a tempting high school student. But I think the show is clever, at least in a pop culture sorta way, give or take my competence in such matters beyond my demographic's jurisdiction. I mean, there are plenty of teenage shows that I could get creepy over, but because Veronica has hold of my mind as well as my lust, I don't feel too dirty hanging her poster on my wall.
I ain't picky. Plus I had two lovely ladies waiting at my apartment. So I grabbed the first dictionary that caught my eye--Merriam-Webster (sixth edition). Just to make sure that it worked, I quickly tested it. I blindly opened it to a page and pointed to a word. My finger landed on "stegosaurus". Yeah, it'll do.
I've got Alien 3 and Edward Scissorhands posters because I admire those film scores. The Big Lebowski is a motivational reminder. And I've got fond intertwining memories of Chihiro and Amelie--having the French edition of the Japanese movie and vice versa isn't a coincidence. Thus, I think it's finally time to take down my Star Wars memorabilia. I'll roll it up and stash it away with my old dictionary. Someday I'll retrieve them and get all nostalgic.
As I grabbed a six pack of Kirin, I thought of Maetel. My cousin gave me an update on her friend, including a teaser keitai snapshot--across the shoddy megapixels she smiled at me dressed in a kimono and holding a glass of beer. Sometimes a frozen representation of someone is enough to keep me warm at night. Before checking out, I browsed the conveniently premade meals for some later night grub. I got me some tuna mac.
If there's a pattern going on, Henry Lim is due to release the next album in his continuing opus series this year. Cause in 1998 and 2002 he pressed CDs for Opp. 1-3 and Opp. 4-6 respectively.
Word on the street is Larry McFeurdy has begun recording his followup to Hacienda Heights. The working title for the album is Redondo Beach.
Opp. 7-10 will include music from the films Donnie's Tree, Office Ninja, and Sven Stromson Blue. Also, Lim's fanfare and themes for Brickfest 2006 will be on the tracklist.
McFeurdy's rendition of "Ame to Sanbika" was leaked online last week--it's a cover of the Gun Frontier end credits song. According to reliable sources, it's from a recent Redondo Beach session.
However, Lim's fans will've to wait til Xmas for Opp. 7-10 as he works on a Halloween musical based on the Headless Horseman tale. It'll be performed at the end of October in Los Angeles.
As of this writing, an estimated release date for McFeurdy's Redondo Beach hasn't officially been set yet. Nevertheless, his label, Paperclip Music, has it tentatively slated for March 29, 2007.
Editor's note: OUT ON A LIM will be taking Friday off as we'll be in Windsor, Califonria for a wedding this Saturday. The entire staff was invited, so the next posting won't be til Monday. Have a merry weekend.
Here's a recording that I made when I was 7 years old.
>> Four Things About Me
>> Things you may not have known about me.....
>> A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
>> 1. carpenter
>> 2. movie theatre concessionist
>> 3. computer network installer
>> 4. composer
>> B) Four movies I would watch over and over:
>> 1. Ginga Tetsudo Three-Nine
>> 2. Back to the Future
>> 3. Chinatown
>> 4. Debbie Does Dallas '99
>> C) Four places I have lived:
>> 1. Redondo Beach, CA
>> 2. La Jolla, CA
>> 3 Hacienda Heights, CA
>> 4. San Francisco, CA
>> D) Four TV shows I love to watch:
>> 1. Veronica Mars
>> 2. n/a
>> 3. n/a
>> 4. n/a
>> E) Four places I have been on vacation:
>> 1. Otsu, Shiga
>> 2. Hakata-fu, Fukuoka
>> 3. Nara, Nara-ken
>> 4. Takamatsu, Kagawa
>> G) Four of my favorite foods:
>> 1. Tommy's cheeseburger
>> 2. Shisen chashu ramen
>> 3. curry rice
>> 4. tuna
>> H) Four places I would like to be right now:
>> 1. here
>> 2. there
>> 3. everywhere
>> 4. nowhere
>> I) Four friends I think will respond:
>> 1. Maetel
>> 2. Veronica
>> 3. Emeraldas
>> 4. Mac
>> RETURN DIRECTIONS:
>> Now, here's what you're supposed to do... and please do not spoil the fun.
>> Hit reply, delete my answers and type in your answers.
>> Then send this to a
>> whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you.
>> The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about those
>> who know you.
>> Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you!
Editor's note: I apologize for another truncated week of posts, but I'll be attending Eric Harshbarger's Puzzlehunt in Auburn, AL this weekend. So no OUT ON A LIM til next Tuesday.
There's a stretch of the Interstate 5 between Northern and Southern California that's divided into two lanes for each direction. According to the signs, slower traffic should keep to the right lane.
The last feature length movie that I saw in the theatre was Hard Candy--nearly five months ago. I believe that's the longest period since I started going to movies that I'ven't gone.
I make it a habit to frequently check my rear view mirror, especially when I'm in the fast lane. This gives me fair warning to get out of the way when others want to pass.
With a week to spare before the next new episode, I finished season two of Veronica Mars. I'm finally caught up--although, I'm gonna tape the show and watch it at my convenience.
Understandably, trucks and buses stay in the right lane. But for some reason, there's always some idiot who maintains the same speed with them and clogs the freeway.
Not that I didn't want to go to the movies. If there was something worth my interest beyond what I've been watching on Netflix, I'd've surely made more of an effort to go.
My guess is that some drivers aren't aware of how slow they're going, be it their minds are elsewhere or the scenery is too flat to judge speed. I'd like to think that they aren't purposely intending to block traffic.
However, I won't be caught up for the season premiere of Lost--I'll tape the first few episodes and catch up after I go thru season two on my queue. I don't mind lagging behind.
I should be more grateful for slow idiots. Without them I'd probably get ticketed for driving too fast.
Tonight, I went to the movies. I saw La Science des reves.
I ordered two CDs--Jeff Beal's soundtrack to Carnivale and Sevara Nazarkhan's Yol Bolsin. For the last week, I've been alternating between them in my car stereo during my commute. I never heard of Beal before, probably cause he works mainly in television. But his music for Carnivale is brilliant--it economically evokes the Depression era and the otherworldly atmosphere of the mystical show. Likewise, Nazarkhan was unfamiliar to me, let alone the music of her native Uzbekistan. An ethnomusicology professor recommended it. I looked her up online and listened to some of her sound clips. They sounded, for lack of a better term, worldly--traditional ethnic instruments with modern electronic accents.
My dad's cousin's son recently had a son. They live in San Jose and I visited them as I drove south from Windsor during my trip up north. Apparently, I'm the first in our family to meet his new kid--everyone else is scattered around the world. I extended my finger to the baby as a welcoming gesture to accommodate for his tiny hand. He grabbed my finger and farted. I bet he's gonna be cool.
I'm currently reading two books--Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End and Alan Moore's Lost Girls. I'll read a chapter in one then switch over to a chapter in the other. I've read some of Clarke's other stories and think he's a pretty good sci-fi writer. So when my boss told me the premise of Childhood's End, I was curious to check it out--something about aliens who help humans connect with the galactical consciousness. As well, I'm a casual fan of Moore's graphic novels. Lost Girls (which was co-written by Melinda Gebbie) is an erotic character study of Alice (from Wonderland), Dorothy (from Oz), and Wendy (from Neverland).
My cousin's brother's wife gave birth to a daughter. They live in Fukuoka and the last time I saw her, which was earlier this summer when I was in Japan, she was pregnant. My cousin emailed me the good news and I in turn forwarded it to everyone in America. As I replied with a congratulatory welcome to the baby girl, I realized that she was born on the same day I was up in San Jose. That would be funny if she came into this world sometime around the time I was shaking my dad's cousin's son's hand.
Auburn, AL, 2006
photo by Daniel Auchenpaugh
Well, I jumped the gun when I posted the "Honey" mp3 on Monday (OUT ON A LIM, 10.9.06).
Let me explain.
When I recorded the vocals, I was intoxicated. Sometimes I can discover phrasings that I'd never think of if I was sober. Oftentimes, I'll record myself fooling around in such states of mind and play them back when my head's clear to see if anything makes sense--everything sounds cool when I'm lit, but that doesn't necessarily hold true when I'm not, so I make it a habit of evaluating things later. In this case, I deemed my preliminary vocal track as a keeper. I doubt that I could consciously recreate it again if I wanted to, or at least it'd seem less honest if I tried. And so I thought I was done. However, as I listened to it later, there were some notes that were annoyingly off, in particular the line "Itsu no hi ka koko ni asa made" ("Someday I wish you can stay until the next morning"). Of course, I've never been a fan of being in tune--I admire the shades of expression inbetween, especially in these relatively modern days of equal temperament. But after arguing with myself about the "purity" of the intonation, I decided to fix it on the computer--I've got a pitch shifter than can nudge notes in increments of cents. So I replaced the mp3 with the "corrected" version.
So I got some puzzled emails regarding Tuesday's post (OUT ON A LIM, 10.10.06).
Let me explain.
Those are the RGB and CMYK values for a Japanese version of red. Because I'm an idiot when it comes to colours, I found it interesting that a country can claim a colour, let alone can tell the difference. Anyways, I examined the colour on Photoshop. To me it's just numbers.
I gave the photo that I posted on Wednesday (OUT ON A LIM, 10.11.06) the filename "Procrastination".
Let me explain.
For the last month, there was this neat looking line of tanker cars on the nearby railroad--it looked like it stretched on til forever. I kept telling myself that I ought to take a picture of it before it leaves. Everytime I drove past it, I gave myself a mental note, but I took it less seriously as it seemingly was there permanently. Last weekend I finally decided to take my camera to the photo. Alas, the train was gone.
Editor's note: I'm gonna take a week off from OUT ON A LIM.
Let me explain.
I'm currently swamped. I need to concentrate on composing Halloween music. Plus, I'm gonna be housesitting for my boss. So I think it's best for me to take a break. Otherwise I'd only be posting half assed entries that'll need explanations later...
Well, I'm still working on Halloween music...
"I'll be gone til November..."
Jennifer called me selfish. Our first grade class was lining up for second recess. I'd grabbed the red ball from the cart of playthings. I guess she'd her eye on it, too. However, it was the first time that I'd ever been accused of disregarding others. In fact, I'd never heard of the word before. She kept repeating it in her crybaby appeal to everyone in earshot. So for the longest time, I'd always associated selfishness with getting something before someone else does.
I'dn't slept for 24 hours. I was working on Halloween music and forgot to go to bed. As I waited for the audio tracks to export, I strummed a tritone chord change on my guitar. The first song that came to my mind that begins with that progression is the Pixies' "Ana", which I decided to play as a break from composing. However, on the spot, I sang the lyrics in Japanese. Of course, the acrostic in the English version disappears.
Minfang said the exact same thing Christine did regarding a potential LEGO project--that I should ask for more money. Now, I'm not against making a buck, especially when working on something that isn't necessarily about me. I mean, I never consider commissions to be art in the sense that, for one, whenever money is involved, it negates my definition of art, and perspectively, they're just jobs that require my skills for someone who can't do it on their own and services what they want to express. Nevertheless, I draw the line at avarice.
I'dn't slept for 48 hours. I finished the Halloween music. It ended up being a 48 minute long musical. After handing it to the director, I celebrated with a Tommy's chili cheeseburger, which was actually a bigger reward for myself than it sounds given that beyond cigarettes and Coke, I'd also forgotten to take any meals during the last two days of composing--the deadline took precedence. Needless to say, I was approaching delirium. So I stared at mugendai, bended it in my state of mind, and passed out somewhere inbetween.
Noe left her slippers at my apartment. Not accidentally. She asked if she could. I didn't see the point, but maybe that's why I allowed her eccentricity. They ain't fancy--she stole them from a hotel. But she did outwear them during her stay at my place. I made fun of them. I can still hear her scuffing them on my carpet. And so whenever I see them I get a good little laugh.
After catching up on lost sleep, I caught myself up on Lost. I'd paid Netflix to let me hold the last disc from season two unwatched during the last week. On my VCR were the recently aired third season episodes. So come next week, I'll be up to date. But honestly, I'm losing interest in the show. Besides Kate, there's really nothing else worth my time. There's some new actress, but she seems generic, to the point that I kept confusing her with flashback characters. Either that or white girls are starting to all look the same.
The first item I ever ordered on Amazon.com was a book on Audrey Hepburn. That was nearly six years ago. Since then I've never'd any problems with the online store. My last order consisted of the latests CDs from Hilary Hahn and Danny Elfman. I received a box that contained Elfman's album, but despite the packing slip, not Hahn's. I thought about requesting a replacement, which no doubt I'd've gotten, but figured perhaps it's meant to be. I'm not in the mood to question coincidence. Anyways, the other day I got an email from the author of the Hepburn book. She said that Audrey probably'd've gotten a kick out of my LEGO portrait of her.
Akane's mom was sick during the OUT ON A LIM hiatus. She went to go visit her as I sent my get well wishes. Whenever I had a chance to think about anything other than Halloween music, I thought about Akane. Thankfully, everything's fine now, albeit Noe says that she looks tired. It seems like the last few projects that I've worked on've been for others--LEGO portraits, photo shoots, the film score, and Brickfest music. The expection being Larry McFeurdy's Redondo Beach--I don't put my own name on the projects that're actually about me. Well, now that my schedule is clear, I'm gonna focus on recording more tracks. It's time to be selfish.
So here're some tracks from Sleepy Hollow, the musical that I co-composed with Alan Sanborn for this year's Halloween show. I've only got the backing tracks which the actors sang to during the performance, so it's kinda difficult to understand what's going on without the lyrics, but basically, it's based on Washington Irving's tale. And rather than bore you with 48 minutes of a voiceless musical, I've chosen three short exerpts.
- Katrina's Theme
- Love Theme
- Last Chase
The titles ought to be self explanatory--Katrina's the lead chick, the love theme is for her and Ichabod, and the last chase is the Headless Horseman's last chase. Alan's wife said that he's a "frustrated Broadway composer" and her comment kinda reflected on my orchestrations. Anyways, I'm happy that I finished it all in time.
One word: Puffy.
Like Lost, Veronica Mars isn't getting better. Maybe cause she's now in college, which, don't get me wrong, is hot, but not as cool as being in high school, if you know what I mean. And ever since the show transferred to a new network, it seems like some of its edge's been cut. I mean, the first two seasons were gritty--nothing against the third season's rape mystery, but the previous seasons' central mysteries were about rape plus gruesome murders. The dark noir undercurrent's been replaced with a gloss of girlie fluff. Of course that could be influenced by the fast forwarded commercials. And to add one more excuse, Mac's been missing for the last three episodes. Hopefully, she'll return with a vengeance.
Now that I'm completely caught up with all the shows that I've been digesting on DVD, I gotta say I truly admire people who watch television. They've got way too much time on their hands. I don't know where they get all their extra time, but I'm barely able to fit an hour a day. Fortunately, as these shows get stale in their third seasons, I won't feel guilty dropping them from my roster. Let's hope I'm talking too fast.
But that's why they make new shows. All my geeky friends've been raving about Heroes. One of them had every episode on his fancy recorder machine (it looked too clean to be tape). Anyways, it's fun, if not a fresh direction apart from the circles that the older shows are running in. However, what sealed my allegiance was a key scene in which Hiro teleports into a girls' restroom. The music in the background was "Kore Ga Watashi No Ikiru Michi".
The way I reckon, there are but two types o'hallucinations--thems that you can't control and thems that you can. Like when you be trippin' in the middle of the night, in the middle of the desert, and out of the middle of nowhere you'll see the reanimated skeletons of those that you've murdered running backwards in the diminishing moonlight. They'll appear as real as them tumbleweeds rolling yonder. But thems be beyond your conscious control--those apparitions of your there imagination weren't expected to show up, at least theoretically, give or take the possibility that they're really real and've somehow materialized across the metaphysical divide. Heck, I'd even goes so far as to include fancy schamncy psychological mumbo jumbo into the gumbo. The point is, you ain't hallucinating what you want to be hallucinating. If it're up to you, you'd rather be in heaven, or a convincing facade thereof. Cause the mind can fool itself into believing whatever God given nonsense that it wants to believe, be it "everything's OK" or "everything's gone to hell". And that there's an example of a hallucination that can be willed into being byways your own volition. Throughout times old, people've envisioned some sorta peaceful afterlife and its damned opposite. Thems be as real as you want them to be. Whether you can control them or not.
Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror is a mix styled dramatic anime series that retells traditional ghost, monster, and god stories.
I like to think that my ears've got a limiter--a device that cuts off sounds at a designated level. For instance, upon hearing a siren, my ears seem to automatically block the loud wail. It takes effort. Oftentimes, I need to hold my breath. But I don't need to cover my ears with my hands. Of course, I could just be deaf.
Each story is drawn distinctly, adding to the anthology form of the series. As well, moral lessons are at the heart of each spooky tale.
I forgot to set a limiter on a track of Halloween music. Normally, I set it so that I don't've to worry about peaking. Anyways, I ended up blowing my headphones--they won't stop cracking, even at low levels. So I got new ones. Of course in a perfect world, I'd've gotten the exact same pair. But the "new and improved" world doesn't seem to cater to creatures of habit. And I was too impatient to search online--my headphones've been practically glued to my ears thesedays. I picked up a pair that seemed as similar as I could find to my old ones. They sound fine, but they're smaller, and'll take some time getting used to. If there's a lesson to be learned, it's always set my limiter.
"Haru no Katami" is the end credits song.
I've been waiting for a long, long time, at the station of the galaxy express. Just standing the silence of a dark night. Keep counting the number of many stars. Dreaming of you, I took the light around me as the headlight. I think it's the light of a shooting star.
And so is written on the cover of the Ginga Tetsudo Three-Nine manga which Noe exported for me from Japan. It's the only English text on the comic book. The rest is in a language that I can read very slowly, with the help of Japanese to English dictionaries and Kanji charts.
I think Henry Mancini's theme from Two for the Road is underappreciated. Granted "Moon River" is no question a classic, but it seems to've taken the spotlight away from "Two for the Road"--in my opinion the latter actually casts a bigger shadow than the former, compositionally speaking. However, lyrically, they're both written in a style that seems to've influenced Japanese writers of sappy English sentences.
If you're feeling fancy free, come wander through the world with me, and any place we chance to be, will be a rendezvous. Two for the road, we'll travel through the years, collecting precious memories, selecting souveniers and living life the way we please. In the summertime the sun will shine, in winter we will drink summer wine, and any day that you are mine, will be a lovely day. As long as love still wears a smile, I know that we'll be two for the road, and that's a long, long while.
If she was a pornstar, I'd watch her movies. That's what I said to myself as I read Tiffany the Target checkout girl's nametag. And I meant "watch" to the fullest definition of the word. I was uncharacteristically shopping there cause I needed a new bath towel. My old one ripped--it kept getting thinner with each wash, til finally I made a hole in it whilst drying off. I smelled my new one to see if any trace of Tiffany's fingers lingered.
I bought a 2007 calendar. If you'díve asked me six months ago what possible theme I'd want, Veronica Mars would've been my answer. But as 2006 is less than two months from done, I searched for a Puffy calendar. They gotta've a calendar, I thought, and sure enough, I found and ordered one on the spot. I can't wait for it to arrive.
This cult cartoon hit based on a real Japanese pop band has created a buzz in the animation and music worlds. Surprise your little trendsetter with this hip and trendy look at the cartoon sensation and get her year off to a boom.
I've decided to cut back on one of my longstanding bad habits. The other day I had a toothache. Before going to the dentist, I thought I'd test a theory--that maybe I need to take better care of my teeth, namely eat less sugar, and it'll go away. Well, I don't really snack on sweets. However, I do drink more Coke than's recommended. So I'm now limiting my consumption to one a day, as opposed to my four to six. My tooth felt better.
No subscription notwithstanding, I've been getting free monthly issues of Paste magazine in my mail. Its tagline is "signs of life in music, film & culture", whatever. They come with free sampler CDs of the latest hip tracks--I've yet to listen to any of them. But I do thumb thru the articles. There was one about Michel Gondry hocking his recent film. It had a neat quote regarding his intentions for writing a multilingual screenplay.
"You use a different part of your brain," when you have to speak with someone in your non-native language, he says. "It can give you some freedom to interact with people and...you might feel less self-conscious about what you're saying." On the other hand, he adds, it can also lead to awkward misunderstandings and the feeling of being an outsider.
Yumi Matsutoya has been a famed singer-songwriter in Japan since 1972. Back then she used her maiden name Arai--she later married Masataka Matsutoya. Thesedays, she goes by her nickname Yuming.
I failed to mention in yesterday's OUT ON A LIM my replacement beverage for Coke now that I've significantly reduced my addiction. I went with the first drink that came to my mind--the Japanese call it mugicha. Elsewhere it's known as barley tea. I take mine cold.
Hajime Chitose got married, miscarried, and gave birth to a girl during her 2003-05 sabbatical from the JPOP scene. The first single that she released upon her return was the end credits song from the anime BLOOD+ "Kataritsugu Koto". Following that was the Yuming penned "Haru no Katami".
Photos of my living room've been published in international magazines, not to mention ainít hard to find online. However, most of the world is unfamiliar with my bedroom. I'm gonna take some pictures of it and post them on tomorrow's OUT ON A LIM.
I guess the moral here is: you must be careful what you pretend to be because in the end you are who you're pretending to be.
-Howard W. Campbell, Jr.
Maybe it's cause my Coke intake's dropped and my mugicha's been on the up, but I've lost the desire to read my daily horoscope. It's become unfun to find out what my day's gonna be like. I'd rather be surprised. Or at least challenged--lately my sign's overview's been too accurate to leave room for wow moments. Cause I'm not real good at mustering motivation to face what I'm already expecting. I mean, to me desire's built on crossing that line between sanely expecting things to happen and insanely experiencing craziness beyond my wildest expectations. It's all about the things I can't see right now, but am promised will reveal themselves onto my soul at a later stage. Well, after a spell of horoscope consulting, I don't see the harm in dropping it from my schedule--sometimes the blind can see things that the visionaries overlook.
I once fooled my parents into questioning whether or not I was fooling them into believing that my left arm died. The life'd been zapped from my fingers to my shoulder. I proved it to them by demonstrating how I could no longer lift my arm, which is the simple part, I mean, any amateur mime ought to be able to pull that prank. A harder trick is to tell them that my arm no longer could feel anything, to which some concentration is needed to block out the sensations of them applying tickles and pinches. They took me to get an x-ray. Of course nothing was broken. The doctor suggested that this was some bratty attempt for attention, and maybe if they bought me some toy to shut me up, this stupidity would end. However, I rejected their offers. I wasn't doing it for material gain. I just wanted to see if I could fool myself into believing that my left arm died. And in the dark x-ray room, listening to the doctor's advice I did.
So I went to the IMDb to count the number of credits that I've got listed when I noticed a movie/tv quote of the day posted towards the bottom of the front page. It was a line from Mother Night. Perhaps it's the remnants of horoscope mentality, but it rang with a bell of fateful authenticity. Or it could be that the older I get the scarcer coincidence claims astonishment. I look at it as the longer I've been on the road, the more I'm aware of its existence. And when the same scenery passes by, it's mind blowing the first time around. But when it comes up again, the realization that I'm going in circles gets old fast. And so I've gotten hooked on checking the daily quote on IMDb. I get a blast when I can recognize the source. Plus, they're not as obvious as horoscopes. The movie/tv quotes get me thinking on different levels of abstraction, allowing for another perspective on what to expect.
Since school started, I'ven't been able to pin down the cute campus security officer's shifts. It used to be Tuesday nights during the summer. For awhile I thought that she might've quit or'd been stationed in another building, which'díve been a bummer--I'm not desperate enough to scour the university, or the world for that matter, to find her whereabouts. Regardless, I've been continuing to exit thru her guard booth. And the other day, as I'd neared accepting her disappearance, she smiled at me. If I take my thoughts to fantastical conclusion, yeah, she looked like an angel, with all the benevolent adjectives applying. And I was leaving heaven for home. Clairvoyantly she bestowed a prayer for my safe return. I pretended to be unblessed as I smiled back.
Before embarking on an anime binge, I impulsively pushed Two of Us to the top of my Netflix queue. It'll be the last English speaking movie that I'll be renting for the foreseeable future--afterwards it's the four disc series Cosmo Warrior Zero and the six disc series Star Blazers, followed by the original Gojira and a Kurosawa retrospective. Not to mention I'm also currently going thru the four disc Mugen Kidou SSX bootleg sans subtitles. Anyways, Two of Us is a movie about the fabled last time John smoked a joint with Paul. Every Beatle fan knows the story--sometime in 1976, Paul at the height of Wings visited the Dakota during John's house husband phase. Of course the movie is all unauthorized supposition, but it's based on documented statements made separately by both ex-Beatles in interviews. I'm guessing that in reality it wasn't as dramatically depicted--I doubt anyone talks with such carefully scripted argumentive and resolving structures. Nevertheless, hypothetically it's a fun movie. It even made a competent Toot and a Snore reference. As a Beatles fan I wasn't offended, which is as much as I could ask thesedays of everything Beatles related. I mean, I'm finding it hard to care about Paul's current compositions, much less follow his fade into "has been". It's all the more bittersweet knowing how cool he was when he was a Beatle. And as Two of Us portrays, not as superficial as his Wings material. Maybe it's cause Paul's 34 in the movie, which is how old I am, that I'm starting to better appreciate his point of view. Growing up, I've always gravitated towards John's edge over Paul's blandness--which was mysteriously complimentary when they were in the same band, but as solo acts, seemed unbalanced without the other. Twenty years ago, I'd've sworn to aspire towards John's artistic values. Ten years ago, I'd've laughed at Paul's promotion of the status quo. But now, they seem to be one and the same. Neither is better than the other. The pros of challenging the system don't outweigh the cons of maintaining it. Likewise, they don't make much sense as singular concepts--hope is nothing without despair and vice versa. Or so I gathered from the movie. The actors tried their best to play such iconic characters, albeit failing cause my familiarity with them makes it nigh impossible to recreate--I never got a chance to suspend my belief that they could be John and Paul. Anytime they overemphasized their trademark mannerisms (John's sly eyes, Paul's head bobbles) the illusion shattered. And when they sang together, it wasn't even close to what I imagine they would've sounded like. But the caricature was a good effort.
If I could tell the difference between bad luck and a curse, I doubt that I'd be any happier. Nonetheless, I get the feeling that someone's put an evil hex on me. Fortunately for me, I've got a capable immune system to ward me of the spell, however incrementally. It was a heavy one, for sure, as it's taking me two weeks to exterminate it. Of course it didn't incapacitate me on a physical level--I didn't need to take any legitimate sick days off from work. But it did stuff up my voice. During the curse's first week, I assembled the backing tracks for the next song on my upcomming album. I've been using the same recording settings on Redondo Beach so as to keep a consistent sound throughout. I'm aiming for demo quality roughness, yet intimacy that'll hopefully create the illusion of personal nearness. Cause I think the studio production that I employed on Hacienda Heights is cool an all, but upon listening to it now, it feels distantly cold. I've been running my levels compressed and hot, with the limiter keeping things from peaking. Anyways, for the next song, I kept the original's waka beat, but instead of using taiko drums, I approximated them by pounding on the wooden body of an acoustic guitar. Cause there's no point in duplicating the song exactly. The guitar as a percussion instrument's been a theme so far on the album--I learned the technique from Kaki King. Not to mention, it's a simple way to build an original drum sound. One of my theories about my favourite recordings is their unique drum sounds. Ringo comes to my mind--his kit sounds like no one elses. Prince is another. Well, actually, a really good recording's got distinctive sounds all around. The search for my own sound is one of the technical themes of the album. Obviously, the ultimate theme is meant for my special lady friend. And that's why I think someone put a curse on me. I've got the backing tracks done, but my voice ain't unaffected enough to sing. Someone doesn't want me to finish the recording. But I'm not worried. I've got the bug licked. I feel it recoiling from wherest it came. Tomorrow I shall be purged of its negative chokehold and I'll sing with an overcomming voice. Although, to be fair, I shouldn't blame anyone for my being sick. In away, bad luck or curse, I'm responsible for whatever happens to me--unforseeable schmunforseeable. Everything I do can be charted in significant reality, probable assumption, and insignificant impossibility. Therefore, I'd be ignorant if I blamed anyone else for my conditions. For example, it's very likely that I got sick from those sleepless sessions of composing Halloween music. I liken it to a marathon that I ran without the proper training. I've never written something of that scope in such a short time before. But I took the challenge, knowing full well the risks that I might fail, if not on the project, but healthwise. My consolation knows that I could never've finished had I attempted the same endeavour ten years ago, even if I was younger--I hadn't the experience to orchestrate, let alone write at an extremely fast pace. The previous Halloween shows and the film scores've taught me about speed, as well as my fooling around to the point of facility with my samples. My way of dealing with deadlines is not thinking. There's no time. It's go until I'm done. As long as the rhythms are a solid foundation, the harmonies make sense, and the melodies hold everything together, I don't bother with overanalyzng the notes. If something's off, it'll stick out, and I'll fix it, but I don't've the luxury of hearing the music from too many angles, other than the most basic motific development--my Bach studies helped in filtering out the obscure and giving priority to the whole. My getting sick is my body's way of telling me that I might've pushed myself too far. If anything, I've accustomed myself to my boundaries, and can better map my progress on similar future projects. Back to Redondo Beach, I've imposed a deadline on the album's completion--my special lady friend's birthday. So losing the time to record my voice is kinda a setback. But perhaps it's meant to be. This break's given me pause to reflect on how I'll sing. The urgency'll naturally be incorporated. Let's say I did record my voice right after the Halloween gig. My voice wouldn't've the same emotion--with such a short space between projects, I wouldn't be surprised if sentiments overlapped, which might've been cool, but it ain't happening, so I'll leave it up to fate to affect how I'll sound. There's a hidden theme of the album that I'm searching for--something that I'm not currently aware of, but somehow'll become apparent in the end. I've got some suspicions, the leading one being that Japanese is a pianoesque language. I mean, it's easiness to edit is like that of a piano, in that it's made of delineated syllables, as opposed to certain English or guitar pronunciations which appear as fluid and thus more labour intensive to cut waveforms. Obviously, since Japanese ain't my native language, I'm probably underexaggerating my inflections so that they resemble the expressive parameters of a piano. What that all means, I'ven't any conclusions. But it's something that I never would've guessed. And it's the trail that I'm following--maybe it'll go nowhere, maybe it'll unlock the hidden theme. Call it the game I'm playing. It's my way of entertaining myself. I try to discover something within each project, especially personal ones. It's what guides my determination to finish as well as tests my patience. I can tell that I'm getting anxious when I start accusing television for being a tease. Mac's not had any screentime on Veronica Mars for the last four weeks. This's seriously affected my enjoyment of the show, to the point of if and when she does get featured again, she better rock or I'm tuning out. The same sorta crap's been happening on Lost. Ever since that show started, I've been waiting for Kate to fuck someone on the island. And when she does it's several reels too short. On top of that, I've been catching the last few minutes of weird games shows that precede Lost and Heroes. I'ven't the gall to know what they're about or called, but the overlong dramatic announcements of who the best dancer is or how much money's in a suitcase is the closest I've ever been to slicing my wrists. Those shows can be over with in half the time that they spend drawing out their overhyped contests. I think TV emphasizes things all backwards. I'm not even gonna start on the shameless commercials, but my patience's about to end soon if what I want to see ain't being shown in more substantial proportions. And then I tell myself that it's just my bad luck that I've been cursed. It's not TV's fault. Ideally, if I was well, these things wouldn't bother me, regardless of their inherent inanity. When what seemingly matters gets perceived to be put on hold, irrelevance becomes apparent.
The color of falling blossom fills the sky
Which lingers with end of my selfish love
Eventually after everthing has passed away
I will think of nobody but you
I recorded my voice today. But I think I'll do it again in a few days. Cause although the curse upon my voice has been near to complete banishment from my nose and throat, those mechanisms are still recovering. I thought it was slight enough to maybe mask with de-emphasizing nasal frequency equalization, but the repair goes beyond the surface of the sound. During takes, the curse had me focus on it instead of the song--I had to consciously compensate for high notes that I could normally reach, as well as my constricted voice gave off sketchy overtones that made me second guess my pitch. So listening to the playback, which wasn't too bad, all I heard were those thoughts, when they should be about the song. This morning I dismissed the whimsical idea of keeping the recording of my sick voice. Afterall, another theme of the album is to try new things--I've never did an all acoustic collection of cover songs, in Japanese no less, nor've I ever recycled recording settings, let alone used the guitar as my primary percussion instrument. In that sense, keeping the recording fits with the experimental attitude of the album. Ultimately, my standards kept me from being lazy. I can sing it better later.
Once upon a time during spring we kissed for the
First time underneath the evening twilight
Enveloped within an illusion of fragrance
I thought of nobody but you
When it comes to music, I find that the formulas for composing, performing, and listening to music keep evolving to the point whereby I don't adhere to many superstitious rituals or guidelines. Everytime I recognize a pattern, it's the same thing--I'll get my hopes up that I've found the ultimate approach to experiencing music, which after defining its formula, loses its novelty, and I'm back to looking for new ways to get my kicks. For instance, there was a phase when I was convinced that the only way to write lyrics was to do so whilst listening to mindless '50s pop songs. There was something about the simple tunes that filled my head with complexity, or so I deemed back when I was a kid. A lot of my songs are associated with those oldies. Luckily, that ended when I went into my classical piano period. Of course, there are some tried and true formulas that for whatever reasons seem to remain so. The obvious one, for me at least, is that the music's gotta relate to something, be it a girl, a concept, or itself. And yes, most music doesn't exisit without a corresponding idea behind it, but I've gotta believe it for myself, which of course is how most people create and receive their favourite songs, but maybe there's another way. Maybe not--thus, I'ven't substituted that ingredient in the formula.
We found each other in our sadness
And in the pouring rain we held one another
Before I can no longer breathe or see
I will think of nobody but you
Not to mention, a few days rest ain't too shabby. Sometimes I forget, but I should be thankful. First of all, recording my voice is such a luxury, as well as music, for that matter. I can imagine a soul that's so downtrodden that the thought of music is an insulting memory of nonexistent better days. Some people are praying for their next meal on top of getting over a cold. Health and recording their voices are things only the privileged can afford. Add to that my readily available ability to take a break. And I'm talking about a real break--one where I can do absolutely nothing, no one bothers me, and I can do a full reset. I doubt that if I weren't so spoiled I could even pretend to think about the possibility of stopping the world just for myself. In fact, I ought to feel some guilt for being the self indulgent rockstar. My excuse is I haven't excessed on fame and fortune, so I think it balances out.
This fleeting memento of spring
It the most beautiful thing I have
And I want to leave it here just for you
Just for you
That's another of my yet to be disproved formulas for music--taking breaks. It's good to step back and disconnect from whatever I'm working on so that when I return to it, I'll hear things that might've gotten lost in the hours of editing a single loop. However, more often than not, these breaks happen circumstantially--when I'm in it, I don't think about stopping, unless an outside influence intervenes. But it's also the case that I tend to appreciate the breaks for their insight into the music. So in a way, breaks are the unplanned but expected part of my experiences with music. I like to think that there's something beyond my mortal comprehension that's in charge of these moments of silence, and thereby keeps me from defining the formula to a certain degree. It's as if I've been given a clue towards my understanding of the music with the mystery still intact.
A party of fluttering dancing
Blossoms make the moon stop its orbit
Without being afraid of losing their way
They just keep flowing
Actually, I might've not erased my sick voice had I been laying down vocals for a song other than "Haru no Katami" ("Memento of Spring"). I think the song's too cool to be so impatient. The backing track that I assembled doesn't jive with grotesque singing--it's a sparse, but delicate arrangement with a buildup that works better if all the components gear towards lifting the song's lyrics, not drag it down with irony. Perhaps if I were younger, I'dn't be so literal with the song's production. But direct simplicity has been a formula of mine lately, replacing complexity, which itself replaced an earlier incarnation of straightforward aesthetic. Yeah, sometimes I lose track of what formulas are being broken and what breaks I'm on. Nevertheless, I can't hear it any other way. Besides, the wrong voice would be inappropriate in regards to the last line of the song.
As I rest my body against your chest
I relinquish my life
Oh if you can somehow hear my voice
Know that it's a voice that thinks only of you
One day in 2006, as I was leaving for work, my opening of my door displaced the prop it was holding for a thin cardboard square package, causing it to fall at my feet. This caused me to drop my keys and to my knees, for my honourable inclination was to show my appropriate respect immediately following its formal entry into my threshold. I closed my eyes and my cognition of self within the human dimension, waited thru celestial dynasties for that brief glimpse at the holy light at the end of the damned tunnel, and returned to the physical plane that contained my newly arrived package. I carefully put it on my desk, nice and straight for compositional balance--it needed to align with my workspace environment in order to absorb its surroundings. I picked up my keys, looked at the unopened package once again, locked my door, and left for work. I didn't wanna do a rush job unwrapping it. And I didn't mind delaying my excitement. All day at work, which seemed to proceed slower than I hoped to perceive, I thought about the party I was gonna have when I got my hands home, which appeared to correlate in gripping intensity as the anticipation rubbed against the forward motion of time.
The next day, I was simultaneously sore and healed, confused and aware, and dreaming and awake as I read my email. Obligatory fan messages got the automatic responses that I've got memorized due to my repetitive answering of the same questions. However, there was a commission inquiry that I absent thoughtedly replied with a reference to this year being 2007. I sipped my orange juice between cigarettes as I closed my email and visited my daily webpages--online sudoku, the IMDb movie/tv quote of the day, and the comics. I finished a sudoku puzzle in 2 minutes and 59 seconds. That's almost a second too slow, but I didn't expect my mental acuity to be at top speed, afterall I was still locating it from last night. Anyways, as I noticed the date on the funnies, I realized that it wasn't 2007. So I reopened my email browser and sent a correction notice.
Driving home yesterday night was hard on my concentration as it fluxed between me being in my car and me being in my bedroom. I'd take a wiff of the ventilated air and it'd smell like tingling incense. Likewise, the traffic I was following coursed in a rotating blend of the now and the then--the tail lights sped thru the centuries, evolved into alien vehicles, and warped beyond my fathoming. And then I was back behind the wheel swerving around drivers who were keeping to slower horsespeeds. At the stoplight I remembered being there that morning, heading in the opposite direction. When the sun was up, from the vantage of the left turn lane, the power lines looked like the staves of musical notation, and the birds stacked themselves in form of a G7 chord. Turning right on the evening green, I looked up at the same power lines just as the moon resolved on the C. Soon I'd be home.
The package was still on my desk. If this were a movie, after my reaction shot, I'd predictably score a closeup of the Puffy 2007 calendar's unveiling with a choral "AHHHHH". The plastic wrapping reflected the light bulbs in my apartment and transluced the divine corners of impermanent perimeters. I unsheathed it and lost drool control as I stared at months of goddessness. Ami and Yumi activated to life within the psychedelic patterns. They danced their mating routine for me before popping out of the pages and sliding down my corporeal apostasy. Somewhere during the tagteam dizziness and my disappearance into Puffy's organza kimonos, I lost track of who, what, where, and why I was, nevermind the year.
"Haru no Katami"
Cosmo Warrior Zero is an anime that follows the exploits of Warrius Zero, a Terrestrial Federation captain who's been deployed to hunt down the nefarious space pirate Captain Harlock. When I watch this series, I select Japanese as the spoken lanuage with English subtitles in the DVD setup menu.
Here's a list of the obvious differences between the original and my version of "Haru no Katami":
- the conversion of the lyrics from femine to masculine
- the removal of redundantly repeated refrains during the coda
- the switch of instrument (synth flute to electric slide guitar) that plays the main riff
- the absence of New Age style vocal harmonies
- the Chinese gong
One of the B-sides on Hajime Chitose's maxi-single "Kataritsugu Koto" is her rendition of The Beatles' "Happiness is a Warm Gun". Don't get me wrong, I think her voice ought to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but only when she sings in her native Japanese dialect. English ain't her specialty.
If there's such a thing as musical karma, I think it's fitting that I've been commissioned to butcher someone else's song--someone who caught my Halloween music hired me to rearrange his friend's tune as a gag for an upcomming Xmas party.
I think I might've overestimated my abilites as a singer on my cover of "Haru no Katami". I don't know what I was thinking when I chose a Hajime Chitose song--my voice doesn't deserve to even attempt to sing her notes. Thus, I'm recommending that everyone listen to the original rather than my hack version.
Mugen Kidou SSX is an anime that follows the exploits of Captain Harlock, a nefarious space pirate who, along with his cohorts Tochiro and Emeraldas, has been branded wanted criminals and are being hunted down across the galaxy. When I watch this series, the only option I'm given is to select Japanese as the spoken language with no subtitles.
|For this Thanksgiving holiday, the staff here at OUT ON A LIM would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We'll return after the Thanksgiving weekend.
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