|Out On a Lim|
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|Out On a Lim (11.27.06 - 3.26.07) >>|
I forgot to mention that Kaoru Amane is a super hot babe. In the movie Taiyo no Uta, she's played by my current chick of the month, Yui--there's also a television series based on the story, but it's got a different actress who's alright, but no Yui. However, I've got no illusions about my chances with a girl like Yui. She's cute and all to look at, but she's way out of my league. Nevertheless, it's nice to dream.
More realistically, her friend Misaki Matsumae fits my bracket. What she lacks in superficial beauty she makes up for with her goofy charm--she wears glasses and has a sense of humour. In other words she seems more human than the goddess Yui. And me being mortal, I think it's more within my realm to focus my attention on someone like Misaki.
Anyways, there's a scene in the film where Kaoru's playing her guitar (with her customary lit candle nearby) and Misaki's listening to the performance. Obviously I caught Kaoru's magical presence. But my eyes drifted towards Misaki. She was squatting in a position that I've noticed many Japanese girls replicate. I don't think I've seen American girls squat in exactly the same way--Japanese girls seem be more reserved, keeping their limbs close to their body and displaying a better sense of balance.
My theory is Japan is more of a floor culture than America. In Japan, many activities are commonly centered on the floor--eating and sleeping, as well as formal ceremonies. Whereas America is a chair culture and doing anything near the ground is often considered to be uncivilized. Neither is "correct", but I think they produce different postures and body language.
"Hello, may I speak to the lady of the house?"
"Uh, there is no lady of the house."
"Then may I speak to the man of the house?"
"Hello, sir. I'm calling on behalf of concerned parents."
"Do you watch movies?"
"Well, then you must know that Hollywood is against family values. And we as concerned parents are tired of the irresponsible movies that Hollywood is churning out for our children. Do you agree?"
"I don't've any kids."
"Well, sir, do you agree that Hollywood is irresponsible?"
"What do you mean?"
"That they are promoting anti-family values and are a negative influence on our youth. What we want is more wholesome entertainment--movies that promote family values."
"So will you support us by giving us a small donation to contribute to our campaign to fund better movies? Any amount will be a great help. Think of the children."
"I don't've any kids."
"Yes, I understand that, but please support us for the sake of all children, not necessarily your children, but children in general. You can choose the amount you'd like to donate."
"Uh, can I choose zero?"
"I'd like to donate zero dollars."
"Well, sir, if that's how you feel. I can't force you into donating your money."
"I'm sorry for taking up your time."
I finally dropped off my old computer monitoar at the local waste depot. Yeah, it's been a couple of months since I got a new computer as the old one's been rolling around in the trunk of my car. I've been meaning to dispose of it, but my main obstacle was the waste depot closed at 1pm. I'ven't been able to wake up that early. Luckily, I had an 11am meeting at work the other day. That was too early for me to run errands without me being late to the meeting. However, it threw off my sleep schedule enough for me to wake up at 12pm today.
I was planning on doing my taxes on Friday--I was gonna do them online after work since I'm on dialup at home. It should be relatively easy as I'ven't got anything fancier to file than previous years. Likewise, just like in the past, I'm expecting a nice little refund. I'm in no hurry to receive it, thus my procrastination. But I discovered that this Friday is a holiday--Cesar Chavez Day. So I guess I'll be doing my taxes on Thursday.
I got a summons for jury duty. Oddly, it was sent to my parents house--I thought I changed my address the last time I served, cause otherwise they assign me to the court that's near their house, which isn't exactly convenient, especially since it's a pain in the ass to not only wake up early, but to fight traffic to a far away district. I'm not complaining about jury duty, although I do find it not really random that I, as well as my coworkers, get called frequently--our employer pays for whatever amount of days we serve. But the date I was called in for is during the same week that I'm housesitting for my supervisor. I know that's a lame excuse, but I submitted a change of address, transfer, and postponement.
I made the mistake of estimating shipping time to Japan based on Xmas mail service. Cause it usually takes about a week to deliver something over during the holidays. So I sent my album to my cousin a week before her birthday. Well, she received it a couple of days early. Actually, I shouldn't bemoan the fact that she even got it safely at all. Anyways, she emailed me an "arigatou". Coincidentally, she liked several of the tracks cause she was a fan of the original versions--I was totally guessing that she'd recognize most of the songs, I mean, I mainly chose them cause they were interesting to me and hoped that they wouldn't conflict with her tastes. The following day she discovered that she was late.
"Dude," my brother-in-law laughed, "your beard's getting long."
I'd been letting it grow over the last month. And yeah, it was getting long--I'd never let it grow this long before. It was, to quote people who've noticed "shaggy", "furry", and "unruly". They weren't exaggerating, although I'd add "getting in the way of my mouth". My mom thinks I look like a terrorist, which is in line with her fear of the modern world due to the news. I mean, she's afraid to use her credit card cause someone might steal her identity. This if comming from someone who survived WWII Japan. Not that I can even imagine the first hand devastation of losing a war, but I doubt that the problems of today can compare. But that's the power of the media for you. My dad said I look like a Beatle. I don't know if that's a compliment or a jab.
My brother-in-law and I went to see 300. He didn't take my sister to see the sissy movie Music and Lyrics, so she punished him by not accompanying us to the manly 300. I was sorta interested in seeing it, not because of the fighting scenes, but for the visual style. And indeed, something like this is probably best seen on the big screen. I pretty much ignored whatever story there was, but it was neat to see the latest in virtual cinema technology. Cartoon's've come a long way. Actually, this was the first movie I've seen in 2007, which is a huge drop in my past theatre attendance record of almost one movie per week. And for better or worse, I'm still hooked on watching DVDs at home. Along with the convenience and costs, what's mostly drawing me away from going to the movies is I'm more interested in seeing films that're made in Japan than Hollywood, and Netflix has a well stocked foreign section. With all due respect to the programmers who made the painterly backdrops in 300, but none of the scenes impressed me as much as the last shot in Tokyo Gomi Onna, which was done with a simple video camera--it's of the main character riding a boat to the Yume no Shima (Dream Island). It sounds fancy, but really it's just a nickname for the trash heap in the middle of Tokyo Bay. And that's not exactly jaw dropping, but the shot made the ordinary look fantastic. Conversely, after seeing 300, I felt the opposite--the fantastic started to look ordinary.
"I'm gonna shave my beard tomorrow," I reminded my engineer. He's been wanting to take a picture of it. So I went to the studio to pose for his camera. Alex was there and she joined in on the fun--she snapped some pics with her cellphone. "Why are you shaving it?" she asked. I mumbled something about me having nothing better to do.
The main character in 300 had a beard. I couldn't tell if it was animated or not, but it was about as long as mine, albeit better maintained. And yes, I can see how a nicely kept beard can appear distinguished, but I doubt that I'd've gotten half the comments I did had I taken half the time to trim it. Not that I consciously tried to get attention since my laziness rules my grooming habits. But I do find it funny that a real beard, by which I mean one that's been grown as nature intended and is ostensibly more ordinary than using a tool to cut or shape those hairs, can garner such fascination.
I can remember the exact moment that dispatched the blood from my brain to my groins and made me realize that the fulcrum in head was but an iceberg tip of my sickness. 'Twas a scene in Jurassic Park. That movie was a real boner popper for me on several levels. I mean, for better or best, dinosaurs remind me of my childhood, not to mention an imagined version of what's speculated to be reality in terms of the prehistoric past--all this gets my noodles excited. Add to that a score by maestro Williams and I was in heaven. I was in the highest form of bliss that popular mass consumption entertainment can demographically target. So I'm sitting in the theatre, completely sucked into the illusion's vortex--I'm buying the whole adventure, I'm there with the characters on the island, and I'm crying like a kid when the dinosaurs appear. I was completely blind to whatever critically discredited faults and, in hindsight, cheesy special effects were really on screen. Cause when you've tripped into a media created mousetrap, it's kinda difficult to be academic about things--it's life or velociraptor death. Anyways, there's a scene, somewhere before the roller coaster ride ensues, where the paleontologist, paleobotanist, mathematician, lawyer, and the grandkids of the park's owner exit their tour vehicles to stumble upon a triceratops puppet. The paleontologist catches one of the grandkid's "clumsily" clutching hands. The little girl's name was Lex.
So far I've heard two people make the comment that Lost is turning into Gilligan's Island. Granted, on both occasions this opinion was spoken by employees of the media, whose general view of the world is slightly skewed from mine. I mean, I understand if not agree that their references aren't ridiculous, but intellectual pseudo quips aside, I tune into the show for my new favourite character. She's the supposed daughter of the leader of the Others and the jungle lady. My previous eye candy was Kate, but it seems like it's her time of the month this season. After not caring about some boring side character's flashback, I seriously had thoughts of literally escaping the stupid island. But I was convinced not to after falling under my new favourite character's spell--it was her eyes that made me lose my reasons for not catching next week's episode. And then it was her hair, her breasts, her attitude, her legs, and well, you know the rest. Of course, to be safe, before I dedicated a bedroom in my head to her, I researched her online--to see if she was of legal age to mentally break the law with. Cause no lie, I would turn that show off if she was under 18. Fortunately, she's a year older than the cutoff. Anyways, her name is Alex.
I don't consider myself an average porn customer, quantitatively speaking. I mean, I've bought my share of naked magazines and XXX movies, but they number in the dozens, not thousands. Uh, I've played with those dozens a million times, but that's because I'm an obsessive nut. For me, there's only one pornstar that's guaranteed to tickle my pickle. I first came upon her when she was a Pet-of-the-Month. I won't fib and say that it was her eyes that drew me into her underwear, but they did help. Anyways, I lost track of her after her Penthouse days, until I went to the Hustler store in Hollywood to conduct some "research" for a set of bagatelles that I was composing, when I saw her fake boobs on a DVD case. Of course I had to have it, damn the costs. And although there's explicit documentation regarding her age at the time of the flick's production, that's never stopped me from pretending that she's the young survivor of Jurassic Park all grown up. Many a hot night's been shared with her "oh yeah's" accompanied by my whispers of her name--Lexus.
I don't write in my scores. I know that it's common practice for performers to scribble notes in their music, be it highlighting dynamics or little reminders of which repeats are taken. But since I don't read music when I play (I memorize the notes beforehand), writing in my scores is kinda useless.
I met a composer friend at a coffee shop. We discussed what we thought were trends in music today--the consumer/DJ culture, the latest computer programs, and finding settings for art songs. As well, we talked about the act of writing music. He still puts pencil to paper. I haven't done any serious compositions lately, but I agreed that when I did, I opted for the old fashioned method.
My engineer and I are collaborating on some songs. His former boss left us a book of original poems which we're using as lyrics. My engineer's been scrawling chords in the book. Instead of writing out the melodies we've been recording demos. This is slightly different from how I'd compose on my own. I never write down chord progressions, again cause it's easier for me to memorize them. However, I do make note of the lyrics--sometimes I can see a rhyme better than I can hear it. But I do use recording as the fastest way to transcribe melodies.
I've been programming some Bach fugues as a supplement to my piano practice. I'm separating the voices and panning them in discreet positions in the stereo field. This gives me a clearer sense, albeit acoustically impossible, of the counterpoint, which'll hopefully give my fingers something to aspire towards. Most editions of Bach are true to his original scores--they don't've any performance markings.
At the library, I often find scores that've been marked up by students. While this is technically damaging of public property, I sometimes admire the notes, mainly cause I'm curious as to what's so hard about remembering bowings or key changes that they need to be circled with exclamation marks. If the notes aren't too elaborate, I'll erase them and put the score back on the shelves. But if it's beyond being cleaned up, I'll discard the score and order a replacement.
For fun, I imagine that the student who ruined a score will someday grow up to be a famous musician whose technique revolutionizes an instrument and the secret is in the scribbles. In which case I'm either erasing or discarding history. Actually, we recently found a Chopin score that was autographed by Schoenberg. It's been hidden in the stacks for ages. Obviously, we removed it from circulation and put it in a special collection. Some defacement is more treasured than others.
I self-censored a journal topic that I thought wasn't fully developed, not to mention unnecessarily pedantic towards my readers despite its failures as a theory that didn't pass beta, which ultimately contradicted itself, and so I deemed that if I wanted any meaning behind my words, it's best if I didn't write the entry. The first line would've been "Morality is arbitrary." I was gonna do a paranoid connect the dots between those in power and how they define "good" and "bad" as a means of control, citing historical flip-flopping examples such as slavery and pedophilia. I'd then jump thru allusion decked hoops to a conclusion that'll suggest that if you buy into the claim that "morality is arbitrary" you might question what is "good" about life. And maybe life itself is "bad". Or not--I wanted to create an objective tone. The point being that someone's determined that life is "good" and we believe it. And this slight of hand brainwashing is possible because no one knows if death is "good" or "bad". It's an assumption either way. But people wanna know the "answer". So they'll turn to anyone who'll tell them what they wanna hear backed with the authority of self defined truths, divine law, or common sense.
Of course, I caught the egotistical hole in this premise. By questioning morality I was going on some power trip. I mean, I'm not looking for any trouble, I just wanna write funny little blog entries, and I felt this one was getting too political, religious, and social commentary for its own good. And the accusation that those in power control the people thru morality paints a target on my head for using circular logic--I felt empowered by the thought. I hadn't figured out how, but I needed to include the clause that living in a world that at its fundamental core is all assumptions makes life seem kinda pointless, yet one needs to persevere. The reason escapes me. I brainstormed ideas ranging from being independent of reward systems to apathetically trusting that if there is a point, it's beyond human understanding. All this led me back to the resignation that perhaps morality is arbitrary, but it's what we use to get thru the day. Thus, there's no point to the journal entry. I'm glad I didn't write it.
I've got a futon sofa that needs to be flipped every now and then. Cause after a while, sitting and sleeping in it wears out the puffiness of the mattress. I know it's time to turn it over when I feel the steel bars of the sofa frame. And I guess the puffy material inside the mattress shifts to the other side of the mattress as it feels like new when I flip it. I liken it to cleaning a pipe.
I think it was brilliant marketing on whoever's part that designed the Puffy formula--two crazy girls fronting a rock band. Cause I can't get tired of their act, whether I'm in the mood for Ami, Yumi, or both, they satisfy the occasion by rotating or combining my fantasies. That being said, I think Ami's got the greatest voice in all of rock'n'roll.
Don't get me wrong, I love Yumi's voice. In fact, she's my pick for the second best singer in the brief history of rock'n'roll. But to me Yumi's got a warmer voice--it wraps the oscilloscopes with a nice round wave. I think it's sexy as hell and I appropriate it with my filthier dreams. Contrastingly, Ami's voice is like a fine whine. It cuts thru worries with hilariousness.
I was flipping thru a book at work that was about intonation theory. It described something called a "resultant tone"--the sound that's produced when more than one not is simultaneously struck. Some musicians refer to them as "ghost tones". And they appear clearer when the harmony gets closer to being in tune.
I won't deny that Puffy's got a killer "ghost tone" when Ami and Yumi sing together. However, maybe it's cause my ears've been overzealously training with Bach, but I can't seem to NOT hear their individual voices. Even as they're mixed together in the center channel, I've been conditioned to cleanly separate Ami's spike from Yumi's circular tone.
All of rock'n'roll is a wide sample set. For calibration, my other favourite voices are The Beatles, Dylan, Elizabeth Fraser, and Hajime Chitose. That should give you some reference whether or not to agree with my opinion that Ami is miles ahead of them all as far as my ears are concerned.
If I had to pick my favourite Ami vocal performance, I'd choose the live version of "Darega Soreo" ("Who Would Do That") from the Fever Fever concert video. She kicks off the song solo--Yumi and the band join her as the music builds to a final chorus. And she's falling over the microphone in tears. It might've been staged, but it still kills me every time.
I've got a pipe (for tobacco use only) that needs to be cleaned every now and then. Cause after a while, packing and smoking from it wears out the puffiness of the smoke. I know it's time to clean it out when I start to taste the residue. And I guess the puffy smoke inside the pipe needs to be less restricted as it feels like new when I clean it. I liken it flipping a futon over.
I cancelled most of my pop music standing orders and replaced them with subscriptions to JPOP acts. Gone are Emmylou Harris, The Innocence Mission, The Cardigans, Avril Lavigne and all other singers who sing in English, except for Dylan, of course, who still can blow my mind in that language. Maybe I'm bored, but I'd rather spend my time listening to Japanese songs, if anything to learn some new words.
Of all the foreign film classes that I took in college, I remember the French survey course the most. The professor was French and he was a maniac about his country's films, so much so that I think his enthusiasm was contagious. For the Truffaut section of the syllabus we watched Jules et Jim and only read about the Antoine Doinel series. I always meant to watch Les Quatre Cents Coups because of the Dramarama song, but I never found it at the video store. I'm sure it's available on Netflix and it's likely that I'd put it on my queue if I wasn't on my Japanese film kick. As well, a friend let me borrow the Criterion Collection edition of all five films.
I haven't cancelled my film score standing orders, even though that genre's kinda in slump right now--Williams and Goldenthal seem to be on a smoke break. Anyways, the new Elfman album for Meet the Robinsons arrived in my mailbox. I guess he's in his kid flick phase (his last score was for Charlotte's Web), but I'm not entirely grasping his family friendly style. Don't get me wrong, the creepy fun sneaks in here and there, but it' a tease, not to mention I'd rather listen to Elfman doing kiddy films than anyone else. I mean, he once sang about little girls.
I can't remember which class showed the Seven Up series, but I think that's an obvious companion to the Antoine Doinel films--they both follow the same reprised cast thru various stages of life, the former is a documentary, the latter is fictional. Anyways, me being compulsively determined to complete a chronology, I went on an Antoine Doinel film fest. I gotta admit that listening to French was a nice break from Japanese. But just as I got comfortable in the European setting, the main character has an affair with a Japanese lady in Domicile Conjugal.
I'm fully aware that Elfman isn't a respected composer amongst the musical elite. And I can't say either way if I can agree--like most film composers, he's an institution, with a staff of orchestrators helping him behind the scenes. Nevertheless, whoever is on the "Elfman" team is keeping their sound consistent, which for better or worse, is a voice in Hollywood. Sure, I ought to be listening to more serious music, but Hollywood's got the bucks, and they can afford to record an orchestra at the top of the line studios with the latest equipment. If anything, I might not dig the music or watch the movies, but I do get to study the symphonic sound in greater detail.
Yeah, I know smoking is bad for my health, blah, blah, blah. My dad and other doctors've warned me of my certain cigarette cause of death, which I completely acknowledge--when family and friends give me the inside scoop, it's hard to draw any conspiracy theories. But seriously, the anti-smoking commercials on television aren't working for me.
Not to sound blameful, but The Beatles were an influence on forming the habit on me. I take full responsibility for my under-aged decision to take my first puff, but had The Beatles sucked, I might not've paid attention to their recreational refreshments. I mean, if they smoked and made such cool music, then cigarettes can't be all that bad. In addition, I've got my suspicions that Paul started to sound lame after he stopped smoking.
Sure, George died of lung cancer--if anything that ought to've been my wake up call. However, the way I see it, I think I'd be lucky to die at 58. The medical profession is so bent on keeping us alive longer that I've stopped to wonder about the benefits of extending my own lifespan. Cause there comes a point when my time on earth gets mixed up with greed. I think I've overstayed this place way longer than I deserve.
Let me rephrase that last statement--I've been hogging up all the stress dodging luck that seems to be in limited supply on this planet and if I weren't a selfish bastard I'd relinquish my share, the sooner the better. Of course, I'm too dishonourable to commit seppuku. Hopefully, they won't cure cigarette related diseases anytime soon.
Nevertheless, a surefire way to get me to quit would be to run pro-smoking commercials on television. Or better yet, it should be legal for cigarette companies to unashamedly run ads again. Trick me into buying into the better lifestyle that I could obtain if I smoked. Make me feel like a wanted man by all the beautiful women who don't care about anything else in this world but smokers. Never mention death--display flimsy statistics such as "4 out of 5 smokers feel more alive after a cigarette". Play a cover version of a Beatles song sung by a sexy chick and cleverly twist the lyrics to "eight packs a day". Lure me into the consumer marketplace where everyone makes money so they can buy things that'll help them to feel more secure. Cause if I saw such a commercial, I'd stop being a mindless citizen and distrust the legitimacy of smoking cigarettes as an act of self-inflicted rebellion.
The next 25 DVDs on my Netflix queue:
1. Futai no Kisetsu
2. Ma Femme est une Actrice
4. La Nuit Americaine
6. Grosse Fatigue
7. Nazo no Tenkousei
8. L'Argent de Poche
9. Maboroshi no Hikari
10. Ils se marierent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants
11. Wandafuru raifu
12. L'homme qui aimait les Femmes
16. Tirez sur le pianiste
18. La Buche
19. Dai-bosatsu toge
20. L'Histoire d'Adele H.
21. Samurai Fiction
23. Batoru rowaiaru
24. Une Femme est une Femme
25. Tengoku to Jigoku
I'm still waiting for the day when I'll wake up in the middle of the night and come to the sad realization that I'm a lonely idiot. Well, not specifically--I rarely am disturbed once my eyes are closed and if by some freak chance I get the absurd itch to wake from a sweet dream, it'll most likely occur sometime in the middle of the morning since I customarily go to bed as the sun comes up, and it'd be foolish of me to feel alone with the dawn shining in my face. If it were dark, yeah, maybe I might get spooked by the absence of light. But as it is, I've yet to feel the condition that people refer to as "loneliness". I'm sure it's real cause everyone seems to be afraid of it. Minds far wiser than mine have communicated its existence. So if I've missed feeling this emotion, I must be an idiot.
She told me to wait for her at the rocket ship as she had to go to the little girls' room. I got off the kiddy swing and picked up her tiny shoe which'd slipped off her running foot and carried it with me across the cement enclosed sandbox to the rocket ship. I smilingly thought "This is my lucky day". What're the chances of someone like me meeting a fun girl, and I mean she was amusing at first sight, with her seven year old dirty cheeks, and spending the afternoon playing with her in the park.
I'd definitely be more proactive about getting married if this so-called loneliness became unbearable. The cold apartment and long nights alone with no one to laugh and cry with ought to inspire me to find a companion to lovingly comfort each other thru the ups and downs of life. I mean, I'm guessing that that's what married people've come to realize sometime prior to their weddings, consciously or not, cause if police reports are true, some of them would rather spend their lives suffering as long as they're not alone. When people go contrary to their better instincts, it makes me admire the persuasive pervasiveness of loneliness. And wonder how I'll come to terms with it if and when I wake up.
The closest I've ever got to feeling lonely was when I was seven years old. My mom dropped me off at the park one afternoon--I suppose she had to go shopping and needed to dump me somewhere. Anyways, I entertained myself in the sandbox. If need be, I could've played there forever. But then this seven year old girl with dirty cheeks approached me and took me away from my fun. Not that I didn't enjoy her company--actually, it was, to the best of my memory, the only time I ever uncontrollable let someone lead me into their imagination. And I forgot what it was like to be alone, until I was painfully reminded of my previous condition as I waited by the rocket ship in vain for her return from the little girls' room.
Maybe I'm simply anti-social. But I'm not bitter about being alone--loneliness, or denial thereof, isn't a source of aggravation in terms of traditional anti-social behaviour, such as being in a pissy mood or dragging everyone else down in my misery. Sure, I might be going insane, but I'm more inclined to transfer my anxieties anywhere else other than letting it bug me or anyone else within my vicinity--I'll play the piano or guitar until I feel better. It's probably gotten to the point where I don't even recognize common human emotions anymore. I mean, there's gotta be a biological reason why people feel lonely, if anything as a motivator to continue the species. But it's yet to convincingly keep me up at night, metaphorically speaking.
When my mom picked me up at the park, I snuggled my tears in her bosom. Bless her, cause she didn't laugh at me. Instead she comforted me like I've never been so relieved that I wasn't alone in this world. However, she did make fun of me the next day, calling me a silly baby, and that I shouldn't've cried over a stupid girl. It may seem childish, but I recall my embarrassment over my overreaction more so as I've gotten older. Cause I was a spoiled kid--you can't get more privileged without looking like a parody of good fortune than growing up in the suburbs of America. My feeling sad and lonely was an insult to those less charmed. I think the people worthy of loneliness hungrily live with poor health, housing, and hope. So call me insensitive, but when loneliness is a luxury, the humour in such indulgence overwhelms me.
The second to last time that I paid a visit to my drug dealer, he offered to show me the DVD chapter of an unauthorized Dylan biography in which a friend of a friend of the songwriter recounts the first time The Beatles smoked pot. I couldn't refuse, being a fan familiar with the legendary transaction as anthologized by Ringo--he claims that Dylan gave them their first joint. As I watched the videotaped interview, it became clear that the friend of Dylan's friend who partook in this historic party might've lost his mind somewhere since. His enunciation was slurred and his train of concentration seemed to've flown away, although when I could catch some of his words, they were detailed enough to be either a riff of the intoxication or a whiff of truth--he remembers Ringo not only taking the first hit, but ignorantly ignoring the tradition of passing it down, so he rolled individual joints for John, Paul, and George. And his facts about their pre-marijuana addiction to pills and the transformation of their music after smoking out with Dylan don't sound off base. Nevertheless, I took it all with a grain of grass.
I might be highly misinterpreting Puffy's music video for "Puffy de Rumba" ("Puffy Rhumba"), but from my gaijin point of view it suggests that Ami and Yumi are responsible for feeding Hendrix mushrooms. It's set in a sound stage garden where Puffy is singing their song backed by a camouflaged piano quintet. The song is peaceful. An actor portraying someone who looks like Hendrix (wearing bellbottoms, strapping an electric guitar) roams around in the background. He seems lost, as if he stumbled upon this garden by accident--his facial expressions read confused. He finds a stream, splashes water on his face, and trips into the little river. Ami and Yumi find him passed out on the bank. They put a mushroom on his mouth. Some cheap special effects edit the video so that it looks like the Hendrix character melds with the psychedelic, sees swirling patterns, and finds his trademark tongue licking style of playing his instrument. Of course, I take this scenario in keeping with Puffy's silly fun attitude. But I'm wondering what whoever came up with the video's concept was smoking.
Fearing accusations of product placement, I won't mention the name of the newspaper that my parents subscribe to, but I used to be a rabbit reader chewing on the carrot headlines every morning during cereal breakfast--this was back before I converted to cigarettes and orange juice. I'd be half asleep after a 6am shower, slipper foot across the driveway of their three car garage, and pick up the strung bundle of ink smudged paper. When it rained, the news suffocated in a clear plastic bag. During high school, I did this ritual with headphones tuned into the local classic rock station. My dad would watch the business news on public television whilst reading the corresponding section in the paper. Every morning, on the dot, my mom took a dump as she read the recipe of the day. Cause I retrieved the newspaper, I got first look at the stories, which I'd investigate depending on my interest in the accompanying photo. My habit, though, was to have dibs on the comics. I never asked my siblings for this privilege, but I assumed they didn't care cause I never caught them reading anything at the table.
In college, I had the opportunity to read the news at the dormitory cafeteria, but it was shared amongst the other students, and I couldn't depend on snagging it with regularity. Instead, as I worked at the library, I'd go over to the newspaper scrolls on my break. In addition to the comics, I sophisticated myself by reading the entertainment section, from front to back. I wanted to be up to date with the latest trends in film, music, and art, or what was deemed so by the major metropolitan area that the newspaper was targeting. Needless to say, I got addicted to release dates--I had to watch the newest movie on opening day and get the critically acclaimed CD immediately after it was reviewed. In graduate school, my department was located next to the main library, so I continued to freely read the newspaper. I now have a job at the college's music library and've gotten too lazy to walk the three minutes to the closet branch that carries the news--we used to've a donated subscription to a Christian daily, but it didn't report on what I thought mattered. I still read the comics online, however, the news seems so corrupt these days that I've given up deciphering the subtext. As well, I'm bored with chasing popular entertainment.
As recently as last year, I had to obsessively be in the movie theatre on the same day that's printed on the posters. I'd coordinate my calendar with Fridays for movies and Tuesdays for music. But as I've transferred my accounts to foreign entertainment, being on top of the American scene ain't a priority anymore. At first it felt unnatural to feel left behind, but after missing several weeks, it got easier to relinquish my routine. I mean, I felt guilty for abandoning the local media cause it is for better or worse an institution that my segment of the population adheres to for common knowledge--ignoring the news is like turning my back on the nervous system of my part of society. However, I figure if a story is important enough, I'll get the gist of it. I used to believe so when I tracked the comics and entertainment--come on, those sections aren't serious news. Yet, world events worth mentioning filtered thru. All I'm doing now is removing myself from this layer and reading the relevant news as part of translated dialogue and lyrics.
My between the lines impression is that the American empire is crumbling if not already cashed in and most Americans are going thru denial over their downfall via self preserving egotism including distracting themselves from reality with mindless entertainment. I won't deny that.
I had a dream that my neighbourhood went to hell. It was like a bad disaster movie--the night sky was red on the horizon, smoke rose from flaming roofs, sirens crossed underneath floodlights, and explosions shook my apartment. There might as well've been a giant rubber suited monster stomping in the distance, but alas, my dream wasn't so cool.
Not that it wasn't enjoyable. I felt liberated as I saw destruction in every direction. I was glad that my sculptures were melting and my possessions were turning to ash. A fireman broke thru my wall and yelled at me to grab what I could and escape as soon as possible. I didn't give a second thought towards collecting my personal valuables. Here was my chance to start over without the clutter that my life had accumulated.
However, as I pictured myself wandering the wasteland, I decided at the last moment to forge a new identity as a troubadour. So I packed my acoustic guitar in its case and took it with me as the past burned down. Sometimes I feel that I never gave my guitar the fullest attention that I could've--my other hobbies rotated my development of any single skill. I wonder if I'd've excelled at something had I concentrated on only one of my pastimes instead of spreading my mediocrity thinly across music, photography, writing, etc.
Of course, in my mind I see metaphorical connections between everything I do--it's all related and they feed each other. And I don't regret following the renaissance spirit, especially when the extravagance of multiple forms of expression are at my disposal. But given my dream's circumstance, forcing myself to pick one art form was easy. Ideally, I'd've chosen to be a pianist. It certainly would've been advantageous as it's what I refer to as my first language in terms of music--I think I've got the biggest head start in that department. But a piano, or even an electric keyboard, just ain't convenient in times of Armageddon. Likewise for digital photography and word processing--if I had to begin again, I'd disassociate myself from computers.
My new motto would be "keep it simple". Not that being a traveling troubadour would be a walk in the park. I think my guitar playing and singing are the skills that need the most improvement. And I never forced myself to practice like my life depended on it. Not that it would when the world ends, but I'd take on the challenge. I mean, it'll be all that I can do in this supposed future. I'm pretty useless in rescuing people from the ruins or anything practical for that matter. But when it comes down to it, at the core of my being, I believe in being the fool. Listening to a silly song in times of tragedy is probably the last thing people wanna hear, and I won't force myself on stage at refugee camps. Nevertheless, I'd like to preserve the option should they change their minds. I won't save the world, but I'll hopefully not make the situation any more serious than they perceive.
I woke up before I could realize my dream.
Having slept thru driver's education and traffic school, I can't recite the rules of the road by line and verse. I failed my driver's test twice cause I didn't give pedestrians the right of way. Yet I've never gotten into an accident--I've harmlessly bumped into vehicles, but nothing worth reporting. Sure, I've been caught breaking the speed limit or disobeying traffic signals. However, there is one tip that I caught in class that seems to've stuck--always look for an escape route.
It's been awhile since I tuned into late night television. My schedule's been relaxed as of late, so I thought I'd get even more lazy by watching a rebroadcasted talk show. Well, it turns out that my local station doesn't run those anymore and've replaced them with some poker program.
I've avoided many collisions by following escape routes, all of which were spotted miles ahead. Cause besides the road, my eyes are constantly on the emergency exits, be it other lanes, empty medians, or unpaved boundaries. This has become an unconscious habit.
I'm not against poker, it's just that I have no clue how to play. It might as well be brain surgery for all I care. Of course my first instinct was to change the channel. Sadly, the poker show was more interesting than the paid advertisements. So for fun, I decided to sit thru hell.
My attention tried to decipher the game. But having nothing at stake, I drifted away from the table and admired the background. Soon I escaped thru the imaginary door.
"I'm house-sitting for Callie this week," I changed the subject with Penny.
"Oh yeah?" she didn't mind.
"I'm taking care of her cats--she's got three."
"Wow. Do you like pets? Did we talk about this before?"
"Um, maybe. But I can take or leave animals."
"Are they boy or girl cats?"
"I have no idea--I don't check. They're names are Booboo, Cornwall, and Thor. I guess Thor's a dude."
'Yeah, that's the leader cat. Booboo's always the first one in bed with me. Cornwall's mellow and climbs on the sheets later. Thor's new--he hides a lot and I never saw him at the beginning of the week. But slowly, he's been popping out. Eventually, all three were pushing me around at night. I've been waking up perpendicular to how I initially position myself when I go to bed."
"Cats are hairy. Is there cat hair all over her bed?"
'Yeah, I sleep in cat hair. It gets all over my clothes ."
"I don't see any on you now."
'It probably all brushed off during the day."
"I bet her carpet's covered with cat hair."
"She's got wood floors. And yeah, there're clumps of hair all over the place. Anyways, last night it sounded like they were playing ping pong."
"I heard them bouncing something plastic back and forth. I think they were restless--they'ren't allowed outside. Usually I can hear them racing around the house. And they rummage thru the kitchen cabinets, throw utensils around, knock over pans, etc. But I'd rather let them do what they want than to play with them."
"Sounds like fun."
'They must be having fun, cause whenever I go outside for a smoke, I keep noticing another cat that's spying on their activities. The moment I light up, I'll either hear the neighbouring bushes weave or feet pawing on pavement from across the street. This other cat would run by with its light reflecting eyes on me as if asking 'Hey man, what's going on in there--those cats are partying like their owners are away on vacation.' And I'd exhale a cloud that'd text message in cat language 'Yeah, I'm the house-sitter.' The cat would meow back 'I see, uh, can I go in and play with them?' I'd puff 'Sorry, private party.' Progressively with each cigarette the denied cat would increase its begging. But I've yet to cave."
I know of three locations where fake trees are posted--one's off my exit on the 405, one's near the Venice exit, and one's next to the 60 around the corner of Hacienda Heights. I think they're transmitter towers of some sorts--someone once told me that they're cellular phone antennas. I'm sure there're at more locations, but I guess they blend well with my view.
One of Alex's favourite Beatles songs is "Norwegian Wood". I don't hate the tune--there really isn't any Beatles song that sucks. But ever since I heard Dylan's "4th Time Around", I can't separate the two songs, and am hesitant to declare which is better, which has unfortunately put them both in limbo.
The fake trees that I've spotted are obviously phony cause they're too straight not to mention've little boxes between the branches. They're also rather tall--especially since I can see them from the elevated freeways.
No doubt "4th Time Around" is a response to "Norwegian Wood". But Lennon admits to've been influenced by Dylan at the time. However, I think as far as lyrics are concerned, The Beatles can't compete with Dylan. Likewise, Dylan falls short of The Beatles' musical craftsmanship. Not that Beatles lyrics aren't poetic--sometimes Dylan gets too wordy for his own good. As well, sometimes the straightforward melodies of Dylan cut thru more efficiently than the Beatles' roundabout lines.
I guess the transmitter towers were dressed up to look like fake trees cause it's less distracting than naked poles of electronics. I suppose people don't mind urbanization if it's disguised as nature. It doesn't bother me--in fact I think it's a hoot. However, once the ruse is discovered, it's hard for me to look at a fake tree any other way.
Ideally, the music of "Norwegian Wood" and the lyrics of "4th Time Around" should be switched. As it is, I yearn for the detail of Dylan's tale in The Beatles' implications, and melodically vice versa. Cause essentially they're the same song, just from equally interesting perspectives.
I miss Veronica.
Banzai to YouTube and it's broadcasting services. Thank you to whoever posted those hot clips from Puffy's last tour. However, if I were a gullible nimcomskull, I wouldn't be suspicious of the poster working on the inside luring me to buy their merchandise. I'd complain about the shitty audio visual quality which'd distract me from concentrating on the misrepresented content--for example, I'd notice that the great Ami is wearing a wristband and wonder what the hell is inscribed on it.
I selected some organic bananas for chopping into circles intended for flotation in milk with honey nut flavoured Cheerios. Even though they're more expensive than non-organic bananas, my cousin scolded me with some propaganda about chemicals and workers wages to trip my guilt into never paying for immoral produce. Not that I can tell the difference flavourwise--it's highly likely that I've smoked the sensation to recognize subtle traces of inhumanity from my taste buds.
My drug dealer recently acquired the second season of Twin Peaks on DVD and is holding weekly viewing parties beginning with an imported bootleg of the pilot paired with the first two episodes of the first season. Some sorta transposed drinking game is invoked whenever certain characters and mannerisms appear on screen. I polished the show on VHS so wasn't really focused on the plot. Instead I laughed at the obsolete FBI technology that was dragging the tracking down of clues to solving the central murder mystery. I mean, the show would be cut in half had the agents been wireless.
Because Tour! Puffy! Tour! 10 Final is encoded to play on Region-2 equipment the only system that I can watch the DVD is on my computer. When I was a kid, my parents warned me to never sit too close to television sets unless I wanted to destroy my eyes. I think it's hilarious that I've grown up with monitors in my face on a daily stasis. Anyways, despite the ridiculous exchange rate, it was totally worth it to in effect attend the legendary rainy concert in full resolution. I was able to read "Pizza of Death" on the great Ami's wristband.
At the self-check-out scanner I accidentally touch screened "non-organic bananas". My good citizen conscience told me to alert the attendant of my honest mistake. And then the private investigator in me came alive. I calmly pressed "pay now" so as to not attract any suspicious attention and rolled the "organic" sticker away from tattling view. I'm not saying that the propaganda is false, but as a concerned consumer, I blame the system for not catching my petty crime. Please install smarter machines.
Veronica would've closed the Laura Palmer case before the first commercial break.
My name is also Henry. Isn't that funny?
I'm not a fast reader. I like to go at roughly the same speed as my normal conversational pace, which I think isn't quick--it's relaxed, yet not somnolent. Of course, depending on my involvement with the words, I'll accelerando accordingly, but that's rare. Oftentimes I'll reread the same sentence several times for clarification and awe. Anyways, the point being I need to resort to using bookmarks to save my place as it takes me more than one sitting to get thru all the pages. Currently, I've got three bookmarks deployed.
The first one is from Amazon.com and's got Emerson's quote "'Tis the good reader that makes the good book." Yeah, it's insulting, but it came with my very first online order and I've since used it as my primary bookmark. It's placed between pages 10 and 11 of The Complete Peanuts 1963-1964. The chronological adventures of Charlie Brown et al continue.
I just finished watching La Nuit Americaine. Especially after viewing the Antoine Doinel series, this movie was amusing for its self references--the same actor plays the same romantic fool. As well, Truffaut casts himself as a director, who is essentially no character stretch. All these narcissistic layers might seem pretentious if the movie wasn't French.
My second bookmark came with the soundtrack to Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and depicts the three orphans as illustrated in the adapted book. It's slipped between pages 108 and 109 of book one of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. I've impulsively decided to reread the comic strip again. This is my third time around.
Ten years ago the London Sinfonietta rerecorded some Delerue cues from Truffaut films. I remember hearing it at the record store and liked it enough to purchase even though I'd never seen nearly any of the movies--there was a European classicism in the music, simple and light, that contrasted with obnoxious contemporary film scores. My favourite track was the "Chorale" from La Nuit Americaine. It was cool to finally listen to it in its original context.
Bookmark number three is from the UCLA Library Preservation Office and's got the tagline "The UCLA Library appreciates your efforts to handle library materials carefully." It's pressed between pages 34 and 35 of Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife. I happened to learn of this book from a story on the IMDb--they're making a movie out of it. But what really got my attention were three things--one of the main characters is a librarian, he travels thru time, and's named Henry. It's as close to art imitating life as I could ever idealize.
At 04:33 my screensaver kicked in--a spinning 3D skull and crossbones. I'd drifted back from an expansion of my mind to disengage the annoying computer's time triggered safety feature. And then I thought about the great Ami and how having my screensaver interrupt her DVD would break my concentration. So I reset its start time from after 13 to after 300 minutes.
I'ven't been shutting down my computer. I've been letting it rest on sleep mode and only waking it up when I'm in the same condition. Occasionally a progam'll freeze and I'll restart my machine, but I don't habitually turn it off when I'm not using it. The power saver supposedly doesn't waste energy so I'm not eagerly seeking absolution. However, now that I've increased my screensaver's elapse, I'm expecting my desktop to be burned onto my monitor.
Compared to other desktops that I've seen, I think mine's relatively organized. I've got two rows of shortcut icons for commonly used programs. I don't clutter it with folders--I keep those filed alphabetically in a master directory. But that's just me--I'ven't lost anything yet so I don't see the need to reorganize. My trash is always empty. The only actively updated file is my notepad. And my wallpaper is an advertisement for lipstick as endorsed by the great Ami.
I don't mind if her afterimage sticks around.
I put down my guitar during a break in the jam session and pulled out my cell phone to check the time. Alex gasped "You have a cell phone?" Shamefully, I shoved it back into my pocket. "I guess I haven't gotten to that part in your blog yet," she observed. Yeah, based on my anti-cell phone entry (OUT ON A LIM 2.28.03), I'm not surprised that she might be surprised about my about face, not to mention the day of infamy occurred only a year ago (OUT ON A LIM 4.10.06). Nevertheless, I envied her time traveling experience--it's like she's viewing me as I must've seemed in the past.
"Who's your favourite Beatle?" is a common question. Maybe there's some personality projection of sorts that's gleaned from one's answer. Or maybe it's just fun to pick favourites. Anyways, I've heard it amongst friends, family, strangers, and in movie dialogues. Thus, I'm not counting the question's appearance in The Time Traveler's Wife as a crazy coincidence. In fact, the author spews a ton of pop culture references. The novel was bound to mention The Beatles. Regardless, I welcomed their inclusion in the story--especially since the Henry in the book also sides with Lennon.
Likewise, I've been reading Alex's blog which she began four years ago. There's an entry about The Beatles' "Every Little Thing" which I found uncanny cause it's one of their lesser known tunes and also happened to be on my current repertoire. But I wasn't sure if she still remembered the song--after all, if I've got a cell phone, chances are she's also a different person today. I played the intro on my guitar. "When I'm walking beside her..." she sang.
"Have you ever read The Time Traveler's Wife?" I asked her--I recall her saying that she's read a lot of books. "No," she replied. "Well," I explained, "I wanna check it out cause it's about a character named Henry." "Cool," she thought and remarked "There aren't too many literary characters named Alex." "None that I can think of," I agreed even though I wouldn't dare call myself "well read". Ever since that conversation I've been hopelessly trying to conjure names from previously read books for a memorable Alex.
"Who was your date?" is another common question. The title character of The Time Traveler's Wife is named Clare. She meets Henry at various ages. Anyways, when Clare was 16, she tells Henry about seeing Friday the 13th, Part VII on a date with some other guy. She doesn't recommend the movie. Henry responds with "I've seen it." Clare is surprised as she thought that he didn't like such films. Well, it turns out that his reason for watching it was the same as hers. "A woman named Alex," was his response to her question.
My confidence was boosted a notch in naming Mami Nakamura as a potential object of obsession. I was hesitate to declare my dedication after being blown away by her lead role in Tokyo Gomi Onna cause there's always a chance that that performance was a case of introductory perspective--most actresses that I'm attracted to attend to my attention automatically upon first interaction, but soon fade after reviewings. Not to mention that Tokyo Gomi Onna is hot this week on both my "All Time Favourite Movies" and "DVDs That Get Watched Most" charts. So there's also the possibility that the director, Ryuichi Hiroki, is to blame for Mami's talents. As Veronica would, I was compelled to investigate.
I was at the reference desk--a small desk outfitted with an extra chair designed for inquiring patrons located in the main reading room. Penny, my assistant was testing her new tape dispenser as she marked scores in the back office and collected fake grass for her collection. I'd told her of my whereabouts in the event of an emergency.
To test my theories, I rented another film starring Mami and another film directed by Hiroki. In the J-horror flick Tomie, Mami's character is younger than her character in Tokyo Gomi Onna, so I had to adjust my expectations--the age of an actress is superficially influential to my evaluation. Despite the macabre motifs, Mami ignited all her scenes with her vulnerable frame, expressive forehead, and melodic mannerisms to exceed my psychological thrills. Meanwhile, the S&M satire Futai no Kisetsu had some rolling laughter moments, but the cast couldn't capture my caprice. As well, the road romance Vibrator included some brain bending scenes that proved Hiroki's directing skills, however the lead actress lacked Mami's presence.
I bought Charlotte Gainsbourg's new album 5:55. After falling in love with her in La Science des Reves, I conducted the same test that I'm conducting on Mami to determine her worshipness. Needless to say, the scene in the comedy Ma Femme est une Actrice in which she's soundtracked with McCartney's "Singalong Junk" sealed my fate. And even though her spoken French is sexier than her English, I don't mind either language when she sings--it's also taking me some reacquainting to listen to anything other than Japanese.
Veronica returns next week.
In every music video that I've seen of Yui's, she always either playing a guitar or carrying its case wherever she's posing--on a train platform, the beach, in someone's room, etc. I'm not suspecting that she doesn't know how to play the guitar since she's not obviously faking it, even though any good actress ought to be able to pull off the illusion. But the constant reminder that her image is putting forth of a girl who plays the guitar is starting to seem manufactured, if not drawing attention to her actual musical abilities on that instrument. Cause none of her songs feature just her soloing on guitar. Maybe it's just me, but if didn't've the chops to record myself alone with a guitar, I'd be ashamed to hold the instrument in my music videos. Plus, she's pretty enough to drop the act and just prance like the princess she is.
The last time I indented a paragraph was for a school report. Everything I write these days conforms to the internet style of indicating new paragraphs with a blank line. I guess it's easier on the eyes to see text on a computer screen as separated blocks than a dented mass of sentences. I've almost no need for the old tab key. Anyways, I blame the space between paragraphs for influencing my jumping to unrelated subjects. I think indenting is more conducive to maintaining a connected sequence of coherence, whilst a gap to the next paragraph is just begging for my thoughts to jump around.
As well, I'm not entirely sold on the miraculous notion that someone as perfectly proportioned as Yui not only plays the guitar, but writes her own songs. Yes, she's credited as a composer, but there're such things as confidentiality agreements to keep ghost writers quiet. Or there're liberal definitions of what constitutes as songwriting--sometimes all one has to do is contribute a rhyme and receive co-authorship. None of her albums feature just her without the fancy production propping up her supposed compositions. If I couldn't write a song that could stand naked on its own, I'd be embarrassed to pretend to write lyrics in my music videos. Again, she should just skip the pretentious artist facade and run with her angelic appeal.
I'm aware of the A-B-A-B or permutations thereof of my paragraphs. And yeah, I'm getting tired of it, too. It was fun when I stumbled on the form due to the lack of indentions, but it's getting to be an annoying routine. It's time to switch this style before the challenge of writing becomes stale. If I can't keep an entry focused, whether it's lack of imagination on my part or laziness, then I shouldn't overcompensate with alternating subjects, however symmetrically related they're positioned. Although, I gotta admit, I was getting pretty comfortable with the form--it's relatively close to how my mind is organized. And that's all the more reason to change.
Is it just me or does Rolling Stone magazine seem to be celebrating an anniversary every year?
Not that I read it, but it comes thru on subscription at the library. Nor do I see every cover, but the ones that I do are always for some commemoration.
1000th issue, 50 years of rock'n'roll, and annuals. Maybe the last 20 years have been a blur, but I can distinctly remember reading the 20th anniversary issue in 1987. Back when I cared about the first 20 years of Rolling Stone.
Granted, anything that lasts 40 years is worth recognizing, if not for sheer perseverance. Hell, I'm amazed that OUT ON A LIM has lasted four years. I don't want to imagine how nuts I'd be if I kept writing for another 36. However, I'd like to believe that I'd be a little more modest.
Cause to me, the more one draws attention to oneself, the more one cries out for recognition, as if simply surviving 40 years isn't a feat. Institutions that brag about their legacies seem to be clinging onto the past like their relevance is at stake. The louder the self congratulatory campaign, the less sincere it sounds. Cause it takes bucks to fund these big issues, and one doesn't get that kinda clout without selling out. Just because one can pull out all the stops doesn't necessarily mean that one should.
Anyways, to be fair, I was curious enough to flip thru the 40th anniversary issue. It's a collection of recent interviews with personalities that've graced the magazine's history--musicians, movie stars, politicians, etc. If there's one aspect of Rolling Stone that I admire, it's their interviews. I went thru my phase here at OUT ON A LIM when I attempted to emulate that art form, only to ditch it cause transcribing taped discussions was more time consuming than writing entries from scratch. And not to belittle my subjects, but Rolling Stone's got access to some legends that are way beyond my league. At one point in my life, I've hero worshipped many of them--McCartney, Starr, Jagger, Richards, Spielberg, Nicholson, et al.
Sadly, the great Ami was not interviewed. So the credibility of the magazine was questionable, not to mention I didn't want to get caught reading the issue. I waited until the library closed to grab it from the current periodicals stacks and decided to read only one interview--someone that's remained consistently cool. Dylan. Everyone else, like the magazine itself, might've been more interesting during different chapters of my concern, so I didn't feel like wasting my time reading their most likely ass kissing remarks. And sure enough, the sly comedian that Dylan is from the get go turned his interview upside down and in so many words mocked the ridiculousness of the occasion. It was classic.
Happy birthday to me
|A few weeks ago the winds in LA were wild. Several friends mentioned that their gates blew down. I remember trying to walk across campus and nearly being knocked off my feet. The city and I weren't used to such dramatic conditions. Needless to say, many trees lost their limbs. Streets became obstacle courses to avoid the bigger branches. And sometimes it was unavoidable to run over them.
My car is low to the ground. Not fixed up low, but it's a sports car nevertheless. Debris gets easily trapped underneath. Every time I see a floating plastic bag, I pray that it doesn't land in front of my path, cause the bottom of my car likes to drag it along for the rest of my drive. I'll run over it and look at my rear view mirror to see if it passed thru. More often than not I'll sigh a swear word instead of relief.
Cause the lazy bum in me deplores getting down on my stomach to fish out the caught item. It's hard to see down there, not to mention it's an extra reason to wash my hands afterwards. If I'm lucky, the trapped object'll be lodged within arms reach. Otherwise I gotta use my wits to extend my grasp. In extreme cases I'll use a jack to raise my car.
Such happened on a windy day when a branch got stuck. I first noticed it as a foreign sound hindering the normally smooth rolling noise of my wheels on the road. I'd hear it clacking against a wheel. Driving around I felt like an obnoxious kid with a playing card lodged in my bike wheel.
It seemed to travel along my axel. This gave me hope that maybe it'll break free on its own. But it never did.
I parked my car to the smell of chopped up tree. The branch was stuck deep.
I used to ride my bike to junior high.
I could've taken the bus, but I preferred my exercise over being rounded up and herded to school. Plus, I enjoyed the solitary journey.
The shortest route from my garage to the bike rack included several minor hills. These were easy to manage in either direction--I didn't need to apply the brakes when going down or get off to push when going up. However, there was one major hill that required such.
So every morning I'd slide down the safe side of the sloped road, my foot steady on the back pedal in case of losing control. This was physically the most relaxed portion of the ride as it didn't require acceleration. But it was the most mentally challenging due to my first hand discovery of the relationship between safety and speed. After the time I skidded and fell off my bike, instead of honing my daredevil skills, I chose to be cautious.
Keep in mind that in junior high, my backpack was constantly full. I had a locker, but I was assigned to daily consult my textbooks for homework. As well, they were public school issued hardcovers--they were durable so as to survive shared usage amongst the student turnaround. So they were a heavy consideration when zooming down the major hill. Not that they were a disadvantageous burden, but they did impede my balance more so than if I didn't've to lug them.
The major hill was located at the halfway point of the route. I wonder if my opinions of home and school would've been altered had the commute been reversed--sloping uphill in the morning instead of down. Cause I seemed to've developed a sense of alertness when going to school and relief when returning home. Even though the afternoon trip required physical energy to walk my bike up the hill, it was the most mentally wandering portion. I'd've been overly cautious if I worried about losing control whilst my feet were on the ground. Also, the scenery was easier to appreciate at foot speed.
And sometimes I wonder how I'd look at the world had there been no hill. A flat perspective without the "what goes down must go up" lesson grilled into me everyday for two years. Perhaps I might've viewed home and school on the same level. As it is, I place skewed values on private versus public matters. When going to school was not only a chore, but literally on a lower plane than my home, it's easy to favour the path of least resistance.
Actually, the steepest hill turns onto my address. But it's short. In the morning it's my first burst of speed. And in the afternoon it's my last strain.
Not surprisingly, returning home was the best part of my day. The final stretch always made me smile. In contrast, riding into school was when I put on my disinterested face.
I locked my bike at school. In my garage, I simply leaned it against the wall.
At home, I went upstairs to my room and rested for the next day's subjugation.
"Ok?" I asked in my mother's mother tongue and pointed to the empty indoor bench. "Ok," nodded Dr. Matsumoto in the same language as she lingered over and continued to eat her homemade lunch. "Delicious?" I primitively prodded due to my elementary level grammar. "Delicious," she dumbed down her eloquence. Before I could begin to form my formal greeting she interrupted with what I should've said faster. "Are you ok?"
Like our last question and answer session, I mock offended replied with an "Of course I'm ok." As well, she parodied again with a sarcastic impression of me saying "Of course I'm ok." And out of curious courtesy I volleyed "Are you ok?" Yesterday she was "tired". Today she wasn't.
"Are you busy?" she breathed before biting her plastic wrapped sandwich. "I'm rearranging a song for a friend's short film," I shrugged. "Are you busy?" I deflected. "I'm playing a piece in the graduate composers concert next Tuesday," she indicated.
She didn't seem to be in the mood for joking around 24 hours ago. A good night's rest later and I trolled my mental drawers for something silly to say. Meanwhile she showed me her piano fingers.
I waited to bait her off guard. Timing is everything.
"Are you a pervert?"
"What?" she made me repeat the inappropriate inquisition. "What?" she doubly doubted.
"You're secret's safe with me," I whispered willfully. She laughed in disbelief at the detour our briefing was taking. I took some special notice in her not slapping her piano fingers on my face.
"Cause I've been watching a lot of Japanese movies," I defended. "And in almost all of them they depict themselves as sick perverts." She wiped her mouth without denying my observation. "Interesting," we both stumped.
"Like what's the deal with subsidized dating?" I elaborated. She promptly declared her inexperience. "Is it real?" I furthered. "It is real," she informed. I made an uncoordinated remark about how it's impossible that someone as pretty as her never went on a subsidized date--luckily she let it slide.
"Do you have your old school uniform?" I wished with all sincerity. "My high school uniform?" she teased without sacrificing the antics. "Yeah," I pictured in my approximation of her past. "Are you a pervert?" she predictably table turned. "What?" I mirrored her smirk right down to the absence of a downright brush off. She skipped repeating the question, which by now was obvious, so she confided "You're secret's safe with me."
In Japanese, the word "motto" (rhymes with "risotto") means "more".
In English, the word "motto" means "slogan".
In music, the word "motto" means "motif".
In Italian (and music), the word "molto" means "very".
In the cartoon The Lion King, the meerkat jokingly misused with the word "motto" for "matter" ("What's a motto with you?")
In music (and Italian), the word "moto" means "motion".
In Japanese, the word "moto" (rhymes with "koto") means "origin".
The word "moto" doesn't exist in English (excluding consumer product abbreviations).
This morning I selected Bronfman's Prokofiev piano sonata no. 7 for my commute. Tomorrow I'll listen to what Gould's gotta say about the piece.
Ain't nobody rip it like me
F to the E-R-G-I-E
I rock it hardcore for my fly ladies
I rock it yes indeed
I represent Los Angeles city
Hacienda Heights is the vicinity
Old school homies still rollin' with me
Money don't change me
Last night, the echo in the stairwell sounded like gunshots. At the basement floor, I scuffled to the exit thru the hall of lockers and practice rooms. Up ahead was Dr. Matsumoto, on her way to return a score to the library upstairs. If there were subtitles under our close up, they'd read "Good evening" twice. "I got your email," she thanked. And I particularized my praise for her performance at the graduate composers concert with the hindsight of a day's retention. "Where are you heading?" I offered to follow.
I taped Veronica cause she conflicted with the concert.
Yesterday, Penny, my assistant, forgot to send a serial to be marked. I specifically remember her telling me that she was gonna remember to send it. So I shipped it thru campus mail and emailed her a "forget you forgot it" note. She replied in a tone that resembled her speaking voice--exclamation marked and capped "OH NO!!!"
I noticed Alex in the dark, by the edge of the stage, filming the graduate composers concert. "The tape ran out," she bummed during the cigarette intermission.
Annie called to wish me a belated birthday. The saddest news she spewed was of her friend's brother getting gunned down. His body was apparently left on his parents' front porch in our hometown. For the rest of the day, every noise reminded me of bullets.
Veronica got nailed by a paintball gun.
After inserting the score in the drop-off slot, Dr. Matsumoto took me her teacher's office. There were two slick grand pianos lounging up most of the room--a Steinway and a Fazioli. A harpsichord was in the corner. And she gave me a tour of the walls which were covered with photos next to royalty, promotional posters, and Russian and Japanese art. "I'm preparing to play a Prokofiev piano sonata," she provided. "Which one?" I counted. "No. 7," she projected.
"I lost my keys," Penny, my assistant, assessed as I swung thru the front desk's swivel door.
She's the third employee at the library this week to misplace their lock turning means. It seems like every other day someone's retracing their steps.
"My excuse is I didn't get any sleep last night," she concluded, "because my neighbours were blasting their stereo at 2:30. I called the police to file a noise complaint. I thought about throwing a paper airplane thru their window with a note saying 'QUIET DOWN!!!'"
"And so where're your keys?" I dotted a connection. "Oh, I found them," she produced her chain from her pocket as proof.
Someone donated 2 Live Crew's As Nasty As They Wanna Be to the library.
The album cover is a back view of four chicks on a beach. They're dressed for the occasion.
I processed the gift into the collection. This includes assigning an accession number, barcoding the item, and finding a catalogued record to import. Before it gets shelved in the closed stacks, my assistant marks it up--property stamping and security stripping the CD.
Penny deemed that the album cover shouldn't be seen by kids. So she drew a stick figure rendition and taped it over the original.
Her chicks were fully clothed.
"Play the last track," she commanded as she handed me a recording of Brahm's 4th. "That's me playing the flute solo."
I put her CD into my computer and unplugged my headphones so that we could listen thru my monitor's speakers. The orchestra cleared a path for her entrance. "This part is where I get all nervous--I'm getting ready to go."
My eyes were on her glasses. She bopped to the beat.
I'm looking forward to hearing her live.
Back to the Future Part II set two major motion picture precedents. One was legal, the other technological. This was back in 1989.
The actor who portrayed George McFly in the first film ditched the sequels. He sued and settled with the studio compensation for replacing his character with another actor.
The VistaGlide was invented specifically for the multi-composite non-stationary camera angles.
Previous to the second chapter of the trilogy, scenes with the same actor playing different parts could not be filmed with a moving camera. As well, contracts are now drawn up with clauses for future portrayals of an actor's character.
Personally, the movie itself is unnecessary. The original was fine on its own. And the new George McFly isn't as funny as the old one.
Nevertheless, the overlapping time traveling scenes were cool. The innovations weren't in vain.
"May I see the score to the piece you played at the graduate composers concert?"
Dr. Matsumoto dug in her folder and handed me the printed music. "There's not a lot of counterpoint, is there?" I critiqued the hollow structure.
"No," she lamented, "it's all sound textures plunking here and there." She demonstrated on the grand piano. "Most modern music isn't contrapuntal--at most there're two voices, but never three."
"That sucks," I joined. She volunteered me to porter some books over to her teacher's office.
Ok, so this entry is starting to stray into my old A-B formula of paragraph based writing.
But I am testing this new style of additive/subtractive sentences. Each following paragraph increases or decreases in number of periods.
Perhaps my mind's been wandering and got me mixing the A-B (now A-B-C) formula with the additive/subtractive sentences. Well, it sorta works, I guess, in a multi-self conscious sorta way. As the Doc would say--"Above all, you must not interfere with that event."
I feel like Penelope, weaving and unweaving.
Like the space-time continuum manipulating character Hiro on Heroes, the scientific explanation for Henry DeTamble's condition in The Time Traveler's Wife is genetically based. I suppose its cooler in the 21st century to fantasize about time traveling via DNA than machines. Perhaps audiences are tired of trying to believe in technology as a conduit for super human abilities. And nature is trendy enough to rationalize time travel. Maybe it's indicative of modern man's desire to forget about the Industrial Revolution.
Speaking of Heroes, my comic book reading friends have been referring to it as Watchmen. Every week the contemporary television show reveals it's homage to the classic graphic novel with glaring parallels. At first scenes were lifted from panels. Then the motivation of characters became identical--Linderman and Ozymandias. Since a movie version of Watchmen is slated for 2008, I'm curious to see how someone unfamiliar with the chronology will respond to the similarities. It might remind me of the time I overheard an audience member gripe about 12 Monkeys (1995) being a rip off of Terminator (1984) when in fact it was credited as being inspired by La Jetee (1962).
Before a friend took off for a three week retreat in France, he reflected on not being able to watch TV. Especially as the season is comming to an end. Another friend suggested that we mail him reports on the Heroes and Lost episodes that he'll be missing. The other friend volunteered to write down the events of the former, which he joked would essentially be akin to copying Watchmen. By default I reluctantly offered to document the latter. I'm horrible at summarizing. My subjectivity is too intrusive. Anyways, here's the full text of my report on last week's episode: "Alex was not in this episode and the helicopter chick was hired by Penny."
After a recent rewatching of Le Mepris, I shopped online for the soundtrack--Delerue's score summons dreams of Bardot's ass. I ordered the CD from Amazon only to be notified a week later that it was out of print. Luckily there were links to other vendors who had it stocked, albeit at hiked up prices. As I waited for a mint copy to be shipped, I was embarrassed to discover that the music was being used in some perfume commercial, including a tame tribute to the seminal nude scene. Fortunately it didn't scramble my association with Bardot's Odyssey analogous character.
I didn't've time to stand in line and admirer the waitress at the Japanese takeout so I drove thru for a chili cheeseburger at the Tommy's clone. Never mind that my VCR was set to record Veronica in the tragic event that I happen to be apologetically detained from her real time transmission. I handed three ones and a quarter to the trainee being mentored by the senior register attendant and waited the duration of Dylan's "Someday Baby" for my white paper bag packed dinner. The grease warped the interior of my car as I burned homewards. I opened my front door before Veronica arrived. With my ashtray positioned on my table, my teacup full, and my chili cheeseburger unwrapped, I tuned into Veronica's channel. I expected to see the preview for the preceding show's next episode, but instead was interrupted with a live news report. Griffith Park was on fire.
Indeed, it's been hot and dry in Los Angeles. It's like summer. And except for brush fires, I don't mind the transposition of the weather. Cause the girls dress less in the heat. It was like Xmas on campus--I took extra long breaks to celebrate the return of public skin in the scenery. Even Penny, my assistant, came to work in a smooth outfit. Normally she's professionally attired in pants. I closed my browser, which was window shopping at an online school uniform catalogue, and personally supervised her--she showed me a sketch that she penciled for her recital poster, bent her sleeveless arm to demonstrate what bones are needed to play the flute, and introduced me to her Facebook photo albums. I love my job.
But maybe I was having too much fun, cause despite my greedy appeals to Veronica, she was preempted. I'm sorry for cursing the brave firefighters who were rescuing those million dollar properties. I agree, it's an emergency worth interfering with my selfish entertainment even though all but another local channel found it unnecessary to cock-block my schedule with the latest breaking news. It was depressing enough to miss Veronica, but to rub my broken heart with zoomed in devastation was brutal. I guess I'll be downloading the episode at work tomorrow--that is, unless my assistant doesn't bother me again.
I withdrew four quarters from my spare change bank. I was in the mood for some seasonally appropriate ice cream--the cookie sandwich sounded cool. I escaped thru my co-worker's exit, straight into the courtyard, and tasted the frozen chips as I followed the sidewalk to the vending machines. Three fat chicks were lined up at the ice cream dispenser. Someone called my name in the middle of my patience. I turned to find a concerned Cindy.
"You look disillusioned," she cheered.
That was exactly what Taleen said to me the other day during a smoke break in the courtyard. "Why are you here?" I wondered. "I'm just visiting to say 'hi'," she waved. I continued my cigarette in peace after replying "Hi ."
"Why are we here?" one of the fat chicks grunted. "Yeah," another agreed, "let's get some real ice cream at the student store." They trampled off towards the sunset. I bought a cookie sandwich.
I ate it as I watched Penny, my assistant, stamp newly bound periodicals. "I had ice cream today," she mentioned. "Really?" I conversed. "Yeah," she sensitized, "I made ice cream." "Really?" I gathered. She listed the ingredients--her French accent was faster than my memory, however I remember her mentioning salt. "But I can't get the right consistency," she shrugged. "Really?" I responded. "It's kinda like ice cream flavoured yogurt," she licked.
"Did you bring any ice cream?" my mom demanded at her door. "Don't you already have some?" I complained as I took off my shoes. "We do," she bragged, "but it's not as good as the ice cream from your neighbourhood." "Sorry," I excused as I acknowledged my dad who was shredding documents. "I can still taste your ice cream," my mom crept. "Really?" I tested. "Yeah," she blindly described, "there were a lot of ingredients, but what tasted the best was the cream--I think they use special cream." "Really?" I amused. "Why are you here?" she snapped.
I visited my parents for a free dinner and to pick up my car's registration sticker. It's gonna expire this month. And I keep forgetting to change my listed address at the DMV.
"I'm not here," Dr. Matsumoto declared after scanning the sixth level of the parking lot.
I can think of a handful of times that I've forgotten where I parked my car. None of those occasions occurred in a tired state--and there've been countless days when I was running on zero sleep. As well, my stress levels aren't high enough to scatter my brain. And I'm not noticing any increase with age. Maybe it's my obsessive need to be organized that mentally keeps a tracking device on my vehicle's whereabouts. Nevertheless, it's the unexplainably unexpected days that I can't find my car.
"Where did you park?" she tagged along. "I'm on the top floor," I remembered. "Maybe I'm on top, too," she scratched. We discussed geishas as we ascended the stairs. "Oh, I'm here," she relieved--her car was the first one to come into view. "Where did you park?" she repeated. "Over there," I pointed.
The editor of my high school newspaper was a nerd. She wore goggles and was a year younger than me, yet she outranked me on the journalism staff. I was the cartoon editor and the weekly columnist of the original OUT ON A LIM. And everything I drew or wrote had to pass her inspection before going to press.
This was back before everyone had computers. The ones in class were cutting edge technology--Macintoshes. So I handwrote those early stories at home and for kicks made my editor type them up for me at school. She always complained, but I continuously convinced her to be my bitch. My ploy was to trick her into feeling powerful--I gave her editorial reign over my words whilst she transcribed my text. If she got out of hand, I simply called her a "nerd" to put her back in line.
I wasn't the only one who mocked her. On top of her thick Thai accent was a serious lisp. It was difficult to understand what she was saying cause the natural reaction to her speaking voice was to bust up laughing. Thus her speech volume evolved into a yell as a result of competing with her oppressors. Nevertheless, her English must've been excellent enough to be appointed head editor of the newspaper. I wouldn't be surprised if she had one of the top GPAs.
But being intelligent helped as much as it hurt. I'd like to blame adolescent jealousy for being easier to express than unconditional praise for my taking advantage of her nerd status. I could've been nicer to her--senioritis ain't an excuse to bully a junior. She practically lived in the journalism classroom. Perhaps she found security from the outside world in her role as editor-in-chief. I mean, I turned in my work and that was the extent of my involvement with the newspaper. She spent all-nighters laying out the pages with scissors, rulers, glue, and a light table. She had no life.
So I took her to the prom.
The day before the concert, I had a smoke break with the conductor. He confessed his concerns about the orchestra's interplay with the opera singers. I've never waved a baton, but I tried my best to express my well wishes for the performance.
Two violinists were sitting by the vending machines. One was rolling a cigarette, the other let me know that the lightsaber he ordered had arrived. They told me about their sarcastic enthusiasm for the concert.
The afternoon before the show, a violist bummed a smoke from me. He was rehearsing in the courtyard to protest the practice room fees. He defended the orchestra for having to deal with egotistical opera signers. And laughed at the collision that's gonna occur.
I waved to the cellist that never greets anyone. I've heard complaints from the other musicians that she's unusually unfriendly. I don't know her well enough to guess if that's true, but she waves to me.
In the halls I passed a percussionist who along with a trombonist and a tubist work at the library. They all seemed professionally calm about the concert. Likewise, they're efficient employees.
A flutist depicted her bad day that included getting her arm fixed, her doctor sitting on her glasses, and her frantic search for an optometrist to repair her broken spectacles. She ate a bowl of oatmeal before the concert.
I snagged a free ticket from the stage manager.
So some car company's running commercials touting their sound system with celebrity musicians sitting in a luxury automobile whilst listening and commenting on their favourite music. They've got John Legend interpreting Nina Simone, Diana Krall reminiscing on Oscar Peterson, and Elvis Costello rolling over Beethoven. Actually, they filmed a 30 second spot featuring Larry McFeurdy. But I'm afraid the car company rejected it as part of their advertising campaign. I have no idea why...
Anyways, here's the transcript of the commercial:
(Larry McFeurdy is smoking a cigarette in an expensive vehicle as Puffy's "Umi Eto" is blasting on the premium stereo.)
"This song is all style and no substance, like a sweet candy rush. Do I absolutely need to hear it? No. But like everything else that's frivolous, such as this fancy car and its sound system, it costs money--waste it as you please. Uh, where's the ashtray?"
During the second half of my first decade as a songwriter I imposed a moratorium on the word "love". As well, I avoided using the I-IV chord progression. Both are standard cliches in pop music and I had the naive idea that I was above such commonplace compositional devices. I took these restrictions as a challenge to force myself into thinking about songs from different angles. Indeed, I yielded some novel ideas that I doubt I'd've come up with had I not banned the usual ingredients. However, I eventually got tired of being clever. Lifting the prohibition was a relief.
Alex noticed that I've been blogging about girls a lot lately. My excuse was they're easy to write about--call it basic journal writing in the sense that I simply jot down my thoughts as opposed to constructing an entry from my imagination. Yeah, I am aware that I'm getting lazy. If I aspired to be a better writer I'd enact an embargo on the subject, like the benefit my songs gained from striking "love" and the I-IV from my vocabulary. I'll give it a try, but I'm not guaranteeing that it'll last--I didn't write a song everyday. And not that I have to write a journal entry everyday, but I'd like to believe that the act of writing is enough for me.
My judo dojo held its lessons in the recreational building of the local Japanese community center. The floor was also used as a basketball court, so we laid mats to cushion our falls. The mats had Velcro on the edges. From one hoop to the next we'd patch together a giant mat. Part of our training was to cover it with a giant cloth which we'd sweep with brooms. After it was ready we'd line up--the students on one side, the teachers on the other.
Both lines were ranked by the colour of our belts. It was the duty of the highest ranked student to call us to attention. Everyone stood up straight, yelled a confirmation, and bowed. Thus the lesson officially began. It was also the duty of the highest ranked student to lead the warm ups. He or she would face the class and go thru the stretching exercises--wiggle the wrists, pull the feet, jumping jacks, etc. After the warm ups, we'd run a few laps around the mat. And then the highest ranked teacher would take over.
Of course each lesson was different, but generally we'd learn a new throw or tripping technique. The highest ranked teacher would demonstrate on the highest ranked student. We'd then pair up and practice the maneuver. The teachers would roam the room correcting us when necessary. Sometimes we'd switch partners and learn more moves. Other times we held scrimmage tournaments. Every year we'd compete with other dojos. How one performed at these tournaments determined one's promotion to a higher belt.
I was never great at judo. But I didn't totally suck either. On average I ranked somewhere in the middle of the class. Except for one day when attendance was low I never led the warm ups. I met that particular occasion with my usual reluctance to be singled out as the highest ranked anything. I pulled some ridiculous warm up exercises out of my ass--rub your tummy as you pat your head, etc. I suspect part of me wanted to get in trouble so that I'd never have to lead the class again. But everyone enthusiastically followed. I kinda felt sorry for the parents of the little kids who paid to have them warm up with an idiot.
At the end of the class, we'd all line up again on the mat. The highest ranked student would then command everyone to squat and lead us in meditation--close our eyes and think about the day's lessons. Of course when I regulated the mediation, it was based on the duration of my thoughts, which was much longer than the usual minute of silence. I dragged it long enough for the other students to at first squirm, then chuckle, and finally complain. I kept thinking about when I should release them as a means to postpone their disconnection from contemplation. Even after several minutes I continued to fuck with their patience. Unimpressively, I relented, but really, I could've made it last forever.
My website stats took a nosedive last week. Looking at the bar graph, there's a wall hovering around a thousand hits per day and a noticeable indention. Either I was having technical difficulties or no one cared to visit that day, but I've never dropped as low as 21 hits before. I'm used to seeing spikes. Tracing the referring links and reading about me is a sport of mine whenever I get bored. Unfortunately, the opposite of a spike isn't as easily accountable, which got me speculating.
I often brag about how I don't give a shit about my popularity, which is sorta true, I mean, I didn't lose any sleep over this matter, but my first thought was to question my standing in the online world. Maybe people've finally gotten sick of me, which is fine, cause I believe I somewhat kept my honesty throughout--I can't say I misrepresented myself for the sake of more hits. And if people don't like me, that's their opinion. At least I can still live with myself.
Actually I've been secretly waiting for the day when my stats would hit an all time low. I had it comming. I haven't really been working on any significant projects in a while and I shouldn't expect to rest on my laurels for long. I often find it funny that people finally notice my website for achievements that I accomplished five years ago. Not that I'm desperately brainstorming any upcomming projects--they sorta pop up beyond my control. But it's nice to have my arrogance checked.
And then I thought, 21 hits ain't so bad. Sure it's a thousand less than I'm accustomed to, but it's better than nothing. For a purely personal website, namely not porn or anything useful, getting anyone to visit is remarkable. Even if those hits are from friends and family, I ought to be thankful that I've got that many. Now, if I consistently was getting zero hits, then I'd consider pulling the plug, especially since I refuse to finance this operation with advertising. I'm not afraid to live in a world without my website. Alas, my stats bounced back.
Well, my favourite television show got canceled. I'm hesitant to tune up the violins cause this last season was going downhill fast. It lost the sarcastic socio-economic bite that it once had when it played on a cheaper network. The third season's episodes have been all college melodrama--replacing the high school detective noir of seasons one and two. I suppose the transition to maturity didn't appeal to me. Thus, I'm not gonna take my handkerchief outta my pocket when the show signs off. Don't get me wrong, I had to use it on some of the more intense moments of that first murder mystery. Maybe it's cause I caught up with the program on DVD. Somehow watching the show with commercials has cheapened my enjoyment. The same can be said of my viewing history for Lost. Although, that show's been upping its quality as this current season progressed--not matching the consistency of it's previous seasons, but definitely keeping me glued for future installments. I'm also gonna keep tuning into Heroes. So, minus my favourite show, I'm scheduled to watch two shows next season. Ideally, I shouldn't be addicted to any television shows. And actually I'm kinda glad that I'm eliminating one. Even if I get hooked on some unforeseen smash hit, I seriously think that it'll be difficult for me to overcome the rebound after losing my favourite show. I mean, such brilliance only occurs once, if at all, in a lifetime. I know, I ought to join the cult following and mope over how fucked up the world is for canceling its religion. And I'm really thankful to've been around to see the miracle, but my expectations for it to keep repeating its wonder wasn't bright. I'm more grateful for it to disappear without dying onscreen even though it came close. Nevertheless, its message of hope will remain with me--that an imaginary character can be so damn cool.
Eat the Document was filmed by D.A. Pennebaker during Dylan's electric 1966 British tour. The year before, he also followed Dylan with a camera during the last acoustic shows. Metaphorically, the black and white Don't Look Back benefits from the classic quality of monochrome, whilst Eat the Document explodes with psychedelic colour, however tinted with age. If there ever was a blatant turning point in Dylan's career, these two films capture that shift perfectly. Unfortunately, Eat the Document is only available as a bootleg.
There're some cool scenes--dueting with Johnny Cash, jamming with the Hawks, confounded audience reactions, and the hilarious press confrontations. But there's a legendary segment with Lennon that I've been waiting to see ever since I read about it in his biography. I've watched truncated clips on YouTube, but my bootleg copy includes a 20 minute outtake version of the scene. And it's insane.
These are two of my heroes. They're casually riding in the back of taxi. I'm not aware of any other filmed meetings between the two, so this is a historic moment. Both of them are at the top of their game and it's difficult to determine who's king--Lennon's lyrics at the time were heavily influenced by Dylan as well the British Invasion is often to blame for Dylan's betrayal to his folk fans. And they're both kids. I mean, they're younger than I am now. It's pure nostalgia especially in light of how Lennon dies and the distinguished balladeer Dylan becomes. That moment in time can never be recreated.
However, I understand why the scene was cut. Per the chronology, they were both high off their heads. They're conversation is gibberish, hardly flattering of the intelligence displayed in their songwriting. One's respect for them has to be secure enough to wade thru the nonsense. And it doesn't get better. Dylan starts to feel sick. He leans forward and attempts to stop his head from spinning. Lennon sits back and characteristically mocks him. It's weird to see Dylan as a mortal. His usual self confidence always seemed to hint at his firm grip on the environment. To see him nauseated is comical. Ultimately, he stole the scene.
Editor's note: Memorial Day is a holiday for me. OUT ON A LIM will recommence on Tuesday.
One of the perks of driving a car on the freeway is the many near death experiences wrought upon escaping fatal collisions. After swerving from a crash, I usually receive flashes before my eyes of my life--memories in concentrated form coiled with evaluations of all that I'll physically and emotionally discard, but spiritually retain. The results of my survival are sometimes ignored as a meaningless close call and won't put me into a panic about fast lane dangers. But sometimes I'll look back upon my life with regrets.
I wish I played more video games. Instead of not being programmed to go for the goal, I could've joined the generations hooked on controllers, consoles, and hand/eye coordination. I'm totally lost when I hold one of those contraptions as my fingers were unfortunately warped on musical instruments. Sure, a piano might have more "buttons", but they're organized in a simple black and white pattern. Thus, I'm oblivious to the complexity of the pleasurable experiences video game hands must feel.
However, what I most regret is not being excited about this summer's movies. All the planned blockbusters look like video games. The computer generated special effects aren't impressive to my eyes. Cause my vision hasn't been conditioned to pretend that pixels can be characters. And the shots seem to zoom in at impossible angles. Living in a world without video games has confused me into insisting that such motion must suggest that the camera's fake.
Also, I'm not against movie violence, but I'm not accustomed to video game paced action. I can't follow the thrill of the progressive drama when all I see of the fight is a blur. My sense of time isn't as desperate. Hence, I'm always puzzled when the audience applauds when vengeance is won. Either I missed what happened or everyone else is deluded into believing that killing someone, no matter how evil, is acceptable.
Well, it's probably a symptom of growing up as the drift from my demographic begins to jet. These movies clearly aren't made for me. If only I kept up with video games after the Crash of 1983, then I might have an excuse to be vaguely interested. But I guess as regrets go, mine aren't so bad.
Happy Birthday Alex
The mother ship contacted me whilst I was at work. I replied in Japanese--a language that's unspoken in my office, so I was able to talk of naked geishas without the staff deciphering my communique. Lately, I've been listening to live albums. The absence of the studio's overdubbing curtain counterbalances the spirit of the music in its purest form, revealing mistakes that bounce off an audience plugged into the moment. The echo of the concert hall is distant enough to expand the sound's imagery. I may be blind, but I've got the best seat in the house.
I joined in the aerodynamic folding of recycled printouts as the library staff turned into a paper airplane factory. Plastic bags were filled with anticipated flight. The blitz was scheduled for Penny's last bow. I've been using a southern dialect with Dr. Matsumoto. She nearly knocked her head on the keyboard when I first slipped it into conversation. Of course, I've been rhythmically reserving it as a punch line to accent the end of sentences ever since. Food's been a shared topic, namely Japanese soul cooking.
The circulation desk was vacant so I filled those duties. An opera singer asked me to fetch a list of CDs that she desired to play on her laptop. I retrieved and delivered them to her majesty's throne in the reading room. Luckily, that was the only other request which required me to get off my ass--most of the meanwhile I surfed from the main checkout terminal, with one eye maintaining authority over patrons committing funny business. The paper airplanes were locked in the library until Penny's entracte. As the lights dimmed, I set mine by my foot, and waited until they came on again to aim for her. At the reception I gave her dress a thumbs up.
With the help of the online catalog I called up the location of the symphonies arranged for piano. I found Dr. Matsumoto wandering in the wrong aisle, directed her towards the correct section, and scanned her barcode. Her hair in her ID photo was down. She claims that it currentlyl reaches her elbows--I pictured the roll on her head unraveling to where her fingers indicated. Penny was accompanied by her for the opening concerto. I sat in the furthest corner, where my ears trapped their delayed waves. Modern recording technology has yet to exactly capture those vibrations. I closed my eyes and vanished. When I opened them, I hit send.
But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here
I don't belong here
In addition to having a cute tracking system, the television show Heroes has reawakened my appreciation for Wendy and Lisa. I remember drooling over them as they wove their lingerie clad arms on the synthesizer in the "1999" video. Thinking back, the Revolution was a kickass band, sexy chicks notwithstanding. They rocked--not that Prince's funk is any less, but with the Revolution, he really ripped on the electric guitar. Wendy and Lisa's strip club scented backing vocals were a perfect commentary to the beat. And so I recently got the urge to listen to those classic albums. However, after listening to Around the World in a Day, I remembered that I never purchased Parade on CD--I've got it on cassette, but it somehow slipped thru the cracks when I converted my collection to digital. Of course, I immediately set out to fix the hole as I ordered the album online. If I recall correctly, it's got some cool songs. They were French flavoured to match the setting of the movie Under the Cherry Moon. I can't believe that I haven't heard "Mountains" on CD--shame on me. For some reason it wasn't included on Prince's Hits album. I thought it was a great single, albeit underrated.
Amongst Radiohead snobs, I've been cautioned to downplay the song "Creep" even though I think it's a masterpiece. Sure, they've since evolved and've been classified as surpassing that overplayed pop hit, but I still rank it as one of my favourite Radiohead tunes. Another level of exaltation was attained when it was featured in the film Ils se marierent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants. There's a scene in which Charlotte Gainsbourg is listening to "Creep" on headphones in a record store. Seeing her in that environment is already awesome cause, well, she's a goddess, and her ancestry is appropriate. Anyways, Johnny Depp steps besides her, grabs a pair of headphones, and tunes into the song. Charlotte is married and as the music levels are turned up on the soundtrack, she considers having an affair with the cameo actor--hey, the movie's French. Her silent expressions benefit from her super structured mouth. The music fits. In fact, the movie applies several Radiohead songs as well as arrangements, but none as effectively and prominently as "Creep".
But I say it's only mountains and the sea
Love will conquer if u just believe
It's only mountains and the sea
There's nothing greater u and me
All serious daring begins from within.
-Harriet Beecher Stowe
My first encounter with the above quote was via Veronica. Lately, I've been practicing Bach and Dylan. I suppose the seeds've been planted for me to plan on my next personal projects. But honestly, I'm not at the dedicated stage of anything in particular, namely cause I lack the inspirational foundation. And I can't call it up on command, so in possible preparation mode, I've been studying fugues and lyrics. Maybe I'll compose a piano sonata or record an acoustic singer songwriter album. Again, currently I don't feel the absolute determination to proceed with such projects, mainly cause I simply don't've anything to express. But in the event that circumstances push me towards finding the themes, I'm hoping to be equipped with the appropriate chops. Yeah, it's kinda self prophesizing of me to pick Bach and Dylan as my academic background and not allow for fate to decide my mediums, but since I gotta occupy myself in the meantime, I might as well familiarize myself with what I deem are classics. And if nothing comes to fruition, at least I'll've learned their music.
Of course, I don't consider any of my projects as "serious daring". Although, maybe I should. Perhaps cause I've never been convinced of the dire purpose of music, or any of my other endeavours, that it'll be a kick to try something different. I mean, the most that can result is my going insane, which I'm certainly already bound. But there's something I'm missing if I don't deeply care about what I'm working on, even if it's only in my head. Not that I'll find whatever drives significance, in fact the reason why I choose to perceive the opposite is cause I think it's true. Yet, I don't dismiss wasting my time on projects--I've got the capacity to mentally and physically focus on something, however it's the value of such discipline that escapes me. And so having that as a backdrop supporting whatever inspirational foundation that comes my way might be a blast, if anything, as a change of scenery. Cause I certainly don't need to repeat myself. I'm ready to begin.
I consider myself to have a mild fetish for women's footwear. Nothing as obscene as stealing them from their owners or licking them after the crime, I mean, the only pair of slippers in my collection was left behind at my apartment by my cousin. Nevertheless, my eyes and mind can get fixated on women's costumed feet. And it really doesn't matter what she's wearing, but there are certain varieties that can pleasantly zone me.
Boots are cool. They clad the legs, drawing my vision's tracing mechanism upwards. They're heroic and exciting. Colour is irrelevant to me, so the shapes attract my senses better than coordination. Although, darker boots seem to kick me harder.
Superlative to boots are high heels--the height of which is proportional to my attention. Every girl that I've dated has complained about how they hurt their feet, blah, blah, blah. I think high heels are sophisticated and dangerous. Maybe it's cause I don't come across them so often that seeing them is guaranteed to be noticed.
But the top women's footwear in my book is the geta (Japanese elevated wooden sandals). Obviously they're not popular in America, but the geishas in Japan are required to wear them. They've also got the greatest sound my ears've ever heard. If I possessed a pair, they'd probably be the most prized.
After a postponement, I followed the instructions on my jury duty summons--telephone the hotline to hear if you're group number is scheduled to be present. The first night's call deemed my attendance not acceptable, so I went to bed per typical biorhythms, and returned to work on time. I hung around with the cool students and faculty of the music department thinking of all that I take for granted in my daily life--that which'll be snatched from me during my banishment from paradise. And sure enough, that night's call deemed my attendance acceptable.
I hit the "hey it's too early for me to go to sleep" without a flinch. Well, except for a few rounds of wagon trails stowing cool students and faculty of the music department across the leaf strewn darkness of an hour past midnight. After all, I'm used to the morning sun knocking me out cold. But overall, I woke up well rested. I made it to the courthouse with a quarter of an hour to spare.
Unlike the previous times that I've served, I didn't bring a book. Not that I didn't have a paperback handy, it's just that the title I'm currently bookmarking is a Dylan biography. And I didn't want to fake interest in a conversation based on my fake desperation to attract the attention of chicks flirting fake hooks to kill the boredom of waiting in the jury assembly room. Plus, I think the subject of the book shouldn't be brought up in guarded buildings. Besides, I wasn't in the mood to read. I felt like thinking.
The first time that I served, I was convinced that jury duty was temporary hell. This was back when my state required potential jurors to commit ten days of waiting on site. Of course, this was during my science fiction phase, inevitably instigating many of my memories to be integrated with intergalactic fantasies. The details are kinda blurry, possibly cause I choose to forget that era, but I figure I must've had a good reason to remember those times as being bad.
The next time that I served, I actually got picked to be an alternate on a jury. That was fun. Although, I recollect that courts seem less impressive than their motion picture depiction. But apart from that shattered illusion, we the jury got friendlier due to the shared circumstance. The lawyers used legal speak to confuse us, so I can't recreate the trial, not to mention I wasn't included in voting on a verdict. However, I do remember explaining to my peers why I was reading a Bach biography.
The last time that I served, I wrote about it (OUT ON A LIM, 6.16.04). That was the first time that I was summoned whilst blogging. I could semi-reminisce that experience, but resorted to using a key word search to dig up the old entry. I re-read it as to not repeat the topic. Uncannily, it went down pretty much the same this time around.
Sensei wore a black coat over her golden concert gown. I wore an obnoxious t-shirt. She laughed at my clothes. I was spellbound beyond words to cast a complimentary comment upon her slender splendour.
Our parking lot has a two-way lane up and down a seven story structure. Sometimes it's packed. And on such occasions, I've noticed the ruthless behaviours of the roaming cars ready to pounce on an empty spot. They'll pester pedestrians, follow leaving footsteps, and flash their turn signals before they trade places. Some of their driving'll mimic the crawl of a lost idiot--making sure that the oncomming traffic is clear, I'll overtake them. But only when I don't see any other circling cars do I claim an open space.
I lit the computer programmer's cigarette. She was excavating her handbag for her flint, so I offered to help. I listened to her adventures in Paris--the stretched canvas museums, the spaghetti burlesque shows, and the misinterpreted order of a beverages. She forgot my name.
Walking thru a crowd of recently released students, I ran into my engineer. He said that the garbage truck had a present for me. Although he described it with his hands, my imagination couldn't guess what it was. We went upstairs to the studio to retrieve it--a candy bar with my name on it.
My lawyer cried on the phone cause no one took him to the geek convention. His wife was wondering why I didn't accompany him, to which I told him that she's dead the next time I see her--I don't think it's considerably nice of her to put me in a pigeonhole. Thanks, but no thanks. Now die.
A puzzle designer sent me a link to his next event (www.aliceislost.com). It's Wonderland based, online, and I can voucher for the challenging fun of his previous brainteasers, hence I signed up.
The gambling team chatted with me online. They need me to pick them up from the airport after their poker tournament in Vegas this weekend. The time wasn't gross so I replied that I'll take the gig.
I got an email from a scientist inviting me to his hooding ceremony. I congratulated his accomplishment and repondez s'il vous plaited in the affirmative. The gambling team isn't sure if they'll attend.
My drug dealer made me a bong out of a vitamin infused water bottle. It's a work of art. I wanna simply displaying it on a pedestal. But if I were to smoke out of it, I'd only use it for tobacco, of course, obviously, doubtlessly, unquestionably, and most post-undeniably.
I watched a cool movie called Wandafuru raifu (the English title is After Life, but the literal Japanese translation is Wonderful Life). It's about this limbo realm where the recently deceased are interviewed. A staff of filmmakers are assigned to extract the dead's most cherished memory--a single scene from their life will be recreated and follow them to the next realm. Yeah, parallels can be made between the staff and other occupations, but somehow I related as a university employee. Cause the staff were also dead, but didn't move on cause they couldn't commit to a memory, so were working in limbo until they could. Like in college, where the students are encouraged to focus on a major before they graduate to the real world, and I've managed to remain. The film emphasized the interrelationship of the interviewers and the interviewees.
Noticing my fluctuating pupils, Sensei asked me to massage her back before her performance. My hands were guided by hers until I found the point. And I can't get it off my mind.
Wait a moment, if this wasn't a coincidental dream, then an explanation for the lack of randomness, which reality beholds, is needed. Most of my dreams are self constructed submerges into my subconscious, with all the self manipulating control of my cosmic introversion relinquished to whatever I gather from my inner eye's illumination, as opposed to being at the whim of reality's cross pollination of souls. But today felt like a blend of both metaphysical planes--a warm air balloon flight between the heavenly and extra heavenly dimensions...
"There's some girl here to see you," waved my receptionist. "She's in your office right now."
"Thanks," I greeted as I slid down the tunnel of vinyl records. There was a commotion of assistants ransacking the CD processing portals. Dr. Bai was at the technical services terminal, her backside matching my perspective from last night, when my hands felt her skin thru her coat. And I thought, hold on, this is like a variation of deja vu, whereby a bridge consisting of mental loops between what;s been seen before connects with what's slightly altered before my current state.
The assistants solved her request without my interventions, so I sat at my desk and logged onto my computer. But before I could type in my password, Dr. Bai popped her face into the corner of my line of sight. I wasn't in a hurry to check my email, so I practiced my Japanese on her as my palms disconnected with time and psychologically felt again the rubbing sensation that was implanted from the previous night.
So either I'm grasping at a projected reality or my dream's comming true. Nevertheless, I shouldn't jump to conclusions without a conscience. My sense of touch has already been bugged, so I've upped the surveillance on the guardians of my nervous system. Cause when that goes, I'll be defenseless. And the attacks are arriving with frequently progressing intensity. I need to step back and take a breath before I surrender.
"Check this out," my boss called me into his cubical. "Look who signed this book."
"Wow," I genuinely enthused--it was Thomas Edison. But I couldn't see his relevance in regards to music. Duh, he invented the phonograph. I blame my distracted thoughts for not immediately catching that.
Maybe I'm too obsessed with the subtext to believe that it might not exist, but the exchange of words with Dr. Bai upon her return to my after hours office can be taken out of context.
"You can trust me," she thanked.
"Really?" I joked.
"Really," she promised.
Don't wanna be with nobody tonight
Veronica not around nowhere
Tonight, as I walked to the corner mailbox at 1:30am, I noticed an apple sitting on the sidewalk in front of the frog fountain. Ok, it's not as phenomenal as a spaceship, but it ain't a common prop on my scenic route. It was a perfect apple--no bruises or asymmetry. I looked around to see if someone had planted it there as bait or had fallen from a tree. I wasn't hungry enough that the sight of it would fulfill any missed meals, so I left it on the ground. Briefly I thought about taking a photo of it, but I'd've to use a flash to compensate for the blurriness that'd result due to amply opening the shutter under moonlight conditions--and I didn't want to look like a suspicious freak snapping pictures at this unreasonable hour. I dropped my rented DVD into the mailbox and returned home with the apple on my brain.
I won't list all the possible symbolisms, but there's the record label, which comes to my mind before the computer company. There's the gift for the teacher, the target practice, the idea of gravity, the bobbing game, the optical organ thereof, the patriotic pie, the wicked witch's poisoned variety, the Japanese word for the name of drummer of the Beatles, the French word for potato not from the earth, 1000 points on Ms. Pac Man, the caramel and nut coated, the compliment to cinnamon flavour, the seed planted by Johnny, the sauce, the shirt shine before the first bite, the throat bump, Fiona, and of course, the sin.
At the midpoint of my path to the mailbox, there's an "M" engraved in the sidewalk. Well, walking back it's an "M", but comming from the other direction it looks like a "W". And if I'm in a silly mood, I'll also read it as a sideways "3" or "E". There's no indication of what it's supposed to be. Maybe someone was writing their name in the wet cement and got caught before continuing past the first letter. It could be a compass or pipe marker. Whatever it is, I notice it with a curiosity that's resigned to accept that I'll probably never learn the answer. I mean, I could investigate the matter, ask neighbours and trace city records, but I doubt it'll matter, ultimately speaking. I trust that everything's gonna explain itself in the end. I don't need evidence in the concrete to reinforce my faith.
Praeludium, BWV 855
I won't purport to have heard enough harmonica players to be able to compile a list of that instrument's greatest purveyors. But it was during a recent listening of Dylan's puffing that I drew a comparison to his singing style. I gotta admit that I never paid much attention to his harmonica playing, other than it sounded cool--his lyrics always took center stage. However, upon the millionth time admiring his recordings, my ears began to appreciate his harmonica solos. Like his voice, they're an acquired taste, most obviously cause they're musically unconventional. On the surface, they sound like a kid fooling around with the instrument, blindly hitting any note. But it's his phrasing that blows my mind.
This revelation made me chart parallels between other harmonica players and their singing.
Lennon, like his voice, always seemed to find that elusive hook that held a song together. He didn't employ the harmonica too often, but when he did, it outlined a catchy melody--tightly composed, as opposed to being an improvisational flight.
Jagger's playing also mirrors his singing in that they're both steeped in theatrical blues. I never was convinced that he was a real bluesman, but he does a great job pretending. All the trademark inflections sound authentic insofar as he's a master of summarizing the tradition, which ain't as easy as it may seem.
Onuki and Yoshimura are fun gals. Sure, they might've been fed their harmonica parts, but less fun gals wouldn't have so much fun playing them onstage. As well, Onuki sounds whiney and Yoshimura is warm.
I tried to come up with similar connections with other instruments and singers (ie McCartney and his bass), but the stylistic associations weren't as perfectly matched. Maybe it's cause the harmonica, like the voice, relies on the mouth and breathing--naturally there's a commonality. And perhaps the players that come to my mind, with the exception of Dylan, aren't famous for their harmonica talents--a true virtuoso might be able to better diverge from the parallel. Again, I can't back up my narrow minded opinion, but I've yet to hear a better harmonica player than Dylan.
Alcohol seems to diminish my sense of time. It speeds the clock up and moments go by faster than when I'm sober. Whereas marijuana augments my perceptions--time slows down, if not seems to stop. There're pros and cons for both states. Alcohol forces me to focus on the immediacy of time, but doesn't invite me to admire the bigger picture. Marijuana tends to give me an appreciation of infinity, giving me a greater sense of the now, but ultimately it stretches the little details into meaninglessness. Either way, they're different perspectives that underscore the relativity of my perception of reality, however influenced by intoxicants.
That being said, I'm not much of a drinker. The last alcoholic buzz that I experienced was induced at my sister's wedding, nearly nine months ago. I've stopped time more frequently in the meanwhile. And per the phenomenon of acclimation, sensing the years within the seconds can become commonplace, so much so that a little drink can produce an impact that swings harder in the opposite direction, whereby years can feel like seconds, than if I'd gotten drunk more often.
Analogously, I've been limiting my movie watching to foreign films. I've gotten accustomed to the thematic pace of Japanese and French storytelling, whether it's culturally different or reactionary to what America dictates. So when watching a Hollywood film, even a tame classic from the golden era, can seem otherworldly to me.
My drug dealer lent me Preston Sturges' magnificent run of seven pictures from 1940 to 1944 at Paramount. I learned that he was one of the first screenwriters to direct his own scripts--a stature that's taken for granted today. My adherence to modern American movies is practically nil, but Sturges' dialogue alone is worth patriotic recognition. It's like hearing the potential of the English language, especially spitfire comedic lines, realized. But then again, my ears have been tuned to foreign frequencies, so it's likely that my appraisal of these ancient motion pictures is outdated.
Alex laughed as she read online quotes from Sturges' films. However, I think she's beyond the average literacy of her age group--she isn't trapped by the contemporary contempt for things that aren't happening today. In fact, she recommended some books that were written before she was born.
I'm glad she got a kick outta looking up Sturges. I was feeling sorta imposing upon her and my engineer as I waited for the intermission of the symphonic concert. I knocked on the studio door to find myself interrupting whatever they were doing and sat down in the midst of a discussion of Ukrainian mail order brides. My only contribution was a standard Beatles reference. The piano concerto after the intermission was when I'd join the audience, so as I bade my time, I changed the subject to the last seven movies that I saw.
A coworker called my cell phone. He also was ditching the earlier portion and was waiting for after the intermission, to which I responded that he still had time to make it back from the gym. He stopped by the studio, but declined to invite my engineer and Alex for a drink cause they were obviously busy working on preserving the audio and visuals of the concert.
We finished a bottle of wine before the intermission was over. He relayed rumours about the pianist--that she escaped an abusive marriage and needed her intensity to be reigned in by her teacher. And he confirmed the level of difficulty of the piece she was tackling--Rachmaninoff's Third.
Kanae joined us. I sat between her and my coworker. They both being pianists wanted an angle that afforded a good view of the soloist's fingers. Before the lights dimmed, my coworker showed us a game on his cell phone that's got him addicted. Kanae leaned over me. Her arm on my mine pushed the alcohol thru my blood.
The performance earned an ovation. I agreed, although what I remembered most was hearing Kanae's breathing during the cadenzas. I'm sure my attention wasn't as keen on the piano as hers--having spent time programming orchestra samples, the verisimilitude of the instruments articulation was in my mind's foreground. Plus, she had rehearsed the piece with the soloist. She pointed out sections that were skipped, which I didn't notice being casually familiar with the score. I walked her to her car after the concert.
For me, the peak of an alcohol or marijuana experience occurs when I completely lose comprehension of time--it either passes faster or slower than I can follow. Of course, I don't attain that state of consciousness on a regular basis, partly cause I've outgrown my partying phase and my tolerance isn't worth testing. I mean, I know my limits, and being sober is fun enough. Nevertheless, in addition to abstaining, music and girls seems to enhance the effects. Thus, I got drunk tonight.
My old band, The Meanwhilers reunited last week. Well, not specifically--I mean, the five members didn't regroup and jam. Nor did we actually meet in this dimension, rather the notion that I was once in a band called The Meanwhilers crossed my mind. And sometimes that's the closest approximation of the past that I'll drag into the present.
To be fair, I came to face to face with two of the other four musicians last week--I had lunch with Seymour Greenwood and desert with Ted Ed Fred. Also, I talked to Mike Zaggs on speakerphone when he and Fred were driving thru Chinatown. As for JM Allevato, Fred told me that him and Zaggs have formed a band with twin teenaged girls who are really smart cause they got into Ivy Leagued schools and they're singing songs about television shows. So in vicarious spirit, I was consciously aware of the existence of The Meanwhilers.
Greenwood became a lawyer and had a case scheduled near the zip code of my place of employment, the UCLA Music Library. He called the day before to see if I wasn't busy and if I'd like to try an award winning burger, or so deemed by some media mediated evaluation.
Of all The Meanwhilers, Greenwood's the only one who got married, even though he's outgrown his wedding ring. When I visited Fred to pick up a Barbara Stanwyck DVD, he mentioned that he's been thinking about the future with his girlfriend. I can't speak for Zaggs and Allevato, but the last I heard, they don't've wives. As for me, Larry McFeurdy, well girls, as of this writing, which'll be a week old by the time it's posted, I'm an eligible bachelor--which isn't guaranteed to be true when that statement goes online.
I'm guessing that I don't think about marriage as much as the other singles in my age group. I mean, it's not an obsession of mine, rather I prefer to let destiny, or whatever, unfold without my worrying about it. Although, the concept does roll around my head more than The Meanwhilers. It'd certainly make my parents happy. But bless them cause their pressure isn't intolerable. And maybe that's what marriage is about--descent respect for one another. Cause I don't mind being alone, but it isn't really considerate of me to disregard everyone else's values, even if their institutions can be defined as absurd. However, I'm realizing that everything's silly, including avoiding marriage.
"But I can't stop looking at other girls," confessed Fred. I couldn't disagree as I imagined that feeling, which my background isn't sacredly vowed, of devoting my soul to another for eternity. Maybe such baloney is true if I believe it. And if so, then I figure I might as well wish for faithfulness on my behalf. I'm willing to allow my heart to prove that it's capable of not breaking another's.
Maybe my eyes are fucked up but I've yet to clearly see a LED billboard. I drive by one in particular heading south on Sepulveda at the corner of Santa Monica and either my car never crosses the optimal vantage point or the picture quality isn't calibrated. It's like there're misaligned outlines around the images--text is especially annoying to read. And I'm assuming that that's not what the advertisers are aiming for, unless they've found a setting that's an eyesore for people who don't give a shit about drinking cola.
The first time I heard a Blue Hearts song was on Puffy's album The Hit Parade. It's a collection of cover songs. They remade "Hito ni Yasashiku".
Twenty years ago, had email been prevalent, and I'd asked a girl out via the internet, well, I probably wouldn't've been so cold and've procured her company in person, but for the sake of obscuring the point of this entry, let's pretend that the teenage me stupidly did so, I'd nervously await her reply. Ten years ago, I'd've composed a hack sonata of words to lure any girl stupid enough to fall for my crap, but nevertheless would check my inbox between hyperventilated breaths. And again, this is purely a hypothetical subject, I mean, really, the common people didn't use computers to communicate back in 1987, but indulge me as I suspend technicalities when I consult my crystal ball and observe myself being laconically honest and patiently anticipating in the present.
The second time I heard a Blue Hearts song was on a concert video clip of Puffy performing "Owaranai Uta". Yumi sang and played the acoustic guitar. Ami rocked on drums.
With the exception of Buddy Holly, I only conducted superficial surveys of the early rock'n'rollers that The Beatles worshipped. I bought greatest hits albums by Chuck Berry, Larry Williams, Llyod Price, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley. Yeah, I never really was a fan of the King other than as a stepping stone to the Fab Four. And I'm aware of the respectful aspect in giving historically due credit, and I'd never deny objectivity, but subjectively, I can't ignore what I perceive to be improvements in the evolution of pop music. Hence, I foresaked further exploring most of these forerunners.
The third time I heard a Blue Hearts song was as the title tune of the movie Linda Linda Linda. It's a cool story about schoolgirls in Japan who form a rock band. I fell for the plug and purchased their import CD Super Best. The Blue Hearts ain't no Buddy Holly.
I was reading about some pseudo crackpot theory whereby the length of certain fingers can determine one's proficiency in academic skills. Of note are the ring and index fingers. Supposedly most males have longer ring than index fingers, which indicates greater mathematical abilities. Females mostly have longer index than ring fingers, which indicates greater verbal abilities. Test scores and finger ratios were studied in support of this scientific palm reading trick.
However, the article didn't mention which hand should be consulted. Cause having never compared the measurements of my digits, I was surprised to notice that my hands aren't symmetrical. My left hand's got the predominant male ratio (longer ring finger). My left hand doesn't have the predominant female ratio (longer index finger), but that ring finger is almost equal in length. In other words, I just realized that my left ring finger is longer than my right one.
So following the theory, my left hand suggests my mathematical over verbal abilities--which my standardized test scores prove. And my right hand suggests a balanced grasp of those subjects--which is how I'd characterize myself. Oh, I'm right handed, but I couldn't find any recommendations on basing this observation on one's handedness.
This led me to wonder why my ring fingers are disproportionate. My guess is that I play musical instruemnts. Ideally, I ought to be able to play the piano with my eyes closed. But I'm not a virtuoso. However, when I do play, I've noticed that for almost everything other than Bach, my eyes follow my right hand (melody) as my left hand blindly accompanies. I really don't need to look at the harmonies, but I do need to see which notes to pick from the chords. In contrast, Bach is, especially his fugues, ambidexterously melodic--both hands juggle equally focused lines. And I've noticed that when I play Bach, my eyes generally follow my left hand. It isn't cause the right hand is easier, but I tend to pay more attention to the left hand due to its non-dominance. Of course, I haven't been playing Bach my entire life. But I did grow up playing the violin and the guitar, both of which develop each hand differently--the left finds the notes on the strings as the right bows or strums. My eyes were trained to look at my left hand whilst playing.
Anyways, if anything I'd like to thank the theory for pointing out my freaky finger lengths.
I'm debating whether or not I should file a complaint with Netflix. Nothing against their service, which has been nothing but exemplary ever since I joined over a year ago--I'm getting a better deal than I would had I rented the same number of DVDs per month from my local video store, not to forget the postal convenience and wide foreign selection. However it's the current collection of un-American titles that I've got a minor disagreement with.
Well, it's not really a problem, but more of a psychological question, in particular the morals that are being programmed in some Japanese and French. Granted, those countries might have looser definitions of pornography than the legal system adopted by the USA, but at the very least, it'd've been much appreciated had some sorta disclaimer warned me of the indecent scenes that I've been unsuspectingly privy to, namely, the naked teenaged girls.
As I haven't decided whether or not to email my concerns, I'm choosing to not mention the specific titles that contain the questionable underaged pornography--maybe I might side with my natural instincts and conduct further "research" on the subject. But this isn't localized to a single film. I almost ignored the first time I saw exposed breasts on a junior high school girl during a realistic beyond American standards bathing sequence. My head was stroking the symbolism of the event and dismissed the slip of censorship as an isolated incident. However, I've been seeing alarming numbers of naked adolescent girls on my television screen popping up from other foreign films.
Part of me wants to not make a fuss on behalf of the sick perverts out there who'd probably assassinate me before provoking any investigations that might lead to the yanking of those titles from circulation. It's a secret loophole that I'd rather not blow cause I kinda feel sorry for those individuals who are suffering for their affinity towards what's been deemed eraseable from our collective memory. Child molesters might be animals, but they're people, too.
Nevertheless, as a responsible Amercian citizen, I do have a moral respect for the law. And any crack in the system should be reported as to contribute to the shaping of a better society for future generations. Cause I must admit that watching those sweet naked nymphets seduce me in my entertainment center were an evil influence. I mean, I'm not an idiot who can't control his ancestoral urges--I trust that my intelligence is capable of benevolently governing my genitals. But I'm no genius--maybe slightly above average, but certainly not smart enough to resolve this seemingly increasing malaise towards pedophilia. Anyways, there're those who aren't as big brained as me, and it's for them that I worry about falling victim to media inspired predatorary behaviour.
Well, this school year ended at a notch above past spring quarters in terms of personal connections with graduating students, vacationing staff, and memorable moments involving faculty members. Don't get me wrong, every class that passes thru the university, in particular my sphere of association, is a cause for celebration--all my previous assistants whose generous help was beyond my humble thanks, the angels that flew in the halls, and the friends that've journeyed onwards.
However, this year, my brother completed his PhD in biomedical engineering. Ever since I set foot on the campus, he's also been on and off studying in some lab within walking distance from my office. Before he met his fiance, we'd often dine together at the local restaurants. In fact, for a while I nepotismally hired him as my assistant. Anyways, he ain't staying any longer now that he finally finished his degree.
I've never been to a hooding ceremony, so I didn't pass on the opportunity. It was held at the historic Royce Hall, which is a landmark that's reserved for special occasions. My family arrived from miles of rush hour traffic for the event, calling me on their cell phones for directions--since all I had to do was travel a block from my library I was the designated contact person. So with a few of my brother's friends, we took an entire row of seats, and sat thru a long procession of introductions, speeches, and doctoral recipients going up on stage to get their sashes. I sat next to my sister and ate the salmon rolls that she snuck in for me.
I had pad thai for dinner tonight. My assistant once mentioned that she knows the recipe. I lost track of her after her recital. She's leaving for the summer and'll return next year, although she's been promoted to weekend supervisor. On her last day, her jokes flew over my head. She asked if I noticed all the music stands clogging the basement, to which I responded humourlessly in the affirmative. Supposedly she's responsible for the prank which's also meant to be hilarious. All the same, I did think that her "MINE!" notes which she placed on empty shipping boxes reserved for packing her stuff during vacating her apartment were funny.
The head of circulation offered to give me a ride back to the library after delivering a newspaper rack to her car in the parking lot. She remarked that she's gonna miss this year's graduating student workers--she'd gotten more attached to them than previous employees. I agreed that this batch was cool, but reminded her that we've yet to be plagued with any absolutely deadbeat kids. I mean, as long as we can afford a staff, the future can't be bleak. Selfishly I wished that they'll be cute, but I kept that hope to myself.
And this year ended with my thoughts being translated into Japanese. By last account, the last academic calendar was filled with more conversations in that language than ever before, partly due to my absorbtion of that country's music and movies, partly cause of my stored heritage which provides an easily accessible familiarity, and partly as a result of having many fun chances to engage it. Perhaps I'm overblowing my perceptions, but there's something primal about resorting to a culture that I grew up with yet's foreign. And I wouldn't mind if these thoughts elaborate.
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