|Out On a Lim|
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|Out On a Lim (12.10.07 - 3.26.08) >>|
Last night my dream was divided into three parts. The first was a chase scene that ended with me dying. I woke up and fell back asleep into the second part of my dream. It was super trippy and involved super natural and super psychic elements. As my eyes couldn't roll back any further, I opened them and jumped into the third part of my dream. It was a boring slice of normal life--I mean, my reality is more exciting. Anyways, the first section seemed to be set in the future, cause there were flying cars. It seemed like America was a prison. And I was on the run. Robots were hunting me down. I dove into a swimming pool, hoping that they couldn't follow me into the water. But they just fired their guns. Bullets slashed thru my stomach as I splashed around in my own blood. When I caught one in between my eyes I finally died.
Today me and an accompanist were comparing hands. She's got long fingers--they've got a bigger reach than mine even though she's a smaller person than me. And then we felt each others calluses. My left hand's got grooves dug into fingertips from guitar strings. My right hand's index finger's been pressing 1x1 plastic plates together. Her fingers've been hardened from playing the piano. My dreams are never so tactile.
The second section of last night's dream started off being spooky. I was held captive by a band of witches. They wore masks, so I couldn't see their faces. Nevertheless, when they applied their spells, a blue light illuminated from behind their disguises. Mostly they were trying to read my mind. I couldn't resist their probing of my thoughts, which seemed to occur in a manner beyond any physical sensation--it was like they were telepathically entering my dreams, which felt more like a mental glitch than any violation of my privacy. And then I realized how silly the scene was.
Tonight I decided to treat myself to a chili cheeseburger. As I parked my car, a bum crawled up to me and asked if I could buy him one, too. For a second there I thought that doing so would accumulate good karma, which is something I'm personally trying to avoid. But then I justified that chili cheeseburgers are horrible for one's health. I'd probably contribute to his death. So I accepted his offer. As I bought his dinner another bum noticed that I was treating and begged for his own chili cheeseburger. It made me feel happy to kill them both. Food never tastes so evil in my dreams.
The third section of last night's dream ain't worth recounting.
I considered refraining from bragging on the basis of the vernacular psychology that once I do I'd be proven otherwise, but as of this writing I think I've got an above average constitution. My assistant was sick as fuck last week--nose pouring, voice swollen, death cough, etc. She came to work nonetheless. But I didn't seem to catch her bug. As well, I'm aware of something contagious floating in the public air. It either doesn't find my body worth the bother or my immune system kicks ass. And no, I never get inoculated during the flu season. I don't eat vitamins. I don't count walking as serious exercise. I used to smoke. I have the occasional alcoholic beverage and recreational Class C drug. However, I also don't've enough stress to cause the slightest cephalalgia--my medicine cabinet doens't include any acetylsalicylic acid. My spiritual advisor, who incidentally wasn't feeling well, reminded me that when one's sick, he or she is "purifying negative karma". If that's true, then I'm depurifying my bad energy. I hope I didn't jinx myself.
I considered refraining from exposing myself to Jovie and thereby potentially crushing my compressing crush on her, but I bought her new album. This was her last chance to win me back as I've been cavorting with cohorts from other shores, namely those with names that originated on the same island as my mother's maiden name. Anyways, she didn't disappoint. Her voice, regardless of what she sings, seems to be one that rings not in my ears, but somewhere between my neck and abdomen. So hearing her take on The Beatles and Beatlesque tunes, with some good old fashioned American country and western sympathy, sprinkled with Spectorisms didn't hurt her chances. I was a goner.
I considered refraining from keeping OUT ON A LIM active during my current schedule, which seems to be booking at an unexpected rate--I've got patrons piling up projects well past June. A "sorry, I'm busy, read someone else's blog" note might've been posted if I was dishonest with myself. Cause the truth is, I don't mind being busy, especially with things that I enjoy doing. I suppose it's a stroke of fate that I happen to've found that certain enjoyment, not to mention I particularly dig overlapping my time. So I shan't go on vacation--why when I'm having too much fun already? Unless, of course, I fall seriously ill or my heart gets broken...
His madness keeps him sane.
Call me crazy but I've decided to on weekends stop wearing deodorant, not brush my teeth, and eat only one meal a day. Cause I don't see the point in extravagant rituals, at least if I can help it. I mean, sure I'll try not to stink, clean up my mouth, and indulge in more food than some people hope for in a week if I'm in the company of others who aren't so stingy. But left on my own, I won't care about pleasing anybody.
Call me crazy but sometimes when I look at the number "3" I see the letter "M" (rotate the number 90 degrees counterclockwise). Likewise when I see the number "1" I think of the letter "I" (they're both vertical lines). And the number "7" reminds me of an upside down "L". Thus, the number "317" appears to my mixed up mind as my last name: "LIM".
Call me crazy but in an attempt to entertain myself during LEGO building I've started to clock myself to see how fast I can finish a project. Cause I ought to be getting faster especially since I've been doing these mosaics for nearly a decade now--there are recognizeable dithering patterns that my eyes and fingers don't even think twice about anymore. Anyways, I don't wanna boast, but I finished the last 2 x 3 ft. portrait in five days. It used to take me about a month.
Call me crazy but I noticed a coincidence with this record in the UCLA Library Catalog. What caught my attention was the record ID number. It's what the library uses for internal tracking, besides the call number and any other name/title/subject info--technically speaking, catalogers call it the "bib number". And being assigned to every bibliographic record, most numbers are pretty big, given the size of the university's collection (the lastest acquisitions have seven digits). It's rare that I see one so small. Nevertheless, it's kinda an important number as it'll be forever connected with the item, or least with this incarnation of the system.
I've been playing around with three materials: bamboo, plastic, and glass.
Yesterday my tax refund arrived. It being a holiday, the closet ATM machine was located at the corner grocery store--normally I hit the tellers on campus at work. As well, I thought it was high time for me to get my car washed. So I drove the easily walkable distance. There are two ATM machines near the entrance by the produce section. An old man was using one of them and had his cart blocking the other. After a minute he noticed my patience and moved the obstruction. And as I began my transaction, I observed that these machines were new--they had more flashing lights, big keypads, and a touch screen monitor. Also, they no longer took deposit envelopes--checks were fed directly into a slot. After it ate mine, it asked me to input the amount, which I'd forgotten, I mean, previously the machine asked me to key in the value of the check before I deposited it. However, on the screen was a scan of my check with a button to zoom in on the amount. I was amused at this new technology. Unfortunately, I think the old man next to me wasn't as he continued struggling with the ATM after I left.
The Japanese use a classification system, which is based on ancient Chinese philosophy, called "Sho-Chiku-Bai". It translates to "Pine-Bamboo-Plum". Pine, or "Matsu" in Japan, represents the first level of excellence as it symbolizes long life and faithful relationships. Bamboo, or "Take", represents the second level of quality as it symbolizes honesty and loyalty. Plum, or "Ume", represents the third level of ranking as it symbolizes beauty and courage.
There's a middle aged man who seems to have a million excuses to stay in the library a good fifteen minutes after closing time. I always find myself politely reminding him that he needs to leave as he runs to the printer where he's making several copies of some lengthy manifesto that he found online. So I wait at the front door. He's the last person left--after him I can shut the lights and go home. And as he thanks me for letting him stay longer he asks for a stapler to staple the printouts that he just made. I sigh and hand him a stapler, which was a huge mistake cause apparently that's his cue to make small talk. I try to answer his endless questions about weekday hours, weekend hours, hours at other libraries, locations of other libraries, etc. Soon enough I feel like shit that he's so desperate to harass someone as inconsequential as me. But what really made me depressed was how serious he seemed about his life.
ABS is a polymericed alloy made of three materials: Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, and Styrene. It's an amorphous thermoplastic. The Acrylonitrile gives it resistance. The Butadiene gives it ductility. And the Styrene gives it gloss.
I had a dream where I was fooling around with Ami and Yumi. But when we found a love hotel they made me pick only one of them to check in with. So I chose Ami. At first it seemed like super fun finding our room, chasing each other around the furniture, and jumping on the bed. However, when it got time to have really super fun, she got all defensive. At first she'd quiz me with random questions about pop culture, to which I answered to the best of my mind's imbalanced attention to her body. Then she started to mumble. I turned off the lights in hopes of changing the mood. And in the dark, I thought about how Yumi'd probably be getting to the point by now.
The Planar lens has been referred to by three different names: the Planar, Biometar, and Biotar. Although it's basic design can be traced back to 1896, when Paul Rudolph, working for Carl Zeiss, tweaked Carl Friedrich Gauss' optical concept of positive and negative meniscus symmetry, the Biometer is the East German version of the Planar and the Biotar is sometimes an asymmetrical Planar, but ultimately the main idea is capturing a flat image.
I can't wait til my analog TV connection dies. Cause I want to kill my television. Well, to be specific, I get these violent inclinations on days when Jackie Johnson goes on holiday. I'll be tuning in during my dinner and some substitute'll be taking over her duties, be it she's on jury duty or sick or whatever lame excuse she's got, and I'll feel like shit. It's like my whole day's been a waste. Why that fuck do I wanna see someone else report the weather? No thanks. Worst of all is when some sporting event preempts her. However, rather than go thru the trouble, I'd rather not watch TV. And having no connection would be heaven.
I've never been a fan of flash photography. I'm sure there's an art in artificial light, but I can't see it. Sure, I learned about lighting in some undergraduate video production course, but I can't remember it beyond how cumbersome the extra equipement is. Well, I'm a fan of natural lighting. And my favourite lenses are designed to take advantage of such. Plus, I try to be unobtrusive on assignments. There's nothing more obnoxious than a photographer roaming around in the background, let alone one that's got a giant flash. Of course, I say this now, but I have no intention of attaching a bulb to my camera. Don't quote me on that later...
Jackie Johnson said it was gonna rain today. At first it seemed like she was wrong--it was a perfect day. The natural light was great for outdoor photos as I hiked around the campus perimeters. And I thought, geez, this little ivory tower where I spend most of my days at ain't so bad. It's like a paradise amdist the stormy surroundings. What war? What tragedies? What sickness and death? Familiar faces waved to me as they crossed my path. However, as I drove home, it began to rain.
If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.
Due to the recent media reports concerning protests against the Chinese government and their alleged human rights violations, I looked up "China" on Wikipedia. And not to suggest that I'm for or against Tibet, but all this negative attention towards a country of my ancestors got me curious as to how evil they could really be. And again, I'm not implying in any way that Iím pro-Communism, not to mention the information I gathered was from Wikipedia, so take it for what itís worth, but I never knew that China invented paper and printing--if I remember correctly, I was taught that the Egyptians and Germans were generally responsible, respectively. And then digging further, I discovered that the camera obscura was founded in China as well, by Mozi, the founder of Mohism.
On Wednesday, when traffic should've been getting worse, I was surprised to find the commute home unobstructed. This was cool cause I had to go to the local FedEx hub to pick up my newest lens--it got delievered, but I wasn't home, so the most convenient manner of reception for me to do was to sign for it at the customer service center. Unfortunately, I waited 45 minutes for the staff to retrieve my package, which wasn't as good as the woman who waited two minutes, but not as bad as the man who waited two hours.
I'd never heard of Mohism. Apparently, it was a school of philosophy that was around during the time of Confucianism and Taoism, two more familiar Chinese ways of thinking. Now, I never was a big fan of Confucius cause I find his teachings on hierarchical relationships to be demeaning. For example, between children and parents, citizens and government, etc. Not that such ain't a tidy model for keeping social order, it's just also begging for abuses of power by those that are deemed "superior" and an uprising by those that are treated as "inferior".
On Thursday, when traffic should've been getting much worse, I was surprised to find the drive after work to my former drug dealer's house to be completely clear. This was cool cause it was also the last time I'd see my spiritual advisor before his trip to France to study with his master. We all hung out and watched The Prisoner, Carnivale, and the original 1942 version of To Be or Not To Be. Although my spiritual advisor'll be gone for five to eight months, I disagreed with my former drug dealer that that's a long time. In fact, five to eight years is nothing, at least in my book.
I've always been a big fan of Taoism, especially it's theory of balance. In a way, it's a way of dealing with Confucius' hierarchical relationships without encouraging conflict. Somehow in conceptualizing a balance of power within the structure, the inferior is tied to superior as they both contain elements of the other, as in the yin-yang symbol, a sense of harmony, or c'est la vie is achieved, if only until the next revolution or lifetime.
On Friday, when traffic should've been at its worst, I was surprised to find the freeway open as if it were Monday night. This was cool cause it was the third day in a row that there wasn't any congestion, which either was a very lucky coincidence or a sign of improved traffic conditions on the dreaded 405. Nevertheless, I'm not holding my breath either way.
Anyways, it turns out that the Mohists promoted impartial love--everyone should be treated as equals, like in heaven. Whilst I understand how such an ideal never caught on with Confucists and Taoists, I respect that it aimed higher than those other more pragmatic philiosphies. And actually, it's exactly how I see the world. We're all equal. No one is inferior or superior.
I'm not the proud owner of any programmable DVR system, so I'm not fully aware of their capabilities, such as if they're able to record portions of a newscast, say, only the weather report. So I'm doing it the old fashioned way--I'm compiling a VHS tape of Jackie Johnson's segments from KCAL news. What prompted me to perform this borderline psychopathic task was her exceptionally hot outfit the other night--she wore a see thru top. Don't worry, she's classy enough not to reveal anything, but my immediate reaction was to capture the moment for future reference. And the only technology at my disposal was to hit record on my VHS. I wish I could set it to do so whenever she came on the air so that I wouldn't've to fast forward each broadcast to her portion of the news. Anyways, whilst studying her weather report, I noticed that her sexiest attribute ain't her fashion sense, rather it's her naked ring finger on her left hand.
I've been rewatching the Desmond and Penny episodes of Lost online. I think they're romance is epic. I like how she's the daughter of a wealthy merchant who dwells in England and he's a sailor who goes away with trouble on his mind and she goes hunting for him despite her father's disapproval. Now that Charlie's dead and Kate's off the island Des and Pen are my new favourite characters. And their episodes are structured trippily--they've got a lucid feel, unlike the generic flashbacks or flashforwards, they seem to be aware of the shifts in time. It's like they're removed from the conventions of the show, yet are thematically key. They're perspectives are always in the now. It doesn't hurt that the real life actor's name is Henry and that Penelope's not bad looking.
I used to think that "Jack-A-Roe" was the weakest track on Dylan's World Gone Wrong. Well, realistically it drones on way too long in a minor key. But after playing it myself I've come to appreciate it more. Especially the legendary lyrics. Of course this song ain't the first or the last to jump around between characters' perspectives from verse to verse, but singing them I found myself inhabiting their motivations for phrasing clues--Jack the sailor and his darling love disguised as Jack-A-Roe. And somehow whilst singing the last verse, where the narrator steps away from the story and proposes to his love, I couldn't help but meditate on the meaning of the words "this couple they got married so why not you and me". I mean, I thought I understood the concept of marriage, be it from the weddings I've attended, the personal accounts from friends and family, and the cultural depictions thereof. But this particular song drove it home like nothing else before.
I was looking up Ansel Adams on Wikipedia at the reference desk when the Coughing Chick stepped into the library keeping her germs at a distance from everyone and distracted me as I waved back at her. Earlier in the day I seemed to've encountered an unusal number of detours--tree cutters were working at the edge of my driveway forcing me to find another route out of my neighbourhood, the lane leading to the freeway entrance was closed due to maintenance, and a tow truck wouldn't allow me to pass on the street that spits me into campus. Anyways, the night before I'd caught the ending of some documentary on Ansel Adams and wanted to fill in some of the details that I'd missed. Last week a coworker had mentioned over lunch how the Yosemite photos inspired him to go to the park. Honestly, I've never been keen on Ansel Adams. I mean, I don't hate his photographs and I acknowledge his technique, but they don't profoundly move me to tears, such as the portraits that Lewis Carroll took. Nevertheless, I tuned in to the documentary, partly out of boredom, partly out of curiousity as to why Ansel Adams is so overrated, and partly out happenstance. The Coughing Chick coughed.
Well, there was nothing in the Ansel Adams entry that changed my humble opinion about his work. I knew that the Coughing Chick'd seen her doctor cause she'd emailed me about going to get her cough checked out. She warned me to be careful cause there's some bug going around. I felt like going up to her to let my immune system do it's job, but I was I intrigued by what I was reading about on Lewis Carroll's Wikipedia entry. Apparently, and seemingly unbeknownst to me, the last book he wrote was something called Sylvie and Bruno. Or maybe I knew about it, but I'd never let it register--afterall, the Alice books cast a huge shadow on all his other achievements. But somehow this rediscovery mattered. And reading the blurb I wanted to check it out myself. Luckily a copy was available at the main library. So when my stint at the reference desk was up and I'd finished downing some chicken chili soup for lunch I took the elevator to the top floor of the main library and found the book near the bottom shelf of the English literature stacks. In the back of my mind I recalled the Coughing Chick from an hour ago kick her spare change from under the laptop lending desk--she'd dropped it and hilariously retrieved it with her feet. I looked at the cover of the book, which had these inviting words engraved in the shape of a heart:
SYLVIE WILL LOVE ALL
ALL WILL LOVE SYLVIE
Aw crap...I just read in Sylvie and Bruno (the online version) during my shift on the shift shift shifty circulation desk today. I'd thought it was the other way around (see OUT ON A LIM 4.17.08). Sylvie was offered a heart blued and shapened alike the engraving that's on the cover of the book. And she'd read the worded inscription scriniptioned backwardianly and sidewardianward on the blue heartened and ship shape shopped shindangle shincrangle shindigdogdiggityscrandangly. An hour before my reading of my misread blunder, I was under the influence of the fRiDaY wEaThEr and Vanessa's peer pressure paranoia to play "Pick on the New Girl" at work.
I needed a break from the depressing work that was handed to me first thing in my early noon inbox--someone "lost" our copy of Sgt. Pepper and I was asked via official dispatch from the circulation commander to order a replacement. So I cheered myself up by sitting upon deck up at the circulation desk up in the front of the library's republic. The Still Coughing Chick and I discussed possible slick solutions to the surprise element of her teacher's next's week's birthday's concert's supplementary party decorations supplied by my secret reverse thief service. She predicted that the alarm system will trigger when she leaves the library cause something in her possession set it off when she entered.
The ten year old girl followed me thru the AIDS exhibit that's currently being featured at the campus cultural museum. It's free to visit, so I like to make it a habit to visit it on behalf of a habit forming visitation habitat that I spend my breaks away from the miserably mundane paperwork that I gotta file whenever I set up a new vendor in the acquisitions module. Her mother was entranced by the politically sexual installation and didn't seem to want to be aware of her daughter's stalking on strangers. Thus, I was too distracted to get disgusted by the, I know, heartfelt creation of the dress made out of a hundred or so new and unused condoms. I'm sure that the artist put it together over a span of whatever time it takes to get inspired by such a prevision, construction, and restrictions to a sense of cleverness. Or maybe it's existence belongs to a dedicated memory of a dear friend who suffered from the "disease".
Xie scolded me for misspelling "congestion". Aw crap...I've been spelling it with a "j" instead of a "g" my whole life. Scanning the OUT ON A LIM archives proves so, at least in blogging terms. So I logged onto my account and might as well've taken down the transmission with a six thousand six hundred sixty six foot crane, zapped the "g" with my zapper gapper zigzagzapper, and replaced it with a "j". I'm too lazy to go fixing all previous instances, too dumb to program a robot to do the machine suited task, and too distrusting to hire some hot nymphot to hotbox by hand every embarrassing products of my letter arranging ignorance. Henceforth, on the condition of my remembering the correct spelling and forgetting the incorrect spelling, the correct spelling will henceforth be applied and all incorrect spellings shall remain in the archive as a dedicated memory of a dear friend who suffered from the curable "conjestion".
Xus and I don't use protection. Aw crap...that's more information than I should allow on this "Parental guidance is highly recommended," highly said high high McHigh. Nevertheless, I'm not kidding when I believe, from the most revealing removal of any critical judgement or judgemental criticism that I'd've been more impressed if instead the dress was made of old and used condoms that were consciously soiled as a testament to one's love for his infected partner. Instead, it came off with an opposite reaction. That is, until the ten year old girl caught up to me and opened her bubblegum mouth.
The new girl's name if spelled backwards and abbreviated with the last letter of her first name sequentially shifted and capitalized at the front of the left-to-right axis is "L". And she couldn't keep her mouth shut. She had to just keep talking after I finished talking to begin another topic to talk about in the middle of Vanessa's indoctrination speeches--how to prep a truck of books by arranging the randomness into irrandomness, or piled according to section in the stacks based on the call numbers, etc. I doubt anyone insanely instanely instaneously instantaneously dense enough to not go into defending her defenseless defenderbender. Besides, she's the New Girl at Work. Someone has to pretend to be her nightmare boss. Otherwise she'd quit outta boredom. Company morale needs to be represented under a near oblivious reverse thief psychology, even if means seeming to be mean, when I don't really mean such. It's a fine line, but I'm fine with lining myself up with it until the final line is crossed.
"Why did someone make a dress out of balloons?" the ten year old girl practically tugged at my sleeve.
"What would you call your empire?" "L" hypothesized in her hypnotic non-hyphenated hyaena hysterics. "Our Epoch-Era," I hyped.
"I must've been drunk," was my excuse to Xie regarding my "conjestion" confusion. "Yeah, well, if I were drunk I'd still have caught the misspelling," she bragged of her natural editing skills.
"6:30," spoke Vanessa as prompted by her misreading of the undergraduate library's hours of operation. "6:00," I interrupted her conversation with the inquisitive patron concerning the published time's true answer.
"Always looking for treasure...," whispered The Vending Machine Chick. "Yup," as I spun the carousel until it became cosmic from the carousel's cosmic connection to the Cosmic Carousel until my spaceship shipped space off into outer space and entered the atmosphere of the sphere's low fat chocolate milk, or low-fate sacred cow's liquid enhanced with chemical powders mimicking the text on the carton.
I could've told the ten year old girl the truth. I was verbal, but didn't use words. I was short and to the point, but pointedly short of anything she'd comprend until later, if she happens to put our wordless exchange into her subconsciously subsafe subvaults. I was creepy, but not as creepy as raping her in a free to the public museum with her mother in the other room. But I didn't compromise the truth, no fakery in anyway of how I handled the potentially awkward situation. Cause the first thing that came to my mind was to giggle like a sick pervert for a short second--nothing manically suppression bound, but enough to think of balloons the next time she fucks a condom. As I lexited the luseam I liked looking back, in my lack of lorrow, at the little ten year old girl as The Little Ten Year Old Girl who put a smile on my face like no other, that is, until today when I forgave the Still Coughing Chick:
"Because we are both immature, I shall speak to thee in my amateur pronounciation of our tribal communication with as much eye contact to your chest and breasts and the best in the west as impossible to anyone else other than my faux shame for the same reason as the seasonal ramification of the marification and remarification which'll trigger the alarm when you leave the library. But because you are an angel upon whom the tragedy of a temporary transformation of your voice's health has ignored the outside world during the jealous jiggle of our inner moment and convinced me especially when you pounded your heart for my devoted trust and trevoted dust to allow you passage thru the bugular detector even if it passes off patterns of returnable panic," I said in so many words and body language suggestions. "Thanks," she might've misheard.
I've yet to list my favourite book on Facebook. When I was asked to complete my profile when I joined I thought I'd input the title when I finally decide on a worthy main character to declare as my "favourite book". I thought about the Alice books, but that's such a populist opinion that I opted to push it aside for later. Some of Mann's greatest novels crossed my mind, such as the one about the magic doctor or the Faustus Mountain, I can't remember which, but if I were honestly answering the category in accordance with my accordion's accord, I'd play a chord that lays the phord, for I wouldn't be praising the muse, namely the main character's chickness. I mean, I've got mental images of morphine addicts and princesses in the asylum, but no name reverse slips off my tongue. Dolores was a candidate, but I'd rather not get arrested than wear a thinly veiled red flag during any courtroom show and tell of electronic data which may or may not convict me of illegal allegations. And as I seemed to underestimate, perhaps happenstance has happened to happen, and the real reason reappearing before me is the simple logic that I've yet to read a book worthy of deeming as my favourite--otherwise, as it reasonably stands to reason with the unreasonable and non-unreasonable, I'd've'dn't've'n't be so neurotic about something so neutral as my "favourite book". For those that aren't privy to my profile, my favourite music is Puffy, my favourite movie is Ginga Testudo Three-Nine, and my favourite television show is Trick.) However, so far, Sylvie and Bruno is miles above the rest of every book I've ever read. I'm tempted to jump the declare and gun it as my "favourite book" on Facebook, but out of respect to the obsessive compulsive desire to complete everything to their bitter end, I'm choosing to wait til I finish the book before I live by my decision. However, if I weren't such a detail oriented stickler, I'dn't hesitate to proclaim my xavourite xook xofar as xo ximply from the dream within a dream chapter where Sylvie (the main chick character) is given the choice between a blue heart-shaped locket with the engraved words ALL WILL LOVE SYLVIE and a red heart-shaped locket with the engraved words SYLVIE WILL LOVE ALL. With what she proceeded with is my most favourite passage that I've ever read in a book, imagined in real life, misunderstood as a misplaced emphasis, de-emphasized as an understood place, anyways regarded as a ways to sway away from the guarded rememory, clomped on the clamped clam, drank like a skank on crank, and furthermore agreed with more further agreement than any text or subtext I've ever reverse texted and reverse subtexted. She chose what I thought she should've chose. And that's enough to over win me.
The number three is a significant number in the scheme of LEGO. At least for me, as I deal in the 2 x 4 brick scale--some builders make miniature representations of reality, be it on a scale to accommodate the manufacturer's approved action figures, or larger, as in in the scale that's based on the size of the technical sets' wheels, or smaller, as in the nano scale models. To me the 2 x 4 brick doesn't imagine to be bigger or smaller as determined by the builder's imagination, rather it is exactly scaled to real life. No calculations are needed to convert measurements. I mean, there are a lot of numbers that go thru my head when I build--"I need a four bumped single width plate," "Where's my blue eight bumped double width bricks?", or "Damn, these sixteen bumped single length bricks are good for internal sculptural support." But they're all being counted during the moment, which resolvingly pass as soon as those pieces are put into place. However, the number three is like a guiding light thru the seemingly random stream of numbers--there aren't too many odd numbers above three used in bump distribution. For it's the height of the 2 x 4 brick, which is three plates high, and when working on the lifesize scale, that's the difference between using one brick instead of three plates. An example would be on a mosaic where a single colour occupies the height of three plates. Instead of wasting the time on three times the work, the money on the generally more expensive plates, and the, in the case of two bump thick mosaics, reinforcement which connects to the backing, I'd simplify the fraction and use a brick. So the number three is always on my mind. In contrast, I'd say that I'd be more than three times as slow had I not learned of the ratio--not that it ain't hard to eyeball if a stack of plates were next to a brick. But without it, I don't think LEGO would make any sense to me, in the sense that if they changed the size of a brick to equal any other number of plates than three, I'd be certain that the universe has shifted to a new magic number, and having been programmed to look for the old one, it'd take some effort to reset my gauges. Not that it couldn't or shouldn't be done, cause unless whatever new magic number that replaces the number three is a complete pain, I'm sure I'll be cutting a deal with the switch. But part of me rests easy at night as I guess that such a radical change of standards most likely ain't gonna happen any time soon.
The sun was still up when I opened the windows in my main studio to let in a breeze during the spring weekend's heat wave. I'd been cracking the sills in the other rooms since Saturday and the glue job that I'd procrastinated til the last six hours of Sunday night was going to occur in the main studio, where I'dn't spent any footsteps in--the boiling convinced me to open all the windows. And actually, such wasn't such a bad idea given the toxic fumes of the glue.
Warping is my enemy when I glue a mosaic. I've had several crappy looking curves find their unwanted way into the ideally straight lines. Sometimes it's an almost invisible discrepancy between two bricks that'll throw off the angles, and because the glue melts the plastic, it's kinda permanent. And sometimes it's the weather which naturally warps materials. Yeah, the windows needed to be opened.
Yesterday, I was in my bedroom reading Sylvie and Bruno as I waited for my laundry to dry. The room was roasting so I released the window from blocking the cool wind. What I can't get enough of about the book is its jumps between dreams. It's like Wonderland on drugs. Anyways, the mood was appropriately eerie as I kept turning the pages until the sun killed the light.
I find it funny when a seemingly miscellaneous overheard conversation stays hidden in my mind until later when it'll surpise me, beyond being fermented in the secret underground tunnels of my brain, of its other meanings, namely in relation to my desired interpretation. There was an audio loop playing in the museum about Japanese basket weaving.
"Mosh' mosh'," I answered my cellphone after about an hour of gluing. I heard it ring thru my Puffy Walkman headphones--I was listening to the mosaic's Chopin recording. As a habit of mine, I prefer to have music related to the project. If I were superstitious I'd believe that doing so gives me good luck against warping.
I can't quote the taped lecture, but it basically said something along the lines of "I asked the weaver how she was able to weave her baskets into perfect circles, cause I tried and found my baskets hardly circular, and she replied 'If your heart is pure, you can make a perfect circle.'"
Sometimes it's the bottom layers, which is the foundation, that's got a crooked plate, that'll destroy the perfect rectangular shape of the mosaic. I keep a close eye on this important section, making sure that the glue is securing the necessary pieces, the structural integrity isn't being compromised with reassignable parallel stacking, and nothing's inviting a warp.
Objectively, trying to decide upon a single factor to thank for an unwarped mosaic is difficult. I'd like to think that I've covered those that I perceive to be relevant, and arranged them in some sorta order befitting how I'd communicate them in English, keeping in mind that some words betray thoughts, and vice versa. However, subjectively, and I could be full of shit, but I'm suspecting that the cellphone call answered in Japanese might've been responsible for more than her share.
Today's primary task was to sneak a mosaic into my office. It was secretly commissioned by the Recovering From a Cough Chick for her teacher's 80th birthday, so I needed to uphold the surprise. I'd just finished gluing it last night and was looking around my apartment for some kinda cloth to conceal it in the event that the subject of the mosaic sees himself rendered in plastic before his party. The only one I could find was the batik I use to cover my keyboard, which I thought was sorta appropriate since the subject of the mosaic is a piano pedagogue. Anyways, I loaded it into my car, transported it, and snuck it into my office without any trouble.
I bumped into "L" in the soup line. She was getting the cream of broccoli and I was scooping a bowl of chili. We met at the checkout. "Are you eating here?" she asked from behind me as I took out my wallet from my back pocket. "Yeah," I paid the non-student price, "are you?" "Maybe," she replied as I waited for her to pay for her food. We ate outside on the terrace as some kid busked on his guitar during the noontime concert happening on the bottom floor of the student center. We discussed things espionage and suppressed--her father's a diplomat and she invited me to her concert tomorrow which'll be a program of music written by composers that were subdued sometime during their lives. I told her that I'll attend.
The Recovering From a Cough Chick called me last night to ask if I could bring the mosaic to work the following day so she could get a sense of its dimensions and figure some sorta display plan. Needless to say, this had me anticipating her appearance all day--she didn't specify when, other than sometime during the day she'd pay a visit, so I waited anxiously. Not surprisingly, the day passed by quickly, with special thanks to "L" for keeping me company during the quiz of my patience. But eventually, I had to face her.
Bless the weather for being hot, cause the girls seemed to be dressed accordingly. The Recovering From a Cough Chick was no exception--I commented on her dress in her native language. Following her into my office, I reached her skirt as she found the mosaic. She seemed pleased, I joked that I didnít trust her, she pretended to punch me, and that was that. After she left "L" asked if she was still here, cause "L" was of the questioning perspective regarding collaborating with her on some Rachmaninoff. "No," I informed, "she's gone, hey, do wanna see a mosaic I made..."
I found myself at the circulation desk with "L" for the rest of the day. She was taking a training test that taught her the logic of call numbers. Penny entered the library, waved, and checked out a book. I noticed that "L" and her avoiding eye contact. "Are you friends?" I interrogated "L". The answer I received ain't worth documenting, other than I think both girls are decent human beings and I'd rather not cast either them in what might be perceived as unfavourable light.
"L" was coincidentally leaving work when I was. The thought of asking her to dinner crossed my possibilities. But as the hour of departure hit, I noticed the Recovering From a Cough Chick's skirt at the nearby computer terminal. "Do you hang around after work?" "L" wondered as she clocked out. "Uh," I stalled, "I don't practice in the practice rooms cause I don't feel like paying for a practice card." I changed the subject, which incidentally is true--ever since the administration started charging for practice room privileges, I've stopped practicing at school, except on holidays, of course. "Well," "L" hinted, "I'm going to eat dinner right now." "See you later," I waved.
Immediately after "L" left the library the Recovering From a Cough Chick turned around from the computer terminal and intentionally missed my face with a punch. After a scolding she extended a welcome to ther teacher's birthday party at his house. "Really?" I couldn't believe my ears. "Yeah," she confirmed. I was honoured. She had to be at a rehearsal so we skipped getting dinner. I left my office later than I'd planned. And as I exited the building I bumped into Penny who was hanging around the vicinity.
My mom never caught on with email. To this day, I've yet to receive any correspondence with her via computer. Supposedly, she's got an email address, but she never accesses it, or rather, I don't think she knows how to, and if my dad tried to teach her, I'm sure her technophobia refused to allow her to retain such information. So if she can't use email in 2008, she sure couldn't in 1990, when the internet was still underground and personal computers were only for nerds. So when I was in college, 18 years ago, she used to send me old fashioned handwritten letters. Since I graduated, however, she's resorted to the telephone as our main method of long distance communication.
My camera's shutter is loud. If I can hear it with my half deaf ears, I'm sure others can as well, and louder. There was a somber concert tonight and I had my camera ready, but I was cooking ideas to solve my loud shutter--if I sat in the audience, no matter where in the small theatre, I'm sure my clicking'll be distracting. Fortunately, I know the stage manager, and arranged a seat in the lighting booth. So I set up gear in the enclosed box at the rear of the room, attaching my farthest zoom lens, and did some test shots to calibrate my settings. Ironically, as no one in the audience could hear my loud shutter from behind the lighting booth's glass window, I couldn't hear the concert.
My shoulder got tapped as I was browsing an online Ringo Shiina gallery. I turned around to see the Recovered From a Cough Chick and someone I'dn't met before in my office. "Can we see the mosaic?" they asked as I was introduced to the subject of the mosaic's daughter. They both walked up to it and touched it with their hands, which seems to be the normal reaction amongst those who catch a view of it--the new girl, the UPS delivery guy, and coworkers. As well, everyone seems to want to know "How long did it take you to make it?" Then again, I guess that's the burning question that the mosaic begs of anyone who gazes upon it.
My former drug dealer related a story about Ingmar Bergman, which he'd culled from interviews that he's been reading. Accordingly, the director sometimes closed his eyes on the sets of his movies and listened to the sound of the take. And trusting only his ears, he'd declare whether or not the scene needed to be reshot. I thought about that anecdote as I took photos in silence from the lighting booth. I couldn't hear the music, but I waited for facial expressions that were musical. It seemed like the musicians who'd memorized the music closed their eyes more often, and thus appeared, at least to my loud shutter, to be more musical.
My mailbox had the usual bullshit inducing advertisements, with the exception of a letter from my mom. This was odd, given that she's never written anything to me since college. I thought it'd be hilarious if she'd mailed me her suicide note, but wiped the laughter from my face after I slit the envelope with a knife. She'd written a short note about Japanese cherry blossoms. Included was an accompanying newspaper clipping that was related to her topic. It seemed more desperate for attention than weirdly phrased. And I thought about the increasing levels of lonely souls floating around in the world. I don't first handedly feel it, but second handedly, the doubled amount of sad arms reaching out for reassurance has overflopped off the shoulders of the professional caretakers and has spilled onto my incapable fingers. Am I the only one who doesn't give a fuck about being totally and insignificantly alone?
She was like an eBay sniper when she entered the after concert party, you know, the kinda chick that pops into the auction at the very last second with the winning bid. It's like I gun jumped a bid at the moment eye contact was made with my item of desire. And I don't see any moral deviation concerning the practice, cause I admit borrowing sniper tactics for photography, but it is sorta a bummer when you don't get what you want.
Anyways, her hair wasn't blonde, and neither was her personality, which got my attention.
Not to upset any of my hot blonde fans, but to be fair, historically, I've often distributed my attention in favour of blondes that noticing other follicle possibilities seemed like a luck stroke on behalf of my good fortune to've unsupressed whatever negative feelings I had for non-blondes which has placed them in some judged ladder of super fish and fool characteristics. In other words, this hot non-blonde wasn't bad looking, not to mention trapped in the corners of my glasses like a dirty blinking distraction.
"Maybe it's cause you weren't buying the tickets for yourself," my former drug dealer theorized.
It was my failure to procure tickets to see the Pixies open for U2 that scarred me for life in terms of my confidence in automated ticket booth races. Back then it was done by phone, but the concept remains the same--at noon I had to refresh the vendor's screen and see if my mouse clicked faster than the capacity of the venue, plus or minus whatever scams the scalpers pull. However, none of my friends' other connections beat the rush.
I got two tickets to the Flight of the Conchords concert for my former drug dealer and his girlfriend.
All night I tried to shake her off my trail, especially with others, who spoke praisingly of the gifted world class performers in the other room, were in attendance. And then I thought I lost her as I tried to be as politely oblivious to the temptations of a lifetime that were looking thru my unworthy soul from the scolding perspective of a jealous prankster.
But I'll never deny a woman, blonde or not, an after concert party conversation.
The following day, during the standard day after blocking of all her ego strokes as she read her email, namely mine which was a link to the photos that I stole from the concert and party, I found myself thinking about the artist I met last night and how I should've given her a better chance--I might've missed all my opportunistic dreams when I pretended to not fully appreciate the background from which she sniped.
I wasn't gonna fall for that social trap.
The last things I remember about "E" were her perky breasts pointing east in the afternoon, the monitors were buzzing, and the keys were clacking.
"Well," I played a drum fill in the silence, "uh, I'm gonna leave you..."
"Yeah," she momentarily ducked her head out of her email reading trance to quack, "see you later..."
The first things I remember about "L" were her chummy film fun facts repartee with my engineer, that is until he hooked up with "X", and then both "L" was curb kicked. But I gotta admit, even if I'm cast in some revenge plot, I don't mind "L" being far more chummy with me than she previously pretended.
"How was your day?" she asked as she zapped the barcode reader.
"Uh," I corrected, "it's just begun, so I don't really know yet. How was yours?"
"Horrible," she horrified, blinked, and winked with a weird accent, "well, not really--I lied..."
"Why would you lie?" I boringly implored.
The last things I remember about "L" were her wanderings around my office with "A" as they searched for fire extinguishers. Her hair's always banded and her eyes are always raccooned.
"Is there one back here?" they giggled.
"Uh," I scoped my walls, "no, none that I know about."
"Oh, here's one," I heard them yell from yonder cubicle.
The first things I remember about "Y" were, in no particular order, her eyes and her voice. She can kill with both. I've been exclusiviely listening to her album in anticipation of her concert towards the end of the month. There ain't much that I look forward to in this here life, but seeing and hearing "Y" ranks up there as one of my top sights to hope for with blissful blessings. I should've know better with a liberated actress of her caliber--but then again, anyone with those eyes and voice ought to be nothing short of a heroine mixed with muse juice to tickle my tolerance. It's been a while since I've paid to see and hear music performed live. I mean, I've gotten photography assignments that've placed me in zoom lens length of musicians playing before an audience, but because of my connections with the campus' stage manger, via my engineer, and other underneath table deals, I'm fortunate enough to have access to free tickets. If my memory ain't fucked, then the last concert that I billed to my credit card was Dylan's, comming upon two years ago. I would've gone to see Puffy's last Los Angeles gig, but "E" was all "I don't know any of their songs." However, she was somewhat pointy fingered when she correctly identifiied them whilst riding and randomly listening to their music in my car. Anyways, as I wait for Puffy's next single next month, I've been focusing on "Y". I didn't bother asking any crazy chicks to accompany me as I'll probably be all geeking off on the moment that I'd might as well ignore whoever was suckered into being my date forever afterwards.
Today, I shot a woodwind concert in the rotunda of the main library. The flutist, according to my assistant, works at the music library's circulation desk. I've yet to see her on the clock, but I recognized her face as I've seen her before as a patron. My camera noticed her body, but it's a pervert, and no one should pay any attention to its primitive opinions. And the clarinetist wasn't bad looking either. Anyways, as I was roaming around the behind the scenes of the concert, I suspected that the main library's ceiling would look cool from the perspective of a wide angle. So with the cute woodwinds echoing from the rotunda, I switched my lens and snapped the photo that I posted yesterday (see OUT ON A LIM 5.1.08).
Today, I showed "L" the other photos that I took from her concert on Tuesday (see OUT ON A LIM 4.28.08)--she already saw hers cause the librarian in charge of the event forwarded my pictures to the participating musicians.
"What do you look for when you take your photos?" she lured me into a conversation even though she claimed to've only wanted to call my name a minute ago.
Now, what I like about photography is the nonverbalness about the medium. Moreso, at least thesedays, than music. Cause my eyes are following the light, rather than any of my other sensory organs. I've heard it before, but am too lazy to represent it, so am exploring the visualization of my fascination with light. So I replied:
"Some of it is in the composition," I motioned, "like the position of your bow, is it in frame, or is it unpleasantly shaped, it's hard to explain, well, I guess I sorta just 'know' when I think a photo looks OK."
There's something about "L". I don't know what it is exactly, but when I shot her, I thought about her diplomatic lifestyle--all the countries she's lived in, all the new schools she had to enroll in, all the friends she had to leave, all the music she heard, all the time she spent with her cello. That's what I tried to find in her photo.
I've been feasting on instant Indian cuisine lately. I bought a bag of the appropriate rice and've been sampling the flavours offered by convenient packets. So far I've tried two varieties of the curry and can't complain of their undeliciousness. But then again, I usually gorge on a certain food for a few weeks until I overkill my familiarity with the oversensationalized taste and move onto whatever's next on the menu.
I've also been revisiting my pasta phase. Back nearly a decade ago, I went thru a nightly pasta meal. Nothing fancy, just the cheapest brands. Regardless, I believe it lasted almost a year or so. And then I couldn't stand instant pasta.
But next to the instant Indian cusine, I've noticed some new examples of pasta, at least nothing that I remember from my old days' phase. They're kinda ridiciulously priced ($8.99 for a bottle of sauce). Nevertheless, it's gotten me back into another pasta phase.
I should've'd dinner with "L" instead of saving face with "E".
It's been some time since anyone's cashed in on Larry McFeurdy's free CD offer. I figured that the kids've forced the music industry to lower audio quality standards in favour of convenience and so anyone who'd want to hear Hacienda Heights can simply download the MP3s rather than get the WAVs thru the mail only to rip and dump them into their portable media player. Personally, I've been conditioned to appreciate, on some consumer ownership level, the physical dimensions of music packaging--the cover art, the plastic case, the art on the back, and the back of the disc where the laser hits. However, given that I ran out of CDs since the last request, I was sorta glad that no one needed a copy, otherwise I'd've to do a second printing of the album.
But really, the whole scam should be mocking me for thinking that that CD meant more than it was, namely a collection of tunes, give or take the aftermath of its public release. Yeah, the more I depend on it as a dependable dead end, in the end it'll only make less sense than it already scrapes between my fingernails in the institutional cell. Or perhaps it was my shoddy documentation that betrayed my intentions of an intended betrayal of fate. Surely, there are those who can successively bet on the future, with or without luck, but more often than not, I often am not more aware of any temporal visions coursing behind my eyes, that is until it's too late.
For the sake of old time kicks, I gave the album a spin in the dark with inhaled illumination--something I've neglected after other ways of wasting time divided my attention. It certainly sounds like the past, as my voice is more fucked up ever since I quit smoking. But it still makes me smile with defeated pride of the ambition I had back then, cause there's no way I can picture myself painting poor poetry over instrumental tracks that need to be inspired, written, arranged, performed, recorded, edited, mixed, and mastered. That's just way too much work. Maybe I'm older, maybe I funneled all the fun I gather from composing pop music into those ten tracks, and maybe I can't project the point in appointing myself to such a project anymore.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed listening to Hacienda Heights again, especially in the context of my overestimating its relevance to my life. Those are some songs that I'll stand behind as symbols of my tried and true values of organizing words and music--the number of verses, the trails to and from the choruses, the efficency of the riffs, and the bridges that keep the balls rolling. As well, "Jovie" remains as a prime pick on the tracklist, mainly cause I've been scribbling out calendar boxes in anticipation of applauding her in person. Ain't she the coolest recursive muse.
After the last fade, I turned on the lights, and for a nano moment, I questioned the negativite results from my calculated postulations of the locations of junctions whereby the culminations of my life seem to collect in correspondence with my hellish desires. Cause it would be even more of a mockery if, in the hour of darkestness, the convinced conviction of the convict's conversion'll've a slight glitch in its systematic confusion between falling from or towards grace, such that anything kinda sorta resembling the unexpected becomes expected and therefore neglected via cancellation of all hope. Wouldn't that be nice and neat. Or so I keep telling myself.
The corner windows of the print shop were filled with fast moving traffic as I waited in line. Ordinarily, I get my album artwork done after midnight, but today I wanted to get it over with the sooner preferably than the later. And so the afternoon sun reflected off the hub caps as they rolled along the street, bouncing light into the room, hitting my glasses, and landing on the Print Shop Chick.
She was a distance away, handling machinery behind the front counter, but an impression inducing chick nonetheless. Unfortunately, she seemed to be stuck in the back, as those serving the line handled all interactions with the customers. That is until it was suggested that she fucked up on a batch and was called to the front counter. Up closer she wasn't worse looking.
I wanna say she reminded me of Jovie, but with longer and darker hair. Although, her voice sounded, superficially guessing, like she wasn't as cool, but I would allow that slight. I mean, the Print Shop Chick was exactly who I needed to encounter, however without any acknowledgement other than visually, to remind me of the task at hand, namely making more copies of Hacienda Heights per someone's request.
Last night I dreaded looking for the original files, driving over to the print shop, waiting in line, explaining what type of paper to use, cutting and folding the CD jackets, and mass burning the album. It's too much work, man. It's Sunday, for God's sake. But I figure I should finish off a batch in the possible event that someone'll ask for a copy in the future--nothing as overwhelming as the initial run, but nothing that would get me to the print shop sooner.
A way to tell the difference between the first and second printings is the latter has a slightly higher contrast and a slightly lower saturation level than the former. I guess the machines and inks have been changed. Or even the paper, cause it doesn't've the same creasing strength. Also, the actual discs have different designs due to the brand altering its name's size and placement upon the surface.
Somehow the Print Shop Chick reminded me of how lucky my life is. I mean, if my only complaint is reprinting my album, I've got it pretty good by almost every standard of living. I'm not fighting for food, eating my rights, or killing anyone who doesn't follow the herd. Somewhere someone's so disconnected from themselves that they can't even remember what it's like to have stupid complaints.
Now I rolled and I tumbled and I cried the whole night long
Ah, I rolled and I tumbled, I cried the whole night long
I woke up this morning, I think I must be travelin' wrong
I teased myself with a chopstick dip into the half empty jar of spicy tomato pasta sauce. Originally, I'd planned to heat some up for dinner atop some rigatoni that claims to be made with bronze plates. However, my former drug dealer paid a visit to my office today to conduct some drug dealer photocopying, during which I gave him free access to a government owned photocopy machine as I became Facebook friends with "L" at the circulation desk, just as "X" waved "hi" on her way thru the security gate. The rest of the spicy tomato pasta sauce'll've wait til tomorrow. Cause after losing track of what page he'd just photocopied, he gave up on the illegal on several levels usuage of the government owned photocopy machine, and got me stoned on pizza and supreme whatever medical supply he pilfered from whatever marijuana clinic. My assistant gave me the lowdown on a bassoonists' boycott of a certain woodwind duo--supposedly, the clarinetist and flutist have bad rehearsal etiquette, such as the promise of dinner, but the delivery of a veggie platter, which is technically NOT dinner, according to a bassoonist who's a good friend of my assistant. What's the world comming to when even university musicians draw political lines?
"Have you heard from our spiritual advisor?" I asked my former drug dealer at the pizza joint after the parking structure puff.
"Only about the Conchords concert," he rolled his slice.
"Well," I storied, "I heard from my lawyer that he lost his luggage at Heathrow, coincidentally after they specifically had a discussion during their goodbyes about the high percentage of lost luggage at that airport."
"Fuck," my former drug dealer cursed, "your lawyer cursed our spiritual advisor."
"You think?" I didn't think so.
"Of course," he blamed, of course I didn't see the point of such overreacting accusations.
"tHiS Is SoMe GoOd ShIt..." I thought as I saw the middle lane of the freeway ride home thru drugged up eyes.
"Is he using you?" "L" accused with her overreacting point.
"Who?" I didn't think so. "My former drug dealer? Haha, no, it's totally the other way around--I'm using him."
"Well," she cursed, "if there's anyone who'll win the game of using others, it's gonna be me."
"Really?" I storied.
"No, not really," she sliced her roll.
"I can't place your accent," I asked her again in my mind between the parking structure puff and the pizza joint.
By the time this entry gets posted, I'll'ven't've'd a cigarette in nine months. And although I've kept true to my kicking nicotine, I've sadly fallen off the wagon with digital manipulation of photographs. In my defense, though, I'm not doing anything as radical as before--no fake blurs or psychedelic tints. True, I can't keep from playing with the brightness and contrast, but that and a tiny bit of sharpening is all I've been fiddling with, honest. Well, to be extra honest, I bought a new lens that's prime for portraits, and since no opportunity has yet presented itself since I got this new portrait prime lens, I've been testing its boundaries, which seem to hide under a layer only diggable after digital manipulation. However, I try to keep the fakery at a minimum. My goal, whether my camera chops are underdeveloped or my digital manipulation addiction overkicks, is always to at least make an effort to shoot the perfect photograph without any electronic darkroom tricks. Yeah, sometimes the temptation to save an image that's easily saveable, be it a tiny angle rotation or a minor contrast adjustment in the shadows, is hard to skip on, especially when such a composition'll never play again before my eyes, let alone my camera. But really, does it, on some meta-absolute level, matter either way?
And I rolled and I tumbled and I cried the whole night long
And I rolled and I tumbled and I cried the whole night long
Boy, I woke up this mornin' my biscuit roller gone
Penny wasn't wearing her glasses when she sat at the reference desk's hot seat and got my vote of support in her baseball game against her former boss. My assistant said that our boss, who also used to be Penny's boss, has signed up to go up to bat on her behalf. I couldn't disagree.
"You've be blacklisted," I described to her contact lenses.
"Yeah," she shimmered, "look, your assistant is wearing black."
Indeed, my assistant was wearing black and the flanks of light bulbs bounced off her funeral gown. Last week my assistant reminded me that Penny's grandmother died last week.
"What is that?" I held my hand out for her to hand me her electronical gadget.
"My MP3 player," she smiled from ear to ear and smiled eyes to eyes.
And I swore my allegiance.
"I don't know who to trust," I confessed to my assistant. She'd salvaged the high chair from the circulation desk and stashed it in the technical services office for her usage whenever she felt like being elevated. At the moment, she wasn't using it, so I took to her throne for a spell.
"Well, you can trust me," she assisted, "cause Iím your faithful employee."
"That is true," I trusted. "But 'Lí's been telling me that Penny's got no friends..."
"It's ten times the other way around," she laughed.
"Hmm," I scratched my uncombed hair.
On my third restroom break of the day, I found myself alone in the hallways of the music building during the afternoon classes--the lecture halls were analyzing sound clips, the library was being used as a study hub, and the practice rooms in the basement were repeating riffs. I was alone, except for for "L" at the outside the orchestra room's door. She had her white jacket on and the sun was hitting the ethnomusicology department in the background.
"What are you doing?" I waved.
"Watching them rehearse," she watched some musicians rehearse. I pretened to see what she saw.
"When are you going back to work?" I twisted.
"Like, when am I going to go back to practicing?" she untwisted.
"No," I retwisted, "like when are you going back to the library to work?"
"Oh," she unretwisted, "like on Friday for an hour."
"I'll be seeing you," I saluted and returned to my original restroom intentions.
"Fuck," I thought.
"I've got an overdue item," Penny tested.
"What?" I communicated. "Is this it?" I pointed to the duet that she'd placed on the reference desk.
"That's it," she executed.
"I can fix that," I logged into the system, accessed the circulation client with my recently upgraded and approved password, searched for her record, clicked her overdue fine, and removed any doubt that I'm not on her team. And really, I owe her for saving the library that instance when I accidentally forgot to lock the front doors of the library after hours on a Friday night. As well, my assistant is all for Penny rejoining the staff. Excpt for her former boss, we're all standing behind her.
It's not a secret
Why do you keep it?
Tonight we go over the line. I don't care what's on the other side. Let it scarecrow in the year of my awakening. I entered the elevator.
Twenty minutes til closing. Lentil soup for lunch, courtesy of Aunt Harriet. There's a special machine for sun stroke.
From the third floor, I rode two stories to the fifth.
I've never ordered food off the internet until yesterday. I was doing a cursory search on some instant Indian curry packs and found a half off coupon deal at the rain forest. I couldn't resist the deal, but I have a sneakering suspicion that I'm gonna get tired of this brand of Indian curry after I bury the bulk order. I chose the two less decadent off the menu. They're not bad tasting, but anything delicious ultimately turns to shit after familiarity burns all enjoyment.
My former drug dealer assigned some concentrated crumbs to accent the second hit of bowl of his usual prescription.
"S" poked her stiletto heal into my belly button.
Penny wore her cool summer dress. Another coworker was quicker than me at the compliment. But I had better news--I told her that my boss gave me definite clearance to announce to her "Welcome aboard again."
I've got three sessions going--the bedroom's buttered with loops and printouts, the entertainment den is playing pornographics, and the computer desk has a naughty movie running in the conscience.
This is a dream...
Distracted, but determined, I continue to write. The whores are whaling in the unwholesome dimension.
Suddenly, I'm back in my bed again.
Rachel gifted me a bag of gourmet peanuts. If there ever was a recipe for happiness, those've gotta be included.
I've been jumping around on birthdays--my former drug dealer advertised the double bummer fact that Hitler's birthday and Columbine's anniversary is on April 20th. I might've suggested that that's proof of balance in the universe, but he couldn't equate the weight of pot with mass murder.
"Dude," he assumed, "you're supposed to sprinkle the concentrated crumbs on the second hit of a bowl, not smoke it directly--no, if you do that you won't wanna smoke pot anymore..."
"S" can't possibly see any infrastructure collapses and voltage spikes.
Jovie played some late night talk show the other night. She seemed nervous as hell, yet ever so cuter for it, all tense with the tambourine and slapping the stars with her eyes of shyness. I mean, she was nothing like the confidence and swagger of Radiohead the following night--that was the first time I'd heard any of their new music, despite having a copy provided to me by my lawyer. And I was blown away by the song about denial, especially the smoke and mirrors lead guitar.
Three aloha beers, a cup of her majesty's sake, chilled green tea, and a shot of Tennessee whisky.
I couldn't face "L" today. I saw her ragged bag when I ran up the latest CDs that I marked for my assistant, who was running slightly behind. "Yeah, I saw the cabinet," Penny laughed in regards to the CDs that swamped my assistant. "What do you what me to do?" I dealt with her. "The CDs," she commanded. "As you wish," I followed.
But I did receive a movie recommended by "L" from my queue.
I hit single repeat on Radiohead's "House of Cards" for the duration of technicalally processing ten CDs. I thought of "L" dropping off her ragged bag and shelving CDs in the sliding drawers. She's too glamourous to be associated with me, thus my precautions.
Jumping on birthdays, "L" shares the same date as "E"'s teacher.
I listened to the rest of the album, but I can't shake "House of Cards" as my favourite track. I like the groove, the lyrics, and of course the smoke and mirrors lead guitaróit burns and reflects off the distant pickups bouncing off the corners of the studio's telescope into the subliminal soup.
I lost my glasses in my entertainment den. I've finally gotten used to Penny's contact lenses, or her cool summer dress might've swayed my opinion. Anyways, her hair, blonde and beyond, is not an insignificant matter of non-fiction. I can see her now, reflecting and burning her hair tosses in my three dimensional recollection. I'm so looking forward to her returning as my assistant.
Another wave of the contagion hit. Both my engineer and boss blew their noses last week. I wish I could report my affliction, but sadly, my body was igorned by the germs.
As an imaginary card holding member of the Mohists, I'm supposed to believe that music is a waste of time. I agree 99% of the tine, but it's looking like I'm gonna fail out of the forgotten sect with my 1% of hope otherwise.
I flew in from Milwaukee, Wisconsin when "L" read the city and state off the record I browsed on the online catalog. She's a spy cause she says she ain't a spy, which is the ultimate tip off given by spies. What she's after, I've yet to guess, other than making a fool of my desperation for 21 year old fuckness. I hear distorted guitars whenever she's escorted by my amplified hormones. Sometimes I fall deep into her spells of sympathy, for she's gotta've a heart of gold if she gives a shit about messing with my mind. But mostly, I'm not so easily tricked.
Originally, I'd thought that the ridiculous fuel prices were a joke. But after noticing less traffic, I'm beginning to count my blessings.
Forget about your house of cards
And I'll do mine
"Have you ever seen Oldboy?" "L" swiveled. The question was blurry, but visible nonetheless, in the past when she was visiting the studio and asking me if I'd seen that movie.
"You've already asked that question," I remembered. "And no, I'ven't seen it yet."
"Oh, it's intense," she boggled her eyes.
"Really?" I smeared.
"Yeah," she hypnotically suggested, "y o u s h o u l d p u t i t a t t h e t o p o f y o u r q u e u e . . . "
"Uh," I memorized, "I should, uh, put it at the top of my, uh, queue. Uh, sure, thanks, mumble, mumble..."
There's a baby crying from the next apartment, nothing my boombox can't beat in volume. Well, not really, I can still hear the teary yells between the dramatic pauses. And I see "L" swiveling.
"The next movie in my queue is The Seven Samurai," she remembered, kinda boggling her eyes, but they were more sorta like smearly blinks.
If there are X amount of frames needed per second to create the illusion of motion, how many frames does real movement use? Likewise with resolution, contrast, and brightness.
There was something familiar about the Greek tragedyesque characters in Oldboy. I mean, epic revenge scheme, body parts get severed, incest galore, and curses to the heavens. Throughout I thought about how all this ought to make some sorta sense to "L". Sure, superficially, it's just popular entertainment, which's got barely the resolution of a crappy television set from the 70's in terms of metaphorically representing reality, but sometimes some people recommend some movies cause they think there's something in them that's worth sharing. Although, I thought that the mind fuck techniques were fucked up, to put it mildy.
The heat indoors was bearable during the Saturday afternoon, but especially noticeable when I stepped into the breeze outdoors for my evening walk. Street lamps ignited, birds chased their shadows, cats gave me the look of death, and infinity divided at each crossroad. It was cool. I dropped the DVD off at the closest corner mailbox.
"Where's the film department?" the animated freshman chick asked. I pulled out a campus map and gave her a no nonsense explanation on how to get from here to there. "That's so far away..." she frowned and exited the library.
"That's so far away..." "L" parodied. "Do you think she rents The Seven Samurai?"
Originally, I'd wanted to say "Uh, with someone like her, I don't care what she rents." But chose to be considerate of her little charade and bluntly said "Nope."
"Here, look," my assistant produced a colour photocopy of her flyer advertising her upcomming recital. I gave it a look and a laughed, cause it appropriately captures her clarinet and bird sense of humour. She ran to the front of the library and taped onto the window at a level above her eyes next to the entrance. It gives me a chuckle whenever I see it.
A chill liquefied and froze thru my spine for a pie charted second when I connected the memories of the disappearing dots. But sorry, my elephant's memory has flown the cooperated negotiation. Give me my demands, namely no more unfair lapses of good fortune that figure me apart from the desolate and let me have the choice to escape from fate, minus all your brainwashing to suggest my rewired acceptance of your control. Only after I get those cleared into my account, will I begin to betray nothing of any importance to whatever I was never mind writing about.
There's a sloppy curve on the 405. It doesn't guide my car like a well designed freeway ought to. Cause my tires, which normally don't slip outta of the lanes, feel like they're drunk at this point on my homeward bound commute. Well, last week, when I hit the curve, I landed in a perfect only for that suspended instance of everything--my car, my glasses, my speed, and my angle on the cracked dimesion--lining up exactly such that I could keep from crashing within a peripheral reflection of the oncomming traffic's vehicle lights. It fogged my sight and it's highly likely that my steering wheel was being guided by a hand other than mine. Silhouettes of my multiple personalities jumped ship.
I was absolutely alone.
And this is what I understood:
"I just turned 21 last week," "L" answered my questioning of her age. "You missed my birthday..."
"Hey, wait a minute," I computed, "you've got the same birthday as 'E'ís teacher."
"Yeah," she bummered, "that's why no one was at my party, but that's OK, cause he turned 80 and that's a bigger milestone than 21."
"Did you get drunk?" I jokingly jabbed.
"Yeah," she widened her smile.
Well, imagine that "Hey, wait a minute" realization compound in my brain so that it rings thru my blood like an echo down the evolutionary layers of my cells, grabbing the receivers honed by billions of eras of research, for a special broadcast from central bureau about the state of my soul.
"Um," the godly voice spoke, "I'll be brief given your car's precarious circumstances on earth--I gotta get that curve fixed. Hey, do you mind if I smoke a joint? Like you have a choice, haha, just kidding. Anyways, let's see, uh, where were we? Oh yeah, the state of your soul. Let me pull up your file..."
I was in a marble office. Angels flew around in crazier than anything on earth geometric patterns. I did notice one of them with wings similar to "L". And another that reminded me of "E".
The joint smoking clerk commented on my file.
"Dude," he sucked in a hit, "it says here that you're supposed to notice two angels within their, uh, production back there." He waved his hands at the flying girls. "Thank you, ladies," he megaphoned. And so they flew away from the windows of my mesmerization.
"Keep an eye on them," was his suggestion. "Don't lose them from your sights, no matter how evil one of them might seem. They'll move fleetingly, but they'll hold still, if only in your patience. But don't force yourself onto their paths. Let them cross yours only when they feel like it. And always remember not to pick a favourite--everyone is tied for number one..."
I blinked and the v i s i o n was gone as I managed to safely find myself further down the freeway.
"O"'s my earliest consciously connected memory of my last connected conscious memory of you. I remember the first time I saw her wings...
There's a northwestern outdoor patio of the music building that students often use to have smokebreaks, skateboardings, cellphone conversations, homework copying, flirting, etc. Well, it was in this space where I stumbled upon "O" upon the concrete under the tree next to the handicapped ramp eating a prepackaged sushi kit.
This must've been happening sometime approaching a decade from now.
Ten years ago I was yet to embark upon my blessed and cursed toy brick sculpture career--something that's given me an external link on the internet encyclopedia's entry for "harpsichord", but given the tempermental rewrites on those pages, I'm probably hanging by a thread during each revision.
Anyways, I was wondering if "O" has heard and played on the fortepiano these days.
Because I've been unequally pouring glasses of orange juice, I've underestimated the final day of the week's ration. But that's cool, it's not necessary in the ultimate survival sense, namely in the jungle where plentiful vitamins and fortifications don't directly numb people down to regularly scheduled government planned meal plans. But when there is a meal it damn ought to include some celebration and thanks.
I've signed myself up for a curry experiment. 24 bags are gonna be flown in and I'm gonna regret having sold myself out to a coupon contrivance. But between those days I'm gonna brew my own stews from consumer level scratch--select ingredients from the closest within footwalking distance grocery store, cut them up, throw them in a bowl, heat, and eat. I'm gonna be shitting curry in my sleep.
Anyways, "O" was a cute little German girl from Germany (the bigger one, if I remember correctly). She had the accent and the plain, yet refined, or perhaps undetectably and subtly made up beauty of a European--someone not from here. Sorta like "L", but not performed on piano, but perfumed from the same royal Anglo breed.
"Say 'heard' again," I begged.
"No," "L" turned away from giving me a chance to silly up her mixed and matched global accent but giving me a good view of her back story.
Rachel's peanuts have sustained me during this single meal a day on the weekends regiment. Cracking them open is half the fun. Supplimented with the cheapest market value fermented soybeans and iced tea (no alcohol, except at Sunday night's feast) I'm building an appetite for tonight's party. That last drop of orange juice was worth repeating.
It's like the last hit off the last bowl made of the last crumbs from the last bottle of pot. It's like the last time fucking the fucking time away with your last lover. It's like the last dream in worldly sleep of a place prophetically called heaven before waking up for all eternity in a place that could quite possibly and or impossibly be mistaken for some mild conception of hell. It's like being led to the top of the cliff and instead of being beamed up by the divine phantom spirit are told to jump to your sacrificially justified but not cool cause you were fooled to believe that you were gonna be given holy salvation and instead were given a freefall without a parachute death--but then again, maybe if you belong to such a cult, the cliffhanger's exactly what you wanted to see coming and you'll believe, per your faith in the scripture, that you got what you deserved based on your version of how you envision the last day your life. It's like seeing the tiny orange puddle collecting in the glass, picking it up with both hands, turning towards the sun, tilting my head backwards, holding up the see thru cup to my mouth, and letting the final juice trickle back and forth down the subtropical beach weather distorting in the background of the kaleidoscopic tube for the last time like it ever will forever. Well, until tomorrow, when I'll've restocked my refrigerator with more orange juice.
I gotta say that after getting my "mindís eye" blown away once again after reading another of each following chapter of Sylive and Bruno I'm nigh betting that the book's gonna be one of my all-time favourite novels. I can't believe it's slipped thru my attention's cracks before--it's akin to discovering that your favourite band had a secret album that they hid from the public and it actually turns out to be the best damn work they've ever produced, despite being cast under the constant classical comparions to the more famous hits. Cause Alice's cool, but she's got a giant fan base, not to mention my "mindís eye" has no frame of mass produced reference when I hang around with Sylvie, the most perfect female character in all of the limited literature that I've read. Nevertheless, there are some heartbreaking scenes where she kisses a dead rabbit that had me remarking positively in favour of how the scene is bracketed with a simple lesson on intensifying what Carroll calls that "eerie" feeling whence Sylive appears during the absence of cricket noises. And besides those almost chick flickesque episodes, there are some insanely magical contraptions, namely the Outlandish Clock. Keeping in mind that the book was written during the Victorian ages, my jaw inverted into Wonderland, got chewed in reverse, and spit out into a time warp like nothing I've ever experienced in all of the limited time warp literature that I've read--it was both spooky when Carroll called the looping clock trick "ghostly" for the literary effect that the illusion relied upon and the scary legends of drug abuse, pedophilia, and stuttering in the absence of children. But I suppose the propaganda against the author adds to the cause for appraisal for such brilliant imagery that was imagined way before television was instigated. And most importantly, before having read the end of Sylvie and Bruno, I'm nigh certain that I won't lose a bet with myself that Carroll is a genius parallel with expressing equal parts logical and religious compassion for a dead rabbit--he wouldn't hurt a stuttering child. I can't comment on the drug abuse.
I got hooked on those prepackaged sushi kits that "O" used to eat. It's not their relative expensiveness, although the money I save from cutting them from my diet ain't not welcome, but after eating those salmon rolls like there was no tomorrow reminded me that yesterday ain't today and tomorrow will be yesterday if today doesn't become yesterday's tomorrow. So I switched to soup. That isn't to say I would or wouldn't recommend those prepackaged sushi kits, although my descriptive naming technique ought to conjure the subliminal lingo of plastic boxes, plastic bagged condiments, and plastic grass. But I enjoyed them all the more for their vicarious taste into her mouth as she breathes the fuzzy dust floating below the stage lights off the fuzzy curtains in the focal point of the fulcrum between sitting down at the pianoforte and beginning to play. Within that span of, as Carroll fucking hilariously called a "comma", I drifted into the top floor of my spaceship. I looked out the window and saw a cult of my followers waiting for me to beam them up from a cliff. And I pushed p a u s e on my "mind's eye's" view of my "mind's videotape". As I crack open the last of three styrofoam packets of the cheapest market value fermented soy beans, one of my perspectives hightails it back to last night when I consumed the first packet during Oldboy (I ate the second during Sylive and Bruno). There's a wicked paragraph on seeing books with your "mind's eye" that should be incorporated into some corporate sponsored literacy campaign. I mean, I can't read text in the manner I did before my "mind's eye" was opened anymore. Everything is much more visible than I could've ever predicted. Or has it always been so and I'd forgotten during my infamous lost decade? And coincidentally, when my "mind's eye" travels with Sylvie, I don't get any contemporary culture shocks, which often happens with hack authors who can't write a timeless masterpiece if their wife and kids depended on it. No, with Sylvie I forget that it's written in another era, and interact with her in the book's chronolocial terms as well as from a modern slant. It's sorta like a movie, but before the language of cinema was fully developed, happening in the context of current motion picture technology. For the music, I envision "O" dueting with "E". Maybe a thirteen voice prelude and fugue based off lyrically poignant sections of the melody to "Love In Vain". "O" returned to Germany after she graduated and stayed in my stomach via those prepackaged sushi kits. And I'd probably've dismissed her as a cute but insignificant character in my back story without having read "E"'s dissertation's dedication to her. Of course, that was before my "mind's eye" was activated, but then again, I can send a perspective to shoot some coverage of the memory and recreate it with somewhat revered accuracy, given that I have no idea what the end of the story has in store for my association with "E"'s obviously edited writing skills.
Mid-priced beer and tuna curry pasta is gonna be celebrated and thanked tonight.
I received four pennies in change from the grocery clerk with the star tattoo next to her left thumb. She looked like her ancestors braved lions on the African deserts. I put the coins in my pocket and thanked the anonymous bagging chick for not using too many plastic bags--the orange juice and beer were spared the humiliation. I've fired up the second burner for the curry sauce as the first one's boiling water for the bronze plate made fusilli. I turned down the knob to a simmering level as the spice cubes bubble in potted water.
"Why is it that man made flower beds smell like fertilized shit and real displays of botanical nature don't?" I asked the grasshopper whom I met on the walk to the corner market.
"So you smoked the last of your concentrated pot crumbs?" she buzzed as she followed me at a wing assisted pace.
"Yeah," I denied--there's actually one more hit left in the bowl.
"Well, here's what you're gonna wanna do," she perched and preached. "Get a six pack of beer..."
"Mid-priced beer?" I classified.
"Sure, whatever," she rolled her grasshopper eyes. "And cook it with the curry."
"What?" I mistrusted.
"Yeah, dunk some into the mix, trust me, the secret ingredient to all good dishes is beer," she solved. "And it's just another reminder of how perverted man's sense of nature has become where shit helps bloom beds of flowers into displays of seemingly mismatched concepts of scientifically enhanced beauty."
"Thank you Ms. Negative Grasshopper," I thought as I bumped into a crow drinking from the gutter.
"Do you have any pot?" she crowed.
"Nope," I crowned.
"Well," she continued, "I'll tell you why flower beds smell like fertilized shit and real displays of botanical nature don't."
"Knock yourself out," I kicked back on the sidewalk. A widow was washing her car in the nearby driveway. The drops of sprayed water felt cool in the hot afternoon sun.
"First of all," she preached and perched, "would it hurt you to only drink alcohol on the weekends--it'll be twice as fun cause you'll miss it during the week. Secondly, you should walk your route again later tonight, after the sun goes down and the temperature drops--you won't regret it. And thirdly, don't measure your curry recipe, go with your instincts. Beauty is in the eye of the flower bed's beholder."
Some dishes are so good that washing them afterwards isn't considered a chore. Such was my mid-price beer enhanced tuna curry pasta. I'm of the mind that good curry is slurped--it's gotta be watery, like soup, like my best memories offer. Tuna is a surefire blast. And I've always wondered what seafood pasta would taste like drenched in apple and honey flavoured curry. Maybe it's the trek in the hot afternoon sun, the beer, the concentrated pot crumbs, Zooey on my soundtrack, Rachel's peanuts and the cheapest market value fermented soy beans supplementary diet, or the four pennies, but I can't remember eating anything so yummy. So far the curry experiment is a success.
The BBQ was fired up at the usual party spot along my route. Blind Pedro swept the grounds of someone economically equipped to hire him as a grounds sweeper. Grasshoppers and crows flocked and jumped in the hot afternoon sun. A beer would certainly be a quenchable distraction from the horrors of the world beyond the borders of my neighbourhood. Someday, I'm sure I'm gonna cook a crappy curry dish. One that'll've me throwing it out before it gets a chance to be finished. And its utensils will remain unwashed for untold months.
I think I'll keep the curry recipes simple, for now. Tuna today. Maybe I'll add other things like potatoes and carrots to the stir next time. And I'll change the proportions, cause I didn't write any of them down, until I get a handle on how much water and beer to add. I'm inclined to try other national varieties of curry, too. Rice and pasta'll also be sampled with a tongue to tune my taste buds according to what'll best fit my appreciation of the spices. As for the tuna, I'm willing to skip it in support of my fellow vegetarians, with an eye on importing gourmet fishes for those special occasions when I'll grant myself the privilege to devour a once living creature.
Sunday afternoon's probably the worst time to go shopping for groceries if one doesn't want to be shuffled in a crowd of suburban families fixing to feed themselves in lines of carts and credit card authorizations. But I figured I should get some sun and the walk'll do me good, especially when I revisit my route again later tonight in the cool ocean evening breeze. There weren't any ugly chicks in the orange juice, pasta, and beer aisles either (I purchased my curry cubes from the Asian market yesterday). I picked "very hot" cause I like my curry slurpy and so.
Coincidentally, the Asian market was outta stock on my brand of sake. That's when I realized that I've been drinking way too much of that stuff and got curious as to the after effects of halting my addiction. And strangely, the night lasted longer and more immediate than ever before. Of course, I don't discount the effects of concentrated pot crumbs and my heroine Sylvie. Nevertheless, I didn't miss my nightly cup of sake.
From the light of my computer monitor, I found the chords on my guitar to "Love In Vain". With each run thru of the progression, I awed at the resourcefully uttered lyrics, and doubt that they can be simplied any further than "It's hard to tell when all your love's in vain". Cause I feel like most music prides itself on elaborating beyond pity's sake and pulling a prank on the audience such that the composer and performer seem more gifted beyond most listeners. It's refreshing when the bottom line is drawn so simply that any idiot ought to understand the most basic verses of the human complex. I don't give a fuck about intelligently expressing beauty, but if you don't grasp the eternally confusing vanity of love, you'll never mess around with anything else.
I put the four pennies in my pocket and headed home.
In the movie theatre, the girl sitting in front of me had blonde hair and wore a red dress. She drank a lot, too. But as the audience waited for the show to start, staring at the back of her head was entertaining as hell. I imagined her being the most beautiful girl in the world, although I chose not to look at her face, cause I didn't want to spoil the fantasy.
Last night, I caught most of a public television documentary on Carol Burnett. She's entrusted a lot of her personal memorabilia to her alumni's special collections library, which happens to be where I work. Some of my coworkers have pictures of them with the host of The Carol Burnett Show framed in their offices. Anyways, she wore a red dress similar to the girl in the movie theatre, and the associated memory crossed my mind, but didn't ruin the fact that she wasn't Carol Burnett.
However, I did notice that the red dress matched the curtains that covered the screen. If my calculations are correct, the last time I sat in an American movie theatre must've been about a year ago, when I saw 300 with my brother-in-law. The movie that this single screen theatre (one of those old relics from old Hollywood residing on Sunset Boulevard) had on its marquee was Forgetting Sarah Marshall. My brother-in-law worked on its trailer and I'm getting a t-shirt soon. But despite the setting, I wasn't sitting in a movie theatre to watch a movie.
My former drug dealer called the other day whilst I was playing folk tunes on my bamboo guitar. "I just saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall," he related. "How was Veronica?" I instantly asked. "She plays a character who's a TV actress whose show gets canceled, so I don't know how much acting she did, but you'll like her role." "Cool," I mentally put it in my queue. "Have you seen Oldboy?" I conversationally questioned. "No," he elaborated, "but I heard it's pretty fucked up."
"I saw Oldboy," I called to "L" as she ducked down the alley of LPs at work. She was leaving fast. All she wanted to do was tell me to tell her supervisor that she couldn't work today--her teacher was scheduling an extra lesson. Actually, this didn't bother me too much cause I was going to see Zooey Deschanel (and her band She & Him) in concert tonight, I was gonna head to the venue early, leaving me no time to bug "L" during her shift. But she did turn back and commented on the movie that she recommended I put on the top of my queue.
And we both recounted our shock at the photo album scene--there's plenty of action and violence, but somehow we didn't focus on those aspect of the movie. Behind me in the line to Zooey Deschanel's concert were two dudes talking about how today's blockbusters are "narrow minded" with their fixation on action and violence. "I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to see a movie with subtitles and doesn't've explosions," one of the dudes complained as I rolled my eyes.
Appropriately, Zooey Deschanel, the actress from such films as Elf and Almost Famous, was playing a concert in a movie theatre. I don't think it mattered in terms of my awkward pop concert attendance generation. I mean, it seemed like everyone in line was being born when I was their age. And it didn't help that I couldn't find any young enough fans to accompany me, which probably added to my weird creepy loner stalker profile. So I just zoned out on the vanilla tinted sunset going down over Sunset Boulevard.
The girl in the red dress in the movie theatre bobbed her head to the beat. The concert was cool. I know it's pretty commonplace to catch movie stars wandering public places in Los Angeles, but it's rare that I give a damn about them, let alone they've got albums worth my paying to see performed live. So seeing Zooey Deschanel in person was a treat that I have no idea how to begin thanking for--she's my favourite American actress and it helps that she did a cover of a song that The Beatles covered ("You Really Got a Hold On Me"). And her eyes are just as wide in real life as onscreen.
"I'm so glad Penny's gonna be working with me," my assistant mysteriously read my mind. Later, as I covered the circulation desk, "E" tried to make me remember my birthday. "Was it yesterday," I threw in Japanese, "or is it tomorrow?" To throw her off the track, I returned the liner notes to her teacher's CD that she let me borrow. Earlier, I ran into her on the stairs to the center of campus--she was walking up as I was walking down. She seemed busy on her cellphone so I just waved without stopping. Anyways, in anticipation for tonight's concert, I had Zooey blasting thru my headphones.
Just before the sun finally set, my eyes recognized an unexpected passerby. "I'm getting a haircut around the corner," Mandy, my former assistant, bumped into me in line, which cause the concert was sold out, stretched around the block. After the usual "how's it going?", "who's playing tonight?", "how's everyone?", and general bonus social points that de-emphasized my weird creepy loner stalker profile, I added "well, it's amazing that you picked me out of this ridiculous line." She pointed to me as she left "Iíll always find you..."
Before going to sleep, I got comfy in my bed, and thanked whoever or whatever for the perfect day. Maybe if I was brought up with proper religious training, such as how to pray, I might've been better prepared to express my gratitude. However, it was a warm night, so I had my windows open, whispered "thanks", and off in the distance I heard someone start their car. The cranking of the engine igniting sounded wishfully like "you're welcome".
On the drive home from watching the latest episode of Lost with my former drug dealer and my former roommate, as I hit the last stop sign before my apartment, I changed my mind about drinking the bottle of sake that "E" gave me today--I'll save it for another day.
I forgot to pick up my paycheck due to all the excitement of the surprise birthday cake my coworkers sprung on me after I covered Pearl's shift at the reference desk, the awkward interrogation of my opinion by "L" of her quartet's performance in the main library's rotunda, and "E"'s bag of gifts that she dropped off before she headed to her gig at Santa Monica College.
Amongst the book signed by her teacher on the day after this year's Bicycle Day, a birthday card purchased in America with an inscription in Japanese, and eel jerky was a boxed bottle of sake. For most of the day I imagined toasting a glass to myself before officially ending the first day of my 36th year. But decided to put the book on the pile of photography portfolios that I've got checked out from the arts library, the birthday card on my music stand alongside holiday greetings purchased in Japan with inscriptions in English, the eel jerky by my bins of rice, and added the boxed bottle of sake to my collection of alcohol.
"What did you really think about our playing?" I thought I heard "L" joke.
"To tell you the truth," I spoke truthfully, "when I shoot those concerts in the main library's rotunda, I'm mainly concerned with the light."
"No, really," she either was stretching out the joke or hinting at a lack of self confidence.
"Really," I held onto my facts as I mimicked camera motions with my hands, "I'm focusing, I'm setting the shutter speed, etc, etc."
"No, really," she didn't laugh. "Forget the photos, what did you think of our playing?"
"I've heard worse," I couldn't think of anything nicer to say besides my conscious oblivousness to the world around me, most of all music when my eyes are looking for photographs. Luckily, a patron interrupted. I had a suspicion as to where "L" was trying to lead me with her twisted sense of humour, but pretended to be a helpful library worker and answered the patron's questions instead of pursuing my hunches.
"Surprise!" everyone yelled as I saw that my coworkers had cleared off my assistant's work table and arrayed a birthday cake atop it. "Thanks," I shocked as I cut a slice of the chocolate cake. I wasn't expecting such a big deal, and it was a delicious chocolate cake, but unfortunately, I forgot to pick up my paycheck. Fortunately, it didn't really matter.
I woke up in a panic not knowing whether or not my daughter was alright. And then I remembered that I'm not a father in yet another case of confusing dreams for reality.. .
I could've sworn I saw a worm inching in a bowl of rice. It blended with the raw fish with the exception of its movement. Now, I've been known to've'd hallucinations, and I did drink some pot and smoked some beer before and during dinner, but those drugs aren't strong enough to accent my visual imagination, yet the worm kept bugging my eyes. I decided not to let anyone else know, cause I didn't want to cause any distress amongst the faithful customers, although I quit on the rice from that moment onwards.
My lawyer's expecting a baby girl in July.
"Your Japanese is horrible," "L" remarked after I conversed with "E" during the intermission. We'd just heard Strauss' Metamorphosen. "What did you think?" "L" turned to me after the performance. "The actual piece was cool," I confided. "Wow," she boggled her eyes, "you're more critical than I am." Throughout the hours before the concert, we'd been arguing about performances and compositions--she stating a case from a student performer's perspective and me admitting that a non-student composer's point of view is the first one that I hear when approaching music. "I wanna check out the score from the library," I confessed. "From your library," she corrected. "From our library," I corrected her correction. Before the concert we had dinner at the main campus eatery--she chewed on a pretzel and I gobbled a burrito. As we entered the doors, we noticed my engineer and his girlfriend a few steps ahead of us. Earlier in the day I was hanging out at the studio as the string octet was rehearsing. My engineer told me to test out different microphone patterns. "I like the figure 8," I revealed. "Really?" he prompted, "I like it at 2 o'clock." Indeed, his pattern seemed more realistic, but I tended towards the ideal--a wide stereo field as opposed to the natural separation of the right and left channels. "You should check out the concert tonight," he added.
I got the photo for my next LEGO commission--a wedding anniversary mosaic.
I was listening to Radiohead on my Puffy Walkman when I felt the urge to have and affair. I mean, their latest album In Rainbows, to the best of my interpretation, has this cheating vibe--"You'll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking." Anyways, as I went on a restroom break, I bumped into Penny in the halls. Luckily she was on her cellphone and I was plugged into my portable music device. We waved as we passed each other in otherwise silence.
I went to bed hoping to meet my daughter again in my dreams...
I got in a mild disagreement with my dad regarding the status of Elvis Presley as the "greatest singer of all time". Whilst I don't mind him stating his opinion, I found it disturbing that he tried to back up his preference with claims used by record companies to sell the public nonsensical ideas about judging music, such as "he's sold millions of albums", "he's a historical icon," and "he's the king"--my dad sounded like a commercial for Elvis. Well, I hate to say it but there's no such thing as the "greatest singer of all time", except in one's mind. And even if millions of people agree, it's still a million opinions, which doesn't add up to anything unless one believes in rules governed by millions. And whilst I can see how many human values, politics for example, can be voted upon, music not only is unquantifiable beyond obvious parameters, I mean you can count the number of beats and find "correct" measurements for pitches, but its as ridiculously important as the "greatest colour of all time" or the "greatest letter of the alphabet".
That being said, a movie director approached me about shooting a documentary about my old band, The Meanwhilers. And whilst I'm sure we were hardly the "greatest band of all time", I'm fully aware of the publicity, good or bad, that a film can stir--if anything our music'll be heard by someone, even if it's only the director. Cause this isn't the first time someone's wanted to document some aspect of my life. I've done interviews on camera and've'd photographers take pictures of my sculptures for movies and books that've never gotten finished. I mean, the attention is flattering, but it's been my experience that these things usually don't get off the ground. Nevertheless, the director asked me for copies of our old albums.
Actually, I can't tell if a musical performance is good. I know when it's bad, meaning I want to discontinue listening to it, which is extremely rare. But really, when I hear music, I'm concentrating on the composition first, the performance is secondary. Cause I'm more forgiving to the follies of the musician, after all they're only human and are living in the moment, than the ideally timeless notes on the page. There's nothing wrong or right about how I approach music, but "L" mocked me for listening to Yo-Yo Ma's recordings of Bach's suites for unaccompanied cello. Honestly, I don't care who's playing them, if anyone's playing them at all, cause those compositions, in my opinion, are written down like perfect formulas--even if they're played "wrong" the score will always be "right". Anyways, "L" is gonna burn me a copy of her favourite recording of those suites. I'm looking forward to changing my mind.
For those of you wondering where the actual locations of the photos in my A Series of Eight Threes series were taken, here's the answer sheet:
The First Three (3.27.08): Parking Lot 5, UCLA
Editor's note: I liked the afternoon light on the bamboo in the background of the monolithic foreground's "Level 3" signage, sorta looking like a stereotypical kung fu video game typifying the gameplay's categorization of one's personal achievements in some numerical system of honourable glory whereby the implied idea is to ascend to the end.
The Second Three (4.2.08): Elevator, Broad Art Center, UCLA
Editor's note: I liked the non-smoking signage above the "3" composed of tiny red lights next to what appears to form the shape of an arrow pointing downwards, which in contrast to The First Three, points to my preferred direction after climbing to the top of the university's art department--I find it easier to go upwards on foot and save my strength as I ride to the ground.
The Third Three (4.10.08): Hilgard Ave, UCLA
Editor's note: I think if you pan back, the speed limit was something like 30, I can't remember the specifics other than that "3" looked cool under the "SP" and "LI". Other than that, I think this shot stretches my definition of a "good shot"--I mean, it's a cheap shot to exclude the second digit.
The Fourth Three (4.16.08): Garage, Engineering IV, UCLA
Editor's note: I like the blur on the top and bottom edges of the "3". And I appreciate the tight grip on the series' theme.
The Fifth Three (5.7.08): Parking Lot CHS (Center for Health Sciences), UCLA
Editor's note: This is the photo that made me slip with my then current rule of no drastic digital editing. But the "Plaza 3", sinking into the shadows and the concrete textures above the signage begged to be conjured from the pixels.
The Sixth Three (5.19.08): Chapter Three, Sylvie and Bruno, Fifth Floor, YRL (Young Research Library), UCLA
Editor's note: Well, technically, the photo was taken at my apartment, but it's real shade and home is more whiter than the sepia manipulation and the UCLA library stacks. I like how the heart is shaped like Sylvie's pendant.
The Seventh Three (5.21.08): Garage, Melnitz Hall, UCLA
Editor's note: This was at the school of theatre, film, and television. I stumbled upon it whilst trying to frame a failed shot of multiple prop doorways in the middle of the backlot--the light was all wrong. And as I turned around, there was a circled and pseudo watermarked "3". Click.
The Eighth Three (5.23.08): Faculty Center, UCLA
Editor's note: I walk past this part of campus everyday after work on my way to my car in Parking Lot 2, but it wasn't until I started this photo series that I noticed that the crack in the sidewalk across the street from the basement exit of the music building looked like a "3". I really like this one, it's my favourite in the series, cause it seems more random. Now, shooting that photo in the daylight was tricky, cause the entrance to the faculty center gets a ton of foot traffic--I had to wait for a gang of school kids waiting for their school bus to unvisit them off the university campus. Plus, spending too much time in that center of faculty dancing and dining pleasures with a camera pointing at a crack in the sidewalk that looks like a "3" can mislead others to think of me as slightly being confused in the head. It was like quickly stealing a shot at the edge of absurdity.
Emily was dressed in a white short skirted number with gigantic sized glazed buttons running downwards and upwards along her sleeves and backside, drawing John's eyes towards the size of the decorative locks shielding her nakedness, as well as inviting his curiosity to purposely peer into some unknown angle of time where he's wearing a shirt for the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall to which he received multiple accusations from several undergraduates of "false advertising" on account of his non-viewership of said motion picture.
"Did you see that movie?" Exandra intentionally interrogated.
"No," John claimed, unaware of the message he's been sending via his choice of upper body apparel.
"That's false advertising," she seemed to allude to some conclusion almost, but not quite, within his range of reality.
"Whatever," John dismissfully thought to himself.
On a routine statistics scout, I unforturnately caught the keywords "jackie johnson married ring" leading some unsuspecting searcher astray into the twisted illogic of my blog. Later that night, as I had my finger on the trigger of my VCR's remote ready to to hit record when my favourite weather chick took to the air to knock me into another dimensional divide where Emily points to the black circles on her feet. She forces John to acknowledge their existence in the perfectly lit library, behind the circulation desk, her legs dangling from an elevated chair, her tights reflecting the lights hanging from the high ceiling--indeed there were smudge marks above her toes.
"Do you think they look like bruises or bad laundry skills?" she kicked.
"Uh...," John lost his bouncing thoughts.
"Well," she opened, "they're not on my feet, they're on my tights."
"Uh...," John still hadn't mingled with her meaning.
My theory on why I haven't the faintest jump on the way too late on the bandwagon desire to see the new Indiana Jones movie is none of the girls that I come in contact with on a daily campus and dinner break schedule are old enough to care about that, I won't deny due to the nostalgic entertainment I've gained from the first film in the series, legendary hero. I mean Emily wasn't even born when the ark was raided and the temple was doomed. And she was about a month into her second year of life when the crusade lasted. I don't even plan on renting it either. Tomorrow John should be receiving Belle du Jour in the mail.
"Let me see what you've got," he reached.
"Have you seen Belle du Jour?" Emily persuaded as she passed the mouse to him granting scrollage thru her queue.
"Nope, not yet," he muted the silent backpacks and laptops shuffling around in the reading room.
"You should put it at the top of your queue," she suggested before she suddenly changed the subject.
"Weren't you gonna get something for your friend?" he reminded her as the stone steps branched beyond the coffee shop which sold muffins. She thanked him for remembering, paying attention, and playing stupid at the sight of her bruised tights, and they took two reverse steps to the path leading towards her fellow violist's favour. A jazz ensemble was setting up along the western wall, the roll of drum skins, saxophone riffs, and trumpet throat clearings pushed her to signal defeat in securing a quite place to sit and tease at a non-screaming volume. Or so I was told...
I'm gonna take a three week vacation from writing in my blog as I'll be dedicating my time towards finishing a mosaic before its deadline. However, thru the miracle of the internet, you won't notice my absence. Of course, if you're reading this entry in the OUT ON A LIM archive, the following day's entry will already've been posted below, and you'll miss the trick. But if you're reading this on the posted date, by tomorrow I'll continue where I left off, namely after today's entry as if it were yesterday, when in actuality three weeks'll've spanned for me.
John finished watching Belle du Jour, ejected the DVD, sealed it in its prepaid envelope, and dropped it off at the nearest mailbox whilst listening to a recording of Emily's live performance of Messiaen. The CD came to his hands via an email from his contact, a co-organizer of the concert, which was written after he'd replied back in the affirmative to an earlier correspondence asking him if he'd like a copy of Lexandra playing Bach. On the following day whilst returning from the vending machines with a bag of cheese puffs he found both recordings delivered to him in person. They were packed in an envelope with their respective concert programs.
Here's the secret to my magical blog trick: right now I'm three weeks ahead of myself. I'm writing this on 5.10.08. I kinda planned it this way, knowing about the mosaic project and my pace, give or take some estimated delays, such as potential emergency situations, be they natural or overexaggerated disasters. But three weeks is about right in terms of when I should be able to return to writing entries with regularity. Not that the reader'll pick up on any missing beats. And I'm sure some of you'll distrust my behind the scenes details, much less find any significance to them, but it's my way of proving that lately there's been a lack of interruptions on my blog.
"What did you think of Belle du Jour?" I asked John for his opinion.
"It was claustrophobic," he described, "not so much musically as the film has no score, but the offscreen silence never relieved the tension of the whorehouse misadverntures piling up on screen. The only sounds attempting to clear the mood are in the background--bells jingling down the road, chimes ringing in the distance, and sirens rounding the corners."
"So the lack of music was discomforting to you?" I tried to understand his review of the movie.
"Actually," he lowered his voice, "the quietness was exciting--it accompanied the nudity with a sense of immediacy."
"Uh," I corrected, "I don't think there was a single shot of nudity."
"I could've sworn that there was," he remembered, "but now that you mention it, yeah, the movie was sorta classy, albeit dirty just beyond the hidden view. I'll give it four stars nevertheless."
My former drug dealer hooked me up with bonus tracks from Radiohead's latest album. I think I understand why they were left of the tracklist proper as they seem to clutter the streamlined thematic flow of the record unless they're included as an afterthought. Not that they aren't cool tunes or fragments thereof, cause some of them are actually better than some on the album, but they don't make the same sense, namely as a singular contributing to the plural.
Well, by the time this entry gets posted, Penny will've joined Dena as my second assistant. I saw them onstage last night during the latter's senior recital. They played a fun piece with their quintet wearing animal masks. Afterwards, I had some cake in the green room. Before heading upstairs to the studio to hang with my engineer, I ran into them separately, but heard the same promise from both: "See you at work on Monday."
John walked the long way home from the mailbox allowing for him to loop Emily's recording more than once. Maybe it was the nonexistent score to the movie that he'd just returned or her recommending the rental in the first place or the French language, but all three seemed to share the same long notes sustaining in his head.
As of this writing, 'til tomorrow...
Emily's salutation to John included a childish accusation of his thinking that she's a "big liar". And then she proceeded to give the informal dress code for her upcomming concert with the official directions to the gig forwarded below her signature which included a refrain of her version of the truth, namely that she's not a "big liar". He replied with a confirmation of attendance to hear her play the piano and his belief in her wrongful assumption that he might've thought of her as a so-called "big liar", however with a hint of maybe on occasion she might've showed signs of appearing to display the characteristics of a "little liar". Forgive me.
Before I continue with today's story, I'd like to apologize to the reader for incorrectly stating in the last entry that I was gonna take a three week vacation from my blog. Cause today is 5.17.08. Yeah, I couldn't stay away from writing. That and I needed a break from working on the wedding anniversary mosaic. And I'd like to add that I hope I haven't jumped ahead of myself. Cause an unwritten reason for my proposed sabbatical was to clean up the sloppy entries as of late--reading them again as they get posted, I'm ashamed of their confusing structures, I mean, granted I've been hopefully hiding identities of anyone that gets mentioned in OUT ON A LIM, and I know it doesn't take anyone with a safecracking degree to figure out who's who, but some of the jumping around of topics is just lazy on my part. Finish my thoughts.
That being said, I must reveal that Emily is not the same Emily as before, who was previously referred to as "L". The current Emily was once abbreviated as "E". And the old Emily is now Lucy. A little switch to throw the casual reader off as well as to not lose any of the remaining subscribers. Anyways, Lucy gets minor nausea from what she terms as the bitter metal smell of the CD cabinets at the music library. Apparently either she's got some extra sensitive imagination or my nose is dead to sickly scents at work--on the contrary, some of the students and staff that don't wear any annoying perfumes are a breath of grace within the public university's sanitized halls. For instance, Emily.
John was helping Penny log onto his account cause the one she was using wasn't bringing up the journal titles in the online catalog that she needed to check in. "I'm going to lunch," he reminded her half an hour before he actually left to go eat white chili soup at the law school. In the meantime, she managed to keep him busy with conversations about the democratic organization of her woodwind quintet, along with some trivia about their original intentions to remain clandestine, including the dashed hopes that their names would never be printed in any programs, and he didn't feel like barfing. After he got her settled, he exited thru the staff door and headed down the hall towards the outdoor courtyard leading up to the eatery in front of the law school. The sun reflected off the tiles, momentarily blinding him. When he regained his sight, Emily was waving to him from the entrance of the music library. Flowers were printed on her shoulders.
The day before, John was running around upstairs on the mezzanine looking for someone to cover his shift at the circulation desk. He found Trevor reshelving books. "Hey, can you watch the desk for like 30 minutes?" John whispered. "Yeah, sure," Trevor stashed a book truck in an unobtrusive corner and followed him downstairs to the main reading room. "OK," John sighed to Emily, "let's go on a break." They hit the vending machine--she got a coffee, he a bag of chocolate chip cookies. He gave her one as she remarked on the amazing balls of flowers that were blooming behind them on the bench facing the sunset. "God is a better designer than Pierre Cardin," she concluded. "Haha," he snorted, "no one would deny that." Figuring his apartment's within close proximity to the venue of her next concert, she verbally invited him on that day, repeated the details the following day, and sent directions from the "big liar" two days later.
"Danny and I were wondering," my lawyer squealed on his cellphone, "hey, do you know the name of, not Beaker, but the scientist who works with him?"
"His last name is Honeydew," I answered correctly. "And I wanna say his first name is...Munson?'
"No, your thinking of Kingpin," he cross examined. "But you're close, his name is Bunsen Honeydew."
"Don't ask me how I missed it by one letter," I kicked my feet upon my office desk, beside the stack of approval scores which I was tagging both virtually on the acquisitions client and physically with property stamps.
"Well," my lawyer brushed, "it's close enough to impress Danny, I'm sure."
"Uh," I threatened, "no really, almost knowing the names of puppets is not cool..."
"Nerd," he mocked under his breath.
My three criteria for enjoying a motion picture (actress, cinematography, and music) were exemplifyingly fulfilled by The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford--Zooey was hot, Deakins rules, and Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' score sounds better as an album than it did in the background of the film. Cause, it's a little anachronistic (20th century electric guitars weren't contemporary with the movie's 19th century setting). However, the symbolism of what those instruments once represented (outlaws, rebels, and an authentic punk rock attitude) comes thru when separated from the images. Although, I'd've liked to've'd Zooey's stripper song as a bonus track, cause she's got a killer voice, and I wouldn't mind'ving the option of intimately listening to her sing, even as a hidden cue. Which isn't a huge criticism, cause the CD as it is, upon initial trial, matches my walking route hauntingly, mismatching amplified instruments notwithstanding. The recording is close mic'ed yet the music is distant in its elegiac emotion--the notes are simple and hum around the gravity of traditional intervals that seem to've been looping for so long that the eternal sentiment comes off as conveying a more complex and colder representation of legendary isolation than originally heard in its historical context. But then again, the notion that Zooey's around the corner of the framed scenes that figure around the wild Western fiddle whines and celeste twinkles could be a factor in my recognized infatuation around the repeated listenings of the soundtrack in my Puffy Walkman.
Puffy's next single "All Because of You" is credited to Avril Lavigne. So I ordered both the former as an import and the latter's last CD (packaged with a special edition DVD). I know it's not my fault, but I feel like I'm somewhat responsible for Avril fucking over Renegade's first ever in her life pop concert going experience due to my abandoned fandom. Cause Avril canceled the show that Renegade held tickets for. The bummer compounds for the poor girl as she was really looking forward to seeing and hearing one of her favourite singers in front of and blasting in her eyes and ears, respectively. Now, I know this is slightly paranoid, but in some cosmic interpretation of events, I think I might've given Avril the impression that I didn't worship her act anymore as I didn't purchase her last album. So, as she looked at the statistical graph of her demographics, she calculated that the cancellation of her Los Angeles appearance could be feasible. Had I bought her last CD earlier, Renegade wouldn't've been shut out. I just hope I'm not too late.
The packs of Indian curry that I bulk ordered all come with free CDs of indigenous music from that cusine's country. So far, I'm not over saturated on the music or the food, although I'm not merely halfway thru my supply. Regardless, it's a good sign that I've lasted this long.
I rearranged my Netflix queue so that all seasons of The 4400 are at the top. I just watched the pilot and first episode and am committed to watching the entire series. It's about 4400 people that supposedly got abducted by a flash of light and then were mysteriously returned to earth. I was sold after watching the first three star disc. There are several cute actresses to keep my attention, the cinematography isn't afraid of trippy angles, and the music seemed cool, but I'm gonna wait on ordering the soundtrack cause for one, I don't want any spoilers from the track titles, and two, it's possible that the show'll end up sucking. Nevertheless, these days I've been more atuned to storytelling on a television series format whereby plot and character developments can extend, in exchange for a huge production budget, further than the average movie.
"How many CDs did you check out?" I asked Lucy as she topped off a stashed bag with John Coltrane albums.
"A million," she boggled her eyes. "What is it you do here exactly?" she contorted her cheeks.
"I make sure that no one steals any CDs," I turned a blind eye to her excessive pillaging.
Earlier that week she begged, "Don't kill me," as she returned 40 minutes later than the 10 minutes that she promised would only be the amount of time that I was to cover for her during her momentary slipping out from the library to be a guest cellist in some ensemble class.
"Don't worry about it," I unconditionally consoled.
Beethoven tends to give the impression of leading audiences into falsely anticipating the endings of his compositions, which is cool if one digs his music and doesn't mind getting teased with extended codas before the final note, but is a little annoying when such a performance is billed at the end of a long concert and Emily shifts in a white plastic chair as she complains about her back pains between the movements. John, who's sitting on the ground next to her due to the lack of impromptu chairs, waits til after the trio ends to give her a massage. He first noticed her discomfort during the second intermission, after the Poulenc duet she played--his eyes caught her knuckling her back as they shared a cherry soda at the bar. And according to her, it got worse during the Beethoven.
John sat in the white plastic chair approximately 20 minutes before the concert started. A quarter of an hour later, Emily greeted him from behind.
"I feel like I'm in a movie," he described as he stood up. They were in an art studio--paintings of women hung in various stages of nudity. However, the converted warehouse space would've been sold out if tickets could've been purchased as the specially invited guests hogged all the seats, including the folding lawn chairs, the sofa in the middle of the room, and the work benches. Had John arrived when Emily did, they'd've not had a white plastic chair to share. He insisted on her using it for the entire concert, but she got pissed off when he didn't want to trade her the floor between numbers. "Yeah, I knew you'd like it here," she complimented as he sat down.
Before the first intermission, whilst he was sitting on the floor, she decided to change her shoes--"I need heels when I'm on stage," she explained as if his eyes cared about the low angle closeup view of the transaction.
"Here, read the score," she handed him the music to the sonata she was about to perform. It was mostly straightforward--unlike Beethoven, it was short and didn't dick around with false endings. Emily was playing the top lines. John focused on those notes.
After the concert, a cello act that wasn't listed in the program took to the stage as John found where Emily's hand guided his on her back for him to rub. And he kept at it for the complete duration of the encore.
I'm almost ashamed to admit that upon first listening I didn't find the songs on Avril Lavigne's The Best Damn Thing as nearly as good as the singles from the album. Don't get me wrong, I think "Girlfriend" and "Hot" are, for what they're worth, masterfully crafted commercially produced catchy pop songs, but the filler tracks are far from B-side material. I mean, her last albums were packed with killer tunes, not to mention, any artist that I consider repeat listenable doesn't waste precious space on their records with songs that aren't A-sides or better throughout, and actually release whacky, yet cool B-sides. Nevertheless, I'll give her another chance, cause who knows, maybe I didn't get it the first time around.
But then again, it could be that I've been drowning in the somber mood of the soundtrack to The Assissination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Cause it's a little too much of a 180 flip seguing from that grim and gloomy corner into Avril's jump around cheerleading attitude--her tempos sound faster than they probably are. Yeah, they're most likely not as dizzy as they seem on account of syncing the beat of my heart to dusty endless drones and then suddenly getting moshed around in the calculated energy of fake punk rock.
And perhaps I'll find my equilibrium once again after Puffy's new Avril penned single "All Because of You" arrives in my mailbox. I believe the B-side is a Tamio Okuda cover. That ought to be sweet. I ordered the special edition with the DVD of concert clips from their last tour. That ought to be even sweeter. According to an email confirmation that I got yesterday, my order has been shipped. That ought to be the sweetest ever.
John watched Emily warm up her hands--she fingered an invisible keyboard, twiddled each digit individually in trilling combinations, and rubbed her folded palms. "Watch my bag," she asked him as she went to her car to retrieve her jacket, which she adorned up until she sat at the piano bench. He wanted to hold her hands, but as they kept switching seats between the white plastic chair and the ground, the distance seemed too awkwardly far to reach.
Tonight I heard Kanae's teacher's recording of Beethoven's Op. 111, which she finally copied for me after months of forgetting, or as she called it, "remembering". Anyways, I took it for a walk. And not having heard the piece for some time, it sounded fresh from being overplayed, which back during my Beethoven phase, would've been by most presumptions sorta like mistaking the forest for some sage observation. But I found the symmetry between the two movements perfectly defined along contrasting moods--minor vs. major, fast vs. slow, black vs. white, alive vs. dead, real vs. imagined, old vs. new, horizontal vs. vertical, and most resonantly, beginning vs. end. Cause somewhere during the return route home, the Arietta, which is the last and final movement in Beethoven's piano sonata series, I saw, if only briefly, the end of the proverbial tunnel in the upper register utterances of the variated theme being described thru the music. I mean, arguably, it all could've just been the coincidental collision of events--the composer's intented conclusion to his instrument of proficiency's compositional form, the performer's interpretation of the composer's script, and the listener's position along the last leg of his nightly journey whilst the performer plays the composer's corresponding trajectory--but it shifted my perspective towards perceiving the concept of the "end" as an eternal encore.
John closed his eyes...
And as his consiousness rolled down a slide that metaphorically spiraled beyond the physical realm behind his brain, a switch was triggered at the bottom of the circular incline that turned on an imaginary alarm clock beside the fictional bed of his inner self.
He opened his eyes and found himself alone in a garden.
It was dark. A moon provided the only light which assisted his vision. Shiny vines twined in all directions surrounding a giant tree. Emily revealed herself to him from behind the trunk.
"I'm sick," Lucy defeated. I responded to her with a cruel laugh. "What's so funny?" she paused.
"I wish I could get sick," I griped.
"What?" she paid attention. "You wanna be sick?"
"I can't remember the last time I was sick," I elaborated. "I would kill to feel what it's like to feel like shit again."
"Why?" she wondered as she put her head on the counter.
"So I could sympathize with you," I jested.
Actually, it's something Lucy said to me later, about her discomfort during times when she feels dumb, that changed my mind regarding my intial reaction to Avril Lavigne's The Best Damn Thing. Cause, I think I was thinking too much about how I should craft my review, when my honest assessment is to rejoice in my stupidity. And ever since I dumped my intelligence, the album's been sounding better. I wish I didn't've to go thru such ridiculous de-evolving everytime I wanna enjoy something as rudimentary as faux punk music.
Today, my order of Scarlett Johannson's Tom Waits tribute CD Anywhere I Lay My Head arrived. I like it a lot. It's a nice flip side to Zooey Deschanel's escapdes into music--Scarlett sounds more pretentious and seriously blurry, Zooey comes off as being honest and playfully clear. But as my former drug dealer, who's a huge Tom Waits fan declared, "It don't matter who sings his songs, they'll always be great songs," I gotta agree that it's hard to ruin those lyrics. Although, it's a supreme bonus that Scarlett ain't bad looking.
I used've a running gag with my spiritual advisor about my incongruous association between movie stars and chicks that I encountered in real life. For instance, I used to swear that Poem Chick reminded me of Winona Ryder--the correlation took a leap of faith, but it did make certain of my margin of discrepancy. Thusly, I'd say that Lucy reminds me more or less of Scarlett. But cool Ghost World Scarlett, not overworked and overrated Scarlett. Although, Lucy is a way more of a real musician than Scarlett pretends to be.
"Thanks for the cigarette," I joked to Alex.
"Letís go for a smoke," she invited.
"Yeah, there's someone," I answered her question: "Is there someone you quit for?" But deflected the reason's identity with a tangential excuse.
"Are you sure you don't want one?" she tempted.
"Nah," I passed on her generous but meaningless offer. The conversation between the pillars was more than I deserved.
Penny was cutting up blue construction paper into the dimensions of jewel cases. These would be used for CDs that lacked backs--in order to hide security strips my assistants use backings made of construction paper between the jewel cases and the otherwise obviously concealing measures. However, Dena had already cut up a stack of red construction paper. So I was too late to intercept the overnecessary cutting up of construction paper. But I can't disagree with the ever sarcastic Dena: "We have enough to last a lifetime."
Elizabeth was playing sudoku online at the circulation desk. She let me watch her complete the squares between my questions of her methods in relation to mine--I go in numerical order, she said she did, too, but over her shoulder it appeared that she jumped around according to deduction. "Ask Penelope," she sniffed as she relayed the struggle between woodwind players and pianists for a certain practice room that's got great acoustics. "I heard you speaking in Japanese with Kanae," she also reported.
Claire waved to Elizabeth. Earlier that day, I passed on a score that needed to be rushed for a patron to Penny. I read the "notify" note on the blue slip--it was for Claire. About a month ago, I kinda remember Claire asking me to give a guest lecture to her class about using the library, but nothing ever came of that request. "ďShe's annoying," one of my assistants declared. I couldn't picture such as she gave Elizabeth a score to check out from the library.
"May 29," my former drug dealer called.
"Ok," I checked my mental calendar and ordered a ticket to a screening of Eat the Document at the Skirball Center.
"Do you want to go?" he asked Zaggs who was riding along in the car.
"I might have somewhere to go that day," I heard Zaggs reply.
Actually, the DVD that accompanies the limited edition of The Best Damn Thing is one of the most hilarious mockumentaries I've ever seen. It depicts Avril Lavigne as a fun alcoholic--she's always in the studio with a bottle, partying it up with her producers, and composing supposed drunken lyrics. The tip off is she writes about drinking--a real alcoholic wouldn't, I'm guessing, depict the world so blandly. But she's a cute hoot, so I'll let her get away with being a conglomeration of punk and irony.
Every mosaic is different. Some demand a greater number of a certain shade of grey than others. Some aren't as fluent in bricks as plates. Some are square. Some are rectangular. And some, especially wedding portraits, demand the use of pieces bigger than 1 x 1. A vendor's supplying me with 1 x 2 plates was on vacation for a week. The delay is why I've been able to interrupt my OUT ON A LIM break. This entry was written on 5.21.08.
John opened his eyes...
Emily is in his arms. The shadows of the parking lot aren't enough to eliminate their cars from their sights--his is to his left, hers is to his right. And in the darkness, they embrace a farewell. "Tomorrow," he blurts. "Tomorrow," she echoes.
Immediately, I must forget what I saw thru Delia's shirt. She'd made a point of its "unimportantance" as she pointed to a black ink smudge on its white bottom corner--it's an old top from her ancient ushering uniform. Sorta like how she instructed me to "not look at her toes" when she planted her sandaled foot in my face. Honestly, I wasn't staring at anything except the floor, but after I minded her words, I couldn't NOT look at anything else. The same goes for her bra between the relaxed openings of her shirt. I mean, my eyes don't know what I'm talking about...
Unfortunately for her boyfriend, Rachel had to work on Memorial Day. The car dealership didn't close shop on that holiday.
"I guess that's good and bad," I assumed.
"Yeah, it's good," her boyfriend complained, "for the customers."
Briefly, before the concert in the library rotunda, I was catching up with the promoter, who happened to've a printout of the recent update to her webpage. It featured two photos that I'd taken, one of which was Lucy when she played there.
"Donít worry," the promoter protected, "I asked for their permission."
"Cool," I nodded.
Penelope told John of her greatest fantasy--a world where 7:00 AM would be 0:00 AM.
"So instead of getting to work at 9:00 AM," she calculated, "I'd start the day at 2:00 AM."
"But," he questioned as he wasn't smart enough to figure out the mathematics of her reasoning, "it's all arbitrary anyways--you can start with any number and then call it whatever hour you want..."
"You're right," she smiled.
"What they should do," he provided his wildest dream, "is get rid of all clocks altogether."
"That doesn't make any sense," she proceeded with a moral about no one knowing when to work.
"You're right," he smiled.
Delia clocked in at work as she was in the middle of a conversation. I heard her rapid French mouth movements from my desk and knew that she'd arrived to do her overextended hours. She'd later tell me that she was on the phone with her dad, but the rhythm of the lanuage made me forget about caring about who she was talking to, rather pick up on the speed and curves of her native tongue. After I guessed that she'd hung up her cellphone, I stepped away from my desk to supervise her whilst she wore a very loose fitting white shirt.
I've modified my footsteps so as to avoid crushing the snails that crawl into my path especially during the wetness of sidewalks after it's rained. My heel hits first and then I consciously roll my toes to the ground whereby I'll've a cushion of space and time to continue if I don't feel any shells under my shoes. So far, I've saved several souls.
Holy moly, the new Puffy single rides the explosion rings around the detonation of my mind. The A-side "All Because of You" is how the composer Avril Lavigne ought to sound like--there's no hesitation on my behalf regarding how I should or shouldn't feel about the song, it's a classic from the first beat. And the B-side is no slouch either--another masterpiece ("Frontier no Pioneer") courtesy of the super top secret genius of rock'n'roll, Tamio Okuda. The C-side is a lame remix of "Closet Full of Love", but I never expected that genre to hold up to the fickleness of trends. As well, I ordered the limited edition that comes with the bonus DVD. It's fucking humbling to watch, namely at the goddesses that Ami and Yumi have become. They had crazy long curly hair during their Honeysweeper tour. They've taken their act to another level of confidence that few musicians are lucky enough to attain--they know they kick ass and jump around with the assurance that they'll land on their feet higher than most bands can in half the time of their decade of hard work polishing their music. They perform four songs: a badass version of "Boom Boom Beat", a jumping rendition of "Tokyo I'm On My Way", a kicking down the gates of heaven take of "Kimi to Ootobai", and a punk variation of "Circuit no Musume". Puffy remain the limits of my musical horizons.
"Look," Delia pointed to her toe, "my sister's horse stepped on my foot..."
There's a certain fast food chain that's been promoting the hell outta their new chicken burger. I keep seeing billboards on my commute, ads online, and commercials on TV. And I'm sure they're getting their money's worth with the campaign. However, it's annoying the hell outta me. Firstly, I never order chicken burgers--if I'm gonna eat at a fast food joint, I don't give a crap about my health, so give me a real burger, thanks. Secondly, if there's anything I've learned from fast food advertising is the photos of the burgers NEVER look as good as they do in real life. And this new chicken burger looks like shit--just a bland piece of meat between buns--so I imagine it must be even less appetizing than its bad photos. I must really be far from the target demographic on this one.
"I was really hurt by what he said," Delia almost cried. I had other things to do and other places to be, but she kept my attention. And then she described the scene in an upcomming movie which features her--it was shot in a club and an actor tells the orchestra to quiet down, so she and the other musicians comply. I couldn't take my ears off her. Although her horse story was a little overboard.
I remember in high school, during one of my few appearances in journalism class, there was a CD player in the back of the room which students could use as the newspaper was being assembled. I must've been cutting up shading tape for a cartoon. And I happened to've'd my copy of the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom soundtrack with me. No one else was using the stereo, so I put it in. The chanting kinda freaked everyone out. Actually, that was one of the very first CDs I ever bought. Luckily, it later went out of print and became a collector's item. Not that I would ever resell it, but it's nice to know that I didn't spend more than its original price.
"I really liked the dress you wore at your recital," I couldn't lie.
"See," Delia returned to her point. "You should've been paying attention to the music, not what I was wearing."
"Oh, I'm sorry," I recalled. "I liked that piece you played with Kristen."
"Yeah, we nailed that one," she prided.
"I also liked that concerto you played with Emily," I added.
"Oh, that was bad," she recoiled. And then she proceeded to tell a tale of how she made it a goal of hers to improve upon that performance. It took her half a year, but she eventually played it better. "I wish I played it right at my recital..."
"You can't think of it like that," I spoke my thoughts. "The point is you played it right later."
Tonight, I took the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom soundtrack with me on my nightly walk. I haven't seen the movie in a long time, nor do I feel compelled to, but the music is, for lack of a better word, "fun". Like The Empire Strikes Back, it's a sequel that expands and adds upon the original's themes, with a recklessness that abandons any second thoughts towards a lack of craziness. I mean, there's the opening Mandarin version of Cole Porter's "Anything Goes", the sitar adding some spices to the exotic locale, the pizzicato foreplay, the silly sidekick motif, the thrilling mine cart trills, and of course, the freaky chanting. My conclusion after I got back home was I'd've paid eBay prices for the CD had I not purchased it back in the day.
Nearing the time when I was waiting for the last minute to ask if Delia would like to have dinner with me, she received a phone call from Kristen. I let them converse in private as I closed the library.
"Bye Henry," she waved as I was about to lock the front door.
"Bye," I reciprocated. That was close. Maybe next time...
"...imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise."
Those "amazing balls of flowers" that Emily pointed out to John (see OUT ON A LIM 6.4.08) seem to keep following him everywhere he goes. They're waiting around corners, in various stages of bloom, reminding him of her--sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a spooky way, and sometimes in a suspicious way. It's like he never noticed the plant before. And now they won't leave him alone.
Someone asked if they could use my photo of a puddle for their book. Specifically to illustrate the chapter that's based on a quote from the author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. As always, I granted permission. But as I read the excerpted text, I suddenly felt like an itch had been scratched. Somehow the sentiment was always on the tip of my thoughts, and having it spelled out clearly, ironically, was comforting.
"I'm sorry," Delia declared.
"For what?" I inquired.
"We were talking the other day," she spoke, "and Kristen interrupted us--she was having a crisis..."
"Forget it," I insisted.
I went to church on Sunday. And from what I gathered from the sermon, the preacher was offering everyone a choice between grace and judgementalism--the story of Jesus (grace) getting baptized by John the Baptist (judgementalism) was referenced. Now, I ain't a regular church goer, but somehow the options seemed a little limiting, if not complacent. Cause I realize that for those seeking answers in life, picking grace appears to have appeal. However, if given the choice, I'd pick neither--I don't give a crap about living in disgrace.
Found a place so safe, not a single tear
The first time in my life and now it's so clear
Feel calm I belong, I'm so happy here
It's so strong and now I let myself be sincere
<< Out On a Lim (6.16.08 - 10.29.08)
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