Out On a Lim                            
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Out On a Lim (10.30.08 - 1.29.09) >>
Meanwhile, it's up to me whether I'm good or bad.

Ms. S. made me Mexican mole for dinner.  "Now you have to put out," she joked.

"I heard you're into soft porn," I verbally poked Ms. R.  She had her head on my desk--she wore her infamous black sweater.  "I'm so tired," she sang.

"I'm so tired," Ms. K repeated two hours ago.  "Your hair looks nice today," I complimented.  "That's cause I just washed it," she thanked.  "In the rain?" I questioned--"In the rain," she answered

Ms. I wore some sexy galoshes today.  They were sharp, but folded, and pedestalled her legs ever so hotly in the wet weather.  I wanted to say something but my perverted instincts were taking possession of my logic, so I reigned in any foolishness which might've ensued had I opened my horndog mouth.  I like how she moves.  And plays the violin.

My assistant wore some funny galoshes today.  They were colourful, big, and revealed some leg that wasn't bad lookin'.  She always makes me laugh, and that's no easy task, so she's someone I look forward to seeing in the back of my mind everyday that she says she'll be in to work.  "I like how your singing voice is different from your speaking voice," she once said.  We've got crazy faced nicknames for some crazy faced people who deserve to be called out on their crazy facedness.  "You're a rock star," is one of her sayings that I don't mind hearing.

Ms. E played her jeans like they were a piano.  '" like your boots," I noticed.  "Thanks," she elaborated, "I wore them cause they've got high heels [which was exactly why I enjoyed them] and I wanted to test out how they feel on the pedals, cause I'm gonna wear heels for my recital, and I wanna feel what the heels feel like on the pedals."  Not that I fully understood, but I nodded with an "I understand" stance as my eyes were given access to her heels given that they were the subject of the conversation.  "Say 'hi' to Ms. K" I told her after she told me that she was gonna rehearse with her later today.  Earlier that day, Ms. K checked out a recording of the concerto that she's accompanying Ms. E on for her recital next week.  Needless to say, I'm lookin' forward to that day.

"I bet you watch our video over and over again," Ms. R correctly accused.  Thru the first pane of the music library's northern window I noticed Ms. K munching on an energy bar, outside in the darkness as I exited the lighted indoors and met her in the foyer.  Ms. C wore some stockings that couldn't be ignored from above, behind, and around.  Imperfection is my new obsession.  Ms. L complained about a certain conductor who killed her radio, never looks at her directly, and is in her suspicions as someone who looks down on her just because she empties his trash.  "My father is a conductor," she wanted to say to him.  I bought Ms. S some lemon-lime flavoured soft drink.  "I'm a rabbit," Ms. K exaggerated her nostrils in bunny fashion.

I listened to the first of 22 CDs in the complete string quartets of Haydn collection.  "You should do more music with Ms. R's string quartet," Ms. V suggested, not that I'ven't thought about that.  And I'm systematically revisiting Beethoven's contributions to the form.  Bach's Die Kunst der Fuge as played by that ensemble has been spinning on my CD players with nigh complete frequency, the exception being my recording of "Red River Shore" with the Camarade Quartet.  I'm gonna listen to all 68 of Haydn's string quartets, if it takes me my whole life.  And I wanna hear as many other examples as available in the music library where I work--I want to know what's been done to determine what hasn't yet and fantasize filling those holes.  "I like how you introduced each instrument one at a time," Ms. E broke it down, "and took them apart one at a time."  Thus my new obsession: string quartets.

(1.30.09)

Meanwhile, it's up to me whether I'm good or bad.

Ms. S. made me Mexican mole for dinner.  "Now you have to put out," she joked. 

"I heard you're into soft porn," I verbally poked Ms. R.  She had her head on my desk--she wore her infamous black sweater.  "I'm so tired," she sang. 

"I'm so tired," Ms. K repeated two hours ago.  "Your hair looks nice today," I complimented.  "That's cause I just washed it," she thanked.  "In the rain?" I questioned--"In the rain," she answered

Ms. I wore some sexy galoshes today.  They were sharp, but folded, and pedestalled her legs ever so hotly in the wet weather.  I wanted to say something but my perverted instincts were taking possession of my logic, so I reigned in any foolishness which might've ensued had I opened my horndog mouth.  I like how she moves.  And plays the violin.

My assistant wore some funny galoshes today.  They were colourful, big, and revealed some leg that wasn't bad lookin'.  She always makes me laugh, and that's no easy task, so she's someone I look forward to seeing in the back of my mind everyday that she says she'll be in to work.  "I like how your singing voice is different from your speaking voice," she once said.  We've got crazy faced nicknames for some crazy faced people who deserve to be called out on their crazy facedness.  "You're a rock star," is one of her sayings that I don't mind hearing.

Ms. E played her jeans like they were a piano.  '" like your boots," I noticed.  "Thanks," she elaborated, "I wore them cause they've got high heels [
which was exactly why I enjoyed them] and I wanted to test out how they feel on the pedals, cause I'm gonna wear heels for my recital, and I wanna feel what the heels feel like on the pedals."  Not that I fully understood, but I nodded with an "I understand" stance as my eyes were given access to her heels given that they were the subject of the conversation.  "Say 'hi' to Ms. K" I told her after she told me that she was gonna rehearse with her later today.  Earlier that day, Ms. K checked out a recording of the concerto that she's accompanying Ms. E on for her recital next week.  Needless to say, I'm lookin' forward to that day.

"I bet you watch our video over and over again," Ms. R correctly accused.  Thru the first pane of the music library's northern window I noticed Ms. K munching on an energy bar, outside in the darkness as I exited the lighted indoors and met her in the foyer.  Ms. C wore some stockings that couldn't be ignored from above, behind, and around.  Imperfection is my new obsession.  Ms. L complained about a certain conductor who killed her radio, never looks at her directly, and is in her suspicions as someone who looks down on her just because she empties his trash.  "My father is a conductor," she wanted to say to him.  I bought Ms. S some lemon-lime flavoured soft drink.  "I'm a rabbit," Ms. K exaggerated her nostrils in bunny fashion.

I listened to the first of 22 CDs in the complete string quartets of Haydn collection.  "You should do more music with Ms. R's string quartet," Ms. V suggested, not that I'ven't thought about that.  And I'm systematically revisiting Beethoven's contributions to the form.  Bach's
Die Kunst der Fuge as played by that ensemble has been spinning on my CD players with nigh complete frequency, the exception being my recording of "Red River Shore" with the Camarade Quartet.  I'm gonna listen to all 68 of Haydn's string quartets, if it takes me my whole life.  And I wanna hear as many other examples as available in the music library where I work--I want to know what's been done to determine what hasn't yet and fantasize filling those holes.  "I like how you introduced each instrument one at a time," Ms. E broke it down, "and took them apart one at a time."  Thus my new obsession: string quartets.

(1.30.09)

"Why?" was her answer to my question "Let's get dinner."

Guitar picks were strewn across the carpet like bread crumbs on the floor of a forest.  I followed them to your bedroom.  And then I woke up.  It's funny how when I'm with you in reality, there comes a moment when I disappear into a dream, and vice versa.

"Because you're hungry?" I asked.  "OK," she acquiesced with the condition "but not tonight..."

On my way home from my spiritual advisor's brother's marriage party, I inadvertently entered the freeway via the carpool lane--I'm so unfamiliar with the area (Orange County) that I never knew that there were specific jet streams that were number of vehicle occupants specific.  I didn't get a ticket cause at the first instance when I could escape the designated two or more in a car portion of the infrastructure I swerved back the right side of the road.

"I want some coffee now," she changed the subject.  "Can you wait five more minutes?" I begged as I looked at the clock that held me tied to the reference desk.  "I'll come back at 4 o'clock to pick you up," she said as she left after I attempted to leave my duties five minutes earlier to no avail--she insisted that I don't shirk my job, which actually wasn't my scheduled slot as I was covering for a coworker who'd asked me to fill in for his absence as he went to some more important meeting.  I'll take whatever I can get...

"I like your belt," I mentioned.  She unbuckled it a little later.

We found a table next to a pillar at the campus' central coffee hangout.  And we spoke of various musical arguments, complaints, observations, hearsays, rumours, ultimate decisions, romantic interpretations, commercial disapprovals, comparative viewpoints, prepared lectures, performance venues, live versus recorded excuses, and the weather. 

"I read the comic book that you gave me," you said in passing as we crossed the street.  We hopped back and forth on a 180 degree scale of perversion.  You deja vu'ed so many fantasies which filled my mind in the space of a door swing that I had to buy your drink--afterall, you provided the shrimp crackers.

"Can I keep some of my stuff on your desk?" she wondered as she placed a pile of music and her laptop upon some free space next to my computer.  "Sure," I nodded in amusement. 

"I need an electrical outlet," you provided, "so I can watch the DVD you let me borrow on my laptop."
   
"I watched the DVD," she criticized.

(2.2.09)

Ms. A has really tiny handwritin'.  She handed me a slip of paper which displayed her hushed request.  But based on my limited interaction with her, she's hinted at being perceptive of things that Ms. R ain't--tuning and numbers of rests.  Speaking of Ms. R, she showed up unannounced at my office during a phone conversation with my personal film historian--he was trying to convince me to continue watching
Heroes.  "But Veronica's dead," I argued.  "It's a comic book show,' he pleaded, "she might come back."  The discussion was lame as I'd alreadly given up on that television show and I felt like shit for brushing Ms. R aside.  "I just wanted to say 'hi'," she probably lied.  I wouldn't've minded grabbing dinner with her or whatever soft porn adventures she's got cooked up.  I microwaved a crappy double cheeseburger from the vending machine.  On my way back and forth to the outdoor food dispenser I passed by Ms. I.  She seemed involved in a friendly talk with some random admiring dude, so I decided to not interrupt.  But I caught her eye and her bouncing body wrapped in a winter weather wardrobe.  She's got the brightest eyes on campus.  And in the halls I waved to Ms. J, whose warmth is always a welcome bump into wherever we happen to meet.  When I listen to string quartets, I tend to picture Ms. J, Ms. I, Ms. A, and Ms. R sitting in their semicircle and bowing away.

"Happy Chinese New Year," I texted Ms. K in Japanese, "see you later Year of the Rat."  I don't know if she wasted time thinking of something not as commonplace as my message, I mean, it's possible that she was teaching some piano student at the time, but not immediately she replied "Happy Vietnamese New Year" in kind.  I busted up.  Granted she took forever to come up with that hilarious comeback, but I can't underappreciate not only the fact that she took the miscellaneous moments to respond, which most girls fail to do, but actually made me laugh, which is harder than it might seem, especially as her primary language is my secondary and vice versa.  We're meeting somewhere in between.  And it's funny that humour is one of our common grounds.  I've said it before, but that sense is what I treasure highly in a chick--beyond cute handwritin', character resurrections, unexpected appearances, illuminated vision, and comfortable temperatures.  And to be fair Ms. D cracks me up harder than everyone else, but I think she's way beyond my league in that department--I think she makes my nose bleed with chocolate milk more than I do hers.  No, Ms. K is in tune and rests evenly with how I value comedy.  Sometimes I think my luck is being pushed to its utmost point of undeserved amazement.

(2.3.09)

Thanks to Facebook I met up with a fellow high school classmate who happens to be in grad school at the university where I'm employed for a cup of coffee for him and hot chocolate for me.  We had two decades of catching up to do.  I summed up my story as being "like in college, except not having to go to class AND getting paid". 

According to my lawyer, only collge students tack posters to their walls--"Grown ups put them in frames."  His words keep popping into my head whenever the bottom left corner tack on my
Veronica Mars poster dislodges every now and then, often based on the whim of the weather.

Well, I had to go to class today, albeit I was guest lecturing AND I got paid.  "Sorry," Ms. K texted in Japanese, "I can't make it--good luck."  "Whoa," my assistant gasped, "you're wearing a buttoned down shirt today."  "Yeah," I sold out, "I don't want to be wearing any free t-shirts advertising movies when I'm teaching kids."

I didn't prepare any formal lecture other than learn "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Mr. Tambourine Man"--I was gonna perform the former and a student was gonna present a discussion on the latter.  Cause I figured there's an endless ongoing analysis of Dylan's lyrics, to the point that all I can do is bring my interpretation to the table.

After playing a mellow version of "Like a Rolling Stone" solo on acoustic guitar, the class immediately discovered the "humbling" qualities of the lyrics, which Dylan's more angry inflections seem to mock.  I think I earned my paycheck right there.  "You have to hit bottom to be free," a cute blonde girl observed.

"Everyone says that 'Mr. Tambourine Man' is about drugs," the student presenter reported, "but I just don't see it--I think it's more about loneliness."  "Huh, really" I counterpointed.  Some of the class agreed and some disagreed.  "See, here's the cool thing about Dylan," I revealed the magic, "he made it seem like it can be both at the same time."

And yes, I realize that there are far more important things happenin' in the world right now than jerkin' off to a pop song.  I told my reunited high school buddy that I'm aware of the life that those NOT in the Ivory Tower are experiencing--the hardships of making ends meet in the current economic climate, war, injustice, etc.

I mean, I know that I'm living in a fantasy.  The pretty college girls around every corner is cool, but it's NOT reality, at least for the majority of the world.  So how can I even relate to anyone who's outside of my bubble?  But then again, like my old friend noted "Good work if you can get it..."

Nevertheless, like that quintessential Dylan theme, I'm prepared for change.  I've been ridin' it so high for so long that I'm due to fall sometime soon.  Or has Dylan's advice kept me in check?  Is being mindful of a transformation of things a buffer for any disappointment?  I mean, I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade...

(2.4.09)

"It felt like someone stuck a broomstick in my back," my engineer described the pain he felt this morning.  I couldn't imagine his suffering, although, his choice of words made me picture someone afar performing a voodoo spell on him, you know, puncturing his effigy with a toothpick.  And I'm not one to believe or disbelieve in such magical superstitions, but I've never felt the need to hurt anyone or vice versa, at least to the best of my knowledge.  Sure, I sometimes think someone's casting curses on me, but it's never been anything so torturous that I couldn't dodge.

I had a dream in which I was oblivious to my own actions.  I was at a wedding.  There was a punk band playing on a raised stage.  I remember seeing friends and family flicker before my eyes--I couldn't make out what they were saying, partly from the volume of the music and also from my not understanding what they were talking about.  Eventually, I figured out that they were all saying "congratulations" in some form or another.  I had no clue for what.  And then I realized--I'd just gotten married.  I woke up wondering if I'd experienced someone else's reality.

Having quit smoking, I think I've gotten cocky in that I assume that I can beat any addiction.  Cause I doubt most people try to get hooked on substances.  They probably just realize one day, oftentimes too late, that they've got a problem as they trace back their lives and untrick their minds into convincing themselves that they could've escaped the vicious trap.  However, I do know that I should not be dependent on anything.  So after casually polishing off another bottle of whiskey, I decided to not restock my supply.  Cause I can't get addicted to spirits if I don't have 'em around.

(2.5.09)

I decoded some of my identity shielding tactics for Mr. B, namely a few of those chicks with instrument handles, such as the Piano Chick series.  Obviously, none of it applies anymore--like any good ruse, I gotta keep changing my game.  Anyways, Mr. B gave me some sound advice--stay away from Voice Chicks.

There was one night in college when I thought that I'd partially lost my mind, or more specifically, my ears.  Cause up until that point, I'd always heard music, in particular, my favourite tunes, with a certain sense of fulfillment derived from specific moments, say the beginning of a guitar solo or the final chorus, which would always trigger my enjoyment of whatever I was listening to--I could consistently rely on these aural landmarks to evoke a reaction repeatedly.  I mean, it was almost like the reason why I loved music--the shape of a melody, the timbre of an ensemble, the echoes in stereo space.  And all of a sudden, they were gone.  Those same points of interest were lost to me--I couldn't hear them anymore.  Well, I heard them, as I wasn't deaf, but they didn't've the same impact as before.  I tried to sleep it off, however, I soon realized the following day that music was gonna be different each time.  Some songs faded into unrecaptured glory, whilst others hit me when I least expected them to.  I suppose I discovered relatively late in my upbringing that my mood truly effects my experience.  Of course, thru the years, I've developed other ways of gleaning music's attention worthy traits, such as chasing down and hopping from one genre or instrument of focus to another, but ultimately, I'm fickle.

Ms. C and I heard that our old supervisor who hired us and later moved on to work at another university got laid off.  Part of me feels sorry for him, but that just might be some self interested karma that's been rubbing off on me.  And another part of me thinks, well, he left us for a better job and his greed caught up to him--not that anyone deserves to be punished for pursuing their idea of happiness, but had he stayed with us he'd've probably evened out, minus the expended effort and aggravation.

After Ms. E's recital, I was reception bound until Ms. M asked me to take photos of the auditorium, possibly for the music school's webpage to show potential peformers who might want to rent it out the size and state of the facilities.  I complied even though I'd've rather been eating and drinking in the courtyard with Ms. K, who was involved in the performance.  Well, it turned out that she joined the gathering when I did--I guess she took her fashionable time.  And it turned out that after I combed thru and picked out the best shots that I took of Ms. E at the piano I accidentally deleted the pictures of the stage.  I guess I gotta redo those.

Ms. A #5463 started singing as she reshelved CDs.  "Are you a singer?" I stated the obvious.  "Yup," she sang.  And before she caught my eye I rememebered Mr. B's words of wisdom.

(2.6.09)

I was about to enter the Peruvian restaurant when an idiot approached me.  "Hello sir," he slurred, "did 150 black kids bug you today?"  I shook my head.  And then he went into some rap about wantin' to go to college and flashed a lamenated magazine subscription form.  "Here," I went for my wallet.  "Why does everyone think I just want money?" he resisted.  "Cause you're an idiot," I thought as he accepted my cash.  "Thank you and god bless you," he smiled as he wrote me a receipt.  I tried to tell him that none of that was necessary.  "No," he reminded, "cause if the other 150 black kids ask you for a contribution, you can show them this here note and tell them that you've already paid me."  "Whatever," I mentally mumbled.  "Oh and beware of a blonde girl named Melinda," he warned.  "Fuck," I cursed my luck as I wished that an angel'd solicted me instead of this idiot.

The Eighth Angel left five minutes early, leaving me in charge of the circulation desk.  I was getting comfortable when an idiot asked me to retrieve a couple of Mendelssohn CDs from the closed stacks.  One of them was missing, so I provided him with a search request form to fill out.  The other one was still being processed.  "I just need it for five minutes," he pleaded.  "OK," I bent the rules and procured it from the back room--obviously he was gonna burn a copy.  "Thanks," he remarked as he placed the disc into the tray that slid into his laptop.  "Your welcome, idiot," I said in my mind.  And just as those words were formed in my brain I saw the First Angel thru the window--she was heading for the vending machines.  "Hurry up," I probably expressed to the idiot with my body language.  All of a sudden I felt hungry.

"You look like crap," I accidentally insulted the Fouth Angel.  "Uh, thanks," she turned and walked away.  But it was true--normally she's all glamourous, but today she looked tired and sick.  I heard an idiot laugh behind me.  "HE SAYS YOU LOOK LIKE CRAP!," he repeated.  "Alright already," I let him rub it in.  Well, sometimes I forget that angels are super sensitive.  I mean, the Second Angel wrote a magical note about herself on Bookface, full of childhood memories and theories of her previous life--I almost felt like she was from some storybook fantasy.  And I'm thankful that these creatures float by within speaking distance.  But then again, nothing's unintentional, in the grand scheme.  If she can't take a joke, let alone the truth, then I'm outta of tricks.  However, she's probably gonna torture me later.  All them angels are always more steps than I can imagine ahead of me.

Earlier that day, as I turned the corner in the halls, I almost didn't recognize the Fifth Angel.  "Hello," she waved.  "Oh, hi," I snapped out of my self absorption.  Later, I noticed the Sixth Angel hurrying back from the vending machines.  In a previous quarter, she would've strolled my way simply via my thinking such vicinities.  But not anymore, or at least I've lost her scent again.  Her friend, or ex-friend (I can't keep track), the Ninth Angel returned from her trip to Michigan and stopped by my office to give me her report of her escapade, as well as barcode some DVDs.  Meanwhile, the Seventh Angel finally friended me on Bookface.  She complimented my photos.  And I think I might've creeped her out when I replied with "Thanks, someday I'd like to take yours..."  Well, what can I do, I'm socially awkward, both online and off.  Although, these are angels that I'm dealing with--I'm still in disbelief whenever they come my way.

I met the First Angel at the vending machine--she'd purchased a coffee and some sour cream and onion flavoured potato chips.  She reserved a bench for us as I scrolled for a tuna sandwich.  "I'm trying to help an idiot write a preface to his edition of a Busoni reduction," she slurped and munched, "but he just gets mad at me."  I had no constructive comment other than he's an idiot for not taking her suggestions seriously.  "And stop taking pictures of me when I'm eating," she referred to a Bookface posting of mine.  "Well," I elaborated, "I wanted to capture an angel with food in her mouth, cause us idiots rarely get to witness such celestial spirits partake in any earthly activities that I just had to sneak a shot as proof that indeed some angels are kind enough to mingle with lower forms of life."  "Shut up," she sighed.  "I'm the king of the idiots," I bragged.

(2.9.09)

And whilst the First Angel and I sat at the bench by the vending machine and spoke of her daily delight in seeing the portrait I made of her teacher, the Second Angel flew by.  I tried to stay on topic, but my eyes drifted as my hand contemplated waving.  Sadly, I resisted.

There's something about her that's got me curious.  Like her wide eyes rapidly shooting back and forth behind her goggles, her wicked boots, and her seemingly detached vibe from everyone else.  I wonder what it's like to hear music thru her ears.  Madly, I wished it.

The Tenth Angel called out the First Angel's name with honourifics after we returned indoors.  "What?" the First Angel faux denied as she playfully kicked me.  And once again, all this seemed so familiar--my dreams've proven to be prophetic yet another time.  "Sorry," she gladly insisted.

Funnily, the next day, as I was walking back from the student center with a microwave Indian dinner and sparkling apple juice, I thought "Wouldn't it be cool if the Second Angel walked by right now, I mean, there's so much I wanna say to her..."  And sure enough she did.  The moment was perfect--but I badly missed it.

(2.10.09)

"The Fourth Angel wanted to talk to you," the head of circulation relayed.  "When?" I wondered as I looked at the clock above the door--it was about a half past 11.  "A few minutes ago," she guessed.

I got hired today to shoot the school's annual opera production.  I'm gonna sit in the lighting booth located above and behind the audience, zoom in on the action, and document the first two performances.

Crazy Face texted me.  I thought she was being crazy again, so I faced her words with some caution.  Luckily, I had my trusty pseudonym do my talking for me.  

"The Second Angel and I," the Fourth Angel reported when she finally caught up with me, "are doing a joint recital and we need you to take our promotional photos."  I already owed them anyways.

The Eleventh Angel recently got a puppy.  I passed on the info to the Ninth Angel, who was curious about the breed and longed to've a dog of her own someday.  "I have no idea," I apologized.

"What are you and the Second Angel playing?" I interviewed her in the hope of getting some background of the mood of their program which'll thereby influence mine when I get behind the camera.

My engineer's goin' nuts tryin' to upload the highest quality clip from my Dylan concert on YouTube.  It's got me and a some angels performing the highlight of the show.  Anyways, it'll be up sooner or later...

"Hey," the Sixth Angel scolded, "aren't you supposed to be at work?" She'd caught me and the Fourth Angel talking in the halls.  We were talkin' about me also including the orchestra in my opera shoot--not a bad idea.

The First Angel's book arrived.  I read it quickly--there aren't too many words.  And flipped thru the pictures making sure they looked alright. 

Angel Zero sent me an email.  She said she received the recording I sent of my Dylan concert, wondered it was held in a church, and spilled some details of her trip to Hawaii, including some attached photos.

(2.11.09)

Otanjoubi omedetou

(2.12.09)

Cause I know today has been the most perfect day I've ever seen
                                                                                       -Radiohead

Someone forgot their umbrella in the library.  And it ended up in the lost and found box.

"It never rains like that in Los Angeles," my former roommate complained during a scene where it did just that on Lost.  We were at my personal film historian's house watching the latest episode.  The show's been catching and throwing around our attention, minus of course the minor gripes, but even then the drama (between characters), mystery (what the hell's going on?), and coolness (time travel) of it all more than makes up for unrealistic details.

Hilariously, it rained today, just like it did on TV.

"Do you think it's gonna rain today?" my landlord small talked as I opened my garage about to leave for work.  "Yeah," I blindly replied.  Cause earlier in the day, the clouds appeared darkly ominous, there was a chill in the breeze, and the hard rain had yet to fall.  I wasn't stupid enough to forget my coat, but I did forget to carry my umbrella.  At the library, where I sat at the reference desk for the first two hours, I was dry as the outside slowly turned wet.

And then it poured.  The sidewalks were soon flooded.

Later that afternoon, you showed up in my office.  "Do you have an umbrella?" you invited me to get a cup of soup at the student center.  "Nope," I admitted my foolishness, "but we've got one in the lost and found box."  So we snuggled underneath it and ventured into the storm.  But before we did, I got a phone call from the library administration--something about useless details.  "Just tell me where and when you need me," I consolidated.

They need me to take some photos tomorrow.  Add that to the two shoots I've already got scheduled.

"I've got a busy day tomorrow," I boasted as we jumped the weather induced river by the street.  You mentioned that you'll be equally hands full--I've got three photoshoots, you've got three recitals.  As well, this weekend you've got a concert and I've got another assignment.  You squeezed tightly next to me, dodging the puddles on the path and the waterfalls on the steps as I held the umbrella that belonged to someone else.

You went thru six spoons.

Part of me wants to think that you planned it--the memory of us walking together in the rain.  And part of me wants to think it's all a fun coincidence--the lost and found umbrella.  Who knows for sure, but if I died tonight, my favourite recollection of life would be me next to you under that orphaned umbrella.  And in the future, I'll probably recall that moment as one that I'll never forget.

"Stop destroying your spoons," I advised.

"Look," you showed me--your plastic spoon melted in your hot soup.  I got up and grabbed another one from the utensil dispensary.  "Look," you revealed the weakness of your spoon again.  "Stop doing that," I grumped as I proceed to eat my just as warm soup with a plastic spoon that didn't melt, after of course getting more replacement spoons for you.  "Look," you smooshed them all.

We walked back the same way we came.

(2.13.09)

The usher at the opera spoke Japanese and wasn't bad lookin' so I bugged her between her scanning of patrons' tickets as I waited with my camera in hand to sneak some shots of the orchestra pit before the overture.  It rained like yesterday, especially hard about an hour ago when my 2nd violionist, my cellist, and I were hangin' out by the doorway of the organ studio listening to the instrument inside being practiced upon with mistakes abound by whoever'd signed up to do so at that allotted time.  I caught up with you before your second recital and my second photoshoot, in the halls by the orchestra and choir rehearsal rooms where seats were lined up for prospective student auditions.

My first photoshoot was an exercise in professionalism.  It was of some dude who won some library sponsored scholarship or something--hardly my idea of a my ideal photograph.  But it's a job, or rather an chance to showcase my ability to do the nigh impossible, namely create a visually interesting image outta almost nothing.  And using only the crappy fluorescent lights and the out of focus shelves of books as a backdrop I accomplished the assignment in less than five minutes.

"So you were one of those prospective students who had to audition way back when," I observed.  "Yeah," you recounted the ordeal.  "So do you remember seeing me, cause I must've been around at the time?" I wondered.  "I was focused on the audtion,' you admitted.  "I was the cool guy smokin' in the courtyard," I reminded.  "Oh yeah," you sarcastically clapped, "most definitely--how could I forget..."

"I love polyphony," my 2nd violinist gushed.  'Henry loves polyphony, too,' my cellist pointed out.  'Hello Henry," my 2nd violinst faux introduced herself, "I hear you love polyphony."  'It's not bad," I modestly kept my cool.  And then we named dropped fugues composed by Bach for solo violin and by Haydn for string quartet.

My second photoshoot was of my two string players.  Now this was my favourite gig of the day--definitely my idea of my ideal photograph.  We spent an hour playing around with poses, fuzziness, and undoing hair.

Cause my third photoshoot, the opera, was a pain in the ass.

First of all, it's three hours long, plus a thirty minute intermission, so it's a test of endurance despite my cellist jokin' about my poor shutter finger, afterall she and my 2nd violinist were playing in the orchestra pit.

Second of all, the lighting was a nightmare.  It was constantly changing, which is probably cool for the audience as certain characters and parts of the otherwise boring set got highlighted, but for me I had to keep switching my shutter speed to accommodate the various levels of illumination.  If anything it was good practice.

And third of all, the last few scenes were cast in the darkness of the stage's outdoor nighttime setting.  Nevermind at 11 o'clock in the evening this probably sent many of the elderly and bored from reading the supertitles in the auditorium to sleep.  But as I was already zoomed in all the way, meaning my aperture couldn't get any bigger, and my ISO couldn't go any higher without degrading the images, I struggled with my limitations only to end up with a bunch of blurs.

But I guess those are three types of professional shoots--the generic job, the fun with pretty models , and the documenting of a musical performance.  I mean, I can't complain about being short of opportunities.  And at this stage in my photography, I actually prefer to be given subjects rather than roving around like I used to in search of pictures--it's lazy on my part, but I like the challenge of impressing my employers.  It is odd however that these three photoshoots got scheduled on the same day during a break in my other creative arenas.

Unbeknownst to me, a fear you revealed the other day was in confidence, so I apologize for bringing it up in a casual conversation we were having with the stage manager--and I shouldn't rely on the excuse that you brought up restrooms in the first place.  "Are you sure the opera starts at 8 o'clock," my 2nd violinst confirmed with my cellist as they packed up their instruments, opened their umbrellas, and shielded themselves from the rain thru the courtyard.  And it might've been the camera in my hand that prompted the cute opera usher, who also happens to be a saxophonist, to aske me in Japanese "Can you take my picture someday?"

(2.17.09)
(2.18.09)

Today I shot the opera again--I forgot to mention it in a previous entry, but it's Mozart's
Le nozze di Figaro.  It was a Sunday afternoon performance and I didn't've two other photoshoots so it was a much more relaxed assignment.  Not to mention, having seen the scenes before, I knew what to expect, namely the ever changing lighting scheme.  I wasn't being redundant as the cast was different today.  And as I sat perched in a booth overlooking the audience and stage, I felt like I was stationed in heaven.

Cause essentially, there are three levels in the concert hall--the lowered pit where the orchestra resides, the stage and seating level, and the upper master control deck.

OK, this analogy's gonna be a stretch, but here goes...

So the stage and seating level is on the earthly plane.  This is where the "reality" of the show happens for both the performers and audience--the other two levels are mostly hidden from view, although their presence is felt, not to mention off limits for the average person. 

The orchestra pit, for lack of a better term, is hell.  I mean, musicians, especially classical ones who spend all their time holed up in the practice rooms down in the basement aren't unlike demons with magical powers.  Plus for the opera, they're best heard than seen.

And the upper master control deck, where all the lights are commanded from, the supertitles are dispatched, directions communicated to the backstage crew, and the cameras roll is heaven.  We illuminate the world below and preserve what transpires for eternity.  A photo of a singer will feasibly outlive her.

OK, that was kinda lame.  But If only heaven, hell, and earth coordinated themselves so...

(2.19.09)

Fuga a 4 Soggetti--Allegro from Quartet No.32 (Op.20, No.2) by Joseph Haydn

(2.20.09)

I don't take much stock in what someone lists as their favourite music, movies, etc.  Cause I don't put much effort into my own preferences, albeit I'm totally honest in what I say I like, it's just I don't've the time to go into much detail--one item per category is sufficient.  I mean, I've got way too many things to mention.  Besides, I think picking some obscure artists and titles is pretentious enough.

My violist wore a cool hat today--kinda reminded me of a raspberry beret.  I started to watch
Pushing Daisies on DVD--it's fun and has the same kinda quirky rhythm as Wonderfalls, which was created by the same person.  At work we received a duplicate donation of The Curtis Fuller Sextette's Imagination on CD so I snagged it.  My order for the new Go!Go!7188 album Antenna was shipped, according to an email I got from my JPOP vendor.

On two occasions you brought to my attention the concept of age--once when you were packing up you said that you were still "young" and another when you said that another ensemble should "grow up".  At first these passing thoughts didn't cross my mind, until I noticed that
Lolita is one of your favourite books.  And then I did the math.  Of course none of this would've mattered if I hadn't read Nabokov's masterpiece more than once.

But what I really can't wait for is the new Puffy single "Hiyori Hime" which'll be released this month.  I've previewed it online and it's awesome--it was written by Ringo Shiina, who ain't a bad songwriter.  It rocks and is more "mature" than their older stuff, which is dangerously close to being a contradiction in terms, but it's nice to know that Ami and Yumi haven't started to suck yet.

Well, to be honest, I really wouldn't've done a double take at your list of favourite books, regardless if it included
Lolita.  However, it was the way you worded it--"oh and Lolita".  The "oh" was like a red flag, kinda overly casual in a more than an afterthought sorta way, as if I might ignore the break in formality, which seems to signal a reading too much into it acceptance of a 15 year age gap.

(2.23.09)

Wait for it...
              -Barney Stinson
   
I can't say that I'm a big fan of the dramatic pause.  I mean, of course, comming from me--I don't mind when others incorporate it cause it's none of my business how they wanna communicate.  Well, I'll admit to adding a few seconds to the timing of my more hilarious material, but that's different--humour has its own rhythm.  No, I'm talking about the supposed info that's intended for a reaction, be it glad or sad.  Cause I trust the content more than the delivery--if the info is truly reaction worthy, it'll garner it with or without the drama.  And yes, I'm familiar with the school of thought that worships the delivery over the content, and I'm sure it's a valid perspective, but I always feel guilty about manipulating peoples attention.  Thus, I find my neutrality to be the best stance in avoiding any influence upon whoever's receiving my content's interpretation of whatever info I'm delivering.

My 2nd violinst wore some awesome blue stockings today.  Although, I ain't entirely sure if they were blue--they could've been purple.  Cause due to my colour blindness, those two colours are difficult to tell apart.  Perhaps it's my difficulty with red that negates its relationship to blue (blue + red = purple).  Anyways, I don't care what colour they were, but my eyes immediately followed their every step as she strolled into the library.  She seemed to've been looking for someone as she circled back and exited after waving to me.  Or maybe she was teasing me with a glimpse of her blue or purple stockings with a brief view before leaving me craving more.  Afterall she's a trained musician--I find some of their kind to subscribe to the ol' dramatic pause, milking the audience for the fullest effect.  Again, when I try to play music, I put my faith in the composition over the performance.

Which isn't to say I'm unaware of performance phrasings to emphasize or deemphasize certain elements of a composition.  But if I can help it, I'll try not to overdo it--the notes either work or they don't, regardless of how they're played, be it by man or machine, on any instrument, and in any configuration of logic versus imagination.  Which is to say that to test if notes work or don't, run them thru those variables--if they don't suck in more instances than not, then it's probably safe to assume that the composition is solid.  And I'm not saying that there are such notes, but they're certainly something I'm on the lookout for, although so far polyphonic music is in the lead for passing the test.  I think the lack of bullshit notes in those type of multi-layered constructions leaves less room for interpretive leeway.  The notes either interlock or they don't.  Dramatic pauses fuck up the flow of such intricate structures.

(2.24.09)

Editor's note: This entry has been deleted.

(2.25.09)

Editor's note: This entry has been deleted.

(2.26.09)

Editor's note: Today's entry has been deleted.  As well, the last two entries before this one have been deleted from the OUT ON A LIM archive.  Someone requested yesterday's to be taken down so I complied.  However, removing that entry created a hole in understanding the three part joke I'd constructed, namely the shifting perspectives of "Henry Lim", "Larry McFeurdy", and "I".  So rather than leave any loose threads I cut them all.  I apologize for any misunderstanding and'll resume regular entries next week.

(2.27.09)

There were three suprises that hit me upon returning home tonight.  Well, one of them has been happening a lot lately, but is always unexpected when it does.  Another one has happened occasionally in the past and is always welcome in the present, not to mention I wouldn't mind it happening again in the future.  And one has never happened before.

The first time I was conscious of hearing a string quartet was during one of my earliest mindful exposures to the song "Yesterday", which must've been during my early teens.  I mean, I ought to've played some of the simplier repertoire as a pre-teen at summer camp, where I was enrolled as a violinist, but the ensemble never registered in my brain, at least not as prominently as The Beatles' usage of two violins, a viola, and a cello.  I'd listen to that song over and over again, with each instrument taking turns as the focus, sometimes in groups and sometimes as a whole.  That high sustained note on the violin on the last verse is still unforgettable.

"Can I have some high-res versions of the photos you took of the opera?" has been a frequent request, even after I'd turned them into my client, namely the director of the production.  I ain't exactly proud of them due to the difficult lighting challenges that yielded not so sharp images and weird brightness/contrast balances.  So I didn't think anyone would want them.  However, to my surprise, they've been in demand.  And luckily, having learned from the past to maintain high-res copies, I can now supply these requests.

The first time I was conscious of hearing a string quartet by itself, not as an accompaniment, was in college, when I was watching Godard's
Prenom Carmen--to be specific, Beethoven's late quartets.  To this day, I imagine that soundtrack to be an ideal.  Sure, it's a little pretentious, but at least it ain't overdoing things like a full orchestra might.  Not to mention, it's way cheaper to hire a string quartet.

"Here're some cookies I just baked," my neighbour greeted me with a bag of freshly made espresso chocolate chips.  I am always surprised when she treats me so kindly, cause goodness knows she doesn't've to.  I mean, it's not often or regular that she does, but I'm always grateful for the randomness.

Well, my string quartet obsession is officially in effect.  After surveying my library's collection of the complete string quartets of Haydn, I decided to purchase my own set--it's 21 CDs, and yeah, I could've copied them, but I'm too lazy.  Some other composers' string quartets that I've been sampling are Mozart, Brahms, Prokofiev, Debussy, Ravel, Szymanowski, and Shostakovich.  And I also've been relistening to Costello's
The Juliet Letters--the first time I heard it, way back when it first was released, I thought it was too artsy for rock, but somehow now I like it for being too pop for classical.  Bjork's forays into the form are on my "to do list", too.  Anyways, where this'll all hopefully lead to is my composing a string quartet by itself, not as an accompaniment.  However, I'm pretty sure that if I wrote one, nobody'd hear it other than the chicks that perform it, my engineer, and friends that I force it down their ears.  So I'm thinkin' the ideal medium for a string quartet of my own composition is film.  Cause the audience for motion pictures is potentially bigger than my music's distribution methods, such as albums and online.  Plus, nobody takes that genre too seriously.  As well, scoring movies, with the inspiration on the screen, for me, is easier than abstractly comming up with one from scratch.  Hence, I'm waiting for the next opportunity, whatever it'll be...

The biggest surprise today was receiving a postcard from my cousin--not the one I usually get correspondence from.  She just wanted to say "hi".

(3.2.09)

The universe, unfortunately, has a way of course correcting.
                                                                                -Eloise Hawking

I'm in my shower, naked, and thinking that I've got the greatest plan in the world for the day that's to enfold--I'll ask my new special lady friend if she'd like to see a movie if not tonight, sometime soon.  There's a stop motion flick that's got one of my favourite underage actresses doing the voice of the main character which would be appropriate for me to see only if I were accompanied by a young legally aged chick...

"Are you ready for your recital?" I repeated myself the following day to my cellist.

"You asked me the same question yesterday," she astuted.

"Yeah, but a lot can change in 24 hours," I truthed.

"Indeed," she agreed.  Not to mention 15 years, I thought.  She was uncharacteristically timid today--any other time she's cold and trying as hard as she can to seem bitchy beyond her years.  But at the moment she's avoiding eye contact and playing with the yarn pastel coloured glove on her left hand like it was puppet--that's her fingering hand, which needs to be kept warm.

Last weekend, my lawyer's lawyer friend, doctor wife, and two kids were visiting from Denver.  So we all gathered at a restaurant in Orange County for lunch, along with some real estate and hotel management friends from San Diego.  Nevermind the proliferation of children, I felt so outta place--sure, everyone's a professional something or another, but I really don't've an opinion about octuplets, football, the
Watchmen movie, and the poor nutrition of the poor.  Which isn't to say I didn't've fun, cause I get a kick from seeing my peers discuss shit that's been fed to them via the media, but I was reminded of how far away I was when I received a text from my cellist as I ate my guacamole burger--"Where are you right now?" she wondered, "In Orange County," I apologized.  I mean, as much as I'd rather've been hangin' out with kids that were born when I was in high school, there's something to be said about spendin' a little time with people my own age, what with with their yellin' at their kids for runnin' around the room like crazy computer generated cars as influenced by the high definition television broadcast of such characters in a family oriented animated movie, their changin' diapers, and their point'n'shoot digital cameras ready for every new experience, such as the first time their baby touches a dog.  No, all of this slightly reminds me of what I'm missin' outta of life.

"What song was the most difficult to learn?" my lawyer asked me about my Dylan concert as we picked up donuts for the gatherin' at his house after lunch.

"I don't learn difficult songs," I explained.  "What's the point?"

"I mean," he tried to clarify, "were any of them more difficult than others?"

"Not really," I furthered, "I don't waste my time with songs that are difficult to play--why should I do what doesn't come easily?"

I don't think he fully understood my rationale.  Likewise, I doubt I got what he was trying to ask.  But that's cool, he's got his perspective and I've got mine.

The other day, I could sense your manipulation of our conversation, as if you were directing me to ask you a question about my photography, which I've been mulling over as of late, but not enough to care to answer.  Afterall, you're my old special lady friend, literally.

I've been waitin' all week to see my new special lady friend.  She must be practiciní.  Whatever her reason, which's been adding to my anticipation of finally seeing her again, I've been losing my patience.  And that's a good thing, cause I've been sick of being some Zen master all cool with time and shit--as my child bearin' friends've observed about my demeanour.

Suddenly, Penelope appears with a pair of pliers.  She roars at me as she opens and clamps them.  I chalk the weird scene up to a sensory glitch.  Two seconds later and she's out of range.

You'll deny it, I'm sure, but I'm close to certain that you've got some hand in fuckin' with my fate.  Cause you'll mess up my plans when you'll visited me at work, play all cute with your stories of physical abuse, laugh your entrapping mouth in the air outbursts, and entrust me with your belongings.  Fuck me, I'll be sideswiped.  And precisely at the moment when we hit our consensual smiles, my new special lady friend'll enter the room.  How am I supposed to ask her out now?  And she'll look super hot all bundled in her cold atmosphere attire.  Any other second and I'll've cut in.

As my assistant would say, "Awkward..."

My former roommate didn't enjoy the last episode of
Lost, mainly cause the characters were doing dumb things, or rather, they weren't doing what he'd've done.  He's entitled to his opinion, obviously, as I disagreed--I thought it was a fun episode, especially the scene where Desmond gets pissed off at the supposed powers that be who basically tell him to relinquish trying to escape his destiny.  I mean, I totally sympathize with his reaction.

(3.3.09)

Back in high school, my friends and I had a running joke about all the celebrities we'd shaken hands with via our one hand shake with John Easdale of Dramarama.  Cause the reasoning followed that if we shook his hand, we'd also've shaken the hands of all the people he'd encountered, and so on.  Easdale was the key, for we all shook his had after a concert which he played a few days after he performed on the David Letterman show--we all distinctively saw them shake hands on TV.  And Letterman's met tons of famous people.

I bought a postcard to send in reply to the one my cousin sent me.  At the student store, I picked a generic image of the Hollywood sign--hers was of Japanese cherry blossoms, so I figured I'd be equally provincial.  I spent Saturday afternoon writing my message, drafting it in pencil, lookin' up the appropriate Japanese characters, and finally committing it to the postcard in pen.  It was like writin' in code, what with all the dictionaries, online and off, that I had at my disposal.  Afterwards, I wished that I could do it more often.

Now, I remember watching Johnny Carson, and I don't've a deficit of respect for him, but he's always been like several generations apart from me.  Letterman was closer, albeit still distant in some of his cultural references.  Nevertheless, I stayed up late just to watch his show, usually for the guests, who were slightly more "hip" than Carson's earlier demographic.  But Letterman often was a character in his own right, especially when he was being sarcastic, which seemed to dig deeper and less elegantly than Carson.  Perhaps age has something to do with inappropriateness.

That being said, as I'm still scratching the surface of my string quartet obsession, I'm findin' myself settin' up base with the so-called "father" of the medium, Haydn.  There's a transparent lightness and a depth that's not too self consicious in his compositions, unlike the oh-look-at-me works of Mozart and beyond.  Not that I don't take stock in the developments of the form, but musically, I'm conservative--the older and simpler, the better.  Of course, Bach never officially wrote a string quartet, but his music translates well with that ensemble, if not too well.

Conan O'Brien is nine years older than me, which is much more within my age range than the quarter of a century between me and Letterman, not to mention Carson's 47 year difference--I don't really care too much for Jay Leno, other than the cute actresses he interviews.  I was there at the beginning of O'Brien's stint at
Late Night, which was sometime in college and the perfect time for me to appreciate his sense of humour that seemed to be more in sync with my generation.  And even though I stopped following him, I would never say that he ain't my favourite host.

Your mouth opens as your head falls backwards, revealing to my view from underneath of your two crooked front teeth, which are lighter in colour than the surrounding incisors.  Your hair is messy only on the right side of your head--it falls in flows of frieze-like flux as the left part of your coiffure keeps still.  Your neck is long and laced with your customary jewelry and universal key to any room in the music building.  Your bones are evident in the embrace I held as your neck, hair, and head fell.

As luck would have it, the digital television conversion didn't occur on February 17.  So I was able to catch O'Brien's last episode before he takes over Leno's spot.  And I must say, I got a little tearful for the passing of an era that I truly did enjoy, here and there.  Jimmy Fallon, who'll resume
Late Night is slightly younger than me and speaks for the next generation--thus his humour escapes me.  And when O'Brien thanked Letterman in his closing speech, I couldn't help but think, "Hey, I've shook his hand..."

(3.4.09)

"Do NOT say I wasn't bad," my cellist cautioned in regards to what I might say after her recital.  She knows me too well--that's my standard opinion about almost everything.  But for her, I'll try to find some other words.

In between my obsession with string quartets, I've decided to continue my Dylan studies, albeit I'm focusing my efforts to a single album,
Time Out of Mind, which isn't a bad collection of songs.

When listening to Beethoven's string quartets, I like to follow the music with the score in hand, mainly to see how the expressions are expressed for future reference.  When I transcribed for my string quartet, I was all Bach-like in my absence of dynamics and articulations, mainly cause I was lazy.  Before we rehearsed, I talked them thru how I wanted them to sound, and they penciled in the expressions.  And although they didn't play badly, which was all that mattered, I'd like to be more professional the next time.

Speaking of my quartet, I'm still amazed at how lucky I am at having them at my disposal.  I mean, I know of several musician friends, who would kill to have a string quartet play with them.  Of course, working at a school of music helps my situation immensely.  But coordinating four musicians, let alone four good musicians, ain't easy.  And on top of that, having four chicks has me questioning what I did in some previous life to be so fortunate.  As well, having four chicks that aren't bad lookin' is beyond a miracle.

I purposely didn't select any songs from
Time Out of Mind for my concert, with the exception of the outtake from the sessions, "Red River Shore", because that album is too good for me to even pretend to do it justice.  I mean, I've played a bunch of them on my own, but I'd never have the balls to perform them live.  Nevertheless, I'd like to someday be not bad enough to try.

After goin' thru Beethoven's Op.18 set of his first six string quartets, which weren't all that, I've finally hit his Op.59 set where I think he finally hits his stride in the form.  OK, some of the developments are getting too long for their own good, but I'll let him be.  Although, he's still a long way from his soul alterin' slow movements that he'll compose later, these middle period pieces aren't bad.

(3.5.09)
3:33 when the numbers fell off the clock face
                                                               -U2

Every so not so often I get the urge to learn how to cook.  I mean, to actually cook--not toast bread, boil an egg, or heat up a can of soup--but to buy real ingredients, measure amounts, and follow recipes.  Cause I think cooking is the one artform that I truly admire which I've yet to explore.  I have profuse regard for anyone who knows how to cook.  And I'm jealous of all my friends who can.  Yet everytime I tell myself that I'm mature enough this time around to take up the challenge, I always seem to wuss out.

I noticed you from behind as you were checking whatever you were checking at the computer terminal in the library--you're pretty distinctive.  Anyways, I waited for you to turn around, cause I hate bothering chicks when they're doing whatever they do at computers.  And when you did, I continued to wait until you recognized me.  Luckily you didn't take longer than a split second.  "Hi," I waved.  You responded likewise.  I pretended to be busy and let you continue with whatever you continued with on the computer.

Before lunch, I thought I found an angle into my adventures in cooking--to learn how to make my favourite meal, a tuna sandwich.  And yeah, I know how to assemble a tuna sandwich out of store bought ingredients.  No, well, short of catching my own fish, which come to think of it ain't a bad idea, I wanted to learn how to really make a tuna sandwich, starting with the mayonnaise.  So I looked up recipes.  It seemed relatively easy--whisk egg yolks, slowly add oil, etc.  I mentally started a grocery list.

I listened to the leaked new U2 album a baker's dozen days before the official release.  My lawyer seems to be the only one of my friends who cares about what the band is currently doing, and honestly, I probably would've missed the latest news had he not updated me.  Nevertheless,
No Line On the Horizon ain't bad, although my string quartet phase thinks their string arrangements are kinda juvenile and after my Dylan phase their lyrics sorta suck.  Well, except for a certain line about a certain time on the clock that freakishly reminds me of a certain chick.

The next step of course is to make bread from scratch.  There're tons of instructions and recipes available.  And none of them seem too difficult.  As well, I feel that making bread is the perfect gateway into the realm of cooking--it's such a basic staple of many a meal, that no matter how serious I get with the artform, I would hate to never've tried to make a loaf.  It's like the three chord song for the singer songwriter, the sonata form for the classical composer, and the self portrait for the photographer/painter.  I mean, it's not necessary, but it's something to self respect.

And I'm kickin' myself right now for wussing out after you finished whatever you finished at the computer.  Cause I wanted to ask you something and I kinda felt like you wanted to maybe ask me something.  This is based on, well, my own knowledge of things I want to ask you.  And how as you passed me before you exited the library, you started to sing--as if you opened your mouth but wussed out and saved face by humming a melody.  But fuck, I was too slow to gather the courage to say whatever I wanted to say to you as I saw your distinctive behind leave.

At the risk of sounding like a stereotypical chauvinist, I remembered that I'm a bachelor, and I've got no business cooking.  I mean, I've said it before and I'll say it again, one of my top criteria for picking a wife is her cooking skills.  And at the risk of sounding like a stereotypical Lennon fan, the only reason I'll try to make bread is after I've had a kid.  So I guess I'm still immature, but at least I recognize that there's a responsible time and place for my forays into cooking.  Meanwhile, for lunch I bought a tuna sandwich from the vending machine.

(3.6.09)

"Hey, my friend needs to make a short documentary for his film class," my person film historian relayed, "and he was wondering if he could interview you for it."

"Sure," I agreed, "although it'd probably be more interesting if he interviewed my string quartet, I mean, I'd rather watch a documentary on them than me."

"Uh," I heard him roll his eyes, "yeah, I'll run it by my friend, but it's supposed to be really short, and it's just an assignment for his class, so I don't know if he'll've time to interview anyone else."

"Uh," I rolled my eyes, "yeah, whatever--it's his film, he's the director, so I'll respect his final say, but he shouldn't think of it as just an assignment if he wants to get ahead in the business, if that's what he wants to do."

"I don't know what he wants to do," he shrugged.

"I'm just saying," I said, "most documentaries take into account other perspectives, which lends objective validity."

"I know," he didn't deny.

"Yeah, well, just run it by your friend," I put in my last word, "cause you know my string quartet is not NOT photogenic..."

Speaking of which, I'ven't seen my first violinist in a while.  Maybe she's been busy with homework, like my cellist, who I ran into this morning in the lobby of the main concert hall.  She complained about a "stupid" paper she had to write for her English class about "technology in the workplace".  "Technology in the workplace?" I puzzled.  "Exactly," she solved.  "Hey," I reminded her, "you'll be playin' on Sunday with your sextet, right?"  "Yeah," she thanked.  "I'll try to make it," I joked.  "What do you mean 'try'?" she played along.  "It all depends on if I wake up on time," I complained, "I mean, it is at 3 PM, which is kinda early..." "Thanks a lot, Henry," she really huffed as she walked away in mock anger.  Meanwhile, before I left work to head over to my personal film historian's pad, I spotted my violist in the halls.  "Hi," she practically whispered.  I raised my left hand all cool and didn't say a word--she's quiet, but I'm quieter.  Two hours before, as I was headin' for some dinner at the northern campus cafeteria, I heard my second violinst's accented voice say "thanks" from behind just before I was about to release the door from my hands.  And before I could turn around to acknowledge her presence, she screamed "OH SHIT!" as my eyes followed her backside bolt towards a bus that was about to leave the curve.  I waited 'til she caught it before I busted up--she's a comedienne.  There's something very wonder inducing about her interaction with the world that's stretching my smile everytime I see her.  After I returned home from watching
Lost at my former roommate's house with my personal film historian and his sidekick, I checked my inbox for an email from my second violinist--it was empty.  I'll give her another day 'til I bug her about it, but my cellist specifically told her to send me the text that they want on their recital poster.  This was after the two of them cornered me at work to announce their picks from their photo shoot.  Well, my cellist kinda steamrolled over my second violinst's picks--there was only one outta the four they jointly selected that overlapped with my second violinist's initial nine.  Granted they held a scrap of paper with several numbers corresponding to their favourite photos, many of which were scratched out, so I figured they went thru some kinda weeding process that ended up with their final picks, but I always get the sense that my cellist, whom I'm thankful for cause her friendship with me granted me access to the rest of my quartet, is more bossy than my second violinist.  And yeah, I've heard other people describe her as far worse than "bossy", but she's got a heart bigger than she likes to portray.  Sure, I was wary about her manipulating me--I mean, there's absolutely no reason that someone of her league ought to even pay me any mind to my loser status, and the word around the past and present students in the music deparment is she usually doesn't to her peers and above, but thankfully she does to me, not to mention was instrumental in organizing my string quartet and nudging interactions between me and her quartet.  Come on, if she's using me, she knows exactly how to, and I ain't complainin'.  She's more worthy of a documentary than I could ever be.

(3.9.09)

There are no accidents.
                             -Oogway

The last time I encountered my former roommate he was sick as fuck.  He coughed every minute and his voice sounded like crap.  "You sound like crap," I complimented my supervisor who seemed to've caught the same illness that my former roommate had.  "Thanks," she laughed.

It's kinda poetic cause my former roommate, who's a doctor, explained to me his hardly medical theory on how to avoid getting sick--"It's mental," he assumed, "you just think 'I'm not gonna get sick' and you won't."  "And you didn't feel like staying home?" I questioned my supervisor.  She said she couldn't afford to take another day off.

I've been getting emails from readers wondering about those missing three OUT ON A LIM entries about a week and a half ago.  Yes, they exist--ask any of the subscribers and they'll vouche for two of the deleted entries.  No, I wasn't being lazy, in fact there were a good 1,500 words that I'd written and scrapped.

I wasn't protecting myself--I'd've kept those entries up otherwise.  No, someone really did request that one of the entries be taken down, and out of respect to that individual, I didn't ask questions and did as I was told--I was protecting the requestor.  I admit, I've been getting careless with my characters.

"Don't forget to eat your vegetables," is my mom's advice for not getting sick.  I can't say that I follow thru--I eat a lot of processed unhealthy crap.  "I'm sick," she called to report.  All I could do was laugh and ask if she took her own advice.  "Yes, I always eat vegetables," she replied.  So much for that theory.

My spiritual advisor links sicknesses with karma.  I think I agree, but somehow I don't pay much attention to cosmic explanations--I accept things as they are and don't need to know why or how, let alone bother with positive wishes and prayers.  Contrarywise, I've been wanting to get sick for the last two years, if only to remember what it's like to be miserable.

I took deep breaths when I was around my former roommate and my supervisor, drinking in their germs.  I walked in the cold weather dressed in shorts.  I stayed up late.  I flipped off the universe and whoever or whatever created it.  I tempted my karma with blasphemous entries which got requested to be removed.  And still managed to not get sick.

I don't've any answers, but I'm starting to get worried about my health.  It's abnormal to have a kickass immune system.  I eat junk food.  I'm startin' to stress out about this shit in the hopes that that'll weaken my defenses.  This entry is a desperate cry of pride for karma to punish me.  Something ain't right...

(3.10.09)

Another day passed and still no email from my second violinist.  "Did she send you our recital info?" my cellist bugged me at the reference desk--her blonde hair always looks good when she's dressed in black.  "Nope," I reminded her.  "Well," she sought a piece of scrap paper and a pen, which I supplied from the box of chopped up unwanted extraneous informative literature (the other side of which were blank) and the circulation desk (there happened to be a blue pen no one was using), "I'll write down our program for you."  She scribbled "Beethoven" first.  "What about Bach?" I remembered.  "Oh yeah," she scratched out "Beethoven" and wrote "Bach", "we should go in alphabetical order."  And then she wrote "Beethoven" again, some other composers, the date, time, and place, and I read her handwriting to make sure it was legible.  "Anything else?" I double checked.  "That should be it," she tripled.  "OK," I okayed.  "Thanks," she thanked.

I finally caught up with my first violinist at a photo gig tonight--I was shooting a string ensemble performing Vivaldi.  She happened to be in the audience, or rather she couldn't find a seat at the filled up show so she hung around the wings where I tried to do my job--the lighting was strange as some videographer had set up lights that shone directly into my lens at most angles, there were music stands all over the stage blocking my view of the performers, and the crowd didn't leave me much room to move around for the best coverage.  So I got a little creative with my photos--framing the performers from artistic rather than straightforward documenting perspectives.  I mean, I had no choice other than be an obnoxious photographer who'd make his presence all too obvious.  No, I deferred to the challenge of getting something someone somewhere other than the people sittin' in the audience would see--like the facial expression of the soloist comming off the stage.  That and I got to say "hi" to my first violinist.

Ten minutes after my cellist left the reference desk, my second violinst came running into the library.  "My cellist gave me the recital info," I waved.  "Oh ok," she caught her breath, "but don't forget to mention the accompanist."  "Oh ok," I mentally jotted--there's no way in hell that I won't know how to spell her accompanist's name, let alone leave it off of the recital poster that I'm gonna design.  My second violinst, for the second time in two days, gave me the thumbs up sign.  About an hour later, her accompanist stopped by to keep some of her teacher's food in the library staff's refrigerator.  I silently bumped into my violist at a reception which I'd crashed--hey, free cheese and crackers.  "I'm playing Beethoven's 4th piano concerto up in Fresno," my second violinst's accompanist declared.  Before I headed over to the Vivaldi gig, I thought it wouldn't hurt to refresh my memory of that piece, so I listened to a recording with the score in hand.  I guess I'm drivin' up to Fresno next weekend.

Happy birthday Bill Cho

(3.11.09)

You can't be like pancakes--all exciting at first, but by the end you're fucking sick of them.
                                                                                                                    -Mitch Hedberg  

I first heard Salyu's latest single "Corteo ~Gyoretsu~" on YouTube.  And either the audio quality didn't represent the music or the song took me several listens to get hooked, but it was only when I finally played the CD on my home stereo after a week of previewing it online that I could definitely give it my thumbs up.  On the contrary, all this time, I've never heard Dylan's "Things Have Changed" on any format above a 192 kb/s MP3.  So when someone donated the CD single to the library, which duplicates the
Wonder Boys soundtrack that I recently ordered after my supervisor wanted to hear the original version after my concert, I swiped the redundant recording.  And either I'd gotten so used to the compressed sound or I'm getting tired of the tune, but the WAV file sounded thin and too spread out, especially the shaker on the left channel.

Even these songs probably sounded ten times better in the studio when we recorded 'em.  CDs are small.  There's no stature to it.
     -Bob Dylan

The timing was perfect.  I've been listenin' to a ton of string quartet recordings, some on vinyl.  But nothin' compares to the real thing.  And there were not one, but two concerts scheduled for chamber music, most of which are for two violins, viola, and cello--there were some duos, trios, and a sextet (which included my chicks plus two lucky sons of bitches).  Sure, not every student's got the greatest intonation, but I was happy just to sit in the audience and absorb the vibrations of those strings in the concert hall, which ain't a bad place to hear those instruments.  And the first of the two concerts was on a Sunday afternoon, but I didn't mind drivin' up to campus--hey, free string quartet show, not to mention there's yet to be any technology that accurately replicates the live sound.  The second concert was on a Monday evening--I left work early to attend.

If I was a locksmith, I'd be pimping that out man.  I'll trade you a free key duplication for...That joke made me laugh before I could finish it, which is good, because it had no ending.
                                                                                         -Mitch Hedberg

Now, the first concert began with the Contrapuntus I-IV of Bach's
Die Kunst der Fuge--a favourite of mine. However, it was such a prick tease, I mean, you can't start that cycle without following thru til the end, even thought the ending is unfinished.  Anyways, there was also a piece for four cellos by a faculty composer--all I can say is it started off cool, but it went nowhere, and when it ended, it was both sudden and couldn't've came sooner.  A Mendelssohn trio followed (with my first violinist)--she was great, but I liken that composer as Beethoven lite (kinda like all the bands like Bush that followed Nirvana), and can't take that stuff seriously, especially the trick endings that go on forever.  After the intermission was Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht, which was awesome, both as a closer and its last notes were exactly what I was hopin' for--there's an art to ending a piece and it hit it perfectly.

Time is an ocean but it ends at the shore
                                                       -Bob Dylan

The second concert wasn't so hot, other than hearing the first movement of Beethoven's Op. 132.  Before the musicians took the stage I noticed my first violinst take a seat a few rows in front of me and I caught my violist on the other side of the auditorium--lately, I've been gettin' all excited whenever I see any member of my string quartet, kinda like spottin' a Beatle, except they're way cuter.  I didn't notice anyone else as the lights went down.  I figure my cellist is too cool for this kinda hootenanny as I secretly wished that you were sittin' next to me.  And sure enough, before the O'Connor string quartet, you slid into a seat across the aisle from me.  I doubt that you recognized me half as well as I could your silhouette.  Nevertheless I floated along to the tempos, hopin' that they could be neverending.  Afterwards, the lights turned on, we greeted each other, and exited the theatre. 

(3.12.09)

I'm gonna rescind my recent resistance towards researching recreational recipes.  Cause I might've overshot with  making mayonnaise and bread from scratch--after asking several friends and family if they've ever attempted those staples, I've learned that my circle of people don't bother with items that apparently are easier to purchase than construct, even if everyone agrees that homemade generally tastes better than store-bought.  "Making mayonnaise is gross," both my assistant and my sister assessed.  "Nope," I heard some professional chefs answer my question "Do you make your own bread?" in the hopes of possibly squeezing some knowledge outta their experience.

In a variated and extended repeat of last week's encounter with Penelope (on
Lost night of all nights), I met her in nearly the same spot (the aisles behind the circulation desk), and this time she was wielding a wrench (previously a pair of pliers).  However, today she was getting a tool (whilst seven days ago she was returning one to the box under the sink).  But both times she accompanied her demonstrations of the mechanisms with a vocal sound effect (something resembling "RARRRRR").

So I'm thinkin' about starting off on something simpler, such as roasted garlic.  OK, that's bordering on heating canned soup in terms of difficulty, but given that I've never used my oven in the fifteen years that I've lived at my apartment, it's a minor milestone for me.  Not to mention I bought my first bottle of cooking oil--I mean, that is a task in itself as there are not only a million different kinds of cooking oils, but within cooking oils there are another million subcategories before you subdivide into brands and classes within brands.  I ended up with a mid-priced bottle of mid-grade olive oil--when in doubt find the midpoint.  So after successfully roasting garlic, I went online to order a ceramic garlic roaster, cause I think I'm gonna be makin' lots in the future and I don't wanna waste aluminum foil.  Of course, I bet I'll get bored of them and the device'll end up unused in my cabinet before I give it a few more usages before I die--cookin's got it's fads like any other artform.  While I was at it, I added a garlic masher, an egg beatin' whisk, and a big knife to my shopping cart--the masher cause it's easier than mincin', the whisk cause I'm findin' that forks aren't cuttin' it, and the knife cause the little one that I'm usin' is useless with the big vegetables I'm slicin'.

I enjoyed the movie
Tony Takitani for it's visual poetry.  There's one scene that earned a fourth star (outta five) rating from my usual awarding of three--a beautiful girl walks up some steps in slow motion.  At first all you see is her hair flowin' in the wind.  And as she ascends, her face, body, and legs, gradually fill the corner of the screen.  Obviously the title character falls in love with such a introduction.  She's fifteen years younger than him.

In addition to roasting garlic, I've set my goals upon omlettes and fried rice, thus the mincin', whiskin', cuttin', and slicin'.  There're a million recipes online.  And I'm gonna give them all a try, here and there, with some improvisin' and such.  Cause like everything else that I explore, I tend to learn best thru experimentation--a little change with the next attempt, subtract ingredients to notice differences, ask for advice from those in the know, and modify accordingly.  I mean, there's no correct way to do anything in art, and it's been my luck to find my favourite results via the unexpected, give or take some developed understanding of the properties of the materials involved.  I mean, cookin' with olive oil has opened up a whole new world--before, I'd been too daunted to select a cooking oil whilst I've always fried my eggs without any flavour and heatin' enhancements.  I'm gonna try peanut oil before I go thru the various olives.  Well, also cause I've read that that's more suited for Oriental dishes, like fried rice.  And I learned the hard way that you've got to refrigerate the rice after you've steamed it and before you fry it.  I need some milk to fluffify my omlettes.  Hopefully, I'll master these basic dishes before I assume mountin' a serious assault on mayonnaise and bread.

Yesterday, someone stopped me in front of the faculty center and wondered "Are you Henry?"  I felt like a character on
Lost being subjected to yet another bizarre moment of recognition, when he clued me into havin' attended my Dylan concert.  "Thanks," I shook his hand after I confirmed his suspicions and paid my gratitude for his fillin' up my audience.  Afterall, it's been over a month since I performed that show.

Today, I was interviewed for a film student's documentary.  I was patient with his amateurism, given that he was a friend of a friend.  The idea of rollin' my eyes at what I've gotten' into crossed my mind, but then I remembered that not everyone gets to be asked to be the subject of a documentary, nevermind if it ain't professional.  And so I rolled with it after altering my stance.

(3.13.09)

"Well, at least you'll be safe from vampires," my sister jokingly texted.

"I bet I smell," was the line from me which prompted her silly response.

"Don't eat too much or you'll stink," she noted.

"I ate a lot of roasted garlic last night," I mentioned.

I woke up two hours early in order to make it to a meetin' which got canceled at work.  Not that it mattered, in fact, it was serendipitous that daylight savings was 'round the corner, so I got a jump start on shiftin' my sleep schedule.  And call me a fraud, but as I was drivin' up side streets to avoid the mornin' traffic, I had a vision that the honoured guest of the meetin' would be a flake.

In my obsession with string quartets, I've been makin' it a habit to read all the liner notes of the recordings I've been listenin' to, for example
The Juliet Letters, well for one, classical albums generally've got ample essays printed up in their booklets, in multiple languages no less, and secondly, I'm soakin' up all the background trivia of the form cause, um, that's how obsessions work.  Anyways, Costello references Shostakovich, whom I happen to also be researchin'.  And not that Hilary Hahn's last album is related to string quartets per say, but in her liner notes she vignettes Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht, which a sextette that included all the members of my quartet performed at, of all places, Schoenberg Hall, where I also saw Hilary play nearly a decade ago--November 18, 1999, to be exact (I saved my ticket stub).

"My first violinist and violist are playin' a concert that night," was my accepted excuse.

"Why?" the crew with whom I view
Lost with every week demanded a satisfactory reason from me.

"Oh, by the way," I prefaced, "I can't make it to next week's episode."

So in my perusin' of recipes for omlettes and fried rice (both of which I'm slowly developin' (the former with the addition of milk, the latter with the substitution of peanut (for olive) oil and oyster (for soy) sauce) every other day thru trial and error) I've stumbled upon somethin' called "omurice" (which is a Japanese portmanteau for "omlette" and "rice") and is essentially the combination of the two dishes (mixed with ketchup).  It's kinda like resurrectin' two stones with one bird...

The funny thing is
Lost is takin' next week off.  So I'm not gonna miss anythin'.

My aunt has ovarian cancer.

The last movie I watched on DVD was
Mister Lonely.  My reason for rentin' it was it stars the great Samantha Morton.  And other than her, it's a pseudo deep movie, I mean, I'd've thought that it might've'd some substance if sentiments like "life is an illusion" and "all the answers we seek are within us" weren't so obvious to me.  And I can't prove nothin' but I totally foresaw the endin', which I won't spoil.

OK, at the risk of soundin' ridiculous, but then again, this is my blog, I've got another whacky theory.  This one's about predictin' things.  And this might only apply to me, but the way I see it, if I get a premonition, and I just let it be, meanin' I don't contest its relevance to anythin', it'll usually come true--such as the canceled meetin' at work and the end of
Mister Lonely.  However, whenver I wish otherwise, for argument's sake, let's take the canceled meetin', and for whatever reason I deemed it worthwhile to believe that I've got precognitive powers or hoped that the meetin' did NOT get canceled, those results would be negated from my path into the future.  Acceptance of fate is an uninterrupted interpretation of interconnected time.

"Did you see the posters I made for my second violinist and cellist's recital?" I asked an anonymous friend.

"Yeah, they look cool," he nodded.  "You did a good job with the photos, but they kinda look like vampires..."

(3.16.09)

After turnin' on my cellphone after wakin' up after crashin' from a three hour drive down from Fresno I listened to a message from my cellist--she wondered if I could show up a couple hours before her and my second violinst's recital to help them print out programs.  "I'll be on campus @ 3:00," I texted.  "Awesome thanks," she wrote back.  I had about two and a half hours to kill, not includin' the estimated, dependin' on traffic, 30 minute commute, so I ran thru some Dylan on guitar, did a few rows of a LEGO portrait, and made omurice for lunch.

I ain't got any delusions of becomin' a decent cook.  I'm just foolin' around--seein' how the ingredients interact, playin' with fire, makin' a mess in my kitchen, etc.  But most importantly, I'm tryin' different recipes.  I'm always mixin' and matchin' things differently, for example, using tomatoes instead of celery, exchangin' butter for oil, or addin' green onions.  Even if I hit somethin' that tastes somewhat edible, I'll avoid repeatin' myself.  Sure, I might miss perfectin' a dish, but I figure, like in life, I'm in it for the lucky mistakes.

On the three hour drive up to Fresno I stocked my CD player with some Shostakovich and Haydn string quartets.  My second violinst and cellist's accompanist, who's concert I was headin' towards, got there the day before for rehearsals and emailed me to tell me that it took her four hours to get there and to bring lots of Puffy cause the drive is "boring".  I disagreed--the sun splittin' the mountains, the perfect rows of farm trees, and the quaint towns never were uninterestin' to my eyes.  Although, the music might've been influential.

I couldn't resist bein' liberal with my editin' of the photos I took of my second violinst and cellist's recital--it's been a while since I've done anythin' other than some slight image sharpenin' as my purist aesthetic's been holdin' me back.  But somehow I wanted to try somethin' different, or rather, to return to my more stylized style.  It started with some some simple croppin' that led to blurrin' edges, and then I was fiddlin' with the lighting and contrast curves.  And accidentally, I hit some button that popped up a window displayin' credits for Photoshop plug-ins.

I arrived an hour early, so I strolled down Main Street and found a sandwich place that served beer--I ordered a tuna salad and Corona.  As I walked to the concert theatre, I noticed a brick building that looked familiar.  Oh yeah, I saw it in a dream, afterall this was a performance by my second violinst and cellist's accompanist--she tends to somehow encourage the deja reves.  The concert was worth the drive--she was brilliant, as usual.  My seat was in the front row.  And afterwards we went to the reception where I was often mistaken to be her husband.

So the next day, I dug around online to see what the latest plug-ins were--mine must be over a decade old.  I stuck to the photography section, cause that's my milieu, and seemed to only find those that did what I already do, such as faux depth of field and exaggerated differences between colour and light.  Sure, these plug-ins probably make those adjustments easier, but I liken it to cookin'--I already know how to do those from scratch, so I'm guessin' that my homemade recipes are tastier than those prepackaged effects.

Before the recital, before I caught up with my second violinst backstage, before I'd failed to find her missin' music, she wandered into my office.  "Have you seen my music--it's blue," she searched and qualified.  "The Beethoven?" I remembered seeing her referring to it when she typed out her program.  "Yes," she retraced her steps.  "Nope," I scratched my head.  "Well, if you see it..." and she was gone.  The next time I saw her she was happy to've found it.  "I couldn't see in front of my nose," she laughed.

(3.17.09)

It's gonna fuck up the economy--the economy that's fake anyway.
                                                                                         -Bill Hicks

Classical music is not loud.  Even a full orchestra playing at full force can't compete with an amplified rock band or DJ rig--electricity wins.  And I'm not sayin' that one is better or more "sophisticated" or whatever than the other, I'm talkin' quantitative volume.  I mean, I've never come out of a classical concert with that ringin' in the ears sound that lingers after a pop music show.  Although, perhaps if I'd never heard an electric guitar cranked up I'd think that a symphony is as loud as it gets in terms of music.  But alas, my ears've been spoiled.  Case in point, the other day at the ATM, a helicopter flew low overhead.  I thought it was loud as hell, but everyone in line either had their earphones on or didn't think twice about the noise pollution--it's nothin' to notice in the modern world.  Yet I can hear people coughin' in the audience of a classical music performance, which momentarily distracts me from gettin' into the music that at a rock concert is nigh impossible if the sound system kicks ass.  Even in the front row of a Beethoven concerto, during the forte portions, I can still hear the pianist singin' to herself.

I checked out recordings and scores to Bartok's six string quartets.

You were sittin' in my chair.  I had to remind myself not to drift off or I'd lose my footin' on reality so I concentrated on your red hair under my chin as I stood over you--so close, yet so far.  I tried to stay focused when you asked me what comes after the courante.  "Sarabande," I almost missed the beat.  However, had you said my name, all accented, before that, I'd've probably forgotten the order of the traditional Bach suite.  Call it new or exotic, but your voice is somethin' to behold.

"I was nervous," was her excuse for her impromptu vocal accompaniment at the piano.  "You did that on purpose," she scolded me for sittin' so close--although, she only noticed me before her encore, nevertheless, she claimed that afterwards she got even more frightened knowin' that I was so near to the stage.

I believe it's been too long since I've made my customary reminder that OUT ON A LIM is an exercise in writin'.  The truth is neither here nor there.  I compose these entries about a week ahead of when I post them.  And I am Larry McFeurdy.

I heard you say my name twice today.  Once when you were sittin' in my chair bribin' me to look the other way at your scriblin' in the Beethoven score you checked out from the library.  And once after your recital--I was collapsing the video rig and you were gatherin' your case from behind the curtain onstage.  Both times my mind ricocheted with your harmonious vocal tone.

My parents've always advised me to do three things--to invest in stocks, to buy a house, and to get married.  Well, as of today, I'm glad that I didn't follow thru.  I mean, two out of three of their recommendations've turned out to be bunk, at least based on the current economic climate, if that's even real.  Yes, I do acknowledge that some people are suffering significant loses during this so-called recession, and I'm sure that monetarily there is a downward trend.  And everyone can blame somethin'--the real estate bubble, the subprime loans, the legistlature that allowed for the banks to belly up, etc.  But I'm certain that the real elephant in the room is greed.  If you desire more, you'll end up with less.  Lose the desire and you'll be free from the bullshit--if you believe so, it'll be true, and vice versa.  I could be wrong, but I'm not gonna worry about losin' what I don't've.  And that includes a wife.

(3.18.09)

My new knife arrived.  It's not bad.  I mean, it totally kills the little steak knife I was usin' before--the new one has an 8 inch blade.  So with one nice motion I can make a clean slice of a large onion, whereas previously I had to wiggle thru several times to get an uneven cut.  And it feels nice in my hands--not heavy, not unbalanced, and not ungrippable.  Life is so much easier.

Other than connectin' with old friends and keepin' up with new ones, I'm not too crazy about all of the features on Facebook, such as the pokin', the gift sendin', and the games.  I mean, I'm not sayin' get rid of them, cause I'm sure they're entertainin' to some people, but I won't cry if they did.  That bein' said, and at the risk of revealin' my superficiality, my favourite aspect of the social network is the profile picture.

Of course, my new knife is hardly professional grade.  My lawyer, who, amongst my friends, is one of the best chefs I know, has a knife that costs five times as much as mine, not to mention he's got a fancy sharpener to keep it in business.  I'm barely a beginner, so I can't even imagine what his knife's like given the upgrade I just made.  But I guess curiosity's better than ignorance.

Well, let me clarify--I like profile pictures that I took.  And surprisingly there are quite a few, posted by friends and friends of friends who aren't my friends but I can see them if they comment on or RSVP to a common network, most of which were snapped at concerts and such.  There's probably no deep significance other than the capriciousness and/or laziness of the individuals.

(3.19.09)

"All the Tired Horses"

(3.20.09)

And somewhere maybe someday
Maybe somewhere far away
I'll find a second little person who will look at me and say
"I know you, you're the one I've waited for, let's have some fun"

                                                                                      -Deanna Storey

I used to abhor the idea of cookin' due to the time involved in preparin' a meal, cause when I'm hungry I'm impatient as hell and I want my food right away, no waitin', just dig in--maybe I'm a little spoiled.  So I've always been keen on fast food or callin' in my order for pick up.  However, as of late, in my current cookin' phase, the thing I'm most amazed at it is the absence of time when I'm preparin' a meal.  As I slice up onions, grate carrots, and press garlic, I totally lose track of the minutes it takes to concoct whatever I'm makin', be it my latest fried rice variation or omlette mutation.  Eatin' ain't the reward anymore--it's the steps before the first bite that've got me lookin' forward to the next day.

"I've got somethin' for you," I said to my assistant.  Recently I did a photoshoot for the sector of the library that advertises to the university's alumni in the hopes of garnering donations.  And they once did a session with my assistant in a "look at the students actively engaged in a study session" shoot--they didn't ask me to take that picture cause there was some dispute, which got resolved, about payin' me, cause I'm an employee, blah, blah, blah.  Anyways, now that I'm on friendly terms with the organization, I was able to score some extra brochures that featured my assistant.  She didn't receive any copies, which is typical of the thick campus bureaucracy, so I procured a handful for her when I turned in my latest assignment.

But really, ain't that what life's about--the transfiguration of the concept of time?  When you're havin' fun, be it fuckin' the one you desire or desirin' the one you wanna fuck, it's the alteration of the temporal passages that contributes to that feelin' of bein' "alive".  I don't know, perhaps it's not carin' about countin' the seconds you've got left on earth, or that omnipotent feelin' of maybe escapin' death, but I'm noticin' that I've been seekin' events where I'm clueless of the before and after of the now--fugues are a prime example whereby I can become unconscious of the "when".  And I'm sure everyone's got a different perspective, but it boils down to the same eradication of the measurin' of the instantaneous.  How old are you?

"I've got somethin' for you," I said to the piano concerto soloist.  She emailed me after her performance askin' me if I'd kept the program booklet from her concert--indeed I had, it was tossed into my desk drawer with other mementos from previous affairs, such as ticket stubs and old cuff links.  Apparently she wasn't given any from the committee that hired her for the gig, and she needed some for future job applications as proof that she'd played with so and so, etc.  "Let me forward you a photo of us at the reception," she interjected.  I opened up the attachment later that day--we looked cute as a couple,  albeit our hairs were messy, and we looked like we're gettin' old, but so what, we're the same age anyways.

I can't stop thinkin' of you.  "Hello," you said the other day.  And I can still hear your voice.  I pretend to see thru your eyes, but I'm just barely aware of anything other than the surface of your vision.  Yet I'll keep imaginin' your coordinates in time'n'space.  Even with the consequences of disruptin' the safe and respected road, I'm willin' to live on the edge of uncertainty, cause that's where time is forsaken, and that's callin' me louder than the tickin' of the clock that's in tune with reasonability.  Cause I've got a fantasy in my soul that's huntin' reality's decorum.  And I know that once I cross that line, I'm committed to that fate, be it broken or burdened.  Thus, I'm still waitin' for the perfect instance when I can say "I've got somethin' for you..."

(3.23.09)
Even if your intentions are good, it can backfire drastically.
                                                                                -Dr. Emmett Brown  

When dealin' with salespeople, my default reaction to whatever they're sayin', albeit in so many words, is always "Fuck you, let's get this over with."  There are no exceptions--yes, even cute chicks get the same attitude from me.  Cause, I hate buyin' crap, and the less interactions I have with the salesperson, the less painful the rape's gonna be.  And it don't matter how you look at it, even if you absolutely need to purchase somethin', you're gettin' screwed against your basic will.  It's the first rule of any successful business.

Originally, today's plan was to get high with some stoner friends.  But the session got canceled, which was a bummer, not so much for the sayin' "no" to drugs, but for missin' out on eatin' at the killer Mexican joint near their mansion.  So I stayed sober at home and decided to cook okonomiayki (Japanese pizza).  This was my first attempt at the soul food recipe--it's not difficult, although I'd never used flour or cabbages before, so it was a learnin' experience all 'round.  Luckily, it turned out better than I'd expected.

My aunt's goin' thru chemotherapy.  The doctor explained to her that she's gonna go bald.  So rather than wait for her hair to fall out, she beat the alopecia to the punch and shaved it all off herself.

For whatever reason, whenver I sing the songs from
Time Out of Mind, I've been noticin' my brow furrowin'.  I don't know why that's so, especially since I've got no problems worth cryin' about.

"How much are they?" I grumpily asked the Girl Scout who'd knocked on my door, interruptin' my practicin'.

"Four dollars for a box," she brightly answered.

"I'll take those lemon flavoured ones," I pointed.  All I had was a five, which she grabbed from me like a greedy little whore.

"Uh, can you wait a minute?" she explained.  "I'll need to get some change from my mom..."

"Keep the change," I waived more out of impatience than kindness.

"THANKS!!!!" she jumped up as if she'd hit a jackpot.

(3.24.09)

"Red River Shore"


(3.25.09)

In the last three days, I've attended three concerts at UCLA--Wednesday was my first violinst and violist's performance of a Mozart double concerto, Thursday was the Philharmonia (this was actually a photoshoot for the stage manager--she needed reference pics for the department's webpage detailin' the size of the stage, namely that it can fit an orchestra, as well as included my quartet, with my second violinst as concert master), and Friday was my assistant's contemporary music class' end of the quarter show.  Actually, I've seen more live gigs during Winter Quarter 2009 than any other durin' my time at the university, not to mention, I gave my own concert and trekked some distance to see featured faculty play.

This is a little weird cause normally I ain't so involved with the music department.  Here's a little history:

I came to UCLA in 1994 to get my master's degree in library science.  I happened to've gotten a job at the music library whilst being a grad student, which although put me in the middle of the campus' music scene, I never really was a part of it, other than what my work entailed, such as orderin' music for professors--I concentrated on finishin' my studies and hung out with fellow future librarians, who specialized in other fields of interest.  The only music related events that I attended were Q&A sessions with Danny Elfman, Jerry Goldsmith, and Herbie Hancock. 

Ater I graduated in 1996, I hired assistants, mainly friends and family, who didn't've musical backgrounds.  I partied with them nonetheless.  Although, I befriended a composer, who later joined the library staff for a while, that I'd support by sittin' in the audience of performances of his works, which were at the most once a quarter.  I even played some electric guitar for his projects on occasion.  It makes sense that I'd connect with composers durin' that period of my life as I saw myself as one, too--that's when I thought it'd be cool to start afixin' opus numbers to my "serious" compositions.

And then they left school for the real world.  Circa 1999, I began my obsession with Bach, which banished me to the practice rooms in the basement of the music building, where I lost myself in the hell of performers endlessly perfecting their art.  My assistant at the time was a graffiti artist--I followed his work, but mainly out of courtesy for doin' my bidin'.  I did, however, catch some pianoforte recitals here and there to appease my curiosity with that instrument's modern relative.

Somewhere around 2002, I hired a DJ who turned me on to the world of electronic dance music.  Classical music seemed a million miles away.  I gave a concert in one of the theatres in the music building, but it was a rock show and involved no students.  Around 2005, my assistant was a library student with a sense of humour, to say the least, and I again stayed far from whatever was goiní on in the music department.

If it ain't obvious by now, my assistants are very influential in shapin' my perspective.

2007 was when my assistants were music majors.  My current one is a clarinetist.  I find most of our conversations revolvin' around the other music students that we may or may not gossip about.  And the next thing I know I'm rehearsin' with her friends, I'm guest lecturin', and I'm attendin' more and more concerts.

And suddenly I've got classical music cred after my Dylan concert with a string quartet (likewise, they earned some wannabe folk music cred from playin' with me), and I'm a recognizeable personality in the minglin' crowds before and after performances.  It's like I'm part of the music "community" of UCLA.  15 years later and I'm finally feelin' like a member.  We'll see how long this lasts...

(3.26.09)

Natasha Richardson died today (3.18.09).  Along with it also bein' my lawyer's birthday, there was an eerie coincidence about the timin'...

I'll skip the whole "the world came into being" jive, cause I figure it's a given and don't want to say one way or another how I think the "beginning" began, other than to assume that it did.  And somewhere durin' the history of man, music was invented--again, the precise details are left to the reader to explore, cause I'm too lazy to do the research.  But somehow along with music, instruments were created.  The bottom line is, the violin exists.

I'm gonna make some rough guesses, all of which might be relevant for dramatic effect, but I'll let precision slide in favour of the fact that estimations or not, there exists a miniature violin in my possession.

It's probably fairest to start with nature--so there must've been a tree that was planted, oh, let's say sometime in the last hundred years, give or take a half a century, which produced the wood for the miniature violin.  It's actually a pretty realistic model--real wood, real strings, real bow, real rosin, etc.  It ain't a Strad, but it ain't a plastic piece of crap.  So as long as we're tracin' back origins of materials, the wound metal, the strung horsehair, and caked beeswax had to materialize, both as concepts and in scaled down dimensions.

I'm gonna say commerce comes next, or at the very least, the culmination of supplies and demands that encouraged the establishing of someone comin' up with the idea to manufacture miniature violins for novelty sales, or in my case, promotional free gifts.  Cause it was upon visitin' the classical music section of a long gone record store on Sunset Blvd, geez it must've been about fifteen years ago, that I was handed a bag which contained, amongst other things, some flyers about new releases, and a miniature violin.

A couple of years later, I started datin' a violinst.  I remember her commin' over and admirin' my miniature violin.  I also do NOT recall thinkin' "Hmm, maybe I should give it to her, cause after all she plays the same instrument and it's of no use to me."  Eventually, I broke up with her and the miniature violin disappeared in my desk drawer.

Fast forward to the present.  And I awkwardly run into the ex-girlfriend.

"How's it goin'?" I mumble with my hands in my pocket as I walk past her.

"OK," she equally enunciates.

"Cool," I'm conclusively too far away to continue any more of a conversation.

And then I remembered that I've got a miniature violin.  The first thing that I can recall is currently bein' acquainted with a couple of violinsts.

Upon returnin' to my office, and surfin' around online durin' my afternoon break, I read that Natasha died.  Skimmin' the bio, I discover that she's the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave.  Well, it turns out that my ex was infatuated with Vanessa's sister Lynn, so much so that she, by some stroke of weird luck, befriended Lynn's daughters at an airport, to the point that we all hung out.  There was a moment in time when Natasha's aunt hugged and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

Yeah, maybe I'm overly freakin' out about my connections to the deceased.  Nevertheless, I need to find that miniature violin...

(3.27.09)

I don't know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can't react
And games that never amount
To more than they're meant
Will play themselves out

                              -Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

"Do we have the
Once soundtrack at the music library?" the stage manager casually asked as I bumped into her before the Philharmonia concert.

"Not that I know of," I surmised.

"Well, if we don't, we should," she advised.  "Have you seen that movie?"

"Not yet," I disclosed, "but it's on my queue."

"Well, bump it up to the top," she counseled.  My next title,
The Children's Hour (starrin' the legendary Audrey Hepburn), seemed like it could wait, so I obeyed the stage manager.

I've been noticin' birds lately.  In particular, birds flyin' solo.  Now, flocks are a little scary to me--those crazy mob mentality patterns that they produce remind me of a certain other species that tends to go haywire when clustered in groups.  But there's somethin' cool about a bird all alone.  I don't think I'm projectin' my lonliness onto them, at least as far as I can tell, rather I'd like to believe I'm admirin' their individuality.  Anyways, it seems like everytime I look up a lone bird is crossin' the sky--off in the distance or nearly crashin' into my car window.  Even when I'm watchin' pornography, I'm findin' singular avian creatures interruptin' scenes, if only in the background.

"Can you make me blurry?" a saxophonist requested durin' her photoshoot.

"What?" I tried to clarify.

"Like how you made that cellist blurry for her poster," she referenced.

"Well," I tried to explain, "there was another person in the shot, the violinist, who was clear, so the blurriness gave a sense of depth--if you're blurry and there's nothin' else that's clear, it's just gonna make me look like a bad photographer..."

"I see," she laughed.  Actually, she was fun to work with--unlike the cellist and violinst who tried their best not to smile so as to project their "seriousness", the saxophonist wasn't afraid to facially express her happiness.

The movie
Once quickly hit all four of my requirements for enjoyin' cinematic entertainment--actress, music, cinematography, and at least one laugh.  Right away, the openin' scene made me bust up--there was a weirdo who tries to rob the "Guy" (Glen Hansard).  The followin' scene is a wide shot of the "Guy" buskin' at night--the camera brilliantly zooms in.  The music he's playin', which ain't bad, builds as the shot tightens.  And when it pulls back after the last note, the "Girl" (Marketa Irglova) is revealed.  She's my favourite part of the film--all Eastern European, vulnerable, and spunky.

"Your opinion matters so much to me," my cellist mocked before the Philharmonia concert.  Just then the concertmaster butted in.

"Does this skirt look alright?" she asked my cellist as she tugged at her apparel.  I'm glad she didn't ask me, cause all I saw were her hot legs.

"It looks fine," my cellist complimented, although sometimes I can't tell when chicks are bein' sincere or secretly snarky, or both.

"You don't think it's too short?" the concertmaster proceeded as she continued fiddlin' with her outfit, nevermind where my mind never should've been.

"Don't worry about it, concertmaster," my cellist respectfully replied.

Editor's note: Today (3.23.09) a circulation student brought two problem CDs to my desk--they both had the same call number.  One was some orchestral suites by some composer, I forgot who--this was the correct call number, according to the online catalog, so the other one needed to be fixed.  Yup, it was marked wrong--the "7" should've been a "1".  And yeah, it was the soundtrack to Once.

(3.30.09)

Outside, Janey accuses me of "chasing jailbait".  She bursts into angry tears, asking if it's because she's getting older.  It's true.  She's aging more noticeably every day...while I'm standing still. 
                                                                                                -Dr. Manhattan

Lately, I can't seem to save any time.  I thought I'd buy a new comb, cause the one I was using, which must be at least 15 years old, was gettin' fuzzy with lint.  But they didn't carry the kind I was lookin' for at my grocery store--all they had were girly brushes and packs of multiple sized combs.  All I needed was one big one.  So on my way home from work one day I decided to stop at a pharmacy store, which I thought would save the time it would take me to patronize the same chain near my apartment located further down the route.  However, it turned out that there was only one register open with a massive line of customers.

It's been nearly two years since I've seen a contemporary movie in a theatre--the last one bein'
300.  Oddly enough, my return to modern day cinema was via a film by the same director, Watchmen.  And not to offend the nerd contingency, but I found it mildy offensive that every nerd I know assumed that I'd watched that movie.  Ahem, excuse me, but I'm not a comic book geek, even though I've read that graphic novel several times.  But it was due to the weekly naggin' of my ex-roommate's ex-girlfriend--"Did you watch Watchmen?", "Did you you see it yet", etc.--that I broke down and paid for a movie ticket.

And my inability to shave off minutes also seems to not exclude my friends.  Cause my personal film historian (who hated the
Watchmen movie) and I timed our drive to my ex-roommate's house for our Lost viewing session.  It turns out that even though the distance on the street is shorter, takin' the freeway is actually faster.  Or so it seems--the last time we tried to save time, the exit we were supposed to take was closed, makin' us detour on the followin' one, which ultimately evened out our journey.  I mean, we drove further, but it took us the same time.  And by the way, my ex-roommate also didn't love Watchmen.        

Now, I'm not as big of a fan of
Watchmen as my personal film historian and my ex-roommate--I think it was a great story for its time, but it's certainly becomin' dated the further away we get from the Cold War.  And I'm certain that it can't be "compromised in the face of Armageddon" into a movie--it's at the very least an epic mini-series.  But I thought that that the actress playin' Silk Spectre II wasn't bad lookin', the score wasn't horrible, the cinematography wasn't incompetent, and whether or not intended, I laughed at the movie.  Give or take my two year sabbatical from motion pictures in their originally intended forum, I had a good time.

(3.31.09)

"All You Need Is Love"

(4.1.09)

When I was a kid, Dimetrodon was still considered to be a dinosaur.  Well, back then, dinosaurs weren't related to birds, or so at least the books I was readin' in the 70's hadn't been updated as such yet.  Sure, I knew that Dimetrodon predated the Triassic Period.  But nowadays, the popular assumption is that they're pelycosaurs who're more related to mammals than reptiles--it's like sayin' spiders are insects or dolphins are fish.

I woke up today with a cool visual effect.  I mean, it's not everyday that I see weird shit--sometimes I think I've seen it all, and 'tis days like these when I acknowledge that my perceptions can still amaze me.  There were about a dozen or so sparklin' molecules floatin' in my eyes.  And no, I wasn't intoxicated.  I've seen the little squiggly stuff gettin' in the way of my line of sight before, but never have they twinkled.

I know when fate's fuckin' with me.  But all I can do is laugh.  Cause I know some people get royally screwed by the powers that be.  I don't think I've been battered around so much with everyone I know dyin' on me or gettin' all Greek tragedied.  And I don't blame those poor souls to get pissed off at the hands they've been dealt.  However, fortune seems to knowlingly wink at me mockingly.  Maybe I can't tell the difference, but I've yet to think that it's all not funny.

For instance, yesterday, I found my minature violin (see OUT ON A LIM 3.27.09) and I figured out exactly what to do with it.  And as if fate was a step ahead of me, my "horoscope" (see OUT ON A  LIM 11.13.06) quoted my precise sentiment from the movie
Finding Forrester--something about "the key to a woman's heart..."  Anyways, today, it spewed out a line from the 1962 version of Lolita--"...hovering between consiousness and unconsciousness..."   

A greater man than me would probably ride this wave of coincidences and land upon some spiritual path.  A lesser man would most likely go insane.  But I think I'm somewhere in between--neither acceptin' of any greater meanin' or goin' bonkers over the meaninglessness of it all.  Well, the perceived phosphorescence in my eyes was a kinda bizarre, but as it diminished with each blink, I was thankful that I saw it, and don't mind if I never see it again.

I dreamt that I was visitin' a zoo.  I saw alligators and hippos.  I held a white tiger cub in my hands--its fangs were sharp enough to pierce my jugular, nevermind that its claws were rippin' my arms.  And then I thought "Why the fuck am I wastin' my time hangin' with these lame animals when I could be dreamin' about dinosaurs?"  The next thing I knew I was on a ranch that raised a herd of Dimetrodon.

(4.2.09)

Yesterday.  I'm thinkin' about my dream about Dimetrodons.  My computer's wallpaper, an old publicity photo for the single Puffy released before their latest tune's marketing push--the new song's got two Ohinamatsuri dolls lookin' like Ami and Yumi, which coincides with that festival (another cousin sent me a postcard, this one being of his two kids fingerin' the "peace" sign (the Japanese equivalent and/or booster of the expression for smilin') around the usual props (pudgy white-faced representations of a boy and a girl sitting atop a tiered display) to remind me of where the earth was in its rotation around the sun--was gettin' old so I thought it wasn't a bad time to switch the cool, but stale image.  Keyword: Dimetrodon.

My sister's birthday.  I'm drivin' her and her bakery chef friend to meet our parents and some family friends at a Japanese restaurant in Orange County.  These were the CDs in my car: a recordin' of my Dylan concert (if I played that I wouldn't blame them for thinkin' I was a little vain), the stereo version of
Pet Sounds (I'd heard that on the drive over so out of courtesy to myself, I didn't want to overlisten it), Shostakovich's string quartets Nos. 3 and 4 (I didn't want to sound too pretentious--you can't say "Shostakovich" without comming off as a classical music nerd), and Haydn's Op.2 Nos. 2, 4, and 6 (these are harmless, I mean, my sister and her friend'll think they were watchin' PBS or somethin').

A week ago.  I hear this crazy motif in my head.  It starts on the second violin--notes movin' not completely up and down the minor scale.  And then the cello echoes the line starting on the fifth of the second violin's first note, two octaves below.  The first violin comes in next--eight steps above the second violin.  Finally, the viola enters--8va of the cello.  So I started some sketches for some possible ideas for future string quartets.  Last night.  I heard another subject and countersubject to jot down.  It's funny though, these days I'm composin' on guitar--I used to sit at keyboard to find the notes.  But I think that I'm consciously avoidin' writin' "piano" music, meaning I find comfortable piano fingerings to more often than not be the voicin' that I lazily transcribe.  Cause I'm lookin' at one of the givens about writin' for strings bein' the chance to write music that can NOT be played by one person at the piano.

Tomorrow.  My conjurin' powers will officially be dead.  The last time I thought of you and you appeared was durin' finals--I ran into you at the computer terminals in the main readin' room of the music library.  You turned around from your screen to greet me.  I asked you how your tests were goin'.  You freaked out sayin' you've got one in two hours and that's why you're all stressed out.  I noticed your perfumed scent--normally I get annoyed at such desperate acts of lurin' my attention, but somehow I didn't mind yours.  Well, it might've also been your skirt.  Or your accent.  I can't separate the two anymore.  Nevertheless, perhaps I'm overthinkin' you too much and that's why you won't show your face.  Whatever.  At least I'll be able to remember when our paths did cross.

(4.3.09)

I fed my dollar into the vendin' machine, selected the "Cool Ranch" flavoured tortilla chips, and waited for the bag to drop from its release mechanism.

Lately, I've been thinkin' 'bout the number four a lot lately.  Like everytime I see a quarter I think "four of those make a dollar".  Or how I seem to be wakin' up frequently with my television still on from the night before.  And the channel's never set to any other channel other than channel four--probably cause I've been fallin' asleep to talk shows and in my neighbourhood, with my free reception, and at my bedtime that's the only channel that's programmin' such yawn inducin' white noise.  Not to mention, there's this mornin' show hostess whose annoyin' voice is like an alarm clock.

But my bag of "Cool Ranch" flavoured tortilla chips didn't fall.  It was danglin', ready to be released, but was barely unstuck.  I put in another dollar--maybe if I buy a second one, it'll push the first one down.

And of course, the four parts of a string quartet.  I'm trainin' my mind to be staved for two violins, viola, and cello whenever I think of music.  Like when I get a melody stuck in my head, I'll transpose it onto the registers of those instruments, briefly disregard the laws of counterpoint, cause I can't calculate the improper motions quick enough, and stretto the four lines--it helps to mentally picture either the notes or the musicians.  I mean, the visual connection, even if it's imaginary, assists me in followin' the four parts, if not inspires me to compose fughettas.  I've decided not to wait for a film to score and just dived into writin' my first string quartet (Op. 11).

Well, the second bag got stuck as well.  And it's not like "Cool Ranch" flavoured tortilla chips are my favourite snack.  So semi-reluctantly, I inserted another dollar hopin' that the third one'll release the other two.

Cause more than anythin', I need to be conscious of time.  Girls usually take four years to complete college--give or take, plus my string quartet are mature enough to be leavin' soon.  So I gotta take advantage of them before they all graduate.  Film score assignments are fickle and aren't up to me, schedulewise.  Especially if somethin' comes up in the summer, when the students are off and spread around the globe with their families, music camps, and whathaveyou.  I mean, I should've recorded them performin' my original works (not arrangements) by now.  Oh well, at least I've started composin', which is more than I could say a month ago.

Yup, the third bag was stuck, too.  Luckily, I had another dollar bill or I would've walked away.  And sure enough, the fourth one was the charm.

I randomly picked a motif from my sketches and committed any judgement that I had for not finishin' it to the nonexistent realm so that I could develop a single musical thought regardless of how crappy it was.  Cause I'm of the mind that believes a good composer can make music outta anything.  So the first thing I did was take the motif and accompany it with three other countermotifs.  Now on paper, this may seem like a deceptively simple plan, however, I designed the coutnermotifs to not only be harmonious above the motif, but also below--all four simultaneously interchangeable.  It took some fudgin' here and there, but it all seems to fits.

"Henry," I heard you call me as I held four bags of "Cool Ranch" flavoured tortilla chips.  I explained the silliness to you as we sat down for lunch.

(4.6.09)

My spiritual advisor is an awesome dancer.  No joke.  I've seen him rock a weddin' party.  And even though he's not a musician, he knows more about dance music than I ever can.  Sure I understand the theory behind the notes and some of the technical production tricks, but it's all intellectual.  Dance music, for the most part, is an interactive physical form--somethin' which I've not participated inasmuch as composin' music.  Well, certainly not enough to've mastered the movements.  I mean, I can feel the beat, but my body's too lazy to follow it to anythin' more than a tap of the foot.

I mention this cause Haydn usually had his second movements of his string quartets be dance music--in his day, the minuet was like techno.  Well, for my string quartet I thought I'd attempt the same, albeit "dance music" for me is in quotation marks.  Cause from my very limited exposure to techno, the element I most appreciate is the layerin' of fractions of melodies, to the point of keepin' my interest distracted of their hyper repetition and bein' cued into the ebb and flow of the music, be it buildin' to a break, etc.

Actually, the pilin' up of riffs is the only thing that I consciously borrowed from contemporary, well at least within the last decade or so, dance music.  Cause I'm phrasin' in five--99.9999999% of techno is based on four beats to the measure.  But if I did it right, it should sound like it's in one.  I heard a rumour that the trick Ringo used to navigate all those time signature changes that the other Beatles threw at him was to just to hit the snare on every beat.  It's not as interestin' as if he counted along and fitted fills, but it's better than losin' the groove.

I gotta admit, for me, there's no greater creative thrill than composin' music.  I mean, performin' is fun, but that's such a rare opportunity for me that I can't say that I've yet to get the same high as I've had with spendin' all day figurin' out ways outta corners that I'm in, or see the world from a new angle as I drive around listenin' to a mockup usin' a sampled string quartet.  I suppose it's somethin' I've done for so long that it still amazes me when I can muster up anythin' that sounds "new".

Cause I hate repeatin' myself.  I've tried almost every trick that I thought was worth attemptin' from the songwriter's bag.  Maybe that's why I'm not hearin' lyrics these days.  Or it's possible that I think Dylan's said what I'd like to say so there's no point in stealin' from the source.  Now, I believe what was holdin' be back from composin' for string quartet certainly wasn't the ensemble--from what I've heard, it's been quite versatile in the hands of many an esteemed composer.  No, what I needed was a guidin' compositional procedure.

Thus I ended up with fughettas.  They seem to be less important than their bigger sister, the fugue--besides, Bach's got those perfected.  But I thought that maybe there's somethin' to be developed outta them development-less fughettas--they're generally simple fugues that don't take themselves too seriously.  And then it opened up to me that fuck it, I'm gonna make up my own rules and slap on the "fughetta" moniker regardless if I follow any formal definition.  No one with a surplus of time'll bother to complain about me bastardizin' such a trivial musical form.

Yet, I wanna maintain at least the transparent appearance of respectin' the history of the string quartet.  Don't worry, I'm not startin' a revolution.  Well, maybe, but only subtly.  I mean, for Hell's sake, I'm employin' the forces of one of the most classical group of instruments in classical music--it ain't as trendy as some DJ's laptop.  Yet, I can't be completely ignorant of the past.  I saw a cool drawin' today of someone from the 19th century's depiction of what the future might look like.  It was all whimsical fantasy.  That's what I wanna sound like.

(4.7.09)

I'm detectin' a pattern that ain't bad, and given my propensity against exhibitin' too much effort, fused with my simplification aesthetic, I think I'm gonna stick with it, if only 'til I get bored.  So after composin' two fughettas for string quartet, these are my rules:

- There are four sections: the intro, the middle, the end, and the outro.
- The intro introduces each instrument one at a time.  For example, the cello would start, then the viola, then the second violin, and then the first.  Each instrument states it's own line and switches it around with the other players--this become the only musical material with which the fughetta can use.
- The middle section abruptly disrupts the intro and mixes and matches the four lines.  It should sound "wrong", kinda like a train wreck, or if the intro were a balancin' house of cards, then it should become its opposite.
- The end returns to the intro's "right" harmonic footin'.
- And the outro is the definitive utterance of the first instrument's line, usually in unison.
- Moto perpetuo.
- Equality.
- Brevity.

(4.8.09)

Tonight I baked my first homemade bread.  I know I said somewhere earlier on this blog that I'd lowered my expectations in regards to fulfilling that lifetime goal, but I decided to unbore myself with the challenge.  Here're the events that led up to this reversed decision (in reverse order):

- There's a lot of waitin' around for the dough to rise, oven to heat, etc.  So in the meantime I watched the movie
Elegy (starrin' the always not bad lookin' Penelope Cruz).  It used a little too much recognizeable classical music (Satie, Part) to totally dislodge me from my thoughts of bread makin'.  There were some nice cinematographic shots, but overall it wasn't worth studyin'.  Needless to say, I often hit pause on the DVD and checked the status on my flour, yeast, salt, and water mixture in my kitchen.  The plot involves a middle aged college professor and his relationship with a student.  One of the openin' scenes focused on a sexual harassment poster.

- Before I started to mix the ingredients, I had a fascinatin' conversation with my neighbour about Jesus Christ.  He gave me a copy of the New Testament.  "Thanks," I accepted, "I'll read it when I'm on the can..."

- I went to the market to buy some yeast, salt, and measurin' tools.  As well, I picked up some sweet onion--I wonder what that tastes like.  And a dozen eggs
.
- I'm drivin' home from work thinkin' "I should go to the grocery store cause I bet my bakin' stone and pizza peel that I ordered online about a week ago probably arrived."  And sure enough, they did.  Luckily, I'd bought the necessary materials to make bread accordin' to the book that came a few days ago.

- The last person I talked to at work was my French accented first violinist.  I told her about the string quartet that I'm writin' and she seemed enthusiastic to read it.  Earlier in the day I waved to my cellist in the halls--she was involved in a conversation with someone and I didn't want to disturb her.  I saw my violist when I was at the reference desk.  The only one I didn't spot since spring quarter began is my second violinist.

- My current assistant, who's graduatin' this year, recommended someone to be her successor, who happens to be a friend of mine--she's a pianist who works the circulation desk.  I ran it by her and she's OK with bein' my next assistant.  She was doin' her Italian homerwork at the moment.

- Yesterday I completed a mandatory online sexual harassment course.  Somewhere durin' the fourth module, my eyes unexplicably started to tear.  Later I learned that my assistant was cryin' at the same time--somethin' about stressin' over grad school waitlists and bein' a girl.

- A few days ago my bread makin' instructions came in the mail.  I read it when I was on the can.

- I cooked vegetarian okonimiyaki for dinner.  Eventually what I digested had to be released.

- There'll be four movments in my string quaretet--the first one starts with the cello, the second the viola, the third the second violin, et al.  I'm waitin' to catch up with my second violinist, cause I'm composin' her movment next.

- It was about a week ago when my lawyer called to tell me that he'd just bought the easiest bread makin' book ever.  And accordin' to him, who's done not unextensive research on the subject, it actually makes good bread--commin' from anyone else, who's most likely not as lovin'ly familiar with all things food, and I might'nt've been so easily convinced.  Immediately after hangin' up, I placed my order for the oven equipment and Artisan Bread In Five Minutes a Day [sic] by Hertzberg and Francois.

(4.9.09)

Today I made homemade mayonnaise to mix with a can of tuna to spread on my homemade bread.  It was super easy after I purchased a hand blender and watched a clip on YouTube that demonstrated the simple method of emulsifyin' the ingredients.  And maybe it's what seems, at least to me, the magic of recreatin' these store bought items in my kitchen that biases my taste buds to believe that they're better tastin' when I make them myself.  I've been on a lucky streak--both the bread and mayo were super delicious.

Accordin' to what I've read, it's supposed to be cheaper to make stuff at home than buy them from the grocery store.  I'm not that great at math, but I think it's gonna take several batches of mayonnaise to recoup the $24.95 cost of the hand blender, which was the cheapest one I could find at the general store.  And it's not like the homemade stuff keeps long--it's the lack of preservatives that ditches that chemical flavour but spoils faster.  As well, I've heard that it's healthier.  Ironically, food that lasts longer shortens peoples' lives.

Or so the scientific studies claim.  I'm a little skeptical cause my aunt, who champions organic food 'til her death, is strugglin' with cancer--she's havin' trouble eating food, which accordin' to my dad who's a doctor,  is a bad sign.  But then again, my dad's given some crappy medical advice to my brother whose ear is forever disfigured due to a shoddy diagnosis.  And mostly, my regular diet consists of horrible processed food from the vendin' machine snacks at work to the chili cheeseburgers I don't abstain from, yet I'm the healthiest person I know.

Nevertheless, I'm not tryin' to save my life or money.  Cause I just bought a case of "gourmet" tuna at about $6 a can.  If it ain't apparent yet, I'm after the perfect tuna fish sandwich.  I guess next on my agenda, per my homemade phase, is to go and catch some from the sea.  And grow some celery.  However, followin' all this to conclusion, I'd also need to hatch my own eggs, make my own flour, yeast, oil, etc.  I'm too lazy for that shit.  But wouldn't it've been nice if I could've been self sufficient.  Cause I don't need much--I could've lived on tuna fish sandwiches.

(4.10.09)

I discovered a cool feature on my music editin' program--the "reverse" function.  If you're composin' somethin' on MIDI, it'll take those notes and run 'em backwards.  I probably wouldn't've labeled this feature as "cool" had I not recently watched a clip on YouTube featurin' the eccentric pianist Glenn Gould ramblin' on about the inverted section of Beethoven's Op.109.  Not that I ain't aware of the anagrammatical gags contrapuntalists relish, and I'm not innocent in refrainin' from these upside down and inside out jokes, but I used to transcribe 'em all by hand.  The click of a mouse and I've "composed" a countersubject.  Well, "composed" is jumpin' on the quotation marks a little too early, cause after transpositions, both for the acoustic registers of the instruments of a string quartet and textural variety, in both octaves and fourths, there's a ton of "wrong" notes that need to be adjusted.  There is no "right" cause it can be relative.

I mean, it's all cool to me, but for the sake of general listeners' threshold for dissonance and the patience of the performers I'm inclined to "smooth" out the harmonies that don't line up, strictly speakin'.  For example, as we speak, I'm multitaskin'--loopin' a playback of a fughetta, bloggin' this entry, and spellcheckin' both.  Some fixin' begins to change the trajectories of the individual lines, which when shiftin' one instrument alters the structure of the other three.  In other words, it's really dense--lookin' at the MIDI grid, the dashes tangle themselves to the point that I need to highlight lines just to separate them visually.  Audibly it's even harder.  But what I'm tryin' to say is it's way easier than how I composed before, namely at the piano where I'd've played the notes with my bare hands, over and over 'til it sounded OK.  Let's put it this way, it used to take me months to write for multiple lines, now it's days.

(4.13.09)
Dependin' on when my juicer arrives, sooner or later I'm gonna buy my last jug of orange juice from the supermarket.  Before my homemade food kick, I used to complain about wastin' my time makin' meals.  Now I'm bakin' my own bread, blendin my own mayo, and brewin' my own roasted barley tea.  I sit around thinkin' what store bought ingredient can I reproduce in my kitchen.  Can I make butter?  And after readin' the specs on various hand powered juicers, I decided to squeeze my own oranges.  It's not so much the wastin' time aspect of food preparation that I dislike anymore, rather the process of doin' it myself that's to my taste.

For a day I mulled over what I should call my Op.11.  "String Quartet No.1" sounds so grand, when in fact I don't think my work can hardly be qualified as so, in fact it's the opposite--it's supposed to be, per my outlook on life, hilarious.  Anyways, I thought somethin' less official like "Four Fughettas for String Quartet" might be more descriptive, cause that's exactly what it is, which ain't the prescription for a string quartet proper, unless disregardin' the rule about varyin' movements' forms is in the general guidelines.  My assistant asked if I was gonna give it a crazy modern classical name like "Blue Storm" or "Devil's Musicbox".  I disappointed her with my reply: "Nah, I've got no imagination--it's just gonna be some opus number."  Well, I ended up where I began--"String Quartet No.1".

It's all Beethoven's fault for elevatin' the string quartet to the realm of masterly form.  Give me a break.  It's just music.  Sometimes I think the guy faked his own deafness to further his mythology.  Either way, I stand by my Op.11 insomuch as it's as close as I've gotten to statin' my ideology, namely a symmetrical balance of everythin' involved--the four instruments, the four movements, the four sections within each movement, and the four lines within each section within each movement.  I tried to explain the concept to my ex-roommate.  He didn't quite get it.  "Each instrument has their own strengths and weaknesses," he argued, "so they should play their appropriate parts."  "Yes," I agreed, "but they CAN all share the same lines--I can't hear it any other way."  Because I believe in this concept more than anythin' else, it doesn't matter what I call it or even how it sounds.  To me all that matters is that the underlyin' framework is in place.

That and I like how the main melodies came to me.  They all drifted in my head right before, durin', or soon after sleepin'.  And they weren't how I planned them to sound--I had a vague idea about the "mood" of each movment which didn''t correspond whatsoever with what my instinct told me to compose.  But somehow it was easier and lazier on my part to just jot down what my dreams played than to figure out what vibe I was after.  Oh, and I'm on a strict drug regiment to, uh, keep my, uh, mind limber.  Dylan once said that he doesn't write songs, he sticks his antenna up to the universe and picks up transmissions.  That's a poetic way to put it.  Nevertheless, I've always subscribed to that not so new news.  Composition isn't somethin' I can be conscious of--it's a roll my eyes inwards, open up my third ear, and listen to whatever's in the metaphysical air.  All I heard, of course, was laughter. 
   
(4.14.09)

Fughetta IV (from String Quartet No.1, Op.11) (demo)

(4.15.09)

"Relaxful," was my second violinst's summation of her spring break.  "How was yours?" she likewise asked.  "Likewise," I replied.  "Relaxful, too?" she laughed but seemed a little suspicious that I seemed to've experienced the same made up word.  And soon enough I was sittin' next to her all conversationful.

I told myself "When my analog television dies I'll up my DVD rentals to three at a time."  But as of late I'ven't been able to catch up with my one at a time rental plan.  Well, these last few weeks I've been foolin' around composin' a string quartet and bakin' bread.  I can barely watch anything in between the other projects that I'm procrastinatin'.

We talked about the past, the present, and the future--music, music, and music, respectively.  "When are we gonna play another concert together?" she offered.  That was my cue to impose my freshly finished string quartet upon her.  She agreed to play it, even though normally she wouldn't, but I'm a "friend" so she will.

My cousin sent me a photo of her daughter for me to recreate outta LEGO.  I'll start it first thing next week.  Tonight I finally got around to designin' a recital poster for the saxophonist that I photographed before spring break.  And I've got Disc 2 of Season One of
Dead Like Me.  After I write this entry I'll watch an episode.

"I like your glasses," I waited a thousand lifetimes to say to her.  Well, finally she was right in front of my eyes wearin' her cool spectacles and I'd've killed myself if I'dn't mention anythin'.  She took 'em off and explained that she needed them only for one eye--if she wears them too long, everythin' becomes blurry.

The reason why I picked the series, other than the lead actress' cuteness and my current preference for television shows over movies, is I don't've to sit longer than an hour watchin' it--I mean, I can watch an episode and continue the rest later.  That and I'm not adverse to any premise that centralizes on grim reapers.

I wanted to appear cooler than I really am, so I killed our little chat.  Well, easier said than done--I kept wantin' to talk, and it seemed like she seemed likewise, insofar as the light reflectin' in her eyes kept me from leavin'.  But when I did, we both uttered at exactly the same time "See you around..."

(4.16.09)

I'd forgotten that the head of the library's wife asked me to housesit for them nearly four weeks ago.  Hence, when I was given a key the day before the gig, I couldn't remember why...

So here I am housesittin'.  I'd spent last night drinkin' beers and playin' eight songs from Dylan's
Time Out of Mind--I've still got three more to learn.  Anyways, after takin' a shower, drinkin' some orange juice, and feedin' the dog, cat, and fish, I'm comfy on their sofa listenin' to four string quartets by Haydn--op.17 nos.3-6.

Yesterday, thru the pipeline, I was handed a handwritten note at work--it was a CD rush request.  Normally I get these via email or printouts initialed by librarians.  Nevertheless, I always welcome the old fashioned form of communication.  Even when it's from my second violinist.

I'm lookin' out the window whilst the music goes thru a fancy stereo system.  Maybe it was the four instruments, the environment, or the hangover, but for a second my eyes went stereoblind--I couldn't distinguish the foreground from the background as the trees close to the window blended with those off in the distance.

We've got a backlog of like a thousand CDs that haven't been processed yet.  The call number my second violinist wanted was near the end of the batch, meanin' it's in some random order packed away in box buried under other boxes.  Any other patron and I've told them that their request will take several weeks.

And I'm countin' the levels of perceived enclosure--one, me in a house lookin' out the window to the world ; two, the world in its protective atmosphere lookin' out to outer space ; and three, outer space in whatever it's in lookin' out to whatever's beyond that.

I'll almost forget number four, my soul in my body that's lookin' out my eyes.

(4.17.09)

Without gettin' too technical, amongst the rules and regulations of contrapuntal music, there are two that are like "THOU SHALL NOT KILL" and "THOU SHALL NOT TAKE MY BLOG SERIOUSLY", namely parallel fifths and eighths are basically illegal.  All you need to know is that a long time ago, some composers decided that those moves don't sound cool.  They gave some pseudo mathematical calculations claimin' that it's easier for the ear to lose sight of such sounds in the web of counterpoint.

Well, I ain't here to disagree with these commandments, I mean, it's a fun game to write music that comforms to those limitin' principles, but I'd like to theorize that it's been some time since the edicts were set and maybe the human ear has evolved, or at least can hear things earlier man couldn't.  For instance, the dynamic range we experience must be greater than those of a three hundred years ago.  Thus I'm guessin' that noises probably sounded more compressed back then--if you've heard a jet plane take off or the sounds of modern society, you'd think that the past was way too quiet.  Add to that the fact that most people didn't hear music as omnipresently as it is nowadays--unless you were royality, it was a special occasion for instruments to play.  In other words, clarity ain't an issue anymore.

If I were king and my say ruled the land, I'd support the notion that one shouldn't break the law unless they've followed it.  Meanin' if you've never saved someone's life, you shouldn't kill another.  Or in terms of contrapuntal music, unless you've played by the code of conduct, you shouldn't be allowed to fuck around.  But then again, I ain't any king, so it doesn't really matter what I believe.

I didn't even touch you and your thickly drenched scent is on me.  Comb my archives and you'll read about how I hate the smell of desperation.  However, for you, I'd sniff my fingers 'til I memorized the traces of your disappearin' perfume.  I don't know, maybe it's the combination of chemicals and body odors that blocked my positive reinforcin' receptors, but I don't mind your plea for attention.

Even in my dreams.  I see signs on the sides of hotels spellin' your name in between every other letter on a buildin' safety regulation--buried in the arrows, diagrams, phone numbers, and county ordinances.  I will get a message from a cat durin' tomorrow night's walk dispatchin' my next assignment.  And then I met you where we met in real life--the scene played exactly, plus or minus my fantastical interpretations.  Had you'nt've ran off after you'd checked out some duets, you mightn've influenced me to catalogue your enthusiasm for life in my random deck of "what will I dream about tonight" cards.

(4.20.09)

On second violin hand, it could've been her black bra under her white tank top that got my attention.  The message from the cat at the crossroads was exactly what I'd dreamed of the night before, meanin' either it's got its paws on the pulse of the known and unknown universe or maybe it doesn't, but I'll take it for what it's worth, namely nothin' on my part, to discredit the feline's psionic powers.  I returned to my memories of ignorance.

My juicer arrived yesterday.  I've still got a couple more glasses of store bought orange juice in my refrigerator hence I didn't want to spoil the freshness of any store bought oranges that I'd squeeze in overabundance of my mornin' beverage.  However, I did pulverize some lemons tonight.  So far I'm impressed with the mechanism, which doesn't fail its job of extractin' the juice from citrus fruit.  I'm tryin' to cut down on electricity.

I thought about tryin' freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, but my dad adviced not to if I was on drugs, cause they screw with the effect...

I'd originally bought the bag of lemons for my mayonnaise recipe--the acids supposedly neutralize the raw egg's potential to be hazardous, whatever.  I mean, I like the sour taste in my homemade sandwich condiment.  But the juice ain't too bad.  I don't have any sugar in my cupboards, so I wouldn't technically call it lemonade, but I don't mind the unsweetened taste.  I'd bet that it might taste nice with some spirits.

My mom didn't hate the bread that I made for her.  That's no guarantee that my baked goods aren't so.  But I'd've briefly questioned my opinion in relation to her reaction had she thought otherwise.  I'm such a novice at cookin' that I've got no reputation to destroy if I screw anythin' up.  And yes, I'm aware that people lie to save me from gettin' my feelin's hurt, which is kind and welcome, but unnecessary.  Just as long as my sandwiches don't taste bad.

(4.21.09)

"Sakura no Hana ga Saku Amai Amai Kisetsu no Uta" (Instrumental) (outtake from Redondo Beach)

(4.22.09)

Bein' for the benefit of subscribin' to the official Beatles newsletter, I was informed of the slated remasters on 9.9.09, hahaha.  I'm not gonna repeat what I've probably griped about previously on my blog, but in case I didn't and to avoid any redundant overlaps I think I might've written about the over 20 years of outdated sound quality on the current CDs.  Especially after hearin' the remixed versions on the
Anthology, Let It Be...Naked, and Love albums.  And doubly especially regardin' the crappy thin 1980's concept of digital audio fidelity version of the White Album.  Of all their masterpieces, that one seems to stand out as demandin' remasterin'.

Anyways, somehow this news ain't so excitin' to me.  Perhaps it's a little too little too late, but besides the White Album, I've got no complaints about the 1987 remasters.  I mean, it would be cool to hear
Abbey Road in all its way ahead of the state of the art glory, but really, I got The Beatles memorized to the point of not needin' to hear any of it again, albeit I'm sure there'll be things in the new remasters that'll be more clearer.  Nevertheless, I will probably not upgrade my entire official discography.  Well, except the White Album.  Cause to me, that's the only one that needs to be revised in terms of needin' some warmin' up.

I was nearly at the brink of dethronin' it from my all-time favourite Fab Four (there's that number again...) album.  I toyed with
Rubber Soul, Revolver, and even A Hard Day's Night--for the simple complexity, complex simplicity, and fuckin' genius, respectively.  But if I were honest and greedy with myself, I'd've to stay with my pickin' the White Album for its double album's worth of tracks.  Nevermind the diverse range of styles that the masters of stylistic changes packed into its epic scope--I like to think of the avant garde schlock of "Revolution 9" and the orchestral schlock of "Good Night" as far as can be opposite ends of their genre spannin' career.

But what's most appealin' about the White Album is its sense of humour.  I think it's their funniest record--every track is a mockery of some form of music.  Yet it's very self conscious, which normally is a pretentious condition, but they seemed to've prevailed where others've unprevailed.  Cause no matter how funny somethin' is, it's gotta be just as hilarious the next time around or else it's just another comedy routine.  Although, havin' songs like "Julia" quiets the laughter for just the right amount of time to keep my attention for the next disc where "Birthday" is a hoot--I don't think it's supposed to be taken seriously other than to seriously have fun.

Alas, I really don't listen to The Beatles much these days.  Don't get me wrong, I don't hate them, it's just that I've got other interests now--Dylan's new album, Puffy's cover song compliation, and string quartets by Villa-Lobos.  I wish there was a soundtrack to
Dead Like Me cause I'd totally order it.  Perhaps the remasters'll reawaken a reason to hear The Beatles again.  I mean, I'm always open to writin' and recordin' another Larry McFeurdy album--that's kinda what happened durin' my last wave of Liverpudlian worship.  I doubt it, though, cause string quartets are too cool for me right now.  And I just don't've the time to care about reremastered recordings.

(4.23.09)
(4.24.09)

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