Out On a Lim                            
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Out On a Lim (1.30.09 - 4.24.09) >>
All men are liars where pretty girls are implicated.
                                                                  -Rube Sofer

There's a sound that the crust makes shortly after freshly baked bread is taken outta the oven and hits room temperature--a cracklin' rhythm of the heated ingredients hardenin'.  Well, that and the smell of cooked dough in my kitchen, where I've been spendin' more time in this month than I have my entire life, is my favourite part of makin' homemade bread, second only to handin' a boule to a friend.

I ordered some rye flour online after failin' to find any bags at two different neighbourhood grocery stores.  Cause, I've figured out a weekly routine--each batch yields two boules and a loaf.  The latter provides a supply of five workdays' worth of sandwich slices.  And the former are gifts to everyone that I've been ramblin' about my bread makin' phase.  Today I brought one to work for my assistant.  Yesterday I gave one to my ex-roommate.

He was hostin'
Lost night.  Before headin' over to his house, I met up with my personal film historian, his sidekick, and his older brother.  Now, I'm the oldest siblin' in my family, so I have no clue what it's like to be picked on from above agewise.  And I'dn't really paid much attention to the peckin' order until I witnessed my personal film historian get verbally slapped around by his elder relative.

Anyways, I wanna try different breads each week--my ex-roommate got the last of the basic white flour recipe, the week before I made some whole wheat, and my assistant got the first of a blend of white and wheat.  Flipplin' thru my little bread makin' book, I noticed several variations involvin' rye flour, usually in combination with the other two flours.  So I thought I'd check at least two supermarkets to see if they're easily obtainable.

Don't think that I'd forgotten about my miniature violin.  I've still got it.  It's hidden in a file cabinet at work, waitin' to reveal the secret of my admiration.  Nevermind that I've had plenty of opportunities to wield my desperation, I guess I'm stallin' either cause I'm not desperately lonely or the idea of openin' this door'll be faster than I'll notice so takin' it slow is the only way to fully appreciate these last hours of undisclosure.

But back to bread.  I'm fully aware that it could be a fun little distraction between goin' insane and holdin' some sense of entertain' myself as I wait for whatever's next.  Nevertheless, I see it as an educational trip behind the scenes of how my lunch is made plus the added bonus of creatin' snacks for friends who don't mind tastin' my attempts at food construction.  Now, if I started bloggin' about my bread, I'd be worried...

(4.27.09)

"I want to tell you a secret," was what I wanted to say to her, but instead let her take advantage of my printer.  Although, she did seem to insinuate somethin' about her friend, be it a secret, a threat, or both--she's definitely got a better edge on the multiple edges of the speakin' language than I do.

It took some time for me to incorporate one of Dylan's abbreviation schemes to my writin'.  For example, I'd type "writing" only to delete the "g" and replace it with an apostrophe.  But eventually I began to edit myself in reverse--especially for correspondence at work, I'd find myself abbreviatin' first then reinstatin' letters soon after.

"You need to get a haircut," my cellist scolded.  And she continued to abuse me with criticisms about my appearance and character.  Now, I don't mind her little transferrin' of anger, cause I don't give a crap about what she thinks of me, but I did kinda feel sorta embarrassed as my second violinst had heard me take a beatin'.

My sister recently remarked that women go downhill as they get older whilst men do the opposite--they grow more refined.  She's speakin' for herself, of course, but I do think in general it's a convenient check and balance between the sexes.  Neverthess, there are always exceptions.

"Why is it that people in rehab and people studyin' to be monks have more access to the internet than we do in the real world?" my lawyer bitched regardin' such friends' more frequent postings on online social networks than us workin' class citizens.  "Yeah," I joined.

I always assume that no one's readin' my blog.  That way I can pretend to be surprised if they did and restrain my ego from carryin' itself away on grand delusions of everyone known' my every thought.  Nevermind that it's hilarious beyond any coincidence when you read my mind.

(4.28.09)

I don't have a ball team...I have a theological seminary!
                                                                         -Charlie Brown

The beauty of bein' ahead of myself with blog entries is every now and then I can afford to take the day off from writin'.  Which is kinda lame given that no one's got a gun pointin' at my head tellin' me to keep an online journal, let alone contribute an entry everyday (except weekends).  Anyways, the point is, sometimes I get to catch up on DVDs, learn another Dylan song, play around with wind quintet sketches, etc.  Anythin' other than bloggin'.

I've been consistently checkin' into foreign hotels in my dreams and not checkin' out, well until I wake up.

In addition to my four requirements for likin' a movie or television show (actress, cinematography, music, and at least one laugh) I've found four more likeable qualities about
Dead Like Me.  Number one: the cute lead actress played the young version of Jennifer Jason Leigh's character in Dolores Claiborne.  Number two: "Getting Things Done wth Delores"--if you've seen the show, you know what I'm laughin' 'bout.  Number three: Gravelings--they're sorta like gremlins who set catastrophes in motion.  And number four: Daisy Adair.

Also, like clockwork, I keep wakin' up an hour before I should, which is enough time for me to check into another hotel.

(4.29.09)

Watching the skirts you start to flirt now you're in gear.
                                                                           -The Beatles

I handed out two boules today--one olive oil flavoured and the other one rye.  I mentioned yesterday that I think the Gravelings in
Dead Like Me are cool.  Cause just as our we seem to be collectively conscious of grim reapers, the concept of small mischevious creatures causin' mayhem is a necessary component to the mythology of death.  Like gremlins, which themselves are rooted in traditions of blamin' malfunctions on the "unseen", Gravelings reserve the right to be the default answer to metaphorical errors after logical sense's been exhausted.  Well, what I'm gettin' at is I've "seen" whatever you wanna call 'em, Gravelings, gremlins, ghosts in the machine, on more than enough occasions to almost rule out happenstance, with the benefit of doubtin' my sanity.  There were the ones I saw jump off a freeway sign in my rear view mirror, land on a car, blind the driver who swerved into a commercial truck with sparks splatterin' before the two vehicles tripped over each other.  Or the time yesterday when I saw some push you into my path.  I'd just gotten into work and was about to walk thru the front door of the library when you stopped me from enterin'.  Cut to the chase and I'm bakin' bread last night.

Some romantic cliches are true.  Like hearin' her name everywhere--whispered in halls by her peers, my assistant givin' me the latest scoop, you mockin' me when you slip into our conversation somethin' about you and her playin' together at the chancellor's house, and an anonymous friend who I'd offer the bread you didn't choose--the rye.  "Which one do you want?" I asked, handin' two brown paper bags, each wrappin' a different flavour of cooked dough.  "Stop by my office today--I've got some bread for you," I texted in Japanese earlier.  "She wants to do a recordin'," my anonymous friend relayed about you the other day.  "I heard you're gonna be recordin'," I remembered and didn't reveal my obvious source of information.  Although, like Gravelings, certain words, like her name, can be brought on by a heightened mixture of anticipation and imagination.  Not to mention I'm not rulin' out the self centered possibility that the world revolves around me--everyone else on earth, alive, dead, and later to be born, are characters in my life.  So it's not unlikely that some crazy girls are fuckin' with me to make it seem so.  Which isn't to say I might not deserve such treatment, afterall, I did identify one point blank as an angel.  She failed at tryin' to laugh it off.

Anyways, so there I am sittin' with you in the far corner of the foyer.  I'm watchin' your skirt, I start to flirt, and now I'm in gear.  Pause--a footnote: 48 hours earlier I avoided the exact spot where we're sittin' at cause an ex-girlfriend was on stakeout there, but that's not the kicker: on my alternate route I bumped into the girl who's name I keep hearin' everywhere.  Unpause.  And I get that "oh crap, this is gonna be wrong" feelin' in my gut.  "Do you like it?" you respond to my millionth compliment towards your skirt, "I bought it yesterday."  "I bought it yesterday."  "I bought it yesterday."  "I bought it yesterday." Etc.  Meanwhile, I'm thinkin' it would suck if she passed by right now.  Thus my wish was granted.  The fucked up thing was we both waved at her.  It's like me and the Devil sittin' 'round doin' evil deeds, god strolls by, and we give Her the finger--only I don't mean to flip anyone off, it's just the result of bein' tricked into givin' that impression.  Shit.  My tongue slipped on the half a billioneth compliment towards your skirt.  Well, I thought it was barely noticeable--I mean, if I was listenin' to myself talk I'm positive that I'd've mistook it for a momentary catchin' of my breath.  But I know that you caught it.

(4.30.09)

When your turn comes 'round
And the light goes on
And you feel your attraction again
Your instinct can't be wrong

                                     -Crowded House

If you ever talk to anyone who's ever talked to me they'll most likely agree that I'm not a good talker.  Naturally, I'm kinda shy unless I've got a grasp on the conversation.  I mean, I'm definitely NOT a filibusterer, but what short stabs at sentence fragments, sometimes down to a single word or two, and even on the odd occasion a solitary "huh", that I seem to get in seem to be the most minimal, some might say the simpliest distillation, of what others might overspend tryin' to account for in oh so many words.  Partly due to my focus on listenin' to whoever I'm talkin' to's gist, my respectful forfeitin' of any dominatin' any discussion regardless of how stupid people can get, or my non-decorative for decorative sake's aesthetic that I hold back from soundin' like my blog.

No wonder I've resorted to several nonverbal artforms as my form of expression--photography, music, and sculpture.       

"What are they playin'?" my coworker asked when I told him that I was goin' to check out the UCLA Philharmonia's concert.  "I have no idea," I confessed, "I just wanna see the strings."  Two hours before showtime the stage manager let me into the auditorium to take photos of the orchestra's empty chairs for reference for musicians later in time's potential rental considerations of the space.  After the shoot, I met my cellist and an anonymous friend in the foyer of the music building.  I let them mostly talk.  Of course, I did check on the status of my quartet's availability for a late night recordin' session with my anonymous friend--I didn't get a red light.  It's a good thing I heard them talkin' cause I remembered one of their observations about my second violinist's featured photograph in the school newspaper.

"Did you take that picture?" my cellist faux wondered--she tries a little too hard to get into my head.

Durin' the intermission, I wished I would run into you.  And just as I was strikin' a "cool" pose by the entrance to the library, I saw you pass by.  I paused for a minute--don't wanna seem to appear to seem too desperate.  Plus, I don't know where or who you were or with.  Sixty Mississippi and I turn my head to scan the foyer for you--you're alone on a bench.  999,999 times outta a million I would've chickened out, but this miraculous moment I didn't.  I had no clue what I was gonna say or do, I just felt possessed--I needed to talk to you.  Walkin' towards you I see you see me and I feel farm and wuzzy.  I sit next to you and the words just flow without a thought.  It was the first natural conversation that I'd ever had.  "How are you?" you apologized.  "Perfect," I crystallized.

Put me to shame.

Happy Birthda D'arcy Wretzky


(5.1.09)

Not unlike my earliest forays into music whereby I learned the craft by playing songs that I liked, I've decided to recreate my favourite dishes.  So far I'm gettin' pretty close to my idea of a good tuna sandwich--homemade bread and mayonnaise plus a can of gourmet fish.  Next I'd like to hitch a ride along the road to the perfect curry.

I'm a fan of the Japanese concept of curry, which is sweeter than the rest of the world's, and I've actually cooked some for myself since college--well, with the instant roux cubes, it ain't exactly cookin'.  It's never horrible, but after elevatin' my tastes after deconstructin' tuna sandwiches, I'm hopin' that the same'll happen with curry.  

And I'm aware that the meal didn't originate there, which in my mind is its divine destination.  All the more, I wanna walk in the steps of its ancestors, such as those from India and other Southeast Asian countries, so that when I do reach the perfect curry, I'd've a better frame of appreciation than prefabrication.

I've yet to turn on my stove, but in the meantime I'm gatherin' some tools--iron cast pot, spice grinder, and some cookbooks.  As well, after I finish writin' this entry, I'm gonna head over to the library and check out Lizzie Collingham's
Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors.  Supposedly it traces the history of the infamous dish.

Sometimes I think I've resorted to cookin' as means to blog about somethin' other than chicks, which incidentally was also a problem I had when I wrote my own songs--I couldn't NOT sing about girls.  But after constantly bein' a horndog, it's nice, well, with the exception of this paragraph, to focus on anythin' else.

(5.4.09)

Some trains don't pull no gamblers
No midnight ramblers like they did before

                                                      -Bob Dylan

But before I got a chance to head over to the library to check out that curry book, I was sidetracked by my former assistant who wanted to store her masters recital reception platters in my refrigerator--I helped her move them from the green room which was gonna be servin' a concert tonight so she didn't want her sandwiches and vegetable platters to be mistaken for someone else's party.

"The reference desk isn't busy right now," I excused myself from my official duties--afterall, it was Friday afternoon, and I was coverin' someone else's shift.

"Well," she seriously inquired, "I can't find a copy of
Fantasia--the original version."

"What do you mean?" I seriously thought it was readily available.

"It's in Disney's damn vault," she rapidly cursed in her French Canadian accent.  "I have to wait ten years to get it."

"I've got it on VHS," I offered in addition to some homemade bread.

Anyways, I eventually get over to the library that's got my curry book, pretend to be lost so that I can admire the college girls studyin' in the stacks, reluctantly stumble upon my call number, and self-check it out at the kiosk.  On the walk back to my office, I think "Wouldn't it be nice if I bumped into my second violinist right now..."  And I did.

My lawyer is smokin' meats with his new meat smoker.

"What?" my jaw dropped.  "I thought you guys were open 24 hours."

"Not anymore," the chick at the formerly 24 hour print and copy shop shrugged.  "But the one in Manhattan Beach is still open 24 hours..."  I thanked her for the data and kicked myself for not goin' there first althought hers was closer to me from the freeway where I was commin' from.  So I get to the Manhattan Beach print and copy shop and they're doin' some kinda ventilation renovation--the ceilin's gone and the pipes are exposed.  "Uh, are you open?" I tentatively ask the girl at the desk.  "Yeah," she yawned, "what do you want?"  "30 prints on 11 x 17 glossy paper," I handed her my CD with the PDF file.  "Is this OK," she asked as she handed me the proof.  "Yup," I signed and waited for my order.

In Japanese I texted "Your posters are ready...come pick them up at my office whenever's convenient for you."  Ten minutes later, I handed off the final product and secured a dinner date as reinbursment (spoken in Japanese).

"You're just like me," my next assistant observed.

"What?" I knew she knew how to speak Japanese.  "The bad Japanese?"

"No," she laughed, "the 'pay me in food' cost of my services."  I smiled back.  We're gonna have fun next year...

So my second violinst asks me "Have you seen any soccer playin' violinists?"  I reply in the negative.  She gets a cellphone call and I let her be.  The next thing I know I'm runnin' into her accompanist and we're sittin' together on a bench as the children kick their soccer ball under us older staff members of the music department and library.  "Hello," my second violinist waves as she runs by.  "Fuck," I silently think.

The narcoleptic shuts her eyes.

"Everythin's a dream," I benched.  Before I know it I'm makin' fun of her favourite word: "deep".  Cause to me a string quartet of cute chicks is as "deep" as it gets.  She's laughin' her trademark "I'm fakin' interest in your silly story" laugh.  Cause I heard her demonstrate it with someone she's sworn to not respect.  Nevertheless, I load up on loaded questions like "Which member of my string quartet do you like best?" and "What did you think of my second violinist's photo in the school newspaper?"

I'm on another planet...

(5.5.09)

Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.

                                                    -Yoda

I hate to make generalizations, but I think I can pinpoint the exact moment when I knew that the '90s began.  And no, I don't think the decade necessarily started on New Year's Day, rather it sometimes can begin earlier or later dependin' on the shift in stereotypin' summarized moods within a relative span of ten years.  Likewise for the end date, but later on that...

We first noticed each other's existence in the theater as I was settin' up the video camera which was to shoot my former assistant's recital--I was in the back row next to her mom who was also adjustin' a tripod and displayed the same vocal candences as her daughter whom I gave a boule of whole wheat bread to today.

I feel like the '60s are about to arrive and we're in some sort of time warp and it's still going to happen.

                                                                                                                                          -Paul McCartney

Fortunately for me, I graduated from high school in 1990.  Startin' college, which is the "decade" years in terms of most people hold a special affinity towards their 20's--the time when everythin' that's been developed previously kicks in and is remembered fondly hence.  At least 'twas for me.  Anyways, I specifically remember hearin' Sinead O'Connor's version of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U" on the radio as I sat in the cabin of a band buddy's truck which he drove me and another musician friend home from Whittier where we'd just participated in a scholarship competition--I wasn't involved other than bein' their piano accompanist.

I've never made a LEGO portrait of a photograph that I've taken.  And it's kinda sorta been a little dream of mine to one day build a mosaic that's based on an image that I shot.  I mean, it's cool that people ask me to recreate their favourite pictures--I'm not sayin' that I can even compete with such sentimental factors.  But I don't understand those images half as much as I do the ones that I took.  However, I've just not had the opportunity to be so self indulgent.

There's a place where everything falls, everything falls into place
                                                                                        -Larry McFeurdy

That song and everythin' about her pigeonholes the '90s sentiments towards egotism--totally full of themselves even as they try their best to mask such narcissism with example after eye rollin' example of self pity and existential pain.  Get over it--your lover's left.  Let me hear you whine and cry.  Somehow I can trace all of bands like Nirvana's pathos, sitcoms like
Seindfeld and Friends' fetishin' of bullshit, and movies like Pulf Fiction and Fight Club's spoiled childish sense of reckless entitlement to that interpretation of that song's underbelly (I've heard a performance by the author and it ain't as mopey).

We waved "hi" and went our separate ways--I was trapped behind a video camera and you found a seat along the wall of the theatre.  Durin' the intermission I caught you lookin' at me.  And at the reception I stared at you thru the mirror.

For symmetry's sake, I'll say that the '90s ended with Sinead's album
Faith and Courage released in 2000.

Anyways, to make a long story short, I was offered to display some of my work at a beauty salon located in Westwod, which ain't a bad neighbourhood.  I don't've anythin' that ain't copyrighted so I need to build somethin' that's completely original.  I've got a photo that I took of you that might be perfect...

(5.6.09)
(5.7.09)

I feel a change comin' on
And the fourth part of the day's already gone

                                                             -Bob Dylan

"I like talkin' to you."

The lights onstage and in the corners of Disney Hall were blue creatin' the illusion of moonlight in an open air auditorium as a string quartet tackled Prokofiev's Op. 92  (String Quartet No. 2) for an early birthday present from my special lady friend.  I bounced off the hull of the wooden pirate shipesque acoustic panels as the pizzicato crowed Russian folk songs.  It's funny cause earlier today I deleted all of her texts from my cellphone.

"Someday I want to find music in these stacks."

Before showin' my second violinist the score to my Op. 11 (String Quartet No. 1) which I have safely stored in my office's file cabinet alongside my miniature violin, I gave her a tour of the slidin' cabinets where we've got our CDs stored at the music library.  Sometimes I forget that somethin' I see everyday at work can be crazy overwhelmin' for anyone who likes sound recordings.

"We can slur those."

I told her she can shoot me for askin' her such a silly request as buildin' a LEGO portrait outta a photo I took of her.  But somehow as my tires hit the 110 south, I was compelled to thank my special lady friend's early birthday present with a comment about realizin' that I just got permission to create my "Mona Lisa"--a portrait that I was completely responsible for, from the original image to the music (Op. 11) that I'll be listenin' to when I construct it.

"I'm flattered."

A rumour's been circulatin', first stated by my assistant and confirmed by my special lady friend, that my first violinist ain't happy.  This's practical news if my quartet's gonna function as an ensemble.  But impractical to interfere with if I don't know all of the facts, which I don't.  Hey, at least I'm thankful that I'm alive to hear Dylan's 46th album.

Editor's note: I'm takin' Monday off.

(5.8.09)

I'm sick.  I truly am.  Re-readin' the last few blog entries and I'm convinced that I need to be locked up for my excessive focus on a single topic: chicks.  I mean, I'm offended by my chauvinism.  And a little embarrassed--eventually, I'm gonna've to 'fess up to anyone who sees too much of the truth in my faux fiction.  I should take better advantage of my imagination and at least be more creative with my metaphors.  Yeah, I've been characteristically lazy--not necessarily in the quantity of my output, but my quality.  Normally, I'd take a week or two off to find my way back to zero.  But this time I'm gonna try somethin' different: abstinence.

I used to joke to my spiritual advisor that the real reason why he became a vegetarian was that he'd eaten his quota of meat--no joke, he could put away his share of slaughtered animals.  Whilst I don't think there really is any quota per se, but I do trust that moderation is a virtue.  So I'm gonna stop writin' about my favourite topic for as long as I can.  Thus, I apologize to any reader, who I'm doubtin' exists as they're probably just as sick of my obsessions as I am, that'll be saddened by my decision.  But hopefully, you'll find equal entertainment from my lesser personal topics.  Or my tangential treatments of my beloved theme.

Luckily, I've got some topics that I've introduced which'll hopefully be a springboard to this next phase of OUT ON A LIM--the more I read about cookin', the more I can see it as a gateway towards a new persepective.  And I've always got music.  We'll see how long I can last.  It could all crumble tomorrow.  Or perhaps I'll discover a new form of expression for me.  Oh how I wish.  I know my friends are tired of my talkin' about the same girls.  But like a Dylan interpretation of Dylan, it's high time for reinterpretation.  Cause I hate bein' so obvious.  She makes me wanna lose everythin'.  Oops, I shouldn't go down that road here.

Well, there's one exception: my string quartet.  Sure, they just happen to be four hot college broads, nevertheless, because they're such an integral part of my enjoyment of life, I can't NOT talk about them.  Albeit, I'll refrain from the non-musical innuendo.  I wanna be professional in tone.  But other than them, or any incidental women that I might casually speak of, the days of my slobberin' soliloquies are over, or as long as I can keep my mouth shut.  God, I hope I can last longer than I hope--quitin' cigarettes seems easier than this.  I'm thinkin' of her.  Shut up.  ARRGGHHH.  Come on, I can do this.  We might be recordin' next Sunday...

(5.12.09)

When he ate, what he ate, and who he ate with, was thus a significant statement of a Hindu's position in the natural, moral, familial, and social order.
                                          -Lizzie Collingham

I think I might be in over my head with this curry thing.  After readin' the first few chapters of Lizzie's book, I'm both depressed and amazed about all the socio-economic layers that the meal has politically accrued--what is "authentic" in the face of invadin' authority and contribution to the ingredients and the brutal and flavourful result.  Nevertheless, what I gathered most was the concept of the kitchen as a holy ground and that some people believe that the purity of the chef is reflected in his or her dishes.

Now, I've created many things durin' my lifetime, and I kinda adhere to a similar sentiment--that the moment of artistic expression is dependent on my frame of soul.  I try my best to understand the "mood" I'm after when I compose or sculpt.  Not that everythin' I've ever done's followed this rule, but I trust that the best results come from an alignment of mind, body, and spirit.  Call it "mystical" or whatever, but I can empathize with such superstitions as instillin' one's aura in everythin' they touch, includin' recipes.

What are the historical implications of bein' vegetarian?  Webs of status and power surround every aspect of cookin'.  Am I worthy of this kinda legacy?  Hells no.  But all I want is a yummy curry.  Well, after some readin', I'm gettin' a humblin' respect for food.  It's whatever now, but how it got to where it is, even somethin' as simple as orange juice, which accordin' to my research was fed to WWII soldiers as a source of nutrition, can be a tangled story of struggle.  I hate to say it, but I can't NOT think of the past whenever I figure what I'm gonna cook next.

(5.13.09)

My grocery list for 5.2.09:

- chicken
- tumeric
- onions
- garlic
- ginger
- cinnamon sticks
- green cardamom pods
- cloves
- black peppercorns
- tomatoes
- tomato paste
- plain yogurt
- cilantro
- lemons
- beer
- brown paper bags

(5.15.09)

3:17 AM: 'Round the curved corner of the ticket booth could've been the echoin' heels of anyone.

13 'til 7 o'clock PM:  My anonymous friend's schedule was the last one to be notified.

Thirteen after seven post meridiem: To my right as I exit the basement's glass double doors is my second violinist.

Thirteen after seven ante meridiem: I'm still asleep--dreamin' about Sunday night.

1:37 PM: I hear echoes of the second movement's main riff in my head.

1:37 AM: I listen to a MIDI demo usin' a digitally sampled violin, viola, and violoncello after I check to see if my car doors are locked--they weren't.

Seven 30 one post M: My car's stuck in traffic as I play a CD of a MIDI demo usin' a digitally sampled violin (one panned hard left and one soft left), viola (soft right), and violoncello (hard right).

Thirty 1 before 7 P meridem: My anonymous friend is sketchin' possible microphone placements for an even distribution of pickup--maybe havin' the performers in a line, with their own omni directional pointed at them, and switchin' the viola and violoncello's positions for a more centralized bass sound.

3:71 AM: Of course it's my cellist who I bump into and she gives me the green light for a recordin' session--this Sunday night.  "How long do you think it'll take," she turned.  "We should be done before midnight," I returned.  "Don't laugh," she scolded as I expressed my excitement accordin'ly.

17:3 MA: The bows will hit the strings...

(5.18.09)

I think I learned a new word today.  I mean, times are such that it's hard to believe anythin' you read, most especially online.  I heard that the printed version of the newspaper is on its deathbed.  I got up early, yet late enough, to fall back asleep a little longer, albeit shorter than most weekend afternoon naps, to wake up with that extra feelin' of sleepin' in but not overdoin' it to the point of thinkin' maybe today'll be a special day--one where I might run across the word "thagomizer".

I try not to think of any country as bein' greater than the rest, even where my passport claims that I'm a citizen of such and such place on earth.  That bein' said, I think the United States of America doesn't've an easily drawable flag--it's got way too much crap goin' on with the stars and the stripes and the red, white, and blue.  With two colours, you can render the design in black and white and people'll still know what nation's flag you're drawin'.  And with less elaborate lines, the less amount of time it'll take to sketch.  For instance, the Japanese've got a flag that's nearly the simplest I can think of--a red circle on a white background and two seconds to scribble.

More accurately, I learned the word "thagomizer" before (it was first appeared in
The Far Side) but it wasn't until today that I read that some people're usin' it as if it were a real word (at least accordin' to Wikipedia).  So I tried to fill up my gas tank, but it stopped pumpin' before it was full.  My coworkers gave me a surprise belated birthday party--I felt the sensation of bein' a week faster than everyone in the room.  Nevermind that my mind's on my string quartet and slightly disappointed that any of the campus libraries has anythin' on cryptozoology, namely the books accountin' the search for livin' dinosaurs.  I enjoy fiction that thinks it ain't fake.

A coworker introduced me to
Arthur Kade's blog.  It seems to be guaranteed to make me laugh every time I read an entry.  He's got a hilarious scale for women, which he refers to constantly.  His comedic timin' is finely clocked within the first few sentences.  And the responses people leave elevate the humour to a collaborative art--his inspiration for the reaction of others is inspirin'.

My former assistant made croutons outta my bread.  So I'm at the reference desk and I'm readin' about some cryptid called the Muhuru that's supposedly hauntin' Kenyan jungles.  The natives claim that it's the spirit which cryptozoologists assume is a stegosaurus--it walks on four legs, head low to the ground, armoured plates on its back, and has a thagomizer (spiked tail).

(5.19.09)

If I'm in the mood, I'll give a bum a buck, if they ask.

I have a difficult time acceptin' failure, mainly cause, well, for one thing there's really no such thing, and two, I can always come up with at least one positive gain for every negative loss, even if, or rather, especially if, whatever outcome comes out of an unplanned plan.  For instance, I don't've a recordin' of my string quartet even though we did press record and they more or less played it thru--let me put it this way, it was an unsalvageable mess.  I overestimated the ease of my music.  To be fair, they said it wasn't difficult, but "awkward"--there're some odd time signatures and the keys weren't too friendly (four flats is pushin' it for them).  But I had way too much fun to call it a flop.

I was browsin' the spice section at the grocery store when a bum asked me for fifty cents.

They caught a case of the giggles before the second take of the second movement.  For me, this was the second highlight of the session--laughter truly is contagious.  And to hear them cuss each other out whilst containin' themselves was priceless.  At that point I'd given up on gettin' anythin' done, so I was happy to just have fun.  I mean, it's one thing to hear them play a transcription or an arrangement, but to hear them perform , even if it's just one note, of my own composition is more than I deserve to ask.  Sure, they seemed oddly less confident than I remember them the last time we rehearsed, but to listen to those notes live is a cherishworthy memory.

I pulled out my wallet and looked for a buck.

I stood onstage with them, oftentimes cuin' in whoever got lost.  And I have no idea what it's like to write my own play, but I think this was similar in that my "words" were comin' outta their "mouths", nevermind that they "pronounced" a lot of mistakes, however, just to be in the same room durin' all this was surreal.  I suppose it can be frustratin' for some composers to hear their music get destroyed, but somehow I was fine with them fuckin' up--perhaps I'dn't've been so lenient with another group.  Cause I'm confident about what I wrote--my computer can play it just fine.  Askin' for an ensemble to perform it is already askin' a lot.

My smallest denomination was a five.

Afterwards we decided that it's gonna take another session to get a real recordin'--they'll take the music home and practice it on their own.  Which brings me to the firstmost highlight of the session--makin' sure they all got home safely.  Everyone seemed to live within walkin' distance for midnight, except my second violinist.  So I gave her a ride.  Her one on one feedback about the whole affair seemed fair, not to mention educational--she gave some helpful criticisms which we'll constructively employ next time.  Cause there's usually a next time, and if there isn't, at least there was this one, regardless of success.  Some people don't even get a chance.

"Here you go," I said.

(5.20.09)

I started three lame attempts at a blog entry--one was about how egotistical it would be if I prided myself in composin' music that was challengin' for my string quartet, another was some embarassin' poetry that rhymed "curse" with "disperse" and "universe", and lastly, an observational paragraph on the variety of interests my online social networkin' friends don't share with each other.  I scrapped them all cause I just wasn't feelin' interested in spendin' the time to finish my thoughts.  I guess this is what's called "writer's block", albeit self imposed--I've got a thousand stories to tell about a girl that I know whose lack of sense of direction and hopeless rest countin' skills are forgiven by me due to her wide-eyed voice, but I vowed not to talk about that sorta stuff anymore.  I mean, it's not easy for me to NOT write what I wanna write about, but it's for the best.  If there's anythin' I've learned from six years of bloggin' is how to shut
up.  I apologize, dear reader, if this entry's turnin' into a borin' self-reflexive rant, but sometimes changin' my grip on reality is the only way to maintain my grasp.  And while we're at it, I suppose it's not a bad time to make some custodial announcements: I'll scheduled to be housesittin' for a couple of weeks at the end of May and beginnin' of June, so I'm gonna take a vacation from OUT ON A LIM durin' that time.  I haven't checked my archives, but I think this last batch of entries since my last sojourn might be the longest stretch of continuous writin' that I've ever done, not that that's anythin' to brag about considerin' the train wreck I experienced.  As well, as I think I've mentioned sometime earlier, this blog's gonna end at least ten years after it started.  Unless I get some nigh divine bolt of inspiration to extend my stay, I'm lookin' forward to bowin' out.  Don't get me wrong, it's been fun, but a decade is more than enough to be
freakishly enjoyin' somethin'.  I would hope to've found somethin' else to occupy my sense of rewardin' experiences by then.  Cause there's a fine line between jumpin' ship and goin' overboard.

(5.21.09)

Notice how the male Muhuru pretends not to hear the females behind him click their plates and thagomizers semi-playfully against each other.  The male can recognize the individual females based on their personalized resonatin' grunts--there is a peckin' order, the youthful higher pitch asks the elderly low toned one for her approval.  Meanwhile, the male rolls his eyes.  He's rummagin' mindlessly thru the foliage, collectin' old tree branches to bind for future generations.  Eventually, he turns around to face the females.

They've resumed their territories--the older female is sippin' from the river, the younger one plays with likewise aged peers.  The male ignores the crone and hones in on the nymphet.  A vocal exchange takes place whereby the male declares his mate, to the challenges of the other females who feel slighted.  There are no other males around to combat, so he flirts with each of the females, to calm them down.  But it backfires--they attack him with offensive moves learned as defenses against other male suitors.  Thus, the male ends up empty handed.

Later in the day, he's roamin' the pillared remains of a monkey civilization, when the aged female saunters by.  He ignores her and favours the ripe younglings who drink from the unguarded river.  The male signals an apology to them and focuses, if only peripherally, on the dominant female.  Cause in the back of his mind it's made up and he's already walkin' her sidekick home in the moonlight not unlike how he did the night before--to the cave with the tree in front, across from the tar pit.  Her scent will still be on him tomorrow.

Editor's note: Don't forget next Monday's Memorial Day.  See you on Tuesday.

(5.22.09)

Tonight I attended the graduate composers' concert, which my second violinist reminded me of two days before--she played in two of the pieces.  I only stayed for her half of the program, so I can't comment about anythin' after the intermission, but I gotta say, all the music I heard was nice, albeit a little too serious.  Maybe it's just me, but I like some silliness interjected here and there, if only to contrast the gravity of the mood.  But seriously, I think I'm fallin' outta touch with what's considered "serious" music.  Which isn't to say clowin' around is the key--humourous artists like Weird Al and PDQ Bach are fun, but like most jokes, I can't listen to them more than once.  No, I'm a fan of that Beatles or Dylan sense of humour which can be laugh out loud at first, but ain't tiresome later--dry shit.  Which isn't to say I'm against serious music, rather I believe a sense of humour should not be totally abandoned.

But I really believe I'm losin' ground.  I don't know what the hell's goin' on in the world other than what I hear about regardin' the fucked up "economy" and such--it's all distant blips on my radar, at least for now.  And supposedly it's an artist's duty to be in tune with this nonsense, especially in classical music--pianists are boycottin' American concert stages due to politics, etc.  Not to mention, there's a tradition of sufferin' for art that I just don't've the patience for.  Nevertheless, I completely agree that music does have the ability to heal those in pain.  Thus, I'm absolutely underqualified to understand.  I'm too neutral to feel any emotions.  Although, they say that comedians are the saddest humans on earth.  I can see that for cathartic acts like Bruce and Pryor and , but musically, it's not cool to hit the funny bone too hard.  Or maybe music needs to not take itself so seriously.

Editor's note: I'm listenin' to the recordin' we did  last Sunday night--it's a riot and a half.

(5.26.09)

Tonight, after work, I'll drive over to the adjacent prefecture and visit my sister in the hospital.  The surgery didn't go so well last week and our other sister, who's husband is a doctor, says that's not a good sign--the outlook ain't lookin' good.  It all happened so quickly--the ovarian cancer spread to her colon and now she can't eat anythin', so they've got her hooked to a tube.

I feel sorry for my brother-in-law.  He's been super depressed durin' his wife's illness.  And to think, earlier this year he himself battled stomach cancer.  These are difficult days.

Their daughter visits every mornin'.  She lives close to the hospital as her husband is a doctor there.  Their son is about a year and a half years old.  I wonder how much of all this he's comprehendin'.

My granddaughter is slightly older, but I doubt she's any more clued in.  Death ain't on her mind.  But still, she must sense the worry in us grownups.  I remember when my grandmother died--was that when I learned these emotions?

Accordin' to my daughter, my nephew is buildin' her daughter's portrait outta LEGO.  Him and my sick sister are the artists in our family.  I'm tryin' to imagin' how he's dealin' with all this.

I park under a streetlight, sign in at the front desk, and knock on my sister's open door before enterin'.  She's watchin' TV, wearin' a yarn cap to cover her bald head, and slowly losin' her mind.  She's been unafraid to abandon all manners.  Fair enough, but that doesn't mean I forgot how to be civilized.  "How are you?" I quietly ask.  "NOT GOOD!" she shouts and turns away.

(5.27.09)

For my DMA recital, I think I would like to make it a multimedia event.  I want to do somethin' that none of the other students've done, or at least most of them that I've known.  Cause music nowadays needs to be a spectacle as well as well performed.  And so I would like to project images on slides behind me as I play the piano.  I could have prerecorded introductions to the pieces.  Oh, and dancers would be cool--especially for the tai chi number.  If I can find a Pekin'opera singer, I'll incorporate her, too.  It'll be entertainin'.

I've studied Western classical music my whole life.  But it was only recently that I've been interested in Chinese music.  And since I'm Chinese, I ought to be an authority on the subject.  That bein' said, I'm programmin' my program to follow the ancient formula of startin' slow, goin' fast in the middle section, and endin' like we began, slow.  Thus, the slide show needs to also be timed accordin'ly, with images of nature and temples.  There needs to be balance.  I need someone who understands that concept.  I wonder who I can ask...

I'm sittin' in the library, checkin' my email.  It's been confirmed by the stage manager--the date for my recital.  OK, so it's definitely set.  Crap, I still gotta practice the music.  What am I gonna eat for lunch today?  Rehearsal this afternoon and then a lesson--I'm too busy to think right now.  [A sentence about the future in Chinese].  Hey, wait--Henry's sittin' at the reference desk.  He doesn't look too busy.  Maybe he could be my stage designer.  "Are you busy?" I whisper.  "Not really," he replies.

(5.28.09)

The wife and I are gonna be headin' to New York in June.  We'll be stayin' with relatives and friends along the Hudson, visit art festivals, and enjoy our annual summer vacation.  Every year we go somewhere different--last year it was Santa Fe.  And while we're gone, like our previous excusion, Henry'll be housesittin' for us.

He stopped by today to pick up the key.  My wife made a nice comment about his long hair.  I shook his hand and asked him if was at Disney Hall a couple of weeks ago--I could've sworn I saw someone who looked like him there, with a pretty Asian lady, no less.

"Yeah," he confirmed.  "That was the night the trombonist died."

"Yes," I nodded.

"Was that your girlfriend?" my wife poked.

"Maybe," he mumbled.

"Oh, I'm sorry to be nosy," she continued, "but I'm happy for you..."

We took him to our garden, to show him what's new--some lettuce and if he's lucky, some strawberries.  He mentioned that he just started to learn how to cook and seemed genuinely interested in pickin' some fresh vegetables and fruits.  My wife asked if he's cooked for his girlfriend.  He quickly changed the subject:

"Uh," he uttered, "please tell my readers that I'll be takin' the entire month of June off from OUT ON A LIM.  Besides housesittin', I'll be fine tunin' my string quartet, and workin' on a LEGO portrait that's got a deadline.  So relay to them that this blog'll continue in July."

"OK," I obeyed.

"Thanks," he said.

(5.29.09)

Chronologically, I'ven't gone housesittin' yet--I had some time to kill so I thought I'd get a little head start on my blog.  I just returned from a photo gig--an all female a cappella group sang at the main library's rotunda.  It was, uh, not a chore to drive up to school once again in the same day as earlier today I, uh, did a quick photo shoot of a pianist for her, uh, recital posters.  Well, anyways, in the hours between camera action, I practiced ten outta the eleven songs from
Time Out of Mind, did three rows on a weddin' portrait, reheated yesterday's ground turkey with spinach, made some more homemade naan, drank a beer, and squeezed a week's worth of orange juice.  Tomorrow's Memorial Day--the only thing I've got planned is attendin' my violist's master recital in the evenin'.

The only goal I've got for myself whilst housesittin' is learnin' "Highlands"--that eleventh song from
Time Out of Mind.  So far, it's the last great epic song (it's 16 minutes long) from Dylan, in the tradition of one of my personal favourites, "Desolation Row".  I've done the preliminary steps--copyin' and pastin' the lyrics from the official website, editin' the errors based on the recordin', and learnin' what variation of the 12 bar blues the chord progression follows.  And yes, I read some ramblin' article in a fanatical encyclopedia, which we happen to entertainingly own at the music library.  Well, to make a long story short, I'm assumin' that the change of environment'll be a fun distraction which'll be a kick for me to associate with as a memory catalyst.

The ground turkey with spinach and homemade naan wasn't bad.  Yesterday, I drove to the edge of town where one of the two closest Indian grocery stores is located.  It was a hot Saturday afternoon.  Immediately when I entered the store, I felt transported, possibly from the overwhelmin' amount of spices stocked in the back room, to another world.  I mean, the only reason I'd ventured this far was cause my local market didn't sell fenugreek and ghee--I needed the former for the main dish and the latter for the bread.  So, in conclusion, the trip was worth it, despite my under-appreciation for the European explorers who risked their imperialistic lives on the seas just to earn some coins from the cultural exchangin' of indigenous goods--every bite was a surprise.

The taste splitted off into different dimensions with every spoonful as there was a distinct contrast between the background and foreground spices--one of the last ingredients added is the garam masala, which is a mixture of various spices.  Accordin' to the history book I'm readin' about curry, back in the day, there used to be a dude whose only job was to grind spices.  I think that would've been a cool employment opportunity for me in another life--studin' and masterin' the half chemistry, half old wives' tales about each ingredient.  Perhaps my sense of smell was connected briefly to my sense of reincarnation when I stepped into the back room of the Indian grocery store.  All those exotic spices linin' the rows of the shelves were reminiscent of successive consciousnesses.

Before meetin' up with the pianist for her photo shoot, I ran into the stage manager who later allowed us to take pictures on the main stage with the concert grands.  But before the session, the stage manager was settin' up for a jazz ensemble recital.  There was a baby grand beggin' me to play the primary theme of the second fughetta of my string quartet.  "That sounds Asian," she said.  And then she relayed some silly rumour she'd heard about me datin' a certain Asian lady.  "I have no idea what you're talkin' about," I answered.  After the photo shoot, I printed the PDFs of the updated score and parts to my string quartet--three outta the four fughettas needed to be edited after our first run thru on the music school's secondary stage.

I'm takin' my second violinist's advice: transposin' the second fughetta from B-flat to G to accommodate for the arpeggio fingerin', changin' the time signature of the third fughetta from 6/8 to 3/4, and simplifyin' the key of the fourth fughetta so that they don't've to keep track of too many sharps or flats.  The last time I talked to her was a couple of days ago when the pretended to clobber the pianst who was askin' if I could take her recital poster photo.  "How's Sunday at one?" she suggested.  "That's fine with me," I agreed as I waited for my second violinst to finish whatever she was checkin' at the computer terminal.  "How's it goin'?" I waved before she crossed the security gates.  She gave me an epic verse about her woes amidst the unravelin' of scraps of paper.

Technically, when this entry gets posted, I'll've hopefully accomplished my "Highland" goal.  I think I should also've bought a pasta machine by then and've possibly made my first batch of homemade spaghetti noodles.  I read online that the myth of Marco Polo bringin' back pasta from his journey to China was fabricated by American macaroni companies, whatever, as Arabs are more likely to've introduced Italy to the cornerstone of their cuisine long before any trips to the center of Asia.  But a lot and nothin' can happen in the span of month.  Here's lookin' at a future where I've squashed all the false rumours circulatin' about me, recorded at a least a satisfactory version of my string quartet, and've relieved everyone of their woes.

(7.1.09)

The overweight empress was dressed in a white suit that would've been too shiny for any peasant to comfortably indulge in such useless other than to flaunt one's riches extravagance.  She commanded the party at the palace, where there were labyrinthine fountains of icy spiked vodka punch, more lingeried jesters than there were spouses of the invited guests, curried wooly mammoth served on china imported from Pluto, an ice sculpture in the shape of a slowly meltin' but completely functional giant clock, gears and all, carved outta the frozen blood from twelve dozen generations of sea turtles, and a string quartet sisterhood in every hidden corner simultaneously playin' Bartok.

I stepped up to the open bar, which was stocked with every imagineable imagination bendin' blend of blink and you won't miss your elitist eyelashes lashin' at someone's mind mindin' it's own bankrupt business in a parellelogram universe where you aren't illegally affiliated with dishwater, water polo, polio, ions, irons, zirons, and fate's evil twin scheme to deceive thru deceptively undeceptive deception upon the subterranean demons that dwell well within the solstice reach of mere solar mortals that soar to hyperbolic hyperbole with every accountable description of hell that maybe angels might not be figments of fakery, and ordered a workin' class beer.

A high definition video camera was pinpointed at the driveway accommodatin' enlarged limousines that dropped off the spoiled progeny of ancient oil prophecies and fed its signal to a single giant widescreen monitor in the restroom where I was takin' a piss after six bottles and a handful of prodigious licks of that ice sculpture.  As the autoflush flushed, I noticed the noticeable difference in the differently styled style of the next mode of transportation--it was a stagecoach from the Really Old West.  I wasn't drunk enough to see the lone tumbleweed roll by or hear a circle of vultures singin' lullabies, but I was curious as to who'd step outta such a super duper retro vehicle.

Cause what if she's the one?  She who has traversed travesities, defeated feats, and disintegrated integrity just to get a humble ticket for a thousand millennia later on a souped up stagecoach replete with hyperspeed, time travel, and baryonyx leather seats.  She who knows I'm observin' her within our ever gap shortenin' distance, our forever entwined future rivers of chance slash obviously inevitable in hindsight, and our neverendin' beginnin' between breaths of birth and death.  She who's got her sleeves up her aces, her duck duck geese in a row row row your boat, and her clear coasted.  And she who'll refuse to kiss the empress' ass.

(7.2.09)
My housesittin' stint is over.  I accomplished most of my goals--"Highlands" is committed to memory, I made homemade spaghetti with my pasta machine, and all scandalous rumours seem to've been quelled.  In the meantime, I also started to watch Battlestar Galactica (the new one, not the old one, which I remember watchin' as a kid, so some of the names rang recognizeable, as well as the updated spaceship designs), I jammed with the lead guitarist of my old band The Meanwhilers (we're playin' his brother's weddin' with a him on acoustic guitar, a friend of the groom on vocals, and me on a synthetic piano), and my quartet became a trio (see followin' paragraphs).

I stopped to chat with my first violinst, who was tapin' some photocopied pages of music at the music library's circulation desk.  We exchanged the knowledge of our plans for the summer.

My second violinst was gettin' a second helpin' of strawberries at a reception after a bassonist's recital.  I relayed to her the updated keys, the delicious desserts, and her juries.

The first piece on the program of my violist's masters recital was a Brandenburg concerto--she'd recruited a harpsichordist, a gang of violists, a double bass, and my cellist.

She mentioned the possibility of one last rehearsal before summer started.  But, she most specifically specified, I had to talk to the first violinst--the other three aren't on speakin' terms at the moment.

At the housesittin' house, they'd cable, so I'd push "guide" on the sophisticated remote control and scroll thru the hundreds of channels.  In the past, I could kill hours watchin' music videos.  But these days, those seem to do the opposite--they make me ultra aware of time, and thus waitin' around for it to die, which takes longer with each attention releasin' duration of each mind findin' song.

Movies also used to be somethin' I'd chew on cable.  But this time around, I couldn't find anythin' that was accompanied by a second thought in terms of tunin' in.  I've got fond memories of the last time with Luna Lovegood, and I would've settled on seein' her again, but her film wasn't in rotation durin' the two weeks of my stay.  So what I ended up tunin' in to slayl time was the comedy channel.

To be specific, the standup acts.  I gotta say, my respect for comedians hasn't diminished--it's such a focused artform, namely it's just someone makin' a crowd laugh.  Anyways, when I wasn't learnin' Dylan or readin' about noodles, I found myself with a beer, comfy on their couch, and chucklin' at hilarious jokes.  I've listened to a bunch of albums, but never've seen too many live or videotaped.  There's a physical dimension that was previously hidden.

Welcome back.

(7.3.09)

  I was afraid she might leave before I could say goodbye.

Profuse puddles of tears propelled from the pores in my eyes pour nonstoppedly.  I cry sans control of the correlation between comfort and desire, conspiracy and destiny, collateral and deposit, cohabitation and desperation, catastrophe and destruction, cacophony and dissonance, combat and determination, curious and delirious, clouds and dungeons, crap and divinity, cavemen and dinosaurs, and cats and dogs.  And I've still got another onion to dice.

The turkey and the bear snuck up on the bald eagle durin' the dragon's piano recital.  "Let's move closer," they lured him.  They sat crossed legged in a row--the the two ladies were pointin' in the opposite direction from him, at least until the lights dimmed.  Sometime durin' the first half of the program, before the intermission, their feet were danglin' towards each other.  The applause died.  "Let's get coffee," they vended.

So the next day, at work, I looked up "how to cut an onion without crying"--I figured I couldn't apostrophe the last "g" cause that's probably not the spellin' keywords adhere to, unless I'm unaware of the latest search engine algorithms, I mean, just to be safe, it's probably wisest to assume that the most standard, most average, and most popular formats yield greater results.  And I arrived at amply anecedoted archives of answers.

"We have someone like that in my country," the turkey noted.  "Were you born here?" the bear asked the bald eagle.  "Yes," he replied with ambivalent patriotism, plus or minus a dozen degrees of sarcastic inflection per audio waveform valley.  "No, you're not," they disbelieved and distressed--the ladies weren't dressed like the undergraduates.  "I think I'm gonna stay for the second half," he excused himself from their company.

Some say soak the onions in water before cuttin' them.  Others say remove their section that secretes the stuff that kicks down the ducts of tears.  Another option is to wear goggles.  Or breath thru your mouth.  But the one that seemed to make the most, and by "most" I mean "easiest" on my behalf, sense, and I can vouche that it kinda works, at least in the sense that it lessens the sting in the eyes, is lightin' a candle.

My aunt was as mystical as it gets in my family--she painted sometimes gruesome depictions of beauty, sometimes sketched, sometimes both, sometimes in shaded monochrome, sometimes in a selection of serially thematic colours, illustrations that sometimes were done on canvases the size of an easel and sometimes a dimension that spanned the proportions of a good-sized Japanese suburban house's wall.

After the dragon played two encores, the bald eagle ducked into his office to retrieve his lunchbox--today it was packed with a leftover slice of spinach and homemade ricotta calzone, which he microwaved at noon.  He had to take a leak, so he followed a route thru the buildin' that would take him to the basement's exit via the least roundabout restroom.  In the stairwell his eyes were taken by the sight of the turkey's unmistakeable recital posters.

Along with the surface memories of the high pitch of her extra polite voice and goin' to the movies in the afternoon after eatin' freshly ground sesame seeds for tonkatsu sauce, I can also remember some hauntin' moments when the settin' sun shone behind her as patterns of tiny trucks distortedly traversed the honeycomb shaped speckle design on the background windows.  It was one of those "after she dies, this'll be where I'll meet her spirit" moments.

I got the news on my computer at work.  My cousin sent me an email, which I was to forward to the rest of my clan--my parents were on a Mediterranean cruise with limited communication, the internet bein' the most readily accessible.  I wanted to hit the floor, but it was business hours, and it'd be unprofessional of me if I'd zone off and remember the time she visited my apartment, drank tea, listened to her daughter whine, and not get any work done.

I felt like cryin', but held it in as I removed myself from the moment of every human interaction I had that day.  I mean, I honestly laughed, but in the back of my head, I kept thinkin' about her departure from this plane of existence, which seemed so swift, perhaps exceptionally to the point of me pretendin' to be in denial of its occurrence, that I was only goin' thru the motions of truthful reactions to less significant matters.

I mean, I think it's unfair for my coworkers and patrons if I let my personal emotions affect their effectiveness, both in terms of time and eggshells.  But it was like seein' the writin' on the wall--life is over just as fast as it begins.  Between seein' her nude and her last kiss, I'll say farewell appropriately on my own time.  We'll laugh again in our celestial settin', the evenin's around the corner, and the light is just right.

The bald eagle hits the bottom floor.  Zippin' thru the practice rooms is Henry's second violinist--she's dressed like an undergraduate who just finished her finals.  "Hello bald eagle," she echoes in the halls.  "Hello," he waves back and asks, "are you still around?"  "I'm leavin' early in the mornin' tomorrow," she accents.  "Well, goodbye and have a nice summer," he's glad he'd the chance to say.

(7.6.09)

All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.
                                                                                -Number Six

The beautiful thing about the re-imagined edition of
Battlestar Galactica is the gender swaps of some of the main characters, such as Starbuck and Boomer.  Thank frakkin' god these pilots were rewritten as chicks, cause I might've stopped watchin' the DVD version of the series after the first season.  Well, that's not necessarily true, cause in terms of cinematography, I'm gettin' the hang of the handheld camera work, includin' the pervasively repetitious and accelerated zooms into and out of spaceship shots, and the modernistic music mimicin' primordial patterns.  And, of course, there's Number Six.

I'm currently marinatin' 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a puree of 4 garlic cloves, a 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped, 1 small onion, coarsely chopped, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of garam masala (a blend of cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, black peppercorns, cloves, dried red chile, and mace--toasted and hand ground), 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro stems.  It'll sit in my refrigerator overnight to be combined later with red onion, garlic, ginger, canola oil, cinnamon, salt, coriander, cumin, tumeric, cayenne pepper, tomatoes, and heavy cream.

Cause makin' the Cylons hot chicks is genius.  I'm addicted to sexy blondes and Number Six ain't not one.  So far she hasn't been seen naked--close, but nothin' R-rated.  Nevertheless, she gets my battlestar to galactica, if you know what I mean.  And the gamelan theme that oftentimes introduces her into a scene is hyper-hypnotic.  Frakkin' A, I'd sell out humanity to the Cylons if they're as hot as Number Six.  And I'd've fun goin' to hell with my guilty conscience--frakkin' with myself besides viles of blood samples as Starbuck interrupts my make believe, computer chip hallucination, or spiritual transmission from a monotheist and technologically superior to humans, civilization.

Tomorrow I'll bake the chicken on a drip tray at about 350 degrees F.  Tonight I made some broa de fuba (Portuguese corn bread) to accompany some caldo verde (Portugese green soup with chorizo and kale).  Yesterday my soba book came in the mail--an out of print monograph dealin' with the history, nutritional facts, and instruction on how to make some at home.  Actually, I've been readin' a book on pasta and noodles, but it's only got a single chapter on soba.  As well, I got a manual that outlines some of the philosophical background, culinary history, and gives recipes for a collection of Indian homestyle curries.

Not that I'm as near as brilliant as Dr. Baltar--the scientist who's got Number Six on the brain at inappropriate social moments. But I can empathize with his character.  When he fraks Starbuck and she moans someone else's name, I can feel that awkward, not due to jealousy on my part, but Number Six's, moment.  The hand of god, so say we all, follows him even when he doesn't've faith.  And sometimes the results are hilarious--otherise, the show would just be way too frakkin' dark.  The politics are so obviously a metaphor for 21st century mentality and the overt religious overtones can be a little too eye rollin' for me, but his mental interactions with Number Six keep things from gettin' too silly.

Chicken tikka masala, accordin' to what I've read, is a bullfrak dish--it's a bastardized, misinterpreted, and re-imagined idea of curry by the English.  All I know is it was listed first on the menu at a local Pakistani restaurant that I frequented, and I'ven't got any complaints as to its agreement with my stomach, so frak authenticity, I wanna recreate it at home.  But one of the obstacles to overcome is the chicken is supposed to be cooked in a tandoori oven.  And I know I'll be off, however, thus far I'ven't been disappointed with any of the approximations in the cookbook which includes the recipe I'm followin'--I'm confident that it won't be in bad taste.

(7.7.09)

Just as I turned the power off on my stereo by pressin' a big square button, a car honked out there over yonder a block or two away from my apartment, like an alarm prematurely goin' off or a clandestine code between a pair of destined souls just before bustin' out from under their parents unknowin' noses and this boxed in soul crushin' neighbourhood for good this time.  It's 22:48.

[Henry asked me to apologize for him for interruptin', cause he's gonna've to take a brief vacation from OUT ON A LIM--for about a week and 2/5th worth of entries.  And I know that he just recently returned from a break from writin' due to housesittin' and whatnot, but he's gonna be outta the country.  I'm not at liberty to say where, but trust me, he'll be fine after he gets back and resumes this happy little blog.]

I've got nothin' against pediatric AIDS--I generally don't hate kids with diseases.  I mean, I can't say personally that I currently know or've ever known a victim of the infection, but I'm guessin' that it ain't too pretty.  But that's it--I can't picture the misery beyond that.  Maybe if I had a child I'd see things much differently.  Nevertheless, just to make it clear, I'm not pro-pediatric AIDS.

A campus tour trampled over me durin' my potato chips from the vendin' machine break.  It was a gang of about thirty parents and their prospective student offspring, squintin' at the sun backlightin' the rooftop architecture, countin' the homeless bums and garbage scavengin' squirrels, and listenin' to the guide yap away about charities his fraternity supports, such as fundin' for pediatric AIDS research.

"It just goes without sayin'," he said, "that that's a worthy cause."

"Uh," I thought, "no."  Yes, the need for such programs to not worry about money is ideally a "worthy cause".  But the reality is, underlinin' that it's a "worthy cause" doesn't necessarily make it one, regardless if it's some brown nosin' weasel tryin' to get your pity donation or a legitimately good deed.  Sure, we can pretend that all we want is for words like "worthy" and "cause" to have truthful connotations.  But I'm just sayin', NOTHIN' goes without sayin'.

The music I was listenin' to was, once again, a string quartet playin' Bach's final fugues which left me speechless.

[Give and take care.]

(7.8.09)

Snowdrops and rainflakes
Cakepans and cakecups
Makeups and makedowns
Surround the lost and found
Especially durin' specially occurin'
Daysholi and alcoholic beverages
Bein' on the verge of bein' served
And nerves are calmly embalmed
In flask after glass of thick lick her liquor
Suddenly I'mn't under her spell
Her only phony smell, her rattle tattle tell
And her pretty little hell anymore
Or I'm well aware of bein' dared
To think I'm near a sinkin' ship
A winkin' whip, a blinkin' blip
And a drinkin' drip of whiskey
Whiskin' my thousandth wish per thousandth swallow
That flies by in the nigh night
Alone in a diagonal all diametrically
Dislocated from this location
In tace and spime
Limesub and vinedi
At which point the anointed annotations
Of the aforementioned forgotten
Forgoes formality and forbids foursomes
From forgin' furnaces, discernable dismissals
And missiles aimed at mistaken farms
Armed to the tooth
With tractors and corn adornin' silos
I'm buildin' up a glue fumes tolerance
Ants evenly march back and forth
Northwest and westnorth
The best forts've got the best cooks
I like the things of look
It took a book to unhook my unshooked
Fears with here, there, and another bottle of beer
Dayeverywhere with before and after meals
Lemonsqueeze cubeice
Rice flour for pad thai noodles
Peanutgrind sproutbeans
Means to a end means an end to means
And more often than not ends meanly
See me in the shards of shared
Holders older than the coldest scold
Diggn' for the beginnin' of a gold rush
Flushed down the tube
Cubes of gloom soon reconsumed by me and you
Biology should bisect redundancy
But it's almost mostly a ghost next to the context
Of lastin' ever heace and pappiness
Fishsel kingthin mostat
That and this
Then and now
Why and how
Hawaiian fowl
Someone accidentally dialed me and left a message
It looped for over a minute
In it were what appeared to be
An alien chewin' at rhythmically equivalent intervals
Fallswater false what her flyswatter swats
I deleted it

(7.20.09)

I've heard the term "ghost chorus" given to the brief taglines repeated at the end of each verse in some of Dylan's songs, cause they're too short to be classified as a textbook definition of an appropriately composed "chorus", such as "I'm twenty miles out of town in cold irons bound," which is said and done after two moderately paced blues bars, yet they've got the hauntin' appeal of a precognition or deja vu that comes and goes likewise as quickly with their refrained familiarity commin' 'round and 'round again and again.

I had somethin' akin to a "ghost chorus" in my dream last night--a short scene which remained the same as it concluded a different vignette.  Although the various "verses" were all set in the same collegiate household, so they had a consistent theme as well, but the action that unfolded was disparate enough to feel like I was watchin' a television show with multiple storylines cast with a quartet of stars.  And it played the same commercial durin' each interruption.  Well, until the end of the dream when the television show and commercial connected and I woke up.

The "ghost chorus" was of a driver burnin' in the cabin of a tanker truck.  It appeared in a directly headin' towards the camera shot, with both the flamin' vehicle and the cinematography crew movin' in the same direction at the same speed--so the soon to be explosion never seems to reach the lens.  As well, the held at bay ignition built tension each viewin', cause in the back of my mind, I couldn't help but think--sooner or later, regarless of what's bein' held in the tank, and if every stunt I've seen on TV is true, the truck's gas should catch on fire and blow up.

And before you put on your psychoanalysis hat, let me simply say that I think it's hilarious how I'm gettin' a reputation as the resident Dylan expert on campus.  Polite or not, people seem to wanna know what I think of his new album or Corigliano's settin' of his lyrics.  Cause I'm in no way an expert on the subject.  Sure I might know a few of his songs and've read some books, but there are far more qualified Dylanologists than myself.  However, it is in the spirit of Dylan that I can bluff my way thru any conversation about his music.

It sorta reminds me of my lawyer.  He's never watched a full episode of
Lost, but he can sound like he has in any discussion between fans.  Culled from the "Oh my god, guess what happened on Lost" reactions from his wife, who watches the show, and readin' the episode entries in Wikipedia, he saves the time he would've wasted tunin' in, yet he can get away with lookin' cool in front of people by sayin' things like "Desmond is my constant".  Well, the same thing applies with my expertise on Dylan.  For example, "ghost chorus".

Anyways, so one of the vignettes that I had in my dream involved two chicks--one shared the same facial, body, groomin', fashion, speech, and personality features of my cellist and the other could've passed as a perfectly cloned copy of my violist.  They were semi-enthusiastically, which is a slightly noticeable notch above their usual ennui, doin' their homework as I plugged in a boombox to an outlet in the kitchen.  With Villa-Lobos' Bachianas brasileria No. 1 for eight violoncellos sympathetically vibratin' in my bowls, I follow a recipe for archaeopteryx vindaloo.

After the commercial break, the girls remain downstairs with their laptops and reference books, as I let the pot simmer and see what the other two characters were up to.  One might've fooled me into believin' that she was my first violinst, but she was paintin' the walls of her room with a depiction of a pirate ship leavin' the port of some pillaged bay--what tipped me off was her accent wasn't French.  Another "ghost chorus" passes.  I walk towards the other room at the end of the hall.  The door ain't fully closed.  Practin' her scales was none other than my second violinst.

Yesterday, on my way to my lawyer's house, I got stuck on the freeway for two hours.  I mean, the cars weren't movin'--some had their engines turned off and the passengers stepped out onto the four lanes tryin' to see past the bend at the cause of the delay.  Eventually we were diverted to the nearest exit and detoured to another freeway, which roundaboutly led me to my destination, three hours after I left my apartment--it should've taken me about forty minutes.  When I got back home, before bed, I found out via online news that it was a tanker truck that blew up.

(7.21.09)

She's got everythin' she needs she's an artist she don't look back
                                                                                       -Bob Dylan

I was asked to perform at my aunt's memorial.  My uncle told me that whatever instrument I needed could be provided.  The idea was to celebrate her life--the exhibition of her paintings that she was supposed to've held will be displayed and everyone she knew will come to pay their final respects.  A grand piano was at my disposal, but honestly I can't tickle the keys like I did before.

Everytime I visited her I'd play her daughter's upright.  I've got fond memories of me poundin' "Maple Leaf Rag".  It was technically flashy, especially at the breakneck tempo I took, and somehow my aunt knew that I was just showin' off.  "Play somethin' from your heart," she requested.  This was back in 1990.  The only thing I could pull off was "Yesterday".  And somehow she heard my heart in that corny tune.

However, these days, I'm of the mind that the piano is a cowardly musical instrument--the strings are played via an intricate mechanical system of hammers.  Whereas violins, violas, cellos, and guitars've the musicians actually touchin' the strings with at least one of their hands.  And even bows and picks are eschewed on occasion.  Sure, some avant garde compositions call for scrapin' the strings of a piano, but in general, it's pretuned.

I let her listen to the
Blade Runner soundtrack, which was one of the CDs I brought with me to Japan.  "I really like this," she responded, "cause it's like listenin' to music in outer space."  I wasn't as fluent in the language at the time to agree other than blurtin' a borin' "Yeah".  In other words, we talked a lot about music.  And I will always treasure her opinion on all of the arts.  Cause she was the closest kin I had that was connected to that field.

A cartoonist "friend" on Facebook recently did a radio interview wherein he detailed how he doesn't understand when an artist calls one of their works a "masterpiece".  Essentially, he called out on the egotistic self congratulatory bullshit the term might conjure.  "Like does that mean everythin' else you do is [BLEEP]," he hilariously contradicted.  Yet, I knew exactly what he was talkin' about.

That bein' said, I still stand by my claim that Ivana's portrait is my "masterpiece".  If anythin', I feel the organic consolidation of all my pastimes--music (she's playin' the violin), photography (I snapped the image of her playin' the violin at her junior recital), and LEGO (a mosaic based on the photo I took of her playin' the violin).  Cause unless I can find another muse that collects all of my main interests, it don't get more personal than this.

My neighbour is gonna show me how to make scones this Saturday.  It's funny, cause she asked me, like everyone else I've told about my recent excursions into culinary creations, "Why?" in regards to my new interest in food preparation.  I told her "Boredom," but that's a half truth--the other reason is it's the easiet "in" with chicks.  My aunt wasn't a bad cook--I regret playin' the piano durin' those times when I could've been in the kitchen with her.

And I think she would've appreciated my Dylanesque evolution, regardless of the language barrier.  Besides, my mom thinks that my harmonica playin' is somethin' universal--not to mention, it ain't a pain to lug overseas.  So I say frak the grand piano.  I'll borrow either my uncle's or cousin's guitar and neckbrace a C harmonica as I strum and sing the only song  I know that respectfully depicts an artist.

(7.22.09)

I swam with a swarm of prehistoric dragonflies that loomed above the lagoon as flyin' saucers interlacin'ly flew further upwards between the atmosphere and across hallucinatory trails of intergalactic crossroads which spatially separate the unknown universe more or less from the knowledge of said edge of knowin'.  Subconsiously, I drowned.

And found myself in the opium den of a Chinese owned brothel circa the California Gold Rush.  Memories of a card game loosely lost tangle and fade in the eye squintin' smoke.  The ceilin' opens up.  An alien spacecraft booms sonically three thousand years later.

I hear it, but only faintly in the back of my great descendant's daughter's head sometime durin' an overlappin' dream which she has several times as a child and with diminished frequency, but greater clarity, as an adult--of an ancient noise that was faster than time.

Asleep, I believe that the red lights flashin' on the roof of the hotel are real.  As are the extraterrestrials pretendin' not to be themselves, but rather regular humans like myself, mindin' my own mind.  I wake up and feel mentally violated.  But I go about my day like none of it happened.

(7.23.09)

A man always has two reasons for the things he does--a good one and the real one.
                                                                                                               -John Pierpont Morgan

Truth be told, I'm gonna miss my first violinist if she never returns to my string quartet.  I specifically wrote in a high register just for her cause she plays those frequencies sweetly.

If anyone listened to our rehearsal recordin's and wasn't familiar with musical jargon, they'd probably think the five of us were preoccupied with digits as we seemed to've been constantly shoutin' bar numbers.

"50?" my second violinist suggested.  "49," my first violinst would request as she noodled the notes.  "30," my violist would say in an ultra cute rallyin' voice.  "Downbeat of 18," my cellist announced to the microphone.

The first movement of my op.11 is "straightforward", as my second violinst described.  The second, accordin' to her, is "very pentatonic".  She leads off on the third.  And she kept getting' lost in the fourth.

I agree with her completely, except for her assement of the last movement.  I think of it as Bach on acid.  And I'm afraid that unless you've played a four part fugue by Bach on LSD, it probably doesn't make much sense.

I've changed my mind regardin' what I posted on 7.22.09.  I'm seriously considerin' scrappin' the Dylan song and goin' with an original composition, namely a piano arrangement of the second movement of my op.11.

And yes, like my second violinst said, the second movement is "kinda Asian".  And yes, I originally composed it to be impossible to play on a piano, I'm gonna skip the fourth voice.

Cause I think it'd be disrespectful to my aunt to play somethin' not written by me.  She always promoted originality and I'd be ashamed if I didn't follow her advice durin' her memorial.

Besides, it's time for me to retire the Dylan persona, albeit I'm forever shaped by my assumin' his songs, but it's an artistic cul-de-sac at best if I don't return to my own material.

Some thoughts can keep me up all night whilst others put me to sleep immediately.  An example of the former is me wrestlin' with playin' the piano or the guitar/harmonica.  In the end cowardice won.

The latter is best exemplified by the mention of my name by my second violinst on a online social network 'bout me finishin' her behind.

(7.24.09)

She promised that she'd be right there with me
When I paint my masterpiece

                                       -Bob Dylan

Upon bein' asked by a reporter if he believed in marriage, the mechanical and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, who was the victor in the "War of the Currents" against Thomas Edison, answered "For an artist, yes; for a musician, yes; for a writer, yes; but for an inventor, no.  The first three must gain inspiration from a woman's influence and be led by their love to finer achievement, but an inventor has so intense a nature with so much in it of wild, passionate quality, that in giving himself to a woman he might love, he would give everything, and so take everything from his chosen field."

My sister, the art director of a prominent advertisin' agency, and I often argue about "the eye"--the mythical sense that identifies beauty.  And no, we're not talkin' 'bout the "eye of the beholder"--everyone's got that, even the blind.  Someone with "the eye" can see a beauty that, for lack of a better term, is "true"--or more generally accepted as "beauty".  For practical purposes, she needs "the eye" to do her job as she must sign off on designs that corporations've spent millions on to help sell their products and services.  And I won't argue that she doesn't've "the eye", cause she can spot a defect in the dark, not to mention she'sn't gotten fired yet.

The wife of one of my lawyer's friends recommended that I read Stephen King's
Dark Tower series.  I needed a book for my plane flight, so I decided to follow her suggestion, fully knowin' that it's seven books long and if I start it, I'm committed via my irrational need to complete every finite task, to get thru it.  Anyways, in the introduction, the author gives some hokey "ka" speech about the number 19 and how his epic story is his Lord of the Rings--his legendary quest of grand proportions, his adventure that needed to be told, his most monumental work that took 33 years to finish, and in his words, his "masterpiece".

I've been takin' a weeklong break from listenin' to string quartets in my car--the new Puffy album
Bring It! has been blastin' on my speakers as I drive up and down the freeways.  And I gotta say, they've done it again--they've topped themselves.  I like how they've cranked up the guitars and've ditched the sissy slow jams.  They keep it rockin'.  Nevertheless, my only complaint, and it's irrelevant really given that music, regardless if it's pop, should ideally always be more about "the ear" and less about "the eye", but for all the cool melodies they shout, the CD cover is lame lookin'.

(7.27.09)

Suddenly, I'm in Horndog City with a bong and a boner.  The snowbergs and icecaps've melted and the thermostat's cracked as the best chests and the unreal heels of the pornographic princesses' access my submental "on" switch--slower than clocks, but faster than electricity, yet seemin'ly abuzz with stillness.  Fireworks revolt in the moral mesosphere.  And so I proceed without caution.

I awaken as I clear my throat.  Helicopter blades chop the sky--the walls aren't familiar and the roof is on fire.  I cough.  I'm naked on a hot cot.  My clothes are on the floor, sprinkled with whore perfume and ceilin' ash.  Time is the last thing on my mind.  And then the floor collapses--I see the flames distantly pull back as my stomach and soul escape thru my eyes.  This is it--the end.

But the wireframe of the bed reconfigures into a sailboat.  The blaze above fades into a swirlin' drain, like the top of the sky was the bottom of a swimmin' pool.  Water surrounds me as a new gravity assumes my orientation.  Winged fish fly in pyramid patterns next to my vessel.  The winds accelerate.  Soon I'm shot off a waterfall, momentarily airborn before the gradually increasin' pull of descent overwhelms me.

However, the fall never ends.  Sometimes I think that it won't--I'm forever in a state of tumble, only now that that's not gonna change, I sense anything but release to be a source of tension.  Although, the aural pitch slide, which ought to've plummeted by now, mysteriously ain't close to hittin' bottom yet.  And then the flyin' fish change their flight paths.  Now they're tracin' illuminated arrows synchronized to my heartbeat.

Do I follow them?  Or do I ignore their puppet strings?  I mean, life is pretty lame in this freefall, but it's all I've known since the last paragraph.  There might be more and there might be less if I acknowledge the obvious signage.  Then again, what do I've to lose?  There's nothin' on my boat worth rescuin'.  And so I take the nonexistent existential risk.  I jump off and land in an eternal loop where I never decide my fate ever again.

(7.28.09)

Nearly everyone who's alive shall experience some form of grief.  And of all those who will most likely shall deal with such emotions in as many ways as there are death, not to mention both causes and effects are intertwined--someone who dies from cancer is more often than not dealt with a different set of sympathies than say someone who's executed for treason.  I mean, one feels "sorry" for a relative that passes from an incurable disease as one feels "glad" that a traitor's been served by justice.  And I'm not sayin' there're any differences other than in the arbitrary sense, but I'm just sayin'--everyone deals with grief differently.

I returned from Japan on Wednesday.  But I'm takin' Thursday and Friday off to go on vacation.  Cause the physical trip was, I don't wanna say a "chore", but it wasn't a "vacation" in the relaxin' sorta connotation that that word normally evokes.  I mean, my aunt's memorial ain't exactly the sorta occasion to go partyin' with the geisha.  It was "heavy" to say the least--I wasn't physically close to my aunt, but spiritually we were eye to ear.  Lines are bein' drawn between the families--with every marriage comes an intersection of lineages.  Gossip notwithstandin', let's just say that my mom didn't get along with her dead sister as she does with her brother who's alive.

So there are two lines--my mom's maiden name side versus my aunt's husband's last name.  I brought my camera, but wasn't sure if takin' pictures at a memorial was kosher.  I mean, almost everyone, especially the direct family, was in tears which don't exactly make for a memorable picture, at least one to broadcast online via some social network.  But then I thought--my aunt was a visual artist and my only true way of honourin' her beyond music is thru a similar sensibility, namely photography.  Although, I do feel that this series is kinda "personal"--so it's available exclusively on Facebook.  "Friend" me if you're desperate to see them.

The horndog in me couldn't resist two pseudo-dates whilst I was overseas.  Oftentimes I believe that a lot of people talk bullshit just to speak nonsense so as to avoid what I suppose is the subject at hand.  For example, my sister and brother seemed to've focused on the trivialities of their own lives, company advancement and corporate etiquette upon meetin' the night before the memorial--which is cool, it's just that I kinda wanted to talk about my aunt, but oh well, they've got their way of dealin' with someone they weren't exactly close to and I've got mine.  The first pseudo-engagement was with a recently graduated saxophonist who was spendin' the summer at her parents' house.

Which happened to be located in the same town where my grandparents settled, Takatsuki.  Two days earlier (the day before my aunt's memorial) my uncle took us (my sister, my mom, and I) to my grandparents' graveyard (photos are clearly labeled in the Facebook album).  Whilst I thought it was a movin' moment to see the final restin' place of my mom's parents, I couldn't help but somehow think that I was bein' cornered into signin' some pseudo-alignment agreement--"remember who you are--you are from your grandfather and grandmother's side of the family, NOT their daughter's daughter's.  And sure enough, no one else besides myself was invited to my cousin's for lunch.

"I haven't looked at these photos since my mom's death," she said as she plopped an album on my lap.  "This is where you got married, isn't it?" I absurdly questioned durin' lunch.  "I'm so glad that my son met his grandmother," she cried.  "Without her," I confessed, "I don't think I would've given the artist's life a second thought..."  "I haven't told any of my friends that she's passed," my cousin revealed.  "I want one of her drawin's," I admitted after she relayed her dad's wish to hear me play the piano for him--the same pieces I played at the memorial.  I noticed my other cousin, my mom's brother's daughter, wipe the corners of her eyes when I suddently discussed this at my uncle's house.

The first pseudo-girlfriend took me to a pseudo-sidewalk cafe (it was located on the third story of a coffee franchise)--she ordered some kinda cake thingy and I got a sandwich set (includin' a small salad and soup).  With the second, we both ordered the pasta lunch--I had a beer, which she skipped cause she drove.  Tales of infidelity were fed to me between meals.  And all the while, I kept findin' comfort in dreams of a violin--not the first.  Everyone per my cue kept askin' about my "girlfriend", and I fueled their dreams, but alas, unless there's somethin' beyond my control, I don't see myself grievin' over losin' her.

(7.29.09)
(7.30.09)

After dinner, I drank a combination of the leftover broth and the cookin' water as a soup.  I'd read somewhere that some of the vitamins and flavonoids such as B1, B2, and rutin dissolve in water.  Thus, it's not only customary, but healthy to do so.

My aunt's final drawin' was displayed at her memorial.  It's unfinished--the bottom right hand corner is roughly sketched and uncoloured.  I'm sure everyone's got their own emotional reaction to it, namely her husband called attention to it durin' his speech.  But to me, all I thought was "She must've started somewhere other than there."

So far I've yet to fail in turnin' flour into pasta dough.  There're horror stories online about how it can turn too mushy or the ingredients just won't mesh together and you gotta throw away the miscarriage.  And yeah, there is a moment durin' the process when I feel like "Oh crap, this ain't gonna work."

It feels hopeless--my fingers are siftin' in vain as the semolina and eggs seem as distant as divergently orbitin' planets from connectin' with each other.  Yet usually just then, like magic, everythin' falls into place.  Mayhaps the trick is usin' room temperature eggs.

However, soba is an eggless noodle.  Buckwheat flour's got no gluten, so wheat flour is added as a binder.  Supposedly, it's a difficult task.  Beginners are recommended to use a higher ratio of wheat.  There're all these professional hand techniques to develop the viscosity.

I used to start my portraits on the subject's face, namely the eyes, so as to get a good sense of the charactization, personification, expression, etc.  And work my way around--above to finish the hair and below for the body.  But after doin' several of these I soon learned that it's easier to start from the bottom.

Cause I work with gravity--my material, tiny toy bricks, gets stacked.  I don't've an easel.  Smaller portraits can afford to be begun from above.  But the weight of the bigger ones, for practicality's sake, ought to be built from the ground up.  Hence, if I died before I finished the portrait I'm workin' on now, her hair won't be done.

I had a dream in which her friend followed me around the library wonderin' how Liszt died.  I tried to show my disinterest by not knowin' the answer off the top of my head and directed her to the encyclopedias.  But she persisted, underwearless, and lured me into the Romantic era.

The broth consists of daishi (water soaked with dried kelp and shaved fish), soy sauce, mirin (cookin' sake), and sugar.  As well, chopped scallions, grated daikon radish, and wasabi are often added.  Atop the noodles are strips of dried seaweed.  All these bits end up in the after dinner soup.

I picked up several bags of buckwheat flour whilst in Japan.  I've tested American brands to make pizzoccheri, but that used eggs, so wasn't difficult to sculpt.  And I figure to make soba, it'd probably be more authentic to go with a brand from the dish's country of origin--which doesn't make any sense, I know, otherwise I'd've used Italian buckwheat for the pizzoccheri.

Anyways, I made soba for dinner.

(7.31.09)

I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success.  Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.
                                                                                                                                             -Nikola Tesla

Simon and Garfunkel were tourin' Japan.  My uncle'n'aunt had tickets to the Osaka show.  I was jealous--I wouldn't've minded seein' 'em perform as I've never heard 'em live before.  And I'm a slightly ashamed that my mom, sister, and brother aren't acquainted with the act.  I mean, I'm relatively sure that if they heard "Bridge Over Troubled Water" or "The Sound of Silence" they'd recognize the tune, even if they didn't know who wrote and sang those songs.  Obviously my cousin knew--she used to play "Scarborough Fair" on her guitar for me.  But alas, my immediate family (I hope my dad knows who they are) is clueless.

Granted, I probably am in the dark regardin' plenty of their obsessions.  My mom practically reads a romance novel a day--I'ven't got a smidgeon of understandin' what that's all about.  My sister's got tons of experience in the cutthroat advertisin' business, which I frankly don't wanna know about.  Regardless, all that info flies over my head.  And of course, my brother's some scientist in a lab--I'm completely oblivious to measured experiments, followin' methodological rules, and testin' theories accordin'ly.  I'm more of a blindly shoot type and guess what's next sorta fella.  Nevertheless, I was surprised that my brother didn't know who Nikola Tesla was.

Back in 1899, over at Colorado Springs, the prototypical mad scientist conducted crazy experiments with manmade lightin' cuttin' thru the night skies.  I just finished readin'
Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney--ever since my TV died, I've been readin' more, as I've been balancin' fiction and non-fiction simultaneously with Dark Tower books interchangin' with Trevor Corson's The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi from Samurai to Supermarket.  Did you know that the earliest forms of sushi can be traced to Thailand?  Anyways, Tesla was a freak--he was abnormally afraid of germs, hair, fat people, numbers not divisible by 3, and earrings.

And he never married.  For some reason I can relate to the oddball primarily on that basis.  I'm 37--by most social standards, I ought to be married and've'd several kids by now.  Whatever.  I think if I lived a hundred years ago, I'd've called myself an "inventor".  Cause back then, dudes like Tesla and Edison weren't confined to rigid scientific codes--they were polymaths with a wide range of interests, nevermind if they were bullfrak.  It's all the numbers and specialities that turn me off from bein' an "inventor' today.  The closest thing I can muster is composer, photographer, sculptor, writer, etc.  But I've never felt the thrill of hurlin' lightin' across the skies.

Pigeons--that's what Tesla fell in love with as he'd ceaselessly feed and care for them.  And I don't know the complete facts behind all the claims of alternatin' current, radio, X-rays, death-rays, robots, remote controlled boats, weather manipulation, alien communication, and wireless transmission of energy.  But I'll turn 'round and won't bother anymore if my second violinst don't know who Telsa is, after all he's her country's most praised son--even though he became a US citizen, he was born in Serbia.  If someone writes my biography, they'd note my idiosyncrasies, like symmetrical paragraph lengths, and connect Tesla ultimately with my horndogness.

(8.3.09)

"Look at the ground," my cousin pointed.  We'd just parked her car and headed towards the lakeside hotel.  She'd also just gotten a new car--a chunky minivan that she was scared to drive.  I glanced footward.  There were a dozen yellow happy faces linin' the sidewalk.

The summer weather's been hot enough for me to open my windows.  But upon doin' so, from the next buildin' I've been hearin' some lady's loud voice nigh constantly.  And either she's talkin' on the phone, she's blabberin' to herself, or whoever she's conversin' with's mute or really quiet cause all I hear is her side of the conversation.

I finally saw
Coraline.  Not that I watch current movies much anymore, but it definitely was the best thing I've seen that's been released this year.  There's somethin' about stop motion animation that never fails to bring a smile to my face.  Plus Coraline ain't bad lookin'.  Her voice is cute, too.

My drummer's supposedly been in rehab for the last six months, or so the official press release states.  He recently sent me an email wonderin' when we could jam.  I replied that I'm cool whenever he and the other members of our band're ready.  Which reminded me to get new strings for my electric guitar.

Back at my cousin's house she gave me a tour of her new place.  From the kitchen she's got a killer view of Lake Biwa.  And in her room, atop a drawer in the corner, she displays her favourite things--a photo of her mom, a picture I took of her and her husband, and a miniature piano that I made for her.

Luckily, I didn't get high this mornin'.  Otherwise I'd've been too paranoid to go to the music store.  "I need some medium gauge strings for an electric," I quickly asked the salesman--I wasn't in the mood to compare prices, brands, etc.  "The cheapest'll do," I added.  I bougth two sets.

I'ven't played my electric guitar in nearly two years.  It's been gatherin' plenty of dust as I'dn't kept it in its case.  So when I restrung it, I cleaned off the gunk on the frets, wiped off the grime that'd built up under the pick guard, etc.  It's still pretty beat up, but I think that's part of the instrument's charm.  We've been thru a lot.

As I was doin' this, I could hear my neighbour yappin' away.  I figured if she's within earshot, she must also hear me tunin' my guitar, not to mention, whenver I practice, put on string quartets on my stereo whilst cookin', crank up 5.1 surround sound movies like
Coraline, smell the pot, etc.  I'm waitin' for her to say "I live next to a freak..."

Likewise, I've got a music stand next to my desk that's got my favourite trinkets--a card from my aunt, postcards from friends, letters from my cousins, test printouts of some of my photographs includin' the Eiffel Tower, and a snapshot of my cousin wearin' a kimono.  Some memories are physical.

(8.4.09)

If you're goin' on home
Better go the shortest way

                                -Bob Dylan
   
Back durin' my Bach phase, which was nearly a decade ago, I was obsessed with gettin' the piano hammers to bounce on the strings, like Gould always did (listen to the third note of his 1962 recordin' of the BWV 849 fugue).  It's akin to a harpischord's pluck.  On the piano, it sounds like a subtle hiccup.  And I though it was the coolest thing.  Dependin' on the piano (Steinways were more likely to produce the effect), and definitely only on grands (uprights don't've the same gravitational orientation), I was able to get that bounce.  But soon it became a gimmick--if I wanted to sound like a harpsichord, then I should just play one.

The same can be said for my voice.  These days I've been growlin' in my lower range.  And it feels right.  Cause my upper register just ain't me.  Sure, I toyed with falsetto--I blame U2's "The Fly" for that phase.  However, I can't sing in tune, and those high notes sound especially sour when they're off.  Somehow, at least to my ears, lower notes are more forgivin', mostly if I mumble and take refuge in the slippery scales of the blues.  I mean, I don't know why I wasted my time tryin' to really sing.  But then again, I guess you need to make these mistakes to get to where you really wanna be.  It'll all make better sense later.   

(8.5.09)

"Lady Delirium" circa 2005

(8.6.09)

Somehow the young boy knew that the man could be trusted.  Even at 19 months old, most likely before he'll become conscious of memories other than comfort and its inverse he didn't sense any threats.  Although, he did silently spin off into his own world at the day care center's playground.  "Is he your son?" an attendant asked.  "No," the man answered.

I've never been diagnosed with clinical depression, so you'll've to excuse me if I sound like I'm mockin' the condition when I say I was feelin' "depressed" the other day.  Now, I know that it's a serious affliction that's got a million theories regardin' its causes (psychological, sociological, hereditary, biological, evolutionary) and just as many suggested methods of treatments, and I'm in no way lumpin' my "depression" with any of those.  But somethin' was off.  I first noticed it when I was feelin' inordinarily tired after work--like I wanted to take what I normally never do, a nap.  And the Evil Underlord knows that I don't do any labour hard enough to warrant fatigue, on the contrary, the party's always begun at midnight.  Anyways, I think I read somewhere that sleep patterns get all frakked up when you're depressed.  Hmmm, I thought.

The man took off his shoes and let the young boy lead him by the hand towards the aquariums along the back wall.  They traced their index fingers around the glass, followin' the paths of the fish.  And then they watched the turtle in the adjacent water cage emerge onto some makeshift land.

For the longest time, Western scientists believed that there were only four basic tastes that the human tongue can identify (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter).  As recently as seven years ago, a fifth taste that's been classically and limitely claimed by Eastern society to exisit, has become universally acknowledged.  The fifth taste is umami, which is the Japanese word, badly translated, for "tasty".  More specifically, it's the kick in monosodium glutamate.  The Chinese call it "fresh flavour".  It's the savouriness in meat, cheese, and 'shrooms.  It's what my lawyer would've, in his pre-health conscious phase, called the "love".  And it's no coincidence, at least accordin' to the media, that MSG excites neurotransmitters, sorta like how that emotion chemically supposedly does.  Stereotypically, Asians throughout their socio-historical customs've primarily expressed their love for others thru food.

If you mess up in a two dimensional toy brick portrait, it ain't the same as messin' up with other mediums--you can't erase things non-linearly, rather you're technically still in the third dimension as you've gotta take things apart, work backwards, fix the mistake, and rebuild.  Normally, I'm good about pre-visualizin' the final work--with the help, of course, of image editin' programs.  But oftentimes, to fix the 'crappiness' of 99% of the photos that I'm given to work with (cheap point-and-shoot shots with unflatterin' shadows cast by built in flashes, too many shades for toy bricks to handle, shoddy compositions, etc), I liberally fiddle with the levels, contrast, croppin', and such to get the image up to my standards.  However, I'd've thought that usin' one of my own photos wouldn't need any manipulation.

The boys mother called him and the man over.  The three of them sat at a kiddie version of the family table--there was a miniature fake stove next to a small sized cabinet filled with blunt wooden knives and plastic boxes with pictures of vegetables, meat, and fruit.  They handed around amongst themselves a plush syringe.

There was somethin' wrong about the portrait I was currently workin' on.  It was all mathematically correct, but I had a naggin' doubt about it bein' "right".  My eyes weren't happy.

After they got bored of the playground, the boy, his mother and the man sorosoro'ed ("leisurly" in a stretched translation of the Japanese word) to a bench and shared a lemon soda.  The pacin' was perfect--the afternoon weather wasn't too hot and the trains weren't too loud underneath their upper balcony view.

There were 121 pixels that were "wrong".  I knew that if I'd fix these my mild depression would go away.  To put it in delusions of grandeur terms, imagine if Da Vinci incorrectly shaded the Mona Lisa.

The man sat in the backseat.  The boy's mother drove as her son was buckled up in his chair next to the man.  He read a book to the kid.  It was in easy Japanese.  And he remembered a long time ago when he did the same for the young boy's mother many years ago when she was about the same age.

And I was right.  After I lightened the shades of those 121 pixels, I didn't feel depressed anymore.

(8.7.09)
(8.10.09)

Someone asked me what I thought of Michael Jackson.

The first and most obvious answer would've been the volume of the helicopters that swarmed over UCLA on the day he died--his final moments were spent at the campus hospital.  And the nightmare traffic thereafter gettin' home.  But that's a pedestrian response.

I can't take Radiohead seriously anymore.  Especially from
Kid A onwards.  Cause they sound like a cheap imitation of Can, who were doin' what they're doin' back in the early 70's.

The second and more obscure answer would've been my memories of a kid back in junior high durin' the height of
Thriller who called himself "V", after the television miniseries.  He was a Jackson fan--he wore a red "Beat It" jacket and a single white glove.  Everyone thought, in a weird prophetic way, that he was a freak.

I can't take
Being John Malkovich seriously anymore.  Especially after readin' The Drawing of the Three.  Cause the primary gimmick of seein' thru someone else's eyes thru a portal was already established back in the late '80s.

The third and more cynical answer would've been via my alliance to The Beatles and their propaganda as Jackson betrayed McCartney in the infamous acquisition of the rights to their songs.  But I'm not really sure what went down, nor should I assume.  So I won't say either way that any of it mattered much to me.

"I never liked his voice," I replied.

(8.11.09)

There's a chunk of verses in Dylan's "Highlands" devoted to a hilarious scene between the singer and a waitress--she says "I know you're an artist, draw a picture of me".  He fumbles with some attempted deflections--"I would if I could, but I don't do sketches from memory" to which she counters "well, I'm right here in front of you, or haven't you looked", "I don't've my drawin' book" he excuses as she hands him a napkin and says "you can do it on that", and "I don't know where my pencil's at" he mentions as she pulls one out from behind her ear.  The kicker is after he shows her the sketch she reckons "That don't look a thing like me".

"Thank you, sir," the wreckin' crew administered as I let them into the library's basement.  For the next four hours I sat and supervised them as they took apart the carpeted floor--meanin', I read a book and made sure they didn't frak up.  I brought along Cynthia True's
American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story.

There's always that moment when I reveal what I think of as a finalized portrait to either the subject or client who's intimately associated with whoever's bein' depicted in the work where I'm held by a breathless beat that's sometimes brief such as when I'm in the same room with those involved or can take a day or two via email halfway 'round the world.  It's only happened once before, and even then it was with my sister who's got an insane vanity--she though her teeth, which she'd spent years and money orthodontically treatin', looked crooked.  Nevertheless, every time I half expect to hear someone say "That don't look a thing like me".

In other words, I got paid to read.  The timin' couldn't've been better as I go thru phases where I become literate--some years I won't read any books whilst some years I can't stop readin'.  But this is the first time that I've got multiple books goin'--at home I've got the
Dark Tower as well as a Vietnamese cookbook.

I attached a photo of my second violinst's portrait to an email statin' that she ought to be the first one to see it and asked if it looks OK, cause I'ven't glued it yet so I can still go back and fix any discrepancies if there appears to be some that I can't see, afterall if she doesn't recognize herself, then I'd've failed, and although some artists would egotistically shun all opinions other than their own, I'm a little more self conscious in that I don't care what everyone else might think with the sole exception of the subject or close authority on the subject.  I seek the source's approval above all.  Luckily, she didn't reply with a "That don't look a thing like me".

(8.12.09)

I don't believe in signs anymore.  You know, those secret messages from God, the Universe, or Whatever--those seemingly too far fetched to be coincidences laced with deja vu, destiny, and "holy shit" hints for you to follow in this crazy maze of life.  Not that they're bunk.  I'm just not wastin' my time with 'em anymore.

All the signs were there.  And after ten years of monitorin' my webpage stats, I've got the patterns figured out.  It starts with somebody postin' a link on some content portal and I'll get a spike in hits.  This'll lead to some bigger site mirrorin' the previous one.  Then the media comes a knockin' on my email.

Cause here's the deal.  I don't've the ego to deal with signs.  I mean, how self centered of me is it to think that God, the Universe, or Whatever gives a frak about me to the point of pointin' me in some direction--I'm sure they've got better things to do.  As I do myself.  Besides, I ain't the center of the cosmos.

As well, after a decade of fallin' for the press coverage and valuable exposure, I've heard the same questions a billion times--how long did it take you to make that portrait?, what got you into LEGO?, how many pieces did it take?, etc.  For a while I had fun makin' up ridiculous answers.  But nowadays I'm just bored.

And it's kinda liberatin' to be free of always bein' in tune to God, the Universe, or Whatever's channel.  It's like bein' released to the general public after delusionally feelin' like you were The Chosen One--you no longer question your special qualities and breathe a sigh of normal relief.  Nobody and nothin' cares about me, and that's all good.

A BBC producer asked if I could be interviewed.  For the first time ever, I ignored the email.  And it was a weight of my shoulders--no more phony voiced excitement about a topic that I've vastly outgrown.  Cause I'm at a place where I don't need the publicity, I've found my creative independence, and I can get lost in obscurity.

(8.13.09)

Couldn't stop lookin' at the moon tonight.  'Twas full and seemed to follow me.  So I stared at the ground only to see it reflected in puddles.

As the reader's been previously tipped to my motivations for my current cookin' phase, namely to lure chicks, I gotta say I think the whole thing could selfishly backfire.  Cause tonight I got the second of two whiney "I'm intimidated to make you dinner cause you're a master chef" excuses in the last month from girls who've invited me over to eat their homecooked meals.  Nevermind that they didn't not make me delicious grub, but that whole self conscious bit that they gave me was a little annoyin', cause I ain't no master chef.

I often get introduced to kids by their parents as the "LEGO sensei", implyin' that I've accomplished some mastery in that field--one which I don't think really exists, not to mention I learn more from what children create with those toy bricks than they ever possibly could from what I've cobbled together.  But objectively, I get the gist.  Pride be damned, I'll reluctantly admit that I'm a little more than not bad at constructin' shit outta them plastic shapes, but ain't anythin' to brag about.  Nevertheless, I'll never protest the label more than the "master chef" one.

Cause I mean Louise geez, I just started cookin' this year.  And only a handful of people've actually eaten my creations.  Sure, the photos I've posted on Facebook aren't horrible--afterall, I can make anythin' look cool with the right camera angle.  However, I'll be the first to claim that I'm merely a novice.  Yeah, I've started at a primary level that most housewives don't bother with, such as makin' bread and pasta from scratch, as they've relegated such duties to the supermarket, but, to make a music analogy, I'm still learnin' my scales.

I gave a guitar lesson to a chick who's got some musical background--she played the flute in her high school marchin' band and she knows some piano.  Yet she didn't know her scales, let alone how to form chords.  So I gave her the formulas.  And I don't know why she never learned this stuff before or what her other teachers taught her, but she seemed genuinely enlightened by what she apparently never knew before--that it's all just a bunch of numbers.  I was slightly jealous cause I can't remember the last time my mind was blown away by music theory.

Don't get me wrong, I've been hurled into the unknown by the latest Puffy single, but the mathematics of it all just hasn't been sea changin'.  There are a set number of notes and you arrange them, plus or minus microtonality, dissonance, outta tune, etc.  And that's all you hear.  What if everythin' is wrong?  Is there another world where numbers unknown to me flow with commonplace distinction, which entails the correspondin' sounds in a parallel sonic spectrum?  I'm cool with throwin' out all my knowledge and startin' all over.

And by the puddle reflectin' the moon was a cat takin' a drink.  I asked it if such alternate worlds exist.  It replied "What do you think?"

(8.14.09)

I made sushi today.  To be specific, kappamaki (cucumber rolls) and tekkamaki (tuna rolls).  They were way more difficult than I'd thought they'd be.

My brother is a fan of Johnnie Walker.  I'm a Jack Daniels drinker.

The first thing I noticed was my knife just ain't sharp enough.  Real sushi knives supposedly need to be sharpened everyday.  I can totally see that.

I never knew the hierarchy of the coloured labels--blue, black, green, gold, and red.  Give me the the Old No. 7.

Anyways, like pasta where the noodles are the deal, sushi is all about the rice.  I looked up several recipes and ended up tryin' one that used kelp and mirin.

I'm curious as to what an over $100 bottle of scotch tastes like.  I won't pay more than $40 for a bottle of Jack.

Rollin' the rolls isn't as easy as it looks.  Sometimes I was short of connectin' the overstuffed rice and cucumbers.  Sometimes I had too much nori (seaweed) to go 'round.

But what it comes down to representation.  I can't think of anyone, other than my brother, that drinks scotch.

Before, I thought that I'd never attempt sushi.  But after readin'
The Zen of Fish, I got suckered into tryin' it for myself, regardless of the difficulty.

Jack's got an outlaw flavour.  I ain't no high class.

And ultimately, after wettin' my hands in water, spreadin' the sushi rice, and placin' the cucumbers and raw tuna, is the presentation is everythin'.  But in the end it's only food.

(8.17.09)

The portable hand pump organ wasn't fittin' into my trunk.  The pipes were too tall and the instrument couldn't be laid down.

My friend treated me to Tommy's.  He doesn't've a car and asked me if I could drive him over to our mutual friend's instrument workshop to pick up the portable hand pump organ.  I thought it was fair.

Accordin' to what I've read, speed is a required trait amongst sushi chefs.  They've gotta pump out those rolls fast enough to serve the customers before they starve.

If there's one thing I've developed over the years, is buildin' LEGO portraits quickly, includin' the gluin'.  I've honed a practical method of construction that can get one done within' a month.

Usually, it takes me a night to do the gluin'.  It's a chore, but I like to get it done as soon as possible.  I just block off about six hours and take apart the portrait and rebuild it with glue.

A week is devoted to acquirin' the parts.  A couple of days to do the measurements and pre-plannin'.  And about three weeks to do the pre-glue build.

Generally, the dimensions don't go above 3 feet in either direction.  But with this last one, just cause I felt artisitically free to do whatever I wanted, I splurged and went 4 feet square.

I could've started earlier, but I felt like makin' some murgh biriyani, a Mogul chicken korma with rice pilaf dish that took a couple of hours to cook. It's distinguished by its white cream colour.

So I didn't finish gluin' the portrait in one night.  Part of me wanted to stay up an extra hour, but like the Bill Hicks joke, I need at least eight hours of sleep a day...and ten at night...

But seriously, six hours sniffin' the fumes is enough for me without passin' out.  I knew in my gut when it was time to quit despite bein' about an hour away from bein' done.

My plan was to continue the next night.  But my friend called me about the instrument pickup.  I didn't mind, cause I haven't hung out with those two friends at the same time in ages.

We're plannin' a trip to Italy someday.  I can't wait.  It'll be fun--we'll hit the instrument shops, the restaurants, and the girls.

We tried fittin' the portable hand pump organ in my front seat, but again, the pipes were too tall.  And then I remembered that my sun roof opened.  Problem solved.

(8.18.09)

"There must be some way out of here..."


Dude, dude, dude, the last episode of the third season of
Battlestar Galactica was frakkin' cool.  Especially the dirty D. reference.  It totally blew my mind, yet simultaneously made so much sense as I've never had my eyebrows shaved ever in my life.  Well, not until my last trip to my mother's homeland--I was gettin' a sanpatsu (haircut) and the barber asked if I'd like the hair above my eyes to be trimmed.  "Sure," I responded in Japanese.  A friend told me that his elder friend recently passed away.  He's about two decades older than me.  "All my elder friends are dyin'," he complained.  "Well," I sorta comforted, "you're my elder friend."  "Thanks," he said half sarcastically, half thankfully.  I forwarded a link to my Portrait of a Violinist in LEGO and he replied with a photograph of an acrylic violin that he made and an original design for a modified 5-string viola.  Truly fine craftsmanship that transcends artistry--it's that whole practicality vs. aesthetics ratio.  He gave me a ukulele painted with a Hawaiian sunset that was made in China.  I replied to his email with a link to a video clip from my Dylan concert.  He wrote back generously complimentin' "Henrique and the Pretty Maids doing the dirty D."  That totally made my day.  No, that's a lie--that was the second most "made my day" moment today.  The first was a random "Thank you very much" from a random chick at Schoenberg Hall when I opened the door for her as I was exitin' the buildin'.  Second, was the email from my pal.  And the third is the BSG episode.  Frak, I'm still wrappin' my noodles around the dryin' wrack of my mind on that one.  Cause for a while there, the show was gettin' close to sleepy time inducin' borin'.  There was some courtroom frak, which was probably the most interestin' law drama I've ever watched, given that I've never understood the justice system due to the disparity I've gathered from what I've seen fictionalized and my experiences as a member of the jury on a real case--it ain't as dramatic in reality.  Yawn.  But then Colonel Tigh starts quotin' the dirty D.  And then it's all a wild ride from there until the WTF endin'.  The show suddenly got a trillion times more interestin'.  It's not exactly the same thing, and I, uh, wouldn't've a clue, but I liken it to what Bill Hicks once said about 'shrooms: "That's God's little accelerator pads for our evolution."   I saw my beloved in a dream last night.  She was on the cover of Heavy Duty magazine.  Her eyes were scribbled out by some hooligan's pencil.  But I recognized every other attribute about her.  I waited 'til no one was watchin'.  Then I stole a copy for later tonight...

Said the joker to the thief...

(8.19.09)

The girl sittin' next to me at the sushi bar--her polished nails were hypnotic.  She spun her fingers--the colour wasn't black like I thought as she corrected me and called it midnight purple.  Under the counter she rubbed her chopsticks together to scrape away any splinters--a fairly common Los Angeles habit, but in Japan to do so is considered an insult to the restaurant in the sense that the customer is signalin' to everyone that he or she believes that the provided utensils aren't perfect, imperfections notwithstandin'.

My personal film historian was sittin' on the other side of her and he received a call from The Sandman--"What about Bob Dylan?" the girl sittin' next to me eavesdropped, and after he hung up, confessed that when she heard him say that, she thought the legend'd died.  And quickly unjinxed herself for even thinkin' such thoughts.  In actuality, Dylan's playin' Los Angeles in October for three nights at The Palladium and my personal film historian, The Sandman, and I're gonna get tickets.  Our only regret is that he ain't playin four nights.

And once again, it's like Dylan's radiatin' beyond every exit I escape thru.  There's a reference in the second door of the second volume of the
Dark Tower series--"Oxford Town".  There's that mind frakkin' Battlestar Galactica intertextuality--"All Along the Watchtower".  Tonight I acoustic jammed some Beatles tunes with some friends and jumped in with a Dylan song when someone requested that I throw one into the session--"Tryin' to Get to Heaven".  And I read that Bill Hicks used to walk onto stage blarin' a Bob tune--"Subterranean Homesick Blues".

One of my assistants is "borrowin'" all the Dylan CDs from the music library.  I didn't mention the power surge in my spine which I'd felt when she told me that she'd spoken to my second violinist on the phone last night cause I'd woken up this mornin' from a dream which was true to the exact scenario, except I was at an airport.  We sat on a bench--blurry passengers passed us by.  I remember discussions--nothin' worth publicly transcribin'.  I waved goodbye.  "She's back home," one of my assistants reported--snappin' me outta my trippin'.

Anyways--back at the sushi bar, I figured I oughtn't be a horndog and relocated my focus to the chef's knife work which I had a better appreciation for after readin'
The Zen of Fish and tryin' it at home.  Sake shots were handed 'round the bar.  My tongue searched for any traces of dashi, mirin, and su in the shi--sushi-zu is a carefully guarded family secret.  I memorized the chef's makisu technique and derived what I could of her nigiri slight'o'hand.  "Listen to the soft jazz," she commanded.  There's nothin' that could take my eyes off her skills, other than midnight purple.

(8.20.09)

Go then, there are other worlds than these.
                                                         -Jake Chambers

Here's what I did on 8.15.09:

I woke up at noon--last night I stayed up late watchin'
Battlestar Galactica.  It was a backtrackin' episode, which teasin'ly sidetracks from the latest developments.  I can't say it was all that cool, except for the cute central chick (Stephanie Jacobsen) and some glimpses of the old school Toaster designs and spaceships ("By your command").

Anyways, after my shower and freshly squeezed orange juice I went on a quest to find some ricotta salata--the pressed, salted, and dried version of the soft Italian cheese.  The local supermarkets didn't stock any.  So I tried the specialty grocery stores.  The first one (Trader Joe's) was lackin'.  But I did purchase a six pack of beer (Red Tail).

So I drove over to another retailer (Whole Foods).  Now, this was my first time ever in this store.  And I was blown away by the cheese section.  It was like cheese heaven.  They had everythin'.  The girl at the counter asked if I needed any help.  I caught my breath before sayin' "Nah, I'm just lookin', thanks."  Cause I really wanted to take it all in.

They had little flags designatin' where each cheese came from.  After browsin', I focused on the Italian selection.  And sure enough, I found some ricotta salata.  I'm gonna need it for tomorrow--I'm plannin' on cookin' pasta alla Norma, a rigatoni with eggplant and tomato sauce dish, with that distinctively key cheese ingredient.

I got home, cracked open a bottle of beer, went online to read at my favourite daily comic strip
Pearls Before Swine, and did my laundry.  Meanwhile, I plowed thru several chapters of The Waste Lands (the third novel in the Dark Tower series).  It's a fun story and I'm more than eager to see how it ends.  I've got the rest of 'em piled on my dead TV.

After foldin' my laundry, I made some pane di semola--bread made from semolina flour, sprinkled with sesame seeds.  I had enough dough to make next week's sandwiches.  But the first loaf was taken outta my oven and bagged so that I could take it over to my band's jam session at my guitarist's house.  His girlfriend was makin' us dinner.

Orange juice and beer wasn't enough to spoil my appetite, contrarywise, I was hungry as hell when I arrived.  My guitarist's girlfriend was still cookin' the eggplant for the pitas, so my band sat around listenin' to what we've been doin' outside of the group (songs done with other collaborators and some tracks from my Dylan concert).

Dinner was delicious.  The jam session...well, let's just say we'ven't played together in about two years, or so, and we were super rusty.  But it was fun nonetheless--there's a connection between us that, regardless of inactivity, continues to exist.  You can't fake that even if you tried.  Mayhaps you'd be lucky to stumble upon it, but usually it takes years.

We ended pretty late (1:30).  The freeways were unobstructed--lately there's been a ton of construction that's squeezed me into slow movin' single lanes and such.  Anyways, after I unpacked my electric guitar, grabbed a beer, and popped on some Haydn string quartets, I wrote this blog entry.  Good night.

(8.21.09)

An off-duty rickshaw squeaks by, its rusty chain in need of oil, and the empty seat filled with the alternatin' ghosts of passengers who've passed away, turns the corner of the street I'm crossin'.  The beach climate sets off a buzzin' hum from the electric wires strewn above and along the sidewalk atop creakin' wooden poles.  My footsteps find a rhythm in the gridwork of the neighbourhood--plasma screens flicker thru curtains, crickets ricochet their racket, and reggae bounces off Doppler effected car stereos.  A cat spies me.  I ignore it before it gets to do likewise.

She didn't complain about the arpeggios or the eggs.  However, she did turn to sand in my hands--my heart pounded fast enough to escape my notice.  But I revived her when I cradled her crumblin' neck.  And the beat of my blood returned to a relaxed tempo.  A moment ago, we were in harmonic discussion regardin' the future of my string quartet and the eradication of the graveyard babysitter.  Together the strains of our refrains kept the present tense in a tunnel vision sense of damn the peripherals and get to the light at the end already.

At the edge of all four directions were the major streets, their traffic weavin' mechanical nonsense like robots goin' in dumbfounded circles, tires a rollin' at speeds deemed too fast for the residential paths that I'm on.  Someone'd put a toilet on the curb for the waste removal specialists to handle.  The lights at the baseball diamond illuminated the nine o'clock sky even though no one was playin' tonight.  Mayhaps someone forgot to turn 'em off.  The other night some lady sexually screamed from a backyard toolshed.  I didn't miss a step.

(8.24.09)
My cousin once won an art contest.  He drew a scene completely in green crayon, which apparently was the master stroke accordin' to the judges, who afterwards asked why he chose such a unique colour scheme.  "All I had was a green crayon," was his reply.

My point is, I'm fascinated by limitations--that's why I work with LEGO, fugues, and three chord songs.  There's somethin' about makin' do with what your given that's a challenge ripe with surprises, which brings out the best in artists, if not people in general.

Not to assume I'll be so lucky as to compose somethin' cool, but I'm playin' 'round with ideas for a violin sonata.  Now, I never was a huge fan of the form, but given that I've got access to a violinist kind enough to play whatever I write, I'd be an idiot not to take advantage of her.

Well, this all stems from some very preliminary plans towards my next concert, which'll showcase my classical works--the string quartet, a film score that I wrote for four 'cellos, and whatnot.  A violin sonata would fit nicely in the program.  Again, this is all just brainstormin', but not unfeasible.

However, the venue where I've got a standin' order to perform at can't fit a piano--it's the same library rotunda where I held my Dylan show.  I mean, if I could, I'd get some pianst to play the sonatas I wrote for that instrument and wouldn't bother with composin' one for the violin.

But you can set up a harpsichord in the space.  And that's what got the ball rollin'.  Afterall, I really don't feel like writin' for the piano right now--it's slippin' from my fingers with each passin' day that I don't play it.  Now, a harpsichord would be perfect.  All I gotta do is compose...

(8.25.09)

My sister cooked some somen for dinner.  She recently discovered that she's got an ulcer so's been sendin' non-spicy, non-acidic, and non-alcoholic foodstuff into her stomach.  I don't mind--hey, free food.  I drove down after work.  Or more specifically after a photoshoot--a jazz group played a concert at the library.  In my car stereo was Bartok's violin sonatas.

Last night I had the score to the first one in front of me as I listened to a recordin' on headphones.  The music itself is a sound to behold, but the notes on paper aren't borin' to look at--lots of uneven tuplets, odd time signatures, and funky clusters.  I couldn't wait to hear it again.  But it was late and I'd started to read
Brother Sam: The Short, Spectacular Life of Sam Kinison by Bill Kinison.

Dead comedians are one of my latest obsessions.  Bill Hicks and Sam Kinison were buddies in Texas, although the former ain't listed in the latter's biography's index.  There's somethin' profoundly sad about people in the business of bein' funny dyin', especially at ages commonly known to be "before their time".  And listenin' to their albums, my laughs are weighted with the knowledge of what's 'round the corner for them.

Anyways, on the drive home from my sister's, the violin suddenly sounded like a tiny light beckonin' me from a darkened existence.  Has my life been so blind thus far?  I felt that the strength of the aural illumination could potentially be overwhelmin'--somethin' undesireable whilst drivin'.  So I let it fade.  But it had broken thru--I didn't suppress its memory.  Somethin's on its way...

(8.26.09)

It's customary for audiences at classical concerts to hold their applause 'til the end of a piece--no clappin' between movements.

A friend called wonderin' if I was down for seein' the latest Zooey Deschanel movie.  I was tempted, but ultimately refused on account of I'll just wait 'til it's on DVD and watch it via my online rental service.  It's not that I don't wanna see the film, rather from what I've heard, it's not a happy movie, and I get embarrassed when I cry at movie theatres, so I'll watch it in the privacy of my own home, thanks.

It's customary for audiences at jazz concerts to applaud after solos--that is, if the soloist is deservin' of some clappin' recognition.

I've got zero interest in the new Tarantino opus.  Besides his grindhouse homage, I've seen almost all his works, and was pleasantly entertained--
Jackie Brown bein' my fave.  But his current effort is just not workin' for me.  I mean, I bet it's great, and from what I've heard, it ain't bad.  However, I didn't even save it as a future rental.  Mayhaps it's the cast--it seems like too many dicks on the dancefloor, no thanks.

It's customary for audiences at rock concerts to applaud whenever the frak they feel like it--the first few recognizeable notes of a classic, the balls to the wall guitar solo, at the end of each song, etc.

I've been hearin' that Cameron's next feature's gonna be a "game changer".  Well, after watchin' the trailer, I had negative interest in seein' it--I'd rather pay NOT to see it.  The frakkin' hype machine must've been delusional when it spewed out superlatives.  And I don't play video games, but to me, the animation looked like one.  That's when I knew Hollywood's completely got me off their radar, sincerely thanks.

(8.27.09)

I read somewhere that people think other people are interested in 'em if those other people remember previously discussed topics.  I can see that.  However, it really doesn't apply to me, cause I've got a darn good memory, and I really don't give a crap about previously discussed topics, rather I simply can recall 'em easily, so it might appear that I'm interested when all I really am doin' is showin' off my unforgetfulness.   Which is fine with me, but in the back of my head, I keep hopin' that I'm not leadin' anyone on that I care about their easy to memorize lives.

We had a birthday party at work for an employee.  I baked some rye bread.  My cellist attended.  She didn't hate my concoction and asked some technical details--whether I used a bread machine (no) or just my oven (yes).  "Have you ever made beer bread?" she wondered.  "No," I responded.  "I did," she bragged.  "So you just use beer instead of water," I clarified.  "Yeah," she answered.  "Cool," I confirmed, "I'll try it next time."  "Well, I gotta go," she saluted.  I did likewise and didn't reveal what book I had in my hand.

I've always thought that email is the most ideal form of preliminary courtship.  Cause I'm not the most eloquent person in real life.  But I've got a handle on the written word, at least in my mind.  And I think correspondence, be it on paper or in the modern electronic sense, is the best way to get my feelin's across, even if they're cloaked in roundabout topics.  Nevertheless, I adore the controlled format--I can edit what I say, craft cute little alliteration schemes, be myself, etc.  I've been keepin' an overseas penpal jaunt afloat for a week, so far.

I made some pasta for some friends.  They made the sauces--pesto and lemon artichoke sauces.  It all tasted yummy.  And with the homemade beer, it was perfect.  I asked about the brewin' process and was given the lowdown.  Right up to what happens to the yeast.  After a fermentation period, I was told that the leftover ingredients can be used to make, of all things, and I'm not makin' this coincidence up, beer bread.  Twice in the same day, the same suggestions, the same recommendations, the same go figure.

In the notepad on my cellphone I typed in the call number for a Serbian cookbook.  On my break I walked over to the main library to check it out.  I was stopped in the lobby by a special collections worker who gave me a musical recommendation (Zap Mama) which I checked out when I returned to my office.  Upstairs, I found the book--it was a small book with illustrations, a brief cultural account, and plenty of recipes.  I kept the book tucked under my arm when I spoke to my cellist.  And I quoted some of the dishes to my penpal.

(8.28.09)

I saw the first letter of your last name scribbled on a piece of paper in my dream just like the scrap note that you wrote upon with your cursive serif design last quarter requestin' the rush processin' of some jazz albums.  Remind me never to fiddle with sushi again--I ain't a natural at it and I don't've the patience to practice the artform.  I'm housesittin' next week for my supervisor--three cats to feed and poop scoop.  One of the drawbacks about books is if there's a situation in which all the protagonists might face their doom, there ain't no way it could happen if you can feel 300 pages still left to go.  Cause there's a definite beginnin', middle, and end in your hands via how thick the novel feels.  I've been feelin' uncharacteristically anxious as of late--like I can't wait to hear back from my penpal.  The last time she replied, she signed her name with the first letter of her first name.

(8.31.09)

Amongst the blogs that I frequently read, many've been'vin' guest writers take over for the summer, for lack of interest on the administrator's part, or for whatever other lazyass reason.  Well, I gotta say, I won't be doin' such.  I mean, I've tried that format before (see OUT ON A LIM 11.27.06 - 12.1.06) and what a failure that was.  Never again.  Not that I wouldn't mind relievin' myself of this Devilforsaken duty.  But like I've said before, thoughts of retirin'll be seriously considered only after a decade of writin'.  2.12.13 can't come any sooner...

By nature I'm a loner.  I actually enjoy bein' by myself.  But lately, I've been hangin' with friends way too much.  Not that I don't appreciate their company, rather it's unusual for me to be takin' numbers for my alone time.  Luckily, tonight was the first night in a while that I ate dinner solo.  And I've never been married, so I don't know exactly what it's like to come back to my spouse after a long break, but I image it must feel somewhat how I did when I could kick back with a book and play some Dylan without anyone near.

I saw a carnival of UFOs in my dream last night.  They were floatin' behind me as I took a piss on a hillside.  One had a camera and floodlight pointed and shinin' upon me whilst I turned the dirt into yellow mud.  Another was like a merry-go-round--it spun 'round with mirrors and serpentine revolutions.  There was a tape recorder, newborn puppies, and a shower rape inside the fancy house atop the hill, which I'd escaped from.  Somehow I knew I was in a sequel.  I woke up and was slightly bummed out that my bathroom ain't nearly as excitin'.

(9.1.09)

"Tryin' To Get To Heaven"

Happy Birthday Mom

(9.2.09)

A friend of my ex-roommate's decided to quit smokin' pot.  So my ex-roommate was in charge of a stash--he doesn't get high.  But he knew exactly who would appreciate it--my personal film historian.

Meanwhile, I'm bein' a productive member of society--housesittin' for my supervisor, which entails a trio a cats who need to be fed and their litter boxes cleaned.  As well, I get to watch their giant TV.

My personal film historian lent me
The Lion in Winter, which I played whilst housesittin' and pettin' a cat on my lap.  I may or may not've been intoxicated--I can't exactly remember.  But it was a good film nevertheless.

The dialogue was sharp--lots of dysfunctional jabs between family members, most of all between the king and queen, as portrayed by Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn.  Barry's music wasn't bad either.

And my personal film historian put it best--it's like
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Although, I'd've to say that North's score takes the cake--it's heartbreakin'ly beautiful amidst the stormy settin'. 

I fixed myself a drink and jammed on some Dylan, Lead Belly, Williams, and Johnson.  Then I sorta recalled that I had a party to get to and I was drivin' a carpool.

After the party an anonymous friend mentioned that his roommate's decided to quit smokin' pot.  So he was in charge of a stash--he doesn't get high.  But he knew exactly who would appreciate it--me.

(9.3.09)

When I was in junior high, I took a class called Military History.  All my friends were takin' it and it seemed like a fun topic--mostly we'd watch old war movies early in the mornin', which meant I could fall asleep unnoticed in the dark.  Now, the class focused on US military history, from the Revolutionary to the Vietnam War (this was back in the mid-80's, pre-Gulf Wars).  And I've never been much of a war buff, I mean, I could probably guess the main points of each conflict, the parties involved, and the outcomes, but other than that the doin's of the military are beyond me.  Afterall, I got an "A" in the class.

Well, as I've been watchin'
Battlestar Galactica, with its massive military overtones, I suppose I could say that the subject's been pushin' forward in my head.  Nevermind what's currently occurin' in Iraq and Afghanistan--the keyword here is "history", as in after the dust settles and the historians can try to make sense of it all.  But actually, it's not necessarily the battle between different countries that intrigues me, cause that's to be expected.  Rather, and this might be a BSG spoiler, but I'm curious about civil wars.  There's somethin' about violence against one's brothers that's a huge WTF.

So naturally, I checked out a book on the American Civil War.  Livin' in California, that war is almost meaningless.  However, to this day, it haunts the South.  And I'll never fully appreciate those ghosts, but somehow readin' a book whilst my soul is actively interested, as opposed to just getting' a grade, seems the least I can do to better understand where the South is commin' from, not to mention America in general, and to some extent this cosmic joke called "life".  And after several late night chapters, I feel like I'm finally wakin' up to this period in American military history, albeit, it's still dark as hell.

(9.4.09)

I'm done with my housesittin' stint.  And I learned two things--that I'm addicted to freshly squeezed orange juice and that I'm not hooked on late night talk shows.

I had a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice in the housesittin' refrigerator--I did the labour at my house with my hand powered citrus fruit squeezer, bottled it, and had a glass every mornin' 'til it ran out.  So I drove to the nearest supermarket and purchased my favourite brand of commercial orange juice.  Now, I used to buy a gallon every week for the last 15 years, and I've tried nearly every available company's contribution to my part of the world's stock of mainstream grocery store orange juice--I know what's out there.  And mind you, I'ven't'd a sip of manufactured orange juice since I started freshly squeezin' my own.  Granted, of course, that there're probably an unhealthy amount of chemicals in the produce that I purchase, but it's still parsecs apart from the poodoo that's peddled as "orange juice" on consumer shelves.  No offense to cats, and honestly I've never drank their piss, but for an exaggerated metaphor, I'd say that it tasted like somethin' similar.

Jimmy Fallon ain't funny.  At least in my limited opinion.  My housestittin' house had a digital television.  And as I'ven't watched broadcasts since I didn't comply with the gov't's mandate to kill analog signals, I was curious to see what I've been missin'.  Just to be clear, I never really did watch much TV to begin with--thus I didn't get a convertor box.  However, I used to watch late night talk shows, mainly for the guests, but the hosts' comedic talents didn't go unnoticed.  Conan O'Brien made me laugh on occasion.  Which is wheels away from that devil-grass that's replaced him.  Of course, I didn't tune into the 11:30 incarnation of Conan O'Brien--cause really, I can't take anyone seriously that goes on at 11:30.  But to be fair, I did flip to CBS, which I never unfuzzily received with my rabbit ears.  And I thought that Craig Ferguson wasn't horrible.  Well, he did've Emily Deschanel as a guest, which is a no contest winner across the board regardless.  But that's not enough.

(9.8.09)

I was feelin' lazy so I bought a bottle of pre-made sausage flavoured pasta sauce.

I was feelin' lazy so I rearranged a movement from my first piano sonata for violin and harpsichord.

Of course, I made some fresh noodles from scratch.

Of course, I composed some new right hand lines for the harpsichord.

The pre-made sauce wasn't bad.

The rearranged movement wasn't bad.

And after the bottle ran out, I bought another brand just for comparison.

And after that movement, I tried another based on an old song just for comparison.

The second bottle wasn't as good as the first.

The second piece of music wasn't as good as the first.

Ultimately, I'd like to make my own non-derivative sausage sauce someday.

Ultimately, I'd like to compose my own non-derivative violin sonata someday.

Cause I can't keep repeatin' myself.

Cause I can't keep repeatin' myself.

(9.9.09)
(9.10.09)

She likes to chew sex durin' gum.

Ever since I'd dinner with a born lackin' the sense of smell chick, I've been'vin' hallucinations of the olfactory kind whereby certain recurrin' instances involvin' inhalations can recall smells that'ren't of this immediate dimension such as urinary discharges from deja smelt cats and rows of vineyard contraptions beneath otherheavenly star charts.

The blonde eyed green.

I've been streamin' comedy albums like it's the apocalyptic conclusion of a drought in the desert of laughter.  I think I've heard all that's online from Bill Hicks, includin' some bootlegs--his material is airtight in terms of mind blowin' hilarity, but after readin' his biography, I'm keen on findin' variations in the ad libbed bits inbetween the jokes.

The blonde died green.

There's also a ton of other comedians that I either missed durin' my previous obsession with standup comedy or've hit the spotlight in the meantime--Arj Barker, David Cross, Doug Stanhope, Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari, Louis C.K., Steven Wright, Todd Barry, Nick DiPaolo, Zach Galifianakis, and Greg Girardo.

She likes to choose X durin' gum.

So far from what I've read in Bruce Catton's
The Civil War (I checked out copy six from Powell Library) one of the most interestin' legends from a military POV is the tale of the CCS Virginia (which was originally the USS Merrimack).  I'm also attemptin' to fathom the South's high watermarks.

She lights the shoes next to the gun.

The Rebels couldn't compete by a shotlong of luck against the United States Navy.  However, they weren't idiots--they cleverly forced the US into burin' their own ship, the Merrimack, stole the remains, and rebuilt it as a ironclad.  And it didn't lose more battles than it won, especially against wooden frigates.

The bomb dined greed.

I've got two more discs to go in
Battlestar Galactica.  Next up is Ken Burns' The Civil War.  I just finished Sam Kinison's biography, as well as relisten to his classic albums--his jabs at drunk drivin' laws are eerie.  Up next is Bob Woodward's Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi.

The bum dry cleaned.

I mean, it's been slightly over two years since I smoked my last cigarette--relatively brief in the history of my regained sense of smell, so I don't think it's too weird that, like my other hallucination detectors such as my eyes and ears, I wouldn't be surprised that they'd get warped by someone without a functional nose.

Funk shown all knows.

(9.11.09)

I found the address of a nearby deli that sold handmade sausages.  My little pasta recipe book recommended such over conventional supermarket brands.  So I drove over.  Unfortunately, it was a holiday and they were closed.  So I bought half a pound from the organic grocery store.  And I also grabbed a quartet of avocados.  Cause I'm gonna try somethin' different with my tuna sandwiches this week--substitutin' guacamole for mayonnaise.  Actually, I've been hooked on avocados since my attempt at California rolls.  They taste perfect on their own.  Nevertheless, I imagined that an avocado based dip might taste cool with tuna--sure enough, there're some recipes listed online.  So I might as well pick up the ingredients for the guacamole whilst at the organic grocery store--I also needed a tomato, an onion, some garlic, a lemon, and some hot pepper sauce (I already have cumin in my spice collection).  I thought about substitutin' Sriracha for Tabasco--maybe next time.  As well, since I was in a thinkin' ahead of myself mood, I picked up some Vermont cheddar cheese--there's a bread recipe that calls for that specific type that I wanna try.  And hey, beer's always good.  Prijatno...

(9.14.09)

I hate to toot my own harmonica, but given that I rarely do, and since I'm in the mood to try somethin' different, why the frak not.  So here goes...

About six years ago, I had a theory about mosquito bites (see OUT ON A LIM 7.25.03).  In particular, I had a suspicion that stress is a factor--the bugs like to suck on blood that's travelin' faster due to nervousness and anxiety.  Well, I wasn't entirely correct, but supposedly stress does produce a scent that attracts mosquitoes, at least accordin' to the latest scientific reports, which give or take is true, I mean, really, these findin's'll probably be found to be false later.  Nevertheless, I called it.

I read that a current trend amongst pop musicians is to perform albums in their entirety--the Pixies, Bruce Springsteen, and Van Morrison are tourin' with such setlists.  I've always championed the album format as a whole--like the movements of a string quartet or the chapters of a book, the songs flow into each other and can sound outta context when performed in another order.  And I played a concert exactly so about four years ago (4.16.05) for my album
Hacienda Heights.  Man, I was so ahead of the times.

(9.15.09) 

I used to get high on life, but pretty soon I built up a tolerance.
                                                                                     -Arj Barker

I revealed my code word for goin' to Vegas to my taller assistant, who so far's been givin' the knowin' wink durin' conversations everytime she punches in.  "Your shorter assistant said she's workin' tomorrow," she reminded.  "I bet she's in Vegas," I joked.  "I was just thinkin' the same thing," she laughed.

My lawyer called today to boast about findin' the second of his proposed three killer cookie recipes.  Number one was an oatmeal, number two was a chocolate and mixed nut.  Now all he needs to do is find number three and he'll be able to bag the variety pack as brown nose gifts.

I had a khef experience in which the violist from my ka-tet spoke in a samurai dialect, wasn't a novice calligrapher, and wore a blood coloured kimono.  Blank scrolls were rolled open along the astrologically patterned oriental rugs.  Soon she was wavin' her brush with katana strokes all over the mulberry paper.

My personal film historian and I are plannin' on droppin' acid under the supervision of the Sandman.  We've got the solution, but the problem is I can't find a blocked off chunk of time to devote to a trip, cause it ain't a one day thing.  And I've got too many dates lined up to go losin' my mind.

So far, the John Belushi biography is about cocaine, cocaine, and hidden in the chrome towel dispenser of a washroom at a Hollywood recordin' studio a tiny bag of cocaine.  I've only snorted once--it wasn't a buzz kill, but it certainly wasn't worth scorin' again.  Still, I've yet to find a good drug free comedian.

(9.16.09)

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