|Out On a Lim|
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|Out On a Lim (2.8.10 - 7.12.10) >>|
I was gonna write 'bout how I think one way to survive in this world is you gotta assume everyone else is an idiot. But two things happened today that changed my mind.
The first was my landlord died. I just saw him a few weeks ago maintainin' the apartment complex. We waved to each other like we always did. Apparently he'd cancer.
My plan was to draw a parallel between drivin' and life. Cause in the 22 years (24 illegally) that I've been behind the wheel I've never gotten into a serious accident.
Nor've I ever'd road rage. Sure, I've carelessly bumped into a couple of vehicles, but nothin' worth reportin' to the insurance company. And traffic can be annoyin'.
Apparently he'd had it for the last two years. He was old and I didn't think he looked the healthiest he could be. Yet his passin' was unexpected. I thought he was cool.
He kept my rent down even as he charged new tenants way more--I've been at my place for 16 years. Any problems I had, like with drains or doors, he'd fix right away.
I figure it's how I perceive others on the road--they're all idiots. So I can't get mad at 'em cause they don't know how to control their cars. They're all hopelessly lost.
If they knew where they were goin', they'dn't swerve in front of me to get onto the interchange or block the flow with their retarded speed as they search for an address.
You just gotta let 'em be idiots. And from there I would jump to the conclusion that this theory applies to life in general. Almost always it sometimes does. Except...
The second thing that happened today was my nephew arrived--I'm an uncle. And all this talk 'bout everyone bein' an idiot seems rather inappropriate at the mercy of life'n'death.
S L O W L Y D O W N W A R D
"Popcorn Superhet Receiver (A)"
"Popcorn Superhet Receiver (B)"
Sometimes I wish I'd four hands so that I could play the guitar whilst drivin'. Cause I've been gettin' lots of practice time in the confines of my car, mostly screamin' my head off to hit those higher notes. Cause I'm aimin' for the opposite of my Dylan voice--in tune'n'up an octave. And I'm findin' the hours I spend on the freeways, where no one seems to care 'bout how loud I yell, to be productive. Last week I strained to hit the second E-flat 'bove middle C, sweatin' as my vocal chords stretched. But now that note's under control--I can sing it nice and comfortably, which means I can choose my own volume, which not always should be uncontrollable. I mean, if I can't hit those notes quietly, I need to abuse my voice more. Of course I realize that I've got limits. Even though I'm creepin' up the scale, there's gotta be a point, I'm sure, where I can't go any higher. So it's in the car where I'll find that out. I'm now shootin' for the next highest G. Without falsetto. I can do it, but right now it sounds like I'm really reachin' with all my might--not somethin' that's easy on the ears. Plus, my goal this summer is to land on the neighbourin' A with ease. However, a nice result of all this over ambitious pushin' of my voice is I'm findin' it so much easier to hit 'em lower notes--there's some cosmic generality that I suppose I could come up with regardin' such, but I'll leave that up to the reader's imagination. As well, I've been tryin' some alternate tunin's on my guitar--D B D G B E is one of 'em. Tonight I played with my eyes closed without too much trouble. If only I could strum as I drive...
Have you ever driven from Hacienda Heights to Redondo Beach late at night'n'found most of the highway interchanges to be closed? So you're headin' west on the 60 and you wanna take the 605 south but for whatever reason they've got it coned'n'arrowed off. Now you could follow the detour at Peck Rd, but you've taken the 710 south in the past on these occasions, and it's not that much of a stretch to connect with the 105. However, as you approach that interchange, you read the electronically updated roadside signs and they say "2 LT LANES CLOSED 710 SOUTH" and you think, well, that's not cool. And even though now you're really goin' the long way back you figure you'll hit the 405 south. But sure enough, that's bein' blocked off, too. What the fuck...
If this was a dream I'd say it again, "What the fuck..." Like the gods're conspirin' against you--cock blockin' your every move. Even though you'd ever opportunity to get you back on track, you passed on 'em, and somehow it's more than obvious that things just'ren't gonna go your way. Not like you're trapped, but if you were shut off from one, that'd be bad luck, two and that's coincidence. Three is a sign. And it'd be at this moment that I'd wake up and forget 'bout that nightmare. So you try to open the eye in your mind. Nothin'. You're still cursin' the road crew workin' on whatever they're workin' on that's got the lane leadin' to the interchange closed. As a last ditch, you waste the final wish you've been allotted. And miraculously, the blockage disappears...
"Like Spinning Plates"
Vacationin' in New Mexico. Resumin' posts in August.
Caged Beagle Productions, Inc.
I can't say I've seen too many sunrises nor've I watched the movie There Will Be Blood cause I usually wake up way after those natural occurrences and if there's an actress involved in that film she hasn't caught my eye yet. I mean, my memory's got some distinctively cool mornin's where I've specifically caught the sun poppin' up over the horizon--you know, stayin' up all night hopped up some sleeplessness producin' project and beholdin' the beginnin' of another day. And I've got the soundtrack, but saved listenin' to it for the drive to Taos.
It took me 14.5 hours with gas, snacks, and restroom breaks. I left California at 20:30 on Friday and arrived in New Mexico at 12:00 the followin' day--they're in the next time zone. I purposefully wanted to get it done in one shot, partly to see if I had the stamina, which havin' returned the same way I came, I can vouche that I've got, and also cause I'm the sorta person who likes to finish what he starts with as minimal interruptions possible. It's pretty fun, actually, to steer the distance alone. I could've been a starship pilot in another life.
A night drive was chosen to avoid traffic as well as that's the time when my mind's sharpest--I guess it's my biological rhythm. So I loaded up on a bunch of Radiohead CDs--all their studio albums, some B-sides, live recordin's, and bootlegs. After leavin' Barstow, it's pretty much nothin' til Albuquerque, albeit I've never traveled in this direction before. And I knew, if I timed it right, somewhere I'd put on Greenwood's score and find myself hearin' and seein' somethin' for the first time. Hopefully I won't forget any of it.
Cause at my age, I kinda feel like nothin's really impressive anymore. I've heard many mind blowin' combinations of sounds and sights, but as I grow older, I've noticed that their impact diminishes. Not that I don't appreciate music or visual arts, it's just there really aren't too many things after those initial discoveries that feel as consciousness changin'. Like that first time a chord changed from major to minor--my world warped forever. But it's a mindless progression nowadays despite I'll always love it. Same goes for the motion of the sun.
Anyways, at 'round 04:30 I noticed an illuminated blueness under a cloud. Immediately I changed discs and tuned into the show. I can't say that anythin' was new--come on, it's another sunrise accompanied by music. But it's the differences and the combinations thereof that gave me that ol' "time's standin' still" feelin'. I had my camera, but decided to enjoy the moment rather than worry 'bout capturin' it. Cause it was far too grandiose for my widest lens to capture. Plus, you had to be there--in the car with the stereo cranked loud.
Not to mention, I hate describin' music and anyone who thinks they can's yet to show me how. But the first track's called "Open Spaces" and headin' east on a dark'n'cloudy mornin' with a spectrum of colours commin' to life is pretty close to a perfect title. It's all primarily monochromatic strings which contrasted well with the glow of galaxies sprinklin' the sky--I completely forgot there was a windshield between me and the view, or that I was in a vehicle for that matter. I could've crashed and not've been more complete soulwise.
Hmm, I'm not sure how I'll write this entry. Cause like I tried to promise, I'm not gonna talk 'bout my favourite subject this summer. And despite my desire to break my stupid little rule, I think it'd be more interestin' if I explained why I went to New Mexico within' the confines of my self imposed restrictions. So here goes...
July's obviously the off season at Taos Ski Valley. I was researchin' the area online when a circulation student at the library walked into my office. "Oh're you goin' skiin'?" she noticed. I laughed'n'said "It ain't snowin' now." "Then why're you lookin' at a website for a ski resort?" she reasonably unmistook, but was still wrong.
The day before I left I'd sushi with some music students. "I'm goin' to New Mexico tomorrow," I announced. "Yeah, she told me," she spoke as she folded her napkin onto her lap. The white bottle of hot sake arrived and I filled her similarily shaded small cup. "She's crazy," she described a mutual musical friend/competitor.
Nevertheless the ski lifts were still in operation. You could ride 'em up to the top of the slopes'n'go hikin' on trails. The elevation required lots of water drinkin'. And I lodged in a condo for a ridiculously cheap price, at least in comparison to the winter rate. One night we brought some wine, cheese'n'bread to my room.
One day we visited the local pueblo. Accordin' to the sign, I couldn't take any photographs, so alas, I've got no shots to show. But I'll say it was cool--no electricity, corn dancin', churches, graveyards'n'adobe. Later we roamed the galleries. Man, was there a ton of art. Lots of colourful shit. A bit too not unhappy for my taste.
For most of our meals, we ate at the ski lodge--a facsimile of an alpine dinin' room, with deciduous deer bone, brass'n'tree trunks. French chefs cooked their native cuisine. However, on my last night there, we ate at the village's New Mexican restaurant--chicken enchiladas with mole sauce, Navajo tacos'n'house margaritas.
Brilliance beheld before bemusements
Resilience rebels restored refusements
"And so it suggests," said the jester
"And so it guesses," said the guest
Millions of moose made maps avoid
Trillions of truth trade trapezoids
"And so it festers," said the jester
"And so it figures," said the fig you're
Eatin' eagles ain't easy
Seatin'seagulls ain't sleazy
"And so it molests," said the jester
"And so it foils," said the spoils
Of war without crafts'n'balloons
Of whores without rafts'n'saloons
"And so it digests," said the jester
"And so it goes," said the ghost
I've been experimentin' with my pizza'n'curry recipes--not necessarily simultaneously, but toppin's such as caramelized onions'n'garlic with pepperoni'n'swappin' apples'n'tomatoes'n'chicken'n'pork as sweetin'n'meat ingredients've been tried, to a variety of success'n'failure. But ultimately, it's the time in the kitchen that's the "what's it all 'bout" for me--my knife technique, heat levels'n'timin're gettin' better with each trial. Like everythin' else I've obsessed over, it's the repetition that builds interest'n'momentum. Her portrait didn't fit in my car...
...without my back hatch closin'. So I slowly drove the half a dozen blocks to the closest shippin' dispatchery. They measured my masterpiece'n'declared it within their limits of service--I've been turned away before for bigger artwork. My lawyer called'n'wondered if I've been keepin' up with my commissions. "Nope," I humbled, "nothin's been interestin' me." Which is true--after workin' on her image I've been very uninspired--it's like there ain't anythin' worth my time anymore. Which isn't to say I've got commissions lined up, it's just I'm procrastinatin'...
"You should've your own gallery," the chick who rang me up flattered. "Ambition makes you look pretty ugly," rang in my ears. And really, she was--her face was too long, her mouth horsey'n'her eyes too small. She's got these grand ideas yet she's nothin' more than a public servant. Some girls inspire me to play The Beatles. Some think they're givin' me advice. I'm sure she believes I'm bluffin' with the whole "gift" designation to avoid customs charges, but it's the honest truth--I ain't makin' a buck off of this one. I've been feelin' a buzzin' sensation in my fingers...
...whenever I play my bamboo guitar. We met 'round the same time'n'I'm inclined to finally give her a name--one that's dear to my idealized association with an instrument. Henrietta. It's funny how I've yet to meet someone called such in real life. And that's the charm. I wish my foot was bulletproof cause I'm gonna shut down OUT ON A LIM for the rest of the summer. Not cause I don't've anythin' to write, rather I'm gonna be housesittin' for the rest of August. Have fun'n'see you in September. I wish I could say more, but someone's listenin' in...
The other afternoon I read an essay that connected Radiohead and Wagner via Lansky, who described it as "My Radiohead Adventure". I've been fallin' in love online with a cable television program that's 'bout a show on the internet. On June 10, 1865, after several dramatic delays, Tristan und Isolde opened in Munich--which reminds me of a dust jacket I read a few months ago for book that crossed my desk detailin' Wagner's affinity for self promotion thru the buildin' of his own myth, which I suspect everyone does to some degree anyways, but it always seems, to me at least, that the most entertainin' stories are concocted by entertainers, especially the ones who call 'emselves artists. 2003 marked the film debut of Miranda Cosgrove--she played Summer Hathaway, my favourite character in the movie School of Rock. The final aria of the opera is titled "Liebestod" ("Love Death"). Jennette McCurdy was born on June 26, 1992 in Garden Grove, makin' the actress/country singer, as of this writin', 18 years old. In 1973, Lansky, when he was 29 years old, composed a piece usin' an IBM 360/91 mainframe and called it "Mild und Leise" ("Softly and Gently") after the openin' line of the "Liebestod". Jennette plays Samantha "Sam" Puckett, the violent and meat lovin' sidekick character to Miranda's more proper (borin') Carly Shay. The track was featured on Electronic Music Winners, a compilation of finalists in a computer music contest released in 1975. Both the fictional web and real life broadcasted show're called iCarly. And the rest is history as a 29 year old Jonny Greenwood found a copy of the LP at a used record shop and in 2000 sampled four bars that became the harmonic foundation for "Idioteque".
I pretty much've got Southern California to myself right now. Everyone's split--my mom, dad'n'sister're in New York visitin' their new grandson'n'nephew respectively, my personal film historian'n'my lead guitarist're in France for their cousin's weddin', Joanie's in Korea performin' in a concert with her Paris Conservatory alumni, Edith's in Northern California, my engineer's in New York, Italy, or wherever he's roamin' this summer, my spiritual advisor's off on his quest somewhere very far else from the din of distractions Los Angeles provides, my neighbour's in Switzerland, and I believe my lawyer might be in New Mexico retracin' my steps.
"These Are My Twisted Words" didn't catch my ear the first time I downloaded it. And then I stumbled upon a video clip someone uploaded from their phone of a live performance. The groove made a little more sense--the guitar's odd phrases sharecroppin' the drum's even pattern. And the drone's augmented bass tug got my attention. But it still wasn't worth bein' played on my CD player as I drive ten miles 'bove the speed limit. But it's like I'm discoverin' somethin' new everyday 'bout Radiohead as sure enough yesterday I watched in 'mazement as Thom performed it solo at some "Cambridge Com Exchange" event. Now I gotta burn a copy for my car.
Everythin' made sense now, regardless if it's what the band intended, I'd a grasp of what it means to me, and that's all that counts in this case. It's that "this is a cool song" feelin' you can't explain but know's there, only it hits you in a delayed wave a year later. I don't wanna go on record as sayin' it's gotta a case full of the 21st century blues cause I'm not versed enough to stuff it into any compartmentalization, but by simultaneously takin' my mind off whilst singin' 'bout what's on it, I'd submit it as a tangental example even if I'm way off--definitely the acoustic version. The lyrics go "When're you commin' back? I just can't stand it. I just can't handle it."
blonde sidekicks always rule / a load of paranoia landed upon me
The exception to that rule is when the brunette acts like an idiot, as seen in the comedy routine "The Idiot Farm Girl and the Cowboy" on iCarly--Sam plays the mustached latter as Carly dumbs it up as the former.
I'd gotten an email from the delivery service with whom I used to send a portrait to Serbia. So they had my URL. And they could've seen some of my "Paranoid Android" quoted lyrics kinda sorta directed at 'em.
jailbait / crossin' my fingers
Now with Sam, I'm cool with bonerin' for her, cause she's legal. But with Carly, I've still got another year before I can fuck her in my mind. That bein' said, it's very impossible, I mean, when she's an Idiot Farm Girl.
Cause you never know, someone could've taken some "fictional" sentence or two from my blog personally, or worse, revengefully and could "accidentally" lose my Serbian shipment, which wasn't exactly cheap, moneywise.
lost / arrival
I've been crashin' into ads for Lost auctions and bonus epilogues to which I don't give a shit. The show's over and the last thing I wanna think 'bout is anythin' 'bout the show. The end to me was it. No more. Done. Goodbye.
But instead the email reported the successful delivery of the portrait to Serbia--although, technically it was only at the airport, but it'd made it safely. And this is all nice, but ultimately, I needed to hear from the address I sent it to.
not disappointed / you don't get it
I know many friends who felt cheated after the final episode. And I've never met anyone who thought it was mind blowin' like some of the endin's to previous seasons. Me, I thought it was perfect, nothin' more or less.
To be fair, the delievery service warned me that it's risky sendin' stuff to Serbia. And after a week, the thought of betrayal, rightfully so, entered my mind. But hey, I trusted 'em and I can't help it if people can't take a joke.
and then today / i got an email
EXCLUSIVE: THE FEURD AND THE CURD
The latest juicy word goin' 'round is all 'bout the hot new sensational couplin' that the gossip media's officially dubbed "The Feurd and The Curd". Yes, we're talkin' 'bout rock'n'roll legend Larry McFeurdy and up'n'commin' starlet Jennette McCurdy. The "My Fair Fraulein" singer and the iCarly costar were spotted at the Orignal Tommy's Hamburgers on the corner of Beverly'n'Rampart. And although the 38 year old musician whose latest project is to cover Radiohead songs with a string quartet is two decades older than the barely legal child actress who plays Samantha Puckett, they seem to be indulgin' in their new love. When asked to comment, McCurdy's fellow web show hostess Miranda Cosgrove said "I wish 'em well." Nevertheless, McFeurdy's track record with young flings hasn't been so favourable. Case in painful point, his on'n'off affair with Dakota Fannin'. "He's sick," ex-Meanwhiler JM Allevato adds. Well, we here at OUT ON A LIM hope that this one's the one. However, McFeurdy's publicist stated "This is all absurd..."
Last night I mapped my route. Every mornin' I run across a lady in scrubs runnin' either up the street or down. Only she's not really pickin' up speed, rather she's in the runnin' stance, but wobblin' at a pace that's slower than my walkin' miles per hour. Tomorrow I'm drivin' up to Oakland.
And I keep thinkin', "Who is she, an angel?" Today I took her bike to the shop--the front tire seemed to always get flat. I told 'em to replace both tires, cause the two of 'em weren't fully inflated after ridin' it 'round my block. "And bring my bike," you suggest. And when'll this loop ever end?
It's a cliche, but yeah, I'm livin' in the past--2008 to be exact. Also I did my laundry today--given that I'll be outta town on my regularily scheduled washer'n'dryer day, I got it done beforehand. For lunch I'd a chili cheeseburger. For dinner I'd what I typically've for lunch--a tuna fish sandwich.
However, I toasted the rye bread, which I usually don't do. Whilst housesittin' most of August, I explored each environment for acoustically rich pockets where I could sing'n'play into--I brought my bamboo guitar'n'my voice. Oftentimes, it's some corner. As well, I added some mustard.
"Just bring yourself," you reply after I ask "Do you need anythin' from Los Angeles?" Someone stole my vehicle's annual registration sticker. I can see the knife cuts as layers of the previous years're still intact. Everthemore, the date on my car's license plate is legibly legal for the year 2008.
'Bout a hundred miles outta Los Angeles my engine check light turned on.
I remember the first time it did several years ago. And you think it's the end of the world. You freak out--somethin's wrong with my car, I need to get it fixed, fuck fuck fuck. So you immediately take it to the shop.
Recently my sister's came on. She photographed it with her fancy phone, sent it to my dad, who rescued her by takin' her car to the shop and givin' her my mom's car to drive in the meantime. However, and this is no joke, the incident convinced her that she needs to buy a new car.
Well, I ain't so fickle. Cause I won't lie, but in the past I've seen it go on, waited a few days before takin' it to the shop, and it turned off. Not that nothin' might've been wrong, but I know these things come'n'go, and I felt silly takin' my car in sayin' "It said I needed to get my engine checked, but now it doesn't..." And things were fine anyways. Maybe it fixed itself. Maybe it was a false alarm. Maybe maybe maybe.
Nevertheless, it's kinda an eyesore--everytime you look at your dashboard, there it is warnin' you that somethin' might be wrong. Especially in the middle of nowhere. But I continued, I mean, there really wasn't anythin' else I could do. I'd see cars overheatin' on the side of the road and think please don't let that happen to me. And even when I arrived at my destination, it was always in the back of my mind that I might need to get it fixed before I head back. On Sunday, we didn't take my car as we rode the bus and train into town.
"Hey Henry," I heard someone call my name. It was a girl from work--she'd just finished her last final for summer school and caught me on my way to grab lunch. She aced her exam and was rather jubilant. And then she inquired "Can I ask you a personal question?" "Sure," I replied without anythin' to hide. "I saw the photos you posted on Facebook," she wondered, "so what's goin' on with you and your violinist?"
Naturally, I brought my camera. I decided to use my 30mm f/1.4 durin' my stay--I usually pick one lens for each vacation, and I've got no real reason why I chose what I do, but this one wasn't bad. I guess it's got somethin' to do with the subject. Quote me on that at your own risk.
I like that focal length and aperture for her. She's always a good photo. There were times when I wished that I'd brought a wider lens cause there were scenes that couldn't fit, but oh well.
'Bout a hundred miles outta Oakland my engine check light turned off.
I read "Meet me at my place in Santa Monica" when she actually texted "Meet me at Santa Monica Place". I'll give her that flub as I drove to her place in Santa Monica not realizin' that the new mall's called "Santa Monica Place". I called her from her unanswered doorstep only to hear loud music on the other end. "Text me," she shouted. So I did. She replied with "Go to the corner of 4th and Broadway". Easy enough. It was Friday night and there were plenty of cars vyin' for parkin' spots, but I found one on the fourth floor of the structure situated per her directions. And then I texted "I'm here" as I went downstairs to street level. "Go to the top floor," she responded. What? I looked at all four corners of the intersection--one was the parkin' buildin', one was abandoned, and the other two seemed to be administrative headquarters of some sort--nothin' you could "Go to the top floor" of. To be fair, I examined the neighbourin' area, but still nothin' that fitted her instructions. "I'm so lost," I wrote'n'sent. "We're by the DJ," she obviously described due to the lack our normal telephonic communication, yet I couldn't hear any blastin' beats in the vicinity. However, half a block west, there was the mall--note, I didn't know what the hell this new fangled Santa Monica Place was. Oh, and to confuse matters further, she mentioned that Justin Timberlake would be there. What? OK, that could mean several things given how we always joke 'bout the guy--once I snubbed her when I saw him perform--I really didn't give a crap 'bout him, but she really did. So did she mean that we'd be listenin' to his whatever newest CD or I don't know maybe she's got some online clip she wants to show me. Who knows. Anyways, I find the mall, the top floor, the DJ, and her'n'her husband'n'kid. "I didn't understand any of your directions," I resigned. "I'm pregnant," she excused. "Welcome to my world," her husband sighed. "Let's go find Justin Timberlake," she screamed.
Not a bad music video
Suddenly iKnew what time it was as iAllowed the light behind the leaves in the night's communte home to unwash my brain. And we found ourselves at the booth by the bar's corner of a facsimile of an English fish'n'chippery located somehere along the, on that twilight at least, foggy oceansided town of Pacifica, 'bout a 45 minute drive westsouth of Oakland--my eye on the engine check light. In Rainbows was in my CD player--the drive up didn't quite let me squeeze all seven of Radiohead's seven studio albums in the six hours it took to get there (five on the way back--but that was due to the traffic outta LA). iHave been told that the 101 is longer than the 5'n'maybe the next time iVisit iVana I'll take it to fit Jonny Greenwood's band's LP discography. And there were items on the walls that symbolized both of our deepest connections with Great Britain as we drank the San Francisco brewed beer on tap--Princess Diana for her, The Beatles for me. My personal film historian's girlfriend's supposedly a huge Fab Four freak. Yet the other day he calls me sayin':
"Did George sing on a bunch of songs on their audition tape?"
"Yeah, who told you that?"
"My cousin. And do you have a version of 'Something' where they're all jammin' and figurin' out the song?"
"What 'bout all of 'em playin' 'All Things Must Pass'?"
"You gotta burn 'em for me."
"Sure. But doesn't Sofia have 'em?"
"She don't've shit."
"So...who's the real Beatles fan?"
Although technically, everybody's got those tracks--they're all online somewhere. Of course, his girlfriend doesn't use the internet. And we were seated at the bay view table, ordered some white wine, and the seafood pasta. That was the moment. Everythin' afterwards's been a rattlin' upon the rails of the homeward bound train, car'n'foot. Meanwhile, wakin' up to her face, Henry says "Good mornin'." Good night...
Have you, or anyone you know, ever shared a beer with an underage girl whilst sittin' on a brick wall 'round 5 o'clock in the afternoon? Yeah, me neither...
That bein' said, I know I'm totally late on the fad, but yesterday I had my first LA food truck experience. They've been commin' to campus and I just jumped on the bandwagon before the school year starts to avoid the crowds. However, I don't think I'll be goin' back for more. You see, I've heard tons of good things 'bout these "gourmet" meals on wheels deals, and how you gotta find their locations online, whatever. And maybe I chose an unlucky truck--which I won't mention by name in the event that I'll reject their offer for advertisin' on my website. But waitin' fifteen minutes for somethin' that I could've made myself, better in fact, and payin' way too much for, was lame. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad. But for all the hype these fashionable vehicles're stirrin', I'm not sold. Plus, when fall quarter begins, the lines'll be a crime...
My brother's against usin' automated coin changers cause they take a percentage outta your total. I see his point, and yeah it makes economic sense, but seriously, is rollin' pennies worth the trouble? Nevertheless, my jars of nickels'n'dimes were gettin' full.
It's been nearly a year since I've'd neighbours below my apartment. I've gotten spoiled on not only not hearin' people beneath me, but also not carin' 'bout makin' too much noise myself, be it practicin' on my guitar or stompin' 'round from room to room late at night.
So one evenin' I warmed up some sake, cause you gotta be somewhat intoxicated to count coins, and started cullin' five dollars worth of dimes'n'two dollars of nickels from my jars. I made neat little piles (10 cents times 10 in groups of 5, 5 cents times 10 in bundles of 4).
This month some new neighbours moved in downstairs. I've yet to meet 'em, but I've heard 'em from above loud'n'clear. I think they're a couple with a young girl. She's got the cutest voice as she runs 'round singin'n'laughin'n'screamin'.
At the bank, I think the teller hit on me. "What're you doin' this weekend?" she pondered. "Uh, my laundry," I responded. "Me too!" she enthused. Anyways, as she counted'n'double counted my rolls of dimes'n'nickels, I thought 'bout the time I wasted on all of this.
However, these past few mornin's, 'round 7:30, the little girl's been cryin' in her room. The volume's enough to wake me. And I figure this is just some phase that growin' kids go thru. But it got me thinkin'--for all her cuteness, she's also got an annoyin' side. As does everyone.
I put the paper $170 into my wallet. Was it worth it? The humiliation at the bank, the hour it took to roll 'em coins, the savin'? I'm definitely not gonna do the same with my jar of pennies. (I'm savin' my quarters for my laundry). What looks different to some sounds the same to me.
Look, I don't wanna be a hard-on 'bout this, and I know it wasn't your fault, but I just thought it's fair to tell you that in October this blog's gonna go offline, the obvious reason bein' my concentration upon composin' music for the annual Hallowe'en show which I've been involved with since eleven years ago, as well next month I've got ten days booked for housesittin', not necessarily as a vacation, but rather as a space where I can "rehearse" with members of my string quartet.
Life doesn't stop'n'start at your convenience, you miserable piece of music on CD?" one of my violinsts asked, cause the summer was over'n'fall quarter'd officially begun, or at least that's how I picture it--sure, some conservatories're semester based'n've started their school year a month ago, and I sorta am in that frame of mind since another one of my violinists follows that schedule, we're hopin' that her spring break allows for her to join us for our next concert, so I can talk 'bout my...
...favourite subject again. "This?" I confirmed with her. "Yes," she smiled as I checked the sound recordin' out to her. "What do you talk 'bout with her?" an accompanist asked--several years ago I'd made her a model of a grand piano which she displayed in her studio. One day one of her students, per her suspicion, stole the bench. "We talk 'bout music," I stated as a general answer, cause I mean, are you gonna split hairs, but is this really anyone's business but ours? See you in November...
There's a hamburger joint that's infiltratin' Southern California with the unsubltle challenge to usurp the quote unquote best burger in town. I've read silly articles toutin' the rivalry, which to me is insignificant, cause the best local burger factory, in my opinion, ain't said quote unquote best burger in town, thus renderin' any threats to not count, at least in my book. Nevertheless, I gave the challenger a chance. A mistake'n'a half...
Of all the times for the system to go down, it's when I get a legitimate reference question. I can't access our catalogue, so yeah, I'm sorry but I can't tell the patron what compact disc's call number to give to the the circulation student. Meanwhile, my first violinist scampers in with a scab on her right elbow. I attend to it with the library's first aid kit whilst my former violist notices the medical situation. So I drove to the restaurant...
A vocalist asked me to accompany her at her session with a vocal coach. My car winded thru the canyon to the remote studio--seriously, it was hidden an hour away from my place of employment, 4PM LA traffic included. I strummed the total of six chords in the pop song she chose, in 6/8 time. There were two dogs--one big, one small--that bumped into my guitar as I tuned my strings to the standard tunin' of an acoustic guitar...
Coincidental bounces: the nearest challengin' burger outfit is in the same convenicence store corner as where my first violinst'n'I shopped for her study desk, dinnin' table,'n'bathroom rack, which is the same brand my second violinist bought and assembled her furniture from, as one of my two violists relayed some photos of her'n'a time travelin' DeLorean from the movie that I supplied as the answer to my second violinist's question...
"What's your favourite movie?" Now, the burger was alright, good in fact, but a billion miles away from my deemed "best burger in town"--you know, of the chili drenched variety. I ordered a cheeseburger (with everythin')'n'some chili fries (no cheese) on my drive back from my session with a vocalist'n'her coach. And somehow I'm sure that my opinion might've been swayed if the walls weren't covered with accolades...
"Best burger in town," they claimed. Um, no, not really, I'd disagree. Good, but not the the "best". In fact, I think the allegedly "Best Burger in Town" is better than this challenger. Cause the more you brag, the more you suck--or so's been my observation. And really, what is a "good singin' voice"? I entered the studio. It was plastered with diplomas'n'playbills. Hey, I'm gettin' fed for this, I know I'm a hypocrite...
I was doin' the Sunday crossword with a friend one casual yet productive noontime--I'd biked to the top of a hill, she'd put in some hours of violin practice. After a shower to rinse off my perspiration she improvised an omelet for lunch.
One of the across clues was "Beethoven's love"--five letters. "Oh we learned about her in class" she said whilst her mouth was still full as she tried to remember the composer's special lady friend's name. But I suspected that it was less obscure.
Sure, I'ven't got nearly as much of her musical education, but from my autodidactic knowledge on the subject, the last thing I remember hearin' 'bout the deaf guy's gal pal was that it was, like life itself, all a guess, least of all the solution.
She was stumped. Likewise she was frustrated with a difficult passage that was escapin' her fingers as she continued to practice. Meanwhile I recalled the panoramic view from atop as if it were right in front of my eyes. The answer was "music".
The day since I met her
I can't believe it's true
I've always considered "Letter to Memphis" to be one of the most romantic songs ever. Obviously, I'm aware that these things're relative. Case in point, the other night at the Philharmonia's first concert of the season, the conductor introduced the second movement of Debussy's second Images as "one of the most erotic pieces of music ever". Of course it sounded cornball to me--to be fair, it's a hundred years old and must've gone thru the cool to cliche cycle several times by now. Nevertheless, one person's idea of romance is another's eye roll.
I first heard that trillin' electric guitar'n'sixteenth note hi-hat beat in college, sometime durin' the early '90s, when my hormones were just as sizzlin' with excitement. There's an instrumental version on the "Alec Eiffel" single which I can listen to on endless repeat without any diminishin' enjoyment. However, it's the lyrics that certify its status for me. Now, I also understand that words're just as fluid in meanin' as musical notes. Even the songwriter shouldn't've the final say--the listener's imagination is oftentimes a significant part of the equation.
That bein' said, I take Black Francis' word when he reveals that the Memphis in question ain't in Tennessee, but Egypt--which explains the line "across the ocean sailing", assumin' that the song's America-centric. Regardless, the capital ain't modern, it's ancient--so there's some time travelin' goin' on, assumin' that the song's based in the present tense. Which is all cool for me. My younger self thought it was what romance ought to be like--traversin' space'n'time. And the concept that some chick was tryin' to find her way to me thru it all...
I'ven't heard the song in ages. These days I've been adherin' to a pretty strict, uh, Radiohead regiment to keep my mind, you know, limber--I think "House of Cards" is their sexiest song and I can picture my string quartet performin' it so. Likewise for "Exit Music (For a Film)", although I'd recast Carly as Juliet in that scenario. Anyways, it's time for a snack break. I leave my desk, step outside my office, and look up at the afternoon sun as I walk towards the vendin' machines. I bump into a pretty girl. Suddenly, in my head "Letter to Memphis" kicks in.
"Uh, excuse me," the librarian in the basement scolded, "please don't take any photographs."
Yup, I got caught. I was carelessly snappin' away shots of the newly remodeled study area on the lowest level of the university's research library like someone who didn't give a shit--16mm lens, lasciviously takin' in as many angles as I could like the area was a model who plays the viola. Nevermind that the policin' librarian obviously didn't know who I was--I'm Henry Lim, damnit, official photographer of the library. Look at the webpage lady.
"It's OK," my agent stepped in and interrupted, "he's Henry Lim and this is his assignment."
Indeed, I'd been cleared by the higher ups to be myself with my camera. Yet, for a brief moment I felt that anonymous feelin' of bein' a nobody. And it was inspirin'. Cause it's fine to be allowed to do whatever you want, but somewhere along the line I miss the sensation of havin' to prove myself--it's what I believe truly gets the best artistic results. Otherwise I'm just cruisin' on someone else's dime. Sometimes I wish I could get kicked out.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," the librarian shamefully apologized and overaccommodated. Whatever.
A. Meanwhile, in "Letter to Memphis" news, I'm sendin' a letter. I'll send it right to you. The doorknob gave resistance, whiskey glass in hand, as I sat down at command center OUTER SPACE ON A LIM. Like clockwork the chicks ticked. One of 'em's posted that she's sick with a supposed throw up ellipcis. In quotation marks: usin' no way as way and havin' no limitations as a limitation.
B. The headphones go on. The track is cued. The riff shreds. And I'm back in college. The sixths're slick in the rhythm guitar. I'm surveyin' the circulation deck at the music library--2:22PM, on a Monday, Los Angeles. It's like just the sight of her eyes can send a vibrato across the web of string playin' witches which with whom I'm withholdin' self evidence. With caps lock: SO SAY WE ALL.
C. You might say I'm regressin', but like Frank Black said in some interview I heard online regardin' when he thought he first started writin' songs, he always has been, I’m gonna say I've been in a perpetual university aged mentality, I've never stopped partyin' like it's 1994. Graduate school chicks got me, and still do, get me hooked. Likewise, Black Francis was deemed to write "I'll send it to Memphis."
D. I've got both my current and previous violists gettin' their advanced degrees this academic year. "I read that book," I pointed to the former's (as in the last sentence, not in sequence) top selection of a stack of books she wanted to check out for casual entertainment. I think the groupin's "Science'n'Technology" and "Arts'n'Entertainment" are hilarious--whoever's guessin' that these disciplines might be connected?
E. Somewhat in a paused splitscreen I can see myself seein' her eyes in motion blur and only assume that she did the same. It's not the right time. I still gotta feel the scene. Who is she? Is she linked to anyone? My first violinist warned me of her "suspicious nature". This is goin' nowhere. I feel strong, I feel lucky. "Denial--your ears should be burnin'." A Jedi Master once repeatedly stressed the word: "Patience".
E. Qui-Gon Jinn
C. "I know that someday everythin' I needed and I wanted used to be that my head was haunted and all these sirens they make me mad and all this violence it brings me down I feel strong I feel lucky tryin' to get to you..."
B. Battlestar Galactica (2004)
A. Bruce Lee
And here's what really happened at 3:43AM on a Wednesday in Redondo Beach...
28 days ago she spoke to me. "I'm returnin' these," she said. "Thanks," I pleaded as I accepted her returned sound recordin's that I was gonna discharge back into the circulation client. She whispered in overtones.
But that's not the actual day that I met her? I know she was tryin' to get to me a few weeks prior to the beginnin' of the quarter. We'd Meanwhilers rehearsal tonight. My summonin' was "May I have this evein' with you?". "Guess what CD Letter to Memphis Chick checked out from the music library." "Can I've Schoenberg's authograph?"
The BBC version of "Letter to Memphis" ain't bad, but then again I think any version of the song is gonna be cool, even if it was farted by south frogspit. In Meanswhiler news, Zaggs got us a gig at Best Buy, I've stockpiled "Serbia" with various vocal tricks I've borrowed over the years--Black Francis' yell, Thomas Yorke's vibrato, and Lennon's falsetto--,and JM's gettin' married in February--another gig for our trio--we'll play his senorita serenade.
"Geez," my violist grumped as she squeezed between me and my 'cellist's boyfriend, "could you not block my way?" "How's my 'cellist?" I inquired, cause it's been some time since I've seen or heard from her. To the best of my knowledge, there're 4.1 versions of the song--the original, the instrumental, the BBC version, and the various live bootlegs. The Meanwhilers jammed on the tune as a warm up before their composin' of a setlist. "Evanna" might be glued to "Serbia" with a segue. This was a trick we used before--the elongation of the definition of a "song".
It was a Hollywood gig. We followed The Deftones. Yes, THE Deftones opened for The Meanwhilers. The owners of the club told 'em they could only play three songs and then get the fuck outta the way for the next group. So yeah, The Deftones cleared their shit for us to follow. And we had three songs. I can't remember the other two we played. I think one of 'em was JM's cause many of his fans were gathered. However our final third song was called the "Trilogy"--three songs that were stitched together with the same thread that runs thru the second side of The Beatles' swan album. So yeah, we're still up to the same hoggin' up time on the stage with "Paranoid Android" schemes.
"The Beatles Live at the BBC," I answered.
NUMBER OF ITEMS.........................................3
YOUR CASHIER TODAY WAS JESUS
My lawyer called. He's known me long enough to've figured out my many conversational tricks. Like when he asked 'bout the girl I was seein' in San Francisco, I immediately changed the subject, to which he acknowledged as my usual habit of deflectin' personal questions--like he respected my privacy, but called me out on my subtle, but obvious to him, avoidance of answerin' him. "That's OK," he grilled, "I'll get back to it later." But that wasn't the issue.
"Did you hear 'bout YB?" I probed. "What've YOU heard 'bout YB?" my lawyer volleyed. "Um, what’ve YOU heard?" I repeated. This continued for a minute. Cause we're always walkin' on eggshells regardin' the chain of communication with YB, our mutual buddy--he's been known to get massively upset if he doesn't get to announce his latest life announcements. And we weren't sure if he wanted us to know anythin' second hand, meanin' from me.
Cause if you break it down, I'm the guy who most often knows most of the story, but can't keep a fuckin' secret if my life depended on it. And it's usually me who gets blamed for stealin' YB's thunder. But in this case, I think it's fair game to say that my lawyer'n'I've heard the news of his engagement thru other channels--his wife's pediatrician (YB's sister) and his cousin, respectively. "Does your spiritual advisor know?' my lawyer wondered. "Don't know," I shrugged.
Truth be told, I can eat tuna raw for lunch everyday and I'd be happy. So I wouldn't call my experiments with the meat as a sign of boredom, rather creativity. And no, I don't consider myself to be a good enough cook to imagine anythin' good enough to post as a recipe--I'm still in the learnin' stages of culinary craftsmanship. Nevertheless, my latest tuna sandwiches've been on homemade naan, with garlic mayo, sliced olives, artichoke hearts,'n'onion dressin'.
Today's tuna sandwich was the second thing that I was lookin' forward to experiencin' durin' the course of my wakin' hours. It's mashed with avocado'n'roasted sesame sauce. And it didn't disappoint. I'm thinkin' 'bout switchin' one of the three flours that I blend for my bread dough. Last night I watched a movie called Marty.
Whilst housesittin' I caught most of the film I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With--in it, Marty is mentioned enough to be a recurrin' punchline. So I put it at the top of my queue. The fourth thing I looked forward to today, which was higher a few days ago, was eatin' my leftover chili. Whilst housesittin' I found the recipe.
It was in a magazine on their coffee table--beef'n'bacon chili. Chalk up another dish I'll never buy pre-made again. The third thing I looked forward to today was watchin' the latest episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia on my personal film historian's massive flatscreen, after smokin' or not smokin' a bowl or five or two.
Cough, so yesterday, cough, cough, I'd a brief conversation with the Letter to Memphis Chick--"This is due on January 18th," I said. "Thanks," she said. And it was the first thing I looked forward to all day these past few weeks. I wanted to hear her voice again. Today wasn't like yesterday, but more like every other day.
I've got a pretty good idea of what my string quartet'n'I'll be doin' for our Radiohead concert sometime next year. The songs've been selected, learned, arranged,'n'transcribed--I still need to edit 'em. But it's good to be this far ahead.
My voice is gettin' closer to Thom's range. After nearly six months, I've stretched it an octave above my prevous comfort zone, which is to say now those high notes don't hurt anymore when I hit 'em. I'm keepin' the original keys.
For one, some of the alternate tunin's on the guitar just don't move well. Also, I like havin' to push my limits. That challenge is, I think, essential for the spirit of Radiohead's music. I'm doin' it wrong if it doesn't wear me out.
Don't get me wrong, I think Dylan's songs're just as, if not more, emotionally epic, it's just more internalized--no dramatic crescendos, no sudden shifts into falsetto, and certainly no artsy cathartic moments of chaos'n'noise.
Likewise, when we performed The Beatles, I approached it from a Dylanesque angle--laid back'n'cool. I mean, after playin' The White Album, I didn't break a sweat. My shirts're soaked after I practice a couple Radiohead songs.
I find myself groovin' more. And if I could identify one body part that moves the most when I've got my eyes closed and I'm spoutin' off those wicked lyrics, it's my neck. That's where the beat is located in their syncopated rhythms.
Anyways, we're still a whiles away from the show. I think I was at the same stage with the other concerts this time of year so I'm on track. But mostly I'm glad I'm doin' somethin' that's gotten me off my ass and workin' for change.
'Twas the Light Savin' Day and I gasolined it to Hacienda Heights visitin' my Ma'n'Pa. I gotta say the eastbound 60's improved in unclogged highwayness, with the widenin' of the major exits'n'the openin' of the carpool lane. But as nothin's ever completely positively charged, the 105, in both directions, is gettin' to be every Sunday driver's everyday--I find slow cars negatively jammin' the fast track, like they're vehicle language is sayin' "My life sucks so I'm gonna make everyone else suffer," as they depress their acceleration pedal and cause everyone to press their give me a brakes.
And tragedy befell a house upon which carriages were missed and spouses were swift to take the express train outta town. In Memphis a letter is received by a case of mistaken identity doubtin' the perhaps she thought I was somebody else--it's happened before. But never twice by the same person. My siblin' brought her future roommate'n'his two kids to dinner. The son had a hand held video game toy, the daughter Sam's Remote from iCarly--I was able to communicate with the latter based on my familiar viewin' of said television show and my respect for the hilarious blue audio prop.
At the risk of soundin' like I'm jumpin' to too many conclusions, let me just say that weekend readers of OUT ON A LIM ought to be somewhat clued to the procrastination job I've been doin' for my latest portrait commission. Well, if you didn't, you know now--and I've been puttin' it off since before summer. Anyways, the client's son's been yellin' at me to get crackin', so I did. And in a strange turn of coincidence, bad things've been happenin' to the community.
Now, I'd rather not identify myself with any form of "community", but I'm within' online information's reach to alert me to the goin's on of the unofficial adult toy brick fan club. It's a nerdy group of mostly single males, many with science or mathematics backgrounds, and all a bit on the borderline between harmless creative fun'n'weird middle aged men who collect plastic construction parts. Obviously, I'm not judgin' myself to be any better than anyone.
Cause, frankly, here I am workin' on yet another commissioned portrait. Well, you see, I probably wouldn't be able to, not practically that is, begin such a project if there wasn't a site that collected vendors from all over the globe who bought, sold,'n'traded the world famous children's toy--you could buy bulk quantities of whatever size, shape,'n'colour from independent fans that've parceled sets which they’ve scavenged from outlets on sale, horded,'n'cataloged.
Now, I've never met the guy who created the site, but everyone knew his considerable contribution to the community. He was a few years younger than me, which is to say, given that I've been in the business for 11 years, must mean he was close to the current age of the ladies in my string quartet when he came up with the idea for Brickbay. I mean, last week I put in five orders for thousands of the three shades of grey plates that I rely on for my black'n'white portraits.
So I hear he died. But what's even more shockin' is I met the guy in Jersey who got arrested for molestin' several girls. I hope all's a big mistake, but if it ain't, then there's a grossness that's difficult to unimagine. I mean, I joke 'bout it all the time to the point where nobody in their right mind should leave their underaged daughter unattended with me, but to actually know a fellow LEGO enthusiast that got caught--it's like simultaneously creepy'n'sad.
If someone made the observation that the weather in Los Angeles has been whacky this year, I'dn't disagree. I remember attendin' a BBQ in July and the sky was overcast'n'the wind chilly like it was October. Likewise, several days in the middle of autumn were hot enough to remind me of the middle of summer. Not that I'm complainin'.
Cause to me, the "weather" in LA is a joke. Come on, it's more often than not bearable, give or take a few days of discomfort, which is laughable by nearly everywhere else's standards. Which isn't to say I don't notice the uncharacteristic temperatures, cause somethin's obviously weird. But I've always been able to adapt.
"Aren't you cold?" is a question I get a lot--I usually wear a t-shirt'n'jeans, which doesn't beg the question "Aren't you hot?" on the warmer days. Regardless, unless it's severely noticeable, I can tune out the weather. I mean, it doesn't take a high level monk to figure out that mind over matter ain't an exclusive trick. Any idiot can do it.
However, I'm blamin' the weather for breakin' my guitar strings. In the last two weeks I've broken three. Granted, I've been fiddlin' 'round with alternate tunin's so they're bound to be wound up against their gauges. But the drastic climate changes've confused my poor strings. It doesn't help either that I've been strummin' pretty hard lately.
It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.
I recently watched the feature film Cashback. I almost gave it four stars--it had a cute actress (Emilia Fox), cool music'n'cinematography (Guy Farley'n'Angus Hudson, respectively), and it made me laugh. The ample nudity wasn't a drawback either. However, it made my eye roll once, and that's enough to dock a star.
As much as I'm a fan of contractions'n'shortenin' the English language, I gotta say I can't remember ever unsarcastically usin' the abbreviation "LOL". When I think somethin's funny I'll type "haha"--the degree of humour is measured by the number of "ha's". Yeah, it's more keystrokes than "LOL" and its variants.
I can't remember exactly what the dialogue was, but it was at the goofy happy endin'. It was some cheesy line 'bout love, which I'm sure'll trigger tears from audience members with romantic'n'lonely souls, but for me the movie could've been perfect without it. Luckily, there's a such a version on the special features.
Nevertheless, I wonder who first used "LOL". I mean, someone'd to've invented the widespread slang. But as far as I've found, there're several people who claim to've or know who started it, but just because you say somethin' doesn't make it true. Not that it ain't impossible to trace, but I'd rather make a long story short.
The original version of Cashback was 18 minutes long. It's the same exact 18 minutes that's incorporated in the 102 minute extraveganza--same actress, music, cinematography, laughs,'n'nudity. But without the schmaltzy boy meets girl waltz. Somehow it's less unmagical and at the very least deserves a fourth star.
So I had a dream in which I swapped a song on my Radiohead setlist. Without spoilin' it for anyone who intends to attend, there was one album that I wasn't touchin'. All six of their other LPs are represented at least once durin' the estimated hour long performance. Not that I didn't want to, but said untouched seventh album was bein' withheld partly cause, like how I purposefully sidestepped Time Out of Mind for my Dylan concert and how I intentionally played the entire White Album for my Beatles show, maybe someday I'd tackle it as a whole as that collection, to me at least, sounds better intact. Not to mention, I still hadn't figured out how to represent all the digitally manipulated sounds, which I think're part of the context. Anyways, it actually makes sense to go ahead and do one song anyways cause its spot on the setlist was buggin' me. Normally, I ain't a fan of havin' consecutive songs from the same album--I like to jump 'round, givin' the audience chronologically based contrast. But no matter how I shuffled it, I kept gettin' two in a row. One of 'em'd to go. That choice was obvious--I liked one better than the other, both as songs period and as arrangements. The one that was kicked off, although a hit single, just didn't translate well for a string quartet. I mean, it's OK, but my computer mockup predicts that it'll be nothin' special, which ain't what I'm after with this project--I'm lookin' for usages of the instruments that I'ven't used before, like havin' the violins'n'viola playin' in unison, percussive patterns,'n'noise effects. As well, the transition between the songs before'n'after it, while potentially crowd pleasin', felt too comfy, if there's such a thing in a Radiohead concert. I needed a little more agitation there. The replacement song fits perfectly--I think of why I never thought of it previously. Likewise, I liked arrangin' it. If I've got one complaint 'bout Radiohead's recordin's is they're badly mixed. They've got a million sounds goin' on, but you really gotta dig 'em out with a good pair of headphones. I suppose they want to be a bit blurry'n'muddy, which is cool, but when you gotta transcribe the parts, it takes a bunch of rewindin' and askin' "Where does that line proceed?" Sometimes they seem to disappear. Sometimes they reappear outta nowhere. It doesn't help that they tend to be asymmetrical. In general I consult the live versions as sometimes the mix is way off balance and the second lead guitar becomes more clear. Plus, as a quintet, it's easier to hear how they do it on stage with limited limbs. Double plus, I've incorporated some of the riffs that've evolved since the studio recordin's. But what I especially enjoy 'bout this song is how the parts teeth together like gears, somethin' that's both in line with the album's electronic style'n'the optimistically macabre sound I was lookin' for to plug the mellow karmic hole in my setlist. Who says I never follow my dreams?
I saw you once two days ago'n'twice today. My first violinist left her lunch'n'scarf on my desk this mornin'. I was on the reference desk when she retrieved her articles of food'n'clothin'. Likewise, you entered'n'left the library a total of two times durin' my three hour shift.
"Pseudoplesiosaur" ain't a borin' word. "Pseudo" and "plesio" from the Greek "false" and "close", respectively, and "saur" is "lizard"--fake prehistoric aquatic reptiles. Apparently Baskin' sharks decompose into shapes that've fooled enough fishermen into coinin' the term.
For the first time in my life I've been unenthusiastic 'bout a new Puffy single. It's a Xmas song, which doesn't bother me, but when a song that's actually four minutes long feels as if it should be over sooner, that ain't a good sign. Maybe they're pretendin' to be tryin' to be lame.
My engineer'n'his assistant were patrollin' the halls. I snuck up behind 'em all ninja style. It was close to the top of some hour so classes were unloadin' students like crazy ants outta a crazy ant hill. And just before my buddies turned 'round, you ducked'n'snuck by on my left.
"Do you come here often?" = "How many times've you played here before?" I asked the white shirted 'cellist.
I've never been, despite bein' named on the masthead as Art Editor, so late on a deadline on an editorial cartoon or an OUT ON A LIM personal column, as to've spent the night at the high school journalism classroom hunkered over illuminated glass tables'n'glued articles on a gridded pre-computer newspaper layout, but I imagine that's what it must feel like as I've got the "master edit", so to speak, of my Radiohead song setlist on "picture lock".
Yes, I saw you yesterday--you yielded a spiral-bound course reader.
And for a moment we held hands, if you don't count the stack of printed academic articles between us.
I'm befriendin' the cleanin' lady at work. She pleasantly interrupts me somewhere in the middle of my setlist--between the second solo acoustic number'n'the scratchy haunted forest siren warnin'. I sling my bamboo guitar over my shoulder'n'make small talk--the weather, the holidays, where's that accent from? And can you sing? "No," she keeps avoidin' the question. The last time I saw her she was whisperin' a hum to herself as if I'dn't notice.
Like fake. Plastic. 3's. I may be an android, but I'm not...paranoid. Film a for (Music Exit).
The Boney King of Nowhere, man. "Denial". This is just a soon I'm gonna wake up nightmare...
Creepy follow me 'round you do it to yourself just you don't leave dinosaurs roamin' the earth.
Here's a nice dream I had the other night: my neighbours livin' below me melted up into my apartment. We catched the mouse, cooked him up, squashed his head,'n'put him in the pot. We were grateful for our lung of iron. I tried with all my might to divert my eyes. But we flipped the game a thousandfold. I successfully printed, folded,'n'stapled a 100 four page (double sided) DMA recital program in less than two hours--with plenty of time to spare, I'd add.
"Thanks," we split seconded.
I'm pretendin' to be typin' some official library document at the reference desk when in reality I'm writin' this journal entry as the tempo for "Letter to Memphis" is counted off. I don't see you yet, but my suspicions prey on the telltale rhythm that fades in and out as it accompanies your directions based on our proximity. I get to the fourth beat and we're still not in the same room, so I continue anticipatin' both yours and the song's entrance at full volume in my head. I can't remember if it's "yours" or "your's". Oh well, you recognize the scene for the millionth time.
My 'cellist claims to be an expert on fashion. She's got some book to back her brag. And even though I'm a colourblind idiot in this department, I don't think she dresses too badly. I mean, a bulk of her advice to my first violinst was on how to NOT look like a prostitute, which is a genre of costumes that I kinda like, but again, who am I to know what I think is an example of good or bad taste. The topic of who to get to fill our vacant second violin seat thankfully returned to the conversation. I heard a whiff of "Letter to Memphis" when your name was whispered.
My client emailed me a thumbs up on the photos I took. I always half assume that they're gonna want a refund, but luckily this one didn't--it was at a jazzclub where I'd two whiskey colas and afterwards caught up with an old pianst friend as the band disassembled and packed their instruments. The music was cool. However faintly, under the swing, existin' in polytempi, not quite invisible to me, like it's originatin' within the same city limits, "and all these sirens", is the constant sonar pulse bouncin' thru the waves of sound ripplin' "Letter to Memphis" back to you.
I've started to watch a television series that ran in 1993 called The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. It's a Western steampunk show which's got its Saturday matinee cliffhangers between chapters and smartass dialogue that'll go over the kiddies' heads when they watch it with their parents who at least'll've heard the innuendoes a thousands times before.
The Meanwhilers're signed up to play at a consumer electronic's store. We've got an hour set to fill. The only catch is we gotta use their instruments. That's fine with us--any chance is a chance. I've got a couple of originals that I can sing. As well I wanna do a cover of "Letter to Memphis". And if we've got time, I wanna quickly jam thru the theme from iCarly.
My favourite characters so far're Dixie Cousins and Amanda Wickwire. The former's a lounge singer and the latter's the daughter of the professor that's inventin' all kinds of anachronistic technologies. Likewise the former's mastered a professional cock tease and the latter's her father's assistant. Needless to say, I'dn't continue watchin' the show without 'em.
You know who they're. You'll see 'em and instinctually feel meshed. You'll hear the corners of this dimension cancel themselves out. You'll imagine things that you never contemplated before like the future, the end, and the aftermath of the end. And you'll be with 'em along the mystical gravel that's been sprinkled between those milestones. You'll know who they're.
My latest tuna sandwich recipe involves currin' the fish and wrappin' it in naan. As well, red onions and raisins're added to the garlic infused mayonnaise. I'm thinkin' 'bout makin' some wasabi mayonnaise next week. Anyways, aong with a piece of lettuce, the curried tuna sandwich ain't too bad tastin' if I do say so myself.
I do wanna attempt a Texas recipe for seven chili chili. It'll take at least 6 hours to prepare, but some weekend I'm gonna set aside the time. Chili's been my latest food obsession. I've been foolin' 'round with simple recipes that don't take too much time. But now I'm ready to tackle the authentic long haul. Texas style seven chili chili.
Editor's note: In the spirit of laziness, I'm gonna rerun old journal entries this week. This one's from August 4, 2004:
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, despite being in a deep sleep as a result of being awake for 48 hours, and wondered whilst you opened your eyes to darkness, that maybe fate is being cruel to you for vengeful reasons, that perhaps sometime during your lifetime or lifetimes you mocked the pride of destiny for all its absurdity, or worse yet, you tried, successfully for a brief moment, to allude its locked course and meander with your own free will, to truly do what you want to do irregardless of responsibility or collective reality, to release yourself from the petty balance of cause and consequence, that fate has chosen to punish you tenfold for your insolence so that henceforth you shall feel its wrath by getting an extra dosage of its rigidity, further underscoring how hopeless it is to escape its chokehold, otherwise you wouldn't be so painfully aware of its presence in the smallest of details in your life, from the patterns that keep jealously repeating, to the brutal tease when you get lured to the brink of love only to be laughingly denied, over and over again, that 'tis getting beyond coincidence, that you ought to start repenting now if you wanna even get close to being remitted back into the flow of things, or else you'll never accept your fate, other than to be eternally left behind?
Editor's note: In the spirit of laziness, I'm gonna rerun old journal entries this week. This one's from November 20, 2003:
On behalf of a friend who claims to have been "ultra bored" one night, I signed up on Friendster. I consider this friend to be the last person I know to even consider visiting such a site, even more so than myself. He's always told me that he sees no point in dating, let alone belonging to any so called "community". So I figured, if he's doing this internet friend network thingy, I'd give it a try.
Another friend, who's a bit more "friendlier" and has been raving about Friendster since summer, told me that she's hooked on it. At the time I thought, hey, it must be something the kids are into, that's cool, but I think I'll pass on this little fad. However, my other, more "unfriendlier" friend is circa my age. I suppose it's not just for kids.
But I still don't understand it.
So I filled out the little form with my personal stats, interests, and whatnot. Ok, I admit, I'm not exactly the most verbal person in real life and cyberspace (with the exception, obviously, of my own webpage). I hardly participate in bulletin boards, newsgroups, and mailing lists. I like to read them, but I rarely post. And I can't promote myself worth shit. I really don't care if someone has similar hobbies or likes the same music. Good for them.
Hey, if anything, I listed my url. There's my plug for myself.
And online dating hasn't hit me yet as a "last resort" to meet someone. Yeah, another friend of mine praises it highly, swearing that any stigma that was associated with it in the past is obsolete. Many a couple has been setup online. I checked the "dating" preference box on my Friendship profile. Hey, if it's free, why not. Maybe times have changed.
I did notice that most of my friends that I have connected to me on Friendster are those that I've either met or communicate with on a semi-regular basis with online. Which makes sense. I seem to have a cyber friendship loop. Meanwhile, most of my computer aversive friends, who are probably laughing at me right now for even having a webpage, form another offline loop.
Let me put it this way--online bowling ain't the same as in real life...
Editor's note: In the spirit of laziness, I'm gonna rerun old journal entries this week. This one's from February 28, 2003:
Ok, I'm not completely timeless. I've got a job (although, I keep rough hours based on whenever I wake up). But I use surrounding clocks--it's hard to go anywhere that doesn't have some time keeping device. Actually, I own a watch. However, its sole purpose is its stopwatch function, which comes in handy when I compose music for film and I need to sync my cues with a scene. Oddly, the only limited time I wear my watch is when I'm really on vacation, as keeping track of transportation and rendezvous schedules seem to matter.
I'm a regular user of the telephone and have been known to talk for hours about myself with unsuspecting listeners. Yet the idea of expanding those hours while I'm walking around or driving in my car seems absurd. I savour those moments of solitude when I can actually organize my thoughts, on my own, without anyone else's second opinions. I like to solve my own problems. And luckily, I've yet to be in a situation where having a cell phone to call for help could've saved my life. I doubt most people often have or ever will--convenience isn't life threatening, unless, of course, your watch says you're late.
I realize I'm apart from the norm, maybe a tad insane and a bit antisocial, which makes my thoughts on watches and cell phones incomprehensible to those who actually rely on the functions thereof. However, one of the benefits of ignoring time is that I get to live my life with less stress. No more dependence on worrying about adhering to the concept of "when' which makes it easier for me to concentrate on the "now". The words "early" and "late" lose their meanings. Theoretically, this should make me lazy, but actually it has the opposite effect. Daunting projects become manageable, if not easier--I don't focus on how long they'll take, which is a deterrence to begin and continue. Time doesn't scare me.
I won't comment on the proliferation of people talking on their cell phones in public places, cause gee whiz I'd probably do the same if I had that many friends. But because there are more lines of communication, doesn't mean I need to abuse them. It's not hard for others to reach me (I've got an answering machine and I check my email). I've got plenty of time to talk later.
Editor's note: In the spirit of laziness, I'm gonna rerun old journal entries this week. This one's from June 15, 2004:
I had a dream in which I received a notice declaring that I had several overdue books which I had checked out more than twenty years ago from my elementary school's library. These books were research material for some report that I couldn't remember if I had ever completed, although my instinct told me that I never did turn in the assignment. It's been so long ago. I almost forgot that I hadn't returned the books.
But that was the least of my worries. For there was a monster tormenting my neighbourhood. Reports were scarce, no official description existed, but witnesses swear that the monster moved quickly during the night, jumping over walls into backyards, and creeping into young girls' rooms. There is no evidence of sexual assult, however all the girls have been so distraught from seeing the monster that they remain mute, shivering from fear.
A curfew was set. Mobs were assembled, patrolling the streets with torches and guns. Everyone locked themselves indoors. Many young girls were sequestered at heavily guarded hotels.
That night, I was digging thru my shelves looking for the overdue books when I heard the crash of glass breaking from the direction of my living room. I heard a helicopter overhead as I checked to see what the matter was. A spotlight panned thru my blowing curtains and broken living room window. A megaphoned voice warned that the area was surrounded and that I should remain calm as the police have the situation under control.
There were muddy footprints on my floor. Someone else was in my home. I heard bustling behind me as I escaped out my door. In the streets, I noticed that I was running quite fast--faster than I thought I was capable. And as I leaped over a wall in a single bound, I realized that I was the one being chased. I was the monster.
In a stranger's backyard, I crept towards the window of a room where a young girl was peacefully sleeping inside...
I woke up.
Editor's note: In the spirit of laziness, I'm gonna rerun old journal entries this week. This one's from July 23, 2009:
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'. Subconsciously, 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.
So here's the deal with all those "spirit of laziness" reruns last week. I've been like totally understaffed here at OUT ON A LIM ever since Tiffany screwed me. But I've got all these other projects goin' on at the same time. I mean, I've'd to turn down offers just to keep my focus on the commissioned portrait at the expense of a snowman song for my Halloween buddy and my Radiohead string quartet concert takin' over attention to this online journal. Plus, lately I've been measurin' the size of my mouth and was alarmed at how big it'd gotten. A bufferin' week'll shut me up.
Call me a nub, but I've no idea what iTunes is(are)? Is it anythin' like Napster, except you gotta pay for chiz? And what the hell does is it mean that The Beatles're now on iTunes like it's somethin' worth jankin' themselves on the 405 with a sorry lookin' billboard? I own the CDs'n'more so why should I buy whatever iTunes is sellin'? And even if I didn't, there're plenty of free sites online. If I spend money on music thesedays it's for the prestige of puttin' it on a pile of other plastic discs that's duplicated somewhere on the internet. Oh, and to whatever "pay the artist".
Likewise, it'll get me thinkin' 'bout OUT ON A LIM from a distance. Cause I'm somewhere like three fourths done with this blog. And I don't know if you've ever been three fourths done with a commissioned portrait, but there's a mixed sense of "what the fuck've I done so far?" to "I'm almost fuckin' done". I'm sure in the followin' final time 'til the end, I’ll feel nostalgic 'bout endin' it all, I'll contemplate continuin' beyond my arbitrary ten year cutoff date, and/or I'll be glad it's fuckin' over. Or maybe I'll open my eyes and say "where the fuck did that decade go?"
Elfman's releasin' some ridiculously priced boxed set commemoratin' his collaboration with Tim Burton and I'm not interested other than thankful that I'm not a fan anymore cause spendin' that much dough on chiz that'll be online later is a no brainer. A pianist pal of mine's been invited to play for Williams. I don't know, maybe even three or four years ago, I'd've been super jealous, but for some reason I can only fake excitement. Not that I don't support her and her professional career, but as of late, the only film composer that I can somewhat take seriously is Greenwood.
I actually bought his last album--the Japanese import soundtrack to Norwegian Wood. I'll admit that I've slowed down on my music consumerism. I used to buy a CD a week when I was in college. This year, besides the two Greenwood scores, I purchased some string quartet chiz--Sibelius, Kronos doin' early music,'n'Webern. The funny thing is I've never seen any of Greenwood's movies. Cause I think he's just usin' these motion pictures as an excuse to play with strings. And I imagine that I can imagine better images than what's on screen. Like a New Mexican sunrise.
Editor's note: Actually, for whatever reason, durin' my "spirit of laziness" reruns last week, there was an entry that ain't in the archive. I figured this out cause I was copyin'n'pastin' from the OUT ON A LIM online depository, not the original word processed document. And I swear it was totally random. So go figure, I was pluggin' in a missin' date. It's no fun if I told you which one it was...
Sing blue silver
She's right 'bout my shirt as well as ahead of everyone else--so I might give her sense of fashion less doubt. And not only for that outfit, but another one as well. Cause I think it was 'bout a year ago she complimented what's been echoin' back to me now.
The rosin plumed upwards into the stage lights hangin' above the string players.
I let her drive me to the beach'n'back on my break. Swim seagull in the sky. We didn't crash. Later that night a Muslim girl took us out to dinner at a fancy restaurant in Korea Town.
There's a reverse colour blind test. It's kinda like those dot diagrams where there's supposedly some number or letter only non-colour blind people can see. Well, there's this test which turns the tables and displays an image that's only visible to the colour blind. Cause we'rn't distracted by spectrums of light. It's all 'bout contrast to us.
The front of your dress all shadowy lined.
You're wearin' all black except for the shiny blue clip in your hair. There's more to this kinda camouflage than just colour'n'shape.
And as I sat in the audience "Letter to Memphis" segued into "The Chauffeur".
|Happy 2011 from Henry|
As of late my fantasies've turned to my ol' pastime of contemplatin' temporal travel. Of the two books that I'm currently bookmarkin', one is Twain's 1889 narrative A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur, as it's called in the first English edition. The other's the fourteenth volume in the complete collection of Schultz's Peanuts strips, which reprints the years 1977-78--the one with Peppermint Patty on the dust jacket.
More on this later...
Yours in time,
I'm arrangin' an original song composed by my lead guitarist for my string quartet to back him up as he'll perform it live at his weddin' with me on acoustic guitar'n'my drummer on djimbe. Things that I always consider, in order of descendin' importance, when I assign notes to two violins, a viola, and 'cello: maintain the spirit of the music, give 'em all a fair turn at bein' the solo instrument, and keep it simple. Luck's also on my side as I played the keyboard parts on the demo recordin' our band made like a year ago or so. Hence, I don't've to guess what the riffs're. Otherwise I'd be rewindin' lots to transcribe 'em.
I'll let you know when I finish...
Yours times four,
Over the winter break I started to watch the television series Community. Well, not really on TV cause I don't receive a digital signal. Nor on DVD cause I'm cheap and still'ven't finished The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.--which's got several parallels to Lost, such as the time travel, ghost dad, and electro-magnetic thingy. Nope, I've been downloadin' the comedy show online--thru my modem. It takes several hours for each 21 minute episode. And I usually do other things like sleep when the data's drippin' down my phone line, but it's so worth it. I've seen the first season already and'll keep goin' 'til I've seen it all.
Two words: Annie's boobs
Yours streets behind,
PS: Everyone's a robot.
Dear actresses'n'former starlets,
I went to a party where every other person asked me what I thought 'bout Natalie Portman's latest movie. I kept replyin' with "I didn't see it," to which they all responded with "Whenever I hear 'bout Natalie Portman, I think of you." And this prompted me to contemplate with "Hmm, I'ven't thought 'bout her in the longest time..." And yeah, go ahead'n'laugh. Call me out for callin' her old, but it's true, and my iEyes've been iElsewhere, iF you know what iMean. Plus she's engaged'n'pregnant.
Yours in the wrong demographic,
Dearest lady of my dreams,
I finally saw you last night, if only as you passed me by, and I pretended to view you as another faceless member of the rest of the crowd crossin' my vision. Just like in real life.
Yours still asleep,
Dear future mistress,
I finished Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. It was a hoot. I like how Hank Morgan's catch phrase's the same as Doc Brown's, which Marty McFly later adapts in 1885. Anyways, I thought it'd be cool to next read Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles as a jump in the opposite direction of time. The first few chapters're set 'round 1999. The book was published in 1950. However, later editions've shifted the dates 31 years, so instead of 1999 it's 2030. This kinda makes the stories as possibly gonna happen in the future. Speakin' of which, we're only four years away from flyin' cars'n'hoverboards...
Yours catchin' up,
Dear string quartet,
I finished the weddin' song arrangement. Everyone's got their moment in the spotlight. The first violin begins with the open riff while the second'n'viola hop 'round on the upbeats as the 'cello maintains the bass. Then it's the 'cello (and me) keepin' the chords goin' as the first violin does little pentatonic/blues embellishments (which I improvised at the keyboard on the demo)--it's funny transcribin' lines that I made up on the spot and'll be formally performed. Anyways, the second violin handles the bridge and the chorus is all viola. The coda is everyone roundin' out the endin' in octaves'n'whatnot. But most importantly, the groom/songwriter gave his blessin' to the arrangement. So we're set.
Yours ready to go,
PS: We got a new second violinist.
Dear Miss Awesome,
I'd a dream where a girl I know'd a month to live so she decided to kill herself. In real life, I told her that I'd a dream 'bout her except I left out her suicide. Instead I said we slept together.
Meanwhile I'd a dream where I was sleepin' with another girl. In real life, I told this other girl that I'd a dream 'bout her except I left out our sleepin' together. Instead I said I saw her asleep.
I finally introduced myself to the lady of my dreams in real life. She kept sayin' "awesome".
I've been collectin' bacon grease. Everytime I fry up a few slabs, I'll dump the leftover liquid into a jar. Lots of Southern cookin' uses it as an ingredient, sorta like lots of Japanese cookin' uses dashi--it's the definin' flavour. The reason bein' a cornbread recipe I found calls for it. And the other night I made some. I was not bad.
Yours not bad at all,
PS: It goes awesome with chili.
I used to tune into your show online. When it was kinda funny. Now it's hardly that. So I'm gonna submit my resignation. Don't get me wrong, you're the coolest character on TV for your age bracket, but the rest of your cast's been turnin' into sad thirty-somethin' stereotypes--the couple tryin' to conceive, the whiny guy lookin' for a wife. Stinson still makes me laugh, but he's been relegated to punchlines in the background. And yeah, I heard 'bout the countdown gimmick everyone was talkin' 'bout from a recent episode. But to me it was too little'n'late.
“Such a Find”
I finished Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. It was a riot. Most of the chronicles had a Twilight Zone vibe, which was cool, but more importantly, I dug the humour, most often dark, that ran thru 'em. Each of the expeditions'd their hilarious moments--oftentimes a commentary on Earthkind's egotistical view on 'emselves. The one 'bout the Martian'n'the Earthlin' meetin' in the phantom night ("Night Meeting") felt like a dream. But what got me rollin' in my futon was "The Silent Towns". It was 'bout the (supposed) last couple on Mars--Walter'n'Genevieve. I won't spoil it for anyone who'sn't read it, but hahahaha. Anyways, next up, Joyce's A Portrait of a Artist as a Young Man.
You're my favourite computer animated character.
PS: The soundtrack to your flick ain't bad either.
Thanks for doin' a swell job this month. I wanna say keep it up, but I hate to get big headed. However, it's always nice to be recognized if not for my ego but as a way to brag 'bout myself without soundin' unfounded to the next generation of kids.
Yours in print,
Dear whoever casted Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,
Thank you for doin' your job at a thousand percent of your skilled ability. All the actresses were awesome. I hate to admit it, but the main girl, Ramona Flowers, who would've been eyepoppin' alone, was overshadowed by Scott's drummer, Scott's sister, Knives Chau, Envy Adams, Roxy Richter, and the great Julie Powers. Which is a compliment rather than a complaint. If only more movies'd such a harem of characters.
Dear Mattie Ross,
I'ven't read your novel or seen the 2010 version of your film. I did recently watch your movie from 1969--on Blu-ray, on loan from my personal film historian, and on a HD monitor at the library durin' off hours. I thought you were a cool character--feisty, witty, and courageous. I'm lookin' forward to experiencin' your other incarnations.
Yours with admiration,
Dear animal lovers,
The last page of Joyce's A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man was read by me two days before tomorrow night. It was a gas. I especially liked the ladies that caught the protagonist's muse 'round corners, on buses, and on beaches. Anyways, like always, I do cursory background checks on the books that I read, and it seems this last one was a "classic". Not to outdo myself, I've chosen Melville's Moby Dick as my next masterpiece of the English language to cast under the light next to my bed. And I've got an edition bound in genuine leather.
Save the whale...
"Such a Find (MIDI String Quartet Arrangement)"
Dear Hayley Stark,
You were the only good thing 'bout the super long movie 'bout dreams within dreams within dreams, etc. OK, "none of this is real", I get it. They didn't've to pound such obviousness into my head for two'n'half hours. Unless, of course, you'd've gotten more screen time.
Yours glad it's over,
Henry Lim and His String Quartet Perform Radiohead
UCLA Powell Library Rotunda
Saturday, April 9
Influenced by post-punk, avant-garde jazz and experimental electronica, the Oxford modern alternative rock band Radiohead have honed their own creatively lauded and often cloned sound of stirred disaffection underpinning the turn of the 21st century. Adapting this form of contemporary pop music for a classical chamber ensemble, UCLA Music Library staff member Henry Lim, on vocals and folk guitar, will perform selections from Radiohead's discography backed by a string quartet consisting of graduate students from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
"My Iron Lung"
Have a nice summer.
I'dn't mind meetin' a dame who'd enough charm to lure me away from my word processor. You know, the kind that'll keep me more interested in bein' with her than writin' this here journal entry, which'll probably be officially dated stamped 10.3.11, but'll really've been written on 6.13.11.
Yesterday, I wanted to get off my first violinist's virtual grid. I didn't answer any of her texts, emails, and voice messages. So I dodged the possibility that she could, if maybe she's smarter than she pretends to be, physically hunt me down, and hid in the movie theatre.
I saw Kung Fu Panda 2 and after the end credits, took a leak. As I exited the restroom, I happened to notice that the next showin' of Super 8 would begin in three minutes. I'd nothin' to do'n'nowhere to be, so I snuck in. I might've felt a little guilty 'bout theoretically stealin' from the motion picture industry if I'd've gotten caught.
But I never got ushered out. I quitted on her by choice three days earlier. I'd picked her up from the airport. Her flight was delayed 'bout half an hour due to the weather. I'd cleared my mind durin' the extra wait, not that that's particularily important, but just in case the reader's wonderin' where my head was at that evenin'.
Last night, I once again weighed her on a metaphorical scale, stayin' up extra late double checkin' the balance. I wanted to go to bed assured that I won't wake up in hell the next mornin'. And it might be subjective, but I'm certain that disconnectin' from her absolutely ain't a major sin.
There are far worse crimes than sneakin' into a movie. My only qualm is that the box office numbers won't accurately reflect my attendance. And normally I'dn't give a buck if the makers of a flop'll lose their chances at a better job, but in this instance I'd feel bad if the actress did.
Cause I wanna see her again. She's the cooler younger sister of Dakota's. There were scenes where I ran my eyes thru her long blonde hair. And for your sake, be glad she's only a projected character, not to mention illegal in real life. Otherwise I'dn't be returnin' to OUT ON A LIM.
"I don't need this," I said to myself as I drove home after the first time she got pissed off at me.
Lately, I've been regressin' from Millipede to Centipede. Even if you're too young to remember those arcade classics from 1982 and 1980 respectively, or too old to've cared 'bout video games at the time, the reader not familiar with those Atari coin-ops ought to linguistically decode by logical notions of higher numbers equalin' complexity which one of the two titles came first.
I liked the original Kung Fu Panda. And not only in a "if I'd a kid I'd force her to watch it on DVD over and over again" manner, but I genuinely thought it was entertainin'. Moreso than any Pixar computer animation. The only other franchise in the medium that I like better is the How to Train Your Dragon series.
And so I gave her another chance. Only one more. Then it's over. Completely over. This vow of disconnection is final. She won't know it 'til later, cause I'm keepin' my mouth shut, but there's no goin' back.
"I don’t need this," I repeated in my head and behind the wheel moments after the last time she flipped out.
I like the simpleness of Centipede, which allows for long term mushroom strategies such as "The Tunnel" or "The Trap". Whereas Millipede, whilst addressin' those tactics with scrollin' screens, "Game of Life" patterns, and swarms, is a faster paced, higher scorin', and seductively updated for the sake of the supposed advancement that a proper sequel's supposed to support.
So I didn't mind payin' to see Kung Fu Panda 2 in the theatres, includin' the Real D 3D upgrade cost. I thought it wasn't bad. Not as fun as the first, but definitely somethin' I'd recommend to my hypothetical daughter. And still it's better than any Pixar promoted product. It sets up a part three, which I'm up for.
I can understand a reasonable reason why I could've made her mad. I mean, I'dn't be so final with my decision if I could follow her reasonin'. Not to mention she's spoiled, self absorbed, and can't be taken seriously.
"I don't need this," is somethin' I'll thankfully never say again in my life regardin' her.
For someone who doesn't technically own a television set, I've been watchin' lots of TV shows. I mean, I've got a box, I just never upgraded it to receive digital broadcasts, so I only use it to watch DVDs. And I'll never subscribe to any cable channels. TV should be free. Anyways, I used to rent shows cause I got tired of movies, which I still am despite my recent spurt in theatre attendance. Think of it this way, I've seen more films on the big screen this year so far than I have in the past five years. Regardless, the last series I caught via shipped discs shipped thru the mail was Brisco County, Jr. Nowadays, I watch TV shows online. And for free.
Currently, I'm almost done with the first season of Californication. I can't decide which chick takes the cake. There's the punchin' 16 year old, the main character's agent's assistant, the daughter, Kitty Sanchez, and the endless random chicks of the week. I polished off Boardwalk Empire, which'd some well shot nude scenes. Party Down was hilarious and a nice reunion of the cast of Veronica Mars. I'm up to date with Community. And like the chicks in my life, I've weeded out shows that I used to care 'bout but don't anymore, such as Weeds, Dexter, The Big Bang Theory and Parks and Recreation. However, the show that I can't get enough of is Fringe.
I opened my eyes after blackenin' out to see my 'cellist on my rightside nursin' me back to consciousness.
The thing that I appreciate most 'bout Fringe other than the hot lead actresses is the parallel universe.
In my covered Dutch oven're 16 ounces of clean'n'sorted red kidney beans soakin' in water overnight.
Accordin' to an email, my order of The Dark Knight soundtrack on compact disc has been dispatched.
I've yet to remove the San Francisco Conservatory of Music sticker that I've got retaped to my wallet.
I've been listenin' to unofficial files online of the Zimmer/Newton Howard score, but think I'll splurge.
Tomorrow, if all goes accordin' to recipe, I'll've successfully cooked a cool batch of red beans'n'rice.
And in that parallel universe, as far as we've seen so far, is a cute bug scientist who should be here, too.
I usually remember everthin', includin' my dreams, but this loss of consciousness took me by surprise.
Back when I was a student of judo, I used to carpool to the dojo with nearby neighbours. This was 'round the time personal portable cassette players were successfully mass marketed. I remember bein' hunched in the back of a station wagon, wearin' my yellow belt, and listenin' to tapes of original motion picture soundtracks.
Ridin' shotgun was the driver's eldest son, who was also plugged into headphones. In the middle row was the driver's youngest son and some other kid who joined us on our weekly ride. They were both, likewise, danglin' wires from their ears into little machines that wound magnetic tape 'round to reproduce pop musical sounds.
That night, the driver's eldest son had Bowie's latest album. The driver's youngest son had the album before Bowie's current one. And that other kid, who was handy with technology, I mean I believe he grew up to be an engineer, brought a compiliation that he made usin' multiple tape machines of his favourite Van Halen songs.
"What were you listenin' to, Henry?" the driver asked when we arrived at the dojo. "Movie music," I replied. The driver tapped his eldest son and said, "Why don't you listen to movie music?" I left my cassette player in the car and ran to the mat. Behind me I heard the eldest son remark, "When he grows up, he won't listen to that anymore."
Next to the idea of time travel, I think parallel universes are cool. The first time I was conscious of 'em was durin' the movie Back to the Future II, which'd scenes set in an alternate 1985 where things're more than slightly skewed.
A single change in the course of fate set forth a divergent branch of reality. I enjoy imaginin' how different my life'd be if I'd made the slightest choice reversals. And that these dimensions exist in the spaces where I'm not lookin'.
I've never watched an episode of The X-Files, but I've read many comparisions to that televison show with Fringe, which I'm caught up with. At least for the first few episodes with the paranormal FBI cases, or so they claim.
But then it becomes its own show when it cracks open a parallel universe. I won't spoil it for those who'ven't seen it, but some weeks they're set entirely over there. And whenever those episodes end, I feel like I've returned back.
It goes without sayin' that the main character ain't bad lookin'. I can't think of any complaints against Agent Olivia Dunham's hair colour, eye size, mouth gestures, body proportions, and carriage. Plus she's got special powers.
Agent Astrid Farnsworth deserves a mention, too. Both of 'em. Oh, I forgot to explain that in the parallel universe, there're another versions of the characters. So there're two Olivias and Astrids. Played by the same actresses.
However, they're not exactly the same. That Olivia's got a different hair colour. And that Astrid's more of a robot. I mean that as a compliment. Oh, and over there Back to the Future starred Eric Stolz. It's on the marquee.
Anyways, over there they've got a bug scientist. Her name is Mona Foster. She wears glasses. And we've seen doppelgangers on both sides for most of the characters. But as I await the fourth season, not of her. Yet.
If you'd ask my humble opinion on who I believe is most worthy of the title "Best Superhero", I'd've to say it's Lady Delirium. And yeah, I ain't fully unaware that she's not technically a "superhero" in the classical sense. But her role in the moral scales has got weight by my comic book.
I mean, you know the classic superheroes like Superman and Batman. She don't fit in that top shelve of public recognition. And the followin' tier with the Marvel characters wouldn't accept her. I suppose, and this’s a gross overestimation, she might sneak onto some unlikely level.
Lately, I've been rentin' superhero movies. Somehow I missed 'em all when they were in the theatres. Maybe it's cause truthfully I don't give a crap 'bout any of these so called "superheroes". They ain't Lady Delirium. Anyways, for what they're worth, namely my subscription fee, they're OK.
Again, I can't say I much cared for Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne, or Bruce Banner, but I enjoyed their films nonetheless, if only as American folklore. Although, I do've a newfound appreciation for Black Widow. By far, she's the coolest superhero to've graced the silver screen. Until Lady Delirium does.
But I gotta say, Batman seems to always get the best music. From Hefti's catchy 60's television show theme, Elfman's gothic score in the '80s, Goldenthal's 20th century cues in the '90s, and Zimmer/Newton Howard's version as last heard in 2008's The Dark Knight, which is on repeat in my car.
Next to likin' how the last track loops back to the first, I think it's rad when the music's pumpin' and I'm glidin' down the freeways of LA late at night, when traffic's light and I can hit 88 mph without gettin' caught. I feel like I'm a vigilante on the endless trail towards the ever elusive Lady Delirium.
For the most part, I remember everythin'. There're but a few gaps in my memory. Blackouts caused by intoxication, for example. The last time bein' the night I woke up on my 'cellist's floor, shirtless. Before that, it was my faintin' in an elevator episode (see OUT ON A LIM 3.12.03). The point bein', slips of consciousness're 'bout 8 years apart. As well, I can recall any dream just as unforgotten.
My violist was sittin' 'cross from me, drinkin' wine, as I started chuggin' vodka. She made tomato pizza. Meanwhile, my 'cellist was stirrin' a pan of macaroni'n'cheese. I was still aware of my surroundin's when the three of us started to sprinkled hot red pepper flakes over every dish. My 'cellist pulled a seat up to the table and placed upon it a plastic bag of her essential blend. I'd drank half the bottle.
I was sittin' in a crummy movie with my hands on my chin. A whole row of seats were mine. And as I began to fall asleep, a chill strummed along my right side. Without openin' my eyes, my instinct told me that Death was next to me. Sure enough, I looked upon a boney finger pointin' at my forehead. Slowly it fell. Sometimes it flicked. And eventually, it never did touch me. So I woke up.
|Legally, I couldn't post anythin' 'bout my string quartet 'til after our partnership'd been officially dissolved, but now that the final papers've gotten our signatures, I might as well announce it. My string quartet is no more.
There was no question of continuin' with 'em another year after my 'cellist answered an invitation to study in another time zone. Cause I can't see myself playin' with any other 'cellist. It's a stubborn tick of mine, I know.
That isn't to say that over the last three years I'ven't replaced graduated or takin' a year off from studin' students, such as my second violinist this year and my violist the previous. They've all held those inner voices well.
Nevertheless, when I'm facin' an audience, those two instruments're behind me. Not to mention, my 'cellist and I need to sync together as the rhythm section. This is easiest with eye contact. Communicatin' with glances.
We had some fun. And it'd be greedy of me to want more. I mean, playin' one song is enough to put a grin on my dyin' face, but we did more than I deserve. That and I can't think of anythin' that'll top our final concert.
I doubt I could drum a bigger buzz than Radiohead on a college campus. There was a story 'bout us in the school newspaper, includin' the coolest of any of my photographs that've ever been in print. Our promo poster.
Such publicity is generous, especially when it's free, and it paid off well in attendance numbers. Way more than The Beatles, which itself was way more than Dylan. So there's a dead end. No other act can follow that.
And yeah, I do get the requests from fans, like doin' selections from the ex-Bealtes catalogue. Great ideas, and I'd do 'em if I could, cause realistically, I don't care who listens to us. But without my 'cellist, it's impossible.
Today was an absurd day, it bein' the followin' of yesterday's avastin' of my string quartet (see OUT ON A LIM 10.13.11). Everythin' from wakin' up to my showerin', dressin', and combin' my hair was straightforward in that there weren't any noticeable differences from my standard operational mornin' procedure other than finishin' two minutes earlier than usual (at 11:45). No, the biggest tangent from normality was my glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Bags of oranges vary in size from week to week. On average, with two bags I can luckily yield four days worth of their liquids. I used to by three bags, but I opted for freshness over convenience. Unfortunately, this mornin' was the first of a three and half day amount, the "half" bein' mixed with some lemon juice. Now, I'ven't ever done this before. It was tangy, to say without much bitterness, and I'll bet all the money ever printed that I won't recant that concoction again.
They say breakfast'sn't insignificant. I technically don't eat it other than my glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, but I can't misplace the interpretations of facin' society in an employment capacity after the first articles of nourishment go down my throat each near noon. It shapes my day, supposedly. I mean, I go for the same exact glass of freshly squeezed orange juice on a daily basis, to the point where it's repetition makes everythin' enjoyable. But...
Today was an exception. Not only was it a sour day, which occur naturally as sometimes a bag of oranges can be foul, or at least less sweet than the sweetest crop, but it was an intentionally lemon day. So I'm walkin' out my apartment and I've got tart acids splashin' in my stomach. Everyone always claims that you can't make some of the coincidences of real life up, well, for me, I can see 'em commin' from the flavour of my glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
As soon my car didn't start I knew I was in for nonsense. I'dn't call in to work just yet to tell my boss that I'd be takin' the day off cause I'd car problems cause I wasn't gonna give up so quickly. I turned my key again. Click, click, click from my starter and then nothin'. One more time. Nothin'. Another. And another. Somethin' told me to keep continuin'. Previously, and come to think of it always, my car never allowed for this kinda miraculous solution.
The last time was drivin' back from New Mexico, when a kind traveler jumped my car at a gas station a 100 miles outta the nearest town in California. But this mornin', what never occurred before did. Gradually, with each grindin' of my key, my car made progressively better engine sounds. Like a spark was squeakin' thru the cables into the battery. Soon, the stereo kicked on. Almost there. Crank, sputter, crank, crank, sputter, sputter. And finally, vroom.
When I docked on the roof of my parkin' structure, I turned off my car, and tried to start it again. It sputtered like before. This wasn't cool. If I couldn't get a'movin' without one key stroke, I'd be dead if I was bein' chased by one of my violin stalkers. In my office, the first thing I looked up, before checkin' my email, was what to do if you car takes too long to start. And sure enough, they'd the answer. I cleaned the connections to my battery with a wet rag.
Like magic, it worked. My car started as it always should. I returned to my desk, read my daily comics, and then my email. Now, for every 99 requests I get for somethin', be it a sculpture or a guest appearance somewhere, one of 'em'll be halfway legitimate. It's the nature of what I do and how I promote myself, namely on the internet. But of all the days to get asked how much it costs for me to perform with my string quartet again, I'd say today'd was the weirdest.
Eight times outta ten, whenever I leave my apartment, be it to steer off my driveway headin' towards work or as I foot it to the nearest grocery store on a weekend, I always see the old man who lives across the street cornered on his front lawn smokin' a cigarette.
Here's what I know 'bout him. He's probably a grandpa cause oftentimes there're grandchildrens' toys emptied onto his sidewalk. It appears that he's livin' with his son or daughter's family. However, it seems he's alone. I mean, I'm not aware if he's got a wife.
Who know's what happened to her, assumin' that he's livin' with his offspring. Maybe she left him or died. Either way, he's stuck in a house with two younger generations. Maybe he didn't want to live by himself. Anyways, they won't let him light up indoors.
Sometimes I imagine that he's a Korean War veteran. Or a retired miscellaneous salesman who once went on a business trip to Korea. And I know it's unlikely, cause cool people don't end up livin' in places where they can't do what they wanna do, but...
What if he's an author or somethin' half as infamous. Like if the paint on his psychedelic landscapes're dryin' right now. Perhaps he could teach me a thing or three 'bout photography. At the very least, he could be an unsung master of the backyard barbeque grill.
Regardless, I always feel sorry for him. It's pathetic how he looks like a bored zoo animal. Literally, he's fenced in. It ain't no stronghold, but there're pickets nonetheless. Pacin' the slab of concrete bisectin' pruned grass. Just waitin' to be off everyone's hands.
"What would you do," she asked hypothetically, "if I fooled 'round with another guy?" Now, I know that it goes contrary to what's naturally expected of me, bein' thrown into the ring with a competitor not unlike other tribal species' matin' rituals, but I've always took a dive before such questions could even be answered. I don't care how severe the "foolin' 'round" is, cause it's all relatively harmless in modern civilized society. I mean, it's not like life and death for mostly anyone. And the way I see it is, if she's got an eye for someone else, I'll close mine and look the other way.
Of course, birds bein' birds, instinct is all 'bout fight or flight. Some've made a crack at the formula with survival bein' equal to variables in passable traits, like strength and physical appearance, plus or minus other genetic whatevers. I can't see any major disagreement with that argument as I'll be the last to withhold an admittance that the exaggerated depiction of big breasted, skinny, and blonde women'ren't bad lookin'. Not to sound sexist, but more oftentimes than not, said chicks'ren't equipped with brains that're more intelligent than the average door. And that's no complaint.
Yet, I wouldn't get in line for my chance with one of 'em, long-term. I'd get my ass kicked, purposely. Cause I believe violence is a waste of my time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against war, as sometimes people just gotta learn the hard way, but personally, I'd rather be doin' somethin' else than beat the crap outta a fellow suitor. Besides, if I did, it doesn't prove anythin' other than the other dude's self esteem'll probably be diminished. No thanks. I'll take the fall cause I've got nowhere lower to go. He's happy, she's happy, and I'm happy. I like to balance these things.
Conversely, when she solicited my reaction to her dramatization of a suicide attempt, I immediately replied with "Go for it." No seriously, that's one cry for attention that I'll always call the bluff on, regardless of how involved my relationship is with the victim. I've'd some lovers and friends pull that stunt. Enough to know that if they really wanted to kill themselves, they'd've done it, with or without my approval. Call me heartless, but I don't care how depressed you are, forcin' me into the scene of the crime is just as cold. I feel forever cheated when no one dies.
Cause if you get off on that game, I don't wanna play with you anymore. I don't appreciate that you pretended to sacrifice yourself to your problems, emotions, medical condition, etc. If they really bothered you, you'd've taken care of 'em by any possible means to justify the end. And yes, that counts for me accidentally findin' you with the noose 'round your neck. Again, you'd've thought it thru better so that there weren't the slightest chances for failure. I mean, I can think of the perfect time and place to do the deed without gettin' caught. If I can, then so can everybody else.
I'm dreamin' of a fancy fictional stereo system. One that looks like a recordin' studio's mixin' board and's got sound hooked up to computers and speakers. Thru the wires plays a song sung by me with drums multi-tracked behind my acoustic guitar.
I've been listenin' to various recordin's of Brahms' Op.77, especially the first movement, which my second violinst claims to be practicin', at the library where she relayed said information, that is to say I hope I didn't mishear her. My ears'ren't perfect.
Larry McFeurdy's remasterin' my Radiohead concert for a likely Xmas release. He's fiddlin' with the EQ, subtly addin' some processin' such as reverbs and delays, and editin' out the applause between numbers. It's easier on my ears without 'em.
Cause other than a tolerable amount of mistakes on everyone's part, I mean, I know I screwed up some of the chords and words, but as a live album it's not bad. The "Karma Police" encore can be safely cut do to my severely outta tune low E string.
Quiz me on how many songs I've written and I'll round down and say 'bout 200, even though there're probably a couple dozen half done tunes that I've got in fragment form floatin' 'round on stray disc space somewhere. Even my cell's got some.
So it's always fun to rediscover these melodies, in a dream or not. And it's even more crazy when the next day, upon visitin' my engineer at Stair 7 Studios, I can hear thru the monitors, my voice countin' in some old demo. And in the background are added drums.
My mom likes to go thru other peoples' medicine cabinets. If she's been to where you live and's excused herself to use your bathroom, she'll return with some assumptions 'bout you based on what you've got prescribed, afterall her husband's a doctor. I'm not married so I wouldn't know where to begin when it comes to pills, I mean, I'ven't got any comparable conditions that need fixin'.
I went vegan for a week. It started when a friend took me to a meatless restaurant. After eatin' a delicious veggie "pepper steak" burger my curiousity in veganism sent me to a few online recipes for meat substitutes. Cause I wanted to try and make some at home, not that I'd ever consider givin' up eatin' animals. Although, next year I've decided to discontinue eatin' cows for no reason.
That bein' said, in the past I've been known to browse thru other peoples' CD collections, but that was when I was more of a music snob as these days I don't give a crap what anyone else is listenin' to. And if you've got a prominent bookshelf within easy visual range I'd read some of the titles on the spines you so intentionally want me to notice. But lately, I'm interested in your cookbooks.
Yes, I'll still eat beef if it's bein' served to me, but left to my own decisions, I won't purchase it for myself. Ten years later I'll drop pig and chicken and go pescetarian. Anyways, so I made some seitan curries. They were OK, but there's somethin' 'bout animal juices that surrounds and binds the flavours. You realize it when it's gone. Nevertheless, my favourite perk of veganism are the farts.
And so began my nine day weekend as I took the week of Labor Day off from work. Likewise, I'm gonna embark on the longest of four housesittin' stints which I scheduled for this summer. The first was for 10 days three blocks away from the Santa Monica beach, the second was for 15 days in August, and the fourth'll be a week in the Valley. The third one's for a month. Needless to say, I won't've my computer so I'lln't be writin' from there. Luckily I've written this entry in advance to make up for the lag. The next entry'll jump the span of 30 days.
And although the university that employs me doesn't start classes until the end of September, for most of the Western world, this weekend marks the end of the summer of 2011. Likewise, you won't be theoretically hearin' from me 'til after my housesittin’ gig, so for all bosons and fermions, it's the changin' of seasons. At my second housesittin' job, I watched the occupant's Firefly set. I also rented the movie. Currently, I just finished Kevin Smith's An Evening With series. The thousand paged book I read this summer was Stephen King's Under the Dome.
And I thought it was entertainin', but nowhere as cool as his Dark Tower volumes. Likewise, my favourite meal to make these days're burritos. Ever since I found a recipe for flour tortillas I set 'bout cookin' up carne asada, mixin' up some pico de gallo, and mashin' up some guacamole to assemble what I think're the best examples of the dish, namely the San Diego variety. As well, I improvised a good-enough-to-never-pay-for-it-at-a-restaurant Mongolian barbecue. But the image I'll most remember is of her folded hands as we conversed over the counter.
As you can see, after a month away from my computer, I'm done housesittin' and'm back to bloggin'. Coincidentally, tomorrow's when you subscribers'll start to find the "latest" entries after my summer vacation. There's a comfortable backlog of written material that I've stored for the days ahead as I'll be workin' on this year's Hallowe'en musical. Also, I've got a commission that's due on Xmas. Thusly I can physically skip a few weeks here'n'there whilst virtually no one'll notice any disruptions in the steady flow of daily posts, that is if technically nothin' else interferes.
Let's see, last month I finished readin' A Maze of Death and VALIS, and started The Divine Invasion. I rented Clerks 2, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Dinotopia, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Thor, Your Highness, and Eastbound & Down. I caught the season premieres of Fringe, Community, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and iCarly. And it seemed like that Red Hot Chili Peppers video where they're playin’ on a roof in Venice came on whenever I tuned into the music channel. That and some Lady Gaga song. Oh and I finally sat thru all of Lawrence of Arabia.
Actually I watched it this afternoon, durin' the final hours of my housesittin' stint. Their television's much wider screened than mine, so I figured I'll watch the DVD that I've been borrowin' for the last three years from my personal film historian on it. I tried it once a while back, but couldn't stay awake after the first 30 minutes. I know it's a classic, but seriously, even this time 'round as I made it to the third hour's final stretch, I found myself startled back to the film. I just don't see the point of it all. But I'm thankful that it's over and done with. Now I can give it back.
I gotta admit, one of the highlights of this summer was playin' a top secret gig as The Larry McFeurdy Trio. You know, me and half of the Henry Lim String Quartet, namely the inner voices, the second violinist and violist. And yes, I hate to disappoint Meanwhilers fans if on paper "The Larry McFeurdy Trio" sounds like the three members of that old band performin' under a different name, but no, if it were The Meanwhilers, it would’ve been booked as so.
Nevertheless, The Larry McFeurdy Trio did play a handful of Meanwhilers songs. They kicked off with "Heaven" from the 1995 album Likewise as the two bowed instruments handled the duel melodies and the acoustic guitar strummed the diminishin' chords. I don't wanna think 'bout how old the subject was when that song was written, back in 1993 after seein' the movie Jurassic Park. I mean, it's been 18 years. She's of legal age now. I'm clear.
Next up was "I'll Wake Up Whenever I Please" (previously purposely mistitled as "Fuck the Girl") from the 1997 Meanwhilers' album Rubber Hooks & Metal Belts. I mean, I just didn't feel like explainin' it to the rest of the trio why the names were originally switched, so I made things simple and changed it back to what it should've been. After that, we did a gentle version of "Kung Fu Girl" from my 2004 solo album Hacienda Heights. The Beatles were next.
I wanted to showcase the two instruments and of all the Lennon/McCartney tunes "And Your Bird Can Sing" is the only one that provides the funnest duet. "It's one of my favourites," my second violinst stated durin' rehearsal. And yeah, it was the peak of the show, the location of which'll remain a mystery cause it wasn't my house. I played "Madeline" by myself. We closed with the instrumental remix of "Jovie". It was cool playin' with ‘em again...
I took a couple o' days off from writin' as a sorta mini moratorium from my bloggin' routine to indulge in the Pixies' Bossanova. That was before I embarked on a back-to-back composin' and portrait makin', respectively, months of focused attention from my nightly manner of passin' the time. But first, let me tell you 'bout today...
The hands down highlight was hearin' her pronounce, explain from whom she got, and trace back the origins of her middle name.
Besides, my spiritual advisor sent me on the Pixies' path. I confessed the phenomenon that I experienced upon meetin' her and bein' channeled into their song "Letter to Memphis". And although it's not an original suggestion, it started to ring with more truth the more I considered why I'm resurrectin', with modifications, my string quartet.
"If I didn't give a shit 'bout who attends my concerts," I said thru my cellphone, "there's no question that I'd perform the Pixies."
"I really like escalators," she revealed. "They're pretty cool," I agreed, "but I gotta admit that elevators might be a bit better." "Only if they've got open views," she surveyed. "Yeah," I didn't deny. I mean, I've written some double bass doublin' with bass clarinet lines as a foundation for future counter melodies to contour my ladies...
Without missin' a Beatle, I'm monkeyin' in this entry on the sameday as I did for yester's post.
I'm image searchin' for somethin' Bossanova related for my next wallpaper. Meanwhile, it's currently a photograph copyrighted to May Pang, so I won't bother borrowin' it, not to mention I'm too lazy to provide a link, but I'm sure you'll be able to find it with the keywords "last photo john paul 1974". And yes, that's "john" as in Lennon and "paul" as in McCartney. It wasn't until recently, when my personal film historian played a documentary on the Beatle that was assassinated in 1980 that I saw this, as of this writin', final photographic capturin' of them together. It's been my wallpaper all summer, regardless if I only logged on 'bout once or twice a week whenever I was pickin' up my DVD rentals.
Anyways, supposedly the shot was taken in Santa Monica durin' John's "Lost Weekend" and a break in Paul's Wings whatnots. It feels like a late afternoon poolside party in the '70s, which I'm old enough to remember. And either all personal photos from that era seem to've faded or the sun shone differently back then, but that muted glow is both what I can attest've seen and's in the Lennon/McCartney candid. And it's John on the left, Paul on the right. And be mindful it's just six years since The White Album. And that's only four years since the band broke up. And imagine bein' there at the rockstar hangout wonderin' if they'll ever reunite for real, as in all four of 'em. And then look at the photo as their last.
So I was watchin' a trailer for some public broadcastin' documentary on steampunk. Nothin' I'dn't seen before, the usual Victorian fashions and contraptions futurized.. Except they mentioned steampunk music, which was new to me. I mean, I'm reasonably aware of the aesthetic movement as a visual medium, if not mindframe, but've yet to've heard any sounds in that vein.
They'd a chamber group consistin' of, if I remember correctly, strings and a bassoon, the sellin' point bein' the latter on account of its steampunkesque mechanisms. I didn't think twice 'bout the actual composition other than it sounded like somethin' that could've harmonically existed in the era. Now, I don't disagree with the bassoon bein' a steampunky lookin' instrument.
And I know from personal experience that the media can run away with an insignificant tangent that they think'll cohere with the story their tryin' to tell, but to me, steampunk music should be an aural representation of the visual, instead of the other way 'round. By that I mean, who gives a crap what the instrument looks like, but what does the music sound like?
Is it worthy of the punk suffix? Cause the way I hear it, steampunk music should sound like somethin' futuristic done on 19th century instruments. Case in point, my string quartet when we represent the sounds of electric guitars, feedback'n'all. Like when we perform songs from the 21st century. If that's not in the spirit of steampunk, then I'm behind the times.
It's funny cause today I posted the "my string quartet is no more" entry (see OUT ON A LIM 10.13.11), which was composed nearly three months before it went online, and as of this writin' is a joke. Don't get me wrong, it's all almost true, but what's false is that my string quartet is no more.
Yesterday I officially shook verbal hands with my new 'cellist, who beforehand I'd consulted with my violist, who, based on my seein' 'em hangin' out in the halls, is friends with her, if she'd be a good replacement for my old one. Don't get me wrong, those'ren't easy musical cues to fill.
I considered addin' an "editor's note" sayin' how outdated that entry was, but I figured it'll only be three weeks later when this entry'll be posted, so why not give the reader a bit of suspense. Don't get me wrong, I hate bein' dramatic 'bout these things, but I'm learnin' that that's a part of it.
And the day before that, the first person I, without second guessed ambiguousness, revealed to the name of the band whom I'm gonna cover for my next string quartet concert was my violist. Don't get me wrong, I'd this planned before I signed on my new 'cellist and still need a first violinist.
A week ago my lawyer was practically in tears when he retold a story he heard from Lady Gaga 'bout some song she wrote, accordin' to her, "for her dyin' grandfather". Don't get me wrong, background stories're cute, but in the past I'd prefer to pass focus on what the music doesn't means to me.
Today I read on someone's blog a well written review of my performance of The Beatles, which I hilariously accept as a valid point of view. Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoy negative reviews better than positive ones as I know I can't please everyone, and I acknowledege that there'’s a relative "wrong".
Which is what got me in this mess in the first place when I kept bein' wishy-washy 'bout the status of my string quartet and/or what band I was gonna tackle next. Don't get me wrong, there isn't a bigger band today, in my mind, than Radiohead, and it's gonna be challenge to do anyone else.
When I performed a handful of Larry McFeurdy tunes with my second violinist and violist at the secret gig over the summer, some members of the audience asked what the songs were 'bout. Don't get me wrong, I know what they're 'bout, but I felt uncomfortable elaboratin' so I lied a bit.
Like, I know exactly what ever word refers to in "Kung Fu Girl", but I scoffed it off as an excerise in rhymes, which ain't a lie, but I hid the title character's identiy. Don't get me wrong, I now know that audiences eat that shit up, and if I wanna connect with 'em, sometimes I should cave.
I like a good challenge, and even though I like Radiohead more now, there's really only one band that, despite bein' less popular, I regard as bein' the chicken before the egg. Don't get me wrong, I'm familiar with the metaphor, but last I heard, science determined which most likely came first.
The challenge bein' arrangin' the Pixies for string quartet as their sound is so meshed with the loud/quiet aesthetic, and I've yet to hear violins, viola, and 'cello pull it off reasonably. Don't get me wrong, just cause we did Radiohead, who owe their beginnin's to the Pixies, it ain't the same thing.
It's gotta sound like a quantum boom, like when you first heard those dynamics, and if I might add, I've gotta use another voice. Don't get me wrong, I liked my Thom Yorke impression, as with my Dylan doin' The Beatles, but I now that I've got a new group, I wanna change, too.
I know that I'm kinda catch-as-catch-can when it comes to coincidences, cause I'd like to hold the notion that any greater importance I impart onto 'em lessens whatever lesson for me they're supposedly leavin', but sometimes it's just fun to pick 'em out without gettin' too heavy. I mean, it's like a little game where the most I'll ever win is a quick smile when I fleetin'ly notice somethin' that reminds me of the Pixies.
There's a pop culture blog that I frequently follow which features random photos taken by readers. I say "random" cause they're not necessarily related to popular movies or music, rather they're simply cellphone pics that the curator deems cool. So sometimes they're of non-celebrity kids on a swing. Or someone's pet parrot. Well, the other day the photo of the day was a landscape shot of Sedona, Arizona.
I recently rented the second season of Eastbound & Down. It's a laugh and a half. The main character, Kenny Powers, is a baseball player who fell from the major league and's workin' his way back up. It's funny cause he believes he's the best pitcher in the world even when he fails. Anyways, he makes this locker room speech where he brags to his teammates that they've got some "residual Kenny Powers pixie dust".
Nirvana just released a concert video (Live at the Paramount) as an accompaniment to the 20th anniversary of Nevermind. I got a nostalgic nudge from watchin' it. They weren't a bad band. And it's no alarm and no surprise that they were fans of the Pixies, but it's all in the timin'. Cause it just so happens that I saw it now. And it just so happens that Dave Grohl was wearin' a Pixies shirt.
Along with a selection of songs, I wanna play an entire album. They're all short enough. However, some of 'em've either been done before by the band themselves (Doolittle) or've a song that's sung from a female's point of view ("Gigantic" on Surfer Rosa). Not to mention, my favourite's always been Bossanova. And that's the one with the track that shares a name with my violist.
Distinct kinetics. I paid plenty of attention to the body language and ticks of Thom Yorke durin' my Radiohead research. Not that I couldn't notice, I mean, the guy's got some ridiculous twitches. And, like his voice, I ain't capable of copyin' his motions, but I won't deny that I often like to think that the two're entwined.
Rice'n'beans. When I was in college I used to dine on the dish after which Black Francis named his publishin' company. It's a staple meal that I've perpetually kept. Although these days, like his music, I'm deconstructin' the recipe. However, I'm not, even though the thought crossed my stomach, gonna eat in his manner.
loudQUIETloud. I recently rewatched the '04 reunion documentary, this time with myself performin' the Pixies in mind. Not to mention, I just saw their behind-the-tour footage from '89. And man, has Frank Black eaten a ton of rice'n'beans since then. Yet, I can't help but think their sound benefits from the weight.
Fat Mac. One of the funniest gags on the seventh season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is Mac "cultivatin' mass". It's genuine humour. And at the cost of the health of the actor, but that's why it's funny. It'd only be laughable, like silly, if he were wearin' a fat suit. Without sayin', I admire what I ain't doin'.
I gotta say, I'm a gigantic fan of any type o' gimmick, especially when it comes to my string quartet projects, cause they're bein' performed live, and I ain't clever enough to blow anyone's minds, but the least I can do is offer the audience some added value, despite my not chargin' 'em admission. I admit that it'sn't entirely impossible to cover a song that was originally sung by a chick, afterall The Beatles did it early in their career with such tunes from The Marvelettes, The Cookies, and The Shirelles, but those're oftentimes easier to transpose to the opposite sex with some simple pronoun changes, but there's one track by the Pixies, which is, if you don't mind me footnotin', commercially available on two studio versions, that I can't lyrically reverse, and there's no way I'm gonna sing with feelin' a line like "Hey Paul let's've a ball".
The album version of "Gigantic" is off of Surfer Rosa and’s produced by Albini. On Wednesday, as I was walkin' towards work with a stack of Fawlty Towers VHSs that I'd borrowed from a coworker and'd finished watchin' so was returnin', I found my violinist, she was my second, but I think I'm gonna move her to first, sittin' on a bench eatin' from a plastic container a mixture of pretzels, nachos, and cheese puffs, to which she offered some so I sat down and discussed analogies for orchestra conductors, like to kings and office boss television characters. At first she said "God", but I corrected her, and she agreed, that that's the composer. Well, I think good producers're sorta like good conductors in that they extract the best outta the band/orchestra. The gimmick for my Beatles concert was a choir and orchestra.
Incidentally, the gimmick for my Dylan show was my string quartet, so like I said, I'm a gigantic fan. Anyways, the Radiohead one's was my higher vocal range, which I'd screamed into shape. Nevertheless, I like the direction my voice is goin' so I wanna keep singin', and I've never sang the Pixies better, which I've notice durin' my nowadays practice sessions after work in the padded media room. So nevermind the screamin', or the cooler-than-everythin'-written-after songs, the brilliant drummin', and the guitar god on lead, but the true heart of the band is the cooler-than-brilliant goddess on bass and vocals, Kim Fuckin' Deal. Now I remember why they rocked. And you can't cover 'em without her. She's more than essential to Black's voice, compositions, David's magic fills, and Joey's bended notes. So I need a chick singer.
The single version's produced by Norton.
And she'll sing the Arizona line on "Havalina". OK, now this Pixies project's found its hook. It frees up the arrangements as now I don't've to assign Kim's voice to a violin, who'll now help Joey's multiple voices which're present on the recordin's even though he picks a single line when he plays live. And I've been listenin' to my newly acquired vinyl edition of the Bossanova from the Original Master Recordings remasters. It gives me a clearer picture of what's goin on. I remember a member of the generation after mine commentin' on the "muddiness" of that album on CD when I played it in the background as she did my LEGO biddin'.
And it'sn't like I could've heard it cause to my ears it sounded perfect. But objectively, I suppose the drums're a little overproccessed in that sorta late '80s gated reverb fashion. Anyways, the analog representation sounds awesome. I can hear things that were buried on the digital format. The bass is nicer, too, which'll help as a reference for when I pick out the notes for the violoncello. And it makes enough sense to get a chick vocalist to join my group that I think it's quickly approachin' quotation marks 'round "fate" kinda inevitablitly. Gotta give props to my spiritual advisor, again, for guidin' me in a miraculous direction. On a wave of mutilation...
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