|Out On a Lim|
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|Out On a Lim (9.1.04 - 11.22.04) >>|
After school, I went over to Kelly's house to play school. She was in my first grade class and lived down the street from me. We'd snack on ice cream and then go up to her room and rearrange tables and chairs to mimic a classroom. Books, pencils, and paper were gathered for the day's lesson. And then we'd begin--I was always the student, she was always the teacher.
I don't remember what she taught me, cause, ahem, I tried my best to be a bad student. I mean, this was play time--I already gave up most of my real time as a real student in a real school, so I didn't see the point in dragging that reality into my play time. As I was a good student in the real world, I figured I'd be a bad student in the imaginary world. And for some reason, it was more exciting that real life...
Kelly was skinny, blonde, and wore thick glasses. I loved it when she scolded me for being a smartass. I'd forget to do my homework and she'd give me an F, which refreshingly felt so much more alive than getting another A+. But to get her really pissed off, I'd provoke her by calling her insulting names. To which she'd yell at me, or she'd make me sit in the corner, or she'd ask me to stay after class...
Yeah, we had such fun.
Editor's note: The staff at OUT ON A LIM and its affiliates would like to extend their wishbones for a Happy Thanksgiving to all our subscribers, readers, and turkey eaters. We'll return to the regularly scheduled nonsense next week.
Erin's boyfriend's play was gonna start in about two hours. There was another play before his, which we were gonna catch, that started in an hour. In the meanwhile, we had plenty of time to hang at the Gypsy Den, eating surprise bagels and sipping steamers.
I try to limit my crossings into the borders of OC as much as possible. It's another world which I'm happy to misunderstand. I mean, in general, I realize that everywhere on the planet there's a knowing wink going around amongst locals regarding what's real or at least what's valued as "real". I can't figure out OC's orbit. Maybe it's just me, but everything seems so extremely crimson.
Erin talked about her rabbits. She had two--one was fat, the other was in damaged condition. They run around her backyard, which she's fenced appropriately so they won't hop away. There was a rabbit character in her boyfriend's play. Oddly, it's not named after either of her pets.
No offense to OC residents. In fact, I've got some friends who live there. It's a lovely place--to visit. But for me, after about an hour within OC, I get a little twinge of Twilight Zone paranoia. Any longer and I'll start to feel like a foreigner amongst xenophobes. And I always feel too aware of myself when I'm there. Not that I care insomuch as I reasonably suspect the OC'ers have something to do with my self consciousness.
Here are my favourite lines from U2's latest album How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (or what it ought've been titled: I Want To Trip Inside Your Head):
"When the soul wants the soul waits"
"Come on now show your soul"
"Here's my heart you can break it"
"One step closer to knowing"
"Why the dark before the dawn"
"I'm on an island at a busy intersection"
"I'm getting ready to leave the ground"
"You're the reason I sing"
"The songs are in your eyes"
"God I need your help tonight"
Subject: I read about you on www.catholicsingles.com
Hello hello, my name is Larry McFeurdy and I saw your ad on www.catholicsingles.com. No, I'm not Catholic. And for the sake of imagination, let's pretend I'm not single either. Thus, I'm not a member of www.catholicsingles.com.
However, I was over at my bassist's house tonight for rehearsal--our band, The Meanwhilers, ran thru Xmas songs for our upcomming Xmas gig. Anyways, my bassist is Catholic and single. He also just recently got his internet hooked up.
After practice, instead of falling to the temptation of chowing on leftover pizza, we chilled at my bassist's new computer. He burned copies of our Xmas repertoire for the rest of the band to take home and study. We tested his multimedia speakers with the DVD-Audio of Bjork's latest album. And for fun, we browsed the religion based dating site.
You were the only one that caught his attention.
Cause of your bass guitar pose, your kindred musical likes, and your somewhat local vicinity.
But there was one catch--you're looking for someone younger than him (he's 32).
I've always felt that our number one priority as a band ain't the fame, the audience, the chicks, the coolness of it all, or the music. Rather it's the friendship between and well being of all members. Otherwise, everything else is irrelevant. We've all got to look out for each other before we can start to play tight, let alone pick up our instruments.
And let me tell you, I hate seeing my bassist depressed to point where he's looking for love on www.catholicsingles.com.
Perchance you can give him a chance?
Michelle's hair seemed darker than I remember.
"Is anyone sitting here?" I asked in regards to the vacant seat beside her.
"Hi Henry," she replied.
I plopped my beer on the table to reserve my spot and went back to the kitchen to fill my plate. Michelle was drinking wine. Her eyes reverberated in my memory.
"Were you at the wedding?" she asked after I returned and settled into dinner.
"Yeah," how could I forget--that was the last occasion I saw her.
Kevin jumped into the conversation and joked "Henry was at the wedding, but he was hiding behind a tree most of the time, smoking..."
Last night I had a million dreams. There were giraffes galloping on rooftops, evangelical congregations in makeshift tents in the backlots of Chinese restaurants, automatic staplers sewing my eyes shut, remnants of broken skateboards in the freeway carpool lane, and labyrinths of thresholded hallways. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever exhaust my dreams and all that'll remain will be my waking state.
"You wore a pretty red dress," I tried to prove to her that I saw her at the wedding.
"Oh yeah," she smiled and believed me.
I've never been to Hawaii, except as a stop on a trans-Pacific flight. Lately, I've been thinking about the Aloha State--in a sorta romanticized gestalt. So I ordered the "Destination Hawaii" episode of Globe Trekker on DVD and virtually followed the cute hostess to the beaches and volcanoes. There's something familiar about it all, like I've been in those presupposed karmic situations before.
"How's Nick?" I wondered about her absent significant other.
"He's fine," she confirmed. "We went to Hawaii for a week, last week. We had a great time."
"Cool," I agreed.
Kester started to crack open the decoration nuts scattered around the table centerpiece. Michelle handed me a pecan. I borrowed the lobster claws from Kester and smashed the shell for her. She smelled the edible innards before she popped it in her mouth.
After dessert, the guests resolved to their own sub-parties--there was a chess tournament in the den, the elders held council in the main dining room, whilst others watched the game on widescreen plasma. Michelle and I got comfy on the abundantly pillowed sofa and uninhibited about work, hobbies, love, and life.
"Your hair seems darker than I remember," I observed.
"I've stopped highlighting it," she laughed.
"I've stopped highlighting it," she laughed. Swimming is fun, but dependent on the public pool's hours. Wasn't I your soulmate? A similar reaction happened upon my initial experience of 5.1 surround sound. But I use surrounding clocks--it's hard to go anywhere that doesn't have some time keeping device. Where do you get your inspiration? All the awkward boy meets girl situations apply. But I don't want to meet her in real life. My eyes instinctually go straight to the images that appeal to my aesthetics. I'll play along and give my own answers. So far, my friends've got nothing but praises. I'm more aware of the little details lurking in the corners. I don't know if my voice naturally mumbles or I do it on purpose to make myself difficult to talk to. Boring routines are foreplay for topsy turviness, which inevitably cancels itself out yearning to return to structure. I was bored and wanted to try something different from my standard paragraph structure. Maybe I'm getting older, cause I just can't get excited about the tired plot. Last week, I had a dream where I was in a dream and gained consciousness. She wipes a tear from under her spectacles. Obviously, no sample can even come close to the real thing. Contrary to rational belief, all angles beyond sensory perception can be seen, and rather than overwhelm my linear representation, I freely roam these nether realms. Try as I might, my eyes aren't good enough to see the theoretically infinite reflections of myself within each eye. I could see seagulls and kites sharing the airspace. I can't decode her meanings in any verbal sense, for any attempt to articulate her will just sound more insane, but I intuitively trust her to lead me towards wherever she wants to go. Part of the confusion is I'm always at different stages on various projects. Some take effort to reestablish contact with, some bump into each other without plan or prediction. The distance was numbing--it all could be happening on another planet as far as I was concerned. I get hypnotized by imaginary light shows. There were muddy footprints on my floor. But I reasoned, if she was really my dreams made real, then she'd be sitting next to me. We ate tacos amongst the rusted piano wires that coil around her workshop. Sometimes I wonder if strewn across my dreamscapes, there are enough bits of my past, present, and future realities to cobble some semblance of my metaself. Kinda like a weblog.
# This file is the author's own work and represents their interpretation of the #
# song. You may only use this file for private study, scholarship, or research.#
From: email@example.com (Henry Lim)
Title: NOW (Larry McFeurdy)
D F#m Em A D F#m Em A
D F#m Em A
I come on when you come on so come on be my girlfriend
D F#m Em A
I won't find a better find if I find you're my girlfriend
Bm F#m Bm F#m
Don't hesitate I hate to wait
Em Gm D F#m Em A
For my me--mo--ries
D F#m Em A
I'll let go if you let go so let's go to the moon
D F#m Em A
I will leave if you will leave so will we leave real soon
Bm F#m Bm F#m
Don't be afraid I'll keep you safe
Em Gm D7
From your me--mo--ries
Bm Bb D7 Bm Bb D7
I'll get on my knees begging please please please
Em A Em A
Let me love you I want to love you
Em A D F#m Em A
Let me love you now
D F#m Em A
I pretend that you pretend that we pretend together
D F#m Em A
Play with me I'll play with you and we can play forever
Bm F#m Bm F#m
Don't forget how we met
Em Gm D7
Dig those me--mo--ries
Bm Bb D7 Bm Bb D7
I'll get on my knees begging please please please
Em A Em A
I want to love you let me love you
Em A D F#m Em A
I want to love you now
D F#m Em A D7
Her twiggy legs wrapped in faded jeans peregrinated the burger grill. I couldn't see her face, just the back of her long straight dull blonde hair billowing her grey sweatshirt. Nevertheless, she looked like someone I'd sell my soul to or for. Whilst the tired sandwich chick piled my tuna fish on white with mustard and onions, I busied myself with eye straying the skinny elf traying her burger to the register.
The sun was casting three o'clock shadows on the sneeze guards as the law students from the nearby school were briefcasing their livelihoods, all caffeined, necktied, and sniffling with altruistic malaise.
Where'd she go?
Down the steps, I recaught her rearview as she descended into the background.
"Karen" with the perky nametagged uniform asked me if I was a student--cause if I wasn't I had to pay sales tax. I told her of my currently unenrolled status. She yawned. I kept my boredom of her to myself. Even her pinky slipping pennies onto my palm was unstimulating.
I pocketed my spare change and headed for my office to late lunch on my sandwich. But as I footed the concrete stairs beyond the glass doors of the food sellers, I faced the girl eating her bunned meat on a bench. We contacted visually. And for that syncopated traversal of the second hand, I saw the angelic decimation of all that's unrefulgent in this universe. She was beautiful--nothing more, nothing less. I can imagine her as a hyper-ideal, bound by superficial conjecture and contrary reality, yet limited in overcomming my hopelessly self-catafalquing perspective.
I should've talked to her. But without my thesaurus, I'm a mumbling idiot.
On average, I change my desktop wallpaper about once a month. Last month I had the animated transfigurations of Puffy. This month, I've got the Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren.
This is the first time I've put up an image of an automobile. In general, I'm usually used to having candids of cute actresses, with the occasional abstract photo thrown in to thwart off accusations from co-workers regarding my possible unhealthly infatuations with underaged starlets. Sometimes I plaster posters for motion pictures that I like. Scans of ancient musical manscripts are neat to look at as the first thing I see when I log on. And every now and then I'll have a cool dinosaur skeleton or rendering which I'd right click and grab off paleontology sites.
The point is, I think cars are childish. Any grown up dude still fascinated with fast vehicles is stuck in some stunted boyhood mindset. I mean, I dug cars when I was a kid--my parents claim that I could correctly identify cars on the freeway before I learned to read. My dad had a stack of car magazines next to his Playboys. But I outgrew my appreciation for sleek sports cars when I got my driver's license. There's something about the mundane practicality of transportation, especially in Los Angeles traffic, that killed any romanticism for anything other than getting from point A to B.
Not to mention, car designs have sucked for more than a decade. The last car to grab my attention was the Acura NSX. Before that, my faves were the Porsche 928 and the DeLorean. However, it's all in the exterior, as I'm completely ignorant about engines, zero to sixty, handling, and such. Like a beautiful woman, I can stare at the lines and curves of an awesome car for hours--what's inside ain't important. Cause frankly, I'm never gonna get to do anything more than stare.
I remember looking thru my dad's Mercedes catalogues when I was a kid and not being particularily fond of the boring sedans, but I do have memories of the nostalgic footnote pics of the classic Gullwing. That was a nifty car. So when I heard that the SLR was revamping the tradition, I was inevitably inclined to give it a look. Surprisingly, it didn't disappoint--the design sings with retro verses well balanced within futuristic realization. And the doors maintain the same riff. It's pleasing to the wide eyed kid in me. At least for this month.
There's nothing like getting inspired to write a song. That little idea, be it a lyrical line, chord progression, or melody that's stuck in my head. Often I wonder where these things come from, but like dreams, I kinda just accept them as something my mind conjures up unbeknownst to my conscious control. More often than not, it's when I do NOT think about these things when they pop into my head. And to me, that's the coolest thing in the world.
I take that back. There's nothing like developing an idea and actually writing a song. I've always enjoyed putting little bits together into a complete whole--finding fun rhymes or composing complimentary choruses. This process does take mental concentration, as I employ some form of personalized logic to think about the various paths I can take. I mean, it all has to "make sense", at least to me. Inspired ideas inspire the form. And realizing a fully written song is the most fulfilling thing in the world.
Scratch that. There's nothing like recording a song. Cause, it's one thing to write a song, and it could be the greatest song ever, but it's kinda boring having it just to yourself. Recording it allows you to share it with others--they can like it or hate it, but there's something about releasing it from the confines of your head that takes it to another level of reality. Not to mention, a recorded copy frees up hard drive space in my brain so that I can enjoy the song without straining my short term memory. And it's the funnest thing in the world to figure out arrangements, play the parts on instruments, goof off in the studio, and to see the red light.
Well, not really. There's nothing like mixing a recording. It's technically not as fun as writing or recording a song, cause it involves a lot of technical details, such as finely balancing the EQ and setting the compression rates, but it's nevertheless involving enough to keep my attention, if anything as a sort of focused version of listening. Of all the various sub-disciplines of music, mixing is the one thing that takes the longest for me to tackle--everything else seemingly comes naturally to me. One of my problems is my ears aren't judgemental enough to determine what's "good" or "bad". It's all fine as far as I'm concerned. But I'm learning how to boost or cut certain frequencies to create the most listener friendly representation of a recording of a song. And finding just the right mix, one that makes me go "ah" after hours of frustration, is the most satisfying thing in the world.
I lied. There's nothing like finishing the final song on an album.
How's next Tuesday for meeting up for the dinner I owe you and the studio photos you owe me?
Sounds good for THursday.
Ok, so see you on Thursday. I'm only clarifying cause I wrote "Tuesday", but you wrote "THursday" [sic] and maybe you read me wrong or you made a typo or I'm just playing dense...
So it's Thursday and NOT Tuesday. Or is it Tuesday NOT Thursday?
Hahaha. Let's make it Thursday :)
I'm sick of waiting. I'm just gonna go ahead and announce it right here on OUT ON A LIM, even though it's not been made public yet as of this writing. You can believe me or not, I don't give a crap, cause I'm telling the truth...
But Mandy and I took the photos on the official UCLA Library webpage.
Well, not all of them--any shot where you can clearly see someone's face is a stock image. For example, on the "Reference and Research Help" page wherein you can straight ahead recognize (if you knew them) the students (or models pretending to be students)--these kinda shots were NOT taken by us.
However, everything else, including the front page's photo whereby you can't make out the students' faces, as they're facing away from or blurring past the camera, was taken by us--to be specific, Mandy took the photo and I edited it. Actually, to be even more specific, that photo was flipped horizontally. Here's the original image that we submitted to the web design committee, in its correct configuration.
Ok, so some people might be skeptical. I can read the emails already--"Hey Henry, why should I believe you when half of your web journal is bullshit, I mean, you could've just swiped that photo from the UCLA Library webpage and flipped it on your own on Photoshop, adding the border, etc. How convenient that you and this 'Mandy' character don't have your names mentioned as the photographers. I don't believe you took those photos. And shame on you for trying to claim responsibility for work that you didn't do."
Well, I'm just gonna've to trust that you trust me. Not to metion, I don't blame anyone for questioning my authenticity as I have been unashamedly stretching my imagination in some of these entries. I guess I had it comming--when I really want to say something valid, I just sound like I'm crying wolf.
Anyways, as the story goes, I got contacted by the web design committee in late summer 2003 to take photos of the campus libraries for the planned revamping of the site to accommodate the new Voyager OPAC. This was based on someone on the committee having seen the digital photograph galleries on my webpage, supposedly independent of knowing that I'm on the UCLA Music Library staff. Of course, I accepted the offer--I didn't get paid, but I did get to do it on work time. I collaborated with Mandy, who was my assistant at the time. She's a great photographer in her own right, having been published in the Daily Bruin. We went to the various libraries, such as the Law Library, the Biomed Library, the Southern Regional Library Facilities, and as appropriate, the Music Library. A lot of work went into the project, which continued right up to the webpage's launch in September 2004.
But apparently not as much work as the design committee--it is understandably an elaborate site with many deep pages. They've apologized for the lack of our photo credits and promise that it'll be comming soon. And I'm sorry if that's not enough proof.
|The Meanwhilers Xmas Concert
West Covina, CA, 2004
photo by Seymour Greenwood
|Hacienda Heights Album Cover
Hacienda Heights, CA, 2004
photo by Amanda Whiting
I like Xmas music. I don't think there's a popular tune that I can't listen to, not only during the holiday season, but anytime of the year--they've all got catchy melodies regardless of the lyrics. Nevertheless, hearing them in December is the best.
Anyways, I've always been intimidated to compose in the Xmas genre, what with the huge shadows cast by the classics. I probably never would've made an attempt, but thankfully, I had the fun opportunity a few years ago when Alan Sanborn (whom I've collaborated with for Halloween music) asked me to arrange his comedic "Santa's Going Ho-Ho-Ho"--a song about what really happens when Santa eats all those cookies left out for him by children...
I performed and programmed all the instruments on the backing track. The vocals are sung by Alan, the harmonies by his buddy Bret, and my boss Callie joined their cast of characters. We recorded it at the Henry Mancini Studio at UCLA, with engineering help from my pal Charles. And it turned out to be hilarious performance--I'm glad to've participated.
I've let friends and family hear the tune every Xmas since and it's become an annual request amongst them. This year wasn't an exception. I asked Alan if it was cool to publicly post it, so with his kind permission, and by popular demand, here's the mp3:
"Santa's Going Ho-Ho-Ho"
Dear friends, fans, subscribers, and whosoevers,
Happy holidays and hope you're likewise.
I just finished my latest project--HACIENDA HEIGHTS, an album of pop songs recorded by my alter ego "Larry McFeurdy". You can download the mp3s here:
However, if you're old fashioned like me, and prefer to hear the songs on CD, please email me your mailing address and I'll send you a free copy. For those of you within reasonable distance (in the Los Angeles area), remind me to stop by (at your convenience) and I'll deliver the album personally.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy my music as much as I did making it.
Oh, and I'll be performing the album live in concert soon. More details later...
Thanks and rock on in 2005
Wednesday, July 11, 1979
My sister went to summer school in the morning so mom brought me and my brother to the library and we listened to stories. I borrowed two books about rocks.
Tuesday, July 17. 1979
I am very excited tonight because our baseball team won the game. We played against the Yankees and the score was 22 to 12. Best of all I made a homerun. After the game my coach came to me and shook my hand. I was very happy.
Thursday, July 19, 1979
I practiced violin in the morning and studied math (subtraction). Afternoon I went to swimming school and baseball practice. At night I watched Miss Universe Pageant with my parents. I could learn the name of countries.
Friday, July 20, 1979
In the morning I went to mom's friend Katsuko-san's apartment. She had a lot of empty boxes so I played with them. Afternoon I played at Gary's clubhouse. It was ready and even had carpet. We really enjoyed playing inside the house.
I downloaded Damien Rice's "The Blower's Daughter" cause I wanted to have visions of Natalie Portman walking towards me in a crowd in slow motion like in the movie Closer. And for a moment, during the "I can't take my eyes off of you" chorus, I saw her...
However as the song developed and the line recapitulated as "I can't take my mind off of you" the hallucination shattered and I felt a shock in my brain. What an evil thought, I thought. But I suppose I was susceptible to the trap--I mean, I'm such a sucker for her, to the point where even in my imagination, I'll lower my defenses and allow her to manipulate me as she viciously pleases. She's got that kinda hold over me. Which is fine as cheap and harmless entertainment, but the last thing I need is to obsess over her.
I had to clense my ears of those psycho sentiments. So I queued Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" on my mp3 playlist. The opening rough guitar pickings were such amenities after the glossy strumming of Rice's cinematic sheen. And when Dylan sang "I can't hear you anymore" in reference to the no good chick that sent him travelin', I closed my eyes and smiled. Cause I finally got her off my mind.
Well, 'tis that time o'year again when I unplug from the internet, go into hibernation, and rethink about what the hell all of this means. I've compiled a few lists of what I thought were cool this year as my last entry before I take my leave of absence. So this is Henry, signing off for 2004. Have happy holidays and see you next year...
TOP NINE ALBUMS OF 2004
1. Live in Winnipeg, MB - 04.14.04 / Pixies
2. 59 / Puffy
3. The Village / James Newton Howard (featuring Hilary Hahn)
4. Hacienda Heights / Larry McFeurdy
5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / John Williams
6. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb / U2
7. Now the Day Is Over / The Innocence Mission
8. A Boot and a Shoe / Sam Phillips
9. Under My Skin / Avril Lavigne
TOP NINE MOVIES OF 2004
1. Before Sunset
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
3. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
4. Garden State
5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
6. The Incredibles
7. Finding Neverland
8. The Village
9. Un Long Dimanche de Fiancailles
TOP NINE THINGS I DID IN 2004
1. Puffy concert
2. Pixies concert
3. Finished my album
4. The Grammys
5. Stayed in Yamashina
6. Ted's bachelor party
7. Visited Boston
8. Meanwhilers rehearsals
9. Won Eric Harshbarger's Puzzle Party
|The Lims Xmas
Encino, CA, 2004
photo by Marlene Natamihardja
Before the break, my engineer gave me a bunch of plugin instruments and effects. There's some cool stuff--synthesizers, limiters, compressors, and equalizers. Up until now I've only been using what came with Cubase. Whenever I did any MIDI programming, I'd use the crappy built-in sound module. And I'm getting tired of the standard signal processors. Furthermore, I'ven't been geeky enough to go searching for this stuff online, most of which is free. But that's why I associate myself with people more techie inclined than me, such as my engineer.
I used to be a gearhead back in the day, when synthesizers were non-virtual. And I did my share of fiddling with real ADSR parameters. Not that today's instruments are theoretically any different. However, I can trace my straying away from MIDI to about the time computers became de riguer rig. That's because I didn't get a home computer til this millennium. And whatever music I made, once I caved in and got Cubase, was merely fancier and easier multitrack recordings--nothing that couldn't be done without a computer.
But I'm a synth nerd at heart. The first songs I ever wrote, some 20 years ago, were done with my little Casio. And after using actual guitars, drums, and pianos on my last album, I kinda've been itching for something less organic. So over the holidays, I spent some time messing around with these new plugins.
Ironically, I find it easier to just draw in notes rather than input them with a physical keyboard. Maybe it's cause of my familiarity with the ol'ebony'n'ivories that I don't need one connected to my computer. Or I'm just too lazy to drag my DX7 from my other room. Anyways, lately, a couple of my friends have decided to become computer composers and've been asking me for advice as to what MIDI keyboard they should get. I just tell 'em you don't really need one if you know what the notes are, to which I get bafflement. Apparently some people still need something real to control.
I've got two knobs that control the flow of water in my shower--one's marked H, the other C. I find that slightly turning on the C first allows for better temperature control. Cause I like to adjust the warmth whilst washing myself. If I turn the H on first, it becomes the variable. And I'd rather have H as the constant. I initially set my C at mid-range so as to avoid scalding and gradually lower it as I get accustomed to the heat. Oftentimes, by the end of a shower, C has been reduced to the nearly off position as I do some final cleansing off in the almost pure H released water.
Since high school I've pretty much standardized a routine which I follow per the order in which I wash my body parts--shampoo first, face, work down my chest, stomach, groin, legs (right before left), work up my back, arms (left before right), neck, and end with a scrub of my ears. I really don't think about the process as I am usually remembering the dream I just woke up from during the sequence of my shower regiment. In fact, as I write this, I'm reenacting my routine to refresh my memory.
I recall the very first time I took a shower. I had to've been at least five years old--I'd normally taken baths. Anyways, what sticks in my mind is how I went deaf when the water clogged my ears, cause I had no concept of the proper manner in which to turn my head under the shooting streams. And for a shocking moment I became aware of myself in that my senses can be blocked with the absence my purpose. It's hard to forget such eye opening instances.
Unless I'm washing the front side of my body, I tend to face away from the shower head, with the water hitting the back of my hair. I've got a little bathroom window made from snowed glass for privacy. Nevertheless, I keep it cracked open so that I can glimpse the sky. I prefer to be able to see something else that's natural, besides me and the water, during a shower--the cold tiles, white basin, and silver knobs make me feel like I'm preparing myself for aliens to examine me. Perhaps if I could see out the side of the window closer to the shower head I'd orient myself differently.
I once knew an old lady who slipped and died whilst she was taking a shower. I've always thought that that was a cool way to go. I mean, if I did the same today, I'd be in warm water, the last thought in my head'll be my last dream, I'd reprise the epiphany I had during my first shower, and my soul'll fly out the crack in my open window.
The following is a review printed in the September 1994 issue of Factor-X (Volume 1, Issue 3):
The Meanwhilers is a band that doesn't appear to be afraid to take chances. Their opening song "Heaven" seemed very progressive for a traditional alternative band. Although I thought that the band got off to a little bit of a rocky start, they quickly settled down and performed very well.
The band is good, the talent is there, and the musicianship is more than adequate, but I was a little disappointed in the band's presentation of material, it seemed very weak and showed some inexperience as far as live performances, at least in my opinion. I'd enjoy the band a little more with some additional stage presence, and more interaction with the crowd, all of which can be remedied with experience.
Overall, the crowd that was in attendance seemed to enjoy what they heard, and in the long run, that's what ultimately counts the most, so don't be discouraged guys, just get ready to take it to the next level now!!
I never really knew you before this year, but now I know what a nice person you truly are. Keep up the art and music--you are really talented. I wish you good luck next year. Have a rad summer!
MR. JOURNAL'S PHENOMENAL JOURNEY INTO NINETEEN EIGHTY-SEVEN (copyright 1986-87 Henry Lim)
Dear Mr. Journal,
Today was a drag. I am sick. I feel weak, my head aches, and I've thrown up twice. I hate the feeling of food reguritated and tasted for the second time. And when it stays in my mouth it feels as if I was going to choke and die. When I throw up, it seems to last forever. I am gasping for air and my stomach just pushes all my food out. And when I smell the vomit, I throw up again.
I lay in my sickbed the rest of the day. I watched telly till my eyes burned from the radiation. The high point remains in the viewing of "John and Yoko: A Love Story". No matter how many times I watch that movie I always feel a lot better when I'm through enduring the 3 hours. The man was human and there will never be a day when I will hate The Beatles. Maybe that's why they were so successful. They help me when I'm down and there's no way out. Like always, I listened to my Beatles tapes and escaped to "Strawberry Fields".
Dear Mr. Journal,
Sick still. Today I woke up late and spent the day on my deathbed. Meanwhile I watched "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Boy, did I have fun.
As I write this, I am feeling quite better. I didn't throw up today. I guess tomorrow I'll start with the homework...
I missed the concert with the orchestra in which I am concert master. I play violin. Gee, I wonder who took my place. Tomorrow, however, I have my lesson.
Dear Mr. Journal,
Just today I realized yesterday was the winter solstice.
Today I am not sick.
I went to my violin lesson.
I read "Frankenstein". Boy is it boring as hell. It just doesn't scare me.
Right now I have just ate my weight, twice. Maybe it's cause I didn't eat yesterday. Hence, I wrote a short story about a kid on a diet for the creative project due in English. I've decided to put together a collection of original mint short stories.
Dear Mr. Journal,
First, I wrote a short story for my collection.
Second, I went to the music store to get my guitar string fixed.
Third, I went to the record store and bought "A Hard Day's Night" for myself. I still have to buy everyone else's presents.
Fourth, I went to the library and checked out "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" for my book report and two American Revolution books for my world studies project.
Fifth, I listened to my record and made a copy on tape.
Sixth, I went to help set up Bingo at Wilson High School for band credit.
Seventh, I read "Frankenstein".
Dear Mr. Journal,
Well it's Xmas Eve. I think it's losing all its hype.
Today I wrote another short story.
Today I read "Frankenstein". I am now half way done.
Today my family and I went to our annual Xmas party wtih our friends. We got our traditional visit from Santa. My mom each year gives Santa my present. Sometime during the evening Santa distributes them. It was fun when I was young. I, however, got a nice gift (I got to open my presents). I was a box full of 30 comic books. I being an avid collector was thrilled. I didn't expect them. I guess my mom surprised me this year.
I think I'll call this year the "Sick Xmas" because all my friends were all sick. And just a few days ago I was rolling in my vomit.
Today I received my Time magazine. This issue was special because it contains images of 1986. I collect each year's images from the magazine and is always looking back at them.
Dear Mr. Journal,
So this is Xmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
Well this is Xmas. I sat home and read comic books, instead of "Frankenstein". I received money in my stocking. $40 to be exact, and a dud lottery ticket. I also got a call from my friend Conrad wishing me a Merry Xmas and "what did you get?" The rest of the day I sat in my room playing Xmas songs on my synthesizer.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I went to Disneyland with my friend Masauki. He is from Japan and is studying in Kansas. We went on all the major attractions despite the Xmas hassle and damn crowds. I'd like to call it the "carpet of people". I just filled Disneyland to capacity. And the excess that fell out was me.
Dear Mr. Journal,
'Tis the day after Xmas, and all is well. I read a comic book. I wrote a short story. I went to the record shop and bought "Revolver" by The Beatles. It is a good album with a different variety of songs. I also bought "Graceland" by Paul Simon. It is a wonderful work of songs incorporating South African music. I like that. On top of the two albums which, for a bit of trivia, were bought with my Xmas money, I borrowed "Magical Mystery Tour" by The Beatles. It's a zany, psychedelic comedy adventure with a splendid time guaranteed for all. It mixes music with visions. They were the first "videos". I loved every daft minute of it. Bloody you bet it's gear.
After the tired day from Disneyland, I woke up to find myself acquainted with my second cousin, Alex. He is a very smart boy who is studying at Cal Tech. I am enjoying his story.
Dear Mr. Journal,
However, I made tape duplicates of the records I bought.
I continued to read "Frankenstein". I can't wait till it ends. I want to get it over with.
Today I found a book review in Time magazine for the book report.
Today I said goodbye to Alex, as he left to his dorm.
Today I went to eat dinner with my friend Brian at his home. He gave me a Xmas present. It was "The John Lennon Collection" a wonderful juxtapose of his masterpieces after The Beatles.
Dear Mr. Journal,
Today I woke up to the pleasant atmosphere of the absence of my brother and sister. They spent the night at Brian's house and are doing so tonight, too.
I went to Paul's house today to discuss our History Day project for world studies. It is a very important part of our grade. We went looking for a model fitting the Revolutionary War (our topic) unsuccessfully. Tonight I wrote the rights and responsibilities involved in the war.
I wrote a masterpiece short story that will not be included in the creative project. I feel it is much too difficult for my English teacher. Also it involves very offensive material not equipped to go to the rudimentary high school when I am a freshman. Maybe when I'm famous...
Dear Mr. Journal,
Today I started my world studies history project. Paul and I went to the hobby shop and Aaron Bros. to buy a model and cardboard backboard. We've decided that he'll make the model and I'll make the backboard. I hope it'll work out.
Today I read "Frankenstein".
Today I wrote three short stories.
Dear Mr. Journal,
How's it going? I'm feeling rather cornered. I'm still in the middle of my world history project. This is what I hate about projects: I feel like quitting, but I've done enough to have wasted so much time if I stopped. It's miserable. I know, however, that it'll all be over before I know it, because I've had a lot of experience. Hell, I'm a freshman--I have 9 years up my ass.
Today I awoke to the noon bells. And I had breakfast and lunch munched up in one.
At 5:00 PM Pacific I went to Wilson to help set up with bingo, again. It's for band credit. I'm in the band. I'm in the Hacienda Heights, California, 91745, Glen A. Wilson Wildcat Marching Band (Percussion Section, Code 00457B Xylophone). I'm in the band, and am missing playing the xylophone.
My mother, her friend, and Masauki went to play bingo rather unluckily.
Dear Mr. Journal,
Today is New Year's Eve. A day of festivities far more extravagant than the morrow...
But first I had to work rather strenuously on my world history project. I drew a pencil illustration of
"Washington's Crossing of the Delaware" which I had to search for in the library. It came out nicely. Nice and smooth.
Then off to the offbeat party. This time I went to Michelle's house and had a ball with other kids. My parents and other parents gathered and did their mysterious outing which the kids speculate with sexual appeal...but who am I to hassle with what they did? We delighted to the MTV Top 100 video countdown, which landed on Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" mind you, a viewing of "Moving Violations" and "Revenge of the Nerds". After the parents came home we went driving along Colorado Blvd. to stare at the people camped out to stare at the morrow's parade. The crowds of people...and to think they were there since...just watch it on the telly!
The night was spent over at Brian's house, and the night was closed to Sprite and pizza cheered to the new year...
1.1.86 (I mean) 87
Dear Mr. Journal,
Thank you, and Happy New Year to you.
Well, the day was spent at Brian's house with a relief from suspended pressure of the world history project.
I saw glimpses of the Rose Parade on telly. Nothing spectacular except for a King Kong from the ever clever Honda who has always caught my eye from the dullness of stereotype rose floats. Gee, the bands were nice, but don't they look tired.
As I came home I heard the KIIS FM top 102.7 songs (I, by the way, listen to KEARTH FM, but, by the way, listened to KIIS FM just out of curiosity, by the way). The number one song was awarded to "Live to Tell" by Madonna.
When I arrived home I finished all the written work involved in the ever wonderful, charming, world history project.
1.2.86 (I mean) 87
Dear Mr. Journal,
Today Paul and I completed with vigor relief the bloody world history project. With final content, I do say it is lovely.
Today I bought The Beatles "Rarities" album chock full of rare songs that were remixed or different versions of songs. The inside cover is the infamous "Butcher" cover. Bloody nice!
Today Paul and I borrowed "Candid Candid Camera" from the video store and enjoyed the spectacle of naked women in candid scenes. The holy glory of breasts, asses, and hairy vaginas delighted and brought some fun into the telly. And it was a kind of reward for finishing our project.
1.3.86 (Damnit) 87
Dear Mr. Journal,
By the way, Paul spent the night over at my house. As the day morned we put the finishing touches on our project. Today will mark the last day we worked on it.
After he left for his home, I listened to The Beatles "Rarities" album. Boy, is it interesting. The "Rarities" album is a collection of songs either never released or very rare in the U.S., for example, the "Penny Lane" is in stereo (which it never was) and there is an added horn riff that was cut during final mixdown. The other songs have odd things happening here and there. It is fun to compare the original and rare version.
Today I excurted to the mall in search for a 1986 music book to play on my synthesizer unsuccessfully. Instead, however, I found a magazine called Electronic Musician and laid down my $2.50. It is an interesting magazine for the MIDI synthesizer freak. I, having one of my own, enjoyed its articles. Also I picked up my monthly Groo comic book.
1.4.87 (I got it)
Dear Mr. Journal,
When the rain comes
They run and hide their heads
They might as well be dead
I don't mind
The weather's fine
Weather: rain. But that doesn't set me apart from finishing off "Frankenstein". I don't know where the English program gets these titles for the children to read, but I think the random choosing is horrendous. Let it be.
Today Masauki and I went to see "The Golden Child" at the new Mann Theatre. Damn is it expensive. I guess I don't pass as a child anymore. Let it be.
Parting is such a hard thing to do. It has been a rather good journey into 1987. You've been a nice pal. Maybe we'll see each other again, later. Goodbye Mr. Journal. Let it be.
Hacienda Heights, CA, 1994
photo by Mike Wong
|Larry McFeurdy recording Hacienda Heights
Stair 7 Studios, UCLA, 2004
photo by Amanda Whiting
I have never broken a bone. Well, ok, I've destroyed a few teeth. But I've never worn a cast nor experienced the miracle of such healing. Maybe it's cause I don't engage in extreme ridiculousness or sporty activities in general. It's kinda hard to physically damage anything when your hobbies are of the mental introversion variety--at most I'd risk some minor hand injury. By avoiding such potential disasters, I've maintained my safety.
So it was sorta weird when the other day I thought I'd broken my toe. I was at my parents' house and normally I like to keep things dark at night--I'm not into turning on every light in every room I walk into. I mean, I've lived there long enough to blindly navigate the floorplan, even with the shifted alterations here and there over the past 15 years or so since I've moved out.
Anyways, I felt some pain in my right toe--this wasn't noticeable unless I was walking, cause my toes'ven't got much purpose other than pedestrian assistance. I can't even remember when I must've bumped it in the dark, but I've got some vague memory of accidentally stumbling into something some night ago. It's the sorta thing that I often just brush off, as a temporary sting of pain that'll pass. But this wasn't going away. I pulled off my sock and looked at the black and blue toe.
Sleeping it off is my remedy to all ailments. However, the next day my toe was still ouch. That's when I guessed that maybe I'd broken it, which would've been silly as I don't even remember how it happened. Give it another day.
Sure enough, it was alright. That was the closest I've ever been to breaking a bone. And I guess that's the extent of my healing powers. I shouldn't be so careful...
Callie was watching a downloaded video of what looked like mucked up footage of A Hard Day's Night. She had her headphones on so I couldn't hear anything as I looked over her shoulder. After it was over she told me it was a video for a track off DJ Danger Mouse's Grey Album.
"Have you heard it?" she asked.
"Not yet," I admitted, "but I've read about it. Is it any good?"
"It's great, actually," she enthused.
And so she informally introduced me to the infamous album--the copyright infringing mix of Jay Z's Black Album and The Beatles "White Album".
I must confess that I'm completely out of touch with hop-hip culture. I just don't understand it. And I ain't gonna front either and say that I'm down. Maybe it's cause I didn't grow up on the streets or am not a sucker for the marketers who've been trying to give the genre some value as a lifestyle for suburban kids. I don't listen to rap other than for the cool rhythms. The lyrics just fly over my head.
However, I can relate to The Beatles, even though I'm not of their generation. I think I understand them. I've been a fan since I was a teenager and even after all these years they can still pick me up when I'm down. Maybe it's cause I grew up in the middle class like they did or am a sucker for the marketers who've proclaimed them as one of the best bands ever. But I don't listen to The Beatles for their funky beats. Their music is more for head trips.
So the first thing that my ear hears is how The Beatles got chopped up on the Grey Album. The rapper guy (who based on my ignorance, sounds like any other rapper) is in the background--I can't catch all the fast flying words. But the editing is genius. I really dig the reinterpretation of The Beatles. Crazy stuff. Especially the resampling of the "Revolution 9" samples. I only wish I could appreciate the other half.
So here's an addendum to my 12.14.04 entry re: photo credit.
Happy Dr. MLK Jr. Day
Having old friends find you is one of the coolest benefits of having a webpage. I started this here site in 1999. This was before I had a computer at home--I managed it on my, ahem, off hours at work. And I've met some neat people and contacts thru the years because of it, not to mention it's handy when I'd rather just point someone to my url when I'm in an untalktive huckster mood. For me, it's compatible with many of my means of sharing with people elsewhere my little doings and such. But it's the emails that I get from long lost buddies that are always a welcome result.
I'm lucky that of all the Henry Lims, which seems to be a common name, mine usually comes up first on searches. I mean, the .com was taken when I registered my domain. So I suppose I ought to thank everyone who's hit or linked my site, or whatever that produces my relevancy. Of course, sometimes a blurb about me in some magazine doesn't hurt. However, I'm sure it helps a ton that I'm relatively easy to find online.
Occasionaly, I'll get some "hi, do you remember me?" from some old college partner in crime or acquaintance from my delinquently juvenile days. And it's like always a wow to catch up with them. Cause everyone's got crazy stories to tell. I also dig the whole unexpectedness of it all.
Maybe it's part of the package as you age that the past becomes vaster and the more people you encounter the more chances'll be that you'll count them back in your deck as they fall in and out of the shuffle. At least that's what I'm noticing, with all that's accumulated in my thirtysomething years of experience, plus or minus a few years of maturity. A quarter of a century ago seems like a long time since last communicating with someone. Not that it's ever been impossible in the days before the internet and I wonder how things'll be in the yonder future, but I've got no complaints for the here and now.
Aloha again Spikeadelic.
There's a burger joint nearby called Tomboy's. They make a decent imitation Tommy's chiliburger that serves my cravings when I'm too lazy to drive to the original. Mind you, a fake chiliburger is worlds apart in quality from the beauty of a real Tommy's world famous chiliburger, but when I'm hungry, the last thing I wanna do is go out of my way for something as basic as food. It's not that necessary to treat myself to the best meal possible everytime I eat.
Besides, it makes eating at Tommy's special. And I usually reserve going there for good days--you know, those rare times when everything is perfect in life. A Tommy's chiliburger always caps things nicely.
Anyways, my biggest beef with Tomboy's is it's too clean. It's a well maintained family diner--lots of light, shiny floor, and located in a middle class beach neighbourhood. Which is all good for sanitation, but it lacks the street cred of a run down, grimy, and bum infested Tommy's. There's flavour to be found in dirtiness, health be damned. I'm still alive, so there ain't no harm.
But I still go to Tomboy's. There was a time when the main reason I frequented the dive was to catch a glimpse of the cute chick that worked there. She was a young Goth, all pale and black haired. In her red Tomboy's uniform she looked even more ridiculous. I never did say much to her other than "I'll have a chiliburger and a medium drink".
I wonder whatever happened to her...
My new favourite scale is the pentatonic, in its most basic major form. It seems to fit with everything. And its relative simplicity is a plus. My old favourite was the basic equal temperament chromatic, for the same exact reasons. But it has seven more notes. Thesedays, I'm in my "less is more" phase.
I've thumbed thru Slonimsky's thesaurus of a thousand and more scales and haven't found the same scope of applications as either of my current and former faves. I'm not a fancy person. I like my music in black and white.
I mean, I went thru a "whoa, let me dabble with as many whacky things as I can" period, whereby anything different from the standard was cool, which produced some fun messes. But I was young--who doesn't do that stuff? Eventually, I settled down and got more intimate with the chromatic, and it still shapes many of my decisions--when in doubt, just move in semitones.
However, it was getting claustrophobically grey. The pentatonic offers wide open spaces, especially in the augmented intervals, or gaps left from the missing diatonic notes. It's like stepping back and seeing the bigger picture. Each note seems more distinct, cause there ain't no shades inbetween to offer colour variations, or what I like to refer to as "wishy washy" meandering. Do or do not...
I've also got a fetish for the sixth (or the last note of the pentatonic). In my book you've gotta have that deal to survive.
Historians tell us that the pentatonic is ancient. Way older than the chromatic. This makes sense as lately I've been intrigued by the "old is new" phenomenon.
There was a warm respite from the week's downpour. The Movie Girl lit another cigarette. We were sitting outside the gelato shop, nary a care for rain or non-smokers.
"So what movies are you looking forward to seeing this year?" she asked.
"Star Wars," I beatlessly replied.
"Aw," she mocked, "are you sad that it's gonna end?"
"Eh," I shrugged.
It was way too early in the year and morning to remember. Which I took as a sign that there really ain't much I'm anticipating. Nothing came to mind. She spat out a few titles for consideration--Charlie and the Chololate Factory, Batman, etc. Ok, there are some movies I might be kinda interested in seeing, to which we made friendly arguments for and against. But still, nothing nearing Star Wars stature. What a dry looking year.
The next day, I stole my neighbour's paper--it's ok, she told me I could whilst she was away. The entertainment section's main feature was a sneak peak at the movies of 2005. I was surprised to find King Kong as the golden hope for the year. Hardly my pick--Star Wars was quietly mentioned, without a promotional photo, almost buried in the blurbs. But I suppose it doesn't need any attention. However, does the world really need another Kong movie? I don't care if that Lord of the Rings director is making it or not, there's something yawn inducing about the increasing amount of remakes being made.
Nevertheless, I read the puff piece on the Kong set. Hey, Naomi Watts is gonna be in it. That instantly jogged my interest, not to mention reminded me that she's also gonna be in the Ring sequel--I gotta see that. The train of cute actress thoughts continued and recalled Hermione's upcomming adventure. War of the Worlds ought to be fanning hot. And Rory all bad in Sin City.
But what got me really excited about King Kong was the pre-production sketch. I completely ignored the giant ape as my eyes zoned in on the dinosaurs. I had totally forgotten about Skull Island. Any movie with tyrannosaurs is cool. I can't wait to see this movie.
Chas has his TV in storage again. He's constantly going thru these binge/purge battles whereby he'll either accept it in his living room, or be fed up with it and keep it hidden away. He used to stash it in his garage--out of sight and mind. This time he's got it on rollers, in the event that he needs to watch something and can cart it out of his closet.
He says that he doesn't want to treat it like an altar, like most people do, all sacred and centrally positioned in a home. I've noticed that, too. My uncle in Japan keeps his next to his ancestral shrine--it took awhile for me to get used to watching silly game shows as my grandparents looked on from their solemn photos.
Ted, my TV championing friend, says that these are good days for home entertainment, largely due to flat screens. According to him and some articles he's read, in the past TVs were eyesores and home designers hated to deal with them. But nowadays with slimmer TVs they've become welcomely incorporated into the latest interior decorating schemes.
I've yet to see a decent flat screen image. They all look too bright. Sure the picture might be highly defined and the colours might be vibrant, but that means nothing to me. If black doesn't look dark and distinct enough to my eyes, then it loses depth, and fittingly, appears flat. However, I can see how convenience and trendiness rule many consumers' logic--contrast means nothing if a TV compliments a room nicely.
I can't comment on other people's personal lives--they can do whatever they want, as far as I'm concerned, just as long as they're not hurting anybody. But it never ceases to dishearten me when I enter a friend's home and they've got their TV on. It's kinda like seeing needles and syringes openly displayed. Sometimes I feel so helpless to their cries for help.
So I'm reading Dylan's memoirs. 'Tis a hoot.
I admire the guy, mainly for his lyrics, but also for his evasiveness. Part of the fun in listening to his songs is figuring out what he's trying to say, not only thru his abstract vocal style, but in the internal interpretations that spin with perpetual meanings. It's like he speaks the truth and absurdy simultaneously. Sooner or later nothing makes sense. And that's a good thing.
I was kinda unexcited about him writing his life's account. Things unsaid add to the mystery of his legend. If he'd've only left the world his songs, I'd've been content. Does he really need to say anthing more?
But I figured, he's pretty capable with words, I'd let him rant.
Luckily, even as he reveals a lot with a grocery list of details, he's still sly. Memories trigger others and he drifts off on tangents like a hypnotist bluntly changing the subject. Hammond tells him he likes his "sincerity" and in the following paragraphs he outlines his obtuse philosophy on straight out lying to people who don't deserve honest answers. I couldn't stop laughing.
I like the conversational style. It's probably the closest thing to smoking a bowl with the dude. One thing that I can't get out of my head, though, is by what means he wrote this. Did he use a computer? I can't picture him staring at a monitor--that's just not cool. I've got this image of him at a typewriter, cigarette in mouth, guitar at his side, and a silly grin on his face.
I've been getting frequent requests from kids all around the world wanting to do their art report on me. I suppose thesedays it's not uncommon for students to surf the web as assignments to discover and gain access to what are now technologically redefined as "local artists". They conduct their little interviews with me, and more often than not, they want some sorta bio. I always enjoy cooperating, but I'm realizing that I need to compose a stock bio so that I don't have to rewrite it everytime I get asked for one. So here goes:
I was born in 1972 in San Francisco. I grew up in Hacienda Heights (a suburb of Los Angeles). I got my bachelor's degree in communications at UC San Diego and my master's degree in library and information science at UCLA. I currently live in Redondo Beach and work at the UCLA Music Library. I have no formal art training.
Obviously I don't expect anyone to dig thru the OUT ON A LIM archives to find my bio. And I'm kinda uncomfortable about having it blatantly highlighted or linked on my webpage--that seems a bit too pretentious. So I'll just copy and paste it in the future. Not to mention, it's up-to-date as of this writing. It's mainly just for my own reference. Nevertheless, feel free to use it in your reports.
I just saw In the Realms of the Unreal, the documentary on Henry Darger.
What a sick man. Ok, so the guy was a recluse. Come on, how hard is it to make friends in this world? People aren't that bad, right? Join the program, man. Get a real job, drive a big car, get married to a pretty wife, buy a house, have kids--nothing could be so unridiculous. Instead he becomes a poor janitor who doesn't talk to anybody (except his own crazy self). And draws perverted pictures of thrillions of naked little girls.
That's not art, that's pornography--unnatural and immoral moreover. It's wackos like him that are a shame on mankind. Grow up and get past your little psychological problems, man. No wonder the guy didn't make a buck on his drawings and stories about naked little girls, cause they're just plain wrong. Only good art gets recognized and rewarded. However, 'tis films like this which celebrate insanity that make me wanna barf. The evil monster should've been jailed.
I kept wishing that it was all a joke, that this nonsense was fictional. But it never flinched--I think it seriously tries to pull one on the audience that sickness can be art. Whatevers. The only redeeming aspect of the film was Dakota Fanning as narrator. I love how she pronounces "Henry".
'Tis around this time each year when I realize just how shallow and ignorant I am. How silly and useless my life is in the face of the world's seemingly serious problems. It's been getting worse as I get older. I feel so disconnected from even trying to attach any importance to anything. All I can do is be thankful that everyone's not as self centered as me.
Yeah, I completely ignored all the real headlines and read the Academy Award nominations. I actually don't give a crap about any of it--I mean, I don't watch the ceremonies let alone am influenced by the outcome. Who really cares about such trivialities in the face of war, hunger, natural disasters, diseases, and football? Yet every year I scan the list of nominees like an awful habit that just won't die.
To be more specific and pathetic, I skip the main categories and go straight to the Best Original Score section, which is usually way down on the list. Again, none of this really has any significance towards my opinions on film music. I won't even dignify it with a recap. I suppose it's just something that I've been doing since I was a kid. Traditions are hard to kill.
Curiosity forged from boredom follow as I read the rest of the list, starting from the top, Best Picture, etc. And just as I'm about to wake up from the spell, I'll get that ol' brain numbing buzz that mindless entertainment instills--simple distractions from a complicated reality. Sometimes it's better to think about nothing than to worry about everything. Meanwhile, another year'll pass away and I won't know any better.
Anyways, congratulations Natalie.
Tim was talking to Billy in the halls of Schoenberg Music Building as I passed them by. I'd just returned from stepping outside to grab a Daily Bruin and a smokebreak. Billy wasn't convinced that Tim's soda costed 5 cents. "Go try it yourself," was his only proof.
I've never done it myself, cause diet drinks don't appeal to me. I don't care how cheap it is. Or if it was free. In fact, I still wouldn't drink it if I got paid to. I told Tim this, but he was obsessed. "It doesn't matter--it's the concept of beating the system," being his tagline.
Apparently many of the students already knew the secret. "Did you know you can get Diet Pepsi for a nickel?" Tim asked Jonathan. "Yeah, you press 'Y3'," he replied, unimpressed. "Have you tried any other combinations?" I wondered, "I mean, can you get anything other than Diet Pepsi?" "We've been trying different combinations," Jonathan reported, "but we haven't found anything else, yet." Bummer.
I keep a little jar of spare change in my office. "Does anyone have a nickel?" Gordon laughed, "I wanna try this." I gave him a nickel. He went to the vending machine and shortly returned with a Diet Pepsi. "Wow," he gleamed, "it really works."
However, the novelty wore off for him. I'ven't seen Gordon sipping a Diet Pepsi since. Not like Tim--he's always sporting his "beat the system" drink. I'm still waiting for some ingenious student to crack the non-diet code.
By most accounts, the movie Hide and Seek is a horror/thriller. I think it's safe to say that the filmmakers intended to scare audiences with a story about a creepy kid, mystery, and terror. Furthermore, the promotion highlights the dark tone.
But I didn't see it that way.
I wore my new raincoat on opening night. Wanting to be alone, I went to the last showing in a seedy theatre bordering the 'hood. I bought my ticket with cash--I didn't want to be traced.
To my surprise, the seats were packed. I squeezed myself into the corner.
The movie was far from scary. On the contrary, it was hilarious.
The crowd was great and interacted with the movie, like it was Showtime at the Apollo. It was a riot. There was such a jovial energy amongst the audience. We were entertained from the silliness of it all. During a scene in which a lady enters the main characters' house someone yelled "Man, why do these people keep their doors unlocked?" To which someone replied aloud "Cause they white!" Hahahahaha.
A complete stranger who sat at my side gave me a running commentary. "Ooh, I bet the killer's gonna get her..." And sure enough his prediction came to be. He clapped his hands and gave me a knudge. "Hahaha, I told you so." Everyone seemed to be engaged in some conversation simultaneously throughout the movie--there was never a moment of silence despite the "please don't talk during the show" announcement before the film rolled. I can see how in some cultures this all might seem rude, but it actually helps when a movie sucks. I'm all for nothing spoiling a fun time.
The nasi goreng arrived as Julia made eye contact for the first time in seven years with her mother sitting across from her at the table for two.
"I'm not mad," she said grabbing a fork.
"Neither am I," her mother agreed as she folded a napkin onto her lap.
"I just wish you'd like Steve," Julia looked down at her dinner and muttered. "He's nice to me."
"But he's got nothing going on," her mother reminded.
"I know, but..." Julia tried to explain.
"And I'm tired of supporting everyone," her mother interrupted. "I've finally got some disposable income and I wanna have some fun for myself, you know. Look, I'm glad you're getting back on your feet, back in California, and finishing school, but I wish you wouldn't let people take advantage of you. No, I don't hate Steve, I just hope you can take care of yourself, that's all."
"I can, mom."
"Julia, you're 31 now. You've got to grow up. Stop partying every night."
"Mom, I don't party every night anymore. I crossed that line a couple of years ago--I woke up one day and asked myself 'What am I doing?' That's when I knew I had to get my shit together. And come back home."
The dark skinned waitress breezed by her pale faced customers and asked "Is everything alright?"
The mother and daughter both answered, "Yes, thank you."
"Sorry for making you wait, sir," the waitress came over to me and took my order.
Although it was half a day since I'd woken from last night's dream, I still had it phasing lucidly in and out of my head, like rabbit ears angled to retrieve my brain waves boomeranging around the corners of obstructed reality. Some things are more conducive than others--overhearing strangers' boring conversations evaporates the transparency between mindscapes and mundaneness. I'm in a Victorian flying saucer, hand in hand with a gothic nymphet, landing in North Dakota with suitcases loaded with intergalactic door knobs. Her golden hair is dyed black...
The waitress, who's too professional to discern beyond her politeness, brought me my satay. Julia and her mother counted the calories on the dessert menu. I finished, paid, and left before them.
Jovie (Top of the World Mix)
I picked up some bad habits in New York during the summer of '89. Let's just say that I indulged in the restless lifestyle. I remember nights when the sidewalks kissed my face, having secret passwords to enter hidden bars, blurry taxi rides, and fancy Japanese ladies showing me the sights. And The Rolling Stones.
I was staying at a friend of my mom's cousin. He was a massive Stones fan. Shelves full of albums dominated the one room studio space. We'd come home early in the morning after a mad party and listen to his records in a drunken slur. To this day, those songs don't hit me the same way as they did then. Maybe LA is too sunny. Maybe such sounds only apply to Manhattan's exaggerated immediacy. At most I'll get hints of those wicked times when I listen to the guilt in Mick's voice.
Cause to me, the Stones are more about attitude than music. Compared to their '60s peers, they'ven't got the same melodic virtuosity as The Beatles or the lyrical poetry of Dylan. But they've got stylish debauchery cornered. I'd even argue that they weren't suited for the idealistic turbulence of the '60s as they peaked during the following decade, when decadence better complimented their stance. And yeah, by '89, those ghosts were ancient, but hanging with my buddy, who lived thru the heyday, not to mention was keeping their spirit alive, was as close as I'll get to understand that attitude.
"Old Habits Die Hard", the latest Jagger tune, is a great song. I've been listening to it lots. It's the first time in a long while, even moreso than the last Stones album, that I can hear New York in the background.
I won't say that I'm never impulsive, but it's a rare occurrence when I break from my safe little world and jump into another without any substantial research, experience, or logic. That being said, I sometimes just let fate take me wherever it pleases. At least I try not to try too hard to resist its musings.
I think I've done somewhat well in ignoring advertisements, at least on a conscious level. I mean, I don't click on any of the annoying banners that flash on webpages, not to mention get any urges to buy whatever's being hawked. Yet, the little ad for Wonderfalls caught my eye. It was probably the image of the ViewMaster. Or the cute chick pictured.
Let me back up. Last week was I feeling strangely aloof from everyone. It was like I was waking up before them, and had nothing to do but simply admire the universe as they tossed and turned in their sleep--all my friends and acquaintances seemed to be going thru some aimless motions of their complicated lives. Not that I'm not sensitive to the problems that, frankly, they've gotten themselves into. And I don't wanna sound like I'm any more "awake" than anyone else. But it felt like I was. It was like everyone was stressed and depressed cause they couldn't pin any point to the world, that it was deprived of any miracles, when it always was, is, and will be right in front of their faces. Yeah, it was self absorbed of me, delusional even, to think like that. Weird.
Nevertheless, I had this inkling to meet someone, anyone, who also lives in a stressless, expectation free zone. Preferably female.
Wonderfalls was a TV show, or rather a failed TV show--only four episodes aired before it got canned. I'd never heard of it before, but then again, I've never been up on TV. Right then and there I should've been cautious, mainly due to my lack of comprehending the medium. But I was in a bored and adverturous mood. I looked up the credits on IMDb, checked out the photo gallery of the lead actress, read the trippy synopsis, and on the spot, without having perused any footage or review, ordered the DVD (which has the complete series, including nine unaired episodes).
On the day it arrived, I watched all 570 minutes straight thru, cause I had nothing better to do. Here's the premise--Jaye Tyler is a retail clerk at a Niagra Falls gift shop and talks to inanimate animal faced objects who cryptically tell her to help others. Ok, it sounds lame, if not parallel to Joan of Arc, but it's hilarious. I haven't laughed so hard in ages. And coincidentally, the main character is self absorbed, delusional, and lives in a stressless, expectation free zone. So perfect. I can fully relate to her anti-social behaviour. I mean, anyone who doesn't own a cellphone has to be like totally cool. I was won over from the start. But then again, I always was.
My parents used to tell me that it was bad luck to celebrate birthdays early. Supposedly, you cut a life short when you jump the gun. I don't know where they got this superstition. Maybe it's an ancient Chinese proverb or something. Most likely they wanted to teach me patience--perhaps I got antsy to blow out my candles when my birthday fell in the middle of a week and I suggested celebrating it on the weekend before, but they had other plans, hence they came up with the "bad luck" excuse. The smartass in me always mocked that if such were true, then it should follow that your life would be exteneded when you postpone your birthday party.
Anyways, the online version of OUT ON A LIM will be two years old come 2.12.05. With the precision of a slacker, I count 480 entries in the archive. I browsed them--some are cool, some make me cringe, and some I really don't have any memory of. But I guess that's why I keep this journal. To remind me of my mistakes.
So thanks to all the readers and subscribers. You guys've made it fun. Here's to continued early celebrations...
When I was in 2nd grade, I read about googol in a book of useless facts. I never thought much of it, cause it was useless, and didn't think it was worth mentioning to anybody. I was smart enough to know that bragging about useless facts was, well, useless.
One day, I rode the school bus home. I sat alone, near the back, my eyes studying the perspective lines of the view from my window. Danny, the nerdiest kid in my class, was behind me, asking if anyone knew what a googol was.
"Do you know what the number 1 followed by 100 zeros is called?" he shouted as he fixed his glasses on his little face. He was puny. "Anyone?"
Everyone thought he was too smart for his own good. I felt sorry for him.
"Henry?" he tapped my shoulder. "Come on, you gotta know what 1 followed by 100 zeros is."
I feigned a shrug and returned to looking out my window.
"Is everyone stupid?" Danny stupidly asked.
"Shut up stupid," an older kid yelled.
"Ok," Danny breathed, as if he was the smartest kid in the world, ever so graciously imparting his super knowledge on all us idiots. "It's called a googol".
The whole bus busted up laughing.
"That's the most stupidest thing I've ever heard," someone disbelieved. "There's no such thing as a googol."
"No really," Danny was shocked, "it's called a googol--1 followed by 100 zeros". He kept repeating the fact as if it'd convince everyone, but the more he said "googol", the more people thought he was joking. I sighed and kept my eyes out the window.
And then Danny started to cry.
If it'd been an Afterschool Special, I'd've stood up for him. I'd've made everyone feel bad for picking on the nerd. But instead I just felt uncomfortable. I mean, after all, he was right. However, he kinda was asking for it with his know-it-all attitude. Part of me was guilty for being silent. Another part of me was secretly glad that I wasn't the brunt of the ridicule. Imagine what'd've happened had I answered his question. But it was the truth that was being mocked--those kids were gonna continue with their lives in googol ignorance. I tried to convince myself that it was a useless fact that no one really'd be better or worse off knowing. Danny was crushed, though. I'd never seen anyone so defeated. He'd probably kill me if I told him that I'd lied and knew what a googol was. So I closed my eyes and pretended to be looking out the window.
I had a craving for okonomiyaki.
Some people call it "Japanese pizza". I think of it more like pancake with meat. It's fried batter (flour, cabbage, egg) and whatever (beef, pork, squid, etc.). Literally, okonomiyaki means "as you like"--you can add anything. Tangy tonkatsu sauce and mayonnaise top the mix. My mom makes a killer okonomiyaki.
Anyways, I was at work wondering what to eat for dinner. And for some reason my mouth drooled for okonomiyaki. Actually, I've never had any other than my mom's, aunt's and grandma's. It's not exactly a gourmet dish. I did a search for restaurants in the LA area that served it. Sure enough, there was a place in my neighbourhood--Tombo in Torrance.
As I drove to the okonomiyaki restaurant, it started to rain. In other words, per the idiots in LA, traffic freaked out and got congested. This made me hungrier. I was thinking of ordering some seafood concoction.
The dinky restaurant is located in a strip mall. An elderly lady seated me. She only spoke in Japanese, as did the other guests. I sat at a table which had a built in hotplate. I pointed to the shrimp, scallop, squid, and oyster mix on the menu. The elderly lady made small talk with me as she brought me the raw batter. She told me to stir and how to cook it--it was do-it-yourself style. I flipped it over when it was ready and ate it straight off the hotplate. It was yummy.
Heaven (Dakota Mix)
If I'm not mistaken, I think it was Keith Richards who bluntly said "Try living off it" in response to The Beatles sappy tune "All You Need Is Love". I understand the cynicism towards such 1967 greeting card sloganeering, I mean, even the circular ("Love is all you need") lyrics makes no sense other than sensing some circle in the making. Nevertheless, I've always liked that song, and a part of me hopes that whatever you believe in, it might be true...
I'm kinda disappointed in the future, or at least what I thought life'd be like in the future when I looked forward to it. I've yet to ride in a flying car, see a moving hologram, shoot a laser gun, or be served by a robot. Ok, so my perspective was heavily influenced by what I saw in movies. The only practical thing that transpired is automatic sliding doors at the grocery store. Woohoo. But still, if I could've traveled into the future as a kid, I'd think that 2005 was a cheap low budget film--it's like they couldn't afford the special effects to make things look futuristic.
I was watching Hermione Granger and the Prisoner of Askaban and thought, "Wow, movies are a cool invention". And I tried to imagine how blown away the first moving images must've been to an audience. To've seen a new medium. That was a noticeable leap in technology. Thesedays it seems like things aren't being developed other than as repackaged old ideas. My boss was telling me how his kid's all excited about the iPod, as if it's the newest and coolest gadget ever invented, mainly cause it can hold a thousand songs. We laughed. "Now the Walkman, that was a really good idea," my boss stated, "iPods are just fancier Walkmans." But then again, maybe people used to snide about movies and how they were just fancier pictures--thousands of them going by really fast to create the illusion of motion.
It's difficult to predict the future.
For awhile I've been avoiding my horoscope, cause it was freaking me out. It was nailing things a little too perfectly, and not in any vague language--specific details were getting too coincidental. So I stopped reading it. I didn't like being fate's bitch. Alas, I got bored the other day and wondered if it was still on my tail. Here's what it said:
"The Beatles said it best--'all you need is love'."
Miss Moon (Hermione Mix)
I'm kinda embarrassed. As of this writing, if you Google "harpsichord", the top result is my little webpage. Whilst I'm flattered by the notoriety, I don't think my instrument belongs in the same category as real harpsichords. Cause mine is a novelty item. The skill involved in building it is laughable next to the dedication of true craftsmen. So I'd like to apologize to anyone who intended to find info on harpsichords and instead had mine shoved in their face.
But then again, maybe it's a sign of the times in which harpsichords have become such esoterica that one made of LEGO shall become the most popular online.
Meanwhile, if you Google "lego sculptures", I'm pretty high on the list. That makes more sense. I don't wanna brag, but I think I can hold my own in the company of the best in the field, unlike whereas if I were amongst harpsichord specialists.
Another curious Google quirk is the relevance of my "digital photographs". Maybe it's cause most people abbreviate ("photos") and if I'd done the same I'd've easily gotten lost in the sea of web galleries. Hence, I've kinda floated to the top of the shorter unshortened form of the search term. Which doesn't necessarily mean people find me, cause the common parlance is "photos" before "photographs". Nevertheless, according to my referral stats, people do search and find me due to "digital photographs". I think that's sorta funny.
And of course, OUT ON A LIM is the premiere "out on a lim" on Google.
I am the Owlboy (Dhavernas Mix)
"Swoosh factor" is the official term nerds use when describing toy spaceships in relation to their playablity. A spaceship that has a high "swoosh factor" is ultra-sleek and exhudes hyperspeed. It's something that's got a totally awesome design and sends the imagination into flight. Whereas a low "swoosh factor" doesn't necessarily mean that a spaceship is crap, cause a ship can be big and bulky and still be cool, rather it just means that it's not so fun to play with. It's more for display than for action. The whole idea is to get that "swoosh" effect when you've got your toy spaceship zipping thru the galaxy.
I've seen pictures of the new vehicles that'll be featured in Revenge of the Sith, and I've got to say, without the benefit of seeing them flying on screen or actually holding the toys in my hands, I'm sensing a low "swoosh factor" as a whole for the designs. I'm not excited. They all seem, and thematically so, mishmashes of the previous spaceships--the movie's supposed to bridge the classic and prequel trilogies. So you see how elements of the Republic Gunships evolve into X-Wings via the ARC-170. It all makes sense. But it's too intellectual for me, if not tired. They're more like museum curiousities or sideshow freaks that you gawk at. Hardly "swoosh" inspiring.
Granted, a key scene in the film can change my opinion. Not to mention, testing out the "swoosh factor" for myself. I mean, I've never been too keen on the X-Wing, other than for its iconic status. Yet I can't ignore how "swooshing" those babies were in the movie, which translates well to the toy replica. Put an X-Wing in my hands and I'm off to battle. For me, the way it was depicted in the film overrides its jagged design. However, I immediately fell in love with the Naboo N-1 Starfighter--it's the most elegant spaceship I've ever seen, with its chrome curves and tailing yellow points. In my head, it glided thru the skies with effortlessness. It's "swoosh factor" was off the charts. Alas, in the movie, it didn't get a chance to show off.
I actually don't own any toys other than LEGO models. Atop my TV cabinet is an X-Wing--it's too delicate to play with, so it's mainly for decoration. I've got a smaller X-Wing on my bookshelf, along with a Tie Fighter and a Droid Starfighter. But those've been collecting dust. I doubt I'll be adding any of the newer ships to my fleet. And I've got a Naboo N-1 Starfighter docked close to my computer. I think it's safe to say that it's my favourite spaceship in the entire Star Wars universe. Sometimes, late at night, when I'm taking a break from a project, I like to take it for a quick "swoosh".
I learned to cuss from my dad. This was back in the day, before cable tv, vcrs, and rap music, before kids had easy access to bad words. He used to carry one of those old school beepers when he was on-call. It was big--like a pack of cigarettes. And loaded with batteries, it weighed a ton. He'd clasp it on his belt. So we'd be eating at a restaurant and it'd go off, making a loud beeping noise. He'd have to stop what he was doing, find a pay phone and call the hospital--this was way before cellulars. Sometimes it'd get triggered whilst driving in the car, and we'd have to pull over.
And whenver he got beeped, he'd cuss.
Beep, beep, beep.
My sister and brother used to fool around and try and say it before he did. Cause we knew that it inevitably would follow the beeps, like clockwork. Of course, my mom'd get mad at all of us. It was funny. So much so that I associate cussing more with humour than with anger. I mean, there's nothing sillier than to say a word that refers to excrement, something that's always a laugh--and as a kid, it just sounded funny.
Of course, I'm sure my dad thought otherwise. Some patient probably was dying when he got called.
I can't believe that Howard Jones just turned 50 years old. It seems like yesterday when he was a poofy haired nerd rocking on his synths next to that dancing mime. I admit I didn't keep up with him after his 80's hits. Geez, it's really been about 20 years since "What Is Love". Hmm, that's weird--I'm now around how old he was when he put out those songs. He seemed like such a young cat back in the day. I mean, anyone in their 30's writing pop songs is a little strange, especially since the scene usually is so youth dominated. I never knew he was that old.
The last Hojo record I got was his Best Of back in '93. It replaced my cassette albums and vinyl 45's--having those on one CD was enough for my library, as I'm not a diehard fan. In fact, in my opinion, he was really stretching the greatest hits format with some of those later filler tracks. I wondered what he was up to thesedays. So I checked out his website and sampled some of his latest stuff. Uh, I'm glad he's still around, and I'll leave it at that.
Nevertheless, I cannot overstate how inspirational Hojo was to me as a teenager. I endlessly listened to those early songs, studied their well-crafted structures, and admired the uplifting messages in his lyrics. And worshipped his riffs. Even to this day, I am still in awe at the effective designs in his melodically lean riffs. I think "Life In One Day", "No One Is To Blame", and "New Song" have some of the most perfect riffs ever written. As well, his solo performance (with the help of sequencers) made me realize that you don't need a band to play pop music. I might've pursued another hobby had I not followed Hojo's example.
During the Live Aid extravaganza, he played "Hide and Seek" on a grand piano. It was by far my favourite moment during the entire telecast--I recorded it off the simultaneous radio broadcast. I hadn't heard the tune before. And it knocked me out. To this day, I've still got the chorus stuck in my head as it remains a prime tenet per my outlook on life. And his words were these: "I hope you find it in everything that you see." That's ageless.
Christine didn't adjust the clock in her car to accommodate the autumnal time change. She said that she's too lazy to set it, and anyways it'll be spring before you know it, so what's the point. As she drove me to her apartment I stared at the wrong time.
My sister used to keep her bedside clock ahead by 10 minutes. Supposedly, she did so to help her not be late for work--if she thought it was later than it really was then she'd thusly get up and ready earlier. Maybe it psyched her, but I always did the subtraction. It didn't fool me.
Patrick sent me a link to the Human Clock. It's a neat website that posts photos of the current time--check it out to see what I mean. I heard that there was an infamous 11:11 chick.
The power's been knocking out often at my place due to the rainy weather. I've had to reset my non-battery operated clocks everytime, such on my VCR and microwave. I always call 853.1212 to get the standard time. And I swear, even though I'll sync them all to be correct, they'll all speed up and'll be off in a few days. Each one'll be different, yet faster. Not to mention, the clocks in my computer and car are also just as jumpy. Oddly, they're never slow. But as I don't rigidly follow time, I just let them go.
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