Out On a Lim                            
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Out On a Lim (11.23.04 - 3.3.05) >>
(3.4.05)

There are 5,280 feet in a mile.  The reason why I know this trivial fact is I had it drilled into me in 6th grade.  Every Friday we were given a math test in which that question was always asked.  Other similar figures and formulas were quizzed, but for some reason, the number of feet in a mile stuck.

542.8539--that's some chick's old phone number.  I didn't really know her, she was a friend of a friend.  But he had it scribbled on his message board, and as a joke, I memorized it even though I never dialed it.  So just to be a pest, I'd recite the phone number at random moments in a conversation.  Uh, it was funny at the time.  However, it's still lodged in my memory.

I can quote all ten verses of Dylan's epic "Desolation Row".  Well, I actually don't have all the lyrics stored in my head, rather just the first line, which sometimes I can forget--"They're selling postcards of the hanging..."  Once I start singing that intro, the rest follows via the rhymes, characters, and imagery.  Oftentimes I'll learn one of his elaborate songs, but if I don't play it on a regular basis, it'll quickly disappear from my brain.  Yet, somehow "Desolation Row" remains.

I have a hard time remembering prices.  Maybe it's cause I try not to think about money.  I mean, I usually round up costs and have a vague recollection, but it's all estimates.  I figure, as long as I'm not in debt, these things really don't matter.

Names escape me.  I've spent days trying to reminisce someone's name in vain.  I'll methodically go thru the alphabet, trying names that begin with each letter, hoping to mentally find a match.  I'll retrace my memories to locate reference points.  And I'll zone out lost and empty minded.

Specific dates are more difficult to retain than years.  I can't specify what day something happened, but it's easier to generalize the year.  I'll remember what else happened that year as a heurisitic method.

I'll never forget the myth of writing as told in
Phaedrus by Socrates wherein Thammus warns Theuth of the danger that peoples' memories will get lazy when they start to write things down.  They won't need to use their heads anymore.  I think about that a lot whenever I use the internet as a resource to aid my memory.  Especially when I can't remember old Greek stories.

(3.7.05)

I don't think I've got a phony voice.  You know, that voice that some people employ in the company of strangers or supposed superiors.  That ass kissing super polite cocktail party job interview phony voice.  The one they don't use whilst talking amongst friends.  Some chicks raise their pitch and fill their enuciation with fake laughter.  Some guys speak with heightened enthusiasm and insert pseudo chuckles between their pleasant agreeability.  Corny cliches clutter their sentences, never leaving any breathing room, regardless of content or shame.

Maybe I've got a phony voice, but I'm not conscious of it.  But it's unlikely cause one, I don't kiss anyone's ass--I don't want anything from anybody, thus impressing them ain't on my agenda.  And two, in such situations, I'll just shut up.  I'd rather not talk than say things that express some faux sentiment.  I guess silence is my phony voice, cause my friends know that I can be an annoying conversationalist.  Well, I'll clean up my vocabulary for the elderly, but in general, what I say is exactly what I mean, even if I'm being a sarcastic triple entendre asshole.

I have a theory which I'm currently researching whereby I can identify slips in someone's phony voice.  I'm not sure if they're lying or are just breaking down from the strain of being an ass kisser.  Either way, I'll hear little vocal ticks that to me signify some annoyance on their part.  They could be smiling like an idiot, but for a split second, I'll detect a crack in their demeanour.  Sometimes this'll be accompanyied by nervous body language or a passive aggressive joke.  Perhaps they're just being human.  But I doubt anybody truly enjoys to be constantly putting on an act.  I mean, that shit's gotta take up energy and stress.  Otherwise they'd stay in character.  

But I shouldn't make fun of phonies.  Cause, in the end, you are what you say you are, even if it ain't real.  If you need to be judged by others for your basis of self worth, so be it.  I won't say anything...

(3.8.05)

I've been having trouble concentrating lately.  My mind seems to wander all over the place, nary any connection intact.  I assumed it was the season--the rain and chill (by LA standards) inspire laziness.  Most mornings I just wanna stay in bed, comfy in my warm blanket.  And when I oversleep, my brain tends to get bloated.  Thoughts seem to be hibernating.

Another possibility is my current self-imposed stasis on projects.  I'm taking a break from everything in an attempt to be a "normal" human being.  Cause I'm curious as to what non-insane people do with their time.  No staying up all night composing music.  No overdosing on nicotine and caffeine as I write, edit photos, and build sculptures.  No crazy adventures.  This's all refreshing, but my mind's getting restless.

TV is horrible.  I've been watching some, just to keep myself occupied.  Nothing overly silly--mainly PBS documentaries and late night talk shows.  Yet, somehow TV really zaps my head and shuts down the thoroughfares of my thoughts.  All I end up with is some strange urge to buy crap.

So I started to read.  I'm currently being sucked into
Memoirs of a Geisha.  It's a relaxing pastime, especially when the weather's so gloomy.  And I think it's worlds better than TV.  My mind punctiliously dialates as I can actually feel my brain working again.  However, it's about as thrilling as a linear sentence.  After a while, I need something more stimulating.

Alas, even though I intended not to touch a piano during my experiment in commonplace activities, I couldn't resist.  I was going nuts.  It's like I'm addicted to brain activity.  I needed to play a fugue to clear my head.  I can't concentrate otherwise.

(3.9.05)

Maybe it's cause I live in this here city of Los Angeles that I can't seem to find any darn fans of country music.  Most metropolitan citizens tend to respond to the question "What kinda music do ya like?" with "Oh I like everything--except country".  Now, I ain't gonna say either way what someone ought to listen to.  That's their own God given choice.  And I respect that.  But I've always reckoned that there's something bittersweet about country music that just don't get expressed in urban music.  Sometimes I think everyone here's deaf.  Or maybe I'm merely a poor country boy at heart.  Cause that ol' high lonesome always seems to make me cry.

Of course, I'm fully aware of the racial stigma that tarnishes country music.  It's the soul of the South and the legendary West in all its glory and disgrace.  But it's precisely that American prideful penitence, full of hillbilly morals, which makes it so appealing.  Cause I've always felt sorry for white folks--they're so clueless.  Yeah, the slaves and the Indians were treated like crap, but I assure myself that they were spiritually empowered to overcome any injustice that befell them in this world.  It's the slave owners and the cowboys who must live with themselves.  And it's that horror that haunts country music.           

It's loser music.  So much so that you can hear the alcohol in the twanging accent, the defeat in the pedal steel's remorse, the insecure pitch shifts of the fiddle, and the loneliness in the harmonies.  Without knowing the historical context, these musical combinations might sound plain silly.  But imbued with the blood of the past, it's frighteningly sad.  I'm sure my city slicker kin figure country music pipes thru hell.  And sometimes I sympathize completely.

I've been down that road before

-Luke the Drifter

(3.10.05)

I had a dream in which every fart was recorded.  Well, not actually, or at least in any humanly perceivable manner.  However, every burst of gas was being collected by God.  And when you die, before you get sent to heaven or hell, an angel will play back all your earthly farts, complete with smell-o-sound.  Not that quality or quantity will affect your afterlife, rather just to mess with your head, you'll be forced to sit thru this bureaucratic nonsense as if it mattered.

Somehow I was absolutely certain that God has a sense of humour.

Happy Birthday Jam

(3.11.05)

Poem Chick got a new printer.  It has never occurred to me to get a printer for my home computer.  Any personal printing, which is hardly any, I'll do at work.  For colour stuff, which is even hardlier, I'll get done at Kinko's.  I don't think I print enough to justify buying one for myself, let alone I don't tolerate cheap printers.

Reason number one is I'm scared of printers.  Every printer that I've known, be it in a classroom, computer lab, or office, inevitably breaks.  And there's nothing more frustrating than not being able to print.  I have no patience for that crap.  I've never thrown any appliance in anger, but I know I'll toss any printer of mine that gives me attitude.

Reason number two is I don't need to see hard copies.  Not that I'm some eco-freak.  But I just don't see the need to waste paper when it's perfect as it is on screen.  Paper is so five minutes ago.  My eyes don't mind reading things on a monitor.  I'll memorize info before I'll print it.  And honestly, I've never seen a good representation of any of my digital photographs on paper--they're specifically digital and take advantage of the cathode ray tube as a light source.

Reason number three is I've been spoiled with good quality printers.  Nothing less than laser.  I blame my sister, graphic artist extraordinaire, for this printer snobbery.  She used to let me sneak some printing on her agency's industrial caliber printers.  Once you go high-class it's hard to downgrade.  I don't have room in my apartment for a tank sized printer.

Although I've proclaimed in the past that I'll never get a computer or internet connection at home and have been proven wrong on both accounts, I'm more confident that I won't get a printer in the future.  Plus, the ratio of how much I print to how many people I know who have printers makes no sense for me not to ask for a little favour from them.  I'm sure Poem Chick won't mind. 

Happy Birthday Sam

(3.14.05)

"You've never read
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?" Teresa gasped.  "Every self respecting geek has read it."

"I guess I'm not a geek," I suggested.

When I think of geeks the first example that comes to my mind is the Comic Book Guy on
The Simpsons--you know, that balding slob who works at the Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop.  He knows way too many details about sci-fi and nerdy pop culture.  Such as the names of ancillary characters on cult classic TV shows.

Actually, I'ven't really watched an episode of
The Simpsons in nearly ten years.  I remember it being super hilarious back in college, and I actually tuned in every week.  But I think I got oversaturated once it went into syndication--the obsessive in me had to see it all.

Anyways, I recently found out that the Comic Book Guy's actual name is Jeff Albertson.

When I think of cool geeks the first example that comes to my mind is Hunter S. Thompson--you know, that balding slob who wrote
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  He knows way too many details about freedom and the counterculture.  Such as the right to take one's own life.

Actually, I'ven't really read much of his stuff in nearly ten years.  I remember it being super hilarious back in college, and I actually dug up some of his old Rolling Stone articles.  But I think I got oversaturated once
Fear and Loathing got made into a movie--the obsessive in me had to reread everything again.

Anyways, I was going thru the various tributes to him after his recent suicide.  I think the best one was in
Doonesbury.  The Thompson inspired character Uncle Duke reads about Thompson's death and experiences a "karmic shift".

"Well, I wanna see the upcomming film version of
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" I tried to seem cool.

"It better be British," Teresa geeked.

(3.15.05)

I'm trying to come up with a legitimate reason why I still buy deodorant.  Other than to smell "good".  Cause that's a load of manufactured crap cruelly instigated to make everyone feel vulnerable about themselves so as to purchase some product.  It really isn't necessary in the natural scheme of things.  I mean, it's actually unnatural.

I started using deodorant in high school.  Someone told me that I smelled and suggested that I get some.  So I did.  And it kinda stuck.  Throughout my more self conscious teenage years, I've experimented with various glamourizing products--hair spray, acne cream, shaving lotion, etc.  All of which were discarded by the time I got to college.  I figured, what's the point, I'm never gonna be handsome, so why try.

I actually believe I gained more confidence in myself once I stopped worrying about my appearance.  If other people didn't like me for such shallow reasons as my hair style or the smoothness of my skin, then they were idiots and hardly worth my time.  And I focused my energy towards other concerns.  I'd rather be associated with people who didn't give a crap about how I looked than to spend my money on silly products that were just feeding on my insecurities.  Realizing that I'm ugly was a good thing.  Cause I was free and content to be me.

Not that I'm dirty.  I think, and I could be wrong, that there's a difference between hygiene and vanity.  I shower daily.  I use cheap soap and shampoo.  And I brush my teeth.  Alas, I like being somewhat clean. 

But smelling nice is kinda odd.  I hardly break a sweat thesedays, what with my ultra comfy lifestyle.  Ok, in the summer I might get a little stinky.  It's not like I pour on the perfume--I try to neutralize the odor rather than make it all pretty.  Furthermore, I know I reek of cigarettes.  No deodorant can mask that smell.  The only reason I can think of is I'm a dumb consumer.  Someday I'll learn. 

(3.16.05)

"What's
Mail Order Wife about?" asked the man who just bought tickets for Walk on Water

"Uh, a mail order wife..." Christine said sarcastically as she purchased our tickets for the movie of the same name.  The man seemed intrigued, but his date tugged him away.

'Tis a shame that that man didn't see
Mail Order Wife.  Cause he was obviously not clued in and might've been disgusted by it.  And horrified at the audience for laughing at the poor mail order wife.  For it's a mockumentary--it plays like it's real.  We went knowing the gimmick.  We were entertained.  But what kinda reaction would the unsuspecting viewer have?

Unbeknownst to us, some of the producers and the actress who portrayed the mail order wife were in the audience.  After the movie, they held a Q&A session.

"I was confused if this was real or not," someone wondered, "Was that your intention?"

The panel winked at the prank.  They seemed delighted in getting some reaction, be it hilarious, puzzlement, or abhorrence.  Joking not aside.  Yet, it was a bit surreal seeing the real actress who played a character in a movie that was styled to look real.

Nevertheless, they urged us to spread the word of mouth.  So go see it.  But don't tell anyone it's fake...

(3.17.05)
(3.18.05)

Of all the fruits, I think bananas are the best.  They taste good.  But most importantly, they're convenient.  They're not messy.  No seeds.  Just peel and eat.  And they're just the right serving size.

Oranges are cool.  But they're a hassle to open or slice, not to mention the juice gets all over the place.  Watermelon rocks, but they're way too big and the seeds are a hassle.  Cherries and grapes are too small--I'll end up eating too many if I don't keep track.  Apples are fine, but sometimes they can be too juicy, too big, or too small.

However, in an ideal world, strawberries would be my favourite.  I'm talking about really good ones--nice and sweet.  Alas, in my experience, it's a mixed bag with strawberries.  Most of the time they're average.  And that sucks.

Cause I was spoiled.  Growing up, I used to get fresh strawberries from a little field--a small patch of land in the middle of suburbia.  It's now a condo complex.  But back in the day, when it was the season, namely late spring and early summer, I'd go to the little dusty shack that stood at the edge of the field and buy a tiny basket of the yummiest strawberries I've ever had.  Off in the distance, the pickers were scouring the crop.  I'd rush home, wash them, and gobble them like the happiest kid in the world.  Nothing tasted better.

Nothing lasts forever.

(3.21.05)

So I was at the grocery store.  At the checkout, the elderly lady before me didn't leave after paying.  She hung around and chatted with the bagger boy and the girl at the register.  I kinda overheard their conversation as my items were being scanned.

"All artists are crazy," she ranted.  "They've all got some mental illness or other.  There's no such thing as talent.  It's cause they're crazy."

"Yeah," the bagger boy agreed, "I've got a cousin who's a musician.  He's crazy.  He's not a normal human being."

"You're right," the register girl jumped in, "Mona's got a sister who's brother is an artist.  He was institutionalized, or something like that."

The lady continued, "All artists are crazy.  I'd stay away from them if I were you."

"Oh," laughed the bagger boy, "I'm not an artist.  They're weird."

"Can you imagine what kind of life they must live," the register girl wondered, "I'd go crazy thinking about that stuff.  I don't want to be locked up."

"You better believe it," the lady warned.

Meanwhile, my total came up.  I paid.  My groceries were put in plastic bags.  All the while, the lady commanded everyone's attention.  I was being ignored.  Which was all for the best, cause I was trying hard not to insanely laugh.

The lady shoved off as I exited the checkout lane.

As the bagger boy packed my shopping cart, he mumbled "Crazy old lady..."

(3.22.05)

I am the mutual friend of two people who've each recently purchased a "commuter car".  I'm kinda suspicious of this coincidence as they both seem to toss the term around as if it's the latest catch phrase--of course I know what a "commuter car" is, it's a not so fancy car that you use for your mundane drives, such as work, errands, etc.  But they both seem to've been brainwashed into buying one to "take the miles off their [luxury vehicle]".  I'm not kidding, they both use that same verbatim reason.  The kicker is they're sworn enemies of each other.  There ain't any communication between the two.  Yet they both think alike.  Hmm.

Maybe I don't get the yuppie memos.  But check this out--my two friends, who've been suckered into the yuppie lifestyle, both bought brand new yuppie mobiles around the same time, about four years ago.  One was a BMV, the other a Mercedes.  And now they're both complaining about wearing out their precious cars.  Per the yuppie snag, they've got to keep buying stuff or nobody'll respect them.  My crackpot theory is the automotive industry targets these automatons, first to dupe 'em into buying a fancy car which'll reduce their worries concerning their standing in society and second to dupe 'em again into buying a not so fancy car which'll reduce their worries concering the maintenance of their fancy car.

Stop me if I'm being immodest, but no individual needs more than one car.   

(3.23.05)

I like to think that I'm smart enough to discern expository and developmental stages, be it in music or storytelling.  The former introduces the ingredients as the latter runs them thru the blender, so to speak.  And the resulting recapitulation is a matter of taste--you can start off with interesting ideas and have a boring mix, or you can put in a non assuming theme and have the real action happen in the next act.  'Tis rare that both sections'll knock your socks off per the tension and release inducing balance of things--you gotta have bare feet sometime during the course of events.

So I can sit thru a symphony or a movie and feel that shift when part A goes into part B.  I used to not notice it when I was a kid, but the more exposure to the formula I got, the more obvious it became.  And once you recognize the structure, it's hard to ignore it thereafter.  As well, when I was younger, I used to be attracted to flashy expositions, what happened next wasn't so consequential.  But nowadays, I've grown to appreciate the value of permutations.  I've learned to count the change.

Yet, I don't think I'm smart enough to discern what stage I'm in in real life.  Sometimes I feel like I'm still in the beginning.  Sometimes the end is nigh.  It's hard to feel definite shifts.  Especially in the midst of developing what came before.  Perhaps that's why the exposition/development structure is handy.  It represents something supposedly intuitive about life, how our little lives map out across a timeline.  But no one really knows when they'll die, so we create some model to vicariously put things in perspective--the song fades, the end credits roll.

Maybe I'm living thru an intermission.

(3.24.05)
(3.25.05)

I like creepy music.

Thomas Newman is an underrated film composer.  I dig his rhythmic propulsion, exotic instrumentation, and tight ostinatos.  He's got an identifiable and often imitated sound--listen to
American Beauty.  Although he hasn't delved in the creepy music genre, his last score, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, proves that his style can adapt to the mood.  As it's a children's movie, the dark tones aren't so heavy handed, rather they're coloured with whimsical macabre, fittingly matching the wicked visuals.  There's a hint of Elfmanisms, but actually thesedays Elfman sounds more like Newman than vice versa.  The opening track starts with a goofy ditty that abruptly segues into ominous chords.  This contrast makes the creepiness creepier, yet fun.  I laughed with it. 

Hans Zimmer is an overrated film composer.  Most of his stuff sounds generic and overblown--listen to
Gladiator.  Luckily, he hasn't done many horror films.  But I like his scores to the Ring movies.  There's a restraint in the textures, namely using mostly piano, strings, and percussion, which keeps the bombast in check.  The motifs aren't revolutionary, in fact they remind me of watered down pre-Newman influenced Elfman (which is actually refurbished Hermann), but they're well crafted, worked with the films, and are, to my surprise, pleasant to my ears.  My only complaint is towards the end of the album, there are some lame techno remixes.  These just sound silly and almost kill the creepiness of the previous tracks.  I laughed at it.

(3.28.05)

Lime Coke is pretty good.  But then again, you can't go wrong with Coke--you could add artificial anchovy flavouring and I bet it'd still taste swell.  I'm all for new variations.  It changes things up.  Now I've got four flavours rotating in my daily Coke habit.

When I first tried Lime Coke, it reminded me of Corona.  The lime hits first.  All in all, it's a nice compliment to the classic flavour.  No awkward getting used to whatsoever.  However, it's not WOW, like when I first tried Cherry Coke.  But it's a welcome addition nonetheless.

What's odd, though, is I haven't been bombarded with advertising for this new product.  Not nearly as much as that half calories crap Coke that was pushed so heavily last year--which I didn't fall for.  I've seen two billboards for Lime Coke.  And that's it.  No commercial.  No print ad.  No internet banners.  Or if there were, I didn't notice any.  But then again, maybe they're not targeting me.  I'll buy whatever new (non-diet) flavour they've got.

As John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest said "I think it's an interesting product, but I don't think it'll be a blockbuster."

I'll drink to that.

(3.29.05)

The buckle on my belt was rusting.  Especially the upper part that rubs against my belly.  The shine was fading.  My guess is either the rain or my tummy sweat caused the corrosion.  I'd like to think it was the former.

Anyways, all this wouldn't matter if it didn't make that area below my belly button all itchy.  I can usually weather initial irritation such as blisters on my feet from wearing dress shoes or the back of my ears getting bothered by the hooks of a pair of new glasses.  These things pass.  I can tune the discomfort out and my body'll adapt.

I don't really need to wear a belt.  My brother gave it to me a long time ago.  And I only wore it cause the sick pervert in me likes being strapped.  I didn't take advantage of its function, namely to hold my pants up--they won't fall off regardless.  Maybe I felt cool wearing a belt.  Plus, no one really sees it as I don't tuck my shirts.

But the itching didn't go away.  Yeah, I could forget about it all day, but sometimes in bed it'd hit hard (I sleep with my jeans on).  I'd wake up and scratch it.  Sadly, a pimple formed.  This was the death knell.  Cause one night, as I scratched, the pimple popped.  Puss gushed.

The next morning the crusted puss didn't itch, rather it stung.  The belt had to go.  I don't know why I didn't do so earlier, but it felt refreshing to not wear a belt, like I was loose and free.  Indeed, the itching has disappeared.  I'm kicking myself for being so foolish--always remember that comfort is key.

However, I might be getting too lax.  Lately, I've often been forgetting to zip my fly.  If I'm not careful, I won't be wearing pants anymore...

Addendum: Well, after a week of not wearing a belt, I was feeling kinda sloppy.  So I bought a new belt.  I got it from Banana Republic.  Christine says she can't imagine me being a BR guy.  Hey, it was the first store that I noticed in the mall that looked like it sold belts.  I don't fuss over these things.  A belt's a belt.

(3.30.05)

My dad's all freaking out about bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or as it's commonly known, mad cow disease.  His friend's son-in-law recently died from the new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is the probable result of eating the meat of bovine spongiform encephalopathy infected cows.  In addition, another friend of his told him that there was a local case that's being hush hushed.  All this has got him all cautious.  He's warned me three times in the last week.  And he's avoiding beef.

"Can't they kill the germs by cooking the meat?" I ignorantly asked.

"You can't cook it," he replied with the credibility of a medical doctor.  "The prions are proteins."

"Why haven't I heard anything on the news?" I wondered.  "Like shouldn't there be stricter inspections if this is spreading?"

"They don't want to cause a panic," he explained with the paranoid tone of a conspiracy theorist.  "The beef industry would rather cover up the hundreds of deaths than to lose millions of dollars."

"Oh ok," I resigned.

"First you'll lose your sight," my dad wouldn't shut up, "cause it affects the brain.  Then you'll get dizzy.  And then you'll drop dead."

"Uh huh," I sighed, cause he IM-ed me this same info the other day.

"They won't do an autopsy either," he continued, "because it will spread.  But if you open the heads of these victims, I'm sure you'll find the prions.  Cemetaries won't accept the bodies of the victims.  It's so sad."

"I'm hungry," I joked.  "Let's get some steak..."

"That's not funny," he gruffed.  "Don't eat beef."

"Hey," I took a chance, "if I get it, I'll get it.  I'm not afraid of this crap."

"Don't be crazy," he retorted.

"Oh no," I exclaimed, "I can't see...I'm getting dizzy...I think I've got mad cow disease..."

"You're gonna die," he prophesized.

"We're all gonna die," I concluded.

(3.31.05)
(4.1.05)

Dear friends, family, and fans,

You're invited to the coolest concert ever. 

As you might've heard, late last year, my alter ego Larry McFeurdy released his album Hacienda Heights.  If you don't have a copy yet, email me your mailing address and I'll send you a CD.  Or you can download the mp3s here:

http://www.henrylim.org/HaciendaHeights

Anyways, I'm gonna perform the entire album live in concert with my band on Saturday, April 16, 2005 at UCLA.  It's gonna rock.  So come on over and be amazed.  I wish I could guarantee that you'll be glad you attend, but it's free, so you won't be able to ask for your money back...

Here are the details:

WHO: Larry McFeurdy (aka Henry Lim)
WHAT: live concert
WHERE: Jan Popper Theater, Schoenberg Music Building, UCLA
WHEN: Saturday, April 16, 2005 at 8:00 PM

DIRECTIONS: Go to the UCLA website (
http://www.ucla.edu/map) and access the map.  You'll wanna park in P2 (Parking Structure 2)--it'll cost $7 to park.  Walk over to Schoenberg Music Building.  Inside the building, there'll be signs pointing to Jan Popper Theater.  It's on the first floor (not the basement) across from the Music Library.  Take a seat and enjoy the show...

"You should've been there"

-Henry

(4.4.05)

About four years ago, I started to collect LEGO colours.  This was kinda odd, since I'm colour blind.  Nevertheless, the kid in me was amazed at the variety of modern colours available--during my childhood, there weren't nearly as many.  I remember when grey was new.  Anyways, the librarian in me wanted to organize these colours so that I could see them all, like in a palette.  So I gathered them in configurations of 2x4 bricks and stacked them in some sorta scheme.  This proved to be difficult for me.  I have no idea about colour progressions.  In fact, I got paid good money as an undergraduate to arrange colours from light to dark for an experiement, me being the colour blind subject.  Well, for my LEGO colours, I roughly based the order according to the generic rainbow spectrum--I recall reading in some elementary science book about "Roy G. Biv" (Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet).  I had 34 LEGO colours in 2001.

As of this writing, I've got 54. Pardon the naming of the colours.  I'm more ignorant of the specific names than I am of arranging them.  Some of the names are borrowed from various LEGO fan sites--there isn't any standard terminology.  And as I look at the crazy shades that've been introduced in the recent years, I think to myself, man, if all these colours were available when I was a kid, I doubt I'd've played with LEGO.  Cause I can't tell some of them apart.  I'd be so lost.  Part of the charm of primary colours is not only their childish brightness, but their ease of visibility for me.  Oh, if anyone's wondering, I get most of my bricks from Bricklink.  It's a site were LEGO fans sell individual parts.  No, I don't buy sets in the store just so I can get one 2x4 brick in the latest colour.  Not to forget to mention, some have been donated to my collection.  I've gotten emails from LEGO fans saying that my stack is useful--it shows what colours look like next to others, under the same lighting.  I've seen it linked as a reference source on several sites.  I'm glad it's helpful to non-colour blind people. 

(4.5.05)

I taught myself how to play the piano when I was about ten years old.  To this day, I'm sure that my technique is completely wrong--I've never followed correct fingerings and posture.  But I like to think that I can get by.

My sister and brother took piano lessons, so we had an upright in our living room.  I was forced to take violin lessons, which I fiddled with til I was in high school.  All the while, I couldn't stand the violin.  It's too damn hard, what with finding the pitches.  The piano was so much easier--just hit the key.  Plus, the range on a violin is so shrill.

If I had never heard the theme to
Chariots of Fire, I doubt I'd've ever tried to play the piano.  It's cause of that little tune that I sat down one day and figured out the notes.  I did it all by ear.  Soon I was able to pick out almost anything I heard.  There's no big secret--just match the pitches.  Coordinating my hands was tricky at first, but like riding a bike, once you know how, you never forget.

I spent most of my teenage years doodling on the piano.  I didn't so much as formally learn about scales and chords, rather after years of fooling around at the keyboard, these concepts kinda become obvious.  It's sorta like grammar--you pick it up after hearing it.  And like language, it's something that's seemingly more naturally learned whilst young.  Although I have some vague recollection of my violin training, I consider the piano to be my official mother tongue.  Even when I play the guitar, I still need to translate the notes from keyboard to frets.  My mind thinks in piano. 

During college, I studied the classics courtesy of the music library.  I'd check out the scores to the major piano works, take 'em to the practice rooms, and play 'em to the best of my self taught abilities.  Obviously, I most likely sounded rough and hardly virtuostic--some of those romantic runs are impossible without proper fingerings.  Anyways, I was more interested in the compositions than the performance of them.

But it wasn't til about seven years ago when I realized that you don't need to use the sustain pedal all the time.  Up until then, I'd totally abused that effect.  I was completely blurring the sound, letting it swirl in an overlapping wall of overtones.  Only when I'd let go of the pedal did I hear just how hazing it all'd been.  This took some readjusting as my touch was so dependent on the sustain.  It was sorta like relearning the instrument.

Nowadays I almost never use the pedal--well, cause I like to play contrapuntal pieces with lines that need to be clearly defined.  And again, I don't think I'm doing anything by the books as I've developed my own style of playing which suits me fine.  I've considered taking lessons.  In fact, I did very briefly.  But I never got past the first session.  After playing a fugue for my prospective teacher, she responded with "Uh, you should be the one giving lessons."  Which isn't to say I'm an awesome player, I think she kinda sucked.  Cause I know there's always room for improvement.  Sometimes when I'm at the piano, I imagine that day when I decided to teach myself how to play, and remember that I'm still learning.

(4.6.05)

Dear Mr. Henry Lim,

I received your CD
Hacienda Heights.  Thanks so much.  It's so cool.  I've been listening to it all day.  I noticed that it's got a publisher number: "PCM-016".  What does that mean?  Is that a random number or is it your 16th album? 

Just curious,

-Ms. Nutty About Little Details



Dear Ms. Nutty About Little Details,

PCM-016 stands for "PaperClip Music album number 16".  Yes, it's my 16th album.

Thanks for noticing,

-Mr. Henry Lim



Dear Mr. Henry Lim,

Cool.  Yeah, that's what I thought.  Uh, so what are the other 15 albums called?

Still curious,

-Ms. Nutty About Little Details



Dear Ms. Nutty About Little Details,

Actually, I've got 17 albums.  Here's my complete discography:

PCM-001   opp. 1-3 (1998)
PCM-002   Paperclip (1985)
PCM-003   This Ain't Paperclip (1986)

PCM-004   Garage Music (1987-89)
PCM-005   Semi-Serious Miscellaneous (1986-91)
PCM-006   Me and My Shells (1992)
PCM-007   Meow (1993)
PCM-008   Likewise (1993)
PCM-009   Amygdalectomy (1994)
PCM-010   Rubberhooks & Metalbelts (1995)
PCM-011   Nashville (1996)
PCM-012   Extraneousextraneous (1995-97)
PCM-013   op. 5 (2000)
PCM-014   Words of Love: The Remakes (1985-97)
PCM-015   opp. 4-6 (1999-2002)
PCM-016   Hacienda Heights (2003-04)
PCM-017   Hacienda Heights (Remixed) (2005)

And if all goes well and according to plan, PCM-018 will be a live concert album.

Hope that kills your curiousity,

-Mr. Henry Lim

(4.7.05)

If I was a South Park character...
To see what you might look like, go here.

(4.8.05)

Sin City is a fun movie.  Lots of nefarious characters, vicious action, and dames worth dying for.  I never read the graphic novels, but I think it evokes that medium well, moreso than most other comic book based movies--the exaggerated angles and shadows, the urgency of the framing, and the boldfaced dialogue.  It's visually very cool.

In a way, it reminds me of another digitally realized movie,
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.  Both use new technology to evoke old styles of film--Sky Captain is reminiscent of serial adventures, Sin City conjures the mood of noir.  They're hyper-retro in that they relish in their homages, yet are slicker than most current movies.  They're like nothing anybody's seen before, or rather we've seen these styles, but never so boldy executed.

Sorta like
Star Wars and Chinatown back in the '70s, which were also updated versions of serial adventures and noir.  Of course, looking at these movies now, they themselves look old fashioned.  Not to mention, have been the subject of obeisance.  History revolves.

But I am curious to see where this new digital cinema goes.  Theoretically, anything is possible--no restrictions to sets and locations, no harm to computer generated stunt doubles, etc.  It's as if directors now have the tools to free their imagination.  Yeah, that's never been said before...

(4.11.05)

I've got two bedrooms.  That's one too many than I need, but my rent's cheap, so I'll live with the extra space.  So one of the rooms is my bedroom proper--it's the one which contains my single sized bed and my primary stereo.  And the other has been deemed my entertainment room replete with my TV and surround sound system.  It's in the entertainment room that I've got a futon which folds into a sofa.  Guests use the futon as a bed.  But generally, it's a sofa.  Nevertheless, sometimes I sleep on the sofa.

Don't get me wrong, I really don't care about where I sleep.  In fact, I could sleep on the ground for all I care.  Cause once I'm in dreamland, I'm completely knocked out--there's no such thing as an uncomfortable place to sleep, in my opinion.  I get puzzled by those ads for fancy beds and people who complain about back pains from sleeping funny.  Anyways, I like sleeping in different rooms, switching between my bed and my sofa.

There's no rhyme scheme or reason cohesion to which room I'll pick to sleep in.  It might as well be a coin toss as I like to randomly change from night to night.  And I love it when I forget where I am in the morning.  Like I'll open my eyes and anticipate looking at my bedroom wall when it's actually the back of my sofa in my entertainment room.  That split second of disorientation is the best way to start the day.

However, for a week, I slept consecutively in my bedroom.  Cause the zipper on my futon cover broke.  After washing it, as I tried to zip it back, the little latches weren't catching--this happened before, but with some fiddling, I got it zip.  Alas, I lost my patience this last time and gave up.  It was cause to get a new one.  So I ordered a similar patterned design with matching pillows online.  It took a week to arrive.  That was probably the most boring week of my life.

(4.12.05)

Well, the day finally arrived.  I officially got rejected as a member of the target audience for a movie.  Yeah, I know that certain films aren't specifically tailored for me, and I often feel like I don't belong in any of the age ranges coveted by studios--I mean, most major motion pictures just don't capture my attention.  Sometimes I pride myself on being an outsider, roaming the regions beyond commercialism, not running thru the brainwashing machine.  And ultimately, it really doesn't matter if I'm included in some prescribed demographic.  But to be denied.  Oh, the humiliation...

I came by two passes for an advanced screening of the upcomming
Bewitched movie.  There was a specific warning on the flyer: people between the ages of 34 and 49 must come in male/female couples.  Seemed inconsequential.  Christine's 33 and I'm 32 (soon to be 33).

As we waited in the corral, the researchers checked our names off on their master list.  The line proceeded slowly, wrapping in Disneyland mazes.  Every now and then an authorized prodder would ask for someone's age.  And either leave 'em or remove 'em from the audience pool.  Finally, they asked us, to which we truthfully replied.  We were then told, ever so politely, to step out of line.  The implication being they didn't want us to see the movie.

Oh well.  We got free passes to any other showing at the theatre, good for the rest of the day.  Eh, we figured, there's nothing else playing early enough.  Besides, we'd skipped dinner to get in line.  So we went to get something to eat whilst we pondered our denial.  Should we've lied about our age?  Is there that much of a difference between 33 and 34?  Is Generation X done?  Are they afraid that we'll be too hard on the movie?  Why is it that rejection causes people to reflect on themselves?  In the end, all we could do was laugh--cause we're "too young".  Plus we got to sit and talk, which was nice.  I don't think we missed much.

(4.13.05)

I haven't opened a combination lock since high school.  Truth be told, I'm scared of them.  I fear that I'll forget the combination.  Throughout high school and well after, I kept having nightmares that the secret code had slipped my mind.  And I'd go into a panic as my homework remained locked as the bell rang and I never get to turn it in.  This recurred til one night I remembered the combination.  It was simply 1-2-3.

Obviously, that wasn't really my combination.  In fact, I can't recall what it was.  But the phobia persists.

I've been picking up my neighbour's mail for the last week whilst she's been away from her apartment.  She left me a phone message telling me that she'll stop by briefly tomorrow during the day, when I'll be at work, and if I'd be so kind as to put the mail that I've been collecting in her garage so she can check to see if she received anything important.  She gave me the combination to the lock on her garage.

No problem.  Should be easy enough.  She gave me the numbers.  Nothing to be afraid of...

So I went to her garage.  Unfortunately, it was late at night.  There are a few lights, but they just cast shadows.  The numbers on her combo lock were blocked.  Crap.  I strained my eyes and as good as blindly twisted the knob.  Nope.  I felt a twitch of frantic annoyance in my smirk.

In the eleven years that I've lived in my apartment, I've never had to use a flashlight.  So that's why I don't have one.  Hmm, how could I get some light?  Maybe I could swing my car out of my garage and shine the headlights.  Wait...I've got some candles.  I lit one and held it in my right hand as my left worked the combination under the flicker. 

It still didn't open.   

What the hell?  Did my neighbour give me some bunk numbers?  I kept trying as the smell of the candle became bothersome.  I must've looked like an idiot thief--holding a candle and cursing at the combination lock.  I was doing something wrong.  It's been so long since I opened one of these things.  All that flashed thru my mind were my nightmares.  I was back in high school again.

These were my options:
- I could call my neighbour and ask her to clarify the combination, but it was late.
- Maybe there's a website that shows how to pick a lock.
- Give up and let her down.

I went online.  But before I searched for lock picking tips, I thought I'd make sure I was using the right dial sequence.  Maybe I wasn't turning past the numbers enough times.  I found this at the Master Lock FAQ:

Q: What is the dialing sequence to open a standard combination lock?
A: Please follow the steps outlined below:

1. Turn the dial 3 times to the right and stop on the first number of the sequence.
2. Turn the dial to the left, pass the second number of the sequence and stop on it the second time around.
3. Turn the dial to the right and stop on the third number of the sequence.

I banged my head on my keyboard.  Damnit.  I was doing it all backwards--left, right, left instead of right, left, right.  Sure enough, the numbers my neighbour gave me were correct.  I finally unlocked her garage.  Stupid me.  Once again, the simplest problems can be so difficult to overcome.  Sometimes it's as easy as 1-2-3.

(4.14.05)

Cameron Diaz went to Christine's high school.  Now, I'm not even gonna try to pretend to compete with that kinda mega-star name dropping.  But here goes anyways...

I went to junior high with
Caprice, the model who's slated to be on the next season of Surreal Life.  Yeah, she's touted as being "British", but I think that's cause she's more famous in the UK than in the States.  But honestly, I don't keep up with her career.  All I remember is her being a year older than me (the 1974 birthday on IMDb is questionable), yet she was in my math class--I don't think she was that bright.  I bet she's dumber than Cameron Diaz.

I went to high school with
Minae Noji.  Apparently she's been in several movies including Be Cool and the upcomming Memoirs of a Geisha.  She was a good friend of my sister's so I remember seeing her at my house on occasion.  She was always involved in show business--she did some stuff in Japan and toured with Miss Saigon.  I'm glad she's getting some more exposure thesedays.  She can play a better Asian than Cameron Diaz.

Martika lived on my street.  She sang the hit song "Toy Soldiers" back in the late '80s--which was recently sampled by Eminem.  I never went to school with her, nor did I ever talk to her, but I do remember hearing bands rehearse in her garage.  She was a regular on Kids Incoporated along with Hacienda Heights native Stacey "Fergie" Ferguson.  Both these chicks probably have better singing voices than Cameron Diaz.

According to the IMDb,
Marie Luv is also from my hometown.  She's seems to've a prolific filmography--Fitness Sluts, Anal Expedition 5, Cum Swappers, and Cameltoe Pervsions 2 to name a few of her movies.  I mean, she's made 30 flicks since 2004.  Cameron Diaz has 30 to her acting credit, but she started in 1994.  At that rate, Marie Luv'll kick Cameron Diaz's ass. 

Ha, so there. 

Don't forget,
Larry McFeurdy live in concert TOMORROW NIGHT.

(4.15.05)
Larry McFeurdy
Jan Popper Theater, UCLA, 2005
photo by Amanda Whiting

"
All You Need Is Love"
(4.18.05)

At the stoplight, the truck to my right honked.  I looked in his direction as he mouthed something to me.  I turned down my stereo so as to hear his words.  From his elevated vantage point, he said, as he pointed to the front of my car, "Your tire needs air."  I thanked him and drove into the nearest gas station where I put 50 cents into the air machine.  My tire wasn't flat, but needed air nonetheless--it had a noticeable droop sagging at the bottom.  So I pumped it up.

As I pulled out of the gas station, the first thing I noticed was how much quieter my car moved.  Previously, there was a distracting squeal that emitted from the right side of my car, especially at high speeds.  Now that was gone.  The ride seemed smoother, too.  I turned up my stereo.

I've got a stock CD player.  Nothing fancy.  The EQ is a simple three band--bass, mid, treble (plus/minus 5).  I had mine set to bass +3, mid -1, treble +3.  I'm not a big fan of the mid range.  However, lately, I've been less bass oriented.  I'm in the mindset that the lower registers shouldn't be disproportionally skewed and over powering, which is antithetical to most modern pop recordings.  I need to hear the actual notes, not feel some rumble.  Of course my cheap stereo ain't gonna produce well defined bass lines anyways, so it was time to recalibrate my EQ.

Actually, my recording engineer reset my EQ for me.  We were listening to my album as we drove to rehearsal.  He flattened it and then carved out some emphasis--bass +1, mid +1, treble +4.  It sounded nice.  I won't say it sounded better, cause I go thru subjective shifts of audio preference.  But I did like the decreased bass level.  And I trust his ears more than mine.  It was a nice change, the sound seems to pop out of the speakers, whereas before it trudged in sludge.  I think I'll keep the new EQ settings.  For now...

(4.19.05)

I'm guessing that, in general, most amateur musicians dream of having their music played on the radio.  Unless you're some artsy fartsy composer who's too lofty for the masses, you've probably pictured yourself driving in your car when suddenly your song comes on or some similar fantasy of sorts.  Cause theoretically when you're on the air, potentially someone's listening.  And if someone's listening, you've got a shot at communicating to an audience, blah, blah, blah.

I don't listen to the radio.  I'd rather subject myself to a CD of my choice than to be force fed music.  And I hate commercials.  I've got my car radio tuned to some bland classical station.  But I'm only annoyingly aware of it during that brief moment when I'm switching CDs.  There's no chance that I'd hear my music on the radio whilst driving--not because I don't've marketing minions hawking my music, rather I simply don't care for the medium.

That being said, I know of at least two documented instances when my music was played on the radio.  I found these playlists online:

89.5 FM WPKN (11.11.99)
89.5 FM WPKN (11.29.99)

Unfortunately, I wasn't passing thru Connecticut and missed these broadcasts.  Oh well.  I won't lie and say I wouldn't've tripped out if I'd heard myself on the radio, hell, it boggles me that someone actually thought about playing my music.  I guess I ought to be less of a snob.  So, uh, thanks for making my dream come true.

(4.20.05)

Con jobs suck.

I've been purchasing items from individuals online for at least ten years now.  Before eBay, I scoured the usenet for stuff--musical instruments, rare CDs, and movie posters.  And after auctions became the norm, I've had my fair share of winning bids.  Not to mention, I've made a good buck selling things via the internet.  All my experiences so far've been excellent and problem free. 

Except for one.

Every other transaction has been perfect--good service, the items were intact, no payments missing.  I've given and received nothing but positive ratings and feedback.  I'ven't been ripped off.  Sure, some overseas shipments took longer than expected, but they eventually arrived.  Understandable.  No complaints.

The only time I've gotten burned was for a
Donkey Kong video game cartridge.  I was in my Atari 7800 phase.  The hardware and software was so cheap that I couldn't resist.  I found a FS post on rec.games.video.classic for the system--I don't remember the exact price, but it was a steal, something like $50, plus a handful of games.  This sale went fine.  I got the unit, plugged it in, and played some vintage games.  However, I got greedy.  I wanted more games.  So I found an ad for Donkey Kong, one of my all time faves.  And for $2.  Dude, I had to have it.

To this day, I still check my mailbox with the hope that maybe it has finally arrived...

(4.21.05)

There's an infamous deleted scene from
Pulp Fiction in which Mia grills Vincent with the question "Are you an Elvis person or a Beatles person?"  The point being you can like them both, but you're either a fan of one or the other, you can't like both equally.  Now, everyone ought to be able to reasonably guess what kinda person I am...

I don't hate Elvis.  I give him extra points for style and setting the rock'n'roll stage.  There's no doubt of his historical significance in pop culture.  But I never idolized him, even though many of the musicians that I do idolize, including Lennon, totally worshipped him.  And I've never been absolutely impressed with his music--yeah, I get the idea of his songs, but they don't inspire me to genuflect beyond a salute to American iconography.  Sometimes when I listen to one of his undisputable hits, I feel more academically inclined to enjoy what I'm hearing, rather than being honestly moved.

However, make no mistake, I love early rock'n'roll.  It had such raw simplicity that it almost makes everything else that followed seem like pointless filerbustering--three chords and silly lyrics, that's all you really need.  To me, Elvis is actually one of the lesser gods in the pantheon of the genre's establishers.  I rank Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis above The King as entertainers that I truly dig.  But no one, in my opinion, rules early rock'n'roll like Buddy Holly.

It's cause he was a nerd.  He composed most of his own songs, all of which weren't complex, yet they were diverse, unlike his peers who tended to sound like they were reworking the same song over and over again.  And he died young.

Looking at Elvis et al, it's hard to picture myself even attempting to rock'n'roll.  But Buddy gave hope to us goofballs.  I think it's cause he wasn't stereotypically cool that he had to focus on his songwriting to compete with the flashy antics of his contemporaries.  There's something more "artsy", "alternative", and "empowering" about his hiccup riddled voice which was diametrically opposed to the pretty boy bravura of Elvis' dominanance.   He seemed more down to earth than the other outrageous stars--like he was just being himself rather than an act.  Every geeky musician, from the techno dorks to the Radioheads, all owe some lineage props to Buddy.  Including the Beatles.

When I turned 23, I went thru a mini-crisis.  That's when I became older than Buddy was when his plane crashed.  I freaked out cause I realized that I hadn't done anything in my life half as cool as he did--written great songs, toured with a band, and gotten married.  Of course, I was only being stupidly paranoid like most people get when they suddenly acknowledge that they're growing up.  Luckily, I was only 23 when I stopped comparing my life to others--it could've gotten worse had I been attached to my ridiculous expectations any longer.  I've since had no complaints about my own little life.  I thank Buddy for imparting upon me the trust in myself.  The only thing Elvis taught me was how to become a fat old man.

(4.22.05)

A heavenly acquired choir of trumpets heralded a fanfare in half time as my ears swam in the swamp of thick harmonies sticking in the air like bloated bricks floating across the lost landscape of tuned gloom and pompous despair.  This was the alleged smoke screen signal that a single obscene gestured puppet for an unduplicated hour shall have the power to register the responses of its master via the sympathetic vibrations of its strings.  Each pull will prove undisputedly that misery trembles down the line.  And the puppet's heart will detect the master's frustrated fluctuations of fib laced happiness.  Not that I should be aware of this sorta illogical deposit in the bank of reality.  These kinda glitches in the electrostatic status of the universe slip nigh unnoticed by you and me, at least as far as anyone would permanently admit to perceive.  Sometimes, and I can't confirm this either way, but there are patterns of coincidences whereby the notes of angelic trumpets conceal the exact coordinates of the inverted locations of these irreverent vergences in coded syncopation.  Not many notice when a second is trimmed by a hair when it's collectively missed.  Or if you're clairvoyant with polygraphic puppets.  But just like that, in a strobe light instant everything could randomly shift and you're the puppet.  However, due to the mystery of such happenstance reasoning, you'll deny that this transfer of identity occurred as you continue with your life thinking that you've got insightful readings into the emotions of a puppet.  And for an unexplainable hour you'll feel the sorrow of your former self.  The trumpets will blast again and you'll be assed out of this game of musical chairs.  Perhaps you'll wonder if there ever was a moment when you weren't blowing your own horn.

(4.25.05)

Ootinee, my name is Jerry the Jawa.  I'm one of the few Jawas living on Coruscant.  I came here about a decade ago and have since taken residence near the Jedi Temple.  I work at their archives.

Originally, I lived on Tatooine.  I roamed the dunes in a sandcrawler with other Jawas.  But the scavenger's life wasn't for me.  So one day I ditched my cohorts and met Max Rebo in a cantina at Mos Eisely.  He was also thinking about changing his scene--maybe get a gig at Jabba's palace.  He let me tag along in his landspeeder.

It took a couple of months for Max to put together a band.  Eventually he hooked up with Sy Snootles and Droopy McCool.  They formed the Max Rebo Band.  They were tight, man.  I was their roadie.  Anyways, they played around Mos Espa for awhile until a Toydarian named Watto suggested that they audition for Gardulla's palace.  It wasn't as grand as Jabba's, but it was a paying job.  So we entertained her court for a harvest season until the band got noticed by an Ithorian who happened to be one of the chief mechanics on Jabba's sail barge.  He put in a good word and soon Max, Sy, Droopy, and I were living the good life at Jabba's palace.

Everyday was a party, man.  Slutty alien groupies galore.  But it was too good to last.  Droopy got hooked on death sticks.  I think Max dabbled, but he never admitted it.

One night, I stepped out of the palace to get some fresh air.  I was minding my own business when a gang of Tusken Raiders attacked me.  I was about to get clobbered with a gaderffii stick when I heard a lightsaber ignite.  From the shadows a small Jedi jumped to my rescue.

"Ok are you?" she asked after she scared my attackers away.

My eyes lit up under my hood as I looked at her in the moonlight.  She was the most beautiful creature in the whole universe.  "Uh, I think so," I stuttered.

"Your name I know not," she whispered as she helped me to my feet.

"Jerry the Jawa," I replied, dusting myself off.

"Jedi Master Yaddle I am," she said.

"Hey, thanks for saving my life," I added.

"Quickly," she lowered her voice as she pulled me, "leave we must.  More Sand People I sense."

She led me around the surrounding hills to her starfighter.  We were both small enough to fit ourselves into the single seat cockpit.  She told me that she was on a secret Jedi research mission in regards to the origins of someone named Anakin Skywalker and that I was in danger if I stayed on Tatooine.  According to The Force, I must accompany her to Coruscant.  Who was I to argue with a cute Jedi?

So that's how I ended up at the central planet of the galaxy.  Yaddle set me up with a job at the Jedi Archives.  And we've been really good friends.  She's got a sick sense of humour.  I know we're not supposed to get involved, her being a Jedi and all, but sometimes I like to dream.  I keep my mouth shut.  Although, once when we were eating at Dexter Jettster's diner in Coco Town and the light caught her freckles just so--well, I almost revealed my true feelings to her...

Alas, thesedays as the Clone Wars rage, there is a sense of danger in the universe.  Many Jedi have been dispatched to battle on distant planets.  Yaddle tells me that she's wary of the Dark Side of the Force.  I'm just glad I'm not on Tatooine anymore.  And I'm thankful she's safe.

(4.26.05)

.bed my in up woke I ,disappeared consciousness my as And  .backwards or forward no was There  .time and space all overwhelmed nothingness ,extinguished it As  .forest last the burned This  .fire of ball a into blended dreams the all ,lifetimes of trillions after ,finally ,Until  .reverse in continuing all dreams simultaneous of thousands having was I Soon  .multiplied which ,forests womb more to back ,paths their following kept I  .backwards went also dreams These  .dreams separate two in up woke I  .tree a on leaf a became half other the whilst sky the in hole a thru shot me of half as eyes my closed I  .two in me ripped and sunk ground the ,day one And  .reverse in me fed which forest the of middle the in fountain umbilical an was There  .meshes vessel blood in scattered and forked that branches with trees twisty of full forest a unlike not was which ,womb the to returned I  .birth my to back way the all regressed I  .counterclockwise went Time  .backwards went everything which in dream a had I

(4.27.05)

Watermelon and pineapple.  I've got Tupperwares full of these left over from the reception following my concert.  Even though I gorge on them late at night, there's no way in hell I'm gonna finish them all.  I've got more than I could possibly ever want.  Some will inevitably rot in my fridge.  I await the discolouring.

A belly dancer asked me to take photos of some of her costumes--she's gonna try and sell 'em on eBay.  They were fancy.  However, she laid them on the floor, under the crappy florescent lights.  I kinda was hoping she'd wear them.  I've never photographed a belly dancer before.  She had a nice body.  I wanted to see it adorning the costume, and maybe get a little dance.  I suppose she was embarrassed or whatever.  I tried to explain to her that the lighting in the room wasn't gonna faithfully capture the colours of her outfits.  She didn't care, she just wanted to get rid of them.  They were faded already.

Everyday when I comb my hair I hope to find some greys.  I know of many people younger than myself who've started to sprout grey hair.  I think it looks distinguished, wise, and cool.  I so badly want to have grey hair.  Alas, that might be my ultimate undoing--I'm starting to suspect that there's some cosmic joke going around whereby I never get what I want, but I always get what I don't want.  Not to mention, maybe I'm not as distinguished, wise, and cool as I think I am.  Someday...

(4.28.05)

Christine let me borrow her new Beck CD.  She got the deluxe edition that comes with a DVD mix of the album.  I ripped the disc onto my hard drive, but listened to the 5.1 surround mix first.  The trippy visuals that accompany each track are cute, but I think I need to be stoned to appreciate that artsy fartsy crap.  I did, however, dig the music, especially the discreet separation of the dense textures--electro bleeps swirling from behind, barbed fences of guitars on the peripheral edges, and cantilever harmonies spanning above the central channel.  It was a bit gimmicky, but then again, I think that's what I like about Beck.

I really liked his
Odelay album.  It was fun.  And the production was nuts.  But I kinda lost interest in his music afterwards when he stripped it down and lost the zany samples.  Not that I didn't admire his songwriting, cause at the core of his craft, he can write some damn fine tunes, but I think he cobbled a postmodern sound that's all his, which he seemed to've downplayed with his more focused deconstructive jaunts into the specific genres that intrigued him.  And I won't argue against his trajectory--none of his albums were misfires.  Cause he probably suspected that his trademark sound didn't have the legs to fill a career.  Nevertheless, I missed it.

Guero is the homecomming that I've been waiting nearly a decade for.  It picks up where Odelay left off and I'm back in the genre splicing collages that's vintage Beck.  However, there's a maturity that gives the new album an edge over the classic.  Maybe his concentrated studies of other styles widened his perspective.  Maybe absence makes the ears grow fonder.  Maybe it's cause I'm also older and these things seem more noticeable.  Or maybe it's cause Christine lent it to me.

Anyways, I burned a copy and listened to it in my car for a week.  The sound effects blend into the background when compressed to stereo allowing for the lyrics to take the spotlight.  "Broken Drum" is my favourite--a beautiful cavatina that battles a passive aggressive riptide of feedback and distortion.  I've now got a better appreciation for Beck.  So much so that I'm gonna give his other albums another chance.  In the meantime, I bought the vinyl version of
Guero.  The past is back.

(4.29.05)

Another billet-doux came delivered erroneously forboding grave heartbreak insofar jealousy kindles love more narcissistically overboard per quixotic reverence situated towards uncertain vulnerability wakens xenophobic yearnings zealously.

(5.2.05)

My mail at work is usually uneventful.  Sure I get craploads of music periodicals, but more often than not it's stiff academic stuff.  And every now and then I'll get some reminder that parking fees are gonna be raised next quarter.  Yay.

However, today, as I was sifting thru my pile of Rolling Stone, Film Score Monthly, Journal of Musicology, etc, I noticed a picture postcard from Kobenhavn.  I turned it over and read that it was from Noe.  She wrote about her crazy Danish adventures.  I'm not sure why she sent it to my work address.  Nevertheless, I was happy to hear from her.  It totally made my day.

(Memo to self: send her a postcard when I go to Europe this summer.)

Out of habit, I read album liner notes.  I like to see who wrote which songs, what samples were used, who mixed the tracks, and where the recordings were made.  Cause sometimes you can recognize names.

I even like to read the "thanks" just to see who got props.  I thought it was the coolest thing to see George Harrison listed in the "thanks" section of one of Julian Lennon's albums.  Anyways, I got a copy of the latest Kite Operations CD.  As I listened to it I did my customary reading of the liner notes.  "Hey wow," I said to myself as I saw Henry Lim in the "thanks".  That was nice of them.  It totally made my night.

(Memo to self: send them a thanks for the "thanks".)

(5.3.05)

One day, when I was in 6th grade, I got bored and decided to embellish my name on my homework with a descriptor--"Henry the Great".  There weren't any other Henrys in my class, so there oughtn't to be any confusion.  And besides, I was great.

So I turned it in.

The next day, the teacher passed back our graded homework in the usual manner--he called out each kid's name and they had to go up to his desk to pick it up. 

"Stephanie, Paul, Justin, David, Kimberly, Jason...and Henry the Great," the teacher proclaimed.  I triumphantly marched to his desk to retrieve my homework.

"Why did you call him 'great'?" Stephanie asked the teacher.  "Why didn't you call me 'great'?"

"Cause that's how he wrote his name," the teacher replied.

"What?" Stephanie disbelieved.  "Let me see that."  She grabbed my homework from me and examined my name.  Of course, there was no denying it--I was great.

The following day, as the teacher passed back our homework, everyone else had added descriptors to their names.

"Stephanie the Beautiful, Paul the Great, Justin the Strong, David the Wise, Kimberly the Pretty, Jason the Great, and Henry the Great."  Everyone seemed to be getting a kick out of the little tags next to their names.

That's when I realized that greatness is a joke.

(5.4.05)

As I flipped between channels and caught Puffy and Zooey Deschanel on the Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O'Brien shows respectively I came to the assumption that I really don't like television per se, rather I'm more interested in seeing personalities from other mediums make guest appearances on the tube.  In this instance, musicians performing and movie stars being interviewed on late night talk shows.  And yeah, I know they're only there to promote their album or film, but it's seeing them look all uncomfortable before the camera that I enjoy--to gleam some aspect of their "real" selves, at least outside of their primary milieu.

Puffy, with the aid of a translator, seemed awkwardly lost in the hot seat, with no help from the maladroit host.  But they kicked ass when they sang.  Not to forget how cute they are on TV.  I don't think Zooey completed a full sentence during her interrogation.  She did squirm a lot and laugh at herself like a goofball.  Which is exactly what I tuned in for.

Tonight was the finest night of TV I've ever seen.

(5.5.05)

Sometimes I like to pretend that the road I'm on ain't a dead end.  Late at night, I imagine that it can extend forever--the darkness plays tricks on my eyes.  And even though I try to ignore the signs, I secretly hope that maybe I'll be allowed to drive through at the last minute.  So I proceed slowly.

Cause really, no road is truly blocked.  It's all in your mind.  These distinctions of where you're supposed to be and where you theoretically cannot go can be overcome, somehow.  Even if it'll be a danger to my well being, be it a brick wall or the edge of a cliff.  Onward.

I suppose I'm stubborn that way.  I like to stick to whatever path I've chose and follow it to its conclusion.  And honestly, I don't want to go anywhere--I'm just happy to be here.  I have no hidden agenda other than that simple credo.  Furthermore, I believe nothing is absolutely in vain.  You can find wonder in everything.  Even denial.

Just the same, sometimes I wish I could be more aware of where I step.  Cause as of late there's been some rain in LA.  This has attracted the snails to crawl on the wet pavement.  And I swear, I can't stop from accidentally stepping on them.  I've already crushed two in their tracks tonight.

Yeah, I know this can't be good for my karma.  Not to mention, I'm pretty sure these killings are tied to my trapped life.  The universe is so damn fair.  If only I can end the deaths of seemingly innocent snails then I might be able to transcend this dead end trail.

(5.6.05)

The neighbours below me moved out.  I didn't really know them beyond a "hey" when I saw them by the mailboxes.  Like most of the people who've lived in the apartment below me, they spoke another language more than they did English--I often heard them arguing in some Indian form of communication.  I suppose they were nice people.  Whatever they were cooking always smelled nice and spicy.  But I won't miss 'em.

They were actually the first couple to've lived below me that didn't have a crying baby.  Almost everyone else down there has'd some kid or another that screamed all day and night.  And I'd hear loud Mexican music blarring.  Not to mention the smelly cooking.  I remember once that apartment got flooded and the occupants had to leave for a couple of months.  During which, I rocked out.

I think I'm a considerate neighbour.  I'ven't gotten too many complaints.  As a musician who stays up late at night, I fiddle around lots--strum the guitar or listen to my stereo.  But I always keep the volume super low.  I even do all my mixing on headphones, which is a big time faux paus.  Also, I play my keyboards with a light touch--a neighbour once thought I was playing drums due to the thumping of my fingers.

Nevertheless, there's usually a month between when a neighbour moves out and a new one moves in.  And that's when I get to rock out.  For a few weeks I get to blast my stereo and play on my instruments as loud as I want.  This time's especially fun cause my neighbour (whom I'm picking up mail for and putting in her combination locked garage) is still away, meaning there are no tenants behind any of the walls and floors adjacent to my stereo room.

Maybe I'm getting old, but oddly, on the first day of freedom, I didn't have the urge to rock out.  Instead, I barely turned up my stereo and listened to Strauss' piano sonata.  I remember when I was younger and cranking my music loud felt like a relief, as if drowning my ears likewise obliterated my troubles.  Thesedays, I seem to be more preoccupied with subtle nuances in phrasings than how loud I can pump my speakers.  I guess I've outgrown rocking out.  It's as if I could live with or without neighbours.

My fingers are crossed regarding getting a cute new neighbour...

Addendum: All hell broke loose when I blasted the Revenge of the Sith soundtrack at 3:00 in the morning.

(5.9.05)

Freeway shootings are an everyday part of life here in Los Angeles.  You hear about them on the nightly news, sigh, and proceed on your commute the next day.  I've never personally seen any of these alleged moving violations, nor have I ever been involved in such dramatic scenarios of road rage, but I can somewhat guess as to how one is the result of the other in the concentrated mess that's rush hour--which I purposely avoid.

I try my best to be a gentleman on dates.  I use most of my energy restraining the horndog in me as I focus my attention on a girl's demeanour.  Any hesitation on her part, however defensively coy, and I'll back down--give or take a few joking asides to faze the tension.  I'm a patient man.  Aggression ain't what drives me.

Lately, there's been an increased alertness on freeways as shootings have gone on the rise, or at least that's what the news portrays.  Police have upped their patrol as patterns in the killings are sought.  Reminders such as "the third freeway shooting in the last three days" and "beware of tailgaters" headline the stories.  Photos of crashed cars at familiar exits drive the situation home.

But sometimes, there's that awkward moment with a cute girl when I think I should follow my natural instinct and be a man instead of a gentleman.  Go for the kill.  And then my mind starts thinking about the situation, the little bits of doubt that I sensed on her part, and damn politeness takes over.  I admit I get a little chicken when the light turns yellow.  No one likes to get shot down.

(5.10.05)

My initial reaction upon discovering that
Land of the Lost was being released on DVD was hearing the theme song in my head: "Marshall, Will, and Holly, on a routine expedition..."  I smiled as the music was inevitably accompanied by visions of dinosaurs.  Land of the Lost was definitely one of my favourite TV shows as a kid.  I remember waking up early in the morning with the sole purpose of watching another episode featuring Grumpy, Alice, Dopey, et al.  I was already a dinosaur freak before I got exposed to the show, and obviously, it helped fossilize my obsession.  Cause as a young and impressionable kid, seeing dinosaurs walk around and hearing them roar blew my little mind.  I totally bought into the special effects, even though I knew that they were just puppets and stop motion models.  Back then I could really suspend my belief.  So much so that I often got sucked into the show, literally.  I mean, I was there in the High Bluff helping with the flyswatter.  It's a sensation from a TV show that I've never truly been able to recapture since.

I was just about to order all three seasons of the show, when I paused and had a followup reaction.  I reasonably suspected that my grown up logic'll sabotage any enjoyment of the show.  The dinosaurs will look silly--the amateur paleontonogist in me'll nitpick the hell outta the dragged tails.  And if I don't get that same rush, however campy or nostalgic, I'm not gonna be able to lose myself in the adventure.  Eh, I think it's best if I hold onto my exaggerated memories than to waste my money on disappointment.  And I really don't want to be stuck with a bunch of DVDs that I'll never rewatch.  In fact, I don't intend to rent it either.  It's over.  The past was a blast--much of my subconscious is lined with the looping paradoxes and interdimesional elevators that I experienced on the show.  And like the main characters, I spent all my time searching for an escape.  No point in being greedy and attempt to get lost again.

(5.11.05)

The words.  Tell me the words.

-Don Quixote

I didn't want to talk to anyone this weekend.  Not because I was in an anti-social mood, rather I needed to arrange a musical play, and the only way I could finish it was to sequester myself and plow thru it all day and night.  Cause I'm relatively aware of my capabilities and limitations given a short deadline.  I know my pace.  And the only way I could have a task this size done by Monday was to carefully plan it.  On Thursday night, for pre-production, I studied the score, made a few preliminary sketches, and charted out a schedule that I had to meet, id est by Saturday I should have X amout done, when I could take breaks, et cetera.  No time for procrastinating chit chat with friends.

Friday night, as I began laying down tracks, I got a phone call from Christine.  Ok, for her I'll make an exception--anyone else and I'd've said "Don't bother me now."  Turns out she had some happy news.  Her friend just gave birth.  That was last conversation I had for the next two days.

My friend Alan, whom I've collaborated with on several musical projects, is doing a parody of
Man of La Mancha based on Star Wars.  It's called Man of Tatooine.  It's silly and fun, exempla gratiae Dulcinea equals Princess Leia.  Nothing too complicated musicwise, but since many of the main numbers are featured, it's kinda time consuming to arrange.  Ideally, I'd do it with real instruments.  But as I got the script at the last minute, the only practical alternative was to do it all on MIDI.  Yeah, I know, a sampled guitar sound tragically falls short of the real thing, but what're ya gonna do.  Nevertheless, I think the cheesballness adds to the comedy.  A year ago I'd've balked at a project such as this given the time constraint.  But luckily, I've gotten pretty familiar with programming so that I don't waste any moments setting up channels and other technical nonsense.  I can concentrate on the music.

And I realized that thusly I don't think in words.  Especially on a rush job.  Having no time to make second guesses forces me to rely on my intuition, which is surrounded and pententrated by a nebulous energy field that controls my actions, but it also obeys my commands.  Instead of thoughts in the form of sentences, I feel the notes as they relate to each other, be it in the internal voicings of a single triad or the overarching structure as a whole.  It all must connect harmonically from start to finish.  Even as I try to explain what goes thru my mind during these concentrated lapses of aphasia, I fall short.  Words just get in the way.

Needless to say, I finished on time--Sunday night.  And as I converted the last mixdown to a WAV file, my phone rang.  It was Insung.  Turns out he had some sad news.  His mother just passed away.  That was the first conversation I had in the last two days.

(5.12.05)

My last CD player had a good life.  It lasted for about 10 years, thru the thick and sick, thin and the sin.  It replaced my college stalwart, which after a brilliant tour of duty in the dorms and undergraduate bunkers, survived a praiseworthy four years, given the circumstances.  Alas, its front loading tray mechanism got so overworked that it decided, with courageous grinding noises, to never open again--its fingerprint smudged eject button askew.  That brave machine took over for my first CD player.  I won't praise her beyond being a spoiled, high maintenance bitch.  But you never really forget the one who initially broke your heart.

Up until a week ago, my last CD player was doing fine.  I thought it was built like a tank--I mean, 10 years is a pretty long haul for your average consumer electronic device, my constant abuse making it even more impressive.  But it started to stutter when I turned it on.  Soon, it was taking longer between the moment I pushed the power button and the LED lit.  I tried plugging it into other sockets.  Same results.  Finally, it expired--its little laser beam shall pass thru and reflect off polycarbonate and aluminum layers no more.

So I got a new one.  It's different from the last three in that it's a five disc carrousel--bummer, Sony doesn't have a single disc player in their lineup this year.  In the past, I've always avoided multi-disc players cause I was afraid that the more moving parts, the more potential problems.  Plus, I like to listen to one CD at a time.  However, perhaps, by loading five discs at a time, I'll in effect preserve it from opening and closing four extra times.  Eh, it all balances out.  As long as it works, I can't complain. 

Please note that I'm referring to my primary CD player which's hooked to my main stereo system.  In these modern times, almost everything plays CDs--computers, cars, DVD players.  Technically, I've had a dozen devices that read and/or record CDs.  All've been put to excessive use.  But it's my principal CD player that gets the most love.

On a side note, I put my cassette deck into storage.  I'ven't seriously used that puppy in ages.  And I don't see myself listening to Dolby noise reduced tape hiss in the foreseeable future--I transferred my recordings to CD.                                 

(5.13.05)

OUT ON A LIM Hot 100 (2005)

1.   Zooey Deschanel
2.   Puffy (Ami Onuki & Yumi Yoshimura)
3.   Avril Lavigne
4.   Hilary Hahn
5.   Caroline Dhavernas
6.   Frances O'Connor
7.   Sofia Coppola
8.   Natalie Portman
9.   Dakota Fanning
10.  Kaki King
11.  Naomi Watts
12.  Yukie Nakama
13.  Julie Delpy
14.  Jenna Fischer
15.  Rachel Dratch
16.  Scarlett Johansson
17.  Emmylou Harris
18.  Kirsten Dunst
19.  Amanda Bynes
20.  Kim Deal
21.  Cate Blanchett
22.  Emma Watson
23.  Hajime Chitose
24.  Megan McCormick
25.  Keiko Agena
26.  Tina Fey
27.  Gwyneth Paltrow
28.  Rachael Leigh Cook
29.  Elizabeth Fraser
30.  Samantha Morton
31.  Miranda Cosgrove
32.  Deborah Harry
33.  Alison Lohman
34.  Renne Zellweger
35.  Nina Persson
36.  Lexus Locklear
37.  Kimberly Williams
38.  Judy Greer
39.  Emily Browning
40.  Anna Paquin
41.  Sarah Polley
42.  Colleen Fitzpatrick
43.  Evan Rachel Wood
44.  Aimee Mann
45.  Ming-Na Wen
46.  Jaime King
47.  Gwen Stefani
48.  Sam Phillips
49.  Mandy Moore
50.  Alexis Bledel
51.  Clea Duvall
52.  Jodie Foster
53.  Catherine O'Hara
54.  Christina Ricci
55.  Rachael Harris
56.  Daniella Monet
57.  Heather Matarazzo
58.  Laura Prepon
59.  Julia Stiles
60.  Deborah Kara Unger
61.  Anne Hathaway
62.  Cameron Diaz
63.  Masiela Lusha
64.  Alicia Witt
65.  Kathleen McDermott
66.  Laura Linney
67.  Nicole Kidman
68.  Karen Peris
69.  Lisa Kudrow
70.  Kate Beckinsale
71.  Cyndi Lauper
72.  Janeane Garofalo
73.  Miranda Otto
74.  Norah Jones
75.  Tisha Campbell
76.  Allison Barrows    
77.  Kristen Stewart 
78.  Penelope Cruz
79.  Uma Thurman
80.  Jena Malone
81.  Nicole Helgesen
82.  Alyson Hannigan
83.  Sara Gilbert 
84.  Mary-Louise Parker 
85.  Emily Watson
86.  Hillary Clinton
87.  Stella McCartney
88.  Thora Birch  
89.  Kate Winslet
90.  Utada Hikaru
91.  Michelle Trachtenberg
92.  Milla Jovovich
93.  Tilda Swinton
94.  Liz Phair
95.  Keira Knightley
96.  Jennifer Jason Leigh
97.  Tara Reid
98.  Mena Suvari
99.  Yoko Ono 
100. R4-P17

(5.16.05)

As I committed my semi-annual ritual of cutting my toenails, I held the handful of curly yellow scraps and wondered, hmm, how sick would it be if I started a collection?  Like, gather my toenail clippings over the years, put them in little glass jars, and keep 'em cool in the fridge.  So when they find me dead and go thru my belongings, my madness will all but be confirmed.  Or maybe I could sell 'em on eBay.  And whilst I'm at it, why not start amassing the hair from my shower drain.  Cause, after a year, I'm sure I'll've a huge ball of hair.

I laughed.  I've got no interest in collecting junk.

I mean, I've gone thru the various phases--collecting rocks, stamps, comics, matchbooks, signal processors, and other miscellaneous trinkets.  For a while I collected autographs.  Yeah, I was a nerd.  But those moments of insanity passed.  I actually consciously don't keep things anymore.  In fact, I prefer to throw crap away.  The less I horde, the better, I say.

Ok, I've got a drawer full of ticket stubs from movies and concerts.  But that's just out of bad habit--I don't fetishize them, reminisce, or whatever collectors do in the privacy of their prized possessions.  I think it's cause ticket stubs are so inconsequential in terms of taking up space that I don't mind littering the bottom of my desk drawer with them.  

I suppose I collect coins.  I have giant pickle jars full of spare change, neatly arranged by type--pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.  Everynight, I empty my pockets.  I only really use the quarters (for laundry).  The rest is future Coinstar fodder.  And no, I don't mind having to deduct a percentage--that's money I'd gladly lose than to roll coins.  The problem is it's a chore to dispose.  I guess I collect things more out of laziness than freaky obsessiveness.  So I admire the enthusiasm of toenail collectors.  I wish I had such ambition.

(5.17.05)
(5.18.05)

I forgot how cool a real orchestra sounds.  Sure, I like to listening to a recording, but really, it ain't anything compared to actually sitting in a concert hall and hearing a large ensemble of dedicated musicians performing on finely crafted instruments.  Kinda makes my MIDI orchestra sound like a video game.  And in this day and age when electronic amplication is all the rage, it's refreshing to hear natural acoustics--again, it's like comparing a recording with the real thing.  Technology still has a long way to go in terms of reproducing sound.

A composer friend, Charles, invited me to the premiere of his latest work, a modern piece for orchestra.  It was on a program that included selections from various ethnomusicological regions--an Arab concerto, a Chinese cappricio, and mariachi.  The theme was "orientalism" and was performed on the respective culture's instruments (buzuq, erhu, mariachi guitars) backed by a traditional Western orchestra.  Charles' piece was sorta a blend of pop and classical music--the "exotic" instruments being the synthesizer, drum machine, and electric guitar.

Anyways, I enjoyed the show.  The "oriental" instruments were nifty, albeit they needed to be mic'ed to be heard over the orchestra, which seemed uncomplimentary.  I sat towards the front of the stage, which isn't ideal as one ought to sit towards the middle, allowing the sound to reverberate in the physical space.  But part of me has always loved hearing a live orchestra up close--I have fond memories of playing in the violin section, and I like to recreate that aural perspective.  There's something more "real" about being near the sound source.  Besides, I got a good view of the cute violoncello player.  I forgot how cool a real musician looks like.

(5.19.05)

"Are you going to the Christoph Bull concert tonight?" Umberto asked.  "It's gonna be cool.  He's playing Bach and Pink Floyd on the organ at Royce Hall.  And he's got a video projection thing going as he plays."

"Wow, sounds psychedelic," I enthused, "Ah, but no, I can't make it.  I'm going to an illusionist's house tonight."

Ever since Umberto engineered a recording of a Royce Hall organ performance, I've been bugging him to sneak me into the next concert.  I wanna hear that instrument in all its live glory.  There was a rehearsal yesterday, but it was before noon--way too early for me.

Seems like there's too many things to do, too many places to be, and too many people to meet...

All last week, I had a series of singers (Scott, Brett, Susan, Rob, and Alan) drop by my apartment to record vocals into my makeshift studio (computer).  This was for the
Man of Tatooine musical that I arranged.  Each person was a character, to say the least.  Luckily, my new neighbours hadn't moved in yet.  There was some loud belting going on.

The rest of this week, of course, I'll be spending most of my time waiting in lines with other
Star Wars geeks.  I figure, this is the last go.  I can finally grow up after this.

But tonight, I was gonna meet Al Seckel, author of
Masters of Deception.  He lives in Malibu.  I was curious to check out his optical tricks'n'treats.  And we're gonna discuss a LEGO project.

The night before, as I checked the map to Al's house, I thought it'd be fun to invite Christine along--she'd probably get a kick out of seeing some crazy mind bending illusions, not to mention she's not out of the way.  So I wrote her an email.

"That would be very cool," she replied.

Just before I left my office to pick her up, she wrote asking if it'd be alright to meet up with her friend Andrea for dinner, we could grab something near the Promenade.  Sure.  So we found her in the bar of Ye Olde King's Head, got a table, and gabbed.  Andrea's husband is into recreating historical battles.

"Are you sure you don't wanna come with us to see illusions?" Christine and I gave Andrea a last chance before we parted at the crosswalk.  Unfortunately for her, she had a long drive to San Pedro and couldn't stay out too late.  Oh well, her loss.

The last minutes of the sunset disappeared into the west as we drove up PCH.

Needless to say, Christine and I totally tripped out as we ooh'ed and wow'ed at Al's neverending illusionfest--original Eschers and Dalis, impossible objects, and pictures that seemed to move.  Crazy stuff.

I'm glad that I do what I do, am at the places I'm at, and meet the people I meet.

(5.20.05)

I've got a handful of aliases, pseudonyms, nicknames, handles, and secret identities.  I like to think that I can keep track of them all.  Some are obvious (Larry McFeurdy), some are familiar to family (Ham), some are noms d'AIM (droideka13), some are dajare (Japanese puns), and some are undiscloseable (?). 

But as far as I know, I've never used the name "Diana Garcia".

Lately, I've been getting tons of messages on my answering machine for "Diana".  Sounds like people want some money from the dame--banks and creditors seem to be on her tail.  I'm guessing that she gave a phony phone number to hide her trail.  It just happened to be my number.

Anyone who's ever called me early in the morning knows that I won't answer, cause I'm a lazy bum.  Even when I'm sleeping right next to my answering machine, I'll still ignore it.  I might hear bits of the message thru the speaker, but nothing short of "Hello Henry, this is Dakota Fanning" will wake me, and even then I might nevertheless sleep thru her call.

After someone leaves a message, my answering machine makes a beeping sound at approximately 40 BPMs.

Maybe it's cause of my interaction with click tracks and metronomes that I'm accustomed to feel a beat, not hear it.  Thus, I can sleep peacefully with an answering machine beeping at my side.

And maybe it's cause rhythms are one of the subliminal tricks music employs to lull a listener to other states of consciousness that I tend to have largo dreams when I'm under the spell of my beeping answering machine--slow, tragic dreams.  I think my brainwaves sync to the tempo.

I've been having dreams that I'm Diana Garcia...

(5.23.05)

Imagine not being able to wake up whenever you want, having to go to work early in the morning, and slaving at a job that you hate.

So I was watching one of those late night sermon broadcasts on a local television channel.  It was about how to deal with an inferiority complex.  Nothing too educational--ain't it obvious that feelings of insecurity and jealousy are linked to one's sense of self worth.

Imagine having all your dreams crushed, being completely alone in this world, and wishing that this life'll end soon.

So I got sucked into the sermon.  The minister had a comedic style that got my attention.  And his flock seemed to follow his every word, at least those that got shown on camera.  They were religiously taking notes.

Imagine being denied what you deserve, never finding love, and everyone except you getting a chance at happiness.

So I thought his message was cool.  Well, up until he got to the punchline--that if you get rid of your inferiority complex, your problems will disappear and the good things that've eluded you in the past will come to you.  Now, I'm not claiming to be holy, but since when does getting "good things" matter?  Yeah, I understand that there needs to be some practical incentive for people to attend a sermon, but to lure them with promises of betterment as a reward for being good is, to me, not cool.  Cause that's just further conditioning to be conditional.

Imagine nevertheless.

(5.24.05)

My dad was 36 in 1977--three years older than I am now.  I don't remember his exact circumstances when he took me, or rather when I dragged him, to see
Star Wars.  Cause at five years old, I was happy just to go to the movie theatre, period, let alone be aware of whether my dad worked late the night before or if the film about robots and spaceships bored the hell out of him.  He fell asleep thru most of it.

I've never fallen asleep in a movie theatre.  But then again, I don't have three young kids and don't work crazy hours at a hospital.  It's never really occurred to me until now, as my peers have become responsible parents with taxing jobs, that people do legitimately get tired.  Not to mention, the older we get, the less energy we seem to have.  I can sorta sympathize, but I don't think I come halfway close to comprehending the idea of not being fully awake during the day.  Even the notion of being tired escapes me--get a good night's rest, for goodness sake.            

Although, one can argue that I'm actually the one who's selfishly sleeping thru life.  Anyone my age, traditionally speaking, ought to be devoting all his time to his family and career.  Only spoiled kids have the luxury to enjoy their own time.  I acknowledge this point of view and know that I've got no one to blame but myself for overindulging in life.  Yet, I feel indebted to
Star Wars for stunting my immature perspective.       

Despite the popular derision of the bulk of the prequels, I totally fell for them--anything that takes me back to the entailing wonder of being a five year old kid can't be hated by me.  And I mean I really was five years old again in 1999.  I wasn't a jaded adult nitpicking criticism.  I blinded my mind as I recaptured the magic even if it really wasn't there.  Yes, I can complain about the crappy acting, but a five year old kid doesn't give a shit about such technicalitites.  I followed it with my heart.

And what I found was a coexistence between the five year old kid in me and the undeniable fact that I was an adult.  So I ran with it.  Cause it's not often that you get a chance to carelessly relive past passions coupled with the experience and resources of the present.  What would I make out of LEGO?  As the characters in the movies aged, so did I, hobbywise.  What kinda music would I compose?  What kinda stories would I write?  I think it's safe to say that everything on my webpage is a product of this renewed renaissance or mid-life crisis.

So it's impossible for me to be objective about the last installment.  Of course I thought it was cool.  I think that the time inverting prequel format is brilliant.  Who's to say if I'd've been so inclined to tap into my childhood in the manner that I did had they been sequels.  And I don't regret misplacing my priorities during these past six years.  Whereas I could've focused on getting married and having kids, I think it's not completely egotistical that I confronted my childhood head on and got it out of my system before it repressively disrupts any relationship I have with others.  I've more than quenched any future digressions to my self absorbed past.  It's finally over.  I'm now ready to fall asleep in a movie theatre.

(5.25.05)

I woke up as the kilolux thru my curtains attained their vertex.  Preceding my shower I proffered a solicitous "wassup" to the diminutive spider domiciling in my bathroom--I lack the doughtiness to extirpate it.  Ever since I pancaked my three pronged stainless steel tub strainer, my drain hasn't been obstructed by absquatulating hair.  And the flux maintains.

My primary mission for the day was to redispatch a 16-bit pulse-code modulation optical disc to an elucidated name and address.  After rendering this relatively unostentatious task, I mean, I excrate to repeat it, but this was implicitly a tautological attempt, I drove from 33n51, 118w23 to 34n03, 118w26, where the motto is "Fiat Lux".

Rubber gloved and face masked, my fellow book slaves were lustrating the rat poo which had agglomerated on the exalted shelves.  I regained my ataraxia and ingested a ham and Swiss croissant whilst surfing for hebesphenomegacorona, unnilquadium, eustreptospondylus, and the
Hauru no Ugoku Shiro trailer--nothing too auxetic.

Got home, ate dinner, and went to bed.

(5.26.05)

Even though I usually don't get trapped on the 405 due to my purposely scheduled avoidance of rush hour, I've had my share of defeats.  Cause traffic is unpredictable.  Even with fancy navigation devices and online reports there's always an unsuspecting broken down car blocking a lane or an accident that'll slow things down, not to mention the absurd insistence that construction can't occur during a less congested time of day.  If you're lucky, these're minor stalls and you'll get back to speed after you herd past the devastation.

My previous personal worst to drive to work was two hours.  Today, it took me two and a half hours--I normally make the Kessel run in 20 minutes.  And it just seemed to progressively slow down as I went along, or rather sat parked on the freeway.  I held onto hope, like I hopeless do, that the standstill will cease.  Cause history has taught me that, in general, patience is a virtue, especially when it ain't rush hour.  Just wait it out and passage shall be granted.  Well, it also didn't help that I was in the "fast" lane.  I got cornered.  Trying to switch over to get off at an exit and take side streets was an uphill battle.  On the bright side, I got to listen to tons of music and smoke just as many cigarettes.

If there's one thing I learned today, it's that things can always get much worse.

Editor's note: OUT ON A LIM won't be running on Memorial Day.  Drive safely.


(5.27.05)

Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)

(5.31.05)

You're the Storm

(6.1.05)

Van Lear Rose

(6.2.05)

Mississippi

(6.3.05)

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Out On a Lim (6.6.05 - 10.21.05)

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