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I somehow had enough to say to say it on multiple pages.  Golly.  Whodathunkit?  

Wanna go back to the newer entries?

.  

(April 9)  The Tibetan Monks are back.  We saw them and took a lot of pictures.  I don't have time to fix them up now but here are a few.  They made the Peace Mandala.  It was of course beautiful, and perfect:

When I think of Tibetans, the first thing I think about is their smiles.  That's because you read all the time about how happy they are and how they have a great sense of humor.  When I first saw this lady I thought she was beautiful, but then she smiled and I thought she was so much more than beautiful.  She was the group's interpreter by the way:

Oh, and speaking of sense of humor, this serious looking fellow was apparently making faces at Gabriel during an explanation of the mandala by the leader of the group (and the interpreter of course).  It's nice to know that in a solemn thing, while the leader (who is also the disciplinarian of the monastery) is talking, one of the monks feels welcome to entertain my 6 year old.

There will be more later as I have time.  Got a lot to do these days though!

(Mar 24)  The newest new design to come out of Morning Glory Glass (haha):

The part that looks clear is actually light blue, the same light blue as is under the right side of the flower, but it's really hard to get a picture of the color of glass without getting also what's behind the glass (be it your neighbor's 18 wheeler, or a bright sky).  Actually, this piece has a wooden frame around it.  After I'd made it, I thought maybe it needed something, maybe a wooden frame I thought.  So,  I looked around and all of the wooden frames I saw just weren't the thing I had in mind.  I wanted something rustic and hefty, not something fruffy.  So one night instead of sleeping, (if sleeping were an olympic sport, I don't think I'd win a medal), I was thinking about this and I suddenly thought of my barn in the country.  My barn is rustic (that's putting it mildly), and about the color I had in mind for the frame even, so I went out there one weekend with a crowbar and ripped a board off the side of it (actually it was part of a door), had my friend who has all the power tool type things help me cut it how I wanted and PRESTO, it ended up being just what I had in mind.

Oh, and here's an interesting aside..... whenever I'm making a piece of stained glass, I have a little mantra that I repeat in my head, sort of goes along with a bunch of other stuff that's going on in my head and I like mantras.  The particular thing I like to think in mantra style is about how the same sun shines down on us all.  So the sun that I see day to day is the same sun this sunflower glass will see in it's day to day life even though we're not in the same area anymore.  See, what I'm saying?  If you think about that a while, it'll make a whole bunch of stuff click into place mentally for you.  We're all the same.  We're all one.  Get it?

 

(Mar 22)  It's always nice to get an unexpected surprise.  Sometimes they come in the mail, sometimes they come when the sun hits something just right at just the moment you look at it.  I had one of these happen the other day.  I made a yin/yang for someone, and I was struggling to get a picture of it.  It's really hard to get pictures of stained glass sometimes, especially in the late afternoon which is when I'm home.  So I get a shot that I"m not overly happy with:

Then I decide to take it outside and try to get a better shot there.  So I take it out of the window and the sun hits it and WHAMMO the shadow blows me away, the grey glass is all crackly and where it doesn't really come out in the glass, it's really obvious in the shadow:

So I'm standing there looking at it and just then it hits me..... WAIT, something's odd here...

Can YOU figure it out?  What's ultra cool and odd about this picture?  And can you figure out why and how it happened?

 

(Mar 17) Getting closer to being done:

 

(Mar 15)  When it comes to internet radio, I only listen to one station, Big Blue Radio.  It has a wide variety of music to offer and has a request line which generally lets the song you request be played within an hour.  Also there's a thing that happens so that songs can't be played more than a certain amount of times per day (this is good because you don't get flooded with the same song repeatedly if you listen all day like I do sometimes).  They play both indies and signed artists too, so you can hear The Who and then Vital Point together, which is cool.  Or maybe John Hartford and then Bud Bennett (which is cool too!).  So.... listen to Big Blue Radio and if you're extra special, click on the Playlist Request button and request Touch the Water and I Like Dark Blue Pie.  (They're found in the B list under Bud Bennett).  If you request them and the request is denied because they've been played recently, then click on the V list and hit my pal Anthony's Vital Point songs for the request!  THANKS!

Big Blue Radio  (Find the media player type you use on the list, click that, then choose broadband or modem and you're good to go!)

 

(Feb 27)  A "POW" update.... we are still painting on it when we're all available to do it together.   Here's some newish pictures.  

 

 

(Feb 18)  The newest thing to come out of ye olde glass shoppe (actually I briefly thought of calling my glass "shop" Morning Glory Glass because the lady who owns the boutique that buys a lot of this stuff wants me to have a name.  I'm kind of partial to that name too, so maybe I will call it that.  We'll see I guess.  Anyway, the newest thing to come from (Morning Glory Glass- haha sounds amusing!) is an angel my mother wanted me to make for a friend of hers.  Despite me not wanting to like it, I think it came out pretty well and I kind of do like it.  Maybe more than a little too.

I'm working on some flowers now.  Calla lillies, iris, tuplips and sunflowers.  I like flowers and plants the best I think.  Well I guess I like about anything really.

 

(Feb 16)  OK, so in the 70's I spent a lot of summers with my grandparents in Washington DC.  One summer my grandmother took me to the Hirshorn and gave me a tablet and a pencil and told me to find a painting I liked and draw it.  She was always coming up with cool things to do like that.  So I found one by Roy Lichtenstein that I liked and drew something that was inspired by it and showed it to her.  So.... later that day we went home and painted it on the wall in her basement.  When we finished it, she said we should do more with it so we made giant painted streamers coming off of it and ran them around corners, on the floor and into things.  Then she decided that since she was an Andy Warhol fan she would paint the pipes in the room we were in with cambpells soup label-like paintings.  (She was the coolest grandmother ever I think.)  So now fast forward 18 or so years to the present time.  Beth had the great idea that we could paint that same picture on the wall of our own basement in the glass workroom (I often think Beth is the coolest wife ever.)  It's a whole family project.  All four of us are slinging paint around in there.  So folks...... here it is.  In the 70's my grandmother dubbed it "The Pow", and so this is "Son of Pow" , originally inspired by Roy Lichtenstein  (I just this second decided on calling it that.) (and Anthony, don't look at what's on the light table there...)

This is pre-Son of Pow:

This is with some paint:

and this is with some more paint- still not done though:

 

 

 

 

 

(Dec 22)  I used to like golden retrievers but I don't anymore.  I finally figured out why too.  Seems everyone who has a golden retriever insists on calling them "Goldens".  That really annoys me and every time I hear that I cringe.  I think I wouldn't mind it if other two name dog owners did the same thing, but it seems a unique golden retriever owner habit.  Like say if people who owned Shi Tzus would call them shits I probably wouldn't mind it at all.

 

(Dec 18)  I have some new pictures of some stained glass here today.  I was going to scan them in but I disconnected my scanner a few weeks ago and it's too much trouble to hook it back up right now, so I'll just show them to you instead.  

This first one is some sun catchers I did.  I don't really like doing sun catchers, but for some reason people like to buy them, so I make them and people buy them.  The person who wanted me to make them wanted them in VPI colors so I did that, but made them sort of interesting looking.  Whaddya think?

This next one is some rhododendron leaves in a frozen pond.  At least that's my interpretation of it.  Haha and since I made it, I guess that's what it is.  I picked some leaves from a plant up at the Cascades when we were last up there and traced them around on the pattern.  I like the glass I used but am not overly crazy about the design at the moment.  

Here's a ying/yang I made for Beth's teacher.  I think it came out pretty good.  You can't see the iridescence in these colors too well, but it's there.  Pretty neat I think and maybe this is one of my favorite things I've done so far.  

Oh, and here's a Chinese dragon.  See how the clouds are layered and sort of texture-y?  I love these clouds.  And the dragon's face too, I think the face is pretty darn good.

So there they are, I hope you enjoyed seeing them as much as I did.

 

(Dec 17)

I was listening to a news story about airplanes the other day and how they are so big and expensive etc and the problems associated with them being so big.  It was interesting, but made me think that the obvious answer to the airplane size and expense and danger problem is OBVIOUSLY instead of making the planes larger, just make the people smaller.  This is not a new idea, like in those Honey I Shrunk the Kids movies, they had that beam that shrunk people.  Or in the Willie Wonka movie where he has that giant thing that makes a chocolate bar whiz across the tv waves to magically BE in your tv set so you can reach out and grab it.  This technology is obviously not new, so I'm wondering about why we don't use it?  My guess is that special interest groups have the whole thing  blocked up and are preventing it.  If people were shrunk before an airline flight, the plane could be smaller and more efficiently run.  Also food on the plane would be less too.  I was thinking that the people could be normal size until they walked through the last gate in the airport.  That gate would be the shrinking beam that would scan them and shrink them just like a metal detector scans people looking for metal.  The people would be small until they left the plane where the process would be reversed and they'd be reinstated to their normal size.  It's a brilliant plan. 

 

That shrinking beam could solve a lot of other problems too,if people enjoyed the small size better than the big size.  Like housing.  Just think, if people were all shrunk an average sized apartment building could then serve to house hundreds more people.  And the whole food issues with starvation etc... An ear of corn or loaf of bread could feed hundreds of people.  Don't worry though, I've thought this through.  We'd still need big people around to cook the regular size loaf of bread and plant and harvest the corn, so everyone wouldn't be small, or at least not all the time.  So I think a two tiered society would naturally develop where some liked being small and others liked being big.  The big people (called biggies) would do the cooking and planting, and the little people (called smallies) would clean and do officework (because naturally computer technology being what it is, there could be computers for the smallies and the information could easily transfer to biggie computers.  Or even people could be big part of the day and small part of the day.  Or work it in seasonal shifts where they'd be big in some seasons but small in others.  I suppose the possibilities are endless.

 

Anyway, that's what i was thinking about.  The shrinking beam and how it could solve a lot of problems in our society.  Thanks to Hollywood all our problems can be solved if we could just make those special interest groups stop blocking the use of the shrinking beam.

 

 

(Dec 15)  The other day I noticed something shocking.  I was standing there minding my own business thinking about nothing in particular, when I had the earth-shattering realization that my feet felt different.  After a lightning-fast mental checklist, I realized that that morning I found that I didn't have any clean tube socks and so put on some black dress socks.  I only wear those kind sometimes and mostly (ever since I can remember) always wear white tube socks.  So there I am, standing there amazed that my feet actually feel different in the black dress socks.  I wonder if it was the blackness of the sock, or maybe the length of the sock or maybe even the commitment of the sock to have a particular heel vs the tube sock method of not having a set heel.  I don't know, but what I do know is, it sure felt different.

 

(Nov 24)  In my mailbox yesterday was a pre-release copy of This Life.  That's Frank Farrow of Black Diamond's solo project.  The music is smooth and beautiful.  For those of you not lucky enough to have a copy of this music yet, check out This Life on Big Blue Radio (links below), or on his music website.  It's beautiful music and I look forward to my next massage which will be done while listening to this new CD!

Also in the news these days, there is a store in Blacksburg that I've shopped in for many years, The Sickle Moon.  Recently the owner of that store and I developed a relationship and now I'm selling some of my glass pieces in her store.  Also in January or February there will be a show there which I will be one of two people featured at.  I'll show my glass and play classical banjo.  Should be fun!

 

(Nov 14)  OK, so I found out I was on a cool radio station the other day.   I knew of course because I'd done what I needed to do to get on it, but I forgot.  Anyway, the station is doing some things to help us out as artists.  One of the things is they made it easy for you the listener to request our songs.  If my songs get requested, I go up on the list of most requested songs and more people end up hearing me.  Get it?  So naturally I'm going to ask you to listen to the radio station and request my songs!

It's an online radio station and a really cool one at that.  They play big name artists like Pink Floyd, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Counting Crows, Peter Gabriel, Santana etc etc etc, but they also play ME and my pals Vital Point!  So click on the Big Blue Radio link, choose your radio or connection type, then click the Playlist Request button, go to the B list (that's as in my name starts with a B not that I suck and am on the B list.  haha.  At the bottom of the B list you'll find Bud Bennett (that's me in case you forgot), and you can choose Julia Belle or Touch the Water or I Like Dark Blue Pie.  Also on the T list is a song or two from my band Trespassers Will and you can click one of those if the Bud Bennett tunes are busy.  My pal Anthony from Vital Point has music on there too in the V list.  So click away!

 

 

(Nov 6)  A while back Jeza asked me to play on one of the new songs from his new CD.  I was happy to do it, it was a way cool song which made it all the more fun for me to play with.  Anyway, the CD is out now.  Yay.  The song I played on is Tower of Babel.  For some reason the song and the CD are on different pages though.  Anyway, we're all pretty happy and excited for Jeza.

 

(Nov 1)

Well, work was exciting yesterday. I was walking down the hall and noticed a big knot of people standing looking into a closed off internal atrium like place where I work. Two cops and several other people all standing in front of these glass doors that are usually chained shut. So naturally I stopped to see what was going on. Out in the atrium area is a man and two women. The man has an empty cardboard box and one of the women is running around screaming while the man and other woman watch. Then the man lunges after the woman and the second woman takes off running in the opposite direction. It was all very odd. So naturally I stood and watched a while before I asked what was going on. Seems a squirrel had gotten into the atrium area and couldn't get out, so the man with the box was trying to catch it. I'm not sure what the women were doing but the squirrel looked pretty panicky and scared. The man caught it in the box and somehow it stayed in the box while the man closed it all up. I guess they took it outside and let it go, I didn't stick around to find out. I was pretty amused that two cops had been called about it though. That was about all the excitement for yesterday. Well, other than most of my department at work were dressed as pirates. Not me of course.

(Oct 30)  Well, I got a pretty darn good review at Gods of Music.  It was pretty unexpected and pretty flattering!

Read a review for Bud Bennett at GodsofMusic.com

(Oct 7)  OK peeps and peepers, a thought question for today.  What is the source of inspiration?  Is it evidence of a direct link to God or a chance chemical happening in the brain?  (I'll say artistic inspiration to clear my head more, but it applies to any sort of inspiration.)  If the answer is that it's something from a direct link to God, then does that mean that all art is devotional in nature, irregardless of one's theological stripe?  

If it's chemical in nature, then does that mean that if we knew Remedios Varo's exact food, sleep, daily routine, and external influences that we'd be able to reproduce them and have someone else paint Bordando el Manto Terrestre?  (I know, I know, you're sick to death of me mentioning that painting.  I find it mesmerizing though and I think of it daily.  Hmmm, note to self, check online for an art print of it that I could buy somewhere....)

I'm thinking about this a lot lately.  Personally I think inspiration is evidence of a direct link to God.  I look at paintings by many artists (Remedios Varo, Maxfield Parrish, Leonardo DaVinci etc etc etc) and can point out over and over where I think the artist is putting in a representation of God.  I listen to Bach and say "Ahhhh.......Bach."  But of course, what I really mean is "Ah, now THAT dude had a direct line from God to his composing muscle."  So if I think this, then does that make compensation for art an issue?  As in, does that mean we're using a sacred gift to make money?  Is getting paid to make art in any way decreasing the value of the inspirational gift or of the art itself, or maybe dirtying it somehow?  Is art for money mental prostitution?  OR is getting compensated for inspiration just putting to good use the inspirational gift?  It's a very complicated issue.  I worry about this sometimes.

If inspiration is chemical in nature, what does that say about devotional art?  Can uninspired people make good art?  Or any art at all?  And if inspiration is chemical, do we (somewhere) know the chemical formula for inspiration?  Could there then be an inspiration prescription (Yes I know, a prescription for more cowbell would probably help.) that "they" could give to young artists in artist training camps so that certain countries could produce more and better art than other countries just the way some countries have better gymnastic teams or basketball teams than other countries?

Something else that I like to think about lately is art that is intentionally temporary, like the Tibetan Monks sand paintings .  That is art that the monks worked on making painstaking detail all the while knowing that the "finished product" would almost immediately be swept into a pile and thrown into a river.  The sand paintings are definitely devotional art inspired by God I think.  Their devotion as well as the detail of the finished product tell me that in no uncertain terms.  Also in this vein is the butter sculptures on altars.  Say, come to think of it, there are butter sculptures in Wisconsin too, I just saw a few pictures of some.  A cow and a motorcycle.  Are they devotional?  Inspired?  

One of my favorite sculptors is Andrew Goldsworthy.  He makes beautiful piles of rocks and sticks and ice in the middle of fields, or in deep woods.  His art might not be seen, or it might fall over when the wind blows.  It's fragile and secretive, though obviously not all of it because I know about it and have seen many books about it.  Is Andrew Goldsworthy any more or less inspired in his art because he uses sticks and rocks and ice (and so wind and water and temperature) as his art than someone who welds together giant pieces of steel that will stand the test of time in the middle of a plaza in a city?  The same question for John Cage vs. Bach.  Was Cage either more or less inspired than Bach because Cage used chance events to shape his art while Bach used mathematical precision and planning?

And fractals.... fractals are naturally recurring patterns.  To see them graphically, who can deny that they too are art.  Are fractals art made by God?  Can anyone look deeply into the human body or mind and not call that art?  The perfect and well working machine of the human body is art to me in no uncertain terms.  So is God an artist?  

And one more thing to think about, if you are standing on top of the roof of your house, does the roof then become the floor?

 

(Oct 2)  Gravy..... I'm just not that big a fan of it.

 

(Sept 30)

I just figured out something important. I have always wondered why there were so many Mexican restaurants around, especially Taco Bell's. I pretty much dislike Taco Bell completely except for those fried Chalupas for some reason. Anyway, I was thinking about this probably mostly because it's almost lunchtime, but also because I pass two different Taco Bells on my way to and from work, plus, depending on how I come in, up to three Mexican Restaurants. To pass the time between 8am and 1pm when I go to lunch I was considering all this and I came up with a startling thought....

Not only are the AMA and the government in league together like two peas in a pod, but also the AMA and the restaurant industry. It's like a giant pod those peas are in. I'm now convinced that the AMA and the restaurant industry have an agreement whereby the AMA will train and require all newborn babies to be wrapped up in blankets in much the same way Taco Bell and Mexican Restaurants wrap up Burritos. Think about it. The implications are startling. From birth, the AMA is manipulating us not only as to how we live and die, but also what foods we'll crave and where we'll want to eat. The subliminal "stacking of the deck" we get from birth is directing us to crave burritos and that makes for many many many Taco Bells and Mexican Restaurants. Frightening isn't it?

And if that's true, just think of the many other subliminal influences we're given by the AMA. I bet in surgery they're pumping us full of a ton of suggestions and subliminal clues as to what they want us to do. The whole thing just enrages me.

 

(Sept 26)  James Bond is not nearly as cool in the original books as he is in the movies.  I know that because I like to read pulp fiction and there were some James Bond books in a big box of pulp fiction I have.  The James Bond books I have were written in the early 60's and late 50's which seems sort of funny when you think about the movies we're used to seeing.  Anyway, in the books James is a lot less cool and he drinks A LOT and gets really nervous a lot more than in the movies.  

Speaking of movies, I still think of Roger Moore as James Bond, not that prettyboy guy they've had recently.  What's his name, Pierce Brosnan or something.  (When we ran a movie theatre one night a woman came in and wanted us to do something for the Pierce Brosnan fanclub.  She was a grown woman mind you.  We didn't do whatever it was she wanted us to do though.  Sean Connery was a good one too as far as James Bonds go.  

James Bond is English, but he's sort of an international man of intrigue and mystery or whatever Austin Powers is.  (Sean Connery isn't English though, he's Welsh-he even has a tattoo saying Wales Forever on his arm.  I saw it once in a tattoo book.)  I haven't really been to England but Beth has.  She even got hit by a taxi in England somewhere.  That's pretty exciting.  When I think of England, I think of small refrigerators of course, only my friend Paul ruined that for me forever by showing a short film of the inside of his rather large refrigerator as I've previously discussed.  Anyway, speaking of England and Paul, my friend Paul has a new EP out and the songs are pretty darn good I think.  It's only something like $5 for it too, so it's a good deal.  He used a few of my photographs for the covers which I think it way cool of him too.  Anyway, BUY PAUL's CD!

 

(Sept 21)  I had a really great moment of thought today.  I was thinking about this new stained glass window I'm making.  It's in several panels, but the design is one big one that's cut off as a panel ends and started again as the new panel starts up.  Sometimes in a panel there's a small piece of glass that doesn't seem to fit in there at all and I found myself questioning whether I'd made a mistake or not in my design or my figuring of it all.  In the end I trusted my design and put in the piece that seemed "wrong", and you know what?  It fit perfectly because it was a continuation of something from another panel.  So I started thinking about that and life etc and I came up with this thought...... Where we are in life is exactly where we're supposed to be.  When we find ourselves in a seemingly incongruous place, I think we should trust that we're where we are supposed to be and continue on.  Then one day we'll wake up, the sun will be streaming in the window and it'll all become clear that the incongruity in the pattern was really not an incongruity in the pattern at all, it was just something we didn't see the whole picture of.  Life imitates art.

 

(August 29)  I wonder what would happen if you went into a store and tried to spend the commemorative dollar coins that we've probably all got in a drawer someplace?  They say they're real money, but I kind of doubt they'd be accepted in stores.  So we buy these commemorative dollar coins for more than their supposed face value and then we put them in a drawer and forget about them until we're looking for a dollar.  Then when we find them, we still keep looking for a dollar even though we've technically just found one.  Food for thought I guess.

And another thing.....Beef jerky.... I really like it.  We made it once too and let me say, it took a long time and was sort of a hassle.  It's much easier to just buy it in the store, but at least I can say I've done it.  Or helped do it, or maybe more accurately watched someone do it because I don't remember actually having anything to do with the actual making of it.

And,  religious art..... I like it but generally not religious art from the US of A, except some of the catholic art.  I like buddhist and hindu and orthodox russian and islamic and some of the catholic art (as I've mentioned because obviously guys like Michelangelo and Da Vinci just cannot be argued with, they are fantastic).

And I've always wondered why "I" is capitolised, but "you" is not.  Seems sort of egocentric to me.

And the last of my unrelated thoughts for this evening...... I've put together a demo cd of some of my banjo tunes.  I don't know what I'll do with it.  Perhaps I'll give it to people who buy one of my other CDs, or perhaps I'll use it as a demo tape to get jobs, or perhaps I'll use it to shop around to find a producer.  Or perhaps I'll do all three things with it.  But one thing's for sure, I hate summer because it's hot and I hate being hot.

 

(August 15)  Gabriel learned to ride a two wheel bike this week.  It's kind of a happy thing and kind of a sad thing.  Life's funny sometimes.  Next week he'll go to kindergarten.  He looks pretty happy riding his bike around like a big boy.  I sort of remember when I learned to ride a two wheeler.  I only remember bits and pieces of it, and what I remember was sort of scary.  Gabriel seemed to do OK on it though.   Tomorrow he goes to the Dr. to get some shots and to get his chip implanted.  That's what they really do at the doctor office, implant the chip in us so "they" can watch us and control us.  They don't fool me for a second.  Some people think Microsoft is behind the chip implantation thing, or the spacemen, but I know it's really the AMA and that's why the health care system is so bizarrely screwed up in this country.  The AMA might have paid Microsoft to make the chip, but the AMA is the one responsible for implanting it and controlling us through it.  Maybe the spacemen are implanting chips in us too and the two chips don't function well together and that's why abductees go to the hospital or the loony bin, so the AMA can fix the chip or keep the abductees locked up so the rest of us won't find out what's really going on.  It's all so pathetically obvious.  So anyway, tomorrow we take Gabriel in for his chip implantation.  Welcome to the machine.  We are Borg.

 

(August 13)  OK, so the other day I'm in a Subway (the sandwich shop, not the public transportation thing) and the guy in front of me was yakking on his cell phone.  Right off the bat I'm annoyed with him for that because I hate it when people talk on their cell phones  in lines that I'm standing in.  He's yakking away giving some sort of procedure for taking apart an engine or something to a person on the other end.  He finished his call, stuck his phone in his pocket then leaned against the counter and looked around to make sure we were all aware how important he was or something.  THEN, he takes out the phone and calls the person he was just talking to back and tells them something else.  I'm thinking, jeez, this dude is pissing me off!  Anyway, after that call he put away the phone and looks at the people in line with him smugly.  When it was his turn, the Subway lady asked what he wanted and he orders Turkey on a White roll.  She says what do you want on it, he says Mayonnaise, lettuce, one tomato slice and NO hot peppers.  (Now personally I'm wondering why the guy is in Subway if that's what he's ordering, but whatever...)  So the Subway lady cuts open the bread and reaches for the meat.  The dude loudly stops her and tells her to put the Mayonnaise on FIRST.  She says something about the way the counter is set up and he gets sort of annoyed and says he wants the Mayonnaise on first, so she does it, then puts on the meat, the lettuce and the tomato.  I mean really, these Subway people are sandwich ARTISTS.  Does he really think he needs to tell them how to make a freaking sandwich??  So he says again, NO hot peppers, and so the Subway lady reaches for the peppers and acts like she's going to heap them on to amuse herself.  He didn't see her do it though because he was looking around at all of the people in line again.  I saw her do it though, but she didn't look at me so I could smile or wink or whatever.  I sort of feel sorry for the Subway lady.  When it was my turn, I let her put the stuff on the sandwich in whatever order she wanted.  After all, she's a sandwich artist. 

 

(August 8)  We're back from the first leg of our vacation and getting ready for the second leg!  We had fun in Baltimore but are glad to be away from the land of 8 and 10 lane highways and back to the land of 2 and 4 lane highways!  While at the Baltimore Aquarium, in one of the gift shops I was looking through a pile of books and I ran across this:

What a fun note to find!  It was from my friend Anthony who had been there a few days earlier.  We couldn't meet up, but we managed this little exchange.  What fun!  The Baltimore Aquarium is a MUST SEE, even if you don't have an ultra cool note waiting for you in the Aqua Gift Shop!

AND, today is Beth's birthday.  AND I sold a CD at CDBaby.  A great big THANKS to whoever bought it!  So WHAM, what a great week it is so far!  

Oh, and tomorrow is MY birthday.  The big 40.  Whoopee.

 

(July 10)  OK, so yesterday on the Amanda Peterson blog I wrote something about wanting to get the air conditioning fixed before I took off three weeks in August.  So when I got home last night, Beth is looking confused at me and asks is I'd called the air conditioner repairman.  I say no (I detest making phone calls.).  So..... she's minding her own business and a knock comes on the door.  It's the air conditioning repairman.  He says he got a call that our air conditioner doesn't work.  So Beth figures it was me that called and he looks at it and sees the problem and fixes it.  Then when he's writing up the bill, he mentions that he was in another town and got the call for us here on Burruss Drive.  BUT, we don't live on Burruss Drive, we live on Barringer Drive but have the same house numbers on Barringer as they do on Burruss (this is a really stupid idea to do, but many of the streets immediately surrounding me have the same house numbers, just different street names.  It makes for all sorts of confusion.).  So the two of them talk it out and he's embarrassed and sorry and in the end we got our air conditioner fixed for less money than it would ordinarily cost, AND before we even had to make the appointment for it.  So YAY.  I think what actually happened is that I wrote that in the Amanda Peterson blog and that sent a cosmic message out and it was picked up by the subconscious of the air conditioning repairman and he came right over.  Pretty neat if you ask me.

 

(July 8)  I was reading a Dr. Seuss book tonight I'd never seen before.  The Sleep Book.  It was kind of creepy though because there is a thing in it where there's a machine that counts how many people are asleep in the world.  When I say people though, you know, it's Dr. Seuss-like animal things of course.  Anyway... it was sort of creepy because I had just flipped through 1984 and had watched a scene or two of Brazil because I was trying to sort out in my mind which was which.  I had a scene in my head where the main man character was in his bedroom hiding from Big Brother so he could write in his journal and I couldn't remember if it was 1984 or Brazil.   Anyway, the Dr. Seuss thing was sort of creepy in light of that.  Also it was a little creepy that I'd never heard of that book too.  I checked the copyright and it was 1962 even.  

I thought I knew all of the Dr. Seuss books, but apparently I don't.  Or maybe I DID know them all but someone in the Ministry of Information had just written that book for some BigBrother reason and dated it 1962 so I'd just THINK I had missed that book all my life.  That's what I actually think happened.  Now I know a bunch of people will write me saying how they loved that book as a kid and remember it well and even have their copy from the early 60's, but come on, that's just pathetic.  You know as well as I do that that book didn't exist until recently.  It's all just part of the re-writing of our past that Big Brother is doing.  It's sadly obvious that this book suddenly appearing is yet another case of a Pop-Culture manipulation so that Big Brother can instill the idea that a giant machine is watching us all the time and keeping track of our sleeping habits into the minds of our children.  You remember when in our generation he did that with Santa?  He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake... and all that.  I guess clearly Big Brother felt "he" needed another and newer induction into the minds of our children.  It's pathetic how transparent this manipulation is.  

We've always been at war with WestPhalia.

 

(July 3)  The postman came a-knocking again today.  Another surprise package!  That makes three surprise packages in two days.  Man, I'm on a roll!  This time it was from my pal Kim who I think must be the way coolest person in all of Texas.  Now speaking of Texas, there is NO denying it, Texas is the coolest shaped state.  Out of all of the states, the only one that even comes remotely close to being in the league of coolness that Texas is would be Montana because of it's face-like part.  But Montana is no Texas.  The last time Beth and I drove through Texas I had a fantasy of getting a tattoo in Texas OF the state of Texas.  I thought that would be the coolest tribute to a great state and to a great trip out west.  But in the end I chickened out and didn't do it.  I've chickened out in the tattoo department several times in fact.  Maybe someday...

Speaking of Texas and the trip out west, today I sent an email to a guy who works one floor up from me in the library.  I wanted his help in fixing an audio file next week.  So I emailed him and he emailed me back with some advice.  Then I emailed him back with a deeper question and he emailed me back.  Then I emailed him back and asked if I could just come upstairs so he could show me what he was talking about.  Then he emailed me and said I could go upstairs but he wasn't there, he was in Denver.  HAHA I had no idea.  He is on vacation and just happened to be checking his email when I emailed him my question.  It made me laugh because really, if he hadn't of told me he was in Denver I would have gone right on thinking he was upstairs at his desk.  

When we were near Denver many moons ago it was cool.  Colorado is about the flattest thing imagineable until you get to Denver, then it's practically vertical.  We watched a storm while we were driving near Denver that we thought was a few miles away, so we rolled up the windows.  Hours later we're still watching the storm and it turned out to be two storms spaced so far apart we never got a drop of rain on the truck.  Man, those distances in Colorado and Utah are incredibly confusing.  Oh, and Kerouac talks about Denver a lot.  He and his pals had great times in and around Denver when they were zooming from one end of the country to the other.  Must have been exciting and fun being young intellectual jazz fanatics driving across country and almost getting into lots of trouble.  Ah, that Kerouac.  I loved the parts in On The Road when he was in Mexico though.  Really nicely written and almost reminiscently dreamy.  That Mexico must be a special place.  And you know, the thing about Mexico.... it borders Texas, which as we all know is the coolest shaped state.

Thanks Kim for the package!

 

(June 23)  Here's a nice story I found on a Buddhist website.  I'm not a Buddhist, but I like a lot of the things the Buddhists say and how they say it.  I do however find many things basically the same as what my religion says and that is a great comfort.  I like this story a lot.

The True Sound of Truth
An old story speaks about a similar problem. A devoted meditator, after years concentrating on a particular mantra, had attained enough insight to begin teaching. The student's humility was far from perfect, but the teachers at the monastery were not worried. 

A few years of successful teaching left the meditator with no thoughts about learning from anyone; but upon hearing about a famous hermit living nearby, the opportunity was too exciting to be passed up. 

The hermit lived alone on an island at the middle of a lake, so the meditator hired a man with a boat to row across to the island. The meditator was very respectful of the old hermit. As they shared some tea made with herbs the meditator asked him about his spiritual practice. The old man said he had no spiritual practice, except for a mantra which he repeated all the time to himself. The meditator was pleased: the hermit was using the same mantra he used himself -- but when the hermit spoke the mantra aloud, the meditator was horrified! 

"What's wrong?" asked the hermit. 

"I don't know what to say. I'm afraid you've wasted your whole life! You are pronouncing the mantra incorrectly!" 

"Oh, Dear! That is terrible. How should I say it?" 

The meditator gave the correct pronunciation, and the old hermit was very grateful, asking to be left alone so he could get started right away. On the way back across the lake the meditator, now confirmed as an accomplished teacher, was pondering the sad fate of the hermit. 

"It's so fortunate that I came along. At least he will have a little time to practice correctly before he dies." Just then, the meditator noticed that the boatman was looking quite shocked, and turned to see the hermit standing respectfully on the water, next to the boat. 

"Excuse me, please. I hate to bother you, but I've forgotten the correct pronunciation again. Would you please repeat it for me?" 

"You obviously don't need it," stammered the meditator; but the old man persisted in his polite request until the meditator relented and told him again the way he thought the mantra should be pronounced. 

The old hermit was saying the mantra very carefully, slowly, over and over, as he walked across the surface of the water back to the island.

 

(June 19)  In my reckoning of the world geopolitical situation, certain countries have certain defining characteristics and they are what I think of first when I think of those countries.  For example, when I think USA, I think of bad names.  We just don't have good names here.  Seems there are too many MichaelDavidKelseyBen etc etc names floating around.  When I think of Mexico, I think of Salma Hayek, and thinking of Salma Hayek is ALWAYS a good thing.  When I think of Germany I think of a particular building I stood in front of when I was there.  When I think of Switzerland I think of the view of the Swiss Alps from atop Mt. Pilatus.  When I think of England, I think of tiny refrigerators.  I don't know why I think that, but tiny refrigerators and England are tied irrevocably in my brain.  My geopolitical identification of the different countries suits me well and I've not had a single problem with this system until.......

My friend Paul lives in England (right up the street from the Newcastle Brewery in fact and I LOVE Newcastle Brown Ale!).  Paul is a musician by the way.  My friend Paul is an amusing fellow, and if I were to ever meet my friend Paul in real life (possibly in November this will happen as Paul will be in NYC), I'm sure we'd be friends because we seem to have so much in common and apparently find the same sorts of things amusing.  But, my friend Paul has done some serious damage to my geopolitical identification system and I may never forgive him for that.  Paul is making short films of his daily life.  Nothing special, just films of whatever he happens to be doing at the time he remembers to turn on the camera.  There's films of his dog opening the door, films of him driving home from work, films of his office, his bathroom, his feet actually in a sudsy bathtub, films of his back porch, and even a film of......the inside of his REFRIGERATOR!!  

Imagine my excitement when I saw that he had a film of his refrigerator, the very thing my mind jumps to when I think of England. So it was with a certain amount of satisfaction and anticipation that I clicked on the link to play the film of his refrigerator.  As it was loading I thought of tiny refrigerators and looked across the room at my own tiny refrigerator and imagined English people making their daily trip to the grocery store to stock their tiny refrigerators.  The film begins...... AARGH, Paul has a BIG refrigerator!!!  My whole geopolitical identification system suddenly shattered at my feet.  Now while I greatly enjoyed the tour of the inside and outside of the refrigerator, I am horrified that my thought that all of England is inhabited by people with tiny refrigerators might actually be WRONG.  This is seriously big in terms of my mindset and comfort level.  

 

(June 17)  So I was wondering something today.  You know how people who like rock music talk about the music in terms of the decade it was done in and how they like one decade more than the other?  Like say, I would say, "I love 70's music but I don't like 80's music."  but YOU might say "Well Bud, you're totally insane.  70's music sucked, 80's music is where it's at."  Then I might come back with "Well, you're a nutjob.  Sure, 70's music was all egocentric and had those long pointless jams, but the music had SOUL and if you let it, it'll take you somewhere."  Then you might snap back with "Yeah, but why would you want to go where it took you?  80's music was a statement!"  etc etc etc.  

Anyway, what I was wondering was whether fans of Classical music have this same discussion.  I wonder if there is a section of Classical fans who just detest music recorded in the 70's but love it recorded in the 80's.  I don't mean like those fans who like baroque or modern or avant garde, which would be the same as with rock fans who might like disco or acid or psychedelic of pop.  I mean, I wonder if there is a section of Classical music fans who might say:  "I love that Eine Kleine Nachtmusik the way it was recorded in the 70's, but I can't stand the way it was recorded in the 80's.  The conductors were interpreting it in such a way...."  while a whole different section of Classical music fans might be saying: "No way, the 70's conductors were so....stagnant.  The 80's conductors made Eine Kleine Nachtmusik fresh and new and exciting."

Another thing I wonder is.... if I have a CD from a 70's band of music recorded in the 70's then that's obviously going to be referred to as 70's music.  BUT, I wonder, if I have a CD of music recorded in the 80's from that SAME band, would that be 80's music or 70's music by default since it was a band active in the 70's?  Now I realize, that 70's or 80's music is more a musical type than a year span description, but I'm thinking that if there existed a group of people that only bought CDs from bands that were active in the 70's, they might not be aware of any of the 80's bands doing 80's music, and so when the discussion of whether 70's or 80's music sucked happened, they'd be really confused and not know there was a difference.  They might even take the wrong side and say that 80's music DIDN'T suck, and that would just plain be wrong.  It's all very confusing and important, I'll have to think on this a while.

 

(June 13) Because there are three separate road construction projects between my house and my workplace, I go TO work the way I generally come FROM work.  It's a painfully winding road and even sometimes has loose goats wandering around a certain blind hairpin turn to make it all the more exciting.  And there's an odd little shack-like house next to a railroad track that has Christmas decorations up year-round too.  For some reason unknown to me, I always used to drive to work along a main road and home on this backroad even though the backroad is traffic free and is pleasant.  So I guess all in all, the road construction thing is making me take the nice way to work so it's not all bad.  Anyway, on the trip into work I pass over a working train track which maybe one time out of ten has a train on it (so you see, it's a good excuse for being late to work),  some very rustic looking houses, and two small country churches.  One country church used to have  a catchy billboard out front with some sort of amusing yet "turn or burn" type sayings on it, but now it doesn't anymore, it just has a billboard with the church name on it ( I always wondered why they stopped the billboard thing actually).  I always like the billboards for rustic country churches one we saw that really stuck out in my mind was at Christmas.  It said: "Mary had a little lamb, his name was Jesus."  That kind of thing sticks with you somehow. 

BUT after I get off this thin winding road and turn onto the main road again, I pass a billboard that makes me think every single time I see it.  What I think mostly is that they probably should have thought a little longer about what that billboard should have said before they had it printed up.  I wonder if after printing it and posting it they all stood around scratching their chins wondering if they hadn't ought to have picked a different quote for the billboard before they had it printed and posted.   The billboard says "Be sure your sin will find you."  Now the first time I read that I just knew I had misread it, so the next day I read it again and sure enough, "Be sure your sin will find you."  Hmmm..... food for thought I guess, only I would think you would want you sin to NOT find you.  At least that's what I want.  I personally don't want my sin tracking me down and finding me everytime I try and turn over a new leaf.  It'd be sort of annoying I'd think.  Sort of like when you were in high school and that kid who was a bad influence on you (according to your mother) would find you doing something innocent and minding your own business and the bad influence kid would come over to you and you 'd try to get rid of him but couldn't and he'd somehow influence you until you were all of a sudden  in trouble again for doing something totally different than you were doing before the bad influence kid came along and later you'd be trying to explain to your mother how you came to be hanging around with the bad influence kid despite her telling you not to and how if you'd only have listened to her you wouldn't be in trouble again.  Only you were really totally innocent and you tried to get rid of the bad influence kid the whole time and it was only because of a series of unfortunate coincidences that a teacher walked around the corner just as you were trying to undo something the bad influence kid had just done and you got dragged down to the office again.  That's sort of what I think of when I see that billboard every day.  Know what I mean?

 

(June 11)   Some time ago I wrote Yoko Ono telling her how much I love her book Grapefruit and about how I had years ago photocopied a page and carried it around with me because I thought what she said on it so beautiful.  I figured Yoko Ono wouldn't write back, but what the heck, I wrote to Lillian Jackson Braun and SHE wrote me back.  So I wrote her and figured that was that.

So...in today's mail was an envelope which I took to be junk mail, but hey, I'm desperate for mail so I opened it up and there's a mostly white card in it with a small blue square.  Under that it says "A Piece of Sky  Let's all meet in 10 years and put the sky back together again."        YOW, I immediately recognized that as something Yoko-like!  So YAY!!!!!! Yoko Ono wrote me back.  I'm actually very excited about that.  She signed the back of the card "Love Yoko" !  Man, that rocks.  There's nothing like getting something like that in the mail unexpectedly.  

This card was obviously reminiscent of her piece "Promise" (first performed in London in 1966) where onstage she broke a vase and handed pieces of it out to the audience and made them promise to return in 10 years to put it back together.  I actually wonder if they did?

Also in the mail was a new Duke Ellington CD and Frida on DVD.  Yowza, I am happy with today's mail!

 

(May 26)  Ugh, is it the generation gap calling or what?  Yesterday I was in the gas station paying for my gas.  It was the gas station I almost always go to, so I "know" most of the people who work there, only this time it was someone I didn't know.  I'm wearing a tie-dye shirt, the front has the front of a buffalo nickel on it dated 1990 with Buffalo Dead written around it and roses here and there, the back has the back of the buffalo nickel on it and CSN on it and there are some other words about the Dead and CSN playing in Buffalo NY.  Seems a pretty straightforward shirt to me, a concert shirt from a concert I didn't actually see, but obviously a concert shirt.  Anyway, I'm paying for my gas and the girl who works there shuffles over to take my money.  She is in her early twenties, longish hair, a hemp choker with a giant beed on it, a friendship bracelet on, and sandals.  So imagine my surprise when she says....

girl:"Oh I like your shirt" (now this is standard, you wear a tie-die, people tell you they like it as a conversational gambit, so all is well so far...). 

Bud: (who is now distracted from writing his check and is helplessly looking around for a calender to know the date) "Oh, thanks. "

girl:  "So do you not like the redskins and that's why you're wearing a shirt that makes them look like they're dead?"

Bud:  (after blinking at her a few seconds wondering what she's talking about.... i look at my shirt which is obviously a concert teeshirt....)  "Oh, this is from a concert.  It's a band teeshirt.  It's from a concert they did in 1990 which I guess was a long time ago now that I think of it."  (I thought about telling her about going to see the Dead etc but figured at this point it wasn't worth it as she probably had no clue who they were anyway.  That struck me as a bit odd as she certainly looked to me like someone who would know who the Dead were, but I was judging a book by it's cover and I always hate to catch myself doing that so I shrugged it off.)

girl:  "1990, I was in 6th grade then."

Bud: (doing quick math I decide this is no longer a college girl and not only does she probably not know the Beatles, she obviously does not know the Grateful Dead.  Another cultural era is gone.  ugh....what a sad sad thing the generation gap is.)  "Wow, time sure flies doesn't it?"  Then I say "Thanks, have a great (think Grateful but don't say it) day!" and I leave.  

Every now and then the generation gap thing rears it's head and I'm surprised.  I shouldn't be surprised I guess, but I often am.  Time time time, look what's become of me.

 

(May 22)

I read something in Grapefruit (by Yoko Ono) last night that really struck a familiar chord.  She said in one of her entries that air was the only thing that separates us.  Then she immediately said that air was the thing that connects us too.  Wow that really hit hard because it's something that I think about a lot.  Sometimes I freak myself out a little by thinking about air and how it's not a giant space of nothing, but a giant space of tiny tiny particles of the tiniest pieces of atoms and molecules and dust and this and that.  When we walk through a seemingly empty room we are actually shoving our way through a virtual (real not the computer kind of virtual) SEA of particles.  We breathe in and it's a dose or particles, we breathe out and it's particles.  An obvious example of this is to blow up a balloon.  That mass of "air" is an obvious presence and the skin of the balloon is somehow holding it.  Sometimes it freaks me out a bit to think that that is just a tiny section of the mass of stuff we move through every day.
 
Also though the idea that air is the thing that connects us is very intriguing to me as it harkens back to the idea that the Dalai Lama always hammers into people, the idea that We are all the same.  We are all surrounded by air and it's the same air that connects us all.  What a great thing to remember.  No matter what our cultural or social or economic differences, we are all connected.
 
Another thing that the Yoko entry made me think about, and I think about this all the time anyway, is that nothing anywhere is solid.  Everything you can see and think about is mostly empty space and the closer you get to something, the more space there actually is in the thing.  I'm talking of course about subatomic particles and the space between electrons and neutrons and all that jazz.  It's as if the very tiniest parts of things are so small and distant from the other parts of things that they are seemingly dissasociated from each other, yet they're not because things we see have distinct form and shape.  What amazes and fascinates me is the idea that nothing is solid, yet when I, an unsolid mass called a person walk straight into a door, another unsolid mass, I don't just pass through it, I stop sharply and say "Ow".  so here's the rub.  I wonder a lot about why I stop sharply and say "Ow"and I think the reason is because I won't let myself pass through the door.  It's like I remember and won't let myself forget that neither the door nor myself is solid.  I wonder if you could somehow film a sleepwalker if you'd be able to see them walk through things, since they would be asleep and not really aware of what they were doing.  Obviously it would have to be something they were not expecting to be there since they'd have a memory of that object and would not allow themselves to walk through it.  I bet some of the mystics and high religious leaders in the world can walk through doors.  Maybe that's something to strive for, the ability to forget (once again the David Byrne thing.."By forgetting to remember, we can see a thing again for the first time.") the illusion that we are solid and that everything around us is solid.  Maybe that's food for thought.
 

 

(May 21)  I used to think it would be nice to have a roadmap of where we would go in life, but I've since abandoned that idea.  Now I think it's A-OK to wander aimlessly and see where the road goes.  I don't actually believe that's what we're doing though, as I am a believer in predestination.  Not that believing in predestination matters because since I believe in it, I'm clearly supposed to and never had to decide to do it in the first place, but it's just that believing in predestination helps me explain a lot of things.  You don't have to believe in it though, I don't mind.  If you don't believe in it I know it's because you're not supposed to and you are just doing what you were meant to anyway.  But that's not what I came here to talk about today.  What I came here to talk about is that I got some new Miles Davis CDs today and I'm happy about that and now I know which one I will get as the next one too since I'm digging these so much.  On The Corner is the next one I want next.  The reason I'm loving these CDs so much is that they are totally free-form and have absolutely no perceivable melody or structure.  In reading the liner notes it seems like the recording sessions were a big ole weird-fest with Miles calling you at the last minute and telling you to show up and play and you'd stand there at the mic waiting for him to point to you and when he did, you took a solo and when he pointed to someone else you stopped.  I like that idea.  Music for the moment as Miles figured it out.  I'm sure a lot more went into it than that, I was just reading this in the liner notes of  Get Up With It.    What I also like is that much of the music isn't solos, it's just the band playing along together in a kind of a groove.  The lead is the rhythm of the whole room, maybe like a non-lead or a zen-lead.  Which leads me to Ian Shoales and his idea of a zen-blooper show.  You know, a blooper show where the bloopers are actually things that went right.  That would be one hilarious show, the zen-blooper show.  I have some friends who are Zen priests-maybe priests isn't the right word for it though, anyway, they're on vacation now out west and they're visiting some monastaries and the reservations they used to teach school at many years ago and I really enjoy hearing them talk about going out west and meeting up with their old students and it makes me feel a little happy to think that these people remember specific people and went through the effort of looking them up twenty some years after teaching them.   And something else I thought of just now is that time when Zappa was on Saturday Night Live and he played I am Slime and slime was oozing out of the top of the TV screens onstage.  It was pretty nifty and even though I wasn't into Zappa at the time I still remember thinking how cool that was and how cool the song was.  Of course now I'm a huge Zappa fan and have like a zillion Zappa recordings.    

Ahhh, so anyway, who needs a roadmap....life just happens and it's really a lot more interesting that way.  I'm just wandering around and ending up exactly where I'm supposed to be exactly when I'm supposed to be there.  Thanks Miles for reminding me of that.

 

(May 16)  I'm here listening to my LP's of Frampton Comes Alive.  And you know, I decided that the 70's just wouldn't have been the same without Peter Frampton.  Not only was he in the dynamite movie Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, but he did that Frampton Comes Alive album and wowzers, it's as good now as it was then.  I loved that Do You Feel Like We Do, and Show me the Way, Doobie Wah, Baby I Love Your Way and Lines on My Face.  Man, what a great album.   I remember I had it on 8 track tape too and listened to it an entire summer when I was painting my parents' house as a summer job.  I wonder what the kids today would think of Frampton if he were playing now what he played then.  What's this, the generation gap rearing it's ugly head?  I wonder how the other 70's bands I love would fair these days if they were playing the same stuff now that they played in the 70's.  Sadly, I bet the people wouldn't be into it anymore.  Good thing I have this kickass record collection still.  Unfortunately it's on LP and they've been played hundreds of times and sound pretty bad now.  I guess I'll play them until they won't play anymore and then I'll have to toss them.  I thought for a long time I'd toss the record and keep the jacket and use them as decoration.  Who knows, but in the meantime, I'm still loving that Frampton Comes Alive LP (both of them)!  

 

(May 13)  You see, the thing about The Lawrence Welk show is even when I watched it as a kid I thought it was creepy and weird.  ((FLASHBACK... as a kid we would all watch Lawrence Welk and the HeeHaw on Saturday nights, often while eating our crappy frozen pizza dinners and drinking coke.  It was during one of these Saturday night musical love fests that I defiantly opened the Sears catalog and randomly pointed to the banjo and said "I want a banjo".  I didn't really want one, I really wanted bongo drums but my parents wouldn't get them for me.  The rest as they say, is all history.))  Now that I watch it as an adult I think it even creepier and weirder.  Sometimes it's the bad timing of the jokes, sometimes it's Lawrence's accent, sometimes it's the costumes for the "numbers" the cast is doing, sometimes it's some unexplainable creepiness that defies description.  I started watching the show again a few years ago to amuse myself and soon my whole family got hooked, so it's a weekly event for us.  A television event as it were (as it were is a figure of speech that makes absolutely no sense to me at all, so naturally I like using it).  Sometimes the music is great, like when JoAnn Castle plays her honky-tonk piano stuff.  Man, that woman can COOK on that piano!  Every time she plays it makes me want to learn how to play that stuff too.  I looked her up on ebay once and she had several CDs there.  I ought to buy them all I love her so much.  Anyway, even though he's creepy and weird and dead, Lawrence Welk is STILL an entertainer to be reckoned with at my house every Saturday night.  Just thought I'd tell you that.  (and don't forget, you've never seen Lawrence Welk and Christopher Walken in the same room at the same time.....food for thought.)

 

(May 9)  

                    

 

(May 7)  Over and over I'm amazed and entertained at the internet and how we make connections with each other without the face to face meeting.  I find that I sometimes look at people's websites and look and look and look for clues as to where that person is from.  Sometimes it's obvious but sometimes it's not.  It's sort of fun to figure out where someone is from and to realize I have a lot in common with them despite our radically different zip codes.  Speaking of zip codes, I sure loved that show Beverly Hills 90210.  That show had all the elements of a TV show that make it a hit.  It had bad writing, bad cast, unbelievable characters, unbelievable plots, and not even a tentative grasp on reality.  All those things put together sure did make for a great show.  I'd watch that stupid thing every week and be enraged at the outfits, the unreal situations, the fact that these people were supposed to be in their late teens to early twenties despite the way they looked and acted.  Man, that show would make my blood boil sometimes.  I'm really sorry it went away.  One of my joys was each new season seeing how the writers would string us along, since the show was originally about a bunch of high school kids.  First it was high school, then college, then post college where everyone immediately got a cushy job making pots full of money.  Well I guess they had pots full of money to start off with anyway so maybe it wasn't pots full of money but only saucepans full of money.  Anyway, it was all a crock and it would enrage me.  Still, I loved the show for it's absurdity and it's disgusting and un-realized attempts at being topical.  I sure do miss that Beverly Hills 90210.  Sadly, nothing ever took it's place in the Bad TV Show Hall of Fame.  Granted, there are plenty of other really bad shows out there, but none quite like 90210.  Most likely the fact that we do not have cable TV or a satellite dish or anything at all like that has something to do with me not having another really bad TV show like that to watch.  Also the fact that I watch very little TV anyway.  But I guess I'll survive.

(Oh, another show I hated but loved was V.I.P.  Unfortunately that show came on at 1:30 A.M. on Saturday night and I was usually asleep by then, so I missed it most of the time.  It was sure bad though.  I only saw it in it's entirety a few times ant that was sure enough to let me know the show majorly sucked.  Too bad it went off the air and too bad our VCR didn't have the recording ability at the time.  Bad TV, there's nothing quite like it.)

Oh and hey, don't forget to sign up for my mailing list so you can get my NEWSLETTER!  You never know, it might have some really interesting things in it.  Last month's listed a CD sale, and I have a feeling this month's will announce a new song that won't be available on my regular website.  In fact I'm thinking of announcing a few new things in the newsletter and not other places, so what the heck, you could be one of the few, the proud, the well informed.   So, come on, click ye olde Mailing-List button there.....

 

(May 3)

It's the end of the school year at the college I work at. This time of year always makes me a little sad for some reason. It's not that I'll miss the college kids, so I don't now what it is but it makes me sad. It also makes me remember when my parents came to get me long years ago at the end of my freshman year in college. First though, when they dropped me off in September, we had driven up here in the pickup truck with me sitting in a chair next to the tailgate looking out the back of the camper top window watching as the flat land near the ocean became hilly and then mountainous where my college was. That was sort of fun I guess. The truck had suitcases and some boxes and stuff in it and when we got here they helped me unload all of it into my new dorm room. That was a little weird because it wasn't the room or dorm I had planned on, so I wasn't too happy to start with. So we moved in and they left and I felt all desolate and weird but then my friend Keith called- I was supposed to be living with Keith in a different dorm- and he and I hung out for the rest of the day and it was ok again. 

So... fast forward to the end of the school year and this and that had happened in between including me moving several times into Keith's dorm and then getting kicked out by the RA's and then finally us making his roommate crazy enough to formally move out so I could move in and not get kicked out anymore. I think we smoked him out as we were both trying different pipes and cigars at the time, or maybe he couldn't take the several spitoons we had at the time because we were also chewing a lot of tobacco at the time. Things were much better once I officially lived there and life was a lot more fun too. Anyway.... my parents show up to bring me home from college and they knock on the door of the room and I open it wearing my ragged cutoffs and a tee-shirt and they just stand there looking at me and I at them. After a bit they came in the room and asked if I was ready to go. I asked them where the suitcases were and they said they didn't bring any. So I look at them and they look at me and I look around the room and at my full closet and at the piles of this and that. Then I decided we should go to Kroger and get some trash bags and make do with that. 

So off we went to Kroger and got the trash bags and I was really happy to be showing off the town I had lived in for the past nine months and when we got back to the dorm and found a parking space and started up to the room again, I remember suddenly thinking...oh, this is the end of the year and I'll have to go live at home again. Then I felt sort of weird, but we went in the room and started stuffing my stuff into these giant trash bags and hauling them out to the truck. I could tell they didn't like me bringing home all this weird extraneous stuff I'd picked up along the way, but I was doing it anyway. Once the truck was loaded and I'd said goodbye to all my pals, I climbed into the back of the truck in my old chair and watched through the window again as we drove off, leaving the wonderful mountains behind and heading for the flatland which was home. 

 

(May 7)  Over and over I'm amazed and entertained at the internet and how we make connections with each other without the face to face meeting.  I find that I sometimes look at people's websites and look and look and look for clues as to where that person is from.  Sometimes it's obvious but sometimes it's not.  It's sort of fun to figure out where someone is from and to realize I have a lot in common with them despite our radically different zip codes.  Speaking of zip codes, I sure loved that show Beverly Hills 90210.  That show had all the elements of a TV show that make it a hit.  It had bad writing, bad cast, unbelievable characters, unbelievable plots, and not even a tentative grasp on reality.  All those things put together sure did make for a great show.  I'd watch that stupid thing every week and be enraged at the outfits, the unreal situations, the fact that these people were supposed to be in their late teens to early twenties despite the way they looked and acted.  Man, that show would make my blood boil sometimes.  I'm really sorry it went away.  One of my joys was each new season seeing how the writers would string us along, since the show was originally about a bunch of high school kids.  First it was high school, then college, then post college where everyone immediately got a cushy job making pots full of money.  Well I guess they had pots full of money to start off with anyway so maybe it wasn't pots full of money but only saucepans full of money.  Anyway, it was all a crock and it would enrage me.  Still, I loved the show for it's absurdity and it's disgusting and un-realized attempts at being topical.  I sure do miss that Beverly Hills 90210.  Sadly, nothing ever took it's place in the Bad TV Show Hall of Fame.  Granted, there are plenty of other really bad shows out there, but none quite like 90210.  Most likely the fact that we do not have cable TV or a satellite dish or anything at all like that has something to do with me not having another really bad TV show like that to watch.  Also the fact that I watch very little TV anyway.  But I guess I'll survive.

(Oh, another show I hated but loved was V.I.P.  Unfortunately that show came on at 1:30 A.M. on Saturday night and I was usually asleep by then, so I missed it most of the time.  It was sure bad though.  I only saw it in it's entirety a few times ant that was sure enough to let me know the show majorly sucked.  Too bad it went off the air and too bad our VCR didn't have the recording ability at the time.  Bad TV, there's nothing quite like it.)

Oh and hey, don't forget to sign up for my mailing list so you can get my NEWSLETTER!  You never know, it might have some really interesting things in it.  Last month's listed a CD sale, and I have a feeling this month's will announce a new song that won't be available on my regular website.  In fact I'm thinking of announcing a few new things in the newsletter and not other places, so what the heck, you could be one of the few, the proud, the well informed.   So, come on, click ye olde Mailing-List button there.....

 

(May 3)

It's the end of the school year at the college I work at. This time of year always makes me a little sad for some reason. It's not that I'll miss the college kids, so I don't now what it is but it makes me sad. It also makes me remember when my parents came to get me long years ago at the end of my freshman year in college. First though, when they dropped me off in September, we had driven up here in the pickup truck with me sitting in a chair next to the tailgate looking out the back of the camper top window watching as the flat land near the ocean became hilly and then mountainous where my college was. That was sort of fun I guess. The truck had suitcases and some boxes and stuff in it and when we got here they helped me unload all of it into my new dorm room. That was a little weird because it wasn't the room or dorm I had planned on, so I wasn't too happy to start with. So we moved in and they left and I felt all desolate and weird but then my friend Keith called- I was supposed to be living with Keith in a different dorm- and he and I hung out for the rest of the day and it was ok again. 

So... fast forward to the end of the school year and this and that had happened in between including me moving several times into Keith's dorm and then getting kicked out by the RA's and then finally us making his roommate crazy enough to formally move out so I could move in and not get kicked out anymore. I think we smoked him out as we were both trying different pipes and cigars at the time, or maybe he couldn't take the several spitoons we had at the time because we were also chewing a lot of tobacco at the time. Things were much better once I officially lived there and life was a lot more fun too. Anyway.... my parents show up to bring me home from college and they knock on the door of the room and I open it wearing my ragged cutoffs and a tee-shirt and they just stand there looking at me and I at them. After a bit they came in the room and asked if I was ready to go. I asked them where the suitcases were and they said they didn't bring any. So I look at them and they look at me and I look around the room and at my full closet and at the piles of this and that. Then I decided we should go to Kroger and get some trash bags and make do with that. 

So off we went to Kroger and got the trash bags and I was really happy to be showing off the town I had lived in for the past nine months and when we got back to the dorm and found a parking space and started up to the room again, I remember suddenly thinking...oh, this is the end of the year and I'll have to go live at home again. Then I felt sort of weird, but we went in the room and started stuffing my stuff into these giant trash bags and hauling them out to the truck. I could tell they didn't like me bringing home all this weird extraneous stuff I'd picked up along the way, but I was doing it anyway. Once the truck was loaded and I'd said goodbye to all my pals, I climbed into the back of the truck in my old chair and watched through the window again as we drove off, leaving the wonderful mountains behind and heading for the flatland which was home. 

 

(May 2)  Some random thoughts to start the month of May.....

- I much prefer last month's picture on my Shakira calendar.  Not that I'm picky or anything, I'm just saying, last month's was way better.

- I've decided to stop messing around and finally learn how to actually play the banjo and study it like I'm a serious musician.  Who knows what might happen now.

- I have too many things I've collected over the years and I want to get rid of them now.

- Speaking of collecting things, I really want to weed out a lot of my "collectable" record albums but don't want to throw them away.  I fantasize they're worth something (like the Beatles Christmas Album), but I just don't know where to take them.  I have got to figure that out!

- It's actually DUCK tape and not DUCT tape like I've always thought it was.  Strange how I never knew that all these years.  I'm looking at a roll of it now and there it is plain as day, DUCK tape.

- I like to listen to Double Fantasy, but sometimes I only listen to the Yoko Ono songs on it, sometimes only the John Lennon songs on it but rarely the whole album in the order it is on the CD.  That Yoko was WAY creative.

- I'm still really annoyed when people don't answer their emails.

- Every day I expect a letter from Bela Fleck and one from Yoko Ono, but so far none...

 

(May 1)

One of life's greatest simple pleasures is riding around in the car with the window rolled down and "flying" my hand in the wind. Seems that no matter how old I get that one still does the trick for me.

 

(April 30)

I've lost the computer disc on which I would write these insightful journal entries on so I could post them on this site when the mood struck me. That's pretty annoying and frustrating because I know it means I didn't REALLY loose it, some miscreant probably stole it so he could use the entries in his own web journal. That's just low low low. If this was happening on a copshow on TV I bet they'd use their magic computer and do some sort of lightning fast search and find my journal entry writing "style", or maybe they'd index the web and find a concentration of words I commonly use, or maybe there's some sort of computer fingerprint they could detect that belonged on my computer and not on the one my entries would be generated from on someone else's journal and know who the miscreant is. All of these things seem absurd, but you know good and well they'd do these or something like them on CSI or Profiler etc. I've got to get me one of those super computers someday.

 

(April 29)

At lunch I was sitting under the tree that I eat lunch under and re-reading Kerouac's On The Road. Now that is an amusing book there. Not that I could picture myself in that situation, or even would I necessarily want to be in that situation especially in this day and age but I've always been amused at this book and occasionally think about it. Seems like it's from a different time or something. (haha) So I'm re-reading it and I find that I like it much more this time around. I can't help but wonder what Kerouac would have turned out if he'd had a computer to write on instead of a typewriter (remember he used gigantic rolls of paper to write on so he wouldn't have to stop his train of thought to change the page? I tend to think HE would have turned out more and better books, while I think that if Hemmingway had computers he would not have turned out nearly as good books as he did.). Anyway, I'm sitting there reading On The Road and a can pulls up into the empty space in front of me and I look up and a guy gets out, looks blankly about and walks off. His liscence plate was Ohio. When it was time for me to go back into work, I walked beside this car and looked in the window, not like I'm nosey, just glanced in as I walked by. And inside the car was the BIGGEST mound of fast food garbage I've ever seen, all piled on the passenger seat. I mean it was McDonald's bags, coffee cups, Hardees bags etc, all sorts of miscellaneous stuff. It was amazing. The thought of eating all that sort of crap while driving around in the car sort of disgusts me nowadays. I wonder if he had been driving straight through from Ohio? Still, if he had the pile of garbage wouldn't have been nearly as big as it was in his car though. It was a curious sight I'll tell you.

Speaking of sight, sometimes when I walk I like to sort of memorize what's in front of me and then close my eyes and see if I can tell when I'll get to whatever obstacle is in front of me. Like doors, walls, whatever. I walk normally, trying to stay in a straight line, but when I think I'm getting close to the object, I slow down a little and put out my hand so I won't crash into things. It's kind of a fun activity and I recommend everyone do it a few times just for fun.

I don't know if these three things have anything in common, the reading of Kerouac, the Ohio junkfood mobile, and the walking with eyes closed, but who am I to say whether or not they do?

 

(April 28) 

There are a lot of human qualities I admire. Creativity is one of them. Creative people seem generally pretty intelligent and interesting to be around. They're not always pleasant to be around, but generally it's interesting. (I can think of several really creative people who it's downright unpleasant to be around, but it's never boring when I am around them that's for sure, and they always give me hours and hours of stuff to think about and discuss later.) 

Another quality I admire is patience. I used to be very patient but now I'm not so much anymore so when I see people being really patient, I really admire that about them. I carry a few rocks in my pocket and sometimes when I'm feeling impatient (like during meetings), I take out one or two of the rocks and rub them. It must take a long time to become a rock and rocks must have infinite patience I think. (Hey, that reminds me of the Trespassers Will song Pond Thing....."would it be better if we were all rocks...) One of my rocks is very very smooth and has an owl carved into it. I don't know if the rock minded having an owl carved into it, but it's a cool abstract owl and I like it. The other rock is a quartz crystal that was my great uncle's. It's not a very pretty or well-shaped crystal, but I like it anyway. 

I think humbleness and kindness and a good sense of humor are three very important qualities, maybe the most important qualities a person could have. I think about these three qualities daily. There are a few people who I look up to who have all three of these qualities too, so you know, I feel really lucky knowing them. I think that when people do humble acts of kindness they become much more whole and complete than they were before. I'm lucky to know someone who I think is whole and complete. 

 Sometimes creative people can be hard to get along with.  You ever notice that?  Oh, and I still really enjoy the taste of fennel.

 

(April 24)

On the day that I took down the fences I was rambling about a few days ago, I sat on the banks of the stream and looked around and noticed for the first time in a long time how pretty the land was at that spot, so that's another thing taking down the fences did, made me see the land again. Like David Byrne said in the movie True Stories.... "By forgetting to remember, we can see a thing again for the first time." Without the fences, everything seemed so open and clear. It was a wonderful thing to go there for weeks after and see how open and pretty it was. Then I guess I forgot to remember that somewhere along the way because now when I look there I only see it as it is now and not how it was then. It's really too bad we can't somehow store up feelings of surprise or joy or whatever to experience again later.

You know, that just made me think...... no, don't worry, not more about fences. I wonder why it's not possible really, storing feelings. Everyone knows that whoop-ass comes in a can, why not other things like surprise, happiness, sorrow etc. SORROW you say? Well yes, because of a scene in Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 where the main character is looking at the Remedios Varo painting of the women who are embroidering the world while trapped in a tower. The main character is standing there crying and wishing that somehow the space between her eyes and her glasses could somehow seal itself so that her tears would collect there and she could look at the rest of her life through the sorrow that she felt at that moment. Now I realize that looking at life through sorrow that intense might now be everyone's cup of tea, but the level of her emotion then and there is something I think about a lot. I think about the Remedios Varo painting a lot too. Chilling it is, I think mostly because the women are stuck inside a tower with no chance to enjoy the world which they are embroidering. Hey, it's like a FENCE (sorry, couldn't help myself there) is keeping them away from the fruits of their labor. And imagine the weight of the responsibility of those women, trapped in that tower. Ugh, makes me feel sorrow too just thinking about it. Sometimes I sit and look at this painting for a long time. Maybe I should stop doing that.

Here's a website showing some Remedios Varo paintings  and HERE is the painting I'm talking about. 

 

(April 23) 

My hand has going numb again and I really dislike it when that happens. Damn neck arthritis. I hope this doesn't mean the migraines will start again.... 

And speaking of nasty tasting water.......... the water at Radford University just sucks. It tastes nasty and isn't even reallly clear sometimes. Lately I've taken to drinking a bottle of Blacksburg tap water and then refilling the bottle with nasty Radford water but putting instant ginseng tea powder in that and drinking it so I don't have to taste the nasty Radford taste. Water ought to not taste nasty coming out of the fountain I think. 

Yesterday I noticed that one of the waterfountains I get the nasty tasting water from is gone. I really wouldn't mind so much, but it's right next to the elevator and when I am taking a cart of books or mail upstairs, I always ride that elevator and when I'm waiting for it to come to the ground floor (where I'm waiting with the full cart of books), I rest my hand on the top of the waterfountain. So even though I don't drink the water from it, I still miss the waterfountain. Life's funny eh?  It's like things have more than one purpose.  I wonder maybe if since I didn't actually drink from that waterfountain, I was somehow helping it to redefine itself and today it realized that it was a fishtank trapped inside a waterfountain body or somesuch and it ripped itself off the wall and went somewhere to realize it's full potential?  Maybe by resting my hand on it every day instead of drinking from it I was helping it "find itself" and now it's far better off for it.  I guess only time will tell.

 

(April 22)  

Two things today, first off, I've found the BEST art site ever.  It's got paintings by about everyone I could think of and a really cool viewer dealy too.  As soon as I can save up the money, I'd like to buy the CD of the site.  I think I'll be visiting it often it's so great.  It's the ARTCHIVE.  Wow, what a site!

And secondly, I wrote another letter last night.  The last letter I wrote I got a response from, well actually it was an email, but it was to Bela Fleck, and he actually wrote me back and invited me to send him a CD of my newest banjo work.  That was way more than the response I thought I'd get, which would be no response, so I was pretty happy at that.  So I thought I'd write to someone else and see what happens.

Last night's letter was to Yoko Ono.  I wanted to write her about her book "grapefruit: A Book of Instructions and Drawings".  Man is that a great book.  It's a bunch of performance pieces or instructions for projects of something, it's sort of hard to describe.   I had a journal entry one time about it and how I saved a piece of paper for years that I had photocopied an entry from this book on.   I'd run across the paper every now and then and think they were cool, then I'd stick them somewhere and forget about them for a few years.  I'd been thinking about this a lot lately and decided to try and get the book at the library to reread it.  So I did, but then I didn't want to return it so I found a place that had it and bought it.  Wow am I glad I did, this is a fantastic book!

The entry that I had previously copied and ran across occasionally was this:

TAPE PIECE V

Comb Piece (a)

Take a tape of your wife combing every day.

Keep it.

Bury it with her when she dies.

Comb Piece (b)

Take a tape of your husband combing every day.

Keep it.

Play it after he dies.

Comb Piece (c)

Take a tape of your child combing.

Let her listen to it when she is sick in bed.

1963 autumn

 

Isn't that cool?  There's lots of stuff like that in this book.  What a great thought provoking book.   I hope Yoko will write back to me.  I'll keep you posted.

 

(April 21)

Here's something that sort of bothers me. When I was growing up I was taught to not wear a hat indoors. So I'm walking around inside the library where I work and probably 3/4 of the boys I see are wearing hats and I just want to grab them right off the boy's heads. Only I don't because really, what's it to me if they're wearing a hat? And what also bothers me is that most of the hats I see these days aren't worn straight with the bill facing forward, most of them are worn at an angle so that the bill is pointing in the direction of the outer corner of their eye, or sideways with the bill facing sort of down. I want to know WHO decided this was an acceptable fashion and WHY they decided that because personally I just don't get it.

Also the whole fishhook on the bill of the hat thing. I have no idea what that means, and since I see it on people from all age and body types, I'm thinking it's probably not a gang thing. What's the deal with the fishhook people? At first I thought it was some sort of fishing aide, then I thought it was some sort of statement. For a while I entertained the notion that it was a new secret society and I admit I got a little excited at that idea, but again, looking at the variety of people I see it on, I'm thinking it ain't some local branch of the illuminati or anything like that. Frankly I'm baffled.

(April 19)

I have a picture of half a dog's head on my desk. Actually it's on the cover of a book. It's not a gore picture, it's just a picture of half it's head, I'm relatively sure the other half of the dog's head is alive and well and still attached to the side I can see, only I can't see it because it's not in the picture. I like that his one ear is curved out and down just like a banana, it sort of amuses me. But that's not what I'm here to tell you today. What I'm here to tell you today is that several people have signed up for my mailing list and I'm thinking that I ought to finally get off my butt and make something to send you all. So that'll be part of my weekend's project, I'll make a newsletter this weekend. Only maybe I won't because it's Easter and we have company coming. 

Back to the doghead, or half a doghead as the case may be. Next to the doghead picture is a small computer speaker and on that I have (taped) a small statue of Psyduck. Psyduck is my favorite Pokemon. He doesn't really have any superpowers like the other Pokemon, his power is the strength of his headache and that sort of attracts me. I mean a bad headache is nothing compared to MY dream superpowers of freezing and/or burning vision, but I think a headache bad enough to make others around you feel bad is a pretty darn good one. 

Poor Psyduck, he isn't often chosen for a Pokemon fight, so he just pops out on his own sometimes and Misty is mad when he does. I'm thinking that isn't doing too much for his self respect and may even be adding to his headaches. Maybe if Misty actually talked to Psyduck and got to know him a little better she'd be nicer to him and his headaches would get better. I mean, what I don't understand is, if she doesn't want to use him and doesn't want him around, why doesn't she give him to Professor Oak to take care of? 

Another thing that I don't understand is about that Legolas (or Leg-o-lamb as I like to call him). He shoots all those arrows like mad, and his quiver never seems to go empty. How's it getting refilled is what I want to know. And why is that little detail kept from us, the viewing audience. I'm highly suspiscious of that little oversight I'll tell you.

 

(April 17)  Two things for today.....

ANNOUNCING THE GRAND OPENING OF SELENA'S ART GALLERY!!  Selena is my 8 year old daughter.  OK, so she's almost 9 now, I admit it, but some of these pieces she did in kindergarten so you know, it all evens out.  Drop by and have a look.  Leave a comment please for her if you feel led to!

And last but not least, I am the featured artist on the Car Wreck Records website!  That's pretty cool and I think Dave and Steve did a bang-up job on the feature page for me.  They even have a media player with some of my tuneage in it.  It's a most excellent feature and I appreciate it a lot!  Car Wreck Records is a non-profit label designed to help indie artists.  It's an awesome idea and a couple of great guys!  Check out my feature page.

 

(April 16)   More rambling about the Floyd County land:

During one of our more masochistic moments, we decided to plant something on the giant hill that is on our land. I don't remember exactly what, but I think it was pumpkins and squash. What I do remember is that it was unpleasantly hot, we were tired, and we had our little girl with us at the time. We weren't being quiet in any way, but we were taking a rest and sitting having a snack. I don't know if we heard it or one of us saw it, but we looked up and saw coming over the top of the hill, a small spotted fawn. 

We sat quietly watching it walk toward us. It was cautious but not terrified. We watched it for a good long time from about 20 or so feet away. It eventually wandered off, or maybe we scared it off, I don't remember. But for the rest of that year and part of the next, we'd often see a deer in that field. We named it but I forget what we named it, Sandy maybe?

Another time, on that same field my daughter and I were planting Christmas trees and off to the side the deer was standing watching us. I don't know for sure, but I imagine it was the same deer. It became the same deer in our family folklore anyway. We never know when or where we'll see it again either. Usually when I do see it, it's in the border areas between woods and field, where a deer would generally be anyway. I tried taking pictures of it a few times, but oddly enough they never came out. 

I'm always suspicious of things that don't show up on film. Maybe since the deer wasn't afraid of us as a fawn and doesn't show up on film very well, it's not a normal deer. Maybe it's a silent watcher of the land, a guardian spirit, or yet another symbol. Or... maybe it was never really there at all, maybe it was just a figment of my memory of my kid's childlike innocence. Who knows, I just know that every time I see it, I think of that day long ago planting on the hillside when the fawn came to check on us. 


 

(April 15)  A few ramblings about fences......

I was thinking about fences. A long time ago I wrote a really bad essay on fences and submitted it to NPR as an audio commentary. Predictably, I never heard from them about it, but that's ok, it was really bad and rambling and long. I don't judge success of an effort by the standard yardstick of success for a thing, so that NPR didn't want my bad essay on fences as an audio commentary doesn't necessarily make that effort a failed one. THAT I submitted it to me makes it a success. A success because I tried and that's what's important to me. Maybe someday I'll submit a good essay on fences to NPR and they'll accept it. Who knows, stranger things have happened (like for instance, I have a place on the mysterious internet where I can ramble on about fences or Planet of the Apes or Godzilla and people will for some reason read these and comment on them. I look at my webstats often and find that this journal page gets more hits than any other page of mine. Hmmmm.).

Anyway, speaking of fences, out in the country (the site of the original bad essay on fences) we've had to take down most of our fences that border the "main" road. I say "main" road that way because it's a dirt road, not really a main road at all, it's just the only road so therefore I think of it as the main one. We had to take down our fences there because the state is paving it. To me that's a good thing because it means an easier drive and less chances of people wrecking and having their cars towed out of our stream. 

The day we took down the fences that border the road felt a little odd. We were taking down the fence that supposedly kept people out of our land. Not that I even remotely think that the fence kept people out, but it served as a sort of symbol from us to "them" that this land is ours and not theirs I suppose. Removing the fence was necessary, and it'll be put up again this summer or fall when the roadwork is done, but driving away on that day and not locking the gate felt weird. I still feel weird about it and have vague fantasy's of going back there and finding people camped out in our fields or things missing from our barn, or trees cut down and hauled off. It's sort of unsettling. Most likely the only thing that has changed is now the people who are illegally hunting on our posted land can now drive their trucks up into it easier. In the past the illegal hunters had even removed the gate that I so conscientiously lock each and every time I leave the land. Did that bother me? Well yes, it bothered me, but they did put the gate back, so I didn't mind too much.

Driving away that day, I admit I had a tiny pang of nervousness. Since pangs of nervousness plague me in a big way, I had to rationalize and explain to myself why this was alright to do. I thought about the absurdity of the fence in the first place, and how since we owned this land but didn't live on it we didn't really know what was going on here anyway. Who knows, maybe people were camped out here all the time. Really, that might not even be a bad thing if it were happening. This is beautiful land that we've taken care of and loved for almost 15 years now, why shouldn't others be allowed to enjoy it? So far so good, nothing's ever been disturbed, even when we had an acre of it planted in many different kinds of vegetables. Why should removing a fence that was falling down anyway be a bad thing? I decided right then that the fence was more of a symbol than a tool of exclusion. That made me feel a little better, and since then I've been thinking about it more and more and I agree with myself (this doesn't always happen unfortunately), removing the "fence as symbol" was alright to do because a symbol only has as much meaning as an interpreter gives it and "me" as interpreter is always going to be different than "you" as interpreter.  So the fence was probably more important to me than to anyone who might want to be on the other side of it.   So away I drove, glancing in the rearview mirror occasionally at the non-fence and thinking about how nice this drive will be when the road is paved.

(April 12)  Ahhhh.... I messed around a bit (didn't take much time or care with the photos etc) and finally figured out how to do something amusing.....

 

(April 11)  I mean....I know it's not my decision to make and all....but really, I think we've had enough rain for a while now.  

 

(April 10)  You know what bugs me?  It's when I buy a CD from some major label act and I look at who wrote the songs on it.  Sometimes the people in the band write them, and that makes me happy.  But sometimes nobody in the band writes the songs, and that makes me NOT happy.  I mean really, these people on major labels.....it's not like they have an 8-5 job.  Can't they write their own freaking songs?  I mean if I can write MY own songs, can't they write theirs?  It kind of annoys me.

 

(April 8)  I don't know why, but I love air hockey and pinball.  Even the stupid computer pinball game I love.  I think when I'm a total grownup I'll buy an air hockey machine.  The big one with sides and air coming up in the board.  One time I played air hockey with my brother-in-law for an hour or so and my arm was really tired and sore, but that was one of the best times I've ever had with him.  I think I beat him a bunch of times too, and that of course makes it all the better.  Love that air hockey. 

The video pinball is ok too but nothing like the real game.  I used to love to play pinball. I'd feed those quarters in every chance I got.  One of my friends had a pinball machine at his house even.  Ah that was fun... 

Hey.....you know what would be a nice birthday present?  You know, for a big birthday  Like  maybe for a person's 40th birthday?  A REAL pinball machine, now THAT would be a really nice present for someone.  Yup, a reallly nice present....

 

(April 5)  I was reading in an old book about a pioneering family.  One of the boys was killing a rattlesnake that got caught in a trap and he mentioned that the snake didn't have blood.  Then I remembered a few snakes that I had to kill because they were caught in my fences and sure enough, I don't remember them having blood.  I never thought of that at the time and now it strikes me as way freaky.  But what REALLY strikes me as freaky is that the last time I killed a snake (it was wound around and around in a mesh and I couldn't get it out), it looked up at me right before I killed it and I felt weird.  Then when I had killed it, my nose started to bleed.  That freaked me out a little bit at the time, and you know, it sort of freaks me out a little more now thinking about the bloodless snake looking at me and then my nose bleeding.  Freaky.

 

(April 4)  I wonder what sort of tax system they will have on the Planet of the Apes.  When it's ruled by talking apes I mean of course.  I'm pretty sure they'll have a tax system, but I sort of doubt it'll be like ours is now.  I bet they won't have to fill out those forms and wait on a refund or pay more in.  I bet it'll be different than that.  I mean, assuming the Planet of the Apes WILL happen (and really, why wouldn't it?), their tax system will certainly be influenced or will progress from ours now.  I wonder what parts of our current system will stay and which parts will leave and what they'll be replaced with?  

 

(April 3) Life is good...

1. Arrogant Bastard Ale is freaking fantastic to drink.  I love it.  It's a little expensive though unfortunately.  But that's ok as it makes it a treat to have one.  I am thinking of this because I just looked behind my amp for something and whaddya know, there's an Arrogant Bastard Ale unopened.  I thought that was an empty bottle but woo hoo, it isn't an empty bottle, it's a full one!

2.  And this month's Shakira calendar picture is very nice, but then so was last month's.  You know, they're all pretty nice pictures.  I'm not a pig or anything I don't think, but I do like my Shakira calendar.  Wish I had MTV so I could see the Shakira videos.  What a voice that woman has!

3.  I bought a set of $12 speakers from the pawn shop the other day.  In one way it sort of sucks that a set of $12 pawn shop speakers could make me happy and satisfied, but in another way, I'm way glad for the fact that a set of $12 pawn shop speakers can make me happy and satisfied. 

4.  I listen to Duke Ellington and or Miles Davis every day at work and I like that a lot.  I like that I can listen to horrid goatrape jazz at work and nobody bats an eye.  Sometimes I even listen to the SAME goatrape jazz cd repeatedly and still nobody bats an eye.

So you see, all in all, life is good.  And again, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

(April 2)  There's nothing like popcorn with a little Old Bay seasoning, sugar, and salt on it.  Mmmmmm.  Aside from that, I wonder if plants look at us eating vegetables and fruit and think "they're eating meat"  because to them, I'd imagine vegetables and fruit is like meat is to us.  Maybe someday I'll be a plant and I'll know the answer to that.  I also imagine I wouldn't be able to communicate the answer to that even if I remembered the question.  

That's the trick in life I think, remembering the questions.

 

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2002 Bud Bennett