I somehow had enough to say to say it on multiple pages. Golly. Whodathunkit? And more importantly, you're here reading them. Wowzers.
Wanna go back to the newer entries?
(March 28) In the 1970's Kiss and Led Zeppelin were battling it out to see who was the greatest band. Hmmmm, tough choice there....because now I think they both are equally bad! When I was younger though I'd have picked Kiss because of the makeup, costumes and the use of spitting blood in their stage show. I always loved their big boots. Never underestimate the value of really really tall shoes in distracting fans I always say.. I loved Kiss and would write their logo on all my notebooks etc and I listened a lot to Kiss Alive. They sort of sucked but they were fun. My wife on the other hand loved the Led Zeppelin. She claims she doesn't anymore and I think that's a good thing.
But what isn't a tough choice is which of the monster songs would win if they had a battle for best song. Neither of these songs was by Kiss or Led Zeppelin by the way. If the song Frankenstein and the song Godzilla had a fight, which one would win? That's a thought question.
Personally I think Frankenstein the song would win. It's big and cool and dark and it rocks totally. That Edgar Winter Group is way cool. Godzilla is a good song too, but, I don't know, it's so peppy and happy like (Whoa no, there goes Tokayo go go Godzilla- or whatever the words are!). Frankenstein's like WOW , big and YOWZA! Of course a fight between the actual monsters would be a hands down win with Godzilla. Poor Frankenstein wouldn't stand a chance. That's why I'm glad the song would win. At least that's my opinion. What's yours?
(March 22) You know what I want to know? What exactly were the circumstances during which someone determined that tomato juice washes off skunk stink? You know, that's got to be a good story.
(March 16) Some random thoughts for the day:
(March 15) Reading is good (eat pudding) PART ONE. Because I care about you I'm
suggesting some books for you to read. Now some of you have already read
these I know, but others may not have, and I was thinking that instead of
hording all these delicious titles I'd pass them on. And these are in no
particular order, just how they came to me.
(March 14) You know, that Bela Fleck is a pretty darn good player. Sometimes when I
listen to him I want to really practice and practice. Other times when I
listen to him I want to not practice at all. Other times still, I wonder
what planet he comes from and how many fingers he has on his right hand.
Now mind you, I've seen his right hand close up, I probably even touched
it several times, but sometimes when he plays he does this thing that seems
to me just not possible with the number of fingers I've seen with my own
two eyes on his right hand. I think he must have an extra finger or two
on his left hand, but not on the hand part, probably no the wrist so he
can make these insanely long reaches that are probably not possible for
those of us born on THIS planet. Just for kicks, I wrote him a note the
other day. Wonder if he'll write back?
(March 13) EVERYONE knows the moon is made of cheese. (Yet another
FACT the school system is denying to our children. Rocks and dust
indeed! That it IS made of cheese is common knowledge!) So we're looking
at the moon through the telescope after dinner the other night and I got
a great idea on how we could help the nation's economy. I'm thinking of
course of Wallace and Grommet and how they ran out of cheese and built a
rocket ship in their garage and flew up to the moon to get some more
cheese. Now that's a great idea and I think if the government would
implement that into the long-range plan the world would be a lot better
off. Just think, if we got our cheese from the moon instead of from cows
and milk, then we wouldn't have to waste the millions of acres of land
we do in planting feed corn for the milk cows. I bet there's even some
way of reverse manufacturing that scientists could come up with to
extract milk from cheese, or maybe they'd make up some new kind of milky
drink from cheese. Ice cream too.
(March 12) I've recently done some banjo work for a few other bands. One band is Our Religion. I really like those guys. This new album is going to be fabulous (despite my participation on it!). They've not posted the song I played on anywhere yet though. Justice Cleveland is the one I'm on.
I also played on a song by Jeza. Jeza is a wonderful guy, very talented and generous. I enjoyed playing this song, Tower of Babel because it was challenging and had a nice chord structure to work off of. As I recall, I tuned the banjo in some odd tuning and used a capo to get it to the right key. It was all pretty experimental and I enjoyed it. He's posted it for your listening pleasure: Tower of Babel.
And just the other day I did a song with Phil Frazier. Phil wanted some banjo on the tune Country Oven, so I said I'd give him some. He may have gotten more banjo's than he bargained for though! I laid down three different tracks for this tune and worked them all together to give the tune a jam-like feel. I think it's a lot of fun to listen to as there are a few different things working in the background there throughout the song. Phil's a good singer too. Check it out: Country Oven.
Now I'm working on remaking one of my tunes into a two part invention sort of affair. I've got it pseudo-planned in my head, I just need to find the time to work it out with my hands. Should be a fun thing to play. I guess that'll be later this month though. I know you're all waiting on the edge of your seats to hear it too.
(March 8) Lately I've been listening to Miles Davis' Live Evil. Loving every minute of it too! Then, I just got Miles Davis' Bitches Brew yesterday. I listened to it all day long today and all I can say is, WOW I wish I'd gotten this years ago. What an intense groove that album is. What amuses me when I listen to these Miles cds from that period is that we listen to them and instead of dissecting them like we would if this were a recording by a friend of ours (Uh gee Miles, you sort of missed that note there, and you're hunting for it. I think you could have done that better, why not go into the studio and fix it?....or...Man, that song is 25 minutes long, NOBODY is going to listen to a 25 minute long song, cut it into pieces and make several songs out of it.....or....Man, the band had a GROOVE going and you came in and wrecked it!, True you rebuilt it, but man the groove was THERE!), we just slowly nod our heads with half closed eyes totally digging the groove. Then, because it's jazz and not rock and roll (or IS it?) we feel educated and classy and soak it in. It's like there's not a hummable section to the entire double CD set here, (in contrast to the Duke Ellington jams where you can hum the melody throughout the jam). I think that's why I like it though. This music is for the moment. Odd that this music I've dubbed "for the moment" is on a cd which is presumably for near-eternity, but when I listen to it, I'm there. When it's over, I hit play again and soak it up again. That's what I like about psychedelic music which I see as the same thing as this phase of jazz. Psychedelic music starts with a melody and then goes with it, never the same twice, never stopping to ask for directions, just going. It's nice to have electric psychedelic rock that is frowned upon, and to have psychedelic jazz that is considered cultured and intelligent. hahahaha it's the same thing people! Music is music. Well all except for opera, that's just annoying.
So what I like is that I'm not finding myself listening to this stuff thinking about the drum needing to be louder or more in front, or that the guitar player is noodling or that I can't hear the bass throughout a whole song, I'm just listening to the MUSIC. The whole, the groove (or lack thereof). I wonder what would have happend had Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, John Coletrane and Charlie Mingus met up with and played music with Frank Zappa, Phish, and the 70's era Grateful Dead. Wowzers, that would have been a jam!
(March 5) I really enjoy the taste of fennel.
(Feb 22) Cell phones bug me. I see them everywhere I go and I'm wondering WHAT do people have to talk about constantly? In the grocery store is especially annoying to me. I was someone walking down an aisle and she took out her phone and made a call to someone. It wasn't anything important either, just chit chat (chiT chaT chiT chaT----can anyone tell me what that's from?). Then she was in front of me in line at the checkout aisle and was still chiT chaTTing. Jeez, how fnord annoying, like am I supposed to listen or not to that? (I don't remember, but I bet she was wearing a bellyshirt too to further annoy and confuse me!)
Also, when we were at the olympics, we noticed that there were many many many people sitting there watching the games talking on their freaking cell phones. Now unless they were either ALL reporters, or ALL giving play fnord by play descriptions to some rabid team handball fanatics, I just don't think them talking on the phone during an olympic team handball match was all that necessary or polite!
But maybe it's just me and my irrational fear of talking on the phone fnord here. Maybe other people don't mind the constant cellphone talking going on? I don't mind people talking on the cellphones when they are driving though. I realize there are a bunch of fnord studies citing increased accidents while cardrivingcellphonetalking is going on, but AT LEAST that's cell phone talking in relative privacy and not in public where I don't have to pretend I can't hear or wonder if I'm supposed to pretend I don't hear it!
(Feb 20) The Dalai Lama likes Dahlias, but can't grow them in Darmasala where he lives in exile. Now doesn't that just SUCK?! Not only did he loose his country and people, but he can't even grow his favorite flower anymore. He has a second flower he misses too but I forget which one that is. How totally sucky that must be not even to be able to grow your favorite flower while you're in exile, all the while knowing it is growing in profusion in Tibet.
So I was thinking about that, but then I thought that I'm not nearly as spiritually advanced as him, so maybe he looks at the situation differently than I would. Then it hit me, I IMAGINE he might think that maybe it's not so bad knowing that it's growing in profusion in Tibet. Maybe he can fondly think of his dahlias growing and spreading beauty in his long lost Tibet and feel glad for the flowers and hope that they are making others happy. (Sort of like that book about the woman who kept tossing flower seeds where ever she'd go so she could help make the world a better place.)
Yes, the more that I think of it, the more I think I like that idea. He can't grow dahlias in Darmasala, but he knows they are growing in Lhasa, so he can miss them and maybe be a little sad, but at the same time he can also be happy because people there are enjoying them. Golly, how inspirational. Even in my idle imagining of what he might think of something like this there is still inspiration. Cool.
(Feb 13) I'll tell you something that bugs me, it's the use of the phrase "you guys" when it's both sexes present. Like you're in a restaurant and the waitress says: "Have you guys decided what you want yet?" or some such, and it's just my wife and me sitting there. That annoys me.
Also what both annoys and confuses me is belly shirts. I work at a college by the way. Now really, am I as a male supposed to LOOK at the belly that is peeking out from under the hem of the bellyshirt? Or am I as a liberated male in touch with my sensitive side ( I DO play rhythm acoustic guitar you know!), supposed to NOT look at the belly peeking out from under the hem of the bellyshirt? This by the way extends to those dumb hip hugger pants because they are generally worn at the same time as the bellyshirts. I walk by a table of women and they're all wearing bellyshirts and hip hugger pants, and almost every one of them is showing the top of their underwear! I mean really!! Who decided this was an acceptable fashion? I personally DO NOT feel the desire to look at the belly and/or underwear of every single young woman that goes to the college I work at.
I find myself actually wondering if I'm supposed to look or not look. I was brought up at a time and place where men did not look at the belly's of young girls half their age, and seeing girl's underwear was just not acceptable at all, so now in today's college society, I see belly's and underwear being shown off and displayed constantly. OH! Even though it's like 12 degrees outside I see these girls wearing these stupid bellyshirts. What gives? Do I need to call their mothers and tell THEM that these girls are walking around in bellyshirts and hip hugger pants? Granted they ARE wearing coats when they're outside, but not inside! I just don't understand these kids today. For real, what is the purpose of these clothes, to make us LOOK or are they worn with some sort of masochistic purpose (because there's NO way those clothes can be comfortable, especially when it's 12 degrees outside). Really, I'm baffled.
(Feb 12) I really like saying certain phrases repeatedly. Here are two that have stuck with me for years:
Saint of Circumstance (When you say this one, overemphasize the S sounds. And repeat it indefinitely.)
Smilla's Sense of Snow (Same with this one on the S sounds and repeat it indefinitely. Actually, when I mow the field in the country the sound of the motor on the mower somehow brings this phrase to mind. It's actually the name of a cool book. The book is about a crime and a woman who solves it, but there's a lot in there about the different kinds of snow in the eskimo language and that's pretty neat.)
You know, the funny thing about repeating a phrase like these is that the people around you generally do not enjoy you doing this activity. It seems that no matter how personally rewarding YOU may find it to repeat repeatedly...Saint of Circumstance...Saint of Circumstance....Saint of Circumstance....etc, those NOT repeating it somehow seem to tire of the activity quickly. Interesting eh?
(Feb 11) I think Fear Factor has got to be one of the most entertaining shows on TV. It's like morbid fascination watching the people on that show. The extent to which people will torture themselves both mentally and physically is fascinating. The show's probably educational too in a sociological sort of way. Perhaps there's something there for us all to learn from, but that doesn't really concern me. I just like to watch the people eat the nasty stuff. All in all I'd say watching that show is an hour well spent.
(Feb 10) I like popcorn. I like violent and weird movies. I like just plain weird movies. I like most music. I like winter. I like eating good food. I like pie. I like seeing that I've sold CDs. I like getting fanmail. I like getting packages in the mail. I like drinking very cold water. I like being outside. I like taking pictures of flowers. I like reading books. I like doing fun stuff with the family. I like the David Letterman and Conan O'Brien shows. And you know what.... that's just the TIP of the iceberg.
What about you, what do you like?
(Feb 8) I'm listening to Raspberry Silk's "Inner Voices" a lot lately. Ever since I got it in the mail the other day I've been listening to it. One of my all time favorite songs is Drowning, and
wowzers, it sounded great as an mp3, but it sounds GREAT on the real stereo. Man, what a greatly produced, written, and performed album this is.
(Jan 31) Some Random thoughts for today:
(Jan 29) To this day, I still think of David Carradine as being Chinese. I guess he was supposed to be half Chinese maybe in Kung Fu. That was one of the greatest TV shows ever. "I am Cain..." wow, what a line, perhaps it was reminiscent of Melville's "Call me Ishmael." Except Cain wasn't hunting a great white whale, he was hunting for his brother. Then when he finally found him, it was sort of a disappointment, but at least he didn't die like Ahab did.
(Jan 28) Whew, we had a big scare tonight. It was after dinner and me and the kids were having a rousing game of "count how many times I can run by with the pot on my head" when we heard someone coming into the house. "QUICK!" I whispered, "get out the educational games!" We made a mad dash for the game and dropped into our falsely casual positions just as someone walked in.
Whew, that was a close one!
(Jan 27) Here's something interesting you may have forgotten or never knew in the first place. If you look through 3D glasses for a longish time, then remove them and look at something white (so you can see colors), you'll notice that the eye that had the red lens will see in blue and the eye that had the blue lens will see in red. Pretty neat huh?
That all probably has something to do with the left right brain and
the way the eyes and brain turn stuff over between us seeing something
and us realizing something. I've sort of been thinking about it since I
discovered this cool little deal, it's kind of fun to think about stuff
(Jan 26) I bought NINA's video DVD and here's what I think of it....... first off, when the package arrived, we were delighted with the stamps! how fun! But then when we opened the package......WOW what a totally professional fabulous packaging job! The DVD is in one of the standard tallish dvd holders, not in a jewelcase like some of the ones I've bought. This one is in a real and protective case and has fabulous looking artwork and type on it. I tell you honestly, there's not a thing about this that doesn't stand up to comparing it to a storebought
dvd. It's completely and totally fabulous looking!
(Jan 17) Hmmm. Disgruntled means to make ill humored or ill contented. (Interestingly, it's pretty close to disgust in the dictionary! Four words away in fact.) So what I wonder, is.... if somebody can be disgruntled, can they be gruntled too? Is the goal of management to have a staff of gruntled employees? And if management called it's employees gruntled would they mind? Gruntle is a real word by the way. It means to put in a good humor. Just for curiosity (I have a friend who actually says curiorosity instead of curiosity. It's one of her MANY words she mispronounces.) I counted down four words past gruntle to see what it was, and it's gr wt which is the abbreviation for gross weight.
hmmmm, wonder if that might have some sort of odd correlation. Maybe like disgruntle is to gruntle as disgust is to gross weight. I guess that's food for thought...
(Jan 15) I've been thinking, a while back I said that if I could have any superpower I'd want it to be the ability to set things on fire just by looking at them in a special way. I don't know, maybe instead of that, I should pick the ability to freeze things with some sort of special freezingvision. That might be more fun and ultimately more useful. I guess I should think about that a bit.
(Jan 2) This year for Christmas I got the new Peter Gabriel CD (UP), the new Shakira CD (Laundry Service), and a DVD of
Amelie. Now first of all, the Peter Gabriel CD is total coolness, I love that guy!
(Dec 30) I can't sleep lately again. I've been obsessing about the amount of space in molecules. I'm sure you've heard the thing about how if one part of an atom is a baseball then another part of it would be in the town next to you? I could look that up but I'm sure everyone know's what I'm talking about. The idea that the building blocks of everything that we see and interact with are so incredibly tiny, yet filled with so much space (with respect to their size) and yet STILL build the things we interact with is sort of
mindboggling. It's like the idea of endless space (the space like where spaceships and planets are). What's boggling my brain lately is, what if the two things are one in the same? What if the space between the nucleus and the electrons is the same vastness that we think of when we think of
outerspace? Where does that leave us? Or where does that take us? It's sort of overwhelming.
(Dec 27) Here's what I've been wondering for the past few days. If you could run EXTREMELY fast, would it be possible to outrun the wind? And if it were possible, what would it feel like once you got there?
(Dec 15) I'm off work for three weeks, so naturally I broke out my Parliament Funkadelic albums (The Clones of Doctor Funkenstein is playing right now in fact). All of them I mean, and we've got lots! Those guys are definitely one of the best things to come out of the 70's I think. Their musicianship and creativity are hard to beat. The first time I listened to them was in high school, somewhere in 1979. It was in health class which also acted as home room, and the health teacher was one of the football coaches. Coincidentally most of the football team was in that class too. During homeroom the class would break up into groups of 4 and play spades and someone always had a Parliament album or two there, I guess on cassette. We'd play spades and listen to Parliament. Great fun it was and looking back I guess one of the most valuable lessons I learned in high school was that we can all be ONE NATION UNDER A GROOVE. Ya, I still think that too. Rock on Parliament.
(Dec 9) I think if Godzilla were around today that scientists would try their darndest to catch it and study it so they could learn how it's lungs are made. Just think, if people had lungs like Godzilla, we could live both underwater and above water and not need one of those bubble like things you see in futuristic pictures of life under the seas. Since Godzilla could live underwater and breathe there, and live above ground and breathe there, his/her lung construction would be able to do a whole lot for the overpopulation problem in the world. So I was thinking, if Godzilla were around, the scientists would probably kill him/her (I'm not sure if Godzilla is a he or a she.) and dissect it to study the lungs. That would just be sad. Just plain sad. I think Japan wouldn't be too happy about it in the long run.
(Dec 8) I was raised on certain rules. There were a bunch, but here's a few of them:
1. Don't discuss politics or religion because that will generally make people fight with you. I admit, I do discuss religion, but only if we first both understand that I have my beliefs and you have yours and they're both right. Politics.... I don't discuss that except in private conversations and only with people I know VERY well.
2. Don't wear a hat indoors, and don't come to the table with your shirt off. These rules just plain make good sense. I sort of cringe when I see boys wearing hats in buildings etc.
3. Don't talk on the phone during a lightning storm. I always thought this was a load of crap. I still think that despite me hearing from a few people that lightning came through the phoneline and out the thing you talk on. Who even HAS a phone anymore that has one of those skrinky chords connecting the thing you talk into to the thing you dial on? I know I don't. Seems like now more than ever this rule is stupid.
4. Dress up everywhere you go. I always HATED this, so now I refuse to dress up EVER.
5. Boys have short hair. HA HA HA HA HA.
That's all I can think of now. I'm sure there are more though. All in all though, I think I turned out ok despite my total disregard for some of these rules. Be careful, it's dangerous out there.
What are some rules YOU grew up on?
(Nov 29)I like cold weather. I was thinking of how nice it is to let the dogs in and how when you hug one you can smell winter in it's fur. And how the nights are cold and crisp and you can see the stars so much clearer. And how also around holiday's the people in the gas stations are talkative and happy and much more friendly than at other times of the year.
(Nov 28) The first tooth loss happened in time for Thanksgiving.
(Nov 27) You know, lately I've been thinking a lot about internet and personality and getting to know people and whether or not we actually DO know anyone on the internet and how it came to be that I keep in contact with my internet friends more than my friends I could reach out and touch if I wanted to. I mean, does anyone really know me or what I think or am like if they can't actually see me react to things or listen to the sound of my voice when I speak or the way my eyes dart around and my breathing gets hard when I walk into a room with too many people in it? I was thinking about this tonight and was thinking about how I've not heard from an internet friend in a while. Then I thought about a friend I sat and shot the bull with today while I was at work and how I felt like I knew him and was real comfortable telling him a bunch of stuff that is just too boring to relate here.
I'm sort of wondering if the Bud YOU think you know is the same one I think I know. Know what I mean? You probably have some idea of what my opinions, likes and dislikes, tendancies and quirks are just from email and ezboard posts and these brilliant and insightful journal entries. I wonder how close that perception actually is to my perception of who I am. It's an interesting thought. I suppose the internet is an opportunity for us all to reinvent ourselves. Make a new and better I if we want to. I wonder if we DO make a new and better one, or if the I we make on the internet is possibly more of the real one than the one we ourselves perceive?
Anytime I think about reinventing myself I think of the son of the sherpa who was on the first successful Mt Everest "all the way to the top" climb. When he climbed to the top for the first time, he brought a picture of his father, a picture of the Dalai Lama, and a stuffed elephant doll his kid gave him. He said when he was there on the top he felt close to his dad and felt like his dad was laughing and saying that he didn't have to climb all the way to the top of the mountain to be close to him. Then he left the two pictures and the elephant on the top and climbed back down. I don't know why, but thinking about that always puts a lump in my throat and I think of that every time I think of reinventing myself. I wonder what that says about me....... perhaps I'll never know.
(Nov 23)DDay revisited.
(Nov 20) OK, more number fun. I was thinking about the nine times tables and remembered that 9x1=9, 9x2=18, 9x3=27 etc etc. and if you add the digits of the product of all the nine times table up to 10, you get 9.
(Nov 19) Pythagoras was a fascinating fellow. I was thinking about him today for some reason and I thought I'd write down what I remember about him.
OK now I'll tell you the trick, count the row that the next number would be and add that number to your previous total. See, the first triangular number is 1, so the second would be in row 2, so add 1+2 and you get 3. etc. The 5th triangular number would be in row 5, so add 10 +5 and you get 15. See? It's sort of fun keeping it all straight in your brain.
(Nov 18) You want to know what annoys me? It's when people don't answer when I email them asking a question or telling them something. That's what annoys me. Really it's a simple thing to hit the reply button you know. I mean, I know I'm not the most important person in the world, and that what I have to say isn't necessarily the most fascinating or important thing in the world, but if I write a person, I would at least like some sort of reply. Even if the reply is "Go away, you annoy me."
Does that annoy you too?
(Nov 17) I saw my friend's mother on TV the other day. She's an actress. Personally I think it would be pretty neat to have an actress mother. My mother's a nurse.
(Nov 15)Tonight I thought it'd be fun to listen to all my Devo albums. Yes Devo albums. My very forever favorite one is Are We Not Men. Actually the title might be: Q: Are We Not Men A: We are
DEVO. but I always call it Are We Not Men. I bought it back in 1979 or so but ended up trading that one for a Who album in college. I've since bought it again though and I still love it as much as I did then. I guess the difference now though is that when I listen to it now I don't do the robot dance when Praying Hands is playing. I do admit that I still have the urge to though.
(Nov 14) I found this while puttering around in some old discs tonight. It's something I was working on a few years ago and sort of forgot about. It's not too good, but kind of sweet and it still sort of chokes me up.
(Nov 12) Here are a few random (?) thoughts for today:
(Nov 11) I like to look at pictures. They're frozen moments in time never to be had again. Sometimes I think about Bladerunner where they had that technology to go inside a picture and go around corners and look on the dressers etal at stuff. Sort of like the picture captured the room in that moment of time. They do similar stuff on cop shows all the time too. Not only do they have the fastest most efficient computers on the planet that can pull up any sort of information instantaneously, they have this incredible software that can pull out tiny bits of a picture and blow it up to crystal clarity to get clues. It's sort of cool.
(Nov 10) What song is in your head RIGHT NOW! Beth and I have mental soudtracks going all the time and we've songs in our heads almost all the time. What's in yours?
(Nov 9) Here in the south, we love the Andy Griffith Show. It's about a small town, Mayberry North Carolina, and it's people. The main characters are the sherriff Andy Taylor, the deputy
sheriff Barney Fife, the sheriff's aunt Aunt Bee, the sheriff's son Opey, and various of the town's inhabitants. It's a sweet little show and nothing really bad ever happens there. Aunt Bee makes terrible pickles but thinks they're great. Barney thinks the tiny town needs all the latest police equipment so they can better fight crime
sheriff doesn't have a gun and Barney only has one bullet, which he has to carry in his pocket). The town drunk, Otis Campbell lets himself into and out of the jail cell when he's on a bender. etc etc etc. It's a fabulous show and even though it was filmed in the 1950-60 range we still love it here and it's on in syndication every single day.
(Nov 8) I got a free Olympics hat the other day. Several weeks ago I got a piece of junk mail form the Olympic's people and it said that if I linked to them they'd send me a free olympic's gift. I figured sure, why not. So I linked to them and then forgot about it. So when the hat came in the mail I was surprised and happy. It's a darn nice hat too. I figured I'd get a pin which was cool because I was sort of collecting the olympics pins for a while.
(Nov 7) Remember Schoolhouse Rock? Here's the one's I remember (everyone sing along now):
(Nov 6) I work at a college and I have a few college kids working for me. I
also listen to a lot of music. I have found that it's kind of fun to play albums (CDs) for them that I used to like when I was their age.
It's kind of fun because you know, music has changed radically in the
(Nov 5) Memory chains are funny. Like when I think of poetry, I think of
e.e. cummings. And when I think of e.e. cummings I think of Kiss and Van
(Nov 4) I pulled out some Rolling Stones CDs last week and listened to them. It'd been a really long time since I'd listened to them and I admit, they sounded pretty darn good to me. All week I listened to the four CDs I have. I even wrote a note to a friend saying how I only liked this and that Stones album. But you know what? I listened to a bunch more Stones albums this weekend and they all sounded pretty darn good.
I used to never like the stones, I wonder why I like them all of a sudden. hmmmmm maybe it's got something to do with these migrain headache's I'm suddenly getting. I bet if I thought about it long enough I'd come up with a good correlation there.
(Nov 3) If I had a superpower, I think it'd have to be the ability to start fires by staring at something really hard. See, because that way it wouldn't matter if my firewood was wet, or if I was camping and didn't have a flashlight, or if I was in a play or something and was playing the part of a guy who could start fires just by staring really hard at something, I wouldn't have to learn my lines. And also, that way anytime anyone asked me if I had a light, I could always say yes.
(Oct 31) I was sitting here and I had a flash of memory of what pizza tasted like in the early 1970's. This was before Dominos and the other places that deliver pizza's. I remember that the pizza came on a large flattish aluminum pizza pan and that the edges of the pizza (which was flat, not puffy like the modern day pizzas) were a browned, but there was flour on it. And flour somehow on the bottom of the pizza to a little so that the texture of the bottom of the pizza was a little bit dry and grainy maybe. Actually maybe it wasn't flour at all, but that's sort of how I remember it. I can just picture the pizza sitting on the table in front of us all cheesy and saucey and how we'd hold the slices as we bit it, trying to maintain the "going out for dinner" sort of deal at the same time.
This was at an Italian restaurant near my house and I remember my family going to it one night. Only it was like going "out" for dinner you know, not like today when we all just go out for pizza to Pizza Hut. I remember that the shakers of parmesan cheese and hot peppers were sort of a novelty. I think the restaurant was named Marie's, but maybe I'm confused about that because there was another restaurant near there named Marie's and it's not the same place I'm thinking of. Anyway, I remember we went there one time and got pizza. I know I went there more times, but I only remember eating pizza there. Sometimes I miss the days when going out for a pizza was "going out". Know what I mean?
Or DO you?
(Oct 30) Several weeks ago I sent Jon Solo my song Touch the Water. He produced the track beautifully for me. I also mentioned to him that I was thinking of having him orchestrate that song and several others. You see, I'm sort of wavering on what I want to do with some of my songs and I thought it'd be sort of interesting to see what he'd cook up. I had been discussing this with his wife, my pal Jimrie also. WELL...... a few days later Jon sent me the song all prettied up and produced which I have on this website in my free MP3 area. BUT, he also sent me a stunning orchestrated version of the song. It's very pretty folks. He's just posted it on his website, give it a "spin" and tell us what you think.
I sort of have this fantasy of having two versions of Five Beans, one solo banjo and one orchestrated banjo. That'd be kind of neat I think. What do YOU think? We'll see what happens I guess. In the meantime, check out: Touch the Water with Jon Solo.
(Oct 29) Speaking of things worth thinking about, I often have this running through my mind. It's sort of a physics, math and philosophy question all rolled into one.
See I really do think about this sort of stuff all the time. But oddly enough, every time I drop the pencil, it hits the floor. It just doesn't seem fair somehow.
(Oct 28) The Tibetan Monks were cool. The coolest part about it was that after the Mandala was finished, it was swept up, put in a bowl, and given away to all of us there. I love the idea that these seven monks worked for four days on this incredibly beautiful, intricate, exact thing all the while knowing it was in the end going to be swept up and dispersed. That makes it ALL the more better to me.
I asked one of the monks (turns out he is a reincarnated lama, possibly the reincarnation of the tutor to the tenth Panchen Lama ((it was sort of hard to understand the interpreter sometimes))) about why they throw it in a river when they're done. He told me the mandala is a house for god and they invite god to come live in it. After it's done they pray over it, then happily (and I mean happily, look at the picture of the Venerable Dorjee in the photos from the ceremony) destroy it and throw it in a river to disperse it. God is for everybody, the river is for everybody. The river is clean and flowing. What a beautiful idea I think. That made me think of my song Touch the Water in a slightly different way.
After the ceremony they held a Cham (sounds like charm but without the r) which is a song, dance and music "show". During it Gabriel fell asleep, but before he did, he was singing along with the monk chants. That was fascinating to me and not really unusual for him. He's a special little guy for sure. After he went asleep, I wondered what he was dreaming. It would be something to be able to look inside his thoughts then, dreaming while listening to Tibetan monk prayers in that otherworldly way they have of praying. Maybe someday I'll ask him. He probably won't tell me though.
(Oct 25)One of my science heroes is Dr. John C. Lilly. You know, the guy who tries to talk to dolphins? The guy who the movie Altered States was based on? He's one of those guys on the fringe of science and insanity. I like him because when I was a freshman in college I came home for one of the breaks and I picked up a sopy of Omni with a cool cover. It was a hand all bandaged up and in between some of the bandages were eyes. It was kind of creepy, kind of cool. Inside, in one of the interviews there was John C. Lilly. He looked really scruffy and sort of stoned with his squinty eyes and sunburned face. I read the interview that night, partially to annoy my family, but partially because I figured if a guy could look so scruffy and be the main interview in Omni then he must have something going for him.
(Oct 24) You know, it's pretty important to make sure your hands are at the right place on the keyboard when you type. Otherwise you might type godjdyovld instead of fishsticks. Just imagine what sort of problems that little mistake might cause. You know, come to think of it, there's probably not much of a reason you would ever type fishsticks, which makes it all the more important to get your hands in the right position first. I'd hate to think that the word fishsticks had waited all that time to be typed, only to come out as godjdyovld.
(Oct 21) It's raining outside. That's a good thing because Virginia is in the grips of a long term drought. Our natural lake is even drying up. You know the one, Mountain Lake, where they filmed part of Dirty Dancing. If Baby and Johnny could see it now, they'd not recognize it. What used to be the shoreline is now regularly mowed. The boathouse is now several hundred feet from the actual water and a smaller "temporary" boathouse has been constructed on the actual waterline. It's sad, but interesting because now all the gigantic boulders I used to look at partially submerged are high and dry and climb-on-able. They say that Mountain Lake actually dries up once every several-hundred years and this is all part of a natural order type of thing. I can't help but think that the people who own Mountain Lake are going to stop this natural order because with every gallon of water they loose from the lake another potential overnight guest will not make a reservation to come see where Baby and Johnny frolicked.
But that's not what I came here to talk about. It's the rain I wanted to mention. Almost every time it rains I think about that day in 1993 that it started to rain. It was June 20 or so and Beth and I had just a few days before started on our cross country trip. As we were driving out of East St. Louis it started to rain. It was a nice gentle rain as I remember. We drove on through it and it stopped sometime during the day for us as we drove west. It didn't seem like a big deal at all, certainly not a memorable event by any means, but I do remember it.
A week or two later we were in Las Cruces watching the news and they were talking about the rains in the east and the horrid flooding. They talked about how it had steadily rained since June 20 and it showed the devestating floods. People's lives were ruined, houses washed away, trees floating down streets amongst cars floating by. Crying people praying for it to stop. Meanwhile we sat in dry sunny Las Cruces thinking about the day we drove out of East St. Louis in the nice gentle rain and were glad for the rain as it meant a nice day of driving for us.
By the time we drove back through Arkansas and Tennessee, the rains had stopped and the rivers were going back down again, but as we drove through there we could see the sobering results of two weeks of rain and flooding. Horrid devestation. Water's a powerful force.
So that's what I think of almost every time it rains. How rain can be a good thing and a bad thing. Whether it's too much or too little we might not know for a while. And about how the answer might change day to day for us. Anyway, today it's raining. Today it's a good thing. Baby and Johnny, there might be hope for Mountain Lake today.
(Oct 20) If you're going to Hawaii, I don't envy you. It's not that I have anything against Hawaii exactly, it's just that it's surrounded by water. And any body of water is filled with starving man eating sharks. And since I'm a man, I have a problem with that. I have a real and unnatural fear of sharks you see. This fear is so real that if I close my eyes when I'm in water, I imaging that ANY body of water I'm in contains sharks. When I used to swim in my backyard pool I'd sometimes play games with myself to see how long I could float with my eyes closed. It never amounted to being very long though because I'd always get freaked out somehow into thinking there was a shark. Now really, intellectually I'd know I was in a backyard aboveground swimming pool and there was no shark, but floating there with my eyes closed something would snap in my tired little brain and I'd have a bolt of panic and be suddenly afraid.
I have spent a long time thinking about why I have this odd fear (gee, is there even a name for that phobia?), and I can narrow it down to a very real incident. It's the fault of a chain letter. When I was young, my dad and I would go fishing with this guy who had a boat. We'd go out into the James River and fish, then we'd sometimes go to this place to eat lunch, swim a bit, and then get back in the boat and fish. We'd often catch sand sharks at that exact same spot. In fact I have the jaws of one of those sand sharks mounted on a plaque in my basement right now. So anyway, one time I got a chain letter and I read it, recognized it as crap and threw it in the garbage. I admit the warnings of danger in the letter played with my mind a bit, and a night or two before one of our fishing trips I suddenly had the flash of panic.... sharks! boat! swimming! broken chain letter!!! I lay awake that night in actual fear that the penalty for breaking the chain of that chain letter would be shark attack. I didn't go fishing that day, and I was petrified my father wouldn't come home from that day. As it turns out he DID come home that day, and he brought a sand shark jaw for me as a souvenir. I still have it, in the basement as I mentioned. I guess subconsciounsly I may still have that fear and am waiting. Waiting in mild fear. Sharks....you never know where they'll be.
Be careful out there.
(Oct 19) I'm a grown up. Really I am. I remember the first time I realized it too. I was at a Grateful Dead show, it was either Greensboro or Charlotte sometime in the late 1980's. My wife, a friend and I were there together and we were hanging around before the show as people did back then. It rained. I mean it RAINED. I was wearing long pants that day and before we went in to see the show I remembered that I had some cutoff shorts in the car, so I went to the car and changed pants (yes, standing there in the parking lot). But then I sort of panicked because the shorts were all ripped up and pretty short and sort of dirty looking. I thought "I can't wear these to the concert" but then it hit me, WHY YES I COULD! I actually do honestly recall standing there in that parking lot with this liberated realization that I was a grown up and could wear any damn thing I pleased anywhere I wanted. If I wanted to wear those nasty shorts I could and did. It was a good show too by the way. As we were leaving at the end of it, I bumped into an old friend I hadn't seen in ages. We did a big hug and he said something I've never forgotten. "I'm having a major goo attack." Ahh. Words of wisdom from my pal Whitney at a Dead show after years of not seeing each other.
(Oct 14) I'll tell you what never ceases to amuse me. It's seeing college and university campus' on TV. I've worked on a university campus for 17 years now, and I've lived in a university town for 23 years, so I feel like I have a good grasp on what they're like. It never fails though, everytime I see a campus on a TV show it makes me laugh. They're as far removed from the truth as possible. It seems like they use some sort of romanticized ideal instead of any sort of reality. There was some cop show on last night and some of it took place on a university campus. Highly amusing that was.
(Oct 2) A few unrelated (or ARE they?) thoughts to start the day:
You know what the trouble is with TV these days? It's the lack of many good theme songs. Remember in the 70's how good the theme songs were? Like Gilligans Island, now that was a good theme song. You knew after the song exactly what was going on and what you could expect from the show. And I bet almost everybody in my age bracket can still sing the Gilligan's Island theme song. The Brady Bunch, that was another good one. Nowadays, you don't have jack squat for good theme songs. I mean, don't get me wrong, they have these nice lite-classical-like instrumental theme songs now that are sort of pretty and memorable, but nothing like the Three's Company song where you know the story of the show. I blame it on M*A*S*H* and Hawaii 5-O. Both of those shows had great theme songs but they were instrumental. I think the popularity of those shows probably did in the "letstellthestoryoftheshow" type of theme songs.
I realized the other day that I overuse the comma. And that my sentences are broken into tiny thought fragments. I became sensitive to my comma overuse because I'm rereading Nicholson Baker's book Room Temperature. In it he's lying in bed listening to his wife write in his journal and trying to figure out by listening to the sound of her pen on the paper what she's writing. The only thing he determines he can tell is when she makes a comma because the comma is not only a pause in the reading, but we naturally pause in the writing when we make a comma. He's thinking about that and then decides he should become hermitlike and write a giant treatise on the history of punctuation in general, but the comma in particular. then after a while she asks him if he's ok because he's breathing funny. He suddenly panics because he's been there picking his nose while he thought about the history of punctuation. Then he goes on for three chapters debating on whether he should tell his wife that he's there lying in his marriage bed picking his nose while listening to her write in her daily journal.
It's hot hot hot. I hate the summer. The only thing I like about the summer is the fireflies and now they're gone. I wrote a piece last year about the fireflies and how I was sad at the end of the year when they left. I tried to equate the short time the fireflies are around with the short time my kids would be young and innocent. In the piece I told about how my daughter and I sat up one night saying goodbye to the fireflies that we couldn't catch. Each time one lit up we'd say goodbye. It was horribly sad but apparently something others could identify with. I've got it on a music website somewhere I think. Anyway, the fireflies are gone again this year. Someone recently was talking to me about this piece and he said "Every year it seems those fireflies get harder and harder to catch." Wow, truer words have never been spoken. I can't wait until next summer now. Heat be damned, I miss the fireflies already.
Instead of practicing my banjo tunes I'm supposed to be recording, I decided to clean out from under the piano. Seems I stash a lot of stuff under the piano because I don't have any other place for it. So in cleaning it out I found a poster that I bought at the DDay National Monument in Bedford, Virginia. The monument was a pretty ok place to visit, I think it'll be better in a few years when all of their money problems are ironed out and they can finish constructing the gardens and statues though. But really, I'll never forget the day we visited it. My wife and kids and I drove up there and looked all around the place and as we were finishing up and getting ready to leave, an old old man looked over at us and my son started talking to him. The man started talking about two of the statues we were looking at and how they looked just like the boys they were modeled after. Then he went on to tell us how he was on Normandy Beach on DDay and how he knew the boys the statues looked like. How he grew up and lived his life in Bedford and how lucky he felt to be there at the monument and to have met the president. He told us all about the day on the beach in Normandy so long ago. We told him that my daughter was born in Bedford on the 50th anniversary of DDay and that made him very happy. When he finished talking, we all just stood there a while looking at the statues and the people walking around. It was time for us to go. I looked over at the old man and walked over and shook his hand. He looked up at me and smiled real big. I think we both felt like something special had happened that day to us. I know I'll never forget it.
I was off work last week, so this week when I drove in this week I noticed some big changes along the way. There is major road construction between my house and my job, and it seems they've made terrific headway in the week I was off. What I found particularly odd was that I noticed that a large hill was missing. Last week there was a hill right beside the road I've driven on twice a day, five days a week, this week the hill is gone. The first few times I got to that point in the trip the hill's absence hit me pretty hard, but today I found myself looking at the spot and trying to remember just exactly what that hill looked like. Seems I am now having trouble reconstructing it and I think that's very strange. That reminds me of George Orwell's 1984 and how people in the Ministry of Truth would re-write news stories to suit the government's whims. "We've always been at war with Westphalia." That was one of the things the Ministry of Truth people switched around frequently. It was either, "We've always been at war with Westphalia." or "We've always been at war with Eastphalia." The public heard it and seemed to have no problem believing it and completely forgetting that the day before it had been the other phalia. I find myself thinking this from time to time when I notice odd discrepancies in my day to day life.
In Orwell's 1984 it was the workers in the Ministry of Truth doing this, apparently the way it works in our modern non-literary life is that the highway department changes our landscape and with it our remembered past by creating and removing hills here and there to suit their far-ranging highway plans. Where once was Hokie Honda now is a giant hill that seems to match up with the giant hill on the other side of the road that wasn't there a few months ago. So I can imagine my kids years from now driving down this road looking at these hills and how they seem to match in such a way as to suggest they were once connected and the highway department cut the road through it, when instead they made the hills from scratch by trucking in dirt and rock. It's all very unsettling. Sort of like that Talking Heads song Nothing But Flowers where they talk about how this used to be a shopping mall now it's a field of flowers and how they missed the shopping malls. I'm not saying I miss Hokie Honda, but that I can't reconstruct the landscape that I saw day in and day out for ten years because now the highway department has made a hill here I find quite odd.
So that's what I was thinking of today as I was driving home on a road I've driven in thousands of times. As I passed the non-hill I thought: "We've always been at war with Westphalia."
I had dinner the other night at the house of a cello maker. It was fascinating to me to see the whole cello making process. Seeing the raw wood and the many stages of carving and staining was also inspiring, because I got the idea that before the cello is completely finished, the instrument maker has no idea if the cello will be a good cello or not. He makes the cello believing that it will be a great cello and gives it every chance to be, then in the end he tests it and it either IS or ISN'T a great cello. (I wonder what he does with the ones that aren't great cellos?) The thing that I liked most of all though, was that he signs his name on the inside of the cello top when he's done and just before he glues it all together. I liked seeing that because I'd recently read a book about a piano repair shop (Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Carhart Thaddeus) and in it I learned that piano manufacturers often sign parts of their pianos. Nobody may ever see the signature, but it's there. I like knowing that. I also like knowing that ever since I was a kid, just before I move out of a house, I walk into the closet and sign my name in the tiny space between the door molding and the corner of the closet. I don't know why I do this, but I always have. It's in a spot that you probably could only see if you tried really hard to. If you took a tour of all the closets in Virginia and New York, you'd be able to see all the places I've ever lived. Well I suppose I didn't do that when I was extremely young, but ever since then anyway.
|© 2002 Bud Bennett|