Thursday, April 26, 2007


We're going away for a week or so. Talk amongst yourselves.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Musical Weekend

Saturday was for the Rainier Symphony. They did a wonderful job on the Brahms 3rd Symphony. A difficult work.
It was quite revealing to hear it played in the intimate IKEA hall in Renton, WA.
Being close to the orchestra allows one to hear more of the intricate detail. I usually think of Brahms as a nice warm blanket, but, up close and live it has much more going on internally.
The Rainier is an all volunteer orchestra.
They are presently having a fund drive. They are looking for 75 grand. one of the things they want to do is hire a "consultant" for "development" that brings chills.
Anyway more power to 'em
Hey! Joshua Bell was just awarded 75 grand! (*)
I like to see things that aren't and say "Why Not"
So, Sunday. Poncho theater at Cornish. (John Cage and others)
The Seattle Chamber Players. A quartet of excellent musicians.
Season Preview Concert. A potpourri of pieces from around the world. No Cello this time, but various duets for piano & violin, flute & tape, clarinet & piano, violin & portable tape recorder, alto flute & guitar, clarinet & tape.
Loved it all! Yes I did.
Especially Paul Taub's flute.
It seems to me that a lot of new music is based on a sort of hypnotic appeal.
Tape pieces are often "noise" assemblies that provide a background of infinitly deep sound over which the lead instrument plays without interacting. Individual against environment so to speak. Attitude vs message. Alone in a universe not of our making. Who knows?
No tunes.
Is writing a melody really that hard, or is it just too revealing for a composer to declare "This Is A Melody and I expect you to see what I really mean by it"?
Are we all becoming cast adrift in the space between ourselves and the noise of the world we live in?
Afraid of our vulnurability
This is getting heavy, I feel a giggle coming on.
The modern day composer wants your love.
I mean what's wrong with a little sentiment, anyway?

O.K. Monday.
Monday is composition class w/ David Paul Mesler @ Seattle Central Community College
We discuss melody, tunes, songs.
What distingushes a melody from a random string of notes?
Why do things like Greensleeves or Amazing Grace or other lines have such a deep impact?
What is the psychological connection that makes these noises different?
How do you write one?
What would you do with the royalties from "Yesterday"?
Writing a good tune is even harder than finding a name for a piece.
At least it is for me.
Anyway, listen to Stardust some time and tell me how it manages to be such a lovely tune and at the same time be so totally, noodly, random.

(*) J. Bell also has about thirty two dollars he can't have too much use for.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Seattle Symphony harassment suit

The brainless weasels are at it again.
I am still getting mail inviting me to come to thier shows!
I realize that an old fart white male like me has no rights in this
fascist environment, why couldn't I be a little old lady spilling coffee on myself at McD's?
Or get any $ympathy for my public embarassment, or my psychological anguish
Gawd! I pay my taxes. Where are my equal rights!
Leave me alone, Ginny Matheson, human resource director of the Seattle Symphony,
you are doing this just to rub your sick feeling of power in my face!
You don't even have the courage to explain your rationalizations for your illegal actions against me. You call buying a ticket and expecting to attend the event "defiance". You call my talking a friend on the public sidewalk "confrontational".
Then you send me an invitation to hear Renee Fleming sing.
Get your head out of your ass, look in a mirror, you are sick. Get some help.


Thursday, April 19, 2007


In Richard Brautigan's story "The Abortion" he describes a privately funded library
that accepts any book brought to it by any author. Your diary, your, poetry, your biography, what ever you've written. No publishing house, no "vanity press", no critics. You are accepted. What an intriguing concept. Of course, here we are.
Everyone is an artist and now everyone can find his audience.
I mean literature, poetry, pictoral art, music, humor, you make it, by golly you are published.
I know I've said this before (see blogparty infinite) but Sunday I was reminded by an artist friend of mine who is facing retirement and is looking to some quality time with her art. Maybe we'll see her on line soon.
Michael Tilson Thomas is a friend of hers and apparently he has an idea obout some kind of on-line museum. Probably a good idea. Anyone like to help out with that?
Finally, I've got the kitchen floor prepared and I'm heading out to the hardware store for glue and stuff soon. As soon as the tiles are stuck down, the lights need to be wired up and the last cabinets installed.
Then, I guess, we'll tear other parts of the house apart in order to keep from ever finishing anything.
Ah- the creative spirit!


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

From Emily

Dear Doug
I want you to know that the eternal and abiding Love that you have for me is more than reciprocated my my own dead self. For me, there was never a man like you and if I was any more than a pile of bones I would probably be Wet - just - thinking about You, My Dear Douglas!
I sometimes do get wet anyway, but that's mainly when it rains.
I have lost a lot of weight since that picture you fooled around with was taken.
Eat your heart out Kirsty Alley - or - whatever your name is.
Actually, I've had my heart eaten out - By worms. Badda bing!
No seriously.

It is a pity that we cannot be together, at least untill next Monday when you will be hit by a Bus - as you try to attend your Composition class at Seattle Central - just Kidding. You are still amazingly Healthy and will live almost forever, at least it will seem like forever without me - won't it?

Actually, as I gaze into the future - my future anyway - metaphorically speaking - I've already had my corporeal future, I see that many Opportunities for women have opened up.
I think that if I could live in your time and share wild nights with you with you with you, I would like to be an Exotic Dancer, or maybe Margaret Thatcher.
Or, what the hell, both.

I wouldn't even care if you saw other women - like maybe your SSO antagonist, I've seen her - she's cute - we could do a threesome - Ah, but I dream in vain.
I know that our souls will always be together - but - If I could only be with you in body, too.

Say - look - If you're ever in Amhurst - drop by and jump my bones sometime. Ha!
-They would never let me get away with this kind of stuff while I was still shuffling
around the old mortal coil-
Hamlet - what a great play. That Ophelia was a bit of a twink - if you know what I mean - Sure - that bad boy "I'm so friggen deep" act of his was a turn-on - but gawd
girl there's lots of good man meat around - but not Doug - hear?
- Oh Doug - Doug - Doug - If I still had a nervous system - every Neuron would Ache for you.
Would that I could be with you body and soul - Heart and soul - face to face - belly to belly.
I guess I'll have to settle for clavical and soul - or maybe sternum.

You don't seriously think your music will have any historical significance - do you?
I'll come to you in your dreams tonight

Love you love you love you OOOOOXXXXXXXXX(And More - O much much More)



Tuesday, April 17, 2007

All about that strange state between sleep and awake

What lies behind us and
What lies before us are
Tiny things compared to
What lies within us

I think Robert Louis Stevenson said that.

What lies within me right at the moment are about 352 sore muscles,
421 sore bones, a headache, and a desire to sleep for a week.
The retiling of the kitchen floor is about half done and I am about
88.3658 per cent done in.

Personally, I think that what lies behind me IS what lies before me.
I've done all this stuff before and I didn't get it right then either.

History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Mark Twain said that.

I'll let 'cha be in my dream if I kin be in yours.

Bob Dylan said that.

I'm sooo fwiggin tired!

Marlene Schtupp said that.

Other people have said other things from time to time, and all has been said before.
In fact everything was said before written language was even invented.
Written language was invented so that people with land, money, and slaves could claim these said things and copyright them so that others had to pony up to say things they had been saying all along.
Lawyers, pfagh!!

It might not have been Marlene, But I'm sure it was one of the Schtupp sisters.

No foolin' I'm really tired. I am 21 per cent this side of blotto.
I would like to end this blog now, but I don't have the energy.

Did'ja hear the one abou the guy... full asleap ad hzz keabr...d.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Volunteers of the world, UNITE !!

Check out "Berkshire Beak wetting" at Soho the dog.
It's about stupidity at managent level in organizations other than the one I'm pissed off at. (That would be the Seattle Symphony)
They are trying to extort money from volunteers. Brilliant!
These were my comments;

Lane Savant said...

The problem seems to be going around.
I wonder if it is not related to the theory that Blair Tindall expressed in "Mozart in the Jungle"
Said theory being that an abundance of arts funding in the 60's and 70's or therabouts has created a "bubble" that is beginning to break, leaving the talentless rats and weasels feeding on it in a vulnerable position.
Typical of these sorts is to abuse and blame the innocent.

12:06 PM

sfmike said...

Well, they have to pay for all those "development" consultants somehow.

Professional golf tournaments, by the way, are flirting with the same shabby treatment of their legions of volunteers, insisting for instance on a donation in order to work at a parking lot all day.

So I propose that elderly volunteers unite! If you have to pay, you're not a "volunteer." The organizations can damned well pay somebody else to do your "job" if they are that greedy.

12:23 PM
Lane Savant said...

Actually, my experience with the Seattle Symphony was more bizzare than that.
I was a season subscriber, contributed money, helped build Soundbridge, and had more than 1000 hours of volunteer time when they booted me for reasons or prejudices I can make no sense of.
A volunteer strike sounds like a good idea.

2:00 PM

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

More Cars

You've seen the cars I own. Here are the ones I've built.

This one was called "Spot" for some reason. All riveted aluminum hull. I think the fenders were aluminum, but they might have been fiberglass. all mechanical bits were from a Simca Aronde. It wasn't easy posing this thing to make it look un ugly, but, there you go.
Yeah, they were fiberglass.

This was "Fido" welded steel hull, and body, fiberglass fenders and engine cover.1500cc FIAT OSCA engine, various transmissions at various times (Mercedes, Volvo, even a VW mounted in the rear) MGB brakes, Sunbeam Alpine wheels, and who knows what else?

Anas Platyrinchos (Mallard Duck)
Riveted aluminum hull, fiberglass body, gullwing doors (they leaked)
Mid engine All mechanical parts except the steering gear from FIAT 850
This thing was the mechanical source for the Amphibian. (See "Amphibian" on this site)

It was painted red and was sometimes referred to as "The Red Menace"
It was hideously ugly. This is the only picture of it that I can look at without cringing.

There was one more I built before these, but it didn't work and I have no pictures.

That's all the cars I have to show you, If I ever finish the two violins I'm working on, I'll most likely post them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Opera lovers

Don't forget to check out my new link "Opera"
Also don't forget to read "Think Denk"
JD's latest is priceless.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Uncle Remus

I started this blog for narcissistic, ego-related reasons, and to lick wounds from my encounter with certain chromosomaly incomplete types at the SSO.
Somehow I got to making religious and even political remarks that always seem wrong the moment I post them. It's like sparring with the tar baby, each remark seems to generate further thought until I am saddled with a fractally generated forest of my own inability to come to a conclusion and I am stuck up a viscous creek without a punch line.
So let's try this one.
I love, respect and accept everybody. It sometimes pains me that the religioue want to separate themselves from those of us who are willing to spend our lives here on earth where we were put in the first place. My heart remains open to them all.
It sometimes pains me that politics deliberatly creates conflict that strains the basic goodness that I believe is at the core of the human heart.
Said core resides in the left ventrical, if I remember my Gray's
It is springtime, time to attend the garden and look forward with wonder to what may grow this year, and can you smoke it.
Wasn't it Socrates who said "There will be growth in the spring"?
I know it was somebody like that.
Anyway I feel caught up in things I had not anticipated.
Like having my poetry compared to Eddie Poe's.
I realise I asked for it by posting my raven 'toon, and deep down inside I knew that mine could never compare, and then again, I'd already posted some of Emily D's.
I've been getting this strange premonition lately that Emily wants to tell me something.
I can't imagine how she could be able to do so, being a bodily deprived sort, but there are more things on earth than are dreamed of in your own peculier plans for the future.
I suppose her grave might be fortuitously located at a wi-fi hot spot or something.
I await with bated breath, not unlike the cat who ate the cheese.

I have got to get a submission in the mail today. It's a short orchestral piece for a competition for a reading by the Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute.
Looking at the flyer just now, I see that it's for more than a reading. It's a whole week of intense work with the orchestra.
I, who am unable to take anything seriously for more than a few minutes, wonder about that.
Perhaps I will list my SSO experience as part of my "short bio", that ought to keep me from winning.
Winning is so final! The end of hope!

Last year, I submitted a concerto, even though the rules clearly stipulate "NO CONCERTOS"
Earlier years I counted heavily on incompetence.
Every time I write the word "incompetence" I have to fight down a desire to deliberatly misspell it, just to try to be funny, even though I don't think it would be funny.
So, where we now?
I've shown you the cars I still own, soon you will see the cars I built, the ones before the Amphibian.
My whistle seems to be in decreshendo. I am running out of steam.
Just remember, anything you don't supposed to be a joke.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Stark raven

It's about time we heard this from the birds point of view


Saturday, April 07, 2007


I hear Mitt Romney's new show is a sellout

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Principia Mathematica

Just because two
And two
Are in separate rooms
Doesn't mean they don't add up to four

See what happens when you fall asleeep on the bus?


Real Science

While I still had my auto repair shop my nephew Dan worked for me awhile.
One day, while working on someone's radiator, he managed to aquire three long and fairly deep scratches on his forearm. Two of the scratches were exactly the same length and depth. The third was short and superficial. We ignored that one
Regarding this as an opportunity to actually test something about the world we live in, we decided to do a scientific experiment.
Seeing as how he would be treating the scratches identically (unlikely he would wash only half an arm, even accidentally)we had a chance to compare results.
If you think about it this is a rare opportunity.
So we decided to treat only one of the scratches with some over the counter medication known as (whatchacallit)sporin. The stuff that kills bacteria and promotes healing.
You can see it coming, Cant'cha?
That's right it took the treated wound longer to heal.
Most of the bacteria on your skin is beneficial, you are in a symbiotic relationship with it.
When you kill all of it, you lose.
Medicine, after all these years, is still the art of making money by making people sick.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I am starting to worry about my constant carping on the subject of religion. It reminds me of a New Yorker cartoon; two men breaking rocks in a prison yard, one is saying to the other "it all started doing Jimmy Cagney impressions"
So how did it all start for me?
Exposed to "Christian" beliefs in my childhood. Some sound like good ideas, some sound a little sick. I am not a sheep and I need no bloody shepherd. Strange sexual rituals (marriage)
Most of the "leaders" don't seem to have read as much of the bible, as I have, and thier interpretations tend to the fantastic.
I try to think of the people involved as basically rational beings who merely express themselves differently, and that it's my job to try to understand.
As far as social implications are concerned, people believe in things, manipulating these people for political power is sick but inevitable.
The religious sites I monitor seem to consist of church insiders talking to themselves.
I see no dialog, no controversy. I even challenge them from time to time with provocative remarks, but, unless you're on the team and agree to agree, you have no voice. Neurotic escapeism.
Ah yes, churches have performance spaces. Weaseling my way into a church might be a way to find musical friends and promote my music. I guess I forgot the lessons I learned in public schools here in Seattle, that the "community" doesn't want a nigger like me. The Seatttle Symphony has refreshed my memory on that one.
I don't begrudge anyone thier beliefs, it's just that too few of them contain a concept of civility.
belief = expect
I don't actually expect anything out of the future, but the green shoots I see out my window call up a memory of flowers.
I used to "believe" that a kind word, even in an unpleasant situation was at least not a bad idea.
I used to believe that..something....but now I dont't expect.....whatever.
Actually, I believe I will go cook up another cup of coffee, be right back....
Hopefully this coffee will wake me up and I will figure out whatever it is that I am trying to say. Hmmm Maybe it's what I'm trying to do rather than what I'm trying to say. Maybe I'm just trying to write a post that is longer than some of the comments I get.
Yesterday was schoolday for me. I take the #7 bus because it runs virtually by my house. I get off on 3rd near Benaroya hall, I go to Caffe Ladro for a caffeine and carbs before I walk up the hill to Seattle Central Community College (voted best in the solar system a couple years ago). The walking is good, it will probably be made illegal soon. (special law just for me anyway).
Anyway as I walked by B'hall I saw a big bear get off another bus right beside me.
This bear was one whose habitat is in the far northern regions, and yet the bus she was on was heading north as if the bear came from the south. Came with in 8 feet of me. This is a frightening developement. The hairs on my neck stood up (knocked my hat off, it did) I walked on a little faster but had to stop for a crosswalk. As I waited for the light, I looked over my shoulder to see if I was safe. The bear seemed to be clawing at a rotten stump for bugs (or whatever they claw stumps for) Still quivering in fear, I was almost tempted to not wait for the green light, but I've had arctic training and know how to control my fear. I maintained sphincter control too. Besides, showing fear is the last thing you want to do in these situations. They can smell it and it makes them crazy. They can't help it, I understand that. It's just nature, and I've had enough. Not interested in any more claw scars, got enough of that in my working for a living years.
Anyway, the bear didn't attack and disappeared into a nearby cave.
Irony; it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been evicted from the other side of the street by weasels.
It must be due to global warming that her hibernation ended early.
Caffe Ladro uses only environmentally friendly free range beans.
They have nice peanut butter cookies.
Next monday, I'll wear my bearproof vest.
I don't actually expect anything out of the future, but the green shoots I see out my window call up a memory of flowers.

So, after class, where I'm developing a hopefully readable score to submit to a Minnesota orchestra who select scores for reading every year (never mine, I buy lottery tickets too) I walked back downtown to have lunch at Wild Ginger (excellent food and Jasmine tea)
Went to the library, went home, went to Southcenter, bought a joke book (pretty bad)
had dinner at a pub (pretty good) Went home, fell asleep reading the joke book.
How many mystery writers does it take to change a light bulb? Two, one to screw it in most of the way, and one to give it a suprising twist at the end. Went to bed, woke up, read the rest of the joke book, fell asleep, woke up, read the rest of a adventure novel, "Death on the Nevskii Prospect" fell asleep, woke up, tossed and turned, fell asleep, woke up, wrote something secret in my journal, fell asleep, dreampt, woke up again.
Hello, Goodbye
Wait a minnit! That "surprizing twist at the end" bit makes me wonder if the basic architecture of mystery stories and jokes are not the same. Something odd is going on here. Has anyone ever seen the two of them together?

Is that why crime is so funny?

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