Wednesday, September 20, 2006


O Callo, callay!
My 40 year old Peugeot 10 speed bike is out of the shop with a new rear wheel and tire. With a new front derailleur. With a new seat. With new handlebar wraps. Bless it's little chrome-moly tube frame.
It has just started raining again here in Seattle.
How will I train for the Seattle to Portland ride?
With any luck, I wont.
TWO hundred miles? One weekend? Sponsered by a health organization? I won't need a health organization, I'll need an undertaker.
Young people ride two hundred miles in a weekend. Young people with muscles, Young people with lungs
With, whattayacallit? Youth!
You think I'm crazy?
No, seriously, do you?

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Two stones
Standing in the sea
They watch each other as the tide flows out
They watch as the tide flows in
Ebb and flow
The boats, the birds, the fish
Flow east, then west
Water rises and falls on thier skirts of seaweed
Sometimes, when the fog closes in,
And they are all alone,
They dance
Swaying ebb
Swaying flow
Bowing, swaying, reaching out for each other
Neap and flood
They dance

Monday, September 11, 2006

Origns Issue

In my 35 years as an auto mechanic, I was considered an artist. now that I am an artist, I don't know what I'm to be considered
Wanting to see what my hands looked like clean, I decided to take up a hobby that was at least clean and unlike building strange and useless hot rods, wouldn't need expensive storage and maintenance.
As it says on my profile, can't, can't, can't etc.
So why not
I found a composition teacher and began studying
I volunteered to work for the Seattle Symphony at their newly founded "Soundbridge, Seattle Symphony's music discovery center"
This was fun, but, of course I felt a little shy and vulnerable due to the aforementioned lack of skills and education. What the heck, they weren't paying me, in fact I was as generous as I could be (I am not poor nor am I rich)
One of my goals, besides education, was to meet people and make friends of a musical persuasion.
This seemed to be happening.
One girl (she's 44, I'm 64, "girl" is relative) seemed to be a very nice person and quite talented. I asked her if she would play flute for one of my compositions that were hosted by Soundbridge and the Washington composers forum (an organisation
I belonged to)
She did, and she did a good job. After the performance she came up to me and said "thank you for letting me play your music" Non plussed I was, I felt lucky just to be able to present my junky music. Didn't expect it to be any good or that I conferred any sort of honor.
Later, she came up to me at the opera to make small talk and introduced me to her mother, where I found out that I had known her father in a very small way many years ago.
Later,\at a luncheon given for staff and volunteers, I bought raffle tickets for some of the people I worked with one of whom was her. She said "If I win these concert tickets, will you go with me?
I don't remember what I replied, but it did seem a bit forward, but still harmless.
I invited her to lunch, we went to lunch had a good conversation, shared some mutual history.etc.
I invited her to lunch again, she told me to buzz off, I apologized for whatever offence I might have given and gave up on that relationship.
A little while later as I approached the building, I saw that she was inside and considered coming back later but decided to go in anyway. I was greeted effusively and cheerfully by herself. Confusing. I decided that the first rejection might be an anomaly. Asked her to lunch again. She came to me and told me to leave her alone, she
had a "bad relationship" with some guy. A bit of a leap to conclusions here.
Later, I took the chance to ask her if she would play flute for another piece I wanted to present. She grabbed her calender and agreed enthusiastically.
Later, I asked her if I could do a job that she was in charge of.
Later I asked her if she would listen and comment on a flute concerto I had written.
Later, She filed an harassment complaint because of these three things.
Really pissed me off!
The Symphony didn't seem to care about this. I was told "Oh that's just the way she is"
I answered her complaint explaining my hurt and my anger, promised to comply, and speculated as to why she felt a need to do this sort of thing and began to ignore her as much as possible.
A few months later, at a wake for a long time volunteer, I spoke to her, hoping to find some way of relieving the tension between us.
This just elicited another complaint, so I withdrew from doing any work for the Symphony and spent a few months working on a rental property I own
That was around Christmas time 2004. January 2005, I was called and asked if I could come down and work a day at Soundbridge. Assuming something had been straightened out , I came in and worked the morning, only to be told that I was not welcome. I bought a subscription so that I could continue to visit the friends I had made.
For the next year, I had a regular lunch appointment with one of those friends.
February 2006 I went in to attend an event ,and I was escorted off the premises by security.
Later, At a concert (My wife and I were season ticket holders) I found out, talking to a friend that the "girl" was leaving. Fine with me.
One of my friends sent a letter to the Symphony asking that, inasmuch as "She" was leaving perhaps yours truly could be welcomed back.
No answer to that, so phooey. I put a hundred dollar bill in the donation bucket and suggested that they could use it for a going away party for the deranged child
Later, as I was eating a sandwich at one of the snack bars in the hall, I was tossed out of the building again. A letter from their lawyer informed me that I was no longer allowed in the building and that my subscription was cancelled and my money returned.
Did I say I was pissed off before?
Any way that was march and now it's September and I thought I had dealt with it, but I still seem to be angry.
I found out that Ms "bad relationship" has been touring the country promoting "Christian" ideals of neighborly love.

This absurdity is apparently my profit in that relationship.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Three from the archives


I was young
And would rule the world
With my own brilliant hand
But I was forced to sell my lever
To rent a place to stand.


I'm living my freeze-dried life, it's easy
A spoonfull and water makes Tuesday
A spoonfull and water makes Wednsday


If I-
But I don't

If they-
But they don't

I must have learned something,
But if they asked me
What would I say?

But they don't

Friday, September 01, 2006

Adornoment, Feuilletonism, Futility

Well, if Jeremy Denk reads Theodor Adorno, and Musik-freak approves, I suppose it's worth a try.
The first chapter of "Notes to Literature" is titled "Titles" and discusses the problem of naming one's works.
It brings immediatly to mind Shel Silversteinn's seminal work on the same subject titled "A boy named Sue" which examines the life altering effects that labeling can have on the social contract.
For instance:
"Metamorphosis" is obviously going to be about something turning into something else.
"A dissertation on the amelioratation of transubstantialistic sub-genericism"
Will be too silly to bother with.
"Chevrolet Corvette" Is obviously about a French pirate.
I have trouble naming my music.
The flippant "work in progress" titles I come up with seem to stick to the finished piece.
For further instance:
"Aspice Quod Felis Attraxit" really has nothing to do with a lifeless rodent, although perhaps critics might feel the music resembles same.
"Another Sad Song Littering the Highway of Life" Is too meditative and lovely to be considered "litter" Here again, critics may differ.
"12 Variations on a Fake Folk Song" is an apt description but contains no clue as to it's Bach-like intellectual depth.
"Quasimodo's Dream Waltz" A "waltz"? In 5/4? Go figure.
"36 Variations on a theme of Diabelli"? Hah! Anything Beethoven can do, I can do more of.
Much further instance:
My mother titled me after a famous general and a famous movie star and yet I am not famous.
"Palmer" is from the french "paumer" which means "pilgrim to the holy land"
The name is first recorded in 1176, which happens to be my phone number, coincidence?
Legend has it that palmers carried palm leaves to put beneath the feet of Jesus as he was led to the cross so as to make the journey a little more pleasant.
I hope that this gibberish makes your painful stroll to the abyss a little less agonizing.
Just doin' my job.
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