Friday, November 9, 2012

HISTORICAL POST: October 22, 2004

OCTOBER 22. Breakfast this morning is Morningside farm meatless breakfast sausages and decaf coffee. Dinner was salmonburgers with salad with an Annie Chun's cilantro dressing. Pre-dinner was reception-type junk food. Lunch was hot and sour soup from a package. LARGE EXPENSES include both 'Nard CDs from amazon, imports, $65, each trip to the gas pump, oil change at Jee-fee Loob $39. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Bread Sandwiches" from the 'Nard album. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE In Little League tryouts, I recall trying to impress the coaches with the strength of my arm exactly the wrong way: we had to field a grounder at shortstop and throw to first. To make my impression about my arm, I made sure to throw it over the head of the first baseman. SECOND POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: Bill Buckner. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK 36.1 and 63.3. RECOMMENDATION/PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 1. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK It's really funny when you say "Jiffy Lube" with a foreign accent. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Whatever happened to compassionate conservatism? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS deli pickles (including the juice) and Altoid fruit candies. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK: nothing this week. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 5. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 1. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a Jiffy Lube rack, a piece of spittle, the memory card in either of my cameras, the Vice President's brain.

Big event for the week was driving to Saratoga Springs and seeing Beff at Yaddo. Because of They That Make's prediction, I left rather earlier than I had planned, thus arriving at the Wilton Mall outside of Saratoga Springs by 12:30. Luckily, Beff had her cell phone on and I informed her of my nearness. In order to use up a bit of time before getting to Yaddo during the no-outsiders time, I had lunch at Ruby Tuesday's in the mall: it was Buffalo wings (pretty good), a salad bar (mediocre), and a Lime Rickey ice tea (which was bizarre and a lot different from what you would think). From there I arrived Yaddo-ward around 2, where I got special permission to enter Beff's studio during those hours so I could carry her bass clarinet, camcorder, and other stuff she wanted me to bring (in return, I brought the guitar back). Beff has the East House studio, an L-shaped live-in concoction in the basement of one of the buildings, and she played me her guitar and mandolin piece (the MIDI did all the bends and stuff, very cool -- who knew Finale could do that?) and her big band piece she wrote for the Edith Jones project. That indeed was very cool, and it swung (even in the MIDI). Since Edith Jones is actually the name of a dog, Beff called her piece "Winifred Goes Outside." Winifred is the little dog the Colburns own that she encountered on her way to Yaddo.

We checked in at the Super 8 motel near the Wilton Mall and across from Wal-Mart, and then walked around the downtown of Saratoga Springs, walking towards Skidmore College until we got tired of it. On the way back we encountered a fortress-type house on the Main Street, even with a guard. We couldn't tell if it was a church or a museum, but apparently it's an actual house. Hot damn. Then we played around in the big bookstore and went into the stationery and art supplies store that looks from the street like it's a hat store. It is called Soave Fair. We joined the colonists for pre-dinner wine drinks in West House, and I got to see the new Pink Room, which I had once had as a studio: it is no longer pink. We made puns on Elizabeth, the filmmaker's, "brats" project about interviewing children of various kinds of walks of life (army brats is the obvious linguistic model), coming down to Wisconsin sausagemakers' children: brat brats. After all of this intense levity, we ate at a very nice restaurant on Union Street -- not even downtown -- where Beff had made us a reservation. I recall having some rather rare encrusted tuna meal, and I forgot already what Beff had. Given the wine at drinks and the bloody Mary I ordered, I felt the need for an espresso after the meal, so that cut short my string of coffeeless days. It's now back down to five.

Then we retired to bed in the Super 8. Next morning I filled up at a Mobil Station and took Beff on a roundabout drive that used to be one of my exercise bike rides. I also promised to show her the barn where Funny Cide (last year's Derby winner) was brought up, but I apparently forgot an important turn and went around 20 miles out of our way. No biggie, since Beff made it in plenty of time for breakfast, and I could get on the road for Northampton. Where I had a nice Thai lunch with David Sanford, who is doing well both personally and professionally. Then it was on to Maynard, where two desperate kitties wanted some canned food, and they wanted it now (which in context means then, but you get the notion).

The next day, Sunday, was the beginning of this year's leaf raking odyssey. From the front yard and driveway I raked up 7 barrels of leaves and brought them to rest in my two hiding places. As of now, I and Martler have raked up 21 barrels of leaves and pine needles (at least 6 barrels are pine needles), with more to come. Beff comes back next Thursday, and her muscle is being counted on. Monday and Tuesday were a bit too wet for leafing, so Wednesday and Thursday were the next days for it. Alas, so many leaves are still on the trees that duplicate raking is in store. Hee hee. Also yesterday I brought in the hammock and the Adirondack chairs for the season. So this colder weather thing is getting pretty serious.

Martler got here on Monday night, and in record time. He had said he wouldn't get through customs until 9:30, and thus that the Framingham Express bus he was able to get wouldn't get to Framingham until 10:15 or 10:45. But then he called at 8:37 and said he was just about to get on the bus, which was just about to leave. Wow. And I got there at 9:20 and Martler was already there. Later in this update, I'll let Martler tell you what's been a-goin' on. Basically, Maynard is his personal artist colony while he is here, but he also is being put in the service of raking and clearing leaves. Mostly I've been gone during the day, but when I am around and he is working, I usually curb the impulse to call out, "did you hear that, or are you rationalizing it?" And of course, Martler helped greatly with the string of no beer being broken, rather dramatically. As of today, I am off beer again.

I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday for several things. I had another blood test, and I wanted to find out why I have not been sleeping much later than 1 am most mornings since the beginning of August. He had a few possibilities, and right now we're working with "sublimating and internalizing chairman pressures" -- so I got a mild sedative. Option 2, should the sedative not work out, may be actual depression. Oh boy, my favorite. It runs in my family. For the record, I took a sedative last night and slept as late as 3 am. That may be better. Big, serious doings at Brandeis this week are, of course, exacerbating things, and I am within a hair's breadth of finally submitting my resignation as Chair.

21 years now since I got the 'Nard album on vinyl and Ross and I used to listen to it all the time because of the cool funky beats, and the way Ross would stick his butt out when dancing to "Chillin' Out." I spent mucho bucks to get it on CD, as it is available only as a Japanese import. I also got 'Nard's only other CD, which is mostly a real bust, being gobbled up by ridiculous '80s synth sounds. If I'd known that there was a picture of a break dancer on the cover, I would have known better.

Yesterday the UDRs (Undergraduate Department Reps) held a Meet the Majors party with lots of junk food, and plenty of students and faculty came. They also held a raffle in which my new CD was a prize, as was Lunch With Davy. Lianna Levine was the winner of Lunch With Davy, to take place at The Stein as soon as is convenient. I did mention that Lunch With Davy was not the same thing as Take a Class with Davy.

The five etudes from the Martian Counterpoint album have made it in streaming form onto the artofthestates web page, and you can see for yourself by following the link under "A Little Bit of Davy on the Web" on thi Home of this site. The show itself is not up, but the repertoire for it is there and available. Sometimes it's fun listening to the streaming audio because at times it sounds like bad FM reception.

Soozie called! We talked for quite a while about various things relating to songs, a recording she's making, and the Violin Songs that she's singing at CMSLC next month. We made sure she had the correct version of those songs. And she got the brilliant idea of getting me to include "The Gardener" in a larger set of settings of sex poems, using the same ensemble. She is currently in search of such sex poems, and I relish the opportunity. Especially as it would go onto this recording. And especially as it means writing some more for Soozie. She said she was sending a picture that I was not to include in this space, and I haven't because I haven't gotten it.

The neighbor in the IUBR (Incredibly Ugly Blue Ranch) is digging a big rectangular hole in his back yard. To what end I do not know.

Now it is time for the MARTLER portion of our blog. And here he is. I'm putting him in another color, because you're worth it. 
Martler here. As before, I'll keep this brief in view of my host's habitual prolixity. (Hey, look it up.) Davy has been a fine host of course. He cooks. We've had salmon burgers, chicken burgers/sandwiches (a nice distinction) and, er, burger burgers. All nearly fat-free and delicious. MY RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Trader Joe's peppered cashews, Altoids, burgers. And, in deference to the season, THINGS WHICH WOULD MAKE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE ONE YOU HAVE NOW: phosphorescence, an empty Altoids tin, a bed sore. So the deal is I'm on leave from teaching and here to write music, shamelessly using Davy (and, in her absence, Beff) as a DIY artist colony. Why Davy (and, in her absence, Beff) should have agreed to having a smoking and beer-drinking limey hang at their house for weeks on end is a mystery the key to which, I suspect, can only be found in the annals of exceptional friendship. D & B rock, for those not already aware of this truth. The week so far has been unexpectedly coloured (that's 'colored' to you) by the Red Sox playoffs against the Yankees, which Davy and I have watched since Tuesday. Well, how could I not take an interest after the pilot of my incoming plane started making update announcements as soon as we made landfall over Newfoundland? Now I have to try and resist watching the World Series, but man it's hard. Oh, and raking leaves. That's what else has been going on. Mostly by Davy, but a couple of barrels' worth by me. I gotta get a little more with the programme there. And on the beer front too - I have been leading our host astray. So when I see him delving in the fridge I'll just grab it from him and drink it myself. Oh, did I mention the kitties are every bit as cute as they appear. No? Well...
Today's pictures are a mere five. Two of the cats -- and I think one may be a repeat. And three of the two of us dealing with the leaves in the driveway on Wednesday. After this is posted, I shall shower, and -- alas -- move on to the pine needles in the side yard and in the back yard. Also, I think Martler wants to do the tour of the Orchard House in Concord (the Alcott House) and of course at some point this weekend we will to the Chicken Bone Saloon go. 

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