I take back what I said about bidding wars. Color me astonished.

Two strangers (well, maybe) are in a competition on who can devote the most resources into giving away music. There’s something really moving about that.
Some of you might note that when I talk about “the future of music,” I’m not usually talking about sounds, but rather economics, copyrights and delivery formats. This is because I take a sort of a Marshall McLuhan approach. Two hundred years ago, music was something of a luxury. If you were hearing it, you or somebody else was exerting the effort of actually playing it. (There were also mechanical devices, but let’s leave those aside.) Music production was a skill – an investment of both time and physical resources in the form of an instrument.
Gradually, music has gotten more and more accessible. You have music boxes, player pianos (which could also function as a MIDI-like recording device providing higher fidelity recordings of some important pianists than surviving audio recordings), then mechanical recordings like records, then analog magnetic and now digital. It used to be that one physical object held up to 3 minutes. Now we can carry around days of music in our pockets and listen constantly. The availability of music has caused it’s value to change. It’s caused the way we listen to change.
Musical skill is not as valued in the general public as it once was. Simply: not as many middle class kids get piano lessons. They get ipods instead. Music has moved from being participatory to spectator / consumer. The ability to carry around days of tunes at a time has created a very strong demand for those same tunes and raised the amount of resources allocated to music in general. But the amount allocated to each tune individually has declined a great deal. We value music in general more, but each individual piece of it less. (In general. I know you’re crazy for your copy of Bleach by Nirvana or the Gould recording of the Goldberg Variations, but you’re not crazy for every thing in your collection, probably.)
Given the incredible changes in music and listening that delivery mechanisms and economics, etc have brought about, it seems obvious to me that such concepts are integral to conceiving of the future of music. It might be impure, but there’s a strong case to be made that recording technology has been the most influential force for change in music production and performance over the last hundred years. It set the length of pop tunes. It introduced vibrato to the violin. Even the concept of virtuosity – the height of musical purity – was directly informed by recording technology and distribution systems.
So I don’t see the business side in binary opposition to the creative/art side. They inform and direct each other and work in harmony (ideally) like yin and yang. Also, there’s already a lot of discourse about sounds. There are a lot of people with many different ideas about what sounds to make and how to make them. I couldn’t pick one and say “that’s the future.” I can add to that discussion, but not so well with words. Although, if I had to pick something, I think I’d go with the Long String Instrument. Man, that’s something special that ought to be getting more exposure and more gigs.


Ellen told me the Halvah eases the crushing pain of existence. I think she may be right. I’ve been in the kind of mood lately where thoughts like “I’m an asshole” and “I am a bug splatted on the windshield of life” seem profound. So a short scene came to me on bart.

We walked into Mamounds. “You’ve been so glum lately,” she said, brushing a wisp of her long dark hair from her face. She smiled encouragingly and her hands fluttered gracefully.
The woman behind the counter stared at us impatiently. “Can I help you?” she asked.
“What do you have that eases the crushing pain of life?” I asked.
“Halvah for $1.50” she indicated the display case on the counter.
“Can I have a chocolate one and a turkish coffee?” I asked.
“For here or to go?”
I shrugged at Jessica.
“For here.” Jessica directed.
I got my truck smog checked and registered. It took a long dern time. And I figured out how to record audio on supercollider. The help file has a bug in it. and I wallowed in self loathing/pity for a while.
I talked to two of my neighbors about the temporary structure in the backyard. The Home Owners Association is meeting a week from today to decide if they will compell us to tear it down. Ellen was explaining to me this morning that if she loses the temporary structure, she’ll lose her Seattle gig and be forced to take minimum wage jobs and live in a studio apartment and have a budget to buy a few pieces of drawing paper periodically and dabble in art on weekends.
Please light a candle dedicated to your diety of choice that the association decides to let it stay. their issues are twofold: 1. It didn’t get pre-approval from the design review committee. (my defence: uh sorry. i wasn’t here when it was built.) 2. It may cause water penetration (my defence: it’s only going to stay up until may 2005. the possibility of structural damage in that time is remote. and i would of course be responcible for any repairs required as a result of it’s being there temporarily.)
One neighbor was supportive. the other was on the board. she indicated that people have to face consequences for their errors. So because the review comittee was skipped, there is no way in hell that she would allow it to stay. also, it’s important to keep art in perspective. it has it’s place in life, but that is secondary to property values.
we’re having an open house on saturday so people can see the temporary structure and get an idea of what things are about. of course, neither ellen nor i posses social skills in any significant degree. i fear it will be a disaster. i’m thinking of trying to pull in outside talent to pitch our case.
i don’t have the energy for this. i have important self-loathing to do.
any suggestions from anyone would be extremely welcome.

Looking Forward/Looking Backwards

Party Report

At the party were: Esperanto Ed & Sandy (who left before midnight), Sarah Dotie + cousin Kareem and Brother Bob (who had to leave before too late so Sarah could go relocate mating Salamnders to a new pool as part of an abatement program or something), and Polly and Paul. And Ellen and I, of course. It was a small group. I made a mountain of gaucamole. I told Ellen that Californians eat tons of gaucamole and that you couldn’t make too much of it for a party. So last night, I ate a bunch of leftover gauc. Anyway, we chatted and ate food and totally missed the countdown. I looked at my watch at 12:02 and ordered Sarah to call popcorn to see it was after midnight. It was. So we toasted the New Year a bit late. One of my resolutions was better time management, alas. I started the New Year late, but at least it was under five minutes late.

We had several six packs of beer for the party. Of which four beers were consumed. Two by Ellen and two by me. Then I switched and had a glass of Compari + OJ, thus making me the heavist drinker at the party. It makes me nervous when I notice that I’m drinking more than everyone else, but fully half of the people there were non-drinkers and some folks who might normally drink were obstaining so they could go do things like interrupt salamander mating.
I thought it was oodles of fun. So did Ellen. She was impressed by the complete nerdiness of my social circle. Yes, I am a nerd. Most of my friends are nerds. I think she was worried that a bunch of really hip people were going to come over. Maybe I seem hip? That would be exciting. Do nerds suspect me of hipness?
I was very releived when Polly started talking about the decline of Santa Cruz. I had been concerned that it had always been uncool and for some reason I hadn’t noticed before. But no, Polly verifies that Herland did used to be an extremely hip hangout and the Saturn was awesome, etc. She said that less than five years ago, scruz was colonized by valley yuppies. alas. woe for the world. The homoginization of amerika is spreading even to liberal enclaves.
after the party, I played Ellen some MP3s of Polly’s flute playing. Ellen said it was the best, most interresting flute playing that she’d heard in her life. Earlier, she had been talking about how the flute was completely boring and I had argued that cool extended techniques existed. and indeed they do and Polly knows them.

A New Day, A New Year

Woke up early yesterday and full of energy and optimism. Had two cups of coffee and then felt even more energetic and optomistic. Thanks to the hard work of Ellen, I am now addicted to coffee. I woke up yesterday thinking, “If I get up now, I could have coffee!” I’m up to two cups in the morning. I think I will try to stay at that level. coffee makes me so awake and so smart and la la la. anyway.
We went to Half Moon Bay to try beachiness again. the sand there is a lovely yellow color. But it was cold, cold, cold, so I did not walk barefoot in the waves and ran up the beach a few times to keep my feet from getting wet. Ellen, however, got wet feet as she failed to successfully dodge the waves a few times. But she was laughing so much afterwards, I suspect it may have been somewhat on purpose.
the rains caused the streams that run to the ocean to swell. Torrents of muddy freshwater were rushing out to the sea. We walked down a sandy penninsula as deep, fast freshwater raced on our right and the ocean crashed to our left. I feel some sort of mystical connection to the earth and the sea when I’m surrounded by so much water. The ocean makes me feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. I feel the presence of a mother earth when I feel the salt and hear the crashing waves. It was quite lovely
As we drove further up highway 1, I was reminded of a trip I took there in 2002 with my parents and Christi. Sometime after brain surgery, when my mother could communicate, she indicated that she wanted to go to a restaurant in Moss Landing called the Distillery. She liked fish and the restaurant is purported to be haunted. She loved ghost stories and haunting and so the Distillery was one of her favorite restaurants as far as I know. My dad and her ordered crab cakes. I remember being impressed about the discretion of the waiter. I was worried about things like that then. On the way there, we drove through the farms of Half Moon Bay. We passed the Christmas tree farms, the pumpkin farms and the horses. My mom used to ride and show horses. I had the idea that she might like to do horseback riding and was looking to get her into a program for adults with disabilities. I asked her if she was interesting in having a horse. She said, “oh yeah. Maybe someday. Not now.” Her memory wasn’t good. We told her she didn’t have time left, but she couldn’t remember or didn’t want to. The word “someday” broke my heart. There was no someday. there is no someday.
Yesterday, Ellen and I drove past the distillery and stopped at a second beach a bit north of there. We looked at the sandy cliffs and more water rushing to finally again meet the ocean. I thought of the future. There is no someday. There is no control of fate. Take things as they come. Look for opportunities. Do my best. I might die tomorrow as my life rushes back towards the sea and the earth, but I cannot know. this is a kind of optimism. I will do my best. I will accept things as they happen. I will change what I can. I will accept what I cannot change. I am a part of the universe and I belong to the world.

Jean’s ritual

We came back to the East Bay and went to Jean’s New Year Ritual. there I discovered that my attempts at serentiy and new age hippy-dippy spirituality do not extend to political discussions. I cannot change some people’s minds, but damnit, I’ll try anyway. someone there thought that Kucinich was a Nader-like spoiler who must be stopped. For the record, Nader did not lose Gore’s election. Gore lost it. Because he’s as uncompelling as Gray Davis and because of massive voting fraud in Florida and probably other states with electronic ballotting systems, the same systems that are now all over the country. Made by Diebold, the completely partison republican voting machine company who does not release their source code and runs our elections for profit.
Simply, I would not have voted for Gore. I will not vote for anyone that wants to throw queer or poor folks or people of color or the third world to the wolves to protect corporate profits. The excuse cited is that a progressive would be unacceptable to middle america. but let’s pause for a minute and think of the massive role that corporate money plays in campaigns. Are candidates that think the country ought to be run for the benfit of the people rather than profits really unacceptable to middle america or are they unacceptable to the plutocrats that pay for campaigns? Kucinich has major labor support. the majority of americans agree with his platform. If you think that that you can’t vote you’re conscience because it will lose, then you’ve already lost. there’s no hope. You might was well go to work for Haliburton.
Jean’s ritual consists of list making. this year it was three lists. This ritual is a prayer more than it is making resolutions. the first list is things you want to leave behind in the passing year. I listed angst, procrastination and war. The second list is things you want to draw to yourself in the new year. I listed self-reliance, confidence, widsom, knowledge and skills. The third list is new this year and it is things that you are grateful for. Jean says that if she focusses on what she’s grateful for, she feels better about the world.
Jean passed out envelopes, which we self addressed and then sealed in our lists of things to draw in and things we’re grateful for. In the middle of next December, she will stamp the envelopes and mail them to us. For the list of things to leave behind, we went out to a small fire pit in the back yard and burned the lists. In years past, there’s been singing at this point, but this year there was only a little singing by a few people. I am guilty of non-participation. Jean asked me to hum the MIDI thingee I posted to my blog in mid-December, but I couldn’t remember it. I had forgotten about the pice, thinking it wasn’t worth working on.
For the last few months, I’ve been noticing a dearth of music. My stereo was mostly silent in Middletown and I noticed most other people’s were as well. I was thinking this was because I was at music school. We spend all day studying music and listening to pieces to analyze them and write papers or whatever and so don’t put on background music. But now I’m wondering if this is everywhere. Have people stopped wanting to sing? If we don’t have music in our lives, if we don’t listen, if we don’t sing, how can we live? How can we resist evil? How can we fight for good? How can we remember what is beautiful? How can we call for justice if we cannot sing?
So I’m adding a resolution to sing more. My voice is out of practice. Some Californians may recall my willingness to start singing at the drop of a hat, but lately, I’ve been more restrained. This restaint is not a good thing. (well, moderation is a good thing.)
One of the things that I like Ellen is that she sings. she sings to the cats. She sings to me. We should all sing to each other.
I saw Danica at the ritual. I asked what pronoun to use and the reply was “they.” It makes me feel silly to use it, but silliness is a good thing. they seemed very together and happy. I hope to see them again while I’m in town.
We came home from the ritual and I played the MIDI file that Jean liked for Ellen. Ellen liked it too. So I’ll work on it when I get back to my desktop computer where my notation software lives.
comments appear to be working again.

feedback requested

Christi’s brother built a green-housey kind of thing in the backyard of my Berkeley residence. Since then, several problems have emerged including lack of insulation, a leaky roof and most importantly, the ire of the Home Owners Association. Apparently, it had to be pre-approved by a Deisgn Review Comittee, a step I completely forgot about. We don’t own our backyard. It is an “exclusive use common area” under control of the neighborhood association. According to the CCNRs, they get to review any major changes to the backyard and even have the right to enter to pull weeds. The HOA is meeting on January 20th to deicde if they are going to require that the structure be torn down. Ed, my next door neighbor came over to look at it today and said that since it was obviously temporary, that they could probably be persuaded to let it stand. We told him about Ellen’s exploits as a composer and he seemed impressed and said he thought that it would prolly be ok and I should write a letter explaining things to the HOA. Any feedback on the firts draft would be appreciated. I don’t have much experience in the ways of small governing comittees.

Dear Members of the HOA,

This letter concerns the temporary structure in the backyard of Unit N. First, I would like to apologize for neglecting to get pre-approval from the Design Review Committee.

This structure is intended to be temporary. Ellen Fullman is occupying my unit while I am away for graduate school. I will graduate in May 2005 and dismantle the structure when I return. Ms. Fullman is an internationally known composer and the inventor of the Long String Instrument. When I offered her use of my unit, she said it was too short for her instrument and we came upon the idea of extending the instrument into the backyard.

Ms. Fullman has performed around the United States and Europe. In 2001, in San Francisco, she premiered a 45 minute piece that she wrote for her instrument and the Kronos Quartet. She was recently featured in the cover story of MusicWorks magazine. I feel that her work is both important and incredible. Having use of the temporary structure enables her to continue this work while she stays in Berkeley.

We are willing to be flexible and to take steps to mitigate possible water penetration issues. I hope that given the temporary nature of the structure and the value of Ms. Fullman’s work, that the board decides to temporarily allow the structure to remain.

Thank you very much,

Has Santa Cruz changed or have I?

I swear that once upon a time the beaches there were really nice. Herland cafe and bookshop was a hip hangout. The Saturn Cafe had good food (it was the first place I aver had chai . . .). It was a really queer-firendly town. Crawling with lesbians.
I haven’t been to scruz regularly for ten years. I used to date a Santa Cruz girl. I would go nearly every week down to Capitola. I told my parents that I was participating in all night movie marathons at a friend’s house, but I was really going out to see this girl. Then, she dumped me and I went away to college. This was a smart move on her part as I was a complete asshole at the time.

Anyway, getting back to the present tense, or at least the recently past tense, when Ellen wanted to know where was a nifty place to go to the beach, I said that Santa Cruz was a hip little town with a nice beach. So yesterday, we hopped in the car and drove down a looong stretch of 880/17 to get to the beach. We hopped out at the Boardwalk. Ok, the boardwalk is not cool and never has been, but we walked down the beach aways and saw sea lions. The sea lions were pretty cool. the long dock near the boardwalk has pieces of it close to the water that sea lions were napping on and barking at each other.
the beach was grayish. Noise pollution from the boardwalk floated down it. I walked barefoot and let the frgid water run over my feet.
then we went to the downtown. Full of chain stores. I went to the Santa Cruz Dyke March a few years back. It was a small and fun affair. It included street theater, chanting, partial nudity and a brief protest outside of the Barnes and Noble store. It was the first chain store on the main street. Some subterfuge had been involved in it’s getting there. Some community members were outraged. those outraged people clearly lost that battle and maybe left town, i dunno. Baby gap. Urban outfitters. etc etc etc.
So we went to herland to get a cup of coffee or some hummus or whatever. It’s not a cafe anymore. It’s a bookstore only. They had to move down the street from their old location. the person behind the counter was a baby boomer goddess-worshipping type. The store was playing really bad out of tune folk music. the books were all published by Naiad press. Lame lame lame. I got a copy of the latest Dykes to Watch Out For book. The woman behind the counter said, “Since you’re planning to go out to lunch, are you sure that you don’t want a bag?”
Closetted? In Santa Cruz? What’s happened to the world? I’ve been whining that people on the East Coast aren’t out. But this is California. This is Santa Cruz, which in 1993 or 1994 was reported by the San Jose Mercury News to be 25% lesbian/bisexual/LUG. (The first place I ever saw the word LUG (Lesbian Until Graduation) was in that article.) Did the whole world change when I wasn’t paying attention?
We walked through the yuppied throngs amidst the chain stores towards the Saturn Cafe. I was feeling discouraged. A piece of my youth is gone forever. Or was it always lame and I hadn’t noticed because I was young and breaking so many rules by going down there?
The Saturn Cafe was recently in the news for responding to the French Fries/Freedom Fires debacle by renaming their fried “Impeach Bush Fries.” Alas, now the menu just says “Fries.” And they’re not very good. The only hint of the activism and queerness that I thought still lurked in scruz was a manifesto on Saturn’s bathroom doors about how they were fighting against binary gender divisions by making their bathrooms officially non gendered. If only thier food was still good.
Ellen was a good sport. She said that it was a good learning experience and she’s glad we went all the way down there to find out she doesn’t need to go back.
Alas. either the town has completely changed or I have. Or maybe both of us. Everything in the world is different. The girl I dated isn’t even a girl anymore.

More Fun

Last night I rode BART to Milbrae to go meet Polly for dinner. Milbrae is, of course, one of the new BART stops out in the penninsula and it’s the last one on the line. It’s also a Caltrains station, which could make getting to the south bay via transit much easier, although it is an hour long ride just to there. I like the new stations because they have art in them and no ads.

Polly, darling of the flute community, seems to be doing well. I used to play bass in her backup band and we played at the National Flute Association convention in Vegas last August. August may not be the best time to go to Vegas, but the flutists loved her. Anyway, she has a new bassist now (alas!) and is playing some gigs. We went out for Thai food and got caught up and discussed Liturgical Drama. Seriously. I also learned that KDFC (your radio concert hall), the Bay Area’s lone classical station, gets all of its CDs through the indie network. So if you’re on an indie label, you better have a distributor with their own indies. This sounds confusing because an “indie label” is a record company not owned by the big five record companies. But, people who are “indies” and work for the “indie network” are so-called independent folks that funnel payola from the big five to radio stations. Recall that payolla, paying a radio station for playing your record, is illegal. So many record companies have found independant contractors who give stuff to radio stations and who get stuff from record companies when those stations play the record company’s songs. The indy pockets the difference. However, the indie network has largely been purchased by Clear Channel, so how this is different than payola is completely unclear. anyway, this is part of the reason that commercial radio sucks.
So anyhow, after Thai food, Polly and I went and met Paul at Starbucks and talked more. It was groovy.
Finally, I rode BART back to the East Bay and got picked up by Ellen. The night was still somewhat young, so we went to the White Horse and did some drinking and dancing. We cavorted (this is Polly’s mom’s word for having illicit fun, but any claim of illicitness would be overstated).

Who is this Ellen of whom you speak?

She is the person living in casaninja while Christi and I are away becoming educated. Ellen Fullman is the inventor of the Long String Instrument. There are plans to install it in the first floor of casaninja. Many pieces are in place, but no strings yet! Technical issues are still being worked out, alas.
She played her newest CD, Ellen’s Songbook, for me. It’s coming out soon on Choose Records, but they don’t seem to be listing it yet. It’s awesome. All the pieces are songs except for one instrumental piece. She does the singing. All the songs are catchy and smart. The production is really slick. College radio stardom is clearly in her future. The songs remind me of the Magnetic Fields, because they are pop, but so much more is going on than in your average pop songs. Many of the songs are tuned in just intonation. Her singing voice is very similar to her talking voice: pretty and “real”. She spent time studying Indian singing and it comes through in some of the songs. Of course, the Long String Instrument is present and percussion and even cheesy 90’s techno sounds on the second to last song. It’s just cool.


Wedding Photos are finally online. These pictures taken last August by the staff of London, Ontario’s Crystal Wedding Chapel. Note that we weren’t lying about getting Elvis to sing.

Only one person has written to say that she’ll be coming to my New Years Eve shindig. Are the rest of you (are there more of you?) just silent? I won’t be buying much beer, I guess. (No, it’s not in danger of being cancelled. Many of Ellen’s friends are coming.)


Ellen and I went down to San Jose for xmas with my family. She went willingly, god bless her. Ellen is really nifty.
We went to Brother Bob’s house. Also in attendance were: my brother Paul, my Uncle Chuck, friends of my late mother: Bunny and Seymore, my Dad (Ed) and my Dad’s um friend Danielle.
I hardly talked to my uncle. He’s doing some car racing this year, but not much and I don’t know when. Talked to my brother some. He’s not dating anybody, gave up his consulting buisiness due to a shortage of clients. He re-wried the electricity on his house.
Bunny and Seymore report (ok, mostly Bunny reporting) that they’re not well and that they haven’t done anything fun lately and have no hobbies. Seymore has a wound on his foot, which is healing. Bunny says I look so much like my mother and went on at length how angelic my mom looked on her deathbed.
the assertion of an angelic appearance is true. The progression of her ilness was such that worries and pain ceased. not that I enjoy being reminded of such things. Nor are the holidays entirely stress-free to start out with.
My dad smiled a lot. More than I’ve seen him smile for maybe . . . ever. He told several amusing stories about when he was in the army. Ellen said, “I like your dad. He’s really cool. He smiles a lot.” It was pretty cool to see him seem so happy.
Brother Bob says he attended three funerals in the last week. Distressed, but otherwise doing well, I guess. He seemed happy to have everyone over and made outstandingly good food.
the person with whom I spoke most was Danielle, who I had never met before. She is a former “Volunteer of the Year” with the Women’s Philharmonic. She goes to the SF symphony regularly with my Dad. My Dad has season tickets. She is also Yoyo Ma’s Masseuse, something she talked about at length, relating how she sent tapes of farm animal sounds to his children. And in what circumstances the farm animal sounds were listened to. If you need the dirt on farm animal sounds in the Ma household, she’s got it.
she’s a new music fan, which is certainly a good thing. the world needs more fans of new music. Especially ones that buy CDs. I got her a CD of Meredith Monk and was worried that she would already have it, but she wasn’t familiar with Monk, so I was safe.
She also talked for a long long time about how her deceased husband was a Southern Baptist minister and how fundamentalists are spiritually awesome, even if polically bad. She’s a catholic and a fundie. She doesn’t like progressive churches because in those churches god is like Santa Claus: always good. She helped out with Billy Graham’s crusade and helped organize three of his local stops. I asked her, “what does spirituality mean if it’s working for evil?”
My brother stood up suddenly. My dad asked him why he was standing up. My brother said, “it’s 9:00.”
Danielle considered the evidence against Graham and conceeded that he was indeed working for evil. She then started talking about the bad way the Southern Baptists treated women and started talking a lot about how some women in the 70’s were so committed to feminism that they actually came out as lesbians but, even though they tried, they just couldn’t bring themselves to . . .
My Dad stood up. It’s a bit after 9:00.
I said. “Indeed. some people are bisexual and some people are not.” And thought, “I can’t beleive I just said ‘bisexual’ in front of my Dad.'”
Danielle started explaining that queer issues (she didn’t say “queer” she said “homosexual” as some would-be liberals are wont to do) were even more important to her than women’s issues with the Baptists.
I stood up, explaining that while I did tend to run later than the rest of my family, it was time for the 9:00 standing.
She went on further to me about women who just couldn’t bring them selves to. First talking to me (when I suddenly got very interested in the pomegranites that were out around Bro Bob’s house) and then at length to Ellen who very politely nodded.
Ellen is so cool
And so, Danielle seems very nice and certainly has interesting things to say. Plus she’s a maseusse and my Dad seems happy, which is very good. I’m happy to see him smile so much.

Weekend Update

There have been various improvements made to JJiCalc. I could tell you what they were, but I’d have to go look at CVS logs. Christi says that I’ve been very forgetful lately. This is true. She wants me to go see a doctor. Hrm. Forgetfulness = sign of brain tumor. Has my personality changed? Yes, she says I’m nicer. She says that it’s probably just that I’m distracted by other things. I have very sharp, clear memories of things from several months ago, but yesterday is fuzzier. Polly, of flute band fame, says that memory is linked to emotional engagement. So since I don’t care as strongly about small things as I used to, I’m not remembering them. Maybe I should carry a ntoebook.
The big news around here is that Ellen said yes and will be house sitting starting in October. Christi is apparently planning on staying around here until October, something she says that she told me a while ago. So I will be going by myself out ot the big, scary, new east coast and grad school. How can I be co-dependant when I’m alone. I need to remember to write my address on my person someplaxce everyday so that I’ll be able to find my own way home.
Christi’s dad was in town yesterday, catching defenseless abalone. He gutted three of them in my front yard. The dog was very happy about the proximity of abalone innards, but was ultimately disappointed. Ken is coming back next weekend. He apparently doesn’t approve of Christi’s new tatoo.
While he was here, we went to the Berkeley farmer’s market, where he purchased soap made out of the kind of tree that he just wrote an Enviromental Impact Statement about. He says that the soap is not impacting the tree population and the tree is not endangered. While he and Christi relaxed in the shade, Tiffany and I wandered over to the next block where the psychic faire was going on. We got our auras healed. Afetrwards, I asked the person waiving her arms around if my aura had been badly in need of healing and she said that she hadn’t read it. How do you heal something without looking at it? Anyway, apparently my aura now only contains my energy and nobody else’s. What if you want somebody else’s energy? My aura could do with some energy that can keep track of things better. Tiffany and I told Christi and her daad that we signed up for aura healing classes, but neither beleived us. And then Ken went home.
Gay marriage is apparently legal in Canada, even for Amerikans. Christi and I will be heading there very soon to tie the knot. It’s very exciting. Details will be forthcoming. (I know, you all knew it was legal a few weeks ago, but I forgot…)
I’ve been listening to Polly’s (of flute band fame) three songs over and over. It’s probably why I can’t remember anything. It’s getting tangled in lyrics. Gay marriage is legal no longer rosy fingered dawn.. anyway, it’s helping my ability to play the songs. and remember them. i’m not good at multitasking. i can memorize the songs, or i can be able to find my own way home, but apparently i can’t do both.
I had Tennis Roberts rehersal today. I burned some three song demos and gave ’em to Chand cuz Chand has friends in the music biz. Hopefully, we’ll get some gigs out of this.
And today was fathers day, so Christi and I headed down to Cupertino and had dinner with my dad, my uncle and my brother. I didn’t know what to get my dad, so I got him a small statue of Chairman Mao. I think he likes it, but I’m not sure. He clearly thinks that Mao was a bad guy and is talking about collecting statues of other bad guys like Stalin. Hopefully a joke. My dad says that Donald Rumsfeld talks in haiku. All his short statements break into haiku format. I’m skeptical.
Although many other things may or may not have happened around here, I have nothing else to report that I can recall. If I don’t get better about recalling things, I might make an excellent republican candidate for high public office. Or not. tomorrow is Christi’s birthday. She’s turning 27, but apparently has been telling people that she’s turning 29. Not on purpose. (I’m not the only confused person in my household. Maybe we have ergot poisoning… A witch! A witch!) and I’m starting working on cleaning up the Lattice feature in JJiCalc. I don’t get it at all. I think I might know what a tuning lattice is, but how the program deduces them, maps them, deals with them, etc, I don’t get at all. All I can tell is that it’s mostly illegible and it doesn’t play notes. I think a lattice might be a two dimensional representation of an N-dimension array. This is not a problem that I had ever given thought to before. Maybe I need to read a math book about graphing hypercubes. Anyway, I’m at a point where I should probably go put up a web page and recruit other programmers to come fix these problems that I don’t understand.

Pictures of Chicken

Page made for the benefit of Ellen. I give her a 75% chance of deciding to stay in Seattle. She really likes chicken tho, so maybe Chicken will lure her down. She has a Dr. Doolittle sort of connection to Chicken. Chicken didn’t destroy anythign while Ellen was here, but she did eat a muffin that I left on the counter. Or maybe Roz did. Cats eating muffins are weird.
Yesterday, I fixed some bugs in the JJiCalc. You can now enter in tunings and it will know they exist. Some action-event thing was missing. I’m working on saving and reloading right now. Anyway, while I was coding, Ellen went to her friend’s memorial service and then from there to the airport. He was part of the reason she was considering moving down here. And she was sad the whole time she was here. Last time she was here was the 2002 OM festival and she was sick the whole time. The bay area may be a bad luck place for her.
So I’m basing the 25% probability (guess) of her moving down here based on Chicken’s magnetic personality. Oh, and if you know of a responcible musician (I know, oxymoron…) who might want to rent my space for two years, you should drop me a line.

My Weekend

We went out Saturday to see the spot where Ellen’s friend was hit by a car. It was in Emeryville on the part of Powell street that gets really narrow, I think by Vallejo street. People have attached flowers, notes and a poster to a posted speed limit sign – 30 mph, which is clearly being exceeded by quite a bit. It was worrisome crossing the street to get there. Around the base of the sign were candles, a stuffed animal and other memorial items. A flautist was there, sitting on the ground, playing a lamentation. It was very moving. Some other people came. It seemed to make them feel better.
Later, we went to two concerts at the Berkeley Edge Fest. Two concerts in one day is too many. However, George Lewis is an amazing virtuossic trombone player, so I was glad we went to the second concert. Some very hyper composer cornered Sarah Cahill ater the first concert and started on a well-rehersed arts rant. He began by asking her if she was indepenently wealthy. He thinks artists in the Bay Area play too many gigs for free or for low wages. Sarah tried to pass him off to Christi, Ellen and I, bu we escaped. However, on Sunday, he got us again and continued exactly where he left off. He thinks artists should be well paid for theit work, but they should give their work away for free. I think I heard this argument before, as part of the New Economy or something. I’m still not sure how it’s supossed to work.
The Sunday concert was a Lou Harrison tribute. His work is so beautiful. The second half was all gamelan. It was performed on his personal gamelan that Bill Colvig built for him. It’s the first time that it’s been played without him. the last piece they played was the last piece he wrote. I think the gamelan lead may have been crying when the last gong sounded. Krys Bobrowski played in the ensemble. After the concert, she showed us her instrument and explained the notation. She told me to play in the Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble, so I will.
We went out for Thai food with Krys, her girlfriend, her other friend who just made some MIDI controlled strobe thing for crystals (I hope to see this thing soon and better be able to describe it), Brenda Hutchinson and her partner, who I can’t remember the name of because I never remeber anyone’s name. Brenda was urging Ellen to move down here and work for the next four years at the Exploratorium.
Then some of us went to Srah Cahill’s after concert party. I sat down next to a guy who introduced himself and then added, “You’re of a generation where that name probably doesn’t mean anything.” okay. He talked about early digital synthesizers and samplers tho, and it was interesting. He gave me advice about school which included working hard and getting mad. Then he left and I saw Steed there, who conducted the Mills Contemporary Performance Ensemble, when I played in it and also conducted two of the Lou pieces in the first half of the concert. I told him that I enjoyed the concert and was surprised that he remembered me from the CPE and asked if I was still playing the tuba. I introduced him to Ellen and he knew he she was, but didn’t know her.
So the big question remains: will Ellen move down here? She clearly digs the social scene at least. And the economy is porbably better here than in Seattle (it’s certainly not worse). christi has offered to construct a shack in the back yard. (Ian says that the homeowners association will have a field day with the CCNRs. Maybe we could call it a gazebo.) The shack would lengthen our space to make it long enough for the Long String Instrument and would provide adequate protection against weather, rodents, theives, etc, while being able to be easily knocked down after two years. uhuh. Clearly, Christi’s dad needs to be involved in this project, or we’re doomed to have rats, water damage and burglary. and lawsuits from our neigbors.
Or we could move the whole operation to Jerry Brown’s warehouse. Krys was just part of a collective of people looking to purchase a shared space, but they couldn’t find anything. Some of those people have bought their own homes, but some have not. Krys is still looking. This space would not require a shack.