I've Just Seen a Face

let me tell you a little story about how my holiday season got started.

this last week or so i have been feeling a little uneven, perhaps depressed. the approaching holiday season, distance from my love and close friends, frustrations at work and frustrations with myself all contributed to this ba-humbug sorta feeling.

to try and cheer myself up i listened to, on my way to work, a cd that i recently made. the gem on the disc is an old beatles tune, originally from the 'help!' album, called 'i've just seen a face.' hearing this song brightened my day considerably, and as i worked i played it over and over in my head, singing along, and mimicing the guitar. imagine it went a little something like this:

b: big beard, green apron, black shirt, standing in front of a big steely beast.

(guitar gesture)

I've just seen a face,
I can't forget the time or place
That we'd just met, she's just the girl for me
And I want all the world to see we've met
Mn nm mn mn mn mn

(grap grande cup, three pumps vanilla)

Had it been another day
I might have looked the other way
But I had never been aware
And as it is I'll dream of her tonight
Na na na na na na

(pull shot)

Falling, yes I am falling
And she keeps calling me back again

(fill cup with steamed whole milk, top with the foam)

I have never known
The like of this, I've been alone
And I have missed things and kept out of sight
But other girls were never quite like this
Na na na na na na

(mark the foam with two shots esspesso)

Falling, yes I am falling
And she keeps calling me back again

(shake caramel as i play air guitar, during solo)

Falling, yes I am falling
And she keeps calling me back again

(circle caramel twice around, cross hatch)

I've just seen a face
I can t forget the time or place
And we'd just met, she's just the girl for me
And I want all the world to see we've met
Na na na na na na

(put lid on, then sleeve)

Falling, yes I am falling
And she keeps calling me back again

"grande caramel macchiato"

so there you have it.

Winter Wunder, Kind

the city is quiet today, in reflection, and in patience, as cars slowly make their way across the icy nashvillian streets.

after cleaning the dishes, and packing for the trip back home, i decided to give the hot water heater some time to revive before i bathe, and take a walk.

the slickness of the streets makes this a challenge, but eager eyes and chilled ears pushed me forward.

along this walk, the most notable things included a child's toy motorcycle, missing its front wheel, yellow and frozen fimly to the ground, and all the green undergrowth, grass, ivy, clovers, frozen still, in time. little frosted trees for the miniature people in our minds and hearts, read borrowers, to wonder at in the mid-day's white glow.

i always make it a priority to walk in the wintery weather. it is one of my preferred modes of reflection. the stillness, and preferably falling snow, remind me of the fantastic, opening up the mental doors to visions of both past, present, and future.

if given the choice to time travel, to one particular moment, or stretch of time, before and beyond all others, these days, i know exactly where i would travel to. a wintery night in boston, december, 2001, where i took a glorious walk with a young college friend of mine, up from texas, and experiencing her first glimpse of full blown wintery goodness. see, it doesnt hurt when you fall. i havent seen such a perfect snow since, and i question whether i ever will again.

Ice, Not Snow

in a panic nashville closed down late last night anticipating the worst: multiple inches of snow, coupled with ice, and temps dropping below 20. in fine ostrich style nashville pulled its head out of the frozen earth this morning to find two things: weather that feels like 6 degrees, and ice, lots of ice. every exterior surface in nashville is covered with at least a quarter inch of white ice, slick slippery, and trying on one's patience. it seems to me that the worst didnt happen, but it got pretty bad. i certainly am thankful that i dont have to travel through this mess. mtb headed back to the lou, last eve, prior to the freezing, and after two point five hours of driving he only made it to clarksville, just a normal forty-minutes drive away. fortunately he tucked himself into a roadside motel and mystic river, to keep himself warm and off the road.

two points on tchaikovsky:

one. it seems to me that most any cd of his includes a performance of the 1812 overture, or at least some portion of the nutcracker suite.

two. to an untrained ear, like mine, tchaikovsky's fourth symphony is very gestural; and by gestural i dont mean the franz kline, jackson pollock sort of gestural, i mean the gestural that you stumble upon as you watch acting students improv. the sort of gesture that wears itself on the sleeve and wears itself thin for lack of ambiguity, for lack of the gray.

if you are wanting to take your friend out on a date to the symphony, and have an opportunity see tchaikovsky's fourth, i say pass, and wait till his sixth rolls around. a much more brooding and lulling piece, tchaikovsky masterfully weaves depression into triumph, in his sixth, giving us westerners, perhaps, an idea what it would have been like to travel from siberia, to moscow, by coach. moving from cold and misery to the glorious, yet dying days, of tsarist russia.

on a strictly personal note, i find, that sometimes it is better to just not say anything.


Clarinet Concerto in A Major K.622

three things:

1. new blue jeans
2. is concerti the plural of concerto?
3. making a little fudge

1. to celebrate my birth and my new life in nashville, this evening i purchased a brand new pair of blue blue jeans. sure enough as i type the newly purchased denim is forming to my lower body. they are a good fit, which is comforting, because while i feel pretty damn hot wearing them, that hottness is undermined by awkwardness. you have to realize that it has been over a decade since i have worn any denim on my body, and it will certainly take a little time to adjust to a clothing item that much of america takes for granted.

brought mtb to the mall with me, for the purchasing session, since the other day he voiced interested in dipping into the fasionable world. surely, i thought, j.crew couldnt do him much harm. while i know that malls make him squeamish, i didnt think that he would high tail it out of there twenty-six seconds after entering the crew, and a minute and a half more after entering the mail. i used to be just like him, but it took a very special someone to break me in.

2. upon arriving back at the house mtb uncharacteristically suggested we listen to a little mozart. "sha'nuff," i said, "whad'ya wanna hear?"

"how about the clarinet concerto?"

"the one in 'a mjor'? sounds good to me." i went into m's room, squatted, uncoverd his mozart box, and felt the blue blue denim molding to my rear as i stood back up. walking out of the dark quarters i wondered aloud, "the plural of concerto is concerti, right?"

"i think so."

3. after dropping the proverbial needle on the cd i strutted my new pants into the kitchen, carried by mozart's clarinet, where mtb had already begun work on what would be the evenings first of two batches of fudge. who knew four point five cups of sugar, a can of evaporated milk, and two and a half cups of chocolate could go so far? who knew making fudge could be so easy? who knew that more than a spoonful of fudge was more than enough? not i.


A Little Mental Archaeology

tomorrow, the twenty first of december, is both the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year.

on wednesday one very special rtb is making her move from the glorious city of boston to the dusty one of dallas.

as my girlfriend is about to undergo a transition similar to the one that i recently experienced, leaving boston, i have been taking healthy chunks out of the last few days to reflect on our time spent together, in boston, our first shared home.

i call this little experiment mental archaeology, as time seems to have dusted over many many memories. the more focused my efforts to recollect become, the more i feel that i am truly dusting away the fossilized edges of bone, the memories, and the harder i work at it the more distinct the figure becomes, and i get a more wholistic image of rtb's and my three or so years spent together in boston.

its easy to go to the museum and look up at the framed image of the time that we first met, september first, two-thousand one. i was on my way back to the dorm, one-thirty-two / thirty-four beacon street, afte a day of work, socializing with the homeless, and my first instance of trash prospecting on beacon hill. she had just returned from dinner with her parents, and was sitting on the stoop. we met, and talked for the first time, and i guess the rest is history, hence the museum. also in the museum you can see the keystone moments and observe their progression from our newly formed friendship, as we became closer, molding each other in mind and action, and eventually when we sealed the deal with a kiss. these images and moments leave few questions for the bphhrtb historian.

in these last few days, all in the field have been seeking out those smaller moments that dont necessarily indicate paradigm shifts, rather those instancese that colored our development and tempered the world we share. of course there is the risk, in looking back, amongst the dust, that we might not brush carefully enough, and end up revealing, our own version of the recently discovered "indonesian hobbit." in otherwords, when eagerly searching your memory it is very easy to piece together disperate memories, or even imaginations, into very pleasant rememberances that ultimately never happened. this caution being noted, let us take a look down the the less traveled and the more nuanced halls in our museum, displaying some of the more recent finds.

in december, 2001, i was working at borders on friday night, taking advantage of the forty percent holiday discount i endulged in two jazz box sets. charles mingus, passions of a man, and and keith jarrett's complete blue note recordings from 1994. upon arriving back in the dorm i gathered up cdr and rtb and perhaps djg (i dont recall about the later). we crammed ourselves into my dorm room, and we drank wine and listened to jazz, in awe and a little intoxicated. i remember the way r sat on my bed, small hands around mug, quiet in posture and dumbfounded in eye that her perceptions of college might actually have come true.

saturday, august thirty first, 2002, the day that r returned to boston, from a summer spent in dallas, to live at the palatial thirty-five revere. picked up at the airport by cdr, she turned up, in blue dress, standing behing a large bag, and holding close to her bossom a fresh and eager rosemary plant as if it were her heart.

july, 2003. r and i spent the early portion of the week camping on bumpkin island. it was a hot, sandy, hungry event filled with great big breaths of fresh air and sighs of life. i recall, coming home, weighed down by heavy gear and bags of shells, to an empty, sunny apartment. the silence did penetrate and settled us into a stillness. this was a moment of quiet contentment comfortable in the afternoon light as the dust particles that reflected and floated as we sat on the couch.

finally, the freshest of these uncoverings, dated may, 2004. it is the morning of commencement. djg, dl, an, and myself where robed up and ready to hit the streets of boston in finest graduation style. the only one among us who was not to graduate that day was r. i remember her being dressed softly, and bowed, like tiny package too precious to open. as the four graduates perpared to leave thirty-five i can distinctly see, in the way r held her head, the way she let the sun hit her face, her brown eyes, that she was internally anxious. excited that her some of her closest emerson friends were about to graduate, but that excitement was brushed with the tenderest of sorrows, for she could not be one of us.

this last memory is the most relevant, today, as r has finished college, and she did it all on her own. i couldnt be prouder.

anyway, these are just a few of the discoveries i have made playing archaeologist in my own head-yard. there are certainly many more, mostly fragments of berries at breakfast, or tucked in to read before sleep, or other isolated glances and postures, and still more too delicate to share with ya'll.

as the current of life continues to change our situations and locations, some new memories will certainly be uncovered, as others are created, while others get barried again. the sport of mental archaeology never ends, though some days the body and spirit are too exhausted for such undertakings, and in other times the stillness of life makes them more than necessary.

Weather Man, part II

it only goes to show what a judgemental fool i can be sometimes. after denegrating the starbucks customer for offering me, what seemed at the time, based on internet research, bogus weather info, it turns out that he was more or less correct. temperatures have in fact dropped to twenty-five and below, these last few days. truly, after four winters in boston i must say that this tenessee chill give new england a run for its money. and dont you begin to say, but hey, what about the wind b, surely nashville isnt as windy as beantown. my response is, you are correct, excepting these last few days, when it seems that my new home is offering me the gift of a replicated boston chill.

all apologies to mr. triple grande sugar free vanilla non-fat latte.


the Weather Man

it only goes to show, you cant trust that man, who comes into your work place to purchase a triple grande sugar free vanilla non-fat latte, and in casual conversation mentions that it is going to get extremely cold this weekend, peaking, or i guess in this instance bottoming out, at a low of twenty-five with a strong chance of snow. this monring i did a little research, checked my online sources, only to learn that this man's weather was in fact very dubious. as such, consider this an addendum to last night's edition of my life.

mike and i went to bed with a smile on our faces and slightly intoxicated knowing that tomorrow, now today, we would be cleaning many dishes, about to begin, and facing colder temperatures, which in fact wont be colder but actually more of the same.

four mour years.


Tippecanoe and Tyler Too

mtb has taken it upon himself to memorize all the presidents names and the order in which they served. in order to do this he takes several minutes out of every work day and reads a few presidential bios, on the white houses official webpage, www.whitehouse.gov. thus far he knows them from george washington through ulysses s. grant.

this evening mtb and i went to the regal theater in green hills, just outside nashville, and saw the film "sideways." a truly enjoyable flick, "sideways," follows a couple of old thirty-something college budies as they explore cali's wine country the week prior to one of their marriages. its a pretty simple set up, where one of the bodies, played by the actor who played wade on nbc's "wings", is an actor in the film and about to be married. the protagonist is a middle school english teacher and an aspiring novelist with an almost obsessive knowledge of wine. the former is all about having a good time while the later is depressed still trying to come to terms with his divorce, which occurred two years prior.

regardless of this weak film synopsis, or what have you, the film was very successful in a variety of areas, the most pertinent to this post is that it very successfully discusses the finer aspects of wine appreciation with a generally ignorant audience. anyway, upon arriving home, well after one a.m., mtb and i decided to crack open a pinot noir that i had saved and live up a little wine tasting life as we listen to some fine jazz and some even finer mandolin compositions.

i think tonight both of us will retire with a smile on our faces and slightly intoxicated knowing that tomorrow we must clean up the millions of dishes left from the dinner party and face increasingly frigid temps...a high on monday of 25!

nonetheless wine drinking prospects are up as mtb is interested in exploring that world and i am eager to share my one last fine bottle of wine, saved from my charles st. liqour days, with mtb and r when she visits in april.

just four more months!

Charles Bixby, 2198-2274

There is a brush that eternally paints the surface of the earth. It brings power and opulence to those who are strong enough to grab hold of its bristles, while others in our global community are helpless to watch as it brings death and destruction.

For me the breeze is always a reminder of life. It is a breath that resembles my own, calm at one moment and erratic and deep at others. Its movements constantly suggest physical love: a hand pressing up the spine of a tree or running its fingers through the tall grass’s hair.

Walking at sunset the breeze fills me with a near biblical faith, hope, and love as it wraps around my limbs in an empathetic embrace.

Along with our component particles, the breeze is another gift from the stars, in our instance, the Sun. It takes eight minutes for the Sun to pours its nuclear energy onto earth from 150 million kilometers away. This energy unevenly heats the planet. Areas of great heat, or high pressure, move into cooler low-pressure areas. In the air’s movement from high to low pressure the breeze is created.

--Charles Bixby 2198

an excerpt from a science fiction story that i am writing. so little written, so far still to go, but this is my tangible start.

Three Cool Cats, and Variations

so the dinner party. it was a surprising success.

to start with we had marinated tofu. then we moved on to make your own spring rolls with rice noodles, carrots, cucumber, mung bean sprouts, bok choy, and cilantro. for dessert we had lotus flower pastires topped with green tea ice cream, coconut cream, and mango. everyone seemed to enjoy these asian-ish offerings.

the people.

andy was the first to show up. mr. foote is thirty three and owns a custom built drum shop here in nashville. a quiet, four eyed man, and was good for conversation and politeness. definately a fellow that i would have over for dinner again.

susan once owned and was an acrobat in a small treveling circus. i dont know if i should believe this. i also don't know whether or not i should believe that she just purchased a four acre house with a barn, especially because she was so insistent on not having a job, or any money, but i suppose the lack of money can be written up to being a home owner. she was polite and also a friendly conversationalist.

quincy was the quiet one. a black man from birmingham he seemed to be a great guy, who works with homeless substance abusers and the metnally insane, trying to keep the off the street and healthy, so they don't end up dead or in the hospital.

i guess you have read it twice now, but everyone was polite and eager to converse. the talk circled the personal, of the get to know each other variety. there were no offenses, casual drinking, and never a lull in the conversation.

coming away from the evening i feel confident that i can through a successful dinner party, preparing food that all enjoy, and providing for a friendly environment. also, in the social realm, i see that i can compitently discuss music, film, current events, history, art, and a variety of other subjects that can be summed up as life experiences and general knowledge.

i am not inept.



Local opinion held Mr. Underwood to be an intense profane little man, whose father in a fey fit of humor christened him Braxton Bragg, a name Mr. Underwood had done his best to live down. Atticus said naming people after Confederate generals made slow steady drinkers.

--from "to kill a mockingbird," page 158, 1962.


Friends, Romans, Country Men

My loving people, we have been persuaded by some, that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear; I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good will of my subjects. And therefore I am come amongst you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all; to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honor and my blood, even the dust. I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms: to which, rather than any dishonor should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, by your forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble and worthy subject; not doubting by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and by your valor in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over the enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.

Elizabeth I of England - 1588

One Time, Listen

december the fifteenth is my birthday. today, the fourteenth, i got a really lovely package mailed all the way from boston, at the will of my girlfriend. as usual r put all sorts of time and grace into this postal. the package included: a much needed wooden spoon, a handful of aged corks, a mixed tape, horseradish mustard, a soft stone, and an as of yet un-opened book like package. this posting is about the audio cassette.

this evening, mtb, currrently reading "the plague," was growing frustrated with my need to communicate with another physical being. after threatening to "sock" me, i decided that the man did in fact need his peace. i decided to lay on the floor, put on my silver sony head phones, and listen to "A / B (december)." i fired up the reciever, my father's old cassette deck, and popped in the tape that r made.

i listened to the first song, feeling that i had heard it before and guessing as to who / what it was. perhaps the most endearing aspect of this song, for me, is that the cd it was dubbed from skips, so as i listened to this cassette i was hearing the imperfections on a carbon based disc 2,200 miles away, in my love's apartment. as you can imagine the second song came rolling around when, all of the sudden, it sort of stuttered, then the right channel dropped out. i half expected this was part of the production when m shouted, "b. i think the machine is eating your tape." sure enough the old sanyo had sallowed up a few bars of mississippi blues.

dissapointed, but not discouraged, i worked my wonders and tried to get the tape out of the machine unharmed. my wonders didnt work and i was forced to attempt an emergency operation. using the finest scotch tape and a box cutter from office max i attempted the complicated splice. it didn't work. i tried it again, and again it didnt work. i left the floor and moved my joint to the kitchen where, using an old tortilla as a cutting board, i attempted the splice again. the problem each time was that every time i tape the ends together, somehow, even against my best efforts, there is always a twist, and the wrong sides were facing each other.

conjuring my deepest, slowest breathes, and my rarely used silver still hands, i was finally able to fix the solution. i was glad, and returned to the living room, sat / laid on the floor, and finished the mississippi blues and the following song.

i sat down to write this post, and as the song's smoothes grooves ended so did my fortune. again the tape broke, and this time, i just tied that fucker up. one little knot and back into the beast. some more luck faded away as the ymsb song deteriorated into the mountain goats and then the tape died.

it wound itself more thoroughly around the sprockets and refused to come out. after some delicate tugging and screaming i got it all out and sat down.

this was originally going to be written as an allegory. look: bryan got this great tape, it broke, he fixed and got to listen to half of it, however, his repair rendered the tape useless after the first listen. you know, kinda like life, a one shot deal. anyway, this allegory fell apart as the tape kept breaking. i suppose therein lies a new allegory, about the never ending struggle of life and what not, and about how otss, only the strong survive, except that isn't always the case, is it ? cause, and feel free to correct me if i am wrong, but doesnt the environment have more to say about who survives than not? i mean while strength in a steady environment will often win, in an unstable and ever changing environment, strength may not prevail, and what was once considered a weakness will be the saving grace. just ask those moths in early industrial england.


News, From a Closer Kingdom

the day begins with hot water, soap, and cold hands.

grind it, brew it, bag the rest, banna b.fast, mocha on shoe, sorry, here is your change, this is my markout, "when i was younger, so much younger than today," 65 / 40 south to 40 / 24 east, off at shelby, "when you sigh, my inside just dries, butterflies," how you doing, sacred places, ladakh, wall map, syria, quesadilla, dreams of rum cake, dizzy rolls out, bed and confusion, not tv, no internet, 24 west, 65 south, "i told her i didn't and crawled off to sleep in the bath," off at wedgewood, left, "sitting in his nowhere land," red light, rain ave, ray charles, camera shy, chicken terryaki, foccacia, coca~cola, email, stand up straight, new shoes, recoil, clapton's guitar fest, can i have a two shot camera two, tape on five, four, three, wonton smores, journal, break in ten, ed sullivan, greatest hits, "your voice is soothing, but the words aren't clear," back to shelby, brush those teeth.

the day ends with hot body and moo-cow under cold covers.

Falling From 50 K

yesterday, saturday the eleventh of december, was an exciting day around 808 fatherland. the living space got a face lift, groceries were purchased for the remainder of 2004, and i bought a new pair of shoes. mtb and i were also able to dip into the fifth installment of the beatles anthology and share a meal of sweet potato fries, cornbread, and steamed green beans.


Far From Kingdoms

Far from kingdoms
how steady is the room!
Come, breathe close with me
so I may discover the sweetness
of many imperfections, some missing
tooth, some extra wrinkle, and your body
worn our slightly by carelessness.

by Patrizia Cavali b. 1947
translated from the Italian by Judith Baumel


And He Sang as He Watched and Waited Till His Billy Boiled

realizations, december 10, 2004

1. george w. bush's term as president has not reached its mid-point
2. after ten faithful months my bonsai is dead
3. mtb and i will increase the quality of our lives by cancelling cable

4. i miss the late summer afternoon sun and the light it sheds on beacon hill
5. i know very little about world geography

6. gold bond foot powder

7. hang nails
8. sore neck and back
9. dissonance

10. impermenance

11. missing her hands
12. feedback

13. frontline: is wal*mart good for america?
14. bill frissell: ghost town

15. the way richard clarke says, "financier."


More Power More Pep

Zorn is a one-man music industry. In the five and a half years sincehe founded Masada, he has written two hundred and five compositions for the group. He has also written dozens of very different sorts of pieces--for string trios and quartets, solo piano, woodwind ensemble, electronic grunge bands, and sumphonic orchestras. Eleven new recordings of his music were released in 1998--seven ofthem on his own label, Tzadik, which, in Hebrew, means a charismatic leader who performs righteous deeds. In Tzadik's four years of existence, it has issued a hundred and forty-two albums, most of which are by other musicians, some of whom would have no other outlet were it not for Zorn.

Kaplan, Fred. "Horn of Plenty." The New Yorker (June 14, 1999):84-90.

Greene, Brian. "The Fabric of the Cosmos". New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004

When I was growing up, I used to play a game with my father as we walked down the streets of Manhattan. One of us would look around, secretly fix on something that was happening -- a bus rushing by, a pigeon landing on a windowsill, a man accidentally dropping a coin -- and describe how it would look from an unusual perspective such as the wheel of the bus, the pigeon in flight, or the quarter falling earthward. The challange was to take an unfamiliar description like"I'm walking on a dark, cylindrical surface surrounded by low, textured walls, and an unruly bunch of thick white tendrils is descending from the sky," and figure out that it was the view of an ant walking on a hot dog that a street vendor was garnishing with sauerkraut. Although we stopped playing years before I took my first physics course, the game is at least partly to blame for my having a fair amount of distress when I encountered Newton's laws.

--Brian Greene, "The Fabric of the Cosmos," page 31

of course to fully understand how distressing newton's laws were, and have been for four hundred plus years, you need to have a basic understanding of relative motion as newton applied it to a spinning bucket, full of water, and tied to the ceiling by a string. newton observed that as the bucket began to spin, the water remained motionless, until some time passed and it began to become concave. newton was puzzled, as are scientist to this day, why the water doesn't begin to move at the moment the bucket moves. even more troubling is the fact that there is a point when the bucket temporarily stops moving, and the water continues to spin, prior to the bucket starting up again in the opposite direction. what newton wanted to know was if the bucket is moving in relation to the room, what was the water moving in relation to? ultimately newton answered this with a vague concept of "absolute space," which would undergo some heavey fire by a man named mach*. the above quote ties into this all as an introduction to mach and how difficult it can be for one to imagine a perspective that could be useful in solving physical problems. certainly if this is of any interest pick up the book. its a simple read and makes my writing seem like the london fog in comparison.

nonetheless, i think that this is the type of game i will play with my children. sounds fun and surely develops some strong mental muscles. otss.

* philosopher leibniz also objected to newton's idea of "absolute space," instead believing that things can only exist in relation to something else.

Would You Like a Little Lando with that Calrissian?

soggy pizza with riccotta cheese, a shared coke, and yawn inducing television. certainly i am tired after a long days work and that dinner didnt do much to reenergize me.

i want to go to bed, but eight pm is still a little too early.


last night mtb and i were invited to a dinner party by a stranger.

a little background. mtb and i were heading home from the grocery store a few weeks ago and got to talking about how fun it would be to have a dinner party, but a sad truth slowly dawned upon us. we dont have any friends in nashville. we decided to invite strangers, from craigslist, over to eat a meal. to make things a little more fun we will make an audio recording of the evening. their have been at least fifteen responders, one of which was a journalist with the "nashville scene" interested in writing a story about the evening. yesterday we got an email from someone inviting us to their dinner party.

it was a pretty strange event. firstly, when i walked through the door i was accosted by a women. "i know you, you work at starbucks."


"you probably dont remember me but last week i bought a cd and questioned you about why my total was so expensive.

"yeah i remember."

" well," saying to the congregation in general, still addressing me, "you politely informed me that my total was eighteen bucks because the cd was priced at 16.99. anyway we were both pretty stressed and i felt really bad afterwards."

"thats cool, no hard feelings."

from there the party filled with more people, graduate neuroscientist from vanderbilt and school empolyees. eventually a birthday girl rolled in. the only person who really was interested in talking to us was the man, tommy, who invited us over. we were seated at the counter, in front of the open wine bottle, trying to talk to him as he attempted to cook a meal. unfortunately he kept running into the living room, to either turn on or off the music, depending on whether or not the girl's on "coyote ugly" were dancing or not.

dinner consisted of a nest of asparagus with undercooked store bought polenta, overcooked shrimp, and garlic in the form of red sauce, pasta sauce, and riccotta spinach dip. due to his elaborate "nest" arrangement the entire congregation was required to come up to the counter two by two, and eat only for two minutes. as someone observed, "its like noah."

shortly after eating mtb and i left the party to listen to some jazz at our apartmetnt while cleaning a weeks worth of dirty dirty dishes.


while i am ejoying my job at, as mtb calls it, "starbies," i am growing weary of the thirty-five hour a week work schedule. i really do believe that my true nashville calling is to become a bartender.

once a tender i plan to keep my eyes and ears open, and the second mister billie dee williams comes waltzing into my drinking establishment, i'll give my favorite star wars actor a holler and say, "billy dee, what'll it be?"


Eric Dolphy at the Five Spot, Vol. 2

1. Aggression 16.34
2. Like Someone in Love 19.27

Eric Dolphy - flute, bass clarinet
Booker Little - trumpet
Mal Waldron - piano
Richard Davis - bass
Eddie Blackwell - drums

Recorded at the Five Spot, New York City: July 16, 1961.
Recording Engineer - Rudy Van Gelder

today, december eighth, is a wednesday. my first day off in weeks. it was a good day, mostly sunny and sixty degrees. my hopes were up this morning as i left my home and headed downtown.

as a side, i would like to say, that i am currently interning at nashville public television, the PBS affiliate, and my main duties of late, outside working camera on live TV during the pledge drive, have been oriented around a documentary called, "memories of downtown nashville." the last week or so i transcribed over seven hours of interview with native nashvillians who recall downtown's glory days, from the 1930s-70s.

anyway, so after hearing these seniors talk enthusiastically about nashville's downtown i just had to see those few remaining sights and buildings.

began my walk, up the hill and 4th ave, away from broadway. the first stop on my list was the arcade. an indoor / outdoor mall, based on a florentinian design, and one of the first arcades in the country. its about one hundred years old. today the business folk were eating chinese, mexc=ican, pizza, hotdogs, burgers, and greek next to the pigeons and homeless. it is sort of like an unglorified quincy market. i had a polish sausage, some cold potato wedges, and a soda. something tells me that the mall isnt as tastey as it once was.

ex-mayor and current u.s. representative, richard fulton, has this to say about the arcade:

The Arcade was, uh, at that time was, ah real novelty. There were not many Arcades in the country, I'm not sure whether this, the local Arcade, was the fourth or fifth or the tenth, but there were very few of them in the country and, hmm, I do, um, the Arcade had Flight Brothers Shoes was in the Arcade, uh, there was a post office there, uh there, the uh Planters Peanuts had a store there. They, uh, had a gentleman that would walk up and down the Arcade with a, uh, peanut uh costume on and he would hand out roasted peanuts by a spoon. Uh, I do, uh, remember quite a few people that would just, well, they'd get a number of peanuts as a result of walking back and forth, and each time they'd walk, walk by the peanut man he'd put a spoon full of peanuts in their hand.

But, uh, Flight Brothers was there, there was also a small grocery store, uh, in the Arcade at that time and then there were offices above the first floor. The stree…street level of retail, there were offices on the second floor, uh, I think there was a tailor shop there, and I don’t remember, I never made it up to the second floor very often but, uh, there were a number of businesses that were on the second floor, but the main activity was, was on the street level and the Arcade, uh, of course, uh, was, uh, one of the main assets people would come to Nashville just to see the Arcade.

after walking through the mall i caugh left, and south, onto fifth avenue, to make my way to church street. church street used to be the heart, the life of the town. the department stores caine and sloan and harvey's were there, as well as the loew's and paramount theaters. the candyland and b&w as well as krystals were also on church street. it was at one of these places, or a similar cafeteria style lunch bar where the first sit-ins of the civil rights movements occurred. you may not know this, but people life dr. martin luther king, jr. came to these early nashville sit-ins to learn about non-violent protest. dr king says, "i came to nashville not to bring inspiration, but to gain inspiration from the great movement that has taken place in this community." anyway all those old great attractions on church street have been destoyed.

once on church street i stopped by the hermitage hotel, a historical building dating back to the civil war, and the only one of nashville's three great hotel's that remain standing. richard fulton once has campaign offices in the hermitage, back when "local politcal campaigns had headquarters in hotels," and amelia edwards was waiting in the lobby of the hermitage for a frat meeting to adjourn so that she could go on a date on a sunday afternoon when she learned that pearl harbor had been bombed. needless to say this is a beautiful building, with a elegant lobby, exceptional first floor restrooms, and nice hallways on the fifth floor. i do say that this would be a great place, to uh, spend the night with r should she come to town.

following the hermitage i made my way to sixth avenue. while nothing of note remains there now, i took pride in the fact that i was the only person on that street that knew that 6th was once called, "smart sixth avenue," because of all the high class shopping that occurred there.

i ended my downtown adventure at the new library which is simply gorgeous, even if they have more shelf space than books. at the library i checked out a czech film about trains, criterion, and four or five jazz cds, most of which were eric dolphy discs that i hadnt heard.

after downtown i went to the burbs to find some new work shoes, and along the way, i sampled the dolphy discs and was ecstatic in driving. these cds, all different in shade and texture, reminded me what a joy listening to jazz music can be, and how much jazz i have not heard.



To the Laundromat Lester Young (Grateful Dead)

Gosh Golly George.

i decided, while at this evenings laundromat, that the place is simply too digusting and underkept to be worthy of my clothes. as such i decided to take my business elsewhere, and by elsewhere i mean every other laundromat in east nashville. thats right, i am packing up the '93 accord and hitting the road, with some laundry and a book, to find east nashville's finest coin operated clothes cleaning machine.

while waiting for my clothes to get only moderately clean tonight i began some research into the radio documentary that mtb and i are putting together, hopefully to be aired on st. louis KDHX (88.1 fm). it is a short one hour piece on the life and music of america and jazz's very own lester young. ultimately this project will be easy enough to do in one's sleep. once you trim ten minutes for id's and station breaks, the program only needs to be fifty minutes long. roughly haalf of that time will be dedicated to music, and the other half to narration. i know, i know, its stupid, but it is the format the station requires.

anyway i begin research for this piece tonight. read a little from the "lester young reader" edited by lewis porter. the article i read was quite informative and written by the one and only john hammond. for those of you ignorant towards american musical heritage, john hammond is the man who "discovered" not only lester young and billie holiday in the '30s but bob dylan, in the '60s, and the boss himself, bruce springsteen in the '70s.

upon finishing at the 'mat i came home, put away those easily foldable clothes, and ironed six button down shirts while listening, in dolby 5.0 surround, the grateful dead dvd mr djg gave me for last year's birthday / graduation.

speaking of djg it appears he has high cholesteral and as such must drink his coffee black and consume no more than two egg yolks in one week. oh my.


A Magic Flute

when was the last time you enjoyed opera so much? that is what i thought. man, this is the first operatic work, and the first time, that i ever really emotionally connected with an opera: die zauberflote, the magic flute. perhaps it is the early december nashville weather of a sevety degree day and near steaming rain. perhaps it is having an apartment to myself. perhaps it is mtb's aging but fine stereo components. regardless it is comforting to connect a little with mr. mozart, even if the language is not my own, as i write science fiction and sample a poor beer.


A Mighty Fine River

The Mississippi is well worth reading about. It is not a commonplace river, but on the contrary is in all ways remarkable. Considering the Missouri its main branch, it is the longest river in the world--four thousand three hundred miles. It seems safe to say that it is also the crookedest river in the world, since in one part of its journey it uses up one thousand three hundred miles to cover the same ground that the crow would fly over in six hundred and seventy-five. It discharges three times as much water as the St. Lawrence, twenty-five times as much as the Rhine, and three hundred and thirty-eight times as much as the Thames. No other river has so vast a drainage-basin: it draws its water supply from twenty-eight States and Territories; from Delaware, on the Atlantic seaboard, and from all the country between that and Idaho on the Pacific slope--a spread of forty-five degrees of longitude. The Mississippi receives and carries to the Gulf water from fifty-four subordinate rivers that are navigable by steamboats, and from some hundreds that are navigable by flats and keels. The area of its drainage-basin is as great as the combined areas of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Turkey; and almost all this wide region is fertile; the Mississippi valley, proper, is exceptionally so.

-- an excerpt from "Life on the Mississippi," by Mark Twain, 1883.

fables of faubus

Oh, Lord, don't let 'em shoot us!
Oh, Lord, don't let 'em stab us!
Oh, Lord, don't let 'em tar and feather us!
Oh, Lord, no more swastikas!
Oh, Lord, no more Ku Klux Klan!

Name me someone who's ridiculous, Dannie.
Governor Faubus!
Why is he so sick and ridiculous?
He won't permit integrated schools.

Then he's a fool! Boo! Nazi Fascist supremists!
Boo! Ku Klux Klan (with your Jim Crow plan)

Name me a handful that's ridiculous, Dannie Richmond.
Faubus, Rockefeller, Eisenhower
Why are they so sick and ridiculous?

Two, four, six, eight:
They brainwash and teach you hate.
H-E-L-L-O, Hello.

village of the damned

a long day for one b.

time at work, some more at the television station, topped with brisk conversation, and the horror film classic, village of the damned.

who else can feel some fiction coming on?

welcome, to the the nashville chronicles

i live in nashville, tennessee. come see me now.