30 March 2007

jacob and julia



just wanted to let you see how they were getting along...

28 March 2007

housekeeping

My cousin is in the April issue of Coastal Living. Chris and Beth. Pg 178.

My brother KC is going to be in some British magazine owned by Conde Naste. Updates to follow.

Respect beer: an article today in the NY Times about a website dedicated to beers, the beer-making industry, and all other things beer. I figured there had to be a million of them out there, but this one seems alright. And since I mentioned that I keep a notebook for my beer tasting, I thought I'd pass this one along.

27 March 2007

songs unable to be made Loud Enough

You know those songs you just can't get loud enough, no matter headphones, car or house speakers, it just doesn't get real enough, and maybe even in concert, when even on the floor it's just not cutting it because you can't get the music to actually break your skin and get all through you and it almost makes you forget you're a body?

These are mine; feel free to play along (no judging, beauty is in the eye of the eye of the beholder):

Dimuendo and Crescendo in Blue - Duke Ellington (live)
Eyes Of The World - Grateful Dead (live)
China Doll - Grateful Dead (live)
Sugar Magnolia - Grateful Dead (live)
Big Fat Hen - W Marsalis (studio)
Don't Follow - Alice in Chains (studio)

[edit 28 March]
Tupelo Honey - Van Morrison (I have a live version by Galactic that Kills)
Apparently Bob Dylan himself said that "the song Tupelo Honey always existed, it was Van Morrison who brought it to earth."

23 March 2007

and you know how much I love musicals...

Lyrics from the song "An English Teacher" from Bye Bye Birdie

Rosie:
He's going in the Army
It's the best thing he could do
Now we're free to start to do
What we wanted to
Albert, Albert, A-A-A-Albert!
I remember how you told me
I should trust you for a year
It would just be for a year
But it's eight years, Albert!
Eight long years, Albert!

Albert:
Rosie, it takes time to go to business.

Rosie:
It was only a sideline
That's what you said
You just needed some money
That's what you said
You were going to college and get ahead
Instead of being a music business bum
You were going to NYU
And become an English teacher
An English teacher, an English teacher.
If only you'd been an English teacher
We'd have a little apartment in Queens
You'd get a summer vacation
And we would know what life means
A man who's got his masters
Is really someone
How proud I'd be if you had become one
It could have been such a wonderful life
I could have been Mrs. Peterson
Mrs. Albert Peterson,
Mrs. Phi Beta Kappa Peterson,
The English teacher's wife!

Albert:
Oh Rosie, I told you as soon as I get a few bucks ahead...

Rosie:
You said it before, Albert!
And along came Conrad Birdie...
And it was goodbye Jeffery Josser
Hello William Morris
Goodbye NYU,
Hello all ALMAELOU
'Cause when you wrote Canard's first hit
Agha-bagha-boo
Then I knew that was it
You were through with English
Forever...
An English teacher is really someone
How proud I'd be if you had become one
It could have been such a wonderful life
I could have been Mrs. Peterson
Mrs. Albert Peterson,
Mrs. Phi Beta Kappa Peterson,
The English teacher's wife!

18 March 2007

How dull it is to pause...

Ulysses

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron (1809–92)

IT little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That lov’d me, and alone; on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vex’d the dim sea. I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known: cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honor’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life. Life pil’d on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is sav’d
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle—
Well-lov’d of me, discerning to fulfil
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls’ that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and oppos’d
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil;
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
’T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Mov’d earth and heaven, that which we are, we are:
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

17 March 2007

Crumbolst

Long Island is iced over. Today Crumbolst and I went for a drive out east a bit (I wanted to buy some notebooks, but this was really just a front to hang out and go exploring) and saw some very cool stuff: we stopped in Port Jefferson - it's where the ferry goes to Bridgeport - and we walked the icy, snowy dock, and at the very end of the dock we saw a sailboat mast sticking out of the water! A boat had sunk at the dock! I have never seen anything like it. The boat was so deep underwater we couldn't even see it.

We also stopped at one of the small tiny beaches to throw rocks in the water and at iced over trees.

It was a good guy day.

11 March 2007

Thermopylae by C.P. Cavafy

Honor to those who in the life they lead
define and guard a Thermopylae.
Never betraying what is right,
consistent and just in all they do
but showing pity also, and compassion;
generous when they're rich, and when they're poor,
still generous in small ways,
still helping as much as they can;
always speaking the truth,
yet without hating those who lie.
And even more honor is due to them
when they foresee (as many do foresee)
that Ephialtis will turn up in the end,
that the Medes will break through after all.


Written January 1901.
(from this site here)

03 March 2007

6. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

I have wanted to read some Ford since I found out he was BFF with Joseph Conrad. In fact, FMF wrote a book called Joseph Conrad and in it says that everything he wrote after meeting Conrad was written with the idea of reading it aloud to him.

What a great book! What Deft Mastery of Language.

The plot: a wealthy American couple permanently in Europe because the wife's heart condition will not allow her to travel. A British couple of the liesured, landed class. They meet up and spend the next 9 years worth of vacations and travels together.

Ashburnham, the Brit, is a soldier, has a regiment of some kind, and is a generous, benevolent landlord to his various farming tenants. And he has an eye for the ladies, but not in a predatory, lecherous way. He truly has a kind heart and wants to ease an other's suffering, whether it be an old farmer down on his luck, or a servant girl in the next train compartment. This being the Victorian Era, scandalous behavior is looked down upon. Any suggestion of outrageous behavior could be devastating to one's professional and social reputation. So any misbehavior is covered up with bribes, hush money, and favors. Ashburnham's wife, desperate to live the easy, socially respected life of a Landed Lady, does everything in her power to curb her husband's spending and his...indiscretions, of which there are not that many (for our day). To compound their problems he is a Protestant and she a Catholic.

Dowell, the narrator, is a Nice Guy, but I have to wonder if he is some kind of First Class Dimwit. He has a wife who is more than selfish. I feel bad for Dowell but to explain why would be to burn down the plot.

I strongly recommend this book for its use of language, and for the sheer joy of the exposition. It was delicious. The image comes to mind of an umpire brushing away the batter's box dirt from home plate after a high intensity play, each brush stroke clearing more of the dirt away, but requiring yet another and another and another swipe, until all the layers of dust and sand are swept away and the Whole is Revealed. Archeology. Quantam Mechanics.

I will definitely be looking for more FMF. And specifically to read what he wrote after 1898, when he met Conrad.

"a compulsive diarist"

A few days ago I mentioned that I had been carrying around some notebooks with me when I got the Jeep stuck and then unstuck. I wanted to say a word about that here, which may be like one echo remarking on another. Or something.

I have always been keeping track of what I have been doing, logging my activities, in one form or another. My brothers and Mustapha (redundant) would know that I have a whole mess of calendars that I have kept since high school, jotting down a note about each day. Some days I was very verbose and even put down what I had for dinner, or who I hung out with and what we did. Other days simply get a simple "Islander game." Whether that means I went, watched it, or just that there was one, I have no idea.

When I got my old boat I started an online work/sailing log, and also kept a paper log that I thought I would give away with the boat. In that log were all the receipts, what I did, who I went with and what the weather was like. Much more information than the online version. When the boat was sold I kept that notebook and I'm glad I did as it had morphed into a personal document.

Lately I have been keeping about a half a dozen paper Moleskin notebooks on me at all times. I am still doing the calendar filling in, though I have a full page for each day. In addition to that I am tracking how each of my dollars is spent. The bank tracks a big part of that, true, but not where the cash I withdraw goes, and I'm telling you it's an eye-opener and has helped me achieve a measure of fiscal discipline I have never had (I have it planned so that by the end of the school year I will be completely debt free (private, personal, public), excepting my student loan (which I am ahead on)). I have a notebook for the boat. For beers I drink (so I can make good recommendations and recall what I liked and why. What's more annoying than having a breadth of choices and making a bad one, or repeating a bad one?). For the D&D. And for copying out cool Lit.

Maybe it's just my OCD, but I like being able to look up a date and have a pretty good recollection of what I did, no matter how long ago it was.

When I was buying the new boat, I showed the seller the online work journal for Persuasion. He followed a few links and remarked that I was a compulsive diarist. I always linked the sound of that and took it as a kind of compliment.

going down the road feeling old and domestic...

You know you are getting old when you get excited about buying vacuum cleaner bags.

(Note to self: make sure vacuum cleaner works before buying bags.)