~ It’s so wonderful to get up to find that the dirty dishes are in the dishwasher, the trash has been taken out, and the coffee has been made.
Friday, September 29, 2006
~ It’s so wonderful to get up to find that the dirty dishes are in the dishwasher, the trash has been taken out, and the coffee has been made.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
All thanks go to Mike Hermes at Okiedoke for pulling this thing together. Of course, he had a lot of help and those people are to be thanked as well. I had such a good time meeting some of my favorite local bloggers. It was kind of peculiar, because it was like I already knew them. The biggest kick in the head was meeting Monty from The Daily Bitch. She’s exactly as she comes off on her blog. No pretenses, she’s the genuine article and you just gotta love her. Brian at An Audience of One was great to meet.
There is a Flickr page where you can go see some of the pictures that were taken. They’re being posted a little at a time and I hope to get my photos up before the weekend, ducky porn and all. Oklahoma bloggers are good people. In the picture, from left to right are Nettl, myself, Monty and Brian.
I’ve already told Mike that I intend to get involved in a more hands-on capacity next year. I wanna be one of the movers and shakers! And I want to get a lot of these people a whole lot better.
John Sadowski asks what our secret food cravings are. I think this merits our absolute honesty, guilt and sin be damned. I have no problem telling you that I love white gravy with tuna in it poured lavishly over torn-up pieces of toast. Yep, good old S.O.S. Sometimes I crave it so badly, I can’t imagine ever eating anything else. I grew up a little on the poor side, and this was comfort food.
This reminds me of the time Ville and I changed the words of “Constant Craving” by KD Lang from “Constant craving never ends” to “Instant gravy by Uncle Ben’s”. Sing it sometime. It works.
So head on over to John’s place and make your confession. And have a drink for me; it’s going to be a while before I can imbibe.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
No wonder I’ve been feeling like my head was going to explode. My blood pressure is raging, my vision is going, I walk around like I’m drunk (which I’m not, I promise you), my left leg and foot keep going to sleep, and I can’t quit going to the bathroom. I’m about 6-feet from a stroke. That means no 60s-themed birthday party (I was going to go as Andy Warhol). It also means that I have to lie kind of low and slow, and sit it out until my TSH levels balance out a bit and I’m back where I was six months ago. Farkin’ great.
Damn! I’m too young for this crap. I have things to do. Goals to chase down. Trummer Pils to drink. But right now, as my mother used to say, “I don’t have the strength of a gnat.”
You know, I don’t mind getting older. In fact, it’s quite a kick, but the body falling apart is an entirely different matter. If we had the technology, I’d be the first to sign up for living forever, as long as my health was good. Scheisse. My health has never been good; who am I kidding?
But there is good news. I was invited to write the program notes for the Stillwater Chamber Singers performance of Faure’s Requiem, so at least I won’t be completely useless around here.
The garage should be calling soon, and I have no idea how I’m going to pay the bill. There have been no new web design jobs, although I’ve had a couple of nibbles. I guess I could check out one of those cash advance places, but I’m self-employed. I doubt they’d accept me. I hope I won’t have to forfeit my car. I just don’t like the idea of that mechanic who stank like an ashtray and spit every ten seconds driving my car around. He might put those naked girl mud flaps on it. Or worse, a Bush sticker on the bumper.
Oh well, all this stresses me out and I’m supposed to avoid that.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Damn! Every time I read about the French Revolution, or watch anything about it, I want so bad for it to end differently. I want to shake Louis by the balls and say, “Just get to the Austrian border, ya maroon! Forget the silver, forget the wines. Just go!” But he doesn’t listen and they always get caught just 40 miles short of liberation after a 200-mile trip.
It was a fine documentary that made the revolution clearer and easier to understand. No mean feat considering that it’s one of the most confusing series of events in history. I’ve always loved Marie Antoinette. I knew she never made that crack about eating cake and I feel for the terrified 14-year old girl that was sent to marry the future king of France. This show revealed nothing new, but it did show Antoinette for the naive, manipulated girl that she was and actually laid the finger of blame upon her mother where it rightfully belongs. Empress Maria Theresa used her 16 children like pawns on a chessboard with one thing in mind: to rule the world. The show owned up to Antoinette’s excesses (what teenaged girl, however, wouldn’t go for all the pretty clothes if she was basically given limitless credit?), but it also paid tribute to the wisdom and dignity she acquired as her world fell apart at the seems.
I admit it. I resent the French for executing her and Louis. Did I say resent? Detest might be a better word. Don’t get your bowels in an uprooar over that. I don’t mean the French people as a country, or as individuals, but the bloodthirsty rabble who spread vicious propaganda about her with regicide as their only ambition. I’m actually holding a grudge and I hope they’ve all received their karma.
Monday, September 25, 2006
11:30 - Woke up, groaned.
12:30 - Made a mistake-filled entry (I have since edited it).
1:00 - Had steak and eggs at IHOP, with a large tomato juice on ice.
2:00 - Planted myself on the bed to watch the 4-disk set of Wings that Joel bought for me.
12:00 - Caught up on my favorite blogs.
And that’s exactly what I wanted to do today.
I’ll write about the Blogger Roundup tomorrow.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
- It’s my birthday
- Nettl’s taking me to IHOP
- I now qualify for the senior menu
- I’m hungover
- Actually, I’m still drunk
- I had a blast
- Monty’s butt is not huge
- Geeks were dancing
- I joined in
- There are pictures, which I’ll post later
- After I eat something and take a nap
- I was the only person who had an old-fashioned, non-digital camera
- Everyone noticed
- I hope everyone still likes me now that they’ve seen Mozartballs
- I hope they liked me before they saw it
- I won a ball cap and a mauspad
- Nettl won a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble
- I didn’t win a blogger award
- That’s two years in a row
- I will next year, or I’m changing my name to Susan Lucci
- I want the rubber ducky, damn it
- I really liked Kurt and his wife
- Monty goes without saying
- She’s a kick in the head
- You should’ve been there
- Dustbury has groupies.
Over and out.
Friday, September 22, 2006
While watching the 2-part American Masters: Andy Warhol program on PBS, I hoped that at some point an interview with the artist would be shown. The interviewees were great, and the show is astounding, but numerous people talking about Warhol felt imbalanced. I wanted to hear something from the man himself. (Although an actor, imitating Warhol’s voice, read from his diaries in certain segments, it still wasn’t an actual interview.) Lo and behold, my wish was granted as the end credits began to roll. I heard about 6 seconds of the interview when suddenly, the screen split in two and PBS began a promo spiel that lasted until the last 3 seconds of the credits.
If I were the director or writer, I’d be raising holy ned about now. I know enough about film to understand that what goes on during the end credits is often the “big red bow” that ties the entire piece together. The writer put that stuff there for a reason; it’s not an afterthought. A film does not begin and end with what most people consider to be the most entertaining part, that is, the body. The top credits and the end credits are the appetizer and dessert. It’s there for a reason, especially when there is more content to be considered.
It’s pathetic that a network that boasts that it is based on supporting the arts will cut into one of their own programs in this way…and on a piece about the arts. And why? So that I could see and hear promo about the Andy Warhol program and how I can buy it. Excuse me, but what about your patrons? If we send in our pledges, why in hell should we have to buy the DVD to see the piece as the writer and director intended me to see it? I went to the PBS site and left a comment–polite, but to the point.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
When my TSH levels drop, all I can really do is sit (or lie) and think. There’s not much else until I make an appointment with the vampires to give them a vial of my blood. Still in search of the perfect balance, my doctor then prescribes a different dose of my meds. This lab-doctor-pharmacy process takes a few days and until I get the phone call from my pharmacist, my mobility and motivation are at a premium. Communication dwindles because I stammer and I can’t access my vocabulary. Also, my short-term memory goes kaput and I can’t remember the simplest of things, thus, I am a huge consumer of Post-Its. Added to this is a crankiness that overcomes me, mixed with a dose of depression. I grow cynical, suspicious, jealous, traits that are not typical of me. I am a communicator to my very core and I’m not very graceful when I lose that ability.
So the telly gets a workout when I’m in this condition.
This evening, following my après dîner mini-coma (my brain sort of switches off so that it can see to the digestion process that my thyroid can no longer do on its own), I watched the American Masters program on Andy Warhol and it got me thinking about the act of living artfully.
Perhaps, because I grew up only 50 miles north of Hollywood and L.A., or perhaps because I grew up in a family of professional musicians, writers, actors and dancers, or because of any number of other factors, I have always lived what may be called an artful life. By this, I don’t mean that I’m always creating works of art (although I do compose, write, draw and sculpt). I mean that I have always lived my life as if it were my work of art. This wasn’t something I set out to do, it just came naturally.
Life has never been normal for me, but I guess that’s my doing. The idea of living a life of graduate, get married, have kids, work, retire, die never appealed to me. It never fit with my concept of who I was as a person, so it has always been natural for me to create both myself and my existence like I would a work of art. I even staged my homes to reflect the world of my making, and dressed to reflect my place in that world. Anaïs Nin wrote of the world she created in her home at Louveciennes and Virginia Woolf wrote in her diaries of her self-made world. Through the years I have found that these two writers and I have a great deal in common in this regard.
As a composer, I try to view my life as I would a grand composition, complete with dissonance and resolution, diminution and augmentation, major and minor, accelerando and retardando. I try not to get too entangled in the so-called normal life, but it’s not easy when you’re raising a family. Still, I have the great good fortune of raising a family that is anything but normal. We are all artists, all eccentric, all temperamental, all creating our artful lifestyles.
When Nettl and I are finally living in Vienna, I intend to lose myself in living artfully. I’m going to compose in the morning, go to the cafe in the afternoon, and spend my evenings with books, concerts, plays and tavern tables with my artistic friends.
And that’s about all I can do with this tonight. When I first thought of writing about living artfully it was so clear in my mind, but it has since been hijacked and I can’t remember all of the things I wanted to say.
“Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.”
When Nettl and I first met, Lauren was 11. I thought I’d have that talkative, curious, bright little girl for a long time, but here she is all grown up and getting ready to go to school in France after graduating high school in May. Oof!
Today is a little sad for me because I know that she’s just 2 feet from walking out the door into her own life. Gods! I remember being 18 like it was just a few years ago… Listen up moms and dads out there: Life is brief. After the 11th birthday the time flies by so fast you don’t even notice it, so enjoy your children while they’re children because it won’t last long.
I love you Lauren, and it doesn’t matter how old you get, I’ll always be your Wolfie.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
In other news, I cannot find lodging in OKC for this weekend. Driving home at midnight isn’t the worst thing in the world--it’s only 60 miles--but it would have been nice to come home the next morning. Oh well, we need that room and food money for the car anyway.
Who’s going to be there? Speak up!
UPDATE (2:25pm): Just got another call and it’s not good. It wasn’t the timing belt, so he’s going to have to take the cylinder head off. It’s going to be more around $900 now. Oof. Where am I going to get that?!?
Just got another call from the mechanic. At the least, this is going to cost me anywhere from $1000 to $1300.
Well, at least I have until the end of next week to sell my soul. Whatever that’s worth right now.
There goes my birthday party… for the next six years.
There goes Nettl’s computer.
There goes everything.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
I never had air conditioning until I moved here six years ago. Growing up on a ranch in the Santa Ynez valley, we had hot summers and cold winters and, although it didn’t snow, the cattle troughs used to freeze over at night. In the summer my mom put box fans all over the house and kept the curtains closed all day. I also remember that on the weekends, our family moved outside on hot summer days to sit under the dome of my grandfather’s willow tree, the men drinking beer and the woman cooling themselves with bamboo fans. In the winter we wore warmer clothes and had electric blankets on our beds.
In our home, the heat and air are controlled by a complex computerized system that has our house divided into two zones, the upstairs and the down. Within these zones there are days (each day of the week), periods (wake, day, evening, and sleep), heat, air, humidity, vacation, and service alerts, so setting the temps in this house takes quite a while, but I can at last do it without the manual now.
This is all well and good in the summer when hot is hot, or in the winter when cold is cold. But in the spring and autumn, temperatures fluctuate a lot. While a spring day can be in the 80s, the nights can dip into the 30s. This means that I’m constantly meddling with the thermostat. And I don’t know why 72 feels so much warmer in the summer than it does in the winter.
Personally, I think that we’ve acclimatized ourselves to our air-conditioned spaces so weather that was once considered warm, feels as hot as hell’s hearth to us now. Unlike my family who went outside to escape the heat that got trapped in our houses, I find that I’ll seldom venture out of the house, unnecessarily, if it’s in the 100s.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
“Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine,
so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.”
Brilliant ideas come to me unbidden (or so I like to think). In fact, I was quite the comedian at dinner. The bon mot was in my command as I had our 16 year-old daughter spewing grilled salmon and red peppers out of her nose. But can I come up with a single witticism now that I am called upon? Even Mozart isn’t helping. My solution, of course, is to pour another glass and wait for my muse to sledgehammer me.
I admit it. Like Johnny Depp, I am a “wino forever”. I love wine; I drink little else in the world of potent potables. Good import beer and wine, perhaps a little brandy if Geor3ge is around, but really, wine is it for me. I enjoy the humor and tolerance it brings out in people, the mellow mood it gives me and the flood of thoughts and determinations I experience when I’m alone and all of my unslayed dragons appear as little more than vapor. And I would be a liar if I didn’t say I also appreciate the
confidence passion it lends to romantic nights. Yes, I likes me my wine.
Even when it lets me down.
This afternoon we visited Corks, a new wine store in town and I have determined to go nowhere else during the next two years that we will live here. They carry wines from all of my favorite vineyards in the Santa Ynez valley, where I grew up in California. They even have the same Hefeweisse beer that we drank in Vienna at the wrap party of the Mozartballs Austria shoot, and in one corner there is a tall bistro table laden with wine magazines and cookbooks where one is free to sit and plan a special menu. Best of all, they’re in cahoots with the Pass Your Plate store a few doors away where, if one buys a meal to bring home, one is given a free bottle of wine. I have found the one oasis that this state may lay claim to.
I am no wine connoisseur, but as the saying goes, I know what I like. (My mentor, Maestro Frank Salazar used to say, “No, you like what you know”, but that’s another story and he wasn’t talking about wine.) In fact, I am the author of a site (and future coffee table book), Box of Wine: A Cultural Icon. But that too is another issue altogether.
One of the qualities I like most about wine is its power to unleash my thinking so that I can see many possibilities, even if they seem stupid the next day. While I’m sitting out on our front porch sipping at a glass or three, I work out issues that I have with myself and things don’t seem nearly as dire as they did before. The moon is brighter, the air clearer, the mosquitoes less menacing. This is wine’s genius, really. It smooths ruffled feathers and brings laughter. And rarely do you see two wine lovers duking it out over their favorite labels. The old familiar 2:00am phone call from a friend (”I love you, man!”) is usually made by someone who’s had a bit of wine, not someone who’s been drinking whiskey and is eyeballing the last girl in the bar at closing time.
So, with nary a clever word in sight I bid you a goodnight. I’m going downstairs to get another glass of wine.
The coffee I needed so badly couldn’t be made until the dishwasher was emptied before I could wash the sink of dirty dishes that had been left to me. “Good Morning!”
But the irritation of that lessened as I tended to political faux pas and work requests that I didn’t feel up to dealing with.
But even that didn’t seem so bad considering that I’ve been in pain and haven’t felt good for two days.
But of course that was nothing when I discovered that the nice dinner I’d been looking forward to in Tulsa with Nettl and Lauren was going to be spent with Nettl’s father and step-mother. Don’t get me wrong, they’re nice people. Excellent people, and so polite. And I just happen to be the antichrist.
Then I got a mild scolding for having an attitude. Which I did, I confess. I took my last Tylenol 3 for the pain and got over myself. Thanks to that little pill, the car ride wasn’t too painful.
Actually, dinner was really a good time and the niceties shown to me felt genuine, not merely polite. I felt accepted rather than tolerated like a bad cold that will hopefully go away soon.
But everything that happened throughout the day was small, irritating crapola when the car broke down just out of Sand Springs at 9:00 at night. That’s about 50 miles away. Nettl called her dad, who graciously drove out to get us and then drove us all the way home. I felt like a loser. Like, if I was going to debauch his daughter I could at least be butch and know how to fix my fricken car.
Leaving the car out there on the turnpike was emotionally hard for me. It sounds silly, but because it was all my mom had to leave me when she died, it felt like I was leaving her out on the side of a dark road to be crashed into or vandalized. I said something to that effect, but the others thought I was joking. I let it slide.
Now we have to figure out how we’re going to get back to the car and bring it home. It’s the only car we have. Renting a car to get us out there is no big deal, but the towing charges are going to be horrendous, not to mention the garage bill. This all has to be figured out in the morning. And it also means two more painful car rides. With no more Tylenol 3.
The dishes in the sink seem almost like a joy to me now.
Monday, September 11, 2006
It was a nice weekend. Micah arrived on Friday evening and we all sat in the livingroom talking and laughing with each other. It’s so wonderful having him home. I didn’t get to raise him, so I’ve always felt terribly cheated, and I lived in constant sadness and guilt as I watched him grow up 4 states away. But now he’s here, and I’m so proud of him. Nettl and I asked him to live with us so that he can forget about working for the man and just really throw himself into his music and creativity and see what happens. He’ll be working with me on my Alla Breve projects too, something for which I’m very grateful. He certainly couldn’t be with people who accept and love him more.
On Saturday evening, Joel, Micah and I went to Ville’s and sat on her patio until nearly three in the morning, drinking and having fun–I have the mosquito bites and backache to prove it (guess I’ll have to start sitting in a patio chair instead of the deck bench, although I know steam-cleaning the entire house didn’t help).
Today, Nettl and I hid out in our room watching movies on FX and Lifetime. One film, “The Mermaid Chair” caused us to enter into one of our famous philosophical conversations, this time about soul mates. The “silver screen” has done much to ill-prepare girls for relationships, I believe. Young women have been taught that perfect love will bring them their hearts’ desires and deliver to them a “happy ever after” future. Some people mistakenly believe that finding their soul mate will bring them a blissfully happy life with that person. The truth is, however, a soul mate is most often the one person who acts as sandpaper in order to smooth off our rough edges. Not that the relationship cannot be happy, for they usually are. But expectations of “perfect” love cause a great deal of heartache for a lot of young people.
When we meet that RIGHT person, the experience is heady–downright crazy–and we imagine that once we’re actually together, life will be a wondrously exciting experience. In this state, we never look ahead to paying the phone bill or cleaning the toilets. We’re too busy listening to the bells in our head and noticing how much brighter everything looks. That’s all well and good–and something that no one should miss–but too many couples fall apart when the first rush is over and life has to get down to being what it is. But I’d rather live an “ordinary” life with the right person than an exciting one with the wrong person. But maybe I can say that now that I’m facing 55 in a couple of weeks. My dad once told me, “When it all comes down to it, we marry for companionship.” There’s a lot to be said for a comfortable, secure companionship with one’s soul mate. The home is happy, the other family members are doing their things, and we’re watching stupid made-for-television movies.
When it’s right, it’s right.
Friday, September 8, 2006
The night that I met Paul (the eve of his birthday) seems like it was only about 5 years ago. Since then, he has found his soul mate (if I recall, it’s their anniversary too), moved to Atlanta, began a business in historic restoration, and has made a name for himself in his community. He was also my Best Man at my and Nettl’s Holy Union Service in 2001.
This may make me sound like an old fart (I was 34 when we met), but I’m proud of who Paul has become. So happy birthday Paul. I love you. And now that our friendship is old enough to drink, I wish we could be together tonight for a pitcher of your oh, so perfect martinis!
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Last night I finally hit the wall, as the saying goes. The two months of 16+ hour days and then preparing to move upstairs finally hit me like a Mac truck. When it came time to move our bed and dresser upstairs (I’d moved my desk and office stuff, plus a lot of little crap during the day), I just plopped down in the chair, looked at Nettl and said, “I can’t do this. Can we call Jaeson and see if he can help?”
Because I’ve always had to do everything for myself, I’ve never learned how to ask for help, so when I’m finally forced to, I feel inadequate. So I don’t. I push and push myself until I’m in a complete state of exhaustion and ill health. Last night, however, middle age gave me the stare-down and I succumbed. Jaeson came over and what took him an hour, spared me of 3 or 4 days of physical hell. Thank you, dear friend!
After he left, we organized and such, then at 11:00 I took a Xanax, took a shower, watched about 30 minutes of telly, then went to bed. I slept for 8 hours and awoke feeling much better. I think I’ll do this for the next 3 or 4 nights in order to get myself back on a human schedule. And from now on, I’m working no more than 10 hours a day on a client’s site, and those will be during the day, not from midnight-to-dawn. I hate to admit it, but I’m too old for this crapola.
In the picture above, see the small hexagonal aquarium on the right side of my desk? That’s Jet’s tank (my pal-buddy Betta). I’ve discovered that, since I put the right-hand speaker next to his tank, he hangs out beside it. Isn’t that cool?
Okay. Time to get dressed and get to work. I still have a million messes to clean up in our old room downstairs, and stuff to move up.
Monday, September 4, 2006
Have a great Labor Day. I know I will. With all of this moving going on, it’s comforting to know I have Trumer Pils in the fridge!
Don’t you think the guy on the far right looks like John Malkovich? Or maybe it’s Leon Russell…
Sunday, September 3, 2006
Thanks to everyone who nominated me. Hope I win something, but I’m up against some really formidable competition.
I’ve decided that Alla Breve is beginning a tradition: Regardless of the size of a site, or how many people are in the office (when we have one, that is), champagne will be offered to the staff–1 bottle per every 3 people–and on the cork will be written the client name and the date of completion. Tonight it’s just Nettl and me, and the cork has been popped.
If you’re an art lover, go to Art Experts Inc. It’s packed with information and thousands of images. These people know their art!
Saturday, September 2, 2006
Friday, September 1, 2006
This weekend, Nettl and I are moving back into the master suite upstairs. That means a lot of hoisting heavy furniture around up and down stairs; not easy for us since we’re officially middle-aged, 5′3″ and out of shape. Then we’ll also be steam cleaning the carpets, something lower backs always appreciate. But it has to be done; it’s something I’ve wanted to do since before Christmas.
I feel like I’m not making sense here, and the coffee is taking longer and longer each day to strike a chord in my sleep-deprived, silly-putty brain.
Things to do, fences to mend… but I just want to go back to bed and sleep the day away. If you know me at all, you know that I won’t, just from sheer determination.
I need a massage. Haven’t had one since 1998.