Friday, October 31, 2003


I had the weirdest dream last night. I should say the weirdest group of dreams. Unlike most nights where I don't remember anything, last night I remembered 3 distinctive dreams. I was being stalked by this seemingly nice couple. They were trying to interest me in something, but I wouldn't let them start their spiel. So I kept bumping into them and thinking that it was coincidental. Until I find myself on the New Haven line commuter train going into Manhattan and there they are. Now I'm freaked out. This is not a coincidence anymore. So now I finally try to call the police and can't figure out my phone because I don't know how to work my cell phone. In fact this is a carry-over from the dream before where I keep getting different cell phones and I can't seem to make or get calls since the controls and phone numbers are different.

I manage to ditch these weird people in a second cross country trip. I'm now in the movies with a friend. I am approached by a woman who attempts to give me a horribly bad neck and shoulder massage. Seems she is trying to make money and can make money offering services to movie patrons. huh? I feel bad and sign off on the bad massage, mostly so that she would go away. Well this was a bad idea and somehow she finds out where I live and is outside sitting on the stoop when I go out to throw out some trash. This girl needs a lot of help and I really don't know if she is serious or looking for some kind stranger to take advantage of. I really want to help her and decide to learn more about her to find out about her. [pause] Wait, what am I thinking. The only thing I could possibly describe that is less fun for you would be to describe my favorite Get Fuzzy strip. Which I will just include here allowing you to contemplate your potential horror privately.

I was more amazed that I was able to remember this much about my dreams than the subject matter. I am a little curious about what has been going on in my real life to make these things come up.

In other spooky news, there were these seriously spooky clouds out this morning. Tut tut, looks like rain. Nice billowy dark clouds. Back when I was lifeguard, I'd be packing up the loose bits and kicking the kids out of the pool with clouds like this. It hasn't rained yet, but it will.

I have been buying books. My favorite Neil/Neal's, Neil Gaiman and Neal Stephenson both seem to have snuck out books while my attention was elsewhere. If you don't know who these guys are, write me, because it is likely that you should read at least one thing they have written. I promise this to be an enjoyable experience not to mention how cool you will appear at your next soiree when you casual mention that you not only know who they are but loved their last book.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Recharge Day

I had the day off today. I'm trying to hold back my inner glee a little, so you don't hate me. It was as close to a perfect day as I have had in a long time and just what I needed. It started with me sleeping in. I woke up around 9:30 and finally rolled out of bed at 10 am, got dressed and went to the gym. It was a lot busier than I would have expected. I suppose there are a lot of people who work evenings and of course a slew of unemployed folks too. Afterwards I went to a small cafe a few blocks up on 18th and York and grabbed the coffee I so desperately needed. I sat outside, flipped through the paper and took time to smile at passersby and pet the occasional dog. Then back to the car. It was such a beautiful day I had to take the top down on the car for my drive up and over to the marina.

A while ago I did a google search on "the wave" "san francisco" and found this page for the wave organ, an art installation right off the bay. I couldn't resist it since it merges the senses; sounds, sights, smells, tastes and touches. Yum. Reviews from visitors recommend the best time to go was high tide, so I found the tide tables and set off. Since I have never been there it took a longer stroll than I anticipated to get there. But accompanied by an icy cold bottle of water and my mp3 player, it was an enjoyable walk.

As I walked along the marina I was reminded of the place I had on Delancy St in Mamaroneck that was across the street from Harbor Island Park. I miss the cherry blossoms in the spring and the ever constant but subtle songs boats in the harbor play.

The wave organ was interesting and peaceful. Swarms of sailboats left the marina as the patient waves of high tide were drawn into the organ. I was a lot like a giant surround-sound sea shell. When you need some quiet time for yourself and your sound check the tide tables and head over to hear the bay play it's tunes.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Life imitating Art?

I have been thinking about what music to share with you. Rather than just picking the latest song du jour I thought I'd go back a little. I came across Lili Anel way back when I was still in New York. West had gotten me hooked on folk and world music with her MR2-full of CDs. After I wore down those Alphabet Soup tapes she made, I started to find my own sources. Sure I still listened to WLIR (or WDRE for a while back then), but more often than not I was tuned to WFUV, a public radio station out of Fordham. One night I heard this song, Dance the Life Away, playing and fell in love with the singer's voice. It was rich and intoxicating. I bought her CD, Laughed Last, and it was so good it never left my 6-pack Pioneer CD player (slot #6).

I never got the chance to see her perform. I certainly did frequent the places she has played, The Bottom Line in Greenwich Village with Karen and George and the Turning Point in Piermont, NY with Marcia. But her music came to mark events in my life.

Trying to pick just one song for you to listen to was hard. I mean, there was an entire heart-wrenching 6-month love affair that I can mark by her first CD. It started with the ecstasy of Tonight and the happy Laughed Last. A short dip of anguish on her part marked by The Wrong Time. Did I mention she was married. Yeah okay, not the wisest move on my part, but wait, we make up and Love Is It expresses those sentiments. Then come the broken promises and the distance of a 1000 miles between us. Did I mention heart-wrenching? Baby When? says it all, I'm too miserable. So I'm not surprised when I find out there is someone else just like what happens in Say It Isn't So. Okay I wasn't so completely heartbroken not to notice the eerie similarities between my life and Roberta Flack's song, Killing Me Softly.

I actually took her out of my CD Player for a month or so and tried to be a big girl and get on with my life. But there is nothing that makes you feel more alive than the ecstasy of love won and the agony of love lost. Really my scorpio nature couldn't stay away. So I put her back in her slot and I couldn't think of anything better to get into a properly bad mood than to listen to all those happy fall-in-love songs. I had forgotten about this one song nestled in with all the rest that oddly made it all better. Let Her Go (available for your listening pleasure) got me out of my funk of despair. The fabulous rhythms in this one will cheer you up if you need it. On an interesting small world side note, the guy playing the kick-ass vibes is Jeff Berman, who I met through Marcia at his funky Brooklyn apartment. He played a song for me that he was working on for one of his CDs. Find them and buy them if you love the sound.

I had secretly hoped that Lili would come and whisk me away, just like in the song, but I got over it. I got into painting and found other things that make my heart happy. Of course I will always have a weak spot for serenading strangers.

I am happy to add that Lili is back with a new-ish CD, Hi-Octane Coffee. I am still listening to the new one. Laughed Last however does qualify for that special satisfaction guarantee. Listen to the song here and if you love it, buy Laughed Last. If you really hate it I'll buy it or trade it for something you will like.

How's that, eh?

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Magical Pyrotechnics

It is a miraculously clear evening and I just came in from watching fireworks exploding in the bay. It's fleet week and the air has been filled with thunderous planes that rattle windows with every sweep of their wings. Everytime one flies over, all eyes look up trying to catch a glimpse. Driving in a convertible on a day like today has especially generous rewards.

This evening I went to listen to some music and ended up getting home around 8:30. I heard a booming sound in the distance. And without a doubt I knew it was fireworks and not thunder. Rather than sitting and listening from my living room, I got up, and ran out to watch. I could see the flashing lights ahead as I ran to the top of the hill. I looked down upon the tall buildings of downtown to the north-west. The fireworks were visible between two sets of buildings, perfectly placed as if I had the best seat in the city. Miles away spectators, shivering in the cool autumn air, had this magnificent display spread out before them. I watched from my view, fireworks exploding over the twinkling San Francisco skyline. A photograph of this would appear fake, a computer modified image. The finale roared one last flurry of color and then it was over.

I walked home shivering and happy from the impact of color and sound.

Monday, October 6, 2003

Thinking in Hypertext

I have come to the startling realization that I think in hypertext. Anyone who has ever spoken to me, or perhaps more appropriately, listened to me go on about something understands that I tend to go off on tangents. So ten, twenty years ago I was merely unfocused and unable to stick with a conversational topic. Now I am hip and cool with words that describe my easily distracted nature.

So when I talk about some topic, I can visually link to another topic and yet appear focused on the original thought.

Of course the real trick is to find people who can listen in hypertext without getting distracted by all those blue lines! Of course I'm not the only one thinking this.

Well until that happens I will leave you with small diversions that give you warm fuzzies and loud gaffaws courtesy of Evany.

Bubble Toes

This one is for Diana and Karen. I made a comment about Jack Johnson being a modern day Neil Diamond, or perhaps James Taylor. What I mean by this before you send me flaming email, is that Jack will be the sort of person that has a loyal niche fan base which I feel will last him as long as he'd like it to. This thought has more to do with my recent retro musical listening than any desire to offend Neil, James or Jack fans.

Bubble Toes was the first Jack Johnson song I ever heard. I was on my last nerve as I slinked closer to the 5th and Bryant St entrance ramp onto the Bay Bridge. I was instantly captivated by his catchy lyrics and wanted to here more. I lucked out and the DJ told me the song and artist right away. I managed to write this information down on an old gas receipt without careening into a fellow commuter. I bought his CD, Brushfire Fairytales, and enjoyed many of the other songs as well. I was able to enjoy some of the So. Cal references after a few trips to see Cat. I had no idea what the hell a tarball was until I picked up one of my own walking along a beach in Ventura. So you learn something new everyday.

Sunday, October 5, 2003

Oldies but Goodies

When I came back from my trip to New York last month, I noticed that not one but two of my favorite radio stations changed format. The Drive, classic rock from the 60s, 70s, and 80s is now a Country station. Not that I hate country music, but not at the cost of my rock, baby! I mean, nothing like a little Led Zepplin on the clock radio to get you up in the morning, y'know? So imagine my sheer exasperation and sadness when I discovered that The Wave washed out to sea. Okay perhaps the SF Bay area wasn't enough to hold onto a World Music and Reggae station, but it's still sad it's gone. You could always count on it having something different when everyone else was playing the same music.

So I have been wandering up and down the radio, scanning for something new. I assumed that if two radio stations can change formats maybe some other station that I hated now has cool music. Reasonable, yes? One of my gaps on my car radio has been filled with KFRC, an oldies station. I remember when oldies music was stuff that was made before I was born. Now it is music that I listened to when I was a kid. The best part is that it all has memories. Thanks to my mom, would always had the radio on, in the house and the car, I've got tons of songs in my head. I hear a song that reminds me of the summers we would go to Oakland or Jones Beach. The lyrics to these songs are also in my head. Sure a lot of them are in that, not quite right way, but rather than using my mind for uber-good, like discovering the cure for cancer or even the common cold, I have all these 'oldies' lyrics in my head.

This song, I’ll Take You There by The Staple Singers keeps popping up, in movies, on television as well as being covered by tons of people. Go ahead listen to this and try to keep still.